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My Picks
  • Baby Must-Haves | 0-3 Months

    Well, I've now officially joined the Mom Club and frequently use #momlife in my daily conversations and social media posts. Motherhood is no joke. It can be SO challenging, but it's also awesome, so that's nice.

    Before our little #maggiequinnjoyce was born, I was Queen of the Baby Registry World. My baby registry was a well oiled machine, people. I was constantly price checking, comparing, switching, updating, adding, deleting - it was awesome, and I loved every minute. You guys, I am a researcher when it comes to products and services. I want, nope, NEED to know that I'm getting the best deal - the best product or service for the best price. So, that doesn't mean the cheapest, or most expensive, it's a balance - it's finding the best quality that's at a justifiable price that does the best job. You can imagine how much time I spent on our wedding...

    SO all that to say, I have an informed opinion about most things I own. Now that I've entered a new domain - Baby Products - I wanted to share my findings with you all! I've broken down products by use, according to age. Since Maggie is almost 3 months, I'll limit things to what we've actually used up to this point.

    Here we go!

    Muslin Swaddles - Muslin swaddle blankets come in handy for a variety of reasons with a newborn. I personally love the quality and adorable prints that Little Unicorn's swaddles offer. Other noteable brands I've liked are Aden+Anais and these from Target.

    Little Giraffe Lovey - So this was a gift that I received at a shower and originally didn't know that it would be SO USEFUL, especially during the first few weeks baby was home. The size is so perfect for a newborn! Regular sized blankets seem huge compared to their little 8-ish pound bodies. This blanky was great to wrap around her for naps and to keep her cozy during trips in her car seat. Moving forward as she grows, I'm hoping she will like this and adopt it as her "lovey". We have a similar one that has a stuffed animal on it - maybe she'll end up choosing that one as her lovey! P.S. I love all things Jellycat brand!

    Milk Snob Cover - Guys, this thing is great. It's soft, thin and so stretchy. I had to use this last week while flying with my little girl and had to nurse her during the flight (I am NOT someone who feels comfy nursing in front of people. Just my preference.) and this was awesome to have. It's also what I put over her car seat if it's raining out so she doesn't get wet but also isn't hot. It's also designed to fit over carts for when they're older. It comes in a million cute prints too!

    Green Sprouts Burp Cloths - These are amazing! I have about 12 of them and I'm never without one with baby. They are crazy absorbent and are the perfect size. They get softer with each wash (but not in a deteriorating way), which is good because they get washed 1-2 times per week! Maggie isn't a huge spit up baby, but when she does, these come to the rescue every time. I tried these at first, and they're soft and I love that they're gray and simple, but they are NOT absorbent like they say, which is the whole point of burp cloths... probably the only Burt's Bees product I don't like - usually they're amazing.

    Boppy Nursing Pillow - This is something I debated over bringing with me to the hospital when Maggie was born. I hemmed and hawed, and I'm glad I decided to bring it. It is a lifesaver for breastfeeding! It makes baby much more supported and stable and is more comfortable for me. I use it every time I nurse, unless I'm not at home, of course. I got this cover for it from PB Kids and it's perfect - soft, simple, no obnoxious baby pattern, yay!

    Nuna Pipa + Tavo Travel System - This travel system is by far the most expensive baby item we purchased, but let me tell you, it was so worth it! We absolutely love this car seat and stroller. We debated between this system and the Maxi Cosi Adorra stroller and Mico Max 30 car seat, which we actually purchased first and returned. Here's why - the stroller is just a shell for the infant seat and the stroller seat isn't used until they're bigger. At first I thought this was an awesome feature, however, it didn't provide ANY shade or covering for baby while they were in the stroller like the Nuna stroller does. This was miserable for walks and when baby was sleeping - totally exposed unless you jerry rigged a blanket or used a car seat cover, which was just annoying. I also didn't like the poor quality of the infant seat awning - it never stayed in place and was super cheap feeling compared to the nice (expensive!) seat material. The stroller wheels were also kinda crappy and kept getting stuck, so i knew this would only get worse with time. The Nuna Tavo has shocks, so the ride is so much smoother. The quality of the materials and craftsmanship is amazing and it's super easy to fold up and take in and out of the car. The other favorite feature for me is the Dream Drape - game. changer. Couldn't be happier with Nuna products - they are so quality and to me, so worth the cost. Also, the Pipa car seat is 5 lbs lighter than most other car seats on the market - THIS IS SO WORTH IT. 

    Spots and Dots book - My husband and I refer to this as the "magic book" because it literally mesmerizes our daughter when looking at it. So, when we're nearing meltdown in the car or she is bored and restless, out comes the magic book to buy us some time. She stares and coos at it and it's just about the cutest thing ever. 

    Solly Wrap - We have this in the gray and white stripe and it's SO SOFT. I had the Boba wrap at first (similar to the Moby) and ended up returning it after I discovered the Solly. Here's the deal, newborns are HOT and in turn, while holding them, you end up warmer than you usually would be. This is compounded when you have your baby literally wrapped to your body in July and August, especially! The Boba and the Moby have thicker, bulkier material than the Solly. The material of the Solly is the thinnest, softest, stretchiest and most breathable on the market. Plus, it comes in way cuter patterns and colors than the other brands. I should have used this more in Maggie's first month home, but we had so many people visiting and wanting to hold her, that it just wasn't used as much. But, it can be used up to 25 lbs! So, there's time. It's nice to travel with this, because it folds up nice and tiny to put in the diaper bag, unlike a structured carrier. 

