Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Clothes Lately

I seemed to be in and out of many stores this last week.

First I was hunting for Easter clothing for the children. I actually took all three of them into Gap Kids and Old Navy to look for clothes (I decided that Sloane has to be with me to tell me if she will or will not wear something -- it saves a lot of headaches for the most part later on).


Then I had to take myself somewhere to find something to wear for Easter (my traveling closet wasn't prepared for dressier occasions). I decided to make an attempt at T.J. Maxx, where I have AWFUL luck and somehow, I came out with a dress AND a pair of shoes! It was a Christmas (err...Easter) miracle! :)

We were in Wichita for 36 hours so I of course had to make a stop at JCrew Factory. And all three of these things went in the "shopping cart". Everything in the store was 50 percent off (why does this always get me?!). This white t-shirt will be worn repeatedly. This skirt will as well. And I have these sandals in black from Old Navy and love them, so I picked these sandals up in a brown leather. They have gold, silver, black and a stone color as well. Loved them all (and they were $20)!



Also, do you see the cute striped piece of clothing on that is laying across the bench in the first pic? Yep, it's WAY cute. And I tried to make it look cute on me! And I think if I had a cardigan or jean jacket on with it, it could totally work. But the darn chesty part of me just made it look not right.

So... super skinny girls with a smaller chest than moi, this skirt is for you!


This one, too!


I also ended up at Target twice in about 15 minutes to get bananas, medicine, apples as well as a First Communion dress for Sloane (who won't go through this process for another year). Another win for me as this $28 Victoria Beckham dress will be WAY cuter than anything else we would have found in a years time!


And then this week, Tess and I had to pit stop at Sephora - otherwise known as my playground - and decided to do a quick walk-through at Gap. I took a few things back to try on (which I don't like to do)... and LOVED this top.



It's really lightweight and the sleeves have elastic on the cuffs so I could pull them up -- it was similar to a bell sleeve but with the elastic! They only had a small in stock in the store, but I think an extra small would have fit me better (or I would have walked out with this on!).

I also tried on these boyfriend jeans. The color was what drew me in, but there wasn't much to them. I needed a hole in the knee or something and I would have definitely bought them! Ironically, they had a pair that was the exact color with TONS of holes -- but the holes started above the pockets ... where no 'holes in clothes' should start. Not happening!


So... just a little clothes shopping for you this week!

Happy Hump Day, all!

XXOO,
Allyson


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Essential Oils Loser


Friends, I am an Essential Oils virgin.

I know, basically, zilch when it comes to the world of oils.

People RAVE about them! So I would love to jump on the bandwagon. I have had friends send me samples of oils to try when we first moved to Arkansas and Reece was coughing constantly. They said oils might help!

I tried. They didn't.

But this did not deter me.

At the beginning of the year, I was not sleeping well. And not because of Tess. I just couldn't sleep through the night! I didn't know what to do besides take one of Matt's ambien from his trip to China last year. And though I'm certain that would have given me some much-deserved sleep, it's hard to take one of those when you have three little humans to raise.

Bring in the oils.

My friend Megan sent me a very long list of all the things that oils can do for you. And what she uses them for.

And here I am. Still oil-less. But bumming some off from people.

My neighbor Kaye Brough over a roller named Flu Bomb after kids at school started dropping like flies!

My other neighbor Erin gave me the last of one of her Lavender bottles to try with Tess when she was up for hours at night. She even let me borrow her diffuser to see if that would help.


We are on week two of using the lavender on the bottoms of Tess's feet (and Sloane's last night when she couldn't fall asleep). And though Tess is sort of random on night that she sleeps well, I am feeling like the oils might be beneficial for the Clark's.

But MAN... is it overwhelming!

I am going to buy from Young Living and had thought about buying the essentials starter pack, which comes with small bottles of eight different oils. But then I'm dropping over $120 on oils that I'm still a little skeptical on.

So, here's what I need to know from you all.

Do you use oils and what do you use? What do you suggest?

Sleep is what I want from these oils first and foremost. Secondly, something for baby teething. Third, an oil for stress/anxiety.

From there, I dunno.

I will take any and all feedback!

THANK YOU, OIL LOVERS!


XXOO,
Allyson


Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Favorites


Friends, I didn't get to actually typing out my Friday Favorites... so I did a Facebook live video about them instead as well as a few other things!

