Monday, March 19, 2018

Amber // Baby Shower

I got to be a part of a beautiful Baby Shower for my sister in law last weekend, and I’ve just been swooning over the photos ever since! I wanted to share some of the details from this gorgeous day with you all! 

We had a HUGE spread of vegan food catered by Amber's friend Jay, and each little detail was just perfect. There was an Avocado Toast bar, Bruschetta, Vegan Lasagna Rolls, tons of grilled veggies, and a ton of fruit and other little goodies! And of course, no brunch is complete without Mimosas and Bloody Mary's all around. 

The desserts were a huge hit too! Seriously, how perfect are those cookies?

It was such a blast to shower this mama with so much love. I'm ecstatic that I get to be this little babe's aunt, and I cant wait for him/her to be here! 

And of course a huge thanks to Shannon Milberg for being the best hostess and providing such a perfect space for the party! 
She put in to much time and effort making everything fall perfectly into place for this celebration of Baby O! 

Catering // Jason Brown
Cookies & Cake // The Createrie
Cupcakes // Batter & Crumbs
Chalkboard Sign // Belovely Design

Monday, February 26, 2018

DIY Floral Letter

Good afternoon, friends! It’s hard to believe the weekend is over already, but we’re back to the grind over here after a busy few days. 

Today, I wanted to share a project I just finished for Oaklyn’s first birthday that was totally easy and would look great in any home! 

First, I bought a few bunches of flowers from Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I chose a cream/soft pink color scheme with some greens around the edges (and for these, I just used the greens that came on the stems that I bought). I picked up a large bunch of these Peach Ranculus, as well as a smaller stem of White Ranculus (because I loved the leaves) from Hobby Lobby. I then grabbed a White Hydrangea stem from Michael’s, and found a few extra stems at home which included white roses, some faux fern leaves, and a few peonies. These really helped add some more depth to the letter, rather than just using the same few flowers over and over. 

My tools were a hot glue gun, cardboard, scissors, and an X-Acto knife. I cut the shape of an “O” out of the cardboard with the scissors, then used the knife to remove the middle of the letter. I think that it may be wise to cut out 2 of the same letter and glue them together to reinforce the cardboard, but for this one I just did one layer. 

I took all the flower heads off of the stems, and cut off any extra tips there were (as shown below) so that the flower could be glued right up against the cardboard and be flush with the surface. I placed the largest flowers first, and worked my way out with smaller flowers, using the hydrangea leaves individually as a filler between flowers. as I worked my way around, I added the leaves so that they curved up towards the top. 

Here’s the finished product! I’m so happy with it and can’t wait to use it as party decor in just a couple of months!

I had seen these gorgeous letters all over Pinterest, but wasn’t willing to drop a lot of money on them. The total I spent on this project was under $15, which I think is a steal in comparison to the $40-$80 price tag I was seeing on sites like Etsy and Amazon! 

Also, a few tips to save some extra $$$
- Keep an eye out for sales! Every stem I purchased was 50% off the original price. Hobby lobby rotates their sales, and Michaels always has a pretty decent coupon floating around!
- Use things you have at home. The cardboard was from a box we already had in our basement, and if you don’t have an X-Acto knife or box cutter, you can make the scissors work for the whole thing! 
- You can use less flowers if you use larger ones. I used mainly small and medium heads, but definitely could have gone larger on the flowers so that they each took up more space. (maybe this is an excuse to make another one!)

If you try out this project, let me know how it works out and what materials worked best for you! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

5 Whole30 Habits I've kept in my daily routine

I did my second round of Whole30 in January, and this time around, I was so much more confident and determined to make a real lifestyle change. I knew it was time to give up a few things that had been dragging me down and making me feel sluggish and unbalanced. I learned so much more about my body this time, and I'm so happy with the way I've continued to feel as i've made changes in my food choices. Here are a few things I did to get back to feeling great! 

Big, protein packed breakfasts
My FAVORITE meal of the day is breakfast. I’ve made it a habit to keep eggs, chicken sausage, avocado, spinach, and sweet potatoes on hand for an amazing breakfast skillet that wakes me up and keeps me full until lunch! Being a mom means sometimes I don’t get to lunch when I’d like to, so protein packed breakfasts give me the energy to push through until I can find the time to eat again. 

