DIY Painted Rainbow Mural

Our playroom has been an ever-evolving space in our home. It’s funny that we are paying so much attention to it now as our kids are a little older, but they definitely still have a lot of toys and I know the room can continue to evolve as their needs change, but I wish we would have done so much of this sooner! After we installed the IKEA Billy built-ins in the room it truly transformed the space. It was a serious game-changer. It looks beautiful and it hides all-the-things so well and made it easier to keep everything nicely organized in bins. I used Caitlin from The Mama Notes’ post as our guide!

Anyhow, once the built-ins were installed I was itching to continue to spruce up the space. We had one HUGE empty wall that was just calling for something. I had seen some large-scale removable rainbow decals that looked like they would be perfect, but when I went to purchase the total came out to $700+ dollars. Yep, you read that right! Nearly $1,000!!!! That was way over our budget for that wall, so I kept looking. I couldn’t find anything I liked for under $400.

We are truly the least handy/crafty people around so it really didn’t cross my mind to paint the rainbow on the wall myself until I put out a request to find someone to do it for us on Instagram and I had an overwhelming number of messages from people saying I should just do it myself! Even then, I hesitated. I got quotes from three awesome artists and most were out of my price-range, so I just sat on the whole idea for a while. Then over the winter break I decided to just go for it and trying painting it myself. I figured the worst that happens is I have to paint over it. Now, looking back I’m so glad I did it. It’s certainly not perfect and a professional would have no doubt done a much better job. But for something that is likely temporary-ish (I’m sure the kids will grow out of a rainbow design in years to come and we’ll do something else with the wall/space), I think it is just great!

Okay, so how’d I do it. First, I scoured the internet for an image of a rainbow with the number of stripes I wanted in the style I wanted. Then I used our projector to project the image of the rainbow onto the wall. I used pencil to trace the lines of the rainbow onto the wall.

Next, I went to Home Depot to get the paint. I knew we were going to put up these wall decals on the opposite wall so I wanted to stay in this color family, so that’s how I chose. Choosing the paint colors made me really nervous because I know that a lot of times what is on a paint chip is not necessarily exactly how it looks on a wall, but I just kind of winged it. We used all Behr paints because that is what was readily available at Home Depot. We bought sample sizes of each color we picked which is only $3.50 each and there was even plenty leftover from the project. I spent more money on the one paint brush I used as I did on paint! I knew I wanted the paint brush to be high quality. Here are the supplies I ended up with:

  1. Wooster Pro 4″ Flat Paint Brush


2. Behr Premium Ultra Paint in Satin Enamel Finish


3. Plastic Paint Trays


4. Scotch Blue Painters Tape


Here are the Behr colors we used:


Once I had all the supplies (we had an old plastic dropcloth laying around that I reused) I got to painting! I knew I wanted it to look perfectly imperfect, I wanted to see brush strokes and wanted it to look very freehand. I just went for it not really knowing what I was doing! And here’s how it turned out:

Playroom Rainbow (1 of 1)Playroom Rainbow (1 of 1)-2


Five Must-Have Products for Traveling Internationally with Kids

Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat

Traveling with babies and kids is not the easiest in large part because of all the stuff they require. One of the most annoying — yet absolutely essential — things to transport for kids are their car seats. I have heard too many horror stories about the condition of car seats at rental car places so we have never gone that route. I just generally don’t trust using any car seat but our own.

When the kids were in infant seats we traveled with the Cosco Scenera Next — SUPER lightweight and safe and incredibly affordable at under $50. Still a pain to lug around, but not nearly as bad as their regular car seats at home that are much larger and heavier. This car seat bag is a great option for getting through the airport more smoothly, or we have clipped ours onto our bags using these, too (but found that this isn’t sturdy enough to also have the kids in it like pictured so keep that in mind)

For Europe, we knew we wouldn’t be in cars much at all so we definitely didn’t want to bring their huge car seats. We opted to use the Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat. It folds up small enough to fit in your handbag or backpack and is just as safe as a typical booster. How does it work? A regular booster seat lifts the child up to meet the seat belt, the Mifold seat pulls the belt down into perfect position for your child. Both have the same function of getting the seat belt in the correct place for optimal safety for your child, just done in different ways.

