03.23.2017

Changing Seasons, Changing Wardrobe || 3 Spring Looks For Any Occasion

The words spring break conjure up so many different memories…. In my much younger years it meant family vacations to Santa Barbara + San Diego… and as I progressed through my college years it meant rowdy trips south of the border…. and in more recent years, it’s always been a time where TJ and I planned our big trip of the year. These vacations were typically overseas, or to someplace tropical where we would unplug for a couple of weeks…..

Wellllll, that’s certainly not possible now with little miss (the escaping for a couple weeks and unplugging part…..), so as the temperatures have started to warm up, we’ve been coming up with fun ways to spend our time outside and explore in our own backyard. And with all the exploring and seasonal changes, comes a shift in wardrobe pieces. I’m slowly starting to pack away the heavier knits (leaving one or two out for those times when mother nature decides to change her course) and boots, for lighter weight knits (quite possibly my favorite pieces for the season) and breezy dresses. One of my favorite places to find excellent quality knits + dresses, at a great price and style, is LOFT. From soft pastel colors, floral prints, and breezy whites their pieces have slowly begun to replace my winter wardrobe. Today, I teamed up with LOFT to share with you three fun spring break looks!
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(First Outfit || Dress (wearing PXS) | Jacket (similar) | Sandals (run TTS))
(Second Outfit || Sweater (wearing S, comes in 3 color options) | Shorts | Sandals | Sunglasses | Necklace)
(Third Outfit || Cardigan (wearing XS, comes in 5 color options) | Tank (wearing XS) | Jeans (wearing P25 and the length is perfect!) | Sandals)
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This past weekend, we headed out for a family day at the zoo. The temperatures were in the mid-70s… for those of us in CA, that’s an awkward in between temp. You can either wear jeans + a tank, or, one of my favorite combos, shorts + a lightweight sweater. I opted for the latter, and tossed on these adorable scalloped linen shorts + this slightly bell sleeved sweater. It was casual + functional for chasing little miss through the exhibits, yet I still felt pulled together. The sandals were also incredibly comfortable for the day spent walking around.

The evening before, we headed out for a little al fresco happy hour. The evening was mild, and it was beckoning for a little rosé. Since it was warm when we headed out, I grabbed these new frayed hem jeans (these are perfect if you’re petite… I didn’t have to do anything to the hem) and a lightweight tunic tank…. something simple, yet classic. I wear jeans all the time, and think this color is perfect for spring + summer. Knowing that the winds would likely pick up in the evening, I decided to match my beverage of choice and grabbed this lightweight blush cardigan.

On Sunday of that weekend, we headed out for a little brunch at the beach. The skies were clear, and a little beachside dining was beckoning. I typically reserve dresses for special occasions, but couldn’t resist this gorgeous white lace one for a casual day at Lido Island. We opted to brunch at Juice Served Here (their toast selections are ah-mazing), and sat out on their adorable patio. After, we walked around the streets and let little miss run on the dock and look at the boats.

The beach temps are always slightly cooler, so I grabbed a denim jacket to toss over this dress. It made it a little more casual, which was exactly the look I was going for. I also have to take a moment and comment on these lace-up sandals. They are incredibly versatile, and the softest blush color. The laser cut details makes them an excellent option to dress up as well…. oh, and they’re incredibly comfortable too!

Thank you to Loft for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

03.22.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Healthy “Fried Rice”

Every morning when I wake up, I have the day planned out in my head…. and none of the craziness that the day brings is included in those rose colored delusions. My fantasy goes something like this. I wake up and get my workout in (that happens. thankfully)… and then I get so much done in the hour before Harper wakes, that we spend 2 uninterrupted hours together, before she goes down for a nap, without me feeling like I have to multitask (this never happens). Once she goes down for her morning nap, I figure I have an hour and a half to regroup…. instead, I get caught up responding to an e-mail or editing some photos… that I lose track of time…. you get the drift, I don’t need to go into any further details….

It’s odd. Before I became a mom, life was pretty smooth sailing. With only myself (and of course TJ and our fur baby) to worry about, I was focused, stayed on track, and the days generally went as planned. “LOL” my former self says to my current self.

All that to say, the early evenings, right before dinner, are no exception… and likely one of the crazier times in our household. Given that, I like to have a pretty solid plan, and easy dinner, for the family. A meal that’s full of nutritional value, while still packing taste and satisfaction (I aim to please over here….)…. and not taking over 30 minutes from start to finish…..

