Fashion

My 30-year shoe obsession and my scores this month

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**This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Lisa in the Sky with Dandelions and the brands I love!**

I have an obsession with shoes. It all started when I was a young girl and my Welita would take me on weekly trips to the local K-Mart and buy me a new pair of shoes.

Not toys. Not candy. Shoes. Shoes are my jam.

So it is no surprise I own more than 150 pairs of shoes. Well, a surprise (and suffering) to my husband, but that’s not interesting to write about.

I try to take such good care of them, along with my collection of clothes, jewelry and accessories. My closet really is a slice of heaven, with my beautiful pink ottoman in the center of it all (and hopefully a pink chandelier soon!). My shoes are stored in individual clear plastic boxes, while some flats are stored in an over-door hanger and flip flops in a pretty storage bin. Boots, on the other hand, are in a large, over-sized rectangle storage bin. They all mean so much to me!

I am much more picky when purchasing shoes now, and I have a whole new purpose in what type of shoes I buy. I LOVE heels and wedges, but I’m mostly at home with my kiddo and running from working out to playdates, so flats make a lot more sense. As I was rummaging through my shoes a few weeks ago I realized something that stunned me: I couldn’t find my black flats.

So there I was, sitting on the floor of my closet surrounded by plastic shoe bins and I was shocked. I have brown polka-dot wedges, red lace t-strap heels and purple booties, but no black flats?!!

So I went on a mission to find the perfect black ballet flats. I wanted cute and comfort, something that could be paired with jeans, leggings and even a casual dress.

I used to have flats from Jessica Simpson that I absolutely adored. I wore them more than any other shoe and wore them to the ground. It was so hard to throw them out, but that’s when you know it is a good shoe. (the special ones mentioned above look practically new – I rarely ever use them). So I started searching on Amazon for Jessica Simpson black flats.

Then, I found these. My heart skipped a beat and I knew it was meant to be.

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And, because I had a Birthday gift card from my parents, I threw in another pair I’d been dying to get: gray booties. I searched high and low looking for cute, comfort and super affordability with excellent ratings. So I scored these – and after wearing them a few times I can tell you they are totally as comfortable as the reviews say.

Y’all, both shoes are fantastic. Comfortable, cute and I am super happy. Just like my 4-year-old self at K-Mart.

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Fashion

From party girl to party girl!

 

10 awesome gifts for your Bestie on Amazon (3)

I had fun in my 20’s. Then I met my husband, settled into life, became a wife and mom and now live in the suburbs. It’s a story we all know really well.

What I never thought I’d do is become a party girl in my 30’s. Like, you know, in-home parties where I try to sling products. You know what I’m talking about!

In fact, I avoided those things like the plague. I had never been to a direct sales party, didn’t give people the time of day when I knew they sold a product and never purchased a DS product either…..I mean, except maybe a little Avon back-in-the-day.

When my mom introduced me to Ruby Ribbon and gave me my first Cami I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that I had never heard or tried this product…..I was missing out because of my disinterest! Have you ever tried shoving your body into Spanx?? How about pregnant, wearing heels & a formal dress, and working a gala for several hours? I was super ready to try something new….and this didn’t disappoint.

But I kept the secret to myself. I wasn’t going to be “that person.” Plus, it was no one’s business that I wasn’t wearing a bra anymore and that an inch had magically disappeared….I wanted women to think I didn’t have back-fat for real!

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Look ma, no bra! Rockin’ a Ruby Ribbon top and pants!

My mom finally convinced me to host a party. I had SO MUCH FUN and made tons of sales, so I thought, why not give this a go? Our household had taken a huge pay cut when I stopped working in March and after spending the spring with BabyCoolJ I was determined to do whatever I could to stay home with him.

Y’all, it has been a whirlwind of excitement, determination and changing lives. I have always loved fashion, and being a plus size girl made me work extra hard to always be stylish and put together. Now I get to help women of all shapes find their inner confidence. What a win! And the cherry on top is spending every day with my kiddo and watching him grow up. It is an absolute blessing to stay home with him, and tap into my skills during nap and bedtime!

So I write this today, in honor of my 36th Birthday, to tell you GO FOR IT! Whatever you are thinking of doing, whether starting a business, or trying that super cute dress that is just a little too tight, just do it.

And also in honor of my birthday, I have launched my Facebook page helping women find their confidence, style and freedom. This is going to be so much fun!

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Faith

Nine thoughtful gifts to get your bestie on Amazon Prime

Nine awesome gifts for your Bestie on Amazon

Anyone else have a best friend miles away? My “person” is more than 1,100 miles away in Florida, and she has a birthday coming up!

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Rachel and I in 2014, reunited for my wedding after 4 years!