Food prep 
While I struggled to do this at the beginning of my most recent round of Whole30, I’ve grown to love meal prepping, and the time it saves me later in the week. I’ve started roasting a big pan of veggies at the beginning of the week, and just sautéing them quickly to add to any meal later on. I also like to do a big roast or whole chicken in the crock pot, and and use the leftover meat for lunches or a soup later in the week. It saves on time and dishes, which is always a huge win in our house. 
Another option that I like is cooking a double portion of a meal that is easy to reheat, and save that for lunches later in the week. This way, we don’t have to resort to the empty calories of a deli meat sandwich, and we can enjoy a hot, healthy lunch without spending the time cooking every day. Stuffed peppers, burrito bowls, veggie bake, and fajitas are all really great options that are easy to make lots of, and reheat well later on! 

Cutting the sugar-filled coffee creamers 
My mornings used to start with sugary coffee creamer, which gave me about a 30 minute burst of energy, but then made me crash mid-morning. I get so much more energy from my morning coffee with sugar free, dairy free creamers like Califia Farms and Nutpods, and they don’t leave me feeling bloated and craving more sugar afterward. They have great natural creaminess and flavor, and I don’t miss the sugar at all!

Dairy-free meals
I haven’t added dairy to a single meal since January 1st, and surprisingly I haven’t missed it whatsoever. I LOVE cheese, but I knew it was making me feel horrible, and I was going to bed with a stomach ache multiple times throughout the week. Going dairy free was already a goal of mine, and Whole30 gave me the kickstart I needed to cut it from my diet altogether. It was a challenge at the beginning to find meals that I wanted to eat that weren’t smothered in cheese, but now it’s a habit that i’m so glad we adopted into our weekly meal planning process! 

Making my own versions of dips/ sauces we eat often 
Ranch and Mayo are the 2 that I most often keep on hand, but I’ve made a ton of different dressings, pestos, and dips with Whole30 compliant ingredients that are clean and taste even better! They're not only better for you, but they taste fresh and are more budget-friendly. We're huge on dips, so if I can save a few bucks and still have lots of options, that's a definite plus. 

Here are a few links to my favorite condiment recipes! 

And, for a quick guideline, here are the dinners I have planned for this week! 

Monday- Turkey Apple Meatballs with Roasted Golden Potatoes
Tuesday- Quinoa and brown rice bowls with pulled pork, guacamole, and salsa 
Wednesday- Thai Red Curry Veggie Soup 
Thursday- Tofu Teriyaki Stir Fry 
Friday- Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries and Homemade Chipotle Ranch 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Day Dates: Out on the Town

Are you still trying to come up with a great date night for V-Day?
If you're fresh out of original ideas, try one (or a few) of these for a super fun night full of romance and new experiences.

Movie theater double feature 
Because you can’t just see one, right? There are lots of really great movies out right now, so why not do a double feature? Get the extra large popcorn with free refills, and veg for a few hours with your sweetie. Sometimes life is a little too fast paced, so this is a great way to unwind and spend time with your partner.

Take a pottery class 
I’ve always wanted to learn to throw pottery, but it’s hard to just work learning it into an already packed routine. Valentine’s day is the perfect excuse to try something new and fun t(hat you may not normally do), plus it’s always a blast to get a little messy on dates! This is something that I think everyone would enjoy doing at least once.

Beginner’s couples’ yoga
Yoga (or any new exercise) is scary to just try to pick up for the first time, especially in a class setting. Make it fun and let loose by going together and laughing through your first lesson. It’s a great way to grow closer to your partner, and have fun while doing it.

An appetizer crawl at your favorite fancy spots 
If you don’t want to drop $100 on dinner for the night, try skipping around town and sharing a few appetizers! This is the perfect way to try a few new restaurants, but not leave the night with an empty wallet. And don't forget to end the night with a warm dessert to share! (I have to admit, this is probably my fave on this list. I love trying out all of our local restaurants, and sharing apps is a great way to do it on the cheap!)

Spend the evening planning your dream home
Dream big! It’s so much fun. 4 car garage, an indoor pool, an in-home yoga studio, or maybe all 3? 

