Cherishing Everyday Moments with Artifact Uprising

 

 

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to have some sort of book to document special moments in. Facebook is fun and all, but what if I can’t access it one day? I know that the best times are the ones that can’t be written on paper or snapped in a photo, but I still wanted something to pass down to Royce when he’s older (and use to embarrass him in front of future girlfriends)!

My mother has expressed that one of her biggest regrets when it came to parenting is actually keeping photos! While we have some photos of my childhood and the typical school portraits that you can order wallet size prints of, we don’t have a ton and have lost a majority over the years. Modern baby books like The Story of You from Artifact Uprising let you simply keep photos together and jot down special things about each one. This is definitely something my mother could have used! If you’re attending a baby shower soon… keep this is mind so they don’t make the same mistake my mother did!

The best thing about this book is that it’s so easy to customize. You can download their app and order your own products (and prints) right from your phone. With the purchase of a book, you get free prints – that was a game changer for me!  Technology is obviously amazing and it’s so convenient that we can snap photos of almost anything, anywhere, simply using our phones. The only downside of that is that I know a majority of people don’t print out their photos on their phones.   Letting you in on a little secret here: A majority of the photos I put in Royce’s book where from my iPhone! I love that I actually get to share these photos somewhere else besides Facebook and Instagram!

The biggest thing that sets this book apart is the prompts. It really focuses on little moments and reflecting them rather than asking you to put a specific day something happened. When I glanced through another baby book, I felt really overwhelmed because it asked for you to write down almost every little detail about your pregnancy and baby’s first year. I didn’t know how I’d keep up with it all! The Story of You helps us busy parents feel less guilty and stressed about forgetting things. As I said before, it really is a game changer!

A baby book is definitely something I recommend all new parents to get, and especially for them to pick one that they know is good quality so it lasts for generations – did I mention that this one is made with a high quality linen fabric that’s good to last for years? If you’d like to save 10% on The Story of You for yourself or  expectant mama you know, use the code “TheStoryofYou10” (valid until 10/31/17). You can learn more about Artifact Uprising below. Head’s up – they make a ton of other themed books, so if you know a couple that’s engaged, keep this company in mind as well!

 

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10 #NSale Baby Items You Need to Snag

Nordstrom Sale

 

Striped 2 piece set | Blender | Diaper bag | Slip on shoes | Firetruck rain coat | Honest Company gift set | “Night Life” tee| Tree bookshelf | Piggy bank | Forest 2 piece set

I’m sure ALL you’ve been hearing about is the Nordstrom sale from your friends and favorite bloggers, but can you really be mad at us? It’s such a good sale and has some of the best brands at prices you can’t beat. What I love the most is that unlike most sales, you can still buy the item after because they aren’t trying to get rid of the products to make room for new. These are NEW ARRIVALS! The prices just increase to normal when the sale is over. Basically, if you come to the party early, you get the food fresh out the oven. If you come late, it’s still good, but not AS good.

I’ve put together my favorite baby items (specifically for a baby boy!) that you’ll want to grab before prices increase ON August 7th. Simply click the link for the item you’re looking for above and let me know if you’d already snagged any of my favorites. Happy shopping!

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Becoming AcneFree This Summer

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and AcneFree. All opinions are mine alone. #AcneFreeSummer #CollectiveBias

 

If you hover over the image above, you’ll get the direct link to my new favorite skin care products!

I’ve always had clear skin – I can probably count on one hand the times in high school or college when I had a major breakout and I was embarrassed. That’s how little acne and breakouts have affected me.

After having Royce, EVERYTHING is different with my body and my skin is one of the biggest. A lot of people thought I was having a girl (including myself) because my skin was breaking out and there is an old wives tale that girls take the beauty away from the mother!

This summer, I’ve noticed my skin to continue to change and I’ve had more breakouts than normal. As you can probably see in the photos above, I have little “heat bumps” along my jawline and cheeks. Last week I also had a random pimple come and of course I was so bothered by it that I messed with it. After learning about AcneFree products at Walgreens (also carried at Walmart and Amazon!), specifically their Maximum Strength Terminator cream, I used them and within a few hours I could already tell that it was getting smaller and more noticeable – probably because it’s the most powerful benzoyl peroxide acne medication available without a prescription.

