Just wanted to take a quick minute to say, Happy Holidays from Santa Monica! This year has been a whirlwind of new beginnings. Kindergarten started in August — days after our oldest turned 5 and left some of her ‘little kid’ fears behind. Fear of ‘going fast’ on the ice. Fear of climbing monkey bars. Fear of leaving her friends from preschool to start Kindergarten at a new school with no familiar faces. Most fears handled with grace and of course, a sh*t ton of reluctance. Then came the holidays which were different too.
This year we drove the concept of giving during the holidays. While our oldest had a laundry list of items she hoped to receive, giving gifts was not top of mind. Why would it be for a 5-year-old? We decided to do a few things differently this year in hopes it might help her (and us) remember to fully give and experience this holiday season. Here’s 5 things we did to help make this Christmas memorable and fulfilling.
1.) #FitFam Activities. This year we took to hikes and ice skating. Hold loved ones tight and enjoy the night (while burning some calories) on the ice or the trails.
2.) The Spirit of Giving. We adopted a family this year! It was our first time doing this and I loved it. I enjoy that that enabled us to be able to provide gifts and meals for others and tool the focus off of ourselves. Harlowe loved helping me pick out warm clothes, shoes, socks and underwear for the kids. It was a reminder to me of what the holidays are truly about.
3.) Volunteering Your Time. The kids weren’t quite ready for this, but I volunteered at a Mission here in LA to feed the homeless. We fed 1,700 men, women and children. It was equal parts tough and rewarding and I couldn’t imagine the holiday season without this. The kids will come along when they are teenagers… I hope!
4.) Customize Your Advent Calendar. We had a DIY type of advent calendar that allowed for us to choose what each day brought and I was able to fill some days with activities like making cookies. In full disclosure, she seemed to still me more excited about small gifts received, but I like to think the activities were more memorable.
5.) Remember Time is Your Best Gift. Whether you can get away to volunteer or not, you may be able to slip away with just the immediate family to share some quality time. Draw, read or watch a favorite flick together just to realign and share a laugh. We love reading The Polar Express each night, but it will get old so share you favorites in the comments below.
Happy holidays you all and thank you for reading!
Hi beautiful friends! I’ve publicly gushed about this a dozen times already, but last month was our 5th wedding anniversary! I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. Backing up a bit, I can’t believe I’m freaking married! I was never one of those girls who dreamed of a marrying, but I snagged a handsome prince and I couldn’t imagine not spending the rest of my life with him. On 11/18/2011 we said ‘I do’ at city hall in San Francisco and it was the best decision I have ever made! My husband (aka ‘the banker’ aka ‘KW’) makes me a better, much happier person and I am so grateful that he came in to my life at a time when I needed love the most. Right after my mom died, he walked in to my life and I seriously think he was sent from my angels. I just love him and am so thankful that he has been there for me for 10 years now if you count all the time we were friends in college. I couldn’t imagine where I would be with out KW.
So what do you get someone so special on your 5 year anniversary? When you ‘google’ it, you find that wood is the traditional option. So how about a wood watch? True or False: with this watch he will never be late again. Probably false, but he will have a unique sandalwood watch that tells him how much I appreciate our time together. Particularly his sense of adventure and willingness to make me tacos every Friday night. The deep iris blue carbon fiber is a favorite of the dark and stormy types. Perfect for my Capricorn.
Whether it’s your five-year wedding anniversary or first holiday together, a Jord Watch might be the perfect gift for your loved one. You can score $25 off of one for yourself. The giveaway will close 01/08/2017 at 11:59pm. Every one of you who enters will be instantly emailed a $25 e-gift code to use on Jord! Note: each e-gift codes will expire on 02/28/2017.
If you’re interested, here’s more of the goodness I found out about 5th wedding anniversary gifts:
- 5th Traditional Anniversary Gift: WOOD
- Modern Gift: SILVERWARE
- Gemstone: SAPPHIRE
- Flower: DAISY
- Popular Songs 5 Years Ago: “TIK TOK” – Ke$ha
“HEY, SOUL SISTER” – Train
- Price of Gasoline when you got together: $2.83 / gallon
Don’t forget to enter my Jord Watch giveaway to snag $25 off of a watch for you or your loved one. Good luck and thank you so much for reading!
