Win Your Own Combi Kobuk!!!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you want your child to be as safe as possible? Do you long for the right type of car seat to keep your little one safe? If so then the Kobuk can definitely be the one that you are looking for. We love ours and you can read the review that we did as well as see a little video to see if your child is the right size for the car seat here.

Combi logo

So right now I am excited to be offering you a chance to win your own Combi Kobuk. This car seat is the best booster seat that I have ever seen or ever used. I am so excited to be sharing the chance for you to have your own.

Kobuk

So cross your fingers (and maybe your toes too!) so that you can hopefully win this amazing car seat for your little one.

 

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Phases of the Moon — The Things You Must See and Music You Must Hear

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

The Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival is going to be an amazing time of fun for all of those who are in attendance. I am going to be traveling to the festival with some of my favorite people in the world, my husband and our three children. There are so many things to check out at the festival grounds that I thought that I would share some of the must see places and highlights from each of the day’s schedules at the festival.

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Must Check Out Places
The Sanctuary –
The Sanctuary is a must for festival goers as it is going to feature the world of natural healing along with massage and relaxation. I know that this is going to be a must see attraction to unwind and try and find your own spiritual oasis while attending the festival.
Participation Row –
Want to get involved in a great new campaign? Looking for an organization to volunteer your time with? If you answered yes to either of these, Participation Row is the place to be. They will have a number of organizations represented where you can reach out and get involved.
Crescent Moon Kids Camp –
This is the place to be if you are parents. I am sure that we will spend a fair amount of time here in between the music and other live performances that we want to see. So check it out and let me know what you did with your kids there. Maybe we will run into each other and if you have little ones maybe they can spend some time making new friends with my little ones.
Live Painter’s Row –
This is where you can go watch amazing artwork in action. I love to paint but do not consider myself to be an artist although I attempt to be. I am sure that I will be able to find true inspiration in the Live Painter’s Row.
The Further Bus –
If you follow the blog then you probably saw the piece that I wrote about the 50th Anniversary of the Further Bus. This is something that I have to check out and I am sincerely hoping that I run into Zane Kesey while I am there as his father has been instrumental in my discovering myself and who I want to be.
Gong Sanctuary –
Lay down and allow yourself to be immersed in the vibrations from the gongs. This is one unique experience that you might not find anywhere else.
Branches Mobile Gallery –
A mobile art gallery that you can go to and enjoy. The Branches Mobile Gallery is a one of a kind artistic experience unlike any other that you might see.
My Schedule for Music at Phases of the Moon –
Thursday –
2 pm – David Gans & the Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Harvest Stage
3:30 pm – The California Honeydrops at the Full Moon Stage
5 pm – The Revivalists at the New Moon Stage
5:30 pm – Big Fun Circus at Harvest Moon (this is a must for the kiddos!!)
6:30 pm – Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Full Moon Stage
8:15 pm – Galactic at the New Moon Stage
10:15 pm – String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
My hubby and I have to switch up the late night shows that we go to so on Thursday after I have the hubby help me back to the campsite with the kiddos I am sending him to check out the following for me.
12:30 am – Soulive at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 am – Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Town Square Stage

Friday –
Since my husband is going to the late night shows on Thursday I plan on packing up early and heading out with the kiddos on Friday morning so that he can sleep in a bit. In all honesty my hope is that he will repay the favor to me after I have had a late night on Friday.
Friday morning the kids and I will be checking out the Sound Immersion Experience and the kids camp area. I am not sure that we are going to check it out on Thursday because we are so busy with shows but Friday morning as soon as that kids camp opens I can almost guarantee that we are going to be there.
9 am – Family Yoga at the Yoga Area
10:30 am – David Gans Solo at the Townsquare Stage
12 pm – Dumpstaphunk at the New Moon Stage
1:45 pm – Jackie Green (this lasts until 3:15 pm and I am not sure how much I will catch because of a conflict) at the Full Moon Stage
2 pm – Aerial Gypsies Stilt Parade (I think that the kids will love this one!!) at the Harvest Moon Stage
3:30 pm – Anders Osborne at the New Moon Stage
4:30 pm – Brothers Comatose at the Town Square Stage
5:30 pm – JJ Grey and MOFRO at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Matt Schofield at the Town Square Stage
7:15 pm – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the New Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Sam Bush Band at the Town Square Stage
9 pm – The String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
11 pm – Lunar Conspiracy Landing at the Full Moon Stage (this is going to be amazing since SCI is curating it!)
12:45 am – The Steepwater Band at the Town Square Stage