    BabyBjorn One Air Carrier - This structured carrier is made of the softest mesh material EVER. I originally had the Ergobaby 360 in the "mesh" and HATED it. Like, truly felt angered while trying to put it on and figure out how to get comfortable in it, which never happened. The BabyBjorn doesn't need a separate infant insert like the Ergo does, and looks a lot nicer, in my opinion. The One Air is made of 100% mesh material, keeping you and baby cool while wearing it and it fits sooooo comfortably on your body, especially around the shoulders. The clips to lock baby in are also WAY easier with the BabyBjorn versus the Ergo, which uses weird (and ugly IMO) buttons and the material is a thick canvas (yes, even the "mesh" one, which has like a little tiny panel of mesh fabric). Getting baby in and out of the One Air is SO easy and I absolutely love the dark gray color we got ours in. Can't say enough about how much I love this carrier, guys!

    SkipHop Car Mirror - This is so helpful in the backseat while driving with baby. Since they are rear-facing, it's nice to be able to glance and see their face in the mirror and know if they're awake, sleeping, etc. I like this one because it's a good size (not too big, not too small), is nice and clear (some look kinda distorted), attaches nicely to the headrest and is black :)

    JuJuBe Be Right Back Diaper Bag - This is definitely an item you want to touch, feel and see in person before making a final decision. I saw this one at BuyBuyBaby and really liked it (and my husband did too!). It has a lot of pockets, zippers and compartments to keep things organized, and the backpack style is a must-have feature for me. Carrying the infant seat and a million other things is much easier with the diaper bag out of the way on your back instead of sliding off your shoulder, like other bags inevitably will. The material of this is stain and water resistant and the bag is fully machine washable. The side pockets have Thinsulate to keep bottles and beverages hot or cold, and there is a built-in back pocket for the changing pad it comes with. Again, I also loved that it came in black with gold hardware! Another bag option I debated over was this one - I love the brown leather color, but ultimately felt like it just didn't have the organization I was looking for in a diaper bag.

    Puj Bath - This choice was purely based on space, to be honest. We live in a modest sized home that doesn't have much closet space, so having a giant infant tub didn't seem practical for us. In came the Puj! This beauty hangs FLAT on a little hook behind our bathroom door and is the softest rubbery material that squishes right in our bathroom sink. My only qualm is that it's really designed to be used up to 6 months, so if you aren't ready to have baby in the big tub at that point, you need another baby tub... annoying. We'll cross that bridge when it comes I guess and see where things are at. To be continued...

    Sleepers - Our daughter lives in footy sleepers like this one (this floral print has been my all-time fave) from Carter's most of her life. I put her in onesies/leggings/rompers for daycare and she'll wear cute outfits to church or other outings, but most of the time, she's in a sleeper. This is what she sleeps in every night and they're so easy for diaper changes. Carter's has great ones, as well as Burt's Bees Baby, KicKee Pants if you wanna spend more (they're SO SOFT) and I really like Old Navy/Baby Gap ones as well. 

    Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier - This little thing is a lifesaver for us. We tried 3 different types of pacifiers with our daughter and she clearly liked these best! She loves her paci (I also say binky, bink and nuk... still haven't landed on what I call these things yet!) as she is falling asleep and as a newborn she loved to suck, so this magestic piece of rubber saved my body from being chewed on 24/7. I use these clips to keep track of her paci sometimes too (I imagine these will be even more helpful once she's on the move) and are super convenient when we are out and about and don't want to worry about losing the paci or it falling on the ground. I have this color and this color.

    Zutano Booties - These are AWESOME because they actually stay on your baby's feet when shoes and socks really don't at this tiny stage. These have two sizes for the little snaps, so whether your baby has chunkier ankles or more skinny ankles, they will fit comfortably. They come in 3m (what we currently have) and I plan to buy them in 6m once these get too small. I like them because they are soft and unstructured like socks, but look more "presentable" like shoes. They come in lots of colors, but I love this neutral gray.

    Eddie Bauer Glider - This glider is a staple in our nursery. I wanted the upholstered rocker/glider that swiveled as well, but didn't want to spend a bajillion dollars. This Eddie Bauer one is from Target and is exactly what I was looking for - it's simple and classic in design, is the perfect shade of gray that I wanted, wasn't huge (our nursery is only 11'x10') and was COMFY. This glider checked all of those boxes - it is the perfect size, so comfy and looks great in the nursery, along with this fabulous gold pouf as an ottoman, though this glider does have a matching ottoman we opted not to purchase. 

    Fisher Price Auto Rock N Play - Our daughter loves to take naps in this little contraption. I would say that every parent I know SWEARS by this thing. A lot of people's kids slept in this every night their first few months of life, especially those with any reflux issues (it's at an incline). We however, have her sleep in a bassinet (see below) and she only uses this for daytime naps or a safe place for me to put her if I'm home alone and need to use the bathroom or swap out the laundry, etc. We also have a 4moms mamaRoo that she likes as well, but won't nap in (more for play/awake time). The Rock N Play is nice because it's pretty portable - it folds up with the touch of a button. We have the "auto" version, which can plug in and rock on a timer or continuously and can also play music/sounds, if desired. Our daughter naps great in this thing!

    Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper - This is what our daughter sleeps in next to our bed every night. She slept in this her first night home from the hospital and does really well in it. I've read that it's an easier transition for infants from a bassinet to a crib because both are flat (rather than an incline like the Rock N Play). I love this Halo bassinet because 1. it actually fits in our room, 2. the sides are mesh - our daughter rolls on her side and I don't have to worry about her suffocating when she rolls to the sides of this bassinet, 3. it swivels all around at different angles and the side slides down with light pressure, so it's easy to manuever while you're still in bed (super nice for when you're first home and recovering, especially if you had a c-section).

