OlgaDavis30: 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Little Staycation in Chicago

I love being able to visit our wonderful city of Chicago. It’s definitely a big city to explore. I’m all about trying to take vacations near home and this summer was no exception. Our staycation this summer was a little different as we decided to leave the little ones at home. Yes, it was the first time leaving Olivia for more than one night. I’m not sure why it left me sad, because this summer I feel like I’ve needed a break from my kids. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to truly take a one-week vacation without my two girls. Any other parents suffer from separation anxiety like me? Usually it’s the child that’s upset, but not my girls. They were excited to be visiting Abuelito and Abuelita, because as we all know, grandparents let their grandchildren do whatever, and eat whatever they want. My parents are no exception.

The good thing about a staycation is the commute. We can easily drive or take public transportation into the city. We drove since we were already going to be dropping of the girls on our way. But once in the city we utilized the CTA and Uber to get around. We booked a room at the Hyatt Centric that was right off of the Mag Mile, close to shopping, restaurants and public transportation. The Hyatt had great service and a beautiful spacious room.  I loved that we had a Kuerig in our room, since I can never figure out those other hotel coffee makers, and how awesome is the hair dryer from Dry Bar? I had an awesome hair day! The floor was nice and quiet so we could have a good night’s sleep which I was desperately looking forward to since my two-year-old tends to wake me up at 5 am! 

You can’t visit the city without shopping. Nordstrom’s had their anniversary sale so I had to restrain myself (which by the way is through August 6th). Stopped by some usual spots like The Gap, Forever XXI, and the new Ulta store near the Chicago River. Definitely take a stroll along the River. They have the cutest TikiBar/Restaurant - Island Party Hut.

Getting around the city is easy on the CTA. We took the Red Line up to the Addison stop. We took in a baseball game at the friendly confines, Wrigley Field. My husband had not been there since the renovations so we went early to take everything in. Park at Wrigley is a nice size and on game days only open to ticketed guests. It was nice to sit out there and have a drink before the game. Take advantage of Wednesday’s Movies at the Park, August 9th features The Sandlot (one of my childhood favorites). For a new view of Wrigley, we also decided to take a look at the Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern. We went up to the terrace and could see the whole park and the outside of Wrigley (and the new hotel that is being built across the street). Inside Wrigley they also have lots of food options. I opted for Wicker Park's Pork & Mindy's and a had a pulled pork sandwich served on a bao bun with brown sugar-coated "Pig Candy" bacon bites. Yum! Sadly, the Cubs lost to the Sox. After the game we hit some local spots, and noticed that a whole chunk of Clark Street is getting redone. Can’t wait to see what’s coming. 

Dinner (in my opinion the most important meal of my day) was delicious. We went to Cantina Laredo in the Loop right on State Street. My carne asada was so good, but it was far too late to take a photo of a half empty plate. It was also National Tequila Day so they had a nice drink special. And they offered table side Guacamole so you know you’re getting a fresh batch. 

The next day we decided to keep it Chicago style and went to Uno Pizzeria for some deep dish. Makes your mouth water don’t it? There are so many other spots to eat at while visiting Chicago, like Eataly, Frontera Grill, RPM Italian, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Bub City, and for a fun drink go to Three Dots and a Dash. 

Some great quick spots to visit are Millennium Park, The Art Institute, and Navy Pier. If you have a lot of time definitely take in the view at the Willis Tower (aka the Sears Tower) or Hancock building. Breathtaking to see the city from up high.   

What kinds of activities do you do on your Staycations? Any other spots we should hit while in the City of Chicago.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Book For a Little Girl Who Loves Tea Parties

Having a Tea Party with Ellie the Elephant
 This post may contain affiliate links for which I may be compensated

With two little girls we’ve had our share of tea parties. Tea parties are so much fun, especially for Madeline. She likes to get all dressed up for the occasion and invite all of her dolls and stuffed animals. On days when we know that Olivia isn’t going to be around I like to bring out the little ceramic tea set so it seems more grown up for her (yes poor Olivia, but no one likes broken dishes…and one has already been broken and glued back together).

So when I saw the book, The Queen is Coming to Tea by Linda Ravin Lodding,  I thought it would be a fun read for Madeline. It is an adorably illustrated book about a girl named Ellie who receives a note from the Queen “May I please come for tea? Sincerely yours, The Queen Herself”. Ellie travels the world as she makes sure to have everything she needs for the Queen’s arrival. I have been reading the book to Madeline, she’s 5 and it makes for a good bedtime book for us. It’s a fun way to follow Ellie on all of her adventures as she gets ready for the Queen’s visit. Plus I get to share about my own travel experiences with Madeline, and even make new future plans with her. (I hear Paris calling).

