Egg - Action Selfie Cam

More over Snapchat filters- Egg - Action Selfie Cam is taking over. At least for me anyways. Egg has dozens upon dozens of different filters, that are wayyyy better than any of the ones that Snapchat has. Don't get me wrong, some of the ones on Snapchat are neat (there's like two of them) but these Egg ones are SO CUTE! Not just cute, but so fun! The majority of them have sounds and animations (which don't post well on here so here are a few linkies: [one] [two]).

This is one of my all time favorite selfies. The hair and the huge round glasses are just darling!

There's not just cute filters, there's also scary, weird, and just plain silly ones. There's basically something for everyone on it. The app hooks up to LINE, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for quick and easy sharing on social media. I really have to restrain myself from spamming too many pics of me to Twitter and IG, haha! Do you have a favorite selfie app for your phone? Which are your favorite filters? ♥

Too precious!

Smores Stuffed Braided Puff Pastry

This is probably my favorite dessert recipe of all time. For the moment anyways, haha! I mean, it's pretty much the best thing ever- chocolate, marshmallows, and Golden Grahams baked to flakey golden perfection. Since running into the recipe that inspired this on Instagram a few weeks ago I have made this four times. Since puff pastry comes two to a pack it makes sense to use them two nights in a row. Totally not excessive at all. Nope.

1 Puff Pastry sheet
1 handful of mini chocolate chips
1 handful of mini marshmallows (or cut up big marshmallows into little pieces)
1 handful of Golden Graham cereal
1 egg, mixed
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

To Make:
- Prehead oven to 400 degrees F.
- Thaw puff pastry according to package, position chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cereal in center column.
- Use a knife to cut and fold pastry like in this video.
- With a spoon to cover the entire pastry with the mixed egg.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until your preferred color of gold.
- Immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Cut and enjoy!

I have no shame in telling you I ate the entire thing by myself while playing games in bed. It is adulting at it's best! Crumbs in bed be damned! It was so good so I have no regrets.

The other night we had some friends over for a scary movie night and I made this but filled it with mixed fruits (blueberries, black berries, strawberries, and raspberries) with a little bit of flour + butter crumbles. Instead of topping it with powdered sugar, I topped it with more flour + butter crumbles, and then once it was baked I added Cool Whip.

This dessert is so versatile and easy to make I feel like I'll be making it frequently from now on, for any (or no) occasion. What fillings do you think would be super tasty inside this? I was thinking maybe lemon + sugar would be fun to try. What do you think? ♥


Real talk time- I was running on five hours of sleep, the little man was sick, and the boy cat (who's fixed) was acting like he was in heat. I hadn't even got out of bed and already the day felt like it was spiraling out of control. There was just no way I was going to let that happen. Getting out of bed I decided I was going to slay this day. Absolutely slay. Nothing, or no one, was going to get in my way, and if they did they were going to understand why I'm sometimes called the "Ice Queen". I was channeling my inner Sasha Fierce.

My clothes were on point. My makeup was on point. Right before I walked out the door I figured there was no better day than today to push myself out of my comfort zone and wear some lash extensions. It was the right decision.


Never having worn lash extensions before I was a little nervous at first putting them on, but it really was a breeze. These were 3D Mink extensions and they were *ohmigosh so soft and fluffy*! I can definitely see why lots of ladies wear them, and I can see myself wearing them on more than one occasion.

On days like this I have found myself turning to the same makeup products that make me feel like a boss, and I want to share them with you. Some of these might look familiar as they're old staples, but some are new work horses that have worked with me almost all year.

1. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer // 2. Maybelline FitMe Foundation Stick (130)
3. Maybelline FitMe Foundation (128) // 4. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster

4. Maybelline Color Tattoo (Barely Branded) // 5. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum
6. Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara Lycra Flex (01) // 7. NYX Cosmetics Slide On Eye Pencil (Gun Metal)
8. Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color (Think Pink)

The bronzer I actually double up as eye shadow, and I layer it on the outside covers of my eyes over the cream shadow. The color is warm but sharp, if that makes any sense, and adds to the "fierce" look I go for.

