Here’s a shorter blurb….
Okay, ladies! I have a call for help that I want to share today!
Y’all might remember that back in 2018 we raised money for Sheaffer’s cousin Alden’s family as her son Holt was going through cancer treatment. Y’all showed up in a big way, and ever since Holt was declared in remission (praise God!), Alden has been on a mission to pay it forward.
Twice a year, she identifies a local family in need, and she works hard to raise funds for the family. Just this past March she raised $9000 to help a sweet boy with Cerebral Palsy get a therapy dog!
This month, she’s focusing her efforts on sweet Braxton. Alden made a super informative video on YouTube HERE where she shares Braxton’s story and pictures of the family. Braxton has a story unlike any other. Braxton was diagnosed in 2018 with neuroblastoma and spent the next year fighting for his life. After the long and hard treatment, scans would show that he beat neuroblastoma and the family was of course overjoyed! However, as a side effect to some of the chemotherapies he received, he has developed pulmonary fibrosis which a very serious and possibly terminal diagnosis.
I feel certain that all of you are going to fall in love with Braxton, and I’m hoping many will feel led to help! You can continue to get to know Braxton and his family on Alden’s facebook HERE and her instagram HERE where she will keep sharing tidbits about the family until the fundraiser is closed.
When Alden started these fundraisers, she decided to use her baking talents and bake “Cookies for a Cause”, with an option of just giving directly as well. This go around, she has already committed to baking over 150 dozen cookies. WHOAH. And although she’s perfectly happy to bake her little heart out to benefit Braxton, I would like to suggest that we forego the cookie element, and we give directly.
If you would like to give a cash donation, you can do so via the following:
Let’s all join together and really bless the socks off of Braxton and his precious family!
Here’s what’s going to be on my blog……..
Hey, y’all! If you’ve been around here for a bit, then I’m sure you remember my cousin Alden and her precious son Holt. Holt was diagnosed with cancer back in 2018, and this little community of ours prayed for him like crazy AND raised a ton of money for him. I’m forever grateful to y’all for showing up for my family members during such a scary time. Alden’s family used that money for travel to treatment, for treatment, and for all of the other expenses that come with treatment. If you remember, after treatment, Holt was declared in remission! Praise God!
Ever since that declaration, Alden has been dedicated to paying it forward and helping other families, which absolutely warms my heart. I’m going to let Alden explain what she’s doing right now…
Hello, STMT community! My name is Alden Price and I am the creator, owner, and sole baker for my tiny sweets business, Feeding Friday Night Lights. However, many of you probably know me better as the mother to The Incredible Holt; the little boy you all so graciously prayed for and donated to when he was battling cancer back in 2018. Although I said this back then, I will never tire or feel like I have said this enough, so here I am saying it again: Thank you so much for all you did for Holt and my family. Thank you seems so small and yet it’s all I have, so it will have to suffice.
Since hearing the most wonderful words, “your son is in remission”, we have been looking for ways to turn our pain in to purpose. It is through my business that I feel like I have found the perfect way to do just that. Every September and March I run what I call a “Cookies for a Cause” fundraiser. I identify a local family whose child is on a difficult medical journey, figure out what their #1 need is, share their story with you, and start collecting donations on their behalf! I sell 2 dozen of my chocolate chip cookies for $25 as well as collect outright donations with no cookie order and absolutely 100% of the proceeds raised goes to the specific family that we are benefiting that month. I do not keep one single dollar for myself or take a percentage of each donation the way GoFundMe does. The fundraiser only runs for 2 weeks, so once it’s “go time” I work as hard as I can to raise as much money possible for these families.
Just this past March, my CFC fundraiser raised almost $9,000 in only 2 weeks to purchase a service dog that sweet Greysen, a 4 year old boy with cerebral palsy, needed. His service dog, Mack, came home to him in July of this year and my goodness how it has made a difference for him!
With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I have identified a family who is in desperate need of our help.
Heather and Pedro Piñero’s 6 year old son, Braxton, has a story unlike any other. Braxton was diagnosed in 2018 with neuroblastoma and spent the next year fighting for his life. After the long and hard treatment, scans would show that he beat neuroblastoma! However, as a side effect to some of the chemotherapies he received, he has developed pulmonary fibrosis.
