December 17, 2014

Getting Holiday Glam with Intel Tablets



I love everything about the holidays. Family time, Christmas decorations, glitter, red lipstick... you know... the usual. I have been so busy lately... I decided to use my Intel Tablet to help me pump up my glam factor.

Last month, I told you how I used my Acer tablet to get "me" time... and my kids still haven't taken it over! I told my son it's "Mommy's Work Computer" so he doesn't even ask to play with it anymore. I have been so busy recently... that I haven't been taking very good care of myself. I've been missing workouts, not eating well, getting too little sleep... you know the usual positivity suckers. So I've been using my tablet to get inspiration to get me out of this grinch-like funk.. and find my holiday glam.
                

First thing I needed to do was switch up my hair... so I searched Pinterest for inspiration. I created a entire board full of fantastic hair ideas. I wanted a 'brightened up' look at that is exactly what I got. I brought my tablet to the salon, and showed my stylist all the ideas. She loved that I was able to show her all my inspiration looks in once place... and she gave me exactly what I wanted. I love my new ombre hair!
                 

I have been using YouTube to find some holiday makeup tutorials. The tablet works great so I am able to pull up my favorite channels in no time! Thanks to YouTube I am now a pro with a clipless curling iron.. and I love wearing my hair curly now! (I wrote all about it in my Family Favorites post!) I have also FINALLY learned how to put on fake lashes, and I am obsessed with them.

                

Nothing helps perk me up like some holiday shopping... for myself! For Black Friday, I lounged on the couch and used my Intel Tablet to take advantage of some serious deals. I bought a dress from Banana Republic for 50% off. (I wore it this past weekend) I also got the sweetest little stacking bands from a store on Etsy called The Love Knot Shop. I got a rose gold band and a sterling silver band and I love them!

                    

Now I may still be exhausted... but at least I will look good hobbling towards the finish line of 2014!


#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.


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December 16, 2014

How to Survive a Wedding with Kids

                                    

This weekend my kids got to enjoy their very first wedding. My husband's cousin married his sweetie in a beautiful ceremony. I am so thankful they welcomed children to the wedding and all wedding-related events, since I would have had to stay home with the kids and had my hubby go alone if they hadn't.

I am going to be totally honest here. I was really, really looking forward to the wedding and spending the weekend with family. However, I was not looking forward to trying to control my sweet, but sassy 22 month old and loving, yet crazy 6 year old at such a grown-up event.

Here's how we managed to enjoy ourselves and not go crazy.

Bring Bribes: I had a suitcase full of bribes and I am not afraid to admit it. About an hour into the 3 hour trip I surprised Hudson with a coloring book that helped him pass the time. For the wedding, I brought little toys for my son and nephews. One for after the ceremony, they all did GREAT! (I had another toy for them later, but I never got to give it to them.. I will explain why later)

                         

Work Around Naptime: If you have a toddler or baby who still naps, try your best to make sure they still get that time to rest. I am not very strict with naptime routines. On the weekends, we go about our day... and if Mila gets her nap, great. But if she doesn't I don't freak out about it. However, I really tried to make sure she got naps here, since I knew she would be up late at night. For Friday, we left the house around her naptime, so she slept almost the entire trip. Saturday, she fell asleep at the mall, so we walked around a bit longer since we had time to kill to let her rest up. It made a huge difference while getting her ready to go and for pictures, etc.

Let the Kids Play: I want my kids to be well-mannered and respectful... but they are also just kids. I make sure Hudson says hello and introduces himself. I (try to) make him sit with family at dinner (no electronics) until people are mostly done eating. But when there is a chance for them to play, let them do it. The rehearsal dinner was at a home, so after dinner... there was a room where all the kids were playing. We let Hudson go off with his nephews to play with the other kids. At the wedding, there was a huge field, so after the ceremony we just let all the kids go crazy. They were running, screaming... playing tag and whatever else they came up with. We stopped them (briefly) for dinner and then off they went again. Expecting them to socialize, dance, and stay by your side just isn't realistic.

Don't Forget Snacks & Clothes: Make your life easier, be sure to bring snacks and extra clothes with you. Our go-to snacks are peanuts and pretzels. A bag of that can get my kids through any meltdown. Also, I always had extra clothes for Mila. (I also brought her PJ's both nights, since she usually falls asleep in the car ride home, so I change her before we leave... just one less thing to worry about)

Be Flexible: I would say my kids did pretty well. Were they perfect? Nope. Did we get some stares at times? Sure. But that's ok. I tried not to get stressed out about it. We had to be extra flexible when Mila's elbow popped out of socket while she was dancing with daddy. YIKES! All of a sudden she started holding her arm and crying... when we COULD NOT get her to move it, we asked around and people told us about a after-hours pediatric ER that was about 10 minutes away. We snuck out of the wedding and we were in and out of the ER in 30 minutes. The doctor knew right away what had happened and didn't even need to do an X-ray. He popped it right back in and Mila was happy as can be!