Saturday –
10 am – Steady Flow at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band at the New Moon Stage
3:40 pm – Leftover Salmon at the Full Moon Stage
5:05 pm – Jackie Green at the New Moon Stage
6:25 pm – Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Nomadic Circus at the Harvest Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that I will be attending this one alone and leaving the kids and husband to watch the show at the New Moon Stage!)
7:45 pm – Tedeschi Trucks Band at the New Moon Stage
9:45 pm – Widespread Panic at the Full Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that the hubs is going to be back at the campsite for this one to give our kiddos a much needed earlier night!)
12:30 am – Moon Hooch at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:15 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey (Dark Side of the Moonshine)
2:45 am – Cornmeal Ramble at the Town Square (I am pretty pumped about this late night and super pumped that this is going to be my late night to hang out!!)

Sunday –
10 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey at the Harvest Moon Stage
11:30 am – Leon Russel at the Full Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Vintage Trouble at the Full Moon Stage
3 pm – Futurebirds at the Town Square Stage
4:15 pm – Robert Randolph and the Family Band at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Cornmeal at the Town Square Stage
6 pm – Gov’t Mule at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band
7:45 pm – Railroad Earth

We have to head back home on Sunday night to get back into the bump and grind of things so I see us taking off after the Railroad Earth performance.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Gov’t Mule

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Gov’t Mule is a soulful act that features the beautiful velvety smooth vocals from Warren Haynes with some amazing guitar playing skills. I have seen Gov’t Mule quite a few times over the years and have never been disappointed when I have attended a show or festival and seen them live. The band has been one that I have been seeing live and like many of the bands at the Phases of the Moon Festival it is one that I am excited to check out again.

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I will be honest that I am not usually the type of person that likes the rock/blues genre that I feel like Gov’t Mule fits into. That being said there are songs that Gov’t Mule plays that simply melt my heart and take me away to a special time in my life. I am a huge fan of the song “Soulshine.” There is just something about hearing this song that takes me back to the happiest moments in my life. It makes me feel carefree and helps me forget about any of the struggles or worries that I might be facing in a day. If I am having a bad dad I can turn on “Soulshine” for an instant pick me up.
This is one of the songs that has inspired me to travel out into the world interviewing fans, and hopefully soon interviewing artists about the overall impact that their music has. Music has such a connection with me that it is something that I can not live without. I am always listening to music and constantly singing to my children. I love being able to share my favorites with them and to be able to share with them what these songs mean to me.

(from the dAiLaN89 channel on YouTube)
As for the song and my personal stance.  “Soulshine” has been a guiding light on dark paths in my life.  It has been the wind beneath my wings when I have needed to fly.  It has been the spirit that has kept me moving when I did not think that I could go on.  It has been a memory that is distant and then a new memory again.  It has been a song that has meant a lot to my life and one that has helped to carry me through some of my most troubled times.  All in all I so grateful for the band for sharing this song with me.  I am thankful that they put this out there in hopes that the fans would like it because it really has been one of the songs that has been the most life changing for me.

 Gov't Mule

I love that I have allowed the music of Gov’t Mule to take me to new places in my life. I have enjoyed learning about the band and their musical influences as well. I have read a lot of interviews with Mr Haynes that have talked about the amazing musical influence that he found with the Grateful Dead and other bands. The fact that he has been able to move up in the musical world and play with these bands that were such an influence on him have had to be such surreal experiences and times of joy as a fan. They have had to be times when he has felt pride and significant happiness about where his career has landed him.
I am hopeful that I will get to hear my favorite while we are at the Phases of the Moon Festival. I hope to check out what I am sure is going to be a great performance by the band. I am also very excited to be able to have my children experience Gov’t Mule for the first time. I think that they are going to enjoy dancing and I know for certain that they will enjoy recognizing a few of mommy’s favorite songs.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Cornmeal

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

First off I have to let you know that I have been a Cornmeal fan for many years. I saw them for the first time just over ten years ago in Champaign, IL. I continued seeing them for years and was even a member of their street team from 2005-2007. I had so much fun going to shows and telling others all about the amazing music that the band played. I have seen them at festivals, in small bars, going from the Campfire Stage to the bigger stages at Summer Camp. I even camped next to them one year back in the day. So as I have been listening to them I have gotten to experience the evolution of their music. I will admit that I was sad at the departure of the Nowak brothers and Allie. However, I will state that I have been impressed with the continued endeavors of a few of the originals to keep the band together. The new band is impressive to see and if you had not known the original you would still fall in love with them.

