Jul 31, 2016
by Boden as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
Okay but seriously, where did the summer go? I don't know about your children, but mine head back to the classroom this week! I have all the emotions running through me. Mainly, how did my children get so big! Wasn't it just yesterday that I was knee deep in diaper cream and spit up? Now I am worrying about back to school shopping and homework.
Time flies when you're having kids right?
One place I have always turned to for kids clothes is Mini Boden. I can remember buying my first outfit when I was pregnant with Ace. A striped little romper, gender neutral since we didn't know what we were having yet and I just couldn't help but start the buying process. That romper was worn by all four children, and now sits in a box of memories. That is what I love so much about Mini Boden, is their clothing is made to withstand the daily activities of children constantly on the go.
So when it comes to school clothes you want something that will last! Cute, fashion forward clothing that you are so excited to send your little ones off in. I particularly love the tee shirt selection. From fun graphic tees, to your classic button downs perfect for picture day.
Avalon has so many cute Mini Boden dresses, but I think this one might be her very favorite. It combines two of her favorite things at the moment.....pink and dinosaurs. Not to mention her brothers think she is pretty cool for wearing dinosaurs on her dress. Brownie points with the older bros is a tough thing as a little sister, so you know....winning!!!
My children happen to be excited for back to school this year, seeing as how their outfits do not include snow boots and snow pants. They get to continue their love for summer weather well into fall. And when the time comes for warmer layers we will look no further than Mini Boden's fall collection. So if you are looking for back to school, after school, or anything in between, I suggest you check HERE first for a 25% off discount on your order!!
Oh wait it gets better!
Influence Central is hosting a contest for the new Mini Boden Back to School line, where you can enter to win one of three $500 shopping vouchers! Yes you read that correctly. All you have to do is enter below, the contest will run from August 1 to August 22, 2016.
I-C will randomly choose three winners from all program entries, and handle fulfillment of winning prizes.
Jul 28, 2016
No secret here people. I am not a tall girl, never have been probably never will be. But, I do get comments on pictures like, "how tall are you? You look so tall in your pictures". Jokes on you! I am a whopping 5'4 and a half on a teased hair day. Chris called me out once when I was renewing my license in Arizona and the lady asked, "height?" I said..... 5'6. Chris busted out laughing and said, "in your dreams".
So over the years I have learned how to dress my body in a world where tall and skinny is pushed as the norm. It's not. I am short(er) and not so lacking in the behind department. This does not exactly make for an easy off the rack buying situation. I don't qualify as petite in sizing, but most denim styles end up being way too long on me. I usually have to size up in denim to fit over my backside, and then have them taken in at the waist or I would have to wear a belt 24/7.
There are some denim styles that are super flattering for vertically challenged people. These are jeans that I personally stick to when purchasing. Five styles, that you can never go wrong with if you look for the right qualities.
One: Flares! Flares are the short girls BFFL! If you are afraid to try them, you are doing your body a disservice. They are the number one way to elongate the legs. Pair them with a wedge and you are going to look five inches taller, and slimmer. Also going with a dark wash will help with the illusion.
Two: Ankle crops. When shopping for a straight leg, or skinny style, always make sure they are cropped at the ankle. Showing a little skin at the bottom, breaking between the jeans and your shoes, also helps to give the appearance of length. Especially when paired with a pointed toe shoe, which is super helpful for short girls. The pointed toe helps to give off a taller look because you are elongating your foot, giving off the appearance of one continued line from hip to toes. Here are some great ankle crop styles, one, two, three.
Three: Dark Skinnies. I personally love skinny jeans, I think they are a closet staple, but they are hard to pull off if you are short with thighs and a butt. You kind of resemble sausage in casing, you feel me? So the darker the skinny the better! No distressing, as much as I love some rips in my jeans, just a simple dark denim to go with everything. Dressed up or down, you will get tons of wear out of them. It is also important to have them hemmed if they are too long. Or just cut the bottoms off yourself for the frayed hem look which is you know, every where right now. These are my personal favorite skinny jeans.
