Monday, March 31, 2014

In The Secret Garden With Macy's

"I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy's. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own"

Spring is in the air and I've had the pleasure of attending some really fun events to celebrate and welcome in the change in seasons. Macy's has really gone all out to bring excitement to the season by hosting several in store events to get customers excited about all they have to offer and to just enhance their shopping experience starting with the Clinton Kelly event I posted about last week.

This past weekend was no exception and the weather made it all the more enticing to get out and celebrate the spring! On Friday, the Pasadena Macy's Cosmetic department hosted a special viewing of the Macy's Bouquet of the day and a floral painting party!
Saturday the Home department was offering decorating demonstrations featuring the Lenox Butterfly Meadow Collection and a floral arrangement class hosted by Eddie Zaratsian, a visionary in the floral industry and owner of Tic-Tock Couture Florals.

Sunday was all about the kids. There was a fabulous 30% off sale happening and tons of trendy items to choose to outfit your little ones in style just in time for Easter or spring family photos!

I found some fabulous pieces for Sweet Pea who has her 6th grade promotion coming up in June and some other fun dresses to sweeten up her spring. For the Baby Ninja they dapper looking button ups that he would look ever so handsome in.

And clearly they know how hard it is to shop with little people in tow because they had an arts and crafts station set up just for them! Kids were able to decorate flower pots with silly eyes, flowers and other fun stickers, make a pinwheel and sticker up a flower any way they saw fit!

They were also treated to juice boxes and dirt cups with gummy worms. Who doesn't love a dirt cup?

For the adults, there was Martinelli's Sparkling Blood Orange. I was very excited about that as I had seen it on a recent trip to Costco but wasn't sure how much I would like the flavor. Loved it! Can't wait to go pick up a few bottles for our next Sunday brunch!

While my littles weren't able to attend (naps yo') I still had fun making a flower pot of my own and the Macy's staff was kind enough to let me bring home a few pinwheels for them to make when on their own time.

Thanks Macy's for getting us so excited for Spring and all that the season has to offer!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Luck Be A FABB Lady

In less than a week I'll be attending the 3rd annual LuckyFABB West conference at the swanky SLS hotel in Beverly Hills and while I'm somewhat panicked about what I'm going to wear (hello, stylish fashion bloggers with designer pieces. I'm a suburban mom with a limited budget) I'm also REALLY excited.
Last year I was definitely a ball of nerves not knowing what to expect and only knowing one or two people in real life. I remember being stressed about what to wear and how long it was going to take me to get there and not really being able to enjoy the first day because I kept feeling like I had to get back home and "be there" for my family (side note: they were totally fine without me) and I sort of rushed through the first day.
1st day outfit = nothing majorly exciting

This being my first fashion and beauty blogger conference I had no idea what to expect in terms of content and attendees. I knew everyone would be super fashionable and rocking the latest trends while I was coming off of just having had a baby and working on getting my style mojo back. I was not as comfortable with "owning my look" as I am now (and even still, I have my days). And definitely felt like a fish out of water. Luckily I grew a pair and managed to go up to Kimberly of Penny Pincher Fashion and Jenn of The Stylish Housewife and introduce myself and let them know how I had been both encouraged and inspired by them and they were just lovely. The next day I made friends with Chelsea from She Said He Said, we insta-bonded and from there it was on!
me & Chelsea

I was truly happy to meet several other blogging babes and we've kept in touch over the last year and I've enjoyed watching them grow. We're all so different but our love of fashion + style is the tie that binds us all together. I can't wait to see all the ladies again. It's always nice to be surrounded by like minded individuals who understand your passion and nod their heads in understanding when you screech because your 4G is hella slow or the WiFi isn't working. And they totally get it when you ask them to take a photo of you + your ensemble and will be sure to zoom in on all the details.

I really cannot wait for this conference and pretty much stalked my email the day the tickets were to go on sale. You have to get invited and because I went last year I was able to snag a prime ticket and will have access to a few more perks! And this year's line up looks like it will be just as amazing and I'm sure the swag will be over the top yet again (be on the lookout for a giveaway mid April) and the connections will be equally as fabulous.  I literally cannot wait!!
Now I just need to put the finishing details on my ensembles!

