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Cupcakes n Crunches

A Gift Guide for the Product Junkie

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in Gift Guide, Girly Things | 0 comments

Hola! Today’s post is one that I enjoyed typing up a little too much. I’m sharing a gift guide for the product junkie! I’ve tried a lot (and I mean a lot) of products, so I feel quite qualified to write on today’s topic.đŸ˜‰đŸ’đŸ»

Dave has been asking me for a Christmas list because he said he’s at a loss as to what to get me this year. I finally got around to making a little list for him last night and you guys…it was ALL beauty products with the exception of 4 things. He’s like, “There are 5 lipsticks on here…and 3 eye creams. Is this a typo?” He’s confused because I only wear make-up 3 days a week. Because hello! Motherhood. I tried to tell him my list was actually super strategic. I asked for sunglasses and eye cream and lipstick so I could look as put together as possible without actually doing a full face of make-up. Sunglasses to cover my face + lipstick to make it look like I put a little effort into my look = my go-to move.

Anyways, here’s my list of products I would give to the girl who is beauty obsessed!

gift_guide_for_the_product_junkie

  1. Hair Mask: I’m all about a good hair mask! There’s so many to choose from in all different price ranges, from Oribe’s gold lust transformative masque ($65) to Moroccan Oil’s hydrating mask ($16-$35) to Dry Bar’s mudslide mask ($15-$38).
  2. Face Mask: I’ve been using this face mask by Omorovicza and I really like it. I was given a sample of it to try and ended up liking it so much I requested another sample and then finally caved and bought it. I haven’t personally tried this mask by Philosophy, but the reviews on it are great and the price point can’t be beat ($25). GlamGlow is obviously known for their face masks and you can get 4 of them in a cute set for $69 right now, which is a great gift (and deal) for a girlfriend who wants to try all the masks.
  3.  Perfume: I love receiving perfume and I have several favorites in my repertoire. I think this Jo Malone set would be an amazing gift to give because Jo Malone perfumes are meant to be mixed together. They smell good alone but when you mix certain scents they smell really good. If you just wanted to buy 1 bottle instead of the minis, I personally love the scent mimosa & cardamom and the english pear and freesia perfume. I almost bought this bath set while I was in Nordstrom’s this week and I regret not getting it. The scents in that set are on point and Jo Malone bath products are the best! (Rabbit Trail: Jo Malone makes a candle that is $470. You read that right. $470 dollars! Ya’ll, my candle obsession runs deep, but I don’t think I could light a match to something that is almost $500. CRAZY, right?! Can we all pause for a minute and think about how rich you have to be to burn a $470 candle? Okay. Moving on now…)
  4. Mini Lipsticks: Picking out make-up for someone is tough, unless you know them really well. But if you are going to pick out make-up for a friend, when in doubt, go nude. Wait…that came out wrong, didn’t it? I mean don’t pick a bold color unless you know they will love it. Nude lipsticks are pretty universal and I think these mini lipsticks by MAC are beautiful and would look well on most skin tones. I personally love the color Whirl – it is one of my go-to colors and I find it mixes well with other colors too (I use the Whirl lipliner too & love it). When you consider the price ($26) and the cute packaging, this gift is a no-brainer for the beauty lover in your life.
  5. The Make-up Eraser: What do you buy for the girl who has all the make-up? How about a product to help her take it all off! I personally wouldn’t mind if Santa put 1 or 2 of these make-up erasers in my stocking.

Where are my product junkie’s at? Leave a comment below telling me what product you would love to get under your tree this year! 🙂 Happy Thursday, girls!

All Aboard…This is the Polar Express!

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Baby Atlas, Family Fun, Trips | 4 comments

On Monday afternoon we got the kids dressed in their pajamas, drove 2.5 hours to Bryson City, NC and then waited in the rain to climb aboard the Polar Express (a.k.a operation ‘make Atlas’ dreams come true’).

polar_express

It was such a magical experience for our boy and I was in Heaven watching him overflow with excitement and joy.

polar_express_snowman

Andi Rose seemed to really love it too, which I was incredibly thankful for because if homegirl isn’t feeling something she has a special way of making sure nobody else enjoys it either. Luckily, she was entertained by the waiters who sang and danced and when she tired of them, we had lots of snacks to keep her smiling through our 90 minute train ride. I was fa-reaking before we got on the train though because I fully anticipated her to nap on the car ride there and she, of course, refused to nap in the car until 4 minutes before we arrived at our destination. I was bracing myself for the no-nap meltdowns but God had mercy on my soul and Andi Rose was in good spirits for our North Pole excursion.

polar_express_train

Atlas got a special golden ticket (just like in the Polar Express movie) and then Santa got on the train and gave him a silver bell (again, just like the movie). I’m pretty sure Atlas hasn’t let go of either item since Monday night.

bryson_city_polar_express

golden_ticket

I woke up this morning to the sound of his bell ringing. He’s still on cloud 9 from his choo-choo adventure and I’m so thankful we were able to make that little dream come to life for him.

