My Fave Swimsuits...

 
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We are getting there!!! I can feel the air changing - and I am SO ready for pool & beach weather!!!

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I collect at least a few new swimsuits at the start of spring/summer every year :) This year I’m adding a few bikinis and one-pieces to the mix…so I wanted to share a few of my faves. I alway love ASOS, H&M, Forever21 (although their bottoms can be a little too “cheeky” for me!), J.Crew (when they’re having a good sale!), and Amazon (I make sure to read the reviews!).

I just got this one from H&M and I am so excited about the rusty color AND the high waist bottoms with the v-shaped waistband!! They are usually hit or miss for me, but I’m hoping for a win here! Ha! I was also really into this one-piece because it’s simple and would be comfortable for a day at the beach with the kids. It comes in a bunch of prints/colors - but I like the leopard print! :)

Hope you all have an amazing Tuesday! Here are some favorite swimsuits of now…and I threw in my favorite $20 cover up for you too - it’s a MUST…love it!

xx, Ashley

My Baby Must-Haves...

Happy Monday!

My sister is due ANY day with my new niece or nephew and we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival! It feels like it has gone by so fast (probably not that way for my sis! hehe!) … but it got me thinking about my “must haves” for baby again. There are a few things that I feel like I couldn’t live without for London…and I discovered another 2-3 things that I would add to my list since having Malia. One of those things is the bathtub seat! It’s under $40 and has just made our life so much easier. I don’t have to worry about Malia falling (since she wants to stand up now) and since she’s been able to hold up her head…we have been using the seat so the girls can take baths together. Saves time and my sanity! Another favorite is the Baby Bjorn bouncer. I used this multiple times a day all over the house, as it is easily portable - and super light to move! We had a toy bar for ours…so our typical routine was to feed Malia in the morning, then put her in the seat to play with her toys that were attached while we got London up and situated for breakfast and such. I highly recommend it!

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Another MUST HAVE in my option is the 4Moms portable playard. HONESTLY, I cannot even tell you the amount of times we have used this. We take it every time we travel - it has made numerous flights with us with zero problems…and the the size is what matters to me. It is bigger than a normal pack n play… aka I feel like the girls have more room. We took three trips in March and brought this on every one and London, who is almost 4 years old, happily slept in it (and slept WELL I might add) :) We will have it for the next 3-4 years for Malia…and I’m so glad we bought it…it’s been BEYOND worth it.

Here are a few other favorites for baby if you’re expecting, know someone who is, or you have a newborn!

xx, Ashley

Big Announcement...

 

I’m officially part of the Arbonne team!

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I couldn’t be more excited. One week ago, I decided to embark on this new venture in conjunction with the blog/social media piece that is already a part of my life. It has been such a fun week - I can’t even tell you how happy I am that I said YES to starting this business.

I wanted to answer some of the questions that I have gotten through Instagram about Arbonne and WHY I decided to join as a consultant, what I love about the company, what I love about the products, etc!

My WHY

This is a really easy one to answer and there are definitely a few reasons. The first is, I wanted to find a way to help my family more financially from home, through my phone and social media platform that I have already worked to establish. I do make money from blogging and collaborations with brands, but I feel a bit frustrated with Instagram and was definitely ready to change it up and add something NEW! I also LOVE everything that Arbonne encompasses as a brand and what their mission is. It’s about helping people and teaching them the best ways to live a healthier, cleaner lifestyle and sharing that with as many people as possible!

Why Arbonne?

GREAT QUESTION! Arbonne is the #1 Global Health Care company in the world. The WORLD. Their products are NON-TOXIC, cruelty-free, botanically-based and they ban nearly 2,000 harmful ingredients, abiding my European standards. Did you know that the FDA bans less than 20? TWENTY?!

I love that Arbonne isn’t pigeon-holed to one thing. There is literally something for everyone. Need help with your skin? Got it. Need new makeup? Done. Want to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle and have more ENERGY every day? The health/wellness portion has that covered. There’s even a baby line, men’s line, hair products, essential oils, etc. I LOVE that about Arbonne.

What’s going to happen with the blog?

The blog is here to stay :) I am going to work to deliver 1-2 blog posts per week as I have done in the past. I will still continue to post about my mom life and family life … and YES London will still be on IG stories :) (I can’t tell you how many questions I got about London. She truly is the star. I should thank her for my followers!) HAHA! Everything is going to stay the same in that regard … I will just be sharing Arbonne and products that I love … and hopefully that you guys grow to love!

Could Arbonne Be For Me?

I’ll tell you what made it easy for me to answer this question - and maybe you can ask yourself the same questions…

1. Do you want to live a pure/healthy lifestyle?

2. Do you want to earn extra money every month?

3. Do you want to be your own boss?

4. Do you want to work through your phone and the power of social media?

5. Do you like having a low start up cost? (It’s literally $49 to start your business. There is no autofill, no minimum orders … no gimicks. Trust me, I fell on the floor when I found this out!)

6. Do you like helping other people?

When I answered yes to those questions…I knew that I couldn’t wait any longer. I did my research like a maniac because that’s just how I am…but I am also one week in and I’m ALLLL IN. I don’t know how to do things halfway…so I jumped in and I have already learned SO much. I joined a team of amazing women that are SO inspiring and have created a sisterhood. I feel so supported and it’s just been such a blessing thus far. I am so excited to share this continually with you all!

If you are interested in learning more about the business side of things - I would LOVE to share more with you. It can absolutely lead to more financial freedom for your family and more flexibility. I am watching it already and I am only one week in. My only wish, was that I joined sooner!!!

