Friday, July 29, 2016

Living Life to the Fullest

TGIF my friends!

I am all about living life to the fullest. If you follow me on social, I can't seem to sit still...from girl's nights out to couple's vacations to enjoying playgrounds with my kids, I love it all. You never know where life will take you, so I try to dive in and experience what I can.

I recently had the opportunity to cocktail it up at Naha before noon (yep, live it up!) to test out a new super premium rum called Papa's Pilar. Named after Ernest Hemingway's boat, this rum isn't the stuff you used to slug back in college mixed with Coke. It is a blend of rums from Florida, the Caribbean and Central America where Hemingway traveled with his boat in search of life adventures.

Hemingway just happens to be one of my favorite authors. From adventures at sea to journalistic endeavors in Paris, he is one of the few writes that truly brings you along for the ride. I have been down to Key West a few times and bellied up to the bar at Captain Tony's and Sloppy Joe's where Hemingway used to hang (if you go to Captain Tony's, we hung a dollar bill with our name on it. FIND IT!)

photo via
photo via Yelp

I have dined at Les Deux Magots in Paris where he spent hours with fellow writers (the Fitzgeralds were his BFFs). I absolutely adore his spirit of adventure, and now I can enjoy a favorite drink of his as well. Written on the bottles is "Never a spectator," and I couldn't agree more- life isn't a spectator sport!

The incredible concoction I sampled at Naha is called their #3, and tastes of ripe plantains with an herbal twist. The mixologist came in especially for us that morning to make this masterpiece, and it was worth every sip. You can't get it anywhere else, so I highly recommend popping into Naha and grabbing a stool at the bar for this mixology masterpiece!

Here are a few recipes from Papa's Pilar Rum, specially handcrafted to showcase the flavor of this fine spirit!

Want to try it out? Check the website and see where you can score and savor this amazing libation.

Have a great weekend, and remember to live it up!

Disclosure: I was given samples of Papa's Pilar rum for review purposes; all opinions are honest and my own as always.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I'm Not a Perfect Mom

I am currently writing this post as my son is in the bathtub. I helped him in, gave him a few toys, and asked if he minded if I wrote a post as he played. He lines up his dinosaurs on the side of our jacuzzi tub and makes a tidal wave with his arm to wash them away. He looks up from time to time to talk about his swim instructor, his numerous temporary tattoos that he named today, and to show me how he can toot underwater. Fabulous.

I am not the perfect mom. The perfect mom wouldn't be typing while bathing her kids. She would save all of her work for when her kids are fast asleep in their beds. They would never creep downstairs a dozen times, thus delaying bedtime to an unreasonable hour. She would be drinking an organic, locally sourced herbal tea instead of Grey Goose and La Croix out of a silly straw because her kids used the regular straws for an art project.

The time I gave her a box of Band Aids to play with because I had a conference call.
The perfect mom would have covered her kids from head to toe in organic children's sunscreen instead of reaching from the front seat and swiping them here and there with a sunscreen stick that has melted from the heat.

The time I forgot to pack ANY warm clothes on a trip to Michigan for my kids.
 The perfect mom wouldn't have been late picking her daughter up at daycare today because she got stuck in a traffic jam following a last minute meeting she pushed to set up. She would have arrived on time, happy and ebullient, and would never have run out of gas on the way because she would always makes sure she has a 1/4 tank. Sigh. #TGFF (Thank God For Fumes)

The time I took a shower. Yes, a 5 minute shower.
Maybe she wouldn't have high anxiety that pushed her to set up multiple events, always be doing and on the go, always pitching ideas and setting up collaborations. I'll bet that perfect mom is always present when with her children, and TURNS OFF her cell phone. Yep, not me. I admit that I am kind of addicted to the thing, and I twitch when I hear a text until I can uncover the message.

The time I said screw dinner and grabbed McDonalds to eat at the microbrewery.
I want to relax. If I was perfect, I would schedule a weekly massage for myself and do yoga regularly so I could be that zen goddess of a mom. Well, I can't even schedule a dentist appointment for myself. Yep, I have had a cracked tooth for over 6 months and I'll be damned if I can find a time to get it fixed (but I have time for shopping, lots of time for that, because it is the only thing I can do in ten minutes at a moment's notice that relaxes me).

