Lips by Nic

So I tried this lipstick called LipSense a couple weeks ago and I am completely hooked.  It is water-proof, kiss-proof, and smudge-proof; pretty much everything I need as a busy mom.  I found it through a random girl on Instagram, loved the product, and then thought, if this random girl online could sell to me, certainly I could do this too!  To sign up as a distributor you pay $50 and then get 20-50% off every single order so it was a no-brainer for me (considering how much time, and money, I spend at Sephora!)

To try this magical stuff out, a starter kit is $55 and includes a lip color of your choice, gloss, and a remover (if you are a reader you know I’ll hook you up with a discount though!)  You won’t hear me talk about lipstick again on here because I like to keep this baby related (though what is a better mom-hack then a lipstick that doesn’t come off?) so you can find me on Instagram @lipsbynic, you can join me on Facebook at, or you can shop on my site at



I love to share things I’ve created to keep myself organized so that you can be an organized mama too!

Check out my Etsy Shop to snag templates for toddler meal ideas, wedding planning, baby showers, newborn life, and more!

Visit my LipSense Shop called Lips by Nic for the most unbelievably long lasting lipstick and gloss you will ever find.  I smother my babies with kisses and am shocked at how absolutely nothing gets on them!!

And for those workout-loving mamas-to-be (or friends looking for the cutest baby shower gift ever) you can find custom designed tank tops here 🙂


Health Goals


I have been thinking a lot lately about what I could do for myself and my family to help prevent cancer.  My mom died from cancer and it really shook me up.  I know we can’t control this entirely, but there is so much information out there about steps we can take to lower our risk and I’ve been reading more about this recently.  I’ve also been listening to the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and while I’m only halfway through, the main gist is that every decision we make compounds over time; maybe small decisions seem insignificant on a daily basis, but they really add up.  Anyway, it made me think that I often say that I want to be healthy/in shape, but every day I make a poor decision that doesn’t take me closer to my ultimate goals.  So while I tell myself that I deserve a sugary latte, what harm is one little latte, I am really getting further away from my goal a little bit at a time.  I don’t want to be like that anymore!  I am instead beginning to make very small positive choices for our health, specifically to lower our cancer risk.

A site I visit often is the Environmental Working Group.  You can research thousands of different products to see what chemicals are in them and what the risk factors are.  A rating of 1 means the lowest risk.  If you click here, you can type in your body wash, or baby shampoo, or whatever and take a look.  (I’ve been using Honest shampoo/body wash for both kids and ThinkBaby sunscreen for A as a result).  I haven’t switched everything over yet, but I’m working on it – so far I have new shampoo, self tanner, body lotion, and body wash and next up I hope to find a replacement for my deodorant and toothpaste, as well as a new kid toothpaste.

Next up is the food we are eating.  There are a few things that we already do at home that I am happy about – our fruits and veggies are organic, and we do not eat any foods made with white flour.  However, aside from that I have gone way off track for myself and am disappointed.  When I did a Whole 30 and for almost a year afterwards, I was very mindful of eating clean, avoiding added sugar, and checking labels.  Lately I have been relying on convenience foods more often, drinking nasty sugary coffee drinks, etc.  So while I am still researching to find what the best foods I should be feeding my family with are, here are a few of the immediate changes I am making starting today:

  1. Drink coffee black and try to replace with green tea instead.
  2. Make a big smoothie for breakfast to include organic fruits such as cherries and green powder and share with A.
  3. Avoid red meat and stick with chicken/fish instead.
  4. No more sugary Starbucks drinks.  It is simply a bad habit at this point and not something I truly enjoy anymore – stick with apples and blueberries for sweets.
  5. Have a veggie with every meal, such as broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Here is a link from the American Institute of Cancer Research that I enjoyed about small steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk.  Here is a link to their recommendations for top foods that fight cancer.

Lastly, I’m going to continue to make sure we all get movement.  Shockingly, this is an area that I am doing pretty well in.  I take 2 60 minute exercise classes a week, and walk for 30-45 minutes 2 times a week.  J works out at least once a day and is a great role model for us.  A moves non-stop, and I am super happy with my decision to keep him away from screen time for as long as we did (he started watching 5 minute You Tube videos around 18 months, and at 2 years old I limit him to 2 20 minute shows a day, well most of the time – it isn’t the act of watching TV that I care about, but rather the playtime and exploration that is NOT happening when plopped in front of the screen for too long).  I asked J to help me do some ab exercises for a few minutes at night, and I’d like to take evening walks again with the family like we used to.

I am going to make these things happen by thinking before I make a choice: is this going to take me a step closer to, or further away, from my goals?  If you have any anti-cancer tidbits you want to share, let me know!




