Sunday, September 27, 2015

Our Wedding Weekend

My sister's wedding was this past weekend and it was absolutely beautiful! She was a stunning bride, he a handsome groom, the day was gorgeous, the food was good, the company great, and the dance floor popping. It was a wonderful day for our family and I'll definitely share more once the pro pics are in. 

Here are a few sneak peeks though for now- all phone pics so excuse the quality, from the girls:

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The chalkboard sign I made for their wedding hashtag. I'm pretty proud of myself for this, I only had chunky kid chalk, but I think it turned out great! 

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It was awesome catching up with friends and family. I always love seeing everyone, we really don't get to see each other often enough. Everyone had such a great time and both girls were amazing! Eleanor was the cutest flower girl, practically running down the aisle with the biggest grin and dancing all night long. She was exhausted that night and all day Sunday from the big day. Emma was passed all around from family member to family member and never made a peep! It was such an amazing day and I wish my sister and my brother in law a life time of happiness!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Favorite Highlighters

As a self-proclaimed makeup junkie I love anything that shimmers. I'm drawn to it like a fish drawn to a glittery ball of death. Strobing has also become really popular lately, which is just a fancy word for highlighting. Highlighting is a pretty way to bring out your features and much simpler than contouring. I think it also looks more natural than contouring.

My sister is getting married this weekend I went on the hunt for a nice highlighter because that ones I had were too glittery, gold, silver, white, or pink for this special occasion. I'm sure any of them would be fine, but I'm looking for an excuse to buy something new and shiny. I'm heading out to the mall today so I'm hoping to find the perfect highlighter for the special occasion.

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 Here's what I have and love:

Here are some items I'm dying to try and I included them in the graphic based off their rave reviews and recs from my friends and bloggers. They're also the items I'm hoping to check out today:

I like to use the e.l.f Shimmering Whip, Benefit High Beam, or MAC Pearl first in the areas I want to highlight (after I've done my bronzer and blush) and then take the powder highlighter I'm using and pack that on top. Of course, you don't need to do both, you can use any of the products alone. It just depends on how much of a highlight you're looking to achieve.

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I found this awesome YouTube tutorial for strobing that's really easy to follow and is a great how-to if you wanna get on trend. The biggest tips I took from the video is to layer your highlighters; use a cream highlighter first and then pack on a powder highlighter on top (such a great tip and super easy!) and a more specific area of the cheek to apply your highlighter to make your cheek bones pop. It's a quick video and was really helpful for me to hone my highlighting skills.

What are your favorite highlighters? Do you like the strobing trend?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Closet Purge + Purchases

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While my aunt was in town, we tackled my closet and dresser and purged a ton. Some things were easy to toss and other things she had to twist my arm. See all of those pretty bras? Thanks to pregnancy and nursing, they'll never fit again. See ya later C cups, I've moved on to bigger jugs. I totally had to take a break after that drawer, it was really hard to see all those pretties gone. We got rid of everything that didn't fit, was badly pilled, or hadn't been worn in the last year. There's really no need for several cocktail dresses when they only cocktails anyone is drinking around here are the ones my body produces for a baby.

Life is just different now that we have children and although Matt and I have date nights once in a blue moon, I'm not wearing anything fancy. The trips to Vegas have stopped, weddings and bachelorette parties are almost done, and baby showers have started to slow a bit too. It was time to go through my clothing and keep only the items that work with my lifestyle and get a lot of wear (i.e. mostly work stuff). It was awesome having a third person there to help evaluate items and talk about memories with; I remember where I wore something, what I bought it for, if anything special happened in it, etc. I'm totally a sentimental closet hoarder.

Now that my closet was clean and I could see a purpose in my clothes, I made a mental note of the items it was missing or needed to be replaced.

