04.14.2017

Motherhood || Eating With A Toddler

Manners were always a big deal growing up… please, thank you, chew with your mouth closed, napkin in your lap, no elbows on the table…. you get the drift. So, when I became a mom to a budding toddler, you can imagine my horror (kidding… kinda….). Eating with the hands (OCD tendencies for cleanliness cringing here….), throwing food on the floor (our pup loves that one)… again, you catch my drift.  It was another point of necessary flexibility… a teaching moment, for both little miss and me…. and it continues to be as we navigate this part of toddler/motherhood. Yet, despite all of the frustrations, it’s also one of my favorite parts. I also have the opportunity to teach her what good food is… and by good, I mean in both taste and nutrition. I get to teach her how to eat to nourish her little body, and how to enjoy it. She teaches me flexibility and patience, I teach her how to eat with a fork. Needless to say, along this journey, I’ve found a few items to help me navigate a little more smoothly…..

1. High Chair: We have two high chairs. One we keep at my parent’s house, and one that we have at our house. Both excellent options that I highly recommend.  We recently started using the Nuna ZAAZ high chair and love it. The design is sleek, no hidden crevices where food can get caught, it’s easy to use, and grows with her as she gets older (when she no longer needs the tray, you can remove it and the high chair transitions into one similar to a restaurant… and then it can function as a regular chair as well…. it’s pretty cool.). It’s not too big, so it easily fits in our tiny place. Since it can convert as she gets older, I think it’s such an excellent product to invest in.

2. Placemat: When little miss first started eating, we served her the food right on the tray. As she started to mimic how we were eating, she began insisting on eating out of a bowl….. after a little while, I decided to try out this placemat. She loves it. I like the different compartments for food, and she can easily see, and pick out, the food she wants. She also doesn’t throw her food as much when she’s using it.

3. Utensils: It’s still a work in progress over here, yet, we’re starting with this fork and spoon set. She still prefers to use her fingers, so I’ve started placing the fork and spoon next to her when she is eating. She will occasionally pick it up and try to put some food on it…. and sometimes I’ll help the process. I’m not forcing anything, and patiently helping her along.

4. Sippy Cup: Little miss’ distaste for the bottle was no secret…. I openly shared about my struggles. So, when the doctor said she didn’t need to use a bottle anymore, it wasn’t a difficult transition for us. We went from these bottles (the only ones she would take) to this sippy cup with great success. We own a few of them and she loves them. She actually shows a preference for a normal cup, so, when she reaches for one, we try to help her use it appropriately.

5. Snacking: When we’re out and about, we use this little snack dispenser/holder. It’s a great way to prevent spillage. Her favorite snacks are these lentil cheerios, dried cranberries, peanut butter crackers, nibbly finger bites, and these oat bars. She also loves Lara Bars, Perfect Bars, and Rx Bars…. actually, she pretty much loves anything….

6. Eating Out: When we’re out at a restaurant, we use this high chair cover and put down these disposable placemats. We either put a small plate in front of her on top of the placemat, or she just picks off the plate and eats off the placemat.

I’d love to know if you have any other must have products for eating with a toddler!
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(Post Details || Wrap Hoodie | Leggings | Harper’s Onesie | High Chair (c/o) | Placemat | Fork | Sippy Cup)

04.13.2017

My Personal Favorites (Items I Own + Love) From ShopBop’s Friends + Family Sale

I have a few sales, throughout the entire year, that I dedicate entire blog posts to…. and one of them is always the ShopBop Friends + Family sale, where everything is 20% off. Since it started yesterday, I decided to share with you my personal favorites (items I own and love) that are currently on sale… and of course, a few of the items I snagged up! These are items that are on constant rotation for me, so I think you’ll love them too. If you have any questions regarding sizing or fit, feel free to send me a message or leave it in the comments below!

Shorts/Jeans:

Let’s start here. As the weather is getting warmer, I keep pulling out my favorite denim shorts. Included in the sale are my favorite one teaspoon shorts, including this white pair and this distressed denim wash (I sized up 2 to a 26 so that they would sit much lower on my hips… and not show my bootay). I also have not stopped wearing this high waisted cut-off pair… and purchased the darker wash as well (since I have a feeling they are going to be my go-to’s this spring/summer season…..). Oh, and my new favorite jeans (featured above) are also 20% off! Such an excellent price!

