02.17.2018

Weekend Sales || My Personal Favorites

Hope you’re all having a great weekend! Just wanted to send a long a few favorites from the great sales going on this weekend…..
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My favorite pearl slides are on sale… I seriously wear them several times a week and they comfortable to wear throughout the entire day….

These block heel, open toed, booties have been on my list for a while now…. and now that they’re on sale, might just have to snag them…. I love the whipstitching on them.

Abercrombie is having 40% off of everything…. and I brought this suit (which fits perfectly, with excellent bootay coverage…), soft gray cardigan (also comes in blush + white), blush waffle-knit sweater, and these amazing high waisted jeans along with me this weekend. The prices are pretty great!

A few favorite Free People favorites include this embroidered top (which I wore wine tasting several weeks ago), thermal top (I’ve had it for a couple of years in gray + oatmeal….), slouchy pullover sweater (styled here), oversized ribbed cardigan (another favorite for a couple of years…), and this blush cozy sweater (great if you’re still in the middle of winter….).

Another cozy option if it’s still freezing where you are is this fuzzy, and oh so soft, vest….

And how cute is this ruffle sleeve sweatshirt? Such an easy throw on and go option… and you all know how much I love those!

My favorite flare sleeve utility jacket is under $50… a great option for spring and easily pairs with shorts in warmer temps.

Some of my go-to workout + athleisure pieces, like this hoodie sweatshirt (own in the gray and black), velour pullover, + long sleeve running top are all on sale….

This gorgeous blush, balloon sleeve, sweater is currently 40% off…. it’s been in my cart for a week… thinking it’s time….

The white lace cami featured above is on major sale too….

LOFT is having 40% off your entire purchase, a couple cute items right now include this fuzzy short sleeved sweater (great for spring), ruffled blush shell, and this sweatshirt dress…. also, my ruffled one piece from last year was re-stocked (featured here).

J. Crew is also having 30% off your entire purchase… I haven’t purchased anything there in a little while, but have my eye on this gingham bathing suit top + bottom combo, or lace-up back one-piece… and this super basic stripe henley. I also think this lightweight sweater blazer is a great spring option for work.

And, lastly, TULA launched an all new complete body + beauty kit…. it includes some of my favorite items, like the purifying cleanser, moisturizing cream, probiotics, and resurfacing gel. You can get 20% off with code SHANNON20.

02.16.2018

Champagne Chatting || Question + Answer

(Tee | Shorts)

Finally Friday friends! I hope you all had a great week, and are ready for the (long) weekend ahead. We’re heading out to Palm Springs for a few days and I’m looking forward to some relaxation…. we’ve never been in the spring, so looking forward to enjoying their mild temperatures and actually being outside without sweating buckets…… Sharing my monthly(ish) Q+A today….
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1. I have a weekend trip to Vegas with my husband and two other couples coming up and would love your suggestions on dresses (or even a skirt and top combo) to wear for the evening. We’ll be going to a nice dinner then after-dinner drinks, and maybe dancing if I can stay awake (I’m 33 and a mom of two little kids so that could be a challenge).

SO fun! And totally know what you mean about staying awake… I don’t remember the last time I made it past midnight… That being said, you want to look fabulous! I love this one shoulder lace dress or embellished slip dress (with a leather or suede jacket). I also love rompers for Vegas like this gorgeous embellished romper, floral romper (I wore one similar to this out in Vegas last summer with heels and dainty gold jewelry and it was the best), and pleated blush romper.  You could also do this skirt + black cami combo.

2. My daughter is almost 16 months old and my husband and I are planning on going to Wine Country (my first time) for our first trip away from her! We plan on going for only three nights. We live in Tampa, so its quite a flight, but I’ve been dying to go for sometime now. We’d like to add another little one to our family, so figure it’s a good time to go before we have another infant. The area seems a bit overwhelming, as it’s so large and so many wineries! We want to stay at a reasonably priced hotel (I know the area is quite expensive). What area do you recommend staying? Any reasonably priced hotels that you know of? Any advice, recommendations or resources would be extremely helpful!

You’re going to have so much fun, one of our fav places! As far as areas to stay, you’re right, there are so many different areas. We’ve really enjoyed staying in Sonoma and the Carneros regions, but staying in Napa is likely the most central option. That being said, prices for hotels fluctuate drastically based on the time of year you are going, with summer, and the weekends (if you can go mid-week you’ll get much better rates) being one of the most expensive times. A few trendy hotels, that right now have reasonable prices include the Hotel Senza, Andaz Napa, The Westin Verasa (we’ve stayed there and it was great).  You can also check on VRBO, Homeaway, or Air BnB for super cute rentals (which we’ve done before and really enjoyed….). I hope that helps!

3. Is there a half marathon training program you are following?

Yes! I created this program, based on my experience with a few different training programs. I structured it around my fitness level and personal fitness interests. Also, one of my girlfriends created an entire website on training for runs. Check it out, as she has so much knowledge!

