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Thursday, October 23, 2014

How To Wear: The Fancy Sweatshirt

This weather right now is a little tricky, so I decided to put together a couple of looks using the floral embroidered sweatshirt (Lotus Swet) that arrived this week from Sanctuary. In a nutshell, I adore. (it's quilted!) Dress it up or dress it down...it's the best.
This fall, it's all about as much black as you can find in your closet, so this girl here is alllll about that! This is a great fancy sweatshirt for work or play and you can dress it down or up, as I've done here. It's also amazing for this in-between weather right now because it's not too thick, and you can mix it with pieces that transition with the weather. (Bonus points: baby L is fascinated with the white flowers on this piece!)
 
Another closet staple? A pair of amazing black pants, and these by Sanctuary truly are. They have a wide leg and I feel like they make my legs look extra long (which I could use!). And don't forget wearing an all-black silhouette just makes you look that much thinner (but if you don't think I do, please don't tell me, k?). I'm topping every, single outfit lately with a black fedora. I bought this one for $5 at Charming Charlie a couple of years ago, but this season they are extra on-trend, so you scoop one up because they totally transform an outfit, and keep your noggin' warm! Props also to the Swarovski team for sending over the sparkly Stardust bracelet I can't take off lately. It's truly gorgeous and my latest go-to accessory.

But when I want to dress for our cold in the morning/hot in the afternoon weather down south, I wear my floral Sanctuary sweatshirt with a pair of (vegan) leather shorts (these are BLANKNYC and they're final sale right now!) and my new Nine West boots I scored at DSW. (they're major comfy and they even zip over my larger calves...although I'm banking on the fact that I've been going to Pure Barre as the reason they zip!) I also bought this plaid jacket at Target over the weekend and am obsessed. Plaid is rad this fall, and this jacket even has a hood! So fun. 

P.S. If you've been following my Trimdown Thursdays, just so you know, I'm still logging my post-baby weight until the actual number hits the scale. I've hit it several times, but want to be consistent before I declare that I MADE IT. :) But, ya know, I'm there give or take. Whew. Watch this space for a change of columns soon...exciting things!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whiny Wednesday: Going Gluten Free


Gluten free. By now, you've heard of it and whether you roll your eyes at it or practice it in your own home and diet, it's something a lot of people are talking about lately. 

Obviously, it's a must if you have celiac disease, but what if you simply have an intolerance? There's not a clear-cut test for this, and it can be challenging (take it from this mama). My personal theory is that we could all use things in moderation and too much gluten isn't great for anyone's gut. It's not just a trend for our house, it's a way of life. Trust me when I say if I didn't think it was good for us, I wouldn't worry about it because it's not easy. 

Bread is the biggest gluten-free product in our diet (other than pasta and granola bars). My favorite brand is Canyon Bakehouse. We've tested tons and this, by far, has the softest, most bread-like consistency. It's the closest to "real" bread and there are several versions of it. We like the 7-Grain when we can, but the Mountain White is also great. There's also a Cinnamon Raisin and Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia. We were sent samples and went through them like whoa. 

We fix a lot of sandwiches now that little C is in preschool because sometimes he'll stay all day and bring his lunch. He also loves toast with organic jam for breakfast and he'll even ask for this bread as just a snack (no sugary sweets here!). 

While little C doesn't have celiac (he's been tested), I think cutting out gluten (and as much dairy as we can), really can affect his behavior. He's much more calm and pleasing to be around m. So I say if he likes it, and it seems to make him feel better (for all we know he's intolerant), then why not? Bad behavior is no fun and the food he eats certainly affects him. 

Canyon Bakehouse makes going gluten-free so much easier (because honestly there's some yucky stuff out there). See you in the Whole Foods aisle (and if there's none left, you'll know where they went. Wink.)! 

Whiny Wednesday: Snuggle Time in Skylar Luna


Oh, little C. I really do adore him. We've had some major adjustments with preschool and some really long afternoons (and evenings) at home lately, but last night we changed up our routine a bit and it's the first time since baby L that I've had bedtime snuggles in a realllllly long time. Since I usually put baby L to bed (and I'm still nursing), it's hard to get in evening time with little C. And this time was exactly what we needed...both of us. 