Tops:

One of my favorites is this adorable grey ruffle sleeve top (featured in above photo)… I love the fit and the price is so great (especially with the 20% off). I wear this open back ruffle tank all the time (own it in white) and am contemplating it in grey too. I also own this basic tank in two colors (white + almond)… it’s the perfect everyday piece to layer or wear alone, along with this henley tank. I bought this pom pom top in black and think it will be super cute with above mentioned high waisted shorts. I also snagged this adorable floral tee (perfect throw on and go option… and a cute alternative to the solids), and off the shoulder lace top. One of my favorite lightweight thermal tunics, which can be worn knotted in the front with shorts, is included too. I also bought this embroidered floral top for Cabo.

Shoes:

So, I bought these slides, and absolutely love them (a great look-alike to the Hermes option….), and I love these leather knotted slides (I bought them in white). I wear these cognac platform espadrilles and blush platform espadrilles all the time, as well as these espadrille sneakers. Annnnd, I wear these basic white kicks all the time. It’s as if I’m walking on air (promise)… I wear them with jeans, shorts, dresses… you name it, they pretty much go with anything.

Outerwear/Lightweight Spring Knits:

My favorite camo jacket is on sale…. and an additional 20% off with the sale.  You can easily wear this well into the warmer months with a basic white tee and pair of cut-offs. This easy pullover is one of my all time favorites (I own it in ivory and grey) and this off the shoulder pullover is a great dressier option that I love wearing with jeans and mules. I purchased this open knit in the rose color and can’t wait to wear it with my high waisted jeans and shorts. This white open knit tunic and this ivory one are both on heavy rotation all the time…. they go with everything… and I also plan to take the white one to Cabo as a coverup.

Under Garments:

This is my absolute favorite lace bralette (I treated myself to it post-nursing)… and I also wear this simple Calvin Klein one, as well as this strappy option for my open back tops (it’s so comfortable). I wear this bandeau with all my one shoulder and off the shoulder tops.

Workout Clothes:

My hands down all time favorite high waisted leggings are a must have (and I bought mine at this sale the last time they had it!). I wear them all the time… and only take them off to wash them. The hug in all the right places. I promise you, you’ll love them too. These mesh leggings are on repeat too (size down for a more fitted feel in the waist)… and I mix them up with these shredded capris.

Accessories:

A few favorite accessories are also on sale, including these stackable rings that I wear as a dainty thumb ring daily. I also purchased this gorgeous gold layered necklace, and one of my favorite choker necklaces is on sale too. My favorite tortoise shell sunnies (that were broken in the middle of a toddler tantrum…. I won’t name names as to who that toddler was….) are marked down too!
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Happy Shopping Friends!

04.12.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 4 Tips To Incorporate Fitness With The Family

Before Harper was born, TJ and I were always looking for ways to ramp up our fitness routines. We’d train for half marathons together, often waking up early on Saturday mornings and heading out for long runs at the beach (only to be followed up by a delicious mimosa brunch). Or, we’d set the goal of doing a mini triathlon on our own: we’d run 3 miles, bike 20 miles, and swim 0.5 miles. As crazy as that sounds to some, it’s something that we always felt made us closer. Setting a goal, encouraging each other through it, and finishing, was a bonding experience for us; something we truly enjoyed and looked forward to.

All that to say, when we talked about what we wanted as a family, and the values we wanted to instill within Little Miss, fitness and self care were amongst them. We had a multitude of thoughts as to how that would look, and when she arrived all those thoughts -while well intended- seemed slightly grandiose (I mean, what toddler wants to tag along on their parent’s 2-hour training run???). Through a lot of trial and error, we found a groove that has ultimately allowed us to make fitness and self care, a key part of our family: through appropriate activities, the right equipment, and a good mindset, we are able to get our fitness on and spend quality time together as a family. Today, I’m sharing the 4 ways that we have been able to make fitness a regular part of our family routine.

1. Time Of Day: Figuring out which time works best for your family is key. We’ve found that the morning works well for our little family. Right after Harper has had breakfast, we typically head out and complete our workout. Finishing it first thing in the morning assures we don’t get derailed by whatever may come the rest of the day (because, you know something is going to come up with a toddler!). The temperatures are usually pleasant and cool, and Little Miss is typically in a fantastic mood.

2. The Right Equipment: Over the years, I’ve come to realize that nice jewelry + working out do not mix. I’ve had a history of either leaving my wedding band (and engagement ring) behind in a SoulCycle locker room (luckily, honest people have returned it) or somehow damaging it to the point that it needed repair (i.e. a loose diamond falling out, or TJ’s ring scratching from lifting weights). I recently stumbled across QALO, a brand that makes functional silicone wedding rings to match your lifestyle… they’re great for women and men, come in multiple color options, and are stylish and functional (always key for me). TJ opted for the men’s flat ring in black, and I chose the new stackable styles in all white. We can easily workout, play with chase around Little Miss (without worrying about scratching her), and then head out to a delicious brunch, all while wearing them – and not having to worry about damaging our wedding bands (or, in my #MomBrain case, forgetting it….).

