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Mom Style Monday: 3 Summer Hair Styles

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Mom Style Monday: 3 Summer Hair Styles

In the summer, my hair styles differ quite drastically from my winter 'dos. In the winter, my hair is dry, full of static, and I usually shove it into a ponytail or keep it over my ears to stay warm. In the summer, there are so many more options and places to go that motive me to actually style my hair. Here's the thing with moms, though- many of us have chopped our lovely long locks in exchange for an easier-to-manage style. If the length of my hair is going to necessitate a 45 minute session with my blow drier, I would rather pull a Charlize Theron a la Mad Max buzz than waste my precious morning minutes in a stuffy bathroom. There are ways to fake length, whether it be permanent extensions, clip ins or flat iron styling. I loved my long hair for all of the versatility it provided- braids, complicated top knots, long beachy waves, prom girl curls (ok...maybe I don't miss those). Here are a few of my favorite looks for Summer 2015, inspired by both the runways and my personal preferences.

Long Beachy Waves

The perfect beachy wave is such an enigma- you want it to look tousled and undone, but to get it to that point, you have to put a heck of a lot of product in and have some serious skills with styling tools. Since my hair isn't long enough to really get that wind-swept look, I used clip in extensions from Irresistible Me. Since they are real hair, you can style them, wash them, even color or cut them like you would real hair. If you go the extension route, I highly recommend spending the extra money to get ones of this caliber. The set I used comes in 10 pieces in varying widths, so you can make your hair as thick as you wish. They have 12 different colors, come in lengths from 14-24 inches, and varying thickness. For this style, I clipped 3 pieces in and used a bubble curling wand, specifically the Bed Head TIGI Rock N' Roller. The trick to beachy waves is leaving out the very end of your hair- leave it straight for a relaxed look.

Braided Topknot

First of all, the topknot is the best hairstyle for second day hair, hands down. Some of my favorite style icons such as Nicole Ritchie and Rashida Jones have raised the bar with a braided topknot. Unfortunately, my hair hits just below my collarbone, so I can't get the volume they do (FYI- a wimpy topknot just looks like something growing out of your head). I grabbed my extensions again and this time clipped them in upside down to go with the flow. To make a topknot, flip your head upside down and secure a HIGH ponytail just above the crown of your head. Celeb stylist Kylee Heath recommends pulling hair up in sections, lightly teasing some and braiding the others, wrapping all around the base of the ponytail. The goal of this isn't sleek perfection- more of controlled chaos.

Crown Braid

I am still on the fence with this one- it is very appropriate for festival season, but I am not sure if I can pull it off for the carpool. Let's give it a shot! I am not about to get into the crazy french braided crown- that is too much effort. To cheat, make regular braids and pull them across. Again, I used the Irresistible Me extensions to give myself more hair to work with. I used four clip-ins and pulled my hair into two low ponytails secured tightly right behind my ears. If you don't have any texture to your hair (like me) try to build some on top with a curling wand or dry shampoo. I then pulled the braids across the front of my head and secured just above my hairline behind my ears with bobby pins. Done!

What are your thoughts? Do these look like styles you might try, or are they better suited for the glossy pages?

Disclosure: I was provided with Irresistible Me product for review purposes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

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Macy's Presents American Icons LIVE Events!

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Macy's Presents American Icons LIVE Events!

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

As summer rolls in, there are so many iconic moments that I have captured with my children. Charlotte JUST had her first popsicle, which I recall consuming mass quantities of as a child. She rode her bike around the block for the first time last week, with some help from mom. She wore her first denim jacket, which is so fashionably iconic America.

As for Bryson, he started playing baseball this year, America's past time. He discovered his love for s'mores on a camping trip with my mom and I last summer. He also loves to bake, and makes a huge mess in the kitchen! These are all the childhood memories that many kids share across America, making them iconic moments in our lives.

Macy's is hosting a series of events to celebrate what makes America the place we love to raise our children, and you are invited to join the in-store party! Macy's American Icons events are family fun and fashion bashes to kick off the summer right. I will be attending the event at the Chicago State Street Macy's location on this Thursday, May 14th at 12pm. Make sure to join me and participate in these events sure to get you ready for the warm weather!

Take an #AmericanSelfie with Chicago's own Stanley Da Bear, snack on Garrett's Popcorn and hit up the lemonade stand.

How about BBQ, is that iconic America enough? Well, you can learn tips & tricks from Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed AND Brad Saylor, Macy's Executive Chef.

If you are in the mood for a little music, the steel band Potts & Pans and a cappella quartet No Big Deal will be on site, belting tunes and charming the audience.

And of course, what Macy's event would be complete without shopping? Everything you need to put together a timeless ensemble will be on hand during the fashion party as you shop to the DJ-mixed beats.

Don't live in the Chicago area? Make sure to check out macys.com/americanicons for over 20 additional locations. I am almost tempted to hit up NYC at Macy's Herald Square on May 14th to meet Carl Ray, makeup artist for America's First Lady and Maksim Chmerkovskiy from Dancing with the Stars! Or how about Macy's Union Square in San Francisco? The Pitch Perfect 2 costume designer Salvador Perez is hosting a fabulous fashion show celebrating iconic style from some of my favorite American designers on May 16th. Make sure to check out the website to see if the Macy's American Icons party is coming to a Macy's near you!

Macy's is also a proud partner with those who have served our country alongside Got Your 6. Each year, 250,000 incredibly brave women and men return from service, and Got Your 6 works to make sure they have the support and tools they need to become leaders at home. (The phrase "Got Your 6" originated from an old pilot system where directions correspond to hours on the clock, so anyone at your 6 is behind you, so "Got Your 6" means "I've got your back.") These are the true American Icons, and Macy's has declared Saturday May 16th Got Your Six Saturday- if customers donate $3, they get a 25% off pass to use all day May 16th.

I hope to see you this Thursday, May 14th at 12pm at the Chicago State Street Macy's!

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Mommy Style Monday: Bucket Bags!

I adore clutches and minaudières, but I am baffled by women who carry them during the daytime. How do these dainty bags hold everything you need, especially if you are the mom of little ones? Most of my clutches barely hold my phone and a lipstick, much less packs of raisins, crackers, and the odd race car.

I love when trends actually make sense. The bucket bag definitely works for my lifestyle, and I was all about hopping on the bandwagon once I saw them in the stores. As with most trends, I try not to spend much. The bucket bag I found (above) was actually under $15, AND will go with most of my outfits this summer. It holds all of the items I need, and leaves me hands free to deal with my (ACTIVE) 1 and 3 year old. It retails for $79 at Macy's right now, but I hit up Burlington Coat Factory and dug through the clearance purses to score this find. This is my best kept secret, by the way so shhhhhh- you can usually find an amazing bag at a shocking (in a good way!) price at Burlington. They have many major brands, from Betsy Johnson to Carlos Santana to Nine West to Guess, all at wallet-friendly price points. I always forget about shopping there until I am running an errand and pass by. Totally hit or miss, but it is such a thrill to find a piece you are looking for at over 80% off the department store price. (Oh, and my #OOTD t-shirt is from Sisters Marie Shop, and on sale for $15! SUPER comfy vintage feel)

The bonus of this bag are the chic tassels, another trend for Spring 2015 that I am on board with. Bucket bags are available in every conceivable color, pattern and (thankfully) price- take a look at some of my favorites for the season! From nautical stripes to floral to perforated leather to suede, I am swooning over these options- all under $100!