I Stalk These Instagram Feeds

Instagram has taken off, tremendously. It seems like just yesterday when all of us would use the “Nashville” filter on the food we were eating at the time. It has evolved. Businesses thrive from it, celebrities communicate to their fans from it, and some people just use it instead of seeing the drama of the day on Facebook. I spend too much time on Instagram daily and I’m here to share my favorite accounts! I look at these accounts every single day to either keep me inspired or keep me in the know.

  1. FREE STUFF FINDER. If you aren’t following this, you aren’t living. This wonderful lady dedicates her time to share daily deals. Whether it be online or in store, the deals are always amazing. She shares food, clothing stores, makeup stores, home stores, etc.. If there are even amazing flight deals, she shares it! Seriously, GO FOLLOW ASAP.
    IMG_9586
  2. The Samantha Show. I remember when Samantha was stationed at Fort Drum with her husband and she was just starting out blogging. I’ve watched her blog rise to the top over the years and it’s so impressive. She is a lifestyle/mom blogger who always tells it like it is. She is also very candid about suffering from anxiety, which I have, so it’s humbling to listen to her talk about it on her instastories. Whether it be great mom hacks, military shenanigans, or fashion, she has you covered.
    IMG_9588
  3. Katelyn James Photography. Her Instagram immediately makes me smile. She is the one that influences me the most as a photographer and she has no idea who I am, haha! Her photography is so beautiful and she is always sharing tips via instastories or email. She makes motherhood work while also running a very successful business. #goals
    IMG_9587
  4. Hazel and Olive. You guys have heard me talk about them often, but I swear they are my favorite clothing boutique in all of the land. I follow them mainly because they share new arrivals through their instastory, so it saves me time having to go through their website. I also follow them because I love a great fashion based feed. Tip: They share coupon codes in their instastories!
    IMG_9590
  5. Casey Holmes. To be honest, I had no idea who she was until the makeup group at Fort Drum made a big deal about her moving there to be with her husband. But LET ME TELL YOU, she is makeup goals. She always shares her looks on her feed and you can find her tutorials on her Youtube channel for the look she shares. It’s amazing! She tells you what products she is wearing, as well. She shares what products work well and what products suck. She keeps it real!Sidenote: She also just started a fashion boutique soooooooo, there goes all of my money.
    IMG_9589

What are your favorite instagram accounts to follow? Is there a celeb whose feed you can’t get enough of? Share with us!

When Did Just Being a Mom Stop Being Enough?

I went through all of the dream jobs when I was little- ballerina, pediatrician, journalist, ambassador in a foreign country (what, not all 10 year olds dream of that?!). But the older I got the more those dreams started to feel less like dreams and more like jobs- something I needed to do in order to make money. And when pressed I answered “teacher” on the outside and on the inside I was thinking “mom”. I never said that out loud because I wasn’t supposed to, right? I was supposed to have this magnificent career where I was changing the world. I was supposed to rise above the lot I had been given, get a college education, make everyone proud by having a fancy business card. But when I really thought about it, those prospects drained me. They left me feeling empty. Internally I knew, though it felt taboo to say, that I just wanted to be a mom.

I want my children to know that women can do or be anything. I want them to champion for women and equal pay. I want them to believe that their mom is strong and smart and capable. I want them to fight for legislation so that women have control of their own bodies. I want my son to be an example of how women should be respected and appreciated.

But I also want them to know that being a mom- JUST being a mom- is enough. If the fire inside a woman is fulfilled by raising tiny humans and maybe writing a blog every so often, than that’s ok. She’s still doing her part. She’s doing enough.

I often get asked in social situations “Do you do anything else?” when they find out that I am a stay-at-home mom. And I really don’t think there is any offense in that question- they’re being polite and making small talk. But each time I feel a twinge of self-doubt. Do I do anything else? I work part time from home to contribute to our pile of student loans. But SHOULD I be doing something else? Am I doing this wrong?