We’ve also found that bringing toys for Little Miss that resemble those we are using helps as well (like a ball and a yoga mat). It gets her in on the action too, since she loves mimicking what we are doing. If we’re going on a hike, we are sure to use the baby carrier, lather on sunscreen (well, we always do that), and bring along our hats. A long run requires a few novel toys to keep her occupied in the running stroller.

3. Location, Location, Location: When we’re incorporating Little Miss into our workout routine, we always choose a park. She can easily and safely play, and we can keep a close eye on her as well. We choose parks that have grassy areas, and are big enough to allow us to workout without impacting anyone around us.

4. Flexibility: This is typically my number one piece of advice for anything baby/toddler/child related. In reality, 9 times out of 10 things aren’t going to go exactly as planned, and you just have to roll with it. Example? Just last Sunday I was in the middle of a HIIT routine, and Harper came over wanting to take my hand and show me something. Instead of seeing it as an interruption, I simply took her hand and did walking lunges as she guided me around the park (I’m sure I looked silly, but, oh well… it worked). There have been times where TJ has put her on his shoulders and done squats (great resistance for him, and she loves the up and down motion). We’ve found that being open let’s us have more fun and get in a better workout.

I’d love to know the ways that your family spends active time together, whether that’s a brisk morning walk or a bike ride with a little trailer behind it for the little one. Simply comment below on how you incorporate fitness into your family’s life and you will be entered to win a QALO prize package. See below for sweepstake rules + details.

(Post Details || My Ring | TJ’s Ring | Tank | Joggers | Sneakers | Sunglasses | TJ’s Joggers | TJ’s Sneakers | TJ’s Tee | TJ’s Sunglasses)

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#Sweeps” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from SheKnows via sweeps@sheknows.com. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/10/17- 6/30/17

Be sure to visit the brand page on sheknowsmedia.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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

04.11.2017

Spring Stripes x2

I never used to be late (ever). I was the early girl. You said be there at 10:30… I was there at 10:25. Since becoming a mom, and essentially being responsible for getting two humans completely ready, the early bird within me has gone away. I’m not late, just typically right on time. It all starts out fine. I’m almost always ready on schedule…. it’s when it comes to dressing little miss that things go downhill. It’s just too fun. I sit there, looking through her drawers, putting little mini outfits together, until I land on one that fits her mood for the day (well, I’m guessing here….). It’s pretty much been like that since day one… and not much has changed…

Given that, you can only imagine how distracted I get when I’m actually shopping for her. It doesn’t matter if it’s on-line or in store… it takes me twice as long as it does to shop for myself. Too much cuteness abounds. So, why I thought it would be a good idea to stop and peruse the little lady section in Nordstrom when I was on my way to meet a girlfriend for lunch is beyond me (I was early too….). There were just too many adorable spring pieces that caught my eye. From pretty pastels, to adorable stripes, and even the cutest basics… I couldn’t help myself. I ended up walking out with these adorable chambray bloomers and pink moto jacket for Harper….

Whenever I’m shopping for her, I try to find pieces that I can mix and match with items she already owns (pretty much exactly how I shop for myself). Lots of denim mixed in with brighter options like this adorable striped top. I also opt for feminine pieces and I love this stripe flowy tank and short set, embroidered chambray dress, embroidered denim shorts (obsessed), cute little floral bubble romper, and adorable embroidered flutter sleeve tee. Some of my favorite basics for her include these denim leggings (I have purchased them for her several times over the year), joggers (another item I buy for her across seasons… more color options here for boys and girls), and this lightweight cardigan which go with pretty much any item she has. I also think stripes are great for little boys too (and obviously for little miss too…) and love this top + jogger combination. I also think this basic bomber is a great option for little guys with the shifting spring temps.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow morning we can get out on time!
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(Outfit Details || Harper’s Top | Harper’s Chambray Bloomers | Harper’s Moto Jacket | Harper’s Sandals | Harper’s Bow | My Top | My Jeans | Hat | My Sandals | Sunglasses | TJ’s Shirt | TJ’s Jeans)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post

04.10.2017

Weekend Recap || Extending The Weekend

(A little hockey with the family on Thursday evening…. kicking off the weekend early…)

It’s about this time on Sunday evenings (7:40pm) when the blues set in. I always promise myself that I won’t let them come… but it seems as if it’s inevitable. So, this past Friday night, TJ and I talked about ways to try to soften the blow of Sunday nights (….we also argued that the weekends are just too fun… which is why we feel that way on Sundays…. so, I guess we could look at it as a sign of a weekend well spent….). Here are 3 ideas that we came up with:

1. Plan a quick mid-week family outing: Get out of the house… even if it’s an evening walk, or heading out for a little ice cream (we prefer Pressed Juicery). Sometimes, during the weeks, we get caught in the rut of staying home for long periods of time… so getting out and mixing it up makes the week go faster!

