Keep Going…

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Remember when I signed up for the half marathon? Well, I decided to get the training in gear for it. Last week, I found a training plan and put the number of miles I needed to run as an all day event in my calendar. So there, at the top of running days, the first thing I see is that number. All day long, I’m kept accountable until I log those miles. As par for the course, the first two miles for me are the roughest. It takes that long for me to get going and find my rhythm.

I’m steadily hitting that 5 mile stride again and in the next two weeks, I should be churning out 6 miles like a champ. This weekend, I do my longest training run at 10 miles. I need to allow myself to be guilt free for the time it takes me to run those miles. I’m so very lucky that my Beloved supports me and more often than not, greets my return with a large glass of water and a glass of wine as a chaser. Heck, that’s some serious motivation right there!

Yes, any run over 5 miles, I MUST ice my knees. I know since the last time I’ve done larger runs, I have leaned out some, but I also regularly wear 3+ inch heels 5 days out of 7. That and I am almost 5 years older. (eek) I also don’t do nearly the other activities I used to, like play volleyball or regularly attend classes at the gym. In spite of that, I am not only running, but I throw in a Jillian Michaels workout DVD to cross train. And on those occasions where the timing is right, I’ll get in a nice lifting workout with my hubby. He really pushes me to another threshold and well, let’s just say if my arms could talk today, they’d have a serious potty mouth case. Also, I swear by the hot tub. I hit it up at least once a week, twice is better. Warm showers are great. My inhaler is my BFF.

All that to say, keep going. I tell myself this constantly when I feel the hurt and the pain. I just have to push through and know that it’s worth it. It’ll be worth it. I’ll be able to run alongside my girls, dance with them, and be silly with them. I can encourage them to set their own physical goals to achieve better. Despite all of the genetic predispositions that I am faced with, I can still have a high quality of life and achieve things I probably shouldn’t achieve. I’m blessed to have a strong supportive network and I’m surrounded by many folks who inspire.
keep going.

Boulevardier & The Pin Show

Monday, February 25, 2013

We have a friend who is a budding fashion designer. We support our own. When he announced that he would be one of the 22 featured designers at this years The Pin Show, well, it was a no brainer. We would be there. We secured our tickets and arranged for a sitter.

Now here is where I have a freak-out moment. You see, we are knee deep in doing our taxes. Friday night, I’m stressing over what to wear to the show and my Beloved is sitting behind the computer stressed out. I look over to him from the random war movie I had on and my shift changed. I realized that he was processing something not at all related to fashion or what have you. I asked him about it and he said he needed to enter the receipts so we could file our taxes. (Yes, folks, we save our sales tax receipts and enter them by hand because the suggested tax amounts are COMPLETELY different than what we actually pay. Like 2-3 times of a difference, even more during years where we make larger purchases!) Seeing as how it was 10:30 in the evening, I shrugged my shoulders, gave him a hug, and asked him what I needed to do. I told him that I’d get up with him at 5:15 to do the data entry (because dontyaknow that I was an expert data entry person??). If he was gonna go to work, I’d do the work at home. And so, my mind shifted and by 10AM, I was finished. This was after a half hour delay from the Sugarbaby who awoke and absolutely refused to let me leave her alone sleeping in the bed. EXHALE

Next up, what am I gonna wear?? All fashion types are welcome. I had in my mind an outfit, but since the event was in a warehouse, I needed to be warmer. I had to return some thing to Nordstrom Rack and so I figured, I’ll browse around. I secured a peplum shirt (with a nifty zipper accent in the back that the Sugarbean loved assisting me when getting dressed) and the girls’ Easter dresses! It was quite a score. I treated them to Chick-fil-a for being so darling and helping me out with the decision. I meant to get a sweet tea, thinking the caffeine would give me a much needed zing, but when I drove home, I realized I’d gotten diet lemonade. Clearly I was an auto-pilot at that point because apparently, the last time I’d eaten there was shortly after Tesla’s birth. The meal was good and I made it a note to check them out some more because I liked their grilled “nugget” options with applesauce for the girls! <---talk about a tangent

Anyway, I shot a  text to my fashion forward thinking buddy (another one, not the one I mentioned earlier…you know, I have quite a few sartorialist friends). He suggested a fitted mini skirt to show off legs or skinny jeans. Um…all of my skirts are corporate type skirts and not so mini, but some are fitted. I don’t own “real” skinny jeans.  I decided upon wearing my recently purchased slim David Kahn jeans. This would allow me to “match” Don better. I secured my hair on top of my head using a hot bun and slapped some purple hair chalk for added effect. I also used a light purple Mac paint to highlight my eyes and put a bit of it on my lips to bring it all together. I’m wearing vintage earrings that belonged to my Beloved’s grandmother. Charming Charlie necklace and my Antonio Melani clutch was gifted to me from my mom. I wore candy apple red BCBG Girl pumps that I’d found at a resale shop in San Fran this past Autumn. I love them! Aside from the $20 I spent on the top, I had everything on hand. This was a big win for me to be able to put something together.