Shoot me an email at: stylegraceandlace@gmail.com or just message me on Instagram :) I promise I will respond as quickly as possible!

Malia's 9-Month Update...

 

Hey guys! You’re long overdue for a MALIA update - and I know that because you keep sending me messages about what she’s eating nowadays, how she’s sleeping, what she’s up too, etc! :) I love it, you keep me on track!

She is 9 months and 10 days old! I can’t believe how fast it goes with your second baby…it’s crazy! I took her to her appointment and she is OFF the charts for height. She is 30.5” tall! Ahhh! The doctor told me the average 3-year old is 36 inches so, thus far she has the tall genes! At this age, London was 28.5”! It’s just crazy to see how different it can be from child to child! Not only is she SUPER tall, but she’s also weighing in at a whopping 22lbs - which is 93% for her age :) Bless her heart - that’s why she loves food so much and eats just as much as London sometimes (because, you know, TODDLERS!)

I thought I would break the update down a bit…so here you go :)

How she’s sleeping…

LIKE A CHAMP.

From about 6-8 months we went through a phase where her naps were really unpredictable and mostly SHORT. Ugh! It was really frustrating but I knew I couldn’t complain much since she was sleeping 12 hours through the night! She has been doing that since 13 weeks and never really went backwards…her sleep has only gotten better.

Her nap/sleep schedule looks something like this: 1st nap 9AM - 10/10:30AM, 2nd nap 12/12:30pm - 1:30/2PM and a 30-minute cat nap between 3:30/4:00PM. Her bedtime is anywhere between 6:30PM - 7PM and she sleeps until between 6:30-7AM. We are SO thankful that she sleeps like this, because we know it isn’t always the case. We followed the same book with both girls, and I will say - they are both wonderful sleepers. The book is called “12 Hours of Sleep by 12 Weeks” and we swear by it!

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How she’s eating…

She eats everything now, except for honey of course! She eats three meals a day as we do, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and sometimes she has a snack! She gets four bottles a day; one right when she wakes up, around 10:30/11am, when she wakes from her second nap around 2:30pm, and before bed. I would say she takes in anywhere from 24-28 ounces per day…which again, is more than London did at this age. Every child is different so if you’re reading this and thinking “Oh no, my daughter (or son) isn’t drinking this” it’s OK…don’t stress. They always end up getting what they need. Our doctor does suggest that they eat three meals a day by this age though - so I think that’s a good goal to shoot for if you aren’t doing that already (but as always, consult your doctor first).

Some of her favorite foods include: blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe (she really loves all fruit!), zucchini, asparagus, avocado, black beans and cheese quesadillas, salmon, and chicken!


What she’s doing…

Malia started crawling when we were in Disney, as she turned 8-months old! She hasn’t stopped since and I think that has a lot to do with having an older sibling and wanting to do what they are doing! She pulls herself to standing and “couch surfs” a.k.a. takes small steps while holding onto the couch. She can stand on her own for a few seconds and I feel like she’ll be an early walker like her sister!

She LOVES books! She definitely already has her favorites; anything that she can touch and feel, pop-up books, or books with flaps - she especially loves those! She likes to play with wooden blocks and knock down any tower that I build :) She is very into playing her version of pass with a ball…which is her rolling it anywhere in the room and crawling after it (she does this over and over…so cute!) She has a few favorite stuffies and sleeps with her mini bunny blanket now…cuddles right into it. So adorable. I just can’t believe how fast she is growing. She is a sweet, calm, and relaxed baby girl. We are all so blessed by her presence…truly the sweetest little angel baby that melts my heart every day!

I hope you all have an amazing day!

xx, Ashley

Amazon Dresses under $25 and Try-On...

Happy MAY 1st!

I just got my first wave of Amazon dresses and I’ve got to say, I am SO pleasantly surprised. You GUYS. These dresses are all under $25 - I literally got these 6 dresses for just over $110 which, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Such a steal!

I wasn’t sure if I would like them; I was expecting the material to be cheap but the dresses are soft, comfortable, lightweight and really REALLY flattering for every body type! Also, I love the fact that each dress comes with at least four other color options / print options!

Here are the SIX dresses from my Instagram try-on that I did - so you can shop them here all in one place! Also if you haven’t had a chance, head over to check out my post on “Amazon Finds Under $25!”

  1. Yellow Swing Dress: It was hard to pick a favorite but I think this one had to be it! It is SO comfortable and cute with the ruffle detail. I dressed this look down with platform sneakers but if you check my Instagram “Amazon Try-on” highlight, you will be able to see how cute it also looks with heels! If you want to shop these platform sneakers - here are some lookalikes (mine are sold out!)

2. This casual black maxi is the most shopped dress on Amazon with over 2,000 reviews! I can see why everyone loves it so much. The material is soft, those POCKETS, the double slit on either side and the cute v-neck back … I was really pleasantly surprised with this one! I want it in gray next :)

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3. This rose-colored slip dress is another favorite and was super popular in the try-on! It comes in a variety of other colors, but I love the high-waist tie and flutter top. The length is really great too - I love a midi dress because you can dress it up with heels and also wear it with sneaks too! This would be so perfect for a spring/summer wedding, baby shower, Mother’s Day, etc!

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4. I love a good t-shirt dress and this ruched bodycon one is GOOOOD. It has gathering around the midsection which is really flattering and also, usually when I see “bodycon” I get freaked out because I’m not into suuuuper tight, but honestly - this was PERFECT. I got a small, so I would say the dress is definitely true to size and I didn’t feel like it was too tight at all. Also, I have really broad shoulders that can sometimes be a problem for t-shirts/dresses etc, but again - this fit well in all the right places!

