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Friday, December 19, 2014

What I Wore // last minute Christmas shopping tips + ideas

Happy weekend guys! I myself as I'm sure many of you have been so caught up in side projects, work things, kiddo things, morning sickness (bleh) lately that here we are only 5 days away from Christmas and still getting the last of our gift shopping done! Today I invited to invited to join with Sears in sharing a few tips and inspiration to help you wrap up your shopping, as well as share my comfy and festive outfit that I to the stores to complete mine. Don't you just love this jacket?!
If you still have a couple things on your list to get, and if you're like me, they're things for the people that are the hardest to shop for! haha I always procrastinate those people because I think I'm going to get some genius idea in my head, and I usually end up scrambling at the very end. It's usually that one friend who is really picky about brands, or that relative who has everything already, are you with me on this? haha Anyways, I've actually had comments and emails about this lately, so I figured today was a perfect time to share!
Last-minute Christmas Shopping Tips
- if you're stumped on what to even look for, it often helps to simply walk around a section based on their gender or favorite hobby, etc., and the right item or items will really jump out at you!

- Even though it's too late to buy online, you can still use online to inspire your gift giving! Write down a list of each person you're shopping for, and then think really hard about their interests, their hobbies, etc. Do they like reading? Do they like cooking? Sports, knitting, painting, video games, Legos, candle-making, scrapbooking, camping, music, and on and on. Everyone has something they like to do in their spare time, and you can play off that to no end! Simply Google 'writer gift ideas' etc, and you'll be presented with oodles of lists, then you can take those ideas to the store to complete your shopping:)

- Look through your mail or newspaper to see stores that will have something for everyone and that are having lots of storewide sales! I knew I didn't have the energy to run all over town, so I just went to Sears since over like half the store is on sale and I knew I'd be able to check off everyone left on my list from my mother-in-law to my nephew to my neighbor across the street. and at 50% off or more, that can't be beat!

- Usually kids are very easy to please and so aren't as hard, at least in my experience, but rather than gifting one big gift to a niece or nephew, I like to stick to the old saying to give them a little array of useful and fun gifts, you know the one: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read."

- When you're really at wit's end and they're not going to be pleased with anything, don't forget that it's the thought that counts, so try to make it look like you put as much thought into your gift as possible!

- The last tip I want to share today is to remember that stores like Sears have many options for gifts hanging out in every section and even in the aisles and by the registers! Their often-times already pre-selected bundles of little gifts or treats, toys, etc. with a theme and a pretty box or wrapping just waiting for you to wrap it up and put under the tree. I just love that so much of the work going into a gift is already done for me when I'm in a rush. Just something to think about!
plaid jacket - bongo | c/o SearsStyle (63% off!)
beatles t-shirt - bongo | c/o SearsStyle 
pants - bongo | c/o SearsStyle (55% off!)
lace detailed booties - sm new york c/o SearsStyle (50% off in stores!)
hobo handbag - covington | c/o SearsStyle (40% off!) 

Well I'd better wrap this up, but I hope that that's given you a bunch of inspiration and ideas for completing your holiday shopping, and thank you so much for visiting and reading today! Take care friends, and have a great rest of your weekend ahead!
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided for this post by Sears via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sears.
It’s more than a gift. It’s the joy of the season. #MoreThanAGift.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blue Apron - It's what's for dinner

Happy Monday! I'm very happy to introduce you to a company today that I've had the opportunity to try: Blue Apron! In essence they're a meal delivery service that ships boxes of exact and farm-fresh ingredients and instructions for delicious, chef-designed meals right to your door. I want to share our experience with you today, but also some reasons why I think they're so much more.
We received the blue apron box after coming home to find it by our front door. Even though it has been warmer outside I wasn't worried because Blue Apron sends all it's meals in refrigerated boxes so it's ingredients are kept icy-cold. Opening the box and pulling out the cute little individual packages, to say that they were fresh would be an understatement! Martin and I cook meals daily with fresh ingredients so we have pretty good eyes for quality, but the color in the herbs and vegetables was so vibrantly green, and the cuts of meat were such a beautiful, rich color- we were instantly incredibly impressed.

