Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Style

Those of you who have been long time followers of my blog know that I tend to go for classic, timeless staples. I'm a work at home (for the most part) and stay at home mom so truth be told, I do not get dressed up every day, and my summer uniform usually consists of a basic tank and cotton shorts. However, when we leave the house I like to look polished and put-together but my outfit still needs to be functional. 

Here's the other thing about shopping and being a mom- I don't have a lot of time when I do make it into a fitting room so I do most of my shopping online. I really don't enjoy playing the guessing game when it comes to buying dresses or pants/shorts online though. Some items you just have to try on unless you find a brand that you love that has consistent sizing (thank you J.Crew!). 

There is actually an online retailer that allows you to not only customize your clothing but you can also have it made to your exact measurements. Seriously, the best idea. Ever. eShakti contacted me about their fresh look including new styles, product lines, and website. I was so excited to check it out and their new styles did not disappoint. Previously, eShakti was known for their dresses and skirts but they now offer shorts, pants, jumpsuits, and lots of really pretty tops too. 

I'm all about scallops.
These designs are so simple, yet polished and that describes my style in a nutshell.
I love this chambray jumpsuit, I think the rolled cuffs and belt really make it for me. I'm not sure I could pull off a jumpsuit because I think they look better on a taller frame (I'm only 5'2") but it's such a great piece that I had to share it.

There have been a lot of baby showers, sprinkles, bridal showers, and weddings on my calendar lately. I love that there is a good mix of both casual, work, and special occasion dresses to choose from. The yellow dress reminds me a little of a Lilly style dress and it seems to scream summer to me. 

I'm typically not one for the Boho look. I love it on other people but it doesn't always look right on me. However, I'd be willing to try this pretty pink Boho top out. It might even make a nice cover up too! My last pick is so sweet and so simple but I think it would be perfect for a 4th of July celebration.

What do you think about my style picks?
See anything here that you like?

eShakti is offering my readers a $35 coupon to try them out and see for yourself how fun it can be to customize your clothing. Just use the code below to redeem and please be sure to come back to tell me your thoughts. 

Valid till 07/10/2015
Enter this code in the 'Gift Coupon / Referral Code' box at checkout
Only one gift coupon can be used in an order
Not valid on previous purchases / purchase of gift cards.
This gift coupon cannot be transferred, re-issued or exchanged for cash.
Minimun order value of $30

*This post is sponsored by eShakti. All opinions expressed here are my own and I promise to always be honest with my reviews regardless of whether they are free or purchased on my own.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Perfect Invite

It's party central over here. I'm in the midst of putting together our 1st Annual Swine and Dine summer kickoff party which is happening just two short weeks from now. 

Next month is my best friend's bridal shower. This is huge, huge in a very exciting, very nerve-wracking kind of way. You see when it comes to parties, I'm a total perfectionist and I am all about the little details. I'm so thrilled to begin planning out this bash though and I know it's going to be beautiful. 

The theme for her shower is "Garden Party." I have a little inspiration board that I put together and will help guide me while planning out all of her decor but let's be honest the first step is picking out the invitations. There are so many amazing options out there that it can be a bit overwhelming. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on etsy and a few other stationary sites searching for the perfect invite and I found a few possibilities. 
Literally, the next day a game changing email landed in my inbox- I was contacted by Minted. I've heard of Minted before but for whatever reason I didn't think to check out their selections. I browsed through their bridal shower invitations and immediately found a handful that I absolutely loved. I'm one of those people who believes in the cliche saying, "everything happens for a reason" and as silly as this may sound, it's surreal how this all fell into place.

I feel like the invite that you choose to send out will set the tone for your party so it's a huge decision. The design should inspire your decor selections. The paper quality, the print quality, the envelope and/or liner, that all makes in impact on the recipient. I know it's just paper, but to me, that piece of paper influences how people are going to feel about your event and influence such things as how dressy or casual your event is. Anyway, enough rambling- you get my point, right? Let's get on to my top 4 picks for a Garden Party Bridal Shower.

