What I Wore to #Coachella…

…is what I would title this post, had I gone.  But, let’s face it, I’m almost 6 months pregnant (going on 16 months…at least it feels like it) and even if I wasn’t I’m not really a #Coachella type of girl, whatever that means.  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t pretend I am and pull together a look or two!

What I wore to COACHELLA

 

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

What to Wear to A Casual Blogger Meet-Up

If you are an avid blog reader like me, chances are you’ve never met the girl behind some of your favorite blogs, but you feel like you know her from what she shares in her posts.  You know her kids’ names, you know what she wore for date-night and you even know the last book she read.  Have you ever met a blogger you’ve been following and had that awkward I-know-everything-about-you-but-you-don’t-even-know-my-name introduction?  Yep, me too.  You totally feel like a creepy stalker and in your mind you’re trying to rationalize this feeling so that you can feel a little less creepy.  Okay, maybe it’s just me.  LOL

Well, if you don’t know, a Blogger Meet-Up is a face-to-face gathering of bloggers for the purpose of getting to meet the person behind the blog.  One of the great things about an event like this is you don’t get that awkward semi-intro that I mentioned above.  Everyone here knows the drill so it’s all good.

Jana’e Holmes of Naturally Curly Kinky, Kimberly Marie of Her name is Kim and I are hosting a casual meet-up for the Bloggers Like Me community next month and we’re pretty excited.  Although it’s going to be super intimate and casual, we have some fun things in store.  This is a pretty casual meet-up but you know how us girls get.  We like to dress up and look our best no matter where we’re going.  As you know, I’m in rounding out the second trimester of my fourth pregnancy so I don’t have as many wardrobe options as I’d like, but a girl can still dream right?

LA BLM Meet-Up

 

LA BLM Meet-Up

 

LA BLM Meet-Up 2

Now if I didn’t have this huge bump we’d be in business, but for now back to the drawing board!

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

Something Sweet

FASHION DU JOUR | BLUEBERRIES

I don’t normally post about what I eat, but being pregnant, I constantly think about what I’m putting into my body.  I’m always looking for healthy sweets because, well since the horse is out of the barn, I have to have something sweet on a daily basis.  Strangely, non-pregnant Leslie really doesn’t care too much for sweets (unless it’s Mexican candy or Good n’ Plenty).

Normally, I’d go for a sweet mango with chile sprinkled on top, but the chile these days does a number on my mouth and I just can’t take it.  We’ll resume that treat once baby is born.  So, now I’m chasing a milder sweet snack and I think I’ve found it.  Blueberries.  Not only are blueberries really good, especially when they’re super ripe and almost mushy, but they’re very healthy and good for your memory…or so they tell me.

I recently bought some blueberries from Costco and they weren’t ripe {sweet} enough so I sprinkled some powdered sugar on them and voila, confection-perfection.

FASHION DU JOUR | blueberries

Today I decided to add some protein and carbs to my mid-morning snack with a slice of toasted 7 grain wheat bread, creamy peanut butter {because the nutty kind drives me crazy} with a little honey.  Delish!

.063

I’ll be serving these to the kids for their after school snack!

What healthy sweets do you like to indulge in?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

What Exactly IS Business Casual?

Sure, I claim to know a thing or two about fashion but I have to admit, when I get an invitation and the dress code says “business casual” my heart skips a beat.  Just what exactly IS business casual?  Can I wear open toe sandals with a blazer on?  Can I wear a short suit?

I think I’m on the right path when it comes to the business casual look. See for yourself here, here and here.

Here’s the thing, if I put “business casual” on an invitation, to me I’m telling the attendee to wear something they wouldn’t mind “meeting the parents” in if you know what I mean.

Being the visual person I am, here are some cool looks you can depend on when you’re trying to decipher that oh so tricky “business casual” trap.

FASHION DU JOUR | HOW TO DRESS BUSINESS CASUALFASHION DU JOUR | HOW TO DRESS BUSINESS CASUALFASHION DU JOUR | HOW TO DRESS BUSINESS CASUAL

[images via Pinterest]

One thing I should point out is “east coast” business casual is different than “west coast” business casual.  Not that I’m trying to start a coast war but I’m sure many of you east coasters are probably shaking your head at a couple of the looks, and that’s fair.  However, I think we can all walk away with a couple of good pointers.

