My Holiday Wish List

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hey, all! Are you getting in the holiday spirit? We sure are! I'm counting down the days 'til we decorate the house (t-minus 5!), putting together our advent activities, and wrapping up my shopping (bless

Speaking of shopping, I love perusing gift guides this time of year; there are usually some great ideas that I can "borrow" ;) for the people on my list. I also love checking out personal wish lists, so I thought I'd kick off my series of holiday gift guides by sharing what would be on my own dream wish list this year. 

Shark Stick Vacuum | Our vacuum is a Shark and is 10 years old -- it's slowly falling apart (literally, lol) but it's still kicking and that's not bad for a decade of vacuuming up tons of carpet and Golden Retriever hair! I'd love a lightweight stick vacuum to do our whole house with (the hard wood shows EVERY hair). Right now I use my trusty dust buster and it's killing my back!

Maya Brenner Initials | I already have this necklace in rose gold -- Steve gave it to me the Christmas after Carrington was born with a letter "C" and I adore it. I haven't worn it much, though, because I need to add my other two children to it, so this year I'm wishing for an "H" and an "I" so I have my every day necklace back. :) The company makes it easy to add initials to your existing necklace -- you just order the extra letters and mail your necklace to them. This makes such a special gift!

Patagonia Jacket | I could use a replacement for my old, worn North Face jacket -- something that is perfect for throwing on for doing everyday things in the wintertime. I have heard great things about this jacket and love this pretty green color!

Smallwoods Gift Card | Have you heard of Smallwoods Home? I've loved their products for a while now but was waiting until we had updated family pictures with our newest member to order something. I would love to customize a few photo signs for our stairway wall. This shop offers e-gift cards so the gift recipient can customize their very own sign! Such a cool idea. 

Quay Sunglasses | My current pair of sunglasses is Quay and they're great quality for the price. I've eyed up this pair in "Black Smoke" for a while now. Great reviews, too!

Sperry Winter Boot | My Uggs get so much wear during the winter (long live Uggs), but they're not really meant for the wet weather. I haven't had a true snow boot in a long time and would love these to wear in the rain and snow. The pink sole makes them extra fun!

A massage, though not pictured, would also be welcomed. I'll even take a back scratch from one of the kids at this point! ;) What's on your personal wish list?

Sweet & Soft Baby Girl's Nursery

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Happy Thursday! My kids have off school today and tomorrow because of teacher conferences, and we have our family photoshoot later today; always an adventure! ;) What does the end of your week have in store? 

I'm so excited to share some photos from Isabelle's nursery with you today. I wish they were taken on a better camera, but alas, iPhone snaps will have to do. I had so much fun putting her room together. I knew I wanted something cheerful yet soothing, bright yet simple. We chose a soft white wall with pops of color in bedding and decor... mostly yellow and blush. Bunnies have sort of been Isabelle's thing since we found out she was a girl -- I'm not sure why, but the sweetness just seemed to fit -- so there are some bunnies throughout her room too. 

My favorite thing, though, is the flower mobile/chandelier above her crib. I knew I wanted some type of accent on the wall behind her crib, but I couldn't find something I loved. One day the girls and I were browsing aimlessly in Michaels and I spotted the two-tier chandelier on 70% clearance. It was love at first sight!

I've listed sources for everything (and added links when available) at the bottom, if you're curious. :) Enjoy!

Paint color: Behr Falling Snow

Chair: old (from when Carrington was born)

Throw pillow: Hearth & Hand

Crib: Pottery Barn (the BEST, most quality crib!)

Bunny and "I" prints: Etsy

Valance: Target (no longer available, identical here)

Gold Curtain Rod: Target

Bunny play mat: TJ Maxx ($10!)

Mirror: Target

Crib skirt: Old (from Hadley's nursery)

Floating shelves: Target

Dresser: Little Seeds (via Target) -- love the look, but don't recommend!

Wicker basket: Target (no longer available but love this too)

Flower chandelier: Michaels (no longer available)

Changing pad cover: Carousel Designs

Blush lamp: Target

Blush diaper caddy: Target

Newborn gown: Nordstrom Baby (similar here)

Flower hook: Target (no longer available, but love this)

Gold "I" initial: Michaels (no longer available)

Felt flower garland: Etsy

Thanks for taking a peek! 

Monday Coffee Talk | Hello November

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hello, November!