Beautiful Bouquet 
Elegance Illustrated 
White on Kraft
Spring Shower

In addition to offering beautiful designs, Minted allows you to make some customizations as well. For example, there are up to 8 different silhouette shapes to choose from- anything from scalloped edges, to rounded edges, to a tag shaped design. Many of the designs are available in different color schemes too, so if you like a design but it doesn't include your colors you can customize it. You can choose a coordinating envelope liner, select your paper, and brace yourselves- they offer free recipient addressing! Not only do they address them for free but you also get to select the design/format of your addresses. Very clever, Minted. I'm impressed.

It's going to be a tough decision but I think I am leaning toward "Spring Shower."

Which design is your favorite?

*This post is sponsored by Minted. All opinions expressed here are my own and I promise to always be honest with my reviews regardless of whether they are free or purchased on my own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Favorite Spring Trends & Monthly Must-Reads Reunion

I'm so excited to team up again for a reunion post with some of my favorite ladies. Our reunion post topic is Spring 2015 trends. I couldn't pick just one trend to focus on so I narrowed it down to my top three:

1. The Shirt Dress
I love the casual yet dressy feel of this style and this particular dress catches my eye because I am a sucker for anything eyelet.

2. Yellow
There are three colors out there that look amazing with a tan in my opinion- white, coral, and yellow. While I certainly don't have a tan just yet, I am looking forward to wearing lots of yellow this spring/summer. It's such a bright color, sunny, happy hue and I think it goes well with most skin tones too.

3. Black & White
When it comes to fashion, I'm all about the classics and it doesn't get any more classic, timeless, or basic than black and white. You just can't go wrong with this duo and I will never grow sick of it. ever.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekends & Weddings

I've been trying to post a weekend update each week but I skipped last week so I'm going to play catch up with this post.

Oh, my little glamour girl. I know I've mentioned it before but my daughter is such a girly girl and I love every. single. bit of it. Here she is with her o.o.t.d. including a fur vest, Gucci shirt, J. Crew flats, and a Givenchy handbag. Can I just mention that I don't even own anything Gucci myself?
A local bakery is going out of business so we had to stop in for a famous smiley face cookie (last) Friday.

Then (last) Saturday my friend, A & I took a road trip to Philly to go dress shopping with our friend, H who is getting married in October. 
This wasn't the dress she choose but it was a contender and she did say "yes" to the dress that day! Her dress is so sweet, so simple, and so her style. Perfection.

This Friday was a crazy one. Aubrey gave me a run for my money and she got into all kinds of trouble- trouble that included risking a major head injury several times. This girl loves to climb and scare the crap out of her mother. 

Saturday was just another "Wedding Saturday." I tried on bridesmaid dresses for H's wedding. The bridal party will be wearing champagne dresses in a chiffon material; but she was sweet enough to let us choose the style we want. There were a lot of really pretty options but I opted for a dress with straps because it felt more comfortable. I always feel like I need to adjust myself when I wear a strapless dress. Plus, the back of this dress is so beautiful that I couldn't pass it up. 

After picking my dress, it was time to dress shop for my other best friend, A who is getting married just one month after H!

This was the first dress that she tried on and while it was very pretty, she ended up going with dress #2. Her dress is stunning and so perfect for her in every way. 

So there you have it- I spent the last two weekends dress shopping with my two best friends. Pretty great month so far. There are so many fun events to look forward to this year that I could just burst- and that's an understatement. 

I had some time to myself on Saturday to do some shopping- this never happens so I took full advantage and hit as many stores as I could before our appointment at the bridal shop. I tried on a bunch of clothes because trying on clothes is a luxury now that I have a toddler in tow most of the time and as luck would have it- I ended up with nothing! I couldn't find a single article of clothing that I liked. Granted, I was in a bit of a rush and I only looked in Marshalls and TJ Maxx but I still can't believe that I couldn't find at least one top. I have certain stores that I can always find clothes in (J. Crew, Gap, and Old Navy) and I'm starting to realize that they are my safe zone. Sure a good trendy outfit is fun here and there but in reality I'm just more of a classics kind of girl. 

