10.17.2017

Couple’s Style || 5 Date Night Ideas + What To Wear

TJ and I have always been fans of “date nights…” ever since we started dating. In college, we’d head out for a mid week Taco Tuesday at our favorite spot in San Diego (World Famous) and pick a weekend evening to grab a bite to eat before meeting up with friends later in the evening. When we became actual adults, date nights became a little more refined, and after becoming parents we’ve had to get creative. They’ve changed over the years,but have kept the same meaning: an opportunity to connect and have some fun together (because, isn’t that the crux of any relationship??)…

I can still recall what TJ and I wore on our first date together. I wore a pair of distressed jeans (surprise), a black silk button-up top, some gold accessories, and a cute blush heel. TJ showed up in a pair of jeans, a classic button-up, and a pair of loafers. Obviously, not much has changed with our style since then…. we still love a good jean to take us through our date nights. Yet, a few weeks ago, TJ decided he wanted to refresh his “date night” pieces so we headed to Nordstrom men’s department to pick up some items (he loves their selection). He ended up opting for this ribbed henley + half zip pullover. Both pieces he can easily dress up and down, depending on the occassion (he also loves this half zip fleece, stripe henley, and this thermal henley).

After that, we just needed to decide what we wanted to do. As we sat there thinking about what sounded fun, we realized that we typically choose one of five date options depending on our mood. So, today, I decided to share them with you… and I’d love to know your favorite date ideas with your special someone…..

1. The Obvious: Dinner + Cocktails. Choose your favorite spot and get dolled up for an evening out. TJ and I typically have a few favorite spots we rotate between and each require the same attire. We’re typically a “jeans and a nice top” type couple…. nothing too fancy, but nice enough to bust out some of our “nicer” not “everyday” pieces. For TJ that includes these new suede shoes he received as a birthday gift, and for me these OTK boots (which were an investment made several years ago). A few other “nicer” items that TJ will pull out include these perforated sneakers and sports coat (which he also wears to work meetings).

2. Themed Dinner At Home: Pick a cuisine (we typically choose Mexican…) and make the accompanying dish and cocktails. It’s a more relaxed option when you’re looking to lay low, and doesn’t cost much at all. When we’re having one of those evenings, we opt for loungewear like cozy joggers and a soft tee.

3. Day Date: Work It Out: We chatted a little about that in this post, but picking an athletic challenge, and accomplishing it together, is a pretty great feeling.

4. The Ambitious Date: Overnight: This was a little easier before little miss arrived, but nevertheless, they’re one of my favorites. TJ and I used to drive to Vegas or Santa Barbara for a day/evening away. We always thought it was the perfect day…. a little day date and dinner + cocktails… kind of like a two-for-one. Simply toss a few items into this weekender bag and the guy in your life will be ready for anything.

5. The Lazy Date: Movie Marathon: These are typically reserved for those chilly fall and winter days…. make some soup in the crockpot, get a bottle of vino, toss on comfy his + her slippers, and pick your movies. For us, this happens during little miss’ nap time and after she goes to bed… but if you’re kiddo-less I say go lazy the entire day.
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(Outfit Details || TJ’s Thermal Top | TJ’s Pullover | TJ’s Jeans | TJ’s Shoes | TJ’s Sunglasses | My Pullover (wearing S, comes in beige too) | My Jeans | My Boots (less expensive option) | My Sunglasses)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

10.16.2017

Weekend Recap || Reconnecting

(Kicked off the weekend the right way… with tacos, of course…)

I feel as if life has been incredibly busy as of late… and that time has been passing so quickly. All that to say, as we started last week, I realized that it had been weeks since I’d seen any of my close friends. As I reached out to a few of them to simply say “Hey, thinking about you…” they too shared the same sentiments…. that time just seems to be moving so quickly….

So, as we headed into this past weekend, I did so with anticipation. We had plans, for the past two weeks, to meet up with a high school girlfriend and her family for a day at the pumpkin patch and a BBQ back at our place later….. when the little ones went down and the guys watched football, my girlfriend and I were able to sneak away for an hour by ourselves to get some Pressed Freeze….. it felt like old times in high school, driving my explorer to get some ice cream, chat, and blare the music. As TJ and I chatted about the day, we remarked how hard it is to find good friends… those friends who you just gel with. The friends where time can pass, but it’s as if no time has passed at all. Where you pick up where you left off. Can sit in silence together. Who you can just be yourself with….

I’ve always believe that if I had a handful of those types of friends, life would be good. And it is good. While I don’t see all of them as often as I’d like, just knowing they’re always there makes me feel assured. So, as we go into the week ahead, I encourage you to reach out to one of those friends. Tell them you miss them and care. A small gesture like that goes a long way! Have a good one friends! xx

*Monthly Q&A will be this Friday. Please feel free to send any questions via e-mail. 