Before the box was sent out to us we had the option to choose the two or four portion option. We of course chose the four portion option since we have so many little ones, and it felt like such a relief looking through the ingredients knowing that the proportions of each was exactly the right amount for the meals we were going to make! You can never get that sort of accuracy shopping for yourself, and we always struggle to avoid waste with extra ingredients. Blue Apron sends three meals at a time, once a week, which I loved because having the option of which to cook first was great.
In choosing our meal configurations you have the options of 3 meat/fish meals, 3 all veg meals, 3 pescetarian, 3 no red meat, and 3 no fish which I think is so neat! We decided on the meat/fish option, and we received Flank Steaks and Creamed Kale, Thai Chicken Meatballs, and Crispy Salmon & Barley-Fennel 'Risotto', and they were all so so delicious. I'm cooking the steaks and kale in this post because it was the family favorite! That creamed kale was so heavenly, and I couldn't believe how the kids gobbled up their sunchokes:)
Each of the three meals came with very detailed step-by-step instructions on beautiful and quality recipe cards, so that even the novice cook could achieve a beautiful restaurant quality meal in 40 minutes or less! The girls helped unloading the box while I started on the chopping and prep, and then they helped further by adding in bowls of various ingredients throughout the process. I felt that their being able to help was a big deal for all of us since, and it was easier than normal since so much of the thinking was already done for me. We had so much fun!

And there it is! I want to let you know too that the servings are very generous portions, so even though we are a family of six, with the four portion option we still had some delicious leftovers that we enjoyed the next day after everyone was full:) And I love that the recipe cards list all the ingredients so we can make our meals again whenever we want! What do you think!?
 Just a couple more points I want to mention about Blue Apron that I think are really good to know:
- there is absolutely no commitment! you can skip a shipment or cancel the service at any time.
- they ship to over 80% of the country (you can see a full map of the zones here)
- there's always free shipping no matter your shipping zone
- each meal is $9.99 per serving, which is not a lot at all when you're getting such superior ingredients as well as the pride of cooking fancy restaurant quality cuisine for your family and friends at home!
Isn't it beautiful? The last point that I wanted to make before closing and probably my favorite thing about Blue Apron, is that this is not only a huge, huge time savor (cutting out all the planning, shopping, proportioning, etc) but it is basically a teaching tool to help you improve your cooking skills right in your own home! It's like having a professional chef or cooking class right in your kitchen teaching you how to cook amazing food, and that is priceless. No matter your experience in cooking. 

It made us cook with ingredients that we'd never tried before, it gave me peace of mind that at least three days this week I wouldn't have to put too much thought into having a nice dinner and I wouldn't have to resort to some frozen dinner or takeout. We also had company over one of those nights and I felt so good knowing that I'd have a beautiful meal even though I've been so busy and nauseous lately with the pregnancy. We can't say enough good things about Blue Apron!

Also as a special treat, the first 50 readers to purchase through this link will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! So hurry over and get signed up because you're going to love your experience!

Also in case you've been wondering what to get that foodie friend of family member for Christmas, I hope this serves as some inspiration for you! Giving the gift that inspires cooking is always appropriate for beginners and novices alike, and Blue Apron has some great options if you want to check it out! Also they have an awesome line of quality cooking tools, starter kits, cookbooks and so much more so definitely hop over and see if there's something to complete your Christmas shopping:)

Thank you so much for visiting and reading today, and I hope you have a great week ahead!

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Blue Apron - thank you for supporting the people that make The Freckled Fox possible!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What we wore // Living with meaning, with BucketFeet

