Being a business owner is nothing new to be (My event management business made 3 years this past July, YAY!) I remember when I found out that I was pregnant and I could not have been happier! Moreso, I looked at my situation a lot differently than most young business owners. I didn't think my business would be neglected. I didn't feel that I wouldn't be able to focus on my goals anymore. In fact, I thought the complete opposite! I took this as my push to do more and go harder for my business. I was working FT at the time but was let go a couple months after I returned from maternity leave and event with that, I saw the light within that situation and took the leap of faith to become a FT entrepreneur and a stay at home mom.
I just knew I'd have so much more time during my maternity leave to focus on my business. I'd be able to work while babygirl was sleeping and her father would be there in the afternoons so I could work even more. I wouldn't have to leave the house. There were no other obligations. The PERFECT setup right?!.....WRONG :)
Motherhood, in general, is a full time job- You work 24/7, with no lunch breaks, no PTO, and no benefits! Now, don't get me wrong motherhood for me was A BLESSING! It lit the fire under my ass to go 100% for all of my goal but motherhood and entrepreneurship is one very stressful combination. However, with the right preparation and navigation, it can be done and will be very rewarding!
Theres so much I wish I would have known before I took that leap of faith. Not that I would have decided to not go FT mompreneur BUT I definitely would have prepared differently.
It's been a little over a year since I've been a mompreneur and I must say I am so super impressed and proud of how far myself, my daughter, and my business has progressed. So here are my tips and hacks on the mompreneur lifestyle. Whether your new to motherhood, entrepreneurship, mompreneurship, thinking of taking that leap or if you've already taken that leap but are finding a hard time balancing life- THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU! Here's everything I wish I would've known!
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Last but certainly not least, the parties :) Because after all, who doesn't go to Vegas for the parties! Now I didn't do too much reviewing or picture taking- that's what happens when you're having too much fun LOL. but here is my list of must go day parties and nightclubs while you're in Vegas- Especially for Memorial Day Weekend.
- Daylight Beach Club: Located at Mandalay Bay and is inspired by the sophisticated scene in Ibiza. The space has multiple pools and plenty of daybeds, cabanas and chaises for relaxation and pampering.
- Drais Beachclub- If you love to be in the water AND party with the most popular rappers/ R&B artists (and occasional EDM DJs) Drai's is the place! You can always count on a crowd and a good time here.
- Wet Republic- Combines the best elements of Vegas nightlife with supreme poolside amenities to create the ultimate daylife experience. Wet Republic has a variety of experiences for its guests, whether they want to chill over cocktails in the poolside lounge, relax in exclusive VIP bungalows, or bask in the party scene on the main pool deck or cabanas.
- 1 OAK Nightclub: Located at the Mirage and embodies chic, world-class service and the ultimate in after-dark innovation combined with the excitement and sophistication of a New York City style night out. There are are two separate rooms which each contain their own full-service bar and DJ booth.
- Marquee Nightclub: This probably one of the most popular club in Vegas so be prepared to deal with a lot of other people who really want to have a good time. If you are into a big party in Las Vegas with a lot of people you will love Marquee Nightclub.
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Moral of the story, bring your girls to Vegas & eat, drink, and party! There's so much to do and so many places to go for whatever mood you're in!
Chao for now!
A special thanks to everyone at The Moxy Chicago, especially Kayla and Lynn; you both have been amazing from the start. Thank you for hosting us and to all that made this event possible!
A special thank you Bar Louie for hosting us and to all that made this event possible!
beautycounter with Sharon Mehalek
- "You're so skinny!"
- "You barely gained weight"
- "Girl please, I was 'x' amount of pounds after I had my baby. You look great"
Ok, I understand and I appreciate it! I AM luckier than most woman for my smooth postpartum weight loss transition BUT that doesn't take away from the fact that I felt uncomfortable and unattractive in my body for a good majority of my postpartum journey. From extra stomach fat that I've never seen a day in my life to dark stretch marks and other skin defects, I just wasn't happy. Not to mention the emotional stress that comes along with it, I continued putting on pounds. It's not about being "skinny" but moreso about loosing my toned body shape and being out of shape.
