The Perfect Handbag for Going to Grandma’s House in Style

Top Tier Style Leather Handbag Review

We live life on the go and are always in need of quality handbags to carry back and forth for me and the kids!  Top Tier Style contacted us to review these cute handbags and Mom Always Knows did receive them at no cost in exchange for this review but all opinions are 100% our own.

top tier style purse

My kids like to be just like me so they usually pack up their own bags when we hit the pool, the gym or their favorite place; Grandmas house.  These bags are the perfect size (30cmx50cm) for a couple of their favorite toys, PJ’s, shoes and a change of clothes.  They come in a variety of colors on the website including pink, red, silver, black, light blue, wine, gold, grey and more.

pink leather handbag

We selected the pink and light blue (more like aqua) and love them!  There is a tassel on the side and they came with cute scarfs tied on the sides that my daughters are using for their baby dolls currently but think accessorizing YOUR outfits!  The inner part of the purse is polyester and has a cell phone pocket as well for more storage!

aqua leather handbag

The website says they are leather and they sure look and feel like leather but don’t smell like leather so I can not be sure but the price point would say they were not at $25.99 since this is a rather nice size bag.  Perfect for kids or Moms on the go because at that price point, you could buy 2!

These handbags are MAK approved for sure!

Check out their site HERE!  They have lots of goodies like sunglasses, gloves, shoes, clothes, jewelry and more!

Raise Them up Kind Mom

Parenting is hard!

And every day I wonder what mistakes I am making along the way.  Parenting is filled with a constant shadow of doubt and there is a lot of pressure to raise the perfect child.  And lets chat for a minute about that… Who decides what the perfect child looks, acts and sounds like???  Who gets to determine what qualities the perfectly parented child has??  And who wants that job???  With all the doubt and second guessing involved with parenting I strive to allow myself the opportunity to fail and to grow.  Am I parenting the perfect child???  Sure I am.  Declan is perfect in his own right and he is the prefect child for me.  Let’s set some realistic standards here… let’s focus on growth and development… let’s shine a light on the positive.  Each child is perfect- in some way (big or small) and each child possess innate qualities that are special to them.  Kids are kids.  Let them be little.

One of the most important things for me, as a mother, is to raise a kind and thoughtful human.  If Declan does nothing else in life but be kind and respectful to others I will consider my parenting battle a successful one.  Each and every day I tell Declan how kind he is, I remind him he is sweet and I praise his ability to forgive.

Is it easy?? NO.  He is a toddler after all.  He can be defiant.  He can be cheeky.  He can be mischievous.

I believe, strongly, in the importance of reminding him he is kind in the WORST of times- when is acting defiant, cheeky and mischievous.  In the middle of a melt-down at Target because the P.J. Masks book did not come home with us, in the middle of the restaurant when he is losing his mind because he is hungry, in the midst of an argument with a friend over whose turn it is to ride the pink tractor.  Reminding Declan he is kind, sweet and forgiving stands at the forefront of my mothering.raise kind kids

BabysWatch Handcrafted Bracelet Designed to Look like a Watch for Kids Review

Calling all watch lovers…well kind of… calling all bracelet lovers!

Have you ever seen such a cute little thing? BabysWatch is a handcrafted bracelet designed to look like a wristwatch made especially for kids ages 0-6.

handcrafted bracelet

The MAK team was so excited when we were asked to review this product and although we did receive the cutest little bracelets to keep in exchange for our review, our opinions are 100% our own that we are sharing with you!

There are several different designs for girls and boys on the website to chose from so me being a shabby chic lover, I picked the Flower Navy and the Boston Tree designs.  Can you say cuuuuuttttte?  I loved the packaging that they came in and my girls were very excited to get them as well!  The first think my youngest said was how soft and cushy her bracelet was!

Features from the website.

  • Cotton bracelet designed to look like a wristwatch.
  • Handmade with 100% organic and chemical-free cotton fabric that is ultra soft, breathable and nonirritating against your baby’s skin.
  • BPA free, latex free, phthalate free and lead free.
  • Graphics are printed in high definition resolution. Sophisticated styling allows your little one to transition from the daily grind to the fancy evening ball effortlessly.
  • Hand wash cold and air dry. Not recommended for teething. One-size-fits-all for ages 0 to 6.

babyswatch for kids

As a mom, anything you can throw in the washer is a bonus as we all know how DIRTY our kids are!  It will be nice to be able to keep these looking clean and know that the graphics are high def, so washing won’t fade the bracelets!