2. Take-out: It might sound strange, but we talked about getting take-out in the beginning of the week, as opposed to the end. We have a few healthy spots we love (since we try to be pretty healthy during the week) and thought that it would be a great way to trick ourselves into thinking it’s actually the end of the week…..

3. Date Night: Instead of waiting for Friday evenings as our typical unwind and catch up night, we’re trying to implement a mid-week evening. Likely a Wednesday, and something simple like a movie and pop-corn on the couch. We’re actually trying to work out our schedules to have a mid-week early morning date…. maybe a spin class and a quick coffee/breakfast date. It’s something to look forward to!

While it might not completely assuage the Sunday blues…. it certainly gives me something to look forward to while we I for the next weekend! So, whatever you choose to break up the week, I hope it brings you a small taste of the weekend. Have a good one friends. xx

(Friday night… at the happiest of hours….)

(Easter Bunny success…. no tears….)

(I always wish I could move into Anthropologie… I mean, how cute is this couch… and the side tables???)

(Post church donuts at a new gluten free + vegan spot… Halfsies…. and a little post donut sugar high…. (jacket currently on sale)
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I’m looking forward to this coming Easter weekend…. and thinking about making some of these delicious pressed juice cocktails. I’ll also be making this quinoa fried rice recipe (likely with shredded chicken this week) and lentil soup…. both are great leftover options too.

I found so many fun spring options over the weekend…. like this adorable embroidered off the shoulder dress (in the almond color), embroidered cold shoulder top, and this gauzy tunic (which I snagged in the navy… and own in a blush from a few years ago.). I also bought this super cute ruffle henley top (such a good basic), gorgeous blush pink camisole (with gold detailing), and this short sleeve open knit hoodie. I’m also considering this swiss dot top in black (love all the cute ruffle details and cold shoulder shape), stipe lightweight tunic, and this short sleeve peplum top (in the mauve color). I also wore this lightweight bomber jacket over the weekend and it was the perfect layer!

I was also on the hunt for a pair of blush joggers and snagged these a week ago… when they arrived they were huge…. so I bought these (in two color options…) and am hoping they fit better! I also love these blush distressed joggers.

I’ve also seen a few dresses that have caught my eye lately… of course, they aren’t everyday appropriate, but I have so many fun occasions coming up in the next few weeks (showers, bachelorette party, wedding celebrations….) that I thought I would look for some cute options. I’m particularly eyeing this floral smocked maxi dress (such an excellent price), floral ruffle dress (with the prettiest back details), this floral gauze maxi dress,  and this striped tunic dress.

It’s also officially sandal weather over here and I couldn’t resist these cognac studded block heel cuties…. and am eyeing these cognac slides (which look like an Hermes knockoff….) and these embroidered double strap slides (seriously, so fun).

Annnnd, as we get closer to Cabo, I’m still keeping my eye out for fun options. I love this gorgeous black one piece suit, as well as this tassel two piece in blush and cream and this floral bathing suit (love all the details). This gauze cape would be a great cover-up or lightweight layer with shorts and a tank in the summer… and this stripe maxi cover-up.

04.07.2017

15 Month Motherhood Update

(Harper’s Top, Leggings | My Sweater)

It feels as if the time between my monthly motherhood updates gets shorter and shorter… maybe it’s because Harper is like the energizer bunny and never stops (which means I don’t either….), or, because so much changes in such a short amount of time at this age. Either way, she’s another month older, which means another update. I’ve formatted things a little differently this month…. hope you enjoy!

General Thoughts + Feelings: I’m not sure if it’s because she is turning into such a little girl, or the fact that I fall in love with her personality more and more everyday, but I find myself holding her a little longer at night, knowing that the days are numbered when she’ll actually ask to be in my arms (I mean, I know I have a while, but in the grand scheme of her entire life…. it’s limited). I feel as if that’s the perspective I’ve been taking this entire month… everything is temporary… the good, the bad (like not going to the bathroom by myself… ever… haha), her preferences, her dislikes… it can all change day by day, week by week… sometimes it’s a phase, and other times it’s not. Yet, that very outlook has helped me to be a more present mom…..

