Meet Nadia. Wife of major league baseball player, James Loney, mom of two boys, San Fernando Valley native, and UCLA grad. This beauty is more than a pretty face; she passed the California bar and worked as an attorney prior to meeting her husband. I spoke with Nadia to find out more about the MLB life and her new interior design business...
Like many other WAGS, apartment living has become the norm for my family. When your significant other has to move from one side of the country to the other, in the middle of the season, it is very hard to pack up a house, sell it, and move within a short period of time. Apartments are very convenient, allowing short term leasing and catering to the instability of the NFL. The downside to living in an apartment during the holidays is most definitely the lack of ability to personalize décor. I love holiday decorations and if I had my way, I would probably paint my door red and green. However, I’ve had to learn to be creative and work with what I have. Here are a few helpful tips when decorating your apartment for the holidays.
- Opt for a small artificial Christmas tree over a large live tree. Unfortunately, some apartments do not allow live trees because of the fire risk it poses. Also, a real tree may not be conducive to a small space that may already be cramped. A small artificial tree is not only a space saver, it is also cost-effective. I was able to pick up a pre-lit six feet tree from Target for only $30.
- String lights along the balcony/porch. I love driving past houses during the holidays and observing all of the amazing lighting, inflatable snowmen, and reindeer. Apartments however, lack the yard space for such a display. This is where lighting a balcony comes in handy. A simple outlining of the railing will give your apartment a sleek holiday look, and also make it stand out amongst your neighbors.
- Purchase evergreen-scented packs and hang them inside of the tree. I know there is nothing like the smell of a live fir tree to put you in the mood for some holiday caroling. This is a smell that an artificial tree will never be able replicate on its own, but a brilliant person came up with this solution. The evergreen-scented packs will definitely fill a home with the smell of a freshly cut tree.
- Hang a holiday wreath on the door. Like I said before, I would love to paint my door and definitely get in the holiday spirit but I’m sure my property manager wouldn’t be the least bit amused. A nice holiday wreath will set the mood for guests and anyone who walks past your door, and let them know you are decking the halls.
I hope these tips help you along the way and put you in a joyful mood!
Just the other day, I was having a conversation with my sisters. The topic: my nieces and nephew. More specifically though, we were discussing their obsession with technology. I can’t count on my hands all the gadgets my nieces and nephew possess. From gaming consoles, to tablets, to smart watches, they may be more connected to the world than I am. I have to take part in the blaming process behind all of this, however, because technology makes life so much easier. When we’re out shopping or at dinner and the kids are getting antsy, my go-to gesture is to hand them my cellphone and let them play a game. I have even noticed myself handing my phone to Marlee when I am trying to eat, to distract her from my food. Again, technology just makes life easier but, is easier necessarily better?
If technology is striving to oversimplify life, are kids missing out and failing to enjoy life? I am not that old, but when I was growing up, my forms of entertainment included: a bike, basketball, or board game. As a matter of fact, I think I remember those moments and cherish them more thoroughly, because they forced me to communicate more, especially with my older sister. I seriously made her read me a book every night for about two months straight until one day, that book miraculously went missing. Special moments like these are now moments we laugh about. I worry my nieces and nephew, and even my own daughter, may not have these moments.
So now, we’re getting back to the basics. My sisters and I have decided that entertainment for the kids will now include more “old fashioned” things, without a battery or charging cord attached. This includes puzzles, painting, and whatever we can find to accomplish this. Unfortunately, we don’t always have time to come up with a project or activity for the kids, and need a quick solution. I found this answer in Target. They now sell prepackaged DIY kits of all types, made by Handmade Modern. The one I chose was an animal head that can be painted any way you choose, then assembled and it was only $9.99. This makes the perfect DIY project that can also be hung in the kids’ room as décor.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the adults can enjoy themselves after dinner, while the kids get knee deep in paint and glitter. A win for everyone.
