Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is it Bedtime Yet?

*Disclaimer: The portions of this blog post depicting my husband's obvious lapse in judgement were shared with permission...and a laugh.*

It started last night.

I reminded my husband that it was his turn to get up and feed the baby in the middle of the night. His response was that I should do it since he has to get up and go to work in the morning (he gets up at an ungodly (sarcasm) 7:50 am) and I can stay home and take a nap if I'm tired.

Sleep did not balm the wound on that one, so I woke up in a fowl mood.

Then I got to deal with the insurance some more, who refuse to cover any of the medical expenses (in upwards of $200,000, ya know, pocket change) stemming from my son's NICU stay and life flight. They tell me to deal with the hospital about it. The hospital tells me to deal with them. I think that after they both tell me this, they meet up for Dr. Pepper in a Sonic parking lot and laugh at me.

I went to my son's parent/teacher conference this morning, making special care not to wear yoga pants. After that, I took my three little darlings to the park to play until they were tired enough to take a nap spend some quality time together, and after an hour (which I personally find to be a very reasonable allotment of time since I didn't get to bring a friend to gossip with while the kids played) I said we had to go home. If only it had been that easy. My three year old responded with taking off her left shoe and throwing it at me, and then standing by the playground screaming bloody murder while I tried to play the "fine, I'm leaving" game with her and load the other two into the car. The game didn't work, as she has a head as thick as a ball of solid steel. Someone walked up to her and probably thought she was seriously distraught, because my daughter is an incredible actress, and bent over with the body language of "Where is your mommy, little girl?" I could see it all very clearly from where I was putting the stroller back into my trunk (maybe 20 feet away) and thought, "Oh, crap." That's when Ellie punched her and ran away screaming. Ellie has a solid right hook...excellent follow through. She was still screaming when I got to her (no tears, just wails of horror) and I picked her up, tossed her over my shoulder and mouthed an "I'm sorry" as we walked to the car. I tried to act normal and in control while quietly whispering threats into her ear. Then I wondered how many people were watching me and wondering if I was kidnapping the small human currently screaming like a banshee and only wearing one shoe.

So, we came home. Where I instructed my kids to clean up their room and was subsequently called "the hugest meanest butt hole" by my six year old. Then, when I found that my daughter had escaped and was not in fact in her room cleaning, she came out of my room wearing a heavy application of my lipstick but acting nonchalant as if she was just going for an afternoon stroll. Refer to the previous about her acting abilities. When I went into my room to assess the damages I was lucky not to find any remnants of the makeover. I did, however, find gum in the carpet and a broken curtain rod. Occupational hazard.
While fixing the curtain rod, I heard someone yell, "IS THAT POOP?" I walked in to find Ellie waving her hand in front of her nose and denying any involvement in the aforementioned matter. Landon says he saw Ellie do it. Ellie scoffs at that. Let's just say that my daughter blamed her dad. The accused has not confirmed nor denied the allegations.

The rest of the afternoon has gone by in a blur. I vaguely remember getting baby throw up in my hair and answering the door for a neighbor who will probably go home and say bad things about me in concerned tone to her husband. I said bad things about her to myself when she left. In all fairness it was mostly because she's skinny and tan and I'm 6 weeks post baby, so it angered me greatly. I may or may not have seen red fire. It wasn't her fault. But I blame her and I'm not ashamed.

I would go ahead and call the day a parenting failure. However, I diligently remembered to refill my birth control and not for nothing, but pretty sure the pharmacist knew exactly why I was getting it filled due to the two older kids hitting each other behind me. I also typed the last few sentences of this with one hand so I could hold in a binkie for my youngest with the other hand. On that note, I'm going to go now. Pray for me.

So, hubby, when do I get my nap?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An Update and a Throwback

I haven't blogged in a while. I suppose I could blame it on being busy, now a mom of three, but the truth is that once a little bit of time goes by without writing, it's easy to just let more and more time go by. The thought of playing "catch up" with my blog, and then once again explaining why I've been gone, and then committing to be "back at it" and the added guilt once I, once again, am not "back at it", all just makes it quite complicated. Truth is, I've just been thinking about other things lately! I've been focusing on my kids and my family. My pregnancy was a whirlwind and the subsequent 6 weeks since Mason was born seems like an even bigger whirlwind!

There are so many things I've been wanting to sit down and write about. There are products I've been using that I want to share with you (some I love, some I hate) and there are moments with my kids I've been wanting to immortalize in print. There are reviews I've been asked to do, products that have been sent to me that I've used and planned to report on, and of course, Mason's birth story that I'd love to share.

