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Chill.Pop.Live

Chill.Pop.Live

A women's blog with a fresh perspective on celebrating life.

Month: January 2018

Besties’ Guide to New York

“What do you mean weekend get away? It’s Friday. Girl, you’re tripping!” And that is exactly how the most epic girl trip of all time began, with Pam begging Bonnie-Love…

“What do you mean weekend get away? It’s Friday. Girl, you’re tripping!” And that is exactly how the most epic girl trip of all time began, with Pam begging Bonnie-Love to escape. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is great to plan out vacays…and if you are anything like Bonnie, you have an organized list for everything, including what type of deodorant you should purchase and when the lint trap in the dryer should be vacuumed. Which is why it was so satisfying to convince her to throw away her lists for one weekend and live life on the edge. Did I mention she had less than 12 hours notice?  Well, this is the year of Chill.Pop.Live. So, get out of your comfort zone and get into LIFE. Mission impossible… accepted. Now, let’s begin our crime. How to get away with a quick girl’s vacay… our guide to New York.

Motive

Listen, everybody needs a break. Whether you are a sexy single, wifey, mom, career boss, none of the above, or all of the above… in order to take your life to the next level, you have to let your mind explore. By breaking from your normal routine, you are forcing yourself to engage and exit autopilot. Yes BFFs, you know what I mean.  When you wake up every day and do the same thing, you enter autopilot. That  groundhog’s day feeling, where everything just seems a bit dull and you feel like you are in a rut. Although coasting in autopilot may appear easy, the downside is you eventually lose your creativity, ambition and appreciation for life. So, let’s shake things up a bit. Give yourself a quick deadline and get moving to the …

Scene of the Crime

Location, location, location! If you are taking this challenge, then you don’t have that much time. So, pick a venue that is nearby. Chill.Pop.Live is located in Washington, D.C., so New York, New York, was the perfect trip. By bus, by train or by plane, you can make it there in a few hours. We got up super early, snagged a bus and by breakfast we were eye to eye with high rises.

scene of the crime

Opportunity

The most important part of your weekend vacay is trying new things. In order to awaken your senses, you must and I repeat, absolutely must, take in every opportunity to try something new. Open up your Yelp app and get walking! Make sure you pick places that appeal to all of your senses. There is nothing more exciting than sitting in a restaurant and going on a culinary journey. And New York has it all.

You can sip indulgent cappuccinos in a quaint Paris bistro, like La Parisienne, or journey back to your Saved by the Bell days at Big Daddy’s Diner. Every corner was crammed full of nostalgic magic. Yes dammit, we want our MTV! But our hands down favorite had to be Maison Pickle. This classic American eatery paired the absolute best in comfort food, cocktails and décor. Stepping into this oh-so-chic restaurant, you are immediately ushered into a dream world where the currency is pull apart butter and honey rolls. From the cool touch of the elegant marble bar, to the soft glint of the hunter green herringbone backsplash, whoever designed this place knows style. Once we melted into the warm cognac seats sipping our sexy Razzles (St. Germain, vodka, lemon and berries), we thought life couldn’t get any better… Well that is until we had the food. From the Poutine Tots to the Fried Chicken–n-French Toast, nobody has ever done it better!  Two words C’est Magnifique! One word DAYUM! Executive chef Glenroy Brown (@chefboyprince) is a culinary God.

La Parisienne NYC

Big Daddy's Malt Shakes

Chill Pop Live at Maison Pickle

Weapon

Now if you’re going to get away with murder, you have to give your best Annalise Keating and bring the sexy drama. One of the best parts about being in a new city is trying fresh looks. The perfect accomplice is Sephora’s #Lipstories collection lipstick. This new take on lipstick brings you the most inspiring shades at a great cost.  For our big city adventure, we tried warm matte Brunch Date and creamy finish Malt Shake. Both these looks were absolutely delicious!

sephora's #lipstories

Getaway Plan

A true getaway is not a getaway unless you get in some R&R. Cue the spa treatments. We got everything smacked, flipped and rubbed down. From cryotherapy, to nails and massages, you name it we tried to relax it.  The cryotherapy worked wonders for our circulation and woke up those tired muscles, while the massages centered our energy and helped us focus.  The verdict… absolutely guilty of having a good time.

Getaway Plan

The Alibi

Well, that’s on you. We challenge you BFFs to take your own girl’s weekend. Using this besties’ guide to New York, please create your own mayhem and blame us… but only if you send us the pics.

