Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Little Black Dress Blogger Collab - Dressy Plus Size Look

Over this last year, I've had the pleasure to connect with a lot of local bloggers.  Most of this is due to The Blog Bloc which is a Sacramento blogger networking group.  It is so amazing to have a group of people who do what you do and understand your plight!  When my sweet friend Racquel asked me if I wanted to join in a collaboration with a few other ladies to show how to style a Little Black Dress for your body type, I was all in!

With holidays approaching, a little black dress is always good to have in your closet!  I find that when I don't know what to wear, a black dress can be the answer to every occasion.  Obviously, little black dress means different things to different people which is part of the fun of this collaboration.

My style is very weird.  On the daily, as a mom, I'm very causal.  Probably too causal.  I wear joggers, leggings, graphic t-shirts, etc...  But if I have a meeting, a press event, or any kind of get together, I normally wear a dress.  You guys are probably used to seeing me in dresses.  I will don a dress unless I'm at an event where I need to be down on the floor with my kids.  I feel like a casual dress is just like a regular Tuesday for me.  I wanted to wear something a bit more formal since the holidays are coming and I love a little something extra at holiday time.

I was so lucky when it came to my dress!  I was watching Vintage or Tacky on YouTube and she mentioned that City Chic was having a huge sale (about a month ago).  Earlier this year, I discovered that I LOVE City Chic and it is definitely my aesthetic.  I was able to get the City Chic Audrey Dress for only $30!  Since the dress has a high neck and so much lovely lace, I didn't want too do too many accessories.  I wore big chandelier earrings and some shiny peep-toe wedge shoes from my wardrobe.

Don't forget to check out the other ladies to see the details on their outfits:
Britney from Seams and Sprinkles
Kachet from The Kachet Life
Racquel from Racquel Always

Our GORGEOUS location was the Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento and they let us use their Revival at the Sawyer rooftop bar and lounge.  This space is absolutely stunning!  The furniture is so beautiful and the view of Sacramento is breathtaking!  Everyone needs to check out this hotel and this lounge!    We had an incredible shoot with Shelbie from Seeking the Sea Photography.  You can also find her work on her work on Seeking the Sea Instagram too.  We also go to work with Kyle from eNVy Films who created an amazing behind the scenes video!

Here are some more photos from the shoot.  I love each and every one of these ladies!  I think they are all so beautiful in their dresses and in their style!  I am so lucky to have them in my life and you should be sure to check them out!

Do you like wearing a Little Black Dress?  If so, what design to you prefer?  Do you have parties you are attending this holiday season?  Tell me all about them!  And remember, if you drink please drink responsibly.  

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

10 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaways!

Holy smokes!  It's been 10 years since I started my blog!  There's been a lot of evolution over the last ten years.  I started my blog to review things I bought on Etsy and to show some of my simple DIYs. Then I did that thing where I became a professional crafter.  After that, I did that thing where I didn't blog at all because I was so busy having three kids.  Now finally, I have no idea what I'm doing but you're here for it and I love you!

I started this blog a few months after I had my oldest son.  I had stopped working and I was getting so depressed.  This blog has been such a blessing to me!  I met SO MANY AMAZING FRIENDS that I could cry tears of joy.  I have friendships I made through this blog that I've had the entire life of the blog.  TEN YEARS of friendship based on being bloggers, crafters, and makers.  I accomplished so many things and have gotten several different jobs based on this blog.  This blog keeps nourishing my soul and I could not thank it enough.

One of the amazing friends I met is my friend Racquel of Racquel Always who took these amazing photos for me and made my vision come true.  You can see more of her beautiful photography and life on her Racquel Always Instagram Account.

Enough sappy stuff!  Let's get to the GIVEAWAYS!  These giveaways have been so kindly donated by my friends who I've met along this journey.  HUGE thank you to each and every one of the kind people who gave a prize!

Since I want this to be BIG, I've decided that we will only have 2 winners.  You MUST have Facebook and Instagram to enter these giveaways.  Prize Number One is available to anyone with a United States mailing address.  (Sorry, some of these companies have strict rules about shipping out of the country.)  Prize Number Two is available for local pickup only.  I can try to gather a few of the prizes to my house for you to pick up and we can meet at a coffee shop or boba tea to get you the prize.  Also, each prize will have a little gift from me.  I'm gathering more things but here's a peek.

