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fashion thoughts

The. Most. Dramatic. Rose. Ceremony. Ever.

Derrek and I took a little hike yesterday to the property. I love going there on Sundays to be one with nature. I guess that’s my church. It’s so much more fun in the spring & summer! We ride dirt bikes, jump on the trampoline, play and laugh. I don’t like winter. Today was a little warmer than it has been so I actually did enjoy it. Derrek and I walked on the frozen creek. It really was beautiful!

I’ve been such a couch potato this winter. You can usually find me bundled up binge watching Greys or Friends. And now that Bachelor is back…game over.
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Family Fun fashion thoughts

The BEST gift you can give children-TIME!

I recently got together with my friends and their little ones to celebrate my Jax’s birthday. As a friend group we have SEVEN boys! We joke and say the first one to have a girl will be kicked out and can’t be friends with us anymore lol That hypothetical girl will actually be the most protected…seven boys to have her back!
Now that we are all growing older and raising our children we don’t see each other as much as we used to. We used to be together every weekend! Time passes by and having kids keeps us busy, but when we do all get together it’s like no time passes. Seeing our kids laugh and play warms our hearts. Time spent laughing over pizza and beer is now spent laughing over baby giggles and toddler stories…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I wanted to  get the newest little ones a little something to represent that gift of time and my love of fashion…what’s better than a baby watch?! I found these adorable cotton bracelets designed to look like a wrist watch. I thought this was the coolest thing. I wish I found these when my boys were little. They’re perfect for them to chew on and they look adorable with little outfits! The boys loved them and rock them all the time. I wish there was a little girl in our group, because the girl watches are just as adorable!
Baby Watch Bracelet Mockup Vertical- CircularWhat is the best gift you can give your children & your friends children? TIME! Be there. Show up. Give hugs/kisses.  Double tap that picture of them with their sweet grin as you’re scrolling though social media. Give high fives. Listen to them talk. Look at them in the eyes. Hold their hands. Pick them up. Take pictures. Play toss. Because before you know it, you’re at their high school graduation, their wedding…and you’ll wish you’d had more time.
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Looking for the perfect gift to give a little in your life? Besides your time, this Babys Watch is the perfect gift. There are both boy & girl prints. You can even have it sent in a gift box. Shop their collection here!!
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Don’t let days turn into months, into years…time is all you have, and time is all you need.
xoxo
Ddotts
 
 
 

Beauty fashion me

Do We Really See How Beautiful We Are? An Inside Look Into My Recent Boudoir Photo Shoot.

My Boudoir Photo Shoot With Flirt Fototography

—I was totally speechless until I blurted out “I didn’t even know my body looked like that!” I didn’t realize In the moment, but my own words hit me hard when I got home.—

