Life by Cynthia: August 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bloggy Blessings For A Bad Blogger

My son and I have matching dimples.
Oh HELLO Friend! Here I am! I wanted to pop in just to test the waters and share a bit about what is going on with me as well as what you may be seeing on the blog in the very near future.

I know that my posts have been sporadic. This is by design. I am unapologetic that my blog is at the back of a very long line on my list of priorities. My home life with my loved ones will always come before my blogging pursuits. I don't post as regularly as I should. I know that it makes me a bad blogger. I've said it before and I am still not ashamed to admit that my blog sucks, but my life doesn't! I am OK with that. Long ago I gave up on trying to juggle family life, work life, and blogging. I've been a much happier blogger for it. I take care of work and home first so that I may happily blog when I CAN and when I WANT to.  It makes blogging more rewarding for me knowing that everything at home and work is in order. I'd rather make the choice to be bad at blogging vs. being a bad mommy, wife, or employee.  I admire those that can do it all. Maybe one day that will be me. I know many moms who blog that CAN do it all. If fact they seem to do it with ease and grace. That encourages me, inspires me, and leaves me in awe. But for now, (for me) working a full time job outside of the home and keeping up with my husband and our 5 year old son keeps my plate full. It's been quite some time now that I gave up sleep deprivation in exchange for blogging and I do not regret it. It's just better for me and for my family this way.

Family trip to Barnes & Noble - Shopping at Marshalls - Cruising around Seaport Village 

These guys! MY guys! I love them both even though it's not always easy to keep up with them! When you don't see a new post from me, it is safe to guess that I am hanging out with these two! With school starting on Monday, we will be an even busier family! Homework here we come!

I may have been quiet here but I have been busy lining up some VERY exciting things. I really should say that the magical Universe has been lining up some great things and sending them my way! Isn't it a nice feeling when you get happy news out of the blue? It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I am not such a bad blogger after all!

I am always honored when opportunities find their way home to me. I am passive when it comes to blogging opportunities such as events, sponsored posts, and the like. Perhaps one day soon I will have the time, energy, and confidence to go out there and slay some opportunities on my own. I'll get my blogging butt in gear one day and attempt to pitch like many of the bloggers that I admire! Goals for the future. For now, I am happy, humble, and thankful. Even though I am not as active as I once wanted to be, I still get awesome opportunities! In fact, I turn down way more than I accept. Isn't that crazy?! It's OK to walk away once in a while. It lets that opportunity find it's way to someone who REALLY, really, really wants it and has the time for it.

So, for those of you that are like me and think that you are a "bad blogger", don't lose faith! Blog when it feels good.

Bloggy Blessings that have me feeling giddy and encourage me to blog on:
  • Hubby and I combined a blogging event and date night into one! Win! We collaborated on the Grand Opening of Lemonade UTC post that I shared recently.
  • I am going to ShiftCon 2015 in September. Volunteering and room sharing to keep costs down.
  • I was invited to the first ever HP Print and Pamper Retreat by MyPrintly! Bonus: Road Trip to Disneyland! You should see the invitees - many of my blog heros will be there and I get to go too! To say that I am honored to be included is an understatement!
  • Jackery has invited me to guest post on their blog. I use their portable chargers ALL the time.
  • I was invited by Jord Wood Watch to join their Preferred Partner Blogger Program. I liked their watch. They liked my blog post.

I've said in the past: My blog sucks, but my life sure doesn't! When I revisit this post: Bad Blogger, Good Mommy and read the comments left for me, I know that my choice is the right choice.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lemonade's Grand Opening Celebration at Westfield UTC in San Diego #lemonadela

Lemonade brings seasonal California comfort food to San Diego! Lemonade, the Los Angeles based fast-casual eatery now has two locations in San Diego. We attended Lemonade's Grand Opening Celebration at Westfield UTC to sample a variety of food in the signature Lemonade cafeteria-style setting.  At the end of our dining adventure we had the opportunity to chat with Executive Chef and Founder Alan Jackson.

Since the launch of its flagship location in West Hollywood in 2008, Jackson and COO Ian Olsen have opened 15 locations throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas, as well as two locations in Dubai.

In addition to the Westfield UTC in La Jolla and Hillcrest outposts in San Diego, current locations include Venice, Brentwood, Larchmont, MOCA, Downtown LA, USC, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Terminal 5 LAX, Pasadena, Westlake Village, Fashion Island Newport Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Sawtelle Blvd.

Please take a moment to watch our video to view our visit to Lemonade! As first-timers we were in for a treat. I liked the cafeteria experience and the endless choices! I will be back. When you visit please say hello to the friendly team members for me. Even with a line that extended well outside of the door for the entire time that we were there, the staff kept their sunny dispositions! Smiles with fast and friendly service is a good thing! For me, this truly made the wonderful food even better! Special thanks to our videographer for highlighting the evening. Enjoy!

Lemonade is a healthy, flavorful alternative to fast food. The fresh, quick-casual restaurant provides a refreshing option for those looking for a satisfying lunch or grab-and-go dinner.

Lemonade’s appeal is their fresh assortment of Marketplace Vegetables, designed to mix-and-match.

