Showing posts with label Lookbook. Show all posts

Preschool Girl's Back-To-School Haul 2018

I used to be the parent that would throw away, donate, or get rid of all my kid's clothes each season regardless of whether or not they still fit, and then just start fresh from scratch the following year/season. It's taken me a few years, but I've finally come to learn that your kids can actually wear the same clothes two years in a row if they still fit, and no one will die... **gasp**!

Jay needed a ton of new clothes and things for school this year, but Em actually has a good collection of clothes from last fall and winter that still fit her. She needed mostly new pants, and I did get her a few new tops, and a fresh pair of sneakers, but outside of that, I didn't have to get nearly as much for her as I did for Jay. Her backpack is still in great shape, and since she's still in 2.5 hour/day preschool, she doesn't need a lunchbox or any of that either. It was nice for Em to be the less expensive child for a change. 

Like in Jay's clothing haul, I got all of Em's tops from JC Penny, and then all of her pants from The Children's Place. JCPenny had awesome deals on these tops, and most of them were under $4! I love The Children's Place for pants, because they have slim sizes, which are perfect for Em and her very small frame! 

This is the first time that we will be trying Converse brand sneakers with her leg braces, but I'll be sure to update you all on how it goes once the shoes get here! If you're in the market for new shoes though, these ones were part of the Nordstrom sale and were only $25! 

First Grade Boy Back-To-School Haul

This weekend I decided to go ahead and get all the back-to-school shopping done and out of the way with so I don't have to worry about it next month when the time comes to actually send the kids to school. August is filled with mine, Em, and Jay's birthdays, and a couple last minute trips before we start school on the 22nd, so having everything purchased and out of the way gives me peace of mind, and the ability to enjoy our last few weeks of summer vacation. 

The weather is still hot here in Utah when we send the kids back to school, so I bought cold weather clothes for the kids, and these will all stay stashed in the dressers until it's time to bust them out. I'll send the kids to school in a cute, and clean summer outfit on the first day, and their new shoes, and call it good. 

This year, Jay needed a complete overhaul for cold weather clothes. None of his shirts from last school year fit, and even if they did, they had more stains, holes, and piling than you could imagine. Luckily, Em still fits into most of her cold weather clothes from last year, so I didn't have to get nearly as much for her (post coming next week!), but for now, here is what we got for Jay! 

1. Lunchbox: For the life of me I couldn't find any of the lunch boxes that Jay had from preschool in Georgia (as I'm typing this I just remembered the box they're in, in the garage!), so I got him a new one at Target. This one is the Cheeky brand, which I love because they donate meals to kids in need. 

2. Bento Box: I don't need to tell anyone that Bento Boxes are all the rage right now. This one at Target though was $12.99, came with two ice packs, has up to five compartments for food, and fits in a standard size lunch box! A total win!

3. Backpack: A few years ago I bought Jay a monogrammed LL Bean backpack, but it was the junior size and when he used it for kindergarten last year, his folder barely fit in it. I got him the normal sized one this year since I'm sure he'll have a lot more things going back and forth to school. 

4. Nike Shoes: I love Nike's for Jay. We got him a pair last year and he wore them every single day, and they almost lasted the entire school year (died two weeks too soon!). These were on sale for only $32 when I bought them, which is a steal for a designer brand!

5. Zip Up Jacket: Last year Jay was constantly cold at school and every time I volunteered in his classroom, he was always wearing his puffer coat while doing school work. This year I got him this zip up jacket to keep in his backpack so that he has something warm to layer up with in the classroom if he needs to. 

6. A New Water Bottle: Everyone I know loves these Eddy bottles from Camel Back. Since Jay's backpack has a water bottle holder, I got him a 120z one to keep in there for school. He's pretty obsessed with it already.  

I got all of the kid's shirts and pants from JCPenny and The Children's place. You can find links to each piece below, from left to right in number order. I've loved The Children's Place recently because they have awesome prices, and they have slim sizes for pants which is super important for our kids, especially Em! 

Shirts:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Pants:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

A Sarcastic Take on Easter Outfits

I try to be a very practical person. I don't like spending money if it isn't really necessary, and when it comes to clothes for the kids, if we have enough, and everything still fits, I'm not inclined to go out and buy them an entire new wardrobe for the new season just because. This is actually the first time in parenting where I won't have to buy my kids a ton of new clothes for spring/summer and it feels amazing. All of Em and Jay's shorts from last year still fit, and Jay is more than set on tops. Em will need a few shirts, but aside from that we're set! 

