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#TRENDALERT: Off The Shoulder

Sun’s out, shoulders out! Tis the season to bare a little more skin than usual. With that said, there’s a fine line between showing a peek of skin and showing too much skin. And that’s exactly where off-the-shoulder comes in.

If you’re like me, I’m naturally broad shouldered so anything that accentuates that area can result in me looking like a football player. I’m not kidding! But, to my surprise—this trend is extremely flattering. I’m OB-sessed! Especially with this floral print I’m wearing from Smythe.

It’s not a “new” trend by any means but this flirty look definitely got its moment to shine during the most recent spring/summer fashion week. Designers displayed everything from off-the-shoulder blouses to dresses allowing room for any occasion.

From left to right: Paul & Joe, Peter Pilotto, Chloe, Michael Kors, and Francesca Liberatore

(via www.fashionista.com)

For a more casual look, pair a top with some denim or opt for an off-the-shoulder breezy dress. If you tend to be a little more conservative or the occasion calls for it, pair a structured off the shoulder with tailored pants or a knee-length skirt.

Shop the look here:


 

TIP: For this trend, it’s all about the bra. Since your straps can’t show, invest in a great strapless bra that won’t budge and you’ll be comfortable in. Always remember: the wrong bra can cause the clothing to fit in all the wrong places!

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DIY Galaxy In A Jar

I’m a huge fan of creating sensory activities for my little ones. Some may see these as “crafts” but there’s actually a larger and more important purpose. Sensory activities and DIY’s promote creativity, imagination, motor skills, and awareness through play.

I also love catering our crafts and sensory activities to my kids’ current interests. Like all little boys, Brooks’ has his share of obsessions. Some days it will be non-stop superheroes. Other days it’s all about the legos. Recently, he’s been interested in shows and books about astronauts and space. So, of course, we had to make our own galaxy!

Fortunately, most of these supplies are probably already in your home or craft closet. Brooksie loved playing around with all the glitter and paint to create his own colorful galaxy. It’s now a great decoration to put on his bedroom shelf!

Supplies:

  • Various colors of acrylic paint (stick to blues, purples, pinks)
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Various colors of glitter
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Open glass bottle and fill the bottom with a layer of cotton pads.

  1. Fill half of the bottle with water on top of the cotton pads. Follow with 2 squirts of the same color paint and glitter.
  2. Continue making the layers of cotton pads. Following with 2 squirts of a different colored paint and glitter.

  1. Keep making layers until it is filled 2-3 inches from the top. Shake, shake, shake and see your colorful galaxy creation!

For more sensory ideas for your little ones, check out these links:

Kiwi Crate | Sensory Activities DIY Projects // Meri Cherry | Art Activities For Toddlers // Kids Play Box | Sensory Play Boxes

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How To Get Your Hair Back To Health

There’s nothing worse than damaged hair. Trust me, I’ve been there a lot! During my career, I’ve had every treatment, every style, and every color imaginable. My personal hair stories might scare you but they’ve also taught me a thing or two about what it takes to build strong, healthy locks from the inside out.

If your hair is feeling like it will never recuperate (or want to maintain), it will! All it takes is a little time, patience, and these tricks:

  • Supplements: I’m a big believer in taking supplements for your skin and hair. Prenatal vitamins work well here. Also, when I was a model, I took something called Visiscal. It’s an over-the-counter fish oil supplement that can be easily found online and in health stores. Models take it because it works! Studies have proven that protein and essential fatty acids (EFAs), like those found in fish oil, effectively help to regulate hormones and stimulate hair growth. Biotin and silica supplements have also been proven to promote healthier hair and growth. Nutrafol is also a great option.
  • Hair Washing: Stop overwashing your hair. Drop it down to at least every other day. Always use a gentle shampoo designed for color treated hair even if you don’t color yours. This is especially important if you’re a redhead or have darker hair. Tracey Cunningham, from Meche Salon, always reminds me: “You wouldn’t wash a delicate cashmere sweater with a harsh detergent. Same goes for your hair.”
  • Hair Conditioning: I use two different conditioners. It seems complicated, but it’s not. I use a lightweight conditioner meant for processed hair on my entire head. And then, just on the ends, I use Terax, a very heavy conditioner. I don’t mind spending more money on a conditioner because it stays on your hair the longest and it’s meant to penetrate. For a more budget-friendly option, a mayonnaise mask also does the trick.
Gia Canali Photography

Gia Canali Photography

For those with color-treated hair, the line Olaplex is especially important for you. If you feel like a bleach treatment left you with broken ends, Olaplex bonds the hair as well as helping to keep that vibrant color.