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They bring a fun new spin on your grandpa’s bluegrass. They are a fun band and I can assure you that when I see them I will be dancing in the crowd. In addition to my own enjoyment I have three little ones who will be attending the Phases of the Moon Festival with me. They all have grown up listening to Cornmeal and are sure to enjoy these shows just as much as mom and dad do.

(from the cornmealinthekitchen channel on You Tube)

Cornmeal has been an integral part of my growing up. I saw them for the first time before I was 21. I was not not even old enough to drink when I started going to see them. Years later, they are still one of my favorite bands to go and see.

cornmeal

(Photo by Norman Sands and taken from Cornmeal’s webpage)

In addition to being a part of me growing up, Cornmeal has been with me through many really exciting life experiences. I was able to take my oldest to see them on the Campfire Stage at Summer Camp for his first festival. My middle two also got to experience the joy that was Cornmeal at their first festivals. My husband and I went and saw Cornmeal in St Louis for our first show together.

 
I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories that I have had seeing Cornmeal with my family and friends. I am hopeful that I will continue to make new memories with the band and that my children will also have their own memories to cherish as they grow up.

 
Now for some fun. When it comes to Cornmeal, there are certain songs that I am hoping to hear. I’m hoping to hear “When the World’s Got You Down” and “Girl with the Long Brown Hair.”

Phases of the Moon — Packing Tips if You Are Coming with Children

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Let’s face it going to any festival with your children is a little bit more work than the days when you got to go alone. No longer can you fit everything for a weekend into one backpack and one cooler. It becomes a long process to get there but the family memories that you make and create are going to be completely worth the effort that it takes.

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This year I am traveling to the Phases of the Moon Festival with my husband and three of our children (my oldest will be with his dad that weekend) who are between the ages of 2 ½ and 6. Will it be hard at times? Yes. However I can assure you that our children love seeing live music and will have the time of their lives at the festival.

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The biggest tip that I would have for families who are traveling to Phases of the Moon is to be prepared and make your lists now. I know it is more than a week away but you will not be sorry when you have lists ready and know exactly what you will be packing for the trip.
I am going to share my lists and tips here so that they might be beneficial to someone else.
Camping Gear
Camping gear is a necessity when you are camping. We are huge fans of the Kelty brand at my house and here are the Kelty products that we have which make up our camping gear.

parthenon 8

1. A big Family Sized Tent (We love our Parthenon 8 from Kelty. This tent is amazing, has plenty of room for a family, and is moderately easy to set up—we don’t end up yelling at each other during the set up time although I might walk away one or two times!)

bug blocker

2. A Shade Tent (We love the Bug Blocker from Kelty. Another one that is simple to set up, provides shade, and protection from bugs while you are enjoying the day or evening at your campsite.)

Cabana

3. A Small “Play” Tent (This is one of my biggest tips for families. Get yourself a small shade type of tent that has a lot of open space. We love the Kelty Cabana because you can leave the entire front open. This is where we keep all of the kiddos toys and stuff for them to play with so that it is not in the way in our main tent.)

little flower 20big dipperwoobie 30 girlsSB20 womens cosmic down 20

4. Sleeping Bags (We use the following Kelty sleeping bags – Little Flower 20, Little Dipper 30, Woobie 30, SB20, Women’s Cosmic Down 20. Each one is perfect for keeping us warm all night long!)

