Summer Camp Music Festival Artist Spotlight — Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

One of the bands that I am very eager to see again is Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.  I love a band that puts on a good stage show and I feel like they put on one of the best.

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My very first artist interviews happened at Phases of the Moon. I remember being so nervous and feeling like a fish out of water. I was welcomed and greeted by the bands that I spoke with and some of them made me feel so welcome. One of those artists was Arleigh Kincheloe from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. Her soulful vocals are truly something that you should be sure to catch this year at Summer Camp 2016. I am so excited that she is going to be there and I, for one, am going to be headed to wherever she is at as I can’t imagine missing her set.

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Photo was taken from the band’s website.  Credit to photographer Joshua Timmermans.

Sitting down with Arleigh Kincheloe was like sitting with my long lost college roommate and catching up. Her friendly demeanor and instantly fun personality took over and I had a great time getting to know her. I recently pulled this interview from Phases of the Moon from the blog so that I could run it again and share with you all a little bit about her passions and her inspirations. In all of my time of doing interviews, there have only been two times where I have ever felt this at ease and Arleigh made me feel so welcome….like I was really a friend that she just was catching up with and hadn’t seen in a while.
What is it that you hope that your music invokes in people?

“I actually think about that a lot. I started singing when I was really little kid. I was like nine. I think one of the reasons that I fell in love with it was become of the responses and reactions. I could see what it did to other people and I was like oh I can do something that makes other people happy in some small way. Even in the body language or the facial expressions watching someone perk up. As a small child that was probably something that I really loved, although I couldn’t articulate that until now. I get a lot of joy out of it and obviously that’s what I want. I want people to feel that through me and have similar experiences. That’s one of the main reasons that I do it. I don’t know what other artists would say that their motivation is but that’s huge.”

Where does your passion come from?

“Sometimes I don’t know. It feels like a very deep seeded natural organic thing that just sort of flows out. I think that when you are doing something that you love sometimes it is hard to explain why. I guess it feels like home a lot. Being up there I feel very comfortable. I have been doing it for most of my life so it brings me to a simpler time when there wasn’t all of this other stuff going on. You just get up there and sing. You are just in the moment where you are free simple and full of pure joy.”

When you were little and performing, what types of places did you perform at?

“Well my parents were in a band. They had a bluesy rocky funky cover band. They were just playing like Stones songs and The Band…that kind of stuff. They would play in dive bars or in weddings. So, I definitely remember being in a really shady Red Roof Inn bar when I was like twelve. That is one of the memories that I have very clearly. Of course, you could smoke back then so they were like she’s our daughter. She is allowed to come in the bar. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I guess it was different times back then. It was a lot of weird stuff that actually prepared me for what I do now. We do a lot of weird bars. Sometimes you even wonder should I even be in here?. It’s a fun experience to just sit and think back on. Like, what were my parents thinking.”

Do your parents still come and see you a lot now?

“Yeah, my dad’s band has opened for us. It was really cute. It was in our hometown in upstate New York. He still plays some percussion and stuff. And my mom lives in the city so she comes to all of our New York shows.”

Do you play in New York a lot?

“Not really any more. We used to but now days it’s like every three or four months because we are just touring all of the time.”

What do you hope to do in the future?

“I guess in a broad way I just want to keep doing this. I love touring. I really do. So, I want to make sure that it’s always a part of what we do.”

How many shows do you do a year on average?

“We average around 150. With booking 150 dates and travel days, we are out for over 200. We’re not home very often but when we are out we try to have a comfortable pace. Otherwise we just get so burned out. And of course we are traveling in a van and van touring is a lot more wear and tear on your body. You’re in a van all day and you have to stop and sleep in a hotel. We have a nice van too and I guess I’m lucky because I can sleep in a van since I’m itty bitty but the boys have a hard time.”

“I see bands like, a lot of bands playing this festival….watching Tedeschi Trucks because they are like my favorite band. I love them so much! And that’s kind of been an inspiration. I want to get to a point where we are on the same path that they are now. Obviously it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of years. I see how much work they put into it and their whole lives, just earning that place. They’re so deserving.”

We talked a little bit about Derek Trucks and my own husband seeing him in the parking lot of a Phish show with a little cardboard sign that had his name written on it in permanent marker.