Four: High waist! Or, the mom jeans. I just ordered the ones pictured above. High waists are my favorite no matter what. Pants, skirts, swimsuits, whatever. Obviously the higher the waist, the longer the legs will look. Same concept of the flares, the added length any which way helps to make you look taller. Not to mention they nip you in at the waist, which is a HUGE bonus. So embrace the mom jeans. I really like these classics, and these here.
Five: Cropped Flares. These are my current denim style of choice. I have added quite a few pairs of wide leg crops, cropped flares, and anything in between. I think many people are intimidated by this style, but for shorter girls this is one you should embrace. The wideness of the flare creates a slimming illusion of the leg, which in turn creates length. Pair the crops with a platform, wedge, or even a sneaker. I really like these, and these right now.
And that's about it! Safe to say I live in denim, I love denim, especially denim that fits well!
Jul 27, 2016
I bought these boots with the intention of crossing them off by "to buy for fall" list. But the second they showed up at my house I wanted to wear them, with everything. It is still blazing hot here with suffocating humidity, but damn it I want to wear boots.
The other day I went to lunch downtown with some friends from Alaska, and some new to me faces as well. We got to talking about Alaska and very quickly realized how much we all missed it. If you would have told me I would be singing this tune four years ago when we got orders to Alaska I would have fallen off my chair laughing. Especially since my first winter there almost put me in a straight jacket. But, the more we are away from that magical place the more we miss it. Chris instantly falls into a deep dark depression every time he walks into the garage and sees his skis hanging on the wall. His camping and fishing gear all tucked away in the corner. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE the heat. I am still in a total euphoric state even while sweating outside watching my children play. I don't think I will be able to say that I miss the winters so much in Alaska. I will miss the winter activities, but when I don't have to put snow pants on all my cherubs to go to the grocery store in January, I will be a happy camper.
So it is totally a bipolar attitude towards it all.
I do enjoy dressing for fall, I mean who doesn't? With the layers, and the sweaters, and boots, oh my. So little sprinkles of fall seem to slip into my wardrobe sometimes. These boots will be on heavy rotation the next several months.
I'm a little excited about it!
Co-sleeping just always felt right, for us. Is it right for you....I don't know. I have heard it all from family and friends who ask and I tell that all my kids have stayed in my bed until they were ready to get out. Shockingly, not one of our pediatricians have ever had a problem with it. Maybe I just pick really great non-judgmental doctors, because even if one didn't agree I'd still do it. Ha! We really never had any of the issues that people tried to scare me into thinking otherwise. They said, no one will sleep. Not in this house, we all slept better. Especially me! I have insomnia to a frightening degree, and one thing that keeps me up at night is my children. I am a paranoid freak and check on them often. It is a thousand times worse when they are very little. So having them right next to me was so comforting, not to mention convenient for breastfeeding.
Chris and I never had the heart to kick Avalon out of our bed when Odette came along because she would be the only one in a room alone since the boys shared. We tried here and there to put her in her bed, and she would just pop right up and happily make her way to the king bed. She knew that her room was her room, she would play in there, she would grab clothes from her closet, but she wasn't ready to sleep in there. We were totally cool with it.
People would tell me that my kids would never transition to their own beds. We debunked that real quick with the boys. A few weeks after Pierce was born, Ace started taking naps in his own bed, which quickly paved the way for him to sleep in there. He loved it! He loved even more when Pierce became his roommate.
We were also told that co-sleeping was bad for Chris and I. Four kids in five years, you pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?
So when we were looking at houses in Georgia I wanted to find a house that was big enough for everyone to have their own room, should they want that. The boys were kind of into it until we actually started moving in. Then they wanted bunk beds and couldn't bare the thought of not sharing a room. So in they went. I set up Avalon's room and right away she wanted to be in there. She was fine with taking naps in there, and she spent more time playing in there as well. Odette I thought would sleep with us for a little longer, but she is Avalon's shadow and she only wanted to sleep with her. Right next to her. All night long. So we gave the girls the boys' old matching beds and called them roommates.
That left Chris and I all alone in our bed. It was weird at first....quiet with much less kicking. We each still slept very close to the edge because that is what we have been conditioned to do. Caspian rather quickly started noticing that there was more room up there, so he joins us most of the time. Everyone sleeps so well at night, except for me of course. I still get up and peek in on everyone, and listen intently to the monitor.
