OBNOXIOUS A.F. + LINK UP

3:00:00 AM
Definition of gaudy: ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented or marked by extravagance or sometimes tasteless showiness.  
One could say that this outfit could fit this meaning perfectly!  I, on the other hand, am in absolute LOVE with it.  From the 1st moment I laid eyes on it last year, I've wanted it, but it was SOOO expensive and I couldn't bring myself to spend that insane amount for 2 pieces.
FIT DETAILS
hoodie + joggers: champs sports || shoes, jordan's 4 (old): footlocker || shades: old

So, just like anything else I mention, the hubby tries (and successfully completes) his hand at getting me things that I mention that I LOVE (not like, but love, lol).  This time around, he used Mother's Day as his gateway to buying this.  If you haven't learned already, I dont do typical when it comes to traditional things.  I dont expect gifts on holidays or birthdays, that's just how I was raised.  I have a hard time receiving from people, even if it's my family.  So when I opened up this gift, I was actually quite upset with him because I know how much it was and it wasn't something that I needed!  But then he repackaged it as "this is a gift from Caryss, this is what she wanted you to have..." and I just couldn't be mad anymore - not at baby girl!  He told Cal that since he was grown that he had to buy his own gift, LOL and he did! :)
I didn't want to overdo it with too many accessories with this (I think an entire coral outfit deck out with Champion all over it is enough attention), so I stuck to silver hoops and these oversized glasses, that I for the life of me can't remember where I got them from.  Brought out the vintage 4's to round out this comfy, casual and oh-so over the top fit.  I can't see myself actually wearing this all together (even though I would have no problem doing so) - I'm thinking the hoody alone with some jeans on a cooler day or the sweats with a fitted white tank.

I hope that you all enjoyed your weekend!  1st half of mine was at my cousin's fairytale baby shower and the second half was trying to catch up on EVERYTHING that needed to be done!  Thank God this is the Holiday weekend come up!  What do you have planned?

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GOOD EATS | CANTORO TRATTORIA in TROY, MI

5:00:00 AM
phone rings | chanda: hello? | atmosphere: date night calling...
chanda: date night? is that really YOU playa?!
"Tu sei il sole del mio giorno" - you are the sunshine of my day
Ahhh, it's so good to be back talking about good food with you guys - especially since it's been forEVA since hubby and I have gone out by ourselves!  I wasn't playing when I said that I wanted to bring this series back, so today, we are going to be taking a dive into a newer restaurant in the Troy area.  I knew that I wanted to try a new spot over this past weekend but did not plan it out, so I turned to good ol' Google and I must say, it did not let me down!
It didn't take me long to decide where we were going when searching - I knew I wanted to try something different. Whenever we go out to dinner, we rarely do Italian, so when I came across Cantoro (located in Troy, MI) I was sold!  I have to apologize in advance for the photo quality, I did not want to bring my camera into the restaurant when it was super busy and disrupt anyone dining, so iPhone footage is what we have.  

Let's go ahead and get our fashion out of the way :) We chose to dress down because we weren't quite sure what kind of restaurant Cantoro was.  When we tried Mad Hatter Bistro, I did TONS of research before we went, but this was so spur of the moment, I wasn't prepared for anything!
hubby | jacket + jeans: sean john, macy's || tee: champs || shoes: jordans, concord 11, nike
me | jacket + bag: justfab || jeans: old || top: house of rehab (not avail, but try these) || shoes: shoedazzle

We were dressed kind of in the middle:  there were some folks that were dressed up and some that were dressed down, so it was comfortable.  This restaurant is pretty amazing and one great blurb that we learned is that this space is owned by the San Marino Club, which is more commonly known as an events venue.  Back in my bridal salon days, we attended a bunch of bridal shows here.  Cantoro is one of their tenants and is treating this space especially well!
I wish I could have like 2 hours in this place empty to capture the beauty of it on camera!  I was extremely surprised by the decor and ambiance of the space.  I was going into this thinking it was going to be your usual Italian restaurant, riddled with heavy rustic decor and murals, but this space was super modern with touches of Italian heritage.

