Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The last of my summer fashion...

Guys, it's the end of summer.  Pumpkin spice everything is in the air.  The evenings are getting cooler here in Virginia... and I'm a happy girl when I can sleep with my windows open.  {I will be even happier when the open windows brings in an even colder, brisker air.  I sleep so much better when I am cold and have a mountain of blankets on top of me!}  

While I love summer, I seriously adore fall.  I got dressed yesterday in my cute skinny jeans, a super light weight sweater, and my new fall ankle boots.  I pranced around the house a bit.  {Yup, I said prancing.}  Then I realized that it is still officially summer.  Fall {and then that dreaded season of snowmen and icicles} will be here soon enough.  So why in the world am I rocking the jeans and boots when I still have warm days to sport some cute shorts, bright colors, and of course my signature hat.

End of Summer Fashion

Virginia Blogger, Hampton Roads, Lifestyle Blogger
Fashion Blogging with your dog!

Signs that it's the end of summer?  There are a few leaves on the ground and my toe nails are only half way painted.  I'm in dire need of a pedicure but I'm having a hard time justifying it when I will be wearing hiking boots this coming weekend.

Everyday fashion blogger

So let's everyone raise our glasses of white wine or some fruity concoction, as we say our goodbyes to summer and our hellos to fall.  If it is still warm enough in your part of the country, I say throw all rules out the window and spend the next few days wearing and loving your favorite summer outfits.  Because before you know it... we will all be praying for Spring Break!  Cheers y'all!

end of summer outfit

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Randoms: Hair help and a Hodge Podge...

Oh friday, you really snuck up on me this week.  Maybe because I was working out of my popup office in Florida for the bulk for the week.  Either way, how are you dear Friday? Welcome to my week.
My brain sometimes just goes in a million different directions.  So today, we are gonna roll with it!  Here are five random things are currently spinning around in my noggin.  

Curly hair in the back, straight hair in the front

Curly hair underneath, straight hair on top

My hair:  Y'all are going to think I am completely nutzo... but I have seriously been considering getting a perm.  *GASP!*  Not that crazy, horrible 80s look.  I have never, ever done anything to my hair before, other than cuts.  But right now, my hair has gone all cray.  I'm assuming it is some weird hormonal imbalance but the back, under layer of my hair is completely curly.  The top and front, on the other hand, are completely straight as a board!  

I cannot brush it because it just frizzes up and fluffs out.  I can straighten it, but my hair is so freaking thick it takes me hours, and ain't nobody got time for that!  I honestly don't mind the curls... I just want all of my hair to match.  This half straight, half crazy nonsense is for the birds.  
I am beginning to wonder about a body wave perm... but maybe just for the non-curly parts?  Has anyone ever had a body wave?  I don't want ringlets and I don't want 80s hair.  I just want waves in the parts that are super flat.  Suggestions?  Advice?  Help! 


On the road again:  After being home for approximately 30 hours, I am hitting the road again today, after a quick chiropractic neck snappin'!  I'm working with a lovely client for a beach wedding in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  They have rented the stunning oceanfront house for the week of partying and fun.  Let's all do our anti-rain dance though for tomorrow as their ceremony is right on the beach!  I will snap lots of pictures and share the beautiful deets with you on Wednesday!

You must watch:  I am beyond obsessed with this video, and I'm not too proud to admit I have been watching it every single day for the past week-ish.


What?!  Yesterday I told my husband that I wanted to turn our garage into a garage gym.  You know, semi-crossfit style.  With weights and manly things.  Something very similar to this post from the Art of Manliness.  To my surprise, he wasn't really overjoyed with this idea.  I mean, his wife just told him that she wants to lift weights and that he can build and buy the things needed for this manly in-home workout room... and he basically said "eh..." Who are you and what have you done with my husband?!
Prayers needed:  On a much more serious note, one of my clients, actually the first bride that ever trusted me and hired me as her wedding coordinator 6.5 years ago, passed away earlier this week.  It is absolutely crushing and so surreal.  Today is her funeral, so thoughts, love, and heaps of prayers to her husband, their two little girls, and their families.  

I'm linking up with Amy and Amanda today.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roadtrip to Florida!

