My husband and I recently returned from Sandals in Antigua. Luck was on our side because in the last couple of days they are talking about union strikes there. However, we made it back just in time to miss all that. Before we left for our trip I did some research about the resort. I was mostly looking for pictures—I’m a visual person. And to be honest, I wanted real deal images not the Sandals pictures. My search turned up very limited information and/or pictures. So I thought I would do a blog post with some photos and opinions of our experience at the resort.

So a just a small backstory. We chose Sandals because we went to Sandals in St. Lucia (on our honeymoon 5 years ago) and had such a wonderful experience we wanted to venture someplace new but keep the quality that we had experienced with the resort chain. So after much deliberation we picked Antigua. We wanted a beautiful beach with clear water and Antigua had come highly recommended.

When we arrived in Antigua it was a short 15-20 minute van ride to the resort. We were greeted by Sandals staff and given champagne while we completed our check in. Staff showed us to our room and provided us with some resort restaurant information. We spent the night checking out the resort and walking on the beach.

My husband and I spent most of our time at the beach and by the pool. We were looking for relaxation-we have a two year old-what else is there to say?? Both of these spots are fantastic at this resort. The beach is gorgeous. FYI- It is a public beach so anyone can be on it. However, it was never crowded and the locals were respectful and accepted no for requests about purchasing goods or excursions. The water on this beach is so clear, warm, and salty. A beach lovers dream. The sand was white, cool, and soft. To date this is the most beautiful beach I have ever been on.

Our pool experience was equally as great. The pool at this resort is massive (they have 3 smaller pools in addition to the main pool). We spent most our time in the main pool. There was plenty of lounge chairs so we were always able to get an umbrella if we wanted one for shade. The pool staff were always coming around asking if we needed a drink. The pool was clean and cool. And the swim up bar was fully stocked and made some great frozen drinks. My favorite drinks were Miami Vice & Hummingbird.


We also did some excursions on the island through Island Routes. One was an Eco Adventure Tour where we did snorkeling, caving, a small hike, and swimming. This was such a great way to see some of the island. I would highly recommended it. They also served us lunch and my husband said that was the best meal of our whole trip!!

Our other excursion was zip-lining. Sorry – no photos from this one. I didn’t want to risk losing my phone. It was a fun time but I though zip-lining in St. Lucia was better. I feel like St. Lucia had better scenery and longer zip lines.

Our trip was great overall. We were looking to relax and spend some quality time together and I think we achieved that. Our only thoughts at the end of the trip ( when comparing this to our last Sandals vacation) were that we did not think that the staff at Antigua were as friendly and accommodating as the staff in St. Lucia. In addition, the restaurants at Sandals in Antigua where not as good as the Sandals in St. Lucia.  The menu options were not as appealing to me and the freshness and preparation of the food was lacking. I would not trade the time or experience I had in Antigua. This world is to vast and beautiful to go the same place twice.

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo


All experiences, thoughts, and opinions are my own~No endorsement of any kind.

HEYI BackPack Diaper Bag

Click on image for link to bag 

I’m going to step into “Mama Mode” on the blog today to tell you about the HEYI Backpack Diaper Bag. I started searching for an alternative diaper bag after I realized the one I had was not functional for this stage of our lives. I needed something that let my hands be free, could keep things in order, and let my husband and I put some things in it if needed.

After a LONG search, I settled on the gray and pink HEYI backpack from Amazon for $39.99. I must admit there were a lot of other companies selling similar bags, in a variety of colors, but this particular retailer had excellent reviews. Upon receiving the bag it came nicely packaged and in excellent condition. I took some of my own photos, I’m a visual person and sometimes online photos don’t do products justice. 


I tested this backpack for the first time on our family trip to Kansas City this past weekend. It worked like a charm!!! I took it to a wedding, an aquarium,  zoo, and shopping. It was so comfortable to wear, which was a nice change from having a diaper bag hanging off my shoulder. The material is water resistant which was good since we got rained on at the zoo- such is our luck- and the bag held up nicely and everything in it was nice and dry.

