Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Breaking In The New BevMo!

We all know that I like my cocktails (if you don't check the blog name yo'). In the last few years I have gotten more interested in wine as it's not as hard hitting as say a margarita and because of that growing interest I have attended The L.A. Wine Festival two years in a row which has only helped to increase my growing palate. So while I feel like I know what I like and what I don't, I don't always understand why I like certain wines when paired with particular foods or why I like them less by themselves.
Enter BevMo! In honor of their 151st store grand opening in Riverside last week I was invited to attend a private tasting with their Cellar Master ; Wilfred Wong along with several other bloggers.
I was more than jazzed as I love to learn more about what I'm drinking and I've been day dreaming about hosting a wine tasting once we get settled into the new digs.

the tablescape

Wilfred is a gem , he has been in the business for over 40 years and is responsible for managing the wine rating system at BevMo! He's also been to France over 20 times, and as an avid photographer his work has shown up on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr, so I was equally impressed with that.

Wilfred Wong dropping knowledge on us novices

What I learned: Aside from getting to try wines that are normally not on my radar (or in my price range) I discovered that BevMo! has so much more to offer! Aside from being one of the largest specialty beverage retailers in the United States ,they offer a specialized service for wedding's (or any large gathering) where they'll have you come to the store, listen to what your bar desires are, set up a private tasting of wines and the like just. for. you. AND if the order is over $500 they'll deliver it your venue for free!! AND they'll chill what needs to be chilled! How sweet is that? I'm already mentally planning our next soiree and hoping to be able to utilize this feature sometime in the near future.

yes to all the wine

They are also home of the 5 cent wine sale where you can buy one bottle of wine and get the second bottle for just 5 cents. With over 200 bottles to choose from there is sure to be one to suit everyone's palate! And the 5 cent sale is not just a once or twice a year thing, it's onging. Sure they have a major promotion several times a year but if you enter any BevMo! store you're likely to find wines eligible for the same promotion year round! Yes y'all, YEAR ROUND. Whoo hoo! You better believe I picked up a bottle to celebrate our move this weekend. Also, did you know that if you buy a bottle of wine (or anything for that matter) and it's a bit "corked" (i.e. tastes or smells funny) you can return the bottle and they will happily swap it out for you? This makes me excited as I know this happened on more than one occasion and resulted in us just pouring out the wine. No bueno.

mini bottles perfect for gift baskets!
I must admit it's been awhile since I stepped inside of a BevMo! and I was both overwhelmed at the many selections but excited about the helpful staff who was on hand to assist in my selections.  I can honestly say that I will be shopping there more often and as luck would have it, our local store will be less than a mile from our new house! Can you say housewarming party?

so many varieties of beer!

Stay tuned next week for pairing info how to taste wine like a pro and what my thoughts were on the wines we tried.
But in the meantime let me know: Have you checked out your local BevMo! recently? How did you feel about it?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dining Room Dilemma

While I'm still in full OCD packing mode I've been making time for flights of fancy (mostly while I should be packing) and am trying to plan the layout of our furniture. Our new space is full of good light and inspiring design ideas so I've had no problem turning to my Pinterest boards for inspiration and literal translations of what's going on in my head and I'm really excited about all the possibilities.
There is so much that can be done but I know in my heart where I want to start (everywhere) and that is with the dining room. I have so much trouble with this space.

About a year or so ago we inherited the dining set from my parents house and I was over the moon about it. It's older than I am and sturdy (my two year-old is no match for this construction) with great details. But I despise the color. Ever since we obtained it I've dreamed of painting it a glossy black so it's more "nuetral" and then doing some fabulous fabric for the seat cushions but I wanted to wait until we were in a new space so I would really be inspired. And now here we are and I am stuck. I still have designs on painting it but at the moment I'm torn between painting the whole set black, just the table with pops of color on the chairs or doing the chairs black and then having a pop of color with the table. 

