What I’ll Miss About Living With My In-Laws


house If all goes as planned, we will be moving back home next Wednesday. Our house won’t be finished, but it will be close enough that we can live comfortably until it’s completed. This means that we are closing in on our time at our in-laws, after living with them for over 6 months now. When folks find out we are remodeling our home, the first question they ask is”Where are you living?” When I tell them we are living with my in-laws, they at once get a look of horror and ask with intense scrutiny, “How’s that going?!” I chuckle and answer that it’s going fine and to lighten the tone I always say, “But it’s a dry house, so you know” hardy har har. But really, after looking back at the last 6+ months, what I will tell people going forward is that Art’s parents are friggin saints and we are beyond lucky to have had their help the last 6 months. Between 3 screaming kids, a goldfish the size of a small koi, and an aging dog who has thrown up and had diarrhea all over their hardwood floors on multiple occasions, we are so damn lucky they haven’t kicked us out at this point.

Of course it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but we really only had a couple of intense, hard parts. Of course you heard me complain about the lack of air conditioning over the summer, one of the longest and hottest on record, and I briefly alluded to some tense moments a couple of weeks back when Art’s uncle and aunt came for a week long visit and kicked us out of the room we called home. But aside from that, we’ve been comfortable, and really well taken care of considering they didn’t really have to help us out. But despite their quirks and faults, which every parent has ;), they are the nicest, most generous people, and there are definitely some things I’ll miss about living here. Here are a few of them.

Bonding time with grand kids and their son. Art’s parents have loved having the kids here, even when it’s loud and chaotic. When they first told me they enjoyed us being here, I was skeptical, but now I know they are telling the truth ūüėČ Art has really enjoyed spending a lot of time with his dad as well. While he’s in pretty good health for being 82, he is still 82, so the more time they can spend together, the better. It’s been great seeing everyone connect these past 6 months.

Not having to go to Costco. Art’s dad loves Costco and goes on an almost weekly basis. The kind and generous people that they are, has meant that they just ask what we want or need, and they add it to their list. It’s been nothing short of glorious.

Extra help with the kids. I’d like to think we have been extremely respectful of my in-laws time and energy and have never just dumped the kids on them or held the expectation that they are built in babysitters. But when they offer, or when we are in a really big pinch, they are more than willing to help out. Usually it just means letting Hayden stay home and nap while I pick up the kids from school, or allowing one or two of the kids to stay home and hang out while I take the third kid to a sports or school activity, but these little bits of assistance have been amazingly helpful and refreshing. It makes you wonder why we as Americans don’t more willingly practice this kind of living arrangement.

Developing a deeper understanding of my husband.¬†You know those quirks and maybe even annoying habits your partner has, that frustrate you? Well, chances are if you lived with your in-laws for an extended period of time, you’d get answers on the origins of some of them. My husband is not the most organized of people, and after years of being annoyed and frustrated with him, I now know that he never stood a chance haha! Some people are born with the organization/neat gene, while others have a more scattered mind, often resulting in other great traits like creativity and great ideas. This is the category my husband falls in, as well as my in-laws. I’ve known it for the last 20 years, but somehow living with them helped me to really know it. Does that make sense? At the end of the day, it has softened my heart towards him, and instead of being really annoyed with him, I’m going to promise to just be more accepting and helpful.

More relaxed housework. Don’t get the wrong idea, we clean up after ourselves and I do the dishes, sweep the dog hair off the floor, etc. But since I’m not the primary home owner, there’s a lowered expectation of routine chores and scope of work that I must maintain. Again, does that make sense?

Their funny and quirky habits. I never knew my father in law consistently checked the indoor and outdoor temperature each and every morning with his special air thermometer, but now I do. Nor did I know my mother in law makes him a metamucil cocktail each morning. There’s a few other quirks they possess that are charming and funny, which I don’t need to get into, but let’s just say that it’s always an interesting day here in the Howe household.

Things I won’t miss

Feeling disorganized. Keeping bills and mail in a giant stack in our room for the past 6 months makes me feel chaotic and frazzled, but we’re in the home stretch now. It will be nice to get my office and file folders back, that’s for sure!

Running my business from my nightstand.¬†Between the blog and my Beautycounter business, everything I use to function has been jammed into a tiny nightstand and stacked in boxes next to my bed. When a client needs to borrow a sample or I go to a social, it’s always a shit show getting everything in order and prepped.

