02.27.2017

Weekend Recap // Trust The Process

I recently received an e-mail from a college graduate, asking me what advice I would give to someone just graduating…. as I thought about my response to her, I couldn’t help but reflect on this past weekend….

As I mentioned before, I headed up to LA for Saturday with a girlfriend from middle school (thanks to TJ and her hubs for holding down the fort with our two babes and pups….)…. we enjoyed an invigorating spin class in the morning, followed by a delicious lunch, shopping on Melrose (I use the term “shopping” loosely, as we bought nothing….), treated ourselves to blow-outs, and then a delicious dinner with margaritas….

As we sat at dinner (marveling at the fact that it was 8:15pm and we were just now sitting down to eat… outside of the house….) we couldn’t help but chat about our past…. the hard times, good times, what we’d seen each other through…. what we’d realized about ourselves over the past few years (it’s amazing what you can learn about someone, even after knowing them for years)…. we talked about our fears, what we feel like we have to prove in our lives…. the moms we hope to be…. and how, when we looked back on our lives, all the worries and frustrations, everything worked out the way we would have wanted it to….

Which brings me to the advice I gave….

I could probably go on for days on tips to a 22 year old right out of college! But, I’ll tell you what I would say to my little miss. Follow your passion and find a way to make it into a career…. don’t be afraid to take risks… usually with risk comes reward… and if it doesn’t work, you’ll never wonder “what-if.” Surround yourself with a strong and loving group of girlfriends, who support you and who you can turn to in those rough patches…. and don’t put up with any toxic relationships…. trust me, they don’t last and they’re a waist of your time and energy (you’ll be happier without them!)…. Your twenties are a time to find yourself…. to love yourself and where you are going… trust the process and that in the end, even if it doesn’t seem like it, when you look back in 10 years, you will realize it all happened for a reason!” 

So, here’s to a week of trusting the process and knowing that, in the end, it’s all part of a bigger picture. Have a great week friends! xx
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*My apologies for the post that was sent out late Friday morning and was password protected. I accidentally hit publish, which is why you were not able to view the post (and it wasn’t finished yet!)…. it will be live Tuesday morning. Thanks so much for letting me know! 

{The only photo we captured of the two of us from the weekend…. a little grainy… but oh-well!}

{*Stayed at the Avalon Hotel for our evening away…..}

{Started off the morning with a butt kicking SoulCycle class….}

{Then immediately moved to a bellini with lunch at Le Zinc Bar}

{And, well, you know…. a must….}

{Ended the evening with some delicious Mexican food at Gracias Madre…..}
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It was a cool evening last night so I made our favorite lentil soup for dinner while we watched some of the Oscar’s….. I also made a batch of these tasty egg muffins for the mornings this week.

In anticipation for the weekend, I snagged a few items that I knew would be perfect in cooler and warmer weathers. I initially stepped into Anthropologie to return an item that was to large, yet came out with this absolutely perfect tank (in black and stripes)…. an amazing price point, and the material is so stretchy (I still sized up to a M though). I also came home with this grey duster cardigan (can’t wait to wear with leggings and jeans), as well as this grey v-neck tunic (such a perfect slouchy fit) and wrap top (in the taupe color option, sized up to a S)…… I also brought this cap and my favorite oversized denim jacket for our day of shopping.

I also stumbled across this mauve colored asymmetrical tank, and the price point can’t be beat! Such a perfect layering piece. A few other items that I think are super cute include this high low v-neck top (so pretty for spring), this zip up hooded sweatshirt (I like it in the white option), and this henley thermal (which comes in so many color choices). Annnnd, while we’re on the topic of comfort, how comfortable do these lounge pants and this hoodie look??? This slate blue suede jacket is gorgeous and I think it would be so pretty with this navy slip dress, or this grey one, and kicks for a casual daytime look.

The weather is supposed to hit 80 here on Friday (yes!!) so I have my eye on a few new slides….. I love this blush bow sandal slide, as well as this strappy blush slide (which comes in a multitude of color options too)…. and with our anniversary around the corner, I have my eye on a lower heeled slide like this soft blush option, and this blush version with a cork block heel (both kitten heel height). I also think these white mules are pretty gorgeous!

For little miss, I recently bought this adorable pink thermal for her and it’s so soft for her baby skin! I also think this pink striped tee is too cute, as well as this floral bubble romper and these black and white striped bubble shorts.

*Photo via instagram 

02.21.2017

Weekend Recap // Lessons Learned

{Grey skies all weekend}

Heading into the long weekend, we did’t have much planned. We had gone back and forth about heading out of town, and when we saw the weather forecast, decided we would play it by ear. So, when Sunday seemed to be the one clear day of the 3 days off, we decided to head to LA, visit the zoo, and enjoy a little R&R at a hotel we had been wanting to stay in……

The day started great. We headed out during Harper’s morning nap (she napped in the car) and when we pulled up to the zoo, she woke up and in we went…. then we moved onto lunch at Au Fudge…. and then it went downhill from there….

We arrived at the hotel slightly before check-in, hoping they would have our room ready so little miss could get in her afternoon nap (a critical one for an enjoyable evening…..). It wasn’t… but we were told it would be ready within 30 minutes. Which wouldn’t be too far past her nap time….. we took her out to the pool deck area, where it was happening with music and such… and chased her around for a little while (well away from the pool)….. and as we moved past nap time, things started to rapidly decline. First, the fussy screams. Then, the stiff back when we tried to pick her up. Then, the tired cries. Have I painted the scene clearly enough??? I patiently inquired as to when our room would be ready, since it was now 3:30 and check-in was at 3……… Well. Past. Nap Time.