Here is a list of things I was able to put in the bag and still have some extra space if needed:

  • Sippy cup
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Phone/Wallet
  • Keys
  • Hand/Face wipes
  • Band Aids/Tylenol

I am thinking about just switching to this bag full time as it worked so well. In addition, you might have noticed in one of the pictures that the bag is able to stand on its own due to having some boning in the top that keeps it open. Amazing. There is also a number of pockets which is great so you’re not digging for things all the time. Diaper bags are like black holes… no joke. 

If you are searching for a backpack diaper bag or just a better diaper bag this one comes highly recommended and tested by me!! Hope this was helpful to everyone and if you have any questions please let me know!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots 💗☕️

Disclaimer: If the Amazon affiliate link at the top of the article is used to purchase this writer will receive a small financial compensation. All thoughts, picks, and opinions are my own and are not endorsed by any company. 


“You must do things you think you cannot do.”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Some self disclosure, I am an insecure person. This at times holds me back from getting involved and doing things that I love or dare I say could be good at. It’s the fear of failing or being a failure. I will admit that I have gotten better about this, hence the creation of Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots. Starting a Midwest Lifestyle and Fashion blog was a little/big dream of mine. I’m still figuring out this blogging thing but I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far. Progress;)

This brings me to the point of this blog post-Beautycounter. Never heard of it ??? Give me a few minutes and I’ll formally introduce you. And before you say that you don’t wear makeup, don’t need makeup, or simply don’t care-KEEP READING I PROMISE YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.

Let’s start with the mission of Beautycounter, “To get safer products into the hands of everyone.” Did you know that The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. Fact. There are over 80,000 chemicals on the market, inside your skin care and cosmetics, that do not have any safety data on them. If you are like me you probably never gave it a second thought. You go to the store and pick up the stuff you need (and have been using for years most likely) never giving it a second thought. If the stores have it on their shelves it must be safe…. Right?? This is not always the case. It turns out the Food and Drug Administration allows these chemicals to be used in products. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, and the list goes on. I had no clue this was the case. So, I’ve decided to slowly switch out my products for safer. It won’t happen overnight and that’s okay-it’s progress. I’m just so thankful that I know. I’ve been using Beautycounter products for the last 4-5 months. I use the Kids Bath Collection on my daughter and it’s been awesome with her sensitive skin- and it’s SAFE. I’ve used the charcoal bar and the essential nourishing collection and really do notice a positive difference in my skin.  I’m very pleased with the performance of these products.

So I took a leap of faith. I decided to become a consultant for Beautycounter. I can honestly say I have NEVER EVER done anything like this in my life. And I was hesitant to add another thing to my to do list, but I believe in this mission. The goal for me is simple-I want better for myself, my daughter, my family and friends, and the United States. I want people to have safe products to use. We deserve better.

If you are interested in the products and want to learn more about Beautycounter- click on the link below. I’m always here for questions and if I don’t know the answer I will get it for you ASAP:)

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer- If you decide to purchase anything from the link below I will receive some financial compensation, as I am a consultant for Beautycounter. The factual information above can be found on the Beautycounter website and is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. 


Snapshots of some of our awesome products!!

Color Pinch Cream Blusher
Lip Sheer and Lip Gloss
Kids Bath Collection- I use this on my daughter and I love it!!
Charcoal Cleansing Bar 

Sunscreen Collection

Top Five 

Hello Everyone!! I haven’t done a post in awhile and I’ll be honest I go back and forth on what to write about A LOT. I overthink things. It’s a blessing and a curse. I do have some exciting things coming your way in the next couple weeks!!! But for now, I thought I’d share some of the fashion styles I’m loving right now💗

1. Stripes & Florals

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this combination. Don’t be afraid to mix these patterns, within reason.(Some pattern mixing I see these days leaves me speechless. ) Anyway, give stripes and florals a try!! It’s a fun summer combo.

2. Basic w/POP of color

Throw on some black skinny jeans, grey v-neck tee, and fuschia flats. Or, maybe it’s white jeans, red shirt, and a turquoise necklace. The possibilities are endless. If you are like me you probably have the basics and just need to find those “statement pieces.” I found this necklace on Etsy and I love it. 