basecamp kitchen

5. Basecamp Kitchen (A basecamp kitchen is a great place to organize all of your kitchen essentials and other goodies. I keep my paper plates, silverwear, papertowels, spare TP, and more in ours so that we can always find everything that we need with ease.)
6. A Table (We love the Kelty Delux Rolltop Table which is the most high quality camping table that I have ever seen. I love that it is sturdy enough for all of us to eat at or that we can play cards when we are relaxing and letting the kids play.)
7. Lanterns (Again with the Kelty gear…I tell you what the gear may cost a bit more but it is the perfect gear for families. The reason that I love it so much is that it can withstand all of the abuse that my children put it through when we are camping and playing around. We have the Flashback, Flashback Mini, and Luma Spot Rhythm as part of our camping gear.
8. Extra Blankets – (We always take a few comforters, sheets, and a blanket for each kiddo in the tent. When attending festivals we take an extra blanket for each kiddo to have at late night shows or when they want something to snuggle up on.
9. Picnic Blankets (We love waterproof picnic blankets. My favorite ones come from Initials Inc. We have two of these and take them to every show that we see. We have enough room for all of us and even a few friends who may decide to travel and camp with us.)
10. Chairs (Chairs are another necessity when you are traveling with kiddos to a festival. My favorite choices are the Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair—seriously the most comfortable folding chair you could ever find, Kelty Essential Chair, and Kids Chairs. We also take the Camp Chairs with us as we can easily carry these to the festival’s stage areas to sit on there.)
11. Battery Operated Fans (This is another essential with children. We have a few large sized ones and the kids each have their own hand held ones when we travel. They also love the spray bottles with the fans on them.)
I know that this might seem like a lot to travel with but when you have the right luggage it is not that bad. I use the One Trip Wonder (again from Initials Inc) to put all of the sheets, kids’ extra blankets, lanterns, and small gear in. I also use the large sized utility tote from Thirty-One to put all of our kitchen gear in.

Filling Those Coolers
I have easy tips to make filling your coolers simple. Plan a menu! Know what you are going to eat and when. Prepare your coolers this way so that the foods that you will eat later will be the foods that are on the bottom. Use one cooler for food, one for family drinks and a small one for the fun stuff (booze! Remember Phases campers that glass bottles are not permitted.) Personally we take our food for breakfast and lunch. We take all of the snacks that our kiddos are going to need. Then we take plenty of water (a few cases for all of us!!) and make sure that we have Camelbaks packed too!! We also take refillable water bottles (one per person!).
Although I have not finalized our Phases menu I am guessing that it is going to look something like this. This is all easily prepared and stuff that does not have to be heated up.
Thursday–
Breakfast—mini donuts, fruit
Lunch – sandwiches (lunch meat, pb & preserves, cheese, veggies…whatever looks/sounds good at the store), veggies n dip, chips
Friday
Breakfast—pop tarts, fruit
Lunch – pasta salad, sandwich
Saturday
Breakfast – small cereal boxes, fruit
Lunch—broccoli slaw salad, lunchables (not something that I normally let the kids eat so they will be excited!)
Sunday
Breakfast – leftovers from the former 3 days
Lunch – leftovers from the former 3 days

For the Kiddos
1. Backpack of Toys (We give our kids their Kelty Backpacks…we use the Minnow and the Grommet. They get to fill these backpacks with small toys, coloring books, colors/markers/pens, paper and books to use while they are at the festival.)
2. Waterproof Backpacks (We give our kids each their Trunki PaddlePaks so that they can put what they want for each show into this bag. Then they are taking something lightweight with them when we are walking to and from the festival stage.)
3. Ride On Toys (We like to take foldable scooters with us so that the kids have something to ride on and play with when we are at the campgrounds. These are also great to ride to festival stages and can easily be stored in a wagon or in the bottom of the stroller when we are sitting and enjoying a show.)
4. Stroller (I would highly recommend a stroller that is easy to push off roads. I have not owned one yet but the BOB strollers seem to be the best for this purpose.)
5. Wagon (We have two. If we have room we take our Radio Flyer with off road wheels but if we are struggling to find room we end up with the foldable one. Sadly it does not work as well.)
6. Blanket Bag – (We put one stuffed animal and their extra blanket in a small bag for them. I know that this sounds like a lot of bags but keeping things organized and allowing each child to have a place for their things will keep you sane when you are moving your gear from your car to the campsite. I like to use Thirty-One bags or Get a Grips from Initials Inc.)
7. One Ring Pool (Yes we sometimes take a pool with us to festivals. We bring just a simple one ring blow up pool that is easy to use. It is perfect for the kids to get wet in and cool off. I like to have a bucket with us that we can hall water to the pool in about 2 or 3 trips.)

What We Will Wear
So for clothes I am pretty simple when it comes to festivals. First off clothes need to be old and not too nice. I know, I know that might not sound so fun but my children get so dirty at festivals that it is necessary. I take one pair of Pjs and 3 outfits for each day (2 that are for warm weather and one that is for cool weather). I also take hoodies or sweaters. I take the same type of thing for me but not quite as much. I try to pack each child their own clothes bag so that we an keep them all together. I also take a big laundry bag to put all of our dirty clothes in. I take wet bags (leftover from cloth diapering days) to put wet laundry in. If at all possible I try to lay out wet laundry so that it can dry.

