Happy holiday weekend! This past week, Rachel hosted an event at the Overland Park Convention Center and found this dress from Dillard's for the occasion. Get this - it's on sale right now for %40 off! And Grace's pick for today's FF is an adorable swimsuit from Amazon for under $25. Great purchase for the summer! Click on the images below to shop or follow us on LIKEtoKNOWit.
Post Author: Rachel
Italy has been on the bucket list for quite some time, and this year we were able to cross it off! We spent two weeks exploring, learning, eating, drinking wine, drinking some more, and traveling all over this amazing country. The people were incredibly friendly, the food was outstanding, and the wine was everywhere! While we felt like two weeks was the perfect amount of time to hit the highlights, Italy is a place that you could spend months and never feel like you accomplished everything. Over the next few blog posts I'll be sharing our adventure and providing some helpful tips in case you're also planning an Italian excursion.
First Stop: ROME (where else?!)
Rome was one of our favorite cities in Italy! There is so much to see and experience. It is such a wonderful city full of history, with buildings and roads dating back to B.C.. We were there in April and it was already packed, so if you are headed there soon be prepared for the crowds. The busy season typically starts around Easter, and runs through September - not a reason you shouldn't go, just something to be mindful of as you plan out your days and activities. Even with some thick crowds at times, it was such a fantastic city and we packed in as much as possible in just three full days. You could probably spend a year here and not get to everything, but you'll want at least three days to hit the highlights. Here's everything you need to know!
WHAT TO DO
There are so many things to see in Rome that it's hard to narrow it down. The best part of Italy was just slowing down and taking it all in. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere, and allow yourself the time to relax and soak it all up. Here were some of our favorite spots, although we loved just wandering down various roads as you don't know what historical building you'll see next!
WHERE TO EAT
There are so many fantastic places to eat in Rome! Unfortunately, my husband and I both have food allergies - neither of us can have dairy and I can't have gluten...I know, quite the pair. We really thought it might be a problem being in the city that's known for their delicious dairy and gluten. Get this - we found more options in Italy than we ever have in the states!
If you have a gluten allergy or celiac, download the free app, AIC (Associazione Italiana Celiachia) - it allows you to easily search for restaurants in the area that have trained their staff on how to prepare food for those with the allergy or disease. It was so helpful and every place we went to was absolutely scrumptious! Also note, if you get your food or drinks to go, or stand at the bar, they won't charge you a cover charge. If you sit down, you'll be charged a couple Euros as a service charge.
Here's a list of the places we ate and what we ordered:
WHAT TO WEAR
We were there in April when it was supposed to be in the 60's & 70's but it was much chillier than we anticipated so I'd suggest layers, layers and layers! Also note, if you enter a church you must have your shoulders and knees covered. Click on the images below for outfit details. I lived in these sweatshirts and jean jacket the entire trip! Plus, I'd highly recommend comfortable shoes because we did a lot of walking (anywhere from 10-14 miles a day). I love these orthopedic Adidas, they are extremely comfortable and go with every outfit.
Hope this helps you plan your Italian experience! Let me know if you have any questions.
Happy Friday! We are getting ready for our summer Santschi family vacation and just ordered some new swimsuits! Both of these suits are from Amazon for under $20. Click the images below for the links!
Whew it is Friday! What a crazy few weeks it has been!
To give you an update on what's going on in our lives - Grace's family made a big move from Nashville back to her hometown in Texas. She and her husband have been settling into a routine and working on building their new house. So exciting!
Rachel and her husband also recently moved, saying goodbye to their trendy downtown apartment and hello to the suburbs! Their pup, Chief, is very excited to finally have a yard again, while Rachel and her husband have been busy unpacking and furnishing their new home.
It's been a hectic time for all, but we promise we'll be back with regular blog posts once again. Rachel is working on recapping her trip to Italy, so be on the lookout for that soon! Now, to this week's Fashion Friday - Rachel's go-to outfit. These shoes are the most comfortable, especially for long walking days and this sweatshirt is super comfy and under $25! Click here for more.
