Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pillow Talk

Let's talk about pillows...

The past few years I have purchased pillows from Target and Walmart. They were so cheap, usually under $5. What a great deal I thought! Until not even a month later, the pillow went flat. I tried to fluff them and put them in the drier, but the result was always the same. Flat. Solution: Go out and purchase a new one. Until I realized, these pillows weren't such a great deal after all, if I had to buy a new one frequently.

Over the summer, I started to notice that I was getting up at night to fix or fluff my pillow. This would happen about once or twice during the night until recently when I got fed up. My shoulder or neck would occasionally feel off like I slept wrong too. I decided I would invest in a good quality pillow. Why is that so hard to do?! I guess justifying spending $50-$60 on just a pillow was what was holding me back.

Mattress stores sell them for around $80. I saw a friend post that Costco sells them a little more affordably. However, I don't have a membership there. I was passing by Ikea after attending a family funeral this week and decided to take a look at their pillows. They had a huge selection! King size, queen size, soft and firm, feather, down fill and polyester, memory foam, etc. They list the percentages of fill and exactly what feathers or fibers are inside on the display which is helpful. There was a whole section of the store dedicated to pillows and comforters.

I decided to purchase the Guldpalm pillow in firm for me and the soft version for Chris. I tested several out in the store. As silly as it looks, you really need to test them out. I liked that their pillows can be machine washed and come sterilized. Once you open them, I don't think you can return them since the sterile seal has been broken. So, as excited as I was to try out my new pillow, I was too scared to open it and try it out! It was $60 and what if it didn't work for me? Thankfully, it was just fine and I got a perfect night's sleep.

What type of pillow do you use? Where do you purchase pillows?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Favorites Tag

Eagles Jersey | This was an early birthday present from Chris. The eagle is solid sequins and it has a perfect fit. VS Pink is currently sold out of Eagles apparel, but there's lots of other teams available!

Chickadee Eyeshadow | I know what you're thinking, you could never wear this eye color. Not true! It's a blendable, soft orange that is incredible. Very unique shade that I frequently wear. Of course MUG eyeshadows are free of chemicals and parabens too.

Prosperous Eye Pencil | I love pairing this green pencil with my Eagles tee! It's waterproof and smudgeproof. I even made a video to show how hard it is to wash off. Paraben free as well.

Stuck Up Lipstick | Perfect 90's neutral lip. This was a limited edition shade. I know, I'm always posting limited edition lip products, but they are always the best Follow Younique and Make Kay reps to get limited edition lip products when they are released. I linked a similar shade for you all.

Rebel Pendant Necklace | They sell this in gold, rose gold or silver and I get so many compliments on it! I had someone ask if it was vintage and another ask if it was my grandmother's. Best kind of compliment in my opinion!

Pumpkin Pie Candle | It was so hard to select ONE scent for fall. This one smells disappointing in the store, but lit it is perfect. This is not a sweet/food scented candle either!

Plaid Scarf | Scarves instantly pull a look together and I have quite a few. This one stood out to me because of the rich green shade.

Quilted Vest | A splurge. I wanted this last year and it seemed EVERYONE was wearing it. It's a wardrobe investment, but I think it's classic style makes it a worthwhile investment. They sell several colors and patterns. 30% off today only which is huge because I have watched this piece for a year and it never went on sale.

Rockstar Jeans | Audrey has been blogging about these for years, but I'm picky when it comes to the fit of jeans. These were inexpensive so I was skeptical at first. They fit like a glove and have a nice stretch.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Royal Caribbean Cruise on Oasis of the Seas

In April we took a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. We went with the kids and my mother-in-law. The kids were so happy their Gran could come with us. It also helped to have another adult on vacation. 
The kids were so excited to cruise again! This was their second cruise and they're already asking when we can go again. Our first stop was Blue Lagoon in the Bahamas. It is a secluded beach with lots of water activities.

We had a beach day at this island and a BBQ lunch.

My mother-in-law purchased this coconut drink and I tried to warn her that they taste awful! They are pretty to look at, but too expensive and not that tasty.

 Love all the hammocks scattered around the islands.

The kids played for hours on different sections of the beach. They are just so calm and happy on islands, it's like a side of them I've never seen before. They enjoyed these tubes. There was even a tiny kid version that Evie played with nearly the whole time.

St. Thomas was our next stop. We've been here several times before, so we decided to try a new location on the island and selected Secret Sands Beach based on recommedations from other cruisers.

Our last stop was St. Maarten which is one of the best locations for shopping. I picked up a rhinestone dress with a leopard on front that I love! I could have purchased everything in that store.

