92% coffee, 8% dry shampoo

9.21.2016


The title of this post make me laugh! I saw it on Pinterest and had to use it. I think everyone that knows me KNOWS that I adore coffee. One hot cup in the morning, and a big iced one after I get home from the gym. I like to mix a cup of almond milk and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder in my iced coffee, it feels like a decadent little treat;)

Moving on!

I've mentioned this in several posts before, but besides my little side gig here and my sub job at my kids' school, I also work for an amazing hair care company called Monat. To say this company has changed me for the better is an understatement. I NEVER thought I would 'sell shampoo on the internet', despite doing essentially the same thing here on my blog and on my Instagram for years with affiliate sales. I mean, it all makes sense, no? If you love something you want to share it, essentially if it is something that you know will bring hope to those around you.

You may think I'm exagerating when I link HOPE with HAIR CARE, but if you are like me and struggled with hair loss and brittleness, and the hopelessness of feeling like you are the only one in the universe with "bad" hair, it's not a stretch. Most of us have had or continue to have a horrible relationship with our hair, and we try product after product to fix it. Yet NOTHING HELPS IT. I was there, and I thought it was just the way it was supposed to be. Until Monat. The first time I tried it I was hooked. I had shine and smoothness and it styled in 2 seconds flat. I knew it was a game changer. I have not used one single non-Monat product in almost a year on my hair, and I've never looked back. 

I signed up to sell it, mostly because I figured, "why not", and not long after that I found that I could make serious money sharing it. And the money is awesome, don't get me wrong, but having hair that I can be proud of is just as amazing. I have new hair growth everywhere (Monat is clinically proven to regrow hair, perfect of those of us with Postpartum hair loss!), and it is longer and stronger.  I also love that I get texts and messages all the time about how Monat has changed the lives of those who have purchased it from me. Women who can now go 2-3 days without showering instead of 1, men who have regrown hair they thought was gone forever, mama's like me who can use it on our entire family because it is botanically based and without chemicals, and busy working ladies who can use less product and less time to make their hair look amazing each and every day. The list goes on.

I want to share Monat with you! Please comment below with your biggest hair struggle and I will send you out some free samples to try. Monat changed my life for the better and I'd love to give you a chance to experience the HOPE I've personally seen in my own life when it comes to my hair (and my bank account!) 

P.S There is currently a TWO day sale on our just launched dry shampoo! I am so excited for this product and for the freedom it is going to give YOU when it comes to stretching your shampoo days. I can get you 15% off and free shipping off of all orders from today on out;)



Target bell sleeve lace dress

9.19.2016



Target lace dress and shoes (old, similar.)

As it often happens when I find myself in Target, I see something that catches my eye from afar and I make a beeline for it (I guess this is why the clothing is right by the door? Well played, Target, well played.) This dress, with its lace, bell sleeves and breezy style, called to me. I knew it would be a perfect late Summer into early Fall look, and can be worn with ankle boots for day or peep toe booties for night.  

I've since worn it twice, once on a little day date with my husband while our kids were in school, and another time just because (and a grocery store visit!) It feels easy to throw on, but looks dressy and pulled together, something I love. Between this lace one and the floral midi dress I posted on Instagram, I'm loving Target's dress selection right now. 


The best sneakers I ever bought

9.15.2016


Free People sweater and lace tunic; Nike Zoom Pegasus sneakers (wearing a 1/2 size larger than my regular shoe size!)

Ugh, can we discuss how hard it is to find workout sneakers that not only look cute, but feel great WHILE working out as well? I work out about 3-4 times a week (currently on week 5 of Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide, full post to come soon!), and I often run errands before/after going to the gym, so I want to look good-ish. Ha.) I saw these sneakers on Instagram on a bunch of bloggers and loved the grey and black look of these, so I took a chance and bought them. 

