Inspired By Friday Vol. 2

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Inspired By Friday Vol 2

These two fellas just make my heart so happy! In the picture above, we went to see the Cowboys practice during training camp. It was my son's first "professional sporting event," and he LOVED it.

In other news, this palette by PUR Cosmetics may be my new fall palette. I love all of the warm tones in this palette, plus, it's talc-free and it won't break the bank.

This video by Jackie Aina, and this video by Too Much Mouth are my favorites this week. Finally, some suggestions for nude lipsticks for women of color! I get so tired of brands creating "nude" products that only come in beige. But that's another complaint for another day. I can't wait to try some of the Mented lipsticks that both lovely ladies mentioned.

I NEED to take a trip to Scotland to see this Harry Potter shop! If you didn't know, I love all things Harry Potter. It's my favorite book series of all time, and any Harry Potter experience I can have, I am down for it.

This outfit by Cara Loren is everything. I love everything about it. I love the boots, I love the dress, and the Louis, of course. Give me one of everything, please!

This skirt from the LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection is gorgeous. It's perfect for fall and it's not that expensive (and it's on sale!), so I may have to do a little shopping ;-)

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

How We Can Continue to Help Houston

 Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images,  Via

Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images, Via

I was born and raised in the Houston area, so the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is close to my heart. My family still lives there and I am so incredibly thankful that they were not hurt and that their homes didn't suffer any damage.

That's not the case for a lot of people. While the death toll was relatively low (praise God), many people lost everything, and at the very least, a lot of people have water damage to their homes and vehicles. 

Houston and the surrounding affected cities still need our help. Some suburbs are in recovery-mode, meaning they need cleaning supplies.

Some places are still in relief-mode, meaning that they still need food and water, personal hygiene products, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, Kleenex, underwear and clothing, socks. People also need baby supplies like diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and baby food.

You can also donate pet food, as many people don't have a way to feed their pets right now, and that includes livestock like horses and cattle.

If you would prefer to donate money, you can always donate to the J.J. Watt Foundation or the Salvation Army. For more information on how/where to donate, see this article.

Please donate something. Anything will help. And if you can't donate money or food, consider donating your time if you live in Texas and can get to a place providing relief and support. 

In times like these, we're reminded that we're all in this together, that we all have a bond because we're human, and that we're meant to give love and support whenever and however we can.

And, as always, you can pray for the people affected by Harvey. Let's also pray for Florida, and that they are kept safe from Hurricane Irma.

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Cayson's "Turning One Tour" Birthday Party

So, I know it's been about a month since Cayson's birthday party, but I recently got the pictures back and I had to share some! We had a rockstar theme since my son is obsessed with all things music and loves head-banging. I'm convinced he's going to be a rock star when he grows up, which I'm not sure I'm completely stoked about, but I guess we'll have to wait and see!

 Cayson's party invitations

Cayson's party invitations

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

The colors for his party were turquoise and orange, and I continued those colors for all of the decor. The cake and the cookies were made by me. Find the cake recipe here, and the cookie and royal icing recipes here and here.

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party
The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

I have loved Jones Soda since I was a teenager, and since you can have the labels personalized, I decided that would be a perfect addition to the party. The bottles also makes an awesome keepsake!

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

I did my best, during his first year, to capture a monthly photo, but be prepared, Mamas, it gets harder the more they're able to move around.

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party
The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

I also felt like my multicolored hair made a rockin' addition to the party ;-)

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party
The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

At first, he wasn't sure about the cake, and it took some encouragement to get him to try it. Curiosity won out in the end, though!

The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour
The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party
The Inspired Life-Cayson's Turning One Tour Party

Overall, it was a fun little party, and I still can't believe my little boy is one already! 

The party wasn't as elaborate as I've seen for some one year old's, but I'd rather the parties get more elaborate as he gets older. That way, the more work I put into it, the older he is and therefore more likely to remember it.

How did you celebrate your kiddo's first birthday? Let me know!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*All photos were taken by J. Nguyen Photography. A big thank you to one of my best friends for snapping these amazing pictures!*

Wonder Woman and the Strength in Femininity

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My husband and I went to see Wonder Woman on Friday, and it was amazing. I had a Studio Movie Grill gift card, and we'd been wanting to spend some time together, so it worked out perfectly. 

There were so many things to appreciate about the film. Of course, it was fantastic that for the first 20 minutes (at least) of the movie, there were nothing but women on screen. The movie was directed by a woman, the amazing Patty Jenkins, and the entire film is dripping with female empowerment.

