How to Decorate with Scarves and The Bouqs

How to Decorate with Scarves

Since our formal dining room is bare bones, no extra seating, no art (until the end of this month), no window treatments, no chandelier (until October), I’ve avoided the room by closing it off with the pocket door that leads to the kitchen until I find what to do. Unfortunately, when guests come to visit, they want a tour or they will sit in the formal living room (which is coming along nicely by the way) with the bare bones dining room in their line of vision. So when guests come over, I do what I can to ensure that it doesn’t look like a forgotten room. The fastest way to dress up a bare table is with a pretty printed scarf as a table runner and fresh flowers, in this case a dozen roses from The Bouqs. The Bouqs is an easy and time effective flower ordering service that cuts fresh flowers direct from the source, cutting out the middle men, making your flowers not only last that much longer but also that much cheaper. So in the meantime, I can still serve tea for my guests in my bare dining room without feeling guilty about the lack of decor. This is the simplest way to decorate with scarves. 

How to Decorate With Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves How to Decorate with Scarves

These roses lasted almost two full weeks by cutting the ends in a diagonal,  changing the water to a cool temp every two-three days, and putting in one uncoated aspirin into the water. Once they started wilting, however, I tried them together and hung them upside down. Once they dried out, I sprayed them with hair spray, cut off the buds, and placed them in this beautiful Tiffany’s bowl I received as a house warming gift. 

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This post was not sponsored but it does contain affiliate links and I did receive the roses with compliment of The Bouqs.  

Easy Nail Art for Moms

Easy Nail Art for Moms While I tend to be pretty classic, I won’t lie when I say I love trendy nails. I desperately tried the Rihanna pointy nail trend except it would last a day before my nails would break off and I love dark colors in the fall and bold in the summer. My nail polish is really where I have a bit more fun to contrast an otherwise pretty neutral wardrobe. Unfortunately, as a mom, while I love nail art, it is hard to go that route without it looking almost like I’m trying too hard to be on trend. I did crazy nail art and airbrushing in high school so on me, it feels dated not to mention I can’t really do it on myself. But I was going to a wedding and wearing a basic long black dress with a nude pedicure so I wanted my nails to at least have something. 
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I started by tackling that little issue that I had where I cannot have long nails because they break. Every few days for a little over a week, I’d apply a thin coat of Probelle* Touch N’ Grow nail hardener, removing the first coat before applying the next. My nails were insanely hard, never broke and grew quickly. So much so that I had to cut and file them down something I had never done before, in fact, I didn’t even own a hand nail clipper, I had to use my kids’.  I went for an oval shape when filing to still have a more classic feel. Then I applied two coats of my favorite nude polish, Fashion by Deborah Lippmann. She gave me a bottle herself about 5-ish years ago and I haven’t stopped wearing ordering it since. DSC02221

Then of course with the “As seen on TV” Hot Designs Nail Polish, I created a few dots down the middle. I tried it at first with white but changed it to black for the wedding. These dual ended pens are also polishes. If you twist the cap, you can have a polish but if you pull off the top cap you have a nail pen. I love multi use products. DSC02219 DSC02218 DSC02239 2

Not shown but once it was all set and dry and I used a top coat, I used Bio Oil, the anti stretch mark cream, to moisturize my hands and my cuticles. Body oils absorb a lot faster than nail oils I find. I like the simplicity- and the ease- of this nail design but I may be willing to step out of my zone a bit and try a few more fun styles

*Probelle does contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is considered safe when used in moderation.

The Uniformed Look

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with NEUTROGENA® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All thoughts are my own. 

The Mommy Uniform

Being a work from (mostly) home mom is harder than I ever expected it to be. In fact, once our daughter went into Pre-K, I figured things would get easier.It isn’t. I have to stick to a strict schedule to get her and her brother ready and into the car to get her to school on time. I also want to be dressed and ready to work by the time I get back being that the little one goes down for a nap and I have to leave again in two hours to pick her up. Because of this, it is super important that getting ready in the morning is fast and my go-to mom uniform is set. My time is limited. Most days I throw on jeans, usually cuffed, with a t-shirt and black booties . To keep it simple for fall, I love to layer on sweaters like this one from Nordstrom, a gunmetal grey and sparkly. My outfit usually revolves around the sweater I plan on throwing on that day. It takes me 5 minute to get dressed and another 5 to do my make up.

