Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Balancing Act - Finding Balance Between Work and Life

As a special request from about 5 women ... a combination of stay-at-home-moms (sahm) and working career moms, my next blog details how I find balance between work and life.  This blog is long overdue because I seem to be asked this question almost every week!  The last time was when I was mistaken for a sahm at the mall play area when in circumstance, I just took a day off to spend with my son, Alexander.  No offense taken at all; it was a rather nice conversation with the sahm and I told her about my routine and balancing act while our children played together.

First off, I want to make clear that it does NOT always go well.  My husband and I have our small and fair share of conflicts, missed schedules or forgotten bill payments because he is also in a very demanding and deadline-oriented job with a 45-50 minute commute each way, depending on traffic.  Marriage really is TEAM work especially when you involve children in the mix.

Most of you know I trained and dieted down to get ready for my first fitness competition back in August 2011.  The 12 weeks needed to train for this show started on May 13th.  Just the weekend before, my husband and I went to Las Vegas to re-charge and that was the last weekend for me to truly enjoy life before I started this new adventure.  The first 4-5 weeks went fine; I still worked from home 100% at my other job so this enabled me to be at the gym 6 times a week every morning, sometimes 7 days.  My kitchen was accessible so it wasn't difficult to have my foods prepped; what was hard was putting in 40 hours of work while maintaining my household and spending quality time with my husband and son.  Starting 4 weeks out, I went to do cardio in the mornings and then came back in the evenings to lift.  In between that I worked.  Long story short, I didn't sleep well which made me irritable and tired and eventually Jason, my hubby, wasn't too happy either and missed our weekly Saturday evening date nights.  I tell you how it is bluntly because I will not lie to you that training for a competition as a full-time professional, full-time wife, full-time mom was one of the toughest times I've had .. and forget friends, I had to cancel several brunch/lunch dates too (and thank you to all of my friends who understood); in addition, I also had to cancel lunches with my parents at our usual Vietnamese pho noodle place (yes I'm sooooo Asian lol!) - everything changes basically! .. The worst part of all was my son's school also mentioned that at 2 weeks out showtime, my son was misbehaving and they thought it was simply because he missed his Mommy.  That really broke my heart :-( ...  At 2 weeks out, I had a crying meltdown and my hubby sat me down and told me that I've come so far and that I only have 2 weeks left.  He had a point and he knew how important this was to me.  Before we got married, he knew that I was one to set a goal and go all the way to achieve it.  I can't quit now.

Overall, the fitness competition was an amazing experience and I have amazing pictures to prove it to my grandchildren one day (I can say to my grandchildren - "Lola - grandma in tagalog - was hot at one point!") ... Lol! - After competition and which is a pretty normal question, family and friends asked if I wanted to compete some more, perhaps make a living out of it.  Considering I had just competed the weekend before, I couldn't quite answer that question fully, heck I didn't know.  Yes at that moment, I'd love to do more of course.  And even now, 8 months after, I would love to train and compete again for another.  But here's the catch and reality.  I am now 31 years of age, happily married, raising a son and working as a full-time senior tax professional.  And yes, Jason and I eventually want to have another child one day.  I had to make a decision and now I can realistically say that no I do not plan to make competing in fitness shows as my full-time job or breadmaker.  I would actually be going in reverse with my career as I have worked so hard to get where I am at now.  It would be one thing if I did not enjoy or like what I am doing, then yes I would possibly consider a switch.  Perhaps if I was still in my early 20s then it would be more credible (and much easier) to work, devote the gym time and make sacrifices because it only involves you.  I am a wife and mother at the moment and I do not have much free time at all so when I do, it will go towards what and who is the most important in my life at the moment ... and that is my husband and my son.  Of course, I've not ruled out another one for sure.  Jason and I actually discussed it one night while we had our coffees.  We both think it is best that if I compete again that it be after we are done having children and these children are a little bit older to understand the commitment that Mommy has to give towards doing a fitness competition.  And just like my first one, the reason I would be doing it is "icing on the cake" for having lost 52lbs and getting fit; and most importantly to have fun.  I am not chasing my dream there; my dream is a life full of balance in my family, faith, career, my children and my hobbies.  As a Mom, we all have that tendency to care for others before we care for ourselves.  And that's wrong thinking.  We should still make sure we are on that list of to do's or to take care .. whether it be making it to the gym 2-3 times a week, taking an hour to shop at the mall by yourself, or treating yourself to a massage, manicure or pedicure.  Like I always say, "a happy child benefits from a happy Mom!"   I think I've answered the competition question as truthfully as I can so one down, one more to go =) ... 