And in Chris' words "just when you get to a point where everyone sleeps through the night, in their own rooms, and you could do the same......you get a puppy".
Jul 26, 2016
Well, I am back in the solo parenting arena. Last week was Chris' first week back at work since May, MAY!! It's just crazy to think that he was home with us for that long, day in and day out. It has never happened, and it will probably never happen again as long as he wakes up and puts on a uniform. Whomp whomp whomp....
I can Debbie downer on this post real quick like.
And since Chris isn't exactly in his normal job, he is in "school" for the next several months, the work doesn't end when he is off. He has to study and write papers and basically lock himself in the guest room. This isn't the first time he has gone through a pretty intense schooling event while having a house full of crazy people, it is just multiplied this time around. So last week, I didn't see him until he got home on Friday. He leaves at an ungodly hour in the morning, and then has a study group after class each day, followed by some mental decompression at the gym. The kids are all asleep by the time he gets home, and most likely I am asleep on the couch with the dogs. In order for him to get anything done, he pretty much has to stay out of the house. If the kids or Caspian can smell him, he is doomed. They just bang on the door, or scream for him, or drive me crazy asking for him until I want to take a cheese grader to my ears!
The weekend was a nice little break though, or well Saturday was. Chris is a sponsor for an international officer in his class, so we took him out. And we scared the living shit out of him in our minivan, and I am 99.98% sure he never wants to see us again. But he is so nice, and it was amazing to hear about where he is from and even more interesting to hear his first impression on America. I am hoping that the scars from my children will fade and he will give us another chance. But based on his facial expressions....I'm going with no. HA! The kids were asking a million questions, and when one would interrupt the other the gates of hell opened and the screaming would erupt. Chris and I are so numb to it that we just carry on with life. But I'm thinking if the van doors weren't child locked, our tourist in crazy town would have jumped out.
And I'd be noddin' my head like yea.....this is how we party in the U.S.A.
Jul 24, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DareToDarken #NeverGoNaked #CollectiveBias
Mascara is by far my favorite and most essential makeup product. Growing up, mascara was the only makeup my mom would approve of for a very long time. If it wasn't a horse show or cheer competition, the makeup was kept to a minimum. I would fight to the death with my mom when I was younger over it, she gave in and let me wear lip gloss too. But, truly I was always a little self-conscious of my light hair and pale skin, in comparison to the rest of my family. All by brothers and sisters have dark hair, olive skin, and dark eyes. True Italian looking. Then there was me, blonde hair, blue eyes. One feature that I always wanted to stand out was my eyes. So I reached for the darkest of the dark when it came to mascara. This accompanied my first walk down hair dye lane, when I dyed my natural blonde locks a shade lighter than pitch black.
Fast forward many years and many hair colors later and I have stripped much of the dark out of my hair, but I am not quite ready to commit to my now dirty blonde hue. The same goes for my lashes. They are light-er by nature, but to make them stand out it is all about the dark. So when I heard about Rimmel Volume Colorist Mascara I was all about the try out. This mascara provides instant volume and lash tinting over time. I have been using it almost daily as a base mascara for the last two weeks, and I can tell that my natural lashes do have a darker tint to them. Which helps on those days that I don't feel like putting on a full face. Think false lashes, without the hassle of glue. You are just giving your natural lashes a little color boost!
When it comes to makeup I go about it much like I do my style, just have fun. I don't really stick to one set thing. I like to mix it up! Embrace trends, try new tips and tricks, because at the end of the day it all washes off. One trend that I have loved from print to runway this summer has been the focus on bold brows and even bolder lashes. Keeping the shadows and the colors to a minimum, making the eye area the focus.
So I created a day to night look with products from Rimmel, that you can pick up on your next Target run. Speaking of which, there is a Cartwheel offer for 25% off all Rimmel eye products including the Rimmel Volume Colorist Mascara.
The first look I wanted to do was something more for daytime, with my go-to nude lip. Gone are the days of thin eyebrows, so embrace your uni-brow and let them grow....let them growwww! Don't hold them back anymore....
Okay you don't have to go full on uni-brow, but make your brows stand out! The fuller the better. They frame your face and draw attention to your eye area, which that is what we are going for here. I used the Rimmel Brow This Way kit, and it is so great for this kind of look, when precision isn't key.
