“Love your neighbor as yourself.” What I tell my kids when we discuss racism, familial relationships and world events. We want justice for George, but we also know violence is not the answer. My heart is breaking for our nation and the families affected. My kids are watching me whether at home or away how I treat others, no matter their affiliation or skin color. We aren’t perfect parents and I’m still a work on process, but our actions speak louder than words. Will attempt at posting some normalcy per your request.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” Isaiah 1:17

I won’t lie, I’m not super happy about another weekend staying in, but I also praise my fellow readers for helping the virus stay at bay! Here are some sales around the web.

ELEMIS (25% off full-sized favorites with code SPRINGEVENT)

ANINE BING 25% off




CHARLOTTE TILBURY 20% off select sets. I love the pillow talk lips collection as it’s a perfect mix of blush and nude.

As always my SHOP PAGE IS open 24/7. Have a great weekend. Working on some fun recipes to come!

xx Shalice

If your kids are like mine, they’re feeling the walls cave in with self-quarentine during Covid-19. So unless you’re in line, trying to get into Costco like 80% of the population, here are a few ideas to keep busy:

1. Bake! Let the kids choose and, if they’re old enough, do the entire thing. So far, we’ve had Welsh gingerbread, angel food cake, and chocolate chip cookies.  I think this idea is what you might call a Family Favorite. 

2. Play outside. If you have a yard, or are close to a forest preserve, now is the time to get outside. Even running on the driveway works. It gets everybody out of the house and helps with the cabin fever situation. 

3. Play games. Dust off the old Uno and Phase 10 card games, or try a new one. (As long as Amazon is still delivering??) A few of our family favorites: WhooNu? Telestrations Chameleon El Dorado

4. Let the kids buy an old typewriter off eBay and they’ll keep busy for days, weeks … 

5. Start a re-aloud that you’ve been meaning to read. Harry Potter? The Wizard of Oz? The Golden Goblet?  E. Nesbit? 

6. And when in a pinch for those with younger kids, make salt map dough or play doh. For some reason, it never seems to get old. 
And when all else fails, there are always movies! Good luck! 

Also, Nordstrom is having a MAJOR SALE. 25% off almost everything. Take advantage if you need a little retail therapy.

If anything, I’m loving this time safely together at home. Hopefully the above will help you all with your sanity.
What are some of your tips? I’d love to hear.
Shalice (and special help from my sister Janelle Howard)

4 Family Workout Ideas + How to Get Started

Our family loves staying active and recently I’ve gotten quite a few questions from you guys about things we do as a family to sneak in exercise and how we got started making it a habit. I love these questions and am happy to answer them, however, I have to admit, Reid is a workout junkie and has done a great job not only teaching the kids about fitness but me too! Ha! So I will say, it helps to have him to kind of lead the way, but here are some ideas!

Go for family walks

This is one of the best ways to get started exercising if you ask me! Not only does this give you and your family a chance to move and get some exercise in, but it’s also great for talking and catching up with your kids and spouse. Start with a few walks a week and before you know it you’ll be moving on to my next idea!

Plan active activities for the family

This is something I want our family to do more of in 2020! We don’t want the kids growing up thinking of working out as a chore, but more as something they enjoy doing and I think finding fun, local activities to do like obstacle courses, a 3k or 5k, or even spending an afternoon at one of those trampoline places sounds like such a great way to show the kids that exercising is fun.

Use commercial breaks on TV to exercise

We try not to overdo it with the TV in our house, but when we do have TV time as a family, we try to make it into a game where on commercial breaks we have little fitness competitions. For example, one commercial break we might see who can do the most push-ups and then on the next one it’s jumping jacks. It’s fun for the kids and Reid and I. Plus, it doesn’t feel like a chore at all!

Playing games with the kids!

If you have kids, a great way to get exercise in for both you and them is by simply playing with them! We play tag and soccer all the time and plan on seriously breaking in the backyard at our new house with lots of outdoor games!

As for getting started, like I said, Reid kind of lit the fire for our family so I think it helps to have someone around that’s extra motivated simply because they enjoy working out. If you don’t have anyone like that in your family, then I recommend starting really small. Go for a family walk – even if it’s at a leisurely pace – and commit to doing it at least two to three times a week. Doing things like this will help you build the habit of moving your body, which is the most important thing in my opinion!

I hope this helps those of you who have been asking about family workouts and it inspires your family to get moving!

Thank you LG for sponsoring this post! All opinions my own.