He's been a huge fan of Sklyar Luna PJs from the beginning, and was ecstatic when he was recently sent a set of the green Forest Stars for the cold months. Adorable. So many squeals! 

There are lots of organic cotton PJs out there these days, and they all have pros and cons. These? They last multiple seasons as long as your child doesn't grow too big, that is! We've never, ever had a tear or rip in these and the fabric is the softest and highest quality. (I can say we've had other brands do this, so this is a major plus for SL). 

I also love this brand for the really cute patterns. I let little C choose this one. :) It's all about feel when it comes to sleep and, heck, even daytime for him. If he could, he would stay in these PJs all day. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "we can't wear our pajamas to the park." Bless his heart. 

So in this photo? little C got to crawl in our bed and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse just before falling asleep in our bed...and, yep, that's C with the remote (they start so early). This was just before all the warm, fuzzy snuggles. I rate these PJs a def 10 on the snuggle scale, mamas. Love them and love him. So glad to spend some extra time with him...in his fav clothing of all. ;) 

P.S. They retail for $39 and run small. little C wears a whole size larger!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Whiny Wednesday: Win $100 at Old Navy with Well Rounded NY

One of my fav sites for chic pregnant mamas (and shoot, I'll admit it, I still read it now) is Well Rounded NY. Love. It. They really have the best mama tips (such as how to cut down on wireless radiation during pregnancy) and I'm addicted to the style posts. For nine months, I was glued to these Q&As to try to scout out what chic mamas have on the brain! (Oh, and it helps I was once one of them. Read here. Wink.) 


This week features Rachel Drori of Daily Harvest (it's an organic, ready-to-blend smoothie delivery service - how cool is that? Moving to NYC juuuust for that, please)...and her fav eats in NYC (gosh, I could only imagine being pregnant in NYC...I'd def be in trouble with the desserts!). 

And besides Rachel's baby bump cuteness, click over to win a $100 Old Navy gift card from our friends at Well Rounded NY. Squeal!!! I hope you win because Old Navy's got some really great stuff - maternity and non - right now. Good luck!



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trying Out My Amika Hair Wand


Over the next few months I'll be exploring how to use my new hair wand. As with any product I've been sent, it takes me a couple of months of staring at it on the counter before I have the time to truly embark. This weekend? I MADE time. Ya have to, folks. 

I'm super excited to own this piece of amazingness from Amika. It's THE first hair tool you can customize for your hair. Squeal! This hair wand comes with a switch kit so that you can choose the barrel size you want for your curls.

I chose the Glam Goddess this week with the 1.25" barrel. My hair is soooo long it doesn't hold curl like shorter hair might, and keep in mind I'm still perfecting my curling wand technique (um, that's me over here watching YouTube...blush). But overall I was happy and my husband could tell a difference (that's plenty of evidence it works right there, folks). I expected my curls to be bigger, so I'm going to keep practicing and show you my Supermodel curls next week. I think there might be a big difference there. And I think I'll blow dry my hair straight before I use it next time. (Duh, shoulda thought of that.)

But overall? I think I'm going to l-o-v-e using this tool! Too much fun! Come back next Monday to see the next barrel results. 

P.S. Get it only at Sephora. Oh, and I've heard from too many people...make sure you wear the glove. This thing gets HOT. :)



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trimdown Thursday: Rainbow Bright


The weather here has been crazy...the usual southern Arkansas crazy, I guess. I'm terrified of storms and I just found out that October has more tornadoes than the springtime, so maybe fall isn't my fav after all. Shrug. But once the storms cleared Monday, we've had the most beautiful weather, so I can't complain. Who doesn't love being able to wear boots and flowy shirts all at once? This outfit is, in fact, my version of transitioning to cold weather...it's an in-between outfit. Because while I do love the 70-degree weather, it's usually 50s in the morning, which makes the day SO hard to dress for...am I right?

Lately I've been living in leather leggings and can I tell you a secret? These are maternity. Shhhh...Ironically enough they were too small for me during pregnancy (blush), so I hung onto them because the only thing that makes them maternity is that they're elastic...seriously. So because it's totally pumpkin patch season and I've been outside running around with the kids a ton, I slipped on cowboy boots instead of heels (major blush). I told you I'm having a flats moment, and that's ok. Baby L is just now eight months old, and I'm still adjusting to life with two. At the moment, there's no way I can run in heels, too. We'll save those right now for special occasions. Wink. 