We have this idea in our heads that being a stay-at-home mom- JUST a stay-at-home mom, is archaic. That we as women have come too far to be homemakers who have dinner ready for their spouse at the end of the day. For some women, the thought of being a stay-at-home mom is unfulfilling. Working outside the home brings them joy and that is amazing! For some awesome women I know, running a business that they are passionate about fills their souls in a way that being a parent can’t. And again, THAT is amazing. But I don’t have that. I don’t have dreams of an empire. I don’t have a passion for photography or an incredible skill at event planning. Instead, being a stay-at-home mom- JUST a stay-at-home mom is enough for me. I think the fact that we have the choice- career or no career- THAT’s what feminism is.

 

Fall Essentials

So if anyone knows me, they understand that shopping for clothes is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It’s the 100% basic in me. What can ya do? I’ve been scouting for the perfect pieces for my fall wardrobe here lately, and I’ve found so much!

  1. The PERFECT riding boots and booties. I get my riding boots from Payless because I personally think they hold out the longest. I don’t normally shop at Payless, but their riding boots last me at least two fall seasons! I found these online that are similar to the ones that I wear and I totally swear by them. They can go with so much! Pair them with leggings and an oversized sweater, skinny jeans and a flannel, or even a sweater dress! You can’t go wrong!
    170524_6_1400x1400

    picture from Payless website

    I also LOVE a good pair of booties,! And the good thing about booties, is that you can wear them year round. They can go with a cute pair of shorts and a cute top, or any of the clothing combinations above! I have a pair in camel and tan! Here is a pair that I love and are similar to the ones I own, that are from Hazel and Olive Boutique.
    tobi

  2. Jeans! You HAVE to have like a million pairs of good jeans, always. Just me? Maybe. I am really digging the ripped jeans style right now because they add so much more detail into any outfit. And can anyone else tell me why ripped jeans cost more, but use less fabric? So silly. Express makes such great jeans and so the first picture shows jeans from there and the second picture shows jeans from Shop Impressions Boutique. They have so many styles to choose from!0091_07197083_0019_f30
    1709261837000-2017092913222900-92956801on-the-bright-side-mid-rise-skinny_1024x1024
  3. A good flannel! American Eagle never lets me down when it comes time to a good flannel, and lets face it, neither does Old Navy. However, I found some cute ones on Vici Dolls’ website! Flannels can go with so many things! Leggings, skinny jeans, wrapped around your waist with a tank top, or even over a good tank dress. The possibilities are endless. This is one that I love from Vici:Taryn8.14.17-93_grande
  4. A go-to Floral dress! Florals stay trendy, hands down. Hazel and Olive, Shop Impressions, and even Saved by the Dress have some BEAUTIFUL floral dresses/tops. This dress happens to be from Hazel and Olive and I have it in blue, but I’m kind of digging this color, too!IMG_0709_779e00d7-0a8d-49b3-b1a4-fbe237b99f24
  5. All the sweaters/sweater dresses. ALL OF THEM. DON’T ASK QUESTIONS. DON’T HESITATE. JUST BUY ALL THE SWEATERS. They are the most fashionable and comfortable items in my closet. Most of them are oversized for comfort purposes but I love them either way. Here are some of my favorites!
    LastCollection-25_1

    Vici Dolls

    302447582_912

    Charlotte Russe

    mountainpeakone-3.jpg

    Vici Dolls

    3openbacks-8

    Vici Dolls

    greyhooded-16_1.jpg

    Vici Dolls

  6. Lastly, utility jackets! I’m pretty sure everyone needs an army green utility coat. I have ones from Old Navy and Charlotte Russe that I love, but when I came across this one on Vici, I about died:
    Part2-46.jpg
    AND THIS ONE MAKES MY HEART HAPPY:

    1709279315000-2017100314452800-5d50f666sweetest-embrace-lightweight-jacket-in-mocha_1024x1024

    Shop Impressions

    What are your go-to staples for fall? I love finding versatile pieces that I can wear in many different ways so I’m not stuck with a wardrobe full of clothes I can only wear occasionally. And as a busy mom, clothes get bonus points when they are comfortable and easy.

