Posted on

Caring for Your Skin with Neutrogena

This post was sponsored by Neutrogena and contains affiliate links. All opinions are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

photo by christina judd

As I was walking down the hall, I could hear my mom humming in the bathroom. The door was open so I peeked in and saw Madeleine sitting on the counter swinging her legs hitting the cabinets under her. She had a makeup brush in her hand and brushed it along her face haphazardly. She looked up at my mom and imitated my mom as she brushed her hair. My mother nostalgically shared that I used to do the same thing when I was Madeleine’s age. It was such a beautiful moment witnessing granddaughter and grandmother. The funny thing is that my mom doesn’t look like a grandmother.

She often would get mistaken for my sister and people still don’t believe she has a 32 year old daughter and is a grandmother. Great genes? Definitely. But for as long as I can remember, she always put on face creams. I’m pretty sure she even told me years ago that I should start taking care of my face even before things like wrinkles showed up. She advised me to prevent or diminish things that come with age but of course I was just too lazy to have a skin routine. I barely would wipe my face with the makeup remover wipes. I just felt “too young” to be worrying about my skin, wrinkles and age spots. But now, I kind of want to be just like my mom. Continue reading Caring for Your Skin with Neutrogena

Posted on

Recipe: Chili Bean and Quinoa Tacos

This post was sponsored by S&W Beans and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


You know how some days you think that maybe feeding your family grilled cheese and cereal again probably isn’t a great idea. I get in a making dinner rut, too. I just don’t want to make it. But because I’m the only one that cooks I just have to do it- even if it is something simple. Continue reading Recipe: Chili Bean and Quinoa Tacos

Posted on

Connecting Through Fashion

This post was sponsored by Reebok through Activate Bloglovin’  
All opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

Is it shallow of me to think that fashion is more than just superficial- but that it can serve as a way to connect? When I see someone wearing a beautiful piece of clothing, I usually tell them. It often starts with a compliment and then leads to a conversation. And then sometimes friendship:
I remember one of the first times meeting my sister in law and she was wearing a hoodie with gorgeous pearl earrings after an evening at a bonfire. My husband, her brother, later told me that she knew we’d get along because we were both wearing the same thing. Silly? Yes. But, it’s true! Continue reading Connecting Through Fashion

Posted on

Let’s Talk: Video Baby Monitors

Let’s talk baby monitors. Sure, some people go without and that’s cool. Some people have the audio only monitors while others opt for the video monitors. Some people may be wondering why I even need a baby monitor anymore. My baby is almost 2! Two! I don’t even believe myself when I say that.

This post is sponsored by CocoonCam; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

The truth is- I have a little anxiety. I get a little nervous when my kids sleep longer than usual and if they are crying whether or not they are actually hurt or just want to get out of their crib. Sometimes I crack the door open to check on my baby and of course it creaks like the mother of all creaks. The baby stirs and jolts up because obviously when she hears the door creak that means it is party time! I don’t know why I do this to myself. My inquisitive mind needs to know she is safe. Plus, I really want to see when she starts climbing out of her crib so I can line the perimeter with pillows….or just get her a toddler bed. Continue reading Let’s Talk: Video Baby Monitors

Posted on

Tips to Coordinating Kid’s Easter Outfits

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

baby easter dress | baby sandals (sold out but linked to similar)

toddler easter dress | sandals | headbands (similar)

I think there are only a handful of times when I am actively trying to get my kids to wear coordinating/matching outfits: Christmas, Easter and when we take family pictures. Any more and I’d drive myself mad! Running from store to store trying to pick out something that matches the other store’s outfit and the one in the closet…..ahhh it’s just too much. I rarely go to store anymore. I prefer to online shop and that makes things easier but after having to plan for multiple of these events for years already, I’ve learned a few things when trying to coordinate outfits for my kids for special days like Easter.

  1. Try to shop from one store. Stores, like Carter’s, usually have a unifying color palette throughout their departments from babies to kids. I got shirts, shoes, bowties (the ones I got sold out but linked to similar one) and dress shorts for my boys that coordinate perfectly with the girls’ cute spring dresses. And if you can find shoes, bonus!
  2. Pick a statement piece (like a bold floral pattern) for one or two people to wear. Then pick subtler (like light stripes or even a solid color) coordinating pieces for everyone else. For those wearing the subtler main piece, try to sneak in a little oomph with texture (like a crochet dress), a patterned shirt layered under, a patterned bow tie or embroidered bottoms. Alternating the patterns (within patterns and from top to bottom pieces) is important so doesn’t look cluttered and overloaded.
  3. Know before you go. If you are planning on going to the physical store, then I say you have to do your research and check their online store. See what they have and see if it matches your criteria. It saves you from having to go from store to store to see what they have. When shopping for multiple kids I also look for coupons or promo codes because…ouch! Kids grow out of their stuff quickly (goodbye baby clothes) and it hurts to spend all that money! So if I can save some money I will look for it! Lucky for you I have a special 25% off Carter’s coupon promo code that you can use online or in-store when you spend $40. My kids just steal the show, huh? I can’t wait to take pictures of them all dressed up for Easter before we head to church…or maybe after because church is too early we are always rushing to get there on time.