The serum I've been using for almost a year now. One bad tube of mascara last year made my eye lashes fall out at an alarming rate. MY PRECIOUS EYELASHES WERE *MY THING*. It was the one aspect of my body I was most proud of. My mother has told me all my life how long and beautiful my eyelashes were from day one. Strangers would complement me on my long lashes. I can't tell you how upsetting it was to see them just falling out. Obviously I stopped using that mascara, swore off mascara for almost two months, then found this serum and have been using it ever since. I can honestly say it has helped my lashes grow. They aren't as long or as full as they used to be, but they're getting there. I'm hoping that if I keep up using it maybe by next year they'll be close to back to where they belong. Until then I might just have to keep wearing lash extensions, hehe!

To be honest these were a bit too long for me to wear on a daily basis (but were super fun!) so I'll probably be trimming them up for next time. And there will absolutely be a next time.

Have you ever worn lash extensions before? What type do you like? ♥

These lashes were sent to me by Tricky Hair but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Tricky Hair sells clip in hair extensions and 3D Mink Eye Lashes. Visit them at Tricky Hair Extensions.

2016 Bullet Journal Setup

Since letting go of our employees last year, and having worked almost every day since then, I have learned there is a difference between being busy and being productive. I noticed I was not really taking an active part of my life because it was the same thing day after day. This made me want to put things into perspective. I wanted to "track" aspects of my life so see what I was actually doing with my time and see how I can be more PRESENT in it.

I snagged myself a Traveler's Journal Notebook by Midori and started a Bullet Journal. Bullet journaling was something I debated doing when I started my planner (and even started a diary), but I didn't think the format was what I needed at the time. It is now.

If you aren't familiar with Bullet Journals there's a great video here and here, which can explain it a lot better than I can.

The flexibility of this type of journal allows me to use however much space I need for any one day (not what a week-on-two-page planner has separated out for me) and I change change things up as needed. For instance, in August when I set up my monthly pages I used one whole spread for the month (the left page for the monthly calendar and the right page for events, notes, etc) and I really only used the left page. When I set up September's calendar I only used the left calendar page and started my daily entries immediately after that, so there was no wasted space.

On a side note, am I the only one who gets stressed out about unused spaces in planners? For some reason I feel this pressure to use every inch of a page so if it's left unused I feel bad about it. Any one else feel that way?

Some of the things I wanted to keep track of was how much time I spent at work, how much time I spent in car, how many hours of sleep I'm getting, the amount of quality time I'm spending with Dean, and how much time we're spending together as a family. I wasn't sure if what I felt I was doing was what I was actually doing. Does that make sense?

So I've been using this for going on three months now and I do think it has helped me get a better understanding of what I'm doing with my time and how I can better spend it. Not only that but I feel more in control of my life. Definitely more present in it. There are definitely things I still need to work on, but this journal has helped me get on the path I want to get on.

How do you keep track of your time? Do you keep track of it even? What are some things you do keep track of? ♥

Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Pizza Biscuits

The three of us have been under the weather the last few days and I have had close to zero motivation to make food. It doesn't help that I don't even feel like eating. Well, except for the occasional overdose of plain carbs... plain pasta, plain waffles, plain crackers. Since I have responsibilities (i.e. Deano Bravo) I dragged myself to the kitchen and turned on the oven not knowing what I was going to make with the only food that sounded good to eat- biscuits. After staring at the pantry for too long, I grabbed a few items out as well as a muffin pan and threw it all in the oven. What came out of the oven was a perfect storm of yumminess that Deano and I ate very enthusiastically.

1 package of Grands Flaky Biscuits
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 cup of shredded cheese
1/4 cup of sliced olives
Ground Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds (optional)
Any other toppings you'd like- this is all I had on hand.

To Make:
- Preheat oven to 350*, spray muffin pan with non-stick spray
- Pull a biscuit in half and shape into bottom of each spot.
- Top with a little tomato sauce, flax seeds & chia seeds, followed by your toppings.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes and then serve with sides. We had yogurt and avocado.

