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Summer Chick Flicks

Chicks and Salsa is made up of a team of seven women from different backgrounds, ages, and circumstances.  One thing we have in common is our love of women centered story lines and comedy.  The female experience is unique and we love every minute of it!  That being said we are super stoked about a few movies this summer that explore the havoc that women can wreak when they are together.  So mark your calendars, here are the movies you simply cannot miss in order of release:

Rough Night – June 16th

Scarlett Johanssen and her passé turn it up for the girl version of Hangover in Miami.  This movie complete with all the classic setups for a comedy is a guaranteed girls night movie.
Click image to watch the Red Band trailer on YouTube.

 

Girls Trip – July 21st

There is nothing like getting out of town and kicking back with friends on vacation.  Join Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Tiffany Haddish as they zip line across Bourbon Street and flash P.Diddy.

Click image to watch the Red Band trailer on YouTube.

 

Fun Mom Dinner – August 4th

As many of the chicks are moms, the concept of escaping from the kids is real! In Fun Mom Dinner, Kate Aselton and Toni Collette along with their friend turn up the fun in this hilarious comedy complete with karaoke, inappropriate flirting, and night off mom duty!

Click on the image to watch the trailer on YouTube.
These movies are sure to make getting out of the house with your friends worthwhile.
What are your favorite chick flicks of the past? Mine is The Sweetest Thing (remember that!?!?)

Your Party Chick,

 Rina

Who is REALLY the hero? Mom Vs. Dad

Mother’s Day — the day we give praise to all the mother’s around us…our own mother’s, our mom friends, and even those that are like mothers.  The flowers, homemade cards, and of course the school crafts all come pouring in.  This is also the perfect time to think about the ironies behind how our children view mothers.  For instance, do our children really view us as givers?  Are we just givers of endless amounts of snacks and ridiculous requests?  Let’s not mention the endless hours of sleep we are deprived of, the enormous amounts of guilt we feel,  and the thousands of unfinished cups of coffee (sadly waiting on the counter all day waiting to be enjoyed)?

I once asked my children what they thought I did all day…the answers varied.  My overly observant daughter replied (in a nice complete sentence), “I believe you clean and cook and make sure everything is perfect by the time we get back from school.”  My son, who sees the world much MUCH simpler replied, “I don’t know…what do you do?  Do you just wait by the door for us to get back home?”  

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You may be wondering why I decided to title this “Mother’s Day” tribute, “The Father, The Hero…” — let me explain.  Before I continue, I would like to lay out a disclaimer…this post in NO way is putting down father’s and saying they don’t do squat (even though, let’s be real…).

Spring Break — I was told to take it easy (by my very kind Doctor).  My husband had already planned to take a couple days off to hang out and hopefully play some golf.  Luck would have it that I’m down and the weather wasn’t golf-appropriate.  He stepped up and came to the rescue (I inserted that for those about to go all “at least your husband helps…blah blah blah” on me).  

What does a crazy mom do when she hears she’ll be “down” for a few days?  Plan.  I made sure we were stocked up on groceries (end-less snacks) for him.  I made some meals — easy heat-up meals, ready to go in the refrigerator for him.  I made sure all the laundry was done and folded (and EVEN put away) for him.  I did all this to not only help him take over, but also to ease my own stresses on being “down.”  

During my stages of bed-ridden bliss, my darling children would visit me in bed.  They would bring me sweet cards, sneak me treats, and even serenade me with a song and nicely demand a TV show.  During their visits, they would also go on about how “daddy was doing.”  

“Daddy made us lunch mommy — JUST like you!” — so he just heated up the food I prepped and then served it?  Nice.

“Daddy gave us ice cream with sprinkles AND chocolate syrup!”  — so he simply scooped out ice cream and gave into the kids’ whining for more sugar?  Wuss!

“Daddy laid out my pajamas for me!”  — so he opened a drawer AND took the nicely folded PJs out?  What a man!

Oh and my all-time favorite…

“Daddy READ us a book!”  — he can read??  Get out!

Here’s my take on it…kids don’t expect their fathers to perform and execute tasks the way us moms do.  They expect the whole “your mommy is better at this than I am so just bear with me” spiel.  They naturally expect their mothers to complete tasks effortlessly.  I asked a male friend about this and he simply replied, “you ladies are just naturally better than we are.”  

And with that — the end.

There’s a reason my children were incredibly happy when I was back — their routines were back in place.  They were happy that lunch was prepared for them by ME, they were actually content with MY dessert portions, they appreciated the way I kept their lives in order (including their never-ending laundry), and they really enjoyed MY story-times with them.  Even though my husband tried his best, there’s nothing that could replace a mother’s touch.  That unique blend of love, care, and sometimes over compulsive behavior!  A mother knows how it should be done and even when things blow up, she can effortlessly fix it without a second thought.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies…you may have a crummy day today or hopefully not.  Just know, you’ve got this — you don’t need to try to be the BEST because in your childrens’ eyes, you already are.  Simple.

