Style

Abercrombie Denim Review

Finding the right pair of denim can be challenging! They are either too short, too long, not stretchy enough, gap in the back, etc. I remember having the hardest time growing up because of my body type as a gymnast, and that hasn’t changed much!

So after hearing multiple people rave about Abercrombie’s denim, I decided to take it upon myself to try out four different styles to see what all the hype was about. Keep reading to hear my review on the denim I tried. 🙂

For reference, I’m 5’2” and fluctuate between 135-140 lbs. I ordered a size 28/6 short in each pair.

The Super Skinny Ultra High Rise

I put these bad boys on, and immediately fell in love. They fit me like a glove! The rise hits perfectly and sucks in just the right amount. They also have just the right amount of stretch. Oh, and the short length was perfect! All in all, I give these a 10/10!


Curve Love The Super Skinny High Rise

People legitimately rave about the Curve Love line, so I obviously added a pair to my order. I’m not sure if it was this specific wash, or the entire line, but they were not my favorite. The rise was even higher than the Ultra High Rise leaving me a little confused. That wasn’t the main sticking point for me, though. While they fit true to size, they had slight bunching in the front crotch area, and that’s just something I couldn’t move past. I rate these a 6/10.


Ultra High Rise Ankle Straight

I was the most excited for these. I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of straight ankle denim that weren’t super loose around my knees, and again, I’ve heard rave reviews about these. I get it! These suck you in on the front and lift you up on the back, if ya know what I mean. 😉 And the wash I got is super flattering! The only problem…I ordered a short in these, as I did for all other pairs, and they are TOO short. That’s not normally a problem I have as a shortie! So, I’m going to rank these a 9/10 ONLY because they were too short. Otherwise, they are great! I’ll definitely be grabbing these in a regular length!


High Rise Super Skinny Ankle

Another winner! These are probably the least high rise denim of the bunch – they hit RIGHT at my belly button. I love the distressing on these and the fit. Just like the previous pair, they really suck you in and lift you up, all without giving you a muffin top! These also have great stretch to them. I’m giving these a 10/10, too!

I hope this was a helpful review! I love trying out new brands and testing them for you. So, if there is every something you want me to test before you buy, let me know!

xo-

LB

Blog

FabFitFun

If you’re like me, you’re inundated with ads for FabFitFun on all the social channels, from influencers, targeted ads and even friends (hi!) But, there’s good reason!

It’s worth it! Each season, you can get hundreds of dollars of full-size products for just $49.99, most of which you get to choose! Or, if you upgrade to an Annual Membership, you save $20 and get to further customize your box!

To show you the value, I’m going to take you through what I received in my winter box and just how much everything costs!

Summer & Rose Cozy Robe – $70

This robe is heavenly! It’s the softest robe I’ve ever felt, and the best part is that it has pockets and A HOOD! Talk about cozy!

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm – $68

I’ve been looking for a good eye cream for a while now, so the fact that I got a $68 eye cream in my box that costs only $49 is mind-blowing! This eye cream has a blend of alguronic acid, vitamin C, and green tea extract which helps to reduce puffiness and hydrate your eyes. Who doesn’t need some extra hydration these days?!

dr. brandt® skincare PoreDermabrasion® – $58

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you already know my love of dr. brandt products. In fact, I was first introduced to them in one of my FabFitFun boxes, so I love that they continue adding them as options! The PoreDermabrasion is a micro-crystal solution that instantly deep cleans and refines pores. I used this one this morning and it left my face feeling as soft as a baby’s bum! 😉

Tula Skincare Rose Glow & Get It Cooling &
Brightening Eye Balm
– $30

This is one of the items I was most excited for! It’s been on my wishlist for months, so I was STOKED that it was a choice for the winter box. As soon as I got my box, I tried this out and it did not disappoint. It has a cooling sensation that helps to energize and awarenesses the under-eye area, but it also doubles as a highlighter on your cheekbones or cupid’s bow for an instant glow!

eparé® Cutting Board (Set of 4) – $19.95

How cool are these cutting boards?! I only have one very large cutting board, so I was excited for a lightweight option like this. These cutting boards have a non-slip back so you can cut all your food with ease!

Paradox Lucky Stars Blemish Patches™ – $18

Have you seen people posted about pimple patches?! I keep seeing them, but I’ve never tried them. These ones are super cute and have the added benefit of getting rid of blemishes. I’m excited to try these and will report back on how they work!

Daily Concepts® Daily Facial Dry Brush – $20

Dry brushing. A thing I’ve always been intrigued by! But, I’ve never seen a facial dry brush! You can use this on your forehead, cheeks, nose, chin and neck to help stimulate lymphatic pathways and reduce puffiness! Another product I’ll test out and report back on! Comment below if you’ve ever dry-brushed before!