Toiletries
I personally like to bring all of the basic toiletries with me and then a few extras. My list includes the following –
1. Toilet Paper
2. Shampoo
3. Conditioner
4. Body Wash
5. Detangling Spray
6. Sunscreen (lots and lots of sunscreen!! You don’t want to run out!)
7. Dry Shampoo
8. Brushes
9. Combs
10. Hair Ties
11. Headbands
12. Bandanas (These are great for hair but are even better to cover your face with if there is a ton of dust at a dry festival!)
13. Medicine Bag (put all of our prescriptions and medications that we might need in one place)
14. First Aid Kit (you’ll probably need bandaids!)
15. Wet Wipes (bring a BIG bag of these with you, you won’t be sorry!)
16. Facial Cleansing Wipes
17. Basics for skin care and make up! (nothing fancy for this mama but I still want to look presentable so I use the basics…foundation, mascara, and funky eyeliner—it’s just fun to use!)
18. Hand Sanitizer
19. Child’s Potty Seat (something small but seriously once you see those port-a-pots you will be happy that you have somewhere clean for your children to go potty)
20. Lysol Spray (yes I use this when we are forced to use the port-a-pots!)
21. Towels (I just take a few small old towels…one per person and maybe one extra!)

Phases of the Moon Preview — Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I am excited….no wait, I am EXCITED (yeah that’s right, shout-it-from-the-rooftops excited) to be able to catch the Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the upcoming Phases of the Moon Festival. First off the band plays amazing music that has insightful lyrics that I personally love to listen to. Not only do they write their own music that is amazing but they also cover some of my all time favorite songs.

chris robinson brotherhood

(Photo by Matt Mendenhall and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

If you were to ask me what I hope for during the festival I would say that I’d love to hear Wanderer’s Lament and a Sugaree cover. That’s right, sing me some Sugaree, Mr Robinson.


(from the hallucination nation YouTube channel)

Now I have to admit that I have always thought that Chris Robinson was pretty fabulous and was even a fan of his back in his Black Crowes days. I have always had a little soft spot for him as a fan because of his soulful voice that seems to really be able to soothe me during bad times. I know personally that I choose to listen to the Black Crowes and Chris Robinson Brotherhood when I am under a lot of stress. Something about this man’s voice can seriously calm me during the toughest of times.

chris robinson brotherhood 2

(Photo by John Margaretten and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

Take for instance today, I was trying to put my two and a half year old daughter down for a nap. She was of course trying to fight this process as she feels she must do each every day. She just screams and screams. Well, today I was sitting there and instead of putting on headphones and laying next to her I really needed to get some work done. So I chose to play some Chris Robinson Brotherhood on my laptop. Thankfully this is what finally lulled my little angel to sleep today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this because some days the struggle is purely exhausting and today the soulful voice of Chris Robinson worked on my little angel in much of the same way that it works on her mama. She was finally calm enough to drift off into slumber.

chris robinson brotherhood 4

(Photo taken by John Mendenhall and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

I love thinking about where I was when I first heard a band or what their songs mean to me. This is something that helps me know that I am connected to the art of music. When it comes to the Chris Robinson Brotherhood I think that I first heard their music online when I learned about the new band that Chris Robinson was a part of. I was so shocked at the beauty of the music that they have played and the number of amazing years that Chris Robinson has been the front man of a great band as he continues to put out some of the most heartfelt music around. One of the things that I love so much about music is the passion that you can feel when you are in the presence of greatness on a stage.

chris robinson brotherhood 3

(Photo by Neil Casal and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

I honestly believe that I will be able to feel this passion and be able to see the love of music when I hear the Chris Robinson Brotherhood playing at the Phases of the Moon Festival. I guess you all know that I am going to be there, but will you? If you are going to be there please hit me up and let me know what you think.

My 25 Fall Fashion Finds for Girls

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

If you follow the blog then you know by now that I LOVE to shop. Let’s face it I find shopping to be one of my favorite things in the entire world.

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I have a slight weakness for Matilda Jane. While I am not obsessed as some are I like to have a few pieces in my daughter’s closet. Currently I am in love with the Sunburst Ruffle Leggings ($34) and the Rain or Shine Maggie Dress ($58). I am definitely hoping to put both of these pieces into my daughter’s wardrobe.

