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Children/Motherhood

Decocrated Subscription Box

Thank you Decocrated for sponsoring this post. All text and opinions are my own!
Decocrated subscription box

Since moving into our brand new house almost a year ago, I've been slowly styling and finding the right pieces to go into every single room. We plan to be in this house awhile which means I've got time to truly find pieces that speak to me. While I do like to hit the stores and see what items are available, I recently fell head over heels in love with a subscription box called Decocrated.

If you've been around here for any length of time, you might know my love for subscription boxes runs deep - just ask any busy mom, they can be such time savers. Decocrated might be my most favorite subscription box yet. Decocrated is a quarterly subscription box that includes timeless, unique items to keep your home feeling comfy, on-trend and perfectly you. I feel like Decocrated was created with me in mind because the box I just received included items that are PERFECT for my house. In addition to filling the box with beautiful items that match my style exactly, the box got delivered to my front door. I could probably end this blog post right here: home decor items that look like I personally selected them and then they were delivered to me...Decocrated you are my perfect match!

One of the amazing things about Decocrated is that they send you a box at the start of every season, right on time for a home refresh. Each box is filled with high quality items perfect for the upcoming season, but the amazing people at Decocrated keep the previous season's crate in mind when selecting the new items to send you. I love that they have such attention to detail. This ensures that all of the items will link up together, making sure that you can get full use out of each item. And let me remind you...it is delivered right to your front door!
Decocrated coffee nook
Decocrated home decor items

I received the Spring Box and was blown away by everything included!
-seasonal art print by Jazzdoodles
-2 pillow covers
-cork coasters
-"Things to Remember" clipboard
-faux succulent
-2-sided wood banner
-tabletop clock
-lattice crate

Decocrated lattice crate

The Spring Box included some terrific pops of color that really helped to add the perfect accents to our home. We have a very neutral color palette with grey wood floors, light grey walls and white kitchen cabinets. These pretty pops of color are helping to add some dimension to each space. Plus the pops of color are all colors that I already use with other accent pieces so it was easy for me to start decorating as soon as I opened the box. I love that this box featured pieces designed by Jazzdoodles (art print, pillow covers and cork coasters) to really create unique pieces for my home. I love that Decocrated supports local artists from around the nation.

REASONS TO ORDER DECOCRATED (in addition to everything I've already mentioned):


1.) Interchangeable decor
Decocrated always includes 2-3 items in each box that are double-sided, allowing you even more design possibilities. For $79.99 a box, they really give you MORE than your money's worth. In the Spring box, the pillows have different designs on either side, the wood banner features a different phrase and the art print is two-sided with two different prints.

2.) Free gift
When you first subscribe to Decocrated they automatically send you a frame as your free welcome gift. The frame is meant to display the art print that is included in each box, but it can also display your favorite photos or child's artwork.

3.) Design booklet included
If you feel overwhelmed upon receiving your box or don't have an idea on where to place a certain decor piece, do not fear! Each box includes a handy design booklet that gives you ideas and tips on how to incorporate the curated items into your home. (They also have a blog and incredible instagram channel featuring even more design tips for you!)

4.) Free shipping and two ordering options
Who doesn't love free shipping?!?! That's right, all US orders receive free shipping. They also have two options for you to order: You can be billed quarterly when each box ships or pay for the entire year up front. If you pay annually you will receive an extra 10% off.

Decocrated entry way decor

BONUS FOR PURSUIT OF PINK READERS

Here is where everything gets REALLY good for all of you. Decocrated has extended an discount for my readers!!!! Just in time to order the Summer box (which I'm sure is going to include some epic pieces based on all of their previous boxes!!!), you can use code PURSUITOFPINK10 to receive $10 off your first order!



Decocrated decor for the home
Decocrated pillow covers
Decocrated cork coasters
Decocrated succulent
Decocrated 2-sided wood sign


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Recent Amazon Purchases

Recent Amazon Purchases
This post contains affiliate links. View my disclaimer and privacy policy for more information.

I fully believe that Amazon Prime was created with moms in mind! The busier I get, the more I use Amazon Prime. Nowadays you can find just about anything on Amazon. From home decor to electronics to baby products to beauty and fashion, the options are pretty much endless. I always love seeing what types of things people purchase on Amazon and people are often amazed when I tell them something they like was found on Amazon (how many times can I say Amazon?).

I decided to pull together a list of my own to share. These are the products that I've purchased in the past month or so. Everything included is available via PRIME free 2 day-shipping and also has free returns. The prices I list may change.

BEAUTY/PERSONAL CARE
1.) Eye Shadow Sponge Applicators ($6.99 for 80)
I always apply my base eyeshadow with the sponge applicator that comes with it and I often need to replace the applicator before my eyeshadow is completely used up. You get a HUGE bag of 80 and the applicators are very good quality, not flimsy at all. I probably won't have to reorder these for years.

2.) Makeup Blending Sponges ($8.99 for 5)
If you are new to using beauty blenders, this is the best place for you to start. A normal, name brand Beauty Blender costs $20, but with this you get five for $8.99! These blenders are on the larger side once wet and are also a bit more dense, but they get the job done at an amazing price! I'm working on a beauty blender dupe post for you - coming very soon - but I definitely recommend these because the price cannot be beat!

3.) Tigi Bed Head Hair Wax ($8.01)
My husband recently started using hair wax instead of hair gel and he found this one to be a great option. The smell is terrific, the wax provides a lot of hold and the jar lasts a looong time. With this wax, a little goes a long way.

4.) Electric Toothbrush Head Covers ($5.95 for 6)
For years we've had our toothbrush heads out in the open - yuck! I finally realized that someone probably made a cover to help keep them sanitary so I searched my trusty Amazon and found a pack of six. These plastic covers are very durable and not thin at all; I've never worried that I will snap or break one when clipping it on to my toothbrush. They are great for traveling, but we also use them daily to cover our toothbrush heads when not in use.

JEWELRY
1.) White Beaded Statement Earrings ($13.97)
I LOVE statement earrings and these do not disappoint. Any time I've worn these earrings, I've always gotten tons of questions about where I purchased them. They are available in 17 colors for such a great price. The earrings are slightly heavy, but do not pull on your ear. I bought them to wear on Easter and I've also worn them to other "dressier" events.

