Fall Home Decor

Happy October friends!

Today I am bringing a little fall fun your way and if you think I have had these decorations out since September 1, you would be correct. I personally do not understand the gripe with decorating for holidays too early. Especially in the time of the COVID because wtf else are we going to do? But really, think of it this way:

Baseball season lasts approximately 39048453 days and yet it is considered perfectly normal to attend and watch preseason games. Nobody says anything about that. But I put out my Christmas decor a few weeks before Thanksgiving and people are up in arms?! Sorry that I need more than 30 days basking in the joy of holiday decor! That I would like more than a month to light my Christmas cookie candles and continually adjust the ornaments on the tree. FIGHT ME.

oksorry back to the fall stuff.

DECOR

I really wanted to find a pretty fall garland to put on my fireplace mantel, but everything was SO orangey. Maybe I will try to make something?

I also spray painted fake leaves from Michales to be more my aesthetic.

I recently made the earth-shattering decision on dark blues and pops of mustard yellow in our family room. Check out these prints I nabbed for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

Also cannot wait to tie this little sucker to something next time we have people over. It smells like those cinnamon pinecones and was only $1 from Trader Joes.

HOME/BODY CARE

Lately I have been buying up all fall hand soaps I can find. Here is one I found at Target, which smells great!

And I had to get this one from Trader Joes as well.

In terms of wax melts, my new preferred home fragrance method – here are three scents I am obsessed with. All purchased from Walmart for $2. If anyone wants a more in-depth review just lemme know!

Also recently tried out this pumpkin spice CBD bathbomb and had myself the coziest lil fall evening ever! Thanks so much to the folks at CBD Living for sending me this and a handful of others to try. This bathbomb smelled amazing and is chalked full of skin-moisturizing oils and of course, 100 mg of CBD. So impressed!!

And lastly, these pumpkin spice “batons” from Trader Joes – so good with coffee you guys.

All for now – happy fall!

CocoOil Review

Hi friends!

Before I begin, I wanted to say that I hope everyone is safe and sound amid these horrible fires. The smoke is supposed to start clearing in our neck of the woods and I am more than ready for it. An at-home 4th grader, a busy toddler and 2 adults trying to work from home has shown us just how much we appreciate the freaking outdoors. Walking around the block, or through the nature park next to our house after a long day of chaos is such a welcome reprieve. Being totally sequestered inside is the pits, man.

Who feels me?

Luckily for me, the wonderful folks at CocoOil sent me their lineup of products to try out!

I mean, how aesthetically pleasing is this?

While I will be saving some of these products until next summer to take for a proper spin, I have been able to try out a couple items.

CocoOil Ocean Spray

I tried this texturizing coconut and sea salt spray one morning after taking a shower and applying it while my hair was still damp. I used a t-shirt to scrunch it up (thanks TikTok!) and then threw it up in a headband. If you have never tried headband curls, check out this amazingly professional video I made on YouTube where I show you how!

I left the headband curls in for only about 45 minutes, just long enough to let my hair completely dry. Then I took out the headband and BAM.

Not bad for no heat! The CocoOil Ocean Spray totally gave this ‘do the extra umph it needed. It provided amazing, subtle texture and truly made it feel kissed with sea salt. My hair did not feel weighed down (which is the case with so many other sea salt sprays) and best of all, this stuff smells AMAZING. I mean, alllll the beachy vibes.

I am so happy I was able to try out this product because finding a good sea salt spray has been quite the challenge and this one is definitely going into the ol’ lineup! Especially with headband curls.

CocoOil After Sun

A couple of weeks ago, David got a little too much sun on his shoulders and back. I was sad for him, but very pumped to bust out this LIME coconut oil. This stuff also contains aloe vera and smells absolutely delicious. Coconut lime just happens to be one of my favorite scent combinations and this does not disappoint! David said his back immediately felt better, soothed and moisturized.

I also want to mention that CocoOil is a pretty stellar brand. Made in Australia, all the products are organic, fair-trade and cruelty-free. They also make a baby oil with lavender which I may have to order for Miss CJ.

All in all, I am totally impressed with CocoOil! Both of the products we have tried are stellar and smell amazing. I cannot wait to try out the SPF products next summer when we see the sun again – so stay tuned for my thoughts on that!

A Baby Update: 20 Months

Hi friends.

I had planned to continue showing our baby faves at all the normal milestone intervals – 6m, 9m, 1 yr, 18 months and so on. But then Clara started walking and really, as long as the girl was fed, rested and clothed – all she needed was a little mischief to keep her gears going. Screw the adorable wooden toys, sweet linen onesies and pristine soft leather crib shoes. She was ready for toddlerhood in every way.