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5. I was not sure about this polka dot maxi - mostly because I wasn’t expecting the dots to be so prominent but it really grew on me! This was the most comfortable dress out of all the others. The material is SO lightweight and “flowy” and I just loveee how perfect this would be for summer. There are a lot of other colors and I’m even thinking of getting the white to use as a beach cover up. It has a cute hi-lo feature too! I love the v-neck front / back also - SUPER cute and highly recommend this one!

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6. This is another loose v-neck maxi that has pockets and I loved it. The material was a little heavier than the red polka dot one but still a really nice material that clung to all the right places on your body. This is also true to size! I’m wearing a medium here and it was a bit big - so I should have definitely stuck to my normal small size. The length is perfect - you could wear flats or heels with this!

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Which dress is your fave?!

xx, Ashley

Mother's Day Gift Ideas...

I LOVE doing this post every year because it’s for the MAMAS! I always try to share a variety of gift ideas and some ideas in case you want to TREAT YO’SELF if you’re a mommy and you’re reading this :)

I love spending the day with my little family; we never have to do anything crazy extravagant, but just being together is the BEST. I’m praying for nice weather this year! Come on Spring!

Here are some cute MD ideas for the mom in your life! Have a great week!

xx, Ashley

Amazon Finds Under $25...

 

My Top 5 Amazon Finds…

  1. This dress is the most shopped dress on Amazon. It comes in a million colors…but I like the black and gray best! Cute to pair with a denim jacket and a baseball cap or just with lace up sandals. HOW GOOD ARE THE POCKETS?!

  2. I have this cover-up in a size small and I truly love it. It’s so easy breezy to throw on over a swimsuit at the pool or beach. It’s under $20!

  3. One of my favorite bloggers, Holli Woodward wore this swimsuit on her IG the other day and I was like WELL if it’s good for her, it’s good for me too! HAHA! I’m so sick of paying a million dollars for swimsuits and this one is under $30 and super CUTE!

  4. The most talked about leggings and a Lululemon DUPE under $25! They’re high-waisted, not see-through, they wear SO well and after many washes, they look the SAME!

  5. Obsessed with this tunic dress because you can dress is up or down! It looks SO comfortable - and comes in three other colors. I’m planning to include it in my next Amazon try on!

xx, Ashley

Target Mother's Day Haul...

Happy Tuesday!

Last night I went to Target to scour the aisles for some Mother’s Day inspo! There are so many cute things (naturally) that I wanted to buy for myself but I have will power!! :) I shared all of them with the swipe up links on my Instagram stories but just in case you missed them, you can shop them below!

I tried to share a variety of options - gift ideas for the fit mom, some home decor ideas, even a vacuum because that’s the kind of gift I want (ha!) and more! Shop below by clicking any of the items!

Stay tuned for more Mother’s Day guides! Have a beautiful day!

Spring Essentials...

This weekend in Boston was SO beautiful and I couldn’t have been more happy to finally venture outside in just a t-shirt! I’m pretty sure London was the happiest of all - but it was just so amazing. We tried to get outside and enjoy it as much as possible…because this week looks like rain, rain, and more rain! I’m just holding on to the age-old saying “April showers bring May flowers” because I need to believe more sunshine is ahead!

I loved seeing everyone rocking their cute Spring looks over the weekend as well. It inspired me to do a little post for you about “Spring essentials” and all of the things that are trending right now! I’m seeing lots of cropped wide leg pants / jeans and I’m shocking to say that I actually LOVE them. They’re super cute paired with platform sneakers and a tucked in tee. Also, these large hair clips are EVERYWHERE…especially the ones with pearl detail. I found some on Etsy for $12, so I thought I’d share the wealth ;)

Here are some cute things for Spring that you should totally check out! A lot of them are currently on sale, so hurry!

xx, Ashley

How To Do Disney With Kids...

 
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I can’t believe our Disney trip has come and gone! We had been planning to go as a family for a year and there was so much excitement and anticipation leading up to the week! My parents have a time share at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which is where we always stayed growing up as kids. It’s SO fun to go back now and bring our own children to experience all of the fun and magic that Disney encompasses! My sister and her family came on the trip as well - and we all stayed in a three-bedroom villa which was absolutely gorgeous with views of Magic Kingdom; we watched the fireworks every night from our balcony…it was amazing.

While we were there I got LOTS of messages from people saying they had a trip coming up and were super nervous/wanted tips etc. All I have to say is YES, Disney is a BEAST of a place and it’s completely exhausting, but it’s ALWAYS worth it. If you go in with a few tips + tricks and a plan, then you will dominate it! This was London’s third time at Disney World (she’s 3.5 years old) and each trip gets better because she remembers more and more. The look on her face makes it me so happy. Bringing Malia added a new layer and definitely took more thinking in terms of coordinating naps, mixing bottles etc., but it was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad she experienced it with us. I know people say “I’m not going to take my kids to Disney until they can remember it” and I get that, but for us we just feel like the entire process of travel in general brings new learning experiences for our children and opportunities for them to grow, step outside of their comfort zone, and expand their minds…plus THE MEMORIES.

Ok, it’s time for TIPS + TRICKS on how to get the most out of your time there and also the best parks/things to do if you have a toddler/small child! There are certain parks (ahem, EPCOT) that I wouldn’t take the time to go to if you have kids the same age as mine. I’ll get to that in a little :)

Helpful Tips…

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  • Bring your own snacks and waters to the parks. Unless you want to spend $5 on a bottled water I recommend you pack your own! They let you do this so we stashed 4-5 waters in the storage bin of the stroller. I also pack a bunch of snacks in my luggage or buy snacks at a store outside of Disney when we arrive. I bring individual packs of goldfish, raisins, cheez-its, apple sauce pouches, etc.