This cauliflower quinoa dish is just that sort of meal. It’s gluten free, dairy free, full of veggies, and a good source of protein (with the quinoa being a complete protein itself). It’s even a great leftover as well. I know some of you are like “yuck…. cauliflower,” but I promise you that it’s tasty (it passed the test of 5 people who aren’t cauliflower lovers!)…. especially with a little soy sauce + quinoa (which gives it some added texture). You can buy all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s (a one stop shop…) and can eat as is, or toss on some chicken, shrimp, salmon, or flank steak (it’s a fairly versatile dish….). If that hasn’t sold you, I don’t know what will…. so I’ll just stop talking, and get to the recipe….

Cauliflower Quinoa Fried Rice:
(serves 2, double if serving more)
1 package of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s
1 package of frozen quinoa from Trader Joe’s (if you make on your own it’s 1 cup cooked)
1 cup shaved carrots
1 1/2 cup mushrooms
2/3 cup frozen peas (microwave before putting into dish)
3/4-1 cup tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce), this will also depend on your own tastebuds
diced green onions
1 clove of garlic, or 1 frozen cube of garlic (I buy my minced garlic frozen in a tray)
1 cup of diced onions (Trader Joe’s has them pre-diced for us lazy peeps)
protein of choice
1 tbsp sesame oil

Directions: In a large pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onions. Next, add the cauliflower rice, mushrooms, and shredded carrots. Pour in the tamari sauce, stir to combine all ingredients, and then reduce to medium heat, place the lid on the pan, and allow the cauliflower to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Be sure to watch the cauliflower here, as you don’t want it to get too soggy, yet you need it to cook. Use your own judgement, and do a few taste tests. While the cauliflower is cooking, microwave the peas (about 1 minute), quinoa, and cook your protein. When the cauliflower is finished, add the peas, quinoa, and a little more tamari sauce (if you’d like) and stir to mix. Lastly, top with green onions and your protein of choice.

Enjoy!
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(Outfit Details || Top (wearing XS) | Jeans | Bowl (old))

03.21.2017

Spring Stripes + My Spring Bucket List

I missed the memo that it was the first day of spring yesterday…. it was cloudy and cool here… and I wore grey + black. Quite a dichotomy. So, I’m making up for it in today’s post… which is full of color and spring-y things, if you will….

But, in all honesty, I actually love spring. The temperatures tend to be warm and mild (unlike the heat of summer….) and at the risk of sounding cliché, everything really does feel new again (even those slides that I tucked away in the back of the closet….). I look forward to the Easter holiday, the colors of nature, and that it stays light longer. I always have a list of things to do each time this season rolls around, and this year, with little miss being a little older, I’ve added a few more fun activities. I’m sharing that list with you today… and I’d love to know your fun spring activities too!

1. Take Harper to visit the Easter Bunny (she slept through the whole thing last year…)
2. Color Easter Eggs (this could get a little on the messy side….) + then hide them
3. Pick out the perfect Easter dresses. I already snagged Harper’s, and I’m loving this one for me
4. Plan a warm weather getaway. On the short list are Palm Springs and Cabo
5. Make a rosé sangria
6. Have an Easter Brunch
7. Take Harper to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields
8. Stock up on striped tops (my obsession)….. this blush and white button up made it home with me and I love this basic striped tank and multi-striped, spring perfect, tee. I wore this adorable bell sleeved top out for a happy hour with TJ and love the sleeves and the tie back. It’s feminine, while not being too over the top.
9. Have some picnics in the park with Harper
10. Spruce up our patio with a few new plants (likely succulents….)
11. Go on a family bike ride
12. I typically say find the perfect sandal, yet I found this pair and they’re so incredibly comfortable
13. Compile my spring reading list (and actually get through it….)
14. Get in more outdoor workouts. This last weekend TJ and I worked out outside (sprints + strength training) and it was so invigorating to be outside (and I’m still sore….)
15. Refresh my spring make-up routine
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(Outfit Details || Top (wearing XS, great price!) | Jeans | Slides (TTS, wearing the blush color) | Necklace | Bag | Sunglasses)

03.20.2017

Weekend Recap // Tired. Very Much So.