The Piñero’s are awaiting results to confirm what the doctors fear to be true; that Braxton is suffering from a very specific type of pulmonary fibrosis called PPFE. PPFE is more rapidly progressive than regular PF and, and the thing that’s the hardest to hear… PPFE is ONLY developed as a side effect from some of the chemotherapies he received to battle neuroblastoma. It is terminal, incurable, aggressively progressive, and there is no long term solution or treatment. He beat one of the worst forms of cancer you can be diagnosed with as a child… and yet, he will possibly succumb to the chemotherapy.
I am sure you can see why the success of this month’s fundraiser means so much to me. I have a God-sized goal to raise $31,200 in 2 weeks in order to pay for Braxton and his brother chase to attend play therapy once a week, and for Heather and Pedro to find emotional sustenance once a week, for an entire year. An average session costs $150. $150/session X 4 people= $600/week. $600/week X 52 weeks= $31,200.
I would love to have you come alongside me as we pray for this family and do our best to raise funds for them. Thank you for taking the time to read about my cause and for all of your prayers for my Holt, my family, and for this family that you will meet soon.
Saying prayers of thanks for all of you,
ALDEN! WOW! Braxton is so adorable, and I’m so incredibly inspired by your heart for giving back. My family will definitely be giving and praying.
To everybody reading this, if you are considering giving to Braxton’s family, I want to share with y’all what Alden has shared with me. The donations started rolling in several days ago, and she is already amazed at the generosity that she is seeing. She reports that two big donations (1 for $1,000 and 1 for $500) have come in, but the rest is just people giving what they can! And y’all, she says that all of these donations are adding up quickly and she is THRILLED with the response so far. I cannot wait to see where they end up, and I will definitely be reporting back to y’all!!!
If you would like to donate directly and forego a cookie order, that would be amazing! Alden wouldn’t say this herself, but as of Thursday night, she had already committed to making 164 dozen cookies. She is sooooooo happy to bake like crazy, but she is only 1 person, and I want to help her reach her goal for this precious family without having to bake night and day for weeks on end.
If you would like to give a cash donation, you can do so via the following:
If you would like to learn more about Braxton and his family, I would like to encourage you to go to one of Alden’s social media channels. She’s doing a beautiful job sharing his story and will continue to share tidbits over the next couple of weeks until the fundraiser is closed. You can continue to get to know Braxton and his family on Alden’s facebook HERE and her instagram HERE.
And couple of days ago she uploaded a super informative video to YouTube HERE. The video will really help you get to know the family through pictures and Alden sharing their story.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, LADIES! Let’s all join together and really bless the socks off of Braxton and his precious family!
Happy Wednesday, Ladies!
First things first. Before we get to today’s post, I want to make sure y’all know that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts for cardholders next week. Icon level shops on Monday, July 12. Ambassador level shops on Wednesday, July 14. Influencer level (has nothing to do with being a blogger) shops on Friday, July 16. And the public (non card holders) can shop on July 28th.
Well, Nordstrom is doing something this year they’ve never done before! Yesterday they released everything that’s going to be on sale online. You can click HERE to see it all. Now, you can’t buy anything yet…but you can pour over the selection and take your time deciding what you want! You can also put things on your wish list! If you don’t have time to sort through the thousands of items, don’t worry, I’ll do the work for you. I’ll be shopping the sale in person on Monday, but I’ve already been going through each and every single page…so on Friday I’ll have MY PERSONAL PICKS for you to help you start getting your Wish Lists ready.
Now, let’s get started with today’s post.
I don’t know about you, but we are SUMMERING HARD over here and having lots of fun in the sun! As you know, we headed to the beach a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d do a quick post today with some of my beach essentials for those of you that are headed to the beach soon yourself.
I highly recommend everything you see in this shot.
The cover up is my 2nd one to buy in as many years. I got the black one last year, and I couldn’t resist the watermelon one this year. It’s one size fits all, and I have no idea how it works, but it’s a magical cover up and seems to fit all shapes and sizes. This watermelon red one is so fun and will go with all sorts of patterned and floral suits. The black and the dark beige are totally chic and would look so expensive styled with a black suit and gold accessories. It’s such a great cover up, and it’s an awesome price point right at $20.