(Cozy knit (paired with shorts) for Friday’s taco dinner….)

(Met up with friends at the pumpkin patch for the morning… it was 90 degrees…. so fall. my dress, my shoes)

(Snuck away with my girlfriend for a little sweet treat while the littles napped and the guys watched football….)

(Coziest waffle knit for a relaxed evening of homemade pizza…..)
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We’re heading out to Hawaii on Thursday for a family trip with my parent’s and sister… it’s an early retirement celebration for my dad. That being said, I’ve been working pretty hard during my workouts. This booty bands workout is hands down one of my favorites. If you don’t have workout bands, I highly recommend them. I’m taking them to Hawaii with me. I will also be making these pumpkin bites to take on the plane with us, as well as these egg muffins for a quick morning breakfast (since we have an early flight).

Packing up a lot of favorites for the trip… and since I love to wear cut-offs and long sleeves, most of the items are perfect for when we return (it’s actually going to be cooler in Hawaii than it will be in Southern California when we’re gone….). I’m planning on packing my favorite cut-offs (obviously) along with this oversized thermal, this v-neck thermal, super soft frayed bell sleeve top (in a pretty rust color), absolutely adorable ruffle sleeve button up tee (in the taupe color), oversized stripe pullover, my favorite red pom pom top (which was recently fully re-stocked!) for happy hour, white one shoulder top (currently on major sale), and my favorite fuzzy sweatshirt. This henley top and open knit sweater. For our family photos, I bought this romper for Harper, and I am bringing this embroidered dress and this maxi off the shoulder dress. I’m also tossing in this flowy blush embroidered dress (which I’ve had for years) and these cute stripe slip-ons. For our travel days, I’ll be packing these joggers and leggings, this band tee, cardigan (such a gorgeous rust color), and this stripe pullover.

A few other items that are too cozy and warm for Hawaii that I have my eye on include this gorgeous waffle knit pullover, turquoise v-neck sweater, and this adorable pom beanie (do you think I’d look strange if I wore this in Hawaii???… kidding…).

10.13.2017

21 Month Motherhood Update | Strong Willed Daughter

I’ve always known I had a strong willed daughter. In all her ultrasound photos, she was captured making hand gestures towards us (a peace sign the first time… and a few months later the hang loose sign….) and she came all on her own (literally 12 hours before I was supposed to be admitted to be induced)… there was no way anyone was going to tell her when she could make her appearance in this world. That was probably my first hint that she was going to be a firecracker….

Or maybe it was when she skipped rolling over all together and moved straight to crawling… or when, at her 12 month check-up, the doctor told me she was “feisty….” Either way, I’ve known. Yet, I think it became blaringly obvious at her baptism this past weekend. There wasn’t a tantrum, just a little girl wanting to run around, not be held, and making her desires known. For all to bear witness to.

You see, what I’ve come to realize is that it’s not my job to “tame” that personality, rather to “shape” it. Shape her, and encourage her, to express herself in appropriate ways…. whatever those thoughts and feelings might be…. to encourage her to always go after what she wants. I was recently asked to participate in a campaign with Joe Fresh (a Canadian family clothing line) and to share how I stay “True To.” I expressed the following, more as a hope of what Harper will stay true to, and what I will stay true to as I raise her:

“I can only hope that little miss is always #TrueTo what makes her happy and free from comparison… whether that’s through the activities she chooses or the clothes she wears as an expression of herself (Christmas dress in July… why not….). I hope it’s always genuinely and authentically her, and that she finds confidence in the little firecracker she is!” 

This past weekend, as our little family stood in front of a congregation of about 700 (give or take), Harper determined to do it on her own terms, all that ran through my mind was “Oh my gosh. How embarrassing” (TJ mentioned that he might have been slightly sweating….). As the laughs rolled in, and the perfectly timed jokes were made by our pastor, I was reminded of what I had written about a few days prior. I realized that my embarrassment wasn’t due to Harper’s behavior (she didn’t want to be held…. I knew she wouldn’t… I predicted how it was all going to go down the week prior….), but I was caught comparing her “always on the go” personality to that of the toddler next to us, patiently waiting in her parent’s arms, and not making a peep at all. I quickly checked myself, and released. Once I did so, I was able to find humor (actually look at my sister in the congregation… who, might I add, was crying from laughing so hard…), possibly a little joy, in the situation. My daughter, knowing what she wanted, making her presence known.

After the baptism, countless people came up to us, and my parents, mentioning that it was “the best” baptism they’d seen…. the pastor (who married TJ and me) joking and subsiding any worries we had. One person stated that they’d never “laughed so hard in church….” and another encouraging us to “love on her fiercely and enjoy her because the time goes fast.” It wasn’t until we were back home, celebrating with the family, that my dad mentioned someone pulled him aside and said, “She reminds me of my little grandson. He knows what he wants and nothing is going to stop him. It’ll serve them well as they get older.”

