Happy Soirée

because life is wicked awesome!

California dreaming

lifestyleMelinda RodriguesComment

FINALLY! Sorry this post took me a while to post, there were so many photos and memories to sort through.

Hopefully, you remember that we went to California for our son Aaden's 8th birthday. It was our first family trip on a plane. Part of the plan was to take them to Disneyland, if you missed it, you can see our family Disneyland photos here

This post is loaded with everything we did and where we ate. I don't have any hotel recs because we were so fortunate to be able to crash at my best friends place in the OC. 

adventures: 

California Family Trip

We did a lot of driving! A LOT! Thank gawd for my husband, he did all the driving. I don't know what's happened but I have developed some serious highway anxiety. California highways are no joke, so I definitely didn't want to drive. We were so lucky that not only did my bestie & her bf leave us their apartment but also their cars! 

I wish I had a tour map for you, on how we got around to all these parts of California during our 6 day stay. Other than our day at Disney, we didn't really have a plan and kind of just hit the road and explored. 

It was important that we went places the boys would have fun, while also crossing some places off our bucket list. 

Here are some of the places we wondered to:

  • Venice- we went to the beach-- some parts of it were really nice & cool like their outdoor recreation center. My husband got a day pass to Gold's Gym (which was top on his bucket list, it's the 1st Gold's Gym so I guess it's a big deal lol whatever that's his thang). We also walked up and down Abbot Kinney Blvd. checked out some of the shops, restaurants (so many vegan spots by the way!), and we saw so many murals! Avery kept asking me to take pics of him in front of them-- totally my son! 
  • Santa Monica Pier- Pretty self explanatory what we did there. But it was definitely one of our top favorite spots. Such a beautiful beach & pier. The boys played some games in the arcade as well. 
  • Disneyland- only the best day ever! Totally cried at the end at the fireworks show. *Dreams really do come true* 
  • Irvine Spectrum Center- super cool outdoor mall. There's a big ferris wheel in the center, you can't miss it! Wish we had malls like this in Boston, but you know we have something called snow and freezing weather <insert eye roll emoji>
  • San Diego - Belmont Park- another beach/amusement park/arcade type of day. Super nice & Tacos errwhere! 
  • The LAB Antimall in Costa Mesa - loved loved loved it! Super cool artsy type of outdoor shopping. 
  • The CAMP in Costa Mesa- right across from The Lab, such a cool spot. It has the camping vibe with plenty of photo ops with little campers, that I believe are stores in the day time (we went at night). There's also lots of cool restaurants. 
  • Newport beach - balboa peninsula- yes, another beach lol super clean and family friendly. Lot's of yummy food spots. We had some delicious (& cheap $) baked donuts at Seaside Donuts Bakery. 

food: 

Coolhaus LA
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COOLHAUS: deliciously awesome ice cream! Industrious decor, neon sign, big letter balloons and wine infused ice cream? SOLD! we tried the ladies night- which is a cream base ice cream with rose wine. Um rose? hell yes! My girl and I got it as a sammie with their double chocolate chip cookie. Loved it!

URBAN CUP: a Vietnamese cafe located right on Newport beach. A very cute and modern cafe. I only had the cold sea salt Vietnamese coffee, and OMG it was so damn good. 

COYOTE GRILL: we stayed in the OC so we were right near this Laguna beach gem. My girl took us here for our first breakfast in Cali, and we were hooked. Beautiful view in the indoor/outdoor seating area. We ate breakfast and had bfast dranks here a few times. Everything we had on the menu was delicious. The staff was always super nice! Even the boys loved it here, and they are the toughest food critics. 

GRACIAS MADRE: OMGAWWD SO DAMN GOOD! A vegan Mexican restaurant. So happy my whimsy girls took me here (& the next 2 places on the list). We had the Tacos that are made with bbq jackfruit carnitas, and when I tell you they're amazing--- they are amazing! I haven't had meet now for 5 months, but I definitely haven't forgotten what it tastes like. These tacos tasted even better than meat, so much so that I paused looked down and questioned whether they were really vegan. Also, the butternut squash quesadillas, brussel sprouts with coconut bacon, and guac.....all wicked delicious! For dranks: I had the snow cone drink called La Quincenera & the Paloma---- you guessed it both were de-li-cious! The restaurant is also very beautiful and insta-worthy! 

ALFRED TEA: I mean it's an all pink tea room....and...there's a neon sign...so of course I loved it! I popped my boba tea cherry here, and there were no regrets! So yummy, I wish we had one or a few in Boston!

FONUTS: gluten free & vegan donuts....GOOD vegan donuts! I had the chocolate coconut donut and it was amazing! It was like eating a vegan almond joy (which are one of my fave chocolate bars). The boys had the red velvet & the glazed, yum! There were so many flavors that sounded delicious, it was so hard to choose a flavor! 

EAT CHOW: we visited the Costa Mesa location, it was a really nice space surrounded by really cute shops. I had the po-boy sandwich and it was pretty damn good! I also had their El Corazo mimosa--- because it had passion fruit- duh! 

CASEY'S CUPCAKES: we grabbed some cupcakes in this wicked cute shop while at the Irvine shopping mall. Although my eyes lit up over the shop and the super cute glittery cupcakes, I didn't actually try any. My boys did, but of course and they thought they were really good! 

HELLO KITTY CAFE: while at Irvine Spectrum Center, we passed by the Hello Kitty Cafe truck. Obviously, I had to stop and see what all the hype was about. I'm not a huge Hello Kitty fan, but everything was so cute! I grabbed a pricey latte, and was instantly thrilled over all the aesthetics, but the taste wasn't that great. I think I should've grabbed one of the cute little box cakes instead. I tossed half off the pricey latte away-- womp womp. 

more cali Faves: 

We fell in love hard for California, and hope to one day live there.

