Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Recap

So sorry for the lack of posts, we've had a lot going on with daycare, sickness, and a transfer at work. I've had to focus on getting everything together and adjusting to some changes. Regular blogging should be back on track this month! Thanks for still reading!

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Last week Ellie and I visited with my grandma and took her to lunch. It was such beautiful weather we were able to sit outside and Ellie loved people watching and saying "hi" to everyone coming and going. I love having my grandma close by and getting to see her more often!

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Thursday night, my sister came over to watch Ellie Friday while Matt and I worked. They had so much fun together and it's always nice to spend time with her myself. She just got her engagement pictures back and we looked through all of them, oohing and aahing over all the gorgeous shots. On Friday, after work, we all went out to Chili's then my sister and I watched Grey's Anatomy (well, I fell asleep halfway womp, womp. Her wedding is this fall and Saturday morning we headed out to check out some bridesmaid dresses. We didn't have any luck, we found some gorgeous dresses, but they weren't the right color she's looking for so the hunt continues! We came back home for lunch and watched the season finale of How To Get Away With Murder.

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This weekend I finally got to use a gift card my sister gave me for Christmas. It was for a deluxe pedicure at a new spa that opened. It was glorious! It included a nice scrub and a hot stone massage- I was in Heaven!

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Before my pedi, Ellie helped me pick out the color so I of course had to paint hers to match when I got home. Being a girl mom is so much fun, she is hilarious and so girly, I love it!

Hope your week is of to a great start!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Parenting Rites of Passage

There are moments in life that make you step back and think, I just went through a rite of passage. Growing up, it's things like getting a phone in your room, getting to stay up an hour later, then getting a license, having your first heartbreak, an acceptance letter to college and so on.

As a parent, these rites of passage still continue. There's several of them and they keep going forever into grandparenthood. Here are some of the few that I've experienced so far, including the one that happened this weekend.

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1. Having a baby
Doesn't matter how you brought this baby into the world, whether it's from hours and hours of pushing, having them cut from your abdomen via a c-section, or from traveling and filling out endless paperwork to make them yours. The point is that they're yours. You fought for them, you prayed for them, you went into this thing filled with fear, excitement, and most of all love.

2. The first all-nighter
Some people get babies who sleep through the night (I've only known this joy for the last 5 months) and others get babies who are up every few hours, or your baby is sick, or whatever the reason. The first few times you're up all night long feeding them, rocking them, singing lullabies, etc. I remember the nights when I wanted to cry (and often I did) where I would think to myself that these are the nights I'll remember and how much I would want them back when they were gone and how I would miss how little she was at that moment in time.

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3. The blowout
It's disgusting and smelly and you don't know where to start with clean up. Or how to take off their onesies or if you should just cut it off and toss it away. Just so you know, you take it off from the top down, thank you Pinterest, although it was too late when I learned this. When this blow out happens, and it's all up their back, and dripping, and smelly, you've just gone through a rite of passage. Welcome.

4. Their first...
There are lots of firsts for children- their first crawl, step, word, kiss, etc They're all amazing experiences. They fill you with joy, tears, pride and it's so fulfilling and gives you a little pat on the back that something you're doing is right. All of the teaching, helping, love, and support you showered on them is working! Woohoo!

5. The sickness
Ellie has had very few illnesses (thanks heavens); a little cold, HFM with only three spots, and a few fevers (mostly from teething), but this weekend was the first real sickness. It was disgusting, smelly, and I don't want to get too much TMI, but Matt and I were up in the middle of the night cleaning her up and her bed. Once we got her back to sleep between us (so her room could air out) we looked at each other and high fived. Dead serious. It was a total rite of passage, I knew it would be coming one day and this weekend was it. We nursed her back to health and took it on together as a team.

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Being a parent is sometimes an uphill battle, but it's so much fun. All of the hard times and the happy times make for such memories and good stories to retell later. I've loved every moment of this journey and the rites of passage I've experienced. I love the support that motherhood brings to us, that we're all in it together, although some women judge instead of love, but tut-tut to them because they're missing out! It's a job you can't call in sick to, you come out bruised and your heart bursts over and over for a number of different reasons, but it has to be the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. 

