My NON Nursing Essentials

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During my first pregnancy, it never occurred to me that I would received any kind of push back on what or how I would be feeding my baby. Yes, if I started a conversation about breast feeding vs. bottle feeding I imagined I would get into some opinions but unless it was brought up it didn’t enter my mind that it would be a question I’d be asked. I mean still to this day I think it’s a strange thing for people to inquire about. Like, are you concerned about what I had for lunch today? Why are you concerned about what my baby will be having 6 months from now? Needless to say, it was something that I definitely got some push back and pressure on from strangers, close friends and even my own husband at one point. Bottom line, it was the choice that I made for the reasons I made it and once I had my baby I knew even more so that it was the right choice for us.

All of that said, I truly feel like there is so much support and info about what and how you should nurse when you have a baby (best pumps, nursing covers, nipple pads, pro tips), but I never found any must haves and advice for moms that do not breast feed that were as useful to me. I support all ways to feed and be the best mommy you can be but of course I can only share what I know which is bottle feeding. So enjoy these must have essentials that I loved for feeding my babe and leave feedback in the comments if there are other products that you loved that I should share or try as well with baby number 2!

  1. Cabbage Leaves/OR Cabo Cream: I smelled like a restaurant cooking cabbage in my bra for a week but they totally work! Put a head of cabbage in the fridge to keep it nice and cold and then keep switching out the leaves in your bra on each boob. Basically once they’re wilted and cooked (I know… so gross) it’s time to change leaves! The Cabo cream is a little less smelly but has the same effect.

  2. Non Lactation Tea: Just like all of the other teas for helping in milk production, this one has the opposite effect. I happen to love the Pink Stork brand, and also the packaging is just super cute sitting on the counter so it’s a win win.

  3. Nursing Pads: Even thought you’re not nursing you’ll still be leaking before your milk dries up. These are great. I would buy a small box because you won’t be going through that many of them (only about a week or two’s worth) and once your milk dries up you will no longer need them.

  4. Baby Brezza Formula Maker: This is the most amazing invention. It’s basically like a coffee machine but for formula. In the press of 1 button it will measure the exact amount of formula, mix it with the perfect temperature of warm water and dispense it into a bottle. No more fumbling or bottle warming with a screaming baby in the middle of the night. Genius.

  5. Hands Free Feeding: Ok I realize how this seems… like you’re a mom that could care less about bonding while you feed your child because you’re too preoccupied. BUT there are definitely those times when multi tasking is not an option and you don’t have enough hands. When that occurs this thing is amazing. I’m assuming it will be even more helpful now that I have a toddler that will most likely need my attention at the same time!

  6. Nursing Pillow: Although you’re not nursing, it doesn’t mean you won’t need the extra support. A nursing pillow serves all of the same great purposes as it does for a mom who is nursing.

  7. Extra Support Sports Bra: While your milk is drying up you’ll need some serious support for those crazy big boobs. Keep them tightly locked up with their cabbage leaves and then leave them alone! I love this one that zips up the front so there’s no struggling to get something super tight over your head and then shimmy it down over your boobs.

  8. Ready to Feed Bottles: I quickly became obsessed with ready to feed bottles. Each formula brand makes their own version but we used the Similac. It’s pricer than just buying the large bottle of ready-to-feed and pouring into your own bottles, but I found it really helpful to throw into the diaper bag for outings. Making a bottle, and then throwing a dirty empty bottle back into my diaper bag while we were out and feeding on the fly, was just not clean or convenient to me. This way I could screw on a nipple, feed my baby and toss it when she was done.

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Inside Baby Sprinkle Tea

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Recently I was showered… ahem I mean sprinkled with love in celebration of my second baby to be. I had a few conversations with my mom and with a couple of my closest friends and I truly felt like I just wanted to just have lunch with a couple of my girlfriends and toast to the new arrival. I really don’t need much as far as a registry and big gifts are concerned, and it just all felt so over the top to have some big party again. So trusting my NYC girls heard me, I let them put together a small sprinkle for baby G. The outcome was a beautiful afternoon tea at The Crosby Hotel. Again, not crazy fancy, but just enough to have an excuse to put on a pretty dress and maybe get a blowout. We had personalized honey straws, loose leaf tea and some pretty delicious cookies. And that was before the actual tea snacks started to arrive! Take a look at more below on our table full of fancy treats and lots of tea.