I loved that they didn't over-sexualize Diana. Her outfit was armor and not just glorified spandex. Of course, she was beautiful, but she wasn't overly made up. You could tell that she had on blush and eyeliner, but the rest of the movie makeup magic was very understated. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Gal Gadot is gorgeous anyway. And speaking of Gal, I very much appreciated that she's Israeli. A couple of years ago, when whispers of a Wonder Woman film were first circulating, I for sure thought that they would cast a well-known white actress as the lead. I'm glad that they cast a lesser-known Middle Eastern woman instead. And Gal was incredible, by the way!

I also appreciated that there were Amazons of multiple races. Some were black, some were white, some could have been hispanic. They were of varying ages, too, and every single one of them were beautiful. None of them were wearing much makeup, which is realistic because they're warriors. And it's even more cool that they cast professional female athletes as some of the Amazons!

  Via

There are spoilers from this point forward, so if you haven't seen the film yet and you still want to, stop reading now.

As for the story, I like that it wasn't necessarily centered around a man. Steve (played by Chris Pine) appears in Diana's life and is sort of the gateway to her destiny, but the story isn't really about their love. It's about Diana learning who she is and becoming that person. Everything she believes and knows to be true is challenged, and she has to decide what she's going to stand for, and what she'll actively stand against.

At the beginning of the movie, which has modern-day Diana talking about how she "used" to want to save the world, you think that she's given up hope for humanity. But at the end of the movie, you find out that it's because of her hope in humanity that she fights for justice and truth.

The only thing that I didn't like was that Steve sacrificed himself and died. I guess I understand why they did that, though. I mean, Diana is a demigoddess and apparently doesn't age, and Steve is mortal, so what kind of life could they realistically have together? But it did almost seem like they had to give the leading man his hero moment too, which may have been to appease male movie-goers. For comparison, you don't really see the female love interest in most male-centric superhero movies doing anything that heroic. They're mostly just damsels in distress. 

Overall, the movie was fantastic! It left me feeling like I'm capable of anything, and that my femininity isn't something to suppress or overcome in order to be successful or to do great things. The world needs femininity just as much as it needs masculinity. It needs brave, strong women, just as much as it needs brave, strong men. And bravery and strength aren't exclusive to men. Anyone and everyone can have courage and do the right thing when given the chance. 

Have you seen Wonder Woman? If so, what did you think? Let me know your thoughts!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Cayson's Camping Adventure Nursery Tour

I rarely ever do Saturday posts, but since today's post is picture heavy, I thought it would be good for the weekend.

We moved shortly after I finished Cayson's nursery, but I wanted to share the space where he lived for most of his life thus far. Not to mention, I worked really hard on it, so I deserve to show it off.

Camping Adventure Nursery 1
Camping Adventure Nursery 2

I hand painted the changing table, and my husband and I both painted the dresser. The dresser was mine from childhood, and the changing table is a vintage Jenny Lind from when my husband was born. Can it be considered vintage if it's only from the 90's?

Camping Adventure Nursery 3
Camping Adventure Nursery 4

That's the first ultrasound we ever had with Cayson, at around eight weeks pregnant. It feels like it was so long ago and just yesterday, all at the same time. In the middle is the sound machine, which is great when you start crib training your little one. 

Camping Adventure Nursery 5
Camping Adventure Nursery 6
Camping Adventure Nursery 7

The decal above the crib is our Bible verse for Cayson, since his name means 'brave'. It's also cool that it comes from the book of Joshua, which is my husband's name (if you didn't know that already lol).

I wanted a nursery where the theme was evident, but not over-the-top or too babyish, and I really wanted a space that he could grow into. I really like how it turned out, and I can't wait to recreate it, with even more personal touches, once we're settled. 

As for where everything came from:

Crib- Amazon (though we purchased ours from Target)
Decal- Wild Eyes Signs
Teepee Print, Bear Print & Teepee Shelf- Hobby Lobby
Bookshelves- Ikea (hand painted by me)
Glider & Ottoman- Amazon
Sound Machine- Amazon
Red Lantern- Amazon
Crib Sheet  & Changing Pad Cover- Amazon
National Parks Map Print- Belle Paper Market
Texas Camper Print- Inviting Moments

The items not linked or mentioned specifically were gifts from family. For more information on how I picked a theme, check this post

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*
 

Baby's First Year Survival Guide: Part 2

First Year Survival Guide Part 2

Yo and hello, mamas!