Hello friends! In order to supplement all the homemade gifts we've been working on this year, Ellie and I went out for some Christmas shopping to pick out a little something meaningful and special for each person. Martin and I have been looking for more opportunities to teach the older kiddos little lessons in a one-on-one setting, and that's where BucketFeet comes in!
One important thing that we're trying to implement starting this month and into the new year is living more on purpose, and more simply but with more meaning. We've been working on gleaning through closets and storage shelves for things to donate that don't get enough use for the space they take up, and when we purchase we make sure that it's quality pieces that will be loved and that are special or unique in some way, like these awesome shoes from BucketFeet that Ellie and I are wearing!
As soon as I heard about BucketFeet and how each pair of shoes is designed by artists or all kinds, I instantly fell in love with the idea and couldn't wait to check them out! I took way too long browsing through the site, bookmarking my favorite pairs (too many to count), and reading the artist's bios that are included with each pair of shoes. I read stories from illustrators, writers, tattooists, graffiti artists, and more from over 50 countries, and I couldn't wait to order a couple pieces of wearable art to have in my life! 
what we're wearing:
target black jeans, (sold out - similar here and here)
target john lennon tee, c/o (sold out at target but it's here, and here)

purple capris, gift
deb floppy beanie, (borrowed from mama)
Another aspect that I really adore about BucketFeet is that they have sneakers not only for Women but also for Men and Children (many of them matching pairs!), and that was so important to me because I really want to work on teaching my kiddos about creating and finding art, and really change the way they interact with art, which is exactly what Bucketfeet is all about
I'd better stop gushing and let you go visit them so you can see what I'm talking about, but in wrapping up I really want to encourage you to think about adding BucketFeet to your shopping list for Christmas! Giving the gift of wearable art that's also a beautifully packaged, incredibly comfortable, creative, and fun fashion accessory that they're going to love and wear over and over just can't be beat. and they even offer their own gift guide to help you out! Also lets be honest they're ridiculously affordable for the quality so that's a bonus for us.haha

Here are a few of my current favorites, because like I said it was impossible to pick just one!

Thanks so much for stopping by today guys, and I hope you have a great weekend ahead! Also can I just point out how ridiculously big this girl is getting? She'll be 5 in just a few months! Later guys:)
P.S. those photos where we're doing the exact same thing with our legs and hands was 100% not planned I swear.haha I just noticed them while I was editing for this post and myheart melted a little bit:) Take care lovelies-

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Disc: This post was sponsored by Bucketfeet - thank you for supporting the people that keep The Freckled Fox going!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

happy humpday

I hope y'all have been having a great week so far, and that you have a great weekend ahead! I mostly wanted to say thank you today, so SO much for all the sweet and loving comments from everyone on Monday's post and on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter announcement posts as well. Martin and I have been reading through them all together and have felt such an overwhelming amount of love and kindness from all of you and it really means the world to us! 
It has been harder for sure handling the kiddies and the morning sickness, and at times I've been overwhelmed and a little nervous about the future, but again reading through all your comments of support and encouragement has really bolstered me up and made us even happier than we were before, and I wish I could reply to each of your comments. But again, thank you thank you!!

Lately because of so many mornings and afternoons spent on the couch, and the weather having gotten so cold around here, I've been looking for any and every opportunity to take the kids outside since they all have major cabin fever.haha So any day that we can see the sun through the gloom and the temperature is higher, I gather up all the coats and boots I can find and we go out for a walk or a drive. 
Being so sick again has given me lots of Déjà vu from when I was pregnant with my other kiddos, and it's made me think back on the differences and how much I've learned since then. Also since that and how sick the rest of my family has been off and on made me take a big break from my blogging, I gained a lot of perspective and a lot of questions were answered that I'd been wondering for a long time. I realized how much I really love to blog. Creating, learning, sharing. I really missed it, and I really need it. 

It makes me a better mom, a better wife, it makes me experiment and explore more, and it's that little creative outlet for me that also helps our family. I've also met so many amazing women through my blogging experiences, and I learn so much from woman I follow and you that follow me. 

So I'm back! I'm so happy to be back. My posts may be a little on and off still for the next few weeks while I try to get control of this morning sickness, but I have so many fun and exciting things to share every day, and I'd love to hear if you have any thoughts on particular topics or posts you'd like to see from me in 2015!

Thanks for reading today, and I hope you visit again soon!
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Monday, December 01, 2014

We have a little something to share...

