Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recent Shopping

Get ready...
for the most exciting purchases of my haul- momma and mini sunglasses!
Momma's - Oscar de la Renta
Mini- Baby Gap

My husband never shops for clothes. Apparently, I took on that job a few years ago which I don't mind. I actually kind of like shopping for guys clothes and he loved everything I picked out so that was a bonus! Old Navy is killing it in the men's department. They've been killing it in the women's department for a long time in my book but this last trip I didn't find anything for myself.

I walked out of there with a full bag of clothes, so heavy that the bag started ripping (probably from the khakis shorts) for a little over $100. Not too bad, at all.

I popped into Charlotte Russe just to see what they had what all the young ones are wearing out these days. I realized while browsing their racks that I have really grown up. A lot. I couldn't even concentrate on the styles because I couldn't get past the extremely cheap looking polyester that exploded all over that store. I wore that stuff and I loved that store and their sky high heels and platforms and there I was totally appalled at the fabric. Wow. Times have changed.


This next haul is from about a month ago because I've been that good at updating this blog.
As I was saying, times have changed and now my default store is J. Crew. So here we go...
Let me just start off by saying that I have yet to find a maxi dress that fits me because I'm 5'2'' so when I saw these maxi dresses that convert into a maxi skirt -and they fit me just right- I was sold, so much so that I bought 2! I tend to do that when I find something I really like. Am I the only crazy person who does this?

I love this print but what really got me about this shirt was the back:

This photo doesn't capture how pretty it looks in person but trust me, its gorgeous. 

Lastly, I leave you with a basic striped top. I swear, I never leave J. Crew without buying a striped top and my closet can prove it as you can see here:

I want to get to a closet tour/room tour/house tour but like I told you, I'm still trying to complete rooms so those tours are TBA for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Weekend

Our weekend got off to a great start on Friday afternoon- after work my parent's made the last minute decision to take the boat out so my brothers, Aubrey, and I happily tagged along. It was a nice warm summer night so it was so nice to be out and it was so peaceful too. Mike was on his way home from work and passes by the lake so he was able to join us too which was exciting.

Aubrey loves the boat! Growing up, my parents always had a boat so my brothers and I spent our summers on the water and I'm beyond thrilled that this little one will have the same kind of summer fun. She wasn't a fan of her life jacket at first but then I couldn't get her to take it off. Speaking of which- this is the girl who has boycotted all accessories (except bracelets)... hair clips, headbands, sunglasses, you name it! She is making a turn-around though, she refused to let me take off these sunglasses so she fell asleep in the car ride home with them on. Every single time we leave the house she wants to wear her sunnies and be just like mommy; I've even snuck a hair clip or two. Progress!



Holy Cannoli! She devoured this cannoli and I couldn't be more proud. Cannolis have been my favorite since I was little. I even asked for cannolis instead of a birthday cake when I was a kid, what kid does that? Anyway, she seems to have the same feeling toward cannolis so I guess that means we'll have to start planning a trip back to Sicily with her. Don't pull my arm or anything....


Saturday was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I met my best friend for lunch and we got Mexican. Oh how I love a good authentic Mexican restaurant. I'm pretty sure I made a complete pig out of myself when I was inhaling the warm chips and salsa they give you while you wait. We don't get to see each other that much because life has been so crazy for the both of us so it was so nice to catch up and SO nice to have some adult conversation.

My BFF (yes, I still use that term and I probably always will) is expecting in October so we took a trip to Babies R Us to work on her registry, picked up her invites, and gathered all of the materials she needs to liven up the envelopes.

I left the house early on Saturday so I could sneak in some shopping before meeting up with her though. Can I just tell you how much I love shopping alone? It's amazing, refreshing, relaxing, and also completely frustrating. I took the baby seat out, took the SUV, and was fully ready to load it up to maximum capacity with all things home-related. You know how this is going to end, right? When you're looking for something/have the space to get it home/want to finish decorating even a single room in your house - you can't find a thing you freaking like!

I made a few stops in the mall too and I'll share that haul with you later this week. For now, you can check out that lovely i-Phone photo of clothes dumped out on my bed.