One thing I really fell in love with was all the plants everywhere. Succulents, cacti, palm trees, purple bushes, flowers, everywhere! Omg I stopped every 2 minutes to take pics & sent them to my sister who is such a plant lady. LOVED it! I also felt like everyone has a little jungalow on their front porches. Jealous!

It was so great to see my best friend even it was just for day! Also, it was so much fun sharing the Disney day with my friend Justin and getting to meet his boyfriend (who is the sweetest guy ever!) Plus, finally meeting up with my whimsy girls, I can't even tell you how long we've been planning to meet up in LA! Love those girls so much! 

My boys had such an amazing time, they didn't want to leave. We created so many amazing unforgettavle memories. Even though we didn't get to do everything we wanted to do (pretty long list, not enough time + picky eaters) I couldn't have hoped for a better trip! AND the plane trip with 2 kids was not bad at all! So thankful for tablets! 

So here's to next time, which will hopefully be soon! 

 'til then we'll be here in Boston, California dreaming! 

The Rodrigues' do Disneyland!

Kid Activities, lifestyle, things to do, travelMelinda RodriguesComment
disneyland family trip

As you know we took our son Aaden to California for his 8th Birthday, and the big surprise was that we were taking him to Disneyland! 

Honestly, his reaction when we told him was kind of disappointing, he was just like ok....seriously? Whatever. But I think it was because he really had no idea what Disneyland really is. 

When we got there we got the reaction we were hoping for. The boys eyes lit up and they were so excited! It definitely became one of their top greatest memories for sure! 

I was also lucky enough to meet up with my insta bestie Justin (@misterjustindelgado) again!

& because Justin is the bestest he asked his friend Cojo, who happens to be a photographer, if she could follow us along for part of our day and capture all the magical moments. 

I'm so happy to share the photos she took with all of you! 

The day was so amazing....and totally worth how much Disney costs (even if it's a little crazy, just sayin..) ! Oh & we really lucked out that day, the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride opened, so everyone was in the adventure park, so the lines were short and the park wasn't packed. THANK GOD! 

We took all the photos in ToonTown, and it was definitely the boys favorite part of the park. 

Favorite Rides:

My husband & my favorite ride was definitely: Star Wars- Launch Bay

Aaden: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Avery: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 

We didn't get a hopper pass and do both parks because we knew wouldn't have time and didn't want to rush. We didn't even get to get on all the rides we wanted and we were there from 9am to 10pm. Even still it was the perfect day. 

and.....I may have cried at the end of the night during the fireworks show with the whole dreams do come true thang....oooh Disney, you get me every time! 

I feel so thankful that we were able to create these memories with our boys. I hope it's something they always remember (I will never let them forget it either way). 

I'm also super thankful to Cojo for capturing these beautiful snaps ;) Especially because I rarely get to be in the family pics. Seriously, thank you so so much! 

If you live in the magic that is California, and want to meet up with her for a shoot, you can find her here

Again, special thanks to our family & friends who also played a big part in making this day possible for Aaden & Avery. 

p.s. stay tuned for the post on all the deets from our California trip, coming soon

mass art illuminate fashion show 2017

Beauty, lifestyle, things to doMelinda RodriguesComment

A few weeks back, I was invited to the MassArt Illuminate fashion show, and it was nothing short of amazing! Hopefully, you got a caught it live on my Instagram stories! If not don't worry I gotcha covered with this post ;) 

You also may have caught my outfit on my Instagram, but in case you missed it here's what I wore: 

click photo for outfit details

click photo for outfit details

Would've taken the pic with a better background but I was running late, because this was right after my sons birthday party, so this is what ya get, sorry!

Special thanks to my girl Claudia for doing my makeup xo

Anyway, enough about moi....on to the show! It was SO spectacular, here are some of my favorite designs from that night: 

Aside from the beautiful designs, I think the best part was seeing all the designers walk proudly down the runway along side their work. I think it is so inspiring the work they put into their dream. The creativity is just mind blowing. Special shout out to these amazing students!

Even the room; took place beneath an installation of 10,000 glass rain drops that was created by MassArt alumni. 

I also, really loved all the diversity with the models. So many beautiful faces! I really give it up to the models because it didn't look like an easy job, but they did so awesome! 

My top faves were; the colorful long coat, the floral pieces, the old ladies (because Golden Girl vibes duh) and the bee Audrey Hepburn dresses (especially the last one, that train tho--- AHMAZING!)

Also, those little kid models were so adorable!! 

I am so thankful to MassArt for having me! It was such a fun experience.

& I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Boston blogger named Kira, who is the sweetest! So definitely check her out ;) 

The show was sold out super early, so be sure to get your tickets early next year. Trust me you don't want to miss it!

P.S. Tell me which was your fave?

California Dreaming Birthday Party

DIY, Fab Finds, For the kids, Parties, Themed partyMelinda RodriguesComment
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When it comes to my son Aaden, who is now sadly old enough to make requests for his birthday party themes, I try to meet him somewhere in the middle. I can compromise.... I mean it is supposed to be about him, so even if it kills my creative soul to do a generic theme party I have to try to meet him half way. 

For his 8th birthday we planned on taking him to California, it would be our first family trip on a plane. We also planned on surprising him with Disneyland on his actual birthday. So naturally I wanted to do a California themed party-- but he wanted a Pokemon. The kid is obsessed! All he talks about his Pokemon, he has like a thousand cards. Sigh.

However, because we were planing on going on this big trip we weren't really trying to spend a lot of money on a birthday party. So it was more of a little cake cutting soiree, with close friends and family. But obviously I couldn't just do a cake....I had to add a little something for the wow factor. 