2.) Leopard Acrylic Hoop Earrings ($9.99)
These earrings were seriously made for me. They are lightweight, leopard print and easy to dress up or down. It takes A LOT for a pair of earrings to beat my beloved Nickel & Suede earrings, but I've found myself reaching for these pretty regularly. They are available in 10 different color/style options.

3.) White Gold Delicate Choker Necklace ($17.95)
Recently, I've started to wear more delicate necklaces and I found this one for everyday wear. It is perfect for layering or just wearing by itself. It comes in yellow or white gold.

HOME
1.) Acrylic Makeup Drawers ($17.87 for the 2-drawer version)
Save your money and DO NOT buy acrylic organizers from The Container Store or Wayfair. These drawers are very high quality and hold a ton of makeup for a small fraction of the cost. I ended up buying 2 of the 2-drawer sets and stacked them on top of each other. Now I store all of my makeup in these and I love that hairspray residue and dust does not get on my makeup products.

2.) Satin Pillowcases ($12.99 for 2)
I've heard so many people recommend using a silk or satin pillowcase to help with your hair. They are supposed to help you have to wash your hair less frequently and also are supposed to be better for your skin. I'm still testing these out and will report back soon. I liked that these came in a 2 pack so both my daughter and myself could use one. I do have to say that my daughter's hair has not been such a tangled mess in the mornings ever since she started using the satin pillowcase. That is a win in itself!

3.) Travel Makeup Case ($18.98)
I think a hallelujah chorus sounded when I stumbled upon this travel makeup case. The case is very sturdy and holds its shape, so you don't have to worry about any of your makeup getting damaged or busted in transit. It comes with removable dividers so you can organize the case to suit your needs. You can also use this case for other things besides makeup, but I prefer to carry my makeup in mine. There is a $2 off coupon available right now making this pretty dang cheap.

4.) Bluetooth Speakers ($27.99 for 2)
Available in blue, red or black. This was a purchase that my husband made and he seems pretty happy with them. He connects our Amazon Echo to this for better sound quality (he is a musician/tech guy, so he knows what good sound quality should be). The speakers are small and don't take up a lot of room, but they offer terrific amplified sound. I feel this is a terrific price for two speakers. The blue and red speakers are $2 cheaper than the black.


PERSONAL STYLE
1.) Halter One Piece Swimsuit ($25.99)
I finally found the perfect suit for a mom that doesn't scream...I'm a mom! HA! This suit provides full booty coverage, has ruching at the stomach for a more slimming effect and also keeps the girls completely in place. There is a mesh netting at the chest, but you are completely covered. The halter cut is also very flattering. This suit comes in several different color options. I'm not one to love swimsuits, but this one gets pretty high marks!

2.) Button Down Dress ($20.99)
This dress is cute, but I felt that it was a bit too short (and I'm 5'4"). So instead of wearing it as a dress, I use it as a short sleeve layering piece and it works great. I normally pair it with a tank and a pair of jeans. If you opt to wear it as a dress you can tie it in the front or the back to give it a different look. I removed the tie completely since I wear it as a shirt.

KIDS
1.) Stroller Fan ($19.99)
We are headed to Florida this summer so I felt like a stroller fan was a must. The fan is compact and includes a very sturdy clip. In testing it out, the fan is very powerful and I'm confident it will help to keep my little guy (and maybe us!) cool. It comes with a rechargeable battery and USB cord. The fan itself easily tilts different directions.

SHOP THE POST - click any item below to go to the link.


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Favorite Setting Powders

Setting Powder Roundup

One of my favorite products to help stop makeup meltdown is a setting (or translucent) powder. Setting powders lock in your foundation and concealer and absorb oil to help keep your makeup where you applied it. As a person with very oily skin, I use a setting powder daily to help control the shine. Translucent powders do not change the color of your foundation, they are meant to be applied on top of your foundation to help give you an airbrushed look.

(Awhile back, I wrote a post on my four favorite products to stop makeup meltdown. To see what other products I recommend besides a setting powder, click this link to read.)

For this post, I tested out several different powders that I have seen makeup artists and beauty bloggers recommend. As always, my goal is to find the product that works for the everyday woman. I always prefer to spend my money on a product that really works and sometimes that does mean spending a bit more. Overall, I found that all of the setting powders I tested did their job. They all do last a long time (depending on how much you use) giving you many, many applications before you have to replenish. But there are some reasons I like certain products over others.
best Setting Powder


1.) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder - $39
This product comes in two colors (translucent and medium deep) to work on multiple skin tones.
I decided to test this powder out after seeing tons of beauty bloggers recommend it. While the product does help set your makeup, I was not blown away by the results. I expected a bit more of an airbrushed finish than I received. I do like that you can get this in two sizes: standard size or mini size. If you are on a budget or just want to test it out before you commit to a full size, grab the mini size for only $23.

2.) L'Oreal Infallible Pro Sweep and Lock Loose Powder - $9.99
For any budget conscious readers, this is the product you will want to try. For a drugstore brand, I was pretty impressed with the results. My makeup stayed in place all day and I felt like the results were just as good as a more expensive brand. The only reason this isn't my favorite is I felt like this one was a bit messier when applying than the others. The powder felt a bit thinner and fell off the brush onto the floor (and my clothes!) easier than the others. But for about $10, this is a definite must try if you are just getting into setting powders.

3.) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder - $36
This is the first setting powder I ever tried and it still tops my list of favorite makeup products ever. I absolutely LOVE the finish of this product. If gives me a very airbrushed finish, goes on super smooth and lasts all day! Besides the incredible results, there are other reasons I love this product. First, it lasts forever! I have had this powder for a very long time and I am still getting uses out of it. I definitely feel like I am getting my money's worth because of how many applications I've been able to get out of one jar. This one is probably cheaper per application than the drugstore brand above. Second, the application is not messy at all. This powder comes with a little screen to release the powder which I think helps control the mess. As I was testing out powders I kept coming back to using Make Up for Ever because I love it so much!

4.) It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder - $29
Any product that says "bye bye pores" is something I need to try! It Cosmetics certainly delivers and the product lives up to its name. In addition to giving me an air brushed look almost as good as the Make Up For Ever powder, this product does help eliminate the look of your pores. The loose powder does get a bit messy when applying which is why this isn't my favorite. But at under $30, this is a really good powder to try...however...keep reading.