I. Am. In. Love.

Here's the deal on them: The look good with all workout clothes as they are pretty tonal (I tend to wear all black while working out, so it works!), and they are very lightweight and breathable My only complaint would be that, because they are a running shoe, they aren't the best for cross training moves like lateral jumps, or any explosive moves. I ideally would like a shoe just for cross training, but that is not in the cards right now. I will say, these are really lightweight and comfortable right out of the box, and I think they look equally as great with athleisure looks. In the photos above I had worn that outfit grocery shopping, then we decided to go on a hike with the kids, so it worked for both activities. 

I'll admit, I have never been a sneaker person outside of working out, but when we are being active on the weekends, I love having a sneaker wardrobe that looks and feels great. I'm slowly getting converted! (My close friends would be proud of me;)

A few other sneakers that are catching my eye...

I have these Adidas Stan Smith's, and I adore them. They look great with leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, as well as cute dresses.

The monochromatic look of these Nike Juvenate sneakers is perfection. I like the grey, white, or black. (And the olive, ha!)

Pink sneakers, enough said. Love!
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To be 36 (thoughts on getting older)

9.12.2016


Free People dress; Target sandals; Leopard foldover clutch

One of my biggest memories from the night I turned 36 and wore this dress is that I had gone to the beach that day with friends and my legs got so (unintentionally) sunburned! I had planned on wearing another shorter dress, but angrily sunburned legs call for breezy cutout maxi dresses, am I right? Also, it obviously takes much more than 36 years to remember to sunblock yourself as often as you sunblock your children. 

Onward and upwards, my friends...

So 36. This age feels pretty good! I remember last year when I turned 35 I was a little depressed about it. Thirty-five all of a sudden felt a little too grown up to me. Too mature and responsible for the way I felt inside. I had a little pity party about it, wallowed a bit, until I had a little a-ha moment. It came from a cancer survivor that posted that every year that she gets to celebrate her birthday is a blessing, because it is another year for her to be a mother to her children, a wife to her husband, and another year of LIFE for her. I want to be like that, always. Each year is a blessing, whether the number we reach sounds "old" or what happens to our exterior selves as time passes. 

To be 36 right now translates to a lot of happiness in my own skin. I care less and less about the stuff I used to care about (what people think of me, worrying about pleasing others, worrying about how I look to the outside world, things I can't change by being anxious about it, working uneccessarily hard to make sure others are happy, etc.) It's kind of like taking all the stuff I used to think about and worry over in my 20's and throwing it in a big old helium baloon and letting it go. It just went away. 

My biggest area in which I put energy into is my husband and children. They are my priority, always. Things that fall outside of this circle are still important, but I do not risk the happiness of my inner circle (in which my sanity and personal health and well being is included) at the expense of them. I've found that friends, extended family, work, social media, hobbies, basically ANYTHING not in my bubble of personal happiness, has to take a backseat. I just don't feel the need to bring undo energy and stress and time to people and work and hobbies and such that are high maintenace. 

This can sound bad sometimes, but I've talked to other (similar) age friends, and they agree. If something is high maintenavce and causes issues and drama, I am OUT. Done. It took me a long time to get to that place, and I am so much happier for it. My family and sanity is important, and I can't be persuaded to compromise either of those for anyone/anything.

I was thinking the other day about the old Sex and the City episode, "20 Something Girls Vs. 30 Something Women." I last watched it when I was in my 20's and I was kind of offended. How dare they insult 20 somethings, we are adult's, too! What is so great about 30 year old women? Now I get it. I have nothing against 20 year olds, but it is funny sitting next to a pair of super young girls at the beach and hearing their conversations. It's nothing I never talked about then, it is just different, and not really relevant to my life now. Truth be told,  I wouldn't go back to that age if asked. (Though I'd take the un-wrinkled face and un-gray hair, ha.)

