Friday, June 23, 2017

Channeling Your Inner Joanna

"Ok girls, how are we ever going to pick?!" I emailed the crew, the date of our upcoming girls' night on the horizon. Several strings later we were on a roll, clicking through Pinterest and modeling our favorite quotes we'd see in a book, mom blog or that fabulous wall at Scheels.

All this searching was for our upcoming night o' creativity, where we'd spend an evening in a beautiful home in Olathe making whiteboard signs. Always looking for something fun to do on our monthly outings, the mom pack stumbled upon Pinterest Parties, a fun, affordable and creative way to brighten a home. Having perused A's Facebook site, we landed on the whiteboard sign. Because who doesn't love a taste of Magnolia in their life?! The monogram, baseball, and Love signs were all close seconds.

With wine and bundts in hand we met, gathering in A's basement just perfect for crafting. Here, she had already laid out the whitewashed boards, our custom stencils, the paints brushes and the sound of inspiration in the background. Warm and welcoming, she got us started with easy instruction and stories of mommyhood.

Intimidated at first (because crafting), we each took our time outlining our choice, checking in often and building confidence along the way. Soon we were on a roll, choosing paint colors, complimenting one another's and catching up on our lives.
Hundreds of brush strokes later and touch ups by A herself, she placed the hanging on the back and we held up our masterpieces one by one. Unlike so many of those painting parties, these were works we'd actually hang in our home. And looked a bit like something Joanna Gaines may select in a store. Success!

It was a great time had by all, and a nice way to relax and use that right side of the brain you don't normally get to in the days of parenting small children. Highly recommend it - here's how to get started!

1. Like Pinterest Parties on Facebook
2. Visit the page and view "Services" on the left
3. Click "send email" to shoot A dates, times and project choice
4. Schedule and show up!

Then, get your Joanna on. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pillow Walk

Get it? Like pillow talk, but different? need these sandals! They are the cushiest, cutiest, go-with-everything sandal of the season. And they're only $60. Plus it gives you a reason to pop into Nordys. And they're like walking on pillows.

Whatever color you choose (I went for the gray), there's something casual, work-ish and athleisurely that pair with these perfectly.


An Apple Today

"Mama, I want to bring an app-ull to school. Get it for me. Please," my four-year old half-demanded, half-begged outside of the fridge, one little palm grasping an iPad, the other laid loosely on the stainless steel of the fridge.

It wasn't unusual for him to ask a snack in what was likely our eighth attempt out the door, but generally it was something closer to Cheetos, Cheesits or a sneak from he candy bowl that was on his mind. Yes at 7:15 a.m.

Grabbing the apple, we set off on our journey of two drop offs and a long commute. One school down and coming in hot to the second, I noticed he slid the apple atop the cubbies, very near the elbow of his favorite teacher.

"I give it to Mr. Brian," he whispered, giving it a small budge toward his arm, then making a face and retreating into my arms.

"Oh, that's nice buddy - how kind of you!" I exclaimed, thinking they'd had a recent lesson on teachers and apples and the ol' addage that they enjoyed the sour things.

"So, I guess he brought you an apple today!" I laughed, watching Mr. Brian's face as he processed whether this was something fun or just a bad Teacher Appreciation gift.

"I eat an apple everyday," said Mr. Brian. "I bet he noticed, and thought I'd like it."

And that, my friends is progress. And it's love.

An apple today made for a memory that will always stay. Proud of your golden, giving heart little buddy.

Enjoy that apple, Mr. Brian.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Did You Get It Done?!

Teacher Appreciation week, that is!

If you're anything like our house, there's no one you're more grateful for than the village that's growing and loving your children at school each day. These saints are simply amazing. And I swear I co-parent more with some of them than my own husband.

Tomorrow marks the last day of the designated week when you get the chance to shower these leaders with love. So if you haven't full executed on the PTA recommended plan and need a few ideas, start here:
Mini bundlets: told you they're good for everything!
Spoil the whole crew with a variety mix.
Mini blooms from Trader Joe's: they come in a variety of colors
and types and are only $1.99!
Tervis Tumbler: they keep those bevs hot or cold with a
twist of personality and fun. Perfect for the teacher
that needs to hydrate between answering preschoolers'
questions for the tenth times! Find them at the new
Turves store on the Plaza or for best price,
Bed Bath & Beyond.
Fuzzy blanket: they give your child all the warmth and love
in the world - they deserve some too! Plus it looks nice
in their home. Target and Macy's have good options.
Don't forget a thoughtful handwritten note and a gift card go a long way too.

Wishing all our educators are the spoils and celebration their weeks can hold. You certainly deserve it!

Sunday, April 30, 2017


"I don't know E, I feel so blech...something's gotta get jazzy or this gal is going to loser her mind." 

We were entering into spring, but the first two weeks hadn't meant so much tulips as it had rain showers and not a higher temp to be found. Things were intense at home, all self-care had gone out the door and work hours never cease. So the answer to this reduction of stress could only be:

Highlights. A fab new beauty product. A mani/pedi. Maybe some Oreos. And wine - always wine.

Since there are always Oreos and wine in the house, first up was highlights. Given I'm a gal who is pretty lucky not to have any of those pesky sparkles yet, I was a bit torn if taking the time and spending the money was worth it. My natural hair hadn't been touched in nearly a decade and had it's own version of hombre. It had finally gotten to a longer length where I felt feminine and could be a bit creative with it. And most mornings I could hop out of the shower, throw some Diva Curl in and call it good. So why mess with a good thing?

