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Nine Bras Every Woman Should Have In Her Arsenal

9 Bras

I will admit that when it comes to spending money on clothes, bras are one area that gets sadly neglected. I only have so much money to go around and I get sucked into buying all sorts of adorable things that people will actually see. So I usually get a bra in a few colors, wear them until they fall apart, and call it a day.

But I have talked before about the importance of good shapewear and how the right sized bra can make you look perkier and skinnier. I need to start practicing what I preach and get some more well-fitting, good quality bras.

Aerie wants to help take the guesswork out of bra shopping. They have put together this great infographic detailing the 9 bras every woman should own. I am batting 3/9 at this point. Time to step up my game!

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I love how helpful the Aerie website is when it comes to bra shopping (in fact you can get some tips on troubleshooting bra problems and bra facts 101 over on the Aerie blog). I also have found amazing customer service in their stores. Their sales associates are incredibly knowledgable about their products and what works for different body types and needs. I think I will head there this weekend to add a few of the “missing pieces” to my repertoire.

What are you missing from your nine must-have bras? What frustrates you about bra shopping? 

Disclosure: I received an Aerie gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue Community. All opinions expressed are my own. 

This post is linked up to Fashion Friday at Musings of a Housewife.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (With Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Options)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love peanut butter cookies, but am really particular about my peanut butter cookie. They need to be chewy. They can’t be dry. They need to be a teensy bit salty. And they need to taste very peanut buttery. Sadly that is really hard to find. This cookie is that and a whole lot more. I actually adapted a peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe and threw in chocolate chips. Seemed like a no brainer to me ;)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (With Gluten Free Options)
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 c. peanut butter (I like crunchy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c. flour (I use Namaste Perfect Flour Blend to make them gluten free)
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 c. quick cooking oats (I use gluten free)
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life to make them dairy free)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add in the eggs until well blended.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and oats in a separate bowl.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine well.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Drop spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

For another take on a peanut butter cookie, check out my recipe for a peanut butter skillet cookie. Top with ice cream and serve.

What? You Too? #UnstoppableMoms

Motrin

When I was a new, first time mom, my mom came and stayed with me for a week as we got adjusted to this new little being who now controlled our life. It was such a gift to have her calming presence and her wisdom during a time that I was very overwhelmed and very emotional. I remember crying so hard as she drove off for home, wondering how I was ever going to do this on my own.

My mom has always been a role model to me, even in the years when I didn’t want to admit it. But with her many hours away (although thankfully always a phone call away), I knew I was going to have to figure this whole motherhood thing out for myself. And the task seemed so daunting.

Thankfully at that time in my life I had a family away from my family. I had grown very close to a group of women from our church and they became my sounding board for every possible question and concern I had in those early months and years. They were all seasoned moms. I actually shared my pregnancy with two of them but while they were having their third and fourth babies, I was having my first. It was so comforting to know that anything I was experiencing they had most likely experienced many times over.

The friend I grew closest to at that time was my dear friend Stephanie. We became the kind of friends that talked hours a day and then dropped by later that afternoon (unannounced of course) to finish our conversation. I cannot count how many hours I sat on her couch or in her backyard while her older children played.

I distinctly remember one time when Lily was still very much a newborn and we had an exhausting afternoon together where it seemed there was nothing on planet earth that I could do to make her stop crying. I was low on sleep, even lower on patience and at the very end of a short rope. Not knowing what else to do, I put Lily down in her crib, crawled into the fetal position on the floor and began to sob. I just knew I was a horrible mother incapable of consoling her daughter and incapable of holding it together.

I managed to pull it together enough to call Stephanie and ask her what I should do. I will never forget her calmly saying into the phone, “Just leave her in her crib for a little bit and regroup. It is okay to fall apart. It is normal.”

Friendship

Those words were a life preserver for me when I was drowning. It was honestly the first time that I had realized that all mothers get overwhelmed and it didn’t mean I was a bad mom. Looking back that seems so simple and silly but at the time it rocked my world. What a gift those words were to me in that moment.