  • Heat Hiatus: You’ve got to do it. Avoid using too many heat tools on your hair and occasionally take a break from blow dryers and the like. Whenever using heat tools, first work a heat protectant into the hair. Topknots, ponytails, and braids are a simple way to look stylish without excess styling or using heat.

For some heat hiatus hair ideas, check out these links:

Buzzfeed | 30 Stunning No Heat Hairstyles // Stylecaster | 50 Best Braid Tutorials on YouTube // Refinery 29 | How To Style Hair Without Heat // 

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The Soup For All Your Wilted Greens

Happy Earth Day! Since I have a garden, I always have an unlimited amount of greens. Even though this sounds great, it also means there is a higher risk for food waste. If the garden yields more than usual, I’m pretty good about planning my meals extra veggie that week. But unfortunately, they start wilting and not looking so appetizing.

That’s where the Wilted Greens Soup comes in. Many times your wilted greens are still nutritious and edible but maybe not in the standard form. Dana Slatkin from Farm Girl Beverly Hills came up with this delicious recipe for this very problem. Grab your greens and make a soup!

 

Spring Wilted Greens Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted organic butter or Earth Balance
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 small Yukon Gold or ½ russet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth (save all your extra veggies for this, too!)
  • 4 cups chopped mixed wilted greens (such as romaine, arugula, iceberg, butter lettuce, etc.)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp. sweetener of your choice, optional (Dana recommends Dolcedi,which derives from apples. It’s low on the glycemic scale and can be found at Whole Foods.)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Crème fraiche, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh chives, tarragon, mint, and/or parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in a large pot medium over medium heat. Cook the onion and thyme, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about five minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the potato and the broth, bring to a boil, and cook until the potato is soft; 8-10 minutes. Stir in the greens, peas, and sweetener. Remove from the heat, and let sit 10 minutes to allow greens to soften.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Pour into soup bowls; swirl with crème fraiche and sprinkle with herbs.

Scarlett loves it, too!

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My Monthly Obsessions | April

For me, the month of April is all about gearing up for my favorite season of all—summer, of course! From getting back-to-bikini ready to finding some new beach bag essentials, I have definitely found some OB-SESSIONS to share with you.

Budsleeves  

When it comes to pet peeves, tangled headphones are close to the top of my list. I always end up throwing them in my bag on the way out the door, which makes them a mess when I go to use them. When I found Budsleeves, I vowed to never go back to the old ones. These ear buds eliminate tangling by using a thick bungee material. They are super cute, too!

Say Hello To Sexy Legs! Illuminating Fluid

Summer is almost here which means I’ll be showing a lot more leg. I am a huge advocator of lathering up the SPF (the higher the better!) so when I want a bronzing glow, I normally end up faking it. This illuminating fluid delivers a weightless texture and smells AH-mazing, which is important. It smells like pure coconut (one of it’s ingredients!) It’s also infused with caffeine and green tea, which is great for tightening. And for all you #SUPERMOMMAS—it’s paraben and phthalate free!

Just Tell Me What To Say by Betsy Brown Braun

I’ll just put this as simple as possible—parenting can be tough. Brooks’ can have his share of temper tantrums (like most kids!) and it’s a learning experience to deal wit them in an effective manner. If you have these same problems (or see them coming) Betsy Brown Braun’s books are a godsend. “Just Tell Me What To Say” provides tips and scripts for everything from sibling rivalry to those tough talks about death, sex, and divorce. As a child development specialist, she also has other books out specifically for each step in the child’s life.

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

My friend, Dana Slatkin, of Farm Girl Beverly Hills turned me onto this. This pure vanilla paste from Madagascar takes a sweet dish to another level! You’ll never go back to regular vanilla extract. Since it has a thick texture, it doesn’t thin out batters, which makes it great for most of your baking needs. It’s also delicious to add to a spring cocktail for a sweeter taste.

Slip Silk Sleep Mask

I love my beauty sleep. So when I do settle down for the night, I try to maximize it. As a momma, we truly do take it where we can get it! This silk sleep mask is a true luxury.

