// Life Lately (+ A Few Holiday Deals $$$)

This past week flew by in such a hurry. Toby only had two days of school so it threw everything off up in my brain haha. Despite it being a holiday week, I made it to the gym 5 out of 6 days (!!!) and I'm totally feelin' myself right now. Throw Thanksgiving and Black Friday adventuring into the mix and everything becomes a bit of a blur. My TiLT post didn't go up yesterday morning like it was supposed to, so I copied the time-sensitive bits and bobs over here and TiLT will come around next week. 

And a few deals if you're in the mood:

// Shopbop is having a bomb sale right now if you're looking to drop some dollars. (Here is all the info on that, including exclusions) If you need help deciding: the Gift boutique never lets me down! They also posted a Holiday How-To Guide on their site and it's totally worth a gander. So far Lucy Hale and Caroline Maguire have been featured. Their lookbooks might inspire purchases for yourself, too!

// ModCloth is having a similar tiered sale with the biggest discount being 40% on orders $200+! That's pretty easy to do at ModCloth haha This buffalo check dress and this saffron houndstooth dress are totally "treatyoself worthy."

// Etsy and Independent Shops are my favorite places to buy gifts. Every single year the most meaningful gifts are small biz buys. Today is Small Business Saturday so here are a few fabulous shops you should support! Black Springs Folk Art // Everyday Is A Holiday // The Wishing Elephant // Lux + Trip // Moorea Seal // #KBsigns (heeeeyo!)

xo KB

// Things I Love Thursday v.271

these pretty flowers! ♥
this amazing bathroom ♥
♥ this ♥
this cake! ♥
♥ this ♥
♥ this gorgeous bedroom ♥

// BE STILL, MY HEART! The 3 Round Moonstone ring is evvvverything!

// Biased strangers take a DNA test... and all the feels ensue!

// Her Loss. What happened on election day.

// All of the Sunny Life gear on Shopbop is making me wish I could jet down to Australia. And that makes me wish I had this watermelon bag and those compliment greeting cards!

xo KB

// Life Lately

Just your run of the mill life updates here. Routine, routine, routine!

* I chopped off my hair! Finally, right? I know how scraggly my ends had become, but I had developed a bit of fear over change. I had the same panicky feeling when I dyed it last year, too. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome! Whitney and I went to Jackson to her normal stylist and I'll definitely be going back. It was a fun girls' day out. Much needed for the both of us. Anywho - I've been wearing it mostly wavy, basically inbetween both photos up there haha I even bought a flat iron. Man, I haven't honestly used one of those in years!

* Linden is still the most precious thing ever. Except when he's not. Which is often. But he's two, so... Haha! We've been working on potty learning and it's going well! I know we could totally knock it out in a few days if I could devote all day to helping him, but ya know, bills. The boys spent the past weekend with my parents and they were out and about a lot - and L goes to the sitter once or twice a week - so consistency isn't really our strong suit right now. We're getting there!

* The boys went as a giraffe and a lion for Halloween. Toby decided last minute that he wanted to be a lion, so a couple hours before Trick or Treating began I whipped up this little diddy from a velvet zip up and some felt. I kind of think it's totally precious, but Toby loves it so that's what really tickles me. He's absolutely precious in that last photo, right?!

* I have a handful of signs left for Christmas gifts if you're keen. Pop me an email and we'll chat!

* I cannot wait for Thanksgiving! omg gimme. Also - holy crap Thanksgiving is next week. What is time?!

That's all for now. Exciting stuff, no?

xo KB

// On The Glitz: A Glittery Glam Christmas Tree

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge
This is without a doubt my absolute favorite project to work on every year. This is my third (!!!) Dream Tree with Michaels and I swear it never gets old. (See previous years: 2014, 2015) This year's tree took a 180 degree turn on like, November 7th... Yeah, like, last week. I had decided on my theme back in October and I spent a solid day picking out ornaments and things to craft. The theme was neat (in my opinion), but it wasn't really ~me. I love the creative freedom we get in the Michaels Makers program, and I really wanted the tree to reflect our home a bit more than first theme did. I recently repainted the living room and bathroom in our house, totally on a whim. The bright white reflects so much light, it really makes the space feel bigger. There's a lot of gold and pink in the living room (but the boys dig it. Well, Toby does. L doesn't care) so one day when I was lurking the #MakeItWithMichaels hashtag on Instagram I saw the newest collection of ornaments that were hitting the shelves and OH MY WORD! If I were a Christmas ornament or decorative accent, I would totally be in this collection. It spoke to me on an almost spiritual level. I scooped up stuff off the shelves at the One Hundred Oaks Michaels as the associates were basically unboxing them. (I totally apologized profusely for being all up ~in their biz, and they were so sweet). Anywho, I wanted to decorate around the colors and textures of the new throw pillows and accents I recently picked up/upcycled, and this collection fit so perfectly! Here's my ~glitzy glam Christmas tree! 
Michaels Dream Tree Challenge