Ok, maybe I'm a little obsessed with the balloon arches now.... 

Details:

I just picked up some bags of balloons at Party City in his favorite colors. 

The Pineapple Piñata is from Target, as well as the paper plates.

I designed the picture banner using a photo I found on Pinterest and creating the graphics on Canva. I ordered a colored engineer print at Staples, they're the best it's like $4 + next day pick up!  

The cake is from Stop & Shop 

& I bought the little Pokemon on Amazon (as you can see from the pics he was SO happy when he saw them! teehehe

That's it! 

Special thanks to our friends & family who came, we love you!

 

P.S. stay tuned for all the pics from our family trip to California! 

Floral Baby Shower

PartiesMelinda RodriguesComment

I'm so excited to share the baby shower I recently had the pleasure of styling! 

Nothing makes me happier than when a client says, I'm open to whatever you want to do, I trust you. YES! 

So of course I wanted to take the opportunity to finally create a floral cascading balloon piece, and I couldn't be happier with how it came out! 

Baby showers are always so much fun to design! I love simple yet beautiful decor. Also, I think it's always great to find centerpieces that are useful and not something that people feel obligated to hang on to until they finally give in to tossing it in the trash. So I really loved using Pellegrino sparkling water as a centerpiece. 

It's always funny how the pictures never show everything that goes wrong when styling a party, like when the bakery messes up your cake order and forgets to put the flowers on your cakes. But if there's one thing I've learned is how to roll with punches and make it work! (I say this after I have a mini internal anxiety attack, and all is well). Luckily, there was an amazing cake decorator there and she helped me out! Special thanks to everyone who helped make my vision come to life! 

Congrats to the momma to be!  hope you loved this baby shower as much as I did!

& Thank you for trusting me to design your special day. 

 

Did someone say Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas!?

DIY, Dinner Parties, RecipeMelinda RodriguesComment
Happy Soiree Bar

Happy Cinco De Mayo! 

SO I mean obviously I had to make some margaritas today!! 

I love love love grapefruit... so so much. My abuela use to tell me they were her "dieta" (diet) food, and I use to steal them when I could, and smother them in sugar. 

But now I skip the sugar and just enjoy them as MY dieta food ;)

Well not only do I love them for breakfast, I love them in my dranks! bonus points that they're pink!

So today I made some for me and my neighbor (if you're following me on the gram than you know I hopped the fence to bring her some, because after all what are friends for?)

Anyway scroll down for the recipe....you're gonna love it! 

Ingredients (for two cups): 

1/4 cup of Tequila (more if you like it stronger, I won't judge)

1 grapefruit (freshly squeezed) or 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice

1/4 cup of lime juice (I used freshly squeezed)

Jalapeños 

2 tablespoons of Simple Syrup

Directions: 

Soak 2 slices of Jalapeños in the 1/4 cup of Tequila for 30 minutes

Then insert all the other ingredients in a shaker, and shake shake shake! 

Pour over ice, add some more jalapeños and sliced grapefruit for garnish and soiree! 

Let me know if you tried these and loved them! I think I'm going to start a Happy Soiree Bar series here on the blog and share different drink recipes.

ooooo wait! comment below and share with me your fave cocktail recipes! 

 

Celebrate yourself

Beauty, Fab Finds, lifestyle, LifeMelinda Rodrigues2 Comments

Back in January I did something super fearless, and I am so excited to finally share this amazing experience with all of you.

Anyone who knows me, especially those really close to me, knows that I don’t really do the whole “sexy” thang. At least I haven’t for a very long time. However, this January I decided to bring the sexy back.

I decided to have a boudoir shoot with the AMAZING Melissa Luella

I’m not going to lie I was terrified. Never in a million years did I think I would do something like this.

But I did it and it ended up being such an amazing experience. Melissa totally brought out that sexy girl who’s taken the backseat for years.

I am always searching for those moments that can change my perspective or that give me a sense of growth. I’m also always hopeful for meaningful connections with amazing people. When I met Melissa I instantly felt that connection! And then she brought out the Rosé and we were friends fo life! ;)

So today I want to share my overall experience: how it went- why I did it- what I got from it- and why I think you should totally do it!

I knew that this was going to be something I wanted to share on the blog, but I aside from being worried about just how naked I was gonna be in the pics- I also wasn’t sure how it would tie in with the blog.

But remember in that post all about New Year Goals? Well one of them was about being transparent. Well….this is pretty transparent. 

Even after the shoot I was worried about how this would translate on the blog. But then I saw Melissa’s business cards. On the cards it says Celebrate yourself. That’s what Happy Soiree is all about! It finally clicked. This was more than just me taking some pics in my undies and feeling awesome. This was about celebrating myself.

I want to be honest with you, I definitely was worried about taking the pictures because I’m not that happy with myself physically. So I could’ve said no and pushed it out till I was the “perfect” size again. But something in me just kept saying Fuck that, you should do it now. This is going to be something amazing. You can overcome this fear of feeling completely vulnerable.

So I went along and booked the date and time. The night before I barely slept from the anxiety of knowing I was about to take my clothes off in front of a stranger.

But as I mentioned, Melissa was amazing. We instantly clicked! We found things we connected on. I honestly, felt more comfortable half naked in front of her than I do in shoots where my clothes are on! The photoshoot location is this really beautiful room with gorgeous lighting from a large window. It wasn't a dead space, it literally felt like I was at my friends place just taking some pics lol 

To me what Melissa does is really something beautiful. Photography itself is something I always hold high because it’s a skill at capturing life in it’s most beautiful moments. What Melissa does is super empowering for women. Capturing our beauty and giving us a reminder of how powerful we are. Helping us bring out that inner confidence. Embracing who we are. There is nothing more powerful than I woman who knows she is the bees knees! 

