After a very long, very isolating year, I FINALLY got out of the house for all my favorite “F’s” – Friends, Food, Fun, and Fashion!! The Shops Around Lenox are located right along Lenox Mall itself and boasts a designer corner with all your favorites such as Lululemon, Fabrik, West Elm, Kendra Scott, and so much more!
I got so many compliments on my outfit, so I have linked it here for you. I am now an Express Ambassador, a partnership I have wanted for several years, so expect to see lots of looks from Express from me this year, starting with this top (which also comes in this pretty rust color).
I was excited to start my day at BLO Dry Bar, where I was spoiled by Alfred with a “Pillow Talk” blowout. These glamorous blowouts start at $45, and they have a membership program for regulars!
Next, I visited Draper James. This brand is owned by domestic goddess Reese Witherspoon and is SO WELL branded. They have furniture in the store that she actually has in her house to really hit home that this is truly representative of her style. The prints are adorable, and the qualities of the designs are amazing. I tried on several dresses in hopes of places to wear them in the coming months.
My last stop was for lunch with a friend at Seven Lamps restaurant. They have indoor and outdoor seating that is both trendy and casual to suit the weather and your mood. My favorite part was obviously the craft cocktail menu. I ordered the Pistol Pete, a blueberry and basil margarita, and it was AH-mazing.
In case you are looking for some retail therapy that doesn’t break the bank, look no further. Target has partnered up with some pretty amazing designers and is carrying so many unique dresses that are simply too good to NOT share.
My sister and I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in Barrington, Illinois. In the early 90’s, it was considerably smaller than it is now. Growing up, there was little to no entertainment in our neck of the woods so we often turned to nearby towns. Medieval Times was comfortably situated in a neighboring suburb called Schaumburg, Illinois. My parents often took us there as kidsfor fun family nights out.
Recently @Chicksandsalsa collaborated with Medieval Times and brought our life full circle when we took our kids back to where all the fun first began! Medieval Times was gracious enough to take us VIP and enter with the Royalty Package. This allowed us to have priority access, VIP seating, VIP lanyards and Medieval Times banners. Our kids absolutely loved the royal treatment and couldn’t wait to cheer on our Black and White Knight. The show will take you back in time and delight you with challenges typical of those from the Medieval times. Having the crowd split by knight adds for a friendly competition amongst audience members which engages adults and kids alike.
Unfortunately, our black-and-white knight lost, but we still loved watching all the jousting and steel action! Medieval Times employees ALWAYS stay in character which really enhances the experience. You will be addressed as “my lady” and served up “dragon blood” (tomato soup) “dragon eggs” (potatoes) and “baby dragons” (grilled chicken) for dinner. For those of you who have followed @Chicksandslasa for a while, I often refer to vegetarian friendly options. Medieval Times is VERY veggie friendly. They offer garlic bread, hummus with pita and vegetables, potatoes, and a rice with beans stew! Trust me, you won’t leave hungry! After going this time with my kids, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t this be a great birthday party?” Maybe next time! In the meantime, think about Medieval Times for your next family night out!
*General admission for adults costs $63.95 and for children 12 and under $37.95 BUT they run promotions often so click here. It’s worth every penny! The show and dinner will not disappoint!*
Pack kids’ lunches. Grade class spelling tests. Make sure N’s book report is started. Plan for the next Language Arts unit. Make sure kids’ laundry is washed before Friday. Make copies for Social Studies project. Oh crap, I have to send out the minutes for the PTA board meeting. Wait — did I really sign that field trip mission slip? When is the next girls’ outing…is it this week or next? Did I call my mom? When do I need to have report cards done by?
These are my current thoughts. I am now up at 3 AM on a Monday morning thinking of all the things I wish I would have had time to complete over the weekend. Why am I up right now? Why can’t I just get this noise out of my head? Oh right — because I don’t just wear one hat, I wear like 20. I’m (and in no particular order) a mom, wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, teacher, neighbor, friend, best friend, coworker, peer, subordinate…and so on and so forth.
Constantly…working moms around the nation are on overdrive. Moms are always on the go and always “on.” I know I’m always “on” — mainly because I’m an elementary school teacher…looking out for children is a constant in my life. I don’t think it really matters if you’re a teacher or not — the constant to-do list runs through our minds day and night (see my earlier post about achieving balance).
When I took a year off last year, I noticed that I was relieved from that element of my life — which was work. I didn’t have a boss to report up to because I was my own boss. I didn’t feel this constant feeling of having to “report” anywhere by a certain time or fulfill my own set of work obligations. Now — even when I love what I do and wouldn’t imagine another career for myself, I do feel a constant loyalty to my students day in and day out…even on my evenings and weekends. Would I trade what I do to stay home? Never.
All at once, I take turns wearing all the other hats — and try to juggle it all at once. Sometimes I wonder why I even try to juggle it all because it seems humanly impossible to be everywhere all at once…but I try anyways because that’s what I am. I am the type of person, like many other amazingly strong women out there that try to do everything all at once. I am the type that will put too much on my plate because I know that I work best under pressure and can’t stand not giving any aspect of my life my 110% all the time. Is it healthy? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me once.
Constantly, I am reminded to take a moment for myself to unwind and take a “time-out.” A moment to just be with my own thoughts and be myself, a moment to find my zen. To shed away all those hats for a moment to gather my own ideas and to just be. As I get older, I do find that listening to my inner self is getting more and more important. When I feel that anxious, robotic, out of body experience. When I feel that I’m slipping away from myself…
I have found a few ways that help me gather myself and recharge. Whether it be making a Target run to just roam around aimlessly with a Starbucks in hand. Or to get on that treadmill and run away the feels. Or by meeting up with some girlfriends for some “wine and whine” time. Or even by taking the long way home from work to just sit and listen to the radio in silence.
I have found the importance of finding your “time-outs.” What makes you feel like you the most? What makes you feel so content that it feels like you’re recharging your “battery?” What could possibly help you strip away all your hats for just one moment?
So ladies, take a moment. Not because I’m urging you to do so, but because you feel that it’s about time! Take that moment for yourself — just for you. You can only give and give so much…
You’re in “time out!”
Your Brainy Chick,
Disclaimer: No way do I feel that moms staying home to take care of their household and family don’t deserve a time out either — get out there ladies…you need that break!