Nicole Granato Detox

Some days, I truly don’t have time to sit and lemon water. As much as we put the effort in, it can be hard to have time when running the kids to school or heading to work. That’s why it’s important to find detox and wellness products that work for your lifestyle! In my case, I like finding things for “on-the-go.” Nicole Granato’s Detox powder can be easily added to literally anything!

Sleep Dresses From Lunya Sleepwear

Can I see a show of hands on who actually wears sexy lingerie to bed? Probably not many. I’m all about the comfort! That’s where Lunya Sleepwear’s line comes in. Their material and designs are comfortable, breathable, and simple. What else could you want?

Mission B

Whenever possible, I try to use organic beauty products for everyday wear. As a one-stop-shop, I like to purchase all of my products on Mission B. They have all the lines I love and I can also be sure that everything I’m purchasing on their site is all natural, organic, and eco-friendly.

What are you OB-sessing over? Leave me a comment below!

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7 Tips For A Peaceful Transition To Motherhood From Lori Bregman

When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember feeling clueless. Becoming a mom for me was something I’d always wanted to do—but it was like learning a new language. So I reached out for support. I looked to other moms for advice, I read, and I relied on my holistic pregnancy coach, Lori Bregman, to help guide me through this life-changing transition.

(photo credit: Gia Canali)

I’ve known Lori for years and let me say—she’s a godsend. Pregnancy and becoming a new mom can come with a lot of new feelings that can be pretty confusing. Am I doing this right? Is this normal? Trust me, we’ve all asked these questions. Lori helped put me at ease not just as a new momma for my child but also for myself as a whole.

Her book, The Mindful Mom To Be, is a must-have for women of all stages of life: wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, and post birth. Her main focus is on making this transition as peaceful as possible. Here are 7 tips, along with a message from Lori herself, that have helped me through and after both of my pregnancies:

Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of pregnant woman from all walks of life. Within this experience, I’ve learned that no two mothers are the same or have had the same pregnancy, child, birth experience or family dynamic. Some have an easier time with the transition into motherhood than others. It doesn’t mean that they love their child any more or less–it just means that transitions, paces, journeys and the integration process are different for everyone.

Here are a few ways to make the transition into motherhood more peaceful:

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We all have different paces we move, levels of coping, and different gifts to share. Just because so-and-so lost her weight in a month, or your friend’s baby was sleeping through the night, or your sister had the easiest time with breastfeeding doesn’t mean that will be your experience. When you realize you’re comparing yourself and your baby to others, simply become aware that you’re doing it and pull your energy back to you. Stay focused on who you are and on getting to know your baby.

Surrender to the Process

Post-pregnancy is a time of integrating this new you and new baby into your life. You’re finding your way so it’s a process that shouldn’t be rushed. You need to allow it to unfold at its own natural pace. I have seen some women rushing to get back to what was or rushing quickly to the other side in their new life. When you can stay and drop yourself into this present moment to figure it all out, it allows you to connect and bond with your baby. It also helps you understand they way they tick so you’ll come out on new territory a lot more ready and prepared. For some, this process can last a month while for others it takes a year. You’ll get there at your own pace. And so will your baby. You can’t rush the process! The gifts and all the lessons are found in the journey.

It’s Just Temporary

Everything right now is in-between what was and what will be. Your body is in-between pregnancy, what is was and will be. Your hormones are all over the place and your baby is here as well as in-between worlds. Your relationship with you partner is shifting as you learn how to integrate this little miracle that you both created into your life. And to top it off, your sleep is sporadic. Good news: this is all just temporary and not how your life is going to be. It’s just how it is right now, which is all part of the transition.

Prepare Ahead of Time

My dear friend Heng Ou of Mother Bees has an amazing book out called, The First Forty Days: The Essential Art Of Nourishing The New Mother. In this book, Heng provides pages of nourishing recipes you can pre-make ahead of time for post birth, as well as how to set up a support system during this magical and vulnerable period. I also give a ton of meaningful life tools in my book, The Mindful Mom To Be, that will help you birth yourself as a mother.

There is No Such Thing as Perfect

There is no perfect person or way of doing anything. However, there is a right unique way for you. Use this time again to find what FEELS right for you, your family and your child. Read books, talk to people you respect, try different things, and create your own authentic style of doing parenthood that supports who you and your partner are, as well as who your child is.

Get Support

This is key! Surround yourself with positive people who nurture you and are supportive. Hire a post-Partum doula to come care for you so you can better care for your baby. It’s sad but in today’s modern world, many women find it weak or hard to ask for help. This is a time to definitely reach out to others for support! People love to help and by allowing them to, you’re actually giving them the gift of being of service.