But, I mean... how often do we celebrate ourselves? Constantly running around with too many tabs open in our heads, the never ending to do lists, overcoming day to day obstacles, constantly telling ourselves we aren’t doing good enough. When do we take the time to step back and celebrate the incredible person we are? Personally, I barely even take selfies anymore. Which is most definitely a form of self love. And I most definitely never tell myself: wow Melinda you are doing awesome, look at all these things you're juggling and you somehow managed to do a great job! Pfftt...even as I type that my mind is thinking yeah because you're not doing that great homie. 

Even still, through all those negative thoughts I have found something that I do truly love and recognize in myself.  I can say that I truly love my strength. I have been able to overcome so many awful things without letting any of them leave a chip on my shoulder or affect me and the way I live my life. When I saw myself in these photos I was reminded of that strength.

So here’s what I got from the shoot: it was liberating as hell! In that moment you get to just let it out, you're free, and celebrate being a badass woman. You don’t care what the world thinks is beautiful, because you know that you are. You are someone who is loved and gives love. I really felt like I reconnected with myself during this experience. 

Here’s why I think you should do it: because why the hell not? You deserve to feel amazing and have that captured. Whether you’re taking them for yourself or your lover...or both like myself. Now before you say you don't think you can do it, trust me when I say Melissa really makes you feel super comfortable. She will help and guide you through the entire thing. Which is great if you're like me and are super awkward & don't know how to pose (seriously).

I truly believe that every woman should have this experience at least once in their life. Because I really don’t think that a lot of women truly know their worth, even the ones that do, it's definitely not celebrated enough. & that is something that is really missing in the world. If I could swish my magic wand that’s something I would give every woman the power to see their power & value. But since I don’t have a magic wand, I’ll tell every woman I know to go see Melissa and just do the damn sexay thang! 

Even if you don't do it (but you should), I urge you to find a way to celebrate yourself because you deserve you freaking magical being, you!! 

I know I will forever be thankful for this incredible experience, thank you Melissa! Oh and my husband is SUPER thankful too because he really loved the photos ;)

 

P.S. there's more from this shoot and a little bit of my story on Melissa's site just click here

To book your shoot click here

P.S.S. This would make a pretty awesome Mother's day gift to all the significant other's out there....just sayin...it's kinda a win win

Avery's b-boy spiderman party

For the kids, Parties, Themed partyMelinda RodriguesComment

Whoa my baby boy is 4! I still can't believe how big he his. He's talking so much now. This was the 1st year that he was very clear on what he wanted for his birthday theme. Spiderman! 

Me being me-- I couldn't just do any old spiderman party. He's really into dancing right now. He tries to breakdance and do some hip hop moves--- tho it looks more like interpretive dancing. Either way I love it! It's the cutest! 

So I really wanted to tie his new found love for dancing in with spiderman. I'm also really into monochrome modern parties right now. Once again-- we all know I love the color black #mymoodisblack ;) 

The big goal was to create something he would love, but also something our wallet would love. 

Here's how I pulled it off: 

That's it! I hope you loved this party as much as we did! 

It's really easy to get all excited about decorating a party, next thing you know you went way over budget! Don't be afraid to keep your decorations simple and minimal. It can still look great & I'm sure your guest of honor will still love it! 

Spidey Bboy prints, Avery's 4th Birthday sign & Thank you notes : Little Magic Prints

Spiderman sugar cookies: Comfy Sweets

BoomBox Pinata: Target

Marble Balloons: Meri Meri

Spider balloons, gift boxes, plates & napkins: Shop Sweet Lulu

Gold necklaces: Party City

 

Girl Boss

lifestyle, sponsored, Gift Ideas, Fab FindsMelinda RodriguesComment

When my girl Maddy from Pinkly Perfect asked me to work with her on spreading the message behind their fab new girl boss bracelets, I was beyond thrilled. 

I'm even more excited to share this after seeing all the amazing photos from the women's march. How inspiring? I mean really! I wish I was there. Every time I see pictures I am so moved, to see that many girl bosses stand up together and let the world know we will not be silenced-- incredible! 

I know people tend to assume that a girl boss is mainly someone who owns their own company.

But to me a girl boss is more than just a career thing. 

A girl boss is someone who takes charge of her life. Someone who knows what she wants or that she won't give up searching for it. 

Someone who knows to keep reaching for that goal, no matter how many times she's met with disapproval stares and/or responses. 

A girl boss does not let someone shut her shit down. She makes sure her point is made and her voice is heard. She speaks for those who cannot speak and always spreads love, empathy, and kindness. 

She knows how important it is to share her knowledge and to accept help.

She also knows that we cannot win by tearing each other down, so she always helps her girls out. 

A girl boss knows her value

She knows that she is -in fact- a magical unicorn. 

She is comfortable in her skin, because she knows that her beauty and value are way more than skin deep. She also knows how important personal growth is.

She is not afraid to live boldly.

...even if she might be wicked awkward. 

Why? because she knows that her awkward quirks are what make her unique. 

She celebrates them. 

A girl boss knows when to laugh and when to cry. Because emotions are human

A boss demands equality. 

She does not stay silent when she sees something is unjust. 

Lastly, a girl boss knows her strength

Here's to all my perfectly pink girl bosses out there. Stay wonderfully amazing! I love you!<3

P.S. Thank you to Pinkly Perfect for this awesome gift! You can get your girl boss bracelet here. Let'm know who's boss! 

