02.19.2017

The Best Of President’s Day Sales (And My Favorite Items I Personally Own)

I hope you’re all having a wonderful, extended weekend, with those you love. I’m interrupting your weekend with a few of the best President’s Day Sales… including some of my personal favorite items that are currently on major sale! We’re heading up to LA this morning to take Harper to the LA Zoo, and then stay the night at a favorite hotel… so I’ll share my Weekend Recap Tuesday morning! Have a great Monday off friends!
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Banana Republic is currently having 40% off, and I snagged this bell sleeved utility jacket yesterday and have my eye on this faux wrap top…..

LOFT has some super cute items right now too, all of which are 40% off….. I have this side button pullover in the peach color (I sized up to a M, as it is a more fitted sweater), this incredibly soft (like, on of the softest items I own) zip-up (featured above), as well as this chambray romper for warmer weather (it’s raining here…. but it was too cute to pass up….)…..

One of my favorite ruffle tier tops is currently on sale from Anthropologie…..

And, of course Nordstrom has some of my all time favorites currently marked down…. like this super soft and flattering v-neck sweater (I own in cream and black), this peplum button-up thermal (I own in grey), scoop neck thermal (which I own in taupe + black…. size up for length, I bought a S), my all time favorite oversized cardigan is on sale too…. as is the prettiest coral color dress (featured here) if you’re looking ahead to spring. This faux drape wrap sweater, which I love wearing everywhere, is on sale in the black and grey (I own it in black)….. as well as this grey crop that I wear when I do my yoga videos at home…… lastly, my all time favorite pullover is on sale too (I sized up to a M for an oversized fit)…..

A few items that I have my eye on include this ruffle pullover, side tie stripe tee (so perfect for spring…. layered under a trench or lightweight cardigan), side knotted long sleeve tee (I like the mauve/taupe-ish color option), and this mesh tee for working out in (the grey color is so cute!).

02.17.2017

Tea Talk // Q&A OF The Most Recently Asked Questions

{Sneakers (size down) | Jeans | Sweater | Ring}

Happy Friday friends! What a week…. I seriously could not be happier that the long weekend is here. I decided to do something a little different with today’s post. I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately, and decided that I would dedicate today’s post to answering them, just in case you have the same question too. I love interacting with you all, so always feel free to ask your questions either via e-mail or in the comments below!

1. How many miles, running, do you log on the weekends?
Running has always been one of my favorite workouts (even continued it well into my pregnancy….), so after little miss was born, I couldn’t wait to return to longer runs. Of course, in theory, that was easier said than done. Now that Harper is getting older, I am able to increase the distances that I run on the weekends. Right now, I am currently at 6.5 miles. I’m hoping to complete my first postpartum half marathon this year! Anyone want to join me in virtual training??!

2. We are heading to Napa and Carmel in February and just wanted to get your recommendations on favorite places to eat in both of those locations! We are celebrating our 5th anniversary and will be spending 2 nights in Carmel and 3 in Napa before heading to San Clemente to visit with family! Any suggestions for lunch, dinner, breakfast would be so helpful! We are staying in Yountville while in Napa and Carmel by the Sea area! Thank you!!!! 
Two of my favorite places on the CA coast. I did a recap of these trips a little while back. You can find my Napa recap here, here and Carmel here, here, and here. As far as Napa goes, we LOVE Boon Fly for breakfast (try their donuts…. and they make a DG bloody mary), The Farm for dinner, or dinner at Solage Calistoga (one of our favorite hotels there). For lunches, we love to grab a sandwich and sit out at a vineyard with a glass of wine. Our favorite spots for this are V Satui and Gundlach Bundschu. We’re big and of  renting homes in the area and BBQing at night.

As for Carmel, there are so many delicious places. If you head out to Big Sur for a hike, I recommend taking in the gorgeous views and enjoy a delicious lunch at Ventana Inn. Dametra Cafe is a great, and fun, spot for Greek food….. Pebble Beach for lunch and cocktails is a must with the most spectacular views. Rooftop cocktails and delicious pizza at Vesuvio are a favorite too. Kathy’s Little Kitchen for breakfast is delish….

3. I’m prego with baby #3 and I need maternity fashion tips for these next few months (due in August). I was pregnant at different times of the year with the others.
You can check out all my pregnancy fashion here, but I for sure have a few favorite items I wore on the regular. I didn’t buy many maternity items, rather I purchased a lot of regular items in larger sizes…. and then wore them oversized after. I loved body con dresses/long sleeve version (this one was my favorite…. I wore it with OTK boots, sneakers, cardigan, and leather/suede jacket…), tunics (I loved this one, and had an option very similar to this one), flowy dresses (this floral one, in blush, was, and still is, a favorite… and I also like this mauve colored off the shoulder dress), and oversized sweaters (my favorite options right now include this super soft v-neck  (on sale!), and this open knit v-neck option), and longer basic tops, like this tee (which I actually just bought!).