There's been this interesting thing happening in the blogging world the last few weeks where all of these bloggers are all, "The Dress You NEED for Easter Sunday", and "Easter Sunday Outfits For the Entire Family", and it goes on and on. The thing is that most of these bloggers are LDS (Mormon), and we're not going to church this year on Easter because we have General Conference instead. I realized that these bloggers cater to people of other faiths, but it's just been a funny thing that I've noticed, and I've thought, "You're not even going to church on that Sunday, why are you posting this?" So if you're LDS and are going to be sitting around watching conference this Easter Sunday like we will be, here's my take on what our outfits will be looking like this year. 


But I'm just going to take it a step further and admit that I'm even too cheap and lazy to go through the effort to do new PJs, so we'll be rocking the worn out and ragged ones we already own. Or maybe I'll be a fun mom and get my kids some PJ Mask Jammies with a cape on them, because that's what they really want anyways. 

Transitioning To Spring

Remember that time I promised to do weekly updates on my winter capsule wardrobe, and then never did? Well that would be because I'm great at empty promises! Sorry about that! I know more style posts have been requested and so I'm doing my best to fulfill that for everyone. 


The truth is, in doing a capsule wardrobe through the winter I learned a lot of things. Even with pairing down my wardrobe to only 30 pieces, there were still things in my capsule that I never touched the entire time. There were also incidents where pieces of clothing (all my sweaters), got damaged and I was no longer able to wear them. Two from my diaper bag zipper snagging on the sleeves, and pulling a hole in the wool. Another one got a hole from being hung on a hanger. Lots of good lessons learned. 


This week I once again was real honest with myself and got rid of even more clothes that I was hanging onto that I shouldn't. The three damaged sweaters, a shirt that got a huge stain, one that shrunk to be too short, etc...


Since the weather in Utah has been unseasonably warm this winter, I replaced the items in my closet with a few pieces that are good for this in between season where it's too cold to commit to spring, but warm enough that I don't need all the layers and boots. 

Hoodie (sold out, similar)  // Jeans // Shoes 

I picked up a couple pieces from Journey 5. A store that I've shopped at in the past. They're an online boutique shop (and their warehouse happens to be minutes from my house!), and they always have some of the most darling pieces that I love! When I saw this sweater, it just screamed all the Paige vibes and I had to get it. I also picked up a top that I'm super excited to wear on my Valentine's date with Derek next week, so stay tuned for that!  

Floral Dress + Anorak Jacket

I feel like Sunday's are sometimes the hardest day of the week for me to get dressed. I have a hard time deciding what I want to wear to church, and then striking the balance of being "dressed up" enough, or being overdressed. The latter doesn't happen too often, except for when I wear this dress once a year, but I love to keep it casual as much as possible. 

During the fall I bought this rust colored anorak jacket and wondered if I would actually get a lot of use out of it. It's turned out to be one of my favorite pieces in my closet, and I wear it a lot to church, and when I need a light jacket to wear while running errands throughout the week. 


I bought this dress last year from jane.com and have worn it countless times over the last six months. It's admittedly not the best quality, and is definitely pilling and becoming slightly see through from so many cycles in the wash, but I love being able to say that I've worn through a piece of clothing and have gotten my use out of this. Which I definitely have. 

Jacket // Dress // Shoes // Bag

Miss Fong Diaper Bag Review (unsponsored)

For the last year I've been using this Oh Joy for Target diaper bag that I got for Christmas in 2016. I LOVED that diaper bag when I got it, but then around November this year the zipper broke off, and then Em found a pen and completely graffitied it, so it was definitely time to get a new bag. 


Outfit Details: Jacket // Bag // Dress // Shoes

I have loved the look and style of the Fawn Design bag for ages, but it was so expensive. Part of me really wanted to buy it, purely to support another Utah business owner, but the other part of me could not justify spending that much money, regardless of the good deed of supporting a small business. 


