The Easy Pillsbury Holiday Cookies You Want This Season

This post is sponsored by Pillsbury. As always, opinions are my own.  Spoiler alert: I'm not much of a baker. I know. Gasp. All the noises. BUT, that doesn't mean that I don't love doing it. In fact, baking is probably one of my favorite things to do with Branden (and I hope that Blake joins in next year!) - especially around the holidays. I will say this though, nothing complicated in the baking (or cooking for the matter) department for this girl. I'm all about simplicity so that I can focus on more time with the ones I love most, which is why my holiday baking always these easy Pillsbury holiday cookies. These easy Pillsbury holiday cookies may not look like much, which is why making them in a total stress-free experience - but holy crap they taste amazing. The secret is buried deep within the flawless, turns out perfect every single time Pillsbury sugar cookies and this icing - or is it actually icing? Read on to find out, you just might be surprised! So before I share my secret icing ingredients, I want to tell a little backstory about our holiday baking. If you follow along, you know that I'm from Pittsburgh and almost every year we travel there to spend the holiday with my family. So that we can spread the baking love, we always bring cookies that we bake with us for the holiday and share Christmas eve with everyone. My parents host Christmas eve at their house, we we fill plates will loads of sweet treats and these super easily Pillsbury holiday cookies are the … [Read more...]

A Very Minted Holiday

  Every year I try to add at least one new thing to our home to help make it a little bit more magical around the holidays. We have a holiday tradition that Santa always brings 1 ornament of Branden each year, (which we will start for Blake this year), but I knew I wanted some more gold and a few updates to our regular decor. So, last year, as we packed everything away after new year's, and I promised that I would try to update a little bit more than just one thing - I was just plain sick of our current decorations. So keeping my promise with myself, we updated this year with Minted holiday decorations. You have seen how we worked with Minted on our living room decorations here and birth announcements here, so you know how much I love this brand for unique gifts that are always Eco-friendly and breathtaking. I seriously get the most wonderful compliments every time I purchase from their site and each product is so deserving of all the lovely remarks. Even Blake was ecstatic about how fun it is to get into the holiday spirit! Prepping for Christmas is always a big deal for our family, so with the help of Minted holiday decorations we added a few special things to our decor this year. I'm really obsessing over these Wintry Mix Gold Foil Pressed Ornaments. They come in packs of 3, are very lightweight and do some serious twinkling. We just love how they made our tree look this year! Boy did our tree skirt need updating! It was that thing that has … [Read more...]

Going Back to Basics For Winter Skincare

This is a sponsored post written for Neutrogena. I was compensated and provided complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own. Beautiful, chilly weather with snow falling all around us is certainly ahead. While these moments are filled with fun and excitement for the upcoming holiday season, it also plays a role in the condition of our delicate skin. I keep stressing this to everyone: our skin is our largest organ and we need to be kind to it. I have always made sure to switch to a more intense skincare routine during the winter months, but after having Blake, my skin took a turn for the extra dry and I knew I needed something more. Neutrogena Body Oil is the product that I added to my routine this winter and I honestly can't imagine my day to day without it at this point. This year, Neutrogena Body Oil is celebrating its 50th anniversary which totally speaks volumes about this product. Beauty products come and go very quickly, so having one on store shelves for 50 years tells that it's a favorite of many people. (Check out the awesome vintage ad below from oh so many years ago - this product is a staple for so many!) I've been a fan of replacing body moisturizer with oil during the winter months for quite some time, starting with my face, but I love that this light sesame oil formula instantly absorbs into skin, sealing in moisture without a greasy after-feel. I don't have to worry about it soaking through to my clothes - it simply leaves my skin soft, … [Read more...]