The other product that I love is the 24 Hour Acne Clearing System. AcneFree is the only brand that makes acne clearing systems formulated with Advanced Micro-Benzoyl Peroxide. Micro-sized benzoyl peroxide is designed to work faster and penetrate deeper into pores, which is probably why it works SO well. I kid you not, I used the system twice a day (as directed) for few days and sent my friend a snapchat and he replies, “Your skin looks really clear, you don’t need a filter!”

Whether you’re just now starting a skin care regimen or looking for a simpler one, AcneFree is extremely simple to follow. The steps are listed right on the bottle. You start by using the oil-free purifying cleanser which helps exfoliate and remove pore-clogging dirt and excess oil on your face. Step 2 is the renewing toner – it helps balance the skin tone and control oil. I used to never use toners but can totally see why this is a must. I love this one because it also has vitamins, aloe, chamomile, and witch hazel and my mother has always SWORN by witch hazel for your skin! Last is the repair lotion which helps lock the products into your skin and continues the acne clearing! This has really helped keep my skin moisturized. Most acne products make my skin feel very dry and tight so I especially love having this lotion as the final step!

 

These products have truly helped me wear less makeup this summer and feel more carefree! I haven’t worn makeup for the past week when going to work because I’m not as self conscious about my skin. Even if you love makeup and wear it every day, having a clear foundation is key because it will help you simplify your look! Most skin care I’ve heard good things about also don’t fit my budget and AcneFree is affordable AND easily accessible. If you’d like to learn more about the brand, follow them on Facebook and Twitter! If you can’t wait to try these products, click on the very first image in this post to be directly taken to each product I mentioned!

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Healthy Banana Coffee Smoothie Recipe

Banana Iced Coffee Smoohie

I’ve been on a smoothie kick! I make them probably twice a day – one for breakfast and one for a snack after work. I wanted to add coffee into one and created the perfect recipe for a coffee smoothie by experimenting!

There’s a few things you can alter in this (if need be). The most important thing is the type of coffee you have. Some days I use organic medium roast coffee, others I use the leftover Foldgers coffee my dad makes, and today I used a Starbucks k-cup! It was vanilla flavored which helped because I’m not someone who can drink coffee black, and the banana surely helped sweetened it up too. Since bananas have natural sugar, there’s no need for more sugar! You can also alter the milk, however it will add a bit more calories and less calcium than my version. If it helps, a LOT of my friends and family swear they won’t like almond milk and when they try it, they’re surprised at how much they love it!

This is definitely my new go-to smoothie! You probably know I’m a HUGE coffee snob so I’m going to start drinking one several times a week. I get energy for work after drinking this and it also fills me up so I’m not looking for snacks as soon as I get there. I’m really bad at remembering to eat something for breakfast so this smoothie and a granola bar are life savers (or weight savers, ha)! You can even add a scoop of peanut butter for protein! There’s tons of other benefits of this smoothie even without peanut butter though – bananas are known for helping keep you full longer, black coffee gives a jolt of caffeine and is low in fat, and almond milk is even lower in fat than cow’s milk. Why wouldn’t you want to try it?

Take that, Starbucks!

Banana Coffee Smoothie

Designed for those needing a jolt of caffeine and something quick that is still filling! 

Course Drinks
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Banana
  • 1/2 cup Ice
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Coffee
  • 1 scoop Peanut Butter (optional)
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Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

This Father’s Day is extra special because my boyfriend is now a dad, and MY dad is now a grandfather! Gift giving has always been tricky for both of them because they have everything already – and what do you get someone who has everything? I’ve put together a few gift ideas if you’re feeling stuck like me, and a sneak peek of Neal’s first Father’s Day gift!

1. Experiences. Men would much rather go to an event or do something fun than opening a gift, or at least all the men in my life would! Baseball games are reasonably priced, and if you’re not a baseball gal, just buy an extra ticket or two so his buddies can tag along! Besides sporting events, Neal really enjoyed himself when we went to a wine & painting class. Make sure it’s BYOB so if your man isn’t a wine guy, he can bring the brew himself! Special experiences with the children are an added bonus – Daddy & Me swim classes, go cart racing, etc!