- A dark and a light wash pair of jeans
- Black denim
- A gray and a tan long cardigan
- Black flats
- Some lightweight short sleeve tops for work
- Black blazer
- Every day white tee

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Here's some items I've purchased to replace the items I tossed above:
-Tan Cardi
-Gray Cardi (shown in black)
-Black Skinnies
-V Neck Tank
-Light Wash Skinnies

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Light Wash Skinnies // Top (Old Navy, not online)

I absolutely love these jeans! I bought them at the regular length so they would hit just above my foot and look good with both flats or heels. They're really comfortable and have a nice tight stretch to them.

This top is perfect to look pulled together and comfortable. It's great for CA weather too, I can wear this all year and the nice plum color is perfect for fall and winter.

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V Neck Tank // Tan Cardi // Light Wash Skinnies

So I bought this top thinking it was solid white and apparently didn't bother to read the description or zoom in to see that it's white with oatmeal color dots on it. I don't think I would have ever have bought it or tried it on had I seen it in store, but I'm so happy with it. It was a great surprise. I love how it looks with the cardigan too. I do wish it was available in more solid colors because it fits great and it really thin so it's perfect to layer. 

This is the best inexpensive cardigan! I have it in three colors that I bought last year and they've really washed well. I'm kinda surprised since they're less than $10. Sometimes a win is a win though.

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Gray Cardi  // Light Wash Skinnies

I love, love, love both the jeans and the cardigan! The cardi is really soft and I love the length. My only gripe is that it's a woven material that will snag so easily and everywhere. I'm thinking about returning it just for that reason, but it's so cute! Ugh. My heart is torn.  

These skinny jeans are amazing! They are more comfortable than the light wash jeans and are black perfection. They fit like a glove and stretch so well. I love how they fit and can't wait to wear them with some cute booties.

So, that's what I've been up to around here! I donated all the clothes above and I hope that someone will get a lot of wear out of them. They're all in good condition (I threw out anything that was worn out) and some items I was really sad to see go, but if I'm not wearing them someone else should be. It's been a real relief though to purge and it's nice to actually have room in my closet. 

When I've been out shopping, I've kept an eye out for items that will really add to my closet. To choose and try on items that I need and I know will get a lot of wear. I'm trying to stick to just needs and not wants and think about different ways I can style them and picking what will be the most versatile. It can be really hard! Especially with a new season upon us and tons of new trends and styles coming out. I've been strong so far though!

What are you looking to buy this fall? How often do you clean out your closets? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Motherhood 2.0

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Since our second baby Emma is now over a month old, I'm obviously a mothering pro. I'm batting two for two so far in keeping all of my offspring alive, fed, and relatively clean and mostly clothed. Being a parent has such a huge learning curve and can sometimes be such an uphill battle. There are days I'm counting down the minutes for bedtime, and other days I feel like Martha Stewart and June Cleaver and I'm rocking it.

When I had Eleanor, I felt like I had been through a hurricane, had survived being trampled by an elephant, been hit by a train, and was only left with half a brain. I had no idea what I was doing and the baby blues had hit me hard (read about my experience with the blues here). It was tough, really, really tough. I wasn't prepared for it and I prayed every day of my pregnancy that this time it would be easier. The power of prayer works my friends!

This time has been so much better and I've been able to enjoy it so much more. I have cried zero times so far! Which that alone I think is monumental. Now, it hasn't been easy every day, but I've learned so much and feel so much more confident and at ease. Here are a few things that have made it better and what I've learned and am putting to use this second time.

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- Accept help! 
My sweet and wonderful aunt came in from out of town and stayed with me for an entire week after Matt went to work. I'm beginning to think she is my fairy godmother. I can't express enough how thankful I am for her help and support. It was so much fun and Ellie loved all of the attention from her. We would come home in the mornings from an errand or the park and she would tell me to take the baby and head upstairs for a nap and to not come out before 2pm. It was amazing! Another day, a different aunt came over and went to work on cleaning the house and making lunch. When I had Ellie, I accepted food and that's it. I was too embarrassed and felt like I had to entertain when people came by. Not this time my friends! Want to wash my clothes or mop the floor? Please and thank you.

