Weekending

We have had a full weekend in these parts that consisted of a lot of house guests. And even though we have little P in the mix now things are still same as they ever were. Which means a lot of laughter and a lot of Lifetime movies.
This little rugrat has introduced us to the world of 18 months - and well it's a crazy ride. I am finally coming full circle on the expression "quit acting like a baby" because babies cry over anything.

Stop playing with the dog's water.

Don't put that in your mouth.

No more Bubble Guppies.

This week is an exciting one because it means that the Napa trip is finally here! Steph & Cait are flying into SFO and Natasha is driving down from Tahoe and we are all headed to Napa! This will be the longest I have ever been away from P but I know it's good for me (and her!)

Cannot wait to finally meet my East Coast friends in person and just hang out, unwind and relax. I am so looking forward to it and I can't wait to share all the details!

Hope you had a nice weekend!




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Blog Sale : Baby Girl Clothing

Have you ever heard over Overdrive? It's an app that allows you to check books out of your local library (you must have a library card). My sister told me about it awhile ago and I found that a lot of books I was interested in were already checked out. However I placed a hold on one and forgot about it until last night when it became available for download.

Most of us have heard of it but The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is seemingly what it is cracked up to be. I was only 20 pages in when the overwhelming urge to get rid up unnecessary crap was already burning up in me. 35 pages in and I have already filled up two large trash bags with clothing to donate.

Marie Kondo's principal is that in order to really clean up your home you need to do one major event of tidying. Once you eliminate anything that no longer serves a purpose you will find that everything you do have will have a place to belong to. When you're done your home should only be filled with things you absolutely love. It was resonating with me so I decided to start her method. She says that you start with things that have the least sentimental value like clothes and work your way to the harder things last. By the time you get to that portion you have a better sense of what you want to keep and why,

Can I admit right now that some of the things I had were so old they dated back to my college days! Yikes! Most things went into a donation bag, others went into an eBay pile and some of my daughters clothing is for sale right here! What doesn't sell will eventually go on eBay but I wanted to give you guys first shot at it.

If you see something you would like just leave a comment below! All prices include shipping. All clothing that is preowned is washed exclusively in Dreft detergent and comes from a smoke free home.

PayPal only. If the item has a strikethrough it is sold. Please pay within 24 hrs.

Lily Pulitzer for Target | 18 months | Brand New with Tags - $15
I am not really a Lily fan so I rather these go to someone that is!
Cherokee Dress | 18 months | Brand New with Tags - $10
Aden & Anais Bubble Romper | 9-12 mos | Excellent Used Condition - $15
I loved this sweet little romper!
Baby Gap Shorts w/ Tights | 18-24 months | Excellent Used Condition - $6
Baby Gap Sweater | 18-24 months | Worn Once - $10
Baby Gap Cable Knit Sweater | 12-18 months | Good Condition - one small pull - $8
Might be best for a 6-12 month old, arms are snug.
Baby Gap Embroidered Hoodie | 12-18 months | Excellent Used Condition - $15
Hard time parting with this one but she only wore it once and by that time it was too small.
Little Me Tutu Dress | 18 months | Brand New with Tags - $10
Oshkosh Chambray Button Down | 18 months | Worn once - $7
This shirt is adorable but my P's little belly won't fit into it!
If you know someone who would like any of these items please share!





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Buying Lately: Makeup Edition

I have been on such a beauty buying kick lately. I think this happens every year right before my birthday - ahh the joys of aging. I got some splurges and some cheapies and I will share them all right here.

Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect (Target, $12)
I purchased this out of laziness when my normal Makeup Forever HD foundation ran out. I was at Target and googling what a dupe would be since I didn't know the next time I would be at Sephora. Well I purchased natural beige and it was way too dark for my skin. So I can't be too fair in it's review since I did make sure to stop at Sephora the next day! That being said the consistency seemed a bit thinner than the MFHD but the way lower price point will have me giving it another try.
Verdict: Buy correct shade and reassess.
NARS Albatross Blush (Sephora, $30)
I had watched a YouTube video where the girl used this like a highlighter after contouring her face. She sprayed a fan brush with water and then lightly swept this blush onto her cheekbones and forehead. It leaves a really nice dewy golden sheen.
Verdict: Love
Anastasia Contour Cream Kit (Light) (Sephora, $40)
I really wanted to start using a kit to highlight and contour my face. I purchased the cream kit as opposed to powder because my skin runs on the dry side. While I do like this kit I have to admit (and my husband would roll his eyes in agreement) it takes me a lot longer to put on my makeup. With cream a little goes a long way so it's a lot of applying and blending. I think it is probably a little advanced for a beginner HAC but I am starting to get the hang of it.
Verdict: Liking but definite learning curve
This was my first ever e.l.f purchase and I have to say for $3 I really like this brush. It's too small for the highlighting and contouring portion but it's perfect for the nose.
Verdict: It's $3 - love!


