Clothes are everything. Make-up is divine. I like looking at pretty girls, in fancy clothes, doing fun things. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite Fashion & Beauty Instagrammers, aka the lovely Ladies that motivate me out of my joggers in the morning.
They won't disappoint- give 'em a follow so we can Ohemgee!! their pics together! XO
The warm weather is here- hooray! I don't know about your family, but mine likes to be outside; hiking, beaching, and relaxing, any, and every, chance possible. To make this possible, I like to keep lots of pre-prepared foods on hand for those impromptu outings and late dinners. Cobb Salad Dip is a great dish to keep in the fridge for (semi) healthy snacking, or a great outdoor BBQ side. It's fairly simple to make, and tastes amazing with baguette slices, or tortilla chips. Skipping the carbs? It goes great in a lettuce wrap too.
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 package of Ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup of sour cream
2 tomatoes, any kind, diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese blend
1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped fine
1/3 of a red onion, diced fine
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup corn, cooked
Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch mix. Spread into serving dish. (I used a deep casserole dish so I could load up on the veggie topping)
Add toppings, save egg, in any creative manor you like.
Garnish with hard boiled egg slices Chill in refrigerator for one hour, then ENJOY!
Almost two weeks ago, I got a terrible phone call. My grandmother had passed. The news was not surprising, but was extremely painful, nonetheless.
Being a mother of a four year old girl, and five year old boy, I took some time in the kitchen, crying quietly into my dishes, trying to decide if I should tell the children. They were too rambunctious to bring around to see her that often, since she was susceptible to easy bruising and germs, and they only met her a handful of times, once being last week. I waited until I calmed down, and decided I would tell them in a casual and nonchalant way, and let them process the information however they were ready to.
My son took the news hard. So hard, that I was at a loss for what to do. Sensing that I couldn't handle comforting anyone else at that time, my husband sent me to the shower while he talked with the kids.
This is when the assault began.
"Mom! Mommmm!!", my daughter yells through the bathroom door, "Mom! Your Nana is dead!", she yells in a sing song voice, as if she was telling me the toaster popped. "Mom! Can you hear me? Your Nana's dead!". SLAP. Always the town gossip, she was just letting me know. Standing in the shower, in shock and disbelief of the cruelty of a child's innocent taunting, filling with anger, I said nothing. My husband soon scooped her away for bed, and left me to my misery.
My son, sensitive and sweet, taped a picture of her over his bed and in the morning carried it out with him. "She's dead, ya know.", my daughter quipped over a bowl of Cheerios. SLAP. My heart hurt.
The services were held an hour and a half from our house, with only an evenings sleep in between, so we opted for a hotel room for the night. We found sitters for both occasions. We tried to make it fun for the children so that they weren't upset. Being little still; I wasn't sure how they were registering what was happening. My daughter was in her glory. She got to go to her friends house to play, to the hotel, to a restaurant, she ran the hotel halls, woke up, went swimming and had breakfast at the pool, and had another day at the park, with presents, with the next sitter. "Mom! Can Nana always die?", was her way of letting me know she was enjoying herself. SLAP.
I inherited most of my Nana's kitchen, and some odds and ends. After unpacking nine boxes into my sink and counters, I felt overwhelmed and heartbroken. Crying, I called one of my best friends, asking her to come help me. Asking someone to help me do something like that, is truly not me. I was in a rough emotionally state, and the driving, and sleepless hotel night, and now my kitchen full of plates with her initials on them, had thrown me over the edge. So, I broke down and asked for help. I honestly needed it. She came right away.
Standing in the yard with her, me being an obvious mess, we were deciding to go in and start. Within minutes my son came flying down the hill, tears streaming and a red finger pointing at me. "She threw a rock at me!", he sobbed. My daughter had tossed a rock down the hill, a large one, crushing the tip of my sons finger. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's go time!", my brain demanded. I carried him to the house, my husband and I cleaned and dressed his wound, set him up in a bed, made him comfortable, googled finger wounds, got ice packs, snacks and drinks, put a movie on and stroked his hair until the tears stopped.
Now what was I doing? Oh yeah... Grieving. Asking for help. Sifting through my pain. Right.
The next day, I went to my Nana's apartment with the kids, to make a dent in the cleaning. Walking in to an assisted living facility with kids is like walking into a hospital with a puppy. Everyone is overjoyed to see young faces and all the people lining the living room and foyer want to stare and say hello. One nice woman, not knowing who we were, approached my daughter, "Hello sweetie, are you here to visit your grandmother?". "No. She's dead.", my daughter smiled in her I-think-I'm-so-cute voice, and sauntered past. Innocent, but so, very, cruel. The woman had been my Nana's friend. She looked at me with a wounded look and sat back down. SLAP. #mortified.