Go on your first date again
Whether it was a fancy dinner or a walk in the park, relive the first date together and talk about how far you’ve come in your relationship. It’s refreshing to out yourself back at the beginning and remind yourselves why you fell in love.

AirBnb it for a night 
My husband and I have has some really fun experiences with AirBnb, and it's easy to find spots that are cheaper than hotels, which is a major plus! Whether you stay in your hometown or go away for the night, this is such a fun idea when you just need a change of scenery, but still want to enjoy a night in. Cook a fancy dinner at your home away from home, rent a movie, and sleep in the next morning. (also a great idea for parents who need more than just a couple of hours off!)

Good ol’ Dinner date, complete with chocolate and flowers.
What kind of valentine’s day date list is complete without the standard dinner date? you really can’t go wrong with this one. This is the perfect opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with you partner, share a few appetizers and fancy entrées, talk about your day, and share some of your goals for the next year together. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How to Have a Fun, Romantic V-Day at Home; Plus Outfits for the Kids

Ok, my hubby and I can’t be the only parents staying in this Valentine’s day. I haven’t actually thought much about going out lately, and we decided that it was best for us to just try to go out on a night that’s not so crazy later in the month. Then we can celebrate V-Day all month, right? 

I decided to try to put together some ideas for what we can do at home, and still feel like we had a special (and super fun) Valentines Day date, because I’m a sucker for the romantics of this holiday. 

Here’s a list of ideas I came up with, I hope they can help my fellow homebodies enjoy a night in on the most romantic day of the year! 

 Have a Romantic Movie mini-marathon. 
The Notebook, Pretty Woman, La La Land, 500 Days of Summer, Pretty Woman, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Big Sick, and 50 first dates are just a few that immediately come to mind!

Oh, and don’t forget to go crazy with the movie snacks! 

Spend an hour or so talking about your dreams. 
Dream home, cream car, dream vacations. Spend some time daydreaming with your partner about what you want to do and where you want to be someday.

 Cook Together. 
Ethan and I have a big steak dinner planned. He loves Steak, and I love to cook, so hopefully we can get along in the kitchen and make it a fun evening together. Plus, steak dinners are pricey, so we love to do them at home where we can save some money, but still have a nice fancy spread! 

Plan a candlelit indoor picnic 
Anyone else just love shutting off all the lights and doing everything by candlelight? I love that Valentine’s Day is an excuse to do all the cheesy stuff! We’re planning to go all out, and making this night as special as we can! 

Make sure you’re stocked up on your favorite drinks. 
Rosé is a personal favorite of mine, and pink wines feel extra romantic to me. But you can also try to whip up some fun Valentine’s themed cocktails, like this one I found from Blackberry Babe! 

Get a small, meaningful gift for your spouse. 
Flowers, candy, or a fun game to play together on your night in. There are tons of options of things to do on a budget or an overall low-key night. I love to get and give gifts, and I truly believe that it’s the thought that counts. Put a little effort into a gift, and it will mean the world; whether it cost $10 or $100. It really is the thought that counts! 

Get rid of all other distractions. 
Turn off the tv (after your movie, of course), put away your phones, and focus on each other. This may be the first time you’ve had a meaningful conversation and devoted time to you S/O in a few weeks or months. Take advantage of the uninterrupted time together! 

And a few tips for parents who are trying to enjoy the much needed one on one time with you spouse:

Plan a night out for when it’s a little easier to book a babysitter. 
I’m someone who definitely feels guilty asking anyone to babysit on a night like valentines say. I hat the thought of keeping someone from their fun plans, even though I want to have fun plans too! It’s so much easier to plan a date night on a regular evening, when you won’t have to fight for someone to be available, plus fight for a reservation to your favorite restaurant.

Don’t sweat it when the kids won’t go to bed and your night has to be postponed or the times gets pushed back. 
We usually get Oaklyn down for bed around 7:30, which for us leaves plenty of time for some fun one-on-one date time, but kids are unpredictable. Prepare for your night to not go as planned so that when you finally get to your date, you’re still in good spirits and excited for the night ahead.

