RIVA [giveaway!]

My heart has been a little heavy this year with so much loss and destruction and sadness seemingly everyday on the news. It feels close to home especially now with these fires in California and right over the Utah mountain side here in Utah. riva giveawayPeople I know have lost everything! So when Safety 1st offered their new RIVA 6 in 1 Travel System for a giveaway I knew I wanted to be able to give back to someone who really might need a boost this season! You can enter for yourself or on behalf of a loved one on my Instagram but I wanted to tell you about it here as well! It retails for $299, Amazon has it for $75 off right now, too!riva giveaway

The system is reminiscent of the system I used and loved with Raleigh! It collapses and transports with ease and easily swaps out a bassinet attachment (a MUST for new babies!) to the infant car seat to the stroller attachment and so much more! Check it out here and go enter at @emilyframe!

 

MIA

Where have I been? Let me tell you!

Dress // Shoes // Jacket

If you saw the Home Tour on Instagram last week you know that we had a photo and film shoot here at the house for a couple of days! I’m not able to share about it just yet, but it has consumed my thoughts for months! Knowing that I’d need to have the house photo-ready was more overwhelming than I realized when I signed on to do it. Somehow, Russ powered through and had it ready to go by about 2 am the night before. For someone whose anxiety peaks when I don’t have control in a situation – this was brutal for me! I could only do so much to get the house ready, most of it was on others’ shoulders. Now that we wrapped the project I can’t tell you how relieved I am! It went amazingly well and everything worked out gratefully!

Now for the second project! As most of you know I run Bijou Market (going on this weekend!)

@bijoumarket It’s a handmade, vintage and curated shop show, held 3 times a year which houses 60+ vendors from around Utah and the Southwest for a weekend at a time. Our first market was in 2009 and since that point we have had to move the market NINE different times. Three in the last couple years alone. Not one of these places was “ideal”, but we’d make it work and keep moving forward. Dealing with landlords has been, honestly, the worst part of running the market, and we got (literally) robbed a couple years ago! Ha! For many, many years my partner Rashelle and I have said how badly we wished we had our own space. And what that space would look like and how we’d do things differently. Our bandwidth for this business has fluctuated with having babies, moves, financial struggles, and then on top of that we’d get news that we’d have to find a new venue and it was all so deflating. It seemed like we could never get out of “Survival Mode” to do what it takes to grow a business, instead of just keep it afloat.

So we decided to start actually looking for a space a couple years ago. We toured probably 4 or 5 spots, had countless listings sent back and forth, and once again found ourselves with options that weren’t “ideal” but we were willing to make them work. Talking about demolishing entire floor plans, taking down cement walls, or even starting from scratch.

And life went on. Then we got news that our 9th venue was closing. At this point our options were few. The conversations about what to do were grim. There was no peace to be had, everything felt so confusing.

And then we found one more listing.

The pictures looked promising, so we went and toured it. It was everything we ever said we wanted. It needed work, but NOTHING like the work we were looking at with the other venue options. We both felt it was right, and even cried happy tears at different points of the tour. Finally our IDEAL. And from then on things fell into place. Time after time, even when they weren’t looking good, they’d work out better than we could’ve hoped.

And now TODAY we open its doors. It’s not done, not even close, but it’s beautiful and it’s OURS! So that’s where I have been! Juggling two of the biggest projects of my career. After 18 months of building our home and all that came with that. I have wondered countlessly why the timing worked this way. I don’t think it could’ve been worse timing to be honest! I had told myself on hard days that once the house was done, Russ and I could rest. I truly didn’t think I could take another step (can’t imagine what he’s going through now renovating the building with an insane deadline for us), but my life has always been a constant state of showing me what I’m made of. I know without any doubt that there is a much greater plan in the works and my small view can’t fathom all the reasons just yet, but I know one day it will be clear.

It’s another feather in my cap when it comes to one simple truth. When things are right, they will fall into place. If you’re forcing pieces to fit, it’s not right. Or it’s not yet. Suddenly things start to click and then you’ll know. Does that mean right equals easy? Or no work? Definitely not, but the peace that comes when things are correct or correct timing can’t be bought. They are priceless!

I think the old me would’ve forced myself to do all the things, to keep posting 5 times a week which is what I’ve done since Small Fry’s beginning. But instead I let my passion and energy go where it flowed. And I tried real hard to give myself grace instead of guilt. I know it’s just a season and so I appreciate all of YOUR patience with me while I try to accomplish these big dreams. Sharing my life on a blog is something I’ve done consistently since 2005! It’s such a part of me and I’m so grateful for the chance to do it with a whip-smart, genuine and generous audience. Truly grateful for all of you and can’t wait to be back to scheduled programming!