4. Would love your thoughts on bow to be productive, but also present, when home with a toddler. I struggle on days in with feeling like I need to do 100 things, but also don’t want to feel like I wasted a day with my little.

Great questions…. one I am always working on. I think I try to designate days where when we’re at home I need to get things done. I usually use two days a week for this, and the other three days are ones where we go to the park, or a more special outing. One the days when we stay home, I do try to have her help me with things that need to get done…. she loves being a helper, so having her help me take out the laundry, or put things away helps me to keep her engaged, while I’m still accomplishing things. If she’s watching some TV, I do a few things, and then make sure I check in with her every 10 minutes or so, just so she knows I am here. I talk with her about what is going on in the show (usually some Disney Junior one), and then let her know that I have to go do “xyz” and that I’ll be back in a minute.

5. What do you give Harper for snacks throughout the day? I would love to see a day of what she eats.

Here are some snacks that I give her throughout the day:
Perfect Bar (she’s obsessed), Love Grown O’s , Late July Crackers   String Cheese, Apple slices, Grapes, Banana, Dried Cranberries, KIND fruit + veggie bar Purely Elizabeth Granola ,Bell Pepper Slices,
Horizon Snack Packs

6. Where do you get your denim from?

I get my denim from all different places. My favorite pairs are this skinny jean, Levi’s (specifically this high waisted distressed pair , light wash pair, + these boyfriend jean), and these high waisted frayed hem jeans.

7. I majored in communications and psychology in college and have been considering going to grad school to become a social worker or therapist. What program did you do and do you have any tips before someone begins this long road? In your opinion is it worth the money? 

I did a Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage + Family Therapy. As far as tips before entering a program, I recommend either getting an internship in the field (if you’re still in college) or getting a paying job in the field to see if you are passionate about the work. That way, you’ll get a general sense of if you want to move forward with a graduate degree. I always think education is worth the time/money (it’s something no one can ever take away from you….) if you’re passionate about the field. I have never regretted the time or money it took to get my Master’s degree.

8. I’m looking for a church appropriate, but cute, dress for my son’s baptism. It will be in late April in NYC so could still be cold. I’m having a hard time! Any suggestions? Must be petite friendly, I’m the same height as you! My budget is between $200-250. 

Such a special day! Including dresses within and below your range….. I love this dress…. it’s beautifully modest, but the sleeve detailing and dress material keep it from looking matronly. This pink sweater dress is gorgeous (might have to have the ruffle hem brought up if you’re short like me….). I’m obsessed with this gorgeous floral maxi dress (it has long sleeves) and reminds me of the one I wore for Harper’s baptism (likely will need to be hemmed). This black and white long sleeve wrap dress + this gorgeous pale blush embroidered wrap dress (short sleeved, but beautiful…).  Annnnd, this is one of my all time favorite maxi dress (perfect for short gals too)…. it’s embroidered and long sleeved.

9. Can you share the music you listen to on a long run? I get so sick of the same songs! 

California Love – Tupac
Toxic- Britney Spears
Work B*tch – B. Spears
8 Mile – Eminem
Filthy – JT
Finesse (Remix) – Bruno Mars
Woman – Kesha
Milkshake – Kelis (DJ Zinc Radio)
Too Much Jewelry -Migos
Right Above It – Lil Wayne + Drake
All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled
Stronger – B Spears
Fighter – Christina Aguilera
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Can’t Stop The Feeling – JT
Born This Way – GaGa
Poker Face – GaGa

10. Right now I am brainstorming travel destination ideas for our 5th year wedding anniversary. Do you have any travel recommendations in CA? We’ll have our daughter stay with my parents and we don’t want to go too far away on our trip.

So fun! We love Palm Springs… specially La Quinta Resort + Spa. The grounds are gorgeous, and it’s such a great spot to disconnect and reconnect. Santa Barbara (Los Olivos) are favorite areas as well…. you have the beach, wine country (or The Funk Zone), hiking, and great restaurants…. San Diego is another favorite area…. you can stay in La Jolla or Del Mar (L’Auberge is a favorite “special occasion” hotel) or Downtown (The Pendry is our fav… trendy, rooftop pool, close to a happening downtown area). Hope that helps and have so much fun!

11. What home equipment do you use to workout? 

I wrote this blog post on at home equipment, but I recently added a heavier kettlebell (20lbs) to my rotation.

12. Can you share some vacation wear items from ASOS? Would love some recommendations for an upcoming trip. 

ASOS always has such great suits and cover-ups! This tie front maxi dress is absolutely gorgeous (perfect for day-night) and I love this casual olive green maxi dress. A cute black and tiny polka dot romper is super cute too. This pom tote is adorable, and this lace kimono is a great beach cover up option. As far as suits go, I think this plunge front floral one is pretty, as well as this white high waisted two piece option. A few non ASOS favorites include this floral black and white kimono, stripe romper, and this striped tunic.

13.  Can you share a few other lariat necklace options? 

Yes! My favorite Gorjana one is currently sold out, but I personally own and love this delicate option, pavé slider necklacelong pendant necklace, and this fan necklace.

