lifestyle

Why I’m Giving Up Shopping For A Year

how I quit shopping for a year
Like most, I spent the last few days of December thinking about what I could do to be a little better in 2018. I workout regularly, try to get enough sleep, and eat a mostly-healthy diet (save for the bag of chips and salsa I consume every other day).  And while I know giving up chips and salsa might help me get those ninja turtle abs I’m working toward, I think a life without chips and salsa is not a life worth living.

So I wondered:  What could I resolve to do better in 2018?  Or, maybe I can remove something that I do mindlessly every day with little benefit.  What’s a habit that I enjoy, but doesn’t enhance my life and sometimes actually stresses me the F out?  Shopping. Retail therapy is a legit thing and my health insurance doesn’t cover it.

I adore shopping; the adrenaline rush, the multiple tabs, wish lists, shopping carts filled with all my material hopes and dreams are part of the allure.  Could I really quit shopping for a year?!  No new clothes, bags, shoes or makeup?  Nilch? When I told this to my husband, he laughed and said, ‘that’s like me saying I’m going to give up oxygen for a year!’ Tough love.  I told my closest friends, and one who recently shaved her head leaving her down-the-back curls on the floor said she didn’t know which was the more extreme, her new haircut or my proclamation. Needless to say, shopping is a big part of my identity and typically constitutes a large chunk of my day-to-day.not shopping for a year
I always justified shopping as just being part of who I am, but toward the end of last year, I started thinking about how much time I spend shopping though and realized that it was a lot. Mindlessly scrolling through emails or Instagram where a lot of the people I follow link their covetable outfits could add up to an hour or more spent shopping each day. An hour I’ll never get back that I could have been reading to the kids or working out with my husband… or you know, ANYTHING else. 
But, I love clothes and I love fashion. I studied fashion merchandising in college because I wanted to dedicate my life to fashion. That hasn’t changed. How will I stop shopping for a year? I think it will be very difficult for me, but to put in to perspective (for myself) I have lost both my parents and this will be nothing compared to that. I’m very fortunate to have a pretty good base for clothes, makeup, bags and shoes. I really don’t NEED anything else. Not shopping doesn’t mean I have to give up fashion it just means I will make better use of what I have. I realize there is a huge difference between not being able to shop and choosing not to shop. I’ve been unable to shop before (for financial reasons during and right after college) so surely, I can choose to do it now. 

The best part is its only been a week and I’m already experiencing the benefits like…

I’m less stressed. Normally, I might spend a few hours contemplating what to wear and buy knowing I have a bachelorette party/event/bridal shower/<insert any event/excuse to shop here> to attend in a few weeks. Embracing the fact that I just have my small closet to shop is liberating. I get fewer emails because I’ve unsubscribed from company emails that might tempt me; fewer emails in my inbox has reduced stress. I don’t feel that ‘I wish I had that’ twinge when I look at my instagram feed and see a great bag or shoes that are outside of my budget. Instead I feel, ‘I’ve chosen not to buy that’ which is so much better. 🙂

I’ve got more time.  I’m not completely sure how much time I spent daily or weekly perusing the latest/greatest looks, but I am sure it was considerable.  I’m having a blast trying new things instead (played tennis for the first time last week and had dinner last night with friends and sampled chicken gizzards).

Saving money.  Obvi.

 

lifestyle

How to Whiten Sensitive Teeth at Home


Note: read all the way to the end for an exclusive giveaway!

I’m the type of gal who can really get behind the notion of ‘coffee till cocktails’. I start each morning out with a latte thanks to Kaare who has kindly made it his mission to perfect his at-home barista skills complete with latte art (swoon!), sometimes I have an iced-latte in the afternoon and I end each day with a glass of red wine. While I do try not to beat myself up about my diet; liquid or otherwise, drinking all those acids and pigments do not help my teeth stay white.

Over the years I began to notice dark liquids taking a toll on my teeth so I started using Smile Brilliant to brighten up my smile again. Initially, I was a bit nervous because my teeth are very sensitive, like I can’t even use popular white strips without some pain, but their team ensured me their desensitizing gel would help so I decided to give it a shot.

