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Work-Life Balance and Motherhood

Summer 2016 — I found myself at the cusp of making a life-altering decision.  Should I take a step back from my teaching career or should I keep marching onwards?  Should I take this year off?  Should I take that time off that I always dreamt of taking?  Should I sacrifice a year of providing the second (and minimal) income for my family?  So many ifs, but no guarantees.  What if I intend on taking only a year off and it turns into ten years off?  What if I fail at staying home and running this already busy house-hold?  Again, so many ifs and no answers.  I needed that magic 8 ball more than ever!

So I took the plunge.  In early August, I firmly announced that I have finally made the decision to stay home — to take care of the house, kids, and myself.  “Finally…this will be awesome for you and all of us,” my husband replied.  Of course, I knew that we would have to knock a few things off of our list of expenses…cleaning services, take-out nights, and of course my own spending (yikes).  Running on one income wouldn’t be easy at all, but it’s now or almost never.  My kids are young and it would be nice to just be around.  I had that notion that you only live once…so why not?

Staying at home meant I could finally fulfill the one thing I always wondered…how does it feel dropping the kids off at school and brunching with my friends, running errands, working out, and even tidying up the house in peace?  Throughout my 10 years in the workforce, I always wondered how it felt to just be at home.  To have my OWN time to do my OWN things.  Things that no one would even know about!  I was giving myself a year and I needed to make it count!

So I fulfilled my wonder…I stayed home.  I was that mom — I volunteered at school and made sure breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner were all mostly home-made and prepared with ease.  I made sure that permission slips were signed on time and activities were scheduled.  I made sure that homework was done and both kids were content at drop-off and pick-up.  I was a homemaker…probably not the best, but I tried.  I worked hard to keep up with the daily chores while juggling sick kids, doctor appointments, and opposite schedules.  Did I always succeed?  NO!  But really, it was on my clock.  No one was the boss of me…and that felt amazing.

So then comes May and a possible teaching position is presented to me.  Do I go for it or do I stay home for another year?  What if I stay at home and regret not even trying for it?  Well you only live once, right?  Why not?  After all — this was the job of my dreams.  I went to graduate school knowing I wanted to be as innovative in my teaching methods as possible and this private institution allowed for that.  After a few weeks of complete uncertainty, I got the call — I got the offer!  My first reaction was disbelief…did I just accomplish this huge life-long goal of mine?  WOW.  



Then of course, came the mourning period — flashbacks of my year off would pop up out of the blue.  The times I was easily able to stay home with a sick child.  The times I was able to single-handedly run the household while my husband was out of town.  The times I was the boss of me and no one to really answer to!  Were these flashbacks strong enough to keep me back from fulfilling my dream of accepting this teaching position?  NO.  In fact, I look back and realize that while it was a great break, I was always secretly yearning to get back into the classroom.  I missed the teaching world.  I have this opportunity and the time is NOW.

So now comes the balance.  How do I maintain the juggling act of keeping up with all the duties I enjoyed fulfilling when I was home all while achieving my career goals?  With every step forward, I would have to let go of some of them.  It’s all about trying to attain that balance and learning from what works and what doesn’t.  We will be entering a new set of routines — early morning lunch preps (for the kids AND me), school drop offs and pickups, after-school activities, homework, dinner along with my own work now — all while trying squeezing in some ME time.  

All I can do now is to hope for the best and keep the momentum up.  I’m in my late thirties and finally achieved my lifelong career goal.  I spent the last year setting up the foundation and routines of running this household somewhat efficiently…now I just need to keep it up.  Now is the time to make it all count and all I can do is to take it one day at a time.  I have to keep in mind that you only live once.

Here’s to keeping it real,

Your Brainy Chick,

Komi

Chick Picks:

Off The Runway

The Chicks were invited to preview Nordstrom’s Off The Runway event and we were in fashion heaven! Maybe it was the delicious hors d’oeuvre’s, or the beautiful ambiance created by live jazz music and live models — that made this event so unique and fun.  Our stylist had invited us to check out the latest trends that will be hitting the website in the fall, straight off the runway, and we wouldn’t have missed this chance!  We definitely noticed a few things that may be trending this fall:

Pop Of Color is Still A Thing

Look at these rust hue pants — they are stunning and with the loose long fit, they are the most comfortable pants we tried on all night!  Our model, lawyer, polo player and horse whisperer Pamela Flannigan went home with these stunning Victoria Beckham pants!