However for now, while I work on compiling the different projects I have in store for this blog moving forward, I thought I would scale it back just a second from the fashion and the makeup and the sarcasm and, in light of my oldest son's sixth birthday a few weeks back, and me becoming a new mother again just a few weeks before that, I'm going to paste in an excerpt from an old blog entry from a personal blog (a journal, really) from four years ago, on my son's second
birthday. Not only do I feel the same way about my son as I did then, but it's all multiplied by three. So here's a little throwback for you all! Enjoy!


On this very day, two years ago, my body was housing a little miracle. I would have him on February 28, 2009 in the late morning. My whole world was going to change. From that second forward, I was no longer the same person. Something innate, divine and remarkable changed inside of me. A rough, brazen albeit sensitive soul had spent nine months being shaped and refined into a mold worthy of the name 'Mommy'. That day, I was entrusted with a gift. This gift was unlike any I had received before. I was given a soul. This soul was my responsibility to shape and feed with wisdom and knowledge-attributes that, ironically enough, this new little soul would be teaching me. Heaven sent me a gift.

Heaven sent me an angel. I named him Landon.

I wish that I had words in my vocabulary to even come close to describing what it is like to be a mother. I've never been one to lack eloquence, but my angel of a boy is the one thing in my life that has rendered me speechless.

I love him, not only because he is my child, but because of who he is. He is a good, good person. He recognizes when someone's feelings are hurt, and he is the first to hug them. He knows when I'm sad or not feeling good, and without asking him to, he'll bring me his teddy bear or his blanket. He kisses his Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys goodnight each night. He tells me about Jesus, and that we should be soft in His house. (Reverent at church.) He knows how to kneel down and fold his arms, and he knows that before he goes to bed, he is to say his prayers. He is polite, and says "Please" and "Thank You".

Aside from those and countless other beautiful attributes my sweet son has, one of my favorites is that he is an incredible judge of character, which is a testament to the people in his life that he loves. 

Can you believe, that despite all of the words scrawling from left to right across this page, I might still feel at a loss for words in regards to my feelings about my son?

Well, I do.

I am in awe of him. I am in awe of my Heavenly Father for the mere creation of such a being as my sweet son. My love for him, regardless of anything that I might have the creativity to type, has rendered me my own kind of speechless.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back and on the Upswing

Oh. Migoodness.

I've been gone for a long time, right?!

Well, really, I've been here. As in here, in my house. Mostly on the couch or in my bed, and mostly not wearing any makeup and living in pajamas (I'll explain in a moment...) But I've been gone away from here. As in, here on my blog.


Well, truth be told, I've had a lot going on in the ol' personal life. Long story short? I'm pregnant. Yeah, I was surprised, too. And, though I'm thrilled and beyond blessed and so grateful---pregnancy makes me very, violently, horrifically, unbelievably ill. At least for the first several months. On top of that, there was a death in my family. We lost my grandpa to leukemia recently, which has been hard and sad for my family.

So, I took a few months off from blogging, gift basket and gift bouquet creating, personal shopping, makeup, styling photo shoots, styling in general, and, to put it frankly, any sort of moving or becoming vertical (except to throw up...TMI? Sorry...) and focused on my family and my fetus.

Now that things seem to be on the upswing, I'm anxious and excited to get back into my work, but first I want to quickly say thank you to all of the friends and family who have been really supportive of me and my husband and kids while we dealt with my illness and the loss of my awesome Grandpa Tug.

But things are getting much more functional, for lack of a better word, around these parts and I've been having a fun time doing some personal shopping and filling some gift basket and bouquet orders. I even wore mascara today. I told you...things are looking up!

I'm excited to incorporate some maternity concepts into my Wardrobe Wednesdays and Thursday Threads (and everything else, really) but FEAR NOT, this has not become a pregnancy blog! Just as my life bends and twists with the changes in the air, so will my blog. But one thing stays the same--we are always searching. Though the last few months I've been mostly searching for anti-nausea ideas and ways to keep down fluids without incorporating the dreaded IV Therapy and all that nonsense, the fact remains the same. This has always been a place where I go to search and discover. Be it clothes, trends, fashion, music, ideas, anecdotes, love and laughter or, if we're being real, a lot of my general annoyances with society and life, there is always more to find and ALWAYS more to learn.

So happy to be back into the swing of it, back building gift baskets, back in the shops and boutiques and back at my computer desk. I've missed it, that's for sure.

I'd love to hear any suggestions for posts or reviews so don't be afraid to hit up the comments!
Adios for now!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday: Leather and Sequins

Leather and sequins are two of this girl's favorite things! Let's start with the sparkles, shall we?

