Three Es Necklace

Look at this pretty little rose gold initials necklace! My brother and sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas after my third baby was born. The three Es are for Elias, Eva and Ezra.

And it’s rose gold. ❤ 

I love it and wanted to share in case you were looking for a gift for a mom in your life! It’s from Made By Mary on Etsy.




eMeals vs. Real Plans

When it comes to meal planning, I’ll take all the help I can get. I’ve posted before about eMeals, the very first meal planning service I used.

Last year, I decided to give Real Plans a try. Elias has a mild gluten and dairy allergy, so I wanted to see if another meal planning service may be better for my family.

After using Real Plans for a few months, I opted to return to using eMeals. Here’s why:

Real Plans offers really nice features that allow you to fully customize your meal plans. You can even exclude very specific ingredients. Once you make your selections, your plan will be delivered to you each week. It’s great. It was just too many options for me.

eMeals delivers a weekly meal plan with minimal customization. I prefer that approach. I want someone to hand me a meal plan. That’s what eMeals does – I don’t have to do anything except for choose which category I want. I subscribe to the Paleo plan and make minor substitutions when I cook if needed to accommodate the gluten and dairy allergy.

Real Plans offers breakfast, lunch and supper planning options for the price of your subscription. That’s also great. However, I found that I didn’t use the breakfast or lunch planning options. eMeals has separate subscriptions for each meal. When they offered half price subscriptions in the fall, I purchased both a lunch and supper plan.

Each plan has recipes that my family does and doesn’t like. Each plan offers a good variety. Each plan is worth the subscription fee. I’d recommend either one; you really have to test drive them to find the best fit for you and your family.

For me, eMeals is the simpler of the two, and it works for my family.


The Redhead’s Skin Care Routine

Every now and then, I get asked about my skin care routine.

Here it is, if you’re curious:



That’s it! I don’t even use a cleanser!

This is the result! (In full disclosure, my hair usually does not look like this. It’s usually curly. I’d just been to the salon, and my fantastic stylist straightened it after my cut!)


This is me, only with straight hair!

The Perfect Tote Bag: Madewell Transport Tote

Last year, I was on a quest to find the perfect tote bag.

I found it!

Let me introduce to you the Madewell Transport Tote. The. Best. Tote. Bag. Ever.

Since August, I’ve been carrying this bag on a daily basis, so I’ve had some opportunity to test it. It’s even been to Atlanta for a work trip.

It’s beautiful. It’s roomy. It fits nicely on my shoulder. It’s durable.

I purchased this bag with some trepidation because it was – for me, anyway – an expensive purchase. But I’d carried my Timbuk2 bag for so long that I knew I wanted a tote bag with the same kind of staying power.

Conclusion: The Madewell Transport Tote is worth every single penny.

Proof: My sis-in-law liked mine so well, she bought one, too!

The Perfect Messenger Bag: Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

For the past few months, I’ve been scouring the Internet for The Perfect Tote Bag. It occurred to me today that I would be doing you, dear readers, a huge disservice if I did not share with you The Perfect Messenger Bag: a Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag.

It’s attractive, durable, weather resistant, convenient, and it is loaded with organizing pockets. Working on a college campus, it was perfect for carrying everything I needed. It’s also traveled with me on the few occasions that I’ve flown or taken a train.

For probably at least six years (I don’t remember when I bought it, but it was before I had any children), I’ve carried this bag to work with me on a daily basis. It still looks 95% new. Its biggest blemish is completely my fault. When my son was about two, he scribbled on the inside flap with an ink pen.

This bag is still going strong and has shown no signs of slowing down. Timbuk2 knows how to make a good bag.

I purchased this one before I was a mom and before I owned a smartphone or a tablet. I’ve outgrown it a little bit for my day-to-day needs, but I love this bag.

Timbuk2 sells very practical, good looking bags, and you can customize many of them. Mine was a standard issue, but since I love green, it totally worked for me.

This is my trusty messenger:

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Below is a shot of the interior, loaded with my stuff. See that red ribbon? On the other end is a hook for keys – love that feature! And there’s a pocket that’s the perfect size for some sunblock!

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Product Review: Command Products for Hanging Frames

So far, I have yet to hang any art in my house using nails. It’s true; I haven’t needed Ben’s help with a hammer and nails once since we moved in!

Our last house had mostly very textured plaster walls, and nails were pretty much the only option when it came to hanging art on the walls. Our new house, however, has nice smooth walls, and since I discovered Command picture-hanging products, I’ve been on a roll!

These all have been hung using Command products:

family photo wall

Family photos printed, framed AND hung. Check me out.

gallery wall

The start of a gallery wall going up the stairs.

Ohio print

Our first item to be hung on the walls! This was a birthday gift made by Blake and Irene!

I mostly eyeball the placement, but occasionally do enlist the help of a small level.

Here are links to the products I’ve used:

Command picture hanging strips

Command Sawtooth Sticky Nail Hanger

Fashion Friday: The Perfect Jersey Robe

Am I really dedicating a Fashion Friday post to a robe? Yes. Yes, I am. Because it deserves it.

Since moving in with the in-laws, I figured it wasn’t all that appropriate to walk around the house in just my underwear. And I didn’t really want to be chasing my two-year-old around wearing my short silky robe, for reasons that I hope are obvious to you.

My mission: to find a lightweight (their house is much warmer than Ben and I ever kept ours), cute and functional robe to wear around people who don’t want to see me in my underwear (which would be everyone except for my husband).

I ordered this robe using a Gap coupon (because why would you ever pay full price at the Gap?), and I love it. It’s not only comfortable and functional, but it also is cute and flattering. In fact, the first time I wore it, Ben wasn’t entirely sure that it wasn’t a dress.

In short, this robe meets all of my criteria!