Favorite Baby Products

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The field of baby products is constantly changing, as are my favorite products. But I’m of the mindset that this phase of being a mother to a little one is short, so I’m all for trying-all-the-things!

With Paityn I used babyli.st as our baby registry instead of a large box store because of the ease of adding products from any online store, including Easy. With Hudson I used it as a way to stay organized for personal use, and to share with you guys what my favorite things are if you were shopping as well. This is not sponsored in any way, I really just love this site.

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I’ve added the link to my menu and hope that we can talk baby products + this can be a place where you can ask questions about anything you see listed as my favorite. I love the fluid nature of the page — prices are constantly update, I can rearrange/organize, and change notes if they’re confusing or need clarification.

Of course at the end of the day, many of the products are just nice things to have to make motherhood sweet. All you really truly need for a baby is a place for it to sleep, your body to feed and cuddle, a way to contain and dispose of waste, and a proper carseat. And love.

 



 

The Hospital Bag

Right around 39 weeks I started thinking about the hospital bag. I was unbelievably uncomfortable, unknowingly carrying a 10+ pound baby in my womb, and hoped that doing so would help kick my body into birthing gear. We have the luxury of living just minutes away from the hospital which kept the pressure of having everything packed early on. Similar to Paityn’s birth,  Landon was free to head home during our stay for anything we’ve forgotten and to go on a TacoBell run or two. ;)

Now that Hudson is a month old and we’re getting settled in as a family of four, I wanted to reflect back on what we were so glad to have with us when we needed it. Each birth is different, so if you’re preparing to go into labor and want to know what you’ll need make sure to read a few posts and see what resonates with you and your style. But here’s what worked for me!

Landon and I packed three backpacks: one for Paityn with things she’d need while with family, one for myself and Hudson and then a third with things Landon would need along with electronics. I for sure did not want to be that mom in labor that comes in wheeling a suitcase.

Hospital Bag Blog Post

For Birth
Birth Playlist/Speakers
Camera
^but ideally a birth photographer if you’d like photos, because you know we ended up with 0
A doula by your side. Biased! You can read my birth story here.
Liquids to drink — apple juice (supplied by the hospital)was heavenly both times for me
Light snacks if you’re up for something, I snacked (nibbled) on rice cakes walking in and for the first bit in the hospital till the contractions required every ounce of my concentration

Clothes that I wanted to labor and birth in were laid next to my bag and the put on once I got out of the shower at home Wednesday night and knew it was the real deal. For reference I wore a soft tee, one of my normal underwire bras, VS basic undies and sweats. I had made a conscious decision ahead of time to not wear the hospital gown and chose to go for clothes that I loved over finding a gown alternative online.

For The New Mama, Recovery
Comfy Sweater — This one from Mulberry Press Co only seemed fitting
Cheapo Leggings
Cozy socks
Granny Undies No I take that back, take the nurses up on their offer of mesh panties, Tucks, Dermoplast spray or whatever else they suggest if it helps. Sorry mama.
Belly Bandit — I wore the Bamboo in a size S till I needed an XS at 4 weeks again like last time but didn’t want to shell out the $$. So grab two ahead of time if you can!

For Baby

Newborn Onesies — Carter’s are my favorite
Footie Pajamas
Aden + Anais Swaddles — so soft, perfect for pictures and making your babe feel like your own.
Hairbows
Goumi Kids Newborn Mitts and Booties

For The New Dad 
Toothbrush/Toothpaste
A few changes of clothes depending on your length of stay
Snacks/caffeine

Toiletries
Shampoo/Conditioner
Hair Dryer + Straightener
Moisturizer
Makeup
Makeup Remover Wipes
Hair ties
Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Misc
A RedBox or two to watch during downtime during your stay
A phone charger or two, don’t forget!
Laptop — for playing movies if your room doesn’t have a DVD player, uploading/emailing photos, etc
and socks and shoes for your toddler doe when she comes to visit and you realize you dropped her off in footie pajamas and forgot to add those to her backpack :)


I know this may sound like a lot looking over it, but I promise i was grateful to have everything with me and it really only took up two smaller sized backpacks. My mentality going into labor is to make it feel as much like home as possible without making the labor staff’s life difficult. If you’re pregnant and getting ready to meet your new babe, congrats mama! I’m getting excited just thinking about the point of life that you’re in. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Summertime Sandal Favorites

Happy Hump Day! I am excited to announce that I am back with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you the second installment of Hump Day Highlights. The hosts this week are myself, Misty, April, Shannon, Amanda, Danica, Candice + Kaitlyn.  Each Wednesday we will list some things or moments from the past week that we are loving. We would love for you to add your post to our link up at the bottom of this post of what you are loving this week, too.

