Friday, May 30, 2014

In The Rearview: May + Happy Hour

Man, this month has gone by fast! How is that it feels like it just began and here we are wrapping things up? I kept feeling like I had more time and now it seems like it's just slipping away and things that were appeared to be so far away are indeed here. Case in point, my Sweet Pea is graduating next week. Graduating. As in going into Junior High. I'm kind of all into my feelings about it. It feels like it's been only a few minutes since she was starting kindergarten and now.....she's a young woman. I literally can't even. And then there's my 35th birthday looming on the horizon. I love my birthday and am excited for it as always but it's been such a crazy last few months I haven't even planned to do anything! That's totally not like me but I guess that's just the season I'm in right now.

On the flip side, I've been writing a lot lately. Both here and over on MommyNoire. Some of the stuff for here has yet to make an appearance but it will soon. There will be a lot of transparency in the coming weeks as I'm in a place of introspection and reflection.

But on MommyNoire it's all about style: home, beauty, what to wear and skincare.  I touched a little on restraining those impulse buys and of! I would love if y'all would go check out my work over there. I feel truly blessed to be doing something I love and making a living at it while still being able to hang with my babies and go meet my husband for the occasional midweek lunch. It's been such an adventure to see my dreams begin to pan out but there is still so much more I want to do in this writing world. Pray for some direction for me please?

I've been working my tush off with this #30dayfitnesschallenge and even took it a step further and did #5daysofjillian to really push it. That was fun and motivating. Now that I'm nearing the end I see what I could do more but hindsight is 20/20 eh? June starts a new month and I'm committed to keeping up the hard work because I love seeing the results. Debating about whether or not to post "before and after" photos because I'm not sure I can see much of a difference yet and I'm also not sure if I want to open myself up to that kind of exposure. We'll see how I feel at the end of June.

This month has been all about motivation an finishing strong. I used to think that was such a cliche growing up but I've used it more times than I care to admit in the last few weeks when talking to Sweet Pea about final projects and while pushing through my workouts each day. I look forward to a busy and exciting summer with the kids but right now I'm just trying to make it through the next few weeks without missing something and no tears! Ha!

Now- to lighten the mood let's talk libations shall we? I just got some popsicle molds from IKEA this past week and I'm itching to use them. Then my girlfriend tagged me in a pin and I just can't wait to give these a try. I mean, y'all know I like a good margarita and The Chic Site's Strawberry Margarita Popsicles just seem like the bee's knees. Hello, Summer!!

Oh and I'll make some virgin ones for the kids because they deserve a refreshing treat as well.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

35th Birthday Wishlist

I'm just two weeks shy of my 35th birthday and I couldn't be more excited. In case you've missed it in previous years, I'm not one of those people that shuns/mourns their birthday. I get REALLY excited about it. Like I'm 16 and expecting to wake up to a car with an enormous red bow in the driveway excited. Not that that's ever happened, but I'm still hoping!
Because it's basically my job to find cool things for folks to buy I perpetually have a running list of things that I want personally but sometimes I end up getting them on my own because I'm impatient and can't wait until the next birthday or holiday. The downside is that because I have this list on the internet, I always seem to forget when people ask what I want. I just shrug and say "I don't know" when realistically.....I KNOW!! I mean, I do this for a living! However, since we've reached the two week mark I thought I 'd take a minute to create a visual of what's on my radar right now and what I wouldn't mind waking up to on the ninth of June. (see what I did there?)

Birthday Wishlist

Birthday Wishlist by carpools2cocktails 

Obviously I'm obsessed with shoes which is why there are so many on here but the books were harder to narrow down. I have an Amazon wish list that has over 100 items on there just under "Bookshelf" alone so yeah, I love to read and collect books of all kinds. This is just the highlight reel. I've had a thing for Carla Hall ever since she was on Top Chef and can't wait to check out some of her recipes. And y'all know I'm always interested in home decor and suggestions on how to make my home stylish yet comfortable for those who live here and those who are visiting. Also, ever since hearing Sophia Amoruso speak at Lucky FABB I've been really intrigued by her and can't wait to delve into #GIRLBOSS and see what I can learn. 

