Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Few Vacay Pics

Ready for a photo overload?

Your family may fly to cool destinations or hit the beach for family vacations, but mine has always headed north to spend a week in the woods on a lake. The days would consist of swimming, canoeing, fishing, campfires, boat rides, board games, and lots and lots of reading.

When we were all younger, my dad would pack us in for a 14+ hour drive to Ely, MN for fishing and canoeing in the Boundary Waters. But now that the kids are all adults we all revolted and said we needed a closer destination, so we have been heading to the Hayward, WI area for the past few trips instead. It's beautiful, it's quiet, it's secluded, and the mosquitos, while plentiful, somehow only make tiny, barely itchy bites. I literally only went into town on the way in and the way out, and it was so relaxing and peaceful (besides the baby screams, which were plentiful since we decided it was a good week to try crying it out! 😂😂).




















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Monday, July 15, 2019

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Oh hey, did you miss me?! I was out of town with Jeff's family for a wedding two weeks ago, and then in Wisconsin with my family last week. I was planning on checking in at some point, but really it turned out that I liked vacation waaaaaay too much to step away to my computer ;) I'd like to say that it was because of the internet being weak and going down a few times, but really, I was too busy catching fish and taking Mia swimming!

So, in case you hadn't heard, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened to cardholders last week, and will open up to everyone this Friday. I took a look through literally everything that's on sale to find my favorites for you. To be completely honest, I wasn't wowed by this year's sale. Most of the things included are basics I already own or slightly different versions of items that were available in years past. In my digging though I was able to find a few gems, and of course, I still managed to order a bunch for myself and a few things for Jeff too!

A lot of influencers are creating hype to buy now and fast if you want something. I've found a few things that sold out, but really don't feel pressure to buy something if it isn't something you love. Remember, it's just a sale, and a lot of this stuff will be back on sale later in the fall.

If you are shopping, here are my top picks:

What I actually ordered: 


Items I already own and love: 



Shoes:



Bags and Accessories:



Work Clothes: 


Casual Clothes: 


Men's: 


Babies: 



Home: 






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Friday, July 5, 2019

Friday Finds

Happy Friday from Minnesota! We drove up on Wednesday for Jeff's little brother's wedding (which is TODAY!!) and besides the whole packing everything we own thing, the trip was surprisingly easy with Mia in tow. Google Maps said the trip would take a little over six hours, and even with stopping and rolling around in the grass a little for lunch we still made it in seven! Mia slept most of the way but also did her fair share of screaming (which we attempted to drown out with some womb white noise from my phone 😂). Jeff's mom rented out a cute little house that's broken up into separate apartments, so it's been so fun to have all of the family popping in and out. Also handy since we can put Mia to bed in our apartment and go hang with everyone in another!

We've known about this wedding for a while, so we actually put out feelers for someone to come watch Mia way before she was even born! My mom took the bait and drove up yesterday so Jeff and I can go all out at the wedding tonight. Jeff and I like to dance with great enthusiasm (but little skill) and since I was pregnant for the last couple weddings we went to I haven't gotten a chance to cut a rug in a while. Now, you may be saying, "Kristina, it's perfectly fine to dance when pregnant." Um, not our kind of dancing. Did I ever tell you about the time a photographer got too close and I speared her with my heel? So watch out if you ever see me on the dance floor!

So anyway, here are my finds for the week. Lots of good sales going on right now thanks to the holiday, but I personally am waiting until next week to let out my inner shopping beast because Thursday marks the start of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!! If you aren't a cardholder, I definitely suggest signing up now so you can shop the deals early before stuff sells out. We'll be in northern Wisconsin so I'm praying for some good wifi so I can shop myself!

one / two / three / four / five





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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Instagram Lately

I've been getting much worse at taking pictures of my outfits lately, so a lot more is ending up on Instagram that doesn't get shown here. We could blame the baby here, but let's be honest, it's half because I forget and half because it seems to rain in Chicago every freaking day. So, in case you've missed them on Instagram (because wah wah wah algorithm wah) here's what I've been wearing lately:


My mom-iform: Tee / Jacket / Leggings / Sandals




















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Monday, July 1, 2019

Drunk Elephant The Littles Review

My skin went completely whacko when I was pregnant. At first I thought my skin was invincible no matter what I did to it, because for the first month I knew I was pregnant it was beautiful. But then, all the sudden, I started getting crazy cystic acne on my chin. I've been known to get the occasional cyst during my period, but this was different. It was a new bump every couple days, and they would each last a couple weeks at a time. Eventually when I got to the third trimester they stopped showing up as frequently, and eventually shifted down to small bumps or blackheads.