I’m so happy I could have this small celebratory afternoon to feel loved and special with my girls. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!


Beauty on a Budget

 

At home treatments for pampering when Your Wallet and Your Schedule is tight

Long gone are the days of expensive spas and hours at the gym with a trainer in order to achieve some pampering and self care. These days it’s all about the quick at home treatments that can make you (and the rest of the fam!) feel like your’e glowing without the time suck or the wallet draining.

A few weeks ago I did a segment on New York Live about the best at home treatments that are affordable and quick for the entire family. I’m not always a go to beauty girl (fashion has always been my thing) so after I jotted down my favorites, I enlisted my new and very beauty savvy intern, Shannon to give me her tips and tricks for at home pampering. We came up with an amazing list together that you can check out below OR the full run down on the NY Live Segment. I wanted to get her input on the perfect regimen for tired run down skin… on a budget! Take a look at her full routine and shop all products for budget and family below!

Full Nightly Regimen Under $50

Contributed by: Shannon Sweeney

The stress of midterms paired with the brutal winter weather has finally caught up to me… especially my skin. I have found myself cycling through beauty products all winter trying to find the best combination in order to have a complete and effective PM skin care routine and I have finally nailed it with these four products (which are conveniently all available on amazon.com).

 A bonus about this regimen is that when generic drug store items just don’t seem to cut it, and luxury beauty is simply not within your budget…  these are the number one high quality but affordable products you can go for.

1. Remove

Remove your game face (or makeup) with the yes to grapefruit brightening makeup wipe. This is the number one and probably the most unforgettable steps for any skincare regimen. If you don’t start your skincare routine with a clean canvas, then it is all for nothing! These wipes will dissolve the makeup on your face, all while brightening your complexion with the added bonus of grape fruit extract. These wipes are available on amazon for only $3.29 so don’t be afraid to stock up!

2. Cleanse

Cleanse your face with this gentle Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk. While we all love a good exfoliator, it’s not practical or healthy to exfoliate your skin every night...especially during cold winter months where your skin in its driest and most irritable state. Instead, use this cleanser which notably includes rice oil and vitamin E which will work together to soften and plump your skin while cleansing, leaving you with a healthy glow rather than any unwanted redness and irritation. This cleanser is available on amazon for only $12.00… making our skincare routine thus far $15.29!

3. De-Puff and De-Stress

Get rid of any and all signs of wear, stress, lack of sleep and all with The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution. I have tried everything to get rid of under-eye bags and puffiness, from under eye patches, to night masks and cooling sticks, but I have yet to find anything that truly soothes puffy under eyes like this solution. Apply the serum to your under eyes before bed and wake up looking like you’ve been getting a full eight hours of sleep all week. Find this solution on amazon for $12.85 and add it to the previous two steps for a total of $28.14.

4. Hydrate

Finally, save the best step for last and hydrate and nourish  your face back to life with a personal favorite of mine: The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Night Cream. This thing is a hidden gem and absolute miracle worker. The vitamin E in the formula works while you sleep to brighten and plump your skin and leaves your skin feeling noticeably softer in the morning. I have been putting this on every night for two years and continue to wake up with completely hydrated and refreshed skin. This moisturizer is available on amazon as well for $17.60 add this to your routine and you are completely ready for bed at the total price of $45.74!

Shop Under $50

Shop For the Whole Family

 

Easy & Homemade Chicken Soup

I kind of made up this recipe a while ago when my husband was sick and I wanted to make a fresh, hearty and delicious chicken soup without having too many steps. I knew that fresh herbs always bring on so much flavor so that’s pretty much the basis for the soup and a few other secret ingredients! I wrote out below a general idea of the ingredients. Watch the video to see how I put them all together!

