Oversized or Cropped.

Before I even get started with today’s rant, I just have to take a minute to talk about our favorite gal Samantha and the fact that her and her hubby make the most adorable children like EVER. I mean, I know y’all have seen that precious Harper by now. I can’t get enough of those cheeks, not to mention the outfits. All this cuteness on my Instagram feed makes this perpetually single gal want babies. Lots o’ babies. Guess I kinda need a man first right?!

Enough of me living vicariously through this perfect little family, let’s get down to business.

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Top – Pink Blush // Jeans – J.Crew // Pumps – Marshall’s (they are Guess!) // Necklace – Kendra Scott // Sunnies – RayBans

This season it seems like everything is either oversized or slightly cropped. Sweaters, the infamous blanket scarves, t-shirts, even hats. You name it, it was cut three sizes bigger than normal or cut to show your belly button. Now, don’t get me wrong. The eternal “basic white girl” in me absolutely loves both trends. However, it is beyond easy to go from cute & trendy to Mary-Kate & Ashley bag lady style to you looking like you’ve tried on a 12-year-old girl’s clothes. Not to hate on the Olsen twins, they basically taught me everything in life growing up.

Fit and proportion are the key pieces in making these trendy shapes possible. The other items in your look have to be the right fit and give the opposite shape to make a look work.

For the cropped options (like the sweater in today’s pictures above):

1. High waisted denim (like the ones I got at J.Crew) to elongate and to not show too much skin.

2. Midi skirts. These are a god-send and probably my most favorite skirt EVER.

3. Large cardigans or the poncho to give texture.

For the oversized options:

1. Skin tight pants. Leather leggings are perfect. I also, spoiler alert, wear my yoga pants from Old Navy as pants.

2. The skinny, tailored sweatpants. Always with a heel.

3. Over-the-knee boots. Especially if the sweater is large enough to be a short dress. The one way pants aren’t always required.

**One thing I can’t stress enough is to find a tailor for your staple items. Someone to take the clothes from the rack you found them on, to one of a kind, only fit for you pieces. WORTH IT. **

Are y’all loving these oversized & cropped tops as much as I am?!

xo, Emily 

10 Things About Harpy

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1.|| If she hadn’t been named Harper, she would have been Harlow. If her middle name wasn’t Willow it would have been Emi (Emmy), short for Emilie (pronounced Amelia) after her Great-Mimi. We settled on Harper Willow so I could nickname her HarLow (a mashup of first and middle name). :-)

10things2.|| She has super long and skinny fingers and toes, just like her big sister. Someday I hope they’ll both play the piano. (Photo from her birth day)

3.|| She is ALWAYS pooping. If she’s awake, we’re changing diapers. Seriously kid, take a break.

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4.|| Everyone says she looks like me!! What a HUGE change from her sister who looks like a tiny clone of Daddy.

5.|| Speaking of Camryn…Harpy has as much hair today as Camryn had at her first birthday. Maybe that heartburn=hair myth is true!

6.|| She snorts when she cries.

7.|| She’s still (at 3, almost 4, weeks old) fits in most of the preemie outfits, and all the newborn clothes. We think she weighs about 7 pounds now. Her cheeks have definitely chunked up, and I’m loving them!!

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8.|| She loves her Mama almost as much as she loves her MamaRoo. Everyone needs to own one of those magical little machines.

9.|| She can roll from her stomach to her back, and tries to climb up us when we burp her. It freaks me out.

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10.|| She pulls at anything that touches her face or head – bows, pacifier, hats – the struggle is real.

Harpy has been having lots of tummy troubles the last 2-3 weeks, and we are embarking on an elimination diet to see if dairy (passed through my milk) is affecting her. Please send us good vibes – I’m really hoping something as simple as not eating dairy will make my sweet girl feel better. She’s breaking my heart with her constant discomfort, and finding blood in her stool was enough to nearly make me cry. :-( Camryn is also not feeling so great and spiked a 102 degree fever last night. This mom business is tough. I need a nap. HA!

XO – Samantha

My Favorite Gift Sets

BLovedBoston Collage

I have a confession to make!! I love gift sets, not only because there are so many goodies in one package, but because you get to test out so many products!! These are some of my favorite gift sets to give and to receive, perfect for the make-up lover or product hoarder in your life!!