    Halo Wearable Blanket - Our daughter wasn't the typical newborn who needed to be tightly swaddled at night. She honestly didn't care one way or the other! I tried the classic Halo swaddle and found it to be really annoying, as it would bunch up by her neck when she was little and then she easily busted her arms free of it part way through the night. Fail. I tried this Love to Dream one because she liked to have her arms up by her head. We used this for a few weeks and she liked it, until ditching the swaddle altogether and just using a wearable blanket to keep her warm and cozy, but not restrict her arms. She sleeps through the night now in one, so I'd say we found our winner! If your baby likes to be swaddled but you find the Halo swaddles unbearable like I did, I've heard the Woombie is amazing!

    Cloud B Sleep Sheep - We use this every night next to the bassinet (and will eventually use by the crib in her nursery) not just as a "soother" but more for noise. We have the Marpac Dohm in her nursery by the door, so once she sleeps in there, we'll have that on all night. But the Sleep Sheep has a timer, so it's nice as they are falling asleep to have that consistent noise close to their head that signals sleepy time! Plus, I think this little sheep is adorable and we can travel with it easily! I will say though, she does NOT rely on this to sleep and will just as easily fall asleep without it. I think it will make crib training easier though next month as we start that transition.

    Mother's Bliss Gripe Water - Our daughter had really bad gas her first two months of life. This stuff helped SO much! She loved the taste of it too and would immediately stop crying as soon as the dropper hit her lips, no joke! This stuff helps with hiccups too, which was a daily occurance during those first two months as well. Even if it's totally placebo effect and this does nothing, it makes you feel better as a parent that you're trying something!

    FridaBaby Nose Frida - This is also magic. You suck on one end and put the other at the base of baby's nostrils and out comes their snot. Ok, this sounds totally gross, but once you have a baby you realize that this is SO EXCITING because hello, baby's can't blow their nose, people. This thing is dynamite. (And no, you don't ingest any snot, there is a filter.)

    Ubbi Diaper Pail - So a lot of people told me that a diaper pail wasn't necessary and that they are a waste of money. I couldn't disagree more! This is 100% necessary! Our daughter's room is on the main floor of our home, so 10/10 diaper changes at home happen in the nursery on her changing table. So, every dirty diaper goes in the diaper pail, which needs to be brought out to the dumpster once a week (the night before trash day!). I love this Ubbi one because it's made out of steel, which means it doesn't absorb odor but keeps odor from escaping! It also doesn't need its own special bag like the Diaper Genie or other similar products do. We use normal kitchen trash bags for this thing so it's no added cost. It comes in nice neutral colors too - ours is white.

    Boudreaux's Butt Paste - There are a ton of different brands of diaper creams out there aside from this one - Desitin, Aquaphor, Honest Company, Burt's Bees, etc. I chose Butt Paste (aside from the funny name) because it's what my mom and sisters swore by and now I see why! Our daughter had a little bit of diaper rash her first day home and we used this stuff for every diaper change those first few days and literally, her diaper rash was gone after the first use and she's never gotten it again... it's magic paste and I'm now a believer. We have a bottle in her nursery and one in the diaper bag, just in case.

    Ubbi Wipes Dispenser - This may seem like more of a "luxury" item than a necessity, but hear me out. When you buy a big box of wipes, they come in a bunch of little pouches with sticky tabs to open/close the package. I don't know about you, but opening and closing those little sticky tabs like 10 times a day is super annoying, especially because it stops being sticky and then the wipes dry up. No thank you! In comes this little $19.99 gem of a product! This wipes dispenser has a weighted panel that sits on top of the wipes pack and allows wipes to come out one at a time, as well as a window to monitor quantity of wipes (if you don't put the package in there like I do). It also has a rubber seal to keep wipes fresh and moist as well as non-skid protective rubber feet to hold the dispenser in place. Do yourself a favor and just order one - you won't regret it, I promise!

    Munchkin Disposable Changing Pads - This is another item that may seem unnecessary, but it's one of my most used products! We have a nice fluffy changing pad cover to keep baby comfortable while changing diapers and clothes. Instead of washing that every time a diaper change gets messy, which is often, put one of these on top of the pad cover and simply wash this instead of the whole cover. They come in a 3-pack and can be used and washed a million times apparently because we've washed ours about that many times already and they are still in perfect condition. Highly recommend!

    Pony Tails book - I keep this book next to the changing pad and my daughter coos and talks to it the whole time she lays there. She absolutely LOVES it. Little does she realize that it's a crinkle book and has furry tails on it that's she can play with as she develops in the next few months. This is a Jellycat book (I told you, I LOVE Jellycat stuff - their stuffed animals are the BEST.) and there are a few versions of "tails" books - Jungly Tails, Fluffy Tails, Puppy Tails, Fishy Tails, etc. SO DANG CUTE!

    So there you have it - my must-haves for 0-3 month olds. Of course there are other things you need, like diapers, wipes, clothes, etc. but these are the products that we use and love most! You'll notice that in most of the items I purchased, I tried to be gender neutral (in case we have a boy next!) and not in a gawdy baby pattern. There is some UGLY baby gear out there, but there are aesthetically pleasing options that don't break the bank if you do a little research. The places I frequent most for baby stuff are: Amazon, Target, Nordstrom and BuyBuyBaby (they have some of the gear that you can see in person rather than only online). Another fun website for more boutique style stuff is Spearmint LOVE!

    Hopefully this is helpful for any new parent or grandparent/aunt/uncle looking to buy an awesome baby shower gift!

    What are your must-have baby items? COMMENT below!

    xo Cait 

  • Hey, so, you haven't blogged in awhile...

