Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Think Like A Man Too

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

When the book "Think Like A Man , Act Like A Lady" first hit shelves I was a bit dubious about the contents and the author but when presented with a chance to read it, I did. It wasn't terrible. A far cry from "The Rules" of yesteryear.  And then it was turned into a movie and my eyebrows pretty much disappeared into my hairline for all the questions I had. But then I saw the movie and I kind of loved it. It was funny, endearing and in many ways quite relateable. So when I heard they were making a sequel I was definitely intrigued. And then I was offered the chance to attend a press event with Terrence J and Jerry Ferrera to which I quickly agreed. I mean, let's be honest, both of them are pretty easy on the eyes so it wasn't exactly a sacrifice on my part.

In conjucntion with Papi brand underwear and as part of Macy's 'American Icons' summer events I was able to meet and grab a photo with the two stars at the Macy's Men's store in the Beverly Center.
The fellas were really personable and happily posed for all the fan photos even after the press had their turn shouting directions on which way to turn and in what light to stand.
A few of my fellow bloggers AlyssaJen and Dani , who I met that day, and I took the time to wait with other fans for our photo op. And once they found out about the promotion with Papi (make any purchase of $25 or more in Papi underwear and receive a movie certificate to see Think Like A Man Too ) Terrence J quickly whipped out his wallet and offered to pay for the next two fans purchases. I thought that was not only brilliant but also very kind as not everyone in line was able to make purchases at that moment.

In the highly anticipated sequel the couples are reunited in Vegas to celebrate an upcoming wedding and attempt to one up each other's bachelor / bachelorette shenganigans. Watch the trailer to see hilarity ensue.
Makes me want to go Vegas with our friends now!

When it was my turn for a photo of course I hammed it up because when else am I going to get a chance to kick it with Terrence and Jerry? I mean, you gotta make every moment count right? So I was determined to do that. From what I've seen of the movie it's going to be pretty funny and I am going to try my hardest to get a date with my husband and go see it. A lot of my favorite female actors (Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good,Gabrielle Union etc.) are in it and the man candy is pretty prevalent (Michael Ealy, Romany Malco) on this as well so it's a win/ win in my opinion.

Tell me, will you be seeing "Think Like A Man Too"? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Style Post: In Living Color

I've made no secret about my love for a good shift dress. It makes my life so much easier during the warm summer months and recently I've been stepping more and more out of my all black everything comfort zone and playing with bold colors. It felt weird at first but I'm really loving having more color options in my closet! Not to mention it makes it kind of fun to get dressed knowing I only need to think about my footwear.


So for SweetPea's graduation I figured a bright bold dress would be a distraction from the tears streaming down my face. I ordered the dress online and having never actually purchased anything from ZARA before I was hesitant about the sizing and was just praying it fit. I was also praying that it came on time as her graduation was on a Thursday and  her dress was in there too! They finally arrived in store the Tuesday morning before. Whew!
You can see her dress in a post later this week. But trust me when I say it was A-DORABLE.

But back to my dress. Now I get what all the hype with ZARA is all about. I love, love, love this dress!
It's so fun and cheery and I kind of want to wear it all the time. The lightweight material was ideal for the outdoor ceremony and it made it easy to camouflage the berry situation that was happening with Baby Ninja.

Dress: ZARA / Shoes: Sole Society (old) / Necklace: Stell&Dot / Bracelets: Stella & Dot / Bag: Steve Madden (old)

I love that I was able to pair it with heels for the graduation and then slipped into gladiator sandals for an event later that afternoon. Equally awesome was how fabulous my Sardinia pendant necklace looked with it. My first thought was to not wear a dangling necklace since the dress was so busy color wise but when I put it on it seemed to just make sense.  And while I could have probably ordered a size down n the dress, I kind of enjoy the looser fit. It also makes for a good look when stuffing one's face. No evidence of a food baby. I might still have the arms taken in a bit but the overall look is exactly what I hoped it would be. 

I was pretty impressed with myself as I've had my eye on this beauty for a few weeks and chose to wait it out instead of impulse buying. I'm trying to make smarter shopping decisions these days and this was definitely worth it. You can guarantee you'll be seeing a lot of me in this all summer long and well into 'fall'.