No baby seat? So weird. 
I found a bench in TJ Maxx last week but I had no way to fit it in the SUV because of the baby seat. I had a feeling it would be gone by the time I went back for it, and I was right but I was hopeful that I'd find a good replacement. I did find another bench- thankfully- but that is all I found!

I've been searching high and low for decor items to finish up some rooms in this house, hell I'd be happy to even finish just one room! I might be a little too picky but I have a vision in my head and I'm not settling and so here were are with a bunch of naked walls.
This bench is clearly Aubrey approved.

Sunday was a day of cleaning, organizing, and grocery shopping aka back to reality!

Monday, has really set the stage for the week too because poor little girl woke up with a fever and here I am typing this on Tuesday morning at 8:50 am and she is still asleep. This little firecracker is always up at 7am on the dot so I know that she's not feeling well. She's cutting an eye tooth (such a strange name, btw) and I was thinking that was the cause of the fever but she's never been like this when cutting a tooth so I'm thinking a trip to the doctor may be in order soon.

Wish us luck for a speedy recovery because this weekend is jam-packed, yet again and we need to be ready!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Weekend

On Saturday....
We visited the Mill Market to pickup some fresh produce locally made dairy products. It's our new grocery hot spot because everything they sell is fresh, organic, and locally grown/made.


We stopped for ice cream by the lake. Aubrey and I shared this Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie ice creme. It was SO delicious!

Then we stopped by the lake to dip our feet in and see what Aubrey thought of it. 

...turns out she loved it and we couldn't get her out of the water! She was soaked by the time we left so we had to strip her down to a diaper and head home after that. We're going to make a day of it next weekend though and take her to the beach area of the lake. She is going to love it and I can't wait for next weekend already.


We stopped at a local winery along the way too where we picked up so wine to cook with. 

Some of the butter, cheeses, bread, and arugula pesto we picked up. We also found PB2! I'm so excited to try it out because I've read such great things about it. It has 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter and its in a powder form so it's really easy to add to a shake.

I bought some fresh mozzarella to have with our first ripe tomato from our little garden.

Sunday was a lazy day. Aubrey kept us up all night on Saturday. She's going through some major separation anxiety when it comes to nap time and bedtime. She woke up at 2 am, I was able to get her back to sleep pretty quickly but then she was back up at 4 am! I finally gave in at that point and brought her into our bed because I was so exhausted. She was restless for a little bit and then finally settled down until about 6:30- then she was up for the day.

It's been so rough getting her to sleep. I hate letting her cry and I really thought we were finally past the sleep training thing so this really sucks. Sometimes I end up laying next to her crib on the floor just to get her to calm down, lay down, and relax.

Have any of you experienced this during the toddler years? 

Passed out watching Frozen for the 989th time way before her normal nap time. 

After her impromptu nap was over we hit the road and headed to my in-law's for a birthday party. Aubrey had a ton of fun playing with her cousin so she slept well Sunday night, thankfully! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our Fourth

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. This post is a little late, but better late than never, right?

We hosted our first outdoor party at our house this weekend. It went so well that I think it's safe to say that our place will be "the" place to be next year.
I finally got her to keep her sunnies on! This is a huge step in the right direction!
We spent all day Friday and most of Saturday morning working on getting things ready outside. We have SO much work to still accomplish outside and so many plans but not enough time to get it all done. We have so much property to maintain now so many exciting plans for it too. We are so used to a teeny tiny strip of lawn that we had when we lived in our double block so this is like going from one extreme to the next.
We still have lots of grass to plant and lots of landscaping but here is the start of our fire pit. This is something that I knew I wanted from the beginning.

We recessed it into the ground but we want to make it a bit higher and eventually add stone seating around it. Although it isn't finished, it served its purpose on Saturday night and there were lots of laughs, lots of memories made, lots of s'mores, and the Corona's with lime were flowing. 

This is Aubrey's little area of the yard. It's the shadiest part of the yard so it's a nice retreat on a hot summer day. We'll be adding a swing set and some hammocks to this area in the next year or so too.

