Friday, October 28, 2016

OOTD: Pink Florals + My Q&A!

Congratulations, you've made it to Friday!! It's my favorite (work) day of the week! As always, I'm excited for the weekend- tonight I'm going to a craft fair with my girlfriend and tomorrow we have a Halloween dance class for Ellie, a family BBQ with some family who's in town, then Sunday we have church (I'm helping in nursery again!), and I want to make something yummy in the crock pot for dinner. What's your favorite dish? I'll probably do a loaded potato soup recipe my girlfriend shared with me.

I'm so excited about today's post too! I absolutely love this Pink Blush dress, it's the same silhouette as this dress, and I love it so much. It fits true to size, is fully lined, and so comfortable. Pink Blush has so many great pieces right now, I love their items and wore a few during my last pregnancy that I still wear now. Everything I have from them is good quality and has been really versatile to work for the different seasons of life. I know it's the end of October, but we're still enjoying (or should I say suffering?) through warm temps so my summer dresses are getting lots of use still. It's easy to "fall-ify" your clothes with hats, booties, layers, and tights. This get-up makes for a perfect weekend outfit, GNO, or date night.

One Instagram last Sunday, I asked everyone for some questions for a Q+A and here are ALL of the answers! It was so much fun and there were so many really great and fun questions, plus a few that really made me think! Thank you so much to everyone who commented, I really appreciate your support, it means so much to me!

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Pink Blush Dress (c/o) // Similar Hat 
Necklace (use Kristen20 for a discount!) // Booties 

Q: What is your favorite baby product that you used with both kiddos?
This one is kind of hard! So many new or updated products came out in just the two years between the girls and they both took to different things. For both girls we love(d) large swaddling blankets, the K’Tan baby carrier, the Boppy, and the Rock and Play. These have to be my top favorites, I tell all my mama friends they’re must-haves! If I had to choose one item though, I would have to say it’s the Rock and Play, it’s the perfect place for baby to sleep and easy to move around the house and travel with.

Q: Tips for being a working mom of two with a blog
My social media accounts are obviously only showing the rainbows of my life because it’s HARD. My biggest strength and help is hands down, definitely my husband. He’s so devoted to our family and to me, well over 100% I would drown without him. If I’m being honest with myself and everyone, he carries more of the load than I do at this time in our lives. I’ve really been struggling with keeping the blog running, I have lots of ideas and goals I want to reach, but finding the balance with work and my family has been pretty tough. Which is why there’s a week without any posts and weeks that have only one. I do try and be consistent, but it’s a lot of work. My only tip would be prep, prepare, and be organized. I try and do as many things as I can at night to prepare for the next day, shower, make lunches, pack bags, etc so it gives me more time in the mornings. The more organized and prepared I can be, the more free time I have for my family and for myself.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your wedding day?
Oh man! I haven’t really thought or looked back on our actual wedding day in a long time. I think it would have to be the actual ceremony, I loved being up in front of our family and friends promising and devoting my life to Matt. I felt like it was just us, it was a special moment that made it real for me. We were husband and wife, the page turned to a new chapter that joined our two lives together. It sounds so corny, but it’s true! I don’t even remember all of our vows, but I remember the feeling I had looking into Matt’s eyes and holding his hands. I was so happy and excited and never felt more sure of anything in my life. Thank you for asking this question, it brought a lot of great memories and feelings I hadn’t thought about in a long time!

Q: What is your favorite mascara?
I love good old Maybelline and L’Oreal mascaras! I usually use two- one for thickness and one for length. Right now I’m using a L’Oreal primer with Maybelline Colossal.

Q: What actress would you want to play you if your life was a movie?
Jennifer Lawrence would be pretty cool!

Q: What is your go-to concealer?
For under eye circles I use Maybelline Age Rewind in Brightener, I freaking love it! I’ve been using it for years and I also like Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin and their Fit Me concealers for any redness, pimples, or even as a highlighter.

Q: What is your favorite shampoo, dry shampoo, and conditioner?
Right now I’m using a Nexxus shampoo I picked up at Target and will probably buy it again, for conditioner I always use a leave in and my favorite is Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Mask (it’s seriously so good!), and for dry shampoo I swear by Suave.

Q What is your favorite book and why?
This is another tough question. I don’t have a book I’ve read and reread a lot, but my favorite book would have to be Little Women. I read it the year after I graduated from college and I loved the look into a family, of women, of sisters, and see how their lives grows and how they dealt with society, each other, and building their own lives.

Q: What are your fondest childhood memories? How you do plan on giving that similar memory to your girls/family?
Some of my favorite childhood memories are with my grandparents. They were a huge part of my life and always made me feel so special. They taught me that love is spelled t-i-m-e and I hope to give the same feelings of joy to my children. We would sing and dance in the front room, bake cookies, read books and watch movies, take walks, they’d get down on the floor with me and play board games, they were amazing! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them and think about the impact they had on my life. I find myself doing the same activities with my children, I use my grandmother’s catch phrases all the time with the girls, and remember the words and her tone that always made me feel special and try to do the same when I’m with the girls.

