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Lifestyle

Nespresso, Williams & Sonoma, virtuoline,Keurig, Starbucks, coffee

I have a new tall, dark and handsome in my life and his name is Nespresso. Thank you William’s and Sonoma for introducing us.

I used to be a Keurig devotee. We were best friends ( friends with benefits really); every morning he’d wake me up with a hot, sweet caramel kiss on the lips. But I cheated on him. I couldn’t help myself.

I longed for something more and I was tempted by an old familiar flame, Starbucks. Beautiful and glorious bastard that he is, who could say no?

He was my addiction. He was so hot, smelled so good and I could just pull him to my lips and stay there for hours.

Keurig is better than Folgers, I’ll never deny that, but Keurig is no Starbucks not even by a long shot (not even with an extra shot ). He is the poor mom’s Starbucks. It’s like the difference between Lena Dunham and Angelina Jolie, Zach Galifinakas and Alexander Skarsgard, a hairless Chihuahua and a Unicorn. My God, you know you always want the unicorn even if it is impractical so beautiful that it sears your retinas to look upon it and the damn thing costs an arm and a leg to house and feed. No matter, you must have it. Who cares if you have to second mortgage the house? F*ck those brats and that damn private school. Don’t you deserve to be happy? Coffee is all we have moms. That and those damn yoga pants.

But life is not so black and white and neither is coffee. Well, unless you drink it black in which case…you could just exit this conversation right now and head to the nearest Speedway. They’ve got you covered, it’s like 99 cents for a metric ton of coffee. Lucky bastards.

I forgot that there is a beautiful world filled with sexy shades of milky caramels, where unicorns run free, are grass fed and only came when called.Where children don’t bicker and teething babies sleep through the night. Where toddlers aren’t overly attached and teens still like you. ( I went too far with the teen analogy, didn’t I? I could feel it going too far when Is aid it. Damn it. If you go too close to the sun, you get burned. Rookie mistake. Wait, where was I? Oh yeah…) It can be beautiful. I forgot that life is not made of only Folgers and Keurig’s alone…there is Nespresso!! And I’ve been told that what I have with my Nespresso is not an addiction but a “lifestyle choice”. Whatever you want to call it. It’s who I am and I love it and I don’t care who knows it.

Nespresso, Williams & Sonoma, virtuoline,Keurig, Starbucks, coffee

Nespresso machines and Nespresso pods are the GD unicorns of coffee makers and at home brewing.The Aeroccino, it’s silent but I swear I can hear angels singing every single time I brew a cup. Each time I make a Nespresso at home, the world is a better place. It’s more vibrant and beautiful. It’s not coffee, it is happiness in a cup.

I can enjoy it in my comfy chair in my pajamas or yoga pants or naked if I want too. ( Wait, no, I don’t drink coffee naked, that would just be weird and dangerous, right?). It just tastes better. I’m not sure if it’s because each cup is fresh and never scorched or only cost me 95 cents. Maybe it’s because I can flavor my froth. Maybe it’s because I’ll never need whip again because good head beats whip every damn day of the week. Maybe it’s the perfect excuse to entertain. Whatever the reason is, I’ve ended it with Keurig and Starbucks and I are on an indefinite break like Ross and Rachel. But unlike Rachel, I’m never going back.

Now, if I could just figure out how to make a damn Oprah Chai Latte that tastes as good as Starbucks…at home.

 

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johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

I have collaborated with JOHNSON’S #NOMORETANGLES and Latina Bloggers Connect for this compensated campaign. Yep, they are paying me to write about one of my favorite products for my girls. I win at life today.

 

Yesterday, I received our family Christmas pajamas in the mail. Oh yeah, that’s right, I found matching holiday pjs for all four of us and not only did I find them, I bought them and they are currently at my house. I win the holidays! Right?

 

Obviously, this means that Christmas is next month. Typically it would mean that Christmas was tomorrow, because yes, I am chronically late but this time I am planning ahead. I even ordered the girls some holiday dresses. Tis the season for holiday parties and family celebrations. I’ve got to be ready.

