Back to School + Giving Back

This post was sponsored by Champions for Kids + The Motherhood.2014-07-24_0001I get asked a lot of questions about teaching this time of year…..it usually coincides with the Back to School displays going up.  One of the questions I get asked the most? How can people help.  Unless you have school aged kids, you’re probably a little out of the loop when it comes to school supplies and classroom needs.

Recently I learned about an amazing program Champions for Kids has put together to meet the needs of children in our local communities.  Champions for Kids is encouraging families and community groups to get together, and collect supplies for local students.  They suggest that you donate supplies to local classrooms, tutoring centers, schools or shelters.  Another option? Champions for Kids’ SIMPLE Giving program! Visit your participating Walmart store between July 7 – August 1 and look for the Simple Giving donation bin. Choose school supplies then donate them immediately to help children in your local schools! 

I wanted to put together a sample for y’all, of a great Back to School gift bag for teachers.  Want to really start the year off right? Have your student walk one of these in on the first day of school.  Every one of these items was on sale, if you’re looking for school supplies……now is the time! Teachers tend to buy a lot of supplies for their own classrooms…..so class sets of anything are a LIFESAVER.  Seriously, class sets of pencils or erasers are always welcome……so are markers or cleaning supplies.  
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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 8.12.00 PM2014-07-24_0004Do you have kids going back to school? Where can you donate supplies to help the kids in your community?

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Welcome to our Home with Closetmaid

Thank you to Closetmaid for our new entryway bench.storage benchWelcome to our new house! While you’ve seen a few sneak peeks of details, we’ve been in the midst of boxes…..so I haven’t been quite ready to show off the new place.  This is the beginning of a really fun decor series.  I can’t wait to show how we are slowly pulling things together to create a fun, family friendly home on a budget.  It’s challenging, isn’t it? Home Decor isn’t cheap!  I’ve been scouring the internet along with some of my favorite stores to find pieces that will give us the most bang for our buck.

storage benchOne of the things we REALLY disliked about living in our apartment was that there was no entryway.  You walked directly into our living room area…..and it was always cramped.  The new house? Has a great little entry area and a front room that we are using as a home office.  We desperately needed a shelf or bench near the door to store keys, purses, shoes, etc.  Enter ClosetMaid.  They just launched a series of storage cubes and benches available only at Target.  I love that we can hide our purses and shoes in the cubbies (my shoes aren’t as cute as Lydia’s)!  Add a few of our favorite decor pieces….and voila, welcome to our new home! storage bench storage bench/ 3 Cube Bench c / o ClosetMaid / lamp / baby moccs c / o faas design / artwork a gift from one of our closest friends + bloggers /

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Makeup Tutorial: 5 minute face

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.

All opinions are mine alone.

#WalgreensBeauty #CollectiveBias5 minute faceDisclaimer, this makeup tutorial comes from real life experience with poor nap time management…….. 

How Lydia’s morning nap normally looks (in my mind):

She’s asleep. Nope, she’s not.  Ok, now she’s REALLY asleep.  I think.  Better wait a few minutes just in case.  Alright, one more cup of coffee.  Make that two. I’ll check a few emails, then hop in the shower.  Oh no, it’s been 30 minutes! Check twitter. Check instagram.  Shower……victory! All done.  Oh wait, she’ll be up in 5 minutes……..I need SOME makeup, don’t I?

Moms, you can relate right? Ladies who have to run out the door for work, you too? Yup, we’ve all had those days where time gets away from you…..and you find yourself with 5 minutes to do your makeup.  After way too many days of skipping makeup all together, I finally found a 5 minute face routine that makes me feel pretty and pulled together.  The best part? It’s all drugstore makeup available at Walgreen’s.  A full face at a decent price point? SCORE!
5 minute faceAfter quite a few 5 minute experiments…..I figured out the makeup products that provide maximum impact in minimum time.  I love how soft and glowy this look is…..perfect for summer! 

The most important steps in a 5 minute face? Prep + Conceal, Enhance and Finish.

Prepping and concealing with primer, bb cream and a concealer creates the perfect canvas…..and hides those dark circles.  A cream blush and eyebrow gel come next…….it’s amazing what a well defined brow and flushed cheek will do for a plain face! To finish off a speedy primping session? A gloss that lasts ALL day and great mascara.

5 minute faceA few hints for speed: keep your products out and ready to go and apply all with your fingers….I didn’t use a single brush for this!

5 minute face See? 5 minutes….and you’re ready to go!