“I saw him when he was really young. I was still in high school and he’s not much older than me….he’s what 35. He must have been in his early twenties. That’s crazy! And he was phenomenal and I was like who is this kid?!?. “

Do you go to a lot of their shows whenever you can catch them?

“Yeah, we’ve had the pleasure to share festival stages. This year, I think that this is our third, no maybe fourth time. It is so great because then you get to hang out. It is so nice to just be able to hear them, let alone to be able to tell them how much you enjoy their show. I was so intimidated at first with introducing myself. I was so scared and she was immediately so sweet and so chill and made me feel so comfortable. It was really heartwarming to know that people are good, even if they are that talented…they’re still just people.”

Who are your musical influences?

“I grew up listening to a ton of Bonnie Raitt, EmmyLou Harris, Little Feat, The Band….that kind of stuff. In my parents house growing up with that it’s kind of eclectic…weekends it would be classical music. Then my mom is into Graham Parsons and Patsy Klein, more old country music and my dad was more into the Grateful Dead. I got a good range of Americana. As I got older and was on my own, I got more into soul. I listened to a lot of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Stevie Wonder. The roots are in the stuff that my parents listened to and I still find myself listening to that type of music more now. I have been through the gamet as to what type of musical tastes I might have acquired. At the end of the day, it’s like no just give me some Bonnie and I will be cool.”

So, what type of stuff do you listen to?

“As I said Tedeschi Trucks right now…I’m obsessed with them. The last couple of years I haven’t been able to really stop listening to them. The Wood Brothers for me right now…love them. I mean, I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. I try to branch out. I’m one of the worst people about new music and I have a hard time finding it or listening to it. I don’t actually listen to a lot of radio. I try to branch out but the boys always make fun of me. I’m such a creature of habit. I just want to listen to the albums that I love….like that you can sing along to. Especially when I’m driving, I want to have my records on.”

What do you not prefer to listen to?

“I guess it comes down to being able to sing along to it. So for me if it’s really far out there experimental jazz stuff…like free jazz; I have a hard time really digging my heels into that. I can listen to it and appreciate it but I’m not like wooo. But some of the guys, it really gets them going and it’s a very different palette than what I came from. I listened to a lot of hip hop growing up because my older sister was really into Biggie. Then my brother got into Emenem so there is a whole different side as well. That comes out sometimes when I’m singing and I have a little bit of a percussive way. Sometimes I will be a little rappy when I do the lines. It probably comes from being in high school and listening to TuPac.”

What are dream stages? If you could play anywhere in the world, where would you want to play?

“I’m looking forward to the day that I can go to, let alone play, the Red Rocks. I’ve never even gone there. I just hear that it is supposed to be such a phenomenon. For some reason the Hollywood Bowl is in my head as one of those places. I feel like I’ve had a lot of really amazing opportunities to play a lot of really amazing stages. We played at the Beacon with Gov’t Mule…two New Year’s Eves ago. And that was one of those is this really happening moments. I try to take it all with a grain of salt. Every one accomplishment that you have is going to be backed up with like seven disappointments. So you just have to keep the wheel spinning.”

It was so refreshing to hear an artist talk about being a fan and to talk with her about her goals and aspirations.  She truly is a one of a kind performer but she’s an even more amazing person and one that I hope to catch up with a bit this year at Summer Camp.

Protect Your Eyes — Facts You Might Not Know About Sunglasses

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Far too many people think of sunglasses just as an accessory. They do not think about the facts or why you need to wear them. This means that when they leave a pair behind, they are not overly concerned or focused on picking up another pair right away. When I was offered a couple of amazing pairs of Simply Vera by Vera Wang sunglasses I could not help but get excited. Sunglasses are perhaps my favorite accessory and the one thing that I try to never leave home without. In fact, I usually have a pair in each of my bags and in my car so that I can always have them close enough to make sure that they are on.

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Prevent Macular Degeneration

One of the things that I love about wearing sunglasses is knowing that I am really doing something great for my eyes for the long term. Macular degeneration can occur when your eyes are exposed to violet or blue portions of the lights that are in the solar spectrum. Many people do not realize how damaging these types of rays are to their eyes. By wearing sunglasses when you are outside, you are reducing your chance of having macular degeneration.

