Fill In the Gaps In Your Closet

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Levi’s® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

BLOUSE // JEANS // SHOES // BAG // SUNNIES // EARRINGS (coming soon)
Photo credit- Sarah Sweeney

Every once and a while I'll get text from a friend as they are trying to put together an outfit or as they are trying to shop for some new clothes. And sometimes they apologize for asking for help, but I actually love it! I love helping someone go through their closet or shop for some new basics. As long as they are willing to purge the outdated stuff and fill in the needs in their closet, I really enjoy spending time with them updating their wardrobe. Shopping with someone elses money is almost as good or better than shopping for yourself!

A cluttered and overstuffed closet happens to the best of us. We get sucked into the sale racks, seasonal trends and deals that we can't pass up, but sometimes that leaves us with a whole lot of ill fitting, wrinkly-after-the-first-wash, wrong color clothes. That's what I find with my friends' closets and it happens to me too! But when we fill up our closet with the cheap, just okay stuff, we end up hating our closet. It's the only explanation for having a closet full of clothes, but still feeling like we have nothing to wear. Anyone, anyone?

As I've purged and filled my closest and purged and filled my friends' closet, I've found that I'm tired of the sale rack stuff. Sometimes the perfect thing goes on sale, but what really makes you want to get dressed is having great basics that work together and help you build an outfit. Today I've styled three basics into this Spring outfit that I will also be repeating and building into outfits almost everyday. And I recommend them to my friends too! They are a great fitting pair of dark skinny jeans, a colored shoe/sandal, and a classic bag.

Dark skinny jeans are such a staple in my wardrobe. Levi’s® 711 Skinny denim in this Indigo Ridge wash are my favorites. There will always be trendy denim, but everyone needs a pair of dark denim that make you feel good and can make any outfit current. If this piece is missing in your closet, it's the first one I would suggest adding. Even if you keep all of your old tops and shoes, new dark denim will refresh every outfit possibility. This pair from Levi’s® is my go-to pair. They fit really well and the wash is perfect and they are available at Macy's. These skinny jeans are slimming, have a little stretch and they don't stretch out. Plus they are a great price! 

A colored sandal or shoe is another way to update your Spring and Summer outfits. I prefer and espadrille style, but you can also find some cute flat sandals or if you are daring try a wood block heeled sandal. Pick a color like red, coral, or turquoise depending on what other colors are consistent in your wardrobe. You'll be surprised how much they add to a basic pair of jeans and tee shirt. 

A classic, good looking bag is another essential for every woman. I change my purse out for date night and other short events, but most of the time I carry the same bag everywhere for months at a time. Designer bags aren't a great fit in my life, but I do love bags that are leather and stand the test of mom-life. A leather bag will stay looking great and even look better with time. Figure out what shape of bag you prefer and then invest in one that will keep you looking good no matter what you are wearing. 

Now it's time for you to evaluate your closet. Are you missing a great pair of dark skinny denim? What about a colored shoe or an everyday bag you love? Give these Levi’s® 711 Skinny a try and fill in your basics with just the right pieces. 

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Getting Organized- The Kids


If you missed it last week, I'm on a mission to get life organized. Last week I organized my closet and my makeup drawer and these last few weeks I've been working on getting my kids organized. I'm not talking about organizing toys or labeling shelves and bins in their room. Rather, I've been working on creating a schedule for them to help them get their tasks done and have them help me more.

It's important to Soren and I to have our kids learn how to work and to pitch in around the house. We've struggled with anything consistent in that regard so this is my first strong effort in that direction. We want our kids to work and our kids want to earn money so a job chart was a great place to start helping the kids gain new habits and routines. (I've also created lists for myself and Soren and we didn't want to leave the kids out.)

For each boy I made a list of things they needed to do every morning and night. They differed a little based on age and ability, but Easton and Kesler are so close in age that the charts are mostly the same. (Easton is 6 in First Grade and Kesler is 5 and starts Kindergarten in the Fall.) You can see the charts below.


