Fall Body Refresh

One of my favorite places is the Korean Bath House! Since it is a bit pricey and I don’t always have the time for a day spa experience. I decided to share my alternative for all you spa lovers  or those too nervous to strip down butt ass naked and get scrubbed down by a stranger. If you decide to go to the Korean bath house with another person, make sure you are really close. You will being seeing ALL  of each other and others…if you catch my drift.

The Korean Bath House at Home.

STEP 1: Step into hot shower. Start with washing your face while your body relaxes and skin softens.

STEP 2: Step away from the water. Time to exfoliate… this is not little bitch exfoliation…this is deep down, sometimes ouch exfoliating.

The gloves are the best,laziest and easiest way to scrub down. They are also just like the Korean Bath house gloves. This step should take at least 15 minutes. Its’ gross but you will see balls of dead skin rolling off and in a sick way it’s satisfying. After a summer of soaking up the sun it is time for our skin to shed and soak up some moisture. Once you are scrubbed raw, its time to really relax.

STEP 3: Start bath and create mix in the fabulous Honey Milk Bath. Soak in the bath for 20-40 minutes. Rise,dry and moisturize with your favorite lotion or oil. I am a personal fan of old school baby oil.

STEP 4: Drink a lot of water!

 Hope you all enjoy your mini spa day!

xo- A

Wedding Dress Shopping!

 

The Dress… the one and only dress… the most important dress you will ever wear….it has to be perfect… so much pressure and such a big decision… I was stressed lol.

A few weeks a go my mom flew into town and my soon to be sister in law came to join me and my local bridesmaids to find “the dress.”

With a smallish budget and no idea what I wanted, I figured starting at a big bridal store would be best. Since they often  have every cut, style, color and type there is. I first started at David’s Bridal, the poor consultant was trying to get an idea what I was looking for and I tried to tell her everything. 🙂

Me: ” Well I love simple and flowy but I also like a bit of glamour and fitted. I like lace but I also like the clean freshness of just simple white, I want something tight but I also like flowy .”  I am nuts!

The poor girl  just start pulling one of each and decided we would go from there!

I went into this little dressing room and had to put on a corset bra contraption and a skirt slip which solved my worries of not wearing matching undergarments or that the consultant being too modest and  seeing my cheeks… I got no shame in my buns game 🙂

Back to the dress…. I came out and everyone was in love! I loved it too… kind of. The illusion neckline was perfect and fitted with a lowered waistline where it flowed out beautifully. My hesitation was the lower waistline, it sat where I felt at my widest part of my hips… my friends and family disagreed.  So it was great but not the one.

The consultant wanted me to try the dress on with heels, so she brought over some shoes…. Not just shoes but  THE SHOES!  Shoes haven’t been on my mind during this wedding planning process but wall-‘ la my shoes…nothing but perfection.image

I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when she opens her new closet and see’s her blue heels.

I tried on several dresses and just couldn’t decide between flowy big skirt or fitted. Since I am short and look young, I don’t want to be seen as cute on my wedding day but  more of  holy shit she is gorgeous and sexy. 🙂

So, I needed a break and lunch.. In N Out…is  never not good. I started the day feeling bloated and having a “fat day” my amazing girl assured me that if I feel like that now and try on a dress and feel good in it, just imagine how I will feel when I don’t feel fat and bloated. This also justified me pigging out on In N Out before my other appointment. 🙂

Then we headed to my second appointment at a small beautiful bridal boutique called The Bustle. As I walked up, I saw my name on a chalkboard sign  welcoming me, I was instantly excited.  Once we stepped inside, we were all greeted with Champagne…. it was exactly what we all needed. 🙂

We pulled some dresses and got started.  Well, there was no slip this time…lol.  I stepped into several dresses that were not the one but THEN…..  I walked  out in one dress that had everyone in AWE.  It is the perfect mix of my fitted and flowy and it was The One! Time for another glass of Champagne!!