5.) It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Anti-Aging Finishing Powder - $29
Coming in at a VERY close second to be my favorite is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder. I was told to try the pressed powder by a sales associate at Ulta and even though I purchased it at her recommendation, I was still skeptical. She told me that she felt like the powder lasted longer since it was pressed instead of loose and that you could also get a more concentrated application. Well I found out she was right!!! I absolutely love how this powder looks with the air brushed look and no pores and the application is a breeze. If I had to choose between this powder and number 4, I would choose this one hands down. There is no mess and you get a nice coverage.

Setting Powder Favorites

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Makeup Primer Roundup

Affiliate links are used in this blog post where I might make a small commission if you purchase anything. Thank you for supporting this blog!
Makeup Primer Roundup

Warmer days are on the way! But with warmer months comes heat and humidity which can wreck havoc on your makeup. Thankfully there is a solution to help your makeup stay in its place; a makeup primer.

There are several reasons to use a makeup primer:
-combat shine
-create a smooth base for your foundation
-help your makeup last longer
-smooth fine lines, wrinkles or large pores
-color correct
-prevent makeup creasing in your eyelids

For today's post, I tried out four different makeup primers of varying price points and I'm giving you my thoughts and opinions. When testing everything out, I used the same makeup each day and only changed the primer. I also had about the same level of activity each day to make sure each primer got a fair shot.

Before I get too deep in this post, I must tell you that the BEST way to feel happy in your skin and to have great makeup is to start with terrific skin care. If you don't take care of your skin, it won't really matter what makeup you use. I'm happy to chat with you about your skin care needs if you are looking to try Rodan + Fields products. Just shoot me an email at lindsay@pursuitofpink.com!

1.) Stila One Step Prime
Makeup Primer Stila

This is a very recent purchase that I discovered when helping my mother in law find some products that would help her makeup not fade away. This primer came highly recommended for oily skin because it is a water based primer.
The formula is light and doesn't feel like it will clog your pores at all. It took just a few seconds to dry before applying foundation. My makeup stayed where it needed to be and lasted all day. My skin even had a silky smooth touch.
I do not feel like it completely erased my pores, but it did help everything stay in its place.
Price: Splurge at $36

Makeup Primer Maybelline

Before I discovered good skin care, I used this primer to try and hide my large pores. It does what it says, but I don't think this should be used on anyone with oily skin.
The formula is very thick and almost feels greasy. Yes, it erased my pores as the name says, but I felt like it was also clogging my pores at the same time. Also, due to the greasy formula, I don't feel like my makeup went on smooth at all and almost looked blotchy. It does make your skin feel smooth, so I say if you are going to use this product, use it WITHOUT makeup to cover up your pores. Out of all the primers I used, this one had my makeup fading the worst.
Consider using if you have dry skin or use without makeup for a fresh face look.
Price: Steal at $6.99

Makeup Primer Smashbox

I've used this product for years and often refer to it as my holy grail of makeup products.
The formula is extremely light and does not feel like you are putting anything on your face. It goes on very smooth and dries instantly. This is also a water based primer which is needed if you have oily skin as I do. My makeup blends well when using this primer. It gives me the feel of a primer by extending the life of my makeup, but it is so light that it doesn't even feel like I put anything on.
At the end of the day, my makeup stays where I put it and doesn't fade. The only downside to this primer is that it doesn't completely erase your pores.
Price: Splurge at $36

Makeup Primer Rimmel

As shocking as this might be, especially because of this price, I have to say that THIS primer gets the award of being my favorite out of all that I tested. The price alone makes it a worthy contender, so you can spend your money elsewhere. Hands down, this primer made my makeup look the BEST at the end of the day. When I first squeezed out some onto my finger, I worried that it was going to be a thicker primer...but it isn't. It goes on very light and dries instantly. My makeup layers perfectly on top. 
Price: Steal at $5.97

I love interacting with you guys over on instagram, so head over there now and check out my instastories to see how much product I recommend you use when applying your makeup primer.

Have you tried any of these primers? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Pin this for later:
Makeup Primer Review

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Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
With my children being almost five years apart in age, it is very surprising to me how much information I actually forgot from one child to the other. Mom brain is a real thing!!!! When Knox first started eating solid foods, I would introduce a new food every so often and he always got excited to try new things. But when he got to the age where he didn't have a ton of limitations on what he could eat, I worried that he was getting bored with the same old stuff every day. And I struggled with remembering what I fed his sister when she was this age.

I decided to ask all of my lovely followers for advice, because you all have always been there for me!!! And I got some terrific suggestions on different foods to feed your baby/young toddler. Now that he is 13 months old, I do try to feed him what we eat for dinner. However, if we are having steak or shrimp, I'll always make him something different since he doesn't have the teeth to chew everything up. So if you are stuck on what to feed your kids for lunch or need new ideas, check out this pretty extensive list. Hopefully it will give you lots of ideas for meals too.


While they are so little, their food does need to be cut up into tiny pieces. Everything on this list can be fed to your baby whenever, I just categorized everything by meal in hopes of making it easy for you.

Breakfast:

pancakes
toast
oatmeal
bananas
blueberries
grapes
strawberries
mandarin oranges
yogurt
scrambled eggs
hard boiled eggs
bacon
muffins
Cheerios
biscuits

Lunch:

cheese
grilled cheese
peanut butter and jelly
pita bread
soft tortillas
strawberries
blueberries
bananas
grapes
mandarin oranges
avocado
hard boiled eggs
crackers
puffs
canned or frozen veggies
lunch meat
mac and cheese

Dinner:

rice
mashed potatoes
cheese quesadillas
meatballs
spaghetti
broccoli
french fries
avocado
sweet potatoes
butternut squash
canned or frozen veggies
black beans
rotisserie chicken
baked potato
fish
ravioli
tortellini
mac and cheese

Baby Food Ideas


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FASTer Way To Fat Loss

I received my first round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss complimentary in exchange for a review. All opinions, results and thoughts expressed below are completely my own.
FASTer Way To Fat Loss

Like most Americans, at the start of 2019 I found myself looking in the mirror and vowing to make a change with my body. My baby was quickly approaching his first birthday and I could no longer use the excuse that I "just had a baby." I've tried to make many changes to my appearance in the past, sometimes I've succeeded and a lot of times I've failed. I was hopeful that this time I would succeed again. So I signed up for FASTer Way to Fat Loss to help me along the way.

