ONE little MOMMA

Finding Balance Includes Me Time

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Thanks to JCP: Liz Claiborne for sponsoring today's style post. As always, styling and opinions are all my own.
Navy cardigan, chambray shirt, white jeans

Navy cardigan, chambray shirt, white jeans


Navy cardigan, chambray shirt, white jeans

Shawl-Collar Cardigan - Liz Claiborne, Blue Stretch Bracelet - Liz Claiborne 

Lace tee, navy cardigan, black pencil skirt

Lace tee, navy cardigan, black pencil skirt

Lace tee, navy cardigan, black pencil skirt
Shawl-Collar Cardigan - Liz Claiborne, Essential Pencil Skirt - Liz Claiborne, Jet Black Cluster Stretch Bracelet - Liz Claiborne

A few months ago, I was reading in Inc Magazine (my husband subscribed me) about start up businesses. The article mentioned that one problem that many start ups face in their second quarter is burn out. Entrepreneurs and their employees typically work crazy hours, are crazy stressed, and end up going crazy. Wait - was I talking about myself? If you've been around this summer, you know how awesome and busy it has been with starting our business, but if you know me well, you know I crave order. The chaotic, messy business of life right now has been a hard adjustment, and now that we are four months in, I'm working hard on creating some balance. People say it doesn't exist, but I think it's worth trying for because at least we'll get a little closer to it. 

I already know that I work enough and I spend a lot of hours taking care of my kids, but I don't often take time to get out of the house myself - whether that is to exercise, visit with friends, or have a girls' night. (I'm sure I had this problem before I started my business too...) I find myself wearing and even craving cute lounge clothes and warm slippers rather than getting dressed to go out. I am all about cute lounge clothes as a WAHM, but there is something confidence-building about dressing up every so often too. It's a balance, right? 

Both of today's outfits style classic pieces from the Liz Claiborne Fall Collection, and they push me out of my current work-from-home lifestyle. I love basics, and these are pieces that I can style easily and use to create a lot of different looks. The chambray shirt, white denim, heather indigo cardigan, and wedges are perfect for fall, whether I'm grabbing lunch with a girlfriend or spending some alone time shopping. Ankle boots and layers are a great way to bring white denim into fall, and turquoise is always my go-to color pop.

I love a pencil skirt as long as it's not every day, so the second outfit would be great for a nice date out with the hubby. A lace tee, cardigan, and pencil skirt are dressy, but not too much for me. Adding a bracelet, earrings, and a clutch (not a diaper bag) complete the date night look. It might take some convincing on my part, but I'd love to get Soren to come with me to the ballet or a play this fall. Neither of us get enough time out alone, and we certainly never dress up this much for dates. I kinda love the idea of stepping outside of that box. 

What do you do when you get some alone time? How do you try to create balance in your life?


October Beauty Product Reviews

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

This month's beauty product reviews are just a few that I picked up while grocery shopping at Hy-Vee or stopping to get a Redbox at Walgreens. They are all SUPER cheap, and even though you could easily afford to try them yourself, I thought I'd share my thoughts on which are worth your time.

1. Elf Mattifying Translucent Powder - This powder is one that a make-up artist recommended to me, and I knew I would love it. And I do! It goes on light, removes any shine, and doesn't smell cheap. Win, win, win. ($3)

2. Elf Eyebrow Kit - This one I didn't love. It was uneven and didn't have great coverage. I prefer this or this for my daily brow routine. ($3)

3. Sinful Colors (Calypso) - I'm terrible about grabbing cheap nail polish on a whim, but this color ended up being a winner! I wore it here and I'm sure it will be back on my fingers soon. ($2)

4. Elf Makeup Mist and Set - I am still deciding on this one. I have only used it once, and so far so good. It feels like hairspray going on, but after it dries you can't tell it's there. I think it worked well, but I'll have to use it a few more times to really know. ($3)

5. Elf- All Over Color Stick (Pink Lemonade) - This product I really liked. I want to try it in a lighter color for my lips, but I love this color as a stick blush. It is strong so you don't need a lot, but it really brightens up my cheeks and stays better than the powder blush that I usually use. You can also wear it on your lips, but this color was too pink for my taste. ($1)

In other news - remember our Holiday Collection is launching Nov. 3 and several earring and cuff colors will no longer be in the shop. We can't wait to share what we have coming, but be sure to grab any fall colors before it's too late. We also added a new earring color this week- Mocha Shimmer. It replaces Rose Gold and is incredibly lightweight, shimmery, and soft.