We had great weather for this trip and no mishaps. I'll do a separate post with photos of the ship and the activities onboard.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Easter 2015

I'm catching up on editing personal photos, so here's some from Easter. The kids really look forward to dyeing eggs!
They didn't have the soft pastels colored dye this year, so we settled for these vibrant colors.
I like laying down newspaper or scrap paper rather than plastic because it absorbs the dye. We learned that the hard way when the kids would rub their sleeves on the plastic and stain their clothes.

Love these soft monogramed baskets from Pottery Barn Kids.

Evie in her Easter bonnet. 

This dress has been a favorite of mine and I've restyled it in several ways to get different looks. You might remember how I wore this dress for our family photos in 2014

I wore a jean jacket from H&M to change up the look and because it was chilly. The necklace is from Shop Riffraff

Friday, September 4, 2015

Favorite Fall Products for Kids

Ballet Costume // I normally don't purchase character wear clothing, but I made an exception for this cute ballet wear. Excellent quality with a glitter belt trim.

Food Storage // I'm considering buying these stainless steel (lead and BPA free) storage containers for the boys for this school year. I don't like storing food in plastic.

Books // These are two recent favorites! My kids loved "The Day the Crayons Quit," but it's a lengthy book. The sequel "The Day the Crayons Came Home" isn't as lengthy and is another classic. You can't tell from the screen shot, but the hamster in "My Humongous Hamster" is so cute and fuzzy looking in the illustrations.

Backpacks // My mother-in-law got these for my boys. They lasted for more than one school year! They sell three sizes which is great for a custom fit for your child.

Puffer Vest // I LOVE vests for me and my kids. I'm going with navy ones this year so that they coordinate with all their clothing.

Moccasins // Evie had these last year and they went so well with skinny jeans and leggings. Just don't wear them in the rain or the dye leaks!

Sweater Dress // I found the hummingbird print on this dress unique. You can dress it up with tights and dress shoes or dress it down with leggings and boots.

Monday, July 27, 2015

September 11th Museum

Last weekend I took a trip to NYC for a photography workshop with Ana Brandt. I'll do a separate post with images and information from the workshop, but I wanted to share some iPhone photos from my visit to the 9/11 Museum.
The workshop was located in the Financial District, so the memorial and museum were within walking distance from my hotel. Thank goodness because the cab rides made me so incredibly sick! 

Admission was $24 per person and Chris decided to accompany me for the trip at the last minute. We left the kids with my parents. The price was a drawback at first, but the chances we would visit NYC again without the kids was pretty slim. 

First, we walked over to the memorial and my first reaction was that it was so much larger than it looked in pictures. The size of it was a sad shock. The concept of making the fountain an endless pit was fitting. I saw several names that had "unborn child" listed after it. 
The tickets are timed. We waited outside in a line to enter and it started raining. At first it was okay, but then it started to pour and we got soaked! Finally, we went inside. You descend into the basement of the building. 
This is the original staircase that led from the building out to the street.

There was a good deal of artifacts, but not as many as you would expect given the amount that was lost. The other thing that struck me was how dated everything looked already. There was a camcorder and a phone recovered and they looked ancient. 

There was voice mail recordings playing in several rooms and they were very emotional to listen to. Some that sounded hopeful like an everyday call that they would be fine and others that knew it was their last moments. One message was from a guy in the South Tower who calls his wife after seeing someone jump from the North Tower and fall to the ground. The guy sounded really shaken, but goes on to say that he's safe in the South Tower on the 101st floor. Lives were lost because people in the South Tower were told to stay there where they were safe. 

Lots of photographs I had not seen before. Two fire trucks and an ambulance recovered from the scene, but badly damaged. Only the door of the medical examiner's car was left. I believe they said everyone from this Ladder 3 was lost.
full bike rack of crushed bikes, trauma bags, shoes and clothing that were either covered in ash or blood. They didn't permit photos in most areas, so I was only able to sneak in a few here and there. 
A few steel beams, the shaft of an elevator and piece of one of the tops of the tower. 

There was a room with a photo of each person that was lost. That was shocking too because the room was huge and had photos from floor to ceiling. It was the quieted museum I've ever visited. The surrounding areas around the museum were still under construction. 
I liked that each artifact contained lengthy explanations and personal stories. They used a leaf after names to designate that the person had passed. Several artifacts that were recovered and returned to the families were donated back to the museum.

There were pieces of plane debris, handwritten notes from communication between ground control and those onboard the hijacked planes, video footage of the hijackers entering the airport terminals, and hundreds of "Missing" posters.

I wish we had more time to explore. It is definitely worth the stop if you are planning a trip to NYC.