by gillian claire: Linqia



Affordable Hair Care for the Whole Family!


Well, I've come across a really cool hair care brand that I want to share with you and you'll never believe where I found it... WalMart!


I love finding products that the whole family can use! Since we live in a tiny condo, saving space is always a priority! Like their name says, Everyone products can be used by everyone in the family and the best part is that they are paraben and sulfate free! 
Everyone™ is made by EO Products, a family-owned body care manufacturer founded in 1995. Everyone™ believes people shouldn’t have to choose between a product they can afford and a product that’s good for them and their family.

I purchased the Everyone Balance Shampoo + Conditioner to try out. I'm really picky about what I use on my hair since it's bleached and color treated. It's imperative that I use sulfate free products to keep my color which can be really hard to find at an affordable price! These 20oz bottles were only $9.97 each- not bad!

_MG_1575 _MG_1578 

I love that Everyone™ products use organic ingredients and also pure essential oils for an aromatherapeutic shower experience! I chose the Balance Shampoo + Conditioner hoping that it would make my hair a little more "smooth and shiny". These products smelled heavenly and I'm really happy with my results.


I love that the whole family can benefit from my new Everyone hair care products! I'm a complete hair snob and will of course keep using some of my higher end products on my blonde hair but I love that I have found something affordable, sulfate free and nontoxic to add into my rotation!


"Spring Cleaning" in the Fall.

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Bona but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I have been going through some crazy Fall Cleaning vibes lately. "Spring Cleaning" in the Fall is huge to me because I love freshening up and organizing my house before Winter hits! First of all, I like getting the house ready for holiday visitors. Secondly, I love doing some deep cleaning and organizing before we are all stuck in our tiny house all Winter long!

I made a list of 10 things that I'm working on accomplishing before Christmas. I hope it sparks some ideas for you to put on your "Fall Cleaning" to-do list! 

✔️ Get New Front Door Mat

I still had my watermelon doormat out so I caved and bought one of the new Joanna Gaines doormats! (Just like everyone else- ha!) I love how simple it is and it will be perfect for Fall and Winter! As a minimalist, I've actually never been into doormats much but I've realized this year that it's such an easy and simple way to add a cozy touch to the house!


✔️ Paint Our Bedroom

We have painted our entire house since moving into our condo 4 years ago except our bedroom. Our bedroom has been the last room to get any love and it's depressing because that is where I go to relax! Aaron spent two weekends ago painting it gray for us and it looks beautiful. (Although to be honest, it looks purple, oh well!) I'm hoping to keep the motivation going within our bedroom and work on making it more of a retreat and less of a catch all mess!

Hang Artwork

Hanging artwork is one of the easiest ways to make the house feel cozy and for some reason it always takes us forever to actually hang things! I bought this wall hanging a year ago on clearance at Target and it took me 2 seconds to make a big change to our hallway by hanging it over the electrical box! I have a few other pieces of art that we've collected over the year that I'd like to get up on the walls in the next month!


✔️ Take Old Mattress Out of Kids' Room

Since we got bunk beds for the boys in the past year, we've had their old full sized mattress still sitting in the room taking up space. On Thanksgiving, Aaron had his brother help him finally take it out to the trash. Their room is so much more spacious and nice now!

✔️ Clean Out Outdoor Closet

Cleaning out and organizing our porch closet was a big undertaking that I tackled over Thanksgiving weekend! Nothing was accessible before and there was a ton of stuff that needed sorted and thrown out in the trash. This picture is the after: it looks so neat and tidy now!


✔️ Go Through Kids' Clothes

This went hand in hand with cleaning out the porch closet. Most of the bins in the photo above are full of clothes that the boys have outgrown and are either waiting for Asher (or a future baby...?) to grow into. I had so many piles of clothes in our laundry closet that I needed to sort through and put away in these bins. I also added a couple more that I was able to empty out from the boys' room. 

Wipe Down Appliances in Kitchen

I always like to wipe down the appliances in the kitchen before we have holiday guests, such as the dishwasher, front side of the stove and refrigerator etc. It's not something I think to do everyday but once I spend time on it I realize how grimy everything has gotten! 

Go Through Kids' Toys

We always get rid of a good amount of old toys before Christmastime since the boys are about to get a lot of new ones! I tell my kids that Santa brings more toys if their room is organized and has empty empty so this works perfectly- hah! We still have some progress to make on this one...

✔️ Clean out Hall Closet

We had one pretty atrocious hall closet that I've been wanting to tackle all year. I finally did it while Aaron was painting- success!