I cannot tell you how much my life was impacted by having moms surround me when I was unexperienced and overwhelmed. They spoke so much grace into my life. The internet and media would lead us to believe that there are mommy wars over everything from vaccines to daycare to breastfeeding. But in my real life, I have rarely seen anything but mothers lifting each other up, encouraging each other and offering so many, “yes, me to!!” moments. It has allowed me to parent from a place of confidence rather than one of questioning every last decision I make (although, let’s be real, I do that too). The moms I call friends make me feel unstoppable!!

The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® wants to celebrate moms and what makes them unstoppable. And I think the number one thing that makes us unstoppable is when we unite together to celebrate each other’s strengths. Motherhood is the hardest job and I need all the cheerleaders I can get. I pray that I can be seen as a mom that is offering grace to the other moms in my life just as it has been shown to me so many times to me.

Who is an Unstoppable Mom in your life? What makes YOU unstoppable as a mom?

The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® would love for you to share your unstoppable tips over on the Motrin Facebook page. The best part? For every tip shared, they will make a $1 donation made to Safe Kids. Your tip might also win you $100 just for posting (all details on the Motrin Facebook page)

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14.  Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000.  For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc.  To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org

Girls’ Weekend Away in Southwest Michigan

Girls' Weekend Away

Way back in May, my husband, my brother and my dad got together and planned a wonderful getaway as a Mother’s Day present. They planned to send my mom, my sister-in-law and me away for a weekend. With no kids. And no husbands. And no dishes or laundry or alarms. It was the best present.

But for we all had busy summers already planned so we knew we wanted to wait until fall. When things supposedly would be less crazy. Although anyone who knows fall knows that it refuses to be not crazy. But we pressed on dreaming of shopping and spas and did I mention no kids?

So this past weekend we headed over to the lakeshore to a delightful bed and breakfast (seriously, check out J. Paules Fenn Inn in Fennville). We started the day up in Holland shopping and consuming lots of chocolate at Kilwin’s. We had a delicious lunch at Butch’s where it seemed wrong NOT to get a class of wine. It was a perfect, crisp fall day where a light jacket was perfect and the crazy summer crowds had faded away.

For dinner we had to check out Salt of the Earth. A big city 5 star restaurant in a town of 1300 with lines of people waiting and at least an hour wait on a Saturday night. Its reputation is well deserved and most of its ingredients are farmed locally. If you ever make your way there get the Masa Gnocchi and Fried Brussels. I only wish I had room for dessert but we were stuffed (see chocolate above). Guess I’ll have to go back.

Sunday after a delicious gluten-free french toast, we headed into Saugatuck for some spa treatments at Bella Vita Spa. Then more shopping. Then more chocolate. Oh and lunch at the famous Mermaid Bar & Grill. They had gluten-free buns which means I could eat a juicy burger. I miss them so much since going gluten-free so when I find the option on a menu I take advantage.

I actually get a lot of time with my mom. And a fair amount of time with my sister-in-law. But rarely do we get time without kids competing for attention. And super rarely is there time where we can have deep conversations. It was so refreshing and lovely and life-giving. I am incredibly blessed with an amazing mom. And my brother knocked it out of the park with his choice in wife. And we clearly need more time just the three of us. Here’s to another girls’ weekend away!!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

A few things that have caught my eye around the interweb (apparently I am all about the black and white):

1. These quilted shoes from Target need to make their way into my home. A throw back to the Vans from my youth but in a classy quilted fabric. Yes please!

2. This is a TODDLER jacket from Gap. Every time I think about Silas turning up at pre-K in this I die a little. Because honestly. My little James Dean. ps. his birthday is in less than a month. Someone please buy this for him.

3. Jenny queen of all things makeup blogged about this awhile back and I am just now getting around to buying it. L’oreal Butterfly. It is a game changer ladies. My lashes have never looked so amazing.

4. I must own this shirt. That is all.

5. I am no ‘Bama fan but I do love a good houndstooth. Actually I am kind of having a love affair with anything that resembles things I wore in the 90s. I bought a pair of Old Navy pixie pants last year and they are some of my fave. Mama might need another pair……