5 Piece French Wardrobe

5 Piece French Wardrobe

Over the last few weeks, I have been on a mission to streamline my wardrobe.  I have a huge closet filled with clothes that I have had for years and don’t really like.  It pains me to spend money on clothes for some reason, so I tend to hoard whatever I have for years, and then get a bunch more cheap stuff when I get bored with those items and the cycle continues.

I found myself wearing the same basic outfits that I loved over and over again and started to research online to get some advice about how to create a sort of “uniform” for myself.  I wanted my wardrobe to consist of basic neutrals that I can mix and match and during my search I stumbled across this article: How to Create a 5-Piece French Wardrobe and Change Your Life.

The basic gist is to get rid of everything in your closet that you don’t love, doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t wear.  Then, get some high quality basics that you can mix and match.  Finally, only purchase 5 non-basic items a season to keep up with trends and add some personality to your wardrobe.  As a result, you will have a capsule wardrobe, will spend less time figuring out what to wear each day, and you will spend less money overall because you will be more thoughtful in your limited purchases.

I went through my closet probably 4 times and kept putting more and more clothes in a pile to donate.  It was hard at first, but then I got on a roll.  I already had some basics that I loved and set out to purchase some other essentials.  Pinterest has sooo many great ideas, and the image above is actually my own creation with (mostly) items that I actually own.  (See below for links to my favorite items)

So after spending the last 3 years in either maternity clothes, or bigger post-partum clothes, I’m pretty excited to build a closet I absolutely love.  If you have done something similar, leave me a comment and tell me about your experience!

Black heels: Franco Sarto

Flats: Toms

Booties: Kristin Cavallari for Chinese Laundry

Shorts: Charlotte Russe

Everyday Jeans: Hudson

Bootcut Jeans: Paige

Black distressed jeans: Express

White jeans: Vici Collection

Blazers: Macy’s

Neutral tees: Victoria’s Secret

Neutral tanks: Vici Collection


Back to Work Schedule

back to work

Now that I have been back at work for about 2 weeks, I kind of have a schedule for myself down.  I don’t like to feel stressed, and this schedule has allowed that freedom for me.  As for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays – I don’t really do a lot!  Those days are for fun times, going to the zoo, mall, or Sea World, and for just having a good time together.

Time Activity
5:30am Get up and get ready

Make everyone breakfast

Pack car

Eat my breakfast

Use any extra time to straighten, blog, or relax with some coffee!

6:30am Get kids up, changed, dressed

A breakfast, C bottle

A sunscreen


7:15am Leave for daycare
8:00am-3:00pm Kids at daycare, me at work
3:15pm Pick kids up and drive home
4:00pm-5:30pm Playtime!!!

Wash bottles

5:30pm Family dinner
6/6:15pm C bedtime routine

A playtime

7/7:15pm A bedtime routine
7:30pm Pack lunch, shower, lay out clothes

Put toys away


Quick straighten of house

8:00pm Free time!!!! Hang out with J 🙂
9:30pm Bed for mama!!!!!!!!

Working vs. Staying at Home


Another mommy wars debate that I could care less about.  I need to delete my Baby Center app because some of the women on the message boards are so out of control.  The other night a woman posted asking if she was a bad mom for wanting to go back to work.  Most of us were supportive of her and shared our own experiences, but some of the women talked about how awful it is for a mom to pay someone else to “raise” her kids, how selfish can you be, blah blah blah.  It really struck a nerve with me.

Often when people ask me if I am so sad that my maternity leave is almost over, it feels a little awkward to say no.  I’ve been asked why I don’t quit my job now that I have 2 kids, or why I work when my salary basically goes to daycare.  I have heard stay at home moms refer to themselves as “full time mommies” and there just seems to be this notion out there that when you become a mom, you should devote your life 24/7 to your children and if you don’t, you better have a good financial reason.

Welp, I couldn’t disagree more because there is  no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to being a parent.  Whether another mom works or doesn’t work does not affect me whatsoever, and I think whatever choice she makes is right for her family and that is all that matters. If one mother wants to like I said devote her life 24/7 to her children, great!  If one mother wants to work full-time, great!   J’s mom worked when he was little, mine didn’t work at all…we both have the same, happy memories from our childhoods because whether our parents worked or not had nothing to do with it.