  • Plan Fast Passes in advance. If you want a super popular ride like Peter Pan’s Flight at the Magic Kingdom, I would book a fast pass ahead of time for this! We did our fast passes a few days before our trip and we were able to get on all of the rides / see all of the shows that we wanted too (I made a list below of our favorites by theme park).

  • Schedule a CHARACTER DINING experience. When London was 18-months old and obsessed with Mickey Mouse, we booked a brunch at “Chef Mickey’s” at the Contemporary so she could meet all of the characters in one place. We did this instead of waiting in line at Magic Kingdom to see each individual character which would have been less than fun with a child her age :) This year, we made reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table which is located at the top of the castle in Magic Kingdom! London was in heaven! Each princess (Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Aurora, and Jasmine) comes around to your table while you are eating to chat and take photos. It’s WELL WORTH the money to see them all in one place! (*book these experiences well in advance! We also did a separate fast pass to meet Tiana and Rapunzel because they weren’t at the breakfast)

  • Bring your own stroller. I don’t recommend renting a stroller there - mostly because they look SUPER uncomfortable and there’s no storage underneath (which I count on). As of May 2019, there are new standards for strollers in terms of length and width, so make sure you check on the website before you pack your own. I’m sure the travel umbrella strollers would work fine. My sister has an almost two-year old and they used something similar to this one. We love the Babyzen YOYO stroller (as I have mentioned a bunch before) and they have an attachment/ride along board which is AMAZING!

  • Utilize the Baby Care Center. They have these in all four theme parks and they’re wonderful. There is a private nursing room with rocking chairs, a place to change your baby and highchairs to feed older babies as well! There is also a shop that sells formula, diapers, sunscreen, wipes, baby food, etc., should you have forgotten any of those things.

Our Favorite Parks / Rides + Shows…

Magic Kingdom

We spend the most time here every year, for obvious reasons - it’s the main park! There are amazing rides but also daily parades and shows! Here are our favorite rides/shows to see!

  • It’s A Small World (We never get a fast pass for this one - the line is always manageable)

  • The Voyage of the Little Mermaid

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Crowd favorite! Book your fast pass well in advance for this one!)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • “Festival of Fantasy” Parade at 3PM daily

  • Country Bear Jamboree

  • “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” show (On the stage in front of the castle)

*I HIGHLY recommend the nightly fireworks show! London is 3.5 so we had her take a later nap so she could go (It starts at 9:15pm), but it is SO beautiful and worth it. London was completely mesmerized and honestly, so was I!

Animal Kingdom

We LOVE Animal Kingdom. It is so beautiful and probably my second favorite park after Magic Kingdom (It’s my husband’s favorite!) We never do many rides here because we’ve only always spent a half a day…but our top 3 are listed below. It’s just SO beautiful! The photo below of London meeting Pocahontas was when she was 2.5 years old - she loved it!

  • Kilimanjaro Safari

  • Festival of the Lion King Show

  • Pocahontas Character Meet & Greet

Hollywood Studios - If you only have 2-3 days at Disney as a whole, skip Hollywood Studios. We had 4-5 days so we went here, but I think you would want at least two days at Magic Kingdom and a day at Animal Kingdom! Here is what we did at Hollywood Studios…

  • Disney Junior Dance Party

  • For The First Time In Forever Frozen Sing-a-long

  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

  • Character Meet & Greet: Princess Sofia

I hope you’ve found this helpful! If you have any questions you can post them here or on my latest Instagram post (not the giveaway) and I will probably be able to respond quicker! Love you all!

xx, Ashley

Easter Sunday Attire...

I can’t believe Easter is next weekend! I love this holiday; celebrating the resurrection, soaking up Spring, all the florals, delicious food, and family time. I am starting to think about what the girls and I will wear on Easter Sunday and that got me thinking of sharing some inspo with all of you! I am sharing some pieces that are on sale so grab them while you can - also, a lot of them are casual so you can wear them multiple times :)

I hope you are all having a great week!

xx, Ashley


Prepping To Fly With Two...

Hey guys! I feel like I haven’t posted much the past month or so because it’s been so insanely busy! We went on two trips in March and just recently took both girls to Disney World…so needless to say - we are kind of exhausted :) I ran a poll on my Instagram to see what you guys wanted for content; a “how to” when it comes to Disney with kids or prepping to fly with two and it was pretty even so guess what - I’m going to do both!

I decided to start with flying with two because that one did slightly have more votes! Last month I posted “How To Travel With Your Three Year Old” because London and I have traveled so much together I feel like we have that down! Adding Malia, who is 8-months old, to the crew was SO much fun but also adds A LOT more to think about, plan for, and pack :)

How I prep for flights with two…

I ALWAYS make a list. This time I made one for each child and divided it into things I need for my carry-on and things I need to pack in general. I brought two carry-ons which seemed to work nicely. I did one backpack and a shoulder bag. I hesitated on the shoulder bag but it was actually clutch because it was already open and easy to access PLUS it fit underneath my stroller, which I always use through the airport (I’ll get to this later!). A bag like this would work nicely and I really like this one because of the attached wristlet!

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Here is what you can find in my carry-on bags…

Before I go ahead and list everything out - I HIGHLY recommend not just throwing everything in, but organizing things in gallon-sized ziplock bags. This helps IMMENSELY when it comes to fishing things out of the bag efficiently.