Styling Suedes and Prints

  Layers are truly my thing lately. Since I am baby wearing all the time, it's important that I have layers on since I overheat so quickly, but at the same time, I try not to lose my sense of style. One fabric that I have never really worked with (except for with shoes) is suede, so I stepped outside of my comfort zone and bought these super cute (and feel like I'm wearing pajamas) Faux Suede Ankle Zip Leggings from Express at the beginning of fall and they have been one of my favorites since. Originally, I bought this White Ladder Shoulder Knit Boxy Sweater from Express (not pictured) to go with these leggings since they are a little difficult to match with certain colors, but I figured that it would be more fun to play with other pieces I have in my closet instead for these pictures. If you have followed me through my pregnancy, you might recognize this top from my bump water photo shoot. It's from Loyal Hanna and it truly did take me from pregnancy through breastfeeding and beyond. It's perfect for postpartum because it's very forgiving and a fun print that makes you feel like your old self again. Truth: I have a sort of love/hate relationship with this photo. It definitely shows me and the way that I laugh all day long at the silliest things (especially Branden's one liners). But, you can also see very clearly where I gained most of my pregnancy weight - in my thighs. I have been working on being kind to myself and not being too judge, but … [Read more...]

I Tried a Waist Cincher for Postpartum and Here’s What Happened

  The things we do in the name of beauty, right? All jokes aside, I was so excited throughout my pregnancy to try out my Hourglass Angel Classic Waist Cincher for postpartum  because I was curious about how it would help me get back to my original figure. (Spoiler alert: I wish that I would start using it sooner, but probably for different reasons than you think.) So here I am today, on the first Monday after totally indulging for Thanksgiving and really, really baring it all for you. None of these pictures were photoshopped, just brightened up. And the after picture was literally taken this morning so that I could give you the most accurate results. So first things first, I want you to know a little bit more info about using a waist cincher. Basically its the art of wrapping the midsection to help take inches off the waist - kinda like wearing a corset. Why is wearing a waist cincher for postpartum so great? It helps your body get back to it's pre-pregnancy shape quicker by essentially shrinking your uterus back down to original size. Now I'm not a fan of weighting myself or measuring because I tend to get competitive (yes, with myself) and would probably become quickly obsessed with the number instead of focussing on my overall health and long-term goals. So instead, I made sure that I focused on how I felt, the way I looked in the mirror and how my clothes fit during the process. Here is my before picture: I wore my waist pincher for postpartum … [Read more...]

Only The Best

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. We find ourselves saying it over and over again in new parenthood: "only the best for my little one." It couldn't be more true because this is really something that we all want when exposing delicate skin to anything and everything that will be touching it. But whenever you are busy running in and out of the store picking up baby essentials like wipes and diapers, and there are so many options - what do you choose? With little Blake's arrival, we made the choice to use chemical free wipes by WaterWipes from Walmart. It's so important to me that we protect these kiddos from everything bad in the world. With a new baby in the house, I have to say that we think about protection in a completely different way. She's always being covered with hats and blankets as we go outside and I have no problem removing her from a situation where someone is smoking in public to shield her from those chemicals, but her skin is something that I focus on every single day of our lives. After all, skin is our largest organ and there is so much focus on what's being put into the body that we often forget about what's being absorbed. What makes them so special? WaterWipes are chemical free wipes that are literally made of only two ingredients: 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. Unlike many products of it's kind, WaterWipes are … [Read more...]

Yoga For All

This post was sponsored MyYogaWorks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. Time for a little confession from me: after having Blake, I assumed that I would get right back into my yoga, weights and running routine - but it's taken a little bit more time to get my motivation to where it needs to be. At 6 weeks postpartum, I did start regular 3 days a week workouts that included my weights and a simple routine, and decided to put running back into my life in the spring. Even though I know my body hasn't been ready for a big 4 miles run again, I've felt myself craving more. This month, I was introduced to MyYogaWorks, that has all the right yoga videos online that give me just what my body craves in my busy life. If you follow me on social media and read my blog posts regularly, you know that my life is busy - and I know that your life is busy, too. Since I work from home, I'm pretty much behind my computer everyday working in between feedings and bus stop pick up and drop off, so getting to a yoga studio doesn't really work for my lifestyle. But I absolutely love the practice of yoga and both my body and mind need to in my life. MyYogaWorks gives me the flexibility that I need to do yoga whenever I want in the comfort of my own home. In fact, my workouts each week has been some of the most special bonding time with Blake. When Branden was little, he did yoga with me (I really got into the practice when he … [Read more...]