This week I have summer on my mind, and wanted to share the sandals I’ve been loving as I browse online for pairs to grab for future posts and Utah adventures. This search began as I tried to put together photos for our Growing Love Series that is coming back! Being 9 months pregnant just sounded like the perfect time to you know, start that back up.

Favorite-Sandals

 

Here’s the thing — it was harder than I thought to find something I loved! All I wanted to find was a pair of brown leather Gladiator sandals that zipped up the back and it turned into a huge process, probably partially due to how picky I can be. Along the way though I found a handful of sandals that I fell in love that I wanted to share with you this morning.

Budget friendly: BC Gladiators | Nine West Fischer || Italian + Quality made: Joie Bastia || Summertime Staple: Sam Edelman Gigi || Flashback to the 90’s: Teva Original Sandals || Colorful Options: Steve Madden Evict | Splendid Crete | ++ the Birkenstock Gizeh in Purple Nubuck

Seriously, try to tell me those Teva’s don’t make you want to go on all the summer adventures this year?? And shoutout to Barefoot Blonde for being the reason I’m now in love with the Pink Steve Madden sandals. Me and every other girl now, huh?


Please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded ladies and make new friends, all while showing off your blog, too. I hope you link up and follow along!

Hello Hoop Art | Embroidery

I mentioned in my January goal update post that I’m currently working on broadening my view of art from just sketching to other mediums. Sketching regularly last year sounded like a great goal to shoot for but it wasn’t for me without the structure of an art class like I’d had a few years ago; so I didn’t make the time for it. So far already this year I’m making steady progress on teaching myself to knit but also started + finished my first of four craft projects  — an embroidery project.

Back in that day I learned how to cross stitch and worked on a few hoops as a 10 year old. I tried picking it back up a few years ago, working on a project for a birthday present for a friend, but it was just too time-consuming and felt never-ending. It honestly would’ve taken me months to finish. A typical cross stitch pattern is full of counted stitches, all in an x shape, that paint a picture. It usually includes items that are not only outlined, but filled in completely.

This go round embroidery designs appealed to me for how simple they were and for all of the white space. I looked around for a bit trying to find designs that were similar to an Instagram account that I followed: Cinder and Honey, and then realized I should just hit her up since I loved those the best.

Cinder and Honey Embroidery Etsy

I contacted Caitlin, the girl behind Cinder and Honey, explaining my goal, and asking if we could work together. I: purchase everything from her minus the stitches — the materials, the hoop, and the design predawn on the fabric. I was cautious to acknowledging that this could be overstepping artistic boundaries and no worries at all if it wasn’t something she was interested in! Thankfully she was game and said, “let’s do it!”

She typed up instructions and tips for me that she included in the package, and suggested I hopped on over to YouTube to fill in the rest. Here’s one of my favorite video that I found explaining 7 basic beginner embroidery stitches should you want to venture out on your own embroidery project.

Within a day of starting on the hello design, I had finished, and it felt so good. This included attempting to do the entire “hello” portion in the split stitch that you’ll see in the video I linked above. It didn’t turn out how I liked it so I carefully un-stitched it all, then used the same thread to do the hello again, this time in the basic back stitch. For a first timer, I love how it turned out!

Cinder and Honey Embroidery Hoop Art

All that is left to do now is to cut the excess fabric around the hoop, glue it to the frame, and hang near our door. Have you done an embroidery project before? Let me know if you have anything fun or designs to attempt next!



 

Second Trimester Favorites

Whether you’re currently pregnant or curious what a pregnant mama finds to be a lifesaver in the second trimester, this post is for you. I’m not going to lie, the second trimester was easy for me. It was full of fun holidays, time with family and not a true spec of being uncomfortable the entire time {Except when trying to climb any sort of stairs}. Here’s what I found helped make this trimester an easy one :

Second-Trimester-Favorites
one | Now I still haven’t managed to fall in love with a normal bra that fits, but I found a sports bra that works perfectly in all my H’s For Heidi glory. It’s the Panache Sports bra and it’s also doubling as a swim top when we head to the pool. Because swimsuit shopping is so not happening right now. My favorite part of this bra, besides the fit + print, is the ability to hook the straps together in the back to convert it to a racerback style when wearing a workout tank. If you’ve been looking for a new sports bra, start here.

two | Comfy tees from Kickee Pants and Motherhood Maternity are making my life right now. Thank you sweet sister-in-law! The Kickee pants tees are made from bamboo fibers — so these are extra soft and can be found on Zuliliy on sale from time to time. Stock up if you find them there!