Cheers to that!

Your brainy chick,

Komi

 

 

Costco Haul

 

I get asked ALL the time what I buy from Costco because I’m there at a MINIMUM once a week.  It’s the food version of Target for me.  Everyone is at peace; I stock up on the essentials we need and the kids know the food court is part of the rotation – a win-win.  I was a Costco-lover even before we had children because I found great pleasure in having a stockpile of toiletries and paper towels.   I still have PTSD from running out of toilet paper in my house when I was growing up.  I vowed that would never happen to me as an adult.

Costco also has a pretty strong selection of organic produce, meats and dairy.  I’ve found that their produce lasts longer than the local grocers’.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 items I purchase from Costco:  Even if you don’t have a need for these items, it’s helpful to know that Costco carries them, and typically at a much better price than its competitors.

Pesto – delicious imported Italian basil pesto to put on pasta, wraps, chicken and quesadillas! This is the #1 preferred pasta topping in our home.  It’s phenomenally quick and far from tastes like a two-ingredient meal.  The kids devour and ask for seconds, without fail.

Kodiak Pancake mix – if you like to make pancakes or waffles, this mix is sent from the griddle gods themselves.  It’s foolproof with its 1:1 water to mix ratio and it promises to deliver consistently fluffy results every time.  And if that weren’t enough, this mix is packed with 14g of protein per serving and only contains the most natural of ingredients!  (a gluten-free version is available on amazon).  You can get creative with the mix, which if you ask me, is always the best part of making batter.  And with this mix, you can get straight to the best part of mixing.  I’ve added shredded coconut, sometimes chocolate chips and have even used buttermilk versus water when feeling especially deserving.

Sweet Kale salad – You never knew you liked brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and broccoli all in the same RAW salad until you’ve tried this prepared sweet kale salad.  It comes with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and a poppyseed dressing, which I could eat by the spoonful.  You can also make your own salad dressing and customize your toppings if you prefer, but for all of the shredding, dicing and chopping that goes into it, it can be an excellent base to your “homemade” salad.

Roti – These were an accidental discovery while trying to find uncooked tortillas.  Amazingly fresh tasting, these bake in minutes if making large quantities or puff up in a frying pan (no oil needed).  They are incredibly soft and can be used in lieu of tortillas.  Try them with burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, wraps – their uses are endless and they taste fresh because they are!

Contigo Water Bottles – Costco carries a rotation of seasonal Contigo water bottles.  Whether a 3-pack of BPA-free adult-sized water bottles, a double-pack of stainless steel water bottles, kid-sized bottles or thermal mugs, be sure to check your Costco’s inventory before purchasing online or from another retailer.  I’ve found them to be significantly less expensive at Costco.

PT’s (Organic) Coffee – beautiful, robust coffee free of pesticides.  Just grind up the beans before you leave (yes, Costco has a coffee grinder for our use) and you have an aromatic bag of caffeinated deliciousness ready for your machine or bullet-proof coffee!

Frozen Mango…. frozen cherries, frozen berries, frozen pineapples….Their frozen fruit selection is beyond amazing and super convenient if you like to make smoothies and yogurt parfaits, bake with fruit, or simply have fruit on hand.  Do you want to peel mangos, work around the pit and chop them up into perfectly cubed pieces?  One prophetic quote comes to mind: “ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!”.

Maple Syrup – Costco carries 1L of 100% pure Grade A maple syrup at a cost you can’t beat.  If you know how maple syrup is sourced, you’ll have great appreciation for the value offered.  We sweeten oatmeal, pancakes, even coffee with this delicious elixir.

La Croix – the Costco I frequent carries a 24ct. variety-pack of LaCroix.  They also carry a solely lime flavored case.  If you want to increase your water intake in a novel way, or if you’re trying to break your diet coke/coke habit, try La Croix.  The can and tab opening mimics the cracking open of a carbonated sugary drink without all of the bad stuff.

Individual Hummus packs – these are amazing on-the-go snack items and a great source of protein for your kids’ school lunches.  Pair with fresh vegetables, pretzel snaps or chips (all sold at Costco )

All this and I didn’t even touch on their selection of cheeses, but you have to go in person to be a believer. Whether shredded, sliced, hard, soft, in stick form, wheel form, or wedge form, keep Costco in mind when planning your next cheese board crowd pleaser.

Hope to see you in the Costco aisles soon!

