Friday Finds

1. Century Knob | Anthropologie 

2. Abstract Ceramic Knob Set of 10 | Zulily
3. Hex Brass Bar Knob | CB2
4. Hand Picked Bow Knob | Land of Nod 
5. Handpainted Mushroom Knob (Set of 4) | All Modern 
6. Modernist Novelty Knob | All Modern 
7. Nori Knob | Anthropologie 
8. U-Turn 2 1/2″ Center Bar Pull | All Modern 
9. Geo Mineral Knobs, Set of 2 | World Market  

Source Link: Friday Finds


Odds and Ends

1. Hey, women. You probably should just bow out of life altogether. Loved this article.

2. I posted about the woes of my daughter’s tangled hair this week, and wow, you all came to the rescue. The Wet Brush FTW.

3. This exhibit on sexual assault is so powerful. Kudos to my alma mater.

4. You know those excessive attention seekers that make you cringe? Turns out excessive attention seeking is not a character flaw, but a brain wiring response to early developmental trauma caused by neglect.

5. Why confidence is quiet and insecurity is SO LOUD. Great read.

6. Refer a friend to my favorite green beauty shop and get $20 off your order for both of you!

7. For my curly-haired friends. Love.

8. How to look smart in meetings. Yep, #4 all the way.

9. You guys, I’m launching a podcast with my friend Kristen next week! You can keep up with us here and here.

10. Seven days of heroin. What an epidemic looks like. Wow.

11. Listen to me, get these pants. Softest, most comfortable things I’ve ever worn. (I now have 4 pairs.)

Happy weekend! We closed on our “new” (100 years old!) house this week and are in full renovation mode. SO EXCITING, YOU GUYS.

image credit: willian santiago

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The debit card for kids

This post was sponsored by Greenlight.

I never carry cash.

It’s not that I’m broke. I just consistently forget to get cash out. In these modern times, I am more apt to PayPal someone then pay with cash money. I use my debit card for just about every transaction. And I rarely go to the bank these days. So having cash on hand is one of those things I’m constantly forgetting. In fact, as I am writing this, my wallet consists of some leftover bills from guitar, a random 20 euro bill that I keep forgetting to exchange, and a tattered blank check.

I can usually get by fairly well without having cash. There are those random moments where I actually need it… The parking garage at the theater, when a room mom asks the class parents to send in cash for a group gift, or when my kids want to go buy something themselves.

My kids wanting to have some financial independence is probably one of the big challenges of being a person who doesn’t carry cash around. They are at an age where they need some autonomy financially, and I don’t like having them on a cash system. With four kids, doling out cash they need means that not only do I need it on hand, but I need it in amounts equally divisible by four. Also, my kids are very prone to losing cash. But they are too young for a traditional debit card.

There is a new debit card for kids called Greenlight that I have been using for the past few weeks and I am loving it. It allows each child to carry a debit card in their own name. I have complete control of the debit card from my phone. I can add cash to their own card at any time. It’s incredibly convenient, especially for those moments when they want to go to a movie or the store with a friend and my wallet is empty. I just pull out my phone and add cash to the card. I can even do it remotely. For example, the other day Kembe went home with a friend to carpool to practice. I forgot to give him money for dinner, so all I had to do was open my app and add enough money to cover it. Or Jafta was picked up by a friend to go to a trampoline place with their youth group. I didn’t have cash on hand so I sent him with his car and loaded the admission fee from my phone.

Another feature I love about the card is that you can specify where they can spend their money. So instead of them having free reign, you can designate a specific store, or that the funds are only to be used for gas. I can see where this will be really useful in the future, so that they are spending money I give them on gas instead of candy or soda.

Some other great features… You can set it up to auto pay your child for their allowance if you have them on a regular system. You can also track your child’s expenses in real time. You can set it up to notify you for every purchase that they make, which allows you to be able to review their spending with them later. It’s a great way for parents to track what kids are actually doing with their money.

You can try Greenlight for free for 30 days to see if it’s a system that could work for you. After that, it’s just $4.99 per month for the entire family. I am loving the convenience and plan to have my kids on the system until they are old enough to balance their own bank account.

Source Link: The debit card for kids

My Favorite Skincare from Beauty Heroes

I’ve been a fan of the Beauty Heroes Subscription box since nearly its inception, and I’ve found some great staples that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have heard of. Thought I would put together a post on my favorites from the shop – these are ones I’ve used for quite some time and that my skin loves, and that I purchase again and again.

MUN Anarose Toner – This is the only toner I use (except an occasional spritz of this when the weather is colder and drier). I don’t think I need to wax poetic about MUN, as I’ve written about their products extensively (just search “Mun” in the sidebar if you are interested), but the Anarose Toner is simply perfection. Made from Rose Water, Aloe Leaf Juice, Prickly Pear Stem Extract, and Goji Berry Fruit Extract, it is soothing, hydrating and calming. I have used this religiously for years.