In the aftermath, I was left with a lot of redness on my chin and a couple darker spots. And, because I was trying to figure out what was causing my skin to freak out I had dropped most of my skincare products, so my skin was also really dull and lifeless. And while I'd like to blame the pregnancy for large pores, that is something I've always dealt with. My skin naturally is oily in my t-zone and regular on my cheeks.

(Also, instead of "cheeks" I just typed "chins." Oh dear. I hope I just have the one.)


Enter: Drunk Elephant The Littles

Since my skin was so bad, I decided to try the Drunk Elephant The Littles set as a kind of reset for my skin. I'd heard about Drunk Elephant for years and always wanted to try it because I'd heard about good results and that it's a natural skincare line. But since everything is so expensive I never actually bought anything. Enter The Littles. It's a set of eight of their more popular items that are designed to be a full skincare routine. There are two serums for day, two serums for night, a facewash, a sunscreen, a face lotion, and an eye cream.

What the products are like

The two serums at a time thing sounded a little crazy to me (I usually use one at night and none in the morning) but I actually really liked the way it felt - so luxurious! And I really love the concept, because there is a moisturizing serum that you use after the harsher one for both morning and evening, so you are never overloading your skin. I definitely got much brighter and glowy skin from the serums!

I liked the sunscreen, but as an added step I'm not really into it (I usually use a lotion that has sunscreen in it) and wasn't wowed by the eye cream. Weirdly, I loved the facewash. It's this cool, gel texture that you don't need to add water to at first. It's kind of like using an oil cleanser, where it is amazing at removing all traces of makeup (including my waterproof mascara!) and then you add water and it lathers up like a regular facewash.

How long it lasts

At $90 for the kit (I got mine for 20% off during the last Sephora sale) I was really hoping these would last me a while. I started to hit bottom on products at the 4 week mark - that's when the lotion, eye cream, and sunscreen ran out. The facewash made it to week 5, and all of the serums are still going strong now at week 7! Which makes me wonder if I should have been using more product this whole time?? But really, I was figuring I'd get two weeks max out of everything so I'm pretty happy that this little set lasted me so long.


(Sidebar: while taking this photo, I somehow managed to  knock the picture down and break the frame. In case you're wondering, the weak part of a cheap picture frame is the outer frame itself, because little chunks of it broke off behind the little brads on the back that turn to hold the back in place. Which is so not how I would have thought a picture frame would break.)

The Results

I'm always a sceptic of people toting amazing results from skincare. My skin looked great after a month of using Drunk Elephant, but not like anyone else would notice but me! I definitely saw brighter skin and smaller pores, and more importantly, I didn't have a single breakout when using the line - even when I missed a couple nights of washing my face! That's really unusual for me, usually even a little slacking on my skincare routine shows right away.

Would I buy the full-size Drunk Elephant products?

When I shared that I was using these on Instagram stories, I initially said I was thinking I'd just rebuy the set once I ran out of everything, because, let's get real, I know myself and there's no way I'm dropping that much cash to buy full sizes of everything in the set. But, now knowing that the serums last so much longer than the other products, I'd just go full size on each of them. I like the face lotion too, but since it doesn't have the sunscreen in it I'm not really willing to do that extra step every day. And while I love the facewash, I don't think I'll spring for it. I was just listening to an episode of Bad On Paper Podcast where they had the founder of Allure on to chat all things beauty. She said that she goes drugstore for things that will stay on your face a short amount of time, and higher end for things that sit on your skin for longer. So since facewash just gets rinsed off immediately, you don't need to make sure it's the best possible ingredients for your skin. Makes sense!


Have you tried Drunk Elephant? What's your skincare philosophy? 

(Just a note in case you were wondering - nope nope this isn't sponsored! Just something I wanted to try and share with you.)



