Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Naughty Words - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Dreaming :: Of going back to NYC. The picture above is from Mulberry & Vine, a favorite spot from my trip earlier this month. I love finding restaurants that are great with food allergies. They had so many clearly labeled nut free, gluten free, and vegan choices. I seriously can’t wait to bring the monkeys.
Watching :: The Bachelorette! This group of crazy guys is going to make this an entertaining season for JoJo. Dying to see what happens…
Celebrating :: 15 years of marriage tomorrow! It feels like Don and I have been together forever, but now I know we definitely have. Both of us had birthdays this month too so it’s always a fun month to celebrate!
Reading :: Just finished The The Nightingale. My favorite line is at the end: “Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.” It’s about living in France during the Natzi invasion from a women’s perspective. If you haven’t read it, you definitely should.
Walking :: With Don. YES!! He got the all clear to take off his brace and start walking earlier this week. I’m beyond proud of his progress and can’t wait to take a little walk together this weekend.
Planning :: The monkeys birthday parties. I can’t believe they are going to be 8 and 11!
Making :: Vegan chickpea salad. Kind of obsessed actually. Bean loves it too so we’ve been making a double batch on the weekends. Check out my Instagram for a picture.
Resting :: Not enough. Lyme has been kicking my butt lately.
Shopping :: For Birkenstocks. Of course the monkeys love theirs but I’ve never splurged on a pair for myself. If you have them, what style do you like best? Totally overwhelmed by all of the options! Thinking maybe these sandals?

Have such a great Memorial Day weekend guys! XO

Moms: Get in the Picture

Moms: Get in the Picture - Under the Monkey Bars blog Moms: Get in the Picture - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Kids Fashion
Dress :: Ragdoll & Rockets from Lively Kids
Stone bead necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Floral printed tunic :: Ragdoll & Rockets from Lively Kids
Cream knit shorts :: Mayoral from Lively Kids
Sandals :: Birkenstock Kids

Mom Fashion
Kelly Green Romper :: Pretty Little Things
Stone pendant necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Sandals :: Yokono {similar}

Moms: Get in the Picture - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Moms need to be photographed more often with our kids. Don’t you think? I’m always the one taking the pictures. We have very few of me having fun with my monkeys — like these amazing shots from our recent fashion shoot. It’s so important to not only take pictures, but also be in them as well.

It doesn’t matter if you look tired or if you have spit up on your shirt. Nor does it matter if you haven’t showered or if you have roots. In the wise words of Elsa, let it go. We’ve all learned too often that life is short. 

My monkeys love taking selfies with me. I always end up looking at the wrong place so my eyes look weird. I rarely like the shots we take, but it’s not about me. It’s about being part of the fun and having those memories for the kids to look back at and see that you were there. You’re always there whether or not you’re in the picture. So why not make the effort to join them more often?

Hand your camera or phone to a friend or set aside some extra cash and hire a photographer. Candid shots of the every day moments are my absolute favorites. I love seeing the joy and love of family life come through a single frame. It’s real and it’s life. 

Record memories with your monkeys. Life is too short to be on the other side of the lens.

Local friends: Don’t forget to stop into the new Pretty Little Things store in Newburyport. Mention “Monkey Bars” when you checkout for 10% off your purchase through June 1st. 

Shoot Details
Fashion :: Pretty Little Things + Lively Kids
Photography :: Mercy Street Studio
Salon: Beautique
Hair: Tammy Silva
Makeup: Raena Mae Mason

Mother Daughter Fashion

PLTMay1a-13

Mother's Day Fashion Shoot - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Kids Fashion
Ruffle dress :: Eliane et Lena Tidyan from Lively Kids
White denim jacket :: Mayoral from Lively Kids
Chain statement necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Nautical layered lace dress :: Hatley from Lively Kids
Anchor hoodie :: Hatley from Lively Kids
Color zip boots :: Mini Boden

Mom Style
Blue dots dress :: Pretty Little Things
Tassel necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Watch :: Michele Chronograph
Brown boots :: Born {similar}

Mother's Day Fashion Shoot - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Our Mother Daughter fashion photo shoot was an absolute blast! It was lovely to spend the day bonding with my monkeys doing things we love together.

We spent Sunday morning at our favorite salon. It’s the first time ever that we all had matching nails. My stylist curled our hair for a more finished look. I haven’t had my makeup done in years and was thrilled at how natural it came out. They monkeys even wore some lip gloss and blush! It was so fun to be pampered. We truly felt like princesses.

I love that our outfits coordinate but aren’t matchy matchy. When you’re a tween, you don’t want to match your sister let alone your Mom. So uncool.

