Snowpocalypse & Online Shopping

The weather in Texas has been pretty dicey the past few days.  The “Snowpocalypse 2014,” they’re calling it. Here is a picture of the horrifying conditions.

snow

*photo courtesy of keithkreeger on Instagram

Our entire city shutdown on Friday due to the dusting of ice we received late Thursday night. It happens every year, and the response is always the same. You see, native Texans don’t know how to drive on the ice. We get stuck. Our cars roll over. We skid off of the road and into the trees.

It ain’t pretty.

In an effort to keep the crazies from getting behind the wheel, school is cancelled, businesses close, and we all hunker down to wait out the storm. I’m a teacher, so I naturally jumped for joy when I received a phone call at 5 a.m. informing me of the cancellation. My otherwise mundane day at school would be replaced with a PJ day at home with my little man. I also had every episode of The Bachelor on my DVR just begging to be watched. Hello, Juan Pablo!

It’s a good thing that cold temps are not the norm in Austin, because all I want to do when it is frigid outside is eat.

And eat.

And eat.

And shop online.

I love warm weather, flip-flops, and bright colors. I spend every winter looking forward to the first day of spring, because regardless of temperatures, I will be wearing a colorful dress or skirt of some sort.

Yesterday, I perused the internet for spring fashion for myself and my little one, hoping to add a little artificial warmth to my day. What really caught my attention however, was the adorable options available for baby girls on Zulily right now. If you haven’t joined Zulily (daily deals for moms, babies and kids), do it today! Zulily is an awesome website where you can find adorable clothes at a fraction of the original price. You have to act fast, though. The deals usually don’t last for more than a few days.

In fact, if you do decide to join Zulily, use this invitation from LWO. We earn a $15 credit when your first order ships. If we rack up enough credit, we’ll purchase some baby garb to giveaway to our Facebook friends!

These are some of my favorite pieces I came across online yesterday. Don’t be surprised if you see some pics of Baby J sporting girls clothing in the near future.

Only kidding… Kind of. 

sailboats

$29.99

Brand: Les Petits Soleils by Fantaisie Kids

mint dress

$32.99

Brand: Little Cotton Dress

nauticalhearts

$11.99

Brand: Samara

blueyellow

$36.99

Brand: Caught Ya Lookin’

madras2

$29.99

Brand: Turtle and Pumpkin

romper

$11.99

Brand: Cuddled in Cute

chevron

$37.99

Brand: Caught Ya Lookin’

safaridress

$19.99

Brand: CyBaby

My husband braved the treacherous roads and drove the entire two miles he drives to work each day. We made sure to document our day at home by bombarding him with photo updates via text.

Not annoying at all.

Try to ignore the poor photo quality. These were taken with my iPhone.

photo (7)

The opposite of napping.

photo (6)

No smile for mama.

photo (9)

Photo bombed by Kirby.

My husband finally accepted the fact that we were not going to let him get any work done, so he came home to join in on the fun!

Hope y’all are all staying warm and enjoying some actual snow!

Advertisements

Jack’s *Themeless* Nursery

When my husband and I first found out that we were expecting, I couldn’t get my hands on a computer fast enough. I wanted to search girl’s names and boy’s names, the dos and don’ts of pregnancy, and of course, nursery decor.

Thankfully my husband and I were in agreement regarding the direction that we wanted to go with the room… Light, airy, and themeless. We didn’t want our nursery to be cheesy or feel babyish, despite the fact that the room would eventually belong to just that, a baby.