When I was a little girl, I would go to the basement and lose track of time going through albums and boxes of old photos. I loved seeing family photos of myself and my brothers…but what I really enjoyed seeing was: mom and dad before I was born, photos of my grandma growing up, or my grandpa in the army. I loved learning more about the lives of people I looked up to. Not only did I love looking at photos, I’ve always been obsessed with taking photos, and I still am to this day! At a young age I was always requesting disposable cameras. I was just a little girl but a regular at the Walgreens photo counter getting my film developed. There’s something about a photo that can literally freeze a memory in time. And even though I wasn’t born when my favorite old photos were taken, seeing old photos of my family instantly made me fall back in time and gave me a glimpse of what life was like for them in that moment.
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One photo that still burns an image in my mind is one of my grandma. She’s in her 40’s style two piece swim suit catching rays with other bathing beauties. She is looking at the camera with a cute little squint in her eyes from the sun. It’s black and white. The edges are worn. It’s absolutely stunning! Her hair is falling perfectly in place. She is the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. When I first came across that photo, I remember running up the steps to ask “mom, who is this?” My mom smiled and said “that’s your grandma!” I was in shock! She was so young and beautiful. I only knew my grandma as my short, cute, sweater loving, glasses and pearls, granny. As a young girl I didn’t think my grandma could have been anyone else before she was “my grandma.” I love my grandma and miss her very much. I think of her often and still have that photo of her on display. I dream of her being alive now to see my boys…I would love to play cards with her again and catch up on missed time over a glass of wine.
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A few weeks ago I came across a Facebook post shared by a friend. Flirt Foto was hosting a “model call” for someone to participate in a boudoir photo shoot. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things of Flirt Foto and always wished to have the guts to do something like that as a gift for my husband. The Facebook post said “no experience needed” so I decided to hold back the fear, jump right in and apply. What could it hurt? I knew my husband’s birthday was coming up so I thought it would be the perfect gift if I was chosen. When I opened the email saying I was chosen to do this boudoir photo shoot…that picture of my grandma came to mind. I want my grand-kids to stumble over a picture of me in my prime and say “who is this!?” I was excited but then the nerves kicked in? Am I ready for this? What am I getting myself into?
As I was walking up the steps to the studio I was thinking to myself “I probably should have waited and really prepared myself for this. My body should look so much better right?” I began to question my decision. I was a little frustrated with myself for not working out or preparing myself for this shoot.
I am a mom of two boys, 3 and 5. I have had permanent dark circles under my eyes since 2011, the year my oldest was born. My stomach and legs show every stretch mark from each pregnancy weight gain. I still have the squishy mommy belly. Half of my C-Section scar is still healing from a my recent surgery where I had an endometrial mass removed. I’m a mommy and extremely proud! The scars gave me my sweet boys who I wouldn’t trade for the world. I use these tired eyes to see such a beautiful life around me. This squishy belly enjoys those little arms wrapping around it with bear hugs. I know my body is a wonderful thing. I’m just nervous about photographing it!
A deep breath and I walked into the studio: here we go! Stefani and Marla were waiting for me with hugs, wine, breakfast, and love. Stefani and Marla are a perfect pair. Stefani is the make up and hair goddess and Marla is the amazing photographer. I honestly would not have done this photo shoot with anyone else. They are not only amazing at what they do, but amazing women. They are so incredibly uplifting in a time where you really feel so vulnerable. I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose sight of myself under the make up and hair. I told them the look I would love is “I simply woke up like this, but glamorous.” Stefani hit it out of the park! I seriously wish she could do my make up everyday!
I struggled at first thought of what to wear in my shoot. I ultimately decided to bring comfy clothes. When picking my three outfits I realized, what makes me feel “sexy or flirty” is being comfortable! I brought over sized sweaters, knee socks, a button down shirt. Things I honestly already have a home and wear on a daily basis.
During the shoot we listened to music, laughed, talked about life…it was seriously like hanging out with a bunch of girl friends I’ve known forever. The nerves I was feeling walking in to the studio were completely gone. I forgot about my stretch marks and my tired eyes. I was having a great time. Marla has a vision for photography that is so beyond life. She is so creative and coaches you through poses and looks. She seriously knows what she is doing! She is focused and takes the time to make each shot perfect but at the same time it’s so effortless. Stefani would come through with subtle tweaks of my hair or pose ideas. Their passion for their creative work is incredible and they work together flawlessly.
After the shoot we ordered lunch. Marla created a slide show of the unedited photos. I loved that we got to sit in the studio lounge and see the photos right after they were done. I didn’t have to go home and wonder how it turned out. The nerves were back! I had a pit in my stomach. I almost wanted to cover my eyes and peak through my fingers. They started the slide show and I was blown away! I was totally speechless until I blurted out “I didn’t even know my body looked like that!” I didn’t realize in the moment but my own words hit me hard when I got home.
I decided to order a beautiful photo box for my husband. It was hard, but we narrowed it down to 12 of the best photos to be included in his gift. I could have cried, but I was trying to hold back the tears. I didn’t want to ruin my beautiful make up.
What an amazing day?!
I had originally decided on this Flirt Foto boudoir shoot as a gift for my husband. I had no idea how amazing this would be for myself. It’s a two for one deal! I get to have an amazing day and my husband gets a gift that would last a lifetime.
Beyond the surface take away of an amazing time, I realized that I actually learned something even deeper. When I got home and reflected on the day, I remembered how I looked at those photos of myself. “I didn’t know my body even looked like that?” was said similar to the way my younger self looked back at the photo of my grandma saying “who is this?” I began to wonder if my grandma knew how beautiful she was in that old photograph. I then wondered if every woman knows how beautiful they truly are? As women we see ourselves so differently in our own eyes. We all have something we don’t like about our bodies. Why? Why are we all so hard on ourselves to be so perfect? I’m so guilty of it too. I look at photos of myself before kids and think about how in that moment I thought I was so ugly or overweight…and with older eyes I want to go back and smack myself! I was delusional! This photo shoot truly allowed me to see myself in a different way…like an out of body experience in real time! I’m positive in a few months I will try on my summer shorts and sob in the closet over a box of Girl Scout Cookies. I’m not saying this photo shoot was a end all-be all at body image issues…but my goodness was it a wake up call.
We are all absolutely beautiful on the inside and out. Our imperfections, our differences, our scars, our sleepy eyes, our laugh lines, that mom bun thrown on the top of your head…it make us who we are. So please, don’t be so hard on yourself. You are amazing in so many different ways! You are beautiful!
I recently took a fun art class with my husband at Painting With A Twist. One lesson the instructors kept mentioning was “step back, take a moment and then look at your painting from a little farther back.” Up close we felt stressed and didn’t think it was right. We then took a step back and realized how amazing our paintings really were! I think that same lesson goes with our bodies…take a moment, step back and look at yourself a little farther back. We see our selves so closely everyday! From trying out a boudoir shoot to just jumping in a picture when you’d typically dive out and hide, I encourage all of you to do something for yourself that lets you see your body in a different light. If you’re thinking about a boudoir photo shoot, don’t hesitate or push yourself to be “perfect” before the shoot. Dive right in, I promise you will not regret it. You are already perfectly you.