This neoprene beach tote was one of my favorite Amazon finds from last year, and it remains a favorite this year.
Now, since it doesn’t have a zipper closure I wouldn’t say it’s completely waterproof, but I love it nontheless. It holds A TON and I only have the Large, but it comes in an X-Large too!
And you can see here how much larger the tote can get when you unsnap the sides. I stuff it full with towels, sunscreen of all sorts, water bottles, and even some beach toys (like Carter’s waterproof football that’s a total must if traveling with boys).
Now let’s talk towels. I saw several other girls talking about these towels, and it didn’t take much for me to be #influenced. The blue stripes seem to be sold out right now, but there are a couple of other stripe options and lots of solid colors to choose from. The site bills them as being multipurpose for baths, swimming, fitness, sports, and yoga. They are thin (which makes them great for travel), incredibly soft, and fast drying. They are 100% microfiber and can absorb 7x their weight in water. And the reviews are FANTASTIC.
I couldn’t believe how much I loved these towels, and everybody else on the trip thought they were awesome too. We’re now using them as our pool towels because I love that they also take up less room in the washer. I realllllllly wish they came in an all white set for bathrooms.
This pic was from a different day, but I wanted you to see an up close shot of the sunglasses. I absolutely adore them. They look SUPER SIMILAR to the famous $250 Karen Walker sunglasses, but these babies are only $12.99. You can also get a 2 pack with this tortoise pair and a black pair for ONLY $19.99. WOW. I have both, so I recommend getting the 2 pack for sure. I LOVE THEM.
So when we are talking beach accessories, these are my top picks:
*I can’t live without my Havianas flip flops (waterproof and PERFECT, mine are rose gold).
*I love wearing these demi stud earrings all the time, but especially at the pool and beach.
*If you want more of a statement earring, get these colorful hoops.
*There are 3 different sets of bracelets I recommend for pool and beach wear:
* This striped tote is another option in addition to the neoprene tote shared in today’s post.
* This detangler brush that I talked about in my summer beauty post is necessary. I just leave it in the shower for my hair, but if you have little girls, it would be awesome for brushing out their pool and beach hair with less screaming.
* I talked about this on Friday’s post, but the Colleen Rothschild Discovery Kit (for skin) and the Colleen Rothschild Quench and Shine kit (for hair) are NECESSARY travel kits for me. You can still use the code STMT25 for the kits (actually for anything on the site) until midnight tonight.
* I also travel with my Revlon brush.
* I can’t believe I forgot to pack it on this trip, but I usually pack my favorite sunless tanner. I’m so annoyed that I’m not “tan” in my pictures! It goes on brown, so you can easily see where it is (and isn’t) being applied. It’s fool proof!
Here are some pics of some of the things I mentioned above….
The flip flop bracelets….
Click HERE if you want to check out several different colors of sets (some of them monochromatic). Click HERE for the exact set I’m wearing. I suggest you order 2 sets of the colors you like so you can really stack ’em up!
The jelly bracelets…
Here they are in all their glory. SOOOOOOO CUTE! They’ll be even cuter with 2 sets stacked on top of each other.
The colorful disc bracelets…
And just for variety’s sake, here’s the same cover up, but in black from last year.
Almost every single time I’ve shown a picture of myself in shorts this summer, I’ve been asked about my “tan.” Last year I started using Fake Bake and was crazy impressed, but when the original formula sold out last month, I ordered the Fake Bake Darker and love it too! It comes with a mitt that makes it so easy to apply without streaks, and you can see the formula going on which also promotes even application! In the picture below, the product is on my right leg. Love that healthy glow! The product is buildable, so I would totally do another application for a deeper “tan”.
These beach chairs were a last minute purchase from Amazon. I ordered them on a Monday, and we left for the beach on Thursday. They pack up easily, they don’t take up much room, and they are actually comfortable! You sit very low to the ground, but I actually prefer that in a beach chair.
I already showed you these cute bags I picked up, but they definitely needed to be included in this beach round up as well. They come in a set of 3, and they are so useful! They lay nice and flat which makes them great for travel, but they also have an expandable bottom so you know you can fit all the things.