three | All the dark chocolate + sea salt in the world. But that’s nothing new.

four | These two books from Ina May, along with sweet birth youtube videos (like this one) really made a difference in feeling focused and uplifted in the second trimester. If you get only two books during your pregnancy, make it these two.

five | When I’m asked what I crave during pregnancy and I tell people water, I’ve begun to worry I’m trying to sound like I’m having just the fittest pregnancy ever. But here’s the thing —  chilled water is my only true craving. Everything else just comes and goes with my moods. For both trimesters I’ve kept the door of our fridge stocked, two rows deep with water bottles all across. And it makes this pregnancy that much easier.

six | My maternity style has been winter casual all the way. On any given day you’ll find me in a tee, leggings and a pair of comfy winter socks. I tell ya, winter is the best time to pregnant.



Here’s my post of what I was loving in the first trimester, and I look forward to sharing what worked for me these next 11 or so weeks! It’s about to get a bit cramped in this belly of mine.

Christmas Favorites For a Toddler

Can’t stop won’t stop getting excited for Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and the snow that fell a few days ago tells me mother nature’s with me!

Here are a few of my favorite things for a toddler (or possibly a baby depending on sizing availability) with a few things for mom, because I couldn’t help myself. I’m picturing outfits to wear around the Christmas tree in the evenings, to wear on the airplane if you’re going home to visit family, and all things festive and cute.

Sweater | Fair Isle Throw | Fair Isle Tights | Merry & Bright PJs | Buffalo Hello Pullover + Adult Size | Socks | Deer Skirt | Candle | Sorel Boots | Sequin Dress | Snowflake PJs | One Piece PJsAdvent Calender

What are you eying this Christmas season?



“My mind says November but my heart says Christmas.”

Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials

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I’ve decided that though there’s so many perks to avoiding being pregnant in the summer completely, winter has its own share of drawbacks. Getting warm winter jackets to accommodate your growing waistline, not getting to just live by the pool and drier skin than normal to name a few. And pregnancy is not the time for dry skin. Mama Mio first got my attention with this quote, “to grow and shrink your tummy by up to 30 inches in a 40+ week period is not for the faint of heart, or the weak skinned.”

Women are superwomen, are they not?

So last week my package from Mama Mio arrived at the door and I got right to testing things out. My first pleasant surprise was just how amazing everything smelled. I had expected everything to be unscented, but instead found a light basil and peppermint scent. If you’re a Mrs. Meyers fan like I am, picture they came out with a luxe pregnancy friendly skin care line.

trb_1The Tummy Rub Butter, their butter for growing bumps around the world, is amazing. When I was first pregnant with Paityn I had purchased a stomach creme after hearing great reviews about it. I hated it. It took forever to soak in, and because of that, often left oil stains on my shirts. I don’t know what all the positive reviews were talking about. I could barely force myself to make a dent in that container. Mama Mio on the other hand, knows what they’re doing. The butter is moisturizing yet soaks in flawlessly. And the scent, I still die.

Their Boob Tube Creme, Lucky Legs and Gorgeous Glow face wash quickly became standout products the past week as I used them daily. My expectations for all three were that they’d feel unnecessary, especially because I’m a minimalist when it comes to skin care. But as my bra sizing at Nordstrom on Saturday confirmed, my stomach isn’t the only part of me that’s growing. And to have a specific bottle of (amazingly scented) cream for the bust is such a luxury. And practical, because this was the area where I got stretch marks my first run with pregnancy.

Their Lucky Legs energizing + cooling gel is also mixed parts practical and luxury. They recommend picking this product up in the second trimester and using when your legs are heavy, swollen or in need of some TLC. I’ve been using this daily after showering and love it! I use it from my knees down to my toes and it’s been such a refreshing part of my morning routine. The scent is the most minty and invigorating of them all. All somehow, it reminds me of the joy that tanning beds used to bring. Which I’m all about finding.

Finally, I’ve been loving their Gorgeous Glow face wash. If I were to stop by Target and see it lined up next to all the other billion face washes I would probably never pick this product up. But if I stayed at a hotel that had this as an option to use, or I stayed over at a friend’s house and got to use this, suddenly I’d been feeling a little different. This out of the four products seems the most like a luxury than practical, but it sure is a treat to have to use. Cleansing, not drying, and oh so pleasantly scented. I find myself washing my face now twice in the shower, because it just smells.so.good.

 

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You can pick the pregnancy essentials kit, their facial wipes and anything else that strikes your fancy straight from their website.