Favorites have included scissors, phone cords, wallets, mommy’s pill bottles, sharpies and any other item we say no to. Preferred activities are picking at the mole on my clavicle (I had to have it removed), writing on the walls, the floor, herself and dipping her hands into the fish tank and then licking them.

This all might sound like complaining and truthfully it is and it isn’t. Obviously I don’t treasure following her around with a dust buster and magic eraser. Or clinging to her torso as she noodles out of my arms because I would not let her pick all of the flowers from our neighbors yard. But do I love the look of sheer delight on her face when I ask her if she wants to feed the fish in the morning? Yes. Do I laugh hysterically when she “finds” me “hiding” under the blanket? YAS. Do I share in her exaltation at Dave and Ava, her Hello Kitty plushes and opening the freezer? YES I DO!

It is equal parts joy and frustration. Energy and total exhaustion. I feel like such a dad when I say “this girl is going to keep us on our toes” but really, she is.

Take, for example the lovely spaghetti dinner we were having the other night when she somehow obtained a tiny circular smiley faced sticker, brought it to her sniffer and forcefully inhaled. One hour later David and I were on our way to Randall Children’s Hospital at the behest of our pediatrician. SO yeah, we’re on our toes now. Especially when it comes to stickers. And for anyone who is curious, we did not find the GD sticker up her nose.

Here we are in the E.R

She relishes at the sight of any kind of marker, ballpoint pen or other coloring apparatus. And after several walls scribbled in crayon and legs marked with pen, I got the girl an aqua doodle water mat on Amazon. Both her and her older sister love it and it was $12. It is this one if you are interested.

She is also a huge fan of the out-of-doors, despite my disapproval ;). Luckily though, she prefers walks to hikes and patios to grass.

Since parks these days are abysmal ghost towns that remind us the golden days of yesteryear, we have mostly steered clear. We did stop at one a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t resist an illegal session on the swing set.

But like come onnnn. Look at that face! ARREST US.

Can we also quickly touch on how insurmountably hard it is to raise children, one being a toddler, amidst a pandemic? While working from home full time? While trying to maintain relationships, friendships, connections? While trying to keep a tidy home? A sane mind?

Like I said…insurmountable.

We do not have childcare. So when I say it is a balancing act, it really is. I feel guilty when I have not stepped away from my computer for 4 hours and Clara has not been properly interacted with for more than 5 minutes. But then I feel guilty when I step away for 20 minutes to chase her around the kitchen or read her a book and I realize I’ve missed an urgent message from a co-worker. It’s a lose-lose. I know I am not alone and like HSM reminds us, “we’re all in this together!” but like, damnnn. This is hard.

But here are the things that make it better:

And

oh, and

did I mention?

and these guys too

So I guess the baby update is that she really is not a baby anymore. And while that makes me so sad I could vom, I am also pretty excited and proud at the little gal she is becoming. Stay tuned for her 2 year update in which I will  spend 48 solid hours in tears.

 

Outlaw Soaps Review

Howdy partners!

You may ask why I am using such language but you see, after receiving a package from Outlaw Soaps, it is basically impossible to not let out a “yippee-ki-yay!”. Or a “git along little doggie”. Or to just grab your child’s stick horse and begin riding it around the living room.

And that is because this company is doing everything right. Everything from the packaging, to the scintillating scents, to the attention to detail has been perfectly curated for a super fun time. ALSO – All of their stuff is made in the USA, is cruelty free and made of super high-quality ingredients that are 95% natural.

I am so happy that the lovely folks at Outlaw Soaps sent me over a few products to try out.

Bonus points if you can spot the tiny rubber chicken they sent!

As soon as I opened the box I knew I was in for a treat.  If the aroma itself wasn’t enough, check out their packaging! So unique and just plain FUN, there is no other way of sayin’ it!

Their scents range from, “Fire in the Hole” which boasts notes of black powder, whiskey, sagebrush and excitement, to “Calamity Jane” which features clove, orange, cinnamon and whiskey. My favorite might be, “Lust in the Dust” which has notes of sagebrush, sandalwood and campfire.

I MEAN. How fun is this!?

I can also confirm that this stuff smells just as good as you think! David used the Lust in the Dust Body Wash ($14) after playing basketball in 95 degree heat for a couple of hours and lemme just say – the man smelled GOOD. Like, he smelled like what I think Pierce Brosnan probably smells like (anyone?).

I have not opened the Calamity Jane Body Lotion, ($15) but based on the scent alone I am beyond excited to bust this out during the holidays!