We were all thrilled and exhausted!  Now, I just wait and wait and wait and wait for it to be made. I hate waiting!

Some tips when going dress shopping:

1. Have some what of a vision but don’t be to stuck on one thing. Often you will be surprised. Each one of my consultants commented about how the things brides often say they don’t want, they end up loving it and getting it. 🙂

2. Don’t be too modest. The consultant was up close and personal with me and they did not seem to care a bit as she was  pulling the dresses over my bum.

3. Remember your budget, don’t try a  dress you cannot afford and keep alterations in mind. I was shocked at the cost of alterations. Each layer of your dress is extra in alterations. Look for shops that have free alterations included.  I opted for what is called a hallow hem to hopefully save on some alteration fees. Since I am short, I know I would need it hemmed and with 5 layers…. that was going to get really pricey. A hallow hem is when they measure from your neckline to the floor in the shoes you want or about the height you are going for and have it cut to that measurement instead of the standard. Which I think mine was 57 inched and I only needed 51.This cost an extra $100 but to have it hemmed at the original length would have cost me $300 + if I didn’t do the hallow hem.

** My mom and I realized whatever you think the cost is in regards to planning a wedding, make sure to add some extra on to everything for all the fees and taxes.

4. Wear a strapless bra this was the most helpful! They have pads for you which is amazing!!  The boob inserts were an epic difference 🙂 for those that need them. Underwear doesn’t seem matter, just some that don’t give you any indents.  I have read several things online that stress wearing really cute matching undergarments. Wear clean and comfortable for you!

5. Bring heels to smaller boutiques but if you go to larger stores like David’s bridal, they will give you shoes to wear and hope you will buy.

6.  Get honest feedback. I told my girls to be honest about everything and they were. They told me when my hips were looking wide, when it did nothing for me at all and when my boobs needed some extra somethin, somethin. lol. Along with how gorgeous I was in the others. 🙂

7. Eat! I was starving after one appointment and exhausted. I never thought it would be tiring but it really was!

8. Have fun and don’t focus on the dresses that don’t do it for you but keep your eye on the prize… the one that makes you feel amazing. It’s easy to get caught up in the ones that don’t fit, the size, the ones that were not flattering and all of  that can ruin your whole experience. You want to feel like Beyoncé all day 🙂 Don’t let negative self talk get you, know you are gorgeous and that when you find your dress you will have your moment! Your man loves you just the way you are and will think you are stunning in any dress. So have fun and feel like  the amazing bride you are and sip champagne. 🙂

9. Stay true to yourself. Don’t let your friends styles influence you into something that doesn’t represent yourself. It is easy to go with public opinion but only yours matter.

10. Have fun and take the moment in!

 

X- A

 

Friday’s Cocktail! | Sangria madness

With  a major heat wave hitting southern California, I am in need of a refreshing cocktail. Sangria is one of my favorites but only if done well.

Recently I had a Sassy Sangria at The Patio in Mission Hills, SD. Essentially a sangria with some tequila… it sure will get you sassy 😉  The Patio is a fabulous restaurant that is all about local ingredients and being sustainable, on top of that it is absolutely stunning with great  ambiance.  It is an open kitchen with a  wall of lush living plants and a mix of rustic wooden and elegant heather blue turfed chairs. Your plates will look like art and your taste buds will be dancing.  It is a must try in San Diego!

My other favorite sangria place an happy hour in general is Costa Brava in Pacific beach, SD. It is a Spanish tapas place with $8 pitcher of delicious fresh fruit sangria… I could have an IV of this stuff!!!  You will need some munchies, so.. try everything on the menu 🙂  really… its soo good!

Start your weekend off right with a fabulous glass of sangria and use this amazing chart from wine enthusiast to try something new. Mix it up and get sassy!

Share your favorite cocktails or go to places in your area!

xo- A

Wedding planning with your man.