2. Upgrade something he already has – When I stumbled upon Freely Give, I knew that their Jesus Bible box (Luxury Edition) was the PERFECT gift for Neal. He needs a new Bible and mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted a nicer water bottle to take with him to the gym and specifically something that keeps the water cold for a long time. This gift box literally couldn’t be more perfect because it has what he needs and it’s even customized with a fun Bible verse! For those of you who don’t know, Jeremiah 29:11 is our favorite Bible verse and a reason why we chose Jeremiah as Royce’s middle name!

What I love even more about Freely Give is that they are a faith-based company who raises money for schools and education facilities in South Africa. You can learn more about their story and mission here! It truly does make me happy when I can support a small biz or any business that is huge on philanthropy.

3. Think about what he does daily or weekly. Does he go to the gym after work? Get him a new duffle bag or pair of training shoes. Does he trim his beard or cut his own hair? Invest in new grooming tools. Sometimes doing something that’s simple and practical is appreciated more. Gifts like this are what my dad personally likes, especially because he hates when we spend money on him!

4. Cater to him. While motherhood is hard, sometimes we forget about what the men go through too. If you don’t already, cater to him on this special day – Wake up and cook him breakfast, offer to drive when you’re in the car, give him a massage (if you’re the partner!), and if he has plans to go out with his friends, let him.

5. If you’re not feeling creative or running super last minute, leave it up to the kids! They always have great ideas. Pinterest and Youtube are my go-tos when looking for DIY crafts for holidays. Dad’s do a lot of projects for us, so he’ll be sure to appreciate them taking the time to make something specifically for him.

Head over to Freely Give to see their uniquely curated gift boxes! I love that they feature trendy items like adult coloring books, water bottles, journals, and more!

What are your plans for Father’s Day? Is your family going to brunch, staying in, going to a fun sporting event? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tips For Shopping On A Budget + Finding Sales

Would you believe me if I told you that this romper, shoes, and bag all together cost me less than $60? I eyed this saddle purse for a long time at Target and while it sold out at my local store, I saw it in Chicago weeks later for $9-something. I almost screamed! My navy heeled sandals were only $24.99 at Marshalls and my romper was $14.99 from there too!

As you probably know by now, I’m a mom so I need to save every penny possible. I barely buy anything for myself now but after wearing the same two pairs of jeans for weeks in a row, I came to the conclusion that I NEEDED to go shopping! You don’t feel as bad shopping for yourself when you’re saving money, and I’m always getting questions from friends and family on how I get clothes so cheap! I’ve put together some tips on how I save money when buying clothes (because trends come & go) and my go-to stores.

1. Email lists are your best friend.
Old Navy always has online-only specials for their email subscribers and a lot of times the deals are too good to be true. I literaly never buy anything full price from ON because within a week or two they’ll hold a sale and I can get the item for at LEAST 20% off the already pretty affordable price.

2. Check online for discounts before you even leave the house.
The Cartwheel app for Target is my favorite because I can open the app, search for an item, and see if there’s currently a sale. On top of that, Target has a Red Card where you save 5% every time you shop using it (there’s a credit card AND debit card version!). I know 5% seems like a little, but it really adds up, plus it’ll take a 15% off deal from Cartwheel up to 20% off!

3. Shop secondhand.
I love using sites like ThredUp, Poshmark, Mercari, and even my local Plato’s closet sometimes. It’s also convenient because you can sell some of your old clothes on Poshmark or even trade/swap!

4. Check stores like Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Burlington for items first.
My mom was dying to have a Michael Kors bag and ended up finding one she liked even better at Marshalls and it was almost half the price! Most of my designer items are found at those stores or bought secondhand. My local T.J. Maxx just stocked a few Lilly Pulitzer pieces which I’m thrilled about!

5. Follow bloggers.
I know I’m a little biased, but bloggers get exclusive access to know about sales. Most fashion bloggers also get updates when an item they’ve linked in an outfit post has dropped in price, so if you see something on them that you like, chances are they’ll update you when it’s on sale (or restocked!) if it’s really popular!

6. Buy the dupe.
There’s SO many trends going on it’s hard to keep up with, and 99% of the time, brands will make a dupe (duplicate/knock off) for a popular design piece. I love using Google image search because if I put in a stock photo of a dress, it’ll bring me to any site that carries it but also similar looking options. What’s also awesome about that is that one store may be having a sale on it while the other still has it at full price. Always always always check another store!