This handmade bar soap in the scent Home on the Range ($10) might have my heart.  The fragrance combines juicy blackberries, sun-dried laundry and fresh-cut grass. Holy hell it is good!

I also received the Calamity Jane milled bar soap ($5) as well as this great big mug ($12) that I have been thoroughly enjoying my morning cup of joe with.

This brand also makes products like natural deodorant (which I would be very interested in trying out!), hand soap, colognes and beard care. I am beyond impressed with these products, and with this company. I would highly recommend everything we have tried out and if you know me, watch out because you may be getting some Outlaw for Christmas!

Giddy up!

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Current Favorites

Throwin’ it back to 2015 y’all!

yes this photo is from 2015, note the cell phone case

Today I thought I would bring you a list of the things I am currently loving. I do not know why this topic stopped being “a thing” so I am bringing it back. Hope that’s alright.

Arizona Big Buckle Birkenstocks

I got these Birkenstocks a couple years ago at Nordstrom. I havethis persistent pain in my back and a physical therapist friend recommended shoes with better support. I liked them because of the larger sized, shiny gold buckle. SO much more bougie than the regular old Birks. I feel like these shoes represent me perfectly and it shows! I wear them every single day.

Vedic Botanicals Alk-Align Toning Mist

This alkaline toning mist from Vedic Botanicals has been amazing on these 100 degree days! I keep it in the fridge and spray my face anytime I need some cooling off. The Kamogawa blend is especially good for uneven skin tone.

Vedic Botanicals NouRiche Hair Serum

You guys already know about my hair loss story and the journey back to full, sumptuous locks. This stuff has been amazing when applied directly to my scalp. And since the whole brand is vegan and uses very high-quality ingredients like coconut and argan oil, I feel good about doing it!

The team at Vedic Botanicals sent a few other products my way and I am delighted to try them all out!

A Wax Warmer and Wax Melts

It is no secret that I love me a good scented candle. Give me BBW Marshmallow Fireside any day of the week! But I have a toddler. A super curious one. Of course I always put the candles out of reach, but these days she is such a climber and I would rather be safe than sorry. PLUS, I have been reading about the soot that fills the air with candles and how they can stain your walls. That is when I decided to nab this wax warmer at Goodwill the other day for $4. It is from the brand Scentsy (it is called the Windsor warmer) and was brand-spanking new! Gotta love Goodwill!

I have been trying a bunch of different wax melts out (all from Wal Mart) and these are my favorites so far:

Pink Sands by Yankee Candle is AMAZING you guys!

Humble Flower Mini Relief Balm

So apparently I am an old lady because my knees audibly CREEK when I bend down and stand up. Poor Clara looks at me like “what was THAT noise?” and I just have to explain she has a geriatric mother with old-lady veiny hands and creeky-ass joints.

I digress.

This relief balm from Humble Flower is SO good! I was not a believer of any CBD products until I tried this. I rub it into my knees and “my hump” which is basically a persistent muscle pain I get in my back. It feels amazing, smells great and always provides some relief. It is a keeper!

Goodwill and Yard Sales

I do not need to explain this one much – just feast yer eyes on these finds!

Bird prints from Goodwill – $20 (originally from Z Gallerie)

This cool gold bust from an estate sale – $5

These cool vintage birds at a yard sale – $4 for a set of 2!

And lastly, but certainly not least..

Biscoff Cookies

 

If you have never tried these little gems, run don’t walk to the grocery and pick some up! If you are lucky, you will even happen upon some Biscoff Cookie Butter which to me, is better than the popular Trader Joes Speculoos. I have been eating these non-stop as they are the perfect size, flavor and texture. Added bonus:  you get to feel very European and chic while eating them.

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

We Moved!

And I lived to tell the story.

Clara and I working away, mid-move

So I will just get right to it. And really, it is the same story as likely millions of others quarantiners. Spending so much time at home, together, just exacerbated the fact that 1,400 square feet was teetering on the edge of tight and REAL tight. We loved our house and neighborhood but we had simply outgrown the space. We had been casually looking for close to a year before we bought, but nothing held a candle to what we already had, in the areas we were interested, and in our price range. But then. Then the interest rates plummeted and what we thought was not doable, suddenly was.

When we first toured our new house I thought to myself “yeahhhh right. this is never going to happen”. It was too big, too nice, and honestly too perfect to be true. It had everything we wanted and more. And somehow, here we are. I am living in, quite literally, my dream home.

But before you get too jealous, please understand what a perfect home is to me:

  • Anything built in the 90’s

YES. I love me that classic 90’s layout! You know the one. Separate living and family rooms, usually an office off the front entry and a bonus room? YAS QUEEN.