Awkward sexy time. Sex when you’re a parent is hard enough. “Do you want to do it tonight?” Nah, I’m too tired, let’s do it tomorrow instead. But throw in an unusual living situation, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Without getting into too much detail, we’ve managed to do alright considering the circumstances, but we’re both anxious to get home for many reasons, this being one of them. I will say, that the house is big, there’s a vast separation between rooms, and his parents hearing isn’t what it used to be. Still though, it’s weird ūüėČ

Parenting blunders on full display. Initially I felt like I was parenting under a microscope, but for the most part I now see that his parents don’t judge us that way. It is still hard though to uphold utter composure while parenting 3 kids, and it doesn’t help when your mother in law has the patience of a saint. More than anything I’m sure my guilty feelings are all self-inflicted, but it will feel a lot better when I can yell at my kids in the comfort of my home, without an audience ha!

While we are all excited to go home next week, I can say with utmost sincerity that we not only appreciate the support we’ve received from Art’s parents these past few months, but we will look back on this time together with fondness. We are incredibly lucky to have them; to have each other.

Good Dino Movie & Sweepstakes


good-dino This past holiday weekend was a flurry of activity. We kept ourselves busy with visiting family and out of town friends, and didn’t make a bit of a dent in holiday shopping. Since we currently have no home to decorate, we also skipped our usual Thanksgiving weekend tradition of acquiring a Christmas tree and hanging our lights. While we weren’t exactly sad to skip our usual holiday prep work, since we’re all pretty excited and thankful for our renovation, we did feel a bit out of sorts and the kids asked for the hundredth time since this all began, “when are we going home?”

Art and I worked a good portion of Sunday, completing a huge project that was due today, so to celebrate, we decided to take the kids to see The Good Dinosaur. The last time we were at the movies, Hayden had seen the preview for it and he literally gasped at the part when the dinosaurs move their tails around and the sky lights up with fireflies. Between the sweet face of the dino, and the endearing snarling and growling character Spot, it seemed too cute of a movie to miss.

The kids, and Art and I, all loved the movie. The graphics were breathtaking, and in fact during a couple of scenes, especially when taken place in the water, they looked so real I thought they had included real live footage in with the animation.

The story line focused on facing fears, and the importance of friendship, family, and most importantly, loyalty. The two main characters, Arlo and Spot, face incredible danger and challenges during their journey, and with the help of Spot, Arlo eventually conquers his fears and becomes the brave dino his father believed him to be. ¬†I have to say though, it was a tearjerker. All of us, besides Hayden, who is still a bit young to pick up on the subtleties in the story line, cried a couple of times during the movie. The story was so touching and the writers did a really good job of inspiring empathy for the characters. While there were a couple of intense scenes that may be a bit scary for little ones, I loved that the movie was free of snark and attitude, which is so often found in kid’s movies today. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this movie for kiddos of all ages, but parents, just be on hand during and after to help explain and/or discuss some of the emotional scenes. REQUIRED-IMAGE---Good-Dinosaur---Sweepstakes

Sun-Maid has teamed up with Disney/Pixar to help spread the word about this newest release, and have an awesome sweepstakes currently going on, until December 31st, 2015.

Sun-Maid is giving away 5,000 trips for two to your local theater to see The Good Dinosaur, which was just released on November 25th.¬†For a chance to win one of the 5,000 ‚ÄúMovie night for two‚ÄĚ prizes, go to Sunmaid.com¬†through the end of the year.¬† You can enter up to once a day.

Additionally, if you’re short on healthy snack ideas for the kiddos during this time of holiday sweets mayhem, Sun-Maid has you covered with this Caveman Crunch recipe. REQUIRED-IMAGE---Sun-Maid-Raisins-Package---With-The-Good-Dinosaur-Promotion

This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Sun-Maid to review this product.

black friday deals


Black-Friday-Sales 1. Sweet Escape Dress¬†via Shopbop 2. Embroidered Star Pumps via Anthropologie 3. Maison Off the Shoulder Dress via Shopbop 4. Ariana Flats via Shopbop 5. Downalicious Deluxe Vest via Athleta (I wear mine almost every day during winter, and it washes so easily on delicate cycle) 6. Lip Sheer in Raisin via Beautycounter 7. Turtleneck Maxi Dress via Shopbop 8. Be Free Knicker via Athleta (the best running/bootcamp pants there are; they don’t slide down or roll over when on runs or dynamic exercises) 9. Space Dye Namaste Bra via Athleta (very comfortable to wear all day if you never get a chance to change after a workout) 10. Chelsea Rain Boot via Shopbop 11. Shampoo & Conditioner via Beautycounter, FREE with $150 purchase 12. Tint Skin Foundation via Beautycounter 13. Day to Night Lipgloss Collection via Beautycounter

After working too many years in retail, I made a vow to never again shop in-store during Black Friday weekend. Instead, I’ve gotten a start on Christmas shopping from the comfort of my own home. Best selection is usually nabbed on Friday, but most sales last all weekend long, and then online retailers usually add more inventory for Cyber Monday.