I love this month and I don't think it gets the credit it deserves. It's all of the anticipation of the holidays without the last-minute stress. It's the last of the colorful leaves clinging to the trees. It's crisp, chilly air without being freezing. It's that golden late fall sunlight, especially in the afternoons. It's a month dedicated to focusing on all we have to be grateful for. It's also the month I got engaged, the month my first baby was born, and the month that my favorite holiday is in! 

What about you? Do you like November or are you anxious to skip straight to next month?

I'm excited to begin this week (a day late because #life) with another Monday Tuesday Coffee Talk. Grab a cup of something delicious and let me know how your weekend was. :)

Let me start with a quick Halloween recap. We thought for sure trick-or-treat would be cancelled (can you imagine? Would have been so sad for the kids!) due to stormy weather but the day took a turn and it turned out to just be warm, windy, and wet for trick-or-treating in the evening. The girls were so excited to dress up in their princess dresses and go door-to-door with neighbors. Once they were satisfied with their haul, they came back to the house to hand out some candy. Isabelle enjoyed her very first holiday from inside the Baby Bjorn, but don't worry... she did have a cute outfit! Haha.


By the time the weekend rolled around, the weather was gorgeous. Saturday our good friends came to visit and meet the baby, so we ordered pizza and the kids ran around playing. On Sunday I ran a few errands and we relaxed, played, and Steve worked on building our early Christmas gift to the kids -- their first swing set! They are SO excited to get out and play on it, and luckily the week ahead looks sunny so I'm sure that's where they'll spend most of their time when they're not at school. Childhood at its finest. :)

Steve and I also binged a new series on Netflix -- Unbelievable. Have you seen it? REALLY good! Highly recommend giving it a watch if you need something new.

Hope your week (and month!) is off to a wonderful start, friends. 

Isabelle's Birth Story

Friday, November 1, 2019

I can't believe it has been six weeks since Isabelle was born. I feel like we were heading to the hospital at 5am yesterday, as though we were just meeting her and spending those few days in hazy recovery. Sometimes I feel like the first month of newbornhood drags (just being honest!), but this time it has absolutely flown. Isabelle Joy lives up to her name: an absolute joy. She has been calm, sweet, and oh-so-snuggly from the very beginning. 

I wanted to share Isabelle's birth story while it's still so fresh in my mind. If you're not into that type of thing, I won't be offended if you come back next week for something non-baby-related. It's so hard not to overshare all things baby in these early weeks. :) Stay with me, friends!

Isabelle Joy: A Birth Story

Isabelle was a scheduled c-section. My other two girls were also c-sections (you can read about those here), and due to a large uterine window they found when they delivered Hadley three years ago, I was told another repeat c-section would definitely be the safest way to go if we chose to have more kids. My doctors agreed that sometime during the 38th week would be ideal, and we ended up choosing the last day of the week because the doctor who delivered both Carrington and Hadley (and who we really love and trust) was working that day -- it seems so funny to actually pick your child's birthday, doesn't it? It's all I know!

That morning, a Friday, Steve and I set our alarms for 4:30am in order to leave the house by 5:15 and get to the hospital by 5:30, a full two hours before the c-section was scheduled. We had packed our bags late the night before (master procrastinators!), so we basically threw on some comfortable clothes and headed into the pitch-black, chilly morning full of excitement and a touch of nerves. We swung through the Dunkin Donuts drive through so Steve could grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee on the way (wife of the year here, since I was already fasting!) -- it was sure to be a busy day ahead!

When we arrived at the hospital, we went straight to check-in and were quickly led back to pre-op. By now, we're pretty used to the whole routine. Get undressed, put on some monitors, answer a bunch of questions, get an IV. Our nurse was in and out, and eventually we met with the anesthesiologist and a couple of other people who would be joining us in the delivery room: residents, a nursing student, and finally... our doctor! Everyone was so friendly, warm, and conversational. Steve and I were joking around and the atmosphere was calm, while being full of anticipation, if that makes sense. Steve changed into his scrubs and we awaited go time.

