Showing posts with label Lookbook. Show all posts

My Mostly Second Hand 30 Piece Capsule Wardrobe

Spring is right around the corner and with that in mind, I started thinking about what pieces I was going to want to add to my closet to be ready for the change in season. I love wearing jeans and race t-shirts, but I also love taking the time to put together a nice outfit as well. 

I decided over the weekend to take inventory of my closet and see where the gaps were, what pieces I already have, and then what things I would need to add in to make a pretty well rounded closet. This was perfect timing with Merrick's Outfit Challenge, and looking through The 25 Days of Spring Outfits that she put together helped me get a good idea of what pieces I should add into my closet for more versatility, and helped me to identify which pieces fit my personal taste versus things that maybe did not. 
Capsule wardrobe 2020 checklist. Classic capsule wardrobe 2020. Capsule wardrobe spring 2020. Spring 2020 capsule wardrobe.  #minimalism #spring #clothing #fashion #capsulewardrobe #30piececloset #closet
I bought most of these pieces on ThredUp. I linked you to similar pieces online that are brand new since it's hard to link to similar products on ThredUp. If there is something on here that you like though, I highly recommend browsing on ThredUp first for similar pieces. I've found so many secondhand pieces on there that I love! If you use this link, you can get $10 credit for your first purchase! (not sponsored).

Top Row: Green SweaterBlack and White Long Sleeve TeeBlack and White Short Sleeve Shirt, Independence Graphic TeeRust Colored SweatshirtGray Short Sleeve





What I already had in my closet:
Items that I already had in my closet included: a blazer, green coat, black leggings, leather jacket, ankle boots, cut out shoes, taupe pumps, two sweaters, one pair of jeans, and dress pants. I feel like I had a lot of classic pieces that can be worn all the time (that I do wear all the time!) and so it was great to not feel like I was starting from scratch and having to invest in a lot of staples/more expensive pieces. 

What I added into my closet:
I didn't have a lot of simple basic t-shirts that can be worn on a regular basis. Right now I have 1 one graphic tee, and a bunch of old race t-shirts that I wear a lot, but they can typically only be worn one way and aren't super appropriate for more dressier occasions, so I really invested in picking up some neutral pieces. 

I also decided that I should add in some more pants since I currently only own two pairs of jeans. Having some more pants on hand gives a lot more versatility to the outfits that I can put together. I ordered a white pair, black pair, and a more relaxed boy friend fit. I ordered all of these on Thred Up and paid between $4-$10 for each pair! 

I picked up some dresses for church as well. The ones I currently have I've worn into the ground and either have stains, a hole, are pilling, or straight up don't fit me. I'm passing my old ones along, and picked up three dresses that will be perfect for church, and two that will be great for wearing during the week in the spring and summer. Except for the maxi dress which I bought new on Amazon, I purchased the other dresses on ThredUp and paid between $6-9 for three of them, and then $17 for the other. 

Finally, I added a few accessory pieces to my closet. I snagged the denim jacket for $20. I didn't own any sneakers that weren't specifically for running, so I grabbed a pair of those that I can dress down with dresses, and wear with basically any of the pants I bought. I also wanted to try out this whole hair clip trend and grabbed a pack on Amazon for $9, along with the belts as well. 

How to get deep discounts on ThredUp:
You can get up to 50% off already low pieces when you place your first order on ThredUp. That's how I scored a lot of these pieces for SO CHEAP. They also have sales and promo codes all the time too, so just weigh your options before checking out to make sure you're getting the best deal!

How to find good quality pieces:
There are so many filters and different options on ThredUp so that you can easily find what you're looking for. I almost always set the filter to all of my sizes, and then hit the "new with tags" and "like new" options. This takes away all the less than perfect pieces and leaves you with the best quality options in the parameters that you're looking for. If I can't find something "new with tags" or "like new", I'll likely look to purchase the item brand new from another store at that point. 

Finding exactly what you're looking for:
If you're looking for a black and white striped long sleeve t-shirt, you can literally narrow the results down to show you only those things. Pick your sizes, pick the colors black and white, pick the "new with tags" or "like new" options. From there you can narrow down sleeve length, and the pattern that you're looking for (stripes), and all of a sudden it gives you a view of all the long sleeve black and white stripe shirts that are available. Doing this is a lifesaver since they have over 50,000 pieces in their inventory. By being specific like this it usually gives me 1-2 pages of good options to choose from! 

Do you use a capsule wardrobe? Do you have any master tips for purchasing items on ThredUp? I'd love to hear it all in the comments below!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

Primary.com Clothing Review + Coupon Code!