Each kit is completely customized to your needs and yes, even your mouth so before you start, you have to take impressions of your teeth like you would if you were getting a night guard or retainer. I have both so this wasn’t new to me and luckily, I got it right the first time! If you are new to taking impressions, don’t fear, it’s fairly self-explanatory and they give you extra molding gel in case you need to do your impressions more than once.

A few weeks after you send in your impressions you will get your custom fitted trays in the mail and start using your whitening gel. The first time I used it, I did have a little sensitivity so I switched to a sensitive toothpaste and stuck to a schedule of whitening every other day for 30-40 min each session. I alternated whitening with sensitivity gel which helped ease any discomfort immensely. It took me a little over a month to get through the whitening gel and I’ve got to say, I’m pretty pleased with the results, but more than that delighted in the convenience and experience of using Smile Brilliant. No trips to the dentist, a super-helpful team to help make you comfortable and get the results you want and it was pretty quick!  

Now the fun part… I’m doing a giveaway for one Smile Brilliant customizable kit! Enter using this link for the chance to win $139 credit! It’s open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents and is open for two weeks. Best of luck, you animals! Also, if you want to purchase one of your own or as a gift, get $15  off tray code: bethanimalprint15 – you won’t regret it!



fashion, lifestyle

Mommy and Me NYE Outfits & 2017 Ramblings

house of harlow 1960 x revolve dress

Reflecting back on 2017, there is SO much that happened. The world/ the US seems like a completely different place with a new President. From DC to Hollywood, just about every man in power is likely a sex monster. Looking at the bright side as I try to do; females are standing up for themselves now more than ever and making radical changes because of it.  Go us! We’ve been shaken as a country and if you asked me last November, I’d say we’ve never been so separated, but lately, it feels like we’ve begun to bond together in support of gender and social equality. Something we arguably we’re further along with last year IMO, but there is a silver lining, I am sure of it. With so much instability comes the opportunity to discover new strength and stability. While that proves to be incredibly difficult Nationally/Internationally; personally, I’ve been like a ‘real millennial’ this year and really focused on myself ;). Here’s a few of my personal highlights and learnings which I share because some might be helpful if you’re thinking of making big changes in 2018!

LA fashion and lifestyle blog
I left my cozy corporate job at the #1 company to work for. There’s many reasons Why I left my job at Google (read more there!) but it has been a wonderful and scary decision for me even now, almost one year later!

Being at home more means, preparing more meals! No more free Google good prepared by chefs. Here’s Simple Smoothies For the Whole Family that I’ve been making for breakfasts or on-the-go snacks! Trying to get healthy meals without a lot of time is always a challenge for me, but smoothies make that a breeze.

I also don’t wear business casual clothes anymore! I finally picked up the most amazing jeans and am obsessed with the fit and styling. If you are looking for jeans in the new year, I couldn’t recommend them more! I wish I got them sooner and saved so much money buying fancy designer jeans. I mean, I love designer jeans, but these are JUST as good!

We’ve lived in small spaces (less than 1,000 sq ft) for 7 years now, but this year we moved to a smaller place than we had last year and with 2 kids it got a little tricky. Here are 7 tips for living in a small space that I find really useful and they make our life in LA that much more enjoyable. I honestly would not trade this tiny house for a big suburban house right now because I love LA / big city life and seeing my family around every corner, but it is certainly not always easy being in a small place.

Our favorite kid’s books change often because they really do grow up so fast. What we’re loving this year is books that help teach kindness and empathy. It’s been our real focus in 2017.

Finally, I shared 5 tips I wish I knew before becoming a work-from-home mom. That was such a huge, life-changing thing that I am so grateful I got to do, but it was/is challenging change for me and for us as a  family. I wish I had a mentor going into it, but I didn’t know a soul that worked from home. My friends are either working moms or stay-at-home moms. Going into the ‘gray area’ alone was crazy hard and I learned a lot from it. I think next year will be so much better because I have learnings to implement and better expectations about what I can accomplish personally and professionally without going crazy.

striped metallic dress mommy and me outfits family lifestyle blog LA bethann wagner

I hope you all have an amazing 2018 and thank you so much for reading and following along with me in 2017. It means so much to me.