What are you looking forward to next month?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Talking Trends With Clinton Kelly

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

 I'd be lying if I said I didn't do a little dance when the email came through about attending the Spring Trends event at Macy's with Clinton Kelly this past Saturday. I've been watching "What Not To Wear" for the last 10 years and it's been a longtime dream of mine to go on the show just so I could go shopping with Clinton and Stacy and get some styling advice. So you can imagine that I jumped at the chance to meet him in person while he talked about some of this Spring's hottest trends and hosted a fashion show to give ideas on how to put them together and offer styling tips to those in attendance.
I was over the moon. Fortunately, I arrived early as it was standing room only and being 'press' meant I got to sit front and center while my style guru was a mere foot away from me.
Of course I spent the night before fretting about what I was going to wear, even though my friend shared one of Clinton's status updates where he says "I don't care what you wear" which I'm sure is totally true and he also reiterated on Saturday but that didn't stop me from caring. I's a all about spring trends and style! I had to represent!

Yesterday I was on MommyNoire discussing the Top 12 trends for Spring and I'm happy to report that I was definitely on the right track. Clinton focused on just four of trends to watch out for - Florals / Moto Jackets / Dresses / Lace while mixing in a few others I listed (perforated leather, graphic tees, crop tops!)

lace details in the most fun ways!

moto jackets for all!
I loved that there were three style options for each trend in a variety of size/age options. Oddly I found myself a cross between "the mature woman" and "the millennial" looks. I think I loved the polish of one and the laid back edge of the other. Of course I fell in love with several pairs of shoes as each outfit was complimented by fabulous accessories and I pretty much wanted to go home with all the bags and heels. The perforated leather Carlos Santana booties and Michael Kors heels were my absolute favorites.

come to mama!

on trend in black + white dresses and a jumpsuit

Clinton himself was absolutely charming and I can see how his co-stars love working with him. He was kind enough to continue answering style questions from the crowd even though the Macy's staff was giving him the signal to wrap things up. I made it a point to ask a question about crop tops for a woman over 30 and his answer was genuine and funny ("You know your style, what you like and how to make trends work for you. But if you're stuck, don't wear anything a hooker would wear") and I about died when he told me my romper was cute both during the Q& A and when we took a photo together.

Yes y'all, I got a picture with Mr. Kelly. (jaaaaaazzzz hands!) I may have lost my cool and squealed a bit afterwards. Maybe. And then I posted a few photos on the C2C FB page and he commented on one of them! Seriously, it just made my weekend. I was pretty giddy for the rest of the day.

Another great thing, all the pieces from the model's looks were available just in front of the photo area and at stores and online. So if you see me in anything in a future post, you know where I got it.
Macy's and Clinton are Making Over America one stop at a time and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How I Learned To Taste Wine Like a Pro

Three weeks ago I mentioned that I attended a private tasting for the new BevMo! store opening in Riverside and that I learned quite a bit about wine tasting as well as what the store has to offer. Today I want to share some of those tasting tips.
It's no secret I like my wine. If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen a couple hundred photos of my #winethirty shenanigans. But really, I have a minimal idea of what I'm drinking. We've gone to the L.A. wine festival for the last two years and while I've discovered a lot more brands and varieties, I never really understood why I liked what I liked and why certain wines tasted better with particular foods.

For instance, I know you're generally supposed to pair white wines with lighter foods (chicken, fish, some pastas) and red wines with things like steak but who knew what else to pair it with? Not me.
Enter Wilfred and his magnificent palate. The BevMo! team put together a delightful flight of wines for us to try along with an eclectic mix of snacks to pair with each libation. I was definitely unsure as to why there was popcorn on my plate alongside a dried apricot and some honey but as I was about to find out, there was a method to their madness.

To begin, there are four S's to consider when tasting your wine and without listing them out specifically,Wilfred led us through them all for each individual glass.

See: the color of the wine
  • as it ages white wine gets darker in color and red wine gets lighter 
  • the color also provides a hint as to what type of grape was used
  • color can also help you determine how light/heavy the wine will feel/taste. The lighter the color, the lighter it should feel in your mouth.
Swirl: Coat the side of the glass to help the wine open up and release aromas for the next step
Smell: sniff three times and come up with three words to describe the wine
Sip: You should taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter

When I host my first tasting in the next month or so I'll be sure to implement these for my guests as well. I loved that there were a variety of foods to pair each wine with and that we were encouraged to just have a go at the plate and see what we liked paired together.