3. Cold Sholders 

So popular these days—don’t fight it. Just do it. I firmly believe this is a fashion trend that anyone can pull off. My opinion of course. There are dresses and shirts but either way I think it’s a win. Another bonus is these shirts stay in place – no fuss.  Sold. 

4. Shirts w/wording 
I love a good t-shirt and lucky for me they are trendy right now. I have a t-shirt that says            “Gangsta Rap Makes Me Feel Invincible.”  I also have one that says ” But First, Coffee.” This could not be more true. Does anyone else feel like they can’t function without a cup of coffee first??? This girl does. Any other mamas like Rap?? Haha😎

5. Wedges

I have never really been in love with wedges. But I was open minded and willing to give them a shot- everything deserves a second chance;) I found that I prefer the wedges that just have the wedge in the heel and not thru the toe. I recently found these Merona wedges at Target and they have been my go to lately. So cute and comfortable!! Comfort is key when you have a toddler. 

What are your fashion favorites right now? Tell me!!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots💗

Disclaimer- All picks and thoughts are my own and I’m receiving no financial compensation

Don’t Dream About It, Be About It 

I do a ton of online dream shopping. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s when you put things in your online cart but never get around to buying them. It might be because you can’t afford it, don’t really need it, got distracted by your 2 year old, and the list of reasons goes on and on. If you are guilty of this then you know what comes next- about 20 emails from various online stores reminding you that you still have “items in your cart.” Yea…. about that….I was just pretending. But seriously, I am trying to better with my finances. Does anyone else do this?? I’m curious. I’m weird. I might need an intervention. Moving on to things that don’t involve me embarrassing myself.

If you’ve been following my blogs you may have noticed a theme. I love brand named fashion but I can’t always make that business happen. And while I love Target, I needed to branch out.  So let’s talk Nordstrom. We don’t have a Nordstrom in Iowa (sad face). We do have a Nordstrom Rack and it’s great, but it’s not the same. So online shopping it is. Nordstrom has a surplus of beautiful high end fashion brands, but it also has some really affordable options as well. I’ve found brands like B.P, Street Level, Soprano, Ten-Sixty Sherman, and Sweet Bella. I love these brands and the prices.!! Plus, Nordstrom offers free shipping and returns!!! I can purchase these items, while remaining fiscally responsible and avoiding mass emails. So, if you’re in the market for some new summer looks/accessories give these brands a try. My picks are listed below along with the links to get to them:)  Enjoy!!!

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer – All picks and opinions are my own. I am receiving no financial compensation and am in no way affiliated with Nordstrom.

Summer Swimsuit Picks

This summer will be a great one for my sweet little family. We have a wedding, in June, in Kansas City. My husband and I thought it would be fun to spend some time there and take our daughter on her first vacation! Total mama moment over here 🙂 We are planning to go to the zoo, check out a water park, and go to the aquarium. My daughter is at a fun age so it will be great to expose her to these places.  Also, my husband’s sister and her children will be there so they can all have fun together. If anyone out there has any Kansas City tourist tips let me know! I would love to hear them!

Next up, in July, my husband and I are going to Sandals Resort in Antigua. We went to a Sandals in St. Lucia for our honeymoon and had an excellent time. So, five years later we figure we deserve an anniversary trip;) If you have not been to an all inclusive style resort put it on your bucket list. It was so nice to not have to worry about having cash or cards all the time.  I’m hoping I can do a blog on our trip so if anyone is interested or wants to know more they can get a first hand account! Stay tuned:)

And so, that brings me to the point of this blog: swimsuits. A lot of my vacations will involve water parks, pools, and the ocean. So this Mama searched and searched and found some really great swimsuits (in my opinion). I know swimsuit shopping isn’t always high on the priority list. It’s tough to find the right style, fabric, price, and coverage. I’m with you, but maybe these options will work for you too. If not these specific suits maybe the websites will have something to offer. Sometimes I just need to be pointed in the right direction and I can take it from there. So here goes ladies….

