I recently attended the Atlanta Apparel trade show in Atlanta. A world class experience where boutique and business owners go to shop. It happens five times a year in order to showcase different seasons of fashion! This year on display were a few notable trends that you’ll start seeing as the season turns. With a few helpful tips by blogger and influencer Kathleen Barnes, I have compiled what I think are 4 things that you can easily add to your wardrobe to stay on trend, fun, and fashionable this Spring.
Pastel colors, particularly the pinks and purples, are the IT colors this Spring. It is a feminine tone that makes an outfit instantly feel elegant. This Free People top I am wearing has a lace covered cold shoulder that mixes a little bit of edge with lady-like detailing. I am wearing a size medium. This top is one of those versatile pieces… dress it up with some capri pants and stilettos or dress it down with jeans and sneakers.
Floral and Prints in General
There was clearly a pattern across all of the vendor booths: prints, prints, prints! In particular, florals were VERY popular on skirts, tops, blazers, dresses and pants. There is no doubt that Spring will bloom inside and outside of boutiques. This skirt I am wearing is MSGM is a size 6. The fit to flare look of this outfit is flattering for mom’s who are conscious of waistlines (I am also wearing my Spanx under this look). Throwing in a floral print can not only brighten an outfit but also your own mood.
So this one is a little trickier for me. As a mom, I just could not find a practical way to incorporate a feather vest or skirt into my wardrobe – I just don’t see myself having the opportunity to rock those. BUT there are other ways to incorporate this trend through the use of accessories, from scarves to jewelry. I did find some cute accessories that would allow me to be ‘trendy’ without overspending. Check out some beautiful feather earrings that add just enough sass to a spice up a daytime or nighttime look.
Casually or formally, there is clearly no right or wrong way to rock a blazer this Spring. This trend is one of my favorites – there are so many ways to wear them. The weather in the Spring can be unpredictable but a jacket may be too much. A blazer is the best way to layer and prepare you for some of the unexpected weather that comes with spring. My cami pictured below is reversible (cool, right? Two pieces for the price of one). Paired with my Hudson white bell bottoms, this look has Spring written all over it!
The only thing I had before I went to the tradeshow were blazers so adding some trendy pieces to my closet was fun. It helped to focus on bring new energy to my closet through the use of certain colors, prints, and textures. Follow us on Instagram to see how we mix and match these pieces into our daily looks and check out what is on our Nordstom Winter Clearance wish list.
Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like sometimes life gets too busy…to the point that there are evenings when my husband and I are hardly able to chat in the evenings. I have spoken with my chicks and my mom about this and it seems normal for life to cut into relationships — but honestly, no one likes to feel like they are not ‘connected’ to their spouse or significant other (SO). Having been married for 13 years with two young children, it’s easy to let one busy evening become two nights in a row and then, before you know it, a week!
Here are some important reminders, the five ‘P’s, to keep your relationship on track and healthy:
Identify that you miss your spouse…this is an easy way to kick yourself back into gear. The best place to start is to communicate that longing. It helps get the wheels turning for you and for your SO. I tell my husband I miss him all the time, even when he is right in front of me. It lets him know that I am thinking about him and that time with him is a priority for me.
Remember, actions express priorities. So once you acknowledge that you miss each other, it is time to make a plan. We were so good about date nights in the beginning, but lately (in the last 3 years) not so much. This year, we want to find a way to get back to that place where we set aside time for each other. Making time to do things together (yes, without the kids and hustle of daily life) expresses priorities.
Remember those little things you did when you had fewer responsibilities? In our case, it was watch a lot of movies, NBA basketball games, and walking around new parts of town. Those activities are fun, flirty, and lighthearted. Don’t just go out to a fancy dinner — go to sports bar and catch the game again, like old times. Play time together is just as important for adults as it is for kids. Remind each other of the easy, playful times amidst the weight of growing responsibilities with families.
Sonia and Badal Celebrating 10 Years!
Do you know it only take 60 SECONDS of physical skin to skin contact to get the endorphins going? Take that playfulness further by sneaking in moments to flirt at home. These moments can be an unexpected hug or kiss in the kitchen, a slight touch of the hand as you walk by. Making sure to remember that even the slightest physical contact with your spouse can make the body have a positive biological response.