The moment they walk you back and have you kiss your spouse before going into the operating room by yourself is always the hardest for me; it's when I always tear up. Something about being separated from the person who loves you most and is there to comfort you is unnerving. Once in the chilly operating room, they gave me the spinal (which felt like it took forever this time around!) and helped me lay down on the table. They put up the curtain and started prepping everything and began the touch tests to make sure I was numb. One cool difference from my other kids' births was they were playing music this time around -- lots of Maroon 5 and Isabelle was born to a Coldplay song. :) Talk about a legit birthday party!

Once Steve came in, things got moving pretty quickly. The surgery itself went smoothly and before we knew it, we heard my doctor say "there's another big window" -- which filled me with relief that the timing had worked out and we were both safe. Then he said "Hi baby! Look at that hair! She's beautiful!" and shortly after, at 8:01 a.m., Isabelle Joy was lifted up into the world. We heard her sweet cries and they immediately turned the curtain in front of me clear so I could see her. I couldn't believe I was meeting my third daughter. So surreal!

They whisked her over to get cleaned up and weighed, and Steve went over to be with her. Not too long after, she was brought over and laid on my chest for about 15 minutes. How incredible to have that time with her right away. With Carrington and Hadley, Steve was sent to post-op right away with them while I was stitched up. I was so glad I got to bond and cuddle right after sweet Isabelle was born. She calmed on my chest and Steve and I just stared at her little features while they worked on me.

Steve then went to post-op with her while they finished up on me, which always feels like forever. They chatted with me and checked on me frequently, though, and I felt well taken care of. Finally, I was lifted onto the rolling hospital bed, and wheeled into post-op to reunite with Steve and my new little girl. I held and nursed her right away (my plan was to bottle feed, but I have always latched my girls in post-op and breastfed that first day in the hospital -- to each their own!). We let our immediate family know that she had arrived and everyone was safe and healthy. There is no feeling like meeting your baby, and a close second is sharing the joyful news with the people you love most. The very best!

The moment we met our Isabelle will forever be in my mind and heart, and I'm so glad I have pictures and videos to remember it by, too. My most treasured dreams have come true, and I truly feel like the luckiest person in the entire world to have my family here, healthy, happy, and complete. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Forever, thank you.

Isabelle Joy
6 lbs. 13 oz. | 19.25 inches 

Monday Coffee Talk | Let's Catch Up

Monday, October 21, 2019

Happy Monday! Yes... I'm alive! 

You have no idea how many times I've started writing a post in the dark of night or when I've had a few minutes here or there to myself... and haven't finished it. I have so much to share with you, and as life normalizes a bit I hope to hit "publish" more. I can't wait to connect with you again.

I'd love to start a Monday Coffee Talk series. A few bloggers I enjoy following do something similar, and I love the casual, conversational tone of coffee talk posts. I think Monday is the perfect day for them because it's all about catching up about our weekends and life lately -- and I know we all need an extra cup of coffee or two on Monday. ;) So grab a mug (or a glass, if you're an iced gal like myself) and join me! 

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty good. I came down with a head cold a few days ago and have been sort of paranoid about passing it to the baby, but besides that it was a weekend well-spent. On Saturday morning Carrie had gymnastics. She started in the 6-8 year old class when she began Kindergarten since we could no longer make her old weekday afternoon class, and so far she's been doing really well in it. I'm proud of her because she's the youngest (she's still just five) and smallest in her class, but most weekends she still goes out there, tries her best, and rocks it. With that said, the Saturday morning time slot has been a little rough for us. We're finding that Carrie actually craves that time as downtime, play time, and time with her family after a long week of all-day school, so I think we may take a little break from gymnastics (our first break in 2.5 years!) for a while. Maybe we can figure out a different class or schedule that works for us, or maybe she'll try something else for a while. We're looking into Girl Scouts! Any former Girl Scouts here?! 

Saturday afternoon we headed back to our hometown for a little get together with my family. My great aunt is moving from California to Pennsylvania and was visiting in preparation for her move. It's been probably two decades since I've seen her, so it was really neat to all get together and catch up. It was our first longer road trip since the baby was born, but everyone did amazingly well. Big relief!

Sunday morning we were supposed to get together with friends of ours for an annual pumpkin picking date, but we were rained out. We ended up rescheduling for next weekend because I still feel a little under the weather. Hopefully next weekend everyone is well and we can either hit up the pumpkin patch or host some Halloween fun at our house! Oh, and Isabelle turned one month. :)

Today Carrie had her first field trip and Haddie had her first picture day! Big Monday over here!

