My Favorite Things

Parabo Press For The Win + Free Square Prints + $10 Off

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I don’t have quite as much control over things when it comes to Saida anymore. She has her own style, her own likes, wants to decorate her room according to her own taste, and all that good business. I’m hanging on to as much control as I can, but I’m also kind of a believer in letting her explore and letting her take charge of some of those things within reason.

Putting up these super cute (AND FREE because we got the smaller ones which are always free) square prints from Parabo Press is a fun way for me to let her make her own decisions while winning the battle over her room decor. She got to pick each photo she wanted to display. Nevermind that we’re still wearing Christmas pajamas with unbrushed hair (and it’s the afternoon). Scroll down for a coupon code at the bottom of this post for $10 off your first order from Parabo Press. Or if you’d rather, just order the free prints and just pay shipping. Such a fun way to have your kids interact with photographs.

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Code for $10 off your first order from Parabo Press: MNEHAE

My Current Top 10 Home Decor Items on Amazon

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Did you know I have an Amazon Storefront full of my favorite things? It’s true. I’m kind of Amazon Prime obsessed so I sometimes find it therapeutic to shop and add things to my lists (especially when I love something but I’m not ready to buy it or I don’t really need it, but it’s great). It’s funny because most probably don’t think of Amazon when it comes to home decor that actually doesn’t suck, but turns out they have so much amazing stuff. You could literally dress your whole house up with stuff, cute stuff, just from Amazon. Really it’s dangerous.

So anyway, because it doesn’t do anyone any good to keep it to myself….

My Top 10 Favorite Home Decor Items on Amazon Currently in no particular order… (yes I have a black and white obsession)

Also just so we all know, these are just 10 that I was feeling inspired by today. Obviously there is just a ton of awesomeness out there.

  1. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I dream of going some day. It’s definitely on my list even though I know it’s something that’s now happening anytime soon. In the meantime I’d like to dream about it with this cute Aloha framed print. We’re getting ready to build a ledge shelf in the hallway across from my office and I can see this there on that shelf with other things.

2. I’ve been looking for a rug for my kitchen. I haven’t found the exact perfect thing, but this rug has me wishing I had a spot for it.

3. Lately after checking out the Nesting with Grace blog and Instagram account, I’ve been wanting to add some of these cute wall sconces to my home and of course with my matte black obsession I’ve been eyeing this one in particular. Maybe I’ll actually add a couple to my cart one day soon.

4. Is it weird that I want my laundry to be in something visually pleasing? This is where I’m going with things lately. I’m craving cute for all the boring stuff around my home. This basket has me wondering if laudry might be more fun, if it were pretty. I also kind of have a basket problem.

5. Um the price on these…. pillows and pillow covers can be expensive and these are super affordable and really just super trendy and cute. Loving these covers for sure.

6. And the basket problem continues. I’d like this one in particular for my daughter’s room. There’s just something about paint dipped baskets that I just love. How cute would this be with a spider plant?

7. And we’re not lamp people. We never have been really but for some reason I’m drawn to them. If I was going to buy one, I feel like this would be it.

8. Hello fun and cute tissue box cover. This is plastic and pretty light weight from what I can tell, but it reminds me of some of the cute house figurines I’ve seen as part of the Hearth and Hand (Magnolia) line at Target and the price is right.

9. I secretly want to have my husband run electrical in the breakfast room so we can hang this light fixture. Ooops. Secret is out. I haven’t actually worked up the nerve to ask him to do this yet, but maybe I will soon-ish.

10. I have a giant basket (surprise, surprise) full of blankets. Most of them were given to me and while I’m grateful, none of them really go with anything we have going on right now in our home. I have an urge to give them all away and start fresh.

-monica

The Picture That Sums up Why we Bought a Camper / Our Trip to McKinney Falls State Park

I promised myself I’d start blogging about our camping trips once we actually started taking them. I wasn’t sure what these blog posts would be exactly. I’m pretty sure I was thinking at some point I would become some sort of camping expert and people would flock to my blog to hear about our trips and what cool things I did/cooked that they too need to be doing, but I’m not sure this is where that is going. Big dreams, huh? I feel inspired for like 5 minutes and then it’s gone so…. Also, like, I’m never going to be that person. EVER. I don’t have my shit nearly enough together for that.

This morning I edited a picture from our trip that basically sums up our reason for buying a camper and trying to take a camping trip every month. Do you want to see it? Not that your answer matters because I’m going to show it to you whether you want to or not.

