Dress Up Day with KC Designer Whitney Manney

I’ve been a fan of clothing designer Whitney Manney  since I saw her runway show at a Fashion For A Cause event several years ago. Her models walked to the song “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Aretha Franklin, which is one of my favorite songs of all time. (I have a grand romantic fantasy that someday I will get a surprise party and when I walk in there will be a gospel choir singing this song for me.) I immediately felt like a kindred spirit. The second thing I loved about her show is that the models wore trucker hats with crowns and the combo was completely over the top and right up my alley; her whole vibe just made me happy. I started following her on social media and we exchanged comments here and there. Recently I went to meet her in her eclectic Studio in Westport. For as bold as her designs are, her mannerisms are reserved. In her presence, it was painfully obvious to me that I’m much more of a babbling, 30-something JoCo mommy than an aloof fashion industry insider, but she has a quiet confidence that I respect and I left an even bigger fan of her creativity.

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My TV Debut: Behind the Scenes

I recently went on Kansas City Live to do a segment on National Children’s Dental Health Month and since it was my first time being on live tv, I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes.

First of all, how to decide what to wear, right? Luckily I have a go-to sorority sister for that. Like, one time I sent her this “cool” outfit I wore to preschool pick-up, which turned out was not cool:

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#MKMreal Hashtag Game Winner!

 

Thank you so much to our sponsor Anna Needham for this fun idea! Make sure you check out annaneedham.myrandf.com to get your glow on. Rodan + Fields is the ISH and Anna is a knowledgeable, trustworthy, sweet Momma from Texas! Fun fact, I know Anna through her husband Ben who I grew up with in Stillwater. One time sophomore year we had a snow day, so like any reasonable people a few of our friends tied a sled to the back of a jeep and took turns riding on the snowy back roads, where I witnessed Ben hit a dead cat at such speed that the sled actually caught air. Because Oklahoma. That story had nothing to do with this contest, but when you see your friend hit a dead cat on a child’s sled you never skip the opportunity to retell it.

Soooo…on to the winner!

Congratulations to @CiminoFamily on winning your $75 credit to Rodan + Fields. You cracked us up with your multiple entries but this one definitely takes the cake. Also OUCH!

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Other awesome entries:

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I seriously love you people.

National Children’s Dental Health Month

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Today I was on Kansas City Live to talk about some adorable products to help kids get excited about brushing their teeth. I will totally fill you in on what it was like to be on TV for the first time but first I wanted to let you know where you can get these for your kiddos.

Baby Banana Brush

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This is the perfect toothbrush/teether for when baby’s first tooth pops up. You can put it in the freezer and it’s even save for the dishwasher. The material is completely safe and the flexibility and shape makes it safer for squirmy toddlers.

Available at Amazon.com

 

My Magic Mud Toothpaste

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This is an all natural toothpaste made with activated charcoal so it actually turns all your teeth black when you use it which Avery thought was the coolest and Kuhlguy even said he was skeptical but it tasted great!

Available at your local Vitamin Shoppe, Natural Grocers, or Sprouts.

 

New Sprouts Fresh Picked Fruit & Veggie Tote by Learning Resources

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These are colorful, durable fruits and veggies perfect for little hands and made of non-toxic plastic. Savvy is absolutely obsessed with them and they come with an adorable reusable grocery bag.

Available at http://www.LearningResources.com

 

Nancy B’s Science Club Mighty Microbes Lab and Germ Journal

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This is a super cool science kit that guides kids through biology experiments. They can even test their own toothbrushes to see the germs and bacteria on them which is so disgusting and I cannot wait to try it!

Available at http://www.EducationalInsights.com

 

*Thank you to the companies who provided me with these goodies. My kiddos are super excited about all of them!

Getaway: Omni Scottsdale at Montelucia

If you follow me on IG (@MrsKansasMommy) you probably know I recently tagged along with my husband last minute on a business trip to Scottsdale.

We got up at 4:30am to make it to the airport. Safely on board, we pulled away from the gate, only to have the captain come out (he had a Mike Ditka mustache and was wearing a huge wedding band full of diamonds, which I found noteworthy) to tell us that the plane is “broken” so we are going back, deplaning, and getting on another plane. However, the delivery was infused with a lot of jokes and was unnecessarily lengthy. You could tell that in his head he was like, “pause for laughter…these people are loving me!” Ugh.

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Finally in the air on the way to Phoenix, Kevin worked  while I drank 2 bloody Mary’s and had pleasant xanax-laced dreams for three hours while I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack. (OBSESSED!!!)

