Four Threads

Look For Less: Cult Gaia Handbag Dupe

FashionVeronica ArrietaComment
The best designer handbag dupe. The Cult Gaia handbag dupe for only $40!

So I'm headed to the Caribbean at the end of the month and have been on the hunt for swimsuits, cover ups, and warmer weather attire...hallelujah! As much as I love oversized seaters and leggings, this girl is ready for some warm sunshine! As I was on the hunt for some beach bags, I stumbled across one of the best dupes!

I've had my eye on this Cult Gia Bamboo Ark Bag for a few seasons now, but just cant bring myself to fork over the money. It seems like every "IT girl" is carrying this bag, which makes the rest of us want it too! I love how different the bag is. It’s most definitely a show stopping accessory; the shape and design are so eye catching. And let's not forget that it just so conveniently goes with every outfit - it's basically a neutral.

BUT y'all I'm happy to report that I found a dupe and it's good...I mean really good! If I haven't already lost you to the Amazon link here,  It’s available in a small (11″ x 3″ x 8″) and a large size (12.5″ x 4″ x 10.5″) which are both just $40 (including 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime). And it comes two different colors: the natural and black

I can't wait to rock this bag on my vacation and during Spring/Summer. I got the natural color in small. To me, it's worth buying the dupe over the original because it's more of an "IT bag" not a timeless piece. 

Shop The Cult Gait Dupe:

SHOP CUlt Gaia:

24 Hours In SOHO NYC

TravelVeronica ArrietaComment
24 Hours in SOHO NYC

Wondering what to do with 24 hours in Soho? Soho is ever fashion girls dream - packed with little boutiques and shops, cute restaurants, and cobble stone streets. Soho has some of the more “known brands” direct to consumer such as Everlane, Warby Parker, Harry’s, etc.

Where To Stay In Soho

Where to stay in SOHO NYC?

No questions asked, stay at 11 Howard. It's super chic and trendy. And it’s a Starwood hotel, which is always a plus for the point lovers! 11 Howard has totally redefined the check-in experience by setting up 2 iPads around a round table. Oh and the rooms...the rooms are a total dream with touches of of gold, pink and white marble - is there anything better?!

Where To Eat In Soho

Where to eat in SOHO NYC
Breakfast at Jack's Wife Freda in SOHO NYC

Breakfast

Jack's Wife Freda - The staff is friendly, the ambiance is charming and trendy, and the food is even better! It's a smaller restaurant and there is usually a line so make sure to get there early and wait for a table or sit at the bar. 

Sadelle's - This is a longer walk or quick Uber ride but has amazing french toast and known for their bagels with smoked salmon. Be prepared to wait.

Butcher's Daughter - It's small and charming place with excellent vegetarian/vegan food that has now become insanely popular. 

Lunch

Prince Street Pizza - One of the best slices of pizza in the city. Make sure to get a square pepperoni slice!

Balthazar - A Soho staple that's typically hard to get in but the food, service and scene never disappoints. 

Dinner

Here’s a list of restaurant recommendations as we know you your appetite changes.

Estela - This is is cool place to bring a date or a place for a fun get together. Order some Spanish tapas and wine and chat the night away. 

 

Where To Walk Around In Soho

Walk around SOHO NYC
Cha Cha Matcha in SOHO NYC

Grab a Cha Cha Matcha and stroll through Elizabeth, Mott, and Mulberry Streets in between Houston and Spring. These are great window shopping streets or to pop in and out of! 

On the way home back to 11 Howard make sure to stop by Ferrara and grab a cannoli or Italy pastry. I always make a stop in Little Italy for a sweet treat!  

Best of Target Shoes - Under $40

FashionVeronica ArrietaComment

Y'all I was in Target the other day and had to take a double take down the shoe aisle. Target is just killing it in the shoe department. It is so hard for me to hold back and not just buy all of the shoes. I was swooning over a few pairs and just had to share my favorite shoes at Target right now.

Slides & Loafers

Sandals

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Boots

#MOMMYMONDAY: How We Got Our Baby To Sleep 12 Hours At Night

MotherhoodVeronica ArrietaComment
#MOMMYMONDAY: How We Got Our Baby To Sleep 12 Hours At Night

Olivia is 6 months (wow!!) and has been sleeping through the night (from 7:30pm to 7am) since she was ~5 weeks old. Let me preface by saying that we are very blessed how lucky we are with such a good baby/sleeper. And I will say that routines aren't for everyone, but it works for us. I downloaded the Scheduler app for Moms On Call and follow it pretty religiously. At first my family thought I was crazy (and probably still do) at how we have our baby on a schedule but at the same time she sleeps 12 hours a night, which means Mama gets to sleep too! 