Onto my Beloved. Hello handsome! Wowsa…I love a man in a great jacket and a newsboy. *hotstuff* He’s wearing a newsboy cap and jacket we’d scored last year at Nordstrom Rack. The jacket is an olive green color and made Ben Sherman. You can’t see his shoes, but they were quite fun!

The new sitter was able to swing by our home half an hour before we originally planned. (by the way, we LOOOOOVE HER!!!) This was great so we could check out Boulevardier out in Bishop Arts! My next project, Worst Vegetarian Ever (blog site coming soon) wanted to check out their charcuterie plate. Ok, here’s the deal. They are a happenin’ joint. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe this place. I’m an idiot and didn’t make any kind of a reservation. I was a tiny bit crestfallen to see so many people in front of us in line and they were walking out. Heck, we were pressed for time to make it to the show, so we would wedge ourselves in any place near the bar if there was room. I found us a spot to chill, awaiting a server, who, as luck would have it, pointed us to a spot opening near their large window. As we waited, we chatted a bit with a fellow who was going on and on about the French Onion soup. I asked our server to surprise me with a drink. He brought me a Belle Femme and whaddyaknow, St. Germain is fast becoming a favorite of mine.

Then, we ordered the big board with the foie gras supplement. (see, I told you, worst vegetarian ever)and the French Onion soup. And then we were offered a table near the bar. I leaned over to the couple next to us who had occupied those seats when we did. I invited them to share a table, especially because we wouldn’t be staying long. They were open to it. And for the next hour, we had wonderful conversation with Regina (teacher) and Mike (technical writer). Strangers that we just happened to meet and it was so refreshing to just share time with them. And the big board…

Yes, some were better than others, but overall, it was a well put together and savory charcuterie. My favorites were the beef tongue (first time for me and I actually liked it), salmon, and foie (sooo good) We will definitely be back, this time with reservations and will enjoy more goodies.

We wrapped up, said our goodbyes and wished our new friends well. We headed back towards the bridge to the warehouse for the show. We secured free parking and walked over. The warehouse wasn’t too chilly, probably because it was so full of people. We had to stand in line to gain entry, then we had to stand in line to buy tickets, to stand in line to buy drinks. It wasn’t too bad, but because we didn’t secure seats in the General Seating section prior to that, the only ones available were too far to the back. We took our chances and found a spot closer to the runway on the opposite end. This was our view:

The show itself, went buy quickly! A couple of the designers really stood out for me. I was surprised and inspired. Standouts, for me:
  • D.P.C. by Dora Yim (loved the open back dress from her Fall 2013 collection)
  • Ann Hoang dresses…such fabulous fabrics and they were quite feminine
  • Milli Starr millinery…their hats are just darling!
  • Nine Muses (they had one long gown that screamed SEXY)
  • Ladaska Mechelle (this white bathing suit, the 2nd to last image on the left side from the 2013 collection, is an inspiration for me to work harder in the gym)
  • Tracy Popken I loved the lines on her clothes. I want to wear her clothes! The dress she was wearing was to die for!!!!! I want Tracy to be my BFF
  • Hueso Outlaw (not just because he’s a friend, but his designs are fresh and unlike anything out there)
The show was quite fun, the band playing had a wonderful sound, and the entire event made for wonderful people watching. If you can get a chance to check local fashion talent, I highly recommend this show. It is well organized and fun for a date! Hopefully, you don’t stress out about what to wear like I did. They said they welcomed all and sure enough, they did welcome all!  At the end of the night, we were both spent. It had been a long day for us, so instead of hitting the town, we just went home, relieved the sitter early, rented Skyfall, and opened a bottle of vino. Cuddled together on the couch, it was so very nice after a wonderful night. I ended up skipping out on my glass of wine and missed the end of the movie. ha! But that night, with a fully belly, I had lovely dreams of fabulous clothes and large closets!! Ahhh…fashion (and delicious food)!

Review: Wink a Threading Salon Uptown Dallas

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hello everyone!

Today we are gonna talk about beauty. We all have our daily/monthly/weekly regimens to keep ourselves looking like our best selves. About 8 years ago, I was introduced to threading to get rid of unwanted hair. Prior to that, I’d either plucked my eyebrows or waxed. The first time I tried it, I was hooked. No more hot waxes! No fear of getting burned (again! yikes!). No yanking on the skin and best of all, no more droopy brows from the pulls of the wax. (I must say that there are mixed feeling on the internet about this: whether waxing causes the drooping or sagging of the brow. I can only say that for me personally, I noticed a marked difference in the skin around my brow and it no longer having that “tired” look.)