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 Black Remains the Chicks Uniform of Choice

This Gucci dress is why we wear black ALL THE TIME, and how can you not?   Our Party Chicks shows us how this fit made her feel like a million dollars.

Gucci Dress with details that are worthy of the season.

The Holidays are Around the Corner

I know, I know, its only August, but we could not help but feel like Christmas is coming with the beautiful emeralds and shimmer which were on so many pieces.   So its not to soon to start thinking ahead to family get together’s and office parties.

Needless to say, we saw some stellar pieces.   Now for the savvy part.  I love unique designer pieces and accessories, however being savvy is what makes the whole experience much more exciting.  Anyone that knows me understands my love for Nordstrom.  It’s the many sides of the brand that I have loved for years.  Listed below is how you can enjoy great finds and perks without the guilt and still look like a million bucks.

Get more out of your Nordstrom card; maximize your points by signing up for rewards even if you DO NOT have a Nordstrom CC (yep, you read that right, you don’t have to have the credit card to collect rewards).

By owning a CC, you collected rewards twice as fast and can take advantage of the many perks once you attain certain levels.  Now that Trunk club, HauteLook and The Rack are under the Nordstrom umbrella, it’s easier than ever to reach higher levels with the card, thus making it closer to your perks in the form of what Nordstrom calls ‘notes’ which are $20, $50, $100 credits toward future purchases.  For me it’s the complimentary alterations of my purchases via HauteLook.  I have purchased some amazing dresses from boutique brands such as Oliviasous, TOV,  and  Tea⋓ at amazing deals to have them altered to perfection is a huge benefit for when I attend balls, fundraiser, or events.

Being a busy mom of two, an entrepreneur, and running a household leaves me little time to go shopping for upcoming events.  SO the idea of having a stylist, who not only knows my budget, and my style by having a glass of champagne or coffee and outfits awaiting me after a hectic afternoon without having to spend hours at the store.  Trunk club is also another great option that makes me feel efficient.  There are secrets that Nordstrom have that I wasn’t aware of — like the fact they sell Chanel and can overnight what you like and want (Chanel AND triple points, what’s not to love?!?)  Even if it’s not out yet, chances are your beloved stylist will get it for you.

Lastly, the customer service I receive is priceless.  As a mother of two very active minions, it’s nice to be looked at with a warm smile and “ready to help” attitude no matter how you look or feel at that moment.  I’ve had awful experiences where top stores look at you up and down before deciding whether or not it’s worth helping you.  (Let’s not judge based of appearances). Long story short my loyalty does go to Nordstrom for creating the best environment for everyone and anyone and whether or I have my swag on or sweatpants I know that customer service at Nordstrom makes me feel like a million bucks.

Your Savvy Chick,

Avani

For a free stylish sesh with us and our Trunk Club stylist (and free champagne!) email Sonia@chicksandsalsablog.com

Chick Picks:

Steve Madden Mules
Dries Van Noten Block Heel

 

 

Teaching Children Compassion

If my children grow up to be compassionate, my job as a mother will have been a success.

Confidence is important too, but without compassion, it might not have the catalyst to be channeled in the best way.  Yes, if I had to choose one trait I’d wish to instill in my children, it would be compassion.

Sadly, it’s easy to normalize the violence and craziness that has become our new normal.  It’s scarily easy to be desensitized to the tragedy-filled headlines we’ve become accustomed to reading.  In our hyper-connectivity, we can’t shut out the bad.

Sometimes leading by example doesn’t cut the mustard and we can use the help of visual aids.  To that end, I did some research on children’s books that help drive home the message of compassion.  We all want a safe and beautiful world in which to raise our children but we only have the power to control our own environment, and that starts at home.

Enemy Pie (Inclusion)

First impressions may not be what they seem.  When a new boy moves into the neighborhood, a father devises a plan to facilitate an unlikely friendship by using a recipe called “Enemy Pie”.  As he instructs his son, one of the steps is to spend a whole day playing with the enemy.   The book endearingly examples the struggles and benefits of making new friends, and the surprise outcomes that arise from preconceived notions.

