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Martini Thursdays...Coconut Mojito Martini!

Coconut Mojito Martini

Greetings Divas and Gents! The weekend is almost here, and I am excited that it's a long one! For those of you hosting Memorial Day festivities, I wanted to share a cool and delicious martini recipe that is sure to entertain your guests. The Coconut Mojito Martini is the perfect combination of cool mint and exotic coconut. It's easy to make, and is the perfect way to usher in the summer season. Try it out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

3 Mint Leaves
3 oz of Coconut Flavored Rum
1 oz of Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
Lime Wedge (For Garnish)
Mint Leaves (For Garnish, optional)

1. In a martini shaker, muddle mint leaves, lime juice, and sugar for about 2 minutes.
2. Add coconut rum and ice. Shake!
3. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
4. Garnish with lime and mint leaves.

Your guests will thank you! Enjoy the Coconut Mojito Martini. Be safe this weekend and Drink Responsibly!

Look Better In Your Clothes...Invest in a Tailor!

I've always been a curvy girl. It's true! I've always had a tiny waist, and a lot more of everything else everywhere get me? So when I was growing up, I often had difficulty finding clothing that would fit properly. I'm sure you curvy girls out there know of the difficulty in which I speak: pants that gape in the back because you have to buy a size that fits your hips and not your waist; blouses that are too tight around your bust because you bought the smaller size that fits your waist; dresses that are too big because your hips and bust are a size 10, but your waist is a size 6; suits where the blazer is huge because you had to get the bigger size so the pants would fit. I tell you, I've had some serious wardrobe issues because of all the curvyness!

My grandmother, who recognized much sooner than I did that this was an issue, always said that the best way to deal with these wardrobe conundrums is to have a tailor. Someone who would pull things in and let things out for a perfect fit. She was a smart lady! While my grandmother specifically spoke to issues involving women with my body type, I soon realized that the curvy girls weren't the only ones suffering. I had friends who were shaped differently and who had a whole other set of problems when purchasing clothes. The truth is that certain brands fit some better than others. Some cuts may look great on me, but may be unflattering on my is what it is, and I guess we have to accept it. Or do we?

As fashion has evolved, so has the fit of clothing. Some stores purposely cut their clothing to cater to a more diversely-shaped society. Major department stores have begun selling their suits as separates; you can now buy a size 10 blazer and a size 12 pant or skirt. Dresses are being cut so that a smaller waist is emphasized and more room allowed in the bust and hips. Jeans are being made with specific body types in mind (i.e. the Gap's Long and Lean Jeans, Old Navy's Sweetheart Jeans, etc). While I am pleasantly pleased with this evolution, I still recognize that in some instances a tailor may still be your best tool to make you look better in your clothing.

As I've gotten older and as I've progressed in my field, I have been taking my grandmother's advice and I have invested in a tailor. Now, not every item of clothing I purchase needs tailoring, but I have taken some items to my tailor to enhance their fabulousness. I often take my suit pants to my tailor to shorten or lengthen the legs. I have brought in some of my skirts to bring in the waist and give me more hip room. My tailor has even found a way to get rid of that annoying bust/button gaping that happens when I wear blouses. And, she has a little trick that makes my sheath dresses look amazing. The best thing is that my alterations are not expensive and quite reasonable. Mark my words...tailors are a fashionable, Professional Diva's dream! 

Are you sold yet? If so, here are some things to consider when searching for a tailor:

1. How much experience does your prospective tailor have in adjusting clothing for women with your body type? Some tailors do a better job than others based on their experiences with a particular shape. Look for one that is proficient in working with the issues that you face...the tailor may have certain suggestions that he or she may have used in the past.

2. How much? You should request an alteration price list from your prospective tailor. Some tailors are more expensive than others. Some tailors charge more for one type of item and less for others. My tailor also doubles as my dry cleaner, so my alterations are less expensive because I give her other business. Maybe your prospective tailor will have a similar arrangement. Or, an arrangement based on the amount of alterations you anticipate having. You may be able to negotiate rates as well.