    So, I've stepped back from blogging for the past, oh I don't know, almost 2 years?! It hasn't been laziness or lack of motivation (desire though, I'd say); it's been more of... identity or dislike of identity rather. I kinda loathe (ha, that's an oxymoron) the connotation of blogging. Everyone and their mom has a blog. And, now that I actually am a mom (life update! ha), now there's the mom-rant blogger connotation in addition to the try-hard fashion bloggers, the make-your-life-look-better-than-it-is bloggers, the anti-vaccine-do-everything-with-oils bloggers (don't even get me started people), the people-who-are-awful-writers-and-can't-spell bloggers (you make my skin crawl)... I just didn't want to be lumped in any category.

    I blog(ged) because I want(ed) to share things that I love, products that have made my life easier, ramblings, creative things... whatever I feel like. I don't blog because I think I'm awesome or want the affirmation of others, or for some sort of status. I just wanna do what I want, when I want without other people chiming in or judging from afar. But yes, ok, I realize thtat's impossible! Maybe I'm worried of that though because I do that to others... BOOM I said it. I'm judging you, other blogger. Sorry! I'm not a meany, but I'm human. We all do it, so don't even act like you don't. Hey young 20-something try-hard fashion blogger with the instagrid you OBSESS over... I'm judging you, but I'm also inspired by you and am secretly proud of you for just doing you. It's a weird line, guys, between the judging and admiring for me, and some days I land on one side, and other days I land on the other side.

    So... that's where I'm at. It boils down to control - I want to control what other people perceive about me. I want people to know me before they assume what I'm like - being misunderstood is maybe the worst thing in the world to me. It kills my soul to feel like someone thinks something of me that isn't true. Sigh, adulting is hard, guys.

    So that's where I'm at. Moving forward, if I feel inspired to write a post, I'm gonna write it! I'm going to stop obsessing over this crisis of the mind I've been having and start being more like the 20-something chick who is just doing her thing, not caring about meanies like me judging her.

    Let's do this, y'all. 

    xo, Cait

  • My Picks | The Best Burgers in Minneapolis-St.Paul

    So, it's safe to say that my favorite food is a cheeseburger - and great for the thighs, let me tell ya. There is never a time in life that a cheeseburger doesn't sound absolutely divine. After living in Minneapolis, home of the Juicy Lucy, for the past 7 years, I've tried quite a few burgers and have recently experienced a few new(er) places that each have a delectable burger.

    I realize my usual blog content pertains to clothes, makeup, home decor - you know the stuff that really matters in life - but I've decided to branch out! Afterall, there are no rules here - I do what I want, y'all! I'm not concerning myself with what fits in my blog "grid", if you will - WOOOOOOOOOF! Don't get me started on people who obsess over their stupid grid... I literally hate it. Get over yourself. Ew. Moving on...

    So, back to burgers. YUM. Ok, here is my list of 10 bests. Some you'll see on many "Minneapolis Best of" lists and others you may have never heard of. And please note that in no way, shape or form am I pretending to have great insight and expertise on food because I'm writing this. Nope, just a consumer here sharing my opinions! Feel free to disagree with my choices - I won't argue with you unless you tell me that my dog isn't cute. He is the cutest dog on the planet and you're wrong if you disagree :) 

    • Victory 44's "Perfect Burger" - A local fan-favorite, Victory 44's Perfect Burger truly lives up to its name. The patty is part beef and part bacon and comes on a sensational bun from Rustica Bakery. Topped with gooey American cheese, house-made pickles (and I don't even like pickles... these are phenomenal) and thick-cut bacon (and I don't even like bacon, I know), this burger melts in your mouth, confusing your brain because you're transported to your own kind of heaven on earth... yeah, it's GOOD! It comes with bacon-loaded fries, which are basically yummy french fries with bacon grease and bacon powder sprinkled on top. It's a party, y'all. ($17.00 w/ fries) 
    • Red Cow's "Brooklyn" - This burger, you guys... it's SO GOOD - literally melts in your mouth delicious. It has two thinly smashed Red Cow grind patties, white American cheese, bone marrow (WHAT) and in-house pickles. Back up though... BONE MARROW?! Yeah, don't let that seem scary. I'm the world's pickiest and least adventurous eater and I love it. And no, it's not like hard chunks of bone fragments on top of your burger. It's basically melted down and added in the middle of the patties with the cheese creating a buttery substance that melts into the patties and cheese, becoming an invisible secret ingredient of deliciousness absorbed into every bite. TRUST ME ON THIS. Red Cow's fries are also delish and they have a sweet potato option, which is a fan favorite (not mine, but for some). They also offer Gluten Free versions of most of their menu items, including their french fries. ($14.00 w/ fries)  
    • Revival's "Revival Burger" - Thinly cooked-to-perfection grass-fed beef made in-house, using 80% short rib and 20% brisket, with melted American cheese, mayo and house-made pickles. This burger will quickly become one you crave. Though they don't offer french fries at Revival (which seems like a burger consumption sin), they do have yummy sides to choose from like their mac-n-cheese or hush puppies (shown below). ($13.00 + side) 
    • Nighthawks' "Cheeseburger"- Another classic take on a burger, this one drips with American cheese over the juicy beef patties. Fermented pickles come on the side and are oh so delicious. The patty(ies) sit on a bed of yummy carmelized onions atop a homemade potato bun. All of this is topped with their "secret sauce", which is ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, burger, and bun blended up - yeah! I recommend the double versus the single - it's on the smaller side for dinner (double shown below) and I just don't know why you wouldn't get the double... duh. Fries cost extra, but they're worth it if you share with the table. ($10.00/single or $15.00/double w/ coleslaw or potato salad) 
    • The Nook's "Juicy Nookie" - The original Nook and its larger counterpart, Shamrocks, make what might be the best Juicy Lucy (called a Juicy Nookie) in the Twin Cities. In my opinion, their juicy lucy is the best juicy of all. It's classic deliciousness at its best - gooey American cheese oozes out of the perfectly cooked beef patty on a simple bun and delicious fries (they also have sweet potato fries and waffles fries that you can substitute for). The Nook is a city staple - you must go and see for yourself! ($9.50 w/ fries) 
    • The Nook's "Nookie Supreme" - Ok, so this thing is HUGE. Two Angus chuck patties are separated by a bun half and gooey American cheese with lettuce, onion and their "special sauce". I love the flavor of this but it's generally too much food for me, though my husband says otherwise. However, I read here that you can fix that issue by simply ordering a cheeseburger with lettuce and special sauce, which is basically a single version of the Nook's classic go-to burger. This beauty was also featured on Guy Fieri's FOOD Network show, Diners Drive-ins and Dives! ($12.50 w/ fries) 
    • The Lowbrow's "Highbrow Burger" - This beauty is made with 100% grass fed Minnesota beef and comes topped with melted brie, caramelized onions, field greens and roasted garlic aioli. Deemed the "fancypants" burger on the menu, this doesn't disappoint. They also offer a Gluten Free bun option for an additional $2.00 and their french fries are yummy and Gluten Free/Vegan for those who need that option. ($11.00 w/ fries) 
    • Matt's Bar's "Jucy Lucy" - A Minneapolis classic that apparently was the "original" lucy, but many other restaurants claim the same, so who's to say? Probs not me. Matt's is something you must try, but for me the location and experience leaves SO much to be desired, that it's not a place I frequent. Seating is sparse, they only accept cash and local checks (who in the world uses checks anymore...) and there's always an obnoxiously long wait time in the teeny tiny bar area. However, they make a really delicious Jucy Lucy (their unique spelling) that everyone must have at least once or twice or ten times. No frills here, just yumminess. ($7.25 + fries) 
    • Edina Grill's "Cheese Burger" - This one is very simple and is never on any "Best of" lists, however, it is classically delicious in its own right. Coming with lettuce, tomato, mayo and your choice of cheese (obvi American is best in this case) with a simple bun and served with yummy, perfectly crispy french fries. Plus, I love Edina Grill - it's a family favorite and located in a prime 50th and France location in Edina. Win-win. ($11.95 w/ fries) 
    • Lucky's 13 "Juicy Lulu" - Like the previous, you're not going to find this burger on any "Best of" lists, however, I want to give some credit where credit is due. A solid juicy lucy in its own right, the Juicy Lulu from Lucky's 13 Pub in Bloomington holds its own. Not to mention, they use that fantastic crushed ice in their soft drinks, which is nostalgic and delcious in my Diet Coke with lime. The burger is simple - gooey American cheese, beef patty, sesame seed bun and perfectly crispy fries. You can add lettuce, tomato or onion too, which adds a nice extra crunch. Another Lucky's win - they serve all-you-can-eat popcorn while you wait for your food. Yum. ($12.99 w/ fries) 