I actually bought the pressed version of this but can't find a link to it. I bought this because the girl at Sephora told me I should get the Laura Mercier version but I was feeling cheap. haha Honestly I have no idea if this really does anything but since I am using a cream I thought it would help my makeup stay put.
Verdict: Ehh I don't know if it actually works
My sister works for bareMinerals corporate and I strong armed her into buying me my birthday gift early. :) Ahh the power of sisters! What's nice about this brush is it's super compact and easy to blend my makeup. I use it for contouring my cheekbones and really love it!
Verdict: Love

I wanted this to be amazing and transforming but really it's a lot of bark and not a lot of bite. Womp, womp.
Verdict: Skip it


Basically what this tells me is that I have been buying way too much makeup! Tell me what is your favorite can't live without it product?


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Why I Use Canva and You Should Too

One of the things that makes for great blogging content is great images. The bigger, brighter, sharper images are always pleasing to the eye and hopefully that means your readers will stick around a little longer. The same applies to graphics on your blog.
Here are five reasons I use Canva and why you should too.

1.  The basic version is free

I used to pay on another site to create my post graphics. While it worked pretty well for some things, I always felt limited by it. With Canva there is so much to work with on the basic version. I have all the things I had with my paid version - but at no cost - with a lot more options.
There is a wide variety of designs you can choose from. Want to make a long skinny Pinterest graphic? They have you covered. Looking to make a Facebook cover page, you got it! Want to do a custom dimension? Go for it!

2. Saving your work

One of my biggest gripes with the old service I was using was that I could not save my work. One time I made my Media Kit on it and that was a huge mistake. I had to recreate the whole thing anytime I wanted to update it which was a pain in the butt. Especially since they were usually very minor tweaks to show improved numbers.
These are just a few of the graphics I have created which even includes an invoice a photography client had requested. I love that I now have a template that I can adjust as needed for future clients. Also sometimes I waiver between what image to use for a post, it's nice to be able to save and see them side by side. You are also able to delete and dismiss graphics once you no longer need them.

3. Stock Photos

If you haven't read this one bloggers nightmare story you're in for a scare. When using images on your blog it is important to never - and I mean NEVER - use a random image from Google. Photographers are paid money to produce these images and own copyrights to them. If you can't use your own image then you should always pay for a stock image. With Canva they make that super easy. You can literally search thousands of stock images and when you go to save your graphic you pay for those components. Stock images are $1 a piece.
Here I searched dog and once I check out and pay for the images the Canva watermark will disappear. Super easy way to legitimately get the photo you want and not worry about the potential to find yourself in a lawsuit!

4. Photo Sizing

Sometimes you want to create images that have a neat juxtaposition. Two photos side by side or in a collage. Canva is super user friendly and makes editing, sizing and places images a breeze.
5. Options

Sometimes you just don't know where to start with what would make a good graphic. Canva gives a ton of examples on the left (some free, some paid) that you can brainstorm ideas with. This has definitely upped my level of creating graphics people are more likely to click on.
So there you have it why I am now fully a Canva convert. This is not a paid post and zero affiliate links have been used. I just love it and think you will too!

I can only imagine how much more Canva has to offer in it's upgraded version, plus tons of stuff I probably don't even know the basic version can do!

Are you pro Canva? What's your favorite feature?
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Loving Lately: Saddle Bags

Saddle bags are on major trend right now and even though we all want this one - here are some other options that won't have you perspiring when you go to purchase them.

Rebecca Minkoff Vanity Saddle Bag



This last one is backordered until March 17th - so of course I had to put it in my cart and purchase! 

Are you into the saddle bag/ cross body trend?



6

Monotony

We often get lost in our own head. Our day to day routines and way of life become so rote that we do things without thought. The dishes pile up, the clothing sits unwashed and why does it seem like you're perpetually out of paper towels?

While the daily in's and out's of life are often monotonous there are certain things we should not take for granted. It could be that daily phone call to your mom or the morning coffee your husband makes you. Perhaps it's not an action but more a verbal "love you" as you're running out the door late for what seems like the umpteenth time. 

It's easy to get lost in all the exchanges of the day and realize you're missing so much of it. Perhaps you're missing a friend silently asking for help or overlooking a husband wrought with stress over his job. A child who needs more attention at home and is acting out because of it. Maybe that achy knee is telling you to be more active or finally see a doctor. 

I never want to be the person who missed the signs. That someone needed help. A little more love. More understanding, more patience, more grace. This is just a gentle reminder to be present. To be less involved with ourselves and more engaged with the people we love and surround ourselves with.
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Weekending

I had such a nice three day weekend. It involved the coast and the mountains and a whole lot of fresh air. I can't complain much when being graced with weather in the low seventies and blue skies for miles around. We have rain coming later this week which is perfect since we will be headed toward the snow! One of the millions of things I love about Northern California, the ability to get to different climates quite easily.