I took the kids for ice cream at a farm after we cleaned, to make the day a little nicer for them, but my heart was heavy. I drifted through the rest of my day. I cried quietly in the kitchen as I put her dishes into my cabinets, and contemplated how heartbreaking life is. I reveled in my memories, and settled with the fact that there were things I had forgotten to ask her. Many tears came. I couldn't wait for my husband to come home so I could be 'off duty' and just sit quietly. My husband came home around the kid's bedtime, and we sat on the couch for a few minutes as a family. "What did you guys do today?", he asked my daughter.
"We went to Mom's Nana's house but she wasn't there because she's dead.", she said matter-of-factly.
My husband grimaced before her sentence was finished, as he has been hearing this all week as well, and fully knew what type of callous remark was coming. He looked at me apologetically.
The truth is, at that moment I became 'better'. Grief is a long, strange, road, but every slap in the face my daughter unintentionally threw my way, snapped me out of the 'depression' part of it. My heart is heavy, my jaw aches from clenching it in my sleep... But I am done with the depression of my grief. She, like a tiny little drill sergeant got me back on my feet.
And in doing so... Reminded me of my Nana.
Rest In Peace Joan Oknos. Forever in my heart.
The weather is perfect for walking or running, so get out there!
I started my outdoor routine on the first day of Spring. This is my Spring Workout Mix, in case you all are looking for some inspiration.
HIPPITY HOPPITY- EASTER'S ON IT'S WAY!Easter is by far, one of my most adorable and beloved holidays, as a mother. The sun is finally out! The snow is finally melting! If the flowers haven't begun to bloom outside yet; at very least blooms, bouquets, and plants are gifted all around, and it is just so hopeful and rejuvenating!
EVERYTHING IS PASTEL!
The 'matchy family outfit' is definitely something I enjoy... and my family knows I'm a little nuts, so no one complains.
My husband and son will be wearing pink polo's, and my daughter and I will be wearing floral dresses.
The dress I got this year is quite possibly, without any word of exaggeration- THE cutest dress that I have ever put on my body.
I will be perfecting my Easter Pintrest Board this evening over some vinho... if any of you would like to follow the board for some quick, last-minute, ideas.
We have so many egg hunts this weekend! I will be starting my April Showers 21 Day Fix Program on Monday with the best Coach ever (Ms. Angeline, in case any of you want to join with her- CLICK HERE!) so I will, no doubt, be shoveling as many Cadbury Crème Eggs as possible into my face before then.
QUESTION OF THE WEEKEND: Do any you guys save and reuse your plastic Easter Eggs after your kids have opened them? I had an awful image in my head this morning of unimaginable amounts of eggs sitting in landfills... year after year...
Maybe saving and re-using our plastic eggs is something we could all try to do this year?
Well... anyway, I hope you all have a delightful run-in with Peter Cottontail this weekend, I hope all of your kids score so much chocolate that they don't even notice when you sneak some from their baskets... and I hope you absolutely revel in the fact that IT IS SPRING, AND ALL IS HAPPY!
As we snap into Spring, fitness and beach bodies are on most of our minds. I have started back into my outdoor fitness routine, and it is so encouraging! I also tweaked my supplement intake, as I occasionally do, to suit my fitness and seasonal needs.
In Winter, my supplements range from the old standby's, to a range of odorless garlic, echinacea, vitamin D's, and Vitamin C, with some mineral supplements mixed in. I tweak this in the Spring, swapping out the immune boosting supplements, to the muscle and inflammation aiding supplements. Right now, I have incorporated Zyflamend, to help my knees adjust to the outdoor running and walking, and doubling up on a supplement that I take year round- Fish Oil.
The benefits of Fish Oil are amazing. Here are a few reasons that I keep this in my routine year-round:
1. Aides In Weight Loss
Weight loss is never my goal, but displaying tone and ample muscle is. Some of my readers may be looking for a little help dropping Winter Weight. If that is the case: Studies show that people that consume Fish Oil regularly, have a greater ability of shedding unwanted pounds.
