There's a lot division in our country right now, especially after the presidential election. So, we've decided that the Real Mom Series needs to tackle what it means and looks like to raise a bright future for our country and our world. Please be sure to check out the takes on this topic: Design for Mankind; The Effortless Chic; Apartment 34; The Life Styled

I'm a white, upper-class, suburban mom raising white, upper-class, suburban children. When I pin on Pinterest, scroll through my Instagram feed and read posts on Facebook I most often see white middle to upper-class, able bodied men, women and children staring back at me. It's not wrong to live in the suburbs, to have money and to be white by any means. But as I write these words out something feels wrong, and that's because I'm lacking the rainbow of diversity this world has to offer in my personal life, in my work life and in my virtual life. And, if I'm not intentional in showing my kids that people in this world live differently than we do, worship differently, love differently, act differently, etc. then they will grow up not knowing how to love their neighbor that is different. And, they will not see that it is equally their responsibility as an American citizen to act just-fully for those that are not like them. 

So, I must confess that I have unintentionally created a bubble for myself and my family. And though I am aware that discrimination exists in our country and world, I haven't really done anything about it in that way that I should. The biggest way I can fight racism and discrimination against women or people with special needs is to raise the next generation to think and act differently. But, that's only going to happen by setting an example. 

Here is a list of actionable ways I can be an example for my kids and I can also show my kids the beautiful, diverse world we live in.

1. Acknowledge injustice when we see it and try our best to help rectify it when we can. I don't want to teach my kids to look the other way even if a problem doesn't "involve them." So, if we can solve a problem on the playground, stop and help if we witness an accident, talk about current events that are unjust.
2. Vote, take them with me, and talk about who and why I am voting for. (I did this year.)
2. Spend time in difference parts of our city playing. Phoenix is the 6th largest city, and each suburb looks different than the other and has something different to offer. 
3. Involve them in service projects that they can do at a young age. Serving food pantries, donating their toys and cleaning up our city. 
4. Buy children's books that show people of other ethnicities, cultures and abilities. It's easy to paint the world white and able-bodied without being intentional. After looking at our kid's books I realized we don't have any that show kids that are asian, black or who have special needs.
5. Buy toys that show different skin colors and abilities. Elle loves playing with Barbies and dolls, but they all look the same. 
6. Show them different places of worship and learn about different religious holidays. We are Christian and often talk about Christian holidays, but we haven't ever talked about other holidays her friends celebrate. 
7. Make and eat meals from all over the world.
8. Travel to other countries
9. Pro-actively share content on our social channels that is diverse in gender, race and ability.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please comment below.



This post is sponsored by Visionworks. 

Eyeglasses have become an interchangeable fashion accessory just as much as earrings or hats. I'm not the only person out there that has more than one pair of eyeglasses and sunglasses now. Sometimes I'm feeling preppy with tortoiseshell and artsy with clear frames. What can stump me, however, is figuring out what makeup to pairs well with my glasses. I've noticed that some eyeshadows and lipsticks just don't look the best with certain frames. I've partnered with Visionworks again to share you with you the difference a pop of red lipstick, a smokey or simply staying neutral can do for your look.

I put my makeup on every day, but to give you the best information and expertise I invited my friend and makeup artist, Stephanie Neiheisel, to do my makeup and share some pointers. I even had her try the frames on so you can see them on a different face shape and hairstyle. 

Below, you'll find four frames worn with different makeup (one neutral and one with a bold lip). I've picked which makeup look I like best with each pair of glasses. I would love to know if you agree or disagree. 

DRAMATIC TORTOISE SHELL by Nine West - These frames are timeless and bold at the same time. When I wear these glasses I feel like Jenna Lyons, Creative Director for J. Crew. She has a spunky, east coast style, and I would say my style is somewhat similar. I like when my lips are nude in these frames more than a bold red lip because both seem like too much.

Makeup Tip from Stephanie: Play up either your eyes or lips, but rarely both. These chunky frames make a bold statement, so for day to day wear you'll probably want to keep your lipstick neutral. 

CRYSTAL FRAMES by Nine West: Clear frames are one of the hottest trends in eyewear right now. I especially love these for the cat eye shape. When I wear these glasses I often find myself wanting to wear a bold lip. I feel a bit too plain without one.

Makeup tip from Stephanie: Since these glasses lack color you'll want to add some color to your face somewhere. That could be a bold lip or a smokey eye with shades of coral, purple or even green as long as there is color somewhere. 

ARLETTY FRAMES by Zac Posen - These frames have a masculine feel to them that is very in style right now. They also make a big statement because the frames are larger in size. The icy gradient blue is so pretty, but I think it clashes a bit with the warm red lip.

Makeup tip from Stephanie: Be sure to stick to complementary colors when choosing your eyeshadow and lipstick. Warm hues like corals, pinks and bright reds go well with browns. Gray, blues and reds with cool, purple undertones go well with gray or blue frames.

DRAMATIC TEAL & TORTOISE FRAMES by Guess - These teal and tortoise frames are my favorite. They have a bit of color and a bit of class, and I love the thinner frame on my face. Surprisingly, I like the statement lip with these frames even though the color of the glasses make a statement as well.

Makeup tip from Stephanie: The reason why this lip color works with teal is that it is complementary on the color wheel. Complementary color as one that are directly across from the main color you're working with. See a color wheel here for reference.

I had Stephanie try on these four frames as well because she had a coral smokey eye and a nude lip that day. Her hair is also jet black and in stark contrast with her skin. I think all of those things make a difference when choosing your frames and makeup. My favorite frames on her are the Zac Posen ones. That icy blue gray goes so well with her eyes and hair color. Which one do you like best?

Be sure to visit Visionworks to find your perfect frames, and don't just top with one. Think of your glasses as jewelry and find a couple pairs that represent different parts of your style.


Photos by Rennai Hoefer.


Receiving a ton of gifts at once is fun and all, but it can sometimes make you feel a bit greedy. The holidays are all about spreading cheer to those you love, but doesn't it feel good to give to someone you may not even know? This holiday gift guide is dedicated for the person who wants to give, and give back.




Minimalist jewelry is all anyone is wearing these days. A simple metallic necklace is a statement all its own, but it's much more meaningful when it serves a real life purpose. 31 Bits is dedicated to providing Ugandan artisan women with a market for their beautiful craftsmanship skills, and has an ever-growing jewelry collection with something for everyone.




If subscription boxes are more your style, Love With Food may be your gift of choice. These monthly packages of organic snacks give back by passing a portion of sales to charities devoted to fighting childhood hunger. These packages are a definite way to win to your loved ones' hearts (and tummies).




We all get thirsty, and S'well water bottles are here for more than keeping your hydration stylish. These on-trend, stainless steel hot & cold bottles are partnered with UNICEF to help ensure the recipient isn't the only one hydrating. They donate a portion of their sales to the charity to ensure that kids around the world are getting access to clean, drinkable water.




While some choose glasses purely as a fashion statement, many have them as a necessity. Warby Parker has acquired quite a following as of late, and for good reason. Their glasses are stylish and practical (and don't worry 20/20s, they offer equally great sunglasses too), and they serve a great cause. The company is partnered with VisionSpring, who helps them follow through on their promise to provide someone in need with a pair of glasses whenever they make a sale.




Who says your house key can't be a fashion statement? Giving Keys took it to the next level by engraving inspiring words on each of their variety of accessories, inspired by two of the co-founders who were homeless before starting the company. The company aims to transition people out of homelessness, much like two of the three founders were able to do.




If you aren't sure exactly what to get someone this Christmas, Shopping for a Change just may be your ideal place to start. Bringing together the work of a variety of undiscovered artisans from all around the world is what makes this shop so diverse, covering everything from fashion to home goods. 




You simply can't go wrong with a pair of sandals as versatile as Sseko Sandals. If you're not sure exactly what type of shoes your recipient loves, leave it up to them to decide! With so many unique ways to tie the sandals, it's hard to believe that it gets better. This charity is devoted to working for women, and sending them to college. Is that a respectable shoe or what?




If you're looking to give something a little more authentically global, Noonday Collection is the place. This shop provides a market for artisans around the world to display and sell their unique, culturally influenced work to markets they would normally have a hard time getting into, and the recipient gets an amazing piece of a far away land because of it!




If you're telling me you've never wanted to have a pet elephant, I'm probably going to assume you're lying. With World Wildlife Fund's Adopt an Elephant package, you have a chance to do your part to keep these babies around. When you symbolically adopt an elephant, they'll use your payment to ensure that an elephant is taken care of with food and water. They even send a plush elephant so you never forget about your friend on the other side of the world.




It's hard to live in the modern day without knowing at least one coffee snob. It's okay to be a coffee snob, especially if that mean's you're supporting an ethical coffee business like Driven Coffee. The brand donates a portion of its sales to a variety of charities, and has an incredible selection of coffee to boot.


This post is sponsored by The Land of Nod.

It's the day after Thanksgiving, so let the Christmas decorating begin! Before I finished decorating our mantel or hung up the Christmas lights outside, I decorated Levi's and Elle's rooms. Christmas through my kids' eyes is the best gift of all, and so I wanted to bring it into their rooms (check out Levi's nursery here). I designed Elle's big girl room with The Land of Nod, and I wanted to her modern decor style for Christmas. There's no other retailer that creates and sells modern decor for baby's and kid's like The Land of Nod.

I first added a little cheer to her art wall with this "Santa Said So" print and felt garland. Nod also has the cutest stockings for kids. Since she already has quite a lot of pink in her room, I thought this kitten stocking would go purrrrrfectly.

I replaced her woven hanging for this "holidays greetings" banner too.

Having your own personal Christmas tree is pretty cool, and this one from Nod is adorable. It comes with its own Christmas tree skirt and felt ornaments.

But my favorite item of all (and Elle's too) is this sweet Clara doll and her Nutcracker companion. Watching The Nutcracker Ballet and listening Tchaikovsky's music brings back so many memories for me as a dance and musician.

Elle got the coolest unicorn from Nod, and I thought it would be fun if Chilly (the unicorn) had a bit of Christmas cheer too. So, I put a wreath her as if she was a prize winning unicorn.

To get Elle's whole room, be sure to shop the look below. Photos by Rennai Hoefer.


This post is sponsored by World Market. 

Experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child is magical. The excitement they have for their stockings, the twinkle lights and all of the ornaments doesn't even compare to mine. So, it makes complete sense to me to sprinkle some of the holiday magic in their bedrooms. I've partnered with World Market to show you how I've added some holiday cheer to Levi's nursery.

His nursery is already rich in color with navy blue, gray, maroon, and gold making up the majority of the color palette (see his original makeover here). Bright red would obviously clash, so I went with more of a woodland theme for his room with a touch of muted reds. World Market had everything I needed even down to the little critters of the forest like glittery porcupines and foxes.

Since the mirror is the focal point of his room I added a wooden star in the center and some greenery on top. I also picked up the coziest gray and white throw. I really want to steal it and put it in my living room now.

I also added a gold garland to his crib that says "happy holidays" (note: I do not recommend placing a garland on your crib if your child is older than a newborn. They could potentially pull it off and strangle themselves. I just wanted to place it here for an additional idea if you're bring home a newborn for the holidays).

I put a 7ft tree in his room with strands of popcorn and fruit loops (placed out of his reach), and I placed all sorts of little critters around his room. 

I think my favorite is this little fox with a plaid scarf. I also found the cutest advent calendar made out of wood (in store only). Counting down to Christmas makes everything more exciting don't you think?

Reading Christmas stories at bedtime is one of my favorite childhood memories. I found the old book my mom used to read to me during Christmas time and pulled it out for Levi. I also found a cozy, fuzzy pillow for his chair and changed out his brass cacti planters for brass stars. It really is the coziest reading nook!

Of course, I've added some cheer to his minimalist, modern bookshelf. This lumberjack nutcracker is the perfect touch for a little boy's room. A little reindeer too for good measure.

Stay tuned for Elle's room, and shop Levi's nursery below. World Market is going to have an amazing black Friday sale too. Be sure to be on the look out Wednesday night!


All photos by Rennai Hoefer; this post contains affiliate links.