I found that the small one was the perfect size for my phone and some cash. I used the other two to hold all of my sunscreen products, an extra pair of sunglasses, and even a water bottle.
Besides being super functional they are also super cute. I fell in love with this striped set, but they also come in varying solids and a leopard set as well.
Here’s the arsenal of SPF products I brought with us…
Y’all know I’ve been wearing Supergoop for years, but I recently started using Coola too after borrowing a friend’s at the lake. I love that it sprays on very evenly via a really light mist. Coola has an array of products to choose from, and I just ordered the Coola lip oil for myself. Two summers ago I got a bad sunburn on my lips after a day at the beach, and they swelled up to almost twice their normal size. #itwasbad #realbad
I NEVER go without lip sunscreen now, but I really didn’t like the Supergoop lip product that I brought on this trip. It did it’s job protecting my lips, but it tasted awful. From what I’ve read in reviews, I’m going to love the Coola lip oil.
But the real star of the SPF show for me this trip was the Unseen Sunscreen. IT’S AMAZING. I’d never used it before, and after last weekend, I can tell you that I’m a customer FOR LIFE. It’s weightless, invisible, scent free, and gives incredible coverage and protection for your face.
When I know I’m going to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time, y’all know I use the Supergoop Glow Screen as my “foundation”. Heck, I often use it on days that I’m not going to be in the sun, just because I like the color and level of coverage it gives! But when I’m going to be in the sun, I wear it for sure because of the sun protection it gives as well.
I’m EXTRA PROTECTIVE when it comes to protecting my face from the sun (dark spots are the main skin issue I deal with), so I double up with the Glow Screen and the Unseen Sunscreen for outdoor days. The directions for the Unseen Sunscreen are to use it as a makeup primer. However, I used it differently on this trip. I applied the Glow Screen in the morning, just as I would if I was just applying makeup for the day (but with the added SPF 40 benefit). Then, I used the Unseen Sunscreen throughout the day to reapply additional coverage as needed. This stuff is incredible. It’s velvety in texture and it totally just glides on your skin, even over your makeup.
My skin absorbs the Unseen Sunscreen very quickly (like IMMEDIATELY!) and there is NO TRACE of it. It’s not oily or greasy, it gives a matte finish, and it doesn’t leave any white residue behind either. Also, from reading reviews, it seems it’s awesome for people with super sensitive skin. I’m telling you, the product is absolutely incredible.
And last but certainly not least, this is a duffel bag I use for all my travel. I have a small rolling hard case suitcase I use for short trips that I pack all of my clothes in, but then I use this for all of my toiletries, hair dryer, makeup, and other extras that don’t fit in my suitcase (like flip flops, extra cover ups, etc). The leather bottom is a shoe compartment, but when I need the extra room, it can also fit my toiletry bag and jewelry bag. Mine are both old (and I still love them), but you can find a great toiletry bag HERE and a great travel jewelry bag HERE.
BEACH ROUND UP…
In addition to the above items I took on my little weekend getaway this year, there are other items I’ve shown recently that would work well for a beach vacation.
I thought I would share those again here…
I had no idea how much I was going to love this strapless maxi dress. AND GIRLS, I LOVE THIS DRESS.
First of all, there are THOUSANDS of 5 star reviews. A lot of the reviewers posted pics of themselves in the dress as well if you want to see it on different body types (I know this is often super helpful). It comes in a multitude of colors and prints. I’m wearing “red”, but I also really love the “pink”. It’s a pull on dress without any zippers, and it’s insanely comfortable. It’s smocked across the bust, and it stays put. I’m not even wearing a bra with it here, but my favorite strapless bra would also work perfectly.
It’s tiered and has little ruffles on the tiers. It’s adorable. For size reference, I’m wearing a small.
This tie dye dress comes in tons of color options (not all are tie dye), and most colors and sizes are UNDER $25. It’s a rayon and spandex combo, so it’s got some stretch to it. It’s not a clingy fit, and it has pockets! For size reference, I’m wearing a medium for a more relaxed fit here. In just a second you’ll see the exact dress (in a striped pattern) on me in a small so you can compare the fits.
This is totally cute as a dress, but it would also make a great cover up. It’s a perfect little dress to go from the beach to lunch or dinner on vacation.