When Santa asked Atlas what he wanted for Christmas Atlas said he wanted cars and he also wanted cars to give to a little boy who didn’t have any cars. I’m telling you guys, that boy is precious! I mean, he still lives to annoy Andi Rose, but other than that…totally precious! 😉

As soon as the train arrived back to Bryson City, we loaded the kids back into the car and made the 2.5 hour drive back home. Atlas fell asleep shortly before we arrived home (close to 11pm!), but he never let go of that train ticket.

mission_accomplished

We didn’t get our babies in bed until midnight and we had to be up at 7am for Bible Study on Tuesday morning, but it was so worth it to make those sweet memories together. The only thing that would have made the experience better is if Tom Hanks would have been there. Can we all agree that Tom Hanks can do no wrong? I love all of his movies, but since having Atlas, the Polar Express movie will always have an extra special place in my heart because of how much my boy loves it. 🚂

The next Christmas item on our bucket list is to check out the Christmas lights at Lake Lanier. We tried to drive around and look at Christmas lights in some neighborhoods around our house the other night but Andi Rose was not having it so I’m hoping she will be more into the lights at Lake Lanier. Do you have a holiday bucket list? If so, what’s on it? 🎄

P.S. My apologies for the crappy i-phone photos. We brought our camera, but it was just too dark/fast-paced/rainy/crazy to snap any decent photos. So the i-phone pics will have to do for this post, but that’s real life sometimes, isn’t it?

The Things We Do for Our Babies…

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Family Fun, Fashion | 4 comments

Hey, friends! In just a few hours, we are hitting the road to go make all of Atlas’ dreams come true. Or at least 1 of his dreams.

family_pictures

(Andi Rose is obviously upset that we aren’t hitting the road to make all of her dreams come true. Andi Rose, your day will come sweetie…)

We are going to ride the Polar Express! Ya’ll – this trip has been an ordeal. Let me give you the {not-so} short story: Atlas is obsessed (OB.SESSED) with the Polar Express. It is, without a doubt, his favorite movie of all time. When we aren’t watching the Polar Express movie, we are singing the songs from the soundtrack. And this isn’t reserved for the month of December. Oh, no. We were jamming out to the Polar Express in July. At night when I ask Atlas what he’s going to dream about, he says the Polar Express. SO, when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas can you guess what he said?

If you guessed ‘a ride on the Polar Express’ then you would be correct.

christmas_time

So, after quite a bit of research I found a train station about 3 hours from our house that had a Polar Express ride that seemed legit and the time frame was on point for Andi Rose (Some of the train rides were super long, which wasn’t realistic for us due to Andi’s short attention span). We got our neighbors in on the fun and decided we would make a weekend trip out of it and all go ride the Polar Express together.

Unfortunately, every other family this side of the Mississippi planned to do the same because when we went to buy our tickets 2 weeks ago they were completely booked. Not a single seat left on that dang train. I was devastated and also sort of panicked because that is the one thing Atlas has been talking about doing for Christmas.

I lost sleep over it, ya’ll. Thankfully, Dave totally came through for us and saved the day. He got us tickets for today (because who rides the Polar Express on a Monday?!) and took off work to go with us. We are literally driving there today and driving back home as soon as its over so we are probably in for a late night, but gosh darn-it! My sweet boy is riding the Polar Express today!

family_christmas

The things we do for our babies, right? I sure hope this train ride is magical for him. I also sure hope the sight of Santa Clause on the train doesn’t cause him to have one of those meltdowns where people say, “Oh, you’ll laugh about that one day.” (He’s still unsure about ole’ St Nick.)

Atlas is at such a fun age and he makes our home such a bright place to be. I love him to pieces. Watching him get excited over something is the best and I am praying I get to see that sweet wonder and excitement in his eyes tonight on that train.