Without even trying Marla ended up coming really close a pose like my grandma laying in the sun. I see a lot of her in me. Her spirit is a guiding light through my life. It warms my heart knowing this experience ended up meaning so much to me in so many different ways. I had no idea this would tie back so closely to my lovely grandma.
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I highly recommend Marla and Stefani at Flirt Foto. They are an amazing team! If you’re looking for beauty, boudoir, or just a spicy head shot…they will totally deliver and beyond. It’s an experience way deeper than any photo shoot! I want to re-live my boudoir shoot over and over again! It truly is one of a kind!

FLIRT FOTOGRAPHY
(513) 477-3324

marla@bigshotsbymarla.com

@flirtfoto IG

https://www.flirtfotography.com/

Beauty Family Fun fashion guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide

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1.Adornlee Adventure Tote Bag  2. MaLyn Logic Clothing and Accessories 3.Patchology Flashpatch 5 Minute Hydrogels   4.Loopy Stop The Drop Phone Cases 5. Planet Jill Personalized Jewelry & Gifts 6. Page 261 Travel Mug  7.Personal Planner 8.O-Venture Key Ring & Card Case 9.Ugg Tye Sneaker  10.Thread Tank Motherhood Threads

 1. Adornlee Adventure Tote

This tote is so perfect. I love the saying “and so the adventure begins darling”…This would be an adorable gift for a mom to be or even a seasoned vet. Everyday is an adventure as a mama! I love canvas bags! They even make a great functional gift bag to present more gifts inside! You can use it as a diaper bag or work bag…the options are endless!

2. MaLyn Logic Clothing & Accessories

This brand has adorable Mother’s Day gift options…from tees to sweatshirts to jewelry to notepads! I especially love their “grandma” selection of gifts! They really have something for every style of mom and grandmas!

3. Patchology Flashpatch 5 Minute Eye Hydrogels 

These have been a godsend for me. I have had permanent dark circles under my eyes since my oldest was born. These eye hydrogels make me look like I’ve had a full 8 hours of sleep in 5 minutes! Who doesn’t need more help in the “I woke up like this” department than a mama?! I love the packaging and the fact that you get 30 in a jar! These make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift that is a little outside the box. Instead of a spa day…give her this spa in a jar that she can use 30 times!