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Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

It is so important for you to be able to protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun. Not only can the UV rays cause harmful cataracts, but it can also cause there to be growths on your eyes or for you to suffer from painful photokeratitis. Photokeratitis is the condition of temporary blindness which causes you to have a small sunburn on your eyes. This heals quickly which is why you can see but it can cause headaches or long lasting damages. Wearing stylish sunglasses like these awesome Cassi Aviator Sunglasses from Simply Vera by Vera Wang, can help you to make sure that you are avoiding harmful damage from UV rays to your eyes.

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Keep Skin Cancer Away

 

Another thing that many people do not realize is that the sensitive skin around your eyes is one of the most common places for you to get skin cancer. Because these tissues are more delicate, it is more likely that they are going to have skin cancer. It does not matter if you are driving, working, or playing outside; you will want to keep your sunglasses on. There are so many great styles from Simply Vera by Vera Wang that you will be able to find one that is perfectly suited for you. Personally I love that the Cassi comes in different colors. I was so excited to be able to check out the Shiny Brown. These are the perfect understated sunglasses for every day. Plus when I am wearing them, I am going to be reducing my chances of having skin cancer.

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Make Driving at Night Easier

Did you know that being outside in direct sunlight can actually cause you to have problems with the darker times of day? We travel a lot as a family. Many times we are traveling all day long and then driving throughout the night as well. Wearing sunglasses during the day means that my eyes are better equipped to be able to handle driving at night. So, the drives are safer for my family.

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I love learning new things and was excited to learn about all of these ways that wearing sunglasses can make my life just a little bit better. I love that I can take my family on vacation and know that I am better equipped to handle driving conditions. I also love knowing that my eyes are healthier and that I am preventing certain types of skin cancer just by wearing my favorite accessory

Summer’s Coming and You Know the Hottest Place to Be is Summer Camp Music Festival 2016

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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The 16th annual Summer Camp Music Festival is going to be one amazing weekend of music and fun.  Each year, I fall a little more in love with my Summer Camp family.  Yes the people in my family change from time to time but I can always be certain that it is going to be a good time.  As a mom, I have found that festivals are no longer the same that they were without kids….but that does not mean that I still can not go and have an amazing time.  Actually, when my children go with me, it becomes a magical family experience that is honestly one of our children’s favorites.

The 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival Line Up

Of course one of the first things that you are going to want to check out is the line up for this year’s festival.  The bands that are coming this year include old favorites as well as new bands that I want to check out and bands that I have always wanted to see.

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Get Your Tickets Now….Before It’s Too Late

Of course, you are going to want to pick up your tickets so that you can see all of the amazing talent that will be at Summer Camp Music Festival 2016.  You can get your tickets here.

 

Summer Wardrobe for Baby and Toddler Girls from Zutano

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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If you have been following the blog, then you know that Zutano is one of those brands that I have fallen in love with. If you have just joined us, let me tell you a few of the things that I love about the Zutano line of clothing for babies and toddlers. One of my favorite things is that they always have such bright and fun colors. There are no boring pastels and baby clothes that look like every other line of baby clothes. These clothes are innovative, fresh and cute. When I was looking at putting together posts for boys and girls I did notice a few things though…with girls it is so much harder to not over shop! There are just more choices! I am including fifteen of my favorite must have items for baby and toddler girls that are available with Zutano.

Fifteen Pieces for a Perfect Baby Girl Summer Wardrobe

Tops

Raibow Candy Stripe Baby Ruffle Sunshine Top $25

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Lions Lullaby Baby Short Sleeve Peasant Top $19.50

Summer Smile Baby Reversible Sunshine Top $28

Raindrops Baby Swing Screen Tee $19

One Pieces

Rainbow Candy Stripe Baby Ruffle Bubble $28

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Ellas Elephants Baby Cap Sleeve Bodysuit $26

Dresses

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Ellas Elephants Baby Short Sleeve Surplice Dress $30

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Lions Lullaby Baby Keyhole Collar Dress $30

Bottoms

Rainbow Candy Stripe Baby Skinny Leggings $19.50

Ellas Elephants Baby Harem Pants $22

Jackets/Hoodies

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Orchid Cozy Swing Jacket $26.50

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Ellas Elephants Reversible Baby Hoodie $44

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Hot Pink Terry Baby Bodice Jacket $36

Hat

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Ellas Elephants Baby Sun Hat $19

Booties

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Ellas Elephants Baby Booties $21

Fifteen Pieces for a Perfect Toddler Girl Summer Wardrobe

Tops

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Ellas Elephants Toddler Flora Top $26

