Memorial Day weekend is here and to me, it always represents the “unofficial” start of Summer. With Summer on my mind, I’ve been eyeing some new pieces to create my wardrobe for the season. Today I am sharing my 11 must-have Summer essentials below!

 

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1. Saloni Stella B Dress – I love these maxi dresses too

2. Loeffler Randall Marla Square Shoulder Bag – More gorgeous shoulder bags here

3. M.i.h Jeans Heaven Tee – Graphic tees are my go-to during the Summer

4. Vince Pleated Cami Dress – Love this for a Summer wedding or event. More cocktail dresses I love here!

5. FRAME Tipped Sleeveless Top – Sleeveless tops are so easy to dress up and down for Summer

6. Nicholas Button Front Garden Dress – More gorgeous dresses by Nicholas here

7. Cinq a Sept Satin Ryder Dress – So pretty for a night out! I love these mini dresses here too

8. Joie Azariah Dress – The most gorgeous white dress! Perfect for any occasion

9. Self Portrait Off Shoulder Floral Printed Dress – I love the off-shoulder silhouette

10. Veronica Beard Bexley Dickey Jacket – Blazers are essential and there are so many fun options for Summer

11. Aquazzura Carolyn 60 Sandals – Also love these Aquazzura sandals!

What pieces are you loving for Summer?

xx,

Andrea

 

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The first time I was introduced to Dana Gordon was when I was staying at a hotel in Florida. She was having a trunk show in the hotel gift shop and  I loved her jewelry. I bought my first pair of her earrings. Fast forward to a few years later and I met her at a dinner with mutual friends. I always wanted to reach out to interview her, but I was a little intimidated because I wasn’t sure what she was going to say. I’m so glad I finally decided to reach out to her and when we sat down to talk to it was instant camaraderie. I loved reading her thoughts on running a business and motherhood, and I know you will too. I hope after reading this you are encouraged to reach out to people who you want to get to know!

1.What is the best thing about being a mom?

The love you give and the love you get. After a long day at work, there is nothing better than coming home to my kids and seeing them at the back door smiling and jumping up and down to see me. The love is so intense and so sweet.

2. What is the hardest thing about being a mom?

The “balance”. I hate when people say managing it all because its a daily struggle we all share. I think balancing all the different parts of yourself as a wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, boss, and mom is the hardest part of being a mom.

3. What habit do you hope to pass down to your kids?

Honesty. To know me is to love me. I am honest and truthful in every way.

4. What habit do you hope to not pass down to your kids?

Procrastination!  Sometimes I wait till the last minute to get things done.

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5. How have you changed since being a mom?

I value my time differently. Every minute I do something that doesn’t hold value is less time with my family and for myself.

6. What’s the best piece of advice given to you?

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.

7. What are three essentials you need every day?

My Jan Marini face wash, my kids and my rings

8. What late night food do you crave?

A Chicago Style Hot Dog!

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9. What do you do to relax?

I am really awful at relaxing. I love work and I love to be connected so I’m typically close to my phone and in communication with someone. That being said, I find the best time for me to relax is a 17 hour flight to India where I’m unplugged from work, enjoying champagne and catching up on movies and tv shows.

10. How has motherhood changed your career?

Motherhood has made me value my career and my time. I was extremely hard working before and never stopped. Becoming a mom has made me take more time to stop and enjoy the stages of life my kids are in. As I grow Dana Rebecca Designs, I am constantly stopping to think will my girls be proud of the business we have built? Will they empower and encourage women to celebrate their life and milestones? I think about them a lot as I make decisions and hope one day they are part of the brand.

11. 3 words to describe yourself?

Authentic, loving and honest

12. How has your style changed since becoming a mother?

I think my style has evolved. I have a more casual and carefree style that has only become more simplified with kids. But nothing will stop me from taking off my sneakers to swap for a pair of heels at work or at night.

13. What traits bug you the most in other mothers?

Judgement! We need to support one another more and have each other’s backs. We are all doing the best we can and there are more than right ways to raise a happy, healthy child.

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14. What 3 things in your bag you couldn’t live without?

Beauty Counter lip gloss, Raw Rev bars, and AirPods.

15.Best advice you could give a mom with young kids?

It is impossible to do it all and balance is not attainable. I suggest starting each day with a positive attitude that you can find a balance that works for you. For me, spending either the morning or the night with my girls gives me peace. If I am able to wake up with them and start the day, I feel accomplished. Unfortunately, there are times, I don’t wake up with them or put them to bed but I make sure to start the next day fresh and positive. Mom guilt is a real thing and it can really wear you down so my advice is to start fresh daily and find what balance means for you. Perfect balance is unrealistic.

