Friday, April 28, 2017

Fresh Faced & Fabulous

I am a self-described product junkie. I full admit it. I am a sucker for awesome packaging, pretty bottles and labels make me swoon and a quality product will have me shouting from the hillside. True story.

So last year when I discovered Neutrogena's Hydro-Boost line while attending We All Grow I was instantly intrigued. I am sort of obsessed with facial creams and have been searching for just the perfect one since an old favorite was discontinued back in the early 00's. Seriously. I have been on a mission. It also has to be affordable because with two growing kids, my beauty budget is almost nil. Oh and don't forget one of those kids is now a teenager with her own beauty wish list. More on that later.

The makeup artist did a FULL  face beat on me using all Neutrogena products and I was kind of in love. They were gracious enough to give me an extra jar and I hoarded it for as long as I could. Right before this year's conference I ran out of said cream, but I was happy to hear they were back as a title sponsor. Naturally I made it a point to visit the suite and see what new and exciting things they had up their sleeve this year. I was not disappointed y'all. 
Aside from the champagne bar on the patio (all praises be to Manuel, as he was doing the Lord's work with those pours) the artists and dermatologist on site were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.  They recommended a regimen for me for day and evening and then sent me over to the makeup artist to get 
I scored not only the Hydro-Boost gel cream but the cleanser, gel with SPF and a eye cream to boot. They also hooked me up with some fabulous foundation that makes my skin look photoshopped at all times. I kind of love it.

As I've gotten older, I realize less is more when it comes to my makeup and I also want products that do double duty. 

I want the moisturizing foundation that doesn't dry out my skin and the softer blushes and bronzers. I actually look younger now than I did probably ten years ago thanks to taking better care of my skin, drinking a ton of water and focusing on the types of products I use and how they affect me. 

I admit, I can be a product snob and was sort of skeptical about Neutrogena for awhile but as I've gotten to use it more and more over the past year, I've realized that I was dead wrong and am loving the overall results I've experienced. I mean who doesn't want flawless looking skin? 

What's your current beauty obsession? Do you have a brand/ product you swear by?
Tell me in the comments! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Living That Seventies Life

I always joke that I was born in the best year. 1979.  I got the best of of both worlds - all the crazy sexy cool of the 70's and all the fun and eccentricity of the 80's. It really was a great a time to be alive and I've always had a thing for the fashion of those times. In particular one of my style "icons" was Mrs. Roper from 



Y'all remember her from Three's Company?  She was the QUEEN Of the mumu / caftan and ridiculously over-sized baubles. She basically personified my entire lady of leisure dreams.  She still does to be honest. 

So a few weeks back I was minding my business when a few dresses caught my eye and I just KNEW they would be perfect for brunch or something summery. They screamed ' glam day drinking". Wrap front with kind of slit and just California casual cool right? But a few were also over my $50 budget and I was low-key waiting for them to go on sale. 
Then while cruising H&M 's site later that day I found this glam number and knew I had to make it mine. 

I went to a few stores to see if they had it in my size but alas, it was on sale so it was only available on the website. I threw caution to the wind and placed my order hoping it would it fit. Naturally I stalked my mailbox waiting for it to arrive and when it did I couldn't wait to try it on. 
I am head over heels in love y'all. It's everything I dreamed it would be and then some. 

If we're talking #summergoals - this is it y'all. Easy breezy style with a little bit of glam thrown in by way of golden threading weaved into the fabric. I mean! 
And the pom pom sandals were just a fun addition to my wardrobe. It's like a party on my feet!! Who doesn't love that?

One of my favorite things about this dress....mumu....caftan....whatever - is that I can wear it with or without the shift underneath. I simply cut the little loops it was attached to for added versatility and voila! It's suddenly a cover-up as well! It makes me feel hella stylish without even trying and I am 100% here for that. 

I may need to hem it a smidge as I am only so tall and I don't want anyone to step on (by anyone I mean me) I could totally see myself falling because a] I am clumsy as all get out and b} it's on the longer side, but the way it flows when I walk? Yes, ma'am!!