 

 

Pete the Cat: Rock on Mom and Dad (Gratitude)

I love love love the message of this book!  How many times do moms and dads go un-thanked and seemingly unappreciated?  Pete is determined to show his gratitude to his parents, whom he recognizes do so much for him, and ultimately learns it’s not the size or type of gift, but the gratitude that comes from deep within that matters.

 

 

Maddi’s Fridge (Poverty/Hunger)

Two friends enjoy each other’s company.  They go to school together and play together, yet one has a very different home life.  She doesn’t always have the energy to keep up with her friend because she doesn’t have enough food to eat.  This book so artfully and beautifully raises awareness about poverty and child hunger.  Maddi’s friend is thoughtful enough to pack extra food in her lunch to feed her friend but they sometimes spoil before lunchtime.  So she and her mother brainstorm ways in which to help Maddi and her family.  This is a thought-provoking book to help you and your child form a discussion on possible ways to help curb hunger in your community.

The Earth Book (Environment)

What better way to teach compassion than by empowering your little one with the tools they need to keep the planet green and clean? This book cleverly showcases different ways and tips with which even the youngest member in your family can help.  Caring for the planet teaches compassion that can be transferred to other aspects of life

 

 

It’s Okay to Be Different (Diversity)

Geared towards the younger child, this book creatively    showcases a myriad of differences, from missing teeth, to facial features, to skin color, that make us uniquely us.  More importantly, the book emphasizes that those differences are okay!  We’re not all made to look alike or like the same things.  Part of the learning process is in accepting those differences in us and in other.

 

 

The Name Jar (Acceptance, Inclusion)

When Unhei moves to the States from Korea, she understandably has some anxiety.  Will the other kids like her? Will she fit in?  Rather than introduce herself by her Korean name, she tells the students that she’ll have a western name picked out by the following week.  So, her classmates help by contributing their suggested names into a name jar for Unhei to pick from.  In a turn of events, one classmate comes to visit her neighborhood and overhears Unhei using her real name.  He then hides the name jar to encourage Unhei to use her Korean name and share it’s special meaning with the class, which she ultimately does.  This book celebrates diversity, multiculturalism,  and accepting our own uniqueness.

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (Bullying)

Kids can say mean things and it’s hard to be the object of teasing.  Lucy is confident and proud of her differences (she likes spaghetti and ketchup in a hot dog bun!), despite Ralph’s comments.  The tables are turned when one day, Ralph needs help and Lucy is there to the rescue.  It’s a wonderful book to launch pad discussions about modeling kind behavior and staying true to ones values even in the face of opposition.

 

 

I hope you love this list as much as my family did!

Your Brainy Chick,

Serene

 

Compliments to the Chef!

The chicks have been busy trying to approach blogging from all angles, so when we had the opportunity to meet with food bloggers and enjoy the creations of a Le Cordon Blue trained Executive Chef, we naturally jumped at the opportunity.

Chef Jarvis Belton had meticulously designed our five course dinner with all our senses in mind.   NOTHING was left behind — we truly ate with our eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and fingers!  During this exclusive dining experience for bloggers and photographers only, Chef Belton considered not only the preparation of the meals, but also the presentation.

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Having trained at the international Le Cordon Blue culinary institute in Mallorca Spain, he learned the hard way that it takes a ton of patience to cook a rice pudding and the how much team work is required to build dishes with ingredients from all over the world.  With creative ingredients, he put a spin on a traditional dishes such as a pumpkin ‘mashed potato’ paired with a mouthwatering peach chutney (who knew!?!) or a crostini with garlic, fig, and fennel (yum!)

Paired perfectly with wines from all over the world, this dinner had us in sensory overload.  After enjoying a salad with a chocolate jalapeno balsamic drizzle (you read that right) and our main dish, we were advised to wash our hands for dessert.  Hesitantly, we returned unsure of what was in store.  Chef Belton meticulously built out desserts on top of our hands with a hand churned whip cream, fresh fig, and caramel drizzle which we ate with a spoon right off our hand.  Just delightful and different.