4. I was curious which shoes are your favorite for Harper since she started walking? Or which brands she seems most comfortable getting around in? My little one is turning one soon and will be walking soon, she’s outgrown most of her shoes.
My absolute favorite shoes for Harper are the Freshly Picked mocs. I love that they are flexible, super soft, and she walks (and runs) so well in them! She also does really well in this converse pair, as well as in tikitot shoes. I will keep you posted as I find more options.

5. That shrimp stir fry you put together on your instastories the other day looked so good. Do you mind sharing the recipe?
This dish is so easy, and delicious! Sauté the shrimp in garlic, olive oil, and red bell pepper flakes. Then in a separate pan use some sesame oil and garlic to sauté your brown rice (cooked). Add cooked broccoli, baby corn, and cooked peas…. then drizzle some soy sauce over it. When it’s all warm and flavors to your liking you’re done. You can use the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s and then just heat it up in the microwave… as well as their broccoli…. it makes the dish even easier. They also have excellent uncooked shrimp (not fishy at all!).

 6. Ok, I really want those Jeffrey Campbell Pointy Toe Flats. But, will you post how you style them?
I absolutely love these flats. Especially in the white and taupe color options for spring. I recommend wearing them with your favorite pair of distressed jeans, oversized basic tee, and cardigan…. or, if you’re wanting to dress them up try a motto/suede jacket with a ruffle top (one of my favs). You can even wear them in the warmer months with a pair of distressed shorts and a tee…. or with your favorite dress.

6. What did you do to combat the postpartum hair loss?
I pretty much thought I was going to go bald… I was pulling out chunks of hair in the shower. I swore (and still do) by Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (post here). Once I started using them the hair loss began to stop (thank God!!). I still use them to this day…. you can mix them in anything and they don’t alter the taste.

7. So random, but do you know of a good place or beauty counter at Nordstrom that does good makeup? I don’t trust myself with family photos we have coming up!
My favorite beauty counters at Nordstrom are Laura Mercier and Chanel. I’ve always had great success with their products. You can see my neutral makeup post here.

8. You mentioned on instastories that you took off your fake lashes and were starting to use Rodan + Fields Lash Boost? How is that going? Have you seen any progress?
Yes, I took off my lashes right after the NY, and let me tell you, it was a shock. I took them off for various reasons, but one of them was that I wanted something more natural looking. So, I decided to try the RF Lash Boost. I’ve been using it for 5 weeks now (I plan on doing a before and after when I’ve completed the recommended 12 weeks) and while I don’t notice a visible difference without makeup yet (that’s the ultimate goal) when I apply mascara, I for sure see an increase in length and fullness. So, overall I’m really happy. I can’t wait to see what improvement happens over the next 4 weeks.

9. How have your Kristin Cavallari mules held up over time? I love the tan color and think they are the perfect neutral flat but worry that they would stain and get dirty easily due to being suede. Thanks!
These are one of my favorite pairs of shoes I own. They are a great price, well made, and super comfortable. I think I wear them at least 3 times a week. As far as quality, I haven’t had any issues with them. I own two colors, the tan and grey, and I haven’t had problems with them staining. I often use my shoes to pull my jeans down after I’ve been sitting for a little while (I know, it sounds weird) and that creates some discoloration on the inside sole, but I haven’t had a problem other than that. Some people have asked about the width… I am in between a wide and narrow foot and haven’t experienced any problems with them sliding off (I also don’t like my shoes to be tight).

10. I would love your help figuring out how to go about the postpartum period in better style. What items did you rely on, and what pieces would you recommend to a mom wanting to be stylish?
I remember thinking that the minute little miss popped out that I’d be back into my favorite jeans the next day. Not so. That being said, I got creative with how I dressed without the bump, while still having the squishy bump and loose skin (which, if I’m being quite honest, is still there to some extent….). I actually think that a lot of the items I wore in my last trimester of pregnancy were very helpful in those first few months. I always recommend a great pair of high waisted leggings (I mean, they hold in all the right places) to be worn with a tunic, oversized sweater, or basic tee….. as well as a bellaband (I used this until I could button my jeans again). Wrap tops are a great option because they are chic and I found them to be more slimming. Some favorites include this camel colored option (which I just purchased too) and this black short sleeve option, and this wrap sweater (which comes in two color options). The wrap design is great for nursing too. I also recommend a good nursing bra… it’ll make you feel much more normal. Tunics are a stylish option too. I loved (still do) this lace inset one (I own it in the ivory)…. and all the ones I mentioned above for the last few months of pregnancy are excellent options too.