Primary Clothing is a great ethical fashion brand for infants and children. Their line of basics and classic styles makes them a great choice for all families.

Last year I said one of my goals was to start purchasing more ethical fashion for our home. I won't get into all of those details here, but click that link if you want to learn more about that decision. Since making that decision we've purchased a lot of clothing second hand, but sometimes when you need to buy a lot of something, or something specific that you can't find used, it's easier to just buy new and get it all in one place. 

primary.com clothing review. Haul of primary.com clothing. Ethical fashion for kids. Ethical fashion brands for children.

The kids had gotten to a point where they had worn through many of the clothes we purchased for them at the beginning of the school year, and Kinsley had out-grown most of her church dresses. Both kids were both down to a couple pairs of pants and so I pulled the trigger and added some new pieces to their closets. 

I'd heard of primary.com several years ago and knew they were an ethical brand, but back then they didn't have a ton of fashion forward pieces. They've really upped their game the last couple years, and they've become my new go-to for purchasing new pieces for our kids. 

Primary.com Dresses Review:

We bought Kinsley three dresses from them and they've all been awesome quality. Their fabric is a little thicker meaning that they keep her just a little warmer, and she won't wear through them as quickly. I sized up for length and went with the "6-7" size and they were perfect for her. She's 39 inches tall for reference, and even though the dresses are long and have room to grow with her, they aren't gaping on her either. They're a really great fit. 

Primary.com Chino Pants Review:

Chino pants are always my go-to for Kyle. They're great for both school and church and pair well with most of his shirts. These are currently on sale for $10 each, and they are a great fit. They aren't specifically slim cut, but even for Kyle who is really slender, they're not super wide on him. We got him a size 7, and they fit really well, and have an adjustable waist so they don't fall down his bottom. He has three pairs now and I know they'll last him through the end of the school year! 

Primary.com Leggings Review:

I'm super picky about leggings because of how tall and skinny Kinsley is. Usually leggings that fit her in the length are too wide in the waist. We used to only be able to get her in Target leggings because of this. The primary.com leggings fit her really well. She's in a size five, I love that they have a thick waist band, and the material is thicker than other leggings so I think they'll last a little bit longer with her crawling around in them. 


Primary.com Tops Review:

I purchased two new shirts for Kinsley, a sweatshirt and a tunic and they both fit great. I ordered her normal size, a five, and it was perfect. I was hesitant because we'd gotten the 6-7 for her dresses that these would be too small, but I'm really glad we didn't go with the bigger size.  They have enough room to grow in until summer, and I love how thick, warm, and soft they are. 


For a brand that I was a little hesitant to purchase from, primary.com has become a new family favorite. I'll definitely be purchasing from them in the future. This post isn't sponsored by primary.com, they don't really know who I am other than the fact that they did give me a promo code to share with you all. If you enter code, AFF20PCT at checkout, you can get 20% off your first order, which makes those boy pants only $8, and the dresses $10 or less!

If you liked this post, Primary.com Clothing Review + Coupon Code, you might also like:

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

Ethical Fashion and Why We're Slowly Converting

This post isn't intended to shame anyone for their clothing purchases, but to simply share how I got to the point that I'm at today. 


Growing up my dad complained to me numerous times that the clothes I was paying astronomical rates for at the mall were made by children in sweat shops in the Phillipeans. (Know how Grandmas talk about the starving children in Africa when you don't eat your food? That's my dad with sweat shops). I don't think his early introductions to child labor were based off of a moral stance, but rather trying to get me to stop overpaying for designer clothes. What he didn't know though was that the imagery of child labor was something that had stuck with me since. 

Fast forward to last year when my friend Molly was talking about ethical clothing on her instagram stories (which is a large part of her blog at this point), and was sharing an old news article from 2015 where a nine story building in Bangladesh that manufactured clothing for The Children's Place had collapsed, killing over 1,100 people. 

The imagery of the rubble and human suffering struck another cord with me, and it was this moment where I was finally able to make the connection, "This is what my dad was talking about." My mind was finally able to make a shift where I'd realized that my clothing wasn't some grand noble cause that was worth someone dying over. World peace? Cure to cancer? Sure, those are great causes, but making a shirt, or various pieces of clothing for my family doesn't seem like something that's worth dying over. 

I started looking into what it meant to purchase "ethical clothing" and found that it really meant purchasing clothing that isn't a byproduct of worker exploitation, sweat shops, and that boasts fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare. Basically, if no human, animal, or ecosystem were damaged in the making of the clothing, it is categorized as "sustainable", or "ethical" clothing. 