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3 Beauty Routine Time-Savers

I love a shortcut so I’m sharing a few with you in hopes that they may make your day a little bit less stressful.

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Tired Mommy Skincare

Let’s start with the pros and cons of washing your face…

Pro: Skin feels and looks great, fewer wrinkles, no smudges on pillowcases and you don’t wake up looking like an 80s country star on her first day of rehab.

Con: Washing. It’s wet and uncomfortable. AND you have to bend over the sink and try not to imagine that while your eyes were shut a serial killer snuck into your bathroom and is standing behind you waiting for you to see him in the mirror as you dry off your face. (Full disclosure, right as I typed that my dog George jumped up from the floor and I nearly fell out of my chair. A vivid imagination is my gift and my curse.)

Also, if you’re already in bed you have to get out of bed and that’s usually just not happening. So what to do? I’ve started keeping make up remover wipes and night cream on my actual nightstand. That way if I’m feeling particularly lazy tired I can still do a little skincare routine without having to get out of bed.

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No-White-Strip Teeth Whitening

I discovered this toothpaste at Walmart and it’s great as a regular toothpaste, but sometimes when I need an extra boost, I rub the paste on my teeth (with my finger) and then leave it on while I shower. It gets all sudsy and then I brush my teeth as normal.

Beauty Hack Teeth Whitening

Busy Mommy Makeup

The best trick I’ve learned to get out the door fast is to keep your products to a minimum. It’s amazing how much time you waste hunting for different things in your makeup drawer.

I start with three basic products:

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Step 1: BB Cream

Step 2: Mascara

Step 3: Blush on the apples of my cheeks

I could stop here, but it’s the fourth step that makes me feel pulled together, especially when my hair is pulled back.

Step 4: Bronzer.

Beauty Hack Contour

This is what I used for everything you see here:

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I’ve found it doesn’t really matter what “color” or product you use, as long as you choose a neutral matte brown powder and apply it in the right areas with the right size brushes. For example, I use a heavy hand on the eyelids and a light touch on the sides of my nose. I do a little heavier under my cheekbones with a thick brush and then use a skinny brush to blend it softly around my lips to make them appear larger.

If you guys are interested in this, I will post more of the different products I’ve used because I have a drawer full of all different formulas and price points.

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Hope these are some tips that can work for you too. And yes, that is my child’s hand clutching at me while I was trying to take a selfie for this post. Hence, in the words of Plato, necessity is the mother of invention… and I am the mother of a grabby 4-year-old. (Most people don’t realize he said that last part.)

I Got Asked To Prom!

Today is my baby niece Riley’s 18th birthday! Woohoo! In honor of this gorgeous future famous model/actress/singer (she writes her own music and plays piano and guitar!) I’m sharing a few pictures from her Senior Prom. I was honored she asked me to come to town to do her makeup and style her with some Stella and Dot jewelry for the occasion.

(All these pieces can be found under my ‘Shop With Me’ Tab^^)

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Doesn’t everyone’s Aunt travel with false eyelashes at all times? I’m wearing the Zuni Layering necklace here which can be worn multiple lengths and ways! I’m also wearing the Gold Renegade Bracelet, which is a celebrity favorite…Kelly Ripa and Carrie Underwood each have one. (My besties, clearly.)

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Riley is wearing the Eva Ear Jackets which come with two options for studs.

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Obviously the only thing anyone can see in this picture is her eyes (gah!) but the Becker Cuff was the perfect amount of statement to go with her gorgeous white and gold dress.

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Check out these kicks!

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I love how classic hollywood this gown is with the little tiny peekaboo cut outs that give it a young, modern feel. I feel like Grace Kelly would wear a dress like this if she were around today.

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AND this is me having an emotional breakdown because she is so grown up now. What can I say except that everytime I look at her I see a 3 year old redhead Riley-Bear in a Winnie The Pooh sweatshirt. Only happy tears!

If it wasn’t enough that she asked me to come down for all the fun prep, I actually got invited to chaperone the prom as well. When I chaperoned her older sister’s prom at the same school, I actually made it into the yearbook. (In my defense, if they didn’t want me on the dancefloor again they shouldn’t have played Get Low.)

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Happy Birthay Riley! No one can rock an Eskimo Joe’s onesie like you, Sweet Girl!

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MommyStyle: Fundraiser Season

Maybe it’s the fact that Avery and Savvy want to watch Cinderella every night, but I’ve been very into makeovers lately. There was a time in my life when I would have been too insecure to post a picture of myself without makeup, but there’s a magical confidence that comes with being 30 (also, let’s be honest, the Sierra filter on Instagram) and suddenly I’m posting them left and right. I love the transformation!