I went on Instagram and asked you guys what your diaper bag recommendations were, and so many of you recommended this Miss Fong bag to me.  I was hesitant to purchase it based on the name, because I thought it was going to be a cheap piece of junk from China, but my friend Landen told me that her sister Janssen knew the owners (update: Janssen has said she doesn't know the owners so this could be a piece of junk from China), and that made me feel a lot better about getting the bag too. That and the bag only cost $44, and I had an Amazon gift card and only paid about $13 when all was said and done. 


I've used the bag for several weeks now, and people have been asking for my thoughts, so I figured I'd do a full review for you! Things I like about the bag: 

  • It's a backpack. I love backpack bags because I'm typically carrying Em, or pushing her in my stroller, so I love being hands free and not having to worry about a cross body knocking into me or her constantly. 
  • It seems to be good quality. I haven't had any loose threads, the lining doesn't have any tears, and nothing seems to be falling apart from what I can see.
  • It has an insulated pocket for a baby bottle. We've used it a few times and it works well. 
  • It does well in the rain. I've been caught in the rain with it several times, and water hasn't affected the look of the outside of the bag, and moisture never got in the inside of the bag. 
  • It's roomy, but not huge. At this point in parenting, I'm not bringing 1,000 things with me all the time. But it is roomy enough for a diaper and wipes, my phone, wallet, and keys, a water bottle, and a couple toys. If I had a newborn and was carrying a swaddle blanket and an extra outfit, I'd imagine it might get stuffed really fast. 
  • It comes in so many colors! Black, Brown, Blush Pink, and Grey! 
I only have one major con with this bag, but it's enough that it actually really drives me crazy. There are pockets with zippers on the side of the bag, and when I have a sweater on, the zipper manages to snag my sweater, pull a thread loose, and then make a hole in my sweater. It's done this to two of my cardigans so far, and since I have a capsule wardrobe, it's not like there is an abundance of extra sweaters in my closet right now. So, that's a huge bummer, but a problem that I assume won't happen when sweater weather is over.   

My Winter 2018 Capsule Wardrobe| How To and Video!

Having a capsule wardrobe is something that I've aspired to have for a couple years now. For those unfamiliar, a capsule wardrobe is where you only own 30 pieces of clothing per season. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, coats, and accessories. Some items can be worn in multiple seasons, and for me, this wardrobe is mostly fall/winter, and my next one will likely be spring/summer, so not really four separate wardrobes. In this post I'm going to outline how to actually get started with doing something like this, and I'll also show you my process in a video at the bottom!


Step One, Clean Out Your Closet: In this step, go through your closet and get rid of everything that you know you haven't touched in ages. If you know you don't love it on you, it doesn't fit, there is a stain, or a rip, put it in the garbage bag and don't look back. There were so many pieces that I found myself hanging onto simply because they were "on trend", but I didn't feel comfortable and confident in them, so I finally let go of them and cleared the space. 

Step Two, Assess What You Have: By the time I was done, I had 19 pieces of clothing left in my closet. A handful of shirts that I knew I wore all the time, a few pairs of shoes, two pairs of jeans, and a couple outfits for church. At this point I knew that when I went shopping, I needed to fill in the gaps with a few more shirts, a couple skirts, and a new coat and winter boots to get me through my first Utah winter in 5 years. 

Step Three, Browse For A Color Scheme: This is the part that I've always had trouble with in the past. The purging and repurchasing has never been the problem, but getting everything to a point where it blended together well was the major issue. When I looked at what I already had in my closet, I could see I had a lot of neutrals like grey, navy, burgundy, and cream. I then went onto Pinterest and searched for "Fall Capsule Wardrobe", and found this and this capsule wardrobe that really spoke to my own personal style. I used this for a guide in my shopping, and it worked so well. When I needed to buy something, I'd look at those capsule wardrobes and think, "Okay, I don't have a red plaid shirt, so I'll go look for that!" 

Step Four, Start Shopping: A lot of people I feel like use capsule wardrobes as a way to have a small amount of designer clothes that all work well together, and last them for years and years. This probably is the ultimate goal for me too, but this time around since I was still adding 10+ pieces into my closet, I stuck with my typical stores like Target, Old Navy, and Forever 21 so that I wouldn't break the bank. While looking at my "capsule maps" that I found on Pinterest, I shopped until I felt like all my gaps in my clothing were complete. Next fall, I'm hoping that I won't have to purge nearly as many clothes, and then on the items that I do replace, I can hopefully invest in higher quality pieces that will continue to last me season after season. 