Now that that is out the way :)
I also want to mention that this is about my postpartum fitness journey- I can only speak from my experience. Everybody is different; what works for me may not work for you. I would definitely consult your doctor or seek personal training assistance.
So here's my history:
I've been pretty active my entire life however, my biggest struggle was my diet. I believe the thing that helped me the most was me almost eliminating sugar from my diet. Before I had my daughter, I barely ever ate junk foods (chips, candy, cakes, etc), I didn't drink pop or juice (unless it was mixed with my liquor LOL) , and I absolutely LOVED water.
SIDENOTE: When I was younger (yes I'm blaming this on you mom :), I spent the summer on punishment for stealing my moms car #BadAssAlert lol. So I spent majority of my days in the basement, eating PACKS of sour patch kids...every day.....for 60 days straight. So guess what happened to your girl?! I ended up with 11 CAVITIES! (Ouch is right!) Several dentist appointments and a bunch of numbing shots later, I was literally terrified to eat candy again! Sounds dramatic, but I swear that's a true story. Ask my mom! I'm sure that's a medical bill she'll never forget LOL (sorry mom!)
Back to my story....
Unfortunately, all of that went down the drain once I had my daughter! I developed a HUGE sweet tooth and craved pop, cookies and ice cream almost every day. This habit stuck around even after I gave birth. & to add more to my struggles, I absolutely love to sleep and I refuse to give that up for anything, especially for the gym lol. (Luckily I didn't have to sacrifice much sleep during early postpartum, my daughter was an angel!). I have a love hate relationship and I find it had to be consistent- only going hard once I notice a little weight gain then falling off.
I'm saying this because I want you all to know that I am like everyone else, I have to work hard to stay fit....and this is about to be a LONG journey. Are you guys ready?!
When did you start to workout?
How often do you workout?
I try my best to train with Jordan 3-4x's a week. Being a mompreneur is SUPER hard and very time consuming. Not to mention I am still getting the hang of this thing called Life With a 10 Month Old. Some days are much harder than others and almost impossible to schedule a workout but we make it work!
kanye's workout plan:
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IG: @jfit.ness_ | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 312.409.8342
How do you stay motivated
WHAT DO YOU EAT?
- Less fried foods
- Less sugar (Currently trying to cut out ice cream, completely. Wish me luck!)
- Eating out LESS, more cooking.
- Drink LOTS of water
I feel like I'm all over the place but that's because I am! This is a learning process for me as well so just follow along as I go, I promise it will get better! One day at a time. Comment if you guys have any questions and I will make sure to update you on my progress. Definitely let me know what you've done to succeed in your fitness journey!
Until next time!
Chicago Restaurant Week has finally came to an end...so sad! With over 400 restaurants to choose from, it was EXTREMELY hard to narrow down exactly where I wanted to go. Especially when you're a picky eater like myself! (LOL) Nevertheless, I did it and it was amazing (Literally don't want to look at anymore food or drinks for the rest of the year! Lol).
Each restaurant had three and four- course meals ranging from $28-$56 for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Here are my favs!
First and foremost, can you say FRESH!
Being from the city, there aren't a lot of seafood boil restaurants that are flavorful & fresh! Moreso, there are NO seafood boil restaurants that have A FULL BAR......Yes you read that right. Normally there are BYOB options but Cajun Boil & Bar put a modern twist on the traditional seafood boil spots!
Heres my order rundown:
- Cajun Chicken Wings: Your typical fried chicken wings seasoned with a BOMB cajun spice!
- Fried Gator: This was my very first time EVER trying gator, so I'm not really sure what it's supposed to taste like lol but I compared it to chicken...with a twist. Either way, it was very good!
- Hush Puppies: Yuuuum! Perfectly fried and filled with moist, freshly seasoned cornmeal.
- 1lb Shrimp (Head off) | 1lb Snow Crab Legs - This was seriously my favorite part of this meal. The seafood was extremely fresh and the sauce was the perfect blend with just the right amount of spice (I honestly could've gone with a higher spice level)
- VooDoo Juice- A Hennessy based drink mixed with pineapple, mango, and raspberries. YES, all three I was a bit skeptical of the mixture but i love Hennessy and like they say, Hennything is Possible LOL. It was delicious!...and strong. Beware!