The other day at work, we had a web seminar on "Working Parents."  We had a panel of individuals that ranged from all ranks both Mom and Dads.  I'd like to share with you a few tips they all shared with the audience:

- Take an hour on Sunday evening to sit down and plan with your spouse the week (i.e. who/when will pick up the children or take the children to soccer, ballet, karate, etc.).  This tip is for when both parents are working parents.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help.  One senior manager shared that she likes it when a co-worker asks for a favor because that means she will be able to also ask one in the future.  One of the main reasons Jason and I moved to Dallas from Cincinnati is the family network we have here.  I don't know where we'd be without my parents and my brother who also assists with our son in case Jason and I have to stay late in the office one day.  They also take our son for 2-3 hours on Sunday.  This gives me time to cook our meals for the week while Jason catches up on house projects or projects at work he has a deadline on that week
- When volunteering at school, try to choose the event that will enable you to interact the most with your child(ren).  Since us working parents are already limited on our free time, we should be selective in our events.  One of the events is chaperoning on field trips where it would also enable you to meet your child's friends.  It's not that we don't want to volunteer for the other events, heck if you are like me, I'd volunteer for ALL events, but your child's school should understand and at the end, your child will most remember Mom or Dad's efforts in the long run.

Jason and I basically have a routine each week and we divvy up our duties.  He is a master in ironing so that duty goes to him (I horribly stink at it :-/); I do most of the cooking in our household as well as laundry.  We have a set schedule on who does drop-offs and pickups on certain days.  I do pick-ups after school on two days during the work week so Jason can hit the gym right after work and when he gets home, dinner is already ready and Alexander bathe, then we eat dinner as a family.  One rule we did implement is absolutely no TV during dinner and we sit together for dinner (that means blackberries are also off or not in sight!!) .... We ask each other about our days and it is so much fun to hear Alexander tell us about his day! =) ....

I've also communicated to work in the very beginnings what flexibility I needed to succeed at my job and to succeed in my home.  Depending on my son's schedule, I may work 1-2 days a week from home and Jason will sometimes work remote as well in case I am needed in the office.  I am also able to work around the clock so I can tend to my son when needed.  I am very thankful to have the job and employer that I have and I recommend working parents to continue looking for that job that will empower you to succeed in both your career and your home. 

Lastly, I will gladly share that I now weigh 130lbs and wear a size 4 or 6 in clothing (pics below), depending on the fabric and/or brand.  I am no longer 122lbs which was my weight when I was at the gym every single day of the week.  But, I am also not 170lbs and a size 12/14 back when I started in June of 2010.  My weight or clothing size does NOT define me.  I do what defines me and what makes me come alive.  And what makes me come alive is the fact that I can be happy with the balance of my life; that I make time to workout even if it is not everyday, make time to earn a living to support my family; make time to further my education to further my career; make time to enjoy and love my husband, make time to raise and love my son, the list is just infinite! ...

Remember that people's expectations say more about them that it does you.  Time is wealth.  And the time I put towards what is most important to me will reap me the most wealth.  And so I ask, "What defines you?" ...

I'd love your feedback!  Please keep the questions/email/texts coming =) ... Have a fabulous week!

Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - I forgot to mention my outfit since it is also a fashion blog too after all =) ....

