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a gallery wall you'll love

surviving pregnancy with a 1 year old

how to knot your top

3 new uses for your dry shampoo

lipstick that stays

1 dress 3 ways

how to create a gallery wall you'll love

This morning I was lying in bed staring at the gallery wall remembering all of the amazing memories the wall held.

This wall has went through about 6 different changes since we moved in 2 years ago and I think I've finally landed on my favorite arrangement.

We have photos from our wedding.

We have the map from the orchard Rishi brought me when he proposed.

We have photos from when Roy was not even a week old.

And we have things that just make me plain old happy like hanging plants and a weave from my friend's etsy shop (Junah Woods, in case you want one too!).

 If you've been struggling with creating a gallery wall you love, here are a few tips!

1. If you like clean + simple, stick with frames that are the same color. You can't got wrong with a gallery wall of all white or all black frames.

On the flip side, if you like a bit of color in your life, start with one basic color, like white or black, and add in pops of whatever color is in the room. I put a few pops of blue and gold in mine to give it a bit of contrast.

2. Don't only use photos in your frames! Add in paintings that your children did, quotes you love or memorabilia (like the map on my wall!).

3. Add things with texture. A weave or plants can add a beautiful new dimension to the wall.

4. Leave some room to allow it to grow and expand. We can easily add things above and on the sides of our wall for things like baby #2 or updated family photos.

5. Lay out all of your items on the ground and arrange them how you want them before starting to put holes in the wall. I'm finally getting better at doing this and it makes a huge difference! You can go as far as cutting out paper the size of each frame and taping them to the wall or just eyeball it when it's time to actually hang them. Trust me, this step will save your wall. ;)

A gallery wall should be something fun that reminds you of amazing memories and things that make you happy so don't stress too much when creating yours!

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surviving pregnancy with a one year old

long while back in September after I had mostly recovered from my first pregnancy (sense the sarcasm there?), I shared a post about 10 tips for surviving pregnancy. Every single one of those still ring true for the 2nd time around, especially giving into your cravings.

It's summer. I crave ice cream constantly. It's Rishi's go to when I'm crying (which yep, still happens a lot) and it makes him lost and confused when I say I don't want it (because I actually do but for some reason I say no). Just eat the ice cream, people. You don't need to eat the whole carton but a small scoop will do wonders, trust me.

Anyways. Pregnancy with a 1 year old has it's challenges. When I'm coming in from a run and I have to pee SO bad because I swear this baby is sitting directly on top of my bladder, I have to choose - do I 1. get the kid out of the stroller, get inside, put him down in a spot that's not directly in front of the dog's water which I know he'll get into which just happens to be right outside the bathroom and risk peeing my pants or 2. do I just wheel the stroller to the back door and leave the back door and bathroom door open while I quickly pee out the 2 teaspoons of fluid from my bladder (it always feels like a gallon but inevitably is a sprinkle) and hope our new neighbors aren't outside hearing me pee. These are the hard decisions I get to make on a daily basis. ;)

For those of you who have one child and are debating adding another one to the family, are pregnant with your 2nd or you're just really interested in things I've learned about being pregnant with a 1 year old, here are some tips and tricks for surviving your 2nd pregnancy with an infant/toddler in the house.

1. Go to the bathroom at the very last second before leaving the house. (I promise they won't all be bathroom related!) I was always getting myself fully ready, including using the bathroom, before getting Roy ready and Chloe in her kennel. By the time we were walking out the door I had to pee again! There's nothing worse than getting to Target and having to go to the bathroom when your 13 month old wants to touch anything and everything in sight.

2. Nap when they nap. I don't take this advice as often as I should, but every once in a while I'll scoop up Roy when he doesn't want to nap in his crib and he and I will take a snooze in his rocker. He's not the biggest cuddler in the world so I'll take 'em when I can get 'em. Then I get a nap and Roy and I get some cuddle time - win win!

3. Keep snacks in your bag that both you and your toddler can eat. We recently picked up a giant box of Belvita breakfast cookies and fig bars that both Roy and I love so I keep a package with me at all times for when one (or both) of us gets hangry.