 

I don’t know about you but I have two little girls and they like to do everything “fancy”. We don’t skimp on the sparkle and shine over here. I guess it’s my own fault, I mean they didn’t start wearing those tiara’s to Thanksgiving dinner when they were 1 all on their own. I had a hand in that.

I’ve got a secret. For all my joking, I secretly love having girlie girls who want to celebrate the holidays in big, grand ways. It’s a birthday celebration so why not dress to the nines? If you have a beautiful dress, you have to have a gorgeous hairstyle to complete the look and of course that includes a tiara. When in doubt, always wear a tiara. It can only make things better.

 

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

So first I start with a simple routine;

  • Step 1: Cleanse with a 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Step 2: Nourish utilizing a Leave-in Conditioner
  • Step 3: And style using a brush or wide-tooth comb and a Detangling Spray.

 

My girls are ballerinas and it’s Nutcracker season for us tiaras, tutus and buns are a part of our every day life during the holidays. So, I’ve decided what better hairstyle than a pretty twisted bun?

 

Here’s how you do it;

 

The Prettiest Twisted Bun

 

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

  • Create a deep side parting (taking it back three inches from hairline)

 

  • Create another section from that part line to the back of the head.

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

  • Temporarily secure front section with a hair tie or clip.

 

  • Brush the rest of the hair from right to left bringing it together to create a left side ponytail, and secure with a hair tie.

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

  • Twist the tail around the ponytail securing it with bobby pins, creating a bun.

 

  • Take the front section and start twisting it backwards until you run out of hair.

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

  • Take the end of the hair and twist it around bun.

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

 

  • Secure bun with hairpins and bobby pins.

johnson and johnsons, hair tutorial. #NoMoreTangles

I took the tiny tiara that my daughter has worn every year since she was 1 and put it into the side of her bun. Just the perfect amount of sparkle for my little princess.

Voila! Your princess is holiday ready.

 

 

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calavera,beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead, day of the dead make-up tutorial, dia de los muertos make-up tutorial, Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos are only a few days away.

Last weekend was our city’s annual Fright Night and Zombie walk. My daughters have been wanting to participate for the past 3 years but we’ve felt they were too young to be immersed in the middle of all of those “zombies” so we’ve been watching from the sidelines. This year, we decided would be the year that we all walked “amongst the dead”. They were zombies and I was la Calavera Catrina, recognized as a sugar skull.

Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

My husband and girls dressed as authentic walking dead zombies. My husband was a typical zombie ironically wearing a blood smeared “Be Kind to the Earth” t-shirt with a vintage plaid flannel. I guess he was going for hipster zombie look.

My 9-year-old was a prom queen zombie. Luckily her ballet rehearsal was done in just enough time to get home, change into her “prom” dress and dead face. My littlest one was the cutest dead school girl ever.

My little brother and I chose to go in a different direction. I love the Walking Dead but I just can’t make myself drag my legs and growl at people so my brother dressed as a sugar skull and I dressed as the Grand Dame of Dia De Los Muertos, la Calavera Catrina. The best part? Everything I needed was in my closet.

Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

Here is how to apply the Dia de Los Muertos make-up and pull together a costume that will make heads turn.

I think it turned out awesome!

 

      1. Begin with an even layer of the Ben Nye Clown White make-up all over the entire face, except the eye sockets, with a sponge, and set with powder. You can buy setting powder at the Halloween shop but, honestly, baby powder works just as well. It is important to set the color with the powder, because the black lines and color on top may get smudged unless you place a barrier in between. Seriously, your face will look like it is melting off if you don’t and who wants to go through all that time painstakingly applying make-up only to have it slide right off your face?
      2. Next, I sculpted the perimeter of my eye socket with a black liquid eyeliner, it’s much easier to use than regular black face make-up and it lets you be more precise with your lines. Then intensify the area by blending a matte black shadow in the same hue over the top of the entire eyelid and filling in the drawn socket.
      3. For the detailing, pick up a black liquid liner with a precise tip, and draw an upside-down heart on the nose, the two rows of scalloping, connected by a circular motion, that surrounds the eyes and the two small circles on either side of my cheek bones. Mark out seven lines in a V-shape on your forehead. I made a jewel in the middle of mine, you can too or not, whatever you choose. Connect the lines with curved shapes to create a spider web.
      4. Use the same liquid liner to draw the two lines on your cheeks and draw a rose on your chin.
      5. Use a color wheel of your choice to fill in the scalloping around your eyes, your jewel and any other designs on your face that need color. I set the color with more translucent powder, not too much, just enough to keep the color from running.
      6. Moving on to the lips, I wanted red lips so I used my Red Chanel lipstick to draw in my lips. Then with the black liquid eyeliner, I drew in the intersecting lines across my lips. I let all lines dry well and then went over with liquid eyeliner again.
      7. With the liquid liner, add a few dotted details over the face, and a flower on your chin. Touch up individual areas with the color palette of your choice as needed, and after a few coats of mascara, I used fake-eyelashes to give my eyes a little extra umph.