I think it looks awesome paired with this striped tote that could totally be used for a beach or pool bag. It’s straight up awesome. The colors are so vibrant and I love the stripe pattern. It’s super lightweight, very roomy, and has interior pockets. This is a great tote! It’s SO FREAKING CUTE!
The pattern and the colors in this spaghetti strapped maxi dress are so fun! It comes in several color choices, but this one definitely stood out to me as my favorite. It obviously has spaghetti straps, and it’s smocked across the back which makes it incredibly comforting and forgiving. I’m not even wearing a bra with it here, and I’m never one to not wear a bra. However, with the smocked back, I felt comfortable not wearing one because it gave a little support. If I wasn’t wearing a jacket with it, I would definitely still wear my favorite strapless bra.
For size reference, I’m wearing a small.
This swingy maxi dress is fabulous.
It comes in tons of color options, BUT THIS IS THE ONE I FELL IN LOVE WITH. Seriously, how great are these colors! And this floral print is GORGEOUS. And great news, it’s on PRIME and you can get it by tomorrow!
I’m wearing a small here.
I think this dress is actually better suited for smaller chested gals (there’s no stretch up top), so I will have to wear it with a jacket like above.
BUT GOOD GRIEF I LOVE THE COLORS AND PATTERNS. My friend Keely and I talked about how this pattern would also make a great duvet and shams for a little girl’s room. IT’S SO GOOD. The fit is a bit like a glorified mumu, and I’m here for it.
I have last year’s version of the blue floral swimsuit (in a green floral) and I have last year’s version of the blue strapless suit (in a creamy floral pattern). Both suits are adorable, flattering, and have full booty coverage! Also, they both have EXCELLENT reviews and are UNDER $40!
I love a simple white cover up, the Fake Bake is my favorite self tanner (so easy to apply!), and I’m dying over the yellow bow sandals. SO CUTE.
The last several years, all of my swimsuits have been from J Crew, Target, and Amazon.
I grabbed both of these last year from Target, and they’re back this year! They both have great coverage on the booty and ruching across the belly, so I think they are quite flattering. For size reference, I’m wearing a medium in both.
This suit impressed me so much. I grabbed the black and it’s totally chic! It also comes in several other colors/patterns.
It has over 5,000 5 STAR reviews, so lots of people LOVE THIS SUIT. If you click over to the site and scroll down, many reviewers posted pictures of themselves in the suit, so you can see it on lots of ladies. You’ll see that it’s very flattering on many different body types.
For size reference I’m wearing a 6, but I think an 8 might be better for me.
This year I ordered 2 new suits from Amazon. Both of them have FANTASTIC reviews.
The ruffle swimsuit has over 5,000 STAR REVIEWS! WOW! It comes in several solid colors, several different color florals (love the teal floral too), AND IT’S UNDER $30. That’s an incredible deal. If you head to the link and scroll down to the reviews, there are lots of pictures of people with all different body types in the suit. Some even leave their weight, height, and bra size for reference. For size reference, I grabbed a medium in this suit. The straps are a little long for me (I have the shortest torso in the world), but the fit is fabulous otherwise.
The strapless swimsuit is a classic Anne Cole suit. I own two of these Anne Cole swimsuits already from year’s past (1 is a paisley and 1 is a floral), and I absolutely LOVE the fit of her strapless suits. I’m excited to add the black to my collection now. The reviews on this suit have pics too. For size reference, I wear an 8 in her suits.
I saw this sassy black swimsuit with STELLAR reviews and I couldn’t resist creating an entire look around it. I love the low cut legs, the full coverage back, the adjustable straps, and the pretty ruffles. I love it all. I think it looks amazing paired with this vibrant cover up, gold jewelry and sandals, and fun turquoise fringe earrings.The black straw tote ties it all together!
And now that it’s warming up in my neck of the woods, I’ve already broken out my favorite sunless tanner a couple of times. You apply it with a mitt, and you can see the color go on, which allows you to apply it evenly without any trouble. And if you do miss a spot, just simply fill it in when you notice it. The color is a pretty bronzy brown (it’s not orange at all) and gives me so much confidence when showing my arms and legs.
That’s it for today, y’all! Now throw some suits and sunless tanner in your cart, and get yourself to the beach!