3. Bring a test item to your "interview." Once you have narrowed your search down to one or two individuals, bring an item of clothing for the prospective tailor to alter. Maybe it's a dress that you not longer wear, or a pair of pants from three seasons ago...bring it in to see how the tailor works. Does he or she take your measurements properly? Is he or she asking the appropriate questions regarding your desires and fit preferences for the item? Does he or she make suggestions as to how you can achieve the most favorable results, even if the suggestions are different from what you have in mind? How satisfied are you with the results?

4. Are you comfortable with your prospective tailor? The relationship between you and your tailor is and intimate one. You should trust him or her with your precious clothing. If you start to get a vibe from your tailor that he or she is not invested in the well being of you and your clothing, then it's time for a new tailor.

Do any of you use a tailor? If so, what are your experiences? What are some of the characteristics that are important to you for a tailor? Let us know!

The Working Mommy Debate!

As some of you may know, the Stud and I are expecting our first baby early this Summer. In addition to the many hands anxious to rub my belly, I have also been an a magnet for many strangers more than happy to offer their advice on everything from how to deal with heartburn to how to prepare for labor. Many of these random conversations occur at restaurants, the local pharmacy, supermarkets, etc. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a veteran mom while waiting in line at the supermarket after a long day at work. The exchange went a little something like this:

Veteran Mom: Look at you! You're adorable! When are you due? What are you having?

Me: Thank you! Having a girl. And I'm due early this summer.

Veteran Mom: Nice! How exciting!

Me: It really is! I'm really looking forward to taking time off from work to hang out with my Mini-Me.

Veteran Mom: Time off?

Me: Yes! I plan to take at least 3 months off from work.

Veteran Mom:'re not going to be a stay-at-home mom? How unfortunate!

Me: Unfortunate...what do you mean?

Veteran Mom: When I decided to start a family years ago, I couldn't think of going back to work and allowing someone else to raise my children. It just didn't seem right. I think that the universe wants mothers to be home and not in the office. That's the way it should be. You really should reconsider returning to work. You'll be a better mother...I promise you!

Me: Okay. Thanks! Have a great day!

Interesting conversation, huh? What's more interesting is that I have had similar discussions with other strangers that have the same opinion as Veteran Mom. After having these conversations, I find myself with conflicting feelings...and I don't like conflict! On one hand, I feel guilty. Am I really disadvantaging my child by choosing to return to work instead of being a stay-at-home mom? Am I being selfish? Am I not affording her the best possible life? On the other hand, I feel angry. How dare these women judge me for wanting to return to work?! I worked hard to get where I am professionally, and I shouldn't be penalized for choosing both a career and family. After all, plenty of women work and raise their children and do a damn good job at it. And at the end of the day, it's none of their business anyway! Like I said...I hate conflict!

Now as you know I am an attorney by trade, and I have a full time career that I've spent the last 10+ year nurturing. In fact, I owe Sallie Mae what seems to equate to my first born to finance the education that has allowed me to further my career. And in spite of any complaining I may do, I enjoy my career. Before I became pregnant, I never imagined that when we did decide to start having children that I would take a hiatus from the working was never something that we considered. But there may be a reason for that. I grew up in a family and in an environment where the women all worked. My mom has been working since I was born, and I'd like to think that I turned out okay...right? And it wasn't just my mom. My aunts worked after having children. My grandmother stayed at home, but she worked as the neighborhood babysitter. And all of my friends' mothers worked. I, myself, have had some type of job since I was a teenager, so the concept of working is a natural one for me. Please don't get me wrong...I do not intend nor do I desire to work in the traditional sense for the rest of my life. But at the tender age of 27 32, I have no immediate plans of retiring. Should I feel guilty about that? And if so, why?

Here's the thing...not every woman with children wants to be a stay-at-home mom, even if she has the means to do so. Some women are just not about that stay-at-home life. But is it society's job to make these women feel awful about their decision to have both a career and a family? Why the judgment? While I respect Veteran Mom's decision to not return to work and stay home to raise her children, it's just not for least it isn't for me at this point in time. I just wish those who share her views would respect my decision and not make me feel guilty about it...what is good for you is not necessarily good for everyone. And don't assume that I will not be just as good of a mother as you, or better, simply because I have a career. I would rather you keep your opinion, and your judgments, to yourself. But that's just my opinion...I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but I think that both options should be respected.

