June 2015 - Like Honey

Fave Five Friday

Happy Friday ya'll! I'm so excited to be on my way to Branson today! A little family getaway is just what we need after all the car troubles we've been trying to fix and recover from!

5.) As I said, we're headed to Branson today! I'm so pumped to spend the week relaxing and enjoying time with family. The condo even has a fitness area for me to keep up with my workouts! I would hate to slack off for a whole week.

4.) Did you catch yesterday's outfit post? I gushed all about this gorgeous white tank top (that I got for a total steal!). You can read all about it here.

3.) I'm still obsessing over this citrus infinity scarf I saw at Charming Charlie the other day. I could serious buy my entire wardrobe at CC; I love it all! And this bright, tasseled beauty is no exception. I'm still hoping to run back and snatch it up when I get a little extra cash. By the way, I'm selling lots of Lucy's clothing and more on eBay right now! If you or someone you know is in need of some adorable newborn to 0-3 month size baby girl clothing or maternity accessories, you can find all of my items for sale here. ;) 

2.) This little ray of sunshine turned 5 months old last weekend! She is getting so big and independent! She loves trying new flavors of baby food and I love watching her discover the world around her.

1.) I'm sooo excited to celebrate this special guy's first Father's Day this weekend! He has proven to be the most amazing, caring, doting, thoughtful, playful, determined (I could go on), Daddy I've ever seen--just as I knew he would be! I couldn't have been blessed with a better man in my life and I am forever grateful to God for bringing him to me. Lucy literally lights up when she sees him and loves to laugh and play with her Dada. I love watching him bond with his daughter (even when it involves poop down the front of his shirt! haha). He is the best thing in my life and I'm so proud of him as a father, husband, and God-fearing man. I definitely snagged the very best.

Happy weekend, loves! I hope yours are filled with fun and happiness as mine is sure to be, and don't forget to dote on all the dads in your life!

BTW, I posted a Father's Day gift guide a few days ago in case you need some last minute gift ideas! There's even a bunch of FREE gifts listed! You can check it out here.

Linking Up With:

Bright on a Budget
Bright On a Budget
A Little Bit of Everything
The Farmer's Wife

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White Flowy Tank

Happy happy thursday, ya'll! Today is my Friday because tomorrow we leave for Branson! I know it doesn't seem like a big deal of a vacation, but I've actually never been! Can you believe I grew up in Missouri, too? I'm just super excited to spend relaxing time with family and get a break from the day to day for a bit!

So this white top... I'm in love with it! I searched high and low for months to find the perfect white tank to accompany my Lilly Pulitzer "Upstream" shorts. (Thanks Tif, for snagging them and sending them my way!)
I wanted something flowy and lightweight to keep with the summery feel of these (perfect!) shorts. I thought I would have the easiest time finding one, but no! Everything was either tunic style or super cropped. But I kept looking, and finally found this gem at JCPenney! On SUPER sale! I ended up taking it home for $9 and then, with a price adjustment for a coupon I received the next day, snagging it for a grand total of $7!

It's super light and airy--exactly what I wanted! I'm so pleased with the quality, too. Especially considering the price I paid for it! It comes in a few other colors as well. I love that it's right at waist length, so if I move just right you might see a hint of midriff, but not if I'm just standing or sitting. It's a bit see-through, but still looks classy with a white strapless bra underneath. Honestly, it's the perfect, breezy summer tank and I'm absolutely in love with it!

Outfit Details

White Tank // JCPenney, exact
Dark Wash Skinny Jeans // JCPenney, similar
Sandals // Target (last year), similar
Sunglasses // Forever 21 (old), similar
"V" Necklace // Forever 21 (old), similar

Lucy's Outfit Details

Dress // Carter's, old
Headband // etsy, exact shop

P.S. thanks to my handsome hubby for playing photographer for me :)

Linking Up With
A Little Bit of Everything Blog
for Fave Summer Shoe


Father's Day 2015 Gift Guide

This year is my hubby's first real Father's Day (and my dad's first year as a Grandpa)! Technically he got to celebrate last year...I was 9 weeks pregnant and we announced it to everyone that day! But this will be the first year he gets to really join in the fatherhood celebrations. I'm so excited to make it a special day for him, and if I could, I'd buy him ALL the gifts! He's the absolute best daddy and husband in the world, and I just want to shower him with gifts and love, especially on Father's Day!

