My Favorite Products for April

Its almost May y’all, which means its almost pool season. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. I spent half of this lovely Spring Break week flat on my back with some sort of weird virus. It was probably the first time I was ever glad to not be traveling. The worst is being sick while traveling…so cheers to small victories. I’m excited to be sharing some of my favorites things with you all today! From shoes to clothes, to make up, to must-have household items these things are my favorites for this month!

Secura Instant-Steam Portable Steamer

I was first turned on to this by Merrick, from Merrick’s Art. Let’s face it who irons anymore. I know there are a few of us who still pull out the iron from time to time, but this baby is amazing. I was really skeptical about this little guy and how it would compare to a standard steamer. This is probably one of the best appliance purchases I have made in a really long time


O’Keeffe’s Working Hands lotion

I can’t even remember where I heard about this from originally, both myself and Jena, from Sweet Tea & Style, were looking for this at the same time on one of our shopping trips. This stuff is legit! My hands get so dry in the winter here on the East Coast and this fixes it and keeps my hands looking young and feeling soft in a hot second!

DIFF blue light glasses

I know it seems like a fad, but I am loving this technology and for sure noticed a difference in my eyes after writing for a long time. Getting them from DIFF is just icing on the cake because not only do you get a 20% off discount right here, but DIFF also operates on a one-to-one idea like Tom’s. Every time a pair of glasses is purchased DIFF donates a pair of reading glasses to someone in need. I just snagged these Jade tortoiseshell glasses and I love them so much!

Initial Necklace

I spotted this necklace on Groupon and had seen it floating around on Instagram. I decided to give the Groupon one a whirl and I love it. It’s the perfect length for layering with my RozieJune chockers and so far I have had no problems with it irritating my skin, which is something I worry about constantly with my crazy sensitive skin. These are still available right now so go grab yours now!!!

Music Themed Pillow

After I posted this picture of my daughter with her books I got so many DMs about this pillow from Etsy. When I was painting my playroom I decided to go all out and get a new rug, new lamp, and new curtains. A refresh sometimes is just really good for the soul. So, of course, I decided to grab some new pillows for the couch. If you have spent half a second on my Instagram you know that I have a very serious relationship with music and I wanted that reflected in my refreshed room. I found this pillow cover (to reuse my existing pillows I didn’t like anymore – save $$$) and it is such amazing quality and arrived so quickly. Check out JAW Decor on Etsy because not only do they have this adorable pillow but they have city pillows and state pillows that are the cutest. I have a few more on my list!

Elizabeth Ashlie Earrings

I saw these earrings on Instagram of course on Lauren Brown’s insta (the owner) and these immediately caught my eye. They are so dainty and feminine while also being a semi-statement piece with the length and the tassle. The key for me though was that the tassle was such a sweet color and wasn’t ginormous! The style is the “kate” and I love these so much. She has so many earrings that are just lovely and you should make sure to check her shop out. There are tons of other goodies on there as well. Sign up for the newsletter and get 10% off PLUS they have a rewards program.

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Favorite Book Series for Your Upper-Elementary Readers!

My daughter is a girl after my own heart. She always has a book with her, and I’ve even had to keep her from running into things at the grocery store. What a cutie! Finding the right books for her, that she will not only enjoy but will keep pushing her in her reading can be hard. Knowing what kids will like or be able to read is just a hard thing in general. Today the graphic novel is king, and while they are fun, reading a traditional book is a skill that is so important. So, while your kids may love and beg you for those graphic novels make sure to get them some real books y’all! Here are some of our favorite books (I’ve included some silly, more graphic novel style books too because….balance!).

Baby Sitter’s Little Sister Series

Nancy Drew

A note for this! There is a graphic novel version that I have seen girls read. That’s a big nope for me! I don’t mind the graphic novels but they just shouldn’t replace the reading of real books. And even though these seem a little old fashioned for girls they are such great books and have been a hit for my daughter.

