Things I Bought and Liked – All Under $40!

There have been a few things I found this fall that have made me feel like have SCORED in the staying-sane-and-keeping-myself-and-small-humans-alive department (#winning). Some I have found in random shopping trips or browsing online, one was a stocking stuffer (ULTA, you hooked my husband up!) and a couple came on recommendation. Here they are in no particular order😁:

Corduroy Jumper

This cute corduroy mini-jumper has been one of my fav fall purchases from Birds of a Feather (BOAF)! I felt like I was having a mid-life crisis with this purchase because of the length, however I made all the girls at BOAF promise that I didn’t look like I was an old person trying to look young. 😂 I had an extensive convo with Jill (many many pics and texts) about how to style this and what kinds of places I could wear it. I’ve been so focused on building up my professional wardrobe, that I have sadly forgotten my fun, casual wardrobe. I was able to wear this to a concert for a parents’ night out! I paired it with a black mock turtleneck, black tights and leopard print flats. You could also add booties or a white ribbed shirt underneath.

Ice Roller

Don’t get me started about this. This $12 item has brought me so much joy in the past two weeks. I have been using it first thing when I wake up to “de-puff”. It also is great for headaches. I keep this in a plastic bag in the freezer and have it ready for use. This is so worth it – go get yourself one.

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

This little bronzer packs a huge punch for its size. It is super pigmented, so you only have to use a small amount to create a bronze goddess look, use as blush or to contour. This size is great to travel with too! 

Firearm Kids’ Clothes

If you are a fan of Mini Boden, you will love Firearm. I’ve found some great dupes for half the cost! Best of all…it’s all available on AMAZON. The fabric is soft and breathable – enough for my two year old.😅

Universal Thread Booties

These adorable cut out booties are TARGET dupes for the more pricey Free People ones. They are only $32.99 (and there is a BOGO 50% off going on right now)! They are comfy and very on trend for Fall.

As a fellow (working) mom, I hope some of these ideas help you to stay chic, have $$ in your wallet and generally make life easier!

Xx,

Lauren

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V-Day Gift Guide: Super Unique Gifts You Can’t Miss!

Who doesn’t like getting a gift? I realize that there are other “love languages” out there, but let’s be real, no one is going to to turn down a present picked just for them!!  If you are looking for some unique options that will up your gift game from chocolate and flowers for your parents, sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, and friends, keep reading!

Capitol Market

We stopped by this market on our way back from Aerial Yoga for some fruit and found a huge selection of tasty treats and drinks! There is something for everyone here. You will find everything from delicious candy, wine, coffee to cheese, meats and fruit. There is something for everyone here!

 

 

Birchbox Subscription

While this isn’t a new idea, Birchbox had evolved with the times and have started curating more personalized boxes of makeup, skincare, nail care, and fragrance options. I absolutely LOVED receiving these boxes each month with new beauty products to try. These start at just $10/month and now have them for the GQ men in your life. 😉

 

UE Wonderboom

This little waterproof, super portable, bluetooth speaker will change your life. The sound quality is awesome. This is a must-have for anyone with kids.  You can easily carry this speaker from room to room for dance parties and sound machine noises. It is also especially good for traveling.

 

Packing Cubes

For your organized friends (or ones that need some organization in their lives), these packing cubes are AWESOME! They are totally worth the less than $25 price tag. I used these when packing my kids for Disney and it was super helpful.  They come in several different colors, which makes it easy to identify whose clothes are in the suitcase!

 

Mousepad

While this might not be the most romantic gift you’ve ever given, I can say that this is one of the best mousepads I’ve ever used! My husband, who spends the majority of his day at the computer, recommended this to me and I haven’t turned back. It is super responsive and under $10! Your techie friends/family will thank you!

 

Silicone Ring

In addition to our Acro Yoga and Aerial Yoga adventures that you’ve seen, these rings would definitely be great for weight training or crossfit workouts. I got my husband one and he says it is super comfortable and would totally recommend it. These are less than $25!

