Favorite Hair Products

I am in NO WAY a hair expert! I only know what works for me. I have naturally curly hair and it wasn’t until recently that I really feel like really I learned how to get it straight and smooth. I attribute most of this to finding the right products! (Thank you Tiffani at Voila Salon!) I’ve been using these for about a year now and I’m really happy with how smooth it makes my hair, how easy it is to straighten it, and how long a blowout lasts. Tip-I also use a shower cap in between blow outs. I wash my hair 1 once a week…EKKKK.. I know.. but I promise my hair doesn’t get greasy! I’ve linked all the products and tools I use in each step as well as at the bottom of the post. Hope this is somewhat helpful!

Step 1: Shampoo hair. Rinse. Wash again. The first wash removes oils and the second cleans the hair.

Step 2: Condition hair. I put conditioner on and leave it on while I finish showering. Brush with a wide tooth comb. Rinse

Step 3: Spray hair with Pureology Color Fanatic Hair Treatment spray.

Step 4: Apply Pureology Smooth Perfection Intense Smoothing Cream. Brush with wide tooth comb again to get product from root to tip.

Step 5: Blow dry. I am OBSESSED with my new blowdryer/hair brush in one! (and it’s currently on sale!) It has made drying my hair so easy! What use to take 30-45 minutes now takes about 15-20. I highly recommend it! But if you use a regular hair dryer than I highly recommend using a large barrel brush. If you have shorter hair I would get a smaller barrel, depending on length. There are so many methods/techniques on this and I’ll share mine in another post. But for now-youtube! There are so many great videos.

Lastly, every few weeks I apply coconut oil to my hair and leave it on for a minimum of 2 hours, but usually overnight. I apply enough to complete coat my hair but I avoid saturating the roots. Then I wash as as usual the next day.

Again, I just want to say, I have no idea what I’m really doing! I just know what works for me. I’ve tried SO MANY products and these are the only ones I have stuck with and truly swear by.

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Microblading

I started to do a gift guide, but I realized there are so many great ones out there and I decided to just do a few big gift/activity posts of my favorite things instead. My first gift idea is something I got done and LOVED! My Eyebrows! More specifically, microblading.

Since having kids, I’ve noticed my eyebrows have started thinning. I didn’t think there was much to do about it so I’ve been filling them in with various pencils/gels. While I was happy with the way they look filled in I was so tired of having to do it everyday. So when I was heard about microblading I was super intrigued!

Microblading is a semi-permanent make-up technique that involves “implanting pigment after the creation of fine incisions in the skin.” Each hair stroke is finely bladed onto the skin to create a realistic “hair-like” appearance.

After I research the procedure I started looking for local places to have it done. I found quite a few locations near me but eventually settled on the one I felt most comfortable with. I liked the before and after photos of their work but I also felt more comfortable knowing it was an actually medical spa. I went to Magnolia Med Spa in Cumming, Ga. If you are in Georgia I would highly recommend them!

They first cleaned the area and applied the numbing cream. Then we started with a consultation that took about 30 minutes, to decide what color and shape I preferred. Then the esthetician drew on the desired shape until we got exactly what we were looking for. This took a little longer for me because my eyebrows are actually really uneven. I didn’t realize it until we started measuring and drawing but one sit much higher on my face than the other. I was so impressed with the time she took to make my eyebrows even. I also had no idea what a difference even-looking eyebrows would make! HAHA!
I was really surprised that the actual blading did not hurt at all. I did start to feel it once the numbing cream started to wear off but even that wasn’t painful and once they reapplied the cream I couldn’t feel it at all again. The esthetician that did the work was amazing! She was clearly which a perfectionists (which is exactly what you want when you are doing something to your face!) and she repeatedly applied a few strokes, checked the placement, and even had me sit up a few times to check the work along the way. I really felt like she was perfecting my eyebrows specifically that fit me, not just going through the motions and “doing her job.” I felt completely comfortable with her! This may sound dramatic, but I feel like your eyebrows are such a big feature on your face and messing them up was not something I wanted to risk! Here’s an immediate before and after photo.

Wow what a difference, right?! A few weeks later I went in for a touch-up. This was the same process as before but took much less time.  So if you’ve ever thought about getting your eyebrows done…DO IT! You will LOVE IT! But, make sure you go to a legit place! (not some lady off craigslist). Here’s link to the place I went Magnolia Med Spa. Ask for Emily and tell them Kira sent you!

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Gingerbread Houses- the Easy Way

I’m always looking for fun things to do with the kids. Especially around the holidays. One thing we do every year is make gingerbread houses. I thought I would share how we made our gingerbread houses this year- the easy way.