You can follow along with the Venue’s progress on @statehousevenue Instagram page I posted a ton of before pictures and I’ll get some good afters once the market is done! And if you want to come see it for yourself it will be open this weekend for our Holiday Market!

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self care on a budget

We really had to tighten up the budget this past year as Russ built the house while and I worked. I cut out virtually every unnecessary purchase. Self-care was definitely on that cut-back list! Luckily I found a few ways to keep caring for myself and actually save money!self-care on a budgetI cut out highlights at the hair salon, manicures and pedicures, and I was on a complete personal spending freeze (with the exception of refilling make-up.) I shopped similarly for my boys and even though they didn’t care or maybe even notice, they went from having 10 pairs of shoes to 2. If it could be cut-back, I did it. While I am so proud of myself, I have had so many insecure moments! Being a big time shopper who used to feel like I wanted something new to wear just to get dinner with friends, it sounds silly, but I came to I realize I was using shopping as a way to hotwire my confidence. Trying to maintain YOUR interest as my readers, I felt like I had to spend money to excite you all. And have felt down on myself often that this site just isn’t what it used to be. The experience was super interesting to be witness to, that is for sure!Self Care on a BudgetI guess what I am trying to say is, if you scroll social media and it feels like everyone is getting facials and wearing new clothes and going on trips and you are on a budget and feeling self-conscious: I have been/am there and I so get it! I think it’s an important experience to have because it’s so eye-opening and takes inner self-care, and work! But, no matter what is in your bank account, don’t neglect yourself!!  Here’s what I would do in those down moments to take care of myself without actually going out and spending money!Self Care on a BudgetIt might sound counter-productive, but there were some products I was SO grateful I had to help maintain my outward appearance during this buckled-down season!  For those moments when I just wanted to feel pampered, or keep on top of my aging process, or see some quick results. They all pay for themselves over and over again and in the end saved me so.much.money.

  1. PMD – Perosonal Microderm Device. My number one. When I think about how much I normally would spend on a facial and then how many treatments I’ve done in the year that I’ve had my PMD I have saved SO much money. They’re also doing a buy more, save more type deal so you can get 30% off right now (selfcare30), or more depending if you spend more! Perfect time to grab gifts or go in on a big purchase with your friends or sisters!  I do it weekly and the results to my skin’s texture, tightness, and softness of my skin is immediate. I’m the first to say that I don’t have great skin. I have always had acne. Whether hormonally, caused by stress, diet, or a mix of them all, and on top of that I was told by my esthetician that my skin just wasn’t turning over like it should and it was causing a lot of my deep, more cystic breakouts. Being able to help my skin turn over and regenerate at home has been a game changer, I haven’t gotten one a cystic breakout since!
  2. Foot Care. I am barefoot a lot and my feet take a beating. My feet without a regular pedicure have been truly atrocious. Embarassingly so! Having a few tools at home to help keep them looking decent like this at-home foot file and (don’t laugh) even the Amope when you want to soften your feet up in a hurry, too! Cuticle oil and scissors and nail polish that actually stays put and shiny like this line by Essie. No heat lamp required!Self Care on a Budget
  3. Hair Mask. I do this weekly as well and it transforms how my hair feels. It gives your hair that salon softness and it’s so affordable, too! I leave it in for an hour or so and wrap it up in shower cap. I love Kristen Ess’ mask and its $14 and has lasted me nearly a year!
  4. Another purchase that pays for itself a hundred times over is at-home waxing! My husband actually bought ours and I don’t even know how to total how much we’ve saved. He waxes his nose, the middle of his brow, and ears and he waxes my brows, bikini, upper lip. Self Care on a Budget
  5. Last and maybe not for everyone, but it certainly helps me, is at-home self tanning! I just think everyone looks a little better tan and it’s such a quick thing that has a great ripple effect. I feel like my skin looks better, teeth are whiter, I can see muscle definition easier and I look more slim, too! It can be tricky at home but if you have the right products I haven’t had any problems! I love Versa’s line and make sure you use a mitt!