Now, I want to hear from you moms out there...both stay-at-home moms, and those moms that leave the home to work. What's your opinion? What has been your experiences? Do you have a preference, and if so, why? Let me know ladies! And if there are any gents out there with an opinion, I'd love to read it! Have a great week!


Martini Thursdays...Raspberry Limeade Martini!!!

Raspberry Limeade Martini

So...I just go home from the office, and I'm anxiously waiting for Scandal to come on. Three weeks is way too long to wait for a new episode! So while we wait for 10 o'clock to arrive, why not enjoy a new martini recipe. I am almost embarrassed to admit that this will be the first martini recipe of judgment please! Just accept my sincere apology in the form of the yummy Raspberry Limeade Martini. Enjoy!

2 oz of Your Favorite Vodka
2 oz of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1/2 oz of Rose's Lime Juice
Fresh Raspberries for Garnish

1. In a shaker, combine Vodka, Chambord, Lime Juice, and Ice. Shake!
2. Drop a few frozen raspberries into a chilled martini glass.
3. Strain mixture into martini glass.

There you have it! Now you're all ready for Scandal tonight. Let me know how you like it! Drink Responsibly!

Emerald...Werk the Color of the Year!!!

Divas! In case you missed it, Emerald is the Pantone Color of the Year! I am really excited about Emerald, as I think it is a gorgeous color that works well across various seasons. As was the case last year with Tangerine Tango, I am super anxious to add a few Emerald pieces to my wardrobe. Maybe a cute wrap dress...or a great pair of booties...or maybe some Emerald accessories. The possibilities are endless! Check out some of the great pieces I have found while surfing the web...maybe it will inspire you to spice up your wardrobe with the Color of the Year. Enjoy!

Try adding some Emerald pieces to your professional wardrobe. A great emerald-hued dress can work wonders in sea of black and blues. Or, wear an emerald-toned blouse with a traditional suit. Or, how about an Emerald blazer atop a neutral-toned outfit. However you decide to do it, this rich color can make any outfit pop!

If accessories are your thing, why not add a few Emerald pieces. Shoes, purses, scarfs, bracelets, belts, and broaches...all look great in Emerald and can add just the right amount of flavor to your outfit. Need an example? Remember the Emerald earring Beyonce wore at the presidential inauguration? Of course you did!

Last but not least, add a few beauty products to your arsenal in honor of the Color of the Year. An emerald-toned nail color adds just the right amount of sophistication and sass to your office apparel. And a little bit of eyeshadow and/or liner can transform your current look. 

Have you embraced the Color of the Year? How will you incorporate Emerald into your at-work apparel?

I Woke Up Feeling Ugly...

This past Saturday, I woke up feeling ugly. I mean really, really ugly! My Spring allergies kicked in, so I woke up with a puffy face and watery eyes. And I fell asleep without wrapping my hair, so my hair was a disaster. My skin was flaky...probably due to these pregnancy hormones that have invaded my body. I woke up feeling ugly, and I'm sure I looked like a hot mess! Have any of you ever woke up feeling like this? Well, I haven't in a really long time, and it kind of scared me. Let me explain.

Like many Professional Divas, I spend a good amount of my week day getting ready for work, driving to work, working, and driving home from work. And then there are the few chores that I try to take care of when I get home. And then there are the occasional nights when I do a little extra work at home. I try to make the effort to pamper myself whenever I can, but as of late...let's just say that I have been neglecting myself. Now don't get me wrong, I know how to pull myself together so that the outside world is unaware of my neglect. But when I woke up on Saturday...something had to give!

I jumped out of bed (kind of), got dressed, and headed to the mall. My first stop was the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure. My gel polish was about a week overdue, and I could always use a foot scrub (I ended up having to skip the pedicure because the nail tech was a pain in the butt slightly annoying). Next up: S.H.A.P.E.S. Brow Bar for some eyebrow maintenance. Isn't it amazing how a little piece of thread and some tweezers can beat your brows into submission?! My next stop was the hair salon. I was spending most of the day in Brooklyn at my parents' house, so I made a point to stop by my old hair salon for a good old-fashioned wash and set. After an hour, my hair was LAID! Finally, I headed to my parents house and hopped in the shower. While I was there, I broke out a sample packet of an apricot face scrub that I had picked up at the drug store earlier that morning...flaky skin: gone! I got dressed and put on some makeup, and voila! I felt like a new creature! I woke up feeling ugly, and I did something about it. I'm so glad I did!

