My New Favorite Hairstyle – Meghan Markle Inspired Messy Bun

My New Favorite Hairstyle – Meghan Markle Inspired Messy Bun

I am a creature of habit when it comes to my hair and tend to get stuck in a rut. I also don’t find most up-dos to be particularly flattering on me (I have a large forehead!) and severely pulled back styles do me no favors. However, with the heat wave we are currently having here in Boise I feel most comfortable with my hair up, but still want to wear it in a way that is flattering for me. I LOVE the messy bun/tendrils look that Meghan Markle frequently wears – it’s that perfect balance of chic, yet effortless. And the loose pieces combined with a bit of volume at the scalp keeps the style looking soft and flattering around the face. Best yet – it is so simple and literally takes minutes to do (and I am someone who is hopeless with creating up-dos)! Second day hair is best for creating this look as your hair will have a bit more texture and volume.

Robe // Earrings (similar) // Lipstick

Products

Hair

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six

Tutorial Video Here

I simply follow the tutorial video linked above, and just add extra bobby pins wherever I have flyaways or ends sticking out. The great thing about this style is that it isn’t meant to be “perfect” so just have fun pinning it how you like it!

Signature

Simple Go-To Summer Breakfasts For the Family

Simple Go-To Summer Breakfasts For the Family

Anyone with kids knows, summer meals/snacks are no joke. My kids love to eat around the clock in the summer and are constantly requesting snacks all day long. One big way to help combat this is filling them up with a big breakfast, and one that doesn’t take me all morning to prepare! Here are some of my simple, summer go to breakfasts for the family!

Overnight Berry Croissant Bake

Casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 3 large croissants, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 or 8×10 baking dish with cooking spray.

Add croissant pieces to baking dish. Sprinkle berries evenly over croissants.

Beat cream cheese for 30 seconds with electric mixer. Gradually add in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Continue to mix until well blended.

Pour cream cheese mixture over croissants and berries.

Let rest for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and set in center.

Serve warm with powdered sugar sprinkled on top

My big kiddo loves croissants, so when I saw some fresh baked croissants in our local bakery the other day, I grabbed them and decided to make this casserole. It was a huge hit with both kids, and would be great for entertaining too! Plus it literally takes just a few minutes to whip together & then simply pop in the oven in the morning. (Recipe via Happy Go Lucky)

 

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Directions

Combine ingredients in the Instant Pot.

Close the lid and make sure the sealing valve is turned to the sealing position.

Press the “manual” button and make sure the Instant Pot is on medium pressure.

Adjust the time to 4 minutes

When the oatmeal is finished, use the quick pressure release method by carefully turning the sealing valve from the sealing position to the venting position. Make sure your face and hands are not over the valve when you do this.

When the pressure has released, serve and top as desired!

When we go to hotels my kids absolutely love the slow-cooker type oatmeal there. I am someone that never remembers to start a crockpot hours ahead of time – so the instant pot is truly my best friend. I can whip up oats that taste like they’ve been cooking for hours – in just a few minutes! This is a frequent go-to and it makes enough for leftovers to last a few days. I typically top ours with a little brown sugar, berries, and a few mini chocolate chips – but the possibilities are endless! I think banana, coconut & a little nut butter sounds amazing! (Recipe via Don’t Waste the Crumbs)

 

Smoothie bowls (and popsicles!)

Popsicle molds

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup mixed frozen fruit of choice (our go-tos are mango, dragonfruit, açaí, blueberries, and strawberries)
  • One banana
  • One scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey (can also substitute Truvia or raw sugar)
  • 1 cup milk (can also sub soy or almond milk)
  • Optional additions: handful of spinach/kale, 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup granola (we like bear naked berry)
  • Choice of toppings: Fresh berries, sliced bananas, chia seeds, coconut, cocoa nibs, goji berries, drizzle of honey

Directions

Place frozen fruit, banana, milk, protein powder, honey (and spinach/chia seeds if desired) in blender & mix on high. Add more milk in small increments if mixture is too thick to achieve desired consistency.

Place 1/4 cup of granola at bottom of bowl, pour smoothie mixture over top, then top with remaining 1/4 cup of granola. Top with choice of toppings.

Any remaining smoothie mix I place in popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours or until set. These make for a great afternoon snack!

When it is scorching hot out, this is the perfect breakfast. And the other great thing about this, is there are so many endless possibilities of flavors! My kids typically love mango/banana/dragonfruit – but we often experiment with different flavors. And we always freeze any leftovers in popsicle containers for an afternoon snack!

 

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Muffin tin

Ingredients

Eggs:

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Egg Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ham diced
  • 2 green onions diced
  • 1 large slice red onion diced
  • 2 ounces cheddar jack cheese shredded or diced
  • 4 ounces cheddar/Monterey jack cheese shredded or diced

Directions

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 12 count muffin pan with non-stick spray.

Crack eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl, add spices and whisk to combine.