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Staycay Party of One

As we officially face the tail end of winter, it’s time to go some place warm and if not in person why not in spirit. At Chill.Pop.Live, our favorite thing…

As we officially face the tail end of winter, it’s time to go some place warm and if not in person why not in spirit. At Chill.Pop.Live, our favorite thing to do is take a staycation. Yes my friends, turn off your cell, turn on your senses and let’s venture someplace special. Think of your happy place and channel it. For this post, let’s go to the beach.  And you’re in luck… all you need is a bathroom to take this magical journey.

Clear the Clutter.

If you want to travel to that magical vacation spot, you have to clear the clutter. Opt for replacing your plastic shampoo and toiletry containers with a sleek set of glass bottles. Take an inventory of your towels, if they are the same thread-bare ones you had from your college dorm, toss them. An easy option is white towels. Contrary to belief they are super easy to clean with a little beach and you can find great ones anywhere from Homegoods, to Target to Nieman’s.

Set the mood.

Light your favorite scented candle and play music. Wherever you want to go, you can’t get there unless the mood is right. Dim the lights and turn up the music from your place of choice. For us the sound of ocean beach waves is a must. It will allow your body to relax, while reminding your mind of where you want to be. Not a fan of music? Grab a book or open up your laptop and play a beach vacay movie.  Whatever gets you there, try it. Candles are an easy way to transport your senses. If you are not a fan of candles, opt for fragrant essential oils. One of our favorite places to pretend we are is Thailand. We’ll go to the local grocery and purchase a bottle of essential oil to remember the fresh island scent of jasmine.

Pour a bath.

If we are at the beach, then we are in water, so grab a bath bomb and you are there. Bath bombs come in a multitude of colors from the deep navy blue of Maine waters to the bright turquoise of the Thai ocean. Pick your dream shade and begin your transportation. For a bonus effect, throw in a cup of epsom salt and watch your stomach de-bloat. Grab a bunch of flowers from your local floral shop. Chop off the stems and throw the flowers into the tub for some much needed visual R and R.

Do a facemask.

While you’re in the tub relaxing and getting skinny, your pores are also opening a mile a minute so why not fill them with some powerful antioxidants. Don’t know what mask to try? Sephora has a mask kit featuring a multitude of sample sizes to try. Bonus, once you find the mask you like, Sephora will gift you with a full size version of your favorite choice.

Pour a cocktail.

We have never taken a trip anywhere without a cocktail. Grab your drink of choice from your favorite vacay and recreate it at home. If you’re not a craft cocktail wiz, save the time and effort and grab a bottle of flavored Deep Eddy’s Vodka. This drink line is a cocktail lovers dream. Packed with punch of vodka, but inhabited with the flavor of juice. This vodka line is a notch above the rest and doesn’t have that too sweet syrupy taste that a lot of flavored vodkas are known for.

Now relax and escape. Stop reading!!!

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Secrets to an Uber Affordable Wedding

This wouldn’t be the month of love without addressing the obvious… yes we know it’s cuffing season. Which could only mean one thing, hitching season is slowly creeping around the…

This wouldn’t be the month of love without addressing the obvious… yes we know it’s cuffing season. Which could only mean one thing, hitching season is slowly creeping around the corner. Yes, my friends, that oh so special time of year when you are either getting married, in a wedding, or a guest. If you are indeed one of those three, or are cursed enough to be all, please forward to the bride or to yourself our simple tips to Chill.Pop.Live at your wedding:

Rule of thumb

Above all this is the one rule you must abide by. If at any time you find yourself performing deep breathing exercises with a paper bag, cursing out your bridesmaids, or only drinking your meals through a straw you must resort to chanting this rule. This is only one day. Yes we know it is a very special day and something you’ve been waiting for your whole life; but, let’s think about it, is it? Reality check, what you’ve been waiting for your whole life is to finally share it with someone who truly loves you. Yes my friends, out of the seven billion lovable goofs in this world, you have finally found your match. That special him or her who you kiss at night with your mouth guard, who finds your farts somewhat tolerable and sticks around after learning your breasts scream more national geographic than whisper Victoria’s Secret. So, above all get excited that you are celebrating your life together and do not, I repeat, do not place all of your focus and anxiety on one day. Remember, before this, the only person who adored you this much is your mother, which brings us to our next point.

