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2018-02-25T01:57:23.409Z
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I was in Old Navy shopping for my boys recently and my eye caught these twill field jackets hanging on the wall. I can pretty much only shop for shoes, bags, or outerwear right now unless there is a maternity section, but I wandered over to the wall and picked up the pretty light pink color.

I also saw a green shade that looks a lot like this jacket that is sold out!

The fit is great, I love the ties at the waist, and it’s a really versatile jacket for springtime. I was very tempted to pick up the camel color but I resisted as we tend to go from winter to summer here in North Carolina. Plus, I already have a few other light weight jackets that I love, and a girl can only have so many jackets!

jacket, denim, top, bag, similar booties , earrings

On days that I’m running around with the kids, or just have random things to get done that are not work related, I go super light with my makeup. Like, usually only concealer.

But occasionally I’ll kick that up a notch if I’m meeting a friend for a playdate or have an appointment. It’s nice to have a quick 3 minute makeup routine in practice so I can pull myself together on a busy morning and feel confident about how my makeup looks!

These have been the products I’ve been enjoying lately for a natural, dewy, and very simple makeup look!

  1. Anastasia Brow Wiz in blonde. This is a touch warm for my taste, but I can live with it. The best eyebrow color I’ve found to match my neutral, ashy base color is Hourglass Arch brow pencil in platinum blonde. It’s basically grey, but it matches so well.
  2. fresh Sugar lip treatment in Rose. Loved this for years. Makes my lips feel very hydrated with a touch of rosy pink.
  3. Benefit Roller Lash. This is my tried and true favorite mascara, and has been for years. It works great with my thin, weak lashes to keep them curled! I would love for it to add more thickness to the lashes, but overall I’m pleased with the clump-free definition it delivers.
  4. Nars liquid blush (shade...

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Now that Luke has moved into his big boy room, I can start thinking about updating the nursery! We’ll be using almost all of the same furniture, but it’s challenging to think outside of what it looked like before.

For both David and Luke, the accent colors were light blue, teal, and orange. For this baby, I’m leaning towards incorporating more texture, and then maybe adding some more color after the baby is here.

While I’ve been browsing on Pinterest, I’ve been drawn to animal prints and pictures! I found 3 adorable baby animal canvases at HomeGoods a few weeks ago that I bought for the nursery. They are fairly large, so I think they’ll be the focal point of the room, but I still want to add some shelves and details on the other walls to complete the space.

I’ve linked to all the inspiration photos above in case you want to click through for more details. You can tell I’m going for texture and warmth — while also staying light and airy!

 

I listen to podcasts any chance I get! Anytime I’m in the car alone or doing a “mindless” task in my office, I have one going. Once I’m caught up on my regular podcasts, I’m always curious to find more, but that is a daunting task! There are SO MANY options available now, and it’s hard to know where to start! Below are 5 of my favorite podcasts, with #5 being admittedly a bit early to add to the “favorites” list.

  1. How I Built This with Guy Raz – I could listen to these episodes forever. Not only is Guy an easy person to listen to and very conversational in the interviews, but the stories that are told by these entrepreneurs are so fascinating. I’m not lying when I say I feel so inspired after listening to each one! I’ve listened to nearly every single episode already and am dying for new ones to come out! I’ve even considered going to a live show if it ever happens near me!
  2. Young House Love Has A Podcast – I love hearing what John and Sherry are up to. Their show is light and easy to listen to, and I find them funny and entertaining. I love their helpful segments on design or decor challenges, and their reader question episodes.
  3. This American Life – Always great storytelling on...

 

Sharing a quick tutorial for my easy ponytail on Instagram today! Find me at @k8_smallthings! Lip color is “punch”

A helpful article on what to eat after a workout.

I shared a promo code for my favorite phone case over on Instagram. Check this post to get the code!

I finished this book recently and found the ending to be a bit anticlimactic and also a touch confusing. Have you read it?

A helpful post on travel bags, including a review of the Away bag that I’ve heard lots of great things about!

I got to try this sheer pink shade of the Fresh Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy this week and liked it a lot! The color is very sheer, but it felt as good on my lips as the other lip treatments do by Fresh!

I found this great trench coat on Amazon, it even comes with a detachable hood!

It’s been quite a week, and my heart has been heavy for all of the families and friends who lost loved ones in the Florida shooting. It’s an unthinkable tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. It’s always a struggle to get back into your daily routine after such horrible thing, so I wanted to make today’s post a little lighter.