Super Star Favorites

This little beauty has a large haul of Sephora’s best selling products in perfectly sized samples!! It’s a little bigger than a sample size and get’s you enough product to really test out if you like it!
Getting this set for Christmas and being to turn around and really get dolled up for New Years Eve would be perfect! It even has a metallic clutch that can double as your purse for your night out!! My favorite product is the fake lashes to really glam up your look!
If you’re anything like me then you love lipsticks and glosses – so this is the perfect gift set for the lip lover!!! I have the Bite Beauty Lip Crayon and the color is gorgeous!! My other favorite from this set is the Urban Decay lipstick – it’s my everyday lip color!
If you’re anything like me then your hands get super dry in the winter – these are some of the best hand creams out there!! They are full size so you’re basically getting one for free! Another option with this gift set is opening it up and gifting as a stocking stuffer for the ladies in your life!
One of my favorite things to have on hand in every purse, gym bag or make-up case is a travel size mascara. You can never have too mascaras right?! I really love all of these in the set, but They’re Real and Lancome’s Hypnose are my favorites. Another great piece in this set is the eye make-up remover that comes with it, it’s not oily and doesn’t leave a residue behind which I love!
I’m a huge fan of Josie Maran’s argan oils and this set is one I purchased for my mom last year and she’s already requested another one for this year!! It has her best selling products in here including the daily moisturizer which has an SPF of 47 and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy!!
So there you have it – a few of my favorite gift sets!! Are you a fan of gift sets? Which is your favorite?
-Biana

5 Ways To Freshen Up Your Bathroom

 

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The holidays are here and more than likely, people are going to be over at your place a lot more than usual.  Whether they’re dropping by for a quick get together, party, or staying the night, your bathroom is going to be a frequent stop for them.

// pretty soap containers //
 
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Swapping out a your blah soap pump for a stylish one with a great scent is an easy way to make guests feel special.
// new hand towel //
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A fresh new hand towel is probably the easiest way to spruce up your bathroom.  I especially love the turkish looking ones.
// fresh flowers //
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Get rid of the fake ones.  Real is best here.  You don’t have to do it all the time, but it’s a special touch when people are coming over.
// candle + matches //
 
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We all know what’s going on in there, so let’s make it a little more pleasant on the next person ;)
 
// toilet paper storage //
This may seem like a no brainer.  But, if your TP is stored behind doors or out of sight, your guests aren’t going to want to go on a hunt for it when they run out.  Make it easy on them and put some extras in plain sight.  Baskets are perfect for this!
Now that you’ve got all the ingredients you need, go freshen that bath up!  Your guests will thank you :)

Friday Favorites || Mommy Edition

Hello party animals! (That’s what you are to me if you don’t have a newborn, and you get to sleep all night and stay up late without fear of getting absolutely no sleep that night. I envy you. I envy my “party animal” days. I hate anyone who gets to sleep in past 7AM.)

Today I thought I’d share all the mommy & baby items that I have been loving and couldn’t have made it through the past 2 weeks without. Starbucks should also be on this list, but lets be honest, I can’t survive any week without that.

friday favorites

1.|| Mushy Books – Babies grow so dang fast!! Harpy has changed overnight from a teeny tiny 5 pounder into a chunky cheeked 7 (I’m guessing) pounder. I cannot document our time with her fast enough or often enough. Our Mushy Book is the most beautiful, and modern, baby book. I have been absolutely loving this baby book!! It’s such high quality, and unlike many of the typical baby books you’ll find in baby stores. I have the “Dreamcatcher” theme, but also love “A Star Is Born”.

2.|| Solly Baby Wrap – Harpy likes to be snuggled 24/7. My Solly wrap is lightweight (necessary for Texas weather), super soft, has a built in pocket to hold my phone, keys, etc, and she loves being in it. I have the color Mauve.

3.|| Jennifer Ann Style Custom Name Blanket – Ok, totally unnecessary, but also an absolute MUST HAVE! This blanket is thick, velvety on one side and silky on the other, and everyone loves it…literally, every single person comments on it and asks where it’s from. Best baby gift ever.

4.|| MamaRoo – This was a recommendation from a few of my besties, and they were so absolutely right – I did need this in my life. This kick ass little machine mimics my movements (as well as things like the car) to calm Harps and rock her to sleep. She loves it. My husband loves it. I love it. It’s smaller than most baby swings and it’s crazy easy to assemble and clean.

5.|| Honest  Products – We all want the healthiest, safest, ‘best’ products for our babies, don’t we? I feel like the Honest products are exactly that. Us moms have enough to stress out about, and these products make me feel like I have one less thing to worry about. They’re good for my baby, good for the environment, and they deliver. Ok, you’re right, they had me at “we deliver”. Click here for a Free Trial*

6.|| Lansinoh Pads & Cream – Must haves if you’re going to breastfeed. I love that these pads come individually wrapped so I can throw some in my bag and not worry that when I go to use them they’ll be covered in Camryn’s goldfish crumbs lining the bottom of my purse. I purchase mine at Target.