I’ve rounded up some of my personal favorites for today’s post, from my favorite online shops.

Beautycounter: Free shipping on Black Friday, and free shampoo & conditioner with any $150 purchase, no code needed now thru November 30th

Shopbop: 15%-25% off using code GOBIG15 at checkout, now thru November 30th.

Anthropologie: 25% off site wide using code SHOPTOIT at checkout, now thru November 30th

Athleta: 20% off site wide using code WORKIT at checkout, now thru November 29th

Tea Collection: $12, $15, $17 sale no code needed now thru November 28th

MuTu System: 40% off site wide on all systems no code needed now thru November 30th


Developing a Healthier Relationship With Coffee


IMG_7336 Last year, after dealing with some persistent and nagging health issues, I elected to do a 21 day cleanse. For three weeks I eliminated a laundry list of items from my (almost) daily routine; from gluten and dairy, to alcohol and caffeine, I was able to feel a lot better than I had felt in some time. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and I was set on a new path to treating and taking care of myself, which included remaining (mostly) gluten free, getting more rest and reducing stress where and when possible, and taking a handful of pills and supplements. Quite a few of you participated in the 21 day cleanse alongside me, and many more of you didn’t. Without a doubt, one item on the elimination list prevented more people from joining the challenge, and caused more grief and longing to those who did participate, than any other, and that was ditching their daily dose of coffee. Between screams of abject horror at the thought of even considering eliminating coffee from their daily routine, to the horrible tension headaches those of us on the cleanse experienced in that first week, as the ring leader of this crazy experiment, it boggled my mind how dependent so many of us were on the rich substance. IMG_7306

I’ll admit that for several months after the cleanse, I maintained a caffeine-free existence, drinking primarily Swiss water method decaffeinated coffee, a process that strips the beans of 99% of their caffeine, and even steering clear of iced tea. But over the last few months, I’ve come to have a pretty regular and yet stable relationship with caffeinated beverages. From coffee to tea, I can drink caffeine with semi-regularity, yet I have never gone back to that feeling of dependency in order to function. I can go a day or two with zero caffeine at all, and suffer no withdrawal headaches, and I no longer require it to “wake up” each morning. Since I get a lot of questions about how I made the switch from CoffeeMate spiked coffee co-dependence, to my healthier current state, I thought I’d offer a few tips that have helped me out along the way. And keep in mind that when I use the word “health” I’m also referring to environmental health, since environmental impact is something to consider when looking at how enthusiastically we consume our coffee. Plus, did you read the latest study that linked daily coffee consumption to longevity, with some quantity qualifications of course. Another reason to continue to say yes to the beans, from a reasonable point of view.

1. Don’t use caffeine and coffee as a substitute for proper sleep. This should go without saying, but yet it’s worth repeating because so many of my fellow women, especially mothers, make room for a whole host of plans and agendas, all while functioning at minimally optimal sleep levels. For years I consistently went with 5-6 hours of sleep a night, but since my diagnosis I’ve made it a priority to get proper sleep, and what do you know, I realized that I needed an IV drip of coffee a lot less! Don’t rely on the bean for your energy, rather make sleep and regular exercise a priority, and you can start to enjoy coffee as more than a means to an end.