I received countless words of encouragement, affirmations from other moms, letting me know that their child is the same. Then, for some odd reason, a quote that I’d heard a while back popped into my head…..

“Well behaved women rarely make history…..”

And while I don’t want Harper making choices that are harmful or destructive, I don’t want her to be held back by fear. I want her to have a voice, to not be afraid to say how she feels, and to not get caught up in the comparison trap (like I so easily did that morning….) and feel as if she is not enough. So while I’ve always known what my role was as her mother, maybe this past month it became a little more defined. It’s to be her safe base. To be a place where she can learn to express herself in safe ways, where she can feel validated in her thoughts and desires, and where I can provide her with the boundaries she needs to feel secure enough to be herself and push the limits a little.

So, to all you moms out there who have ever raised a strong willed child, are in the midst of raising one now, or who might think they have one on their hands…. I will cheers to you with a glass of wine… which I will happily enjoy tonight!

(My skirt, Pullover, Harper’s Dress, Harper’s Tee, Harper’s Shoes)

Sleeping: I think girlfriend’s mind is racing with all the new thoughts she has, because I don’t think we’ve had a solid sleep through the night in a couple of months (maybe a handful sprinkled in here and there). Given that she was such a good sleeper before, I’m chalking it up to a slight regression due to her little brain’s rapid development. She still takes a great afternoon nap (2.5 hours) which I consider to be my saving grace for sanity….

I also think it has to do with teething. She seems to be getting in her canines, which I think are really bothering her. We use Little Remedies, and it seems to provide her with some relief.

Eating: We’re status quo in this department. I was recently asked if Harper eats what we do, or if I make her a separate meal. The answer was that she eats about 95% of what we eat….. I don’t make her a separate meal (my pediatrician discouraged this from day one) and we all eat dinner together. She doesn’t have to eat everything I put in front of her, and she can eat more of one food than another. I also don’t make her “finish” her dinner. I would like to encourage intuitive eating early on, and trust that when she is full she will tell us (I had a conversation with the pediatrician about this when she wasn’t eating much and she mentioned that in these early years there are times when they eat more and times when they don’t need as much food.). We’re still using these utensils and have introduced this cup (yet, we’re having issues with her realizing it’s not a watering can…..).

There was also a brief period where she was refusing to sit in her high chair. Well, that’s stopped and now she only wants to sit in her high chair. Fickle.

(My sweater, my jeans, Harper’s top, Harper’s Jeggings)

Harper’s Favorite Things: She still loves anything to do with a ball (so, you can imagine her delight when we were at the pumpkin patch…. to her, they’re all just orange balls….). Her new obsession is the moon. In the morning she wakes up at shrugs her shoulders and says, “Where’s the moon?” She insists on walking Captain, our loving, and slightly skittish, labradoodle….. Sidewalk chalk is a favorite at the park, and she has a strong preference for these shoes (as in, if you try to put any others on her she will not have it…). Her favorite animals are dogs, kitties, birdies, and monkeys…. and she loves to mimic their noises (her monkey and bird noises are my personal favorites). Jumping. Anything that has to do with jumping she’s there (we went to a friend’s birthday with a bounce house and she was all over that one….). Oh, and dancing. Her moves are on point.

(Cardigan, Camisole, Harper’s romper, denim jacket)

Favorite Products: We started using this car seat last month and we love it (Harper does too… except when she refuses to get into it….then we either have a noodle or a board on our hands….). We also switched from Pampers to Huggies (I’ve tried using Honest diapers several times and they always give her horrible rashes….) and they’re great. I always loved Pampers, but when we were in Hawaii we ran out and the store only sold Huggies…. and I was sold. We haven’t purchased any new toys, as we’ve been spending a lot of time outside, and doing puzzles, reading books, dancing, and coloring…. and and shopping with her pretend shopping cart.

(Jeans, Booties, Cardigan, Harper’s Booties, Harper’s Cardigan)

10.12.2017

Fall Trends || Top 11 Clothing Items For Fall (Mix + Match Them), Under $100

With each new season, I have the propensity to go a little wild, filling my closet with new pieces… perfect for various occasions (pumpkin patch…. cool weather vacation…. lounging watching football….). Yet, when it all boils down to it, I find that I reach for the same types of items over and over again… and this fall season isn’t any different. With a few smart purchases, you can easily mix and match all your items throughout the fall season… and transition them into the much cooler temps of the winter. For the biggest selection of fall items, I always start at Nordstrom…. they carry some of my favorite brands (like Madewell + Free People) for cozy fall pieces. Today I listed out the eleven items to have in your closet this fall (you can see my top 5 tops for fall + I’ll be sharing the top 5 shoes for fall next week….), all versatile, and all (with the exception of few items) under $100…

1. Lightweight Pullover: Since layering is key during the fall, a lightweight pullover becomes an everyday pieces for me. It easily layers under jackets, over tanks, and can be dressed up or down depending on the bottoms you wear. My favorite is this ribbed one… it comes in several color options (I also bought it in the cream… and the olive is so pretty too). I also own and love this soft tie front option. 