Also, I highly recommend reaching out and getting extra support from a lactation expert. Often, your baby will latch beautifully at the hospital or after birth but as time goes on or when you go home, things might change. This can be a big cause of stress for new mamas. My go-to girl, Linda Hanna, is the founder of the breastfeeding support website, Mahmee. Even if you don’t live in LA, this is an invaluable resource for new mothers everywhere.

Rest and Recharge

I know, I know. How can I rest and recharge when I have a new baby? I love using the metaphor of when you’re on an airplane and they tell you to first put on the oxygen mask so you can better assist your children. Your new baby is 100% dependent on you. This is often a time where one forgets about themselves and everything becomes about the baby. But if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give. Self-care is crucial! Nap when your baby naps, delegate chores by allowing others help you, get outdoors to feel the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. It’s also important to limit your visitors and set boundaries. Put an outgoing message on your phone and emails, saying you just had a baby and it might take you some time to get back to them. Eat healthy. Nurturing foods like oatmeal, salmon, and steamed vegetables, as well as easy-to-digest stews and soups are great for post-birth.

Stay tuned for post-birth recipes from Lori Bregman right here on MollySims.com. Also, make sure to grab a copy of her book, The Mindful Mom To Be.

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In My Makeup Bag With Style Code Live

style code live

I love experimenting in beauty—especially when it comes to products. If there’s a new line, you better believe I’m trying it. Recently, I’ve found some new products that I can’t live without. Yes, I say that ALL the time. But, I’m serious—this stuff is good. My friend, Emese Gormley, recommended a lot of these so that’s how you know they are worth the try. We all have that one “product whore” in our group—and she’s mine.

"CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 11: Molly Sims appears on Amazon's "Style Code Live" at PLATFORM in Hayden Tract on April 11, 2016 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Amazon)"

Last week, I stopped by Amazon’s Style Code Live to talk about these very products. If you happened to miss the episode, click below:

Laura Mercier Soft Candleglow Luminous Foundation // Tom Ford Cheek Cream Color in Pink Sand // Ish Contour Kit // By Terry Ombre Blackstar “Colorfix” Cream Eyeshadow in Bronze Moon // Nars Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte // Eyeko Mascara // Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Mirth // Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Lost Cherry

 

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Luxe Look For Less | 3.1 Philip Lim Paperbag Ankle Trousers

Believe it or not—fashion isn’t about label lusting. When building your wardrobe, it’s all about investing in what you can, where you can, and when you can. If you have the cash, by all means, go out and check everything off your wish list. But we are all working with different budgets. With that said, it’s important to know the different between “investment” pieces and pieces that you’ll only wear a couple times. It’s all about the mileage!

Since I love the slimming effect of the trouser pant, I decided to splurge on these army green ankle trousers from 3.1 Philip Lim. Because of their versatility, I know I’ll wear them over and over again. I’ve worn them to a business meeting, to a dinner, and paired them with a white tank for a casual day on the run.

These days, you can find well-made pieces at affordable prices easier than ever before. If you’re in the market for a great pair of trousers like these, check out these lower-priced options that are the perfect luxe for less comparison:

TIP: When looking for trousers, it’s all about the tie waist. Buy a size bigger for a more flattering look and use the tie to tighten. It’s universally slimming!

To complete my outfit, I paired with a Wolford black bodysuit, a grey Celine trapeze bag, and Celine black heels.

BODYSUIT:

BLACK HEELS:

TRAPEZE BAG:

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My Garnier SkinActive Beauty Haul

I am so, so, so thrilled to announce my partnership with Garnier SkinActive. As you know, skincare is extremely important to me. I preach a daily routine like it’s the gospel. It makes such a difference! It’s no secret that my career depends on my skin looking good. I’ll tell you—it hasn’t always been easy. And it still isn’t! I’ve struggled with acne, melasma, and dark circles for a good portion of my adult life. There’s only so much that makeup can cover up so it’s important to see your skin’s health as a reflection of your overall health.

I’m a busy wife and mom so I don’t have all the time in the world to designate to my skincare routine. I still need all the help I can get but at half the time. That’s why I love Garnier SkinActive. Not only do they have great products, I also believe in their message. Their skincare line is for women who live an active “do it all” lifestyle. Their products are easy to use, available at your local drugstore, and can seamlessly weave into your existing daily routine.