The age requirement for this is technically four-years-old, and James is only 3, but we felt comfortable using it for him because he met the height and weight requirements. Use your own discretion and do what you feel comfortable with! Now we’re so glad to have these seats for easy transport for school carpools, sleepovers with grandma, etc!

The Clutch Stroller by Delta Children

We’ve gotten through five years of parenthood with the use of only one stroller — our UppaBaby Cruz which we highly, highly recommend. It is lightweight enough that we have always opted to bring it along with us when we traveled and we used it with the kick board so we could accommodate two kids (there is no option for two seats with the Cruz, only the Vista). That said, it is lightweight, but a lot larger than we wanted for our trip to Europe and would have been an extra bag to check in or lug through an airport. I knew there was no way the kids could handle all the walking we’d be doing so I started searching for travel strollers that were super lightweight and small enough to fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment. I ended up stumbling upon the Clutch Stroller by Delta Children and it had such amazing reviews and was very similar to some other strollers that costed more than three times the price. It weighs only 11.7 pounds and has a weight limit of 50 pounds so works for older kids! Elodie was borderline too big for it, but it worked out just fine. It did amazingly well on cobblestone streets, had a nice size basket below and was easy to maneuver. Biggest complain was that it doesn’t have a full recline for napping on the go, but the kids still managed to sleep in it!

Truthfully I would have loved to have two strollers or a double stroller because there was definitely whining and complaining from the kid who wasn’t in the stroller, but that just wasn’t feasible with all the other bags we had so we just went with one and it was fine. Amber recommends the Double Zoe Stroller if you want to look into that!


AmazonBasics 4-Piece Packing Travel Organizer Cubes Set – Medium

Before this trip to Europe we were packing cube virgins. Now after using them for just this one trip we are totally hooked and can’t imagine traveling without them. For one: they definitely give you the ability to pack more in the same amount of space. When you use the rolling method to fold everything into the packing cube you are able to fit so many more items into your suitcase. But my favorite part of the cubes is how it made unpacking SO EASY and it made everything organized and easy to find. This is especially key when you are traveling multiple places and will be unpacking and repacking a lot.

When we got to our destination all we had to do was pull the packing cubes out of our bags and place them into drawers. You have easy visibility and access to everything so long as you packed wisely. Each of us had 3-4 cubes (I overpacked!). For the kids I had one for PJs and swim stuff, one for tops and one for bottoms. Followed roughly the same approach for me but added one for dresses. I liked having all the cubes one size, but they come in packs of multiple sizes if you prefer that. Seriously can’t recommend packing cubes enough!

JetKids by Stoke BedBox Ride-On Carry-On Suitcase

I mentioned the BedBox on my last post but wanted to touch on a few more things I love about these suitcases. They fit under the seat in front of you and if you don’t need the bed portion you can buy it simply as a Ride-On suitcase (and add the bed part later if necessary). We got SO many comments in all the airports about how amazing they looked and how well our kids did with them. They maneuver well around turns and on bumps (within reason haha) and our kids never got sick of them. If they weren’t riding them they were pulling them happily themselves. One thing to note is there isn’t a ton of space for extra stuff if you have the bedding in there. We had room for a few snacks and small activities but not much else!


World Travel Adapter Kit with Dual USB + 2 US Outlets and Surge Protection

This is kind of random, but we were so impressed with this adapter we used. It had USBs built right in so we could charge both of our phones throughout the night without having to have two separate adapters and we could ALSO plug in other appliances at the same time. I was also able to easily plug in my curling iron and loved that this has surge protection so you don’t damage any of your electronics (which I have sadly done before). And it’s under $25!

