Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Celebrating Summer With Macys

 “This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."

Food is one of my love languages. I use it to show and feel love and as much of a "picky eater" as I am, I still like to try new foods and styles of cooking. Naturally, when I found out Macy's was bringing their Culinary Council to Del Amo Fashion Center the day after my birthday it felt a bit like a present to me! 

I love the culinary council events that Macy's puts together they make me feel so fancy and cultured. A chance to meet world renowned chefs and try some of their favorite dishes while they talk about their careers is like a dream come true for someone like me. I watch cooking shows pretty religiously and it always inspires me to see the same techniques shown on television in real life. 

On June 10th at 3pm , Chef Tim Hollingsworth will be on hand at the Macy's Del Amo Fashion Center to share some of his favorite cooking techniques, tell stories about his experiences and culinary secrets. Sounds fun right? 

Wait, it gets better still, not only is he sharing all this info,  but there will be plenty of food and drinks to sip and snack on while he does so! So come on out and celebrate Summer with me! 

Personally I'm really hoping he makes this delicious looking grilled corn salad! It sort of looks like a deconstructed upscale elote and I am HERE for that! 

RSVP here and receive a $10 Macy's gift card when you check in. Oh and did I mention the event is FREE? Yeah. Double win.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting Flirty With Skirtsy

*I received a complimentary SkirtsyBox in exchange for my review but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Bold bright and fun is pretty much how I describe my personal style in the summer. As much as I love black, white, grey and denim, it's far too hot for all that and I adore rocking more statement pieces during the warmer months. 
So when I had the opportunity to try out the new Skirtsy Box I jumped at it. 
I went to the website and filled out a short style profile and let them know my color and length preferences clicked on the image that looked similar to what I was requesting and then it was time to play the waiting game while it was made and then shipped out.

I was excited to open my door and see the bright box on my doorstep. I love getting happy mail and when it comes in a pretty package it's all the more exciting to come home to. 
Also can we talk about how we all shop w/ our eyes  and are ultimately drawn to pretty boxes?
I pretty much didn't even want to open it. But alas I did and was delighted to find the unexpected treats like a fun bath bomb, some "purse candy", a sticker/pin combo and coordinating choker and earrings to compliment the skirt! Extra win for my team!! 

While I knew I was going to get a midi skirt, per my request, I had no idea if the pattern or color family was going to work for me. Admittedly I was surprised by the orange and shades of blues but once I put it on it was a whole new thing. I've never owned anything like this and now I'm smitten. 

So let's talk about the skirt shall we? For starters it has pockets. Yes, y'all, quality pockets that allowed me to put actual things inside and not worry about them falling out. Truthfully, I had no idea how /if the outfit was going to even come together. I pretty much thought, I'd throw a black tank or tee on and some sandals and call it a day right? But nope, this skirt calls for a tad more drama. But still simple and chic. As I was standing in my closet trying to put it together in my head, I spied my new navy clutch and then all the bells went off as the outfit totally came together.  I did a quick flatlay to make sure it didn't just look good in my mind and then threw it on to double check.

When I showed my husband he whistled in appreciation, which is saying a lot for him and I totally blushed. Flirty wife badge unlocked!

This was my first single item subscription box and I was happy with my overall experience. I was a little surprised at the fit, I may or may not have gained a few pounds since I place my initial request so I'd suggest maybe sizing up if you're unsure. The skirt fits fabulously but it's definitely snug. But on the flip side, it does give me much more of a figure than my usual straight up and down shape.

My friends keep asking me when and where they can get one for themselves and as always, I'm happy to give that information up. Check out TheSkirtsyBox and see for yourself what all the fuss is about! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Getting More Out Of My Morning

I am a firm proponent of the meme "first I drink the coffee, then I do the things". 
I've said it before but I am not a morning person. Sure, once I'm up, I'm all the way up. But that doesn't mean I like it. After almost seven years of marriage my husband, bless his heart, is still trying to get me to chat and answer questions first thing in the morning. The most he gets is a head nod and a request to talk later. Chatting it up right after falling out of bed is just not my thing. 

Last year I attempted to become an early riser and I was doing pretty well until everything went pear shaped and sleep began to be more and more elusive, but when it came, it hit hard and fast. So I caved and begin to hit that snooze button again. In recent weeks I've been trying to get better about it but it's still a struggle when the sandman won't let me out of his grip. 
I also noticed how much time I was spending on social media in the morning. My phone rests on my nightstand each night and is the first thing I grab as I roll out of bed and it's been killing me time wise. 
I need to do better. I want to do better. 
It's a bit of a struggle as this is a huge part of my career but I don't want to be completely overcome by it. So, I'm making small steps. The last few weeks I've been doing  better by starting my day with a nice hot cup of green tea and a little quiet meditation before I hop in the shower and begin the frantic pace of getting Baby Ninja off to school.

When I return home I might do a quick session on IG stories finding out what everyone is getting into and sharing my unbalanced breakfasts but then I plug my phone into the charger and walk away. Yes, you read that right; I walk AWAY. Crazy, I know. 

