February 28, 2015

Subzero Snow Fun Plus Winter Skin Protection

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this winter is by far the most harsh I can remember in my adult life here in the Midwest.
We have had snow, lots of it actually, but because we have also had SO many subzero days, it's no longer the "fun snow" that you can play in. It's for sure not great packing snow, and when it sits out there day after subzero day, it's more like flaky piles of ice. Thank goodness we got in some good sledding days last month! 

Having said that, I still have two kids who want to play outside regardless of temperature, so we have to come up with creative ways to do so. We also have to play in quick intervals as the warmest it has been in the past few weeks was 14 degrees. 
So, I'll show you how we've been having some fun but also taking care of our skin in the process.

Here are our 4 subzero snow fun ideas:

First up, walks with my daughter. These are generally to and from the car as we are running our daily errands in the mornings, but we spent about five minutes walking each way. We try to make it fun so I tell her to walk in the snow. This always puts a smile on her face. She also likes to try to throw the snow... mostly aimed at me. ;) It's too brittle to get snowballs, but she doesn't care it's just fun to play even if only for a few minutes a day.
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"Do you want to build a snowman? Come on let's go and play!" Yes, the movie Frozen (and it's soundtrack for that matter) is still in rotation in my home. It also makes the kids ask almost everyday if we can build one. It has been breaking my heart to tell them we are just not getting the right kind of snow or even warm enough temperatures to go out and play for long periods of time. However, we just came up with a solution.

We got this wonderful L.L. Bean Snowman Family Kit and have been dying to use it. This bag is filled with wood items (buttons, eyes, carrots, mouthes, etc.) and each have a wooden stick attached that you push into the snow to keep them in place. 
Then it hit me, why does our snowman have to be upright? I mean, can't we just draw a snowman in the snow? We can and we did! 
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Talk about fun family teamwork. The kids had me make the three circles with my hands and from there they only walked in my footprints to not make it "look messy".
My son walked back and forth to make the arms and we finally got to use our snowman kit. It was so cute to see them working together trying to keep the snow around the snowman clean. Truthfully, it was just as fun as building an upright snowman! Only this was way less time consuming and your back doesn't hurt from lifting snow balls. ;) 
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I think it turned out super cool and it is very unique. The kids named him Olaf and after about 15 minutes got too cold and had to come back inside. But we finally got to build a snowman so that made for two very happy kids.
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My son has come up with two favorite outdoor activities that he can do in a short amount of time. 
The first is blowing snow. He's 2 and 1/2 years older then his sister so he understands that it's not packing snow. He likes to watch the snow as he blows it around. It's also fun to watch where it lands on the clean snow in front of him. I have to admit, it's very relaxing to watch him do! 
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His other favorite subzero winter game is making snow angels. He'll go out back for about 5-10 minutes and make as many as he can until he gets too cold. It's adorable to watch and even though I'm cold just looking at him, it seems to wear him out a bit. Hello, us moms do not need stir crazy kids anymore this winter. I think by now all kids are getting sick of books, movies, dance classes, & school. They just want some outside time! 
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Which brings me to winter skin protection
So how do we protect our skin during this rough months? Vaseline intensive care of course! This lotion has been a life saver on all members of my family. It's non-greasy and fragrance free so my kids love putting it on. I've actually been keeping the full sized bottle in my purse and another in the car as we are using it so often. I've even replace my hand cream with it for the time being. 

I think a lot of people forget that the first layer of protection for cold weather is your skin. Before you cozy up, give it the proper moisturizing, healing treatment it needs to weather the coldest days of the year.
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Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions is clinically proven to heal dry skin in 5 days and contains healing micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to deeply moisturize. This stuff works really well. We have been using it for the past 2 weeks daily and boy can we see a difference. No wonder it's the official lotion of winter. I can back up that 5 day promise. It's a game changer people!

What kinds of daily activities are you partaking in this winter? Have you tried to go out in the subzero temps? What kind of lotion do you use to protect your skin?