(Also, right now if you spend $60+ at MUN, you get an 15mL Anarose toner for free! Just buy one and get another one for later because I promise you, you will repurchase again and again. The shelf life is 2 years too.)

Khus + Khus Sans Age – I have a thing for Blue Tansy. The scent is so beautiful and calming, and I always gravitate towards it. However, I will say this borderlines on a bit too much for my nitpicky face (see more below on that), yet I love to use this on my chest and neck. Super powerful anti-aging ingredients, but I really love it for its calming, soothing properties. Great for anxiety or insomnia.

LILFOX Prickly Pear Serum – Prickly Pear is a favorite ingredient of mine (it’s a common addition to MUN products), and I love this serum. It is super anti-aging and brightening, and has a good blend of ingredients. Jasmine and Bergamot lovers will enjoy the scent profile on this one.

Maya Chia Supercritical Omega-3 Chia Oil – You know, this oil really deserves its own post because it is absolutely top notch. In fact, this right here is the oil I recommend to all my friends who are just starting to get into facial oils instead of lotions or creams. Here’s a fact – my skin needs a light touch. So many times when I try a new product with tons of ingredients or essential oils, it just feels so heavy on my skin (and usually causes congestion in my pores).

For example, not to throw anyone under the bus, but a product like Vintner’s Daughter? It’s very expensive and a DARLING of beauty bloggers, and people rave about its 22 active botanicals. And yes, it smells lovely, but when I put it on my skin? OH HEYLL NO. It wasn’t having it at ALL, and I have a feeling some of you are like me in that “less is better” is the key. So yeah, serums and oils with tons of essential oils and botanicals are just too much for my skin.

Anyway! This oil is perfection – it feels lightweight on the skin, smells fresh (citrusy and uplifting), but gives me all the hydration I need without any heaviness. My skin looks visibly brighter and less inflamed. Do you have sensitive skin? This one is for you, trust me.

I have used this off and on for the past year or so, but committed to using it for the past month every night and I am totally sold. I haven’t had any sort of congestion in my skin and it’s glowing. It’s my #1 right now for absolute sure. And and and? It’s only $60. That is a a steal, ladies.

Mahalo The Bean Mask – Where do I even start with this mask? It is so good. Potent antioxidants, my friends. It gets to WORK on your skin. Also, three words for you: cacao, vanilla, coffee. Yes, as you can imagine, it smells delicious.

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream – When my skin is feeling parched, I just emulsify a pea-sized drop of this cream between my fingers and pat all over my face. This is in heavy rotation during the cooler months. (In fact, when my skin is super parched, I put this on top of the Maya Chia oil.)

Laurel Brightening Facial Mask – I use this at least three times a week on my face to brighten my hyperpigmentation. When I have time, I leave it on for 20-30 minutes, but sometimes I use it as a quick treatment while in the shower. My friend Amanda used this every day for a month and when she posted her brightening results on Instagram stories, I nearly fell out of my chair. If you are looking to brighten your skin, look no further.

Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask – I recently did a video on my favorite masks, and I talked about this one blowing me away. Well, it continues to do so. This mask makes you glow like nothing I’ve ever seen…it actually brings the blood to the surface of the skin, and I will repurchase this forever ever and ever amen.

There you have it! My favorites from the Beauty Heroes shop. And remember, if you get the monthly beauty box, you always receive 15% off your order in the shop 24/7, 365 days a year. So worth it!

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Wednesday’s Child: Willie & Willene

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids

Source Link: Wednesday’s Child: Willie & Willene

A look at the Secrets and Dreams Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A few weeks ago, my kids had plans to spend a week in Yosemite with their dad. I needed to get some writing done, and I also needed an escape from my house. Sweltering temperatures, no AC, and some construction being done have made my house a miserable place to be. I needed a getaway.
I’d been dreaming of returning to a Dreams Resort. I stayed at their property in Tulum a few years ago and immediately fell in love with their whole vibe. They call it “unlimited luxury” and it basically means that everything is taken care of. From food to drinks to little details, they’ve thought of everything and it’s all included.
I reached out to the good folks at Dreams and they invited me to spend a few days at their resort in Cabo, but they also invited me to check out their sister resort in Cabo called Secrets Resort so I could do a little compare and contrast of the properties. I was thrilled because I’ve always wanted to stay at a Secrets Resort as well. It’s their adults-only sister resort, so it’s all of the unlimited luxury, without kids. A two-hour flight from LA and I was on my way.
I spent my first few nights at Dreams. It’s a gorgeous beachfront property in Cabo, away from the party scene of downtown. 

They have two pools at the property, a big pool with fun activities all day for people of all ages, and a quiet pool. Since I was introverting on this trip, I spent most of my time there. Both pools were gorgeous, and overlooking the beach.