7.|| Cake Nursing Bra – I didn’t understand the importance of good nursing bras when I first brought Camryn home from the hospital, but I learned that lesson quickly, and this time around I made sure to invest in quality (and uber comfortable) bras. My friend suggested the Cake brand bras, and they are the bomb diggity. I wear the “Cotton Candy” sports style bra most often. It’s also easy to wash.

8.|| L’oved Baby Kimono Onesie – Hands down, the best onesie for newborns!! Dressing babies is not easy; they flail, cry when they get cold, are limp, and fragile. This onesie makes dressing a baby so easy. The kimono design saves you from trying to pull anything over babies head, and the sleeves even have built in gloves to prevent baby from scratching their face (my favorite!!) I own at least half a dozen L’oved Baby items and they are  all  fantastic – this has become one of my favorite organic brands.

9.|| Covered Goods – This nursing cover is so multi-purpose. I use mine as a carseat cover, blanket in the car when I’m in a pinch, and nursing cover. Even when I’m not concerned with covering up for feedings, sometimes I’ll use my cover just to allow Harpy to focus on eating instead of being distracted by her big sister yelling and jumping around waving toys at her. I have the black & cream stripe.

10.|| Tippi Snugs – These lightweight blankets are super stretchy, and perfect for swaddling, covering the carseat, or wrapping up baby when it’s not too cold. They are so beautiful in person, and so soft. You’ve probably seen these all over my Instagram and in our newborn photos because I love the floral pattern and colors so much.

11.|| Ergo Baby Swaddles – We swaddled Camryn for 6+ months and she would sleep 12 hours if she was swaddled. She would calm down instantly and fall asleep with a little white noise in the background and be so soothed. I have been swaddling Harper with the Ergo baby swaddles and love them.  Some swaddles on the market don’t tight enough, and basically don’t work the way they should for that reason, but these adjust to even the smallest baby and get plenty tight.

12.|| Target Pajamas Pants & Robe- I’m pretty much living in these pants and robe. They’re so comfortable, and the pants can be worn in public without looking like you’re in pajamas, which saves me when I have to pick up Camryn from school. The robe is fluffly and snuggly and perfect for winter. Everyone should own them.

What are you’re favorite mama/baby items?

XO – Samantha

Newborn & Family Photos

The sweetest pictures showed up in my inbox yesterday & I’m so excited to share them with you!!

A very special thank you to our photographer, the incredibly talented Johanna McShan. She has captured the last 3+ years of our lives, and despite my diva daughters and our awkwardness in front of the camera, she always delivers such beautiful photos! We love her. If you’re in the Austin area, she’s your gal.

I’m sharing even MORE of our photos over on Instagram. :-)

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Wait…It’s December?!

Happy December, friends!

I blinked and 12 days had flown by since my sweet little Harpy was born. How is that even possible? :-( She is already changing so much, and seriously fattening up. We weighed me holding her, and then without her, and the difference was 7 pounds! I keep telling myself my scale must be inaccurate, because how could my teeny tiny 5 pounder already be weighing in at SEVEN POUNDS! Mama’s making butter, not milk. ;-)

The last (almost) 2 weeks has been so chaotic; hospital, home, thanksgiving, Camryn started back at school yesterday, and adjusting to life with 2 kids. It has been so fun, but I have to be honest, I’m a little anxious about my mom leaving us at the end of the week. She has become Camryn’s person. Her BFF. The one who can play with her for hours without the baby interrupting them for a feeding, diaper change, etc. I’m worried about how Camryn will feel when my mom leaves and she doesn’t have that constant person showering her with attention, which she seems to be craving desperately. She’s definitely feeling a little jealousy towards her new little sister, but is warming up to her the past week. She’s been singing to Harpy lately and always wants to help with diaper changes, so I’m staying hopeful.

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Oh, Harpy had her first bath yesterday too – she wasn’t a fan – but she loved the towel fresh from the dryer.photo 1Geez I love that girl!

XO – Samantha

Hello, Baby!

She’s finally here.