Know that moment though where you realize that eating organic food is better for you, but then you see how expensive organic food is so you go back to eating how you were before? That was me with ethical clothing. 

The thing is, to meet all these standards for our clothing, you have to pay a cost. We've been so accustomed to getting clothes for $5 a piece at Walmart or Target, that when you start to see what it actually costs to make clothing sans human suffering, it seems like such a huge jump. 

My first step into this world was through thrifted clothing. Buying second hand is amazing because you save a piece of clothing that would have otherwise gone to a landfill, and by purchasing from a thrift store rather than an unethical clothing company, you didn't add to any human suffering. It's not a perfect system since you're still likely purchasing used pieces of clothing from unethical businesses, but it's a step in the right direction, and a huge win for mother nature. 

My favorite place to purchase goods second hand is through ThredUp. I feel like I always have really good luck on there when I have a very specific piece of clothing in mind that I need. For instance, I only own one pair of jeans. I ripped the jeans I had, needed new ones, bought two new pair for less than $20 that fit me perfectly. Kinsley needed new long sleeve dresses for winter, found two awesome ones in great condition from brands I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford (purchased in the wrong size though so have to return #fail). 

Whenever we have a real need for something, our first try lately has always been logging onto ThredUp to see what they have. If we can't find what we need through them, then I've slowly been familiarizing myself with Molly's Ethical Clothing Directory. And shopping those brands when possible to fill the gaps in our wardrobes with pieces that are higher quality, can be passed down between kids (when possible), and didn't involve any amount of human suffering. 

I'm a firm believer that we have the power to vote with our dollars. When we purchase more and more organic foods at the grocery store, it makes more and more brands farm and produce organic goods, which lowers the prices for consumers because of the increased competition. I believe that we can see this same strategy play out to an extent with our clothing. If we turn away from the big name brands and vote with our dollars for more sustainable and ethical purchases, these big brands will start to notice, listen, and make the changes they need to earn consumers trust and business. 


Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest by following on instagram @thehappyflammily

The Black Jumpsuit Everyone Needs| Kaboom Boutique Review

Jumpsuits have totally become a huge trend over the last several years, and I've seen so many that I absolutely love, but for some reason, never caved and gave into the trend. When I was getting ready for the Advocating Moms Conference several weeks ago, I kept imagining myself presenting at this conference wearing a black jumpsuit. I scoured the internet again and again, but couldn't find quite the right one.


Eventually I found Kaboom Boutique, and when I was looking through their site, their Delila jumpsuit stopped me dead in my tracks. It was everything I'd wanted and more. A super flattering v-cut that isn't too low. A tie at the waist that's super flattering and adorable. And my favorite part might be the legs. They aren't crazy wide legged, and they're not cinched at the bottom like a jogger either. They're just the perfect tailored leg that looks flattering on basically any body type! 



They have a ton of amazing pieces for fall like these "Freya Rose Flats" that are super similar to the shoes I'm wearing in these pictures. "The Parker Sweater", is the perfect shirt to wear with these high waisted jeans on a cozy fall day... and of course, the Delila jumper are just a few of my favorite pieces they sell! 


Kaboom was super gracious and gave a 20% off code for me to share with you guys! Now through October 31st you can use my code Paige20 on all your purchases at Kaboom Boutique.

Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest by following on instagram @thehappyflammily

My Favorite Tanning Products and Tips

Over three and a half years ago I wrote a sponsored post about how much I loved the Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer as a self tanner. Many years and bottles of that product later, it's still one of my favorites. This year though, I found the Jergen's Natual Glow Instant Sun, and I've been using it almost exclusively ever since. 



When I'd use the Moisturizer:
If it's the middle of winter and I just want a bit of a healthy glow, and I'm already using lotion like crazy because it's so dry in Utah, I'll reach for the moisturizer. It gives you the perfect bit of tan, that builds up a little bit each day as you use it, but it doesn't give you that "I just got a spray tan" look. 


Setbacks to the Moisturizer: 
I typically don't remember to apply everyday, and when I go to church on Sundays, that's when I typically want to have a tan since my legs don't see the sun often, and I want to look a little less pasty when I have a skirt or dress on. This means that on Saturday nights I'd be slathering three huge layers of this stuff onto my body and cross my fingers that I woke up tan in the morning. It also meant that I'd get three tan sessions out of the one bottle before it was empty and I had to buy another bottle. Definitely wasn't using as directed. 