I sit down either at my desk or the dining table, pull out my planner and get to organizing my day while I sip my coffee.
It sort of grounds me and keeps me from getting too distracted or feeling like the morning has slipped by and I haven't "done" a single thing. I hate feeling like that. 
But there is something about jotting things down in my Organizada planner and getting a handle on my lists that soothes my soul and frantic mind. I only recently added this partner into my routine and it has been a serious game changer for me. The long list/ short list concept has taken me from being overwhelmed by my to-do list to taking it one task at a time.  I love checking things off and then looking back over the week to see all that I've accomplished. Tell me it doesn't feel great to cross things off and kick some ass? I also love how it helps me stay organized and on task each day. I have a tendency to get distracted so this systems keeps me accountable and on task. I was already going to order one so I was hella jazzed when we got these as gifts at We All Grow Summit.  It's cute, it's fun and it helps me get stuff done. What's not to love?

How do y'all stay organized and tackle your lists? 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunny Daze Ahead

Shopping my closet has turned out to be more fun that I thought. Especially as I'm finding items with the tags still on them. 
I know - some of y'all are like "HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW YOU HAVE STUFF?" and I understand the confusion, but I tend to hoard things until 'just the right time' and then the window / season I envisioned wearing it in passes and I still have not worn said item.

That is for sure the case with this lovely dress. I found it on a whim at Forever 21 while looking for something for my daughter. Saw it on the rack, decided to try it on and I kind of fell in love with the color against my skin tone.

It was soft and flowy and giving me "they call me mellow yellow, Amber is the color of your energy" vibes. This was all before Beyonce came out with Lemonade and everyone and their mama was on the hunt for yellow dresses. The best part- the dress was a steal at approximately $20. In my mind it was going to be a great dress for summer. Date nights, long lunches with my friends. I had plans y'all. 
But then I got lazy and didn't want to "waste" it on a do nothing day so I held on to it. Tags and all. 
I even went so far as to take it with us to Palm Springs last summer for our anniversary get-away and it STILL didn't get worn. I lived in my bathing suit and the rompers I brought.  There was also the issue of what bra to wear with it. See the back is completely out and no one has time or the desire to rock one of those wrap-around contraptions in the hot sweaty summer. So, I just let it sit. 

So while rifling through my closet looking for ensembles to pair my pom pom sandals with, I found it again. Tucked in between one of my other favorite summer go-to's again, with the tags still on.

At that point I was determined to find a reason to wear it and after shooting a few flat lays, it renewed my urge to wear more of what I already had versus coveting that which I did not.

I blame Instagram for a lot of that. There's something about seeing some cute new top, shoes, sunglasses, something that makes you want to run out and grab it. Particularly if it's well styled. So while I do pretty well resisting the urge to purchase, when I do buy, it sometimes takes me forever to wear it out. 

But those days are over. No more letting awesome pieces go to waste just sitting in my closet for season after season, waiting for that ever elusive perfect occasion. Nope - from now on, I wear what I got with wild abandon. No matter what.

How long does it take you to wear something new?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pass The Tissue Please - Allergy Season is HERE

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

The abundance of tissue strewn about the house is a clear sign that allergy season is in full affect. Did y'all know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among kids 18 and under? I didn't either but it seems legit. Both of my kids suffer from allergy type symptoms thanks to my awesome genes. 

Earlier this Spring most of Southern California was raving about the super bloom and sharing photos waxing poetic about wanting to get out into nature and go see it in person. Not me. All I saw was a field full of allergens and I immediately checked my pockets and purse for tissue. It's a lifestyle y'all. 

Having allergies means I sometimes miss out on a lot. Like field trips to the strawberry farm with my preschooler because while picking mounds of strawberries with a ton of 5 year-olds is tempting. I like being able to breathe clearly better so I just stay away. My poor kids. But hey, I like to breathe and give my nose a break so I'm doing what's best for all of us really. 

Did you know that Hay fever is the most common allergy in Americans? It represents the allergic reaction to pollen's in the air and environment. Most of us who suffer from seasonal allergies experience symptoms during certain times of the year when specific triggers circulate - think grass (looking at you gardener who makes me sneeze) or tree pollen. On the flip side, some parents and kids can have allergies to more than one pollen or trigger thus experiencing symptoms at various times throughout the year. Lucky us. Also, allergies do tend to run in families. If one parent has allergies, there’s a 25% chance a child will too! Just ask my kids! 
Shout out to Seattle Mama Doc for those fun tidbits of information, you can find more here.

Below I've got a few fun KnowYourOTCs tips on how to handle allergy season if you or your children suffer like we do. And no the answer is not- buy more tissue. If I did that my nose would fall off.
  • Some OTC oral allergy meds are available in different dosage strengths. Be sure to read the drug facts label carefully for appropriate child dosing information and contact a healthcare provider as directed. 
  • Some oral allergy meds may cause excitability or nervousness, especially in children and if you have any questions you should contact your child's healthcare provider.
  • Never use any allergy medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.