Top - Loft
Shorts - Loft
Sandals - Loft

This is my "casual" Mommy mode on the weekends! =) ...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Inspiration All Around Us

The other day I guess you could say I was spring cleaning again, the same motivation I had to color coordinate my closet as well as give away clothing and shoes; this time though, I found myself going through make-up palettes.  I was soaking my make-up brushes (which I try to do once every quarter) and found myself surrounded with palettes of different colors of eyeshadows.  One in particular was this palette with black, white and silver .. all with hint of shimmer.  So this Friday morning, I realized that the March of Dimes fundraiser was over and we could no longer wear blue jeans.  I was a bit bummed b/c I was really looking forward to being casual.  Then I remembered that eyeshadow makeup palette I was playing with the other day and was inspired to put on my black linen pants with a silver top, accesorized with a white scarf.  Even though it's not blue jeans, my linen pants were definitely VERY comfortable!  I recommend for all women .. whether it is for the office, for running errands with the kids or for just lounging at home, these pants are versatile.  And as a Mom, being chic yet comfortable is a MUST! ...

                Pants: New York & Company
            Silver Sweater:  Loft 
            Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's
          Earrings: Charming Charlie's
   Scarf: Charming Charlie

Check out some cute stuff of my son too below.  I know when he gets older he will be like, "Mommmm, really?!?  You put me in that outfit?!" ... Lol!  While I love shopping for myself, shopping for my little boy is always much, much funner =) ...

Button Down Shirt:  Old Navy
Shorts:  H&M
Shoes: Footlocker
Socks: Gymboree

I had white shoes for him to wear, but he picked out these black ones that morning.  Fine with me! =) ... he did love his shirt and told me "good pick Mommy!"  Melts my heart! ....

Little man's outfit below:
Polo:  Ralph Lauren (thank you Uncle Navin and Uncle Andrew!)
Pants:  H&M
Suspenders:  H&M

Surprisingly, my son likes to wear his suspenders!  We'll see how long this will last, but for now I will treasure the moment and just enjoy it =) - I am totally loving the bright colors in the children's line of clothing this spring, check out H&M for these colorful pants ....

Have a fabulous weekend!  Loft is having another 40% off each purchase until Sunday!  Check out these cutie summer pajamas too at Old Navy.  It totally feels like summer outside already! ....

Remember that color and pattern inspiration are around us.  For me this week, the inspiration (and help) came from my eyeshadow palettes.  If you think about it, those palettes are normally all together b/c the color all blend together ... and you can put the same combinations in your outfits.  Next up which I'm seeing nowadays are print pants!  Let's see if I am brave enough to bring these back! =) ....

Mrs.  Chilly

Monday, April 23, 2012

These are a Few of my Favorite Things ....

Song ring a bell??? ... yep, the Sounds of Music!  I can't wait until Alexander is old enough to watch it with us and appreciate the classic movie.  Okay, my topic is a few of my fave things for this blog.  First up is this dress I found on sale at Macy's for 70% off retail .....

This past weekend, we celebrated my son's 3rd birthday party.  Thank you to all my family and friends who came and shared this special day with our baby boy.  It was a gorgeous day about mid 70s so I decided to wear a dress, comfortable pumps and ditched the cardigan.  With entertaining guests, chasing my little boy and making sure the food is warm and replenished, I knew I couldn't wear more than 3 inches or too many layers!  So here is a pic of my simple, yet colorful dress.  I loved the way it gathered at the waist which helped accentuate the figure in my opinion:

Dress: Calvin Klein
Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's (same style and brand as my black ones for the office)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Earrings: New York & Co.