You know what I can live in though? Everything from Show Me Your MuMu (cutest name, huh?). This brand has soooo many light and airy boho tops, dresses and skirts, you'll end up browsing the site for hours (guilty). I was sent this Moon Tunic ($136) in the Muami Sunset print, and it's one of my fav ways to brighten up my wardrobe and put a lil' pep in my step because shouldn't our wardrobe be more FUN? I know mine could stand to be! Honestly, I tried wearing it with cutoffs like the models in the photos, but just felt silly (err, and my legs a littttttle more Pure Barre. and a tan). So, I've found leather leggings are my fav way to style it if I'm not wearing flare jeans. But I'm not kidding you when I say there are zillions of tunics (and kimonos! and dresses!), I would just die to wear on the Show Me Your MuMu site. 

And can you believe this necklace is Avon? Yes! They sent me this Modern Multi-Chain necklace from their fall collection, and I can't get over how on trend it is! I love to wear it with a simple tee to dress things up. And, of course, my Rebecca Minkoff Knocked Up diaper bag will forever be on my arm...filled to the brim. I can't tell you what a lifesaver.

There's no real Trimdown Thursday update this week because I've been fluctuating a couple pounds here and there. One day the scale declared my GOAL weight, but I'm not counting it because it hasn't stayed consistent yet. I'm just watching what I eat and continuing to get in some exercise so that that scale will stay on the post-baby number and I can finally declare it via this blog and on my Weight Watchers weight tracker. So, so close!! And whew. Can I say this body's glad this was the last baby?! =)

P.S. Did I tell you I took baby L. to get this hair shown here blown out last week? She's an angel baby! But the salon trip? Major fail. Not sure what had her bugging that day but she was not herself, without a single smile and major tears. Sigh. Someday she'll love the beauty salon. Some day. But next time I might just have to do my cut solo...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Whiny Wednesday: How To Make Your Own Baby Food

Hi! I'm a new mom and I make my own baby food. I've always wanted to say that because I've always wanted to be one of those. You know, those domestic mamas. Those who cook, clean and sew their own baby clothes all while toting their tot in a handy carrier...and breastfeeding on the side. Well, I can't say I do all of that (and honestly I'm ok with that), but...I do make some of baby L's puréed food now with my new Baby Brezza I was sent and I'm so excited. Because I know what I'm making and that it's good for her! It's also just a tad bit fun... and I can already tell cheaper! (Makes a ton of food from just one veggie!) 

Honestly getting started was the hardest part because the silly thing had been siting on my kitchen counter for a couple months before I even touched it. I had to wash the parts first, and then (finally!) this weekend I attempted using it. I think I was a little intimidated by the whole process, but you know what? Now that I've used it I know it's WAY easy! 

I started very simple so have just puréed sweet potatoes and apples alone. Next I'm going to get fancier and combine things using the recipe booklet included. I also learned I need to add spices like cinnamon in order for baby L not to make a funny (!) sour face. Oh, but it was great. She loved my sweet potatoes and that in itself made me so happy! 
I store all of the food in these cute little silicone pods by Dr. Brown that I bought at Marshall's. They can be frozen this way and contain about a serving. They can also go in the dishwasher and microwave...yay! 

You just fill the steam hole at the back with water...put your chopped up food in the bowl and hit the steam & blend button for however long you need...that's it! I also like to add a touch of water to the bowl to make sure it's extra soft since she doesn't have any teeth yet and has just started solids. I usually steam & blend for 15-20 minutes. The coolest part is after you hit the button it automatically switches from steam to blend FOR you and then it beeps when done (so don't do it during nap time!). You can also steam only or blend only. 

Now I'm just looking for things I can make. I never thought I'd fall in love with a food processor, but looks like I have! My new weekend hobby when I'm not shoe shopping, perhaps. :)

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I still love using organic food pouches as much as the next girl (especially when we're on the go), but so glad this machine saves me some money and from darting out to the store every third day. ;) 


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