These are the few products that stood out in making our trip more seamless with kiddos. If you have any you swear by, comment below!



15 Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Salad Recipes

thanksgiving salad recipes.jpg

Somehow, in all the years of Thanksgiving feasts, I’ve never been tasked with bringing a salad for the holiday! So naturally, when this was our assignment for our upcoming Friendsgiving next weekend, I turned to my trusty Instagram followers to find a winning recipe to bring with us. And they did not disappoint! I was overwhelmed with responses and also many requests to share the love, so here they are! 15 mouth-watering options for Thanksgiving salads.

Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with Hazelnut Crunch by Martha Stewartshredded-brussels-sprout-salad-with-hazelnut-crunch-103107138_horiz

Thanksgiving Lentil Salad by The Kitchn174e4fcac666f93884127056deb4f8da6b4dff56

Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranates and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds by Pamela Salzmanbutternut squash salad

Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad by What’s Gaby CookingWGC-Shredded-Brussels-Salad-copy-3

The Fall Salad You Won’t Be Able To Quit by Simple Real HealthProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

Winter Burrata Salad by Camille Stylescamillestyleswinterburratasalads

Roquefort Pear Salad by The Girl Who Ate Everythingroquefortpearsalad.jpg

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad by Better Homes and Gardensfreshcitrusandcranberrysalad

Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad by The New York Times07COOKING-GARLICKALESALAD2-articleLarge

Roasted Squash Salad with Crispy Shallot and Balsamic Reduction by Minimalist BakerAMAZING-Roasted-Squash-Salad-with-Nut-Cheese-and-Balsamic-Reduction-30-minutes-10-ingredients-BIG-flavor-squash-glutenfree-dinner-vegan-salad-minimalistbaker-recipe-6.jpg

Autumn Chopped Salad by Espresso and Creamautumnchoppedsalad-1-1.jpg

Fall Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette by With Whit & SaltFall-Harvest-Salad.jpg

Roasted Cauliflower, Feta and Orzo Salad by Chrissy Teigen {photo by Savor Chic}1466611117102.jpg

Feel-Good Fall Salad by Gimme Some OvenAutumn-Harvest-Salad-Recipe-with-Sweet-Potatoes-Avocado-Cranberries-and-Pecans-1-1

Kale and Brussels Slaw by Sprouted Kitchen1448295911394


Three Products That Have Improved My Sleep + Energy

IMG_0467For whatever reason I have always been skeptical of “things” to make me look younger, feel better, blah blah. I didn’t really ever do vitamins (unless I was pregnant), I never used any special skincare products and I just never really fussed with any special “stuff”! But, here I am at 32-years-old, a mother of a 2 and 4-year-old, and let me tell you… I was in need of STUFF. GIVE ME ALL THE STUFF to help me look more rested, feel more energetic and sleep better (when I actually found the time to sleep!).

The last year I really committed to doing things to benefit my body, and products are just one area of improvement. Other things I’ve done will have to be another post for another day (hint: I’m now a morning person and have become addicted to Barre). These are things you can BUY now, preferably on Amazon (hello Prime two-day shipping) and start seeing improvements with energy, sleep and just overall health ASAP!

A Daily Probiotic. My sister had been singing the praises of her probiotics long before I actually decided to dive in. It was an article I read, for which I can’t find the link anymore, that finally convinced me. I’m not a doctor so I can’t really recite all the benefits eloquently, but to me, a daily probiotic has basically been a magic lifesaver. No more bloating, less stress, better moods… The list goes on for the benefits I felt. I take this one and love that it’s just a once daily (and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated). It was recommended by my naturopath, so I think it’s a good one!