I think you'd love the book too! Sign up for the opportunity to win a copy and a cute ceramic tea set so you too can get ready for the Queen’s arrival. And don’t forget to try the Peach Mango White Iced Tea recipe below.

Peach Mango White Iced Tea Recipe

4 Cups Water
3 White Tea Bags
1 Peach
½ Cup Chopped Frozen Mango
1 tbsp sugar plus Sugar to Taste

Boil the 6 cups of water; remove from heat
Steep the tea bags about 5 minutes; remove bags and allow tea to cool to room temperature
Add chopped peaches and mango to a mixing bowl and mix with sugar; let fruit soften
Place fruit in pitcher and pour cooled tea on top; add sugar to taste and stir
Chill and serve

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The Queen is Coming to Tea
Author: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrator: Constranze von Kitzing
February 7, 2017
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 9781492607571; $16.99; Hardcover

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer in Chicago - Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co

With summer in full swing and the girls full of energy, I've been looking for new ways for them to see Chicago. My family was invited to take a scenic ride on a Double Decker bus from Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. I had been on one many years ago, but never took full advantage of its full offerings. You can visit one of their many kiosks, purchase your ticket, and be on your way. When your on the Chicago City Tour you'll be able to hop on and off at any of the thirteen stops. If you download the app you'll even be able to track when the next bus is on its way. That's a great thing for those who want to spend a little extra time taking in the views and taking photos. Just be sure to keep your ticket handy as you'll need it to re-board.

Tours offered:
Downtown Tour - 13 Hop-onHop-offstops throughout downtown Chicago and River North
The Wrigley Field/Lincoln ParkZooRoute
The Museum of Science &Industry/ChinatownRoute
The Night Tour
For those wanting to experience Chicago by water, Chicago Trolley also offers the Land, Lake and River Package.

The family really enjoyed being able to see the city from up high. Seeing the tall buildings and how big Lake Michigan was kept the girls in awe. We were really excited to take some photos of the skyline on our stops near the Shedd Aquarium and Buckingham Fountain. I would recommend taking the tour towards sunset, it's just a breathtaking view of the city. I loved our tour guide. He had some great little facts about all things Chicago. And just FYI, kids 4 and under ride for free! To learn more about the stops, Double Decker bus, and Trolley visit their website at www.chicagotrolley.com. Let me know if you decide to go, I'd love to hear about which stops you enjoyed.

Olivia taking in the Lake Michigan view

Chicago Skyline

Madeline and Daddy

Madeline and Daddy at Buckingham Fountain 

Land, Lake
and River Package

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Toddler Gave Herself a Haircut

Olivia finally wearing hair clips
Ugh, it finally happened. My toddler gave herself a haircut! I'm sure this has happened to many of us. In fact my now 5 year old also took scissors to her hair claiming she wanted to have bangs. Fortunately for that episode I caught her in time to where the only damage was centralized to the front of her hair...easy fix with what she wanted bangs. (And those scissors are now hidden and out of reach).
Picture day...luckily before the haircut
I have a bit of mom guilt. I'm a bit of a helicopter mom. I'm like a shadow trying to see what my kids are up to. But this time around I let my guard down, which thinking back now I should have known better. We were at my dad's, and well he doesn't really have a baby proof home. So my sneaky 2 year old got the better of me when we were all having lunch. Seeing as she was done she and the 5 year old went to watch some tv, right in my line of sight. I must have been caught up in conversation with dad, when Madeline calls out to me, "mom, come see what Olivia is doing". I assumed that she was trying to climb something as that is her new thing. Nope I walk into the bathroom to find a ton of hair on the ground, I didn't even know she had that much hair! She was holding the (thankfully blunt ended) scissors so proudly, "look mommy". I didn't know whether to cry or scold her. I was finally able to get her to hair hair clips and bows (she must have been rebelling against it). 
I'm going to miss those hair clips
My first thought was Madeline must have helped, I mean she cut the back of her hair! Madeline denies, denies, denies. I asked Olivia where she got the scissors and she insisted that "Madeline climbed". At this point the damage is done so pointing fingers is really well pointless. I grab Olivia and sit her down, contemplating how I'm going to fix this. I tried to trim and give her bowl cut, but I quickly realize that she had cut pretty deep. I was going to have to find some real help.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stitch Fix Review - April Box

I always look forward to my mailman dropping off my Stitch Fix box. I'm always wondering how big the box will be and what is going to fit in it. And I always cross my fingers that my stylist delivers a five out of five fix so I can take advantage of that 25% off.

