ONE little MOMMA

Saddle Bag and Buffalo Print

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TEE- GAP // SKIRT- Chicwish c/o // BAG- Thrifted (similar) // BELT- old // SHOES- Old Navy (similar) // EARRINGS- Nickel and Suede (Signature Silver Cut Outs-large) // BRACELETS- Wrenn Jewelry 

While we were on vacation- something happened and Missouri suddenly remembered what real Midwest Summer's are supposed to feel like. Until now we've had lots of rain and cool-ish temps- but we came back to humid, muggy, and stale weather. It's hot. And my ability to wear jeans is suffering. I'm just thankful for a working AC and a refrigerator that makes me as much crushed ice as I can chomp. 

The worst part of being in depths of Summer heat, is that right now I'm ready to start thinking Fall. I'm always ready to bust out some kind of boots by August and the Anniversary Sale isn't helping with that. My Fall closet is staring me in the face and the most I can do is play dress up at home. I tease my husband when he plays dress up with his mountain climbing gear- but right now I understand his situation a bit more. If he gets new boots or a new jacket or new bibs for climbing- he'll wear them around the house and try them out at home. It's funny to me and I make fun of him, but now I'm doing the same thing with sweaters and boots. Neither of us can actually put them to use, so we just have to pretend. 

So how to enjoy the now? There are a few more things we need to do this Summer, including more swimming, the zoo, camping, and playing with as many friends as we can before school starts. I think I'll get to planning on those things and pray my ankles don't start swelling before the cooler temps come back!

What do you have left to do this Summer? I'd love some more ideas too! 


Denim Vest and Knit Pants and I'm a Hypocrite

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TEE- GAP (My favorite maternity tees!) // VEST- Old Navy // PANTS- Old Navy // SHOES- Old Navy // BAG- Thrifted // EARRINGS- Nickel & Suede (Aqua Suede-large) // CUFF- N&S // BRACELETS- Pure Vida // WATCH- Jord Wood Watches // SUNNIES- J Crew
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney

As you know, for the last week and a half our family has been on the road. We drove from Kansas City to St. George to Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Denver and home again. It was definitely the longest road trip of our lives. I'll be recapping our trip later this week (spoiler alert- we had a great time!), but today I'm going to fess up to something I learned about myself while we were gone. 

Traveling puts you in very different circumstances than living life at home, and those circumstances are often very out of your control. It's so much harder to stick to a schedule and be on time places. Kids behave differently, kids get sick and plans have to be flexible. While we were on the road I CONSTANTLY found myself doing the very things that I judge other people on. Every. single. day. I was turning to Soren and saying "Oh, I'm so ashamed! I just did the exact same thing that I judge other people on!" I'm judgey and now I know it. 

For example, when people come in town to visit, it drives me crazy when I don't hear from them and when the plans aren't concrete. I get frustrated when plans change and we have to work around them. Often plans even fall through. Well, guess who did a terrible job contacting anyone we were planning on visiting with while on our trip? And guess who changed plans on those same people five times and was still late? Oh, me. 

Also crying or sick kids. I know it's terrible, but when other people have inconsolable, crying kids- I get annoyed. Not on the outside, but inside. Well guess who showed up at Soren's family gathering the first day with an inconsolable AND sick child? Oh, me. Knox got sick the first day we arrived in St. George and was so upset and sick I had to just take him back the hotel and miss the first two days of our vacation. I was that mom with a crying kid and who didn't even come to visit with family because her kid was sick. 

And I know there were more, but the last example that comes to mind is spacing on responsibilities at home. At church I teach Sunday school every week for the four year old. And I think it's really irresponsible when other teachers don't get substitutes for their classes while they are gone. It bugs me. Well guess who forgot to get a substitute for her class until church had already started on the Sunday morning while they were gone? Oh, me. I had to scramble and my friends had to step in and sub for me with no notice. They were so nice about it and I know deep down inside that if the situations were reversed- I would not have felt nice about being corralled into subbing. 

