29 August 2014

Friday Fun!

It's finally the weekend! Thanks to the Army, we get Kyle for four days in a row! We are planning to hit the Alaska State Fair (later on today if the weather cooperates) & work on our never-ending list of projects on the house. I mayyy even sneak out of the house at some point solo, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here. ;)
On to the randomness that is on the agenda for this Friday...
I may enjoy turf time more than my daughter does. A wide open indoor soccer field (frequently all to ourselves) with all the balls (sport type balls, come on now) we could ever dream of... Kind of makes me want to dust off the ol' cleats and sign up for one of the adult leagues for washed up soccer players.  

I may or may not have peed in my car. Sheesh, if this isn't a confession, I don't know what is! Let me explain. So, I found myself about 40 minutes from home with a napping baby and very very full bladder. Unfortunately, it wasn't someplace where I could really be Alaskan and just pee in the woods, or that would have been the answer. Do I wet my pants? Nope! I put that old Venti Starbucks cup to good use. Waking the sleeping beast baby to run in the gas station to relieve myself was simply not an option! (Please tell me I'm not the only person that's done this...)

Taking selfies with a full on tripod and camera is AWKWARD! I was itching to get out and practice with my new tripod, so I figured I would also mess around with the self timer. Holy smokes! How do fashion bloggers do this? Do you have a drink first!? I was literally giggling with embarrassment the whole time! So bizarre! 
Awkward or not, here are some of the stragglers I was waiting on from that recent purchases post

jacket || jeans || shoes 


Mama ::  top || jeans || shoes 
Mally :: jeggings || top || headband 

I've been borderline obsessing trying to find the perfect pair of tan riding boots for fall. 

I love how simple and classic these are!
But I would just die to have these in my closet! Can somebody get with Ralph and have him knock about $1k off of these babies for me? Thanks! 

Changes are a brewin' on this here blog and I can't wait to show you! I'll give you a hint and tell you that these changes have to do with Elizabeth... 
Can't wait to hear about your long weekend! Enjoy :)


Linking up with : Leslie & Karli 

27 August 2014

Family Photos

Last week, Kyle, Mallory and I had the opportunity to have professional family photos taken. A local photographer named Marie of Chic Charlie's Photography donated an entire day to photograph soldiers and their families. It was an opportunity too good to pass up! 

The photos were taken at a park on JBER which made it convenient for Kyle to change out of his uniform and swing by for our 20 minute mini session. Well, when Kyle got out of his car I knew we were in for a treat. He went completely rogue and decided he felt passionately about the shirt he was going to be photographed in... oh boy. Choose your battles, right? Then it was Mallory's turn to stick it to the man rebel against family photos. She was NOT in the mood. Grumpy baby and a husband who is testing the waters as a fashionista, not good. Not good at all. I left the shoot telling myself that if we got just one decent photo; I would be ecstatic. 

I think it is safe to say that Marie blew my expectations out of the water! 

Check these out... 

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

Anchorage Alaska Photography

What I'm wearing:
cardigan (old color) || top (old from a boutique - love this one)|| pants || shoes ||
lipstick (in "red velvet") || watch

What Mallory is wearing:

What Kyle is wearing:
??? 
Jk. He looks ok ;)

If you live in the Anchorage/Mat-Su Valley area I highly recommend Chic Charlie's Photography! She offers very reasonable pricing and the option to purchase your digital images. I was shocked when she had all of our photos edited and ready to view fewer than five days after our shoot!

I'm bummed that I didn't find her sooner! Totally would have hired her to shoot a maternity/newborn session.

26 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

No, you won't be seeing me douse myself in ice cold water. Your news feeds have all been bombarded with people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge. Sure it's fun, but what's important is that its raised a shit pile of cash for ALS research.  What I'm not sure the Ice Bucket Challenge has done is raise awareness/education about this devastating disease and how it affects so many people's lives. ALS currently has no cure. HAS. NO. CURE.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
I would love for you to stop by my friend Kelsey's blog { Pardon My French } and read about amazing mother in law's battle with ALS.  
You can donate to The ALS Association HERE.
Has your life been affected by ALS?

22 August 2014

Recent Purchases

Happy Friday! 

Some of my favorite blog posts are "shopping hauls." Color me nosy but I just love knowing what other people purchase! (Just ask Kelsey! I'm forever hounding that woman "where did you get ___?" or "what's your favorite xyz?") There is most definitely a fall/camo/pattern theme going on for me right now. In my defense, it's not going to be summer much longer up in these parts. Our days our numbered. 