11. I loooove Oribe dry texturizing spray! Have you used it? How does it compare to your Oribe products you mentioned? If you like these more, I may have to save up and try!
I love the Oribe products too! I haven’t tried their dry texturizing spray, so I can’t speak to how it compares with the products I have tried…. but I can tell you that the dry shampoo is amazing!! I’d snag that one next, if you’re looking, only because it’s more practical than the apres beach waves.

12. Your thumb ring is so dainty and feminine, it’s beautiful! Would you mind sharing where it’s from?
Thank you! It’s actually a stack of 4 rings from Gorjana. I ordered a larger size and wear one on my thumb.

13. I know you mentioned in the previous message that your Chloe bag is the “medium” size – but I only see the link for the small on Nordstroms website😔 Do you find that you can dress this bag up or down? And do you think it will “date” soon?😬 Every time I see it in your blog posts – I love it – but scared to purchase it b/c of the price & if it will look dated in a few years😏 Can you fit a fair amount inside of it?
I wasn’t able to find a link for it in the medium size, but I just found it available here. I wear this bag ALL the time… running errands and out with the hubs. It’s incredibly versatile…. and the medium is big enough to fit a square wallet, my sunglasses case (hard case), a small cosmetic bag, and my cellphone…. so I can use it as a day bag as well. I think it has such a classic shape, and the detailing is subtle and classic that I don’t think it will go out of style. I am very picky when splurging on items… and look for pieces that will last the test of time… so I think you’d be safe with this one.

14. My daughter is the same age (a day apart) — wondering if Harper has transitioned to one nap a day? My little one is fighting me hard lately on both naps. Would you mind sharing her nap times? I’m a little desperate! Thank you!
She hasn’t yet transitioned yet to 1 nap…. she is still wanting both the naps. I did speak with my pediatrician about it when we went to her year checkup and she mentioned that when she starts fighting the naps it is time to merge to one…. and she mentioned it’s usually around 15 months… but to monitor how she does. Currently she goes down for her first nap between 9:30-10 (depends on how she’s doing) and then her second is between 2:30/3. They last about 1 hour and 15 minutes… I hope that helps and good luck!

02.16.2017

Everyday Elevated // Dressing In A Pinch: The Asymmetrical Tee

Well, the other morning (or, should I say, day) was nothing short of interesting (those days always make for a good story though, right??)…..

It started with Harper and I heading out for our morning walk to the park, at which point I dropped my phone, yet again, and the screen separated from the actual phone…. essentially making the screen black (mind you, this was after dropping it the previous day and shattering the screen). This pretty much rendered my phone useless…. since I couldn’t even access the pass code to unlock the dang thing….

Then, as I was scurrying around to get ready (little miss had already awaken from her nap…) I noticed I had left a bottle of nail polish within reach of tiny hands. The two of us noticed this simultaneously and as I reached to take it away, she quickly reached for it too, which spelled spilled disaster. Nail polish bottle shattered all over white bathroom. Coral nail polish to be exact. Imagine my excitement at that mess…..

By that time, I had about 10 minutes to get ready if I wanted to do anything before lunch…. so, I reached for a tee (like I always do when I’m in a bind). Before you stop reading, hear me out. While I love a great basic v-neck, I’ve been finding new shapes to add to my t-shirt collection. My current favorite being the asymmetrical hem…. it’s a little different, adds good shape to a very basic item, and in the right material hangs in all the right places. It’s another one of those items that you can grab when you’re in a hurry and still look like you put a ton of effort into getting ready. When in a neutral color, like this super soft favorite, you’re in even better luck…..

A few favorites include the one I’m wearing today (obviously), as well as this asymmetrical tank version (in white…. looks like it hangs in such a cute way), dolman lightweight long sleeve tee (in several options, but I like the java), and this v-neck top in blush.

Disclaimer: If you spot any coral nail polish on my ankles, I apologize in advance. Additionally, the day was so crazy, that by the time we got around to snapping pictures of the outfit, I was so tired I forgot to take the cardigan off to get a picture of the tee. Oooops. Sorry! 
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{Outfit Details // Top (comes in 4 colors, excellent price, TTS, wearing XS) | Cardigan | Jeans | Mules | Necklace | Bag | Sunglasses}


02.15.2017

Wellness Wednesday: The Three Must Haves In My Breakfasts + A Nutrient Packed Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

We’ve all heard it, time and time again…. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” And, if you think about it, it’s pretty true. I mean, I eat dinner around 6:00pm (senior citizens over here…..)…. and don’t have breakfast until 6:30am…. so, I’m literally breaking the fast with my first meal of the day…..

Growing up, I couldn’t leave the house until I’d had something to eat in the morning. In college, breakfasts were often pushed back until 9:30am (#LateNights #YOLO). In grad school, I lived on cereal. When little miss arrived, I relied heavily on my favorite oatmeal bake (pop in the oven, and voila). Needless to say, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about what will keep me nourished, satisfied, and provide me with the energy needed to get through the morning…..

