We're Pretty Excited It's Halloween

10.31.2012


...if you couldn't already tell.

Happy Halloween!

A Random Thing Or Two-sday

10.30.2012

Shirt: LOFT (similar). Pants: LOFT (similar). Suspenders: Flashbacks (similar). Hat: Target. Booties: Vintage Via Spiga (similar).

1) Do you ever completely forget where you parked and walk around like a lost little puppy, trying your hardest not to look like you are lost, but you cannot for the love remotely remember you car's whereabouts? Happens to me at least once a week. 

2) Fact: The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt over 30 feet if an artery is cut (source). That little fact could exponentially dramatize your gory Halloween costume if you are going for the whole blood and guts thing this year.

3) One of the best cheap thrills is watching people walk to the beat of your music while driving. It's like you are witnessing their life soundtrack. Today's life soundtrack star was a pint-sized lady walking very briskly to this little jig.

4) My fellow Gossip Girl enthusiasts, is this season sucking more than usual or is it just me?

5) Would you rather be able to sit and sleep on clouds like one of the Care Bears, or pluck a cloud out of the sky at any given moment and eat it like cotton candy?

Curious George And The (Wo)man In The Yellow Hat

10.29.2012


The moment I clicked the 'place order' button for Luke's costume back in September, my giddy, childish excitement almost burst at the seams waiting for this moment.

We're pretty big Curious George fans over here, so what would be more appropriate than being Curious George and the (Wo)man in the Yellow Hat? You're right. Nothing.

Friday night was the annual Trunk or Treat at our church (where you trick or treat in the parking lot at the makeshift scary doorsteps otherwise known as the trunk). As the sun started to set, our signal to put on our Halloween best approached. We garbed up, grabbed our trusty pumpkin bucket, and off we went to gather our 2 pieces of candy for pictures sake.

You see, I'd been waiting for this moment my whole life in a way. Ever since my own wee days of trick or treating, I used to visualize my future days of dressing up for Halloween with my babies (gosh, I'm so maternal). And this wasn't a thing I did for every holiday. It was just Halloween in particular. I guess there is just something about a baby in costume that tugs at my heart strings.

So there we were, creating the memories that had previously only lived in my overactive imagination. Luke's head whipped in every direction trying to process all the crazy and ghoulish costumes at every turn, his tiny hand half half clenched to his pumpkin pail. His very first ever "trick or treat" was greeted by a smiling grandpa and a handful of candy that Matt and I would later enjoy. Truly a trick for Luke and a treat for us. We boogied and twirled in the fake smoke that is exclusive to an iconic Halloween party, and by the end of it we had a sleeping monkey in our arms.

Lucky for us, Halloween still hasn't officially graced us with its presence, so there is a good chance we'll be back with more pictures (and I really mean better) from trick or treating with cousins. After all, what type of mommy blogger would I be if I didn't get a non-flash/non-grainy/non-blurry picture of our Halloween costumes?

Until then!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Luke

10.28.2012


Twinkly eyes. Twinkly smile. Twinkly lights.

Just a few sweet things that make me smile.

I love you, little man. Thank you for affording me the occasion to savor the good when I feel like poisoning myself with the bitter; to stave off the inevitable tears and in turn laugh through the frustrations; to give kisses in place of empty arms. Without you, life's course would fail to be significant. You provide hope, ambition, and a healthy and often-needed dose of humility. And let's not forget chubby chunker legs to chomp on. Luke, you are one of a kind.

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” -Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

Sponsor Along Abbey Road For November

10.26.2012


November is almost here! Do you know what that means? It will be a month filled with family, friends, food that makes your mouth water, and gearing up for anything and everything Christmas. If that sounds like your cup o' tea, come join the party as a sponsor for the month!

Rates are super affordable for the exposure you'll get from the sponsorship packages. It's a great place to advertise your blog or business (big or small!) to boost your traffic and gain new readers. Check out all the deets and specifics here. Spots are limited, so shoot me an email to book yours.

Let the tryptophan-induced snoozing, and Frank Sinatra Christmas crooning begin! 

