Sporty + Feminine

Nothing like a new pair of sneakers to give you an extra pep in your step, am I right? I bought a new pair of running shoes several months ago- a super nice pair of Asics. Great, but insanely bright colors! I wanted a pair that was a little more neutral and would match more of my workout clothes. Why not, right?

And yes, I like my workout clothes to match. No, I am not the gal you see working out in full hair and makeup....unless I workout after work! Yeah, from time to time I wear my favorite pair of yoga type pants and an old tee shirt to workout, but nothing beats working out in true workout gear (more on that next week!). Really though, I just wanted a basic black pair of sneakers that I could work out in, but also wear with regular clothes. I had some birthday money left over so I figured why not?

It didn't take me long to settle on this pair at Kohl's, and even less time to wear them! I stopped in at Kohl's last week before work (yay for them having early morning hours!) and really didn't try on any other pairs...these were my fave! And a total side note-can you believe that I only saved $5 total on my purchase? Hands down, that is the least amount that I have ever saved on a purchase from there! I felt like I got robbed! Usually I save more than my total due! Haha!

Anyway....pairing my new kicks with my liquid leggings from Old Navy was a no brainer. (you can see other ways I styled liquid leggings here, here and here) I feel like the leggings sort of meshed the dressier necklace and sweatshirt I had with the more casual sneakers. Don't be afraid to mix sporty with more feminine pieces like a tailored jacket or a statement necklace. The end result (like my outfit) might surprise you!

Outfit Details:
Jacket: Old Navy /// Sweatshirt: Old Navy (old) /// Leggings: Old Navy (similar) /// Chambray: Gap (similar) /// Sneakers: Nike via Kohls /// Necklace: Target /// Bag: Blair Ritchey /// Hat: Target /// Sunglasses: Target 


Love and Sparkle with FabKids and Ella

Another month picking out FabKids outfits, and it's just as fun. Ella loves to pick out her outfit everday, but she really loves when she gets to actually shop for her outfit. Most of the time I have the final say as to what we buy for her, but I do let her have a good amount of input- she is funny about how clothes feel on her!

Luckily though, FabKids has a decent overall selection, and an even better selection of dresses and skirts paired with leggings which is Ella's preferred look. Girly, but comfy.

This month, she opted for a skirt and shirt combo, that way she could wear them separately if she was in the mood. I let her take the reigns with styling this whole look. Leggings would have been too cold for her, so jeggings it was! And she wanted to wear her hair up so she could show off the zipper detail in the back and the ruffles on her shoulders! I love when children's clothes have cute little details like that! Plus, it is SO refreshing to see her in something that doesn't have some sort of character all over it.

Outfit Details:
Top: c/o FabKids /// Skirt: c/o FabKids /// Jeggings: Target /// Shoes: Converse via Kohls 

Right now FabKids has some new member exclusives (amazing!). If you sign up your first outfit is only $15 plus free shipping! They are also offering buy one get one free shoes for new members! They have such a cute selection- Ella loves all of the boots! 


Julie Bowen Beauty with Neutrogena

This past Sunday evening was pretty eventful in my household- eventful meaning I was flipping back and forth between the Miss Universe pageant and the SAG Awards!

As much as I love the awards show itself, I must admit that the pre shows are my favorite. I love to see what everyone is wearing, their hair, their makeup and their accessories too!

Like Kerry Washington's look at the Golden Globes, I always love to try and re create red carpet looks, and sort of transform them into an 'everyday' look. As much as I would love it, I don't walk a red carpet every day!

Julie Bowen, the current face of Neutrogena looked absolutely gorgeous. She nailed her looked head to toe, with her flawless makeup and hair!

Here is a breakdown of Julie's red carpet look, created by her makeup artist Heather Currie.

Heather based Julie's look on her couture dress. She drew inspiration from the soft beige and pink color combination. She wanted to have her lips and cheeks to have a similar hue. 

She started by applying Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and then Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup applied with a wet sponge. Using the wet sponge is a trick Currie likes to use because it keep the skin looking natural! (mental note- give that a try!)

For Julie's eyes, Currie used the Neutrogena Long Wear Eye Shadow Cocoa Mauve palette and the Classic Nude palette. She used the darker shades on the outer eye lid area and the lighter shimmer shades on the inner eye lid. Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara was used to complete her natural smokey eye. 

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick was used for Julie's lips because it is great for long nights. They have great pigments and they don't dry out your lips. On Julie, Currie used Fresh Papaya.

Gorgeous, and easy right? I love that her look is so natural, and can totally go from red carpet to everyday!

Like I have said before, I love that this look is attainable but also affordable! I think there is something so classic about a nude lip- love how effortless it looks! 