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

My god sister pointed out that it would be easier to do the table in a bright color once rather than have to paint six chairs if I wanted to change it up later on. I am inclined to agree. I love these options with the white table.

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

This of course means I would have to choose said color and then see if I can get my husband to agree to said change. Or I can just stick with my original idea and do it all black and leave the color to the seat cushions and other elements (table cloths/runners/napkins etc).
Gah! Decisions, decisions!
Usually my vision for a room is so clear that it's not even a question about what to do but I'm really having a hard time with this one. Since I haven't really had time to soak in the space it's really frustrating to come to terms with the fact that I can't make a solid decision right now.

Pinned to my Dining Room board on Carpl2Cocktail

 So here's where you come in friends. Below are a few options that I'm interested in and you can tell me what you think. I appreciate any and all feedback so let your honest opinions fly.
There will be tons more decor themed posts in the future as that's where my main focus is right now but not to worry. I'm also going to be chatting about some fab finds that I've run across in my recent shopping excursions.

So what say you good people? Black table  + colored chairs? All black everything? Colored table + black chairs? Weigh in already!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mommy Chic Monday: Black , White & Red All Over

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a private tasting event for the new BevMo store opening in Riverside (more details to come later this week) and I was scrambling on what to wear.
It also happened to be Baby Ninja's 2nd birthday so I was a bit of a mess and it was a short day and my hair is out of control and in great need of a trip to the salon. So you can imagine my fluster as I pored over my closet in hopes that something would jump out at me. Jeans were kind of a given but what to wear on top and what to do with my hair??? Oh the unnecessary stress I create when styling my looks.

Two days prior I had made a trip to my local Nordstrom Rack and scored a fabulous pair of pants and while there I had spied a few great dressy/casual tops that I knew would be just perfect paired with some torn denim. Not too fussy but still stylish enough for a happy hour event. Also, because I knew I would be in the car for at least 45 minutes I didn't want anything that would wrinkle too much.

denim: Joe's Jeans / Top: Soprano/ Heels: BCBGeneration / Necklace: Stella & Dot 

Enter this great black and white graphic print top by Soprano. They had several others in a variety of solid colors and at least two other prints but I am a sucker for black and white. I knew I would be getting a lot of wear out of this top and that it would work perfectly with my ripped Joe's. Paired with my BCBGeneration laser cut heels, a crazy topknot, a blinging statement necklace and a red lip and I had a complete look in under 30 minutes. Winning!

 I have to admit, I've been rocking a red lip whenever I go "out" lately (and by out I mean anyplace without my kids) as it sort of pulls my whole look together and I don't have to do a lot, makeup wise. This works particularly well when I'm frazzled (as I have been lately) or just don't have the time to put layers of eye shadow and what not on. I also think it ups my sass factor so I am a bit more confident than usual. The topknot is just something I've recently mastered and has been saving my life these last few days. Packing up our house is a huge undertaking and spending time trying to get my hair to lay just right is not a luxury I have right now.

And these jeans? They are pretty much perfection. Super soft, great fit and torn in all the right places. Another Nordstrom Rack find that I've worn no less than 3 times in a week. They go with everything and I kind of want another pair. Still debating on getting them hemmed just a touch but for now they work just fine.

Have you found anything in your shopping adventures you're loving lately? How do you pull it together when you're in a hurry?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mommy Chic Monday : My Celeb Style Muses