Yesterday, I gave you Part One of my First Year Survival Guide, which included my favorite feeding, sleeping, bathing and diapering products for baby. Today, I'm sharing my favorite teething and travel products and tips, along with some other miscellaneous items.

First Year Survival Guide-Teething Travel and Misc

Travel

1. Peg Perego 4-35 Infant Car Seat

This car seat has been wonderful. We first shopped for car seats before Cayson was born, and I compared it to several other well-known baby brands, including Britax, Maxi Cosi, and Graco. The reason we ended up going with this one was because it was the lightest (in weight) of all of the brands we liked. Due to strict safety regulations, car seats are pretty much all going to be the same when it comes to safety features. They have to pass certain regulations to even make it to market. So it all came down to price and weight, because as baby gets heavier, so does the car seat. This one was more expensive than some, but at only 9 lbs., it won out in my book.

2. Baby Jogger City Select Stroller

I chose this stroller for the same reason I chose a lot of our big ticket baby items: longevity! I wanted something that would last through at least a couple of kids, and this stroller will do exactly that. We bought a separate attachment so we could attach the car seat to it, and you can even add a second seat if you've got two kiddos! At about $500, it's the least expensive of the grow-with-your-kid type of travel systems. For comparison, the Uppa Baby Vista (my dream stroller) is just shy of $900. And it only goes up from there. If you want a more in-depth stroller review, let me know, and I can make it happen!

3. Boba Baby Wrap

We bought this wrap after Cayson was born and was the least expensive baby wrap/carrier that we could find. We weren't trying to be cheap with quality, but we didn't want to drop $150 on a carrier he might hate, so we went with this one and Cayson loved it. It's not really good for long term, especially if you've got a wiggle worm who doesn't like to be restrained. But it was awesome when he was still in the "fourth trimester" and wanted to be close. I could wear him around the house and still get things done. Multitasking is the name of the game, right, ladies?

Teething

4. Nuby All Natural Teething Gel

Cayson is currently DEEP in the throes of teething, and I wanted something that was natural but effective. This gel does the trick! Do I think it takes the pain away? Not completely, but it does seem to lessen it a bit, which I'm sure he appreciates. Plus, I think he enjoys the flavor ;-)

5. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

If I'm being completely honest, I'm still on the fence about whether I believe that this necklace actually works. I know, it goes against all of my hippie ways, but still, I'm skeptical. Pro Tip: For safety reasons, I just wrap it twice around his ankle and cover it with a sock.

Miscellaneous

6. Mommy's Bliss Grip Water

Now this stuff actually works! For real. We've been using it for a year now, and it really does get rid of his hiccups. It is a miracle product! Babies get hiccups ALL THE TIME and they're not always thrilled about it, so do yourself a favor and get some gripe water. Like...now.

7. Zarbee's Naturals Baby Cough Syrup + Mucus

This is an all-natural cough syrup that we discovered after Cayson got his first cold around 5 months old or so. It's mostly just agave syrup, but I think it really does help clear out some of the mucus. Also, get yourself an electric snot sucker. It works WAY better than the bulb syringe.

8. Babyganics Mineral-based SPF 50 Sunscreen

The title is pretty self-explanitory, but I've been loving this sunscreen, especially now that summer is upon us. If you're from Texas like me, you'll know how sunny and hot it gets around this time of year.

9. Babyganics Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer

This is a good hand sanitizer to keep in the nursery for diaper changes. When you use a regular sanitizer with alcohol, it doesn't quite evaporate off of your skin before you touch your baby again, and it can still burn their sensitive skin a bit. We've been using this sanitizer since the beginning and have loved it.

10. Honest Co. Laundry Detergent

I like this laundry detergent. It's unscented and plant-based, so it's safe for sensitive skin, but it is a bit pricey. We recently switched to the Seventh Generation sensitive skin detergent when we ran out of the Honest Co. one, and so far we've been liking that one too.

11. Honest Co. Stain Remover

Now this stuff is the TRUTH! It's plant-based and it works on poop, vomit, blood (Aunt Flo, anyone?), grass stains, and food stains. I love this stain remover and will continue to buy it until something even better comes along, though I'm not sure that's possible.

To all the experienced mamas out there, what were your favorite baby products? What were the hits and what were the misses? I'd would love to know because I'm still new at this, so there's always something to learn. Besides, sharing is caring!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

*This post contains affiliate links.*