Monday, January 14, 2019

New Year, New Goals

Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!  Is anyone else feeling extremely old knowing that was 20 years ago.  TWENTY.  I'm officially a grandma.

So, it's a new year.  And that means everyone is setting new resolutions and goals.  I have been thinking a lot lately about my goals and what I want from this space, and just life in general.  It's so overwhelming sometimes to look at the bigger picture, but it's good to sit down and evaluate things periodically.

I struggle with finding a balance between managing this blog and also being a mama.  I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, hoping that one day it would turn into something more.  I didn't really have a timeline or a goal for myself, but just the hope that by the time Beckham went to kindergarten, I would have established myself enough to try and grow this into a small business.  This plan seemed easy enough, but it turns out that this blogging world is SO incredibly time consuming.  Not having been on social media prior to starting the blog, I was unaware of how much time is involved in writing not only blog posts, but then also posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Coming up with content, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing captions, linking items, etc.  It takes a whole heck of a lot longer than you may think.

New Year, New Goals!  This is the year of being who I want my kids to become.  Who's with me?  Midwestern Mama

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png
Monday, January 7, 2019

December Instagram Roundup

January is usually a rather slow month for us, but this year is going to be an exception to the rule!  Things are happening at the French household, and it's crazy how quickly this month is going to flying by.  This nice weather we have been having is so fabulous!  I usually dread January and February in the midwest because it's grey and cloudy and just rather depressing.  To have not only the sunshine, but also weather warm enough to play outside has been good for everyone's soul!

I am rounding up the looks I shared for the month of December, so you can check them out below.  To shop the looks, just click on the photo!  If I was unable to link an exact item, I do my best to find a similar option for you.

A little tip:  If you see something you like, but don't want to purchase it right now, you can click the little heart to make it a favorite.  ShopStyle will then email you when that items goes on sale!  It's so handy!

The pictures aren't showing up on the email version of this post, so you will need to open the email in your browser to view them,  If you still can't see the widget below, you may have to pull this up on your desktop.  It works on my phone, but I have heard from some of you that you can't see it.  So, check it on a computer and you should be good to go!

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Calling all procrastinators!  If that's you...well I can't relate.  I have had my gifts purchased and wrapped for almost a month now.  Sorry to rub it in, but to make it up to you, I have you covered for some last minute gift inspo (and maybe a little treat for yourself too).

If you're local to Kansas City, Zona Rosa has everything you need, all in one place!  So, head on down there to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this year!  From Grandma to Uncle Frank to your niece and nephew from whom you are trying to win the title of the best gift giver ever...there is literally something for everyone at Zona Rosa.

I stopped in Go! Calendars, Toys, & Games the other day to see if they might have something I could share with you guys and boy o boy!  This place is the toy store of all toy stores!  When I was growing up, I used to LOVE going to the small toy store in our local mall to walk around and covet certain items that were way out of my allowance earning price range.  But brick and mortar toy stores are few and far between these days.  This store is so much fun to browse, and they had a few things for adults too!
The cashier gave me the insider tip that these items are HOT this year!  So, if you aren't sure what to get, I think you would be safe with either the LOL Surprise items (popular with the girls), or the POP! figurines (which are popular for both boys and girls).
As you would expect, they had lots of games to choose from!  Classic games and some new ones I had never heard of.  They all look like so much fun and games are a great gift for a family.

These metal worlds were very intriguing.  They come in a metal sheet that has pre-punched designs.  You pop them out and put them together to make these amazing 3D creations.  The prices varied, but a lot of them were around $15!

I mean, every child needs a large, super soft, stuffed animal, am I right?  How cute is this little, I mean big, guy!?!?

And for the adults on your list, they had an entire section of hysterical adult games!  

Some stocking stuffer ideas for you!  I love getting brain teaser types of items for my boys because it's a toy and a challenge in one.   Pop sockets are great for the older kiddos, and Hatchimals are still all the rage this year!

Altar'd State is one of my favorite stores in Zona with it's eclectic, trendy collection of goodies varying from clothing and accessories to trinkets and gifts!  There are so many cute things in here and you will definitely find something unique for any lady in your life!

With so many accessories to choose from you can definitely find something to fit her personality.  These tortoise shell earrings are a great option for everyone!  Some self care items like bath bombs and room spray are alway fun to receive.  And they carry so many cute decorative signs with fun phrases on them!

These keychains are awesome because you can wear them around your wrist when you are out and about or at the soccer field.  Loving the stackable bangles with different sayings on them.  And if you are at total loss as to what to get someone, you can never go wrong with a Volcano candle!
Need a holiday dress?  They have you covered!  So many really beautiful and unique items to choose from!