2. Suede Jacket: I snagged this one during the Anniversary sale, and I am obsessed with the grey color. I love suede as an alternative to leather, and think it easily works for both day and night. For a super casual daytime look, toss it on with an oversized tee and a high waisted pair of leggings (add the scarf for extra chic points….). It’s more of an investment piece for fall, yet one that will last you several years. If you’re not looking to make the investment, I recommend this faux option, which I personally own as well.

3. Longline Cardigan: This length is one of my favorites for fall (and last year too). I’m particularly fond of layering it under a suede jacket with a basic tee underneath. Love the look the various lengths create. My three favorites are this hooded option, grey one with pockets (several gorgeous colors, seen here), and this olive green option.

4. Oversized Neutral Scarf: I typically have a three piece rule for basic outfits…. jeans (or leggings/joggers) and a tee just seem a little too basic, so tossing on a “third” article of clothing makes it feel more pulled together. In the fall, that item is 90% of the time a cozy scarf. This one is my favorite from last year (I own it in the neutral color) and this year I opted for the grey hue. I also grabbed this waffle knit scarf in the cream color. Both will be perfect layering pieces.

5. Oversized Sweater: This is a must for coziness + comfort… and looks great with almost anything. My three favorites (first two are slightly over $100) include this ribbed option (I own in black and white from last year), this frayed v-neck sweater (I own in green), and this tie bell sleeve sweater (which I featured here).

6. Something Velvet: This trend from last year didn’t go anywhere. I love the texture and richness it adds to any outfit. A few favorites (that can be mixed with above items) include this button front cami (I own in grey), blazer (fan of the burgundy color), and velvet ruffle skirt (so fun).

7. Denim Jacket: I have several hanging in my closet, and layer them over pullovers and tees. Such a great closet staple (which I talked about here). My go-to is this oversized distressed option.

8. Cozy Loungewear: The minute I step foot in the door at the end of the day, I put on something soft and comfortable. My all time favorites are these cozy joggers + sweatshirt combo, but I also love this stripe sweatshirt which could mix with the joggers. Oh, and I’ve been known to wear these pieces, mixed with all the items here, out in public….

9. Throw-On-And-Go Casual Pants: I have three go-to’s. Distressed jeans (these are super comfortable), joggers, and high waisted leggings. Pick a top and you’re ready to go…..

10. Hat: My saving grace when I’m on day 6 of unwashed hair. Be it a cap, beanie, or fedora (invested in this exact one several years ago) just knowing I have them on hand makes heading out the door that much easier.

11. Hoodie: Quintessentially off-duty, and a personal favorite of mine. Wear them under a denim jacket with leggings… or front tucked in a pair of distressed jeans with a cap for a casual lunch with a friend. This blush one is a favorite as is this lightweight one in grey.
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(Outfit Details || Pullover (comes in 4 colors) | Jacket (comes in multiple colors) | Scarf (multiple colors) | Jeans (I sized up 2) | Mules | Bag | Sunglasses, Celine (available in stores)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

10.11.2017

Wellness Wednesday || My 10 Favorite Organic And/Or Non-GMO Products

When I became pregnant with Harper, I became more concerned about the foods I was putting in my body. Since I was her sole source of nutrition, I took the responsibility serious. And while I was always sure to be eating “clean” before I became pregnant, what I began to watch more was where my food was coming from, was it organic, and was it genetically modified in anyway. It really opened my eye to products, as well as how many have ingredients that aren’t good for our bodies. So, today I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorite organic or non-gmo products (because, if I listed them all it would probably take days…..) ranging from my favorite probiotic granola, an on-the-go breakfast option, and some chips meant to be paired with some creamy guacamole! 

I also shared a few recent work-out looks below!

1Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal: Our entire family is a fan of the consistency of this oatmeal. Hearty and delicious, it cooks up quickly, especially if you use the oatmeal cups (we used these while we were in Hawaii) which are an easy grab and go option for a quick morning meal. 

2. SafeCatch Tuna: When we were thinking about starting a family, I became increasingly more cognizant of mercury levels in the fish I was consuming. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I discovered SafeCatch tuna. It has the lowest mercury level of any other brand, is non-gmo, and sustainable. Oh yeah, it tastes pretty darn good too.

