Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With....

 ....summer fires.
Especially when summer fires  = summer hot dogs and summer smores.

 ...Oklahoman fried pickles.
My heart might be pissed, but my soul is happy when I have fried pickles.  For some reason, they taste best when I eat them in Oklahoma.

So, I realized last night that Keds were the Toms of the 90s.  Am I wrong?!

I found the Keds I am wearing in this picture in my mom's closet.  The white slip on is as chic on my 26 year old self as it was on my 6 year old self.  I haven't been able to pry these off my feet since I slipped them on.

This is the BEST sunscreen on the planet.  Non-greasy, lots of protection, good price.  Sold American.

Happy long weekend, my loves!

I am finally feeling better after my trip back home.  I am looking forward to resting and playing in the sun this weekend. (Wearing a huge hat and lots of sunscreen, of course!)  Also, next week I will be out of town on vacation to see my Dad, and watch Mr. A's sister get married.

Have fun and stay safe from the sun this weekend.  I will try to post some while I am on vacation next week!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Home Again

Good morning, lovelies!

So sorry for my lack of posting last week.  Truth be told, I had to make an emergency trip home to Oklahoma for my mom.  I haven't mentioned anything here because I sorta view this place as my safe haven of fun where no life issues exist...which isn't reality, unfortunately.

I thought I would share my sorrows with you and also broach a topic I'm sure many of us have to / have had too / will have to deal with at some point in our lives.

My mom has lung cancer and severe emphysema.  She was hospitalized last week and we weren't sure she would pull through, so I came home to be with her and help my little sister.  

In just the few short days I have been home, I have realized that we have quite the journey ahead of us.  From doctor's appts and home health care, to dealing with our own personal emotions about our mother's life having a time line....its been quite the whirlwind.   

The topic swirling around in my head is wondering if its time to come home semi-permanently or even permanently in order to help care for my mom and be there for my sister and almost niece, Dylan.

There are quite a few benefits to moving home.  See above truly is beautiful in Green Country.  Cost of living is ridiculously low, therefore Mr. A and I would be able to live with less stress while I care for my mom.  My sister is here and my niece is almost here.  All my family and support system would be around.  We would have an immediate circle of friends to enter.  We would be able to buy a big, pretty house with a yard (and pooooool), EASY!!  There is good food, great music.  You can see the stars at night from anywhere in the city (imagine that LA friends!!)  There is more coastline in Oklahoma than the Atlantic and Gulf Shores combined (tons of lakes)!  I think I could go on...

There are also cons.  We would be leaving our friends.  Santa Monica can not be replicated.  We would be leaving wine country.  New jobs would need to be found.  Moving reallllly sucks.  Humidity sucks more than moving.  We would have to figure out how to rent out our condo.  You can't get good sushi in Oklahoma.  Trader Joes would be very missed (although Tulsa does have a Whole Foods! whewwww!!!)  

So much is going on in our life right now.  I can hardly sleep at night.

Have any of you been through this before?  How did you manage the stress, grief, emotions, care for your loved one?



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Self Reflection

 Some days, its best to just keep quite and reflect on yourself and the world around you.

Today is one of those days for me.

I plan to stop and smell the flowers and remember the little details that make life so beautiful.



P.S. These are a few of my bridal portraits, taken by the lovely Lauryl Lane.  They were requested by a reader.  Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tangerine + Mint, Dots + Leopard

I've never been a huge fashionista type, but in the past year I have started to really play with color, pattern, and texture when I shop.  Surprise, surprise...taking the boring out of my wardrobe and shopping experience as made me realize that fashion is really art.  I like art, so I guess now I like fashion too! 

I love that this spring is all about bright colors.  I went on an impromptu shopping spree at Crossroads yesterday (shopping spree @ Crossroads  = spending $60 = AWESOME!) and left with 5 new tops, all in bright hues of tangerine, hot pink, and steamy red! As I was checking out, the cashier said "wow, you must really love color."  I replied, actually I pretty much wear black, beige and white, but thought I would change it up.  What a refreshing change!

When I woke up this morning, I was dying to wear my new tangerine top (Jcrew), so I combined it with a fun polka dot skirt I have (thrifted), leopard wedges (Steve Madden), gold jewelry and mint nails.  I feel casual but chic today and thought I would share my tangerine + mint, dots + leopard inspiration with you!