This look is one of my favorites. This sequin lipstick sweatshirt is great over a chambray top or with leggings and converse (how I wear it almost every other time!) but I have to say I'm almost always a fan of the layers!

Sequin Sweatshirt: Target; Chambray Top: Old Navy; Maxi Skirt: Old Navy; Leopard Print Sneakers: Target; Bracelets: Express 

And lastly, leather is a trend that is always on trend but never too trendy. (Say that five times fast!) Just ask Sandra Dee or Madonna or Diane Von Furstenburg or Rhianna or Taylor Swift or Coco Chanel. Okay, you get my point. Leather isn't going anywhere...and that's fine by me!

Leather leggings: Agnes and Dora; Polka Dot Blouse: Lauren Conrad for Kohls; Green Pumps: DSW; Bracelets: Express and Old Navy; Earrings: Stolen from my little sister

What have you guys been wearing?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Personal Shopping: Easter Baskets

Hey everyone! Spring is in the air and I am just loving it.
One thing that not a lot of people realize is that personal shopping isn't just for clothes and shoes! Easter is right around the corner and I'm happily filling orders for custom made Easter baskets! (Mother's Day baskets and Teacher Appreciation Day baskets are also available!) I thought maybe I'd show you some of my favorites that I've been putting together this year as well as let you in on my giveaway for a basket on my Facebook page!

The Easter Bunny loves those with allergies too! :)

For your little girl!

For your little boy!

For "him"!

For "her"!

Family set! Buy any 4 baskets and get 15% off of your order!

For "her"!

For your little boy!

For the beauty lover!

For the beauty lover!

For the baker!

As you can see, baskets can be filled with just about anything! I love filling baskets for your favorite people with their favorite things! Shrink wrapping is great for shipping, as well.

This basket was sent to a missionary. It's filled with ties, dress socks, treats and the like! Again, shrink wrapping is prefect for shipping!

I've been filling these orders at all price points. They range anywhere from $20-$200! I am also happy to shrink wrap and ship or deliver any baskets. And they don't just have to be for Easter! Who doesn't love a gift basket for their birthday, anniversary or "just because"?!

Now, for the giveaway! Head over to my Facebook page and enter to win this basket valued at $50! All you have to do is find the giveaway post on the page and find the giveaway rules there! Here are pictures of the basket you can win!


This feather themed basket includes a candle, jewelry tree, necklace, water bottle, decorative sign, hand soap, lots of little goodies, a makeup bag, eggs filled with candy and some feather themed surprises! Head over to my Facebook page to win it!

Happy Easter, everyone! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My >>INEXPENSIVE<< Nightly Facial

Skincare is something that has always been very important to me. As a teenager, I always had breakouts but as I went into my twenties, the normal teenage breakouts didn't go away! I realized I had to really take care of my skin in order to keep it healthy. 

One of the ways that I make sure my skin stays healthy and happy is to treat myself to a facial every single night. That's right. A facial every.single.night. (And it definitely helps wind me down from the day, as well!) The trick with this is to exfoliate it correctly. Most scrubs out there on the market are only going to create microscopic tears in your pores and skin, will make your pores look bigger over time, and aggravate the sensitive skin on your face. Sure, you can toss three bills towards an expensive scrub that claims not to aggravate your skin, but in my opinion, an exfoliating facial brush is definitely the way to go. It took me a while to jump on the band wagon of these brushes, mainly because of the price point, but I'm a believer now. Mainly, I'm a believer because I found a great brush, at a great price, and most importantly an amazing outcome.

I use the Mary Kay's version of an exfoliating brush and I'm so happy with it. I used it consistently, every day for a couple of weeks and could tell the biggest difference in the softness of my skin and the look of my pores. Now, I've used it nightly for two months and I'm hooked. Not only that, but my breakouts have diminished down to next to nothing. I feel like any dry spots are buffed away gently and my skin feels amazing after each use. That being said, I love it enough that I want to share my nightly skincare routine with you, centered around my new favorite brush.

First, I remove my makeup with a makeup wipe. Make sure to find one that isn't harsh on your skin. I prefer the Garnier Refreshing Wipes. They're inexpensive and effective, and they feel great on your skin.

Wouldn't it be funny if this were actually me? Ha!

Next, I take off my eye makeup with Johnson's Head to Toe Baby Wash. Again, INEXPENSIVE! Lather it up a bit in your hands and this will remove your stubborn eye makeup and doesn't bother your eyes (tear free, for babies) and is safe for the thin skin around your eyes (gentle, for babies).