2. Allow your body to wake up naturally,¬†and stop drinking coffee first thing in the morning. This easy read from Time explains the science behind it, but basically, by drinking coffee early in the morning, you are interfering with your body’s normal cortisol production, and are also dulling the boosting effects of caffeine. ¬†Science says¬†optimal caffeine consumption occurs between 10 a.m. and noon, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

3. Watch your intake. Coffee is good, but too much coffee can interfere with sleep and create anxiety. Studies show that between 200-400 mg per day can help with cognitive function with no shakes. Although since we all metabolize caffeine differently, it’s worth experimenting a bit on your own to determine just how much, is too much of a good thing. IMG_7340

4. Flavor it with a myriad of other healthier alternatives. There is coffee drinking beyond lacing it with artificial non-dairy creamers and heaping teaspoons of sugar. When friends and readers ask how I was able to ditch CoffeeMate, I told them that I simply started drinking good coffee. Coffee that’s in fact so good, you’d happily drink it black. But for those of us who still enjoy a bit of creamy richness with our cup, consider the myriad of other more health-conscious options. Coconut milk, bullet coffee creamer, almond milk creamer like this one by Califia Farms¬†(which I hear is delicious and I’m trying to get my hand on), and good ol’ half & half with a dash of maple syrup.

5. Don’t shun the decaf! If you’ve either successfully weaned yourself off the IV caffeine drip, and just miss the taste and ritual of drinking coffee, or you’re simply trying to cut back, definitely consider decaf! Look for companies who make their coffee with the natural water method versus using chemical solvents. This French Roast organic decaf by San Francisco Bay is an excellent option.

6. Consider switching up your brewing method (some assert that cold brew is best), or switching to a low-acid coffee, if you experience low-grade acid reflux from coffee.

IMG_7319 7. Use environmentally friendly OneCups for your Keurig. I actually discovered San Francisco Bay coffee thanks to my ¬†husband. As I’ve written, we ditched our Keurig at home last year and have since been brewing with a Chemex. But our office still held onto a Keurig for its convenience and ease of use, especially amidst an office full of guys too busy to brew multiple pots of fresh coffee each day. Unbeknownst to me, my husband searched for biodegradable, environmentally friendly pods, and happily discovered San Francisco Bay because of its stellar reviews. All of San Francisco Bays OneCup¬†coffee varieties are packaged in this environmentally friendly way, and I say with utmost honesty, taste better than any other k-cup I’ve ever tried.

8. Seek companies which use sustainable and ethical practices to grow their beans. Shade farming for example¬†(as opposed to clear cutting for full sun) creates healthy soil content, protects the environment for a myriad of animals and birds, fights global warming, and truly creates a better coffee bean. All of San Francisco Bay’s coffee is grown using this method. You may not always be able to pick and choose the sourcing practices of your local restaurants or even coffee shops, but you can be selective about what you bring home, which is why it’s always worth taking a look at the company practices of the beans you bring home.

I hope these few tips give you something to consider if you’re trying to break the addictive caffeine cycle, and reestablish a healthier relationship based off enjoyment rather than dependence. I love my morning cup of coffee now, and love even more that I can easily move between decaf and caffeinated, coffee one day or herbal tea the next. Even more so, I love seeking out different blends and flavors now, for the sheer enjoyment of the cup, rather than just to get a fix. Let me know if you’ve got questions, and hopefully I’ll have answers.

**This post was sponsored by San Francisco Bay Coffee, but all opinions are my own. I love working with brands that have values that align with my own, and I appreciate you supporting the businesses that help support this blog.

Planetbox Giveaway!


giveaway Following up on last week’s special 15% discount offer, I’m really excited to also be giving a Planetbox away! So, for those of you who didn’t have a chance to scoop one up, or it just didn’t fit into the budget, now’s your chance to still get your hands on one! I’m giving away the Rover system, complete with the lunch bag and a set of magnets. That’s a $62 value on a system that will help make your life much easier (and healthier), when packing lunch for yourself or your kiddo.

If you need inspiration with how to get the most use out of your Planetbox, just in case you’re the lucky winner, make sure to visit my post last week, detailing out 31 Healthy School Lunches (packed in the Planetbox). Giveaway runs through the end of the week, and is open to US residents only. To enter, follow the prompts below. Good luck, and happy lunching! giveaway2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tullemoss Launch Weekend!




Tullemoss6 If you recall from a couple of posts back, I have been helping one of my favorite local boutiques, Tullemoss, promote the launch of their new website and e-commerce site. The store owner and my business contact there have been working tirelessly to photograph, inventory and stock up the new site for shopping, and I can’t wait to see the launch come to life this weekend!
Tullemoss4 A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of attending a trunk show at their store, featuring Siwy Denim, and gorgeous new jackets designed by the store owner herself. While there, she asked me to try on a couple of pieces and take photos in them. I fell in love with this form fitting black jacket, and so did just about every client that night. It nearly sold out, but for the website launch this weekend, I hear they have put several sizes aside.