Shoulder Bag:

  • Malia’s toys/rattles (gallon bag)

  • Malia’s teethers (I put these in a smaller ziplock bag)

  • Snacks for London (gallon bag) *Some snacks that I typically bring: granola bars, raisins, goldfish, cheez-its, apple sauce pouches, pea crisps, graham crackers and I usually buy a banana and a cheese stick at Starbucks in the airport :)

  • Change of clothes for both (gallon bag)

  • 2 Aden & Anais muslin blankets (these take up no space at all)

  • Burp cloth

  • Carrier (We prefer the Ergo 360 so you can do forward facing but also they can face in when it’s nap time!)

Backpack:

  • Diapers/butt paste for Malia (I recommend butt paste when you travel because you may not be able to change your baby as much as you would at home / they may be in the carrier more so you wouldn’t want them getting a rash!)

  • iPad / kids headphones

  • Water Wow activity (these are a MUST for us!)

  • Books (2-3)

  • Crayons in a ziplock w/a small coloring book

  • Purell hand wipes

  • Gum / dum-dum lollipops

  • Ibuprofen (I like to carry this just in case. London has never had ear pain when flying but since this was Malia’s first flight and she had a cold, I wanted to make sure I had some Ibuprofen on hand!)

My Tips For Getting Through Security / The Airport…

Do you check your stroller? …What do you do with your pack n’ play? … Did you wear one child and push the other in the stroller? … Which carrier do you recommend? These are just a few of the questions I get asked when I travel with London and this past time with both girls.

Firstly, having a GREAT STROLLER makes all the difference and I always GATE CHECK my stroller which means I take it through security and use it to maneuver around the airport then check it right before we board! It is FREE to gate check (at least with JetBlue) and just makes life SO much easier. If I’m traveling with just London, I always use my Babyzen YOYO stroller which folds up, has a shoulder strap like a purse, weighs just 15 pounds, and can fit in the overhead bins of any airplane! Most recently when we traveled with London (3.5 years) and Malia (8 months) we used the Chicco Bravofor2 LE Double stroller and it was MVP of our trip, FOR REAL. London has the option to sit or stand while Malia sits in the front. London fits in the front too, which she loved to do when Malia was in the carrier. The storage bin underneath is HUGE which is another bonus considering it left room for my shoulder bag and carrier when I wasn’t using it. It also folds + unfolds in probably five seconds - no exaggeration.

When is comes to my 4Moms Pack n Play - I always check it underneath the plane and we never have any issues. I bring this when we travel (even though most hotels have their own), because it’s bigger than the standard pack n play … and almost the size of a regular crib!

When going through security I recommend baby-wearing because oftentimes they do make you fold up the stroller which kind of requires two hands. I wore Malia in the Ergo 360 carrier from the time we got to the airport until we got through security.

I like planning flights with the littlest one’s naps. This was pretty easy considering Malia still naps 3 times a day. She slept on the plane for an hour both ways, which was a huge lifesaver! I recommend getting to the airport with plenty of time to grab a few waters, hit the bathroom for the potty and a final diaper change before boarding. I also like to let them get their wiggles out and run around a little bit beforehand, since they won’t be able to move around much on the flight.

I hope I covered it all and I hope this is a help to you in some way! If you have any questions - head to my Instagram page and post them on my latest post so I can get to you quickly. Stay tuned for my “Disney With Littles” post for those who are wondering how to take on the beast that is DISNEY WORLD ;)

Have a wonderful week!

xx,

Ashley

20 Things To Do In Kennebunkport, Maine...

For those of you who follow along here or on my IG, you probably know by now how much I love Maine and how much we, as a family, love to visit Kennebunkport! It’s so special to us for so many reasons. We have vacationed there together for the past 6 years, we got engaged there, my sister was married there and my brother will be married there this October! Ahhh!! So many memories.

Anyway, I am a contributor for the Boston section of Mommy Nearest - and recently wrote an article for them about all the things you can do in Kenebunkport!! I wanted to share it with you guys - so you can check that out HERE!

What I Wear When I Travel...

Since we’ve been traveling a lot this month - I thought I would share what I like to wear to the airport/on the plane. I ALWAYS opt for comfort, especially when I’m traveling with the family - so my Nike Roshe’s are my go-to sneaker. I have them in black/white and also white/white. They’re so ridiculously comfortable! I posted a photo of the black roshe’s below and also, I usually get lots of questions about this leather jacket too. The hood is removable - and I love that because it makes the jacket dressier for a night out and more casual with the hood!

I always tend to wear leggings and I have shared my favorite Lululemon dupe a lot on my Instagram lately - but they’re just TOO GOOD. They’re from Amazon, so you can literally get them in two days if you have Amazon Prime and they come in a bunch of colors. I love how they are thick a.k.a not see-through, and they’re high-waisted so they really hold everything in. Did I mention they’re only $25?! You can see them below…

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With my leggings, I usually wear a long t-shirt either white or black … but either way, I make sure it covers my bum! I typically get cold on airplanes, so I will wear a long cardigan like this or my distressed denim jacket from Topshop. I found a similar jacket here. Even if it’s super cold flying from Boston, but I’m going somewhere warmer - I always leave my winter jacket at home and pack a few lighter jackets. I just bought this teddy coat a few weeks back from Amazon ($32) and it’s actually perfect to travel in! It’s surprisingly warm, but also easily squishes into a carry on if needed! I’ve worn it way too many times already - here it is below :)

These spanx leggings in the picture above are always a hit as well - THEY’RE AMAZING. They completely hold everything is but are SUUUUPER comfortable at the same time. They’re faux-leather so they’re perfect for a night out too…but can be dressed down as you see above. They’re actually comfortably enough to travel in - and I bring them on every trip because they’re multi-purpose!

