How to Simplify Your Makeup Bag

  I haven't written a beauty post in a while (I know: tisk, tisk!), but behind the scenes I've been on a little beauty mission of my own: to simplify my makeup bag. Remember last year when I wrote about my beauty commandments?  Well, I'm trying to live up to them, especially #4 - which brought me to where I am right now. I've been exploring a lot of different beauty brands and have even written about the new beauty labeling that's kicking USDA Organic certification to the curb and replacing it with something better, and I realized that my makeup bag is really complicated. In fact, I was finding myself digging through it quite a bit when I only really use a handful of items on a daily basis to begin with. So here's the deal: let's all make thing less complicated together. Sound like a plan? Good! So here's my foolproof plan to simplify your makeup bag, once and for all. How to Simplify Your Makeup Bag I've written about makeup organization in the past, but this is a completely different beast. Even the most organized person can have way too much going on - it's time to be practical! 1. Buy a smaller bag! As simple as it sounds, it took me years to figure this one out. In fact, at the beginning or my marriage, I remember having a huge carry case that had many different organizational pockets that I carted to my vanity as if I were a professional. I do not do makeup for a living, therefore I had no need for this. So I finally ditched my overwhelmed beauty case … [Read more...]

Mom on the Move

This post is brought to you by Luggage Online and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. I've been planning our latest vacation in my head for a while now. Since being pregnant over the summer and paranoid about the zika virus, we stayed local. Now, I'm ready for a vacation filled with sun, sand and many pina coladas. Vacations obviously mean different things to different families. Some like to go warm places, some cold, some like to relax while others like to be on the move - and you have to make sure you do what works best for your family instead of what someone else tell you that you should be doing. Here are some lessons learned while traveling that I will change next time around. Lessons Learned While Traveling For the perfect family vacation - learn from my mistakes! 1. Make sure your luggage is organized and in good condition. Two summer's ago, we completely neglected this when traveling to the beach and when we went to get our luggage out of the closet, it was ripped open - and it only got worse. This time, we have learned our lesson and got rid of the old stuff and bought new pieces from Luggage Online, where we found pieces for the whole family that are affordable and most importantly - super durable. Why do we love them so? They offer FREE ground shipping on all orders $99 or more (we always spend more!), they offer a 110% low price guarantee (which means I don't have to waste time shopping around) and we always find everything we need, whether it's … [Read more...]

Weekend Style

  Weekends: they go by way too quick and don't happen soon enough. Our weeks have been long with both work and homework and Chris has been working one weekend day every weekend, which means I'm without him one day. I always tend to take on extra work that one day that I didn't have a chance to get done that week instead of just stopping to enjoy the kids and relax, which is my biggest challenge right now. I do really love what I do, but I need to take more time to just be - before these sweet days pass me by. This Cheerily Snuggle Set is one of my most favorite things that Blake has in her closet and I totally tried to copy it with my favorite No Nonsense Relaxed Leggings (buy them asap - they are the comfiest!!) and H&M graphic tee. So you could say that our weekend style is super relaxed. Branden has to be dressed up all week for school, so weekends are all about joggers and graphic tees for him, too. And to be honest - we only have so many dress up outfits for this little nugget, it's all leggings and tees because babies need to be comfy and cozy! Do you ever feel like that, too? Where weekends are just filled with playing catch up. I always wished they were three days long so that I could have two days to relax and one to catch up before everything starts all over again. It's sometimes hard (really hard) to turn off that need to get things done, but I challenge you to do it along with me. I keep trying to remind myself that I'm not … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to Babywearing Like a Pro