Politely declining others opinions

When you say the big I do, expect for multiple opinions, mostly from your parents, but also your friends, bridesmaids, and coworkers. Yes my friends, everyone will be vicariously living through you, so to avoid stress, delegate, delegate, delegate, oh and nod. Remember your best friend, or cousin, or college roomie that you appointed as maid of honor? She is officially head of interference. If we knew football references, this would either be a quarterback or line back or something with a back. Anyway, it is officially her/his job to have your back. This means keeping your bridesmaids in line and your friends checked. Be respectful, be polite, but ultimately be you. Stand firm on those things that are important to you and let go of tradition. Which leads us to our next point… invitations.

Wii for first dance

Invites

Besides the thank you cards, this will be your most off-putting and undesirable task. To make the lift easier, explore paper free options. Before you gasp, remember, this is 2018. Most of your guests have email addresses and wifi, even mifi. So, with one click of a button you can send out all your invites and preserve those chapped lips for better things… like drinking to calm your nerves. If digital invites are not your thing, throw an invite party. Have your bridesmaids help assemble and send your invites. However, try to keep the invites to one sheet of paper. Bonus tip: create your thank you cards at the same time. As you receive each RSVP or gift, you can add a personalized line to the thank you card. The world is your oyster. Get creative and most importantly get going. But to where? Well our location.

 

Location

Your location will set the mood for your event. But, remember rule #1, this is only one day, so pick a location that is affordable for your lifestyle and budget. You don’t need to book that ultra exclusive, 2-year waiting list, super posh historic building. Reality check, you don’t want to be paying for that building or your thousands of other wedding costs while you are paying for all your unexpected newlywed bills…that house you fell in love with, that extra pink line on your pregnancy test that you were not planning for, and pet vet bills for when your dog swallows your wedding ring. Think outside the box like the place you first met, that local distillery, or your favorite restaurant. Make it personal, make it you, and most importantly make it fun!

Republic Restoratives wedding venue

Food & Drinks

The lifeline of your event. Good food can heal all wounds and great drinks will make you forget them. Serve dishes that are you and your betrothed’s favorite. If you don’t normally order truffle steak with artichoke palm harts, don’t serve it at your wedding. A great alternative to sit down dinners is food trucks. For 1/3 of the price of a traditional sit down caterer, you can take your guests on a culinary tour featuring anything from pesto grilled cheese sandwiches to prime rib and lobster. Also, make sure you have a great bartender and Ubers on hand. No matter what happens, your guests will be satisfied if the drinks are flowing and the food is delicious.

food trucks at wedding

Bridal Attire

Finding the perfect dress can be intimidating. The worst thing in the world is to fall in love with your dream dress in a magazine and realize to purchase it you have to fly to Paris and get custom fitted by the designer. The alternative… find multiple dresses, pick out what you like from each dress (neckline, back, fabric, etc.), and design your own. A local dress maker can quickly create your dream concoction and it will be exactly what you want. Both Bonnie-Love and I were inspired by magazine creations and designed our own dresses. We paid, including fabric, under three hundred bucks. Also, we both had our custom made dresses within weeks. Bonnie, who had previously went to fashion school and owned her own boutique, actually made her own dress. Having affordable dresses took off so much pressure off the final day. This will allow you to do fun things like a bachelorette party in Vegas, which leads us to our final point.

custom bridal dresses

Roll the dice, let it fall off the table, onto the floor, and out of the room.
Pretty much everything you plan for is subject to change. Your best friend can bail, your venue can double book, and you can even suffer a massive break out before you get married. However, the one thing that won’t fail and the reason you are saying I do is because of that person next to you. Remember as long as you two are there you already have the perfect wedding. If all else fails read rule #1.

 

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Spill the Tea – How to throw an affordable girls’ party

Every little girl is different. You have your Bonnie-Love’s of the world that would literally throw BF’s if she was ever told she would have to wear anything frilly or…

Every little girl is different. You have your Bonnie-Love’s of the world that would literally throw BF’s if she was ever told she would have to wear anything frilly or pink. She came out of the womb with Doc Martins and an asymmetric bob. And then you have the Pam’s – those girls that dream of Prince Charming, white horses, and play with doll houses for hours. It just so happens, Bonnie-Love’s youngest daughter is a “Pam”.  Kali-Raye has got to be the girliest princess that you will ever meet! So, we thought what better to celebrate her 4th birthday than to throw her a magical tea party. One that she could only dream of. But, in true Chill.Pop.Live. style, this party had to have flair.