Now we all know  the wedding day is all about the both of you… but let’s be real… the bride is the one that is making that day happen.  I am sure there are some exceptions out there. 🙂

When wedding planning began, I asked Alex what are some things he would like… his response ” I like when guys wear vans.” Well, Isn’t that helpful…

Then when it came to his attire for the day, he became full-blown groomzilla. Sorry, but a lime green tie isn’t happening. He is really fighting for his lime green tie… when I brought up the fact that my girls will not be wearing anything close to lime green, his response was classic… ” sorry, not everyone can look as good as me in lime green… but I am wearing it.”  This is coming from the guy that was wearing socks and Birkenstocks with basketball shorts…. which made him lose all credibility.

When it came to getting his thoughts on a wedding dress… he told me I can wear whatever I want, because he is going to wear what he wants.

I finally got him to look on Pinterest with me…. well,that was interesting. He would point out a mermaid cut …..Alex: ” what is that, why all this fluff shit ( as he waves his hands around the photo)

Me:  Okay on to the next…..

him: Why are there flowers… that’s dumb…and the next… I mean that’s not bad…

me: What do you like about it ?

Him: I don’t know… it isn’t as bad as the others.

me: how about this nice low back?

him: I mean.. you’re naked…. ( coming from a guy that has never expressed me having to be modest)

me: WHAT….. well, you no longer have say!

Sums it all up lol.

I have realized that Alex has no idea about weddings and he has realized this too and finally said..” “Babe, it seems I do better when options are presented and I just say yes or no.”

So true… when wedding talking with my girlfriend and fellow bride planning a wedding, she was having the same issues with her groom.  They either have no idea or elaborate ideas they won’t let go of.

A strategy is then needed…. only present what you would be comfortable with and then it gives him some freedom to pick within boundaries. 🙂

With Alex’s busy chef  schedule I ended up making a secret pinterest board for the both of us and downloaded the app on his phone. This way I could pin all the things I wanted to run across him and he could check it out on his downtime.

I started to feel bad that once he came home, I started asking so many wedding questions or trying to show him things…. that was a little over whelming for him. The board helped solve that problem.

He actually really likes this pinterest board for us and has even suggested making one that is called ” done deal” which means we approved it and that is what we are going with.

I want to make sure that our wedding day represents both of us but I want to be realistic in the fact if I let him have a free range… it would be a total mess. 🙂

Some tips on wedding planning with your man:

1. ask him to describe what he has always thought of when thinking of his wedding day.

2.  Get the vibe…. use adjectives to get a description down.  Whimsical, industrial, rustic… etc

3. Create a Pinterest board for both of you… and explain to him how it works.

4.  Make a list of what’s  most important for him. Alex wanted great food and venue… he said he wanted to feel “wowed.”

5. Don’t provide ideas or pictures of things you are not willing to have part of your day.

6. Have fun and remember it’s suppose to be a wedding of two loves and  not a birthday party. 🙂

Happy planning 😉

X- A

The Ultimate Wedding planner & checklist!

 

Well, I didn’t think I could love Google docs/drive more than I already did… but it’s official, I do! Google has an entire comprehensive wedding planning checklist and spreadsheets for everything…. with all the formulas already done for you!!! Who needs to count when Google does it for you!! 🙂  I feel much better about using google vs the other random wedding site for tracking all my wedding details. Checkout this wedding planning lifesaver—> Google Weddding

What is your go to for wedding planning?

X- A

The start of Wedding planning!

 

So that day comes you are officially engaged and now you have to plan a wedding…..

I was naive and didn’t think it would be so hard and there would be so many things to think about… Well, there is!!!!

There seems to be an enormous amount of wedding blogs out there, but I am hoping these post are straight forward, no bullshit wedding planning insight.

Like many, I have had a long time running “Wedding” board on Pinterest and I instantly refereed to it. The downside is for many it is unrealistic to be able to afford these “Pinterest perfect” weddings. I am pretty crafty but there is no crafting to be had when finding a venue for a reasonable price or catering.

So first things first…budget! Be prepared for your budget to change but try and be as strict as possible unless you don’t need to be… than just have fun!