For the hair, I simply washed my hair and dried it curly. Teased it. Pulled it to a curly, side pony tail and then added two oversized red roses behind my ears, which I held in with bobby pins. You could also opt for a headband with flowers on it.

To finish the look, I shopped my closet. Sometimes being a Latina with a dad who retires to Mexico 8 months a year has its advantages. I wore a long black skirt, a white peasant blouse with red, yellow and green roses from Mexico as my blouse, an ornate, traditional Kelly green velvet apron with gold scalloping and bright gold shawl. It came together perfectly but, honestly, the make-up makes the costume.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, Day of the Dead,Calavera,How to apply Dia de los Muertos make-up, Book of Life, Day of the Dead costume, Dia de los Inocentes, Latina

Do you celebrate Dia de Los Muertos?

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scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

There are many ways to wear scarves. 

I know, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to just that. And I have a closet full of awesome scarves from Aventura to wear this fall but I get tired of just wearing it wrapped around my neck so I have made it my mission to find as many ways as possible to wear my scarves.

Here are 10 awesome and easy ways to wear scarves this fall.

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

The Modern One Loop Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end slightly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck once. Adjust loop over neck and balance out the ends of the scarf. Ends can either be same length or slightly different. Scarf available at Aventura: Sydney Pashima

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves 

The Bunny Ear   Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end significantly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck twice in the same direction. Take the same end you looped around your neck and fit it through the second loop. Tie a simple overhand knot with both ends of the scarf. Fit the loops over the knot so that two ends are dangling off the loop, slightly to the side.  Scarf available at Aventura:  Abilene Scarf  (Actually on sale now from summer!)

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

The Turtleneck Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end significantly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck three or four times in the same direction. Tie a simple overhand knot with both ends of the scarf, and then tie another overhand knot to get rid of most excess fabric. Fit the knot underneath the loop so that no excess fabric is showing. Scarf available at Aventura: Presley Scarf (Actually on sale now from summer!)

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

 

The Faux Infinity Loop Drape scarf over shoulder so that both ends are equidistant. At the very bottom of both ends, tie an overhand knot. Tie another overhand knot to ensure that the first knot does not slip. Take the loop (shaped like an “O”) and twist it so that it’s shaped like an “8”. Drape the bottom loop of the “8” over your head. Scarf available at Aventura; Zahara Infinity Scarf

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

 

The Quick TossDrape scarf over shoulder, with one end slightly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end over your neck, but not fully around. The scarf should be hanging down from your back. Scarf available at Aventura:  Abilene Scarf  (Actually on sale now from summer!)

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

 

The European Loop   Fold the scarf in half lengthwise. Drape folded scarf over shoulder, with the non-folded end significantly longer than the folded end. Fit the non-folded end into the loop created by the folded end and tighten.

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

 

The Celebrity Loop Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end significantly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck three times in the same direction. Fit the end when you loop through the third loop so that it’s dangling down underneath the loop. Fit the non-looped end over and into the third loop.

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

The Waterfall Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end significantly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck one time. Take the end you used to loop and secure it by the top corner. Fit the top corner into the loop at the side of the neck. When done properly, the unattached side dangles down like a waterfall.