At this point, I use two pumps of  Cera Ve Foaming Facial Cleanser right onto the brush head of my Mary Kay Cleansing Brush. 
At this point it REALLY foams up. This is great for me as my skin tends to be more oily. (Tip: If you have oily skin, always use a cleanser that is clear and preferably foaming.) The brush in conjunction with my cleanser really gets deep into my skin and pores and cleans out anything and everything. The great thing about this brush is that any cleanser will work wonderfully with it. I have used it with a more moisturizing cleanser that doesn't foam up and it works great.

Then, after I rinse and dry my face, I use a toner. I use Apple Cider Vinegar on a cotton ball. Once again, so inexpensive. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural antibacterial toner and will remove anything left over on your skin without using harsh chemicals or alcohol. Listen, the fumes from this could make your eyes water so don't use it on the areas around your eyes. This will make your skin look red, so don't do this unless you're ready to go to bed. I love that it's safe, natural and effective.

Finally, moisturize. I use (always will!) Egyptian Magic for my nightly moisturizer. The jar is about $40 which seems pricey, but one jar will last me six months or more! I use about the size of a dime, rub it in the palm of my hands to warm it up and apply. It will feel oily (as it has olive oil in it-TOTALLY safe for your pores and skin. Look it up...) so it's definitely a nighttime moisturizer/serum. This will sooth anything that feels tingly from the vinegar.

Now, this has been my skincare routine for a few years now, and it's worked alright. It's kept my breakouts mostly at bay, but I've never been able to get rid of that "ruddy" look. I wanted glowy, beautiful skin before my makeup went on. When I got this brush, that's when it all changed, and the best part? It doesn't cost you more than your grocery bill! The hang up for me with buying an exfoliating cleansing brush was always the price. $100? Plus brush heads? Plus a charging station or batteries? No.

This brush comes WITH batteries and TWO brush heads. It's water resistant and I use mine each night in the shower and store it there, too. I've been doing so for 2 months, every night, and wouldn't ever go without it. Everything seen below is only $50. But even still, that's sort of steep for some of us sometimes. My favorite Mary Kay distributor, Ema, has agreed to give all of my readers 15% off. And not only that, but she's willing to give you 15% off anything from Mary Kay, though I'd definitely recommend that brush!! 

All you need to do is send Ema an email with your order (you can browse the products here) and use the code "hall15" in your email and you will receive 15% off your entire purchase! 

Contact Ema at after browsing the products here and don't forget the code "hall15" and set yourself up with a great skincare routine.

Also, let me know if you'd like to see some makeup tutorials or looks using the Mary Kay line, since you can get 15% off the makeup, too! It's a discount for more than just skincare!

Have fun shopping, and treat yourself to a facial as soon as you can get your hands on this cleansing brush!

This post is sponsored by Ema Hall with Mary Kay. All opinions are my own and no recommendations have been made that are not sincere. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wardrobe Wednesday

This next look I really liked because the colors were bold but the outfit and fundamentals themselves were classic. I call these pink shoes my Barbie shoes. They look just like the little pumps I used to have lose for my Barbie dolls. Pair it with flats and you're even more casual, or trade in the pants for a pencil skirt and tuck in the top and it's even dressier. I loved it with a lavender cheek and lip. 
Striped top: My Sister's Closet; Grey Cardigan: Kohls; Black Bootcut Jeans: Old Navy; Pink Pumps:; Statement Necklace: Gift from my brother; Lipstick: Mac Viva Glam Nicki 2 (amplified)
This next look was a casual one. It is a great Saturday errands look, especially when it's cold out. It may have inspired me to listen to Nirvana and Pearl Jam all day. I'll admit there is definitely some grunge inspired pieces involved, but I love it! I put it with a dark lip and bolder brow--Figured while I was at it, I would go all the way with the 90's look, yeah?

Sweatshirt: Old Navy; Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Skinnies; Beanie: Steve Madden; Moto Boots: Steve Madden; Lipstick: Mac Heroine (Matte) with Milani Gloss

And Finally, on our way to my little man's 5th Birthday party, we were casual.  

Ellie's Outfit: Top: Children's Place; Leggings: Children's Place; Boots: Target; Bow: Anniston's Accessories
Landon's Outfit: Jeans: Ruum; Shirt: Old Navy; Jacket: Old Navy; Shoes: WalMart
Alyssa's Outfit:
Top: Kohls; High Waisted Jeans: My Sister's Closet; Dorsay Flats: My Sister's Closet; Watch: Gift From Hubby 

 Yes, I know there is a string on my pants. :/
Happy Wednesday, Everyone!!