Hair Colors To Try in 2016

The other day, I was telling my hubby how I wanted to dye my hair red. I think he thought I meant auburn... but I, in fact, meant red. Candy apple red. There are just so many fun colors out there right now, that I'd hate to stay basic forever. Here are a few of the most stunning colors I've seen out in every color of the rainbow!









What hair color would you love to try out in 2016? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :) 


Little Einsteins Music Downloads - FREE

My daughter has been on a Little Einsteins kick lately, and I must admit, I'm really digging the music. I've been searching all over for a Little Einsteins CD, or a place to download the Little Einsteins songs online, but I couldn't find anything. I had starting searching for various cds one-by-one at the library, and then remembered. Most of this music is old enough to be in the public domain. AKA - it's free. So, I've compiled a list to all of the songs featured on Little Einsteins, and have included the links to download the songs for free. I'm still working on getting them all, but you can start downloading some already down below. Enjoy!

New World Symphony No. 9 by Antonín Dvořák

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg

Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms

Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat Major, K. 417 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rondo from Horn Concerto No. 4 in F

Carmen Suite No. 1 by Georges Bizet


Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

L'Arlsienne Suite No. 2 by Georges Bizet

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven

Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

Orchestral Suite Number 2 in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach

Horn Concerto No. 2 in E flat Major, K. 417 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Orchestral Suite Number 2 in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach

Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Swan Lake by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven

The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss

Piano Concerto No. 21 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Humoresque No. 7 by Antonín Dvořák

Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Francois Gounod

William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini

The Moldau by Bedřich Smetana

Symphony No. 8: Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert

Symphony No. 40 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rondeau by Jean-Joseph Mouret

Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

The Nutcracker Suite Part 1 Part 2 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Symphony No. 8: Unfinished Symphony byFranz Schubert

Water Music by George Frideric Handel


Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Francois Gounod

Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert

The Moldau by Bedřich Smetana

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Edvard Grieg

Piano Concerto No. 21 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1812 Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Violin Concerto in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn


3 Car Seats Across In Scion TC

Well, they said it couldn't be done... but it can! Here's how I've been able to fit 3 car seats safely in my Scion TC.

1 Car Seat in Scion TC
I bought my Scion TC in 2007, before any vision of having children had entered my mind. A year later, I was the proud mother of one... and had no problem fitting a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect in my back seat.

2 Car Seats in Scion TC
When I had baby #2, the husband insisted it was time for a new vehicle... but I made it work. At this point, we were using the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect and the Graco MyRide 65 in the back of my Scion TC. To my surprise, fitting 2 across wasn't that hard. I was able to use the Graco MyRide 65 in both front-facing and rear-facing. As we upgraded to two Graco MyRide 65 car seats, I found it easier to keep the rear-facing car seat on the passenger side, and have the front-facing one on the driver side.

3 Car Seats in Scion TC
Now, with baby #3, I had pretty much lost hope of fitting 3 car seats across in my small, 2-door car. Well, I was wrong. First, let me say... it's all about the base. I've found that having a carseat like a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect  that removes from a base to be crucial. Since the back seat is so tiny, this makes it easier to put your baby on the passenger side. Oh, and you will need to put your baby on the passenger side. This allows the older two to have easier access to their seatbelts. I recommend putting your middle child behind the driver in a high-back booster like the Graco Affix High Back Booster if you're able to. This helps with seatbelt access. The oldest child will then use a Bubble Bum booster in the middle. With a tiny car, the Bubble Bum, the tiniest booster seat on the market, is your ace in the hole. Fitting three across can't be done without it.

Just use these car seats in the combination that works for you... and... voila! You've got three kids safely in the back sest of your Scion TC.


The Graco Snugride Classic Connect, Bubble Bum Booster Seat, and Graco Affix HIgh Back Booster Seat in a Scion TC.


Thanks for stopping by. What car seats have you been able to fit in your car? Leave a comment below. :) 

2016 Goals: Reading, Watching, and Writing

Today, as I read on Facebook how Mark Zukerburg's goals to run 365 miles in 2016 as well as create an artificial intelligence for his home, I couldn't help but think about my own goals for 2016.

Reading
I've been doing the Goodsreads Reading Challenge for a few years now. Last year, I set a goal to read 10 books,and actually read 13 - you can check them out here. This year, I'm setting a goal to read 15 books in 201, which I will be tracking here.

Watching
As the kids bedtimes have gotten smoother, I have more time at night to myself. This year, I'd like to use that bit of time to watch 6 foreign films.

Eating
I've decided to go back to being a vegetarian this year. My reasons mainly mimic those stated on the No Meat Athlete blog.

"I believe I’m a lot healthier now that I’m vegan. It forces me to avoid fast food and countless other convenient, but unhealthy, foods that I used to eat. So in my mind, there’s no question that a well-planned plant-based diet is healthier than the standard (terrible) American diet.

