faux leather leggings

well i did it.  i finally sprang for a pair of faux leather leggings.  (similar here and here)
despite their edgy, biker vibes they are incredibly comfortable, affordable and easy to dress.  thank you pinterest for all of the fashion inspiration!  case in point: i wore this outfit last weekend to a local concert and felt perfectly genre-appropriate for the soulful, easy-listening tunes in an suitably dark venue.  for work or a day trip i’ve been known to pair them with a loose fitting top and flats.  until the weather becomes more seasonable i’m looking forward to keeping them in rotation!  


from one childless friend to another

when i found out 9 years ago, unexpectedly, that my best friend was pregnant i felt unbelievable happiness, angst for her, and a bit giddy about the possibility of buying baby clothes.  i wasn’t naïve to the fact that our relationship was about to change.  although at that time in my life I glorified what our relationship would look like: she, i and her mini would enjoy casual outings; coffee dates, shopping trips, and movie nights at her place.  none of that happened.  in fact, she was so consumed with life as a new parent that our daily and weekly chats turned to half-assed monthly conversations and forget about getting together; she moved farther away and we drifted apart.  i felt betrayed.

fast forward 9 years and those same feelings of betrayal have since been replaced with the upmost respect.  she’s still my best friend and yes, our relationship did change – significantly but, i can honestly say that the years have made me wiser to the fact that your life changes the minute a doctor places a screaming baby in your arms.   from one (ashamedly) once resentful friend to another please don’t make the same mistakes i did.

1) parenting is a fact of life.  some people will become parents and others will not.  the first step in recognizing how to be a good friend to someone who is a parent is to know that this is their choice and as a friend you should be supportive of their decision 110%.

2) change your expectations.  recognize that your friend isn’t the same person she once was.  her world now revolves around the dizzying task of parenting.  even more so if she has an infant. what’s important to her now may look very different from what you both valued only months before.  find ways to connect and consider the world from her new point of view.

3) reach out more.  in between 2 am feedings, financial stresses, finding adequate childcare, and so much more know that a half-assed conversation may be all that your friend can give you.  if you want to maintain a strong friendship you are going to have to go to her and be the one to pick up the phone and make the effort.  sorry!  someday trust that she’ll repay the favor. 

4) be patient.  as time goes on and that baby grows into an independent child know that your friend is going to come back.  those patience have served me well.  my best friend and i are closer, on a far deeper level now than we were 9 years ago.  we made it work and i know without a doubt that she’s a lifelong friend.  (plus, she can now comfortably get away for adult girl time again!!!)

5) figure out what you want and how you feel.  you can’t control whether or not your friends have kids but you can control how you feel and react to that happy news.  i know that i want kids.  but the decision is not as simple as saying i want them.  when my friends share their exciting news i feel so overcome with mixed emotions that it’s almost unbearable.  (hence the reason i cried when miss jordyn was born.)  i’m somewhere between i’m so excited for you, if not a little jealous to i kind of feel like having a cocktail or two to celebrate your baby’s birth.

6) consider the value of waiting.  if kiddos are on your radar think about all of the invaluable knowledge you’ll gain just from listening to your friend’s challenges and mistakes.  true friends won’t let you make the same ones so be there to support them and be thankful that they’ll be there for you with all sorts of advice (solicited or not) when the time comes.

if you’re still struggling like i initially did consider this as a consolation: to her you’re the ‘bestie’ and to her kiddos you’re their ‘aunite’.  trust me, there is no higher compliment.

my besties and their sweet, sweet babies: 
my best friend and her cute minis: brantley, mary sue, and madison 
libby and her little man, everett
miss jordyn and mommy nicole

right this minute

to say this month has been busy would be an understatement….at work anyway!  but, at home we are enjoying a couple of low key, no plans, spontaneous road trips interspersed with lots-of-napping type weekends.  what i’m into this month:

comfy clothes that require little effort – these palazzo pants are from Target!

the perfect bag – even if i’m feeling frumpy this accessory makes me feel perfectly chic

these kleenex cylinders – i literally bought 3 packages and have them everywhere at home and the office.

a successful baking experience = domestic bliss

brownie funfetti cake

until this past weekend i had never made a cake.  cupcakes sure but, never a real, use round-shaped-cake-pans kind of cake.  this weekend seemed the perfect time to experiment since i had found this seemingly easy and delicious brownie, funfetti cake recipe.  coincidentally brownies and funfetti cake are my husband’s two favorite desserts and his birthday was sunday.  to my delight the cake actually turned out. i sent it to work with cody and it was gone by the time he came home.  next time i make it i’ll take it out a few minutes sooner so that the texture is more soft and moist and i’ll pair it with a homemade whipped cream frosting instead of using something store-bought.  

why do i love him : let me count the ways

i may be a little biased but, i really do think my husband is worth bragging about.  to me he’s the total package so in honor of his 27th birthday i’m sharing 27 reasons why i love him.