2. Boosts Immune System
Fish Oil has shown positive immune growth in animal studies, as well as human trails. Though more human studies are being conducted, it is safe to deduce that positive interations between the supplement and fever, skin rashes, and common illnesses have been witnessed by many.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Reducing inflammation is important once you begin amp up your workout routine, as most of us do this time of year. Not only does Fish Oil reduce inflammation in the tissues, which we need to heal after excercise it helps with other problems such as IBS and Crohn's Disease.
4. Helps Depression and Anxiety
It has been shown that Omega 3 has a positive effect on depression, anxiety, sadness, decreased libido, and suicidal thoughts.
5. Improves Eye Sight
It has been long noted that Fish Oil aides in improving eye sight. It is in trails now, regarding its ability to improve macular degeneration as well.
6. Skin Care
Fish Oil greatly helps with Winter dry skin, as well as eczema, and psoriasis. Taking it orally does the trick, but it can also be used topically, as well.
The brand I am currently promoting in my wellness routine is Life & Food Omega-3 Supreme.
*I was given this product to review, but all opinions expressed are my own.
The 2nd annual iHeart Radio Music Awards were last night... And of course, the usual suspects were there, raking in awards... Here is my playlist for this morning, celebrating some of the winners. Hope you enjoy!
Feel free to gaze adoringly at this snap of Madge and Tay (who is awesomely channeling Stevie Nicks)
Plus this super cute OMG freak out between JT and Tay:
HAPPY SPRING EQUINOX! BIENVENUE SPRING!! I am a little later to the game than I was last year, but this weekend is dedicated to starting our seeds. We consume much produce in this house, so I need to get growing! I am going to start my seeds exactly as I did last year, because I had fast and fantastic results.
Is this your first year growing? Or maybe you just have a bit of misfortune when it comes to growing? Do you need a few helpful hints?
Follow these steps, and your season should begin without a hitch:
You will need:
Seed packets (organic please)
Soil (organic please)
Plastic Ziploc baggies
What To Do
1. Dampen paper towel until thoroughly saturated
2. Gently spread seeds out in a line on the damp paper towel
3. Fold paper towel gently around seeds until it will fit in baggy
4. Put in baggy and clearly mark each bag, as to not confuse seedlings
5. Tape baggy to south facing window for one week
6. Once your week has passed, remove from window and gently unwrap seeds. They should be sprouted.
7. Fill each section of your egg carton halfway with soil
8. Insert seed, marking each segment to keep seeds organized
9. Gently put a small layer of soil over seedling. Don't make it to hard for them to break through.
10. Water with a mixture of half water/ half hydrogen peroxide for the first week. After that regular water will suffice, until large enough to be planted.
That's how simple that is! If I do my seeds this weekend (or anytime this week if you are planning on it), they will be ready for planting by the time last frost rolls around.
Take pictures and show me your seedlings if you are starting your seeds soon! I love how cute it is!!
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!
I have trouble sleeping. Always have. No matter how exhausted I am during the day, by the time night rolls around, I just can't seem to get there. Over the years I have realized that there are a few thngs I can do to calm my roving mind (monkey mind, as they call it in Transcendental Meditation). Valerian teas, meditation, and eye masks help me greatly. You may not realize the significance of sleeping with an eye mask, unless you are a bartender, like I always was, or a third shift-er. Even the slightest bit of light (street lights shining through the curtains, digital alarm clocks, cell phones, cable boxes...) is registered through your eyelids, and can make it difficult for your brain to kick in the melatonin production necessary for a restful night's sleep. This is where a sleep mask can assist you.
I have always slept with a sleep mask, and even as a child- slept with a bandana over my eyes. I honestly cannot, at this point, sleep without total, and complete, darkness. I have tried every type of eye mask in existence, I feel, and I go so far as to buy them in bulk, as the elastic get worn out, or they end up lost, or in the wash occasionally.
There are the standard, flimsy, run-of-the-mill masks... You know- the kind you get on airplanes, or a drug store, or super market. I would rather tie a bandana around my head than use these. They never fit your head right, they move around, and let light in on either side of your nose. I deem them virtually useless.
There are decent masks with a second flap of fabric around the nose to block light, with adjustable head straps. Hooray for these. This is what I have been using for the past ten years or so. I have nice ones with plush fabrics, and double head bands so they don't move, when I move. These have carried me through my years of bartending, where you get home from work as the sun is rising, and those New-Mom afternoon naps.