This month in particular, I have found it so amazing that I have been blessed with this little girl… that I have been given the responsibility to help her grow into a happy, confident, compassionate, and empathetic woman. Do I get it wrong sometimes? Yes, of course. Am I always wondering if I am a good mom…. or if I did it all right? Every single day. A part of me wishes that I didn’t have those thoughts…. but a part of me knows that they are par for the course. Something I will always think about… even when she’s all grown up……

Favorite Part/Most Challenging Part: I’d have to say one of my favorites of this past month has been her increased interest in a reciprocal relationship…. when she comes up to me, grabs my hand (willingly….), and shows me something she is fascinated with it absolutely melts my heart. It’s as if she sees me as a safe base…. she can explore, and come find me when she has something exciting to share. Which, as a mother, is always my ultimate goal… for her to feel safe to explore her surroundings independently and always know that I am there for her.

On the flip side, I was just having lunch with my parents and Harper the other day. I mentioned that the throwing of food has to be, hands down, my least favorite part of this age… and then, she threw her food (well, at least she didn’t make a liar out of me, riiiight??). We’ve done a lot in attempts to minimize this behavior…. and using a little plate + bowl seems to help somewhat. I’m going to start redirecting the throwing…. when she looks like she is about to throw the food, I am going to provide her with a second bowl that she can “throw” her food into (as opposed to the floor)…. and I am also going to start with smaller quantities of food on the plate…. she might be throwing because she is “finished…” (although, she does know how to sign “all done….”). I recently ordered this placemat/plate and hoping it will work too! I’m also starting to work with her on using utensils. Wish me luck.

Newness: At this age, there is so much growth! She has started to talk in a purposeful manner. Her favorite words are “hiiiii,” “biiii,” “dadeeeee,” “dogeeeee,” and “owwww.” She loves to combine “biiii dadeeeee” when TJ puts her down at night, and when he leaves in the morning. It’s adorable. When we’re on walks, she identifies all dogs and becomes super excited. I hear “mommmmma” when she’s crying…. go figure, right?? She’s also obsessed with airplanes. Whenever she hears one, she immediately stops, looks up, and points with excitement.

We recently took her to get some ice cream for the first time (if you’re local check out A La Minute… organic and so good!). She was hesitant at first because of the cold… but once she got used to it there was no stopping her.

She throws tantrums like any toddler…. but to be honest, I find them slightly comical. The act of intentionally lying down on the ground and crying makes me chuckle….. I typically try to redirect her, validate her frustrations, and let her know that it will all be ok (even though she clearly thinks life has ended in the moment….). We are getting some outright defiance (this might be a strong word choice though)… and limit testing… which is all to be expected. For me personally, I try to follow Erik Erickson’s stages of development to put all her behaviors into perspective, and provide me with a guide as to how to address them. I use “if, then” statements, along with “when, then” statements, to let her know that if she chooses a behavior, then x,y,or z will happen. It seems to work, and I can see her processing what I am saying. Example? She loves to eat dirt (the OCD in me cringes….) so I let her know that if she continues to put the dirt in her mouth, then we will have to go inside for a little while. I’d say about 70% of the time she makes a different choice… and the other 30% results in us going inside (#QueTantrum).

Napping: Last month I mentioned that we might be at the point of making a transition in Harper’s nap schedule. Her morning naps have started to become shorter…. and she’s fighting her afternoon naps. So, yesterday I had a mom’s group in the morning and she missed her morning nap (which typically always happens when I have the group). In the past, it has resulted in disaster. Yesterday though, when I went to get her, she had a big smile on her face…. and did really well the rest of the day (I mean, the energy she had was unreal…. I was exhausted by the time her nap rolled around). Since she missed her morning nap, I shifted her afternoon nap to 1:30 and she slept until 4.

In all honesty, I have been so hesitant to drop the morning nap. Mostly for selfish reasons. It’s when I shower, return e-mails, and get a small break. Yet, I know that with the transition to one nap, we will be able to do more exploring in the morning hours… and that there will be a longer break in the afternoon. Given that she is transitioning to one nap, I will likely let her sleep a little longer in the morning and not be so strict with a wake-up time. I’ll touch base next month and let you know how the full transition goes.

