a shift dress and a thank you!

Sep 30, 2014

coat: asos (old)// dress: marciano (old)// tights: wolford// boots: aldo (old)

Let's start with a huge thank you!! If I could hug each and every one of you I would. Thank you for all the sweet comments on baby number four. Thank you to the amazing ladies who took time out of their day to email me, text me, and call me. This internet thing can be a real beauty (even though some parts scare me) and I am always amazed at the amount of support and well wishes that come from people that I don't actually know. But I love you anyway :)

On to the outfit, and the first appearance of the bump! There is a shift in seasons, I'm wearing a shift dress, my body is shifting, just shifting. Shifting all around. But, in my fall favs post I said I really wanted to embrace the 60's trend as much as possible before the snow hits and it would be too cold to not have heavy layers on my legs. So here is my take on it, in 40 degree weather. I love a shift dress because they can be dressed up or down. I have had this dress for so many years and it is still one that I always reach for for any occasion. And to all my cold weather livin' ladies out there, get yourself a pair of thick tights for the winter. These Wolford ones are the best investment. I say investment because they are kind of pricey as far as tights go, but they are thick (not too heavy), and perfect to layer under jeans when the temps really drop. 

And since this outfit is made up of some older pieces I put some of my current wants below that can recreate it as well. 

This post was originally written by Kelsey who blogs at Pardon My French. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @kelsey_pardonmf. 

hey baby, hey baby, hey!

Sep 29, 2014

Baby number FOUR is set to make his or her arrival in March! 
I am 14 weeks and some change, and we could not be more excited.
Time to start looking at minivans! Four car seats are in our future. 

alternate titles to this post were:
baby one more time
and I was like baby, baby, baby, oh
oops, we did it again 
baby love
I got you babe

Stick it to me with Pipsticks + An offer just for you!

Sep 26, 2014

If there is one form of children's art/entertainment that I am a huge fan of, it's stickers! Why? Why Kelsey do you like stickers so much? Well let me explain. I spend my days walking around my house finding new graffiti murals done with crayons or markers, or when I get incredibly desperate I will pull out the dreaded play-doh (that I will regret doing when I am brushing the stuff out of the carpets). But stickers! Stickers are easy, in the event that my little artists stray from the designated crafting area and sticker the walls, goo gone will surely fix it. 
So let's talk about Pipsticks, a monthly sticker service for your children, or you if you are into that sort of thing. It is a well curated package of stickers, and craft ideas to go along with it. And just look at that cute packaging, I mean come on. There are so many different sticker sheets that come in one package, all cute and so fun. Ace is obsessed with stickers, I think it comes from school since he will get a sticker on a good in-class or homework assignment so he associates it with happy thoughts. 
We went with a little Fall theme, and I picked up a pack of foam pumpkins at the store. The children choose their stickers and got to it. The great thing is, the people over at Pipsticks know what they are doing and send so many stickers that there is no fighting to be had by the starving artists. The boys spent two hours at this table with stickers, pumpkins, and paper. Avalon lasted thirty minutes but I'll take it. 
Here is one of the finished products! Please try not to be jealous of our incredible pinterest/martha stewart-esque creations. The boys also made enough pumpkins that we now have them taped to every window. But I like it. Ace is already asking when his next sticker box will come in the mail! 

Okay, okay, I know I said there is something in it for you. And there is! The amazing people at Pipsticks are giving away a first month FREE to Pardon My French readers!! Just head over to their website and at checkout enter the code PARDON. This will work on individual or family size subscriptions. They also ship internationally so no one is left out here. If you happen to not be into the sticker game, you can also use the code to gift a package to someone else. Pretty awesome if you ask me. 

Happy stickering! 

A huge thank you to Pipsticks for sponsoring this post!

Mom Hair

Sep 24, 2014

please excuse the lack of makeup and my split ends. all will be remedied in due time. 