I hope these unique gift ideas will be a great paring with the fun/romantic/crazy night you have planned with your boo or gal-pals!

XOXO,

Lauren

P.S. Make sure to check out the Sushi Bar at Capitol Market – they have some of my favorite grab-n-go treats (even my kids approve!)

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A Few of Saxby’s Favorite Things – Dog Products You’ll Love

Saxby is our first, our fur child.  She is my (un)registered emotional companion. She has gotten me through a bar exam, two pregnancies, numerous cooking disasters, and plenty of other highs and lows. If you are like me, one of the best parts of the day is coming home to a very very happy little animal who, seemingly, has been waiting by the door for you all day. Saxby is high energy and very athletic, so I have made it my mission to find toys and products that will stand up to this schnoodle, while not killing myself trying to entertain her.

In honor of her upcoming birthday in August (#5, I can’t believe it!) I’ve compiled a list of her favorite things and added in a few of my own.

 

The Kong

This has been one of our best investments.  Saxby has used this since she was a puppy. We put a teaspoon of peanut butter inside the Kong and stuck it in her crate when we were training her.  She always seemed happy to “go home” when it was time for us to go out or for her to go to sleep.  Now, she will chase and bite the Kong mercilessly. No cracks or wear to speak of!

 

Dingo Twist Sticks

These Dingo Twist Sticks have been a great treat for Saxby.  She loves them and they take a little while to eat, so it keeps her busy.  These especially come in handy when we have company and don’t want Saxby to jump or lick.  The Dingo Sticks will distract her enough to stop barking when the many Amazon boxes are delivered to our front door.

 

Racquetballs

This was an accidental find.  John and I like to play tennis and one winter, decided to try our hand at racquetball. After I crashed into the side of the court repeatedly and John got beaned in the back several times, we gave it up.  Our two attempts ended in a literal ROFL situation.  We got dirty looks by the veterans at the club in northern Virginia, and needless to say, we quit. Saxby reaped the benefit of this #epicfail. These balls are super durable and don’t get coated in the same amount of grime that a tennis ball does. We’ve only been through two cans of these balls in the last five years.  (The first three balls went missing over the fence…oops.)

 

Lean Treats

We got these from our vet’s office.  Saxby loves them and they are great for training.  We used these to get her to wipe her paws before she comes in the house, dance, sit, stay, lie down, and speak.  She used to be able to differentiate between her toys when she was a puppy.  These treats were crucial in having her bring us “Pinky”, “green rope”, and “bone”. (These toys have all gone by the wayside or are chewed up.)

 

Bubbles

This was also a coincidental find. My son loves bubbles. One evening, I was blowing bubbles for him and Saxby started chasing them too. Two-for-one! Entertainment for the kids and the dog – major win.

 

Harness

This is the first and only harness we’ve owned.  It is awesome. Not only does it prevent that horrible choking sound your pup makes when she pulls, but also evenly distributes her weight.  The Worthy Dog brand is top notch. I’ve made a few repairs, but it has been a good buy.

 

Doggy Bags

I got this set up at Marshalls, but have linked another option above.  This makes clean up after your pup easy.  No one likes another dog’s poo in their yard.  Don’t be that person; take a doggy bag.

 

Chew Toy

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law dog-sat during one of our vacations and Saxby confiscated their dog’s Nylabone. This particular one is great for very active chewers. There are little grooves on the sides of the white part which also help to keep teeth clean.

 

Brushes (Slicker and Comb)

We use the slicker comb (blue handled one) to go over Saxby first.  This gets out all of tangles and dead hair.  We then use the comb (yellow handle) to get more stubborn tangles and matted fur.  These are super effective and keep her looking well groomed.

 

MOVOFLEX

Saxby’s vet recommended these homeopathic supplement for joint discomfort.  Saxby is regularly contorting herself when jumping to catch balls, ropes, frisbees, etc. Also, she occasionally slips on our hardwood floors while chasing or being chased (by whom I’ll never tell). Our vet recommended this product and it has been awesome.  There are different formulas for small, medium or large dogs, so check with your vet before you use these.