Oh – and to make the pool experience even more relaxing, there were servers coming by constantly offering drinks (all included). The hardest decision I had to make each day was whether to go for a mojito or a pina colada. (I did both.)

I know some people have hesitations about the food quality at an all-inclusive, but I’m happy to report that the food was AMAZING. Dreams had several restaurants, from formal to casual, as well as a buffet. I hit the buffet most mornings, but tried a different restaurant each evening. I was particularly fond of their Italian restaurant.

This was my view from breakfast every morning. The buffet was insane, and offered everything from a mimosa bar, fresh green juice, custom-made omelets, and traditional Mexican fair.

I made two daily goals for myself: eat at a new restaurant every evening, and watch the sunset every night. I’m proud to say I met this goal with gusto. The sunsets at Dreams were absolutely stunning.

I had a great time at Dreams and can’t wait to go back with my kids. It’s an ideal place for family vacations or reunions because there is something for everyone. There is a kids’ club that keeps children entertained all day, and the main pool had fun activities happening all day as well. I know my kids would love all of the options in terms of food – and I love that I don’t have to make any decisions.
 When my time at Dreams was up, I had mixed feelings. I didn’t want to leave. I loved the vibe, the view, and the serenity. But I was also excited to experience an adults-only resort.
My sadness at leaving Dreams was quickly abated once I got to Secrets. Everything I loved about Dreams was present at Secrets: the beach views, the well-appointed rooms, the amazing food, the flowing cocktails. The only thing missing was the kids. Which . . . I mean. Clearly I love kids. But when I’m not traveling with them, it was nice to be somewhere with all adults.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of an “adults only” resort. I wasn’t interested in a party scene and was a tad bit worried I’d arrive to find wet t-shirts contests or a pickup scene at the pool, and I was relieved to find that wasn’t the case at all. It was a diverse crowd . . .  lots of honeymooners, lots of older couples, and everything in between. People from all over the world, and even a few groups of girlfriends on a weekend getaway. The vibe was classy and not at all a frat party. The main pool had a fun party vibe with loud music and entertainment. I enjoyed it but spent a majority of my time at the quiet pool once again. I tend to introvert on vacations and spending most of my time lazing, reading, and writing.

Curious about the name Secrets? Here’s a virtual tour of the room where I explain some of those fun details.

They’ve taken a great deal of care in the design at Secrets. There are incredible details at every turn. And at night, the lighting makes everything feel even more special. Most of the restaurants are more formal, so it was fun to walk around at night seeing everyone dressed up.

Once again, the sunsets were stunning, and I made it a point to watch them every night. It’s amazing how a week of sunset watching can set the reset button on life. I truly had such a relaxing experience at Secrets and can’t wait to go back again. It was therapeutic in so many ways.

Source Link: A look at the Secrets and Dreams Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A visit to the edge of ISIS’s terror

This past week I had the chance to visit Iraq and Lebanon with World Vision.  The only thing I knew, prior to the trip, was that we would be visiting with families living in refugee camps who had fled ISIS. I’ve seen footage of the violence and destruction that ISIS has wreaked on families in Syria and, like most who have seen the stories of these traumatized and desperate people, I am devastated for the Syrian people.

I wanted to go on this trip because I think that their stories desperately need to be told. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to what is happening to both the Iraqi and Syrian people because it’s happening so far away. It’s also so incredibly painful that I think it’s hard to even process it, especially for Americans who have never lived under occupation or experienced sustained violent conflict in our home country.

I also think that people tend to ignore it because to be honest, I think that it’s easy to distance ourselves from people who are culturally different. And this is all the more true when it comes to Muslim people. The media images we see of Muslims are of violent extremist, and the result is that xenophobia abounds. But while there are certainly Muslim people behind these atrocities it’s vital to remember that the majority of Muslims are victims to ISIS’s actions, and desperately want peace.

In spending time in the homes of both Iraqi and Syrian families, I was reminded again of how similar we really are. I met kids who could make a toy out of anything . . . even a piece of string. I met mothers who were desperately concerned for their children’s future. I met grandmothers who just wanted to keep their family together. I met teenagers who asked me to take a selfie. And I met people with incredible faith, strength, and determination in the midst of unfathomable grief and trauma.

Over the next few days, I will be sharing stories of the people I met, as well as some of the hard observations about refugee life and the future of the Syrian people. I will also share some of the ways World Vision is helping to meet the needs of these people, in ways that are both practical and hope-infusing. I was incredibly impressed with the work World Vision is doing, especially as a Christian organization serving a predominantly Muslim population with no agenda but love. (Literally, it is against policy for them to proselyte.) I’m hoping to share stories that bring a human connection to the crisis in the middle east, and some practical ideas for how you can help.

Source Link: A visit to the edge of ISIS’s terror