Get Into It: Pineapple Themed Accessories

Posted in Fashion, Inspiration
on July 15, 2016

 

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I know I’m not alone in my affinity for pineapples. Everywhere I look there’s pineapple shorts, shirts, bracelets and leggings. The list goes on and on. It’s not hard to understand why folks love pineapples so much, seeing as they have cool spiky green tops with bright yellow (and yummy) fruit inside. When it comes to cute fruits, pineapples are right there at the top of the list. There’s even a pineapple quote on Pinterest that I really love.” Be a Pineapple: Stand Tall Wear A Crown and Be Sweet On The Inside.” Those are great words to live by and without further ado, here are my top pineapple picks!

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This Tassel Pineapple Bracelet from Etsy Shop Hello Love Kalia features colorful pastel and tan beads accompanied by a mint green fluffy tassel and the cutest pineapple charm. You can customize it by adding your name. These bracelets are made for kids but I don’t see why I can’t wear one too! I think I’ll get one for Chloe and I! How adorable, right?!

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You need somewhere to put your lipgloss, phone and credit cards and this Pineapple Print Clutch answers the call.  A delightful pink pineapple graphic helps you channel your laid back beach style whether you’re near or far. Super cute!

This Geometric Pineapple Watercolor Painting would look amazing anywhere you want to inject a little bit of color and personality. Art prints are a cost effective way to bring your space together and show your artsy side!

Talbots scores big with this Pineapple Charm Belt that elevates a plain tee shirt and jeans to a chic ensemble. What’s not to love above that gold pineapple charm that adds effortless elegance?

J.Crew has always known how to strike the perfect balance between comfy and chic and this Ratti Pineapple Mini Skirt is no exception. Dark blue is the backdrop for these dainty pineapples to dance on. This skirt can be dressed up or down depending on how you’re feeling.

Pineapples.

Get into it.

But only if you’re not already into it.

In that case, carry on.

Do you already own pineapple themed clothing or jewelry? I’d love to hear about it. Drop your comments below!

Amazing Popsicle Recipes To Help You Beat The Summer Heat!

Posted in Food
on June 21, 2016

 

Image Credit: The First Year Blog

Summer is finally here and the kids are out of school and running around the house! I actually love for my kids to be home because they can play together. However, there’s been lots of bickering and ninja kicks amongst the laughter and joy. Giving them an activity helps them to focus and calm down for a bit. I’ve even started stretching and exercising with them, but they can’t seem to hold in their laughter any time I tell them to be serious, even just for a little while! The joy of being a kid, right?! Along with taking them to the pool and park, I’ve also started to let them both help me more in the kitchen. Both Chloe and Drew are very intrigued by how recipes are created and are amazed at the process. Popsicles are a fun and easy way to get your kids involved in a small project that reaps a yummy reward. I wanted to share these amazing popsicle recipes that I found on Pinterest. Each is full of fantastic flavor that you and your kids can enjoy on these hot and humid summer days!

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This delicious Berry Lemonade Popsicle recipe is from Beth at the The First Year Blog. These appetizing treats are made even more delectable with the addition of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Don’t they look refreshing? If you love lemonade, you’re sure to enjoy these!

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Milk and Cereal Breakfast Popsicles from In Katrina’s Kitchen uses only 4 ingredients to create a frozen treat that your kids will love! Katrina uses Fruity Pebbles, but I imagine that any dry breakfast cereal will do. These would be great with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles or really any dry cereal. What a yummy way to get kids to eat yogurt!

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Shiran over at  Pretty. Simple. Sweet has a creamy and indulgent Banana Nutella Popsicles recipe that only uses 3 ingredients. Potassium filled bananas, luscious Nutella and plain yogurt create a sinfully sweet dessert pop!

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Kimberly at Just Add Sprinkles has blessed us all with her Cake Batter Popsicles recipe. Vanilla ice-cream and dry yellow cake mix combine to make these glorious popsicles. It’s alright to indulge every now and again!

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Speaking of indulging, these S’more’s Popsicles from the Crafted Sparrow will satisfy your summer sweet tooth! Authentic chocolate, chocolate almond spread, fluffy marshmallows, and graham crackers combine to turn your favorite camp side treat into a frozen tundra of deliciousness. I’ll take 2 please!

 

These popsicles recipes are all delicious, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. So tell me, which one(s) do you have your eye on? I’m excited about summer and all the fun family activities to come.

 

 

dressing up to feel fabulous!