Phase Zero Makeup Making Moves Blusher – $27.50

I’m a sucker for new makeup products, so I’m excited to try this new blusher. It has a silky smooth formula that blends seamlessly onto your skin to give you just the right about of flush color.

Laura Geller® Cinnamon & Spice Eyeshadow Palette – $45

When you sign up for FabFitFun, you also get to choose add-ons which are more full-size products at a steep discount. This round, I added on the Laura Geller® Cinnamon & Spice Eyeshadow Palette for just $15. It’s normally $45! This palette include 12 beautiful shades perfect for both day and night looks!

Did you add all of that up? The contents of my box is valued at $326.45! I only paid $49.99, plus my $15 add on! Tell me that’s not insane?! What started as a one-time Christmas present from my hubby, has now turned into a seasonal surprise I look forward to very much! (Sorry, babe!)

If this is something that speaks to you, and you want to treat yourself, or treat someone else, I have a special link for you! You can get $10 off your first box simply by clicking here! Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Comment below with your email address and I will send you a box valued up to $75 for the price of shipping! But hurry, I only have three starter boxes to send!

xo-

LB

Gift Guides

Gift Guides for Kids

Whew! This one seemed to be the hardest gift guide of all! I only have small children, so I stuck to the age groups I know and intermixed gifts for both boys and girls. I separated the guides into categories for toddler vs ages 4+ and even added stocking stuffer options below. All the items marked with a * indicate that we have and love them! Happy shopping!!

All items linked below.
Rock Painting Kit*
ABC’s & 123’s Puzzles
Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Baby Care Play Set
Pop It Travel Game
Aqua Draw Doodle Mat*
Standing Art Easel
Wooden ABC & 123 Block Set*
Anywhere Chair*
Cleaning Set*
LCD Sketch Pad*
Strider Balance Bike*
2-in-1 LeapTop Touch
Snail Riding Toy*
Pots & Pans Play Set
Toy Lawn Mower

All items linked below.
Crystal Growing Unicorn
Light Up Tracing Pad
Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Twin Babies*
Deluxe Nursery Set
Create Your Own Window Art*
4-Pack of Card Games
Echo Dot Kids Edition with Glow Dot
Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
Crazy Forts
Fujifilm Instax Mini*
Puffy Sticker Activity Book Set*
Stamp-A-Scene Fairy Garden

All items linked below.
Scrunchie Set
Lip Gloss Set
Sequin Slipper Socks
Play-Doh Sparkle Set
4-Pack Eye Masks
Assorted Band-aides*
3-Minute Gratitude Journal
Adjustable Face Masks

Reusable Sticker Book
Tritan Water Bottle
Wooden Vehicle Set
Bath Crayons*
Gift Guides

Gift Guide for Him

All items linked below.
DeWALT Cordless Drill
Amazon Echo Dot with Speaker/Clock
Apple Charging Station

Cologne Sampler Set
Ugg Scuff Slipper
Apple AirPods Pro

Blackstone 4-Burner Griddle
Golf Cooler Bag
Apple Watch

Kan Jam
Vybe Massage Gun
Manscaped Lawn Mower

Cuisinart Deluxe Grill Set
Cleaning Gel for Cars

Etip Salty Dog Knit Tech Gloves
Ear, Nose & Brow Trimmer

Cooling Towel
Sneaker Balls
Tile Tracker

Hopsulator Bot’l

Use code CMB4CM20 for 20% off!

Redwood Beard Oil
Foam Practice Golf Balls

10′ Charger
Gift Guides

Gift Guide For Her

All items are linked below!
Jewelry Drawer Organizer
Holiday Perfume Sampler Set

Cuddle Up Pullover & Shorts

Click here for $10 off!


Brookstone Automatic Wine Opener
FabFitFun Subscription
YETI 14oz Rambler Mug


Keep You Warm Blanket

Use code NOVEMBER15
for 15% off!

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Stars Above Cozy Robe
Aira Ionic Facial Steamer

Use code earlybf40 for 40% off!

Apple AirPods Pro

Always Pan

$50 off with code
SUPERSALE

Ever Ultra Rich Body Butter

Cleaning Gel for Cars
Loopy Phone Case

Buy 1, Get 20% off – Code LOOPY
Buy 2, Get 35% off – Code LOOPIER
Buy 3+, Get 30% off – Code LOOPIEST

Big O Key Ring

Use code OWHATFUN for 25% off!


Jade Roller & Gua Sha
Tile Tracker
Make-Up Headband

Smooth Peptide Lip Therapy
No Show, No Slip Socks
5pc Make-Up Sponges

Forehead & Between Eye Patches
Blog

Picture Perfect

Originally posted on 4/29/2020.