When we talk about fashion and style I feel like the two get interchanged a lot when they are actually quite different. Fashion is what comes down the runway and is sold in stores. Style is something much more personal all together. It's how you put the fashion together that gives it style. And I have said several times, I am not a "fashion blogger" per se. I'm more about showcasing my personal style. The growth and the process I go through when picking pieces/outfits and how they fit into my current season of life.
It only took me about 32 years to really discover and then hone my own personal style and I have Pinterest to thank for much of that. Sure, I've always known what I liked and what I was drawn to, but ever since the discovery of Pinterest (and therein Polyvore) I finally have a compilation of style muses who personify those likes. When scrolling through my boards I can see how far I've come and the evolution of my personal tastes as my involvement with Pinterest has grown.  Working in the fashion industry also helped quite a bit. In the beginning it was definitely more Cali chic, laid back type of ensembles and now you can see the addition of the implied edginess that I am inexplicably drawn to. The black, the leopard print, the graphic tees, red lips and luxe faux furs. The studded shoes and leather leggings. Skinny jeans and stilettos. But not in a dark, moody way. Still California cool with a bit of a boho twist but there is definitely a rocker chic vibe happening as well.
My celebrity style muses have definitely been inspirations as most of them are mama's too and I love how they manage to balance being ultra cool, feminine and chic while still being "mom".

l-r:  gwen stefani / rachel zoe / jessica alba / nicole richie

I realize that most of these woman have unlimited funds + stylists/personal shoppers and can afford all the latest trends and I'm on a shoe string budget but that does nothing to kill my crushes on their sartorial sensations. It's all about the inspiration right? I find that I can relate to them being a mom on the go while still wanting to be stylish but not overly styled. I don't mind being the most dressed up person in the room but sometimes you gotta play it a little cool right? These ladies have that down pat. They can go from super glam to casual mom in an instant and have no problem rocking both their Louboutins and their Tory Burch flats in the span of a few hours. Thus is the life of a mama. 

l-r : tia mowry hardict / rachel zoe / nicole richie / jessica alba / kourtney kardashian /june ambrose

Their effortlessly cool style reflects my tastes and aspirations as a 30 something mother of two. Having a tween also keeps me on my toes to dress in a more stylish manner (while not being a slave to each new trend) and not get stuck in a rut of jeans and a tee or (shudder) sweatsuits and running shoes. Not to knock those who do, but even in my suburban life, I desire a bit more glam on a daily basis and you'll often find me in ripped jeans, a tee and loads of jewelry on my weekly Target run.
My style aesthetic may not be that of most women my age(SAHM or otherwise) but I like that it's different. It's very much me and I like to dress in a way that expresses my mood. As Rachel Zoe so eloquently put it " Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak" and I think just from a glance at my 'daily style posts' you get a good idea of who I am.

l-r: june ambrose / kourtney kardashian/ nicole richie/ gwen stefani 

These women's personal "street style" (as in non red carpet) speaks to me and I find that by having these images around I have a better grasp on what may work in real life and what is just "celeb style" and how I can emulate these aesthetics in my own life. It's actually been really fun to go through my closet while scrolling Pinterest and determining what I should keep and what needs to be let go of. For a pack rat like me it makes the purging process a lot easier.

So I want to hear from you! Who are some of your style muses and where do you draw your inspiration from? Do you look to celebs like me or are you more interested in fashion / personal style bloggers for daily inspiration?

Share in the comments!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Happy Hour: Valentine's Edition

So I've decided to bring back "Happy Hour" on Friday's and post my favorite links, images and posts of the week but I'm not sure if this is going to be a weekly thing or every other week. We'll see how it goes. As I said earlier in the week, we've been on the hunt for new digs and we finally found a place we ALL liked and will be moving in approximately 14 days. Yep. 14 days. And I've only gotten 11 boxes packed so far. Who's awesome? This, girl. So while my OCD has been sent into hyperdrive, my procrastination is also in full effect. #timesbeingageminisucks
But whatever, it will all come together right?

In other news, I don't know if I shared on here but I recently became a contributing writer for MommyNoire! I'm so excited! There's something really awesome about seeing your byline on another site and knowing your words are reaching a whole new audience! I hope you'll take a moment to head over and check out my other work!
Here are a few of my latest posts over there:

5 Things I Want My Tween Daughter To Know About Her Friends

Sexy Makeup Looks For Valentine's Day

5 Beauty Products Will Rock Your Look

Around C2C: 
In case you missed it this week I talked about getting dressed daily and did a 'style post' of sorts all from my cell phone/ IG images. It's really the best way to capture my everyday way of dress.
I also talked about my increasing love for kimono's, where and how I plan to wear them from now until eternity.

