Seams and Sprinkles

A sweet and fashionable life, one post at a time.

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March Inspired Fashion: The Emerald Green Dress

I know Kermit told us growing up that it is not so easy being green, and unfortunately I was not there to help him with his green style to make it a little easier! March is a great month promoting lots of luck and magic all around and the beauty of spring starting to pop its head up to say “hello”. I really enjoy the color green being so predominant during this month as well, because it further signifies all the growth happening through the month around us. How amazing is that?!

I felt truly inspired by this emerald green dress I stumbled upon at Target in the clearance section. It has so many amazing details from the fit to the cutout sleeves. I think it really makes any eye color pop and radiate true warmth! I especially love how easily it can be changed up style-wise depending on how you accessorize it…I get so excited just imagining all the possibilities to keep this staple piece refreshed throughout the year for different occasions by doing just that.

For this look, I paired the gorgeous emerald green dress from Target with my favorite pair of black t-strap vintage heels and a vintage bucket purse from Liz Claiborne. I also threw in some faux pearls to finish off the vintage-inspired look. A huge thank you to Mandy Castillo Photography for working with me during her last visit to Sacramento to capture these photos for me!

I hope this spring-forward fashion helps get you inspired to throw in some new spring colors to your wardrobe and get you out and about for some fun on the town. Don’t forget to take a quick moment and let me know how you would style this fabulous emerald green dress in the comments below. Who knows, that could be exactly what I do the next time I wear it ;)!

St. Paddy's Chocolate Cake Shake

Back in October, we headed to a dear friend's wedding in Arizona. Not only was it a lovely time and a great opportunity to catch up, we also got to head to one of my favorite childhood restaurants...Portillo's! If you have never checked them out, you have to see if there is a location near you or if there is one near your next vacation spot. One of my favorite things on the menu there is the chocolate cake shake. It might sound strange, but trust me it is heavenly!

I thought it would be fun to make an Irish inspired cake shake to celebrate St. Paddy's Day right by infusing in some Guinness beer. So, are you ready for this flavor and unique textural experience? This recipe will be done in a jiffy, so feel free to make it when your favorite lucky charm stops by to have some fun with you for St. Patrick's Day. Grab your blender, a few mugs, and all the yummy fixings to have your pot o' gold at the end of the flavor rainbow!

St. Paddy's Chocolate Cake Shake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Guinness stout beer
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Ingredients for the shake:

  • 4-5 scoops of chocolate ice cream, add more or less for the desired shake texture
  • 1/2 cup Guinness stout beer
  • Toppings such as whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate syrup and Lucky Charms marshmallows (my personal favorite)

Photography by: Yadish Ramos Photography


  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt together.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the beer, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat them until they are completely incorporated and no lumps are present.
  4. Stir in the 1/4 cup chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Split the batter evenly into two microwavable 8-ounce mugs.
  6. Place the both of the mugs into the microwave and heat on high for about 1 minute and 45 seconds. Due to varying times, check the cakes at about 1 minute, 25 seconds and adjust as you need for your microwave settings. 
  7. Set the mug chocolate cakes aside to cool while you prepare the shake.
  8. Using a blender, combine the ice cream and Guinness beer until smooth and the carbonation has settled a bit.
  9. Add in chunks of the chocolate cake to the shake mix and lightly pulse the shake in the blender to break up the cake into the shake mixture slightly. Set aside.
  10. Swirl chocolate syrup all over the inside of a frosted cup, as desired.
  11. Slowly pour chocolate cake shake mixture into the prepared frosted cup.
  12. Finally, top with whipped cream and other holiday toppings of your choosing! I added more mini chocolate chips, lucky charms marshmallows and colored sprinkles on top.

Note: Recipe originally developed for Blissfully Domestic 
Easy peasy, right? If you are drooling now, hurry up and go make a shake for yourself! I hope you have a wonderful and magical St. Patrick's Day. Be sure to leave your favorite tradition for this holiday in the comments below. 