Overall, the trip was a success! Here are just a few pictures from the wedding! 

Snuggling with Daddy at our surprise ER visit!


The beautiful bride!
She loves her Daddy!
Handsome boys!!
 
Family picture!


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December 10, 2014

My daughter is obsessed with me

                 
My daughter is going through a mommy phase, and that is putting it lightly. She only wants ME to put her to bed, give her a bath, feed her, wash her hands... I could go on. If my husband tries to get her ready for bed, she screams her head off until I walk in there. She says 'Mommy' about 687,932 times a day. And I am loving every second.

My son was super independent. He never liked to be held for a long time, and he never snuggled when he was a baby. He also went through a stage where he only wanted my husband. He was a daddy's boy. I remember crying, feeling like my baby didn't love me. Now I realize how ridiculous it was to even think that. Hudson was just too busy for his own good, and all kids go through a phase when they prefer one parent over the other.
She's obsessed with me and I'm obsessed with mommy-daughter selfies. ;)
I think one reason for her clingy-ness is there have been a lot of changes recently. She started daycare and she sleeps in her very own big girl bed now. On top of it all, her back molars are coming in. Put it all together and you have one very needy little munchkin. I feel for her. She is just a little thing, and I would imagine all these changes must be so difficult!

                      

So right now, I am enjoying every single moment of my daughter's obsession with me, since I know it will not last forever. I love that she is a snuggler. I love that she follows me all over the house and sits on the floor next to me as I get ready for work. I know now just how quick this moment is... since 'phases' like this don't last long with little ones.

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December 7, 2014

Find Your Perfect Scent With Pinrose!


               

I love perfume. However, I suck at picking out scents. Over the years, I have smarted up to this fact, so I always take home samples of perfumes I am convinced I LOVE before I buy them. But once those yummy smelly fragrances actually get on my skin.. they don't smell the same. (and most of the time they don't smell as good) Maybe my skin hates perfume?

Perfume Sample Graveyard
When it comes to the perfumes I like, there are VERY few out there. I am not a REAL perfume person, I don't like strong scents or anything flowery. I basically want to smell like a mini-marshmallow floating on a cotton candy cloud in a citrus-y sun shower. Sweet, but not too sweet. Fresh... but not like a dryer sheet. Is that too much to ask?

So when Pinrose contacted me, I was intrigued. Take a quiz.. and they will match you with a scent. Now I am so extremely picky when it comes to perfume that I never thought this would work. While taking the quiz, you are supposed to answer quickly. According to Pinrose, "...fragrance recommendations are generated from your instant right brain reactions." 


I got Merry Maker & Sugar Bandit. Merry Maker sounded right up my alley. Nectarine, rose and plum... that's all me! But Sugar Bandit concerned me. The scent is explained as a mix of vanilla, cedarwood, and white chocolate. I didn't sound like something I would like. 


So I was lucky enough to get all the petal packs sent to me, which was SO much fun. Trying out a new fragrance everyday really made me a happy girl. 

                    
 
I decided to try out 'mine' first. Merry Maker smelled exactly like I had hoped. It was a awesome scent, really fresh but 'grown-up' at the same time. (not only do I suck at buying fragrances, I also suck at explaining them) 

Sugar Bandit was next. I was prepared to smell like a chocolate bar all day long. Boy, was I WRONG! This smells AMAZING. Exactly what I have been looking for in a perfume. It was sweet, but subtle. I cannot put into words how much I love this scent. It was by far my favorite of the bunch. The quiz nailed it.

All the scents were pretty good actually. A few of my other favorites were Ballroom Philosopher, Renegade Starlet and Rooftop Socialite. The only one I really wasn't crazy about was Campfire Rebel. It is explained like this, "Perfect for sipping whiskey in the woods after the rest of the tent has gone to bed." It kind of reminded me of a drunk guy at a camp fire. But then again... not everyone wants to smell like a sweet, citrus blast, like me!

If you are looking for a really cool and different gift for your friends this holiday, I would go with a Pinrose Petal Pack. That way your friends can try every scent. (you should tell them to take the quiz, too) Each petal pack card explains the perfumes top, mid, and base scent. I thought it was fun that the cards also had a song and drink that explains the fragrance. The ladies at your holiday party will be fighting over this one. Or maybe I am just thinking of my friends.

Also, Pinrose just released 3 NEW scents for 2015! Click here to check them out! 

Disclosure: I was compensated by Pinrose for my review, however all opinions are 100% my own!

