Thursday, April 6, 2017

How I Pack for Toddlers with JJ Cole Backpack



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I've been rocking a diaper bag for almost four years now and I definitely consider myself a pro. With two toddlers under my belt and a new baby coming this fall, I've learned all the essentials for any outing! Finding the right diaper bag can be a bit tough, JJ Cole offers a variety of options and features, styles, and I love their color options!

My diaper bag has been stuffed to the brim with all the baby necessities, then it changed as Ellie grew up. Then, I had to start over with Emma, but I knew exactly what I really needed and what we could go without. Now that they're both toddlers, it's probably the easiest diaper bag I've ever packed!

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Toddler Diaper Bag Must Haves:

-Snacks: Oh my goodness, I don't think you can have enough snacks for toddlers! I like to have items that don't get crushed easily- dry cereals, granola bars, pouches, hard crackers.

-Diapers: Depending on how long we'll be out, I pack 4-5 typically.

-Creams: Don't forget the rash cream! Emma has sensitive skin so I also have one on us.

-Change of clothes: I pack one outfit for each girl, maybe some socks or a light jacket too. Don't forget extra undies!

-Sunscreen: It's warming up and if we're gonna be outside and I need to protect their soft skin.

-Quiet Toys: I don't always pack these, but if we're going to be somewhere where we'll be waiting a while or we need to be quiet I always pack something for them. Coloring books and crayons, a mini magna doodle, lacing toys, etc.

-Lovie: My little one has to have her swaddle blanket or little lovie if I'm ever going to get her to sleep or just for comfort. I've learned the hard way with her to make sure we always carry one with us.

-Medicine: No matter what, I always keep some Tylenol in our diaper bag. Another thing I've learned the hard way!

-Cup: Ellie can use a "big girl" cup, but Emma still uses soppy cups so we need to keep one with us for her.

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If you've been around for a while, you know I love a diaper bag backpack. It makes outings so much easier for me to have my hands free, and with side pockets and easy access front pockets, I can keep necessities near by. My JJ Cole Diaper Bag can be used three different ways- a backpack, messenger bag, or as a stroller attachment (love this feature!). It has 11 pockets, with the side pockets heavily insulated. I was pleasantly surprised about this! How awesome to keep our drinks colder (or warmer) longer! One of my favorite features is the opening- there front flap is magnetic so it makes it easy to get to, but the inside has a large zipper across the top, securing all of your belongings.

For this trip, I just packed the essentials in our diaper bag, but I still had so much room left! I was able to still pack all of my personal items (wallet, phone, sunnies, lipstick, and keys) and had plenty of room if we were going to be staying all day somewhere (jammies, more clothes/diapers). The structure is always really nice, I know it won't lose it's shape with lots of use and over time. It will be perfect when our little man arrives later!

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Find your perfect JJ Cole bag at at Babies R Us!


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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gender Reveal + First Trimester Recap

Good morning! Here's a fun post about our little one, we found out the gender a few weeks ago, but have been keeping it to ourselves. I had an appointment yesterday and confirmed the gender again, we found out early so I wanted to be sure! This first trimester has seriously flown right by. This has to be the quickest of any of my pregnancies, I guess two little ones will keep you busy like that! I can’t believe we were able to find out the gender so early on- we had to wait so long to find out with Eleanor and Emma had her legs crossed or the umbilical cord between her legs every time and it took forever!

I found out right at 12 weeks this time around, during my NT scan. The nurse was really nice and I asked her if she thought it would be possible to tell. She said that it would be really hard, the baby would have to be in just the right position, and that wasn’t what the appointment was technically for. Then we just chitchatted about old wives tales, life, work, etc. Then she asked me if I wanted to see the baby’s gender and turned the screen…

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And said “I bet your girls didn’t look like this! You’re having a boy!”. I immediately started crying, it was so surreal! Our last baby, a sweet little boy! I cried the rest of the appointment. I couldn’t wait to tell Matt and Ellie (she only wanted a brother and Emma doesn’t even get what’s going on). I kept staring at the screen, his cute little lips and chubby cheeks were already standing out. I just kept picturing holding him, loving on him, and how he made our family complete. I had to hug the nurse after because I was filled with so much joy I need to share it!