16. What’s your secret to being a dope ass mom?

Being real and honest about it. I am 100% certain I am better being a working mom than a stay at home mom. I also have acknowledged that the support you have as a mom is the greatest asset to being a dope ass mom!

17. Nanny, hairstylist or chef? You can only have one live in

NANNY who does hair??

18. What does success look like to you in parenting?

Being free of the pressure to be perfect. I am certainly not a perfect mom but I think to be a successful parent is to be okay with making mistakes and learning from them. Import to be consistent but it’s ok not to be perfect.  Parenting is hard, there are so many rules but no guidebook.

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19. Kill, Fuck or Marry – Justin Timberlake, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling

Kill Channing, Fuck Ryan and Marry Justin

20. How do you maintain your identity while still being someone’s mom?

Finding time to be me. I know I’m a mom and so many other things but finding time to be me and me alone is very important. I think when I am down as a person, I fail as a mom. So keeping myself happy and finding time for self-care or time alone is paramount.

21. How has your relationship changed with your own mother since becoming a mom?

YES! Within hours of having my oldest child, I called my mom hysterically crying and apologized for everything I had ever done to her. I wanted her to know that I was grateful for her unconditional support and loved her so much. I remember her laughing and reminding me that my child was only a few hours old but I just could see the future days that my daughter would take me for granted. My mom is the most incredible grandma, mom, friend, and wife. I aspire to be exactly like her because she is the ultimate mom. I hope my girls love me the way I love my mom.

22. Do you have a favorite child?

Nope but sometimes it depends on the day and depends on whose snuggling me the most and not whining. HA!

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23. What’s your opinion on screen time?

No judgment here. Guilty of using it often.

24. What’s one way you hope to make an impact on your kids?

I hope they get my work ethic, my hustle, and appreciation for family. I hope I inspire them to be better every single day and dream big.

25. How has your relationship changed with your higher power since having kids?

I fully accept that everything happens for a reason and there’s a plan. Who has the plan is less important than their being a plan. After suffering two miscarriages and questioning the process but then having healthy kids, I am blessed to believe in something greater.

26. How has having kids affected your relationship with your partner?

I’ve fallen deeper in love with my husband watching him become a father. I remember the first few months were hard but once my girls were a bit older and more active he stepped into fatherhood and is truthfully the best dad. I am in awe of how incredible he is with them and how he can do everything independently and so easily. Thanks 🙂

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday! If you are still needing to pick up gifts for all of the dope ass moms in your life, I’ve got you covered. I’ve rounded up my top 7 picks that make the perfect gifts that any mom would love.

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#1 Saint Laurent Heart Sunglasses – For the fashionista mom in your life, these heart sunglasses are on trend and so chic.

#2 Ember Mug – A mug that keeps your coffee hot is every mom’s dream. No more re-heating in the microwave and forgetting about it 2 hours later.

#3 DRD Single Initial Ring – I love gifts that have a personal touch and this initial ring is just that. Would be so cute to do the initials of the kids names!

#4 Venus et Fleur Flower Arrangement – Who doesn’t love to receive flowers?! The best part about this gorgeous arrangement of roses is that it lasts an entire year.

#5 Yumi Kim Kyoto Robe – A luxe robe makes mornings feel a bit less hectic. I love this pretty floral print for Spring.

#6 Isabel Marant Embroidered Waist Belt – This belt is on my wishlist and instantly ups your cool mom factor.

#7 Skin Gym Rose Heart Sculpt Facial Gua Sha Tool – You can’t go wrong with the gift of pampering. This Gua Sha Tool de-puffs, lifts and sculpts. Basically a mom’s best friend.

Happy Mother’s Day!

xx

Andrea

Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger,

Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger, Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger,

Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger,

I’m going to write a book about Charleston. It’s gong to be called : Taking Pictures on Porches and Eating at Oyster Bars. Seriously, that’s pretty much all I did.  I’ve heard  there’s a lot more to do. Then again why would you want to do anything else? When we arrived late on a Sunday and went for a walk up King Street and did some shopping. There are a ton of cute boutiques will a lot of “ya’ll ” accessories. Thank goodness we worked up an appetite because we had dinner reservations at Husk!

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Husk

Basically, if it’s not Southern it’s not being served. My favorites were the pimento cheese crackers and the friend catfish. I grew up on food like this so for me, it was perfect. Once I left a friend told the building was haunted. I don’t know if that’s true but if it is I imagine the ghost is very southern and very good at cooking.