Now that Spring is here I'm thinking about what I'm going to be doing for Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to a great dinner with the family. As far as my mom goes, I'll probably surprise her with some flowers. Who doesn't like getting flowers?! What are you planning for your mom (or yourself). If your still thinking you can always get her a Stitch Fix Gift card so she can try out the service. You know how fun it is to get stuff delivered to your house. I'm also already writing up next month's request to Katie, my stylist, so she can send over some great summer pieces. Vacation please!

Papermoon Englewood Lace Inset Blouse in Navy - $44
Cute lace detail on collar and a good length. The paisley is a nice print and I think it looks okay on me, but not sure its really my style. 

Skies are Blue Kendruh Layered Hem Knit Top in Teal Green - $48
I really like the the hem on this light sweater it adds a bit of asymmetry to the look. And the color is one of my favorites. This sweater can easily transition from spring to fall.

Kaileigh Felton Bell Sleeve Top in Blush - $38
When I pulled this out of the box, I was like no way, uh-uh. And then I put it on and I'm still like nope. But then I took this picture and I'm really loving how I look in it. Maybe my mirror was lying to me. I felt it made me look wide, but It really is pretty. What do you think? Keep or pass?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stitch Fix Review - March Box

Ahh, Spring is in the air...well it should be. While trying to take these photos it was cold and windy, but I just kept imagining myself somewhere warm. Anyone have plans or already go somewhere for Spring Break? Ours isn't until April, and I'm still looking for one of those last minute deals to somewhere warm, sandy, and all-inclusive - A girl can dream!

So with that in mind I asked my Stitch Fix stylist to send me some tops that would work if I decided to go somewhere warm, but could also work with layering if I had to stay behind in the much cooler Chicago temps. I also wanted to add some prints to my wardrobe, florals and boho vibes. If you're ready to try out Stitch Fix, go ahead and use my referral link. All you have to do is fill in your profile information and what you like and dislike, your body type, and you'll get matched up with your own stylist. Plus you never have to keep anything (but you'll lose out on your styling fee), or you can keep everything and take advantage of the 25% discount! Something you like but doesn't fit? Exchange it! And now they offer fixes in Plus sizes and for men!

Renee C Tucker Split Back Top in Blue $38
Love the print on this top, but not sure it flatters my body type. I kind of feel it makes my hips look wide (well maybe my hips are wide, LOL). I do like how the color looks with white jeans. A cute alternative for less here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Stitch Fix Review - February Box

Oh-oh, how did I forget to post about my my February box from Stitch Fix?! I must have been super excited to wear my fix. February's fix came during a busy birthday season. Having a birthday that falls at the end of the month just means I get to celebrate into the next month. I was busy going out with friends and family wearing my new clothes that my review must have slipped my mind. How long to you tend to celebrate your birthday for? I might be a little extreme when it comes to my birthday, LOL, celebrating for two months is norm, right?

For my stylist I pinned some casual outfits and sent her a note telling her I was looking for clothes to that were comfortable to chase my kids in and were going to be good for Spring. I'm so ready for Spring to be here. Chicago was teased for a couple of weeks with some unseasonably warm weather, but that went away last week and it snowed, and rained, and today we are officially in Spring and its gloomy. Yep, typical Chicago weather. Are you ready for Spring? What do you plan on adding to your wardrobe? 

Skies are Blue Becky Cutout Detail Blouse in Orange - $44
My stylist knows I like bright colors, so seeing this blouse made me happy. I loved the pattern and way the orange popped. I paired it with burgundy pants to have some of the darker color on the blouse stand out since I was wearing it in the winter.  Target has a cute tank top that is similar here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fitness Meets Fashion at Fashion Outlets Chicago

How are your fitness goals from New Year's resolutions going? Mine aren't horrible. In the last three months I've lost 7 pounds from just changing what I eat a little, and walking more everyday. I have really cut back on fast food and soda. I think I'd have a little more motivation to do more if my husband decided to come home one day and say, "Honey, get ready to pack your bags in six weeks because we are going on a beach vacation".  Yep, that would definitely get me to do a lot more. 

You know what else motivates me? Shopping! Getting ready to work out means I get to go shopping, because, well I've got to look good doing it, right? Last week I was invited to Fashion Outlets Chicago to check out the many stores they have geared towards health and fitness. 

