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Fashion

The Best Of // T-Shirts and Tanks

June 10, 2018

If you’ve been following along over on Instagram, then chances are you’ve seen me asking for recommendations on the best t-shirts and tank tops for everyday wear. I’ve always loved the idea of a white tee shirt and jeans but had never really found tees and tanks that I loved to wear. So I scoured the internet, and tried a number of different tops on, and am sharing my favorites with you today!

1. Old Navy EveryWear Slub-Knit Tank // $12.99
This tank is a steal. It’s casual, comfortable and easy to wear with jeans and shorts. It’s a thinner material yet it isn’t see-through – a major win in my book! And so far it’s held up to washing and multiple wears quite well for the price.

2. Carly Jean Los Angeles // Carly’s Favorite Tie Tank in Grey $34
SO many people recommended Carly Jean Los Angeles when I asked for recommendations on Instagram, and for good reason! I ordered both t-shirts and tank tops from the site and have to say that they definitely lived up to the hype. The material of these shirts is SO soft and comfy and a little more polished looking than a basic tank, meaning you can dress it up or down. I also have the Tie T-Shirt in Ivory and LOVE it.

3. Madewell // Modern Tie-Front Tee $39.50
This tee is perfect! It’s a little dressier looking than a basic tee and I love the tie-front detail that makes it easy to wear with high rise jeans or shorts. It’s true-to-size and unlike some other Madewell tops, which I usually find run a little short in the torso, this one is great for those who are taller or have long torsos.

4. Old Navy // Luxe Swing Tank for Women $16.99
The material of these Old Navy Luxe tees and tanks is amazing! It washes well and feels great on, and I love that it has a little stretch so it holds its shape well. I knotted this one at the waist, but you can wear this tank without a knot for a looser, more flow-y look, too. I bought it in white and black and am in love!

Madison

Family, Fashion

A Month of June Giveaways!

May 30, 2018

Good morning, friends! With June right around the corner, I wanted to let you know of a few fun things happening around these parts. As many of you already know, I have a huge passion for safer skincare and clean personal care and cosmetics. It’s what led me to starting using Beautycounter products, and eventually partner with them as a consultant. Over the last 2 1/2 years it’s been one of the greatest joys to introduce many many of you to Beautycounter, too!

While you might not see a lot about Beautycounter over here on the blog, if you follow me on Instagram or my Espresso & Cream Beauty page on Facebook, I talk a lot about my favorite products and ways they make my skin and my life better.

As a little thank you for all your continued support in this journey, I’m going to be hosting A MONTH OF GIVEAWAYS over on Espresso & Cream Beauty! I’ll be giving away product all month long, including a bottle or two of a yet-to-be-released new product pictured above that has been giving my skin a major glow!

Not currently part of the community? Not a problem. Just head on over to Espresso & Cream Beauty on Facebook and request to join! You’ll have a front-row seat for all the giveaways and fun beauty and wellness talk!

Madison

Family

Traveling With Kids // Updated Edition

May 29, 2018

After our recent trip to Idaho with a baby and preschooler in tow, I think it’s time for a little updated edition of traveling with a baby and toddler. Not because I know all the things, but we have done air travel with two kids a couple times now, with another trip coming up soon. I considered our most recent trip a success because I didn’t say “I’m never doing this again!” event once on this trip. That, friends, is the low bar that I set for traveling with little kids, because it’s hard, sometimes crazy, and a little bit nuts but it’s worth it. And with the right mindset, it doesn’t have to be miserable, either.

So, here are a few thoughts and take-aways about traveling with little kids.

Age Matters // 
The girls are at totally different stages in terms of how easy they are to travel with. Collins is currently just over a year old and in, what I think, is the hardest age to do air travel with. She isn’t able to walk well yet, so she crawls all over dirty surfaces like the airport floor, and she isn’t easily entertained with toys, stickers, media, etc. Yet she isn’t a sleepy newborn anymore, either. She mainly just protests being held and squirms around a lot. Just remember that things get easier and better over time.

Pick Smart Flights // 
I know this isn’t always an option because price is a factor, too, but I suggest trying to travel in the morning vs. later in the day when everyone is exhausted and weary. My girls aren’t super great at napping on the plane or in the stroller, so while “nap time flights” seem like a great idea in theory, it really backfires. We took a very early morning flight on our way home (think 5:30 am) and it was surprisingly great. We were all pretty exhausted after a 12 hour travel day and 3:45 am wake-up, but Ainsley was super sleepy on the plane, they dimmed the cabin lights and Collins even napped for a little bit as well. We had breakfast when we got to our destination and then hopped in the car for the drive home and everyone slept + early early bed times so mom and dad could recover, too! Early morning flights not be for everyone, but finding flight times that work for your family really does help make the experience easier. Also, if you can fly direct, by all means do so! You reduce the risk of getting stuck

Check Your Bags //
We’re pretty light packers, so we typically only have a couple carry-on suitcases with us, but we learned a long time ago that having our hands free in the airport to wrangle kids is key. We check our bags (and our car seats) when we get to the airport so we only have our stroller and a couple backpacks to deal with through security and the airport. If you fly Southwest, the first bag is always free and on all airlines the car seats are free to check. If you typically fly another airline, look into getting that airline’s credit card, which typically gets you a free checked bag as well. We borrowed this awesome car seat bag from a friend and I bought two of them today because they are SO good. Car seats are so awkward to carry and this backpack carry option helps tremendously!