- Tropical Storm Rajin Cajun- This reminded me of a long island. It included ABSOLUT Vodka, BOMBAY, Tequila, grenadine, orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices. Honestly, for this to have so many different liquors it was still very sweet....Quiet but deadly for sure!
Overall, Cajun Boil & Bar is to die for! Definitely on my top seafood boils in Illinois! Thank you so much for having us Karen. Guys, you have to visit!
Details and décor, of course, are my THANGS! & This restaurant has both. Great food, outstanding service, pleasant atmosphere and BEAUTIFUL décor! They have an outdoor patio, great bar area inside plus bar seating right in front of where the pizzas are cooked.
Heres my order rundown:
- Coccoli (I actually pronounced this correctly on the first try. If you know me, you KNOW thats a big deal LOL) - First time I've ever had it and it was amazing! This is a crispy yet fluffy ball of bread served with stracchino cheese and prosciutto. TO DIE FOR!
- Hamachi Crudo- My friend ordered this. Not really a fan of raw fish but she LOVED it. So if you're a crazy sushi fan, this is for you!
- Brick Chicken Diavolo- This meal may sound extremely simple but when I tell you it was seasoned to P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N ! MY GOODNESS! The chicken was so flavorful and juicy served with sticky parmesan potatoes, cherry tomatoes and arugula....DUDE even the arugula was delicious! My mouth is currently watering thinking about this meal!
- Gnocchi- Pretty standard but very good!
- Orecchiette- Similar to gnocchi but with a twist. This was served with prosciutto sasuage (We're fans of prosciutto if you couldn't tell lol), watercress, and pecorino cheese! Yuuuum!
Can we just acknowledge how much food we've already had at this point LOL. Literally was about to BURST. Good thing I did not wear a belt (Thanks for the advise Lena! ). I want to say the dessert was my favorite part but honestly EVERYTHING was just so good!
- Tiramisu- If you've never had this, I honestly feel so sorry for you! lol Anything I've ever had Tiramisu it was phenomenal. It is an Italian coffe flavored cake with roasted white chocolate!
- Bomboloni- Small, round Italian doughnuts. I could have eaten this by itself....like 20 of them lol But it was served with 3 different jelly filling options ((whisky-caramel, chocolate hazelnut, and raspberry) Raspberry was my FAVORITE!
Everything........the end! LOL No seriously, we tried so many different drinks from the menu and they were all delicious! Here were my favs!
- Cocktail NO. 1 - Belvedere, prosecco, grapefruit, lemon, mint, and strawberry.
- Cocktail NO.2 - Grey goose, blueberry, lemon, peach, and prosecco.
- Cocktail NO.10- Old forester 100, luxardo bitters, apricot liquor.
We enjoyed ourselves the entire time! Then food is amazing but our waiter and Shannon made our experience that much better! What are you waiting for?! Go NOW!........Once you're done reading the next review of course LOL
Are you hungry yet?!
Beautiful place I must say! The décor yet again blew me away- super chill yet upscale! For all my ladies, their bathroom was PERFECT for mirror selfies :) Service was outstanding and we got to enjoy the hospitality of Shannon once again- Both Barrio and Siena Tavern are owned by the same group!
Here's my order rundown:
- Queso Fundido: One of my favorite Mexican appetizers and if you LOVE cheese like me, then you'll love this! Add chrizo to yours if you're fancy! Cheese dip with marinated peppers, leeks, escabeche, and salsa served with corn tortillas.
- Sweet Corn Croquettes- Think of this as deep fried elote. Super unique and not a traditional Mexican dish but thats what makes it great!
- Gringo Taco- This was outside of the CRW menu but I had to try it. I mean, how could I go to a Mexican restaurant and NOT try their tacos?! Crispy corn shell, chorizo (soooo good), garlic crema, shredded lettuce and pico! OMG! So delicious!