We have another trip in just 10 days and we’re going somewhere SUNNY and tropical, so I’ve got my eye on a few jumpsuits I think would be great to travel in. I like this one that’s sleeveless! I can wear a cardigan or my denim jacket over it and then when we land, I’m dressed appropriately for the warm weather. I also just love the ease of jumpsuits in general. ASOS always has some great options!

Here are a few other things that I would LOVE to travel in…and highly recommend for you if you have a trip coming up!

Stay tuned for where we will be going next!

xx, Ashley

Our Favorite Family Spots in Boston...

We have been living in Boston for almost five years now and have completely fallen in love with the city. When we first moved here Chris and I were newlyweds and we got our first apartment together in the cutest neighborhood of Boston (in my opinion), Bay Village. It is sandwiched between the South End and Back Bay - which are home to some of our favorite spots in the whole city. We only lived downtown for one year - but I like to think that we made the most of exploring and discovering all of the things that make “the Bean” so amazing. Now that we are parents of two, we have spent the last few years taking advantage of all the things that the city has to offer for KIDS!

I wanted to share some of our favorite spots in and around Boston; our go-to parks, restaurants, museums, etc. so if you guys are ever visiting or even currently live in the city, you can check them out!

The Boston Common: This is Boston’s most popular 50-acre park located right in the middle of the city. You can take a walk across the picturesque bridge and snap a photo with the swan boats in the distance, or find the prettiest blooms, which are changing every season. You can always find things to do; in warmer months you can pack a picnic and go for a ride with your kiddos on the duck boats. London loves to find the Mother duck and her ducklings in the park, a nod to the popular book “Make Way For Ducklings!”

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Boston Public Market: This is one of our top places to go on the weekend but it’s Monday - Friday as well! Some of our favorite spots are here…all in one place. We get our coffee at George Howell, always make a stop at Red Apple Farm (for homemade apple cider donuts), and London and I pick a few flowers from Field & Vase by Stow Greenhouses to make our own bouquet.

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Also, how good is this backpack that attaches to my stroller? It’s the Papago from J.J. Cole and I love that it holds everything I need - literally I always pack my LIFE when I go out with the girls and want to make sure I have everything - this backpack holds it all!

We love the Boston Public Market!

We love the Boston Public Market!

This is Field & Vase where London and I love to make our own bouquets!

This is Field & Vase where London and I love to make our own bouquets!

Blackbird Doughnuts: These doughnuts are so good! They’re delicious, they’re made in-house and they make these mini cinnamon sugar stacks for your little ones too! If you’re feeling up for it, try the “made-to-order” ice cream sandwich!

Faneuil Hall: So fun to go here as a family! They always have fun street performers to keep kids entertained and you can grab a delicious meal in Quincy Market!

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Boston is such a walkable city and I love that I never have to worry about Malia being cold on these chilly winter days because of the BundleMe that keeps her super snuggly! I also don’t have to bring any additional blankets which is a major MOM WIN, am I right?!

Beacon Hill: You HAVE to visit Beacon Hill. It is quintessential Boston with the adorable tree-lined streets and beautiful brownstones. There are some of the cutest shops and cafes in this neighborhood also including Tatte, a beautiful space with a cozy feel and open kitchen to watch the chefs whip up tasty sandwiches, soups, delicious pastries and more! Make sure you walk by Acorn Street, which is known as one of America's most beautiful streets and easily one of the most Instagrammed spots in Boston. Also, a little tip: you'll have better luck in flats trying to maneuver your way up or down this street. And best to ditch the stroller beforehand, too.

How cute is Malia on Acorn Street, one of the most photographed streets in America!

How cute is Malia on Acorn Street, one of the most photographed streets in America!

Love exploring Boston with my girl in her cozy    BundleMe   !

Love exploring Boston with my girl in her cozy BundleMe!

Charles River Esplanade: Grab a coffee and head over to The Esplanade for a relaxing walk and scenic views of the Charles River and cityscape. The Esplanade Playspace is a place your kids will love too and a great way for them to burn off some energy!

Newbury Street: Newbury is the city's most popular street for shopping! There are so many trendy cafes and restaurants to power you through a shopping spree (if your kids will allow it). One street over on Boylston, you’ll find the Boston Children’s Museum if your kids need a little escape - or you can head to our favorite Newbury spot, Georgetown Cupcakes. London always picks the cupcake with the MOST frosting…can you blame her?!

London loves all of the pretty store-fronts on Newbury!

London loves all of the pretty store-fronts on Newbury!

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Waiting patiently for her cupcake!

Waiting patiently for her cupcake!

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New England Aquarium: Pretty self-explanatory, but aquariums are always a hit and this one is really fun! It’s also a short walking distance from Faneuil Hall so you could do them both in the same day!

Museum of Science: We love bringing the girls here! You can easily see the exhibits in 1-2 hours but you can also make a whole day of it if that’s the kind of mood you’re in. London loves “Science in the Park” so she can go on the swings and she loves to visit the Dinosaur exhibit as well. (I recommend trying to go on a weekday because weekends tend to be pretty crowded!)

London loves to run around the museum and we have been so many times that she knows where everything is! The photo on the right is a new exhibit (that’s a true-to-size SEAL by the way), and I love that they are always changing up exhibits and bringing new/interesting things to the museum for people like us that visit so often!

*Mom Tip: A backpack always works better than a shoulder bag. You need both hands - especially when you’re the solo adult with two little ones! We love our Papago!

The “Science in the Park” exhibit is GREAT for kiddos to burn off some steam and run around!