If you have a superwoman in your life that’s expecting I think the pregnancy essentials kit would be such a perfect gift to help celebrate the occasion + to give her a chance to have a month(+) of pampering. Of if you’re pregnant yourself I’d recommend starting with this essentials kit. Unless you’re afraid of falling in love with products other than the bump lotion. Because, you probably will, you’ve been warned. ;)



 

Pregnancy Essentials Kit + Facial Swipes C/O Mama Mio

Utah Favorites 01

After posting everything that I was loving about the idea of a tiny house life in San Diego it only seemed fair to post about things that I’m loving about Utah. I’ll be the first person to tell you how much I love Utah and that we get to be here. So I’ll post these periodically as we find new things here to love!

The Frontrunner, an easy way to avoid traffic and relax for a bit on your way north to Salt Lake City.

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Antelope Island, where Paityn and I spent a few hours checking out tourist spots + looking for bison while Landon ran his first 50K!
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Mend Juicery, in the Provo Riverwoods. I tried the sweetest green juice that they offered and still need a little help getting used to drinking my veggies.IMG_4113
Getting to see Landon in his element working for Teton Sports and spending a morning in Big Cottonwood Canyon shooting photos with them.IMG_4228
Beautiful hikes in the fall leaves up in Provo Canyon, even if my pregnant self is a little slower than normal. First trimester energy levels are a joke. IMG_4265 IMG_4291
Camping in the Uintas right by Clegg Lake with our buddies Chelsea + Josh. Such a beautiful area and not another person to be seen for miles. Which when hiking in at 10pm in the pitch black was both a negative and a positive. IMG_4399 IMG_4400
3B Yoga. You guys it’s everything I dreamed of in a studio and more. I tried out the Primary Series class on Monday evenings, a 90 minute class, and had so many personal victories because of the contagious encouraging vibe in there. IMG_4417
Studio K, a Bumble and Bumble salon.  I had heard of their salon through The Beyouty Bureau and I can’t see myself ever having to find a different place while we’re here. Ask for Sarah!IMG_4556
Other undocumented favorites from Utah so far are the ultimate grilled cheese from Zupas (pesto sauce, tomatoes + more!), playdates with new friends from our condo, rock climbing wall double dates, temples such a short drive away, Swig cookies, fry sauce, and the pending snow. The standard movie dates in, falling asleep cuddled up, and efforts to make adventure have carried over easily from California.

We might not live in a tiny house with chickens yet, but you guys, life is really good here. And I can’t wait to see what we’ll fall in love with in the next few months.

Stokke Scoot Love [Review]

Fall is officially here which makes now the perfect time to share my love for and review of our Stokke Scoot stroller. We first started using it this summer, our 4th of July weekend to be exact, and have been loving it ever since.

Since that weekend our Stokke Scoot has gone on many a walks in California, trips to Santa Cruz and San Francisco, then made the drive with us out to Utah where we’ve picked up right where we left off.

Stokke strollers stood out to me since the early days of pregnancy with Paityn. The thought of being hunched over an umbrella stroller gave me the heebie jeebies so an adjustable height handle was a priority.  I wanted to find something that was functional but that I still thought was beautiful. The more I narrowed down my mental list of possibilities the more Stokke stood out as my favorite.

We spent the first year with Paityn using wraps and carriers and I loved that time bonding with her. As she turned one and got heavier I would either carry her for walks or hold her hand and walk to the park at her little pace. I was a first time mom and had associated infant bucket carseats and strollers with negative attachment parenting for some reason, so I was doing my best to have the bond with her that I wanted. Knowing what I know now that was of course silly, and I can’t wait to have a tiny one in the stroller this next go round. But, at least I have stronger arms to show for it!

She was a year and a half when we first started using this stroller and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, because she was really getting heavy by then.

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Here are a few of my favorite features of our particular Stokke stroller, the Scoot:

The Adjustable Height Handle

I’m 5’7″ and couldn’t be happier with the three height settings for the handle. With the push of a button on each side the handle slides up and locks into place. I’ve found that the second setting is perfect for everyday walks and the lowest setting for steep downhill portions or for pushing it through the sand. When Landon takes over he clicks it up one more notch and is good to go.

The Parent Facing Option

This feature is HUGE for me. Like worth hundreds of dollars huge. To go from wearing her close or holding her hand everywhere, to staring at the back of her head on walks, just bummed me out. So while I was deciding on favorite strollers I quickly booted out any stroller that didn’t have this option. 99% of the time this is how we use our Scoot, with Paityn facing us. It makes me so much more likely to go for walks or use it while shopping, knowing that I can still interact with her and not miss out on sweet moments.