1. Le Creuset

We were treated to some delicious cooking from Chef Corey Rice, from Master Chef Season 7, thanks to Le Creuset. Sorry no photos, I was too excited and it was my first stop. I've always wanted one of those pots, but I don't do enough cooking to get one for myself...yet. But they do have a lifetime guarantee, and are significantly less at the outlet than at retail. Plus you'll find seasonal items marked down even more. I was very close to purchasing Valentine's day items. Having the right cooking tools can motivate you to eat healthier. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

How To Plan For A Fun Oscars Party in 6 Steps

The 89th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 26, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST. The show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. So what better way to watch the show than with your friends. Why not throw a viewing party. Here are some quick tips to get you started.

1. Invite your friends.
The more the merrier. Give them the star treatment by setting up a "red carpet" and taking tons of photos. Don't forget the swag bags!

2. Dress to Impress.
Have your friends dressed in their best attire, ball gowns are encouraged, but not necessary. I'll be wearing this cute blouse from Who What Wear to keep with the gold theme. 

3. Decorate!
Golden is key! I got a ton of gold colored decorations from Target. Use balloons, plates, streamers, etc to get Oscar ready. You can even find cute Oscar statues and Hollywood themed decoration at your local party store. Amazon also has you covered with gold party supply bundles!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

At The Chicago Auto Show Feb. 11-20, 2017 #CAS17

This post is sponsored by She Buys Cars in collaboration with Hyundai

Looking for something to do this week? Check out the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. It's considered the nation's largest consumer auto shows, with a large variety of car brands. Are you in the market for a new car? This is the best place to see what your options are with out feeling the pressure of the sales agent to purchase. Everyone is here to answer all your questions regarding any of the cars you see. The show is at the McCormick Place and runs from Feb. 11-20, 2017.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MommyCon is Coming to Chicago Plus Ticket Giveaway!

Two of the natural parenting industry’s most turned-to and respected resources converge to create the world’s largest parenting event in Chicago. MommyCon, a nationwide natural parenting convention series, and WEAR: A Babywearing Conference, combine their unique programs at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on March 3 – 5, 2017.

“Natural parenting communities are growing larger each year,” says Xza Higgins, MommyCon founder and Program Director. “We wanted to make sure these growing communities had access to the highest quality resources, education, and experts right here in Chicago. Never before has such a richly diverse program been offered to families under one roof.”

The 3-day convention builds on MommyCon’s mission to create a community and resource for anyone interested in natural and organic parenting. The multi-conference comprises of more than 3 dozen educational seminars and workshops, and 30,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring the latest parenting products and fashions. For further information visit www.mommycon.com

I attended this conference last year and it was great to see so many brands come together under one roof. I also loved the break out sessions where I learned so much, from sleep training my infant, to breastfeeding, and of course baby wearing. Plus there's a goody bag and end of the day giveaways!

Event details:

WHAT: MommyCon Chicago

WHEN: Friday March 3 – Sunday March 6, 2017 / 11:30am – 4:00pm

WHERE: Donald E Stephens Convention Center – 5550 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018 (MAP: https://goo.gl/C7KafC)

TICKETS: $45-$100 in advance via MommyCon.com

Want a chance to score a one day General Admission pass? Enter the Giveaway below. Good Luck!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

6 Regalos Que Tu Puedes Hacer Para El Día De San Valentin

Ya llego la temporada del amor y la amistad. Y yo creo que la mejor manara de demostrar el amor es con un regalo hecho con amor. Aquí les presento seis ideas.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I think the best way to show love is with a gift made with love. Here are six ideas that you can make on your own. They may be in Spanish, but they are easy to follow.  Feel free to reach out to me if you need any help, as I will happily translate for you!

1. Valentine's Day Mason Jars 

Un envase pintado y decorado con amor. Este regalo se lo puedes dar a tu mejor amiga, a la maestra de tus niños, o a alguien especial. Perfecto para llenar de dulces, joyas, o lo que creas que les guste. Aquí te doy instrucciones para que tu también lo puedas hacer. 

2. Ramo de Rosas en una Caja

El dia del amor siempre se ha relacionado con Rosas rojas. Pero este año porque no hacer tu propio arreglo. Seria algo que tu pareja o mejor amiga no se esperaba. Jenny Day by Day comparte su Ramo de Rosas en una Caja aquí. Un poco de tu tiempo y veras que emoción le darás a tus queridos. 