I told them to get dressed up for brunch, and this is what they interpreted that phrase as.
And dinner? Sometimes, sometimes, I have a perfectly balanced meal for my kids. Made from scratch, with love, with food from every friggin' food group. Most of the time? I am trying to put a semi-edible Keto-friendly meal (ugh, don't ask) together for my husband and I and scramble to pop in the "emergency" chicken nuggets into the microwave and dump some applesauce into a bowl.

Ice cream for lunch. Yep.
But tonight. When I rocked my 2 year old to sleep in the rocking chair that my mom used to rock me in, I felt it. I felt that connection with her as we harmonized to Twinkle, Twinkle, the rush of love that occurs when she grabs my wrists to wrap my arms around her rotund belly. I renewed my commitment to do better tomorrow, to live more in the moment, to put my family first. That's all I can do at this point, is revel in those heart-crushingly beautiful moments and strive to create more of them. I may not be the perfect mom, but I am just doing my best, and my kids remind me how much they love me just the way I am every day. 

Saturday brunch at possibly the unhealthiest restaurant on the North Shore.

 My message here is that life isn't a color-coordinated Instagram gallery. It isn't a picturesque Facebook stream, or a series of quirky yet pithy tweets. I kinda suck in some of the mom categories, but you wouldn't know that from my social media posts. Once in a while I will peel back the curtain, but a part of it is a reality check for myself.

Sucker as a bribe to make it through a flight.
Being a parent is so damn hard. I want to cherish every moment with my kids, but some days I just want to book myself into a suite at the Four Seasons under an alias and run up a record-breaking room service bill. I guess I just want to let you know that I'm not perfect, but all I can do is vow to do better tomorrow. To be better. To treat everyone better, including myself. Because we all deserve it.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

4 Ways to Hide Your Roots

Not gonna lie- I just went over 4 months without touching my roots up. This was a combination of too many things to do and not really paying attention the root situation I was developing. Unfortunately I had a photo shoot for a beverage company on my schedule (which means close ups of me sipping cocktails, so roots on full display), but honestly couldn't fit a salon appointment in.

I know, #FirstWorldProblems, right? But still, I just don't feel as confident when my hair (which is my most-worn "accessory") just isn't looking lovely.

Here are my top 4 ways to hide your roots, cheers to quick fixes and summer hair!

First of all, highlights. If you do a single process dye job, that line between your natural color and your chemical color is going to be a whole lot more defined than if you just got highlights. Yes, they might be more expensive and take a bit longer, but you can streeeeeetch them for quite a while. Please, for the love of all things hair, do not get the skunk stripe chunky highlights that looks totally unnatural. They won't grow out very pretty either in addition to tossing you back to the 90s.

Second, grab some dry shampoo. If you are a light blonde, this works quite well for a quick lightening of your roots. It also adds volume, which means the hairs aren't quite as matted together.

Third, switch up your part! I do a zigzag when the going gets tough. It mixes up my hair enough so my highlights are tossed around and the definitive line is gone.

Finally, get a root cover up spray. This is the BEST solution I have found. I was recently sent BACK2BLONDE by Everpro to test out and was an instant fan. It is simple- you spray it over the offending roots (or gray roots! I am not here to judge) and it provides cover immediately. Here are some tips to get the best application:

  • Apply to clean, dry hair (no oily messes here, please...the product doesn't adhere as easily)
  • Hold the can 4-5 inches from your hair and move back and forth like spray paint until you cover all those roots.
  • Let it dry before touching- give it 2-3 minutes or a shot with the blow dryer if you are in a hurry.
  • Don't sweat it- this stuff is sweat-resistant but washes out with shampoo.
Here is a side-by-side shot; these were taken within 5 minutes of each other:

Now, to me this is a HUGE difference! I no longer have the unintentional ombre look going on. You can grab BACK2BLONDE at a bunch of different retailers including Target for $12.99, or on their website. It comes in three different shades- Light, Medium and Dark Blonde. You can see it in action in this video here!

Cheers to not stressing about keeping up with your roots! Let's find something else to worry about, like what we are going to wear ;)

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of Back 2 Blonde for review purposes via Brandbacker; all opinions are honest and my own.