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

 

The Magic Trick Drape scarf over shoulder, with one end slightly longer than the other end. Loop the longer end around your neck once. Using the non-looped end, tug a little bit of the fabric through the loop, forming a semi-circle. Fit the looped end through the semi-circle. Adjust both ends to balance out the scarf.

scarves, 10 ways to wear your scarves, fashion scarf , fashion, beauty, ways to wear scarves

The Braid   Fold the scarf in half lengthwise. Drape folded scarf over shoulder, with the non-folded end significantly longer than the folded end. Fit the non-folded end into the loop created by the folded end, leaving space at the end of the fold. Twist the folded end over itself, forming an “8.” Fit the rest of the non-folded end into the second loop created by the twist. Adjust and balance out the scarf.

These are just a few ways to wear all those beautiful scarves that you’ve been waiting all summer to wear. If you want many more be sure to check out my Pinterest board.

Disclosure: I am an Aventura ambassador but all opinions about how to wear your scarves are mine, all mine:)

What’s your favorite ways to wear scarves?

 

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Invisalign, braces,metal braces, Invisalign teen

How I wish Invisalign was a “thing” back in 1986.

I have partnered with Invisalign to share with you, my experience with braces. All experiences and opinions are my own. When I was in 8th grade, I got braces. To be exact, on the day of my 8th grade graduation, I got braces. Don’t feel sorry for me. I actually wanted them. All my friends had them and I could feel my teeth getting tight and starting to cross one another. At 13, I already knew beauty was pain and I knew that if I had to endure a couple years of being called “tin grin” and “trap jaw” by my little brother, it would all be worth it to avoid a lifetime of crooked teeth. So, I asked my parents for braces and I got them.

I wore them and my torturous rubber bands religiously for exactly one year and a half. It was trying. I’ve worn an expander and rubber bands every way possible and all of this happened in my freshman year of high school; the year that my freshman girls gym class shared the gym with the senior football players conditioning as if freshman girls need something else to be self-conscious about. I never smiled. I’m pretty sure some of the guys had bets going because they all seemed to say hi and try to make me smile. But as I am sure you are aware, as any woman who has survived the tween/teen years, there is nothing quite so embarrassing as looking awkward in front of the cutest guy in school especially when you’re wearing braces, have no boobs and your dad still won’t let you shave your legs.  I swore I’d never do that to my girls.
Invisalign, braces,metal braces, Invisalign teen

Our dentist does an orthodontic assessment when the kids are 6/7. My eldest daughter had traditional braces put on when she was 8. Apparently, braces aren’t just for teenagers these days. She’s 9 and they are off. She only wore them for 6 moths and her teeth look perfect. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like much has changed since I wore braces in the 80’s. Yes, they are less obtrusive but you still have those pesky wires and brackets to get your lips and the inside of your jaw pierced on. She went through wax like it was water. Though traditional braces are a lot less noticeable than they once were, you still run the risk of injury especially when playing sports. Have you ever caught a dodge ball with a mouth full of braces? It’s not pretty.

At her final orthodontic appointment, I was told that with some teeth still left to fall out, we may need to do a second round when she is a tween. We’re hoping not but I’ve already decided if we do, we will get my daughter Invisalign Teen. The price is comparable to traditional braces, my insurance still covers the same amount,  yet no one ever needs to know she is wearing them because you can’t see them and let’s be honest, speaking from personal experience, no tween girl wants to be seen as “trap jaw”. Bonus, they work just as well as traditional metal braces. 

Invisalign, braces,metal braces, Invisalign teen

My only worry was that much like my retainers in high school, the Invisalign Teen aligners might end up in the lunchroom garbage can after a rush to get back to class. But, no worries, Invisalign teen knows that kids make mistakes and you get up to six replacement aligners free of charge. I personally think that if you can’t figure out to put your aligner in the case while you eat after six times, you deserve to be charged for it. Here’s hoping we don’t have to do another round of braces with the same child but if we do, I like knowing that Invisalign Teen is an option.

Have you taken your child in for an orthodontic consult yet?

Enter for a chance to win free

Invisalign or Invisalign Teen! Enter now through September 30th, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with Invisalign, however, all thoughts and opinions expresses are my own.

