What I've Been Up To!

How I Learned To Love Cleaning

How I Learned To Love Cleaning

  I’m going to be honest here: I love cleaning! I know that might sound crazy to some people. Like, really? Cleaning? But yes, I do love cleaning. And not just the by-product: a clean house. The process is totally meditative for me. It’s only […]

How I’m Simplifying My Life Lately

How I’m Simplifying My Life Lately

  I was going to title this, “How I’m De-Complicating My Life Lately” but that seemed kind of complicated… It’s almost July now & it’s time for me to start thinking about a little mid-year review. I got this great idea from YouTuber muchelleb & […]

What’s in My Beach Bag

What’s in My Beach Bag

 

 

Summer is finally here! I’ve been waiting for this summer for a long time. My son is now fourteen months old, so he’s just the right age for playing in the surf and sand. We took him to the shore last year, but it was mostly just lying in the sunshine and looking at the sky (not bad either..).

 

 

 

 

This summer, we also packed nearly all of our travel into late spring and early summer (our May road trip and our early June shore trip). I can’t believe it’s so early in the summer and the bulk of our hectic travel season is mostly over. Now I’m looking forward to lazy days at the pool, grilling, ice cream, and sunset walks for the next two months. If you’re the type of family who travels all summer, you will totally appreciate this.

 

 

 

 

This year, we joined our friends for the second year in a row at a shore house in Sea Isle, New Jersey. It’s such an easy trip with a toddler for us. Not much need for an elaborate toddler road trip survival guide this time! One of the days was rotten weather, but one day was just perfect! In the 70s, sunny, not too hot, nice breezes. And we went to the beach on a Monday afternoon/evening so it was totally empty! It was just us, our friends’ family, a handful of surfers, and some sea birds. I was grateful for such a quiet happy day at the beach!

 

 

 

 

Because we have easy access to the ocean and a great pool at our apartment complex, I end up having a packed beach bag on hand at all times. It’s just a few things, but when a spur of the moment perfect pool day comes up, it’s great to have everything ready on a moment’s notice.

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’re wondering just what’s in this beach bag… Mostly the essentials! I don’t like to have a ton in there so I have room to add a book, my iPad, a coconut water, or whatever else I want to bring that day. I also add a few toddler essentials because my usual pool/beach companion is my sweet son. My husband (like all men) is blessed with pockets in every single article of clothing, so he has less need of a beach bag.

 

This beach bag is from a Tone It Up Bikini Series challenge a few years ago. I love the neoprene fabric, easy cinch top, and net pocket on the front for essentials. It’s lightweight and packs down well which is great for road trips and stowing in between trips. Lots of companies bring out bags like this this time of year. I would bet they’re an easy find.

 

 

 

 

In my toddler portion, I have Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids in SPF 70+. I love that this sunscreen is water repellant and easy to spray and apply. I like to spray it on my hands before applying though because it’s really cold straight out of the bottle! My son thinks the spray part is pretty fun. I also found these adorable sunglasses at Carter’s. I like to store them in a Ziplock snack bag to keep them from scratching too much. I usually stow them in the front net pocket of my beach bag. I also have this super cute “Dude” cap that I got in the Target Dollar Spot. Perfect for keeping the sun out of his eyes.

 

 

 

 

In my portion, I of course have a magazine. I’m a total magazine addict. I have my favorite Coola sport sunscreen in White Tea. I use this on my face every day, rain or shine. It has a nice lightweight feel and doesn’t make my skin oily during the day. I’ve loved Neutrogena Ultra Sheer body mist for years and years. It’s my very favorite. I also have a Vaseline lip balm to keep my lips protected from salty sea air. I bought a small brush just for my beach bag and added an elastic hair tie to the handle, so I don’t have to go digging in my bag for one. These Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses are a very favorite pair from years and years ago. I store them in a Marimekko zip pencil case to protect from scratches. The sunglasses came with a protective hard case, but it’s so big and bulky that I downsized. This cute towel is also from Tone It Up and came in the same bundle as the bag. I’m recently in love with this “Day Drinking” bottle from Love Sweat Fitness. It’s lightweight BPA free plastic and has these cute markings on the front to remind you to drink water throughout the day.

 

It’s just that simple! If I only have a few essentials in my bag, I find it so much easier to grab and go and add whatever I need that day. I’d love to hear what essentials you have in your beach bag. What makes an essential beach bag for you? Comment below with your ideas!

 

For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram.

 

Reconnecting With God Along The Way

Reconnecting With God Along The Way

  It’s been a hot minute since I last posted about anything spiritual. To be honest, I haven’t been feeling very spiritual lately, so it’s been hard to write about it. Have you been there? There are all these expectations when we put our faith […]

On The Menu: Brunch Frittata Muffins

On The Menu: Brunch Frittata Muffins

      For the past two years, my little family and our friends’ family have gotten together to watch the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco for “Monaco and Mimosas,” a celebration of all things bubbly and delicious. We like to make a fun brunch […]

Quick Five Product Makeup Look When You’re Short On Time

Quick Five Product Makeup Look When You’re Short On Time

 

On days like today, I have a million and one things to do and just zero time to complete them all. I have to take my dog to the vet for a minor procedure, ship a huge package at the UPS store, go grocery shopping, pick up my mail, workout, write a blog post, and find time to eat!