Anyway. I went shopping earlier this week in search of something for me and Mally to wear for our family photos. (Although, what we wore ended up being completely irrelevant since Kyle went rouge. He showed up wearing whatever HE wanted...Oh boy!) I didn't end up finding what I was looking for but did grab a few other things that weren't on the list. 

Why I walked through Aeropostale is beyond me. I probably haven't stepped foot in that store since middle school. Sooo glad I did because I scored this oversized camp cardigan for more than 50% off!


I grabbed Mal some skinny jeans from Crazy 8. They were included in the  buy one, get one for $0.08 promo so I think I paid a total of $16. Then, when we got home a package from H&M was waiting for us as well. Mallory made out like a bandit!



one || sweatshirt  two || (similar) two pack leggings three || jeggings four || skinny jeans


Another package that was waiting for us housed a necklace I snagged from GroopDealz a couple of weeks ago for like $5! When Mallory allows, I love a good statement piece. 

The Fox's Tail
I'm still waiting on a couple of online orders to arrive, one from Old Navy and and another from H&M. (I'll be sure to share the real thing on Instagram when they arrive!) Here's what's on the way...


From H&M we are expecting a knit hat for Mallory and a patterned cotton top for mama! I grabbed these with a 40% coupon code. Score! (As I was going through the tops online to find this link there were sooooo many other ones that I need...)


Finally, coming our way from Old Navy is a pair of camo jeggings for Mally and a green canvas utility jacket for me! These were purchased during the 40%/35% promotion they had going on last week. 

I think that'll do it! :)

I hope you have fun things planned for this weekend! We will be spending most of ours catching up on all of the house projects that did not get done this week. Oops!

What have you purchased lately?

21 August 2014

Mallory's 10 Month Update

Ten Months?! Ten. Months. Old?? That's dangerously close to 11 months which is damn near ONE YEAR OLD. No way!

Way. Here we are with our ten month old Mallory Susan :) The standing thing is now in full swing! She still crawls everywhere she wants to go (quickly I might add) but she really enjoys being on her feet! She still wobbles a ton, so maybe she'll hold off on walking just a littttttttle while longer. ;)



Mallory does NOT have time to have her diaper changed during the day. She has places to go and people to see which makes diapers changes look more like a WWE wrestling match. Thankfully the car seat upgrade seems to have curbed her aversion for being in the car a bit. 1 point for Mom and Dad! We ended up getting her the Britax Boulevard G4 Plus convertible car seat.


Mallory continues to find our dogs, Schatzi and LT to be down right hysterical! She is particularly interested in watching them eat. Not good. Sometimes, she too will grab a handful of dog food and chow down. So gross! Mallory also really enjoys their water bucket. Splashing in the water bucket. Putting things into the water bucket. Dumping the water bucket and splashing on the floor. Whatever the case may be, the water bucket never fails to show Mally a good time.


She still only has 6 teeth. No new teeth this month which is fiiiiiiiiine with my nipples me. What color do you think her hair is? In natural light we usually think it looks pretty red. In public, if I'm holding her people say red, but if Kyle is holding her, they say blonde. Science tells us she will be a strawberry blonde, what do you think?


Mallory is still wearing size 4 diapers and size "yeah, this looks like it will fit" clothing. The Carter's bodysuit she's wearing in these photos is 12 months. She is holding strong at about 21 pounds. We had her in the doctor earlier this month for her first ear/respiritory infection combo. :( She had a panda bear nebulizer and amoxicillin for daysss. [Ps. I think Kyle was more traumatized by the "pink medicine" than anyone. When he got home at realized what she was going to be taking he goes- "Oh helllll no! Do you remember that shit?! F*nasty! When can she start taking the pills?".....}


Mallory really enjoys being outside, especially in the backyard where she can play with the dogs AND try to climb the fence. In addition to grass, dirt and rocks, Mallory is about 60/40 right now breastmilk/solids. She took a step backward in the solids department while she was sick, but she is back on track eating anything we eat. A new development in the food department is that she will not touch "baby food," if we aren't eating it she wants nothing to do with it!