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I love PS from Aeropostale for the kids’ basics. The Kids’ Long Sleeve Hooded Tee ($22.50), Kids’ ¾ Sleeve Lace Tee ($26.50), Kids’ Embellished Crew Sweatshirt ($39.50), Kids’ Sheer Belted Hooded Cardigan ($54.50), Kids Sequin Bomber Jacket ($69.50), and Kids Polka Dot Ballet Dress ($39.50) are all on my fall shopping list for my daughter.

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Nordstrom has an amazing in house brand called Tucker + Tate. I love this line for their classic and cute style. I am currently in love with the Minetta Tunic ($28.00).

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The Gap has the new Super Skinny Cords ($29.95), the 1969 Tuxedo Stripe Super Skinny Jeans ($36.95), the Slub Hi Lo Tee ($16.95), and the Embellished Panda Sweater Tunic ($34.95).

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The Mini Boden Fun Applique Dress ($44), Pretty Knitted Dress ($64), and the 2 Pack Cable Footless Tights ($28) are all items that are a must for her as well. I can’t imagine how cute she would look in these.

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H & M has been a favorite of mine since my daughter was born. I love the Slim Fit Pants ($14.95) and the Jersey Top with Lace are my favorite fall picks from their new line of girls clothing.

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The Xhilaration Girls Legging Ebony ($14.99) has the look of leather for a budget price. I love leather for this fall and this is one of the cutest finds that I have seen for those of us who have to live on a budget. The Miss Chevious Line features this adorable Hearts Hi/Lo Tunic ($17.99). It would be the perfect addition to the leggings.

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I also fell in love with a few adorable pieces from Gymboree including the Stitch Striped Blouse ($26.95) and the Super Skinny Ankle Zip Jeans ($34.95).

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Finally I ended up loving a few things that I saw at Lucky Jeans. I love the Zoe Peace Jeans ($39), the Mixed Print Dress ($49), and the Miller Ruffle Top ($32).
I seriously can not get over how much I love the girls’ fall lines everywhere that I look. These are the top 25 pieces that are on top of my daughter’s fall shopping list.

Reasons It Is Important to Drink Enough Water #NSNation @NSNation #sponsored

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will admit that this is perhaps the biggest struggle in my life. I often feel week, tired and over consumed with things and I believe strongly that this is much to my own doing. I seriously know that I should not be this way. I should drink my water but something in me just doesn’t want to and I just do not want to make it. I am honestly not a big drinker of anything but I do have my favorites. So what I do now is make myself drink a bottle of water when I first wake up. Some days are easier than others. Then I get ready and while I am getting ready I work on my second bottle of water. After these two bottles of water I drink a smoothie or iced coffee. I then sip on another bottle of water and have breakfast.

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After this I have a little bit of down time and am working on my fourth bottle of water. I finish this up and allow myself a snack only after I have drank four bottles of water. I drink the fifth with the snack, taking a drink in between each bite. Not only does this help me feel fuller longer from my snack but it also helps me to enjoy my snack for a longer period of time so I feel like I am eating more than I actually am.

 
After snack time it is back to drinking and I drink my sixth bottle of water. After I have drank 6 bottles of water I will allow myself a calorie free/low calorie sports drink. This is tasty and one of the things that I love. I actually have a favorite diet drink that would be preferred if I could afford the high cost that it has.

 
It is generally around lunch time now and I allow myself to eat my lunch. If I am having a busy day or working I am eating one of the portable bars and some lite yogurt and/or a protein bar. While I am eating I am doing the same water thing that I did before. I know that I should be eating more veggies and stuff at this time but seriously protein bars are so easy to tote around that it is just the best choice for me.

 
I drink an 8th bottle of water in between lunch and afternoon snack time. By this time I have all of my water in. This means that I drink whatever I want for the rest of the day although I try to stay away from soda or anything carbonated for reasons having to do with bloating. If I want to have any alcoholic beverages I drink a glass of water after every two. I also make sure to drink at least 10 bottles of water the day that I am drinking and the day afterwards.

 
So as you can see it is possible to easily and quickly get in as much water as you need. The fact remains that if you make excuses like I did then you will never get anywhere. A great thing that I do for myself with all of this is make sure that I am tracking myself and keeping myself accountable. I know that I can do it even if I feel like I can’t. The best thing for me are groups that require me to account for my actions and what I am doing.