I’ve been going to Wink Threading Salon in Uptown Dallas for about 3 years now. I love them! From their bright orange and white d├ęcor to the friendly faces when I walk in, I always feel like I’m in for a treat. These gals know their stuff, too! I always feel like I walked in looking like Wolverine and leave feeling like a princess! I discovered them when I was at Pinkberry enjoying some froyo and saw them as I drove off. The next day, I walked in and felt like a new person. Completely!

I decided I needed to share some of the awesomeness with all of you. Wink has locations in Uptown Dallas and in Ft. Worth. They are open 7 days a week and have flexible hours and affordable prices! They do not require an appointment. 80% of the time, I just walk right in and they take care of me. I can actually hit them up and be done in about the same amount of time it takes me to run by my bank to make a deposit. Super fast! Does it hurt? Less than waxing, yes. Also, it is only $12 (plus tip! Don’t forget to tip!) And it lasts 3-4 weeks. I typically go once a month.

To me, it feels like a massage on my left side. The right side of my face is more sensitive, my right eye even tears up. And every so often, I will sneeze too. No idea what is causing that. But it feels gentle. (If I wanted some cooling gel, they will apply it. I never get it. Nor do I have them use the tiny scissors to trim my eyebrow hairs. I prefer them the length they are.) Below, you can see that my right eye has been threaded (hence the watery eyes) and the left eye is a hot mess. See the difference?

I also like that you get to participate in the grooming. You typically have to hold your brow and lid using your hands, and positioning them in a way so the Threader can work. It’s quite simple, actually. I’ve taken friends to this place, both male and female, and all have really enjoyed it. “It didn’t hurt at all. Like I’ve done threading before and this didn’t hurt at all! It was awesome!” Anyway, here is my after:

I know I’m entirely super cheese in this picture. I’m ridiculously happy and so filled with love. This weekend we will be having the big 5 birthday for the Sugarbean! Leading up to it, I’ve had lots of quality time with my Beloved, thanks to my mother being in town to help us. It’s been a true blessing! Anyway, I want you to go check out Wink when you get a chance. They are fantastic! Tell them Hello Bianca sent you!

**Disclaimer: I was offered a complimentary eyebrow threading from Wink Uptown in exchange for an honest blog review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Happy 5th Birthday Sugarbean

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Darling, Beautiful Daughter,

You came into our lives like a force to be reckoned with 5 years ago. It was one of the most remarkable days of my life. That first year went by in a hurry! The second year is also quite a blur! The third year, I wanted to make special. It was your last year as a single human child, but you’ve not known it to be any differently. And year 4 was filled with so much love and at the end of the night quite a scare!

All day yesterday, you were running around telling everyone, “Today is my last day of being 4!” Your infectious grin permeated to the hearts of everyone, and the excitement all around you was building.

As with every year, you get a new outfit from your sibling. This was the first year it was only from your sister. You loved it anyway. When I remarked that you should pair your coral cardigan with it, you went in search of it. Your daddy walked in, noticing the tunic was sleeveless, said, “You will need a jacket.” Cardigan in hand, not meaning to come across as sassy, you held it up and said, “No Daddy, I’m to wear a cardigan, not a jacket. It is a dressier piece and needs this instead.” Clearly I’ve had influence. I was so proud.

In the morning, I awoke early to decorate your room. I let Daddy catch a few more minutes of needed sleep because your baby sister decided to get up 2 hours before the alarm and was inconsolable. She wanted nothing to do with me, only wanted to be near daddy. She actually slept through you waking up, which was ok, because it let us spend time with just you. I did let her see your room as we walked out the door and she said, “Woooow!” I nudged her saying that I would happily decorate her room too for her birthday if she decided to be a big girl and move back into her bed. I don’t think it worked.

And you…you caught me in the middle of taping streamers from your fan to your bed. That smile that erupted from your face, and the tiny giggles heard from under your blankets…melted my heart. You were so, so, so happy. You happily exclaimed, “Mommy, this is going to be the best birthday, EVER!!!!” I nodded and said, “I hope so!” To which you replied, “Oh, but it already is, Mommy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Sweet, sweet child. 

You were completely over the moon about the balloons and streamers. You had a pink heart-shaped donut with sprinkles for breakfast, but with several bites left said it was too much and your belly hurt.  Despite that, you said you still liked it. You also liked that I'd braided your hair special for the day!

I’ve requested from our friends near and far to perform an act of kindness to a stranger in your honor. I can’t tell you how overwhelmingly a good feeling I have in this moment because I can feel the goodness filling the world. You, my Sugarbean, bring so very, very much light to our lives. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I’m infinitely better because of you!

Happy birthday, MariJul!


The Night Before...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm about to lay my head down to slumber and I remain verklempt. You see, tomorrow my eldest turns 5. I don't know why 5 is such a big milestone year for her, but to me it is.

