Monday, August 19, 2019

End of Season Sales





I get asked all the time to share some of my shopping tricks. This is a big one...shop at the end of the season or off season. I get some of the best deals this way. Snow boots in July? Yes!!! My kids don't care if they are the prior season's stock. I score huge deals this way.

This dress is another example. I bought this at the end of the season last year at Target. I have actually bought quite a few things from Target this year with their new Wild Fable line, but before that I never shopped for myself at Target. I spotted a TON of this dress on the clearance racks. I grabbed one and tried it on and it was a perfect fit. Even the people in the fitting room and dressing room attendant all said this dress was made for me and I had to get it. I get compliments every time I wear it and the best part...I paid under $10 for it.

I am not much of a clearance shopper, but now I do head over and browse. You probably won't find me searching them unless I am looking for something specific. I tend to look for things that I can transition into the following season. Even though this is a summer dress the black color makes it something I would wear into the fall and even put a leather coat over.

This season star print has been huge too! I am glad I grabbed this when I did because it is on trend without breaking the bank.

Since I grabbed this last year I am going to link some other star print items that I love!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Widow Wednesday--9 Years

9 years. I can't believe it has been 9 years. For me the anniversaries of his death don't hit me as hard as the day he was diagnosed. Maybe being Christmas Eve and a holiday or maybe because when he died I finally felt he was at peace and not suffering anymore. I have always had a harder time with the anniversary of his diagnosis.

This year it fell on a Saturday, so we attended a memorial mass and dinner afterward. Normally, the girls and I will do something to remember him that day. Something he enjoyed to do or liked. This year it felt rushed with the mass. We made him a new flower for his vase and Lily and I took it to him on the way to mass. Of course this causes us issues almost every time. Not sure why I picked the top? It fell as I was trying to put it up and broke causing marbles to go all over (I use them to weigh it down). Lily was laughing and probably so was Ray. We ended up taking the old one apart and putting the new flowers in it and managed to get it up. It doesn't look great, but it is the thought that counts right?

Every year they say it gets easier, but it doesn't. You just learn to live with it and the hurt/hole. If you are a widow and reading this then you know no one understands the hole that this loss has left. Yes, other people miss this person but it is different for you. They continue with their lives, but it is a hole that can never be filled in yours. Even if you remarry this person will never be the father of your children or the person to fill all those hopes and dreams that you once made. No one else understands how your daily life is different, not just holidays etc.

Every year I think...Do I post about it on my Facebook and other social media? or do I quietly honor him on our own? Then I receive messages before I even make a post and think that I am sure others want to have a space to honor him too and remember him.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Widow Wednesday--WTE support

I came across the WTE website while pregnant with Summer and besides getting the weekly emails I never looked at the site. Fast forward to being a stay-at-home mom with a baby at home I had time on my hands and stumbled across their forums. I lurked for quite a while until I realized I had just gone through what most of the questions were asking since I was pregnant again so soon and was able to answer quite a few. I slowly started posting and recognizing names. After our June 08 babies were born we started a Facebook page to continue our group and it turned into more than just "baby advice/talk". We found our way onto friend's lists and now names had faces attached.

I will never forget when the mail started to arrive from this group at the end of Ray's life. Multiple members of the group across the US and even other counties began to send cards and messages. These were from people I had never met. The outpouring of support was overwhelming, some included messages and others included gift cards for things for the kids and I. We received gift cards to grab dinner, have a coffee, or even go do an activity. It was such an incredible gift for us to receive.

I remember after Ray died I was asked by a mom that was more local to me if I would meet for lunch at the mall. I remember being so nervous. I had been friends online with this person for years, but had never met.

When we met I was given baskets full of "things" for the girls and I. I was so overwhelmed once again by the thoughtfulness and overwhelming support. Till this day I still have the spray from one of the baskets and every time I spray it it makes me think of this group and the kindness the girls and I were shown. They somehow pulled off this surprise by making an alternate group online and coordinating it all. I am not a person that likes to show my feelings, especially in front of people I don't know and I remember having a hard time remaining composed.

Till this day I remain connected with this group and really think they played a huge part in me getting through this time. They have remained a constant support in the years since and I am happy to call them all friends.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Summer wet hair styles!

Summer is usually filled with vacations, beach, and pool days and easy hair is a must for this busy mama. Just easy wash and go styles are helpful since mine takes so long to dry and style. The last thing I want to do after getting back from the beach and taking a shower is to have to dry my hair for an hour so I can go to dinner. I worked in collaboration with Jeni from Kimi K Salon and Spa in Rochester, MI to put together some easy, wet hair styles. 