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After my appointment, I had to avoid calling or talking to Matt for at least a few hours- there was no way I could keep the news from him if I had! I ran over to Target and put together a few things to surprise them that night. I filled an Easter basket with three large eggs- one with the sonogram, one with a sleeper embroidered with Little Brother, and one with a bow tie and suspenders inside, then I filled smaller eggs with blue Peeps. I couldn’t wait for that night and the day seemed to drag on with anticipation.

When I got home, almost immediately after putting my stuff down, I told them I had a surprise for them. I gave them each an egg, Emma had the one with the sonogram, which she just ignored and started pulling out all the grass from the basket. Ellie opened hers with a bow tie and suspenders and then started opening and eating the blue Peeps from the small eggs. Matt got the egg with Little Brother sleeper and his face was priceless!! They opened them all at the same time, so no one was really paying attention to the others eggs, I got it all on video and Matt’s reaction was the best! He kept saying “We’re having a boy? When did you find out? Why didn’t you tell me you stinker!?” It was a moment I’ll always remember and cherish!

I've picked up a few things here and there for our little man. It's a whole new ball game shopping for boys than girls. Why does everything have a truck, dino, anchor, etc on it? Where are your favorite places to shop? I've picked up these goodies so far for him, plus this cute outfit and this adorable sleeper.  Sweet N Swag sent me the above goodies, I can't wait to dress him up in the bow tie and suspenders! I think I'll use the bow ties during his newborn pics (which I already scheduled) and the little moccs are just the sweetest! I can't believe how tiny and soft they are, perfect for his newborn skin.

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Onesie (I bought it in two sizes!)


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This first trimester has probably been the easiest yet of the three. Maybe since I have Ellie and Emma to take care of I don’t notice all of the little things? Here’s a small recap of my first trimester:

-Sleep: It has been all over the place, but I’m finally sleeping well now. When I was first pregnant, I had terrible insomnia, that should have been my first sign of pregnancy! With my first two pregnancies, I was exhausted at night, but I find that I’m most tired in the mornings now and take a while to get going. I’ve also had some really weird and vivid dreams.

-Cravings: They’ve been a little bit across the board, sometimes it’s just fleeting or I have to have it for a week and then the craving is gone. These last two weeks I’ve been loving Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese with grape tomatoes. I’ve also really wanted vegetables and V8 juice. My cereal addiction is also very much real, just like with my previous pregnancies.

-Movement: I’ve already felt the little man move! Just little bit here and there, small flutters and shifts. I can’t wait to feel him all the time! It’s one of my favorite parts of pregnancy.

It’s so crazy that we’re adding another family member and that it’s a boy! We are just over the moon with excitement. I keep thinking about how our lives will look with three little ones- when we go out, family vacations, dinner time, social activities, extracurricular activities, etc. I’ve been adding all kinds of parenting books to my must-read list, I don’t want to get caught up with the busy of our lives that I lose focus on parenting with intention and giving each of them attention. So if you have any tips or book recs, please let me know!

Thank you so much for all your support and kind words since we announced! It means so much to me and I love reading your sweet words over and over again.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone! This is just a quick post, sharing a few favorites and thoughts from this week. I have some posts scheduled for next week and some pregnancy updates- and the gender reveal! I tried to get them done this week, but it was just too busy with work, my crazy girls, and lack of sleep.

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Sandals!

I’m obsessed with sandals, I could live in them year round if events and the weather allowed me too. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good bootie too, but I live for bare feet and warm nights. I have a few on my mind (including this gorgeous pair! Super cute dupe here, but just bought these strappy flats, they're super comfortable and I love that they just zip up in the back. I also ordered these super cute wedges ($30!!), I love the double strap and cut out design (similar pair without the cutout design here).

Hair!

