Monday, August 21, 2017

$10 at Target: Giveaway Month! $100 Giveaway!

Hi friends!  This month, the hostesses at $10 at Target decided to kick off the school year with a fun giveaway for you all!  You can enter for your chance to win a $100 Target gift card or you can get the $100 in PayPal if Target is not your thing (I don't know even know?) or if Target is not available in your area.  Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!  The giveaway ends on Sunday Aug 29 so hurry and enter!

Additionally, I am giving away these awesome food pins I found when I was shopping at Target.  These are so cute and would look awesome on a jean jacket or a tote bag or wherever you like to put pins.  Entering for these is simple, just leave a comment letting me know what your favorite food is and I will pick a winner next week!  Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

Check out the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway / Link up your Target finds so we can check them out too!

An InLinkz Link-up

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gwynnie Bee: Plus Size Summer Day Looks

While we are having a bit of a cool down in Sacramento right now, the weather has been SO HOT!  I've been wearing a ton of dresses because it is quite frankly much too hot to match two pieces of clothing together.  I seriously cannot.  Does anyone else feel that way?  I'm already bummed to be changing out of my pajamas that I just cannot bother with picking out and matching an outfit.  I really most of the time can't bother with accessories either.  

Over the summer, I relied really heavily on my Gwynnie Bee subscription to rent dresses so I could wear dresses all the time, keep cool, and not look like I'm always wearing the same thing.  Gwynnie Bee is an online subscription service for clothing sizes 10-32.  I would say their specialty is plus size even though I would call a size 10 a straight size.  (I am a Gwynnie Bee affiliate, if you sign up for a free trial through my link I get a referral bonus to help offset the cost of doing these posts.  Thank you for any support that you give me and my blog!)  I love dresses because they are easy to pull on and you look pulled together.  Also, if you find a floor air conditioning vent you can very easily cool off.  I'm just saying.  

Through my summer of wearing dresses I've decided a few things.  First, I LOVE fit and flare style dresses!  They suit my plus sized apple shaped body well and makes me the most comfortable.  Second, I do NOT like tea length or midi dresses.  Oddly enough the longer length makes me look super short.  I think this is because I have a long torso and short legs so the lack of leg showing makes me look more stumpy.  I think knee length or just below is good on me.  Lastly, any dress can be made exponentially better with POCKETS!  Amirite??  

Ever since we moved into a house with a giant lemon tree, I love lemons!  Is that a weird reason to like lemons?  I think I just realized how useful and underrated they are.  I had to rent this Effie's Heart Dolce Vita Dress in Citrus.  It just screams summer.  This dress is so flattering!  I'm amazed at how nice it looks on!    

I wanted to try something different so I went with a white and grey dress which is lighter than my usual color choices.  It's also a knit fabric which is a bit different too.  This is the Robbie Bee Contrasting Chevron Print Dress in Gray.  It's a cute summery dress but I don't think it's my style.  I did feel comfortable in it but I wish it was a little more fitted.

If you know me, you know I am really passionate about working with Unravel Pediatric Cancer.  Our inspiration is my friend Libby's angel daughter Jennifer (JLK).  Any time I see a watermelon print or anything with a watermelon on it, I think of how JLK said that she thought heaven smelled like watermelons.  I probably should have kept this Corey Tessa Dress in Watermelon Print.  I actually wore it to a dinner at a vineyard and got tons of compliments.  It's a really beautiful dress with a lovely sheen.  Some of the seeds even look like hearts.  (Yes, I'm having major regret about not keeping this dress.)

I love the look of a classic black and white dress.  This is the Sangria Texture Knit Fit and Flare.  While I think this dress photographs ok on me, in person I felt so short due to the length.  I do love the print and the texture didn't bother me.

In case you haven't noticed, I love a fruit print!  I don't know what to tell you.  This Effie's Heart Oui Dress in Strawberry drew me in because of the print.  And the pockets.  It was super comfortable and easy to wear.

What do you like to wear in the summer?  Do you have tips for keeping cool?  Let me know since it usually stays hot here until about Halloween.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

How I Keep My Mermaid Hair Fresh

A few years ago, I said if we could raise $1600 for Unravel Pediatric Cancer that I would die my hair pink.  We were able to raise the money and I got a pink peak-a-boo ombre.  From there, it was a slippery slope.  I became obsessed with colorful hair and I haven't been back to brown for a few years because what kind of unicorn has brown hair?  Over the years, I've worked out a technique (with the help of a few friends) to keep my color looking fresh for as long as possible.

I will be sharing products (using affiliate links, meaning if you buy using the link I provide I get a very small commission) and techniques that work for me.  I've talked to my stylist and these techniques should work for most people even if your hair isn't colored a wild color.  If you have additional tips, please let me a comment!

1. Only wash every few days.  I have oily hair and I try to only wash every 3 days.  I used dry shampoo in between washes.  My current favorite is Batiste Dry Shampoo.  I keep trying others but I go back to this one.
2.  Avoid sun.  If you're going to be in the sun for long periods of time, wear a large hat.  The sun fades your color.
3. Avoid chlorine.  If you're swimming in the pool, you can wet your hair with regular shower water first to help your hair absorb less chlorine.  If you want to really protect your hair, wear a swim cap.
4. Avoid dandruff shampoo, this strips color super fast.  If you're looking to strip color, I think this is one of the safer and more cost effective ways to do it.