Tangerine + Mint, Dots + Leopard

I never thought I would have so much playing with color and pattern.  I guess people evolve, right?!

Do you stick with solid colors and simple patterns or mix and match?!  Has your fashion sense evolved as you have grown up?  Have you gone through fashion "stages" of life?!



Monday, May 14, 2012

What I Learned This Weekend

This weekend was a whirlwind to say the very least!

I am back to my regular Saturday teaching schedule at Exhale, and I started bootcamp training on Sunday, so I am living and breathing Exhale these days!

The one fun thing I learned this weekend is that although Porter is dark and scary looking, its delicious!

Especially when it is made by my one true love, Mr. A!

We finally were able to taste the Chocolate Maple Porter (his recipe is adapted from this) he brewed a month ago (way does it take so long???!!!) last night. OMG.  Dessert in a cup.

I am even more excited to try his Strawberry Cucumber Hefeweizen that should be ready in 3 weeks! (You did read that right, Strawberry Cucumber beer is, in fact, brewing in my house as we speak!)

I have a big week ahead, lovelies and am manifesting the most positive outcome ever for myself!  Come back and visit the blog for some exciting posts that I have in store!



P.S. We are 1 week in to our 30 day food challenege.  Not gonna lie, we really wanted to go out last night, but we resisted!

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With...

Image Source: designsponge
 ...Asparagus and Baby Arugula Linguine!

Are you kidding me?!  Holy spring yum! Recipe here.

Image Source (both pillows): One Kings Lane
 ...these pillowsssss!

Since Mr. A and I purchased our new couch, I have been browsing for pillows with the perfect pop.  These would definitely fit in our cozy, eclectic living room.

Image Source: Pinterest, unknown
 ...this quote.

My life this week has been full of law of attraction moments.  I thank preparation, patience and meditation.  Fingers crossed for me lovelies...I think the best is yet to come!!! new and simple purse.

I bought this vintage purse about 6 months ago (I guess its not sooo new) as a night bag for a wedding I attended.  I decided last month that I would try to use this small purse as my daily handbag rather than as a night bag.  I went through my the huge shoulder bag I used to lug around and took out only the items I turn too daily.  Those items were added to my new, simple purse and everything else was left behind.  Would you believe me if I said I haven't gone back to my old purse or any of its contents (grocery cards, huge wallet, blah, blah, blah) one time since I switched?!  Well, its true! 

My purse holds my sunnies, 1 Lancome lipstick in "It" girl sheen, 1 Chanel lip gloss in Sundress, my favorite stuff on the planet, Burt's Beeswax chap stick, Burt's Beeswax hand sanitizer (I'm a fitness teacher and have to spray down often!), a Tiffany bag to hold parking money, Travel Daisy by Marc Jacobs, an Exhale comp class pass, my ID, 2 credit cards and my keys.

I literally have not needed 1 other crazy thing that used to live in my big bag.

I view my bag switch as a new life motto: keep it simple, keep it chic.

Happy weekend!



P.S. I am back to my Saturday classes this weekend.  Travels are over for a little while!  Come play with me on Saturday @ 1130am for Core Fusion Barre, 12:45pm for Core Fusion Cardio, 4pm for Core Fusion Exhale!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Peachy Mother's Day Ideas

Peachy Mother's Day

Peach Mother's Day Give

Since Mother's Day is Sunday, I thought I would share a few peachy wearing and gifting ideas.

I love to blend corals, peaches and golds and its seems like Mother's Day is a perfect occasion for an outfit like the one above, no?!

The gifts I chose range in price, but I thought they could serve as inspiration at the very least! 

Pretty Iphone case for the tech mom, flowers for the traditional mom, scarf for the girly mom, sunhat for the southern-belle wanna be mom, heart earrings for the true sentimentalist mom, rose gold blinging bands for the posh mom, rain boots for the outdoorsy mom, and my personal favorite, a spa day for the momma who likes to be pampered.

What are you doing for Mother's Day?!  Fancy brunch appropriate outfit required?!  What are you giving?!  If you are a momma, what would you like?!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Food Adventures: Eating In For 30 Days

Its no secret that Mr. Arotin and I LOVE food.

Every time we assess our monthly spending, the bulk of our expenses (I'm talking about 90% of our expenses outside of mortgage and electric bill stuff) come from eating and drinking out.  Its really weird because we cook alot, but I think we balance all our healthy cooking with ridiculous date nights spent popping in and out of bars and restaurants because we just can't live without Friday night oysters.

