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Unexpected Mom Moments – And How to Handle Them

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Wet Ones. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I live in Central Washington. Yakima, Washington to be exact. I’ve lived here my whole entire life – I’ve even spent almost all of it in the same zip code. You might have heard of us if you’re an apple lover… Next time you pick up a bag of apples, look for the label saying grown in Yakima – we’re the number one producer of apples in the country. We also kind of rock at other agricultural goodies – we’ve got a fast-growing and thriving wine country, and grow about 75% of the country’s hops too. {You’re welcome, beer and wine lovers :)} And every year one of my favorite events takes place in the fall, to celebrate all of the awesomeness of our area… The Central Washington State Fair. It’s a huge smorgasbord of deep fried foods, livestock and agriculture, carnival rides and games, and just plain fun. I have so many amazing memories of spending long days and nights at the fair as a kid, it was amazing to take Abby this year, now that she’s big enough to really enjoy it.

Fair rides at Central Washington State Fair

Of course, the first thing we did was check out the carnival rides. We had to bring Abby over to measure here… She just turned 3 at the end of July, and is very tall for her age – but before spending the money on an unlimited ride bracelet, I wanted to be sure she’d be big enough to ride a good amount of the kid rides. Once we made sure she was, I bought us both a wristband, and we took off into kiddie ride wonderland. Most of the rides she could go on by herself… But this giant fun house thing required momma to come along too – there was a rope ladder – think, like, pirate ship netting style? – and she got totally tangled in it. I didn’t even know how old I was until I attempted this…. Crawling through plastic tubes that make you feel like an oversized hamster really do a number of your knee caps, I tell ya. And while Abby thought that this rickety bridge was “so much cool!” to clomp across, all I could think about was whether I’d updated my life insurance policy recently… Lol. [Read more…]


Back to School Routines – Tips from A-Z

“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.” – Edgar W. Howe… I love the summer months. I love family and friends gathering at my home for pool parties and BBQ’s. I love sunshine, and flip flops, and drinking frozen cocktails in my hammock. But, all of that fun comes at a price – my usual routines get totally knocked off schedule! In addition to my 3 year old, I have my nephews {7 & 9} each day in the summer too. When you throw in a few of their friends that come to visit – it makes running a full-time business from home pretty darn challenging. So, while I love summer days – I am getting excited to once again get back into the routine that back to school season brings.

Healthy back to school routines from A-Z

Back to School Routines – Tips from A-Z [Read more…]


Teaching My Toddler How to Give Back

‘Tis the season for giving back… We all know that it’s the little acts of kindess that count the most, right? Paying for the coffee order in line behind you, holding the door for a mom who’s arms are overloaded with packages, or just offering a compliment on the great service to an overwhelmed retail clerk. Here’s a random good deed I saw earlier today on Facebook, that I just love…

Random act of kindness after hurricane SandyI’m not sure who to give credit to for this photo – It was one that I came across on Facebook, with no credit given. But it’s just such an awesome example of doing something nice for others, with no expectations in return. Totally makes me smile. And it’s exactly the way I try to live my life – to do my best not to focus on what I don’t have, appreciate what I do have, and share as much as I can.

Teaching Toddlers to Give BackThis is my favorite face in the whole entire world – my little girl, Abby. Like most women, becoming a mother totally changed my life. And not just because I suddenly knew more about poop than I ever imagined, know the lyrics to every nursery rhyme song in existence, and have learned that yes, it IS possible for a human being to survive on only a few hours sleep for months at a time. No, she also made me want to be a better person. I want to be as amazing as she thinks I am. I want to work hard, so that I’m able to give her a great life full of awesome experiences. And I want to set a good example for her, and help her grow up to be a kind, compassionate, caring person who gives back to the world around her. Lofty goals, yes. But it’s what I work towards every day.

How to give back during cold and flu season - Free Kleenex care packsSince this is also cold and flu season, I want to share a very simple, totally free, but incredibly sweet way that you can give back to others – By joining the Softness Worth Sharing initiative. Here’s how it works:

Upon purchasing a Kleenex Brand Care Pack, you may redeem the code on the package at this site in order to send a care pack to someone special:

So, after stocking up on Kleenex tissues for your family {or your kiddo’s school, if you donate supplies like we do} – you simply enter those promo codes online, and you can send this super helpful little care kit to someone in need of a smile. It comes with everything you see – a small box of Kleenex tissues, the adorably decorated travel pouch of tissues, a bottle of hand sanitizer, a little tin of Balsam soothing nose & lip balm, a free song download code, and a sweet note with coupons, that reads “Someone who cares about you has sent you this gift from Kleenex Brand, the softest tissue.” Wouldn’t that just make someone’s day?