Begin layering ingredients in the prepared muffin pan, leaving a bit of the ingredients to top your egg muffin cups at the end. Carefully pour your whisked eggs into the muffin tins until they are about halfway full, let settle and add a bit more. You want your muffin tins filled almost all the way to the top. Once your muffin tins are filled, take a fork and lightly stir each of the muffin tins to mix everything together. Top with reserved ingredients and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit in the muffin tin for 1-2 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the muffin tins and gently remove from the pan, using the tip of the knife under the muffin to gently lift out.

For a savory breakfast you can make ahead, and have perfectly sized portions to grab throughout the week – it doesn’t get better than this! You can also customize these however you like – I think they would be great with turkey bacon, or an all veggie one! (Recipe via A Wicked Whisk)

 

Kodiak Protein Waffles

Kodiak Frozen Protein Waffles

I can’t exactly count these as a recipe – but they are such a great, quick option I can’t not list them! My kids also love the Kodiak Protein Pancakes, but for a morning when I just want to get something together quickly (and don’t even want to turn on the stove!) these are winners. I feel like I’m feeding my kids something a little healthier than a typical freezer waffle, and yet it’s still a sweet (and protein filled) breakfast my kids love. There are multiple flavors to choose from, but my kids’ favorite is the Buttermilk and Vanilla. I will typically jazz them up a bit with a dusting of powdered sugar, a few mini chocolate chips, some berries, and Trader Joe’s vanilla bean infused maple syrup. I typically buy these at our local Albertsons, but Target carries them as well! (Check to see if your local Target carries them here)

Signature

Summer Beauty Favorites

Summer Beauty Favorites

Pouch (Sephora, similar) // Supergoop setting mist // Coola Sunscreen // Sun Defense Chapstick // Lavanilla deodorant

With summer in full swing, I wanted to share a few of my favorite, must have beauty products! I am religious about sun protection, so I always keep a little pouch of a few necessities in my purse or beach bag so I can re-apply sun protection and freshen up a bit on these hot summer days. Although I keep my skin protected, between the heat and chlorine in swimming pools, my hair suffers quite a bit during the summer. To try to counteract this, I always make sure to use protection sprays and lots of conditioning treatments. Pureology Hydrate is my absolute favorite shampoo/conditioner combo – it is incredibly hydrating and the conditioner even tingles a bit on your scalp which I love.

Living Proof Leave in Conditioner // Ouai Leave in Conditioner // Orlando Pita Play Hair Protectant // Pureology Hydrate Shampoo // Pureology Hydrate Conditioner // Moroccanoil // Moroccan Gold Series Treatment Mask // Wet Brush

I’ve recently started using natural deodorants here and there, and I love the rose scent of this one. But for very hot days when I will be outside a long time, and for exercise – this clinical strength is the best I’ve used. Trader Joe’s has the most amazing sunscreen (consumer reports even gave it a perfect score) plus it is super affordable (I buy multiples whenever I go).

Schmidt’s Rose + Vanilla Natural Deodorant // Jergens Natural Glow // Kiehl’s Creme de Corps // Trader Joe’s Sunscreen // Secret Clinical Strength

During the summer, I hate wearing heavy makeup, and tend to go either barefaced, or with this light BB Cream. I always apply a sunscreen of at least 50 SPF, and this one is my absolute favorite for layering under makeup. This mini Drunk Elephant kit has some products I absolutely love, especially the D-Bronzi to add a little glow on days I don’t wear makeup. A little spritz of rosewater facial spray with aloe is so refreshing after being out on a hot day.

Lancôme Bienfait Sunscreen // Drunk Elephant Out of Office // Mario Badescu Facial Spray // Bobbi Brown BB Cream // Supergoop Setting Mist // Nars Laguna Bronzer

Signature

Life Lately

Life Lately

(Summer day on the Boise river)

This probably wasn’t one of my better ideas, but I signed Cole up for summer camp last week. It wasn’t that the camp that wasn’t fun (he attended a really neat STEM camp and had a blast!), it was scheduling it for the week after the 4th of July weekend. After a fun filled holiday weekend with some super late nights, it was ROUGH getting up and out the door early. We are all still feeling pretty tired, but it did make us start going to bed at a more reasonable hour. Evan is going to camp this week, which has been a bit easier on us now that we’ve had some time to adjust.

(No I didn’t plan to dress them alike – and we were all laughing at them being dressed like twins when we picked Cole up from camp the other day!)

Cole’s shirt/shorts  —  Evan’s shirt/shorts/sandals (sold out, similar)

Aside from camp, we also took our first few floats down the Boise river this summer! Some friends of ours who moved to Australia were in town for a few weeks and we were able to get together to catch up and go for a float with them a few days ago. Floating the river is a Boise tradition and is a must do every summer. The kids always have a blast and it was even more fun for them with getting to spend some time with friends.