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With the slight Spring chill in the air, I’m also finding myself loving a statement scarf as a shawl. It feels kind of kimono-ish and it’s a great way to add a pop of color to a basic dress.

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Ballyhoo for Park University

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KC Influential Women Awards

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Fashion For A Cause

Friday night, Kevin and I went to Fashion For A Cause in downtown KC and my hubby was kind enough to do an impromptu photo shoot by the beautiful Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. I love the light this time of night and the way it reflects off the building.

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The scarf  was a gift from my bestie Lauren and it’s like a work of art in itself. I love everything about it.

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I’m going to be honest, the Fashion For A Cause event was not as professionally produced as other charity fashion shows I’ve attended at that venue, but there was one thing that made it very memorable and that was the one and only MARIO LOPEZ!

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Designer Whitney Manney was my favorite of the bunch! She had the models wearing paper crowns on baseball caps and they walked to a remixed track of my favorite Aretha Franklin song “You’re All I Need To Get By” which I thought was so fresh and fun and lively. All her designs were colorful and girly and sporty. I made a mental note to check out more of her work at whitneymanney.com
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We left a little early because I had to head to Wichita in the morning for my nieces SENIOR PROM. Can’t wait to share all the pictures with you!

Friday Shop ‘n’ Save!

Happy Friday

I have a couple of fun things to tell you about today!

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1. A girlfriend sent me a line of beauty products called Seacret to try. Full disclosure, one of the biggest perks about this blog is that people send me high-end stuff I would normally not buy. (They don’t sell any high-end stuff at my CVS.) The COOLEST thing she sent me was a Magnetic Mineral Mud Mask. You put it on, then remove it by running a magnet wrapped in tissue over your face. At first I felt kind of dumb because I didn’t think it would work, but I could definitely see an improvement in my skin tone (less noticeable lines and pores, fresher looking) after the very first time. It immediately looked and felt like I had a professional facial. And it was actually really fun like a little science experiment. If you are a drugstore girl like me, you may have a little sticker shock, but if you skip the facialist a few times in favor of this, you could easily justify the price. Because my friend is a Momtrepreneur, she has graciously offered to send you a free gift if you order any of her Seacret products in the next 2 weeks, just tell her I sent you! Check out her website, specifically the before/after photos here.

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2. We all know I’m obsessed with Stella and Dot. A lot of you guys shop with me all the time and for that, I thank you! With Mother’s Day coming right up, I want to invite you to shop through an online link where 20% of the commission is going to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for children’s cancer research. From one mom/daughter to another, I’d love it if you’d go through the link and check out the pretty baubles (and the new Summer collection!) for a good cause.

Click here to browse and shop the online charity trunk show.

*Definitely take note of the April Trunk Show Exclusives because you can get the Sardinia Pendant for 50% off! It wear it more than any other statement necklace.

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Look how chic it is on my sorority sister Courtney!

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Happy Gifting: Mah faves from @StellaDotStyle

Gift time! Of course all of mine are Stella and Dot, because, duh, I’m obsessed with it.

The Clover Initials. Where do I even begin talking about how I feel about these? They are the anti-soccer mom initial jewelry. The ultimate chic-mommy personalization solution. A perfect alternative for those of us who like to have something distinctive but don’t like to look like we shop at the “Things Remembered” kiosk at the mall.

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When designer Blythe Harris (formerly of LVMH…no big deal) gave us a sneak peek at Hoopla Convention last July, I was instantly in love. With her and the clover initials. She is a genius and so are the designs. I wear mine on a charm bracelet, but they are made to be so versatile you can wear them on a chain as a necklace or as a pair of dangle charms on the Orbit hoop earrings. I feel like these are such a chic way to do personalization and subtle enough for someone who has great style but just isn’t a big “jewelry person”.

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One of my other favorite things about the Fall and Holiday collections is that the pricing has changed so there is a huge range of affordable but really special, fresh, sparkly gifts. As a Stella and Dot Stylist, I choose my inventory based on whatever I want to wear so if I’m recommending it, it’s something that I own and love. I don’t talk about it nearly enough here, but if you are curious about what it’s like to be a Stylist, PLEASE for-the-love-of-a-50%-stylist-discount shoot me a message and I’ll try to answer all your questions about how it could fit into your busy ecosystem. I truly love it and it’s been a huge force of happiness in my life!

Holiday Collection Gift Ideas

You can get general information about being a Stylist and shop all of these under the Shop With Me tab, or via this link:

http://www.stelladot.com/emilykuhlman

Tell me if you are loving the Clover Initials as much as I am!!!