 Any new purchases you're really excited about lately?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What To Pack: 5 Days in NYC

Y'all, I'm so excited to be attending my first Blogging While Brown conference in a few weeks. Like over the moon , jump up and down excited. Not only do I get to network with other bloggers of color and learn more about this industry of mine, I get to go someplace by myself that isn't a Target or grocery store run. Yeah. I'm pumped!
I also get to spend some much needed quality time with three of my best friends. Two of which I haven't seen in a few years since I've been pregnant and quit the 9-5. They all live on the East Coast and I obviously don't get out that way much be we do try to squeeze in time when they come here to visit family but the last few times have just been super hectic so I'm very excited to be able to spend some one on one time with my ladies.
Of course, this means packing as much as we can into the 2.5 free days I'm not conferencing and this calls for some SERIOUS packing skills wardrobe wise. See, I don't really want to check a bag but then I wonder if I have conference swag, what will I do with it all?
So that might not be an option. Also, I don't want to over pack (which I am notorious for doing) as I always need options so that's something else I have to contend. And then there's the walking factor. I'm sure I'll be doing a ton of it so I know heels aren't really an option but of course I want to bring at least ONE pair because. duh.
5 Days in NYC

Naturally, I turned to Polyvore to help me gather all the items and outfit ideas I have in my head and narrow down what I want to bring. I'm thinking three pairs of shoes max (maybe four if I add some sneaks), a couple pair of loose pants, a few dresses that can go from day to night and of course, white tees and tanks. Because no packing is complete without those!
There will be two parties for the conference and my girlfriends and I plan on going out to dinner so everything I pack has to be super versatile and I have to be careful about the spill factor. So I'm thinking about 11 pieces in 5 days. Totally do-able right?

The black pants are perfect for the early morning plane ride as are the slip on sandals. Paired with a white tank, hat and denim jacket (maybe a lightweight scarf) I'm good to go! The dresses work for an evening out on the town as well as kick-off and closing parties for the conference and the pink loose pants are perfect for sitting in panels all day and networking. If I do bring heels they need to be super versatile so they can literally go with everything from the pants to the leather shorts and the dresses. These ZARA snake print ones are all that and a bag of chips. I feel like all these pieces work in harmony and will have me feeling put together no matter the occasion. Also, this way I don't have to worry about what to wear each day so long as I plan it out. And if push comes to shove, I can always borrow a top or two from my girls, I mean, that's what friends are for right?

Am I the only one who gets this crazy when packing? How do you plan for a trip away?

shop the set:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Going Green

All of you Instagram friends will know that I scored a FABULOUS dress from H&M about a month ago that literally stopped me dead in my tracks. It's pretty much a dupe of this maxi stunner from Line & Dot that I discovered last year but was totally out of budget at the time. And then I wandered into H&M and stumbled across this stunner and knew I had to make it mine. I put it on hold and went back the next day to try it on and purchase and I have to say, it's one of my better impulse buys. I know it will be worn for awhile and love that I can take it from casual to dressy with jewelry and shoes.

We celebrated the marriage of one of my SIL's this past weekend and since I knew we would be in my Father-in-law's backyard I figured flat sandals were my best option. Particularly since I would be chasing around one tiny ninja. I had my photographer take some photos when we first arrived and then discovered that they didn't even come out thanks to some wonky settings. Yay.
So we had to re-do them. Unfortunately by then I had spilled some sort of saucy substance on my dress in several locations. Awesome. But since I really wanted to document this look, I decided to post them anyway because, this is real life people. And if there's sauce, I'm guaranteed to spill so there you go. Side note: the food was freaking amazing as usual and my SIL's outdid themselves on the decorations. Loved all of it.

Dress: H&M / Shoes: Sam&Libby (similar)/ Earrings + Necklace: H&M + Forever21 (old) / Bracelets: Stella&Dot

But back to the dress. Can we just talk about how comfortable it is? I mean for real, it's like the gift that keeps on giving. Light and airy with just the right amount of contrasting lengths to make it fun but still kinda sexy without being over the top. Also, I can EAT in it! Three cheers for that! And because I was still recovering from late night shenanigans of the evening before a topknot was definitely in order as it was much too warm for me to be fooling with my hair!

 Oh and how cute is my tiny photo bomber? He totally stole the show even if he did stay up way past his bedtime after several chocolate chip cookies and tried to get into the pool. Fully clothed.

Monday, June 2, 2014

All The Feels

In less than 3 days my Sweet Pea will step foot on the playground at her longtime elementary school for the last time. Decked out in wedges and not high top sneakers she and the rest of her classmates will be polished and poised for their promotion into the 7th grade. Like many a mom, I'm a puddle of mixed emotions. I am so proud of her and all her many accomplishments over the past year. This has truly become a year of growth and expansion for her and it makes my heart burst when I think about how far out of her shell she has come in the last few months.
Sixth grade got off to a fabulous start and then took a turn for the unexpected when her BFF (and our morning carpool) announced they would be moving across the country come December.
My Sweet Pea can be quite shy and she had put time into cultivating this friendship and was quite comfortable in it. Her world was rocked.  That didn't stop them from racking up the memories though and they had a good go of it and maximized their time until the very last day.