 


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December 2, 2014

November Family Favorites

                 

November was another busy one! My best friend got married, I had my 10 year wedding anniversary, and we went on our first trip away without the kids! I also enjoyed lots of family time during the long Thanksgiving weekend. So here is what my family is LOVING this month.

Lauren:
Clipless Curling Iron
I have had this Clipless Curling Ironfor well over a year, but every time I would try to use it, I just couldn't get the look I wanted. Well, thanks to the magic of YouTube (and my Intel Tablet) I finally know how to use this thing! And I am obsessed. I have been rocking bouncy, curly hair wherever I go. At almost every event I went to this month, I wore it curly.  I have even been wearing it to work that way, since I actually find it is faster to curl my hair. (instead of using my straightener)

                 

Donnie:
Garbage Pail Kids
My father-in-law gave my husband a huge box of his old trading cards, which included a MASSIVE collection of Garbage Pail Kids. We spent a whole afternoon looking at all the cards. Hudson had never seen them and he was dying laughing. They still sell these things!! We saw some at Target when Hudson and I were looking for Pokemon cards (which you will read about shortly) and he was like, "Look Mom! Dad's Garbage Pail Kids!!" He also had a bunch of Star Wars trading cards, it's so much fun to see what we collected as kids!

                

Hudson:
Pokemon Cards
This is a fairly new obsession in my house. Hudson began asking for Pokemon cards when his friends started trading them at school. A few kids actually gave him some, just so he could participate in the trading fun. (how sweet is that?) I told him I would take him to buy a pack since he did good on his report card. Then he collected every dime he had and managed to buy two more packs on his own. Apparently the cards are used for some type of game, but Hudson and his friends have no idea how to play. They just trade cards and talk about the 'power level' each one has.

               

Mila:
Minnie Mouse
Miss Mila is in LOVE with Minnie. She asks for Minnie all the time. We have a few Minnie dolls, and there is one that she carries around all the time. We have a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the DVR that is the Minnie Pet Show episode... and she always is asking to watch it. Another huge development from this new found Minnie love, is that now Mila likes BOWS! (thank you, Minnie's Bowtique) I have DOZENS of hair bows, but she would always rip them out. Now she ASKS for bows... and keeps them in her hair ALL DAY. It's amazing, really. She is always pointing on the bow on her little Minnie doll... and says, "Bow"... then she will point to her own bow and smile. It's seriously so cute.

                

What items is your family loving right now?

**just a reminder, nothing in this post is sponsored or was given to me for free** 

 



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December 1, 2014

Hello, December!


              

Another year is almost gone, can you believe it is DECEMBER?! I can't. I would normally post my November family favorites today, but that can wait until tomorrow! I just want to catch everyone up on what we've been up to. I decided not to blog at all last week, since I was off work Thursday & Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I figured I could use the first three days to get some holiday shopping done.  (Especially since I was working a split shift at work, go in at noon, leave at 9) Well, on Monday the Ferguson grand jury report was released... and I am glad I decided to take a week off blogging BEFORE that happened, because I wouldn't have had a choice anyway. We had sent one of our reporters to Missouri, and lets just say I left waaaaaaaay after 9pm for the week!

I was so exhausted and relieved to get to Thursday! I treated myself to a blowout at Just Air, which is ALWAYS worth it. (I need to do that more often!) Then we were off to my brother-in-law's house, since they host Thanksgiving. It was a great night, even though Miss Mila was a serious grouch, since we had to wake her from her nap to leave. Every year, we set up our camera on the tripod, and since we have a remote clicker... we can get the WHOLE family in for a picture. It's the best. Donnie and I bring our camera and tripod to a lot of big parties/events to do this, and the pictures always turn out awesome!
                     

On Friday, we just relaxed. We went to Home Depot to pick up our Christmas tree.. and Donnie had to go into the store for a few things... BIG mistake. They had these GIANT bears there for Black Friday. As soon as we spotted them, the kids and I ran over and picked out our new bear. Donnie tried to stop us, but it was 3 against 1. Best 30 bucks I've ever spent. Friday night we made cookies, played Christmas music, and decorated the tree. It was perfect!

                  

On Saturday, the boys went camping for a night, so Mila and I were on our own. We played outside, went to Trader Joe's, and did laundry. I loved it. On Sunday my men came home and we went out to lunch so I could hear all about their very first camping adventure. It was a wonderful 4 days off.

                   

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Now the whirlwind known as December is here... enjoy the ride!



                    



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November 20, 2014

#GiveHappy This Holiday Season with Osh Kosh B'Gosh


                      

 “I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’gosh. I received an OshKosh B’gosh gift card to purchase product and to thank me for my participation.”