Chlorophyll Drops. My morning routine used to start with a cup of coffee. Yes, I had always heard and read that starting your day with a glass of water (especially with lemon) was really good for you, but I just really wanted to get straight to my coffee. Well, I kept seeing Sarah Adler of Simply Real Health boast the benefits of starting her day with a glass of water with chlorophyll drops and I finally picked some up and started this new routine and… well, like magic I truly feel more energized when I start my day with the chlorophyll water vs. a cup of coffee straight away. Maybe this would be the case with even just a big glass of regular water, but for now I am sticking with this! (the drops are dark green and it looks kind of scary, but the ones I get taste like peppermint, which is a lovely way to wake up in the morning!)

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement. I have never been the best sleeper, but since becoming a parent and dealing with lots of broken sleep, added stress, busier schedulers, etc etc it seems I’ve become an even worse sleeper. A few months ago I had HAD IT with the length of time it was taking me to fall asleep every night and the restless sleep I was having once I finally did fall asleep. I kept hearing the praises of this magnesium supplement and it is remarkable how much better I sleep on the nights I remember to take it (especially when I drink it like a tea with hot water, it’s just so soothing!). I also stopped scrolling my phone before bed and reading a real book instead, which makes an enormous difference in the time it takes me to fall asleep and shut my brain off.

In addition to these three things I also have been loving drinking a matcha latte with collagen peptides as a naptime treat if I’m feeling particular sluggish that day. My favorite way to make it is to warm up some milk on the stove, then add it to my blender, add a little simple syrup and vanilla, two teaspoons of matcha and a scoop of collagen peptides and blend until frothy and all combined. I do this hot or cold and I personally love the taste and it is a much healthier alternative to coffee and doesn’t hinder my ability to fall asleep that night like a cup of coffee would!

So there you have it! A few things you can add to your daily routine that might just help give you that extra pep in your step you need. I’d love to hear if you have any vitamins/supplements/products that have been life-changers for you!

How I Weaned James at 13 Months


A couple weeks ago I shared a personal post on Instagram about the end of my breastfeeding journey with James at 13 months. There were SO many kind words, and so many mamas made me feel like I’m not alone in this bittersweet feeling of both excitement for the freedom I’m getting back, but pure heartbreak that I’ll never nurse James again. A lot of people asked how I went about weaning James, so I thought I’d share my experience. I know this is a very personal topic, and what worked for me might not work for another mama, but I hope you’ll find comfort or ideas in my journey.

From the very beginning James was a quick nurser, but ate frequently. He was like clockwork ready to get on the boob every two hours for at least the first 3-4 months. Once we started getting him on a more regular nap schedule, the feedings spaced out to about every three hours, but we didn’t get much beyond that until the very end. After I quit my job in January, it was harder for me to have a set feeding schedule. I was around all the time, so I basically just nursed James whenever it seemed like he wanted to. He also started all-out refusing bottles at 8-months-old after I accidentally went a few weeks without offering one (we went on vacation and I didn’t bring bottles or pump stuff, cause who wants to pump when they don’t have to? And then it was the holidays and our schedule was nuts so I just never needed to give him a bottle!).

When James was around 11 months, and as we neared his first birthday (and our trip to California was on the horizon), I knew I needed to start working on weaning. The first thing I did was to actually adhere to a schedule, so then I could start working on slowly and strategically dropping/combining feedings. At 11 months, James was napping twice a day, so my schedule was this:

+Nurse him at first wake-up (this was around 4AM at the time)
+Solid food breakfast when he was up for the day – around 7AM
+Nurse him before first nap (around 8:30/9)
+Solid food lunch around noon
+Nurse him before second nap (around 2PM)
+Solid food dinner around 5:30PM
+Nurse him before going down for bed (around 6:45PM)

Once I decided I wanted his feedings to be on a schedule as opposed to on-demand, it really wasn’t that difficult for him to pick up on the schedule. And as you can see, he was getting SOME kind of food pretty much around the clock, so he was fed and happy 😉 Of course if he was sick or teething, etc, then the schedule went out the window. But more-or-less, this is what our days looked like at 11 months.

