Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Throw Backs

Now that summer is here, I thought I'd share some vacation throw backs from a lifetime before kids.  But, on top of all the nostalgia, there is some rhyme and reason for these features.  Alcohol. Or as some of the fine liquor stores politely refer to it...spirits. My current dilemma while vacationing is finding a more appropriate alcoholic drink for my parental lifestyle.  

For example...

Moorea.  While honeymooning in the Tahitian islands, creamy frothy drinks such as Pina Coladas, Mai Tais and Lava Flows were my go to cocktails. However, nearly 7 years later, my thirty something body cannot handle such high caloric capacity. Nor do I want to foster further growth on my muffin top.

Lake Tahoe.  Or as we refer to them - the glory days.  A week of non-stop beer drinking during the day  (the college faves beer pong and flip cups) to red bull vodkas at night. Again, my body can no longer tolerate large amounts of cheap beer such as Coors or Bud light.

Cabo San Lucas.  Overdoing it on margaritas and patron shots can result to the uninvited appearance of my evil alter ego.  So I choose not to go there.  Plus, taking shots and then tending to my children can come off as highly irresponsible parenting.  

So aside from beer, wine and sake - what are some cocktails that are seemingly fitting for us?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pretty Wall Collages

Home decorating is not my strongest forte so there's been a lack of confidence and motivation on my end to decorate the house since we moved in over a year and a half ago.  On my recent to-do is covering our huge, bare dining walls. The task is quite daunting since finding the right art can be quite costly and a big commitment.  As an alternative, I have come across these pretty wall collages.  The commitment won't make a huge dent on the wallet, and they are both timeless and personal.  

Fashion Mural

 Eclectic Pictures

Clean scheme of home photos

Photo inspiration via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I am really into the last set of photos.  A cleaner and classier look with a stream of black and white photos.  Plus, I don't think the Hubs will be too fond of a fashion mural in our shared space.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Unplugged Vacation

Photo inspiration here

Sun, mai tais, beaches, and leis are on the horizon.  I particularly look forward to vacating from technology, and unplugging from all consuming emails, texts (try), and laptop.  

Coincidentally, I came across an article from the most recent June issue of Marie Claire that I found relatable to the topic of unplugging.  Cliff Notes summary, it talks about how modern day technology has forced a 24-hour workday for the modern woman.  For some women, they have these killer careers and a desired flexible work schedule in order to make more time to either be a better woman, wife or mother. Yet, because of constant accessibility through emails and texts - they feel "perpetually tethered" to the workplace.  "Our hard won flexibility has become a leash. Instead of freeing up time for life outside of work, the workday never actually ends, and we overcompensate for our independence from the traditional business hours by being available at all hours...when that call, email or text comes in, you jump"

I can 110% relate to this.  I do have that desirable career in the fashion industry. Not necessarily the flexible work schedule, but on those days I take off, or leave the workday early to spend time with my kids, I find myself constantly checking emails on the iPad or eyeing my phone just in case an emergency arises (relatively speaking). I have been trained to treat emails with a sense of urgency, and if I don't respond promptly, I'm deemed sluggish at my job and even moreso dissing the sender.

Now I was quite disappointed that there were no solid solutions offered in the article, other than find a new career or retrain those clients that are sending you the emails from 24 hours / 7 days a week down to 10 hours / 5 days.  So in order to put some slack on my own personal leash, I have committed to take on a new approach upon return from vacation.

-Leave the office at 5pm, EVERYDAY, and end the work day there. The work will all be waiting for me the next day at 8am.

-Refuse to bring my iPad/blackberry during business meetings.  For one, answering emails during another meeting defeats any productivity.  But I am also setting a precedent that I am readily available AT.ALL.TIMES.

-Do not read / receive / respond to any work text messages the moment I get home. Nothing is that urgent that can't wait until the kids are down for bed.

-Take an email vacation.  I previously heard of this novel idea elsewhere.  The concept of not responding to any emails for one entire day can lead to a more productive day.  Taking the time for more face time as opposed to hiding behind the computer screen results to more efficiency and overall better working environment.

I am sure all of the above are easier said than done now that I am sitting poolside on vacation. But at least I have gained a bit of perspective after reading the Marie Claire article, and will make the effort to improve my overall work/life balance.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Snaps: 30 Sexy Years

Forgive me for my lack of updates...the week was full of events, parties and sleepless nights celebrating the GUESS Anniversary, 30 Sexy Years.  I am ready to make up for the loss of sleep this weekend!