First, I need carbs. Have to have them. So, I opt for items like my favorite rolled oats from Trader Joe’s, sweet potatoes, or a piece of toast. I also find a good source in the fruits I incorporate… I tend to prefer a sweet breakfast over a savory option, which is why I like fruit in the morning. I typically top my oats with fresh fruits for the perfect combo….

Second, a healthy dose of fats. They help me feel full longer. My preferred morning fats (sounds kinda funny, huh??)? Avocado or some kind of nut butter. They’re pretty much my #obsession. On toast, in my oatmeal (well, nut butter that is… haven’t been adventurous enough to toss in avocado…), on the side with my egg dish….

And lastly, some kind of protein. When I was in grad school I would have a bowl of cereal and wonder why I was hungry an hour later (or, better yet, why I needed a second bowl…..). Eggs, bacon (nitrate, hormone, antibiotic, organic kind), and protein powders are my favorite options….

Annnnd, a few mornings ago, I decided to get a little creative with those three must haves…. and that’s how this amazingly thick, delicious, and nutritious breakfast was born. You can drink the whole thing if you’d like… split it between two people (which is what little miss and I did)…. or make it into a breakfast bowl and top with more fruit and granola…. the options are limitless. Do what your tastebuds desire. Either way, you’re sure to be left with a cup (or bowl…) of goodness in front of you…….

Oh, and there are two hidden, nutrient dense, ingredients in this baby…. beets (in the oh-so-delicious Pressed Juicery Strawberry Almond Milk) and frozen cauliflower (trust me when I say you can’t even taste it….but it adds some amazing texture)…..

Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup of sliced strawberries
1 medium, frozen, banana
1/2 cup oats (I use the gluten free oats from Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp chocolate protein collagen peptides
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
1 cup Strawberry Almond Milk from Pressed Juicery
1 scoop of nut butter (I used this one)
1 1/2 cup ice cubes
sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender (I used a vitamix) and blend until well combined. If it is not as thick as you would like, add a few more ice cubes until it reaches desired thickness (this is what I had to do).

Thank you to Pressed Juicery for sponsoring this post and allowing me to create delicious recipes for you. All opinions expressed are my own.

02.14.2017

Valentine’s Day Fail // Sleeveless Sweater

Well, poor planning on my part here. I mean, Valentine’s Day, and I’m in a grey toned outfit. Probably could have done something blush themed…. and then thought I could have done something to honor the man in my life…. and then I realized that I dropped the ball there too…. and so, here we are, with today’s post, completely not V-day themed….

In all honesty, we’re having a simple holiday over here…. we’ve arranged for little miss to head over to my parent’s house in the morning…. and TJ and I are heading out to a SoulCycle Spin class and breakfast date. Which, for me, is pretty ideal. Then we’ll have a simple family dinner and celebrate our family love…. nothing over the top, simple, and special…

Which is exactly what this outfit is (ok, and pretty much every other outfit I post….). A favorite trend of mine over the past several seasons has been the sleeveless open knit sweater (my favorite from last season can be seen here). It’s a simple grab and go option that is perfect layered underneath your favorite jacket, or by itself when the temps warm up (or when you head inside). This grey option pairs with pretty much any denim you have in your closet…. grey jeans for a little grey x grey action, white denim,  and your tried and true blue jeans. Wear to coffee with a girlfriend, or out to happy hour with your main squeeze or girlfriends (just toss on your favorite heels)…..

A few other options that I am currently loving include this v-neck sweater, gorgeous white option, sand colored asymmetrical sweater, and this gorgeous tunic splurge worthy one.
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{Outfit Details // Sweater (comes in ivory too, wearing S, runs TTS) | Bralette | Jacket (comes in several colors, currently on sale, runs TTS, wearing XS) | Mules | Jeans (similar) | Sunglasses | Purse (less expensive option) | Necklace}

02.13.2017

Weekend Recap // Nostalgia + Looking Forward

{Friday smiles (my sweater, shoes)}

TJ arrived home on Friday evening at the perfect time…. where we were still able to enjoy our Friday night traditions… and let me tell you, it was so nice to have him home….

We spent Saturday morning meeting up for breakfast with one of my best girlfriends from college. She was in town for the weekend with her two little boys and hubby. As she walked up to the restaurant with her two little tikes, juggling it all and looking fabulous, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. I see so many of my girlfriends effortlessly navigating the role of motherhood (and by effortlessly I don’t mean there aren’t challenges… I just mean they are able to rise and meet those challenges and still be amazing friends, wives, and mothers)… the same girlfriends who I once had late night burrito runs with…. where our then boyfriends (now hubbies) helped us out by making our favorite drink of choice (now they help by changing a diaper… or taking the little one outside to run off some excess energy)…. and the same girlfriends who spent many a wedding dancing the night away….. now mothers and accomplished career women…..