But how about compared to a whole-foods diet that happens to include some meat, eggs, and a little dairy? Honestly, I’m not convinced that one is clearly healthier than the other.

To me, it’s not clear that one diet is necessarily healthier than the other. I’m fine to call it a tie. I just know that passing up a McDonald’s is way easier for me now than it was before I was vegetarian, and as a result, I make so much more of my own food than I used to, and eat so many more fruits and vegetables than before. For that aspect, I like it."

Check out these resources for some great vegetarian inspiration!

Writing
This past year, my blog has taken a turn from being about my children to about me, which has proved to be a bit of a challenge. I think what I missed most of all was documenting those little everyday moments to have and show them later. Journaling has been a perfect outlet for me to be able to still capture these everyday memories for my children. In face, I have 3 different poppin notebooks that I've been using to document little snippets about each of my children. My plan is to give them this book when they turn 18.


Sure,there are other things I'm hoping to accomplish in 2016, but those fall under the category of:


What are you looking forward to doing in 2016? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Happy 2016! I wanted to start off the new year with a much-needed closet makeover... affectionately referred to as a "Capsule Wardrobe" or "Project 333". I've been simplifying my life for a while now, but I haven't organized my closet in over four years. So, inspired by Enjoying This Journey, I did  a bit of research into what a capsule wardrobe is, and quickly got started on my own.

As a stay-at-home mom, I don't need any fancy clothes. I need practical, casual clothes that I can live in and not stress about getting them dirty. I've also long been a fan of the surfer girl, beachy look. And, thanks to a generous mother-in-law, I've been gifted quite a few amazing Hollister pieces that I would never splurge on. I didn't include my workout clothes in  this, as I don't tend to wear them outside of kickboxing class. But, I will also be going through those as well... keeping what I love, and storing or donating what I don't.

Main Colors - Bright Pink, Grey, Black, Navy, Brown
Main Style - Beachy, sporty





I already see a few areas I can improve. First would be letting go of a few more items I don't love to make room for new clothes. I'd also like to get rid of the brown clothes, which I never really loved to begin with and add in a more fun, vibrant color, like turquoise.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this new capsule wardrobe works, and to fine-tuning my closet.

What about you? Have you ever created a capsule wardrobe? What do you think about the idea? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.



Our No Fast Food Week {PLUS: A Giveaway From The Real Deal Snacks}

Thanks to The Real Deal Snacks for sponsoring this post.

Last week, I challenged the hubby and myself (and by default, the kids) to a week without fast food. The reason was twofold. First, to save money. Second, to eat healthier, and change our "lets just get fast food" habit.

By the end of the week, the hubby had lost 5 lbs, and I had lost 3 lbs. Certainly a huge success as far as I'm concerned. At the end of the week, we did have a cheat meal from Dairy Queen... and on top of it being only moderately tasty, my weight had gone up the next day. Not cool. So, I'm back on the no fast food challenge again. This time, it will be for two weeks, and I'm confident that I can do it.

Having quick meals at homemade it easier to say no to fast food. It was also great to have some veggie chips on hand as a late night snack.


These Veggie Chips from The Real Deal Snacks are hands-down my favorite ships. I'm partial to the sriracha flavored ones. They pack a huge flavor punch, and the 100 calorie bags give you the perfect amount, so you don't need to worry about eating too many. 

They are made with 51% real green peas, corn and rice – and there’s a serving and a half of vegetables in every once!! They come in 3 great-tasting varieties (Original, Sriracha and Aged White Cheddar) and they are gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO and have 80% less fat than potato chips. Oh, and did I mention how absolutely amazing they taste? Healthy and delicious don't always go together... but they do here!   


Where To Buy
Atlanta: Kroger, Whole Foods, Earth Fare
Chicago: Sunset, Roundy’s/Mariano’s, Strack & Van Til, Walts, Woodmans, Pete’s, Caputo’s, & Tony’s
KC: Cosentino’s, Balls, Queens, McKeevers, Green Acres, Lucky, Checkers, Dillions/Kroger
Milwaukee: Roundy’s/Mariano’s, Woodmans, & Piggly Wiggly’s
Nashville: Kroger, Whole Foods
NY: Wegmans, Shoprite, Price Chopper, Tops, Fairway, DeCicco’s, Gourmet Garage, Zabar’s
New England: Price Chopper, Marketbasket, Wegmans
OH: Kroger, Whole Foods
Phoenix: Fry’s
Salt Lake City: Harmons, Good Earth Natural, Smiths
San Diego: Baron’s, Keils Grocery, Albertsons, Whole Foods
St. Louis: Dierbergs, Schnucks, Shop N Save

Be sure to follow The Real Deal Snacks on Facebook.