I’ve been obsessing over this photo ever since I dug it up this week. Can you even handle his little chin?

Luke turned 3 earlier this week and we had a fun time celebrating him with my family.

He makes me laugh on nearly a daily basis with his silly faces and funny personality. If he had it his way, he would exist within 20 feet of me at all times.

In fact, it’s a running joke at my friend Caroline’s house that when the 4 boys (my 2 and her 2) are playing upstairs, we can count on Lukie to come downstairs several times just to check in with me and get a little “mom time” before going back up to play.

We did not find out that Luke was a boy during the pregnancy. It was the first time we had decided to be surprised and it was the BEST surprise. Justin got to tell me that it was a boy in the operating room and I remember saying, “A BOY? That is SO FUN! A boy! How fun!”

I loved the idea of having two boys so close in age, and it has truly been an absolute joy to see my two sons grow up so close to each other.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here! 

Circa 2007, in our dating years

I sent an AIM message to the girl who was interested in him saying I needed to talk to her. These details are a big foggy but we spoke about what her interested level was and I mentioned that he expressed interest in me earlier that evening. She immediately assured me that her crush wasn’t very serious and said it was okay for me and him to start down the path of dating.

I can’t remember when I told Justin, I imagine it was that next day when I saw him on campus, but what I do remember from that conversation was me telling him I wanted to move slow.

I had just gotten out of a long term relationship and didn’t want to jump into another one too quickly. It basically killed me inside to say this, because I was so smitten with him, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

As only young people would do, we decided we would come up with a “term” to denote when I was ready to call him my boyfriend. We decided that when I was ready, I would tell him by telling him that I wanted to get pizza. (recalling this memory is so hilarious because it would make so much more sense to just shoot the man straight but for some reason...

I saw these booties on Sole Society and bought them immediately. They are so comfortable and I know I’ll get gots of wear out of them in the spring and summer!

I love a peep-toe bootie or a bootie with some perforation in them for the warmer months, so I thought I’d round up a few of my favorites here!

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I realize it’s only February but I’m very anxiously awaiting springtime! Sometimes the transitional seasons can be hard to dress for, but booties like these make it easier.

Occasionally I’ll get questions from a reader about what socks I wear with my booties. I never wear socks with booties, even if they are totally closed. I haven’t had any blister issues or anything either! If I did need to wear socks, I would wear these.

p.s. for more style inspiration, check out this post on spring staples!

Is there a more appropriate dessert to serve on Valentine’s Day? I’m not sure, but I will admit that I serve this to my friends year round. Not only does it give you something to “do” while you are chatting after a meal, but it’s also very easy and customizable for each person.

Don’t like cream puffs? Just eat the strawberries! I love that I can be pretty confident that my guests will enjoy at least some part of this dessert, or all the components of it!

This has been Justin’s favorite dessert ever since my mom first served it when we were dating. In fact, in my handwritten cookbook from my mom, it says “Justin’s favorite” next to the fondue recipe!

Chocolate Fondue // serves 6-8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream (or roughly 2 scoops)

In a medium pot over medium/low heat, melt butter. Add chocolate chips and sugar, stirring frequently. Allow the sugar to break down and ingredients to come together for about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla and ice cream, stir together until heated through and well combined.

Serve in a fondue pot with bananas, pound cake, brownies, marshmallows, strawberries, cream puffs, pineapple, or anything else that sounds delicious with chocolate.

Enjoy!

I have to be honest – celebrating Valentine’s Day has never been terribly high on my list of things to do in February. The decorations are really cute, and the boys will get little valentines to take to preschool, but I’ve decided to pretty much blow past that holiday this year. Luke’s 3rd birthday is right around the corner, so we are going to focus on that since we tend to focus on birthdays in my family.

Do you have any plans?

On an unrelated note, I started using Stamps.com to print postage at home after hearing about it on almost every single podcast I listen to, and I’m happy to report that it is INCREDIBLY easy and I love that I don’t have to wait at the post office anymore. I still need to go to the post office to drop off large packages, but otherwise I can slip almost anything in my mailbox. If you hate the post office like I do, try Stamps.com. This is not sponsored, just to be clear. If you want a special offer, you can enter this code in at check out “C-5CVQ-P9V“.

I made this dip recently for a get together with friends and my only regret was not doubling or TRIPLING the recipe. It’s that good.

I bought this wrap to wear in the gym locker room when I’m getting ready,...