And while a part of me is so proud of these women I get to call my friends… there is a part inside of me that longs for the days where a conversation catching up isn’t interrupted by a little one dropping their milk…. or days when we could stumble out of the house and grab coffee at will…. or plan weekend getaways without figuring out hundreds of logistics….. where connecting was easier…..

Yet, at the same time, I know that these very things that have changed many of my friendships (and not in bad ways), are also the hurdles that will ultimately strengthen them as they stand the test of time. And for that, I am grateful. I’ve always believed that friends are the family you get to choose, and knowing I have them as an extension of my family, provides me with a sense of comfort.

So, as we embark upon the week of love…. give a little love to those girlfriends in your life…. the ones who’ve seen you at your worst, best, know where you come from, and support where you’re going. Have a good one friends!

{Saturday morning breakfast at le pain quotidien}

{Added little pops of baby’s breath to this weekends blooms}

{Happy hour at a fav local spot}

{Picked up some favorite snack bars for the week ahead (leggings, sweatshirt)}

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We’re heading out tonight for an early V-day celebration at Cafe Gratitude… it’s a Mule + Nachos night, so I can’t wait. I’ll be taking over their insta-stories account, so be sure to follow along later! Later this week though, I’ll be making this healthy version of carnitas (I get my pork from Whole Foods, where it’s antibiotic, hormone free, and organic).

If you’re looking for a little Valentine’s Day inspiration, my favorites include this bell sleeve top, cold shoulder ruffle top (planning on wearing to our date night tonight), or this off the shoulder dress in blush (paired with a suede jacket!)….. I also love this short sleeved mauve ruffle sleeve tee.

I’ve had my eye on a few transitional outerwear pieces and I’m loving this trench coat, distressed denim jacket, and this bell sleeved utility jacket (in my cart…. and seriously so close to purchasing….). I’m obsessed with this short sleeved suede jacket…. but it’s way out of my price range… so I’m looking for a dupe!

I’m also looking to add a new pair of shoes to my closet. I recently snagged these grey sneakers (should be arriving today….) and have my eye on this blush perforated sneaker, blush block heel bootie (love the design here), and this kitten block heel slide in blush (a splurge for sure, but they’re so pretty!).

I also recently purchased this deep v-neck, open knit oversized sweater, as well as this camel colored wrap sweater…. both perfect for the transitional months and excellent price points. A few other items that I have my eye on include this peplum blue and white tank (love it for spring), as well as this tie hem sweater (looks so classic), faux wrap top (I like the grey color), and these grey distressed jeans (excellent price point too). I recently purchased this tie front tee (in white) too…. love it with jeans and my fav mules!

02.10.2017

13 Month Motherhood Update

Silly me. Remember in my 1 year motherhood update, when I asked if you all were still interested in me continuing these updates? Well, my thought process was that not much would change on a month to month basis… so I wouldn’t have that much to write about. Oh how naive I was. So. Much. Changes. My little baby from last year is a full blown firecracker. Things change daily. She grows daily. I am challenged daily. So, I give you my 13 month motherhood update…..

General Thoughts/Feelings:

When I envisioned becoming a mom, this month is what always came to mind. As much as it challenges me, and as tired as I am, it’s been my favorite by far. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the newborn snuggles, but at this age, there is so much reciprocal engagement. I love her smiles when we go to greet her in the morning… that she copies me cleaning up a mess on the floor (she literally grabs a towel and makes circular motions)…. and how she talks to us in her own little language (that she assumes we must understand…. I mean “Boooya”…. duh….). Of course, there are the challenges that come with a reciprocal relationship…. you know, taking something away that she should’t have and the whole world crashing down around her (read: stiff back and screams….. you know what I’m talking about….)…. or the mini tantrums (we’re at the stage right now where we go in and out of cries….. and are juuuuust starting to lay down on the floor…. I assume full tantrum mode isn’t far behind….). Oh, and there’s this fearlessness that abounds within her…. just the other day we were at the park and she took one step quicker than I could, and down the slide she went (she was completely fine…. thank goodness)…. so it’s like I have to be one step ahead of her…. #TiredMomma

In all honesty though, it feels good to have the first year behind us. I can’t verbalize exactly why….. but it just feels comfortable. I know there will always be change and transition with a child around, but I feel a sense of comfort right now. Like the groove we are in really works (I’m sure that next week I will feel completely different…..). There isn’t as much uncertainty and unknown as I felt in the first year of motherhood. I mean, I’ve never been through the toddler years, but I feel more confident in this phase. A lot of my work as a therapist was with parents with toddlers (albeit slightly older) and I do find myself using a lot of the skills I worked on with families.