Rainbow Candy Stripe Toddler Cap Sleeve Tee $20

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Violetta Toddler Cap Sleeve Screen Tee $20

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Amazing Day Toddler Cap Sleeve Screen Tee $20

Flower Shower Toddler Flora Top $26

Dresses

Flower Shower Toddler Sunny Day Dress $36

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Fuchsia and White Stripe Toddler Tiered Sleeveless Dress $36

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Elephantasia Toddler Ruffle Hem Dress $29.50

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Ella’s Elephants Raglan Sleeve Dress $34

Skirt

Fuchsia and White Stripe Toddler Dancing Skirt $29

Bottoms

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Ellas Elephants Toddler Puff Pocket Shorts $26

Rainbow Candy Stripe Toddler Bike Shorts $18.50

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Superstripe Toddler Skinny Leggings $19

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Fuchsia Toddler Stretch Knit Legging $29

Jackets/Hoodies

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Violetta Reversible Toddler Hoodie $48.50

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Fuchsia Terry Toddler Bodice Jacket $40

These items are favorites that I love and ones that I am sure that my daughter would love as well. I love being able to offer her high quality clothing that looks cute and allows her to enjoy the experience of dressing herself.

 

 

 

Summer Wardrobes for Baby and Toddler Boys from Zutano

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

We all know that when it comes to infant and toddler clothes that I have a few favorite brands. One of my favorites is Zutano. I love the bright colors, fun prints, and everything about this brand that is known for its comfort. It is a perfect brand for any infant or toddler boy. There are so many pieces that I want to share with you so that you know about the spring and summer wardrobe.

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The Zutano line for little boys has it all….pants, jackets, rompers, shorts, shirts, and even accessories. The best part is that the entire line comes to you in colors and prints that coordinate beautifully for each and every outfit that you are hoping to find.

I love so many of the pieces that I wanted to share with you my top ten picks for the summer for your infant and toddler boys. The best part is that if you pick up these ten pieces, you can mix and match your way to so many outfits. This means that if you have limited space or limited income that you can mix and match as many outfits as you’d like. How fun will it be to make sure that you get the exact outfits that you want without having to spend a fortune or have a dresser full of clothes. Sometimes less really is more!

Ten Pieces for a Perfect Baby Boy Wardrobe

Tops

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Splish Splash Baby Short Sleeve Screen Tee $18

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Periwinkle Multi Stripe Short Sleeve Tee $18

Sing Along Baby Baseball Screen Tee $22

Big E Screen Baby Boy Shirt $27

Bottoms

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Orange Baby Shorts $14

Pagoda Baby French Terry Big Pocket Shorts $32

Enzos Elephants Baby Pants $19.50

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Pool Terry Baby Pants $26.50

Jacket

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Enzos Elephants Baby Reveresible Hoodie $44

Pool Cozy Baby Contrast Hoodie $43.50

If you decide that you have extra money, then there are some adorable accessories that you should add to the pile. I would highly recommend a hat and a pair of booties.

Hat

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Pool Baby Hat $10.50

Booties

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Enzos Elephants Baby Booties $21.50

Ten Pieces for the Perfect Toddler Boy Summer Wardrobe

Tops

Car Tunes Toddler Short Sleeve Screen Tee $22

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Traffic Screen Toddler Baseball Tee $24

Colorful Cars Toddler Polo Shirt $29

Periwinkle Mutli Stripe Toddler Polo Shirt $29

Bottoms

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Colorful Cars Toddler Treehouse Shorts $28

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Pool Toddler Bike Shorts $16.50

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Navy Terry Toddler Pants $29

Mandarin Toddler Matchstick Jean $36

Jackets/Hoodies

Navy Toddler French Terry Zipper Jacket $40

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Colorful Cars Toddler Reversible Hoodie $48.50

As you can see Zutano can make shopping easier for parents by offering the right clothing choices for perfectly matched outfits. They are also a great choice for vacations and trips because you can get everything that you are looking for with pieces that mix and match so easily that your little one is always the perfect vision of style even when you are trying to pack light.

Versus — A March LootCrate to Remember

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

If you’ve been following the blog, then you are sure to know that one of my favorite things in the entire world is LootCrate.  My twelve year old son is past the age of excitement when it comes to most things but each month, I find that he is super excited to open his LootCrate and check it out.  March was no different and I love that I can share his thoughts on the products that were contained inside.