5 minute face5 minute faceLooking to recreate this look? All items are available at Walgreens…..and most of them were on sale!

Extra bonus? Walgreens is offering a Gift with Purchase until August 30th…..a free travel size brush set with any $20 purchase.

Primer: Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

BB Cream: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm

Concealer: Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer

Blush: Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Rose Petal

Brow Gel: Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil + Gel

Lip Gloss: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive

Mascara: Maybelline Volum’Express Pumped Up Colossal Mascara in Classic Black

 

What are your favorite 5 minute face makeup products?

 

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Lace Dress

lace dress

lace dressHow do you celebrate your (gulp) 35th birthday? Sushi, pineapple sake-tinis, and the perfect lace dress.  I feel like I just turned 30, but…..here we are. Married, baby and 35.  And it was the perfect weekend.  My mom watched Lydia, and we got to have a much needed date night! I’d been wanting to check out this particular sushi spot since I moved to LA twelve years ago…..and we finally made it.  Stunning views of the LA skyline, delicious drinks, and just the right amount of sushi? I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday!  And this lace dress by one of my new favorite brands? It just screamed birthday dress……..I’m so glad it arrived in time for the big day!lace dresslace dresslace dresslace dress

/ dress c / o Sincerely Mary / shoes & necklace c / o Just Fab / clutch c / o Mimic Design /

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Grown Up Popsicles

2014-07-20_0001I am WAY overdue in sharing my adventures with grown up popsicles, these were actually made as a treat for the 4th of July…..and I’m just getting around to getting them in front of y’all! They’re super easy to make, and the best dessert EVER for dinner parties!

A few lessons learned when creating grown up popsicles:

- the ratio of juice to alcohol needs to be 1/3 to 2/3 or less…..otherwise you end up with grown up slushies 

- freeze them for at least 6 hours

- make extra, they’re a blast to serve and people always want seconds

These popsicles: cranberry juice + whipped cream vodka

A few other combos I’ve tested out: java rum + heavy cream, wine + fruit juice (sangria popsicles), peach juice + champagne

grown up popsiclesgrown up popsiclesgrown up popsicles730x100letitshineWelcome to Let it Shine!   Welcome to the new, revamped Funday Monday! After two years, we decided to rename our link up to something we felt was a better fit.  Welcome to Let it Shine! Why the name? Because, we want this link up to be just that…..your chance to let it shine! We will be sharing our favorites each week here, and on social media!

The biggest change? Monthly Inspirations!  Each month we will share some fun post ideas, one for each week.    Do you HAVE to follow the inspirations to link up? Absolutely not!  If you’d like to be considered for a feature, those will be picked from the inspirations.   july inspirations_edited-1
Last week, we talked about home decor….and we got some GREAT ideas! Bathrooms, nurseries, furniture choices…..we loved it! Here are a few of our Home Decor favs…….

a few of our favs-decor
/ Bathroom Remodel / Craft Room Makeover /Dream Home Living

Another place we will be showcasing our favs? The Let It Shine Pinterest Board! We will also be posting ideas for the weekly themes….so be sure you’re following!   let it shine hashtag_edited-1   Linking up to Let it Shine? Don’t forget to link back to our blogs or share our button, thanks y’all!   still being molly  

Now…..talk amongst yourselves……….


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Grill Recipes: Sausages + Spicy BBQ Sauce

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.

All opinions are mine alone.

#StartYourGrill #CollectiveBias

spicy bbq sauceHello summer! The heat has hit around here, and I’m avoiding cooking as much as possible.  It’s the perfect time for BBQs.  I’ve been experimenting with different grilling recipes…..and this one has been on repeat already! Hillshire’s American Craft Sausages have become sort of an addiction around here, in fact they’ve replaced our old chicken sausages.  Handcrafted, and available in Smoky Bourbon,  Garlic Onion, & Jalapeño Cheddar…..these distinctive sausages are perfect for grilling and dipping in the perfect sauce pairings.  The real ingredients like smoky bourbon and garlic cook up to create a delicious center to a summer dinner.  This week’s menu? Jalapeño Cheddar Grilled Sausages with Spicy BBQ Sauce.  Amazing.  In fact, my husband ate this for both lunch and dinner.spicy bbq sauce

Grilled Sausages + Spicy BBQ Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Onion
  2. 4 Garlic Cloves
  3. 1 cup Bourbon Whiskey
  4. 2 cups Ketchup
  5. 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  6. 1/4 Worcestershire Sauce
  7. 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  8. 1/4 cup Sriracha
Instructions
  1. Mince onion and garlic. Simmer in bourbon for 10 minutes.
  2. Add ketchup, cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha......cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain sauce.
Lipgloss and Crayons http://lipglossandcrayons.com/
spicy bbq sauce

spicy bbq saucespicy bbq sauceLooking to buy your own? I got mine at Pavilion’s….and they’ve got a coupon for 55 cents off a package! Better hurry, look….I got the last package in the store!!

