February 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes - the super quick edition

1. A gallon of water a day. Still on it. Open my fridge and you'll find my stash.

2. Another eater. She loves her carbs. I guess she's used to them from all the marathoning.

3. Sister, sister.

4.  When you get done with school by 11am. Movie time. Big Hero 6....still one of my favs.

5. This is what happens when you don't start school with a kid until they're almost 5. They figure it out anyway. 

6. Ignore the color. Want it prettier? Omit the spinach. My no carb/high protein Wendy's Frosty:

1 cup 30 cal almond milk
1 cup water
50g avocado (about 1/4 of avocado)
handful spinach
1 scoop VEGA Sport Protein
2 TB. cocoa powder
Splash of sugar free coffee syrup (my secret ingredient)
1/4 cup cottage cheese (I recently added this to my smoothies to up protein, but otherwise I don't do dairy. We'll see if this effects me...)
Lots of ice

February 26, 2015

a simple thought...

Whether that moment is tomorrow or when we meet the face of God, let's all take today to embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, and the in between. Let's use the mundane and the hard and the ordinary to sharpen and prepare us for what is to come. Nothing is arbitrary. It is all ordained by Divine Providence. And now it's time to tackle Thursday and live in hope for what's to come.

Peace Out.

February 25, 2015

OOTW - Something old, something new, something borrowed, something BLUE.

It's true I haven't done as many "mom style" posts lately - mostly because I'm trying to discern the direction of that whole thing (because I want it to be helpful, authentic, and not dumb) and plus taking selfies in my mirror just. feels. weird. But for today I have a few tippos (not hippos autocorrect. Geez, you'd think my computer would get me by now....) to share. Mostly on reviving old items and making them new, fresh, and lovable again.

We all have those things in our closet that have been there a loooong time but we just can't part with them. First of all, we should only keep them if we LOVE them - if they bring us JOY. If not, out it goes. (Still working on this one...) If it's sentimental, take a picture, then toss-a-roo.

That being said, I do have a few pieces I'm trying to see if I can update and make fresh/current - especially since my style has changed so much. I've realized what a minimal dresser I am want to become. Too many layers bug me (mostly because I'm chasing after children and get deathly hot at the grocery store) but too few and I'm freezing (my temperature regulation sucks).

So, I'm doing a trial run with pieces that, when held/touched/tried on bring me joy to see if they bring me the same joy and confidence while actually wearing them out of the house and not just in my bathroom.

TRIAL #1: My $10 Old Navy Dress

I love this dress. It is super flattering. I've worn it pregnant and not. I can nurse in it (adjustable straps). It's comfortable. But there was always something preventing me from grabbing it. I mean, it's totally versatile: can be worn in winter or summer, date night or with flip flops. Honestly, I think it was the flowers. If labeling style, I'm not really on the feminine side. Well, let me rephrase that. I want to be feminine but I still like something with edge. But not too much edge lest I start looking like a homey G. See, tricky. But the other Sunday I grabbed this baby for church and I think I found a way to update it and keep her in my closet.

Additions: long boyfriend blazer (to keep the look current) and my favorite blue shoes (to give it the edge I need). After wearing this to church I realized that I really do love this dress and, if paired with something funky, I'd totally rock it again (and again).

Verdict: KEEPER

Dress Old Navy similar here  ~  Jacket BP Nordstrom, old similar here  ~  Shoes Calvin Klein from consignment similar here

TRIAL #2: the "old" sweatshirt. 

Yes, it's a James Perse but I grabbed it off eBay and for some reason it just seems blah when worn on it's own. It needs a buddy. And since I don't like too much layering I had to find a way to make it work. Insert the ever-versatile- every-woman-needs-one chambray shirt. I've been searching for a good chambray (I've listed a couple below) for a looong time. I have requirements: it needs to be soft, easy to button (I like snaps not buttons), not be too tight on the shoulders OR too baggy and swallow me, a good color to go with other denim, and the collar needs to be able to stand up (because I like pulling a risky business now and then...but with pants). 

TA-DA, found it!

I also updated the sweatshirt with a couple necklaces, a watch (this pulls everything together), a simple gold ring, and my favorite boots. 

Verdict: KEEPER.

Chambray Topshop OR try this one!  ~  Sweatshirt James Perse  ~ Denim AG Jeans (on sale currently!)  ~  necklaces Stella and Dot  ~ Watch Karl Lagerfeld  ~  Ring Ariella Nordstrom  ~  Shoes Sam Edelman Petty Boot

TRIAL #3: the wrap sweater thing AND some old kicks. 

This is an old faux-wrap from Lululemon and the sneakers and from a few years ago, too. These are one of the most comfortable shoes I own and sniffle sniffle they don't make them anymore. The wrap I'm a little unsure of - something just feels off. I think I actually need a different camisole to go under, hmmmmm. But I can't quite part with it yet (I know I know) so I'm trying to find a way to make it work. 

