Archives

Fashion

N Sale Picks // My Favorites

July 18, 2018

Joe and I spent some time online last night watching Homeland (our new obsession) while I browsed the Norstrom Anniversary Sale. I don’t shop at Nordstrom enough to have their credit card, so I’m going to be waiting with everyone else to shop the sale on Friday! But you can browse online ahead of time and scope out your favorites so you are ready to pull the trigger bright and early on Friday morning. I’ve emailed myself all the links that I want to add to my cart when the sale opens to everyone later this week.

I’m only stocking up on what I think are going to be basics that will last me through the fall/winter and refresh my wardrobe. So here are the basics I’m loving on the sale for myself and for Joe!

For Me //
Franco Sarto Seville Booties (pictured above, top left)
Splendid Cadell Bootie (pictured above, bottom left)
Free People January Tee (getting a couple in neutral colors as wardrobe staples)
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings (maybe a tad out of my comfort zone, but I’m going for it!)
Tahari Lace Inset Fit and Flare Crepe Dress (not sure I have a use for this yet, but I’m thinking about buying it)
Spanx Seamless Bralette (small-chested gals can appreciate a great bralette)
Thread & Supply Pullover Sweater (idk. everyone seems to have one of these!)
Kenneth Cole Wool Blend Long Coat (I’m in the market for a new, longer dressy coat)

For Joe //
1901 Merick Derby (for a casual work shoe)
Andrew Marc Walton Chukka Sneaker (another casual shoe option)

Fashion

Safer Make Made Better // My New Favorites!

July 12, 2018

Hi friends! I’m SO excited about today because it’s a day I’ve had marked in my calendar for quite some time. A couple months ago in Minneapolis I got a sneak peek at some amazing new makeup that Beautycounter was planning to launch later in the summer and today is that day! Fifteen BEAUTIFUL, high-performing and long-wearing blushes, bronzers, highlighters and eye shadow palettes that are going to blow your mind. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but friends they are that good. I wouldn’t lie to you about this sort of stuff. Even a makeup minimalist like me can appreciate what the Beautycounter team has done with these safe cosmetics.

Want to see the products in action? I can’t guarantee I’m doing ANYTHING right in the video below, but I do know it works for me and makes getting ready in the morning simple, sweet, and straightforward. I think you’ll find that you will love them as much as I do! My favorites thus far? The Romantic Palette, Nectar Blush and Halo Highlighter!

Family

Seven Years Married

July 10, 2018

Yesterday marked seven years married to this handsome man of mine. Those of you who have reading this blog since before we got married, can you believe that?! Where does the time go? Like all things in life, it seems like the longest-shortest time. As in, we have lived so much life in those seven years and I can’t remember life without him and yet I don’t know where the last seven years went.

I don’t talk a lot about the ins and outs of our marriage on social media, mainly because for us it’s a respect issue and there is so much I believe should be left offline – even in this era of “transparency” and “authenticity.” Marriage is a beautiful, sacred and very personal commitment between two people and the ins and outs of a marriage are often best left between two people. That said, I do like to take this time every year to reflect on the joys and sorrows that years of marriage can hold for a couple. We are no exception. We have had incredible highs and the deepest of lows. And through it all, I’m SO thankful that we are standing here, together, married and raising these beautiful kiddos together.

It sounds a little dreamy, doesn’t it? Enduring, lasting, forever-type love? This is where movies and magazines do us all an incredible disservice, because that enduring, lasting, forever-type love that everyone loves to talk about really looks a lot like hard work, grit, dedication, commitment and sheer determination to stay together. That’s not to say it’s all work, either. If you’re willing to put in the work, the rewards you will reap will be great, too. Like all things in life, the endeavors that require the most effort, commitment and consistency are those that are ultimately the most rewarding and gratifying.

Joe, being married to you is easy in so many ways. You’re steady, consistent, hard working, fun and my perfect match and I’m so thankful I get to call you husband.

xo,

M

Family

Tubes + When Enough is Enough

June 27, 2018

This morning, little Miss Collins Elizabeth got tubes! In all honesty, we have been waiting for this day for months now and I wanted to take a minute to write a bit about our experience in hopes that it may ease some of the burden of guilt that you may be feeling as you deal with recurrent ear infections and persistent middle ear fluid.

Just like with Ainsley, Collins started having ear issues around six months. It coincided with cold and flu season, and once she got her first ear infection around six months, despite treatment with antibiotics, she had fluid that wouldn’t go away. That meant that there was still fluid sitting on her ear drums, impairing her hearing and, over time, potentially causing other issues such as delayed speech, poor balance and more. If you want to read more about it, or are curious if your child might have something similar, you can do so here.

Since we had been through this once before with Ainsley, it wasn’t a surprise to me, but I remember the first time around feeling so much guilt. When I shared about Ainsley’s ear infections and chronic fluid, I got a lot of unsolicited feedback from friends, family, strangers on the internet and more. People telling me that if I had nursed longer, or if I gave my child more probiotics, or cut out dairy or gluten or used essential oils or cut up garlic and onions and placed them under her crib at night (seriously, I tried it once, the room stank and it didn’t work) or used a humidifier more often or went to more chiropractic. I know that nearly everyone who sent suggestions and ideas was probably well-intentioned in their feedback, but as a first time momma it was discouraging and overwhelming.