As many of us have been doing lately, I was group FaceTiming with a group of my best friends the other night, and something came up that I need to share. Honestly, it’s something that’s been going on for a while and I didn’t want to share because, well, it’s scary. But as we talked, we realized that it’s those scary and raw moments that you connect with others the most, and that’s what the whole purpose of this platform is!

So, let me take you back to the beginning of quarantine. You know, when we weren’t in the thick of it, and it wasn’t ALWAYS raining and cold. It was a gorgeous day, and my husband was off work so we took full advantage! We took a walk with the kids and both dogs. Audrey even walked one of them all by herself, something she was extremely proud of, yet made me a nervous nelly! Then, we went to our backyard and played for hours. We chased each other, played soccer, threw a frisbee, wrestled, and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

There was a moment during this where I took a step back and realized that I am literally living my dream. I have a white picket fence for goodness sake! I felt like I had stepped into the exact picture I had in my mind during my younger years of what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up. How cool is that?

But then, the days turned into weeks, and now the weeks are turning into months. I started breaking down. I alluded this in my post, This. Is. Freaking. Hard. Being home all the time trying to work and be mom is exhausting. Not necessarily physically, but mentally and emotionally. I know I’m lucky that my kids aren’t school-aged yet so that I don’t have to also worry about distance learning, BUT I still feel like I’m failing them. I can’t help but wonder if my irritability and lack of undivided attention are going to be engrained in them for the rest of their lives. Dramatic? Maybe, but I think in extremes.

Things kept mentally piling up on me. As much as I tried to continue being the happy, go with the flow, bubbly person that I typically am, it seemed to be getting harder and harder. I was crying, for seemingly no reason, every day. The kicker? My friends and I seem to be experiencing a lot of the same feelings. It may seem weird to say that, but we all went through something very traumatic together as teenagers…a school shooting.

I’ve always thought that I was good at handling the emotional stress that came from the shooting. And to be honest, I thought I was pretty good at handling the stress that came with other traumatic life events too. i.e. my parents divorce, my best friend committing suicide, etc. But now that my friends and I are all experiencing eerily similar feelings/thoughts, I can’t help me think that maybe I’m not as good at dealing with this stress as I thought.

I guess simply blocking out thoughts and memories isn’t good for you…

Another point that was brought up was social media. My friend mentioned that if someone looked at my Instagram page, they would think I have the perfect life. That hit me hard. Not in a bad way, though! But, I really, truly want to be completely authentic for my audience. I want to    show you the good, but I also want to show you the bad. If I’m going to connect with my audience the way that I intended, then I need to be completely transparent. Hopefully, if you follow me, you know that my stories are where the unfiltered, no makeup me is present, but still. I never want to depict a perfect life, because it simply isn’t the case.

So, after talking with my friends I decided to reach out to a professional. While I haven’t had my first appointment yet, I feel a sense of relief even knowing that I’m taking that step. I absolutely hate that there is still such a stigma around mental health. Just because you are seeking help doesn’t mean that you are broken. It doesn’t mean that you are crazy. in my opinion, it makes you strong!

I want to start therapy so that I can be my best self not only for me, but for my husband and especially for my children. I want them to know that it’s ok to seek help. It’s ok to not be ok. Most importantly, I want them to look up to me as someone they admire and hope to be like someday. I want them to look back and have joyous, fun memories of me. Not memories of me being sad and crying for seemingly no reason.

I’m writing this with hopes that maybe this will be someone else’s sign to seek help. You’re not weak or a failure if you want to talk to someone. You’re stronger than you know!

xo-

LB

Blog

This. Is. Freaking. Hard.

Originally posted 4/16/2020.

Let me paint a picture for you…

I’m sitting at the dining room table eating grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch with my two- and four-year-old after a morning of trying to work my full-time job from my kitchen island while simultaneously entertaining my children, basically just making sure they are safe and alive. Mid-bite, I burst into tears. The kids both stop talking (their “talking” is honestly more like screaming) and stare at me, bewildered.

Are they shocked I’m crying? I know the four-year-old isn’t, but I’m sure it seems weird to my two-year-old. My kids are in difficult stages as it is., testing their limits and learning what they can get away with. There are constant attitudes, eye rolls, and fights in our house. Attitudes and eye-rolls towards me, fights between the two of them. Constantly.

It’s only Tuesday, and I’m crying, feeling defeated, in front of my children.

Like many others during this unprecedented time, I’m home working my full-time job and my kids’ childcare facility is closed. Since my husband is in law enforcement, he is an essential worker and is still reporting for duty. I’m only slightly jealous he gets to leave the house for human interaction on a regular basis…only slightly. My only solace is knowing I’m not the only one going through this currently, and the fact that I’m lucky to work for an incredible company that is supportive and understanding is a huge relief.