Yes, we are expecting again! 
Some of you have probably guessed as much already due to my long absences from the blog and social media world, but Meyers baby #5 is expected to arrive sometime around early June 2015, and we couldn't be more excited!
I'm in my fourth month now but not showing quite yet, so instead of glamorous bump shots like so many of beautiful expecting friends, I decided to have the kiddos help me share the news in mostly our pajamas.haha 
The morning/all-day sickness has been pretty epic with this one(to put it mildly), which is hard when Martin's in a busier season of work and there's been so many cold and flu bugs going around, but hopefully I'll be out of the woods soon-ish and can get into a regular rhythm of life again. Thank you all so much for your patience this past month and for not giving up on me while you've stared at the growing cobwebs on my blog.haha
To answer a couple frequently asked questions, yes I'm still planning on starting a maternity series for this little one, but I'm gonna wait to take progress shots when I start showing. I should also mention that we're planning on another home-birth! I've been to see my midwife and everything is absolutely perfect with our little peach. Also we'll probably find out the sex sometime this month:) 
I can't believe we're going to be a family of 7!! 5 kids in five years seems way too nuts to be my life.haha But this was definitely on purpose which makes me certifiably insane I guess.hahaha 

If you have any other questions feel free to ask, but I'm so excited for life and my blog moving forward, and all the exciting things I have lined up for this month and the new year! So stoked!

Take care my lovely people,
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What I Wore + some last minute advice for Black Friday shopping

Hi there my lovely friends! I can't believe Thanksgiving is just tomorrow, and that Black Friday is just the day after that! I'm very careful not to mingle the holidays together (no running off to join in store lines before the stroke of midnight on Thanksgiving, etc.haha) but I do look forward to the biggest shopping day of the year just like the rest of you! I take time beforehand writing out lists of places I want to visit and what I'm hoping to get there, etc, and since Sears is always on that list, I was thrilled when I was asked to partner with them in sharing my Black Friday survival tips! I really do love my job:)
 So, here is my Thanksgiving outfit featuring some favorites from Sears, and I'm excited to share a few things that are key in navigating Black Friday:

#1: Write out your shopping list-
If you're hoping to catch even a few special deals, you need to do your research and write everything out, otherwise your brain will be way too frazzled with all the commotion and you'll forget things and or add on way too much that you weren't planning on. I also prefer to write out a couple alternatives that are also on sale in case the specific item I'm hoping to get is sold out when I get there. This lowers the stress a ton as well as making sure your list gets checked off.

#2: Make a list of the stores you wanna hit up-
Along with the list of items obviously, I like to choose just a few stores that have lots of deals going on that I'm excited about so I limit all my driving around in the snow and navigating check-out lines, etc. And since I'm usually searching for 'mostly' Christmas presents I like visiting places like Sears that have something for everyone (i.e. adult and children's clothing, jewelry, toys, house-wear, electronics, tools, etc, etc,)
#3: Bring your ads with you-
There have been many times when I find deals listed online or in a catalog, but on the day there's a problem bringing up the sale in the computer and you're stuck with only your word against the computer, so don't forget to bring any listings that you can with you to ensure you snag that deal.

#4: Bring plenty of food and drinks-
This is a funny one, but you're not going to want to be stuck in a fast-food line while the deals you've been waiting for are getting swiped out from under you, so make sure to pack along some healthy snacks and bottled water in your bag for while you're navigating the lines. Packing fatty or sugary foods will give you a temporary high but than follow with a crash that'll spoil all your fun.
#5: Just have fun! -
Last but not least, try not to let yourself get so stressed out that you don't enjoy yourself!
There aren't many days of the week when you can get a rush out of fast-paced shopping like you can on Black Friday, and there are a lot of people who forget that it's just shopping and ruin the experience for everyone with their pushy attitudes and such, so don't let yourself get overwhelmed with the pressure and or become angry or aggressive. Take a deep breath and try to remember the reason for the season:) 

So, no matter your plans for Black Friday, I hope that these tips help you have a safe and happy holiday, and I hope you get everything out of it that you're hoping to!
Jewelry - forever21
Boots - nine west

Thank you so much for visiting and reading, and as usual I hope you have a great holiday and rest of your week! xoxo 
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided for this post by Sears via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sears.
It’s more than a gift. It’s the joy of the season. #MoreThanAGift.