Prize Number One:

Boss Lady set from The Kachet Life

doTerra Breathe Oil from The Inverted Nurse
Whitening Toothpaste from Nu Skin Consultant Melinda Zhang

Shine-a-Light Book from Usbourne Consultant Waiyee 

Perfectly Posh Gift Set from Consultant Anita Autore

An Outfit Handpicked for You up to $100 value by Lularoe Consultant Heather Frick

Two sets of Color Street nail polish strips and a file from Consultant Jenn

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Number Two:
(Local pick up required)

Gift Basket and $50 Gift Certificate to Fats Restaurants

One pound of coffee and a $10 gift certificate to Coffee Spot Co

NewSongs School of Music $50 Gift Certificate and Bracelet
Jojoba Scrub from Maven Mindy 

Stress Away Infused Bath Salts from Young Living Distributor Summer 
bottle of oil not included

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and thank you so much!!!  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Edgy(er) Fashion for Winter or At Least That's the Goal

I feel like I'm in a bit of a transition right now.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you're probably used to seeing me super girly.  My style is very feminine and kinda cupcake-like.  What does that even mean??  Frilly, fluffy, sweet, potentially with glitter on top.  While, I'm still like that (and probably always will be, if we're honest), lately I've been craving a bit more edge to my aesthetic.

The temptation is high to throw out all my clothes and start fresh but you know I have that Mom Guilt.  That nagging inside you that says $60 for ONE pair of shoes for me?  Are you kidding?  Yet the same voice says nothing when you want to buy your children each $25 pairs of matching Christmas pjs that will be worn exactly once.  So, how do I transition my wardrobe and look into what I'm craving to be?

I'm no expert but this is what I did.  I hope you can take away a little or a lot from it.  Also, huge thank you to my friend Mickey for these AMAZING photos!  You can see more of Mickey's work on his Instagram or Flickr.

1. Change your hair.
My hair was long and my ends were damaged.  I had my hair dresser chop 4-5 inches off.  I'm not even sure.  I wouldn't let her tell me.  While my hair is not short by any means, I do think this takes me into the medium length category.  I also stopped dying it.  (GASP!  What am I going to do without purple hair?)  Just for the time being, I'm liking the dark hair with the bleached tips.  I don't know where I'll go next but for now, this is perfect.

Shirt: Charlotte Russe | Skirt: Lularoe Lola

2. Buy some dark lipstick.
I'm not one of those girls who wears different colored lipstick all the time.  Correction: I wasn't one of those girls.  I probably have 40 lipsticks that look nearly identical to the color of my actual lips.  My lips but better, they call it.  Dark is a relative term.  For me, right now I'm going with some berry tones and some pinky browns.  I'm not bold enough for deep plum or black lipstick.  Maybe someday I will be or maybe I won't.  But the darker lips definitely change my aesthetic from super sweet to a bit more fall/winter.  LOL!  We aren't moving mountains, we are inching toward them.  Good enough for me.  I'm using Lipsense in Sheer Berry (shown in these photos), Raisin, and Glam Doll.  You can read my thoughts on Lipsense HERE.

3. Pick a few trends and find affordable ways to put them into your wardrobe.
Don't go too crazy.  Just pick 2-3 things you want to try out.  My advice, shop at an affordable store for trendy pieces.  You do not need to spend $90 on a shirt if you're not sure you'll like a cold shoulder or $200 on destroyed denim that you might only wear once.  I decided to pick up a few things from Charlotte Russe because they offer a price point I'm comfortable paying.  (I am in no way affiliated with Charlotte Russe.  I'd LOVE to be but alas...)

My picks were a Lattice Front Top (clearance for like $6), faux leather moto jacket (waited for a sale, $30) and a fur scarf that was actually in my closet that I've never worn before.  I know fur is a huge trend right now but I'm afraid a full vest or jacket will add too much bulk to my body so I went with a scarf.  This is how I adapted the trend to not only fit my body type but also my budget.  A scarf will typically be more more affordable than a whole coat.  You can also wear it under a jacket to make it look like your jacket is lined with fur.