Clean Floors

I am really bad about cleaning the floors on a regular basis but it's something that definitely needs to be done before having holiday visitors. I like to shampoo our carpets and also deep clean the hardwood floors. You've seen me talk about my favorite hardwood floor cleaner, Bona PowerPlus before!

I do not love dragging a giant bucket of water and a mop around my kitchen and the Bona mop and Bona PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner make cleaning the floors so much easier! It also makes for super easy wipe down and cleanup after visitors. Bona makes reusable as well as disposable dust and cleaning pads. 

Bona PowerPlus has an oxygenated formula that loosens and removes heavy dirt build-up so you can deep clean your hardwood floors with minimal effort! 


My little Asher always loves to join in the cleaning efforts. We call him our, "helper boy" and he loved testing out our new Bona products! Our kitten, Finn, joined in the efforts as well. :)

Be sure to visit the Bonafide Fanatics page to sign up for Bona's newsletter so that you can receive coupons and seasonal offerings!

Do you do "Fall Cleaning" in your house? Happy cleaning, friends!



A Little Roman Update at 9 Years Old.

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Fruit Shoot but the content and opinions expressed here are my own._MG_9773     
     I feel like Roman hasn’t made many appearances lately on my blog. He is NINE years old now, can you believe it? When I started my blog, Roman was only 3 years old and I was pregnant with Asher. Now my boys are 5 and 9 and life looks much different for sure!


     I figured it's time that I give you guys a little Roman update. We’re so thankful to be partnering with Fruit Shoot for this post. Fruit Shoot is a popular brand in the U.K. that has finally made it's way here! I don’t know about you guys but my kids pretty much freak out with excitement when they see anything pre-packaged and kid-friendly like these juices. It makes me feel good that these drinks have no added sugar!  They made for the perfect treat to take along for our photo shoot / park date so that I could capture some new photos of Roman doing what he loves best: playing soccer!

     It has been so interesting to see my children grow up and realize that they really have the same personalities that they were born with. When your baby is born, it seems impossible to picture them as a growing person with their own interests and unique gifts but as they grow up you start to see how their personalities have been there all along!


     Roman was the sweetest, quietest and easiest baby ever. I mean really. Those days are so sweet to think back to now. I was only 21 years old and Roman quickly became my little sidekick. He  would happily sit in the stroller while I shopped at the mall. We spent hours at thrift stores and took walks together in the neighborhood. He was always happy and went with the flow. We were attached almost constantly until he started public school during the second half of his Kindergarten year.

     Roman is still sweet as pie and he is definitely a very easy going kid. His teachers rave about him. School comes easily to him and he does very well there. Kids in his class seem truly drawn to Roman’s sweet and happy disposition.

     During first grade, Roman became full out obsessed with soccer. This obsession kind of came out of nowhere. When Roman develops an interest, he really dives into it full force. This is another one of those qualities that I started seeing when he was very small and that still shines in him today.

     I am not exaggerating when I say that since 1st grade, Roman has spent hours every day practicing soccer. It’s really fascinating to see. Roman has never really had a huge interest in toys. We don’t have video games in our house so he doesn’t spend time on that either. His absolute favorite thing to do is running around the living room practicing his soccer skills and kicking the ball against one of the walls. (Yes, we do allow this!) Roman spends a lot of his “screen time” watching YouTube videos and learning new soccer tricks. He has truly found his "thing" in soccer. Weather or not soccer sticks with him for life, I have loved watching the determination and passion that he has put into it and I know that these qualities will stay with him in whatever he chooses to pursue in the future.

     I am so genuinely proud (as we all are of our children) of our Roman. It’s a very strange feeling to have a 9 year old. This year, I feel like Roman has made that transition from a little kid to a big kid although honestly Roman has always had an old soul wisdom about him. He is truly a little wonder and I am so happy and blessed to have the chance to be his Mama.

     Thanks to Fruit Shoot for sponsoring this conversation. One thing that I always forget about, even ten years into mothering, is the benefit of bringing along snacks + drinks for my kids. These drinks were perfect to pack for the park and my kids loved the new fruit punch flavor. I really appreciate that they come in bottles as opposed to "pouches" and the resealable cap makes them so convenient! The boys and I made such fun memories creating this post together and spending time at the park. Roman loves these photos that we captured and he can't wait to share them on his Instagram. 

     Be sure to check out this link to find a retailer near you that carries Fruit Shoot! What are your kids' "things"?