 

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Nursery Details

 This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Playtex, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RefreshYourNursery  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

So, by now…..everyone knows that we moved.  From a very small apartment to a house.  In fact for the first week, hubby and I wandered around from room to room yelling to each other about how much space we had!  One of my favorite things about the house is that Lydia has a big room all to herself.  In our apartment, her nursery was also our guest room.  She was pretty small, so it wasn’t a huge crisis…..but now that she’s (gulp!) on the move…..it’s awesome to have the space! We have been working at arranging her room so that it’s a peaceful place to sleep, an organized spot for clothes and diapering, and has a fun play area.  We’ve taken a ton of the must haves from her original nursery, added a few new elements……and it’s quickly becoming my favorite spot in the house!

I wanted to include a few notes / details for moms to be……I was a little surprised over the last few months at the things that I found to be especially helpful.

2014-07-13_0002~We originally didn’t have a rocking chair, but I’ve gotten a ton of use out of this one….wish I’d had it since day 1!~

2014-07-13_00042014-07-13_00052014-07-13_0003~Our Diaper Genie.  A godsend.  First of all, it actually looks pretty….and matches our nursery decor.  And now that Lydia is eating solids….it’s a full on necessity!~

2014-07-13_0001~ We’ve organized the top drawer of Lydia’s dresser with our changing table necessities: diapers, extra wipes, changing pad mats, and Diaper Genie refills.  I stocked up at Target recently….they’ve got a deal going where if you buy 3 Diaper Genie refills….you get a $25 Spa Finder Wellness Gift Card.  I mean, what a win!~

Buying your own Diaper Genie Refills at Target? Don’t forget to save your receipt, and grab your $25 Spa Finder Wellness Gift Card while supplies last!

730x100letitshineWelcome to Let it Shine!   Welcome to the new, revamped Funday Monday! After two years, we decided to rename our link up to something we felt was a better fit.  Welcome to Let it Shine! Why the name? Because, we want this link up to be just that…..your chance to let it shine! We will be sharing our favorites each week here, and on social media!

The biggest change? Monthly Inspirations!  Each month we will share some fun post ideas, one for each week.    Do you HAVE to follow the inspirations to link up? Absolutely not!  If you’d like to be considered for a feature, those will be picked from the inspirations.   july inspirations_edited-1
Last week, we talked about sparkle….and man, did we see variety! Jewelry, fireworks, glitter…..we loved it! Here are a few of our Sparkle favs…….

a few of our favs sparkle/ Proud to Be a Momma / Sparkle + Pasta / Let’s Make Fireworks /

Another place we will be showcasing our favs? The Let It Shine Pinterest Board! We will also be posting ideas for the weekly themes….so be sure you’re following!   let it shine hashtag_edited-1   Linking up to Let it Shine? Don’t forget to link back to our blogs or share our button, thanks y’all!   still being molly  

Now…..talk amongst yourselves……….
Week of 7/13:

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Date Night In with Jose Cuervo Iced Teagaritas

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When Lydia was first born, we decided that we were going to have date night every week.  Our latest plan? Some of those nights are date night in.  Now that Lydia goes to bed fairly early, we get a couple of hours to ourselves each night.

So, imagine our luck when the perfect date night in was delivered to our door the other day.  Yup, literally.  Jose Cuervo sent over a gift pack of their new Iced Teagaritas.  Is it wrong that I was super excited for the baby to go to bed so that we could try them? Jose Cuervo’s new twist on a classic margarita is filled with lime margarita, Jose Cuervo tequila, orange liquor and mixed with refreshing iced tea. And it’s DELICIOUS! We sat out on our front step, and enjoyed the sunset……seriously, it was the best date night in!

Teagarita launched in May, and is gaining wider distribution just in time for summer.  It’s perfect for bbqs and summer parties!

Love margaritas? Iced tea? Then I’d suggest running to your fav liquor store and trying these out! Want to see the latest buzz about Jose Cuervo’s Iced Teagaritas? Check out their Facebook page!

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Want to plan your own Date Night In? Here are a few more ideas that are on our agenda!datenightin

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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