 

 

I take a lot of pride in my appearance so I don’t fall into one of the pitfalls of being a stay at home parent. Having zero time and still wanting to look nice, I have a goof proof five product makeup look for when I’m rushing out the door.

 

 

 

+ primer

 

It all starts with primer! I wear sunblock every day, so a primer is my first makeup step after skincare on busy mornings. I have pretty oily skin in my t-zone so I really love the NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer. Whatever your skin concerns, find a lightweight primer that works well for you. You can also use a BB or CC cream for this step. I find that just using primer really does the trick without having to worry about color coverage.

 

 

+ concealer

 

For me, concealer is the most important way to get a pretty complexion fast. I have serious dark circles and, through lots of trial and error, found the Revlon Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer. I LOVE this product! It treats and conceals and does a great job. The creamy texture is also nice because you can use it on any kind of discoloration on your face. In a hurry, I blend this in with my fingers instead of my favorite concealer brush. My shade is Ivory.

 

 

+ convertible color

 

Multi-use products like Stila’s Convertible Color (shown here in my favorite shade Petunia) are great in a pinch! It blends so well on bare skin and works for both cheeks and lips. Adding a pop of color takes away any attention from blemishes or skin imperfections you’re trying to hide. I also love that this compact has a mirror and is lightweight and slim. Perfect to stash in my purse for quick touchups.

 

 

+ eyebrow setting wax

 

The fashion right now is full brows: the bigger the better! Full brows usually need some taming, and if you run out of time to do a brow pencil, cream, or powder, a simple translucent eyebrow setting wax like NYX Eyebrow Shaper does a good job of keeping your look tidy. I like to have my sharpened all the time so I can be ready for dashing out the door. I also love using only a brow setting wax when I’m going for a “less is more” makeup look. This wax works best with a simple eyebrow comb and upward brush strokes.

 

 

+ mascara

 

Last but not least, I think eyes look so much more finished and polished with one coat of a dark black mascara. If you like a more natural look, brown is also great. If you’re running out the door because of crummy weather (I always wake up late on rainy days!), waterproof is a good bet. For non-waterproof, I absolutely love Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova. It’s certified cruelty-free, which is a huge plus for me.Make sure to use the other end of that eyebrow brush to comb through your eyelashes and get rid of any clumps. Mascara makes your eyes look bigger and shifts the focus away from under-eye puffiness and circles toward your pretty eyes!

 

 

 

These five products are my absolute go-tos when I need to get out the door in a hurry! What products do you love to look your best on the run? What is in your purse for on-the-go touchups? I’d love to hear what you love in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram.

 

 

 

Out and About: Bentonville, Arkansas

Out and About: Bentonville, Arkansas

    I haven’t done a travel post in FOREVER! I really like compiling all my travel memories to a blog post so I can look back at them in the future. It’s such a fun way to relive a great vacation.     Last […]

DIY: Road Trip Play Tray

DIY: Road Trip Play Tray

    If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to lately & why I haven’t been posting, it’s because my little family was on an eight day road trip to Arkansas so my husband could meet his buddies for some mountain biking. One of the […]

On The Menu: Apple Chia Banana Baby Food Breakfast Muffins

On The Menu: Apple Chia Banana Baby Food Breakfast Muffins

 

 

I guess it’s recipe week here on microliving! I just made this recipe this morning and had to share. My little guy loved them, and I think they’re tasty and filling too.

 

I was talking to a friend yesterday about some of the challenges of feeding a one-year-old. They’re too big for baby cereal and purees, but too little for full size foods and utensils. I also have all this leftover baby cereal and purees from the time before finger foods. I scouted a few recipes and ended up making this one. I did a few alterations and substitutions that make them a little tastier. I hope you like this!

 

 

 

:: Apple Chia Banana Baby Food Breakfast Muffins ::

 

Makes 6-7

 

 

Dry Ingredients

 

1/2 cup baby cereal oatmeal (I used Gerber Organics oatmeal )

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

 

Wet Ingredients 

 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1 container apple baby food puree or applesauce (3.5 ounces)

1/2 of a ripe banana

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons 2% organic milk (any milk or milk replacement works)

Coconut oil spray

 

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 375 F.

 

Lightly spray silicone mini muffin pan with coconut oil. I used my Baby Beaba silicon muffin/baby food pan (it makes 7 muffins).

 

Image: agapebabies.com

 

Combine cereal, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl. In another bowl, add egg and banana and mash thoroughly with a fork. Add butter, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Combine until smooth with fork.

 

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add 1-2 tablespoons milk to the mixture until the consistency is scoopable (the amount will depend on the moisture content and size of the banana). Fold in chia seeds until evenly distributed.

 

Use an ice cream scoop (or spoon) to evenly fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Lightly tap the silicon muffin pan on the counter two or three times to get out air bubbles.

 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops begin to turn golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Depending on your baby’s skills and age, you can break these into pieces or have your kiddo eat them whole.

 

Store in a glass container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

 

 

 

I love using leftover baby cereal because it’s packed with a ton of iron and other vital nutrients. These muffins aren’t too sweet and perfect for snacks too.

 

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram.

 

On The Menu: Japanese Omurice

On The Menu: Japanese Omurice

    I told you last week that I would lighten things up around here and give everyone a break from my pretty long-winded posts of late. What better way to keep my word than by sharing a short and sweet recipe? I hope you […]