She has been doing a ton more babbling! Mal really has a cadence and expression that make it look like she's trying to tell us something. We expect that one of these days in the not so distant future we will have her first word or two!  (She says dada and mama but not 100% of the time AT the correct person, so we aren't counting it. )

We are hoping to stay busy this month soaking up the last bit of Mallory's first Alaskan summer. We have the Alaska State Fair, camping and fishing on the books. :)
Happy Thursday!


20 August 2014

A Day In The Life 2.0

Another lifetime ago Seven months ago, I shared A Day In The Life Of Mallory and I think it's about time I update her online baby book you! As I was skimming through that older post I couldn't help but laugh. I thought we would gain more structure the older she got.. HA! That has absolutely NOT been the case for us. 

baby routine

Have a look...

7:30-9:45am || Mallory wakes up. Your guess is as good as mine. Regardless of the time, Mallory always wakes up in a good mood! :)

9:45-12ish || She explores the house like it's her first time here. I get such a kick out of this time of day. It is when she is the most independent and just does Mallory things. Such a joy to watch! Sometimes she has a snack or two but really isn't into eating when she could be wrecking shit playing. 

12ish-1ish || It's time for a nap! Mallory nurses while I down an iced coffee or four and have a Larabar. Of all the meal replacement bars, these have the most natural ingredients and stay with me the longest. Perfect since "lunch" is a luxury these days. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip is my fave!

Back to Mal. "Nap time" in Mallory's case this means we either pile in the car to run some errands or get situated in the stroller for a walk. Read : the kid will only nap in the car or in her stroller.  I just know my parents are loving this since I wasn't a napper either. That karma man...

1ish-4:30ish || We are either out and about or at home, whatever the case may be Mallory is awake and into everything. Generally, she is in a better mood during this time if we are out of the house. She loves to people watch like her parents. If luck is going my way, we will share lunch, if not, her go-to snacks during this time are Goldfish, Veggie Straws, those little yogurt melts, and pretzels.

4:30ish- 6:30ish || Mallory starts to get a little fussy during this time but can hold it together with some interactive play and boob. We like to read books, cook dinner together, play outside with the dogs, chew on paper, etc.

6:30ish-10ish || Kyle usually gets home sometime in this neighborhood. We all eat dinner together then Kyle takes over the parenting gig for a little while. I bathe/run/blog. Sometimes Mal doesn't let this happen, but we try. Mallory frequently falls asleep on Kyle's chest like napping is her favorite activity. Come on kid! Bath time and nursing also happens at some point.


10ish-11ish || We go to bed. Sometimes just Kyle and Mallory go to bed and I stay up to get things done around the house....sometimes.

The gist of this "schedule" is that I kind of roll with whatever Mallory needs/has going on. I know that not all parents have this kind of flexibility in their day, but for now, we do and are both happy and healthy.

I would like to get Mallory comfortable going to sleep on her own around 8:30-9pm when she starts to get sleepy. It would be nice to have a couple of hours to myself each day, but we aren't in any hurry. A friend of mine shared an article called The Wait it Out Method of Sleep Training the other day and it really resonated with me...

What do you think about that article? Does your schedule look like ours?

Catch ya tomorrow with Mallory's 10 month update!

Disclosure : I was not compensated for this post. Larabar did send some samples for me to review. As always, all opinions on this blog are my own. 

19 August 2014

An Unexpected Beauty Blender Review

After years of wearing liquid makeup, I only recently caved and tried the cult favorite Beauty Blender. I never really found a brush that I love so I figured, what the heck and tossed it into my little black basket. 

makeup sponge review

The next morning I was excited to apply my makeup and give this little pink sponge a test drive. It was love from the very first dab! You are supposed to wet your Beauty Blender before applying foundation to avoid wasting too much product. Because the Beauty Blender was damp, it felt cool and refreshing on my face. Ahhh. :) The result was the most even and flawless coverage I'd ever achieved. I was hooked! Morning after morning I marveled at the natural look of my foundation. I'd finally found my makeup brush sponge!

Until I went to clean it for the first time...


ripped beauty blender

Noooooo! It just ripped. And ripped. And ripped! I cleaned it using baby shampoo and warm water, just like I do with all of my other beauty "tools." I wasn't being particularly rough with or anything, not even a real deep clean since I'd only been using it for a few days. It just fell apart. :(

ripped beauty blender
 
Call me crazy, but I'm not down with spending nearly $20 for just one week's worth of amazing makeup application. Ain't gunna do it! 
 