A couple weeks after establishing our schedule I started working on dropping one of the daytime feedings. I went into weaning knowing I wanted the morning feed to be the last one I dropped. This was because I was most full in the mornings and also because of the convenience of dropping daytime nursing and bedtime nursing (so mama could go have her date nights and girls’ nights without first needing to feed the bottle-refusing baby).

Another thing I had to consider while weaning was the fact that James refused to drink breastmilk or water out of any sippy cup or bottle. At 11.5 months I finally felt comfortable giving James some cow’s milk, and sure enough he liked it so much, he sort of started to drink an ounce or two out of a sippy cup, so I was less concerned about him getting really dehydrated with me cutting a nursing session. Now instead of feeding him before each nap, I nursed him just before he ate lunch (so he wouldn’t get full on solids then not nurse). I was concerned he wouldn’t nap as well without nursing before, so I would often give him a snack (like yogurt or a piece of toast) before he’d go down for a nap. This also helped start disassociating nursing with naptime/bedtime.

Now, here’s where I had some unintentional help, which ended up being both a blessing and a curse. Right when I was thinking of dropping the one daytime feeding we had left (just shy of James’ first birthday), I got a really bad stomach virus and spent all night one night throwing up. That stomach virus really dried up my milk. This was a blessing because we were going to California a week later and I was hoping I would only have to pump morning and night while I was there, but a curse because I was honestly hoping to hold on to nursing morning/night for longer than I did, but my milk just dried up really quickly after the stomach virus.

Despite the big dip in my supply, I kept pumping twice a day, morning and night, on our trip (we left the day after James’ first birthday) so I could continue to nurse James when we got home. I was only pumping around five ounces each session at this point, so barely anything! While we were away, James was forced to figure out drinking from a sippy cup since that was his only way to intake a good amount of liquids. My mom was watching him during our trip and she is amazing and really helped him with this. It was such a relief. It was something I stressed over for MONTHS!!

Once we got home from my birthday trip, I pretty quickly and easily dropped the night nursing session (this got replaced with a 4oz sippy cup of milk before bed, which we’re still doing now and he just turned 13 months). I continued nursing him in the morning for the rest of the month, but I could tell I didn’t have a ton of milk and by this point James was probably doing it more for comfort than anything. I was still loving breastfeeding, though, so I kept on. I was so grateful that I never got overly engorged or had to go to any extreme measures to dry up my milk, but it was also bittersweet because it felt like it wasn’t on my terms. I guess no matter how it happens it is hard!

In the end, it was another trip to California, this time to Los Angeles to visit my sister, that ultimately marked the end of our nursing journey. I just couldn’t bear to drag my pump along knowing I hardly had any milk anyway, so I used this trip as an excuse to signal the end. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it three days without at least hand-expressing, but I literally didn’t even barely get full over the three days! Cleary the milk supply was very low. Even after not breastfeeding or pumping at all for three days, I still nursed James when I got home and he latched on like I never left.

Honestly, I kept thinking I would feel ready to be done at some point. And maybe if I waited a REALLY LONG TIME, I might’ve gotten there, but it didn’t seem like I would feel that way anytime soon. It mostly got emotionally exhausting for me knowing I hardly had any milk left and every morning I would wonder IS THIS THE LAST TIME I’LL EVER NURSE MY BABY? I decided I didn’t want to wait for the morning James refused me and instead I would end our journey on my terms. So the day he turned 13 months I nursed him for the last time (oh geeze, now I’m getting all teary…).

There were so many times during our 13 months I felt overwhelmed by the weight of being the sole food provider for James. There were so many times I’d daydream of leaving overnight and getting a full night of sleep, or even just going out for a self-care day and not have to worry about pumping or missing a feeding. Especially when James started refusing bottles, I felt like I was being stretched to my limit. It was so demanding. And yet, it was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. For all the moments I felt utterly exhausted from being a human milk machine, I had ten more moments of pure heart-bursting contentment having the opportunity to nurse James. When it’s good, it’s so good.  I feel so lucky I was able to make it as long as I did <3


Carmel-By-The-Sea Trip Recap

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I turned 30 last year, in 2016, just three days after James was born. Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a big birthday celebration — I didn’t even have a glass of wine! I vowed that I would get a “re-do” for my 31st birthday.