I’m not sure if Andi Rose will be diggin’ the Polar Express like Atlas, but she loves music so I’m crossing my fingers she will be happy to just dance her little heart out. She’s a real trooper and such a good little sister to Atlas.

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So that’s what’s up in our world today. I’ll be sure to recap our trip to the North Pole on the blog. 😉

holiday_outfit

Outfit details: Similar vest // button up shirt (only $25)// similar navy pants (mine are old)// hunter boots 

Atlas & Andi’s vests are both by Janie & Jack. Andi’s boots are mini Melissa’s, but sold out.

Reindeer wall mount // Red doormat 

Oh, and the moral of today’s story is this: Book your Polar Express tickets in April if you want to ride it on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday in December. 🚂

 

A Gift Guide for the Fitness Freak

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Gift Guide | 0 comments

Hola & Happy Friday! You guys have left some great gift-giving ideas this week and I’ve added a few of your suggestions to my personal wish list!

Today I’m sharing another gift guide and it is focused on gifts for the fitness fanatic in your life! As always, I would love to read any gift ideas you may have in the comments below! Now let’s chat about what to buy for our girlfriends who love to sweat!

 

gift_guide_fitness

  1. Purity Cleansing Cloths: If you know someone who loves to workout, but doesn’t always have the luxury of showering immediately after their sweat session then these face wipes would make a great gift! I love them and use them on those days when I workout in the mornings but can’t shower until naptime (so you know, pretty much 5 days a week).
  2. Dry Shampoo: Because who has time to workout and wash their hair everyday? I love this one by Oribe, although it is a splurge, it has lived up to the hype and it smells like a million dollars. I’m also a big fan of this dry shampoo and this dry shampoo!
  3. Cute Gym Mat: You may remember seeing this gym mat pop up on the blog before. Dave got me this and I love it. It would make a great gift for the yoga lover in your life! The matching gym bag is also adorable if you have a girlfriend who brings a lot of stuff to the gym.
  4. Athleisure Pieces: Cute athleisure pieces can be a great gift for that person who wants to look like they just left the gym, but in reality they are just going to the grocery store. 😉 I tried these Athleta tights on several weeks ago and keep thinking about how amazing they were. Nothing haunts us in life like the things we didn’t buy, right? I also own these and love them and I think these are super cute! I’ve been eying this top from Carrie Underwood’s line for a while too – I think it would make a great gift for your fitness lovin’ girlfriend and it is currently marked down to $23. Aaaand because I’m a freak for all things athleisure I’ll just leave these joggers right here for you too. Seriously – how gorgeous is that grey color? But they are dry clean only and that’s a deal breaker for this girl because I need to be able to throw my comfy pants into the washer. But perhaps they would work for your high maintenance friend who has no children? lol
  5. Headband: This is a great gift, that is inexpensive! I can’t workout without a headband, so I personally think this is a fool-proof gift for runners because most of the girls I know who run prefer to run with their hair out of their face. I love the sparkly soul headbands + Bic headbands and I personally wouldn’t even mind if I was gifted a headband in a color I already own. They are just functional and I use them daily so I imagine most girls feel the same. Cant have too many sort of thing…

Other gift ideas could include:

  • A new pair of sneakers
  • A gift card to a place like Lululemon, Athleta or Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • A gift card to a place like Soul Cycle, Orangetheory, Burn Bootcamp, Fly Wheel, etc (obviously this would be based off the area you live in and the group exercise classes your friend likes)
  • Headphones  – I think these rose gold ones are beautiful

Glam Giveaway Winner

And now for the winner of Monday’s glam giveaway…

Lindsay! 

I am e-mailing you to get your address so check your inbox today! 🙂

Thank you SO much to all who participated! I loved reading what you are hoping to get for Christmas this year and I could relate to so many things you listed (like a good night’s sleep and a vacation! HELLO, let’s be friends!). You guys are such a bright spot in my day and I’m grateful for you. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

What I Believe about Santa Clause

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Motherhood | 4 comments

I’m breaking up the gift guide series today to chat about another element of Christmas. The jolly old man himself: Santa Clause!

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Throwback picture to Atlas’ first time meeting Santa – probably my favorite photo of all time

Atlas is 3 years old this year so the concept of Santa Clause is finally clicking in his little mind. YAY! Naturally, I had grand plans to use this to my advantage (*insert evil laugh here*). We downloaded a video from Santa (if you’re a mom, you’ve got to check that link out – it’s so cute) and showed it to Atlas and I’ve been joining millions of other moms in declaring, “You better behave, Santa is watching you!”