Tullemoss8 If you visit the website right now, make sure to subscribe to their email list and you will be sent a 15% off discount code to be used online, this weekend only! I hope you’ll visit their site so you can see firsthand why I’ve been a customer for so many years. Happy shopping!¬† Tullemoss3 Tullemoss2


31 Healthy School Lunches in the Planetbox


lunch-cover I’ve been meaning to put this post together for some time now, and quite frankly my original goal was to get it up as a “back to school” post, but better late than never is my motto. We’ve now been living with my in-laws for close to 5 months, and packing these daily lunches for the kids has been a nice source of regularity in an otherwise irregular situation. I thought by now Taylor would be nagging to buy her own lunch, being the cool 5th grader that she is, but she still seems to enjoy the daily variety and sense of home I guess. They’re still eating most of the contents that I pack for them each day, of course some days are better than others, and they have now started playing a more active role in packing the lunches for themselves. All in all, I’m still plenty happy with our Planetbox purchase and foresee using them for several more years. ¬†I don’t have a single regret, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone committed to packing healthier lunches for themselves or their kids.

I’ve partnered with Planetbox to offer my readers a very rare discount of 15%, using code FORTHELOVEOF15. Planetbox never extends sales on their lunch box systems, save for the rare discount code like the one I’m offering here, so now is an excellent time to take advantage of the sale and save a bit of cash. We use the Rover system for the 2 older kids, and have been plenty happy with the amount it holds. I’ve even used it a few times to pack my own perfectly portioned lunches, especially during a cleanse, and I’m thinking I may buy us a 3rd Rover during this discount, to use exclusively for myself. The discount code is for US residents only, and is only valid for 48 hours, thru Tuesday November 3rd at 11:59 PST. If you have questions about how the Planetbox works, how much it holds, etc., you can visit my Most Commonly Asked Q’s About the Planetbox post, and you can visit my end of school post, which answers whether the Planetbox is really worth the investment.

Please let me know if you have any questions I ¬†may have failed to cover in the above posts, and thanks so much for getting so much enjoyment out of my daily lunch posts on Instagram. I love sharing the ideas, and love that so many of you find them useful. As you know, I strive for balance and try to weigh health, food waste and childhood preferences in somewhat equal measure when I pack their lunches on a daily basis. In other words, I do my best to strive for a good variety of healthy foods, in a balanced combo of protein/carbs/healthy fats, but I also try to offer a daily “treat” as well as keep their likes and dislikes in mind, as to not waste food. I detest throwing away half eaten lunches, so with that in mind, I often pack what feels like the same items over and over, just because I’d rather my kids eat a good meal than perfect the most appealing lunch photo for Instagram. So some may say, “hey, these are kinda boring” or “hey, these aren’t totally healthy” and to that I say, “I do my best, deal with it!” At any rate, I know many of you enjoy my posts and I enjoy going back to revisit old ideas. You can seek over 160 daily lunch posts under the Instagram hashtag #howekids eat, and of course follow along on Instagram so you don’t miss a daily lunch post. For now though, here’s a month worth of ideas and options, and at the very end I’ve categorized several lunch ideas into gluten free, vegetarian and nut free options. Enjoy!
IMG_8417 Above – canned chicken, spinach salad, celery, apples & pears, Ocho peanut butter bar//Below – grilled chicken, pretzel sticks, veggies, watermelon, cinnamon twist, dark chocolate covered almonds IMG_7964 IMG_6887 Above – rice cake with almond butter & blueberries, graham crackers, grapes, veggies and dark chocolate covered almonds // Below – graham crackers with almond butter, apples, grapes & berries, rainbow carrots, mixed nuts and a Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup IMG_6783 IMG_3240 Above – turkey sandwich on whole wheat, blood oranges & mangoes, snappea crisps, carrots and a Newman’s organic cookie sandwich // Below – tuna salad, crackers, snappeas, pineapple & tangerine and dried cranberries
IMG_9998 IMG_6669 Above – mac & cheese, shredded chicken, grapes & apples, rainbow carrots & tomatoes, dye free gummies // Below – turkey sandwich on sourdough, carrots & tomatoes, Bare Naked apple chips, Roam pork stick and Justin’s pb cup IMG_6313 IMG_6292 Above – almond butter & honey on whole wheat raisin bread, carrots & tomatoes, cheddar bunnies, Bare Naked apple chips, back to nature chocolate chip cookies and fruit salad // Below – hazelnut spread wrap, fresh broccoli and snappeas, hard boiled egg, pears, apples & berries, chocolate covered almonds IMG_6113 IMG_6051 Above – hazelnut spread sandwich on sourdough, back to nature chocolate stripe cookies, peaches & strawberries, rice crackers, rainbow carrots // Below – turkey sandwich on sourdough, babybel cheese, rainbow carrots & snappeas, apple straws, grapes & plums, trail mix IMG_5944 IMG_4124 Above – homemade chicken nuggets, grapes & oranges, rice crackers, celery & carrots and babybel cheese // Below – turkey sandwich meat, graham crackers, babybel cheese, dark chocolate chips, fruit salad and snap peas
IMG_0161 Vegetarian Lunch Options: vegetarian-options Nut-Free Lunch Options: nut-free-options Gluten Free Lunch Options: Gluten-free-options Don’t forget the code to receive 15% off any Planetbox purchase is FORTHELOVEOF15 and is valid for US residents only, through Tuesday November 3rd at 11:59 PST

