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Hosting My First Beautycounter Social

December 2, 2016

I'm hosting my first Beautycounter social tonight at my house with a few friends!  I'm so excited to get together with some of my favorite girls and hang out.  I'm also excited for the chance to enjoy my house all decorated for the holidays with an excuse for an impromptu stay at home girls night!

While I would seriously love to host all of y'all in my house that's just not logistically going to work so I'm opening up the social online as well so you can take advantage of some of the special prizes I'm offering up!  For every $45 dollars you spend you'll get to put your name in a hat to win some of my favorites!

 I also wanted y'all to see just how pretty this packaging is on these products and how simple it is to display.  The products speak for themselves so you don't need a lot of hoopla, which let's be real, is really just more work.  Set up is so easy, just two trays to set out and a few snacks and sips! 

Let me know if you're interested in learning more about how to get discounted and free products.  www.beautycounter.com/juliaryan

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Food Allergy Awareness / Anaphylaxis

December 1, 2016

Food Allergy Awareness / Anaphylaxis

My heart aches this morning.  Actually, it has been hurting all week.  Over Thanksgiving weekend an 11 year old boy from West Palm Beach, Florida died from eating a bite of pound cake baked with nut (probably almond) extract.  For those of us in the food allergy community, this is the fear we live with all day every day.  A fear that we bargain with in our heads to dismiss as hyper-vigilant and over the top but one that we know is both real and necessary.  It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I even approach this story.  I'm not here to report the news so you can go here to learn more.  I don't really have anything important to say but I just couldn't let this go by without mention.

I want my words to be full of rage.  WTF.  Food allergies are on the rise.  WTF are we doing to our environment that our bodies are now registering food as the enemy; an element to be feared within our own respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems?  WTF are we eating and breathing that has changed the chemical landscape of our food sources and our own bodies?

I want my words to be full of frustration.  How is it still possible that the parents of a child with severe asthma and a known peanut/nut allergy were not given the most up to date information for an emergency action plan by their allergist?  This is not directed at the parents but at the medical professionals who didn't take this seriously and many of whom are less up to date on the current safe practices than most online mom's groups. If a known allergy is ingested do not rely on benedryl. This can mask the signs and symptoms of a severe reaction and make your child more comfortable but antihistamines cannot stop anaphylaxis.   Use your EpiPen and call 911 or get in your car and head to the emergency room.  Even if you think you need to just wait and see; that can be done from your car in the parking lot or the lobby of a hospital.  I can't tell you how many times I've sat in the ER lobby waiting to see if a reaction warranted medical care.  Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.  My son often has hives with no known ingestion so we really do have to just wait and see.  I get it, not every reaction is a life threatening reaction.  But you have to be prepared and make decisions quickly in case it is.  Using the EpiPen is scary.  I get that.  I was terrified of it before I had to use it and even now I'm scared of using it again.  But it works and it's in your possession for a reason.  I'm not trying to replace your trusted physician but I do urge you to bring them this information and ask them to help you navigate your own child's action plan. 

I want my words to be full of sadness.  Oakley Debbs leaves behind two grieving parents and a twin sister and his whole future.  I realize that this story hits close to home for me because as I browse the images flooding the headlines I recognize this child.  I recognize my own family in the pictures of him vacationing and playing with his sister.  I recognize the asthma and allergies.  This could be my son in a few years.

I want my words to be full of understanding.  Managing asthma and severe life-threatening food allergies is a lifestyle change that affects every single aspect of your day.  There is no such thing as a drop off birthday party or soccer practice; we sit on the sidelines either in full view or waiting in our cars and hallways just in case.  Solo play dates are few and require planning and a level of trust in another person that you never thought you'd examine.  It's feeling like the crazy mom in the grocery store as you read and re-read labels and looking like the jerk mom who says no thank you when the kind worker offers your child a treat or a sample and having your child feel disappointed twice as the unaware adult presses follow up questions like "Are you sure, I bet he'd like it" or "oh come on mom, it's just a cookie!"  It's never just a cookie.  It's asking more of the adults in your child's life than you feel comfortable asking.  It's asking more of yourself than you're sure you've got.  It's adding in another layer to an already hard job.  It's very isolating but it doesn't have to be.  Reach out.

I want my words to be full of information.  There is a lot of contrasting information being handed out by the medical community but the best and safest practice is to follow the EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN outlined on the FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH & EDUCATION (FARE) website.  If you are new to food allergies START HERE.  Take it to your doctor and discuss.


Click HERE or on either of the images above to download a printable version.

I want my words to be full of support.  If you're an allergy or asthma parent and you want to vent or ask questions or find support just email me.  I get it.  The Debbs are starting a foundation in their son's name in order to channel their grief into a worthwhile purpose and raise anaphylaxis advocacy through their new Red Sneakers awareness campaign.  Oakley was an athlete and known for his affinity of red shoes so just like the teal pumpkin at Halloween has come to serve as a symbol for food allergies, this family hopes that red sneakers will raise the same awareness.