1. Excessive cleavage is not business casual.

2.  When in doubt, wear a lightweight blazer.

3.  Consider your hemline. Shorts and skirts can work if worn at a conservative length.

4.  Jeans pass.  Just make sure they’re not your “errand day” jeans with the holes and tatters.  The darker the wash the better.

5.  You can’t go wrong with neutrals.

I hope these looks will help you pull together some fun ways to rock the business casual look to your next party of the century!

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

TARTAN TAKEOVER!

Tartan Takeover
Call me crazy, but it’s beginning to feel like tartan is taking over.  Every blog and Instagram has some tartan crumbs whether it be a scarf, a knee sock a baseball cap, it’s peeking from everywhere.  I’ve never been a HUGE tartan fan, and no it doesn’t have anything to do with school uniforms because apparently school uniforms weren’t around in my day, but I just never really got into the whole plaid thing.  I’ve tried it for sure, like in this look, but it’s always just been okay-ish!  Until, I recently came across these looks.
FASHION DU JOUR | MIROSLAVA DUMA CHRISTINE CENTENERA JOURDANN DUNN
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
I’m really digging this trend and what’s great is you don’t have to buy your plaid/tartan from the high end boutiques and department stores.  You can find heaping mounds of plaid at vintage boutiques and thrift stores.
Remember I was telling you about an online store I came across and fell head over heels for?  Well, yes, they even have plaid.  In fact, here are cute options to get you started!  You’ll go bonkers when you see the prices.  Seriously!
FASHION DU JOUR | PERSUNMALL
1 / 2 / 3 /4 / 5 / 6
Are you into plaid/tartan?
fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

I Go to Sleep Like This!

You know how grandparents and parent of teenage or adult children always say, “enjoy your kids while they’re young because they’re not young for long!”  Well, of course, the part about them not being kids for ever is true, but does that mean I have to yearn for each and every moment?

Hear me out, I’m pretty sure I won’t miss getting baby boo boo on my hands while trying to wrestle a diaper onto a baby’s booty.  I’m pretty sure I won’t long for the early morning soothing melody of hollering matches on the way to school while I’m trying to beat the yellow light just in time to hear the late bell ring at school. Aand, I’m pretty sure I won’t yearn for the bouts of tears, bribing and begging at the dinner table in an effort to get one particular food snob to eat a single grain of rice so that he can have a bowl of ice cream.  Most of all, and I know the hubs would agree, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to miss the 4 x 4 inches of mattress that my kids so generously allow me to sleep in every night.  Okay, I’m exaggerating, it’s more like 2 x 2 inches of mattress.  And they don’t let me off that easy, they make sure I know from whom the blessing comes from by wrenching a knee, elbow, heel – really any pointy bodily extremity – into my face, chest, thigh, back, esophagus you name it.  The little one Jayde is even in on it too and she’s the biggest offender.

Now, the kids each have their own beds.  Jaxon has a queen for heaven’s sake.  When they finally go to sleep at night, hubby takes them to their room and puts them to bed.  PAUSE – okay so you’re probably saying why do we let them fall asleep in our bed to begin with.  Trust me, we’ve tried the whole sleep in your own bed bit and it never goes over well.  The task of just getting 3 kids to sleep before 10 p.m. is a momentous feat.  So, hubbytakes them to their rooms and they sleep…until about 2 maybe 3 a.m. All of a sudden, the thunder of tiny feet stampeding down the hallway before softly turning the door knob signals “the beginning”.  Tip-toeing around the bed, Jaxon and Julia secure the perimeter. Jayde isn’t crawling out of her crib yet, but her grand entrance comes a little later in the routine.  Jaxon and Julia then both come over to my side of the bed.  Jaxon lifts the covers just enough to allow the arctic freeze to engulf me.  He crawls over me, being careful to knee me in the chest before completing his dismount onto the mattress between daddy and I.  Julia has a much more patient plan of attack.  She stands directly in front of my face and stares at me with her pillow up to her nose.  With the window to her back, all I see is a massive silhouette of hair when I open my eyes.  It’s actually a bit creepy.  I haven’t figured it out yet because she may actually be sleep walking but f I take to long to peek my eye open she whispers, “Mommy” repeatedly until I open my eyes.  With my full attention, she crawls into bed making sure to take any semblance of a blanket, bed sheet or cover off of me, but only after she’s ripped the pillow from under my head.

