I began experimenting with non-toxic, organic &/or cruelty-free beauty products during my 1st pregnancy. That was seven years ago and the products were not nearly as good as they are now. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many eyeliners I disposed of because there was no color! Or eyeshadow with no shadow. In the last yea, l’ve actually LOVED so many natural products like, ‘OMG you guys have to try this!!!’ level of love. I put together a little video about my everyday natural makeup look using my fave natural, organic and cruelty-free products — please excuse the sound. I ended up doing a voiceover on the application part because well, I forgot to turn on my mic during application. There aren’t a lot of times I have to sit down and film and I just wanted to get this out to you! Ugh, the joys of video. 🙂 I know one shoudl never apologize for what they put out in to the world. I am only saying this here because blog readers are legit bethanimalprint family. You’re animals! Thank you so much for reading and watching loyally. Your comments on Instagram, the blog and youtube seriously mean so much to me.
Not long after Harlowe turned 6, we gear up to celebrate another birthday in the family. Gunnar is just over four years younger, but as of the latest check-up, only 10 inches shorter and 10 lbs lighter. To celebrate, we took him out to eat his favorite cuisine, Mexican food, and then got ice-cream at TWO places: Van Leeuwen and Salt and Straw. Miss H dropped her ice-cream at the first stop, so we made a second stop to pick up more.
We decided that since Gunnar doesn’t understand what is going on in terms of celebrating his birthday, we wouldn’t have a party this year. We didn’t do one last year for him or for Harlowe’s 3rd or 5th birthday’s. We have found it to be quite liberating to take a break from the big celebrations and focus on spending time together as a family on kid’s birthdays; especially at ages when they aren’t yet expecting a more elaborate party. When Harlowe was young (age 1 and 2) I quickly figured out that extravagant parties were a bit too much for her. She liked everyone singing to her, but opening presents and interacting with each guest was a little overwhelming. She’s never cried at her own party, but I’ve seen plenty of younger kids cry when friends and family sing ‘Happy Birthday’ so I opted to skip that for Gunnar, at least while he’s little because he is sensitive. To make his day extra special, we went on a hike so he could run around outdoors, took a nap, ate tacos, rode scooters and then went out to dinner and ice-cream on Abbot Kinney. We let him the kids pick what they eat each year and this year, Harlowe chose for Gunnar proclaiming that hw wanted chips and beans. It was quite a day for him. After his bath, he fell asleep almost immediately.
My little Harlowe started school today so that means Summer is officially over for us! I can not believe that she is in first grade. I mean, she just turned 6! Some days I feel like I should have held her back so I would have a kindergartner now instead of a big-ole 1st grader, but we couldn’t hold her back because she was getting bored in preschool and interrupting everyone so she basically had to move on. She was ready! It is the worst though because it is so hard to watch them grow up before your eyes! As I was bringing her to school (Gunnar in the stroller) I was thinking about how next year she will be in 2nd grade and Gunnar will no longer be in a stroller and it just made me so sad that they are getting older.
Also, I am getting older and noticing it on my face. I’ve been seriously thinking about botox lately. My crows feet are getting really pronounced which is actually cool because with the life I had growing up I am ecstatic that lines from smiling are the first to show up. I figured frown lines would be first given the turmoil I endured as a kid/young adult and losing my parents so young. I suppose it’s a huge blessing to have crows feet come first. I always promised myself I would be happy that I got to live long enough to see wrinkles and that I would accept them graciously so I will hold off on botox a bit longer, but does anyone have a recco for these lines around my eyes?! Geesh!
If you know me, you know I love my subscription boxes. From workout clothes to beauty products, receiving a pretty little box of curated goods makes it feel like Christmas morning. One of my favorite subscription boxes is the PopSugar Must Have Box. Heck, my first Must Have Box review was in 2014! This month they are turning 5 and are celebrating by giving subscribers the chance to win some major prizes. Sign up here and use code: PARTY (expires 8/31) for $10 off your FIRST Must Have Box. Don’t worry, all current Must Have subscribers are eligible for a chance to win too! Here’s a peek at the contents of the August box:
A dogeared friendship bracelet and a First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Bouncy Mask. I’ve already used the mask and it is legit. I looked like I had no pores after using it.
The cookies above are gluten-free (and delicious!) and you better believe I used the candles in Harlowe’s cupcakes when we celebrated her 6th birthday this past weekend. They are so pretty!
A metallic-pink journal is always a good idea. Especially since you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis (according to Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California). I’m off to get my goals written down now. Have a good day!
One of the biggest benefits of living in LA is being in a climate that allows you to be outside all year long. Our family loves to be outdoors so much that we moved to a smaller house (900 sq ft) earlier this year because it meant we got a yard! If there’s one thing we love to do together as much as we enjoy the outdoors, it’s a dance party. When I saw the Getty had garden concerts lined up all Summer for the little ones, I knew my clan would be all over them. We went to see Dan Zanes for our our 2nd kid’s concert of the Summer. It happened to be the day after Harlowe’s 6th birthday — a great opportunity to keep the party going. We met with some friends, shared a picnic and of course, danced to the Sea Shanty, John Kanaka-naka too-rye-ay! Do you remember that one? Maybe it’s just me, but that song makes me giddy like I am still 6 years old.
Huge thanks to the Getty for having us out and for suprising Harlowe with this sweet gift. She LOVES it.
All the families watching the concert and enjoying their picnic.
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FWIW, this jumpsuit comes in 3 colors and is the most comfortable and flattering jumpsuit I’ve ever tried on. I can actually say the same for these shoes. Perfect for those days when your pedicure could use some attention, but it’s too hot for sneakers. I love them so much I picked up a pair for H too!