Family in Plaid

by Shalice Noel

Boys shirt with bow tie // Boys Blazers // Boys Chinos (runs small, size up)// My plaid pants in size 4 // My taupe sandals // Cotton shirt

Reid’s sneakers // Reid’s jeans // Girl’s sneakers // Red Beret // Girl’s faux leather jacket // Girls Dresses from zara here are SIMILAR

My kids don’t love family pictures, but here are some ways we make it easier.

Since I get asked often what are some tips to styling a great family photo:

1. Pick one print (here I chose black watch plaid)

2. Pair that print with neutrals for example khaki pants, white shirts, white dresses, and neutral footwear.

3. Add a pop of red!

4. Don’t forget some prizes! I bring meringue cookies, lollipops, whatever sweets I have on hand to keep the smiles up. A little bribery goes far!

Jeans similar // Necklace // Similar ring // Small boots // My boots // Tee shirt in XS // Girls jeans // Girls tee //

I often come to this question at the close of a year and reflect on trends to ditch, and trends to try. But above all, I consider smart investment buys that are always worth it. This week, I noticed that after writing this article, it helped me purge my closet. I began to think A. Have I worn this at all in a year, yes or no? and B. bucket hats and over the shoulder are done. Good to know! I started to see the rows of clothing and shoes in two categories, what to store, and what to donate. When was the last time you purged your closet? Keep reading for trends to ditch and what trends to invest in! Let me know what you think! Good bye Dad sneakers!


DAD SNEAKERS aka CHUNKY SNEAKERS (I never liked them to begin with)


OFF THE SHOULDER has been overdone


OUT: leopard slip skirts

BOILER SUITS – It takes a few number of girls who can pull these suits off.

BIKER SHORTS. Sorry girls, I was never a huge fan of these.



FRINGE BABY! Love the movement and texture it adds to an outfit!





FULL ON NEUTRAL. Neutrality is always in. Soft wearable neutrals in complimenting shades were never really trendy, just classic.

If you’re still curious, these are the best sellers from the rewardstyle analytics:

As always, my shop page is open 24/7 and 2019 gift guides are live. Let me know what you think!

Our 7.5′ tree // Similar rug // Artwork //

Sizing note: kids pj’s fit TTS. Evergreen pajamas // We also have these adorable red robes (on sale) // Men’s gingham pajama set // Women’s gingham pajama set (I got a small but could’ve gone with an XS)

Matching family pj season is here! I absolutely LOVE matching as a family! Our kids give us a hard time when we ask them to match, but in the end, I think they like it. This year, I chose evergreen pajamas for the kids and matching red gingham pj’s for Reid and I. I love the quality of these pj’s almost as much as I love our tradition of eating french onion soup the day we put up the tree and cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I love traditions!

Maisonette’s Black Friday promotion begins November 26 with up to 30% off. Plus, get an additional 10% off beginning December 2 with code EXTRA10. Note our pajamas can be monogrammed and make great gifts!

Chores as a Party of 7!

by Shalice Noel

Introducing Your Kids to Household Chores

I get a lot of questions about chores in our family, and if so, how does it look. I wish it didn’t take management, and gently reminders, but it does.

It’s an exciting time around our house because the kids are finally reaching the age where they can take on a few household chores. Any other moms know this excitement? We’re starting off introducing a few things with our oldest child right now and she’s been a great help, especially with the other kids. I thought I’d share a few tips on what we’re doing to get started on this journey and if you have any of your own, please share too!
Create a visual

I’ve seen a lot of other mom friends do this and think it’s a great strategy. We’re working on making ours now and explaining to our oldest what needs to be done on what days. I think she’s catching on really well and so good so far.


Every parent knows a little bit of bribery goes a long way when it comes to getting your kids to do things. We try not to go too crazy with the bribes, but it also helps teach them about what it means to work. You try hard and do a good job, you get rewarded. Her incentives usually include small gifts (like getting to chose a favorite candy or snack. My kids like Ricola cough drops!) Another incentive is getting to go on a date with mommy or daddy.

Make it fun

I like to give her “fun” things to do or things that can be turned into a game. Like when she’s playing with her younger siblings and it actually doubles as a little babysitting time so I can clean the house or work.
We’re new to this so like I said above, if you have any tips on how to introduce kids to household chores, I’m all ears!


This is a short breakdown of who does what.

My oldest (age 11) does laundry. She takes the large basket from upstairs to downstairs and is responsible for folding and the others help take their folded clothes to their closet. This process sometimes takes 2 days I’ll admit!

My second daughter (age 9) is responsible for filling and clearing the dishwasher. She says she ‘hates her job,’ but she’s fast and does a good job.