14. Would love to hear how you pack for you and your daughter while traveling. How do you keep style a priority with a toddler? What do you pack for her when you’re on a flight? My son is 2 and we’re taking his second flight this spring. 

For Harper on a flight I pretty much pack our kitchen cupboards worth of snacks….. a few novelty toys (books, stickers, crayons, coloring books, etc….) and always an iPad. The other toys will keep her occupied for maybe an hour tops, but she will sit nicely, eating snacks, and watching a few shows for almost the entire duration of a long flight. I’ve always brought our baby carrier along with us to get through security lines (she does not like waiting in a line… what toddler does) but doesn’t mind sitting in the carrier. So it for sure helps managing the long lines that can come at an airport. We are always sure to bring her car seat + pack and play. Now that she is two, we will be bringing her carseat on the plane. Hoping this will help her actually sleep en route to a destination (she’s never been great at sleeping on planes).

As far as making style a priority, I keep my “vacation” style in line with my everyday style… pretty practical + neutral (with a few fun pieces thrown in there) so I can put an outfit together, quickly, that’s both easy to move around in, comfortable, and cute. If it’s a “city” destination, jeans, cute tops, moto jackets, joggers, sneakers, booties, and hoodies are what I toss in my suitcase… as I can easily mix and match them. For a more leisurely vacation, say a resort, I pack cut-offs, flow-y cover-ups, comfortable sandals, and a practical swimsuit (I really don’t need anything falling out at this point….).  For travel I almost always wear leggings, joggers, a comfy cardigan (or oversized pullover), and a tee…. it’s all about comfort when traveling with a toddler.

15. I turn 40 in a couple of weeks and looking for a cute + stylish outfit for dinner in the city. We live in Boston, so it’s still winter here so it makes it a little harder. Any suggestions (Budget is up to $500 for a dress or jeans + top)? 

Such a fun birthday to celebrate.! If you want to go the jeans and a top route, I am obsessed with this beautiful silk lace blouse with black jeans (my all time favorite pair)… basically, love the look of the model in the top. An alternative to jeans and a top could be a pair of wide legged pants (or velvet option) + a beautiful  lace silk camisole. Or, a fabulous jumpsuit… like this plunging neckline option (creates a beautiful statement, given the rest of the outfit is modest….) or pleated metallic option…. and this dress is simply beautiful…. everything about is gorgeous…. and at the top of the budget.

16. Do you have any suggestions for bathing suits while pregnant? Either a one piece or two piece! 

So, ASOS has some really cute maternity wear, at reasonable prices, and I love this asymmetrical frill suit (also comes in coral). For a two piece I love this ruffle bandeau top + bottom combo…. and this gingham top and bottom are super cute (and 30% off this weekend)….. and when I was pregnant I splurged on this top and bottom combo and wore it the entire summer. It fit perfectly, and I actually still wear it now…. if the set is too much, I recommend just buying the top and pairing it with another swim bottom (like the one I linked above).

17. Are you still a practicing therapist, and if not, when did you decide it was time to walk away? 

I actually just put my license on inactive status, which means I can’t practice, but can move my license to active status at any time by taking 36 continuing education units. When I was pregnant with Harper, I was feeling a pull in a different direction, yet I wasn’t sure what that was. I had been blogging for 3 years already at that point, and after she was born, the blog was at a point where I could focus on it full time. It was at that point that I had to make a decision to go back to work part time or focus on the blog full time. I couldn’t do both being a new mom, and chose the blog. You can read about that decision here.

02.15.2018

Mixing + Matching || My Favorite Go-To Pieces

After TJ and I returned home from our morning spin + breakfast date yesterday I needed to get ready quickly to take little miss out and about. I was going on 5 days of unwashed hair (and, after the spin class it probably could have used a wash….), and had about 30 minutes to get ready and out. So, I sprayed my hair with this dry shampoo, texturizing spray, tossed in some of this powder, and threw my hair up in a half top knot… tossed on some of my regular go-tos (who am I kidding, I just grabbed the same outfit I’d worn the past 3 days….)…. and out the door we headed….

Each season I discover my go-to pieces for when I’m getting dressed in a pinch (which, in all honesty, happens more often than not #ToddlerLife). This cozy oversized cardigan, and a few henley tees have been those pieces for the past few months. They’re all in neutral colors, so mixing and matching them makes it super simple…. and the outfit ends up looking completely different. It’s always nice when you can easily “shop your closet” and create new, and different, outfits from pieces you already own. So, today I decided to share with you a few of those personal favorites hanging in my closet (or shoved into a drawer….)….

Ribbed Henley: (currently on sale) I have this one in three colors (black, rose, and white) and love wearing them with joggers, jeans, or leggings. It runs small, so size up!

Thermal Henley: An all time favorite that I’ve chatted about a lot recently…. but the flow-y body gives it a feminine feel, and the oversized fit makes it easy to lounge in too. I wore it in yesterday’s post.