Need more? Check out these other gift ideas for men!
Over the weekend, we delivered holiday cookies to some of our neighbors. In my past life (read: a few months ago) I would have thought this act impalpable. I applaud my mom-friends who make holiday treats to thoughtfully distribute to their communities. Spreading cheer everywhere they go. I never thought that could be me because, well I’m lazy when it comes to stuff like that!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’ve probably heard me talk about how I frequently shop at Whole Foods. When searching for places to live, I like to search for places within walking distance to a good market. It makes life so much easier for me mostly becuase parking can really stress me out and I have a bad habit of always forgetting something important, thus making multiple trips to the store. Am I alone in this? Please say no. I’ve lived near a Whole Foods for the past 6 years (3 different apartments) and I know just about everything they have in stock and exactly where and when to find it!
One of my favorite guilty pleasures there is Immaculate Baking’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough. H and I made some this weekend (takes about 20 minutes total) and gave some to the neighbors for the holidays. We like to add our own things to the Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough like chocolate covered raisins (one of my other Whole Foods staples) or plain raisins and rolled-oats to make them a little extra special. We made the ones below plain because that is H’s favorite.
How funny is she in this video? Apologies for the blurry bits and background noise there guys, I’m working on my production skills. Throw your tips my way!
Someone couldn’t keep her hands off of the cookies!
Off to give some cookies to the neighbors! Harlowe had to bring this piece of her artwork with her.
I have been compensated by Immaculate Baking for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. You can save $1 on one Immaculate Baking item this month if you want to try it out yourself!
Hello friends! I can not believe it is almost Thanksgiving! Yesterday, I shared 4 tips for effortless holiday dressing and today’s look is for Black Friday or Shop Small Saturday or any day. If you’re like me, you’ll be in workout clothes Friday morning burning off those margaritas. (We have cranberry margaritas for Thanksgiving!) After that, I’ll be on the couch catching up with my lovely in-laws. I can’t wait for all the family and friends time, but of course I’ll shop online just a tiny bit especially on Shop Small Saturday.
Where do you shop this time of year? Any good tips for kid’s gifts? Some of my favorite small shops for this kids are:
No matter what this weekend brings, I’ll probably be in this cashmere hoodie quite a bit. It’s 50% off if you’re looking for a gift for yourself. I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving and enjoy your time with family.
Holiday looks around here have gotten quite effortless. I’m talking boyfriend jeans, ultra-soft camisole (40% off!), one-step-removed-from-pajamas effortless. This season, it’s pretty hard to avoid velvet…but why would one want to? I opted for a sleek, velvet top that is fitting for LA’s faux-fall when worn alone and can easily be layered under a jacket for the office or if you need to dress a little warmer this Thanksgiving.
I paired it with IRO boyfriend jeans because I’ll be spending this Thanksgiving chasing a toddler but want to make sure my velvet top is on full display when I’m seated at the dinner table (not matter how brief that may be). I need to be mobile and comfortable all
Thanksgiving year long. Am I right, fellow moms?
Since the holidays are such a sartorially festive time, a time that many of us want to dress up even when we might normally take a more casual approach to personal style, I’ve put together some holiday outfit tips specifically for busy women like you.
- Wear an effortlessly festive top. This velvet cami won’t show stains (read: it’s baby proof!), can be layered and is on-trend with it’s velvety softness. I also love this velvet blazer from Old Navy which is perfect for those that experience real Autumn. You can also go for a sleeveless turtleneck in case it gets drafty, but you want to show those guns!
- Give in to the choker trend. I know what you’re thinking, but there’s a reason they’re back. It’s a good one! If you have a toddler you know how dangerous it can be for both parties when you wear a statement necklace. A choker is simple and sweet, but still makes a statement. They’re also super affordable.