Verdict: sweater, MAYBE. shoes, probably one more season left in them.

Wrap sweater Lululemon similar here  ~  Denim Joe's Jeans similar here (although TJ MAXX carries them a lot)  ~  Shoes Steve Madden (only size 10 left!)

TRIAL #4: vintage jacket and 5-year-old pants.

Lastly, a fail. I'm so glad I took a picture of this ensemble because it was the driving force for letting go. This jacket has served me well: purchased on consignment, worn through pregnancies and beyond. I love the vibe but now it's just too baggy and it needs someone taller (insert my sister, she scored with that baby. XOXO love you, ASH!) The pants are also too baggy at the knees and too long. I could hem them but they've gotten their use. I tried updating it with a cozy turtleneck and leopard shoes and, while the outfit works, the proportions are off. So the pants went to consignment and the jacket to a lucky sister and I'm happy to have things outta my closet and not just sit there.


Jacket Vintage/Consigned  ~  Turtleneck Loft  ~  Pants Sanctuary  ~  Shoes Target

So, there you go. Challenge of the day: pull something out of your closet that you haven't worn in a while and see if you can change it up with what you already own - think outside the box while still being YOU. If it still doesn't work then off it goes to a new home!

PS: sorry I didn't link to the last stuff...Lola is mad at me and wants a nap. NAP > Clothes

February 23, 2015

This Weekend

Whoa do I have a lot of emails stockpiled. Perhaps I'm waiting for a rainy day to finally go through them all. But it hasn't been raining. It's been fill-my-soul-sunny. And that sun was even more welcomed this past weekend when we jetted away (to another place with little cell service) on another family adventure.

This time we hit up Orcas Island. I'd been here a few times - a couple in college, once last year to run a trail race while I was 5 months pregnant with Lola - and I found a Groupon for a little cottage in Deer Harbor. It was great - tucked away, hot tub, enough space for cards and coloring and movie watching and cable TV. We don't have cable. So when I get to have my fill of HGTV I'm on it like donkey kong. Who cares if the TV was fuzzy and I couldn't really tell if the backslash was gray or white....

We also timed it with Levi's third birthday and gave him the ferry boat ride as a gift. Um, best gift ever for a 3-year-old boy.

We headed up Friday morning, caught the afternoon ferry and spent the rest of the day lounging.

On Saturday, we spent the morning down at the docks, then Michael took the three biggies to the beach while Lola napped. (and, um, I got a workout in, lol. WHILE watching HGTV. Bomb.com) After Lola woke up I packed a picnic lunch and we headed out for Mt. Constitution - the reason you go to Orcas. If you're lucky to have a clear, sunny day the view from the summit is what the stuff of heaven is made of. I was a kid in a candy store driving to the top. Although the whole way I wished I wasn't driving and instead running up the trails again. My heart is calling me back to the woods BIG TIME, people.

We spent about an hour hanging out, exploring some trails, and breathing in the view that will fill my soul for quite some time. This is the same spot I got a picture with Lola when I summited the mountain preggo.

After we got back to the cottage, the two littles (and daddy) napped while Max, Avila, and I hit up the hot tub. After being in baby mode for so long (and annoyed with toddler land) it is so nice when I get the time to hang out with the big kids. It makes me excited for when they keep getting older and I get to share in their lives, their hopes and dreams.

The rest of the evening was uneventful and the next morning we hit up the early ferry back home, Mass in Anacortes (ironically the retreat from the ministry I attended at college was going on at the same time....memories fo sho) then back home. And then maybe, just maybe, we stopped at the Lulu outlet. Wink wink.

No, it's not always easy traveling with four kids under 7. But this year I am determined as all get out to not let that hold me back. I've got packing and unpacking down...more on that later...and I really must say that the laid back bug has given me a good bite because I totally didn't let anything get to me this weekend. Well, perhaps we did get to the ferry a wee bit early. And perhaps my husband won't let me live that down. Oh well, it sure made for some interesting fun.....

Back home we celebrated Levi's birthday with a Pinterest worthy cake. Bahahaha, who am I kidding. It was totally a store bought chocolate muffin with some M&Ms and a cookie sprinkle for good measure. He said it was the best ever. Then proceeded to eat 2 bites and said he was full. Hashtag gotta love 3-year-olds. Hashtag not.

Now it's back to the grindstone for the week. So much laundry I think I might die. Laundry AND emails. Oh my.

February 20, 2015

The Hair Post.

I've been mulling it over and the decidedly important thing to do would be to talk about hair two days after we alls chat about being with Jesus in the desert. 'Cause that totally makes sense. 