This year also had her going away to overnight Science Camp for four days. I'm not sure who was more nervous; her father and I or her, but we prayed on it and let her go. And she thrived.  She tried new things She was responsible and managed to bring back everything she went with and had a ball. She literally stepped off the bus a different kid and I was blown away how much she changed in the four days she was away from us.

While we still struggled with last minute projects and forgetting to show us paperwork that needed to be turned in, this was a good year for us. We all sort of grew together. D and I learned that we had to step back a little bit and let her mess up and not get the great grade in order to see how she needed to change things and she began to realize we were not going to always be able to help her with projects and the like.  She learned independence from not only us but her friends as well as more and more she is asserting her personality into her everyday actions and owning her spunk. I love that. As much as I was dreading this age it's been really fun to watch her grow and just become who she is. Words will never be able to express the pride I feel when I watch her interact with her friends and be this fun young woman we brought into this world so many years ago.

And now, we come to another huge change. She's moving on to Jr. High but because we moved, she'll be attending a different school unlike most of her current class. We've tried to reassure her that it will be a great opportunity to start over and re-invent herself but she's still nervous. And to be honest, so am I. Junior High brings on a whole new set of emotions and concerns but I think after weathering this past year we are ready to face them head on.

But first we will enjoy this summer and make the most of our time off while we wrap our heads around the fact that our baby is really and truly growing up. We love who she is becoming and are excited about this next chapter in our parenting adventures. But if you see me sniffling and wearing dark glasses please understand I'm semi-mourning the end of my SweetPea's 'childhood' while celebrating her official entry into the world of "tweendom".
Also to be noted- I will be missing my "drop off happy hour" i.e. the chat fest I get to have with the other mom's as we wait for the kids to get out of school. I've come to look forward to my afternoons with them and am sad they are coming to an end. I've loved really getting to know them over the past few years and have no idea what I'm going to do in Currently feeling all the feels right now. All of them.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Snacking Smarter

*I was received Sally's Smart almonds to review and was compensated for this post but all opinions and thoughts herein are mine.

I'm a huge snacker. I don't think that it's much of a surprise that my family is all about food and we all LOVE to snack. In fact, sometimes, snacks trump lunch. And dinner.
But lately I've been trying to get us to snack smarter and healthier. We love Cheez-Its and all things crunch related but it can be hard finding things we all like to eat that taste good and are still good for us.
Enter Sally's Smart flavored almond snacks. We were offered the opportunity to try out four types of their flavored almonds: Key Lime+ Jalepeno, Lemon, Orange Ginger and Raspberry Viniagrette
I was excited as I've recently gotten into almonds and love them in a good salad but hadn't really tried them all on their own.
When the box arrived we wasted no time in breaking into them and took the opportunity to try out each flavor on it's own. Even the super picky Sweet Pea tried them. That ladies and gentleman was a magical moment. She's not a fan of nuts so I was surprised she was into it.

The lemon almonds were really interesting and I thought they were pretty tasty and managed to get a little creative and incorporate them into homemade trail mixes which I  but I still liked them on their own. What really made me excited was that these were all ingredients I could pronounce and verified through the NON GMO Project.

The raspberry vinaigrette made an awesome addition to my salads. Mixed with baby greens , goat cheese and dried cranberries they added a little extra zing and a much needed crunch factor that I love, without the crouton carb factor. I think these were my favorites out of the bunch.

When we tried the orange ginger I wasn't prepared for the full on burst of flavor that happened. I was cooking and my husband handed me one to taste and I just happily accepted. Talk about a flavor explosion! The ginger is both subtle and bright while the orange is just light enough to not be overpowering. I'm already thinking up ways I can incorporate these into dinner as well as just have them for snacks.

Sadly we were not fans of the keylime jalapeno flavor. I like spice and I like a good mix of jalapeno on most things but for some reason these just didn't do it for me. However, we had friends over last weekend and that was their favorite flavor! Just goes to show everyone's taste buds are different!

All in all these are definitely something I would recommend to anyone who likes almonds and is looking for healthier snack alternatives. They offer a great crunch factor and the flavor profiles are tantalizing to say the least. The fact that these almonds are infused with flavor and there's no residue that will rub off on your hands just makes them an ideal on the go type snack. But as I stated above, there are also plenty of ways to incorporate them into everyday dishes as well.

Thanks Sally's Smart for the opportunity to expose my family to a fun new healthy option!


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