I came across these premade gingerbread houses at Target the other day for 9$! FYI I’ve also seen the premade gingerbread houses at whole foods and Trader Joe’s. We usually buy the kits and put them together ourselves. However, it’s always a disaster. They don’t stay together and it’s always so hard for the kids to understand that they have to wait before they can decorate it. But with these premade ones everything is ready to go!

  

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Carrying Your Loved Ones

I have always believed strongly that one of the main ways kids naturally learn is from copying the actions and attitudes of their parents and other people who surround them. Like the saying goes, monkey see, monkey do. So we do our best to model behaviors for the kids that are important to us. One of the key things we practice in our attachment parenting is baby wearing. In case you missed my previous post about attachment parenting, you can read it here. We carried Maddox pretty regularly in a carrier until he was about 2, and Marlow is basically a baby kangaroo-living in her carrier during the day.
 
So it was only natural that Maddox’s behavior would copy ours with Marlow.  Josh has always been happy to wear a baby carrier, so when we are all together, we share the carrying. When Maddox saw us carrying Marlow around in a baby carrier, he often asked if he could carry Marlow. Since it isn’t quite safe for him to carry her, we found a great compromise. We found this Boba Mini Carrier from Shop Birth Blessings, and since we got it, Maddox has been carrying his stuffed animals and babies everywhere we go. He seems especially proud standing next to me while I carry Marlow in her carrier and he carries his babies in his. You can find this mini carrier and some other adorable designs here. I love these carriers. Now Marlow is stealing Maddox’s so often that I think I need another ASAP!
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Re-Play Recycled

Today we received a box from RE-PLAY RECYCLE. When we opened it, Maddox and Marlow immediately took it over to “their” kitchen! They saw all the bright fun colors and assumed it was for them! Which it is, but this is not a toy!

With Maddox almost four years old and Marlow 16 months, both are now using table wear and cups I needed some new stuff! The things we used when Maddox was little did not hold up well, and now I needed multiples for both kids. When I saw a friend’s children using RE-PLAY RECYCLE, I immediately checked it out and fell in love with not only the cute collections of products, but their philosophy! Here are just a few reasons why I got rid of all of my kids other tableware:

  1. All of their products – which include plates, bowls, cups, forks and spoons – are made from recycled milk jugs! AND they use minimal packaging made from recycled paperboard! I love eco-friendly!
  2.  All of their products meet FDA requirements.
  3.  Their products are SO durable! The company even claims you can run over the plate with a car without damage. I may try that! 🤣 My friend has been using them since her kids were little and they still look perfect. And most importantly, in my book, everything is dishwasher safe!
  4. Their pieces are perfect for beginning eaters! They have forks and spoons that are made for little hands! Their plates have dividers and curved edges, making eating easier. And their cups have no-spill valves.
  5. The colors they have are adorable! I got the sorbet collection that is filled with a variety of cute pastel colors. They also have other collections like their Bold, Crayon, Rainbow, White, and Monochromatic. I’ve linked my collection below.
  6. You can buy everything from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, and Kroger! Can I get a hallelujah?🤣 Easy shopping is key.
  7. Everything is so affordable! Check out the links below to view their collections as well as individual pricing for each piece.

I keep all of the kids dishes and cups in small cubbies that they can access themselves. I’m big on teaching kids age appropriate independence. So this is something very simple that they do themselves. Whenever it’s time to eat they know where all their stuff is, they get everything out and they set the table. Even if it’s just grabbing a snack. They know to grab their own dishes, go to their snack area, and get everything themselves. Marlow usually grabs 2 cups and a spoon while Maddox grabs one of every piece in the same color 🤣. Even if he’s just eating grapes he likes to have everything laid out and matching. He gets that from his dad…and well Marlow’s a little more like me.

So join me in getting rid of all the odds and ends you have collected and enjoy using these marvelous pieces with your little ones. You will not be disappointed! And be sure to check out Maddox’s presentation of his favorite RePlay pieces! This was TOTALLY his idea and I LOVE it!

This post was sponsored by Replay Recycle but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Fighting in Front of the Kids

Do you fight in front of your kids?

Before we even had kids, Josh and I talked a lot about how we grew up and how we want to raise our kids. One of the issues we talked about before we had kids was actually about whether or not fighting in front of the kids was okay or healthy.I think we can all agree that aggressive, volatile, or physical fighting is always negative. However, I think whether or not healthy arguments in front of kids is okay is still up for debate and depends on each family. So here’s how we look at it, and what we decided was best for our family.

