I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetAnd by white, I mean pearly white shiny smile. I used to pride myself on my sparkly white teeth, but due to increased coffee consumption and decreased me time, my shiny white smile has since faded to an interesting apartment beige like color. I’ve never been one for smiling with my teeth… It’s usually because of my ptsd from braces, but lately I’ve been increasingly more bummed out by my less than brilliant smile… Boo.

fullsizerenderEnter Smile Brilliant Professional Teeth Whitening. Everything you need sent directly to your front door. Ummmm YES. YES. I definitely think I will. The kit arrives with all your goodies, I am using the sensitive kit. Everything you need to make molds of your teefs, Rocco’s preferred pronunciation. You simply mix the catalyst paste and the base together until they are a solid blue, pop goop in the tray, and pop in your mouth. I have to admit, I was sweating bullets, but they give you enough goop to do 3 impressions incase you jack one up. And it’s really pretty easy. Throw those in the mail and shortly thereafter your perfectly fitted whitening retainers are in your hands. Do we see a trend?!? EASY. And I when you’re a mom. Nothing seems easy. This is ACTUALLY pretty stinking easy!  Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Need a last minute Christmas gift?!? Use coupon code “blissfulhappenings” for 5% off of your purchase!!!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOh and it wouldn’t be Christmas without some presents!!! So I’m excited to announce a giveaway with Smile Brilliant click www.smilebrilliant.com/g/blissfulhappenings and leave a comment below to enter!!!! We will announce the winner in 2 weeks, plus debut my whitening progress!!!

All I want for Christmas is…

I’ve been thinking of a clever title for this post for 2 and a half hours. I’m giving up… it’s official I’ve lost all brain capacity. Between 2 kids and Hallmark Christmas movies I’m dumber than ever. It’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it. Moving on. Calling all moms. This is the definitive list of all the things that you want this Christmas. Clueless dads, friends, family. These are things that the preggo or new mama needs/wants in her life even if she doesn’t know it. Seriously, I wear most of these goodies daily!!!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetMama and Little Teething necklaces. The Alexa is a personal favorite of ours. I was never a big fan of these until I found this brand. I’m obsessed with the marbled look, but all their styles are brilliant AND they really do keep your little happy!!! And don’t forget to use the code BLISSFUL for 15% off your order of 10$ or more!! Hooray!

dsc_0787Dwell + Slumber Dresses. Is it a nightgown? Is it a sun dress!?!? Who cares, it’s acceptable to wear literally all. the. damn. time. WINNING. They sell out fast, so be quick!! Check their site today for a restock! 

dsc_1002Rocco + Norah Mama Turban. Keeping your hair out of your face without a major headache with the added bonus of looking super cute. Yep. These are perfect stocking stuffers, order before tomorrow for Christmas!!!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetMother Tucker Leggings by Belly Bandit. These leggings keep things right where you want them, you feel like a million bucks in these suckers. I want like 20 more pairs to wear them every single day. Seriously. And anyone who says leggings aren’t pants, isn’t a real friend. Time to break up. You don’t need that negativity in your life. I also love the original belly bandit!! More on this in a post soon! 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe Ollie Swaddle. Now I know this seems to be for baby, but trust me the sleep it provides is for Mama too. Just trust me. And the colors. Ohhhhh the colors. So pretty!!!! 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetFreshly Picked Mocs. Okay, now this one technically IS for baby, but ohmygeeee I love this company. F guy’s tiny feet in tiny perfect soft moccasins that stay on better than any socks is the literally embodiment of perfection.

Okay! Get shopping. Like now. No time to waste!!!! What’s on your must have list this year?!?! 

Days of Future Past… 

Dear college Lo,
Working and going to school is hard. I know it seems overwhelming. I know you get bummed out when you realize your only 2 days off from work are 12 hour days at school, but one day you are going to appreciate it, I swear. Living on your own is an amazing experience and worth it in almost every way. Soak up the independence.
But if I can offer some advice, stop buying crappy mall clothes and use that money to travel, go on oh-so-many adventures.