4. Take everything people say to you about having a 2nd child (especially ones that'll be 16 months apart) with a grain of salt. I know I said this in the last post but it bears repeating. I've had some of the funniest responses from friends and strangers ranging from calling me crazy to the most common one of telling me I'm going to have my hands full once baby #2 is born. I've known enough people who've survived with 2 kids, or heck even TWINS for that matter, to know that no matter what the temperament of this 2nd baby is, we're going to be just fine.

5. Move all of the kid toys from your bed to the bathroom. There's nothing worse than stepping on a kid toy at 2am on your 3rd trip to the bathroom.

6. Recognize that things that took you one weekend with your first might take you 3 months with your 2nd and be ok with that. We're moving Roy to a new room so baby girl can have his room since it's closest to our bedroom and have been working on decorating his room for about 2.5 months. We really aren't even doing that much to decorate but when your time is limited to post bedtime during the week (which always ends with us going to bed WAY later than we planned because who knew putting together a simple shelf would end up taking 3 hours....only to realize when the final nail is in that we put it together wrong and have to start all over with a brand new one the following week) and naps on the weekend (because when you're both working on something in the room and nobody is really paying attention to what the 1 year old is doing, a giant pot is tipped over from it's spot on the plant stand. don't worry, nobody was hurt but that resulted in another hour of clean up ha!).

Side note: if you have a calm child who loves to sit and read books by himself all day, every day, you won't be able to relate to this but if your child loves to play fetch with himself and sprint around the table for 20 minutes straight like Roy you may want to wait for nap time. ;)

7. Get help when you need it. Bath time is getting harder and harder with having to lean over the tub. Lifting our 50lb dog in and out of the car to go to the vet is pretty much not happening again after doing it this week. Learn your limits and don't feel bad to ask your spouse, parent or friend to lend a hand.

I am the WORST at this one. Definitely need to learn this one...! 

And those, my friends, are 7 tips for surviving your 2nd pregnancy. This 2nd pregnancy has definitely been more challenging than the first time around but it has gone so much quicker! It's probably partly because I don't have the time or energy to read every pregnancy blog or google every symptom that I'm experiencing but I'm just thankful week 30 is basically here and this baby is well on her way to make her debut!

What additional tips do you have? I'd love to know!

**Roy's onesie is from Hi.Little.One. Be sure to check them out for adorable onesies!!

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how to knot a top for a different look

I'm a big fan of slouchy tops. Maybe it's because I've been pregnant or recovering from pregnancy for almost 2 years and I feel like my stomach will never return to its pre-pregnancy state (although I do welcome the extra ice cream I can eat without anyone really noticing).

Or maybe because I've always liked my strong, runner legs and never really had strong toned arms of a swimmer/tennis player/I don't really know what specific sport gives you amazing arms since I've never had them. ;)

I ran across this Free People top on Instagram and fell in love with it. It happened to be worn by another pregnant person but I thought it would be perfect for my changing body and I'm always looking for clothes that can be worn during and after pregnancy.

I typically wear it loose and flowy but sometimes it gets a little crazy, especially on windy days, so a simple knot comes in handy! You can use this trick on any flowy top or on maxi dresses/skirts too! I knot up my maxi dresses with fun heels or wedges quite a bit - it makes them easier to wear on hot days AND it helps show off adorable shoes if you're wearing them.

To knot a top, simply grab a chunk in the lower part of one side. Be sure to not have this too far in the middle or you'll look pregnant (like me) and not too far to the side where it looks like you have a growth coming out of your side (just kidding, I'm sure people would know it's not actually a growth). ;)

Simply wrap the shirt around itself like you would a regular knot.

Pull it through so just a small amount of the shirt is through the knot. If you pull too much through that side of your top will barely hang out (depending on the length). If you have an extra long top you can pull more through, just make sure it doesn't make the knot look too sloppy!

And wala! An instantly chic way to give your top a bit of a face lift!

Or if you're like me and you live in one top for a few weeks at a time this will easily allow you to switch up the style a bit.

Shop this look!

Bracelet - Simple Statement Cuff

Necklace - Echo Necklace (NEW!!)