Any products I missed that make your at-home self care roster? Thanks to PMD for sponsoring this post — don’t forget you can save 30% off their PMD Pro with “selfcare30”!

momiform faves

Momiform: Verb. The art of dressing for the infinitely multi-faceted job of parenting and running a household. Noun. The outfit you’ll wear again and again because it doesn’t get in the way of your day-to-day life.Momiform Faves: Button Downs

Hunter Green Top $15 – comes in 10 colors! // Thick Striped Button Down, under $20 in 5 colors! // Thin Striped Shirt with Tie $15 or less! // I have this black top in oatmeal and it’s so so comfy. This one comes in 16 colors and under $20. // Tie bottom denim shirt in two shades $21! //

My favorite at-home momiform is a loose fitting, short sleeve button down that is longer in the back so when I bend over nothing shows. Must be button-down because hey don’t cling to my mom pooch (I think it’s the weight of the buttons that keep it from settling), they’re easy to move and bend (read: clean) in, and short sleeved so I don’t have to mess with rolling sleeves up or getting too hot. I feel presentable if I do see another living soul and even if I don’t I feel better about myself than if I was in sweats or pajamas. Here are a bunch I found online right now since lots of you agreed and wanted to see what we found.

Madwell Courier or Central shirts are perfect for the job and all of these are on sale! The rest are incredibly affordable to begin with. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

#framefarme: mud + garage

I feel like I always come in from the car with my hands full of groceries, babies, the babies’ stuff (he’s obsessed with carrying his backpack around) and messing with keys is just not gonna happen. Kwikset partnered up with us for our home build and one of their awesome locks solved all my full-hands problems! #framefarme mud + garageTheir Kevo line is all smart, blue tooth technology locks and we have loved the look of their Contemporary lock! #framefarme mud + garageYou sync it on your phone with an app and then all you have to do is wave your hand across the lock and it senses with your phone in your pocket or bag and it unlocks! #framefarme mud + garageSO cool, right?   #framefarme mud + garageOnce you’ve synced the lock you can access and view it from anywhere, which is always a relief to me when we leave town or I’m almost asleep in bed and can’t remember if I locked the door or not! #framefarme mud + garage  And for those who want to see here’s a bit of the rest of our garage! We have a lot of organizing to do with the rest but one thing I’ve really loved is the 1/2 space! We have 3 spots and then this random 1/2 of a space that isn’t accessible from the driveway which has been perfect for bikes, the pantry door, random storage, and shoes! I am loving having the shoes NOT in the house but also not in the way of anything else in the garage. We did a shelf for them (should’ve doubled the size.) #framefarme mud + garageAnd the rest of the mudroom! If you’re questioning a drinking fountain I give it two thumbs up. My kids use it several times a day and I’m pretty sure have increase their water intake by 100%. Not sure why Russ installed it this way, but either way, stoked about it! Also, this is the second garage door I’ve painted and I really love it because these doors from the garage get SO dirty and I feel like it camouflages it a little bit when there’s more going on than just a white door!

Forgive these iPhone photos my lens that can capture longer depths broke! Gotta get that replaced!#framefarme: mud + garageWe did quarter sawn oak for ALL our cabinets which wasn’t the plan originally (I think these were going to be painted navy?) but the more I had seen of painted cabinets wearing pretty poorly over time, I got set on the idea of just staining wood. We fell in love with this finish and our cabinet guy uses a whole slab so the grain follows across multiple doors which was cool so we did it EVERYWHERE! Ha!#framefarme: mud + garageThen off the mud bath – I’ll be sharing that next week! – are the stairs to the basement with this little landing. I am the queen of small piles by stairs so I have to have baskets or it would look wrecked! I have a basket for toys to go back to the toyroom (boys do that as part of their weekly chores), a laundry basket of their clothes to go down to the laundry room, and a plant we’ve had since we got married! It’s lived EVERYWHERE with us!#framefarme: mud + garage

Huge thank you to Kwikset for this amazing lock and partnering with me on this post! You can grab your own lock right here!

 

best of: women’s waterproof

One of the requests when I asked what you guys were in the market for this Fall was all weather, comfortable shoe options! Whether it’s snow or rain or sun, these shoes will keep you covered but also polished. One new to me brand, Blondo is an entire line of regular looking ankle boots, knee highs, sneakers, that just happen to be waterproof! Super cool!

womens waterproof boots
Blondo Boot options: ONE // TWO 
DUCK BOOTS: ONE // TWO // THREE
TRANSPARENT BOOTS // 1964 Sorels are the best looking snow boot in my opinion.
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best of: boys waterproof shoes

Boys Boots! It snowed a little bit up here this weekend so I am ON it for all my kids. Here’s what Ive liked from around the web. Ranging from $17 for these duck boots, on up!