Step Five, Assemble Outfits: Because all of my pieces fit into a certain color scheme, so many pieces work well with different items. I can wear my red plaid shirt with my rain boots, and black and white vest, or I can wear it with ankle boots and a cardigan. I can wear my black and white gingham with jeans, ankle boots, and a sweater, or I can wear it to church tucked into my burgundy pencil skirt paired with my brown clogs. That's the benefit to having a cohesive wardrobe, you can make countless different looks because your closet is working for you instead of against you. 

The picture below shows all of the items in my capsule wardrobe for the winter, with links underneath to purchase anything that inspires you. A few notes though: to reiterate, 19 of these items I already owned. I've linked you to the same or similar versions of things that I already own. I will share how to style these outfits in separate posts over the next few months, and everything is less than $60, but mostly in the $15-40 range. 



How to Keep Your Family's Teeth Holiday Healthy

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Dental Association.

This isn't something I've talked a lot about on the blog is that I'm actually a certified dental assistant. If you've been a long time follower, you may remember back in 2012 when I announced that I'd graduated from my program, but that's been about the only mention. But many of you know my undergrad degree is in public health, and pairing both my knowledge of dental assisting and public health, I'm actually pretty passionate about the two.


With the holiday season upon us, we all want bright healthy smiles to show off in our family portraits, and a trip to the dentist for a cavity is a quick way to put a damper on holiday festivities. Today I'm partnering with the American Dental Association to give you some tips and tricks to keep you and your family's teeth healthy and bright this holiday season.


Use the right products: A few weeks ago, Derek was in charge of buying new toothbrushes at the store. He bragged about how he got all 6 for a dollar. A couple weeks in I could have sworn my teeth were turning yellow. Sure enough, I bought a new toothbrush and after the first use, my teeth were visibly cleaner after getting off all the buildup that the cheap toothbrush wasn't getting.

You want to make sure that you're brushing twice a day with toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance, and that has fluoride.  Derek and I have a favorite for ourselves, but you can see the full list of ADA-Accepted products on their site when you click on the "ADA Seal Products" tab.



Make Smart Food Choices: Of course, we want to make sure we're not over-indulging this holiday season, but there are certain foods that we heavily restrict with our kids. The number one being things that are gummy or chewy. At Jay's semi-annual teeth cleaning, our dentist mentioned that he has deep grooves in his back molars. If fruit snacks get stuck back there and sit on his teeth all day, he’s more at risk for a cavity. For this reason, we limit fruit snacks and those types of treats from our kids’ diet. I'm not nearly as worried about chocolates since they brush off the teeth significantly easier. We also try and limit overly acidic foods like soda and orange juice which can lead to tooth decay and gum damage over time.


Obviously, moderation is key. If you're going to be eating lots of sweets this holiday season, make sure to also include foods like nuts, seeds, dairy, and high fiber fruits and vegetables which can replenish the necessary phosphates, vitamins, and minerals in you need for healthy and strong teeth.

Be sure to check out MouthHealthy.Org for some creative holiday snack ideas, and click here for some more tips on avoiding cavities during the holidays.


Make Your Check Ups a Priority: This is something that Derek and I need to be better at for ourselves, but we make sure to get the kids into the dentist regularly. The benefit to regular checkups is that you can catch things early on before they become a big problem, and you can change habits and adjust as needed. Jay used to eat fruit snacks daily, but once our dentist explained to us how prone to cavities he was, we were able to adjust and remove them from his diet before it became a problem.

These are all the major tips I have for oral health during the holiday season. For more ideas on keeping your pearly whites healthy, be sure to head over to MouthHealthy.org for more tips, tricks, and awesome meal ideas!

Thanks to the American Dental Association for sponsoring this post.

The Stray Movie Premier & Review

I'm not really the blogger who gets a ton of amazing and awesome opportunities to go to crazy events all the time. It's not really my style, and to be honest, I've become a lot more introverted over the last few years than I used to be. When we moved to Utah though I joked with Derek that I'm going to need to get over that because there's going to be a lot more events for me to go to when we move, since Utah is such a major blogging hub.