I’m not sure if my hair has ever been in better condition. While there are still some dry parts that could just generally use a significant cut, the majority of my hair feels healthy and strong.

And for a blonde who has been lightening her hair for years, that is quite a statement.

The most significant changes have been from some new products, and also adjusting my expectations for the level of blonde I can achieve. While I’d love to be super bright, light, cool blonde, my hair simply can’t handle that level of lightness. So I’ve settled for a more sandy, beige-y blonde that still feels light enough but doesn’t have the iciness to it.

So what have I been using? I’ll tell you all about it in the graphic below!

earrings, top

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I mention this in my recent favorites video, but I really...


I’m not a regular false lash wearer, but I’ve found that it’s nice to know how to apply them if you ever need or want to wear them!

There is a huge range of options for false lashes, from super dramatic to very natural. I tend to choose the natural looking lashes because I don’t like a dramatic look nor do I like the weight of thicker false lashes.

In the video I’m using very natural looking lashes, but the technique would be the exact same if you were using a thicker or more dramatic lash. You simply may need to hold the lash on the lid a bit longer to make sure the glue sticks since it may weigh a bit more.

Tools you need: 

false lashes (these are my favorites)

lash glue (this is the best I’ve used!)

scissors, tweezers, perhaps a q-tip

I like to apply one thin coat of mascara to my lashes before applying the false lash. I find that this helps the lashes look more “realistic” from the side view. You’ll see in the video that I also like to apply mascara to the false lashes after the glue...

By the third baby you really know what the essentials are when it comes to “needs” versus extra things. And listen–a lot of times those extra things are very helpful, so don’t hear me knocking them! For this baby, there are a few things we need to replace or update, and I need to start doing my research into the latest and greatest since I’ve been out of the newborn game for almost 3 years!

First up, we need a new baby monitor. We prefer a video monitor that has a parent unit (versus relying solely on your phone) that can connect up to 4 cameras. Our existing Motorola baby monitor, which was over $300 if I remember correctly, has been pretty disappointing. It worked fine in the beginning, but it didn’t take long for the sound to start coming in and out, and the battery life on the parent unit is a grand total of 2 minutes. The parent unit has to be plugged in constantly if we need to use it, and the antenna is also broken. Admittedly there is 4 years of use on it, and technology gets better with time, but this thing started failing earlier than I had anticipated for the price we paid.

I got some great recommendations from Instagram Stories for baby monitors several weeks ago, and now I just need to do some...

I’ve tried a few new lash/mascara products lately and thought I would dive a little deeper into some of them today. I usually turn to Instagram stories for a quick review or impression of a product, but for those that don’t follow along over there I wanted to provide some helpful thoughts here as well!

For the past several months I’ve been getting regular lash lifts. A lash lift is not the same as lash extensions – it’s just a perm for your lashes. You can read all about my first experience here. It helps them stay curled and makes a very big impact for those of us with straight, limp lashes! It’s really shaved so much time off of my makeup application in the mornings, so it’s worth doing regularly!

For the first time, I experienced a bit of lash loss last month that I truly believe was unrelated to the lash lift. It was weeks after the last lift I had, and there were a few other factors contributing to the loss. So I canceled my most recent lash lift appointment in order to give my lashes a little break.

In the meantime, I started experimenting with false lashes until my lashes grew back in, mostly only on days that I was shooting. Despite being a makeup lover, false lashes are something I almost never deal with.

I also tried a new mascara by Benefit that really impressed me!

I have FOUR hair products to talk about in this video that are great for those of you looking for hydration and nourishment for your hair. Winter can be really tough on skin and hair, so kicking up the oils and softening treatments can help prevent breakage or excess damage.

You can find links to all the products I mentioned right below the video!

Products mentioned:

Bare Minerals Nudes eyeshadow palette (this has so many great neutrals, colors are buttery soft but they don’t crumble when you apply!)

Philosophy Fresh Cream body wash (this has been the scent +product I’ve been wearing the longest)

Origins Grapefruit body wash & bubble bath

St. Tropez gradual classic tan (takes the edge off of the winter glow!) You can read a blog post all about my love for this product here!

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask (also mentioned the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask by Fresh)

Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner

Moroccan Oil Treatment light (I use this on wet hair, but sometimes glide it through dry hair when I style it straight!)

Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask (much heavier product but made my hair feel...

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Now that I’m nearing my third trimester, I should spill the beans on what basics I’ve been living in! It’s funny, each one of my pregnancies has gone by faster and faster and I don’t think about it nearly as much as I thought I would. Nonetheless, I’ve found some great basics that have gotten me through most of my second trimester and will carry on through the third trimester as well!

