I was hosted by Dagne Dover for an exclusive event.
There was no compensation, just great community, good drinks, crafts, and a lot of fun! All opinions are mine.
Ever in need of a quick pick me up that portals you to a new space and environment to enjoy something different? Do you have a love affair with crafting with your hands? I love taking trips. They can be anytime of day, for an hour, 24 hours or a week. I also love crafting and making things.
I am pretty sure that getting out of your everyday environment refreshes your spirit and soothes your soul. So, what better way to do that, than with one of your favorite people? I recently had the pleasure of making a fun girls’ Sunday adventure with my little sister. Not only was it a lot of fun, it was budget friendly!
1. Take Public Transportation and/or a private driving service (uber or lyft)
As much as I love driving (it brings clarity), the event we were attending at The WorkshopSF, courtesy of Dagne Dover, was in the evening and I am not fancy with night driving. That being said, I did some research on taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) realized it would save me a ton of stress and a couple hours of night driving, plus it was cheaper than parking once in the City. Since we are in the Greater Stockton Area, we parked at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station, which is about an hour or so from us. You can find the closest station to you on their website, which is a lifesaver once you are in the City!
We arrived in Dublin pleasantly surprised that we did not have to pay for parking on a Sunday. So, it only cost us $12.30 each (round trip) to Union Square, San Francisco. Irrespective of random fear, and the nightmares that I have previously had about people falling on the BART tracks, I put on my big girl pants and hopped (literally, I was not trying to fall through the crack) onto the car. My sister was definitely amused, but she loves me.
For those of you that might be hesitant about public transportation, I have to say that BART is pretty swell. My next adventure will be to take our entire clan on a family trip to SF via the BART system. Woohoo! Mentally preparing for that one.
Once we were in the City, thanks to BART, we had Lyft pick us up to drop us off to our destination. When we left for the evening, we called for an Uber car to return us to Union Square.
2. Find food. because, food.
Just as our pink mustache car dropped us off at the location, we realized we were a tad early and this super cute Mexican restaurant across the street pretty much called our names. At that moment we also realized we were really hungry. The question was, “should we have margaritas before the event?”
Hello, Green Chile Kitchen!
As you can see, the food looks gorgeous. It tasted even better. Joy had a burrito – potentially the Chile Verde (I was too busy thinking about my meal I forgot what she ate, but it was around $11) and I had a Pulled Pork Quinoa dinner bowl ($16). If you are gluten free, this is an amazing little spot. The ambience was quaint, refreshing and super chill. They were very accommodating with knowing my allergy and I slept well and most importantly – pain free, score! This restaurant is definitely family-friendly and I can see the kids enjoying the space and drinking water out of mason jars like little adults.
Exploring the City is half of the fun, so make sure you research restaurants prior to your trip, or do as we did and be surprised.
3. Find an Event at workshopsf.
For us, we had an event planned in advance, but for you – if you’re crafty, or secretly want to be, check out WorkshopSF because they have a TON of awesome DIY workshops. Past workshops include sewing bootcamps, screen printing, iPhone and photography, metal smithing and jewelry making!
Seriously, the coolest work space that I have seen.
Our fun for the evening consisted of fashion, terrarium making and cocktails. We learned from Jenny Lennick about terrarium making basics. She did a wonderful job keeping us busy and confident in our terrarium making skills. It was really easy and fun. I chose to create a tiny-sized terrarium with three little succulents and moss. Oh, and hello R2 🙂
The Force is strong with this little one. Joy makes a mean Gold Rush!
I love a good cocktail. We made the Gold Rush, which is extremely simple and contains only three ingredients: honey simple syrup, bourbon and lemon juice. SO GOOD. I passed on the Moscow Mule, because, beer (wheat), but I was happy with the Gold Rush.
4. Last but not least, travel in style.
The entire reason we attended this event was to check out the awesome Dagne Dover handbag collection. I haven’t had the pleasure of having my own Dagne yet, but I definitely have been drooling over them for a while now. Based out of NYC, the company was founded by Melissa Mash, Jessy Dover, and Deepa Gandhi. It was really cool to see Melissa at the event, she’s so down to earth and I enjoyed chatting about how the bags are game changers.