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The Basket Underneath

This is a feature of the Stokke Scoot that stands out because it has never let me down. Of all the adventures that we’ve been on we have never once come close to saying “Dangit! I wish this hand more space!” From holding shopping bags in the mall, to a large camera bag and backpack full of spare clothes and snacks while in Santra Cruz it’s always been just right. Though a subtle feature, I know it’s frustrating for parents when the company makes that space entirely too small. So I love that this makes our lives just that much easier.

All the Other Little Details

My favorite parts of the Stokke Scoot is its design, the adjustable handle and that it can face forward as well as face the parent. Those three elements alone just make my life. Everything else is just extra to me, but worth mentioning.

  • The footrest works forward and parent facing, and is adjustable for your growing toddler. Once their legs are long enough you can remove the adjustable footrest and rest their feet on the permanent footrest.
  • The brakes are easy to put on and off with one foot and I can trust them on the steepest San Francisco streets.
  • The shade canopy is large and beautiful, and is able to be unzipped and moved even farther down to protect your child’s face at all times.
  • It folds easily with one hand, no removing the seat necessary. It fits into our compact Ford Fiesta no problem.
  • Included with the stroller is a bug net as well as a rain cover, which should be perfect for Fall!
  • The fabric is beautiful. I am so happy with the black melange option but could have gone for the radiant orchard in a second.

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The one fault that I’ve found with the Stokke Scoot is that I wish that it could flawlessly navigate curbs every time. This isn’t a large concern because I can’t expect a stroller to be as intuitive as my own two feet. Most sidewalks when we’re out account for this and have sidewalk ramps for crossing the street, but when they don’t it takes a bit of extra effort to lower the stroller down and then back up on the other side.

I am so happy that the Skokke Scoot has lived up to everything I felt like it would be when I first started researching them while pregnant with Paityn. It’s a beautiful stroller that I can’t wait to take on many more adventure here in Utah. I’ve started scoping out their winter accessories already! How cozy do these look? And this sheepskin lining? I die.

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Being an amazing mother or parent has absolutely nothing to do with the baby products that you own. But I do believe that certain products can make your life easier and more enjoyable, and the Stokke Scoot has done just that for me.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try to answer those too! xx



Stokke Scoot C/O Stokke

My Favorite Things

This DIY Felt Alphabet

When I set the goal to work on cultivating my artistic abilities my vision was pretty narrow : drawing/sketching and perhaps a ceramics class if the stars were aligned. I was in love with the idea of drawing beautiful things and figured if I was going to try to be artistic then that was how I was going to do it.

We are now in the 9th month of the year and I haven’t spent more than a few hours drawing. While it hurts to say this, because I’m still in love with the idea of it all, I don’t think it’s my thing.

This hand sewn wool felt alphabet however just makes my heart giddy. Purl Soho, a yarn, patchwork and craft shop in NYC came up with this idea and sells all of the necessary materials in their online shop. Check out the felt color options here + feel free to help me choose which one to start with! If all goes well I’d love to do their advent calendar next. Which is just all kinds of levels of amazing. Just me?

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Sadie Skye Headbands

There’s no denying we’ve been into headbands since week 1 of having a daughter in our life. But we shopped for ours mostly at Carters, Naartjie or had her wear ones that were gifted for friends. I would check out Etsy every so often looking for new bows but they were always too something — too big, too weird, too glittery, too frilly, the wrong colors or the wrong patterns. And then I found Jess on instagram — mom to a sweet daughter Sadie and maker of adorable bows and scarves. It’s safe to say I’m in love. Her packaging is adorable, that radiant orchard bow is made from leather (*swoon*) and mustard yellow + floral + polka dots? They’re a dream.

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These Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is just a little PSA to say that these are quite possibly the best chocolate chip cookies (+ dough) that I have ever had. They worked great at little to no elevation and here at almost 5000ft.

I don’t know if it’s the higher brown sugar to white sugar ratio, the cornstarch, extra butter or all of the above — but whatever it is these cookies are amazing.

 

Go make yourself some!

 
 
 
 
 
 

The SLC Temple

I couldn’t do a my favorite things/things that make my heart happy post without including the Salt Lake City Temple. I don’t care how much of a dork this makes me. She’s a beaut. And the feeling on temple square is like no other.

Paityn and I got to spend an afternoon when we first moved here (while Landon interviewed for a job) smelling candles and trying on hats in Anthropologie, scoping out new products at Sephora then walked across the street to spend time on temple square. I could just live in there.

We took our time walking around and checking out whatever Paityn’s heart desired. From the pools of water to a girl her age who stopped to say hi to and ended up making friends with her nanny for a good ten minutes, it was one of the best days I’ve had since being here.