Ingredients

1 package of pre-chopped celery | 1 Package of pre-chopped carrots | 1 Package of pre-chopped white onions | 1 Pre- cooked Rotisserie Chicken | 2-3 branches of fresh Rosemary chopped + 2-3 branches not Chopped|2-3 branches of fresh thyme chopped, Plus 2-3 branches not chopped| 2 boxed containers of Chicken Broth (your choice!) | 2 TBSP butter | 2 TBSP Olive Oil | Salt & Pepper to taste

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Nesting Mode

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The Lists that are Helping My Nesting Mode

(and Pregnancy Brain!)

Pregnancy brain is the real deal and thoughts pop into my head and 1 minute later fly right back out. The 1st time around I tried to write things down quickly before I forgot, and most of those things had to do with nesting, to getting last minute things done before the baby arrived, what to register for, baby names and everything in between (new clothes I wanted to buy post bump!). I’ve shared a few of my most helpful lists below from both pregnancies and my notebook that I’m still using to this day. There are a few other cute ones too that I love!

The One that I Used Last Time

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The One that Tamed My Nesting

The One that Helped Decorate

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Valentine’s Date Ideas Downtown Chic Moms

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The Perfect Date vs

Last Minute

 

Last week I finally had the chance to get together and catch up with my new friend and all around cool NYC mama Mary, of Downtown Chic Moms. Now when I say “catch up” I of course mean a very quick chat between gymnastics, work meetings, school drop off, school pick up and the chaos of a typical morning. Considering she’s the new up and coming go to on all things for moms in downtown New York City, I was curious to see what she had planned for Valentine’s day with her husband of 13 years (!). We quickly realized she is a planner and I am not… hahaha! Paul and I like to do things last minute when it comes to dates. Usually, we book a sitter and run out to wherever comes to mind. We’re not big on reservations and we love the action of sitting at a bar to eat. Below are a few of my favorites for a last minute date with no reservations but delicious food. And if you find you can’t quite fly by the seat of your pants you have to check out Mary’s amazing (3 day!) date she has planned for her man here.

Be sure to check out our video discussing Mary’s very planned romantic V-day celebration vs. my very unplanned date thoughts on IGTV.

Favorite Restaurant Bars for Date Night

L’Artusi, Amazing food and open kitchen for entertainment. Be sure to go earlier than you plan to eat (aka not starving) so you can put your name in at the bar and wander around to another cozy West Village bar for a fun drink while you wait. It will probably be about 45min wait but so worth it!

The Clam, Our favorite neighborhood cozy spot. The bar has a full menu and the most delicious seafood. If you’re lucky you may get a beautiful snowstorm that makes for the perfect New York City backdrop through the all glass windows surrounding the restaurant.

Morandi, The Bar is fairly large so it’s never a long wait to find a seat and the meatballs are worth treking through a snowstorm for!

ABC Kitchen, What I love about this place is that there are two bars, so you can almost always find a quick seat with a full menu and not have to wait too long.

Gramercy Tavern, Fancy Schmancy (but delicious food) but without the white table cloth and stuffy dining room. The bar serves the full (critically acclaimed) fine dining menu so you can have an amazing meal but a more low key vibe if super fancy isn’t your thing.


What I’m Packing in My Hospital Bag

Packing a Hospital bag for you and baby is a bit daunting… lucky for you I learned what I didn’t need, and what I absolutely loved having while I was there and kept notes! A lot of people forget you’re not just packing for yourself but there’s a new little person you’ll be taking home so you’re packing for them too. Plus the few key items you’ll want to have for your husband, because we all know he’s definitely not thinking about packing a bag for himself! Take a look at what and how I’m packing for the hospital for baby No. 2 and shop my absolute essentials below!

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Shop My Essentials


The Making of The Black Bib

 


The Black Bib

… In Real Life

I can’t remember which came first, The Black Bib the site or The Black Bib… the bib. Either way, I am so beyond thrilled to be writing this post that The Black Bib, product has finally launched! When I started this site not only was it a place that I wanted to create beautiful content to share but always knew that I wanted to have a piece of it that all of you could actually hold in your hands. I’ve been simultaneously working on both for the past year and a half.