BPA anyone?  It’s big talk lately.  So rest assured, BPA free, latex free etc.

Comfort to me and my kids is probably one of the most important things when picking out a piece of jewelry or clothing!  100% organic cotton fabric and breathable…you can’t go wrong!  They really are super soft and amazing!

Moms with little ones ages 1-3, this would be a super piece for you.  It is not recommended for teething but its a great way to introduce colors and numbers to your child and they will love wearing it to be like “Mom” or an older sibling who might already wear a watch for real.

cute watches for kids

It fit my 5 1/2 yr old just fine (pictured above.)  She accessorized it as you can see with a matching aqua shirt (our favorite color.)  She does prefer a real watch but since she doesn’t know how to tell time yet anyway, this is a great starter watch to start having conversations about numbers and telling time as well.

These little bracelets make great baby shower or birthday gifts and are available for a great price point of $14.99 on Babyswatch’s website or Amazon below (affiliate links to help support our blog.)

MAK approved!  Super Cute!  Get some! Here are just a few options below but remember they have so many designs for girls and boys too!

gift idea for babies jewelry

Treasures and Gems: Style Lessons from Mother to Daughter

So excited to have Mae with The Gospel of Beauty back in the house today!  Mae’s sense of style is phenomenal and sharing it with her daughter makes it even sweeter!  Make sure you stop by her blog and say hello!  

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some style lessons for all you beautiful Mama’s out there! Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!


LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER. Dear Isabella necklaces in safety pin design make for the perfect mother-and-me heirloom that can be passed on from one generation to another. PHOTOGRAPHY BY Realtor Brian Johnson.

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER. DEAR ISABELLA NECKLACES IN SAFETY PIN DESIGN MAKE FOR THE PERFECT MOTHER-AND-ME HEIRLOOM THAT CAN BE PASSED ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY REALTOR BRIAN JOHNSON.

 

SAFETY FIRST. Dear Isabella's safety pin necklace is the perfect symbolism of a mother's love and protective care.

SAFETY FIRST. DEAR ISABELLA’S SAFETY PIN NECKLACE IS THE PERFECT SYMBOLISM OF A MOTHER’S LOVE AND PROTECTIVE CARE.

 

I have my mother to thank for exposing me to the possibilities of mixing and matching style pieces. A firm believer of self-care, she would never be caught looking anything less than put together. Her trademark bold red lipstick spoke of unmistakable confidence, a trait I continue to emulate now that I’ve become a mother myself. 

MOTHERLY LOVE. She's always put your wants first. Return the favor this Mother's Day and surprise mom with something she would want: a stunning piece of jewelry.

MOTHERLY LOVE. SHE’S ALWAYS PUT YOUR WANTS FIRST. RETURN THE FAVOR THIS MOTHER’S DAY AND SURPRISE MOM WITH SOMETHING SHE WOULD WANT: A STUNNING PIECE OF JEWELRY.

 

As it comes full circle now that I have become my daughter’s first style influence, I look back—in a timely manner as Mother’s Day is just around the corner—of the gems of style lessons my own mother imparted upon me: 

1. Look for soulful details.

This is especially true in jewelry. There are some pieces that simply speak to you, one that evokes good energy. When I first saw this necklace by Dear Isabella Larimar Jewelry Company in an adorable safety pin design, it called my name.

Perhaps it is because the brand itself is founded by a mother inspired by her own daughter so I felt a kindling connection with the brand’s story. Dear Isabella, eponymously named after the owner’s daughter, is one mother’s way to celebrate her daughter, aside from honoring the treasures of her birth home, the Dominican Republic. The brand’s classic collection pays homage to the unmistakable bond between mother and daughter and each fine piece honors this lifetime love and connection.  

MOMMY AND ME. When twinning with mommy is in order, accessorize with a piece of jewelry that your daughter could treasure for a lifetime.