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Chase, talking to kids about money, teaching kids to save

I have partnered with Walmart to bring you this sponsored post and information about this awesome new program Savings Catcher ; as always, all opinions are my own.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about trying out this new Savings Catcher program at WalMart. There is a WalMart just a stones throw away from my house, so I go there often for the staples like paper products and hygiene products. I won’t lie, I spend a lot of money there.

My mother-in-law is always raving about how WalMart price matches, the only problem is that you have to remember to bring in the ad and remember to tell the cashier and then you hold up the line and you become “that” person. I’m about as good at remembering the ad as I am remembering to actually bring my bags and coupons to the store. I have great intentions but I just don’t have the brain power on most days to remember those little things. It’s a great idea but I just never can remember to bring the paper, besides most of the ads I view are online anyways so Savings catcher is awesome because I don’t have to lug coupons and ad matches (though I could to get the best deal EVER!)

With Savings Catcher, I simply do my shopping and then within the week, I log on and enter my receipt number and voila…the savings catcher lets me know if I’ve actually gotten any savings that week. If anything goes on sale or gets marked down during that week, the savings catcher “catches it” and I save money. Now, I know in theory, I am putting the effort in, just like I would if I were price matching or clipping coupons. The difference is that I can do this from the comfort of my own home and not hold up any lines.

So, since I’ve started using it, I’ve earned about $10, for doing nothing other than buying what I was already going to be buy at the lowest price already so, if you ask me, it works. I like it. The holiday season is right around the corner and Walmart always has great Black Friday sales that we hit for toys and kids electronics and we all know how at that time of the year, sales are changing constantly, I will be putting my savings catcher account to work. Maybe I’ll even earn enough to buy myself something.

I’d recommend that you log into www.walmart.com/SavingsCatcher today and enter any receipts you have from the last 7 days, and let Savings catcher check to see if you’ve earned any savings. Just remember, it has to be within 7 days so do it at least once a week if you are a frequent Walmart shopped.

 

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Brian James Footwear, Brian James, women's shoes, Gabrielle Noir

Shoes! God, do I love shoes and I am not just saying that because I’ve partnered with Brian James Footwear to check out their summer line. No matter how fat or skinny you are, your shoes (usually) always fit. I love that about shoes, they don’t betray you like a pair of bitchy jeans. Shoes and bags are by far the most forgiving of the clothing and accessories.

As I’ve gotten older (and wiser) I’ve realized that I don’t mind paying a little more for quality. I almost die of shame every time I think of the unlined dresses, see-thru tops and tight Gap jeans that I lived in in my 20’s and the shoes? I lived in Wild Pair platforms and Payless trendy boots. Thank God when you’re in your twenties you are pretty and too naïve to know how terribly skewed your fashion sense is.

Older and wiser, more money and a bigger caboose have made me realize that you get what you pay for and if you buy cheap, expect cheap.  I used to shop BOGO sales like my life depended on it. I also owned 150 pairs of shoes one summer. These days, I prefer to spend $100 on a pair of nice shoes that fit well and don’t make me feel like I want to punch myself in the face.

This is why I adore Brain James Footwear. They are made by the same people who make PediPeds for your children and they are so comfortable but with a grown up fashion sense for the most discriminating taste.

I tried the Gabrielle in noir and the Monique in Black and Snakeskin. They are cute, chic and comfortable which is great news for this mama’s feet.

The Gabrielle Noir by Brian James

Brian James Footwear, Brian James, women's shoes, Gabrielle Noir

3.5 inch stacked wedge with a contemporary feel. This sandal wedge is styled with stone embellishments and unique cutouts, along with a Velcro closure for adjustability and raw edges for buttery comfort.  Perfect for summer date nights with a cute little dress.

– Available in Noir and Taupe Kid Suede
– Features a cushioned footbed
– Velcro closure for adjustability
– Leather lining
– 3.5 inch stacked wedge
– Includes dust bag

 

The Monique in Black and snakeskin by Brian James Footwear

Brian James Footwear, Brian James, women's shoes, Gabrielle Noir

Minimally sleek. We reincarnated the classic ankle strap style with tonal color block and snake embossed leather. Silky cow leather, cushioned footbed and flexible rubber outsole create a lux feel without the fuss. I rock these everywhere and they are awesome because they work with capris, shorts or dresses. They are very versatile.