The other day... my life changed. I was sent a product to test by Dream Essentials. Now I get a lot of products sent to me to try, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they were a game changer, unless I meant it. This company makes the BatSuit of eye masks. No lie. This eye mask is made from a breathable, structured material, that fits your face like a glove. It literally feels like you are wearing Batman's mask. Not a sliver of light gets through, as it is fitted to your nose. The amazing thing- The eye sections are cupped, allowing you to blink and open your eyes in the mask without touching the fabric. This solves the problem I have always had, of waking up with crimped eyelashes (sounds silly, I know, but it is an annoyance you wouldn't understand unless you have been there). The mask is washable, of course (ALWAYS wash your eye masks to avoid breakouts!).
If you work nights, I cannot stress enough how much you should want this. It also comes in a sleek carry pouch and has accompanying ear plugs. If you are in the profession where sleeping at work sometimes occurs (Doctor's, Nurses, Firefighters...), or travel a lot for business, staying in hotels, or sleeping on flights... you should absolutely gift yourself one of these.
Two thumbs up, Dream Essentials! Thank you for giving me this product to try. I will never sleep with a different mask again.
The other day I was bopping along in my car, happy, and slightly care free. Some talk station was on, and I was barely listening. I randomly heard the host start talking about make-up and my ears perked. Cosmetic talk usually pleases me, but this story totally ruined my frame of mind, and more so than that- it rattled me and filled me with absolute rage. Host Question- How much do you think Kim Kardashian spends on make-up per day?
(insert Taylor Swift song and much anticipation here)
Host Answer- $2,000.00 daily
SAY WHAT NOW?! I mean Yeezus, I wasn't born yesterday. I know she doesn't #wakeuplikethis, but TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY? If she #makeupfreemonday-ed just once a month, she could pay my mortgage. *Murder eyes*
I look in my rear view mirror at my four year old daughter, who is growing up into a society of false perfection and misplaced adulation, and suddenly got sad. I hope she knows people like KK are not real. I hope she always feels pretty, especially- and more so, without thousands of dollars worth of cosmetics. I love playing dress up, and getting ready, trying out different looks, and crazy false eyelashes, but at the end of the day- it is not my sole reality.
I started thinking about the millions of girls who may feel inadequate in comparison with KK's lil sis, KK or KK. My heart sank. Do you remember what it is like to be a teenage girl? Ugh, it is so awful. I never felt pretty enough, and I only had people like Brenda and Kelly to look up to (also horrible role models, yes I know).
Millions of teenage girls use social media, Instagram in particular, as a virtual diary, seeking approval and vindication from their peers, in the form of selfies. My daughter may someday be one of these girls. Hard truth.
I took to Instagram and hashtag searched #ugly #imugly. Much to my stomach-sinking-dismay, most of the hastags that accompanied #ugly were #bullied, #suicide, #cutting, #killme... Oh. My.
My heart hurt. All of these poor little girls. Beautiful, make-up free, braces-wearing, gorgeous, little girls. They have no idea how absolutely stunning they are. All I wanted to do was help. But HOW? I mean honestly, what can I possibly do for these random, underage, strangers?
SCREW BULLIES AND SO SERIOUSLY SCREW KIM KARDASHIAN AND HER TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR FACE.
I have spent a portion of every night before bed since I heard that god awful broadcast, doing the only thing I could possibly think to do to help... I go on IG. I search #ugly. I comment #beautiful. I search #cutting. I comment #pleasedont. I search #bullied. I comment #imhereifyouneedme.
I didn't think I would make much difference, but all I could think of was Gandhi's 'You Must Be The Change You Wish To See In The World.'. That was all I could think to do. The funny thing is... the girls were responsive. They talked with me. Some refrained from cutting because I reached out. They followed my IG and asked me if I could follow theirs in case they needed help. Some just started graciously accepting compliments. #Beautiful
I know I am not making a serious dent in the state of the nation by doing this every night, but honestly, I feel good putting some good out there. Even if one girl stays on track, it is worth it. That one girl, is someone's daughter. And maybe, she needs YOU.
So if you would like to join me in a #beautiful movement, I would be so happy.
In Richard's complete and utter excitement, he was exuberant in displaying his love, and accidentally scratched me. It was a 2 inch long, deep, bloody scratch. Yuck. It got infected, and even required a trip to the ER.
Unpleasant, but forgivable, Richard.
So, when I was offered a product to review that erases scars, I accepted. Typically, I wouldn't have reviewed a product that I was uncertain about, as we all know: scars are permanent. I wanted to give this a fair shot though, because I seriously don't want to see this scar on my arm forever.
I researched this product thoroughly. I really liked the ingredient list, so I gave it a go. I applied this gel 2x per day for about 2 weeks.