1 World 1 Brand Event
91 Countries
2500 attendees
12 presentations
2 parties - 1 gala, 1 cocktail party
4 performances by David Foster, Jackie Evanco, Canadian Tenors, and Babyface
1 DJ Tiesto
10 hours of sleep over 2 nights
30 Sexy Years

Thursday Obsession: Jannuzzi Burp Cloths

An amazing friend, and former boss of mine, launched this fab baby clothing line called Jannuzzi.  Known for her use of minky fabric appliqu├ęs,  Rose Jannuzzi founded this company in 2005 and has made a brand name for herself in baby boutiques across California.  I personally have a love affair with these burp cloths.  For one, they are so unique and make feeding a baby look hip.  But the base fabrication of the cloth itself is so soft, and gets even softer after every wash!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You Know Your'e a Parent When...

Becoming a parent has been the most rewarding role in my life and I wouldn't do anything to change my life situation, nor can I imagine a life with out my kids.  And as a young, modern mom, I have made a conscious effort to embrace every ounce of my coolness and inhibit the more humiliating stereotypes of becoming a parent...extreme examples include the short hair cut, ill fitting jeans, and no rhythm dancing. However, there are day to day idiosyncrasies that cause me to relinquish all control and give in to such stereotypes.

The turning point was last summer when we took a family trip to Legoland.  After a few hours of road tripping from LA, the kids were restless in their car seats and hangry (hungry + angry).  So as a desperate measure whilst waiting to pay for parking, I succumbed to singing and blaring Raffi's "Baby Beluga" with the windows down (no shame) while feeding a mound full of goldfish crackers to Big D while feeding Tyty a bottle from the passenger seat, sacrificing my life sans seatbelt.  What was considered desperate times called for desperate measures, and it was at that moment the Hubs looked directly at me and said "we have become such parents".  We couldn't help but laugh outloud at ourselves.

Since then, we have compiled a short, comical list of  "You know you're a parent when...".  I hope you've been there too and can get a chuckle out of most.

So here it goes.

You know you're a parent when:

1.  You're lucky to make any appointment on time

2.  Profane musical performances by Snoop, Dr. Dre and Eminem are no longer allowed

3.  Your Facebook profile picture is of your kid, and is updated frequently with a better and cuter one

4.  You can recite every word to the bedtime story "Good Night Moon"

5.  You've cried over spilled breast milk

6.  You find yourself swaying back and forth with or with out a child in your arms.

7.  You abruptly leave any social gathering because you don't want to risk your kids falling asleep in the car and jeopardize nap time (aka mommy/daddy break time)

8.   You don't recall the last time you and your husband shared a hot, home cooked meal together

9.   Dora, Mickey and Barney are your besties

10. Chicken nuggets, Mac 'n Cheese and Pizza are also your besties

11. You've pleaded for a traffic light to turn green

12. You'd be a millionaire by now if you were paid a penny for every time you said "gentle"

13.  Your preferred outfit choices are washable as opposed to dry clean only.  Unless you are feeling risky that day

14.  Waking up at 7:30am is considered sleeping in.  Alternatively, you hate yourself for even drinking that much the night before when waking up at 7:30am.

15.  You're with the kids and willingly approach police officers as opposed to avoiding them

I'm sure this list will grow longer as they get older.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mommy Monday: Agenda for the Week

Photo inspiration: via  pack, lbd, beach, wean

The upcoming week is jam packed, but what's getting me through the week is knowing I will be sitting on the beaches of Maui, pina colada in hand, in less than seven days.  Woo hoo!

Here's what's on the agenda...

Pack.  I am a BIG time pre planner -- so much so, I have packed the kids' suitcase already.  (Before any judgment is passed, please read further and you'll realize why I tackled this sooner rather than later).  Outfits are put together by day, toys and eating utensils are set aside in an organized manner. Now what's left is packing my stuff and the in-flight carry on bags.  In-flight bags will consist of 0% mom stuff and 110% kid items.  I am loading up on movies, i pad games, crayons, food and candy.  Anything to keep these boys entertained for the six hour flight.  I have read up on tips here and here on suggestions and tips for flying with a baby(s).  