I shared with her that I am all too familiar with the “two bag schlep” that inspired the Signature tote, as a graduate student and working professional. I carried books, food, and other things along with me in one bag in addition to a fully stocked purse (hey, mama of five. You can never be too prepared. Although I recently found my kids’ socks in my bag at work (mind you, I no longer have toddlers or “little kids” so please tell me what this is about).
The lovely Melissa Mash, CEO of Dagne Dover
If you know me, you know that I love a good handbag, clutch, wallet, or anything that helps me to organize my massively chaotic life and responsibilities and feel like I look adorable doing it.
Dagne has recently released its 365 collection, which is “designed for a life in motion” – guys they also have a sweet backpack called Dakota. It would be perfect for a day trip to San Francisco, perhaps to a visit at The Walt Disney Family Museum, just saying. The Landon Carryall is also perfect for a field trip with the kiddos, and yoga or gym session.
Image via Dagne Dover – The Dakota Backpack comes in 3 colors Image via Dagne Dover – The Landon Carryall – comes in 3 sizes and four main colors (availability varies) Image via Dagne Dover – The Essentials Clutch Wallet comes in 10 colors!
I also love the Essentials Clutch Wallet, it would be the perfect go-to for a quick run to the store, or to keep as an everyday wallet when I need to hop out the car and leave my tote in the trunk. The Signature collection is made from coated canvas so it will hold up to spills and frills.
For a client meeting or a coffee-house work session that would involve some homework or blogging, they have beautiful options with a new set of leather styles. I am crushing on this Simone Satchel. The leather is gorgeous and the hand is amazing. The quality of the bags, the philosophy of the company and the options in colors and styles is pretty awesome.
Thank you Dagne Dover for such a wonderful event!
No matter how you decide to spend the day in the City, make sure you’ve figured out your transportation (or suck it up and just drive), keep your hangry in check by exploring local restaurants, plan a fun activity or attend an event, and make sure you’re keeping your day stress free by having a handbag or clutch that looks great and keeps you organized on-the-go.
As we’ve closed the door to 2016 and ushered in newness, hope, and excitement for the year of 2017, like most I like to reflect on what transpired and how it has made me a better person because of it, good or bad.
We had ups and downs. We laughed a lot. I cried a lot. We’ve fought. We’ve also racked up hospital visits from Lodi to Sacramento for both our daughter and my mom in law. We are grateful that both of them are with us and have their health. We traveled hundreds of miles roundtrip to experience Disney magic and visit with family and friends in Southern CA. We witnessed family members become one through marriage. We went on hot dates. Jeff and I have been married for 16 years, together for 17. We seriously thought I was pregnant for almost twelve hours last year… They were the second-longest twelve hours of my life.
The first longest twelve + hours was my labor with our eldest, who is now SIXTEEN. Repeat, we have a sixteen year old. On top of that, we officially now have THREE teenage daughters (13, 14 & 16). God help Jeff and the boys cause someone is always PMS-ing. LOL. Our final baby is in double digits. Our girls have signed up for PSATS. They still fight like cats and dogs. But they all have hearts of gold, even if they are sassy as hell.
Most importantly, at the end of the day, we have each other.
My Instagram #BestofNine in 2016
The year of 2016 was somewhat of a whirlwind. I spent a full year at the same temporary job working in Human Resources. I ended the previous year working 2 part-time jobs after finishing my Bachelor’s. Once I left retail in January 2016, I was solely part time at Delta, and eventually was placed full-time in March. When I began, I knew it was temporary, but there was possibility that I would land a permanent spot that would help me on my career path – I hoped it led me back to The Walt Disney Company. I grew in my role as a temp Administrative Assistant, advancing in skills and knowledge, moving up to an HR Specialist by July. I had some colleagues and my boss take me under their wings and became my mentors. By October of 2016, I started my Master’s program in Organizational Leadership. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was settling. Unintentionally, my sights became set on being comfortable and having a stable “grown up” job to provide for our family. It was, in my mind, time to kind of let my creative and entrepreneurial spirit take a rest so that my husband could get a chance to have his creative freedom and break the burden of 24/7 commuting and never seeing him. He left Amazon in February and took on two design clients that still keep him busy; knowing that his mental and physical health are way better off I know that having a happy and healthy husband is better than one that is over worked, under paid, and not enjoying his life everyday.