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I do not wake up like this and neither does Beyonce. Don’t play. But just like Bey, I want to look flawless and as a Latina the most important thing is even skin. Just like my outfit, my everyday make up routine is also a uniform. I start by prepping my skin in the shower to save time with a foaming cleanser which is gentle and non drying like Neutrogena’s Visibly Even foaming cleanser.  As soon as I step out, I moisturize while my skin is still damp. Lately I’ve been using their daily moisturizer with SPF30. Within two weeks skin should be more even and brighter, and dark spots should be less visible after only four. My skin likes it so far. Then I can start my make up routine.

Step one: Foundation. A BB cream like Neutrogena’s Visibly Even BB Cream gives slight coverage without looking heavy and diffuses the skin to diminish the appearance of fine lines and boost radiance. The entire line is infused with Essential Soy, a natural skin brightener. So while this isn’t a foundation per say, it takes the place of one as it conceals just a bit more than a tinted moisturizer. 

Step two: Brows. I use a powder shadow to line just the bottom of the brow and with a grooming tool, brush them back. They are naturally dark and full so I have to be careful not to over do it. But fuller brows give a younger appearance so there’s that.

Step three: Lids. I use a eyeshadow primer as a shadow from the lash line up to the brow bone to highlight. Then I pile on the mascara and use a gel liner, sometimes even just a pencil but black eyeliner is my thing. Yes, this and my love for pumpkin spice everything makes me such a basic. Pumpkin spice eyeliner should be a thing though.

Step four: Lips. I dip my ring finger into a balm as I hear my son start waking up and that is the end of mommy prep time. Ten minutes later his sister is in the  kitchen complaining that she doesn’t want what I made for breakfast.

Lately I haven’t bothered with blush but a cream blush works great during this time of year. DSC02190 DSC02196

What does your morning routine look like and are you a proud basic like me? Don’t lie. I know after 30 and 2 kids, I live for everything fall (back to school syndrome they call it), everything denim, and everything simple.

*Outfit photos were not taken with a timer. They were taken by my 4 year old who wanted to help mommy work after school!.

Mexican Mocha Latte Recipe

Mexican Mocha Latte

Those of you who follow me on social know how much I love my coffee. You also know how much I love my speciality coffee whether it is Cafe Con Leche, a mocha latte, a simple cappuccino, or whatever, I LOVE me some cafe! Obviously, when I got the email saying that I was being sent the new Keurig 2.0, I was excited to have a sixth (yes, sixth) coffee maker in my house. In my defense, I had my original Keurig in the kitchen for my every day use, a basic coffee maker for larger parties, another small individual maker in my home office and your standard french press and espresso maker. Did I mention I loved coffee? Now I know that seems like a lot, it is but with the new 2.0, I can gift my original Keurig and rid of the basic ten cup maker. The new Keurig 2.0 lets me make individual cups daily and has a carafe for larger parties with a fool proof digital screen I do not even need to explain. The thing TELLS YOU WHAT TO DO! Of course, I consider Saturday mornings “larger parties” as my husband has two large coffee cups and I enjoy two smaller ones. After a really long weekend, we needed a several nice warm cups of coffee so I whipped up a mexican style mocha latte and grabbed a magazine to enjoy before our kids woke up.

What you’ll need:

Nestle’s Abuelita Chocolate

Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Organic Whole Milk (you can use whatever but I prefer whole)

Fresh Coffee

Small Sauce Pan & Frother

Mexican Mocha Latte

I made a few cups of the Hawaiian Blend which is a medium roast (works great with French Roast too).chocolate

I used half a bar of Abuelita’s Chocolate, a mexican style chocolate used for making hot chocolate. milk

I melted it in a small sauce pan with just enough unsweetened coconut milk to barely cover the bar, I’d guess about 1/3 of a cup*. Melt on stovetop.DSC02120

Then I put a tablespoon of the chocolate in my cup and poured my coffee. DSC02121

I frothed regular whole organic milk in my froth machine… DSC02123

…to have the perfect cup. 