(The prettiest blooms of simple flowers)

If I was asked to sum up how I feel in one word it would simply be tired. Very much so actually. Tonight, after an adventure filled weekend, TJ and I sat at dinner (little miss throwing her halibut fish tacos on the ground….), looked at each other, and chuckled. So. Tired. Maybe exhausted would be a more appropriate word choice…..

And while I know that all sounds slightly on the negative side, I’d have to say it’s a good tired. One of those “I played all weekend long and now I’m pooped” tired. That childhood kind of fatigue where you were out all day, and when the head hits the pillow, you’re out (except, in your 30’s the next day’s alarm is at 5:30am…..). We worked out, ate out, sipped wine, went to the zoo, headed to the beach for brunch, sat with our toes in the pool in the early evening, and made homemade pizza + fish tacos. We ate good. Drank good wines. Laughed. Worked our muscles……

And now, I’m tired. Now, the couch is calling my name…. where I can numb out to some mindless Netflix movie that we’ve seen one too many times (if Tj has his way it’ll be Good Fellas….) and nosh on some Boom Chick Popcorn….

I hope you all have a great week…. filled with lots of “good tired” moments! xx

(P.S. My e-mail subscription provider had a glitch. If you missed Thursday’s Wellness Post + Friday’s Date Night On A Budget post be sure to check them out!)

(Coffee + Toast at Kit Coffee)

(Our weekend motto…. little miss spilled my iced tea everywhere…. leggings, sweatshirt)

(Weekend bubbly… espadrilles {also come in black})

(Loves her daddy….. fun at the zoo {Harper’s top})

(Sunday lunch at Juice Served Here….)
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This is supposed to be a busy week ahead, so I’m going to make this oatmeal bake and a batch of my egg muffins…. I’ll also be using the crock pot and one of our favorite recipes is this shredded chicken recipe.

Getting back to basics, I found this cute knit tank and had to snag it… perfect to layer under a jacket/cardigan or wear alone in warmer temps, and an excellent price point. I also bought this knotted cold shoulder tee (in grey) and saw that one of my favorite beige pullovers is currently on sale (comes in multiple colors and is an excellent transitional buy)! The temps are supposed to get cooler this week, so I’m planning on wearing this hoodie, super soft zip-up (currently on sale!), grey side lace up cardi (which I swore by when I was sick…), high-low short sleeve sweater, and this pullover several times this week (and also my grey joggers). All comfortable options that are easy to wear anywhere. This drop shoulder striped tee and mauve colored shell (which I wear knotted in front) have also been on heavy rotation as of late. I’ll also be pulling out my oatmeal thermal tunic and pairing it with my fav utility vest and jeans for a day at the park with Harper. I also just added this grey tunic to my shopping cart… it looks so soft and like an excellent everyday option….

Switching gears completely, I’m dreaming of a tropical vacation somewhere I can put my toes in the sand… sip a margarita (or anything, I won’t discriminate), and lounge around in bathing suits, cut-offs, sunscreen, and flip flops. That being said, I stumbled across some gorgeous options that I’m tucking away for said trip (date TBD….). How cute is this blue + white striped cover-up? I’m also obsessed with this one shoulder black ruffle two piece (loving the high waisted bottoms #PostPreggoStill), straw hat (love the material of this one),  and this adorable blue + white dress (also comes in blush). And, I think I could make room for these fab white slides.

03.17.2017

Date Night || On A Budget + Under $100

Oh, hi Friday. When we went into the week, I thought, “This will be easy… a nice short week.” Um, no. With every single person in our family being hit with norovirus (literally…. it hit Harper for a few hours  on the day we got home, then my mom, my dad, then me, then TJ a mere 5 hours later… and my sister is the latest casualty…) Friday is more welcome than usual….

And when the weekends come, I’m always thinking about fun adventures. In light of our couples time last weekend, date nights have been on the brain…. ways to get creative with them… ways to make them budget friendly… and how to look cute, yet practical. You see, in our parent-less days, date nights were a breeze. We’d get all dolled up, head out late, stay out late, and pretty much do whatever. Now, things are more planned, more practical… and to be honest, that’s all ok with us (#GettingOld).

With that, what I wear has changed too. Now, it’s much more practical too. I prefer jeans and a fun top over fancier items… and my poor heel collection has taken a much too long hiatus. As we were planning to head out of town last weekend, I knew that we would be having a few nights out (although, we opted to stay in on our last night with pizza and champagne… again #GettingOld….) so I went on the hunt for some fun date night items that I could also mix into my everyday life. I ended up finding a ton of budget friendly pieces that I fell in love with…. like these slip on mauve colored mules. They’re the perfect height… and while I won’t be wearing them to any play dates… they’re perfect for a happy hour out… or even a casual lunch date. I’ve rounded up a few other budget friendly clothing options, and included a list of some fun date night options that are simple + budget friendly… but high on quality time and fun….