I used to share our weekly menu more often here, so in case you're in need of some (super easy) dinner inspiration, here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Sunday - Tikka masala chicken with rice and broccoli

Monday - Cheese ravioli with pesto

Tuesday  - Crockpot chicken enchilada soup

Wednesday - Homemade pizza and caesar salad

Thursday - Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted brussels

Friday - Sloppy Joes and fries 

Saturday - Out!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing Isabelle's birth story in honor of her turning 1 month this past weekend! So if you're into that sorta thing, come check back. Hope you have a great start to your week! Let's do this.

She's Here! Welcoming Isabelle Joy

Monday, October 7, 2019

Well, you may have gathered from the radio silence over here, but... she's here! We're so happy and incredibly proud to introduce you to

Isabelle Joy

A birth story will be coming soon because #oversharer here, and frankly I'm excited to relive those moments and have them written to forever look back at. For now I'm just so thankful to share the news that our littlest baby girl has arrived healthy and happy (but for real, she lives up to her name -- the sweet pea is the most calm, joyful girl!) and that the c-section went smoothly and I am feeling almost completely back to myself a little over two weeks later. It's amazing what our bodies can do and how quickly they can heal! 

The big sisters are in absolute heaven. Carrington is like another little mommy and wants to hold and feed Isabelle, comfort her, and help as much as possible. Hadley has had the typical and expected 3-year-old adjustments (lots of emotions aimed at us, not at the baby!), but oh my goodness is she enamored with her baby. She so proudly introduces her by her full name to anybody we come across: "that's MY baby sister!" It's precious.

Because I know she's our last baby, I've been able to really pull back from the things that simply don't really matter right now (like a perfectly spotless house), slow down (not easy for me!), and really soak it in. Steve jokes about how much I hold her, but she is just so snuggly and she won't have that newborn smell forever, you know? So as much as I'm able while still meeting the needs of my older two, I'm trying to not take this time for granted and to memorize every last little detail of my last baby... our grand finale. :)

What's Your Parenting Motto?

Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm about 6 years into this parenting gig. As any parent can tell you, it's not always easy (understatement of the century?!) and it challenges us in ways we never imagined. Raising little humans is a big task, and it demands to be treated as such: we are entrusted with little hearts and impressionable minds, after all.

That's why I've recently embraced a little phrase that I repeat to myself often (most of the time in my head, sometimes out loud) and that I've found helpful in many aspects of parenting. Maybe you will, too?

Lead With Love.

Sounds simple enough, right? Of course, it's a given that we love our children and would give our very lives for their chance to lead their own. So "leading with love" seems obvious. But this little parenting motto isn't simply about loving our children, because I don't believe that love ever goes away no matter how frustrated, overwhelmed, or clueless we might feel. 

For me, Leading With Love has become an intention, followed by a direction, followed by an action. For example, when I'm dealing with a tantrum that seems to know no end, or when I'm facing kid attitude, or when I'm walking my three year old back to bed for the fourth time with bleary eyes -- and especially when I feel like I'm at the end of my fraying rope, and we've all been there -- I've found that if I remind myself to react with love first, things usually work out much more smoothly and happily for everyone involved, including myself. It's so easy to lose our tempers, to say something that feels deserved in the moment but doesn't settle well later, but when I try take a minute and remind myself of my little motto, it's resulted in less tears, less confusion, and less guilt later on. Simply put, it just feels better to Lead With Love. 

Leading With Love can also be interpreted as how we lead by example when it comes to our kids. Over and over, I've witnessed how these little people watch exactly what we do. How are we leading them -- literally? Are we approaching those we come into contact with with love? Are we expressing our feelings, even in times of high stress or frustration, the way we hope our kids will? Don't get me wrong -- nobody is perfect or can react in the ideal way all the time. I strongly believe there's a lot of value in showing our kids that even grown-ups don't always make the best choices. For me, if Leading With Love is always the goal, I'm more likely to do it -- but if I don't one day, because I'm human, then my kids learn that it's ok not to be perfect all the time. Mistakes are also a (vital) part of life. And, while "Lead With Love" has truly helped shape my parenting, know that I also have other, less lovely sounding, parenting mottos like "this too shall pass" and "ehh, why not?" ;) 

Do you have a parenting motto? I'd love to hear it!

