Today, I'm talking about baby's first shoe with Freshly Picked. I couldn't be more excited to partner with them, seeing that they were one of my favorite brands when I had my first son, Lincoln, and stayed a favorite with my second, V.
With the final days until Christmas, I know how easy it is to gloss over the newest addition to your family when it comes to gifts. I mean, what could a baby possibly want for Christmas? Well, I've found the perfect gift in Freshly Picked baby moccasins. Whether you are gifting them to your little one or to a friend's little one, these soft-soled shoes are second to none.
I'm not sure that I've come across a first shoe for baby that I love more. What I prefer about FP moccasins over other brands is the fit, flexibility, and style. The elasticity of the moccasins ensures that baby won't lose one shoe or the other. The flexibility of this soft-soled shoe allows baby to take his or her first steps in a gripping way, and the style of the shoe couldn't be cuter.
Speaking of style, I already own a few pairs of Freshly Picked moccasins, so I wanted to step outside of the box and try one of their new styles: the Cedar Oxford. Let me tell you, the new design is amazing! In fact, I can't tell if I prefer the original moccasin to the Cedar Oxford. I love the warm neutral color of the leather, and feel it pairs with most all outfits.
In addition to the Cedar Oxford, V wears the Milk Chocolate moccs. I can't get enough of both styles and honestly switch back and forth on the regular. As such, I recommend purchasing a few difference styles and colors. Your babe will live in them! Also, if you are looking for a holiday-patterned style, check out their website for several options.
While considering what to purchase for your bundle of joy this Christmas, be sure and check out Freshly Picked! They are the perfect first shoe for your sweetie's first Christmas. This year, make it Freshly Picked, under the tree.
Everything about the holiday season is magical. But, when you get caught up in the magic of the holidays it is hard to comprehend the negative impact that the holiday season has on our planet. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Years, equating to 25 million tons of garbage.
Stanford states: "If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper."
While I know we cannot do everything, we can do something. Instead of sending one less card this year, opt to create and send your holiday cards through Paper Culture. Paper Culture uses post-consumer waste and wood alternatives to create your holiday cards. Further, Paper Culture plants a tree with every order that you can dedicate to someone or something. The act of planting a tree offsets their carbon footprint and positively impacts our planet Earth.
Make a difference!
Teach your kids about the positive impact they can make
on our planet this holiday season!
Love, ILA + Family
Happy Holidays, friends!
With one week left until Christmas, I wanted to list TEN fun (and easy) family traditions to incorporate into the final week leading up to the holiday! We all know how quickly the holidays fly by. So fast, in fact, that sometimes you don't get to do all that you set out to accomplish. And that goes for implementing family holiday traditions. Thus, these holiday traditions are easy to carry out, while also allowing your kids to fully live out the magic of Christmas. Here we go...
1. Buy matching holiday pajamas.
Every year growing up, my parents allowed my sister and I to open one gift on Christmas Eve. The gift was always a brand new pair of holiday PJ's and slippers that we wore on Christmas Eve night and woke up in on Christmas morning. Even though the gift was always the same, we were so excited that we got to open a present early! While I love this family tradition so much, there are a few tweaks that I have made with my own family...
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2. Host a cookie decorating party.
In the final week before Christmas, it is likely that your kiddos and the neighborhood/school kids are also on Christmas break. What better way to give your mama friends an excuse to get out of the house than to host a cookie decorating party? If you're not up for hosting, try setting some time aside to make, bake and decorate cookies at home.
If you're like me, you're thinking that your kids will likely eat their way through the party and end up with a massive sugar high. I get it, but it's freaking CHRISTMAS. Let them live a little. Sometimes my favorite memories with my kids are the ones in which I broke the rules.
3. Pick a night and make hot cocoa.
Once again, I know, it's sugar. Ah! By now, you've probably realized that sugar intake and associated control therein is out-the-window come December (see #2). Call me crazy, but I grew up drinking Capri Suns and eating Lunchables. I think I turned out okay, right?! a night of hot cocoa consumption isn't going to ruin your kids, in fact, it'll add to the holiday magic. Thus, pick a night and make homemade hot cocoa with your kids. They will (literally) eat it up!
4. Buy or make a Christmas ornament dedicated to each child.
I know that we are almost to Christmas, but gifting/making your child a unique ornament that either they picked out or an ornament that you chose that reminds you of them is something that'll impart sweet memories over the years. Now that we have Amazon Prime, there is no excuse to not purchasing knick-knacky items at the last minute. If you don't want to Prime an ornament, you can also check out your local grocery store (which we did) and pick out an ornament there! It likely won't be fancy but it'll do the job.