You can check out all of these products Currie used on Julie as well as Neutrogena's full line at Walgreen's

What's even better? Neutrogena and Walgreens are teaming up to give away five (yep...FIVE!) $50 gift cards to Walgreens! Enter below! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


We're All Doing Ok

Motherhood. It certainly has a way of sucking the life out of you doesn't it?

You never really know until you become a mother the range of emotions someone so small can make you feel in a day, a minute, a second. It's enough to make you think you are going crazy! Someone lock me up!

If I am being honest (as I usually am on this little blog of mine), I will say that lately it's been tough being a Mom. I feel like I am questioning myself now more than when I was a new Mom. I truly thought that when my husband and I became parents we would kind of learn as we go, particularly learning the most when they are babies and then kind of glide along and take it one day at a time. Or face a situation and be like oh this happened before, we've got this.

Who wants to go back in time and slap that delusional Mommy? Seriously- I guess I never really thought about it, but it is amazing how many uncharted territories we have to navigate on a daily basis as parents. When Ella started elementary school, there were so many new happenings, new things that we were just like "how the heck do we deal with this?" So many that it was enough to make me realize "oooohhhh so this is what parenting is like- always changing, always learning, always, ALWAYS navigating the unknown." That is what parenting is-navigating the unknown.

Lately it has been a struggle, feeling like I am doing ok, doing a good job. It's so easy, isn't it? To doubt yourself as a parent. You see, Ella has some anxiety issues. She calls it getting "panicked up." I think its her combo of panicked and worked up. Part of her issues (I hate to use the word "issue" because it sounds so negative, but I don't know what other word to use) is that she over analyzes EVERYTHING and worries about EVERYTHING. She thinks of every possible thing that could happen in every situation, both good and bad, and doesn't let it go, and doesn't forget it (another quirk of hers...she remembers every.thing.).

We don't know how this all started, why it started, or even who she gets it from as Ryan and I don't really have major anxiety. Having to deal with her random meltdowns, sobs, defiance when she has these meltdowns is daunting to say the least. Over the last several months it has just been at bed time (no, it's not a tactic to prolong the bedtime process...it's beyond that). I don't know about you, but as soon as the typical bed time routine starts, my patience goes out the window-that, I know doesn't help the situation. Add onto that the fact that we have absolutely no idea what we are doing or how to handle it and all we do is question ourselves. We've tried every parenting angle there is from talking to her calmly, reasoning with her, bribing her (which the doc says is a no-no because it adds pressure on her) to full out yelling, where I end up with a scratchy throat from yelling so loud. Some nights, it ends in tears (my tears...she cries from the get go)- those are the worst, when it gets to the point that you really question yourself as a parent. I'm not talking the "oh if I let her have this lollipop now will I regret it later today?" kind of question. More like "will how I handle this affect her? I'm assuming (hoping...for comforts sake) other parents out there have these kinds of moments where they really question their parenting.

It's these moments that I question myself the most. I am always asking Ryan what we should do, how we should have handled things differently. He has just about as many (or few) answers as I do. All we can do is lean on each other and trust that what we are doing is the right thing. If it's not, then we know for the next time. Because with Ella (and pretty much all children) there is always a next time.

Even with Charlotte, while not as stressful as Ella's anxiety, handling her terrible two's is all new to us. When Ella was her age, you would typically just have to tell her once not to do something and she would listen. Not the case with Charlotte- the complete opposite. You tell her not to do something, she does it again, and again, all while looking at you with the shittiest grin. We constantly find ourselves saying "how do we handle this?" Amazing how different siblings are, isn't it? With Charlotte it's a different kind of stress- more like a frustration than anything. But at the end of the day, you still question yourself, your judgement, your parenting. I will say though, that a lot of the time with Charlotte, we do end up finding ourselves chuckling to each other....how can you NOT laugh when you say "Charlotte are you supposed to hit your sister?" and she looks at you and says "yep." And yes, it's always Charlotte hitting her big sis!

I think the self doubt and question also stems from lack of overall confidence. It's no secret I've talked about it before on my blog, and it is still a struggle, as it is with most women. I hear women all the time that are around my age or older that are like "I've just learned to accept myself the way I am and I have never been better!" Seriously where the hell can I get a sip of her cocktail? Is today the day I will finally accept myself for who I am and learn to love myself the way my husband does, the way God does, the way my friends and family do? If I am being honest, I am about 40 lbs away from feeling that love. It's terrible to think that way, but hey-it's the truth. The disgust in myself totally trickles into how I parent, and I know that's not right. Not one bit. Totally not fair for my girls, or even for Ryan. But I am making my way through this journey of loving myself. And like parenting, I am making mistakes along the way, hitting roadblocks and bumps, but I am getting there.