    All photos are linked to their original sources.

    Honorable mentions that I've heard are great, but haven't had the chance to try yet: Saint Dinette, Meritage, 112 Eatery, Parlour, Libertine, HauteDish.
    Honorable mentions I've had but didn't make the list: Tilia, Blue Door Pub, Pat's Tap, Buster's on 28th. 

    So there you have it! Now I'm hungry.... mmmm. Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Is yours a favorite I missed? SHARE your thoughts by COMMENTING below! :)

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | The Best of Athleta

    If I could shop at only one clothing store for the rest of my life, it would probably be Athleta, with TJ Maxx and Madewell coming in at a close second and third. It's owned by the GAP/Banana Republic/Old Navy conglomerate, which means you can use your rewards points, gift cards, etc. at Athleta too! Unlike it's snootier counterpart (Lululemon), Athleta has fantastic sales (often and for more than $5 off), offers an array of sizes (XXS-XL, regular, petite, tall, plus), uses quality material that isn't see-through when you bend over, offers a "Give-it-a-Workout Guarantee", and is made for real women with real bodies, not just teeny tiny middle school girl bodies :) (I will say, Lulu's headbands are amazing and their yoga mats are the best in the world, so I'll give them that. I don't think they're the worst, I just like Athleta better.)

    So in honor of my love for Athleta, here's my must-have list of favorite items (some that I own personally, others that I've tried on and are on my wishlist) for my yoga-practicing, trail-jogging, weight-lifting, errand-running, couch-sitting buddies:

    1. Movement BraletteWhy I like it: This bra has great support for higher intensity workouts without feeling bulky. I also like the way it hugs you since it comes down a little further below your chest. What they say: "We're bringing the bralette into the aerobic world with mesh ventilation, high compression support and everything else a run-loving, burpee-loving girl needs.(shown in Black, $49)
    2. Fastest Track Tank: Why I like it: This is my favorite workout tank - it has the perfect amount of stretch. I love the rouching detail on the front, which is super flattering, and the bottom has little grippy things on the inside so it stays in place for your workout - no more tugging! What they say: "We improved our favorite, go-to training tank with our REGUL8 technology (customized cooling increases or decreases to adapt to your body's needs so you're never too hot or too cool) and seamless design fabric that stretches with your every move, pulling sweat away from the body.(shown in Flint Grey Heather $44)
    3. Kettlebella TankWhy I like it: It's loose enough to feel comfortable but not too loose for downward dog and it's semi-sheer, which keeps you cool during a heated workout. Featuring Athleta's trademark unstinkable technology (natural silver salts give the fabric antimicrobial protection that lasts wash after wash)... need I say more! What they say: "A new favorite for our gym workouts, this wicking, breathable top features Unstinkable technology and a semi-sheer factor for the ultimate in layering." (shown in Iron Blue, $49)
    4. Fastest Track TopWhy I like it: This long-sleeve has the same feel and technology as the Fastest Track Tank, but I love pairing this with a vest for a casual, comfy Saturday outfit or for runs outside. It's the perfect tightness, feeling cozy, not constricted. What they say: "We improved our favorite, go-to training tank with our REGUL8 technology (customized cooling increases or decreases to adapt to your body's needs so you're never too hot or too cool) and seamless design fabric that stretches with your every move, pulling sweat away from the body." (shown in Flint Grey Heather $64)
    5. CYA Hope Jacket 2Why I like it: I have this jacket in a similar pattern and it's my fav "to-fro" jacket to wear to the gym or studio. It's very flattering in its design, as it contours to your body's natural hourglass shape without clinging. I love it for weekend wear as well - the fabric is amazing. What they say: "This jacket's sheer versatility and detailing make it perfect for everything from yoga to-fro to lifestyle to even running (reflective back trim brightens up your way home in the dark after your workout).(shown in Black Heather, $138)
    6. Techie Sweat HoodieWhy I like it: This is currently on my wish-list. The material is to die for - it's SO soft, you'll never want to take it off. I also LOVE the green color, cowl-neck and longer length to pair with leggings. I'm drooling... What they say: "Beyond-soft Techie Sweat fabric (super soft, breathable fabric with a retro-sweatpants vibe) with a cozy cowl hood and cover-your-assets length is your new hoodie standby.(shown in Jasper Green, $89)
    7. Downalicious Deluxe VestWhy I like it: I recently got this vest on sale in the gorgeous "Evergreen" color and must restrain myself from wearing it everyday. It's the perfect blend of sporty yet casual and is so cozy and warm, without feeling bulky. I'm obsessed. What they say: "800-fill FeatherDry down gives you water-resistant warmth in this cozy vest with such flattering style lines, we find ourselves reaching for it again and again.(shown in Black, $148)
    8. Reptile Relay CapriWhy I like it: I have these capris in black and in this fun reptile print and love each of them. The banded bottoms add a sporty touch, while the mesh ventilation behind the knees is perfect for a sweaty yoga sculpt session. Despite these being considered "mid-rise," they stay up nicely and fit me more like high rise. LOVE! What they say: "Our customer-favorite, ultra-flattering, performance-fitted tight for running, training and basically everything else. "Reptile" patterned capris are made from RECYCLED POLY, a supremely sleek fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles. (Fun fact: that's approximately 8 bottles saved per garment!)(shown in Flint Grey, $74)
    9. High Rise Chaturanga CapriWhy I like it: These are the perfect, no-nonsense capris. High waist, so they suck you in and keep everything locked and loaded, and sleek fabric that goes with everything. There's nothing not to like here! What they say: "Our go-to tight for all things yoga and everything else comes in a high-rise fit for a triple dose of performance: keeps everything tucked in, offers a secure, stay-put fit, and creates the longest, leggiest look. Made from our exclusive PILAYO® fabric, our go-to for every workout.(shown in Navy, $64)
    10. Aspire Ankle PantWhy I like it: These pants are so comfy and breezy. Another item on my wishlist, they are a great alternative to leggings or jeans on a casual day. They can be worn scrunched for a capri length or worn down as an ankle pant - it's a win-win! What they say: "The Featherweight Stretch™ (silky sleek fabric that's so lightweight, it feels weightless) pant that goes from studio to street thanks to a sporty chic tapered leg that scrunches up for more breathing room.(shown in Jasper Green, $79)
    11. Quest Metro Slouch PantWhy I like it: Another wishlist item - these pants are a great casual alternative to sloppy sweatpants or joggers. I wouldn't feel embarrassed running errands in these babies! I also love the zipper pockets and "fully adjustable NeverEnd drawstrings at the hem that let you cinch and tie to the fit of your liking." What they say: "The yoga-pant-comfy METRO style made to give your jeans a day off with handy pockets, sweet seam lines and super stretchy fabric that supports your love of adventure.(shown in Black, $89)
    12. High Rise Chaturanga TightWhy I like it: These are the same style and feel as the High Rise Chaturanga Capri, just in a full-length tight. These are my go-to for everyday wear, workouts, lazy Saturdays... you name it! These are a must-have. What they say: "Our go-to tight for all things yoga and everything else comes in a high-rise fit for a triple dose of performance: keeps everything tucked in, offers a secure, stay-put fit, and creates the longest, leggiest look. Made from our exclusive PILAYO® fabric, our go-to for every workout.(shown in Black, $74)

    There you have it! Did I miss one of your favorites? Where's your favorite place to shop? SHARE your thoughts below and leave a COMMENT! :)

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | 2015 Fall Fashion

    It's almost fall y'all! (Nice.) Fall is my favorite season and part of that reason is because of fall fashion. I LOVE layers, cozy cardigans, scarves, boots, jackets... just the best! I've compiled some inspiration for you below highlighting a few fashion trends that are wearable for everyone - all shapes, styles and ages! Which trend is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you!

    1. Fur + Stripes

    2. Boyfriend Sweaters

    3. Puffer Vests

    4. Oversized Cardigans

    5. Denim Jackets

    6. Plaid on Plaid on Plaid

    7. Classic Athletic Shoes

    8. Leather

    There you have it! What fashion trends are you loving for fall? Comment below!

    xo

    Cait

    NOTE: All photos above are for inspiration only and come from Pinterest - each is linked to the source that was provided on Pinterest. 