Kesler can't read yet, so after I printed his list I drew little pictures next to each task to help him figure them out. I didn't make this a big list of jobs, but instead some tasks that they do already and others that we wanted added in. The papers go in a plastic sleeve, taped on the back of their door and they cross each task off with a magic marker as they do it each day. They check in with us at the end of the day and then wash it clean for the next morning. If they do all of their list for the week they get paid $2.50 on Saturdays with the potential of doing extra jobs during the week to earn more money. 

We've done this for three weeks so far and while it hasn't been perfect, things have gone much better than they used to! Having the kids empty the dishwasher for me in the mornings makes it so easy for me to load it up all day long and then run it at night. The boys picking up 15 things each at the end of the day lessens the number of things I have to pick up. (And no, 15 little Legos don't count!) They are also required to put away their laundry so I'm motivated to get it folded for them in anticipation of their job. 

This last week we fell off the wagon a little bit and the kids didn't do their jobs everyday. They either didn't get up early enough or didn't do them after school. And so they only got paid $1 each. They were bummed, but they knew they didn't meet the requirements so it made sense to them. This plan does require everyone to stay on target and work together which I love, but if I fall apart, they do too. So we are learning and are back at it again this week. What I love is that we can keep modifying the list or the plan as new challenges arrive, but the most important thing will be consistency.

How do you help your kids with a routine and jobs? Any tips for making things even better? Check out last week's organization post here and stay tuned for next week when I share all of my new lists and plans for me!


Refreshing My Skinny Jeans

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Levi’s®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Photo Credit - Sarah Sweeney

As a Mom, I try to stay away from the yoga pants trap. I may work from home and certainly don’t get dressed EVERY day, but I love denim and jeans are what you'll find me wearing 99% of the time. They are the perfect thing to dress up or down and they fit my casual-chic style.  That being said I try new jeans all of the time and finding good jeans is exciting. In my mind the perfect pair of skinny jeans is slimming, slightly stretchy, either super dark or distressed and it doesn't break the bank. It's really hard to find all of those things in a pair of jeans. Believe me, I have a closet full of denim that meets one or two or three, but not all of those requirements. 

So when Levi's® reached out to me to try their new Levi’s® 711 Skinny jeans, I was all ears... or...legs. I was happy to try them and I had high hopes for finding a new favorite. And I'm here to say they've been approved for entering my current denim rotation.

These are skinny jean winners and regardless of whether flares or cropped denim styles are coming back in, every girl needs some good skinny jeans. I tried these jeans in this light and distressed wash, as well as in a super dark wash.  I love the wash on both pairs as they are perfect for Spring tops and shoes.

As you can see, I’ve styled them today with an over sized tee and wedges with a wide cuff at the ankle. This light pair will also go great with graphic tees, stripes, sneakers and Birks. They don't stretch out, but they do stretch. They hold you in and up in the right places, but they don't feel restrictive. I've actually been frustrated for the last few days because they've been in the laundry and every time I go to get dressed I'm cursing for not having washed them yet. 

And remember how I said I want jeans that don't break the bank? These pants are only $40 which makes them affordable and easy to say yes to. I know you know that it’s hard to find jeans that make you look and feel good for under $50. This fit and style is available at Macy's in store and online. If you don't get out much, like myself, order them online and try them out at home.

My goals is to always share outfits that moms and busy women can wear that don’t require a lot of fuss, but still keep you feeling unique and put together. This requires great staples and well-fitting basics.  Levi's® has always had that effortless and cool style that fits with that goal and you'll be seeing more of these as I style outfits this season. 

When was the last time you bought skinny jeans that you felt great in?
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Refresh Your Accessories for Spring


SHIRT // JEANS // SHOES // HAT (sold out) (similar)// WATCH (15% off with code ONELITTLEMOMMA) // EARRINGS // BAG
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney
It's Spring! We've had so many days and evenings lately that were the perfect temperature and it's finally staying light later in the evening. We headed out on a date this weekend at almost 7 pm and there was still sun out to enjoy. I'm not looking forward to Summer heat and humidity, but I do love longer days and lots of sunshine.