Why I love the Jergen's Natural Glow Instant Tan:
I love this product more than the moisturizer because it can be Sunday morning, 15 minutes before church, I can apply it, and a tan starts to develop almost instantly. I also love that a little product goes a long way, and that I've been able to tan with this about 10 different times so far, and still haven't had to purchase another bottle.

How I apply the Jergen's Natural Glow Instant Tan: 
I work in sections. I put three pumps of the product on my hand and then rub it on one leg from the top of the knee down. I try to only rub with the palm of my hand, since rubbing it in with my finger tips could make it streaky. Once my lower leg is all rubbed in from the top of the knee down, I move onto the top of my leg. I do three pumps in my hand again, and then do everything above my knee, and rub everything in until it no longer feels wet. I then repeat this same process on my other leg. 

Then I do my arms. I apply three pumps of product into my hand and apply it to my entire arm, from the wrist to the shoulder. I rub it in with the palm of my hand, making sure to get the top and underside of my arm, elbows, and everything. Once it doesn't feel super wet anymore, I stop rubbing and repeat the process on the other arm. 


The Clean Up:
Once I've applied the product to both arms and legs, I wash my hands with hot soapy water. I make sure to scrub in between my fingers, and everywhere the product touched. I keep washing until the water runs clear, and I can't see anymore product on my hands. This will prevent you from getting creepy orange hands. Try to keep the water only on your hands, and don't let it drip down your arms, if it does, the product will wash off that spot on your arm, and will leave you with a pale spot on that arm. This is typically my most frequently made mistake. 


The Results:
I like that it looks pretty natural and that it looks like a good tan, without being a huge overly dark spray tan look. Unless I've made a big mistake, like forgetting to rub it in on the back side of my leg or something, I feel like you can't tell that it's a fake tan, and it looks pretty natural. I also like that it doesn't last a super long time. After a few showers it comes off, and it leaves me with a fresh base to repeat it all over again when I'm ready to reapply for church the next week.

Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest by following on instagram @thehappyflammily

5 Back-To-School Hair Styles in Under 5 Minutes

I used to be awful at doing Kinsley's hair. The first three years of her life I just threw her hair in a half up half down ponytail and just called it good. Last year I had made the decision that I was going to learn how to do her hair, and it became something that I placed a priority on everyday. I learned most of my skills from watching videos on youtube from Easy Toddler Hairstyles, and once I learned the basics, it was easy for me to start doing my own thing. 


What do I use? 
I don't use a lot of supplies when I do Kinsley's hair. I simply use a spray bottle with just water, a comb, and hair elastics. This should hopefully make it simple enough that anyone can replicate these styles with things they already have on hand, or at least very inexpensively. 

How long does it take? 
I timed all these styles on my phone as I was doing them, and these can all be done in under 5 minutes. I'll leave the time stamps with the hairstyles so you know how long it took me! Sometimes for school I like to do more elaborate styles, but when we're in a rush and don't have much time, these are the ones I go to!

Criss Cross Braids (4 minutes 28 seconds)
Divide the hair into four sections and secure them with an elastic. Braid one of the top sections and then cross it over to the opposite side on the bottom, and secure with another elastic. Then braid the other top section, cross it over to the opposite side on the bottom, and secure with an elastic again. Quick and simple.

Space Buns (3 minutes 18 seconds):
Simply part the hair down the middle and secure each side into a normal pig tail. Twist the hair around your finger, and then wrap it around the base of the pigtail/hair elastic until all the hair is used and it forms a bun. Secure with an elastic, and repeat on the other side. 


French Braid to Messy Bun (5 minutes)
Do a side part in the hair, and then do another part from the back of the side part, across the head horizontally to the ear on the other side (shown below). Secure the top section of hair out of the way, and then french braid the hair on the bottom half and secure with an elastic. Once the French braid is done, take the hair in the top section and comb it back to meet the braid. Combine the hair from the top section, and the remaining tail of the French braid into a messy bun on the side of the head, and secure with an elastic. 


Messy Bun (2 minutes 15 seconds)
Comb all the hair up onto the top of the head making it as smooth as possible and secure with an elastic like you're doing a ponytail, except on the last wrap around with the elastic, only pull the hair halfway through, leaving a bun (shown below). 

Then take the left side of the bun, and the right side of the bun, and bring them up together to form a little donut bun circle. Holding the donut bun with one hand, get another elastic, and secure the donut bun in place. Pull and tighten down the bun as needed to give it it's best shape. 



Pig Tails (2 minutes 38 seconds)
This probably doesn't need an explanation, but part the hair down the middle, pin the section you're not working on off to the side, and comb and smooth one side into a ponytail. Repeat on the other side, making sure both tails are even. 