Bobbsey Twins

These probably fall in the same category as Nancy…kids look at the books and think “Oh those are old, they must be lame.” My best suggestion would be to read it with your child. Either get a second copy or actually read it together. It is such a fun experience and a great conversation starter.

Hollow Earth

We learned about Hollow Earth last year at AwesomeCon. It is written by one of my daughter’s favorite Doctor Who characters – Captain Jack Harkness – played by John Barrowman, and his sister. This is such a great book that encourages the imagination and challenges kids who read it. The characters in this book are 12, but both my 10-year-old daughter AND my 12-year-old son loved this book. I’m even considering reading it to my youngest. A book that can capture the attention of the different ages like that is a winner in my book! In this book twins, Matt and Emily, can bring art to life and enter worlds through paintings!

Ivy + Bean

Ivy + Bean is a super cute series about two girls who are so different but find a close bond! I love this series and these two zany girls! They go on adventures searching for ghosts in the school bathroom, digging up bones in the bathroom and helping each other out of one pickle after another.

Choose Your Own Adventure

There are so many “Would You Survive” or “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. My daughter started bringing some home from the school library. So if you’ve never seen any go to your local public library and ask, or have your child talk to their school librarian. I was super excited to go to our regular used book store and find that they had some of the original ORIGINAL Choose Your Own Adventure books! One example of a newer one my daughter got at her school’s library is called Survivor Diaries. I have three of the original series in the main picture. Those are a little tougher to find, but a little digging online or in a used book store and you might just hit the jackpot like I did.

Ramona Series

A classic series that I read as a kid and I’m happy my daughter has started up with these as well. Hopefully one day her daughter will as well. Some books remain timeless, and books by Beverly Cleary are exactly that.

Chi Book Series

This is one of those fun, silly books that aren’t a complicated chapter book BUT are super loved by my daughter and her friends. My youngest also loves these books as well. They are a graphic novel/comic book style and are super cute.

What Was… {Book Series}

If your kids were fans of the Who Was… series of books, and are now a little bit older, they might really like these. Currently my daughter is reading about the Underground Railroad. I really believe it is important that kids have the opportunity to read non-fiction books at a young age. Books about Anne Frank, sports heroes and other people from history, broken down into kid-sized abilities will lead to a love for those kinds of books as they get older. I know that it did for me and I hope it does for her. My favorite one as a kid was Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. I remember the author coming to my school in elementary school and I still have that signed copy.

I’d love to hear your favorite upper-elementary reader books! Share with me here on the blog or find me over on Facebook or Instagram and let me know what your kids love!

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Favorite Must-Have Shoes for Spring and Summer!

I am not a fashion blogger or a fashionista…I’m really just a mom trying to get it done and maybe looking a little cute while I’m doing it. One of my weaknesses is shoes, and while I love a good fancy heel I am all about comfort for a great price. Most of the time I don’t follow fashion rules or trends. I opt for comfort over style and what feels good for me. But there’s something about a Spring shoe that makes me happy! It eases you right into the summer life of comfortable flip flops. The humidity here makes me just want to live in them! Today I’m sharing with you my favorite Spring shoes, and how I get them all for a steal! Bargain hunting is my middle name.

Spring/summer Boots and Shoes

A good pair of tan booties can be the perfect Spring Shoe! They can get you through those cooler spring days where you are wearing jeans on date nights. High on my list are getting some with a peep toe! These Lauren Conrads are so cute, or these Universal Threads from Target. I feel like those are an even more perfect transition into spring. These I snagged on sale at Kohl’s. While some of the stuff at Kohl’s can be pricey, like the boots I got at regular price, what I love about them is that you can wait for a good deal and find coupons. These particular booties are some of the most comfortable booties I’ve ever had, and when I got them on sale they were only $34!! They have laser cutouts throughout and I love they are super easy to slip on. I raved about these on my Instagram when I was in Houston and walked about 10 miles during a whole day, from one side of the city to the other. As a girl with foot problems from my dancing days, I can absolutely tell you that these shoes should be on your list!