Having an intimate dining experience where you can interact with the chef directly was a truly unique experience.  The casual conversations with others who also enjoy documenting what they eat was also really fun.  Learning about what people are up to over a delicious meal will always round out a perfect chick-tastic evening.

Thanks Chef!

Your Party Chick,

Rina

Party Like A Chick!

We all enjoy a girl’s night, right? But what does that even mean? A girls night to the chicks means time spent with friends in a space that is comfortable and filled with love and laughter (oh, and then there is good food and drinks, too!).  Some of my favorite girls’ nights have been those where we can compare notes with friends on life, marriage, motherhood and the newest reality shows!  Girls nights can be as few as 2 friends or as many as 10, but no matter what, the main goal is to make it a special way to get together and have fun!
There is a rotation among the chicks where we take turns having each other over — that way we all have the opportunity to get together often without the pressure of hosting all the time.  This also means that we each take that opportunity to host seriously and try to find a way to make the most intimate gatherings just a little “extra” special.  To help, party chicks have made planning a little easier — by making affordable and adorable party boxes.  With the craze of selfies and dessert tables, everyone is looking for the Instagram-perfect picture to share with friends and family. We are excited to announce our first party box themes: the Fiesta Box and the  Bollywood Box! 
Details: Henna Stencils, and Bindis

As women in our thirties we pay attention to all the details that go into hosting a girls’ night. The Party Chicks have hand picked these specialty items to make your get together a little different with everything you will need (even the command hooks!) and ten minutes.  You can create the perfect atmosphere to make your friends lay back, relax, and enjoy the time you all have set aside for each other.

Check out our introductory boxes in our Etsy Shop here.

Q & A with Model Alexandra Schafer

Being in the beauty industry has many perks. From working on exciting projects on sets to meeting the people behind the scenes that help bring everything to life. All aspects of it have been an exciting journey. However, my personal favorite thing about being in this business has been all the talent you get to meet and learn from.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some really fascinating people. And although it’s always exciting to meet your favorite celebrity or work with a high profile client, there is nothing more exciting then working with other people who share the same passion and creative energy as yourself.

Alexandra Schafer (@lamakeupalex) started her career as a model. After traveling the world to walk high fashion designer shows and working as the face of Ralph Lauren in the 90’s, Alex decided to go back to what she originally intended to do from the beginning and that’s working behind the scenes. You have probably seen her work in national campaign’s for designers/retailers such as Bebe and Guess.

I was able to ask Alex some questions about her life in the industry today and thought I would share this with our C & S readers.

Happy Reading!

Your beauty chick,

Deanna

How did you end up in the beauty industry?

Through a class I took in my late teens, which led me to modeling and then back to beauty. It was all the amazing artists I worked with over the years that inspired me to approach makeup full time.

Working with celebrity clients must leave you nervous sometimes. How do you deal with it?

I don’t really get nervous, rather excited to collaborate and meet creative’s. Creative energy is exciting and everyone is coming together; and when it really gels, it’s magical. When you have a “difficult personality” to deal with it sometimes is a challenge, but you just breathe and keep on believing in yourself and remind yourself they only want is best as well.

What’s the most common beauty mistake you see in people’s work?

They don’t enhance and frame beauty, but rather they cover it up and mask it; or the base is too heavy.

Alex doing makeup on Katie Wee of Return of the Mac

If you had to pick just one product to recommend everyone keep in their makeup bag, what would it be?

Bronzer or blush, depending on skin color.

 

Windy City Playhouse Ticket Giveaway!

When the chicks were invited by the Windy City Playhouse to see their current play, “King Liz” I thought that it would make a fun date night and invited my husband along.  We were unfamiliar with this newly-founded playhouse and were excited for our evening in the city!

The theater seats 80-100, depending on the play. We were pleasantly surprised by the charming lobby with bar, comfortable seating, and friendly staff.  The contemporary decorating includes faux animal skin rugs, leather couches and a fireplace.  You can bring alcohol into the performance.  The chairs are roomy and comfortable leather lounges (not recliners) that swivel, and there are tables between the seats to place your drinks.  There’s plenty of room, which is really nice.

