February 7, 2017

Stop the "MOM SHAMING" yo.

Ever since becoming a mother myself is only when I saw this crazy topic come to light, and I wondered if anyone else had seen it as well, or what those moms thoughts were on it. I feel like moms are always on the defense or on the attack for the way they go about parenting, their own upbringing, or whether they work or stay at home, and how that somehow defines or determines you a better or more qualified mother. 
I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom.
both to one baby, and a time where I stayed home with both Henry and Jett. 
I also have been a working mother.
both to one baby, and now currently with both Henry and Jett.
In NO way shape or form have I ever thought either one of those has make me "better" than any other mother.
That's just ridiculous.
There is so much joy and also so much compromise to each of those, that you just couldn't possibly rank one higher than the other. 
I've heard those silly opinions left and right.
Some blatantly, and some just with attitude and tone.
"Stay-at-home moms just get to nap, shop, and do whatever they want"
"Working moms don't have as much patience because they're tired from their work day."
Seriously?? That needs to STOP.
We as women, and especially as mothers need to unite and equip each other in these trenches of motherhood together. 
If you get anything out of this post, I want you to see that if you are a mother, you are a GOOD ONE. 
Are you a mom who's breastfeeding? Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
Are you a mom who's formula feeding? Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now is well nourished? YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
Are you a mom who does cloth diapering? Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the wallet! YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
Are you a mom who buys disposable diapers? Dang those things hold a lot, and it's excellend to not worry about leakage or laundry. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
Are you a stay at home mom? It isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
Are you a working mom or going to school? It's wonderful you are sticking to your career and schooling, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping, or were slammed with errands all day, you are feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a Happy Meal. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past week, Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
To the mom with the kids sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant, kudos mama! It takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM.
To the mom with a toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle, with a cart full of kids being siblings and picking at each other, they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds, don't they?! We've all been through it. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. 
To the moms who judge other moms for for ANY of the above? You might need to check yourself.
Moms now more than ever need the support and encouragement from mom's of all walks and backgrounds. 
So when you see the "tired mom" wandering Target, smile at her, maybe she's lonely and worn down from parenting.
Mom's need to support in the lows and praises alongside in the successes.
Are you with me?

January 12, 2017

one word.

umm hi 2017!
i seriously cannot believe its here already. 
i feel like for so many people the new year gives them a sense of opportunity.
new visions.
new inner strength.
new optimism.
new chapter.
new sense of hope.
for the most part those have been the feelings i've experienced every time.
except this year.
i don't know if it was the rush of Christmastime and Henry's birthday, 
traveling from family to family,
and then the rush home to a busy work schedule or what,
but honestly, i haven't really felt any of those things.
in fact, i don't really think i've processed or let a new year sink in at all.
for some reason i've felt those post-season blues,
a overwhelmed, unsettled spirit.
almost in a way this new year seems somewhat daunting.
"oh, another year i will disappoint myself by not following through on the exercises i want to do"
"i have so much to organize and go through to simplify my home but i don't know where to start"
"another chance at trying to find time and money for all the hobbies and skills i want to have"
maybe i seem like a negative nancy, but please tell me i'm not the only one.

so last year, instead of coming up with grand resolutions, 
i've been going along with the "one word" resolution idea, and i really love it.
last year i prayed long and hard about my word for 2016.
god put it on my heart.
it was a year of trying to build relationships, 
reaching out to people in ways i never had.
well this year i've been praying for my word.
one day while driving home from the store with the boys it hit me,
hit me hard.
i knew right when it hit me that was my word.
and it's stuck with me since!
I remember getting home and putting the groceries away,
I build a cardboard box castle and got down on the floor with the boys to play,
i left my phone on the counter for hours,
i wrote a couple cards to mail out,
the next day i left my waitress randomly $20. 
I want to be more intentional in the moments around me.
i want to live with a more purposeful intent.

have you heard of the one word resolution?
are you doing it yourself?
if not its really easy to start and try out.
i'd love to hear what your word is :)
happy 2017.

xoxo KESS

September 6, 2016


hey friends!
today i wanted to share with you about my new 'do a bit :)

so for months now i've been looking at long bobs ("lobs" as pinterest calls it) and have thought they were so cute and trendy, but when it came to the thought of cutting off all my hair length, i totally would chicken. 
for the longest time i've had really long hair. when i was pregnant with henry. my hair grew like crazy and got to the longest it had ever been. and since then i've always just kind of trimmed it or added a little bit of long layers, and it just got boring. 
my ponytails got boring.
heck, even when i curled it, i never really liked the way it looked. 
so i kept searching, and pinning ideas.
finally i found that i liked the julianne hough kind of textured hair, and kendra wilkenson's blunt lob length, and sure enough it was go time.
i really love the hair stylist i see.
she always does such a great balayage and uses olaplex to give me that buttery icy blonde i like so much.
so about 3 weeks ago, i went in, pictures ready and mentally ready to cut my hair. 
i showed her what we were doing, and immediately she shrieked and clapped with excitement.
before i had the chance to double take or back out, almost 8 inches laid on the floor around me, and instantly it was a breath of fresh air. 
i have loved my hairstyle more than ever, and enjoy styling and curling it so much.
it's been a fun change!
what have you always wanted to do to your hair?? what have you wished you had the guts to try?
xoxo, kess

August 7, 2016


we finally got pictures of our family of 4!
i thought i'd share some of my favorites here :)
love you all, happy sunday xoxo!


