Friday, November 20, 2015

Keeping your house organized during the holidays

As much as I am completely obsessed with the holiday season and all that comes with it (decorations, festivities, lots of company!) there's a teeny tiny part of me that gets a little anxious about how messy or disorganized or cluttered the house can tend to feel. Please tell me I'm not the only one! It's totally worth the added "clutter" but this year I was brainstorming some ways that I could avoid that anxious feeling. So today I'm partnering with Cottonelle to share what we'll be doing (we decorate tomorrow.. it's our tradition!)

Home organization and the holidays

Put away most or all other decor
This may seem like the most obvious and certainly most people do it to some extent. We already don't have much when it comes to home decor and our walls are almost entirely bare except for a shelf or two but we'll be taking down what we can so even with the christmas stuff out, it feels like it usually does—decorated but very minimal. 

Purge more!
There pretty much isn't a time that I'm not going through stuff and getting rid of things. We just loaded up our car completely full today of stuff we've purged over the last couple months. I feel so much better in our home when I know there isn't a closet that is over flowing with junk or cupboards that are overloaded with things we probably don't use any more.

Home organization and the holidays

Keep essentials stocked (and with easy access) for guests
This goes for everything from toilet paper to blankets. Keeping things that guests use and need in open places and easy to find. Our bathroom is all open-shelving so we keep things they might need really accessible. And the TP... we have 4-6 Cottonelle mega-rolls out at all times. I never again want to assume we have another roll in the hall closet as I'm using up the last of the TP. Been there, done that. :)

Home organization and the holidays

Keep your house mostly clean all the time
I realize this sounds a little idealist, but hear me out. Half the reason that having guests can seem overwhelming is that I want the house to spotless when they arrive (ha!). So If I can keep the house mostly clean and tidy throughout the week, then it becomes much easier to get it to that guest-ready level. I'm not SUPER crazy about this but because of the way I'm wired it's easier for me to relax and enjoy guests if the environment is tidy and clean than if it isn't. It's way less about how people see our house messy/clean and more about how I can actually be focused on the people and not doing the dishes.

Home organization and the holidays

Here's to hoping this helps me feel more organized this year! Even if it doesn't completely, every little bit helps and it is the most wonderful time of the year after all, so even if it's a little chaotic its still really amazing, right?

This post was created in partnership with Cottonelle. As always, all words and opinions are entirely my own! Thanks for supporting brands that support this blog!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Clinique gift + trying new products!

Clinique // Nordstrom Gift With Purchase
Hello hello! I have an amazing deal I wanted to share with those of you who like deals (ie: all of us). I've been on the hunt for a better moisturizer since my skin is SUPER picky about what it wants--drug store stuff just doesn't cut it and I thought I'd try one of the highest rated ones ever, Clinique's dramatically different moisturizing lotion. The infamous yellow bottle! It's been really great so far and to make it all even better, right now at Nordstrom they have a gift with purchase deal going on where you get 7 additional products (plus a zippered pouch) with any purchase of $29. It was like christmas came early! All of the gift with purchase items are pictured.

I seriously loved this offer because I'm always looking to try new products (especially higher end) but I don't always want to commit to buying before trying because I can be pretty picky. So this was an amazing way to get introduced to a few new items. I have completely fallen in love with this cheek stick and I probably wouldn't have discovered it had I not got it with the purchase. The color is exactly what I like and I prefer liquid/creme blush over powder any day of the week! Also, the soft matte lipstick goes on like butter on your lips and stays put for so long. I've already added a couple other colors to my wishlist, especially this one.

You can get the gifts with your purchase online here or at a local Nordstrom store (the Bellevue store is doing the event if you're close to Seattle!) It's seriously an amazing deal, you'd be silly to not scoop it up.

Thanks for letting me share! :)
Clinique // Nordstrom Gift With Purchase
Clinique // Nordstrom Gift With Purchase

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies... Ever!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
So my mom has been making this chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I can remember and it's become infamous. People beg me to make "the" chocolate chip cookies. There is something different that sets these 1000 times above the rest... I mean, a good cookie is a good cookie but these are better than the best. And I swear I'm not biased because I grew up on them, people hunt me down for the recipe after trying them!

The biggest difference between these and most other cookie recipes is that you melt the butter. Completely liquid. No softening or creaming of the butter for these. And I'm not a scientist so I don't understand completely how that affects the taste/baking process, but it does and it's a great thing!
It also means you can make them on the fly, no waiting around for butter to soften.

