Hi there!

Hey lovelies, welcome to SDB! I'm Natasha. I am a walking, talking mombie fueled by coffee. I am obsessed with shoes, all things glittery and/or sparkly, and I have an owl obsession. We talk about everything from motherhood, lifestyle, and all things inbetween. I am a mom of three kids and we reside in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for tagging along! Now lets sit back and sip on a cup of coffee in the AM or wine in the PM and lets relax.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monthly Finds - February

Happy Friday Friends! I am glad you're here. Last month I thought that it would be awesome to start sharing some of my frugal finds that I find at local thrift shops and stores in our area as well as some of my favorite things. As I have mentioned before, I am a very frugal person. When you grow up living in poverty, you learn to value money and make it last. So, at the end of each month I am going to share some of my favorite things that I found. It will be a combination of fashion finds, home decor, beauty, kid stuff, and food depending upon the month.

For the past few months I have been hitting up a couple of thrift stores in our area in search for inexpensive pieces. I have been on a hunt for a small side table for in my daughter's bedroom as well as a coffee table to redo for our living room but I haven't had much luck. Instead, I find the unexpected; like items I wasn't really looking for but ended up buying because I couldn't pass it up. I have found wall shelves for in our bathrooms that were brand new, faux greenery for around our home, lots of beautiful wicker baskets to store blankets, cozy throws and pillows, and other things.

I have come to love my bi-weekly thrift store hauls. I usually allot myself anywhere from $15-$25 to spend on those trips. Sometimes I am successful and then their are the times when I go home empty handed. I had a lot of success this month and thought I would share my haul with you.

IKEA Finds for the Home 

Vivian Curtains in shade Gray

Metal Tin

Package of 100 votive candles

I always find something that I need when I make a trip to IKEA. Although I wasn't planning on buying anything for our home, I ended up finding curtains for our master bedroom. I have been wanting to replace the old dark brown curtains that we bought when we first moved down to the Portland Metro Area almost six years ago. I have looked at stores like Home Goods, Ross, and Marshall's but haven't found any curtains that I liked. I wanted something simple. I was very happy with this purchase from IKEA and you can never pass up a pack of 100 votive candles for less than $4 either.

Goodwill Finds for the Home

Kitchen Aid Mixer (Brand new and still in the box)

Rae Dun Tea Mug
$1. 99

Okay, let me tell you. My intent of being at Goodwill this month was because I was looking for a black sheet for a project I was working on for work. I finally ended up finding the sheet I needed. I happened to be browsing the aisles when I spotted this adorable Tea mug. I checked the bottom to look at the seal and almost squealed with delight. It was Rae Dunn! And who doesn't love Rae Dunn Mugs? I grabbed that mug with the quickness and happened to spot the Kitchen Aid box on the shelf. *insert deep sigh* I looked at the box and was so excited to find a brand new mint hand mixer inside! Yup, the mug and the Kitchen Aid ended up in my cart.

Beauty Finds

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Shade Tokyo

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Shade Sao Paulo

E.L.F. Bronzer Palette in Shade Deep

I love finding inexpensive beauty products that work. Nyx and E.L.F. are two of my favorite store brands that I love. I needed to replace my bronzer because I ran out and decided to try the bronzer pallet. I purchased it from Target. I really like it, although most of the shades I won't be able to use until summer time. They are a little too dark for my complexion at the moment. I am absolutely loving the lip cream from Nyx. I wanted a soft pink shade and a rosy shade for spring. I picked Tokyo and Sao Paulo and love how they look on my lips. They are such pretty colors and really pigmented.

Food Finds

Lotus Tea 
$6.00 at Hong Phat Market

Leaner Creamer in Mocha Flavor 

I wasn't planning on sharing food/drink finds but what the heck, I have been loving the Lotus Tea I found on an outing with one of my mentee's. We split the bag in half and I drink two cups a day and absolutely love it. I don't know the brand, but the next time I pick up a bag from Hong Phat Market, I will make sure to update this post.