What I liked most about the theater was its design.  The audience faces each other with the stage in the middle, allowing two sets accessible by the actors merely by crossing the stage.  This was used to great effect during the performance, and kept the action going at a quick and fun pace. This setup also allows you to sit very close to the performers, and with the stage lighting and great acoustics, made this theater experience really visceral.

“King Liz” is a story about Liz Rico (Lanise Shelley), a brassy, highly successful African American basketball agent, who’s worked her way up to partner in the Candy Agency.  She’s a Yale grad from the projects, and was originally Mr. Candy’s (Frank Nall) assistant when he started the agency in his garage.  The story centers around her relationship with Freddie Luna (Eric Gerard), the hot new client she must recruit and help get drafted, to make the big splash needed for the board to name her as Candy’s successor.  Liz is self-centered, doing whatever it takes to make it to the top.  She’s sacrificed love, children, and friendships for her career.  Freddy comes from a troubled inner city background.  He lived in foster homes and has an assault charge that dogs him.  His tough exterior hides a need for guidance and love.  We see how Liz’s career goals conflict with Freddie’s unpreparedness for the world of professional sports, and how ultimately she finds her humanity.  It’s a fast paced play that keeps you engaged and entertained.

The lead actress, Lanise Shelley, who has an impressive resume including extensive Shakespearean training, plays the intense and powerful role of Liz Rico very well.  In fact, all of the actors were excellent.  They were well cast.

I liked the play.  The actors were engaging and their timing was great.  I laughed out loud several times.  It was even fun to recognize actor Phillip Edward Van Lear, who played Coach Jones, from Prison Break!

Try this theatre out!   King Liz runs through July 16th.  If you share this post on Facebook, you will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to see King Liz or their upcoming production of Becky Shaw!

 

Also, after some performances you can stay and have a “night cap” with one of the actors.

If you would like to go out for dinner beforehand, I’d highly recommend “Bread and Wine” down the street.  It’s a Michelin-rated restaurant.  My husband and I were thrilled with the food, atmosphere, and friendliness of the staff.  The owners even let us leave our car in the parking lot while we went to the play!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will really enjoy an evening combining Bread and Wine and the Windy City Playhouse.  Coming in from the suburbs, Irving Park is not as far as going all the way downtown.  Both restaurant and theater are walking distance from each other, and both are just east of I90.  That makes it very easy to drive.  It’s a lot less hassle than going downtown for an evening and, frankly, it was a lot more fun.

Your Savvy Chick,

Johanna Croll

Did You Really Just Say That ?!?!

This may be why I hate going out sometimes…

Scenario 1:

LADY: Is that a new clutch?

ME: Yes! I just bought it from ___, and love it!

LADY: Yeah, I know someone with the same clutch — she has such tacky taste!

ME: (Um…did this girl just call me tacky?)

Scenario 2:

JUDGY MOM: So you’re taking the year off of teaching, right?

ME: Yes I am!

JUDGY MOM: You must have SO much time — what do you do all day? It must be nice to just

hang out all day and do nothing…

ME: (Really? REALLY?)

Scenario 3:

JUDGY LADY: So you’re working out a lot more now right?

ME: Yes!

JUDGY LADY: Really? I couldn’t really tell…

ME: (Are you OUT OF YOUR MIND?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has someone ever said something directly to you and you had to think to yourself, “WHAT?” Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about people having the right to express themselves and saying what they please, but does that give them the right to be completely socially inept? Does it give them the right to completely disregard your feelings…as a normal human being? Many times, when I am on the receiving end of an outlandish comment, I wonder if I’m possibly taking it the wrong way or heard it wrong. It’s completely possible that I had a moment of hyper-sensitivity and took the comment too personally. I’m not completely out of the woods here… The thing is when someone else in the room notices the comment and gives you that “wait, did she just….wait, did she just — WOAH!” The most memorable incident I’ve experienced involved my husband. I was caught in the middle of an awkward situation with another person and turned around — only to catch his high eye-brow raised glance. I felt like he expected for me to completely flip a table over it; I felt that I almost had to react just to show him that I wasn’t numb to it. I just calmly poured myself another glass of wine and went on about another conversation as if nothing happened while my insides twitched with major annoyance.