-The importance of the swaddle
For some odd, odd, reason we didn't swaddle Ellie for very long. Why? Because I had no idea what I was doing. It was also hot as Hades that summer (it was actually record breaking that year) and I hated having to bundle her up. Looking back, I think that was a big mistake on my part. Now, for every nap and bedtime little Emma is in a swaddle and is snug as a bug. She sleeps so much better! Our nights have been fairly easy and I swear it's due to the power of the swaddle.

-Baby Cries
When Ellie cried, I cried. She cried a lot, so therefore, I cried a lot. If she made a squeek, grunt, huff, or growl I picked her up immediately. This time, it doesn't bother me. Of course, I hate listening to Emma cry, but I've realized that she'll be ok if she cries for a few minutes while I finish what I'm doing or tend to Eleanor. I now know that if I take care of what I need to do, I can take care of Emma calmly, without worry, and with a full belly. It's much easier to take care of her when I've taken care of myself. Often times, she fusses for a minute and then goes back to sleep. If I picked her up right away, would she still fall back asleep? I'm not sure.

-I'm not your pacifier!
Nursing in general has been way easier this time, we haven't had any issues with latching or my supply as I did with Ellie, so Emma has been getting a full belly quicker. As soon as she's done eating, she's done. I don't let her pacify on me or play. Eleanor was nearly attached to me all day long, poor thing probably had to be to get enough nutrients, but she also used me as a pacifier for six months. It was all that I could do to soothe her or get her to sleep. Not allowing it to happen the same way this time, plus the combination of other things in this list (like swaddling), have made our lives much easier and we were able to avoid starting bad habits that would be hard to break later on.

-Entertaining the baby
Any time Ellie was awake, I felt that I had to be holding her, singing to her, talking to her, or entertaining her. It was exhausting. Although, it's extremely important to do all of those things with your new born baby, you don't need to do it every. waking. minute. Once, you have multiple children, it's nearly impossible. It's also easier to have a little helper who is so happy to play and sing to her little sister. Every morning and afternoon, Ellie and I play with Emma during her tummy time and during Ellie's nap and when she goes to bed I get some special one on one time with Emma to love on her. This time around, I just don't feel that same pressure to make sure that I'm doing something educational with her every moment. It's much more natural this time and I love being able to have Eleanor included in this time.

-The joy of a sleeping baby
With Eleanor, I never understood how you were supposed to put a baby down while they were drowsy and let them fall asleep on their own. Ellie would only sleep if I nursed her, held her, or pushed her in a stroller. With Emma, it's been a totally different scenario. She doesn't really fall asleep at the breast often and I can just swaddle her and lay her down and she's awake for a few minutes and then falls asleep. Every now and then we'll have to rock her in the Rock and Play, but it's been pretty simple around here. I'm really hoping that this can continue and I'll have a better sleeper now that I know more tricks. 

-They'll survive
As a first time mom, I worried constantly. Are they eating enough? Is this poop normal? What do I do? I had a million questions about everything. Not so much this second time around. I'm not toting every baby related thing with me for every trip out of the house or ditching a full shopping cart in the middle of an aisle to run home because of a screaming infant. I've realized that you don't need every baby gadget, toy, outfit, teether, etc. Your baby will be just fine without every possible baby gear and accessory. I'm also much more attuned to which cry means what, and I know the answers to most of my rookie questions! The anxiety I had is gone and I'm so incredibly thankful that it's been easier my second go around. The baby is easy, keeping Eleanor busy is what's hard!