New Year Resolutions 2017

lifestyle, Life, HolidaysMelinda Rodrigues2 Comments

I've never been one of those people who makes new year resolutions-- honestly, I thought they were ridiculous. 

However, this year for some reason it just hit me. This new year actually felt like it could be a reset button. 2016 wasn't such a hot year, and I feel like I spent so much time telling myself tomorrow I'll be better, I'll do it tomorrow, I'll start it tomorrow. It just happened over and over again. 

But when the last week of 2016 came it just felt like okay...how about we take all those tomorrows and bunch them up into 2017. In 2017 I will do it. 

That last week I found myself thinking a lot about what I really really reaaally wanted to focus on. What really mattered to me. 

Sure I probably should get on a diet and exercise and lose 20lbs, but I know that isn't what really matters to me (kinda). I know gaining weight bums me out a bit (I'm one of those up and down with my weight type of gals), but it isn't what really makes me feel all blue. Especially not when I'm eating pizza, tacos, or ice cream. I will never be someone stops myself from enjoying food. Plus even though I do get insecure about my weight a lot, it doesn't stop me from feeling good about who I am as a person, my confidence isn't absolutely crushed. So no, that won't be my restart goal. (secretly hoping it just falls off because I'm not thinking about it haha) 

my top goals: 

1. Be way more transparent on the blog and IG. I definitely feel like I tried everything to stop myself from the dreaded comparison-- but honestly it sucked me in. I struggled so hard not to compare myself or my success with every other awesome person online. But I need to remind myself; just like I choose to share the really pretty things in my life with everyone, so do all those people. Plus I always fall more in love with bloggers who are more open about their "uglies". It's extremely stressful to try to be a people pleaser, and that's just what that comparison trap leads to. Constant worries about if I post this will people love it or will they hate me? I just want to be myself and create connections with people who love the real me. Honestly, I think I come off way more bubbly online than I really am. I am more of the sarcastic monotone, inappropriate jokes, who is wicked shy, but full of love -kind of gal. I swear I'm really nice! I won't say "I'm the sweetest girl you'll ever meet" because when someone says that to me I automatically think; hmmm mm ok psycho.... 

2. Speaking of being shy....I also suffer from resting bitch face....so you can imagine how many friends I have hahaha! But yes, my next goal is to at least try to be more outgoing and make more of an effort to meet new friends in real life, not just online (I love my IG besties). I so badly want to be one of those people who just approach people in a totally cool way. Those people amaze me. Meeting new friends is SO hard for me. Especially because small talk is torture for me. So if we meet and in the beginning I'm super awkward please forgive me ;)

3. Next on the list is doing more thangs. I spend way too much time watching Netflix and bitching about how living in New England is super boring. I really want to move away but it isn't happening right now. & who knows how long I'll be alive, so I'd rather not spend my time on the couch binging on TV when there are sooo many big and small adventures out there. As cliche as it is, it's true, sometimes you really need to just make the best out of what you have. + Most importantly I want my kids to have a life rich in experiences. I also want them to have close relationships with their extended family. So I need to make more of an effort to stay connected with loved ones.

4. Spend less do more. This one kind of goes with the last one. I am the worst when it comes to spending money. I don't even know why I have a savings account sometimes, it's got like $29. But I feel like now that I'm 30 I should at least attempt to be more of an adult. It's amazing how much crap you can accumulate in a house. I want to really work on spending less on things that I've convinced myself we need, so that we have more money for traveling and other fun experiences. 

5. Stop overcomplicating everything. This one is huge for me. I can't even tell you how much this has limited me from doing so many things. I overcomplicate things a lot and then end up doing nothing. Overcomplicating + anxiety issues is not a good mix. 

6. Be more loving. I think often times we just assume the people in our lives just know that we love them and we forget to show them. We think we have all the time in the world. But we really don't. My entire blog is based around celebrating life, so why is it that I really don't do that more often with people I love? This doesn't mean go and throw a party every weekend for your loved ones, but little gestures that mean a lot are so easy to do. I want more meaningful moments filled with tons of love. Gawd knows the world needs more love right now. 

7. Plan more procrastinate less. I am such a procrastinator, it's one of my biggest problems this one I think will be the hardest for me. But baby steps. I definitely think if I can get better at planning my days I will get better with procrastinating. Dearest Melinda, your planner is more than just photo prop! 

These are just my top goals, things that I really feel have limited me in life. I think that's where my main focus was with these goals- try to change the things that limit me. 

There a few other things that I feel that I could do better with, like getting dressed more often, as in getting out of my sweats and putting on some makeup (because I like to). Mostly just self love/care type of things. 

So far I think I'm on the right start with getting these goals accomplished. It will be interesting to see a year from now what has changed, and what new goals I have. 

Even tho I'm not totally on board with new years resolutions, I do truly believe in self growth and continuously working on bettering yourself in a positive way. It's important to know your self and know that you never stop growing. This year for some reason really felt like a restart button for me, so I'll go with it. 

Sometimes it just takes a moment to really realize this is it, this is your life, and you only get to live it once, so get up and make it your own kind of extraordinary! 

So here's to a new year....cheers babes! 

P.S. I'd love to hear all about your goals or resolutions! & I really hope 2017 is good to you, that it's full of love, hope, adventures, and all the great thangs :) 

 

 

diy mini photo album gift idea

DIY, Gift Ideas, Fab Finds, Holidays, For the kidsMelinda RodriguesComment

I love sentimental gifts. The ones you know a lot of thought went into them. 

Sometimes it's a little difficult choosing what gifts to get my kids, plus my nieces and nephews- especially because they are all very fortunate so they pretty much have everything they need. 