Funfetti Waffles

I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity waffletunity to share my Funfetti waffle recipe with you and since it is Sunday, and Sundays were made for awesome breakfasts it hit me that today is the day! I have always been a lover of waffles, having been born and bred on Waffle House food I would say it has been a staple in my diet, vocabulary, and list of ultimate favorite items ever created. Waffles are great with butter, they are fantastic with syrup, they are great vehicles for fried chicken and they are even awesome to use as a bread substitute for sandwiches.

Being a huge lover of cakes, cupcakes and sweets all-around, I figured why not make some breakfast treats for all the sweet teeth out there! I know some folks cannot do sweets for breakfast, but I am one to have them at any part of the day...I don't discriminate! I hope you find this recipe easy and most importantly, delicious! Get that waffle maker heating up and let's get to it, y'all.

Funfetti Waffles

To make the waffles you will need:

  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup multicolored sprinkles

For the drizzle topping you will need:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 1 tsp. melted butter

What to do:

  1. Heat your waffle maker to your desired temperature. I usually do it at a medium-high level so they are crispy yet fluffy still. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk egg, vanilla, lemon juice and milk until combined. 
  3. Add flour, cake mix, salt and sprinkles to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended and no lumps are present. The batter should be runny and easily poured. 
  4. Pour batter mixture into a waffle maker for about 5 minutes or until the desired crispiness has been reached. 
  5. While your waffle is cooking, make the drizzle topping by combining the powdered sugar, melted butter with the milk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl with a whisk. Whisk the ingredients until the powdered sugar is thoroughly mixed and smooth. 
  6. Take your waffle out of the waffle maker and drizzle topping all over to your heart's content. If you are feeling like you need a bit more sweetness, add some whipped cream or additional sprinkles. 

I hope you enjoy this Sunday with me by having your own Funfetti waffles! Please don't forget to tell me all about your favorite waffle toppings in the comments below!

Organic Beauty Reviews

In one of my very first posts this year (it might have actually been the first now that I think about it) I shared that I was working to get towards owning and using organic beauty products. I have done a great job of finding new things to try; unfortunately, they all have not been the best experiences for me so far. Today I am going to share some recent brands I tested out that I purchased all at Target on a recent run. You can't leave that place without a whole cart full of stuff!

I will start with the things I love first and then go into the things I am not sure I am sold on just yet, but am giving a little time...I did spend money on each of them after all.

Love, love, love, totes amazing...

Pacifica Kale Luxe Oil-Free Multi Cream

This daily moisturizer is specifically formulated for oily skin, which I deal with on a daily basis. I combine this product with the Kale Luxe Oil-Free face wash. The combination has helped me keep my face clean, minimize my pores and start to create an even canvas. I love how well it works without making me feel like I have gloopy lotion all over my face. It is great for day or night use as well, which I really appreciate.

Yes To Face Masks

These face masks both worked so wonderfully. Some other products had been starting to break my skin out and I noticed an immediate difference using the charcoal detox mask. It helped soak away those pimples popping up right away and even my skin tone back out. My face didn't hurt or get overly dry afterward either which was a relief! I also really liked the brightening mask, which I tried a few days after. It was also a mud mask so they both contributed to getting my complexion under control again. I am hoping to try a few of the other kinds very soon, too!

Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes

These underarm wipes come in a few different scents, so don't worry if you are not sold on coconut. I have recently started getting back into yoga during my lunch break so these have been a great help to save time after the sweaty seshes. They are the perfect amount of clean and refresh you right up all in a little disposable wipe. I have really been enjoying all the Pacifica products I have tried, so liking this furthers my faith in continuing to buy from this organic brand for my other beauty needs.

Meh, so far I am not really impressed...

Pixi by Petra Color Correcting Foundation

I really, really wanted to love all of these products. There was such a great selection at Target and from what I saw; it seemed to be things that could really fit my lifestyle. I purchased this powder foundation with along with a few others I will share that I had been pairing altogether. I am not sure if it is the combination of the other items or brands or what, but this brand of items was the only thing I swapped into my routine and my face does not like it at all! I have had a lot of breakouts on my face and my face has been extra oily and my pores are visibly larger. Being that the prices are comparable to what I would pay at Macy's for a larger brand, I was pretty disappointed in this result. I am still testing it out to see if my chemistry starts working with it or not after an extended period, but this may be heading for the garbage soon.