LBD aka little black dress.  This week, Guess is celebrating it's 30th anniversary, also dubbed as "30 Sexy Years".  You may have seen the launch of Claudia Schiffer's ad campaign through various magazines celebrating the milestone (PS. do you agree she hasn't aged?). What does this mean for me? It means wearing a number of little black dresses for events through out the week such as a dinner gala, business conferences and a party scene featuring DJ Tiesto.  Party times will begin when I normally go to bed.

Wean.  Off nursing.  More to elaborate on the topic later this week.  And yes, "I am Mom Enough"...

Beach.  Not to obnoxiously reiterate that I am going on vacay...but since I haven't been on a beach vacation since becoming a mom, I have to exude my excitement.  I am sure it will be different from those tequila shot taking, swim up bar days.  But I look forward to showing the boys new and exotic places -- a nice change from the local LA parks and zoos. 

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Penchant for Pretty: Gold Reflections

Images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

The agenda for the weekend: rest, retail and reflect.

RECOVER  mentally and physically.   I am indulging on my mother's day rain check and sleeping in this weekend for some MAY-jor rest.

RETAIL:  Not really an action verb in the English language, but since I work in fashion, I use it as such... and it was the best R word suitable for shopping!  The countdown to vacation is a week away, and every member of this household is in need of beach wear.

REFLECT on the positive things I have going on in my life.  I have had a glass half empty point of view this week, and I need to put some pep in this step by focusing on what's good, and ignore the bad.

...let's kick off this weekend in some gold reflections.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mustache Party

Jesus had a mustache right?  And I don't mean that in any form of disrespect...but I wanted to add fun by tying in a mister man mustache theme, mixed with a little faith, for Lil Tyty's baptismal celebration.  I chose to carry on the mister man theme because of what happened here. Also, as one can take away from the photos above, Tyty can come across as 'mister serious'.   

The celebration kicked off with a small family gathering over brunch at Fig restaurant located in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.  We sipped on mimosas, snacked on tacos and brunched over eggs benedict.  For a guest book, I had guests write out sentimental prayers for Tyty.  Swag bags were filled with toys for the kids and balms for mothers who shared their Mother's day with us.

Shortly following, was the most special time of the day -- where Tyler was baptized amongst family, in the same church the Hubs and I were married. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Big Primpin'

Pictures via 1 / 2  / 3  / 4

With the warm temperatures on the rise, I have very little tolerance to dry or even curl my hair. So during these hot summer months, my go to for hair primping are either braids or buns.  In my case, long, thick hair, the dirtier the better to hold the braid. Another incentive, I can prolong washing my hair, which means more time for me to sleep in.  Every wink matters!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Summer 2012 Must Haves

The family getaway to Hawaii is less than two weeks away and I am feeling both excited and anxious...The anxiety stems from the thought of keeping a 2 1/2 year old and 10 month old entertained for 6 hours while trapped on an airplane?!.  I'll have many movies and Dora the Explorer on queue. Cars, stickers and crayons at hand.  Goldfish and cookies stashed in the seat pocket. Now what to do with the baby for six hours (who, keep in mind is on the verge of walking)?  Any suggestions are gladly welcome.

Nonetheless,  the excitement outweighs any nerves, as I look forward to relaxation, sun and cocktails on the beach. I'm excited to start the "50 Shades of Grey" series and see what the hype is all about.  Is it really mommy ronch?  In the meantime, I have actively started packing lists.   I previously compiled my favorite swimsuits here. And in addition, I have provided a glimpse of my favorite pool worthy accessories and beauty products:

1.  MADEWELL denim shorts 2. MADEWELL bracelets  3.  head scarf inspiration
 4.  DIOR cat eye sunglasses 5.  ANTHROPOLOGIE beach bag 6.  TORY BURCH flip flops  
7.  ZOE ORGANIC beach toys  8.  EL JAMES "Fifty Shades of Grey"  9.  CALYPSO ST. BARTH Kaftan

1.  BUMBLE & BUMBLE Surf Spray  2.  FRESH sugar lip treatment  3. summer braid inspiration
  4.  BOBBI BROWN  shimmer bronzer  5.  LAURA MERCIER tinted moisturizer  6.  NEUTROGENA sunscreen  7. EVIAN  mineral water spray  8.  ORGANIC CHILDREN aloe vera  
9.  BABYGANICS hand sanitizing wipes  10. NEUTROGENA  kids sunscreen

Snaps and Flashbacks

Lil Tyty 2012
Big D 2010
Me and the Hubs 2006

It was a weekend full of family and faith as we baptized Lil Tyty at our Catholic church, St. Monica's.  This is a church that is meaningful to our little family.  It was where the Hubs and I got married over six years ago.  And now the place where both of our children were christened.