Here's a link to watch Friday Favorites! :)

And click here for the link to the EyeBuyDirect.com glasses I have been asked about! Lots of great options and some are pretty inexpensive!


Everyone have a great weekend and I will talk to you next week! HAPPY EASTER!

XXOO,
Allyson

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Karma




I'm sure most of you that read this might not even know what ORU is, where it is located, or why I even care to talk about it! 

But a recent story that came out earlier this week in regards to the firing of Scott Sutton, the men's basketball coach, struck a nerve with me and I felt like I needed to say my peace. 

And move on.

To start, Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a interdenominational liberal arts university based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with roughly 4,000 students. It was founded by evangelist Oral Roberts in the early 60s. It's small. But it has NCAA Division I Athletics.

Which is where I come in.

I graduated from Wichita State in 2007 with my master's in sports administration. I had spent the two previous years in the athletic media relations department at WSU working my tail off with all the sports, but my primary focus was cross country and track and field (two sports I knew ZIP about)! Media relations is basically all communications relating to sports - media guides, press releases, statistics, social media, media in general. There is so much that is a part of it!

I worked there for two years (and many days, especially in the middle of basketball season, it felt like 10 years) and learned SO much. And I worked with people I truly was happy to see every day (OK, maybe not EVERY day ... but almost every day)! I knew that when it was time to job hunt, surrounding myself with good people that I enjoyed was seriously important. I knew I couldn't go do that job - that can have you there early and staying late - and not like who I was working with.

Working hard. Or watching the cheerleaders. Take your pick (I was probably doing both).
I was lucky enough to have a few job options after graduating with my master's and decided to take my first job at ORU.

I liked that it was only an hour and a half from my hometown. I liked that I sort of knew Tulsa because it was the 'big city' for us to travel to when we were younger. And I really liked the people in the athletic department, including Scott Sutton.

I was usually in tears laughing because of these two -- Rich and Cliff! 
I didn't deal with Scott much for a few reasons. My boss, Cris, was who dealt with Scott and men's basketball. But when I did deal with Scott, he was very friendly and I was happy to be around him.

My boss Cris and my coworker/buddy/brother Cliff
This week, a story came out saying Scott had been released as head coach of the men's basketball team after 18 seasons. His teams had recorded more than 300 wins since he arrived and he had been to three NCAA tournaments - one while I was working there.

But the last few seasons hadn't gone as well. This season, they were 8-22 and failed to make the conference tournament.

So, they let Scott go.

And he found out via Twitter.




Let that sit in.

You give 18 years to a school and you officially find out you were fired from social media.

Now, I'm not dumb enough to believe that there isn't more to this story. I know there is. I listened to a news conference the president and AD gave today. Apparently Scott had been given an ultimatum by the school - either stay another year or be done. He chose neither. So they said you're done.

Apparently they tried to call him and email him, but he just wouldn't answer, gosh darn it.

So they gathered the basketball team and told these young men that there coach had been fired.

And then... Scott finds out he lost his job. From Twitter.

As I was listening to this press conference, I just shook my head. What kind of leadership... what kind of PERSON does that to someone? It is MIND BOGGLING that this happened this way.

Sure, maybe it was time for Scott and ORU to part ways. This happens all the time in college athletics. It is what it is.

But this is not the way you treat someone who has been there for 18 years, much longer than the current president has been there (it has changed since I was there in 2007 so I don't even know his name).

It is straight up embarrassing.

ORU is a strange school. I didn't fully get that until I was there. I had to attend chapel -- this little Catholic girl at an evangelical church. I had to abide by an honor code that included no alcohol for anyone (side note and funny story: when I was interviewing with the athletic director, he asked me if I liked to drink and my response was, jokingly, "Well, only after a long day!" followed by a chuckle and smile from me. And then he proceeded to talk to me about the honor code and how drinking was not allowed. I went back and told my boss-to-be and I'm sure that was his first of MANY head shakings he did towards me! SOMEHOW, I still took the job. And still drank a beer after a long day - TAKE THAT, ORU!).

I remember asking a buddy that had graduated from there WHY he went there. His parents had went there... so when you grow up loving ORU, you go there. Totally get that response because hello, I grew up with parents who went to K-State, and look where I went!

But this place is odd. And many odd things happened while I was there. But it was so hush-hush and that what they are doing wasn't wrong because this is a Christian school so therefore the president of the school can take the school plane to the Bahamas for Spring Break and it won't matter!