Q: What’s your fave date night getaway?
Matt and I don’t get to go out a lot alone, but when we do, we usually get some sushi. It’s Matt’s favorite and has become kind of our “thing” to do. On our last date night, we went out to eat, did a few errands (checking out family photo locations), and then came home for dessert and a movie. It was so low key, but it was so much fun! It was nice to be home, in our pajamas, and relax in the comfort of our own home and watch a movie. Then we went and picked up the girls once the movie was over. We’re rarely home without the girls (I could count on one hand) so it really did feel different being there without them.

Q: Where do you buy your clothes?
The majority of my clothes are from Old Navy, I get a lot from Jane, and everything else is a mix of Nordstrom, Target, and a few basics from Forever 21.

Q: What’s your go-to store for the girls’ clothes?
I can ALWAYS find great things at Carters! I also shop a lot from Old Navy and Target for them too.

Q: What is your favorite go-to look?
If you asked me this a few years ago, I would have said a dress. Now, I’ve totally changed and would have to say jeans, a cute top, and flats.

Q: What’s your favorite meal to make?
I’m not a huge cook, but I love making salmon with roasted brussel sprouts! Sea food is so easy to cook and it cooks quickly so I love it! I put different spins on my salmon- brown mustard, honey, and soy sauce is amazing together, but I also love just good old fashioned butter with salt and pepper.

Q: What’s your favorite nude lip color?
MAC Crème D’Nude and Hue are my favorites!

Q: What is the best curling iron for loose waves?
I know a lot of people prefer a wand, but I love using a 1 ¼ in curling iron with a clamp. I start about 2-3 inches from the root and leave the last 1-2 inches out, focusing on just the center of my hair.

Q: What is your occupation?
I work in finance, I’m a banker for a large US bank. I used to work in customer service at their call center in the mortgage department, but have since moved into a banker role when we bought our home and I needed to transfer to a closer location.

Q: What do you use for your brows?
My brows are pretty simple, I use MAC’s Brun shadow every day with a slanted brush and when I get fancy I use NYX Micro Brow pencil to first set the lay of the land. I recently bought a brow mascara from Maybelline I’ve been testing this week too, but I wouldn’t call that part of my routine just yet. MAC Brun is a must have and is a perfect shade for blondes and light brunettes!

Q: What inspires your blog posts?
There’s a lot of different things I find inspiration from- my everyday life, Pinterest, Instagram, or even from other bloggers. Not that my content is ground breaking, but I just try and share what I’m interested in, enjoy reading about, or things I wish I knew. It’s just my nature to be a talker and I want to tell everyone everything. Oh you like my dress? It’s from XYZ and it’s on sale right now, I would size up though because it runs small, I’m gonna buy another one in a different color. Literally, I talk to everyone about all kinds of stuff and word vomit just comes right out of my mouth. Here at least, I can try and edit it to a something relevant!

Q: How do you find the time with little ones at home?
Dude, having offspring is hard. It my absolute favorite job in the world and nothing fulfills me or makes me happier than my family, but man I took for granted all the time I had before! I often ask myself what did I do with all of that free time? To get time to myself, I either have to wake up extra early, stay up well after bedtime, or Matt takes care of the girls while I get some "me" time. Sometimes, after Emma is asleep, Ellie will play by herself or will watch a show while Matt and I do our own things.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do if/when you have time to yourself?
Relax! When I get time to myself I like to paint my nails, watch my TV shows, meet up with my girlfriends, go shopping with my sister, just the usual stuff.

Q: How do you stay organized with blogging at home?
Back in August I finally bought an old school planner from Target and I use it to track any post deadlines and jot down post ideas/prompts. I'll also email myself during my breaks at work with ideas or start on posts themselves. Since I work full time, blogging is just for fun for me right now and I only get to devote time to it after the kids are asleep. My goal is to post twice a week and sometimes it's more and other times I'm lucky for one post!

Q: What do you love about blogging?
There's so much I love about blogging! I love that I can blog and post about anything I want, share ideas, and journal things that are happening in my life and the with the girls. I've "met" so many amazing women and worked with some awesome companies, I really have found a great community in blogging!

Thank you again for all your questions, this post was really fun! Today's the LAST day to enter my $50 Pink Blush gift card giveaway! Don't miss out! There's 5 easy ways to enter, US residents only, and you must not have won a previous Pink Blush giveaway in the last three months to be eligible. Winner will be announced next week! Enter here! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OOTD: Distressed Tee + Pumpkin Patch

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Necklace (use Kristen20 for a discount!) // Sunnies // Booties 

Last week we took the girls to a pumpkin patch, and I can't wait to go again! There's some really great ones by our home and we've only been to one! Last year, this was my last month on maternity leave so I felt like we were always doing something fun. Our weekends are so packed, I'm hoping to maybe squeeze one more in before Halloween with the girls.