It's Friday! We are jumping for joy that it's finally the weekend!
Here are our picks for this week's Fashion Friday.
Below was Rachel's look for her recent trip to Italy and she swears by these shoes. They are so comfortable and perfect for days filled with lots of walking. Plus, this backpack from Amazon came in handy and doubled as a purse.
Happy Good Friday y'all! Hope you have some fun and relaxing plans with family or friends for this holiday weekend.
This week's Fashion Friday comes from Rachel's recent trip to Italy. To see more of her outfits from the trip, click here to follow her on LIKEtoKNOWit.
Rachel has been scratching through her bucket list and has been exploring Italy with her hubby! It looks like they are having the BEST time and I am so happy that they've been able to get away and travel to an incredible country together.
Right now they are exploring Rome and enjoying all of the history, culture, food and of course VINO! Take a look at some of the beautiful sites they've explored and yummy food they've enjoyed!
That's all for now! Stay tuned for updates and where they are headed next!
Post Author: Rachel
About this time last year, we were on a two week adventure down under! The first week we spent in Australia and the second in New Zealand. It was hands down the greatest trip we've taken. Whenever we travel, we always try to do everything on a budget and pack in as much as possible in a limited window. For the first part of the trip we stopped in Sydney and tried to see and do everything in just three days, so here's the rundown of what to do, where to eat and what to wear!
When we got back to the states I put together a few blog posts recapping our entire visit, but I wanted to summarize it all for you here if you are traveling to Australia anytime soon. Oh and don't forget, you DO need a visa to enter Sydney! We were able to buy one at the ticket counter before departing and it digitally linked to our passports.
What tO DO
Where to Eat
What to Wear
We visited Sydney in April and it was unbelievably, record breaking, hot! This portion of the trip consisted of tanks and shorts. In order to save time and money, we each only took a backpack so we had to be extremely thoughtful about what we brought. I put together a list on Amazon and linked all my outfits on LIKEtoKnowIT.
It's Friday! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead!
Be sure to follow us on LIKEtoKNOWit - click here to shop our looks.
post author: grace
Hello world! I'm sorry I've been a little MIA lately - it turns out babies are actually quite time consuming, who knew ;)
I've had quite a few people ask me to share my birth story, so I figured I would share it in a blog post for all of those wondering how the day went. I plan on sharing pretty much every detail, so if you don't want to hear all about labor, then I suggest skipping to the next post!
pREPARING FOR LABOR
I'm not going to lie, I had an incredible experience. However, this is not how every birth goes and it sometimes helps to have low expectations. I also believe it is key to go in open minded to how God will orchestrate the day. I had *hopes and dreams* but held them very loosely because I had never been in labor and did not know how my body would respond. So while I think it's awesome to have a birth plan, know plans can change. We ultimately are not in control and I believe it will save you a lot of heartache in the end. Preparing for labor, I read a ton of birth stories and saw a common theme - Mom's devastated that it didn't go the way they planned. It made me so sad because that's not what it's about. And if you make the plan ultimate, you miss the greatest joy - giving birth to LIFE! At the end of the day, you just want mom and baby to be safe and healthy. So if you are pregnant and expecting soon, having a plan is wonderful, but trust God's plan for you!
Okie dokie, here we go! At my 36 week checkup, my doctor started checking my cervix. Sidenote: NO ONE TOLD ME THIS IS UNCOMFORTABLE so I was completely unprepared. It was so uncomfortable that I thought surely I had not dilated past a 1. False. My doctor told me that I was between a 3 and 3.5 and 70% effaced. You hear this all the time, women can be dilated to a 3 for weeks and still need to be induced. However, when my doctor kept saying that 37.5 weeks is technically full term and that luckily she would be here for Christmas if I went into labor that week...I started to panic a bit. It also did not help that I bled quite a bit after my appointment, which is normal if it tapers off (I told you I wouldn't spare any details ha!). So after having a bit of a panic attack in the parking lot and feeling totally unprepared, I made sure my bags were packed and ready to go that night. I lost my mucus plug a few days later and the waiting game had officially begun. The last time I got checked I was between a 3.5 and a 4, so I was progressing slowly!