Save. You will be so happy you did. Even if it’s just 50 dollars a month, trust me on this. College loans are a bummer, but luckily there are companies out there, like Earnest, that can help you with refinancing your student loans! Any amount you have saved is going to help you in the long run! FOR. REALS.

Stop eating out all the time and for the love of God get a coffee maker. You work at a homegoods store, like come on?? Starbucks is not your friend.

Write more. You’re sort of good at it and it makes you really happy.

Live in the now. You’re always so worried about what’s coming next. Enjoy the moment. You have plenty of time to figure things out. So study and work hard, but say yes more to experiences.

Go outside more. Rock climb, hike. Hint, hint. Those will be things you will shockingly enjoy!

Definitely study abroad. Your Egypt trip will change your life and open your eyes in so many ways. Do it.

School stinks some days, but in 10 years you are going to be so thrilled and amazed that you finished. You worked hard and accomplished a goal all on your own. Your diploma was well earned.

You don’t know this now, but in a decade you’re going to have kids. 2 of them. I know?! Crazy. When you look at your 2 boys you are going to wish all kinds of amazing things for their future. You will hope that they have wonderful college experiences and know the importance of working hard and being responsible, independent men. You will hope to pass down the knowledge you have from your time in college, be proud of your story!


Your super old future self

It’s about time

fullsizerenderBefore I had kids I can’t say I thought a ton about time. But man has that changed. When will we sleep through the night? How long ago did they eat? What time do I need to start getting ready if I’m going to leave sorta on time? How is my first baby already 2 years old?? Has it really been 3 months since we went from 1 to 2?! It’s truly amazing how children get you thinking about the future and just how quickly time moves. I find myself taking mental snapshots as often as I can, just concentrating on the amazing time in my life. We will never be here again. It’s beautiful… and sad. Like, slow down world.
fullsizerender_4Fact. I haven’t owned a watch since the 90’s. It was dainty and had Winnie the Pooh in the face. It. Was. Awesome. But not nearly as awesome as my new Jord wood watch, ummm it’s wayyy too cool for me. I. Love. It. A Wooden Wristwatch, who knew!!? You can see all of their ladies watches here!fullsizerender_1 GIVEAWAY TIME!!! Jord Watches is giving away a 75 dollar coupon to use on their site!! And all other entries with be sent a 20 dollar coupon just for entering! Free money!!! Dudes, it’s so easy to enter, simply click this link here! The contest runs through November 27th! fullsizerender_2fullsizerender_3

This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches.

Clean up, clean up everybody, everywhere…

Excited to have Kelsey here today to talk cleaning! Safe, non-toxic and actually works. Yes please!! Enjoy. Lo 

When it comes to cleaning we all often roll our eyes, take a deep sigh, and ready ourselves for the arduous task of removing the ick, the stink, and the germs from our homes to give our families a safe pleasant place to live and grow. In most homes, we do this not just daily, but seemingly ALL. DAY. LONG- often leaving us sore, tired, and downtrodden. Yes, there is that short-lived victorious moment when it is finally all done and we look around for a split second at our accomplishment before someone destroys it but on the whole, lets face it cleaning is the never ending pits! 

Unfortunately the task gets worse, cleaning with mainstream chemicals (yes, even some of the “green” ones) isn’t just unpleasant it’s actually unhealthy! According to the American Lung Association VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include:
  • Aerosol sprays in health, beauty & cleaning products;
  • Air fresheners;
  • Chlorine bleach;
  • Detergent and dishwashing liquid;
  • Dry cleaning chemicals;
  • Rug and upholstery cleaners;
  • Furniture and floor polish; and
  • Oven cleaners
Recent research has found that even natural fragrances in cleaning products, particularly in air fresheners, may react with high levels of ozone from indoor sources or from outdoor air to form formaldehyde and dangerous fine particles indoors. Ozone is a harmful, but invisible, gas that worsens asthma and other lung diseases. Both ozone and particles can be life-threatening. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen The National Institue of Health’s National library of health has a whole section referred to as Tox Town where it describes the harmful effects of many of the chemicals found in the average family home. For example, at home you can be exposed to solvents in cleaning products, personal care products. Some solvents are listed as human carcinogens or “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens” in the 13th Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program and can cause cancer. Regular exposure to solvents can cause memory and hearing loss, mental illness, depression, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, feeling drunk or “high,” lack of coordination, headache, nausea, stomach pains, skin rashes, cracking or bleeding skin, and irritated eyes, nose, and throat. Exposure to solvent vapors can cause hoarseness, coughing, lung congestion, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