Enter To Win A $20 Snack Pack from The Real Deal Snacks 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite late night snack? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

Reading, Watching, and Listening To

You can tell a lot about a person by what they read, watch and listen to.

I'm Reading
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. I was extremely reluctant to read this book, mostly because I first heard of it from a Christian fundamentalist homeschooler. Yet, for some reason, when I was trying to think of something different to read this month, this book popped into my head. Right now, I'm about half way through the book, and it's pretty good. It's an easy read, and none of the ideas are really earth-shattering or profound... but it works. More than anything, it gets you to think about how to make another person happy. And, the techniques in this book don't just apply to your partner, but to children, friends, parents, etc. I'd recommend this book for anyone wanting to connect with another person better.

I'm Watching
Arrow. I've been on a bit of a comic book show binge for the past few months. It started with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., moved on to The Flash, and is now on Arrow. Honestly, I love every bit of these shows, which is very unlike me. I'm normally not into the comic book stuff at all, but it appears that has all changed. Baby B was born, and the next thing I know, I'm in love with these shows.




I'm Listening To
Push And Shove by No Doubt. I've been a fan of No Doubt & Gwen Stefani since Just A Girl. Ken and I were actually at the concert when they opened for Bush, Gwen Stefani's music always spoke to me because we seemed to be going through similar things at similar times... we started dating our boyfriends in 1995, we both both married in 2002, and even started having kids around the same time. The similarities end there as we're opting out of the 2015 relationship ending they had. 

The song Settle Down has always spoke to me about the craziness of having another baby... with lyrics like: 


I'm fine (and nothing's gonna knock this girl down)
I'm hella positive for real, I'm all good no
I'm fine (and nothing's gonna knock this girl down)
It's kinda complicated that's for sure

But you can see it my eyes, you can read on my lips
I'm trying to get a hold on this
And I really mean it this time
And you know it's such a trip
Don't get me started
I'm trying to get a hold on this

Get get get in line, and settle down
Get in line, and settle down

No big deal (I can handle it)
It'll bounce off me (I can handle it)
Been around the block before, doesn't matter anymore
Here we go again (Are you kidding me?)
Are you insane? (Are you kidding me?)
We're underneath the avalanche so heavy again

I'm fine (and nothing's gonna knock this girl down)
I'm hella positive for real, I'm all good no
I'm fine (and nothing's gonna knock this girl down)
It's kinda complicated that's for sure

But you can see it my eyes, you can read on my lips
I'm trying to get a hold on this
And I really mean it this time
And you know it's such a trip
Don't get me started
I'm trying to get a hold on this



What are you reading, watching, and listening to? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

Game Nights & Holiday Shenanigans

I have received information from the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

Becoming a parent sure changes you. These tiny humans come into your life, and it doesn't take long before an amazing bond is formed between you and them. You finally get to experience the love a parent has for a child, and it's amazing. But, it's not effortless. That's why it's so important to set aside special time to spend together as a family.

To celebrate all families, TYLENOL® has decided to create the #HowWeFamily program which shows that family is not about who you love but how. The #HowWeFamily program showcases the story of 11 real American families, including that of spokesperson Gabrielle Union.



I love that this video showcases real moments of holiday happiness from real families. For the holidays, we make sure to spend a little extra quality time together. Since my son is off from school, we don't have to worry about homework, and are able to have more family time together. 

For us, this means more game nights playing all of our family favorites... like Tokaido.  


Forbidden Dessert is another family favorite.




Our elf Fred is also a fun family tradition we have... the day he drew on Daddy's face was a classic! 



Game nights & Elf On The Shelf shenanigans... that's how we family. :)

How do you family? Leave a comment below. As always, I respond to each and every one. :)



Post-Pregnancy Fitness Challenges #Underwareness #IC #sponsored #ad

This post was sponsored by Depend as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Post-Pregnancy Fitness Challenges
I've always been active, and am very excited to get moving again after the birth of my baby girl in September. During my pregnancy, I kept fit with kickboxing. Now that the baby is here, working in time to work out has become a bit more challenging. I'm exclusively nursing my 2-month baby girl, and would prefer to keep her off bottles as much as possible. So, I've had to tweak my workout plan a bit. Instead of late night kickboxing 5 days a week, I've decided to start taking taekwondo with 6-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl while squeezing in kickboxing classes when I can.

Practicing the side kick the white belts learned that day. 



Getting back into workout after having a baby can be daunting, but I refuse to sit on the sidelines. Sure, my fitness level has decreased drastically since having baby #3. My muscles have experienced quite a bit of atrophy throughout my pregnancy and the 6 weeks of exercise-free postpartum. Pushups? They're on the knees, and incredibly difficult. Ab exercises? Right now, they seem pretty much impossible. And, like all new mamas, my pelvic floor muscles have certainly weakened. As a new mom, it's not always a good idea to do any sort of jumping around with a full bladder...if you know what I mean. Jumping jacks? High knees? My feet barely leave the floor. I'm just too scared that my bladder can't quite handle it yet. If this describes you, you're not the only one. In fact, over 51 million American women experience bladder leakage. That’s 1 in 3 American women. There are many common causes of bladder leakage in women including pregnancy, childbirth and even diabetes.