The best leggings, by FAR, are Ingrid & Isabel active leggings. The thickness is perfect, the ankles have little zippers on the outside, and I swear you could dress them up for a business setting with the right top and shoes. I wear these so much that I actually got another pair of black ones to add into the mix! So between two black pairs and one grey pair, if you were to stop by my house at anytime you’re probably going to find me wearing these. I tried Blanqi leggings, and a Spanx version as well and both were so thin that I felt like I was wearing only nylons. I wore one pair to the gym one day but felt pretty uncomfortable because they were so thin!

As far as basic tees go, I bought a few colors of...

I talked about this gel manicure kit back in December and heard from so many of you that you got it for Christmas! I thought I should share a few of my favorite products to use when I do my at-home gel manis and also walk you through the steps!

I’ve had the most success with Gelish pH Bond, Foundation, and Top Coat. The brush sizes are easy to work with and the products really work. For color choices, I’ve enjoyed using Gelish, OPI Gel and CND Shellac. Depending on the color I can usually get away with only 2 coats, but the lighter, more sheer colors require 3 coats. OPI Taupeless Beach and CND Shellac Romantique have been on repeat this winter season!

The steps I take in order to prep the nails before applying the polish are almost MORE important than applying the color itself. I’ll walk you through each step and explain what I do so you can have success with your home gel manicures as well!

  1. Remove all existing nail polish with acetone nail polish remover.
  2. Apply cuticle remover (this is my favorite product).
  3. Push back and trim cuticles so the bed of the nail is completely clean from...

It’s Friday! Got any fun weekend plans? We have a few fun things on the calendar but it should otherwise be a relatively slow weekend which sounds DELIGHTFUL! On to the usual links + loves post now…

This vacuum is still one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for our home!

These cute booties have a totally doable heel.

This article: How to Keep Your Home Cleaner…Every Day, Forever.

I made this recipe recently and it was delicious! I subbed out ground chicken for sausage, though I wish I had chosen turkey sausage (I couldn’t find it!) and it was still pretty good! Next time I’ll add a few spices, and kick up the red pepper flakes if I’m using a less flavorful meat than sausage.

I got these waterproof boots to wear in NYC! I love that they keep my feet warm but they aren’t huge, heavy winter boots.

Many of you asked about the booties I was wearing on Instagram Stories recently with the tassels – I love them!

Is there a right order in which to apply skincare products? YES! This is such a helpful article.

I gave my nails a little break from gel polish and am very pleased with how strong my nails felt and how healthy they looked with just 2 coats of Essie’s...

We had a moment of warmth and sunshine earlier this week, and while I totally planned on wearing this dress with tights or leggings, I had to take advantage of the fresh air and just throw on some booties. Sorry for subjecting you all to my pasty white winter legs, but when you are excited for fresh air, you dive in deep.

For about 10 minutes, I actually had the doors to my house wide open to let the air and breeze wash in, but then I had to close them up. It was nice while it lasted.

I’m starting to have more options as far as maternity clothes go, which is a nice change from the last month or so. I could really get by wearing a lot of what I already had, but now that I have spring on my mind, I’m starting to shop around for some good spring-like clothing options for the bump! I’ve never gotten to dress a third trimester baby bump in the spring and I’m enjoying the variety in what I’m finding!

Old Navy has some really, REALLY cute new releases that I’m very happy with. These basic tees are just PERFECT for the bump, and I also fell

Justin and I took a quick trip to NYC recently for what is now our 2nd annual “beginning of the year trip to recap the year prior and make plans for the new year” trip. I got this idea from my friend Ashlee and loved the concept of having an intentional time to discuss specific topics while also enjoying some kid-free time as a couple!

Last year we went to Lake Tahoe, which was fun and beautiful, but this year we wanted to stay in the same time zone and make the traveling part a little easier, so we went to NYC! This is our third trip to NYC together and we always have a lot of fun.

The Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street hosted our stay, which was a welcome gift! The location was perfect because it was close to Times Square without being in the thick of all the people/madness. Plus there was a subway stop just steps outside the hotel doors, which made it very easy to hop on and off.

I’ve stayed at several different hotels around different parts of the city, but this was honestly the most spacious room I’ve stayed in yet. The rooms were newly renovated, with views of the Empire State Building, and the bathroom had a sink with actual space on them for your...