28 May 2015

Fashionably PALE

skin cancer awareness month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. As you may know, skin cancer prevention is a subject matter that is near and dear to my heart as a melanoma survivorIt is so important to be diligent and cautious about sun exposure for both yourself and your little ones. However, it is equally important that you get out and enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer have to offer. I think it is totally possible to be safe in the sun without sacrificing style. 

SPF makeup

blanket c/o SwimOutlet sold out (love this one) || hat old (similar) || IT Cosmetics CC+ || nail polish || lipstick || c/o sunglasses || face moisturizer || body lotion

baby sunscreen

blanket c/o SwimOutlet sold out (love this one) || hat || swimsuit cover up c/o Snapper Rock || sunscreen || baby blanket || sunglasses || swimsuit 

If you don't already wear sunglasses, you totally should! I'm LOVING these mirrored aviators for summer time. Sunglasses are ALWAYS in season plus they offer excellent protection to your eyes. Did you know you that the sun can not only deteriorate your vision over time, but it can actually cause you to develop skin cancer in your eye? It's called ocular or uveal melanoma. So, make sure you get sunglasses that offer UV protection at 100% (you can usually find this information on the tag itself or on a sticker placed over the lens) and the bigger the frames the better! Now, on to the kids shades! Mallory and Mike each have a pair of these sunglasses from REI. I love them because they offer really full coverage of the eye area and they have adjustable straps so I can ensure they aren't easily removed. ;)

Don’t forget about your head! Often times, suspicious moles go undetected on your head because they are difficult to find, see and monitor. To me, this makes protecting my scalp extra important! There are actual sunscreen options available that are designed to be applied over hair to protect your scalp like this one by Nioxin. Hats are my go to option for protecting my head. Who doesn’t like an excuse to wear a big floppy sun hat?! In a pinch, you can pile your hair on top of your head in a huge messy bun as a barrier until you can get your hands on a hat. I like to keep my Reds baseball cap in the car just in case. As for the kids, training is key! Haaaa! But for real, I have made a conscious effort to keep a hat on Mallory's head from day one, that way she doesn't really know any different. She seems to prefer hats that fit nice and snug, like this one and don't have any straps or ties below the neck. It's all about finding what works best for your child and what they will actually wear!

Another area we tend to over look when considering sun protection are our nail beds. You can get skin cancer there too! My solution is to keep my nails polished at all times. "Hey Kyle, I need to get a mani/pedi. Yes, need. It's for my safety..." Hehehe. Ok fine, that doesn't usually work, but I really do keep my nails polished most of the time to offer an added UV barrier. (Obsessed with neon nail colors right now!) For our non nail polish wearing ladies and littles, don't forget to rub some of your SPF lotion on your nails too! (Side note : Make sure you aren't wearing nail polish when you visit your dermatologist so they can check your nail beds too.)

Sunscreen. This is the real meat and potatoes of your sun safety regimen. Make sure you purchase a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This means it protects your skin from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-A and UV-B rays are each damaging to your skin. Grab a lotion with minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 30. Our go-to sunscreen is Blue Lizard for babies. We keep a bottle in each car, one in my purse and one in the medicine cabinet at home. I use Blue Lizard just because everyone in the family can use it. My dermatologist recommends finding a sunscreen that uses zinc and titanium as the main ingredients. "No ingredients you can't pronounce." Zinc and titanium are safer for your little one's skin and provide a physical barrier to those UV rays as opposed to a chemical one. Above all, the best sunscreen is the kind you'll actually use! Apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply as directed (read: frequently.) If your like me and don't much care for the smell of sunscreen--I've been using this stuff as my regular all over moisturizer since it smells nice, and save the Blue Lizard for when we are actually going to be outside. 

Now onto the face! Most makeup brands offer their foundations or BB/CC creams with SPF. Make sure you look for those options; it’s a very easy switch for a little extra protection. I recently purchased the IT Cosmetics CC+ and love it! SPF 50?! Get outta town! There are also tons of great moisturizers out there that include SPF. Personally, I stick with drugstore options on this step since my face make up also has sunscreen in it. If you are looking for something a bit more fancy or aren't willing to make the switch to SPF with your foundation, I hear amazing things about La Roche-Posay's sunscreen for the face. Oh! Slap on some bright, summery lipstick or a lip balm with SPF to protect your pout! [If you are in the mood for some online shopping, Sephora is offering Beauty Insiders a FREE deluxe sample of sunscreen with any $25 purchase. Score! Get yours here.]

