Happy Holidays everyone! I am excited to return with my second annual Holiday Gift Guide for this season! I have literally spent this entire year learning about so many new products and brands that I could not wait to share with you, and I know they will make the perfect gift for that special someone in your life (even if it’s just for you!). I am big believer in gifting experiences to be honest, but there’s always something to find for that special someone who you know would appreciate a very special thing! So as I did last year, I’ve specialized my gift guide to get you direct access to the best of the season for those you love!
Click below to visit each uniquely curated list! Happy Shopping!
Thank you for reading! And starting this week, a special announcement plus the return of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Giveaways! See here to learn more!
Women are busy these days. Sometimes too busy for their own good, particularly when you’re a Mom. I am one of those women. It seems that because we are so busy, we forget or ignore or just simply avoid taking the time to talk about some of the real issues we are faced with. Most importantly, I wanted to shed some light on what I believe all woman should feel comfortable sharing for the betterment of others.
We can’t do it all.
There. I said it. We really try to do it all. Partly because it feels good when we’ve accomplished something, we try our best to do just about everything. It’s not for not wanting to say ‘no’ as much as it is that our plates are full – home, kids, work, projects, meetings, after school activities, family gatherings, time with friends, planning for time away, actual time away, the unpacking and cleaning after coming back from being away – the cycle continues. I believe it’s time we feel okay with saying to someone – “We can’t do it all”, and we are still good mother’s! One way to manage what we to want to do is creating a time and task calendar. I use the Uncalendar for organizing my teaching schedule, and now also use one for my personal life! It is a true game changer! So even though we can’t do it all, we can at least have a place to manage all that we can do and want to do.
We eat the burnt toast. (Sometime’s literally!)
That’s right, the burnt toast! How many of you make sure everything is great for everyone else before it’s great for yourself? We know we deserve better, but we seldom do it or too busy to do it. We let the coffee get cold, are too busy to indulge in the fancy and shiny things for ourselves, or don’t do date night as much as we would like (and probably need!) to. I am guilty of that more than I’d like to admit. We know we want the nice things, the good things, things that make us feel great. Moms also don’t talk about the changes in their bodies that keep them from feeling great. Not everyone tells a Mom that with a new baby also comes some things not as wonderful or precious – like bladder leaks! Exactly! I recently was invited to an event by the Always brand to discover one of their new products that help women feel their best. It had me thinking about what it meant for women who suffer from issues that they are too embarrassed to talk about, and how they let it go on without speaking to anyone about it. They feel forced to settle for the “burnt toast”. I don’t personally suffer from incontinence, but as one of the most natural experiences a woman can have after childbirth or at an older age, no women should have to settle for uncomfortable and ugly underwear that denies her feeling good about herself.
Did you know 1 in 3 women experience bladder leaks1? I had no idea. It’s not at all uncommon – so why aren’t more moms and women talking about it? The Always Discreet brand let us know that a common complaint from women who experience bladder leaks is there are no stylish options to help protect them. In fact, 2 in 3 women that have tried bladder leak underwear avoid wearing them all together, even when they know they need them2 (settling for that burnt toast!). At the event, I learned that the Always Discreet brand decided to address the issue for women dealing with incontinence by creating the Always Discreet Boutique underwear, to restore their confidence and make sure woman are putting themselves first and not settling for the burnt toast when it comes to our health. It’s time Mom’s put themselves first, feel good about doing it, and continue to do the things they love without fear of leaks! To be able to wear pretty underwear that not only looks good, but solves all of those little problems some women never want to discuss. It’s time you put yourself first, feel feel good about doing it, and go out on date night without any worry! Hint, hint!
This innovative new product was created after the Alway brand spoke to, and learned from, thousands of real women who experience bladder leaks and feel there shouldn’t have to be a tradeoff between maximum protection and a product that makes them feel beautiful. I also recently learned that 77% of women say the idea of wearing bladder leak underwear makes them feel older than they would like to feel. One of the Always Discreet Boutique scientist actually emptied an entire beaker’s worth of water onto the core of the product. While the core looks and felt very thin, it was able to hold to entire amount of liquid AND feel dry to the touch in seconds. The leading competitors on the market didn’t hold nearly as much liquid and certainly weren’t as dry. Check out the Always Discreet Boutique to see what I mean.
We deal with anxiety.
Recently, I have started to see an increase in Instagram posts from women that I admire and follow about their struggle with anxiety. I appreciate their candor, because if more of us share stories of what causes our anxiety, we’ll know there is a larger support system out there from women we admire. There are varying degrees of anxiety. And while I am no psychologist, I do know that anxiety can be triggered by stress, past experiences or other factors. For me, anxiety is something I only started to experience more after losing my daughter, just 3 years ago tomorrow. It creeps up when I am overwhelmed by too much to do and need a moment to stop myself. It’s those brief bursts of panic that many women deal with, and we don’t do enough of talking about it. We need to recognize it happens and that we are not alone. One way to deal with moments of overwhelmingness has been the Breathe app. I found it only after receiving the new Apple Watch 3 for my birthday. I love using it to help feel centered and to take a moment for myself without the rush of the day or the regret of taking a moment to pause the chaos around me!
Thank you so much for reading! And thank you to Always Discreet for partnering on this post!
1Fem Care AI analysis – “Nielsen Homescan Panel ending March 2012 looking at Fem Care purchases in HH 50+ that have no teenagers at home.” 2The Always Discreet Boutique Online Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research.
