How To: Fishtail Crown Braid

June 30, 2015

Just popping in today to share a little fishtail crown braid tutorial! I'm wearing my Hidden Crown hair extensions in color 60/8p in this video and used a 1- 1/4 inch Hot Tools curling iron prior to braiding. This is one of my go-to looks this summer for a messy, undone boho style paired with a whimsical maxi dress or even at the pool with a flowy cover up.

And please hang in there with me as I'm learning more about making videos/editing and filming without a mirror... hello ends! Yikes! ;)

Happy braiding!

A Functional Diaper Bag

June 24, 2015

Oh, my sweet angel girl. I look at these pictures and it blows my mind on how big my BABY is now. She started crawling the day we took these pictures and I've loved watching her adjust to that milestone and enjoy being mobile. It's keeping me on my toes, that's for sure!

You've seen here, we started with a Lily Jade diaper bag back when Emery was a newborn and since adjusting to what I really need when being out with her while also being functional, we've added another Lily jade diaper bag (the Madeline) into the rotation with our beloved Jujube one. I've found it's key for me to have one that can be worn as a backpack and over the shoulder because it's so simple to convert and use based on what we're out doing.

I have to say, when we started leaving her in the church nursery or at the gym child care, I was struggling figuring out how to send necessities with her but also only bringing one bag with me so I have my "purse" items. I wasn't able to do that with my Jujube bag and this Lily Jade bag offers that perfectly with the removable insert. I simply fill it with all Emery's goodies, pull that out when dropping her off and then use the bag for my purse... simple and easy. A mom's favorite method!

And because I can't leave you hanging on crawling goodness, scroll down to see a video of Emery doll getting used to her new, moving hands and feet! It's such sweetness!

top- Nobella Grace | jeans- Paige Denim | extensions- Hidden Crown | diaper bag- Lily Jade | romper- Villa & Londyn | headband- Elle Bowtique

Reworking our Home

June 23, 2015

As we talk about our new home and decide what we're going to do decor wise and with design features in structural, big items I have myself wondering why in the world am I so set on the fact I need a perfectly manicured kitchen? I mean yes, a woman and her kitchen is a love language in itself and I've always been excited about having one to share memories of baking in with my kids but now that it comes down to designing it, I'm so frustrated I feel I can only have a stark white area with marble counter tops and the best subway tile or herringbone back splash.

I wasn't able to sleep last night so I was up praying about our home journey and where we are now from when we started the process of looking in January. It was just laid on my heart so heavy that I desire all these costly materialistic items because I subject myself to this blog world. All I see are the amazing, beautiful and airy kitchens where cost doesn't matter. I don't get that. We are smart about our money in every aspect and if we can suffice and create the same memories with a formica counter top versus quartz or granite, why the hell not go with something that's more cost effective? 

Of course I desire to have a lovely home but I want people to feel welcomed and comfortable when they walk in, where they feel like family and can simply kick back and relax. I don't want something that's too pretty to touch or where people are afraid to get it dirty. Nothing against those who have those bright, beautiful kitchens, but I've come to the realization I can't maintain that while staying sane. I'm coming to grips with a dark cabinet, durable counter tops and a space mapped out perfectly for Sunday brunch.

I'm excited by the prospect of reworking the mentality I had beginning this process and thinking practically for our lifestyle. It's a challenge I'm willing to take on and I can't wait to see the final outcome in a home that's perfect for us.

Staying Safe in the Sun

June 22, 2015

We are a water family over here and it's been a blast watching Emery get comfortable in the water this summer. It's now our routine after her afternoon nap to grab some fruit smoothies and enjoy an hour or so in the pool before dinner time. Quite honestly, it helps us get through the dreaded "witching hour" and sets her up for loving the pool even more! 

Being in the pool and Arizona in general, it's so important to keep your kiddos safe and protected from the sun as their skin is so new and precious! I've been trying a few sunscreen products for Emery (Honest, Neutrogena) and I haven't really found one I love until Mustela. The others I felt were going on so thick and pasty which in turns gives them more chance to rub off faster and then she was gaining color even when I reapplied every 30 minutes. Not exactly what I'm going for because I'd like to see zero color at this point on her sweet, fair skin.

The Mustela line I've been using for about a month now really is all around, great! They offer a sunscreen that we apply about 15 minutes before going outside so it can soak into her skin and we reapply while in the sun every 30 minutes. I love how the packaging says it's water resistant for 40 minutes so it gives us mama's a reminder to keep it lathered on our Littles! When we're all done swimming, we add the after sun spray that soothes and moisturizes the skin even more so if there was a little too much sun or just dry skin from being in the water for the day, this is perfect to make it nice and juicy and kissable again! A lot of the time we're swimming, it's with family members or friends and all of them have commented on how delicious this stuff smells!

I wanted to share a couple tips for staying safe in the sun this summer, and year around:

*apply in advance so you have time for it to soak into the skin and reapply the duration of being outside

*we have hoards on hand but make sure you have enough! it's hard to realize how much you'll drink if you're becoming dehydrated so I always say bring double the amount you think you'll drink.