Shirt and Jacket: Charlotte Russe | Skirt: Lularoe Lola

Dress: The Pomegranate Boutique | Scarf: Just Jewelry from a few years ago
Another tip I have for incorporating your new pieces into your wardrobe is to wear all black.  NOW, I'm not an advocate of wearing all black just because it's "slimming" or "flattering."  I'm especially not a fan of black because you want to be invisible.  However, if you want to wear black because it's CHIC and more edgy then I'm here for that.  I'm also fine with using black to try out a new trend because trying a new style shirt might be hard enough without the added pressure of trying a brand new color.
Shirt and Jacket: Charlotte Russe | Skirt: Lularoe Lola

How do you think I did?  Do I look like an evil ninja cupcake?  I'm mostly ok with that.  Do you have tips on how to dip your toes into an edgier, moodier look?  I'd love to hear them!  Let me a comment or shoot me a message on social media or email.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

CaliGlo Mini Golf and Laser Tag Plus Local Burger

Last week, our family had the pleasure of visiting CaliGlo to play some black light mini golf and laser tag.  CaliGlo opened in Elk Grove on August 5 in the same center as Strikes and California Family Fitness in Elk Grove.  CaliGlo is owned by the same Elk Grove family who owns Strikes.  They also opened up Local Burger this summer.  We have never done mini gold or laser tag as a family before so we were super excited!

*** This post is a collaboration with CaliGlo only.  As always, all opinions are my own. *** 

CaliGlo building

We arrived at CaliGlo on Tuesday around 3:45pm and there were handful of other people there.  If you are looking for a time that's not too crowded, I would go during the week.  I hear it gets packed on the weekends.  Weekdays are so much better for us since I don't like crowds and it gives my kids time to go as slowly as they want during the games.  Also, it's not as much pressure in the laser tag when there's more room to run around without bumping into anyone.  They also have arcade machines in the lobby to play if you are waiting for the next laser tag game to start.

Entrance to blacklight mini gold

We started with black light mini golf.  HEY GUYS!  Guess what?  I found a sport that I don't suck at!   The course is 18 holes and they are all California themed which I LOVE of course.  Each of my sons brought a friend and my daughter went on a playdate so we had 6 people playing mini golf.  It took us about 45 mins to finish since the kids needed a lot of turns to play the holes.  Luckily, there weren't too many other people and they came in a few mixtures after us so we never felt like we had to rush.

The boys had a great time!

While we played, we enjoyed the music, the graffiti art on the walls, and the fun California themed holes including Hollywood, Napa, Capitol Building, and more.  The blacklight and glow is super fun!  None of the holes are super hard but I was told that the course is best for ages 7 and up.  I agree with that.  We didn't keep score and even then, we told my younger son to skip a few holes because he was getting a little frustrated at how many turns it was taking him to get the ball in.  Even then, it was so much fun!  This is a perfect winter activity since it's indoors!  (Also, summer too because it's SO hot here.)  This would also be a great date night!  We let the kids go ahead of us one hole and then played each hole on our own.  I had a GREAT time with my husband playing mini golf!  Maybe next time we can keep score and see who wins!

Next, we moved onto laser tag.  Laser tag consists of 3 sessions that are 7 minutes each.  The total time for the briefing, arming, and game play is 30 mins.  I only stayed for one session and didn't play very much.  I was running around trying to take video and photos.  Umm, no.  It's way too dark in their for videos and photos on my iPhone.  I didn't want to intrude in their game play.  Also, my meanie kid didn't want me on his team and wanted the kid working there to play on his team instead.  Even though I GAVE HIM LIFE.

Laser tag gun
Nice and dark in the laser tag
Monitor to watch laser tag from the waiting area.

When the boys and my hubby out of the laser tag, they were all sweaty and out of breath.  They were tired and had a great time!  I think that one session is plenty.  If your kids (or adults) are super into it, you can book a double session at a discounted rate.  I think this would be a great team building event for work too.

Tuesday is kids eat free night so we dropped off the friends, picked up my daughter, and headed to Local Burger to eat.  When we got there, we were seated right away by a friendly hostess.  Upon sitting down, we were greeted by our waiter and an assistant (or maybe someone being trained.)  They brought out warm potato chips with onion dip as a complimentary appetizer.  We also ordered the 24" Bavarian Pretzel with beer cheese as an additional appetizer.  OMGosh, it was AMAZING!  It came on warm and on hook!  It was only $5.99!  It was delicious and we couldn't even finish it all.

Complimentary chips and dip

Pretzel with beer cheese
The boys ordered pizzas and a side of fries.  My daughter ordered the mac and cheese with a side of celery and carrots.  I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of the kids meals.  The boys pizzas were a personal size and the basket of fries was a generous helping.  They are both big eaters and were not able to finish all their food.  My daughter got a bowl of mac and cheese that looked kinda like Kraft with some melted cheese on top.  My daughter LOVES Kraft so that's perfect for us.  And the side of carrots and celery was REALLY plentiful!  I was impressed as she kept pulling more and more fresh veggies out of her basket.  She must have had 4-5 pieces of each!