The “Science in the Park” exhibit is GREAT for kiddos to burn off some steam and run around!

London could stay on these swings for hours!

London could stay on these swings for hours!

Fenway: You can't visit or live in Boston and not take at least walk America's most beloved ballpark; that would just be unpatriotic! Catch a game for a photo of the “Green Monster” or just pay a visit to capture the essence of this legendary place. If you’re looking for a yummy place to eat, Sweet Cheeks Q is a super popular place basically next door!

There you have it, that’s my list! What are some of your favorite places to take your kids in Boston?! I’d love to hear more ideas / recommendations … we are always looking for more adventures!

xx, Ashley

This post was sponsored by JJ Cole. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Microblading: All Questions Answered + Why You Should Do It...

I think this is my most sought after blog post! I have had so many people message me on Instagram about when I’m going to show “before + afters” of my eyebrows now that they’re microbladed and asking SO many questions about the procedure in general. Well, HERE IT IS! I wanted to wait a few weeks to let the eyebrows CALM THEMSELVES DOWN a bit because let’s be honest when they’re first done they’re CRAY. They’re dark, you can’t get them wet or touch them…it’s just a SCENE. About three weeks later and I’m absolutely LOVING the way that they look. I don’t even know how I was rocking my sad eyebrows before this or what took me so long to get this done! SO HAPPY WITH THE OUTCOME!

Ok, so first thing’s first…

WHAT IS MICROBLADING?

  • It’s a semi-permanent brow enhancing tattoo

  • Brows are created using a tiny scalpel with multiple blades, which are then dipped into pigment before making the individual, tiny cuts into the eyebrows.

  • The pigment isn’t applied as deep into the skin as with a conventional tattoo, so this method is deemed semi-permanent. Meaning: It should last around two years, depending on skin type and how it was applied.

How Do I Find My Technician?

Rejina from Boston Perfect Eyebrows in Allston did my brows. She has been doing this for over three years and after researching her website and her Instagram page I felt really comfortable trusting her to do mine! Everything was VERY clean and sterile. She is patient, thorough, and takes her time. She is super sweet and dealt with my nervous self so graciously. Also, she is the CUTEST human.

Make sure your technician is properly certified and licensed people! This is nothing to mess around with - HELLO these are your brows and a semi-permanent tattoo. Do your research!!

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Does it hurt?

Short answer: Not really. Longer answer - I’m a BIG baby and told Reji from the beginning that I didn’t want to feel anything. Honestly, the threading at the beginning was the worst part, if that says anything! Ha! She put numbing cream on my eyebrows and during the first pass of three - I didn’t feel one thing. The second pass I started to feel a little bit of a burning feeling so Reji put more numbing cream on. I love that she took her time and was patient in allowing me to do that!

Do they use a needle to numb you?

I know I just mentioned this above but I got this question a lot! NO they don’t use a needle to numb - they use a CREAM. Score!

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What is the healing process / after care like?

Basically you can’t get your eyebrows wet or really touch them for 2 weeks. For the first week, I was instructed to apply a thin layer of ointment on my brows. It was a little annoying mainly because I couldn’t work out (due to sweating) but honestly - not terribly difficult and TOTALLY WORTH IT for two years of rockstar brows if you ask me!

How do they find your shape?

You can arrive with your eyebrows penciled in / shaped the way you prefer them. Reji did the “mapping” where she shapes them and draws them in with a pencil first to see how they look. Then I was able to look and we could tweak them together. She did them perfectly the first time - so I didn’t have to make any adjustments. She’s a pro :)

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What is the maintenance like after the two weeks?

There is a secondary visit 5-6 weeks after your first appointment. You can follow up with a yearly touch up or go beyond the year if you feel like they are still looking on point ;)

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Please feel free to message me on Instagram if you have any questions!! If you want to check out Rejina’s instagram, you can click here!

xx,

Ashley





How To Travel With Your Three Year Old...

It’s that time of year again - Conference Tourney Time for my husband’s basketball team (Go NU!) and I’m heading back to Charleston with London for a few days! I have been looking forward to this trip with her ever since I booked the tickets in December .. and I think she is JUST as excited. Traveling with her is a blast - and we always have such a fun time together. This will be the 13th flight she has taken and each time gets better and better - probably because she’s getting a bit older! It’s like going on a little trip with my bestie!

I wanted to share some "must haves" when it comes to toddler travel… 3.5 years old is still considered “toddler” right? Let’s go with it :) I know traveling can feel stressful and exhausting at times, but I think if you try to make it as fun as possible than they will feed off of that energy. First things first...I highly recommend traveling with a BACK PACK as a carry-on and not a mini backpack…a pretty roomy one because you’re going to need ALL THE THINGS. That’s just the way I personally like to fly anyway because, better to be safe than sorry! I really love the Papago from J.J. Cole which we just got, this one by Skip Hop and if you’re looking for a cheaper version, this one is under $70.

The next thing that's a "must have" is a lightweight, compact, and easy to fold stroller. Our BABYZEN YOYO+ stroller is an actual lifesaver and I can't say enough about it. It's folds up in literally five seconds and is small enough to fit in the overhead compartment on the airplane. Once it's folded, it has a shoulder strap for easy carrying and it weighs just 15lbs. I can't tell you how many people comment on it when they see us fold it up or open it; just how easy it is! There's also a pretty convenient compartment underneath to store small items if needed. If you’re looking for a double stroller for two kiddos, we have been using the Chicco Bravofor2 LE Double stroller and really love it for the ease of folding/opening and the storage underneath!