Oxo reached out to me awhile back introducing me to the Cookies for Kids' Cancer campaign that they do and for every blog post dedicated to the campaign they would donate $100 to the charity. Obviously, I couldn't pass that up. So I finally have an excuse to share this amazing cookie recipe and help support this charity in one go!

These are gooey and chewy with perfect saltiness and brown sugary-ness. (Let me know if/when you make them!)

THE one and only... Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

 2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 stick of butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (more can be added depending on your chocolate/cookie ratio preference)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk until combined.
Mix the wet ingredients together until the eggs are well blended.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips and mix until well incorporated.
Scoop heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Enjoy :)

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever
- Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.)
- *In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts

Friday, October 23, 2015

Mama Style 06 \\ Cozy fall day

Mama Style 06 // Cozy Fall
Mama Style 06 // Cozy Fall

Happy Friday! I have one last collaboration with Zappos to share, this time with Clarks! I love me a good pair of booties (especially cut-out ones!) but I've only ever had junky pairs that are super uncomfortable and wear out fast (I won't name any names...). As I've been paring down my wardrobe and thus my shoes as well, I've taken notice to how often you have to rebuy cheap shoes, it's kind of disturbing. It is SO worth it to pay more (and really not even much more at all) and have them last years and years and years. It's better on your budget in the long run and WAY better for the environment and all that good stuff. Buying high quality has become such an important value of ours over the last couple months, we want things that last and hold up well, especially shoes.

I picked up this pair from Clarks--they are classic but with a little pizazz and I like that I'll be able to wear them through every season, not just fall/winter. Also, they are so comfortable which is crucial if I'll be wearing them all day chasing Beck through the park (which I do a lot).

Zappos has carries TONS of Clark shoes, including the classic desert boots and these gorgeous chelsea boots. They've been around for quite some time and they know what they're doing when it comes to shoes and boots. And Zappos, well they have fast and free shipping (two things I love) and is always exceptionally easy to work with for exchanges or any questions.

Yay for a cozy fall day! I'm headed to the couch with a blanket and some tea to read now. Have a good weekend!!
Mama Style 06 // Cozy Fall
Mama Style 06 // Cozy Fall

Friday, October 16, 2015

Purging and re-organizing our bathroom | Small space tips

We've been on a major house/stuff/clutter/everything purge after reading a bunch of books on living more simply, minimalism, essentialism, or whatever you feel like calling it (I have LOTS more to say on this subject but more on that later). It's been an amazing journey and we're still working our way through the house, it takes awhile when you're only purging during nap time!

One area I really needed to take care of was our bathroom. We have very little storage in there and all of it is open storage so if it isn't tidy, it looks REAL bad. And when it gets real bad, I lose my mind so I needed to do something about it. Today I'm partnering with Cottonelle to share what I did:

The first order of business was to go through and get rid of anything we don't currently use. Sounds harsh but it's necessary. I'm a pretty organized person but I'm also frugal to the point of ridiculousness so the amount of hotel soaps and shampoos I was holding onto was just stupid. 
The more stuff you have to "organize" the less your area will stay tidy and well... organized. Storage boxes and baskets don't always equal organized, it just LOOKS more organized and this drove me crazy. So I got rid of a TON of stuff. Hairspray, last years hand soap, lotions we haven't used in who knows how long, broken combs and brushes, face wash that didn't work for my skin, dull razors (why??) and LOTS more. 

Purging and Organizing our bathroom

I put cotton pads and cotton swabs in glass containers for easy access since we use them daily. 

In this smaller basket I put larger items we use everyday like Beck's bubble bath and lotion. There's four things in there--easy to find, easy to put back and easy on the eyes.
Purging and Organizing our bathroom

In the larger basket I put our hair tools--Flat iron, curling wand and blow dryer. Cords hidden but still easy to get to all three.
Purging and Organizing our bathroom

A portion of what didn't make the cut... SO much stuff we didn't use or don't need. Why did we still have this stuff?!
Purging and Organizing our bathroom

And here's the after shot (in our boring windowless bathroom)
Purging and Organizing our bathroom
I used a lidded box to store things we use but not often like Sonicare chargers and new heads, new razors, and a neti pot. And I store toilet paper up top too--it doesn't need to be hidden or out of sight! The bigger the rolls the better, less to store and less times you have to change it out. The cottonelle Megarolls are great-four rolls in one. Great for saving space which we desperately need!