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge
Everything on the tree (including that fabulous tree skirt) is from Michaels. Most of the ornaments are ready made, but I did grab a box of gold and pink "decorative filler" styrofoam balls which I simply stuck a straightened out ornament hook into. Easy peasy! Didn't even need hot glue! The gold garland is one of my favorite things on the tree. I love the different sizes of all the balls and baubles. In this collection they also had those awesome glittery tinsel "trees" you see on my trunk next to the door. They're so pretty and they come in like three different colorways, but holy glitter. If you're at all anal about glitter, don't get them. But otherwise, they're so fantastic and worth the extra sweeping. 

Looking at these pictures makes me realize just how much of our decor is from Michaels or the product of a DIY for Michaels haha! I'll try to link as many relevant products as I can, but if it's not linked feel free to ask and I'll let you know where it's from. You must stop in at a local Michaels soon though because you gotta see this collection. There's a white version and a pink version basically, both with gold accents. There aren't really many pieces online.
Michaels Dream Tree Challenge
Michaels Dream Tree Challenge
I'm sure some of you are thinking "Those poor boys!" because it's so feminine, but I bought the boys their very own 4 foot tree - with multicolored lights, as requested by Toby - to keep in their room. (Yeah, their. Linden has been bunking with Tobes lately and boy it's nice to have my bed back! Tangent, sorry) Anyway, making and shopping for ornaments will be activities in their advent calendar come December, so I'm excited to decorate it with them. They are 110% in the driver's seat with theme and everything. We'll likely decorate this tree some more with our personal family ornaments, but I'm really excited to see how theirs ends up. They helped decorate this one and it was the most precious thing. I really really love this time of year. This year is extra special in so many ways. I want the boys to remember it forever. All the feels to be felt!

As for your holiday decorations go, Michaels has their largest tree assortment this year, including colored and flocked trees. Check out all of their trees, ornaments and coordinating holiday d├ęcor on Michaels.com. Are you feeling inspired to start decorating your own tree? Eh? Maybe? Make sure you visit Michaels’ blog, The Glue String, to see the rest of the Michaels Makers’ dream holiday trees that were created this year.

xo KB

PS; This tree is by far the prettiest artificial tree I've seen, no lie. I totes called it flocked on snap, but it's ~"cashmere" tips and they make a world of difference aesthetically. Seriously, love this tree!

// Spending Time Outdoors: Doing It Right

Many families think that we should be going outdoors more often, but it's quite difficult to do it right, and this means that you've got to make sure that you are not just choosing the right activities, but ensuring that you know the reasons why you should go outdoors. So many people like to get outdoors, but sometimes it pays to know some scientific reasons why but also the best activities that improve our health and happiness as a family.

It Relaxes You

Being outdoors instantly relaxes you, and partly this is to do with being out in nature, but it's actually beneficial to stop and smell the flowers. Scents like freshly cut grass and roses will make you feel more relaxed. And there's also the sensation of warmth and color that comes with being out in the sunshine. Many people love to spend time out in the garden, and enjoy the warmth, especially when the weather gets colder. For families that are lucky enough to have gardens, there are many backyard fire pit ideas to try that can make a big difference. But being relaxed together as a family means that you will all feel cozy, regardless of the temperature.

It Boosts Your Energy 

Everybody likes to have an energy boost, and if you are craving another cup of coffee, spending more time outside can be beneficial to give your brain and body an energy boost. It boosts your energy because of the serotonin that sunshine can create within us. There are so many ways to boost your serotonin but being out in the sunshine is one of the best methods. This is especially true when you are over-relying on caffeine. Everybody feels that they need an extra cup of coffee in which to feel even-keeled. But the fact is that going outside will increase your serotonin levels, and therefore, you will have that all-important energy boost.