Fall, our sweet relief from the heat of summer and the precursor to a brutally cold winter. Oh, how I love fall! It is probably my favorite season. I say probably only because my birthday falls in the summer season. However, if we put sweat and sweet tea aside, fall wins by a landslide. Fall is when I prepare myself for winter. I like to clean out my closet, store all of my summer clothes, and do some shopping for the impending cooler weather. Now, everyone who knows me, knows I hate shopping. Seriously, I dread it more than changing Marlee's stinky diaper. Fall changes all of that. I get super excited for shopping this time of year with all of the sweaters, shawls and cute booties in stores. I am sure that you are already being bombarded by the hashtag, #sweaterweather. There is even a song by The Neighbourhood called Sweater Weather.
Aside from #sweaterweather, another infamous hashtag, is #pumpkinspice. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. When I am in the grocery store, I am always in complete awe at the ways they have used this combination. Pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice Oreos. Yes, Oreos (I am still trying to build up the courage to try)! Pumpkin Spice is definitely the in thing for the fall, and I cannot say I'm mad about it.
The other morning, I woke up with pumpkin spice on my mind, and the feeling that I needed to incorporate this into a DIY. I got up, drove to Dunkin Donuts, and bought a pumpkin latte thinking it would get rid of the lingering thought of pumpkin spice. It did not. As I sat and sipped my latte, I thought back on a conversation I had had previously. I was talking to a fellow WAG, Sarah, wife of Bears Nick Becton. Sarah and I have built a great friendship since fate landed us together when our guys played for the Chargers. We have since learned so much about each other. Sarah knows I have an obsession with pampering products and I shop at LUSH (quite often)! This particular day, she suggested that I try making my own products. After a quick look at the ingredients list on a couple empty containers, I decided to tackle a lip scrub. My first two tries included sea salt, sugar, honey, and coconut oil. This was a very tasty combination and makes the lips feel amazing. Now, I’ve decided to pumpkin spice it up, and make this tasty fall inspired lip scrub for you all. Thank Sarah for the inspiration!
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 2 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 drop of honey
- A few pinches of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of canned pumpkin
This is super simple. I combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, blending it very well. They key to a successful lip scrub is ensuring the mixture sticks together but still has a grainy texture. The honey is what helps it stick, so if necessary, add more. That’s all there is to it. This tastes so yummy. I am always tempted to lick it off after I exfoliate my lips.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval="3" images="1930,1931,1929" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]This week has been hectic. With Halloween right around the corner, I have been running around to make Marlee’s first Halloween a special one. First, my trip to the costume store began and ended in less than a minute. I was so excited browsing the internet and looking at costumes when I came across a cute lamb and peacock. I’m usually an online shopper, but I just had to see these costumes up close and personal. Hence, my trip to the store. Unfortunately, all of that excitement ended up being for nothing because to my surprise, the store did not carry any of the costumes. Next, I decided to start working on Marlee’s Halloween basket. Since this is her first Halloween, I want to add a personal touch by making it myself. If I could sew (a skill I will be working on soon), then I would just whip her up a costume. Admitting defeat in that area, the least I can do is make her a basket. Well, as soon as I started prepping my materials, ready to get knee-deep in felt and glue, Marlee’s teeth decided to start coming in. Yes, my baby is teething. If you don’t know, this makes her drool and bite on everything. Night time is by far the worst. She just cannot get comfortable, no matter how hard she tries, which means no sleep for me. It’s so sad seeing my baby irritated, but it is just another milestone she’s crossing so I’m excited. However, this has made crafting and such nearly impossible.
It has taken days for me to complete this basket, which should only take about an hour of my time under normal circumstances. Luckily, I have been able to fit in a couple of minutes each naptime to work on it, piece by piece, and it is finally done.
Now that Marlee is teething, it’s only a matter of time before the candy she will collect in this basket becomes her guilty pleasure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="What I Use:" font_container="tag:h2|font_size:40|text_align:left" google_fonts="font_family:Dosis%3A200%2C300%2Cregular%2C500%2C600%2C700%2C800|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]
- 1 yard of white felt
- ½ yard of black felt
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Black Yarn
- Yard Needle
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- Draw a large circle on the white felt and cut it out. I used a bowl from the kitchen to outline my circle.