I remember wearing OshKosh B'gosh when I was a little girl. These days, the iconic brand goes way beyond overalls! OshKosh has the cutest clothes, for boys and girls, size 0-12. I am lucky to have a OshKosh outlet nearby, so I am always in there. They have awesome deals, and their little girls clothes are my favorite! Mila has a few pair of shoes from there as well, they are really durable and comfortable.

Right now they have the CUTEST holiday outfits online and in-stores. I was looking for coordinating outfits for my kids for our Holiday pictures. I wanted something cute and festive, but nothing that was too matchy. I started with Hudson, since he is super picky when it comes to what he will wear. I was thrilled when he picked out a dark denim button down. I paired it with mustard colored pants and grabbed a khaki pair as well.

                              

Then I got lost in the girl section. I am obsessed with little girl clothes, especially during the holidays! OshKosh had so many adorable dresses and graphic tees! I fell in love with a navy blue sheath style dress with gold accents, since I thought it was a such a classy style for a little girl. I also found some more casual options for the photo shoot, including a super-cute heart tunic with matching leggings.
 
                              

Hudson is kind of in-between sizes right now, and I wanted to see how the dress looked on Mila, so we decided to head to the dressing rooms to try everything on. Hudson loved the shirt, but the mustard pants we grabbed were a skinny cut and he was not a fan. I thought he looked SO stylish and handsome, but there was no convincing him! He chose the khaki pair.

                              
Meanwhile, Mila was having a full-blown 'I'm-supposed-to-be-napping-right-now' breakdown, so after throwing herself on the ground in just her diaper... I decided to just take a gamble and hope the clothes were true to size. (they were!) She fell asleep moments after I put her back in the stroller, poor, sleepy girl!

                                 
How adorable is this dress??
OshKosh is running a holiday #GiveHappy campaign. It's all about celebrating the holidays and remembering the simple joys of childhood, often associated with this time. How do you #GiveHappy during the holiday season? Tweet OshKosh your #GiveHappy moments! Check them out on Facebook, too! To find an OshKosh near you, just head to the store locator.

Our holiday pictures are next weekend and I know the kids will look super cute in their outfits. I just wish they would have had clothes for me and my hubby, since now WE have no clue what to wear! 

OshKosh gave me this awesome coupon for all my readers! Just click here to print it out!

https://na5.salesforce.com/sfc/p/#70000000J7Xq/a/700000004ZdL/xCxC1zAHxRUphXC4jgJvQzDlD57S36XMTtFpTJ6KKfM


November 19, 2014

Organize your kids playroom with help from Ikea

              

I love Ikea. I fell in love with this furniture super store when I did my internship in New York. I was super excited when they finally came to South Florida a few years back. (and there is a location really close to my house!) I have tons of Ikea stuff in my house, but my favorite is a big photo wall I have in the living room, using all Ikea frames.

                

I had the opportunity to go to a Bloggin' Mama's event at Ikea last night, and I got so many great ideas! The focus of last night was 'Designing and Maximizing your Children's Playroom', something I totally need. Our spare bedroom is currently being used as a playroom, since we don't really have too many guests who stay the night. (everyone knows our kids don't sleep, so they usually make the smart decision to stay elsewhere)

               

The thing with the room, is that we have put ZERO effort into it. We just throw all the toys in it. There is nothing on the walls, no real organization... just toys. I even sent in pictures as an example, and they used them.

                

The furnishing consultant, Jenny, had some awesome suggestions. I really liked her idea of taking off the closet doors, and painting the inside a bright color. (or even using a chalkboard paint for some of it) She suggested some great storage options, and said maybe a desk set up would be good in there, so my son could do his homework. She also suggested putting a small table in the center of the room, with play areas set up around the room against the walls.

Some other decorating ideas they shared with the group:
  • Get furniture that grows with your children (Ikea has tons of furniture options that do this... expandable beds, tables with extendable legs, changing tables that turn into desks... you get the idea!)
  • Admit to yourself that, "YES! Children live here!" (I am guilty of trying to hide all kid toys.. I don't know why even I bother)
  • Design without rules! Mix and match colors and patterns, have fun, it is a kids space!
  • Storage is important, create a 'place' for everything
                 

At the end of the night there was a contest, and a few of the bloggers won gift cards... including me! Woot! Woot! So now I have $100 to get my playroom in order thanks to Ikea and Bloggin' Mamas!

                

One more thing, Ikea is partnering up with UNICEF for the holidays, and for every stuffed animal you buy, Ikea will donate $1 to education! How awesome is that? During our Ikea trip a few months back, I got Hudson a stuffed puppy for being such a good boy during our VERY long visit (we were getting Mila a bed) and he still loves it. Maybe Santa will bring some more stuffed goodness, since they have tons of cute ones and its for a great cause!  

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