August 1, 2015


one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

I can hardly believe it, but the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends tomorrow. Did that fly by at record speed for anyone else? There are still tons of good things available, and I found a bunch of great picks -- all for under $100, and most under $50!

So hurry and grab those last minute purchases before prices go back up on Monday morning!

I've picked out a few of my favorites above, and linked to even more in the widget below. Happy weekend shopping!

July 31, 2015


Today I am so excited to introduce to you a project that my best friend, Leanne, and I have been working tirelessly on for the past year! We've been sharing sneak peeks of it for months, and today we're thrilled to finally announce the launch of The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing!

Leanne and I have both been creating sewing tutorials on our blogs for years, and we get constant comments and emails from our readers telling us they wish they could sew, or wondering how to learn the basics of sewing. Well, we've come up with the perfect solution!

The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing is a two-part video series with a Beginner's Course that teaches the basics of your sewing machine, how to sew a straight line, how to hem, and more. And at the end of the course we teach you how to create a custom A-line skirt, like you can see below.

And the Intermediate Series teaches more advanced skills like darts, zippers, sleeves, necklines, and more. And then we'll use all those skills to make a custom shift dress, like you can see below.

These courses will give you the perfect foundation of knowledge and skills so you can sew right along with us as we work to create the world's best handmade wardrobes!

Check out our promo video below to learn all about The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing!

You can purchase the Beginner's Course, the Intermediate Course, or a bundle of both the Beginner and Intermediate courses to get a discount. (And Individual Videos will be available soon!)

We also have a few free videos over on our brand new YouTube channel, and more will be available soon, so make sure to subscribe over there so you're the first to know when new videos become available!

But wait, there's more good stuff! To celebrate the launch of The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing, we've teamed up with some amazing sewing brands to bring you the best giveaway ever so you can start sewing with the best of the best tools. Today through Monday, you will be able to enter to win one of 11 amazing prizes! (combined they total almost $3500!):

1st Prize:
Brother Serger 1034D ($189 value)
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($100)

2nd Prize:
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($50)

3rd Prize:
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($50)

3 Winners will receive:
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($50)
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($50)
Jo-Ann’s Fabric Giftcard ($50)

5 Winners will receive:
Michael Levine Giftcards ($25)
Michael Levine Giftcards ($25)
Michael Levine Giftcards ($25)
Michael Levine Giftcards ($25)
Michael Levine Giftcards ($25)

Here is how to enter:
  • Follow @leannebarlow and @merricksart on instagram
  • Leave a comment on one of our specified instagram giveaway posts on either Merrick's instagram or Leanne's instagram, tagging 3 of your friends. Duplicate comments will not be counted.

For an additional entry:
  • Repost our specified Instagram giveaway post onto your Instagram with #ModernGirlsGiveaway.

Because we have so many amazing prizes, we want as many people as possible to have an opportunity to win, so we'd love your help in spreading the word! We will be announcing all the winners of the giveaway on Tuesday on Instagram. 

(view the official giveaway rules and regulations here)

Your sewing skills and a handmade wardrobe right here to join us

July 30, 2015


I get questions all the time about how I stay fit with two little boys and a semi-full time job. And the honest truth is that a lot of the time I don't. I've mentioned before here on the blog that I try really hard to just be a mom during the day, so that leaves me with the night time as my only option for blog work. It's long days, late nights, and occasional survival mode.

BUT, there are a few things that work for us and that I try to do consistently to keep myself at least somewhat healthy when I'm so busy. Maybe one or two of them will work for you too -- even if you aren't a working mom, or even a mom!

1. Choose healthy activities you like to do. For most people, exercising isn't all that fun. You probably feel good afterward, but the actual exercising part is not so fun. I dread the burn and the exhaustion, and have a hard time pushing myself. So I try to choose exercises I enjoy doing so I stay motivated, and try to mix things up so I don't get bored. I switch off between at home videos, running outside with our Bugaboo Runner, swimming, or walking.

2. Be flexible with what exercise methods work at the moment. During the school year I had a gym membership and was going consistently while B was in school every morning. Now that he's out of school for the summer, the gym just doesn't work as well so I'm doing at home exercises and using our new Bugaboo Runner to take the kids out in the mornings or evenings.

The Bugaboo Runner was just released and they sent us one to try out. We love the Bugaboo Donkey, so we were super excited to try out the Runner this summer, especially since it fit perfectly with our non-gym-going schedule. The wheels are super sturdy, the stroller is so lightweight, it fits with any of the other Bugaboo seats , and it runs like a dream. Plus I love that you can have your child face forward or backward! The only downside for me is that the front wheel doesn't turn so you have to lift up the front wheel to turn, but it's not a huge deal.

3. Help your kids be active and healthy. I think it's really important to instill good habits in your children by setting an example early on in their lives. And if you're trying to be a good example, you're more motivated to keep yourself healthy. My kids love trying to do at home exercises with me, eating the foods that I eat, going to the gym (even though they just go to the daycare), or running alongside our Bugaboo Runner stroller when I run. We also take a lot of family walks (with them riding on their scooters), so they appreciate simple outdoor activities that keep them fit and healthy.

4. Develop healthy eating habits. I'm totally a creature of habit when it comes to eating, and I don't mind eating the same thing every day. So if you need variety in your meals, this is probably not the best tip for you. Every day I make a green smoothie for breakfast (recipe here), and every day for lunch I make a vegetable wrap (sun dried tomato tortilla, thin layer of hummus, shredded mozzarella, chopped cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, pepperocini's, and a little drizzle of salsa). They get me tons of fruits and veggies early on in the day, they taste amazing, and they're both very filling.

5. Make time for yourself. Emotional and mental health is just as important as physical health. Taking time just for you, especially when you're a busy mom, is crucial to your happiness and sanity. Go treat yourself to a pedicure while your husband stays with the kids. Don't miss girls nights with your friends. Watch your favorite movie or TV show during nap time. Or just take a nap in the afternoon when your kids are napping. Whatever makes you happy, make time for it!

What do you do to stay healthy in your busy life? I'm always looking for good advice!

this post was created in partnership with Bugaboo
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