When you first walk in, you are greeted by authentic Italian foods and wines for sale, like a little marketplace to the left and to the right - absolutely beautiful!!!  From the wooden chandelier to the wine crate enclosed office and a beautiful staircase that leads to one of their event spaces.  I didn't get a chance to photo their event spaces since they were occupied, but when I go back, I plan on (so stay tuned for an update).
The vibe of the main dining area was just AHHHH!  Such beauty - there's plated wall art, a few wine racks, both closed and open, a fireplace, the light display over dining, the bar - SO much to keep you intrigued with how the place looks!  The windows are tall and outside is a canopy and I believe outside dining ) it was dark when we went, so I didn't get to explore the grounds.  

This was such a relaxing and inviting space, especially with the fireplace and mood lighting.  There were more art displays and culture pieces to share, but this post would have been super long with photos.  I promise, next time guys! :)


The real reason we are here, right?  There was such a diverse Italian menu - I feel like I really should have studied the menu before we arrived.  I am in no way fluent in Italian cuisine, so it took me a little while to decide what to order since some of it is in actual Italian.  While waiting to order, our host Eddie, brought out some bread and olive oil/vinaigrette mix.  My husband ordered bruschetta with sausage and cheese for an appetizer, which was pretty tasty.  We dont usually drink wine/alcohol, so hubby opted for water (then Sprite eventually) and I had San Pellegrino water.

You want to hear a funny story?  I spent at LEAST 20 mins going over the menu, reading and re-reading the descriptions of each dish JUST to end up with pizza! LOL I felt like such a lame not stepping out of my comfort zone with dinner, but we had a really heavy brunch (chicken and waffles from Kuzzo's), so I wanted something lighter and that was easy to package up and take home.

I went with their Margherita pizza (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil) and when I tell y'all this was the BEST Margherita pizza that I've ever eaten!!  Eddie really listened to what I asked - I asked him for his recommendation and told him that I liked sweeter sauces (so Margherita was already on my radar), but he recommended this one, along with another one that had sausage and veggies on it.  This one was PERFECTO! 

Hubby normally likes steak - BIG steak!  Whenever I plan for us to go somewhere, I make sure that there is some kind of steak on the menu.  Eddie, again, gave his recommendations with the Grilled Veal Rib Chop and then someone's order came out.  His eyes became as big as that chop and he went for it!  I am happy that he did, it was SO good!  It cut like butter and melted in your mouth.  The veggies and potatoes were seasoned to perfection - an overall great plate!

As with your normal mid to upscale restaurant, you can expect to pay for your meal, service, etc.  Cantoro was actually not priced as high as I thought they would be.  I don't remember the price of the appetizer since it's not on the online menu, but my pizza says it was $13, but I believe the price has changed to $17 and hubby's plate was $46 (you see who the expensive person is in our household, LOL).  Overall, our bill came to around $80 and we tipped Eddie generously for his awesome recommendations and excellent service.  Take a glance at the menu if you're in the market for a new Italian restaurant!

Cantoro in Troy absolutely exceeded my expectations, especially being an on the fly restaurant choice.  We didn't have a reservation when we went (which I would recommend), but the staff accommodated us and didn't throw us in a corner to eat.  Everyone was super nice and the food was perfect!  This is a mid to upper scale restaurant, so expect to pay for your food and service and I have to say, it's well worth it!  I am already planning to go back so that I can get some photos in natural light and hopefully visit their event spaces.  Cantoro has so much to offer to the public and I think they are doing quite well for not even having a full year under their belts.  Thank you Cantoro for this memory - most certainly will be back!

Check out more of my GOOD EATS series!  
If you are local and have a recommendation, jot it down below!  Thanks for stopping by!