Weekend Favorites

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Happy Saturday! With the start of school, I find myself more anxious than ever for the weekends to roll around. My girls savor this time to reconnect, relax, and play to their heart's content... and I love it! Speaking of school, Hadley already caught some cold germs from preschool (two days in) and guess who definitely isn't in the running for mom of the year award after forgetting to pack Carrie's (fully made, I might add!) lunch? That's right... this girl! I may or may not have called Steve sobbing. Not even sure I can blame that one on pregnancy hormones. ;) 

BUT, besides those hiccups, school has been going great for my little girlfriends, and for that I am so thankful. 

Moving right along to this Friday's favorite things:

One. Have you ever been obsessed with a soap? No? I had never been either, but then I discovered Mrs. Meyer's Apple Cider hand soap and I now go out of my way to find a reason to wash my hands (which isn't hard, haha). I find mine at Target! The Acorn Spice scent is also yummy, but Apple Cider is just plain amazing. You won't be disappointed.

Two. I was literally laughing out loud reading this honest piece about the stages of newborn-hood. If you've been through it, give it a read! I promise you won't regret it! 

Three. Comfort food. Does anyone else just get in the mood for warm, cozy food this time of year? (Send any crockpot recipes my way, please -- those will be winners with this extra crazy season of life upon us!). Two of our favorite easy dishes are this baked ziti and simple baked potatoes with melted cheese, crumbled bacon, and broccoli. 

Four. I'm new to packing lunches every day, but we've been really liking these bento boxes. Does anyone else's kids' lunch come home looking like raccoons broke into it, though? I also spotted these healthier alternatives to Lunchables (nothin' wrong with Lunchables, but for the same price I figured I'd try these!) at Target. 

Five. The Target clearance section is legit lately. I picked up this simple market stand set up for EIGHT BUCKS. I figured we can set it up on Christmas Eve with a big bow and some play food tossed in the bins. My girls love anything make-believe!

Have a wonderful weekend!

We Have a Kindergartener!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Last week, we sent our first baby off to kindergarten. 

Carrington was so excited to head off on the big yellow school bus -- I couldn't quite believe I was standing at a bus stop with my child, watching her climb the stairs, waving goodbye. Our kindergarten program is full day, so it's a huge change from the 2.5 hours of preschool/4 days a week that she had before. No more lunches together, unstructured days, spontaneous outings, lazy mornings. Man, I reveled in all of those things with my first girl. They are tough changes for this momma heart to accept, and yet I know without a doubt in my mind that my almost-six-year-old is ready for more.

She's ready to meet new friends, to learn to read, to do arts & crafts projects to her heart's content (something I was having a particularly hard time keeping up with this summer, as much as I tried!). She's ready to expand her knowledge about all sorts of subjects she's curious about -- she's so ready to learn. And if I'm being honest, she's probably got a few things she can teach others, too. ;) I marvel at how much she already knows and can't wait to hear what she discovers, all she absorbs.

Hadley has been taking it pretty rough, but then it's only been two days and she hasn't started pre-school yet. She has a tough time accepting that sissy gets to go off on the bus each morning and she can't. She misses her all day, everyday playmate... her best friend. It's a long day without her big sister, and we're both feeling it. It hurts my heart to see her missing Carrie, but at the same time we knew it was an inevitability, and I'm excited for her to begin pre-school and meet new friends and teachers of her own. She's ready for her own thing, too! I'm also looking forward to a bit of one-on-one time (ok, maybe with baby sis in tow!) with my Haddie and plan on treasuring it fully knowing how fast it all goes.

Have you sent a kid off to kindergarten or full day school for the first time? Was it a difficult transition? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I know we're not alone with all of these crazy, mixed emotions. ;) 

Fall Bucket List

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day! Can you believe it: the official end of summer? This was the fastest season -- and year -- I think I can ever remember, and I have no doubt fall will feel the same way. We're going to have a busy one over here! I tend to be a restless, get out, get-it-done sort of person so I am hoping to balance that part of me (thus the bucket list!) with a momma who can sit back, embrace and enjoy the moment, and take it all in. 

Here's what's on our Fall Bucket List this year. What's on yours?

Friday Favorites | New Beginnings

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Good Saturday morning! Whew, it's been a busy week. How about yours? This truly feels like the end of summer now, with Labor Day upon us, the pool closing, and school starting this week (ahhh!). It's funny, spring gets all of the glory for new beginnings, but there is so much to anticipate and look forward to in the fall, don't you think?