This year, Lincoln picked out a Mickey Mouse ornament at Kroger. As stupid as I thought it was in the moment, now it is one of the most sentimental things we've gotten this Christmas!! The $5 Mickey ornament totally reminds me of Lincoln and makes me want to cry every time I look at it.
For the "fancy-pants" moms, check out Christopher Radko ornaments. My mother-in-law gifted each of her five kids these fancy ornaments each year in the form of an ornament that reminded her of that particular child. Lucky for me, my husband now has a full box of 30-some Christopher Radko ornaments. This is something I'd ideally love to do for my boys. Buy hey, if you're not as fancy, head to Kroger or pull out some paper and make/draw your own!
5. Decorate your mailbox.
Decorating our mailbox with Christmas decorations was not something I had ever thought of doing until I saw that all of my neighbors had decorated theirs! Omg, it is literally the cutest (and easiest thing). I immediately hopped on this bandwagon and busted out the Christmas wrapping paper and got to it. Again, to decorate, keep it simple and use things that you already own. I went to Kroger and bought a big red bow for $2, used wrapping paper that I already owned and battery-operated lights that were gifted to me.
Not only is this a fun thing for you to do, but it is also a fun thing that you can do with your kids. This is a family tradition we will be doing every year that brings joy to us every time we turn into the driveway!
6. Ask a family member to call your kids, pretending to be Santa.
My Aunt Claire told me about this one. Every year, she asked my grandpa (her dad) to call her two boys, pretending to be Santa. He would disguise his voice and carry on a conversation with each boy, asking them what they wanted for Christmas. She told me I had to do it and record it. So we did. We asked Ryan's brother to call our son, Lincoln, pretending that he was Santa.
You guys, this was SO hilarious, sweet and cute. Lincoln literally thought it was Santa calling (of course), and it was the most precious thing ever. Not only do you get to witness your child experiencing the magic of the holiday, but you also may get some insight into any presents you might have forgotten about. No matter what you find, this tradition is SO worth it, just be sure and get it on camera.
7. Walk or drive around the street looking at Christmas lights.
Looking at the Christmas lights around the neighborhood is often something we take for granted, especially with our kids! It is amazing how these little details make a huge difference through the eyes of our children. While most of us have had roughly thirty or so years of seeing Christmas lights each season, our children have not. In fact, for a lot of them, this may be the first time that they actually appreciate the lights and decorations. Make a tradition of it and either hop in the car or a wagon/stroller and explore the neighborhood Christmas lights. Be sure and have your kids tell you their favorite types of lights and ask them what they like about those houses most.
You could even step it up a notch and take your children to a Christmas event solely dedicated to holiday lights. For instance, Nashville's Cheekwood hosts "Holiday LIGHTS" with over one million Christmas lights illuminating their gardens. It is magical!
8. Get a photo with Santa!
This is something that I have yet to do, but is a tradition that I am 100% making sure I partake in every year. While Santa photos are necessary, we all know that the best kind of Santa photo is the one that is free. Google around or ask friends about photos with Santa and you'll likely uncover a Santa set that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
9. Pick an annual Christmas movie to watch.
Whether you choose the same movie each year or rotate each year, choosing a "Christmas-themed" movie to watch is festive and memorable. Curl up around the fire and turn on a Christmas film that the entire family will like. Maybe that movie is The Polar Express or It's A Wonderful Life or A Charlie Brown Christmas. Guaranteed there is a Christmas version of your child's favorite shows. Make it a fun, family tradition!
10. Give back in some way and make it a tradition.
As a parent giving to my kids unconditionally over the holidays, sometimes I forget the true meaning of the holiday. I need to constantly remind myself that Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and most poignantly, celebrates the gift of giving. Make the holiday season a time to teach your kids the significance of the holiday; it is not in receiving that we find joy, but in giving that we find joy.
Thus, you can make the act of "giving" a family tradition by picking a way to give back. Maybe it is something that is relevant to your family. For instance, if you are a military family and want to pick a military family to sponsor. Or maybe you've had a family member affected by cancer, and it's on your heart to give back to the local hospital that cares for children with cancer. Even if it is a small act of kindness, such as giving to the homeless man on the corner, there are several ways to give back this season! In some way, I think it's important to teach our kids the reason for the season (God only knows how blessed they are and how much they receive!). As your kids grow into this tradition, it'll be a great way to teach them the importance and gift of giving.