3. Vital Farms Eggs: I was once told that you could tell the difference between organic, pasture raised, eggs and non-organic, cage raised eggs. I didn’t believe it, until I tried them. The eggs are an orange-y color and have a thickness to them that regular eggs don’t come close too (they also have a harder shell). We’ve been using this brand for several months, and we’re sold. Poach them and toss it on an egg sandwich… so.good.

4. Hilary’s Veggie Burgers: I post about these all the time on my insta-stories. They are, hands down, my favorite veggie burgers ever. I toss them on salads, eat them solo, and Harper loves them too. They come in multiple flavors, as well as in bite sizes too.

5. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray: Another item I started using after I began researching soy-lechtin. This product is free from it and non-gmo. I use it as a non-stick cooking spray, and also spray it on my salads from time to time. It works really well, and adds a great mild taste. While it’s not certified organic, it is chemical, propellant, and emulsifier free, with only avocado oil as the ingredient.

6. Primal Kitchen Salad Dressing: One of my newest loves. I use this on every salad I make. For a while, I was turned off by salad dressings due to all the artificial ingredients, until I stumbled across this line. All of their ingredients are soy free, dairy free, gluten free, non-gmo, and organic when appropriate (which they address on their web-site). Now my salads are full of flavor!

7. Trader Joe’s Organic Carrot + Turmeric Juice: This stuff is so good, and something our entire family sips in the morning (pairs well with the oatmeal-stevia combination above).  It’s lightly sweet, and as TJ puts it “You just feel like you’re sipping health when you’re drinking it.” Enough said.

8. Chocolate Pro-biotic Granola: I could pretty much eat this entire bag in a solo sitting. I top it on my favorite Pressed Juicery freeze, or on my morning oatmeal combination (seen in today’s post). The fact that it is loaded with pro-biotics is an added benefit.

9. Cabo Chips/Tortillas: I could pretty much eat Mexican food every night of the week…. chips + guac… tacos… always my favorite. When we do have a fiesta themed dinner, my go to chips and tortillas come from this line. Their tortillas aren’t cooked when you get them (but cook up quickly) and are so good… I also love making breakfast tacos with them.

10. Yogi Bedtime Tea: When I was pregnant I remember asking my doctor if I could still drink tea. She said in moderation, but to make sure it was organic, since that was the best way to ensure it was safe. It was then that I stumbled across yogi teas, and my most recent love is their bedtime tea. Love the flavor and the relaxation it provides at the end of the day.
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(Capris, Tee, Sports Bra, Shoes, Sweatshirt)

(Tee, Leggings, Sweatshirt)

(Sweatshirt, Leggings)

(Leggings | Thermal)

10.10.2017

Fall Trend || Couple’s Style Activewear

When TJ and I first started dating, back in college, we discovered how much fun we had together working out. We’d head out for a morning hike at Torrey Pines (we went to school in San Diego), hike for about an hour and a half, and then head out to a brunch (mimosas optional….). As our relationship progressed, so too did our love of working out together. Over the years, we’ve trained for, and run, multiple half marathons, hiked mountains in Yosemite (which, I highly recommend if you’re up for a good challenge), and rode our bikes from Angel’s Stadium in Anaheim to Oceanside in San Diego (a 65 mile bike ride… we took the train back and enjoyed a celebratory libation…). Needless to say, fitness has been a core component to our relationship over the past 13 years….

So, when little miss arrived, we had to get creative as to how we could keep that part of our marriage alive and active. We decided that most of our dates would be “fitness” related…. a morning spin class (followed by brunch), a hike or bike-ride. A couple of hours, just the two of us, tackling a challenge together, getting through it, and then enjoying a relaxing breakfast. And while we do enjoy getting dolled up for a “date night” there is something about choosing a challenge together, accomplishing it, and high five-ing at the end that makes us feel like a team…. not just in that venture, but together in life (I know, that sounds so cliché, but it’s so true)….

And while our activities haven’t changed much over the years, what we’ve worn has, especially for TJ. An old fraternity shirt and some basketball shorts used to be the norm, but over the past few years he’s “upped” his wardrobe in the work-out aspect… and since we often head out to eat after our work-out dates, he needs something that can easily transition between both activities. When we were in Nordstrom last weekend, exchanging a birthday gift he received, he couldn’t help but leave with a few items from their great selection. He’s always been a fan of Adidas Originals, and Nordstrom has a pretty robust selection from the line (for women too). He snagged these track pants and hoodie… both perfect for a hike, run, and then a casual brunch…. or a day of travel and lounging (as I speak, he’s wearing it on the couch watching the playoffs…). He was also in desperate need of a new pair of running kicks, and when he tried this pair on at my parent’s house (my dad owns them too), he was sold on the comfort, and of course, style. A few other favorites for that work-out/transitional look include a few pieces from the men’s Zella line (one of my favorite’s for women’s workout clothing….priced well for excellent quality), include this half zip pullover (perfect to toss on after a sweat session), performance tee (which he absolutely loves for our spin classes),  knit hooded jacket (great for casual living), and these fleece shorts (with compression shorts underneath). This Adidas pullover and hat combo (his hat collection holds its own…) made it’s way home with us as well.