This post could have also been titled "the evolution of dirty hair", but I didn't think that was very inviting. But I am a mom, and I do have hair so mom hair it is! Lately I have gotten a few questions as to "how I go so long without washing my hair", totally justified question. Chris actually asks me this all the time. He just for the life of him cannot understand why I don't wash my hair everyday. Simple answer is....I don't have that kind of time. I can maybe jump in the shower for six minutes before someone has attempted the amputation of limbs from another someone in the house. So I thought I would just lay it out for you. 

Day 1- I try to shower at night allowing my hair to air dry (no heat minimal breakage). I wake up before my children so I will just take some time to curl my hair. My favorite, and fast way of curling my hair is just some messy waves. I spray dry shampoo on my roots (I use this one) and brush throughout my hair. In my experience curls do not hold unless you dirty your hair up a bit, so spray dry shampoo or a texturizing spray in there to give it some grit. Then I use a 1" curling wand, my favorite one is this Hot Tools one. Then I take large sections and wrap them a couple times around the wand, leaving the ends out to give it that messy look. Then shake it all out, hit it with some hair spray and I'm good to go!

Day 2- Since my hair is still in relatively presentable shape I like to keep it down on day two of this hair saga. So I will either pin it to the side, or throw it in a half up half down messy bun. Throughout all of this volume is key! So pull out your teasing comb and give your hair some life. Sally's carries my favorite teaser for $2, highly recommend!

Day 3- At this point my curls have lost much of their bounce so it is time to move the hair up and out. A messy high pony is one of my go-to's. Use that teaser to pump up the hair around the crown of your head, then throw it up high and be on your way. I also spray a little more dry shampoo if I need it. 

Day 4- By day four my hair says, I can only give you so much. So top knot to the rescue!! I love a top knot on any given occasion, but especially when I am trying to make my hair last just one more day. I have no one way of doing a top knot, I just take a hair tie, gather my hair at the highest point on my head and start wrapping. Most days it takes me a couple times before it is in ballerina territory. At night I shower and usually start this song and dance all over again. 

Just to clarify, I shower everyday (well sometimes) just hair washing is not involved. There are many more hair styles that I like to sport, but these are the simple, no fuss ones that get me through a busy week with the kiddos. 

What about you? Should I be trying something else? Give me the goods ladies! or men we don't discriminate over here. 

Fall Fashion Trends

Sep 22, 2014

To be honest, I have been holding on to this post for far too long, just waiting for the official first day of fall. Well today is that day! Every season I get excited for new trends and how I can make them wearable for my uber fashionable mom life. Here are my favorites and some of the items I have my eye on or have already purchased. 

Fun Fur- I love the excitement of a new fur (faux fur) no need to call PETA on me! This season furs are coming in all different colors and patterns. They really jazz up a simple outfit, which I am all about. 

Shearling Coats- This might be my favorite trend. Last year I bought a shearing and leather coat and it is still my absolute fav. The one pictured above is Burberry, anyone know how much a kidney is going for on the black market? That coat is everything! But way out of my price range, so below are some others I am liking. 

Wrap Coats- Clearly everyone does not need a ton of coat options, but since moving to Alaska I have the need for options. Long, short, puffy, leather, just coats and jackets in all varieties. 

60's Mod- This is one trend that I love and wish I could take advantage of more. I would love to be sporting cute shift dresses with tall over the knee boots, but we will see how forgiving the Alaskan cold is to me this year. 

Over the Knee Boots- When I think of fall I automatically think of tall boots. I have a leather pair that  I have already pulled out, but I am on the hunt for a suede pair as well. 

Wide Leg Pants- So happy this trend is going to continue. I love a good high waisted wide leg pant. I bought the Asos ones pictured above over the summer and cannot say enough about them. We all need a break from our skinny jeans every now and then. 

Turtlenecks- Another fall staple! I happen to be a lover of turtlenecks, maybe even a collector of sorts. But this season I have seen so many different silhouettes attached to that neck warming extra fabric.  