Joggers: I own these in gray and blush… they’re super comfortable and fit my short legs perfectly. Toss on a denim jacket or cozy cardigan (like the one in today’s post) for a super casual, off duty, look.

Oversized Henley Tee: Obsessed with this top…. I shared it styled here, and it can easily be worn with leggings for a super casual weekend, or weekday, look.

Casual Stripe Tee: Such an easy piece to have in your closet…. so simply to pair with jeans or joggers.

Denim Jacket: Slightly distressed, slightly oversized…. I’ve had it since last year and it’s a piece I reach for over and over again.

Distressed Jeans: While I have 3-4 pairs I keep on regular rotation, this stretchy pair in an easy one to wear on the daily…. meaning I can easily sit on the ground with little miss….

Basic White Kicks: These have been my favorite for over a year now… they’re like walking on clouds and go with everything. I also own in the black glitter.

Easy Mule: I got these back in December and wear them all the time for days when I want something other than plain white kicks. They’re comfortable enough for everyday wear, and I love white for spring!

Utility Jacket: Grabbed this one, with the cute flare sleeve detail, a few weeks ago and have worn it tons since. It’s such a great lightweight layer for the spring months (and when CA was basically in summer, it was great). It’s currently on major sale too.

Waffle Knit Sweater: I grabbed this one, when it was temporarily on sale, a few weeks ago in the blush color and it’s so soft. Seriously such an easy option to toss on with jeans, joggers, and cut-offs.

Filling your closet with great basic staples will always make getting ready a cinch…. and allow you to create so many different outfit combinations with the pieces you already own!
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(Outfit Details || Cardigan | Top | Jeans | Mules | Sunglasses | Evil Eye Necklace | Bag)

02.14.2018

Wellness Wednesday || Loving Your Life

“I still remember the days I prayed for what I have now….”

Starting out today a little differently. Asking you to take a quick moment and write down (or just think about) a few things that you have now that you used to pray/wish/hope/worked super hard for (for me, it’s personally prayer, but I acknowledge that’s not how it is for everyone). I feel as if I don’t do it often enough and I’ve been thinking about the above quote a lot lately. Given that it’s Valentine’s Day, I figured today would be an ideal opportunity to touch upon it. I had a few different ideas for this “love day” themed post…. a wellness smoothie to love yourself with… some self care ideas…. etc…. but what I really thought was important was talking about loving the life we are given…. the good and bad…. perfect and imperfect….

For me personally, as I look at my list, it’s pretty lengthy, and for that, I am profoundly grateful. I remember the days I prayed to get into graduate school… unsure if it would happen. How many job rejections I initially received post grad school (8 to be exact….) before I landed the job that was really right for me (and you better believe I prayed hard with all those rejections….). I worked, and studied, so hard to get my license to practice… We prayed hard for Harper, especially after it wasn’t as easy as initially anticipated…. We prayed for a new job for TJ (his former company had been going through a lot of changes….)….. and then we prayed for this blog….

And the funny thing is that sometimes the very things we pray (or wish) for, bring their own set of challenges. I know, duh, right? But think about it…. each “thing” I/we prayed for, brought a unique set of challenges we never had before… sometimes making life slightly more difficult than before. How was I going to pay for graduate school??… balance work, studying, + a social life….. once you get the job, there are the natural stressors…. reviews, co-worker differences, meeting expectations….. TJ’s new job (which he loves) has him working from home…. we live in a small condo, which often creates tensions we never had before…. and when Harper arrived, we had an entirely new lifestyle to become accustomed to….. which is continually evolving. Taking photos for the blog was so much easier when she was younger…. and now, just scroll below (I included those for a little humor)….

When I catch myself harping on those challenges, I find that simply reminding myself that this was something I wanted so badly, often puts it all into perspective. Life isn’t meant to be lived without challenges, low points, or frustrations…. and sometimes to get to the next phase in our lives, we have to weather through those rough patches. I think about the long sleepless evenings when Harper was a newborn…. in oder to get to where she is now, we had to go through all of that…. and the tantrums and sassiness of this stage will eventually lend itself to another beautiful phase in her life (which will also come with challenges)…. arguments with TJ often lead to a better understanding of one another (although, not always in the immediate moment)…. negative feedback from a boss can often lead to growth in our professional lives….. struggling through graduate school can often lead to a fulfilling career. I know it’s easy to say, “I didn’t ask for these challenges,” or “I didn’t ask for it to be difficult….” but I did ask for what I have… worked hard for it… and it’s up to be to me to manage the ups and downs….

I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is that loving your life doesn’t mean that it is void of challenges…. it means embracing the journey…. the highs and the lows, and knowing that your life is much richer because of it…. because without the downs, how can we ever know the joy that come with the ups?
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(Outfit Details || Jacket (discounted here) | Henley | JeansSneakers | Sunglasses | Harper’s Jacket | Harper’s Leggings | Harper’s Shoes)

02.13.2018

Everyday Living || At Home Date Nights… 5 Ways To Make Them Special…..