I did manage to pick up a few things for the house and I found two really pretty spring/summer polishes that I can't wait to get on my fingers: 
Essie- Hard to Get
Ciate- Sweet Pea

Does that ever happen to you? It seems like when you go out hoping to buy/find something you end up with nothing and then on the flip side, when you least expect it, you end up having to make decisions as to what you really love/need/want.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Let's Talk Hair

I've been in a total hair care rut and I've been using the same products for what seems like forever now. I just don't have the time to check out new products when I'm out shopping with a toddler like I used to so I've been sticking to my old favorites. Don't get me wrong my old favorites are great but sometimes you just want to try something new. 

When it comes to my hair I really don't splurge too much, drugstore brands are where it's at. I've always loved the way Aussie products make my hair feel and I think that they smell great too. I use their "Aussome Volume" shampoo, 3 Minute Miracle conditioner, "Aussome Volume" mousse, and their Mega hairspray. On my ends I rotate between Garnier Marvelous Oil Color-Illuminate, FX Silk Drops, and FX Blow Out.

I was lucky enough to be chosen to try out the Dessange Vox Box via Target. I don't know about you but I've never heard of this brand before. So I did what any normal person would do, I googled them. 
Here's what I found:

"Dessange Paris, a hair care line established by stylist Jacques Dessange in 1954 and licensed by L’OrĂ©al to manufacture products in France and now in the U.S., is launching its debut masstige hair collection stateside in mid-September exclusively at Target." via

They are also the official hairdresser of Cannes Festival for 15+ years now. Pretty impressive, huh?

I was so eager to try these products but honestly, I wasn't expecting much of a difference. Like I said before, I'm perfectly happy with my drugstore hair products and honestly, I never really tried a salon brand product that was so impressive that I had to re-purchase it. I always felt like I could achieve the same results for less money with hair care. I'm sure lots of you reading this may disagree but everyone has their splurge items and for me, I'd rather drop my money on a good skin care product. 

Well ladies, I was blown. away. Seriously. First let's start with the Oleo Replenishing Shampoo, the texture is unlike any shampoo that I've ever used. It was kind of oily which made me nervous because I only wash my hair two, maybe three times a week. Well here I sit, writing this review with day 3 hair and I'm still golden. It left my hair sleeker and shinier than before and I love it. Oh and as a very important added bonus this stuff smells amazing! Again, it's really unlike any thing else out there in the market. It smells fresh, clean, rich, and well, luxurious. 

The Oleo Replenishing Conditioner was the second step in the process. I only use conditioner on the hair below my ears. Again, trying to stick with my washing routine. I mean who has time to wash their hair every day? I'll answer that for you: No one who has a toddler. Anyway, back to the review, the consistency was pretty normal for a conditioner, it was creamy and thicker but also a little oily. It definitely did it's job and it did it well, my hair was shiny and healthy looking after I blew it out. 

Finally, I tried the Oleo Miracle Replenishing Oil. Let me back track for a minute, once I blow my hair out I need to apply some sort of heat whether it's a straightening iron or a curling iron in order to not look like a lion who stuck their paw in an electrical outlet. I'll usually apply the FX Silk Drops after a blowout if I'm in a rush to smooth things out and it works pretty good BUT it's weighs my hair down a bit and my hair will not hold a curl once that stuff is used, even if it's the next day. 

I applied the Miracle Oil to the ends of my hair prior to blowing my hair out and this is where I fell in love with this product line. Again, the smell. I love that smell and the best part, it stays with your hair all day long. It smoothed out my frizzy ends and actually enhanced my waves without weighing them down. I didn't need to curl my hair because my waves remained in place and my hair was smooth. Now on the second day, my waves were limp after sleeping on them but I could easily curl my hair on day two and my hair held the curl all day. 

So in brief, do I love all of these products? Yes. 