When looking for a venue I used several sites such as Here comes the guide,Wedding Wire,Wedding Spot and Google.

I live in San Diego but I am originally from the Bay Area… Sonoma county to be more exact.. and that is where Alex and I plan on getting hitched.

My plan had been to rent a lovely home on some property and have the wedding there. Well, Sonoma County decided to ruin that plan. They no longer allow vacation rentals to be used for events/weddings larger than 15.  Sucks for me… than they even decided to have a 10 pm NO amplified music ordinance!! Geez, cut me a break here.

Then it was time for plan B-Z ….. We started calling, emailing and collecting brochures of the first round venues. That didn’t go so well either…

for example: I called a place that has a re-purposed barn and some lovely property. I asked about the fee and was told $9,000 just for the four walls and property for 5 hours. I happen to ask about the restrooms and I was then informed that there is a beautiful bathroom for the bride and groom but we would have to rent a port-a-potty trailer for my guest. Are you F***ing kidding me…WHAT… how is that allowed?!?!!?  I obviously moved on…

I found that city buildings,churches schools and cultural centers were the most affordable. Most of the places you have to bring in outside vendors for everything. Just always make sure to ask what the rules and regulations are…such as decorations,outside vendors, times,music,alcohol…etc.

It got to a point I was seeing so many numbers and having to add taxes and fees etc that I was boggled. So, I just emailed the coordinators of the venue and asked for them to provide me with a full proposal with all fees and taxes included etc. It made it so helpful to see everything all at once all added up with no  unexpected fees.

I at first stayed clear of golf courses and country clubs because I don’t want to have a “cookie cutter” wedding. I did find that golf courses seemed nicer than I thought… and.. they provide everything = less stress and coordinating.

Think outside of the box but be realistic on what you and your team can accomplish on the wedding day.  We contemplated self catering since Alex is a chef…. but that is just way to much worry and work. 🙂

Make a list of what is the most important aspect of the wedding to you and that will help you know how your budget will be dispersed.

Don’t lose hope and stay optimistic…. because it can get stressful and some times you may feel defeated BUT ultimately it is about you and your partner’s love 🙂

I will be posting all about my wedding planning up’s and downs, tips and tricks and everything in between.

Please share anything that helped you in your wedding planning process or any questions you may have! I would love to hear all about it!

x- A

New York City & Conneticut Holiday Adventure.

This gallery contains 154 photos.

A little back tracking to this past Christmas.. who doesn’t want to feel a little Christmas cheer in May 😉 I went on a 3 week North East adventure with my boyfriend, Alex. My family and I wanted to have … Continue reading

My New York City Love Affair

The Top of  Rockafeller

The Top of Rockefeller

I have a love affair and it is with the one and only , NEW YORK CITY, The Big Apple, The City, Manhattan, whatever you call it, I know, I fell in love with it instantly. From the moment I walked up the stairs and set my eyes on the city that stole my heart. I was barely 14 years old and took the train in from Princeton. We were visiting my mom and I’s best friends (Which were mother and daughter) Rebecca, my mom’s friend had a whole day and evening planned even a  Broadway play and dinner at the Blue Ribbon Bakery ( AMAZING) . I walked up the steps out of the station and the hustle of the street and the smell of  the cars engulfed me. We worked our way around the city weaving our way through  the streets and taxis. The New York sidewalks are like freeways, no holding up traffic and no stopping unless VERY necessary. My little feet were moving as my chubby cheeks were sore from smiling. I could feel New York and that was the first time I ever felt a city, and it was electrifying. New York was the launching pad of my love affair with fashion.