Speaking of personalities, this photo sums up Asher's pretty well -hah!


Hey Look, I Cooked! / Blue Apron Review

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
     I  really  do not like to cook and in fact I do not actually cook much at all these days. I used to do the majority of the cooking in our family but Aaron has taken on that role and I couldn't be happier about it. Sometimes on social media I'll see people posting about making an "easy" dinner and you guys I seriously am always thinking, "that is more involved than my  elaborate  dinners..." That's the extent that I cook. 
     I've been seeing people order these Blue Apron boxes all over the place so I was really excited to get a chance to work with them and try them out for myself. They describe themselves as a "fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home." Sold.
(And hey, if you've been interested in trying Blue Apron as well, use my link to get $30 OFF your first purchase!)

Here are a few cool facts about Blue Apron that I didn't previously know:

+ All ingredients are GMO free.

+ Their meat has no added hormones and no sub-therapeutic antibiotics.

+ Blue Apron offers a "Freshness Guarantee" on all ingredients and will replace anything that arrives looking subpar within the first 7 days.

+ They use sustainably sourced seafood.

   I was really impressed with our box. It included all of the ingredients necessary for 3 meals. Everything was neatly packaged and also kept cool and insulated. This box probably sat on my porch for a few hours and everything, including the meat, was still cold! Asher had a lot of fun digging into the box with me and seeing some foods he knew and many that he didn't recognize.

All of the recipes Blue Apron sent sound amazing but I decided on the "Za'atar-Spiced Chicken" first because I love anything with lemon and couscous.

Here are all the lovely ingredients as they came packaged. Everything comes in the exact portions you need which honestly is so nice. I love that Blue Apron takes away the grocery shopping + measuring aspect of cooking! This makes the process even easier for someone like me who is whiney about cooking.

My cute little helper ready to go!_MG_9585-2_MG_9583-2
The directions were extremely straightforward and helpful. I will say that this recipe was a little more involved than I anticipated but the meal was also "fancier" than I expected. I did have to google "how to mince a shallot," and I also set off the fire alarm twice, but the house didn't burn to the ground and I kind of shocked myself that this turned out so well in the end!

This picture where I'm cooking the chicken is really  something to write home about because even when I used to cook, I cooked mostly vegetarian. I squealed a little when I had to touch the raw chicken but it wasn't as bad as I feared and it was so nice that the seasoning for the meat was already premixed and ready to go!

     Voila! You guys, are you impressed? It turned out so  picture perfect and it tasted amazing! The sauce that I made at the end was seriously so delish and made this meal just perfect. I've even been scavenging some leftovers from the fridge as I worked on this post.
Do y'all like to cook? I feel like I never meet girls who don't love cooking so tell me below if you are like me!
Have you been wanting to give Blue Apron a try? You can use my link to get $30 OFF your first purchase which is an awesome deal!


Simple Ways to Have Fun with the Family!

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by the Goldfish brand but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

     This is definitely the busiest season of family life for us so far. Even though Roman and Asher are both in school now, it hasn't seemed to slow anything down! Just being a working mom and taking care of two wild and rambunctious growing boys seems to be enough to wear me out each and every day.

     We have always relied on simple ways to connect as a family. There is so much pressure on parents to spend a lot of money and attend exciting planned activities to give our children a happy childhood, but I have found that kids don't need much to have fun and feel loved. Here are 6 simple, inexpensive things that have been my go to ways to have fun with my kids over the years!

1. Take a Drive: Going for drives has always been a thing for our family. I think it started when Roman was a baby and we realized on weary nights that a nice long drive at night would put him to sleep much faster and easier! Now that we live in Colorado, drives are even more enjoyable and fun because, well mountains - duh.

Sometimes the kids scoff a little about the idea of going for a drive but getting them out of the house almost always puts them in a better mood. One trick to pulling this off is bribing the kids with a fun snack. Sometimes I stash away something like these little Grab and Go Goldfish crackers to whip out when it's time to get out of the house. Goldfish are a HUGE staple in our family (um the Xtra cheddar is my absolute favorite) and these little personal sized cartons somehow make them seem even more appealing to my kids! 

2. Movie Night: Throwing a movie night is basically parent-code for having an excuse to lay down all night, right? Sometimes we'll rent a RedBox movie or look for one we haven't seen on Netflix, put together some easy snacks and veg out in front of the TV all night. Asher is the expert at making a "bed" for us on the living floor which consists of dragging out all the blankets and pillows in the house. :) If you want to take it up a notch, you can take movie night to the $2 movie theater and smuggle in some snacks (here's where those Goldfish come in handy again!) for a really inexpensive night out!