Listen, nobody loathes allergy season more than I. For real, I spend most of the early parts of Spring with my nose dripping like a faucet and wanting to peel my face off. And when my kids begin to suffer then I hate it even more, however, I feel a little bit better knowing a few causes and that there is a way to help my kids and myself ease our way through the season. Without buying a ton of tissue. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Getting My Fashion Fix

*this post contains affiliate links that I may receive compensation for if utilized

I make no bones about the fact that I enjoy shopping. It is truly my form of therapy. I don't always buy what I see/ try on but there is something magical (for me) about the whole shopping experience. And when I am on the hunt for something I get a particular type of rush. The thrill of finding something I love and scouring the stores for my size and at just the right price makes me squeal with delight. I get a rush for sure.

 Enter Stitch Fix. Like most, I'd heard about the company but never really saw a "need" for myself. I enjoy shopping so why would I have someone pick stuff out for me? Buuuuut. I also have kids that are growing steadily and have activities and such so I'm not able to get out browse as much as I used to. Nor do I have the funds.

I've found that with my fixes I get the same rush as I do when I'm shopping on my own, except this time - I have the pieces in my house and can create outfits around the new items with stuff I already have on hand.
It's wicked fun y'all. 
My most recent box had all kinds of fabulous prints and bright pieces that included a maxi dress, laser cut scallop hem shorts and several tanks. I was unsure of them at first but after looking at the style card, I played around with some things I already had in my closet and the looks started to come together. 
The versatility of these shorts are making my heart do flips of some kind. Paired back to sneakers or sandals with a simple grey tank and a denim jacket I can go from errands to an afternoon date with my man or my girlfriends.

But wait there's more!  One of the tops was so bright and fun I couldn't resist pairing it with my favorite sandals and a simple fedora that screams summer. Perfect for an outdoor concert or even a day at the amusement park. Talk about mommy chic.

I also know that this top would look fabulous with faux leather leggings and stillettos for a night out on the town. Y'all know I'm all about that versatile style and this fits the bill to a T. 

Admittedly, the striped swing tank was a bit tricky for me upon seeing it. The colors are outside of what I'm normally drawn to and it just seemed so 'not me' but then I paired it back to my favorite boyfriend jeans and some perforated peep toe block heels and a cute clutch and bam - ensemble awesomeness.

StitchFix has made me re-think a lot of how I've been styling my clothes. I'm a simple girl even though I love the glam. My day to day existence isn't one that generally calls for next level fashion. But when it does - I know I can count on this service to help me get my fashion fix. Both literally and figuratively. 
That doesn't mean I'll stop shopping because duh. Shopping is my cardio, but that does mean it won't be so pressing to find just one item for an event or special occasion. I can simply place my order for my fix and let my stylist work her magic.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up for your first fix here. And then come back and let me know what you think! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Margaritas Made Me Do It: Celebrating the Season With Fleming's

Disclosure: Thanks to The Network Niche, today's post is sponsored by Fleming's Steak House & Wine Bar

I make no bones about my love of cocktails. I mean, hello - check the blog name y'all. My margarita love runs deep so naturally, when I was offered the chance to go check out the latest offering from Fleming's Steakhouse, a $100 Margarita, I jumped at the chance. Because margarita's are always a good idea. 

First - I know what you're thinking, one hundred dollars????? What makes this drink so special? Well, I'll tell you, it all starts with premium liquor, including Tequila Herradura Selección Suprema, Grand Marnier Centenaire and topped with a gold sugar salt rim, it's served in Baccarat’s uniquely designed Diamant Highball, that restaurant guests are invited to take home the glass in Baccarat’s iconic red box. 

See? I told y'all it was fancy. Let's not talk about my secret fear of dropping that Baccarat glass mmkay? For now, let's concentrate on the cocktail. That's really what it's all about. 

Our lovely bartender was kind enough to pour a chance to sip on both the Anejo and Reposado variations and they are so smooth you don't even realize it's tequila. There is no burn or scratch as it glides down your throat. It made me all warm and tingly inside. Once we'd had a few sips of each, Colin showed us exactly how he makes this classic beverage and what makes it next level. 

Fresh lime juice y'all. It really is the key. So is the sugar salt rim. I could hardly contain my excitement when it came time to pass them around and finally taste them. It was so good y'all. Pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head and since I did not have to worry about driving home (thanks public transportation!) I was more than happy to polish off the remainder of what was left in the shaker! I've had many a margarita in my day and while I enjoy most, I have come to learn that quality ingredients make my beverage that much better and this is one of the best I've ever had. Not too sweet, not too sour, it was.....just right. 

Because it's a limited time kind of thing I highly suggest a ladies night out this weekend to celebrate the season. The weather is warming up, school's almost out and time is speeding by.  And let's be honest, a margarita really is the cure for whatever ails you or the perfect compliment to whatever you're celebrating. 


Y'all - you don't want to miss out on this drink. Trust me on this one. 

Be sure to visit Fleming's Steakhouse from May 4-6 to experience this $100 Margarita.  

Cheers y'all. 

*photos provided by A Cocktail of Two Cities 


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