The moral of this entire diatribe is a simple: never let the pressures of a busy, stressful life prevent you from taking care of yourself. The truth is that I have been spending a great deal of my time working and doing things for others, and I forgot about me. For months, I have forgotten about me, and I haven't been treating myself very well. I broke that cycle on Saturday, and I intend to do better. 

So, I am publicly making a promise to love myself better. And I encourage all of you hard working Divas out there to do the same. Have a great week Divas!

The Best Skin Care Tips Ever! So I've Been Told!

Greetings Divas! In business, one's appearance is key. It is important to always put your best face forward when networking, meeting with current or potential clients, or making presentations. As such, it is important to take care of your skin and make sure that your outward appearance is not a distraction from your talent. Over the years, I have learned of many different ways to care for my skin with the hope of maintaining a healthy, youthful appearance. In the spirit of sharing (as always!), I have compiled a list of the best skin care tips that I've gathered from my fellow Professional Divas. Check them out and be sure to add any additional tips in the comments section.

Remove Your Makeup Before Bed - I must confess, I have not been a girl scout when it comes to removing my makeup before bed. I have woken up plenty of mornings with makeup on my pillows after making the conscious decision to not wash my face the evening before. As I get older, however, I realize that my laziness is unacceptable...especially when my skin is at stake. So what have I done to improve my habits? I began purchasing makeup remover cleaning wipes. It's a quick and easy way to remove my makeup before bed when I'm feeling too lazy to do a traditional wash.

Moisturize - I am far from a dermatologist, but I know how itchy and tight my skin feels after showering. I find that the best way to combat this feeling is to moisturize. I usually go for a fragrance-free, lightweight moisturizer with SPF....which leads right into my next tip...

Use SPF...Every Day - SPF is not just for when the sun is hot. In fact, the best dermatologists recommend that women, and men, wear SPF year-round to protect against a variety of skin problems, including wrinkles and certain skin cancers. My daily moisturizer has an SPF of 15, which helps to protect my skin throughout the year.

Reduce Stress - We've discussed this before, haven't we? Stress can be a contributing factor for a variety of different health ailments, including skin issues. While stress can be a regular part of a Professional Diva's life, finding ways to reduce and/or eliminate stress can be beneficial to your health...and your skin. Looking for some stress-reducing tips? Check out my past posts: Stress and the Professional Woman, and 6 Easy Ways to Eliminate Stress That You Probably Haven't Thought Of.

Drink Lots of Water - As human being, our bodies are composed primarily of water. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps to keep us hydrated, which in turn can help keep our skin moisturized by hydrating skin cells. In other words, drink lots of water for better-looking and better-feeling skin.

Eat Well - I've always been told that what you put inside of your body will inevitably show up on the outside. In other words, our diets can dictate what pops up on skin. Simply put, eating healthy food (including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) can help ensure that your skin looks healthy and vibrant.

Keep Your Makeup Fresh - This is something that I have discussed on the Chronicles on several occasions. Outdated and dirty makeup can have devastating effects on your skin. As such, I like to take an inventory of the items in my makeup bag and purge those products that have expired. The most important thing is to know the shelf life of your favorite items. Check out my post, Fall Makeup Inventory, to learn more.

Have a great week!


New York and Company's 2013 Spring @Work Collection Is Here!

Greetings Divas! It appears that Spring is taking its time showing up, but New York and Company is not waiting for the warm weather. Nope! NY&Co. recently released its 2013 Spring @Work Collection...and it is gorgeous! Many of you know that NY&Co. is one of my favorite stores for high-quality, affordable, work clothing. Its pieces are chic, well-made, and office- appropriate. The 2013 Spring @Work Collection is no exception. Now, I am a little jealous that I will not be able to partake in these beautiful pieces this Spring, but I know that many of you can...and will! So check out my favorite pieces from NY&Co.'s 2013 Spring @Work Collection. Enjoy!

