Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

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Every Valentine's Day I look forward to showering my loved ones with sweet treats and special gifts. I also feel it's a great reminder to pamper ourselves too! Sometimes as women we can get so caught up with the day-to-day necessities that it's nice to splurge a little on a favorite new lipstick shade, a playful pair of sunglasses or a lacy robe that will make us feel ultra feminine and sexy just to switch things up a bit.

I'm sharing some of my favorite Valentine's Day gift giving ideas for the ladies in your life that can also double as wonderful indulgences for yourself. I received this over-sized Jo Malone candle in peony & blush suede scent over a year ago as a gift from my sweetie (it's also the signature perfume scent I wear daily!) and can't get enough-it really is the perfect gift. Pearl stud earrings are a staple in my jewelry box as well, I probably wear them every other day. This red lace dress is so pretty that I couldn't resist gifting it to myself (I ordered it in black as well), I'm a huge lover of lace and the cut of this dress is oh-so-classy covering in all of the right places. I can't wait for it to arrive so I can wear it on an upcoming date night with my love.


Let's Socialize!

What are your favorite Valentine's Day gifts to give and receive? What ways do you show yourself some extra love on this special day?


Sunday, February 3, 2019

My Favorite Stylish Workout Leggings

I can still remember a time when yoga pants and workout leggings offered fairly limited options- basic plain black in a full or capri length only, with one particular brand leading the way which also happened to be the most expensive! Thankfully the term athleisure was coined and those days are long behind us now as we have a variety of brands, colors and patterns to choose from now when it comes to activewear. While I do love a perfect-fitting pair of simple black leggings, over the past few years I've 'upped my game' so to speak in the workout department and have opted for more interesting options such as cutouts or textures and incorporating a pop of color with my sneakers or a cute tank or zip up, making getting sweaty much more fun. I snagged this blue Nike zip-up top on sale while we were loading up on hiking gear before heading to New Zealand at Christmas and it has become one of my favorites, I'm already planning to buy it in a few more colors as it's become a layering wardrobe staple lately.

I recently purchased these Alo High Waist Moto Leggings that I've been seeing all over instagram, which are equal parts fashion and function. I love how they are stylish enough to wear with a cute sweater layered over a tank top to provide an edgy vibe but can take you straight to the gym afterwards and there is zero compromise when it comes to comfort, as they offer full stretch and they don't ride up or slide down nor are they see-through at all as some leggings can be-especially important when bending over! I'm excited that they have 7 other color choices because the white version is so pretty and perfect with spring just around the corner!


LEGGINGS:  Alo   //   TOP: Nike  // 
 SNEAKERS: Nike (color sold out-same style here, similar color here)  
SPORTS BRA: LuLulemon    //  WATER BOTTLE:  Life Factory


When it comes to workouts, while I do wear shorts at times; whether I'm hiking, running, doing a boot camp workout or flexing my ballet muscles in barre class, I'm almost always in a high-waisted yoga pant because they are just so comfortable and cover all the right places properly. They also come in handy when chasing little ones at the park. Lily likes it when I we take a mommy-daughter approach to climbing gyms so they come in handy for playground days too and the design looks like I put in just a little bit more effort into my overall look.


I hope you're having a great weekend so far and are able to squeeze in a workout however you can! Sometimes all I have time for is a few sets of simple kettlebell exercises in my living room, a quick 15 minute run on the treadmill or a few multi-targeting ab moves such as planking or mountain climbers. Every little bit counts and keeps our momentum going even on the days we aren't able to get in a 'proper' workout. I don't know about you but when I take more than 2 days off to rest in between sweat sessions I personally find it to be SOOO much harder to get back at it again, it's also when I feel my muscles start to stiffen up or become less toned and firm which makes it even more challenging to find the motivation to get moving. For that reason, it's important to do something active for a minimum of 15-20 minutes every single day, even if it's as simple as a brisk walk through your neighborhood.

Let's Socialize!

I'm always on the hunt for great active wear, so I'd love to hear what your favorite leggings are! Do you have a favorite pair you can't live without? Please share with us in the comments below.