Clothing + Accessories: 

I stumbled across a few gorgeous tops, all under $65 that I think would be perfect for a date night… as well as work (well, at least I would have worn them to my 9-5) and everyday life. I’m particularly fond of this mauve ruffle sleeve top, as well as this blush peplum top. This blue + white striped bell sleeve top is adorable too… and I think it would pair perfectly with denim shorts in the warmer months, as well as white pants…. and I also like this grey and white striped poplin bell sleeved top. Oh, and this white one shouldered ruffle top too… it’s super casual, but would be adorable with my new favorite jeans and the mules featured today. This clutch is a great smaller option, as is this perforated white cross body bag…. and these gold mules will go with anything, as will these tan kitten heeled mules.

Scroll down for some fun budget friendly date ideas…..
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(Outfit Details || Top (under $50) | Mules ($31!) | Jeans (cut hem on my own, follow this DIY) | Clutch (under $60) | Cuff (under $40) | Sunglasses)

Date Ideas:

Our go-to, take-out from your favorite spot + a bottle of vino…
Do a date morning…. head out for a workout together + then grab breakfast (always a cheaper option than dinner….)…
Grab take-out + have a picnic… we did this for Valentine’s Day (Harper in tow)… grabbed some fish tacos + headed down to the beach to watch the sunset….
Happy Hour… great pricing…. small bites…. home in time for the couch, stretchy pants, and some 48 Hours Mystery….
Discover a new cool coffee shop together (they’re popping up everywhere)… we did this last weekend and it was so fun sitting there + sipping our drinks… alone… without rushing…

03.16.2017

Wellness || My Probiotic Evening Skin Care Routine

So, I have a few fears in life… some a little scarier than others…. and Tuesday, my dreaded fear of the stomach bug took over and sidelined me for a little over 24 hours. This post was originally scheduled to go live for Wellness Wednesday, yet, since I wasn’t feeling so well, it wasn’t completed. I figure better late than never… so today, I bring you my wellness post for the week and I’m chatting all about my evening skincare routine….

When I started middle school (aka puberty) my mom sat me down and we chatted about the importance of taking care of your skin… especially in the evening, before bedtime. She purchased the necessary products and gave me a step by step tutorial. It was a habit I fell into pretty quickly…. and one I’ve never veered from. Even during those late nights in college, I never went to bed with make-up on…. and made sure to go through my evening skincare routine (it might have just been a tad bit quicker…. and sloppier)….

Over the years I’ve made small variations to the products that I used…. when I find what works, and what I love, I stick with it. Which is why I don’t do a lot of skincare reviews on the blog…. yet, about a year ago I was introduced to TULA skincare and have been hooked ever since. It was right after I had Harper and my skin was going through a dry spell so I thought I would change things up a bit. I was intrigued that their technology used probiotics. I’d been a religious user of probiotics for the gut, but never for the face. So, I did a bit of research.

Here are the benefits of using probiotics as a topical agent on the skin:

1. Wrinkle Prevention (and possibly assist in slowing down the aging process)
2. Strengthen The Skin Barrier (protects the skin’s microbiome which protects against the aging process)
3. Moisturizes (well hydrated skin makes wrinkles less visible… yes please!)
4. Protects Against Sun Damage

After reading all that, I decided I wanted to know more about TULA’s technology and how it utilizes probiotics to help skin. They have a patented technology to help improve the health of the skin, and their products are free from harmful substances and contain the following:

Multistrain Probiotic Technology
Yogurt Cultures
Rice Nutripeptides
Vitamin A, C, + E
Chicory Root Extract
Antioxidants
Omega 3 + 6 Fatty Acids

I can honestly say that since using their products, I have noticed a dramatic difference in my skin’s moisture level and general glow. I received a few questions asking how I incorporate their products into my evening routine, so I thought I would share that with you since I firmly believe that healthy skin is so important….. And, because I feel so strongly, TULA is offering all my readers 20% off and free shipping on your order. Just use code Shannon20.