THE WAITING GAME
Well, Christmas came and went, and no baby. Blake's birthday is December 30th and he was selfishly happy he wasn't going to have to share HIS day with our firstborn. However, I had been having contractions on and off all day and that night around midnight we decided to go to the hospital as my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart. They checked us in, took us back to get monitored and we waited an hour. I was told that I was probably in early labor but it wasn't progressing past that so they sent me home. Nothing screams "this is my first baby" like a false alarm trip to the hospital. I felt like such a loser as I casually strolled out of the hospital. BUT safety first because you truly never know. The nurses were so sweet and reassured me I did the right thing by coming in, even though it felt like a total waste.
We made it to the New Year with no baby and I decided I would plan a "Grace day" and do all the things I would soon no longer be able to do with a baby - going to lunch without any interruptions, shopping, pampering, etc. I guess God has a sense of humor because the morning of my "Grace day," I woke up with contractions. I thought I was just having some cramping, which is normal in the morning towards the end, so I drank some water and got back in bed around 4:30 AM. I started timing them and they seemed to be progressing, so I decided to take a bath before heading to the hospital.
Once I got out of the bath my contractions were 3 minutes apart...YIKES. We called the doctor and they told us to get to the hospital quickly. We left our house around 6 AM and began the process. They admitted me after checking my cervix (I was at a 5 at this point) and timing my contractions.
We're having a baby today!
My doctor came in about an hour later, I was dilated to a 6, and she went over my options with me. She told me she could break my water to progress labor, give me pitocin, administer an epidural, etc. I casually looked at Blake and said "Let's enjoy the day, I'm getting the epidural." HA! I am terrified of needles and hated the thought of an epidural, but at that point I was ready for some relief and honestly, was a little terrified of waiting too long and not being able to lay still for an epidural if I wanted one later. I had an amazing anesthesiologist who was so good that I truly don't remember it hurting at all. Three contractions later and I was pretty much pain free. I could still feel pressure in my legs, which was encouraging because I wanted to have some feeling in order to push when it came time.
My doctor broke my water shortly after and then administered pitocin so I would keep progressing. I dilated a centimeter each hour and before we knew it, it was time to get ready to push.
The sweetest part about that day was feeling the presence of God in that room. We had worship music playing and Blake read scripture over me each hour. We invited the Holy Spirit in that room and wow did He show up. It was the sweetest day full of so much peace and joy.
I started pushing around 2:30 PM. The nurses were the BEST cheerleaders and made me feel so empowered that I felt like I could do this! They celebrated each push and kept encouraging me the entire time. Sidenote: Pushing is hard work. If you are pregnant or thinking about having kids soon, be sure to keep exercising. This will really help prepare you for pushing because it is exhausting and you don't get a break. Before we knew it, Asher was delivered by 3:23 PM. It.was.magic! I cannot even explain the moment you see your baby and hold them for the first time. It felt like I had known him forever and at the same time was meeting him for the first time.
Asher has rocked our world in more ways than one, and in the best way. Becoming a parent truly feels like an honor and is the most sanctifying thing I have ever done. It is not easy, but it is absolutely worth it in every way! My love for him grows each week which seems absolutely impossible. He is our greatest joy and we thank God for giving him to us each day.
Post Author: Rachel
Over the weekend, my husband and I gained an incredible new addition to the family! Meet Chief, a 5yr old Golden Retriever who is just the sweetest guy. His family in Oklahoma needed to find him a new home and we are so honored and excited we get to love on him. We are already obsessed with this big guy! He’s such a sweetheart and how perfect that his name is Chief?!
Happy Friday friends!
This is my favorite pullover and it's on sale for $25 from Old Navy! I'm wearing a size small. I love the loose fit around the neck and the lightweight material. Plus, it has pockets and thumb holes! Click here to shop.