  • My Picks | Makeup Must-Haves

    So I haven't posted since April 1st.... sorry about that, guys! We've been adjusting to life with a puppy, which is...harder than I thought! He is soooo much work - but, totally worth it. I am actually super excited for him to be an "adult" dog though - as cute as he is now as a puppy....I am excited for him to mature :)

    Anyway, I am featuring some of my favorite makeup products for this month's My Picks. I've listed them in the order that I use them:

    FACE

    1. BareMinerals Prime Time: Primers are really non-negotiable - don't bother wearing nice makeup if you aren't using a primer. It smooths your skin and makes your face a blank slate ready for what you'll put on it. Plus, it's your first line of defense that is being absorbed into your skin - make it the good stuff! I've used this primer for years and I think it's the best. I've tried this one and if I'm being frugal, this one too - both are really good options. You can't beat the price for Maybelline Baby Skin. For "Prime Time" primer, make sure you get the "Original" one - the other variations are horrible. ($24 - I use "Original")

    2. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue: I use this after a primer and before my pressed powder. It's a CC/BB/tinted moisturizer type of product, but has slightly more coverage. I don't like to use a liquid foundation, so this is the perfect product for me. It goes on light, but totally evens out your skin tone. It's a new product and has quickly become a favorite of mine! My only complaint - it isn't sold on Birchbox.com! Sephora is where I usually buy it. ($29 - I use "Natural 05")

    3. Maybelline Cover Stick: They have a lot of way more expensive concealers out there for dark circles under the eyes and blemishes, but I've found that the cheap stuff works just as good, if not better. (Although, this product is INCREDIBLE - miracle sauce, no joke.) I'm currently using this Maybelline option, though I've used CoverGirl and Almay in the past too. I dab this over any blemishes, red spots and a little under the eye (I do this part in the shape of an upside down triangle - try it, it looks SO much better!). Do this after your primer and CC/BB cream but before your powder for best results. ($5 - I use "Light Beige")

    4. Benefit Hello Flawless: This pressed powder finishes off my face and keeps away any shine. The more you use, the fuller the coverage. I use a mineral powder brush like this one to apply it, though it does come with a small brush. I used to use Bare Minerals for YEARS, but it recently started making my skin irritated, so this product is a recent switch for me. So far, so good! ($34 - I use "Honey")

    5. Benefit Hoola Bronzer: This is a bronzer that is a really flattering shade for all skin types. For years I used BareMinerals Warmth as a bronzer, and truly nothing competes with it, but like I mentioned earlier, it started giving me a rash - wah wah. This Hoola stuff is pretty great though - lasts a long time too. It comes with a brush, or you can use your own, similar to the mineral brush I use for the pressed powder above. I use this on the top of my forehead, nose and cheekbones for a flush of color. ($28)

    EYES

    6. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: This stuff is the best - you can even wear it by itself without eyeshadow and it looks gorgeous. It's a shimmery champagne color. Whatever you do, DON'T use the matte version of this stuff - it's terrible. This shade (I use "Sin") is the best one...trust me. This, like the face primer, is truly a non-negotiable if you wear eyeshadow. This helps your shadow from creasing and keeps it in place and looking its best all day. Mine doesn't move or fade, because of this stuff! ($20 - I use "Sin") 

    7. Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette: This is the 3rd generation of the Naked Eyeshadow Palette. I've used all 3 and like each of them for different reasons. This one has a lot of rose gold shimmery tones, which I really like. My favorite colors on this palette are: Dust, Trick, Liar, Mugshot and Blackheart for the outer corners of your eye. Naked and Naked2 are also amazing colors... I honestly can't choose which I like best... maybe Naked2? I don't know... I love them all! It seems really pricey to pay for this, but I have had my Naked3 palette since December 2013...and I'm STILL using it. Yeah, it lasts a long time! Worth the investment. These are the best colors and having them all in one convenient palette is amazeballs. ($54 - I'm currently using the "Naked3" palette)

    8. Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner: This eyeliner is a game-changer. I used to use this pencil before this product was released, which is the best pencil out there, but by the end of the day, I would have black smudged under my eyes - no bueno (I used "Perversion"). This Benefit eyeliner is not quite a liquid, but definitely not a pencil. It goes on like a really smooth gel and it's super easy to control the thickness, which I love. Pencils always made my line too thick. I use this on my top and bottom lash line after applying eyeshadow. This is my favorite makeup product out there right now! ($24)

    9. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: This is also a new product from Benefit. Before this came out, I used this and this, as a cheaper option. I love how thick this goes on without being clumpy. It curls, thickens and lengthens lashes like no other! Highly recommend. ($24)

    LIPS

    10. EOS Lip Balm: I use this daily, multiple times a day. I love the shape and how smooth it goes on. My favorite "flavor" is pomegranate raspberry! ($3)

    11. L'Oreal Paris Glossy Balm: This is actually my all-time favorite lipstick and/or lip gloss - it's similar to the Clinique Chubby Stick. It glides on smooth and has a rich pigmentation. LOVE it. ($6 - I use "Vintage Rose")

    There you have it! My all-time makeup favorites. Do you use any of these products? What are your favorites? Do share!

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | Hair Product Must-Haves

    So I have been loving my ombre hair color for the last 2 years - no shame. I have no plans of changing it anytime soon. It's low-maintenance, it's still in style and one more time - it's LOW-maintenance. I do not have the time, or more importantly, money to get my hair colored on the regs. Anyone with me on that?!

    What I do like are really awesome hair products...especially when they smell SO good. Since joining Birchbox, I have discovered brands and products that are AMAZING - both in smell and in function. Here's a list of my all-time faves. Oribe products are sooooo great, but are super spendy. I threw in a Rusk texturizing spray that is truly comparable and is less than half the cost of its Oribe counterpart. I must admit, I also don't use the Number 4 shampoo/conditioner set regularly because of the price, but it's my favorite stuff I have EVER used. The other products are a part of my daily/weekly hair routine. I highly recommend all of them :)

    Not a member of Birchbox? JOIN - it's the best $10 you'll ever spend each month! It's the equivalent to Christmas EVERY MONTH. Yeah, I said it and I mean it!