Will I purchase any of them once I finish these bottles? Yes and maybe. I don't think I can live without the Miracle Replenishing Oil. The shampoo and conditioner, maybe. I'm not sure if they made a big enough difference to specifically seek them out but I do love the way they made my hair feel and I cannot get enough of that scent.

*I received these products for free from influenster via Dessange and Target for testing purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own and I promise to always be honest with my reviews regardless of whether they are free or purchased on my own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Our Weekend

A couple of days late but here it is, a quick recap of our weekend!

On Saturday, we went the the Scranton Cultural Center and attended Dr. Seuss' Birthday Bash. They had a lot of fun activities for the kids. Aubrey was is awe between the mass amount of people, the characters, the decorations, and the breathtaking room that it was held in. She really enjoyed watching the play, Seussical that they performed at the end of the event. It was a lot of fun and if they have it again next year, we will definitely take her again. 

We were starving when we left the Birthday Bash so we got some lunch. We went to Coney Island Lunch. It's Scranton's oldest restaurant and my husband has been dying to get there and try it out so I'm happy we were finally got the experience it. We had their famous texas-wieners and fries. I thought they were ok but my husband really liked them and Aubrey just liked the fries. 

On Sunday, we were snowed in yet again! I'm so glad that we got out of the house on Saturday because it's been just about every weekend now this winter that we are snowed in. I got a lot of cleaning done and we made a yummy pasta dinner which was nice but I am SO over this winter crap. 

I can't tell you how jealous I am of all the people on my blog roll and IG that are wearing shorts and flip flops right now. Remember that movie where the two women swapped homes, I think it was called The Holiday? Yea, I'm thinking that sounds pretty good right about now. So, do you wanna build a snowman? Any takers? 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Five on Friday

1. New Accessories. You'll never guess where I found these treasures. Are you ready for it? Walmart. I know, I'm still in shock myself. 
As much as I love the boho look on others, I'm not too sure I can pull it off but for $5, I thought I'd give it a shot. The earrings were $2.88 and I can thank Aubrey for finding these bracelets that were on clearance for a dollar each. She loves a good bracelet, or 10. 

2. Aubrey has been wearing a tutu 24/7 for about a month now, give or take a few hours. She is officially the fanciest toddler I've ever met.

3. Red Velvet Vino. Yes, please! My sister in law gifted me this bottle on Aubrey's birthday as my "giving birth gift." She's the best. I mean how sweet is that? It's safe to say that although it tastes nothing like the cake, it's my new favorite. 

4. Carmine's Cookbook. Let me start out by saying that I hate cookbooks. They're always filled with recipes that have an ingredient list that's a mile long, half of the ingredients I never heard of, and I certainly don't know where to locate them in the grocery store either. This cookbook is different. The recipes are pretty basic, they use simple but fresh ingredients, and there aren't a million steps. It's my goal to try every single recipe in here. Here's the first attempt:

5. I am so over the winter. It's been a long one and I really don't think I can handle another second of the 20 minute out-the-door bundle sessions that go on over here. It takes forever to leave the house with a toddler as it is but when you need layers upon layers to prevent frostbite from happening in the 2 minutes it takes to go from point A to point B, it's a whole other level of insanity. 

Ok that's the end of my winter-hating rant. Excuse me while I curl up in bed now with my head to toe fleece get-up. 

Happy weekend! Stay warm fellow northerners! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Aubrey's 2nd Birthday Party

Another year has come and gone just as quickly as the last and I now officially have a two-year old. We've been getting a dose of the notorious two year old behavior here and there but she really decided to prove just how real the "terrible twos" are the day of her party. She had quite the range of emotions that day! 

So how did we pick out theme this year? Well Aubrey is a total girly girl. She loves her accessories, shoes, and the color pink. This girl has been wearing a tutu round the clock for about 2 weeks now (don't worry she has quite the variety now and we switch them out daily). Her favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She adores Mickey and Minnie and she's been carrying around her Minnie doll for a while now so I thought a Minnie's Bow-tique party would be right up her alley.