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, it got me thinking about our past “love day” celebrations. TJ + I had our first real date on Valentine’s Day (13 years ago….). We went out to a favorite spot, right on the beach, and had tacos + drinks….. and then there was the weekend 9 years ago, when he proposed. We had a relatively “fancy” V-day celebration that year (obviously). Yet, for the most part, we tend the keep the day relatively low key. Annnd, since becoming parents, have become much more selective as to how we spend our time away from little miss (usually a morning workout and brunch, as opposed to a weekly evening out….). Yet, we still value spending evenings at home fully engaged and present with one another. All that to say, we’ve really worked to hone in and make date nights at home equally as special as date nights out…. and thought we’d share with you the five ways we do so….

1. Make It Fun: Just because you’re at home that doesn’t mean you can’t have just as much fun as when you’re out and about. Decide what you want to do…. cook a meal together in the kitchen… or order out from your favorite spot…. have a movie marathon with sweet treats…. or play some of your favorite games together (we’re huge fans of “Heads Up…”)…. For TJ and I, we love to cook, so deciding on a cuisine and whipping it up together is a great opportunity to bond….. we pick a Pandora station (something along the lines of John Mayer…. Coldplay….) and listen to it on this speaker system (have had it for years, it’s a great investment), grab a bottle of wine, and relax. It can be as elaborate, or mellow, as you like…….

2. Electronics Away: I think one of the reasons why date nights are so important is because it gives you an opportunity to disconnect and focus on each other. Yet, when you’re at home, it’s easy to fall into the everyday temptations to pick up your phone, look something up on your computer, etc…. Put. Them. Away. As in, put them in a different room. Be intentional, and an at home date night can be equally as connecting as getting out of the house.

3. Dress Up: I know, I know, seems kind of counterintuitive to “dress up” when you’re staying in, but it can make such a difference. Think about it, you get all dolled up for an evening out, why not put a little thought into an at home evening too? Pick some cozy loungewear and it’ll feel a little more special. TJ’s loungewear was needing a little pick me up, so he snagged this super soft striped top and lounge pant combo… and loved these slippers (the perfect pair to wear around the house in warmer temps as well). He also got these comfy lounge shorts as we make the transition into spring. Nordstrom has such a great selection of casual, and comfortable, loungewear options for men. A few other favorites include this beige v-neck tee + lounge pants combination, two toned raglan t-shirt, stripe pima cotton tee with this pullover and these black lounge shorts. I picked up this stripe pajama set, and love that the pieces can be mixed and matched with other loungewear I own (and the top can easily be worn with jeans).

4. Special Pieces: I remember when I registered for those “special” entertainment items, people told me I would never have an occasion to use them. Well… I recommend pulling them out for those date nights at home. Special wine glasses (like these rose colored ones), plates, and your favorite candle can all make it feel just a little more special and add to the ambiance.

5. Make It A Little Different: Ok, so if it seems like it will still just feel like a regular old night at home, do something a littler different. Usually hang out on the couch? Take it to the bedroom (not in that way….)…. but, seriously. TJ and I spend most of our weekend nights lounging on the couch, so sometimes when we have an at home date night, we do what we do on vacation…. sip the vino in our room. For some odd reason, it always makes it feel like we’re actually away.

Date nights are all about making effort to spend time with the one you love…. so, if getting out isn’t always an option, put some effort into it at home. I promise you’ll have just as much fun!
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(Outfit Details || TJ’s Top | TJ’s Pants | TJ’s Slippers | My Pajama Set | My Cardigan | Glasses (similar))

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post

02.12.2018

Weekend Recap || Choices

Friday morning, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a long run…. and felt super invigorated when I crushed my goal. Yet, when I opened up my instagram account, I was welcomed with several nasty comments by the same person….. basically making assumptions about the person I am and criticizing me. It stung, and I spent some time thinking about how best to handle the situation. I chatted about it with my sister (who always offers humorous insights….) and TJ…. and took a few hours before taking any kind of action…..

I shared this on my stories, but as I was contemplating what to do, I had two thoughts. One was the saying, by Michelle Obama, that when others go low, we go high. We don’t need to stoop to other’s level of negativity and hurt. The second thought that came to mind, and which is more of a personal belief, is that we either allow negativity to stay in our lives, invite it in, or choose to walk away from it…. and based on that line of thinking, I chose to block her and not even acknowledge her hurtful statements. I could have defended myself…. and left a few choice emojis…. or called her out publicly…. but what good would any of that do? That essentially takes me down to her level of immaturity…. I simply went “high” and took the negativity out of my life….

I firmly believe that we can’t always control what happens to us…. we can’t make people treat us nicely…. but we always have a choice as to how we want to respond. And that, that’s the ultimate form of control… and when you take the high road, you’re always coming out ahead…. even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment…

So, as we embark upon a new week ahead, here’s to always taking the higher road, and cutting negativity out of our lives. Life is too short to have space for any of that. Have a good one friends! xx

(Kicked off the weekend in comfy stripes….)

(Saturday morning SoulCycle date….. leggings, pullover, sneakers)

(Post spin brunch…. breakfast bowls with a side of avocado toast…..)