Fall cold and flu seasonDuring the fall season, as the weather changes quickly to much colder days and nights – there are a LOT of times you’ll need Kleenex. We brought a mini pack with us last night while trick or treating, since Abby and I both tend to get runny noses when it’s cold out. {That’s her, walking her crab along with us last night to the neighbors house, lol.} And there are a lot of other things we love to do during the fall – from visiting the U-Pick farms to get the last of the local fall produce, to playing in the leaves at the park. So having tissue in our diaper day-bag is a must. Plus, with cold and flu season here, hand sanitizer is pretty important too! That means that these little Kleenex care packs are such a great gift to send – to your best friend, the kids’ favorite teachers, a neighbor – or that coworker who always seems to catch every office bug! We got an extra couple Care Kits, and I let the kids – Abby, and my nephews – help me choose who to give them to. The boys both wanted to bring one to their teachers, so that they won’t get sick, and if they do they’ll get well quicker. {They don’t like substitute teachers, lol.} Both teachers sent home notes in their backpacks, thanking us for such a thoughtful gesture! Love it, and it’s a nice lesson for the boys too.

To learn more, check them out on the Kleenex facebook page, or follow hashtag #KleenexCares on Twitter!

{Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in an ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of the Kleenex brand and received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.}


Homemade Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Swirled Fall Dessert Bread

How many times have I told you guys how much I love, love, LOVE the cartons of Iced Coffee from International Delight? Well, let me count the times…. I saved a ton of money when I did a month-long challenge to initially try this stuff out, switching from coffee house drinks to enjoying this amazingly creamy drink at home. {I saved over $100 bucks!} And I’ve showed you how you can use it in recipes like Candy Bar & Cookie Coffee, or Irish Cream Mocha Brownies. And now, I have another sweet idea for using these amazing cartons of coffee for more than energizing my mornings – Homemade Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Swirled Fall Dessert Bread. SO good!

Fall chocolate and pumpkin spice [Read more…]


Three Ways to Wear a Blazer for Fall

“I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn’t itch.” – Gilda Radner… When I was 19, I got a job working in retail. It was a perfect fit for me – I love sales, I love talking to people all day, and I love playing with pretty clothes. I moved up over the years, moving on to manage several smaller boutiques and retail shops in the mall. One thing that I loved was working as a personal shopper – helping women put together new outfits, or even full wardrobes. {Yes, hard to believe it, when you see me today in my hoodie and leggings, working from home, lol.} A tip that I shared often is to invest in a few key classic pieces each season, the type of items that never really go out of style. One of those great basics is a blazer – whether it’s for work, a girls night out, or just a casual lunch date, a blazer totally boosts your style, and will get worn season after season, year after year. Keep reading to see three cool ways to wear it – and learn where I found a new fave this fall…

How to wear a blazer - fall fashion - teal and silver
All pieces in this outfit are from the Merona collection at Target – Love it, right? I’m excited to find the plaid Blazer – the colors are subdued, so it’s not too wild. But it really brings a little bit of a funky twist to your more basic wardrobe pieces. And I love these blues, greens, and greys going into the holiday season. {Want the link to find a specific item? Just click each of the pics to check them out on Polyvore, where you’ll be able to go directly to the item you want on, easy peasy.}

How to wear a blazer - funky fall work look

This look makes me wish I had a “real” office to go to each day… Somewhere to get a little more dressed up. The color of this dress is perfect – take off the blazer, and you’re ready for holiday parties. And speaking of the blazer – how fun is the extra trim detailing on this one? Makes it a little big more polished and dressy. Add some cool Merona patterned tights and “shooties” – and you’ve got a look perfect for any event. I can totally see me wearing this at one of our local business meetings – it’s professional, but still fun and a little bit funky with the animal print accessories.

How to wear a blazer - taking summer clothes into fall

Do you have some summer favorites that you’re just not ready to pack away yet? A blazer works as a perfect partner to bring things like strapless dresses and strappy tanks into the cooler fall weather. Add some fun colored tights paired with tall boots, and you’ll stay warm all the way through winter. This is a great way to extend your wardrobe through the changes in seasons each year. And again – all of these pieces, even the accessories, are available at Target stores across the country, or at Which means not only are the fashions adorable, but they’re also totally affordable too.

Merona Fall Fashions at Target

See how the Target Fall Collection is designed to take you through a season of stylish looks at

What is YOUR favorite way to wear a blazer?

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.}


How to Style Fall’s New Pencil Skirts

“What a strange power there is in clothing.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer… You know how much I adore new fall fashions, right? It’s my favorite time of year to shop – I love the feeling of cozy sweaters and thick socks, soft new scarves and comfy tall boots. And I definitely love the new colors that fall brings – This year my favorite are pieces inspired by the colors of nature – yellow, pumpkin, and a deep plum – perfect additions to liven up your more basic work pieces, and bring a smile to your face on even the dreariest of days. Let’s start with a total must-have style for work and play this fall – The Merona Pencil Skirt, from Target.