Around the web

Libation: We all know I love Instagram with a passion. One of the reasons I love it is because I am able to fall down the rabbit hole and discover people I may not have otherwise. Take Suburban Bitches for example while I didn't end up going to Alt Summit this year I was happily perusing the hashtag and stumbled across their account and thusly their blog. I cracked up at their IG name and then fell in love with their blog. These ladies are all the things I like completely real, ridiculously sassy and wicked creative.  In their own words:

Two ladies (aka "bitches") taking their suburban homes from cookie-cutter to fab. All while raising 6 kids and maintaining their social drinking problems!

Hell yeah. I'm all about it. So when they posted a most delicious looking libation I immediately asked if they minded if I shared on here (it's also what got me excited to bring back Happy Hour)

blood orange pomegranate martinis_suburban bitches

Blood orange pomegranate martinis
Makes two drinks
1 cup blood orange juice (from about 3 oranges
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
generous 1/4 cup of vodka (I used whipped vodka but regular would work too, just would be less sweet)
Mix all the ingredients with some ice in a shaker. Shake it up and serve. I dipped my glasses in some red sugar on the rim to make it festive. Totally don’t need to get that fancy though. Enjoy with those that you love!
This makes me want to run out to Sprouts and scoop up some blood oranges right now! I think I may have to make these this weekend for my lover! Bottoms up!!

Any fun Valentine's Day plans? We're keeping it super low key since we'll be moving shortly but we may sneak away for a late dessert Saturday evening. We'll see.

Have a lovely weekend and see you back here on Monday!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gyp Set Go Kimono Crush

I've already decided on my summer uniform. We know it's going to be hot as blazes but I pretty much always want to look cute and put together , even when I'm melting and I've found the perfect piece to keep it cool & casual. Upgraded from plain cut-offs and a tank I've decided to incorporate the uber hip kimono into my summer (and winter) staples.
I've been into the look for awhile but was kind of meh about the whole thing until Melinda came over and showed me how to maximize my scarf and make it into a kimono and I was like SOLD! All summer long. I am here for it! I can totally see myself rockin' this look from now until actually gets cold again! And the way the weather has been lately I don't forsee that to be much of an issue so I'm all about it. I will be wearing my kimono's with ankle boots and shorts, jeans and sandals and pretty much everything in between!

floral kimono

The kimono is kind of like a godsend for me. The perfect cross between cardigan and jacket it still makes quite the fashion statement on it's own and it's just the thing for So Cal living.It fits right into my "mommy chic" motif and I'll be damned if isn't just the perfect item to add to my wardrobe. It didn't help that the lovely girls from TargetDoesItAgain posted one a few weeks ago and I promptly made a beeline for my closest Target only to discover there were two left. One in XXL and the other a S/M. Needless to say I threw them both in my cart while I cruised the store making my final decision. I've got issues of FOMO on stuff like this for reals.

I've literally spent the last few days stalking the ASOS website waiting for this dope Love Kimono to come back in stock in my size and praise the Lord it finally did! Of course this was after I purchased one from Nordstrom Rack on Friday that I was kind....meh... about. However, that will be going back ASAP since the one from ASOS really made my heart skip a beat.

Love Kimono In Floral Print

I'll admit that when I first began to see kimono's on the scene, even though it appealed to the boho chic lover in me, I didn't want to just jump on a bandwagon. It seemed so ..... I don't know, hipster ish? But not really?  And then the more I thought about how it would work for my lifestyle it just made sense. I've already worn my Target version several times and have no doubt the most recent addition will get just as much play. Factor in some dope Stella & Dot jewels and I'm good to go. Easy like Sunday morning. In fact, you can bet your morning mimosa that this will be making an appearance at several, brunches. SEVERAL. So hope you don't get tired of seeing it!