Free People Top - Bonus news, this top is on sale for only $33! You can find it here. Find it in black here (black is not on sale).

Pants are Blanqi - pretty much the most comfortable maternity leggings I own. I'm kicking myself I didn't just buy these when I was pregnant with Roy but I didn't want to spend the $64 on pants I could only wear for a short time. Rookie mistake!

Shoes are from Rue La La (and gone now) but you can find them on Amazon

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. This helps support my family and bring you free style tips! Woohoo! Thank you for your support!

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3 new ways for your dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is every woman's best friend and the answer to all of our problems, am I right?! ;)

Snoozed your alarm? Dry shampoo.

Last minute date after your evening yoga class? Dry shampoo.

New mom who'd rather sleep than shower? Dry shampoo.

Simply not a fan of washing your hair? Dry shampoo.

If you're like me you do the typical wake up too late to do your hair, spray some dry shampoo in your hair and go. BUT, I've teamed up with my girl Jenna Markson (who just gave me some fresh new coming soon) to give you 3 new uses for your dry shampoo! Go give her a follow on IG @hairbyjennamarkson and if you're local to Minneapolis be sure to check her out at Cajah Salon!

Jenna taught me to lift my hair and spray at the roots, give it a minute to dry and then use your finger tips to rub it in (let me tell you that works a lot better than aimlessly spraying like I was doing!).

And now on to Jenna's 3 new tips for using your dry shampoo!

First tip: Use it at night. The night before your second or third day hair, brush hair and the spray dry shampoo at roots. This helps absorb oil as it's produced. You can add more in the morning if needed.

Second tip: Use a dry shampoo that has some grip or hold this way it can double as a texture spray. Jenna introduced me to Oribe which is literally the BEST dry shampoo ever. I've used quite a few different ones and Oribe is awesome for creating a bit more texture that my fine hair needs. (Fine as in thin, not fine as in "girl, you're hair is fine/amazing/beautiful" case you needed clarification.)

Side note: This dry shampoo is definitely more expensive than I would normally spend but when something works as well as Oribe does and you can use half the amount of the cheaper version it makes it worth it. I was waiting to finish up another dry shampoo I bought until I bought it because I don't like to waste things so I was so excited when I finally hit the bottom and could get this dry shampoo! 

Third tip: Add bulk and hold back combing in.  Spray at roots before back combing to keep it from slipping out and spray into the lengths of hair before braiding or putting in a bun. Then gently pull on outer stands of the braid or bun to get a bulkier look.

Anyone do any of these tips? I can't wait to give them a try - especially for my braids and buns!! 

A huge thanks to Jenna for sharing her tips - don't forget to go follow her on Instagram to get even more tips like this!

Find Oribe dry shampoo here and Oribe texturizing dry shampoo here. I also like Living Proof's dry shampoo and you can try a 4oz bottle for a bit less than the Oribe!

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lipstick that stays - my review of Lipsense!

I'm sure you've seen people posting on social media or have had a girlfriend suggest you try out this new Lipsense thing. So have I! But I also have a severe case of lack of commitment (wink!) so trying out a lipstick that stayed on all day made me a bit concerned.

I've known tons of girls who have tried it and LOVED it - including one of my bffs Ali who is a professional singer and swears by it since she can wear a bright red lipstick, sing all night into a microphone and not have to worry a bit about smearing her lipstick down her face or having to reapply after every song.

My friend Erin over at Faith + Finn Beauty asked if I would try out one of their starter kits which includes a lip color, gloss and remover so I jumped on board!

I originally chose Carmel Apple but when I was shooting with my girl Chelsie (another Lipsense fan), she convinced me to go a bit more red for the photos so I tried Dark Pink.

Applying Lipsense is a bit more involved than regular lipstick where you have to apply it in one direction, let it dry and add 2 more coats before applying the gloss (be sure to check out Erin's fb group for lots of tips and tricks!).

It stings a bit as you put it on and as you can see by the photos I was a little concerned about putting it on exactly right (can you say perfectionist??).

But after the gloss was on and I saw what it looked like, I loved it! After shooting some pictures I went home to Rishi and gave him a big kiss on the cheek and not a tiny bit came off (which let me tell you, he was quite happy about!).