Pixi by Petra Sun-Kissed Bronzing Powder

Based on the issues I discussed above with breakouts, oiliness and enlarged pores I am not too sure on which product to call out for causing these problems. This is why I am not quite sold on them yet and am still working on what would be best for me. I do have to say though, I really like this sun-kissed color for a bronzer. I am pretty light and I just need an extra pop of color so I don't look like a ghost. I definitely don't want to be confused with an Umpa Lumpa by being super orangey and all that jazz. Color-wise this one is spot on for my fair skin!

Pixi by Petra Vitamin Makeup Mist

This mist seemed like it would be great, but it could also be a culprit of the acne and oiliness. I have since discontinued it in my morning beauty routine just in case. The mist is supposed to be useful in several facets, such as a morning refreshing primer or a refresher throughout the day. I had hoped it would be perfect as a makeup setting spray, but it just didn't do it for me. Maybe it would be more helpful as a travel item, but we shall see.

Burt's Bees Moisturizing Lip Mask

I don't want to hate on this product too much because I enjoyed the benefits of it right away, the mask part was just huge. From the photo, it seems like they want you to cover all around your lips, but that just won't work for me since my skin seems to be susceptible to breakouts right now. I ended up cutting the mask down to fit my lips, but that was a bit of a pain in the patooty. It did hydrate right away and make my lips smoother, but I only had the benefits of that for about a day. I would suggest using this when you are getting ready for an event or photos and want those lips to be on pucker point!

I hope my personal experience testing out these organic beauty products for the first time will be helpful in choosing items that would work best for you. I think I really do love everything about Pacifica best so far and will probably need to keep adding more of their products into my regimen. Please tell me all about your favorite and most effective organic beauty products in the comments below!

The Numbing Current: A Reflection on My Infertility Journey

Maybe you have seen books that outline what to expect when you are expecting, well so far I have not needed those books, although there have been many years of trying without successful results. I think even if I read a book about what to expect when you are not expecting I still would not have been prepared for the pain and all-consuming emotions I have gone through to date. It is my hope that sharing my story can do a few things and these will also be good reasons to stick with me until the very end of the post.

  1. You can feel a little comfort that you are not alone and your feelings are okay to have if you are in this circumstance. Please know I am here if you need support! 
  2. You can get educated on a common issue that I didn't know about and may help you advocate for yourself with your gyno (I will get more into this later). Please ask me more questions about my experience if you need to.
  3. If you cannot relate and everything has gone according to plan for you, this will show another side of the story and help you be more aware of others you may be hurting without meaning to. This happens a lot, and you just may not realize. 
  4. If you know me or not, this will help you understand me and hopefully give you some insight and freedom to interact with me on this subject. 
  5. Together, we can stop making these things so taboo!

As you can imagine, I have wanted to voice this story for a while, but it has been pretty rough. I would say up until this point for about a decade I have been in and out of a suffocating and debilitating depression around this topic. I go back and forth with how to even start sharing what I want to say, but let's just go ahead and do it memoir style and start at the beginning, so to speak. 

As a child, I grew up with many unfortunate circumstances from being poor to living through various types of abuse. I became guarded and jaded as a mechanism to cope with these difficult circumstances. I learned many of the best lessons in what not to do. Somehow I was different, resilient and was able to overcome these issues. I was successful in school and eventually moved out to California to make my own life and define things on my terms. What my 20/20 hindsight is telling me now is that it was really to make my own way and become who I was supposed to be all along and it just kept getting lost by the terrible loudness of the toxic environments I was exposed to growing up. 

I had the desire to be a parent very early in life, probably around 18 or 19 years old. I did what I thought I was supposed to do and prevented it from happening as my now husband and I knew through our upbringing it was not the right thing to do—yet. We still had college to complete, financial security to achieve and a home to make. We did all the right things; we worked hard, excelled in school and did our best to enjoy every moment in life. However...deep down I was hurting. I felt the strong calling to be a mom and afford my child the life I never had. My husband and I are the oldest of our siblings and nurturers by nature (ha-ha, new rap group name). I cried often, pleading with him that we could make it work. If everyone else who is irresponsible manages to somehow make it work, why couldn't we? I felt incomplete and just hurt knowing a huge part of me was still unfulfilled. *Let's STOP here* This freaking hurts so bad. Typing this knowing that this was so long ago and my heart has been longing for this for over a decade just plain sucks. SUCKS! I would say more harsh words, but I promised myself I would try to stop cussing so DAMN much!! 