What have you bought recently that's got you excited for summer?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Unforgettable Movie - A Conversation and Review

Earlier this month I got an invite to a press junket and movie screening for a new film starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigel . The email included a link to the trailer and as soon as I viewed I was SOLD. 

I love a good thriller and the fact that it was low-key about "mom life" I was even more intrigued to see how it all played out. 

Quick synopsis - After the dissolution of her marriage, Tessa Connover soon learns that her ex-husband David has taken up with a new woman Julia. Not only has Julia moved into the home they once shared, but she's also now a part of their daughter Lily's life. Julia believes she has finally met the man of her dreams who can help her put her own troubled past behind her. But it's not long before Tessa's jealousy takes a pathological turn until she's willing to stop at nothing to turn Julia's dream life into the ultimate nightmare reality. 

The Friday screening couldn't come around fast enough as far as I was concerned. I met up with a few other influencers for a quick bite and cocktails and we headed to the theater, giggling our excitement and spilling popcorn. And then it started.....OMG y'all. This movie is. insane
And I mean that in the best possible way. We yelled at the screen and shrieked in all the right places. We were basically "those people" in the theater. And we totally didn't care. 
We left the theater breathless, full of questions and excited for the next day's round table with the stars of the film.
Spending the day at a swanky hotel in Beverly Hills is not a terrible start to the weekend and to be rubbing elbows with such fabulous women made it all the more special.

We ended up sitting down for a round-table discussion with Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigel, and director Denise Di Novi.  I had no idea it would be so intimate and the ladies would be so open to all of our questions.  Truth be told, it was more of a conversation than an interview. We really did feel as though we were chatting with long time friends over coffee while discussing a film we all enjoyed. There is something that happens when a group of women get together and converse openly about the range of emotions and obstacles we face as wives and mothers. 
Denise, Rosario and Katherine were so open about discussing the characters, their developments and the many aspects of themes that are portrayed throughout the movie. We discovered they shot the movie in approximately 30 days (unheard of in Hollywood) and because the cast and crew were comprised of mainly women it added a completely different dynamic to the shooting process. 
I absolutely loved seeing these women portray such strong characters that resonated so deeply with ME for so many reasons. No matter if you're team Tessa or Team Julia, you will no doubt find things you can relate to within each of these women. They are, in a sense, all of us. Or someone we know or will meet in this lifetime. 

The girl power was running rampant and when Geoff Stults (David)  popped his head in, even he was overwhelmed by all the female energy that was vibrating off the walls. We were definitely a force of fabulousness and that he recognized that says something. 

After our chat with the ladies and then a lovely conversation with former Charlie's Angel, Cheryl Ladd (talk about a class act), who plays Tessa's mother in the movie, we were bubbling over with excitement. Apparently our enthusiasm was contagious as we were then asked to head downstairs for a bit of extra filming. The results were AWESOME. I am still floored that they allowed me to have my rose in hand for the whole process. 

Unforgettable is out in theaters TODAY so do yourself a favor- grab some girlfriends, go get dinner and have some cocktails and treat yourselves to a thrilling night at the movies.
I guarantee you will want to throw your popcorn at the screen as you holler at these characters as you find yourself emotionally invested in the outcome. 

Thank you Warner Bros for an Unforgettable experience!! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Cleaning: It's NOT Just About The Closets

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own. 

So, I'm totally down with Spring cleaning right? Like I dig wiping out cabinets and clearing out the clutter but I also had no idea that I was missing a huge area of my home. 
More than just our closets need to be cleansed. Our medicine cabinet did as well.
Listen - I had no idea how many of our OTC meds were expired until I started going through the cabinets. And I don't just mean cough syrups. Creams and other topicals also fall under the category of over-the - counter meds that need to be disposed of once they are expired. Prior to this year I admittedly hadn't given much thought to disposing meds as part of my Spring cleaning routine but now that I think about it more, I wonder why not? I get rid of everything else that's expired - why am I holding on to these OTC's? Apparently I'm not alone in this either. 
Something like, 62% of adults have never sought information on how to properly dispose their expired over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. And at least 50% of adults say they typically dispose of unwanted or expired OTC meds in the trash but only 8% mix them with undesirable substances before tossing.