Other favorites are pastel colored tennis shoes! I love a light colored shoe for spring because they can easily be dressed up or down. I wear them with my jeans {white or regular jean} or a cute dress! Some of my favorites are my pink Addidas {which I also got on killer sale at DSW!!}. If you are a CostCo customer you can score these adorable lavender Puma tennis shoes right now. Another great staple for almost any outfit is my grey Toms! These you can also score on Zulily from time to time…sign up for Zulily regardless my friends! If you’re military, head over to the Exchange to snag your pair of Toms.

spring/summer sandals

Now, normally in the spring {and summer} you will find me in sandals of some kind. I was born and raised in California and any living on the East Coast has really cramped my flip flop wearing style. I’m not sure one can ever have too many sandals! I’m sharing some of my favorite ones below.


Rainbow Sandals – If you were born, raised or even lived for a short time in California {or even the West Coast in general} you might have encountered these flip flops. They are California to me and remind me so much of home. I love these flip flops because they are made so well, last for forever (these ones are on their second season) and have fantastic arch support for my ridiculous feet.

Rose Gold Pool Slides – You guys these are the cutest and perfect for the pool! Even if you aren’t into these (check out the different colors), check out Little Bird Boutique because they are fantastic! I love their shop and their customer service is amazing!!!

Black Slides – A good pair of black slides is a staple and can be worn into fall even. Dress them up, or wear them in shorts! These I scored at Goodwill if you can believe. Three whole dollars y’all!! I have a couple good options for you. These from Urban Posh are a great dupe for some of the more expensive ones on the market – plus use code Jena15 for 15% off!! I also love these cute Target Shore & Shade scalloped slides too.

Silver Birkenstock Style – These were a purchase last year and I’ve worn the heck out of them! They are a little scrappy but I’ll keep wearing them until they fall apart. They are so cute, and yet another sandal you can dress up or down!! Having a few multi-purpose shoes of any kind is really the key to getting the most out of your wardrobe. These I got on Zulily and I’m telling you, sign up for Zulily if you haven’t. You can score some of the best deals. You can also pay the big bucks you can splurge on the real deal, but get them for a little cheaper on Amazon!!












Wedge sandal – A wedge sandal is a great spring/summer shoe and a staple of my wardrobe because AGAIN its multipurpose! I was serious when I said I love a good multipurpose shoe. These Lucky Brand wedges are seriously the most comfortable wedge, with so much support and a cute little zipper detail up the back. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack and I found these a close example (also at Nordstrom’s Rack).











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6 Favorite Amazon Subscribe and Save Items

Amazon Subscribe and Save is one of my favorite things! It is the perfect thing for all those items that you don’t get every time you go to the store. I can trust that these things will show up and I’ll get a great deal. The best part about Subscribe and Save is that the more you add to your subscribe and save the more of a discount you can get! Items show up at your door, you get a great deal AND you can save a little extra the more you buy? Yes! If you don’t want to set up a Subcribe and Save list you can also get any of these items in a single order by clicking here.


got2be ultra glued styling gel – This is my boys’ favorite gel to use on their hair! It’s a great price, they love the smell and a little bit goes a long way! It can easily last for several months. With two boys we got through quite a bit of gel because they are at the age where they really care about their hair, which is adorable.


SoCozy Detangler – We have gone through many different detanglers in our home. Truly the most important thing in handling my daughter’s hair is a great conditioner, but having a good detangler is also key. We have used really expensive ones, store brand, any brand you can think of. We finally settled on this brand and it gets the Ami two thumbs up seal of approval. I have this on subscribe and save so I never have to worry about running out of her favorite detangler!

Almay Wipe It Never Happened MakeUp Remover – I’ve talked about this makeup remover before and I’ll keep talking about it. Removing eye makeup and color stay lipstick can be a bear! What I love about this is that it is the trusted Almay brand that works for my sensitive skin. I don’t have to worry about it breaking me out or causing any problems. But the best part is that I don’t have to scrub my skin raw. Try it and let me know what you think!