My other favorite find happened via Heartbeat as an Influencer. They ended up sending me Leaner Creamer in the Caramel to try. As soon as I tried my first cup I purchased another creamer from the company. I also like that they send you free samples of their Leaner Creamer Coconut Sugar to try with your purchase. If you're lactose intolerant like me, I suggest you give Leaner Creamer a try. My stomach has not hurt in weeks and I have officially cut diary (cheese, yogurt, and ice cream) from my diet.

Children's Finds

Wall Book Shelf from Target
$20.00 via Goodwill find

I have been wracking my brain on how I was going to display books in the boy's bedroom. I tried a bookshelf but they would climb on it and I was worried about it falling on top of one of them. I tried baskets but Little Missy went on a rampage and ripped them apart. For the longest time I stored them in a box in the boy's closet but they couldn't access them. I happened to stumble upon this shelf at Goodwill but had seen it a lot in the kids decor section at Target. I just didn't want to spend $40 on it. Although it was a thrift store find, I bought it brand new and hung it above my son's desk. Now it stores the boy's favorite books and its a simply but adorable way to display their books.

These are my monthly finds for February.  Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day. Next month, I'll have photos of all my hauls.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Books We Love: Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Berry

This post has been brought to you by the Author of Journey to Constellation Station, Lindsey C. Berry. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, received a copy of the book Journey to Constellation Station to read and review with my children. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a child, I had an over active imagination and the desire to escape reality by diving deeply into the imaginative world's that literature had to offer. Through reading, it allowed me to get away from all the drama I endured at home in my early childhood years and helped build a fondness for reading and collecting books.

Now that I am Mom, I often find myself looking for unique books to read to my children. We actually are starting a new library from scratch...because about a year ago, my daughter decided to go on a book-ripping-rampage and destroyed many of the picture books that I had collected over the years for the boys. Our new library, although small, has books again and our latest addition is Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Berry.

“Journey to Constellation Station is the rhythmic story of an interstellar train ride that will whisk you into a special part of space―the magical Constellation Station.” - as quoted from the site 

For my children the book encompasses a few of their all time favorite things. Trains, space, stars, and similarities to their all time favorite book and movie, The Polar Express.

Journey to Constellation Station takes the reader on a grand adventure through intercosmic space allowing them to learn about various constellations in a fun and rhythmic way. Not only does the reader get to go on an adventure, but they get to learn about the constellations in our galaxy. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking and the rhymes roll right of your tongue as you read it out loud to your children.

If your child is space/train lover like my three children are than I highly recommend that you get them this book and add it to your collection of literature. It has become one of our favorite bedtime stories. To purchase your own copy of Journey to Constellation Station, click here.

Journey to Constellation Station 
by Lindsay C. Berry 

Special thanks to Lindsay for gifting and allowing our family to read and review your book. My children love the personalized message from you. Journey to Constellation Station has become one of their favorite books.

Thanks for visiting the blog today. Have a wonderful rest of the week. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Follow Your Art Campaign with Gymboree

This post has been brought to you by Gymboree and contains affiliate links. By clicking on affiliate links and making a purchase from my links provided in this post, I will make a small compensation which I use to maintain the running of Simply Durant Blog (aka SDB). I was financially compensated for this post. Images belong to Gymboree via ShareASale. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Our area was hit with a snow storm the past couple of days. We have been stuck inside but have enjoyed snuggling up on the sofa and watching family movies and gazing out the window and staring at the thick blanket of snow upon the ground. The kids seem excited about the snow—mostly because they are missing school. We are counting down the days until springs arrival and have made a mini list of things that we want to accomplish as a family this spring. 

1. START A GARDEN. One thing our family has decided to do is to plant to a mini herb and vegetable garden for the spring. I picked up a bunch of seeds, a bag of soil, and some clay pots for the kids to paint. By painting the clay pots we thought that it would add some color, character, and charm to our patio area and make the kids more excited about seeing their art displayed out in the open. We plan on planting green beans, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Although I do not have a green thumb at all, I am excited to both learn and teach the kids how to garden and harvest their fresh produce that they’ve grown. 

2. CREATE AN ART GALLERY. The second thing on our list is to have each one of our kids paint a piece of artwork to hang in our living room. For the holidays our kids made their MiMi and Poppi framed finger paints or water color art and they had so much fun creating it. I know I personally love seeing the kids art displayed around our home and I know that they enjoy it too. I plan on making a trip to IKEA to buy 16x20 white frames so our little one’s can make some artwork. I know my daughter Aurora thinks that she’s the next Picasso or future tattoo artist. She is notorious for drawing on everything.  

