Ok, first things first, how cute are these cat-eye heart shaped sunglasses??? I’m obsessed with them and I want to wear them with everything! This cat-eye heart shaped sunglasses trend started mid-late 2017 and seems to be trending even more now. I’m not surprised. The cat-eye shape just screams SUMMERTIME and this silhouette creates a slimming effect for the face. Plus the heart shaped frames are just so cute and fun! I love heart shapes on clothing and heart shaped accessories (ie: my heart baseball hat, my newest t-shirt ), so I’m loving this trend and kind of hoping it never ends.
Next order of business. The blog is back! Duh. Obvi. If you follow me on Instagram and see my stories, you already know about this. If you’re new here, hello *waves*, and welcome! To recap, I decided to bring back my blog because I really missed sharing all my favorite things with you guys! I get a lot of DM’s about the things I use, especially for Athena, and I saw that having the blog was really the best way to connect with you guys to answer your questions and share all about the fashion, beauty, baby, and lifestyle items I love. I missed my blog. When I decided to close it, it was overwhelming me at the time but I’ve learned how to better manage the overwhelming aspects and how to blog in a manner that keeps me sane, happy, and producing great content for you guys. There is SO much to come!!! If you haven’t already, go see my most recent Instagram post and enter my #makeupgiveaway! If you already did, awesome, I hope you win! I’m having so much fun reading your comments and chatting with you guys. I think I’m going to be doing many more giveaways often because this is just too much fun! To see and enter my makeup giveaway on Instagram, click here.
We spent this past Saturday wrapping presents and keeping Athena away from the Christmas tree, lol. I can’t wait to see her open her presents on Christmas morning! We bought her some toys and a LOT of books. She’s had a natural love of books for a long time, since she was born really. Although, lately when we try to read to her she has a slightly shorter attention span and she crawls away to the nearest toy. I think it’s totally normal though. She’s learning so quickly and now, at nine months old (tomorrow!), she LOVES more interactive toys and those with a variety of textures.
I’m linking the exact items we bought for her. I feel so confident your little one will absolutely love any one of these items because Marc and I played with all these books and toys ourselves and we love them! They’re all made really well and are of high-quality materials. We even let Athena play with them for a few minutes before I wrapped them up and she was in HEAVEN. These toys range in ages from 3 months to 3 years old. We generally try to stick to age recommendations for toys. However, oftentimes, we feel like Athena becomes bored and uninterested in toys for her age group so we move up. We always evaluate toys above her age group for safety. Side note: if you’d like to evaluate toys that may be a chocking hazard, use this choke tester designed by the CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission. Read more about each toy below and click the item title to shop.
This toy is a classic. I used to think the bead maze toy was overrated but I’m not a baby and babies sure do love it. Athena played with this maze almost the entire time we were in the store and then some more when I went to wrap it. It’s made really well, no chipping or paint peeling, and has a sturdy wooden base. The exact dimensions are 11.75″ x 11.75″ x 12.5″. In case you don’t have a ruler in front of you, it fits on my lap. Teach your baby movement, shapes, colors, and more! This toy is recommended for ages 12 months and up.
There’s also a smaller version with four suction cups on the bottom, perfect for setting on highchair trays. I’m thinking of getting this one as well for traveling with. Every time we go out to eat, Athena immediately starts grabbing at anything she can get her hands as soon as we scoot her highchair in. This suction cup-based bead maze would be perfect for keeping your little occupied in such scenarios. This one is also recommended for ages 12 months and up.
How cute are these little suction cup toys?! Athena currently loves suction cup toys; she’s going to go bananas for these! They’re stackable so your little one can make all sorts of fun shapes with them. They’re made of smooth silicone, which means they’re super easy to clean. These would be perfect for traveling with since you can stick them on baby’s highchair tray, stroller tray, or table top while your dining out. The starter set comes with 24 pieces in a variety of colors and are recommended for ages 3 months and up.
This toy is so, much, fun! Athena loves pressing the piano keys and seeing the colorful jacks fly! The music is also not annoying— a very important selling point for me— lol. I read reviews on all of these toys and for this particular one, many people were concerned about the jacks being a choking hazard. The clear cover can be pulled off by strong toddler hands BUT, the jacks are too big to be a chocking hazard according to this device designed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is probably my favorite toy thus far, it’s so cute and fun! This child’s piano is recommended for ages 12 months and up.