 

 

Saxby and I hope you and your pups love these products and want to hear all about your favorite products!

XOXO,

Lauren

[Affiliate links included]

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Baby + Toddler – Five Things You Should Not Live Without

Nothing, literally nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of *insert your choice of expletive here* stuff that comes with a baby.  Now, instead of a semblance of order, I look around and see pairs of shoes my toddler has cast off after I carefully showed him (innumerable times) how to put them on and take them off (independence isn’t that important, why did I teach him to do that so soon? *crying emoji*), numerous bibs and burp cloths scattered around the house (now which ones are clean?), Paw Patrol pups, in various sizes, complete with the Paw Patroller, train tracks, cars and of course the dreaded Legos (primed and ready for stepping on in the middle of the night). As crazy as it is, with the exhaustion, panic and fury – these are the days!

So, how do I deal with it all?? Coffee, a glass of wine, copious amounts of chocolate? Yes, yes and yes. Here are a few other things that I’ve gathered, that I have found helpful:

The baskets:

I picked these up at Marshalls. They are a great catch-all for the toys scattered around your living room. Throw everything in the baskets, slide them under the coffee table and voila, you have a tidy room. The ones we have are awesome, but should I find myself in the market for more, I will make sure they have more ridged sides for easier sliding. We keep these in the living room and kids’ rooms. They also double as basketball hoops and make clean-up more fun.

Basket Options: 

Navy Lattice Basket / StorageWorks Bamboo Basket / Jute Basket / Sea Team Large Basket

The Sit-Me-Up:

These are relatively new on the market; my three year old didn’t have the pleasure. My friend turned me on to these after complaints that my arm was numb from holding the baby for so long. This product is so smartly designed.  It folds down and fits under the couch/coffee table/bed, so it takes up little to no space when stored.  I started using it when baby girl was two months old and she still enjoys it now at eight months old.  The attached toys are chewable, which is a huge plus.  While the Bumbo is helpful for babies with good head control, the Sit-Me-Up seems more comfortable and the baby will sit in it longer. Also, my babies have/had extremely chunky thighs, so they basically outgrew the Bumbo at four to five months old.

Sit-Me-Up

The Sound Machine:

Both of my kids fall asleep to the sound of the ocean each night.  This has been helpful for sleep training, traveling (sleeping in different beds) and drowning out sounds going on outside of their room (e.g. Mom and Dad’s Netflix marathons: “The IT Crowd”, “Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life”, “House of Cards”, “Goliath”, or “Stranger Things”). We also have a portable one, so when we travel, they hear the familiar ocean sounds and pass out. Our toddler has recently become “a little scared” about 100 times a night.  We’ve started cranking up the sound which lessens the number of creaks and sounds he hears inside and outside his room.

Green Sound Machine / ShusherPortable Sound Machine

 

The Amazon Kindle:

For the love.  If you don’t have one of these, drop what you are doing and buy one immediately. (I suppose if you have an iPad dedicated to the kid(s), that will suffice and you may resume your activities.) This has been an absolute lifesaver for us in the car, restaurants, church (shhh), airports, the mall and basically anytime we need some peace.  I cannot recommend this product more.

Kindle 7″ / Kindle 8″

Add ons:

Toddler-proof case: Green / Pink / Red / Blue

Headphones that won’t blow your kid’s ears out: Blue / Pink / Gray / Green

Apps: Two words – “Sago Mini”.  Any apps made by these people are amazing.

 

The Bath Whale:

I don’t know why I had to learn about these the hard way (bumps and bruises at bath time) but hopefully I can spare some of you the tears.  Not only is this thing cute, but it is so easy to slip on the bath spout (and difficult for your toddler/baby to get off) and has left the kids with bruise free foreheads and chins. Get one. It’s worth it.

I will be updating this list as items become “necessary” in our house. I’d love to hear what works for you and what you can’t live without.

XOXO

Lauren

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