Just about every time I get my hair done I want to do something different. Brighter! Darker! Mix it up! Keep it long! Cut it short! I’m feeling that way again right now too. I’m in love with my color right now and the dimension it has, but I also want to brighten it up as the temps rise. One thing that’s really on my mind is getting a beach wave perm. Yes, you read that right. I wrote PERM. I’ve been reading different articles (check out this Allure article with Julianne Hough)about it and I would love to just air dry my hair every day and have gorgeous beach waves at my fingertips with just a few products, but I wonder… will my hair be flat from air drying? Will the front of my hair where my cowlick is be frizzy? Can I curl/straighten it if I want a different look for a day? Any insight at all is appreciated! I only get salesy type answers when I ask at the salon.

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Reading List!

I’m doing pretty good at tackling my 2016 Reading List, although I have strayed quite a bit. I've read 9 out of 16 so at least I've past the halfway point. I found some great authors from the list and read a few more of their books or books from similar genres. I haven’t shared the last few of my reviews on IG like I have in the past, but here are my five recent reads.

Necessary Lies- AMAZING! I loved the characters, their stories, the choices they had to make. I really enjoyed this book a lot.

Luckiest Girl Alive- I barely made it through this one, it is terrible. I didn’t care for the character and felt that there should have been a better resolution or deeper twist/surprise at the end to make it worth it.

The Winter People- This book was okay, a good in-between book. A little creepy story that would be interesting as a movie if done right.

The Silent Sister- This has a slower pace, but the secrets reveal themselves in a timely manner. I enjoyed reading it and the characters’ stories.

Behind Closed Doors- It did not live up to the hype for me, I didn’t get attached to any of the characters, but has a great and twisted ending!

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Necklace! 

This necklace (similar here) has sat in my cart for a while now and I finally checked out. I don’t know what I was waiting for, it’s gorgeous and I know I’m going to get a TON of wear from it. Plus, it’s a great price point, under $40, is well made, and not heavy. I absolutely love turquoise/teal jewelry, it looks good all year round and perfectly accents so many colors and patterns. I’m basically going to be living in it all year round, so expect to see it a ton. I've already worn it three times this week, I can't help it! It's SO pretty and goes with everything!

Thank you all for reading! Hope you have a great weekend! XOXO

Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekend Recap & OOTD: Pink Blush Stripes

Happy Monday! This past weekend was so busy and just flew right by. Friday night the girls and I stayed in and watched the new Tangled Before Ever After on Disney- it's pretty cute. Ellie is so excited for the new tv show to start, I'm glad they did the movie first instead of after a few episodes. Why do they do that? It was so annoying with Elena, show me the movie and back story first!

Then Saturday we were on the go, go, go. We had dance class, a Costco run, lunch with Nana and Papa, then we headed down to Fallbrook for my niece's recital (she killed it! Her team took 1st place!). We were so tired after the day so we ended the night the best way we could- with some In n Out and then a stop for an Oreo shake! We were STUFFED!

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Necklace (old, like spring break 2004 from Nordstrom, but I found a similar one here)

It's been so warm here this past week and was in the mid 90s this weekend! I couldn't believe it! We've been sleeping with our whole house fan on at night and I've slept like a baby. I loved wearing this dress, it was perfect for the weather we've had! It has a ton of room and runs a bit large, I probably should have sized down (I'm wearing a medium). It's not maternity, but definitely works for both non-maternity, maternity, and postpartum. That's one of the biggest reasons I love shopping at Pink Blush, their pieces are so versatile and I love adding them to my closet knowing I can wear them now, later, and again.

We have a big family vacation planned for this summer and this dress was one of the first things I wanted for the trip! It's gonna be perfect with the weather and for a date night out during our stay. Hope you're all having a great Monday and surviving the time change, it's gonna be pretty rough for me- I wake up at 5 every day! Cue the tears.
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Faves

Happy freaking Friday everyone! Is it possible for a week to both fly and crawl by? That's how I feel this week has gone. I've been so incredibly busy these last few weeks and so tired/lazy thanks to first trimester, it's been quite the whirlwind as I play catch up and add to my already full plate.