3. Go to the Park: This is always a super easy/simple entertainment option. We have our favorite parks and kind of mix it up between them to keep it fun. Sometimes we go on an "adventure" to try out a new park that we've never been to! If you live in a larger suburb or city, playground options are never ending and always a surefire way for the kids to have fun.

4. Restaurant Play Place: Restaurant play places are parenting gold you guys. You don't have to feed your kids fast food for dinner to go either. (Although no shame in that game.) I usually let my kids get an ice cream or sometimes I just grab a coffee and let them play!

5. Neighborhood Walk: Taking a neighborhood walk is one of our favorite things to do. I think the old saying that fresh air is good for you definitely holds so much truth. Both of my boys are extremely talkative little guys and they love having my undivided attention on a walk when I have nothing distracting me. Sometimes I walk in between Roman and Asher while they are both talking to me a mile a minute and I honestly can't hear a word they are saying, ha!

6. Dance Contest/Party: We love to dance and we've gone through many different dance phase over the years. We used to have "dance parties" where we all jumped on the bed together and this has kind of morphed into "dance contests" where both of my boys create dances to perform on the bed and I judge. It's pretty hilarious and always so much fun! They really like when I make videos on my phone so that they can check out their movies. Yes, I let the kids jump on the beds. You only live once!

We honestly live a very simple life and luckily both of my boys enjoy doing all of the simple things I've listed in this post. I've found that the little moments in motherhood are the most important and always end up being my favorite memories as well. What simple ways do you have fun with your family in the busy seasons? Please share!
Thanks to Goldfish for sponsoring this conversation! Head over to their Pinterest Page and YouTube channel for more fun family ideas!


Pi Day Celebration!

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Edwards Desserts, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

     I picked up my Edwards Pie at my local Safeway. There were several flavors to choose from but I thought that this Hershey's chocolate creme pie would be perfect for my little guys! 


     Asher and Roman were pretty psyched when I surprised them with the pie and told them we were having a little Pi Day celebration! Asher is a picky eater but he devoured two pieces and Roman even stayed in from playing with his friends to share a piece with us! You would never guess that this pie came from the frozen foods section; it is so good!

     I'd say that my Pi Day Piece Offering certainly did the trick. It was such a good feeling to take a moment to relax and enjoy myself with my sweet little boys.


     This definitely reminded me that I need to look for more opportunities to surprise my kids with something special. It doesn't take much to make peace and a little bit goes a long way!  

Are you celebrating Pi Day with your kids? Why not run to the store and grab an Edwards Pie and some cute paper plates and have a party of your own? Checkout the Edwards Desserts Facebook page for more inspiration!

cleaning my floors with Bona!

This post is sponsored by Bona, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Grab this $3 off coupon so that you can try out Bona cleaning products for yourself!
     I don't know about you guys, but I feel like my house gets destroyed  during the winter months! It's dark and gray and my kids are stuck inside all day long. My house is little  y'all and lately I have started to feel like the walls are closing in on me!

     Last week I did some deep cleaning and it was a serious breath of fresh air! I was so excited to incorporate my partnership with Bona and their hardwood floor cleaning products into my cleaning frenzy and make my entryway feel a little less grimy and gross! My kids are constantly coming in and out of the house dragging their snowy slushy boots and selves all over the entryway and our hardwood floors needed some help.

     Ash said he didn't want to be part of my photoshoot until I whipped out this mop and then he was all over it. We always call Asher our, "little helper" because he truly loves to clean and help out. It's pretty adorable, and convenient!

     To tackle cleaning my hardwood floors; I used the Bona Floor Mop with their PowerPlus Microfiber Deep Clean Pad + PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner. I love that Bona offers these microfiber deep clean pads. They stick onto the velcro of the floor mop really easily and then you can just toss them in the wash when you're finished! I'm all about reusable and earth friendly cleaning products!

     The PowerPlus line from Bona is created to get into the grooves and creases of your hardwood floors. Our entryway and kitchen look so much better now. I am hooked on these products and it's especially nice that both of my kids seem so into this new mop. I have a feeling they will be getting quite a few mopping duties assigned before winter is over; which in Colorado could be a while...

How do you cope with the messiness of winter? Share your tips with me below + be sure to grab a
$3 off coupon so that you can get a great deal on your first Bona purchase
the next time you're at the store!


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