This one is great. It ties in with #2, planning. Each night, when the lights are out, it is nice to have a little recap. I tell my husband a quick story about the kids or myself. He will tell me something funny that happened at the office. We try to keep the exchange lighthearted (and phone free), to help us laugh together and end the day with a smile. Having this brief re-connectivity can help be a reset and recharge button for the relationship. I actually think about pillow talk throughout out the day and look forward to that moment of peace when it is just the two of us.
** Bonus ‘P’: Poetry**
When I first met my husband he would write me lovely snippets in emails, on cards, and on napkins (anything he could get his hands on!) from time to time, sneaking in a romantic thought here an there really drew me to him. Since that time, I have see many other relationships use this fun way to communicate with each other. Check out some of my favorite love poems written by my uncle in his book, The Start Of Something Beautiful. Maybe scoop up a copy for your honey for old times sake, or check out some of our other ideas for gifts. Here is a sample from the book:
Hopefully, you can use some of these tips. When I am on the same page as my spouse, I move through my day with confidence and positivity. When we are ‘off’, it affects me, the kids, my work, etc. Are you like that? Drop me a comment below on what you do to connect with your spouse.
Wow, it has been a roller coaster since launching Chicks And Salsa and, besides the time I have spent with my family, this has been one of the most gratifying year and a half of my life. Doing something that is centered on the betterment and understanding of myself was a hard transition to make but has felt amazing. The blog has also had some unexpected benefits such as making my relationships with my parents, siblings, spouse, and children better since I had found an outlet for myself. It has served as an avenue to work through my thoughts and ideas in in a more organized fashion that my brain previously couldn’t. I am also truly grateful to Sonia, Avani, Komal, and Neema who have found a home on the blog for their voices and ideas. Compiling our passions, motivations, and insecurities has allowed each of us to grow beyond what we could have imagined. In reflecting on this past year, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the top five things I have learned since “becoming a blogger.”
Bloggers Are Awesome People
I was surprisingly met with good energy, positive vibes and smiling faces when I timidly introduced Chicks And Salsa to the blog-sphere. I was worried about encountering intimidation and skepticism; but other bloggers were generous with their ideas and enthusiasm. After all, we are unique and have a different messages to share with the universe. We have worked with many bloggers in developing our brand and truly credit them for the support that they have provided. These women rock! They are hard working, creative, and smart and open to questions. DM your favorite bloggers and see what they say! Pro tip: to really shortcut the process, join Style Collective. They have all the secrets, resources, and community support to justify what they offer for $10/month. I wish I had found them much sooner than I did. I use their calendars and templates for emails and contracts regularly. I have also met new networks that have streamlined my outreach.
Deciding to Start is The Hardest Part
My sister and I talked ourselves out of starting Chicks And Salsa for months. We kept thinking we were too old, too boring, too ‘whatever’ to have a blog. And although that still may be true, doing it for ourselves has been the greatest gift. The fact that so many of our readers check in is the bow on top. Sharing a piece of oneself with the universe can come with a host of insecurities, doubt, changes, attempts, failures, laughter, and tears. It’s the constant pursuit of developing and defining your brand that really reflects who you are as a person. It forces you to reflect on your values and desires, an exercise that fuels motivation to try harder and learn more. Then there is the challenge of incorporating all this sharing into your day-to-day life without it totally taking over (which it totally has the potential to do, see number 3.)
Blogging is ALL Encompassing
With blogging, I find myself managing many media platforms. In order to succeed, you do need to be everywhere all the time. Having my cameras always charged and planning out my content helps — that way I am not aimlessly taking pictures all the time. I make my time count by being goal-oriented and then I either write the piece, get the picture, or make a list and move on. A bias towards action is important and acting with intention will help limit the blogging… keeping it from taking over your life!
Blogging is actually SO MUCH FUN!
Yes, it’s true. Deciding to do this was the exact kick I needed to get out of the funk I was in. For the first time in five years, I was home alone because my kids went to school full time and I had been working part time from home. The blog has taken my ‘me time’ to another level. I have developed as a writer, photographer, digital content creator, and friend. Not to mention, I have discovered a whole world of new social media supporters and friendships – some I have met, some I have not (yet!). It has been a rewarding journey that I am excited to continue experiencing. You, our readers, are a huge part of the motivation that drives me forward. Thank you!