- Skirt Steak Fajitas- Your typical steak fajita dish and it was great! The steak was so juicy and charred perfectly served with macienda heirloom corn tortillas
Cinnamon churro bites: A Mexican fav of mine and it just as good as always. Served with Chocolate fudge, dulce de leche, and vanilla crema.
- The Flaming Moe- This was a great drink for pictures but I was not a fan of the taste. It wasn't nasty or anything but I just could not get over the strong smoke aftertaste (due to the fire) but I love the idea!
- Rhythm is a Dancer- First off, this name is so freaking cute! Lol This was definitely my favorite drink of them all! It wasn't too sweat and had the right amount of kick I needed! Tequila, pineapple, lemon, thai vanilla, and mint. BRAVO!
- Ring Around The Rose- Another drink for show lol Super cute concept and I love the look with the pink popsicle inside BUT it was a bit too sweet for my liking. If you're into the sugary drinks then you'd love it. Me on the other hand, I'm a bit of an alcoholic lol I like to taste my liquor over the juices.
Definitely will be coming back, especially in the summer time since they also have the outdoor seating! Maybe I'll give the Ring Around the Rosé another try sitting outside in the hot summer weather! Overall, the food was great and the drink were tasty! Thank you to Shannon for being amazing yet again!
Ok, that is the end of this review! Go book your reservations NOW. Tell them Ashley sent you!
Until next time!
While we all resort to Amazon and Target in search of something great lets not forget that there are tons of local businesses with AWESOME products.
You can do so much better than a card this Valentine's Day, I believe in you!
Here are some awesome brands to choose from. Whether you're shopping for her, him, best friends, and even your mother. These brands have a little something for everyone! Check it out!
Global Attic LLC is the brainchild of Founder Kabria Cummings. The company sells exotic home decor items to style-conscious customers who want unique, one-of-a-kind merchandise that can't be found at the typical home decor store. Whether masks, paintings, sculptures or furniture, Global Attic's items transform bland living spaces, convey individuality, and help sustain global communities.
Solo Noir has created a groundbreaking grooming system that’s as effective as it is simplistic. Crafted from soothing, organic, all-natural ingredients, our grooming solutions are designed to help you look your best without complicating your life. We understand modern masculinity, and we’ve created a premium line of products to help you look and feel Dapper, Refined, Smooth, Sleek, and Brave.
Our 2-in-1 skincare and shaving products tackle pesky issues that specifically affect men of color, like blemishes, dry skin, uneven complexions, and ingrown hairs. With our line of curated products, you can restore your skin’s moisture and elasticity and maintain healthy skin year-round.
Julie Kramer is a jewelry designer and Certified Professional Coach by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Her creativity is balanced by a seasoned business acumen, which includes a 17-year career at MasterCard, where she developed an expertise in business partnerships and customer relations. It was a great foundation for what would become her own company. Life Bejeweled was born out of her desire to pursue her creative and entrepreneurial passions, and having the confidence to follow her dreams.
Julie has been making jewelry for 20 years as a way to help others find their inner truth. She has made it her life's work to see the beauty in the people she encounters and the products she creates with her own hands. The meaningful custom jewelry, feature empowering messages that carry you into your work, onto the playground, down the aisle, and out to the world.
PaulaMarieCollection is a mother-daughter owned line that offers fashion-forward folks of all genders opportunities to spice up both their daily ensembles and special occasion wear with unique fur accessories. Their mission is to create beautiful, eye-catching pieces and accessories where fur is both traditionally present and not, including scarves, wraps, muff bags, hair ties, shoe slides, flip flops, vests, and jackets. They believe that confidence starts from the inside out, and a PaulaMarie Collection piece is a way to put your best foot forward in all situations.
Fans of the flavors of the ever growing Mexican beverage unite over varying tequila tastes. Try new and recognized brands on a Saturday afternoon in February.
Porque no … or why not?
Connect and #besocial with a cup of tequila in your hands this winter!
Enjoy savings and get paid 25% - Sign Up Here
Enter to win, Mexico trip & tequila. TequilaGiveaway.com with all the details. (See Video Below)
Attend this event for free and win a trip for 2 to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day - Discover how HERE
Save $5 Per Ticket When You Sign Up HERE
Can't wait to see you there!