By now, my half of the Cal King size bed has been diminished to a quarter.  I’m freezing, sleepy and you might as well throw hungry in there too.  If I could just touch the hem of the comforter.  LOL  Smashed against the headboard curled into the fetal position, I manage to drift to sleep, just moments before I hear a distant familiar cry.  I must be bionic woman because amazingly no one in the entire house seems to hear this cry but me.  Even though I recognize Jayde’s cry and can distinguish between sleepy, hungry, irritated or sick, I spring out of the bed and clumsily race to her beckoning call.  When I enter her room, she’s wondering what in sam hill took me so long and immediately wipes snot on me to thank me for taking my sweet time.  On auto-pilot, I change her diaper, dry her face and carry her into our bedroom.  She prefers to sleep next to daddy, let me rephrase that, I prefer she sleeps next to daddy and so I place her closest to him.  Immediately, she outstretches her arms and legs to make sure she has ample space around all four sides of her.  Jayde has 3 simple rules when she allows you to sleep with her.  Number 1, only she can touch you, you cannot touch her.  And by touch that means she may or may not sling her leg onto your Adams apple or headbutt you at any given time of the night.  Number 2, she must be perpendicular to daddy and one other body at all times, with her feet in daddy’s back.  And number 3, she must breathe her hot moist baby breath into someone’s face for the duration of a minimum 45 minutes.  Lovely!

The good thing is that once they’re all in bed, they’re all sound asleep.  I, on the other hand, have retreated to my familiar 4 x 4 at the foot of the bed, wedged between daddy’s feet and the wooden foot-board.  But alas, the jokes on them, good thing I have my trusty miniature pillow about the size of  a cupcake saucer (and about as soft) that I can tuck under my head .  But guess what, just as I fall to sleep, I’m saved by the bell as the 5 a.m. alarm clock sounds.

Ahh!  Nothing like a good night’s sleep!  LOL

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Now get up and go be awesome today!

FASHION DU JOUR | be awesome today

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

My Workspace

Yesterday I moved a couple of pieces of furniture around in my “office” and was all excited to take some pics and then I saw this and thought…

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

White Christmas lights and a two drawer file cabinet, why didn’t I think of that.

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A vase of flowers and a lucite chair, why didn’t I think of that.

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A big magnetic board for alphabet letters and jewelry dish, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A zebra rug and mini-chandelier, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A dinosaur skeleton figurine and drawing of a unicorn, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A plush chair and pink crystal candy dish, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A table bush and bold signs of encouragement, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

A desk mirror and magazine wall rack, why didn’t I think of that?

FASHION DU JOUR | Cute office

[ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF PINTEREST]

A co-space for the hubs!

After seeing all that I was done for.  I ransacked my house to find something pink, something white, something plush, but lost the battle when I realized I just need to go to IKEA.

So here’s my promise, I’ll show you my humble office space once it’s spruced up a little bit if you promise not to laugh.  Wish me luck!

And since I don’t want to leave you having read a compleeetely useless post, I thought I’d share some pretty interesting and fresh ideas for organizing your home office space.

Mandy suggests an obnoxiously gigantic white board to capture those moments of brilliance.

Aby suggests that you add a little “Happy”.

Sophia suggests that you start from scratch.  Remove everything from your desk and go!

If your work space is mostly for bills and that kind of work, Jenn has some suggestions to stay organized.

Heidi suggests never leaving a room empty-handed.

I hope these tips help you bring some tidiness to your home office space.

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

Insta-World

In case you’re wondering what’s been going on in my INSTA-world, wonder no longer.  Here’s a summary of all the shenanigans we’ve been up to.