Daily Style – Classy Hi-Tops


“Thanks to VSP Direct for sponsoring this post. I am part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network”
Brown Leather Booties РNine West; Fashion Frames РNine West; Ankle Skinny Jeans РPaige Denim; Cardigan РLoft; Striped T-Shirt РNordstrom (2 other really cute options here & here); Moto Bag РRebecca Minkoff

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in third grade. One of the first pairs of specs that I can clearly remember was an oversize frame in hunter green by Nine West. It was seventh grade and I had a crush on an eight grader named Jason. It was the time of The Cure, The Smiths and Morrissey, with oversize cardigans and Doc Martens, and I was smitten with his long “skater” bangs and thrift store cardigans. Flash forward nearly 20 years, and not much has changed. I still need corrective lenses, and the thrift store oversized cardigans are back in style.¬† 944525_0289-15-VCCM_IPStyleCampaign_NineWest_Pinterest_3_2 It’s strange to think that I’ve also been seeing the same optometrist this entire time, and for the last few years he’s been suggesting I get Lasiks to correct my vision that is so bad I am pretty much considered legally blind. I’ve been holding off though because for all these years, contacts and glasses have been my companion and they have served me well. After years of paying out of pocket for eye exams and lenses, our credit union recently started offering all members VSP Direct‚ĄĘplans at an incredibly affordable rate, so we jumped on board

If you’re not familiar with VSP Direct‚ĄĘ, it is an individual vision insurance plan that offers all around vision care, including eye exams and stylish frames for those of us without employee plans, or who are self-employed. Our particular plan covers the whole family for less than the weekly grocery bill, and includes exams for all of us, and the choice of either designer frames or contact lenses. Syd recently had to join the glasses club, so his frames were covered, and a years worth of contact lenses were covered for me. Art will soon be due for a new pair of glasses, and Taylor is lucky enough to so far have perfect vision. It’s nice to know though that if we need it, VSP is there.

VSP Direct is currently holding a “Frame Your Fall Look” Sweepstakes through November 7th, where you can pin your favorite fall look for a chance to win a $150 Nine West gift card, a Nine West must-have fall accessories package, and free VSP Direct Insurance for one year.
IMG_6365 We had a brief taste of Fall last week, and so I assembled my go-to Fall look that I will be sporting all season long. The standard outfit for me this fall will be my new ankle length skinny jeans, a comfy striped tee that can stand on its own if the weather turns warm, as it so often does in SoCal, a cardigan so when the weather turns on a dime as it so often does, I’m prepared, and of course some comfortable shoes. High-tops, as pictured here, are a great choice, as are flat comfortable booties that can take you anywhere. For transporting all your possessions around, the cross-body can’t be beat.

Feminine, yet still plenty functional and comfortable, this is my standard go-to look on a day to day basis. Adding on designer frames can help complete your personal look with affordable, on-trend glasses, like Nine West frames.
IMG_6356 In addition to the “Frame Your Fall Look” Sweepstakes, I’m also excited to be giving away an individual VSP Direct 1 year plan for one of my readers. Just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Fall look, and you’ll be entered to win. I’l choose a winner next week on Sunday 10/25. Open to US residents only, giveaway closes at 11:59 pm PST. Good luck, and happy Fall!