Boys Rain Boot
Shoe Covers! Something to think about if you live in a climate that isn’t wet often, or if your kids insist on wearing “fast shoes” to school. Just mine? Button Clasp // Zipper  //$12 Shipped for these half boots in most colors! //  $40 Duck Boot // If you want just a basic welly here are two options! Solid Colors // Solids with Black Sole // Helly Hansen – Plain and Striped

halloween class party ideas

Who’s signed up for class Halloween party volunteering? I signed up for the “book/treat”, not sure what that means, but I am bringing both just to be sure! I asked Cal what treat would be fun and he requested Spaghetti. Can you imagine a worse snack for 25 kids?Monster Spaghetti

Here are the MOST checked out Halloween books according to an Elementary Librarian! Halloween Class Party ReadsThere Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat // Clifford’s Halloween // Room on the Braaoom // Little Old Lady Not Afraid of Anything // In a Dark Dark Room (scary stories) // All the Lovely Bad asOnes (scary stories)

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels

Halloween Treat DIYMonster Bark – there are 1,000 versions of this online but I love that this one used multi colored chocolate! Such messy fun.Halloween Treat DIYPudding Cup Bats – I’ve seen this with juice boxes (covered in white cheese cloth for a ghost), apple sauce pouches (wrapped in crepe paper like a mummy), String Cheese with eyes and a mouth for a ghost, faces on Clementine Oranges like jack-o-lanterns. I like these ideas because it doubles as a craft and isn’t opened so it’s less germy as they handle their food.Halloween Treat DIYScary Donut Ideas Scary Donut IdeasAnd a few cute treat ideas to add to these 8 we found a couple years ago! Also still stand so hard behind this Healthy Halloween Lunch I posted 6 years ago, ha!

And if you’re in charge of activities here’s a few easy ideas! ALL of My Mind’s Eye Halloween Decor is on sale! For smaller groups, rotations or maybe a fun price to win this Monster Magic book would be awesome to have them each do a drawing.

Print off one of these nine Ad-libs! // Sheets of stickers to make faces on small pumpkins! // Spider Ring Toss 

britax boulevard

So stoked to have Britax send their new Boulevard ClickTight in Cool N Dry fabric  for a review! We were coming up on the expiration date for our carseat (used it with all three boys) and it was for sure time fora fresh one! Here are some features and things I am loving about this carseat!Britax Boulevard Review

The look. Call me vain but I love the look of this seat. The casing around the sides feels so sleek and this Boulevard seat is made with their Cool n Dry fabric which looks amazing even after being wiped down. Raleigh runs hotter than my other boys, he gets red faced and after running for 30 seconds and is constantly sweaty! So having a fabric with him in mind is so nice! I just wish I had this for Summer because he was constantly complaining about being hot!

Cool Max Review

The Click Tight system. I haven’t ever used a Britax seat before but this technology is super cool! It makes installing the seat so so easy and you don’t have to wonder if it’s secure. You push the button and it automatically sets the tension for the different seat belts so the carseat doesn’t budge!

Britax Boulevard Review

A few other safety features I love are the SafeCell Impact Protectors. That same shell I loved for the look? Also helps absorb shock in side impact situations. Britax has created impact absorbers for the base, frame, harness and tether so if Heaven forbid you get in an accident all these places of impact are ready to lessen the effects. Do you see the harness impact absorbers with that grey rubber encasement around the belt? It takes some getting used to as it takes more effort to move up and down, but I have found that it stays in place more readily, avoiding that chest buckle slippage that can happen!Cool Max Review

For the price this carseat is so luxe looking, and easy to use! Far and away the easiest system I’ve ever installed! You can check it out here!

white boot trend

The white boot trend caught my eye this past Spring but just now getting around to buying a pair! These were $25 at Charlotte Russe and of course sold out. I’ll be sure to update if I see them come back! But, let’s see how people in the fashion world are styling them  and of course I rounded up 16 of my favorite options from around the web! Happy weekend!!

Similar Boots // Turtleneck // Leather Jacket Jeans // Lip 

White boots started sticking out to me this past Spring but I LOVE them for Fall. I think the trick is finding boots that a little something other than white leather. A black heel or elastic, a silver stud pattern, a wood heel. Just something to break up all the white!

white boot trend

Snakeskin boot options to ease your way in. I’ve been wearing them daily and here’s some good lookers! 1. With buckles. // 2. The orange heel are you kidding?? // 3. Black buckles – Chloe knockoffs! // 4. Gold Buckles – Chloe knockoffs! // 5. Asymmetrical shaft // 6. Wood Heel + Goring // 7. Patent Go-Go style // 8. Black heel + goring – sold out the day after I made this dumb collage, but I’ll link if I find them! // 9. Hiking Boot // 10. Patent Goring // 11.Chunky Heel and Split Gore // 12. Western Isabel Marant Vibes // 13. Silver Multi Strap Buckles // 14. Pointed Western Vibes // 15. Western Vibes with Goring – Acne knock-offs! // 16. Studded 

A few other ways to style them!