– Available in Nude, Noir & Noir, Snake
– Features silky, sheep leather & cushioned footbed
– Leather lining
– Velcro ankle strap for adjustability
– Includes dust bag

These are both perfect for this summer and into the fall, depending on where you live. Also, there are lots of great styles for this fall at Brian James. I’ve been a huge fan of this brand since my first pair. They are stylish, comfortable, well-made and super cute and who doesn’t love cute shoes? Speaking of cute shoes, Brian James is letting me give away one pair of shoes to a reader. To enter, simply go to the Brian James website and leave me a comment HERE telling me what your favorite pair is. I will randomly select a winner a week from today. Contest ends August 12 at midnight! Good luck.

So, what is your favorite pair of shoes from Brain James footwear?

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Easy Fishtail Hairstyle Tutorial & the Secret to No More Tangles

Attention: Moms of girls, in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® and Latina Bloggers Connect I’m bringing you this very important PSA today about how to brush your little girls hair without losing your mind or causing a family war. Yes, there is such a thing.

Have you ever spent an hour in the morning brushing through chlorinated bed head? No? Let me start by saying that every time our little girls get their hair wet this summer, it becomes more susceptible to sun damage.  This makes hair brushing a circle of hell that not even Dante was willing to mention for fear that uttering the words may doom him to eternal damnation with a 7-year-old with a tender head. Ay Caray!

There has to be a better way. My 7-year-old daughter gets mad and starts crying all because I try to brush her hair. I just want to stop the kid going out into the world looking like la llorona. Either I take them to the neighborhood pool and they develop this awful, straw like dried out hair that is impenetrable by a comb or we don’t go swimming and I’m crowned the meanest mom in the world. Decisions, decisions!

So anything that helps alleviate that morning tension between the girls and I is all good with me. I want my girls to remember their childhood summers with fond memories of sleeping in, lazy days spent playing in backyard tents, bike riding, road trips and sweet memories of their mommy brushing their hair as we have long talks about life, not that I pulled their hair and made them cry. So we tried out JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® easy step-by-step hair regimen to help keep their hair nourished, beautiful and healthy-looking.

 

  • Step 1 Cleanse: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Step 2 Nourish: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Leave-In Conditioner
  • Step 3 Style: JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray

Then, I styled her hair as usual into a cute, messy side fishtail.

Johnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTangles

Johnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTangles Johnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTanglesJohnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTangles

Johnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTanglesJohnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care, #NoMoreTanglesJohnson and johnsons, no more tangles, hair care

Then, we went on with our day of shopping, bike riding and jumping on the trampoline. The best part of this hairstyle is that it looks great on little girls of any age (including me) and even after a day of activity, her hair only looks better because it is made to look messy. Best summer hairstyle ever.

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mom, driver, minivan, #Swaggerwagon, crazy

Do you refer to your car as a swagger wagon? Wait! Have you heard that the latest technology in minivans makes it so that I can yell at my kids in the car without having to scream over the Kids Bop #71 millionth edition CD and the two of them out octaving one another to the tune of, “NO, YOU’RE THE worst sister ever!” What?

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post about the swagger wagon; I just think that this is really cool and I want these features STAT.

Apparently, Toyota knows that parenting is hard work and it is not for the weak. Quite frankly, we can use a few more tools in our parenting toolbox especially in times of parenting desperation like road trips or 10 minutes drives to school or around the block. The 2015 Toyota Sienna has not one but TWO features that I cannot believe were not already invented. When you have kids you need all the blind spot detection, three rows of seating, airbags, entertainment system, auto warning this and that and braking in times of danger. You need all the safety bells and whistles, don’t let your husband convince you otherwise. He’s not the poor bastard driving around town in a vehicle covered in Goldfish dust with sippy cups and overpriced hard plastic, educational toys being hurled at HIS head trying to look cool with the Wiggles blasting on the radio.