Next, I wanted to create just a little more depth to my eyes, so I drew a very fine line in my upper lash line with the Rimmel Precise Eyeliner. I started half way in on my lid and went outward. I didn't want to do my whole lid because I wanted to keep my inner corners nice and bright!
Finally, I finished it off with a nude lip, using Rimmel Moisture Renew in Nude Delight.
For night all you have to do is switch up the lipstick, and maybe your hair if you want. I just flipped my part to the side and pinned it. Then put on a bold lip color using Rimmel's Oh-So Wicked 820, which is such a gorgeous deep plum color.
Done and done. A summer day to night with one simple look. You can also read more about the Rimmel Volume Colorist Mascara here.
Jul 22, 2016
If you didn't shop the early access sale, now is your time! Things go fast, so if you like it, snag it while your size is available. Even with the early access some of the things I wanted were sold out in my size, so I stayed up last night watching the Sopranos waiting and hoping for a restock in some things, and snagged them at midnight.
Hi, my name is Kelsey and I have been a shopaholic since birth. (my sneaker head days were much worse....I called and told my work once that I would be late because I had to wait for the drop on these shoes! #pitiful)
Anyway, this sale is just too good to pass up. Here are some more of my favorite picks, and things that I ended up getting.
Jul 20, 2016
Over the weekend, Chris and I did something that we should probably do more often. Divide and conquer. Usually on the weekends we soak up any and all time together. If we need to go get something, we all load up and make it a family affair. Which is usually a shit show and we provide plenty of free public entertainment. But, we do it. Well last weekend Chris and I both had things to get done and it just seemed smarter to go our separate ways. Divide the kids in half, knock it all out because we also don't like leaving Shameless at home for too long.
So we did. The boys headed to do boy things and get whatever Chris needed to head back to work. And the girls and I did girl things, like shopping. Then we all met back downtown to grab lunch and head home. It was funny because once we all got home and everyone was settled down, Chris and I both agreed that it was kind of nice taking just two kids out each! I am used to all four, so just the two girls seemed like nothing. We walked a little slower, because the only speed the boys know is fast. The fighting was quite minimal which was a welcomed change for a couple hours. And I got to really talk with Avalon. She has a lot to say, but her brothers like to drown her out. So we talked princesses, and how much she loves her doggies, and she got new chap stick, and Odette was happy with a lollipop. Blissful in the land of parenting and errands.
Chris' experience was a little different because let's be honest he kind of got the short end of the stick. The boys are off the wall out of their minds 24/7, they know nothing about calm and relaxing. But they listen to Chris way better than me, so he is able to death threat parent and get shit done. I applaud him for it. But, I think this might be a more routine thing for us. Splitting the kids up in the name of sanity and quality time.
I like it. What say you?
Jul 19, 2016
Let's talk fast yet effective makeup shall we? During the week I like a simple makeup routine. Something that I can do everyday, that looks like I put a little effort in and most importantly makes me feel put together. It only takes a couple steps, can be done with a toddler pulling at your leg, and it's perfect for the Target run, followed by a coffee pick up.
Here are all the products used:
Click on the video below to see how I do it!
Jul 18, 2016
Mondaze! How was everyone's weekend? Once again nothing too exciting went on here. I think that will basically be the theme for almost all weekends here because time just seems to be flying by, and we really won't be in Georgia for too long. Plus! We are obsessed with our house. I think that was a huge factor in Alaska, not that the scenery was anything to shy away from, but we didn't really like our house. We did everything we could to get up and out. It was just dark, and claustrophobic. Even though there were three levels of living space, the layout was just so odd. So now that we have a house that we really enjoy, we spend a lot of time here. The backyard also helps. The kids just go back there and get lost in the jungle. The dogs have so much space to explore, and it is private. No neighbors within ear distance. When the time comes, this house will be really hard to leave.
But, one thing that does get me out of the house is.....food. So Friday night we went out for BBQ.
And now I can't stop thinking about it. I forced everyone to get different order numbers so that I could try everything. Southern BBQ is just the best. And a large sweet tea to wash it all down sent me to hog heaven. Get it...pork ribs...hog heaven? Bad joke. No one get their Monday manners in a twist, I grew up with a mom who went through a heavy vegetarian/vegan phase.