Yours truly,

Brainy Chick Serene

Chicks Picks:

Party With Purpose

Being an informed individual sometimes means facing difficult realities.  Social media is a place that people turn for information, or at least it is for me.  I like and follow pages on Facebook that give me the information I am looking for.  There are times, though, that I am left speechless.  The posts with happy endings always leave me with an extra skip in my step, but the ones that don’t, leave me with a feeling of lost hope and helplessness.  In thinking of the latter, I realized we all have an immense potential to make a difference, no matter how large or small the scale.

There are two things that I think we all like to do; have a good time, and when possible do something for a good cause!  

Chicks, it’s time to do things differently.  We all love getting together with friends — it’s a chance to let our hair down, talk about that skinny mom on instagram, and have a glass of wine. Why not, party with purpose? Whether you think that doing charity is for the greater good or charity work is a self-fulfillment activity, either way — charity work is good. And doing it with your friends, wine, and chips and salsa (eh, eh?) is even better! Help do your part and be bigger than yourself with these fun ways

Sole Hope Party-

A great example of this, is to host a “Sole Hope” party.  All attendees bring an old pair of jeans (God only knows how many I have laying around) and $10.  You simply trace patterns provided by Sole Hope on your jeans and cut them.  Once done the cut-outs are sent with the money to make shoes for children in Africa.  How easy and purposeful….and all while hanging with the ones you care about and over a glass of wine!  More information can be found at solehopeparty.org.  Sole Hope is just one of so many ways we can give back.  Since some of us simply can’t drop our lives to go first hand to make a difference, there are established and vetted organizations that can help do our part.

(Insert Your Charity of Choice) Fundraiser-

Educating guests on the work of an amazing charity while you are gathered is a great way to spread awareness and take a moment to share your connection to the organization.  Do not overthink this!!  Just gathering and collecting donations can be as passive or active as you want it to be.  However, be clear in your invitation that it is your intention to collect donations while you party.  Make it easy for your guests by either setting out a jar or by passing out envelopes to collect donations.  I like to leave out some brochures for my guests to browse while we hang out.  Check out Invitation Consultants for ways to ‘word’ your invitations.  

Bunco For Babies-

Nothing like a game night to get the laughter and fun started.  This old housewives gambling game is easy, quick, and fun.  With very few materials, and little bit of wine your group of friends can have a lot of fun and do a whole lot of good a the same time.  Consider a 50/50 buy in, charge $30 per person to play and then the winner takes 50% and the charity gets 50%.  A little competition to kick off the weekend is a great way to party with purpose.  Never played bunco before? No problem, get on the bandwagon today and learn here.

Holiday Toy Drive Party-

This is an easy idea and makes getting together during the holidays a little more joyous. Reach out to your local hospital or another local organization that serves children in your area to see what gifts are most needed by the children in your community.  Once you have that list, when hosting ANYTHING during the holidays, ask that guests bring an unwrapped toy or book to the party to donate.  In the past we have also requested an ‘Angel Tree’ from our local Salvation Army and asked that guests take a name on their way out.  

So, when you plan your next get together, I urge you to think about a cause that is meaningful to you and incorporate it into the things that you are already doing. With these ideas, without a doubt, you will feel you’ve partied with a purpose!

Regards,

 

 

Your Party Chicks

Contouring and All It’s Hype

With the help of social media, contouring has become one of the most popular trends. You can’t walk into a cosmetics department today and not be bombarded by sales associates asking you to “check out” their contour palettes.  Contouring has become the number one request from my clients. Here’s something that may surprise you: you actually may already have the product in your makeup bag to help create this contouring trend – it’s called bronzer, ladies!

Sophia Bush – Makeup Done By Deanna

The advantage of contouring is that it gives the illusion that you have a more defined facial structure that accentuates your cheekbones.  While it may photograph beautifully, the downside is that contouring can easily be mistaken for bad makeup.  Here are a few simple tricks to help you create those great cheekbones while giving the impression that you know exactly what you are doing!

Choose The Right Color

Choosing the right color bronzer is just as important as choosing the right foundation.  The key for a natural, contoured look is to look for a bronzer that is no more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone. This will help prevent you from looking orange or muddy.  I typically do not choose bronzers with a shimmer, since you are trying to keep your face as natural-looking as possible.

Blend: It’s All In The Wrist

When you apply bronzer, make sure to apply it where the sun naturally touches your face and remember to include your neck.  You don’t want your face and neck to be two different shades…not a good look!  I suggest doing this by sweeping a little of your bronzer downward from your jawline to your neck to make the transition seamless. If you are wearing your hair up, don’t forget to get the ears and back of the neck.