Next up is one of my favorite finds!  I saw these similar pair of wedge shoes on the editor of Parents' Magazine and it only took me ohhh 2 years to find. Wedges are totally in and I see them everywhere with the ladies. These shoes are so comfortable and I am wishing I purchased the black ones too.  Wore them to the Mavs game this last Friday evening and it didn't hurt a bit:

Shoes: Baker's
Style: Savvy
Color: Ice

And last, after a wonderful weekend, it's time to go back to work this Monday.  I wore this coral and tan striped sweater last with my Loft green skirt.  Today I decided to pair it with simple petite dress pants.  It was a bit chilly this morning so I felt like a warm, but not heavy sweater:

Sweater: Loft
Pants: Loft
Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's

Hope you all had a good Monday!  Busy season is officially over, however, I have another deadline this Monday, 4/30 so will try to fit in a blog here and there.

Stay tuned for my upcoming special "outfit" for the Loft mommy guestblog in a few weeks!!  Still working on the "outfit." =) ....
Mrs. Chilly

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello 31 Darling! ....

Today I turned 31 years old ... full-time mom, full-time senior tax professional, full-time wifey, seems like full-time everything!  Just almost 2 years ago, it seems unimaginable that I weighed 170lbs at a 5'1 frame (June 2010).  I was 29 years old then, and vowed to be fabulous and fit by 30.  I feel very blessed and happy to have not only lost a total of 52lbs in a span of 14 months, compete in my first fitness competition, but now .. today, at 31 years old, I am thrilled to have maintained a healthy figure, sustain normal blood pressure, keep the cholesterol at a good level and have the most energy I have ever had in my life.

If you don't believe me, see the pictures yourself.  Here is my facebook fanpage (don't forget to "like" and support!); browse the "before and after" album and don't you dare tell me a reason why you cannot achieve it yourself!  I want to give a shout-out (and high fives!) to my friend Emily M. who just this morning told me she has lost a total of 31 lbs to date!  And to my girlfriend, Chinna B., who has jumpstarted her very own fitness journey to "get sexy back!" =) - these two women are amazing and continue to motivate me in my own fitness journey.  Stay tuned b/c I will be hounding them to be my next fitness guestbloggers! ;) ...

Anyway, here is one of my favorite dresses from my closet.  I love the way it accentuates my figure and the length is perfect for office wear. I just think it speaks "classy." And that's how I describe my style .. "corporate chic/classy."  I am way behind on sleep since this is crunch time with tax season so as you can see, I didn't bother to accesorize :-/ ....

If you have ideas on how to accesorize this outfit, please feel free to comment below!!  I need all the help =) ...

Dress: White House/Black Market (WHBM)
Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's
Pearl Earrings: NY&Co.

Happy shopping!
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - Alexander asked if he could also have his photo taken here lol!!  My background has him and his "Mater" birthday balloon =) - gotta love little boys! ...

P.S.S. - stay tuned as my next blog post is about how I balance family, career, fitness, hobbies and life - a special request =) ....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My little champ eater!

Today as I was fixing my now-just-turned-3-year-old son, Alexander's dinner, I reflect back from when he was a little baby and instead of cooking and "tupperwaring" my meals on Sundays, I spent half the day steaming fresh vegetables and then putting it all in my food processor so Alexander can have his healthy and fresh baby foods for the week.  How time flies!  He wasn't even 1 year old then and now I have this little man who eats like a champ =) ...

This blogpost is all about Alexander and how truly blessed I am that he eats, for the most part, everything I make for him. One thing I have learned as a parent is that a child (at least my child) absorbs everything a parent does. Granted his Mommy wasn't always healthy, let alone made "clean" food decisions. Thank goodness he wasn't even a year old when his Mom still weighed over 170lbs at a 5'1 frame.  I definitely was not a good example.  I don't think he would have tried eating eggwhites, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brocolli, tilapia, squash as he got older ... you get the point, but rather junk food; junk food that I ate all the time when at my unhealthiest (Starbucks everyday, McDonald's breakfast, or just simply eating out all the time). Now, I am really grateful that when my son finally developed more of an awareness at age 3 vs 6 months, his Mom had already made the switch from unhealthy eating to clean eating. And now, I can proudly say that my son eats majority clean for the week and gets his happy meal on the weekend.  I do not like to think my son is deprived, not at all.  He is still your normal toddler who enjoys lollipops, popcorn or candy.  I just choose to not keep sweets in the house so it has taught him that these "treats" are to be consumed in moderation and not our everyday staple.  What is staple in our house is our vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, etc and that restaurant dining is typically saved on the weekend.  I hope as he grows, he appreciates his Mom's (and Dad's) efforts of cooking and making his meals with tons of love =) ....