Friday, December 14, 2018

How to Inspire Chivalry in Men

One of the biggest complaints I hear from single women navigating our modern day dating world is that they feel there are no quality men left, all the good ones are taken and they have resigned to the fact that chivalry is dead.  In some ways, I feel as though this lack of gallantry we so desire is because over time women have, without realizing it, settled for less. Perhaps they haven't received the love, attention and gentlemanly actions or mindfulness from men that they so desire, and as a result they've just bought into the lie that those kinds of men don't exist, and if they do, are very hard to find. While there is no blame here, it's important for both men and women to take responsibility of their own contributions.

As a woman who was raised to be self-sufficient, independent and capable, I have to remind myself daily to lean back into my feminine energy and allow it to shine though. It almost feels like an undoing of what many of us have been taught especially female business professionals who are expected to negotiate, take charge and be a leader. What is feminine energy exactly? It is an allowing, receiving, gentleness and relaxed sense of being  vs. the more control-oriented role of masculine energy which is focused on doing, planning, protecting, solving and power. It doesn't mean that women are or should be passive. However, a masculine man by nature will want to please the woman of his affection, he has an innate drive to do so. You can imagine then that if what he offers is rejected, he'll feel as if he cannot make her happy or she doesn't want, need or value his desire to be a gentleman. The more we behave in a loving, gentle and feminine way, the more it will encourage a man to act in his own loving, protective and masculine ways which we women crave. This does not diminish our level of competence, intelligence or strength to essentially be the capable ladies we are, it simply gives him space to be the man he needs to be who desires to love, protect, appreciate, respect and take care of his lady.

It should be every lady's goal to find and align herself with her equal counterpart- a gentleman. I believe there are 4 key ways we as women can encourage the men in our life to act more gentlemanly and I'm going to break them down for you today.


1. Be a Lady- There is no greater motivation for a man to be a gentleman than when he is in the company of a true lady. While many men go out of their way to impress women during the first few dates and in the beginning of a relationship only to see that diminish over time once he's comfortable, a true gentleman does it from the heart and will continue to do so such as opening the car door for his wife decades into their marriage. He feels a sense of pride in treating women in this way when they are soft, delicate and little-girl-like in moments, speak with a gentle tone, smile, put an effort into their appearance and use good manners.

2. Create Opportunities for Him to Be a Gentleman- Sometimes the best thing in life is to remain silent and quietly observe, step back and wait to see his next move. Allow him the opportunity to take your coat, help you zip up your dress, offer to pump gas at the gas station instead of leaping to do it on your own. We know we're capable of doing such things for ourselves, however there is a joy in experiencing our man doing these things for us, it feels good to be cared for.

3. Be an Encouragement- When we compliment him on what he does that makes us feel good, special or feminine or what is such a huge help ultimately making our life easier (such as cleaning your car or giving you a neck massage), he will naturally want to do more. Positive feedback is what lets your man know what is important to you and where he should spend his efforts. Also a word about comparing him to others (the opposite of sharing your gratitude), avoid ever making him feel that he has to live up to expectations of another. Citing all the wonderful things your best friend's husband does will not motivate him, it will irritate him. Nobody likes to be compared to someone else.

4. Raise Young Ladies & Gentleman-Just as important as it is to teach boys 'ladies first', to hold the door, open a car door or to take a coat from a girl, likewise we must also encourage and remind our little girls to be receptive and thankful to those boys who are little gentlemen in training. I'm not suggesting that we focus on male and female roles where boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls, but in how we treat one another, how we dress, how we receive gifts or someone's kind gestures.

There is a lot to be said about allowing a man to lead.  I love my sweetie to feel like a man because it's sexy and allowing him to take charge makes him feel good about himself also, whether it's choosing the restaurant or setting up plans for a date, offering up his seat in a crowded space (to me or another such a pregnant or elderly woman), and just trusting his judgement and expertise in certain areas such as leaning back and letting him negotiate with the sales people while purchasing a new car. Even though we know we're capable, when we go back in history, it's important to recall that men have always been hunter-gatherers, it is in their DNA. I don't know about you but I enjoy the differences and ways men and women can compliment one another.