Little girl tea party idea

The Vibe

  1. It had to be unique – who wants a cookie cutter tea party with items from a box? We’re all about creating memories that last a lifetime and of course amazzzing photo opps.
  2. It must feel special- we wanted each child to feel like it was their day. A party is only fun if your friends are having fun too!
  3. It had to be inexpensive – no need to break the bank every time your kid has a birthday. This is where getting a little creative, Pinteresting like crazy, and the Dollar Tree comes in to play.

The Guest List

The guest list included 8 little princesses between the ages of 3-5. By keeping the guest list small, we were able to keep costs down. This also allowed us to splurge on some items and give these girls a true tea party experience.  The CPL way is “the more intimate the better”. It allows you to truly focus on your guests and at this age, kids really need individual attention.  Can you remember the last time you were at a crowded kid’s party venue with twenty of your child’s closest friends? After emptying your entire wallet on party packages, games and prizes, you probably spent every moment counting kids, praying you didn’t lose anybody, and holding your breath every time one of them disappeared into that endless pit of balls. The one thing you didn’t have…FUN. So, take it easy on yourself and focus on quality not quantity. Also, always enlist friends and family to help. Kali’s older sister Jayla-Skye was the hostess with the mostest.

The Venue

To create the perfect ambiance, we cleared all the furniture in the room. This gave us a blank canvas to create a space dedicated to the party. We were able to find 4 large palettes that served as the base. We added a couple folding tables but only used the tops, not the legs. We added a flat board to the top for some extra height, topped with a couple white tablecloths and we now had ourselves a sweet, low table. A green shag rug and a few fluffy pillows made for comfortable seating. We snagged the pillows at Ross and already had the rugs from a playroom. We’re all about repurposing items you already have or borrowing from friends.

We created these adorable platters with items found at The Dollar Tree. With a can of left over white spray paint and our handy dandy hot glue gun, we went to work.

The Grub

Now, on to the food…what’s a tea party without a bunch of small bites?! We have to tell you – these girls were in food heaven.

We served sweet iced tea out of dainty tea pots, added rainbow sprinkles to pink wafers, mac-n-cheese bites for little fingers, french vanilla yogurt and strawberry parfaits, PB & J minis, bought colorful cupcakes from Giant, frozen white castle burgers and made delicious strawberry milk with sprinkled rims served in the cutest milk jars we found at The Dollar Tree. Whew saying all that was a mouthful!

strawberry milk with sprinkles

sprinkled wafer and cupcakes

PB & Js and strawberry parfaits

mac n cheese bites

The Fun

Let’s get this party started. Candy necklace time! The girls started out making necklaces with Life Saver Gummies, peach rings and Fruit Loops. String them on some colorful twine and you have yourself a delicious, wearable treat.

Homemade candy necklaces

They also decorated Dollar Tree wooden hearts. To jazz it up, we glued blinged out letters for their first inital. The letters were a cheap find at A.C. Moore. With markers, stickers and gems also from The Dollar Tree, this was a quick and easy, inexpensive craft. Always remember it’s not about spending money but about spending style.

Speaking of which, we have to give a shoutout to Red Ted Art. They have a free printable template for making these card stock tea cups. We used them as decor for our custom made banner and played fun games with them. Total cost to make these bad boys was a whopping $5 and we had plenty of stock leftover. Who knew card stock could be used for so much more than scrap booking?

tea cup banner

We finished the party off with a photo booth with accessories from…you guessed it…The Dollar Tree, opened gifts and it was a wrap. All in all, we spent less than $150 on food, decor and games. But, best of all the moms of the little girls gave us the sweetest compliments. They really enjoyed the thought that was put into each detail.

It might sound like a lot, but with a friend by your side, a glue gun handy and a nice bottle of your favorite champs, you too can create a magical tea party for your favorite little one!

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Galentine’s Day on a Budget

Cue the music! Turn up the lights. It’s one of our favorite holidays. No, the kids aren’t going back to school, but yes, you will finally get a well-deserved break….

Cue the music! Turn up the lights. It’s one of our favorite holidays. No, the kids aren’t going back to school, but yes, you will finally get a well-deserved break. Ladies! Can you hear us? We said LADIESSSSSSS can you hear us?!?!! We’ll show you how to plan a galentine’s dinner sans stress.

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