2016 started out fantastic in the sense that I started to fit some kind of mold that looking back, I made for myself. I was making grown up dollars and felt like this was something I could pursue for my entire life and be “okay.” If you know me, you know I am not driven by money. I don’t work for money. I work because I love what I do. Somehow along the way my goals took a back seat as I attempted to make waves and find my place at my current job. My temporary assignment was only supposed to be from Dec. 2015 – March 2016. It kept getting extended and the hope that there would be an opportunity for permanency was definitely prevalent, and continued to grow. I started to get comfortable and hold on to something that was only meant to be temporary. From the very beginning, I knew my job was temporary. Yet, eternal optimist that I am – I was holding out hope. It wasn’t until November that I realized I was holding on to something that wasn’t mine. There are some education codes that must be followed, and as a temporary employee, I cannot work more than 75% of the academic year… so in all honesty, my time is coming to an end. I won’t even say timing was off, because I truly believe (it took a while to get that through my head) that my place is not to be permanent at the college. It’s definitely not an easy thing to even sit here and write because let’s be honest, I’m scared shitless.
What comes next? Well, I’ve had recruiters contact me in the last two months, I’ve had interviews. I’ve applied for jobs. I can’t control anything outside of showing up and giving my best. What I can control is my response to the worst case scenario – not having a full time job outside the home and prepare for change. But is that really worst case? I mean, I have my health. I have my family. Jeff is still working. So, what will I fall back on? How will we really make ends meet? What if? How? Why?
And then, it hit me, like Glinda telling Dorothy – she had the power all along. Say whaaat?! LOL.
I already have the power.
What’s my power? I already have a working set of skills that I continue to grow in everyday. I am already a business woman, entrepreneur and creative. I just set a lot of that aside so I could work full time at a job that gave me over a year of experience under my belt. I am grateful. The last year has been amazing, and I have made new friends that have taught me so much. It will not be easy to leave them, but I am really excited to get back to the magic that has been brewing within my heart the last few weeks.
We will be branching out How About Now Creative Co.’s brand management service into a separate business. Jeff will continue his design and photography work. My new venture I will include brand strategy and add business, leadership and lifestyle consulting as another component. I have a name that will be revealed soon, I’ve been working on the branding, business set up and strategy. I am taking necessary baby steps for everything to fall in to place as I am still working full time, but really they are huge leaps and bounds because in less than 90 days it will be our bread and butter. I will continue to blog here and partner with brands that fit for our family and readers. Additionally, we plan to travel more. Which is really exciting because I have yet to experience much of the world, and my dream and goal has always been to jet set with my hubby and kids.
What I lacked since first starting our business is sincere confidence in myself and listening to outside voices that wanted to put me into a box. Not to mention, because of those voices, I have put myself in a box. I was jaded along the way, experienced some heart ache with clients and some messes because I am not a financial guru – numbers have always scared me, and let’s be real, sometimes I was self-sabotaging because I refused to charge my worth. I love people and I am in the business of seeing others thrive in their passion and crafts. That usually ended me in a hole financially or taken advantage of, often working way too many hours for minimum wage. And oh, don’t forget the taxes. Gotta pay those. I have made a lot of mistakes, I have learned a lot of “what not to do” and I was not ready to get back up and try again. However, while I learned a lot in those first two years of business, ultimately it put me back into the 8-5 because I was not ready. This time I have a different perspective. This time, I am more than confident and I am honest with myself. I’ve dusted myself off and I am back at it again. I am going to be busy as hell as Mama, wife, student, full-time employee and entrepreneur. But – I love what I do. I love learning, helping brands, people and businesses. It is hard work, and I will be tired. There will be moments that I will want to give up, but I have chosen my path and I will keep moving forward.