Pop of Color- It may be fall, but don't put away those summer hues just yet. Pops of color can be seen everywhere. Sweaters is vibrant reds, lavender, lots of pastels floating around, and neon is even sticking around through the cold.

What are some trends you are excited for?

snaps of the weekend

Monday, we meet again!! This weekend kind of flew by. Nothing particularly exciting happened. We didn't really "do" anything. We lounged, mama snagged a few hours and went shopping, naps were taken. Chris cooked every meal we ate, which was very much appreciated because on weekends I cannot always be bothered to cook. And if there is one thing I did right in life (well I hope there are a few) it was marrying a man that can cook! It sure does make my life easier when the kids and I are curled up on the couch in a movie marathon. We had a date with the sunshine and the park, which then led us to one of my very favorite places in all of Anchorage, the Fire Island Rustic Bakery, where I could eat my weight in bread alone.

But we did get lots done this weekend as well. We are in full on get ready for the cold season in this house. Chris's presence here will be scarce from here until winter is no more (??) so I am taking advantage of having him on the weekends to get organized. Cleaning out the garage of the summer stuff we are no longer using. Shuffling things from one storage shed to another. Also rearranging rooms since the holidays bring all the family to the Alaskan yard. Chris has to reluctantly pick up his man cave so we can camouflage it into a guest room for the brave souls who dare to enter this house of chaos. But we can't wait! Grandma your up first, I promise Chris will not make you sleep with any skis in the room, or any kind of weaponry.

By far the best part to our weekend was yesterday morning when there was a mouse in our mud room. The hysterics alone had me on the ground laughing. Ace was screaming he cant live in this house anymore. Pierce could not be bothered with such a situation because Spiderman was on. Avalon got on her hands and knees to take a closer the look. And if only the video I took of Chris sweeping this thing out of the house was remotely PG-13 I would post it for all to see. But the language between him and I will have to stay locked in the vault. Even though we did watch it a few times and cried laughing. Nothing like a rodent in your house to bring out the good times!

So tell me how was your weekend? Is it starting to look a lot like fall in your neck of the woods?

slow and crazy wins the parenting race, I hope.