In what ways do you inspire chivalry in men?  Have you found that your praise and gratitude towards his gentlemanly behavior has made your man want to own that role even more?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rose Embroidered Top for Fall


TOP:  Romwe  c/o  //   JEANS: Express ( currently BOGO 75% OFF)
  SHOES: Vince Camuto (old -similar here and here | also in pretty olive suede)     
CLUTCH: Local Shop (similar here, here and here)
SUNGLASSES: Target old (similar hereTom Ford)   //  EARRINGS:  Majorca

There is something so cozy and nostalgic about the fall season, it has always been my favorite. Hearing a football game on in the background, sipping mulled apple cider, seeing all of the beautiful colors on the trees, curling up under a fluffy blanket or hearing the sounds of leaves rustle and crunch under my feet as I head out for an evening walk all just remind me how grateful I am to experience this beautiful time of year, a season I missed for nearly a decade while living in the southeast before moving to California 2 years ago.

While many of us gravitate towards lighter and brighter colors during summer, I have to say that as a lover of classic style, black is a staple that I just love wearing year round, and there is nothing better than great fitting black jeans paired with heels, flats or boots during fall! They're easy to dress up or make more casual-a staple in every lady's wardrobe! What I love about this pair is that they hold their shape due to having a bit of stretch and have retained their color really well compared with other black denim I've owned in the past. I recently purchased a second pair on sale and also own 2 pairs in the dark denim wash, both colors are essentials for my fall casual wardrobe. I wear a size 4 long for reference (the long size is awesome for all of us tall girls!) these also come in regular and short lengths.

This rose embroidered ruffle sleeve top has just enough pattern and a pop of color and the best part is it's just under $20! While I could have paired this outfit with a solid black clutch, I find the pattern play against my top along with a red mani adds a playful twist which is perfect for date night or casual Friday at the office.

What's your favorite thing about fall? What pieces are you most excited about wearing this season?

Let's Socialize!

Thanks for stopping by!


*This post is brought to you by Romwe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Classy Woman is Easy to Be Around

We've all had the experience of being around someone who seems to make every interaction a difficult and uncomfortable one. Many times it's due to their inability to express what they need, and as a result have unmet expectations, or they're simply too demanding and/or negative and ultimately draining to be around. As a result, most of us try to steer clear of such people or at the very least keep our interactions with them to a minimum.

Conversely, there are those who are easy to be around-flexible with their plans and methods, relaxed, understanding, and are not easily upset. It's these type of people whom I most enjoy building relationships with and being in the company of, and it's also the very attitude and presence I strive to bring with me into my own interactions with others.

A classy woman is easy to be around. She brings value to her interactions with others, making time spent more enjoyable and memorable for everyone, which is why she often finds herself on the invite list for various events. It's just one of the many reasons why others feel at ease in her presence.

8 Tips for Being Easy to Be Around

1. Stay Positive- One of the hallmarks of being easy to be around is to remain positive, even when others are not. This is critical in a working environment as it's easy to go down a rabbit hole with everyone around you stating their complaints and challenges. Be the person who offers a smile, a solution and identifies what can be gained/learned in a challenging situation instead of focusing on a problem or whose fault it is. This attitude is equally as important within our personal relationships as we are all responsible for the energy that we bring to any space.

2. Be Flexible- If you had your heart set on Mexican food and now find yourself dining out at a Thai Restaurant because that was the general consensus of the group, go with the flow and don't complain! Instead, choose to be agreeable vs. difficult because at the end of the day these small details don't matter. It's the company we're with and not the cuisine that is most important. There will be plenty of times in the future to munch on tacos and enjoy guac + chips. When a person digs their heels in (even just silently which is observed through their body language) it becomes obvious to the group and makes for an uncomfortable time. This is intimately tied to the next point which is not creating expectations in our mind in the first place.