What are some of your go-to easy recipes for when you're under the weather? ♥

The Savings Jar

Having a bunch of money in my savings account has always seemed like a pipe dream to me. Since it is so easy to transfer money from savings to checking to spend there's really no reason to separate it. My thoughts were that if it's in there I can spend it. Terrible money saving thoughts, right?

Recently Aaron and I have been talking about getting serious about saving money. We have a goal in mind and we're hoping within the next year or two to reach it. (And no, it's not another trip to Japan, that's still a few years off). Since we're getting serious about money saving we're going about it a bit differently.

Introducing our Savings Jar. Every night Aaron and I empty our pockets and purse of all our change and we dump it in here. When I'm paying for something I'm going out of my way to pay with just bills to guarantee I get change back. It's only been a week and I am surprised at just how much change we've saved up! Deano even gets excited about it- "Can I put coins in the jar, Mommy?" He has this way of pronouncing coins in a way that melts my heart so I always say yes.

This little corner of our bedroom has been almost ignored since we've moved in and in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to do something with it but wasn't sure what. Making the Savings Jar the focal point of this corner makes it a special spot in our house, and since it's one of the first things I see in the morning, it will help me stay motivated to fill it up.

Do you have any unconventional ways of saving money? I'd love to hear of some other ways to save money. ♥

I Have Not Stepped On a Scale Since I Was Pregnant

Dean turned 2 in March. It seems so long ago that I was bursting at the seems with my little guy. The day I found out I was pregnant I put away my scale. Obviously I was going to gain weight but I didn't want that to become something I focused on. There were so many wonderful and exciting things to put my energy into, I didn't want weight to become a source of negative energy. I even told my midwife that I didn't want to know my weight, or how many pounds I gained, unless she was concerned about it. All she ever told me was that I "looked good" so I'll take that as it was a healthy weight.

To this day I have no idea how much weight I gained or what my final weigh in was. I can't even tell you what size pants I wore because I only wore maternity pants with the belly bands built in. It wasn't until right around this last Thanksgiving, that I started wearing my "normal" pants again. (The maternity leggings I won't give up because they are so comfy.) They fit my new body kind of weird but they get the job done.

While I have an idea about how much I weigh now, I can honestly say I don't care to know. It's just a number and that doesn't mean much to me. Right now I am just going by how I feel, and I'm starting to feel good. There was a point last week where I actually felt sexy. Friends, I don't know the last time I felt genuinely sexy. Aaron tells me I'm "sexy" and "smokin' hot" but these aren't words that I would have used (in the last 2+ years) to describe myself. All this time I've settled with "cute" or "ok-sure-whatever". It felt GOOD to feel sexy.

There are days, though, when my thoughts are very far from positive. Those days I try not to focus on it. Instead I'll wear as much black as possible, pick a different feature (eye, hair) & focus on that, or put heels on and say "fake it til you make it, Sarah!". This works most of the time.

My point is, my goal weight isn't a weight at all, but me feeling content with myself. It's about looking in the mirror and smiling at what I see. It doesn't matter to me if that means I'm bigger, smaller, or about the same as before. My body shape has changed (my waist and boobs say hi). Instead of changing the size of my waist line, I am working toward changing my outlook of myself.

This mama has stretch marks, rolls, cellulite, dull skin, and is overall slightly more round, but these things aren't terrible. They are all visible signs of what I have done in my life- not just my pregnancy (but mostly my pregnancy). Aaron finds my body sexy- so should I.

What sort of things do you do to help keep a positive body image post-baby? I would love to hear from you other mama's out there!

What's In My Purse

Living simply and with less has been a topic of conversation recently between my husband and myself. We're looking to move this summer and with that we will be forcing ourselves to let go and to live, and be content, with less. We are collectors so it's hard at times to let things go.

My biggest inspirations for living with a more simple (but amazing and beautiful) home is New Darlings and Taylor Golden [1] [2] [3]. Serious house goals for me right there! Getting rid of stuff for the move is going to be so great! That's not going to be for a while, though, so in the mean time I can focus on something more relevant- my purse.

Isn't it terrible? The eye-opener was when I opened my purse and papers came flying out. What is in there?! How did it become so full? Why do I have all this stuff? In fact, most days I don't use 90% of the items in my purse, so why is it there?