This year I wanted to create a little special gift for my niece Liah. 

hahaha throw baacck little Melinda ....I think the bag is Chanel ;)

hahaha throw baacck little Melinda ....I think the bag is Chanel ;)

I can remember as a little girl always carrying around a little purse. Most of the time it was empty, when it wasn't it was full of random things like Barbie hair brushes, fake makeup, and whatever else I could find that was tiny enough to fit in there. 

So I found this little owl purse that I knew she would love, and thought about giving her that filled with some goodies. 

side note: I have to take advantage of all things girly! I have two sons, two nephews, and another niece who is the best kind of tomboy there is. So Liah is my chance to get all the girly thangs!

I knew I couldn't get her real makeup- she is only 3... my sister already wanted to kill me when I let her play with my tinted lipgloss buahahaha....

Bring in the super cute and fun Lip Smackers! Who doesn't love Lip Smackers? All the fun flavors and the pretty packaging, I remember getting them as a kid. So I knew she would love it! 

0F7AC746-4AC6-44CA-8EF5-56D279E9F068.jpg

Then I grabbed some cute besties bracelets because her and Auntie are def besties! duh!

Now for the personal touch; I remembered having those little wallet picture albums. Please tell me you remember those? Back when wallet size photos served a purpose and we didn't have 8000 photos available at our fingertips. 

Thus the idea for this DIY was born! 

I know she would love to have some pics of her squad (her cousins) in her purse. 

I printed some small pictures off my Canon

This was such fun quick DIY, the best part is that you can always add more pages! It's the perfect gift for anyone on your list. 

Hopefully this beautiful angel of mine loves it :)  Look at that face!! Yes- I am obsessed! 

 

If you make one be sure to tag me on IG I would love to see it! 

 

 

P.S. to my sister who will probably see this before Christmas...don't tell her what I got her! Or else!!!

Contents:

Purse & bracelets:  Primark

Lip Smackers *Disclaimer: I was gifted the Lip Smackers by the company, but all opinions are my own :) Thank you for your support. 

Leggings: Target

 

christmas trees that sleigh my heart

DIY, Fab Finds, Holidays, Holiday Party, Home DecorMelinda RodriguesComment

First of all- I cannot believe that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away! It really feels like I blinked and it was Christmas! 

I love love Christmas, I love it more than my birthday! Every year I tell myself I will just reuse the Christmas decorations we already have...then I go to the store....OOOO SHINY!!! ....I think I want to do a new color scheme.....shopping cart full. 

So this year was the first year, since living in our house, we decided to go with a fake tree. & Of course I wanted a pink tree but I live in a house full of boys...so I didn't win that battle. 

Even tho I didn't get my pink dreams tree...I wanted to share some of my all time favorite trees by some of my favorite bloggers:

Black & White Ombre Tree by Little Inspiration:

LittleInspiration.com

LittleInspiration.com

aaahhh I love love this tree! You all know how much I love the color black! This tree sleighs my soul because 1. it's white and black 2. it's so unique and creative. I probably could've gotten away with this one in the house...

The party tree by Sugar & Cloth:

SugarandCloth.com

SugarandCloth.com

I mean....do I really even need to explain why I love this? The party girl in me is screaming YASSS!! but also: "why didn't I think of that?"  This is the perfect mini tree for your holiday parties! 

Yes pink! by LuellaJune 

Luellajune.com

Luellajune.com

pretty pretty pretty....oh so pretty in pink! i have a serious love affair with flocked Christmas trees. It especially looks so beautiful with all the pinks, golds, and rose gold ornaments. 

the diy by the lolly Jane:

LollyJane.com

LollyJane.com

oh the beautiful simplicity/super cool DIY of this tree. Love it! The perfect color combos, this is just way too cute.

Since I know I couldn't get away with a pink tree in my house, I tried to convince the hubs to at least let me do white-but he wasn't feeling it. I think because waaay back when we had our first apartment, we had a little white tree, however, as it aged it turned yellow. like peepee snow yellow....so yeah. I guess I get it. 

the Floral Tree by design love fest:

Designlovefest.com

Designlovefest.com

THIS tree will always be one of my top favorite trees ever! i mean seriously, it's perfectly whimsically wrapped in flowers!!! so freaking beautiful! and it makes me feel like Christmas in a hot state may not be the worst thing ever. 

meet me at the disco by studio diy:

StudioDIY.com

StudioDIY.com

can you just hear the sounds of heaven? I don't care who you are or what you're into, you can not tell me this isn't the coolest Christmas tree ever! Blast that Christmas music and let's drank and be merry dancing the night away! 

pretty in pink by the pink dream:

thepinkdream.com

thepinkdream.com

this tree is so gorgeous! I love how she combined classic Christmas with pink and donuts and pineapples! it's so subtle yet super fun. I feel like this tree is most like me, very classic, girly, till you get up close and you discover all the really fun surprises! At least that's how I like to think I am ; ) oh and there's even the letter M hanging on it! 

 

I still haven't decided if I really love my little pencil tree....we usually go for the biggest and fullest tree we can find. But I'm adjusting. If you follow me on Instagram than you probably saw it on my stories, if not I will share it on my holiday party post, so stay tuned!

Do any of these trees sleigh your heart? What kind of tree do you have? How did you decorate it? Are you a crazed OCD tree decorator like me? Readjusting the ornaments your kids put on the tree when they're asleep? Or is that just me?  let me know...I'd love to know! 

 

 

halloween dinner with the rodrigues family

Dinner Parties, DIY, Holiday Party, Home Decor, PartiesMelinda RodriguesComment

Happy halloween!!

pssst...I love color....but my favorite color will always be black! 