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Last but not least, and not to be forgotten are all the fall candles in the world, candy corn flavored everything already, this perfect fall/chill 8track playlist + a few batches of s’mores.

What are some of your favorite things right now?

a Freshly Picked Moccasin Giveaway!

If there was a baby shoe company that I’m rooting for, it’s Freshly Picked. I don’t know if you’ve checked the brand’s instagram page lately or watched Susan score a deal with Damon on Shark Tank, but she’s killing it.

Susan started making the moccasins in 2009, using her little one as a mocc-tester. With a bag of scrap leather she picked up at a yard sale for a dollar, she began experimenting with designs. Six design changes later they’re soft-soled, adorable and are known for staying on your child’s foot.

I took a little while to jump on board with Paityn. I had first started seeing them on some of my favorite blogs while pregnant two summers ago. I categories them as the brand to go to for baby shoes, and then everything else took precedence. With our July pictures approaching I planned out our outfits + picked out the Golden Rod color, because I’m a sucker for mustard yellow. Within two seconds of having the box open I got it. I got all the rave reviews, the cute captions and moms that were head over heels for these moccasin. It all made sense once I was holding our first pair. They are just all around beautiful.

That said, I am so excited to share the love with my first giveaway on this blog: a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in the color of the your choice!

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This season you can find bright neons, metallics and some of their staple colors. I am a soft + earthy color loving mama, so these are my top six colors right now: Golden Rod, Aruba, Sprout, Butterscotch, Coral, + Radiant Orchard.

Freshly Picked Moccs Golden Rod Freshly Picked Moccs Aruba Freshly Picked Moccs Sprout Freshly Picked Moccs Freshly Picked Moccs Coral Freshly Picked Moccs

The giveaway goes from today til July 24th at 5pm PDT. To be entered leave a comment below letting me know you’d like to be entered + your favorite color / anything else you’d like to share. For a bonus entry or if it’s easier – check out my instagram, @kyrafaulkner, and repost the Freshly Picked Giveaway photo with the hashtag #kyraxfreshlypicked.

All entries will be assigned numbers and one will be chosen at random and contacted by email. I’ll announce the winner the evening of the 24th here + in the comments section of my original instagram giveaway post.

If you’ve won a pair in the past 60 days enjoy your moccs + let’s let share the love with someone else. US entries only please to help with the cost of shipping.

And that’s it, let me know if you have any questions and  good luck! xx


 

Update! A huge thank you to all who entered + made my first giveaway feel like a success. You are the best. Congrats to Kendra D for winning!

Sonnet James Dresses Love

I am a loyal girl, especially when it comes to brands. I love the feeling of walking into a store or clicking on a site and knowing that if I could I would buy one of everything. It feels good to see that someone out there is creating items that fits your style.The story of my life however, is being able to find thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, shoes, accessories, and workout clothes to buy no problem. But then when it comes to clothing I have a style identity crisis.

I love keeping clothing simple : perfectly fitting skinny jeans, v-necks that are a flattering cut and not too sheer, a few button up shirts, + sweaters and I’m good! I really don’t ask for much. But instead all I find are croptops, sheer tops, bright primary colors, or busy patterns, and dresses that are always just a little too short.

I go to my Pinterest board and remind myself, “kyra you have a style! you are not as inept as you feel!” And then a few weeks later I venture out with that handsome husband of mine, and wind up disappointed again after sorting through clothing racks. Leather boots, large face watches, gold rings, infinity scarves, workout leggings, no problem! But clothes, oh clothes shopping sucks.

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Then early this spring one of my favorite bloggers introduced her readers to Sonnet James, a new clothing line by Whitney Lundeen, and I was instantly intrigued + excited. Fastfoward to having the Reese dress hanging in my closest waiting to be put on tonight for photos with Landon, and I want every other dress she makes. There is something so refreshing about loving a brand, literally everything they make, and that not a single item would have to be altered for it to be modest.

Sonnet James DressesSonnet James Dress Love Sonnet James Dress Kate

It was when I was watching another video on her site, and she shared that “being silly with my boys didn’t come naturally to me” that I really fell in love. That’s me with Pait! And I officially had my first experience connecting with a clothing brand since finding a little boutique in Oregon 6 years ago.

I’m a little bummed I missed the chance for her Escape From  Alcatraz package on Kickstarter: “A flight to San Francisco, a Sonnet James gift bag (one of everything!) and a playful day touring the city with me in our dresses. Come see all of my favorite places–let’s bike across the Golden Gate Bridge with Bi-Rite ice cream cones in hand!” or the chance to have “a dress designed for you, made for you, named after you, and mailed to your door. Your signature dress will join the 2014 collection” but I’ll keep daydreaming about what my signature dress would look like.