- Wear loose-fitting bottoms. This is a no-brainer. Everyone does this for Thanksgiving. It’s your time to let loose… your pants that is! I like these …and I love their price.
- Wear a dress over your jeans. If your Thanksgiving plans are too formal for jeans and a cami, throw a dress on over your jeans (that’s a thing now!) and wow your company with your top half while being strategically comfortable on the bottom. Check out this article in Vogue for inspiration. I’m adding everything on there to my ‘dream wish list’; especially outfit #2.
Wherever Thanksgiving takes you this year, I hope you have a wonderful time and know that you are beautiful and loved no matter what you wear to the dinner table. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you’re in LA, I hope you are surviving this heat wave! OMG it is hot. I moved away from AZ for a reason and surviving 100 degree Falls in LA was not it. I haven’t blowdried my hair in a week. Having it up in a messy bun is key, but I wore it down (and curly!) today because I have a work event and wanted to look a bit more professional.
^Love my new cuff that you can’t really see here, but it’s engraved with a very important word, ‘adventure’. Every Adventure Project + Shopsoko Adventure cuff purchased will feed one person in Kenya and support local entrepreneurs.
Being constantly on-the-go means reaching for anything nearby the moment I become ‘hangry’. Often the nearest thing is not the best thing which is why I try to have health-conscious snacks on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I would probably eat chips and guac twice a day if I could, but in trying to set a good example for our kids I have to supplement some good-for-you treats too! Plus, it can be difficult to carry chips and guacamole in a diaper bag.
Both of these recipes are made with LÄRABAR Cashew and Almond Butter, a new item available exclusively at Costco. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find — you probably have most of them at home right now. I did and that’s why I made these. Feel free to adapt these to utilize what you’re working with in the pantry. My ingredients are below and this video has instructions!
Banana Nut Butter Balls
1/2 cup packed whole pitted dates
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup LÄRABAR banana nut cashew and almond butter
1 cup gluten-free oats
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins
1 tbs chia seeds
Coco Loco Smoothie
1 organic banana (cut into chunks and frozen)
1 1/2 cups almond & coconut milk
3 tbs LÄRABAR chocolate coconut cashew and almond butter
This post was sponsored by LÄRABAR all opinions are my own.
What I love about blazers is that they instantly elevate whatever else you wear. Throw this blazer on over sweats and your school drop-off duds are now office appropriate. Throw a blazer on over a denim skirt and your on-trend brunch outfit just got even better. I call this blazer the ‘mom blazer’ because well, it can do anything. You know, like a mom. The cut lends it the ability to be perfect for work, but it’s softness makes it comfy enough for playdates. I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness it’s Fall so we can get back on the layering train. I love how polished adding a simple blazer can make even the plainest of jeans and tees. Psstt…I have a promo code for this blazer below!
My office has a casual dress code. We’re talking backwards hats, ripped jeans and sandals. This is one of the many things I really like about working at The YouTube Space LA, but — you can be unabashedly you, wear whatever you want and that has no baring on your performance. It’s the kind of freedom I’ve always dreamed about from an office job, the kind that affords me the opportunity to have lavender or silvery-gray hair.
Since outfits can greatly affect my mood and confidence levels, there are days when I go in looking like an outsider, but feeling like a boss.
As a mother to two young (and ridiculously adorable!) children, I love the culottes movement. All the fanciness of skirts, but none of the potential wardrobe malfunctions. Running down the street chasing a lost, but very critical, rolling toy and inevitable bending down to collect it from underneath someone else’s car in no need for concern in culottes, my friends.
When cutouts initially made their way on to the scene, I thought I was too old to wear them. The thought that, as a mother, it may be inappropriate to show this much skin crossed my mind. Now, years later I say, why the heck not? Wear the cutouts. Wear them in red and wear them braless! One thing that really sunk-in for me in the years since we first saw cutouts is that fashion is not something to be taken seriously. Unless we’re talking seriously fun. Moral of the story: Enjoy your dessert…and wear the cutouts, my friend. Life is too short not to be bold, right?