FASHION DU JOUR | INSTAGRAM

1. I was FINALLY FINALLY able to pin down this amazing woman and her family for dinner at Olive Garden.  So glad we were able to figure it out.  My lightning bolt, Julia, finally got to meet her lightning bolt, Lindcy and the rest was history.  Julia was under the weather so not the usual ball of energy but they had a moment.  By the end of the night, Jayde had fallen in love with Tieko and the boys were making plans for power ranger play dates.  Looking forward to our family night in March!

2. Love when I capture what a February sunset looks like here in Cali.

3.  It’s a little frightening how often I think about sending thank you notes to people throughout the day.  Notice I said “think” about.  I’ve finally made it my mission to quit thanking folks in my head and actually write a note and drop it in the mail.  God knows I LOVE receiving them in the mail, so of course girls like me love getting them too!  I created my blog planner by hand and added an encouragement corner.  It’s a place that I put names for girls I want to pray for, encourage, and thank.  Here are some cards that I really likehere, here, and of course you can always have them custom made by this crafty guy!

4.  I tell you, whenever the camera man steps away for a split second while I’m shooting at The Action Factory, I manage to get a little snap happy. Speaking of shooting, here’s a peek, okay and another peek of what I’ve been up to lately.

5. The Happy Wives Club.  This book has been a blessing!  You might recall, I did a mini-review here about this book.  I think what I enjoy most about it is it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of book.  The author, Fawn Weaver, tells you her experience as she trotted the globe, visiting couple after couple in an attempt to uncover the secret sauce to a happy marriage.  It allows you learn as you hear these couples share the ups and downs, good and bad of what contributed to a successful marriage.  That book should come with a pen and a highlighter.  I’m sending it off to my mom to read next.  Definitely a great book club book.  Oh and I hate that I missed Fawn at the Glendale Galleria last week.

6.  You probably know, the hubs and I started a Young Adult LIFE Group where we discuss various issues that young adults go through with a Christian twist.  While our weekly meetings are in the month of October every year, we have been working to keep everyone connected throughout the year.  On this day, we set up a Sunday brunch at C & O Cucina {otherwise known as heaven on earth}.  Of course the meal was not complete without a few juicy table questions.  As always, what happens at LIFE group, stays at LIFE group!

7.  Oh hey!  That’s me just casually walking down the street in my 5 inch heels, cashmere trench coat, and ballerina bun.  And what do you know the day turned black & white and a camera man appeared out of no where.  LOL Right!  This was one of my favorite looks when I talked about how to make life better.  Yes, I’m just a little obsessed with oversized coats lately.  I also shared some ways to rock an oversized coat here.  Don’t mind me.

8.  On Valentine’s Day hubby and I spent the day eating and eating and movie watching.  All of my favorite things. Our first stop was Toast Bakery Cafe.  Don’t shoot me but I have to admit that we were not impressed.  It’s one of those WeLA spots that the celebs frequent, but to food wasn’t amazing.  I think what did it for me was when they said they didn’t put butter on their toast.  WHAT?  Isn’t the name of the restaurant Toast?  And you don’t put butter on it.  LOL We did, however, adore the little sweet shop right next door.  You see we made a stop and snapped a shot.

9.  So that amazing woman I mentioned above had an amazing event called Brunch with Tieko, where I was honored to be a given the opportunity to share with the lovely people a little about my store, “I Quit My Job”!  It was such an incredible time and I am just thrilled to be brought onto her team and entrusted with sharing my testimony.

10.  Have you ever had the pleasure of dining at The Coffee Company in Westchester?  This is what I call toast, french toast.  If you haven’t gone, GO!  The french toast is made with Hawaiian Roll bread, yea I said it.  Delish!  We stopped here with the family after one of Jaxon’s basketball games before children’s choir rehearsal.

11.  Jaxon turned 6 on January 28th. Geez, just typing that feels strange.  I just remember holding him in my arms as a little baby.  Those were the days when the house was quiet and my sole focus in the wee hours of the morning was him.  I remember those days like yesterday.  He’s growing up.  To celebrate, we wanted him to get to do something special one-on-one.  He and daddy went to his very first Lakers game.  He had a blast!

