May Favorites

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I’d like to extend a particularly happy Memorial Day to all of the men and women who have served this great country over the years. Truly thank you for all you’ve done! It’s hard to believe that the end of May is here, and summer break is upon us. What better way to start the summer off then with a few family-friendly favorites from the last month? I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and please enjoy these May must-haves!

We have a tiny nook in our house “the backpack rack,” which is a make-shift mud room. When moved in, I had Pinterest-perfect dreams of it being adorably styled with a spot for each kid and storage galore. Three and a half years later, it has been largely run over by broken toys and mail, so I decided to take some action. I love adding punches of color through our home, and when I saw these little baskets, I knew it would be just the right place to add some fun. Lo and behold the shelf in our backpack rack had just enough room for three baskets - one for each kid. The handles make it easy to get them down throughout the day, and each child has a lot of fun putting their special things away. If you’re not as into color as I am these are available in a softer neutral tone, and there’s even a mini option!

I detest swimsuit shopping. I hated it when I was 16, and I hate it even more at 34. However, it’s summertime and having a bathing suit is necessary. Over the last two weeks, I’ve tried on fifty different suit options, and they were wrong - all wrong! I, embarrassingly, left a store with tears in my eyes thinking that nothing was going to fit me, much less look halfway decent. Then I picked myself up by the bootstraps and gave it one more go. I heard about the Miraclesuit, and thought “Hey, I need a miracle - bring it on!” You have to wriggle your way in because it's half body shaper and half swimsuit but once you do - BINGO. Now, of course, there’s only so much a bathing suit can do, but it controls my post-baby belly and gives me a little lift in all the right places. No more tears… the Miraclesuit is here!

Remember how I said I like to add some fun touches throughout our house? Well, the “Happy Everything” line from Coton Colors is at the top of my arsenal of fun decor items. I first discovered this line at a local gift shop and the endless options of creative holiday expression won me over instantly. Essentially, you pick a base (think cookie jars, vases, canisters, platters) and then add an attachment (i.e.: Christmas tree, Valentine’s heart, American flag, birthday cake) to pair it with, and voila you get a decor unique item just to your taste. Recently they’ve come out with a frame, and I love it. This gray stripe goes perfectly with our cabinets (though there are other lovely color schemes), and it’s easy to pop pictures in and change it up season-to-season. Right now we’ve got some summer fun going on, but I’m looking forward to pairing it with seasonal attachments and pictures from holidays past. It’s a great tradition, and fun to have a set you can build on over the years.

I’ve always had a healthy fear of the sun. I learned early on that sunburns hurt, and I don’t want to be in pain. There are a ton of options on the market, but the reason I like Beautycounter’s is that it’s "formulated with non-nano zinc oxide to blend seamlessly into skin without leaving white streaks, protecting you against both UVA and UVB rays.” There are no harmful chemicals soaking into your skin, and it also works a bit like lotion to help moisturize your skin while you're out in the sun. It’s a great product, and I love having just one bottle for the entire family. Their whole SPF line is fantastic, and I almost always have the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer on. Basically… “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.”  - Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)… aka: The Graduation Song of 2007

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
— Confucius

Amen Confucius! May was a heck of a month. As school was wrapping up, we were battling colds and stomach bugs - not an ideal combination. Even though I had big goals for May, they had to be set aside. There was more important Mommying work to be done, and when you have sick kids, they take precedence. It was hard, very hard, to press pause on my personal and professional goals, but looking back I’m glad I did. I was able to reflect on the work I’ve done over the last several months and come up with a more clear direction going forward. In the past, I probably would have thrown my hands up and said, “I can’t do it!,” but this time I’m so thankful I was able to give myself a little grace and instead say “I can’t do it… right now.” I will see results if I keep trying, and keep going after the things I’m passionate about… as long as I just don’t stop.  

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