P.S. That rhyme was completely unintentional, but as I reread that sentence I was quite surprised at my ability to rhyme with your not so typical use of words so I let it stay. Perhaps we should put it on a holiday card, and put a bird on it!

Friday Giveaway

Happy Friday! Today is the last of the giveaways for the week. Hasn't it been so fun? Today is especially great, because we have the group giveaway from some of the sponsors!

Shannon is giving away one month of large ad space on her blog, Shannon Hearts. This is a wonderful place to advertise your blog or shop! Just look at her outfits. Lady's got style! Enter to win in the widget below!


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Paulina from Chloe + Isabel is giving away a Tri-Tone Bangle set! Paulina is generously donating 50% of her commissions from her rose gold items to Breast Cancer Awareness! Be a part of something great, while looking chic in this bangles. Enter to win in the widget below!

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Dare I DIY?: Tactile Typography Pumpkin (And A Dolled Up One Too)

10.25.2012

 
 It's pumpkin carving time! But, guess what? I am not so skillful with a carving knife. My dream pumpkin consists of Bob Marley's face, attached with costume dreads at the top and filled the with shallow warm water and dry ice. Would that not be the best pumpkin you've ever beheld in your life as you approached the door step on Halloween night? If you say no, you are lying. If you actually make that pumpkin, please credit it back to me and send me pictures so I can post them every Halloween for the rest of my life.

The second raddest pumpkin I thought of is based on these amazing works of art by Dominique Falla featuring tactile typography. I immediately thought to myself, "that would make an awesome pumpkin!" So off I went on my merry little way to recreate Dominique's genius with my own Halloweenie spin.

Before you start, make sure you print off your desired spooky type in a Word document. Base the size of the type off of the shape and size of your pumpkin. Here are the rest of the deets:
 

And since the hot pink wig is regarded in high esteem in our house, we decided to incorporate her fancy ways into the pumpkin decorating as well...

Say hello to Frenchy the Pumpkin!

Over the Hill, And Across The 5, A-Pumpkin Patching We Go!

10.24.2012


After planning this little family outing for what seems like 2 months, we finally made it to the pumpkin patch. But, it wasn't the pumpkin patch. 

You see, we originally planned to head out more inland to an actual farm. The kind where they enthrall you with wagon rides, homemade cider, and pumpkins sprouting from the ground, all coiled and tangled in the earth. Where the chickens roam free and other city folk children are screaming their heads off because they fell face first into the mud and don't know what to do with all that dirt.

But, alas, life happened like it always does, and we wandered our way over to the makeshift pumpkin patch near the Del Mar fair grounds. We contemplated playing a bingo round or two across the way to see if we could earn a small fortune, but decided to place our bets on which pumpkin Luke would slobber all over first instead.

We crawled around in the hay, gawked at the fattest, laziest goats known to man, and picked the perfect pumpkin. All in matching cords. Aren't we talented?

Oh and let's not forget the part where Luke decided to show us all the makings of his mini 6-pack.

All in all, we had a good day. Tune in tomorrow to see how we decorated our pumpkins!

Shine Be Gone


A week or so ago, some of you may remember my lamenting and complaining about shiny skin issues as I was desperately searching for a solution. Apparently my T-zone thinks it's fun to glimmer and glow as much as possible, especially in pictures (one of many reasons why I hate the flash! Oh, the dreaded flash!).

Looks like the shiny skin fairy heard my cries, because I was contacted to review Neutrogena's new Shine Control line. Now, I am not one that does a lot of beauty reviews, but as you can see from this post awhile ago where I outlined my beauty routine, I have been a long-time lover and user of Neutrogena. When I read the words "shine control and Neutrogena" my support and attention zoned in like George Costanza on a sandwich.

The goods arrived. They came, they saw, they conquered... the oils on my face that is. Neutrogena's Shine Control line is like a magical elixir because I no longer look like a sweaty hot mess AND I don't break out like an overly-hormonal teenager. Neutrogena for the win!