It is still a little cool here but my kids are anxious for spring weather so they can stock up on some more cute and stylish tees and knit shorts so they can play in the sun comfortably and alllll dayyyy long! And can’t forget the swimwear….. my little fishies live in the water in the summer time.

I wish you well on your journey to dress your kids this coming Easter. Seriously, I know it can be a pain but it’s only a couple of times a year. Can’t wait to see all the kiddos in their darling Easter outfits. Tag me on Instagram so I can see!

 

 

Posted on

Grocery Shopping for Busy Moms

I held my baby on one arm, held my daughter’s hand with the other. I asked my oldest son to hold his younger brother’s hand and asked him to hold onto my purse as we crossed the parking lot and towards the sliding doors. We headed towards the daycare, yes this grocery has a daycare for kids under 5, and I started to sign the kids in. My oldest couldn’t go in, the other one was on a clingy streak and my daughter wouldn’t go without her brother. I looked at the daycare worker and sighed. Guess we were all going grocery shopping.

My squirmy baby started wiggling out of her seat while another kid started grabbing snacks and putting into the cart. The other two started wrestling in the aisles. And then one started screaming and telling me he wanted another mom because I said he had to sit in the cart. I was at the end of my rope and told him that there were a ton of moms there so he could just pick any one! And then we left with only 1/4 of my list completed. I came home exhausted and vowed never ever ever to take my kids shopping again. And then it happens again because I need to get food. But for the past 6 months I have changed my ways. 

This post doesn’t have pretty pictures but it’s a post to help other moms that may have had similar experiences or just would rather use their time better than to be at supermarket. I just want to share a list of services I use to keep myself sane, save hours of time and still get food into my fridge. I will go to the grocery maybe once a month with my baby to pick up emergency items like milk. Well, let’s include one picture of squirmy baby because she is pretty darn cute.

One thing that really helps limit either physical trips to the grocery store or ordering online frequently is meal planning. I will take about an hour every couple of weeks to plan out two weeks worth of dinners and special occasions like holiday celebrations or parties. Once I do that, then I order from Instacart for the bulk size items and Safeway/Fred Meyers.

Instacart: I order my Costco items from here about 2-3 times a month. I usually order that third time to get snacks for parties or for the kids’ classrooms. While I do pay a little extra for the items and delivery, it is worth it to me to spend about 30 min-1 hr ordering and putting stuff away when I would normally spend at least 2.5-3 hours driving to and from, shopping and putting it away. I get my bulk sized items here like bagels, fish, bread, fruits, cleaning supplies and snacks for the kids. You can get a yearly membership which gives you free deliveries over $35 and within 2 hours. I don’t have a membership so I just pay for delivery as needed. Oh and one thing I really like about it is that you can share your cart with a friend! That means they can add on to your cart and you just pay for 1 delivery fee. The other person will have to pick up their stuff but it is helpful if you only have a couple of items you need but can’t make it to the store or want to pay a delivery charge for few items. You can sign up using this link and this Instacart referral code: BBIRDFBE83 and you can save $10 off your first order + free delivery.

Safeway Delivery: I use this maybe 1-2 a month for things that I don’t want monster size of and any specialty items. I also get beef, veggies, cream cheese, etc. The price is the same as in store prices. You do have to pay delivery fees but it’s about $6 and I am totally down paying $6 for someone to bring me my groceries. They also have promo codes regularly so sometimes I don’t have to pay for deliveries.

Clicklist: This is a Kroger pick up service. You order online and schedule a time for pick up.I use this when I know I will be running errands around Fred Meyers. Not sure what the benefit is besides just knowing I won’t be home for deliveries but I buy the same things as I do at Safeway. And it is the same price and you can use coupons.

Prime Pantry: I like to use this on occasion, perhaps once every 3-4 months for items I can’t find at Costco. There is a small fee even if you do have Amazon Prime but it is only about $6 I think. I get specialty cleaning supplies, toiletries or snacks for kids. You can get free shipping if you buy select items though.