    Here are my current hair care must-haves:

    1. Number 4 Va-Va-Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner: This stuff makes your hair smell AMAZING. It's expensive, but sooo great. I received samples from Birchbox before and fell in love. I almost didn't need any sort of detangling spray, because it left my hair so soft and smooth.
    2. Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask: This mask works wonders on your hair - I use it weekly to revive dry hair, especially during the cold weather months.
    3. Parlor Detangling Leave-In Conditioner: My hair tends to be tangled after it gets wet, even when using shampoo and conditioner. I have very fine but thick hair, so detangling sprays are a must, especially when my hair was longer. This one works wonders and smells great!
    4. Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: Literally the BEST dry shampoo on the market. I have used several different brands of dry shampoo and nothing compares to this Amika product (PS: their entire line is amazeballs!). I like to wash my hair every other day and on my non-shower or non-hair-washing days, this stuff is a lifesaver. It revives bed head, greasy hair or often my biggest hair problem - flatness! Miracle in a bottle, y'all!
    5. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: This stuff is so cluth. It adds an extra level of awesome to any hairdo. The smell is literally like perfume - as are all Oribe products. This adds texture and volume to any style and just gives hair that extra somethin' somethin'. It's kind of hard to explain this product's awesomeness - just splurge and try it out!
    6. Rusk Texture Finishing Spray: I hate to say this is the runner-up to Oribe's texturizing spray, but that's kinda what it is. Not to say it's not awesome in its own right, it is! But, nothing compares to Oribe, let's be honest. However, this stuff is actually within the realm of reasonable for daily use, because it's less than half the cost. Let's be real.
    7. Number 4 Mighty Hair Spray: My bff who used to work at Haus Salon introduced me to Number 4 products, specifically this hair spray. They also have a non-aerosol kind, which is also great. I go back and forth on which one I like better. Either one is the perfect finishing touch to your hair routine - everything stays put without looking like this!

    1 / 2 / 3 / 456 / 7

    Happy hair styling! :)

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | Must-Watch Christmas Movies

    Part of the joyous appeal of the Christmas season is the plethora of nostalgic Christmas movies that you watch during just one month out of the year - December.

    There are the classics, the comedies, the new favorites, the old standbys... some appeal to the masses and others are more obscure that not everyone has heard of (like Lifetime or ABC Family originals...haha). Nevertheless, Christmas movies are the. best. 

    Here are some of my faves with my badge of honor listed, in no particular order:

    • All I Want for Christmas - "Best Childhood Memory"
    • The Holiday - "Best Romantic Comedy"
    • Four Christmases - "Best New Comedy"
    • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - "Most Quotable & All-Around Best Ever"
    • It's a Wonderful Life - "Most Nostalgic"
    • Home Alone - "Cult Favorite"
    • Elf - "Instant Classic"
    • The Family Stone - "Most Underrated"
    • The Santa Clause - "Most Unrealistic"
    • The Family Man - "Still Good Despite Nick Cage"

    Notice that I did NOT include A Christmas Story... that wasn't an oversight. That movie is the absolute worst and I abhor every second of it and hate that it clogs up multiple channels every year with its stupid marathon. Worst. Movie. Ever. 

    I also didn't include sequels... sequels are rarely worth watching, let's be honest.

    Some of these titles are on Netflix, but some aren't. You can, however, buy all of these on Amazon!

    Snuggle up with a furry throw blanket, light a candle, put on your slipper socks, make some coffee and enjoy! :)

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | Ankle Boots

    I love boots. They keep your feet warm enough in the winter and stylish enough in the fall. I have an especially fond love for that orangey brown cognac color (P.S. How in the world is that word pronounced?!). The ankle boot has come roaring back in style this fall and I can't wait to get my hands my feet in a pair of these! Here are my top picks for quality, leather ankle boots. I've ordered them by my level of love - most to least. Shocker - my favorite are the most expensive ones... sigh... 

    What's your favorite ankle boot for fall?

    My Top 5 Ankle Boot PIcks:

    1. Kork-Ease, Velma: $185
    2. Franco Sarto, Haverly: $139
    3. Sam Edelman, Petty: $129
    4. Trotters, Ladue: $160
    5. Timberland, Savin Hill Chelsea: $140

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | Perfume

    I love perfume. It smells nice - what's there not to like? The price tag. My favorite scents can be pretty pricey. (My husband claims that I have a super power called "knows-what's-the-most-expensive-thing-and-likes-that-one-the-most".) Yes, it's a blessing and a curse, ok? There's a certain smell to perfumes that I love - it's a flowery scent without being too flowery. Unique without being weird. Distinctive yet not overbearing. I know it when I smell it - the smell of yumminess that I want to spray all over me! (I'm so weird, I know.) The original Juicy Couture was the first expensive perfume I ever wore - it's nostalgic for me, but I still think it's a beautiful scent, more than any of the newer fragrances from Juicy (which are NUMEROUS, I might add). Anyways - for everyone who's dying to know, here are my top perfume picks, all of which I've worn at some point. I've ordered them by price, from save to splurge!

    What perfume do you wear? Do you have a signature scent or do you mix it up?

    My Top 7 Perfume Picks:

    1. Harvey Prince, Hello: 1.7 oz. $55
    2. Juicy Couture: 1.7 oz. $72
    3. Arquiste for J.Crew, No. 31: 1.75 oz. $76
    4. Michael Kors, Gold Luxe: 1.7 oz. $82
    5. Dolce & Gabbana, Pour Femme: 1.7 oz. $86
    6. Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle: 1.7 oz. $90
    7. Dior, J'adore: 1.7 oz. $90

    Harvey Prince / Juicy Couture / J.CrewMichael Kors / Dolce & GabbanaChanelDior

    xo Cait