Here it is…

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You: But Monica, that’s just a blurry photo of your child swinging on her hammock. How could that possibly sum up your reasons for buying a camper?

Me: Um no, it’s not. That photo right there is a feeling.

But for real, the out of focus element of this image is giving me this out of body experience where time has slowed significantly and I’m just exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s that thing I was reaching for when we bought our camper. It’s that thing I’ve wasted the past 6 months or so of my life anxiously awaiting. It’s that thing we’ve been missing in this life that doesn’t ever seem to slow down. It just goes faster and faster and faster and we were afraid that before we knew it we’d wake up and our kids would be grown and we would have let the opportunity for these kinds of experiences pass us up.

It’s easy to skip these things over. It’s easy to say, “Well, life is just to damn busy to stop right now.” We live in a world where we have to intentionally schedule time to slow down and so that’s what we’re doing.

Me: You wanna see more of my favorites from this trip to McKinney Falls State Park?

You: Yes, Monica. I can’t think of anything I’d love more.

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Where we stayed: McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas

Campsite: 18, (1 of 12 50 amp sites with water and electric). Very large pull through campsite with one site very close by (worked out fine because they never came out of their camper) and next to the bathrooms which turned out to not be a big deal at all. In fact when Corbin pooped in his pull up we were just thankful there was a dumpster nearby.

Postpartum Hair Loss and Monat

Postpartum hair loss is a real thing.

It takes a little bit (like 3 months ish), but eventually those hormones hit this point where it’s like “you didn’t need that hair, did you?” and it just starts coming out in what seems like chunks. My whole back side would be covered in hair in the shower and then there is that weird grow out phase where you just feel like your hair looks ridiculous all the time.

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And apparently it doesn’t all come back on it’s own either.

I didn’t realize this until I started using Monat and here we are one year later and my widows peak is finally filling in with hair I forgot I used to have.

My youngest will be three in just a few months. This round of new growth or regrowth is 100% made possible by Monat.

But you’ve heard Monat causes hair loss, right? All I can say to that is that mine is growing and filling in and is healthier, stronger, and shinier than it’s ever been and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone and especially new moms battling that postpartum hair loss.


Which products are right for you?


Disclaimer: I’m not a hair professional. I’m just a girl who loves her hair and the real results I’ve seen in my own hair since starting Monat.

101 Uses for Monat's Rejuveniqe Oil (Including Mosquito Bites)

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If you’ve spent any time in Texas lately, you’ve probably been bit by a mosquito or two or twelve. Like everything else, they’re bigger in Texas and I have an ankle that’s sporting about 4 mosquito bites currently. It’s agonizing. I couldn’t sleep because nothing and I mean NOTHING stops the itching.

I’d finally had enough the other day and decided to give my Rejuveniqe Oil by Monat a try. Worst case scenario it doesn’t work and my ankle is at least thoroughly moisturized. I put a few drops in my hand, spent about 30 seconds rubbing it into my ankle and…… INSTANT ITCH RELIEF!!!!! Hallelujah!!! And it lasted. It wasn’t just relief for a couple minutes. I literally didn’t itch my ankle the entire rest of the day. Is there anything this stuff doesn’t do? It’s liquid gold.

Most often I use the Rejuveniqe Oil in my hair and on my face as a moisturizer when I don’t need to use my stuff with SPF. Turns out you can use it for far more than that though. After figuring out the mosquito bite itch relief thing, I knew I needed to share it and also start figuring out what other magic this stuff works. Monat actually has a three pager with 101 uses for Rejuveniqe Oil I’d like to share with you.

Maybe I also need to try number 27. New moms go check out number 54. Definitely keeping this in mind for the inevitable number 91.

The Unraveled Academy Review and Free Course

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THERE IS A FREE COURSE AT THE END OF THIS SO DON’T LEAVE.

Last year I signed up for the Unraveled Academy. I was on the fence about it, but I figured I’d just do a month to month membership and if I didn’t like it after a month or two the loss would be minimal. No harm done.

Basically I’ve decided they can just charge me via paypal forever. I’m currently a little behind on courses, but I need to get with it because currently there is an SEO course I’m dying to take. Oddly my favorite part of the whole thing is the Facebook group. It’s worth the price of membership alone. They regularly do Facebook Lives where you can ask pretty much anything you want to a group of experts plus the community has got to be one of the least judgemental and supportive group of photographers I have ever experienced. The founders actually care and feel like friends.

