Life Lately.

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Life feels like it's happening really, really fast lately.

We took these photos the other day because I was photographing this teether toy for another website that I write for. I'll share the link once the post is live, but I wanted to share a few of the photos here, too, because I am just wowed by how BIG my two boys are getting! Like, it's happening so fast, and I kind of can't believe it. Everett feels more grown up than ever (well, most of the time, let's be honest, his favorite word is "poot-ey"), and Daxton is growing up waaaaay faster because he has a big brother that he's looking up to all the time. It's just so crazy how people always say, "Oh, enjoy these years, they go by so fast!", and here I am, living that experience. And it is, indeed, going by so fast! It's hard when you're in the thick of parenting and newborn life - things feel so glacially slow. It feels like they will never grow up and actually feed themselves. Or go to the bathroom on their own. Or let you go to the bathroom on your own! But there are these incremental changes, and if you don't take a moment to take stock in them, suddenly your kids are big and it's like, "WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

Daxton pulled himself up to standing this week. My 9-month old is standing, he is relatively uninterested in anything that doesn't involved Everett and he claps his hands in celebration of things. I am blown away by how fast his growth is - his body is so big and his development just seems so much faster than Everett's was. I have no idea if that's actually true though. He has a big brother that is always running in circles around him - I'm sure that is motivation to get big and strong fast!

I love these little men of mine. We are in Disneyworld this week (I am staying up way too late to type this post - we hit Magic Kingdom for day 2 tomorrow!) But I just wanted to share this little thought with you - take stock in the moment, right now. Take stock in listening to your babies breathe, your spouse's laughter, your parent's quirks. Remind yourself what you love about your life, right now, today. Remember what the sky looks like this morning. Look in the mirror and like what you see. Because these moments are so fleeting, friends. They world is passing us by and I don't want to miss a thing. Okay, now I'm quoting an Aerosmith ballad so it's looking like time to close up this laptop for the night. Hope you're all having a wonderful week! xx

Through These Rose-Colored Glasses.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

I have a choice every morning. To thank my God above for another opportunity to live and breathe and laugh. Or to get overwhelmed by the weighty troubles of the world.

It seems like every time I turn on the news, there's another reason to want to lock my doors and hold my babies close, my prayers infused with anxiety and my heart trampled with the ache of another trauma. But I know that is just my fear masquerading as "logic", when in fact, the best thing I can do is raise my little people up to be strong and unafraid. Each morning is teeming with an opportunity to accept grace for the day. I am reminded each morning when I'm driving my son to school and I'm suddenly blinded by the sunflare piercing through the mighty maple trees in my neighborhood. "This isn't a day to fear," it seems to remind to me. "This is a day to celebrate the beauty of your life."

My Dad used to tell me that I live in "Kristen land". Apparently I often had my head up in the clouds, believing and dreaming for things to always go in my favor. He used to tease slash roll his eyes at me about it, thinking that I was sometimes a naive about reality. But I would just shrug my shoulders at him and say, "It's not bad in Kristen land. Come on over."

When I saw these rosy glasses at Warby Parker, I was immediately reminded of my Dad's jest in poking fun at me. But these glasses made me think of that "Kristen land", a place of hope and silliness and fun and perhaps a slight lack of reality. But still. In this day and age, is it so bad to see the world through rose-colored glasses? "I'll take them," I told the saleswoman. I smile every time I wear them.

Friends, we have a choice today. Is life beautiful, or awful? Perhaps it's a bit of both, depending on what you pay attention to. But there is grace today to put on a new set of glasses and see things a bit rosier. Thank your maker for the opportunity to breathe deep and see things how he sees them. I like to think it's a litttttttle bit rosy, like over here in Kristen land ;)

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Featured Piece:

Warby Parker Louise Glasses (small) in Rosewater

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Outfit Details:
Warby Parker Louise glasses in small Rosewater, Anthropologie skirt (sold out, similar here), Urban Outfitters cami (past season, similar here), Halogen lace-up flats, Banana Republic clutch (past season, similar here), Fab'rik Keyhole bralette (similar below), ILIA multistick on my lips and cheeks in shade "A Fine Romance"
 

Apple Picking in North Georgia!

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He just picked that apple off the tree and started chomping.

He just picked that apple off the tree and started chomping.

We collected this many apples in about 60 seconds.

We collected this many apples in about 60 seconds.

And we might have contributed to this pile as well. Sorry, Mother Nature.

And we might have contributed to this pile as well. Sorry, Mother Nature.

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This dad is winning in my book.

This dad is winning in my book.

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No, I don't know how to juggle.

No, I don't know how to juggle.

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BFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

BFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

They are a girl family. We are a boy family. We are very, very different families ;)

They are a girl family. We are a boy family. We are very, very different families ;)

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I wish I could say this was the most epic-ally Fall day ever.

It was not.

It was like 90+ degrees up in the mountains (so much for wearing cute autumn clothes), and my poor little baby had a fever. Believe me, if I had known he wasn't feeling well, I wouldn't have dragged him out into the fields! He's been teething hardcore, so I'm pretty sure that was the reason why he had a temperature. We didn't realize it until we got back into the car because he hides his misery with so much grace (unlike my other child, who was wailing beside him for some mundane non-sick reason).