Anyway, I am always glad my husband kept us logical because I would hate to repeat the same vicious cycle I grew up in. Although I continued to be sad deep down, we kept chugging along checking off the "you are supposed to" items on life's to-do list. We get our degrees, have a lovely wedding in Cancun, Mexico, buy our home, new car and even land a stint on HGTV to remodel the front part of our home. I don't want to complain and say we are not blessed because we absolutely are. I am very grateful for what I do have; just sometimes the emptiness I feel from not filling what I believe is my ultimate calling in life consumes me. 

At this time we try for a bit and nothing happens. After a year as instructed I go back to the doctor and share that I have tried with no luck. She orders blood tests for my thyroid, diabetes and other potential chemical imbalances. She shares that with infertility, 30% of cases are related to female issues, 30% are related to male issues and a whopping 40% can just be any combination of the unknown. UGHHHHH!!! The tests I take all come back normal and she offers no additional advice or assistance and refers me to the infertility side of the house...nothing else, just like I was another number to the medical industry. The first thing I was supposed to go through was an HSG test, which would show an x-ray of my fallopian tubes and let us know if my tubes are blocked or not. Well, guess what, life happens yet again and we find out our dog has cancer and we have to put him down. Shortly after that, we find out our water heater has been leaking for a while. For the following months, our house was a construction site repairing all the damage. At this point, I decided it would not be the optimal time to move forward with the next infertility stages because of all the stress and sadness we were under. I have since learned that the reason stress is not good for you while trying to get pregnant is due to the heightened amounts of cortisol in your system in preparation for the fight or flight reaction. This is when your body realizes, hey this lady seems like she might be having issues and is probably not a hospitable habitat for a baby. 

The science makes much more of an impact on me than all the people out there who have no idea what it is like telling me to just relax. Don't tell me to relax. We have been on vacations, mini trips, you name it. From some of the whitest beaches and most beautiful oceans, that offer the most ideal relaxing experiences, all of that and still have not been given the opportunity to be parents. If you see your loved ones stressed out, just be there for them and support them. There is no way to not feel some stress in these circumstances. All these infertility situations are hard and you feel like your basic genetic rights as a woman are taken from you. The one thing you are supposed to be able to do, you can't. Could you just relax if someone took away the thing you find meaning from? How about if you never could read a book again, enjoy an exotic vacation or a delicious meal? Could you relax then? Not so easy, right?

My husband and I got married a lot earlier than most of folks we know. And as we waited to be blessed with our bundle of joy, we attended several weddings over the years and now it seems like baby shower after baby shower. It feels like the more and more I want it, the more and more I notice everyone else getting what I yearn for. In your face at work, at after the other. Like it is literally in the water where I live and although I drink it somehow I have gotten the control version and the scientists must be watching me in pain from afar. I love everyone in our life to death and I absolutely wish no ill will on anyone and while I have always felt happy for their joy, I have always felt more sadness for me. I know it seems selfish, but this is honest. Think about it in the way of how introverts are supposed to adapt to an extrovert world. This is kind of similar; us infertility warriors are supposed to show up to showers, listen to non-stop stories and still maintain relationships when you don't even feel like getting out of bed some days. We are expected to always put on a happy face and be there for everyone when things go right, but where are people for us when things are going wrong? Not many people want to talk about that...and it hurts. Don't worry about saying the right thing; just be there if you care. It can get pretty lonely being the couple without kids who desperately want them. 

So fast forward to 2017...I am 30 years old...this means I have been feeling the calling to be a parent for 12 years. We went through the HSG test first and it came back clear so I thought maybe we would be okay and it was just the stress getting to us before. We still try to hold the "try without trying" philosophy hoping that things will just happen, but they still don't. Events become increasingly more difficult for me to put on a happy face and I am crumbling on the inside. Certain group texts make me cry embarrassingly at work, I start not wanting to be out in public and I try to focus more on blogging to try and find my own identity. I grow more in this area and am still growing to be more successful at it, but it still doesn't take away the whisper in the back of my heart reminding me that we are still not parents yet. 