So, I guess all that’s changed over the past 13 years is that we do it with a little more style….
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(Outfit Details || TJ’s Pants (2 color options) | TJ’s Sweatshirt (comes in 3 colors) | TJ’s Shoes | TJ’s socks | Sunglasses | My Sweatshirt | Tee | Capris | Shoes | Sunglasses)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

10.09.2017

Weekend Recap || Paying It Forward + A Few Sale Favorites

(Just waiting for the fall temps to accompany all these fall decorations…)

 Since the tragedy in Las Vegas, TJ and I have had several conversations about the ways we want to try and change the world Harper will grow up in. While there were some very obvious ways that we chatted about, one way that kept coming up was the idea of “paying it forward….”

When I graduated from college, part of the closing comments was a quote from Desmond TuTu which read, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Since, those words have always been with me. I used it as the theme for my graduate school application essay, and have always felt that doing a random act of kindness here and there goes a long way….

TJ shared with me that he had actually started doing it throughout the week… small gestures, such as paying for the person after him in the Starbuck’s drive through… and putting a few extra dollars on a gift card at a coffee shop and leaving it for the barista to use for the next few customers. I’ve had someone do the same for me, and I remember feeling overwhelmed by the small act of kindness. I found myself remembering it throughout the day, and “paying it forward” myself….

I guess I share this because we never really know the magnitude of our actions on an individual, both positive and negative. Those very small acts of kindness can have a profound impact on someone’s life…. and when those add up, hopefully it can make for a softer world for little miss and all her little friends out there. So, as we head into the week ahead, our little family does so with the intent of paying it forward in small ways. Have a good one friends! xx

(A flutter sleeve top to weather the heat wave…)

(Patio goals at a favorite breakfast spot- Juice Served Here)

(Favorite post-spin breakfast…. garden avocado toast… always with a runny egg….)

(Saturday morning spin dates….)

(Harper’s baptism…. she lived up to her firecracker personality during it… you know what I mean if you saw the instastories! my dress, my booties, Harper’s dress)
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This weekend ended up being fairly indulgent, with all the celebrations we had, so it’s back to clean eating and working out this week. Tone It Up is starting a 21 day fall challenge, would love to know if any of you are doing it too?? We also had a delicious brunch on Sunday after Harper’s baptism and my mom made this “skinny” pumpkin bread (without the pepitas)… it was seriously so good. Not one piece was left.

I didn’t even realize that today was Columbus Day…. and with that, some pretty good sales! Abercrombie is having 40% off the entire store. A few pieces that I am loving include this long sleeve shirt dress (in the mauve color), short marled cardigan, sleeveless suede dress (obsessed with this style for fall…), puff sleeve sweater, cable sweater dress, and this velvet tee.

LOFT is also having a huge sale and some of my favorites are included like this ribbed grey sweater (size up for it to fit like it does on the model, it runs small), ruffled sleeve sweatshirt, sleeveless coatigan (one of my favorite pieces for fall), and this longline open cardigan in white. 

And one last good sale is at J.Crew… everything is currently 30% off. I’m in love with this graphic sweatshirt, lace-up tunic sweatshirt, and this oversized v-neck sweater (in the rust color… so gorgeous for fall).

Some other favorite items I have my eye on, but that aren’t on sale, include this furry hooded jacket, slouchy pullover, sleeveless turtleneck sweater (great for those transitional fall days), hooded duster cardigan, cable knit pullover (just got it and love it!), gorgeous cabled off the shoulder sweater, and this basic pullover knit (which comes in several color options, I bought in a couple to decide which I like best). Oh, and how gorgeous is this velvet cami?

I also have my eye on a new pair of booties… and this navy pair is at the top of my list.

10.06.2017

Favorite Products Of The Month || Healthy Living, Beauty, Fashion

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have something fun planned this weekend… we’re celebrating TJ’s birthday all weekend, with Harper’s baptism on Sunday. Looking forward to the celebrations! I hope you all have a good one with those you love. Today I’m sharing all my favorite products from the past month…. with some favorite pumpkin inspired food picks. Hope you love them as much as I do…….


FOOD/WELLNESS: 

1. Pumpkin Rx Bar: I’ll admit, some of their flavors are not the best, so I was skeptical when I saw this seasonal option sitting out at Trader Joe’s. Yet, when I opened it for my afternoon snack, it was like biting into a piece of pumpkin bread. I was sold immediately… now, how can I stock up on them so I can enjoy year round??