When I had Isla, I found it so difficult to find cool pieces that were either black, or leather or other lux materials, that I love to mix into my own wardrobe. While I understand it’s totally impractical, I still wanted it for those impractical dressing moments. The fancy brunch, or going out with friends and having a bite. I wished I could put a bib on her that was as cute as the outfit she had on underneath. I had my own black leather bomber that I lived in, why couldn’t she have the same…

My inspiration from design, to packaging all came from the amazingly chic New York City moms I encounter every day. The designers, the editors, the bloggers, the stay at home rockstars… all of them that understand even though having children is almost always a literal mess, there is no reason to not look good while living it.

I hope you love The Black Bib as much as I have loved designing it for you!

xo, Jas


The Kitchen

Lemon Rosemary Parmesan Monkey Bread

Ingredients:

1 Package of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits | 3 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary |1 Whole Lemon |

1 Package of shredded parmesan cheese | 1 Stick of Butter, melted

Directions

  • Chop Rosemary and combine with melted butter in a bowl. Place to the side.

  • Cut Biscuits into quarters and place in large bowl.

  • Pour Rosemary butter mixture, Parmesan Cheese and the juice of 1 lemon into large bowl with biscuit dough

  • Toss with hands to mix all together

  • Pour mixture into well greased bundt pan and bake at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes and then at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

** This recipe is for a small bundt pan for that serves about 6 people. Double recipe for larger regular size pan and larger party. **


Make Your Own Bow Frame

I knew I could probably buy a really cute bow frame to clip all of Isla’s new bows from Etsy or something but I was in one of those moods that I just needed it right that second and did not want to wait. So I decided to quickly make one of my own. I just made up how I thought it should be done and voila! It took me less than 20 minutes and turned out so cute!

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Recipe:

Breakfast in 1 Minute: Easy On the Go Muffins for Slow Moving Mornings

I am not a morning person. So when my toddler wakes up screaming “EAT!” while I’m still trying to open my eyes it’s not easy. These breakfast muffin recipes have saved me in the mornings and all it takes is a little extra prep time in the beginning of the week. There are so many recipes on Pinterest but these few are my favorites. Check out how I prep them (screaming toddler included) and just how easy it is to make. Your welcome.

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My Ultimate Travel Essentials

I’ve been traveling quite a lot lately, and traveling alone with a toddler is no joke. I’ve got it down to a science now but only with the help of some pretty amazing travel gear. Below are my favorite pieces to shop (plus a few extras) but first let me tell you why each one is so great…

When I’m alone I have to be as minimal as possible so my diaper bag turns into my carry on. I love using a chic one like this Jem & Bea below. Keeping organized is crucial for storing toys, plane tickets and a wallet. This silk pouch not only keeps it all separate and safe but it has a strap that turns into a cross body evening bag once I’m at my destination. It’s 1 less thing to pack. The BabyZen Yoyo Stroller is my life saver. I can fold it with one hand and put it on the belt through security and then quickly pop Isla back in to stroll to our gate. Best of all, I fold it up right before we board and I can store it with my bags in the overhead bins. It’s my absolute favorite travel piece and probably my number 1 recommended registry item! I love a cute but leak proof sippie cup, and cannot live without the mommy hook for any extra bags that I don’t have a hand for. A light blanket if the plane gets chilly and a book of stickers for easy entertainment really take up minimal space so they’re must haves. The final touch is a chic but comfortable airport look. Sneakers and Cashmere joggers are current favs right now.

Traveling with kids can be daunting but I promise even with 1 or 2 of these essentials and a good game plan it’s not only doable but can be enjoyable! Safe Travels!