What are some of your go-to quick and easy styles? I'd love to hear in the comments below! 

Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest by following on instagram @thehappyflammily

Second Grade Boy Back to School Haul

It literally blows my mind that Kyle will be starting second grade this fall. There are a lot of exciting things for him, like going to a new school, and starting the French Immersion program. He'll be in French classes for half the school day, and regular classes the other half. Along with a new school, and new language, comes new clothes right? Kyle actually still fits into quite a few of his long sleeve shirts from last year, so he didn't need as much this year. We mostly stocked up on ALL THE PANTS, added a few new shirts, and called it good!

I've gotten Kyle the same pants from The Children's Place for the last two years now, and they're my favorite. I love that they have slim, regular, and husky in all sizes, which means that I can order the slim fit skinny jeans for him and they actually look fitted and aren't falling off of him! They've held up great both years we've purchased them, and are perfect for both school and church. 



Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

Kindegarten Girl Back to School Haul 2019

It's become a bit of a tradition on the blog to share what we've gotten the kids for back to school clothes each year. I wasn't going to make this post this year, because I wasn't sure if people cared, but after expressing how hard it was to find good girl's clothes on Instagram, people wanted to see what I bought and where I got it from. After looking through my orders, I may have bought too much blue, and unicorns... but we're just going to run with it and make it work. If you want to see previous year's posts you can find them here: 
Kyle's Kindegarten (and preschool since he did both in one year)

Finding clothes for Kinsley is so tricky because she is so tall and skinny. So while she fits into a size 5 for the length, they're likely way too big on the waist. The Cat and Jack line at Target fit her perfectly with the size XS, but I'm almost positive I'll be returning the leggings from Kohl's for smaller sizes and hoping it works out. 

Another thing to note: Kinlsey only only only ever wears leggings. They're super easy to fit over her leg braces as opposed to skinny jeans, and are just so comfortable for someone who spends so much time crawling. Because of this, she wears her clothes out super fast and her leggings almost always get holes in the knees quickly. The Cat and Jack brand has a 1 year guarantee, but it's only good if you keep the receipt. We started keeping Kinsey's receipt in her dresser drawer so that we always know where they are so we can make these exchanges throughout the year, which we almost always need to do at least 2-3 times. 



Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

The Mind Shift I've Made With Buying Clothes

Purchasing clothes and having a lot of clothes used to be a large part of my life. I remember working every summer in high school and saving a thousand dollars over the entire summer and blowing it all in one swoop at the mall before school started on a new wardrobe. Literal summer tradition every year. Hopefully I can instill in my children a better sense for saving money, but needless to say, having a closet stuffed with loads and loads of clothing was always the number one goal. 


Fast forward to the last several years where I've really minimized my life, including my wardrobe. I tried doing capsule wardrobes, but I found myself purchasing items to "fill the gaps" of what the internet and other bloggers told me that I needed in a capsule wardrobe, instead of actually being really thoughtful about my own personal needs and lifestyle, and what I actually like in my clothing. 

At the beginning of the summer I knew I wanted very few new pieces for my closet, so I bought six shirts of varying styles, one pair of shorts, and one dress, and called it good. I thought I had done so well in being minimal, and to be honest, there are only about 15 pieces total hanging in my closet, but I found myself still only drawn to wearing the same 3-4 pieces in my closet, and then not really bothering to wear some of the new pieces I just bought. 


A huge problem I have with clothing is being small enough to fit into an XS width wise, but they always fall short on the length. Instead of exchanging pieces for a bigger size, I keep them, and tell myself I'll make it work, and then those pieces die in my closet and never get worn. 

This has taught me a few things. One, online shopping might not be the best for me, because making returns is not my strong suit, and so as much as I loathe going to the mall, shopping in person and getting something I know I'll love before I get it home might help me make more intentional purchases. 


Two, I've learned that I actually only need 3-4 awesome shirts in my closet to feel good about myself and to feel content with the clothing that I own. Getting ready each day isn't a huge priority to me. Give me a pair of joggers, an old race t-shirt, a windbreaker, and a baseball hat and I'm ready for 90% of my life. So having a closet filled to the brim with pieces I'm not wearing is really impractical to me. 

Heading into the fall I want to make a list of what pieces I know that I'll need for my lifestyle, not what other bloggers tell me I need, and then shop based on those needs. I currently have zero pairs of jeans (tried cutting them into shorts and failed hard), so I know that is something I'll be purchasing. Other than that, I have a few shirts from last fall that I still love, so I might add one really great quality cardigan, a new pair of joggers, 1-2 new shirts, and a pair of rain boots to replace the ones I finally passed on to goodwill and call it good. 