What is FASTer Way to Fat Loss (FWTFL)?

FWTFL is a 6 week program (plus 1 week of prep) with three core principles:
intermittent fasting
carb cycling
macro tracking (carbs, fats, protein)

I'll break down each of those principles for you below and explain how they worked for me. BUT before I do that, I know you want to know the good stuff first.


The outcome

Before I began FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I told my coach that my main goal was to feel better in my clothes. (YEP! When you sign up for the program, you get your own personal coach who is there to support you every step of the way. I have a terrific coach named Jocelyn; you can click this link to sign up and have her as your coach too!)

I had several pieces of clothing that didn't fit like they used to and I frequently would wear black. In fact, I have a good friend who even asked me why my blog was called Pursuit of Pink if all I wore was black. Well the reason I wore all black was because I didn't feel comfortable in my clothes and wanted to do what I could to hide my body. But that is about to change!!!!

After finishing my first round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I've lost 5 inches overall and 9 pounds! And I have started to achieve my main goal as so many of my shirts are now fitting me different (read: better) and are not as tight.
This program does not focus on the scale...in fact they want you to weigh yourself at the beginning and then say goodbye to your scale. So I stayed off my scale. But I was so curious to see if I had lost weight since I noticed so many of my clothes were fitting better. So I stepped on the scale and was pleasantly surprised to see that 9 pounds were gone!


Now back to the core principles of the program.

Intermittent fasting

I've had experiences with fasting from a spiritual standpoint, so I wasn't completely nervous about this portion. Basically, you fast for 16 hours during the day (a good portion of the time you are sleeping) and allow yourself an eating window of 8 hours. I break my fast at noon each day and stop eating at 8 p.m. each night.
One of my biggest habits to break prior to FWTFL was snacking after the kids went to bed. I would often grab a box of crackers or something sweet and sit down to relax for the night. By training my mind that it was time to stop eating at 8 p.m., I was able to completely kick my nighttime snacking habit.

One of the biggest things I was worried about with the fasting, was having to give up my morning coffee...but I didn't have to! You can still have coffee AND creamer, you just have to keep your creamer around 50 calories. Prior to FWTFL, I was a creamer fanatic and I knew that 50 calories wouldn't cut it for me. So I started to look for other options. I tried skim milk and almond milk and finally found my coffee joy with Nutpods. Nutpods are dairy free, unsweetened creamers made from almonds and coconuts. Unlike almond milk, they are really creamy and super delicious! I would also add in a bit of stevia for some sweetness and I was good to go!
However, one thing I found through FWTFL is that I don't NEED my coffee each morning. In fact, more often than not, I skipped my coffee and just had water. This program definitely gave me more energy and didn't have me relying on my coffee to perk me up each morning.

Carb Cycling
I have never counted carbs or even tried a low carb diet, I knew that was too restrictive and wasn't for me (give me all the carbs!). But the awesome thing about this program is that it is not restrictive at all. I'll let the FASTer Way To Fat Loss experts explain exactly what Carb Cycling is:

Carb Cycling is an alteration of carbohydrate intake to prevent fat loss plateaus and keep your metabolism working effectively. Basically, you cycle between low carb days and regular carb days to ensure that your body burns fat effectively without causing significant hormonal damage or dips in energy.  

There are only two low carb days a week and they are back to back, so you get them out of the way. What I really love about low carb days is that FWTFL has you increase your fat intake to make up for the carb calories that you aren't eating. So even though my carb intake was low, I still got to enjoy really yummy food (hello guacamole!!!).

Macro Tracking

I follow a few people on instagram who talk about tracking macros, but I never knew what it was and figured it was only for really fit people. Well let me tell you, macro tracking is my favorite part of this program and I feel like it really changed my mindset!


With macro tracking, you focus on eating the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs. My eyes were completely opened to the fact that I was NOT eating enough food. I used to fill my days with tons of processed foods and sugars. I would count calories and make myself go crazy trying to track it all yet stay within my restrictions.

But I found by tracking my macros, that I focused on making sure I was getting enough to eat. And more often than not, I wasn't eating enough carbs (all the praise hands - I get to eat more carbs!!!!). Tracking macros doesn't make you take in more calories, it just helps you take in the right kinds of foods to fill your calories. As I focused on adding in enough protein and carbs, I found myself making so many better choices. In fact, during this program I've really cut down on the amount of processed foods I've eaten.

One great thing about this program is that they encourage you to have treats, each week. That has always been my downfall with other programs: they are too restrictive and I start to focus on what I can't have and fall off the wagon. But with FWTFL, they want you to enjoy your treats if they fit into your macros. And let me tell you, I made sure to fit in my treats with my macros!

This program is not restrictive at all, in fact there were many times where I thought I was eating too much because I was focusing on filling my macros. But my results tell you that I definitely wasn't eating too much!


What I love about FWTFL

I've already told you that tracking macros was my favorite part because it didn't feel restrictive. I will say it again, this program is NOT restrictive at all.

Another thing I love is that you don't have to workout for hours at a time to see results. In fact, to be perfectly honest I barely worked out during this first round. You read that right! Just by focusing on my nutrition, I was able to lose inches and pounds!!!!

This program gives you workouts that match your nutrition for each day so you can get maximum results. But another great thing is how flexible it is! You don't have to use their workouts. They are there as a guide, but if you like other workouts you can do those too.

Because of my great results, I'm going to do another round of FWTFL and I plan to workout more in the second round. My coach said she did the same thing and her results from round one to round two were incredible. But I do love that this program is very nutrition focused...that saying about Abs being built in the kitchen is so right!!!

Another aspect of this program that I like is PREP WEEK. Because there is a lot to learn with FWTFL, they give you an entire week to learn everything and to slowly start to implement everything. I love this because they are setting you up for success. During prep week you watch videos and learn all about marco counting, carb cycling and intermittent fasting. You chat with your coach about your goals, you receive tips and tricks to make you successful on the program and you slowly start marco counting and fasting.