The first glass we tried was a Chandon Etoile Brut Cuvee sparkling wine and at first I wasn't a big fan. It wasn't terrible but for me,the bubbles seemed a bit harsh and it was quite dry. I mentioned this to Wilfred and he immediately asked if I'd ever had French champagne before, I said I had, and he explained that's why I was a little "snobbish" about my champs. But then I tried it with the popcorn and suddenly it got kicked up a notch. The same goes for the 2012 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, it was decent alone and then they suggested we try it with the chips and guacamole. Holy taco tuesday, who knew chips + guac went so well with a Sauvignon Blanc? Apparently the savory herb characteristics bring out the full bodied taste in the wine.

Our third wine was a Chardonnay and I have to be honest, I don't love Chardonnay. I'll drink it but it's really not my favorite but as suggested, I tried it with the roasted almond and it added a creaminess to the wine that I'd never experienced before. By the time we started on the fourth glass my head was spinning with ideas for my own party (and sort of spinning in general) but I did my best to reign in my focus for the 'holy grail' of wines a 2012 Migration Pinot Noir. Oh my word. It was so good. Velvety smooth and I could finally taste a myriad of fruit and berries. The 2011 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon was another favorite and come to find out it is one of the top selling Cabernet's in the world. And at $70/bottle it also explains why I enjoyed it so much. While it was suggested we pair it with the roast beef and horseradish, I found that a  piece of dark chocolate really brought out the full flavor for me.
The sixth and final glass was a 2012 Saldo Zinfandel and it was light and kind of just what I needed at the end. I chose to pair it with the apricot dipped in honey and much to my delight that brought out the fruity flavors I imagine when thinking about a Zin.

The whole experience left me feeling more knowledgeable and like I could easily host a soiree of my own and share what I learned with my friends and family. I loved being able to experience a variety of wines from brands I wasn't quite familiar with and am excited to try more.

Some tips to think about for your next event:

When pairing wine and food you definitely want to think of the elements of the food that will affect the wine:
  • is it salty?
  • is it sweet?
  • does it have acid?
  • does it have fat?
  • use the acid in the wine to either cut through the fatty types of foods or complement the food

If you're hosting an event with multiple bottles have someone test the bottles. The quality of the cork and the way the bottles were stored can affect taste and smell. If you do find your bottles are 'corked' you can return them to BevMo! and they'll replace them for you! How's that for awesome?

Also, have fun with your pairings! Don't be afraid to mix things up and try a variety of cheeses, fruits, savory meats and even chocolates with your wines. If you're stuck on what wines to serve, head into your local BevMo! and tell them your dilemma, they'll be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect wines within your price point and taste!

Have you ever been to a wine tasting? Would you ever host one in your home?

** Disclaimer: I was compensated for my attendance at this event but the comments, photos and opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Personal Style Meets Home Style

When I'm not cruising the racks of my local Nordstrom Rack or perusing the online wares of ASOS, you can find me wandering the aisles of HomeGoods and IKEA for design inspiration.
I've spent a lot of time working on honing my personal style in my closet but not as much when it comes to home decor. Partly because we are renting and our digs have been cool but temporary. We enjoyed living in our previous two homes but they never really felt like "ours". When D and I first moved in together we were in our 20's with no real sense of how to decorate and not much money. Most of our furniture was a hodge podge of what we each brought from our previous dwellings and I sort of worked with what we had and tried to brighten it up with no real feel for what I was doing.
Fast forward a few years to when I had my very first solo apartment and it was all girly all the time. Purple + pink as far as the eye could see with touches of blue and green for good measure.
IKEA was my go to for inexpensive furniture and knick knacks (it helped there was one 10 minutes from my job and I could go on my lunch break) and while I knew what I liked, I didn't know how it could all work unless it was perfectly coordinated. I had no concept on how to mix my tastes with what was already set up and to keep it fresh and kind of funky.