I vividly remember September because there were baby showers and announcement things all around me like a riptide. As soon as I came up for air, I was swallowed again by the pounding tide and it...was...relentless. I got to the point where I had no more tears to cry. I was empty inside, outside and in my eyeballs. At this time, I knew we needed to move forward and start taking the steps to figure out what the issues were so we can address them. Since the HSG test was clear, our next steps were to have a fertility consultation appointment. I went in with the idea that I would likely get prescribed medicine and the only thing we might encounter is ongoing mood swings because my hormones would be jacked. I was so hopeful at that time because I had heard many success stories and felt it we had a good chance since it seemed to work for so many people. 

*Standby for my shocked face* Well, things didn't go smoothly. At all. At my first appointment, which infertility is only half covered by my healthcare as if I wasn't dealing with enough, we find out on the ultrasound that I have a large cyst on my right ovary called endometrioma. This means taking medicine is not an option for me until I have surgery to remove it. The pills work in a way that tricks your brain into producing more eggs and increase your chances of getting pregnant, unfortunately, this could also trigger the endometrioma to grow and burst. I know—this is the part where those scientists watching the control water spread mayo on the shit sandwich I keep getting. I am devastated. So devastated. Why can't I catch a break is all I keep thinking. I did everything right, I was a good person, why oh why must I still continue to hurt and be hurt. 

We go to follow-up appointments and find out that this endometrioma is caused by a disorder I have and will always have called endometriosis. It is more common than you think and can be genetic. The only way to cure this is by removing my ovaries, which is very counterproductive to what I am trying to accomplish here. Endometriosis is often linked to infertility due to the obstruction it can cause for the sperm to get to your eggs. Endometriosis I hate your stupid freaking face. So, in November I had surgery to remove the cysts that were currently present. I was terrified, but I am so grateful for my husband who has been so supportive of me and understanding to what I need through these past few months. After recovering, we were instructed to try for 5-6 months naturally again using ovulation kits and then to come back when we are ready to try to take the medicine (if no endometrioma are present of course...gee golly). 

The first few times I used the smiley face ovulation kit the doctor suggested, the strips and reader kept giving me error messages several days in a row. I lost it a few times and cried uncontrollably because gosh darn it is like everything we can or can't control is working against us. I just had surgery for goodness sakes, is that not enough?!? I finally wised up and stopped using the reader and just figured out for myself that the strip will have two lines and I don't need the smiley face or middle finger, I mean blank circle to tell me if I am ovulating or not. So, here's to hoping that something finally happens for us in the next few months and if not, here is to hoping I can take the medicine at that point to increase our chances and if not, I guess we will be saving up for the $30k IVF treatments and hope that works. 

I have not completely lost my hope yet because I do know we have options still, but I am so tired and exhausted. I have been going up this steep hill for so many years with one rock slide after another and I just need to have room to breathe already. I hope soon that I will be able to report back that the miracle has happened for us and I will be more grateful and hold on to every moment more than you can imagine. 

I hope that this helps you see the uneasy side of getting pregnant because I will say it, just having sex doesn't get you pregnant and starting your family fairytale. I know the brainwashing from all the movies and sitcoms have us all fooled but we have got to wake up. I hope you will ask about endometriosis if you are having any unusual pain or not getting pregnant so you can advocate for yourself before stepping into the more expensive infertility office. I also hope you can understand through this journey of mine that some people are hurting and don't mean to be sad when you are happy, it just hurts too much sometimes. 

Let's start more conversations about this and stop being scared to be there for each other and help each other advocate for ourselves. We need to be more open so we all don't feel alone or misunderstood and keep evolving these real situations so they are less taboo. We can be more mindful of what we say, like maybe let's retire "when are you planning to have a baby," and other things our society has made normal for us that can accidentally hurt others. I hope you are with me!

If you have questions or comments, I would love you to share them with me below. I want to help you in any way I can. Thank you again for being a part of this journey with means a lot!