do blondes have more fun?


Forever 21 kimono; Target dress, old (option) and sandals, old (option) and necklace; Forever 21 sunglasses (splurge, save.)

I should probably preface this post by saying I'm not sure I really MEANT to lighten my hair this much, it just sort of happened;)

I have a hair inspiration board on Pinterest that seems to be filled with a whole lot of blonde gals, so apparently I've been wishing not so secretly to have a lighter 'do. I spent a glorious three hours at the salon a couple of weeks ago and when I left I looked like this. And I was shocked? Surprised? It felt so completely different that it took a couple of days to look at myself and even like what I saw. I've always been a darker haired gal, so this was fairly dramatic for me. In the end? I like it! It tends to look different as the weeks are passing, mellowing out a little and not completely shocking me when I look in the mirror upon waking. 

But seriously, my poor hair! I'm working on lots of hair masks, less styling heat, and letting it sort of renew itself after the lightening process. I'd like to think it looks better in person than in the pictures I take, because I'm still a little off when using the manual mode with my camera….but that could be wishful thinking. Any suggestions on hair care for adding shine and creating more volume?

Now let's have a debate: DO blondes have more fun?

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hey, it's my birthday (so let's give away a $100 Nordstrom gift card!)


 Target sweatshirt, skirt, old (option), and bag, old (option); Sam Edelman slip on sneakers; Forever 21 sunglasses.

Oh heyyy, I'm 34! Which leads me to the fun fact that yesterday I got carded when ordering a beer at lunch, and two days ago, a (gorgeous, precious) little eight year old girl told me, "Hey, you have a daughter…I thought you were a teenager!"

Bless her little heart;)

I can't say this year means anything bad in terms of age, because I honestly feel that since I turned thirty I have never felt better about being ME. It's almost like life came into focus and I could be exactly who I am meant to be, and better yet, I don't care anymore what other folks think of who or what I should be. Does that make sense? I am one thousand percent happy with this life I enjoy, doing what I do day in and day out, and having the friends and family that I have. 

My thirties have brought me the ability to eliminate the things that take more work that I'm willing to put out, or those that don't understand who I am or require excessive upkeep. I'm an imperfect person who is okay being imperfect, and I need a life that is surrounded by those that understand that. I also need my loved ones to understand that I require cake and extra frosting on my birthday to make my day extra special;)

So here's to a day spent with friends I love (on the beach!), while our children play and interrupt every adult conversation, to candles on a birthday cake that my kids will most likely blow out for me, to homemade birthday cards and an armful of elastic bracelets from my daughter, and a husband that goes out of his way to make this the best day he can. 

Thirty four is going to be good

P.S. And on THAT note, my sponsors and I have an awesome giveaway for $100 to Nordstrom for YOU! The giveaway will run for a week and is open to international readers via an e-gift card;) Good luck!

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what you should be buying at Forever 21, right now!


Oh Forever 21. I realize that it is still the middle of August and Summer is still here for a little bit of time, but the stores and back to school sales tell me something different. There's plaid, and black zippered skinny jeans, and kohl moto jackets, and snuggly scarves, plaid totes and delicious sweaters. And darn it, I really want to light my pumpkin candles! (Don't hate me.)

And also,

I spent all day today refereeing arguments and silly battles between my two kids. They cried, (I wanted to cry), they threw toys at each other and had fights over who had more room in the bathtub, and who could use the one remaining pair of goggles, and what we should eat for lunch, and who was the fastest bike rider, and who had more cake, and who's toys could NEVER EVER be played with by the other, and a ton more nonsense that made me want to handcuff them together in a closed room and make them love each other (or possibly just stay quite for one millisecond of time?)

So all I have to say is this. If you have school age children who are starting to hate each other, and you REALLY love Summer, but Fall will begin a string of children free days that you can only dream about right now? Then yes, is days on end of constant togetherness Summer vacation over yet?

Now tell me, what is your favorite look from up above? Let's distract each other with cheap chic fashion;)

as long as i'm living, my baby you'll be


Can I start by saying that I'm not a crier? By nature I am not a super emotional individual, it takes either anger and frustration, or a video of a soldier coming home and surprising his family. Oh! And that darn Budweiser commercial where they surprised a returning soldier with a parade in his hometown? Killed me. 

But really, I'm not a person that cries often. That being said, have you ever read the children's book, Love You Forever? It's a killer. I dare you to read that to your children at night and NOT get choked up. It's about a mama who goes through all the horrifying, awful, trying stages of motherhood and still, STILL, sings to her child at night and rocks him while he's sleeping. We don't read it a lot, but when it comes back into rotation it gets me, every time.

I'm not sure what I expected motherhood would be, but I know I thought it would be easier than it is, and less worrisome. I thought I could go into everything clear headed and make these perfect decisions all the time. My children would be perfect, darn it! They would never break something in a store, or throw tantrums in public, or get in trouble in school, because I, the most PERFECT parent, would have raised them to be amazing people that did no wrong. I would do a better job than all those other parents that seemed to be screwing up all the time. I would never do anything to them that I didn't like from my own childhood, or fall into the traps of bribing, cajoling, screaming, or locking myself in a bathroom to eat a piece of chocolate in peace.