(Saturday evening happy hour fireside…. pullover, jeans, mules)

(Saturday night cozies…. cardigan, shorts, henley)

(Sunday stripes for a morning spent at church)

(Sunday evening snuggles with this little lady…. tank)

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So, I’m 90% certain that I will be committing myself to a half marathon on March 4th…. meaning I’ll be upping my running significantly in the next couple of weeks. I ran 9 miles last Friday, and will be pushing for 10 this coming week…. I’m also incorporating tons of HIIT training for pace, and APLs (see above for exact color) have been my fav sneakers for cross training.

I recently purchased these denim jeans and they are amazing. They come in a short inseam as well, so the distressed hem hits at the perfect length. I also have my eye on this pretty little fringe sweater, floral button front camisole, cute stripe v-neck tee, mauve micropleat top, and this cute drape-y basic tee in the mauve color (such a great basic!). A few cute layers for cooler weather that I love include this ruffle sleeve cardigan, two toned blush sweater (obsessed), suuuper cozy hoodie, and this blush striped balloon sleeve pullover (currently 20% off).

We’re heading to Palm Springs this weekend, and I’ve purchased a few items from this vacation shop (one of my all time favs)… like these fringe slides, casual ruffle shorts, and super cute beach bag (which takes you from beach to happy hour easily). I’ve had my eye on a Solid + Stripe suit since last season, and snagged this one (also love the hot pink and this white asymmetrical suit). I also snagged this rose maxi cover-up…. another day-night transitional piece (toss on with a cropped, light wash denim jacket and slides for a cute evening look….).

For little Harper, I couldn’t resist these linen wide legged culottes, gingham dress, white breezy maxi, swam swimsuit, and these jellie sandals (her favorites from last year, which were restocked).

 

02.09.2018

Motherhood Update

“A good mom has bad days + great days + normal days + perfect days + overwhelming days + trying days +supermom days + just being a mom days + a whole lot of love + real + crazy motherhood days…..”

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to continue with my motherhood component… trying to figure out if monthly updates are the best way to go…. or if I should switch it up to quarterly…. or post as interest/questions arise. And while I don’t have a definitive answer for how to continue, I do know that the format will change slightly. In the past I’ve focused a lot on Harper…. Harper’s likes, sleeping, eating, etc… and while I think that’s helpful, it’s also not something that changes as frequently as it used to (I don’t want to get repetitive….). So, today, I might focus a little more on the “motherhood” side of things… and briefly touch on the components that I have always touched upon…..

(My Tunic, Harper’s Sweatshirt)

General Thoughts: Hands down, the quote above encompasses all of my thoughts and feelings from the past month. We had great days…. days when I felt I was doing everything right… and challenging days… times when I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right…. and nights when TJ and I looked at each other and asked “What are we doing wrong???” Yet, I think that’s the journey of parenthood…. it’s filled with ups and downs… times when you feel like you’re on a roll… and times when you feel like you’re hitting a roadblock at every turn…. and accepting that allows us to give ourselves, as moms… as parents… more grace.

I know I’m not a perfect parent… and I know that I will never be a perfect parent…. it’s just not possible. There are times I snap, when I’m not as present as I should be… and times where I give in out of fatigue. Yet the beauty of it is, that in my “failure” moments, I’m also able to teach Harper a lesson. That it’s ok to make mistakes… to take ownership of them and apologize… and that life doesn’t have to be perfect…..

One thing I do believe that makes the journey a little easier is self-care. As moms we must take care of ourselves. I touched on that briefly in my last Weekend Recap, but when we don’t, we can’t possibly take care of others. And sometimes self care isn’t about getting our nails done, or treating ourselves to a coffee. Sometimes it’s about saying “no” to something  we know we can’t possibly juggle (and no feeling guilty about it)…. or taking an extra 10 minutes to yourself in the morning so you can read your morning devotional…. or do some meditation…. self care is really knowing what we need to fill our own buckets. For me, it’s having time to myself. I need it…. it’s why I wake up so early to get my workouts in and organize myself for the day ahead. It’s also connecting with friends and loved ones outside of our parenting roles. I grabbed coffee with a girlfriend yesterday (without kiddos) and it felt so good to be together outside of our roles as moms. We sat, for two hours, uninterrupted… and when I came home to Harper I was in a much more present space.

And while I sit here and type all of this, tomorrow could be one of “those days….” and I’ll simply pause and ask God to grant me the patience I need to make it through the day….. and remember that it’s Friday… wine time!

(My Jacket (on sale), Henley, Jeans, Slides (on sale), Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jacket, Harper’s Sandals)

Sleeping: Last month I chatted about having (or going through) the 2 year sleep regression…. yet, we appear to have fallen back into rhythm. Thank. Goodness. On my radar in this area is transitioning to a big girl bed. I fall somewhere between slightly terrified + completely confident she’ll be able to handle it with regards to the transition. I’m going to hold off here as long as possible…..