Feeding/Sleeping:

As of late, this girl has been sleeping soundly (I mean, no peeps throughout the night) for the past few weeks (knock on wood…). Even when she slept 12 hours, there were still moments throughout the night where she would become a little restless for a minute or two, and then fall back to sleep…. lately though, nothing (she’s probably exhausted from all that running around….). We have yet to transition to one nap…. She is still going down for a nap around 9:30ish and then again at 2:30…. although, there have been a few times when she has missed her morning nap and has then only taken one… when that happens, her nap time is around 1:30, and she tends to sleep about 2.5 hours.

As for feeding, this gal is like a “hallow lake.” Seriously. I think she eats just about as much as I do. Her favorites include strawberries (I mean, who doesn’t like strawberries), blueberries, carrots, and peas… she’s also a fan of almond butter and oatmeal mixed together, veggie burgers, and cheese sticks. Come to think of it, I can’t really recall giving her anything she didn’t like. I’m sure that’ll all change as she gets older and develops more preferences, but for the moment I’m rolling with it…. Oh, and there are also inedible items that she loves too…. like sand at the park (I seriously can’t get her to stop putting it in her mouth) and dog food (she’s literally obsessed… as in races for the dog bowl if we forgot to put it up and shoves a handful in her mouth… and we have to pry it out…..).

While that’s all good and positive, the OCD tendencies towards cleanliness within me are at an all time high! Toddler eating is no joke. I turn my back for a moment and food is everywhere. Literally. Sometimes she tries to mimic our pup Captain and I catch her trying to lick up her food…. or, just give him her food in general (it’s worked wonders for their budding relationship). I’ve done a few things to address the issue of food throwing… and it’s had some success. I’ve removed her food from her tray, modeled for her, and told her what we do with food (other than throw it), and then wait for her to ask for more again (she signs this). I know she’s not old enough to completely understand it all… but I know she’s watching… and I know she can hear… so I figured I’d start there. It’s successful sometimes… and sometimes I think she’s just done and bored sitting in her highchair….

I plan on doing an entire post in the coming weeks on my favorite products for eating, yet, if you’re curious, we’ve graduated from a bottle to this sippy cup, and are attempting to use these utensils (still have a ways to go there). We also just started using this high chair, so I’ll report back soon as to how I like it.

Working Out/Body:

So… I decided that I wanted to try BBG again…. and again, I got bored (after week 2). So, I’ve started creating my own HIIT workouts that I can easily do from the comforts of my own living room…. they challenge me… incorporate weights… and go by quickly since I try to make them different all the time…. I have been able to enjoy a couple of spin classes here and there… and it’s something I’m hoping to be able to commit to once a week (there is just something about the music and someone pushing me to work harder that is invigorating!).

I did grossly under estimate the amount of time it would take for my body to get back to “normal.” And I actually try not to use that as a word to compare my post-baby body to. I mean, what’s normal after you’ve carried, birthed, and fed a baby for a collective 2 years (almost)…. and don’t get me started on the post-nursing bodily changes (I think you all know what I’m talking about… one word comes to mind “deflated.” TMI?? Sorry, just being honest.). I was having a conversation with TJ about this last weekend. I was mentioning to him that I don’t want to loose weight. My goal has never been to be skinny. My goal is to be toned (sometimes I wonder where that pre-prego muscle mass went)…. so I’ve been incorporating HIIT workouts, as well as heavier weights into my routine. It’s challenging, and I’ve been enjoying it as of late…..

In all honesty, the process of accepting and loving the post-pregnancy body has been filled with highs and lows. Maybe that resonates with you, maybe it doesn’t. If it does, you’re not alone. Something I am trying to do is appreciate my body for what it can do for me…. which is why I have started increasing my mileage in my weekend runs. I always feel a sense of accomplishment with my body when I am able to increase by a mile… or shave a few seconds off my mile time. I’m amazed at how much resistance my legs can handle in a spin class… and how my arms can support me in my favorite yoga poses. I tend to feel most confident when I’m actually working out… and I hope that’s something to pass on to little miss…. because I know she hears and sees everything, so I must be mindful of the message I send!

Those thoughts may not make any sense (it’s a little late, and I’m a little tired) and they might just be some random musings… but thought I’d share them with you all.

Relationships:

I have found so much comfort in chatting with moms who are going through this stage with me. Swapping stories… swapping #MomFails…. it all makes you feel like you’re not doing as badly as you think.

I shared in this post that I wanted to be better about getting together with my girlfriends this year… and I am happy to say that my girlfriend and I have booked a Saturday night away in LA… just the two of us… to take a spin class, eat some delicious food, sip a little vino, and have a little uninterrupted (read: no schedule) time together. So. Excited…..