On Saturday we headed to the hills to stretch our legs after driving around. I was on the hunt for wildflowers and David was so kindly trying to find me some.
Saturday night I had fun putting together a little Valentine's basket for P. I swiped our fruit basket from the kitchen and filled it with an Anna doll, Frozen sound book, Bubble Guppy Valentine book and Molly from Bubble Guppies (sense a theme here?) I think she liked the ribbon and tissue paper best  - go figure.
Sunday was Valentines - as you all know haha. We headed through Silicon Valley and wound up near the coast. Not before passing so many gorgeous fields FULL of yellow wild flowers. Too bad it was all private property/no trespassing signs everywhere. I couldn't get near as close as I wanted to!
I really need to work on putting myself in front of the camera. But this last shot - oh it may just be one of my favorites. I love how their feet are mirroring one another and the reflection in the water. P loved the ocean and would run towards the waves with zero fear and would giggle like crazy when they almost got her. Which they totally would have had we not been right behind her. That girl is going to give me a heart attack!

Monday we both got into our ripped denim - I matched this girl down to a t. Yet again to set off on a finding wildflowers mission (and fly a kite) so we decided to head up our local mountain, the same one where we got married <3 It was such a gorgeous, clear day you could see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you look hard in the second photo you can see it in the middle. Dang it I didn't have my zoom lens on me! #primeproblems
That was one long post for one long weekend! Hope yours was a good one!
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Loving Lately

rag & bone skinny stretch
I am a big fan of rag & bone jeans so I hope these are a winner. At 40% off they were too good to pass up. Limited sizes left so hop on it!

Lush Sex Bomb Bath Bomb
Okay I swear I have been living under a rock because I just discovered the amazingness that is Lush. I bought one of these bath bombs to treat myself and it was so refreshing. I felt so relaxed and smelled so good afterwards. I wish I had a couple of these stocked up for days I need to unwind.
AUGUSTE Roamer Romper
I just got my first romper for our Napa trip and if this had come in my size it would have been hard to resist.
Tularosa Marni Tank
Sweet tank that makes me think of Hawaii <3
Ladder Stitch Cold Shoulder Top
I have been seeing cold shoulder tops everywhere and want to join in on the trend. I am liking this one but would like it better in black. Loving this romper cold shoulder too!


7

I Miss Labor

When the dates were rapidly dwindling towards my due date back in 2014 I had heard every story. Every awful, terrifying, "I hope this doesn't happen to you" birth story. One mom even told me that they either had to break her pelvis or break the babies arm to get him out...no joke. While I am acutely aware that labor is out of our control and anything can happen. I still profoundly miss it. I know it's a strange thing to say albeit an even more strange thing to miss, but let me tell you why.

Pregnancy is a really special time, one that is so special in fact, it has me waiting on number two. I am not ready to say "this is our last baby". And while pregnancy is very different for every woman, for me it was mostly pleasant. It was having a secret conversation everyday that is between you and your unborn child. Kicks and hiccups you could enjoy in silence as you rub your hand in circular motions over your ample belly.

Then for some women, like myself, your due date comes and goes and you are trying to figure out every single possible way to safely evict this baby of yours. Was that a braxton hick or a contraction? Could today be it? Please get this baby OUT OF ME!!

Once the contractions start coming - and oh you will know - you will suddenly not want this baby to come out. Because you're scared. Scared of labor, scared of what is to come, scared of how much your life is about to change. No matter your fears this baby is coming so onto the hospital you go!

When you get to the hospital and you're in the gown, it's time. ID bracelets are snapped on and nurses begin congratulating you. You're having a baby! The sound of your child's heartbeat fills the room, your husband looks nervous as you grit your teeth through another contraction. It's excruciating - but bearable and truly miraculous as the body and mind seem to remove the pain from memory.

Soon your doctor is saying "push, push, PUSH" and that feeling is like woah - there is no way a baby is coming out of there. But they do and it is yet another reminder of just how amazing this process is. You hurt all over, you're exhausted...

But then you see your baby. Your baby.

And they hand him/her to you and say "meet your mama".

And it's a feeling like I can't even describe.

It's not so much of the before, it's not so much of the after. It's those very first seconds of meeting. That's why I miss labor.

*DISLAIMER*
This is a part of my birth story how it happened to me. Everyone has a different experience, experiences different pregnancies, labors (C-section, VBAC, Vaginal), different post birth experiences. Some babies are only seen for a few short seconds before being whisked into NICU and not all babies get to do skin to skin time right after birth. No matter what your experience is we all want the end result of a happy, healthy, baby. This is just my story.
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