Men can be super hard to buy for...does your guy always give you the "Nothing" answer when you ask what he'd like for holidays and birthday? I hate that answer! But, did you know you can actually give them "nothing"?!

Behold! The Gift of Nothing. For the man who has everything (or is just incredibly indecisive).

As tempting as it is to give one of these as a joke, I really do want to give the perfect present to the perfect daddy. So I compiled a little gift guide of things I think my husband would like. Hopefully it'll help you, too!

One // Every man deserves to own at least one nice watch. I know the Michael Kors style are super trendy right now (for men and women!) but I've always thought there was something so masculine and fancy about a leather and gold watch. These Daniel Wellington watches are a (pricey) dream!

Two // The old cliche. A #1 Dad Mug. Well, I know my husband would like one, but I knew he would like this one better ;) I got him this tattoo inspired one last year, so unfortunately it's no longer available, but etsy always has a lot of really neat, customizable options!

Three // This leather iPad portfolio case is so pretty! I think it's perfect for men because there's nothing too busy going on and leather just screams masculinity to me.

Four // My hubby loves the show Arrow. A season or two of his favorite show or a blu-ray of a movie he's been wanting are always a good way to win your guy over :)

Five // Preston's not a big reader, but he does like Lord of the Rings. We already have all the movies of course, but I think a nice looking copy of the books would be nice to have, and look great on display!

Six // Every guy gets a tie for at least one occasion per year. It's just an unwritten rule. This blue gingham one is a favorite of mine.

Seven // Lastly, a wallet. Always an easy gift that's practical, too. Since guys carry them around in their back pockets they seem to get worn out easily. I like this trifold one from Target.

. . . . . . . . 

If extravagant gifts aren't in your budget this year, here are some fun ideas for a Free Father's Day!

  1. Make an IOU Coupon booklet with "coupons" for things like back rubs, his favorite meal for dinner one night, an early "bedtime" (if you know what I mean (; ) and other things he'd like.
  2. Cook all of his favorite foods and even bake his favorite dessert to make a regular meal extra special.
  3. Write him a heartfelt note telling him just how much you love and appreciate him!
  4. If your kiddos are young, search Pinterest for a cute Daddy's Day craft and surprise him with it!
  5. Go for a long, quiet walk around the park/beach/etc. and just enjoy each other's company.
  6. If you live in an area with free museums and activities, hit them up for a day. St Louis has a ton of fun options that are always free! (A possible post on that coming up soon. Thoughts?)
  7. It's summer time! Hit the beach or local swimming pool and cool off!
  8. There are always tons of free concerts and outdoor movie nights during the summer: see if there are any going on in your area!
  9. Make a booklet with several questions (What is Daddy good at? What is Daddy's favorite food? Etc.) and have your kiddo fill in the blanks! Give it to Daddy with a homemade card.
  10. Nookie. I mean, it is Father's Day after all. ;)
What are you Father's Day plans this year? Is your husband or father a "nothing" wish lister?


Fave Five Friday

Happy Fri-yay loves! I hope you've all had a productive and fun week! I'm prepping for our Branson trip next weekend, so I've got lots of fun posts in the works :)

Let's get on to favorites:

5.) The other night I made delicious "vegetarian" manicotti! We're not vegetarian, but now and then I like a lighter, meatless meal. This one hit the spot and is definitely going on the regular rotation! The recipe will be up soon! :)

4.) Did you catch my previous How I Style It post? I shared this and 2 other cute ways to style a basic tee that are anything but basic ;) you can find that post here.