As usual, I planned on taking a ton of photos and ended up with only about 30. I managed to frantically snap these when I heard the first car pulling into the driveway (oh and by the way, the first car was 30 minutes early so I didn't have all of the food out yet). My in-laws took a ton of pictures and I bet they have some really great ones on their camera roll but getting them is another story...

Thankfully, we don't have dining room furniture yet so the dining room is the perfect space for a party and I had a lot of room to work with. 

 Please look away from the tacky builder-grade chandelier that I'm dying to replace.

The most time consuming tasks of all: Wrapping the forks in napkins to make them look like bows, and making the ears and bows for the Minnie plates. It was totally worth it though because all of the girls went crazy for the plates. 

Remember when I mentioned that she had a range of emotions that day- well here it is! I tried to snap these quickly before everyone got there. She started out happy (top photos) then heard the doorbell ring (bottom photos). She wanted everyone out of her house and she was not beating around the bush about it either. Thankfully, a few minutes later my best friend showed up with two of her best friends in tow and she was freakin' ecstatic. Violet and Eva totally saved the day, saved the party, and saved my sanity. To be fair, she was sick all week with a stomach bug and was just starting to feel better the day before her party so she just wanted me all week.

Despite the tears in the beginning, the party was a hit and Aubrey had a blast playing with her friends, eating her weight in cupcakes, and running from one end of the house to the other. Toward the end of the party (which was past her normal nap time) she decided it was time to check out. She threw a fit, refused to wear anything but her diaper and a tutu, grabbed her elephant, and went to bed. And this is why I need to blog more- I can't not write this lunacy down. She has to be reminded of this one day, right?!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's been a while...

Oh my goodness- it's been a while since I last posted! I seriously didn't realize that it's been this long and I really had no intentions of "quitting" blogging but it just kind of happened. I'm not even sure if anyone is out there following along anymore but I do hope to slowly get back into a blogging groove of some sort.

So what has been going on since I last posted in July of 2014? Well...

We did the beach thing at the end of August.
We spent a week in Ocean City, MD (as we do every summer) and Aubrey loved every single second of it. She seriously couldn't get enough of the waves, sand, boardwalk, ice cream, and everything the beach has to offer. 

In September I helped plan my best friend's baby shower to welcome her little girl.
I'll do a recap of her beautiful shower soon!

In October, we went to a wedding out of town. 
This marks our first time leaving Aubrey overnight! She stayed with my mom and it went way better than we anticipated. My goodness was it strange waking up at 8am and without being poked in the eyeball with a random object.

We did the Halloween parade and trick-or-treating thing for the first time.
Aubrey loved watching the floats and the concept of galavanting around town dressed up as Elsa collecting candy was pretty much the best thing ever for her.

We went with the DIY/last minute Christmas card photo shoot route this year.
I staged the photos, my husband adjusted the camera settings, my mom shot the photos, and Aubrey ran around like a crazy lady with antlers on. We were a good team and they came out far better than I expected. So it was a win!

Then we did the Christmas thing.
Poor kid had a stomach bug the entire week of Christmas but she still managed to have a pretty good day. Santa brought her a kitchen and it's safe to say that it's her favorite new toy because she now cooks dinner for daddy after we eat dinner. ever. single. night.

...and lastly I've been busy running my etsy shop, working part-time, and raising a two year old.
I am so amazed/thankful/proud of my little business that has been growing since I opened up shop in March. It's been keeping me busy and unfortunately is a large part of the reason why blogging has taken the back burner. I don't have much free time between working part-time, juggling home life, and my keeping up with orders. All of the time that I'm spending on designing new stuff for the shop, creating, packaging, and listing items is time that I would normally reserve for blogging.

I miss blogging so much though and I really hate that I've missed so many months because I enjoy looking back on old posts. I don't blog for a living, a few perks here and there are nice but in reality there are two main reasons why I blog:

1.) To capture and document memories and 2.) to connect with other bloggers who share similar interests.

I've met so many amazing women through blogging and I really miss you ladies! So here's to hoping that you are still out there and that you will continue to follow along on this crazy journey though my life.

Next post up: Aubrey's 2nd Birthday Party!