The moment those papers were in the air I knew something must be done. Like, asap. But what though? What do I do when I carry a bag of stuff I'm sure I need. Maybe. At some point. Possibly. This is a perfect example of not living simply. Do I need my planner, deodorant, dry shampoo, hair spray, 6 lip glosses/balms, tissues, a months worth of receipts, food pouches, and who knows what else in my purse?

I don't NEED these items at all. They are there for me to fall back on. If I rush doing my hair or make up in the morning, it's ok because I have products with me. If my makeup isn't finished or perfect that's ok because I have spares with me.

I have come to realize that instead of focusing on getting fully ready in the morning I am actually burdening myself. If I just took a few extra minutes in the morning really focusing on getting myself fully ready, I don't need to bring extra anything with me in my bag. If I planned and timed my errands better I wouldn't need to bring food to tide my son over.

For Mother's Day my husband bought me the Kate Spade clutch I have been pining over. It is exactly what I needed to help me get down to the bare bones and only carry around the necessities. ID, debit card, money pouch, and lip balm. There's room for my phone and a shopping list, and really these are the only items I NEED.

There are moments when I'm slightly panicking in the morning about the necessity of certain items I used to carry in my purse, but ultimately I set them down and walk away. Later on I'm glad I didn't add extra weight to tote around. Using this clutch has been a great experience is doing with less, and one I'm going lean on later when I start letting things go in regards to the house.

Do you carry around a lot of extra stuff or is it just the necessities? Do you have a way to keep the contents of your bag organized so they don't fly out?

Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Rainbow Buffet

Trying to figure out what solids a little one will eat can be tricky. There are times when it is downright frustrating.

Why don't you like pancakes? They are so good!

While I was trying to loose baby weight, I would eat five small meals a day and time them with my son's meals. One of my favorite meals was (and still is) extremely simple: a smorgasbord of lots of different foods that require little or no preparation. The key with this, though, is to not over do it and eat the rainbow.

The two biggest benefits to it for me are that it can be a very healthy & balanced meal and it ends up being more appealing and appetizing because of the colors. A delicious and happy sight.

Some of the foods I use for this meal:

Red: tomatoes, pepperoni, salami, raspberries, ketchup
Orange: Oranges, cheddar cheese, bell pepper, carrots
Yellow: tamagoyaki, corn, bananas
Green: Pickles, avocado, spinach,
Blue: blueberries,
Purple: blackberries, jelly
Pink: ham, tuna, salmon
Black: olives
White: turkey, cottage cheese, Baby Bell cheese, rice, mayo dish
Brown: Little Smokies, bread, crackers, granola, hummus, peanut butter

I keep the meal balanced by having one portion of protein, one portion of carbs, and how ever many portions I want of fruits and veggies. For example:

- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, 3 baby carrots, a big fork full of pickle slices, olives, one Baby Bell cheese, and 6 Little Smokies.

- One serving size of sliced salami, nectarine slices, couple slices of cheese, stuffed cherry peppers, small handful of blueberries, half an avocado, and a serving size of crackers.

- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (cut into quarters), bananas, small bowl of spinach with olive oil & red pepper flakes, and carrots.

It may not seem like a lot, but once you plate it up and eat it, you'll find that you really are satiated and contently full.

This works for little ones too. At least it has for my son, and my nieces and nephews. Chopped up into tiny bite size pieces, arranged in a rainbow, shapes, or little designs. My son eats especially well when I make this for lunch. The food is easy for him to pick up and consume all by his independent self.

Do you ever have meals like this? What is your favorite items to use? Does your kiddo have a favorite?

My Uniform

Before the work day starts, before the incredibly energetic child gets on his feet, before running errands and everything in between, there is MORNING. Mornings are awfully challenging for me. My mind takes so long to get into focus that it prevents me from doing anything in a timely manner. Especially getting dressed.

One way I have been working on fixing this issue is by purging my closet and only keeping items I love and wear regularly. When I attempted a mini capsule wardrobe two years ago I was able to find what works for me and my post-baby body, and what doesn't. Since then I have built up a happy closet full of clothes in a style I feel confident in. So full that I have a hard time putting an outfit together.