Thank you all again SO much for all your sweet words this week. I'm so happy to finally share the news. I love being pregnant and I'm so excited to be on this journey one more time. I love following other's pregnancies and all the love and excitement as their due date approaches. Are you interested in  bump dates? I want to journal it for myself, but I'm not sure how much I'll share since it's my third one and you guys, depending on how long you've been reading/following, may have seen it all! Maybe just some posts sprinkled in? I'm not sure. Any feedback is welcome!

I'm really trying to get back into the swing of things here on LLP, so far in 2017 I've gone from posting 3-4 times a week to nothing for a week or two. Maybe second trimester will be better for my energy levels! Either way, I'm excited to be back this week with a third post and sharing Friday Faves with you guys, I love putting together these posts and sharing little bits of life, products, shop, etc with everyone.


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Face Palette (Aura, Ash, Pink Grapefruit, Pearl Illuminator)
30 Second HAC Brush // Compact


For years I've been a huge fan of Maskcara and I've been dying to try her makeup line, I jumped at the chance to work with Steffanie to help me find the right colors and shades for the perfect palette. Her makeovers and videos are amazing and have really changed and improved my own makeup techniques as well. After using the palette for the last two weeks, I'm freaking obsessed with it! It took a few tries to get used to the cream product, but I love how easy it blends together! You can go heavy or light handed and combine it with your regular makeup for more coverage. I usually use Aura and Ash, set it with powder, then do my eyes, apply Pink Grapefruit, and then finish with the Pearl Illuminator. It's so quick and easy, I was afraid it would add like 10 more minutes in the morning, which I don't have to spare, but it's super quick! I love it! I also love the packaging and that you can buy the singles and swap them around in your compact (they're magnetic). If you're looking for an easy routine, a simple highlight and contour, add to cart immediately!!


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Did you know Baublebar has a collection at Target? Hallelujah! I'll take one of everything! I ordered these earrings and have been wearing them non-stop. They're really light weight, my lobes are total wimps, but I can wear these all day and night without irritation. I love the fun pop of color they add to my outfits too, perfect for date nights, girls nights, the office, cleaning the house in my sweats, etc. I just love wearing these!

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I've been obsessed with rose gold for a while now and IMMEDIATELY added these to my cart when I saw them online. Too bad I didn't check the reviews and ordered my regular size because they're huge on me! You def need to size down, maybe even an entire size. I keep refreshing and checking the site daily to see if it gets restocked in my size. Are these just not the cutest ever? Such a fun twist to a simple shoe!

Hope you all have a fantastic start to your weekend, thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

OOTD: Baby Blues

Now that the cat's out of the bag I can bust out all my fave bump friendly outfits. I'm definitely showing, my uterus said "third baby? I got you!" and then exploded. Right now I'm at that awkward stage where a lot of maternity clothes are too big and my regular clothes are getting kinda tight. As soon as I knew we were expecting I headed over to Pink Blush because they have the cutest stuff and a lot of styles that work from beginning to end or postpartum.
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Dress c/o Pink Blush // Necklace (similar) // Heels // Lipstick (Strawberry Shortcake)

This dress is amazing! It the prettiest shade of blue and comes in so many colors! I had a really hard time deciding which color and think I'm definitely going to pick up a few more for this pregnancy. It's easy to dress up or down with your jewelry and shoes. This was a look I was going to wear to church, but we didn't end up making it. I can't wait to wear it next week though!

Thank you again for all of your wonderful well wishes and messages! It's meant so much to me and I"m so excited to share this with you guys!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Our Little Announcement- Baby 3 is on its way!

We are so excited to finally share the secret we've been keeping since the new year started- our family is growing and we're adding another little one! We are over the moon that we're expecting, it was a welcome surprise!

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These pics of the girls crack me up! I wanted to try and get some of the two of them, but they were over it. I laugh every time I see these! They're so funny, I had to share them!