 via pinterest

Then the other day I took yet another quiz, but this time it was about my decorating style on HomeGoods and I got Sassy with a bit of Urban Funk. And when I looked at the photos of some possible items I might like to incorporate I couldn't help but nod my head. They got me.
While that's all fine and well, it's not just me I'm decorating for. I have to think about the people I live with. My husband is pretty matchy matchy when it comes to clothing and is just now starting to step out of the box and wear brown with black among other things. (you would think he wasn't married to a style blogger jeez) and my girl is down for whatever. Particularly if it has sparkles. And then the tiny tornado, well he's a tornado so we need things to be able to be cleaned easily and functional. But I still want an element of fun and glamour but not over the top.  It should be warm and inviting but fabulous in it's own right. I want people to come over and feel like they can kick off their shoes and not stress about not sitting on the sofa and messing up my pillows. It's a home, not a museum.
I took the plunge and ordered a fabulous new rug from and was super nervous as I had no idea what it would look like in person. The last time we bought a rug was over 6 years ago and I have been on the hunt for 'just the right one' ever since. It had to be soft and luxe but I desperately wanted some color to brighten up the room and make our fun pillows pop even more.
Then while perusing Pinterest I came across some really cool IKEA hacks for bookshelves and a coffee table for the living room that I just have to make happen.
the hunted interior

via pinterest

So while it's a bit of a process / struggle trying to quiet some of my own desires while incorporating the wants and needs of the other people that live here, I'm having a lot of fun with it all.
I have it in my mind how I want our home to look and I am desperately grateful to have begun pinning ideas long before we ever planned to move or knew where we would live. The putting it all together will take time I know and I'm okay with that. I'm sure I'll change my mind several times and then change it again, or something that works in the beginning may need to be altered as our needs change but that's the beauty of it all. Similar to personal style, home decor evolves all the same and I'm learning so much about our style as a couple and a family of four as I go.
Of course my impatient nature wants it all done yesterday but I know that my indecisive nature makes it just as difficult to find a happy medium between what I want and what's practical. Thank goodness I'm not on a time schedule or anything.

And not to worry all you nosy posies, a full post with photos of the new place will be up before the end of the month. I've just got to clear out these boxes so you can get the full feel of the place!

So tell me, what's your home decorating style and how long does it take you to decide on pieces?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Moving is giving me Muffin Top

Moving is without a doubt one of the most stressful events you can go through in life. Its doesn't matter if you're moving across the country, the state or just a few streets over. It's pretty much a pain in the ass all around. I've done it at least 10 times (college and whatnot) and this time was definitely the smoothest. There were still some minor hiccups but that's to be expected and I was thoroughly prepared (sort of) for all the random issues that could possibly arise.
What I didn't count on was what moving was going to do to my waistline. Moving is giving me a muffin top y'all. And that's just not cool.
See, I was super prepared with meal plans leading up to the move out date but then sort of slacked off the weekend we moved in. It was hamburgers, hot wings and pizza for days. And let's not forget lunch. We had to eat something while we unpacked the kitchen and Chick-fil-A is so close by and their fries are SO GOOD.

It was days before I had a vegetable and let's not even talk about the copious amount of 'girly beer' aka hard cider I've consumed. I don't even like beer but for the first few days I must've had at least two bottles a day. Again, I needed the motivation to unpack! At least that's what I told myself. And then came the Girl Scout cookies. My hubby got suckered into buying 3 boxes and I even made a batch of chocolate chip cookies the day before! By the end of the first week I just felt gross. Incredibly lethargic, kind of cranky due to late nights un-packing and organizing after a full day of toddler chasing and too lazy to really cook properly. And a few of my favorite pants have felt a little......snug.
Blecch. I finally made it to the farmer's market last week for some fresh fruit and veggies and am slowly starting to get my mojo back in the kitchen but now I need to step up the workout game a bit.
We live two blocks from a park and I plan on walking down there with the boy everyday this week just to fit in a little exercise. I also think I'll get back to walking in the mornings (when not under a deadline) and then waiting until his morning nap to shower and get myself together. I have no doubt this will help kickstart my fitness mojo. I was doing pretty good, and then....packing.

I also purchased a Groupon for Pure Barre and am hoping to get a chance to sneak out to that over the weekend and maybe get a sitter one morning next week to switch things up a bit.  I have 172 pins on my "Work It Out" board and I'm just sitting on my duff doing none of them. I hate it. And I have no one to blame but myself. (and the creator of the waffle fry)
Thirty-five will be here before I know it and at this point it's not about being "thin" but being fit and healthy. When I don't work out I don't feel good and when I don't feel good, I'm not the best parent or wife because I'm lazy and just want to sleep. But when I work out and eat right, I feel like I can take on the world. And that makes me happy.
So here's to hoping I can snap out of my funk and make the effort to get my ass in gear so I can get a Beyonce booty just in time for my next birthday.

What motivates you to work out?  

*all images via Pinterest


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