Friday, August 22, 2014

A Little Five on Friday Action

One. The One and Only
Any other Emily Giffin lovers out there? I have been a faithful reader of her chick lit books for years and I just got finished with her latest and greatest...honestly, I had heard mixed reviews before I dove in to see for myself, and I was pleasantly surprised-it was a lot different than most of her other books and it was a fast read. Looking for something totally fiction with a story to get you hooked fairly quickly? This was a winner for me. Next up, The Husband's Secret...I've heard awesome things about this one, too.
Two. Photog in Training
I'm fairly certain Caroline is less than impressed with my picture-taking skills as of late, so she has decided she would like to learn to shoot...who knows, anyone has to be better than me at this. Here is her first "shot"...lol. She must be going for the off-set aim and shoot method. 
Three. Getting Ready for MDO
I can't say enough thanks to so many of you who reached out to offer some kind sentiments about our transition back into Mother's Day Out last week...it truly meant a lot, as I know so many of you are in the same boat as we are, and the whole process can be overwhelming for all of us. We are slowly but surely getting into the groove of being on a normal schedule again and things are going well for the babies! I forgot to post our first day "looks" on here, and wanted to make sure I had blogged about it for future reference for myself.
 yes, everything coordinated and monogrammed is essential
 yeah...someone wasn't wanting to smile that day
Four. Never Failing Love
I need to remember this...always. Hoping this sheds some light to one of you out there today, too!
Five. Fall Looks I'm Loving 
Cooler temps must be coming our way soon!! I'm over the hot, humid summertime sauna game we've been playing so I've been pinning some sweet fall looks, which seem to be easy to pull off with layers and some good basics that I already have in my closet. I'm most looking forward to sporting scarves and boots and sipping on Pumpkin Spice Lattes...when does the countdown start?? You can follow me on Pinterest here. 
Cheers to the weekend lovelies!! Carson, Auntie Meg, and I are leaving bright and early for Knoxville tomorrow morning to go shower Jules' baby Grace with some goodies for her upcoming arrival...girls trip with baby #2 in tow-wish us luck. Have a great one friends.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Boon...Baby and Toddler Bathtime Goodies

Babies get dirty, and if yours are anything like mine, baths are a necessary evil to combat the playground dirt, messy after-dinner leftovers, and all the other things you always said "oh not with my baby"...yeah right. today, I'm partnering with my friends at Boon to tell you all about some of their newest bath toys available now.
Taking a bath is always a spectacle at our house with two babies who love to splash water, swim like mermaids, and throw everything out of the tub (so fun for mom, too). Boon was kind enough to send us some of their innovative bath toys, and we can't get enough of them...they are bright and colorful (so the girls love them), modern and stylish (so they actually look "cool"), and they keep my minis entertained until their fingers start to resemble prunes (which means bath time is sadly over).
We tested out the following items:
RAY Drain Cover: The BEST stopper, hands down. I was leery at first, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it was easy to use, and totally worked to make for happy bath timers. It's soft to the touch, too! You can find it for $8.99 at BuyBuyBaby, too.
ODD DUCKS: Not the average rubbery ducky, my friends...they have names: meet Slim, Bob, Jane, and Squish! My favorite selling point was that they don't hold water so no more moldy ducks (and yes, we have had our fair share of those!). You can buy the 4-pack for $24.99 at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby.
LINKS 3D Foam Bath Pieces: These are great for not only play, but learning while we bathe too...double duty! These 3D puzzles are great for problem solving/motor skill development, and they fit together to make five sea creatures. Online at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby for $9.99.
PIECES Foam Bath Puzzle: They stick to the bathroom wall...need I say more?? And they are mold/mildew resistant...yes! made for toddlers and seem to help us get the hair washing component of bath time completed without tears...thank heavens! Available online at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby for $9.99

lining up the ducks for their daily bath time march 
 tons of toys make for two content participants
In addition, I wanted to make sure I mentioned an INCREDIBLE giveaway Boon has going on right now. They are hosting the "BringOnBaby" giveaway in partnership with 10 other big baby brands (JJ Cole, The First Years, and many more), which includes more than $3,000 worth of baby essentials for new parents. You can enter now HERE. **Sweepstakes ends September 3, 2014 so make sure to register now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Leo+Lamb...Pretty / Personalized / Printable

I am always wanting to spread the word about small businesses and this one is not only a friend's business, but a dream she has had for a long time and I am so proud of this amazing accomplishment. Not to mention it deals with stationery...a love of mine and my go-to assignment for any party I am throwing.
Say hello to Leo+Lamb, a new online invitation website where you can download printable invitations instantly! The process is so simple: customers choose a super cute design, edit, download and print! They have a range of invitations for all sorts of parties, showers, and such as well as holiday cards, thank you notes, save the dates, Instagram signs for weddings, decor, tent cards, and more! (Have I got your attention yet??)
 