Eating: I’ve been asked a few questions about some of Harper’s favorite meals so I thought I would list them below (and while I’m listing these, please note that she currently likes these foods… she could wake up tomorrow and hate them all…..):

Waffles + Blueberries for breakfast
Oatmeal with bananas
Eggs, bacon, and blueberries
Quesadilla (using these tortillas), bell pepper, and avocado (although she all of a sudden doesn’t like that anymore…)
Brown rice, Trader Joe’s lentils, mixed veggies with some melted cheese
Chicken Fingers (available at Sprouts’), grapes, and cottage cheese
Hilary’s Eat Well Bites, siggi’s yogurt, and raspberries
Macaroni and Cheese
Snacks: Purely Elizabeth granola, Annie’s crackers, apple slices, bell pepper slices, dried cranberries, banana chips, cheerios…….

(Cardigan, Tee, Jeans, Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jeans, Harper’s Shoes, Harper’s Vest)

Limit Setting + Consequences: I added this segment last month, and couldn’t decide if I should continue with it or not, since there are so many different ways to limit set and provide consequences. Yet, I figured I’d continue with it….

I’ve always loved Erik Erickson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development and keep it in my mind in most of my interactions with Harper… including my limit setting and consequences…. That being said, I try to follow up “bad choices” with logical consequences….. she dumps the dog’s food all over the floor, I have her clean it up (instead of moving on to play with blocks, which she would much rather prefer). When she is engaging in a behavior that I don’t like, I tell her what I would like to see (i.e. “We don’t jump on the couch, we sit on our bottoms. If you continue to jump, I’m going to take you off the couch.”). That way, she’s in charge of the choice she makes… and in turn, the consequence she will receive (good or bad).

I also highly recommend the book The Whole Brain Child, which does an excellent job of explaining the meltdowns of a child in a practical way…. it’s a book I used with families all the time… and it helps me to understand Harper a little better (although, that doesn’t mean it makes anything easier…….). The tools within the book really help teach us, as parents, how to connect the emotional experiences of our kiddos, with what is logically going on (I am simplifying it…. but that’s the general concept) which helps to create emotionally healthy children.

(Joggers, Tunic, Jacket, Sneakers, Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Jacket)

Products: Little miss’ hair is so curly, so I’ve been using this conditioner and I’m loving it. Leaves her hair tangle free and so soft. I’m also thinking about getting her this little bike to take to the park and on our walks…. Annnd, a few spring clothing items I’m loving for her right now include these adorable stripe culotte pants, gingham dress, blush moto jacket, drawstring chambray shorts, and this blush hoodie.

02.08.2018

Everyday Dressing || Spring Sweaters

So, Tj was gone at the beginning of this week… meaning I flew solo…. and while there weren’t any major incidents like the last time (remember the lip and head accident???) it’s always nice to have a partner to do the parenthood thing with…. and little miss didn’t let him rest long…. she asserted her independence at the park and pretty much insisted on walking Captain the entire way home #PickYourBattles….

All that to say, I haven’t put on make-up, washed my hair, or really worn anything other than leggings and an oversized sweatshirt in two days…. so, I guess you could say I’m currently craving an outing…. something pulled together… and some “me time….” Which, is exactly what I’ll be getting this afternoon when I actually put on make-up, do my hair, toss on these jeans, and head out the door for an afternoon catch up with my girlfriend…. no kiddos = uninterrupted conversation!

I picked up this super soft, faux wrap sweater last weekend on a trip to the mall with the family. The drapey fit had me sold the minute I tossed it on (no time to try on at the store, it was an at home try on session for this momma)… and I fully plan on maximizing its wear throughout the transitional months by pairing it with these adorable ruffle shorts , denim shorts, or ruffled denim skirt (I’m obsessed with this one… it’s currently on my wish-list). It would also easily layer underneath my favorite utility jacket or pair perfectly with these joggers for an off duty, super casual feel.  Dressed up, or down, it’s a great Spring closet staple!

A few other favorite spring sweaters include this super soft cardigan, waffle knit pullover, crochet sweater, and this cute lace-up option.
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(Outfit Details || Sweater (also comes in a rose color) | Jeans (here, and an identical option here) | Mules (other great colors) | Sunglasses | Long Necklace | Cross Cuff | Ball Cuff | Beaded Bracelet | Purse)

02.07.2018

Wellness Wednesday || Running Essentials + Half Marathon Training

In high school, running wasn’t my thing. I was lucky if I could get through a mile without cramping up, or needing to walk. In college, I did a little bit better… I’d run a mile, walk a little, and pick it up again… and in grad school, 3-4 miles was my max. It wasn’t really until right before our wedding (8 years ago….), that I upped my running game, and decided to start training for a half marathon. I scoured the internet for half marathon training guides, and followed them diligently. I invested in new gear, committed myself to a long runs on the weekend, and made new playlists like it was my job…. I signed up for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll half marathon and I was hooked…

I’d always loved running, but during that period of time, training my body towards a goal, I found something else in the process. Running, for me, became a time when I could clear my head, think things through, and push myself. Over the years, my passion for running has remained, and I love when I hit my runners stride… it’s as if everything is in sync and it feels so good….