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A few tips while you’re on the plane…

I typically like to time flights so they’re during London’s nap time. Now that she’s older I just booked the cheapest flights…which is nice :) She does still nap, but will be able to handle a missed nap for one day. Prior to flying, I alway hit the Target Dollar Bin for some activity books, sticker books, and anything small I can fit in my carry-on backpack for her. I pack a few of her favorite snacks, books, plane-friendly games, and of course – the iPad. Lo is old enough to understand how headphones work and she loves wearing them. I got these Mpow Kids Headphones for this trip - and they’re great. I also just downloaded ‘Starfall ABC’ to my iPad for our trip because it’s an educational game that you don’t need wi-fi to play…and it’s free!

Some snacks that I typically bring: granola bars, raisins, goldfish, apple sauce, pea crisps, graham crackers and I usually buy a banana and a cheese stick at Starbucks in the airport :)

Important tip: I highly suggest bringing a travel pack of Purell Sanitizing Wipes. It gives me peace of mind to wipe down the germ-infested airplane. I also bought the travel-sized Purell to attach to the strap of my backpack. I cannot tell you how many times I use this throughout the day when we travel!

I don’t leave home without…

Blackout shades; these are cheap paper shades that I always travel with. Actually I just keep them in my car. I use them when we stay at friend’s houses, hotels if needed, etc. They’re easy to fold and carry in your suitcase.

4Moms Travel Playard: Hands down, best ever and easiest set-up. It comes with a travel bag so we just usually check it in for the flight. I’ve struggled HARD with other pack n’ plays, but this one is absolutely AMAZING.

Sound Machine; Another thing I never travel without is this $20 plug-in sound spa. You never know what the noise level will be at the hotel so I prefer to make sure unnecessary things don’t wake my babes! Doesn’t take up a lot of room in your luggage either!


Lastly, as far as I’m concerned all bets are off when traveling. Screen time increases, the amount of snacks can go through the roof and I’m not above a good dum-dum lollipop bribe! You just do what you have to do, knowing that things will return back to normal as soon as you reach your destination! The moral of the story is to HAVE FUN and try to enjoy what can sometimes be a stressful experience, but doesn’t have to be!

I hope this is helpful for any of you that’ll be traveling with toddlers soon! Make sure to follow along on my Instagram to see our adventures over the next couple of days!

xx, Ashley

Winter Deals...

Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having the best week! Here are some cute styles on sale NOW!

xx, Ashley

How To Maintain Curls + Curly Hair Wash Routine...

Happy Wednesday!

I ran a poll on my IG stories last week asking if you all would like a mini tutorial on how I manage London’s hair and since 94% of you voted HECK YES … here it is! :)

It has taken me 3+ years to get to a place where I feel like I have somewhat of a clue when it comes to curly hair! I have completely straight hair so it’s definitely been a learning curve! I’m not an expert AT ALL so I’ve asked lots of questions about products, researched products, a little trial and error to see what works and I finally think we have a concoction that’s working right now!

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I will mention that I basically harass Allysha from @HouseofTurcotte because her hair is AMAZING and she recommended the Shea Moisture product that we use….which we LOVE and makes a huge difference! If you have curly hair or curly-haired kids you should check her out :)

Here are the products that we currently use on London’s hair:

  1. Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Shampoo

  2. Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Conditioner

  3. Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treatment

  4. Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

  5. Proclaim Olive Glossing Polish

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Step 1: Wash / Condition

I typically wash London’s hair 2x a week. I found that if I washed it more it would dry it out, so twice seems to work well. I shampoo her hair once and condition it twice. I found that on the second pass of conditioner - if I use my wet brush while it’s wet and she’s still in the bath - I can brush the tangles out so much easier! The wet brush has been clutch - I love it. Sometimes I do the Leave-in mask for a few minutes after combing her hair and after the shampoo/conditioner, as the last step before I do a final rinse.

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Step 2: Apply Smoothing Cream

I also took Allysha’s advice on this too and use one of Chris’s white t-shirts to wrap London’s hair in. I used to towel it off and it would make it really frizzy from the start - but the t-shirt works! Then I use the smoothing cream. I start at the root and usually work the cream in all the way to the ends. Lo’s ends can get frizzy so I make sure I add a bit more of the smoothing cream on those. I let that set for a few minutes and sometimes I’ll finish it off with a braid or just let it air dry.

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Step 3: Apply Proclaim Glossing Polish

First off, this oil smells SO amazing. It has olive oil, for frizz and to make hair look super shiny. I put a nickle-size amount in my palms, rub them together and them work it all through London’s hair - typically from the bottom-half down to the ends.

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I do typically braid her hair when she sleeps because it minimizes the tangles. In the morning, I’ll spritz it with a little water and add more of the Shea Moisture smoothie cream to bring her curls back to life! It seems like a lot of steps and sometimes it is - but we have it down to a little routine now and I feel like we’re getting the hang of it. If you have any more tips/tricks you’d like to share - please send them my way! I know a few people have recommended a silk pillowcase and I have one in my Amazon cart right now - I think that’ll help with tangles also.

Anyway - I hope you found this helpful in some way! Have a great week!

xx, Ashley

Getaway Style...

London and I leave for Charleston in just a few weeks!!! I’m so excited to have some one-on-one time with her and also to see Chris’s conference basketball tourney! Such a fun weekend!

We are also heading to Florida at the end of March so I’ve been shopping for swimsuits, cover ups, maxi dresses, and all of the fun “vacation wear!” I wanted to share a few things I’ve purchased and also some stuff that I have my eye on. Can it just be summer already?! Cravinggg warm weather….we’re always to Spring! Ahhh!

xx, Ashley