So what exactly is the Unraveled Academy? The Unraveled Academy is a school and community for photographers looking for a safe place to explore their art and business. When you log in to the wesbite you are presented with all of the courses that have ever been. Yes, you heard me correctly. They are all there. You get to go through them and learn at your own pace. You get to engage in the community on the website and/or the Facebook community and take advantage of additional videos there. There are behind the scenes videos and editing videos, some presets, and a monthly gift for all memebers. And then just that sense of belonging that I don’t quite get other places. I’m a fan, obviously.

If you’re no longer on the fence and you want to sign up, please use the button below so they know I sent you.

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If you want to check out the free Unposed Course before signing up, check it out here.

I’ve personally taken this course. It’s sooooo inspiring and will make you want to get out there and shoot. I definitely suggest at least checking out this course. It’s free so you can’t lose.

If you decide you want to join the Unraveled Academy after taking this course, please come back here and use the button above so they know I sent you. I am an affiliate because I love this school that much and want everyone else to love it too.

Monat Monday: What I Ordered During The Latest Flash Sale

You know it's going to be a good week when your Monat Flash Sale order shows up on a Monday.  Plus I'm having a good hair day thanks to Monat, my coffee was just like I like it this morning and nobody has peed on the floor yet today (that I know of) soooooo... life is good.  

So what was the last flash sale and what did I order?  The flash sale was buy a system (including the Junior line) and create your own travel size system for $10.  In addition to that you also got a sample of the color enhance duo FOR FREE.  

Oh and did I mention FREE SHIPPING?  Amazon Prime has made me a sucker for free shipping.

This came just in time because it's been 10 months ish since our first order of the Monat Junior line and we're just about out.  This means one of two things.  I either don't wash my kids' hair enough or this stuff lasts forever.  Maybe it's a combo of both.  

No matter what, I always get a little excited when one of these boxes shows up on my doorstep.



So everything you see below cost me $51 + tax with my Market Partner discount.  That discount is a huge part of why I signed up to be a Market Partner.  The Junior Line is regularly $59, VIP Price is $50, and as a Market Partner I pay $41.  

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What We Love About the Monat Junior Line

  • It's tear-free, sulfate-free, and paragon-free
  • a child's hair is more fragile and fine and the Junior Line was formulated with that in mind
  • It comes with conditioner!!!  My daughter has long hair that she almost never wants to wear up and she certainly doesn't want to cut it.  Trying to brush that out after shampooing with children's shampoo that was not Monat was total agony.  Having a children's conditioner is saving time, hair from being damaged, and maybe our relationship as mother and daughter.  Okay that's maybe a little dramatic, but you get the point.  The experience brushing her hair after a bath with Monat is night and day from what it used to be.

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This Stuff only Cost me $10

What is it about travel size stuff that gets me excited?  I don't even travel that much and when I do it's typically not on a plane.  Have you ever seen a dry shampoo so cute in all your life?  

I'm thinking that dry shampoo might just go in my purse.  I feel like you never know when you might need some dry shampoo.

I'm also just excited to try the Colour Enhance duo.  I'm a brunette, but I ordered the Brilliant Blonde because I have blonde-ish highlights.  I've heard other say it really makes them stand out and I wanted to give it a try.



Monat is really expanding their selection of hair products.  It can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to start.  Take the Hair Quiz to find out which products are right for your hair needs.  Visit my website to make your purchase or learn more about the products.

Yes I Love Monat and I Sell It

So a friend of mine just told me she didn't know I was selling Monat Hair Products.  Y'all this means I really really suck at sharing and that I've been letting all the other life stuff get in the way of telling people about these products that I've come to love over the last 10 months or so.  And I really do love them.  Like a lot.  I make the whole family use them and I especially love what it does for my daughter's wild hair.

The Monat Junior Line 

She's like me in that her hair is her pride and joy.  We're not allowed to cut it except for just a tiny bit and she loves to leave it down which means it's always a straight up nightmare to brush out.  I will tell you though, the post bathtime brushing, which used to be the low point of my day, is now so easy.  Most of the time that brush just glides right through her hair.  Also I'm going to be real, her hair gets me the most likes on Instagram.  People love it.  The Monat Junior Line may have save our relationship and my willingness to let her keep her long hair.

