Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

think pink

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October 13th, 2014 · Print Print

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So, something kind of amazing happened when I took these photos.

In one last burst of Houston humidity, the air outside was literally wet. I’m used to this by now: I feel my hair starting to frizz, my skin starting to “glow” — it’s a familiar drill.

But this time, my camera lens got in on the action. And when I took a look at one of the photos, I found that they all looked like this:

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Do you know what those remind me of?

Glamour Shots.

Kind of amazing, right?

Truthfully, my logical mind knows that Glamour Shots were totally absurd and ridiculous, but can I confess something?

I know I shouldn’t admit this…

But as a kid…

I wanted them.

Oh my gosh, I wanted them so badly.

And I know Glamour Shot were more than just the super-blur filter (there were also the props! and poses! and perms!) — but to me, that super-blurry filter was just the epitome of cool.

(Or something like that. Man, though. I wish I’d gotten some as a kid, just to look back on them now and laugh myself to tears.)

So these photos are my consolation prize. Frizzy hair, check. Blurry filter, check.

The outfit, on the other hand. Very current, very subdued, very chic (if I do say so myself).

And — best of all — it’s full of pieces that look expensive but aren’t. The dress is from Macy’s and under $100. Brahmin bags are decidedly affordable and insanely beautiful — I get compliments every time I wear one. The necklace? Forever 21. Boom.

And the bracelet, I have to say a special word about — it’s from a website called Soko, that connects women artisans in sub-Saharan Africa with a global market for their beautiful creations, using principles of fair trade and sustainable design. This bracelet was made in partnership with an organization called Sasa Designs by the Deaf, and each bracelet is made by a deaf woman in Kenya (you can read more about it on their blog here).

Projects like this are a great reminder that fashion and technology can change people’s lives and offer opportunities to support communities that we couldn’t otherwise reach. It’s a beautiful piece and I love how it looks — but more than that, it’s a reminder to be grateful, to give back when you can, and to think about the small ways that you can make a difference for others.

Macy’s dress, Brahmin Cecelia Shoulder bag, Soko bracelet, Forever 21 necklace, SHOEMINT heels.


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the perfect cocktail for an adult halloween party!

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October 10th, 2014 · Print Print

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Halloween has always been one of my absolute favorite holidays.

See, it combines all my favorite things: Candy?  Check.  Playing dress up?  Check.  Staying up late?  Obviously!

And as an adult, I’ve added one more item to that list: Cocktails!

I’ve partnered with Kahlúa for the holidays to bring you guys some delicious, fun, easy recipes that are perfect for this time of the year.  This month, I’m kicking off with a delicious Halloween cocktail recipe for… dum dum dum… the Choco-Pumpkin Freeze!

Here’s the thing about this cocktail: it has two ingredients, and they’re both *amazing.* Chocolate ice cream and Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice, a special limited edition flavor that blends natural pumpkin and delicious autumnal spices with 100% Arabica coffee and sugarcane rum. In case it’s not obvious from the description, it is mind-bogglingly good.

And once you add chocolate ice cream? It’s out of this world.

So this Halloween, grab a few of your favorite grown ups for tricks, treats, and libations!  For more ideas on how to throw a wickedly amazing Halloween party, check out KahulaHoliday.com, which has custom recipes, entertaining tips and expert advice!  Or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — happy trick or treating!

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Choco-Pumpkin Freeze

INGREDIENTS
1 parts Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice
1 part chocolate ice cream

DIRECTIONS
Blend together in a food processor or blender, and serve over ice in a highball glass. Enjoy!

Of course, the best cocktail is one that’s sipped responsibly — don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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guest post: the lazy parent’s guide to raising not-picky eaters

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October 8th, 2014 · Print Print

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Today’s guest post is from my friend Susan, who was a fellow cheerleader with me in college! (Photo evidence — from way back in the day — here!) Susan’s blog, Smartly Momming, documents her new life as an ex-pat in London with two young kids — it’s a really fun read and I’ve gotten great ideas from her already!  Hope you guys enjoy her post today.)

What did your child eat for dinner last night? Nuggets and noodles? You can change this, I promise.

Our girls are not picky eaters. I use the phrase “not picky” because “good” implies to me that a kid cleans her plate. I want our children to eat vibrantly and to enjoy real food. If it is edible, our girls should try it. Of course, snooty eaters stink. I would be mortified if my girls asked at a friend’s house “where’s the tapenade?,” but at the same time, when we are at a café in Paris, we all eat the snails.

Our 18 month-old’s gustatory antics have become something of a party trick among the London set. Parents chuckle as she goes right for the adult food: okra, leeks, smoked salmon tea sandwiches, caviar, lamb kidneys, foie gras, stinky cheese, escargots, bratwurst. There is not yet one thing she has shunned (follow #thethingssheeats on Twitter and Instagram).

Here’s the thing, though: this not-pickiness was borne primarily of my own laziness.

Seriously, who has time to cook two sets of every single meal?

Embrace your inner slacker and I promise you, your children will start eating most everything you put on the plate.

Children Eat When They Are Hungry.
It’s true. If your child is not eating, she probably is not hungry. 
A close corollary here is that your child will not starve from missing a meal. Malnutrition takes time. When your child tests you and refuses her lunch, let her eat the side dish and a piece of fruit. Do not whip up a PB&J. Am I a cold, insensitive parent for saying this? Maybe so, but my kids ate all their lamb, leeks and rice last night.

Three Bites of Everything
No explanation needed. Just take three bites. Big ones. If you don’t like it, eat the other parts of the meal. Most of the time, after three bites my children realize that that the broccoli mash, or salmon patty or whatever else I have cooked is actually pretty tasty.

Lie.
“Of course our cousin eats curry.” “We ran out of peanut butter.” It’s all for the greater good.
More importantly, it works. Much food fussiness is begotten of an overabundance of choice. Put it this way: if you thought you could eat pain chocolate every meal of every day, would you ever try anything different?

Never Say, “You Won’t Like That”
I am always confused when parents preemptively tell their children “oh no, honey, you won’t like that” and then hand over a stick of American cheese. If your little one reaches for roasted peppers or tikka masala, let her try it. Then lie and tell her how much her favourite cousin or friend likes the food.

Kid Menus are For Sissies.
After an exhausting day walking around gardens in Paris a few months back, I took the girls to lunch in our hotel. Our sleepy four year-old wanted chicken nuggets, so I ordered them. €26 later, we had the same nuggets I buy at Tesco served on a china platter. This is why I don’t do kids menus. Your children can eat nuggets at home. Restaurants are for trying new and exciting things.

Due to my splendid lying capabilities, the girls now love plenty of things I have never once cooked at home: crab cakes (“Daddy’s favourite”), meatloaf (“Grandma’s recipe, shared with the restaurant”), calamari (no lies needed) and squid ink risotto. When in doubt, stick with the 3 bites rule. 

Over time, your children will develop real likes and dislikes. I honour those dislikes (our four year-old, for example, doesn’t eat scallops) for a few months at a time, then explain that tastes change as you grow and we try it again. So far so good. Two girls who eat most everything.

The only problem is that my food is now ripe for their picking.

Check out more from Susan’s blog on Smartly Momming here!

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