lifestyle

Simple Smoothies For the Whole Family

smoothies for kids
With the New Year comes the opportunity for a healthy reset and of course, green smoothies are on the menu. Disclosure: green smoothies are the only way I can get both kids to consistently consume green vegetables. For that, and pure convenience, we rely on them heavily.  Throughout the year, I do stick to a mostly healthy diet and have a few go-to meals that I can always create in a pinch. For breakfasts, smoothies are my jam because we can take them with me to school drop-off or the gym and there isn’t a lot to clean up thanks to my beloved Vitamix which I reluctantly pulled the trigger on years ago after seeing that it practically cleans itself. No regrets. Here’s 3 smoothie recipes my family really enjoys. You definitely don’t need to make everyone their own smoothies each morning (I usually don’t), but everyone has a favorite that we rotate through.

 

smoothies kids will drink smoothies for mom and kids

Kid’s favorite:
1 cup spinach
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 banana

My favorite:
1 cup spinach
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 orange
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 t fresh ginger
1 T hemp seeds

KW’s favorite:
2 T almond butter
1/4 c blueberries
1 banana
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hemp Protein
1 c almond milk

For all of them, I just blend all ingredients together until smooth — throw everything in at the same time. You can alternate fresh fruit for frozen or vice versa depending on what you have.

 

fashion

10 Jumpsuits For Every Body Type

holiday jumpsuit

Hi friends! I wore the jumpsuit above in a recent post and raved about how comfortable it is and how it would be perfect for any body type, even nursing mothers and then… it sold out. Hate when that happens! Couldn’t leave you hanging, so I scoured the internet to find 10 jumpsuits that would be perfect for your next holiday party! There’s one for everyone including this red one that makes your legs look a mile long. If you are a nursing mom, this jumpsuit might be your best bet from a conveniece standpoint. This silver jumpsuit would look marvelopus on you if your emall chested like me. This sequin one is a classic one could wear for years to come. Shop all 10 jumpsuits below! xoxo


fashion

Modern Separates: Holiday Party Outfits That Aren’t Dresses pt. 3


When it comes to holiday party apparel, what can be cheerier than red? This red off the shoulder top and matching red flowy pants is a modern twist on separates that you don’t have to shave or tan your legs before wearing. Who doesn’t like that? I love wearing red and this monochromatic look and long hem length paired with heels really does wonders for height. ‘Legs for days’ is not something I’d hear walking down the street, but I did hear it in this. Thank you, sweet stranger! For the record, I wore 5 inch heels with these pants which otherwise would need to be tailored. If you didn’t catch part 1 and 2 of “Holiday Party Outfits That aren’t Dresses’, this metallic jumpsuit and this covered, yet sexy top are two of my favorite pieces for the season and can be worn again and again.



I hope you all have a lovely holiday party season filled with love and laughter! Thank you for reading! xo

fashion

Metallic Jumpsuit: Holiday Party Looks That Aren’t Dresses Pt. 2

holiday jumpsuit
I don’t always go to Beverly Hills, but when I do it’s a great place to wear a metallic jumpsuit and heels. This jumpsuit is my second holiday look of the season and I love it because it’s so comfortable it’s like you’re wearing pajamas. Seriously, the most uncomfortable part about this outfit is the heels which I couldn’t forgo because the pants were a little too long for my 5’4″ frame. I don’t have to worry about this now that my kids are older, but this would be a great holiday outfit if you’re a new or nursing mom because the top gives you the freedom to do what you need to do. Make sure you check out part one of holiday party looks that aren’t dresses for a slightly more casual approach.


pleated metallic jumpsuitstuart weitzman nudists

fashion

Winter Eyelet + Seriously Amazing Jeans


Like it says on this mockneck top’s online description, this eyelet blouse has the whole covered-up-yet-sexy thing on lock. It runs a little boxy, so I ended up going with the smallest size. I wore it tucked into super high rise jeans which I am loving lately. People have long been raving about this brand’s denim and I finally got a pair and am wondering what took me so long. They hold you in, are super comfortable and do not stretch throughout the day. I can’t believe they are so good and that it took me so long to convert. The price point is fantastic too at less than $150 they are just as good as designer jeans that are over $200. I’ll definitely be getting more.