4. Loopy Phone Case

This might be one of my favorite things of all time. A definite “why didn’t I think of that” item!  I am always trying to carry everything I can in my hands, including my phone. I have shattered a phone screen or two in my life…all because I was holding too much. This phone case has a soft silicone loop on the back, it has a very slim design. You can hold onto the loop with your fingers freeing up your entire hand….my mind was blown! I can carry my coffee cup and my phone in one hand!! But that’s not all…use the loop as a prop to set your phone up to watch videos or use the loop to hold your phone in bed…no more dropped phone on your face! (I have witnessed this with my husband dozing off watching YouTube videos at bedtime) Although I get a giggle out of it…I may need to get him a case for fathers day! Everyone I see asks me about this case and instantly orders it. It’s a serious must have! It’s great for the mom holding the world in her hands while her children ask her to hold their rock.

5. Planet Jill Personalized Jewelry

Planet Jill has the most heart felt jewelry.  It’s personalized but so sleek and beautiful for everyday wear. I have the gold monogram photo locket. I love that the monogram lies over the photo and it can be easily uncovered. I have a photo of my boys inside. They absolutely love seeing me wearing their photo! I absolutely love having them so close to my heart everyday. Their jewelry makes the perfect gift for mothers and grandmothers! The “key to my heart” wavy charm bracelet would be the perfect gift for a grandma to showcase her grandchildren!

6. Page 261 Travel Mug 

This brand is so much deeper than their product. I am very thankful that Nicke shared with me the meaning behind her movement. Being a mom is hard, it’s so tough…everyone is watching, everyone has an opinion! This movement is about moms coming together to celebrate being a mom…no matter how you choose to raise your children…all mamas are welcome! “No shame in my mom game”…don’t feel guilty for eating the last bag of fruit snacks while hiding in the cupboard…oh is that just me? This adorable mug is a great gift! I want to buy one for all of my mama friends and let them know I love and support them! I am giving this mug to someone who stands out in my mom crowd right now. A special mom friend of mine recently decided to home school her child. She voiced to me that so many people gave her negative thoughts about it…but she made this choice for the better of her child…and not only is she feeling amazing about the decision…but her daughter is too!! I seriously applaud her for that! I can’t wait to leave this little mug and a note on her doorstep for encouragement!

7. Personalized Planner

Am I the only one who can’t stick with a planner for an entire year? I want something new and fresh after a few months. This personalized planner has broken that cycle for me! I finally have a planner I love! Personalized Planner is the best gift idea for that busy mama in your life. They even offer gift cards to give! Going the gift card route let’s you  give but your special someone gets to customize every detail themselves! You even get to create the layout and extra pages! It also comes with stickers!

8. O-Venture Key Ring & Card Case 

This is amazing! I was always tracking my keys and wallet separate! This is a great gift idea for the mama always losing her mind stuff! So not only does this product keep your things together…but frees your hands! *insert clapping here* —I can actually clap because my hands aren’t full! The key ring can be worn around your wrist down to your elbow! It is perfect for the mom who just wants to run errands without a big bag. No more digging in a bag with your hands full searching for your keys! Another product making our lives a little simpler! They say it and it’s true “our patent pending design will change yOur life!”

9. Ugg Tye Sneakers 

These are perfect for mom or grandma. They are stylish but also comfy and light weight. My UGG boots are my go to winter shoe. I love that they now have UGG sneakers! You can wear these with leggings and a tee, jeans and a top, or even a fun spring dress! As a mom I look for fashion pieces that can be versatile and used in different ways. These shoes are it!

10. Thread Tank Motherhood Threads 

Last, but certainly not least. My favorite “mom” tees! Thread Tank has a laundry list of fun mom-grandma tees! It is seriously so hard to pick just one! I need all 6 pages! Basic graphic tees are my mom uniform..wear them with leggings (yes they are pants), jeans, a skirt…it’s such a fun way to wear your humor on your sleeve! They have so many different styles and sayings. You will be laughing while you shop. I showed my husband the “mama lama” shirt cry-laughing. Then he started laughing. We have no idea what that means but we loved it and shared a giggle together. I especially love the “99 problems” shirt. I totally feel it. I have 99 problems but being a mom ain’t one…can I just be paid to be a mom? Please!