I usually start my evening skincare routine around 7:30pm, right after Harper has gone down. I slip into some comfortable pajamas, like this striped pullover + shorts set, and toss my hair into a ponytail so it doesn’t get in the way. I start with the Purifying Face Cleanser which is a gel cleansing emulsion that gently removes make-up and cleans pores…. I love the way it lathers up too.

Every other night, I use the exfoliating treatment mask…. I’m obsessed with it. I notice a huge difference in my skin’s brightness the next morning… It’s my favorite little indulgence on those evenings…. when I get to spend an extra 5 minutes on myself… without any interruptions!

After I wash + dry my face, I apply this toner to prepare my skin for the rest of the products. I then apply the illuminating face serum, one of my favorites from the line. It works to even skin tone, provides moisture from the inside out, and diminishes dark spots. I’ve 100% noticed a brighter complexion in my face since using.

I then apply the overnight skin rescue treatment. This stuff is no joke. If you want to moisturize your face, it’s the real deal. It leaves face incredibly moisturized… and adds a dewy like complexion.

Lastly, I use the revitalizing eye cream (I go between the eye cream and the multi-spectrum eye renewal, both great options) on my under-eye skin and on my eyelids. I love the moisture it provides and it leaves the area illuminated and soft.

That’s all! It sounds pretty intense, but it only takes me about 5 minutes to complete the entire routine… and when I wake up, my skin feels soft and supple…. and most importantly, it’s healthy.

03.14.2017

Everyday Elevated || The T-Shirt Dress

I read somewhere, a few years ago, that you should look at your most worn items in your closet and buy more of them… duh, right? Well, being in a 9-5 job that wasn’t very glamorous (incredibly helpful yes, glamorous, no.) I, for some reason, filled my closet with pretty dresses to wear “to that wedding I have this summer….” or “in case we decide to go to a fancy dinner….” and in the end, I wore them once and then they never saw the light of day again (well, that’s not entirely true…. they were borrowed a lot…). All that to say, the above statement was like a brick in the face. Hellllll-O…. probably don’t need those dresses……

So, I became much more pragmatic. Tops, tees, jeans, flats, cardigans, and jackets became the items that filled my closet… and just like that, I was actually able to wear most of my items on a daily basis…. mixing and matching… dressing up and down. Yet, as much as I love my favorite everyday basics (read: jeans), to be honest, sometimes I’m like “again?…..” Then I stumbled across this t-shirt dress and thought I’d see how it fit with my other favorite items…. I mean, it’s as basic as a dress can get, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try….

I was sold the moment I put it on (I’m actually wearing it backwards because I like the v-neck line….) and immediately paired it with with my favorite sneakers, denim jacket, and cap. Such an easy throw on and go option… and casual enough to run errands in and chase around little miss. It’s a dress that’s the epitome of everyday living elevated…. but can also be dressed up with a cute pair of espadrilles + a suede jacket for a fun night out…..

A few other cute t-shirt dress options include this grey option with the cutest back details, grey and white striped v-neck dress, and this slouchy blue + white striped option.
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{Outfit Details || Dress (wearing XS… could have taken a S) | Jacket | Sneakers (size down) | Cap | Cuff | Sunglasses | Bag (cheaper option)}



03.13.2017

Weekend Recap || Love Can Change Your Direction

(Back in our old stomping grounds)

As I sit here in San Diego, celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, I cannot be more thankful for where my love for Shannon has taken me (If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s TJ writing today’s post)….

It’s strange, being in San Diego this weekend, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about how I got to this point (happily married with a sweet little girl). I can’t believe I’ve been out of college for over 10 years…. and although we do this trip every year, I have been much more nostalgic this weekend thinking about my friends and how life has taken us all in different, albeit good, directions. I will never forget the day I left San Diego, after being done with my final course at USD. Since I graduated earlier than my friends,  I knew it was going to be hard saying goodbye to them and college life….