I obviously love bright fun quirky halloween costumes....but I also really love dark creepy halloween themes. 

so this halloween we invite you to our creepy animal Rodrigues family dinner party! 

this post is for my fellow dark souls #mysoulisblack

come take a seat, pour yourself some bloody wine, and enjoy! ;)

last minute halloween treats

Dinner Parties, DIY, Holiday Party, Holidays, Home Decor, Parties, Recipe, Themed partyMelinda RodriguesComment

Happy Halloween everyone! 

Are you super last minute like me?

Or maybe you aren't big on cooking or baking. Don't worry I've gotcha covered today with some super last minute easy Halloween treats. 

Halloween cake hack: 

Click right to view steps

Buy a $6 cake and hack into whatever kind of Halloween cake you like. I made a monster eyes cake. I just chopped off the store designs added some strawberries at the top and poured melted chocolate (mixed with cream to make more watery), then I added some candy eyes. That's it! 

Pink Mummy Cookies:

Buy some Milano cookies, bright pink chocolate, and candy eyes. You can create a some super cute mummies! 

grab a small ziplock bag, add melted pink chocolate, cut a hole in the tip of the bag. Then drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and add some candy eyes. done! SO GOOD! 

Poison Cupcakes:

these ones you might need a little time! just to bake the cupcakes, but you could also buy some already made cupcakes. (Target sells some AMAZING mini red velvet cupcakes- seriously they're so good). 

I bought a red velvet cake mix box, made these cupcakes and bought some black frosting. Using a piping tip I frosted these creepy things. The witch fingers are candy I found at Michaels. I also bought the cupcake liners and "flavor shot" skulls there, they come in a package. 

Pour some booze (I used Black Label) in a shot glass and suck it up with the flavor shots and insert them in the cupcakes. DONE! 

There you have it some really easy quick last minute Halloween treats! 

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween! 

Pop art party kitty costume

DIY, Beauty, Parties, Holidays, Holiday PartyMelinda RodriguesComment

OMG!!!! we are only a few days away from Halloween! 

it took me forever to decide what to dress up as (waaah) 

I wanted to do something original or at least with my own twist. I also love costumes that you can use your real clothes. because who really wants to pay all that money on a costume?? ridiculous! 

sooo....I asked Claudia to help me create a pop art makeup look

and the pop art party kitty was born! 

I mean what did you expect? of course I had to turn it into a party! 

now who's coming to dance with me? <meooooow> 

be sure to check out more of Claudia's halloween looks on her Instagram

P.S. what are you dressing up as? what are your halloween plans? I wannna knooow! comment below babes!

 

 

headbands & dress: Forever 21

socks: Target

wicked awesome graphic tees by: JZD

Fab Finds, Beauty, sponsored, lifestyleMelinda RodriguesComment

I don't know if you gals have realized this yet...but I'm totally an undercover unicorn....

magically colorful....I mean... I don't really let anyone know this.... but I think the unicorn is officially out of the bag ;)

I am so happy to have partnered up with one of my IG besties- Jen -from Jen Zeano Designs to share with you these really awesome t-shirts from her shop! 

I think Jen totally gets me; first we have: 

the Undercover Unicorn

now I'd say it pretty obvious why I love this tee ;) 

other than the obvious- I love that the tee is a relaxed fit it's super soft and the lettering is bubble gum pink! 

this tee is perfect for me, because I love my world all magically colorful, but as for my wardrobe, I tend to be more of a minimalist. which to me is the perfect description of an undercover unicorn. I don't let just anyone know about my magic! 

I may have mentioned a time or two the new MAC Selena line.... 

well Jen just so happened to hook me up with a Selena t-shirt to go with my new Selena lippies!! YAY!! 

Oh yesss....

MY heart goes bidi bidi bom bom !!

me canta asi asiiiiii!!! 

oooo yes I love Selena! so this is the perfect tee! for this shoot I paired the tee with the color Amor Prohibido. 

for those of you who may not know Selena...Google her...and go fall in love.

Selena was a huge part of my childhood. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw this tee & when the new MAC line came out. 

Selena is truly unforgettable, I still get emotional watching her interviews. Such a beautiful person inside and out. I can't help but imagine what it would be like to still have her here. 

this tee is also super soft and comfy, this one is more fitted. 

per Jens suggestion I ordered my real size in the undercover unicorn tee, and a size up in the Selena Tee. 

these tees are perfect for you and your girl gang! Whether you're Selena lovers and sing all of Selena songs at the top of your lungs with your girls and uber driver.... or magical undercover unicorns who are always on that color hunt! 

Visit Jens shop by clicking here & you know we have a special discount code just for you! Use the code HAPPYSOIREE and get 10% off, valid from 10/22/16-10/26/16

be sure to check it out and follow her on Instagram: @jenzeanodesigns 

stay magical my beautiful friends!! 

 

*as always: just know even though I was gifted these tees, all opinions are honest & my own

direct links to tees:

Undercover unicorn (i'm wearing a medium) 

Selena Quintanilla Shirt - Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Tee (i'm wearing a large)

bday trip to new york with the girls

Life, Reviews, things to do, lifestyleMelinda RodriguesComment

New York with the girls was such a blast! I know some of you were following our adventures on Snapchat and Instagram stories- hopefully you still love us after witnessing all the craziness and the beautiful car karaoke singing! xD

honestly, I don't even understand where all the time went when we were in NY. There were tons of places we wanted to visit, but didn't get a chance. It was raining when we arrived Friday evening- total bummer. and it was that 'I can't see where I'm walking' type of rain'.

Somehow we still managed to go to a bar that night....and I wish I could tell you which one it was.... but I can't because I never even thought to ask where we were. it was fun tho! it's so awesome meeting nice people at a bar, especially when you're an introvert and usually don't do the whole 'lets talk to strangers thang'. 