It's just weird. And it felt (still feels) dirty. They pride themselves on being a Christian school, but then all they do is ask for money. Those that were in charge of the university were all evangelists... who spend the majority of their work day on TV. Asking for money. And that God will save you if you give.

Huh?

So, dearest ORU, all of the backlash you are experiencing due to your handling of firing Scott, is what I call karma.

I wish NOTHING but the best for the wonderful people I worked for the in the athletic department (and for those that have since moved on). These people hold a special place in my heart.

But this school and its 'administration' is going to get there coming-to moment. They better go sit in front of the big hands and just pray.


For a looooong time.


XXOO,
Allyson



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: Soma


To all the male readers of my blog, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading. Truly.

But today, you might just want to pass on by... because I'm reviewing bras.

So scootaloo... We will see you back here tomorrow.


To my lady readers...

I spent an our at Soma Intimates on Saturday afternoon (allll byyy myyyy sellllffff). I went in the store in a bummed mood (we had just found out we didn't get the house we had put an offer in on the night before) and I left the store feeling great!

To preface, I hate bra shopping. Because it has never been easy for me! I'm a little person with a big chest, which in turn makes me feel like a very large person. It always has! And at 34 years old, it still gives me anxiety and I will always be wanting breast reduction.

Plus my workouts in 2017 have not been the best. There is a class I had attended most of the fall, but it seems in 2017, everyone wants to take the class and if you don't get there early enough, it is full! So I am almost ALWAYS two minutes late and have literally been maybe four times all year.

So, in my eyes, I just feel big!

Tack on the extra pops I drank in the month of March (I blame moving) and eating drive thru food, I have just not felt good about myself.

But a good bra can help (as well as week straight of LOTS of water and watching what I'm eating).

And by 'good bra', I don't mean a $24 bra... $24 bras do nothing for me!

The last time I had a good bra fitting was in Minnesota at Nordstrom and after that process, I became a firm believer that I would never go anywhere else to buy a bra.

Until I moved to Northwest Arkansas and couldn't get to Kansas City where the nearest Nordstrom is.

My best friend recommended Soma and if you recall, I had a pair of their underwear in my Friday Favorites last year. So, I said what the heck. I was desperate!

I met with a sales girl and literally spent 45 minutes trying on bras. This girl said that she is NEVER stumped, walks right in, knows measurements, knows which bra will work and thats it. She said I stumped her.

So... there's that.

Girls... I was BEYOND impressed. Impressed with the customer service. Impressed with the variety of bras. Impressed with the prices. Just pleased and impressed.

I walked away with four bras total -- I had to talk myself off the ledge a few times, but Matt reminded me via text that I do wear these every day so if I need to spend the money, I need to spend the money.

And he was right. We have to wear these dang things every single day. For the rest of our lives.

I ended up with the Enticing Lift Unlined Full Coverage Bra. I liked how the material was firm and not stretchy on this one. Stretchy in the cup portion does not help me. They had another version of this bra that could be turned into a racerback that was SUPER comfortable and did its job well. I'll be back for that one!


I also got the Sensuous Lace Unlined Bra. This one was surprisingly comfortable and pretty (I don't own pretty bras - I own old grandma style bras). The gal helping me had this one on and it was doing its job. So I added this to the pile.


And then the one I always really come in for... the minimizer. These are the bras that take me from my actual size and literally make me look two sizes smaller. They are also the super ugly bras. There is nothing pretty about them. They look like bras for 92 year olds. Yet here I am! I walked out of the store with this one on because it made me feel SO much better about myself and it is super comfortable!


Last but not least... as I was about to walk out the store, I noticed they had racks for clearance items, including sports bras.

Here's the situation with me and sports bras. I wear three every time I work out. Because I need to have zero movement from my chest when I'm running. And that only happens with three sports bras on. Ridiculous, I know!

So of course as I'm about to check out, I head right back to the dressing rooms to try on sport bras. And I tried on a few, jogged in place for awhile. Then left with a single sports bra that would allow me to toss the three I always have to wear!


This is the one I got, but can't find it on the clearance section. So... if you are truly in the hunt for a good sports bra that does its job, get this one. It is similar to the one I got, but I liked this one even more (it just wasn't on sale). So at some point, I will go back and get this one and the racerback bra.

So there you have it, friends! If you don't have a Nordstrom (or even if you do) and need to get yourself a good bra, I HIGHLY recommend finding a Soma. I left the store feeling really good and it was a nice feeling!