Fast forward a week later, I received a call from one of Shannon’s friends asking if I would be interested in going to a sorority dance called “Crush….” a Valentine’s themed event that kicked off the spring semester. Thinking big sister was trying to pawn off a freshman on me, I respectfully declined. Come to find out, it was not a freshman that needed a date, it was actually Shannon that was interested in going with me, but not wanting her identity to be known (the introvert that she is….). When I found this out…I was in utter disbelief. This was the girl I had a secret crush on for over a year. I always joked and called her the “computer lab girl…..”  somehow, our schedules aligned perfectly…every Tuesday and Thursday around 10:40am, we would find ourselves in the same place at the same time (the USD computer lab)…the only problem, I could not work up the courage to talk to her. So, instead, I would secretly check her out and try and figure out how I could somehow make our paths “unintentionally” cross. Fast forward a year, when I got home to OC, I thought my San Diego days were far behind me, however, that one call changed it all. While I did not go to the dance with Shannon, I made sure she knew I was interested in her. I frantically let her friends know of my interest once I found out she actually knew who I was. I got an opportunity to spend time with Shannon a few days later, and the rest is history.

We’ve now been married for 7 years (together 12 years as a couple) and while I am married to the woman of my dreams, having what I consider a successful marriage has been a lot of work. Love is hard. We are talking about 2 completely different people, with unique upbringings, sharing a home and life together….. add a child to the mix and another level of stress is added…..

However, being in San Diego this past weekend, where we come every year to celebrate…I could not be happier with where my life is now…. and where it is headed. Sure, we have the same challenges every couple does…. but at the core, we love each other deeply, we have the same goals for our marriage and as parents….

As someone who was very guarded with my heart in my younger days, whenI look back, I’m grateful I was able to be vulnerable with Shannon 12 years ago…. because, essentially, love changed the direction of my life. And as I go into this week, recharged and renewed, I hold this in the front of my mind. To be open to the experiences love gives me…. and to let it guide me. So, here’s to a week of letting love, whatever that love is for you (food, travel, etc.) be your guiding force.
– TJ

(Post SoulCycle brunch at Better Buzzed in Encinitas)

(My “A” ring was the perfect anniversary gift (Tj’s full name is Anthony)…. (pullover))

(Morning stair workout at the convention center… kicked my boot-ay)

(Post-workout boozy brunch)

(Opting to stay in with some take-out pizza and bubbly for our last night….)

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This past week we made these quinoa sweet potato burgers and they were a HUGE hit in our house. If you’re looking for a meatless Monday, try these! They’re also good leftover if you want to double the recipe.

We’re in a major heatwave over here…. so I packed my suitcase full of warm weather clothing. I finally pair of jeansfound a (well, actually I bought them, returned them because I wasn’t 100%, bought a different pair, hated that pair, and then repurchased this pair…..) and love the distressing, relaxed fit, and high waist (I sized up to a 25… NO stretch). I wore it with this ruffle body suit and loved the classic look! The temperatures dropped in the early evening, so I brought this open knit sweater in white (which I had been eyeing since the beginning of January) and this black sweatshirt with a mock choker (so chic!). I also brought this cute white one shoulder top, and this gorgeous white flutter sleeve top. For the day I brought this gold straw hat (love the wide brim), chambray romper, my favorite blush slides (seriously so comfortable), distressed denim shorts, and my favorite white henley tank (which I tie in the front). We also went to a spin class and did a convention center stairs workout so I brought my favorite leggings, hoodie, and tie front tee.

A few other items sitting in my cart include this gingham tank (love the material for spring), this drop shoulder stripe top (so perfect for everyday life), cold shoulder sweater in blush (lightweight), grey open knit sweater with a deep v back (obsessed with open knits… can you tell??)…. oh, and I LOVE this basic t-shirt dress (I actually wear it backwards… it’s a v-neck in the back and I prefer that neckline…)… it’s so versatile and a great throw on a go everyday option (especially paired with a denim jacket and sneakers… or flats and a suede jacket if you need to dress it up a little).

Annnnnd, since little miss didn’t have any warm weather clothes, I of course had to get a few for her…. like this adorable chambray romper, white ruffle trim top, pull on ruffle shorts, pink gingham bubble suit, and these little espadrilles (which I bought for her last year too and loved).

03.10.2017

14 Month Motherhood Update

I thought about how I wanted to start this post… several times I wrote, and then erased, my opening sentences. I contemplated just saying “Here’s my motherhood update….” and then decided that sounded abrupt (and lazy….). Then I decided I could write a lengthy intro about a recent revelation I had… and decided it was best to share that in the meat of the post…. and then I remembered some funny motherhood quotes I stumbled across on instagram…. I figured it’s Friday, we could all use a laugh at this point (I mean, longest week ever over here for me…. thought it was Friday twice this week….) so I decided I would share them here (and I hope you can see the humor in them too!):

“The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until your children are in bed….” (okay, not entirely true…. but, come on… when there is peace and quiet in the home, and you’re sitting on the couch, finally relaxing, don’t you just melt at the thought of the little rugrat in the other room…. fast asleep??