In any event, the food was amazing.
Also amazing, these high-low tank tops from Banana Republic. I have them in three colors now and I kind of feel like the crazy asses running around playing pokemon go....I have to catch them all. But they really are the perfect tank. Wide shoulder length, so a regular bra can be worn. Soft, they wash well, and the relaxed fit is perfect for an indulgent day of eating. You will have to excuse the wrinkles though, holding a small child in the humidity does not make for a wrinkle rid situation.
Other than food, I knocked out some more school supply shopping, where I bought not one but two broken binders. So tip of the day.....check the locking mechanism on the binders before purchase because nothing makes my mom crazy flag fly higher than trying to return items with children. I might be better off just keeping the broken ones and having Chris pick up new ones.
My petty life struggles, I tell ya.
Jul 15, 2016
Friday! I just like saying it is Friday, for absolutely no apparent reason. Today won't look much different from yesterday except I won't be taking Ace to camp, and I probably won't be going to Target. Although, you can never really rule out a Target trip because it's Target. I do hope to sway Christopher into a cheat day today rather than on Sunday because I could go for some good southern bbq right now, and our friends have been raving about this one place, so now I feel like my life is incomplete.
One must complete their life with bbq. You understand.
Other than my need to clog my arteries, we have no plans for the weekend. I'll tell ya, that is one thing I miss about Alaska. We were always go go go. There were 1,000 and one things to explore within driving distance. As much as I love the heat, there just isn't too much we can go do with the dogs (can't believe that is plural now) and the kids that is really worth our while. That isn't stopping me though, the hunt is on and I will find things.......
We are more in to-do list mode as well. Chris going back to work, and school starting has me making list after list. What school supplies are left to buy? Calling and harassing doctor's offices in Alaska to rush those medical records because kids schools just don't take my word for the up to date vaccinations, ya know? Weird. Finding fun lunch ideas, because I am a paranoid mom like that. Even though my children are begging for hot lunch ever since they took their school tour and heard "pizza, sub sandwiches, pita and hummus" to which I have told them......get a job.
One thing I am sure of, is that the weekend will involve coffee preferably of the iced variety and more specifically this almond milk latte pictured above. Also loving the simplicity of a tee and shorts outfit with a vest for a topper. The vest really steals the show, as a vest should. But otherwise the outfit is as minimal as can be. I love a good vest just like I love a good blazer, in my opinion you can never have to many. Since this one is a few seasons old, here are some I am currently loving, this leather one for under $60, the classic utility vest on sale for under $40, and this amazing embroidered number that is half off.
And with that I will leave you, happy Friday, party it up my friends! See you Monday? Same time same place?
Jul 14, 2016
The time has come Nordstrom said, to shop for many things......
And if you happen to follow any and all fashion and style blogs, then you will probably see your fair share of Nordstrom posts. Add me to the list. I personally like seeing what other people are shopping for because their style is most likely different from mine, which gives me inspiration. Maybe they found something I didn't? Who knows!
Personally, my sale picks this year will probably be a little different than the past few years because I live in a warmer climate now. In Alaska I was looking for heavy layers, jackets, and sweaters. This year I am looking for more transitional items, tops, dresses, and light layers. I also use this sale to snag some investment pieces, denim, boots, and classics that I know will be worth my saved pennies.
Jul 12, 2016
Happy hump day! Even though I hate that whole "hump day" expression. Can we think of another phrase? Lets just go with happy mid-week! Or even better...happy Wednesday! I don't have anything too exciting to report today, but I do have some random thoughts to express. So why not just throw those out right? No sense in keeping them in.
-I guess we should just start with the above.....I completely forgot about these pictures on my phone until I got the dreaded "storage is almost full" message the other night. So I went on a deleting spree, but these had me cracking up! The instagram shots that you don't see! Chris being the constant professional instagram husband just keeps on clicking, bug swatting or not. And you know what I just had to post them, who the eff cares if I look completely ridiculous, there was a BUG NEAR MY FACE! And the highlight reel of instagram is just that....the highlights, the good pics, the ones that make the cut. Which I am all for, I like beautifully curated squares. But sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself. I don't take myself serious at all, ever, despite what my outfit of the day faces convey.