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March 2016 LootCrate — Versus

LootCrate always curates such a unique and fun mix of products for you to check out.  I love this about the products and I love that I can share what they have to offer with all of you.

Superman Vs Batman Wallet

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My son was super excited about this unique wallet.  I loved that it was made from an extra sturdy and thick paper like product.  It was a really cool design and was unlike any wallet that I have ever owned, or even seen for that matter.  The graphics were fun and it appears to be high quality and perfect for anyone who is a fan of Batman or Superman.

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I took this shot in case you were wondering what all of the papers that you could see in the previous picture looked like.

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Star Trek T-Shirt

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This Star Trek t-shirt is more than just for Trekkies.  It is a fun a shirt that shows the verses theme very well.  Andrew has loved wearing this one and I have seen him wear it a few times.

#LootPins

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The monthly collectible #LootPin is one of my favorites out of all of the boxes.  This one just seems a little more detailed and interesting to me.  Andrew liked it quite a bit and has requested that I get him a special board for all of his pins.

Daredevil Vs Punisher Stocking Cap

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The reversible Daredevil vs the Punisher stocking cap is probably Andrew’s favorite thing out of this month’s LootCrate.  He loves it!  I constantly see him wearing it and know that it is one item that he is going to continue wearing for some time. This is one of those that might eventually get a little annoying because, let’s face it stocking caps in the summer is not something that I would strongly encourage. However, if it makes the twelve year old boy happy…well that makes it one of the greatest things in the world!

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Alien Vs Predator

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Also included in the month’s subscription is this fun Alien vs Predator figure. I love that my son got the alien because although I am not a huge fan of the new movie, I was a HUGE fan of the older movie from my childhood. This reminded of that movie and the time that I watched it for the first time when I was a child with my own father. Little things that remind me of past memories are things that I love seeing and I love that I get to create new memories with own son as well.

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Harley Quinn Comic Book

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There was also an included Harley Quinn comic book. This comic book is one that was an exclusive to LootCrate which means that if you did not get LootCrate, you can’t get this comic book. It is a full color comic book with a unique and fun storyline that I don’t want to spoil in case you have this exciting and fun LootCrate on the way to you.

Little Extras

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Each month you get a beautiful color brochure that reminds you of a comic book. This brochure tells you about the products in your LootCrate box and also talks about the chosen theme. This month there was also a card for the Word Gush game.

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The best part about LootCrate is just how affordable it is. This subscription box is available to you for just $11.95-$13.95/month depending on how long you choose to subscribe for.

The Struggle is Real — Learning to Overcome Where I’ve Failed Before

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

The struggle for weight loss is real. I know that if you have been around for a while….you have seen me do terrible. I have struggled with weight loss since Adeline was born. This past summer while we were in Colorado for our family vacation, I ended up struggling with climbing the Red Rocks Ampitheater. I made a promise to myself that day as I was on the verge of tears from pain, frustration, embarrassment, and shame that my weight and physical shape would never again hold me back. I will admit that I came back home and fell into the same old habits. I made a promise to myself that I was going to do better and be different in the new year.

 

On January 1st, 2016 I made a lofty goal to hit my goal weight by my 35th birthday (July 25, 2017) and knew that in 19 months it would be possible to lose the weight that I wanted to in a healthy way. I do not have a specific goal weight because I am not sure how my body has changed since having baby number 4. Instead what I have is a drawer full of tight “goal weight” jeans that I expect to be tight when I hit my goal. I also have a drawer of lose jeans that I want to be my comfortable every day/go to pairs. I am estimating that I will need to lose between 134 and 154 lbs to reach this goal.

 

Well, today I stepped on the scale and almost cried. I am down 26.5 lbs in the first 6 weeks of the year….not too shabby for someone who never thought that she could do it again. I am motivated and moving towards my goal of being healthy. The exciting thing for me is that we are going to Colorado again this September. This time it will just be my husband and myself but I swear that I am going to crush the Red Rocks!! That’s right, not only will I climb the stairs going into the amphitheater but I am going to walk up all of the steps in the amphitheater as well. I am going to do it and I am going to take a picture at the top!

 

For me, I believe that success comes from changing your mindset. I still struggle with things….like right now I really want more Pepsi (yes I had a small glass with dinner because deprivation leads to binging for me!)….but what I am drinking? Evian. It is the small steps that you have to celebrate. The small steps that lead towards the giant leaps. Do I think that it is always going to be easy? I know better! Has this been easy? No! There have really been quite a few little struggles along the way but I find that I do best when I brush myself off and work hard to be able to reach my goals.