It’s a Way to Reduce Pain

This is a very surprising discovery. But if you want to feel happier, exposing yourselves to natural sunlight can help reduce symptoms of pain. If you are feeling stressed in life, sunshine can make a massive difference. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it could very well be the fact that you don't have the tools to cope with stress, but it could also be about you being undernourished. If you get unwell regularly, or you feel that any illness knocks you for six, this could be due to a lack of Vitamin D. And a lack of Vitamin D can contribute to pain in the body. And if you are someone who feels like you have constant headaches, the over-reliance on pain medication can be detrimental. Having natural sunlight in your life is nature's painkiller.

It Can Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, occurs during the winter. Shorter days and lower light levels can trigger this recurring condition that can cause sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety. Seasonal Affective Disorder is slowly on the increase, as people are not spending as much time outside. Taking the opportunities to spend more time outside, and relaxing in the sunshine can make a massive difference. If you are someone that works at home, a period of time in the sunshine during your lunch can make a massive difference. If you spend more time outside, you are going to reduce the severity of SAD. And it's important to remember that even if you live in an area where it is overcast, you can still get the benefit from sunlight. It doesn't need to be blistering sunshine in order to have an effect. One of the best approaches is to spend some time outside as daylight begins. This can help to set your circadian rhythm. Taking the opportunity first thing in the morning to have a cup of coffee while daylight is coming out can help you feel calmer and get you ready for the day.

It Improves Your Immune System

Vitamin D is crucial for a well-functioning body. And while we're all aware of Vitamin D, not many of us have the optimum dose. But it's also important to recognize what Vitamin D does for us. Vitamin D has a number of amazing benefits, from preventing osteoporosis, reducing inflammation, absorbing calcium, and recently there have been links between Vitamin D and coronavirus in that affected people who are consuming Vitamin D may experience less severe symptoms. Regardless of your stance on coronavirus, the fact is that Vitamin D is crucial to your immune system's response. And being outdoors will give you a significant dose of it. A lot of people take Vitamin D in the form of a supplement or consume foods like salmon, the fact is that we get over 90% of Vitamin D from our exposure to sunlight.

It's important to spend time outdoors and do it right. What can you do? 

  • You can go for a walk. 

  • Spend a bit of time outdoors first thing in the morning. 

  • Enjoying family time. 

You can also set up your garden to make it more inviting. This is the most important thing of all. Because we are prone to retreating inwards during the winter, we need to make sure that we create a space that will encourage us to spend more time outdoors. And while a garden can add value to your home and do a lot for you, if you really want to have a healthy and happy family, actually spending time in the garden will make a massive difference to your quality of life. 

Being outside can make us feel less pressured, but it can also make us better people by allowing us to value more important things in life. For example, relationships, sharing, and above all else, that sense of community. Sunlight is the one thing we all have in common, and with the focus on making the world a better place in terms of climate change right now, we have to make the most of the outdoors.

// Mind + Body + Home

I'm one of those people who really really loves candles (and you know, things that smell good in general haha) It's no uncommon to see 3 or 4 candles clustered together in random corners of my house. - I know some folks are scoffing at an open flame in a home with a toddler, but luckily he couldn't be less interested. - I recently got a package of the a few pieces from the Mind + Body Collection from Chesapeake Bay Candles, and they've all found perfect new homes. The collection has pieces named "Joy + Laughter," "Reflection + Clarity," and "Peace + Tranquility." You already feel more relaxed from just reading that, right? Ha!

I put each candle in the room I thought the most fitting for the name. Joy + Laughter is lit up in our living room, and I can't help but smile when my eye is drawn to the light and I see those goofy little grins right beside it. Those two boys certainly are my joy and my laughter. // Peace + Tranquility is currently on my bathroom vanity. I've borrowed it for a bubble bath a time or two already. A hot bubble bath is my peace and my tranquility. // Reflection + Clarity is the one on my bedside shelf. My bedroom has become my sanctuary these last several months. Sometimes it's nice to just lay in bed and think or read or just be. // Below is a quick snap to show a few of the other scents. I seriously love everything about this collection.

I love how seamlessly they all fit into our home. The frosted glass jars and the pretty pastel colors! I'll always be a candle girl, I'm sure of it. They're just so romantic and relaxing. If you're a candle person or know someone who is, definitely consider giving these a shot. The prices are so much better than other brands out there, and can I just give a shoutout to whoever packed my package?! They were so secure and that honestly might have been the most surprising part of it all haha!

xo KB