A special note about your little one's skin :: Our pediatrician advised us to avoid putting sun screen on the kids before they are 6 months old and to use physical barriers for protection instead. This can be tough when its super hot outside. Of course, you don't want your baby to be too hot, but you also want to protect that precious skin! Enter UPF rated clothing/swimwear. UPF stands for Ultravilet Protective Clothing. Sooooo many company's offer UPF pieces, even my beloved Target! One of my favorite retailers of sun protective clothing for kids is Snapper Rock--soooo many adorable swimsuits and coverups! This month they are donating 5% of their internet sales to the Children's Melanoma Foundation, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me! As for your tiny babies who are still kind of just sleeping in their carseat during any prolonged outdoor activities, toss an Aden & Anais blanket over them. They are so light and breathable that they won't cause your baby to overheat, but still offer some additional protection from those UV rays. 

Phew! There you have it. The skin cancer patient's obligatory "protect your skin" post.

Do you have any tips/tricks to add? 

Remember, pale skin is BEAUTIFUL!

Find other posts on sun safety here and here

25 May 2015

Blue on Blue on Blue

This denim on denim look was one of the first outfits I felt comfortable wearing after I delivered Michael. The top is loose enough to make me feel comfortable and these jeans are some of my all time favorites. Chambray tops are such a staple in any wardrobe! They can seamlessly carry you through each of the four seasons. For Memorial Day or even the 4th of July, all you need is some bold red lipstick, a pair of white shoes, some killer mirrored aviators and you have an outfit made in patriotic heaven! I particularly enjoy this little getup for spring time in Alaska--the mornings are still a bit chilly making long sleeves/pants much appreciated, then by the time afternoon/evening rolls around, I have an extra layer of denim defense against our notoriously massive mosquitos. 

denim on denim outfit

mirrored aviators

blue aviators

white converse

denim on denim

shoes || Converse
top || Target
jeans || Lauren Conrad
sunglasses || Blenders (c/o Swim Outlet)
lipstick || MAC 'Ruby Woo'
earrings || Eleventh Avenue

Nursing mamas, do not forget your nursing pads when you're wearing this top. Lord have mercy, there is nooooo hiding leakage in this baby! 

I hope you have enjoyed your long weekend and spent it with people you love. Remember to take a moment to honor those who have given their lives for our country.

shop the look ::

22 May 2015

A Friday Ramble + Love List

We survived! The kids, dogs and I all have beating hearts after our first week alone. Mission accomplished. There is a bit of a learning curve, but we will get there. For instance, I learned that I need to put Michael down when he is sleeping so that I can give 100% of my attention to Mallory during that time whereas I rarely put Mallory down when she was a newborn. I also learned that I can't be two places at once. Weird, I know! For some reason I thought I could, turns out that is not the case. I do need to figure out how blogging is going to work into my day, but I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself. Blogging is something I enjoy, not something I HAVE to do if that makes sense, so I don't want to make it feel like a chore. When things got chaotic during this week, I found myself kind of giggling. I love genuinely love being a mom and I feel so lucky to be able to be with them all day, even if I pass the kids to Kyle for a hot second once he gets home. ;)I don't think this adjustment is as intense as bringing the first baby home however. That was a real eye opener!

Anyway. Lets get to the materialistic good stuff!

Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale!!! Shopping lists are posted all over the internet and I have been stalking them like white on rice! This sale is just on point! I snagged these Reeboks, some navy Stacks since my Vans recently bit the dust, this t-shirt (for less than $10!) and a couple of other things that I won't mention because I'm choosing to not incriminate myself online. Ha! Can you tell what I'm doing during those middle of the night feedings? Online shopping! (Sorry about the bank account Kyle! You didn't need anything, right?)

Oh lordy! This Bellange Makeup Brush Set. This company recently reached out to me to review these brushes and I was so excited! My makeup brush system has been in a state of disarray lately and I had been struggling to find what works for me. You see, Mallory enjoys getting ready with me in the morning which is so fun, but it means her grubby little toddler hands are all over my stuff. So, do I want to invest in a collection of expensive MAC make up brushes only for them to end up with peanut butter on them or being used as a toilet bowl cleaner, no. But, I do want my brushes to work well and feel luxurious. Enter Bellange Makeup Brushes! This 10 piece kabuki brush set is available on Amazon for only $28! (Although it is on mega sale right now for only $16.99!!!!) The set includes 
a couple of foundation brushes, a flat top brush, a contour brush, a full range of eye brushes and a makeup bag! The only thing it is missing in my opinion is a big fluffy powder brush... But I went to Ulta and picked up this one, so now we're all covered! I washed mine before I started using them and haven't experienced anything negative! No loose hairs, no breakage, even brushstrokes and it doesn't "steal" too much product. These brushes are outstanding, especially for their price point! Definitely recommend them. Get yours here!

bellange makeup brush set review

bellange makeup brush set review

Finally! I have been not so patiently waiting for this Cara Loren Lipstick T-Shirt to be back in stock on her site. This week the shopping god's answered my prayers and offered me a size large during my daily site check. Probably would have gone for a medium since it is a boyfriend fit tee, but when an opportunity like this presents itself, you just proceed to checkout and do not ask questions!

Can we take a minute to talk about how amazing Alaskan summers are?! Now I know it's not technically summer yet, but in Alaska it kind of is. Up here we go from winter straight into "break up." Break up is when all the snow and ice are melting and things are just gross outside. Once everything dries up, the Alaskans emerge with a vengeance! It is as though everything became green overnight and the seemingly endless amounts of sunshine doesn't hurt anyone's mood. (Currently sunrise is just before 5am and sunset is right around 11pm!) We find ourselves so much more energetic and excited to take on each day, even with a newborn! As I'm sure you've seen on my instagram, Mallory is fully capitalizing on the great weather by spending as much time as possible in our backyard. :) Sooooo excited to start crossing things off our summer activity list! 

Oh! So, somehow my bloglovin' got all messed up. When my mom was here she told me she wasn't receiving emails from Bloglovin' alerting her of a new blog post anymore. I basically just chalked it up to her being old and changing a setting or something on accident. Well, this past week I've gotten a few emails from readers saying they haven't been receiving emails either. (Sorry Mom!) Try following me on Bloglovin' here and please let me know if you are still having issues after you do that.

Ummm, I think that's all I wanted to word vomit at you... We are off to have some family pictures taken today! Eeek!!

Hope you have a great Memorial Day planned! 

Ugh! Well, shit. No. That wasn't the end of the word vomit.. thought I could end this post and successfully avoid hopping up on a soapbox, but I can't. Every year around this time, social media kind of makes me cringe. There is an outpouring of posts/statuses/tweets of people thanking our service members for what they do... I'm certainly not saying it is wrong to thank those who have or who are currently serving in our nation's military. In fact, it's never wrong! HOWEVER, Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died while serving in our armed forces. Memorial Day is NOT to be confused with Veteran's Day which is when we as American's are to specifically honor all veterans. So, this weekend while you are celebrating with family and friends, take a moment and think of those who are without their mom or dad, brother or sister, son or daughter, etc. We owe it to them to know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. 

18 May 2015

Michael Robert - 1 Month Old

Our boy is ONE MONTH OLD! I'm not going to tell you that "I can't believe he's already a month old" because that wouldn't be the truth. I think that being on bed rest really was a game changer as far as time measurement goes. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was 36 weeks pregnant, huge and not allowed to do anything! We have been been able to soak up each and every second with Michael and Mallory this month thanks to the grandmas. Both my mom and Kyle's mom have been here helping us transition, which has allowed me and Kyle to worry only about caring for the kids. What. A. Blessing!

Loves || Being bounced, his paci, nursing, noise, snuggling, tucking his hand in my shirt.

Loathes || Diaper changes, gas, clothes being pulled over his head, tummy time and his car seat. 

Clothes || We still have him in newborn clothes and diapers, but those are definitely on their way out. Just trying to get as much mileage out of them as we possibly can!

Weight || When we took him home from the hospital, he had only lost 3oz from his 6lbs birth weight. By his 3 day weight check he had not only recouped the lost weight, but gained an additional 13 ounces! Then, just a week after that he was up an additional pound and a half ish and grew an inch! If I were a betting woman I would say he is about 9lbs at this point, but we don't see the doctor again for another couple of months. 

Diet || Breast milk. Michael nurses for about 45 minutes at a time which seems like forever compared to Mallory who was alllll business at the boob. I'm certainly not complaining though--I love the snuggles! (Well, not so much in the middle of the night, but ya feel me.)

Health || We are so thankful to have had a really uneventful first month in the health department. Mallory did share a little pink eye with him shortly after he got home from the hospital, but that's it! 

Sleep || Ok, so the dude sleeps fine. He wakes up every 3 ish hours to nurse, then generally goes right back to sleep. He seems to be a bit of an early riser, which during this time of year in Alaska (tons of sunlight) is fine by me! Here is where things get weird... he is so noisy! The squeaking, grunting, and snorting are 24/7 and LOUD with him--even in his sleep! I've never seen/heard anything like it! Since he is in our room, Kyle and I find that we are awake throughout the night even when he is sleeping thanks to all of his not so little noises. But hey, better than screaming, right?

Social/Milestones || Because Michael is so young, I'm going to lump these two categories together for now. He prefers to be held whether asleep or awake, but certainly while he's awake so he can study my face. He holds the most intense stare during those content awake times. I particularly enjoy when he notices the lights--brings me back to Mallory's newborn days. She was obsessed! We have started to hear a little bit of his voice through those short baby yells and coos, but those still don't happen regularly.

Baby Gear || Things have been really simple around here in the "gear" department thanks to Mike's ripe age and essentially comatose existence. ;) Regardless, here is what we are using with him without his knowledge. Ha!
newborn essentials
one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight 
Umm, I think that's it! Wish me luck as a venture into my first full week at home with two kids alllll by myself. ;)
Read Mallory's one month update here!

17 May 2015

Michael's Birth Announcement

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a fun and relaxing weekend! We had to say goodbye to Kyle's mom yesterday which officially means we are on our own! We have been so fortunate to have both mine and Kyle's mom staying with us over the past few months to help me finish out my pregnancy and transition into life with two kids. Now, I apparently have to do my own laundry and cook my family meals...weird. ;)
I wanted to stop by briefly today to share Michael's birth announcement! As you know, I'm definitely a believer in snail mail. I get such joy out of receiving things in the mail that aren't bills or advertisements (hence the online shopping situation in our house) and I really enjoy sending people things. I have made sending physical birth announcements out for both Mallory and now Michael a priority during the first week at home. Hopefully the kids and our friends and family will enjoy having these to look back on.
As always, we used Tiny Prints for Mike's birth announcements. From return address labels to Christmas cards and stationary, we've ordered from them countless times and have always had an outstanding experience. Here's how things usually go down... After I've taken my photos, I hunker down at my computer with a massive cup of coffee and choose my favorite designs and create a few drafts. I LOVE doing this! I get so excited by all of the different card themes and ideas that I could literally do this all day long and never decide on a card. That's where Kyle comes in... Once I have things narrowed down to about ten different options (TEN?!! See what I mean?? Things can get out of hand in a hurry.) I call Kyle over to narrow it down to two or three then I make the final selection. I finally settled on the "Standout Name" design and here it is!
tiny prints review
tiny prints review

As I go through my 956972 card options, Tiny Prints makes it really simple for me to create multiple design drafts. After I enter Michael's birth stats/what I want the card to say, it automatically plugs it in for me for each subsequent design. So even though I have countless drafts, I only had to type everything out once. #lazypeopleunit! Tiny Prints also allows you to change the font style and color which really allows you to make the announcement even more personalized.

I guess after kissing so much Tiny Prints ass I should mention that this is not a sponsored post and Tiny Prints has no idea who I am. I just spend a lot of money ordering things from them and think they've got it going on! OH! They ALWAYS have coupon codes out the ying-yang!

Take a look back at Mallory's birth announcement!

15 May 2015

A Letter To Mallory

Dear Mallory, 
It has been a month since your brother Michael was born! (You have us all calling him "brother" since you are refusing to say his name.) You were nearly 18 months old at the time we brought him home from the hospital and I just have to tell you how much you have impressed me and your dad. 

Throughout my pregnancy we tried to predict how you would adjust to having a new baby in the house. Our best guess was that your would kind of just ignore him. You were never really a "jealous" kid and you really enjoy your independence. We expected you may get a little frustrated when I couldn't take care of what you wanted/needed the exact instant you wanted/needed it, but in general you're pretty laid back. 

What we didn't expect was the instant love and sense of responsibility you so apparently felt for your brother. You instinctively knew he was different and that he was yours to love, care for and look after. Over the few short weeks you've known your brother, you have studied how your dad and I soothe Mike and meet his basic needs, then you, with heartwarming and flawless execution, do the same. When you hear him cry you come running saying "uh-oh" with his paci in your little hands. You've lovingly soothed him with your own tiny finger during diaper changes. Several times a day you eagerly sit at our feet with open arms and say "ok" indicating to us that you would like to hold your brother. You shower him with kisses and insist he be the first person you kiss goodnight at bedtime. I could go on and on... Your affection for your brother has melted my heart and brought me to tears more times than I can count. 

My hope is that the grace, love and adaptability you've shown during this month is something you carry with you throughout your life. We would all be well served to be a little more like you in the face of change.

We are so very proud of you Mallory and can't wait to watch your relationship with your brother grow and evolve!
PS. You still suck at sleeping. Work on that. ;)

11 May 2015

Recent Beauty Favorites

Is there anything more pleasurable than stalking someone else's favorite beauty products? Probably not... Early last week I was more doom and gloom when I shared some disappointing beauty products, but today it's allllllll about the good stuff! Let's just dive on in!

L'Occitane Shower Oil || Hikari Blush in Tango || Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink || Besame Brightening Violet Powder || MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate || IT Cosmetics CC+

L'Occitane shower oil review

L'Occitane Shower Oil || Oh. My. Gosh. This is literally the best thing to enter my shower since this hair masque. It comes out of the bottle as an oil but lathers right up! It smells fantastic and leaves my skin so hydrated! (Because...who has time for lotion?!) I've been really enjoying this stuff as a "shaving cream" as well. You need it in your shower. Trust me!

hikari blush review

Hikari Blush in Tango || I actually received this full sized blush in an ipsy glam bag recently. Never one to turn away from a new blush, I gave this one a shot...holy pigmentation! Literally, one dip into the product and bam! Packs. A. Punch. I think this coral-y pink is great for spring and summer.

milani baked blush review

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink || Another blush. I know, you're shocked. So, this one has easily become my most reached for blush. It is a bronze-y, pink-y, coral with a decent shimmer to it. On my skin tone, I don't really need a bronzer when I wear this blush. It's quick, easy, multifunctional and affordable. Yes, yes and yes! I will be grabbing more shades from Milani's Baked Blush line for sure!

besame brightening violet powder review

Besame Brightening Violet Powder || When I purchased this powder from Sephora, I was kind of just experimenting. I had recently tried this under eye setting powder from Target and was really pleased, so naturally I wanted to see what else was out there. (I'm not the only one who has trouble adhering to the "if it ain't broke" philosophy when it comes to beauty products, right?) Because this powder is a violet color, it really has a nice subtle brightening effect when used under the eyes. It smells nice, feels really luxurious and keeps my under eye concealer from creasing and looking cakey! The price really isn't terrible either...

mac paint pot "lets skate"

MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate || Hello! Late to the game on the whole MAC paint pot thing. This is actually my very first one. I know the big cult favorite is "painterly" but every time I swatched it in the store it seemed just too dark for my lids. Instead, I opted for this sparkly pink shade that I can just swipe over my lids and call it good. I love that once this is dry, it isn't moving and it adds a nice little something to the lid while requiring zero effort. Lazy eye makeup for the win!

it cosmetics cc cream review

IT Cosmetics CC+ || Dare I say that this CC cream beats out my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer?! Yes, yes I do! This feels just as lightweight but offers way more coverage. In fact, most of the time I don't really feel the need to use concealer (but I do anyway because newborn..) I also really appreciate the high SPF. I always choose face products that have SPF, and especially love seeing a number like 50!! Huge brownie points for IT Cosmetics in my book. 
What beauty products have you been loving lately?

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic Mother's Day weekend with your loved ones. :) 
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