What do you think? Should I exchange this for a new one and give the ol' Beauty Blender one more shot? OR should I throw in the towel with this one? Am I the only one who's Beauty Blender couldn't hang?
 
**UPDATED to add the below information MARCH 12, 2017**
I ended up exchanging the above Beauty Blender for a new one and purchasing the Beauty Blender Cleansing Solid at the same time. That seemed to do the trick as far as extending the life of my Beauty Blender as I did not experience any damage to that sponge. I went on to purchase another Beauty Blender several months later, just because it was time, however I did NOT repurchase the cleansing solid and just used my kids' shampoo instead. That also worked perfectly.

HOWEVER... I have tried countless other sponges as well and know there are several out there, like these by Morphe, that work just as well as the Beauty Blender and cost a fraction of the price. 

You kind find some of those sponges in the widget below.



15 August 2014

A Beauty Wish List & A Chance To Give Back

Yesterday, I shared some of the products that you are guaranteed to find in my vanity. [You can find that post here.] I thought it would be fun to follow that up with a list of the things I'm itching to add to my collection! 
Without further ado, a little beauty wish list... 

one || Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in the shade coral pink || This is a blush that is raved about by Kate at The Small Things Blog and ever since I fell in love with the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, I want to try it alllll.
two || Viva La Juicy Gold Couture || Is this stuff new? I gave it a little spritz during my last tour through Sephora and it's goooood.
three || Bite Matte Lip Crayon in rose pink || I've only heard amazing things about this company and they offer the most vibrant color options. 
four || Origins Charcoal Face Mask || This is a face mask that I've gotten more samples of than I can count. Why I haven't just purchased it, I'll never know. It's not expensive! Sheesh.
five || Oxygen Peel by Philosophy || Don't laugh. I saw this on HSN and the demos they did were seriously impressive! The skin on the model's face was instantly brighter! Have you ever tried this?
six || Anastasia Brow Wiz in medium brown || Thus far in my eyebrow filling career, I've been a "use a matching eyeshadow, top it with wax and call it a day" kind of gal... Maybe it's time to move up to the big leagues. 
seven || YSL Glossy Stain in pale pink || Recently, a friend sent me a photo of herself following her in store makeover and she was wearing a lipstick like this one. Such a beautiful shade and who doesn't want more YSL in their life?
Have you tried any of these products? What else do I need to add to my vanity? 
Before you get your weekend started, I'd love for you to take a look at this great opportunity brought to you by Paige at Retro-Belle Wife. It's a chance to give back to our troops! Paige is even offering prizes to those who go the extra mile in creativity and generosity. ;)
Check it out!
Have a fantastic weekend! 

14 August 2014

On Repeat

I love experimenting with new products as much as the next gal. Picking up something you read about on a blog or have heard a friend rave about is fun. However, there are some things that I just don't waver from. My tried and true products that I repurchase time and time again. 


1. Bobbi Brown's Color Corrector || I use this product to neutralize dark circles and any redness on my face prior to applying my foundation. I love it's effectiveness, it's staying power and that it isn't drying.

2. iPhone || Wait, are there other phones out there? Ever since I got my very first iPhone (the iPhone 3 I believe) I've been hooked. I've never even entertained the idea of trying any of the other smartphones that are out there. We have an iPad, an iMac and iPhones...it just makes sense. We are Apple people. ;)

3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind || This stuff has been in my vanity since probably high school! It is inexpensive, easy to use and just works. I like that I can reapply throughout the day without it looking cakey. It's a must have!

4. Benefit's Eye Bright pencil || This is a more recent product. I think I've only been using this for the past two-ish years, but it's great! Normally, I apply this to the inner corners of my eye and waterline, but if i'm having an exceptionally rough morning, it goes on the under eye area as well. Just like it's name implies, it really brightens things up!

5. Maybelline Mega Plush || I've never been a fan of high end mascaras. Nothing ever compares to this stuff. This was likely one of the first mascaras I grabbed back in the day when I started playing around with make-up and it stuck. I buy the waterproof formula which seems to hold a curl better than the regular stuff. The wand is flexible which helps me get each and every lash!

6. Secret Outlast deodorant || Nobody likes to be sweaty and smell gross... I sweat. Like, a lot. This deodorant works the best for me, even compared to some of the "clinical" versions. 

7. Seche Vite || If you are looking for a great quick drying top coat, try this stuff out! I kid you not, it allows me to knock out a ten minute polish change while Mallory is playing. WIN! The only negative is I don't think it offer much additional chipping protect.