Have I piqued your interest?

If you want to join me, click this link to sign up! I'm going to go straight from my round one right into my round two. Prep Week begins on Monday, March 4...so why don't you join me???
Click here to sign up under my coach, we can be in the same group!

If you have any questions about what I have shared above, please feel free to reach out. I'd love to talk to you! 

And because everyone likes to see photographic evidence of the results...I'll share my before and after photos below.
Please know that this is extremely personal and I feel so vulnerable putting myself out here like this. But I'm hopeful that maybe one of you reading this is just like me and wants to FINALLY make a change.
So I'm including these pictures for you.
I'm here to say that I'm no where near a size 0 model. I'm a busy mom of two who has made excuse after excuse as to why I can't lose weight. But I'm finally tired of not feeling confident. I'm on my journey to better health and WAY MORE self love.

So here you go.....




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Balloon Garland Tutorial

Balloon Garland Tutorial

One thing I've come to love over the years is creating the pièce de résistance (important focal point) for my children's birthday parties. I'm normally a fan of having birthday parties outside of the house because it is A LOT less work, but I also love to host and appreciate an opportunity to get creative. I have to say, I've really impressed myself with my recent ability to make a vision in my head come to life (Peep this blog post I wrote a couple years ago from my daughter's Mermaid Birthday party - those jellyfish turned out so cool!).

I'm thrilled to share this super EASY tutorial with you on how to make a balloon garland. I made this balloon garland for Knox's first birthday and it turned out exactly as I envisioned it.
(If you want to see a video tutorial of the balloon garland, head over to my instagram stories to see more.)

Materials needed:

-Balloons (I made three streamers, two are pictured above, using about 150 balloons total)
-Pump to blow up the balloons (optional)
-Packing tape
-Hole punch
-Low temp glue gun
-Command  strip hooks
-String or twine


The EASY process:

Start by blowing up all of your balloons. I recommend that you use three or four different colors of balloons to help add a bit of variety to your garland. I also recommend enlisting the help of your spouse or mom or a friend to help you blow up the balloons. OR you can use a pump to blow everything up. Tolar and I decided to blow all 150 balloons up ourselves; we watched a sitcom on tv while we got to work. Blow the balloons up to different sizes. (Note: the next time I make a balloon garland, I will have many more small sized balloons)

Grab your packing tape and measure it to however long you need it to be. (We measured the length and width of our doors to determine how long we wanted the garland and cut the packing tape accordingly.) Next cut another strip of packing tape the same length and tape the pieces to each other to make the streamer (you WILL need a partner to help you with this). I taped four pieces of packing tape together to make sure it was sturdy. When I made my practice garland, I only used two pieces of tape and it would sometimes rip. Four pieces did not rip and worked perfectly.

Take your hole punch and zig zag holes into the packing tape streamer. It doesn't need to be perfect, just punch holes wherever you like.

Balloon Garland tape

Now it is time to assemble!
Take a balloon and thread the tied end through one of the holes. Then grab another balloon and thread the tied end through but from the other side of the tape, so you have balloons both on top and on bottom of the tape. Keep adding balloons to your streamer. I didn't create a pattern per se, I just grabbed different colors and sizes and tried to make sure I didn't have too many of the same color together in one spot. When you first start assembling, it will feel like the garland is going to be flimsy and not so full, KEEP GOING. Trust me, by the time you fill the packing tape streamer up half way, you will already see the garland taking shape and it will be nice and full.
Balloon Garland Assembly
Balloon Garland Balloons

Once you get the garland assembled, it is time to hang the garland. I punched one extra hole on the end of the tape streamers when we went to hang the garlands. Then I tied twine (you can also use string - or really whatever you have) through the hole, making a loop. Next we placed Command strip hooks on the wall where we wanted to hang the garland and just hung the garland up by the string that was looped through. I do recommend that you hide the Command strip hook behind the garland to conceal it.

After everything is hung, you need to fill in any holes. The holes are best filled in with small balloons, this will certainly add dimension to your garland. Using your low temp hot glue gun (because a high temp one will pop the balloons!), glue small balloons onto the garland to cover up any bare spots. This is also a great time to cover up any areas where you can see the packing tape peeking through. You can also use faux greenery or flowers to cover up the packing tape.
And that's it! Easy peasy.

We assembled the balloon garlands the night before the party. I found it easiest to assemble ahead of time so I wasn't stressed the next day. If you do assemble your garland the night before, save some extra balloons just in case any deflate over night. Then you can easily blow up your extra balloons and replace the ones that deflated when you are ready to hang them up.

For a very small cost and just a couple hours time, you can create a stunning decoration for any occasion

Balloon_Garland_Helper
Balloon Garland party decor
Balloon Garland decoration





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Low Carb Dinner: Zucchini Noodles, Tomatoes and Chicken

Low Carb Dinner Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken
A little over a month ago I started a new program called FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I'm loving the program, I've already started noticing results (my husband too!) and I'm feeling great. With this program, I have two days a week where my food intake is low carb (under 50g net carbs). I've been experimenting each week with different low carb recipes and this one is too good not to share. I found this recipe from a Tasty video and I modified it to fit my family's needs.

When I cook dinner, I usually look for recipes that don't have a zillion ingredients and that take about 30 minutes to prepare. This recipe certainly meets the criteria!!!!

(The FASTer Way to Fat Loss program is six weeks and I'll be writing a full blog post about my experience when I'm finished with this round.)

Ingredients:

-4 zucchinis
-4 chicken breasts
-1 1/2 tsp salt, plus another 1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 pint grape tomatoes
-2 tsp dried basil
-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.) Using a potato peeler, peel each zucchini longways creating zucchini noodles. Stop peeling when you reach the seeds. Discard the seeded portion.
2.) Place zucchini noodles on a towel and put inside a large bowl.
3.) Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp salt over the zucchini noodles and mix with your hands until the zucchini is coated with the salt.
4.) Let stand for 20 minutes.
5.) While you are waiting on the zucchini, dice up your chicken breasts and cook them in a large pan until white with a little bit of olive oil.
6.) Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp garlic powder to chicken. Stir to coat the chicken.
7.) Slice grape tomatoes in half.
8.) Once the 20 minutes are finished, squeeze out as much juice as you can from the zucchini and discard.
9.) Add the zucchini and the tomatoes to your chicken.
10.) Add 2 tsp dried basil and stir to coat.
11.) Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture and warm until the cheese melts.
12.) Enjoy!