3.) I kill for a gorgeous pair of sunnies and this pair from TJ Maxx are calling screaming my name! I'm hoping to add them to my Branson suitcase! ;)

2.) Speaking of suitcases and travel: How perfect is this striped weekender from Target? I'm still swooning.

1.) The Lilly agendas are out for preorder! Hooray! I think this Navy Confetti print is my favorite this year. Will you be ordering one? If so, what print is your fave?

I'm so glad I can finally count down the days to vacation on one hand! I'm so looking forward to a relaxing getaway, even if it's not too eventful! Have any of you ever been to Branson? Suggestions on budget-friendly attractions or tasty restaurants? I'm always down for a good ice cream shop ;) Let me know!!

P.S. I finally got F&F a Facebook page! Click the image below and "Like" it to stay updated on future posts and more! :)

Linking Up With:

Bright on a Budget
Bright On a Budget
A Little Bit of Everything
The Farmer's Wife

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Mommy Favorites: 0-3 Months

Lucy Jane is no longer in the 0-3 month stage! Where has the time gone? I just wanna cry..but I love watching her grow. Anyways, I had a lot of help and experience going into motherhood being one of the oldest of 6 kids. My mom also used to run a daycare out of our home, so I've helped with babies and baby products since I was about 6 years old! It was such a relief to have all of my little sisters' hand-me-downs as well! But not all of us are this lucky when it comes to babies. There are sooo many different brands and styles and types of everything, that starting from scratch can just be overwhelming! So I have compiled a few of the things I found most useful, helpful, delightful, etc. during Lucy's 0-3 month stage. Enjoy!

Avent Natural Bottles // These are the newer version of the original Avent Classic Bottles. I love them because they don't have all those tiny bits and pieces that all the newer bottles tend to have. It saves a lot of time when washing and if you're formula feeding you can make a bottle so much faster. My mom used the Avent Classic's on my siblings and gave me all her hand-me-downs, but Lucy only likes the Natural kind!

Gerber Cloth Diapers // So, it's not what you think. I don't cloth diaper and I don't use these as diapers....they're actually the best burp cloths! My mom sews fabric onto the center of them to make them cute, and they work great! They're so much more absorbent than any other burp cloth I've ever used and much cheaper!

Up & Up Nursing Pads // Even if you're not planning on nursing, you'll probably leak for a while when your milk comes in and until it dries up, or levels out if you are nursing. I've used every brand there is (thanks to samples (: ) and found that the cheapest option that actually worked was the Target Up & Up brand. They aren't as soft as some of the name brands, but they weren't scratchy or uncomfortable either. They were also just as absorbent--even a little more than some of the other brands. And considering they're about half the cost, they were my favorite!

Honest Company 2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash // So we started out using the classic Johnson & Johnson's 2-in-1, but Lucy's skin was just so dry and she had some patches of cradle cap that we just couldn't seem to shake, so we switched to the Honest Company and I'm never going back! After our very first use, her cradle cap was gone! And we haven't seen it since! It smells delicious, like an orange creamsicle, and it's free of all the chemicals and dyes that are so harsh on baby's skin.

Babies R Us 6 Pk Washcloths // I love these! They're just the Babies R Us brand, but they're super soft, and cheap! $6 for 6. I like to use them to wash my face as well ;)

Blooming Bath // This. Thing. Whoever invented this deserves a medal. You stick this super soft, padded flower in the sink and then baby sits in the flower! Bathtime is 10x faster & easier because baby is propped up in this cushy little bloom so both of mama's hands are free! Lucy is almost 5 months old now and we still use it! By the time she gets too big for it, she'll be able to sit on her own so I can use the tub. It works perfectly and I definitely recommend it over those hard plastic tubs they make!

Lucy in her Blooming Bath at almost 1 month old
Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion // This is my favorite baby lotion. It just smells like a baby! I don't think I can ever switch to a new scent or brand. This is it.