The Merona Pencil Skirt at Target

The Merona Pencil Skirt

Universally flattering with a cut that’s long and lean – a pencil skirt is always a great pick for a work wardrobe. This great skirt from Target is just as adorable as it is affordable – at only $20, you can afford to stock up! Pick a bright pencil skirt and find just the right amount of bold by layering those solids with a fun patterned cardigan. Or create contrast with color by mixing a pencil skirt with a striped pullover sweater. And, a pencil skirt isn’t just for work days – this one has enough stretch to keep it comfy, and looks great layered with tall boots and a fun top. So versatile, you’ll wonder how you lived without it!

Fall Fashion - how to style a pencil skirt

How to style the Pencil Skirt

Here are my picks for how to style the Merona Pencil Skirt – I’m always more comfortable in skirts than I am in pants, so going into fall and winter, that means that I wear lots of tights and boots to stay warm as the weather cools down. And I love, love, LOVE the new Merona tights from Target – thick and luxurious, and they can really complete an outfit by bringing in that unexpected pop of color. Add another complimentary accessory like a scarf or bright jewelry, and you’ve taken your basic work look from boring to BOLD! And – all of these pieces are available at Target, making them easy to shop for, and totally affordable. How much better can you get, right? And stay tuned – I’m going to be doing a shopping trip to our own local target too – to show you some totally easy ways to keep your fall style right on trend, and within your budget.

Merona Fall Fashions at Target

See how the Target Fall Collection is designed to take you through a season of stylish looks at

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.}


The Best Owl Accessories for Fall

I’m OWL-ways drawn to owl decor and accessories…. It’s true. I love owls. In real life, I find owls to be a totally intriguing bird – very mysterious, almost kind of magical. Maybe this comes from my absolute love of the movie Labyrinth when I was a little girl – and that crazy-impressive white owl. Whatever it is… I’ve become a big collector of owl accessories – both for myself, and the home. So I loooove that it’s become a trend, especially going into fall. If you’re an owl junkie too, check out a few fave finds for the fall season….

owl accessories for fall

“Hoo” loves owl accessories for fall?

These are all picks from the amazing selection at World Market for fall – And there are a ton more too. I’m such a fan of the slightly funky, totally gorgeous, and super affordable selection at World Market. We don’t have a store locally, so I do a lot of online shopping with them… I love finds that help me bring my personality into my home, and World Market definitely has the quirky finds that do just that – without sacrificing style and functionality. Great stuff. Want to know more about these fab finds? {FYI: Keep reading to the bottom of the page – click through the link, and save an extra 10% off your whole purchase. Sah-weeeeet.} Just search “Owls” on the site, and you’ll find all of these amazing gadgets and a TON more…

  • Owl Measuring Cups: These great pieces look cool on your counter top, but are functional too – they come apart to be used as measuring cups! Check out the pics on the site to see how they work.
  • Owl Coin Purses: Aren’t these super cute? What a fun way to organize the little odds and ends in your purse – You could use them for so much more than just change. Buy a few, and use one for hair pins and bands, one for mints or gum, one for coins.
  • Owlet Timers: These little mini owls can be swirled around to help you time your baked goods this fall. They’re made of steel for durability, have a bright plastic case that’s easy to clean, and non-stick rubber feet to stay put. Love these lil’ gadgets.
  • Owl Cakelet Pan: Speaking of baking… Why not bake up some cookies, cakes, or quick breads in this non-stick owl pan? I totally want this to make pumpkin bread gifts for the neighbors – so fun. Dishwasher safe too – bonus!
  • Owl Felt Bag: How cute is this, right? This little felt bag is the perfect packaging for those pumpkin bread owl cakes I’m planning to bake – but it would also work perfect for any holiday or birthday. It’s great because since it’s felt, it’s totally reusable. You could even use this for a little ones Trick or Treat bag.
  • Owl Candle Set: This comes in a set of two – unscented wax, and the ceramic owl is reusable later, as a vase or pencil holder, or refill with a tea light. Great gift idea.

What do you think – good stuf, right? All totally unique accessories to brighten up your home for fall, and all at ridiculously affordable prices. Stock up on a few of these for last-minute gift giving needs, or just to make your own home a little more fun.

Want to shop World Market? Save 10% off your online order! Promo Code: TENOFFA31!

Love World Market?

Then take a minute to connect with them on your favorite social media sites – they’re always creating cool new content to share. And, by following them you’ll be the first to get upates on new products and promotions:

Are you an owl lover too? Share some comment love… Let me know what your fave owl gear is – Earrings? Necklace? Wall art? I love hearing from you guys – and I’d love to know that I’m not the only owl junkie out there!

{This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own. Collage content was created by me, and was not influenced by brand. I love owls. That is all….}