Three Things Thursday

We’re starting a new series called Three Things Thursday! Every once in a while we’ll each share three things we’re currently obsessed with. It may be a special drink from Starbucks or an article of clothing- there are no limits! So let’s get this started with our first Three Things Thursday.

Ashley:

1. ┬áI’ve never been one to splurge on clothing. It’s just so hard for me to spend over like $30 on any one item. I know, I know, the more expensive clothes last longer. But really, what am I doing to my clothes that will wear them out fast? Plus, as a mom to a little one, I need something that is comfortable, easy, and inexpensive to replace when my kid smears peanut butter all over it. I am currently obsessed with the new line “A New Day” at Target. The materials are so soft and comfortable and I feel like every time I go to Target I buy another piece. I’m most obsessed with their tanks which are still inexpensive for Target shoppers (you know how new lines at Target tend to be a bit more pricey? Not this one!) and SO COMFORTABLE! I wear them by themselves with cute jeans or with skirts since it’s the middle of October but still almost 90 degrees here in VA.

21557431_10104564305532176_2336893913867725801_n

Photo: Tank- Target (here in Navy), Jeans- Old Navy (here)

2. I love easy, fast makeup so when I heard about the multibalm from Pixi by Petra, I was intrigued. The idea is that you can use this as both a lipstick and a blush. They carry this line at most Target stores so I stopped by that section (which is conveniently located at the end of the aisle-EEK!) and checked them out. They only had a few different colors which actually made me happy because I don’t do well with lots of makeup choices. I get very overwhelmed and end up buying nothing. I settled on “Baby Petal” because I thought it would look the best as a lipstick for me. I was quite wrong about that- I feel like as a lipstick it looks very washed out and like I’m dying. BUT, as a blush- I. AM. OBSESSED. It is the perfect shade and adds so much more color to my cheeks than my normal MAC blush.

3. ┬áNormally I’m not a fan of the specialty drinks from Starbucks. I’m just going to say it- I do not like pumpkin spice lattes. THERE! But I saw an ad for the Maple Pecan Latte and had to try it. I could honestly do without the sugar topping and I get it with almond milk and holy yum. Do your fall loving heart a favor and get one. Just ignore the price tag. Those bad boys are expensive.

 

Melissa:

1. IKEA. I-freakin-KEA. I’ve never lived by an IKEA and would only get the chance to go when I was visiting my mom in NJ, but even then I would have my kids with me so I couldn’t fit anything into my backseat. But let me tell you, there is an IKEA about 45 minutes from my house here in WA and I can’t get enough of it. I went to about 8 different furniture stores to find the most perfect coffee table and low and behold, IKEA had it the whole time. And everything is cheap! And I know that you’re thinking because it’s cheap that it must mean it’s poor quality but it’s not! I ended up buying a desk, coffee table, bench/shoe storage, a toilet brush, 4 white bowls, and a nail kit for $350! LIKE WHAT?!?! Some of the items I bought are these:

tjusig-bench-with-shoe-storage-white__0391800_PE560021_S4hemnes-coffee-table-white__0452404_PE601357_S4alex-desk-white__0416667_PE573967_S4

2. Kat Von D foundation. I have been using Kat Von D’s lock it foundation for about a month now and I’m totally obsessed. It has a matte finish which helps with my red face. It covers everything so well! And I’m pretty sure the liquid form can cover tattoos from what I’ve read online. Imagine the lightest color that she makes, and that’s what I wear.

m_552df04651e9ea5402002336

 

3. Late Start Wednesdays. The school district where I live has a thing called “Late Start Wednesdays” where the kids go to school an hour later in the mornings. Do you know what that means? That means that I can sleep an hour later. There is such an increase in my energy on these days and i’m obsessed with it. Thank you, Clover Park school district, from the bottom of my heart. Picture with Savanna, showing that I’m happier on Wednesday mornings:

21230793_10208350869443176_8954348700894850818_n