413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Trick to Getting a Toddler to Sit Still

We've entered a new phase that's keeping us on our toes- our baby is officially a toddler and mobile. He wanted to walk so often and was so upset unless we were hunched over holding his hands that we broke down and bought him a walker. A few weeks later scooting like a maniac and despite his hatred for it, crawling happened too. We can't set him anywhere without movement across the room.

This means we can't get much done these days, and we can't leave anything out or else it will end up in his mouth! We have to watch him like a hawk 24/7! I'm literally running to take a shower the moment he falls asleep for his morning nap, and sprinting to get anything done while he's asleep and I'm awake at any other time. I can't even get the dishes done with him next to me without him almost hurting himself and stopping me every two minutes. That is, until an ah-ha moment happened that is changing my ability to get things done and get our toddler to sit still for a few minutes. It may sound obvious, but the big secret is something so simple- SNACKS!

If we can get something that he's able to pick up, crunch on, and takes more than one bite to eat, we can get him to stay strapped happily in his high chair for several minutes. It's at least enough time to get a few dishes done!

It can be hard to find something crunchy and safe for him to eat that isn't super processed or unhealthy. I look for snacks not made with genetically engineered (GM) ingredients, and sometimes that's hard to find!  Enter the Gerber® Lil’ Beanies(TM).

We found these inexpensive snacks in the baby food section at Walmart, and decided we'd try both flavors out:
- Original
- Whiter Cheddar and Broccoli

And even though he's not the biggest fan of broccoli, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he's a huge fan of all things Gerber® Lil’ Beanies(TM)! And I of course, am a big fan of a few minutes of peace and content without having to worry about what the gnawing sounds I hear!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Making My Life and Hair Easier and Better with eSalon

This post was sponsored by eSalon, asking for an honest review, and all opinions and experiences are my own. 


It's funny how you swear you'll never be something and you grow up one day to realize you are exactly that person. "I'll never wear ____", "I'll never eat___", or in my case, "I'll never be that frumpy mom!"

Although I'm keeping true to not chopping off my hair right after having a baby, wearing make up most days, and caring about style again, I have become that pony-tail mom who is trying to pretend that awful postpartum regrowth isn't sprouting out, and that I've made time and myself a priority in going to buy the hair products I've run out of. Why is finding an hour to take care of hair or other beauty needs such a rough one? Taking tiny grabbing hands to beauty stores, fitting in the time between work and naps, and also avoiding chemicals at nail and hair salons just make it something you can't typically do until late hours when they are all closed.

Enter a really great concept that saves so much time and so much money for busy women (and men) everywhere, and keeps you looking absolutely fantastic!

eSalon reached out and asked if I'd like to team up for a post, and the moment I heard the concept I was like- YES! I NEED you in my life!

The premise is this, hair color options come in either a $100+ salon visit, or a generic boxed color at the drugstore. Believing customers deserved better, they created a digital service at eSalon.com, where you provide your hair details and upload a photo. Then, expert colorists review the order and create a unique, individually blended hair color formula using professional ingredients that are typically only available in salons. Finally, the color, along with personal application instructions, is mailed to the client, ready to apply at their own convenience- and ready to use on their timeframe (which new moms we know may be 9:00 pm or later!) What makes this even cooler is the price- only $19.95 (£14.00) (they ship to the US, UK, CA, and Europe), and offer a money-back guarantee that they will reformulate or refund your product price.

I had to be totally honest when they approached me about a partnership, I love this concept and I know readers would too, but I only partner up with brands I believe in and would use myself, and I'm a hair dye virgin. I lucked out with a color I really like and bless my mom's genetics that women in my family don't go gray until their 50's.

But guys, here's the beauty if you're like me and don't dye, or if you're not quite a DIY person. They have amazing salon products that offer at great rates! Because there's no storefront overhead they can really pass over savings are some awesome products, and they do one-time orders and subscription orders. HELLO helping me actually purchase that leave-in conditioning treatment I've been meaning to get since I had a baby. And HELLO not having to go out and select items with a baby in hand- or avoiding it altogether and running out of products. I can just have what I need shipped to my door on a subscription base. I'm loving the convenience and concept, but let's talk about the products!

Here's what I ended up trying, and my thoughts on each (and spoiler alert because I'm terrible at keeping a deal to myself, they are giving half off to Friday We're in Love readers through each product link I'm including): 


- Color Safe Repair Shampoo: http://bit.ly/24PlDSk
Great, thick consistency- really gave me a good clean and it smells fantastic! Maybe I don't know enough about shampoo to tell you it's super different, but it seemed to do the job and that's what I look for in a shampoo. 

Color Safe Repair Conditioner: http://bit.ly/21l6ZRQ
I could feel my hair drinking this stuff! After neglecting to switch conditioners post baby and having a brand no longer work for my hair, my hair just loved this! I love that it claims to detangle to help prevent damage, and I've absolutely seen that feature ring true in my hair! 


- Leave In Conditioner: http://bit.ly/1Q2tr1n
This was my game-changer! My hair went from brittle to so much softer and stronger in only a few washes. It had great ratings, but I have to add my rave review to it too- my hair really is so much better with this product! It's smoother and healthier and I'm seeing vitality again! 