And remember White Plum from last week? They are having a giveaway to win leggings for a year. (52 pairs!!!) It starts today and runs until 11/9. You can enter here. Talk about a dream come true giveaway.

And speaking of leggings - I purchased a few new pairs this weekend and I'm thinking of sharing another "What I Wear at Home" post. Would you be interested in seeing more of my WAHM or SAHM outfits? 

As always, I'd love to hear more of what you want to read. If I can help or share about it, I'll do my best to work on it! Have a good one.

Nickels Family Photos 2014

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ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

ONE little MOMMA family photos 2014

Having professional photos taken is such a double edged sword, especially when the entire family is involved. I love having them on my walls, but getting ready for them and actually enduring the photo session is another story. This year, family photos just kind of fell into our lap last minute because our photographer friend was already going to be in our area taking photos. Because of the craziness of life right now, the best I could do as far as pulling outfits together was to head to Target. I already have a closet full of clothes, and I make Soren wear the same shirt almost every year, but the kids needed some wardrobe updates. Thankfully Target pulled through, and I'm really happy with how the outfits came together. If you want some tips for putting together family photos, I wrote a post about it last year.

Are you taking family photos this year? How often do you take them?



// Outfit Details //
Shirt - Nu-Mod
Jacket - Thrifted (Abercrombie)
Pants - Lucky Brand
Boots - Frye
Earrings - Nickel & Suede

Easton:
Shirt - Target
Pants - Ralph Lauren c/o
Shoes - Vans

Kesler:
Shirt - Target
Pants - Old Navy
Shoes - GAP (similar)

Knox:
Shirt - Target
Pants - Thrifted (similar)
Shoes - Freshly Picked

Soren:
Shirt - Eddie Bauer
Cuff - Nickel & Suede

Sunday Style - Leopard Pencil Skirt and Ankle Boots

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Leopard pencil skirt, white tee, and strappy ankle boots

Leopard pencil skirt, white tee, and strappy ankle boots

Leopard pencil skirt, white tee, and strappy ankle boots

Leopard pencil skirt, white tee, and strappy ankle boots

Leopard pencil skirt, white tee, and strappy ankle boots

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that yesterday was a little out of our norm. I had some health problems that landed me in the ER for the morning and then laid me up on the couch for the rest of the day. It drives me crazy when people are vague about that kind of stuff, but I'm not ready to share more than that today. What I do want to mention is how grateful I am for good friends who took care of us yesterday.

I have never been someone that gets close to people. There are a lot of walls around my little heart, and although I've been working on it in the last few years, my default is to be pretty distant - even from my close friends. This last year, God has placed some amazing women in my life that have really shown me what it looks like to live life with fewer - or no - walls. They really love people and have shown so much love to me, even when I've been my normal standoffish self. I am so grateful to be learning from their example and to be on the receiving end of their friendship. Yesterday was unexpectedly hard and I was amazed, humbled actually, at how quickly women showed up at my door with hugs or treats in hand. I had text messages checking up on me all day and people to watch our kids at the drop of a hat.

I wish I could say I was that kind of friend - but I haven't been. I usually worry too much about how I'll be received than just dropping everything to love someone else. I'm so thankful that there is so much to learn from hard experiences. I'm so blessed and truly want to practice getting out of myself and loving other people better.

Do you find it hard to get over your walls to love people? Have you had success breaking down your walls?



// Outfit Details /
Shirt - Nu-Mod
Skirt - Groop Dealz (similar, similar)
Shoes - Chicwish
Cuff - Nickel and Suede (coming soon)
Jacket - Thrifted (Abercrombie)


How Blog Photos Happen at ONE little MOMMA

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CARIBOU RIVER CARDIGAN from White Plum, gray tee and wedge boots

Aztec cardigan, gray tee, dark denim


Aztec cardigan, gray tee and dark denim

Aztec cardigan, gray tee and dark denim

Last week I posted about the gap that can exist between real life and what is on the internet. I'm glad it resonated with so many of you because I know I'm not the first to write about the subject. I wish that more of the bloggers that I follow would offer a little more transparency about their lives. And if I want them to, I figure I should start.

As a blogger, I have found there is a certain level of "perfect" that makes a style blog successful, no matter how relateable you try to be. And your blog photography is really the biggest part of that - so today I thought I'd share how these blog photos happen. When I started my blog, I had no idea how style bloggers got so many outfit photos and how they looked so professional. So I'll share what happens at my house.