Being able to identify what my real needs are, and to identity where I lack in my shopping habits I think will help me to be able to curate pieces that I really love this fall, without being wasteful with my purchases. Hopefully I'll be able to document this in another post in the future, but thought I would share this part of my minimalist journey with you as in unfolds, in hopes of it being helpful for someone else too.


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

3 Best Shoes For Kids With AFOs

This week marks three years since Kinsley started wearing AFOs, which stands for ankle foot orthotic, but we can just call them leg braces. We have been through many different brands of shoes, and like all things, we've had things we've really liked, and things that we've absolutely hated. We've tried literally everything and have come up with a small list of three of our vary favorite brands. 



Shoes For AFOs: This company is new to me, but they make the cutest shoes for kids with leg braces. They are on the pricier end, about $80 after shipping, but these are literally the only church shoes we've ever had for Kinsley that 1) stay on her foot, 2) actually fit with her leg braces, and 3) don't look like a piece of geriatric medical equipment. We ordered these for Easter Sunday and were so pleased with how well they worked. My only complaint is that they're a bit wide for Kinsley's narrow foot, so we had to add additional velcro to the strap, but otherwise they're perfect and we love them! 

best shoes for kids
Her very fist AFOS!

Nike: I can walk into any store, grab a pair of Nike's one size larger (to accommodate the brace), rip out the insole, and know that it will fit Kinsley's foot ten out of ten times. The only thing that I don't like about Nike's is that if your child drags their toes when they walk, and the shoe has fabric on the upper part of the shoe (like most nike running shoes), that fabric will get worn down super fast. Kinsley drags her toes a bit, and crawls a lot, so we always go for shoes that are more of a skater style and have more rubber on the toes so that the shoe doesn't break down as fast. 


Converse: This should be no surprise since Converse is owned by Nike, but these are my very very favorites. They're cute and stylish, and because they have the big block of rubber going across the toes, they hold up to toe dragging and crawling for ages. We bought Kinsley a pair in August when school started, and they lasted for 8 months before we just barely had to replace them over the weekend. Literally the longest a shoe has ever worked for her.

Are your kids in AFOs? I would love to know what your favorite shoes are in the comments below! 


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

My Easy Go-To Toddler Hairstyles

Kinsley spent the first three years of her life looking like a disheveled mess. I'm not by nature one who does frilly hairstyles all the time, but Kinsley's hair almost requires it. She has this strange texture that is a mix between baby hair and adult hair, which means some of it lays flat, but a lot of it is super wispy and fine. She also somehow got stuck with these waves that aren't necessarily pretty waves, and it's not her entire head, but just the back of it, so if we do nothing, it just looks incredibly messy. We're talking bed head meets 80s rocker.

I'm not going to be starting a hair channel on youtube anytime soon, and I definitely don't rival Twist Me pretty or Cute Girls hairstyles, but I do have a small arsenal of hair styles that I absolutely love, and can do in under five minutes with minimal effort and supplies. These can all be done with a spray bottle of water, hair elastics, and a comb!

If you need easy hair styles for toddler hair, look no further! Ps. Most of these work best with damp hair, hence the spray bottle!

Puffer Pig Tails: 
This one looks a lot harder than it is. Simply part the hair down the middle and secure one side out of the way while you work on the other. Use a comb to part off 1 inch sections and secure with an elastic. Bring the tail from the top section down into the next one, and then part the 1 inch section and secure with an elastic. Repeat this all the way down until you run out of hair. Then when you go to do the next side, simply repeat the same process, matching up your part lines with the side you already did. For some added flair, pancake, or puff out the sections between the elastics for more dimension.

toddler hairstyles
Half Up Half Down Connected Pony:
Gather your top section of hair like you're going to do a simple half up half down look, and then secure the bottom section of hair out of your way. Then taking 1/2 inch sections of hair, part them off at a diagonal, and bring the tail of the top section into the next section like you did above. Do this until you have no more hair in your top section, secure with an elastic, and top with a hair bow! 

French Braids:
I could not figure out how to do french braids for the longest time, but once I finally got it, they've become a regular in our house. My advice here is watch all the youtube videos and then try and try and try again, and eventually one day it will click. I also really love Dutch braids, and they're easier for me to do!

Lace Crown Braid:
If you already know how to french braid, this will be easy. Part off a top section of hair and then do a lace braid (same as french braid but only adding in hair from the front instead of the front and back). Do this all the way from one ear, over to the next, braid the remaining hair all the way down, and then secure with the rest of the hair up in a pony tail. 