So what's on your style lust list for the spring summer season?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mommy Chic Monday : Cell Phone Diaries


I've been kind of a bad bad personal style blogger as of late. I haven't posted a legit daily style outfit post in weeks and it's not because I haven't been getting dressed. I have. In fact I've kind of loved my outfits as of late, but I am knee deep in the 'find a place to live in 30 days' drama and it's kind of affecting my shooting schedule. So I thought I'd do a small recap of some of my favorite OOTD's from Instagram. Because you know #instagramatemyblog and all that.
Being a mama to an incredibly active toddler boy is a horse of a different color and getting dressed each day can be a challenge. Not the actual choice to get dressed because that's happening. But the whole what do I wear dilemma. I have to consider things like the weather, activities, errands and his tendency to throw food when he's over it. Thankfully he does most of the major throwing at dinner.
My friend posted last Friday about this similar dilemma and as I was reading I was all nodding in agreement because it can be quite difficult to decipher your daily fit when a toddler is in tow.
It's also been on my mind even more ever since I started doing morning drop off for Sweet Pea and get to see what all the other moms are wearing at 8am versus what they look like at 3pm (entertaining let me just tell ya) I even told my husband the other day as he commented on my outfit "you know I change about 2-3 times before you get home right"? And not just because of BabyNinja either, I'm a hot mess when it comes to eating so if there is a way that I can spill on my ensemble, it's bound to happen. Because I am gifted when it comes to that kind of stuff.
stripes/boyfriends/leopard - need I say more?
But over the past year of mothering this tiny tornado, getting my personal style ish together and figuring out my writing schedule, I think I'm getting the hang of this dressing game.

casual edge for errands - graphic tee / boyfriend jeans / ankle boots and a little sparkle

For instance, we go to My Gym once a week in the morning so I try to make it a point to wear comfy clothes so I can try to squeeze in a work out as he takes an AWESOME nap afterwards. However, most days I'm up and dressed at the same time as my husband and SweetPea. I still put on makeup and do my hair but maybe not as much unless we are going to run errands straight after drop off and I might run into someone I know.

out and about with the kiddos - statement necklace/ skinnies/ ankle boots and an oversized top 

Having a working wardrobe has definitely helped the what to wear dilemma but some days I still struggle and have days where I have no idea what to wear and literally change clothes 4 times before I find something I'm "okay" with but there's usually a deeper issue there (pms anyone?) and sometimes I get in a rut and wear the same jeans for 4 days but at least I feel like I look cute so that means something right?

OTK boots / faux fur vest/ polka dots / skinnies make for a polished look 

So, I'm curious as to how everyone else is doing in the daily dressing department. Particularly if you work from home or are a stay at home mom. Do you find it hard to put on something other than pj's or sweatpants (especially if the weather is yucky)? Do you plan your outfits for the week or take it day by day? Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter's Tale" Prize Pack" SweepStakes

With love in the air and Valentine's on the horizon it seems only fitting that I offer up a prize pack for  the new film WINTER'S TALE. The Love Story, which hits theaters this Valentine's Day stars Colin Farrell ("Total Recal") , Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey") ,William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, and Ocar winners Jennifer Connelly ("A Beautiful Mind) and Russel Crowe ("Gladiator").

Set in a mythic New York City spanning more than a century, "WINTER'S TALE" is a story of miracles, crossed destinies and the age old battle between good and evil.

Entering the contest is quite simple: Watch the WINTER'S TALE trailer and answering the following movie question in the widget below.