I know some of you more mature mothers may shake your head at how easy we have it with all these delivery services. While I know you all have done it with your own kids this is just what works for me. My kids aren’t savages rampaging around the grocery store. Not all the time. And I’ve done it years before but right now it isn’t feasible. I have limited time and I’d rather not be using that time trying to find the items on my list while corralling the children. I’d rather order it online while I’m waiting for the kids to get out of school or while my baby is napping so I can do other stuff with my time. So, I hope this helps! It sure has freed up a lot of my time to do the things I love like play with my kids and sneak in a design or blog post. 😉

Posted on

A Little High Maintenance to Continue a Low Maintenance Lifestyle

This post was sponsored by Irresistible Me. I only partner with brands whose products and mission I truly believe in. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thank you for your support!

Last week I talked to you about microblading and how much I loooove my brows. Now I want to tell you about my clip-in hair extensions. Why you ask? Because I love them. Because I can have long hair and not actually have to do all that work to maintain it. I use it when I want that added volume and length but then I take them off and continue my mom-bun wearing ways. I first considered getting extensions a few years ago. I had just had a baby and my long hair was driving me craaaaazzzyyy. Like so crazy that I went and chopped it off to above my chin. I wasn’t brave enough for a pixie cut so I went as short as I dared. And I loved it. Until I hated it. That Christmas my husband asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted hair extensions. Hahaha- oh my, do we see a pattern here? He must think I’m nuts to always be asking for hair for my head or eyebrows. Anyway, I chopped it off because I hated the maintenance of long hair because who has time to take care of all that and kids but I loved the look of long hair. And then when I chopped it off I couldn’t go back.With hair extensions, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And I did. I was so excited when Irresistible Me contacted me to do a review for their hair extensions. I’ve been wanting to get hair extensions for ever. But then I went back and forth always thinking that hair extensions were for high maintenance people and that is so not me. I’m pretty chill. But then it actually dawned on me that this would help me live my low maintenance life style.I went on the website and picked out my choice of the Silky Touch clip-in hair extensions. I went with silky chocolate brown 22″ hair extensions. I was so nervous about picking the hair color because you need it to match so it doesn’t scream “she’s wearing fake hair!” Ya know? I mean you are wearing hair that isn’t your own but no one needs to know. Ha. So something that eased my mind about choosing a color is that if it doesn’t match, you can send it back.The hair comes sealed in a package that is divided into two compartments. One is the sample hair. You only open that side to make sure it matches your hair- just don’t clip it in or use any products on it. If it matches your hair and you are happy with the length, open the rest. If it doesn’t, DO NOT open the rest or else you can’t send it back.Full disclosure, when I ordered my hair it was lighter since it was ombre. But then I went crazy and bought some hair dye at the drug store because it was so outgrown it looked horrendous. Well, it picked up the darkest color ever even though I picked a medium brown color to match my previous color. I just wanted it all to be even but it was a botched job. I had already opened my hair and it didn’t match. My hair also hadn’t been cut in about 6 months so it was just a hot mess. A mess. I ended up going to a salon where they fixed my botched hair dye experiment and where she put in my clip-ins and cut my hair with them in. I think that is the best way to do it so it flows naturally with your hair. I’ve watched a million you tube videos where girls just clip them in without getting them cut and it must be black magic or something because they make it look easy and amazing. My hair did not blend magically with the extensions so I had to get it cut. One reason may be because I have extremely thick hair and it looked so top heavy so she also thinned out my hair a bit so it wouldn’t be so top heavy. This hair is real hair so you can use heating tools and styling products on it just like you would with your normal hair. This hair looks best when it is curled or braided, which is my favorite thing to do to it when I go out. It also comes with A LOT of hair. Like 11 pieces and included in that is a super thick weft. Here’s the with extensions and the without. It adds a good 6 inches or more to the length. I’ve worn them at least 3 times a month for various parties or dates and I just like how much I can do with them. And at night I just take them off, brush them and slip them back in the pouch until next time.So what do you think? High or low maintenance? Would you get extensions for the sole convenience of not having to deal with long hair on a daily basis and just as needed?

Posted on

Tips to Prevent Lice

Lice. Anyone else get the chills just thinking about it? While my kids have never had lice (knock on wood times a billion) there have been cases at school of kids having lice. When I hear that my mind starts to go wild and my heart starts to race. Why why why are they just so creepy???? I’ve never had to deal with lice and I hope with these tips we won’t have to. Prevention doesn’t mean it is 100% effective but it is better than nothing. And no… you won’t have to resort to this:

This post was done in partnership with BrandBacker but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