What are some of your most memorable rites of parental passage? What was hardest or easiest for you?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

White Plum's HUGE Giveaway!

White Plum is one of my favorite online boutiques with lovely pieces that add so much to your wardrobe and closet. They're simply a must shop for me! I've collaborated with them several times before, which has only deepened my love for them.

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This week they're offering a chance to win a year's worth of clothing to one winner, that's a $1200 value!! Whaaat? Crazy right?

The contest runs from February 11th thru the 22nd and it's so easy to enter, just join their mailing list with your email address when you click HERE!

I hope one of you wins! It would be so exciting!! Good luck! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Savannah Bee Company Review

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My husband and father in law are huge honey fans. They’re always talking about different honeys, we’ve visited honey stores and taste-tested all the flavors, on camping trips we buy honey sticks, and at street fairs and such we always come home with a jar of local honey. When I was contacted by Savannah Bee Co. to review their product, I had to jump at the chance! It would make a great and special gift, especially for Valentine’s day.
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For my review, I chose The Honey Caramel Delight Valentine’s Day Gift Set. The set came in a fun box with bee facts on each side, and included their Savannah Bee Tupelo Honey, Winter White Honey, Adam Turoni’s Honey Caramel Sauce, and Adam Turoni’s Sourwood Caramen Chocolate. The honey came in adorable glass jars (that I’m keeping on display in our kitchen), and the chocolates were wrapped in a cute wrapper in a clear case. Obviously, my husband and I scarfed those down first thing- they were absolutely delicious!
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The weekend the honey was delivered we had a BBQ with the family and it was the perfect opportunity to do a test taste! We passed out toothpicks and everyone had a taste. It was fun to try different honeys and see which they preferred. The Adam Turoni’s Honey Caramel Sauce was a big hit and is delicious drizzled over apple slices.

We've been enjoying the honey all week for breakfast over toast and fruit, lunch with peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and enjoying spoonfuls here and there for something sweet. I would definitely recommend them for any  honey lover in your life, the honey is delicious!

Thank you Savannah Bee Company for the opportunity to review your products, our family is loving the sweetness!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Carters Presidents Sale Picks

Carter’s is having a great sale of 50% off with an additional 25% off a $50+ purchase using BIGSALE and 15% off your purchase using SAVENOW at check out. This is my favorite sale they do and I always try to stock up for the season for Ellie. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Carters- their sizing always fits, their clothes wash well, and last through all of the playing and washing. Since they’re sale is going on right now, I wanted to share some of my favorite picks for your little guy or gal with you guys!

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For the gentlemen:
 
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For the ladies:

For summer clothes, I'm already buying 3T for Ellie and I want to cry. How is she growing so fast? Carters has so many cute sets and rompers for 24 months, and that won't fit her anymore. When did my little baby become a dancing, silly toddler?

Are you going to take advantage of the sale? What are some of your picks? 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pic Dump

Whenever I upgrade my phone, I'm upgrading the amount of GB as well. I hate deleting 15 pics to take one or deleting apps, etc. I often go through phases where I take a gazillion pics or go days without snapping anything. I do have a rule not to post on social media more than 2 times a day (unless it's a holiday, then I allow myself extra) because sometimes it's just freaking annoying. Especially when all the pics posted are variations of the same thing. There are a few accounts I do enjoy that post often and keep it interesting, but sometimes I wish there was a filter. The point to my IG posting rules is that not all my pictures make it to the internets. If it's not on the interwebs, then it didn't happen right? Well guess what, everything below now officially happened. Enjoy.


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SH Polish in Bare It All (a great nude) // $5 Sunnies (best ever)// Revlon Gloss in Pink Ruby

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Ellie sometimes insists on pushing the cart, but she's not big enough yet so she settles for this. It cracked me up the entire time.

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Best burgers in town! Gotta get extra fry sauce (I wish they had it in a pump) and jalapenos

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We've been working earnestly on our Valentines for family and friends. Ellie's motto is more stickers, always more stickers.