There will be 1 Grand Prize winner who's goodies will include:

  • WINTER'S TALE candle in blue velvet bag
  • WINTER'S TALE ladies henley shirt
  • WINTER'S TALE magazine tote
  • (Admit Two) - WINTER'S TALE Hollywood Movie Money ** Hollywood Movie Money is a free admission voucher to see a predetermined film (WINTER'S TALE) redeemable nationwide stsrting 02/14/14 through 03/13/14 in any theater excluding AMC Theaters
Total estimated value: $66.00

There will also be 1 runner up prize to include:

  • (Admit Two) - WINTER'S TALE Hollywood Movie Money ** Hollywood Movie Money is a free admission voucher to see a predetermined film (WINTER'S TALE) redeemable nationwide stsrting 02/14/14 through 03/13/14 in any theater excluding AMC Theaters

Best of luck to all who enter!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Redefining What Beauty Is With a Selfie

I love when my friends share links on Facebook and will, for the most part, take the time to watch them (provided they aren't super long) and happily share the love. Most are pee your pants funny (Hello Vin Diesel and thank you for the giggle) but quite a few have touched the very center of my soul and I'm compelled to comment.
Such was the case with Dr. Deborah Cohan, the surgeon about to undergo a double mastectomy who had a Beyonce dance party in the O.R. It was beautifully heart-wrenching and so full of zest for life, gratitude for where she was and joy. The timing couldn't have been better as my own mother had just begun her own bout with chemo and I couldn't help but cry to see the grace that this woman had when about to undertake such a huge moment in her life.
However, yesterday was slightly different. I had a ton of work I needed to finish and was behind deadline but I sat back and watched the most beautiful campaign entitled by Dove to reclaim and redefine what beauty is. For just over eight minutes I happily gave up that time I was supposed to be writing and took a moment to let it all sink in. What is beauty? How has it changed and how can we change what the world thinks it to be?

We all know that "selfie" was the 2013 word of the year and if you'll recall I even wrote my own piece on tips for taking the perfect one as well as why I thought they were empowering. Turns out I was on to something. As a mother to a young girl I realize that she is ultimately affected by how I view myself and without realizing it, internalizes any of my negative self  image talk and can subsequently be harder on herself about how she looks than she should be.
I get it. As someone who suffered with a warped body and personal image most of my life I really get it. But now, at 4 months shy of 35 I'm finally comfortable with who and what I am. Even if it is not the "standard" for beauty.

To see these young girls talk about how their mothers view themselves affects their own views of themselves was both eye opening and inspiring. It reminded me that not only do I have to watch my own words & actions about my appearance but I have to be conscious of the message I'm sending to my tween about hers as well. She is at a very pivotal time in her life when girls begin comparing themselves to each other, when boys go from friends to full blown crushes and the smallest quirk is suddenly amplified by those who don't have them. It's even worse now with social media being what it is but I get it. I remember all too well how uncomfortable I was in my own skin at that age so I make it a point to remind her that not only is she beautiful and smart but that her quirks and idiosyncrasies are what make her that much more awesome. Because she is freaking awesome.
As a blogger it also hit home. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the next person, their outfits, their photography, their accomplishments even if we are totally happy with where we are. It's inevitable but it's up to us to remember our differences are what make us so unique and what draws our audiences to us in the first place.

I take a LOT of "selfie's". A lot. Some would say an obscene amount and I'll totally cop to that. And some days I totally over analyze myself in each and every one. But after watching this video I was compelled to run upstairs, grab my girl and snap a few pics. Exactly how we were in that moment. I wanted her to know that we are beautiful even after a long day and our hair is crazy (I generally reserve the loose random bun for those who've seen me without makeup) and that we are still at our most beautiful even when we make crazy faces because that's us being true to who we are. That our freckles are unique and sometimes take on a life of their own but because it's a genetic trait in my family that makes her special.
Sure she may have thought I was crazy after I sent her back to finish her homework but for me it was important to share that moment and these thoughts with her. I want her to look back on these years and think, "yeah maybe I didn't feel like the prettiest or most popular at school, but at least my parents and my family thought I was dope" and to take that confidence with her wherever she goes in life.
I'm also going to encourage her to take her own "selfie's" from time to time, just to document where she is in her life and how she's feeling because those moments (while seemingly narcissistic) are actually some of my favorite things. Being able to look back and see yourself at your happiest or your most awkward is beautiful thing. And so is she.


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