Til I can share photos later this month, I wanted to share this post and express my genuine love for the Sonnet James dress line. If there ever was an apparel company that I’d pray for to never stop what it’s doing, it’d be this one. ♡

Color Analysis | Makeup

I love beauty products. I love the packaging, the options, the marketing campaigns, the releases of new collections, and products that become game changers. But despite finding beauty YouTubers + bloggers that I loved I was still struggling with finding what colors worked best on me. With color analysis of clothing, the articles that are closest to your face matter the most. A scarf and your top matter more than your bottoms and shoes for example.

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After looking into Color Analysis early this Spring, I felt like I had a better sense of what colors were more flattering than others. As an effort to continue figuring it out, and after getting a surprise gift card form a kind friend in the mail to Nordstrom, I went to have my makeup done at the Bobbi Brown counter. It turned out to be a great experience, and one that my soul needed.

Most Pleasantly Surprised By: One of my favorite products from the night ended up being one that I would have never picked up before: their Enriched Face Base Cream. It was lemon scented and lingered the rest of the night, that goes down as amazing in my book.

Favorite Eyeshadow Trio: Ivory, Champagne Quartz + Heather. I would love to grab one of their 3 pan custom palettes down the road and put these three together, they’re beautiful. I was happy with their entire shade selection of eyeshadows: all very earthy, soft and muted but Heather was a standout : taupe meets dusty plum. It’s a hard one to find from other companies, trust me.

Why Didn’t  I Think of That: Plum Gel Liner. I often find that I love my makeup completely done right before I put on liner or mascara. The black often looks too harsh and I regret putting it on. For my green eyes, I loved the purple! It’s something I could see myself wearing often, especially in the fall.

Not As Bright as it Looks: the lip gloss, it was pretty and not crazy at all, promise.

Eh, I’ve Had Better: I was most disappointed with the foundation and the mascara. The foundation was too dewy for my skin + preference, and the mascara wasn’t anything special. For less I’ll stick with Make Up Forever’s Mat Velvet + Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Masara in waterproof.

I had finished my NARS Laguna bronzer and was hoping to find something to replace it and I totally did. Their bronzer in Golden Light was a perfect fit for me and what I walked out with. Now to just keep Paityn out of it…

Face Cream | Eye Cream |  Corrector | Concealer Kit | Foundation | Powder  | Bronzer: Golden Light | Blush: Nude Pink | Lip Color: Dusty Rose Artstick | Lip Gloss : Popsicle | Eyeshadow: Ivory | Eyeshadow: Champagne Quartz | Eyeshadow: Heather | Gel Liner: Violet Ink | Mascara ||


Manduka PROlite Mat + Yogitoes Towel

Last summer, after a beautiful weekend away camping, we stopped in Truckee for lunch on our way home. As we were wrapping up with lunch, we found ourselves with a little baby in need of a diaper change and a restaurant restroom without a changer, which is where things got interesting. With our car packed full of gear, we were short on space to change her inside the car. Our parenting took a new level as there in the parking lot we unrolled my yoga mat to change her diaper. Despite lots of scrubbing and sanitizing when we got home, I was never able to look at that mat the same again. Which turned out to be just what my yoga practice needed.

I had been practicing on that Gaiam Tree of Life yoga mat, which had been a birthday gift from Landon, when we’d first started dating. It was one of those, “he really gets me!” sort of moments unwrapping presents that first year together. But though our relationship progressed, my mat game did not.

After 6+ years of yoga I don’t know why the mat I practiced on didn’t cross my mind earlier. So if it hasn’t crossed your mind either, no worries. After having spent the past few months with the Manduka PROlite Mat + Yogitoes Skidless Towel I wanted to share just what exactly I’ve fallen in love with.IMG_5791

I was familiar with Manduka because of their famous Black Mat. It pops up frequently on blogs and fitness magazines with reviews calling it the Taj Mahal of yoga mats. After seeing it in person this past winter however, I knew it wasn’t the mat for me. Though I’ve been lifting weights, and it’s technically only the weight of a newborn, it wasn’t my soul mat. Luckily Manduka isn’t a one hit wonder company, but a top company that gets yoga gear,  and has options for every yogi.

Let’s talk details  —

kyra18The first thing I’m impressed with the PROlite is its weight. In the Goldilocks story of yoga mats, the PRO was too heavy, my old mat too light, and this is just right, weighing 4lbs. I can’t see myself ever wanting to go back to a 2lb or less mat, unless backpacking across Europe. It just feels right in your arms.