8. Crest 3D White toothpaste || Random, right? Ever since this first came out I've been a loyal repurchaser. It's so refreshing and helps fight the staining from the pot of coffee I've probably consumed throughout the day.

9. Out The Door || This is similar to Seche Vite in that it is quick drying. What I like about this top coat though is that it does offer an additional day or two without chipping. The downside is that towards the end of the bottle, the product seems to get a bit thick and sticky. :/ Moral of the story is to keep BOTH of these top coats in your collection!

10. MAC Fluidline || Honestly, wearing eyeliner doesn't happen much anymore. But when I do where eyeliner, it's this stuff. I get it in the color "dip down." Gel eyeliners are more blendable in my opinion, giving me the ability to create the more natural look that I like. This one in particular last all day and is the perfect shade!

11. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish || I use this as a setting powder to lock my foundation in place and kind of mattify things. Works like a charm!

12. Up & Up makeup remover || This one is crazy to me. I've tried sooooo many different eye makeup removers and nothing does it quite like this one. It gets all of my waterproof mascara off without rubbing and is so affordable. Why spend more? 
** Target brand pore strips || I can't find these online, but they have to be mentioned! One of my biggest skin issues are blackheads. (gross) I always kept the Biore pore strips in my bathroom until I randomly tried the Up & Up Brand strips (probably on accident.) The Target brand pore strips are 100x better! They are so much more effective! If you use pore strips, definitely grab the these babies. 
What products do you repurchase?

12 August 2014

Blueberries!

This past weekend was spent, picking blueberries! As I mentioned last Friday, we were out for redemption after not picking a single blueberry last summer. Our first stop was Archangel Road in Hatcher Pass, just a short drive from our house. 

Archangel Road

 Blueberries aside, we always have a great time in Hatcher Pass. Tons of great hiking and beautiful scenery!

Archangel Road

After a few minutes of "this way" "no this way" between me and Kyle, we settled on hiking my way. ;) JK I was wrong and we ultimately needed to go "his way"--regardless, after a few minutes of hiking/falling we stumbled upon these guys and several dozen of their friends!

Hacher Pass Alaska

Mallory blew the whistle on the Hatcher Pass blueberry picking operation after just an hour or so, but we ok with it. We found and picked blueberries which was more than could be said for last year's efforts...

Archangel Road

On Saturday we headed south of Anchorage to Girdwood, where the Blueberry Festival was being held at The Alyeska Resort. We missed the festival last summer due to our living in a hole.

Girdwood Alaska Blueberry Festival
Word on the street is that The Alyeska Resort is home to an amazing restaurant! An overnight stay here is a must for anyone who lives in Alaska, or so we've been told. Kyle and I don't ski or snowboard but we would most definitely be willing to take a tumble or two down the mountain here. In true Alaska form, this place is breathtaking! Not that I managed to take photos of the front of the resort or the mountains/ski lifts or anything...
 Girdwood Alaska
But I did get a photo of the crazy mountain bike trail that was near our picking spot, so only a partial fail, right?
Blueberry Festival

 The Blueberry Festival was set up behind the hotel in the Pond Courtyard. There were local food/craft venders, and of course blueberries galore! I got a delicious jambalaya for lunch and Kyle had some reindeer sausage.

Blueberry Festival

They even had a stage set up with live music for us to enjoy during lunch. Kyle and I were feelin' festive and split a cheeseburger with blueberry sauce. Not bad. Not my favorite thing in the world, but not bad. The band however,  was Mallory approved!


Is it possible to go to Girdwood, or even pass Girdwood without stopping at that little bakery? I challenge you to find something on their menu that we did not order...

Girdwood Alaska

 It was on our drive home that the coolest part of our weekend happened. The tide coming in! Color me simple, but I have never seen anything like it. There were paddle boarders out in what was mud just moments before, riding a single large "tidal" wave (it all makes sense now...) This photo doesn't come close to doing the scene justice. The water was spinning in a thousand different directions, the paddle boarders were cruising at about 25mph, and in a matter of minutes the entire inlet went from mud flats to being full of water! Amazing!
turnagain arm tide

Ok. But for real. What do you make with blueberries? Kyle doesn't really like blueberries, and I'm lookin' to get creative! A pie? Some jam?

bluberry

If you have a blueberry recipe, I'm all ears!! (err...eyes.)
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