I always tell Alexander that Mommy likes lots of color on our plates.  Then I ask him what colors are the vegetables he is about to eat and make his muscles grow.  For dinner tonight, I made him grilled cheese on wheat with steamed squash/zuchini, steamed brocolli and steamed sweet potatoes.  I like to steam those 3 easy vegetables on Sundays and tupperware for the entire week.  This way, on every dinner plate I make for Alexander, there is always a vegetable.  It's become so routine that he actually will ask on some days if we have brocolli or sweet potatoes.  It helps to also see Daddy and Mommy eat the same foods we serve him.

Of course, he likes his dinner served on his dinosaur plate!  Parents, just make sure to microwave first on a dinner plate and then transfer.  It is not recommended to heat foods on children's plates.

Don't give up if he/she refuses at first.  Work it in the menu slowly and make sure you are also setting a good example by eating "clean."  I am not 100% sure if steaming and preparing Alexander's baby foods at an early age helped, but I'd like to think that it played at least a tiny part, if not more, on his eating habits.

Mrs. Chilly

Pictures from top:  Alexander fix'n to chow, my dinner of 1/2 cup brown rice, tilapia, zuchini/squash topped with fresh salsa/pico de gallo, my lunch today of 1/2 cup quinoa, ground bison, zuchini/squash (yes, again; I have a batch in my fridge!), Alexander's dinner plate of grilled cheese, zuchini/squash, sweet potatoes and brocolli and Alexander snacking on grilled chicken breasts and brocolli.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Local Business Spotlight: Brendal's Cakes

Alright, this blogpost is totally not about fitness and fashion, but since I strongly support local businesses I have to mention Brendal's Cakes in Rowlett, Texas.  Another year has flown by and my son just turned 3 years old actually today.  Tonight I took time off from working to prepare for his upcoming birthday party and found myself emailing Brendal's again to make his cake.

I have used Brendal's for a few years now and would like to showcase the cakes they have made for me and made the occasion that much sweeter (no pun intended):

In order from top to bottom: Alexander' babyshower cake (theme: pea in a pod); my brother Paolo's college graduation cake (theme: accounting major); my 30th birthday cake (theme: Lady Gaga); Alexander's 2nd birthday cake (theme: sailboats) and Alexander's baptism cake.  Stay tuned to see Alexander's 3rd birthday cake debuting in two weeks (theme: Cars 2 - his request =) - I am also in charge of my friend Emily's college graduation cake in May (theme: elementary education undergraduate major).  I've always told my hubby, Jason, that if I was not an accountant, I wanted to be a chef or baker.  I guess this is somewhat my outlet when planning parties lol! =) ....

Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - definitely extra cardio after one of these cakes, but Brendal's are so good it's worth it once a year =) ....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Love my Utility Blouse

Last month I had an opportunity to go shopping with my "Titas" (auntie in Tagalog - my dad's sisters) and Emily to Northpark Mall (which is very rare, thank you to my Daddio for babysitting!).  My Tita Beth and I noticed this Loft sales associate wearing this super cute brown utility blouse with a yellow skirt and pink belt.  At first I passed on this shirt and after about a month, saw it again at Loft .. at 30% off retail.  I guess the saying, "never judge a book by its cover" can be applied here.  A blouse looks different on a hanger than what it would look on you.  So I tried it on and fell in love with the little number!  So for casual friday today, I wore my utility blouse =) ..... it does run fairly big, I had to get an XS in petite.