People argue and disagree, even people who love each other very much. It’s just a fact of life. To never disagree would mean that one of you was totally suppressing your feelings and just being a doormat. Nobody wants or respects that. But there’s a big difference between healthy fighting and unhealthy fighting. And I do think it’s important that kids learn to understand the difference. One of the best ways for them to understand that is to witness it. For example, Josh and I will have disagreements and debates in front of the kids. But any big issues, arguments, or heated discussions, and any that involve something related to the kids, we really try and do after the kids are in bed. At least while they are young. I’ve actually noticed that Maddox understands and can comprehend whenever Josh and I are having an argument or disagreement. There have been times when Maddox interrupted us and said “Guys take turns!” And I admit at first this shocked us and made both Josh and me step back and talk about whether or not this was good. But we ultimately decided that this was a healthy thing. We don’t want the kids growing up thinking that healthy relationships mean there’s no disagreeing or arguing. People who love and respect each other can still disagree. I think that to never show this side of a relationship would portray a fairytale that isn’t real or obtainable. I don’t want them growing up thinking that people don’t fight, but I want them to learn how to argue with respect. That means no name calling, no belittling, no violent words or actions. They need to know the healthy boundaries of how to argue.

So we do our best to demonstrate healthy discussions/arguments. And while there will definitely be times that we will slip up and have an argument in front of the kids that we should probably have kept to ourselves- we are only human. And whether or not you choose to hash everything out in front of the kids or behind closed doors is totally up to you and your family. But this is just the decision that we’ve come to for our family.

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Georgia Watermelon

Southern summers mean it’s watermelon time!

From toddlers to seniors, everyone can enjoy this juicy, cooling treat. At just one year of age, Marlow’s favorite snack is chunks of watermelon. I love watermelon juice, and we all enjoy watermelon infused water. To celebrate the end of watermelon season, I thought I’d share some of my family’s favorite watermelon treats and recipes!

 

But first, did you know that Georgia has it’s own watermelon association? I had no idea! Well now you know! Georgia Watermelon Association works to make improvements in the growing, grading, handling, transportation, distribution, and sale of watermelons. Read more here www.georgiawatermelonassociation.org

Here are a few fun facts! Watermelon is:
– extremely hydrating
– full of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants
– a great source for potassium, vitamins A, B, and C!

 First, you need to know how to find a good watermelon. I know many old-timers thump them, but that doesn’t tell me anything. I like this recommendation from the Georgia Watermelon Association. You know it’s sweet and ripe if the field spot (yellow spot on the bottom) is creamy yellow. If it’s white or has no spot at all, then it’s not ripe yet.

Once I have that perfectly ripe melon, I cut it into chunks of about one inch square. I then use about half the chunks for snacking and the other half split between two of my favorite recipes that you’ll find below!

 

While the kids snack on the cut watermelon, I make Watermelon Water. It’s super easy! Add watermelon pieces, cucumber slices, and mint leaves to water! Chill and enjoy. Voila!

 

Then I make my all time favorite Watermelon and Feta Bites.

 

5 from 2 votes
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Watermelon Feta Bites

Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • pinc salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut watermelon, feta cheese, and basil leaves into bit size pieces. 

  2. Place 1 chunk of watermelon, feta and basil leaf on a toothpick. 

  3. Next drizzle with balsamic glaze.

  4. Enjoy!

My mom makes a similar treat by mixing crumbled feta in with small watermelon pieces and chopped basil and drizzling with the glaze. Either way, the combination of tastes is wonderful.

 

Get your watermelon now while Georgia Watermelons are plentiful and tasty. Your family will enjoy it every bit as much as mine does. Be sure to save the recipe above or Pin it on Pinterest for later!

 

This post was sponsored by the Georgia Watermelon Association but all opinions and ideas are my own.

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Mom Crush

“I got a mom crush”

Someone recently told me they loved following me on instagram and that they had a mom crush on my account. 🤣I instantly cracked up! I was so flattered of course. But all I could think of was the mom crush video. Have you seen that hilarious music video parody lately? If not, watch it here.

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Breastfeeding Tips and Tricks

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! If you don’t already know, I’m a huge supporter of breastfeeding! I breastfed my son for two and half years and my daughter is going strong at just over a year so far. Along the way I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks. So here ya go! All my secrets!

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Going to Camp

This past week Maddox went to day camp for the first time! He starts at a preschool nearby in August, and we thought going to a one-week camp would be a perfect transition for him. It was such a hit!

I wanted to share because I often get questions about attachment parenting and it being associated with peoples’ misconception that it makes kids too attached to their parents. Some believe it results in shy, fearful, unhealthy attachments where kids are afraid to leave the parents side. I can definitely attest that that is not the case. I truly believe it’s actually quite the opposite. In my experience attachment parenting builds confidence in kids because they know that their parents are always there for them to answer their needs. It starts from the most basic needs as a baby, answering their cries (read my original post about attachment parenting here). So while I do want to talk about a few very specific things we did to make camp a smooth experience, I do believe we started “preparing” him for camp way before, by building his confidence so he could tackle new places and experiences with ease.

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