Self-Care: When I think about what I want most for Harper, it’s a safe, secure, and happy home. Which, I know starts with me (and of course, TJ). That being said, self-care is absolutely the best way for me to be a present mother, who can help to facilitate that kind of home environment. It’s so hard to ask someone to help with your child… I feel guilty… as if I should be able to do it all. Yet, in the end, when I’m not taking care of myself, I find that I am drained, less patient, more irritable, and not the kind of mother I want to be. Given that, TJ and I have talked about ways to make self-care, and relationship care, a priority. Whether that’s a morning SoulCycle class solo or together, or a night away with our friends or just the two of us, or grabbing a glass of wine with a few girlfriends for happy hour…. we have invested and found ways to make self-identify, self-care, and relationship care a priority. As a result, it’s a happier mother, happier marriage, happy home, and happy baby…. which, as a mother, is my ultimate goal. It’s like that cliché saying that people refer to about always putting on your oxygen mast first. What good are you to those around you if you’re running flat (or, kind of like a carbonated drink that’s lost it’s fizz… who wants anything to do with that??). 

Fitness: This ties in closely with self-care, but it’s always been an integral part of my life… and one I had to make accommodations to postpartum. This past month, we started to create HIIT workouts outside, at parks, and let Harper run around. It’s a great way to get the entire family outside… also, some of that park equipment makes for an excellent workout.

Favorite Products: There have been a few new products over the past month that we’ve loved. My parents recently bought Harper this water tray for their backyard and she absolutely loves it. Like, that’s all she wants to do. She really loves touch and feel books…. some of her favorites include this one, this one, and this one (she’s also started mimicking animal noises because of this book….). She has a lot of little stuffed animals, but as of late has taken a liking to this super soft little bunny. These sandals have rapidly become one of her favorite pairs of shoes. I was nervous that she would have a hard time walking in them… but she runs with ease. I use these snack carriers to bring along little treats when we go on outings. We’ve loved using this toothbrush (as she’s teething like crazy… already has two molars!) and I recently bought her this wearable blanket to use over these pajamas (I just get so worried about her getting cold….). We’ve been going to the park several mornings a week, right after little miss has breakfast. I’ve personally been living in these grey leggings and these black leggings on these mornings. This blush hoodie is an easy piece to grab and toss on when we’re heading out the door…. and I pretty much wear these kicks every morning out with her.

04.06.2017

Everyday Elevated || Ready To Wear Tops

It was about two years ago that TJ and I were making our final preparations to head out on our last European adventure before Harper was born (yet, we didn’t know this would be our last at the time…). I had made a lengthy list of items I wanted to pack, and had ensured they were all in the suitcase…. including a few items that were thrown in at the last minute, you know, “just in case….”. We loaded my 65 pound suitcase into the car and off we went (I don’t ever recommend traveling to Europe with a suitcase that heavy #ridiculous). While I had great intentions of wearing all the items I packed, in reality, I likely recycled 10-15 items over and over again (for a 14 day trip….). You see, I had packed items that weren’t very practical… a few fancy dresses here…. a cute skirt there…. culottes…. jumpsuits…… you get the picture….. All of those clothing items ultimately took a back seat to my favorite jeans, basic tops, motto jackets, and other, more travel friendly, items…..

I guess it’s taken me a while to cultivate a practical and functional wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I have pieces that don’t fall into either of those categories (as became evident on our Euro trip….)…. yet, the majority of the items hanging in my closet are everyday ready. Maybe it’s because my life has shifted slightly, but I’d also like to think it’s just a function of figuring out what works best for me. All that to say, something I’ve come to rely heavily on is a good ready to wear top. You name it… t-shirt, button-up, tank… I’m a lover of them all. You see, these everyday basics can be worn anywhere. You can dress them up, or down, wear them out at night, or to a casual lunch…. dress up for the office or work them into your casual weekend wardrobe. They’re the item every gal has to have in her closet. So, when I stumbled across this adorable cold shoulder one, I decided it deserved a spot next to my other favorites. It’s on the shorter side, so opting to pair it with my favorite high waisted jeans was a no-brainer (then again, I pair everything with high waisted jeans….). I wore it out this past week when TJ and I met up in Old Town Orange for a little ice cream date with Harper…..

 I also thought I’d share with you some of my recent favorite RTW (ready to wear) tops I find myself grabbing for time and time again, like this cold shoulder three quarter sleeve top, this sweater tank, grey ruffle sleeve top (just wore it yesterday), white + blush striped button-up, super soft + slouchy v-neck tee, basic boyfriend pocket tank (own in two colors), and this super soft bell sleeve top (I own in blush + black).
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(Outfit Details || Top (comes in 3 color options) | Jeans | Sneakers c/o (come in 3 color options) | Tote | Sunglasses | Necklace)

 

04.05.2017

Wellness Wednesday || A Quick + Delicious Sweet Potato + Lentil Super Salad || Tips On Creating A Simple, Yet Effective, Home Gym