POST AUTHOR: RACHEL
What a year! It's been a full 12 months now that I've been working out at Health House and I got to say, it has been an incredible experience!
I am not only healthier, but I've also pushed my body to be stronger. I've been sore more days than not and have so enjoyed the community and friendly competition at Health House. If you haven't heard of this place before, let me explain.
Health House offers two main classes, each lasting 45 minutes - Rip & Row or Ripped.
Rip & Row - This class combines rowing and weight training. It's described on the website as "a full-body strength workout combined with short bursts of intensity that will chisel and tone every muscle." Typically, the class is split into two groups. One group starts on the rowers, while the other group starts on the mats â focusing on heavy lifting with muscle specific exercises to strengthen and tone your body. Throughout the class the groups switch back and forth between the rowers and the mats.
Ripped - This class is all about building muscle! It involves lifting and weight training with no rowing. Health House describes it as focusing "on specific muscle groups to gain strength and sculpt lean muscle." During this class, cardio is typically limited and the focus is on weights, medicine balls, a Bulgarian bag or even just using your body weight. I would describe this as a more intense class.
These classes stick to this basic description, but each day has a certain muscle objective. For example, Monday might be chest and legs, Tuesday is back and biceps and Wednesday focuses on butt and abs, etc. No two classes are the same, which keeps it interesting and challenging. Each instructor brings their unique style of teaching and fitness techniques. Plus, they are incredibly motivational and genuinely interested in each person's success.
They recently added two other classes as well, including a Heated Deep Stretch class, which as you can imagine is to stretch out those sore muscles. There is also a HH Crew class, which is described as, "rowing as a crew, you will work together to achieve a synchronized stroke focused on form, stroke rate and split time." I haven't had a chance to visit either of these classes just yet, as they are typically on the weekends, but I have heard great reviews about both.
Looking back, I'm so thankful I found my fitness home at Health House. I've gained great friendships, sweated more than ever and have become more aware of how my healthy choices help me grow stronger, have more energy and keep me feeling like I can take on the day. I'm so thankful for this community and the chance to grow every time I step foot inside Health House.
If you want to give Health House a try, click here or stop by one of their locations and they can get you signed up. Your first class is just $15 and I'm betting you'll be hooked too!
Let's talk microblading and how to achieve the best naturally full brow without pencils, stencils, gel or other products!
I've never had very full eyebrows. Mine are naturally light and kind of sparse, so I've always had to fill them in, which is my least favorite thing to do when applying makeup each morning. Also, I’m not convinced I’ve mastered the art of creating a not-too-dark, natural looking and evenly filled-in set of brows. So when my sister-in-law and my mom were going on about microblading - it had my attention.
In case you haven't heard of this procedure before, microblading creates a semi-permanent tattoo, filling your brows in perfectly. It gives your brows the structure you may not be able to grow naturally and it provides extra fullness. It involves using tiny needles that make up a small blade to help deposit pigment under your skin.
For Grace's birthday, in lieu of presents, we each chipped in for her to give microblading a try. She found a reputable spa in Nashville and her results look fantastic! She wrote about her experience here.
Then my mom decided to do the same in Dallas and her brows came out beautifully too.
After seeing their results, I was intrigued about this procedure and wanted to try it out for myself. So, when my birthday rolled around, I asked for the same gift. Donations to my microblading fund!
Now, I don't have any permanent tattoos and don't plan on getting any, so, to be honest, I was a little nervous about the procedure. I mean, it’s a semi permanent tattoo I was putting on my face and my face is on camera a lot! A little scary, but luckily my mom, who is our real-life Google because she can find anything or anyone, was able to find the best of the best near Kansas City for my microblading procedure! And when you’re in the hands of a skilled and trustworthy artist, it’s easy to sit back, relax and trust the process.
The Brow Babe & Co is a day spa located in Sedalia, MO. This place came highly recommended, plus Sarah, the owner, is one of the very few licensed tattoo artists that also does microblading in the state of Missouri. She is absolutely hysterical and such a sweetheart.