Over the weekend, we celebrated Harlowe’s 6th birthday! I shared some of my feels on Instagram, but Kaare and I just can not get over how quickly these past 6 years have gone. I remember laying in the hospital bed full of fear and joy after her birth and just praying that she would get out of the NICU quickly. 6 years later, here she is… healthy, happy and full of love. She is the best daughter that I could have ever asked for and is more joy than I dreamed she could be. Being her mama is the highlight of my life (along with being married to her dad and having her brother, of course). To celebrate her 6th year, we asked her what she wanted to do and shared a clear vision: a movie, unicorn, sleepover party. Here’s how we pulled that together…
Movie and unicorn themed cookies baked and hand decorated by one of my old sorority sisters, Folkvangr Cookies. I asked her to make whatever she was inspired to make after hearing Harlowe’s theme and I think she crushed it! They’re almost too pretty to eat!
I made these little poms for the cupcakes. I just took tissue paper and folded it length wise in to fourths and then used herb scissors to cut fringe leaving 1/4 inch un-cut. I used a glue stick to glue the un-cut part and then wrapped the paper around a small skewer that I broke in half until it was all rolled up. Once the skewer is wrapped with the tissue paper just use your hands to fluff it out.
Gunnar loved the poms, but not as much as he loved the cupcakes.
We used Joymode to rent the back yard theater, cotton candy machine and vintage popcorn machine. The cotton candy was the highlight for most of the kids and for me because I got to make it. I also made these cute ‘ice-cream’ cones for the kids (I had to get them to eat some fruit somehow) I just scooped up melon with a melon baller and tossed it in some cones. I think Gunnar was disappointed that it was not ice-cream, but the older kids thought it was fun to eat.
I have a photo with Harlowe and this bear for every month until she was one and one picture every year since.
Just for fun, here’s a shot from Harlowe’s 1st birthday! She looks like she knows cake is coming…
Before becoming a mother, I was never much of a meal planner. Heck, I didn’t even know what meal planning was. We had plenty of meals out because why live in San Francisco (where we lived pre-kids) if you weren’t going to enjoy the world-class food scene? I supplemented eating out with eating whatever was on hand at work (sugary snack bars galore) and I had the bloat to show for it. After Harlowe was born, we got more diligent about cooking in (mostly because eating out with a baby was not the same), but she did enjoy her trips to Tacolicious., our favorite Bay Area haunt. She’s almost 6 now and we’ve tried just about everything under the sun to make meal planning easier and bring healthy meals to the table without much fuss as neither of us are of above average skill in the kitchen. Our kids are just as picky as the next, but it’s really important to me that I teach them to make healthy choices and not eat a quesadilla 3x/day which is what she would do if she had her way. Here are a few ways I save time and even money planning and prepping healthy meals for the family. For the first time in 5 (almost 6!) years Harlowe actually likes…even loves what we eat most days. The best part is, I don’t have to put forth a huge effort to plan our meals, it’s basically done for me and all the meals are easy to prepare and require no more than 30 minutes in most cases. Watch the video for more details!
What I use:
I’ve wanted to rock the off-the-shoulder silhouette for some time now, but have been too nervous that one of my kids would pull my top right off. What is it with kids and exposing their mom? They’ve already ruined my boobs (thanks, breastfeeding) and they’ll still show them to the world given the opportunity. Not very practical for a mom, but a great outfit for sushi and a movie with The Banker. We saw Atomic Blonde and it was SO good. Charlize Theron is #goals and #workoutmotivation. I can not believe she does her own stunts — she beats the crap out of these strong looking men in the movie and looks like she’s not even trying. The soundtrack is rad too. I mean it, rad. It’s all the best 80’s throwback songs set to well choreographed fight scenes. I love it. I’ve added most of the songs to my workout playlist. They keep me so motivated! Here’s the full list of songs if you want to check it out.
Happy Friday, Friends! After recent events, I have a new-found respect for anyone who lives in a humid climate. You are my hero. It’s been muggy in LA (I am sweating as I write this in doors at 8:55pm) and I’m about to lose my mind and all hope of having a frizz-free mane this weekend. We are going to a friend’s pool later today (insert prayer emoji) to cool off, get wet and ring in the weekend. Whatever else we end up doing will involve denim shorts, tank tops and sandals. This outfit is my go-to as of late. The top is so soft and looks great untucked with jeans. It’s billowy, but not too baggy. I like it tucked into these ripped mom shorts that I just can’t seem to take off. Oh and these sandals have a lightly padded sole which is the key to happiness. Honestly, this is one of my favorite looks I’ve ever done an outfit post on because it is so easy to throw on and be comfortable in and look like you made some effort. That’s what this mama is all about!
What are you up to this weekend?
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You’ve probably heard people boast that cute new workout clothes can be fantastic motivation. If you’re like me, you use that an excuse to supplement the workout wardrobe all to often. One must dress for success, right? That’s just as true at the gym/yoga studio/fave running path. Enter Wantable, my new favorite subscription box for fitness apparel. Their stylists do everything for you so all you have to do try the pieces they select for you on, send back what you don’t love in a pre-paid mailer and then get your sweat on looking extra.
I’ve gotten a few questions about making time for fitness when you spend your days taking care of other people. There is no right answer that would work for everyone since we all have different demands and journeys each day, but I made a video about how I manage to squeeze in a little workout time 5+ days a week. I hope you like it. If you want more videos like this, let me know!
Check out my haul on the June edit too! While you’re there, be sure to hit subscribe. 🙂