I’ve never been one to shy away from the gym… I’ve had a membership since I was a junior in high school and have always loved it…. whether it was group classes or solo time lifting weights, it’s always been an investment in myself. Ever since becoming a mom though, it’s not always easy to sneak out to the gym… or, I don’t always want to get myself ready to head out…. yet, I still very much want to complete a workout. So, the simple solution for me was to invest in some gym equipment that I could easily use at home….. either in a self created HIIT workout, or watching a video. I can honestly say that my 20-30 minute at home workouts are often more effective than 45 minutes in the gym (and much easier to not bail out on….). Whether it’s a new job with taxing hours, or you can’t financially afford a gym membership (they can be so expensive….), or a mom like me, I decided to share with you the gym equipment I purchased to make working out at home as effective as it would be in the gym.

1. Dumbbells: I own 3 sets of dumbbells. A 3lbs, 5lbs, and 10 lbs set. I find that incorporating various weights is the most helpful to an effective workout. I use the heaviest set for moves with less reps…. and the lightest when I am maxing out (i.e. going until I can’t go anymore).

2. Resistance Bands: These have been such game changers, and I have loved incorporating them into my HIIT routines. They’re excellent options when you’re working out the glutes + legs… and even great for arms too.

3. Yoga Mat: I feel like this is kinda a given, but we have wood flooring and it makes working out so much easier… especially when there are floor exercises….

4. Medicine Ball: I use a medicine ball for so many different exercises… especially when I’m working my lower body and want to mix in arm movements. They are also great to use when you are doing lunges and crab walks.

5. Exercise Ball: Core work is taken to an entirely different level on an exercise ball… and they’re also great when you want to work the core and your arms or glutes. I use mine in so many different ways… behind my back in wall squats, or I lay on it on my stomach and do flies.

6. Leg Weights: Again, another way to take a regular exercise to the next level… I’ve even been known to wear these on my morning walk with Harper since their purpose is to tone the legs. I do leg raises and dead lifts wearing them… and when I’m feeling ambitious jump switch lunges and burpees.

7. Jump Rope: An excellent way to get the heart rate up, quickly. Besides, it makes me feel young again… and sometimes that’s just as good as a workout #AmIRight?

8. Step: I bought a step a while back and love using it with my lunges and incorporating it into a cardio segment (if you’re curious, you can always youtube cardio step workouts).

(Joggers | Tank | Bralette | Sneakers)

Annnnd, because bodies are created through workouts but shown through the food we eat, I decided to share this super simple, nutritious salad I made for lunch yesterday. You can literally prep everything the evening before (or on a Sunday if need be) and toss it in a tuberware (or one of those salad mason jars) for an easy, and healthy, grab-and-go lunch option…. and, if you prefer to have some meat with your salad, just toss in some tuna or chicken!

Sweet Potato + Lentil Super Salad 

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Lentils (in the refrigerated section…simply microwave)
1/2 cup baked sweet potatoes
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4-1/2 diced avocado
handful of tomatoes
2 cups spinach
salsa verde

Combine all ingredients, shake up to get the salsa on the spinach, and enjoy! Super simple.

04.04.2017

Spring Breakin’ With Little Miss

I vividly remember the day I found out we would be having a little girl. I stopped by Nordstrom, on my way to the ultrasound appointment, and picked up these rose gold moccasins…. in the fifty percent chance that we’d be having a little miss. I told TJ what I’d done when we met up at the doctor’s office, and all he could do was chuckle…. knowing how badly I wanted a girl…. obviously, we know how it ended. When the tech asked us what we were going to name her we said, “Harper Genevieve….” and she immediately responded “A little bit of sugar and spice…” which was exactly what we had thought about when we picked her name….

Now, here she is, almost two years after we found out we were expecting, and she couldn’t have lived up to her name more. As she gets older, that spicey personality grows stronger… and while there are days it makes me want to pull my hair out, most of the time it makes me laugh. Given how much I adore her personality, I can’t help but buy clothing for her that matches her firecracker nature…. pieces that are both adorable and have a little spunk to them.  So, as the spring season settled upon us, and we booked our trip to Cabo, I realized she didn’t have any spring break clothing. I headed out to Nordstrom (my go-to spot for adorable outfits for her) to look for some items to match her personality and the changing season….. with all my favorite brands in one place, I knew I’d come out with something irresistible…..