At my ripe age of 14 my priorities and must see’s were very different but oh so important 😉  This was in 2000 and at that moment TRL was the rage for ALL teens. I was eager to see where the MTV filmed . I pictured this grand building, a moment…. and then there it was, a corner window with colored printer paper on the bottom that read “TRL” my brows dropped and my bubble of expectation popped. It was my first experience of TV in person. I laughed at myself for the idea I had and what it actually was. I walked toward Broadway with the group while constantly cranking my disposable camera to catch every bit of the city I could, which embarrassed my mom. lol

As the others were busy at the box office handling tickets for Kiss Me Kate, I had my eyes on a whole new world,street vendors!!! I saw beautiful purses, every design and color you could want and as I noticed the price tags of my favorites; I realized I wasn’t going to buy a $50 purse at 14. Then I saw a woman negotiating the price of the purse…She was straight haggling and my eyes got wide. I pulled my favorite purse down and asked how much, he said $50. I quickly offered him $20… yeah, I was bold for my first time. He laughed and responded with an absolutely not and how he could not do such a price. My smart Ass 14 year self decided that I needed to let him know he wasn’t my only option and proceeded to tell him I would go find the same purse from the next guy and I did’t need him. As I began to walk away, he hollers for me and shouts “fine,fine I’ll do $25, you take!”  I was thrilled, I made my first deal on New York City streets. My mom wasn’t surprised by me and made the typical  “you are just like your father” comment. I was gleaming with joy that I just snagged a look a like designer bag, that was the start of my love of purses and just street vendors in general. My mom had to take my wallet at times, so I would stop giving every homeless person money and trying to haggle any and every amazing new york item I could get my hands on.

Then I had very real moments as a teen, that was a true learning lesson. One of my early visits to  New York was 2 months after 9/11. My mom’s best friend that I mentioned earlier was in the building and was able to make it out. I will never forget sitting in world history while living in Georgia and hearing the announcement. At that age, I didn’t understand the real implications, the meaning of the building or even who or why they were attacked. We went to pay our respects at Ground Zero, it had only been 2 months and all the rubble was still there, there was workers and chain link fences everywhere. It was unreal, how two building so massive that took over the skyline, was just  rubble. As we walked through the pathways there was several American flags and banners with messages for the lives lost that day and the hero’s that helped. I couldn’t imagine what Rebecca was seeing or feeling, she was in it, she saw and heard the terror.  That day will live with me forever, we visited ground zero every year after and watch it turn from rubble and a place of loss  to now a beautiful place of remembrance and triumph.

The Sphere is a large metallic sculpture by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, once stood in  between the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. After being recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers.It maintained structurally intact, it had been visibly damaged. 6 Months later the sculpture  was relocated to Battery Park and formally rededicated with an eternal flame as a memorial to the victims of 9/11.

The Sphere: by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, once stood in between the World Trade Center towers .After being recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers. 6 Months later the sculpture was relocated to Battery Park and formally rededicated with an eternal flame as a memorial to the victims of 9/11.

New York was my playground,a discovery around every corner. At the time living  in Georgia, and by no means was Georgia on the same  fashion  scale as NYC.  scuffed baseball hats and Birkenstocks were the trend in GA ( shout out toe berks coming back)  and there was no H&M in Georgia or even in California when I moved back my junior year of high school.

My discovery of SOHO was magical, the only time I saw famous people in NYC was in SOHO. They happened to be my all time favorites, Lauren Graham from my  favorite show Gilmore Girls and my  Marc Jacobs moments… as we crossed the street we caught eyes, he probably didn’t realize it, BUT I DID. He was handsome and only in true Marc Jacobs fashion, he was rocking a kilt and sneakers.  I thought  I was soo cool in my knock off oversize Chanel sunglasses, which I still  I have to this day. Big sunnies were not popular and when I went back to school feeling glamorous, everyone else thought I looked like a  bug. Little did they know, they all would be rocking large sunglasses,2 years later. One of the many times my New York hit, failed in my little town.  As a teenager… well I still do, I saved all my money just so I could shop my way through New York.  I remember searching for H&M stores  and they were only in NYC and Europe, they didn’t even have an online shop. I still have my first H&M purchase, a soft black turtle neck sweater. 🙂

New York moments,like seeing  Hair Spray, the year it won 8 Tonys‘. I felt jubilant  during the performance, it was electrifying, it was much different from my first play, Kiss Me Kate. Just another reason to love New York.

