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Pink Door Holiday House Tour

December 9, 2016

When my blog friend Annie asked if I wanted to join in on her  pink door holiday house tour I immediately thought om, how could I not join in on the fun?!  This is going to be major picture heavy so grab another cup of coffee or glass of wine and get ready.  The best part is that I've linked to several other bloggers at the end of this post to give you lots of great ideas for getting your own house Christmas ready!

Welcome!  Last year I stuck with decorating the family room and created a really neutral winter wonderland type of theme.  This year I decided to go the opposite route and embrace the color already around our house!


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My Favorite Things | The Ultimate Cozy Christmas

December 8, 2016

Dec. 8, 2016

First of all, thank y'all so much for all the Birthday love.  I still can't believe I'm 35.  When does the feeling like an actual grown up part kick in?!  I started dating my husband when I was 24 and he told me he loved me for the first time on my 25th birthday.  I remember thinking how old and in love we were but now an actual decade later I can't help but reminisce on those moments the same way I do with baby pictures of my kids; how freaking adorable and young we were?!  And it's cool to think that in another ten years we'll be thinking the same thing about today.

The Brad Paisley song, I thought I loved you then, comes to mind.

Second, sorry about the comment-gate situation.  I switched to moderating comments a few weeks ago and now blogger sends me an email when someone comments so I can approve it.  Well, apparently not for every comment because when I clicked on comments behind the scenes this morning there were a TON of your sweet warm wishes just waiting to be published.  Ooops!  So if you entered to win the giveaway and still don't see at least one of your comments just let me know and I'll add your name in the hat! 

Third, my friend Shannon stopped me in the hall at school yesterday to ask when I was going to get my Christmas list post up so she could send it to her husband.  Today is the day my friends.  I'm going to make my girl ride the bus and pop my sweet pea in front of the ipad so I can spend a few hours looking for the best of the best on the web!  Hopefully it will help give you some ideas for the loves in your life and will be a good resource for you to forward on to your husbands for your own presents under the tree!  Today is all about the cozy for Christmas!  I've already started working on a fancy pants line up as well so stay tuned!

barbour jacket || patagonia better sweater || zella pullover || zella leggings || vans || s'well bottle || robe || Ugg poncho || fur eye mask || barbour puffy coat || flannel pajama pants || this wine is making me awesome sweatshirt || bow pajamas || lake pajamas || poncho || jogger sweatpants || plaid scarf || cashmere lined leather tech gloves || slippers || slipper socks with faux fur lining || new balance shoes || charcoal beauty mask (send me an email if you order this or any other beautycounter products because I made the cutest gift tags to go with several products and I'm happy to send you a pdf to print out and use) || rejuvenating eye cream || striped slippers ||


J.Crew is having a B-A-N-A-N-A-S sale where you get 30% off your entire purchase OR 40% off if you spend $200+ with code: PRESENTS


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Stocking Stuffers Giveaway

December 5, 2016

Happy Monday, y'all!  It's my birthday week and in the spirit of giving I thought I would give away a few of my current favorites to one of you!  I'm going to keep it old school so just leave a comment to enter and I'll get the kids to draw a name and announce a winner on Wednesday!

Emily Ley Grace Not Perfection book || Emily Ley Grace Print || beautycounter nourishing cream exfoliator || beautycounter lip gloss || monogrammed acrylic keychain with tassel || happy stripe pen || buffalo check scarf || stone stud earrings || striped pajamas || personalized labels || lip conditioner || cable knit scarf || beautycounter lip sheer || glass letter ornament

Now I'm off to finish decorating the house for a Christmas House Tour I'm participating in later this week!

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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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