Style #1

This style can be worn with or without a hat and if you wear a hat you can make it even easier and just do normal braids on each side since the top isn't seen. This is probably the easiest and quickest of the styles if you chose to do just normal braids. If you are a little more talented you can do french braids like mine are in the photo. 
Romper c/o Boohoo last year



Style #2

I just love this style! I feel it is so easy and looks perfect for even an easy wedding hairstyle. To achieve this look my hair was sectioned into 3 sections. The back section was braided and secured into a low bun. The sides were then twisted and wrapped around the bun and secured. That was all there was to it! 



Style #3

This style takes under 5 mins! What?! Start by making low ponytail. Make a hole in the middle of the ponytail and pull the rest of the hair through the hole. A little further down put in another hair elastic to make another ponytail and repeat the steps (make a hole and pull loose hair through the hole). Continue for length of the hair. We added a decorative hair tie to the bottom to give it a little extra.



Style #4

This one only sounds complicated and requires quite a few hair ties, but again can be completed fairly quickly. Start by pulling the top section into a hair tie and secure. The small pony that you made divide in half and pull each side under another section a few inches down and secure under that section as one piece with a hair tie. The pieces you separated will be one again in the hair tie. Continue with the remainder of hair. After the hair is all secured you can pull the pieces to separate them a little more. 

All these styles were completed very quickly and with wet hair! Thanks again to Jeni from Kimi K! 

Linked below are bathing suits and hair ties!


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Widow Wednesday--Anniversary

This week should have been our 13th wedding anniversary. Have you ever heard someone say that they knew from day one that they were the one? That was us.

It is crazy for me to think how our paths crossed before. We went to the same large high school, but had completely different crowds of friends. I knew of him, but didn't know him.

For one of my birthdays when I was in my early 20's, my friend invited her boyfriend and his friend out with my group of friends to the bar. I had quite a few of my girlfriends going and my boyfriend at the time. The friend that came with her boyfriend...Ray. How strange to think that only a few years later that friend would be my husband.

It wasn't until one of my friend's wedding planning parties that we were introduced and both single. I gave him my number after talking to him for a while at the party.

As I was driving home from work an unknown number was calling my phone. I never answer my phone in the car, especially for an unknown number. For some strange reason I picked up that call, and the rest is history.

Memories like these always seem to come up and especially around important dates. Our lives intertwined so many times before we officially talked and became a couple, yet once we did talk I instantly knew he was the one.

I had never been more comfortable around a person in my whole life. We were complete opposites, but together seemed to bring out the best in each other. We seemed to balance each other out. We could talk for hours and about important details and life. We had the same goals in life and wanted all the same things. Rarely do you seem to find that. I never really say, "It wasn't fair" what happened but on days like our anniversary, I certainly do have those thoughts.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Same brands better deals than the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!







If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already seen this post. These deals are so good though it was worth sharing to my blog readers that don't follow me on Instagram or missed the post.

When I was browsing the Nordstrom sale I noticed a lot of the included brands are brands that other retailers also carry. Out of curiosity I started flipping through some of their items to see what they were offering and was shocked at the prices and how similar/same some of the items are. Some retailers are also offering more of a variety of certain brands that Nordstrom has on sale.

If you are looking for a good deal or sizes that might be out already at the Nordstrom sale it is worth giving these retailers a look and seeing what they offer! Some of them are my go-to sites when I am shopping and offer great deals. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

1 day 50% sale!




Right now everyone is competing with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Amazon Prime Days. Ads are coming out left and right for different retailers that are running deals!

One of my favorite retailers for back to school shopping is running a 50% sale online, today only. They already have a decent selection of fall clothes and transitional items in stock. I picked up a few items last week for the girls when they were running a sale and I had an additional discount code for my birthday. Since I heard this sale was coming I decided to wait to add the rest to cart.

I am linking the items below that either I had my eye on or the girls had added to cart. I usually let them go through a site before I place an order and add what they like and then I narrow it down from their picks. This is a great sale to grab a few pieces for 1st day of school and even school pictures day.

I love that this retailer usually carries pieces in all categories (ladies, mens, and kids) that all coordinate or match. They also usually carry items with the same fabric even within a category so I can match my girls without them actually being super matchy matchy.

The outfits that they have on are new releases that are a great transition into fall!