3. PAINT THE BUNK BED. Our third project is to repaint the boys bunk bed. It has taken on some...damage and is need of a good sanding and a coat of paint. I picked up a few paint swatches for them to look at and decide which hue of blue or gray they’d like to paint their bed. Since we moved last February we have neglected to update their bedroom. My goal this spring is finish their Superhero themed room as well as my daughter’s vintage Sleeping Beauty room.

Gymboree has launched their #FollowYourArt Campaign! There is so many new items at Gymboree that are perfect for the upcoming spring. They have hundreds of bright, fresh, and new styles that have been inspired by all the different ways kids get creative. As a mom, my children love expressing themselves through their one-of-a-kind spin when it comes to their personal style from mismatched outfits, to the funny comic book that they're writing inspired by a certain man who is a captain and wears underpants, or even to the games that they make up to entertain themselves on a rainy day. Being a kid is all about creativity. 

“Gymboree has been celebrating childhood for over 30 years, dressing kids from newborn to 12 years old. We offer colorful, head-to-toe clothing and accessory collections—quality clothes that let kids be kids. At Gymboree, we’re proud to dress your family for the moments that matter most – offering everything from quality playwear that stands the test of playtime to coordinated dressy looks for the perfect family photo.” - As quoted from the website 

So head on over to Gymboree and check out their new styles for spring. I know I plan on doing some online shopping since I am stuck inside due to the snowpocalypse outside. I know my boys are excited about the Pizza Party and Recess Ready collections and my daughter loves the Bright Blooms from the spring line. 

If you’re a frugal shopper like me but love quality clothing that will last with super active kids check out the Spring Markdown Event - Up to 60% off at Gymboree

Thanks for visiting the blog today and have a wonderful rest of the day. I know I am hoping that we don’t get another inch or two of snow that’s predicted for tonight. What's the weather like where you live? Leave me a comment and lets start a conversation. 

What's in My Glam Bag from Ipsy? (February)

I have been an Ipsy subscriber for over a year now and thought that I would finally share whats inside my Glam Bag each month with you. I love makeup! Although, I do not consider myself a beauty expert. I just appreciate it and find myself collecting products all the time. Some of my favorite beauty items include lipsticks, blushes, bronzers, and a good highlight.

The bag for February is a gorgeous blush pink with lace and it has that whole French boudoir vibe going on. It's a pretty little bag and one of my favorites.

Here is what came in my February Glam Bag:

Mellow Cosmetics
Shade in Tehran 

I love this nude shade. I have worn it a lot for work recently and it lasts a long time. It also isn't chalky on my lips but make sure to exfoliate them with a sugar scrub before applying the lipstick to your lips.

Shade Beach Crystals

This little baby pallet was made for Ipsters by Pacifica and I love it. How pretty are these shades though? They are so pigmented and the shades really pop against my complexion. Pacifica is a brand that I truly love and often buy products from. They are vegan and cruelty free.

Trestique Eye Pencil 
Shade in Swiss Chocolate 

Normally I am a black eyeliner kind of girl but I am loving this chocolate hued shade. It really makes my dark brown eyes pop more. It glides on smoothly and is easy to apply to upper and lower eyelids.

Primer Sheet Mask

Masks are my favorite items. This primer mask is amazing and I used it before applying my primer and foundation. It made the product last longer and my skin looked more radiant.

Luxie Beauty
Eyeshadow Brush 

I love brushes. A girl can never have too many in her makeup kit. I love the blush hue and dual ends for applying and blending.

Thanks for visiting the blog today and have a lovely day. We have another snow day here in the Pacific Northwest. I love looking out the window and seeing the trees covered in snow while enjoying a cup of coffee in my Create mug by Rae Dunn. There is just something so magical about snow during the winter months. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ecocentric Mom: February Mom & Toddler Box Review

This post contains affiliate links.