I am so incredibly grateful for each year I get. This age, RIGHT NOW, is the best. It's the best for a zillion reasons, but mosly because I get to share it with my husband and kids, I have awesome friends, a supportive family, and I feel the best I ever have, isnide and out. I think my message to my former 20 something self would be to love myself a bit more. Say no to the things that aren't important, and to care for myself, both physically and emotionally, a little bit better. I'd also be pretty happy to know that at 20, when I was thought I was really happy and content, that it would multiply so much BIGGER than that. Life for me got easier and better after age 30. I swear.  

36, I like you. A lot. This is just the beginning!
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Finding yourself again after having kids

8.12.2016


c/o Lulu's dress, old (similar HERE, HERE and at Target HERE); Target sandals and bag; Rayban sunglasses.

Nobody who has had a kid ever INTENDS to lose themselves, it just becomes inevitable. (I think? Is this just me? HA.) Not only does you body change as you grow a child, but your entire life shifts to this little tiny human person who depends on YOU for everything. 

Your first one, especially, is a game changer. 

All of a sudden, life as you know it is over (not in a bad way, just different), and the YOU you used to be is kind of gone? Eight and a half years later I'm not sure I remember who I used to be, because now I'm "mom" and everything is changed. I used to be more selfish and spontaneous, more free but less focused. I had yet to see the resilience I would build, the patience and the courage and the all around consuming love that I would add in each day of their lives, like drops of water in a glass. A lot of this can be contributed to just getting older and (hopefully) wiser, but I'd like to think that most of who I am now is shaped by the two little people I get to raise each day.

Still, I did lose myself for a bit. I let what makes me happy slide, and it happened so gradually I didn't even notice. I stopped caring about what I wore, I read less and worked out never and focused only on my kids. Which isn't bad, because they needed me and two kids in seventeen months doesn't leave much time for anything else, it just simply WAS. I was in survival mode, and honestly that lasted for a good several years.  It wasn't until my youngest turned one that I started to gain a little piece back by working out. I would go to the Y three days a week and gain an hour each time while they played in the daycare there. I learned that I had control over how I felt inside and out by how I cared for my body. I gained strength and the mindset that I could handle a lot more physically and mentally than I ever thought possible. 

Then a year or so later I started this blog, because what I wear and how I present myself is another huge factor of what makes me tick. I simply LIKE putting together outfits and expressing myself through my personal style. This blog forced me to get dressed each day and document it, so I tried harder and gained another small piece of myself yet again. If I take five minutes to throw a dress and some cute accessories on, even when I'm heading to the grocery store or the chiropractor, I feel better. It is part of what makes me, ME, and doing so helps me find myself more and more each day. 

Lastly, reading is a huge part of what makes me happy. I am a reader, which I've mentioned many times here. I read about a book a day and I fit in some sort of reading in my day, no matter how busy, whenever I can. I read a whole lot less when my babies were actual babies, but I DID still read a couple of pages when I could. Now I have a lot more time to enjoy a book, the beach is a favorite spot of mine and I read a ton at night while my husband watches his shows. 

Something I remember clearly after my kids were born is that I had also let all my fashion magazines go and only got parenting ones. I never even noticed the change. That's the funny thing about losing yourself, it's often so gradual you don't notice the change until it is too late. For me this gradual loss of myself  took about 2-3 years, until I noticed it and had the time and energy to get it back. 

My kids are 8 and 7 now and looking back I shake my head a bit about who I was then. She wasn't bad, she was just coasting. She lived day by day, often hour by hour, and devoted her whole self to her new mom identity. 

Now she knows better.

I know that for my kids to be happy with themselves, I have to happy with myself. And that if I take the time to do what means the most to me, that they will do the same. They see me taking care of myself, body and soul, which in turn makes me a better mom for them. I guess I had to lose myself to get to who I am now, and maybe in ten years I'll look back and feel the same way about my (almost) 36 year old self. I've noticed that each year I find I know myself better and better, I do more of what makes me happy and less of what I don't, and being true to myself is the first step in all of that. 

Tell me, what do YOU do to stay true to yourself? (Kids or no kids!)