Don’t forget about celebrating with the kids beforehand! 
This is our first valentines day with our little love bug, so I fully intend to get really cheesy on V Day. Take some fun photos, make some crafts, and celebrate with your littles. Starting this tradition young will keep them in the spirit as they get older! 
Here are some cute outfit options for the littles! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I Tried Grove Collaborative (For the Freebies)

So there’s this new site floating around my Facebook and Instagram sponsored posts that looks pretty appealing. Of course, I’m a major skeptic when it comes to discounted things, especially when it’s online. I’ve been duped before, and I’m not about to let a site scam me out of money and charge me for things I never wanted or needed. I’m not sure about you, but I can just never be too cautious when it comes to social media ads. 

Grove Collaborative is a site where you can purchase and even get monthly shipments of your favorite natural cleaning products. They carry brands like Meyers and Method (both sold at target), as well as their own line of products. The idea behind it is that you get awesome, sustainable products for a lower price than what you’d normally purchase them for anywhere else. (it’s kind of like Thrive Market minus the groceries, if any of you have ever tried that!)

I was mostly drawn in by an intro offer that I saw advertised on Instagram about a HUGE free intro package, free shipping on my order, plus a free 60 day membership to the site. All I had to do was order $20 worth of products from the Grove, and that seemed like a pretty sweet deal to me. 

So, this is what I paid for. I got a Mrs Meyer's Multi-surface Concentrate ($7.99) and room refresh spray ($4.99), and Method bathroom cleaner(2.99). I also got these amazing microfiber towels ($5.95) that my husband and I both love! No more fuzz left on everything!

Before the shipping and free items came off, my total would have been $65
After all the discounts were calculated, my final total came to $23, saving me over forty dollars! 
And one of the best parts was that my order came in just TWO DAYS. I couldn’t believe how fast the shipping was. 

Here’s everything I got (and have been loving already) 

I had been considering switching our home to all natural cleaners since we now have a little one at home, but I always hesitated over the prices. Grove gave me the chance to try out over sixty dollars worth of products that I really wanted and use for only my original $20 spent. I’m going to use up the rest of my trial to see how things go, but the subscription fee is only $20 for the year, so I think it’s definitely be worth it for my family! 

Now we can have products that are family friendly and safe, and save tons of money in the process! I’m super excited to continue using Grove. 

What other services have you tried and loved? I’d love to try more! 

For an extra $10 off your first Grove order, click here

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Intentional; my word for 2018

Well, since January is almost over, I guess I better fit in all my New Year’s related material, right? 
I reeeeeallly need to catch up! 

I’ve thought a lot about this. Choosing a word or “theme” for the year is pretty trendy right now, so at first I felt silly jumping in on it. But the more I examined the last year, the more I realized that I actually really NEED a word for the year to constantly remind myself of where I want to be, and more importantly who I want to be. I need something to ground me and urge me to get back on track when life gets a little out of hand, aka at least twice a day. 

Last year, I became a mom. 2017 quickly became the best and hardest year of my entire life. It was so busy, so hectic, so unpredictable, and it flew by so fast. I honestly don’t really think last year even happened. It’s all a blur. 

I look at Oaklyn now, at almost 10 months, and regret wishing she’d hit milestones sooner. I regret wanting her to sit up, crawl, and stand, because that meant I was cherishing all those other moments a little bit less. Of course we’re having a total blast chasing her around the house (and now up the stairs, *cue heart palpitations*) and watching her dance to music, but I miss her snuggling with us in the mornings and sitting still for more than 3 minutes.

I began to realize that moments were slipping by without my permission, and they came and went before I even realized what had happened. Whether it was because we filled our schedule too much, or my brain was on auto pilot due to lack of sleep, I realized that there were moments that I wish I had savored more. I realized that I was living each day as if it was a routine, not as if it was my only chance to live in that particular moment. 

My husband and I talked about wanting to be intentional this year. We want to be less distracted by TV and social media, and more consumed with our marriage and our family. Coincidentally, that is the exact theme of our church this year as well, so we’ll have constant reminders along the way (which I most definitely need).

I’ve started trying to be more intentional with my time. I turn off the TV more often, and try to leave my phone in my pocket more. I study the way Oaklyn has to examine and poke every toy before she plays with it, and the way she talks to herself when she’s really focused on something. I’ve tried to be more present in conversations, and keep my head in that moment rather than on the mile long to-do list I have waiting for me. I’ve committed to pursuing worthwhile friendships and put my whole heart into loving them, intentionally seeking deeper and more meaningful connections. I've realized that the best relationships are the ones that you deliberately and actively seek out, reminding them every day that you love them and you want to be in their life. If you don't pursue them, they wont pursue you. I want this year to be the year I finally create a foundation for lifelong relationships.