2. Wild Friends Pumpkin Peanut Butter: Notice a small theme? I stumbled across this jar of goodness when I was at Mother’s Market the other day. Of course, when I got home, I immediately gave it a taste test. You can most definitely taste the pumpkin…. I think it would be great on a banana as an afternoon snack, in these pumpkin bars, and in this smoothie.

3. Primal Kitchen Green Goddess Dressing: I mentioned this line of dressing in my last favorite products round-up, but since discovered this flavor and I’m obsessed. My favorite way to enjoy it is lightly massaged into a good kale salad. Reminds me of a favorite salad that I order at a health food spot.

4. Krave Beef Jerkey: When I’m craving something different for an afternoon snack, I’ve been reaching for this stuff lately (and really got into it in Hawaii). They have tons of different flavors and they’re a hit with TJ too.

Beauty: 

1. Amika Nourishing Hair Mask: My hair has been super brittle and dry lately due to the changes I’ve been working on with it (color-wise) so I knew I needed a heavier conditioner to repair it. This one works. I typically leave it in for about 5 minutes, while I finish in the shower, and then rinse. It leaves my hair incredibly soft and silky, and since I’ve started using it, I’ve noticed that my hair looks, and feels, stronger.

2. ENJOY Shampoo: When I wash my hair, I first use a purple shampoo, and then I follow it up with this one, which I recently started using after a visit to the salon. I love the way it smells, and how soft it leaves my hair.

3. OPI Infinite Shine Nail Laquer: I had been using their color polishes, without the other two steps, for over a year and was happy with how much longer the polish lasted than regular ones. So, I decided to give the entire set a try when I was looking for a new fall hue and have to stay the stuff works pretty well. It consists of a base, color, and then a top coat. The combination definitely lasts longer than a regular set of polish, which I need. They also have some amazing fall shades.

4. Doterra Tea Tree Oil: When we returned from Hawaii, my chin was breaking out and it was recommended that I try some tea tree essential oil (with a charcoal mask). The stuff worked, and the break out subsided within a few days, naturally. Highly recommend to have on hand!

FASHION:

1. Graphic Tee: Having a moment with graphic tees, and this one is in my top 3 (band tee, and this floral one being up there too). I love it lounging around the house, or tossing it on with distressed jeans for a day out. I featured a DIY distressing tutorial for it here.

2. Perforated Bootie: These booties are super comfortable, and I love the perforated details. They’re an easy throw on and go option to wear with jeans, jean shorts (for those of us living in an endless summer), and with a casual dress. They come in several color options, but I own them in the olive color.

3. Duster Cardigan: This length is one of my favorites (you can see how I styled it here, with the tee above). It’s so soft, and comes in several different colors. I can’t wait to layer it with scarves (favorite, and softest, from last year) + beanies when it gets cold enough, but for now, it easily pairs with a simple tank and jeans for a casual day.

4. Velvet Dress/Top: I ended up purchasing this (and I’ve mentioned it a lot on the blog) for TJ’s birthday dinner last night and loved it… I paired it with flat mules, and plan on wearing it later this weekend as a top layer over a tank and shorts. Or, when the temps cool, with OTK boots and an oversized cardigan. It’s a two-for-one if you ask me, and velvet is the texture of the season.

5. Lace-Up Sweater: The grommet detailing on this sweater is perfect for fall… and it’s super comfortable too. I wear it lounging, out and about with jeans or joggers, and traveled home from Hawaii in it. The price is right, and I can’t wait to layer it under a coat and with scarves in the winter.

6. Lace-Up Sweatshirt: If you’re looking for a super soft, post workout, sweatshirt, then this one is for you. It’s perfect to take you from sweat sesh to brunch (like I do on our Saturday morning spin dates)… or simply relax on the couch with a glass of vino and comfy joggers.

7. Velvet Bag: I bought this at the Shopbop sale and wasn’t sure if I was going to keep it. Yet, I ended up wearing it a few days after it arrived and fell in love. Like I said, velvet is the texture of the season, and I love the floral fall colors. You can use it as a clutch, or wear it cross body, and it surprisingly goes with a lot of different outfits (see here).

8. Floral Pants: So, these were sent to me, and I didn’t like them at first and was going to send them back (I only share things I love). Yet, I gave them a try, and ended up really liking them (TJ did too). You can see them styled here. They’re loose and flowy, and the pant style is huge for fall. You can pair them with a pretty chunky knit, or as I did with this moto jacket…. or, be bold and pair it with a band tee.

9. BodyCon Dress: I own this in the grey color (bought it when I was pregnant) and when I saw this color option (terracotta) I was sold. It’s the perfect color for fall. I’ve worn it with a blush cardigan and denim jacket… but it will easily pair with booties and OTK boots when temps cool down.