I ran during my pregnancy with little miss… up until the day I gave birth (obviously at a much slower pace, and shorter distances), and since having her, I’ve had the goal of running another half. Yet, I haven’t quite gotten there, for various reasons. So, I randomly decided one morning, in the middle of my run, that I was going to push myself a little further…. just an extra mile. And there it was, that adrenaline rush all over again. The feeling of pushing yourself a little further than you thought you could go. After my run, I came in and told TJ that I was committed. I was going to train for a half and just do it…..

I’ve been sharing the journey over on instagram and have received a lot of questions about running in general….. and while I’m no expert by any means, I thought I would share a few of the answers here, just in case you’re looking to pick up running, or wanting to train for a race yourself…. which, if you think you can’t, you most definitely can!

1. What do you eat before your runs? I always run first thing in the morning, right when I wake up, so I have a 100 calorie perfect bar. It’s enough to sustain me through my run. On race day, I typically have some oatmeal and a banana. It’s mainly carb based which means it will burn slower and give me energy throughout the run.

2. How did you work up to increasing your mileage? When I first started running, I would run 5 minutes and walk a few minutes…. and repeat that cycle for a pre-set amount of time (say 30 minutes). Yet, when I started to train for the half marathon, I followed this training guide that I put together based on my fitness level and interests. It combined strength, cross training, and run days (I created it by picking and choosing elements I liked from various guides).

3. What pace do you run and how did you increase speed? I generally run between an 8:45-9 minute mile… it all depends on the day. When I first started I was running a 10 minute mile. I found that the most effective way, for me, to decrease my time was by incorporating HIIT + sprints into my workout. I follow treadmill workouts such as this one to increase my endurance. When I started doing speed work, I noticed a drastic decrease in my pace.

4. What shoes do you wear? I’ve always been a Nike girl for my running shoes. I’ve tried all the other brands out there, and have had to return them. They just don’t work for me. When I decided to start increasing my mileage, I bought this pair and have loved them. They’re great for distance runs, super comfortable, and provide just the right amount of support. They also didn’t require a “breaking in” period.

5. It’s so cold! What do you wear? Southern CA hasn’t been hit with super cold weather this winter, so I’ve gotten away with 50 degree morning runs. That being said, when it was in the low 40’s on a few mornings, I wore a down vest, long leggings, pullover, and tank. With the mornings being a little warmer, I wear a cropped pair of leggings (this pair is also a favorite that I own in gray and blush), a lightweight long sleeve tee, and my go-to sports bra. I also bought some new, lightweight socks which feel super good in my shoes (I know that sounds weird, but super thick socks make my feet feel really constricted)… and you can’t beat the motivational saying (photo at end of the post).

6. What do you use to track your runs? I use Nike Run Club to track my mileage and pace, and I wear this watch to track my steps (I love seeing how many steps I take…. and I find the iPhone to be slightly off).

7. Where do you run? I do my sprints on a treadmill where I have more control over my speed, and my longer runs outside… and I just run around my neighborhood.

A few fitness items that I have my eye on for race day include this lightweight tank to wear under the pullover…. and these shorts (or this pair) or possibly these running tights in the rose quartz color.. (depends on what the weather will be on the morning of).
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(Outfit Details || Top | Leggings | Socks | Shoes)

02.06.2018

Wardrobe Remix || Favorite Body-Con + Chunky Cardigan

I was recently looking through old photos, specifically, the last trip TJ and I took to Europe, right before I found out I was pregnant with Harper. I remember so much from that trip….wine, good food, awesome memories…. but I also vividly recall lugging around a 60 pound suitcase across 3 countries. Yes, it was ridiculous. Mainly because I ended up wearing a few items, mixed and matched, over and over again for two weeks. I saw my favorite blush fedora, black stripe turtleneck, black skinny jeans, flared jeans, trench coat, and black silk button-up repurposed in almost every photo.

 I recently started a hashtag on instagram called #IBIremix. I think it’s so important to be able to wear items in your closet multiple ways… what’s the point of owning it if it only has one purpose (except for those “special items….”). That being said, enter today’s outfit. It’s a super basic transitional look (since CA has decided to skip winter all together….) wearing my all time favorite body-con dress + cozy cardigan that I’ve worn so many times over the past couple of months (shared it in my “favorites” post). It’s a super basic look, perfect for a brunch, lunch with friends, or an afternoon spent shopping (probably not so appropriate for a toddler play date….). You can wear the dress with a denim jacket (styled here), suede jacket, over the knee boots, booties, a utility vest, or solo on a warm summer day. The cardigan easily pairs with jeans, denim shorts, a dress, and lounging around the house….

When your wardrobe mainly consists of items that mix + match, you ultimately double it without having to purchase more!
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(Outfit Details || Dress (comes in several colors, also own in gray) | Cardigan | Sneakers | Sunglasses | Necklace | Beaded Bracelet | Cuff Bracelet | Bag)