This past Monday night, on a whim, we decided to try to eat in for 30 straight days.  We want to see how much money we actually save and how much we miss eating out.

This doesn't mean we can't take our home cooked food to a park or the beach for a picnic, it just means no spending money on food or drink that we didn't purchase from a grocery store (wine speaking) or make at home.

We haven't yet decided on a prize once we finish our goal, but options included Mr. A's desire to spend all the money we save on a big, ridiculous dinner out (ha!) or my idea of putting the money towards building out our wine cellar. 

Our first dinner in on Monday was homemade Split Pea Soup!  Yum!  Recipe here (Thomas Keller is soooo good).  Last night was a pasta with red sauce night.  Day 3 is looking like leftovers.  So far, I'm not itching to go out.  We'll see how long that lasts!

Have you ever tried an eating in challenge?  How long did you make it?  How much money did you save?  Did you miss eating out?!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Sweet Baby Shower for a Sweet Baby Girl

I am so excited to share some of the details from the shower I hosted for my little sister this past weekend!  Unfortunately, I forgot to pack my super-serious Cannon camera, so all of my documentation is via my Iphone and instagram.  I think you will still get a nice since of the scene!

We had the shower in my momma's backyard, complete with a fire pit and Mulberry tree!  I rented tables, chairs, and linens from Party Perfect Linens in Tulsa, Ok. (If you are a Tulsa friend, I so highly recommend this company!  Misty was such a lifesaver for me planning a 60 person shower from across the country.)

I thought pink chair sashes would add a sweet touch to all the tables....and I was right, no?!

I topped the tables with simple floral arrangements that I did myself (with the help of my best friend from childhood and my awesome brother-in-law, Mark), a table number, and blank sheets of paper with pens.

P.S. I still need to do a bouquet and floral arrangement DIY post!  Its really soooo easy!

The table numbers weren't used for a seating arrangement, but rather to give each table a milestone age in Dylan's (did I tell you that's her name?!) life.  I had each person at each table write a letter to Dylan at the age she will be at their correlating table numbers.  I picked ages 1, 2, 5, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 25, and 30.

I am going to mail each set of letters to Dylan on her birthday for the correlating year.  The letters are sooooo sweet and I can't even imagine how special this little girl will feel on these milestone birthdays!

I am not big on playing cheesy games at showers, so this seemed like a sweet way to keep people occupied!
Since the shower was at 1pm, I planned a light lunch menu for our guests: tuna salad, chicken salad, an olive platter and my personal favorite dish of the day, Oklahoma Caviar.

We served sweet tea and sweet pink lemonade in mason jars with pink barber pole straws (and of course, I provided a little champagne, although I think I was the only person who drank it!)

I think the favorite food table of the party was definitely the sweet table!  We had cupcakes, cake pops, bite-sized cheese cakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, the works (all made my members of Mark's and my family)! 

For favors, I ordered different pink candies and small pink silk bags for DIY take home candy bags.  (I may have caused a few cavities...)

The best part of the whole shower was watching these two open up little baby gifts! (This was a couple shower, so guys were allowed to come!  It was way fun adding in a little testosterone to all the frills!)

The guests played baby shower bingo (another not-so-cheesy game) and I gave out Bath and Body Works candles and hand sanitizers as prizes.  I was shocked at how competitive the game became (I guess that's the testosterone for you!)

Thought I would share this silly picture of us for outfit sake!  Isn't Toni's dress pretty?!  A steal from...wait for it...Old Navy!  Can you believe it?!  My dress is a lace skater dress in mint by ASOS.

Lastly, I just had to share my favorite picture from the shower.  It was taken on the last table standing after party break down, after most guests left, save Mark's band members (you can check out Marks's band here), a few uncles and immediate family. . 

The boys drank scotch (okay, okay, I may have had a sip) and the girls had champagne (obviously not the pregnant girl) and we all sat around talking about what Dylan may turn out like.

The sweet shower was a huge success and super fun!

Love you Toni and Mark and you too little dill-pickle!


Auntie Awesome

P.S. Toni received an awesome stroller with an Ipod dock in it.  I am not kidding. We are totally living in the Jetson's age. 

P.S.S. I got her this Timi and Leslie diaper bag!  I would carry that around right now and I'm not even pregnant!