That's all for now, mamas!
Wishing you and your family a happy + healthy holiday season.
I'm often asked my opinion and recommendation for diapers. I just love the idea that I can now recommend Diaper Dabbler to parents who are searching for the right diapers! They even have my favorite biodegradable diapers, Eco By Naty! Click HERE for Diaper Dappler's list of "Diaper Brand Research and Information."
With over 20 brands of diapers to choose from, Diaper Dabbler makes it easy to sample a handful of diapers before buying a whole pack. It's a great way to save money because you really don't know what is going to work for YOUR baby. I feel, with most things, it is a total preference, no matter how many reviews you read. They are packaged in 3-diaper packs and make it super convenient to choose the RIGHT DIAPER.
Aleva Naturals Baby Wipes. Yes, it's true- I'm a baby product snob. Well, product snob in general. I am very particular with what I use on my baby's skin. Aleva Naturals wipes are just that- particular! A sample set came with the diapers. These bamboo baby wipes are legit and COMPLETELY FREE of the following:
They contain natural and organic oils. Plus, they are biodegradable in TEN DAYS! You gotta love that!!
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Thank you to Gugu Guru for making it easy to find products I love that are customized specifically to me.
I hope you guys found this helpful in your decision making either for yourself or for a new mama you get to spoil. : )
Lots of Love,
With Christmas literally around the corner, now is the time to begin planning your family holiday cards. While there are many details involved in planning Christmas cards, I wanted to focus on mama today. God only knows we deserve to be pampered for all of the hard work that we do. Why not make the pampering scheduled on the day that you can show it off? On your holiday card, of course!
Thus, in this post, I will be talking about MOMMY'S holiday card look: how to look and feel your best for your holiday card photos. This year, I felt amazing and beautiful (despite being heavier than I normally am), and you know what, I deserve to look and feel amazing. I work my booty off as a mama and a lot of the time I don't get to dress up or be pampered as much as I would like to. Therefore, make this day not only about your family, but also about you. You deserve it, girl.
In this post, I will share an overview of my holiday card:
- Exercise + Nutrition
If you know me personally, you know that I am passionate about makeup and pretty much wear a full face of makeup daily, so I figured I'll start by sharing my favorite holiday makeup routine.
- Primer: MAC Prep + Prime
- Foundation: Clinique Super Balanced (no SPF) AND Mac Studio Face + Body
- Concealer: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
- Mineral Powder: Laura Mercier Mineral Powder
- Bronzer: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
- Blush: MAC Powder Blush "Peaches"
- Cheek Highlighter: MAC 'Mineralize' Skinfinish
- Eye Primer: MAC Eyeshadow Brule
- Eye Shadows: MAC Warm Neutral Times 15 Eyeshadow Palette
- Eye Liner: MAC Black Liquid Eyeliner
- Mascara: MAC 'In Extreme" Dimension - 3D Black Lash' Mascara
- Fake Eyelashes: MAC 36 Lash
- Eye Lash Glue: Any; I like MAC best. Duh
- Eye Brow Kit: Anastasia Beverly Hills Five Item Brow Kit (If you haven't colored in your brows, talk to someone about this kit at Nordstrom. I can't live without and it literally change the shape of my face. Amazing.)
- Includes: Brow Shadow, Brow Brush, Brow Mascara + Tweezers
- Start with a light moisturizer. Apply a tiny bit to your face and neck. You don't want to over-do-it with product. Also, do NOT use sunscreen because it shows up shiny in photos.
- Apply a light primer. Just a tad.
- Apply concealer to the top of your eyelids, center of forehead, around top of eyebrows, and down the top of your nose. See photo below (the concealer is the white part), but also apply to top of eyelids - from eyelash line to eyebrow -, which isn't shown. Do NOT yet apply concealer underneath eyes. You will do this after you complete your eye makeup. Also, I always use a brush to apply makeup. Blend it in. Blending is crucial. You must blend properly and fully.
5. Apply eye shadow. I generally do a lighter, shimmery color on my eyelid. Blend. Then I add a darker, warm/brown color to the crease of my eye. Blend that in by making somewhat of a "V" shape, blending the crease and along the outer lash line, slightly with the color on the lid. Add one more color, slightly different but maybe in between the other two colors. Apply to the crease along that bone and down along lash line. *See image below for a similar look.