My swimsuit (J Crew, old – similar) // Cole’s suit // Evan’s suit

We’ve continued to bike quite a bit and have been going for longer evening rides. Although he loves riding on it, Evan gets pretty uncomfortable going longer distances on the co-pilot bike trailer – so we got him a bike cart he can ride in for longer rides. I wasn’t looking to spend a whole lot as I’m sure it won’t be too long before he’s riding his own bike, and I found this one at a great price! So far we’ve been really happy with it.

Bike Trailer

I’ve been working on a few house projects that I’ve been majorly procrastinating on for months. I’m not sure what it is about summer (maybe it is that we are home more) but I start feeling motivated to decorate and organize. One project I’ve finally gotten around to (after planning to get to it for the past year) was updating my desk area and adding a gallery wall. I’m not quite completely finished with the space, but here’s a peek at the completed gallery!

Gallery frames

We also added a loveseat to our living room! We have a large sectional in our bonus room/kids play room – but it seems we always end up gravitating more towards the living room and I decided it was time to add some more seating. I had been eyeing this one from West Elm – but after reading a lot of great reviews about Amazon’s in-house furniture lines Rivet and Stone & Beam, I decided to give Amazon a shot as the price was pretty dang impressive. And I have to say the quality really surprised me! The loveseat easily looks and feels like a much more expensive piece – and it is super comfortable too.

Loveseat // Fiddle Leaf Tree // Similar basket // Pillows (1,2) // Throw blanket (HomeGoods, similar) // Rug (Pottery Barn, old – similar)

I survived shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Amazon Prime Day! Nordstrom was…interesting this year. It’s still a bit of a mystery as to what I will actually receive as several things in my order were canceled and a number of things still haven’t shipped (that are all sold out). Prime day was a much better experience and I’m happy I was able to get a head start on Christmas shopping! I bought each of the boys a new Osmo game as Amazon was having amazing deals on Osmo products during the sale (I got Detective Agency for Cole and Hot Wheels for Evan). I’m really liking this move that retailers are making to start offering deep discounts months before the holidays as I tend to procrastinate my Christmas shopping most years. (I would love to be one of those people who is done months in advance!) This week has been kind of fun with so many retailers having these Christmas in July specials along with Hallmark having their annual Christmas in July movies.

Hope you are having a great week!

Signature

Amazon Prime Day Picks

Today is Prime day! So many great deals to be had for home/kitchen items, toys/kids gear, clothing, and shoes. Almost all of the items I’m sharing are items that I have and love and are all included in the sale!

Prime1Prime2Prime3

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine // Ten // Eleven // Twelve // Thirteen // Fourteen // Fifteen // Sixteen // Seventeen // Eighteen (the double is also included!)

Happy shopping!

Signature

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

Today is the day!!! Early access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will be opening at 12:30 ET today and there are some great things this year. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces from the sale in each category I’ll be shopping this year.

Sweaters

NordSaleSweaters

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six  // Seven  // Eight // Nine // Ten

Jeans

NordSaleJeans

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six

Dresses

NordSaleDresses

One // Two // Three // Four // Five

Shoes

NordSaleShoes

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine

Outerwear/Jackets

NordSaleJackets

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine // Ten // Eleven

Activewear

NordSaleActiveWear

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight

Pajamas/Lingerie

NordSalePJs

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six

Beauty

NordSaleBeauty

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight

Home

NordSaleHome

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six

Kids

NordSaleKids

One // Two // Three // Four (I bought Ev this last year & it’s darling!) // Five // Six // Seven // Eight

I’m narrowing down my final selections and can’t wait to place my order! I’ll also be sharing some fit pics and reviews once everything arrives 🙂

Happy shopping!

Signature

Red Chair Lavender Festival

Red Chair Lavender Festival

Dress (Old Navy – sold out, similar options here & here) // Earrings // Sandals  —  Cole’s tee/shorts/sandals  —  Evan’s tee (similar)/shorts/sandals (sold out, similar here and here)

We are really fortunate to live in a place where it seems there is always something going on. And I really love experiencing of all of our local activities, businesses, and foods – so when I starting hearing about this local lavender festival, it sounded right up my alley. I’ve seen this festival floating around social media, and even heard a bit about it from a friend who attended last year, and thought it sounded like a really fun afternoon for the family. When I lived in Palm Springs I used to go to this little cafe that had the absolute best lavender lemonade, and I was pretty sold hearing this festival had not only lavender lemonade, but tons of lavender infused dishes and ice cream. There was also some great live music, a classic car display, demonstrations (they were making lavender oil right on site!), and various classes (like wreath making). They also had U-pick lavender and face painting for the kids! We had a great time strolling the fields (as you can imagine it smelled amazing), sampling all of the lavender foods, and browsing the vendors. We brought home some great lavender goodies, and as I type this, I’m smelling the lavender oil we bought diffusing in our house! And for anyone who missed the festival or doesn’t live locally – you can order all of their amazing lavender goodness online (I’m already thinking of Christmas gifts).

All of this lavender goodness has me inspired to put our own lavender plants at home to use and bake something yummy this week! What’s your favorite way to use lavender?

Signature