LIFE + STYLE BLOG

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Top 9 Nail Colors For Fall

The Top 9 Nail Colors for Fall

Besides cooler weather and trees full of color, one of my favorite things about fall is all the nail polish choices. Whether it's a light grey or deep burgundy, I have a hard time choosing exactly what shade to go with...although Lincoln Park After Dark will always have my heart. 

In case you have a hard time deciding too, I've rounded up my top 9 favorite nail colors for this fall and there's a little something for everybody.
1. Sally Hansen // Slate-R-Girl 
3. Essie //  Berry Naughty 
4. OPI // Olive For Green 
6. Zoya // Hadley 
7. Essie // Cocktail Bling
8. OPI // Tickle My France-y
9. Essie // Smokin' Hot 


Monday, October 29, 2018

Weekend Recap

This was one of those weekends that I wish could have lasted forever. It was the perfect fall weekend with the most gorgeous weather and lots of family time. After being out of town for work all week, I rushed home Friday afternoon so I could pick the boys up early for trick or treating downtown. Every year the downtown district transforms into all things Halloween and stores handout candy to hundreds of children. The weather was cold and rainy all day but it cleared up and the sun came out just as the event started.

Saturday was absolutely perfect. It was 70 degrees and sunny so we made our way to the pumpkin patch along with my brother-in-law and niece. This visit was one of my favorites and it may or may not have had something to do with the adorable baby goats we got to feed. It took all the adults to convince the kids we couldn't take one home.

Our Sunday started with a 5:30am wake-up due to Jack coughing. He has mild asthma and every fall/winter he gets a pretty persistent cough which is the worst early in the morning and late at night. Luckily we know what to do for it (breathing treatment, inhaler, steam shower) but it can make him pretty miserable until it goes away. After all the above plus a McDonald's breakfast, he was back to normal and I was tired :)

After breakfast we got ready and headed to church followed by errands including a pit stop at Old Navy which has the most adorable kids clothing right now. I love this Zip Vest and I bought both boys this long sleeve shirt. 

 Once we got back home it was time to carve our pumpkins. Jack and I went with the traditional spider, Ben did a ghost bat, and J carved a scary face. Of course he used the electric drill while the rest of us used the itty bitty saws that came in the carving kit. 

Per tradition, no pumpkin carving is complete without Hocus Pocus playing in the background and a pumpkin shaped pizza from Papa Murphys. 

The final products! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


Linking up with Biana

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Easy Homemade Spicy Salsa

Simple ingredients and a little heat.
I've been on the hunt for a delicious and easy homemade salsa recipe for what seems like forever. I've made a green "Chipotle Copycat" salsa which was inedible and last weekend my husband made something that tasted like a runny spicy tomato sauce. Not our best moments. 

After scouring Pinterest and combining a couple different recipes, I had made a salsa that not only tasted like salsa but was better than most restaurants. 

What You Need:

-14oz can of diced tomatoes
-10oz can of Rotel
-1 tbsp minced garlic 
-1/2 yellow onion
-3 jalapeños, deseeded 
-2 tsp cayenne pepper (less or more depending on how hot you like it)
-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro 
-1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
-1 tbsp lime juice
-1 tbsp honey 
-food processor 

What to Do:

1. Chop the onion and jalapeño into large chunks and add to a food processor. Chop until no large pieces remain. 
2. Add the tomatoes, Rotel, garlic, and cilantro to the onion and jalapeño. Quickly pulse until tomatoes are well combined. 
3. To the tomato mixture add the cayenne pepper, salt, lime juice, and honey. Mix until desired consistency. 
4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Friday, October 12, 2018

5 on Friday

Happy Friday! I spent all day Wednesday thinking it was Thursday and second guessed myself that today was actually Friday. I think that means I'm ready for the weekend :) Let's get right to it.

One. 

Has anyone read Essentialism by Greg  McKeown? I've seen a couple people on Instagram talk about how much they enjoyed reading it and how helpful it was.

Two.

One of my favorite things is happy hour on a patio with girlfriends. I know the days of sitting outside are coming to a close so we're trying to get as many in as possible. 

Three.

If you're a My Favorite Murder fan like I am, you have to take this BuzzFeed Quiz. If you know me then it's no surprise that I got Karen :)

Four.

This Stitch Fix ad popped up in my Instastories and I'm obsessed with everything about this outfit. I'm currently doing a 30 day outfit challenge where I don't repeat any outfits for 30 days AND I can't buy any new clothing. As soon as it's over I'll be on the hunt for a mustard colored cardigan like this one. 

Five.