Washing Technique:
1. Coat hair with Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer.  I work this into the length of my hair until it all feels coated.  I avoid my scalp because I have an oily scalp and I want the shampoo to clean out the oil on my scalp.  
2. Put hair up into a bun while showering.  I do my typical messy bun.  Leave your hair in the bun while you shave, wash, exfoliate, etc... 
3. When you're ready to wash your hair, switch the water to cold.  I can tolerate pretty cold water but if you can't at least get it to lukewarm or room temp.  The cold water pulls less color out of your hair.  
4. Take out your bun and wash using color safe shampoo and conditioner.  I use Joico Color Therapy. I have used various kinds of color safe shampoo/conditioner and this is the only one that makes my hair feel clean while not stripping my color.  A lot of the other brands leave gross build up on my scalp.  
5. Towel dry and spray Privana Nevo Color Lock Leave-In Protectant.  Not only does this lock in my color but it makes my hair feel really smooth.  My hair feels a lot more course and rough after color treating.  This product makes it feel more like it did before I bleached it and made it into mermaid hair.  
6. Style however you like.  

Bonus: In the second smaller open bottle of conditioner, I'm showing you the tinted conditioner that I asked my stylist to make for me.  If you quick fading color (like baby pink) this is a MUST!  You ask your stylist to put your color into a conditioner and you use it like hair dye.  I leave mine in for an hour because I have really hard to color hair.  You can leave it on for as long as your leave boxed hair dye.  It's obviously not as precise and you'll probably lose any high or low lights BUT it keeps you from having to do back to get your color refreshed every couple weeks.  I usually only use it once before I decide that it's time to get my stylist to really give me a professional looking color.  

Do you have tips on how to keep your hair looking super fresh?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

BBQ Pork Sliders and The EASIEST Pulled Pork Recipe EVER

I was roaming through my local farmers market and few weeks ago when a guy asked me if I wanted to try some BBQ sauce.  Honestly, it's kind of a weird thing to sample.  I've been given BBQ on bread and some by itself (are you supposed to shoot it?) but this sample was given to me on a chip and it was genius!  You know, because they actually make BBQ chips at the store.  That's how I got introduced to Nasty Sauce.  We decided to collaborate on this blog post.  (I received a complimentary bottle of sauce to try out but as always all the opinions are my own.  Affiliate links used as well.)

Listen, I'm not cool enough usually to be up on the slang and Nasty Sauce might not be something I normally gravitate to but that would be SAD.  This sauce is delicious!  It has a great balance of sweet, tangy, savory, and a little kick of spice.  Plus founder Naashon K Corbett is a really nice guy too and if I hadn't stopped at the booth, I would have missed out on all of that!

I decided to make a slider with BBQ pulled pork.  (If you don't eat pork, you could also make this with pulled chicken!)  Here's how to make super EASY and flavorful pulled pork.  I learned this recipe from my friend Lisa and we've been making it for years.  I use this pork for everything i.e. salads, quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, rice bowls, etc...

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:
1 Pork Rump Roast (or shoulder)
1 Head of Garlic
Papi's Seasoning (or seasoned salt of your choice)

1. Sprinkle Papi's (or seasoned salt of your choice) all over pork roast.  Place in slow cooker.  I like to using a disposable slow cooker liner for easy clean up.
2. Peel entire head of garlic and put all the whole peeled cloves in the slow cooker with the meat.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred pork with forks.

To make the BBQ Pork Sliders:
1. Toss pulled pork with some Nasty Sauce until it's coated to your liking.
2. Put pork on a Hawaiian Sweet Roll.
3. Top with bagged slaw.  I added this just for crunch and health.  I did not dress my slaw so I could taste the flavor from the pork.

Let me know if you make this recipe!  The pork is perfect for meal prep since you can use it for a couple family meals during the week!

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Lightsaber Class

Last school year, my kids got to join in a free after school dance class through a company named Rize All.  They are a non-profit program with the goal of giving students new skills and positive experiences through dance and performance art in turn enriching our communities since the children are our future.  I absolutely believe in the power of art (obviously) and how it can change your life.  When I learned that they were able to open an art center, I signed my daughter up for classes.  (I am in no way affiliated with Rize All, though if you sign up and use me as a referral they will give me a free reusable shopping bag.  I DO NOT need more shopping bags so no stress about that!)

This year on the Big Day of Giving they hosted a Star Wars themed Light Saber choreography event.  I signed all my kids up for this event and invited friends to join us.  The event went over so well that they added a Lightsaber Class to their program, one for kids 7-12 and one for teens and adults.  This is definitely a good minimum age since my youngest (4) is not coordinated or focused enough for this kind of choreography especially with the props.

My oldest son has been taking Lightsaber Class for 3 weeks and the class has been added to the fall class list!  Sometimes there have been other kids in his class and once he's been on his own in class.  We (really mostly I) would love to have more people join him so that he can meet new people and have friends to chat with.  He's been having a great time with or without other kids.

The kids are provided with a plastic light up for choreography and foam lightsabers when they do duels for fun.  They learn real sword fighting techniques (with the plastic or foam lightsabers, of course) and stunts.  It gives all the memorization and athletics of dance but still the geeky fun of Star Wars.  It's perfect for my boy!

If you are local, please come join us at the class!  If you are not, then I sure hope you can find someone in your town that you can convince to give Lightsaber Classes to the children!

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