Jan 25th-Feb 7th is Chicago Restaurant Week! CRW is filled with two weeks of dining deals from hundred of restaurants all over Chicago. In fact, this year will be the LARGEST it's ever been- over 400 restaurants participating!
This is legit the biggest event of the year so don't miss out on these specials. Searching for restaurants that participate in CRW can be very overwhelming so being the wonderful person that I am :) I've decided to compile a list of some of my favorite restaurants just for you!
Check it out!
1. Beatrix - River North | American | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $36 Dinner Menu
2. RPM Steak | Steakhouse | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
3. Barrio | Mexican | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
4. Bub City | Barbecue | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu , $36 Dinner Menu
5. Naoki | Japanese | $48 Dinner Menu
6. Aurelio's Pizza South Loop | Pizzeria | $24 Lunch Menu, $36 Dinner Menu
7. Siena Tavern | Italian | $24 Brunch & Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
8. FIG & OLIVE Chicago | Mediterranean | $48 Dinner Menu
Seriously, I really can't say what I enjoyed the most because the entire experience was phenomenal! Let's start from the beginning:
We pulled into The Rose Hotel parking lot and it was PACKED! My immediate first thought was that we were going to be forced to park in the lot across the street and truck it through the snow- wearing suede, pointed toe, open sided heels at that! (No, I didn't think this through lol). Luckily for us, as I drove around the parking lot I noticed a sign that read "Valet Parking". JACKPOT! As we approached the front entrance, I looked toward the bottom of the sign trying to find the pricing and guess what.....IT WAS FREE!
[ The Rose Hotel 1 || Every Other Hotel 0]
Living in a money hungry city like Chicago, we all know what a luxury Complementary Parking is...especially Valet Parking. Well done Rose Hotel!
We parked in the Valet line and was approached by one of the attendants....a very handsome one I should say :). He opened my car door and greeted me with a smile, and gave me his arm to hold on to. He asked me what my friends name was, addressed her as such and guided us into the hotel to be handed off to a staff member.
[ The Rose Hotel 2 || Every Other Hotel 0]
My jaw literally dropped when I walked into the hotel! There were pink, blue, and purple (or just a darker pink.....I've self diagnosed myself with color blindness LOL ) lights illuminating from every corner of the room. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L ! A mixture of glass, marble and wood décor throughout. To the right of us was the Dj booth, full service bar, a Smash Cake Table, Fireplace, a room full of Rosé & cotton candy, lounge seats scattered throughout, and a backflipping man in a black/white stripe onesie! (YES, I said that). Super chill yet very classy!
[ The Rose Hotel 3 || Every Other Hotel 0]
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[ The Rose Hotel 4 || Every Other Hotel 0]
[ The Rose Hotel 150 || Every Other Hotel 0]
And it just got so much better!
Walking towards what looked like a rose garden backdrop for pictures but as I got closer, I noticed there was a hand with a glass of champagne sticking out of it.
Now, at this point we've already been by the bar and were working on drink number 3 LOL So of course, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw someone take the glass of champagne and the hand disappeared then returned with yet another glass of wine.
Umm, excuse me....WHAT just happened?!
Yes, you heard it right! They had a rose wall that handed you glasses of champagne as you walked by. MIND BLOWING! So very creative. Still trying to figure out how I can get that wall at home :) LOL.
[ The Rose Hotel 5,000 || Every Other Hotel 0]
Now, for the other side of the hotel.
To the right of the wall of champagne was a room filled with green lit umbrellas! A super simple touch but it looked amazing! There was another bar, photobooth, tasty bites from Rosebud Restaurant and Dave & Buster's, and a room of champagne, beer, and liquor brands giving out samples (as if the two open bars was not enough LOL)
The Rose Hotel seriously knows how to party!
[ The Rose Hotel 6,809 || Every Other Hotel 0]
[ The Rose Hotel > Every Other Hotel ]
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Book your stay at The Rose Hotel in Rosemont! Tell them Ashley sent you!
Chao for now!
Hi, I'm Ashley!
Follow me as I share my experiences through our GNO events and blog!