When you live in the woods you better have lots of citronella on hand if you plan on staying out on a hot summer night. I found this adorable lantern at Ikea and the candle next to it is from Walmart it's a citronella but it smells like cedar wood which I thought was amazing because I really don't love the smell of citronella.

This right here is what happens when you let guys go shopping...
My husband texted me this photo from the store and I nearly died. This is what happens when your fire obsessed husband, brothers, and dad go shopping for the 4th. Insanity happens. Everyone in the store was laughing and pointing at them and rightfully so because this is just madness. Who does this?

Aubrey anticipating the big firework display in the backyard. 
Aubrey loved the fireworks last year so I figured she would love them this year. Well, not so much. She loved watching them but could do without the sound so we sat inside and watched the 2 1/2 hour long firework display from the second story sitting room. I didn't even mind it because we really had the best view, no bugs, and we were all cuddled and cozy on the comfortable chair- but I did feel like I was missing out a little on everyone's company outside.

So all of these pictures from this point on are taken from the window of the sitting area of the house. Not the best, but you get the idea.
All lit up! This is one of my favorite parts of the yard. They look so magical in person.

Now onto the fireworks (aka: the 2 1/2 hours of pyromania that went on here):




Our town's firework display was on Sunday night and we didn't plan on going because we were tired from our party on Saturday and we didn't want to keep Aubrey up past her bedtime 2 nights in a row. This was our first 4th of July in our new home so we had no idea but it turns out that we have the most perfect view of the town's firework display from none other than our sitting area! We'll never have to sit in the traffic or wait around outside on the buggy streets filled with people. The sitting room was a one of the major draws when we choose the design of our house but we had no idea how much use we would actually get out of it until now. 

How was your weekend?
Am I the only one with a family of fire-loving guys that fill up carts of fireworks like this?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kendra's Miami Fashion Challenge

---click to enlarge---
Mini Maxi- LULUS (lulus.com)
Beach Cover Up- Lilly Pulitzer (lillypulitzer.com)
Coral Bikini- Miss Selfridge (missselfridge.com)
Wedge Espadrilles- Just Fab Rebekah in Cream (heels.com)
Bag- Lilly Pulitzer Resort Tote (nordstrom.com)
Sunnies- Tom Ford (sunglasshut.com)

I'm so excited to be a part of Kendra Thorton's Fashion Challenge. For those of you who aren't familiar with Kendra, she's a wife, mom, and travel expert who has been featured by Nate Berkus and Tyra Banks just to name a couple. She's reaching out to fellow beauty, fashion, and lifestyle bloggers for a little help with an upcoming trip that she's taking.

Here's a little background information that Kendra supplied me with to better help me come up with some outfit suggestions:



"In a few weeks, I’m going to be soaking up the sun in Miami! My husband and I are going on a romantic vacation, I can’t wait to hit the beach, enjoy romantic dinners and explore the Art Deco District. To book accommodations and find out about local attractions, I sought assistance on the social media site gogobot. We ended up finding the greatest hotel! Before we enjoy our stay at the Delano South Beach, however, I need some assistance from my favorite fashionista’s! My husband and I are sure to take tons of photos, and I want to look great regardless of which side of the camera I am on.
As a mother of young children, I could use a style update before we embark. After I booked our stay at the Delano South Beach Hotel, my husband purchased a luxurious spa package for us to enjoy. The hotel’s spa, Club Essentia, features a wide range of rejuvenating treatments focused on restoring youthful vitality. We have our first couples massage booked on the first day of our arrival! I am so excited to get out and be able to spend some quality time with my husband in the beautiful paradise.There’s no treat quite like a tropical getaway, and I know I’m going to have lots of fun on my vacation to Miami. Of course, I’ll have a better time when I feel confident and fashionable in the clothes and accessories that I’m wearing. I can’t wait to see what looks and styles you recommend for my tropical adventure."