We are all failing at this. But we can do better and disposal is really quite simple. 

To help you out with this and so you don't accidentally give your kids (or anyone else's) medicine that is past it's prime here's a short video with some quick tips on how to safely dispose of medicines so no one suffers.  Check, check, check it out y'all. 

You can also check out more information here:
Just a reminder those three steps for safe disposal a
ccording to the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are as follows:

Step One: Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.

Step Two: Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.

Step Three: Throw the container in your household trash.

It's really that easy. And with all the coffee I drink you KNOW I got some coffee grounds lying around. 

Do you remember to clean out your medicine cabinet? And if you do - how come you never thought to remind ME??

Thursday, April 13, 2017

This Is For My Homegirls

Somewhere along the way I lost my mojo. My belief in myself waned when I was let go from what I thought was my dream job. And it took a long time for it to come back. I allowed myself to wallow in what I deemed a healthy and necessary manner but in reality it was the exact opposite.
I had lost my confidence in what I was capable of doing and had no real burning desire to keep moving forward. Which was a hard pill to swallow. I was doing work here and there but nothing felt like me. 

It was weird. And I was not a fan. 

But little by little I began to gather myself and revel in my badassery. I began to take risks that were not calculated and more true to myself than ever before and it paid of. My magic was working it's way back to me.  Mostly in the form of my tribe, the women I was surrounding myself with. My homegirls, my family and my friends. They were there cheering me on and tagging me when and where appropriate to keep me motivated and sharing my shit whenever they could. That got me through. These many awesome women I'm lucky to call girlfriends. 

They are more than just friends, they are part of my family and an ever growing community of kick-ass women who get shit done. I am proud to know them. I admire their tenacity and am inspired by their courage to take action when others are too scared too make a move. I cheer on their every achievement and whether near or far they know they can count on me for a 'yasss boo!' whenever they share a win. Both large and small. 

These women have saved me. 

They counseled and consoled me. They kept in touch when I shut down and pulled away. They lit the way when it was too dark for me to see. In short, they are my life lines and I am legit, hashtag blessed to have them in my corner. 

They reminded me of my magic and made it a priority to point it out to me at every turn. They challenge me and call me out when I fall short.  I don't always like that, but it's necessary and much appreciated. We all need friends who will tell us the truth about ourselves. Both what we want to hear and what we need to hear. 
Don't trip - we don't always see eye to eye on everything but that's not what's important, and would be totally boring if we did. I love them fiercely and with total abandon because of who they are as individuals, not who I want them to be.

Honestly, they're all so different it's kind of a wonder that we are friends but in this digital life there is kind of a secret sisterhood and they are the secrets to my success. There is something about knowing I have a several safe spaces to turn to when things get pear shaped and I feel too mired in the muck to move forward. Grateful for the women who text and sometimes call (although mercifully ask if I can talk before they do) to check on me and make sure I'm taking care of myself as well as I do my family. 

For years I struggled to find my people. For years I wondered when / if I was ever going to have the type of friendships I saw on TV and in the movies. Friends that would fly across the country in a heartbeat and let you snot cry into their shoulder. And I realize that I have that. I've always had that with a select few and I've added a couple more into the fold as the years have gone on. 
As we get older it gets harder to get together and staying up all night seems less exciting but when we are together we are unstoppable and a force to be reckoned with.

So cheers to you my friends, my homegirls, my comadres, my partners in crime and in petty shenanigans. I love you fiercely and with my whole heart and I thank you for all that you have done, have been and will do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's Poison, But not like BBD

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own. 

For years I considered myself to "in the know" when it came to all things medicine related. Because my parents are in the medical field I thought I had a pretty good handle on all the nuances of handling over the counter meds. I never knew how much I didn't know until I had kids of my own and was suddenly hyper aware of all the things that could go wrong. 
Kids change everything y'all. 
Did you know more than 90% of poisonings occur at home and most are treatable and preventable.  Yep - you read that right. More than 90%. That's a LOT y'all. A LOT. 