“1. Going To Bed Early
2. Not Leaving The House
3. Not Going To A Party……
My childhood punishments have become my adult goals” No, but really. #HomeBody

“Parenting was so much easier when I raised my non-existent children hypothetically…..” Hmmmmm….

“You will never go to the bathroom alone again….” TMI? She follows me everywhere!

“A child’s laugh could simply be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world….” 

And with that, I give you my thoughts and reflections on 14 months…..

{Slides | Tank | Vest | Harper’s Onesie (have it in 4 colors… seriously the best) | Harper’s Shoes via Sweet n’ Swag}

General Thoughts + Feelings: This month I had varying emotions about toddler-hood and being a mom to a toddler. As she gets older, I find that I have so much fun with her… yet, at the same time, it brings with it more challenges…. While little miss’ curiosity of her surroundings grows, she begins to explore and test limits (and yes, she knows when she is doing something that might not be okay… like when she takes a flower off of a plant and moves it back and forth around her mouth…. and then just when she thinks I’m not looking, sticks it in her mouth….)… and that presents an entirely different set of mom (and parenting) challenges…

There have been a few moments in the past month where I found myself frustrated and exhausted. Then, I was at a mom’s group this past week and had a few conversations with people that struck a cord with me….

One talked about how her daughter didn’t have a certain characteristic because God knew she would’t be able to handle it….

Then, another spoke about how her spirited son was given to her for a reason… that she was meant to be his mom and he her son….

And while you may, or may not, believe in the spiritual component of the statements above (I happen to….) they can ring true for most people… and bring a sense of comfort. Little miss is my daughter (and TJ her father) for a reason…. there is something within me, and something within her that were meant to be together… there is something I am meant to teach her… and something she is meant to teach me….

And, as I began to look at our relationship in those terms, my perspective began to change. While I’m her parent, she is still teaching me daily. The challenges she presents to me are teaching moments for myself…. I wasn’t given the gift of patience (ask anyone), and she teaches me to have patience on a daily basis… I’m not one for silly random moments (that’s TJ’s strength)….and that’s something a toddler needs….so, daily, I get silly with her… dance for her while she’s in the bath… make silly faces to get her to laugh…. the list is endless…. and in turn, I hope she is learning to trust others….
learning what a loving relationship looks like…..
and learning to push the boundaries daily….
because, in the end, she is ultimately loved and supported…..

I also find myself looking at her, after a particularly difficult day, and reminding myself that, someday, she will be too big to hold, too big to tickle, and that someday she won’t come up to me asking to be held… that someday she will go off to college and get married… and in those moments, I will miss these small, everyday, and challenging times. When I remind myself of that, I am immediately softened, and am able to be much more present.

Sleeping: While last month I mentioned that little miss was sleeping soundly through the night… this month has shifted. We’ve had several middle of the night wake-ups…. a few abbreviated naps…. oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that she just didn’t nap yesterday. Period. Yet, I also know that these shifts come and go…. that just when you think its become permanent, things change…

Which is why I’m trying not to sweat it…. buuuut, I am keeping a close eye on her napping… and if she keeps missing… or having difficulty with her naps, we may have to make the transition to one afternoon nap. I’m imagining that things will begin to shake out this next month….

She continues to wear these pajamas through the night… and we read this book before bedtime.

Eating: Well, I’ve recently discovered why people have kiddos in the first place…. to eat their tasty leftover food (totally kidding.). She’s still pretty open to most foods (although, she’s developing a slight disinterest in brussels sprouts…..)… and I’ve recently started making her grilled cheese sandwiches (I use this brand of cheese), peanut butter + banana sandwiches, and these chicken nuggets (these may or may not be for me too…..). All things fruit… and most veggies… loves avocado… throws rice everywhere (we don’t serve this much anymore)…. enjoys fish…. and prefers water over juice….

She still loves throwing food over the side of her high chair… yet, we’ve simply started removing the tray of food (it’s removable while still keeping her strapped in) and waiting for the behavior to stop before putting the food back. We also tell her what we expect, and model it for her as well….. I’ll check back in next month on this one… as I’m sure it will be a work in progress…..