Jeff and I had a hot date in the final days of 2016. We went to see La-La-Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Oh my. It was phenomenal. I love musicals; Jeff doesn’t. He loved it though, which makes me happy. I was inspired. I laughed. I cried. I was encouraged, and it seriously sealed the deal on how I would move forward with pursuing my dream and setting my goals. I love spoilers, mainly because I don’t like surprises, it gives me anxiety. However, I won’t spoil the film for you. I did link the trailer above. Just go see it and be inspired. If you have a dream, it is worth your time. If you don’t have a dream, you might be reminded of one that you let go. The music of the film has inspired me so much I already have a draft written for another post!
All that to say – My biggest reflections from 2016 was that irrespective of circumstances, I was able to learn, grow and soak up everything. This new year, I plan on doing my best but know I’ll still make mistakes. I will keep learning from them, seeing growth, being successful, and seeing more of my family on a daily basis. I plan to receive the blessings and the trials of 2017 knowing that every experience is part of my journey. I am nervous about putting myself out there more. It’s so much easier to coach someone and help them find their magic, and sometimes it’s hard to see it within yourself. I call myself the Magic Maker, but at times I rarely take my own advice. I do give myself advice often, though. This is the year of consistency, follow through, and self-love. I cannot be true magic to others until I realize the magic within me.
I encourage each of you to continue to dream, take steps towards those dreams and make some solid goals, buckle down and put in the time. It won’t be easy, that much I can promise you.
But when you are working from the heart, everything seems to fall in to place.
I know that I will be able to help some of you with your goals through my new venture, too! I appreciate all of the support that I’ve gotten over the last two years, and I hope you continue to join me on my journey in the new year. I am excited to see my friends thrive, grow and experience new beginnings. I have some great vibes about 2017!
I am excited to announce that I am now an affiliate with Emily Ley, Inc., which means if you decide to shop through my links, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting my small – but magical – business, and helping me to continue to spread magic. xo
I’m a huge fan of paper & pens. I grew up selling homemade stationary door to door when I was younger. I also loved rubber stamping, all types of PAPER (still do), crafting, and pens galore. I like to work with my hands, I love to write, and make pretty things. There is just something about good ‘ol pen and paper. I feel like handwriting is quickly becoming a lost art, but it is necessary. For me, the act of handwriting, then reading what I wrote, assists in registering it in my brain.
photo © Emily Ley, Inc.
When I begin my day or week, I use a planner. I am a visual person, and I plot and plan the best way to tackle my tasks or remember significant events. Enter in the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I was given my first Emily Ley planner in 2013 as a birthday present from my mom-in-law and wore that baby out! I still have it, it’s tucked away on my desk because I have special notes and memories that I documented throughout. Plus, it’s a pretty book to have on my desk!
From 2014 and most of 2015, I tried the Erin Condren Planner because I really wanted to customize my covers, it was a really cool idea… but both of my planner covers ended up falling apart. I wasn’t too thrilled on the overall graphic elements or design. It was too busy. I really appreciate the simplicity that Emily Ley has. Eventually, I switched to a generic planner from Target, which is what I’m using right now. So far it’s been good, but I am missing the extra space and beauty that Emily Ley offers.
Right now, I use Emily’s Daily Printables for long-winded days, alongside my current planner. Once I’ve entered things into my paper planner, I add everything to my iPhone!
I’m totally saving to get my new Emily Ley planner; I am in love with the Gold Pineapple print, and I am eyeing the Weekly edition.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!
Let’s rewind to this past summer, because Emily released the Weekly Simplified Planner, which I am very excited about. The new planner is smaller than before, at 6.75″ x 9″ (8″ x 9″ with binding). The binding looks sturdier, and it’s a gorgeous gold color!
I am happy to announce that the Weekly Simplified Planner in Gold Pineapple print is available again on her website and the Daily Simplified Planner is available in all three designs – Happy Stripe, Mint Dot, & Gold Pineapple!
Check out the EmilyLey.com to see how the planner works, she’s included a lot of interior images. Plus see all of her fabulous products for home, desk, baby, and more!
How about you? How do you plan your day? Do you prefer paper over tech; or both?
Image courtesy 24 Hour Fitness
Remember that post I shared before about taking better care of myself? Well my goal has been to better myself, and also share more posts and information on fitness and health. I recently participated in a high intensity 6-week program and am excited to continue my new lifestyle journey feeling refreshed and stronger every day. I can attest that this type of training works!