I had so much fun putting this inspiration board together and now I'm anxiously awaiting our trip to the beach. I'm really loving coral and mint this summer as you can tell. I think those two colors, along with white look so amazing with a tan. 
Are you planning a trip to the shore soon?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Journey through the Weaning Process

Oh what a journey it has been. In January, when Aubrey's first birthday was approaching I started to think about weaning. I planned on starting when she was one and slowly tapering off from there. A part of me was really looking forward to being done with nursing and another part of me was not so ready and a little upset. I love all of our memories of snuggling up with the Boppy when she was teeny tiny and I was fascinated with the idea of being the one who was supplying her with all of her necessary nutrients. It's so crazy to think that all of that growing that she did before being introduced to purees was all from the breast milk that my body supplied her with. On the other hand, I was so sick of pumping, and wearing nursing bras and I was ready to have my body back.

I stopped pumping on the day of her first birthday party and I was thrilled when I packed away the pump and all of the 3 million parts that go along with it. I continued to nurse her here and there though. I nursed her first thing in the morning, usually once during the day, and before bed. We did this for about a month and a half and then I dropped the daytime session and only nursed in the morning and in the evening before bed.

The Cycle Returns
I was one of the lucky ones who never had a period while was nursing but as soon as I started weaning, it came back and with vengeance. The month after I stopped pumping is when my cycle started back up. I had no idea what I was in for either. What I'm about the explain might be TMI for some so I'm just warning you now... I was out shopping with my mom and Aubrey the day that it came back and it came on so suddenly. I started to gush blood and I had the worst cramping (very similar to the early stages of labor). I got to the point where I couldn't even walk because I was in so much pain and I was just bleeding so much. We got in the car and headed home and I considered going to the hospital but I didn't, I went home and turned to google instead. I found out that I wasn't alone here because the lining still builds up even though you're not getting your period so it's like your body is making up for lost time. Lovely, right? I had 2 cycles of this and I'm happy to report that the 3th cycle was a charm because I'm back to normal... well in that department anyway.

Acne
Something else happened to me when I started to wean. I started to break out worse than I ever have in my life. I'd get the occasional pimple here and there when my cycle was about to start but that was about it. My teenage years weren't too bad on me either and I never suffered from acne but here I am, 29 years old with the face of a teenager (well, add some sun damage and what not to that mix). I actually had acne from weaning. What in the hell is going on here?! I am starting to notice that it is getting better and I'm only breaking out now when my cycle is near but those breakouts are still far worse than what I'm used to.

Weight
I had the appetite of a grown man when I was nursing. Actually, I think I ate more than my husband. I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight about 3 weeks or so after giving birth so the appetite was okay. I actually ended up weighing less than my pre-pregnancy weight while I was nursing. I was getting really nervous about my appetite not suppressing because I was still eating the same amount of food and snacks all throughout the weaning process. My appetite finally suppressed by the 3 1/2-4 month mark and thankfully it did because I gained 5 lbs! I don't really mind the 5 lbs because I had room for a little gain but I'd really like to work on toning things up a bit now. Which I am, that's a separate post though. I know some of you that are reading this may give an eye roll and say "really, she's worried about 5 lbs?" When you're 5'2'' like I am, 5 lbs shows, you just can't hide weight when you're that short.

Baby Blues
Last but certainly not least, actually most importantly is the mood swings. I didn't experience PPD, actually it's been pure bliss for me. When I passed by the "window" (first 2 weeks following delivery) I thought to myself "Pshhhh no depression here. Who could possibly be depressed with this little bundle of joy to look at and cuddle with all the time?" Prior to getting pregnant I always struggled with some mild anxiety issues. Nothing that I ever took medication for because I could control it on my own but it was still an issue and a struggle. During my pregnancy and even after I felt so different. I had no anxiety at all, not a lot of stress- it was amazing. I didn't even know who I was but I liked it. My normal self returned about 6 months postpartum with a little anxiety and stress sprinkled in but nothing that wasn't normal. I mean I was a new mom, we were building a house, preparing to move; life was constantly changing. If I wasn't stressed at some point there would be something wrong with me, right?

Fast forward to the wonderful weaning stage and the darkness set in. I've never struggled with depression so this was/is all new to me. The first few weeks of weaning were probably the worst. I was in a pretty dark place and I just wanted to be alone, not away from Aubrey, just away from the world. Here I am, 4 months out from the start of the weaning process and I'm still not myself. I think it's gotten better; like I said those first few weeks were pretty rough but I'm still hormonal both mentally and physically.