Infantino Go GaGa Deluxe Twist & Fold Gym // I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. We got this activity mat for Lucy when she was about 2 1/2 months old. She loves it! I like that it has a small pillow for her head. And I love that it doesn't require batteries! But...I hate that it doesn't require batteries. It has a wind up in the mobile. I like it--but it only goes for like 5 minutes! I have to re-wind it a lot. But despite that, it's still a favorite, because Lucy really enjoys it, and if baby's happy, mama's happy.

Boppy Pillow // I know this is a nursing pillow, but I actually use it more for tummy time! Lucy didn't like tummy time flat on the floor, but propping her up on the Boppy made her love it! She loves to be able to see everything around her, and my pediatrician said using a Boppy still counted as tummy time because they still learn to lift their heads and hold themselves up on their arms.

Bright Starts Alphabet Quilt Bouncer // It's not the cutest or most amazing bouncer, but we got it as a gift at my baby shower. And it's seriously Lucy's all-time favorite toy! She started out just watching the toys above her, and now she kicks and bounces and grabs the toys. She could sit in this thing forever! I thought it would be boring since it doesn't play music and only has 2 toys, but she loves it, so it's a win!

Infantino Tag Along Chime // We've had this little guy hanging on her carseat since birth and she's attached! She loves to watch it swing and chime while we're driving or on walks. It's made road trips a breeze! I like that it makes a pretty chime noise that's not too loud :)

Fisher-Price My Little Snuggapuppy Deluxe Newborn Rock n' Play // I've really liked having this instead of a bassinet. I love that I can reach over in the middle of the night and rock her to sleep if she fusses, and it folds up semi-flat for travel, too. It vibrates and has an incline which is good for reflux babies. I have heard that it's hard to transition baby out of the Rock n Play and into a crib. We've been working on that here, and it's not the lack of incline that Lucy is missing...it's the snuggled up feeling. I've got to figure out a way to make her feel less exposed in the crib without putting pillows against her since that's not safe. If you have ideas, please let me know!!!

Summer Infant SwaddleMe // Forget about those expensive muslin swaddle blankets from Aiden & Anais that everyone swears by...these are 100x better! My daughter has been a Houdini baby since day one, always breaking her arms out of her swaddle to rub her face. But when she rubs her face, she wakes herself up. So we needed a solution. Behold, the SwaddleMe! It velcros into place, so it's much quicker and easier to do, but more difficult to break out of. If you have a little escape artist, too, these are a must have!

White Noise App // My daughter doesn't rely on white noise to fall asleep, but she certainly sleeps better with it on. You can buy an actual machine, or purchase an app. We use the Sound Sleeper App.

Britax B-Agile 35 Travel System // My favorite baby shower gift, I think. The car seat is easy to use and snap in and out of the base. The stroller is the best part. I can open and fold it back closed with one hand! And it has a very smooth ride that's easy to turn and maneuver around corners easily. It's the best stroller I've ever used, I just wish it came with a cup holder and a child tray. You have to buy those pieces separate, but it's definitely still worth it.

Infantino Sash Mei Tai 3 Position Baby Carrier // I was afraid to jump into one of those slings that are basically just miles of stretchy fabric, because I'm just not good at stuff like that. But I didn't want to spend the money on an Ergo or Baby K'Tan, so I did a little research and found this one. And I love it! You can use it forward facing, on your back, and on your hip. It's super easy to use and I don't get nervous about Lucy falling out of it or worry about getting her in and out. It's super cheap, too so I highly recommend it.

Skip Hop Duo Limited Edition - French Stripe // I got this diaper bag after much consideration and a "What's in My Diaper Bag?" video by one of my fave bloggers Katie @ Cup of Tea! I'm so glad I did. It's on the smaller side, which I wanted, but is still plenty roomy to hold all my stuff since I'm a total hoarder when it comes to bringing everything I need with me. I like to be prepared! It has lots of different pockets and zippers that can hold everything I need, and I love that the pouches for bottles are zippers on the side with little insulated pockets! No more bottles hanging out and getting cold.