Body/Fitness: I’ve been feeling much better in this area since the beginning of the New Year. I’m not sure if it’s been a change in perspective…. as in, yes, my hips have widened and that’s okay….. or if it’s because I feel as if I’ve upped the ante in my workout routine… or maybe it’s a combination…. either way, I’ve felt good with where I am….

As far as working out goes, I’ve started to run more on the weekends, which has helped me feel more like myself. Long runs have always been something that I have cherished, so being able to get back out there and run for miles has helped me clear my head, get the creative juices flowing, and help me feel confident in my physical capacities… I’ve gotten myself back to 8 miles and it wasn’t easy! I also continue to create small HIIT workouts at home, which you can find under the fitness section (most recent here). I’m hoping that as temperatures warm up we can get out on family hikes and bike rides.

Relationships: Lots of fun in this area this past month. I feel like I was able to connect with my girlfriends much more… and even had a night away in LA with one of them. It was such a great day of self-care and girl time… and of course, made me miss my little family more…. which is the ultimate goal! Relax, refresh, and get back to those you love feeling renewed…. and that’s exactly how I felt…

TJ and I are even getting away this weekend for two whole nights to celebrate our anniversary (Harper will be staying with my parents!)…. we are looking forward to heading back to the city where we met…. and made so many amazing memories. There isn’t much on the agenda…. which is exactly what we need!… and who knows… maybe we will actually sleep in until 8am!

Something I’ve loved watching is Harper and TJ’s relationship grow. She loves him so much and is obsessed with saying “dadeeeeee.” She says it all the time…. and even runs to the door to greet him when he comes home from work. I can’t wait to see how it grows over the next several months….

Favorites:

Her favorite word is “Ouch” for everything….. I mean, everything….

It melts my heart when she climbs into my lap and hands me a book to read to her (and then walks away three pages in to get a different book….)….

She loves hide and go seek…. and putting clothes over her head and then pulling them off….

She loves to give big, open mouth, kisses…. so sweet….

Tantrums…. yes, they’ve started. It’s kind of cute though… like “sorry I ruined your day putting away your toys….” I saw that quote and could relate. She has full on started laying on the ground and crying. Lord help me….

Her dance moves continue to develop…. she make some so proud (insert wink face here….)

Her curiosity. I just love how everything fascinates her….

03.09.2017

The Suede Jacket || Blushing

Around this time last year, I went on the hunt for the perfect camel colored suede jacket. The one I had my eye on sold out while I had it sitting in my shopping cart (I contemplated too long…. I hate when that happens)… and then all I could find were suede jackets well over the $500 price point…. just a tad over what I was willing to pay (I say that sarcastically). Yet, when I get something in my head, I am relentless about it… that can be a strength, and a weakness at times… yet this time, it was a strength. I stumbled across the best real suede jacket…. for an even better price point ($60…. WTF….) from Forever 21 (you can see it styled here, here, + here). I was #obsessed…. I mean, the quality was (and still is) amazing + the price point was seriously unbelievable…. I wore it all the time…. still do….

Yet, this season I wanted to mix things up a bit, and went on the search for a colored suede jacket (I own one in cobalt blue… but wanted something a little softer for spring….). Of course, this one caught my eye…. but the price tag brought me back to reality. Quickly. I don’t think so. Ever….. Especially after last year’s steal…. so the search continued….

Until a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this blush beauty (yes, I realize all 3 of my posts this week have had blush in them… can you tell I like it…. remember what I said about when I get something in my head I’m relentless….???). While not the same price as last year’s steal, it was well under the original find, so I decided to give it a try. When it came in the mail I was smitten. A gorgeous light blush color, the softest suede, the smell of suede, and the most perfect fit/shape. I wore it out to brunch the other weekend, and can’t wait to wear it this coming weekend as well. I even plan on wearing it with my favorite tank and high waisted leggings for a casual day of errands… or a post work-out brunch. I’m all about versatility, and this jacket fits the bill…..

If you’re looking for a suede option, under $200, I also highly recommend this option (I tried it on in the store, while waiting for this one to arrive, and if I could, would snag it in the light blue….). The fit is amazing and it’s excellent quality too. I also love the scallop edges on this camel colored option, and this drape front faux suede option is a great price and color.

I still consider that suede jacket from last year to be one of my best finds ever…. I’d love to know what your best find was!
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{Outfit Details || Jacket (wearing size 4) | Tank | Jeans | Mules | Sunglasses}