More to come later on the party details.  Still recovering from a double whammy baptism + Mother's day celebrations.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

A heart felt happy Mother's Day to my dearest mom.  You've taught me many things in life, but most of all to love unconditionally, work rigorously and shop endlessly!  You're a woman of true generosity, and I hope to embrace your many virtues as I grow older.  Love you! xx

To all the other moms, thank you for your unconditional love that radiates this earth. You all continue to inspire me everyday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY Gift Wrap Ideas

Tis the season of summer events. I previously included mother's gift ideas here...but between Mother's Day, graduations, weddings and showers, you're bound to be pressed for time and money for costly gift wrapping.  Here are some DIY ideas for dressing your presents.  As a nice, added bonus, all that are featured can be reproduced with recyclable paper.

Neon Polka Dots:   very simple to make, all that's needed are circle stickers and twine

Confetti:  this project may be more time consuming than the others, but it's bright, colorful and fun.

Typography:  add personal touches with cut outs of the recipient's name

Paper bag: glam up a paper bag with some labels and striped twine

Rainbow yarns:  a gift made of rainbow love...makes me nostalgic of childhood cartoons e.g.  Rainbow Bright or Care Bears

Cut outs: endless options of cut outs, ribbons and stenciling.

Thursday Obsession: Hermes Tray

Hermes.  I dream of the day when I can have a Birkin bag hanging on my wrist and the monogrammed belt wrapped around my waist.  I am adding this tray on my long-term shopping list. Someday...

Photos via 1 /2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Mom

D - 1 month old

Just days away we celebrate all the mothers in the world.  In honor of my short tenure, and my third Mother's Day, I share the small things I enjoy about motherhood.

My top ten reasons on why I love being a mom:

1.  Catching the small resemblances of the Hubs in my sons -- that dimple indented on their chin , their relentless determination, or their sweet, calm demeanor.

2.  Watching the budding relationship between two brothers.  Tyty's obsession with his older brother or Big D teaching his young sibling the way of melts my heart and I can die a happy mom knowing that they have each other.  

3.  Dancing like a fool with no judgement.

4.  Singing like a fool with no judgment

5.  Dressing them like pimps.  Shopping for boys may not be as much fun as shopping for girls - but my inner stylist loves creating big pimpin' outfits with what I have to work with - e.g. high tops, hats, skinny jeans and board shorts.  

6. Entertaining.  The funny shit that comes out of my 2 year old's mouth can keep me laughing for hours.  Episodes of Modern Family or It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia are necessary forms of entertainment post bedtime.

7.  Receiving the warmest welcome when I walk through that front door.  Seeing Tyty kick his fat legs around with pure excitement makes all the stress from the day seem insignificant.  

8.  Embracing them chases away any fear or cures any boo-boo.

9.  Grazing over their leftovers.  Picking over my toddler's scraps is a great portion control diet plan. Who needs Jenny Craig when I can eat 2 half eaten chicken nuggets for dinner?

10.  Hugging.  That unconditional embrace around my leg, the running bear hug leap and the burrowed head in my chest...this is what motherhood is all about. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Modern Mom: Jaclyn, The Dressing Room Diva

I am fortunate to be closely surrounded by a network of hip, modern moms.  Many sacrificed careers to make their family a priority, and a small few manage to juggle the work/family situation.  So rather than limiting this blog strictly to my point of view on motherhood, I have decided to launch a new series called "The Modern Mom" and interview moms about their own life experience. Hopefully, this series will resonate to moms in unique ways that I am not able to.   

**And to my fellow mom may be next on the interview list!!

And her honest and raw answers. Thanks Jaclyn, I can always count on you to keep things real!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Snaps of the Weekend

This weekend was a fun filled one centered by Franzia boxed wine, fun and friends.  I think I will have to go on a wine hiatus for a bit and give the liver a break.

Keeping it classy with Franiza boxed wine (no glass allowed at the Hollywood Bowl) and Cars Birthday cups (no adult paper cups around the house so had to settle for these)

One of the BEST concerts I have ever attended.  Coldplay sounded just as amazing live, and put on an out-of-this world show.
Hosting a small Cinco de Mayo party for co-workers - releasing the stress and rewarding our so-called hard work
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