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxoxo

Disclaimer- I am not receiving any financial compensation or endorsement from these companies. These are my own choices and opinions.

 1. Target 

I really was skeptical about the high waist bikini trend. I gave it a try and I really loved it. It was comfortable and forgiving in all the right areas. I also think it would be great if you are active in the water or have a 2 year old who might be 😉 Target has a great selection of swimsuits-so if this isn’t your style check out –

Below are the links for this little black number –


2. Aerie 

Aerie is a branch out of America Eagle and it has some really cute stuff!! I was lucky to find this pink bandeau top and wide banded bottom during a sale event. Unfortunately, this suit is not available anymore but they do have a similar one in navy. Currently they are offering 25-50% off of swimwear- link below:)

3. Express

This is my favorite of the bunch:) I love the color and the added details on the bikini top. It fits really well too, which is something you want in a swimsuit. I had no idea that Express has such an awesome collection of swimwear and accessories. I posted the links to this suit below but if you get a chance check out the Express website-

Links for this floral gem below-


I thought long and hard about posting photos of myself in these swimsuits. I just felt that the layout  pictures of these are great but they don’t give an idea to the fit. And partially I need to get over my self esteem issues, if not for myself then to be a good example to my sweet Ella. Enjoy these pictures of myself and my daughter- she was not impressed- #momlife #thisisreallife.


All the Feels 

I was recently at Target, without my toddler, and had a chance to peruse the book isle. I spyed this sweet little pink book and was instantly taken with the title ” note to self”.  I took it off the shelf and opened it (there is something about a crisp new book that is so outstanding). The first couple paragraphs are stunning and I really connected with the author (Connor Franta).  The back of the book says ” this is an open diary. this gives my insides a voice through visuals and poetry; this is me spilled out on paper.”  I mean- WOW. I really wanted to buy it, but I put it back, thinking I needed to be better about managing my money. I know-LAME.

The next day at work I told my office mate about the book. I’d been thinking about it and wanted to share it with her, as I knew she would appreciate the idea and the content of the book. She humored me, as any good friend would, and agreed that the book sounded great.

Fast forward a couple of days.

I came to work and sat down at my desk. I thought to myself, I can do this just eight more hours left…ha-ha. My office mate said to me ” I bought something for you.” Now this may seem out of the ordinary but it’s actually not. My office mate (dear friend) is the sweetest and most observant person I know. She pulled out the pink book and handed it to me. She had taken the time to look at it and buy it for me. That’s a moment I will remember forever. To feel noticed and listened to is really one of the greatest gifts.

I spent time reading, looking, and enjoying the book over the next of couple days. I wanted to tell people about it. So why not blog about it?? Exactly. Done. There is truly so much beauty and pain in this book. I enjoyed an entry about ” her peach sunglasses” (my synopsis won’t do it justice).  Buy the book. I also loved this quote on page 92,

“I hope you know I still admire you 

 I hope you know I still desire you.

(This made me think of my husband)

And I could go on but I won’t. If your looking for a good book to read before bed, at the beach, on your lunch break this is it. If you do end up picking it up let me know your favorite parts- I ‘d love to hear from you.

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxo

Disclaimer-these are my own thoughts and opinions. I’m receiving no financial compensation. 

Take a Trip, Be Uncomfortable, Make Progress

If you’ve looked at my Instagram lately you may have noticed that I haven’t been in Iowa.  I had the honor of being invited to a dear friend’s wedding in California. And to sweeten the deal my friend, Lindsey, made the trip with me. It’s been awhile since I’ve left Iowa, been on a plane, and taken a girls trip. It’s was really nice to have some “me time”. Do I still feel guilty for doing it , yes, do I do it as often as I should, probably not. But I can tell when I do take time for myself everyone gets the best version of me. And frankly, that should be reason enough. So my first piece of advice ( if you are still reading) is take the trip, get a coffee, go work out, do whatever helps you recharge. You don’t have to be mother to do this either, everyone needs a break. Give yourself permission. I’m sure most already know this but I wanted to send out a friendly reminder.