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Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger, sugar bake shop

 

{Shop more spring/summer dresses I’m loving here}

Sugar

The next morning we stumbled upon the cutest bakery in a quiet neighborhood in Charleston. They serve basic coffee but the desserts and pastries are far from basic. They make everything in house and it was absolutely delicious. I mean what’s a vacation if you aren’t in a sugar coma by 10 am?

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{I’m obsessed with my pink heels. Shop more fun pumps here}

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row is the stretch of 13  historical homes that must be painted in bright colors along the waterfront is not to be missed. We got there early and there were already people out taking pictures. Some have speculated that the reason behind the painting of these homes was so drunk sailors could find their way home after a night at the bar. Other’s say that they were painted pastel colors so they would stay cool in the hot Charleston summers. Either way, I’m here for it all!

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{Denim jackets are essential – shop more I love here}

167 Raw

We waited 2.5 hours but who’s counting when the Rose is flowing and the weather is nice. The space is small, seating approximitaely 5 people at a time but like I said, when you’re hungry and wine drunk, life is good! When we finally got inside I discovered the bartender looked exactly like my first kiss in 7th grade, so that entrained me at least until the oysters showed up. I had ceviche, guacamole and a fish taco. The lobster roll was out of this world! It was so good we almost went the next day and waited again but it was getting too close to dinner so a snack wasn’t very feesable. Who else has the travel style of trying to fit as many meals as possible into 24 hours?

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Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, what to do in Charleston, dope ass mom, travel blogger,

Leon’s Oyster

Clearly I did not consume enough sea food or fried goods on this trip so on the last day I just had to make a stop at Leon’s. The vibe is hipster meets authentic southern food. The scalloped potatoes were something my grandmother approve of, the men in skinny jeans? Not so much. The oysters were fresh, the cocktails were strong and the ranch dressing was flowing. It’s definitely not to miss if you visit.

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SNOB charleston, Charleston travel guide, where to eat in Charleston, travel blogger,

SNOB

Dinner the last night was nothing short of phenomenal ! I never knew I liked grits until I landed in this spot. The interior is so cute and it’s a little bit more upscale than all of the oyster joints I visited. We didn’t eat until 9 pm on Tuesday and the place was still crowded. It would be a perfect date night or if you wanted to go a little more upscale on your trip.

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Pineapple Fountain

I couldn’t leave Charleston and call myself a blogger without taking pictures at the famous Pineapple Fountain. I’d like to claim that I’m so YOLO that I climbed into this fountain and almost got arrested, however there were a ton of kids when I showed up. Getting them to move so I could take the perfect picture was no small feet. I think it was worth it because the pictures I got were so cute. It would definitely be a place to bring the kiddos if they were on the trip.

I hope you guys enjoyed my (mostly) eating recommendations in Charleston. As always, I’d love to hear from you guys what you like. I will definitely be back soon!

 

xx

Andrea

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I am so excited  to recap my March comedy show and dance party for you guys! These events are some of my favorites because all the greatest people come together for a night of laughter, networking and of course photos. I mean duh, I am a blogger after all.

My girl Andrea, from @Andreadoesntgiveaduck and Real Housewives of Instagram co-star introduced me. That was a last minute addition and as you can see from the video she took her job very, very seriously.

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First of all, the space was absolutely stunning, it was truly a blogger’s dream. Debi has such great taste and the beauty is truly in the details. I’m surprised anyone even talked to each other because the photo opts were abound! The floral arrangements done by Stemming From Love were so gorgeous and really brought the whole set up together. If you are local, you need to check their custom arrangements for your next event.

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The food and the pastries were absolutely delightful as well! I did end up ordering pizza’s however because I know my crowd and I had a feeling the beautiful turkey roll ups and cheese were just going to make a great appetizer! Unfortunately, no one deemed it beautiful to take a picture of the empty pizza boxes that ended up laying over the beautiful marble counter top. Rude.

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The bubbly truck champagne wall was a perfect addition to the space. How stinking cute is this set up!? Sneaky Fox spirits provided the base for any vodka cocktail our guests desired. It was so kind of them to sponsor the event! They are a local vodka brand that is making big waves in the spirit industry.

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Of course, DJ MT was there spinning the best of the best tunes so everyone could dance before returning home to their responsibilities. “Pony” and “Thotiana” were at the top of my list and she always humors me with playing whatever I want.years ago

Overall, I loved having everyone come together and what a great excuse to get out and socialize on a Thursday night! Thank you to everyone who showed up and to all the wonderful vendors who made it such a special night!

styling/planning/ photos| @chicfromchicago
venue | @dlstudiochi
floral | @stemmingfromlove
sweets | @tonipatisseriecafe
caterer | @nib.ble_by_scarlett
dj | @djmegantaylor
bubbly wall | @thebubblytruck