3. Botellas de Amor con Foto

En este proyecto, Just For Mami, nos demuestra como el reciclaje puede ayudarte hacer un regalo bello. Tan solo con unas botellas y fotografías llegas a conservar una memoria que tenga un valor sentimental para ti y al quien se la vayas a regalar. Pasos para hacer tu botella aquí

4. Cupcakes Decorados con Palabras

Claro que para una fecha tan especial no pueden faltar los postres. Una Mexicana en USA nos da su receta perfecta para incluir mensajes en chocolate en los cupcakes aquí

5. Pastel Sorpresa 

Conoces a alguien que le guste el pastel? Pues este pastel de El Tintero de Mama no es pastel cual quiera, es un pastel sorpresa. Descubre como tu también lo puedes hacer aquí

6. Exfoliante Casero Para la Piel

Buscas un regalo para la amiga que le encanta la belleza? Mama de 4 nos enseña como hacer un exfoliante para la piel aquí

Espero que este dia del amor y la amistad se la pasan muy felices. Te gustaron las idea? Déjame saber cual proyecto le vas a hacer a tu persona especial. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine's Day Mason Jar Gifts

I love making personal gifts for the holidays, and Valentine's Day is no exception. I also love painting and distressing mason jars, so this year that is exactly what I will be gifting to a couple of lucky people in my life. I've decided to share a quick tutorial for those who might want to make some of your own. 

Me encanta hacer regalos personales para los días festivos, y el día de San Valentin no es excepción. También me encanta pintar los frascos, y este año es exactamente lo que voy a regalar. Aquí les pongo un tutorial rápido para que ustedes también lo puedan hacer.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Last Chance to Pick Up MAC x Selena January 31

Did you miss out during the first release of the MAC x Selena make up line? I know I did. The lines at the Downtown Chicago stores were very long and I just couldn't find the time to wait. And of course online I had issues and couldn't get anything. Well this time I didn't let it happen again. And if you want it too you should know the last day to purchase is coming up January 31st. That's next week. I ordered mine up last week at Nordstrom, because - well, free shipping! I opted for the lipglass in Bidi Bidi Bom Bom and the lipstick Amor Prohibido. Did you get anything from the collection? Is there anything else you think I should get? Check out the options that are left.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Macy's Weekend Sale and $1000 Giveaway #MacysWeekend

Disclosure: Contains affiliate link.

Macy's is having a great sale this weekend. Check them out! I've got my eye on this 32 Degrees Puffer Coat in Blush.  Save an EXTRA 15% OFF CODE: WKND Final Cost: $50.99

Macy's $1,000 Giveaway

While you check out Macy's weekend deals don't forget to enter the #MacysWeekend $1,000 Giveaway! Twenty (20) winners will receive a $50 Macy’s gift card. You have from now until Sunday, January 29th at 11:59 PM ET to enter. The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Tuesday (1/31) via the email address they used to enter. See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions and other important details.

Stitch Fix Review - January Box

It's January!!! That means birthday month, with lots of fun things for me to do. And of course to do these fun things I need fun clothes to wear, right? Well here's to another year in my 30s. And with that a box has arrived at my doorstep from Stitch Fix. This is my 10th fix. Wow! This time around I asked my stylist for fun things to wear with my birthday, with one request stating something shiny, gold or silver detailed. I think she nailed it. Take a minute and check them out here! You can even sign up your guy! Do you go out and shop for a special birthday outfit when that time rolls around? What do you do to celebrate your big day?

This year my friends joined me in a "paint your board" party.  B2 Signs & Designs goes to local spots in the Chicago burbs so anyone can try it. They also offer private home parties (minimum 6 guests). We had a great time, and were able to catch up on what was going on in each others lives. It seems the older we get the harder it is to get together, so we takes this time to do some serious bonding. We've been wanting to try one of these parties, and so glad we did. It's kind of relaxing to to try and paint and concentrate to get perfection. It is quite harder than I thought, but still fun. I had a couple of rough edges, but I'm happy, it is the my brush strokes that make it unique. Plus, it's definitely something I wouldn't mind hanging up in my home. I think we all did an awesome job.

41Hawthorn Lizzy Colorblock Striped Sweater in Light Pink - $68
This sweater is super cozy, but at $68 a bit out of my budget.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Getting Ready For Tax Return Season with TurboTax

You can buy a CD or download online

I am anxiously waiting for February. Why? Because by then I should have all the documents I need to sit down at my computer and file my taxes in my pajamas. Pajamas? Yes, in my pajamas. I'll be doing my taxes with TurboTax. I know many of you will be asking, well Olga aren't you an accountant? And the answer is yes, but I'm not a tax accountant. Sure there are some tax related things that I know, but I, like you, have questions about certain deductions, what counts as income, is a gift I received at work taxable, etc.

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