Shopbop Annual Friends and Family Sale


At midnight the Shopbop 25% off Friends & Family event began, and I logged in at 12:01 to buy myself a pair of wide leg denim jeans I’ve been drooling over for weeks. High waisted and super elongating, these jeans are a welcome new silhouette to add to my closet after year after year of skinnies and boyfriend styles. This morning I woke up to browse more of the sale, and came across quite a few things I’d like to add to my wishlist. Here are a few of my favorites, curated for your window shopping pleasure. Use code INTHEFAM25. fandfsale Plaid Flannel Shirt by Rails – $138 on sale for $103.50 (other Rails super soft flannels found here)

Wide Leg High Waisted Jeans by Siwy – $218 on sale for $163.50 (more budget friendly pair of wide leg denim by Free People on sale for $58)

Rebecca Minkoff Ball Threader Earrings – $58 on sale for $43.50

Nixon Bullet Leather Watch – $200 on sale for $150

Wildfox Sunglasses – $169 on sale for $126.75

Rebecca Minkoff Small Monroe Tote Bag in Forest Green – $245 on sale for $183.75

Rebecca Minkoff Charm Ring Set – $48 on sale for $36

Kate Spade Tracee Bow Booties Р$350 on sale for $262.50

Tabbetha Cardigan by BB Dakota – $145 on sale for $108.75

Paige Denim Ankle Skinny Jean – $185 on sale for $138.75

A few other drool worthy pieces include this dress from Free People and these fringe booties by See Chloe. Now is also a good time to start thinking of your Christmas list. A Kate Spade planner or their classic oversized neon square stud earrings are a great gift for your girlfriend or sister.

Daily Style – Silk and Fringe


IMG_6280 Silk Dress & Fringe Boots Рc/0 Tullemoss Boutique; Bag РRebecca Minkoff; Bodysuit РFree People; Ankle Jeans РPaige Denim; Bracelets РTullemoss & Joyful Jewelry Box

Last weekend I spent 3 nights in Ojai with Beautycounter. I earned the trip by hitting a sales goal for the months of June and July, which surprised me more than anyone. Although I signed on to be a consultant back in February, I didn’t really start selling the products through socials and one-on-one appointments until June, so to achieve this trip in my first 2 months starting out, was pretty spectacular. They wined and dined us, as well as provided a couple of comprehensive training sessions, and I left there feeling inspired and even more convinced I made the right decision to sign on. I’ve been really blessed by this opportunity, as it’s enabled me to help get better products into the hands of a lot more of my friends, family and acquaintances, as well as been able to provide a more steady stream of income than blogging alone could provide. A win-win all around.¬† IMG_6285 If you follow me on Instagram, you may recognize this outfit from Tullemoss. I’ve been shopping at this local boutique for years now (see here and here and here), since back in the day when I would take Taylor and Syd to the Gymboree just a couple of doors down. I’d stop in after class, when the days at home with a couple of toddlers were long, and the few minutes of adult conversation with the shop owner, along with a purchase here and there, were just enough to help make it through dinner time.

The store has expanded and grown, adding in different labels and styles, but I still love going in there just as much, all these years later. I was jazzed to learn that they’d soon be opening up an e-commerce site, a huge undertaking and step that will help expand a local Long Beach boutique to reach a much wider audience across the country.

The online shop launches the weekend of November 7th, and Tullemoss is offering readers a 15% off code for the website’s launch weekend. Just visit their site and enter your email address for your code.
IMG_6298 IMG_6307 Because I’m tall, the dress on me is a bit on the short side, just because of the side slits, so to remedy this situation I simply wore my favorite Free People bodysuit underneath it. It’s the same one I wore under this look, and works perfectly for shorter type dresses, just to help provide an extra layer of coverage. For those who are a little less daring, the dress works super cute as a long tunic over jeans too. That’s how I wore it recently to Hayden’s preschool back to school night.
IMG_6325 IMG_6328 It feels good to break my blogging silence and get back here for a new post. Now that Hayden has started preschool, I definitely have a few more hours in the week, but between extra commitments at the big kid’s school and the house remodel, it seems like those hours pretty much evaporate into thin air. He truly loves going to school though and literally yells “YAY!!!!” when he learns it’s a school day. It has us thinking we may enroll him one extra day after the winter break. We’ll see how it goes, but for now we’re both pretty excited to see him so happy, and to finally have a child who we don’t have to tear away from our legs to go into the school yard.

Hoping you all are good and well, and have a wonderful rest of the week! Don’t forget to visit Tullemoss to get your discount code!