And according to Safekids, half of the 2 million calls to poison control centers in 2011 were for exposures and ingestion's for kids 5 and under. Yikes!

Parents typically like to give their kids the benefit of the doubt and think, "My kid would never put a bottle of XYZ cleaner to their mouth" but don't consider about the drips on the side of the bottles that kids may come into contact with when digging around for items under the sink, especially if bath toys or bubble bath is stored in the vicinity. Those irritants can be especially damaging to delicate skin and are a cause of possible ingestion's. 

So how do we combat this? Well for starters keep all OTC medicines and household products (i.e. cleaners, soaps and detergents) out of reach of curious little hands as well as keep them in their original containers. Most of us store our household products under the sinks making them easy for US to access but not considering how interesting they might look to a small child. 

Second, be sure to have the number for the Poison Help Line readily available; we used to have a magnet on the fridge that had all this information, for anyone who might be watching the kids and have made sure that when Sweet Pea babysits she's very aware of what her brother is doing at all times. He's a curious fellow and sees no issue with grabbing a vitamin C off the shelf so it gives me pause to have anything else within reach. 
Third talk to your kids about what is safe and what isn't and be sure to dispose of all over the counter meds and household items in a safe manner so as to not cause any further harm to anyone handling them after the expiration or a spill.

Most of all, I just encourage parents to be diligent in their quest to keep their kids safe at home and while they're off visiting family and friends. Just because your house may be safe, doesn't necessarily mean everyone else takes the same precautions. 

When was the last time you checked to see if your household products were on the up & up? 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Getting Springtime Fresh

"This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B'gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."

It's not secret I like seasonal shopping and shopping for the kids is my jam. What I don't always love is the closet clean-out that is required before I can do any shopping. I mean, I truly love organizing and re-imaginging wardrobes with all the new and exciting pieces that we find, but actually emptying the drawers and hangers of all the too small items kind of stresses me out. It seems simple enough to do but with a toddler underfoot it can be.... an adventure.

Some pieces that are too small are his "favorite" and I'm the worst mom ever for getting rid of them. Never mind the fact that the pants ankles are practically at his knees or the shirts have holes or you can see his midsection. He LOVES them.  
This year I did something different, I took him with me to go pick out a few fun items from OshKosh B'gosh to help the closet clean out go a little more smoothly. I figured, if he had new pieces to be excited about, he won't really miss that raggedy dino tee from last summer. 
I was right.

He is jazzed about his clothes and had so much fun running around the store picking up ALL THE THINGS and declaring them his new favorite. I had to remind him that while we had a 25% off coupon for our $40 + purchase we were still on a budget. But that's just another thing I love about Osh Kosh, we get a LOT of bang for our buck and I feel like I can ball out in there and not have buyers remorse when my husband asks how much I spent.

He still has pieces we bought in the fall that will mix well with our new spring style and I know these new items will last well into the summer. And for a mom who's kid is literally growing like a weed, seriously y'all, I don't understand how a 5-year old is so tall, it's basically a dream come true. While I focus more on comfort and fun styles, my husband wants the boy to look a little dapper as well. I love that with OshKosh we get the best of both worlds. He gets to rock fly duds that last for several seasons, that express his little personality and I get to rest easy knowing his clothes will last. 

And can we just talk about all the fun color combinations? I LOVE that they have so many bright and fresh color mixes for Springtime fun! I'm actually looking forward to taking family pictures this season as I know at least ONE of my kids will be well put together. We also picked out another more look as he loves a good polo style shirt and shorts. The husband likes that he is still casual but looks "cool" as he puts it. I can get with that. 

Not sure if there's an OskKosh near you? No worries- you can check here for a store locator so you can take advantage of this awesome coupon ( Online Code: OKBG3270 Retail Code: 036602 and score your 25% off your purchase as well. Because who doesn't like a coupon? 

