Alyson’s Obsessions // August 2016

We are half way through August, ladies! Craziness. School starts today for our first grader (who lost her first tooth this weekend!) and our two-year old starts Wednesday. I’m still trying to get back on track after our trip to California earlier this month, as I was primarily home with the kids last week for the week between camp and school (it really does take a village!).

Anyway, welcome back to my latest Alyson’s Obsessions, my favorite finds and discoveries from the past month. These are really good ones, and it always pays to click on the link above to check out previous months, which includes great beauty finds, things for your home and kiddies, a great style steal, and more.

Jansport burrito tech case

Jansport burrito tech case

Jansport “burrito”: During the BlogHer ’16 conference, I attended an awesome panel discussion hosted by Staples that included Lori Loughlin, Gabrielle Reese and others, and one thing was for certain: they all loved the “burrito!” I had no clue what it was but it was the running joke throughout the discussion. As soon as I got to my hotel room and checked out my bag of fun goodies (thank you, Staples!), I realized the burrito was in fact the jam: we quickly moved all our chargers and wires into this organized, portable soft case designed for all your digital accessories. It comes in four prints, including this fun burrito print… perfect for my Mexican food loving self.


off the shoulder blouse for fall

Anthropologie off-the-shoulder blouse: You might have seen the above photo on my Instagram feed yesterday; I tried this on at Anthro on a whim; I had a bit of a credit and they’re having a 20% off full-priced blouses for a limited time. The print is a little out of my comfort zone, but I loved, loved the olive color, off-the-shoulder look and that I don’t own anything like it. It’s so pretty and silky feeling in person. For sizing, I purchased a small; the XS fit but I liked how the small didn’t ride up on my shoulders as much and had a slightly longer length, without being boxy.

Shashi choker: …and, see that dainty choker I’m wearing? It’s by Shashi, a brand I discovered last year on Shopbop and LOVE. They do danty so well, including this gorgeous, super simple choker that feels more modern than 90s. I wore it with a striped tee to see Bad Moms (so good!) and got a bunch of compliments.

meal planning

Meal Planning: ok, ok, I’m literally one day in (laugh aloud, it’s ok… I am while typing this!), however I’m seriously committed to making this meal planning thing work. We still have a long way to go to have a better breakfast schedule, too, but we sat as a family last night and each had a real meal… and I have two more meals planned for this week. I’m not going to unrealistically say I’m going to figure out and make 5-6 meals because it’s like the gym: if you set an unrealistic expectation, the moment you fail it’s easy to give up all together. Instead, three meals and we’ll see where this takes us! Other days? We love inexpensive, good pickup from Chipotle, Pollo Tropical, and usually go out on Friday or Saturday night. For healthy meal planning inspiration, I highly recommend Gina from SkinnyTaste who weekly shares her personal meal plan (photo credit above).

sphere toy

Expandable sphere toy: this ball is so fun… for kids and adults! We saw it at a friends house — it’s a great sensory toy — however I was even having a blast as it expanded and retracted, as did my two kids. It also comes in a mini size with nearly 400 five-star reviews, and either way, this toy is a blast (and fortunately doesn’t take up a ton of space!). Would be a great different gift for someone, too.


NARS velvet gloss lip pencil: During our trip to LA, I lost my beloved Bobbi Brown lipstick so I popped into NARS on Melrose Avenue (I love that this sentence makes me sound way cooler than I am! ha) and asked for help finding a bolder lip color. The brand’s lip pencils have a major following — they were even Sephora’s birthday gift last year — and glide on with a really silky feel that’s hydrating and pigmented. I’m in love with the boroque color that’s red but not too red (I’m wearing it in the image above). Find it at Sephora, and other similar ones at Nordstrom in a matte, velvet or satin finish.

Ventana Inn

Ventana Inn in Big Sur: ah there are so many things that I could list as “obsessions” on this list from our California trip — we ate our faces off at so many good places and saw some awesome sights. We went to California for 9 days, sans kids, and wound up driving down the state, from Sonoma to Big Sur to LA (where I attended BlogHer blog conference, too). The trip was our longest away in years in celebration of our 12th anniversary, and our stay at Ventana Inn was a mega splurge but we went for it and don’t regret a thing. It was so insanely beautiful, not at all pretentious, relaxing & the ultimate getaway in this cabin chic vibe. I already want to work hard so we can go back. 😉 Every girl deserves to indulge and by balancing other parts of this trip, I’m so glad we went for this. Swoon! The view above is from our balcony… with a hammock!

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  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Ha the burrito is so great! Love the dainty choker too!


  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    That off the shoulder top is everything, it looks gorgeous on you!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    That blouse is gorgeous! I’m just getting back into meal planning again after a long hiatus and too much takeout. Where did you find that meal planning book/journal?

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 8:57 AM

      Thanks, and I hear on you the meal planning… it can be tough! The journal (and photo) is courtesy of Skinnytaste… you can find it here: http://bit.ly/2bsvCd1.

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