I read somewhere while I was pregnant that time goes by even faster with a second child and it couldn't be more true. I'm halfway through my maternity leave this week and I can't believe it. It makes me so sad to know how quickly this time has gone by and how it's only going to go faster when I go back to work. There's days I feel like I'm grasping at straws to savor the time with both girls, both together and individually. The dishes, laundry, carpets, can all wait. Babies don't keep and I need to snuggle them a bit longer. Thank goodness it's been easier the second time, I look back and both laugh and cry at my experience. I'm so incredibly thankful for our little family and my sweet girls. I love them both to pieces and each day has been a blessing to spend with them.

What are some of your motherhood lessons you've learned with your children? How

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Product Review: Milk Snob Carseat/Nursing Cover

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When pregnant, I came across Milk Snob covers and absolutely was so interested and had to have one for myself. I saw nothing but great reviews and I'm so happy that they offered me one to try myself! I've used it the last few weeks with Emma Brooke and it has absolutely lived up to the hype!

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I love using it while we're out because it keeps the sun out of her eyes, it keeps lookey loo strangers away, and it's easy to use as a nursing cover! The pics above show me using it at a birthday party last weekend and it was perfect and so easy to use. The fabric is extra soft and lightweight and the hole at the top fits perfectly over our car seat and is super simple to use as a nursing cover.

When we're out, I get asked by at least two people about my cover. Everyone is interested, and to be honest, I haven't seen anything like this before Milk Snob. I love when products can serve double duty, less to tote around and makes sure you get all the bangs for your buck. The cover also folds up small and slips inside your purse for storage without any bulk. It's an awesome cover and I 100% recommend it! There's tons of colors and prints (like this gorgeous floral). If you are looking for a great multi-functional cover, head over and add to cart! You won't be disappointed! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Family Photo OOTD Info

When I posted our Family Photos, I forgot to include where everything is from (I've since updated the post) and wanted to do a post about the items specifically. Blame lack of sleep. I absolutely love our pictures and I only shared a handful of them. Now I just need to decide which ones to print out and buy a million frames and put them all over our house now.

Finding outfits for family pictures that are all cohesive and go with where you're shooting at can be so difficult. Luckily, we already owned everything we wore- score! I did buy my top with the intention of our pics though. We also almost always incorporate blue and gray into every.single.session. I swear it's not on purpose, but it's so easy to shop for, looks good on everyone, and photographs easily. In 10 years we'll look back on our pictures and realize that we always wore variations of the same things. Why fix it if it's not broken?

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Me: Top from Coco and Main through Jane // Jeans
Eleanor: Top (from Target, no longer available, similar here) // Shorts // Bow
Matt: Top (TJ Maxx) // Jeans
Emma: Swaddle // Bow

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Emma:  Headband (c/o Willow Crowns) // Swaddle from So Chic Boutique thru Jane

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Emma: Headband and Bloomers are both from Jane, two years ago

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Emma: Swaddle // Bow

Monday, September 7, 2015

RoseMae's Treasure Review + Giveaway!

As a mama of two sweet girls, one thing I am for sure is a bow mama. The minute I know I'm having a precious baby girl, I start scouring for headbands and bows and I pop one of those pretty little ribbons on their head the minute we're in our hospital room. When I found out I was having our second girl, little Emma Brooke, although our drawer was nearly overflowing with headbands Eleanor had outgrown, I wanted her to have some headbands of her own. I wanted something simple, sweet, and feminine and found Rosemae's Treasures on Instagram. Checking out her site, it took me about 30+ minutes of favoriting (totally not a real word, just go with me on it) every bow and set before I could settle on one for myself. Then I totally went with a cop out set of the Premium Secret Grab Bag set of 5 where she would just choose for me. Ha ha ha!

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The set came so quickly and had all of my favorites! It couldn't have been more perfect for me! The bows are all so feminine and I love the soft nude band. The headbands are one size fits all and work with little babies as small as preemies and stretch as your bundle of joy grows. I'm really happy with the customer service, quality, and fast shipping. Before my purchase, I had emailed Lauren with some questions and she always responded really quickly. I love finding great shops that you can count on and my little girl looks ridiculously cute in these bows!