Now it's your turn to experience the beauty of your face not reflecting like a mirror, and/or all the other goodies Neutrogena has to offer if you are one of the fortunate people on this planet blessed with perfect skin. Enter below to win $100 in Neutrogena products, including the new Shine Control line! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Post sponsored by Lunchbox marketing. All opinions and reviews are my own.

A Random Thing Or Two-sday

10.23.2012

Shirt: Target (couldn't find online link, but it's in-stores). Pants: LOFT (similar). Necklace: LOFT (similar). Flats: F21.

1) We have a pink wig floating around the house, and everyone who enters has to take a photo with it. Kind of like the whole Flat Stanley project, except this wig hasn't traveled... yet. Should we start The Wig Project in the blogosphere?

2) Fact: It is impossible to hum while plugging your nose (source). Try it. Warning: You may run the risk of passing out or bursting an eardrum if you attempt this too vigorously.

3) In case you aren't obsessed with the lives of celebrities like me and missed the big news, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tied the knot! And another one bites the dust.

4) Luke has 5 teeth now. The great tooth count is increasing at an alarming rate. My nerves are a bit frazzled with it all (crying, there is a lot of it). Matt and I decided he kind of looks like Chucky when he squishes his eyes and cheeks and shows off those chompers. It's kind of messed up and scary, I know, but it's the truth. I will not link that one up even though it is Halloween. I am still traumatized from sneakily watching one of the 1,547 Chucky movies behind the couch as a 5-year old when I was supposed to be in bed. That's what you get for having older brothers, mixed with blatantly disobeying your parents. Let's just say I usually learn the hard way.

5) Speaking of freaky horror movie killers, would you rather be the target of Jason from Halloween, or Freddy? Oh wait, they already made a terrible movie about that.

Quit Judging And Start Parenting

10.22.2012


After reading this article written by a friend who writes the parents.com blog, Great Expectations, I took a step back to examine not just my birth story, but how I parent. I guess I should say how we parent, since Matt is an integral part of this whole parenting strategy, which is an entirely foreign concept to us. But, I think we are getting the hang of it, even if it means letting my baby take a nap in his jumper.

Sure, we do things that aren't by the book. Yes, we feed Luke to sleep. A habit started from the time I nursed him as a newborn. I stopped nursing him at 6 1/2 months, and he now takes formula exclusively. Do I feel bad about that? Sometimes, yes, but I think it is more out of fear of judgment that somehow I am not "doing what's best" for my baby by, heaven forbid, giving him formula.

We don't let Luke cry it out, and attend his needs whenever he is fussy or crying. I remember times of anxiety and stress as a little girl, and the instant, warm calm that washed over me as soon as my mom's caring face appeared. I can only imagine that is how Luke feels, even if he is crying because he doesn't want to go to sleep. We work through it until he is content with the notion that it is time for bed. 

The belief that holding your children too much will spoil them doesn't exist around here. If Luke crawls up to our legs, yanking our pants to be held, we hold and kiss that little man until he can't stand it anymore.

I believe in letting my baby explore the world around him, therefore I don't fuss over Luke getting into the dirt or whatnot. He's a boy. That's what they do. I try to prevent him from eating dog poo and the likes, though ;)

We let Luke watch kid friendly cartoons (yes, that means TV -- gasp!), try not to make a big fuss when he falls and hurts himself, and smile and laugh with him as much as possible.

Like the article mentioned above, we should celebrate our successes and the choice we made to be parents, instead of giving the side-eye and casting our judgments in the parenting decisions of others (and obviously, there are abhorrent situations of abuse and neglect, but I am not speaking of those terribly unfortunate circumstances). The entire story and truth of a situation is never visible to a third party observer, so spitting out opinions is futile. Every child possesses a unique character and set of needs, and we are the ones that know our children best, right? As long as we are putting our best foot forward every day with our kid's ultimate interest in mind, this whole nutty parenting thing somehow works itself out. And according to those wise old folks we call grandmas and grandpas, somewhere in the middle of it all, we reap the rewards of understanding life just a little better.