The fabulous Susanne of Stem Hair and Body did her thing, foiling in strategic but random parts of the head to give that beach glow (she has a name for the process). Not to blonde, not to caramel and just the right gold, I left feeling a few years younger with the good kind of sparkly framing my face. And although I missed a bit of the length, it had gotten a bit mullet-esque, so now we're on a good path to growing a little less layered. That night I slathered on some Rodan and Fields tanner, and I appeared at work the next day looking rested and ready to be productive. A perfect front.

Next up was splurging on a beauty product. My tolerance for anything that has to be maintained or takes more than 3.5 minutes is minimal, so I was immediately drawn to R&F's new Lash Boost. Two simple swipes at night and you're off to bed. Just two weeks later, I had a few longer lashes (I practically have none) and felt a bit "prettier" and more feminine as well. My friends had seen amazing results - almost to the point where they had to stop using it or give up their glasses. Unfortunately, my super sensitive eyes (I mean unusually sensitive) never quite adapted and kept reddening, so my dream of what my lashes could've been had to come to a quick close. I tried! And still highly recommend. If you're not already living with one of their face regimens, it's time.

Finally, a little mani/pedi time, which is always good for the soul. Le Reve in Park Place is always worth the drive, leaving your feet baby soft and carrying June Bride (sparkles!) and #92 (perfectly fun purplish/bright/neutral). Even better is when me and the gal pals pile into HH's clean car on Fridays and hit Lovely Nails on 75th, squealing over colors and swapping stories about the week. Wrap that up with a trip through Chick fil A and life is good.

What makes you feel lit and feminine again when the blahs strike?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Keepin' It Real

"It was just so...depressing!," my girlfriend's social post stated as she reminisced on last night's
season finale of "This is Us." And while many of her gaggle of pals agreed with her, all I could thinking while watching it was:

Thanks for keeping' it real.

Because let's face it - marriage isn't all rainbows and sunshine. It's not always stolen kisses after the kids are asleep or slow dancing in the living room. Thoughtfulness in the deepest moments of fatigue. Shared eye contact. Meaningful conversations. Creating life plans together. Following your dreams. Sacrificing with grace. Calmly managing conflict while your children play quietly nearby. A wife who always wakes up looking like a super model and her husband the same (sorry - had to throw that one in there. I mean, they never show either of them working out...)

Marriage can be feeling like a ghost. Tears in your car before you pull all the way into the drive. Nights on the couch. Vices and addictions you either find a way to fight through together, apart or simply tuck under the rug. Temptation and questioning of this lifelong commitment you made. Figuring out how to take turns in your careers, passion and raising children. Forgetting why you fell in love in the first place. And struggling to create that list when the other person asks.

So when Rebecca and Jack take a departure from all of their warm smiles, kindness in the face of adversity, etc. - I breathe a sigh of relief. I watch this TV show and know that's why millions of us tune in. So that we too can say:

That's me.

Though no one is certain what will happen next, it's highly likely they will reconnect and show the world their great love that inspires us to keep coming back week after week. And in these stories, the good, the bad, the ugly - may the writing move you to reflect and find little pieces of your life along the way.

Because that, my friends, is great TV. And who doesn't need a bit of that when your spouse is making you crazy?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Still Hot for Mamas

"Hm, I just read the gorgeous, smart, fabulous Melanie's post about Evereve, and it's right up the street. Pretty please can I pop in for a sec? I can meet you at JCrew?!" I begged the husband, another portion of date night stolen by shiny objects vs. connecting over cans of beers and darts. That is before the meal we'll spend entirely too much on but thoroughly enjoy (without children.)

"Sure, sure - pop in. I'll catch up on some emails."

So plopped he did, right next to their tank of gold fish crackers and dangling necklaces, while I immediately clicked with a super friendly sales gal. What started as a "man, that tank is cute!" ended with a purchase of these two dynamite items:
The back of this is cut out and draped, adding the
perfect flair. And it's sooooo soft. 

Finally, a cold shoulder that has a bit of structure,
enough thickness to hide the mom pooch and a kick of
flair to balance out curvier hips.

And I could've kept going.

While I was there, I asked about the TrendSend deal they have (thanks again, Melanie!) and went home and quickly committed via PC. For no styling fee, Evereve will send you five items on your schedule and only charge you a dollar to return the package of whatever you did not prefer. Sounds pretty good to me. I can't wait to share my first box with you!

Catching the Style Scout's post came at the perfect time - winter is wrapping up, I've packed on the pounds and not enough self-tanner in the world can make me feel even mildly attractive. Evereve has the an excellent solution - some on-trend, but uber comfortable and totally mom-appropriate for nearly any occasion. Prices range to fit almost anyone's budget and the styles too to meet even a pear-shaped gal's requirements. Plus the store smells amazing, everyone is over-the top kind, they don't work on commission and you can say things like "saggy boobs" and "c-section skin" and the gal knows exactly what you mean and can style around it.

I'll take it.

Next time you're on the Plaza or near Leawood - pop in. They're just as fabulous as "Hot Mama" ever was and there is someone just waiting for you to feel like the hot mama you are. Enjoy!