{photo cred Chelsie Lopez Production}

I'm definitely going to be using Lipsense for date nights (Rishi and I have different ideas of when it's time to reapply my lipstick when I leave it up to him to tell me...) and for other fun events! A big thanks to Erin for sharing Lipsense with me!

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one dress three ways

When you're pregnant or breastfeeding your wardrobe options are extremely limited. I completely underestimated the breastfeeding aspect after having Roy but when you're nursing a baby you need your girls accessible (yet still covered) when out and about. That meant the majority of my dresses couldn't be worn because of their neckline!

We had a wedding shortly after Roy was born and I had the worst time trying to find something to wear that was stylish yet nursing friendly. (I ended up wearing the one skirt that actually fit me with a top I didn't love in case you were wondering...and no, we don't have any photos from the event because I felt so frumpy ha!)

I was recently sent some clothes from Kimi and Kai (you can also find their clothes at Nordstrom) which included a bump friendly AND nursing friendly black dress! I threw it on immediately and loved how flattering it is. It hugs in all the right places (and ruches in the perfect spots too...wink!) and is the perfect LBD for the pregnant or nursing mama.

Because I'm a believer that things in your closet should be able to be worn for more than just one occasion, here's the dress styled 3 different ways!

First up - classically simple.

The dress itself is beautiful and perfect for a wedding or fancier dinner. I simply paired it with a subtle pink strappy heel, and some statement gold accessories (when the dress is simple I highly recommend wearing funky accessories like our Zia earrings and Kyanite necklace to jazz things up a bit). Add in a fun gold clutch and you're ready to go!

Next up - brunch!

A black dress can easily be dressed down when paired with a something casual like a vest. Fun jewelry like the Zia earrings in white and the Triangle Wire necklace (or even fun turquoise earrings) and either sandals or casual slip ons make this the perfect brunch outfit that all your girlfriends will love (along with that baby they're sure to be passing around once it arrives!). Add a big ole' tote perfect for swinging by the farmer's market after brunch and you're all set!

Finally - date night!

Date night dress options can get really, really repetitive (trust me, I know). Kimonos are every girls best friend since you can literally wear them no matter what size you are and still look chic. I paired my dress with a black and red kimono from Elizabeth Gillett who is so graciously giving all of YOU 20% off through 8/10 with the code sparrow!

I added a long black and gold tassel necklace (that landed right square on my bump but I'm so in love with it that I didn't even care) and some gold earrings. I keep my jewelry and shoes a bit more muted when I'm wearing a more statement piece like the kimono. You don't want to overwhelm your date! ;)

So there you have it! 3 looks out of 1 dress. If you're a pregnant or new mama I highly recommend picking this dress up! It's going to be your go to dress for many (and I mean MANY) months.

photos taken by Chelsie Lopez

a huge thank you to Kimi and Kai for the dress and Elizabeth Gillett for the kimono!

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a berry merry event with Twin Cities Mom's Blog!

Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend a fun event put on by Driscoll's and Twin Cities Mom's Blog at the Children's Learning Adventure in Chanhassen. 

Walking in to the event we knew it was going to be a fun one! Cookies from the Cookie Creative (my FAVORITE cookie place), mini cups of Driscoll's berries (for all the normal kids who love fruit unlike my crazy kid) and fun activities through the building and grounds.

Roy's super into balls right now so we headed into the gym so he could throw around some Roy-sized balls and play on the mats.

Then we headed outside to one of their many playgrounds that were perfect for Roy's age!

After visiting a few different playgrounds that don't have much for just-figuring-out-how-to-walk 1 year old (which I totally understand!), I so appreciate play areas that have things that little tikes can play with.

They also had their giant kitchen set up so kids could make their own peanut butter berry wraps - so cute!! I'm excited for Roy to be a little older so we can make those together.

We also spent some time dancing in their dance room and having a few snacks before heading out - Roy proceeded to crash the second we strapped him in his carseat! The TCMB crew wore him out!

I'm always grateful for chances to get out of the house with the family in a kid friendly event for some fun activities. Thanks Twin Cities Mom's Blog and Driscoll's!!