Later that night, he casually brought it up. I, of course exploded and he profoundly said, “why didn’t you just say something back?” While I wanted to gouge his eyes out for bringing up a great point — I thought, why didn’t I come up with a witty comeback? Why didn’t I somehow relieve the awkwardness by one-upping this girl and her viciousness? Why did I just take it and not stick up for myself? Of course I then turn to the usual conclusion I always do — it probably isn’t even worth it OR is it? Here’s the thing — people talk and say what they please…so I should receive what they say in the manner in which I please, right? I can try all I want to just ignore them, but is that giving them “permission” to do this repeatedly? If I speak up, then I’m all of a sudden overly-sensitive or feisty? If I don’t, I’m a pushover.

I’ve decided that there’s no winning. There’s no winning when dealing with completely socially inept people — you just need to know that you’re not the weirdo in the situation. Also…I just don’t have the mental capacity to worry about more drama than my everyday life with two crazy active children.  So to that socially inept person roaming around looking for his/her next prey…just shut-up already. No one wants your negativity and “rough around the edges” ways. No one cares if you are always right and have to have the last word. Just back off…because someday I will come up with a witty comeback that seems like a light-hearted joke and life will be good again.

Your Brainy Chick – Komi

**For some candid reads from witty women, check out our Chick Picks.

Chick Picks:

Are you there vodka? Its me, Chelea
Is everyone hanging out without me?

Ancestry.com D.N.A. “Do Not Assume” Test

Have you always wanted to find out your true heritage?  Do you think you know?  I thought I knew until I went to Ancestry.com and took their test.  The results were quite a surprise!

My Heritage…

With a last name like Svenson, blond hair and blue eyes, I have always been proud of my Swedish heritage.  When someone called me “the Swedish Bombshell”, it was my favorite nickname ever!  My father’s side of the family was Swedish.  His personality was charming, kind, and graceful.  He was like tennis player Matts Wilander, the quiet, dignified Grand Slam Champion you probably only sort of remember. 

Conversely, my mom’s side was the Irish side.  You know the loud type with a good story to tell?  Think more like John McEnroe: funny, hot tempered, the poster child for misbehavior and poor decorum on the court.  I’m not saying that was my Mom, but her family, well, I could see the feisty ancestral resemblance.

I told myself, I’m more Swedish than Irish.  I’m more Wilander than McEnroe.  I mean, I’m not a loud hothead (despite what my husband says).    I’m like a Swede – always under control – the cool-headed assassin you never hear coming.  Those of you who know me agree with me, right?  Right?! 

On good days I like to think that I look a little like my idol, Christy Brinkley, who’s was surely a Swede like me (she’s not).   Sure I have freckles, but so does Pippy Longstocking.  That impulsive anger that bubbles up and pops out with such ease, that’s not the Irish McEnroe in me, that’s the justified, rational meting out of fair and true Scandinavian justice!  And, ok, maybe I color my hair even lighter than it was when I was a baby.  That’s just a style choice.  There are dishwater blondes in Sweden, right? Right?!  Of course there are.  Phew, dissonance gone.  I’m Swedish again. 

With Matts Wilander
With John McEnroe

Embracing my heritage…

My sister in law (who’s half Swedish) and I took Swedish language classes in Andersonville’s Swedish Village. Oh, what fun we had! Since we saw ourselves as the America’s poster children for Sweden, we just knew we’d find the language easy.  Heck, it’s our mother tongue!  Who cares if the Swedish language has nine vowels with seventeen different sounds and a pitch accent?  It should be instinctive for us.  Right?  Right?! 

Immersing into my culture…       

I shopped at the Hannah Andersson store and drank glug on the holidays.  I embraced smorgasbords and added marzipan to my homemade pastries. I even started to eat herring.  And when I had the opportunity to play tennis with Mats Wilander, I jumped at the chance!  Of course he’d fall in love with me. (He only didn’t because he’s married).  

Rocking Hannah Anderson

The DNA test…a.k.a. the “Do Not Assume” test…  

With my parents still alive, I wanted us all to enter the Ancestry.com DNA test spit marathon (yes, they test your saliva).  Tip, don’t do the test right after you have coffee like I did.  Sorry, gross!  https://www.ancestry.com/dna/.   