Sep 18, 2014

I feel like all three of these little munchkins are changing rapidly everyday, and I am just trying my best to keep up with it all. Obviously all at different stages but still lumped into the category of toddler. For the sake of chronicling these age defining milestones let me break it down (non-family members this may not interest you. Grandmas eat your heart out).
Ace. Ace Ace Ace! My leader of the pack. He challenges me in ways I never thought possible. I won't sugar coat it, he is extremely hard to parent right now. He is the most strong willed individual I have ever met. Stubborn beyond belief. Right now he constantly has to have the last word, he has a strong opinion about everything. A total perfectionist. I feel like when Chris comes home every night he finds me just staring at the wall because I am so mentally drained from dealing with Ace all day. It is hard, he pushes me to my limit everyday, and he knows he is doing it. I talk to my mom all the time about it and she laughs because she says that this is exactly how my brother was. I can remember how frustrated I was growing up in the house with my brother. But I also look at my brother throughout our lives and he has qualities I can only hope Ace holds on to. He is a leader, fiercely independent, incredibly loyal, and protective, all of this as a four year old. It is also the same qualities I found so amazing in Chris. I know that Chris was extremely hard to parent just by listening to the stories about him growing up. So I ask Chris all the time, how do I get through to him? He is wonderful at school, his teacher can't find enough great things to tell me at pick up time. But for me, he makes me dig deep into my parenting patience arsenal. I am constantly trying different techniques with him because he seems to always be one step ahead of me. I have been trying to give him more responsibility because he seems to crave it. Punishment does not phase him, he actually laughs at it. We have to have adult like conversations with him about his actions in order for him to understand. Telling him his actions are disappointing seems to be more effective than taking away an iPad. I am grateful that he loves school, that he is always the one at the playground to invite kids to play with him, that even though he fights with Pierce inside the house he is very protective of him outside of the house. I am taking the good with the challenging at this point. Any tips?
Oh Pierce in his newly found third year of life. I really wish I knew what was going on in Pierce's head throughout the day. I mean he never stops talking, but his minds seems to work much faster than his mouth so we are all left going, huh? We call him the jolly green giant because he is just so big, but so cuddly. Potty training is a daily hurdle. He gets it, he got it from day one. He knows where to go, how to go, but doesn't always want to stop what he's doing to go. But I am in no rush to be honest. Ace did it on his own time so I know that Pierce will put the pieces together as he goes. His favorite word is still dammit. We correct him till we are blue in the face, but when it is my fault for saying it around him in the first place it is hard to get mad about it. He has developed this new found desire to "win" at everything. Pierce your dinner is ready, "oh I gunna eat it all and win". Pierce come get your shoes on, "okay I gunna go fast so I can win". It drives Ace crazy! Chris and I find it kind of funny. He wants to go to school so bad but missed the cut off this year by three days (don't get me started on that) so I have been doing more school like activities with him while Ace is at school. He likes it, but he finds it way more fun to play with all the things Ace usually says are off limits. Small victories! Oh, and he is a complete flight risk when out in public. I have learned to embrace it and taught him the freeze game. Now when he gets a little to far I have to be the crazy mom that yells FREEZE, but it works. ha! Small victories for myself as well. 
Avalon, she says nothing yet gets everything! She really is so quiet. She knows a good amount of words but is very selective about using them. She would rather just show you everything she wants and desires and then looks up at you with those huge brown eyes and you just give it to her. We all do, even the boys. She is incredibly resourceful as well. She will eat all of her snack and wait patiently for her brothers to get distracted before she will grab one or two pieces of their snack. She won't take the whole thing, just small bits at a time so they don't notice. If she wants something out of reach she will go about getting it the safest and quietest way possible. She will stack pillows to get things on the counter. She is constantly taking off her diaper. If she has pants on she takes them off and rips the diaper off. The onesie snaps are also no match for her. It isn't even that the diaper is dirty, the second I get it on her she takes it off. So I have had to resort to putting a small piece of tape on the tabs in order to keep them on. But even then if she gets a good grip she pulls them off like a pull-up. All mildly hilarious until you step in an unmarked puddle on the floor. She is so funny, sensitive, and rules this whole house with very little speech. 

Safe to safe I am the one with all the challenges lately. I feel like most of this is compounded by the fact that the temps are dropping and our usual days spent outside have lessened slightly. I am trying to convince Chris we need to turn the man cave into a padded jungle gym, but he has yet to take the bait. Until then, painting parties and races through the halls. 

rich textures for fall

Sep 16, 2014

hat: consignment find// sweater: banana republic// pants: gap (last year) this years version

I am all about different textures for fall clothing. Velvet, leather, shearling, thick lux sweaters, felt, the list could go on and on. I want warm cozy layers, with amazing details. I love this sweater from Banana Republic, it has such a great relaxed feel to it, but the popcorn detailing on it makes it feel so much more dressy. And these velvet pants are one of my favorite fall staples. I always love when the leaves start to change and I can start reaching for the burgundy pieces in my closet. And the zipper detailing on these beauties...forget about it! 

The days are slowing down around our house, the non school mornings are starting later and later. The heat has been turned on, and my dutch oven has made its way onto the stove top where I am sure it will stay for a very long time. The piles of sweaters and beanies are at the forefront of everyones closets, and the boys have even started their hot chocolate requests! 

shop these items and similar ones:

This post was originally written by Kelsey at Pardon My French blog. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @kelsey_pardonmf. 