7. Shop without a season in mind.
Winter coats and bikinis get knocked down in price at the end of their seasons that the store should practically be giving it away!

I truly hope this helps y’all save a few dollars when shopping. As someone who is known to be a shopaholic, I like to think that it’s not AS bad when I’m not spending full price, haha!

With love,
Cailyn Jade

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Organic Strawberry Lemonade

I wish I could tell y’all that this was a homemade recipe. It’s not, because well, mom life! However, it’s still a “recipe” I wanted to share with you all because it’s SO addicting and healthier than other options! It’s ideal for Spring and Summer and the perfect drink to prepare for a family outing, especially if you’re in a time crunch. Guests will be amazed at how sweet it is without all the sugar, AND that it’s organic!

You’re probably going to laugh but the lemonade is already made. I know, I know. If you’re a DIY hustler, just look up how to make organic lemonade and then follow the rest of my steps. Since I took the easy way out, I used Target’s Simply Balanced Organic Lemonade in this drink. I drink this lemonade by itself on a regular basis because it’s so darn tasty!

Now for the steps! Take about one cup of fresh, organic strawberries and toss them in the blender with 1/4 cup of water, a handful of ice, and blend! All you have to do now is mix your strawberries and lemonade in whatever ratio you want! I did about 2/3 lemonade and 1/3 strawberries. But if you want a lot of strawberry flavor, do half & half. You can follow this recipe and switch out the strawberries with raspberries, blueberries, basically any fruit you want! For my friend’s who need something a little more fun, add a splash of vodka! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?!

The best part about this recipe is that even if you don’t use the exact measurements and want to wing it – you really can’t mess up. If you add too much water, just add more strawberries. On hot summer days you can add more ice and strawberries to make a thicker drink like a slushy! This drink will be loved by the whole family, but especially the kids.

Let me know if you whip this drink up with a different fruit or even blend two together!

With love,
Cailyn Jade

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Being Honest About My Old, Harsh Lifestyle

Shortly after I discovered I was pregnant, I started getting the symptoms. You know, the ugly side of pregnancy. I was nauseous, had horrible headaches, and all around felt horrible. When you realize you’re growing a new life inside of you, one that is so fragile, you really start to worry about the things that go into your body (well at least I did!). Even though some things are deemed safe to use, I was really cautious and started doing my own research.

Overtime I started becoming more drawn to non-toxic, natural, and sometimes organic products. I wanted to be healthier not noly for myself, and my new baby. As I grew and grew I knew it would soon be time to put together a baby shower registry and I had to decide which products I wanted to use.

I heard of the Honest Company from other moms but most people I know go with the more traditional brands for reasons such as “My mom always used _____ brand of diapers with me” or “I just use them because that’s what most people use”. Ever heard of the phrase “When you know better, you do better”? I’m sure you’re not going to use the same exact items on your baby that your mother used, or parent the same way either. Actually, I almost guarantee that if you haven’t experienced it already, that there will be something regarding your parenting style that your mother will disagree with. That’s just how it goes.

I put The Honest Company on my registry for several reasons. One, the prints on the diapers are so. dang. cute. They just released an MLB line and best believe I snagged some Chicago Cubs diapers (I’m a White Sox fan but hey, gotta rep the city!). Two, they’re safer than other diapers. This article does a great job at pointing out the harsh chemicals found in more common brands. Three, most non-toxic and natural products tend to be a bit pricier because well, they come from the earth! The same reason why a salad costs more than a burger. However, I’ve found that they have awesome deals like an amazing bundle deal that you can get delivered every month (and cancel/put on hold at ANY time!) and they often have sales in retail stores like Target and Babies R Us, plus they often have a special promo for first-time bundle subscribers.

Not only do I love their diapers, but I use almost their entire line of products! I use the shampoo + body wash on my son and myself, which is nice because other body washes would be way too harsh for both of us to use. I also use the laundry detergent for both of us while most people buy a separate one for their baby only to use. I do like a scented laundry detergent (which theirs isn’t) so I like to add a drop of lavender essential oil!

If you’re changing your lifestyle like me, what brands do you like? I’m always on a hunt for more!
This post contains affiliate links through The Honest Company. All opinions are my own.

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