Thank you SO much for all of your love and support! I've read and re-read everyone's comments and messages and my heart is so full. We are so excited for our family and for the girls. Ellie can't stop talking about the new baby and how she wants a brother. She tells me all the time how she's going to teach Emma to be a big sister and it just melts my heart. Ellie is such a wonderful big sister to her, she's so loving and has so much patience for her. Emma doesn't get it yet, but is obsessed with babies and loves to wave and blow kisses when she sees them. She's also into dolls now, so I think she'll be ready when this one arrives.

We don't know yet what we're having, but we plan on finding out. At first, I wanted to keep it a surprise and not find out, but Ellie wants a boy so badly that I thought it might be better to find out the gender so we could let her down early if we're having another girl. Matt of course wants a boy too, but I have no preference. I haven't for any of my babies and am just thankful and grateful for healthy babies.

So far my pregnancy has been really easy- no sickness, cravings, food aversions, etc. I'm so lucky that I haven't experienced that yet with any of them. The only thing different so far with this one that I'm really tired in the mornings and at night (with the girls it was mostly just at night). I wake up pretty early for work, but just can't seem to get going in the mornings. I've been doing the bare minimum for my hair and makeup a lot of days and then feel fine after I've been up and moving after a few hours. My sciatic nerve started bothering me this past week, but it's been coming and going. Other than that, there's nothing to really report.

I've always wanted a big family and after having Emma, I knew there was one more waiting for us. Matt was on the fence about adding to our family and I wanted to wait a bit longer between Emma and another, but God had different plans and answered our prayers in His own way! There's going to be almost the exact same timing/age gap between each baby.  I know that our family will be complete when this little one joins us, he or she is exactly what we needed. Since starting our family planning in 2012, I've always wondered if I would ever feel that our family was complete or if I'd always wonder if we should have another. My heart is so full and I know this is exactly what the Lord had planned for us. It's an incredible feeling having that peace of mind and my heart is so full, it's about to burst!

My gorgeous lace dress is from Pink Blush and I couldn't wait to wear it! I knew it would be the perfect maternity dress for our announcement. It's so stretchy and doesn't have or need rouching for my growing belly. It's a great pick whether you're expecting or not, I love the length! It's so hard to find a good hemline!

Thank you again for all your sweet words! I'm exciting to share this with you guys! Sorry, I've been MIA the last few weeks, I've just been too tired from the pregnancy and some other happenings that I'll be sharing with you guys soon too- obviously not as big as another family member though! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend, thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine Gifts for Her

Valentine’s is just around the corner, and I love all the hearts, pink, and glitter it brings with it. I mean, I typically will wear bright pink or red lips all month long, so bring it on! Here’s a few things I have my eye on for the season that will get lots of use as we make our way into spring and then summer. Are you making Valentine plans this year?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

OOTD: A Valentines Look

Can you believe Valentine's day is just a week away!? Didn't this year just start and Valentines is just around the corner! This year is flying by. I love this flirty red dress, I'm such a sucker for ruffles. It's a bright cherry red and it's perfect for warm weather (not that we've had much yet here). I know I'll be wearing it all summer, it will pair perfectly with some gladiator sandals or as a cover up.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

My Favorite Diaper Bag- Jujube has it All!

One of my top baby product suggestions for parents is a good diaper bag. You’ll use it almost daily, it gets tossed around, things spill on it, it needs to keep a gazillion items inside, it’s important to invest in one that’s going to keep up with you! It's an investment piece that can last you years if you choose the right one. There’s a ton of options for you to choose from, but we love Jujube and I’ll tell you why! We prefer to use a backpack diaper bag so we have our hands free and we have the Jujube Be Right Back and the Be Quick in Chrome and I love that it works for both Matt and I. Jujube offers a variety of styles, colors, and prints, I had a hard time choosing which style and print I liked best!

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

We Love BookRoo!