I couldn’t be happier with our decision. These are the pieces that we finally settled on for Baby J’s room.

animal1

These precious baby animal portraits are my absolute favorite part of Jack’s nursery. We have the monkey, lion, zebra, and giraffe hanging above his changing table. He loves looking at the zebra when I change his diaper… It must be those black and white stripes. These were the first pieces of art that we purchased for the nursery, as they captured the exact essence I wanted his room to exude: Simple & sweet. 

earth

I am obsessed with the Global Child Collection by ChildrenInspire, an Etsy store that describes its pieces as “eco-friendly recycled collage art for children.” I originally found this set on Zulily, the daily deal site for moms, babies, and kids. The center piece touts a message that I want to engrain in all of my children, “Compassion for the Earth and All Who Inhabit It.” The set also features numbers one through ten and the alphabet. What’s even better is that you have the option to purchase these pieces in a multitude of languages. We chose Italian, as that is my husband’s heritage.

roots

compassion

These pieces are also from the Global Child Collection by ChildrenInspire. I chose the second map that reiterates the message of compassion (though in English this time), but I also equally love the other map that reads “My Roots Lie Here.” You can customize the map to your own heritage using little heart stickers to locate and highlight a child’s roots. A teaching moment that will last throughout the years… Love it!

loveyou

This is another piece that I adore for two reasons. First of all, this canvas features an iconic Austin image that is painted onto the side of a restaurant on South Congress Avenue. Everyone flocks to this site to take pictures with loved ones in front of the painted wall. As you can imagine, it is uber-popular for engagement pictures. South Congress (SoCo) is a funky strip of shops and restaurants that are just about as “Austiny” as it gets. I was born and raised in Austin, so incorporating local artwork into J’s nursery was important to me. Secondly, I love the message. That’s a given. We have this piece hanging above Jack’s crib.

Jack-20

My sweet baby boy. God I love this picture. J is less than a week old here, and although he is way bigger now, he still has those perfectly pursed lips. The colors in his hat blend seamlessly with the rest of the artwork we have in his room.

All of the furniture in Jack’s room is white, but we made to sure to include plenty of color throughout the rest of the nursery to prevent a sterile, hospital-like feel.

crib

At $150, this Graco crib was a steal.

im-just-a-toy-box-whiteshelves-and-wall-hooks

We purchased this toy box and three white book ledges from Land of Nod, which we were able to purchase with leftover Crate & Barrel gift cards from our wedding. Score!

magic-carpet-non-flying-edition-aqua

This aqua-colored rug was also purchased from Land of Nod with a Crate & Barrel gift card.

bedding

This is J’s Bedding Set from Pottery Barn Kids. We followed the AAP’s recommendation and opted out of a bumper. 

B and I saved big bucks on the dresser and rocker/glider by buying used. Actually, the dresser was free, as it previously belonged to my uncle. He was going to sell it at a garage sale, but we convinced him to give it to us instead. After painting it white and replacing the pulls, the dresser looks like it is straight out of a Pottery Barn catalogue.

I found the rocker/glider on craigslist. The chair looks almost new and is super comfortable… Plus it cost us next to nothing. We went back and forth on new vs used, and at the end of the day I am happy with our decision. Baby J has certainly worn the chair in, and endless spit-up episodes might sting a little more had we shelled out a thousand bucks on the chair. Of course I am not ruling out an upgrade for baby #2. Sorry Jack!

Putting together a nursery is a long, expensive, and mostly enjoyable process. Thank goodness we had nine long months to find all of the right pieces to complete our vision, and nine long months to pay for it all!

XO,

Elleigh

Mommy. Fail.

I’ve failed at many aspects of mothering (and life in general), some moments worse than others. This does not bode well for my future as a mama, considering I only have one child whom is a mere six months old. Fortunately, he IS only six months old, as he won’t remember any of it… Right? I feel sure my husband will jump at the chance to divulge my less than stellar moments, however. One of the more minor offenses I have committed- depending on whom you ask- relates to holiday apparel.

About a month before Thanksgiving, I spotted an adorable long-sleeved onesie set at Carter’s that was perfect for the occasion. (I’m a sucker for anything with an appliqué on the bum of my lil’ man’s pants).  