7. Apply winged eyeliner. See shape below.
9. Apply remaining concealer to the bottom of eye and blend with a brush. I usually tap in a repetitive motion. *See image below for under-eye concealer application technique.
11. After you apply liquid foundation, I go in with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder to set the foundation. I do this with a big, loose brush. Again, I am careful not to blend too much of this into the "concealer" parts of my face.
12. Next, apply bronzer. You will need to know how to contour!!! This is very important to bronzer application. Contouring shapes your face and really makes your cheekbones and other sexy parts of your face "pop." I highly recommend learning how to contour. See the below image for more info. The "contouring" part, or where you apply the bronzer is along the darker dots. I use MAC Mineralize Bronzer. Using a brush, I make round motions along the designated areas you see in the photo. If the bronzer looks to "stark", you can go over it again with the powder brush to blend.
15. Next, apply a highlighter to your cheekbone in a sideways "V" shape - along your cheekbone (above blush) and up to your eyebrow. Highlighters make ALL the difference, girlfriend. Don't skip this step. See below for more info on where to apply a highlighter. I use MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. It is the BOMB highlighter. I also apply highlighter down the top of my nose (lightly), on the tip of my nose and around the top of my lips. Sometimes I also apply to the inner corner of my eyes, just under my brows and to the center part of my forehead AND maybe even the butt of my nose. Man, I love highlighter.
18. Next, apply a light coat of mascara to the top (you have lashes on so you don't need to overdo the mascara). Also apply a decent coat to the bottom lashes.
19. Now for the lips. Apply the REDD liner, tracing the outer shape of your lips. I always color in the corners of my lips both on the right and left side, upper and lower. Then I add CHILI to the center of my lips. Be careful not to apply red lipstick too early because it may bleed. I applied it literally right before we got out of the car.
Presto, Gorgeous Mama!
When I use extensions, I use clip-in extensions. For this shoot, I used two large strands. Before I put the extensions in, I washed and blow-dried my hair. I then put in rollers (not hot rollers -- yet, just regular rollers) to the crown of my head to add some volume. I wore these around the house while I played with the kids. Before I started my makeup, I then put in hot rollers, just to the crown of my head. If you can't tell, I really wanted volume.
After I took the rollers out, I added the extensions in, then used a thicker curling wand to lightly curl the remainder of my hair. I wanted a loose and natural wave. At last, I added Euphora Hair Spray. Ummmm, it's the best hair spray ever. It keeps the shape and doesn't weigh down your hair.
I found my entire outfit online. It is so much easier to shop online than to go to the store. With kids it is nearly impossible to have an enjoyable and successful shopping experience, and I also find it is harder to find the things that I need in the store.
If you are in the market for a holiday outfit, Revolve has the absolute cutest stuff and the most variety of options. I knew I wanted plaid, and they had like a zillion options. I also wore Spanx under my dress, just to keep it real. And, I wore the Lagos pearl earrings that the hub got me for my bday. Below are my outfit details:
Exercise + Nutrition
For me personally, our holiday card shoot was important for many reasons. It is a memory that I will remember forever. We took the kids out to a magical Christmas Tree farm and created once-in-a-lifetime memories. I wanted to feel good and I wanted to have energy. The number one thing that helps me achieve those feelings is exercise.
In addition to mentally feeling great on such an important day, I wanted to look good and exercise helps me achieve a nice glow and literally makes me look/feel happier - which ultimately shows through in photos.
Last but not least, try and eat healthy a few days before the shoot. You'll also want to ensure that you eat healthy the day of the shoot. I opt for green smoothies. Another important part of looking and feeling healthy is hydration. Drinking enough water will make you feel good, give your energy and also help you GLOW. If you want that beautiful glow, drink up!
That's all for now, mamas. Be sure and make these holiday moments also about you. You do a lot for your family and I'm here to convince you that you deserve to look and feel your best. Enjoy the moments and be the best version of yourself!
- juice of 1 lime
- 8 leaves mint
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons white rum
- 1 tablespoon coconut rum
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- sparkling water for topping
- pomegranate arils for serving
- In a glass, muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves until the leaves have broken down. Fill the glass half way with ice.
- In a blender, combine the white rum, coconut rum, and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Pour over the ice and stir to combine. Top with sparkling water, mint and pomegranate. Drink!