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Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! This was an especially exciting week because my brother and his fam flew in for a visit! They currently live in Asia (moving from South Korea to Japan) so we don't get to see them that often - I was so excited for Mia to finally meet the rest of her family! We're spending this weekend doing lots of family stuff and prepping for our big summer trip next week. I say "big" because it's ten days, but really we're headed to Minneapolis for my brother-in-law's wedding (so excited to see Tim and Kerry tie the knot - love you guys!) and then out into the woods near Hayward, Wisconsin for a week with my family. I started making a list this week and it looks like we'll be packing, oh, just about everything we own. Because Mia definitely can't go a week without her rattle chick or her jingle bunny or her bouncer or her sound machine... you get the picture, right? Plus, we somehow ended up with FOUR swimsuits for her (and weirdly one pair of baby boy board shorts) so we have to put them to good use, right?

Here are the finds for this week:

one / two / three / four / five





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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

June Budget

Every month I post about my clothing budget. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some and a little to others, but feels just right for me. You can read my thoughts on my 2018 budget here.


This is always the weird part of summer for me, because in one way it's just beginning. The first "official" day of summer was just last week, and that's when Chicago finally got its s*** in order and brought out the warm weather. Buuuut... fall clothes are going to start coming out soon! I mean, I saw an email about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yesterday. I feel like fall always gets pushed down our throats way sooner than I'm ready for it, and over here I'll be celebrating the summer down until the last drop. Or really, until the last day I have to go back to work (after Labor Day).

So what I'm trying to say is, June was a weird shopping month for me because most of the month was still in the 60's the majority of the time here in Chicago, so I was still shopping for cool weather pieces! Hence more jeans and sweatshirts. I think that pink stripe sweatshirt (which I also own in blue!) will still get a lot of wear though paired with shorts for cooler evenings and trips.

My favorite item by far though, is that black raffia bag. I featured it in my Friday Finds last week and ended up buying it while I put together the post, and it's ALREADY sold out. I hate when that happens and I don't get a chance to really share something with all of you. But I did find a couple of similar bags (here, here, and here) in case you love the look.

So here is the damage for June:





LOFT Striped Dress - $79.50, on sale $39.75 used rewards $34.75. This is one of those dresses where I wasn't really sure about it, and then I put it on and it was THAT flattering that I had to keep it. It would be so cute for work, but I'm planning on some summer dinners out in it.
Mali + Lili Black Raffia Bag - $84.00. Already wore it here but it somehow managed to sell out in the last week! Similar herehere, and here.
Old Navy Jeans - originally $44.99, on sale $33.74, used rewards $0. I love light rinse jeans for summer, and since I seem to be needing to wash my jeans more usual since becoming a mommy I thought another pair was in order! I got a long in these and they are just a tinge too long on me so I'm thinking of cutting them shorter for a raw hem look.
Marc Fischer Stud Sandals - originally $129.95, on sale $90.96, used notes $30.96. No I did not need another pair of flat sandals, but I loved the stud details on them (plus they were on sale!) so I went for it. My feet are super picky and I have decided these are good for everyday wear but maybe not the best for walking miles around the city in. Worn here.
Gap Distressed Boyfriend Shorts - $54.95, on sale + used rewards $14.69. It turned out I needed some new shorts post-baby (what, my body changed?!) and these definitely fit the bill. I love that the longer inseam means no chub rub and makes them super comfy for everyday wear. They are perfectly slouchy without being sloppy. Worn here.
J.Crew Colorblock Pullover - originally $65.00, on sale $45.50. I got the blue version last month, and you had better believe when I saw the pink pop up in stock in my size I snatched it! I went a size up in these to make them extra cozy. Just a note, they really are more of a thick tee-shirt material, not a soft cozy sweatshirt. Wore the blue here.
BP Block Heel Sandals - $59.95. I somehow didn't have a pair of nude sandals in my closet to wear to a wedding I'm going to next week. I ordered a bunch of pairs and ended up keeping these. I tested them out for a date night last weekend and ended up having to do a lot more walking than anticipated. We decided to take the train and then said train got stopped so we ended up hopping off early and walking a few extra blocks. Let me say, I did not think they'd hold up and figured I'd be hobbling by the end of the night, but my feet actually still felt fine several hours later - winners in my book!

Total Spent: $269.85
Total Saved: $248.49

Not bad, huh?! For July I'm definitely still looking for more summer clothes, but you'd better bet I'll be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale too ;) Oh, and I already ordered and am (im)patiently awaiting this top, this dress, this dress, and this dress. I had to buy a few things to match my new bag. Which really is what prompted most of those purchases. Pray for me.



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