Parenting is hard stuff, is it not? Some nights, when Ryan and I are sitting on the couch (another tactic we've tried...ignoring) and Ella is in her room screaming and crying louder and louder I think to myself, "I wonder if, when she is all grown up, we will look back on this and laugh with her?" Then another part of me thinks "I wonder if, when she is all grown up, we will look back on this and think that is where we went wrong?" She is learning to navigate her way through life, but so am I, so is my husband. How do you explain that to a 6 year old? I make mistakes, I screw up, I say things, do things that I later regret, but that is all a part of life, right? When I really feel like I have screwed up, I apologize to her. I have plenty of times. I don't know if it makes a difference to her, but I feel better calling myself out and owning when I was wrong, or when I over reacted.

At the end of the day though, in the midst of our screaming, reasoning, punishing, ignoring, it is so hard to tell yourself that you are doing ok. I am doing my best version of ok, the best version for our family. My ok may not be your ok, but that is....ok (no pun intended...swear).

We are all doing ok. Being a Mommy or a Daddy is hands down, the toughest, most stressful job there is. And you don't have a boss (well you kind of do have a boss) that gives you evaluations, reviews, or a pat on the back that says "hey! you are doing a great job!"

So, during our parenting ups and downs, the spit up on our clothes, the time outs, the eye rolls, tantrums, carpooling, back talking, or anxiety meltdowns, remember you are doing ok. I will be the first to admit that it is hard to tell yourself that let alone believe it. But just know we are all in this parenthood thing together. There is another Mommy out there ready to lose her mind just like you, a Mommy who can't remember how many days it has been since she washed her hair, a Mommy (or Daddy) who is this close to breaking down and crying if they have to raise their voice one more time.

I know how easy it is to doubt yourself. But you are doing ok. We're all doing ok.


Sequins + Leopard

I swear I will never tire of sequins. Something about it that just brightens my mood! What makes it even better is when it is comfortable.

And if I haven't told you enough already, you need a utility vest in your closet. While it doesn't quite do much to keep me warm, it adds a little something to my whole look!

Outfit Details:
Utility Vest: Old Navy (similar) /// Shirt: Elizabeth & West /// Jeans: Old Navy /// Shoes: Target /// Purse: Target /// Bracelets:  Stella and Dot, My Saint My Hero /// Necklaces: Stella and Dot, Stella and Dot

Sequins isn't just for black tie affairs or other super fancy occasions....at least I think so! I love incorporating it into my day to day wardrobe whether it be with a sweatshirt, or even a blazer! Go on and give it a try :)


Winterizing Your Nails with Julep

I am not one for resolutions, but one thing I made a mental note about at the beginning of the year was trying to give myself manicures more often, and actually keeping up with the manicures. For as something as minor as having my nails painted, it makes a pretty big impact on how I feel about my head to toe look. It makes me feel more put together!

You see, I have been known a time or two, to paint my nails and then wait until the polish is just about completely chipped off to remove with nail polish remover. So my nails look great for about a week, then terrible and chipped for a lot longer!

I am also somewhat fortunate in that my hands don't get too terribly dry during the colder months. While I do notice that I have to lather on the moisturizer more frequently, I don't get too dry. I do think though, that the more I buckle down and give myself a manicure, the less maintaining I will have to do as far as moisturizing, taking care of my cuticles, etc.

Julep makes it really easy to "winterize" your nails with their products and this step by step process.

I know one thing I need to focus on more is my cuticles. I am terrible at keeping them decent! I am also a nail biter sometimes. Not all the time, but once I start, I can't stop until there is nothing left! I know- it's awful! 

Here are some really cute winter colors from Julep. I love the lighter colors as an alternative to the darker shades I tend to gravitate towards for the fall. I always seem to forget about winter pastels! I usually think of spring when I think pastels but they can totally work in the winter! 

Although I could take better care of my nails, I do have a few personal tips that I will share with you to keep your hands and nails looking great throughout the winter!

~Don't neglect your nails. When we apply lotion to our hands, we usually slather it on. Don't forget to focus on your nails. When I apply my hand cream I always make sure I rub it in on and around each of my nails.

~Stay hydrated. I have gotten SO much better at this over the last couple of months. I used to be so bad at drinking water, but as of late I have been drinking at least 80 oz a day. Staying hydrated obviously has a lot of benefits, one of them being strong, moisturized nails. 

~Use polish remover that is not acetone based. I noticed when I was using an acetone remover it really dried out my nails and my cuticles. 

~Stay away from acrylic nails! I used to be a huge fan of them. I think the last time I had acrylic nails was when I got married (almost ten years ago!). They are terrible for your nails and do not do anything but damage!

What are some of your nail care tips? I would love to hear them! 

I will leave you with some of my favorite Julep colors. I think they are all great transition colors to wear from winter to spring! 

You can check out their full line here. You can also check out their monthly subscription box here. They have had some really great boxes with some really great variety!