The Flower Shop Giveaway


This week is the week of giveaways! I am thrilled to start it off with a giveaway from Jo of South Africa Meets Belgium. She recently opened The Flower Shop, where she sells her cabochan flower earrings. They are cute, cute, cute! These little studs are the perfect way to top off your outfit with a simple pop of color.

Two of you lucky readers have the chance to win 3 pairs of cabochan earrings of your choice! Not one, but two! Makes this giveaway even better. High five to you, Jo!

Enter The Flower Shop giveaway below! Good luck!

P.S. Be sure to enter the $100 in Neutrogena products giveaway here!

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If Wednesday Addams Smiled

10.19.2012

Dress: c/o PB&J Boutique. Shirt: LOFT. Tights: ASOS. Shoes: Ross (similar - on sale!).

Once upon a time, Peter Pan and Wednesday Addams accidentally collided. What happened, you ask? They stumbled Along Abbey Road and resulted in this look. And I'm rather happy they did (however, Wednesday is probably not too keen on all the smiling).

This dress is my first Peter Pan collared anything, and oh have I been wishing and wanting for all things Peter Pan collared. The lace and feminine details give some pop to an otherwise darkly monochromatic ensemble. It is the perfect fall dress. You should probably get one too, so we can really become an Addams-inspired family.

Now where is Luke? I need to transform him into a mustachioed baby and possibly rename him Pubert.

Dare I DIY?: Halloween Ghost Nails

10.18.2012


So it's Halloween time. Wearing black and orange every day just isn't going to cut it if you are wanting to look the part of the season. You could wear a hot pink wig, but then your husband and all your neighbors will think you have lost your mind. Or just trying to be Katy Perry. And let's face it, nobody can be Katy Perry without looking like they are trying to be Katy Perry. I speak from experience.

The solution? Halloween themed nails! I would like to disclaim that I am not a professional manicurist of any sorts, so my nails may not be perfect, but these babies are a fun and quick way to add some boo to your yah.

Materials: 

>White nail polish
>Black nail polish
>Cuticle stick or tooth pick


Step 1: Paint your nails white. Step 2: Using black polish, paint a circle in the shape of a scary mouth on your thumb. Step 3: Place some black polish on a small pad. Step 4: Using your cuticle stick or tooth pick, paint two eyes on your ring finger.

You now have boo-tiful nails! 

Now let's see your Halloween nails! Tweet me your pictures!

When Family Comes To Play!

10.17.2012


What do you get when you combine SeaWorld, digging in the sand at the beach, and a bunch of little kids? Mayhem. Lots of mayhem, but the best kind! My two older sisters and their families came to visit this last weekend, and boy did we party our pants off. As much as you can when you have 6 children under the age of 6 running and laughing all over the place.

It was so fun to see Luke play with his cousins. They absolutely adore him. It stirs a teeny bit of sadness in me that we don't live closer to my side of the family, but luckily we live in a place that doubles as the perfect vacation spot. Translation: we get visitors all the time!

Come visit again soon, mis hermanas!

The October Highlight

Happy hump day! I have just the remedy to get you out of the mid-week slump. It's time to check out some new blogs and brands. The line-up below shows you the most relevant trends in personal style, jewelry, and children's clothing. They are the candy to the corn; the caramel to the apple; no tricks, just treats. Okay, I'm done with the cheesy Halloween analogies, so get along to discovering your new blog favorites and shops!



"Hi, I'm Shannon from Shannon Heart's.  I blog about personal style, fashion, photography, travels and all the beautiful things that inspire me along the way.  My fashion blog is lighthearted and fun. I am a California girl who loves cappuccinos, nail polish, Mad Men and maple syrup."


For Breast Cancer Awareness this month, Chloe + Isabel by Paulina is giving 50% of her commission to breast cancer for all pieces that are rose gold + pink, along with some of her best sellers! To see more of here pieces and to see what else she has been donating for breast cancer, check out her shop and blog!


Bibaloo is an online children's boutique based in France, with the cutest and sweetest styles around (obviously -- it's French!). Sizes range from 0-10 years, and you can count on your kiddos looking fabulously chic and sharp in any of their duds.