Skip Hop Grab & Go Wet/Dry Bag - Chevron // Babies have blowouts. Trust me, yours will have at least one massive diaper accident, in public no less, and it will probably be the worst one you've ever seen. They always seem to save them for the most inconvenient times, don't they? This roomy little bag will save your life. Toss your soiled clothes and even your dirty diaper if you have to. It will keep them from making a mess in your diaper bag and also keep the odor sealed off. Just make sure you have a spare outfit squirreled away at all times! It has a nice mesh zipper pouch along the front that I really like too. I keep Shout wipes and a Tide To Go Pen in there to save Lucy's clothes from stains. You could also keep a diaper and wipes in there just as a backup. Definitely a must have.

Other items I love:

Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, Huggies Natural Care Wipes, Carter's Sleep & Play Sleepers, Mam Pacifiers

So that's it! I hope this helps you new mamas and mamas-to-be out!


Fave Five Friday

Is it Friday again already? And it's June?! Where does the time go?!

I've had a really calm week. I think that's the best sometimes...a calm, uneventful week. I love to embrace the normal days at home with my sweet girl. Not every day needs to be full of outings and events.

5.) So last week I talked about a MOPS picnic on Sunday that I was making cookies for. Well, we had family photos done and they lasted waaay longer than expected and sadly I missed the picnic! The weather cooled down a lot that day anyway, so maybe it's just as well. But that meant not having to share my delicious M&M cookies with anyone (except for Preston ;) ) which is always a win! I have a recipe post for these babies coming up soon!

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick in Fuschia Orchestra
4.) I'm still swooning over this gorgeous bright pink lip gloss from L'Oreal. I swatched in Target a few weeks ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I may have to add it to my summer beauty wishlist ;) It's so pigmented!

3.) If you have a unique or oddly spelled name, you'll know the struggle. It is near impossible for me to find anything with my name on it! I never got those souvenirs at the gift shop as a kid and I never saw a Coke with my name on it until the other day!!! I always seem to find Maria but never Mariah. It's the little things, isn't it? :)

Walmart Swim Cover Up

2.)  So I've been looking for a decent swimsuit cover up but I'm just not willing to shell out $50 or more on one. It's just not worth it to me. I found this one at Walmart for $13! I love it, and it comes in several different colors, though I always like white. I'll probably be snagging this up before our trip to Branson :)

1.) Here's a sneak peak at some of the photos we got this weekend! I'm pleased with them, considering they were just JCPenney portraits. My in-laws set up the session for the whole family because it was the 15 year anniversary of the day they adopted my husband and his 3 siblings! Such a sweet day to celebrate as a family and I'm so glad everyone was there. We got some cute shots of Lucy Jane as well, and I can't wait to get them in so I can share them with you!

Happy Friday guys! I hope you all have an amazing first weekend of June!

Linking Up With:

Bright on a Budget
Bright On a Budget
A Little Bit of Everything
The Farmer's Wife

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10 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence

Hey ladies! I know we all have days where we just feel low and lack confidence in ourselves. Some days more than others. But I'm here to STOP the body-shaming, the self humiliation, the degrading comments. Now, I know I don't always practice what I preach--I still look in the mirror and long for my pre-baby body. But it isn't a vicious cycle anymore. I've found a few ways to pull myself out of that judgmental, pity-party funk and I want to share them with you!

{10} Get Fixy

If you're a SAHM like me, or you just have the weekend off and don't have any plans, don't give in to the PJ's and sweatpants all day! I must admit, I spend many days in my yoga pants and a tank with no shame. But I always feel SO much better about myself when I take the time to really do my hair and makeup and put on a cute outfit. And though he never says anything, I'm sure my hubby appreciates the extra effort!

{9} Smile!