- Mark and cut out a rectangle, about 12 inches wide, leaving it 1 yard in length.
- Laying the circle flat, glue the rectangle around the circle, creating the shape of the basket. I use glue to secure all my seams initially for added strength.
- Once the basket is shaped, trim off the excess fabric and secure the seam with glue.
- Fold the top of the basket inward around the rim about 1 inch and glue this down.
- From the black felt, cut a 3 inch wide, 1 ½ ft. long rectangle to serve as your strap. Attach using glue across the top of basket, with the end of both sides meeting the seam of the baskets rim.
- Thread the needle with yarn and proceed to stitch along the bottom of the basket, keeping the seams about 1 inch apart.
- Stitch along top of the basket on the seams and along the rim, making sure to pass the thread through the baskets’ strap.
- Now that the basket is formed, this is where your creativity comes into place. I used white and black felt because my focus was on creating a ghost themed basket, however the colors used and design is up to you.
- Use the glue gun to secure your designs to the basket.
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Football season is in full effect, and for myself, that means endless anxiety. From worrying about what team my fiancé will end up on, to traveling with an infant to wherever he goes. Then, there is the never ending and probably most nerve wrecking fear of all, the fear of an injury. Injuries are taboo in the NFL. Not to even be thought about and definitely never spoken of. From the first preseason game to the Super Bowl, us WAGS spend endless hours in prayer. Praying that our men don't get tackled too hard, bending their knees, shoulders, feet, fingers or anything in an unnatural way. As funny as this may sound, given the physical nature of the sport, we long for the end of the game, so we can do a thorough examination of our men, ensuring that every strand of hair is in place. But, unfortunately, life happens. Sometimes, even the best of them become vulnerable.
Last season, my fiancé suffered an injury. Seeing him torn away from the game he loves so deeply, made me appreciate his work ethic and sacrifice even more. I spent countless hours massaging his injury. There were times when my fingers would cramp, and I could tell he noticed because he would suggest that I stop, insisting that he felt better. I couldn't stop. I wanted to make it go away so I massaged and massaged.
My favorite massaging products at the time were the massage bars from LUSH cosmetics. I mean, those things melted like butter on warm skin. I absolutely LOVED them. However, they can start to add up in cost. I believe they are meant for occasional indulging, not daily use. I started thinking of ways to save and began searching our apartment for multi-use products. This brought me to the idea of making my own massage candles, with the intent of incorporating as many household products as possible. I now bring this cost effective, easy to do, project to you all.
What I Use:
- ¾ cup of Soy Wax Flakes (Can be found at your local crafts store for about $9)
- 2 tbsp. Unrefined Coconut Oil (I tend to always have this in my cabinet for cooking purposes, but can be found in any grocery store.)
- 1 tbsp. 100% Natural Shea Butter or any kind of body butter i.e. Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter (I was once a natural hair enthusiast, so this was a staple in my hair cabinet. I now use it on my daughters’ hair.)
- Approx. 25 drops of Fragrance Oil (Can be found at your local crafts store. I am using a blend of essential oils tailored to stress relief.)
- 1 candle jar (I found a metal candle jar at the crafts store for $1.49.)
- In a small metal bowl, combine the soy wax, coconut oil (or oil of choice), and shea butter (or butter of choice).
- Next, set the bowl over a small pot, making sure to add about 2-3 inches of water to the pot. Turn on medium high. *
- Stir occasionally until the mixture has completely melted, leaving behind no solid pieces. Remove from heat.
- Now add the fragrance oil and mix. This is where I like to take a plastic spoon, scoop out some of the mixture, and do a test.
- Gently pour it onto the back of your hand, rub it in and smell. This should let you know if you need to add more fragrance oil.
- Remove the bowl from the pot, making sure to be careful by wearing a mitt, and using tongs.
- With your candle jar ready, pour the mixture into the jar, leaving about 1 inch at the top. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes, gently place the wick into the center of the candle, making sure not to bend the wick (I've learned that by using 2 plastic knives, I can keep the wick upright and in place.) Let sit for an hour.