 

So, I am excited to share this news with you and I am going to share some additional news and information along the way in hopes of encouraging you. If you are struggling and need some help please reach out to someone. I needed others to help motivate me and if you need others to help motivate you, you can email me at amandamillerwritingservices@gmail.com. I am not affiliated with any program and I am not going to try to sell you anything. I am just here to encourage you as I know that many of you have seen my struggle through the blog!

I also promise to share some before and after pics with you as soon as I hit that 30 lb weight loss!!

Combat Mission Accomplished — A Look Back at the November LootCrate

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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There are few things in life that my 12 year old gets excited about….but with that being said, there are so many things that he has been in love with when it comes to LootCrate.  It’s kind of like Christmas each month when he opens his packages up.  For me the fun of LootCrate can not be compared because who doesn’t want to see their hard to please pre-teen excited about something?!?

So, since I have been ill and had so much happen at the end of last year unexpected….I am back to blogging with a vengeance and want to get all caught up with the amazing companies that I review.

November 2015…Combat

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I had not previously paid any attention to the Fallout series of games….I know, not a gamer personally, but with a gamer husband and son this was kind of fun to learn about.  Fallout is one of the most popular games at this time.  This means that this exciting LootCrate had all of the goods that my son wanted.

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Each month when you receive your LootCrate, you get a pin that features the month’s theme.

Of course, what teenage or preteen gamer is not going to enjoy a LootCrate that is filled with favorites from all of his combat games.

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One of the first things that I noticed with this LootCrate was that it had a fun Vault Boy bobblehead from the popular game, Fallout.  This little guy has been a permanent fixture on my son’s bookshelf since he received it.

 

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One of the things that my son is currently obsessed with is comic books. He even wanted to go to Comic Con last year for his birthday. So the fact that sometimes you get special edition comic books in your LootCrate is one of the reasons that he first asked for the subscription. I was pretty excited for him that our first month’s LootCrate had a special edition Street Fighter comic book included.

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Speaking of comic books, each month LootCrate features a book that is reminiscent of a fun comic book. The book leads you through all of the information about the subscription that month and introduces you to the items that are included in your shipment.

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The next thing in the LootCrate box is something that I absolutely fell in love with. It was a Cute But Deadly figure and it is so cute! I know that this is not what my son would use to describe this figure but I can’t help it! These characters are fun and I love that the small action figure was featured.

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Another Cute But Deadly feature in the November box was these awesome special edition magnets. My son instantly exclaimed with how cool they were and that he could use them anywhere, even inside of his locker at school.

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Then there were these awesome pair of Shredder Shades. While my son is not in love with everything in his crates each month, there are many months where he is. These were a miss for him, but thankfully he has a six year old little brother who thought that these were the best things since sliced bread!

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Now, even though I am not a gamer that does not mean that I am not a bit of a nerd as well. In fact, I love reading and I read books from all genres. I enjoy many different types of sci-fi and a recent favorite of mine in the past few years has been the Hunger Game series. While it was not love with the movies, the books were definitely something that I fell in love with! This pin is pretty cool and I liked that it was not too big where no one would ever wear it, but also that it was not too small where no one would ever notice it. It is a nice sized pin and one that I think both my son and I were excited to see in the box.

A Few Favorites About LootCrate

LootCrate is a favorite in our house of the monthly subscription boxes. We have been subscribers to a few recently, either for review or on our own and this is certainly one that ranks in as a top rated choice. If you are unsure if this is something that you would love, then you can sign up for the first time with a one month plan for just $13.95/mo. If you sign up for 3 months, it is just $13.25 per month. With a six month subscription you save even more and it will only cost you $12.95 per month. Then if you decide to go with the one year subscription, it is just $11.95 per month and you even get a free t-shirt!

Now here is here I am going to really brag about LootCrate for a minute.  One of the things that I like the most about this subscription is that it features a little bit of something for everyone.  Plus, it has a mixture of fun items, unique things that you won’t find anywhere else, and practical items.