Thanksgiving-outfit-for-baby

Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until a day or so before Thanksgiving to purchase J’s holiday getup, and as any person with half a brain could predict, it was completely sold out. There were plenty of cute Christmas outfits in stock, however, which I made a mental note of as “something I need to purchase for the upcoming holidays.” You would think that based on my immediate experience with outfit failure number one, I would go ahead and purchase the Christmas outfit to avoid a potential last minute crisis. For whatever reason (baby brain?), the thought never crossed my mind.

Fast forward to Christmas. Now I did manage to order this adorable outfit for Christmas Eve, which we celebrated with my side of the family. Okay, in all honesty, I actually ordered it a few days before a wedding we attended the weekend prior to Christmas, but it did not arrive on time (shocking, I know), so I quickly recategorized it as Baby J’s “Christmas formal wear” and called it a day.

photo 2 (3)

On Christmas morning, we drove to Houston to spend the next few days with my in-laws. Last year, my mother-in-law instituted a Christmas day matching plaid pajama tradition (think awkwardfamilyphotos.com), so I was granted a reprieve as far as outfits were concerned.

photo 4 (2)

One happy little plaid family. 

My husband’s extended family has a large Christmas celebration the weekend following Christmas, which meant one more chance to make things right for my sweet little J.  Unfortunately, I was forced to settle for a winter-inspired penguin number, as the Santa set I spotted back in November was sold out. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I waited until the day after Christmas to buy it. Sigh.

penguinsanta

Thankfully, my opportunity to right my holiday fashion wrongs is quickly approaching…

Valentine’s Day.

My least favorite holiday of all time. I suppose a perk of having a baby is that Valentine’s Day takes on a whole new meaning. Contrived romantic gestures are replaced with another excuse to dress our little love muffins up in ridiculously cute clothes, take a zillion pictures documenting another “first,” and annoy the crap out of our childless Facebook friends whom must endure the barrage of holiday baby pictures that will undoubtedly fill their News Feed.

I will not procrastinate. I will not procrastinate. I will not procrastinate.

These are some of my favorite V-Day ensembles available right now.

Click for stores/pricing info. 

Baby Girl

 vday1vd2vdjeansgapdr1cpsk2

hrtstripesloveshirtowldaddylove

Baby Boy

loveuhrtbrkretsyonesielovetie

simplebowtiegaphatcupid

Faking It

Have you ever arrived at work, caught a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror and wondered, “What the hell happened?” This happens to me on a daily basis. Each morning I leave my house confident that I look somewhat presentable (my expectations aren’t low, just realistic… There’s a difference, right?), yet arrive to school looking more like something that the cat dragged in.

I can say with some degree of certainty that lack of sleep (and perhaps bad lighting?) is the largest contributing factor to my less than ideal appearance these days, although the extra glass of wine each night isn’t helping my cause. I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be getting more rest any time soon, but I am holding out hope that I can perhaps find a way to at least fake a full night’s sleep.

Instead of grading the stack of papers that I have managed to avoid for the past week, I’ve decided to scour the internet for tricks and tips to help me look more rested. My theory is that if I look more rested, I will feel more rested, and if I feel more rested I will finally get around to grading all of those papers. So you see, this endeavor is completely warranted and not another way to procrastinate at all.

Here are some of my favorite ideas that I plan on trying out STAT. And by STAT I mean when I get paid.

1. Line Your Lower Lashes

tarte-emphaseyes-inner-lip-brightener

But don’t use black. To make your eyes look bigger and brighter, trace a nude eyeliner (like Tarte EmphasEYES™ Inner Rim Brightener, $18; Sephora.com) on the inner rims of your lower lashline. “Make sure the liner is a beige-y color and not too white,” says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “Beige looks more natural and does a better job of neutralizing redness in or around the eyes.”

www.oprah.com

2. Even Out Your Complexion

Koh-Gen-Do-002

A sheer, dewy foundation can do more than a concealer alone to make you look beautifully awake. Case in point: An actress we recently worked with arrived at our O shoot straight from a red-eye flight—yet looked as if she’d just woken from a long, delicious nap. She credited a layer of Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation ($62,KohGenDoCosmetics.com). “It’s luminous and totally imperceptible,” she raved. “Even though it’s light, it evens out redness and discoloration, and makes me look instantly refreshed.”