Listen mamas, we all know cleaning out closets seasonally isn't the most fun but I've found that having the kids help in choosing replacement items makes it a little bit easier for them when you toss/donate their favorite shirt that has now turned into a paint magnet. But I'd LOVE to hear from you what are some of your favorite 

So what are you waiting for? Get to an OshKosh store near you and get to shopping!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Blow Out:How One Item Change Everything

I've had a love/hate relationship with doing my hair for as long as I can remember. 
I don't mind getting my hair done. As in, having someone else handle the washing, blow drying, pressing + styling, braiding, weaving or what have you. Just so long as someone else is doing the heavy lifting so to speak. 

Matter of fact, I didn't even really learn how to blow dry my own hair properly until a few years ago. It wasn't until I started getting weaves + braids more and more that I was forced to learn how to do it, not only in a timely manner, but so that it was actually dry all the way through. 
Because of that, I've had the same blow-dryer for an embarrassing number of years. Seriously. I mean, there's nothing wrong with having the same trusty appliance/equipment for years so long as it works properly. Mine did not.
Some mysterious piece broke off on the attachment so it stopped staying on. The bulky handle and awkward comb attachment made it hard to get a good rhythm going. It was bad enough that I had to use it to do my own hair, but then add Sweet Pea and all her hair into the mix and I used to dread wash day more often than not. 

Then I was cruising Instagram or SnapChat, who knows, and I saw Felicia of ThisThatBeauty post something about a handle-less dryer from Red by Kiss. I was blown away by the notion of a handle-less dryer. What is that like? How does that even work? I had so many questions. While I was intrigued, I filed it away on Pinterest and in the back of my mind and kept it pushing. In the grand scheme of things it seemed like an unnecessary expense at the time.
I was wrong y'all. So very wrong. After suffering through with the old dryer for so long I finally broke down and bought a new one last month. A late night Amazon cruise proved to be fruitful and I found the same dryer I'd previously seen for the low price of $15 (give or take) and I quickly swooped it up. It arrived two days later (thanks Prime!) and I had no choice but to take my crochet braids out and wash and blow dry my own hair. 
Y'all, it was kind of a magical experience. 
I mean, it's just hair washing right? But the shampoo & conditioner smelled great and left my hair all soft, silky and easy to de-tangle. And the blow-dryer? Oh. My. Word. Blow drying my hair has never been such a treat. It took me roughly thirty minutes to blow out my hair. That's it. The attachments stuck on quickly and easily and it was so much easier to hold without a bulky handle! It was a little weird at first to get used to maneuvering without the handle to fall back on but once I got the hang of it - I was just like: 


Yaasss, y'all. All the praise dance breaks. It was that amazing. Who knew such a small thing could bring me so much joy? Game changer for sure. Such a small item as well as investment and it more than paid for itself in terms of being worth it. 
Do I love doing my own hair all of sudden? Nope, not really. But, I no longer dread wash day and put it off.

How do you feel about your blow-dryer? 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sometimes Your Valentine Can Be Too Sweet

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own. 

Whenever I'm asked what I notice first about people one of my immediate responses is teeth/ smile. I can't help. I'm a sucker for nice teeth. I think it stems from years of having braces and being overly concerned about my oral hygiene. 
Even after I got my braces off I was hyper diligent about keeping my teeth clean and wearing my retainers. 
My Freshman R.A used to tease me in college because I was perpetually rushing off to brush my teeth after meals. Chalk it up to having had pizza stuck in my braces one too many times and no one saying anything (thanks high school friends!) I made it a point to always have my toothbrush on or around me. It was definitely a running joke but laugh all they wanted, my teeth stayed straight and healthy. 
Fast forward a few years of not having my parents remind me to make dental and orthodontia appointments and I was soon victim to tooth decay in the form of several cavities. So much so that I had to have a root canal. Oh my word. Not anything I ever wanted to repeat. 