 

Comfortable Mom Style for Everyday with LulaRoe

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Have you heard of LuLaRoe? If you haven’t then you are truly missing out! This amazing company has set out with the mission to provide women everywhere with a beautiful, colorful, affordable, and comfortable wardrobe. I know that these things might not sound like they could really be achieved with one brand but I have to tell you that they are wrong!

lularoe

One of the favorite things that I was sent in 2015 were my adorable new clothes from LuLaRoe. These exciting pieces are so comfortable and they look nice too. Plus, they are items that I get complimented on every single time that I walk out my door. I am seriously in LOVE with the clothes and with the new addiction that I have, I see a lot of LuLaRoe in my future (as soon as I am buying clothes again when I hit my weight loss goal)!

A New Addiction to Leggings

If you know me personally, you know that I already have a problem when it comes to leggings. I seriously LOVE them! I am obsessed with how comfortable they are and how great they look – even though I am few sizes bigger than I would like to be.

leggings

Well, LuLaRoe has stepped up the leggings game. They offer a great thick yoga band waistband that is so comfortable and also very flattering. I actually feel more confident in these leggings than any other that I own….even though they are quite a bit brighter than colors that I normally wear.

The Irma – It Might Be My Favorite Tunic of All Time!!

Irma

(**sorry that I do not have a picture of myself wearing this Irma with the leggings….I will update soon.  My laptop recently crashed and I lost a TON of pictures and work!)

Now another thing that you would know if you were a personal friend of mine is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE tunics! I wear tunics all of the time…whether it be with leggings or jeans or other types of pants! I love the Irma. Now I was first sent the Irma in a size small (which actually fit so that was a shock but it was more like a fitted shirt than the flowy tunic it was supposed to be) and then later I received one in the correct size a large and it is so flowy, roomy and comfortable. However, I still wear them both because the materials are great and they feel so good!

irma 2

(This is the Irma in small on!)

So if you like comfortable clothes….let’s face it, what mom doesn’t!….or if you have a tight budget for clothes then you have got to check out LuLaRoe! One thing to keep in mind is that these clothes are available through consultants. Phil and Danielle are wonderful to deal with and were a joy to work with for this review. I would highly recommend checking their shop out and showing them a little bit of your shopping love!

lularoe

As you can tell I have the LuLaRoe bug and I can’t wait to be able to purchase some more to enjoy!!!

5 Homeware Trends You Have to Take Note of in 2016

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you like staying on top of the most current trends?  Do you read fashion magazines for fun?  If so, there is no reason for you to continue living in an old and outdated home.  Instead, you can make sure that you stay on top of current trends with your décor.  In 2016 there are some fun trends that I personally can not wait to check out!

Trend #1 — Texture

homewares

The first trend that you are going to notice in 2016 is texture.  That’s right, there are many different textures that are popular this year.  I love that you can mix and match textures for a unique look.  I have to admit that even at my age I love bling.  I am currently obsessed with the fun Aviva Stanoff Design Mermaid Sequin Pillows.  I love all of the different colors that they come in too!

Trend # 2 — Gold

lamp

Since I love bling it is probably no surprise to you that I love gold.  I have to admit that lately I have been on a bit of a gold kick.  I have a gold planner, a gold iPad case, my iPhone is gold, and so is my iPhone case!  That’s right….I jumped on this trend quickly.  When it comes to the home there are a few ways that you can quickly add some gilded love to any room.  I am currently wishing for some gold lamps and lighting in my own home.  I found the World’s Away Westin Lamp in Gold Leaf with Acrylic Base and fell in love with its fun and unique style.

Trend #3 — Sustainable Living

vase

I have to admit with my own passion for thrift store finds that sustainable living is a trend that I can certainly stand behind.  I personally try to find unique pieces at thrift stores or on eBay that are fun and will stand out or mesh well with other trends that I like.  I really love a vintage vase like this one could look amazing next to a new trend like the gold lamp above.

Trend #4 — Artisan Goods

rug

Hand made Artisan good are one of the biggest trends for this year.  One of the things that I love for the home is a beautiful handwoven rug, like this one from NOVICA.  The best thing is that it is hand made and available for you to make a difference in the artist’s life.

Trend #5 — Bold Colors

chaise

It seems that bold colors are the rage this year.  This is certainly one trend that is going to be a lot of fun in your home. One of my favorite ways to use a bold color is in one statement piece of furniture and a few basic accessories throughout the room. I love this cute hot pink chaise lounge and how it could be styled in any room. The biggest thing to remember with bold pieces is to keep other pieces in the room neutral and muted.