After a lot of thinking, we decided a trip to Northern California — specifically Carmel & Napa would be the perfect adults-only vacation to celebrate my 31st birthday, but also to celebrate making it through the first year of parenting two kiddos. And boy did we need that vacation after the year we had! Let’s just say James doesn’t like to sleep as much as his mom and dad 😉

I had a lot of people on Instagram ask for by Carmel (and Napa!) recommendations, so I thought I’d get them all down in a post for anyone who’s interested! If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out to me directly. I’ll be doing a post on Napa as well, so keep your eyes out for that! Alright here we go…


We stayed at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands on points. Honestly, for the price we wouldn’t pay to stay there. The rooms are small and need to be renovated. We loved the property itself and the wood-burning fireplaces in the room, but we weren’t “wow-ed” by the terrace we had or the room itself.

Places to look into staying: Ventana, Post Ranch Inn, Cypress Inn, Mission Ranch


La Bicyclette – we enjoyed a delicious dinner here, they also do breakfast and lunch! We loved the romantic and quaint vibe.


Mission Ranch: A must for dinner! Absolutely gorgeous (and unique) setting and the food was fantastic. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations, so plan to get there early and possibly get a drink or two and walk around the property while waiting for your table. Have I mentioned there are sheep? I was in heaven!


California Market at Pacific’s Edge: Great spot for lunch or dinner for INCREDIBLE views and the food was really good, too. This was on-site at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. Great spot!


The Bench: Restaurant overlooking the 18th hole at Pebble Beach golf course. Absolutely amazing view, delicious food and perfect place to stop at the end of the 17-Mile-Drive.

Carmel Bakery: Good option for a quick pastry (they honestly didn’t blow me away, but pretty good)

Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company: This was our go-to for coffee in the mornings! We’re coffee snobs and we thought this stuff was good! They also have pastries and food.FullSizeRender-8

Dametra: We didn’t actually make it to this restaurant, but it was recommended to us by MANY, MANY people (need reservations)

Other spots to look into (were recommended to us), but we didn’t actually try:

The Tuck Box (cute spot for breakfast)


Hog’s Breath (sit around the fire pit for drinks)

Post Ranch Inn


WOULD NOT RECOMMEND: Many people recommended Katy’s Place to us for breakfast. We found the food very mediocre and over-priced for what it was. I know that sounds harsh!! I think we’re just so spoiled with amazing brunch food in Portland, this place just didn’t hit the spot. Maybe we ordered wrong?!




Drive Highway 1 along the coast, stop at many viewpoints along the way (don’t miss Bixby Creek Bridge) if you can go to Big Sur (we couldn’t, the road was closed due to a landslide), heard great things about Nepenthe for a drink with a killer view.


Just walk up and down the streets of Carmel-By-The-Sea and look at the cutest homes and downtown area, go down to the beach


We weren’t super impressed by Monterey, we stopped in and walked around for an hour or so, but it wasn’t very charming and it was super touristy (at least what we saw of it). If we went again, I’d love the locals perspective on where to go because I’ve heard such great things, we just didn’t get a great vibe!


Point Lobos (we didn’t have time to make it here, but heard it’s great if it isn’t too crowded)

You could do a hike — there are plenty in the area, we didn’t have time!


We were only in Carmel for three nights and it was so charming and there were still a couple things left we could’ve done and stayed one more night, especially if you wanted to see the area at a more leisure pace like we did! Hope this has helped you if you’re interested in a trip to Carmel!