I refuse to let this year go by without savoring and living in every single moment. I refuse to let any more moments pass without noticing the beauty in them. From now on, I'm choosing to be present, and living every day with intent.

Bring it on, 2018

p.s. If you enjoyed this post, check out my friends Kate and Natalie's posts on their words for the year! Get inspired! 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I'm back!

WOW… I haven’t posted since THANKSGIVING. I’d love to say I feel really bad, but the truth is, I really enjoyed spending the holiday season with family and friends, and our plates were quite full (literally and figuratively) for a while. But life has slowed down, and gosh darn it, I’m ready to be back. 

I blame my unplanned hiatus a bit on busyness, but also a bit on laziness. It’s downright difficult to have an incredibly active 9 month old rampaging your house all day, and when she finally crashes, I just haven't felt like blogging. I feel like turning off my brain and doing nothing while there's a brief moment of silence in my house. 

 Every now and then, a blog topic passes through my head, or a recipe works perfectly that I think about sharing immediately. But I let the moment go by, think “i should blog that later,”, and then all of a sudden it’s been 2 months. 

One of my goals for the new year is to not put so much pressure on myself, so when I did decided to start back up with my blog, I didn’t make specific goals. I don’t want to pressure myself to blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I don't’ want to stress myself out if I don’t have a great post planned sometimes. I want it to be ok that I don’t follow a set schedule right now or push myself to finish a post “on time.” I want to enjoy it, so I refuse to pressure myself over it. 

My blog is a bit of an outlet for me, so my goal is to write more often instead of scrolling Instagram or catching up on a show. I do a lot of that. I fill my free time with the same mind-numbing things, and find that my goals begin to suffer. The housework piles up, my email inbox just keeps nagging me to read it, and the brilliant ideas in my head just come and go with no further thought. When I turn off the tv or put away my phone, I find the energy to do other things like write, clean, or meal prep. Which is coincidentally another one of my goals. (#NewYearNewMe amirite?)

Since the new year, I’ve been keeping with most of my other goals, but I realized that I had really let myself get into a funk over my blog. I started to think that maybe people didn’t really care about my opinion on what the best chili recipe is, or what I recommend wearing to a Christmas party. But the truth is, I started the blog for me, not for page views. 

So here we go again! I’m really excited to be back, and while I don’t have a specific plan for this page, I can already feel that this year is gonna be good. I have lots to share already, so I better start writing! 

Thanks for sticking around, friends.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thanksgiving Staple Recipes

Friends, Thanksgiving is SO CLOSE. I can’t believe the holiday season is finally here. This year is especially exciting because it’s Oaklyn’s first big holidays! It’s so exciting, and I’m just itching to start decorating for Christmas already. 

I love to cook and bake, so the holidays are the perfect excuse to hibernate inside and fill my house with sweet scents of cookies, pies, and casseroles.

This year we get to go to a Friendsgiving party, so I’m prepping this week to make a few of my favorite dishesI I thought I’d just compile a list of all my Thanksgiving favorites here, and I hope some of you can use and love them too! 

I tried to include a few recipes that were easily adapted for different diets and tastes. The Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe was definitely my favorite, and it was a big hit with my family last year too! 

First up: Apple Cider. I love a good cider to sip on, but sometimes at the store it can be up to $8 per gallon (and can be full of ingredients I can't even pronounce.) This one is easy, and I love to use freshly picked apples in it! And the spices are all great to keep on hand for the holiday season. 

I also love a good homemade cranberry sauce. It's one of those recipes that's stupidly easy, but a lot of people don't spend the time making it. Now that I've had homemade cranberry sauce, I'll never go back to canned! This recipe is easily adaptable if you want to add orange juice or other flavors- but I prefer it in all its plain cranberry goodness. 