For me, I do not have to work for financial reasons, I just choose to.  I worked full-time when A was born (2 of the days were from home) and I did not like it.  I thought about quitting, but I asked to work part-time instead and that has been awesome for us.  A loves playing with his friends at daycare, while I enjoy some adult interaction and the sense of pride I get for the projects I contribute to my school and for the health insurance I provide for my family.  I have 2 months off every summer so I get to the do the stay-at-home thing as well.  I plan to stop working when A goes to kindergarten because I want to be able to drop him off, pick him up, and volunteer. Those are my choices and I feel great about them.

I feel for mothers who are in situations that they wouldn’t choose – those who do not want to work but have to, and those who stay at home but wish they were working.  There is enough guilt that comes with being a mom as is (does that just come with the territory?!) and I hope that this particular mommy debate can come to an end soon.

Highlight Reel


There are several moms who I don’t know but follow on Instagram; I like to be inspired by others and I enjoy seeing the fun things they do with their kids.  While I mostly like this glimpse into other people’s lives, it is hard not to start thinking that they are doing life so much better than I am – pictures of these adorably dressed kids, having dance parties, playing at Disneyland while sometimes I’m here looking at A still in his pajamas at 4pm and C dripping sweat from screaming in his hot carseat.

And then I read this blog post written by one of the moms I admire and it was just the reminder I needed that we are all only human and simply doing the best we can, no matter what our lives look like on social media.  I am guilty of having a “highlight reel” as well – I am just not the type of person to be negative on social media, so I don’t post pictures of toddler tantrums for example.  I use my social media accounts to capture the joyous and funny moments of my life, and I imagine many other people do the same thing.  There is no sense in comparing ourselves to others; we never know what is really going on behind the “filters.” My life isn’t perfect but it is absolutely everything I have ever hoped or prayed for.  My family is healthy, my kids are cared for and loved, my husband rocks. Focusing on gratitude has never failed me and I hope the next time you are tempted to feel less than someone else that you instead count the blessings in your life 🙂





First, check out this incredible article my sister wrote about her experience with Whole 30 here.  She has awesome insight.

But I really wanted to write about how grateful I am for her in general…she has been on my mind constantly lately.  She has become my rock especially in the last few years since our mom passed away – even though she is my younger sister, I have come to rely on her for the support I used to go to my mom for and she gives it to me without complaint ever.

When I was in labor with A, I pretty much live-texted her the whole time every detail (leaving her horrified).  She flew across the country a couple of weeks later to spend time with us and she has had such a special bond with A ever since.  She recently came to meet baby C and this was when he was 4 weeks old and pretty much the height of my sleep deprivation.  The whole week she was here, I talked about nothing but sleep.  I was so exhausted, and literally obsessed.  And she just listened!  One night she held him for 3 hours and I slept those 3 hours – the first 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep I had since he was born.  I don’t know if she understands how much that meant to me, but I will never forget her generosity that trip.  We no longer are the sisters who fight over who gets to use AOL Instant Messenger; we never fight anymore because I simply don’t know what I would do without her.

So even though 3000 miles separate us, she is one of the most important people in my “village.”  And it certainly does take a village, doesn’t it?


2 Months Groove


There are of course some days where I am overwhelmed and confused but we have also definitely found a bit of a groove 2 months in.  I am too nervous still to go somewhere where A can run free while I’m also tending to C, but they both love their stroller so we are out and about every single day and pretty much have done so since C was born.  A gets tons of playground time at school, and we take him to the park on the weekends, so I try not to feel guilty for trapping him in the stroller during these early months.  He won’t remember, he has fun anyway, and I feel confident enough to get us all of the house.

Our favorite places to go have been indoor or outdoor malls before they open in the morning; I get coffee and we do laps and talk about the things we see.  Sometimes we go in the afternoon as well but then I am too tempted to shop 😉  We also like to walk around the lake, or go to the zoo.  Target is always an easy outing too – I don’t go with a list of things I need in case things go south, but we just browse around.

So during newborn time, you don’t need to be supermom if you don’t want to – you can stick within your comfort level and ease into the outings 🙂



Five (okay, six) Minute Make-up


So this is not my greatest picture, but I don’t care because it was taken at 6am and I have a 2 month old and a 22 month old 🙂  What I do love about this picture is that it took me exactly 6 minutes (I timed it) to go from the left to the right!  I might not have a ton of free time but 6 minutes to feel like myself, I do have.  My hack is the awesome III Foundation Palette by Maskcara. This single palette gives me my highlight, contour, foundation, blush, lip color, and illuminator and is so fast to put on.  Plus, their website has an awesome how-to video that shows you exactly how put it on.  My eye makeup is a limited edition Bobby Brown palette (similar to this one) and Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara.  Sometimes I will skip the eye shadow and just do mascara, but it is nice to know that if I am in the mood for a full face of make-up I just need 6 minutes 🙂