I thought I'd touch base with some "life lately" updates in lieu of the typical Friday Favorites, one day belated. 

Countdown to Baby #3

We are less than three weeks away from meeting our third little girl! I really can't believe it. A full 35-week update probably isn't necessary, but here's a little glimpse into life at 35 weeks pregnant: restless leg syndrome at night, huge baby rolls and stretches (this sweet girl is running out of room!), 5 lbs 3 oz at our 34 week growth scan with the most perfect cheeks and little lips, momma can't get enough of anything cold and thirst-quenching -- plums, Italian Ice (especially lemon), ice chips. I'm nesting hard and literally snapped the handle off of my Swiffer Mop cleaning the kitchen floors so intensely the other day - a new low, ha! We've crossed almost everything off of our "to-do before baby" list, except: clean and set up the Baby Brezza, sanitize bottles, pack our hospital bags (her's is ready to go), and clean/set up baby gear like swings, co-sleeper, etc.

The big girls are so excited and we're getting anxious to meet this babe, and to safely and healthily have the delivery and recovery behind us and the rest of our lives as a family of five (six including Layla pup) ahead of us. :) 

New Instagram Account for The Lucky Lifestyle

One morning last weekend, Steve was so sweet to deliver my iced coffee and protein bar while I was still in bed and I'm not sure if it was the luxurious feeling of lounging for a few extra minutes, but I suddenly felt inspired to create the separate Instagram account I've been dreaming and scheming up for a while now for this little space. I haven't had time this week to devote to it, post anything, or follow anyone but several of you have already found me, so if that's you... thank you! And I promise to begin sharing there soon. Why a new and separate account? I've finally accepted that Instagram is the tool to help expand the depth and breadth of wonderful people I can connect with, grow this space, and share authentically while protecting the privacy of my kiddos as much as possible.

Back to School

Both girls head to school very soon, and we're all excited to see what they learn and how they grow this year! Don't get me wrong, I will absolutely be weeping at the bus stop for the first couple of days, but I keep repeating to myself "this is good." This is what is supposed to happen when you have children, right? You prepare them, little by little, for the great big world. This feels like our first real step into it. Wish us luck!

Here are my favorite places to back-to-school shop, by the way -- check out Labor Day Sales!

-H&M (you cannot beat their $4.99 dresses, just size up one size!)

-OshKosh (cute and classic playtime favorites)

-Target (is anyone surprised? Cat & Jack is the best and their Art Class line is super cute, too!)

-Kohls (we love their Jumping Beans and Sonoma lines)

Our New Car

We knew when we found out we were expecting our third child that we'd need to upgrade to a car with a third row. It took almost the entire pregnancy to finally go shopping, but after a couple of weekends of waddling around lots comparing a few of the models we liked, we found the one! Say hello to our (new-to-us) Honda Pilot! We received recommendations from several people with three kids that the Pilot was awesome, and so far, we're loving it. Truth be told, my eyes filled with tears as I watched my old car drive away (thanks hormones), but I'm sentimental like that. Anyone else? 

Anyway, if you're in the market for a three-row car and want to chat about different features and what we compared, liked, and didn't like... feel free to reach out! 

Finally, I wanted to share a really cool idea inspired by a friend who recently messaged me on Instagram. This was a girl I went to middle and high school with -- we keep in touch on social media but haven't seen each other in a good decade probably. She messaged me wanting to spread some positivity and let me know about a conversation we had many years ago that helped her decide on her college major, which led to a career she loves. I was totally surprised and really touched -- that this one conversation so long ago meant something to her, and that she would take the time out of her life to let me know that. Thank you, Brooke!

Her kindness and openness inspired me to do the same, and I hope it does for you, too. :)

Have a wonderful, warm, and safe LDW friends!

Back to School Must-Haves: Kindergarten Edition

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Happy Sunday, friends! It's been a second since I could actually hit "publish" here, and that's because the back-to-school whirlwind, an uptick in work, and prepping for a new baby has taken over (and I've allowed it!). There's much to catch up on, but first I wanted to share some back-to-school favorites.

This is an especially exciting fall for us with one kiddo headed to kindergarten -- hold me -- and another starting preschool (and yet another coming into the world! ;)). We haven't gone too crazy with shopping since the girls have a great summer wardrobe to get them started, and it's still warm here at the beginning of the school season, but we've definitely scooped up a few new things and wanted to share our must-haves! 