Top: Loft
Cami: Loft
Pants: Loft
Shoes: Alfani by Macy's (borrowed from Mom)
Necklace: Charming Charlie's
Earrings: Charming Charlie's

I am so excited to put a little more effort in accesorizing! This "knot" necklace was on "curtain call" (meaning 50% off) so it was a steal at $5.99 final sale!  The earrings were also on sale.  I always like to check out the "curtain-calls" or sales rack before full-price items. You just never know what you will find =) - check out Charming Charlie's if you haven't! ....

Mrs. Chilly

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Orange you glad it's spring? ....

I was glancing at my closet and noticed how many orange tops I have!  Is it becoming to be a collection?  Here are two simple, yet classy orange tops I have.  The "collection" is still building; there is actually an orange skirt I have been wanting from Loft.  Hopefully they will still have their 30% off sale this weekend.  This weekend though is dedicated to Alexander as my little boy turns 3 years old and is outgrowing his pants! We will be hittin' up H&M, Gymboree
and of course Toys 'r' Us =) ...

(Casual Friday Outfit - above)
Sheer Blouse: Willow and Clay by Macy's
Cami: Loft
Pants: Loft
Shoes: Moda Spana
Bracelet: NY&Company
Frames: Burberry

In the office today (below), I kept it fairly simple (not too loud with the combo of colors) with the black slacks and yes same shoes :-/ .... like I said my shoe collection is in serious need of a makeover  ....

Top: Loft
Pants: Express
Scarf: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's
Earrings: NY&Company

Gotta love orange!  I did receive some compliments on my scarf today.  Charming Charlie has tons at budget prices - check 'em out =) .....

Happy friday!
Mrs. Chilly

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Eastern Floral Bubble Hem Blouse by Loft

 I have had my eye on this blouse for some time now, just couldn't find it in petite.  Finally found it in small petite at Loft Firewheel and snatched the last one (which was on a mannequin) at 30% off.  I like to call this the "Easter" floral bubble hem blouse because it is perfect for spring and Easter.  I see many fashionistas wearing it with white pants, but here decided to wear it with a gray a-line skirt.  (I have to feel bold to wear white and that feeling isn't normally in me at work and at 8 in the morning lol) ...

This blouse is classy, colorful, soft and lightweight and one of my favorites this season.  There is so many ways to wear it (am thinking with an orange skirt next time I am out to dinner with hubby perhaps).

Blouse: Loft
Skirt: Loft
Shoes: Marc Fisher by Macy's
Earrings: Charming Charlie's

I thought about it some more and maybe coral pumps would go great with this outfit too.  I need to go shoe shopping next!

It did get quite chilly in the office today so I recommend bringing a colorful cardigan if your office is like mine.  I wouldn't pair this blouse though with a scarf because the blouse itself is loose fit and flowy. The scarf in my opinion would be too much and would take away from the simplicity of the blouse itself.

Happy Easter!
Mrs. Chilly

How I Wear: A Consignment Dress

While this is not a weekend find, this was a "find" period!  I found this dress I can wear in the office at this new consignment boutique in the City of Rowlett, Texas.  It's called Peppermint Safari Resale or P.S. Resale.  I happen to pass this cute boutique everytime I cut through Big A Road because 66 can be a mess!!  Well, one day I decided to stop in and my first purchase was this classy office dress that just needed another home (or closet) .....

Dress: P.S. Resale ($8.99, yes seriously)
Snake Print Cardigan: Loft 
Shoes: Macy's by Marc Fisher
Skinny Belt: NY&Company

If I can find a sitter, I would love to hit up garage sales too Saturday mornings this spring!  When I was a child growing up, I use to accompany my "Lola" (grandmother in Tagalog) to several garage sales.  I sure miss those days.  Nothing beats finding fashion with can't-beat-prices, not to mention the quality time I spent with my Lola =) ....