Remember that time, not so long ago, that as a blogger, you went out of town on a journey that seemed like a vacation but really wasn't?  And while on that journey, one in which you were helping a friend of twenty-four years move 20 hours from our hometown, you behaved like an absolute rotten blogger and didn't snap a single picture with your nice camera {except for when you were overjoyed about visiting a completely gluten free restaurant} so you really only have iphone snap shots as proof of said-journey?

Oh right.  That was me.  Earlier this week.
Pretty positive I will be winning a "Not-So-Shabby Shabby Blogger Award" for the fact that I went to the beautiful, sunny and warm state of Florida, while parts of the country are beginning to experience colder, fall temps, and A. Did not go to the beach, B. I scantily took a picture here or there, or C. I didn't have one tropical, vacation cocktail.  
I did however snap numerous selfies with palm trees, so double points for that.
Since I have been plopped down in front of my computer for the past 8 hours - how about a super quick photo recap for ya?  
Roadtrip with friends

Cait and I left Virginia on Saturday morning with her car packed to the rafters.  The beagles were literally touching the ceiling of the car for most of the ride.  They were great sports though, and perfect travel companions.  Would I travel with these two beagles across the country again?  Definitely!  Would we share a hotel room again?  Probably not.  We made it through North and South Carolina, and just into Georgia on the first day.  

Welcome to America, where we have things like Pedro's South of the Border.  I'm pretty sure you catch diseases just getting off the interstate at this exit.  I've driven past the South of the Border many, many times but have never been brave enough to risk a stop.
South of the Border

We played our fair share of road games {i.e. We discussed how to play the state game, but didn't play it.  We tried to make truckers beep.  We looked up the app for the alphabet game, but didn't download it.  Did you know they have apps for that these days?!}  We listened to podcasts of our high school fave, Love Line with Zack Morris as the guest host.  We had some dance parties in our seats to NSync and BSB.

All of these car moments were great, but by far, my favorite moment of the roadtrip was when we saw a man toting his goats down I-95.  TOTES MAGOTES!  It doesn't take much to make me smile... but a man encompassing the phrase "totes magotes" gets me every single time.

Totes Magotes!

When we finally made it to florida on day two of our trip, it was storming and terrifying.  {I hate lightning.  Pair it with the road work that is I-95S through Jacksonville?  Enough said.}  Luckily though, as we rolled into our final destination, Ft. Lauderdale, the sun decided to welcome her to her new home!

Palm Tree Selfie

It was a joyous occasion when the dogs got to see their daddy for the first time in almost two months and Cait got to see her man!  He knows us oh so well: Mark had the wine waiting for us!  Unfortunately the Dollar Store wine opener will only open one bottle before self destructing.  But we made do!

How to open wine without an opener
We spent Monday - Wednesday working on making their new house their new home.  I truly have a passion for helping people get organized.  Whether it is with their wedding or any other event, their diet, or even their homes.  I love it!  And I am so glad I was able to help them.   
Instead of vacationing, we spent a crap ton of money in ikea.  My husband needs to thank his lucky stars that our closest ikea is a 3 hour drive.  There is a very slim chance of me walking out of a Target without over spending.  All odds are off though when it comes to ikea! 

ikea rug

We did do a lot of work, but there was a lot of laughs and fun.  It's crazy to think that I left one of my oldest friends several states away, without knowing when we will get together for dinner and drinks again.

Gin and Tonic in Ft Lauderdale

Ft Lauderdale Palm Trees

Friends for 24 years!

Since I don't have any pictures of me laying on a beach, catching some rays and drinking a fun cocktail... this airplane selfie will have to do.

Airplane Selfie

On my last day there, we spent some time doing what we do best: watching Law and Order: SVU and drinking wine.  I cannot believe I have been friends with this girl since first grade.  Sure, we've had our ups and downs.  What good friendship hasn't?

I wonder what our first grade teacher would've said if someone had told her "You see those two girls you sat together at that table over there?  The tom boy and the chubby girly girl?  Yeah... them.  From this point on, they will become friends for life.  They will both decide to play the viola together in 5th grade because they hear you can make more money with that instrument over a violin.  They will share a nanny, horseback riding lessons, and fudge cookies after school.  They will become arch enemies in a Sticky Buddy war.  Caitlin will beat up Susan's sister in the driveway one day.  Susan will try {keyword: try} to learn about football from Caitlin.  They will share a secret notebook covered in NSync all throughout high school because they won't have any classes together.  They will go their separate ways for college, but always catch up for Mister Jim's hot wings when Susan is back in town.  After college they will eventually become roommates, help each other through tearful nights when boys hurt their feelings, be there to bail each other out of jail, and binge watch trash television.  They will survive beach days, hurricanes and snowstorms together.  They will be there to celebrate when each of them finally meet their very own Prince Charmings.  They will even be there for each other when life throws a curve ball and one of them suddenly moves across the country.  You, Mrs. Stillman are making a wonderful decision by putting Susan and Caitlin at the same first grade table...."