Floppy Hats + Plaid

Yesterday was one of those days that was just perfect! My husband and I both had off so we spent the day with the girls- we went out and about in the morning to the Turkey Hill Experience to learn how they made their ice cream, cuddled and watched movies (which means I napped), made a delicious homemade dinner, and just relaxed.

Although we did go out and about for a little bit, I believe I was in comfy clothes more than I was actually dressed! I did manage to get myself together for our morning outing, although sweatpants and a hoodie were calling my name!

Once again, I wanted to shop my closet- I dug up this sweater beneath all of my most recent sweater purchases, and the plaid button up is from several months ago! There is something perfect about adding a chunky knit sweater to any outfit!

Outfit Details:
Sweater: Old Navy (old, similar) /// Plaid Top: Old Navy (similar) /// Jeans: Target /// Booties: Target (similar) /// Bag: Blair Ritchey /// Hat: Old Navy (similar) /// Necklace: Stella and Dot /// Bracelets: Stella and Dot, Alex and Ani /// Watch: Target 


Black + Camel

Sometimes the most blank canvas is the most refreshing, and to me, the most stylish and classic. Yeah, it's nice to have all the little extra bells and whistles with your outfit whether it be some sort of embellishment or accessory, but other times the bare minimum is the best.

That's the look I was going for with this outfit. I was headed to a freezer meal workshop (if that doesn't scream MOM! then I don't know what does. Side note- if you haven't been to a freezer meal workshop, you grocery shop ahead of time, meet at someones house, prep for a few hours and leave with at least a dozen meals. It makes for a long afternoon, but worth it when you don't have to do anything but put the meal in the oven! I totally recommend finding a Tastefully Simple gal near you and doing one). Knowing I would have a long afternoon ahead of me, I wanted to be super comfy.

I've also been trying to shop my closet more lately. As much as I love shopping, it just makes more sense to shop my closet. It's amazing what you can find. I forgot I had this trench in my coat closet- I almost bought something like this the other week-I'm glad I didn't!

Outfit Details: 
Jacket: Gap (old, similar) /// Tunic Sweater: Target (similar) /// Jeans: Old Navy /// Sneakers: Target /// Purse: Target (similar) /// Bracelets: Stella and Dot, Alex and Ani /// Necklace: Stella and Dot /// Watch: Target


Sweet Sneakers

If I could choose one adjective to describe my style lately it would be lazy. Well maybe not lazy- because I am certainly not lazy in my appearance. Let's say...comfy? This time of year it seems I gravitate towards more of what makes me comfortable (and warm, obviously) rather than super fab heels, or something along those lines. Boots, flats, and even sneakers have been calling my name, which has made me realize that, with the exception of a few pair of slip on sneakers, I don't have any cute pairs of "athleisure" sneakers. You know, the kind of sneakers that you wear to do anything but work out in? 

So, with birthday/Christmas money burning a hole in my wallet, I figured why not check out as many sneaker options as possible?

Here are just a few of my favorite ones. A couple are bit on the pricier side, but I tried to keep most of them under $100!

Top row (l-r)
Sam Edelman (definite splurge) /// Sam Edelman (also a splurge)/// New Balance

Middle Row

Bottom Row


Crocs for the Win

My creativity when it comes to my outfit has been pretty much horrendous lately. I am chalking it up to the weather for having no motivation to put on anything remotely cute or stylish. That, and the fact that I am in a never ending/ongoing weight loss journey (more on that in the future....story of my life), so my clothes are fitting me weird, because I am not in this size, but I am not in this size either, and no one makes anything for this size. UGH. UGHHHHHHHHHHH.

Seriously, whatever I am in my next life I just want willpower and a good metabolism. That's all.

Anyway, this is my attempt at keeping warm but still somewhat stylish. This sweater was a great purchase from Target (shocker, right?). I last wore it here with leggings, sandals and a panama hat. It was a great transition piece purchase. I love being able to wear it now in the colder months with my favorite blanket scarf, and my Croc duck boots.

I am obsessed with these boots! They are so comfortable, keep my feet so warm and are really lightweight. I remember when I was little, my parents used to make me wear duck boots to school and I hated it-I felt like such a dork wearing them. What a long way they have come over the years, right? I love wearing my duck boots now-who would have thought?

You all know I like a good bargain, and items that are affordable, but winter boots is something that I knew I wanted to spend a little more money on. I intend to keep them for as long as they wear well!

Outfit Details:
Sweater: Target /// Jeans: Old Navy /// Boots: Crocs /// Jacket: Old Navy (similar) /// Scarf: Zara (similar, similar) /// Hat: Target (similar) /// Bag: Blair Ritchey /// Bracelet: Kimmans,

If you haven't invested in a good pair of winter boots, now is definitely the time! Believe me, there is still plenty of winter left to get a lot of wear out of them! 

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway with Walgreens and Neutrogena! You can enter here!