When we're out and about, running errands or getting our hands dirty, I always reach for a good pair of jeans and white tee. It's easy to wear and I can get down and play with the girls. This particular Pink Blush tee is distressed and has little holes, raw edges, and rolled up sleeves for an edgy look that perfect for dressing it up or down. It would be perfect with faux leather leggings, a chunky necklace, and bold lips for a night out.

Honey... I think a date night is calling our name!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to enter my $50 Pink Blush giveaway, runs from 10/24 through 10/28, US residents only, you must not have won a previous Pink Blush giveaway in the last three months to be eligible. Enter HERE. Good luck!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

OOTD: Fall Floral + PinkBlush Giveaway!!

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One of my favorite trends this year is florals, I've been wearing them since Spring and the "fall" season isn't slowing me down! I L-O-V-E this gorgeous emerald floral print, just looking at it makes me happy! I plan on wearing it for Thanksgiving this year, maybe with a hat?

This Pink Blush dress is so comfortable, the sleeves are the perfect length, it's fully lined, and wears easy around the girls. Seriously, it's tried and tested. Yesterday I helped out in nursery at school - all the kids between 18 months and 3 years and I was running all over the room, singing songs, blowing bubbles, wiping noses (sometimes with my sleeves!), holding all the kids, and reading to them. It was a lot of fun!

I wore a gorgeous Pink Blush maternity dress for my lunch sprinkle my sister threw me for Emma last summer and their clothes are so versatile! I still wear that dress all the time. So many of their clothes work for both busy women and expecting moms, this dress too! Plenty of room for growth and adorbs paired with tights or leggings.

Pink Blush is offering $50 gift card to their shop and there's 5 easy ways to enter! The giveaway runs from 10/24 through 10/28, US residents only, you must not have won a previous Pink Blush giveaway in the last three months to be eligible. Best of luck!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Easy Tips for Styling Your Family Photos

When I shared our family pictures from this year, I told you guys how I plan on taking pictures every year as a family until I’m cold and dead. It’s so important to me to have pictures taken and I know I will always treasure them. Planning for pictures can be daunting, you want to coordinate but not be matchy-matchy so I put together an easy how-to to get you started! Finding pieces that match the look and feel you’re looking for can be tough, but I really enjoy the entire process!

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1. Consider your location + home
When organizing for your family session, consider where you’ll be taking pictures and the season. If you have particular outfits in mind, be sure to plan them to be cohesive with when you’re taking pictures and where. Is your background going to be color changing leaves of fall? Choose rich colors. Will they be by the ocean? Nearly everything goes. Up in the mountains? The orange groves? See what colors will be there to help determine what look you want to create. Also, what will you be doing with the pictures? If you plan on hanging them in your home, consider your décor. You don’t want a giant family photo above the mantle that clashes with your living room.

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2. Find a color palette
This is the first thing I do when planning for our family sessions. It’s kind of our “thing” to do blue, but we’ve also mixed in florals, mint, and coral. I’ve helped lots of family and friends coordinate outfits and the first thing I ask is what colors they’re thinking. Pick 1-2 colors and then everything else should be neutrals- denim, black, white, tan, or gray. You can add color with your tops, bottoms, tights, cardigans, or accessories. It doesn’t have to be the same shades of your color choice, but you want to stick in the same color family.

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3. Pick your outfit first!
I know this sounds kind of selfish, but I say this because I find that it’s hardest to shop for me for pictures. I start with myself, the kids, and then Matt. Men seem to be the easiest to shop for so I always do them last. You can always find a nice button down shirt any time of year, but finding the right blouse or dress for women can get kind of tricky.

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4. Add texture
Depending on the size of your family, at least two people should have clothing that adds depth and texture to your picture. Think knits, lace, eyelet, corduroy, etc. If you’re taking fall or winter pics, this is easy to do with layering- cardigans, vests, dresses, sweaters, pants, whatever! You want to make sure that not just the adults are wearing texture/color/or prints, but that it’s sprinkled throughout the family.

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5. Mix in some prints!
Need ideas? What about a gingham print for Dad, polka dots and florals for the girls, or stripes for the boys. Not everyone needs to be in a print, but finding the right balance of solids, textures, and prints is key to a cohesive portrait. Do you need a little something, but another full outfit will be too much? Don’t forget hair bows or bow ties for the little ones or a printed belt or shoes for yourself! It’s an easy way to sneak it in without going overboard.

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I seriously LOVE planning for family pictures and helping others find just what they need to make their pictures stand out. Even though we just took ours, I’m already scouting and keeping an eye open for new locations for next year. It’s never too early to start thinking ahead! If you have any questions, please ask me in a comment, shoot me an email, or leave me a note on social media. I hope these tips help you with your next family sessions, leave a link below if you have some to share!

All photos done by Lovers of Love Photography - we love working with them!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Faves- Beauty Products

Hello and happy Friday! I haven't done a Friday Faves in a short bit and I'm happy to bring it back with some of my recent beauty faves, some new and some tried and true. I don't usually have a theme for these posts, but today's just happened to be all beauty items. Do you guys like these posts? Do you prefer a theme? Let me know, I want to make sure I'm creating content you enjoy reading.

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