Today I'm sharing my staple accessories for this time of year. I love refreshing my closet at the beginning of each season, but sometimes adding in some new accessories can update your outfits just as much or even more than new clothes!

1. Refresh your timepiece - I may use my phone for almost everything all day long, but I still wear a watch daily. I love the way it elevates my outfit and keeps me moving to try and stay on time.  Daniel Wellington has come out with some new Spring pieces and they are all drool worthy.  If they hadn't sent me this pretty watch, it would certainly have been on my Mother's Day and birthday wishlist. It's such a classic watch that I find myself wearing almost daily. Use code ONELITTLEMOMMA to get 15% off your own! (Expires 5/15/16)

2. Make an earring statement - No surprise, I'm recommending new earrings. At Nickel & Suede we have some gorgeous colors for Spring and we also just restocked our Lip Gloss leather earrings (previously sold out). I'm a huge fan of statement earrings to really update and modernize an outfit. Take a chance and bump up your earring size- you might be pleasantly surprised!

3. Take out a new tote - A big tote is a must for me right now. I like to switch my bags out from time to time- I find that it keeps me from carrying around too much garbage. Literally. #momlife This tote from Madewell has been on my wishlist for forever and it's definitely a new staple in rotation. I also love this straw tote or this less expensive faux leather tote option.

4. Swoon over shoes - Of course shoes ought to have their own post, but I can't no mention them here. These beauties are a cross over between ankle boots and sandals and they are amazingly comfortable. They literally can be worn in so many ways- dressed up, down, and with any color. Espadrilles are also huge this Spring and would be a great style of shoe to update your closet with. 

5. Become a hat lady - I'm a big fan of the fedora style with a wide brim. I think they balance out my (huge) head and they really help on days when I don't have time to get my hair done. A light colored wool fedora is perfect for Spring, but I also just bought this one to wear into Summer. 

What new accessories have you been eyeing this Spring? 



Photo credit- Sarah Sweeney


- I'm officially a boy mom. Not that I wasn't before, but yesterday we got a new pet that solidified it. My Dad's co-worker needed to re-home his Leopard Gecko and guess where that new home is? Yep- the Nickels house. The boys are loving it and if I have to admit it, she is a pretty cool looking lizard. Soren is the one who claims to be grossed out by her, but I think he secretly likes her too. 

- We've had some weird bug/sickness take over our house. The boys have all been under the weather since the weekend and it's the type of sickness that keeps them home from school, but not laid up in bed. So I've had all four boys underfoot and slightly cranky for days. I really prefer the sleep-all-day kind of sick kids, but I don't really have a say. Fingers crossed today is the day it disappears.

- Our store opening is on my mind, but based on the progress of construction, it won't be happening as soon as I would like. Things seem to be creeping and although we've never built a house, I hear this is how building goes. SLOW. However I'm dreaming of cool wallpaper for the bathrooms, purchased this full-length mirror to put somewhere and am pinning Grand Opening party ideas. I'm thinking N&S gold temporary tattoos? YES.

- My life organizing continues. I would love to get my digital world organized so send any articles or links my way that will teach a slacker like me to get my inbox or my photo files organized. I'm all tied in knots currently. Heck, I'd hire you if you think you could do the job.

- I'm loving this mascara. I got a trial of it a few weeks back and low and behold, it tricked me into buying the real thing. It's no more expensive thanYounique and it really builds some long lashes.

Have a great Tuesday!


Everyday Style-Spring



TEE // CARDIGAN (old) // SHOES // JEANS (similar) //  EARRINGS (old) // BAG // SUNNIES

TEE // CARDIGAN (old) // JEANS (sold out) // SHOES // HAT


Happy Monday! I'm sharing outfits from Instagram over here on the blog today. I typically share what I'm wearing daily on my IG account and every couple of weeks I try to do a round up over here on the blog so that you can pin and have direct links to any of your favorite pieces. I hope your week is off to a great start!


