In a society full of people preaching #fakeittillyoumakeit, it’s hard to tell apart who is faking and who has actually made it. Social media is the culprit of feeding our insecurities. It’s impossible to tell what’s real anymore and even harder to keep reminding yourself that you’re good enough! Well let me tell you, you’re enough! Most of what you see is a façade and if you have the intelligence to look past what you see, it will make you a deeper, more connected individual. Have you heard the term, don’t judge a book by it’s cover? I’m guilty of dishing stories I’ve read or watched online without researching them and I have a very skeptical husband who reminds me to dig deeper and inquire further about the source of my information. Apply the same thought to anything you ever see and this mindfulness will be your guide to being happy.
On that note…the Bow Wow Challenge is trending and if you’re wondering what it is and how you can be a part of it, you can catch the details below.
It all started with a post on instagram from Bow Wow of a fine looking jet with a caption about traveling to NYC. It was later found that the picture was stolen and he was actually aboard a commercial airline when he posted it. I’m guessing this was a major fail or a PR attempt to get Bow Wow back on the map with the #BowWowchallenge which is pretty fun and humbling. Hey, any PR is good PR.
This is how it works:
Take a picture of something deceptive that looks aspirational by a clever trick of framing, perspective, or just a nice filter which gives the viewer the impression that your life is #GOALS. Post the final image vs. the full view, and you’re done.
The @chicksandsalsablog team would love to see what you come up with. Tag us and you may get reposted!
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!
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.
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.
LADY: Yeah, I know someone with the same clutch — she has such tacky taste!
ME: (Um…did this girl just call me tacky?)
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?)
JUDGY LADY: So you’re working out a lot more now right?
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.
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!
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.
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).
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!
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,
**Chicks and Salsa is an Amazon Associate, please support us by ordering products directly from the links provided in this post.**
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.
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.
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!
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!?!?)
Let’s be real, eating out is the BEST; it’s a meal that I don’t have to cook…woohoo! When the weather gets warmer, I’m always up for finding a way to combine my love of ‘not cooking’ with the outdoors. Wait for it…a picnic! Yay, ok now that you love the idea, take a deep breath and accept that the planning is totally worth it.
Growing up, my mom would throw some PB&J sandwiches, potato chips, and Coca-Cola’s into a backpack with a few towels and call it a picnic and as fondly as I remember those times, I have NOT been to or had a picnic like that in years! As a mindful eater and a mother, making EVERY meal into an opportunity to do right by my family keeps these meals a little more balanced and creative.
The essentials are still the same — something to sit on, something to eat, and something to do! So grab a blanket, (check out these super trendy and beautiful ones by Boho Street), try out some of our favorite bites, and throw in a frisbee, kite, soccer ball, or our personal favorite, Bananagrams and head out!
One of our favorite family recipes is my mom’s semi-homemade ‘3 Bean Salad’. With less than 10 ingredients and in just 5 minutes, you can wow your taste buds on the go! To see more recipes like this, like us on Pinterest and check out our ‘Picnic Basket’ board for more ideas.
The baskets that we use include reusable utensils and dishes and although it may seem like you’re doing more harm than good, the utensils are also eco-friendly so you can enjoy your meal, guilt free. Be sure to pack some wipes to wipe off the dishes before you pack them and keep a couple of disposable grocery bags for garbage.
For larger potluck style picnics which may include kids, an effective tool that we have used is aGoogle Doc for tracking who is bringing what. Here is a peek at what that form looks like and lucky you, it’s already set up as a template!
With the summer vibes kicking don’t forget your bug spray and sunscreen, this Aromaflage perfume has a built in bug repellent that you can’t smell, its wonderful and made from aromatic essential oils made from botanical extracts.
I hope that this inspires you to get out sooner because if you are anything like me, later never comes.
Go to a dermatologist or any beauty expert and you won’t be walking out without them hysterically telling you how important sun protection is. I’m no expert, but I’m not any different either: Use it daily! Apply it EVERYWHERE. No, your make up is not enough.
I used to apply sunscreen (chemical, broad spectrum) on clean skin before applying any other skin/make up products. *I DO NOT DO THIS ANYMORE* Not because it was ineffective by any means, but I now use a physical sunscreen. My face routine is now: serum/face cream, physical sunscreen, and then bb cream. What is physical sunscreen? Well, there’s no real definition for it. It essentially means that the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide physically block the UV rays from getting to the skin. Chemical, on the other hand, uses chemicals to either absorb or scatter the UV rays.
Why the change? After doing a lot of research that came after talking to my intelligent esthetician (who sadly moved to Texas) I have enlisted to prevent any pigmentation. Hence, I now use physical sunscreen on my face/neck/chest every single day! To prevent burning. To stop sun damage. Premature ageing. And halt that mean, pigmentation, in its tracks. Physical sunscreen also allows me to forget about constantly reapplying it (unless I wet my face or sweat profusely) which is the tricky part with chemical sunscreens and make up! I will often use a BB cream or foundation with chemical sunscreens on top of this, that is to say, I am not making a stand against them, but for my primary sun protection on the face and chest? Physical sunscreen.
Let’s get one thing straight though, no matter what you are using or decide to use it is SO important to use that sunscreen on a daily basis – especially since we live in the kind of ridiculous country that insists on having extreme UV. Also because without it we burn, and get skin cancer, and our immune system suffers and our beautiful skin becomes lined and spotted. Yes, we should get about 15 minutes (depending on the time of year/UV strength/your skin) of sun exposure per day for Vitamin D and general happiness, as many miserable Chicagoans will attest to in the winter. The best way to get it and not soil your lovely skin is to expose the arms, in my opinion.
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?”
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.