July 19, 2016

decisions decisions.

hello blogging world!
it's been a hot minute since i wrote a blog entry, and even longer since i wrote any sort of update so i figured i'd do a quick catch up for you guys, and share an idea i've had on my heart.

summer has seriously been a whirlwind of events for our family.
we have had both a smith family camping trip and the gummersall reunion, and enjoyed having the boys in the outdoors and spending time with our loved ones. 
we got a new camper in may and have used it lots!
we recently had a tire blow out on it though :( and on the 4th of July of all days.
it was really scary, and left our new camper quite damaged (we have only had it 2 months)
but despite that, it left me extremely grateful none of us were hurt. 
in addition to camping, we have spent time doing a lot of other fun activities. 
we have been to lunch-in-the-parks, swimming pools, splash pads, and kayak floats.
can you tell we love the water??
yesterday, we took the boys to roaring springs waterpark as a family and it was a blast!
that place seriously makes me feel like a kid again. 
at first, henry was super hesitant about trying new things and slides, but by the end of the day was already talking about coming back again.
oh, did i mention we were there from open to close?? (yep, 11-8 haha)
jett man was a huge fan of the water.
he loved floating in the lazy river they have, as well as mom and dad holding him so he could kick his legs and splash around.
the boys had so much fun!
hank and i tried out their intense slides as well, we are adrenaline junkies haha!
we also have really enjoyed getting together with my friend Amanda and her little girls.
we go to the parks, indoor playplaces, and mcdonalds frequently haha.
we sure love them, and they are seriously such dear friends to us. 
hank recently had a shift change, and has been rotated back on to graveyard shifts.
it's hard to have him gone at night and for dinner, but we are so thankful he has saturdays and sundays off now!
as for me, i will be starting back at work again tomorrow.
the restaurant i worked at previously has been super short-handed and asked me to come back, so i picked something that would help them and work for me. 
i have super mixed feelings about it, but a job is temporary, and i can always find something else or change it if it's not best for us. 

i shared earlier in this post that i've had an idea that's been heavy on my heart for months now.
an idea to start a YouTube makeup channel.
i am so so passionate about learning/trying makeup and all about dupes and tricks, and several people ask me for tips and recommendations frequently, so i thought it would be a perfect outlet.
i am a little hesitant on putting myself out there like that, but i really have wanted to for a while so we will see :)
how is your summer??
any plans/trips??
hope you all are doing well and having fun in the sun!
xoxo, kess

June 17, 2016

Bad Mood Busters.

do you guys ever find yourself in seasons with your moods?
like they'll be a period of time where you wake up, sun is shining, a pep in your step, and a positive outlook. (sure the few hiccups but overall a season of joy)
and periods of times where you are restless, life feels weary and heavy, and a hopeless outlook.
(all you see is hiccups and life seems daunting)
the older i get, i realize that happiness is a state, not a destination you just arrive at.
this particular quote comes to mind when writing that:
I feel like we don't give ourselves slack or credit in knowing it isn't "just us" that has those funks, That everyone's mood waxes and wanes over time in their lives. 
I, myself, have been feeling in one of those funks lately, and I just wanted to write down a few things that help me while I'm in them and pull me out :)

We live in such an overshared and excessively filtered life that sometimes it's easy to hold our own live to comparison, which obviously will bring us down because we are comparing to just a glimpse of perception, or someone's highlight moment. I find that when I'm in a funk, ya know, the kind leaving you feeling not enough or insecure, I simply unplug. I unplug from TV, which is filled with all sorts of "reality"shows that aren't real life at all, sitcoms (although funny, can give you a false outlook on how life is supposed to be) and improvement shows (improve your home, improve your looks, improve your wardrobe, the list goes on and on) I try to avoid social medias, pinterest, and tv all together, and I definitely notice a difference when I am in a vulnerable state. 
I truly feel like music says the words our hearts can't sometimes, and honestly I am always playing music. Everyday since Henry was born I play "Here Comes The Sun" first thing when he wakes up and we snuggle in bed, and I love listening to Pandora cleaning house or out in the yard with the boys. But on these periods of feeling down, my music choice is different. I always lean towards Christian music and radio stations, they have really good ones on Pandora as well. I have 5 go-to songs that I just play over and over and have them fill my day when I can't even affirm myself.
-"Greater"by MercyMe
-"When I'm With You" by Citizen Way
-"Overcomer" by Mandisa
-"Savior Please" by Josh Wilson
-"This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli
Before you jump up and down all giddy thinking I'm encouraging a shopping spree or self indulgence every time you are down, let me clarify. I feel like life can be so monotonous and we spend so much time doing things that are outward, like work, bills, housework, errands, and such that sometimes we get down in the day to day grind of things. When I'm feeling discouraged, I "treat myself" with time to myself, like sitting in a coffee shop while Hank watches the boys, or even my evening walk alone with the dogs. I also mean treat myself with things that I enjoy. Maybe I sit down and craft, maybe I write a blog post, maybe I bake a new treat, maybe I play with my makeup, whatever it may be for you, TREAT YO SELF to YOU time!
Sometimes when I just feel spent or like I am just dragging, I truly believe you need to rest up and have lots of self care. Sounds silly, but taking extra care of me really boosts me up! Even simple things like taking vitamins (Vitamin 5HTP, Vitamin B12, and St Johns Wort are awesome daily supplements for mood and energy) a bubble bath, a hair treatment, a face mask, heck, even a morning spent sleeping in (or for me just laying and resting with the boys) or an early bedtime really does wonders. That kind of self care and extra really gives me a push.