Picking Out Boots for Any Seasons and Any Style

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I love to be able to dress based on my moods. I will admit that this can sometimes cause me to have a hard time shopping for shoes. Since I love shoes I have been known a time or two to use the excuse to purchase more. However my husband is always annoyed when I am constantly purchasing something that I could have just purchased once.

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Thanks to Sandgrens he no longer has to be annoyed with what I am purchasing to wear on my feet. I challenged myself to find a great pair of boots that would work with the different styles that I love and be perfect for all seasons. I chose the New York Boots in Fudge ($279). I love these boots and I think that they look great with many different styles of clothing and that they too are perfect for every season.

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Vintage Summer Love
I love vintage pieces. One of my favorite things to purchase are short vintage dresses. I love how they look in the summer and how fun they are to wear. One great thing about the New York is that they look great with the cute short vintage summer looks that are my favorite. It reminds me of the summer of love when I see cute pairings like this one. I love how versatile these boots are.

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Warm Fall Fashion Finds
Fall clothes are fun and blend warm and cold pieces together. This fall outfit is a great way to wear the Sandgrens New York Boots. They look perfect with the pants and pair nicely with the rich fall colors. Most of the time I would not wear the same shoes in the summer and fall but with these I plan on honestly wearing them year round.

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Cozy Winter Wear
I am a dress girl. I love eclectic pieces like this dress. I also love that I can pair it with leggings and have it be the perfect find for winter. It is a great choice for anyone who wants to be able to look great while being practical in the winter months. I love that I can wear my favorite winter finds with these boots as well.

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Fun Preppy Spring Choices
Another thing that I love is cute spring outfits. I love being able to wear a great pair of jeans and a cute lightweight sweater when it is rainy out and things are still a little on the cool side. I love how this preppy look pairs with the boots just as much as the other styles.

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The Sandgrens New York Boots are really the perfect for anyone who has been looking for the perfect boots to wear with their many styles throughout the year.

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Phases of the Moon Artist Spotlight — Leftover Salmon

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Leftover Salmon Awakens Bluegrass with a Fresh New Spin

As someone who grew up listening to bluegrass and country music I will admit that there is a soft spot in my heart for the artists who continue to play in this genre. One of the bands that I have been a big fan of for many years is Leftover Salmon. I have loved them since back in the Salmonfest days when I used to travel to Missouri to check out their great festival. I will admit that this festival was one of the more fun festivals that I have attended my entire life.

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The band started about twenty five years ago and has been touring the country and playing wonderful music ever since. The band was born in part by chance. The members had a chance meeting when Vince Herman was packed up and moving to Colorado with a friend from his native West Virginia. While he could have stopped anywhere, he just so happened to stop at the bar where Drew Emmitt was playing. Some might call this luck but I personally think of it as fate.

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(Photo taken by Tobin Voggesser)

Leftover Salmon has been a part of my entire adult life. Their music has carried me through some of the best times of my life and also through some of the hardest. There are songs that I hear that make me cry because they take me to a memory that is strongly connected to strong emotions. The music has also been with me during some of the happiest and best moments in my life. Just like there are songs that make me cry, there are songs that make me smile and it can sometimes be hard to keep from giggling as I am giddy and filled with emotion.

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I thought that I would share a few of my favorite memories that I connect to a Leftover Salmon song.

The song “Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes” is one that instantly makes me smile. I love my husband so much and I love how the lyrics depict a certain special point in our relationship. Relationships are not always easy and when the going gets tough I find songs that remind me of the beginning when we were falling in love can help me stick out the rough times. What I have learned from this is that there are even better times ahead.

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I love going to festivals and concerts. Every time that I am headed to a festival one of the songs that is a must on my play list is “Carnival Time.” This song is just one that puts you in the mood to party. Who isn’t ready for a great time when they are going somewhere to have fun? I have even found that the song invokes joyful feelings me during rough times. So I play it when I am having a bad day and I find that I am transformed into a happier and more relaxed person.
“Bend in the River” is another song that always makes me smile and feel great. I love the lyrics to this one. In fact this was the first song that I ever sang to my husband when we were just friends. I sang it to him because I wanted nothing more than to hold him close under a willow tree.

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(Photo taken by Tobin Voggesser)

The music from Leftover Salmon likely invokes different feelings in each person who listens to it. I personally find that my connection to music occurs when I am able to sit back and relate a specific song to a certain time in my life.

 

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