But that whole concept of “Santa is watching and you better be careful so you don’t wind up on the naughty list” hasn’t been sitting well with me (and it hasn’t been working with Atlas). Every time I say it, I cringe a little and it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly why it bothers me.

Now, don’t leave yet! I’m not knocking Father Christmas. I just realized I was using Santa Clause as a manipulation tactic to get my child to do what I wanted, rather than a motivating figure to inspire him to do good. I think Santa Clause is such a wonderful tradition and it is one I fully embrace and look forward to sharing with Atlas and Andi Rose for years to come, but I want to be sure I am presenting Santa Clause in a way that aligns with the core values I’m teaching my children. Values like grace, forgiveness and generosity. If I am telling Atlas that if he takes a toy from Andi Rose 1 more time then Santa Clause might just bring him a bag of snowman poop for Christmas and call it a day, then what message am I really sending him…about Santa Clause and life? That’s all very transactional and to be honest, it isn’t that magical when I think about it.

Santa 2015 - #goodstuff

Santa 2015 – #goodstuff

I think I would be robbing my children of so much if I denied them the opportunity to believe in fairy tales. There are so many wonderful truths and life lessons to be picked out of old stories. Jesus himself knew how much the human heart craved a good story – I think that’s why He taught in parables so often. He knew that we all long for something we can relate to, something that inspires us and moves us.

So that’s what I want Santa to do for my children. To inspire them. To teach them that sometimes the greatest gift we can receive is grace – perhaps grace in the form of a present we didn’t deserve or earn. And isn’t grace also one of the greatest gifts we can give? I want Atlas & Andi Rose to know that if/when they mess up, Santa offers forgiveness and he gives to those who are deserving and even to those who are undeserving. I want them to learn about a Santa who gives while expecting nothing in return. Mr Clause gives because doing good is its own reward and the same should be true for us – and any presents received are just an added bonus.

I’m certainly not opposed to effort from my children and repercussions for their bad behaviors are obviously vital to their personal growth. They should work hard at being kind and sharing (Actually, they better work hard at this), but I want their motives to be pure. I don’t want them growing up working towards getting everything on their Christmas list because that’s self-centered, which won’t leave them satisfied. I want them to grow up working towards serving others expecting nothing in return because that’s where the true magic of Christmas is found. When I share Santa with my kids, I want to highlight all that he gives, rather than all they might get.

This week I’ve been having some conversations with Atlas about giving to those in need this Christmas. I’ve noticed a big sense of entitlement in my house lately and it’s something I’m trying to tackle, not only in the heart of my 3 year old but also in my own heart.

I actually dug up some old pictures from a trip I took to Africa several years ago and I shared the photos with Atlas this week. When I pointed out that many of the children were not wearing shoes, Atlas quickly pointed out that he had lots of shoes. I asked him if he thought we should share his shoes with kids who didn’t have any shoes and he was so quick to say, “YES!” Then he asked me if Santa Clause would bring those children shoes. I told him that I sure hoped Santa would visit those kids, but sometimes Santa needs help from us to spread holiday cheer and we can act like elves and give special presents to those kids who need a little extra. He genuinely loved that idea and ever since I showed him those pictures he prays for those kids at night before bed.

africa

Atlas & Andi Rose will get a ridiculous amount of toys no matter what this year because they have grandparents. If Santa, Dave & I all skipped Christmas this year, our kids wouldn’t notice because they have a group of people in this world who think they are perfect and deserve the moon. All kids should have those people in their lives, right? So, by no means am I saying Christmas will be downplayed in our house this year. It will be a full blown event and that’s the way I love it. I’m just trying to shift the focus this month onto the good we have the power to do for others instead of the gifts we may receive if we walk a straight line and I want to use Santa as my example, not my manipulation tool.

I guess the other point I’m trying to make here is that it isn’t Santa’s job to teach my kids to do good. It is my job. My job is to try every day to awaken their little hearts to the needs of people around them. I was being lazy there for a while and trying to use Santa as a throw blanket over all of Atlas’ behavioral issues and I was robbing him of the Christmas magic in the process…Because the magic isn’t in the gifts he might earn – it’s in giving out of the overflow of all he already has.