www.oprah.com

 

3. Deflate Lids

To counteract puffiness, choose an eye treatment containing a mix of peptides — some of the least irritating anti-aging ingredients — and caffeine, which has a diuretic effect. Try First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($24, Sephora). Stash it in the fridge before applying under eyes. “Coldness counters puffiness,” says Elise Brisco, O.D., an optometrist in Los Angeles. Or, rest refrigerated 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads ($8 for six, drugstore.com) on lids for five minutes. They’re filled with a soothing gel that’s 97 percent water.

 2nd_skin_moist_burn_pads

www.goodhousekeeping.com

4. Hang Around the Water Cooler

Sleep deprivation can mildly dehydrate you, even if you’re not suffering from a happy-hour hangover. And dehydration actually compounds fatigue, Breus says—so sipping water will help lessen sleepiness. Drink enough so you’re not thirsty and you have clear-ish urine, Breus recommends.

Another trick: Throw in a few ice cubes. “Unlike warm drinks, which tend to relax you, cold beverages can increase alertness because they are more refreshing,” Kennedy says.

www.health.com

*I am really good at this. I drink water all day long at school, and wine all night long at home. 

5. Don’t Skip Your Lids

If you’re focused on under eye circles and puffiness, it’s easy to look right past another dead giveaway of exhaustion: pink eyelids. Baumann tells patients to dab them with a cotton ball soaked in (of all things) Afrin.“Nasal sprays contain something called oxymetazoline, which addresses both redness and swelling,” she says—and notes that it’s particularly effective when you’ve been crying. If they still look pink, makeup artist Troy Surratt recommends applying an eye-shadow base. “One that’s peachy will neutralize blue, purple, and gray tones,” he says. In a pinch, yellow-based concealer will work on purple circles—just be sure to pick a formula that isn’t thick or drying. Try: Estée Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Peach

afrin

www.allure.com

6. Conceal

An under eye concealer is a new mom’s BFF. Try: Benefit’s Erase Paste ($26; benefitcosmetics.com)

www.parenting.com

erase

7. Brighten.

A dab of eye brightener in the inside corner of each eye diverts attention from dark circles.

www.parenting.com

*I use a white, shimmery eyeshadow & dab it in the inside corner of each eye with a Q-tip. Sometimes I think it makes my eyes look awkwardly close together. Perhaps I am not applying the shadow correctly?

8. Exercise for dull complexion

If skin isn’t allowed time to renew overnight, it can look sallow, ashy, and pasty. “When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to increase microcirculation, which means it can’t deliver key nutrients to the skin, ” says Jeanette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist based in Great Neck, New York. Even a short morning workout session can help boost circulation, as will a dry body brushing before you shower.

www.naturalhealthmag.com

*Good in theory, at least.  

9. Eyelash curler–  Curling your lashes opens up the eyes and will make you look more awake and alert. This eyelash curler by e.l.f. retails around $1.50! Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) products are not only inexpensive, but cruelty-fee, as well. You can find e.l.f. products at Target & Walgreens.

CURLER

10. Blush- NARS Blush provides a healthy glow to flatter any skin-tone. Orgasm Blush makes cheeks blush a perfect pinky-peach flush and subtly highlights with accents of golden shimmer. The perennially pleasing, universally flattering shade is again and again a makeup artist and beauty editor favorite. According to Sephora.com, “the super sexy pink flush gives the effect of a radiant afterglow.”

*Sign. Me. Up.

nars

www.sephora.com

11. Birth Control Not going to help you look rested, but will pretty much guarantee a better night’s sleep. 

bc

I am definitely going to try some of these ideas over the next few weeks. I’ll keep y’all posted on how it works out. Do you have any tricks to help you appear rested when you actually feel like the walking dead?

XO,

Elleigh