  1. Keep hair up or braided. Lice don’t jump. They crawl and when hair is accessible they will crawl up and try to get as close to warmth (scalp). Lice don’t prefer short, long, oily, clean hair. They will just find a way to crawl onto their food source. Keeping hair tied just limits accessibility.
  2. Resist sharing hats, helmets, jackets, hair brushes or accessories. Lice can live up to 2 days on objects so if you use or have contact with those items then you may contract lice as well. Store hats and such in backpacks or jacket pockets for having less chance of contact.
  3. Avoid close contact. Like wrestling, head butting….should I have to say that? Haha my kids often engage in rough and tumble play so it has to be said. Say you are rubbing shoulders with someone who has lice, it crawls from his sweater to yours. And then up your hair. And then it all begins….. ahhhh.
  4. Use tea tree oil sprays, shampoos or conditioners. For some reason, lice don’t like the smell. We have been using SoCozy Boo! We love it because it is non-toxic and free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. It smells amazing and doesn’t really require any extra steps. We use the shampoo and conditioner at bath time and use the spray on days when their hair hasn’t been washed. Both my boys and girls use this product and it is easy enough for them to use on their own….sometimes Mom and Dad forget. And if you buy this look below for an awesome sweepstakes! **
  5. Regular check ups. Regular hair and scalp check ups may not prevent lice but you’ll catch it sooner. Check for eggs near the scalp- I think those are better than finding full grown infestation. Cue the heebee jeebees.
  6. This isn’t a tip on how to prevent it but more of a “breathe in breath out” tip. If your child gets lice don’t feel like you need to burn the house down. I know I’d want to but it is treatable just incredibly annoying. There are lots of treatments available, even hair salons dedicated to treating lice for you! I read about using Coke to douse your head. And why not take a sip or two to take the edge off, haha!

Do you guys have any tips or tried and true ways to get rid of lice? I am seriously hoping that I won’t have to ever have to smear mayo on anyone’s head. 

**SoCozy is also hosting a Family Vacation Sweepstake! Anyone who purchases any SoCozy products at Target, CVS & Walgreens from Jan 9th – Feb 13th save your receipt. Log onto: http://socozy.com/sweepstakes and upload a picture of your receipt to be entered into the sweepstakes. No limit on spend. *IN-STORE PURCHASES ONLY.

Sweepstake Package includes: An all-expense paid 5 days, 4 nights, deluxe family vacation includes – four (4) roundtrip coach airfare tickets, roundtrip airport transportation, one (1) Oceanfront Superior Room hotel room for five (5) nights at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL; one (1) date complimentary Poolside Cabana, two (2) complimentary 50-minute Diplomat Signature Massages; two (2) complimentary full-day Kid’s Club passes, Daily Breakfast and Lunch for four (4) people, one (1) dinner certificate for four (4) people to Portico; one (1) dinner certificate for four (4) people to Bristols; three (3) additional dinner certificates for four (4) people valued at $200 each and $100 to spend daily at resort.

The total value of this prize is $10,000! (read more here: http://socozy.com/blog/diplomat-hotel-vacation-giveaway/)

Posted on

Keeping Memories+ Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway

I sat on my daughter’s toddler bed, with stacks of clothes and shoes at my feet. Do you know the feeling that you get as you methodically go through the clothing that your kids have abnormally quickly have outgrown? Holding, smelling, examining them trying to grasp the memories that they hold? And then having to choose which bag they will go in: to keep or donation. I always have such a hard time with that part so I put it off as long as I can. Moving usually forces me to downsize and the declutter bug hits. One thing I have never given away are the heirloom quality items like pretty Christmas dresses, special blankets friends have made, their blessing outfits and their Freshly Picked moccasins. Look, you can even see the start of her little footprints on the toes!
Freshly Picked Moccs via Brenda Bird

Freshly Picked Moccs via Brenda BirdI remember telling my husband I couldn’t get rid of the kids’ baby clothes (among other things…) because they hold too much sentimental value. He jokingly explained that that kind of thinking was akin to a hoarder’s mentality. I laughed it off and made a note to myself that I could only keep what was truly sentimental and loved -not just because it was something someone gave me. I went through each item carefully and put it in a pile. And then I let it sit. And sit. Just so I could be sure. I kept what could be passed down to a younger sibling, items of sentimental value and heirloom pieces. Continue reading Keeping Memories+ Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway

Posted on

Modern Baby Essentials: Want or Need

Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Select. Add to cart. And repeat. My husband looked over my shoulder and asked, “Do we really need all this stuff?” I rolled my eyes and kept reading reviews. I asked my friends, sisters in law…facebook for their advice on all this baby gear. It was my first baby after all and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So many different freakin car seats. I need different strollers for different things?! They need warm wipes?! So much stuff!!

So after a few babies…and then a baby after we got rid of all our baby stuff…I compiled a list of things we knew we needed and a few things we didn’t reallllly need but made life a little easier! If you are looking to get a baby gift or need things for your little baby take a look. Just FYI this post does indeed contain affiliate links (where if you purchase using my link I make a tiny commission) and some items were given to me by companies to review. If I am posting about it, I actually love this product and use it- if I don’t like it I don’t post about it. Promise. Modern Baby Essentials: Need or Want Continue reading Modern Baby Essentials: Want or Need