But, there's no reason to let that stop you from staying active and fit. For the millions of women who may need a different kind of underwear, there are now Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs. These new moderate-absorbency briefs feature a thin design for complete comfort. They also have a lower rise, as well as a cloth-like texture for a smooth underwear-like fit under clothes. They're available in black and beige.



#Underwareness
Did you know that the Depend brand is entering year two of Underwareness, a social movement and charitable cause to break down the bladder leakage stigma? As part of Underwareness, the Depend brand is encouraging people to show their support for women with bladder leakage. For every photo and video shared using #Underwareness, the Depend brand will donate $1, up to $3 million, through 2016 to fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage.

Coupon Code
Ready to tryout Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs for yourself? Be sure to download this coupon to score some extra savings!


What's your biggest workout challenge? Leave a comment below. As always, I respond to each and every one. :)

Unique Gifts For The Person That Has It All

With the holidays around the corner, it can be hard to find something just right for all of the important people in our lives. It seems like everybody has everything they need... but what if you could find those people the perfect gift... something just for them... and something they never even knew existed? That's where UncommonGoods comes in.

Gifts For Everyone
No matter who you're shopping for, UncommonGoods has got you covered. 

About UncommonGoods
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, UncommonGoods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. They run all our operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including their warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage. They make it their mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers; in fact, half of what they sell is made by hand. Most of the products UncommonGoods carries are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of our entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. At the core of this company is a great respect for the integrity of the creative individual and the belief that it is their responsibility to use their business to impact the world in a positive way.

  • A Proud B Corp
    B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. UncommonGoods is  proud to be a founding B Corp since the B seal means that they meet a rigorous standard on a wide range of issues, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community.


My Perfect Gift
I recently picked out my perfect gift... a handcrafted walnut cutting board & trivet.


This multifunctional board packs form and function in a beautifuly handmade package. The richly grained, solid walnut board is smoothly finished on one side for an ideal cutting board surface, and sports incised, geometric patterns on the flipside to serve as a textured trivet. When not serving either function, it can hang on a kitchen or dining room wall as an artful accent to any décor. This beautiful piece was handmade by Dan Sjogren in Denver, Colorado.





Get New Product Updates
Be sure to sign up for the UncommonGoods weekly ‘This Just In’ email that highlights the newest additions to their collection.


Who is the most difficult person to shop for on your Christmas list? Leave a comment below, and feel free to find something perfect for them at the links above. :)

Facebook Shennanigans, Going Dairy-Free & More

Today has been a good day. The baby has been sleeping A LOT, and I don't have too much housework to do, so I'm able to squeeze in a quick post. All days aren't like this, for sure. Most days I'm lucky to get food on the table for three meals. While taking care of a baby isn't hard, it is time-consuming. Very time-consuming. I've had to let some things go. Like answering the phone. And reading every post on social media. I know, I know. But I'm on social media. Yes. But I'm just one person. I have a very modest 114 friends on Facebook, but what if each of those friends posted every day? I'd go crazy keeping up. So... I've had to had to modify my news feed so I see a lot less. And, I'm okay with that. I realize that most stuff people post on Facebook is fun, but it's never something major. This quote has helped me in modifying my new feed lately.


Oh, back to being busy... this is what I'm able to accomplish on a ridiculously-productive day before noon. Is this every day? Absolutely not. This was a phenomenal day... which is why I took the time to type it out, add cute little green check boxes, and share it. :)


Oh, and this little gem was shared last week, when Baby B turned 1 month old!

"Has it really been a month already?! I feel so fortunate to have this little girl in my life. And, I feel like I'm finally starting to figure out this newborn thing. Just hold her, and she's happy. Nights aren't nearly as sleepless as I remembered with the other two. And... she hardly ever cries... just as long as I cater to her every need and make her the center of my universe... which I do. #1monthold #proudmama #babywearing #attachmentparenting"


Parenting this new little bundle of joy is still amazing, but she's decided to make it a bit more difficult as of this week. She appears to have some gastrointestinal issues. So... partially at my suggestion, her pediatrician has told me to go dairy-free until further notice. I'll certainly be missing A LOT of my favorite foods, but I'm going to give it a try. *sniffle* Goodbye pizza, ice cream, chocolate, and cheese. On the other hand... I still have about 15 lbs of baby weight to loose, so this has gotta help out with that... right? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

So, that has been my October so far. What has yours been like? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

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