  • Tiny, almost non-existent lawn

I grew up with a huge-ass yard + an acre of pasture. Fun to play softball in from time to time? Sure. Fun to mow, pick up tree limbs from and weed? YEAHNO. My parents used to make us go out there and pick up limbs from our willow tree and alllll I wanted to do was go inside and watch Days of our Lives. So basically, David and I like to spend our weekends having fun and not doing hours of yardwork.

  • Giant 90’s master bathroom tub

My only stipulation for said tub, was that it NOT be jetted. Because I’ll pass on soaking in someone else’s dead skin thanks. But – I love me a good ol’ giant tub. Would I prefer a sleek free-standing or vintage claw-foot? Duhhhh. But beggars can’t be choosers.

  • Carpet everywhere!

I feel like I have stated my position on this topic already, but in case you did not already know…    I ♥ CARPET. Our last house was 99% hardwood-laminate floors and don’t get me wrong, they were lovely. But I am a floor-layer kindof a gal. Some of my fondest memories as a child were laying on my grandma’s thick-ass carpet while watching Nickelodeon on her old TV that sat on the floor. Our new house has carpet in all the right places (read: NOT the bathroom) and I love it.

Upon moving in, we discovered a few more perks that we were unaware of.

We found these VERY realistic looking faux red delicious-style apples complete with produce stickers on top of the kitchen cabinets. Maybe I will throw them in a bowl, tie some raffia around it and sponge-paint the walls! (just kidding)

We also inherited two very high-maintenance pets (wink wink). The previous owners let us know that they had left a fish tank behind and I could not be more delighted. I named them Gloria Estefan and Bunny McDoogal, respectively. Also, if anyone has pointers on how to clean a tank like this, let me know because we have no clue.

As soon as we moved in, we immediately started on improvements:

Yes I consider putting a brand spanking new BBW hand soap in the bathroom an improvement. And no, we have not removed this wallpaper yet. It’s kindof growing on me 😉

I took down this giant monstrosity from the dining room and decided to spray paint it white in an attempt to save us from buying a brand new one. I think I like it!

We got an Ikea cabinet for the master bathroom, so I can organize all m’products!

Got a new bedspread for the spare bedroom/Nana’s room. PINCH ME I have a spare bedroom!

We took down this lovely turquoise swag from the master bedroom and I may use the fabric to make a Princess Jasmine costume! Also, just look at this little tike!

Other happenings in our new home consist of my first soak in our tub (which I am happy to report does in fact fit all 5’11.75 inches of yours truly). And many walks in our new neighborhood. Homegirl kept her sunglasses on for about 45 seconds the other day and you know I had to paparazzi that sh*t.

That is it so far. LMK if you would like any progress updates here, as I am happy to share.

My Little Mascara Club Review

Greetings friends and happy summer!

Today I bring you another review and this time we’re talkin’ my all-time favorite makeup product…MASCARA! I feel like putting mascara on is one life’s real, honest to goodness pleasures. Seeing those lashes go from drab to fab…I mean, what is better?

And also, I don’t know about you guys but now more than ever, I have been appreciating the small things in life. You know? The beautiful, picture-perfect rose in my neighbor’s yard. The new bath mat that fit perfectly in front our sink. Someone at the store telling me they like my tie-dye sweatshirt. You get it.

It is abundantly apparent that the folks at My Little Mascara Club appreciate the small things, because the attention to detail in their products is unrivaled. These wonderful folks sent me the Lovely Gift Set to try out and well, just feast your eyes.

First of all, can we just admire this packaging for a sec? Everything from the mailer…

To the boxes…

(Which btw, what a great company slogan) And inside, they send a FORTUNE COOKIE!

I MEAN!

Included in this gift set is:

The Best Little Mascara Ever – Length + Definition

Fresh Micellar Water with Cucumber

Erase Reusable Mascara Remover Wipes

 

The mascara features natural bristles and did a great job of lengthening and separating. I find small wands SO much easier to control than the full-size bulky wands. Here’s how it looks on me:

The micellar water + erase wipes however, might be my absolute favorite from the set. The micellar water smells like cucumbers and virtually eliminated every stitch of mascara with EASE. I was honestly kinda shocked. Plus, the reusable mascara wipes are super soft and you can just throw them in the laundry. I am seriously hooked.

Overall, I cannot believe how much I loved all the products from My Little Mascara Club. Even more crazy, they are all vegan and cruelty-free! I would definitely recommend this brand and will definitely keep en eye on them for new products!