Since I’ve started the blog I have been pretty focused on how to get it going and make it my own. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at other fashion/lifestyle blogs to try to learn more about blogging in general. I’ve also been working on my grammar and punctuation… sorry everyone it needs work.  I’ll fully admit to the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m enjoying myself. Which is really the whole point.

So, since I was going to be in California I thought I would have my friend take some photos of me on the beach. I mean it is a fashion blog so people might want to see some clothing. Sounds reasonable. However, I actually hate being photographed. Like on a scale of 1-10, I’m at a 12 on the hate-o-meter. Anyway, it happened and I survived.  The point I’m trying to make is-I’m not perfect. I don’t look like a model. My hair is frizzy. I’m awkward. I swear a lot (thankfully pictures have no audio). This was outside my comfort zone.  It’s tough to start a journey into something you know very little about (but want to be successful at) and not be critical of yourself. I’m glad I let my beautiful friend take my photos. I can move forward with these photos and hopefully improve. So my second piece of advice is give something a try and be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is progress. It means you’re not settling, you’re moving forward. I assure you there is something out there more valuable than your comfort, it’s your dreams.  I do hope I find my “niche” with this blogging journey but until then I’ll just keep moving the pieces around and enjoy my time. 

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxoxo
Disclaimer- these are my own thoughts and opinions. I’m receiving no financial compensation.

Photo Credit: Lindsey- follow her on Instagram @


Mama’s Day 

The month of May has officially arrived! It’s rainy and gloomy but I’m hopeful Mother Nature can get it together in the next couple of days. With Mother’s Day fast approaching I thought I would do a short blog on gift ideas. I don’t believe you always need to give a gift but I like to let my mother know I acknowledge all she has done for me (and still does).

When I became a mother, I had no clue how difficult it would be. Zero, zip, no freaking idea. People tell you things while you are pregnant but If you’re like me you are focused on what pushing a little bambino out of your nether region is gonna feel like. Anyway- when Ella Frances arrived I was in awe that this beautiful baby belonged to my husband and I and that the hospital trusted us to take her home. No joke. Needless to say, we brought her home and over the past two years there has been laughter, tears, joy, insecurity, and lots of calls to my mother. Her support, guidance, and empathy has made me a better mother.  I am blessed, and I acknowledge that. So if you are looking for a small and simple way to let your mom know you care I think these ideas would be perfect. Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful MaMa’s out there!

Disclaimer- The following are my opinions and I’m receiving no monetary compensation.
1. Bottle of Wine

If your Mom isn’t a wine drinker- skip to #2:) If she is, then I think a great bottle of wine is the ticket! Nothing like sipping a glass of wine with dinner or all by itself! If you live around the Des Moines metro area we have some great wineries nearby. My favorites are Summerset Winery, Jasper Winery, Madison County Winery, and Fireside Winery. I’ve had the oppurtunity to go to some events at these wineries and they do not dissappoint. I’ve posted the links to their upcoming events this summer. Check one or all of them out-Take your mom too!!!

2. Mantra Band

These are beautiful. End of story. They are simple and classic and can be worn with anything. There are a bunch of different quotes to chose from so there is something for everyone. I bought a bracelet for my mom last year and she loved it. Depending on what you decide bracelets range between $25-35 dollars and necklaces start at $55. You are able to chose silver, yellow gold, or rose gold. Check these out at

I purchased this Grace bracelet last year along with my Mom’s bracelet.
3. Sun Hat

An Iowa summer is right around the corner and I could not be more thrilled! A sun hat would be a perfect mother’s day gift. She can wear it in the garden, poolside, at a softball game , or strolling through the Des Moines Farmers Market. Shameless plug- if you live in or around Des Moines and have never been to the farmers market you need to put this on your Saturday morning To Do List.  And back to the sun hats, they are a really popular acessory this year so she will be right on trend! I added links to some of my favorites!
4. The Magnolia Story