It’s that time of year where we are all feeling the love of the holiday season. Everyone is headed out to visit friends or family, and seeing the emails fill our inboxes about this long weekend and all the early Black Friday sales and Shop Small Saturday! I love shopping a mix of great pieces from the big brands like J.Crew and Ann Taylor, but also smaller brands like Tyler Madison, Aimee Kesetenberg, Emerson & Oliver, and Nissa Jewlery that I share all in this one outfit! So hopefully you can take advantage this upcoming weekend and shop with consideration of all the brands that are offering great pieces at great prices!
You can’t go wrong with a leopard vest. If all you wear is black from head to toe, leopard is that perfect “pop” that makes your outfit stand out just enough to look like you put effort into getting dressed on those days when you really didn’t want to. (You know what I’m talking fellow Mom’s out there!)
When I tried these faux leather pants on, I immediately wanted 10 more of them – I’m not even kidding. The inside is so smooth and soft that you don’t feel like you are wearing any type of leather. The best part are that not only are the pockets tailored beautifully on these pants, but the cinched ankle makes them “petite friendly”. I’ve worn them so many times already!
The joy of getting dressed and paying attention to the details of what I wear is what makes it fun to try new styles. We sometimes get in the rut of the same clothes or color or style and never step out of our comfort zone. Don’t you agree? So, I am daring you this season to step out and find something new this season to try and love. From a leopard vest to (faux) leather pants, you can wear anything you want and feel great. Make it a weekend to remember!
Wishing you all a happy start to your shopping season! Thank you for reading! And be sure to be subscribed (right here!), because next week there is a special surprise headed to your inbox!
My heart is full this week. Thanksgiving has quickly come upon us, and while everyone is preparing for their feasts, I am preparing myself to remember why I am here. This entire journey online has been one of joy and hardship at times, and I am reminded everyday why I started. Three years ago, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I lost my daughter Ava. I was 33 weeks pregnant and I had just had the most wonderful Thanksgiving with my family that I worked so hard to host – from the food (my husband happily cooks!) to the decor, to the table setting and “What I am thankful for” place cards – I really went all out. I remember with distinct detail what we all did that day and who we all thanked while seated at the table.
So what I thought was a day full of usual pregnancy pains from the hustle and bustle of the holiday dinner turned out quite differently. The last thing I ever thought was that I would be at a hospital hearing someone say “there’s no heartbeat”. While it was the calmest voice a person could possibly speak, all I heard was a loud siren go off in my head. “No!”, “check again!” , and “you’re wrong!” is all I remember saying, but I do remember the moment I accepted that the nurse was right. Time moved too quickly after that (while in the moment it felt painfully slow), but I count my blessings every day that I was able to hold my daughter and have one photo of us together that I will forever cherish. The details of recovering from such a devastating experience still haunt me, but I move on. I keep remembering why I am here. For Ava. For my son. For my family.
This Season’s Gold is meant to honor the season Ava was born, still. Love is why I am here everyday sharing what it takes to move forward in life, what it takes to feel good on the inside and out after all of that, still. Raising a young boy, still. I am thankful to you for reading and always returning to see what is new, still. I can’t wait to share more.
Something special is headed your way for all subscribers. Be sure and subscribe here if you haven’t had the chance! Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Changing seasons means taking care of your skin after a summer spent in the sun. It never dawned on me to change my skin routine from season to season. But after doing some research, I realized that those changing leaves served as good reminder to change my skin routine and treat my skin for fall differently than I do for summer.
With every passing year, I started to notice that I get some dark spots from exposure to the sun and uneven effects of the sun on my skin. Enter Neutrogena. As a brand that I have used before and go to when finding new ways to treat my skin as a collective regimen, Neutrogena’s new Rapid Tone Repair Line can target those dark spots and even out my skin. With a rapid release type of retinol (good for age spots), vitamin c (diffuses brown spots), and a boost of hyaluronic acid (keeps my skin moisturized) the daily moisturizer, the night moisturizer and the dark spot corrector are what I needed to transition my skin from summer to fall.
Starting the day with a moisturizer that includes an SPF 30 or more is a great way to protect your skin while keeping it moisturized as the cool air of fall sets in and starts to deplete moisture from your skin, ever so slowly into winter. We often make the mistake of thinning out our moisturizer when we put it on, so don’t be afraid of layering a good amount on your face. Neutrogena’s day moisturizer is lightweight, smells good, and provides a great hydrated base for my foundation.
At night, after washing my face and following my usual cleansing routine, I apply the dark spot corrector directly on the spots that have darkened from sun exposure, particularly on my chin and near my lips. When I think back to how I treated my skin during the summer, I often wore a hat that covered most of my face expect my chin in most cases, which makes perfect sense now that I am finding that’s where most of my dark spots have been.
Followed by the spot corrector, which addressed specific areas of my skin that I knew needed to fade, I ended my night time skin routine with the Rapid Tone Repair moisturizer labeled Night (making it very easy not to mix things up!). I particularly love the light feel of this moisturizer while knowing it is still targeting my need for moisture, smoothing my fine lines and evening out my skin tone while I sleep. Many night moisturizers can sometimes feel sticky, so it was nice to wake up not feeling stuck to my pillow or with a residue!
Thank you so much for reading! I have been diving into so many skin care products lately, testing them out and learning how to care for my skin better these days. If you have a favorite product or skin routine you’d like me to share, please let me know in the comments below! Have a great week!
Thank you to Neutrogena for partnering on this post!