BELATED + LINK UP

3:00:00 AM

I hate to be the Debbie Downer on this Mother's Day, especially since I am a mother to 2 wonderful kiddos - it's just not one of my faves anymore.  Right now, it's Tuesday, May 7th - I'm waiting on an important video chat BUT I've also begun writing this post because I know that this would be HELLA difficult on Sunday evening after the day is done.  Who knows, I could be wrong - but I doubt it.  Mother's Day hasn't been that great for me mentally for over 10 years.  It's a pure struggle in fact!  I wish I didn't come across so selfish, but my feelings are quite apparent in this very moment and it hurts.
Fast forward to Sunday night, 11:17 pm - I hope that you all enjoyed your Mother's Day!  My weekend was actually really nice despite my feelings of wanting it over.  Saturday, we had brunch at Kuzzo's and hubby and I went out to dinner.  Sunday, did a little Target shopping and spent an ETERNITY waiting for a table at Bahama Breeze for dinner.  Ended out the night watching Game of Thrones (fact - which I've NEVER watched an episode EVER, but you know, it made the hubby happy, so....).  How did you spend your weekend?

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IN IT TO WIN IT + LINK UP

3:00:00 AM
IN IT TO WIN IT - that's the motto I seem to be living by lately!  These shirts were made up for my company's Win By Losing Challenge that my team holds every year, but I've been applying this concept to everyday life, especially my hobbies.  I've had a new spark in blogging, I've been hardcore planning out video concepts (one is uploading to my YouTube channel this week if iMovie cooperates) and coming up with social strategies to get what's in my head out on my social channels.
-iPhone photo-
If I can keep this flame burning, I have a few ideas for the blog this season, some new and some you've seen!  I seem to work better with putting pen to paper, in this case, words to a post, so here are a few things that I will be sharing with my viewers on Birth of a Fashion Blogger!

RE-INTRODUCING GOOD EATS
I started this series a little over a year and a half ago with Mad Hatter Bistro and I absolutely LOVED doing it!  I do remember why I stopped - this was around the time that I received a promotion at work into the world of Human Resources, which was something that was completely new to me and it required ALL of my attention.  Unfortunately, Good Eats fell to the wayside.  My hope is to start back soon and I'm super excited to try new cuisine and restaurants in my area!

THRIFT CHALLENGES
Earlier this year, I made a video on my 1st time thrifting (which was kind of hilarious in my opinion, lol) and haven't been back!  I said that I wanted to start challenging myself to do some $20 or $30 challenges where I go and try to put together a complete outfit (minus shoes and jewelry, I have this thing about wearing other peoples old shoes and jewels.  I know guys - me and my phobias).  I am going to try this weekend to do a challenge and take the little one along with me.   This will also be something to go up on my YouTube channel.

✨POSTING AT LEAST 2X WEEKLY
For the life of me, how did I used to post 2-3 times weekly?  If someone can tell me please because listen... It seems like all of my multi-tasking and social outlet organizations skills went out of the window - in what world did I used to this with YOUNGER children too?  Well, anyway, I would like to get back to sharing more content not only here, but on YouTube as well.  I definitely have the ideas and content, just Jesus, give me the strength and an extra 12 hours in a day to complete!

FINDING/ATTENDING BLOGGER EVENTS
I think that the only event that I've attended and actually (successfully) blogged was for The Lip Bar over 4 years ago!  I did attend a Natural Hair Expo and had every intention of vlogging the event, but I didn't feel as if it was as organized as I would have liked, so I scrapped the footage.  I need to find more events to attend because I would love to meet some of my fellow Michigan bloggers!
AND SO MUCH MORE!!
I won't give away all of my plans, just want to reiterate how much I love my platforms and how I am going to stop taking them for granted and be more serious about them.  The art of creating is a gift and along with all of the ladies and gentlemen that I follow on any platform, I love doing this! :) So plan on getting tired seeing this face (hoping you won't 😌)!

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WHAT YOU'RE LOVING

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