Which lends me to the fact that I feel lucky to have TJ who encourages me to take this time. TJ was gone this entire week for a work trip to the East Coast… and it’s crazy how used to a routine you get, and how much we help each other out. Having to be in charge of everything was tiring… It’s typically not until a person is away that you truly realize and appreciate the help…. and I certainly can’t wait for him to come home! I talked a little bit about how we invest in our marriage, post baby, in this post. For us, it’s all about the small moments. We are hoping to get back to some of the things we loved doing as a couple before little miss arrived… long bike rides (considering getting one of these….) and long hikes (considering this for those)… and just being outdoors for workouts (we currently take turns working out on the weekend mornings, unless we go for a run, and are missing that aspect!).

{Outfit Details || Top | Harper’s jumpsuit}

Favorite Moments: 

This gal loves butterfly kisses… and when I stop, she immediately grabs my head and asks for more….

She also loves to be give big ol’ open mouth kisses…. yet, she’s selective as to when she gives them out….

It melts my heart that she now grabs my hand when she wants me to follow her…

When we first brought her home, our pup Captain wasn’t too keen on her. Wait, that’s putting it nicely. He pretty much wanted nothing to do with her. It was around the time that she started eating solids, and accidentally dropping them over the side, that their relationship started to flourish. I love watching her take his leash and walk him around the house… or when she tries to give him kisses too.

How her favorite word is “dddddddddddyyyyyyy” which is her way of saying “daddy…” she loves him so….

When she suddenly becomes shy she clasps her hands together and moves them around in little circular motions. It’s adorable…..

How she loves books. She brings them to us, we read a page…. and then she walks away and brings us another one… Her current favorite is this one.

Favorite Products From The Month:

Now that she is officially out of her baby tub, we bought this whale to cover the spout of the faucet (in the tub)… it’s major peace of mind. We also love this bath toy organizer (she loves playing with these). These fleece pajamas have been a lifesaver…. they zip (no buttons) and keep her incredibly warm and cozy throughout the evening. Oh, and she is #obsessed with his little pink buggy. She loves going on walks to the park in it…. and I’m wondering how odd I would look taking it to the mall (she loves it more than her stroller at this point).

02.09.2017

Backless + White // Easy Breezy Weekend Attire

A few weekends ago, TJ and I decided to be completely spontaneous. Our weekends typically start with a little wine, a little music, some take-out, and deciding what we want to do with the next two days.That particular Friday evening, we couldn’t decide what we felt like doing the next day, so we chose to just wing it the next morning. This is typically not like me, at all…. but it felt kinda liberating…. so I went with it.We agreed that we both wanted two things from the next day: a good workout and to eat some DG food. With that, we went to bed….

Fast forward (literally… I mean, why does sleep go by so quickly… or maybe that’s just because we have a baby???) to 7:30am…. still didn’t know what we wanted to do, but decided that after little miss’ morning nap we’d head to LA… always a good option when you’re wanting some good food….

And, while there were a lot of uncertainties for the day, one thing I knew for sure. This top, well, it was a must. I bought it back in the middle of December… I guess I was thinking warm weather already (after wishing for cold weather for so long). It was a gorgeous day… temps in the low 70’s and it was just begging to be worn…. and while it’s another white top (my other favorite here), the tiny details make it so much more than that…. the open back and ruffle hem make it perfect for day or night. An all white look, as seen here, for a day with the family… or paired with a pair of black jeans and a pair of studded booties (hello gorgeous… added to cart now….) for an edgier evening out. It’s a not so basic basic that’s perfect for any occasion (well, maybe not a formal work environment…..).

Oh… we ended up deciding to dine at Au Fudge…. the best spot in LA if you have a little one in tow!
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(Outfit Details // Top (wearing XS, comes in 5 color options) | Bralette | Cardigan (wearing XS, runs TTS, multiple color options) | Jeans | Mules | Bag | Necklace | Sunglasses)

02.08.2017

Wellness Wednesday: Donuts. Yes, You Read That Right.

Donuts were a post-church tradition every Sunday growing up…. that big pink box, filled with a dozen morsels of yumminess. My favorites? Maple bars, sugar donuts, and chocolate sprinkles. I still can’t drive past a donut shop and not think about Sunday mornings with my family….

In all honesty though, the last time I had a donut was when I was pregnant…. I was craving it, but knew that it wouldn’t sustain me throughout the morning…. I mean, dough, sugar, flour, and butter, would you expect anything less? After inhaling the thing, I was hungry within an hour (and picked up an acai bowl….)….. Hypothesis confirmed, and I haven’t really had one since….

So, for this Valentine’s Day I decided to try my hand at a nutritious donut. Yeah, I know, sounds like an oxymoron, right? Healthy… donut….. not buying it? I promise you, it’s possible. These donuts are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free (in case you’re wondering, the following are refined sugars: sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose dextrose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, cane crystals and corn sweetener)… but not taste free (trust me on that one….). You see, I recently saw this quote on instagram:

“Sugar feeds cancer and creates diabesity. The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar a year and about 146 pounds of flour.”

