Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

ice cream dreams

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May 31st, 2015 · Print Print

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Between pregnancy and new motherhood, I’m not embarrassed to admit that our household has increased its ice cream intake significantly in the last few years.  As we head into the Houston summer (say it ain’t so!) ice cream is one of our family’s favorite refreshing treats.

I believe that there’s a place for everything in moderation, but lately I’ve been starting to think we need to cut back on the dairy intake.  Enter an awesome new solution: Blue Bunny Dairy Free Ice Cream.  It’s an extremely new product, only available in a few select test markets right now, Houston being one of them. (As a transplant from New York, it’s exciting and rare when Houston has something that New York doesn’t!)

What I like about this ice cream is that, aside from being dairy free (it’s almond based), it’s still as rich and creamy as ice cream should be.  I’ve tried a few almond and soy alternatives but never found one I truly love.  And Blue Bunny’s flavors are exactly in my family’s wheelhouse too: vanilla for me, mint chocolate chip for Chad, and chocolate for baby Bear!  (It also comes in Mocha Fudge.)

For me, daily products are fine in moderation, but if you’re lactose-intolerant, these are particularly worth checking out.  And even if you’re not, these ice creams are an excellent source of calcium, cholesterol free, and contain healthy fats.

I’m sure ice-cream family outings will still continue, but I’m excited to mix them up with some official “Blue Bunny nights” in our house too! I’ve stocked up at Kroger so next time we need our fix we’ll be good to go! 

And Blue Bunny has offered a giveaway to you guys!  To enter, leave a comment below.  One lucky winner will receive three coupons for free Blue Bunny treats!

Bon appetit!

Disclosure: I partnered with Blue Bunny to bring you this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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how to wear pleats for spring

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May 21st, 2015 · Print Print

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I bought this top about two years ago, right before February fashion week.  It felt like sort of an odd indulgence, since it was sleeveless and very spring-oriented and I was heading up to snow in NYC, but I just couldn’t resist.  To make it appropriate for winter, I paired it with a leather jacket and earmuffs and boom, suddenly it was fit for freezing New York winter temps.  I fell in love, then and there: it proved to me how versatile the right pleated pieces could be, no matter what the temperature or event. 

Pleated pieces have been all over the runways for the last few seasons, and I’m curious: Have you worked them into your wardrobe?  Pleats can be a little tricky, so I thought I’d post some tips to help you guys tackle this trend. 

Mix Textures: You don’t have to limit your pleated pieces to the textures you’d expect, like airy chiffon or silk.  Think about incorporating heavyweight fabrics for a totally different take on this trend: in the outfit I’m wearing above, the pleated skirt in this outfit is actually pale pink leather, while the top is an airy, lightweight fabric.  Both have great movement and add a ton of visual detail to an otherwise simple outfit.

Simplify Without Bulk: Pleats add a lot of volume to an outfit, which is part of why they’re so fun.  But if you’re nervous about pulling off a lot of fabric, pair a pleated skirt with a slim-fitting, simple top or bottom.  The easiest way to dive into this trend is to limit it to about 1/3 of your outfit: try pairing a solid-color boat-neck top with a pleated maxi skirt or a pleated, mega-volume top with skinny jeans and flats. 

Streamline Accessories: The biggest risk with pleats is that they end up looking a little schoolgirl-y when done wrong.  (Won’t lie; this was a look I was very fond of in high school!) Combat that risk and keep your image grown-up by grabbing a ladylike purse and a bold pair of shoes to minimize the schoolgirl-chic vibe. 

Or take the opposite approach: Embrace it!  Grab your favorite pair of kitten heels and a white button-down shirt, and you’ve got a chic statement look that’s on trend and adorable. 

What are your favorite tricks for wearing pleats this spring?

Photos by Kate Robinson.

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one more thing…

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May 18th, 2015 · Print Print

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Thank you guys so much for your wonderful responses to my most recent career post.  I talked about how to find mid-career motivation when you’re at a crossroads, and it all boiled down to one simple piece of advice: Find something challenging that matters. 

Since that post, I’ve gotten so many comments and emails from you guys, and they made me so, so incredibly happy.  It means so much to me when I hear from you all, and I’m thrilled to have touched on a topic that matters to so many of you. 

But as I thought about that last post, it occurred to me that in some ways, it wasn’t a career post at all. 

Because the flip side is this: Parenting is challenging too.  And it matters just as much. 

One of my hesitations in writing about my career is this: there’s a fine line between encouraging and supporting women’s careers and getting into the working-mom vs. stay-at-home-mom debate.  And that debate isn’t one that I’m particularly interested in joining.  Why?  Because they are both valid life choices.  I don’t care which one is right for you.  But I do want every woman to have the opportunity to pursue the one that she chooses.

And maybe that’s the best lesson of all.  Because finding the path that’s right for you doesn’t always mean becoming the CEO of a company, or devoting yourself entirely to your family.  It can mean both, or neither.  And realizing that the answer may be different for every single woman (every single person) out there… well, I think that’s the right place to start.

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