When I had my own kids it suddenly dawned on me that oral hygiene was more than just brushing daily. I had to think about what she was eating and how that was affecting her teeth. And when I first learned about bottle rot? Where a baby's teeth or gums can rot because they fall asleep w/ the bottle nipple in their mouth and then they end up w/ silver teeth as toddlers because of tooth decay? Omigosh no! So yeah - early brushing and all that for Sweet Pea. But my personal fears of the dentist held me back from taking her so it wasn't until she was about 4.5 that she went to have a formal check-up. Terrible, I know. I was young okay? Judge your mom.
While she had a bit of sweet tooth thanks to our fabulous family genes - she never really had an issue with cavaties thank goodness. But that wasn't the case for most of her friends, roughly 20% of children ages 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. 

The upside is I know that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in kids age 6-11 and  among adolescents age 12-19 so even though we were a little late getting her to the dentist - we were sort of okay? 

Like most mom's I try to tow the line on moderation when it comes to sweet treats for my kids. I don't want to be so strict they binge whenever and wherever they can but I don't want my 5 year-old walking around with silver teeth either.  So when it comes to holidays I still keep a watchful eye over how much they consume. And it's not just the chocolates they might get - it's the cupcakes, cookies, juice and suckers they get at their class parties, 
So because I'm full of random facts here are some useful tidbits to help you and your family in your quest for clean teeth: 
·   Fluoride is an anti-cavity active ingredient available in over-the-counter (OTC) products that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.
·  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using a smear of fluoridated toothpaste at tooth eruption
·  Children under the age of 6 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be supervised in order to develop good brushing and rinsing habits and to minimize product swallowing.

·  Parents and caregivers should help a child brushing his or her teeth until mastery is obtained, usually around age 8. 

Now I say all this to say - go forth and enjoy your sweet treats and let the little ones get busy too.  Just remember to make them brush their teeth after!  

How well do your kids brush their teeth? 

Let's Hear It For The Girls:Why You Should Celebrate GALentine's Day

Valentine's day is just around the corner and as always I'm sort of scrambling with trying to remember all the details that come with being a mom during a holiday. There a ton of last minute minutia that I'm tasked with. Some of it is my own doing and some of it is lack of planning on their part with a whole lot of "ooh that would be fun" thrown in for good measure.  
Some of that includes the idea of hosting a Galentine's party , picking up or making a "little something" for my girlfriends just to say I love them. 


Oh yes, the whole Valentine's spirit isn't just limited to Bae and the kids. We gotta show love to the ladies who love us just as much as the people we share a bathroom with. 
My ladies hold me down year round and while we don't always get birthday or Christmas presents for one another, we show love whenever, wherever and however we can. 
Some of my love languages are acts of service and quality time so, the concept of celebrating how much I love the other people who love and hold me down makes total sense. 
And I truly believe it's something all women should embrace and start to celebrate more!


Here are five reasons why:

1) It's a good reason to get the girls together and get out of the house. Ladies night is always a great idea and GALentine's can be a fun excuse. Dance the night away or namaste to start your day with some yoga. 

2) For those without significant others it's nice for them to be able to celebrate the 'holiday' too! I mean, at one point, haven't we all gone out with our girlfriends on Valentine's because we didn't have a date? I know I have on several occasions. Same thing. Just a day or two early.

3) It doesn't have to be big. Seriously. Get together for coffee, go to a movie, do dinner, take a class of some kind,whatever, just make the time. It's not about what you do, but who you're doing it with that makes it fun right? 

4) Pinterest makes me do it! There are so many good ideas in there for cute cards, crafts and treats that it's hard not to get excited about every single holiday! Why not put all those quick DIY's to try to use? Make that pink & white snack or those bath bombs you've been wanting to try and gift away! 

5) Champagne!!! Duh. Champagne & cupcakes, Rose & donuts, Pizza & Prosecco all good reasons to grab some girlfriends and get your grub and gab on. What better reason for a chat fest? 

Life is short - make sure your people know how much they mean to you. 

Sometimes we take our friends for granted in the same manner that we do our families. We assume they'll always be around and available but if nothing else the last year has shown me that you never know what can happen and it's worth it to drag your butt all the way across town and go see your homegirl you haven't seen in person in months. Celebrate the love of your ladies like you do your lover. 

Do you celebrate GALentine's day or nah?


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