With that sentiment in mind, I am excited to share the following news! For those of you that have a 24 Hour Fitness location near them, I want to let you know that there is a new program that has launched – HIGHX, a program created by world class athlete, Gabrielle Reece using Lifeline products. Her initial reasoning was to train, and then include her friends, but she found that it “fulfilled a need to get friends working out while fitting functional training into their busy schedules.” Let’s face it, as moms and parents, we have to make time to work out. And when I’m in a class, it’s so much easier as it takes out the “thinking” process. I go and show up ready to work and sweat. I know that I’ll get a good workout in and that I’ll get the training I need to make sure my posture, position and body is doing the workout properly.
Gabby Reece – Image courtesy 24 Hour Fitness
The HIGHX program consists of circuit training and its designed for all fitness and skill levels. The best thing about it is that they’re meant to work in small groups. There’s a sense of community and building support with others but you also can still have good instruction and coaching by the instructor in that type of setting.
This 50-minute high intensity class is designed to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat, build lean muscle, optimize the body’s hormonal and physiological response to exercise, all while improving overall daily and athletic performance.
*While I am not being compensated for this post, it is sponsored. This weekend (Sunday 6/14) I will have the opportunity to meet Ms. Reese and participate in a master class with other members of the press! I am super excited to meet her, I followed her beach volleyball career and her husband’s surf career when I was younger, and it’s always inspiring to meet and hear influential people share their stories. Plus, how many people can say they’ve had the experience of working out with a world class athlete?! I can’t wait to share with you!
About Gabrielle Reece, HIGHX Program Creator And Presenter
One of the world’s most influential female athletes, former Women’s Beach Volleyball League star and fitness icon, Gabrielle Reece, also known as Gabby, possesses a look that coveys both athleticism and feminine beauty. At 6’3”, Gabby is a dominant force on and off the pro beach volleyball circuit. Her commanding presence, passion for healthy living, and fitness expertise makes her a popular public speaker on the subjects of health and wellness. An avid proponent of empowering people to take responsibility for their own health, Gabby has become a role model to women worldwide regarding how to achieve peak fitness, good health, and overall well-being for themselves and their entire family.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Lifeline, a fitness leader for over 40 years, continuously develops revolutionary training tools that set the benchmark in professional grade products used for bodyweight, progressive variable resistance and functional training. Lifeline is a Pivotal 5, LLC company.
About 24 Hour Fitness
Headquartered in San Ramon, California, 24 Hour Fitness is a leading health club industry pioneer, serving nearly four million members in more than 400 clubs across the U.S. For more than 30 years, the company has been dedicated to helping members change their lives and reach their individual fitness goals. With convenient club locations, personal training services, popular group exercise classes and a variety of strength, cardio and functional training equipment, 24 Hour Fitness offers fitness solutions for everyone
Please call 1-800-224-0240 or visit 24hourfitness.com for more information and to find the club nearest you.
Remember that AMAZING experience I shared last year with Disney Parks, BSM Media and a whole bunch of awesome bloggers? I was so blessed to be selected to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road event in Phoenix, AZ and I still am sharing content and my experience. It was that good!
I have to say that hearing from Tracey Clark was one of my favorite experiences at the event. When I found out that she would be speaking I was so excited and to top it off we would learn more about mobile photography. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love my iPhone and as the phone cameras become more advanced, we’re able to take even better pictures with each click.
I’m not a photographer by any means, but being able to use my phone opens up a whole new door for me to capture awesome moments.
In terms of mobile photography, she delved deeper into the popular photo app – Instagram and how to use it to our advantage in social media, while letting our creativity take flight. One thing that struck me during her presentation is that not only is every picture worth 1000 words, but it’s my responsibility to use that square, a.k.a. Instagram, to its optimum potential!
Photo © Tracey Clark
Tracey’s vibrancy for life, love, and photography is evident in all that she does. I was super excited to meet her along with her other Disney Sisters at the event. She touched on the topics observation, contemplation, and creativity. It’s really important that we remember our eyes see the world in a way that no other eyes can.
Observation. When we talk about observing, we talk about seeing the details we want to notice the details so that we can shoot them. Each one of us is awesome and should want to show the world what we see. Unique is amazing.