Contour Look by Party Chick Rina

Have The Right Tools

I can’t stress this enough. Good makeup brushes and applicators are worth the investment. If you’re going to use a liquid bronzer for contouring, a makeup blending sponge works best.  If you’re going to use a powder bronzer, an angled-brush or a flat-brush is best for giving your cheekbones that coveted depth. If you really want that contrast, think about applying a powdered bronzer over a liquid bronzer; make sure you properly use the blending sponge when using this technique.

Makeup can be very intimidating for a lot of women.  Remember, it’s not permanent; you can always wash it off. You don’t need a professional makeup artist to give you a flawless look. It just takes quality makeup, good tools and some practice.  You would be surprised how quick and easy this can be, even for you mothers who are on the go!

Happy Contouring!

Your Beauty Chick-Deanna

Chicks Picks:

 

Tom Ford Contour Brush
Liquid Bronzer
Beauty Blender Original
Bobbi Brown Bronzer

 

Put The Phone Down!

 

Not so long ago, women would go to their neighbor’s houses to socialize.  They might chat for hours, sitting around the kitchen table. There was an art to conversation, a give and take.  People actually listened and learned from one another.

Today, things are much different.  In our fast paced world that already doesn’t allow for “hours around the kitchen table”, too often we squander what little time we have left for our friends by texting other people when we’re supposed to be talking to the people we’re with!

We’ll text others who aren’t there and post selfies on Facebook/Instagram, etc., but are we able to fully enjoy ourselves in the moment if we’re doing that?  Sure, humans are social animals and everyone wants to enjoy life to the fullest.  But what does this behavior signify?  Are we just trying to have fun with the most people all the time, even if we’re spreading ourselves too thin?  Or are the reasons more difficult to face?  Like maybe we’ve become uncomfortable with real people and our phones have become a crutch?  Maybe we don’t have much to say, and we’re trying to hide our insecurity by showily engaging in private conversations with other people through our phone.  Maybe we are trying to show off how popular we are.  I ask you, do we really need to be distracted by every funny conversation that is texted to us, when we’re sitting with someone who took the time to actually show up to spend time with us?

This savvy chick says obsessively texting while with friends harms those friendships; and when done flagrantly, ostentatiously, or rudely, it displays shockingly bad manners as well.

This is not acceptable behavior!  You’re better than that.  Don’t you realize that always being available to text actually means that you’re not really doing anything else that’s interesting?  Or, even worse, it might mean that you’re so easily distracted by novelties that you’re unable to hold a conversation as a mature adult.  Admit it.  The message that you’re actually sending to the world when you text while socializing with other people is that you’re immature, and unable to handle your social life like an adult should.

It’s clear that this technology is still new.  With the advent of texting and social media, established communication etiquette has broken down.  Yet, no one really seems to be speaking out against all this blatant rudeness that contravenes all the well-established social rules.  It’s time we recognize that the novelty of smart phones has worn off.  We need to reflect on how to comport ourselves when with friends in this age of ubiquitous smart phones, and come down on the side that honors the reality of human contact over the virtual reality of a phone.  And we need to stop using the phone as an instrument of power over others.  Forcing people to wait while you take pictures and text is impolite and self-important.

Of course, emergency texts are ok.  The convenience of real time is nice. Recording a funny moment is too, but you don’t have to text it out right away to get the response you crave.  Wait to do it later when you’re alone.  Constant texting with friends and taking photos for social media should not be encouraged during social visits.  Such behavior does not lead to meaningful interactions with the people you’re with, and may even lead people to resent your behavior.

In reality though, the problem is more complicated.  It’s not just one person doing this when friends are together. The fact is everyone is doing it, and it seems to have led to an arms race to see who can do it the most.  It seems to be a weird form of a popularity contest.  No one wants to be the “uncool” one with no one to text with while they’re talking to someone else; reminiscent of the college days when having a drink or cigarette in hand signified relevance.

It’s become ridiculous.  Given this dynamic, I’m not really sure how we’re going to fix this as a society.  That’s the problem with arms races.  It takes one person to take the first step.  Yet, for many of us, it would feel awkward to ask someone to put their phone away when sitting down to talk. However, with someone you know, for whom the problem has persisted, perhaps you can take the first step by announcing “this is going to be a no-phone lunch”.  Manners are the unspoken rules of behavior for civilized people.

However, you shouldn’t have to ask people to put down their phones, or even signal for them that they should do so.  People should be expected to do that without asking.  But try telling that to the worst offenders amongst your friends.  Tell them their manners are atrocious.  See how that goes over as you study their shocked faces!

We should be building meaningful relationships.  By texting during a conversation, you’re missing out!  Put down that phone!  Not only are you hurting your friendships, you’re hurting yourself!  Texting and too much social media creates a lonely place and a false reality!  Start living again!  Or at a minimum, let’s set an example for the next generation!

So let’s bring real communication back!  Our happiness (and friends) will thank us.

Josie Croll, Savvy Chick