-Speaking of social media, did I ever share this article with you? I talked about it with Kait, and I think I shared it on twitter. But it is my favorite article about social media, and just not taking it all so seriously. And making it about what YOU want to see. Not the pressure of following people because they follow you, and god-forbid you lose a follower by unfollowing them. Blah blah blah. Or what about unfollowing someone you know in real life, does that then create bad blood, over social media channels? I just can't. I say unfollow, block, mute, delete, unfriend, re-friend, refried beans, whatever. Social media should be fun, and you know....social. If you get on instagram and don't like what you see, get rid of it.
-Let me just tell you that I have mere weeks before my children start school. As in three weeks, and I am having panic attacks over it. I have gotten to the point that I threw it out there at dinner the other night that I would just home school the boys, to which Chris laughed uncontrollably. I hated Ace in school last year. Yes, it was nice at times to not hear him and Pierce fighting, but it really isn't that much easier to run errands or anything, I do still have three other kids. And now with Pierce going to school....rip my damn heart out. I need to be medicated to be able to drop them both off somewhere for a full day.
-I had no idea so many people were interested in great danes. If you don't follow me on instagram or snapchat, then this is the first time you are hearing that we have added to our family. In the form of a great dane puppy, and he is every bit as dreaming as one can be. We have had him for over a week now, and the obsession is overwhelming by everyone. Caspian loves him, Shameless (the puppy) may not feel the same way all the time because Caspian likes to put his 95 lb body on top of him. But, I got so many questions on snapchat about Shamless and great danes in general, and all I can say is, we like big dogs and we cannot lie.
-The other day Ace and I saw a chicken cross the road. No this is not a joke....an actual chicken was crossing the road. We had to wait for him to get to the middle only for him to change his mind and go back the other way. So the joke should really go like this "why did the chicken cross the road?" "It fucking didn't! It stopped traffic for six minutes to figure out how dumb it is for a chicken to try and cross the road in the first place".
-The Nordstrom anniversary sale is so close I can feel my pointer finger getting click happy. I posted about some of the things I will have my eye on here. You can laugh all you want about my excitement, but I am a shopper, you know this about me. So let the sale games begin!
Okay, I think that is all that is flying around my head right now. What's going on with you?
Jul 11, 2016
top: sold out super similar here // jeans (diy cut hem) // shoes // belt: anthropologie (old, similar style)
So, the weekend just flew by right? It can't just be me who thinks that. Or maybe we all think that every weekend. I'm sure that is the case. We really didn't do anything this weekend. Chris is still very much on vacation, so really everyday could be a weekend, but we try to do the normal week day things on the actual week days, like errands to get us out of the house. Ace still has reading camp for the next few weeks, which I love! I love that he loves to read (in the very first grade sort of reading) because I was the opposite child. My parents would have to bribe me, then threaten me to get my summer reading list done. Ace is just a little sponge and he is so inquisitive. Plus I like that he is making friends with similar interests. And it is something he gets to do alone. Often times I lump him and Pierce together with activities, but they are really very different, so this gives Ace a chance to learn and take things in, and then come home and tell us all about it.
Anyhoo....Saturday we were going to go downtown and hang out but then the craziest storm rolled in and it down poured for about 30 minutes, with ridiculous wind, and it created a rushing river effect in our front yard. So we scrapped the day, and I took a shower and played around with beauty samples. haha. Those wild Saturday nights, I tell ya.
Sunday we took the morning kind of slow and then revisited our plans of going downtown to grab a quick bite to eat, followed closely by a coffee refuel. I really love the downtown Columbus area. When we lived here before it was just starting to get built back up. There were a few restaurants, but now coming back four years later they have really made it such a family friendly place. They turned old factory buildings into amazing apartments, and condos. The farmers market is held there every Saturday, and tons of other community events go on down there. Plus, one of my favorite things to do is drive around and look at all the old historical homes. We usually do this when the girls fall asleep and need them to get in a good amount of zzzzz's. The boys will take turns jumping out with us and reading the plaques in front of the houses.
It all sounds like nothing too exciting, but it makes for a good little afternoon. We get out of the house, we spend time together, and we wear a child or two out.
How was your weekend?