*Latinas like me and my family, we don’t really measure things, we “eyeball” it and yet it comes out the same every time. Coffee cups were a special find at a yard sale in Lincoln Park during a photo shoot. I bought them over 8 years ago for a quarter each to have in the new home I would share with my then future husband. Happy Anniversary honey, to another 8 years…and 8 after that…and 8 after that…and…you get the idea. Your coffee is waiting in the kitchen. 

Special thanks to Keurig and Influenster for making my life easier and my cabinets roomier!

Tips on Motivation for a Healthier Lifestyle

In an effort to share with you more lifestyle content, I’ve reached out to a few former classmates and fellow moms who are active on social media and active in real life. I’m talking about getting fit and getting healthy. This week, Lorraina Brandsetter shares with us her weight issues growing up and her motivation on getting fit, something we all can relate to. 

Tips on Motivation for a Healthier Lifestyle

I have always been pretty self conscious as I was a bit “big boned” growing up. I struggled with my weight and finally, during high school, decided that I had enough. The teens years are crucial and unfortunately, my portrayal of weight loss then was more about image and popularity. Looking back, I’d change that point of view on weight loss to the one I have now, driven more by health than anything. Here are my tips on motivation for a healthier lifestyle.

Tips on Motivation for a Healthier Lifestyle

Try to make a little time for your even if it’s ten minutes.

I find time while my son naps but not everyone stays home so I recommend finding ten minutes during the day whether on a lunch break or after work, and sit in a quiet place. Another option is getting up a bit earlier or going to bed a few minutes later just to make sure you have time just for you.

Do smaller workouts.

I swear by squats, push-ups, and burpees. It is best to create a little routine and stick to it. I do three sets of twenty of squats and push-ups and then three sets of ten burpees. Burpees are a great total body workout, while squats focus on lower body and push-ups focuses on upper body and your core.

Do something daily that helps your health.

Drink a super food shake for example, one that not only has protein, but one that has vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants. Multi-vitamins are just as important after childbirth as it was during pregnancy. Lastly, drink a lot of water. The average is roughly 6-8 glasses a day. If you aren’t a big water drinker, try infusing your water with slices of fresh fruit. I, personally, love cucumber or lemon.

Keeping the weight off for me, always included diets, more than I’d care to admit, and of course, exercise. Then I ran into an old friend from school on social media. Until now, I had never had anything impact my physical and mental well being the way she did. She introduced me to beachbody and shakeology, these popular at home fitness programs and surprisingly delicious food shakes. In a nutshell, after giving birth, I struggled with weight loss just as I had in my younger years and unfortunately, depression because of it but doing this fitness program and doing a whole lifestyle change has taught me discipline while being able to enjoy eating. These 20-30 minute workouts got me back to being toned and losing inches off my body. Now I am able to enjoy life again and create a career out of this lifestyle.

 

Lorraina is a mom to a 13 month old and currently expecting a second. She is a fitness enthusiast and a Beachbody coach. For more tips or to get your fitness routine started, contact Lorraina directly at lorrainac84@aol.com.

2 Ways to Wear a White Button Down

We’ve reached the end of the road with my collaboration with Ensambl, the weather based personal fashion planner. I started out showing you how to transition your favorite summer pieces into fall looks and for the last two weeks, I’ve showed you how to wear your favorite work basics out in a mini series called “From Coffee to Cocktails”. Here, I show you 2 ways to wear a white button down.  

DAY

How to Wear a White Button Down

shirt: Target | shoes: J. Crew | skirt: Target | sweater: Target | necklace: F21 | bag: Vintage
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For daytime, I layered my shirt under a crop sweatshirt and a pencil skirt. These flats are my everyday throw ons and I couldn’t be happier with how comfortable they are.

Night

how to wear a white button down

shorts: F21 | shoes: Payless | bag: BCBG | lipstick: Mary Kay | sunnies: Target | cuff: Charming Charlie

How to Wear a White Button Down white button down3For night I wanted to have a little fun so I let my hair down, threw on some faux leather shorts, heels, and of course a sexy red lip. Because a red lip makes everything sexy. 

For more information on Ensambl check out their blog and their Instagram filled to the rafters with amazing outfits.