What is Moms On Call? It's is an infant/toddler service run by two pediatric nurses who offer in-home consultations, books, DVDs, webinars, etc. Y'all I seriously swear by MOC because it's helped get my baby on a sleep schedule and sleep through the night.

Right when Olivia was born I started getting using the MOC schedule loosely. After all the most important thing for a newborn baby is to be fed. Here are some tips and tricks that worked for us to get our baby sleeping through the night:  

1) We followed the schedule pretty religiously. Since I downloaded the app, it notified me on when to feed, nap and sleep. But I also wrote the schedule down on a sticky note for my husband and MIL to this day. I do allow some flexibility and use my judgement based on the day, especially because sometimes you just need to run errands. But generally I will try and plan my trips around the schedule. If we do anything to alter the schedule, I always try to wake her up and put her down at the same time everyday.

2) We have a consistent bedtime routine: bath, bottle, bed. This routine allows Olivia to know that it's bedtime. 

3) We put Olivia to bed right after her last bottle at 7pm. This gives my husband and I time to ourselves, which is so nice! 

4) We always make sure to give Olivia her biggest bottle at night to make sure her belly is full and helps sleep through the night. 

5) Whenever I am unsure of something or have questions, I refer to the MOC Facebook group. Let's be honest, as a new mom I always have questions and things I'm wondering so it's so helpful to just search the group because most other moms have answered it! 

6) After the 3 or 4 month mark, we started letting her cry it out and soothe her self to sleep. It was SO dang hard but totally worth it! 

MOC has worked to us and I'm so grateful for it! When it comes to anything with your baby, make sure to talk to your pediatrician and make sure you have the green light with anything! Have you tried Moms on Call or any others to help your baby sleep through the night? I'd love to hear what works for you and your family! 

#GIRLBOSS: AILLEA Owner, Kathryn Murray Dickinson

BeautyVeronica ArrietaComment
Kathryn Headshot 1.jpg

I'm excited to introduce you to this week's #GirlBoss, Kathryn Murray Dickinson Dean, owner of AILLEA. AILLEA is a clean beauty haven with stores in Atlanta, Denver, Raleigh and Charleston. Kathryn started AILLEA because she was trying to clean up her own beauty routine and was disheartened with the lack of performance in many products and the amount of greenwashing. It took her 3 months and $150 to find a great shampoo that was truly clean. She realized that nobody has the time and energy to finding clean products. 

Here is what Kathryn had to say ...

AILLEA, clean beauty

Name: Kathryn Murray Dickinson

Current Title/Company: Owner AILLEA

Education: BA Dartmouth, MBA Columbia Business School

What was your first job out of college? Working at Merrill Lynch. It was a wonderful experience but helped me realize that I did not want to work in finance. That helped lead me to beauty where I spent most of my career.

Tell us more about AILLEA. AILLEA is a clean beauty boutique.  We have ~50 brands of makeup, skincare, haircare, fragrance, bath and body and more.  All of the products are free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals or other endocrine disruptors. We have over 1300 banned ingredients.

What inspired you to start your own company? Several years ago I had developed severe late in life allergies. In trying to clean up my own beauty routine. I was so disheartened with the lack of performance in many products and the amount of greenwashing. It took me 3 months and $150 to find a great shampoo that was truly clean. I realized that nobody has the time and energy I was putting in to finding products. With a background in beauty where I have worked with the biggest retailers in the country, I knew I could help bring this to other women.

What advice would you give others thinking about starting their own business? It is 10x more work than you expect, it takes twice as long to build and is 100x more rewarding than you expect. 

GIRLBOSS Quotes.png

What was your biggest fear in starting your own business? Would everyone else be as passionate about clean beauty as I am? I think the tides are shifting in that direction, but when I first started it was not as prevalent.

Why is non-toxic beauty so important to you? Have you always been interested in it? I have always been interested in beauty, but only after I was having health issues did I really focus on clean beauty. The more I learned and the more I researched, the more passionate I became about lifting the veil on ingredients and their impacts. I don’t like to speak from a place of fear - but we need to be aware that breast cancer rates for women have gone from 1 in 20 to 1 in 8, over 90% of breast cancer tumors had parabens in them, childhood cancers are on the rise. 

Are there any ingredients in beauty and skincare products that we should be avoiding? Yes! There are the big ones that everyone knows about - Sulfates, Phthalates, Parabens. But there are others that are a bit sneakier. The ingredient “Fragrance" can disguise HUNDREDS of ingredients. Because it is considered trade secret, brands are not required to disclose what makes up that ingredient. Synthetic sunscreens are another big one, it usually shows up as oxybenzone, octisalate or octinoxate. 