Training up the heart of a child is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I think Santa Clause can definitely help me out during the month of December by reiterating and demonstrating some of the lessons I’ve been trying to engrain in my son’s mind all year long. Turns out I can still use the man in the red suit to my advantage, just not in the way I originally planned.

And you better believe I’m using Santa Clause as my excuse to perfect my cookie recipes. I’m all, “We need to bake cookies again today because we have to get them just right for Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. We want our cookies to be his favorite because I think he leaves an extra special present for the family with the best cookie recipe.” It’s a great way to justify baking cookies on a Wednesday at 10am. #noshameinmygame

Your turn! Thoughts on Santa?!

And sorry this post is late again. I’m down with a nasty cold so I’m in survival mode over here. Just counting down the hours until my kids go to bed so I can drink a bottle of NyQuil. Again…#noshameinmygame

A Gift Guide for the Girly Girl

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Gift Guide, Girly Things | 7 comments

Happy Hump Day, friends! I’m coming at you today with another gift guide, tailored specifically for the girly-girl in your life. This post is for the girl who loves all things bows and ruffles and holds firmly to the belief that accessorizing is what separates us from the animals. I couldn’t help but think of my mom when I was putting this post together – she is one of my favorite people to shop for because she is so feminine and she loves accessories!

I hope this post helps inspire you as you pick out gifts for your girlfriends this Christmas and as always, I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below! You guys always have the best ideas.

girly_gift_guide

  1. Cute Cosmetic Case: My mom and sister both use these cosmetic bags by Henri Bendels and I think they are the cutest! They are functional, as they hold a lot of make-up, and they make for the perfect travel bag! It is definitely on the pricey side (in my opinion) for a make-up bag, but I think any girly-girl would appreciate this gift!
  2. Girly Ornament: Some of my personal favorite gifts are ornaments I’ve received from friends and family. I love decorating my tree each year and pulling out ornaments that remind me of the person who gifted it to me. Some of the cutest girly ornaments that I’ve seen this year are this one, this one and this one! (I actually feel like Nordstrom’s should gift me that last ornament for the contribution I’ve made to their business this year. Dave, if you’re reading this – I know, you are not laughing. #confessionsofashopaholic)
  3. Glam Earrings: Since having my babies, I don’t wear a ton of jewelry but one thing I rarely leave home without is my earrings. I always joke that I feel naked when I’m not in earrings. I think earrings are a safe gift to give too because there’s no sizing involved and I’m confident every girly-girl subscribes to the notion that one can never have too much jewelry. I especially love this pair and this pair!
  4. Festive Phone Case: Dave got me an i-phone case from Henri Bendel’s last year for Christmas and I love it! It’s a gift I would never buy for myself, but I really appreciated receiving it. I love this kate spade one (because glitter IS my favorite color) and obviously I love this one because it is animal print. Think about what your girlfriend loves and then try to find a phone case to match her style. (Fun fact: I just realized while typing this up that I couldn’t buy myself a phone case if I wanted to because I have no idea what kind of i-phone I have. Is it a 5 or a 6 or a 7 or a 6s? Your guess is as good as mine. I didn’t know there was an i-phone 7 until about 2 minutes ago, so I’m pretty sure I don’t have a 7.  Dave handles all tech related things in our house and I view phones like I view cars…as long as they work, I see no reason to replace/update them. The only thing I know is my phone is rose-gold because when we got our phones and I was presented with the options I quickly realized the only right option was in fact, rose gold. Duh. rose gold > black)
  5. Cozy Scarf: My policy on scarves is the same as my policy on earrings: You just can’t have too many (unless you’re a Florida girl, in which case you need 1 and I’m using the term ‘need’ lightly). A personal favorite of mine this year is this Free People scarf and I have it in ‘sand’, but I would love the pink one because it is gorgeous and would match so much! This plaid scarf is perfect for the holidays and less than $30 and if I didn’t already own 3 leopard print scarves I would totally put this one on my personal Christmas list. This color block one is also gorgeous and so is this one and this one (←I can totally see this red plaid one paired with red hunter boots and white pants for an adorable look)!

I also think beauty products make great gifts, but I quickly realized I could devote an entire post to beauty products alone so I’ll save those ideas for another day and another post.

Are you a girly-girl? If so, what gifts do you love receiving from your loved ones? Do share!

P.S. This post is going up late because my children are all, “What is naptime?” and I was having technical difficulties and now it is 2:24 on a Wednesday and I don’t know what I need more – a nap or a glass of wine. GAH! #realtalk