Macro Information: 4 servings
10g carbs
15.2g fat
42.9g protein
Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken

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Low Carb Dinner - Zucchini Tomatoes and Chicken






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One Year Old!

12 month old baby


We made it to one year!!! 12 whole months with our precious boy and what an incredible year it has been!!!!!

Stats: 22 pounds. 28 1/2 inches long. Knox had a bad cold last week which landed us at the doctor (after he had RSV when he was 1 month old, I get nervous when he has a cough!) so we found out he weighs 22 pounds. Tolar and I were both shocked and expected him to weigh a bit more, but I guess all of his fast crawling has kept him in the low twenties.
I did a quick measurement of him at home for his length.

Development: Knox started taking a few steps right after he turned 11 months old. He would only take about 2 or 3 at a time and then sink to the floor to crawl. At the beginning of his 11th month, he would really only "walk" if we stood him up and tried to get him to walk between Tolar and I. But as he got closer to 12 months, he started taking steps on his own. And then on his birthday, he walked about 8 steps! He loves to cruise around furniture and walks pretty fast that way as long as he is holding on.
He has been clapping for awhile, but would really only do it if we were holding him. Now he claps all the time, especially when we ask him to. He also gives us high fives and he knows his first sound...a zombie. HA! Tolar was proud that a zombie was Kendall's third sound (after a dog and cow), but I taught Knox the zombie sound once I realized he could do it. He is so proud of himself when we ask him to clap, give us high fives or make the zombie sound.
He still only says Da Da Da Da Da, but he is able to make the mmmmm sound, so I'm working on Mama.

Loves: Knox loves bath time, the trashcan, the nightlight in an outlet, his Daddy's drum set, climbing up the stairs, his sister's toys and he REALLY loves his sister. Knox has so many toys, but rarely plays with them. He much prefers all things that a baby really shouldn't play with...so you can imagine how fun each day is at our house. I have absolutely adored seeing the bond between Knox and his big sister. He wants to be around her all the time and always has a big smile on his face when they play together. Parent pick up at school is the best example of how much he loves his sister: he gets fussy a lot just sitting in the car while we wait our turn to pick up Kendall. But as soon as she gets in the car, he starts smiling and will look over to where she is sitting the entire way home. If she is around, he is very happy. When I cook dinner, I've started having Kendall play with Knox because I know she will keep him entertained and out of the kitchen. 

Dislikes: The boy does not like it when you take something away from him that he was holding. Knox likes to crawl with items in his mouth and it makes me nervous when he puts drumsticks in his mouth because they could get pushed down his throat, so I always take them away from him and he loses his mind!!! He is already showing me that I got off lucky with his rule follower sister and that he is going to be a completely different toddler. I'm dreading going to the store with him one day and saying no to something he wants.  

Sleeping: Knox's bedtime is between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and we've followed that for awhile. He does sleep through the night, which we are very thankful for. He's been sleeping through the night pretty consistently since he was five months old. But he sometimes like to wake up at 5 or 5:45 a.m. However, since his birthday this past Saturday, he's been sleeping until 7 a.m.! I am saying that is his birthday present to us!!!
His naps are extremely consistent and much longer now, which I'm very thankful for. Although, we are late to church a lot on Sundays because he will sometimes stretch his nap to past 10 a.m. Thank goodness for live streams and podcasts!

Diapers: He continues to wear size 3 Pampers Swaddlers and size 4 Pampers Baby Dry (for bedtime).

Eating: We switched Knox to cow's milk about 2 weeks ago and he loves it. Tolar gave it to him one day and he didn't act like anything was different; he drank it all!
He very much prefers real food and we have pretty much gotten him on our eating schedule instead of eating every 4 hours like he did when he was a baby. He LOVES pancakes for breakfast and eats as much as his sister does...if not more. He also loves cheese and black beans. We gave him a tiny taste of peanut butter and he loved that too! We are certain that in the very near future he will be finishing whatever his sister doesn't eat.

Clothing: He is completely into 12 month clothing. I just packed up all of his 9 month clothes because they are too short. And we put him in shoes for the first time yesterday!

Miscellaneous: Bath time is a game changer in our house. If Knox is having a bad day and crying a lot, I will give him a bath and his mood totally changes. He loves the bath! 

One Year Old Baby



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Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip Recipe Pursuit of Pink

For the past three weeks I've been making significant changes in my eating habits. After having my second child nearly a year ago, I figured it was well past the time to do something about the way I look and feel.
Spoiler alert, I'm feeling fantastic and I've already lost an inch on my waist and hips each. But that is a post for a different day. If you want to know more about what I'm doing, shoot me a message or find me on instagram - I'll be sharing a blog post with full details when I'm finished with the first round of my program.

I've been swapping out tons of different food items and finding healthier options to take their place. While I've significantly curbed the amount of processed sugar I'm eating, I still do want an occasional sweet treat. This Healthy Cookie Dough Dip recipe does the trick and it just might shock you what is in it!!!!! Keep reading for the super easy recipe.

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip Recipe
Cookie Dough Dip Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

-1.5 cups chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/8 tsp baking soda
-2/3 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1.) After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, add them to a food processor along with vanilla, baking soda, brown sugar and almond milk.
2.) Blend until very smooth.
3.) Add the peanut butter (don't skip this step!).
4.) Keep blending to get the mixture very smooth. Blend, blend, blend.
5.) Mix in the chocolate chips.
6.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

A couple things to note:
-The texture will be different than regular cookie dough, so prepare yourself ahead of time.
-Adding the peanut butter into the mix takes away the chickpea smell and makes it smell sweet.
-You can serve it with graham crackers or apples.

Macro Information:
22.6g carbs
6.1g fat
3.4g protein
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10 and 11 months update!

10 mohth old baby
11 month old baby


"Second child syndrome" is a real thing! With Kendall, we never missed taking her month photo on the same exact day each month. With Knox, we are lucky to get it within two weeks of the same day. Oh well, such is life.