Scratch-off lunchbox notes // Sturdy backpack (this pattern sold out) // Bento box (sale!)

First day dress (Under $9) // Stasher bag (this stye on sale!) // Rainboots (GREAT sale)

Does it ever seem like one day all of your kid's shoes fit, and the next day they don't? I hope we're not the only ones! We had to get all new shoes for Carrington for fall, and those adorable rainbow sneakers were first on the list (still working on learning to tie those laces!). When I saw the Joule rainboots on such a great sale (40% off), I had to get them. There are so many cute designs on sale right now to choose from. We also recently hit up DSW for these athletic sneakers -- PSA: don't forget to check your rewards points at every store you visit, just in case! I had $20 that I almost missed out on. Also, if I had a boy, I would get these immediately. So cute!

This is the first year C will be eating lunch out of the house. Santa brought her a new rainbow lunchbox last Christmas ;), so we invested in those great bento boxes to help keep her food separated. The boxes plus those Stasher bags (genius) will help us greatly reduce the number of plastic baggies we use. For every day things like water bottles, you can't go wrong with Camelbaks (we find ours at Target). They come in a ton of different colors and patterns, last, and don't leak. 

Speaking of lasting, the LL Bean backpack is so sturdy -- I'm hoping it carries us a couple of years beyond kindergarten. C was so excited to pick out that flower pattern herself (that pattern is now sold out, but there are others still in stock! Plus free shipping!). She'll be rocking it with that floral dress for her very first day.

And, just for fun, how cute are those scratch-off lunchbox notes? We're big into note writing/picture drawing in our family and I'm excited to send C off with little surprises each day for her to find when she opens her lunchbox. 

I'm going to miss that kid so much when she's away all day. It's going to be an adjustment for all of us, I think, but seeing how ready she is to learn all of the things, make new friends, and be more independent makes letting go just a teeny, tiny bit easier. 

Anyone else sending a kid off to kindergarten this year?

The 5 Minute Face | Favorite Beauty Products for Busy Mornings

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The title of this post makes me laugh, because who am I kidding? Every morning is a busy morning. I like to wear a little makeup every day -- nothing crazy -- but putting something on just makes me feel a little put together even on the days where I'm anything but (which is most). I'm also a product loyalist. Are you? When I find something I love, I tend to stick with it for years. These are my tried and true favorites that I put on every single day in five minutes or less.

Every Day Must Haves

1. Olay 7 in One Moisturizer

One of my go-to drug store finds, this moisturizer gets the job done. I feel like I really have seen a difference in my skin since using it consistently, plus it has SPF.

2. Bare Minerals Bare Pro Foundation

I've been using Bare Minerals foundation for forever. I hate feeling like I have a mask on, and this foundation gives me great, glowy coverage.

3. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illuminating Concealer:

My favorite product and a true game changer. If you want to look like you got 12 hours of sleep, just grab some of this. The secret to applying it is to warm a tiny dab between your fingers before rubbing it in. It covers everything and the littlest bit goes a long way.

4. Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara:

Another product I've been using for years and one that you can grab at any local drug store, Target, Walmart, etc. It just works and is perfect for every day.

5. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder:

This is a newer favorite, as I used the cult favorite Nars Orgasm blush for so long but grew a bit tired of the high shimmer. I love how this powder takes care of three things in one: blush, bronzer, illuminator. Just a little bit does the trick!

Favorite "Extras"

1. Bare Minerals Prime Time Primer:

On the days (or nights) I have extra time or a specific reason to get a little more made up, I make sure to use primer under my foundation to help it stay as long as possible. 

2. Chella Brow Pencil

I tried a couple of brow pencils before asking the woman who waxes my brows (when I remember to go, like, twice a year) what she recommended and she quickly told me about the Chella pencil in taupe. It blends naturally with my dark brows and has a brush on the other end.

3. Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Stick

Perfect for on-the-go, this stick has rich pigment that goes on easily in one swipe. I have a double-sided one with the colors Truffle and Stone and they're so pretty and natural.

Are you a no-makeup person, a 5-minute face kind of gal, or do you like fuller coverage for everyday? I'm always curious about others' routines & favorite products!
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan