Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SHEIN Fall Picks


I did some online browsing last night to share some early fall picks from SHEIN with you guys. I have been shopping at SHEIN for a few years now and I love to stock up on my favorite fall trends. They are very budget-friendly (all these are under $30) and they have pretty fast shipping as well! 


Each of these picks are more on the neutral side, which makes them versatile. I love the detail of the cream sweater with the lace back! It's so feminine and pretty.

I love the pom-pom detail on the tan sweater. It gives the top some texture and it is a great neutral color too

I am usually one for sweater sets, but how adorable is the blush sweater and skirt set? It's under $30 too!

I am having a moment with blazers. The oversized cognac cord blazer is a great piece to dress up or down. I can wear it with a graphic tee and jeans or pair it with some black slacks for work.

The other blazer is one I cannot live without. The scallop detail is just so cute!

I need your help! Which pick is your favorite? Also, leave a comment below if you have any fall SHEIN recommendations!

Use code GLITTERANDJULS15 for 15% off your order! The code is good until 9/30!



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What I Learned At TBScon 2019




Photography by: Hannah Lozano 

Yesterday, I shared a recap on TBScon. You can check it out right here. I learned so many things that I wanted to dedicate a separate post so I could share them with you. So let's get to it!

I'll share the blogger tidbits below, but in more general terms I learned the following:

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Blog Societies Conference: 2019 TBSCon Recap


I recently attended TBSCon and had an amazing time and wanted to share a recap with you.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Lily’s Journey - Part 4: Recovery


There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts. You can read them here:
Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor
Part 2: The Biopsy
Part 3: Formal Diagnosis & Surgery

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 3: Formal Diagnosis & Surgery

At the pre-op appointment

There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts.

Read Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor

Read Part 2: The Biopsy

Friday, July 12, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 2: The Biopsy


There is so much to share with Lily’s journey so I am writing them in parts. You can read Part 1 here.

PART 2

Once we found out Lily’s MRI showed a tumor, things started to happen pretty fast. We found out on May 8th on a Wednesday.  I don’t think I slept at all that night because my heart was hurting for our little girl and my mind was racing with the worst thoughts that she could have cancer. I mean, that is why we were meeting with an oncologist the next day, right? We share the news with our close family members and all of us felt the same way- a mix between sadness and fear of the unknown.

The next morning (May 9th), we had an early appointment with Dr. Brown, the pediatric oncologist at Memorial University Medical Center.

I really didn’t know how the appointment was going to go. I think I got ahead of myself and was thinking she would tell us about stages, survival rate, etc.  Scary stuff.  However, the first thing she told us is that we needed to find out whether the tumor was benign or malignant. To identify it, a biopsy would need to be performed. Also, we needed to find out whether the tumor was contained to one area or if it had spread so we were scheduled for a PET scan and CT scan.

According to the initial MRI results, the tumor was favored to be cancerous in nature. But only pathology could correctly identify it.  The next step was to determine who would perform the biopsy and how it would be done since the tumor was both behind the eye and extended into the base of the skull. 

It was decided the best surgeon for the task was Dr. Petruzelli, an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon. We made an appointment with him as well as scheduled the PET scan the following Monday.

Throughout our time in the clinic, everyone at Memorial was wonderful. The child-life specialists were great with Lily offering her support in case she had any questions and guiding her through scary blood draws and IVs. They also helped her to understand every procedure she was about to have done making her feel so much more comfortable about it all. It was very helpful for us too as this was a whole new world to navigate. At this point, Lily only knew we were just trying to figure out what was wrong with her eye. We didn't even know how to tell her she had a tumor.

Monday, May 13th: Our day was booked. We were to have our PET scan (full body scan) at 9 am, break for lunch and come back for the results, then meet with Dr. Petruzelli in the afternoon. We were happy things were happening fast because we were anxious to have some answers, but at the same time I felt really overwhelmed. We had seen so many doctors over the past few weeks and I really had no time to process what was going on. But still, there was no time for a pause. 

Lily did great with the PET scan and the wait seemed like forever for the results. Finally, the results were in and Dr. Brown came into the patient room with a smile. The PET scan showed the tumor was contained to one area. It was instant relief to know, even if the tumor was malignant, it had not spread. We were just very grateful for the positive news.

Lily in the clinic getting poked

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Lily's Journey- Part 1: Lily Has A Tumor

Lily at Dr. Devaro's office
I treated Lily to ice cream for being so good for the MRI

It's funny how certain dates stay with you. They mark the important dates in your life. Most of them are joyous occasions. Some of them are not. I will remember May 8, 2019 forever. That is the day I got the call that Lily had a tumor. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

DIY Thank You Gift for Doctors: Prescription Strength Candy Jars

I recently posted on my Instagram account (@glitterandjuls) about a fun DIY project - Prescription Strength candy jars. Since I received some great feedback, I thought I would share how I put them together. 

We have follow-up appointments with Lily's doctors and I wanted to express our gratitude with a small token of appreciation (along with a handwritten thank you note). 

During the week in the hospitals, we showered the nurses and staff with donuts, macarons, and chocolates from our favorite local shops. I wanted to also present something to the doctors and their teams from Lily. 

Insert the prescription strength candy jar idea! These candy jars were so easy and fun to make. I hope doctors and their offices enjoy them! Who doesn't like a sweet treat? 

Here's what you need:
Glass Jar(s) (I found these jars from Hobby Lobby - they were on sale for 50% off too!)
Copy Paper
Printer
Scissors
 Double-sided tape
Candy 

Feel free to download the label I created in Word HERE

These would make great teacher appreciation gifts too! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Helpful Tips for Spending One Day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


I had so much I wanted to share after our mother-daughter trip to Harry Potter World that I had to split it into two posts! In case you missed it, you can read the first post here, where I share my thoughts on spending one-on-one time and ideas to help inspire you. 

I also wanted to share some helpful tips I learned after visiting the park. It's my third time to Harry Potter World and I was able to do the most during this trip. Since it was just me and Ava on the trip, we could easily cover more of the park and stay there all day.
Look for the telephone booth in "London" and call the Ministry of Magic! 

If you're planning a trip soon, this post is definitely worth a read! 

First thing you need to know, the marketing geniuses split Harry Potter World in two parks. To fully experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you'll need to purchase the park-to-park pass. I definitely think it is worth it and you can totally do it in one day. 

To ensure you do, I'm spilling my secrets! So let's get to it! 

1) Download the Universal Orlando Resort App on your phone. The app comes in really handy when checking wait times for rides, when you need to quickly look at a map and also to reserve a ride time using Virtual Line. 

2) I found it extremely helpful to have an initial game plan. What do you want to do first? What rides do you want to ride the most? We came up with our list and mapped it out so we knew what direction to head once we got into the park. We used the map to familiarize ourselves on where things were and it was extremely helpful! Of course, you won't be able to stick to your game plan all day, but having a plan for arrival will save you confusion and precious time. 
Ava outside 12 Grimwald Place. Take a peek in the window and lookout for Kreacher! 

Stop and chat with the bus driver of the Knight Bus. The hanging head also talks!
 
3) I cannot emphasize this enough- wear comfortable shoes! You will spend most of the day walking and standing so don't try to look too cute with your brand new sneakers. Wear your tried and trues for sure! We spent 12 hours in the park and I was so grateful for my broken in Toms. They were comfortable and I didn't have one single blister to slow me down! 

4) If you're wondering what park to go to first, I say head to Diagon Alley (located at Universal Studios) first. It's the least crowded during the morning and you can take the best photos! We bought our wand first at Olivander's wand shop and then rode on Gringott's ride. Another quick tip- Olivander's is the official wand shop, but it's not the only place to purchase a wand, in fact, there is a pop-up wand shop just around the corner from Olivander's if you don't care about "The wand chooses you" experience that had no line at all! By purchasing the wand first thing, you can take advantage of all the magical spots to use your interactive wand.

5) Don't get discouraged if Harry Potter World is already crowded. There's lots of stores to explore and you can always come back. We actually left Diagon Alley to head to our other favorite rides like The Simpsons Ride and Men in Black. We walked around the loop making our way through all the rides with the least amount of wait times and ended back at Diagon Alley to hop on Hogwart's Express to the other park. The best time to come back is the golden hour- 7pm. We found there was little to no wait times in all areas of the park! People get tired and leave the park so take advantage of this by coming back to your favorite attractions or ones you missed earlier in the day.
Ava just purchased her interactive wand and it comes with a map for all the magical spots to use it!

Diagon Alley on our way to Gringotts! You can exchange your money for Gringott's gold to use throughout the park!

Knockturn Alley

Platform 9 3/4 in line for Hogwarts Express

Inside the train cart. Be sure to ride the train both ways for two different experiences!


6) Ride the Mummy! We came for Harry Potter World, but the Mummy is still my all-time favorite roller coaster at Universal! Ava was scared to at first but she loved it just as much as I did the first time I rode on it!

7) Florida rainy season is no joke. But I find it's all about attitude and preparation. If you know it will rain while you are in the park, pack your rain jackets. The ponchos in the park are over priced and are cheaply made. We didn't get rain on our trip, but I have in the past. The good thing about the rain is that is doesn't tend to last all day. It will come in waves so just have a good attitude about it and explore the shops or stop for a meal/snack until the rain stops.

8) Bring only a small back pack. If you don't have someone watching your belongings while you're on the rides, you'll have to use lockers for some of the rides. The free lockers are pretty small. We packed a back pack and just had a few essentials in it so it easily fit in the lockers.

9) If the wait times are long, take advantage of the single rider lines. I have to admit I was a bit jealous of the express pass people, but tickets for them are steep! But single rider lines cut the wait time in half! Ava is 9 and I was a little nervous at first. But, we agreed we would just wait for each other in the spot right after you get off the ride. And actually, we would end up riding at the same time just in different seats.

10) Ava and I packed some light snacks in our backpack so when we got hungry in lines we had something. We saved our money for a few fun park treats like churros and butter beer of course! We skipped lunch because wait times go down while people stop to eat, but we made a point to enjoy a nice dinner. Ava didn't care for the menu at the Leaky Cauldron (British menu) so we had dinner at The Three Broomsticks. She had chicken fingers and I had a nice rotisserie chicken meal.
Don't forget this photo op in Hogsmeade next to the butter bear cart! Frozen is my favorite way to drink it! 



11) My last tip is check to see if there is a nightly parade. During the parade, lots of people stop to watch. Use this time to go on your favorite attractions/rides! The wait time was 5-15 minutes during the parade so it was perfect!

If you're planning a trip soon, then I hope these tips are helpful! We had such a fun time and we rode all the rides and checked off everything on our Harry Potter list! I hope enjoyed reading this post and if you have other tips for us, please leave them in the comments! I know this will not be our last trip to Universal so I'll keep your pointers in mind for our future trips!
Ava outside of Hogsmeade! 


Ava and I outside Hogwarts! This is another must-have photo op!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Memorable Mother-Daughter Trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Bear with me, I'm covering a lot in this post. But I promise, it's worth it. 

Starting last year, Ava, my eldest daughter (she’s nine), discovered Harry Potter. She started off with the movies and has recently grown interest in reading the books. When she started to fall in love with it I was so excited because I am such a fan of the series. I knew I wanted to take her to Harry Potter World also known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. Originally, I planned for the whole family to go, but then I started to think how awesome it would be to spend some one-on-one time with Ava. Ever since Lily (my second oldest) was born, we have always done things with both girls. This was an opportunity to take a mother-daughter trip and spend some quality time with just us.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

This is 35


So this is 35!
Happy birthday to me! It’s so funny how birthday celebrations change as you get older; at least it has been for me. Not that my birthday isn’t worth celebrating, but I don’t put that much emphasis on the actual celebration as I did in my 20s. I am now perfectly content with simply spending it surrounded by my favorite people.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mom's Day Out: Morning with AR Workshop Savannah


I don’t get many mom outings, a day without the kids, especially on the weekend but I was invited a few weekends ago by my friend Amy Darley for a fun morning out with other influencers at AR Workshop Savannah! AR Workshop is a new boutique DIY studio in Savannah that offers hands-on classes creating custom home décor.  I love a good DIY and was so excited to create a custom piece for our home.

I chose to make a wood framed sign to hang in my master bedroom. AR Workshop has so many fun projects though, not just wood signs. A few of the ladies made cheese boards and decorative trays. They offer classes to make chunky knitted blankets and it’s on my wish list of classes I want to sign up for.

You don’t need any carpentry skills for these classes. The girls and I had a blast. There was fun music playing while we worked and we drank mimosas.  I mean, such a fun way to spend a Saturday morning! And I got to take my hard work home with me in the form of a super charming and rustic wood sign!

Check out some of the fun shots I took while we were getting our wood-working on!

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Coolest Hair Accessories for Spring 2019

Hair accessories are making a big statement right now! Just like statement jewelry, hair accessories are having their moment!

I am in love with how I have seen my favorite bloggers style the knotted headbands and wraps! The big clips are so fun too!

I've rounded up some of my favorites today! Are you here for the new statement trend?



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Mindful Shopping in 2019: February Purchases

I shared my January purchases last month and I wanted to share the items I purchased in February. In the spirit of transparency and to keep myself in check for my spending, so here's what made the cut in February.



Two- panel acrylic earring stand. I bought a three-panel one in January and I ordered another one to hold all my Nickel and Suede earrings. I love the way my earrings look on this stand.


 H&M Leopard tee and Simple Addiction black leggings.  I bought the leggings on sale for $4 so together I spent a whopping $9 on this outfit. 


 Last month I won an Instagram giveaway for $50 credit to Loren Hope so I spent $17 on these pretty mint statement earrings! I think they will look so cute with all my spring pastels! 






During a random Target trip I purchased this side tie tee and leopard mules. I had been eyeing the mules for some time and I finally just bought them during a Cartwheel promo on clothes, shoes & accessories. 






So I bought more in February but I don't feel like I spent too much that I should feel guilty about it. Let's see how I do in March! Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

3 Ways to Style Grey Wedge Sneakers


I am excited to start a new series with you. Versatility is so important to me when I am making purchasing decisions because I need to know I can wear things in different ways and that those items will work with the rest of my closet. My first "ways to style" post is sharing different ways to wear grey suede sneakers. I don't know what has taken me so long to try this trend out.

I received these fun grey wedge sneakers care of Pic and Pay and I was so excited get to style them! This Zaven style is from their new spring collection! You can find them on Amazon!

So let's get to it! First I paired the sneakers with a grey peplum tee and green pants for a super casual look. One thing you will know about me is that I prefer outfits I can wear easily around my kiddos. Luckily these wedges are so comfortable and dress this simple outfit some!




For my next look, I changed into a pair of high-waisted black denim, a white tee and my favorite leopard utility jacket. I've had this jacket for years and I still love it! This is probably my favorite look out of the three! 




For the last look, I paired the wedges with some classics- a striped tee, black leggings and a denim jacket. This is my go-to weekend look. It's comfortable and casual- my favorite combo!




So which look is your favorite of the three? I'd love to know!

Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this new series and if you'd like to see more. What else would you like to see styled? I hope these posts spark some inspiration for you. I would also love to know additional ways to style these wedge sneakers so if you have a pair and wear them let me know how you style them!

Monday, March 4, 2019

5 Lessons Learned After Loss




Wow, here we are in March. This month has so much significance for our family. It used to be such a happy month full of celebrations. My sister got married in March. It's my birthday month and Ava's too. Now, it will always be mixed with sadness. A sadness that will forever stay with me and return to me every March. On the 16th of this month it will mark 5 years since my beautiful mom passed away.

My mom taught me so much during the time she was alive. She taught me to be the woman I am today. She taught me about hard work and about loving and protecting my family fiercely.

She continues to teach me 5 years after her death.  

1. Memories are important.

All I have left of my mom are the memories we shared. I'm so thankful for each and every one. Not only are my memories of her special but she taught me I need to be making as many memories as possible with the ones I love. It's like a time capsule. It helps to keep your loved ones alive in your heart! 


2. Let go and make every day count.

After my mom passed away it was like something drastic changed in me. I was done with anything that didn't really matter ultimately. I learned to let go of pettiness and drama. I no longer had the energy or the desire to deal with it. It has made my life simplified and ultimately more enjoyable. Losing someone forces you to look for more things that bring you joy and let go of negativity. 


3. Grief is forever.

The reality of grief is that it lasts forever. It's not true that time heals because the truth is I miss my mom just as much today as the day I said good-bye. It comes in waves, sometimes its just feeling sad and sometimes it stops me in my tracks and I cannot breathe. I think my kids saved me from just drowning myself in all the sadness. I know they needed a functioning parent and I know my mom would have wanted me to be there for my family. I have simply learned to live with grief and accept it when it comes. 


4. Let your loved ones know you love them.

Life is too short. My mom was only 64 years old when she passed away and her sudden departure taught me every day is a gift. It was very difficult for all of my family because we didn't get to say our goodbyes the way we would have liked. My mom couldn't respond to any of us and it made it that much harder. I know in my heart she knew how much we all loved her though. So take it from me, make amends with your loved ones. Tell them how much they mean to you and that you love them as often as possible. 


5. Life does go on. 

Nothing shows you the amount of strength you possess than when you lose a loved one. I always thought "I would die" if I didn't have my mom. I was 29 when my world came tumbling down. In the days around this difficult time I felt numb. How could I get out of bed? How could I function? But what I learned from living through this experience is that life does eventually go on. I had two young children depending on me, a husband, my siblings and dad I needed to be there for. In no way has this been a fast process because there's this new normal I am constantly adjusting to. I really do miss the life I had before but what I learned is that now I have to live my life for my mom. She wouldn't want me to be stuck in my grief. She wants me to live a life I am truly proud of. 

To be totally honest, losing someone close to you sucks so bad! I don't wish it upon anyone. But I write this post in the hopes you realize these lessons are to show not to wait until you lose someone to learn them!

If you are a praying person, please send your prayers my way because this month is not easy for me. More importantly, call you mom, hug your mom, tell her you love her! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Mindful Shopping in 2019: January Purchases



One of my goals this year is to save money and be more mindful about what I spend money on. I want save up to make memories with my family. I am also saving money because I am working on turning my guest bedroom into my office. I can't do that if I am constantly shopping for new clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.

To hold myself accountable, I decided I would start sharing what makes the cut on Instagram and on the blog. I created a highlight in my Instagram so you can follow along to see how much I actually spend this year on fashion purchases.

I have had many instances already where I'll put something back because I don't think it is worthy enough for me to spend money on and/or share with everyone.

Here's what I bought in January:

High-waist jeans: Lately, I haven't been happy with any of my jeans. I wanted a pair of high-waist denim in a light wash. I ordered these from Old Navy and I am happy with them. I got them on sale for $14.97 and I know they will get plenty of wear this spring and summer.


Camel Mule Slides: Another item on my wish list for awhile has been a pair of neutral colored mules I could wear casually. When I saw they were on sale for $20 I snagged them and the jeans above at the same time! These will certainly be making lots appearances!


A Tee with a Cause: I was in the Loft the other day trying on Valentine's Day looks and bought this tee. It's a simple graphic tee and the best part is, 60% of the proceeds will benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Two other items I purchased last month were these jewelry organizers. My jewelry collection has been overflowing on my bathroom counter and it wasn't a pretty sight. Since I am working on my office, I purchased these organizers to help display my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces better. They are not only decorative but functional too. It's so much easier to see what I want to wear when everything is displayed and organized. I found them both under $17 on Amazon.
SHOP THIS POST:




All in all, I am pretty happy with the purchasing decisions I made in January. There were lots of things that I wanted but I'm glad I didn't buy them. I am curious to see how February and the rest of the year will go. Stay tuned! 

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