Hands down, this month's Mom & Toddler Box from Ecocentric Mom has been my absolute favorite box that I have received. I loved all the products! I especially liked that the box this month was geared mostly towards the little toddler in my life. She was so excited to unbox with me. Her little brown eyes lit up with excitement when she saw all the goodies inside the pretty mint box that were all for her.

Here is a look inside our February Mom & Toddler Box:

Starry Night Ball by Rubbabu

This ball is awesome and so cute. My daughter loves it and its soft, durable, and perfect for a baby or toddler to play with it. The design is awesome and I know I plan on purchasing another one for my niece when she's born this summer.  

Airplane Bag Tag by Mudpuppy

This airplane tag is so cute! I attached it to our diaper bag and my daughter loves pointing out the colors. We often go to Fort Vancouver and we watch the planes take off. 

Layered Fruit Bars by Pure Organics

I didn't get to sample these, but Aurora said they were yummy! She wouldn't share with Mommy. 

Insulated Stainless Steel Sippy (Pink) by Eco Vessel

We absolutely love this stainless steel sippy. It keeps Aurora's beverages cold for hours and its super easy for her to drink from. It is on the pricey side but totally worth it. It has become our favorite cup.

Winter Breeze Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tablets by Stacy Ogden's Homemade

These things are cool. I cleaned our master bathroom with these and it smelled amazing. I keep them in a basket above our toilet on a shelf and just drop them in the bowl when I want the room to smell nice. They clean well and smell good. 

Gem & Honey Infused Bath Salts by Child of the Wild  

I have not used these yet but will sometime this week. They smell amazing and I am excited to test these bath salts out. 

Texas Meadow Perfume
Can't find on the website

I can't find this product on the site but it smells good. I don't use it as perfume, but leave it in our main bathroom and spray a bit to freshen it up. It smells amazing. 

I know I say this every month that I get my box from Ecocentric Mom’s, but y’all deserve to treat yourself! You now have the option of selecting two items in your box each month and they have expanded the membership options to include Pregnancy, Mom & Baby, Mom & Toddler (which was the option that I have been choosing the past couple months), and just Mom. You can even skip months now and shipping is always free. The cost for a box from Ecocentric Mom’s is $27.99 and it is totally worth it. I have enjoyed all the items that I have received the past ten months and my tot really likes the surprises in the box that came for her.

Use code LOVEDAY10 when you shop to get 10% off for someone you love! Code ends 2/15/18. 

And if you join Ecocentric Mom and subscribe, get $5 off your order for the Ecocentric Mom Subscription! I promise you'll love it! 

Thanks for stopping bye and have a wonderful Valentine's Day! 

Past Boxes:

December 2017

November 2017

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Candy Free Valentine's Day Gift Idea's for Kids

I took a little break from blogging the month of January to focus on bettering myself and and creating a plan for the year for Simply Durant Blog. It feels good to finally get back to my writing niche.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I know that I struggle as a mom not trying to hype my kids up on processed sugar and junk that isn't good for them. With my oldest suffering from ADHD, the last thing I want to do is give him sugary goodies for Valentine's Day. He gets enough of that during his shin-dig at school and there is no way I can handle him bouncing off the walls like a rubber bouncy ball!  

Here are some cute and simpl gift idea's for Love Day that are candy free. 

- Emoji Pillow or Stuffie

- T-shirt & Shorts

- Books

- Puzzles

- Pencils, Markers & Erasers

- Coloring Book & Crayons

- Journal

- Fruit like Cuties or Fruit Cups

- Bubbles

- Hot Wheels or small toys

- Lip Balm or Chapstick

- Playdough or Sand

- Socks

- Straws

- Glow Sticks

- Sunglasses

- Gum (only for older kids ages 5 and up)

- Ruler

- Punch Balloons

- Army Men

- Dinosaurs

- Animals

- Slime

- Whoopie Cushion

- Bracelets, Necklace, Rings, Headbands, or bows

Thanks for stopping bye the blog and checking out my list of candy free goodies for the kids. I hope it helps give you some ideas for your Little's. 

Tomorrow I have a super fun Giveaway with Wooden Watches by Jord on my Instagram. The details will be on my feed and story. Make sure to check out my Instagram at 12:00 pm Pacific Time and enter the Giveaway. Good luck!