One of my favorite past times when I go to Disneyland Resort is looking through the main street windows, checking out the signage; “stopping and smelling the roses,” so to speak. There’s pleasure in slowing down and on a recent solo trip, I shared the importance and freedom in doing so! It really is something to see the details and observe the details and Disney does just a great job with infusing the littlest things into the back stories of characters in scenery and it is really mind blowing. There is so much to do and to take pictures of when you’re there, so observe it all. Look at something from a new perspective.
Contemplation. We must be deliberate. It’s an important part in improving your photography. I we are more deliberate in our photography, we will be that way in our everyday lives, at least that’s the goal!
Being deliberate when we live our lives is important. Just as Tracey said, it will flow into other areas of your life. One way that I am practicing being deliberate is with spending time with the kids and Jeff. Life can get really busy, but I have to make that effort to sit and play and just BE with them. Same thing goes for photography. Be purposeful in your shots.
Creativity. This is the fun and playful part! Play is important and shooting with your camera is fun, don’t make it a chore. It should be enjoyable for everyone involved.
One of my favorite things to shoot is Sleeping Beauty Castle. I always have to take a picture of it, but it wasn’t until recently that I began trying to be deliberate and creative with my shots. My favorite is when she is all prettied up for Christmas. I wanted to capture the beauty of the garlands and ornaments so I stood right before the entrance, focused and shot an image. It came out pretty swell.
Tracey reminds us that EVERY SINGLE STEP is important and we must make them all count. How true is that in everything? We can’t rush through life nor through the process of something that might seem as simple as taking a picture. To be good at anything, we must practice… and I always like to have fun.
Elevate the Everyday. This is my favorite. This is Tracey’s philosophy in doing what makes you happy, enjoy the little things like the coffee cup at the Parks. Perhaps I am so drawn to this because my mantra is “finding the magic in everyday.” We make our lives what it is, no we can’t control everything, but we CHOOSE how to respond. I have my days of doubt, but I do my best to choose to find that magic. It’s always about perspective, just like photography.
I am so grateful for the time spent at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On The Road in 2014, and I have my fingers crossed to attend another day full of magic and pixie dust this year! I learned so much and the memories and experiences will stay with me forever! Make sure to check out Tracey’s website.
What are you capturing with your phone? Share your favorite photo app in the comments!
Okay, the season of color and warmth could certainly come sooner. I imagine myself sipping a refreshing mimosa basking in the sun on the beach in a super cute retro style bathing suit when I look at the gorgeous prints from Lilly Pulitzer.
Just a few days ago, Target announced their newest Limited Edition Collection with Lilly Pulitzer and it’s going to be a 250 piece collection of apparel, accessories and home.
Please pinch me.
I seriously love that seeing more color is just around the corner. I do have a hard time wearing bright colors in winter. I’m not sure why, maybe because I’m so cold and everything warm that I own is in a muted or neutral color. I was just drooling over some of Lilly’s resort wear a couple of months ago, and now, since all the pieces are under $30 and made exclusively for this collaboration, I know what I’ll be saving up my $$ for. Did I mention that the price point starts at just $2? I have no idea what that item is, but it will be in my basket.
As Target releases more images and price points, I’ll be sure to let you know! We have to make our wish lists!! Bring on Spring and Summer!
About Lilly Pulitzer
Founded in 1959 by Lilly (McKim) Pulitzer — a stylish Palm Beach hostess and socialite whose husband Peter Pulitzer owned several citrus groves — the brand has an ingenious origin. Lilly would turn her husband’s fresh oranges into juice, which she sold at a juice stand off posh Worth Avenue. She wasn’t a stranger to hard work, but Lilly never wanted to look anything but fashionable, so she created kicky printed shift dresses to wear while working at the stand because the patterns camouflaged the juice spills beautifully. Catching the eye of more than one passerby, including the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Lilly started selling her dresses at her juice stand, and American resort wear was born. Since then, Lilly Pulitzer has evolved into a brand that stands for boldness, individuality and optimism — every day’s a beach day when you’re wearing Lilly!
The collection will be available online and in stores in US and CA beginning April 19th. Is it safe to say that I’ll see you there? 🙂