My oldest son (age 8) is responsible for the ‘big trash.’ He takes out the trash and recycling for the family.

My younger son is 6, and is responsible for the ‘small trash.’ He empties all of the small waste bins from upstairs into the large trash downstairs.

I wish I could say, all 4 do their chores perfectly and without complaining but I’d be lying! If I give them a heads up, like “finish your chores before we head out to Brooks’ game.” And I try to give them ample time to do their chores before we leave. It is far from perfect, but these chores are age appropriate and REALLY do help our family as a whole. With 7, people we have 7x the mess. So each and every chores blesses the whole family.

How about you, what has worked for your family? I’m all ears!

my cardigan // lunch containers // Wonder Woman tee’s // Wonder Woman backpack // Girl’s Biker Shorts // Women’s biker shorts // Similar tank

The kids are headed BACK TO SCHOOL and with that comes my nemesis, school lunches.  To simplify our busy schedules, I’m sharing a school lunch grocery list and some creative lunch ideas that don’t require utensils and are quick for you to piece together.  Oh and did I mention the kids love it.  I would love to hear some of your ideas, so leave me a comment.

I know getting back to school is daunting for both kids and parents, so please bookmark this post for your next shopping trip.  I’ve linked all these items to Walmart as well, because they have great healthy selections, low prices and some items can be delivered next day.  I’m all about less trips in the car, so this is a huge quality of life win.

Here’s what I look for when buying school lunch items.  Finger foods are great because we save plastic utensils.  As a rule of thumb, provide a protein to fill their bellies during the day, add fresh vegetables with hummus or ranch dressing and lastly dried fruit for dessert.  I’ve learned the hard way to not pack nuts.  Many schools do not allow nuts on campus so don’t waste them and keep them at home.  I also try to avoid filling the kids up with breads so here is a great idea for deli meat.  Take slices of ham and or turkey and roll it.  Then take the bamboo stick and make a kabob.  In between the deli meat add vegetables like cucumber, tomato, pickles or whatever else your kids like.  Think of it like a salad on a stick.  The best part, no dirty dishes for the kids to bring home.  Win, win!

I love expressing my creative side with school lunches and giving the kids something fun and healthy to eat during their school day.  Here’s a shopping list you can copy for your next trip to Walmart! Or use the links below and buy online, taking advantage of their amazing next day shipping (I’ve taken advantage of MANY TIMES) for qualifying items. Before I purchase, I always check the reviews and if the item qualifies for Next Day shipping. Time is a hot commodity as a mom of 5, so if it can arrive ASAP, things run a little smoother.

Do you have a favorite lunch as a kid? share it below!

School Lunches Shopping list:

1)  Deli Meat (Turkey or Ham) Turkey Jerky is good too.

2)  Fresh Vegetables (Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli)

3)  Fresh Fruit (Grapes, Apple Slices, Peaches, Mango, Strawberries)

4)  Dried Fruit (Coconut Chips, Dried anything)

5)  Lunch container

Thank you Walmart for sponsoring this post!

Aquatica – Seaworld             

When I was a kid, the water park I had access to was about seven multi colored waterslides.  Each color was a different level of rush!  I thought that was so cool.  Now that we experienced Aquatica, I’m like….wow, my kids are lucky.  We were getting a little board of the pool and the beach is great, but so much work.  You know what I mean.  All the stuff we have to lug along, dragging the stroller through the sand, taking a boat load of sand home and finding it all over the bed sheets the next morning.  A day at the beach takes a week to recover.

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to take the family to Aquatica in San Diego.  We made sure to get there right when they opened.  The gates open at 9:30am and the rides open at 10:00am, giving you some time to designate your lounge chair territory.  The park had plenty to do for all ages.  They have a splash area designated for toddlers and a massive water playground perfect for my age kids.  Lots of lifeguards keeping watch as well which gave me some comfort.  Then there’s the big daddy slides, like the giant water slides and my kid’s favorite the Tassie’s Twister.  Voted by my kids as their favorite. 

Here are 5 tips for planning your day at Aquatica:

1)    Pack Sunscreen, Beach Towels and Water Shoes (Great for walking between rides)

2)    Arrive at the park at 9:30am

3)    Designate a meeting place with your family in case you get separated.

4)    The Quick Que was an added bonus to our day.  Great way to cut down on line time.  You can practice patience another day.

5)    Put your kids in brightly colored swim suits so it’s easier to find them.

Thank you Sea World Aquatica for sponsoring this post