Harper Willow Hawes – 5 pounds, 12 ounces, 19″ long – perfect.

birth announcement photo Harper harper 2 harper 3

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harper 5 harper and daddy harper awakeharper nursery

harper kissesmommy and harper sleepy

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I told my husband Tuesday morning that I thought we would be having a baby that day, and sure enough my contractions started around noon, and became more regular and uncomfortable around 3pm. By 6:30 we were headed to the hospital, and after a very long almost 24 hours Harper was born! She is a teeny tiny 5 pounds of pure joy, and we are completely smitten with her. Her big sister is warming up to her and has been helping with every diaper change, kisses her head, and calls her “baby Harpy”. I have been snapping pics of the two of them and have a special post about them both coming soon. We also had newborn/family photos taken on Monday, so I’ll share those soon too.

We are busy adjusting to becoming a family of 4, and stealing baby kisses every chance we get, so please be patient with me. :-)

My husband surprised me with a new MacBook as a “push present” which means posting more regularly in the coming weeks should be easier, and won’t require I sit in our office on our iMac away from him and our girls – hooray!! (my hubs is a good, good man!)

You can also find more pictures like these over on my Instagram, so come say hi!

XO – Samantha

Apple Walnut and Cranberry Salad

Apple Walnut & Cranberry

Happy Monday all!  I am so excited to be the newest contributor for Playdates + Pearls.  Congrats to Samantha and her family on the newest addition! Baby Harper is finally here and I’m loving my Instagram feed full of her pictures!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? I think I may still be in denial. I’m making my grandma’s pumpkin pie and haven’t made it to the grocery store yet for the things I need.  I know I am going to regret this when I head there tomorrow after work.  I am the queen of procrastination.  I am lucky enough to have the day before Thanksgiving off so I’m able to spend time in the kitchen for whatever dish I’m bringing.  Most people don’t and I remember when I didn’t how stressful it felt getting everything  prepared.  I don’t believe cooking needs to be stressful, especially during the holidays when it’s all about spending time with family and friends.  This salad is super easy to prepare and it tastes amazing!  The dressing is very light brings out the flavor of the salad. I love me some mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie but it’s also nice to have a “lighter” dish with dinner.  And bonus… add some leftover turkey to it for lunch the next day!

Salad

 I usually bake and cook with unsweetened dried cranberries but for this salad I prefer the sweetened ones.

Salad2

Serves 6

What you’ll need

6 cups chopper romaine lettuce

3 small apples, sliced

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup crushed walnuts

1/2 cup feta crumbles (or more if you’re a cheese whore like me)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

What you’ll do

In a large bowl, toss first 5 ingredients together; set aside.

In small bowl mix together remaining ingredients.

Right before serving, pour dressing over salad and gently toss.

Thanks again Samantha for having me today! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

 

Winterize Your Makeup

Good Morning! I hope you’ve been loving my new contributors and their amazing posts so far because today I have Biana, from BLovedBoston, who is our newest Beauty Contributor! I honestly don’t remember how I met B (Ugh, damn you preggo brain!!) but I know it was shortly after I began blogging. She had just recently started blogging as well and would – without fail – read every one of my posts and leave me the sweetest and most supportive comments. She still does. Even when I get caught up with mom life and am lucky to leave her a single comment in a month, she is ALWAYS there, reading my posts, and being such an incredible friend and supporter of mine. I love her to pieces and I’m so happy that she’s agreed to donate her time to share some of her fab beauty tips, reviews, and tricks with all of you. You can also find her on Instagram, and if you’ve never checked out her blog, you definitely need to! Read more about her, and all the other contributors, here.
BLovedBoston Collage

While I realize that the harshness of winter weather is relative to where you live, I think we can all agree that there is a point in the season that our make-up routine just isn’t cutting it and doesn’t quite look as good as it did in the spring and summer.  My skin starts to look a bit colorless and needs some life put back in, so I’m a firm believer in changing up the routine and adding in a few products that might be a bit too “heavy” for the summer but are perfect for Fall/Winter weather!

I prep my skin with Ponds Dry Skin Cream. It’s a little on the heavy side for the summer, but my skin gets dryer this time of year so the thicker formula is perfect! I don’t really like to wear foundation every day, but I feel like I need more coverage and Naked Skin is the perfect formula because as the name suggests it’s really light so I get the coverage without feeling like I’m wearing too much makeup!! Since my skin isn’t really tan to begin with, I need all the help I can get!! Enter in Benefit’s Hoolah bronzer!! It takes a really long time to get through one package and a little goes a long way. It’s perfect for that “just got back from St. Barth’s look” we all want to exude this time of year. Finally my favorite way to add a little life back into my face is with a really high watt lip color!! Bite Lip Crayons are so pigmented and don’t dry your lips out!! If you want the perfect red lip – try “Pomegranate!!”Do you alter anything about your makeup routine with the change of seasons?
XO,
Biana
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