I love a tailored, bright suit for the Spring!
- The 7th Avenue Sateen Jacket - $69.95
- Two-Pocket, Abstract Print Blouse - $20.00
- The 7th Avenue Sateen Boot Cut Pant - $46.95
 You all know how I feel about sheath dresses!
- The 7th Avenue Colorblock Sheath Dress - $64.95

Great combination! I like how the colored pant makes the black and white top pop!
- Baroque-print Peplum Jacket - $79.95
- The Crosby Street Slim Leg Sateen Ankle Pant - $46.95
- Faux-Patent Belt -$16.06

Another sheath...with a skinny belt to snatch the waist!
- The 7th Avenue Paisley Sheath Dress - $64.95

All kinds of cute!
- Floral Cascade-Print Sheath Dress - $64.95

 A cute option for casual Fridays!
- Lace Shirtdress with Pleated Full Skirt - $69.95

A peplum dress in a bright it!
- City Knit Peplum Sheath Dress - $64.95

Great business casual look!
The Madison Striped Button Front Stretch Shirt - $20.00
Pleat-Neck Belted Sweater - $29.00
The 7th Avenue Gabardine Triple Side-Pleat Skirt - $42.95

I love the blouse!
Blouson Paisley Blouse - $42.95
The 7th Avenue Sateen Pastel Triple Side-Pleat Skirt - $42.95

All of these looks, and more, can be found on the New York & Company website. And, they always have great coupons! Have a great week!

All photos courtesy of the NY&Co website.

Hot App Alert...Hotel Tonight!

So...a couple of months ago, a good friend of mine called and told me he had just landed at Newark Airport. It was about 9 o'clock in the morning, and he couldn't check into his hotel until noon. When I asked him which hotel he needed me to take him to, he replied "I don't know yet." Huh? I was confused and needed answers. He then told me about a great smartphone app, Hotel Tonight. Here's how it works...

Hotel Tonight is an app that provides last-minute deals on unsold hotel rooms at high-rated up to 70% off! So, if you decided to take a last minute trip somewhere, you can use the Hotel Tonight app to find a hotel in that city at the last minute for a pretty sweet price. Now I know you may be thinking "what kind of hotel...a raggedy one?" I thought the same thing until I checked out the app. For example, at the present time Hotel Tonight has deals in New York City at the following hotels: the Paramount Hotel Times Square ($189), the Algonquin Hotel ($209), and the Casablanca Hotel ($219), each of which are top-rated establishments. Not too shabby, huh? You can see deals like this in cites across the country and abroad. But there is a catch...

Hotel Tonight requires that you wait until noon to see the deals in the city in which you are looking for a hotel, hence the reason my friend had to wait until noon to see where he was staying. The other catch is that you cannot guarantee a particular type of room, so you may have to settle for a Queen size room instead of a King. In any event, Hotel Tonight is a great app for frequent and last-minute travelers, including the business traveler. And if you've ever been stuck in an unfamiliar city due to a cancelled flight, Hotel Tonight can prove to be extremely valuable.

I haven't had a chance to use the app for myself, but I know quite a few folks who think that Hotel Tonight is a lifesaver...and it is my pleasure to share this hot app with you! For more information on Hotel Tonight, check out their website

Have any of you heard of the Hotel Tonight app? If so, how do you like it? Has it been as useful as I think it is? Let us know!

SpaFinder Wellness Week 2013!

Divas and Gents, it's that time of year again! Wellness Week 2013 begins in just one week! For those of you who don't know, Wellness Week is your chance to improve the way you look and feel with exclusive spa treatments and wellness offerings at discounted prices (some 50% off!). You can choose from a variety of services, including massages, private training, laser hair removal, and teeth whitening. Also, Wellness Week is a great opportunity for you to take a step back and evaluate how you are taking care of yourself; sought of a health check for your body. Wellness Week will take place at hundreds of spas, yoga, Pilates and fitness studios and wellness centers across the country.

Are you game? Wellness Week will run from March 11 - March 17, 2013, so check out the SpaFinder Wellness Week website and search for a participating spa in your area. Also, be sure to take the Wellness Week Pledge:

1. Change your breakfast;
2. Choose to move;
3. Hydrate;
4. Connect with nature;
5. Make sleep a priority;
6. Embrace the power of touch; and
7. Give yourself the gift of silence. 

We work hard every day, and a little pampering at half the price is definitely welcomed. Oh...if you head over to the website now, there's an offer for a $25 Wellness Week Bonus card. In the spirit of sharing....!!!

Have a great week!

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