Sure enough, two weeks into living here, and I got invited to attend the world premier of the movie, The Stray at the Megaplex in Sandy, UT last week. It was such a fun event, getting to meet the cast from the movie, and then getting to preview the film early with a ton of other influencers. It was totally out of my comfort zone, but so fun, and I'm so glad that I went. 




The movie The Stray, is about a young boy who doesn't have many friends at school, and one day finds himself approached by a stray who is mom and dad let him keep. The dog in a lot of ways truly becomes his best friend, and helps not only the boy, but his entire family as they go through some struggles and major life changes. 




The movie was directed by the same director of The Other Side of Heaven, and Heaven Is For Real, and like those movies, it is based off a true story. It's an amazing feel good family film for the entire family, and I highly recommend that you go and see it if you haven't already! I can already tell this is going to be one of the movies that I run out to purchase when it becomes available! If you haven't seen the trailer yet, watch it below, and then grab some tickets to see it with your family!

One Bag at A Time


Sponsored by Zappos. 

I'm not the girl with a thousand different shoes and purses. In fact, I pride myself on the fact the I only use one bag at a time. I usually buy myself a bag, wear it out for three years straight, throw it in a dumpster, and then start fresh with a new bag. I can't be bothered to switch things in and out of new purses to coordinate with every outfit in my closet on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Whenever I get a bag, I need it to be big enough to fit everything that I'll need for the kids, all the things that I need for myself, and starting next month, all the stuff I'll need for school too. 


For the last several months I've been exclusively using a diaper bag backpack, and I've loved being able to throw my wallet, keys, and things for the kids inside of it, and then strapping it to my back and being hands free to carry Em from one place to another, and just be a little bit more mobile without worrying about a bag slumping down my shoulder every three minutes. 

Since I'm starting my last year of college in a few weeks (insert all the party emojis and fist bumps here), I wanted to get a bag that would work with the kids, but also be able to protect my computer at the same time. I fell in love with the Baggallini collection at Zappos, and knew the second that I saw the Gold Brussels Laptop Backpack that it had to be mine. I love that it perfectly fits and protects everything I need, and that it's the perfect bag for the everyday traveler.


If the traditional backpack isn't for you, Baggallini has a massive variety of bags on Zappos.com There is something for everyone's preference of color, size, and function. I love Zappos because of their free two-day shipping and easy returns. That and they're partnered with Amazon which means I only need one account to shop at both places, which is one of the many ways that Baggallini and Zappos are are the perfect combo for life's journey.

Preschool Girl's Capsule Wardrobe 2017

Yesterday I shared with you what we were doing for Jay's capsule wardrobe for the fall, and today I'm sharing with you Em's! If you didn't see yesterday's post, my main purpose in doing a smaller, capsule wardrobe for the kids is to hopefully simplify the laundry in our house so it becomes less of a stressful chore that I hate doing. This could very well backfire on me, and just make me do the one chore I hate doing more and more, but I have a feeling having less pieces to keep track of is really going to help the problem in our house. I'll report back in a few months and let you know how it's going. 

Em's wardrobe varies slightly from Jay's in that she has two dresses instead of dress shirts, and she has two cardigan's to pair with those dresses as well. Other than that she is right at the 6 shirts, 5 pants, 1 lightweight jacket, 1 pair of sneakers, and 1 pair of dress shoes mark, just like her brother. You can see everything we snagged in the image below, and links for everything are below the image as well. The only thing that we didn't actually purchase is the blue gingham dress. I actually had a friend sew us a blue gingham dress a couple weeks ago for Em, but the one shown below is a great alternative at an awesome price! 


Preschool Boys Capsule Wardrobe Fall 2017

I've been on this journey of being a self-proclaimed minimalist for a couple of years now. I try to be really intentional with the things that I bring into my home, and when we get new things, I'm usually really good about putting old things to the side to either donate, give to friends, or toss to the landfill when broken. 

One area that I've really struggled with for a while are the kid's clothes. They just have so many clothes. When I do laundry, Derek and I have our modest, normal sized piles, and then the kid's clothes seem to turn into large towers of clothes that topple over everywhere if I'm not careful. I also feel like I don't have enough room to store all the clothes, and considered getting them new dressers for a while. 