Pull Through to Side Bun:
If you've seen Kinsley, you've seen this hairstyle. Put the hair in a side part and then take your comb at the line for the side part and bring it all the way down to create a part for your first ponytail. Secure that with an elastic. Then take your comb and make a part connecting that first side part all the way across the head to the ear on the other side. Tie off this section of hair on the top and leave it for later. Make three more vertical parts in the back section of the hair, bringing in the hair from the last section as you go. You'll end up with the top section of hair that you've pinned out of the way, and a side ponytail Smooth and comb out the hair on the top section and bring it into the side ponytail, and bring them together with an elastic into a messy bun. Video tutorial here:

Messy Bun Pig Tails:
Do the hair you would the same way for pigtails, but then turn them into mess buns at the end!


What hairstyle are you doing for your little girls on a regular basis? I'd love to know in the comments below!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

My Go-To Layers With Cuddl Duds

This post is sponsored by Cuddl Duds but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Now that the weather has cooled off from our super hot summer, it is officially cold in Utah and I'm busting out all the cold weather gear. Whenever there is a change in the season I like to take out all my clothes that I had from the year before, see what will still work this year, donate the things that no longer work, and then add in a few more key pieces to get me through the new season. 

A few staples that I didn't have to get me through the winter were long sleeve basic shirts, some classic black leggings, and thicker sweaters that will actually keep me warm, instead of being more than just a fashion piece. I needed something that was actually functional and would keep me warm. 


I was recently introduced to the Cuddl Duds line at Macy's and have been super impressed with the quality and feel of their pieces. The leggings and long sleeve tee that I'm wearing feel as soft as butter, while the long, open-front fleece cardigan is not only incredibly soft, but super warm and functional for both cuddling up inside, and playing with the kids in the backyard or running out . to grab the mail. 


I feel like I can go from super hot, to super cold in a matter of minutes, so having base layers like their high-waisted Softwear Leggings with Sretch, and their Softwear with Stretch Long Sleeve Crew as a base is the perfect start to a cozy outfit, and then I can easily take on and off my Fleecewear with Stretch Long Sleeve Hooded Wrap whenever I need for optimal comfort. 


Right now you can get 25% off Cuddl Duds warmwear for her, in-store and online at Macy's. Offer runs 11/7-11/20. These come in the best packaging that would be perfect for either treating yourself, or wrapping up under the tree for someone you love this holiday season. 


A Huge Life Update

It's been a long time since I've done a life update over here and I feel like so much has happened just since our last medical update with Em that I thought it would be good to sit down and write what's been going on in all of our lives. These posts are the most meaningful to me since I don't really write a formal journal, so having these posts to look back on is more beneficial for me than anything else, but I know you all love them as well, so here we go. 


The Em Update: 
Em's hip dysplasia is still stable. She goes in for x-rays and botox injections next week, and we'll know more information on that from there. We've had a crazy few months and haven't gotten her into the chiropractor as much as I would have liked to, and I'm hoping that won't have a negative impact on things when we get in there. 

Em is doing really well in PT right now. She started cruising on furniture this summer, but now that her botox is worn off again her legs are super tight and she doesn't like doing it all that much. We're hoping we can get some good forward momentum going once the new injections are active again. She also just got fitted for new leg braces and should have those in the next few weeks too!

Em got glasses! I'm sure some of you have seen them on social media, but Em got some new glasses at the end of the summer and they are dang cute on her. She has a pretty strong astigmatism, so she's wearing them full time, and she absolutely loves them! 

Currently she has a stomach bug and has been sick the last few days. Keep her in your prayers that she won't end up in the ER, that she'll be able to get the nutrients she needs, and that it won't negatively affect her BMI, which is always a huge concern for us. 

She just had her school testing done and I'm a little frustrated with her results. I feel like they give the kids in her class these crazy assessments that make the kids score super low because it's things that no human would ever work on with their kids. So then the results come back and say she's not smart enough to dual enroll with the special needs preschool class and the main stream preschool class in her school. It's frustrating because I don't care if she goes into the other class and "fails", and isn't up to speed with them all, I'm interested in the other benefits. Em is the only kid in her class that currently talks and I want her learning to communicate with her same age peers. I want her to be pushed and stretched. 

One thing they tested her on was, "What do you use a fork for?", the answer should have been eating, but Em didn't answer the question so they mark it wrong. If you put a fork and food in front of her, she knows what to do with it. They then flip the question around and say, "What do you use to eat?" and the answer should be, "A fork". I just feel like they waste time I things that aren't as important. 