During the first session, Sarah went over the microblading process and put my nerves at ease, walking through and explaining each step of the process. We discussed what I was looking for in my brows - shape, color, fullness - and how she would achieve that look.
She applied the numbing cream to my brows and let me relax and dose off for about 30 minutes while the cream went to work.
Once my brows were numb, Sarah began sketching and laying out the map for my dream brows using facial measurements and my unique bone structure as a guide. Every step of the way, she clearly communicated with me and made sure she was achieving what I was looking for. She was meticulous, considerate and had a steady hand throughout the process.
My brows were numb, the lines were drawn, and it was time to start microblading! It was a much quicker process than I had anticipated and very smooth. I'll admit though, when she was working on my outer brow, I was a bit squirmy as that part of your skin is more sensitive. Sarah worked quickly but thoroughly and after an hour and a half, I had new brows!
AT HOME CARE
For the first four weeks, in between the first session and the second session, there are some key after care essentials to follow. Healing and retention is dependent on proper post care.
For the first week, I was not able to get my eyebrows wet or fill them in at all. Some people experience itching or redness during these first seven days, but the cream Sarah provides alleviated those symptoms. She gave me Ora's Amazing Herbal Tattoo Salve, the descriptions says it "helps to heal, soothe, relieve itching and prevents color leaching." It was a wonderful product that did the trick for me!
If you experience scabbing or itchiness, try not to touch your brows! They'll heal pretty quickly on their own and you'll be happier in the end. You should also not use a tanning bed during the first seven days and do not workout for at least 24 hours after your appointment.
Your brows will look slightly darker the first week as well, but will eventually begin to fade about 30-40% to the desired color.
Four weeks after my initial appointment, I went back for the final session and touch up. This process only took about an hour and was very similar to the first. Sarah applied the numbing cream to my brows and worked her magic once they were numb just touching up here and there as needed.
I'm extremely happy with how my brows turned out and would highly recommend Sarah at The Brow Babe & Co. Best of all, I wake up every day with perfect brows!
If you want to visit Sarah, click here to book an appointment. She is fabulous and you'll love the results!
Wherever you choose to go, make sure you do your research, ask questions, and looked for healed results on an artist’s webpage or social media. After all, this is a semi permanent tattoo so be sure you trust the artist working on your face.
Happy Friday people! With all the snow we've received in Kansas City, this week feels like it's been a month. I'm very happy it's the weekend!
Here's my snowy Fashion Friday outfit that I took for my mom in the bathroom at an event. Does anyone else send their mom a daily outfit photo? :) Click here to shop.
Happy Friday! Thank goodness it's the weekend! It has been a week. Whew!
Okay, I know, I'm sharing the same top...AGAIN, but it is obviously fantastic and my favorite. Plus, these jeans are under $40 from Old Navy, and they are so comfortable. Click here to shop.
post author: rachel
A few days ago, I asked for book recommendations through Instagram and Facebook and received so many great titles! For any other bookworms out there in need of a good read, here is a list sectioned out by genre. Hopefully there is something in here for everyone! I included all of your favorites and added some of my own. To make it easy, I found each of these books on Amazon, so if you want to skip ahead, just click here for the full list.
Let me know if you have any other recommendations in the comments!
Business & Money
History/Biographies & MEMOIRS
Happy Friday! Thank goodness it's the weekend! Whew, it has been a week.
Sharing one of my favorite Amazon dresses. It's a vibrant red color, nice material, plus it's under $30! Such a great purchase on Prime.
Happy Friday and first day of February!
As you may have seen in the last post, the Santschi family was all together in Nashville this past weekend celebrating the newest addition to the family. While there, all the Santschi girls coincidentally had our favorite tops with us, so of course, we had to do an impromptu photo shoot on the front porch!
It's such a comfy and cozy top that can be dressed up or down and fits all body types. We each have at least two of these tops in a few colors. Click here to shop our look or screenshot the photos below if you have the LIKEtoKNOWit app.
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