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// A Gentleman's Gift Guide with Mike


Mike was asked by Kohl's to put together this fun little gift guide for the "gentlemen" out there (or for their partners who might be looking for a nice Christmas gift this season). I thought it would be a fun way to let him take part in the blogging excitement haha Plus I figured it might be a good way to get some nice gift ideas for him, too. You know, to be sneaky and all. Is it just me or are guys notoriously difficult to shop for? Of course everything Mike chose is so very "him".... and I kind of love that. It definitely makes my job a lot easier. Whether you're shopping for your boyfriend, husband, brother, father, or just a snazzy dude in your life, hopefully you'll find something awesome in the men's accessories at Kohl's. There's always their handy Christmas gift ideas for any and everyone, too.

Here's what Mike added to his wishlist... I mean, gift guide! haha


What are you getting your fellas for the hoildays?! (I'm so open for suggestions! haha!)

// MAYDAY! MAYDAY!


Maybe my post title is a little overdramatic, but I totally feel like it's all I can say/think/feel lately haha Yeah. I feel like I'm drowning most of the time, if I'm being totally honest. This week was a tough one. Linden started getting really sick on Sunday, and I woke up with absolutely no voice whatsoever on Saturday. Between a nice little bout of laryngitis, and what turned out to be an ear infection for him, we spent most of the week cuddled up together in the rocking chair. Linden didn't want to sleep alone, and he would only nap in my arms. So that meant my laundry list of tasks got pushed to the back burner and I scrambled to do as much as I could after Mike got home for the night.
I guess it's just the nature of the season, too. Crazy quick deadlines that need to be met, signs that need to be painted and shipped, design clients that need tending to, and family obligations that just don't quit. How do people do it?!

Linden spent all of Wednesday screaming. Non stop! The poor little guy refused to eat, which lead to him starting to get dehydrated. Which led to belly pains. And a late night run for Pedialyte. Since both Mike and Toby were at school I just sat in the chair holding Linden and I cried right along with him. It was just one of those days, ya know? Yesterday I struggled to get Toby's birthday invites done so he could take them to school today... but some kind of miracle happened and they actually got done. Now to just plan the rest of the party... and do Christmas shopping... and and and.

I've been feeling just ever so slightly burnt out lately. I was starting to think I totally had a grasp on this whole "two kids" thing, but clearly I was sorely mistaken! This is the first "big" sickness we've had with Linden and man, it'll wear you out! 

Hats off to folks who have 3, 4, 5+ kids and still manage to make it work. Heck, all of you with 1 or 2 also! I'm hoping L will start feeling better soon as I'll be able to get him back in the habit of sleeping and napping alone in his crib. Then maybe my to do list won't look so terrifying. Though I'll totally admit it feels nice to have him fall asleep on my chest several times a day.

If nothing else, this experience is teaching me that the world will continue spinning if I don't get a blog post up everyday (ha. obviously!) or if a handful of emails go a day or two between responses. Luckily I feel like I have some super understanding clients, and I always try to be upfront if I'm behind a bit. Now if only I could kick it into overdrive and get it all done! Where's an extra set of hands when you need 'em?!

Got any tips on how to get it all done?! Can we start a petition for extra hours in the day? haha

// SHOP SMALL - 9 Small Businesses To Support This Season


'Tis the season to be shopping for your loved ones! There are so many amazing small businesses out there that deserve your patronage this season. I've made so many wonderful friends via social media over the years and a lot of them are making it their own way by being their own boss. I've chosen 8 of my favorite independent shops to highlight below (and I threw in my little sign side biz, too. Shameless plug!). If you're looking for something special to give this year, hopefully one of these shops will have you covered! You certainly don't have to only shop small this year, but it's kind of awesome to know that every purchase you make with an independent maker means that money is going to stay with them and their venture/family/whatever. I also own at least one thing from each and every shop below so I can vouch for the quality of their goods!

Be sure to keep these folks in mind for Small Business Saturday (November 29) and Cyber Monday (December 1), too! Here you go!

Shauna and Stephen make some of the most amazing bow ties, neckties, and handkerchiefs. Mike and both of our boys have their own Forage pieces and they look so dapper in them! The quality is above and beyond, and they're just really cool people. It's always nice to know the folks behind the brand are genuine and kind!

Kelley was recently featured in one of my Rad Gal, Rad Gig segments, talking about being a candle maker! We have a few Candelles around our house and they smell so good! The Pomegranate Cider is my absolute favorite! I love seeing what new scents she comes up with.


Carolyn dreams up some of the most adorable costumes and creations for the littles ones in your life! Linden has been a strawberry, a cupcake, and a blueberry, too. Toby and Linden also have matching letterman cardigans (left) and they're so soft and sweet!


Jenny and Aaron are so incredibly talented, I can't even! They released a book earlier this year (It's fantastic!) and their paintings are the perfect blend of novelty and realistic. The three shown above are ornaments (!!!) I love their pastel aesthetic!


Nicole is a caramel whiz! She has made an entire career out of creating delicious caramels, sauce, and caramel popcorn. The popcorn is what dreams are made of, I'm telling you! We just won't talk about how many late night bowls of ice cream and caramel sauce I've had, okay?


If you've got a baby, you've heard of Little Hip Squeaks. Amy blows me away with how she's built LHS over the years. It's so inspiring to see something take off the way her business has. The prints and patterns of her pieces are so fun and perfect for babies!


Beca and Doug are unstoppable. Just when you think they can't possibly create anything more amazing, they go and do just that. They're the creators of the original wood veneer sunglasses, and now they're whipping up these adorable "tiny knives" and camping utensils.