Denali or bust

Sep 15, 2014

How was your weekend? My week is technically starting today since Chris had yesterday off (which throws me all out of whack) but I love a good three day nonetheless. I have come to discover that we never have real plans on the weekend. We always have ideas of things that sound fun, but never actually plan on doing them. We just go with the flow, or the weather. 
That is what happened Sunday morning, Chris went to the gym and I started my morning off by taking breakfast requests and breaking up fights over who was going to eat what. When Chris got home he said, "let's drive to Talkeetna and the south point of Denali" I said sure why not. An hour later we were in the car and on a three hour drive. I think the drive from Georgia to Alaska trained the boys to be good on road trips, they love being in the car. Avalon on the other hand just screams.
Chris has been talking about this little town of Talkeetna since he backpacked through Denali a couple months ago. He knows how much I love exploring new places, especially little towns with amazing food choices. As we were getting closer I thought we should probably stop and let the kids out to run around, and also so I could start the eating extravaganza. Chris thought we should push through to the lookout point to get a clear view of Mt. McKinley since the clouds were rolling in. He proved to be right. But my stomach needs to always be full in order for me to enjoy the other parts of life. 

We walked around the whole town (which only takes a few minutes) scoping out our options. We settled on ice cream for the kids first, because the name of the game is survival parenting. Then Chris and I hit up every restaurant known on main street. From burgers to pizza to cobbler, and finally filling up on bread covered in spinach and cheese, which had me making inappropriate noises in public. But.it.was.so.good. We headed back to the car, but not before grabbing a coffee at the cutest little coffee house, no really it was a house, filled with books and playing cards. Coffee in hand and to the car we went on our mission to see Mt. McKinley. 
We hit tons of road construction before we found the southern lookout point for the mountain. In this time Chris thought it would be a great idea to teach Ace how to spell Mississippi. WHY? I have no idea, but it kept us all entertained while we anxiously awaited the traffic to move. Once we reached our destination we let the animals out to run around on the trail. Chris and Ace raced up the hills while the wee ones and I took our time rearranging every rock on the trail. 

We did in fact miss a clear view of the peak, but the scenery was gorgeous anyway. The kids were covered in chocolate ice cream, I was regretting not getting some cheese bread to go, but we made it. Another fun family adventure in the books. I am not sure if Chris and I are so numb to the chaos of three toddlers, or if we have just learned to embrace it all. But through all the high pitched screams, fighting, pee stops, lost socks, spilled juice, rock eating, no listening, car dodging, bug bites, and bathroom accidents, it was so fun! We ended up getting home really late, and since the kids slept most of the way home they were up all night. Chris and I took turns laying on the couch. We let Ace stay home from school yesterday to recoup, or maybe it was to let us sleep in, I will admit to nothing. 

Here's to the week ahead!! 

beauty buys for $10 or less

Sep 11, 2014

Oh how I love the beauty aisles at the drugstore, just rows and rows of products that I feel I just need to try. There are plenty of high end beauty items that I will spend my money on, but there are some products that even the best of the beauty industry can't seem to compare too. I thought I would share some of my tried and true beauty products that don't break the bank. 
Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask- You cannot beat this mask! I have been using it since my teen years, and still use it twice a week. It isn't drying, but man it makes your skin baby soft while pulling all the impurities out. Best $4 ever spent!

Yes to Cucumber Makeup Wipes- I will admit that I am not a huge makeup wipes person. So many leave my face feeling sticky. But these are light and refreshing. I use them to rub my eye make up before washing my face. They are also great when traveling and you need a little refresher. 

Dr. Teal's foaming bath- Not that I get a ton of relaxing bath time, but when I do this is the soap I reach for. The lavender scent is so amazing, and really does make that solo time even more luxurious!

Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer- A few months ago I decided to splurge on the YSL concealer, and I really do like it. But I find myself reaching for this dream lumi tube more and more. It is so great for highlighting, and never creases. I don't think I could count how many tubes I have bought. Whenever I see them on sale I load up! 