Marmara cotton squares– I love these cotton squares and I used them for my face, my daughter uses them for her face, nail polish removing and because I get them in a 3 pack I only have to get them about every three months. Another great thing about Subscribe and Save is that I have the option to postpone certain items and occasionally I will push them off an extra month because I just haven’t used all of them.


Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water – Micellar Water has been a great thing for my daughter as she has entered into that phase of life where she really has to start paying attention to taking care of herself. Getting her in the habit of washing her face is easy with this. She puts a little bit on a cotton square, swipes her face and she’s good to go. I also use it to refresh my face in the morning and remove makeup in the evening. It’s great and gentle on our sensitive skin!


SoCozy body wash+shampoo+conditioner – I love the SoCozy brand, as you saw above, and in the summertime, I add the pool shampoo conditioner to my subscribe and save list. But, during the rest of the year, I purchase this 3n1 specifically for my boys. Its easy and simple and they only have to use one bottle. Makes shower time so easy for me AND them! It is a salon quality product for kids, non-toxic and protects hair. It also leaves their hair so soft and smelling good!

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Visit Philadelphia: Eight Must See Sites

Philadelphia is like any awesome big city – There is entirely too much to see on one trip! However, as someone who loves to immerse myself in the city life, I was going to give it my very best. It was a whirlwind packed three-ish days and we fit a ton in. First I want to give a shout out to our hotel, the Wyndham Historic District. I would highly recommend staying with them. They are in a great location to Old City, just a couple blocks from a lot of the historic stuff, and then a few more blocks away from downtown and City Hall. The hotel staff was great, the room was amazing and I would stay there again. Alright, time to move on to some of the great sites we saw! As a side note, you MUST have timed tickets for Independence Hall. And while they say that you can obtain tickets on the morning of the day you would like to visit I would STRONGLY recommend that you reserve your tickets ahead of time for $1.

History Lives in Philadelphia {Sites}

National Portrait Gallery Philadelphia {420 Chestnut Street}

I would consider this be a hidden gem here in Philly, only because`several locals that I spoke with had never been. Living in DC we know portrait galleries, and while this one is small, the portraits in it make it worth the trip. The gallery is located in the Second Bank of the United States, which is really cool all by itself. You will find a who’s who of the creation of our country, including signers of the Declaration and Constitution. Many of the portraits are painted by Charles Wilson Peale, one of the most famous portrait painters of the time. Inside you will also find paintings and maps of Philadelphia in its early days, as well as important citizens. The gallery also has several computers in one of the rooms that allow you to look up, and learn in more detail, about the paintings they house.

Old City Hall {corner of 5th and Chestnut St – next to Independence Hall}

Unlike Independence Hall, no tickets are required for Old City Hall. While the building was intended as Philadelphia’s City Hall and seat of local government because Philly was our Nation’s first Capital it often was used for Federal purposes and was the meeting location of the first Supreme Court hearings. It is a really cool building, and if you aren’t able to get tickets into Independence Hall during your visit, this building looks a lot like it. There is a Ranger on site who tells you a little bit about the building and the history of it, as well as answering questions. One of the most interesting things we learned was that there was no special pay or arrangements made for the individuals that participated in the beginning. They came out of the goodness of the hearts from all over to handle cases.

City Hall {1450 JFK Blvd}

Perhaps one of the coolest buildings in Philadelphia is the current City Hall. It is so beautiful and just incredible architecture. I wanted to stare at it all day long. Whether you see it in the daytime or at night (I recommend both though), it is just an incredible example of Empire era architecture. Philly’s City Hall is the largest municipal building in the country. Building began in 1871 and took 30 years to finish. The 548 ft tower is the tallest masonry structure in the world without a steel frame. The first floor is solid granite, with brick structure with marble facade the rest of the way up. There is an absolutely gorgeous courtyard you can walk through during the workweek and Saturdays. There is a guided tour that takes you to an observation deck where you can see the entire city. This is only open however during the work week, so make sure to add that to the list. Attached to the grounds is Dilworth park which has an ice rink in the winter and holds various other community events during the year. Surrounding City Hall are various statutes and memorials marking important events and people to not only our Nation’s history but local history as well.