Do you have any products would you recommend for Winter and Summer, as I know our skin takes a beating. 
Maya Chia’s ‘The Super Blend’ Pressed Serum Brightening Moisture Concentrate really offers it all - MAJOR hydration, anti-aging, and skin brightening. 

If you could pick four products that you couldn’t live without, what would they be? Agent Nateur deodorant, Indie Lee Squalane Oil, Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner, Lily Lolo Mascara.

What does a typical day look like for you? It changes EVERY day which I love. Some days I am in the store with the team, some days I am on the road for events, and some days I am at a Starbucks working on paying bills, returning emails and planning our expansion.

What’s your most proud moment since launching AILLEA? Being named by Well+Good as one of the top beauty retailers in the country and being named to the Goop city guide were 2 big ones for me. To receive that level of national recognition for a small boutique is really validating. 

What advice would you give to your younger self? I wish I had started taking better care of myself earlier. I wish it wasn’t health issues that had driven me to seek out the clean products. Although that was a gift in itself as it helped me start AILLEA.

If you could have drinks with four women who would it be? Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Kris Jenner and Vera Wang.

What’s next for AILLEA? Any collaborations? Stores we can find you in? We are opening stores this winter/spring in Charleston and Raleigh and I am so excited that these locations will now have spa rooms offering clean services.

#MommyMonday: Advice For New Moms, From Moms

MotherhoodVeronica ArrietaComment
Advice for new moms, from mom

Before we had Olivia I went through every emotion known to mankind - I was nervous, excited, and terrified all at the same time. I was nervous about birthing a baby, raising a child, etc. It's not like they make a book about parenting or anything ;-) I talked to a lot of moms and asked them for advice for new moms. Here's what they had to say...

Advice For New Moms, From Moms

Enjoy him/her being little as long as you can because they grow up so quickly.  I used to wish that we would be out of diapers, but be careful what you wish for because it happens in a flash. - Kari, my mom

 

Enjoy every second that first year because it goes by so fast! - Bonnie, my grandmother and great-grandmother to Olivia

 

Enjoy every second and DO NOT worry about your house, as the housework will always be there and all the changes in that first year you can never get back! - Pam, family friend and Grandmother to Harper

 

Ask questions babies are very resilient they let you know what they want. Become best friends with your baby doctors nurse. - Rosalie, my grandmother

 

Take time for your self even if it’s something as simple as a pedicure. Pray that you do right by them. Always know that you can only do your best. - Glorie, my sister-in-law and mom to twins Ella and Lia, age 4 1/2

 

Two things: 1. I send copies of Baby Wise to all of my friends as they have babies because you can be the best mom you can be when you and your baby get some sleep. 2. Do what works for you. A lot of people try to tell you what to do. People would tell me to feed Lily every time she made a peep when I was trying to get her on a schedule. My mom was really supportive and even though my approach was different than hers back in the day (i.e. she co-slept), I was grateful that she always told me to do whatever worked best for me. - Megan, cousin and mom to Lily,  age 1  1/2

 

Pay attention to your kids. - Gloria, my mother-in-law

 

Always follow your instincts, even though your new to this, your motherly instincts are usually right. Do what you feel is best for your baby. Get your rest while the baby is sleeping, seems like I️t will be difficult but this time is when it’s easy to sleep. Take advantage while they’re 0-6 months, after this sleeping no longer exist! Any time they nap, (if you can get even 15-30 minutes) YOU NAP too!  - Natalia, my sister-in-law and mom to Ben, age 2

 

Your child isn’t going to want to sleep with you forever so let them snuggle! Oh and pick out all the cute clothes and make them wear them wear while they’re little because once they refuse you’ll never win the battle - Jeni, my aunt and mom to Ava, age 13

 

You’re your baby’s best advocate. If something doesn’t seem right speak up; people will feed you advice all day long, but you don’t have to listen to them. Trust your momma bear instincts. - Angelica, my cousin and mom to Beckett, age 3

Here's a few things: 1. Mom Shaming is for real! Just do what you think is right for your baby honestly you know in your gut! 2. Dancing with your little one seriously can change any rough day into the best one. Hello endorphins! 3. Embrace the messy house it just means you are lucky enough to have little ones enjoying themselves. Be kind to yourself and your new body....you made a person and that’s kind of amazing! 4. If you don’t have amazon prime GET IT! - Chantel, friend and mom to Beryx, age 1