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show Fixer Upper. It’s on my personal bucket list to make a trip to Magnolia Market. That place looks so magical!!! Anyway, this book is an easy read. I think everyone can relate to Chip and Joanna and what they went through to get where they are today. It will make you laugh, cry, and smile. You can find it at

5. Stitch Fix Gift Card

This might be a little outside of the box but stick with me. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Stitch Fix it is an online styling service.  You fill out a style profile on their website, pick a ship date, and then a stylist sends you clothing and accessories based on your style profile. The styling fee is $20 dollars. The best part is if you decide to purchase something from your Fix that $20 dollars can be used towards anything you want keep. However, if you decide to send it all back you are out the $20. It’s a different and fun way to get some great clothes. I think this would be a fun Mother’s Day gift!!! Check it out -

Affordable Fashion

I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to see the latest fashion trends. It’s a great way to get inspired on what outfits you might wear on vacation, date night, work, or around the house with a 2 year old. The only flaw in this plan, that I’ve discovered, is that I want to purchase all of my “pins and likes”. Well folks, I can only speak for myself on this but I can’t afford all that stuff! So, in an effort to not drain my bank account, I started using Poshmark. Poshmark is a website you can buy and sell your clothing and accessories! I’ve personally had great success with finding some really gorgeous brand name clothes, shoes, and accessories for affordable prices. I’ve shared my love of Poshmark with some girlfriends and they have purchased some beautiful things as well. The best part about the site is that if someone is selling something for a certain price you can offer a lower price and the seller can decide if they want to accept it or counteroffer. By doing this it lets the seller and the buyer be in charge of what they are willing to pay and accept as payment. I know this isn’t for everyone, what is these days, but maybe for some of you this will be your answer to affordable brand named fashion! Disclaimer- I’m not getting any compensation for this blog post- it’s my opinion and my experience and I just wanted to share. So for your viewing pleasure, I will leave you with some of my recent Poshmark purchases!! Enjoy!!! If you get a chance check it out for yourself-

Pink Thoughts & Espresso Shots xoxoxo

1. Guess Pink Heels- This was my Unicorn find on Poshmark. I had been wanting a pair of pink heels for awhile but had never come across the right color pink. And when I found some online they were just way more money then I was willing to pay. (Rewind 10 years and I would have had them no matter the price but that is not an option these days:) I was able to purchase these pink beauties, for $16!! My guess is that retail on these would be between $75-100 dollars.

2. Kate Spade Gayla Sunglasses- If you are like me you don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money on sunglasses because the likely hood of you sitting on them, losing them, or having your toddler wear them is statistically pretty high. So I was over the moon when I found these for $35!! They are even polarized which is pretty cool. These retail for around $100.

3. Steve Madden Mint Flats- I LOVE STEVE MADDEN… and when I saw these mint flats, there was no point in me trying to resist. They are the perfect pop of color for any outfit and they are comfy too! I picked these up for $18!! I have not found this exact pair but similar styles retail between $50-70 dollars.

Steve Madden

4. Sole Society Travel Bag- This company is a new find for me and I love all their stuff!! I have a couple trips coming up this summer and I was on the hunt for a carry-on that was not my high school back pack from 2002. I came across this one, on Poshmark and it was love at first sight. I was able to buy this bag brand new w/tags for $50.  This particular bag is no longer on the Sole Society website but it is similar to their other travel bags which run around $80 dollars.

5. G By GUESS Peep Toe- This was an impulse buy due to the fact that the seller wanted $20 for these never worn heels! I have paired these with a floral pattern, cold should dress and they are perfect. The retail price on these is a little challenging but similar styles are priced around $50-85 dollars.

6. Banana Republic Hi-Lo Fringe Dress- I looked and looked and looked at this dress for months. I just could not decide if I could pull it off. I finally just said the heck with it.. let’s do this! (I am a nerd).  It retails for $198… I bought it brand new w/tags for $40 dollars. I’m hoping to wear it to an upcoming wedding I’m attending in May.  Don’t judge it by these terrible pictures.. someday I will have someone more professional take photos for me:)