Holy smokes. Insert wide eyed emoji here. Yet, what I take from that quote is that everything in moderation… a full blown donut once in a blue moon isn’t going to hurt me. It might leave me hangry an hour later, but not going to do any long lasting damage….

Buuuut, what if you want something donut like more than once in a blue moon? Well, then, I’ve got you covered. I used simple swaps to make this a more nutritious option. Instead of butter I used an avocado (incredibly rich and creamy….), instead of regular flour I substituted almond flour, and I replaced regular old cane sugar with coconut palm sugar (a much lower glycemic index). I tossed in Pressed Juicery’s new strawberry almond milk (which has beets (!!), strawberries, and coconut water in it…), as well as some collagen peptides…. and there you have it. And while I don’t like to associate the word “guilt” with “food”…. it’s an indulgent treat that you’ll also get nutrients from too (that’s better, right??).

Make these morsels for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day… or just make them for whenever the heck you feel like it. Some initial reactions from my taste testers included:

“Oh my gosh. What the heck is this??” immediately followed by “We’re going to have to make these to have on hand daily.” ~ sister

Reaching and shoving mass quantities into the mouth ~ Harper

Need I say more??

Oh, also, if you’re looking to send a healthy Valentine’s Gram to some friends, Pressed is sending out juice grams to you and your besties. Just check out this link. Harper and I already sent some out!
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Strawberry Walnut Donuts:

1 cup walnuts (which will become 1/2 cup walnut powder)
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup Pressed Juicery strawberry almond milk
1/4 cup mashed avocado
1 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vital proteins collagen peptides (optional)

Frosting Ingredients: 

1/2 cup cacao powder
1  mashed avocado
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Pressed Strawberry Almond Milk
1 tsp coconut palm sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° (I also used the convection setting). Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray (I used this one).
2. In the bowl of a food processor add the walnuts and 1/4 cup of the almond flour and pulse until finely ground into a powder. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining flour, cinnamon, baking powder, collagen peptides, and salt to the walnut mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Add the avocado and sugar to the food processor and pulse until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla, and process until combined.
5. Then, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients (which should still be in the food processor) and pulse until combined. While the machine is running, pour in the strawberry almond milk (I used a funnel) and continue to process until the batter comes together.
6. Use a spoon to fill the donut pan. I recommend filling them almost to the top (I did it only halfway with the first batch and they were the skinniest donuts I’d ever seen….#NotRecommended). Bake for about 20-25 minutes (they will begin to separate from the pan and firm up when they are almost done). Once removed, I immediately turned over the donut tray and patted them out onto a cooling rack (be sure the pan is greased enough or they will stick #TrustMe #FirstBatchFail).
7. While they are cooling, make the chocolate frosting. To do this, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree. It should be a creamy texture. Also, be sure all the avocado is mashed as well.
8. Frost the donuts and top with chopped strawberries.
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{Post Details || Sweatshirt Tee | Harper’s Tee | Harper’s Pants}

Thank you to Pressed Juicery for sponsoring this post and allowing me the opportunity to create delicious recipes for you!

02.07.2017

One Shoulder // Spring Trends

While I know we are in the dead of winter (we had quite the stormy weather yesterday), to me, anytime after January is the start of spring. It’s around this time that I welcome sporadic warmer days in between the cooler, rainy ones. Where I happily whip out my favorite tanks and layer them under my winter cardigans… where I start to think of warmer weather destinations to visit…. and where my shopping cart begins to fill up with spring trends….

When I was in high school, the spaghetti strap trend was huge… and then we moved onto the strapless trend in the college years (thank goodness those photos are all archived….). Post graduation, I really can’t remember… since I was in grad school and all I did was study….

I like to think that one of my favorite upcoming trends for spring, the one shoulder top, is slightly more refined (although, who knows, maybe I’ll look back and cringe someday…. or maybe Harper will look at my photos and ask “What were you thinking mom??”….). Why am I loving it?? Well, for starters, it’s easier to move around in than the off the shoulder trend (although, don’t get me wrong, I’m still loving this one too….), feminine, and can be dressed up or down. I imagine wearing it with my favorite cut-offs in the summer months, and with my tried and true jeans now. I recently purchased this chambray option,  as well as this super soft striped one, and plan to wear both on many warmer spring and summer days…. and layered under my favorite cardigans while the cooler temps linger a bit longer…..

A few other off the shoulder options that I am loving right now include this this striped option (a completely different look than this one today), this black ruffle top (would be chic paired with black denim), this white one (which comes in black too), and this grey ribbed option for cooler temps.
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{Outfit Details // Top (wearing a S) | Cardigan (wearing XS) | Jeans (similar) | Mules | Bag | Necklace | Rings}