Five Things I’ve Learned: My First Month as a SAHM

**This post was written on February 6, 2017**

one of my first outings as a stay-at-home mama, to the oregon zoo

Today marks my first full month as a stay-at-home mama! Truth be told, it actually feels a lot longer than a month, but not necessarily in a bad way! I feel like I’ve just been learning a lot and getting into a new groove. I was so grateful for all the advice I got on my Instagram post a while back, so many amazing tips, many I put to good use! So one month in as a SAHM, here’s what I’ve learned, what’s working and where I could use some improvement!

O N E // I didn’t learn this first fact this month, but this month just really reiterated it: I am not a morning person. I’m not the type that wakes up chipper in the AM, ready to start the day (like my husband!). I need slow… quiet.. coffee.. I find that when I have the opportunity to have some quiet alone time in the mornings, our day gets off on a much better foot — this definitely means daddy taking over in the morning until he needs to go to work. More on that later!

T W O // Getting out of the house every day — whether for a big or little outing — is key! Not only does getting out of the house give me good reason to be clothed and have makeup on (which for whatever reason actually makes me feel more energized during the day), but it tires the kids out, gets them social interaction, and makes our days go by quicker. It’s really a win all around, so we try really hard to make this happen!

T H R E E // If we are going somewhere (so, ideally, every day), we need to start the getting ready process from the moment the troops are awake. I literally spend the entire first part of the morning getting the kids fed, dressed and the diaper bag packed in preparation for an outing. Nothing sucks more than running around like a crazy person minutes before needing to leave and then being late. Also, did you know that toddlers are especially defiant when you want them to do something quickly?

F O U R // My toddler watches way more TV now that she is home with me. This is something I definitely want to work on, but as I am trying to get my bearings being home with both kids, the TV inevitably gets turned on more often than I would like. I try really hard to set Elodie up with activities to do while I am feeding James, getting James down for nap, or trying to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner, but sometimes she is just not in the mood and the only thing that will give me the time I need is to put a movie on. C’est la vie. Suggestions welcome! [excited to give an update here as I’m nearly five months in now and this has definitely improved! yay!]

F I V E // I don’t miss work. At all. Not even on the hardest days.  It’s true I’m only a month in. And I’m sure the newness and excitement will surely wear off, but for now, I have never looked back on this decision to stay home. I am more in love with my kids than ever, am so grateful to have this extra time with them, and am fully embracing this season of life. I know I’ll be back to work someday, so for now I am soaking up these incredibly special days with them.

I have so much more to say about transitioning from a full-time working parent to a stay-at-home parent. Stay tuned!


I love hearing about people’s tried and true beauty products — it’s pretty much the only way I find new products to use since I’m not much of a beauty junky and I’m not willing to risk spending a bunch of money on something I won’t ending up loving. Over the years I’ve found a few beauty buys that I have stuck with and absolutely love!!



One // Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser works to take off my makeup better than any cleanser I’ve ever tried and it doesn’t have a smell!

Two // I’ve been using Moroccan Oil for YEARS. I have naturally very thick, wavy hair (not cute wavy, frizzy weird wavy). I should share a photo of what my hair looks like after I blowdry it — it is huge and needs to be tamed! If I ever had any doubt that this product works to do just that, last year I randomly forgot to use it (must’ve been pregnancy brain) and I had several coworkers comment on how my hair looked different! Ha!

Three // I used to be a strictly drugstore mascara gal, until I found the IT Cosmetics Superhero Maskcare (thanks to Lauren McBride!). This stuff is so good — it lengthens and thickens and makes my lashes almost look fake! I’m hooked.

Four // Listen up tired mamas, you NEED this concealer. This is another one I heard about from miss Lauren and I am so glad I gave it a try. This concealer hides the fact that I have an infant and toddler at home and don’t get nearly as much sleep as I would like. My sister (a total beauty junkie who also has her own infant and toddler at home) ended up buying this too after noticing that I never looked tired even though she knew that I most definitely was 🙂

Five // I’ve had people comment on how “flawless” my skin looks — well, as much as I hate to admit that it’s not my skin, I have to give credit to this mineral powder from Laura Mercier. It provides amazing coverage while not being cakey and it’s also luminous so it gives your skin great dimension. I love it!