If you live in Rowlett, Garland, Rockwall area, P.S. Resale is a must visit!  Who doesn't love finding a good deal!?! ...

Happy Shopping!
Mrs. Chilly

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Weekend Finds

How was your weekend?  Except for my allergies and the fact that my contact lens can't seem to stop fidgeting, my weekend was wonderful.  All I really need are my hubby and my amazing son, Alexander and my life is blessed and complete =) ...  I still had to work some hours b/c it is still tax season, but overall, I was able to achieve a good balance and fit in all I wanted to get accomplished for the weekend.

On Sunday afternoons I normally find an hour or so to "sneak" away as Mom and shop (at Firewheel of course b/c it is the closest!).  I did not plan to shop this weekend (it always starts off that way right?) and only found myself at the mall b/c I had to exchange a pair of capris and cardigan I wasn't too fond of.  What do you know, Loft had another 30% off entire purchase.  I did manage to walk away without too much damage, thanks to the sale.  I mainly grabbed some basic essentials for spring (and summer):  3 pairs of shorts, a button down summer top and a couple of classy office blouses =) ... that Loft store knows me now hahaha!  At least I know I have a sales associate willing to help me everytime I come in (which nowadays it's so rare to find anyone willing to help you).

After Loft, I realized I still have a half hour left before the stores close.  (**Tip: if you don't want to spend too much, shop on Sundays and start at 5pm!!  Then you only have an hour to shop =) lol!) ... So ...that last 30 minutes was spent at Charming Charlie.  My girlfriend Rebecca swung by my house the other day and showed me her new, white purse from this store.  I must say it was fabulous! ...  And I've heard about this store awhile back from other girlfriends, but for a busy Mom and professional like me, I have to be selective which stores I go to b/c like I said, I normally just have at most an hour to shop.  And Charming Charlie isn't ever on the list.  Well, after today, it will be!  Or at least will try.  My first shopping experience there I purchased 3 scarves that can be worn for all seasons (stay tuned for upcoming blogs to see them), "curtain-call" jewelry (meaning 50% off sale), a very cute pink picture frame for my office to house the picture of my two princes, a jewelry set (earrings and necklace) and my most favorite find of all ........ drumroll please (hahaha I know a bit exaggerated but I'm excited!) ...

A jewelry organizer! .... This spring for me is becoming to have a theme:  ORGANIZATION ...  Last week, I organized my wardrobes (gave away clothing, donated a few more bags), color-coordinated my clothes and shoes and now organized my jewelry and accessories.  Feels good to be organized especially during busy tax season =) .... hmmm, what should I organize next?!?  My hubby told me today that maybe I'd be better at accessorizing if I can actually "find" my accessories and him not find an earring in his shoe :-/ ...  I will tell you that I used to put my jewelry in a small, Forever 21 bag and sometimes gets frustrated in the mornings b/c they all get tangled together that I gave up and just left for work without earrings.  Not anymore.  I definitely recommend this for all women and is one of my "weekend finds" today =) ....

The bottom pouches are slightly larger than the top so it can fit items such as necklaces, bracelets and these hair flower pins I purchased in Hawaii last year that I have been looking for for months now. I thought I had lost them, but luckily found again.

I even have a pouch for safety pins b/c these things are a pain in the butt to find and if I'm not careful, ends up in my Dyson :-/ .... I don't know any other way to organize my accessories so this is definitely a good start.

Maybe I will soon learn how to accessorize =) ....

My other "weekend find" is this lip balm from Evolution of Smooth - EOS - that is 95% organic and 100% natural.  This flavor is sweet mint and I promise you the smell is delightful!   And I found this at my local Walmart for $2.69.  I still use my carmex which I can't live without, but this may now be my #1 favorite beauty product.  Try it and I promise you will love it =) - p.s. it's also gluten free! ....

Hope your weekend was fabulous!!  Have a great week and Easter ahead.  And if you would like to share any "finds," please definitely let me know! ...

Mrs. Chilly