If you’ve been around here long, you’ll know that I’m a total book nerd. I’ve always loved to read, even as a child. I remember going to the library all the time with my mother and grandmother, reading at night on the porch outside, and staying up late to finish my latest novel. Reading has always been an escape for me and I can’t stand the days between books! I love to read on my lunch breaks at work and any free time at home. It's important to me to develop my children's love of reading and set the example for them. We read to the kids every night as part of our evening routine and they always receive a book or two for holidays and special events. Reading helps with their communication, brain development, speech, promotes academic excellence, and the list goes on and on. Plus, it's fun! Let me tell you why we love our BookRoo subscriptions,

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Recent OOTDs- IG Round Up

The rain here has been INSANE! I haven't seen it rain this hard or flood the streets this badly since I was in high school. Incidentally, it was the first year I lived here and really made an impression on me. I compare all rains to that year because it was so crazy. As soon as second week of January hits, I'm fully ready for Spring. All I can think about is florals, pastels, brights, and sandals. I can't wait, it's one of my favorite seasons! I've ordered a few things I'm waiting to come in and I can't wait for sunshine and warmth! Until then I'm just trying to stay dry!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How I Whiten my Teeth at Home

With the new year upon us, I have several goals and resolutions this year I fully plan on keeping. I know I’m one of many who have the same mindset, but I’ve been thinking about 2017 and what I want to accomplish for several months and have narrowed it down and focused on what is really important to me and my family. One thing that seems to be on everyone’s list each year is their health. This year, I don’t have a fitness goal, but I want to focus on my overall health, including my teeth!

Eleanor had a dentist appointment a while ago and she did amazing! I was so proud that she didn’t have any cavities and knew that our hard work of daily brushing and flossing have paid off. Matt and I were so concerned about setting our children up for success in having healthy teeth by watching what they’re eating and when, using a timer to brush their teeth, using the right toothpaste for their age that I’ve put my own teeth health on the back burner. How can I expect my children to maintain healthy teeth if I’m not setting a good example myself?

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Best Beauty Purchases 2016

Morning! Some of my favorite posts to read at this time of the year is people’s favorite posts, best of, or recaps. I just love looking back and seeing all the good and positive from one year and heading into the new year with hope and happiness. Another favorite post of mine to share and to read from other’s are their favorite beauty products! When I initially went to write this post, I didn’t think I had too much to share, but then when I reviewed my Instagram and published posts- I had a lot! I was pretty successful in the beauty product department for 2016 and didn’t really have any stinkers, but today I’m sharing just my absolute favorites of the year with you!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Product Review: Tried and True Image Skincare Favorites + Giveaway!

Several years ago, I tried my first Image Skincare product and after using it for a few weeks I became a lifelong customer. Finding the right skincare product can be trying and can follow a series of trial and error. It you have sensitive or problematic skin, it can even be emotional to try a product and not see any results or worse yet adverse results.

All my life, I’ve had pretty even skin that tends to dry out and can be sensitive at times. I never really had an issue using any product (as long as I bought the sensitive version of it), but never saw a change in my skin. Not a single product brought my skin to life, evened out the skin tone of my rosy cheeks, or worked with what I had naturally to make it better and stand out. It just did its job in the laziest way possible and I had no results one way or another. None of this is true for Image. After a few weeks, my skin brightened up, I could wear less makeup, and even with long nights nursing babies my skin never looked better.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

OOTD: Bell Sleeves

Good morning everyone! How is everyone's first full week of the new year? Mine has been so-so, but I still feel great about the year and reaching my goals. Going back to work and waking up to an alarm has been pretty tough, and I forgot my keys in our other car on Tuesday! Oh my gosh you guys. At least each day is a new start right?

Today I'm sharing this gorgeous bell sleeve top (available in six colors!!) and is on sale for $12!! I love it! It's a nice thick fabric and is perfect with jeans and boots or slacks and heels. It's such a simple and chic top that's was to wear a bunch of different ways

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Our Christmas Break

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you had a wonderful and magical holiday! I can't believe how quickly this past month, year, and holidays went! Wasn't it just the start of December?

Our Christmas break was so fun and memorable. It was one of the best Christmases I've had! Matt and I both have had the last ten days off work and I've loved being home together. Our vacation had a good mix of both busy and fun. We baked, watched Christmas movies, stuffed our bellies, crafted, and relaxed. Here's a quick recap of our break!

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