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How I use Monat

I'm pretty basic with my haircare or try to be.  I don't always go all out fixing it, but Monat makes it easier for me to low maintenance.  When you're giving your hair what it needs, turns out it's actually a lot easier to style it.  Who knew?  My flat iron only comes out on rare occasions becaue it's just not necessary anymore to tame my hair.  I quick blow dry is generally all I need and then that usually lasts at least two days so at most I'm washing/styling every other day and sometimes longer in between.  For the most part I'm a shampoo and conditioner kind of girl, but I do use the Replenish Masque once a week or once every other week, the Rejuvabeads to stretch out my haircuts a little while I try to grow it out some, and the Rejuveniqe Intensive Oil.  

I have a whole blog post on My Monat Favorites so if you want to learn more about some of these products and what they do for me, please go check it out.



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So what is diffent about my hair since starting Monat?

I honestly thought my hair was healthy before Monat.  It was I guess, but with Monat it's even healthier.  It's shiny and easier to manage.  It's growing in length and also so much of that hair I lost after childbirth is actually coming back.  I can go longer in between washes and it doesn't get gross so quick.  I look forward to washing my hair instead of dreading the process.  It smells wonderful and feels so good.

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Okay so more about Monat.  What is it?  It's a naturally based haircare line that has the ability to penetrate all three layers of your hair and heal it from the inside out.  You could call it healthcare for your hair.  I've watched them grow rapidly over the last year and the product line is growing.  No matter what your hair needs, there is something for you.  Not sure what you need?  Take the Hair Quiz to find your perfect products based on your hair type and needs.



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You may also enjoy reading my post about Monat haters and how they are right, but oh so wrong.  This is one of my most popular posts to date.

My Top 4 Monat Favorites

It's my first time to talk about Monat on the blog so let me start by saying that I started using these products back in October after being introduced to them by a friend.  So I've been using them for about 9 months.  At the time I really didn't know what Monat was about, but from what little I'd seen I thought it was just another product one of my friends was going to try to sell me.  Annoying, right? 

One little sample later I knew there was no way in hell I was going back to my old shampoo.  I was angry for a minute because now my hair products were going to start costing me a furtune (or at least I thought so), but I had already drank the Monat koolaid and was hooked.  My hair was already healthy (or so I thought), but I could tell an immediate difference in how easy it was to style and overall it just looked extra shiny and full of life.  

Does it actually cost me more though?  No, it doesn't.  My first bottle of shampoo lasted me 5 months.  5 MONTHS!!!  Incredible.  

So what is Monat?  It's basically a health care line for your hair.  These naturally based products have the ability to penetrate the hair all the way down to the core (medulla) and heal your hair from the inside out by putting all those good amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils back into your hair.  No wonder even my previously healthy hair feels better now than it did a year ago.

My Monat Favorites: Revive Shampoo, Revitalize Conditioner, Replenish Masque, and Rejuvabeads

My Monat Favorites: Revive Shampoo, Revitalize Conditioner, Replenish Masque, and Rejuvabeads


So let's talk about my favorites and why they are my favorites.  They're all in that line up above.

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Revive Shampoo / Revitalize Conditioner

Like I said, overall my hair was/is healthy.  I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it and the last thing I need is something to weigh it down.  Both of these products are from the volume line.  The shampoo smells so good.  It's not overbearing.  It's just the perfect amount of fragrance.  

My hair blow dries so easily and I rarely need to use a straightener anymore after blow drying.  I still do occasionally, if I'm going for more of a super straight look.

These two products definitely changed my haircare life and are staples in my shower.


Replenish Masque

I use this maybe once every week or sometime I just don't think about it and I'll use it once every two weeks.  When I do though, it's like heaven.  As if my hair wasn't soft and shiny enough after using my shampoo and conditioner, on masque days my hair color even looks better on top of the soft and shiny.  This is definitely responsible for all my best hair days.  

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Rejuvabeads (Split End Mender)

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I've kept my hair pretty short for the last couple years.  That means haircuts every 8 weeks and split ends weren't really something I dealt with.  Recently I decided I'd like to grow it out a little which means I'm going longer in between cuts and split ends are actually happening especially now that I'm beyond the 8 week mark, but not quite to that next haircut.  This is definitely saving me.  Similar to the masque, I feel like this actually makes my color look better and of course my hair is visibly smoother at the ends when I use it.  It's basically a miracle in a tube that I use after every few washes.  


INTERESTED IN ORDERING?

or email me at my Monat email address: monatwithmonicajo@gmail.com