Next, something I've made for the last few years in a row is Sweet Potato Casserole. Around where we live, potatoes are abundant, and they're easy to find at a roadside stand or the market. Since I have such easy access to it all, it's been a no-brainer that I'd make it a yearly tradition! I LOVE sweet potatoes, but found that not everyone has them at their Thanksgiving table, so I've made it my civic duty to make sure I supply my friends and family with it. So far, no one has complained about it. 

Finally, the recipe I've REALLY been waiting to share with you all. This Pumpkin Pie is the best pie recipe I've ever made. My sister in law is vegan, so I made it last year as an experiment to make sure she had something to eat at dessert. My family SCARFED it and asked me to bring it for Christmas too! It is so creamy and delicious! 
If you're not a big fan of coconut milk, Cashew cream would work well also. 

Quick tip: Full fat Coconut Milk is the kind you get in a can, so if you're looking in the milk aisle, you probably won't find it! I usually have the best luck finding it in the Hispanic food section of our grocery store. 

Also note that there isn't anything raw in this. It might be a little bouncy and seem like it isn't done yet when it first comes out of the oven, but it isn't undercooked! It'll set as it cools. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Faves

HEYOOOO, It’s fall!! 

I love fall. I love the hot coffee drinks, the excuse to stay in and bake all the time, the apple picking, and the CLOTHES. I’m a sucker for a good cardigan. I feel like i’ve been waiting forever for this weather to come, and on the first day of fall I put away all my summer stuff, even though it continued to be over 80 degrees every day. I did the whole thing where I ignored the forecast and just sweat my tush off all day. It was a great few weeks. 
Oh well, I digress.

It’s finally my time to shine. It’s 60 degrees, which means Cardigans, leggings, flowy tops, and booties. The Hallelujah Chorus is playing as I type this sentence. 

Since the weather did finally decide to change (hopefully for good), I felt the need to compile a quick list of my favorites for this fall! Being a new mama, I’ve been on the lookout for anything nursing friendly that is also comfy and easy to throw on in the 5 minutes I have in the morning to pull myself together.  

There are a few basic necessities that every girl (or guy) needs to get through the fall season. These needs include a good cardigan, a pair of booties, a beanie, a nice flannel shirt, and some basics to layer with. 

Cardigans are like my security blankets around this time of year. I toss one on almost every day, so it’s important that the ones that I have are good quality, and go well with jeans or leggings. I’m still mostly sporting last year’s looks, but a fave that I found this year is this cute tan cardigan from Old Navy (which is on sale for $28!) It matches denim really well, but also goes with most of the layering pieces I have in my closet. And it’s long, but slim for those of you who love the slightly fitted but slightly oversized look. I also love this one from Urban Outfitters, which gives me all the goodness of both a chunky knit and an oversized look (which I’m a total sucker for).
I’ve been really obsessing over booties this year. Last year, I somehow missed out on how cute and comfy they are. And now that I found a couple good pair, they’ve quickly become a staple in my everyday attire (because sometimes my converse just won’t cut it). I found a great pair of black suede-ish booties from American Eagle (on the clearance rack!) that are totally comfy and really make my outfits look less grunge and more chic. They were such a great purchase, and I even wear them sometimes on long wedding shoots! The other pair I've found that I LOVE are these ones from Target. 
They’re much more casual and match literally everything in my closet. #WINNING 

This hat from Little Haven Crochet has been a staple for me this year because it’s the most soft and comfortable yarn, but still isn’t too hot for those days you think you need a beanie when you leave the house, but start sweating at 10am. I have the color “Lake Clark” but she has SO MANY other great colors to choose from! It has the perfect amount of slouchiness, and did mention how comfy it is? 
I might need to pick up a few more..

Flannel is a new concept to me. I’ve never really owned a flannel shirt, because I’ve always had a hard time with the fit. It was always too baggy and frumpy, or way too small to button up. And that material isn’t exactly stretchy. But a few weeks ago, as I was perusing the racks at Target (as usual, amirite?), I found this one that fit me perfectly. It wasn't too short, wasn’t too slim fit, and was loose in all the right places. 
It was obviously in my cart faster than I could say “Fall is life.” 