That is why I fell in love with Norwex which stands for the Norwegian experience. Their mission to improve the quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes has lead to the development of an impressive line of completely non-toxic, waste reducing and money saving cleaning products. At its core is the micro-fiber cloth. To be legally called micro fiber each strand of the cloth must be 1/6th of a human hair but Norwex took this further, WAY further, than whats available in a retail store and took their fibers down to 1/200th of a human hair. Each cloth contains thousands of miles of fiber , if unraveled it would stretch from Canada to New Mexico! All of those tiny fibers knit together and combined with JUST WATER allow you to mechanically clean your surfaces rather then chemically.  Yes, you read that right- no soap. no chemicals. Not even baking soda and vinegar. The fibers actually lift and remove the dirt, germs, and residue from your surfaces and trap them deep within the cloth. Don’t believe me? Check out this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mKQMIcnTy8) where a local news station in Tennessee put this claim to the test in a real lab with real E-Coli bacteria. They not only tested Norwex’s claim to remove the germs but also compared it to other leading cleaners and the results were astonishing- Norwex removed 92% of the bacteria from the surface, a store bought micro fiber cloth removed 84%, and the leading all purpose cleaning spray with paper towel 0%! But what really makes Norwex incredible is that the tiny fibers lock the germs inside the cloth instead of spreading them around or cross contaminating. Just google Norwex chicken test and see the numerous videos where users cleaned up raw chicken and then rubbed the cloth on a clean surface swabbed it with a protein test strip and found no evidence of protein (which would contain the bacteria) on the rubbed surface! But the best thing of all- cost comparisons (I will share specifics in a bit) show that over the 2 year warranty period of the micro fiber products Norwex can save you hundreds of dollars. 

I know this sounds too good to be true and probably like a big ole sales pitch so let me share with you the one thing I can’t stand about Norwex- I miss my clean smell!!! I know, I know the truth is “clean” doesn’t have a smell, but the leading cleaning product manufactures have done a pretty good job of brainwashing us into thinking that if it doesn’t smell clean it isn’t clean. To put it simply I am a little leary of having people over when my house doesn’t smell fresh! Thankfully we have essential oils to not only bring back our beloved “clean smell” but actually improve our health instead of destroying it. But enough theoretical yammering- lets talk practical applications to clean your home into your safe haven!

1. The enviro cloth is the work horse of the Norwex product line- From this little cloth other variations have developed to help us better clean all the surfaces of our home from THE most incredible mop to the kitchen cloth and a whole lot of awesomeness in between. We already discussed how the micro fiber works and does a better job then its chemical counterparts but how to bring back the beautiful clean smell? Simply take a few drops your favorite essential oils such as orange, lemon or even tea tree for an extra cleaning boost and add them to a small spray bottle. Sprtiz your enviro cloth, mop pad or kitchen cloth and clean those surfaces leaving just a wonderful aroma and nothing else. But what about the cost? At $16.99 for an enviro cloth and $14 for a bottle of oil it may seem like an unfavorable trade off. Lets take a closer look- On average just in our kitchens we would use approximately 5 disinfecting wipes a day (wiping counters after each meal prep, our table once a day, and cleaning up at least one spill- some days way more a day sometimes less). The average cost per wipe is $0.04 X 5 times a day = $0.20 a day. $0.20 a day X 365 = $73 a year, $146 over 2 years. Replacing those disinfecting wipes just in your kitchen with an enviro cloth and a bottle of oil costs $31 saving you $42 a year, $84 over 2 years!

2. Organic material such as dead skin cells, germs, pet dander and dust mites often take up residence inside our upholstered furniture, mattress and pillows – items we either can’t wash or can’t wash often. Frequently we turn to products like air fresheners to cover this smell. Not only does this rarely work, it adds more allergens and harmful chemicals to our air space without removing or cleaning anything! Norwex has an amazing product called simply Mattress cleaner (though it can be used on pillows and upholstered furniture) that is enzyme based and actually removes the organic material that leads to allergies. Google it! Diffusing essential oils is a far better way to lightly scent our air space giving us that fresh scent we crave and unlike the chemical air freshers, essential oils actually improve our health, supporting our bodies immune system rather than harming it.

3. Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs what we put on it in just 25 to 30 seconds. While we may not drink our soaps, cleansers, and cleaning products we regular consume them through our skin and our airways. Norwex has developed a softer version of their revolutionary micro fiber called the body cloth (and a travel/kid size version called the baby body) that mechanically cleans your skin, removing dirt and grime from pores rather than filling them full of synthetic fragrances and harsh stripping agents. While anyone can benefit from using our microfiber cloths and water rather than soap, this is especially wonderful for those with sensitive skin or those plagued by difficult skin conditions like excema. Essential oils paired with natural ingredients like sugar open more options for exfoliating and toning skin naturally, some oils, like rose hips, even offer antioxidant properties! Skin cleaners and soaps run the gambit in price, but Norwex body clothes come in a set of 3 for just $19.99 – yep add a $14 bottle of your favorite oil and you could be spending as little as $33 for TWO YEARS of skincare! The smaller version, the baby body, is perfect for travel and sells for just $14.99 for 3 cloths. The leading travel disinfecting wipe costs $0.09 a wipe even if you only used 1 a day X 365= $32.85, more than double the cost for just 1 year!

This body cloth IS my skin care regime and my skin has never been cleaner or softer! I also occasionally use an natural organic scrub for a little extra exfoliation.

4. Dryer sheets are one of the most toxic products in our homes- seriously people use them to kill mice! But oh the smell! The fresh smell of laundry! This is one of the areas where Norwex and essential oils really come beautifully together. A few drops of your favorite oil on Norwex’s wool dryer balls allows you naturally and lightly fragrance your clothing all while reducing drying time and clothing ruined from tangles (especially in our HE machines)

5. For many of us our pets are like our children…our often smelly, hairy, dry skinned (dander!) children who hate being bathed. Norwex has taken the fluffy version of its mircofiber cloth (the dusting mitt) and recreated it especially for use on pets. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil (always check with your vet before using oils on pets!) to a spray bottle and spritizing the Norwex pet mitt allows you easily give your pet a daily freshening and brushing with out the struggle of a bath!

Need these amazing cleaning products like right now? Shop Here!!

I got all of this FREE the first week I signed up! Norwex spoils there hostess & consultants like crazy, comment below if you want to find out how to stock your house full of these amazing products FREE!!!

Confessions of a SkinCare Junkie 

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with skincare. Even as a teen I buying and trying every kind of skincare I could afford. I had moderate to severe acne and literally spent entire paychecks from Pier 1 Imports trying to fix it. I bought all the products I found in my InStyle: La Mer, Murad, Mario Badescu, SonyaDakar, frou frou small batch organic stuff, the list goes on and on… Literally any kind of face junk you can think of, I’ve bought it. I can barely remember finishing a single product let alone repurchasing a skin care regime over and over. Enter Renée Rouleau. I found her in a magazine where Emmy Rossum was singing her praises. So I tried it. I took her skin quiz [in Cali I was a 6, in Florida I am a 2]. It takes into account not only your skin issues, but how much you sleep, travel, the humidity level. And for 3+ years now, I have been using RR products. I’ve adjusted a few for the difference in climate + postpartum dryness, but overall I’ve stuck with the same products. NUTS. I am just obsessed. I love her blog and delightful pink hair. My favorite product is hands down the AHA Smoothing serum or maybe the sunscreen… It’s all so good. They have spectacular customer service and if you plan on spending over 100$ you can get a consult with one of her aestheticians!! 

Oh yeah and the best part! I’ve been told, like a few times, that I have beautiful skin  and I can’t tell you how good that feels. It’s practically tear inducing. Those who’ve battled long term difficult skin will totally understand what I’m talking about. 

Anywho. That’s my time. Comment with your fave skincare lines or products. Have you ever tried Renée Rouleau?! Do you want to now?! Do tell.