 
Elizabeth is the creator of yet another super fun kid (and adult friendly!) clothing line. Those pants in the center are by far my favorite pants of L's. I'm so sad he had a growth spurt and has almost outgrown them! She's the whiz behind the super popular "As Seen on IG" shirts, too!


And of course I had to throw in my custom painted signs. I mean, they are kind of perfect for the holidays... I'm down to just 3 remaining sizes though so if you're interested, check out a sampling of paintings on Instagram (#kbsigns) and give me a shout!

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If you're looking for special gifts for your loved ones, this is a great place to start! I promise you won't be disappointed by any of them! Do you have any small businesses or shops you'd like to suggest for awesome gifts?!

// OrbitBaby G3 Infant Car Seat + Base Giveaway


All other car seats just need to go home. We've only had our G3 from OrbitBaby for a few days, but I can tell you we are SOLD! We were totally in love within the first 15 seconds of it being out of the box. It's just so NEAT! I had seen OrbitBaby products floating around when I was pregnant, but really didn't pay much mind to just how exhausting (and hard!) it'd be to get a baby in and out of a rear-facing car seat. Had I known then what I know now, I absolutely would've sprung for the G3 from the start. I feel super fortunate to be working with OrbitBaby and having the chance to make up for lost time. 

Just in case you know about the G3's most incredible feature, it turns a full 360 degrees and locks into place (every 90 degrees). This allows you to turn the car seat to face the door opening when putting the baby in or taking him out. No more back breaking and bending to try and finagle them into the right position. (How's my elevator pitch?! Haha!) This also can be said for the G3 stroller base! (Another thing I highly recommend! It's super utilitarian and works like a dream!) Since we didn't have a travel system for our original car seat, we'd have to get Linden out every time we wanted to go into the store. While we could've carted the seat in and popped it in a buggy, I didn't feel like that was a safe option. All I could see was the buggy tipping over or something falling from the top part and hitting him. Not to mention the plastic handle on it was SO. UNCOMFORTABLE! Toting an infant seat is never fun or easy in my book, but at least the G3 comes with a padded arm strap that makes carrying it in the crook of your elbow far more comfortable. Even if it's just from the car to the house, those bruises can add up haha

Our OrbitBaby ride. This is the Drive + Stroll package, which allows you to use the car seat with the G3 stroller base until your baby graduates to the toddler seat. We really love the setup! -- * This giveaway does not include the stroller or toddler seat as shown on the left!

Another great feature is the built in sunshade/privacy screen. There's a white cover built in to the seat hood that can unroll and shield the baby from curious eyes/hands, sun, wind, etc. We took advantage of it Saturday while walking into and around the mall since Linden was snoozing and it was a bit windy outside. Isn't the Mocha color stunning? If brown or any variation of brown is ever an option in something, you can almost bet that's what I'll be choosing. We love how decadent the color is on the car seat and the stroller cargo basket. 

Honestly, if you knew Linden at all I could just say that the car seat speaks for itself. He's never been fond of riding in one, much less sleeping in one. On Saturday he was all about the snoozes. In his original car seat, he'd scream and fuss the moment he woke up (on the off chance we actually got him to fall asleep while riding). While we were out and about this past weekend, he woke up from his multiple naps as happy as a clam. Totally okay with just chilling in the car seat. That alone is worth all the money in our bank account! 


With alllll that gushing being over and done with, now comes the fun part! The giveaway! OrbitBaby wants to give one of you lucky moms (or moms-to-be) a G3 infant car seat and base! Whoever wins this is going to be pinching themselves through the new year, I promise.Feel free to check out the entry options below! Feel free to enter for yourself or for a friend. Good luck! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Note: This giveaway is for the G3 infant car seat and car seat base only. The stroller base and toddler seat (as shown in the group photo in Linden's nursery).

// BAGGAGE: v.2 - Lesley's Bag

Details (clockwise from top left): Target gold mini pouch to hold Photojojo iPhone lenses // Target wallet // Roots bag (limited edition color no longer available, similar here) // Apple earbuds // Target sunglasses // iPhone 5 with Speck iPhone case and gold heart sticker // Lots of lip balms and glosses (this isn't even close to all of them actually living in my purse) // Listerine PocketPack // Etsy pencil case and art supplies // Smith's Rosebud Salve (my favorite!) // And Sophie the Giraffe. (Because, babies - mine included - LOVE Sophie)


Hello there! I'm Lesley Myrick - collage artist, interior designer, and new mom. Between a full time job, owning a freelance business, and taking care of my little dude, I'm on the go a lot and need a great versatile bag for all my stuff and things. It's gotta be stylish enough for work, but casual enough that I can throw a burp cloth in there, you know?

I love this shoulder bag from Roots - it feels put-together but not too fancy. Plus, ALL THE POCKETS. I call that a win.

Lesley's Bag Essentials

Lip gloss - I'm completely addicted. At any given time there are usually about 5 balms, glosses, and salves living in the front pocket of my purse. A girl needs variety!

Apple headphones - I commute about 2 hours per day for work, so I like to use that time wisely by catching up with friends and family on the phone. I call my mom, who lives about 2500 miles away, almost every weekday morning.

iPhone - I can share photos on Instagram AND run my Etsy shop AND check my baby monitor with this thing. I think a smartphone is one of the most valuable tools for a business owner and mom.

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BAGGAGE is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite folks to share the contents of their bags. We all like a little sneak peek at what others are carrying around, right? If you'd like to share what you tote around in your purse/backpack/makeup bag, feel free to get in touch! I'd love to have you!