It Is Easier To Work Backwards
In the beginning, I decided to start a blog but I didn’t have a specific objective or purpose in mind. Helpful questions to start with are ‘why do you want to blog?’,‘what is the end goal?’, and ‘are you seeking free stuff, money, to network, or travel?’. I know it seems obvious, but if you want free travel, talk about travel; if you want free products, talk about products, etc. Genuinely I think I started because I wanted to learn about blogging and I wanted to be informed. I know now that Chicks And Salsa is truly a lifestyle blog that we have built to speak to all the layers of women, in particular mothers. Women tend to be the demographic who have limited time for themselves and cherish the time they get with their friends. Therefore, we found our mission after we decided to pursue the genesis of Chicks and Salsa. This important nuance helped us grow from the ground up into a purposeful blog.
Phew, what a round up! I hope you found this helpful. In the new digital age, the creative content that one can make and the audience that they can have is truly limitless. Use that indefinite space to find a corner that is yours. I hope that with Chicks And Salsa, you have not only found that you are part of our tribe but also that you are the origin of your own movement.
All of this cold weather has us dreaming about this past summer when the chicks came together and agreed that a little getaway was in order. We rounded up childcare, got the husbands to buy into a getaway for the gals, shopped, planned, and shopped some more (see our airport looks here) and finally booked our tickets for the famous Miami Beach.
It had been AGES since any of us had been there so we did a lot of research and mixed a little old with the new when we planned our stay. For nostalgia’s sake we went to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Towers for our stay, in our 20s we used to enjoy spending time in their gorgeous lobby bar, Bleau Bar. Our suite was heavenly, water on both sides and up in the sky, we knew when we stepped into the suite that no matter what we had planned for the weekend that we were going to have a great time. The suites in the towers at Fontainebleau are fully stocked with a full kitchen and COFFEE! Thank God, mornings without coffee are just awful especially after a long night! The rooms were so comfortable and spacious, we all had room to breathe, spread out, take a break/nap, and gather. We had all the right ingredients for an amazing weekend: good company, gorgeous location, no agenda, good vibes, and for the next three days NOTHING TO DO. We left laptops, books, and to-do lists at home.
We started at the tried at true Espanola Way for an immersive ‘Welcome to Miami’ moment. The weather is always just perfect in Miami, no wonder you can’t help but feel happy when you are there. Espanola way is so unique, with its cafes that spill out into the streets, string lights that stretch the entire block, aromas from foods all over the world, and live music that sets the mood which makes this block one of a kind. Even though the temptation to stop into the first place you see is real, walking all the way down to Tapas N Tintos is well worth it. This has been a chick favorite for ages, the flamenco dancers, tapas, intimate seating and cute servers make this restaurant a truly unique experience that can only be found in this corner of Miami.
We popped into Blo BlowDry Bar for a little pampering the next morning before we started on the day’s adventures, we had an amazing morning with the staff there, so patient and hilarious, nothing like fun people to really elevate a girls weekend. Since our last visit, Miami has become home to many creative hotspots and hosts amazing events like Art Basel each year. Since we were just popping in for the weekend, we were determined to check out the installments at Wynwood Walls which was only about a ten minute cab ride from South Beach. This enormous indoor/outdoor installment is not only beautiful, but also a bloggers dream come true! Backdrop after backdrop grace the grounds and alternative structural installments capture the imagination. After strolling through the walls, we wandered around the corner and popped into KYU a vegetarian friendly restaurant where we ate the most amazing grilled cauliflower head with avocado drizzle. This restaurant was so yummy and such an unexpected find.
After a fairly relaxing day, we were craving a high energy, high intensity environment. LIV nightclub has been on our list, but they were closed for renovations so we headed to Rockwell to get our groove on. A crowded nightclub may have been a little bit different than we remembered but we had a great time.
We knew that we would not want to leave Miami without a dip in the ocean, so we headed over to the beach the next morning to really just get the 360 experience, and the water was so warm, it was hardly refreshing against the Florida heat but it was still so liberating. Something about the way salt water makes you float just makes us tick. We floated for what seemed like an hour with nothing but a view of the sky, definitely one of my favorite moments of the weekend. With a few of our favorite beauty products in our bags, we were good to go!