Damn it people, we’ve got babies on board! I did not house those little people so some damn drunk driver can run a red light and t-bone us and I certainly didn’t sign a waiver allowing my sanity to be taken away on loooooonnnnnnggggggg road trips to places like Disney World nor did I read the fine print that said that I may or may not have to dislocate my shoulder to hand toys and sippy cups hurled and then cried for immediately while driving back to toddlers who think its funny. P.S. It was not funny! Why did no one warn me about teenagers texting on the road? I want all the blue tooths. Every time I go on the road, it feels like I’m in a game of frogger as I try to avoid all the texters, drunkards and stay in the line and not miss my exit all while little people are shouting at me and licking one another and choking on cheerios. It’s like extreme driving. I need a xanax just thinking about it.

Anyways, what are the two features I am referring to? Wait for it….
“Driver Easy Speak.” It uses a built-in microphone to amplify a parent’s voice through speakers in the back seats. Translation: You no longer have to actually scream at your children, you can whisper (that’s more scary any ways) into a built in megaphone. Take that, little people and the best part is this is not two-way. It’s just me, talking at them…all day long! So, instead of yelling, “If you lick your brother’s face one more time…I’ll drop you off at the orphanage!!” YOU can now simply whisper from the comfort of your front seat, “I see dead people!”

It also has what they are calling an optional “pull-down “conversation” mirror” I call it eyes in the back of your head and wait…wasn’t that already invented? I mean, isn’t that what your rearview mirror is for? Well, except for when you are backing up and the camera comes on and the kids could literally be back there setting shit on fire because you can not see a damn thing. Anyways, I like the idea of eyes in the back of my head and I convinced my little ones that I did in fact have this condition a long time ago. My 7-year-old still checks the back of my head from time to time. I think instead of a mirror, I’d prefer a camera…right there in my rear view left side that watched the backseats. You know, security footage to be used in a court of law.

I was so excited that for half a second, I actually considered swapping out my Enclave for the Toyota Sienna 2015 and then I remembered that I am allergic to minivans so, sadly no #Swaggerwagon for me but I do love these features and the new commercials. This one is my favorite.

P.S. Does anyone else hear Missy Elliot’s “Get UR Freak on” every time they see the word “Swaggerwagon” I’m serious? No? Maybe that says more about me than it does about you? I did learn to drive in an extended van with a bed in the back.

What’s the number one feature you look for in your mom Swagger wagon?

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Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

Have you ever bought an old house and had to renovate it? Loads of work? Loads of fun? Lots of money( it doesn’t have to be)? Correct answer? D. All of thee above. Talk about perfect timing, I just became a brand ambassador for Wayfair right as I’m getting neck deep in renovations. Our love affair started long before I ever became part of the Wayfair family. I was a customer who fell head over heels in love with a citron, chevron chair and the rest is history. Amazing product plus amazing customer service and they had me at helloJ Compensation for writing about the things I already love, win: win baby.

Anyways, my family bought our first “older” house almost two years ago. Prior to that point, we had owned two new builds but we really wanted to buy an older home with good bones and make it our own. It just always felt like the new builds lacked the character, craftsmanship and charm of the more vintage homes. So, when we found our “bones” in the neighborhood we wanted for the girls, a little bit of manual labor and hard work just didn’t seem like that much of a deterrent; so we bought ourselves an old house. I call it my John Hughes house because it’s the kind of house and neighborhood that I wished I grew up in back in the 80’s, only it looks like 1980 was the last time anyone even attempted to renovate.

It’s been a true labor of love and sometimes, I feel like its a money pit but slowly it is coming together. When we first moved in, we had to rip all the carpet out because the previous occupant had cats and apparently thought it was a good idea to let them urinate inside the house. I’m not sure a litter box ever saw the inside of this house. I’m pretty sure the cats were feral and maybe even the occupant because the stories I could tell you about this place. Jeez.  But rest easy, my friends, I am not living in a feline pee soaked home because we ripped up the carpet, I bleached the concrete (yep, that’s a thing) and opened all the windows in the house and let it air out for a week and then repeated the process. Once the house was sufficiently free from the urine smell, we installed new laminate flooring throughout the first floor (sure, we have it for the second floor but it’s a process people and there are only so many weekends in the year).