Most days you will find me wearing a variation of: layered tank-on-tank or tee-on-tank, cardigan or button up, jeans/jean shorts, and flats. This is my uniform. It has become a signature look for me in the last year and a half. It is easy to mix up, dress up, make casual, and most of all it is comfy.

It wasn't until I read Karin's post about uniforms that it really got me thinking and inspired to write about it. Karin is one of my favorite fashion bloggers because of her posts on capsule wardrobes and simplified living. It seems that my day to day life is getting more full and her posts help me get my mind sorted out on how I want to tackle things.

For the third or forth time this year I am inspired to go through my closet and purge a bunch of clothes. This time since I have such a clear idea of my style is and what I feel best wearing, it will be easier for me to part with some items that I've been hanging on to. My goal is by summer to be at the point where getting dressed isn't as time consuming or stressful as it is currently. By keeping only items that fit into my uniform I should be able to make this happen. There will be a few exceptions to this, of course, but I aim to have 90% of my closet be made up of pieces for my uniform.

Do you have a uniform or particular style that you wear regularly? Does it help you get dressed quickly in the mornings?

Mom Hacks

The term hacks might be too strong of a term. There are just a few really neat and handy things that I do, that I have started to do since having a kid, that I have really helped me, and I think they will help you too. These things are nothing life changing, except they kinda were for me.

Hair ties.

There is still a bit of "baby weight" on my belly that prevents me from fitting perfectly back into my old jeans and shorts. Using a hair tie to secure my fly closed has made it so I can wear bottoms that fit me (mostly). Since all my tops are long they cover my fly so I don't have to worry about anyone knowing my secret.

Dry shampoo

The world of dry shampoo can be a scary place but really there is no need to fear. It is a pretty affordable product and one that is a real time saver for a busy mama like me. My favorite is Batiste which is about $8 and can be found at Ulta or Walgreens. A new one I've tried recently is Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo, which is about the same price and I picked it up at Safeway.

The thing with dry shampoo is to spray at a distance, to not spray too much, and to give it a minute to absorb your oils. My bangs, the hair around my ears, and my cowlick on the back of my crown are my problem spots, and I will do a once over, shaking the can constantly. Then I'll wash my face, brush my teeth, or put my makeup on. Then I'll use my finger tips to gently rub my roots and apply a bit more to places that need it. On those days that a shower is just not going to happen, dry shampoo is what saves me. I highly recommend giving it a shot.

Wrinkle Release Spray

This little blue bottle of goodness not only really helps get rid of wrinkles but it makes you and your clothes smell like you just rolled out of a dryer. It's glorious. Really! I hate putting laundry away so my clothes are varying states of wrinkles. Instead of wasting time throwing my tops into the dryer I'll use this. It doesn't work on hardcore creases but works wonders on every day wrinkles. It also works as a great perfume.

What are some "hacks" that you use day to day?

Growing Pains or We're Going To Need A Bigger Boat

I have a vivid memory when I was 5 or 6 and waking up crying because I was hurting. No place in particular and all over at the same time. I remember my mom giving me a hug and tucking me back into bed saying "It's just growing pains. It will pass." My son is having his own growing pains and his cries remind me of that memory. I hold him, and rock him, and whisper "It will pass, my Love". My heart hurts for him, but I know it really will pass.

Now that I am all "grown up" I thought my time for growth was done. Physically this is true- I will never be taller than my current 5 foot 4 self. On the inside, though, I'm suddenly feeling new pains. My head and my heart are both experiencing unexpected growth and change.

The amount of love I have for my husband and son makes my heart swell, and every day I feel it get larger. It's crazy because I didn't think I could feel any more love for these two than I already do. Sometimes the feeling is so strong that my heart will seize up, a lump will fill my throat, and I'll be on the verge of tears. The power of love is staggering.