*because babies skin is so fragile, it's important they wear a swim shirt while swimming until 12 months old. the only time emery isn't in one is when we're applying her sunscreen and when she's out of the pool and it's wet so we take it off.

*sunglasses, bonnets, towels, light blankets for draping... you name it! she wasn't a fan of her shades early on but now she wears them every time we're in the pool because I made her get used to them on her face.

*it's so easy for babies or toddlers or even young kids to underestimate the distance from the grass, back door, chair... to the edge of that pool. watch your angels like a hawk around water, friends!

Mustela is offering $5 off a new purchase on their website for my readers from June 22-July 22, 2015! That's a such a blessing for some and I know you will love the product so you can browse around here. Use code "AUBREY5" when checking out!

Kid Accountability

June 18, 2015

In no way am I an expert at raising kids and I don't want to come across like I am but over the last year or two, we've really been learning (both us and Drake's mom) that we have a dude that thrives off lists. He definitely takes after his dad with some OCD tendencies and it's exciting and rewarding for him to have a list to be able to check off to know he's on track or to write down details he wants to do... really anything, he just loves it!

I did some digging a week or so ago and found some awesome printables to download to create binders for Drake this summer. It's a great collection of things he wants to do with activities, baking, special treats. It also tracks his reading log and provides fun "busy work" for him to do whether it be drawing or writing letters to family members or even math or geography worksheets. Such a win in my book because it keeps him busy!

We also started a new Accountability binder where we're tracking his chores, the family chores we expect him to be helping with, his allowance (we expect him to tithe, save and then has extra for whatever he wants) as well as a homework chart/reading log. It's been perfect for us and he's loving the time he spends keeping it updated! I just wanted to share to you mama's who might like something like this for your littles as well!

You can find the downloads, here and here for the binders we created!

The Greatest Gift

June 17, 2015

Parenthood is something funny isn't it? Some days you're just struggling to soak up each and every precious moment with your littles and other days bedtime can't come soon enough. I think during summer, the struggle of the two is even more predominant and it's a balance of really spending the quality time with your kids as well as finding time for yourself to refresh and regroup so you can be your best self for you kids.

We're on the journey of trusting God with our family again and if He chooses to expand it further, we would be so blessed! It's been such a beautiful experience seeing Drake become Mr. Mom to Emery and to watch her as she's grown so much in her short 8 months already. We pray we can have that experience one more time before closing the "growing family" chapter and it just warms my heart knowing I can watch two babies eventually love on a new sibling of theirs.

It's the greatest gift God can bless one with, parenthood.

romper- American Eagle | jacket- Old Navy
DRAKE: tank- Loved by Hannah and Eli, shorts- Target | jordan's- Amazon
EMERY: romper- Villa & Londyn | headband- Elle Bowtique


Baby Book

June 16, 2015

When packing for our move and being without a lot of our belongings for 6+ months, I didn't anticipate all the items I'd miss adding to Emery's baby book that I was making. It's really been bothering me I haven't been able to spend time working on it while she's developing and changing so I recently got hold of a Lucy Darling baby book and I'm so happy to be filling it in now!

There are so many little "firsts" you don't think of when working on a baby book and this one prompts you with all the perfect details. One of my favorite pages included is one that shares what cost was of things when baby was born, who was president...etc. What a fun thing to look back on!

When I did post it on instagram a couple weeks ago, I got so many questions on the pictures I'm using and where I had them printed... they're all from my instagram feed and I used Foxgram to get them done. I chose 3x3 inches with a simple white border and they're working great for my project with this baby book. Some fit in the boxes provided perfectly and others are too small so I recommend jotting down which pictures you may want bigger so when ordering you can specify but I went a little printing crazy and got 200+ at once. I'm thinking I'll do an overflow photo album with those of Emery's first year to gift her when she's a teen.

our first time holding our girl for each of us.... #swoon.

How To | Hair Extensions

June 11, 2015

We all know how much I love my full, luscious hair and I've desperately been missing it since cutting my hair in March. I can say though, I don't miss the maintenance of tape-ins or the time it takes to do clip-ins everyday. I recently came across Hidden Crown and since getting the product in my hands, I've been converted. It's so fast and easy to accomplish a long hair look and it's perfect for people who don't have an hour to get ready or who just want to get ready and go- fast!

Stay tuned this summer as I team up with Hidden Crown for a few hair tutorials!

Earthy Vibes

June 10, 2015

I'm so excited to share this lovely dress with you today from Fancy Free! You might recognize it from back here but I love it so much it needed it's own styled post and not simple "mom attire"- although it works so well for that too! It really was the pockets that sold me and I'm really trying to get out of my comfort zone with hats more so it was the perfect excuse to pair them together.

Make sure to swing by my instagram today for a giveaway with Fancy Free!

dress- Fancy Free | wrap- Kiki LaRue | hat- Windsor | sandals- Marshall's | extensions (color: 60/8P)- Hidden Crown 

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