Saturday morning was spent drinking bottomless mimosas and...shopping.... well...let me show you where we went! :

 

Miss Lily's

love love love this place!! it's a modern Caribbean style oasis! we went to the one in SoHo. they have a 2hr brunch deal- BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS! for 2 hours. which I'm sure is no big deal in NY- but we don't have that in Boston. and if there is some secret bottomless mimosa place in Boston someone better let a girl know! 

anyway back to Miss Lily's- the mimosas were so good- the one that we chose with our brunch special was the love bellini- champagne and passion fruit. have I mentioned my passion for passion fruit? ;)

oh and the food is AMAZING! we tried: the jamaican rancheros, jerk chicken, mac and cheese, and the fried chicken and waffles. it was all delicious. but if I had to say which one I suggest it would definitely be the chicken and waffles. OH MY GAWD SO GOOD! 

we called and ahead and made reservations. I would suggest you do the same. it's not huge in there and it's no secret that it's really good. 

i love the decor in the bar. all the caribbean vibes. I really love how the juice bar it's set up to look like an island bar. they also have a disco ball....so yeah you know I was sold. 

in the back they have more of a large group room. You may have caught the really fun celebration on my snapchat. if you missed it- basically instead of just singing happy birthday, they turn off the lights and blast Rihanna's  cake cake cake song, bring a cake with sparklers and EVERYONE gets real live. SO FUN! the entire staff was super nice and fun! 

basically if you're in NY and you haven't tried this spot- you must! 

Don't ask why New york

after brunch we hit up some stores in SoHo for some shopping. 

I think I just gravitate to neon signs. so obviously I had to check out the store Don't Ask Why store. 

another store that has great attention to detail. a very cute space. 

their clothes are a part of american eagle outfitters and are just our style....so many cute things. mostly new york street wear- which we love!

Cool mess

On our last day in New York- I made sure we stopped at the one really colorful ice cream shop I was dyyying to see. After catching it on our girl Vanessa's (Brite and Bubbly) NY ice cream blog post, we had to stop by and see for ourselves. 

wow this place definitely did not disappoint. no secret i love bright colors. i also love ice cream. like a lot. so this place was everything. right when you walk in the hallway is sprinkle and neon heaven. 

i love places that really put effort into creating a fun experience and then also have something delicious! 

now about the ice cream.....it's also a fun experience because you make the ice cream yourself!! they give you everything you need and you make it yourself. pretty cool ;)

the staff here were also super nice and friendly- which is always a +

this ice cream parlor is definitely another must! i don't care if you're lactose and tolerant lol

 

Saturday night we went to a club- which again I have no idea what it's called. but we met up with some old high school friends so that was a great time! 

i feel like I did a bad job documenting the night stuff, however I think I was really trying to just enjoy the moment and not worry about getting the perfect shots for once. but i do believe some of it was on snapchat....those following along saw us singing our hearts out to Selena with the uber driver at 4am xD 

shout out to that uber driver- he was definitely the best! only the best uber drivers will let your friend plug her phone into the AUX cable and blast Selena....AND then sing along! wherever you are friend- you are the man!

anyway....what's really funny is I normally don't do clubs, and i swore I wouldn't- but I did. I had so much fun too, sometimes your friends know what ya need! but- will I go clubbing again? probably not. I think I did enough of that in my early 20's. i think I'll stick to bars.

well, we didn't get a chance to head on over to Brooklyn, where we really wanted to go, so we are definitely planning another trip soon! 

Snaps you may have missed:

we stayed at the Hilton New York Midtown, which was super nice. and the view was amazing....but i didn't want to go near the window because holy crap we were up high! 

hotel view:

i'm so grateful to have such amazing sister/friends who made sure i had a memorable 30th birthday! thanks girls! love you!!

thanks for having us New York....you won this time....but we'll be back soon! 

 

P.S. don't wanna miss another fun video on snap or IG? here's where you can find it:

Snapchat: MelyRod_28

IG: @happysoiree

Girl gang getaway gift

Beauty, DIY, Gift IdeasMelinda RodriguesComment

As you know all know the girls and I hit the road to New York for my 30th birthday!

It was my first girls getaway trip since my 25th birthday in Miami. We had soo much in New York (stay tuned because obviously I will share all the details with you this week here on the blog!)

So the girls planned out all the details for the trip, because I'm definitely not a planner....tho I wish I was. I'm more of the: "lalalala just point me in the fun direction" type of friend. Steph is pretty much the same, Jenny and Vicky are the planners. 

Only thing I did know was that I wanted to give them all a little thank you gift for the trip. 

So I made a girl gang gift for our little weekend getaway. 

 

 I knew I wanted some eye sleeping masks, so I was on a mission to find some really cute girly but not too kiddish eye masks. I found some at Forever 21. By the way am I only the only one who gets caught up in all their cute stuff they have strategically placed near the registers??!! 

I also picked up some party sweets flavored Lip Smackers- because duhhh, they had birthday cake and donut flavored ones in the package! I found these at Target

The Little Arrow girl gang patches were a no brainer! They are the perfect addition, they totally make the gifts. These are available in the Soiree Shop

Lastly, I attached some cute paper stock I had from my Messy Boxes from A beautiful Mess subscription. I wrote a little thank you message on the back of each card. 

To make them extra pretty I filled each bag with some pink gift shredded paper filler. Then I just stapled them shut! 

I am so happy that the girls loved their gifts! This was such a small gesture to say thank you to a great group of friends who went above and beyond to make sure I had the best birthday. Love these girls so much! 

Thanks again girls!! and thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to wish me a happy birthday- You all are the bestest :)