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local love: a babymoon at the Grand Hotel

This past weekend Rishi and I had the chance to stay at the Kimpton Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis as a little babymoon! We weren't sure we were going to get the time away just the two so we were absolutely thrilled when the Grand Hotel reached out to offer us a weekend getaway (and of course my parents agreed to watch Roy!).

{photo via Grand Hotel}

I had the opportunity to do a pop up event at the Grand Hotel last Christmas so I had been in their gorgeous, elegant lobby before but it was especially fun to be a guest there! Their valet staff was more than welcoming and made parking so simple so there's was nothing to worry about there. Check in was a breeze - and we just happened to check in during their complimentary wine hour which Rishi was happy about!

Fun fact about Kimpton hotels - they have a "secret social password" that you say at check in for a fun surprise. This summer's password is "sun salutations" which got us this DELICIOUS bag of Maddy & Maize popcorn. We could barely put it down in order for me to get a photo of it!

The venue opened up in 1915 so it has my absolute favorite kind of character + charm but it has a modern feel that Rishi loves. Our room was super cozy with an amazing view of downtown Minneapolis. I'm totally kicking myself for missing the opportunity to take a photo of the Foshay Tower lite up at night!

We got to enjoy some amazing massages during our stay too. Props to the Grand Hotel's LifeSpa because they actually have pregnancy pillows so I could get a real massage complete with sugar salt scrub on my back. It was heavenly. That was Rishi's first massage since our honeymoon...he deserved it! :)

They even left us fresh baked cookies in our room while we were at the spa. They really know the way to a girl's heart!!

In case you're locals or finding your way to Minneapolis in the future here's some spots we hit up! Friday night we walked to 112 Eatery for dinner - bonus for staying downtown, you can walk everywhere!

Saturday morning we slept in and walked over to Red Rabbit for brunch and over to Martin Patrick 3 and D.Nolo to do some shopping! We ended up finding some great stuff at Wit + Bliss for Roy's new room which I'm super excited about. Saturday evening we went to the new 510 Lounge (after enjoying some drinks + apps at the Grand's restaurant, the Six15 Room!). We ended our babymoon at Angel Food Bakery for donuts on Sunday morning (holy YUM).

Overall we had simply the best stay at the Grand Hotel. The staff was amazing and incredibly kind, the rooms were cozy and made us feel right at home and the environment was just perfect for a weekend of relaxing as we get ready to bring baby #2 into the world!

If you're looking for a weekend away or traveling to Minneapolis anytime soon, be sure to check them out! I promise you won't be disappointed. 

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things I'm loving: polka dot print shop

When I was pregnant with Roy I knew I wanted some sort of baby book that was easy to use but not too involved. I don't have time to write something every day - sometimes every month got hard enough! I literally spent hours looking and finally decided on Polka Dot Print Shop's baby journal.

Polka Dot Print Shop was started by a stay at home mama who wanted a clean, easy to use, modern baby book. I love being able to support fellow stay at home mamas and absolutely love this book!

Roy's book is spiral bound which makes writing in it so easy and classy looking so I can leave it out on the shelf and it doesn't "BABY". It includes personal pages to document things like how Rishi and I met and what our home was like as well as our family tree and our reactions to finding out we were pregnant (I hope he's not offended when he reads I was shocked haha!).

There's also pages to document who was at the hospital and what we brought as well as his birth story (both mom and dad's version!). Rishi still needs to fill in his pages but I think it'll be really fun for Roy to be able to read once he's our age and starting his own family!

As far as monthly pages go, they're pretty self explanatory with height/weight stats (which I only filled out if we had a recent dr appt otherwise I left it blank) as well as how he was eating and sleeping, what our daily routine was like, what he liked/disliked and any new milestones. Pretty easy peasy if you ask me! I could have wrote a bit more detail but it's still fun to look back and remember how he loved spinning in (very slow) circles with dad at 5 months old or how much he loves Bruno Mars.

There's also a couple pages of "firsts" like first food, first time sitting up, first time walking, etc and milestones like flying on an airplane, going to the library.