We had to rip out all the cabinets and reno the entire kitchen, which is still in progress. Good news is I have all new cabinets and appliances but I spent the last 3 days sanding drywall and smearing my walls with more joint compound to try to rectify the “texturizing” job the last owner did on the wall. It looks as if maybe a monkey was throwing poo at the wall or maybe she tried to bury a body or maybe some extra feral cats who misbehaved. What it doesn’t look is good. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, quite frankly and I’m not that hung up on the superficial. But that’s another renovation story for another day, maybe in a month or so once I’ve sanded and skimmed for the 15th time and had the balls to put some paint on it.

Let’s just say when we decided to buy our house, it was under duress (we were living with our in laws) and it was time for us to get our own place (for the sake of all of us) and on some days, I think perhaps our eagerness to get back into a home of our own wrote a check that we just don’t have the skill or ability to cash. But, you know me? I’m no quitter. Come on, I can put in the time and effort and read a few tutorials and binge watch DIY Youtube videos as easy as the next gal. I’ve got this! Wait, did I just say that? (This is where I usually get myself into some trouble.) But this is how you save a little money, by getting down and dirty you can save the money you would have spent on labor on actual things and check your favorite websites at least weekly for deals.You will be amazed at the deals you get with a little patience and always google for promo codes before buying anything online.

Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

I started with the easiest room to remedy or, as I like to call it, my favorite room in the house because it’s in the least amount of renovation transition; our media room.  We removed the feral cat carpeting ( FYi, I hear it’s the absolute latest in home décor interior design for 2015…no not really , don’t do that!) and replaced it with laminate wood flooring.

Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

 

We painted the asylum white walls charcoal grey (not Christian Gray because I just couldn’t stand my breath to be hitching all the time like thatJ ). Installed some white crown molding and are going to replace all the 1980’s wood baseboard with more modern white baseboards. We sold our Antique Victorian Furniture and replaced it with a more stylish and modern grey sectional.

Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

I replaced my Victorian his and her’s chairs with two of those lovely citron chevron chairs (try saying that real fast 3 times). I picked up a new more modern lamp and a few pieces of art (I still need a few more) and I just bought some awesome room darkening drapes for the picture window and the entry way (movie room needs to be dark in the middle of the day so kids can watch Isabelle the American Girl Movie and Frozen 27 bazillion times).

Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

So the room is almost done but it is still missing something. I think maybe it needs something to add warmth and coziness. All that beautiful laminate wood flooring just doesn’t scream “cozy” so mama is looking for a new rug then the room will be 85% done (no room is ever 100%) but it would be nice to have just one room that’s finished and not being renovated where I can go and sit, sip coffee and go to my happy place.

Wayfair, rug, promo code, home renovations, interior design, decor, updating on a budget

So which rug, would you choose?  The White? The silver? A mix? I’d love your help. Check out my Movie Room Pinterest page and let me know which one you like.

And because I know that you are all as budget savvy and décor loving as I am, I’m sharing my very own special promo code for you to use to save 15% on all area rugs if you purchase between 7/31 to 8/4/14.

If you are a Wayfair customer already, you know that they hardly ever do promo codes. I mean they run crazy daily sales, clearance, free shipping and a rewards program but a promo code is nearly unheard of so this is VERY EXCLUSIVE!!! And you better believe that I am buying myself my new rug this week too and then my room will be almost perfect.

My Promo code to save 15% on all area rugs from Wayfair is RUGLUV13

Leave a comment and tell me which rug I should go with and let me know if you are getting yourself something pretty from Wayfair too. If you’re just not that into shag ( as I obviously am) maybe check out the jute and sisal rugs, I hear they are great if you are looking for something in a more natural fiber to spruce up a high traffic area.I’m not sure which rug to choose. Obviously not pee soaked is my number 1 quality that I’m looking for in a carpet but I’d like it to be stylish too. Maybe I am superficial…just a little bit.

At first I thought a bright white rug and then I was all like, hey dumb a**, you have kids and a dog and there is not enough Scotchgaurd in the world to save a snow-white shag carpet from those three. So, I’m thinking maybe silver? But I don’t want it to be too monochromatic; I’m just not that cool. I need something in between that says, “ Hey..I’m cool and chic but kid friendly too.”  Help!

Which area rug from Wayfair would you choose for this room?

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