Phew! So glad to have that done. It has already been so much easier to clean, find things and stay tidy. Hope you're inspired to do the same!

This post was created in partnership with Cottonelle. As always, all words and opinions are entirely my own! Thanks for supporting brands that support this blog!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The rainiest day at the pumpkin patch

Last Saturday we braved the rain (like we do here) and headed to the pumpkin patch with a bunch of people. It was coming down pretty good when we first got there but then it cleared so we headed towards the area where you pet and feed all the animals. Beck loves animals more than anything so he was in heaven. This baby cow.... I want to take him home. The rainiest pumpkin patch

Then we went in the muddiest (and most slippery) corn maze and got lost for an hour and ending up finding our way back out the entrance eventually. I almost face planted into the mud like 30 times and I was SO over the corn maze.

The rainiest pumpkin patch
The rainiest pumpkin patch

It still wasn't raining so we took the hayride to the pumpkin patch area. Immediately the sky got dark and then started pouring, with no signs of letting up. I ran out and grabbed a pumpkin any way and got soaked. It was so windy it literally felt like a tornado and the rain was shooting sideways. It was so intense (and funny) and these were the genuine reactions to it... I guess Beck was frightened or upset ;)
The rainiest pumpkin patch
Seriously, it was the hardest I've ever seen it rain here. We ran back to the car completely soaked. It was definitely a memory we won't forget any time soon!

Pumpkin patch, we're coming back for you when the forecast is slightly better!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mama Style 05 // Day to Date

Mama Style 05 / Day to Date

Happy Saturday! Today we actually spent the day at the pumpkin patch doing all the fun fall things like muddy corn mazes, petting goats and a hayride to the pumpkin patch (it was storming... we got soaked). I'll be back later with some photos from that but for now I wanted to share round two of my post for Levi's.

Another simple outfit I wear all the time--Levi's black skinnies (the 710's), a loose black t-shirt and a long-sleeve chambray. It's fall friendly (not too warm or cold), it's easy, it's comfortable. Black jeans are my fave because they can be totally casual, which is how I roll all day but easily dressed-up too--add some platform clogs, change your blouse and wipe the kid snot off your jeans and you're set for date night. They are like the classy version of leggings (but i'm not knockin' leggings, I love those too). I need my whole wardrobe to be versatile, everything goes with everything. Jeans are the glue.

I also love Levi's because they are one of the only jean companies that work hard to have ethical labor practices. It's a huge value of mine and something I've been spending a TON of time thinking about so yay Levi's! Zappos even has a "Made in the US" category so you can search through all the Made in the US items for more ethical shopping.

This pair of jeans is still less than $33, which is an incredible deal for quality jeans. If you're in the market, I highly recommend them. They fit super well (and true to size) but if you need something different Zappos is the easiest place possible to do exchanges or returns.

Mama Style 05 / Day to Date
Mama Style 05 / Day to Date
Mama Style 05 / Day to Date
Mama Style 05 / Day to Date
This post was created in partnership with Zappos. As always, all opinions and words are entirely my own and I'm super grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company I love.

Friday, October 9, 2015

How we stay healthy through fall + winter // Thieves Roll-on

Thieves Roll-on

Thieves is one of my very favorite essential oils to use (along with the rest of the world) because of its insane immune system support. It's a blend of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon and together they have super powers when it comes to keeping your immune system up and running healthily. I roll it on our feet every night and if we need extra support (Beck in the nursery, after the zoo or other crowded area, or if we're around someone who is sick) then we roll it on twice that day.

There are TONS of ways to use Thieves oil, this is just one way to easily incorporate into your daily routine to stay healthy this fall + winter.

In my 10ml roller bottle I add 20 drop of Thieves essential oil and fill the rest with a carrier oil. My favorite is sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. Any liquid oil will work! This time I also added 10 drops of my beloved Frankincense at the last minute because it also has immune boosting properties! Double the power.

Thieves has saved us SO many times over the last year. I wouldn't be caught dead without it. If you're interested about essential oils or want to get some Thieves, shoot me an email and I'd be happy to help! (

Amber roller bottles and dropper bottles are from here. 

Thieves Roll-on
Thieves Roll-on
Thieves Roll-on