But here we are, with an 11 month old...who will be ONE in just a matter of weeks! AH!
Since I missed the 10 month update, I'm combining it with his 11 month update into one big update...enjoy the stats on our boy.

Stats: We don't go back to the doctor until he turns one, so I don't have any specific measurements for him. He is certainly growing as he used to be short enough for me to open the fridge door right over his head, now I have to make sure he is squatting or else I will hit him in the head.

Development: At 10 months old Knox got his first tooth and then a few days later a second one magically appeared. No other teeth have shown up yet, but I imagine they will soon as his sleep seems to be a bit off. Knox started standing on his own without holding on to anything at 10 months old and took his first REAL steps at 11 months old. He is much more interested in crawling at this point because he can move really fast when he crawls.
He also started saying Da Da Da Da Da a lot. He isn't saying it because he knows that is Tolar's name, although he does get a huge smile on his face whenever we tell him to say DaDa.
Separation anxiety is NOT a thing with him (and I hope I don't jinx us by typing that). Knox is very social and will go to any of our friends and family with no problem.
Baby's First Tooth


Loves: Anything he isn't supposed to have, he wants and loves. His favorite thing might be the trashcan (ah!!!!). He is always trying to open the lid and play with it, which makes me cringe just picturing the germs all over him. He also loves playing in his sister's room and making a mess with her toys. The dishwasher is another favorite thing of his; the second he hears me open the door he comes rushing over. Chewing on his drumsticks is another thing that we can add to his list of loves.
Crawling up the stairs is a sure favorite. We do have a baby gate to keep him from mounting the stairs by himself, but occasionally we will let him climb up the stairs with us right behind him. He thinks this is the greatest thing ever and will giggle uncontrollably as he climbs.

Dislikes: His own toys apparently. Knox has SO MANY TOYS and hardly plays with any of them. He would much rather play with his sister's toys or anything not intended for babies.

Sleeping: His naps are finally more consistent. Most days he will sleep about an hour in the morning and roughly an hour and a half in the afternoon. I'm so glad he is finally taking longer naps! I think growing and teething really affect him as he often goes through seasons where he wakes up really early. He will wake up early for a couple days (usually accompanied by crying) and then will go back to sleeping until 7 a.m. a few days later. I cannot figure out why he will wake up early, so I think he is experiencing growing pains or teething soreness.

Diapers: Since Knox is very active and mobile (keeping him from gaining a lot of weight), he is still in size 3 diapers as he has been for MONTHS. We use Pampers Swaddlers and love them. We've always been a Pampers family.

Eating: Knox is certainly consistent. He loves to eat and always has. Right before he turned 11 months old, he decided he was more interested in real food and less interested in drinking a bottle. We give him as much table food as we can. The boy has never turned away ANYTHING. He will eat whatever we give him.

Clothing: Clothing is crazy, he still wears a ton of 9 month sleepers but wears 12 month onesies and pants. Although he is almost too tall for his 9 month sleepers, so I need to buy more 12 month fleece jammies. It is COLD here so I keep him in his fleece sleepers almost all day.

Miscellaneous: We had to install child locks on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets because he gets into everything. Luckily, he was more interested in making a mess and rearranging my cabinets than he was in trying to ingest things he shouldn't.
I continue to be amazed at how different my children are. We never had to install any kind of child lock with Kendall, she stayed put and would only get into what she knew was hers. If something is on the ground, Knox will put it in his mouth. We have to be VERY careful and constantly pick things up off the floor - especially paper. This kid has eaten a lot of paper in his lifetime.
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Favorite Organizational Storage Options from Amazon

Last week you worked on decluttering your house and getting rid of the stuff. (If you missed any of the declutter posts, you can click here.) Now it is time to make sure everything is nice and organized. To help you out, I've pulled together lots of my favorite organizing products. Several of these items I currently have in my home and use everyday.

Everything can be found on Amazon and can be shipped using Prime 2-day shipping! You can shop straight from this post; just click on a link and add the items straight to your cart. I'd love to hear what items you find the most useful! And if there is any area in your house that you are having trouble organizing, send me a message and I'll be happy to help!


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Decluttering Challenge Day #5 - Toys, Books, DVDs and Games

Congratulations! You made it to Day #5.
Today I'm combining several items into one blog post because I recognize not everyone has kids or the massive amounts of toys that go along with raising children. Or some people might not keep real books anymore and instead have adopted a tablet or Kindle. You do you boo!
Feel free to pick and choose what category you want to declutter as time allows.

Day #5: Toys, Books, DVDs and Games

declutter your toys

TOYS
1.) Get your kids involved and first select their favorite toys to keep.
I do recommend that you get your children involved in this activity to save yourself any tears in the end. Also, this is a great opportunity to talk with your children about donating toys and giving them to people who might not have as much as you do.
Gather the toy bins, the boxes, the crates, the stuffed animals, everything into one place so you can see what you are working with.
Have your children go through and select their absolute favorite toys to keep. This will help your children relax, knowing that their favorite toys are safe.

2.) Throw away anything broken.
After the favorite toys are safe, go through the toys one by one. If anything is broken beyond repair (or might take too long to fix, making it a hassle), it needs to be trashed.

3.) Get rid of duplicates.
Just like getting rid of your excess shampoo bottles, you need to do the same with the toys. Does you child really need five toy cell phones? Or three harmonicas? Keep the favorite of the duplicates and set the others aside to clear out of the house.

4.) Determine what stays and what goes with the remaining items.
As you go through each item, have your child tell you the last time they played with the item. Then ask them if they want to keep it or give it away. Remember, you do have veto power, but it is a good idea to let your child make some decisions.
I normally go through everything one time with my daughter and let her tell me if she wants to keep something or get rid of it. If she decides to keep some items that I haven't seen her play with in awhile (and I think need to go), I will put those items into a separate pile and go back through them at the end. When we go back through the pile, I will ask her why she hasn't played with it and we will determine together if we really do need to keep it.
Do this with stuffed animals, cars, games, baby dolls, dinosaurs, legos, everything.
A helpful tip if you have a child that doesn't want to get rid of anything is to tell them that they have to pick at least 10 toys to donate. Knowing that keeping everything is NOT an option will help them say goodbye to some toys. 