Winter Is Coming

  I had to go there with the title of this post because it's way too fitting. With the weather going back and forth here between bone chilling days and sunny days that resemble what fall is supposed to be, we never know what to expect day to day here in the city. But winter is inevitably coming and sooner than we think, so cute snow boots for kids have been on my radar. This past spring, I was invited to a regular press viewing called "The Parenting Experience" that I attend on a yearly basis to see what's new for families from some of the most trusted brands, and was blown out of the park from everything that The Muck Boot Company had for baby to adult. I knew that these cute snow boots for kids needed to be in both Branden and Blake's closet and that you all would want to know what amazingness they have for your family, too. Launching for the holiday season, they have these super cool Transformer boots that Branden is wearing and My Little Pony for girls. They are super durable and will keep those little feet protected in style from any harsh weather that winter brings. This boy of ours is seriously too much. I look at this picture and just want to freeze time. It amazes me how much he has grown and changed over the last couple years and sometimes it makes me sad that we had to move from shopping in the toddler section to looking for things that this big kid will like to wear. But collections like this are the perfect combination of the two and … [Read more...]

Jingle All The Way

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I feel like I should be typing "the holiday are upon us," but in reality - they are here. Everywhere you go decorations are being strung and stores are coated in blankets of gold, red and green. I always get excited about every part of the holiday season, but having two littles this year has been making everything even more exciting and enriching our traditions even further. You know how obsessed I am with clothes, but at the same time I'm not the mom who will dress her kids in stuff uncomfortable gear - I'm all about about super cute styles that my kids can play hard in from OshKosh B'gosh. But holiday clothes from Oshkosh are totally photographable, too! Growing up, I also had a par of Oshkosh overalls in my wardrobe at pretty much every age, so their denim has always been a big part of our life with Branden. So for little Blake, I went a little crazy over their updated tutu version with all the sparkly goodness that a little girl (or her mama) could want! On Branden: Skinny Jeans // Thermal Striped Henley // Thermal Striped Henley On Blake: Sparkle Tulle Jumper // Sparkle Star Print Bodysuit // Tights This brother and sister duo are seriously two peas in a pod and both of their faces light up whenever they see one another (I hope that never changes!). I' so looking forward to the memories that we will all make together, as a family of … [Read more...]

The Mom’s Guide to Taking the Stress Out of Car Buying

  Stress and motherhood go pretty much hand and hand, right? As much as we try to take time for ourselves to chill out, there is just no erasing the amount of worry, to-do list, and thoughts that go through our heads on a daily basis. Adding car shopping to the mix and that stress level rises to it's max- but it doesn't have to be that way. While I can't promise to take all of your stress away, I can promise some easy ways to take the stress out of car buying. My husband bought his first car whenever we were dating, but not married yet, so I didn't need to deal with much there besides act all excited whenever everything worked out in his favor. The second car was when we were married and one expensive mistake that I was not there to witness. The third car, which I discussed when I knew it was time for an upgrade, is our Camaro that's just way too small for our growing family. Now, I have a voice in it all and the financial decisions that have come with being older and wiser are definitely a cause for stress in the process. How to Take the Stress Out of Car Buying It is possible. Here's how I'm trying to calm myself down. Do your research. I can't stress this enough. Know what is out there, know what upgrades you are interested in, know what color you want the car to be - everything. Seriously. Talk with your partner ahead of time and come to resolutions together on anything you may be at odds about and squash it. You want to walk into the car dealership … [Read more...]