I don't know this family personally and there is nothing I can say or do to really help them but I will be ordering a pair of red sneakers today for my son in honor of their son. #Redsneakers

Red also happens to be the signature color of our favorite heart warrior, George, who could also use your prayers and support today.  George is the son of my friend Elisabeth, and he's back at Boston Children's receiving treatment for some new heart issues that have come up recently and also raising awareness for CHD.  George is one of our hero's.  You can follow along on his journey here.

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November 30, 2016


Okay, let's hear it for the guys today.  From gift ideas to outfit inspiration, it's the perfect time to snag some good deals on men's clothing.  I've partnered with Nordstrom today to bring you some of our favorites from the men's department to make it easier on you to just grab and go!  They have so many great price points and carry all of Matthew's favorite lines like Patagonia and Barbour.

Jacket (limited sizing left on the jacket pictured but this one and  this other one are very similar and also on sale with a few more sizes still available as of this morning) || shirt || pants (color is sold out but you can find similar ones here) || boots (similar for less here)
ON HER: leggings (thick and seamed so more like pants) || boots (old color but here are this year's version + on sale) || shirt (similar look for less here and here )|| sweater (similar) || jacket

Corduroy Pants || Twill Pants (available in several colors and sizes) || slim fit no-iron dress pants (as low as $35) || Jeans || cashmere blend sweater || button down shirt || noise cancelling headphones || Barbour leather gloves || pajama pants also love the matching set || Pataonia bag || Scarf

no-iron button down | v-neck sweater || jacket || sunglasses || eye roll at wife forcing him to take a picture: unavailable in stores

I'll come back through with some gadgets and gizmos later next week after I get Matthew to put his list together of fun new toys for 2016!  I'm planning on doing a shoppping

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

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Holiday Shoes

November 29, 2016

We got to kick off the Holiday Party Season with a fabulous wedding weekend in Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving break.  It's such a treat to get dressed up and fancy!

I went back to Nordstrom early last week to buy the dress I loved from this post a few weeks ago but my size was sold out and it was too late to order in time for this wedding.  Wah Wah.  I'm going to order it to wear to another Christmas party I have in a few weeks.  They have my size online and plenty of time to ship.  That's why you don't wait when you find something good y'all.  Thankfully Nordstrom had lots of great choices and one gorgeous long black gown I knew would be perfect!  I immediately bought it and headed down to the first floor to scout out some fancy shoes.

So many good choices!  I always tend to gravitate towards gold shoes for special events.  I like nude pumps for everyday occasions because it elongates your legs and gold does the same thing but adds a little sparkly fun perfect for a party. 

Nordstrom is always the best one stop shop because I can get everything I need to get fancy all under one roof.  There were lots of pretty metallic sandals but I knew I needed to find something with a closed toe because my pedicures never seem to last more than one day.  How do you make yours last?  I must be doing something wrong.

This dress had a bit of a train in the back so I needed to add in some height from my heels.  I rounded up some pretty metallic flats that would totally still work for a dressier occasion if you don't need to be taller! 

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.  All selections and the long drive to Pittsburgh with two kids over a holiday weekend are all mine.

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Minted Discount Code

I'm still working on my post for today but I probably won't have it ready until this afternoon.  I did want to pop in super quick to let you know that MINTED Holiday Cards are still on sale until 9am PACIFIC time so you've got a few hours left this morning to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deal.

I'm going to keep my 2016 cards a secret but here are the cards we've sent out the past few years.
I wish we'd started this tradition when my girl was first born.  I always create a fun little display with the past years' cards and the official pictures with Santa. 

You can always order your cards now and then add the picture in later to take advantage of the discount code!  I just placed my order and can't wait to show y'all which card I picked!  I almost chose a photo of the four of us but once again a picture of the kids won out!

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Holiday Shoes for Boys

November 28, 2016

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  We were in Pennsylvania with lots of family and lots of celebrating.  Thanksgiving, rehearsal dinner and wedding, and a send off brunch/60's Surprise Party all packed into a few days!

[Hunter boots on sale here and here]

This morning I'm talking about boys shoes.  I'll be back later to chat girls, but I'm starting with the boys because they get the least love!  Girls shoes are just more fun to talk about but boys need to to keep their feet covered too!  Back to school time probably feels like the more obvious time to be selecting new shoes but for me it's usually the looming Christmas card pictures and Holiday parties that have me scrambling to find appropriate shoes for the kids that still fit.

I'm happy to send them off to a new school year with tennis shoes they've been wearing all summer (as long as they fit and have no holes) but Christmas Eve with the grandmothers' require un-scuffed new shoes.  I'm sharing a few of my tried and true favorites that I find every year at Nordstrom who always seems to just what we need to pull off any outfit or occasion we find ourselves in. 