The Road Ahead
I made the decision at the start of this month to just be done with nursing. It needs to end. I need my hormones to level out and I need to get back to normal. I stopped cold turkey on the 2nd of the month. On the 2nd I only nursed her in the morning, then on the 3rd I didn't nurse her at all so here we go! I also started a healthier routine that has me feeling better about myself which I will post about soon. I'll do an update in a month or so to check in and see where I'm at with this crazy roller coaster ride.

I had no idea what I was in for here. I know it was all worth it though and I don't regret nursing for a single second. I know that I provided Aubrey with the best nutrition that I could and that makes me happy. I'm also proud of myself for making it this far. There were so many ups and downs and supply scares so reaching this goal is such an accomplishment.






Monday, June 2, 2014

TLC VoxBox

I was so excited when influenster contacted me and told me that I'd been selected to receive a voxbox.  Good things come in small packages. I couldn't believe how many little surprises they fit into one tiny purple box. 
Here's a peek into what I found inside:
Ivory Soap: I've got to say, I've never been a huge fan of the smell of Ivory soap. I'm not sure what it is about it but it always bothered me. I'm going to give it a go though and try this bar out. From what I can smell through the packaging, it doesn't smell as potent as I remember, it's kind of a fresh scent. I'll let you know how I feel about it in an upcoming review post.

Shell Rewards Card: It's free to sign up for and all you have to do is swipe it every time you get gas to start earning points. You can earn 5 cents a gallon for every $50 you spend. That's easy for us because our Jeep costs about $65 to fill... ugh do I hate spending money on gas!

Avon Anew: I always love trying new beauty products so I can't wait to try this moisturizer out. I'll be sure to follow up with a proper review once I've had a chance to use it. I'm planning on doing a skincare routine post soon too.

Neosporin Neo to Go: I was SO excited about this when I saw it because Aubrey just split her knee open for the third time this week and we've been going through Neosporin and My Little Pony band aids like water over here. Poor kid got a small scrape, it formed a scab, next day comes she decides to pick the scab off, more blood, another scab, onto day 3, falls on said knee again, splits open yet again and starts bleeding. I hope this is it and we are on the mend but anyway, I'm throwing this in my diaper bag for sure! What's so great about it too is it's a spray so it's easy to use in a pinch and you don't have to dab it on the boo boo (Aubrey is going to love that part).

Puffs Plus Lotion Travel Pack: Another great item to have on hand in your purse- especially at this time of year with allergy season in full blast. I've used these tissues in the past and they are great! They definitely help prevent you from becoming Rudolph when you are having one of those lovely I can't leave the house or have a phone conversation today because I'm blowing my nose every 2.5 seconds.

Breyer's Gelato Coupon: I've had this stuff before and it's A-freakin-mazing! It's such a great treat for the warmer months so naturally, I was thrilled to see a coupon in the box for a free container of this delightful, calorie-filled treat that by the way is worth every last calorie.


Disclosure:"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our Memorial Day Weekend

The temperatures warmed up this weekend- finally and now as I type this tonight they are back in the 60's. We made the most of the long weekend and packed in as much fun as we could.

Friday morning Aubrey and I ran some errands and hit some yard sales. Does anyone else love doing this? You never know what you're going to find and it's so much fun searching for one of a kind items or items that inspire projects. I'm all about the shabby chic and French provincial look so I'm always on the hunt for stuff like that.
Shirt- Gap
Jeans- F21 (old)
Sandals- Old Navy (last season)
On Saturday I snuck out for the afternoon and did a little shopping and returning at the mall. I picked up a few supplies for the shop, hit the Baby Gap and Toys r Us for a few things, and got my rings inspected and cleaned at the jewelers. It was kind of nice to run errands without having to constantly strap and unstrap a child 80 times.

