Janelle In Real Life

Janelle In Real Life


Treat Yourself with Fawn Design

Mother's Day is almost HERE! And I'm here to tell you why it's the perfect day to treat yourself.

I'm a mom to two little ones, one of which has special needs. I am usually EXHAUSTED, because kids are amazing and wonderful, but they also use up a lot of energy!
I've learned that it's important to do things for myself in order to be a better mom, as counterintuitive as that may sound! Finding ways to be ME in my role of Motherhood is crucial.

One way I "treat" myself is with time. I let myself get out of the house to just go to the gym, grocery store, get some retail therapy in, or spend time with friends from time to time! I'm lucky to have a very willing husband who understands my need for "me" time and will always spend time with our kiddos so I can get out.

Another way I treat myself within my role of Motherhood is splurging on a must-have mom item. In this case: my Fawn Design diaper bag!
I say splurge... this bag costs much less than any designer bag out there. But it's an upgrade from what you think of when you hear 'diaper bag' and it's my favorite to carry!

My kids are 3 & 5 so this Fawn Design Original bag is most useful on full-day trips to the zoo, the museum, the aquarium, or anywhere we'll be gone for several hours and need diapers, wipes, snacks, sunscreen... the works. It's also great for trips out of town (we brought ours to Disneyland)!
For smaller trips like to the store, post office, park, or out to lunch with friends, I pack the Fawn Design Mini bag! I have & love both sizes for different purposes! I also know so many women who don't have little ones who use this bag for work, or for their purse! It's THAT cute.

Some of my favorite features of this bag are: 
- the gold hardware
- the shape of the bag
- the faux leather exterior AND interior
- SO many pockets
- the ability to be a crossbody or backpack

And I wanted to show the bag with two outfits because I'm obsessed with how versatile it is!! The gray color is a perfect neutral and literally goes with everything in my closet. WIN!

Another reason to love Fawn Design: they're a family owned small-business here in Utah! I've met the owner Jenny, and she is the sweetest! I see these bags everywhere; she's built an empire for herself, but she's still so kind & humble.

So to all the mom's out there: TREAT YO' SELF this Mother's Day!
And to all the women who act as mother figures, who are waiting for the positive pregnancy test, who are enduring fertility treatments, you are included in this. Treat yourself, girl! You deserve it.

Bag was sent courtesy of Fawn Design, all opinions are my own.


The Best Curling Irons for Both Long & Short Hair!

You've been asking and I'm FINALLY delivering: my favorite curling irons for long AND short hair!

Last month I chopped my hair to above the shoulders... and I love it! But one thing I've learned since having short hair is that curling long vs short hair is VERY different and requires some different tools and techniques! I'll be sharing what has worked best for me.

In my search for the best of the best when it comes to curling irons, I kept coming across T3 Micro and wanted to give their products a try! I reached out to them, and they send me their Convertible Collection, which comes with a curling iron base & 6 interchangeable barrels. 

Obviously their products are GORGEOUS, but I wanted to know if they lived up to the hype! And while the average person may not need 6 individual barrel sizes, I wanted to try them all out and see which sizes & styles were best to buy.
My overall impression of the set was a good one: they feel sturdy & high quality without being too heavy. And they heat up SO fast! I'm used to plugging in a curling iron and walking away for minutes before it's ready, but these take seconds!

So first up: my long hair #1 pick was the "Loose Waves" barrel (1.5" straight barrel). This one was perfect for my long locks! It gives the lovely wave that you see in the first photo of this post. My technique for curling long hair has been adjusted and perfected over time, but the short of it is that I section my hair off into 4 layers, and curl 1-2 inch pieces away from my face, starting with the bottom layer working my way up. Then I comb through with my fingers, and if I want a loose look, I go through the curls with a brush.

And next: my #1 short hair pick was the "Defined Curls" clip barrel (1"). I've found that using a clip barrel with short hair is much easier and more effective, and a smaller barrel is necessary with less hair to work with. I use this curling iron to style my short hair basically every time; it's my new go-to! For short hair, I section off 3 layers and alternate curling away from & toward my face (the hair framing my face & is always curled away). I do about 1" sections and twist and pull the curl tight immediately after releasing it from the iron to prevent it from being too big/bouncy. I use dry shampoo & hair spray for volume, and brush through with my fingers only to soften the curls.

And that's it! Honorable mention from this curling iron collection goes to the "Polished Curls" clip barrel (1.25") for slightly tighter long hair curls. I didn't use the clip (just wrapped my hair around it) because with long hair the clip just tugs & gets in the way.
Each of the 6 barrels I tried work so well for different hair looks, but I'm a creature of habit and find a hairstyle I love & stick with it forever. The other barrels didn't achieve my signature look, but still offered cute styles in a high quality product!

If you purchase anything from the collection, don't forget that you need the Convertible Base, which will power any of the barrels from the collection. The interchangeable aspect of this collection is pretty cool (and space saving), and the barrels were super easy to change in & out!

I received product courtesy of T3 Micro for this post, but all opinions are my own.


Striking that Balance

I can get behind any fashion trend involving fun texture. So I'm obviously feeling chenille sweaters!

sweater- sold out, similar HERE | denim- levi's | handbag- vintage dooney & bourke (similar here) | shoes- free people

And the color is to DIE for! Give me all the burgundy lately!

This week has been stress city as I've been trying to meet work deadlines and simultaneously get our family ready for a fun trip! I can't complain that my current stress is a good job and going somewhere fun, but it definitely has meant I have less time to kick back so my anxiety is in full swing.
I've been working on some coping skills for when I get anxious and meditation is proving to be super helpful! If you haven't tried it before, you really should! Taking a few minutes to just relax & clear your mind even once a week can make all the difference.
I think most everyone these days experiences higher stress levels and we are just kind of a high strung society. It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on, and that work-life balance is a constant struggle.
I have to say that working from home is even more difficult than I imagined it would be. I've been working from home to some degree for the last several years, but I'm taking on more full-time things right now and I'm learning to cope with the constant guilt.
When I'm working, I feel guilty that I'm not giving my kids my full, undivided attention. And when I am playing with them, I feel guilty that I'm not getting work done! It's a real lose-lose situation and I'm so over it. Why as women do we feel like we always need to be doing all the things?? I've talked about it with my husband, and he doesn't really experience guilt when he leaves us during the week for his 9-5 job. But as a woman, I feel responsible for being there for every part of my kids' lives (and cleaning up their messes), while also feeling called to pursue my own passion & career.
I do "time blocking" in my day, where certain hours are set for work, kids, blog, husband, self, and chores. It's helped a TON, but overlap is unavoidable for me when I have a crying child or an important deadline. I know with time I'll get better at balancing and the guilt will subside, but for now I just hope I'm not the only one who struggles with all of this??
What I'm learning is that it's good to just give myself a break. I'm doing my best, my kids are overall healthy & happy, and I really like my life right now. It's ok to be a work-in-progress!