She will awake to helium baloons floating from the ground. I will let her wear her birthday tiara. She will have a special birthday donut. It will be her day!!

And it is my anniversary of the best job title I've ever held: Mommy.

Why I love Rent the Runway and Ebay!

Monday, February 4, 2013

I was first clued in to Rent the Runway during my quest to have a dress for the Margarita Ball. I love the concept of not having to be committed to something unless you are going to fall in love. I look in my closet and nearly every piece reflects something specifically about me. I am not all that different from many women in that I have my work wardrobe (very corporate), traveling work wardrobe (in NYC, very business corporate), weekend wear, and casual after-work wear. I don’t have a large space for my clothes, especially because I share my closet with my husband. (first world problems) This is why I like to “borrow” clothes unless I know I want to own them.

My sister was married on Winter Solstice and boy howdy was it a great time. (What in the world?? I’ve not blogged about it. Must do that soon!!*) I opted to rent a dress for the occasion after I’d won a Twitter contest! I put on this dress and fell in love with it. It was perfect. I wanted to sleep in it. In fact, I might have passed out for a disco nap while wearing it, then tucked it away. at the end of the night. It was fantastic!

I’d received many compliments on the dress. Not only was it super comfortable, but it had pockets!!!! I HEART YOU BCBG MAX AZRIA. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets? What I didn’t like is that I couldn’t find this dress online, because I wanted to own it. Until….

I had the thought to search for it on Ebay! Sure enough, I found it and for less than full retail, brand new with tags! It was in my hands within 3 days of purchase and every bit as wonderful as I remembered it! I can’t tell you how excited I am. It isn’t the actual dress from the day, but is the same style and design and makes me just as happy.

I highly recommend Rent the Runway and Ebay for your fashion-on-a-budget needs.

*Here’s a teaser from my sister’s big day! Blog post coming soon…

Rockin’ Tequila

Friday, February 1, 2013

My body is waging war against me for some reason and its favorite attack is excessive amounts of mucus and raging headaches. I’m not complaining too much, just a tiny bit. (Because, really, who likes a complainer? No one!) Usually, when I get to this point, I end up going to my old trusted standbys: shot of tequila, quick runs, and wet sauna stretch sessions.

My grandfather swore by the medicinal properties of tequila. When I’m feeling especially cold-sy, I pull out a shot (chill it with a squirt of fresh lime juice in it) and the burn feels good. It isn’t an instant relief, but it does make me feel better. Plus, I may or may not have had more than one a couple of times and then I just didn’t care about being sick any longer…maybe.

Running…well, running really activates my lungs. I have asthma. Apparently I’ve had it my whole life and just didn’t know it. I now have an inhaler, but I only use it when necessary. I don’t like the jitters it gives me. I do like that I’m better able to breathe, though. Anyway, I run to open my lungs. And when I run, I work them into such a tizzy that the depths of my lungs convulse and force me to cough up all of that nastiness that I am unable to achieve with regular coughing. It sounds entirely too painful and stupid, I know, but it works for me.

The sauna is a super happy place for me. In my gym, they infuse eucalyptus in the steam. It is really hot, steamy, and the essential oils work their magic. I grab a couple of towels and sit in there and do stretching. Not yoga (although, I’ve seen some gals do that, too), but basic stretching and concentrated, deep and long breaths. It is glorious.

Last night, I had a couple of tequilas. I also remembered that it was the last night to register for less than $100 for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, which I did.  In recent weeks, my husband and I have been hitting our budget hard. Like really combing through each item so we can get closer to financial freedom. It has taken quite a bit of courage to face the truths. I had committed to this half marathon before we had these budget discussions. I said a prayer for it and you know what’s awesome! I received payment from a service that allowed me to register!

Before I’d chosen my word for the year, I’d mentally accepted that I was going to run this race. My cousin who normally  walks the 3Day committed to it. This is her first half marathon. I want to be there with her! This race was one of the driving forces for me to choose COURAGE.

“Hello Bianca…duh, you’ve totally already run a marathon and a half marathon. Why do you need courage?”
  1. I’ve trained for those, I know what to expect.
  2. It means I sleep less.
  3. It means I wake up with an achier body.
  4. It means a lot of time alone spent in my head thinking.
  5. It means lungs hurt.
  6. It means getting chafed in awkward places as I learn what clothes perform best for me.
  7. It means peeing in bushes (and on myself).
  8. It also means pooping or vomiting in nature. (Runners are gross!)
  9. It means many guilt trips I give myself for not going as fast as I’d like.
  10. It means less time doing other things. (like sleep…ha ha ha)
  11. It means that I need courage to face all of these known factors because I know it’ll be worth it.
I just needed a bit of liquid courage to put all of that in motion. Let’s go!
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