I Was Overwhelmed With Two Kids Too


Lately I've been out and about with my kiddos- all of them. This week it was to the dentist and the grocery store. Usually I don't have all four boys with me, but even if I do, we have a good time. They are such good boys and I'm proud to have them with me. But on all of these recent outings, I've run into women who have said the same things to me. They all say, "I don't know how you do it! I'm overwhelmed with just two. I can't imagine having more." And I smile and say "I hear ya!" and kind of laugh. And then we go about our day. 

But the other day I said something different. Instead of just chuckling and moving on, I said, "Oh, I was overwhelmed with two too! And three! And four!" 

And it's true. I would hate for anyone who sees me or reads my blog to think that there is something unique about me that makes one, or two or three kids a breeze. Or four! It's not and it wasn't. Every woman has it tough- whether she has none, one, two, three, or more! Every time we have a baby there is a learning curve and life harder than it's ever been before. I say now that I wish I could go back and tell myself how easy only one or two kids is, but that's impossible. When I had one, it wasn't easy because I hadn't learned the lessons that being a mom of one brings. 

With every kiddo we have added to our family I have been overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with number one because he was my first. I had never had to give up so much of myself or my time or effort to take care of someone else before. I didn't know what I was doing half of the time and going from none to one was hard! What was I supposed to do all day with this baby? There were plenty of days that it felt like more kids would be impossibly hard. 

But I loved Easton more than I thought was possible. And he was the CUTEST seventh month old in the history of the world- so we knew we wanted another. And 9 months later Kesler was born.
When we went from one to two kids I was equally overwhelmed. How could I take care of my toddler with a newborn? It was a constant juggle to keep the 18 month old out of things and entertained while taking care of a new baby and rearranging any semblance of a schedule from scratch again. It was overwhelming to be outnumbered when my husband was at work and I was at home trying to take care of two kids and a house and my side business at the same time. There were plenty of messes and long days. There were definitely nights when all three of us were sick at once. 
But they were so cute together. It was so rewarding to see them become brothers and the joy that giving Easton a sibling brought. We loved having two even though it was often really hard. 

It took us longer to decide when to have our third. Knox is 2.5 years younger than Kesler. And going from two to three kids was just as overwhelming as the other transitions. Maybe more, but I think it was about the same. With the third baby I felt like I knew what I was doing. Finally my earlier years of parenting were paying off and the knowledge I gained with one and two was easy to apply to my third. The baby aspect wasn't overwhelming, but three kids sure was! How would I ever leave the house again? How would I ever get ready or make dinner or catch up on laundry? There were so many little people who needed help with things! It was constant and there were so many days where I felt like- "We have too many kids!" "How can I take care of everything and even come close to doing a good job!?" 

But guess what? I adjusted. I stretched. The kids adjusted and stretched. Our family and how we do things adjusted and stretched. So much that by the time Knox was about a year old, we felt okay about life enough to start a business and have Soren quit his job! (And don't get me started about how starting a business felt like having a fourth baby!) 

It was overwhelming. All of it. This transition to a family of six? Overwhelming. Launching a new website and our holiday line five days after having a baby? Overwhelming. Getting all of us to church or anywhere for that matter on time? Overwhelming. But it's getting to be less so. It's getting to be more manageable. Baker is such a great addition to the family that we can't imagine line without him. I'm stretching and finding myself less selfish, more flexible, and more prayerful than ever. I will admit to anyone that I can't and don't do it all on my own. But I trust that because I've put motherhood as a top priority in my life and because I want to raise kids that will do good in the world, that God will make up the difference. He'll make it possible for me to get things done and to grow and to be a capable mother of four, five, six or however many kids we end up with. 

I definitely don't think that four or six or three or two is the right number of kids for someone to have. There isn't one. But I do believe that it's a lie for women to be afraid of having more kids. I would encourage any mother to make that choice out of faith and confidence rather than having a worry that she won't be able to handle any more. 

The last thing I want to do is for anyone to feel like I'm judging them- I am so not! Have as many kids as your situation and your husband and your body and your life allows. I'm happy for you no matter what! I just wanted to tell my side of things. If I could say all of this to the women at the store I would. But only if she really wanted to know how I do it. I do it because I've learned that being overwhelmed isn't something to be scared of. It's a an opportunity. 

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