I definitely learned that you can't be judgey and feel semi-okay about it unless you can keep up the same standards yourself. And this entire trip I found myself unable to keep up with the standards I'd been unknowingly holding other people to. It was such a tough thing to realize! First it was annoying to see that I couldn't even stick to my own expectations, and second it felt awful to realize how harsh I am on people around me. 

I'm sorry to all of my friends, family and acquaintances for being so judgey in the past, I still love you! And I think I've learned my lesson. We all need compassion and understanding because we are all doing our best. Things rarely go as planned for anyone- so the best thing we can do is assume the best and be willing to help those around us. That is exactly what I hoped everyone we saw on our trip would do for me in all of those circumstances. And they did! I'm so grateful for friends and family that showed me love and understanding instead of judging. I'm sorry I've been a hypocrite friends. Thanks for being better than me.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation? How do you let go and just show love?
 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale- Beauty Steals

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Happy Friday! We are still on the road- finally driving home from vacation but I wanted to pop in with a quick post of my favorite beauty products from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. You should know by now that I love to mix high and low end beauty products in my beauty routine. These four are products I already own or ordered because they are that good and are worth spending more on.

What other beauty products jumped out at you from the sale?


Three Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Mom

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A few weeks ago Grace asked me to share some thoughts about motherhood while she was on blogging maternity leave. I loved all of the advice she gathered from mommas all over the blog world and I thought I'd share my thoughts here as well. Motherhood throws more curve balls than I could possibly list, but here are three things that came to mind when I considered what I wish I had known before I became a mom. 


1. The art of not washing my hair every day. 
Oh, how I wish I head given this theory a shot earlier in life. Only in the last six months have I stopped washing my hair every day and let me tell you, it is SUCH a game changer. I had long hair until after I had my first baby and boy, did I love clean hair. I cut my hair into a bob three years ago and even with short hair, I hated not washing my hair. But I also hated the time it took every day to wash and dry and often straighten my hair. So many hours of my life wasted! By not washing my hair everyday now, I not only like how my hair styles better, but I get an extra 30 minutes back in my life on most days. And as a mom of three, almost four- 30 minutes is gold!
2. Your third child will be your easiest and your hardest. 
I think a lot of people will tell you this, but I didn't know why until I had my third. Transitioning to three kids was a big adjustment- a hard one. Three is just a lot of little people to keep track of and keep moving and keep alive. But once you get slightly adjusted to the fact that there are three, life is great! Baby number three is when you get to start to use all of that knowledge you have accumulated from the first two. For the lifespan of the first two kids, you've been working your way through parenting school. You've figured out feeding and sleeping and napping and not to say there won't be differences, but baby number three is when I felt like I had earned my parenting degree and could finally put it to use. You've been exposed to it all and the needs of a newborn or a three month old or a 10 month old don't phase you. And of course there is continuing education- you are always learning as a parent. But I'm glad we didn't stop at two. I'm glad we went for three (and now four) because parenting is extra awesome on the days when you feel like you've got the hang of it. 
3. Motherhood will make you a better version of yourself. 
Before I had Easton, our first child, I was accepted to Master's degree program at the University of Washington for dietetics. I wasn't planning on getting pregnant and it definitely altered my plans. I decided to forgo the program because I had planned on being a stay at home mom and couldn't see a baby and a 3+ year program working well together. I felt really lost and struggled for months with what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I kind of felt like my life was over- which sounds terrible- but I couldn't see my old plans working out with my current situation. And thank goodness they didn't. 
It took time but when Easton was about four or five months old I decided I wanted to start an Etsy shop. I poured hours into learning new skills like photography and selling products online. I felt my confidence and my capabilities grow as I was not only learning how to take care of this baby, my husband and our house- but also to manage my time so that I could fit in extra hobbies. That Etsy business ended up growing into my blog and now into my husband and I being self-employed full time by our jewelry business. Looking back, I can't believe the changes that have happened in just six years. People always ask how I do it all with three kids and I always say it's because I have three kids. I am more driven, more productive, more organized and happier as a mom of three kids than I would be if it were just me. I can't imagine having all of my time to myself- I would waste so much! I mean its not like I don't daydream about it sometimes, but...
Being a mom has pushed me in every way to be a better version of myself. It definitely wasn't the end of my life when I got pregnant- but very much the beginning. 