Fun fact about me and my sister. I taught my sister how to read and do basic math by the age of 2 (I was 5). I had a little chalkboard that I would take outside everyday and we would have alphabet and numbers lessons everyday, al fresco, lol. We would have loved these toys when we were little. These letter matching pieces will make learning so much fun! And it I love that they come in cute little alligator shapes! The container is also sturdy and can be used for storing and traveling, so useful. This toy is recommend for age 2 years old and up.
I’ve talked before about the importance of Athena learning both English and Spanish. I love finding cute and fun toys that help her do just that. These little egg puzzles are adorable! We currently only have one set of bilingual flash cards. I’ve been looking for more bilingual toys and these are perfect! I can’t stress enough the importance of teaching your child a second language. I feel so lucky to have Spanish as my first language, it’s been so helpful in understanding and learning other languages. This bilingual matching puzzle toy is recommend for ages 2 years and up.
I’m so excited for Athena to open this pull along toy. You can see her playing with it in the 7th photo from the top. She already loves dragging along her pink bunny (or any other toy, really) while she crawls around the house so I’m fairly certain she’s going to love this pull along toy. This toy is recommended for ages 18 months and up.
We got her so many books for Christmas, including these touchy-feely books from the “that’s not my” series. She loves these books because they come with all sorts of fun textures to touch. The first one we bought her when she was 4 months old (I think) was the That’s Not My Dragon book. It’s one of her favorite books. She quickly learned where all the textured spots are and she goes right to them as soon as I turn the page, lol. Make sure to see the other “that’s not my” books in the widget below. I read through them before wrapping them and they’re so cute! This book is suitable for all ages.
I have to admit, the name of this book is what drew me too it. I thought it was so funny. The illustrations are simple but really cute. It’s about, you guessed it, tooting. Such a cute book. Your little ones will definitely get a giggle out of reading this. It’s part of a series, see the others in the widget below. The book is recommend for grade levels preschool and up.
I love this book and the one below. It’s never too early to start teaching our little ones about how the earth functions and the importance of taking of our planet. This book teaches kids about the different poles and how animals stay warm in different temperatures. It’s filled with busy colorful images that are candy for the eyes! This book is recommend for ages 4-8 years old and grade levels preschool-3.
This book is one of my favorites and while, like the one above, it’s recommended for ages 4-8 years old, I firmly believe it’s never too early to start teaching kids about the importance of taking care of our planet and being respectful to nature. This book teaches kids all about the trees, animals, insects, plants, and native people that inhabit the rainforest. This book is recommend for ages 4-8 years old and grade levels preschool-3.
Last but not least, this adorable Radio Flyer wagon with canopy! I mean, how cute would your baby look sitting in this? I can’t wait to see Athena and Grayson sitting in this wagon as Lexi and I pull them along in the park. Oh the cuteness! I can’t even!
Did you know November is World Vegan Month? I only learned about this last year and had completely forgotten about it this time around. Luckily, the girls over at Vegas Lifestyle Influencers reminded me by putting together a dinner at Violette’s Vegan. If you’re not familiar with Violette’s Vegan, it’s an all plant-based restaurant located in the corner of Desert Inn and Durango in the northwest part of Las Vegas. I used to live right around the corner when I first moved to Las Vegas but I only discovered this restaurant about 2 years ago.
If you’re looking for a healthy, casual, low-key place for dinner or lunch, Violette’s Vegan is a great spot. The walls are brightly decorated with paintings saturated in all the colors of the rainbow, just like the food. The ambiance is relaxing and the staff is friendly. Our dinner that night was awesome. We started off with nachos, buffalo cauliflower wings and “sassy” wings, breaded cauliflower wings tossed in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. These two dishes alone were worth the 40 minute drive across town. The breading was crispy and the sauces on both were so flavor packed. They were hands down my favorites of the night. When I got home that evening, I told Marc that we had to go back that same week so he could try them.
Then came the main dishes. There was SO. MUCH. FOOD. We had salads, pad thai, eggplant parmesan, crispy tempeh & tofu cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy, mac n’ cheese, beef & broccoli, chili cheese fries, and a tofu teriyaki bowl. The eggplant parmesan, the mac n’ cheese, and the pad thai stand out the most to me. I really enjoyed the pad thai because it’s not as sweet as other places make it. The eggplant parmesan was also really good, I ordered this when we went back 2 days later. I also ordered a German chocolate cake smoothie. It didn’t taste like a German chocolate cake smoothie but it was good. My only issue with it was that it got thicker the longer it was in the cup. I think they may put flax seed meal or something similar in it that make it thicker and more gelatinous as time goes on.