When I first started my blog 2.5 years ago, Easton took all of my photos. Every day when I got dressed, I would have him snap photos of me in whatever shade we could find, and out of the 200 I would make him take, something would work. He was such a trouper, and it was so not ideal. I tried to blog in somewhat real time, so I figured the outfits had to be in real time too. About a year ago, I started having Soren take them. He would snap them if he got home from work in time or if it was the weekend.

But at some point, after consulting another blogger, I realized that we could take photos in batches. For about the last year, almost every Sunday night, you can find Soren and me in the street outside our house, taking outfit photos. (Sundays are the days when I already have my hair and make up done nice for church and we are almost guaranteed to be home.)  And it's quite a scene. Soren is usually in his backwards baseball cap, slippers, and a tee shirt. I'm dressed up to some degree and we are trying to beat the neighbors and get our photos before they bring out their trashcans for trash day on Monday and line our backdrop with trashcans. After we take photos of one outfit, I run inside to change, which usually involves throwing clothing and shoes all over my room, re-applying lipstick, or pinning my hair differently, and then it's back out to the street to try and beat the sunset. We usually get about three outfits done, depending on how much Soren is complaining (he gets embarrassed when neighbors walk or drive by) and how much trouble the kids are causing. Knox (our one-year-old) might be toddling around outside in only a diaper or pulling apart the house inside with his brothers. Someone usually ends up crying, and no one thanks me for the experience I just put them all through. But it's always worth it. I get my blog material - although sometimes the photos turn out better than others - and we don't have to take photos for another week.

As much fun as all that is, I am working on taking more blog photos with a photographer - I'm sure you can imagine why! I'm sure Soren will always be employed taking blog photos for me in one way or another, and I'm so grateful he does it. He really has tried to improve his camera skills and does a great job supporting me in that way.

And today's outfit? I'm loving this Aztec cardigan from White Plum. I showed it to Soren when it arrived, and he said he was sure that I already have one just like it. If by "just like it," he means four other Aztec print cardigans, he would be right, but I don't have one in these colors! I love, love, love the brown, navy, and burgundy colors and have worn it non-stop for the last week. If you want to snag one or anything else from White Plum this week, use code KILEE20 to get 20% off of your order. (Code runs thru 10/29.)

I hope that demystifies things in a good way for you. For me, blogging is such a fine line between being inspiring in a "How does she do it?!" way and in an "I'm not alone" way. Hopefully most posts do a little of both!





// Outfit Details //
Cardigan - White Plum c/o
Tee - Nu-Mod
Pants - Lucky Brand
Boots - Frye
Earrings - Nickel & Suede


What I Wore - Buffalo Plaid and Denim

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Denim shirt, buffalo plaid pants, fringe bag

Denim shirt, buffalo plaid pants, fringe bag

Denim shirt, buffalo plaid pants, fringe bag

Denim shirt, buffalo plaid pants, fringe bag

I love plaid in the fall, but for some reason, I've always felt like red buffalo print plaid was exclusively for the holidays. I wore these pants last Christmas, but I recently realized I could pull them out before December. I'm seeing so many great accessories, jackets, and clothing in this red print that I had to style a little bit of it too. I think the key to styling it for fall is to tone it down with other casual fall basics like a chambray shirt, a denim jacket, brown leather, a shearling jacket, or sneakers. You can see a few of my other favorite buffalo plaid print items below - and links to this exact outfit even further below.








// Outfit Details //
Shirt - Target
Pants - Delias (similar)
Shoes - GAP
Bag - Chicwish c/o
Earrings - Nickel & Suede (coming soon)


Asymmetrical Ombre Bob - Hair Update

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Short ombre bob

Short ombre bob

Short ombre bob

Short, angled ombre bob from all sides

It's time. Time for a quick hair update - mostly because my hair is probably the reason that 90% of people find my blog. I love my short ombre and plan on keeping it this way, but I also love hats, and it's hard for me to wear hats with a really short bob. So I've been growing out the back over the last few months, and it's almost there. I'm working toward an asymmetrical bob that is about an inch longer than my current style. And of course once it gets there, I'll change it again. Don't we all? You can find a few links to past hair and hair styling posts here. And if you are a new reader, I do my own color and the tutorial can be found here.

Are you considering chopping your hair? Growing it out? What hair are you loving right now?