Finally, with all the mounds of cardigans I’m sure we all have, we definitely need a few shirts to wear under them, or else things could get awkward. And chilly. I’m really into wearing tunic-style tops under a long cardigan, because it can go with both jeans or leggings. I recently discovered these amazing flowy tunic-style tops from Amazon (!!!) that I’ve been living in for the last week, because #Momiform. They’re somewhat thin material, but they layer really well. I personally feel that they fit slightly looser in the arms than I’d like, so i’m ordering a size down next time, but they are really flattering and they're the perfect length! And what’s even better is they’re under 15 dollars!! So that’s your cue to RUN (to your phone) and grab as many as you can! 

Oh, and I should also include this honorable mention, Old Navy Blanket Scarves!! I’m not quite ready to swaddle myself yet, but when it’s time, you better believe I’m tossing these babies on. They come in 13 colors, and they’re on sale! They’re not as huge as a lot of blanket scarves are, which I find to be awesome because all that fabric gets overwhelming. I just pulled them all to the front of my scarf bin. (Your time is coming, friends. Just give me like 2 more weeks)

I feel like every year, fall wardrobe options get better and better. If there’s ever a time I feel like I semi-follow a capsule wardrobe, it’s now. I find that my best investment pieces are for the colder months, which is fine by me because they’re my absolute favorite. 

What are your fall staples? Let me know! I’d love to check out a few new pieces before the season is over! 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lipsense: Review

Lipsense With Stephanie Newman of Lasting Lip Shop!

I already know what you’re thinking. This is another blog post about this crazy lipstick that never comes off. 


But also it isn’t. I’m a mom, I’m on the go all the time, and I LOVE lipstick. But I absolutely don’t have tine to be reapplying all day. I want something that not only says it lasts, but actually does. 

When Stephanie reached out to me about trying out this product, I wasn’t sure I’d be sold. I had seen mixed reviews about Lipsense, and I wasn’t sure it was worth the money. 

I. was. wrong.

I chose the shade “Roseberry” as a great transition shade between seasons, but also as a nice bold fall color when layered a bit more heavily. I also tend to have a hard time finding a good shade for my fair skin, and the undertones in this shade seemed like a great fit for me. 

After applying the first time, I realized why I had read so many mixed reviews. I had a hard time applying it, because layering on a lipstick is totally a new concept to me. I took it off, tried again, and the second time was better. As time went on throughout the week, I realized that this isn’t a product you can try one time. You really do need to work with it and find what application works best for you. For me, “Roseberry” is an easy quick 3 coat process, with very little patchiness and great pigmentation. 

Now that I’ve been trying it out for a few weeks, here’s a few tips I can give you for first time application! 

  1. Work in very thin layers. It’s really hard to work with if you try to rush and use thick layers.
  2. Apply the first 2 layers in one direction. Don’t move the wand back and forth like a regular lipstick.  
  3. Make sure you keep your lips apart while applying. Before you seal the LipSense in with he gloss, it’s incredibly sticky (and it tastes nasty) so you want to be sure to keep your mouth open until you’re totally done! 
  4. You DO need the gloss. I tried grabbing a drugstore gloss to see if it was just a marketing ploy, but there’s seriously something in that gloss that makes this stuff work. My knockoff gloss left me tasting chemicals all day and didn’t seal the product in properly, making it flake off and move around. 

I also thought it was important to note a few pros and cons!

Pro: It lasts all day, which is GREAT for anyone with busy schedules and minimal time for makeup touchups! 

Con: It is a little tricky to get off, even with the remover. I’ve found that after a long day, I can use the remover to get it partially off, then exfoliate my lips to take care of the rest! (This has only worked after wearing for a while, don’t try to do it right after applying!)

Pro: The Color selection is amazing! There’s a great shade out there for every skin tone and evert season! 

Con: The formula really varies. Some of these shades are incredibly difficult to apply. Make sure to ask about application when you order through a consultant! There are also lots of YouTube videos out there to help you apply your shade perfectly. 

Pro: The coverage is buildable, so you can opt for a more sheer finish, or a more opaque look! 

Con: It will look extremely patchy if your lips are dry or chapped. Make sure to stay on top of caring for your lips and exfoliating often!  

Overall, I think Lipsense is a great investment, and it’s definitely become a go-to! The colors are easily layered together, and it really does last all day. Click here if you’re interested in talking to Stephanie about starting your lip sense journey! She’s great and offers tons of great tips!