3. Avoid Creating Expectations- My dad has a saying "If you don't create expectations, you can't be disappointed." When we choose not to create expectations in our mind of how an event or experience should/could be, we won't feel let down if it doesn't go precisely as planned out in our mind.  When we experience something as it comes, we can truly enjoy the moment and be present vs. wishing it were different than it is. Let's be honest, sometimes when things don't go according to plan they turn out far better than what we had planned on. The key is to let go of the need to be in control and just enjoy how things unfold whether we're on a date with a special someone, away on a girls-only trip or working with colleagues to set up a company event. It's good to have a plan but even the best laid plans can change at a moment's notice.

4. Be Gracious- Whether someone cancels plans with you last minute due to an emergency or a guest at your dinner party accidentally breaks your favorite vase, give them grace as we will all need it from time to time. I remember a few months back while sitting on my boyfriend's cream-colored twill sofa where we were watching a late movie. I was quite tired and started to nod off with a half glass of red wine in hand. I think you can see where this is going... my arm relaxed and I ended up spilling red wine all over the sofa including our shirts! I was mortified and he softly said "It's okay sweetie, it's only a couch." I felt relieved by his reaction as we both got up to clean it. It's this gentleness that has always made me feel valued and loved by him because I know that he understands what truly matters. I think Maya Angelou's quote sums this up well: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".

5. Practice Active Listening- We all want to feel heard, seen and as though we matter. Be present in the moment and make eye contact with others. When someone is sharing a story or revealing the difficulties they're currently facing, it's important to remain quiet so they feel listened to and refrain from interrupting. Pay attention to their body language as well. Paraphrasing, summarizing and asking questions are great ways to show the person/people in your presence that you've heard them and are in fact interested in what they have to say. So often now I find people are glued to their phones, checking text messages or social media, active listening and being present in the moment seems to have become somewhat of a lost art. Being in the company of someone who truly listens is so rare, it's also quite refreshing when we encounter it.

6. Be Fun to Be Around- Being laid back in nature and open to the excitement and surprises of life is one of the sure-fire ways to be easy to be around. One way to do this is to be open to possibilities, activities, especially things that take you outside of your comfort zone. Sharing experiences with others is what allows us to connect, it also creates wonderful memories to look back upon as we build relationships with others. I find this particularly true in romantic relationships. Last year we went skydiving together in Costa Rica and it's an experience we'll never forget. A sense of humor is a must and sometimes that means laughing at yourself. Be willing to look silly and share stories that lighten the mood. Be on the lookout for ideas, places and activities that you haven't experienced before, life is too short to stay inside our comfort zone, the fun comes from stepping outside that box.

7. Be Reliable- When building relationships in business or within our personal life, it is imperative that others can count on us, trust us and that we show ourselves to be reliable. I once had a friend who would cancel last minute on myself as well as several of our other friends. We all almost came to expect her "sorry" phone call as a small group of us met at a cafe for lunch or a fun outing, even when she herself was the one who initiated the idea!  Life's not perfect of course, we all have things that come up last minute here and there, however it's important to be mindful of others by keeping set plans and showing up on time.

8. Look for Ways to Be Helpful- Most of us know that when we've been invited to another person's home for a dinner party or event, it's only polite to ask the host if they need any assistance. Their responsibilities are many and it just feels good to contribute in some small way. This is the attitude we should lead with at all times. If we see a single mama friend struggling with her children and seems burned out, offering to babysit one evening so she has a few hours to herself child-free to regroup is a priceless gesture. If your man has been working extended hours in the office or on a particular project, step out of your feminine energy momentarily and become the 'planner' who makes a dinner reservation or organizes a fun evening once he's free again (without needing to ask for his input, because the last thing he needs at a busy and stressful time is another task!), this way he can unwind and feel comfortable in your presence. Essentially, view someone else's struggles, challenges and limitations as an opportunity to lighten their burden and step in when you can.

I'd love to hear from you! What ways do you make an effort to be easy to be around?


Let's Socialize!

Thank you for reading! 


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