5.) Group like items together.
Once you have finished going through the toys, group the like items together. This will make it easier to find places for them to be stored and will also make it easier for your child to find a certain item during playtime.
Here are a couple categories that we use to group toys together:
-Things that move (cars, trains, trucks)
-Dinosaurs
-Baby dolls
-Doctor supplies
-Games
-Dress up items
-Musical instruments

6.) Sell toys in good condition to Once Upon A Child or donate the toys.
If you want to earn some quick cash, take your toys to Once Upon A Child. If your Once Upon A Child is anything like mine, they are always looking for toys.  They will give you cash on the spot for any items that they take. This is also a terrific place to sell the clothes that you got rid of on Day #1.
If you don't want to sell anything, then consider donating your toys to a local church nursery, rescue mission or local thrift store.

Books (both your books and your children's books) and DVDs1.) Go through each item one by one.
When going through your books ask yourself "Will I read this soon or do I plan to read it again?" "Is this book one of my absolute favorites?"  If you answer yes to those questions then you can keep them. Go through every single DVD. Is it a DVD that you watch all the time? Do you plan to watch the DVD again? Is it a family favorite? If those questions can be answered with a yes, then keep those DVDs.
If it is a book or DVD that you absolutely aren't interested in, get rid of it. Do not feel obligated to keep something because it was a gift. If you don't like it or don't plan on reading/watching it, get rid of it.

2.) Get rid of any duplicates.
Often with children's books, you have duplicates that were given as gifts. And sometimes you find you have more than one of the same movie. You don't need to keep them all; keep one and ditch the duplicates.

3.) Donate unwanted items.
Check with your local library or a thrift store to donate your unwanted books and movies. The important thing is to get what you don't want out of the house as quickly as possible.

4.) Sell anything that might be valuable.
Consider posting some items for sale on Facebook Marketplace or ebay if you think they might be valuable.

Games
1.) Get rid of games that you don't play with.If you or your children don't play with it, it needs to go. Otherwise that game is taking up space and collecting dust.

2.) Get rid of games if they are missing important pieces.
If a game is missing an important piece, I'm willing to bet that you don't play it anymore. So get rid of it!

3.) Ditch the games that your kids have outgrown.
As your children grow, their interests will change. It might be time to get rid of the games that they played with when they were really little. Look into donating them to a local church or thrift store or try to sell them to Once Upon A Child or on the Facebook Marketplace.


I'm so happy that so many of you decided to join me this week as we cleared out some clutter from our homes. There are still plenty of spaces in your house that could use a good going-through, so feel free to continue the decluttering into next week. The most important rule of decluttering is to get the unwanted items OUT OF THE HOUSE. If you aren't able to donate or sell your items immediately, gather everything into one space. Then make a plan to clear out the unwanted items as soon as possible.

Be sure to keep me up to date on your progress. Tag me on instagram (@lindsaytolar) and use the hashtag #PursuitOfPinkPURGE. 


Catch Up On The Challenge:

Day #1 Closets and Dresser Drawers
Day #2 Linen Closets and Bathroom Cabinets
Day #3 Kitchen
Day #4 Living Room





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Decluttering Challenge Day #4 - Living Room

Well hello again...who is ready for Day #4 of my decluttering challenge? After yesterday's BEAST of a task, I'm going to take it a bit easy on you (I hope). Today we are going to head into our living room to give the room a slight refresh so you can enjoy your nightly tv session. The living room is another room that is used A LOT in people's houses, so it should feel inviting and cozy and not full of clutter.

Day #4: Living Room

Declutter your Living Room

1.) Straighten up your couches.
The quickest way to make your bedroom appear tidy is to make your bed. Well a similar thing can be said for your living room. To make it appear neat and tidy is to straighten up everything on your couch. Fluff your pillows and put them back where they belong instead of leaving them bunched up in the middle of your cushions. Take any blankets that might be hanging about and fold them up neatly. Return the remotes to the tv console/media center and pick up anything else that might be left behind on the couch.

2.) Return items to other rooms in the house.
The living room can be a collection place for various items that belong elsewhere in your house. Before you really start to declutter you should return any items that have made a "home" in your living room to their proper place.

3.) Gather all decorative items into one place.
Have you ever really looked at the knick knacks and picture frames and candles and other decorative items that you have on display in your living room? Do you truly like everything you currently have? I realized when we moved into our new house that I had items on display around our tv console that really had no purpose or sentimental value to me. I think I had previously bought them to fill the space, but when we moved I reevaluated everything and realized I was showcasing items that didn't really bring me joy. So I got rid of them!
When you look through all of your decorative items, only keep the items that 1.) you truly love, 2.) are still in good working order and 3.) are useful to you. If anything cannot fall into one of those three categories, then it needs to go! Please don't feel like you need to keep something simply because it was a gift, but you really don't like it. Let it go! If there is anything that is constantly in your way, get rid of that too. All decorative items that you no longer want can be donated to a local thrift store.

4.) Organize the chaos.
If you have children in your home, you likely have books and toys scattered all throughout your living room. To help you manage the clutter, contain everything.
First, go through the books and toys with your children to determine if there is anything that can be given away (more on decluttering toys tomorrow!). Then once you have determined what should stay, use decorative bins tucked into a corner to house everything.

5.) Get rid of the paper collection.
If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you saw on Day #2 that I had a bonus task for you which was to go through your mail and paper stacks. That can happen here because I'm sure you've got a pile of mail or magazines that need to find their way to a different home or the trash can.
Flip through your magazines and tear out the pages that really interest you, then throw the magazines away or recycle them. If you need to keep magazines, only keep the three most recent issues.
Go through your mail, throw out the junk and assign a home to everything else.

6.) Assign a location to house your blankets.
Those blankets that you folded up in step #1, they need a home. We have an ottoman that has built in storage where we keep our blankets. If you don't have anything like that, find a huge basket or one of those cool rustic ladders you see all over Pinterest to hold your blankets.

We've got one more day in our challenge! I'm so proud of you for making it this far.
If you missed any of the other days, catch up below.
And be sure to get social with me on instagram by using the hashtag #PursuitOfPinkPURGE so I can encourage you along the way! I'm @lindsaytolar on instagram.


Catch up on the challenge:



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