Most of the shoes I crave are from ZARA save for the cheetah print wedges and the sneakers. I'm finding that I'm focusing more on having great quality statement shoes than a hundred different pair of rinky dink ones. And these shoes make quite the statement. Quality over quantity friends it's a real thing. The sneakers are just awesome and the perfect additions to my closet since they are both timeless and on trend. Which is kind of an oxymoron but somehow it all works. And that "CALI" tee by Sincerely Jules is EVERYTHING. I needs it. And I've never owned Ray-Bans before either although Baby Ninja just got a mini pair. All my sunglasses are cheap thanks to tiny hands but I think I'm finally ready to step my eye game up to the big leagues. Of course a new suit is in order and because I've been doing my #30dayfitnesschallenge I think I'll be feeling good about rocking it. Also, gold brocade shorts because....hello summer date nights!!  
And lastly, the beloved THRESHOLD pouf from Target. I've had my eye on it for months and at one point it was marked down but I was broke. So sad. I'd love to add this to my living room as a place for the kids to sit or just prop my feet up on!

So there you have it, a brief idea of what's on my wish list this year and why. Because y'all are so interested I'm sure. At any rate, at least I have it documented so if someone asks me what I want I can point them in this direction! 

Do you make a wishlist for your birthday or is it just me?

Shop the set:

H&M embroidered shorts
$33 -

White and black shoes
$255 -

Steve madden footwear

H M beaded handbag
$42 -

H M straw tote
$25 -

Opal jewelry

Ray Ban wayfare



Grace A Memoir


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And Still I Rise

Today is a sad day for American culture as we lost one of our gemstones - Dr. Maya Angelou. A poet, a writer, activist, mother and speaker of our stories Dr. Angelou was a constant force within our ever changing cultural landscape. She was my first introduction into poetry as my mother gave "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" when I was in my early teens. My grandmother was also quite fond of her work and alternated between quoting her and the Bible. Both were to be taken equally seriously.
She was a mentor of sorts for a burgeoning writer like myself and spoke to my soul in a way I never thought possible. She taught me that imperfection is beauty and that although people may doubt me and my journey , I could still rise above it. To a young woman who struggled with her self-esteem that was everything.

I read everything I could by her and was moved to begin my own foray into the world of poetry and prose. Between her, Zora Neale Hurston , Nikki Giovanni and Dorothy West I was armed with the words of strong black woman that had come before me and understood my artist's heart. I always felt she was family, though we'd never met and her voice soothed me in the way my grandmother's hands did whenever I was upset and her words inspired me to push harder and go further. My mission is similar to hers in that I only want to encourage, inspire, live with passion and make people laugh, she taught me that it's okay to want that and not just chase the almighty dollar.
That she was well into her eighties and sending profound tweets is not surprising. At 86 she is gone too soon but her words live on not only in her published work but her often quoted words will be turned into images to inspire for years to come.

I love that I can share her wisdom with my own daughter the way my mother did with me and I only hope that we can continue in her footsteps. Perhaps we will now focus on having our girls aspire to be like her rather than what they see on ratchet TV. Wouldn't that be amazing? A new generation of young women so inspired to live with character, dignity and grace that they would value themselves as something beyond the baby mama or reality TV star. A generation who stood up for their beliefs and took to heart what those that came before them went through, all so they could follow their own dreams. Wouldn't that be special?

She was truly a national treasure and her voice will be greatly missed.

Do you have a favorite Maya Angelou quote or book? Share it with me! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Holiday Weekend Style

Happy Memorial Day y'all! It's a long weekend and I couldn't be more excited for the warm weather, relaxed attitude and time spent with family. It's kind of nice to not have too many concrete plans and just be able to putter around the house and be still. But I also enjoy a good BBQ with the famdamily and having company or visiting friends is always a good reason to get dressed. I'm a huge believer in being comfortable while relaxin with our crew so my go to outfit of choice is generally cutoffs but I also like to be cute and not just rock them with a simple tee or tank all the time. Depending on the occasion I've been known to get a lil jazzy and style them with everything from heels and jewels to kicks and a snap back. But for this pairing I decided to share other options.
As the weather continues to warm up this is going to be my go to outfit of choice so it goes without saying that I need to work all my options. 

Cutoff's 3 ways

  • Leopard and stripes never gets old and when paired with dark shorts and a killer chapeau the look is effortlessly cool and casual all at the same time. I could easily see myself in this on any given summer day and love that this outfit works for running errands, lunch with friends and even a casual date.
  • I fell in love with this print on a dress and about died when I discovered it came as a crop top as well. The vibrant hue needs no extravagant accouterments to help it stand out and is perfect paired back to lighter torn denim and huarache style sandals. If I was feeling super hipster I'd rock a Panama hat but I think it would also look cute with a classic dodger hat too. That's the Cali girl in me. 
  • Nothing is more classic than sneaks and cutoffs but I love the bit of gangster glam on these studded numbers. A graphic tank is all that's needed to elevate this look and make it a little more interesting than just "a simple tank + shorts" combo. I'm hat obsessed and love all to wear all my options to keep from having to really think about doing my hair.