But this. is. freaking. hard.

I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), and I sure as hell am not cut out to be BOTH a SAHM AND a full-time working mom at the same time.

Please don’t get me wrong here, I love my kids, I love spending time with them, but the fact that there are no boundaries between work-life and mom-life is chaotic. I can’t pay attention to my kids’ needs. I can’t play with them the way they want me to. I can’t hold them constantly. The list goes on, and it makes me feel like I am the worst mom in the world. In fact, my super sweet princess of a daughter has even told me that I am “the worst mom ever,” she “doesn’t like me,” AND that I’m “the meanest mom ever!”

The thing is, I know she doesn’t mean those things, but it can be hard to not take it seriously when you’re already thinking the same things about yourself. As I was crying during lunch, unable to form words, both my kids got up from their seats, came over, and wrapped their arms around me. They told me they love me, and that I’m the “best mom ever!”

It was nice, but, again…this. is. freaking. hard.

I know, I probably shouldn’t have cried in front of my kids, but at least there was peace and quiet for a solid two minutes. I’m kidding. Kind of.

The worst part of all of this is that I know I’m not being the best mom lately. I’m not being the best wife, the best employee, or the best me for myself. I can’t give anything I love 100%, and it only makes the guilt compound.

I’m trying to do things to stay sane like getting outside, working out and practicing self-care, but all of that is only going so far right now. I’ve lost any semblance of patience that I had (which wasn’t much), I’ve raised my voice more than I would like to admit, and I’ve cried oh so many tears.

The thing is…I’m a happy person! I really, truly am a happy person to my core. But this whole working from home while watching my kids and not having outside human interaction for almost two months has got me on a crazy tidal wave of emotions that I cannot seem to get under control.

So, if you’re a parent out there who is on the struggle bus like me, just know you are not alone. Every day we are in this is another day closer to normalcy. We will get through this. And let’s hope when we are on the other side that we won’t take for granted everything we are so desperately craving right now.

xo-

LB

I would like to add that I am extremely grateful that my husband and I both still have our jobs, we have a roof over our heads and are healthy. Just because I’m feeling all of the things above does not mean that I am ungrateful. This is simply my little corner to share my thoughts and feelings, and that’s exactly what this post is about.

Blog

The Truth About Working From Home

Originally posted 3/26/2020.

Let me guess, now that it seems the whole world is stuck inside for the foreseeable future, you’ve read no less than 20 articles or blog posts that include tips for working from home. These range from articles for those who have never worked virtually before to those who now have to work at home with ultimate distraction…kids. Here’s my take.

I’m just going to say it. Working from home with kids sucks.

I love my kids. I love spending time with them. I love that I have the privilege to work from home while also being in the presence of my children, and I don’t take that for granted…especially now! BUT, trying to be both a great mom and an excellent employee is hard.

You feel guilty that your kids are watching yet another movie. You feel bad when you snap at them when they try to sit on your lap when you’re writing an important email. You feel paranoid that someone is checking to make sure you’re working at all times so you rarely get up from your computer because you’re afraid someone will message, call, or email you the moment you get up and assume you’re not working…as if you don’t ever step away from your desk when you’re in the office. It’s exhausting.

I’ve had the luxury of working from home the majority of the week for a couple of years now. I’m pretty used to it, but adding kiddos to the mix brings it to a whole new level. I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t use this as an opportunity to spend more time with them. I may not have the perfect schedule laid out for them everyday, but I did look up some fun activities and stocked up on Color Wonder pages to keep them busy when it’s absolutely necessary. Beyond that, I’m going to try to stick to the following tips to keep us all happy, healthy and sane:

TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME WITH KIDS

  • Wake up at least one hour before the kids. Allow some time to yourself. Drink a cup of coffee, read a book, binge your favorite show. Do something for yourself.
  • Get dressed. You don’t have to get fancy or even brush your hair, but at LEAST get out of your pajamas.
  • Take breaks. You have to step away from the work every now and then, especially if you have small children. Set a timer if you need to for the times you are working and the times you are on breaks.
  • Get outside. I know it may be hard to exercise for most people right now, but at least try to get outside if possible. Fresh air does wonders for the body and mind!
  • Practice grace. I once heard that “grace is the opposite of what one deserves”. I’m pretty sure it was my girl Rachel Hollis who said it. So, give yourself and others some grace. We are living in unprecedented times right now. I’m willing to bet that most people are going to be understanding when it comes to your situation. …at least I hope so because i have a committee call tomorrow and i’m praying that my kids are good!

Stay healthy. Stay six feet away. And wash your hands. Target misses me, and I’d like to go back sometime soon.

xo-

LB