  Babywearing is my life. We did it a tiny bit with Branden, but I knew being a city mama this time around that it was going to be a way of life for me this time around. Babywearing is how I get around the city, as we only use the stroller whenever my hubbs is there to help us carry the beast up and down subway steps. But it's also so much more than that as I cart her around the house in it, too. Babywearing has become a way of life for me and now I want to share my ultimate guide to babywearing like a pro so that you can master and benefit from it, too. So first things first, you need to find the right baby carrier for you. There are SO many different ones out there now that you really need to do your research to narrow down what works best for you and your partner. For us, we wanted something that was gender neutral since both my husband and I would be using it (he automatically vetoed any kind that was a wrap style) and I wanted something I felt secure wearing. For me, the wrap style made me a little bit nervous - but that's just me! I also wanted something that could be worn on the front or back and was lightweight, so we settled on the Baby Bjorn Air One in Silver. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous strapping her in and wearing it for the first time (so much that I made Chris wear her on our trip home from the hospital, which you can see a picture of HERE), so I recommend playing with is a bit before putting baby inside. The … [Read more...]

When You Feel Like Motherhood Got The Best of You, Remember This

  Monday was a day I took the world on and won. Tuesday I gave up at noon. Wednesday was a day I texted my husband reaching out for some major help - texting through tears because I was overwhelmed. We were both tired, I knew that, he new that - and I needed him to push through his exhaustion and just be there to take over things that I just couldn't that day. And of course he was there for me, no questions asked. You could say that motherhood got the best of me and you would be 100 percent accurate. I'm the kind of person who writes her to-do lists for the week every Monday and if a day comes where I begin to get behind, anxiety starts to swell within me. Monday, I kicked that to-do list's butt and even squeezed in a shower and a workout. I felt like I could take on anything. Then evening crept and I started to feel that chill creep within me and knew I was starting to get sick. Tuesday I got up and got writing that I owed my editor turned in, but not without a struggle. I was achy and had the chills and Blake would not go down for a nap. So we fought with sleep all morning and every single time I went to put her down, she of course woke up. I looked at the clock at 12:46pm and said "screw it." I placed her in the bed next to me (which I never ever do) and took a nap next to our little sweetie. So needless to say, I woke up Wednesday morning frazzled with a to-do list a mile long. And that's when it all really hit me. Crap. I still wasn't … [Read more...]

All That Glitters Is Gold

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. The holidays are always special, but let's face it - with Blake's arrival they are just extra special this year. Even little Branden is so excited about what Santa might bring her and how she will open it. He, of course, volunteered to help. About a month ago, my mom started asking me if she could get her a special dress to wear Christmas Eve (that's when our family does it all up), and I told her no, because I had something special already picked out from the Carter's Holiday Shop. Truth be told - or little Blake is pretty much a babbling commercial for Carter's, as we have pretty much everything at home. It's my favorite because it's really a one stop shop for the super casual pieces (which is what she wears most everyday), fancy pieces, school uniforms for big brother - and their PJ Shop is just too sweet for words. I shop both in store and online (if you need to find a store, do that HERE), and love that they have both because our little Blake is sometime a bit long for certain pieces and I can run over to the store and easily exchange for a bigger size. Since they have both trendy pieces and modern holiday staples I decided to go for something super classic for Blake's first Christmas with this Metallic Jacquard Floral Dress because I think that it pretty much sums up everything that a little girl's first Christmas should be in one gorgeous piece of clothing. And of … [Read more...]

Mom to Mom: What You Need to Know About Prenatal Vitamins

Thanks Vitafol® for sponsoring this post! As always, opinions are my own. So much changes in the parenting industry on pretty much a yearly basis, but having kiddos almost 8 years apart really let these changes stick out to me like a sore thumb.I remember having so many conversations during the course of my pregnancy with my mom that really let her with nothing else to say besides "my, have things changed since I was having babies." And it's very true. Things really have changed and I think our millennial generation does a little bit more in preparation for pregnancy than my mom's generation ever did. I did a great deal in terms of fitness and diet preparation as well as preparing my body to breastfeed. My mom was never offered a free pump from her insurance and if it (breastfeeding) happened, it happened -there weren't many options like what we have today (and I also imagine it being quite different whenever our little Blake has kids, too). For me, I work in the parenting industry and have so much information at my disposal and of course (ahem) the Internet for everything else. I got myself baby body ready based on experience, advice and taking in as much information as I could get my hands on. My mom didn't have any of that and really relied on her doctor and girlfriends to get the information she needed. She is also a nurse, so was super educated to begin with. Prenatal vitamins were another topic that stood out. With Branden, I was given a prescription as soon … [Read more...]