12.  I talked a bit about this tee here and shared a great way to style it.  In case you’re wondering, this is an exclusive tee and it’s only being offered for a limited time.  I’m not one for tooting my own horn, but you get the picture.  LOL Order yours here!

13. February was good to me for many reasons.  One reason is that I found a really great online shop.  Yes, I’m one of those crazies who gets excited about this kind of thing.  What’s worse, is I don’t even shop.  I just like to look.  These are some of my favorite items.  Of course 3 of them are jeans.  Check it out!  I’m not kidding.

14.  This was my first day out of the house in almost 3 days.  The babies were sick and then I caught a little something so I was out too.  Believe it or not, all I did before this shot was shower and brush my teeth, oh and throw on a little Nivea tinted lip balm, my old aviators and a hoodie.  Done!  We mad our way to the grandparents house for an afternoon dinner.

15.  I always get butterflies for my husband when he officiates a wedding.  This was his fourth wedding and it’s like he was born to do this.  After the wedding a random older gentleman walked up to us and told Jon that he almost had him in tears because he had such great words.  He did.  Then the guy offered Jon a beer.  LOL  Of course, Jon declined but we laughed in the car that maybe the guy had already had a few.

16.  This #TBT pic of Jayde is just priceless, isn’t it.  Nothing more needs to be said.

17.  Alright, so maybe it’s just me but it seems like everywhere I look, we black women are idolizing Beyonce for countless reasons.  Yes, she’s beautiful and has an awesome voice and so many other great things, but it’s beginning to feel like girls are aiming to be Beyonce.  What’s wrong with that you might ask?  Well, we won’t get into the whole idea of idolatry because that’s a different conversation, but it just further forces girls and women to meet this standard of womanhood, beauty, etc. that is not always realistic.  Furthermore, who says the non-Beyonce path that these girls would have have explored on their own wouldn’t have been just as great and amazing and even more worthwhile.  Just saying.  In all this wishing to be like Beyonce, don’t forget to find out who you are.

18.  What a lucky girl I am.  Jaxon took me to Mommy-Son Date Night at school.  We had so much fun.  The theme was the olympics.  We played bean bag toss, hula hoop toss, soccer, and we skipped the other few games because they weren’t preg-friendly.  We enjoyed a nice pasta dinner afterwards and beignets.  The perfect evening!

19.  See #12.

20.  Krispy Kreme is the devil.  I wanted to do something different for Jaxon’s classroom party this year so instead of traditional cupcakes that end up dying the kids fingers and mouths blue, I decided to go with sprinkled donuts this year.  They were a hit.  What kinder doesn’t love donuts, I mean come on.  I also did the whole goodie bag bit too.

21.  If you follow my IG you know I was MIA on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Well, I just wanted to make sure the person who is most important to me knew he had my full attention.  Meanwhile, he snapped couple pics and shared on his IG. LOL  Honestly, it was nice to unplug and just be fully and totally present.  I’m glad I did.

22.  I’m in love with this coat so you will see it again, and again, and again.  In case you missed this outfit post…

23.  I’ve always been into upcycling my clothes, meaning grabbing a pair of scissors and making my old stuff into something current and trendy.  You might have noticed by raw edge denim is WAY in.  If you have a pair of skinny jeans you don’t mind cutting, grab a pair of scissor and chop em a little above the ankle.  Throw on a nice pair of stilettos and  you’re done!  I wore these with the oversized coat outfit.

24.  These two, Jayde and Julia, are hams!  There I said it. This is what my cell phone camera is full of.  THEM!

25.  Did you know the ol site got a facelift?  If not, take a look.

On another note, when I took Julia to the doctor’s office this morning {she’s been fighting a fever for a while} I overheard a father telling his two small clearly sick children to stop bothering him because he had pictures he needed to send.  At first I dismissed it and figured he must have been having a REALLY jacked up morning.  But then my presumption that he was a pretty crummy father was confirmed.  The guy said, rather loudly, as his daughter crawled onto his lap, “Will you guys stop it.  You already took up enough of my morning!”  Mind you it was only 10:05 a.m.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but I was glad when the nurse called Julia’s name.

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour