19 August 2016

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

TGIF! I'm praying to the toddler conspiracy gods that my kids will cooperate for another long travel day. (Not that they cooperated the first time, but...) We are flying to Cincinnati on Sunday to visit family and attend Kyle's best friend's wedding! Mallory is the flower girl, so that should be...well, who knows what that will be actually.

This week Mallory woke up each day hell bent on breaking the world record for number of questions asked in a 12 hour period... Good stuff. And there are apparently no rules against repeating questions.


"I give zero f*k^s" is Mal's general attitude as of late. Good times...

Meanwhile Mikey got in a slight altercation with the metal arm of a patio chair.


Mike's eye lost.

So, I may have started down a slippery slope with essential oils. I have only ever used lavender, dating back to high school, for sleep, but lately I've been trying out a few others and I'm HOOKED! I'm already two diffuses deep at this point. I have actually made a friend here (right?!) who not only has a son Michael's age but also went to the U of A so we have a couple of mutual friends which is crazy AND she just started using essential oils! She took the plunge and purchased one tof those starter kits and was kind enough to give me a few samples. But we've been having fun with it. Are you into essential oils? Which are your favorites????

I started Weight Watchers again. You may remember me doing Weight Watchers several months back and while I was happy with how I felt and the results I was seeing, Kyle going out of town forced me to stop going to meetings. (Why I didn't just continue using the app is beyond me.) So now I'm back at it!

Speaking of being back at it, I'm also back on the subscription box wagon. Have you looked into the POPSUGAR Must Have Box? If you haven't, you should. Use promo code 'SHOP5' for $5 off your first box.

popsugar subscription box

Have a great weekend!
 
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16 August 2016

The Ride or Die Makeup Tag

This post is brought to you in part by too much caffeine and a late night YouTube binger. 

One of my guilty pleasures is watching countless hours of beauty videos (ok, really videos of any kind) on YouTube after everyone is asleep. Jaclyn Hill, one of the most talented makeup artists in the beauty YouTube-ing game, created this "Ride or Die" makeup tag.

The rules here are simple :: "List your ride or die cosmetic products from each category (foundation, blush, mascara, lip products, etc.). If you could only take ONE from each category to a desert island, which would you choose?"

When I started her video I figured I would play along, because I'm uber lame, and name my favorites as she went through each category. By the time she got to concealer I was sweat-ing! Three products deep and I had already declared one tie and another three way tie! UGH. Nevermind "tag"-- this is a straight up challenge!

Painstakingly, I was able to decide on one SINGLE, ride or die product for a majority of the categories Jaclyn Hill used. I added eyeliner to the pack and got rid of bronzer and highlighter because I haven't entered a committed relationship with one of either just yet.

top makeup products of all time

Primer || Lancome Miracle CC Cushion Primer (02 yellow)
Foundation || Estee Lauder Double Wear (Cool Bone)
Concealer || MAC Pro Longwear (NW20)
Face Powder || Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pressed Powder
Undereye Setting Powder || Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Blush || MAC Mocha
Lash primer || IT Cosmetics tightline waterproof
Mascara || Loreal Voluminous waterproof
Eyeliner || MAC Fluidline in Dipdown
Eye shadow palette ||  Laura Mercier Extreme Neutrals
Lipliner || MAC Lip Pencil in Edge to Edge
Lipstick || MAC Pink Plaid
Liquid Lipstick || Kat Von D Lovesick
Lip Gloss || Buxom Samantha
Setting Spray || Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist
Perfume || Giorgio Armani Si

BOOM! Crushed it!

I tag YOU! If you wind up doing a post like this, make sure to send me the link so I can check it out. :)

Good luck!!

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15 August 2016

A Day At The Beach || Wilmington, NC

We put our toes in the water and ass in the sand at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina last month for the lowest key beach adventure in HISTORY!

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taking a toddler to the beach

This was Mallory and Michael's first real visit to the beach! Well, a beach with actual sand castle and water play possibilities since Alaska's beaches didn't really offer such amenities to the sane and warmblooded. 

Wait. Rewind for an important food recommendation...

Before making our way to the beach, I forced the gang to head downtown Wilmington. Your girl was on the prowl for some good, fresh seafood! We landed at The Shuckin Shack for a few seafood samplers. Hit. The. Spot. And the refrenced One Trill Hill sooooooo... If you're ever in the area, definitely check out The Shuckin Shack!

the shuckin shack

Once everyone's my dinner needs had been met, it was about 5:30pm and time to actually hit the beach!

I predicted Mallory would be very cautious about going in the water but love playing in the sand and Mike would bring is overconfidence A game and head straight for the ocean. Well, they must have heard my thoughts because they did the exact opposite! (Kids and pets never miss an opportunity to make Mom look foolish.) Mallory went balls to the wall giving her swimming skills a little more credit than they deserved while Michael took a thorough risk assessment before even allowing the waves to touch his toes.

Mike through us another wildcard by running a fever shortly after we got to the beach. He had been a little under the weather most of the day, but the fever didn't start until the fun did. Of course his seizure was/is still fresh in my mind, so I ran up to the shop at the pier and spent roughly $92375 on some Tylenol (and sand toys.) Mike remained attached to either me, my sister or my mom for the rest of the evening so we could keep a close eye on his fever. I think he still managed to enjoy himself...

*too many photos in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

baby at the beach
kids at the beach 
family beach trip

wilmington north carolina
beach pier

Mallory on the other hand made it her mission to stay moving and FREE for as long as the daylight would allow. Her excitement about the beach was simply infectious! All the running, skipping and screaming with joy and the most beautiful smile plastered on her face is an image I hope to have in my head forever.

*again with the excessive photo count...
 
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wrightsville beach

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Read more about our trip to Wilmington, NC here!

05 August 2016

Bitty & Beau's Coffee

"Bitty & Beau's is more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee - it's an experience."

wilmington coffee shops

My parents have spent a good chunk of the summer preparing to move to Germany for my dad's job when in true government fashion, their timeline was abruptly changed. The kids and I promptly purchased plane tickets and 48 hours later were happily situated on my parent's couch in North Carolina.

We are back home in Arizona now but oh so thankful to have been able to spend a few weeks with them before being continents apart.

They live in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, a place I seriously LOVE! The amenities there are insane, particularly for the kids. We had an activity scheduled most days and didn't even scratch the surface. Seriously such a great place to live!

Anyway, we managed to squeeze in an overnight trip to the beach! Wilmington, NC is just a couple of hours away so it was totally doable with the kids. One of my sisters actually graduated from UNC-Wilmington so we were lucky to have a built in tour guide.

I will share the actual beach part of the trip in separate post (total highlight for Mallory and Mike) because today I want to focus on what is arguably the coolest thing about Wilmington, Bitty & Beau's Coffee.

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I know my sister had told me about Bitty & Beau's Coffee before but well, my sister can T-A-L-K, so frequently the details get lost in our exchanges. ;) [Love you Becca!] When she suggested stopping by their new shop before heading out of town, the answer was an easy "yes."


A majority of the employees at Bitty & Beau's have intellectual and physical disabilities. When my sister told me about this, we hadn't even stepped foot inside, but I knew this was going to be someplace extra special.

I will keep the personal, emotional connection brief and simply tell you that my sister is a special education teacher who works primarily with younger children who have the most severe and profound disabilities. Seeing my sister beam with love and pride in Bitty & Beau's is an experience on it's own. Talk about someone who has truly found their calling...


When I first walked into the shop, I couldn't help but notice how awesome it looks! Seriously, their clean, black/white aesthetic is right up my alley and there is plenty of seating--good thing because that place was busy! Filled to the brim with people in the best kind of way. Everyone, was radiating the most infections kind of joy!

visit north carolina
I had the pleasure of chatting with Matt (seen in this news story) while he assisted me in putting Arizona on their map of visitors!

We ordered our drinks (which were delicious, but totally an afterthought for me) and found a table. For nearly an hour we sat, soaking in the ambiance and watching the kids play. My sister took this time to explain what she knew of Bitty & Beau's story (great videos on that here and here) which sparked the most inspiring and enlightening conversation...

My sister was explaining that one of the ways this coffee shop is so extraordinary is that by offering jobs to individuals with disabilities they are providing the best kind of environment to teach life skills and independence. "Achieving the greatest level of independence an individual is capable of is kind of the ultimate goal among special educators" she said.  I, without really thinking chuckled and said "or the ultimate goal of any parent!" As those words fell out of my mouth, the entire purpose of Bitty & Beau's hit me like a ton of bricks...

Really and truly we aren't all that different from one another.

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Thank you to Bitty & Beau's for such a remarkable experience and obviously, you've accomplished your mission in this customer!


Be sure to follow Bitty & Beau's Coffee on Facebook and Instagram.

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