I hope you enjoyed this tips and found them helpful :)
Have you ever felt in a mood funk? 
What helps you through it?
I'd love to hear from you!
Just know we all have those seasons, and just like weather seasons, they will pass.

June 9, 2016


hello lovely peeps!
Summer is here, summerrrrrrrr. (insert Olaf singing voice here)
I am so excited for pool days, camping, kayaking, and all the summer things with my little dudes. 
I feel like there are so many go-to products and items of mine I've been reaching for lately so I wanted to share, girlfriend to girlfriend, and let you in on all the favs of mine I've been loving lately!

1. Seashell Crop Top
So I don't really wear this as a crop top (I bought a large) but I thought it was super fun and fitting for summer. I found it browsing at H&M for $4.99 peeps, yepp, super cheap-o. I have worn it with black denim cut offs, as a coverup over my swimsuit at the pool, with a skirt, yoga pants and I just feel like a mermaid everytime I wear it :)
2. Love & Sunshine Lotion from B & B Works
This scent is happiness in a bottle! I used to love a bath and body works lotion a while back called "forever sunshine" and this one is very similiar but yummy in it's own way. Its got a sunny cheerful citrus smell that is refreshing and revitalizes me every time I put it on.  It's a combination of daisy, lemon, strawberry, honeysuckle and sunshine musk. It's a must scent for summertime!
3. Nume 32mm Classic Wand
You guys, I've seen all the hype on IG and social media about these Nume wands and seen so so many curl variations from them, as well as it repeatedly being known as holding curls for days. Well one day I was in TJ Maxx and spotted it for $24.99 and knew it was a steal. I love the loose waves it creates on my hair, and it heats up super fast. I love how on the next day it needs little/no touch ups and just add dry shampoo and go!
4. Makeup Essentials Bag
Is this bag not the funniest?! I loved it haha. I bought this for $3.99 at Rue21 the other day. It's a perfect catch all for makeup, bobby pins, hair ties, and things. I love throwing it in my purse, car, diaper bag, and swim bag!
5. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
This stuff is THE BOMB. This is going to sound nuts but even if you didn't need a bronzer, buy this thing for the smell haha. It smells like a tropical vacation, every time I open it, I can smell coconut. Makes me want a miami vice on the beach somewhere! I love telling other people about it and having them smell it. I own the hyped "Hoola" Bronzer by Benefit, and I can honestly say this is about as good! It's not too red, not ashy, and not shimmery. A very good bronzer, and a drugstore price!
6. Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector/Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop
When it comes to makeup, eyeshadow and highlighter are my favorite things to do. I remember falling in love with Becca's highlighter in the shade Opal, and then when they came out with the collabaration with Jaclyn Hill, I saw the shade and instantly was in love. It's the perfect peachy gold highlight, and gives a nice sheen and glow from within. I apply this on the apples of my cheeks, tops of my cheekbones, cupid's bow above my top lip, and brow bones. If you wanna go crazy, douse yourself extra and put some on your shoulder blades and collar bones. Hello J-Lo, you got that glow!
7. NYX Prism Shadow "Mermaid" and ColourPop Cosmetics Shadow "Telepathy"
I love myself a deep lip color and smokey eye, but in the summer I really enjoy focusing on the face, giving a bronze and glow, and leaving the eyes pretty minimal. One of my favorite things to do is add a pop of color to my eyes, and these two are my go-tos. I love putting the mermaid shade on my waterline, and I love the lime green shade all over my lid. NYX is a pretty inexpensive brand, and if you go to ColourPop Cosmetics website and add yourself to their email list, you can get $5 off. The best part is that the eyeshadow itself is $5, so you basically just pay the shipping. YOU'RE WELCOME. :)
8. Sunnies
My friend Amanda gave me these, and I love the shape of them. You can never have too many for the summer!
9. Tartelette in Bloom Palette
When the original Tartelette palette came out, it didn't really excite me much. I remember going to Ulta and swatching it and thinking the shadows were chalky and not very pigmented. But then they came out with this second one and it blew my mind. It has a perfect mix of matte and shimmer shadows, mostly neutrals and browns. I seriously love this palette SO much and highly recommend. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this favorites post, I'd love to hear back from YOU!
What are some of your favorites for summer??
What's some products that you've been loving?