- Dry Shampoo: http://bit.ly/1PsFDmw
I am picky about dry shampoo. I have a dark head of hair and I hate when I look like I have white streaks in my hair which sometimes happen no matter how far away the bottle is when I spray or how much I brush! Gray hair up top isn't a look I'm going for, so when I read this product claimed to be "An invisible finish/doesn't leave any residue/safe for color-treated hair I was still skeptical. However, I am sold- these are all true! It's the first I've found that doesn't deposit color and doesn't leave any residue in my hair. I'm in love with this stuff, and love that I can continue to avoid washing my hair all the more with confidence it will still look great! 

- Flexible Hold Hairspray: http://bit.ly/1UbqtJW
I'm a fan of flexible hold, hair was meant to move around when worn in loose curls like I style mine. It has keratin, vitamin B5, and it's designed for color-treated hair. It holds my curls fantastic, and it isn't sticky. I love this stuff! 

All products were worth their price tag and then some- and a few I clearly adored! And did you notice the cute packaging? That's always an added perk too! 

They are all affordable on their own, and clearly the half off each product really makes it hard to pass up, but they have an even better deal that's hard to beat, even for most drugstore generics! You can get 3 products for $15 bundle you if you order here: http://bit.ly/1Oo0WuB
Salon quality, affordable, and convenient- all the things that busy women (and men) need and have a hard time finding, so they often fall into the ponytail slump like I do! That's probably why Allure, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and several other major publications are raving about this new idea too! 

Okay guys, honestly I'm in love, and I'm so grateful for chances to team up with great companies and share their stuff with readers. 

Now, someone just needs to solve the how do I get a haircut this easy at home! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spain Day 2: Toledo Cathedral, and Toledo Must-Dos

Spain Trip Day 2
Location: Toledo, Spain, 1 Hour Outside of Madrid: Toledo Cathedral

Cost: 8-11 Euros per person, depending if you want to see the bell tower 

Time: Plan about 2 hours

Tip: Tickets are sold opposite the church entrance- hurry to that line, it can get long! 

Holy Toledo, an American expression thought to refer to the immigrant Sephardic Jews originating Spain- and many from thriving Toledo, to them Toledo was Europe's holiest city!
If not this population, the diversity of Roman transportation hub to mixes of religion and power from Jewish, Moorish, and CHristian heritages- plus King Charles I and El Greco called Toledo home.

Clearly the history is rich, worth studying, and you can see some of the most amazing influences, and the Gothic cathedral is like the crown jewel with so much detail it's hard not to have your jaw drop and hanging open the entire tour.







One super cool thing is when a Cardinal chooses to be buried in the cathedral his hat is hung and left until it rots. We looked at each one in awe of how long it had been hanging in that location.

The art is like visiting a museum, which we throughly enjoyed, and it's worth listening to the entire audio guide to hear the details of paintings.



Right outside the Cathedral there are so many mazapan shops, which is what Toledo is known for in the food department. We heard you could go get mazapan from nuns and that's amazing, but unfortunately we visited on a Sunday and that wasn't possible. However, there's so many shops with the artisan kinds, and they are what you want to get, and they are worth trying for the experience! 

Toledo is also an excellent place to go shopping and get some souvenirs! We loved that there were Roman ruins showcased in under the glass floors of some of the shops. This is so Spain- just cool history everywhere you look.

The other amazing thing to buy is metal worked items. We were there for Mother's Day and I got to choose a gold threaded necklace- that's where the pound the gold thread into a metal design and each comes out unique. I'll have to share my new hipster one-of-kind bird necklace that I'm in love with!

I made sure to take pictures of how it's made so I can always remember what a unique thing it is.

But the real crowing jewel is the swords. They have special medal, a special process, and supposedly make the best in all the word. Many kings and armies sought the best of the best here. The U.S. Marine's have their swords made in Toledo- how amazing is that?

We walked away with a sword letter opener thanks to the generous shop owner after mine and our two mother's jewelry purchase made. 

We smiled looking at them the whole train ride back to Madrid, and trying mazapan didn't hurt our good spirits either! 


Friday, June 24, 2016

Spain Day 2: Toledo

Spain Trip Day 2
Location: Toledo, Spain, 1 Hour Outside of Madrid

Cost: Transportation costs, food, and entertainment costs 

Time: Plan a day trip. It's worth 8-10 hours of exploration time. 
Toledo, Spain

Holy Toledo- real expression, real place! And one of the coolest parts of Spain! It's like time was completely frozen and a city was practically perfectly preserved.

Toledo was said to be the religious capital of Spain, and the large Cathedral is the showpiece of the city. It was holy for other reasons too- rich in history from the Roman Empire, the holiest Jewish city in Europe at one time, the Moorish regional capitol in 1085, and a conquered by Christians with a king who mixed church and state making it his main residence. There's tumult, but also a lot of history of religions living in peace together.
(It was sunny and freezing at the same time, so please don't mind sleeping Mack covered by our sweaters in many pictures) 




I love European doors, and Toledo had me from the moment I got off the train.









The doors had Mack pretty in love too!

I'll share a few specifics on the Cathedral and what to eat/see/do while there in a post next week, so stay tuned! 

But let me say that even the train station is historical and full of amazing architecture and art.

If you're doing Spain in only a few days, Toledo is well worth your time and one of the coolest places to visit in all of Spain- and I'd say that even if there weren't so many amazing doors! :)



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