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted all about my morning routine and ways that you can create your own routine you'll actually stick with. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Creating A Morning Routine You'll Actually Stick With

Creating a Morning Routine You'll Actually Stick With

We've all been there. Telling ourselves we're going to wake up bright and early, hit the gym, clean the kitchen, fix a homemade breakfast, and apply that organic face mask all before the rest of the world is even awake. And then the time comes and morning smacks you back to reality.
What if your morning routine didn't have to be unproductive, rushed, or chaotic? The idea of waking up early and creating a solid morning routine is nothing new. People have been talking about the benefits of early mornings for as long as I can remember. What many of these people often fail to mention is that they tend to already be "morning people." You know, those people who jump out of bed feeling energized and ready to take on the day while the rest of us look at them confused through our sleepy haze. 

But what about those of us who aren't morning people? Those of us who don't really like getting up early? I was definitely one of those people. The champion of hitting snooze for a solid hour. The mom who used her children waking as an alarm clock. The women who waited until the last possible minute to get out of bed. I was the person who made promises to myself each night and then broke them every morning.  

I am proud to say that I'm not that person anymore. For the past 10+ months I have consistently gotten up at 5:00am every weekday. I workout, journal, occasionally do a load of laundry, but most importantly, I don't start my days being hurried and frantic. I'm not saying these things to brag or make you feel bad about yourself. I'm telling you this because I know what's like to start each day off on the wrong foot; to feel like you're already behind before the day has even started. Now I'm sure you're thinking, how did this happen and how do I get to this point? Here's the things that have worked for me and lots of other women I know who have created a morning routine they stick with.

1. Check the weather the night before

By checking the weather the night before, I don't usually have any surprises when I wake up. Waking up to an inch of snow or torrential rain creates the perfect excuse to stay in bed. Knowing ahead of time if it's going to be blazing hot or freezing cold when you wake up allows your brain to mentally prepare and you're less likely to use weather as a reason for skipping your routine. 

2. Don't expect to go from a sound sleep to wide awake as soon as your alarm goes off

When I said I get up at 5:00am that wasn't exactly true. My alarm goes off at 5am, but I allow myself to hit snooze once and I don't technically get out of the bed until 5:09am. During those 9 minutes I stretch, start to open my eyes, do a quick scroll of the morning headlines on my phone, and let myself slowly start to wake up. 

3. Drink a glass of water

Once I'm out of bed I head to the kitchen and drink a cold glass of water. Not only are there tons of health benefits to drinking water in the morning (hair, skin, metabolism), but the ice cold water will help wake you up even more. And for all my coffee lovers, this doesn't mean you can't drink that caffeinated goodness when you wake up, just chug a glass of water first. 

4. Move your body

I don't know about you, but if I don't get my workout in during the morning, I'm most likely not going to do it later, especially after a long day of work. I also find that I make better food choices throughout the day because I don't want to undo all that hard work I did at the gym. If you don't have a gym, or gyms just aren't your thing, go on a run or walk outside, do one of the thousands of free workouts available online, practice yoga, or even have a dance party. Ok, it might be too early for a dance party, but do something.

5. Invest in personal development 

This might be journaling, doing your daily devotional, listening to an inspiring podcast, or reading a book about personal growth. As my favorite gal Rachel Hollis and her husband say, "If you're not growing you're dying." Amen.

6. Pause to watch the sunrise

You're already up so you might as well enjoy it. Even if you're not all that into sunrises, you'd be surprised at how beautiful they can be.

7. Complete one household task

Whether it's starting a load of laundry, putting one away, or just throwing dinner in the crockpot, do one small household task that you'll thank yourself for later in the day. 

8. Write down 10 things you're grateful for

This might be the most important tip of all and it's how I like to end my morning routine. I usually try to find one or two things that I can already be grateful for from that morning. It might be a new flavor of coffee, leftovers for lunch later in the day, or the fact that the kids are still asleep. I go about my day looking for those little blessings and then the following morning, I reflect back on the previous day and finish writing my 10 things. The key to practicing gratitude is being mindful. What your grateful for doesn't have to be huge, monumental things, but they should be specific to that day and meaningful to you. 

Most days I finish my morning routine around 7:00-7:15am which is when I start waking the kids up and getting them ready to leave the house by 8:00am. My morning routine also includes taking a shower, washing my hair (dry shampoo some days) and getting myself ready. I've gotten pretty quick at this so it only takes about 15 minutes.  