The dinner with Vegas Lifestyle Influences was on a Tuesdays, I decided to go back 2 days later on Thursday, with Marc. We were so excited to try out both the buffalo cauliflower and sassy wings. However, when we got there we were told those two items weren’t available yet but would be really soon. I guess they were still testing them out. So we got other food. The quality wasn’t as good as the previous time but the service was. The staff is really friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and plant-based foods so overall I would recommend you give it a try. I can confirm that they have started serving the cauliflower buffalo wings and the cauliflower sassy wings now, so if you go, try both of those. They’re delicious!
One month old Athena. She peed all over this setup about 15 minutes after I took this photo, lol.
Ever since Athena was born I feel like I’ve been going nonstop. Her 8 month birthday is coming up soon and I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I’ve learned. There are SO many things that I want to share, but I don’t even know where to start. Ive been sitting here giving it some thought and I realized that I haven’t shared much personal information with you guys, so I should probably start with that. I should preface this by saying, I’m really private when I comes to my personal life and sharing personal details doesn’t come easily, so bear with me. That being said, let’s dig right in.
A five year relationship, a break up, & a pregnancy
That’s how I would sum up the following in less than 10 words. But for the sake of being more open, let me expand on this title. Marc and I were in a romantic relationship for 5 years, we broke up, I moved out of the house we shared, and two months later, I found out I was pregnant. We decided we would co-parent and live together again for the baby’s first year to lean on each other as we navigated through life as new parents. We moved into a bigger house and a few months later Athena was born.
Fast forward nearly 8 months and everything is going well. When it comes to parenting, we’ve had some bumps in the road but that’s perfectly natural since this is a new experience for all three of us. I can’t speak for Marc but I can say that I’ve personally learned a lot from this experience. Like I said in the beginning, there’s so much I want to share, about pregnancy, about being a vegan mom, raising a vegan baby, breastfeeding, parenting, baby products, etc. So this is where I ask for your help. Let me know in the comments or over on my Instagram, what you’d like me to share about first. Thank you all in advance and I wish you all a happy weekend!
We’ve had some kooky weather here in Las Vegas this past month. It’s mostly been warm with a few super cold days sprinkled in. We shot this look on one of those cold days when the temperature fell below 75. Last time I shared this dress, it was a warm weather look and here it is again completely restyled for cool weather. My boots are from last year but they’re back this year! I love them because they stretch and stay up really well (they also come in brown). Also, these over the knee boots are perfect for wide calves.
On another note, tomorrow is Halloween! Wow, the year has really flown by! Athena is almost 8 months old. I can’t believe she’s already going to experience her first Halloween. Seeing her in that chicken costume almost made me tear up. But looking at her adorable little face in that costume made me realize how quickly she’s growing up and that I need to treasure every single day with her. We did two costumes this year because we couldn’t decide on just one. In case you missed it, Athena and I dressed up as black cats in my last post. We haven’t decided which costumes we’ll use for tomorrow’s festivities but one thing is for sure, you’ll see it on my Instagram, lol. Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!
We are SO excited for Halloween this year because it’s Athena’s first! The search for Halloween costumes for babies is tough though. We had a hard time finding costumes in her size, 6-9 months old. We checked online, 2 Target stores, Marshalls, and a nearby Halloween store. Finally, we landed on a chicken costume and a black cat. The chicken costume we found at the Halloween store for like, 19.99, I believe. The cat costume, we couldn’t find so I decided I was going to make it. But then I realized I don’t have the time or the energy to make a costume that she’s only going to wear for 1 day so my mommy brain kicked on, “I’ll just put her in a Kickee Pants onesie and her Janie and Jack headband. Done!” (high-fives self).
Easy Halloween Costume for Babies
I’m obsessed with Kickee Pants. They’re soft, high-quality, comfortable, durable and they’re super cute! When I was thinking about Athena’s black cat costume I looked for black separates but couldn’t find any. You’d think it’d be easy to find a black pair of pants and a black top for a baby, but nope. She wears Kickee Pants all the time so I thought why not just buy her an all black Kickee Pants onesie that she can also wear after Halloween? I bought the version with the footies but there’s also a version without the footies. Her cat ears headband I found while perusing one of my favorite children’s clothing stores, Janie and Jack. It’s so cute and she can wear it any time just for fun! For a super quick and easy kids Halloween costume, you could also use Kickee Pants in other solid colors such as light green, dark green, pink, purple, or brown to dress your little ones as a dinosaur, unicorn, or a teddy bear. Just add a little bit of makeup from and fun headband or beanie. I’ve linked a few fun headpieces below.