My hubby and I each ordered a burger.  I was surprised they came with fries since on the menu it said nothing of fries so that was a pleasant surprise!  I got the Garlic Mushroom burger.  I asked for grilled onions instead of raw onions.  At the restaurant, I wasn't sure about having Texas Toast as the bun but the waiter said a lot of people liked it that way so I went with it.  Next time, I'd ask for a bun.  I just like burgers on buns.  I would also order it with no lettuce and tomato because I think onion and mushroom in plenty of produce for a burger.  Just saying...  The burger patty, cheese, and mushroom was delicious.  My hubby got the JalapeƱo Burger and he really enjoyed it!  The jalapeƱos come fried which is really yummy.  Neither one of us could finish our food after eating the chips and pretzel.  We probably could have split one burger with fries.  So, if you have a really hearty appetite, Local Burger would be great for you!

Jalapeno Burger
Garlic Mushroom Burger

Overall, we had a great experience at Caliglo and Local Burger!  The mini golf is something I could see us doing a lot more since it's a lower price point and you can take your time.  The laser tag would be something we only do for special occasions because the price point is a bit higher.  Local Burger is a great choice for us on kids eat free night and will go into our rotation.  I also feel good knowing that we are supporting a local family just like us to succeed and have a legacy for their children.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Our First Time Ice Skating - Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Last Wednesday, our family excitedly headed to the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink for the first time.  It's a little embarrassing that this is the 26th season of the ice rink and I've never gone before.   Confession, contrary to what the title says, I didn't try ice skating.  I went to the rink with the family and hung out outside the rink.  (I have a knee injury and falling on my butt would probably make it a lot worse.)  We were lucky enough to be invited to VIP Night by Downtown Sacramento Partnership which is why we went on a Wednesday.  Ice Skating is always something that we've said we wanted to do but we have never tried.

The ice rink is located in Rose of Lima Park which is across the street from The Golden One Arena.   Parking can be a little challenging due to the location.  We parked at Capitol Parking Garage and walked a few blocks.  It cost us $7.50 for parking.  The rink is really close to light rail though and if we go back, we will probably take that since the kids think it's super cool.  If you do take regional transit, you get a discount off admission to the ice rink if you show your ticket.

I have no idea why it took me so long to take my kids ice skating!  They absolutely loved it!  My oldest has been roller skating and roller blading so he went without an ice scooter.  My middle guy is less coordinated and used the ice scooter for part of the time.  The baby used an ice scooter the whole time she was on the ice.  (Yes, she's almost 5.  Yes, she's still the baby.)  She was also pushed by an adult the whole time because princess.  The kids wanted to skate the whole time only stopping once for a quick hot cocoa break.

I really like the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink because I feel like it's just the right size!  I could see my kids from any table or bench.  My hubby was out skating with them but mostly focused on the baby.  It was nice knowing that I could watch the boys while hanging out and drinking hot cocoa.  At one point, my middle guy fell on the ice and sat their kind of helpless for a second.  I saw a sweet Ice Rink Worker come up and try to help him.  Unfortunately, my son didn't understand how to get up on the ice and it wasn't working out.  Then, not one but TWO other Ice Rink Employees came over to get him up on his skates again.  It really warmed my heart to see these young men helping my son and encouraging him to keep going.  All around, I felt really comfortable having my kids at the ice rink.

Here are some tips I wish I had known before going to Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink (or any ice rink):
1. Tuck your pants into your skates so you don't get blisters/rubbing on your skin.
2. Let everyone know if they fall, they need to keep their hands CLOSED in case anyone is skating by.
3. If your kids wear half sizes in shoes or even if their shoe is a little tight, size UP!  I had to go back to get bigger sized skates for 2 out of 3 kids.
4. Don't forget to take pictures of your whole family together!  (Like someone...)

Here are some AMAZING pictures my friend Mickey took!  You can see more of his photos on his Instagram or Flickr.  Shout out to TheMilsEdition for hanging out with Avery at the Ice Rink!

We can't wait to go back to the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink!  (I believe it's the closest one to us.) It was such a fun experience!  My daughter asked "are we driving to winter?"  Which is hilarious because it's NOT cold or icy here but we still get to ice skate because of this ice rink!  It was a perfect outdoor family experience and I feel so lucky that we got to go!  Don't forget to follow the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink Facebook page to keep up with events, theme nights, and any potential closures for private parties.

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