*I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Vaseline® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

February 27, 2015

Layers on Layers

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This winter is never ending and so darn cold! I love taking photos during sunsets, but I can't wait for the sun to set later in the day then 5:00pm. Oh winter, you are making me crazy in every way possible. lol OK, I'll stop ranting about the weather in the Midwest...for now.  

My solution, the only solution, is layers over layers. I started with a great plaid blouse and added a chunky cable knit over that. Well, I was still freezing so I added a great animal print scarf too (and a wool jacket which is not shown). I was wearing two pairs of socks as well at my favorite wool hat. See layers on layers folks! 
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Top: Express // Sweater: Banana Republic // Jeans: 7 for all Mankind // Bag: Rachel Zoe // Hat: Gap // Sunglasses: Prada // Scarf: Loft // Boots: c/o JustFab 

What do you think of the final look? How have have you been dressing to stay warm during this super cold winter we are having?

February 25, 2015

A Healthier Way to Live

I have previously talked about chemical free deodorant and my path to live a healthier life. Since writing that post back in 2013, I have mixed it up a bit on the under arm front. 
I have not used anything other the Schmidt's for well over a year, but I recently found a new combination that I truly love. When it comes to the antiperspirant aspect, I use Schmidt's daily. Every morning, it's my go-to. Then for the heavy deodorant days (mid-day/after gym/busy times) I have been using  
The Honest Company brand deodorant spray. It really does eliminate oder! The combination of the two of them together is unstoppable. And I use the Lavender & Sage sent from both brands so they really were made to compliment each other! 
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As long as we are talking about The Honest Company (See previous post here about my addiction to this brand), here are two more of their products that I am currently loving. 
-Air + Fabric freshener in Lavender Vanilla

The air freshener is amazing. It smells good and since I live in a home with kids and pets (plus myself and my husband of course) I feel better knowing it's chemical free. I mean I love a fresh scent in the air, but not at the risk of our health, right? 

The body oil has been a life saver this harsh winter in the Midwest! I use it after showers and it really makes my skin feel soft and hydrated. 
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What kind of deodorant or antiperspirant do you use? Do you have any non-toxic products that you are loving lately? Let's chat in the comments section... 

February 23, 2015

It's my Birthday and I'll Blog if I Want to!

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It's official, I turned 36 yesterday! The super special part is I get to share my birthday fun with my husband every year.  
Him and I were born exactly 7 days apart, during the same year, less then 11 hours apart, and in hospitals 40 minutes away from each other. Meant to be? We think so. ;) 

I also love that because our birthdays are so close we always celebrate together. We celebrated all February birthday at my mom's house the first weekend of the month and then we celebrated with my in-laws on Ryan's actual b-day. Since it was my b-day party too, I decided to get dolled up a bit. 

I love the pairing of black with blue. This is a new skirt and I am completely obsessed with it. I hope you like it because it will be a repeat offender. There are just so many styling possibilities. I don't own a lot of midi skirts because I am short and I feel like they fall at an awkward spot on my legs. However, this one is half sheer with makes that problem a non issue. I want to buy it up in every color! 
I added in some fun gold and blue jewelry and a camel colored wool trench. In the end I felt pretty and was ready to celebrate being alive another year.  photo fashion_zpsw4ebpun0.jpg 
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Coat & Sweater: Victoria's Secret // Skirt: Piperlime // Shoes: c/o JustFab // Bag: Forever 21 (similar) // Sunglasses: Prada // Blue Pave Bracelet: T+J Designs // Watch: Urban Outfitters // Bracelet: Lokai // Charm Bracelet: Alex and Ani 

Are you a fan of the midi skirt trend? What do you wear when celebrating your birthday? Let's chat below! 

February 20, 2015

Shorter Hair & Colder Weather

Goodbye long locks, I cut off six inches of my hair on a whim! Last week I called Mario Tricoci at 9:00am and they were able to squeeze me in at 12:45pm. With less then four hours to decided what to do, I did what any regular girl would; I looked on Pinterest! I also sent Kaitlyn my top photos once I got it in my head it was time for a bigger change then a trim to ask her if I was crazy or not. She told me to go for it and that was just the extra nudge I needed! 