I loved it so much that I decided to get the same one (with a much girlier cover) for baby #2! I'm excited to fill this one in and be able to compare the difference between the two.

So if you're a mom or a mom-to-be, check out Polka Dot Print Shop! I promise that the simplicity of them will make it an easy thing to do during those crazy first months of your little one's life!

{P.S. They also have bump books, toddler books AND school years books!!}

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{guest blogger} swimsuit trend 2017: why everyone needs to try a one piece

Today's post is a guest post from Bea Bonte talking about swimsuits because let's be honest, I'm 5 month pregnant and probably not the best person to talk about this subject. ;) Without further ado, here's Bea!

As swimsuit season rolls around again, I’m certain I am in good company when I say, I dread shopping for swimwear. This year, I took a different approach and dove headfirst into the one- piece trend.  If you haven’t tried one yet, I’m begging you to reconsider. It’s a whole new world! Luckily for us, we are no longer restricted to the options of “competitive swimwear” or the  overly conservative “grandma suits”. One-pieces can be fun, cute, and SO comfortable! 

Being able to swim without the fear of losing a top or bottom gives you a real peace of mind. Less time worrying about your swimsuit functions means more time for fun! 

The options are endless and I have come across so many different styles, cuts, and patterns of one-pieces it really feels like there is something for everyone. This summer I picked a few of my favorites and can’t wait to buy more!  

I have found so many good options on amazon and prime 1-day shipping really helps when you are in a last minute swimsuit emergency!

Here are some of my favorites this season:

Cupshe Fashion Women's Floral Printing One-piece Swimsuit Beach Bathing Suit

The structure on top gives me support and offers some push up. The straps are adjustable- which means ladies of different heights can fix it to their liking. I love the floral print and it feels feminine without being cheesy. This is my go-to for family trips and events that I want a little more coverage but don’t want to sacrifice style.

Next Up:

Cupshe Fashion Women's Stripe Printing Open Back with Lace Up Padding One Piece Swimsuit, Blue



 I’m a big fan of stripes and the blue and white gives this suit a nautical feel. I love the back detail which is adjustable so i can make the top as tight as I need. This top is lightly padded and feels really secure in all of the key areas. The cut out up top is small but shows just the right amount of skin. The best part about these two suits is I don’t feel like I am constantly re-adjusting and everything stays in place :)

Womens Halter V Neck Lace One Piece Monokini Crochet Swimsuits Swimwear


I love this suit because of the simplicity and the lace. I’ve seen a bunch of suits like this online and finally pulled the trigger. The little bit of lace against the black is a perfect contrast without being too bold. I’m a huge fan of the simple back- plain black can be so classic and timeless and it really doesn’t need any extra frills. This suit is easy to pair with jean shorts or a dressier cover up and add some jewelry for an ultra glam look. It’s just so versatile! I’d advise taller ladies to size up since this tends to run a little short. This suit is one I would wear if my activity level was to be a little lower. It’s just a little less all purpose the my other options, but oh so pretty!  

Final Look:

SALICO Women's Letter Print High Cut Backless One Piece Monokini Bikini Swimsuit

This suit is definitely the most daring in my collection but maybe one of my faves. I sought this one out for months because I NEEDED to have it for my bachelorette party last summer.  This suit is so fun with a little edge and is surprisingly comfortable. Higher cut and not lined- this suit is very simple. They do have this option in black which might be a little more practical for swimming and longer term use.  Pair this white option with destroyed denim and it’s perfect for a fun beach day.


I’m so excited for the new trend of one-pieces and love seeing them pop up all over the place. There are tons of  styles and so many reasonably priced options that you can’t help but browse for hours. Take a look and try one out- I promise you won’t regret it!

Some of my favorite places to shop one pieces are listed below. Happy Shopping!




Swimsuits for All


Nani Nalu- This charming shop is located right off 50th and France in Edina. Walking in transports you to a tropical beach cabana oozing summertime vibes. The trained fit experts guide you through the shopping experience, finding you the perfect piece for you body. This would be a great girls day activity or special treat that everyone should try once!


Bea is a lifestyle blogger for and works as a social media consultant at and loves helping businesses succeed online.

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