 
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  1. Pouch, Gold No. 8 | 2. Light Blanket, Aden & Anais | 3. Travel Pack Wipes, Parasol | 5. Sticker Book, Target |4. Sippy Cup, Smilo| 6. Carry On Diaper Bag, Jem & Bea | 7. Stroller, Baby Zen Yoyo

TAO Chicago Grand Opening

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The Look

I was so busy I didn’t have time to really plan out the perfect opening night look. The only thing I knew I wanted, was some sparkle. I found this perfect sequin slip dress from Fleur du Mal and had it shipped directly to Chicago, praying it would work when it arrived. And it did! The best part… the sequins were navy. Which made it that much better!

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The Crew

Our friends and family all flew to Chicago to support and celebrate with us. A lot of pizza, shopping and glitzy nights were had!

 

How I Turned a Guest Room into a Playroom..... in One Afternoon

I love that our beach house gives us so much free space that we don't have in New York. I felt like we weren't using it the best when we had an extra guest room so I decided to turn it into a playroom for Isla and her friends. I didn't want to spend a ton of money and wanted to use big furniture pieces that we already had. Watch our transformation in just one after noon and shop below to get the look!

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Summer Corn Salad

Last days of summer are coming to an end but if there's one thing I'm still not sick of it's fresh sweet summer corn! My mom makes the best grilled corn salad and I've been copying it and making it on repeat all summer. Take a look at how quick and easy you can whip this one up!

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Recipe

Ingredients: 

5-6 Ears of Fresh Corn (I love the pre-packaged to save time), 1 Yellow Onion, 1 Package of Grape Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, White Vinegar, EVOO & Sugar


The Perfect Way To Welcome

Your House Guests

I have so much fun when it comes to preparing to host some house guests. I like to put together a little "Welcome Amenity" for when they arrive. It usually includes a local snack and maybe another small treat of some sort. Take a look at how I put it all together and what I always include to make it just perfect!


Father's Day Shopping Ideas & Inspiration

Shopping for a Father's day gift does not have to be that difficult. Whether you plan for weeks, always do a personalized super creative gift, or you're the type to run around the day before.... there are plenty of ideas that he will adore. There's the rustic dad, the chic dad, the fancy dad, the surfer dude dad, and  even the sporty dad, that could all use a gift from our round up below. So pour some wine, get cozy with your computer on the couch and get to shopping! You're Welcome.

 
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For Your Baby Daddy

...the guy's guy who collects sneakers like they're Louboutin's and appreciate's good style.


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1. Humidor 

2. Boardshorts, J.Crew 

3. Sneaker Wipes, Jason Markk 

4. Carry On Bag, InCase

5. Airpods, Apple

6. Slip On Sneakers, Vans

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For Your Daddy

... The guy who can fix just about anything, loves to fish and almost always loses his glasses.


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1. Beard Oil, Tom Ford

2. Gym Care Kit, Men's Society

3. Fully Loaded Bucket, Yeti

4. Portable Grill, Uncommon Goods

5. Travel Kit, Filson

6. Lifestyle Roll, This is Ground

7. Sunglasses, Rayban

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WELCOME 

TO THE BLACK BIB

Hi! My name is Jasmine. I’m a New Yorker and a new(ish) mom to my 16 month old daughter, Isla. Given my obsession with glasses, braces and a pink cast full of signatures in elementary school… I think my 10 year old self always knew I’d become an Accessories Editor way before anyone. Now, I’m a Fashion Editor by day, and mommy by... well all around the clock. My life is a crazy mix of high/low, glamorous and sometimes pretty gross.  I’m just starting to go on first Mommy dates, and still love dancing on a banquette as much as I did in when I moved here. There are times I find 10 outfits that are the same price as the irresistible pair of MaryJane’s I have to save like 3 Barney’s gift cards to buy. 
The Black Bib is all about that mix. The perfect pair of heels, mastering a weekend getaway with your friends, a one of a kind stroller canopy, and finding all of those gems in between. Here, you can binge away on styling videos, shoppable shoots, curated pieces, and endless inspiration.
I hope you relate, I hope you laugh and I hope you shop your little heart out….  because even if you get barfed on everyday or you may just be a little terror yourself, you still need to have fun and look good while doing it! 
Just Wear a Bib. 
xx

WATCH

Recipe

Combine in a Large Bowl: 2 3/4 Cups of Oats, 1 Cup Raw Almonds,1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes, 1/3 Cup Raw Pepitas, 1 Tbsp Salt 

Melt in a Small Saucepan on the Stovetop Until Dissolved:1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup, 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

         Pour Wet Ingredients into Dry Ingredients and toss all together. Bake at 300 Degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.