The Summer Menu includes: Mission Figs, Arugula, Blue Cheese, Sherry Vinaigrette Pineapple Chicken, Green Beans, Coconut, Jalapeño, Jerk Dressing, Roasted Beets, Melon, Frisée, and Hazelnut.

Both La Jolla and Hillcrest locations will feature made-to-order flatbreads, freshly baked in an open-flame brick oven. The exclusive flatbread menu includes:

Wild Mushroom, Truffle, Parmesan
Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil
Blue Cheese, Walnut, Arugula

Slow-cooked braises are also on the menu. They include: Lemongrass Chicken, Red Miso Beef Short Ribs, and Pulled Pork Peach BBQ.

Additional menu items include artisan sandwiches, soups, desserts and the signature seasonal selection of refreshing lemonade flavors, including Cucumber Mint and Watermelon Rosemary.

Who's excited to check out Lemonade in San Diego?! See you there!

Everything that I sampled was great! I will be back for the braised short ribs, creamy mashed potatoes, and Guava Lemonade! There are so MANY choices that I will require MANY return visits!

Disclosure: We were invited to the hosted event by Lemonade LA to celebrate the grand opening of the Westfield UTC location. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Neiman Marcus Fall 2015 Fashion Trend Report

It's that time for the Neiman Marcus Fall Trend Event! The Fall 2015 Trend Event preview in San Diego was held on August 12 at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley. While enjoying a nice lunch, bloggers had the opportunity to preview Fall Fashion as presented by Style Advisor Alex Yanez. Food and fashion with friends (old and new) is a great way to spend an afternoon! The Fall 15 Trend Event runs from August 12-19 at Neiman Marcus, don't miss out on the GWP.

Several bloggers and I arrived fashionably early. We all took advantage of a quick photo op prior to the start of the show. To be honest, I love fashion and style - but since becoming a Mommy, I don't really dress the part that much anymore! I wasn't sure WHAT to wear but will post very soon on what I decided on! Meanwhile, please take a peek at some of the pictures that I was able to snap from my vantage point and my thoughts on Fall 2015. All of my pictures were taken with my smartphone, I guess I don't need a DSLR after all!

Fall 2015 Looks
I LOVED the styles as they were presented on the models! Simply chic! Let's face it, I'm no model and cannot pull off the looks that were shared. I just might end up looking like the abandoned treadmill in your garage with hangers of clothes draped on it! We would NOT want to subject any fashion to that! Not with these couture looks. Even IF some of these items were made-to-measure just for me, I don't think they would look quite as fabulous or fit into my lifestyle!  I still enjoyed them all and it really is like viewing works of art. All is not lost. I can pick and choose from some of the suggestions and incorporate them into my busy lady work-mom-wife life! Better yet, I can book time with a NM stylist to help me shop the trends! Or... convince a fashion/style blogger friend to accompany me on a shop! Sometimes we all need to be warned if we are fashion failing! Those dressing room mirrors can confuse a girl! An honest eye and dose of truth is all I need. That and a shopping sponsor! LOL. Back to reality and my very real fashion experience with Neiman Marcus!

Check out the Trend report and my initial takeaway:

  • Folklorica I must say NO. This one would be a tough look for me to master, so I'll stay away.
  • The Last Layer It's a YES! I LOVE layers! I will be wearing mine!
  • Full-Bodied Reds Totally YES! I LOVE Reds! I'm even going for the Crimson lips!
  • White Out Tough call. MAYBE. I'm a busy Mom... white = stain magnet!
  • Modern Fur I just don't know how to rock the fur (or faux fur). NO, not for me.
  • The Return of the Flair  I'm glad that I kept those flared jeans and pants! YES.
  • The Saddle Bag I'm on the hunt for one now! YES!
  • Chunky Heels I love shoes. Almost all shoes. Just YES
  • Ear Candy LONG hair hides my ears. MAYBE. Especially since NM gifted us with some!
  • The Well-Dressed Leg Just not for me. NO. BUT I've never tried them so YNK! MAYBE.

My favorites for Fall are the Full-Bodied Reds. I am a fan of the Last Layer trend as well! I confess that I have been a long time fan of ponchos and blanket style wraps, even when they weren't considered on trend! I hope that this Fall is a COLD one. Doubtful, as I live in San Diego! On the upside: our office temperature seems to always be set to frigid so I'll be fine layering up! My hunt is on for a Saddle Bag! I need one ASAP! With that I think that I'll be set for Fall. I do want to find some fabulous RED lipcolor. Note to my Beauty Blogger pals: shall we shop? Don't let me rock the wrong red!

It wasn't mentioned in the NM LIST graphic above, but Alex did point out that you will be seeing tunic lengths this fall! I will be on the lookout for tunic length dresses and leggings for my Fall 2015 wardrobe.

Ladies, let us not forget about the MEN! Menswear is looking pretty cool for this Fall. Alex let us know to be on the look out for hoodies under jackets, backpacks, and VELVET.

I hope that you enjoyed the pretty pictures that I snapped with my phone at the event. Thank you for reading my post. See you next time! Before you go, please share your faves for Fall 2015. I would love to know YOUR thoughts so feel free to comment below!

Disclosure: I received an invitation from Neiman Marcus San Diego to attend the 2015 Fall Trend presentation and luncheon. I also received a complimentary pair of earrings during the event. All opinions are my own.

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