Even though I adore her and we make every effort to stay connected, it is really hard to come up with gifts to give when you see them maybe once a year. What does she have, what does she love, what does she really want but won’t buy herself??

So in all my digging, I decided to put a list together of some items you can get on Amazon Prime that can cater to a few different tastes. I hope this helps someone out there looking for a great gift for a loved one!

For the jet setter, cause let’s face it, we all know one and live vicariously through them…

Duffel
ban.do Getaway Duffle Bag

For the beach lover (ahem, me!). I love this so much I’ll probably buy one too! This particular link is plus size, but they have these in all sizes…

CoverUp
AUTUWT Beach Cover Up Wrapped Dress

For the friend that has to carry her ID at work, help her do it in style…

KateSpade
Kate Spade Women’s ID Clip

Okay, who doesn’t secretly want to be a mermaid?! I certainly do…

Mermaid

 

For the Jesus girls out there. I love Priscilla Shirer, and I have no doubt this devotional will be amazing…

Awaken

 

For a sweet friend that deserves a pretty piece of jewelry (and a nice note)…

Necklace
Smiling Wisdom Silver Leaf Friendship Necklace Gift Set

 

For your goal digger friends that like to jazz up their office space…

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For the cocktail enthusiast. I actually bought this for my bestie as a house warming gift! I think it’s so fun…

CocktailGarden
Plant Theatre Cocktail Garden Kit

 

For the nostalgic, this is a sweet gift…

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Fred: Cheesy Love Songs Cheese Board

Nothing on my list is sponsored or affiliate links. These are truly things I found in my own research! And all photos not my own were taken from Amazon and linked back to their individual pages.

Here’s a bonus item not found on Amazon: have a dozen cupcakes delivered to their home or office. I did this for one of her birthdays and I heard it was a hit!

Do you have a favorite gift to give that can be shipped to your bestie?

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Faith

A churro-free life

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Can you believe I just had my first churro this summer?

It’s important you understand that I grew up very in-tune with my roots. I am first-generation American (on my dad’s side). I grew up on the Texas-Mexico border. I spoke Spanish before English. My grandparents never even learned English. I went grocery shopping in Mexico. In fact, we did a lot of shopping in Mexico, ate at the restaurants, visited the doctors and picked up our prescriptions across the border.

Yup – I know my cultura well and I happily embrace it, albeit it wasn’t always that way.

This weekend Mi Amor and  I had a craving for Pan Dulce. I’ve never been a huge fan (I mean, I like it, but I’d rather have ice cream or cake!) but after experiencing my first churro I had to have it. We left BabyCoolJ with my in-laws and picked up some goodies.

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When we got back I mentioned, in complete embarrassment, that I had just tried my first churro last month. To my complete surprise, my in-laws hadn’t either! And they also grew up in the Valley.

So it got me wondering – are churros like burritos; American made? I started to do a little digging – I love the internet!

Fascinatingly enough, according to a few articles I found, churros originated in China! What the what?! I love this excerpt, according to The Prisma:

The history of the churro is ancient and revered, lending the snack an almost mythical status. It begins not in Spain but in China, where Portuguese merchants first tasted youtiao, strips of golden fried salty pastry traditionally eaten for breakfast.

Ancient and revered…where have you been my whole life! Funny thing is I just assumed it was like a bunuelo, which I am not a big fan of. I learned that, while in every country churros vary, in Mexico they are usually filled with dulce de leche, Yup, delicious, gooey dulce de leche. I am sold.

Culture…heritage, background, society, familial upbringing…it is such an interesting thing. Mi Amor and I are both Mexican-American. We grew up in the same area, only miles away from one another, yet thousands of miles apart. We celebrate differently, treat family differently and fundamentally our ideals had to make dramatic shifts for us to finally be on the same wave-length.

When we get to know people in Austin, this always fascinates them. Not only do a lot of people think Latinos are the same, but compact that with us both being Mexican and that we’re both from the Valley just adds to the assumption that we were raised the same. I love “educating” my friends on what it was like growing up in a world where I was neither American, or Mexican, yet always both. And I especially love discussing this with my husband – who happens to see it differently than I do (or at least he used to!).

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I wouldn’t change my mish-mash of cultures for anything. Latina, Texan, Mexican, American…I identify with them all. And I’m proud. Puro Raza. Now hand me a churro.

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Faith

#MusicMonday – Lift up your hearts with a smile

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We had such a great weekend, and with perfect timing after being stuck at home for more than a week with a sick kiddo!

My in-laws came to town Saturday. Before you get a little uncomfortable with that sentence, know I am extremely blessed with great in-laws! We have been praying they’d visit for a long time – especially because we haven’t mustered up the guts to drive 6+ hours with a toddler to see them!