Loreal Voluminous Mascara- I would be more likely to leave my underwear out of a suitcase over this mascara. I am just such a fan. I have tried all the high end brands, with no luck. My eyes are so sensitive to mascara and most seem to irritate them after a few hours. But this has been the only one I can wear over and over and *gasp, fall asleep in and still no irritation. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo- Love this stuff, might be in love with this stuff. Even Chris likes the smell of it. I wash my hair only twice maybe three times a week, so for the in between days this is my best friend. It comes in so many different shades, so no white residue. It is light and also adds volume which is needed for my fellow stick straight hair ladies!

NYX butter lipgloss- I cannot resist these little tubes of colorful goodness. I think I have almost every color by now. Such a great gloss! I love my lipstick, but it isn't practical for everyday. For those early preschool mornings, one of these glosses and some mascara are my only life lines. 

Conair velcro rollers- Velcro rollers? Who still uses those things? Just me, and maybe my mom. I get asked how I do my hair with three kids, and this is the trick. I put them in when my hair is close to dry, hit them with a little heat from the blow dryer and let them set while I make the kids breakfast, and wrestle them into clothes. Then I will take these out and bing, bang, boom, I have hair that looks like I just got a blow out. 

What are some of your beauty products that don't break the bank?

**Last week I talked with Parenting Magazine about my beauty must haves, and how my "beauty routine" (I kind of laugh every time I say that) has changed since having kids. You can check it out here!

boots with the suede

Sep 9, 2014

sweater: old navy// jeans: old navy// lipstick: estee lauder plum couture
boots: rock and republic (no longer sold, but you can find them on ebay)

Happy Wednesday!! This outfit was from over the weekend when we decided to go out for lunch (always an adventure). There are so many times I have an outfit in my head, or look in my closet and want to wear something but can't when it is just me trying to corral the children. So when Chris is home I take advantage of him and wear what I want, and let him run around like a chicken with his head cut off! 

Once upon a time this would be a normal daily outfit for me. The days where I got up every morning and dressed up for work, eager to put together store windows, or come up with color stories, and anticipate the daily arrival of a new shipment of clothing that I would get to play with. Somehow a nine hour day in heels going from store to store was easy. Now, after an hour or two I am looking for my sneakers. But.....a mom has to glam it up every now and then! 

When do you take the opportunity to bust out a pair of heels? 

Shop the look and more:

bitten by the birthday bug

So, Pierce's birthday was last Friday. All day we had him all pumped up for when Chris got home and we could have pizza and celebrate (we are the masters of low key birthdays). But as luck would have it, Pierce ended up getting some crazy sickness. I left to go get his pizza, and a few last minute things and came home to Pierce who was only in the mood to lay down. I went over to him on the couch and he was on fire! He had a fever of 103 and any idea of party went out the window. I went into overreacting panic mode, and Chris went into you know you are acting like a lunatic mode. Pierce fell asleep, and I was up all night watching him breathe and checking his temp. He ended up waking up with a 100.9 fever and starving. We took it easy all day, but felt bad that he didn't get to celebrate. So while he took a four hour nap, we put up some decorations and threw together a little bbq! 
Pierce requested over and over again to have NO CAKE and only four cupcakes. Easy enough, I do not posses enough patience for cake and pinteresty party decorations. Maybe one day when my children graduate from destroying everything to appreciating things. So like when they are 30 I will throw them a lavish affair. 
Ace is like yep....I"ll turn 30 first so bring on the cake toppers and tassel banners!

But! We do love a good piñata at this casa! This was Avalon's first experience with the, sure it's a great idea to give a toddler a bat and candy filled paper hanging object. She loved it. Pierce kept saying "just take it down and I get the candy out" while Ace was like "I need a bigger bat please". 

In the end, the children were on a sugar high fighting over Pierce's toys. We live to see another birthday. Chris your's is up next, what kind of piñata do you want? 


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