MOMMY AND ME. WHEN TWINNING WITH MOMMY IS IN ORDER, ACCESSORIZE WITH A PIECE OF JEWELRY THAT YOUR DAUGHTER COULD TREASURE FOR A LIFETIME.

 

2. Find timeless pieces.

Whether it’s shopping for clothes or shoes, I tend to favor classic items that can last through multiple fashion seasons. This is also true in my choice of accessories. My mom, always the practical woman, taught me to invest in pieces that never go out of style, such as black dresses, white tops and precious gemstones.

CARIBBEAN GEM. Larimar, the Caribbean gemstone, ranges from subtle green to deep blue in color.

CARIBBEAN GEM. LARIMAR, THE CARIBBEAN GEMSTONE, RANGES FROM SUBTLE GREEN TO DEEP BLUE IN COLOR.

 

The part that has drawn me most to Dear Isabella’s collections is that it is made with a unique gemstone called Larimar. A rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite, Larimar is only found in one place: in a little paradise island in the Caribbean called the Dominican Republic.

According to historians, when the gemstone was discovered in 1974 by Miguel Mendez and Norman Rilling on a beach at the foot of the Baroruco Mountain Range, Mendez named it Larimar after his daughter’s name (Larissa) and the Spanish word for the sea (mar). Rightfully so, it is also known as the “Caribbean gemstone” for its color evokes the aqua blue Caribbean waters, although it could generally range from subtle green to deep blue in color.

Like many gemstones believed to exude positive energy, Larimar is thought to provide peace and clarity, radiating healing and love energy.

LESS IS MORE. Let an intricate jewelry shine by pairing it with a simple top.

LESS IS MORE. LET AN INTRICATE JEWELRY SHINE BY PAIRING IT WITH A SIMPLE TOP.

 

3. Embrace the anomalies in design.

In design, there’s always that one beautiful imperfection that makes an item perfect. This is something my mom had shown me through her style choices, whether she was buying a local pottery or a piece of jewelry. 

You often get a little of that design anomaly in handmade creations, as no two items can exactly be alike when crafted by hand. When I look carefully to inspect Dear Isabella’s necklaces, I can see how each piece is carefully handcrafted, giving every piece a unique craftsmanship that’s fitting to become a treasured family heirloom a few years down the road. It is easy to tell there’s much effort made in selecting the best possible gemstone. When it comes to Larimar, the general rule of thumb is this: The more blue the color, the higher the quality. 

SMALL BOXES, BIG SURPRISES. The best things in life truly comes in small boxes. Delight mom with a thoughtful gift enclosed in a lovely blue box.

SMALL BOXES, BIG SURPRISES. THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE TRULY COMES IN SMALL BOXES. DELIGHT MOM WITH A THOUGHTFUL GIFT ENCLOSED IN A LOVELY BLUE BOX.

4. Make it look easy.

In a nutshell, this was my mom’s style mantra: Live in style, but make it look easy. She always made it effortlessly to dress up appropriately, put on makeup and fix her hair like it’s nobody’s business. I try to live in her example by taking the time for genuine self-care and putting comfort as high as looking chic. 

To do this, I try to dress up with the mindset that less is more. If the print design is screaming, tone it down by wearing a simple jewelry. Unless you are the iconic fashionista Iris Apfel, it is difficult to get away with wearing layers and layers of chunky necklaces against a psychedelic print. 

BIG HEARTS. Nothing says "I love you, mom" more than a fine jewelry with a rare gemstone. 

BIG HEARTS. NOTHING SAYS “I LOVE YOU, MOM” MORE THAN A FINE JEWELRY WITH A RARE GEMSTONE. 

As for this style shoot, the spotlight was on the stunning Dear Isabella jewelry, so I opted to showcase it with a bare neck and a simple black corset top. It can’t get any more effortless than that.

Mother’s Day or not, how do you plan to surprise the most important woman in your life? What style lessons have you learned from her? Let’s share thoughtful ideas in the comment box below.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dear Isabella Larimar Jewelry Co. All opinions are my own. To learn more about their latest launches, including on their upcoming bridal collection in June, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Dear Isabella ships free within the U.S. and internationally for orders more than $75. Browse their collections today to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift!