The monkeys naturally express themselves through fashion. It’s so important to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin — especially as kids get closer to middle school. We experiment and play with different looks and styles together. I know I’ll always have that special bond with them when it comes to fashion through the teenage years and beyond.

It doesn’t get more classic than blue and white for summer style. I’ve always loved the nautical look with a twist. Wear boots with dresses during this chilly New England spring, then transition to summer with sandals or flip flops. 

My dress and necklace are from Pretty Little Things, the new boutique here in Newburyport. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out! It’s the perfect little shop to pick up a few on-trend pieces each season. 

At first glance, I bet some Moms will think the clothes in the shop aren’t for them. Don’t make that mistake! Stop in and ask for help from the owner Michelle. I promise you won’t be disappointed. She truly has an eye for fashion and will make you look and feel fabulous! 

Mention “Monkey Bars” when you checkout for 10% off your purchase at the new Pretty Little Things store in Newburyport through June 1st. Shop local!

Shoot Details
Fashion :: Pretty Little Things + Lively Kids
Photography :: Mercy Street Studio
Salon: Beautique
Hair: Tammy Silva
Makeup: Raena Mae Mason

Khaki’s Bomb Balm Skin Care Giveaway

Khaki's Bomb Balm Giveaway - Under the Monkey Bars blog

I’m super excited to share with you the most AMAZING organic skin care products for Under the Monkey Bars first GIVEAWAY! Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re giving away a set of Khaki’s Bomb Balm ANTI-AGING skin care products.

I know. It’s so exciting I can barely contain myself. Can you tell by all the caps?!?

I’ve been using 10 of Khaki’s Bomb Balm products for 6 months now and my skin has never looked better. I actually got a compliment the other day that I’m “glowing” — and I’m not even pregnant.

I went in to see Khaki at her Face Food Skin Care Studio here in Newburyport for a complimentary consolation back in November. I was having a heat induced reaction to the antibiotics I was taking to treat Lyme. After trying at least 5 products without any improvement (including prescriptions), I was shocked at how quickly Khaki’s handcrafted products cleared up my skin.

Khaki's Bomb Balm Giveaway - Under the Monkey Bars blog

The giveaway features Khaki’s anti-aging skin care set, which retails for $85. I use all 4 of these products daily and absolutely love them: Grapeseed & Grapefruit Cleansing Milk, Anti-aging Rosehip Lavender CreamDusk Radiance Treatment Serum, and Raw Honey Almond Exfoliant. Wait till you open the cream! I can no longer buy skin care products without pressed flowers. It’s just so luxurious!!

Khaki’s Bomb Balm is a completely natural, vegan friendly line of products that you can feel good about using. She’s an esthetician who creates small batch skin care products out of real food right here in Newburyport! Plus, it warms my heart that I’m supporting a local Momma of two little monkeys.

I love winning stuff. Seriously. Did you know that about me? And I actually do win things. But you have to enter the giveaway to win! So fill out the entry form below and cross your fingers. Someone is going to win these luxurious products just in time for Mother’s Day!! The winner will be announced on May 4th.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway.

In my bag

In My Bag - Under the Monkey Bars Blog

In My Bag- Under the Monkey Bars blog

Classic tote :: Cuyana 
Wallet :: LODIS (mine’s 4 years old and still looks new)
Pouches :: One Truffle

Now that I’m tidying up my life, I need to decide which bags spark joy. This classic gray Cuyana tote I got for Christmas definitely does! It’s light as a feather, super soft, and sustainable. The company’s mission aligns with mine: fewer, better things. As I pare down what I own, I’m choosing quality over quantity. This timeless bag without flashy hardware goes with everything. It’s perfect for every day, and a great size for this busy Mom.

I’m totally in love with these pouches from One Truffle. I’ve had my eye on them for months. Everything in my bag goes into the clear pouches except my wallet, keys, phone, and sanitizer, making it super easy to grab what I need in a flash. My bag stays neat and organized with this system. 

Like most Moms, I manage to pack a lot in my bag so I'm always prepared!

Like most Moms, I manage to pack a lot in my bag so I’m always prepared!

In my Small Clarity Clutch
– The best cure for chapped lips: WAXALENE.
– Two kinds of LIP GLOSS so I always have just the right one.
– My favorite intensely thick HAND CREME.
SUNGLASSES won’t scratch in the pouch; no case necessary!
– Reusable COFFEE CUP SLEEVE because I’m super green and proud of it.

In my Large Clarity Clutch
– My bag hasn’t been without EPI-PENs since 2005.
– A REUSABLE BAG is an absolute must!
– My Great Aunt Flo’s pink leather CHECKBOOK stays close to my heart.
– Organic MINTS for the monkeys in case of emergency (you know the ones!).

What essentials do you carry in your bag?