"Happy girls are the prettiest." - Audrey Hepburn

 Even on your worst day, a smile can completely change your mood; fake or not. And it's scientifically proven! Not only does it improve your mood, it relaxes your body, can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relieve pain, and even make you appear more attractive! And just to make sure you're extra confident, use a whitening toothpaste to make your smile ultra radiant. I really like Crest 3D White in Radiant Mint. Now turn that frown upside down!

 {8} Venture Out

Trying new things is my nightmare. New foods, new places, new people; I have terrible anxiety and I just cringe at the thought of expanding my tiny bubble. But I do it anyway. And I'm truly glad when I do. You never know when striking up a conversation with that stranger on the bus might lead you to your new best friend or possibly even Mr. Right! Never waste an opportunity. You'll improve your happiness and therefore improve your confidence!

{7} Run It Off

I've just recently started getting back into a regular workout routine and I'm already feeling better about myself! I may have to reeeally motivate myself to get going, but once I've started, I instantly feel like I'm on the road to a better me. Exercise also comes with a slew of other health benefits! Besides the obvious weight loss, exercise can also decrease your risk for heart disease, improve your mood, boost your energy, promote better sleep, and even increase your libido. And we all know a good sex life = confidence! One of my favorite ways to workout is with the Tone It Up ladies on YouTube! Check them out; they're awesome!

{6} Curb the Comments

Again, a tough one. But probably one of the most important...STOP JUDGING YOURSELF! I know we all look in the mirror and immediately see the worst in ourselves. Why do we do that? Why do we insist on nitpicking and scouring every inch of our body to find what we see as unattractive or undesirable. Nobody's perfect, and when we realize that the imperfections and flaws that we love to point out are only visible to us, we can start focusing on our inner beauty instead. And that's what is truly important.

{5} Rock a Red Lip

Nothing boosts my confidence like swiping on a bold red lipstick and heading out the door. There's just something timeless about it. Maybe it reminds me of Marilyn Monroe and that's why I feel so great. But there's no denying it...you can take on the world with a bright lip and perfect pair of heels. ;)

{4} Play Pretend

This seems silly, but if you're feeling bad about yourself, just fake it 'til you make it! Pretending like you're rocking your dream body or acting like nothing is wrong might actually trick your brain into believing it! Sometimes we just have to play it off for a while to get some perspective. And that's perfectly okay.

{3} Treat Yo' Self

Definitely the easiest way to boost confidence: a little retail therapy. Who doesn't feel better after a good shop-til-you-drop sesh with their girlfriends (or even alone!)? Frivolous spending not in your budget? Try pampering yourself with an indoor spa night. Paint your nails, throw on a face mask and grab a glass of Moscato. Even just treating yourself to a frappucino at Starbucks in the morning can lift your spirits. You'll feel better instantly!

{2} (*Married Girls*) Your Hubby Thinks You're HOT

If you're married, try to remember that all those flaws you see in yourself? Your husband probably doesn't even notice them. Seriously! Men just don't see those things...I often notice my eyebrows in need of a wax and point it out, but my husband thinks I'm crazy! He never believes me when I mention my faults. He simply doesn't see it unless I point it out to him. And honestly, shouldn't my husband's opinion be the only one that matters? He's the only one who sees me in an intimate way, and he loves me no matter what. And for all you mamas who struggle with stretch mark shame like I do--your hubby saw you grow and give birth to his child. He saw everything you went through and probably thinks nothing of those battle scars. Embrace them! They're proof of the miracle of life!

{1} You Were Made In His Image

Here is the most important thing to remember: God made YOU in HIS image. If God is perfect and He made you in His image and likeness, doesn't that make you perfect in His eyes, too? He made you exactly as you were meant to be. "For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14
What an amazing thought. A God who does not make mistakes, whose design is flawless, created YOU. And loves YOU, just as you are. "I can't brag about my love for God, because I fail him daily. But I can brag about God's love for me, because it never fails." What a comforting thought. Definitely makes me feel confident to know I was made by a flawless hand!

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