What's your weekend style like?

shop the set

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Place To Create: C2C Headquarters

So we've been in this house about 3 months and the decorating is pretty much complete minus the gallery wall in the den (because that would require me to commit to an arrangement and photos). The only place that has no current style or character is my barren office space. I was so excited to design a space that was ME and allowed the creative juices to flow but 3 months later the only thing we've done is painted all the walls white and hang a few frames.

My original plan was to get some temporary easy change wall paper a la Oh Happy Day blog in a bold black + white graphic print but I am somewhat terrified of the hanging process and then the style I wanted wasn't exactly available. So I put it off. While happily continuing my inspirational pursuit via Pinterest and the like. Last week, I was rolling through Target and discovered that they not only had  paint but temp wall paper as well!  And it comes in a shiny black chevron that made my heart sing. Say whaat!?
Needless to say I my interest was piqued. I posted it on Instagram (as per usual) and everyone else was interested too. That got my wheels turning about using the black and white chevron on the wall behind my desk. But then that left me with some blank space on the remaining walls.

I also saw a photo on Made By Girl's blog (it belong's to photographer So Shay) that had GOLD chevron stripes but she painted hers and since we're renting.....that isn't really practical for me. Also - I have no desire to measure out the proper space between each stripe. But I LOVED the idea. So began my search for gold chevron. I found it but it's a bit pricey and I'm not certain I really want to shell out those kinda duckets for this particular project.
My second thought was to do the black chevron on the main wall and then add gold polka dot decals from Urban Walls on the remaining walls as seen on Taylor Made blog below. I kind of love the black white and gold color scheme and that it's simple but still stylish. It also allows me to add in any other accent color I choose which is great for a color commitment-phobe like me and because at some point I'd like to add a futon of some kind.. It also means I can still get the leopard drawer pulls for my desk without a major color clash.

So now I'm at an impasse - do I go with the less expensive black and white and opt for gold polka dots? Or try the gold paper and leave the rest blank maybe adding black polka dots later? Or just do a killer

Thoughts? Suggestions? Help a sista out!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Style: Bright Stripes Big Sunnies

It's been a while since I've done a daily style post. Our schedule has been crazy and I haven't really had time to squeeze in outfit photos which is a shame because some them have been super cute.
Last week I shared some of my May purchases and I'm finally getting around to rocking a few of them!
I love a good striped shirt and was beyond excited when I discovered this one and couldn't wait to wear it. But then it was hot as Hades and I pretty much just wanted to wear nothing so it had to wait.

top: Old Navy / Jeans: via Hautelook (similar) / Shoes: ASOS / Bag: Steve Madden / Necklace: Stella & Dot / Sunnies: Forever 21

Then on Tuesday I woke up to a toddler who thought 4:30 was a good time to start his day, overcast skies and I had no idea what I was going to wear but knew I needed some color to get me through the day. I threw on some casual pants and a tee for morning drop off and then had a light bulb moment on the drive back home: 'Today is striped shirt day'. But I didn't want to be predictable with my usual gladiator sandals and since I'm OBSESSED with these flats and it only made sense that I wear them on a day when the sun wasn't scorching hot enough for me to not want to wear shoes at ALL. A favorite pair of distressed boyfriend jeans completed the look and kept it from being too preppy and polished while the Stella &Dot necklace brought just the right amount of bling for a Tuesday.

Pulling my hair back seemed like a good way to be chic and deal with the bang situation as well as the wind It's driving me nuts that they won't grow out as fast as I'd like. It's funny because if you  had told me a few years ago that I would voluntarily pull my hair off of my face and that I would be rocking a neck grazing ponytail I would've been like 'no way yo'. This is the longest my hair has been in years and although I'm ready for my "summer hair" I'm kind of enjoying it this length. I had been toying with the idea of cutting it but I think I'll keep it a little while longer.

After working all morning, chasing a toddler and running errands I had Sweet Pea snap some photos with my phone as soon as we returned home. If I had been thinking clearly and not had to go to the bathroom I would've used the proper camera. But I wasn't, so this is what I got. All in all she still got some good shots and I LOVE how these shoes pop against the blue and white of my ensemble. I'm pretty sure I need these in mint green and this Zara pair now as well. I had no idea what I was missing with these pointed toe flat shoes. The dainty strap  highlights my ankles and makes my tattoo pop a little more and they are super comfortable. I definitely need more.


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