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Rosemae's Treasures is giving one reader their choice of a trio set!  The giveaway will run from Monday September 7 through 12AM PST Friday September 11, US residents only, with the winner being announced on Instagram on Friday and this post will be updated with the winner as well.

Here are some of the trio sets I have my eyes on:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 4, 2015

Recent OOTD + Purchases

Getting out of the house can be quite the struggle now a days, it takes lots of planning and prep and an extra 30 minutes more than it should. Being home on leave, whether I have someone here to help or not, I try and get out of the house every day for our sanity. I'm hoping to make a better schedule/routine in the coming weeks for us- splash pad, park, library, errands, quiet time, etc. What are some of your favorite activities for your family that you do? What schedules work for you? Please share!

One thing I do each day is get ready, even if it is just to get a gallon of milk, and then right back to yoga pants (if I'm even wearing pants in this heat). It just makes me feel better to be somewhat put together and it helps Ellie get ready too, otherwise she lives in jammies or naked with her wild hair all over the place.

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Top (on sale for $10!) // Jeans (non-maternity here) // Nursing Tank

I wore this out to the splash pad, I absolutely love this top and wish I had bought it in more colors and definitely snagging the white. It's so easy to wear and a great length in the front and back, it will look super cute tucked into a skirt for work.

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Top //  Jeans (non-maternity here) // Nursing Tank // Purse

While Matt was still on paternity leave, I got together with some girlfriends and our little babies for some lunch and a Target run. It was so fun to get together and out of the house. I love that so many of my friends are also having kids and our children can grow up together. It's nice to bounce off ideas on each other, baby products, and little parenting tricks to get us through the tough times. 

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Purse // Dress (Target, not online similar here and here) // Polish

I scored this dress from Target a few days before Emma's arrival and absolutely love it, it's super comfortable and really easy to nurse in. It's so hard to find dresses that are nursing friendly! I tried to find it on their website, but couldn't find it anywhere! I've seen it in stores still though. The tote bag is also sold out online, but I've seen it recently on sale in store at Old Navy.

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Top (Bought in April from TJ Maxx) // Shorts (old, similar here)

Both of these items are a bit old, but I'm so happy I was able to wear them both pregnant and post-pregnancy. I bought the shorts two sizes larger after having Ellie, I needed them in a larger size with my postpartum body and also I didn't want anything tight around my stomach after my c-section. 

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Since high school, I've always used two mascaras on my lashes- one for length and another for thickness. I've been using their Rocket mascara with my trusted L'Oreal one for a while now, it's a great combo and I really like how they work together. This Colossal mascara is amazing! It gives so much mascara in just one swipe and the brush is tilted at the end with makes it great for bottom lashes and to get the tips of your top. Since using this mascara, I haven't even needed a second mascara it does everything. Hurry up and run to try it for yourself! It's really good.

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Last week, my aunt was in town visiting and we had to do a little bit of shopping. On a stop at Old Navy, I picked up this hat and I can't wait to wear it. I went back and forth about getting it, even though it's a great price ($20), because I wasn't sure how much wear I could get out of it since I can't wear it to work. We both love hats and talked about our purchase regrets when we saw a hat and didn't buy it and how we should wear hats more often because they're so chic. On our way out from our shopping trip I picked up this MAC Lickable lipstick. It's so pretty and will be really easy to wear with everything and is super versatile. It will transition perfectly into fall and winter and then right back into spring and summer next year! I love, love, love it! Another great pick from my aunt! Thanks Kim!

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Ellie picked out these shoes on a shopping trip, aren't they so cute! We found several pair in her size in different colors and she picked these ones. I love them on her!

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On a sweet note, have you tried these Oreo thins yet? They are amazing and so delicious! Our box lasted only a few days and then I was back to the store for a second pack.

Have a happy Friday! Enjoy the long weekend!