Posted in Home, Inspiration, Life
on May 10, 2016
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Everyday I walk my daughter to school and I also walk to get her in the evening. Well, I drive on rainy days or if I’m short on time because her school is very close. Whenever I walk, I see other parents, many around my same age or older, walking their children to school as well. Most people wear very relaxed clothes. It’s not uncommon to see mom’s in jeans and a loose tee shirt, jogging pants or even gym clothes and shades….can’t forget the shades. I’m the queen of comfortable, from clothing to shoes, opting for a nice wedge or flat vs. a stiletto heel. However, I didn’t want to fall into the deception that stylish equals uncomfortable. It’s simply not true. A long flowy dress is probably one of the most comfortable things to wear. You just slip it over your head and you’re good to go!

I work from home and I noticed that I was wearing jogging pants all the time or even jeans and a tee shirt. Don’t get me wrong, jeans and a tee shirt can be dressed up, but I’m not talking about when you add a statement necklace, bracelets and cute shoes. I’m talking about the jeans you always wear with one of your regular ole tee shirts. So I got to thinking about how I want to feel when I’m out and how much better my day goes when I put a little extra effort into the way I look. It’s almost like dressing well creates a confidence force field around you, making you walk taller and smile more! I decided to dress up a few more days in the week. Wouldn’t you know that people actually respond to you differently when you’re dressed nicer? Studies have shown that people view others who dress well as more successful.

Recently, I did a photoshoot and it was so fun to dress up and have my makeup done by a professional makeup artist. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought to hire anyone, I would have just did my own makeup and hoped it looked ok. I actually think it’s a great idea to do a photoshoot every once in a while. Sometimes we forget how special and beautiful we are and there’s nothing like tangible proof to give you a boost of confidence on your down days. Although you may get a few looks because you don’t have on the regular “mom uniform,” atlleast it’s something that you can feel good about. And you don’t need a reason to look nice.
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Loving and valuing yourself is something that you don’t want lose sight of. Yes, you are a mother and yes you are a wife…..but you’re also YOU! I’m not going to wait for a special occasion to look nice. Everyday we’re alive is a cause to celebrate and be thankful. Please don’t think I’m going to be walking around in ball gowns to Chloe’s school, but I am going to try a little harder and be more cognizant of how I’m presenting myself
What things have you found give you a boost of confidence?
Chat soon!
emeraldsig

Great Reasons To Visit Japan

Posted in Inspiration, Life
on May 4, 2016

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Chris and I lived in Japan for 3 years. It was almost immediately after I graduated from college and I went from being a college student, to being a graduate, a wife and living in another country — all in a matter of months. To say that I was caught off guard would be an understatement. I was literally terrified. I hadn’t ever even traveled away from the east coast and I really didn’t know what was going to happen on the other side of the world. In retrospect, I’m so glad that I went because it shifted my view of life and the world really. I started working at a Japanese school teaching English as a Second Language and this experience exposed me to even more Japanese culture! I even made a few Japanese friends, which was really cool. I wanted to share some reasons you should take that long (did I say long) plane ride over to the far east. I think that you’d be surprised at how much you’ll like it.

The 100 Yen Store

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Not to be confused with the dollar store here in the United States, the 100 Yen store has a massive mall of merchandise all for a dollar.(Give or take, depending on the exchange rate) The thing that makes this store amazing is that it is filled with quality merchandise. If you have an extra 1000 Yen ($10.00) to burn, this place is where you need to be! You can buy anything from mops, brooms, cleaning solutions, paper, pens, waste baskets and cute notebooks, all for a dollar. That list is in no way exhaustive, because this place had EVERYTHING!

Everything is Smaller

From the cars, to the restaurants, to the people — everything is smaller in Japan. If you visit a popular mom’s and pop’s restaurant, you most likely will have to wait in a line outside before you are seated. The restaurants are so small! One French inspired restaurant that Chris and I frequented called Marche’s was always packed and so was New Miyaki’s, Kurrumba’s….really everywhere! Also, the cars are super tiny. Seems like everyone had a smart car in Japan, but it was in proportion to the small roads and highways. Plus, things are cuter when they’re smaller.

The Food

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I didn’t know what I was missing until we were long gone. The food is nothing short of amazing! Chris and I went out to eat several times a week back then. Most places give you the beef or chicken and allow you to cook it yourself. I also tried Kobe beef while I was over there. This is the most tender beef you will ever taste and is exclusive to Japan! I really feel like I’ve been spoiled because now when I eat at the Japanese restaurants here, I’m disappointed most of the time. I have found a few Japanese restaurants that taste amazing stateside. There was Tokyo One in Lorton, Va and Fujiya House in Fredericksburg, Va. Also check out my delicious Sesame Chicken Recipe that will give you a taste of Japan!