Happy shopping!

XXOO,
Allyson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Apartment Life: Week 3


We are entering week three of apartment life and I would say that we are adjusting.

And as soon as we are fully adjusted, it will be time to move again!

Sloane and Reece are sharing a queen bed and we put them to bed at the same time we always put them to bed, but they stay up an extra 30 minutes playing, fighting, playing, singing, fighting... Most of the time I leave it alone, but I do step in if it's 8:30 and they are still up! If I don't, it makes for a rough morning.

Our morning commute begins at least 15-20 minutes earlier than it used to. I had wanted to continue to do carpool and pick up the sweet kiddos in our neighborhood, but last week decided it was best to not. We were having to leave the house by 7 AM sometimes and the kids were a wreck. Sloane was crying one morning because she was so tired and we had to leave. It made me so sad to stop doing carpool, but for the sanity of myself and the kids, we had to. Now when I see our carpool kids, like at a birthday party this weekend, I feel like I haven't seen them in months so I'm bugging them, asking how life is. They're like, "Back off lady, we saw you three days ago!"

Hanging with our White Oak Trails neighborhood crew at a birthday party! 
I also decided to make Sloane a car-rider at the end of the day, which she wasn't thrilled with. She usually was picked up in a golf cart and driven back to our old house. But... I pick Reece up from school and have 50 minutes to wait until Sloane is done. So now we pick Reece up, run an errand, grab a drink, and get in the carpool line.

I read. Reece watches Wildcat Train (his new obsession -- its the video they play before K-State football games on the Jumbotron). Tess watches Curious George. And then we get Sloane. I will admit, I do enjoy dropping my kids off and picking them up from school. It's always a happy moment... until Sloane realizes Reece got an apple juice from McDonald's and she didn't and the world crumbles!

I miss our old house SO very much... much more than I thought I would. I miss the ease of being in our neighborhood and the things that came with it, like little people for my little people to play with and adults for me to talk to.

But this time will go quickly (so I pray). Tess is finally sleeping better after two weeks of getting maybe five hours of sleep a night. The weekends are full through the rest of April. It has to fly by.

Now I just need a home for us to fly into once we are out of the apartment in t-minus one month and 17 days. :) Third time (on making an offer on a house) is a charm right?!

Here's hoping!


XXOO,
Allyson

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites



Friends, the fact that I have two eyes open wide enough to type this means that two things. One: I'm an idiot and should be in bed. Two: I love you all too much to not do Friday Favorites even though I'm past the point of super tired!

SOOO... we will see if I can get through five favorites with eyes wide open!

I own a few pair of workout leggings. But only one pair is high-waisted. Which is TRULY the only way to go! I picked up a pair of these at Old Navy last year and literally wear them almost every time I work out. They are super comfy and hold me in where I need to be held in!
I was browsing Nordstrom shoes for a completely different reason when I stumbled upon these.

And I need them.

They are the Stacey Flat by Franco Sarto. They are metallic. They are loafers slash ballet flats. They are stretchy. 

And they need me! 

They come in lots of color options, but of course the metallic jumped out at me. They are $70 on sale at the moment and did I mention I need them? 



While on the topic of shoes... I had posted these on my Tess and Elm Facebook page a few weeks ago and wanted to give them their deserved attention.

These are Crown Vintage from DSW and I love them! Espadrilles are so great for spring, summer and early fall and the scalloped detail is adorable!

These are $50 with good reviews. Next time you're at DSW, try them on!


I love a cute graphic tee and especially a cute tee in dark heather gray! 

And this shirt represents my life at the moment.

Except the back needs to say "Needs. More. Sleep." 


And I literally can't get to five because my eyes are closing. 

Rough Friday Favorites, but I got to four which is more than I thought would happen! :) 


Everyone have an awesome Friday and weekend! See you next week! 

XXOO,
Allyson


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Few Reviews


Hello friends!

I've got a few reviews for you of items I have talked about purchasing (some a little incessantly) and finally did. Good news is that I have positive reviews of these three items and am sorry to say you will want to buy all three. :)

Here we go...

I literally agonized over this decision for atleast six months before finally biting the bullet. I went back and forth between this pair, and then some from Zappos, then a pair from Nordstrom. I had tried these on in a store once and didn't feel they were very comfy. And if I'm going to spend $80 on a shoe that is going to be seeing a lot of pavement, I felt like comfort was important.