Then the not so high brow events of being  18 and going to my first New York bar and feeling so cool that I was even drinking a beer… oh the highlights of life at that age. 🙂  My more High Brow moment was  during the same trip, I had recently finished my first modern history course and I desperately wanted to go to the MoMA. My mom took any and all learning opportunities she could for me, so  as admired the  paintings, taken back that I was seeing the real deal, the paintings that I just learned about. I was just a few inched from the art work that is known around the world. The even better highlight…. I saw Jake Gyllenhaal with his mom… yep, we were both there with our moms, it like we were practically there together. hehe, or so I wished.

Some of my MOMA favorites:I don’t know if I was technically allowed to take these photos.

 

picasso

Rene Magritte’sThe False Mirror”                Picasso’s  “Guernica”

Water Lillies

Monet’s Waterlilies

I began visiting New York because of a family friends but then, my dreams came true… well as  close as I was going to get at 14.. My older brother, ten-year my senior, was moving to Manhattan!! I then spent every Christmas in Manhattan and felt like I was in the Christmas movies, that  I still obsessively watch .Everything from the lights intrinsically  strung  around every tree that lined the streets, the snow flakes that dance to music on the Cartier building, the smell and oh the delicious taste of hot roasted nuts. The city captivates your every sense. I loved walking the Upper East side and admiring the architecture and the mysterious apartments behind all the little windows you see. As a teen, I felt so independent and free being able to walk to the store or catch the train, I admired and envied the other teens that grew up living the New York life. They just seemed so much cooler, more mature and for the most part way more fashionable….because they were and are. lol . My favorite Christmases were the ones in my brothers 1 bedroom new york apartment with his little tree and eating dinner at the coffee table all together. Those are the memories I will cherish forever.

lit trees     

  After 12 years, my brother moved from the beautiful city of Manhattan to Florida, with a growing family they needed room and lot more sun. I protested, knowing it would slim my opportunities at visiting New York but thankfully a friend of mine and his babe are living in adorable Astoria and I seized the chance to visit….

xo- A

NEW YORK II…. to be continued….

Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick Sell Their Stylish $3M Home: Take a peek inside.

I have always been fascinated with Kourtney Kardashians interior design style. Now  according to Yahoo news, Kourtney and Scott Disick  have sold their custom designed home and we get a peek inside! 

Yahoo : By 

“Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has been particularly difficult this week.

Besides all the excitement (and irritation) over Kim and Kanye West’s Vogue cover, E! has announced that its stable of Kardashian shows is about to get bigger. It’s planned “Kourtney and Khloé Take the Hamptons,” which will revolve around Kourtney, her longtime love Scott Disick, and a newly single Khloé, and a show about the Kardashian family’s Dash boutiques called “Dash Dolls.” Just in case you missed one of the fam’s three other spinoffs!

 

On Tuesday, Kourtney, 34, and Scott, 30, officially sold the Calabasas, California, home they bought in 2010 and put on the market just two months ago. The new owner paid $2.975 million for the 5,400-square-foot abode with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms inside a gated community, according to Redfin. The home features funky interiors touches, such as black-and-white striped walls, a patterned staircase, and colorful, stylish light fixtures. Amenities such as a fireplace, built-in book cases, and breathtaking views are also part of the package. Disick once described the home his fashion-conscious gal pal decorated with interior designer Jeff Andrews as “Alice in Wonderland meets Beetlejuice.”

But the couple and their two children, 4-year-old son Mason and daughter Penelope, 1, aren’t going far. They purchased former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson’s residence for $8.495 million in late January, despite the fact that Justin Bieber was going to be their neighbor. Fortunately, Khloé purchased the pop star’s digs so the Kardashian sisters will be living down the the street from one another.

Take a look at the impressive house Kourtney and Scott are leaving behind.

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(Redfin)

Click for :Original Yahoo Article