10. Mesh Crops: My favorite crops by far to workout in…. they hug in all the right places and just feel so good on. They’re also easy to move around in. They aren’t cheap, but very well made… and a good investment if you love working-out.

 

10.05.2017

Fall Layering || Longline Denim Jacket

Fall has been teasing us in Southern California. We had one day this week, wedged between consecutive days of temps in the 80’s… and this weekend, when we’re supposed to be visiting a pumpkin patch, it’s going to be in the 90’s (nothing like a little sweat dripping down your forehead to get you into the fall spirit….). All that to say, when fall does decide to grace us with her cool presence, you can bet outfits like the one here today will be worn on the regular. My ideal fall outfit involves comfortable layers, easy to transition from indoor to outdoor… and to move about with ease.

One item that I can’t get enough of as of late is the denim jacket. I’ve loved them since elementary school (same wash denim on denim, NBD), tied them around my waist religiously in high school, and now wear them as a simple throw-on-and-go layer when I’m heading out the door. The longline version caught my eye at the beginning of the season, specifically this one. I styled it here for a more “weekend” look, with my favorite comfy pullover, but it can easily be dressed up with my favorite black jeans, basic white v-neck, some gold jewelry, and faux fur mules…..

A few other denim jackets that I am loving include this embellished pearl option, as well as this one (and this is an excellent budget friendly version). I’m also a huge fan of embroidery and bought one during the Anniversary Sale… yet, I’ve had my eye on this particular one for a couple of months…. and this one is cute too.

(Outfit Details || Jacket (c/o) | Pullover (more sizes here) | Leggings | Shoes (also love these) | Sunglasses | Bag)

10.04.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Being Present

I initially had a different post scheduled for today. Yet, I felt pulled to write about something different in light of the recent tragedy in Vegas…..

I woke up frustrated Monday morning because I’ve been having issues with my daily newsletter sending out at the regularly scheduled time. So, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door for my typical morning run. When I returned, TJ asked if I’d heard the news about Vegas. I hadn’t yet, so he gave me some of the headline details. I thought to myself, “You can’t be serious. Again?” I immediately turned on the news and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and hearing (we went to bed earlier on Sunday, so this was the first we were both hearing of it). The stories were, at the risk of sounding cliché, heartbreaking… and then to hear about acquaintances who were at the event was even more chilling. I went about my day, impacted, but not yet emotional about what had happened….

Until this morning (or, Tuesday morning). As I played with Harper at the park, and we swung together on the swings, the magnitude of the tragedy sank in…. people’s sons, daughters, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, and grandchildren, taken in an utterly senseless act of violence. Not only that, but the horror and trauma for those injured and/or at the event. I hugged her tighter, and kissed her little curly haired head. It scares me to think about the world I am leaving Harper with…. and I began to wonder how I would address these issues with her as she gets older. Then I remembered this quote I had seen, a couple years back, when the Paris shootings had happened….

“When I was a little boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.'” Mr. Rogers

And while I know my conversations with her won’t stop at that, I hope they can begin with it…. a gentle reminder that there is always more good in the world than evil.

The shooting in Las Vegas certainly put into perspective the trivial frustration I experienced that morning… a minor blog glitch… in relation to what others were waking up to. A reminder that we have to make the most of the time we have with those we love. To disconnect and be more present… which, in all honesty, can be much easier said than done. So, I took some time to reflect today and to find areas where I could improve my ability to “just be” with those that matter the most…..

1. Put away the phone. I know this sounds so basic, but for me, so much of what I do is tied to some avenue of social media. So, I go a step further and utilize stimulus control. If my phone isn’t around, I can’t look at it. That means putting it in another room when TJ and I are relaxing on the couch and during dinner…. leaving it tucked in the bottom of the stroller when Harper and I are at the park (except for the occasional photo when she’s being too cute….). It’s the same thing I do with sweets… if they’re in the house, I’ll eat them… so I simply don’t buy them. If the phone is within an arms distance, I’ll look, so I put it away.

2. Be Intentional. When I wake up in the morning, I always have the best plans to do x, y, + z with Harper… but then life happens. I do know that if I was a little more intentional with saying, “This can wait….” that I would be  be more present. One of my old supervisors was such a wonderful example of this. She always told me that “not everything has to be dealt with immediately,” and I always felt her presence when we were meeting together. I guess it boils down to prioritizing and being cognizant when you’re in the moment…

3. Focus On The Now. Simply put. Being present means focusing on the moment. I’m so often thinking about what needs to get done within the next several hours that I miss the moment. I intentionally did this with Harper today, and I can tell you it felt so different than usual. I know it’s not always possible, life happens, but it’s something I want to be much more aware of.

While I know I won’t ever be perfect in all three areas, it’s my hope that by becoming more aware I we be more mindful.

______________

(Outfit Details || Cardigan (black + cream here), Jeans, Top,  Sunglasses)