Today she saw an excavator, pointed to it and said, "It's an excavator!" And she was right. I just feel like they give these standardize test that don't do a fair representation of the actual intelligence she has, and then keep her in a bubble because of it. I just want her to have the chance to try and potentially thrive with her typical peers. 



The Jay Update:   
Jay just started first grade this year. He is reading well and is doing alright in math. He's making new friends and has adjusted well from 2 hour kindergarten to full day first grade much better than I expected that he would. He buys his lunch in the cafeteria each day, and he loves the independence of getting to pick exactly what he eats. Luckily he picks out pretty healthy food, so I feel like it's good for him to be able to explore this whole cafeteria thing on his own.  

He started playing soccer a few weeks ago and loves it. He did a week long soccer camp during the summer which I think was really good to get him caught up to speed with his peers. We're kind of late to the soccer game in Utah, so while he isn't the best on his team, you can tell he definitely works hard, and has a good time which in my opinion is the most important part. 

Jay's eyes haven't been super great the last few months. His eyes were crossed when he was younger so he had an eye surgery to correct that, and since then they have been drifting out (like a lazy eye). We've been correcting it with glasses, but they only work to correct the problem for so long, and it looks like we're going to be having another surgery by the end of the year. I've mostly washed my hands of the whole situation and just feel like it is what it is. We feel confident in our ophthalmologist here in Utah and feel like he really has Jay's best interest at heart, and so we're just going to trust that it's all going to work out eventually. 

Jay got into a scooter accident a few weeks ago. He went to turn the corner and the handle bar hit him right below the eye pretty hard. He got four stitches in his cheek and tore his cornea, but it's all healed now for the most part. There's a chance that he might have broken his eye socket. If he did, they wouldn't have done the surgery to fix it until a few weeks after the incident anyways, and so we're going into the eye doctor this week to see if thats broken or not. 

Originally Derek and I didn't think it was, because he wasn't in pain or complaining about it. But this last weekend his eye bruised again all of a sudden and we're thinking that it might actually be broken now. We'll report back when we know more. 



The House Update: 
We have officially bought and moved into our new home. We've been here for about three weeks now and love every bit of it. We had painters come in and paint all the walls gray, and it's instantly helped to make the home look more up to date. We know that this house was hand picked for us from Heavenly Father and can't wait to live here for years and years to come. It truly is our forever home. 



The Paige update: 
I've been super busy the last few weeks. I started the last year of my Bachelor's Degree last month and so far I'm doing well! All As! We'll see if that's still the case another month from now. I'm currently taking 7 classes and 16 credits. I mostly do school work non-stop Monday through Wednesday, and then the load gets a little lighter towards the end of the week, 

Blogging has become second to school work lately, which I feel bad about but I know I can't do it all. I have a lot of great posts coming out through the end of the month though, so be on the lookout for those. I recently signed with a media publishing team who will be writing content for my site 1-2 times per week. Basically they write the post, send it to me, I edit it to make it fit my blog a little better, add a picture that I've taken, and then publish it. The benefit for them is that they get links and SEO for their websites and brands that they're working with via the links I put in the posts, and I get paid to have the posts on my blog, and you guys still get content over here. These posts will be marked with a contributor tag at the bottom of the post. It's been a great way for me to get posts out while in school and still keep this thing running. 

I did my century ride a few weeks ago. More coming on that in a future post. Still don't know what my next athletic goal will be, but it may have to wait until after school is done in July because I literally have no time for heavy training right now. 

I recently got called to be the young women president at church, which isn't me bragging about a calling, but more to say that if my life wasn't busy already, this certainly took it to a whole other level. I don't feel like I'm drowning as much anymore, which is always nice. If I make it through the next few years without anyone exploding, then I'll feel like I've done my job. 

The Derek Update:
Derek's main lot in life is to walk me off the edge when all of the above starts to make me lose my mind. He's honestly the most supportive human being in the world. I recently went on a work trip and people were so over the moon impressed that he would take care of the kids while I was gone... but like... he's a dad. It's his job to raise the kids too, and he does a dang good job at it. I hate when people act like dads are a second class parent in the home. They're not, and Derek's awesome. 

He's been with L3 for a year now and still going strong. He's been interested in developing some gaming apps for apple devices, which he's been studying and working on in his free time. It's fun for me to watch him have an interest in something now that he's done with all of his schooling and can have hobbies again. 

If you made it through the end of this, you're a champ! Maybe I'll do the next one sooner than this one so it's not a million words long!