By recommendation, we headed to the stunning Scarpetta Lounge for dinner, conveniently for us located in Fontainebleau. This restaurant makes you want to sit straight, look on point, order a fancy drink, take pictures, and just relish the moment. The food was excellent; they were accommodating for our vegetarian needs, and made dishes especially for us. This was an expensive meal, but it was worth it! Next stop was the hotel lobby bar where we had so many memories and laughs from years ago. The bar is just stunning and massive! Our cocktail for the night was a French 75, it’s a mix of champagne, lemon juice and simple syrup and a whole lotta sexy. It’s a must try and the bartender at the bar NAILED IT!
SLS Pool Party
We were on a roll; we called it a night since our last day was going to be spent at the SLS pool party by recommendation the next day. I am still speechless when it comes to our experience at SLS. Please know that this weekly pool party books up months in advance so if you are going to Miami and want to go to this book it ASAP here. SLS took a few tips from the Las Vegas pool party model and blew it out of the water literally, we spent eight hours there in total (thank god for physical sunscreen) and each one was different and unexpected. The crowd was diverse but not stuffy, the staff were friendly and attentive and the venue was just breathtaking and intimate. They have mastered the flow of this event and have good control over the crowd which we really appreciated.
Needless to say, we used the flight home to catch a quick cat-nap and hydrate. In summary, our trip was epic and hopefully the start of a tradition with the chicks. A little mommy getaway does the soul and spirit good. We were thrilled to get back to our families but super grateful for the break.
If we had to narrow it down to our top three things that you just can’t negotiate and miss on your next trip, they would be a visit to:
This time of year can seem super hectic! With schedules in school, at work, and socially in overdrive you may have run into some people that you don’t under ‘normal’ circumstances. Work parties, large family gatherings, and school functions may have you caught off guard when talking to what we call semi-strangers.
Luckily, Savvy Chick, Avani, has a gift for connecting people and handling the inevitable interactions that come with being out and about during the holidays!
We took on this topic during one of our recent Chick Chats. Check out the episode here!
Be sure to listen all the way to the end where she really drops some wisdom.
Let us know if you would like to hear us speak on a specific topic. Also, like us on Facebook to stay up to date with our latest chats and other thoughts.
It was a life lesson my parents tried to teach us at a young age: if you surround yourself with go-getters and motivated individuals, it would ‘rub’ off on you and make you that way. We didn’t always understand what they meant – or if they just didn’t like our friends growing up – but the older we got, the more we understood. Surrounding yourself with like-minded and successful people can inspire motivation. Success, learning, and networking is like an addiction — once you get a taste of what it is like to be ‘one-of-those-people’, you become empowered to continue to learn and create.
Getting a graduate degree was step one for us. We were surrounded by colleagues who were motivated to pursue further understanding and deeper thought. We began learning the importance of not just accomplishing a task, but enjoying the process of collaborating with peers. And it may sound silly, but our lifestyles as a whole began to shift; we started spending more time in coffee shops getting to know people and their passions rather than partying at bars and nightclubs where the discussions were more superficial.
Most recently, we discovered blogging. Once we entered this sphere, we quickly recognized that this was largely a female-dominated industry filled with creative influencers, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists. The desire to have these women ‘rub’ off on us was real. We have always had a strong network of women in our lives, from our Mom to our five aunts to our cousins and to our friends, it’s hard to ignore the magnetic energy that a room full of women can produce.
We didn’t know at the time what we were bringing to the table. We did know that we had something to offer. In this past year, we have truly grown as individuals and as bloggers. Joining groups where women were open to listening and sharing ideas (e.g. the Windy City Collective, Chicago Grammers, and Style Collective) has been meaningful and beneficial. Somewhere along the way in these discussions, it did ‘rub ‘ off and we caught the bug to try something new and push ourselves professionally and creatively. This infectious transfer of motivation among women helps us to enjoy the blogging process and to have fun even when things seem hectic.
We are getting a second chance in our thirties to redefine the next fifty years of our life. Although we don’t know what we are going to do with that opportunity yet, we do know that we will continue to grow. We are truly grateful to the people we have met along the way who have been generous with their ideas and time – shout out to Annie Spano and the dolls from Once Upon A Dollhouse to name a few. They inspired us to see a bigger picture and talk through a path with us chicks.
Blogging is about reciprocal influence by sharing who you are with the universe and letting the universe shape you. At Chicks and Salsa, we are trying to do just that one week at a time. Thanks for hopping along for the journey. Get out there, form connections, empower yourself and inspire others. Check out our Chicks And Salsa Chick Chat podcast to hear us think out loud about other things in life that motivate us!