Flying over Ft Lauderdale

Thanks for a good time, Ft. Lauderdale.  You take real good care of my friend.  Keep her warm and tan year round.  Teach her about what it's like to leave your hometown of lil ole Great Bridge and live in a real city.  Show her what it is like to experience a Christmas with summer temps and palm trees, but still provide her with a legit tree lot so she can buy her annual live Christmas Tree.  And when she misses home, remind her that she is there because she is young and in love... and that Virginia is only a flight away.

And for your a couple of chuckles... I bring you this gem:

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PS.  Wanna know the random odds and ends I have to pack {in a seemingly similar manner to a Mary-Poppins-Bag} when I head out of town as a blogger, wedding planner, and marketing consultant?  Read this post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A weekend away... what will you need?

{This post is sponsored by U by Kotex.}
When I pulled out of my driveway, Saturday morning at 7AM, I realized that for the next three weeks I will really only be home for 2.5 days.  How crazy is that?!  And, lucky for me, it is a for a great ratio of fun and work!  {Gotta love when the fun balances out, or *gasp* outweighs the work!}
As a wedding planner and marketing consultant {oh and let's not forget about the blogger hat too!} when I pack to get out of town, I need to pack a ton of random odds and ends.  Who else do you know that has to pack everything from cake servers to a yoga mat to a full size pillow to emergency supplies?!
This girl. {Please envision that cheesy pose with my thumbs up, pointing back at me.}
My long-time friend Caitlin needed a co-pilot for her move to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  After spending the last couple of days in their entirety, in an overstuffed car on I-95, with two beagles and all of her belongings, I feel like I am a semi-expert in how to pack and what to pack when leaving town for a couple of days.  
I wanted to give you a little glimpse into my popup office and my must have traveling supplies with you today!  While my bag is always over stuffed and full of random odds and ends, these are my weekend away/popup office faves:
A large tote and/or bag with wheels, preferably one with sequins and/or glitter.  I am absolutely loving both my sequined canvas tote and my brand new zebra print rolly bag! 
Comfy, yet stylish clothes.  I can't go anywhere without my hat, sunnies, and sandals.  

A spill proof travel mug.  If you haven't experienced the amazingness of Contigo Mugs yet... you need to get on that.  They won't spill.  Even if they are upside down in your bag.  
Basic office supplies.  With all the jobs I have, unfortunately as weekends away aren't complete without my popup office.  I typically keep scissors, tape, a notebook, post-its, pens and at least one planner with me at all times. 
Toiletries.  You know you need the essentials like hair products, makeup and a toothbrush.   But let's not forget about the unmentionables that need to be mentioned.  U by Kotex® offers a full line of feminine care products for periods including pads, liners and tampons. Outstanding protection that keeps you one step ahead.  U by Kotex®  has a bunch of new products that not only take care of the job, but they have brilliant and colorful packaging that you will love!  Try the U by Ultra Kotex® Thin Pads with 3D Capture Core, a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks.  
U by Kotex is also giving away FREE SAMPLES so you can prepare for your weekend away!  Try them out for yourself by clicking here!  

Food.  I don't care who you are, but when you are traveling you need to be prepared with snacks.  Especially if you are like me and you have a weird and specific diet.  I am always prepared with lara bars, fruit and water.  And I always know where the nearest Chipotle is!

Pack your yoga mat.  Or running shoes.  Whatever your outlet is, be prepared.  I am currently on a PiYo kick.  And even if it is the middle of a vacation, it is worth waking up and doing a few minutes of your favorite exercise to stay on track and keep up with your fitness routines.

Outwear gear.  Whether you are going somewhere at the end of the summer or beginning of fall {I am in Ft. Lauderdale, FL this week and the Outer Banks of NC this weekend for work} be prepared with appropriate outer gear.  The first half of my week I will be needing tank tops during the day.  This weekend I will need a sweater as the temps are dropping on the Carolina beaches in the evenings.