And take a look at a sampling of the adorable clothes they have in stock right now!  I mean, their selection is amazing!  Check my Instagram stories for more information on each of the items I tried on!

So many stores are having last minute sales, so check the Zona Rosa Store Directory for a list of retailers and take advantage of the season of sales!

A few of my favorites include:
American Eagle--Love their jeans for men and women!  Their sweaters and tees are also extremely soft.
Victoria's Secret--Of course you think of Victoria's secret as a romantic store, but they have all kinds of things like yummy lotions and comfy lounge clothes.
Loft--My all time favorite aviator sunglasses are from Loft!  They have tons of great sweaters and some really beautiful jewelry.
Heavenly Olive Oils--If someone on your list is hard to buy for, this is a great option.  They have countless flavored oils and vinegars that make a unique, but thoughtful gift!
Game Stop--have a gamer in the family, but hate spending so much cash on those video games?  Trade in old ones and buy pre-owned games for less!
Sephora is a great option for some stocking stuffers!  They have lots of travel size products that are fun to try, holiday gift sets, and of course lots of parfumes and colognes to keep your friends and family members smelling delightful!
If you are feeling fancy this year, both Helzberg, Kay Jewelers, and Zales have an amazing selection of beautiful jewelry!  And don't be intimidated thinking you can't afford anything in these stores.  They have something for every budget!
Tweens rejoice, Justice is here to make every girl grin from ear to ear this Christmas!
Is it even Christmas without a tin of Topsy's Popcorn?  A definite must-have for most Kansas Citians.  What's your favorite variety?

While I would love to name each and every store, I am sure you don't have the time to read it...after all, you have a lot of shopping to do and not very much time to do it!

When you need to refuel, take a breather and grab a bite to eat at one of Zona Rosa's many spectacular restaurants!  You can grab something quick from Noodle and Co, or have a cocktail and a more leisurely lunch at Hereford House.  Have kiddos in tow?  Red Robin is super kid friendly and their menu has a wide variety!

Ok, so I hope this email gets you motivated to START SHOPPING, or if you have already started, to get everything finished!  Let me know what you grab and more importantly, I need to know how much the gift receiver loved their gift!  You will definitely earn some brownie points for shopping at Zona Rosa this year.  And who doesn't want to start the new year with a few extra brownie points?

Thank you to Zona Rosa for sponsoring this post!  All opinions are my own, but if you know me, you already new I loved Zona Rosa!

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png
Monday, December 17, 2018

Home Gift Guide 2018

Some of the items in my previous gift guides for him and her could also be included in the Home Gift Guide.  Many of my suggestions blur the lines or fit into more than one category.  But here are a few additional things I thought would be good for the home!

Also, if you still need ideas for the kiddos, don't miss the Kid's Gift Guide too!

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Holiday Dress Inspiration

One thing I love about the holidays is the excuse to dress up!  It's a nice change of pace from my usual jeans and leggings.  If you are in the market for a fun, affordable holiday dress, I rounded up some good ones for you!  Just take a look below, then click on the picture to get to the retailer.  If you are reading this in your email, and don't see the photos below, click the link to access the blog and then the pictures should show up.  Use the arrows to scroll right or left to see additional items. 

Many of the dresses come in multiple colors, so simply click on the picture to see the choices. 
Happy Shopping!

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Women's Gift Guide 2018

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  The time when stores slash their prices to lure you in and hope you buy all the things!  And it works like a charm.  What's on your wishlist this year?

Day 3 of Gift Guide week is dedicated to the LADIES!  I tried to include a wide variety of items from various price points that would be great for a grandmother, mother-in-law, hostess, best friend, teacher...

Here are a few things that caught my eye as I was shopping for the ladies on my list this year.  Does anyone else have a hard time NOT buying all of the pretty things for themselves?

This Essie Polish Set is great for a sister, daughter, or bestie!  Three classic colors, perfect for the holidays and all year!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Men's Gift Guide 2018

Men.  They are always so hard to buy for!  At least the men in my life are.  I have rounded up a variety of man-approved gift ideas to give you a little inspo for this holiday season!

These shirts are THE BEST!  Seriously, they are pretty much all my husband wears anymore.  They don't wrinkle (no ironing!), wash well in the washing machine (no dry cleaning!), fit well, and they are meant to be worn untucked.  They have recently come out with a women's and children's line too, so I will have to check that out!  They have button up shirts, plaids, flannels, sweaters, t-shirts, and more.  You can get 25% off your purchase by using my referral link!

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png
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