I love this look for more casual holiday gatherings like dinner with friends at home. Living in a casual city and really appreciating comfort has drawn me to holiday looks that aren’t as dressy as traditional looks and I’m sharing 3 non-dress holiday looks this week. That’s right – all pants ie no reason to shave or tan. Come back tomorrow for more!

lifestyle

An Augmented Reality Bear

AR bear
I promised myself I wasn’t going to make a full-on kid’s gift guide primarily because we limit toys to ‘really special’ ones due to small living quarters and I knew if I did a bunch of research on all the coolest kid’s gifts I would want them all. That aside, I do have one really cool new toy I just have to share with you guys. One of my favorite kid’s toy brands, Seedling has been reimagining play in the most innovative ways for us ever since I discovered them a few years ago, but they took it to a whole new level when they introduced, Parker. It’s the world’s first augmented reality teddy bear and you’re going to want one for the kid in your life that loves to play and nurture. Intended for 3-6 year olds, I figured Gunnar may not take an interest, but he loves to snuggle him. There’s no electronics or anything inside, so he’s soft and cuddly. Even the play medical devices (thermometer, stethoscope, etc.) he comes with were large enough not to be a concern. Harlowe really understands what it is to take care of him and loves nursing him back to health. I have the Parker app which shows a game-like augmented reality of Parker and opens up this interactive world where the kids are capable of Parker’s belly aches or a sore throat. It’s really cool to see them both using STEAM skills during play and having empathy to care for Parker feel better and want to see him become happier and happier. Growing up in the ’80’s, I’ve actually been blown away by Parker’s capabilities and find it really fun to play with too. It’s sort of like a Tamagotchi, but way cuter and much more sophisticated.

AR bear parker bear AR toys for kids kids matching christmas pajamas AR toys for kids
PS if you do need a gift guide for kid’s this one is amazing. Yes, I did want everything in Part 1 for Kids who know all the neighbors and ask for ten more stories every night. I’m looking at you, Harlowe. 🙂

Harlowe’s jammies (came with the doll gown Parker is wearing)/Gunnar’s jammies

lifestyle

Gifts That Give Back

It’s the season of giving and you know what they say… your greatness is not what you have, but what you give. With that in mind, I’ve rounded up seven charitable gifts that are fit for everyone on your wishlist. There are thoughtful ways to bring a smile to the fitness buff and skincare junkie while making a difference. Heck, even your man has something he’ll enjoy on this list and you’ll enjoy shopping too becuase it’s for a great cause!

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop. It’s the easiest way to give back because you don’t have to do anything but shop. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same prices, selection, and experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support. I went with Best Friends Animal Society but you can seriously choose anything. Just bookmark smile.amazon.com and watch how quickly your donations will rack up over the holiday season. You might be surprised!

AUrate jewelry is handmade in New York City from ethically sourced materials. Positive social impact drives what they do, so they’ve partnered with Philadelphia schools and dontae a book to economically underprivileged kids with every piece sold. Not to mention, they have some chic earrings for the holiday season.

Best Friends Animal Society makes it possible to sponsor an animal in need. Your gift of sponsorship helps these pets receive the tenderness and care they need, which is sure to give your animal-loving recipient a dose of the warm fuzzies, too. You can notify your giftee of the contribution with a personal note thanking them for their contribution and telling them about the sweet animal they helped!

CauseBox: A subscription delivery box where are products and brands features are socially conscious and with quarterly delivery, it is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s now a men’s CauseBox too!

Everlane: All proceeds from their 100% Human collection benefit the ACLU. I get compliments every time I wear my box cut Human tee which is so soft I wear it quite often.

K. Deer Each one of their striped leggings is named after an inspiring woman and supports a cause that is close to her heart. Their intention is to create a platform and community that inspires others to give back. For each sale of their striped leggings, up to 10% of proceeds goes directly to causes raising awareness and creating positive change for individuals and communities in need.

mommy and me outfits
L’Occitane has some great stocking stuffers and hostess gifts. I love this festive hand cream set for both! L’Occitane does a great job of giving back in general through their foundation. Their two main initiatives support visual impairment around the world and economic emancipation for women in Burkina Faso. On top of that, our employees participate in Foundation projects. If you need some gift ideas, check out my video on L’occitane Favorites and below is what I’m loving for the holiday season. gifts that give back

Hand cream / Holiday bauble