Styling Flared Denim

  I will happily admit that as soon as skinny denim became "the in thing," I jumped on it like a crazy woman. I talk about making sure to dress for your body shape all the time and know what works with your body (aka always show off your assets) and for me - my legs were that thing. (If you need more advice, check out my Dressing For Your Body Shape Series HERE!) But before then, I did love my flared denim and Lucky Brand was always my go-to. So since I decided that I'm reinventing my postpartum style, I decided to kick skinny jeans to the curb (but not completely!) and share a little "how to style flared denim" post - because we can all wear it and shouldn't be afraid of it. For this entire look, I went to my beloved TJMaxx to get some great finds for super cheap and put together this layered look that is really fun for fall. I'm really into vests this season and also love a baggy shirt that is not only great for layering, but hides my not-so-favorable areas around my stomach. How to Style Flared Denim It really doesn't have to be as tricky as you think! Here are my tips: Be very conscious of fit and make sure that they are tailored to your body type. If a pair is super long, but fit up top - get them hemmed! That's what I did with these, because most denim is long on my anyways. And most definitely make sure that they're hemmed to the right height to wear with the shoes you are planning to wear with them. (Hem Tape also works well, if you're lazy … [Read more...]

The Most Beautiful Birth Announcements {Giveaway}

  I'm behind. Again. I guess this is what happens when you have another baby, or what some refer to as "second child syndrome." Either way, I had it all together whenever Branden was born and I only had to focus on him and now poor little Blake is lost in the shuffle between school bus pickup and writing gigs. Whomp Whomp. Well, our little princess finally has had her birth announcements printed thanks to our friends at Minted and I am beyond obsessed. (Keep scrolling for a chance to win $150 to Minted for yourself!) I'm sure that you remember the beautiful pictures from our Newborn Portrait Session With Christina Marotto Photography - this one was one of my top MANY favorites. View the full image below, absolute perfection! Again, I can't recommend Christina enough, if you are looking for a newborn photographer - she's your girl! (You can contact her through her website HERE.) In the midst of a world where technology has pretty much taken over, I love to be super traditional about things like birth announcements, thank you cards and we always send out a family Christmas card each year. I think it's nice to have something tangible instead of electronic. Anyways, I fell in love with these Minted Modern Glow Foil Printed Birth Announcements while I was pregnant and saved a screen shot of them in my phone - they are just so beautiful and seriously do twinkle because of the rose gold foil print. (They also make the "thank you card" version you can … [Read more...]

Reinventing My Postpartum Style

  Okay, I'll admit it: leggings have been my jam lately. And you know what? Rightfully so because easing back into dressing in your pre-pregnancy clothes after you just had a baby is not always a fun situation. Some things fit right away - others not so much. Some things get set aside for when the weight is dropped and others just get tossed. For me, I'm trying to ease back into it all slowly, and leggings have been a big part of that journey. Denim leggings are seriously the bomb because they go with literally everything. Because they are super forgiving, I'm able to focus a little bit less on that size tag and more on how I'm actually feeling. My current favorites are the No Nonsese Classic Denim Jegging, as they are pretty much perfection up against my skin. It's all about layering with me lately and I have no problem admitting that it's because it helps hide that little something something around my mid-section that wasn't there before. As I looked through my closet recently, I realized that I didn't have much in terms of the pattern or texture department, so I decided to make playing with those two wardrobe components my goals as I entered into reinventing my postpartum style. This peplum blouse is from TJMaxx online where I've been finding quite a bit of fashion gems lately. Before having kids, I used to visit TJMaxx and spend hours playing dress-up in their fitting rooms. After kids - not so much. Online is just better for my lifestyle right … [Read more...]