I'd love to know if you have a morning routine you're already rocking or if it's something you struggle with implementing. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

15 Fall Books to Read This Season


As if there weren't enough reasons to love Fall already, I'm sharing 15 themed books that are sure to turn any Summer lover into a Fall fan. Not only are these books super fun and cute, but both you and your child will enjoy reading them. 
15 Best Fall Books to Read to Your Child
Miss Smith and the Haunted Library by Michael Garland// We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metger//Dark Night by Dorothee De Monfreid//There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro// Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson// Pete the Cat 5 Little Pumpkins by James Dean//Little Blue Truck's Halloween by Alice Schertle// Little Brother Pumpkin Head by Lucia Panzieri// If You're Spooky and You Know It by Aly Fronis 

Why Do Leaves Change by Betsy Maestro// How to Trick or Treat in Outer Space by Kathleen Krull//Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson// Were Off to Find the Witch's House by Richard Krieb//Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert


What are some of your favorite fall books? I'm always looking to add to our collection!
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Monday, October 8, 2018

Weekend Recap

Despite having to work on a Saturday, this weekend was pretty perfect. Friday afternoon I went to the boys' school where Jack's class was having an apple tasting party. In addition to a variety of apples, his class also made applesauce but the real favorite was the apple flavored licorice. 

After school it was haircuts followed by frozen yogurt. Although we had cooler temperatures the day before, it was back into the upper 80's this weekend. 

For dinner I tried out a new salsa recipe that tasted just like something you'd find in a restaurant. Recipe coming this week.

Later that night we headed to a fall family event complete with a wagon ride, face painting, and S'mores by the fire. 

Saturday I was up early to head to St. Louis for work. Before leaving the city I stopped by Ikea and was so impressed with their faux floral section.

Saturday night we ordered pizza and despite my best efforts, I could not convince the boys to watch Hocus Pocus with me. We ended up watching Into the Woods and although it's pretty good, it's no HP. 

Everyone slept in until 9am on Sunday and it felt amazing! It was cloudy and rainy most of the day so we stayed in our pajamas and caught up on laundry and cleaning. Since we missed church I was able to watch the replay of the sermon from the comfort of our couch after the kids went to bed. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 


Linking up with Biana for Weekending.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Birthday + Challenges

It's just after midnight which means I'm another year older. Well technically not quite yet, but at some point today I was born into this world. 

Y'all know I'm big on reflecting and as I look back on this past year I'm met with an overwhelming sense of happiness and gratitude. Last year was one of the lowest years of my life. I had gained weight, my marriage was dysfunctional, and I was miserable more than I was happy. Then one day I decided I was done. I was done playing the victim, I was done having a crapy marriage, and I was done feeling bad about myself more often than not. So after a lot of hard work, some therapy, and my girl Rachel Hollis, I decided to change my life. And these last 10 months have been freaking awesome. Most days are not perfect, but man is life better when you strive to be the best version of you. 

As a weird birthday present to myself, for the month of October I'm participating in 2 separate challenges and I hope you'll consider joining in them with me!

Last 90 Days

One thing that kicked off my journey towards personal growth last year was Rachel Hollis' Last 90 Days Challenge. The challenge is to end the year just as strong as you started it. And if you sign up to participate, you'll receive a weekly email from Rachel filled with videos, resources, and notes of encouragement. So here's what I've committed to doing for these last 90 days.

1. Wake up an hour earlier. 
Use this extra hour in the morning to get your day started off on the right foot. You can journal, workout, meditate, read, or just spend time alone in a quiet house. If you already get up early and have an established morning routine, keep going! 

Since I already get up at 5am, I'm going to focus on how I can make my night-time routine more peaceful and get to bed earlier. 

2. Move your body every day. 
Whether it’s getting a workout in, taking a walk, or having a dance party, get your body moving. 

I promise to do some sort of physical activity every day, but I'm committed to going to the gym at least 4 days a week

3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of hour.
For example, if your 120 pounds you would drink 60 ounces of water each day.  

4. Give up one thing you do that isn’t good for you. 
Whether it’s a food or a really bad habit, it should be something meaningful and difficult. It might be something that has way too much control over your life right now or you feel terrible every time you eat, drink, or do it.  

I'm giving up swearing and red bull. 

5. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for.
These should be specific and not just my husband, kids, God, etc. 


I like to do this in the morning so it starts my day off on a positive note and it reminds me to constantly look for little things throughout the day.  

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And for the 2nd challenge...


30 Outfits in 30 Days: 

This one is pretty simple. Wear 30 different outfits for the next 30 days. You can switch it up by adding different accessories, pairing a top or bottom you don’t normally put together, or wear a different pair of shoes. The point is to get creative and wear more of what you already own.

At the end of the challenge, if you didn’t wear it or you did wear it and hated how you felt in it, get rid of it!! 

And no buying new clothes or accessories during these 30 days!

I plan to snap a quick selfie every day and then look back and see all the different looks I created. 


Cheers to another year and the endless possibilities that come with it.