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Coat is Carters (old) // Bow from Forever 21 (old) 
We took Ellie to a local high school basketball game to watch her partner in crime (her cousin) perform at halftime. She had so much fun and watching 4 year olds dance is awesome.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Toast to Fridays!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Skincare Routine + Image Skincare Reviews

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If you’ve been reading here for a while, you already know that I sing the praises of Image Skincare products. I’m not kidding when I say that they’ve been life changing for me. Their Cell.U.Lift helped me get rid of stretch marks (check out that review with before and after pictures here), Ormedic Balancing Cleanser made my skin glow, and their tinted moisturizer is hands down the bee’s knees.

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Here I am with Ellie wearing just their tinted moisturizer
(my brows are filled in)
 
For the last few months, I’ve been using several new products of theirs (along with my old favorites!) and I am so impressed at the change in my skin. Full disclosure, I’ve always had good skin, I can count how many break outs I’ve had, my skin tone is fairly even with some rosy cheeks, but after I gave birth and finished nursing, my skin just look blech. It didn’t glow anymore, my diet and routine hadn’t changed (besides being a milk cow), but my skin just didn’t look as good anymore. Around Halloween, I started using their products in combination and I felt almost an instant change in my skin. I’ve completely stopped wearing foundation altogether, I wear my MAC Studio Fix just in my t-zone now, and have more and more days without makeup altogether (on the weekends/days off).

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Every day I wash my face with their cleanser using an electronic facial brush. I love the smell and it makes my skin so soft. It's acid, sulfate, and paraben free and helps protect skin from environmental pollutants.


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After my shower at night and first thing in the morning, I massage a few drops of this serum all over my face and into my neck. It’s oil-free and very lightweight, soaking into my skin quickly. The serum help skin discolorations and redness (which I tend to have a lot of in my cheeks) to help achieve a fresh-looking complexion.

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Every night after my shower, I use this eye crème after the serum. It’s formula is a high concentrated blend of retinol (every woman’s favorite) and polypeptides to repair skin. I love the density of this crème, I’ve tried other under eye crèmes, but always felt that they were too thick or too thin and didn’t feel that they really worked. This has helped me looked refreshed in the mornings, even when I’ve been up with a fussy toddler all night.

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Each night before bed, I use the crème all over my face and neck. It’s their new brightening crème that’s focused on fading age spots and hyperpigmentation. It helps to even out skin discolorations and helps create a radiant complexion.

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This is my must-have item, I use it daily as it’s a mattifying moisturizer. It’s perfectly tinted, gives great even coverage without being heavy or too thin. It soaks in quickly and I layer my makeup over it without issue. It has a built in broad spectrum UVA/UVB high sun protection and gives a great oil-free complexion to start my day. I often use this alone with powder and nothing else.
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This has been a saving grace for me several times this winter. My skin easily gets very dry, my lips especially. I’m know to bite and peel my lips (such a bad habit) and this has come to my rescue more times than I can count. Even when they’ve been to the point of cracked and bleeding. The formula is so moisturizing and feels so nice on my lips, plus it has an added benefit of a gorgeous shine. It’s specifically designed to enhance the appearance and volume of your lips and with repeated use will add up to 40% moisture volume to your lips.

With all of their products, it’s a deeply, loving relationship I have for them. They really have helped me feel my best and get my skin to where I want it to be. I recommend them all the time to friends and family when asked for certain products for their skin problems. All of the products mentioned here are parabin free and are mostly for all skin types. When my skin was in the dumps, I could see results almost immediately. I can’t imagine the state my skin would be in without these gems.

FTC: All products were provided to me, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Valentine Goodies for your Babies

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Valentine Mouse - I love these book series, they're one of my favorite sets
Bow Clip Set - We have the headband set and now that Ellie's hair is long enough for a tiny ponytail, she's all about clip in bows and enjoys picking one out each morning.
Love is You and Me - we were gifted this book last year from a dear friend and it's such a sweet message
Bath Crayons - Ellie loves these and we're ready for a new set
Pajamas - how cute are these pjs? Love them!
Tinkerbell Movie - I'm so glad a new movie is out! We've seen all of the fairy movies too many times to count

Every year growing up, my mom always gave my sister and I something small to celebrate and it was always so sweet. I remember one year she got me a white purse with multicolored hearts and pink piping and I absolutely loved it. I used it for years and years and remember it like yesterday when I came home from school and it was on the table waiting for me. I'd like to keep the tradition going with my own children and want to give Ellie something small every year (last year she got socks and two books) and here are some ideas I'm thinking about this year.