Up until, oh I don't know a few years ago?, my mane was the bane of my existence, my nemesis, I would've rather been bald than deal with all my curly wavy dry dumb hair. I never brushed it as a kid, I hated hair cuts because the stylist would always turn it into a triangle poof ball, and whenever my mom touched it I would get mad. Like call 911 mad. Yup, did that once.

All I wanted was straight, easy hair. But it wasn't until I actually embraced what I had that my hair started cooperating. It was like it said to me: "thanks for not getting mad at us anymore. We will like you now." I realized that there's nothing I can do but deal and, well, not really care.

You see, for as much as I cared about my hair (aka: in hating it) I also really didn't care. And actually I still don't. I hate washing/doing/taking longer than 5 minutes to do my hair. I just don't have the time or the patience - plus with working out/running any cool thing I do to it ends up in a ponytail so what's the point. Along the path from hating to embracing I've found a few key things that have made my hair doable and, finally, non 911-able.

For time's sake, I'm just going to do bullets. Half because it's easier to read and follow along and half because it's Friday and my brain is dead. But how about instead of using bullet points, I'll use stars. STARS are PREEEETY. (Fri-Yay, Fri-yay!)

*DO NOT use WEN. I already mentioned this but it made my hair fall out. Eeeek.

*I currently go 7-8 days between washings. Here's how I've made that work: extend washings out by a day or so every few weeks, use good products on the first day then mostly leave it alone (product list below), use minimal heat, after the first couple of days I brush it out every night and put into a braid or bun for sleep. This takes the oil from the scalp and pulls it into the hair and the braid/bun will  keep it all in the hair working magic while you sleep. I actually learned this trick from the ladies on Downton Abbey, lol. I also have a routine for how I wear my hair everyday. (That way I never have to think about it....again me hatey thinking about my hair). My hair is on the dry side so this works but if yours is oily, the brushing should help plus finding a good dry shampoo for the mornings. 

*Here's my routine for how I wash my hair: wash Thursday mornings or Wednesday nights. Brush it out major before shower. Use shampoo, and leave conditioner in for 10 minutes up in a clippy thing while I finish my shower. Rinse. Then rinse in cold water for about 30-40 seconds. I try to stand outside the freezing water but sometimes no such luck. Offer it up...The cold water rinse closes the cuticles and is one of the best things I've done for my mane. Then squeeze dry with a towel (no rubbing), brush out again, and wrap up in a microfiber turby towel thing that dries it some more.

*Routine for products: after about 20 minutes in the turby towel I put in hair oil, then a heat protector, then my curl cream. (I never blow dry it straight because I just don't have time but if I were I would use the straightening stuff instead). I use Elnett Hairspray the first couple days (because it's not crunchy) then Tresemme after that. I LOVE this hairspray. I also usually reapply hair oil on nights 3 and 5 or something like that.

*Routine for how I wear it everyday: if washed at night, I put in my products, blow dry for just a few minutes, then put into a ponytail braid to sleep in. I used to do a bun but the braid was easier on my hair (less breakage, especially when damp) and it makes awesome waves. If washed in the morning, I put in products, blow dry to about 70% dry then let air dry the rest of the way. Day 1: half up, Days 2-4: down, brushed out every night,  Day 5: usually a hat/beanie/braid or something, Days 6-7 ponytail or bun (because by this point it's done...)

*Other tips: when blow drying, POINT THE DRYER DOWN the hair. This keeps is from getting frizzy. Avoid heat on the ends. I show below how I curl it without touching the ends. My hair started looking gross around day 5 but the brushing out and reapplying hair oil really helped over time. 

Post brush. Poofy poof.


T3 Blow Dryer from Costco

Mythic Oil and Heat Protector. I also use this shampoo/condition and love it.

Pureology curl cream and Bumble Bumble Straight. The straightening cream is going on 3 years (is it expired yet???) and I've had the curl cream for at least 2 years. Good products cost more but you can use so little of them that they last forrrreeeevvver.

Elnett Hairspray

 Tresemme Hairspray

*How I curl:

I wrap it around the curling iron towards the top/middle of the hair. Hold for a few seconds, chomp/open and close the iron down the hair (ahhh, hard to explain) a few inches, but don't curl the ends. 

Ends are left straighter which is more natural than curling like Cinderella.

Sooo, I think that about covers it. Biggest tip: embrace what you've got. Straight as a pole? Rock it. Curly and frizzy? Rock it. Afro? TOTALLY ROCK IT. (I want an afro. Perhaps when I'm 50 I'll chop and perm the heck outta it.) Your hair will look the best if you stop fighting it and roll. 

And now I'm off to enjoy the weekend with my babes. We've got maj plans. Gonna be bananas. TGIF.


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