When Matt and I went to Chicago and he told me we wouldn't be doing much walking (and I believed him), I cursed myself repeatedly for not having a good pair of CUTE walking shoes to walk around the city (because we did A LOT of walking... I did mine in wedge over-the-knee boots). So when Lauren and I decided to go to NYC, I knew I needed to make a decision between these or these.

In the end, price won. I ordered them and had them a few days before our trip to New York. 

I did a day or two of walking around in them and immediately regretted my purchasing decision. The back heel went up rather high and was KILLING my ankles. There weren't enough bandaids to help my pain! 

Luckily, the early pain was worth it because I wore them in by day three and was VERY happy with my choice! They are really cute with everything and are now comfy to me! So if you're looking for this type of sneaker, I recommend. Just get past day three! 


I am not a manicure gal. I can paint my own nails fairly well so I save $30 and just do it myself. But when we were in Manhattan for the kids spring break, I decided to take Sloane to go get her nails painted. And I got mine done, too.

And I'm now afraid that I've become a manicure convert! DANGIT! 

I had them shellacked, which I had never had done before and of course was screwing up the process as I went along. But we are now two weeks from when I had them done and they still look like I just got them done! 

I don't love the nail growth that you can see and how long my nails are getting (I assume I can cut them and that won't affect anything?) but I will definitely be doing this again, especially if I can get to three weeks with zero scuffs!

Last week on my Friday Favorites, I talked about how I loved the Snow ShadowSense sold by Senegence (how also sells LipSense... all of which I sell)! Today, I showed a video on my The Lips Shop Facebook page, showing how to wear the Snow under your eyes to cover dark circles and brighten up your eyes (and face). 

These pics are the after pics. I'm wearing concealer, primer, Snow ShadowSense under my eyes, Tinted Moisturizer (by SeneGence), my favorite Nars blush, Honey Rose LipSense and LashSense with UnderSense by SeneGence (which is a lash strengthener AND lengthener that I'm testing out). Happy with the results! If you need brighter (under) eyes, lemme know! 


And that's that for today. Happy Hump Day all!

XXOO,
Allyson

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Final Farewell


Well, the beginning to the end (of our run in Arkansas) has commenced.

On Friday, we signed over our house to the new owners.

I was running back and forth between our apartment and the house since last Monday and it's been crazy! And sad. And confusing.


Poor Reece just bawled walking through the house after they had packed it all up and loaded it. Room to room he went and his sobs just got louder. Trying to explain to him that he would see his bikes and bed again were not helping.

I can tell you all this. I never thought in a million years that I would live in Arkansas.

Arkansas is the state I made fun of (because doesn't everyone make fun of the state of Arkansas, even if you haven't been there?), but never thought I would inhabit it! But somehow, we got here. And though there are a few things I won't miss (land of Wal-Mart, not being able to turn left -ever-, and living amongst SEC folks), there are plenty of things that I will miss (neighborhood, people, Slim Chickens to name a few).

Before we moved in! 
I can tell you that I never thought I would get to experience living in the same town as my childhood/adult best friend because who gets to do that? That's not real life.

But I did! Once a week, I got to spend an evening with my best friend and her brood, eating dinner and chatting and laughing and yelling at kids and cleaning up and ... just got to be. I will never, ever, ever forget being able to come and meet baby Anna in the hospital. Or Max always asking where Matt was when we'd show up to his house without him. Or Josh telling me to be a soccer coach (HA!). Or Jenna showing up with a large McDonald's coke.

Baby Anna, a baby no more! 
The chances of us living in the same town again are slim. But God, am I blessed to have had these two years.

I can tell you that I did not expect to have three children all born in states other than Kansas! But alas, sweet Tess made her debut into our family in Arkansas. I have zero Kansas-born babies. The plus side to this is that they will never have to be called a Jayhawker (because that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard).



I can tell you that you can never be certain on where life will lead you. Or how you will meet the people you meet. Or the footprints that they will leave on your path.


Thought we still have two months left in Arkansas (or one month and 23 days -- and yes I am counting down the days until we leave this apartment!), I'm starting my goodbyes now.


Thank you 202 NW Highland Road for being our Arkansas home. You were large, your floors killed me (and I picked them out), the weather got us a few times, but you stood tall. Thanks for being our "big house" as the kids called it -- our Minnesota house was our "little house" -- and thank you for keeping us safe for two years! You will be greatly missed!


XXOO,
Allyson
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