But this was my 30th birthday and I wanted to celebrate with my people by doing something fun and fall-like, so apple picking we went! My sister was with us (she took most of these photos, and of course, we got none together, #siblingfail), and we met our best buddies and their kiddos at the farm, too! It was one big happy (except for Daxton, but he was most comforted when I was holding him). We picked soooo many apples out at Mercier Orchards. Once we were done with the hayride and the apple picking (it was seriously so hot, we had to get out of the scorching sun), we retreated inside and cooled off with muscadine cider slushies (YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT), and lunched on a plethora of farm yard favorites (aka burgers, grilled cheese and turkey melts). But while Stevie was tending to the boys (putting Daxton down for a nap in his carseat and taking Everett potty, etc.), my sister and I managed to squeeze in a hard cider tasting and as a result we managed to laugh a lot after that. Cider isn't really my thing, but when in Rome, right?

A word on my sister. Rachel came in town weeks ago when they voluntarily evacuated Florida because of hurricane Irma. Thankfully, their home wasn't damaged in the storm, but I somehow managed to get her to stay and hang out with us for a few weeks longer than she anticipated. And it was the best! I just love my sister so much and I admire her grace, loyalty and generous spirit. She is a seriously beautiful person inside and out and I feel so lucky to be related to someone that I also call my best friend. My sisters are the reasons that I want to have lots of babies, because I want to be able to give my kids the kind of life-long friendships that I have been so blessed with in my own sisters. Okay, side note over.

I am 30 years old. We picked at least double that in apples. So at this moment I am extremely rich in apple sauce, apple butter and apple pies! You should come over, because I have apple treats galore.

Tell me - what are the "musts" on your fall bucket list? I'd love to hear in the comments! We still have to go to a pumpkin patch, go hiking, do some leaf peeping and drink all the pumpkin things.

Happy Tuesday to you, friends!

P.S. - I'm wearing this top, my jeans are sold out but there are a few similar styles here and here, these boots, these sunglasses and this shade on my cheeks and lips (multisticks for the win!)

Green Beauty Trials: Blush & Highlighter.

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I'm continuing the non-toxic beauty trials! I have been so surprised at how many wonderful products I've discovered since deciding to go green with my beauty routine. I assumed this would be an expensive and unsatisfying process, but surprisingly, it's been the opposite! So many online natural beauty retailers offer affordable sample packs which makes it easier to try out products and shades before committing. And the industry has come such a long way because there are so many high-performing products that truly rival all the conventional ones from my old makeup bag. In fact, I think it's time to toss out my old stuff - this green beauty thing isn't just a fad for me.

I am still in the process of trying out a few other blush options, but I'm not in any rush because I love what I'm sharing here today!

Blush:
ILIA Multistick
in "A Fine Romance" and "At Last"
If I could pick my favorite green makeup discovery since embarking upon this journey, this would be the one. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. I have used it every single day since I got it (especially in the "At Last" shade) and I will keep doing so! I've always thought multisticks couldn't possibly work really well for more than one thing, but this one proved me wrong - it actually performs so well! The cheek tint goes on really creamy and has buildable color, so if you want just a hint of color or more of a pop, you can use this stick to achieve both! And I love the color on my lips - "At Last" looks like a naturally pretty everyday color while "A Fine Romance" has that rosy, french-girl-just-rolled-out-of-bed look to it. I love both shades and have been wearing them everyday for over two months now. Using this stick on my cheeks and lips makes me look and feel put-together in under 60 seconds, which is all I get for beauty on some days (#momlife).

Highlighter:
Galaxy Milk Illuminate Beauty Oil
I haven't ventured much into the world of illuminators (I have a healthy fear of the whole contouring practice), so this one was a step outside of my normal zone. My sister was wearing it and it looked so so pretty on her, so I had to give it a try. First of all, it smells like a heaven of vanilla. SO good. And second, you don't need a lot to achieve a shimmery, kissed-by-starlight effect. This is really fun if you're going out at night or want to look extra dewy, but it's not a daily must-have (for me). Also, I purchased the sample size of this and it was plenty! If you decide to purchase, definitely purchase this size! This would also look really pretty if you were wearing a tank top and applied some to your shoulders and decolletage. 

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
This product has so much hype about it so I thought I should give this one a try, too. I applied it to the tops of my cheekbones and it gives an even, pearly sheen. It really brightens my face and has more of a foundation texture, so it glides on in a creamy way. I like how it brightens the area beneath my eyes just enough to make me look awake but not so much that I look like a teenybopper going to a Backstreet Boys concert (although man, those were THE DAYS.)

I still want to try out a few Kjaer Weis lip and cheek tints, because this brand is known for the vibrant pigments (and fancy packaging!) I also want to try a few more multisticks, like this one from RMS, this one from W3LL PEOPLE and this one from Vapour, because they are all highly rated. Multisticks offer such a value - and they free up a lot of space in my makeup bag :)

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Any other natural, non-toxic cosmetics or brands that you think I should look into? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

P.S. - My picks for the best non-toxic mascara and foundation + concealer :)