1) his laugh…not the chuckle his full belly laugh.
2) i haven’t had to pump my own gas more than a handful of times in the last 6+ years.
3) only he can drive me wild by kissing my neck.  
4) he writes me loves notes on special occasions (all of them to date!).  
5) he can fix anything.
6) i’m also convinced he can build anything.
7) he’s unbelievably intelligent and matter of fact – i love that but, i also hate losing arguments.
8) he makes me laugh every.single.day.
9) he cannot be taken seriously …. most of the time.
10) there is a side of him only I get to see.
11) i know all of his secrets and he knows all of mine.
12) he let’s me watch the Bachelor even when a game is on.
13) we share inside jokes about the Bachelor and that to me is just sweet!
14) he let’s me bring the dog to bed and gets up with her during the night.
15) when we travel he drives.
16) we can sit for hours not saying a word and be completely content.
17) he’s a rockstar at work.
18) he respects authority but is steadfast in his principles.
19) my family loves and adores him.
20) when i’m sick or pained he does his part to make it better or right.
21) the way he says, ‘don’t touch me on the skin’ when i’m cold but then let’s me anyway.
22) he vacuums better than i do and even does the stairs.
23) that he changes all of the clocks and programs anything electronic – i’m now a hopelessly dependent woman.
24) that the dog thinks he walks on water and cries when he leaves…even if it’s just to go in the garage.
25) his family is the best!
26) i am incredibly attracted to him – every single piece!
27) he loves me in a way that i can feel and it’s a love that’s full of true, unfiltered emotion.

happy birthday baby!  i love you beyond measure.  xoxo

flix brewhouse : date night review


the movie was ‘focus’ and the theater was flix brewhouse in merle hay mall.  for a date night it was your traditional dinner and a movie date but with a twist; we ordered, ate, and drank all while watching a movie on the big screen.  i’ve been intrigued by this unique movie-going experience since flix opened in our area this winter.  after hearing mixed reviews i thought i’d share my own.    

from what i had heard it was recommended that you reserve your seats as far in advance on the day of the show as possible.  naturally we did so….in texas.  (note to self: verify theater location when ordering online.)  i for one was most excited about the experience itself than being hung up on where we sat but in the future plan not to make the mistake again.  when we arrived at the brewhouse lounge we quickly learned the show was nearly sold out and the only seats available were in the second row – apparently this is a less desirable place to sit although we really didn’t have a preference.  they honored our texas tickets and we were invited to take our seats 20 minutes before the movie started. 

at this theater each row is seated by section similar to airline boarding.  each seat has its own pull out tray, menu and ordering light, which made ordering easy and hardly distracting. as a brew house the drink menu was full of house brewed blends, domestic bottles and a select variety of liqueurs and wines.  the food menu was surprisingly hearty and we decided to split a pizza and a bucket of beer.  the servers only talked prior to the movie starting and did a great job of moving in and out without interruption.  our food came out hot and tasty and we really had no complaints considering the fact that we were eating in close proximity to our row mates.  i honestly thought eating (as intimate as it can be) would be awkward – sitting so close- but, it wasn’t at all. 

on a scale of 1 -10, with 10 being ah-mah-zing!, i’d give the following ratings:

customer service:  8
cleanliness:  6
menu:  7
atmosphere:  8 
seat comfiness:  6
will smith:  9.5

the convenience of both dinner and a movie is a genius concept and i’d personally recommend flix brewhouse to anyone looking for an enjoyable, easy date!

tone it up!

if you’ve been following my insta account lately (srsobo) then you’re aware that i have been -obnoxiously- posting with the hashtag ‘tiu.’  after some questions about what the infamous ‘tiu’ tag stands for i thought it was time to let you all in on the ‘tiu’ (aka Tone it Up!) craze.

as far as I’m concerned Tone it Up! is one of the best kept secrets in fitness and health.  Tone it Up! is a lifestyle program that encompasses all things healthy lifestyle: nutrition, workouts, support and motivation. and the best part is it’s completely free! (well kind of.)  now i won’t go so far as to say that Tone it Up! has significantly changed my life; i’ve always been healthy and loved to exercise but, it has helped me to achieve results in a relatively short amount of time.  

what it is
what was once a side gig for two stunning, sun-kissed trainers in 2009, Tone it Up! has ballooned into a booming business empire. (now on Bravo!) not only are the trainers, Katrina and Karena, gorgeous they are positive, motivational, intense, and down to earth.  they’re also tech savvy and use social media to connect with their followers; encouraging beaucoup tweets and picture uploads.  hence the insta uploads.  here’s the skinny ;o) on how to get started.

tiu founders, trainers, motivators – inspirations
how it works
you can choose your level of participation in the Tone it Up! program based on what you’re willing to spend and the time you want to invest.  for me I simply wanted more structure to my workout routine and something that would motivate me to actually do more than my morning run.  after quickly signing up in January i participated in the ‘Love Your Body’ series and was instantly hooked.  ‘Love Your Body’ is just one of several series offered throughout the year and that include fun challenges with playful names like WineNOTWednesday. why wouldn’t you want to participate?!?
anyway after you sign up you’ll be sent a monthly calendar and weekly workout plans that you’ll be encouraged to try.  you’ll also have access to the blog which posts inspirational stories and waistline friendly recipes.  once you’ve got the calendar and workout plan all you have to do is give it a try.  once you’ve finished a workout or tried a new recipe share your experience on your social media account of choice, tag ‘tiu’ and see what happens.  the ‘tiu community’ is thousands strong and is probably the best part of the whole program – hands down.  the followers show love whether your sweaty or not and totally get it if you’re not feeling it on any particular day.  they’ll encourage you regardless and keep you motivated to move in the right direction.  this part of the program is free, free, free!

posts from my insta account
if your interested in getting information on what to eat, when to eat and how to make good clean meals without much thought then I’d suggest purchasing the nutrition plan.  the Tone it Up! plan is customizable and for the one-time fee ($150) it provides more recipes and workouts than what’s available on the blog but, if you’re eating right and proportionate 5-6 times a day it’s probably not worth the spend.  i’ve gone the free route for now but, maybe Iill pony up the cash at some point to give the nutrition plan a whirl.  it gets rave reviews on the community and the recipes look delish!  
bottom line: Tone it Up! is the perfect companion for a positive lifestyle change and highly recommended if you’re looking to get fit for an upcoming event for bikini season!