There you have it, my round up of Mother’s Day gift ideas. These are all so amazing products for any mom with any style. Do you all love giving gifts? I promise I love giving more than receiving! There really is no greater feeling than giving a special/practical/funny/much needed gift and seeing their face light up. My friends anticipate my face after I give a gift…if I can see that they like it, or everyone in the room gets excited…I slowly do the Kip Dyamyte “yes” fist clench and whisper “gift success” 🙂

I hope these gifts give you all the satisfaction of gift giving!

Happy Mother’s Day to all kinds of mothers:Pet Moms, Grand Moms, Aunt Moms, Step Moms, Old Moms, Young Moms, Tired Moms, Stressed Moms, Blessed Moms, Working Moms, Stayin’ Home Moms…I hope you get my point…momin’ ain’t easy…thank you for doing you! 

XOXO

DDOTTS

Beauty fashion me

If you like free stuff, you need to be on Influenster! 


So, if you follow me on Instagram…you’ll see I am posting free stuff from Influenster at least once a month! They send you absolutely free products just to review and share! This time, Bite Beauty and Influenster sent me some new lip pencils and lip sticks. They also gave me a new biodegradableSephora sharpener! Score! I can’t wait to try these colors. They’re so in style right now and I’ve heard nothing but good from Bite. The lighter shade is honeycomb & darker is whiskey. These are very creamy shades inspired by natural lip tones. 
Click here to join me on Influenster if you’re not already! 

Beauty Family Fun fashion me

Alma Rose Claire – The Perfect Mom Tote 


If you don’t already know, I’m a working mom with two boys in school. My youngest is in PreK & my oldest in Kindergarten. Weekdays consist of me taking the kids to school, heading into the office, going out on meetings, then picking the kids up from school. I work for a local magazine & I am always seeing what’s new and fun for the kids. Our weekends consist of taking classes or attending events. Long story short, I am constantly on the run. I wake up…gather my war gear & prepare to balance my work life and mom life each and everyday. This photo below is just about the perfect example of my daily life…deer in headlights look on my face while I answer phone calls and drink coffee…add two kids on my legs and it’s perfect!  

I’m always running around with a clutch, a work bag, and a purse with all the things I need for the kids. I am so excited to say…I can now have all of that + more in ONE bag…and it’s beautiful! If you truly know me (shout out for reading & supporting me!)  you know I am very forgetful! Mostly, because that is how I am wired…but also because my struggle with Epilepsy has ruined my short term memory! Having one bag to pack and remember is a game changer! 
This Alma Rose Claire is the most amazing mom tote. If your a new mom, it makes the most beautiful diaper bag. As your children grow it transforms to fit your needs. 

I absolutely love the extra pockets. Although I am very forgetful, I try to stay very organized. This bag has a hook for my keys, a special place for all of my cards, pocket for my phone, and so much more! It comes with a diaper pad insert, as well as a large zipper pouch. The metal feet on the bottom keep the bag off of the ground. I also love the bottle pockets on the sides. I no longer have babies, but these pockets are perfect for water bottles! 
If you’re looking for the perfect everything tote, the Claire is all you need! Get yours 👈🏻 here! 
This bag was given to me to review, 
nothing but 5 fabulous stars from this gal 👏🏻

Beauty fashion me

What's In My Glam Bag? 

Ipsy’s January Glam Bag 

I just wanted to do a quick view of what I got in my January Ipsy bag. This is a really nice $10 a month beauty subscription. I’ve got this bag subscription for almost 6 years! To see a detailed review of Ipsy & my September glam bag, read this link here 🙂

You really can’t beat all of this for only $10! 
Get your Ipsy bag Now! Right here 🙂
xoxo 
Ddotts