- Test the candle by touching it, to ensure the mixture has hardened. It should not be rock hard, and should give with slight pressure. Trim the wick, leaving some length.
Voilà! A perfect massage candle to set the mood, or in my case, massage your athletic fiancé.
*The mixture can also be melted in the microwave, in a microwavable bowl. However, I would suggest microwaving in 1 minute intervals and stirring. This will ensure that the mixture is heated evenly.
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Thursday nights...are Scandal nights. Everyone knows not to call, text, or even look at me for one full hour. No interruptions please. This is the one night I am able to channel my inner Olivia Pope. I pour myself a glass of red wine and my gladiators and I save the world. Okay, in reality, I just sit on my couch, and my gladiators, are really just my sisters who I call every commercial break with the typical “Oh my God, did that just happen!" One thing you can always expect out of Scandal every week, however, is Olivia taking a few minutes every night, to sit back and indulge in her favorite glass of wine, and she thoroughly enjoys that escape from the world around her.
So, if all of this Scandal talk has you confused, because maybe, just maybe, you have never watched one episode of Scandal, then I am sure you can at least relate to having a glass of wine to wind down. For those under 21, maybe a glass of sparkling cider. Sometimes, a hectic day at work and then the commute home, just really put you on edge, so you took a minute to relax and sip. Maybe, after one of those football games, where your team barely escapes with a win, you want nothing more than to have a nice drink. In some cases, you and the girls just want to hang out and catch up, and what better way to do it, then over a glass of wine. Whatever reasons draw you to have your wine, the common thread is that you cannot have wine without a wine glass. I must admit, I once saw someone drinking wine out of a coffee mug, and while I believe in making it work with what you have, that seems disrespectful to those poor grapes who were used to create that delicious wine.
Now, here is where my frustration comes in. I spent the past season of Scandal, searching for that long stemmed glass that Olivia likes to use to indulge in her wine of choice, with no luck. I had to settle for a simple, wide headed glass the entire heart-stopping season. When my sisters would come over, we were forced to use the same style glass. Oh the terror, when I would walk into the kitchen and set my glass down, just to come back and find three identical glasses with red wine all in the same area. Then, the guessing game would ensue, I would allow my germ phobia to overtake me, pour out all three glasses, wash them, and start over. Just one very big mess and a lot of wasted Pinot Noir. Just recently, it hit me. Now that Scandal is back, why not personalize three glasses for each of my sisters and myself. This would make life much easier. I guess Olivia has taught me a lot about averting crises.
So if you fear glass mix ups or wasted wine, take these steps to creating the perfect Scandal night, or even just a girls night.
What I Use:
- 1 Wine Glass (Purchased from the Dollar Tree)
- Paint Markers (I usually have these in my home because I love making posters and banners for holidays)
- A pack of crystal (Can be found in the craft section in Wal-Mart)
- Super glue adhesive
- Whatever other decorative items you would like to personalize your glass
1. My first step is always to clean and thoroughly dry the wine glass. I have noticed that fingerprints tend to sometimes interfere with the paint process.
Now this is where the fun starts.
2. Decorate your glass, in any way you would like. I tend to freehand my design, with different letter styles and color combinations. If you are making this for someone else, I would suggest you try to channel the person’s personality in your design.
3. Once you have allowed your imagination to run wild, let the glass dry. The drying process can take about 24 hours, for a complete dry. If the glass will possibly be used regularly, I would suggest baking the glass after it has dried.
4. To bake the glass, place it in a cool oven, and set the oven to 350 degrees. Let the glass bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off. DO NOT remove the glass from the oven until the oven has cooled off completely. Removing the glass while hot, thenplacing on a cold surface, may cause the glass to crack or shatter.
5. After the glass has been baked or the paint has dried, you can now decorate the glass with the crystals or other bling options you may have chosen. Simply apply the adhesive and then the crystals. Allow this to thoroughly dry for 8 hours.
You are now free to sip, and watch Scandal.
*Only, hand wash your decorative wine glass.