At the beginning of the summer when I felt like I wanted to tackle this problem, I surveyed moms on Facebook who all seemed to say that they like to have 7-10 outfits for their kids, and then a couple outfits for church. I'm generalizing here, but that seemed to be the overall consensus. And admittedly, that's how we've done the kids clothes for a long time too.

This year though with the start of a new school year, and sending my kids to school, I really wanted to shake things up and see if I could handle my kids having smaller wardrobes. Laundry really stresses me out, and I feel like I'm never on top of it. But my hopes are that with less clothes, maybe there will be less stress. My plans for each child were essentially the same (I'll share Em's clothes tomorrow!), they will each get 6 tops, 5 bottoms, 2 dress shirts or dresses, 1 lightweight jacket, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of dress shoes. This is what we picked for Jay, links for all the items are underneath the picture! 

#KidGoals with Gymboree

This post was created in partnership with Gymboree, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I'm officially two weeks away from sending my two kids off to preschool for the very first time. It seems so weird to me that through the course of life's events, they're both leaving the nest for the first time in the same year, and it has me feeling both excited, and uneasy. Those mommy emotions with back-to-school are real. 


I've been thinking a lot lately about how vastly different Jay and Em are from one another in every sense of the imagination, but my goals for them in preschool are somehow the same. I'm really hoping that my kids will both learn to feel safe and comfortable with other people outside our home, and that they will each have a sense of community filled with teachers and friends that they really love. For Jay I also hope that he'll be very close to reading by the end of preschool and that Em of course will be caught up on milestones and even closer to walking. 



With school starting in two weeks I've really been working hard to make sure the kids have everything they need for the new year ahead of them. We got their supplies and backpacks all sorted out, and lunch boxes and food containers are cleaned and organized in the cupboards. The last thing we finally did was get all their cold weather clothes in order. 



We did a lot of our shopping at Gymboree this year, a brand that I've really come to love over the years for my kids, especially for Em. They're one of the few brands that fit her tall and skinny frame, and I love that their leggings are the only ones that don't require extra sewing on my part to make them even smaller for her. 



I love the idea of getting my kids a fun and special outfit for the first day of school, and this year I tried to pull together pieces that really fit both of the kid's personalities. I got Jay these olive green cargo pants, and the monster printed shirt because I thought they were really fun. I also love that the pants can easily be paired with all the other shirts in his closet, and that the shoes can double as church shoes too! 


For Em I wanted to get her something that was bright and fun, just like her! I picked out this cute and adorable super bunny tee, and then paired it with these leggings! I also really love the little glitter shape designs on these leggings which I think makes a simple pair of leggings way more fun than they normally would be. My favorite part of her outfit though might be the navy blue glitter hi-top shoes! I love the style, but also love that they work REALLY WELL with her leg braces, and that she'll have another option for shoes throughout the school year. 


What are your goals for your kids this upcoming school year? Have you done all your back to school shopping already? I'd love to hear about all your fun plans in the comments below!


Jay's Outfit Details:



Em's Outfit Details:

How I Keep My Hair Healthy & Hair Straightener Curls Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc, and it's advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are my own #GlissHairRepair #CollectiveBias

During the summer months my hair gets put to the ultimate test. Between long summer days at the pool, running out in the heat, workouts at the gym, and then the constant blow drying and curling that goes on, my hair looks a little worn out by the end of the summer. After being exposed to chlorine, environmental heat, and styling heat, and washing it everyday, the ends start to look frayed, thin, and dried out. I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for good products that will restore my hair's natural health and make it soft and shiny again. 


One line that I have been loving lately is the new to the USA Gliss Hair Repair line made by Schwarzkopf that specifically focuses on repairing hair whether the damage is from heat, coloring, nature, or daily activity, Gliss Hair Repair has a line for whatever you're dealing with. Since my hair tends to get dry and brittle over anything else, I've been loving the Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Shampoo, Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Conditioner, and Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Anti Damage Mask to help strengthen my natural hair and make is more smooth and soft. I love that I can get all these products at Walmart, and there is a $5 off 2 Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair items when you click this link. 


I've gotten a lot of questions over the last several months since cutting my hair on what I currently use to curl it, and then answer is my hair straightener. I've found that this is the easiest method for me currently to curl my hair, and so I thought I would show you how I do it since I've been doing my hair like this all the time lately! 