Are we clear that I was slightly delusional?

I had my two children really close together, and soon after my husband deployed several times over the next four years for months at a time. I came into parenthood in an 'Oh My God what am I doing, help me please, this is CRAZY!' way. I can write for days (years!) about all the things that I thought I knew versus reality, but I won't. 

I read somewhere that there are two types of people in this world when it comes to parenting woes: those that don't care (non-parents), and those that already know (parents.) I know I never cared about the hardships of parenthood pre-children, I knew better (ha!), and wasn't interested in the details. And now I have children and can fully commiserate with other parents, but in the end, aren't we all just treading water? We're all in this same sinking boat, and most of us can't even pick our heads up from bailing out the water that threatens to sink us.

What I can say is this, these children of mine have altered me forever. I am not the same person I was before them and can never be changed back. My heart and head and every cell of my being has been altered in a way that is inoperable. Being a mother is my calling card, my one identity that fits better than all the rest, and I like it like that. The birth of my two children is a tattoo on my heart of sorts, the presence of them can never be removed no matter what. They are my biggest accomplishment, and even though they will grow and I will go on to do many other things in life and accomplish different things in different ways, it won't be the same. They make my life worthwhile, they are what makes me ME.

I write this on the eve of my son's (my baby!) fifth birthday. The years, they have flown by, and more so for him, my second and last child. Life just sort of raced on, it sped up and I blinked and he is FIVE. Yet I feel that he is still that baby, that boy on my hip that loved his mama the most and refused to go with any other person. He is my cuddly one, my child that always wants to hang out and snuggle, always wants to make sure I won't be "lonely." HE squeezes me extra tight when he hugs, he always says, "mama, you are so beautiful", and his smiley brown eyes melt my heart. He is the little boy I didn't know I needed, the baby that surprised me with his easygoing attitude and quiet ways. He is the calmness and the answer to a prayer I didn't know I needed. 

The cliche of, "enjoy it while it lasts, because it goes by fast" is true, and I hate that. Time does speed by, in all its monotonous tasks and mundane activities. They add up to two little lives that make up my life, and I consider it a life worth living. These children of mine, who are no longer babies, will always be my babies in my heart. The keeping of them makes leaves me feeling blessed beyond words, and I'm proud to be their mama.

And to my son, who filled this little hole in my heart that I had no idea was missing, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday! Mama love you more than I can ever write in words. 

Love you forever.

in my alternate dream life...


As you know, I am a shopper who loves a bargain, but sometimes I really love to save up for really special item(s) that makes my heart happy. This can happen one of two ways: 1) I save up and buy said items myself, or, 2) I get to receive something special and a little bit more pricey for my birthday (which is next week! Eek!) I love browsing stores and finding something that I wouldn't necessarily shop at often due to price, but because it is for a special occasion, I can. This, along with CAKE, is what makes my birthday all sorts of wonderful.

One of the stores that I really love to drool over is Anthropologie. Not only are their clothes really beautiful, but they have awesome home items, too. And cute cell phone cases! When I used to live near an actual Anthro store I loved walking through it and kind of drooling over this alternate life I imagined for myself, where I wore and decorated solely in their stuff. (I do that with Pottery Barn, too;)

Below are some items I have been crushing on lately (and I wouldn't be sad to own as well!)

Note: all links go to Anthropologie's page via ShopAtHome.

I love how delicate and pretty this cream colored sweater is, especially with the lace accents and longer back. 

You all know I have been borderline crazy with my kimono wearing this Summer, I think this Nava Silk kimono has the potential to transfer into Fall and the cooler months ahead. 

Stop the presses! A chambray anorak jacket exists! 

I really love a dark floral dress (or anything really!) in the Fall, especially when it's on a dress with dark lace accents. I would pair this with black tights and ankle boots.

I'm a jeans a slouchy tee girl in the Fall and Winter, so finding cuter (and longer length!) tops is a must. I love the pattern mixing and the ruffles on this grey striped Farrago tee.

I would wear this peasant tee with a chunky cardigan, distressed skinny jeans, and ankle boots. And a great, cross body bag!

Completely loving this Spacedye fringed cape, it looks so cozy!

Darn it, and now I need this heart print cardigan

I think the perfect ankle boots are sort of like the Holy Grail, but these black suede Oakley boots are AMAZING. 

How gorgeous is this Gallica bib necklace? It almost looks Estate to me.

I think this pearl layer ring would make a really unique wedding/engagement ring stand in (I like to switch mine out for fun!) 

And lastly, This liquid bronze tote is a fun update on the classic neutral bag.

Tell me, which is your favorite item from this list? Do you love browsing and shopping at Anthropologie?

P.S. ShopAtHome has a one day free shipping offer for you for Anthropologie that is good for today only! You can find that HERE.

This post is sponsored by ShopAtHome! Thank you so much for supporting those that support this blog!
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