 Plus I totally feel like less is more when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.  Too many choices and you up the chances of loosing a shoe!  Nordstrom always stocks the classics from year to year which I appreciate.  Once you find a good shoe that fits your children's feet you want to just keep buying it the next size up.  It's also easy to order two sizes if you're unsure and just send the wrong one back with free shipping both ways!

Hunter Boots || Sperry Bill Fish topsiders || Converse All-Stars || Sperry Oxfords

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nordstrom. All opinions and selections are solely posted at my discretion.

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November 23, 2016

Happy Wednesday!  How is tomorrow already Thanksgiving?!  It feels like it was just Halloween.  I know everyone is super busy this morning so I'll keep it short and sweet!  There are lots of good sales already starting and some great Black Friday deals to be had so check back for more about the best of the best.  I've still got clothes on my mind but I know it's almost time to switch gears and to gift giving. 

cable knit sweater dress || pink bow dress || fit and flare sweater dress || embellished collar dress || wool blend wrap around coat || cross front tee (now $19) || Lace off the shoulder dress (now $34.40) || crepe shift dress || cutout back dress (now $50) || jeans || lace sleeve shift dress || Leopard dress || lace up pumps || Tory Burch clutch (now $175) || pinata earrings

Lots of cute cozy stuff on sale too.  I always alternate between super casual and chic so I always try to stock up on good warm basics this time of year.

Maggie London tie-dye print dress || Lush Shift Dress (now $30) || cowl neck sweater (now $27 and would be so cute with leggings) || peacoat (under $40) || UGG slippers (now $69) || Burberry Brit Parka (25% off) || Tory Burch clutch (now $234) || Black Nike kicks (now $67.90) || Tory Burch riding boots (now $329) || Vince Camuto Booties (now $129) || Zella live in leggings (now under $40) || scoop neck shift dress (now $29) || Lush Shift Dress (now $30) || Sorel Boots (on sale so I just ordered these after talking to a few readers who loved them and seeing them on many blogs I like.  And my cousin in Indiana wears them and swears by them for cold football games) || convertible sweater (love that this is a cardigan but converts to a closed front sweater) || Olivia Palerma cold shoulder sweater (now 40% off) || cozy cowl neck sweatshirt tunic

Also, almost of all the J.Crew at Nordstrom is 40% off!!

affiliates used

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A Little Christmas

November 22, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!  I love to start decorating before Thanksgiving and take my time doing it.  I usually do a room a night and by December I get to just sit back and enjoy it.  The kids love to help now which is so much fun.  I love the tree with just white lights but we'll start adding in colored lights and ornaments on December first with the kids.

The kids also each have a tree in their rooms that they got to decorate last week any way they want.  And by tree I mean an entire Christmas section.  They literally sorted through our entire Christmas stash and claimed almost everything for themselves.  It's so cute!  I told them I may have to borrow a few things or the downstairs will be pretty empty this year ;)

What about you, do you decorate before Thanksgiving or wait until later December?  Growing up we had a live tree that we picked out the second week of December and immediately came home and trimmed with white lights and ornaments.  There was no theme as it was entirely sentimental ornaments from my parents childhood and things my siblings and I made.  It's still like that now which is pretty cool.  What's your decorating tradition?

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One Room Challenge Guest Favorites Part 2

November 21, 2016

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I'm back with a few more of my favorites from the One Room Challenge guest participants.  I'm so impressed by all the talent and hard work so many put into this challenge!  I'm already realizing there is going to need to be a third post to really showcase all of my favorites!

Ashley Bell Interiors Home Office Reveal

I've been on such a purple kick lately and especially when paired with wood tones.  I'm loving this entire room.  The modern touches keep it from feeling too young or girly.  Such a great home office!

Design Maze Kitchen Makeover
 Such a fun and fresh space.  Tim absolutely nailed the styling and finishes in this kitchen makeover.  I especially love the way he styled those floating shelves.

The Pink Clutch Master Bedroom Makeover

Paige always pulls off the most fun and colorful rooms.  Her entire house is most decidedly traditional and formal yet completely fun and live-able.  I haven't met Paige in person yet but you just get the feeling she'd welcome you into her home with a big hug and a fab cocktail and lots of laughs would ensue!

Chaotically Creative Rustic Cabin Bedroom
My sweet boy hopped on my lap while I was looking at this room and immediately said, "ooh, I need this room!"  What little kid wouldn't love a camping room?! So so so fun!

The Journey Home Glam Living Room Makeover
I'm aways a fan of glam fancy living rooms!

The Avarice Cozy Den

I just want to curl up on that sofa with my babies and a good book!

Inspired Life Interiors Bathroom Update

Can't go wrong with a good before and after bathroom renovation!

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