So, I’ll be honest. One of the perks of partnering with such a great brand is that you receive buckets of the products. If you’ve never heard of Garnier SkinActive or you want to try them out, here are three of my top must-haves to get you started:

micellar cleansing water

Micellar Cleansing Water

I actually discovered a version of this product in the 90s when I was modeling in Europe. Before we would come home, we would raid the drugstores to make sure we had enough when we were back home in the states. I am so happy that it’s now available at our drugstores for half the price. This Micellar Cleansing Water is a cleanser and a makeup remover all in one. When I was modeling, this was a makeup artists’ dream!

All you do is pour a bit on a cotton pad, press on face, and wipe off. There is absolutely no rinsing needed! When I say it removes everything, I mean even the brightest red lipstick in your kit. Garnier SkinActive has also released a waterproof version of this same product for any waterproof mascara or lip stain that can be a little more stubborn. It’s absolutely perfect for a busy momma on the go!

garnier clearly brighter

Clearly Brighter Moisturizer

Like I said before, I have had a problem with melasma most of my adult life—especially during pregnancy. For those who aren’t familiar, melasma is basically dark spots from hell. I’m always looking for products that will protect my skin from the sun but at the same time help my skin look brighter and more even.

The reason I love this Clearly Brighter Moisturizer from Garnier SkinActive is that it does all of that. It comes in both SPF 15 and 30 depending on how much protection you need. It’s also broad spectrum, which means it protects you from both UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays. For the glow factor, it has Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant version of your skin’s best friend. Vitamin C is responsible for slowing down the natural breakdown of skin cells that cause uneven skintone, dark spots, and wrinkles. You use this product for a week and your skin will look visibly brighter and smoother while still providing that important SPF protection.

towelettes

Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes 

I love including charcoal into my wellness routine. As an ingredient, it detoxifies and draws out impurities. I’ve been taking charcoal supplements for years as well as adding some to my lemon water. It’s also great for your skin—especially for those on the oilier side. So, when I found out Garnier SkinActive’s cleansing towelettes were infused with charcoal I was all in. I like throwing a pack of these in my bag for those times I know I’ll need a refresh. Especially at the beach, a quick swipe of these towelettes will remove any dirt and grime. I even use them on my kids’ hands to clean them up. If this isn’t the definition of multi-use, I don’t know what is!

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DIY Neon Succulent Planters

I love a good pop of color especially when it comes to décor. Since I’m always entertaining in my backyard, I wanted to add some fun accent pieces for the spring season. I love the look of a hanging plant so I chose to stray away from the standard floral arrangement with succulents. I love succulents because they are super easy to take care of. Also, they work for any amount of sun or shade you get on your patio.

Unfortunately, succulents aren’t known to be the most colorful of the bunch. So, I ended up adding some color with neon DIY hanging planters. Since glass isn’t safe with kids running around, I used an unexpected material: felt. And, don’t worry—you don’t need to be a master sewer to achieve this!

Follow these steps to create a colorful decoration perfect for all your upcoming backyard parties:

DIY Neon Succulent Planters

Materials:

  • Thick gray wool felt
  • Black Thread
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Nylon Cord
  • 3/8 inch Grommets
  • Pentagon Pattern
  • Scissors
  • Needle, small for thread and larger embroidery thread
  • Pins

Directions:


  • Using pattern cut 11 pentagrams from the felt.

  • Start by stitching two pentagrams together with the black thread. I 
double up the thread for strength and knot it occasionally.
  • Work your way around attaching pentagons edge to edge, you are 
basically creating something similar to a soccer ball but with pentagrams.

  • Once you have your form, carefully turn inside out so the stitching is on the inside.
  • With your embroidery thread, I used hot pink and neon green, stitch 
around the opening and along the sides of several pentagons. You could outline all, I added the stitching to 3.
  • At the center of each pentagon at the opening, add grommet following 
directions on package. I used black oxide grommets.

  • Insert lengths of nylon cord approximately 30 inches long, creating a loop 
through the grommet and tie at the top.
  • Carefully fill with cactus/succulent soil.
  • Add a succulent/cactus of choice.

For more creative backyard DIYs, check out these links:

Architecture Art Design | 25 Lovely DIY Hanging Planters // Real Simple | 22 Outdoor Décor Ideas // Better Home & Gardens | Colorful Touches For Outdoor Decorating