As a thank you and a way to spread the news about their grand opening celebration, Leo+Lamb is doing a giveaway...new users can simply venture to the Leo+Lamb website and download several of the favorite stationery options for free! (no code needed, but it ends on August 31st, so make sure you do it before time runs out)
If you're interested in learning more about Leo+Lamb, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow their accounts via Twitter and Instagram.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mother's Day Out...Back to the Daily Grind

I'm a bit emotional today...I just dropped off BOTH of my sweet babies at their first full day of Mother's Day Out. Last year, it was just Caroline that I had to say goodbye to, and Carson joined in the fun this year, which will be SO good for her, but makes me a bit sad at the same time. How are they 29 months and 14 months old already? Sometimes I can't handle it when I think of them getting bigger, growing up, and doing "toddler" activities more and more.
This was us prior to going to "Meet the Teacher" day at our MDO program and truth be told, I was a hot mess thinking the girls would be scared/shy/apprehensive, but low and behold, they surprised me (just as they do all the time) and calmed my fears by their excitement and independence once we were in their classrooms. 
My wild woman (AKA Carson) has me on edge as we have been dealing with major bouts of separation anxiety lately and I am nervous about how she will do in this brand new environment. I know once we get into a routine, it will become second nature and she will love her teachers just like CC did last year, but I am being honest with myself in knowing there will probably be some tears shed these first few weeks and this new transition will take time for all of us to adjust to. 
On the other hand, Caroline was her natural sweet self when she went into the two year old class and started playing with all the toys, books, and other fun goodies. Of course she was disappointed when it was time to say our goodbyes and said "momma, I stay at skewl"...I think she will be just fine. :)
I know Mother's Day Out programs aren't as common in some areas, but in and around Nashville (and other southern cities for the most part) it's a fantastic way for children to interact with others their age, learn in a classroom setting, conquer other necessary abilities (potty training outside the home, learning social skills, mastering the alphabet/numbers, etc), as well as letting moms have some time out time for themselves, too (although this will help me make the most of my workdays).
So say a little prayer for us today if you don't mind. At first I was thinking it would be for the girls, but now I think this mama could use a little lifting up, too..."the days are long, but the years are short".
Now I think I will go lock myself in my office, have a good cry, and then manage to get some much needed work done...and will be counting down the hours until pick-up at 2pm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rodan + Fields Review...This Stuff is Legit

My skin isn't int the best shape it could be...I've faced that fact and come to terms that my tanning days and not wearing SPF daily caused these wrinkles and whatnot, but there is no time like the present to reverse the damage I've done. 
And let me be honest and upfront here, as I was fortunate to have a wonderful Rodan + Fields rep, Stacy, email me and offer to let me test out the Reverse regimen for  myself so I could give you a run down/play by play of the daily routine, and talk to you about my results. 
I told her I was looking for a skincare system to help minimize the facial lines I have, even out my skin tones, and minimize blemish marks as well. All in all, my skin is pretty normal, but has a tendency to get oily in the T-zone, especially in the summertime when it's hot outside.  Once we discussed their options, Stacy recommended the Reverse system for my skin, which was developed by the same dermatologists that created Proactiv.  Basically, it helps target dark-spots, and its Vitamin C and retinol ingredients help with wrinkles and fine lines. Yep, she read my mind. 
 my naked skin the day i started the R+F reverse skincare regimen
(i'm sure i'll have some negative comments on this, but oh well...this is my non-makeup, daily look)
two weeks in...definitely some difference in the skin discoloration and fine lines 
 and now, 1 month after i started...can you see the difference? i totally can! 
 so happy with the results...and please pardon all these bathroom selfie shots
All in all, I have been EXTREMELY satisfied with the before and after that I have experienced so far. I still have a good amount of the initial regimen left to use each and every day, and will continue to do so to see even better results. 
Anyways, there are four regimens and if you've got other skin issues to tackle, you can try those out as well. A few details: 
1. Redefine Regimen is for wrinkles, pores, and loss of firmness
2. Unblemish Regimen is for acne and post acne marks.
3. Soothe Regimen is for sensitive, irritated skin, and facial redness, which is great for Rosacea, sun burn, or wind burn  
Even better, they are backed by clinical testing and they offer a 60 day money back guarantee...a win win in my book. Stacy has kindly offered a special discount for Hello! Happiness readers in the term of a 10% product discount as well as free shipping if you become a preferred customer. You will also receive your choice of the Essentials Foaming Sunless Tanner (I've tried this and love it) or the Essentials SPF Body Sunscreen. 
You can also email her at sstab8@gmail.com
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