Double Fishtail for Short Hair- Easy Bob or Long Pixie Tutorial

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Today's short hair tutorial is doubling up on braids- or specifically fishtail braids. If one braid is good, two is better so we're throwing in two today. This style will work best on a bob or a long pixie that still has good length in the front, at least on one side.


Supplies needed:
Dry Shampoo (I also like this one.)
Bobby pins
Tiny clear elastics
Redken Shine Spray

To start you'll want dry, dirty hair. Clean hair will work, but you'll need to dirty it up a bit with dry shampoo. Dirty hair will need some dry shampoo too so go ahead and throw some on your roots, clean or dirty. 


Start your first braid, or fishtail about an inch back from your face. You can start next to your face, but leaving some hair loose in front is the look we styled today. This fishtail is a Dutch fishtail because you are braiding under to get a braid that is raised away from your head. Abby has a GREAT tutorial for the specifics of this braid you can watch here


Grab a small section and start braiding down, grabbing little sections to add to it as you go down. You'll be braiding towards your ear.


After about two inches, stop adding hair and just continue to braid down towards your ear.


Before you pin the braid, or after, you'll need to "pancake" it which basically means add volume to the braid. Lightly tug the outside of each section of the braid to loosen enough strands that it makes the parts of the braid look thicker than they actually are. 


Secure the end of the braid with a tiny clear elastic and get ready to start braid number two. You'll pin them after both braids are done.


Braid a second braid directly behind braid number one.


Secure both braids behind your ear with two bobby pins. Be sure to push the bobby pin up into the braid so that it hides. Then you'll want to tease the rest of your hair, especially at the crown to add a bit of volume. Style your remaining hair as usual, which may mean taking a flat iron to it and adding a little spray wax.


A shine spray is also a good idea. Dry shampoo can make your hair look dried out and frizzy, so topping this braided style with some shine spray can make it look less frizzy and more polished.



And that's it. There are lots of variations you could do with this, but the key to this style is that you have two separate braids that use very little hair, but that look like they use much more hair than they do. Also the pins and elastics we used to secure the hair are entirely hidden. 

Leave your questions below and be sure to tag me on social media if you give this double braid tutorial a try!

Black and White and Bright

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TEE- Target (similar) // SKIRT- Ruby Claire Boutique c/o // SHOES- Thrifted (Target) // CLUTCH- Ruby Claire Boutique c/o // CUFF- N&S // EARRINGS- N&S (Signature Silver Cut Out- large)
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney
Hair Tutorial: here

I mentioned yesterday that I've been warming up to pink a bit- but today I guess I'm fully committing.  When this coral skirt arrived in the mail I didn't quite expect it to be so bright- but I decided to embrace it and styled it anyways. And I actually love how it turned out! For me the key to styling something really bright is to tone it down with a big dose of neutrals. I could also see styling this skirt with gray or basic white tee, a big straw beach bag and flat beaded sandals. 
This clutch however is just the black clutch I've had my eye out for. I love the woven faux leather details on one side and the big tassel on the zipper. This is a small bag that has personality but still goes with everything- dressed up or down. 

Both the skirt and the clutch are from Ruby Claire Boutique - an online boutique owned by two sisters in Utah. I met them at ALT and was instantly impressed with the duo. They are smart women who have a passion and a drive for what they are doing. Having started our own business, I have such an admiration for other women and husband and wife teams that go after a dream and turn it into an income. It's not for everyone, or possible for everyone, but its an awesome thing and well worth supporting. We think so anyways.... ;)