Next, thickness + dimensions. The mat I was using, similar to many you’ll find rolled up ready to borrow at your local yoga studio, was 68″ long and 3mm thick. The PROlite is 71″ long and 4.5mm. Now maybe I’m underestimating what a 1.5mm increase sounds like to you, but to me, it makes a much larger impact in person than it did on paper. If I were to switch off between the holding the two, I’d swear the Manduka mat was twice as thick.

I’m sure I’m partially thrown off by the difference in construction of the two. It’s bottom of the PROlite is unlike any mat I’ve ever seen or used. Shark Tank has taught me to appreciate something proprietary when I see it, and this is something I think Mr. Wonderful would have gotten excited over. They call it their dot-pattern bottom, but I’d call it your future best friend. Think octopus arms; once I flip my mat out on the yoga floor, I know it will stay in place with no exception the entire 90 minutes.

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The surface is lovely. It has a woven look with subtle vertical long lines, which I love. From the first downdog to the last it feels very sturdy, my hands don’t “sink” in and stay in place amazingly well. Because I don’t share my mat, I breezed through the parts about its closed-cell surface that keeps moisture from seeping in and breeding bacteria when choosing this mat. But! I feel more confident recommending it to others knowing that fact.

One last thing that just doesn’t hurt while I sing its praises it the lifetime warranty. If your PRO or PROlite mat wears out from regular use, under normal conditions, they’ll replace the product, regardless of where it was purchased. Which just makes me feel good.

kyra13All in all, I loe this mat. I really love this mat. Let me share a few quick thoughts about the Yogitoes towel while we’re at it, because you guys, they’re a match made in heaven.

“Over the past decade, yogitoes went from simply identifying an unmet need to pioneering a new market – using innovation to become a renowned brand synonymous with not slipping on your yoga mat,” Susan Nichols,  yogitoes founder.

So what is the Yogitoes towel and how does it make my life more joyful?

A few specs to start: it is 68″ long, 24″ wide + 1.25lbs. It covers the width of my mat perfectly and is just 3 inches shorter in length. It is incredibly lightweight, but nothing about it seem delicate or fragile. It lays down + smooths out easily at classes’ beginning. The texture is pleasant to the touch, and provides an extra glorious layer to my mat setup during yoga.

The silicone orange dots grip to my mat, and are the key component to the towel being skidless. During a typical hatha or vinyasa flow class I am lucky to not sweat easily. The first place that I do, or where it gets in the way of practicing is in the palms which is common. During heated candlelight yoga, which I am new to! it is a whole different story. Many of my frustrations early on with hot yoga came from being distracted from trying to stay in poses on my old mat. When you only have an hour to focus on your practice and let go of other cares of the world, slipping around in hot yoga is not ideal.

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Other fun perks of the towel is that it’s able to be thrown in the wash, comes in fun colors + collections, and it just feels so nice to stand on. And sometimes, that’s all the reasons I need. Growing up is fun. I’ve learned that if there’s a product that helps me feel more confident or it brings me joy, that is enough of a reason!

If you want a bit more of a guide, here is what I recommend:

  • If you have a mat that is already your soul mat, great! We can still be friends even if it’s completely different from what I love. Check out the yogitoes + see if you fall more in love with your mat with the towel on top.
  • If you have a birthday coming up, or want to treat yourself, think about getting both. I really truly love the two together. I have the PROlite mat in Quest as well as the Yogitoes towel in Quest.
  • And if you have a hot yoga towel that you love, or want to get only one, grab the mat. If I had to choose between the two, I’d grab the mat. It provides the perfect foundation for any class

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Most of all, thanks for checking out this post! I’m feeling grateful that I set goals at the start of the year and that it gave me the push to make room for more yoga in my life. And a big thanks to Andrew Faulkner for shooting photos for me!

C/O Manduka Yoga

 

Spring Break Style

Vacations are a funny thing. I always think I’m great at compromising in our marriage, until something comes up like a vacation, where another chance won’t come back around for a little while if we didn’t do my first choice. I get a little more set with what I’d love to do! I’m happiest outside, in the sun + romanticize beach vacations like you wouldn’t believe.
Spring Break | Style
If Landon were to come home tonight with a card to shop online + tickets to say, Tahiti, these are the first things I’d 2nd day air:


Sandals
| Earrings | Eyeshadow | Wallet | Overnight Bag | Swimsuit | Fedora | Luggage Tag | Sunnies | Lip Color | Waterproof Bronzer | Dark Sunless Tanner + Mit | Mint Gum |

I started a summer vacation Pinterest board earlier this winter, so feel free to follow me along over there while I pin everything tan, white, bright, sandy and beautiful. What are some things you’re eying for sunny days ahead?