For the record, we do take probiotics and visit the chiropractor regularly and try to feed our girls healthy food. I cut out dairy from Ainsley’s diet for a couple months when she was younger – which was miserable because the child LOVES milk. We had allergy testing done to make sure she didn’t have any hidden sensitivities to food. The list could go on and on. And you know what? At the end of the day the issue, for us, was more than likely a bad combination of genetics that led to an ear canal positioning that lent itself to trapping fluid. Despite the best efforts and intentions, tubes were the only (and best) option for our girls.

The second time around? Well I had ZERO guilt and did a lot less stressing about the whole thing and just knew in the back of my mind that we were going to get the tubes as soon as we could and would go on living our life. Perspective is a beautiful thing, friends.

So if you’re out there momma, trying ALL THE THINGS and worrying about if you are doing enough. Chances are if you’re worrying about that, you’re probably doing more than enough. Trust that momma gut, trust your doctors, and let the opinions of others go by the wayside.

M

Family, Food & Recipes

Boosting My Immunity + ACV Slushy

June 17, 2018

It’s not shock to most of you that since having kids I’ve been sick a LOT. Recurrent sinus issues, cold after cold, I even had the stomach flu three times one winter when Ainsley was little – probably because my gut health was compromised thanks to all the antibiotics I had to take to help my sinus infections. I had sinus surgery back in the fall of last year, and while it did help to some degree, just a few weeks ago I got my first sinus infection after having the surgery, followed quickly by another cold and yet another sinus infection.

The whole experience left me feeling really discouraged. I was hoping that I would be healthy following my sinus surgery and getting sick + a couple rounds of antibiotics left me feeling a little down about my overall health and immunity.

Now don’t get me wrong, I expected to get colds after my surgery. Colds happen, I know, but my body’s constant inability to fight off those colds and the resulting complications was starting to make me question what I was doing wrong that was leaving my immune system in such a weak place.

I decided that things had to change, so after doing some research and a little talking with my husband about my lifestyle these days, I landed on a few major changes that might be of help to you, too!

Get More Sleep // I put this first because I think it’s the biggest contributing factor to my recurrent illnesses. I have not been sleeping enough. By the time the girls go down to bed, I’m craving some down time with Joe. We have been pushing bed time back later and later while working on this patio project and other projects around our home. The mornings are MY time, and time that I’m not willing to sacrifice. I love being up early, before everyone else wakes up. Between the later evenings and early mornings I was getting around 6 hours of sleep per night. I didn’t feel tired, per se, but I was definitely weakening my immunity. So setting a goal to get at least 7 if not 8 hours per night is the new norm.

Improve My Supplement Game // I have really fallen off my consistent supplement game, so I’m re-committing to the supplements I already take and adding in a few additional supplements to help specifically boost immunity. Those being:

*Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal / Packed with methylated B vitamins and a host of other important nutrients for optimal health

*Garden of Life D Supplement / There is a strong link between sufficient vitamin D and a high functioning immune system. Even in the summer months, chances are I’m not getting enough vitamin D from the sun alone.

*Plexus ProBio 5 and Bio Cleanse / For gut health! Especially after taking antibiotics, I know it’s important to rebuild gut health. I’m sure there are other probiotics that may get recommended or be superior, but this has worked well for me, it’s easy to access and easy to take when I actually remember to do so. (I’ve linked to our babysitter Karli’s site in the link above.)

*Iron / Since I’m vegetarian, I know that in addition to a healthy diet taking an iron supplement is also important. I’ve read a few articles that link lower iron levels to weakened immunity, so I’m hoping to ward that off.

Exercise Smarter // I’ll admit that I’ve probably been pushing my body a little too hard lately in terms of exercise. Half marathon training + 80 Day Obsession + being active with the girls + getting too little sleep + working a little too hard + trying to do ALL THE THINGS hasn’t really benefitted my immune system. I’m taking part in the free Mind, Body, Pilates Challenge starting this week with my friend, Robin, and I’m excited to embrace a slower and smarter way of working out.

After the challenge, I’m excited to try the new program from Beachbody – Lift 4 – which is a new program I’m so excited about. It’s only four days of the week and the workouts are around 30 minutes in length. Perfect for my schedule and much easier to do than the longer workouts I had done previously as part of 80 Day Obsession.

Use a Humidifier at Night // People swear by using a humidifier in their bedroom to aid with sinus issues and combat colds. I’ve never embraced the idea previously because I didn’t think it could possibly really make a difference, but hearing so many people tell me that it helped gave me the nudge to finally bite the bullet and give it a try. I just bought this one and will report back!

Continue On With… // Things that I’m already doing, like drinking water, drinking apple cider vinegar, eating lots of vegetables and healthy food, etc.

PS: If you want a stellar summer slushy using Apple Cider Vinegar, the girls and I have been loving this during the hot summer days! See the “recipe” below.

ACV Slushy
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 8 to 12 ounces sparkling water
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Stevia to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the water, ice cubes, pineapple chunks, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a high powered blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until very smooth and ice is blended well. Add stevia to taste. Serve immediately.