Easy Halloween Costume for Women
My costume was super easy to put together as well. I used my favorite faux-leather leggings from Spanx that I purchased during Nordstrom’s anniversary sale. They’re so comfortable, they go with everything, and they make your tummy look flat, I LOVE them. You can shop them here. My top is from Target, it’s super soft, comfortable, and it’s like $10. MY boots are from last year but they’re back this year and they are some of the best over the knee boots ever. If you have wide calves, these are the boots for you! FYI, I couldn’t find my exact headband to link but I purchased it at Target from the $1 bin at the entrance. I did, however, link a similar headband that’s about $5. I also linked several other options below.
I’m channeling my inner Olivia Newton John in these faux leather leggings. Her outfit in the last scene of Grease is still on of my favorites to this day. She just looks so damn cool and that’s just how these leggings make you feel. These faux leather leggings are by Spanx and they’re quite comfortable; it kind of just feels like I’m wearing yoga pants. I love the faux leather look of these, they’re the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. I love how high they come up on the waist and they stay there! They smooth you out and I swear they go with just about everything. Completely obsessed with these!
On the first day the temperature hit below 80, I immediately pulled out my boots and cardigans. We’ve been getting a few cold days here and there but its still mainly in the high 80’s here in Las Vegas. I don’t care though, I’m going to wear my boots, cardigans, and all my other fall pieces now even if it means sitting in my living room blasting the A/C. O
On another note, how nice is this double strap, gray satchel? It’s a Givenchy antigona dupe! It comes with a detachable cross body strap, just like the Givenchy version, except this one is made of vegan leather. Since switching to a vegan diet, I’ve also started switching all my shoes, handbags, and accessories to cruelty-free versions. I especially love finding vegan versions of popular designer handbags. If you know of any, leave your suggestions in the comments below. 🙂
Animal patterns are a big trend for fall. But that’s not the reason I got this dress. To be honest, I didn’t even notice it had an animal pattern until the second time I wore it (I’m detail-oriented like that), lol. No, I got this dress because I fell in love with the shape! The cinching at the waist is super flattering, giving the illusion of a smaller waist. I also love how swingy the material is. The pattern is right on trend but it’s not an overbearing print. Also, the color is in the burgundy spectrum, which, again is right on trend for this season. I can’t wait to style it with boots! It’s so comfy and I also love the little tassel detail. It just went on sale so grab one before they sell out!
I’m overwhelmed thinking back to my first time dining at Americana. Overwhelmed in the best sense of the word. The food, the ambience, the service—I don’t even know where to begin! Walking into the restaurant, you can see slivers of water through the windows at the far side of restaurant. That’s Lake Jacqueline, on which Americana sits atop. The ambience is elegant and luxurious without being pretentious. The lighting gives the whole restaurant a calming glow; the vibe is relaxed and welcoming. This restaurant is tucked away in the middle of the Desert Shores community, far off from the strip but you’d never guess that looking at the food.
I was 1 of 6 Vegas Lifestyle Influencers invited to dine at Americana. We sat out on the picturesque patio overlooking the serene lake. Chef Stephen Blandino, who is also the owner, created the most delicious and aesthetically pleasing dishes for us. We were treated to a three course dinner as well as champagne, wine, and all the desserts a girl could ask for. They even created special dishes for myself and my fellow vegan Ashley Diana. Given the fact that a vegan menu isn’t standard here, yet every dish was phenomenal, there is no question, Chef Blandino and his team are experts in their field.
We started the dinner off with a flute of champagne. The first course was a mango and radish slaw salad with mandarins and strawberry caviar. A portobello mushroom steak followed. This was the most delicious portobello mushroom I’ve ever had in my life; it was juicy and so packed with incredible flavor. Then they brought out a cauliflower steak paired with corn, bell peppers, snap peas, and oyster mushrooms over a cherry reduction. I paired a nice glass of cabernet with my cauliflower. Everything was absolutely delicious! And these were just the items I had. There was so much food!
For dessert they brought out some amazing dishes including cheesecake, chocolate cake, a lemon bar, macarons, blood orange sorbet, and cotton candy. The blood orange sorbet and cotton candy were the two vegan options and they were both yummy. My mouth still waters when I think about that sorbet. We finished dinner off with cappuccinos and some great conversation. I was floored by not only the food quality and taste but also by the plating. Every dish was beautifully plated and prettier than the last. The Americana team really know how to make their guest feel welcomed and valued. I’ve been recommending them to everyone! If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion (or even just for a nice dinner) in an intimate setting with high quality food, great service, and beautiful lake views, this is the place to go. I can’t wait to go back for another fantastic dining experience.
If you’d like to know more about Americana visit their website, here, and follow them on Instagram at @AmericanaLV. You can also find them on Yelp, here.