Culture

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Japanese people have such a rich culture. They actually have traditions and customs — an authentic way of doing things. Everyone knows that no one wears their shoes in the house and that they usually have inside slippers for the house. Same thing with brooms, one for outside and one for inside. I was told by one of my Japanese friends that if your boss ask you out for drinks, you have no choice in the matter. It’s seen as disrespectful if you don’t have a beer with him/her. The architecture of the buildings is very distinctive, with layered levels, triangular roofs and striking colors. The geishas of Japan are another facet that I found to be fascinating. I fell in love with their gorgeous kimonos and jet black hair decorated with vibrant flowers. Living here also made Arthur Golden’s book “Memoirs of A Geisha,” come alive.

Soda Machines On Every Block!

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This may not seem like an amazing thing to you, but there are soda machines right on the sidewalk  every block or few blocks. I found it so comforting that I would never be thirsty for long on the streets of Japan! There was soda, juice, water, and tea!

One Country All Climates

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We lived in Northern Japan, almost at the tip, in a place called Misawa. It snowed three fourths of the year. Being from the East Coast, this definitely took some getting used to. However, I went snowboarding at Appi Ski Resort to see what all the fuss was about. I wish I could tell you I had a great time but I started crying about halfway down the mountain. I had never had lessons and Chris thought it was a good idea to go with his friends anyway. It’s really funny now, but it wasn’t at the time. We also traveled to Tokyo and visited the Roppongi district, which is filled with clubs and bars. Okinawa is another beautiful place in Japan. It’s like Hawaii, but in Japan. Chris and I vacationed there and literally did not want to leave!

You Get To Be Nude In Public

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One thing that was starkly different from our culture was the public onsens. These are indoor or outdoor hot springs that are said to have a healing effect when you soak in them. I loved going there because it made my skin and hair feel softer. There is one side for men and one for women. You go in with your basket that is filled with your soap, washcloth, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. You bathe at these small sinks before you get in the super hot water! There is a sign that says you are not allowed in the springs until you have washed up from head to toe  first. There was also a cooler bath that had a milky white color to it. It only cost 300 yen (3.00) to go. People would stare but I wasn’t really uncomfortable. There were people of all sizes there and they all seemed to be pretty comfortable in their birthday suits.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures across the world and I hope that you take a trip to Japan one day to see it for yourself!

Chat Soon!

 

Beauty Products That I’d Love To Try!

Posted in Beauty, Home
on May 2, 2016

5 BeautyProductsThat I'd Love To Try

I’m an observative person and I usually don’t make purchases until I’ve had some time to weigh if it’s something that I really need and if it will benefit me or end up under my vanity collecting dust. So I’ve been browsing these internet highways and I’ve found some products that excite me and make me want to try them. I always have a short list running in my head, in case I’m out and spot them at Ulta or Sephora. I wonder if I’m the only careful purchaser. I wouldn’t say I was frugal, because I don’t mind paying for products that live up to their promises. Without further ado, let’s get into these beauty products that I can’t wait to try!

 

Honest Beauty: So Jessica Alba expanded the Honest brand to add an eco-friendly beauty line called Honest Beauty. You can buy individual products to clean and moisturize skin or try an array of makeup foundations, mascaras, blushes and lipsticks. I like that it’s also a subscription box, so you can have it delivered to your door every month and I love getting mail! (Who doesn’t) There’s a foundation color for diverse skin tones and that’s something else that scored points in my book. I’m all about products that are great for the environment and my health, so this product line is definitely attractive to me. You can also check out my Cherry Lip Scrub if you are looking for an all natural way to exfoliate and moisturize your lips. If I try any Honest Beauty products, I’ll be sure to update you with the deets!

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Glossier: Firstly, I absolutely love the branding of Glossier. That alone has prompted me to visit the website a few times and look around. It’s a very youthful and fresh vibe. There are two products that I’m particularly keen on trying from the names and marketing alone. These are the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Coconut Balmdotcom. The Milky Jelly Cleanser can be used on dry or wet skin. It’s said to dissolve makeup or can be the beginning of your skincare routine. Kudos to the marketing folks because “milky jelly,” really pulled me in. The power of words, eh? Also the Coconut Balm is a universal skin salve that can be used anywhere on the body. The description says it “smells like the best parts of summer.” Again, amazing marketing that is pulling my millennial dollars out of my pocket.

So tell me, do you stalk products before buying? What really makes you attracted to a brand? For me it’s the product name, description and of course packaging.

Chat soon!

emeraldsig