So what do you think?  What else do you pack when you head out of town for a weekend?  Do you work from home or on the road?  What do you have in your popup office?

Many thanks to U by Kotex for sponsoring this post!  Now pack your bags, get out there and have a lovely few days away from home!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Life Changing Brussel Sprout Recipe

Today is a big day for my little blog.  Before I get to my one of my all time favorite {and easy} recipes that will make you question everything you've ever known in life, I need to tell you that somehow blog-things have collided and we have a bit of business to mention today!  
First of all, welcome to all the readers who are hopping over from The Farmer's Wife today!  I am no Doogie Howser, MD when it comes to blogging - but I think I hold my own.  Don't forget about the Sponsor Promo that is happening for the next 7 days!  Use the code FARMERSWIFE to get 40% off any of my ad spots!  With the rebranding in the works, the fact that I am sponsoring a good line up of blogs, and let's not forget that I'm a cheap date... you totes magoats want to hop on this deal while you can!  
2 cats and chloe is taking over the blogger closet!
Secondly, if you are stopping by from @thebloggercloset, welcome to you too!  I am so excited to be taking over The Blogger Closet on instagram for the next three days!  I now have a reason to brush my hair and wear more than yoga pants all day!  I cannot wait to share my sense of style with everyone!  {If you haven't heard about this before, you need to follow @thebloggercloset on instagram.  Every three days a new blogger takes the wheel!  It's such a fun way to get to know other bloggers and see super cute outfits!}  And if you want to keep up with me on my official blog instagram account, you can find me as @2catsandchloe.  
Now how about that recipe I promised that will rock your socks off?  If I have ever met a food that has such a horrible stigma for being disgusting and dreadful, it would be the Brussel Sprout.  I firmly believe that this started way back in caveman days.  The Momma Cavewoman made Brussel Sprouts over the fire that tasted like crap, but she forced her Cavebaby to eat them anyway.  This continued for years and years... our folks' folks made them eat poorly cooked, disdained Brussels, just because.  
I have done a little experimenting and have found the best way to prepare Brussel Sprouts.  My family, who are all former leaders of the Anti-Brussel Campaign, have all had a change of mind.  They have open heartedly accepted this scorned veggie at our dinner table.  When I visit my parents for dinner, it's a given that I will be preparing this as our veggie.  
We even had company over for my dad's birthday.  He skipped the Brussel Sprouts, telling us that he has hated them since he was a kid.  My dad agreed, but told him to "taste these though..." and then amazing things happened!
Are you ready to have your opinion of Brussel Sprouts changed forever?  Let's do this.
Balsamic Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts 
Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Fresh Brussel Sprouts
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whole30 Approved Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Begin by washing your Brussel Sprouts and preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the ends of the Brussel Sprouts off, and then slice them in half.  Toss them into a large bowl or zip lock bag.  {I use a gallon sized ziplock bag... only because it's the easiest!}

Once all of the Brussels have been cut and tossed into the bag, drizzle them with olive oil.  Use enough olive oil to cover all of them, but not drench them.  Toss in a heaping tablespoon of Minced Garlic.  Season with a touch of Salt and Pepper as well.  {all still inside the ziplock bag.}

Zip up that bag and shake it like a polaroid picture.  

Shake it up and cover the Brussel Sprouts with all of the ingredients.

When thoroughly shaken and covered - lay the veggie out on a baking sheet.  {I cover mine in foil to allow a super easy clean up!}  Pop those suckers in the over for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Take them out, shuffle them around, and then put them back in there for 10 more minutes {or until they start to brown and crisp on the edges.  The crispy leaves are the best!}

  While still hot, drizzle Balsamic Vinegar on the Brussel Sprouts.  Shuffle them around, making sure each and everyone has a touch of Balsamic on them.
Paleo Brussel Sprouts

Serve them immediately.  They are best when they are fresh out of the oven.  We use them as a side dish with all types of meats, but I especially like them paired with pork.  

 Questions?  You know where to find me!  Now go, make the most delicious Brussel Sprouts that will forever change your opinion of this stigmatized vegetable!

Whole30 Brussel Sprouts Recipe
#whole30approved  #paleo  #glutenfree
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