When I got back we went to the park at my old elementary school. It used to be such a fun park but they aren't really keeping up with it and maintaing it. The grounds are all maintained but the "Big Toy" needs some TLC. It's so sad to see it going to waste because I have so many childhood memories there.
Aubrey had a blast running through the park and climbing through these tunnels. 

Oh yea.... flashback to the 21st which was our 3 year anniversary! Mike surprised us with a beautiful flower arrangement. I couldn't imagine who was at the door so he really got me good! Aubrey loved the flowers so much that she shared her cheerios with them. We left Aubrey with my mom (2nd time leaving her for a night out) and had a dinner date night out.

On Sunday, we had a relaxing morning and made french toast which Aubrey loved. Then we headed over to Mike's parent's house for a cookout.

She had the most adorable little blue peplum top on from the Baby Gap with her red and white striped Juicy leggings. I knew I should've taken pictures before we left the house but as always, it was a rush out the door and I didn't. Anyway, she spilled an entire glass of water all over herself. I packed extra pants and a hoodie but it was too warm for a hoodie so I had to resort to the emergency outfit that I keep in the car at all times.... the same outfit that I have forgotten to change out for months now. Poor kid had to squeeze into a 9 month old outfit to finish out the day before putting on her pjs. Surprisingly, it fit and it wasn't that tight but the pants were definitely capris on her. Mom of the year award, right here.

Monday was beautiful outside. We took full advantage of the water table that I picked up on Saturday. It was a huge hit to say the least. I'm pretty sure this is going to keep us busy all summer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Our weekend was so busy and filled with fun events. We lived in the moment and unfortunately that means we didn't get a lot of pictures but here are a few that I did manage to snap in between all of the running around.

We started our Saturday off with my best friend's college graduation party at this adorable little cafe near our new home. I am obsessed with this place- it's a cute, cozy art gallery and cafe that serves fresh, homemade, organic foods. Aubrey had a blast socializing, she's such a social butterfly. She even made a new friend- there was a little girl there that was the same age as her and it was so adorable to watch them interact with one another.
She finally got to wear this outfit that I've had sitting in her closet for about a year now. I found it in a boutique last summer and this was the last size left so I bought it hoping it would fit her this summer and I got lucky!
It's one of my favorite outfits on her, hands down.

I wore my go-to navy J. Crew dress. It's such a perfect dress that can be dressed up or down and it's light and airy- so perfect for the hot weather that we had this weekend (finally). It hit 80 here and I couldn't be happier. 


Tommy Hilfiger metallic gold flip flops, Steve Madden wedges

I wore the wedges to the party and switched them out for flip flops afterwards when we took a walk.

On Mother's Day I started my day off at 9 am. I slept in for the first time in a year and a half almost. I never had the opportunity to do this since Aubrey was born because of pumping or nursing. Then we had brunch at my grandmother's house which was so delicious and so much fun. It was another hot day so I happily broke out my new shorts to wear.

J. Crew shorts, Target tank

Aubrey needed a nap after brunch so we went to town with my parents and took a walk, browsed through a few stores, and grabbed some coffee while sleeping beauty rested. When she woke up we walked to the park and she checked out the slide and the water fountain, which was a big hit.




Mike and Aubrey surprised me with a beautiful card and an orchid. My mom bought me a huge peony plant (my favorite flower) and my grandmother gifted me some tulips and mums. I had a bunch of peony plants sitting around that I bought a few days ago too so I spent the rest of the afternoon putting them in the ground. I have to say, this gardening/landscaping thing is not for me. I  can't wait to be done with it all but I know that is not going to be a reality for a really long time. We have lots of work ahead of us outside and we have lots of plans and ideas but actually making them happen is another story. I think I'm going to leave the rest of the outdoor stuff to my husband and I'll take care of the inside. haha joking, not joking.

It was a pretty busy weekend but at the same time it was nice and relaxing and very refreshing too. It was so nice to catch up with family and friends that I haven't seen in a while, enjoy the company and live in the moment.
I hope all of you mommas enjoyed your day too. It's still so crazy to me that I am a mom and that I'm now a part of this day but I wouldn't trade it for the world. There are no words to describe just how much I love this little girl and being her mommy is the biggest blessing. ever.