We travel with our double stroller because we *need* a way to contain both girls through the airport and love having our stroller with us when we reach our destination. We gate-check the stroller when we get on the plane and it works great!

Get on the Plane Last //
If you check your bags, then you don’t have to worry about getting on the plane early to ensure room for luggage overhead. And if you’re not worried about that, then you can get on the plane LAST. We say “no!” to getting on board early because we’ve had too many times stuck on the plane super early while boarding takes forever and the kids have already been on the plane an extra 45 minutes by the time the plane takes off. So wait until the last minute to board and keep everyone running around and fresh until absolutely necessary.

Buy What You Can There //
Things like diapers, wipes, and formula can really take up a ton of space. Don’t waste that space packing enough of those things for your entire trip. Pack enough for your trip there, and buy what you need once you get to your destination. With so many Targets and Walmarts and more available to you, chances are you’ll be just fine getting what you need when you arrive. And if you are staying with family, you can always ship your items ahead of time!

Madison

Food & Recipes

Protein Peanut Butter Toast

May 22, 2018

Good morning and happy Tuesday, friends! I shared this photo on my Instagram this week but also wanted to take a minute and put down the “recipe” if you will so others can recreate what is now my favorite new breakfast. It may sound a little strange, but trust me when I say that this combination is super yummy, satisfying and packed with protein and healthy carbs.

I make a lot of “strange” things like this for breakfast, healthy snacks, lunch and more. Joe says I’m always making things like this, and it’s true. They may sound or look a little strange, but I promise that they’re tasty and good for you. That’s the thing – as someone who loves carbs and has a sweet tooth – most of these strange little recipes taste decadent and sweet but are still good for you and don’t leave you with a sugar hangover.

Protein Peanut Butter Toast
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices sprouted grain toast (I like Ezekiel brand)
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter (like PB2)
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vegan Vanilla Shakeology)
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup raspberries or other berry of choice (bananas are great, too)
  • Honey and chia seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Toast the sprouted grain bread.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the peanut butter powder, vanilla protein powder, and enough almond milk to reach a thick yet spreadable consistency. Spread the peanut butter mixture on the toasted bread. Top with the berries or banana. Drizzle very lightly with honey, if desired, and sprinkle with chia seeds.

 

Family

Playhouse Project // The Exterior + Construction

May 21, 2018

It’s here! The LONG overdue and awaited playhouse post! We have the cutest little playhouse in our backyard, and I can say that without bragging because this whole thing was my mom’s brain child and baby, so I can take very little credit for the whole thing aside for helping with a little painting.

I’m going to do the best to recap the entire experience and process. It’s been nearly two summers since the playhouse was built and we are already getting so much use out of it, both last summer and this spring as the girls are at such fun ages to enjoy the play space in the backyard.

Since I wasn’t the one planning or constructing the playhouse, I’ll do my best to share about the experience but if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to post them below and I’ll get an answer for you. We were also really heavily inspired by the blog Lay Baby Lay and their backyard playhouse, so if you’re looking for more specific details you can check out their website as well!

It was important to us to make sure the playhouse was on a foundation that could be moved, because while we do see ourselves living in this house for a long time, we may eventually move and this special playhouse is certainly coming with us. I joke about making the playhouse my office someday, but in all seriousness after our kids are grown, the possibilities for this little playhouse are endless. While it doesn’t have air conditioning or heat, it does have electricity so anything is possible. 😉

We positioned the playhouse in the back corner of our yard and I LOVE looking out our kitchen window and seeing this beautiful little playhouse out there. When our patio project is done (more on that soon!) I imagine we will use the playhouse even more.

The deck is made of ipe wood, which is a hard, very long lasting wood. We painted the playhouse Benjamin Moore Ballet White on the outside and the trim is Benjamin Moore White Dove. We used the same on the interior of the playhouse. I’ll do a more complete post on the interior of the playhouse soon, but in terms of construction we put a loft inside the house that is used for reading and maybe even sleepovers down the road with a removable ladder. When Ainsley was smaller we removed the ladder so she wouldn’t climb unsupervised.

So that’s it! If you have questions, post them below and I’ll do my best to answer them or find the person who can!