Old World Charm: 5 Ways to Wear a Bohemian Chic White Dress

Hey Fashionista’s!  Gotta look good, right!?!  We are so excited to start featuring fashion related topics on MAK!  We thought what a great piece to start with- a simple little chic Bohemian white dress!  Mae Brian has some style which you can check out on her blog called The Gospel of Beauty.

Enjoy!  Let us know what you think!


 Post by Mae Brian

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Realtor Brian Johnson | LOCATION: Ybor City | KID’s OUTFIT and HAIR ACCESSORY: The Hair Bow Company

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Think of your little white dress as LBD’s free-spirited little sister: less formal, casually easy like Sunday morning, hopelessly romantic like a hippie wild child yet equally classic at the same time.

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With the change in season and warmer weather creeping in, the little white dress is the perfect wardrobe essential for a lovely spring and summer affair. Oh, did we mention it’s also versatile to wear? There are a million ways to style your little white dress, but this mommy-and-daughter duo’s favorite is wearing it with a touch of vintage bohemian.

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To channel our inner boho spirit, we stepped into Ybor City, Tampa’s historic district, which once thrived as a cigar industry town prior to the Great Depression. The place was named after Vicente Martinez Ybor, a prominent Spanish cigar entrepreneur who relocated his cigar-making business from Cuba and Key West to Tampa in the late 1880s.

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Today, Ybor City is named National Historical Landmark District and recognized as one of the “10 Great Streets in America.” It continues to have a diverse blend of cultures, thanks to its first immigrant settlers primarily of Cuban, Spanish and Italian descents who brought with them their own unique food and traditions.

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Ybor City has since been transformed as a favorite local spot among foodies, party night owls and art lovers, as evident by its unique fusion of international-themed restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters and street art.

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That being said, it served as the perfect backdrop for a vintage-bohemian fashion shoot. It’s easy to be adventurous when wearing a little white dress, so let your inner child run wild and play with a few fun details. Here are five ways to rock the bohemian rhapsody style:

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1. When it comes to frills, poufs and laces, go big or go home.  

When shopping for your little girl’s white dress, choose a baby doll silhouette like this flouncy dress by The Hair Bow Company. The pouf at the bottom makes twirling hard to resist and the silhouette gives the dress an ultra-fun and girly vibe. A touch of lace around the neckline is always a good idea as it makes the overall look romantic but mostly, whimsical.

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2. Wear white with gold.

Add an interesting element to take away the “blah” in basic white. For instance, gold adds a touch of elegance to white. A word of caution: Keep the gold element subtle, you don’t want to look like you’ve just been cursed by Midas’ touch. A gold belt or hair accessory should do the trick.

For this photo shoot, I opted to give my overall look with a metallic touch by wearing The Hair Bow Company’s gold leaf headband.

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3. Pair it with a romantic head dress.

When it comes to a white dress in satin and lace, a little accessory goes a long way. Jazz up your little one’s look with some floral and lace head dress, like the one shown on top and sold at The Hair Bow Company. It’s not only a great way to pull the hair away from your little one’s face and keep her day look neat, but it’s a style piece that could effortlessly tie in the overall old-world, bohemian look.

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4. Have fun with a pair of gladiator sandals.

As far as vintage style goes, wearing the right pair of footwear matters. It’s really amazing how shoes can single-handedly take an overall look from day to night. For instance, a gold pair of stilettos could make this white dress by Forever 21 “happy hour ready,” while a classic pair of nude pumps could make it work-appropriate. For this style shoot, I slipped on a pair of gladiator sandals to complete the boho chic look. Hello, is that you, ancient Rome, calling?

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5. Keep the look organic by sticking to neutral colors.

Think of woodsy colors like forest green or caramel brown. These colors go well with a simple white dress in creating a very “chill” and Woodstock-inspired style. Let your individuality shine with your style choices, whether that means adding a mocha fringe messenger bag, a pair of feather earrings or some oversized bows. Ultimately, it’s about embracing your free-spirited inner child!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Hair Bow Company. All opinions are my own. Follow them on Facebook or sign up to their newsletter to enjoy a five percent discount on your order.