What are your plans for the big day of love and chocolate?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Motherhood's Surpises

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"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. The mother is something absolutely new" - Rajneesh

Becoming a mother is exhilarating, scary, amazing, and hair pulling crazy. I've played house since I first understood free play and I played it for years. I couldn't wait to have a family of my own, a baby to hold, soccer games to attend, nails to paint, boo boos to be kissed, and cuddles to be had. There's lots of surprises that comes with having a child, body fluid where? How do I...? Is this enough? Did that really just happen? Nothing will surprise you as much as the changes in yourself and lifestyle and the surprises you find about yourself. Here are a few of the many surprises for me. 

- I’m much more laid back than I had expected to be

When I pictured myself as a mother, I figured I’d be neurotic and worry about every little detail. My mother was like that- over protective and worried. It drove me bat $#@! Crazy. It still does because she’s still like that. I didn’t want to be like that, but I thought like mother like daughter right? Wrong! Yes, of course I worry about Ellie, the first few months I was a total worry wart. Now, of course I want to protect her from bad life experiences and I’m detail oriented about her, but not to the extremes. I want to teach her to be resilient, strong, that it’s OK to have emotions and show them. When she falls or gets a black eye (she’s had more than one) I don’t rush over to her right away, I let her decide how bad it is. I put on a strong face when it scares me so I don’t scare her. I'm not completely laid back, but I'm not as crazy strict about every detail either. I've found a nice medium that works for us.

-The value of personal time

The loss of personal/alone time nearly vanishes when you become a mother. It’s one thing I tell expectant mothers to relish in with their last impending months. Sometimes, the only time I’m alone is when using the restroom at work (and no one is in the next stall) and my late night shower. That’s it! Even then I’m still doing “business”. Sometimes, when I have days off, I’ll still take Ellie to daycare for a few hours to keep her in her routine and to get some time for myself. I’ll give myself a pedicure, do house chores that are hard to accomplish with a toddler around, run errands, etc. I love the time I have with her and I really do live in the moment and shower her with attention and affection, but sometimes... it's nice to watch an entire episode of Downton Abbey by myself. In bed. With a bag of hot Cheetos.

-Setting an Example

Even though Ellie is small and doesn’t understand everything we do as her parents, I’m always aware of the example I’m setting for her. To dress appropriately in respect to myself and my husband, to attend church, not to cuss, to be honest/kind/generous/loving, the list goes on and on. I told Matt one day that I wanted to start working out and he was excited for me, and I had to explain that I didn’t actually want to work out. Huh? I wanted to work out to set the example for Ellie to take care of herself and to treat her body well (I’m still working on this as I have worked out 0 times since giving birth). This battle is only going to get harder as she's more aware of my actions and how much of an influence I become to her.

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Becoming a parent surprises you, whether or not you think or expect it to. It's not easy and and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Every child is different so what works for one may not work for the other. I pour over parenting books and articles, I talk to tons of parents I admire and I'm always trying to remember and incorporate things I've learned into our everyday life. I love being a mom and the curve balls and surprises it throws at me.

What are some surprises becoming a parent have you had?

Friday, January 23, 2015

White Plum Giveaway!

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One shop I love is White Plum, this dolman top is especially soft and perfect for a day spent outside with family watching football (which is what we did Sunday!). I've worn it another time since last week because it's just so easy to wear and look pulled together. I have several items from White Plum, one of my favorites has to be this shirt and my gray cardigan - I'm wearing it now even.

Enter to win a shop credit of $50 down below! The contest will run from Friday the 23rd through the 30th. White Plum is also offering all my readers a great discount code LIPSTICK25 for 25% off until 1/30.Here are some pieces I'm loving that's perfect for spring; plum dress, cobalt dress, and asymmetrical top.

a Rafflecopter giveaway