It is moments like these – sitting Familiaaround the living room or dining table, seeing them love on BabyCoolJ, seeing joy sparkle in everyone’s eyes, and hearing the roaring laughter from the other room, that I truly feel complete. We moved away from family for opportunities, but honestly we also love our independence, space and privacy. But in that process our son misses out on important family time. And, so do we.

He has no cousins or grandparents nearby so we make the best of it in our little family of three. But when we have these special visits, life just feels full.

Also during their visit we also took full advantage of our special gift from Latina Home Party! These guys sent us a full setup of Palm Breeze Sparkling Alcohol Spritz, swag and decor for a fun summer Luau. All that was missing was a pool.

LHM

Latina Home Party provides chicas exclusive access to new products and services to try at home with friends and family. Latina Home Party is a community of collaborative marketing by Hispanic women. If you sign up, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in marketing activities from your favorite products and be able to collaborate with your favorite brands. You learn about new products just to be launched to market at the convenience of your own home (try them for free) and influence with your opinion some of the best known companies in the world.

The Palm Breeze drinks were a hit at Casa Alfaro! Perfect on a hot summer Texas evening. Luckily we stocked up so we had enough for a couple of nights.

So, to families out there… Lift up your hearts with a smile, lift up your feet with a dance and lift up your spirits with a song. Family time can be an awesome time.

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Faith

#MusicMonday: When you’re in a jam, here I am

After an interesting and busy week, Mi Amor and I were chatting about how full our lives are from our friendships. We are currently working on BabyCoolJ’s guestlist for his birthday party and it became very apparent that we have some valuable people we want to celebrate with!

It wasn’t but 2 years ago that we were utterly lonely from not having friends. Sure, we knew a lot of people, but genuine friends are hard to come by. I watch kids and it is always so amazing to see how they can make friends so easily. What a blessing that is! As adults it is so much more challenging. But, when you snag a good one, it is worth cherishing.

I say it often but I can’t say it enough – since staying home with BabyCoolJ, I have been immensely blessed by new friendships. And not those catty, judgy kind everyone jokes about in mom groups. Nope, this is my mom tribe. Well, I have several! You see, I’ve always had different groups of friends-it’s probably the only child in me. I need enough activity to entertain my busy lifestyle and friends play a vital role in that. When I worked, my work friends were enough, especially after the birth of my child. Life just gets too busy, too messy and too hard to nurture friendships, especially new ones. But now that I am home, my life has made some amazing transitions.

I really fell in love with the song “Friendship” by Ray Charles – the lyrics are so funny, but I appreciate his way of sharing what a true friendship looks like. And it’s who I want to be: if you are in a jam, here I am. No matter what.

Faith

#MusicMonday: I’m not the kind of girl that gives up

Last week a girl from my church’s Bible study organized a care calendar for a family in need. Their sweet 5-year-old daughter was in and out of the hospital, and we rallied together to support the family. So, I signed up to leave dinner on Friday.

What you don’t know about me is I don’t cook. In fact, when I first met my husband I told him, “Just so you know, I went to college so I never have to cook.” Little did I know that I would eventually be home with our kiddo, slaving over a stove 3 times a day! Seriously though, it brings me joy to prepare meals for BabyCoolJ…key word: prepare. As in, toss together and heat up. I am still no cook.

My heart broke for this family, especially the mom – I can’t imagine what she’s going through or how difficult life must be. She should not have to spend any time worrying about food. So, even though I knew it would be tough, I signed up for the meal proudly. Then, Friday came.

Whoa, what had I gotten myself into! It’s funny because, while I never felt disappointed for signing up, I sure did feel anxious about getting it right. I made two batches of Million Dollar Spaghetti – easy enough, right? Well – I ran 45 minutes behind, layered the stuff incorrectly, and at one point when I was boiling, stirring and pouring 3 different items simultaneously, my toddler decided to sneeze on me…with a mouth full of crackers. That’s right – my legs and dress were full of snot and snack, while my hands were full of sauce and spaghetti. (And yes, I was in a dress because I went to a scam interview and still hadn’t changed – remember I was behind!!)

 

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I didn’t get to capture my mess, so you get this cute kitchen shot instead!

 

But I didn’t give up. I wiped my legs, washed up and kept going. I made it the family’s house an hour after I said I would, but I am so glad I didn’t give up. The look on their faces…the appreciation…and their daughter’s excitement! What a blessing. They don’t even know that THEY blessed ME in this whole scenario!

And, because we all know Satan loves to attack when we’re working for Christ, I had a rough drive back, including a big truck cutting me off and making me swerve and slam on my breaks. In that moment, I prayed. I prayed instead of cursing, I thanked God that I was driving home to a happy and healthy toddler instead of hating on the truck driver. And that, my friends, is why we should never give up. Not just on a project or recipe, but on our faith.