Six // When I lived in Europe I became obsessed with Bioderma Micellar H20. I didn’t even wash my face with a traditional face wash, I only used the Micellar water. I loved what it did to my skin! Unfortunately, when we moved home from Amsterdam it was really hard (and expensive) to get my hands on the Bioderma product so I had to stop using it. Then Garnier released a Micellar Water in the last couple years and I was so skeptical it would be as good as the original French stuff, but I have to say it is amazing!! It’s a staple in my bathroom cabinet — I use it on nights I’m too lazy to wash my face or just when I want an extra layer of makeup removal.

So that’s it! My favorite beauty products. Now I need YOUR help — do you have an amazing facial moisturizer you love? And what are you favorite face masks for brightening and fine lines? I’m on the hunt! Any other amazing products I have to know about?

{Pregger Update: 36 Weeks}

How Far Along: I’ll be 37 weeks Thursday!
Size of Baby: She’s the size of a watermelon – 19-22 inches long and weighs about 6.5 pounds. Whoa.
Maternity Clothes: I’ve definitely bought my fair share of maternity clothes throughout this pregnancy! I just always felt like the maternity stuff fit better and was more flattering – considering it was made for a bump, I think that makes sense! I can still miraculously wear a few pre-pregnancy things, but the number of those items is dwindling by the day!
If you’re wondering, my favorite places for maternity clothes have been:
Paige Maternity Jeans via Pea in the Pod
Stretch Marks: Still slathering on the belly butter and still stretch mark free… Fingers crossed…
Sleep: Eh, it’s okay! I get up 3-4 times a night to pee, so that’s not exactly fun. But other than that, it’s actually not so bad. Trying to get all the rest I can get before little lady arrives 🙂
Best Moment of the Week:  Working on the nursery. We’re almost finished! Corey and I pulled it all together really quickly in the end. I am so proud of the room – it’s definitely my favorite space in the house. Just a few more details to add and then I’ll share pictures here!
 Movement:  Good grief this girl is always on the move. I thought by this point she was supposed to be a little more crammed for space, but judging by all the kicks and flips I feel all day long, I find that hard to believe! I do have to admit I really love it. And if I don’t feel her for even 30 minutes I start missing her rolling around in there (and, admittedly, get a little worried).
Cravings: I love eating cereal these days – Honey Nut Cheerios. And I could eat Thai food every single day (but that’s been the case this entire pregnancy). Not loving meat, which is kind of a new thing as of the last month or so…
Gender: Little Lady!
Belly Button In or Out: It goes back and forth. At this very moment it’s out!
Wedding Ring on or Off: On! Knock on wood, I haven’t dealt with a lot of swelling during this pregnancy, so I hope I can wear them until the end.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: Nausea started coming back for me pretty consistently as soon as the third trimester started. As long as I’m good about snacking and drinking lots of water I’m usually okay.
What I Miss: Being able to stand and walk for long periods of time without having intense back and pelvic pain, being more graceful (getting off the couch or out of bed ain’t pretty), and just generally feeling like “myself”. I want to do everything I used to do when I wasn’t pregnant and I get frustrated easily when I realize I need to slow down.
What I am Looking Forward to: Meeting our baby girl. I can’t believe it’s happening so soon. I just want to know what she looks like and stare into her eyes and finally meet this little lady that is consuming my thoughts and dreams! I cannot wait to see Corey holding her. I daydream about the moment we’ll meet her and it brings tears to my eyes. I just can’t wait.
Labor Signs: Tons and tons of Braxton Hicks contractions – and my body is definitely getting ready for this whole labor thing! My doctor doesn’t think I’ll go past my due date. I hope she didn’t jinx me!
Nursery: Almost done – need a couple picture frames, a side table for the rocking chair and a lamp!

Emotions:  Yeah, they’re all over the place as is to be expected when you’re nine months pregnant, right?! But overall, feeling really great and happy!