My expanding heart is not the only thing that brings me to tears lately. There is a part of me that feels suddenly lost. The person who I see in the mirror isn't always reflecting the person I feel inside. My brain is struggling with reconciling the gal I am (mama in her 30's), the gal I feel I should be (the cute young gal who runs a video game store), and the gal I want to be (both). That probably sounds nonsensical. I'm not sure I can properly express the disconnect or the anxiety it makes me feel.

An example would be me struggling to get dressed each morning. While I want to wear super nerdy shirts and look relate-able at work, my personal style is changing to be more chill. Ultimately it is my store and I can wear whatever I want (and I do). I feel like I have spent the last five years building a persona at the store and I'm scared to change it. What if I don't stand out or people don't take me seriously? Where is the happy medium? Is there a happy medium?

I feel like I have a lot more growing to do to make room for this new me, whoever she is and however she is dressed. She will have taken taken bits from all the conflicting parts and turned it into a great big ball of contentment and confidence. So a lot of room, a lot of growth, is needed. In the mean time I will hurt, but it will pass.

Things I've Learned In My Two Years of Being a Parent

What can I say about time and kids that doesn't sound dumb and cliche? Nothing that hasn't been said before, so all I'll say is: GAH! TWO YEARS! That baby I gave birth to isn't a baby anymore, but a walking talking bundle of energy that doesn't nap and has learned that how to open & close doors. Which, by the way, is terrifying.

Since his birthday I have had the chance to reflect on all the things that have changed. Not just basic things like his height or weight, but the less noticeable things. Things like:

- I'm not surprised or upset when I'm at work and find snot, avocado, and juice on my clothes.

- Dry shampoo and Downy Wrinkler Releaser are the two most used items in my house.

- My little independent spirit just isn't going to want to snuggle when I want to snuggle (or ever) and that is okay.

- Sometimes the plain no-seam nylon panties are just as sexy as the lacy satin panties.

- Spoiling my appetite with Girl Scout cookies while cooking the family dinner is totally a thing that happens.

Most of all I am in awe with the amount of love I have for this sweet boy. Honestly I have no idea how he fills my hearts up more each day. There are times my breath catches in my chest and my heart clinches and stops, and I am almost completely overwhelmed. It is a scary and wonderful feeling. One I look forward to feeling again and again as he keeps growing.

Ketchup Art - Meal Time Fun

Getting a toddler to sit down and eat can be a challenge. I've heard this from every other parent I've talked to. So why was I surprised when I started having troubles getting our little man to eat? No clue, but I'm not going to waste time worrying about it. My strategy most times with him is: "quick, distract him!" In this case my go-to distraction is ketchup pictures.

During one trip to Daiso in Seattle, I ran across a small condiment bottle that didn't have a whole in the top made yet. This allowed me to cut the hole as small as I wanted, which would be perfect for decorating bento's. Or meals in general. It all started with me making "ketchup stars". I would sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and draw out shapes as I sang. Dean was really into it, so I started doing it more often.

When Twinkle Twinkle Little Star didn't work, I started singing another one of his favorites, Boku Wa Kuma, and started to draw bears. The combination of singing and him watching me draw the designs seemed to get him interested in eating. Most of the time it's only for a few bites, but I feel like even then I'm still winning the fight. His excitement for the ketchup designs has inspired me to get more creative with it.

Thomas the Train, for instance, has a black smoke stack made of sliced olives, and white smoke made of cottage cheese. The face is so terrible, but Dean thought it was the best thing ever. I was barely able to snap the picture before he dug into his food. That's a big win in my book!

Trixie from Toy Story is a current favorite character of his right now, so she's popped up a few times on plates. Drawing dinosaurs is hard! Luckily my kid isn't a critic. He even recognized BB-8 despite the botched "thumbs up". Buzz Lightyear and Peppa Pig were both successes as well. This is something I can see myself continuing for as long as he likes it. It doesn't take much time to do, it's actually pretty fun, and it seems to get him to eat with less hassle.

Some other pictures I've thought of doing in the future are a line of trains (Thomas, Percy & Gordon), Itsy Bitsy Spider, a tractor, a big red London bus (of Tractor and Bus fame).

Are there any little tricks that you do to help get difficult eaters to eat?

Latest Instagrams

© KnittedFox. Design by Fearne.