1. Comb any knots out of your hair, and then split it into two sections. 
2. Grabbing one inch sections of your hair, clamp the hair straightener onto your hair at the top closest to the root, and then rotate the striaghtener away from your face.
3. Pull the straightener all the way down the hair shaft, and then release it when you get to end of your hair.
4. Once you've finished the bottom section of your hair, use hair spray to hold it in place as needed, and then move on to the top section of your hair. 
5. Repeat the entire process on the top portion of your hair, clamping the hair close to the roots, and then rotating away from your head, and pulling it slowly down the shaft of your hair. 
6. Spray your entire head once all your curls are in place! 

This is currently my favorite way to style my hair. Since I do this about 2-3 times a week, along with other activities, my hair really goes through a lot on a daily basis, which makes me super grateful to have awesome products like Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair to help keep my hair looking strong and healthy all summer long! Let me know which products you love to use on your hair in the comments below, and what your favorite summer styles are! 


What to Buy a Three-Year-Old Who Can't Walk

Em's third birthday is right around the corner. I'm typically pretty awful at getting gifts for her because while she is three, she can't do a lot of things that other three-year-olds are doing, and so it's hard to find the balance of things that will challenge her, but not too much that she gets mad, and things that are "fun", but also not completely lame and make us feel embarrassed for gifting it to her in the first place. 

One of my favorite "special needs mommy bloggers" is Ellen over at Love That Max. Her son has cerebral palsy and she just shares so many stories that I can totally relate to. Each year around Christmas time she puts together really awesome and comprehensive gift guides full of things that other special needs children (including her own) may love. Since Em's birthday is coming up I spent last night going through the last seven years of her gift guides pulling things here and there that she may like, and figured I'd share for anyone else who is purchasing gifts for an immobile preschool aged child. 

1. Roody Inflateable Hopping Horse: We got Em a gift similar to this on her birthday last year, but it was a ride on bike for inside the house. She loved sitting on the bike and playing with toys or watching a show, but she grew too quickly and her knees hit the handlebars and it's now really uncomfortable for her to fit on. I think she would love this as a replacement!

2. Magformers: These toys are all the rage right now. I'm still looking for a good brand that has a good price to magnet ratio, but I think these would be perfect for Em to work with her hands and I think her and Jay would both love building with them.  

3. A Mini Trampoline: I know some of you are thinking "why the 'h' do you want a trampoline for a kid who can't walk?!" But Em has used this several times at PT and since she has killer arm strength she actually does pretty well on it. She's strong enough to hold herself up, and it's great for her legs too!

4. Rainfall Rattle: I mostly just think this would be a really calming and fun sensory toy for her to play with. 

5. Play Tunnel: Jay is the type of kid who at the age of almost five, would think that crawling through one of these tunnels would be a rare form of scary torture, but Em is such a thrill seeker, and I think she would absolutely love this!  

6. Hungry Hungry Hippos: It's hard to include Em in a lot of board games still, but I love that this one doesn't involve moving pieces around a board. All she has to do is hit the lever again, and again, and I can totally see this being the one game that her and Jay can play together without it ending in an all out brawl. 

7. A Cozy Coupe Car: Out of all the things on this list, this is for sure the big gift that we're getting Em this year of her birthday (and likely the only thing), but she has been in these cars so many times, and she absolutely loves them. I think that this would be an awesome way for her to "ride" something in the driveway while Jay rides his bike, meaning we can all be outside and happy together as a family. 

8. An Educube: These little cube chairs while expensive for what they are, really are awesome. They have two levels of support, depending on which way you have the seat, and they provide just enough side support that the child feels safe, and still easily included in other activities with kids. This would be awesome to use at a small kid's table for coloring, play-dough, board games, etc... 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks for Women Under $50

My next installment in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale posts are picks for women under $50! There are so many great deals here from shoes and athletic wear, to jeans and skirts, and even dresses! Be sure to shop them all using the widget below. When you click on each item, it will take you directly to the item on Nordstrom's site! Be sure to shop early because a lot of items are selling out! Some of my personal favorite picks from the selection below are the Adidas leggings, the rain boots, and the cozy burnt orange tops! I can already tell I'm going to be living in all the burnt orange things this fall.