I’ve always believed that confidence comes from within. You can’t fake it. When my family comes together at the end of the day, we sit over dinner and discuss the things we are most proud of from the day. It might sound self-indulgent, but we hope that in recognizing our strengths and accomplishments we can be encouraged to continue to improve. Although it’s easy to focus on the “weight we need to lose” or the “wrinkles that are creeping in,” teaching self-acceptance can be a great confidence booster. It’s amazing, as a mother of two, to watch how much we influence the level of confidence our children have. But there is something I have learned about confidence: it is multidimensional. While self-worth comes from within, our outward selves can impact how we feel about our inward selves. Even though confidence isn’t always driven by what you see on the outside, it can definitely influence it.
I have observed my almost 7-year-old daughter watch me get ready for the day. Some days I feel like wearing yoga pants and no make up. Other days, I feel like wearing heels and a dress that make me feel good. When in both looks, I make it a point to be body positive and self-accepting as I know she’s listening to my thoughts and watching my actions. I’m certain I’m not alone when I admit there have been times that my daughter has emulated me in a way that I am not proud of. I use those moments as a stiff reminder that she’s watching and I need to be sure to send the right message about self-esteem and confidence. My daughter loves to dress up. One of the looks she loves best is when our clothing matches. It could be as simple as matching colors, style, or even patterns. She can tell when I am “feelin’ myself” and she has a way of emulating that momentum. I don’t claim to have a perfect body or a beautiful face but one thing that I love the most is when I feel confident in my own skin — and I want to teach my daughter to feel the same.
I recently stumbled across a really fun website called Jems&A. It’s a female-owned business whose mission is to design and style children’s clothing to help kids express their creative side in what they choose to wear. The Chicks love to support women’s businesses that also promote positivity! Their clothes were appropriate for my daughter and consistent with my own personal style which made it easy to do some “mommy & me” matching. They have clothes for not only daily wear but also for a fun night on the town. Making memories with my children is what I cherish most in this short life. Taking the time to focus on my relationship with my children is one of my main priorities. It was fun to play dress-up with my daughter and incorporate laughter into our fun looks! If you like what see here in the post, consider checking out Jems&A. If you use the code ChicksAndSalsa20, you can get 20% off an order of $50 or more.
Feel good, look good, and share that same confidence with your mini! To read about how to discuss compassion with your mini, check out our post here.
When we chicks have an opportunity to meet with creative influencers and check out emerging designers, we are there! For our most recent fashion adventure, we attended the Atlanta Fashion Designers annual showcase. The showcase was hosted in a beautiful garden venue and it did not disappoint. There were nearly a dozen designers showcasing ethnic, urban, and high-end designs with colorful fabrics and thoughtful silhouettes. It was a perfect evening with seating on an outdoor patio — while exchanging notes with other bloggers about fall trends and good vibes. Diversity was the theme that ran throughout the show.
The MC, Shorty Mac of HOT 107.9, was stunning and lively. She set the tone arranging a live band singing old school jams. She kicked off the event by introducing the designers and then the fashion unfolded for the evening. Chicks and salsa loved the show.. and sitting with a stylist, a fashion icon, and a designer doesn’t hurt either!
In particular, the men’s fashion by Lindbergh really stood apart from the rest. The ensembles were crisp and clean. In particular, the sneakers were our favorite. The use of zippers, open lacing, and bold colors really made them stand out, see the collection here.
Another thing to note this fashion season is that street style continues to trend! Alexis’ Suitcase, Shavonne, and the Girls and Curves Boutique pulled out all the stops with the street style looks. These designers were pairing sneakers with dresses and ruffles with capris.
The street style was contrasted by the next designer, HijabiPop, who explored more of an evening gown theme. This collection was a welcome addition representing fashion that is relevant in many parts of the world for millions of people.
The evening closed with Samba dancers, nibbles and laughter. This is hands down one of the most diverse fashion shows in Atlanta. The designs and the crowd felt worldly and engaged in supporting the diverse platform that the Atlanta Fashion Designers have set up. This is a perfect avenue for emerging creative artists to put themselves out there. Thank you to the vendors who put in time at the Sip’n’Shop and the organizers for creating such a memorable event. I look forward to next year!