I wanted to see just how Swedish I really was.  I was guessing somewhere between 30-60%.  My Dad is Swedish.  My mom is Irish, Scottish, and Belgian, and since the Vikings conquered vast swathes of Britain and the Normans conquered northern France, before also invading Britain, her side would probably contribute some Scandinavian as well.  My bragging to my husband about my Swedish ancestry (he thought I acted Irish) would finally be vindicated.  The possibility that this silly little test was a risk to my entire self-identity did not cross my pretty little Swedish mind.  

The results are in…. 

I checked my email often, and after eight weeks the results finally arrived. When I opened them up….I couldn’t believe my eyes!  My first thought was, how can I hide these results from my husband?  He’ll never let me forget this.  Turns out, I am just 1% Scandinavian! Along with Western Europe, I’m mostly Irish!  Say what???    I’m Swedish dammit!  I’m the Swedish Bombshell.  Aren’t I?  Apparently not.  

 

 

 

This is not a disaster…

This was, well, not a disaster, but a mind-bending change for me. I immediately looked up Christy Brinkley on Wikipedia and, to my great relief, she’s part Irish as well!  Phew.  I knew there was a strong resemblance between us!   We’re probably cousins.   

I always knew…

However, I think, in the back of my mind, I always knew.  I just didn’t want to admit it. I mean, I kind of fit the stereotype.  I’m like my Mom’s family.  I’m a dreamer.  I love to tell exaggerated stories, laugh, sing and be merry.  Maybe I’m even a little loud and opinionated.  Sure I’ve been known to drink a pint or two of Guinness on occasion.

Coming to terms with the news…

So I was embracing the wrong heritage all along.   Come to think of it, I do love watching John McEnroe get into fights with the umpires, and he was a hell of a lot better player than Wilander ever was.  I don’t like marzipan, herring is gross, Hanna Andersson is overpriced and kitschy, glug gives me a nasty hangover, and Swedish sounds like the Muppet meatball chef.   

I now have a story to tell…  

Now, I truly know what was always in my heart.  I love corned beef and cabbage.  I am in great company with Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, Edmund Burke, Michael Flatley, U2, W.B. Yeats, and St. Patrick.  I think I’ll start taking Irish dancing lessons.

I’ve started writing limericks:  

“There once was a girl from Sweden,

Turns out she’s in the Irish legion.  

So she drank lots of Glug

Right out of the Jug

To drive away all of her demons”  

I’m going over to McGonagall’s to start learning more about my heritage.  Slainte forever baby!  

By Johanna Svenson Croll, Savvy Chic

Low Key Cutie

If the contents of your bag should be kept a secret, you should probably steer clear of this blog post — however, if you’re the friend in the group who is known to have accessories which show a lot of thought and detail, then you are the ideal woman to carry the see-through bag.

Gone are the days when women’s bags were the mysterious, inaccessible Pandora’s box. We put so much thought into the details of all the items we own, and it shouldn’t go to waste in the dark hole of your large tote.

The see-through bags are ironic because the bag itself is minimalist in its design but the contents of the bag are ever changing. It’s so easy to match it to your outfit using your own accessories. For instance, this all-white daytime look is most appropriate for running errands, a BBQ or taking a stroll at the park. However, this time, give the Chanel a break and play it low-key cutie with this sheer beauty. Make it your own using your own accessories. I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging and if I’m going to spend a little more cash on the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick than the drugstore brand then I’m going to want to show it off and get my money’s worth! Obviously my choice is based on quality but you can’t deny the gorgeous packaging! You can also throw in that iPhone with the confetti cover for some glimmer, a pair of reflector shades, a fancy MUJI pen (always carry a pen) and I love the Herbivore Rose Face Mist to keep you looking fresh.

You can change up the look and contents of the bag using what you already have which makes this bag on trend, and efficient! It’s also a great way to start a conversation. People will automatically be drawn to your bag and it’s likely to spark a discussion; so it’s also a great ice-breaker!

Show us how you style your outfits with your see-through bags by tagging @chicksandsalsa.

Your Trendy Chick,

Puja

 

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Transparent Bag

 

zeroUV Vintage Sunnies

 

 

 

 

 

 

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