In the end I'm so glad I went for it! It felt great to get all those inches off and it just seems more me, no? Plus the hubby loves it so  it's win win. 

Trying to blog outfit posts in subzero weather means indoor shots. As in my camera literally does not work outdoors. Nor do I want to stand outside and freeze! 
It also means the kids are home from school while this is happening. During these photos, both kids are just out of frame laughing and messing with me. That's what you get for trying to multitask mom! ;) 

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Please hold, my timer does not stop shooting just because I start answering my texts. Plus this is real life blogged, not a photo shoot with help! 
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Cardigan: Hautelook // Tee: Victoria's Secret // Jeans: Old Navy // Boots: Dolce Vita (similar) // Hat: Gap (similar) // Teal Ring: House of Harlow 1960 // Cuff: Lili Claspe (swap w/ Kaitlyn) // Turquoise Beads: Infinite Warrior // Bracelet: Lokai // Watch & Gold Rings: Urban Outfitters // Triangle Ring: c/o Shop Lately 

Have you ever decided the day of that you are going to chop off lots of hair? I've done it twice now and both times I've been so happy. I say go for it at least once in your life. I'm talking between 5 and 9 inches type of cut ladies! Let's chat below..

February 18, 2015

Your First Fashion Instinct is Always the Right One

 photo boho_zpssk1ucf64.jpg  photo style_zpsahndshoc.jpg  photo boots_zpsywmtl8o9.jpg Last weekend when the family was in Wisconsin, we just had to pop in E Street Denim. Not only is it one of mine, Kaitlyn, and the hubby's favorite spots to grab denim and boutique type items (you know, the ones you won't find on EVERYONE and you feel unique), but there were running a very special deal. If you donated 3 pairs of denim you received 20% off your entire order. Needless to say between he 3 of us we donated 9 pairs and did some shopping. I mean, it was for a good cause after all! 

With my in-laws, both kids, and brother-in-law waiting outside the store the shopping process had to be quick yet effective. This top was the first thing to catch my eye when I walked into the store. I ended up walking around for about 10 minutes falling in love with the necklace I picked up too, but in the end I walked out with my first instinct. I'm so glad I did! I love the tribal print and can see how it will transition well into spring. 
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Coat: Victoria's Secret // Top: E Street Denim // Boots: c/o Just Fab // Jeans: Old Navy // Bracelet: Lokai // Healing Beads: Infinite Warrior // Watch: Movado  

Yes that's me taking of photo of my hubby taking photos of me. Any yes, that's me pulling my hair making him laugh as we were having a really fun day! Sometimes I feel like I can see in my photos how much I love him. I for sure see the difference between the photos I use a tripod for vs. ones he takes. And the ones Kaitlyn takes have better outtakes as she makes me laugh so much but they are also more fashion(esk). Does that make sense? Well it makes sense to me! 

Do you ever buy the first item to catch your eye? Are you a fan of smaller shops that sell more unique items so your style feels your own?

February 16, 2015

Plaid & Peplum? Yes Please!

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Living in the Midwest means I get a LOT of use out of coats and jackets, year round actually. This new one from T+J Designs was a fast favorite as it combines two of my favorite details; plaid and peplum. 

I decided to style it super simple, making the coat the star by wearing all black. To finish the look off I added berry colored shoes and tote bag. I love this look! I actually kept the coat on when I got to the party I was at as I was super cold this day anyway. The over sized style is so flattering on all body types, I think we all need this number on our coat racks, no?
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Coat: T+J Designs // Top: Macy's // Jeans: Express // Bag & Boots: c/o Sole Society // Necklace: T+J Designs // Watch: Movado // Healing Beads: Infinite Warrior // Turquise Ring: Vintage // Stackable Rings: Shop Jules // Pave Double Band & Midi Ring: T+J Designs 

What do you think of this plaid coat? Do you like how I style it for a family party?