Christ Church {N. 2nd Street and Market Street} & Christ Church Burial Ground {5th and Arch Street}

Don’t get confused, no these two places aren’t connected to each other physically. Until 1856, Christ Church was actually the tallest building in North America. Its beautiful steeple is quite something. Over 300 years of history have occurred within these walls, and while the church is still an active Episcopal congregation you can tour the church home of many of our Nation’s most famous individuals – Betsey Ross, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and William Penn. One of my favorite parts is the chandelier inside, which is still used even though it was installed in the 1700s! The church also still rings its original bells. Visiting the church is donation only, but there is a small fee to visit the burial grounds down the road. All monies go to help to preserve both landmarks.

Five signers of the Declaration are buried at the Christ Church burial grounds including Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush. It is also the final resting place of many that died during the yellow fever epidemic.

One Liberty Observation Tower {1650 Market Street, 57th Floor}

Since I wasn’t able to get inside City Hall I knew I had to visit One Liberty Tower so that I could really take in the city. You can be sure that on the 57th Floor of a building is going to get you some amazing views. We were not disappointed! One of the cool things that they had were various games set up. This is not a rush in and out type place. You are encouraged to take your time and really take it all in. Play some games, look through the telescopes and interact with the large smart boards that help you identify the buildings and landscape you are looking at. You can also get a guided tour without paying extra. You can buy your tickets online ahead of time, and there is a family four-pack available for purchase online or in person. You can also purchase a day/night pass where you can take in the views twice in one day to really get a full picture of the city. Get more info and purchase tickets for Independence Hall.

Philadelphia Free Library – Parkway Library {19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Blvd}

Architecture is my thing and libraries with beautiful architecture are like my heaven! I was so excited when my friend took me to see this beautiful library in Houston, so I knew I wanted to check out one of the oldest libraries when I finally made it to Philadelphia. This particular building was opened for the Free Public Library in 1911, due to the fact that the library was becoming so popular they just needed the space! The Free Public Library was chartered in 1871. If you also enjoy architecture I would recommend visiting this on your way to the Philadelphia Art Museum or the Rocky Steps. There are library tours during the week, as well as a tour of the Rare Books Department. Visit the Library website for more information and specific times.


Wanamaker Organ {Macy’s City Center 1300 Market Street}

I had heard about the Wanamaker Organ from a friend of mine and he had said that it was something that I should definitely try to put on the list. Old building, cool old organ? Nothing more to say in my opinion. Macy’s City Center is home to the Wanamaker Organ and in and of itself is a remarkable building, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wanamker Organ, built in 1904 for the World’s Fair, is located in the Grand Court and is one of the world’s largest organs. The experience was an incredible one, and even the kids liked it. Growing up, the church I attended had an organ and I’ve always loved them. It is such a beautiful instrument that I don’t really think gets the appreciation it deserves. Make sure to visit the Organ’s website to get details about the playing times. There is a 45min performance usually twice per day, best viewed from the third floor in my opinion. Enjoy the sound from over 28,000 pipes! It is an incredible experience.

The Rocky Steps {Philadelphia Museum of Art 2600 Benjamin Franklin Blvd}

If you’re a fan of the movie this is a must! Join the hundreds of other people running up the 72 steps and do your best Rocky impression. Make sure to catch the Rocky statue down below and wait in line to snap your picture!


BONUS: Eastern State Penitentiary {2124 Fairmount Ave}

For more on this recommendation visit my post all about Eastern State here. This is an excellent experience for kids and adults!

what would add to your Must-See Philadelphia list?

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