My scar went from looking like this:
The scar was lowered and purple and very unattractive.
Two weeks later it looked like:
The color is fading, and the scar is now level with my skin; no more indent.
I can safely say that I believe this product significantly reduced the appearance of this scar. The Scar Gel says it can be used on new OR old scars, but I can only testify to the new scar variety.
InstaNatural Scar Gel includes Epidermal Growth Factor (EFG), which is a naturally occurring protein that stimulates the healing process. Green tea, sea kelp, and aloe aid in the health of your skin, as well.
I, though hesitant at first, am a believer in this product, and I intend to continue to use Scar Gel until my scar completely diminishes.
If you have an unattractive or unsightly scar, I recommend using Scar Gel. I deduce that it works wonders on acne scars, as well. Doing something is always better than doing nothing- Give this product a try!
If you have used, or will use this product, leave me a comment or a photo and let me know what you thought. :)
Here is the product link if you are interested in trying InstaNatural Advanced Repair Scar Gel.
*I was given this product to review, but all opinions are my own. Please consult a professional before incorporating new products into your routine.
Typically, I make them the same brunch staples: Benedict, biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, kielbasa... Coffee, coffee, and more coffee! So delicious- yet SO not healthy. Wah.
Today I wanted to incorporate some fun and healthy choices into our meal. We need energy! After our usual meal, we slovenly lie on the couch, digesting greasy meat and heavy gravy, with a coffee nap. Not today, my friends. I broke out the Green Tea Matcha.
I made Matcha French Toast:
Green Matcha Orange Juice:
Matcha Berry Banana Smoothies:
So delicious! Culinary Grade Organic Matcha is a green tea powder that gives you SO MUCH ENERGY. Ermagod. I dumped my untouched coffee, and have been cleaning the house like Magda in There's Something About Mary, since breakfast. One glass of Matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of green tea in terms of energy and antioxidants, because with Matcha you are consuming the pure leaf, not just brewed water.
The kiddos thought 'green breakfast' was hilarious and brunch was filled with laughter and empty plates as a result.
New brunch tradition?
Green French Toast, it is. :)
I love Kissme Organic Matcha so much, that I am hosting a Giveaway Contest for this product (valued at $25). To enter just click 'LIKE' on The Closet Electric's Facebook Page. I will be choosing the winner on March 5, 2015.
*i was given this product to review, but all opinions are my own.
Is 'Reverse Feminism' even a thing? IDK what else to call what I'm attempting for the next 30 days... So, that'll have to do.
Yesterday was my Grandmother's Birthday. The big 8-0. I spent a good while on the phone with her, grilling her about the past 80 years. The subject came up of 'What year did women start wearing pants all of the time?'. Turns out: it was later than I thought (not that I've ever really thought about it). The late 60's, to her recollection. No big deal if you live in SoCal, but super crappy if you live in Boston! She ventured to tell me of how they could only afford stockings sometimes, and they always wore dress shoes (no winter boots! omg). I started to imagine how absolutely difficult it must be to wear a dress every... single... day... Wow. Chasing after small children, carrying groceries up the icy driveway, cleaning the bathroom; These chores sound exponentially harder in heels and a dress, do they not?! I mean, we all wear skirts now and again, but not because we HAVE to, and usually it's more like 'summer afternoon' or 'party', than 'for-no-reason' or 'dead-of-winter'.
Could I do that? Did I have the mental fortitude to wear a dress everyday, no matter what situation or weather? What if I had no choice? Once upon a not-so-long-ago, ladies literally didn't have the choice. This baffles me still, but whatever.
So, as a self-inflicted experiment, I decided to see if I could do this for 30 days. Skirts and dresses ONLY for a month. It would teach me to be a little tougher, a little more resilient, slightly more femine, and it would also forge a new level of respect, for a lady I already hold in high esteem. It would remind me of how lucky I actually am, and how much harder life could be, because sometimes I amp up the self-pity, and forget how awesome my life really is. I mean jeez, if I didn't have the option of choosing to wear pants (something I find a simple, yet necessary luxury), God, I just may cry. BUT- If Grandma could do it for 30 years, I can do it for 30 days... I think.
(If you see me on Instagram in joggers any time soon, please berate me for being a wuss)
So, here is my tribute to my Grandma's 80th. Thirty days of dresses to remind me what a bad a** she is. Anyone want to join me in a little Grandma appreciation?
Tag me on Instagram #30daysofdresses