So, when I stumbled across this little two piece set, I knew it was perfect for her. I plan on packing it for Cabo (and other weekend trips we have planned to the desert….) and I can mix and match the pieces with items we already own…. and any outfit goes with these adorable bow sandals (which she walks so well in!). I also love this cute pom pom romper, yellow side tie romper, floral smocked shorts + top set, and these little ruffle shorts. All would be perfect for any fun trip planned… or really, any warm weather day. We’ve also been spending a lot of time outside, playing in the water, so I purchased her this adorable little geometric ruffle swimsuit…. and I’m also thinking about getting her this reversible two piece and this rash guard set for backyard pool days and our trips. I also added this adorable eyelet bucket hat, and this reversible bucket hat, for extra sun protection (along with this sunscreen).

And since all my girlfriends have little guys, I am always looking at the boys items too! I think these little seersucker shorts are absolutely adorable, as are these striped drawstring shorts, and this raglan t-shirt. A zip-up rash guard and little twill bucket hat are great options for sun protection too!

I think it’s safe to say that little miss is spring break ready!
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(Outfit Details || Harper’s Pants | Harper’s Top | Harper’s Sandals | Harper’s Bow | My Dress (also comes in blush) | Sandals | Sunglasses)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

04.03.2017

Weekend Recap || Getting It Done + A Few Good Sales

(Spring things in CA)

For having no plans this weekend, we certainly made the most out of it…. from a Saturday morning spin + breakfast date with TJ, to backyard fun with Harper…. tasting good wines + bar-b-queing… to quality family time…. we pretty much filled every waking, free, moment. I feel no matter how hard I try to do “nothing” it just doesn’t happen. Yet, I usually can’t complain…. it’s typically these types of weekends were the most memories are made. When there is nothing planned, and most of it is spontaneous…. those small moments that happen seem to stick with you for a while…

Yet, often around this time on Sunday evenings (it’s about 9pm as I write this….) a small sense of apprehension falls over me as I begin to make a mental note and jot down my to-do list for the week…. how will it all get done with a firecracker of a toddler in tow?? Then, I stumbled across this quote… “Some days, she has no idea how she’ll do it. But every single day, it still gets done.” So often, I find myself bogged down by all that needs to get done… and sometimes that thought paralyzes me. Yet, I’ve always found that the best way to get anything done is to simply start (duh, right???). Little by little the list dwindles, and little by little there’s a sense of empowerment that “Yes, I’m going to get this –it done.” So, as I go into this week ahead, I’m keeping that quote in the front of my mind…. that no matter how big the day seems, just starting it, tackling it bit by bit, will get the job done.

Have a good week friends! xx

(Watching the airplanes…. (sweatshirt))

(Early morning Soul Cycle ride for a date morning)

(Juice Served here for some delicious avocado toast…. sneakers)

(Always a good weekend when you find a new rosé)

(Someone loves her new water toy)
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I made a batch of these pancakes (from last week) for the week ahead, since they were such a hit last time around! I also incorporated these workout bands into my leg-day workout…. #GameChangers. I’m working on some tasty fish tacos for this week, so stay tuned.

Over the weekend, I noticed that some of my favorite items are currently on sale. This ruffle, open back tank, is under $40 (also available here on sale with code FRIENDS). I love wearing it by itself with this bralette, or with this cardigan (which is also one major sale!). My new favorite jeans are also currently 25% off (with code FRIENDS)… making them an excellent price! This spring perfect stripe top (which I wear all the time) is 50% off (making it $20…. for an excellent quality top!). I own this v-neck sweater in slate, but it’s now on sale in 3 color options… love it paired with cut-offs! A few other favorites that are on sale include this simple and practical white cold shoulder top (comes in blush too), and this one shoulder chambray top (so so soft). I also bought this tank, in white, over the weekend and love it… there are several different color options, and it’s such a great throw on and go piece for $15 (I might have to snag it in the black + grey)!

I also stumbled across this oatmeal colored lace-up sweater and think it’s a great option for those mild spring temperatures. I wore it on Friday paired with my favorite cut-offs. We have a pretty casual week planned ahead, so I’ll be living in this grey babydoll tee, cold shoulder top, striped tank, and adorable ruffle sleeve henley (love!). I also purchased this blush + white striped button-up… I plan on wearing with with jeans + cut-offs… front tucked or front tied… or even unbuttoned over a bathing suit (one piece please….). A few items that are sitting in my shopping cart include this adorable white fringed + lace top (such a great price too!), white + charcoal pinstripe bell sleeve top, and this mauve colored bell sleeve top.

Annnnd, since cabo has been booked (So. Excited.) I have my eye on a few resort friendly options… especially this white one piece, lace trim caftan (in rose, but so many different color options), this billowy off the shoulder top (love love love), open knit sweater, and this stripe tie top. I also love these knotted sandals in canary.