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First Post Baby Vacation

Coming back to life after months on no sleep! 

The first vacation post baby is a big deal. Coordinating sitters, schedules, and your own nerves is enough to make you want to cancel the trip. But I promise it is SO worth it! While it's important to get some much needed time with your partner, it's also just as important to get in time with your friends and get re-acquainted with your pre-baby self.  Post Pardom hormones are no joke and I personally had a really hard time adjusting to my new relationships with all of my friends. Would we ever do all of the fun things we did before? Were the crazy trips and late nights just over? Was I an outsider now that my priorities were about sleep training and not a new brunch spot to check out?  Our trip to the Greek Islands with our crew was one of the most memorable trips to date. Each one of us all navigating new moments in our lives... new babies, new relationships, monumental birthdays, break ups and make ups.  Even though the excuse to get us 1/2 way around the world was a 30th birthday, it was so much more than that. I found that I haven't changed, I'm just a more enhanced version of my pre-baby self. And no matter where everyone else's lives are taking them, they're still there too. All of that, with a gorgeous backdrop, good food and a few bottles of wine and you can't go wrong. I know it's a lot, and hard to leave, but take the trip. Trust me.

The first vacation post baby is a big deal. Coordinating sitters, schedules, and your own nerves is enough to make you want to cancel the trip. But I promise it is SO worth it! While it's important to get some much needed time with your partner, it's also just as important to get in time with your friends and get re-acquainted with your pre-baby self.  Post Pardom hormones are no joke and I personally had a really hard time adjusting to my new relationships with all of my friends. Would we ever do all of the fun things we did before? Were the crazy trips and late nights just over? Was I an outsider now that my priorities were about sleep training and not a new brunch spot to check out?

Our trip to the Greek Islands with our crew was one of the most memorable trips to date. Each one of us all navigating new moments in our lives... new babies, new relationships, monumental birthdays, break ups and make ups.  Even though the excuse to get us 1/2 way around the world was a 30th birthday, it was so much more than that. I found that I haven't changed, I'm just a more enhanced version of my pre-baby self. And no matter where everyone else's lives are taking them, they're still there too. All of that, with a gorgeous backdrop, good food and a few bottles of wine and you can't go wrong. I know it's a lot, and hard to leave, but take the trip. Trust me.


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HOW TO DIY CUSTOM SOAP BOTTLES

I like to leave a good impression on my guests so when we moved into our beach house this summer I wanted to have a few extra special touches. I designed my own soap labels & had them printed on water proof sticky paper with a shop I found on Etsy. I used funny sayings like "Salty Hair, & Sometimes You Do Care" and "Body Wash: For Your Sandy Coconuts". Once that was done I literally just had to stick them onto empty bottles I ordered here and fill them with soap. Such minimal effort, but so many compliments!  


Seven Steps to Be The Perfect Hostess

I love entertaining. Going on Pinterest and pulling out my inner Martha Stewart somehow soothes me. I prefer small gatherings over big ragers. Mostly because it's way more manageable but also because I won't be nervous about our place getting trashed. When I have people over I try to make it special, fun, and memorable.

Whether you love entertaining or it's just not your thing, here are a few of my easy tricks to look like you have it all together!


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Recipe

The Easiest Chocolate Avocado Pops

Combine in a Blender: 2 Ripe Avocados, 3/4 Cup non dairy unsweetened milk, 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup,1/2 Cup Cacao Powder, 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, A Pinch of Salt 

Pour: all ingredients into popsicle molds and place in freezer until completely frozen

Recipe Courtesy of Eating By Elaine via Pinterest