When we arrived to the room at 3:50 we immediately put little miss down… but since it was so late in the day it was a short cat nap. Which, in hindsight, should have been the first indication that the plans we had for the evening should have been scratched…. Naive parents of a toddler that we were, we decided to hit the pool deck for a sunset happy hour cocktail, a little bit of music, and conversation.

Silly us. Let’s just say, I think we were a model for birth control for all the childless individuals at the pool (basically, everyone but us)….. We eventually got the hint (actually, quite quickly) scratched the plans, and headed in…. I texted my mom about my embarrassment and she simply responded (in a loving way of course) “Welcome to parenthood.” A rite of passage if you will. All that to say, we learned a few humorous lessons on this trip.

1. A meltdown at one of the trendiest LA hotels is grounds for being stared at…. a meltdown at a more family friendly hotel… say, The Marriott…. par for the course. Lesson learned.

2. Parenting hunches are usually right. Listen to them. Always.

3. Being able to laugh at the situation…. later of course….. makes the sting not as painful….

4. And, having a spouse who is right there with you makes it so much easier better…. especially when little miss goes down, you can cheers, with a glass of champagne, to making it through the day.

Hope you all had a great weekend and an even better week ahead…. here’s to one filled with being open to learning new lessons. xx

{Woke up for an early morning Saturday run, and followed it up with this bowl of goodness from Cafe Gratitude}

{Our staycation began with a trip to the LA Zoo…. little miss loved the giraffes…. especially feeding them.}

{The shortest happy hour ever at The Mondrian}

{Morning snuggles with this little lady- lounge joggers/tank... so soft and cozy}

{Such a delicious way to end the weekend….}

{We can never leave LA without a stop….}
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My sister recently purchased this cookbook, and I made a soup from it for dinner last night. So tasty. I’m also planning on making a veggie hash this coming week.

I’m heading back to LA with one of my girlfriends this coming weekend for a little girl time and have my eye on a few fun pieces…. I love this tunic fringe tank, as well as this flutter sleeve tee….. it’s supposed to be pretty chilly so I was considering this gorgeous blush/mauve bomber jacket with possibly this one shoulder tank…. We’re also taking a spin class in the morning, and I have my eye on this pullover  or this mesh one.

I also snagged this lightweight tunic over the weekend, and plan on wearing it as a layering option… likely tied in the front. Oh, and I noticed that one of my favorite crossover sleeveless sweaters was restocked in navy (I love navy for spring)! I also couldn’t resist these pink sneakers. So. Cute.

I’ve been doing some research for a few upcoming spring inspired posts and love this basic trench coat, linen beige sweater,  chambray slides, striped off the shoulder top, these camel colored slides, and this almond colored saddle bag (so classic)…..

Annnnd, as always I’m always searching for the best basics. I am obsessed with this cotton jumpsuit (would be so cute with a denim jacket and kicks), tie sleeve sweatshirt (comes in 4 color options, I like the grey), basic grey cardigan, and this deep v-neck camisole (comes in multiple colors too, a perfect layering option).

02.17.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

02.13.2017

Weekend Recap // Nostalgia + Looking Forward

{Friday smiles (my sweater, shoes)}

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

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

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

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

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

{Saturday morning breakfast at le pain quotidien}

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

{Happy hour at a fav local spot}

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

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

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

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

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

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

02.10.2017

13 Month Motherhood Update

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

General Thoughts/Feelings:

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

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

Feeding/Sleeping:

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

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

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

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

Working Out/Body:

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

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

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

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

Relationships:

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

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

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

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

Favorite Moments: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Products From The Month:

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

02.06.2017

Weekend Recap // Savoring Life Slowly

{Friday night’s tradition}

It’s crazy to think that a year ago, to this date, we were celebrating little miss’ 1 month birthday. We were overly fatigued, first time parents, who could barely keep their eyes open during our family’s Super Bowl party. Fast forward to yesterday, and instead of being fatigued parents who could barely keep their eyes open…. I was busy running around with a very active toddler. What a difference. A good difference. And I’d have to say that’s how most of the weekend was spent… mini dance parties with little miss, park dates (with small tantrums when it was time to leave)…. and efficiently sneaking in a quick brunch. I’m left wondering where the weekend went and how we’re already at Monday morning….

It’s a small reminder to me that life goes quickly… so, I did a little check-in with what my intention was for this coming year (which was to “Savor Life Slowly.”)….. and, while nothing is done slowly these days (I wonder why….), I’d have to say that I’ve been much more intentional in taking in every moment…. from that first sip of wine on Friday evening, to my alone time during my long Saturday morning runs…. I’ve been working on enjoying the moment, however it comes, more fully. And, while little miss presents me with new challenges daily (motherhood update coming later this week….), I know this time will pass and I’ll be left wondering where it went….

So, as we head into the week ahead, I’m keeping my intention at the forefront of my mind. Have a good one friends!

{Booch for me, a bloody for TJ for Saturday brunch}

{My little firecracker. Such a big personality in such a little body- my pullover}

{Post brunch dessert… and may have snagged one for post dinner.}

{A new favorite booch flavor- leggings, sweater, sunglasses}
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 Planning on whipping up a batch of my favorite egg muffins for quick breakfasts this week, along with my cauliflower ground turkey for dinner and some lunch leftovers. Also working on some yummy Valentine’s Day donuts… stay tuned.

As always, I did a little bit of online perusing this weekend…. I snagged this sand colored drapey cardigan (which is on sale!) for transitional weather…. I plan on wearing this henley tank underneath. I’m also loving this asymmetrical top (which comes in so many color options), oversized cold shoulder tee (I’m partial to the black), lightweight long sleeve tunic top, and this short sleeve pullover sweatshirt for everyday living. I also think this grey ruffle and lace tank and this striped long sleeve tee are cute alternatives to a plain top. Oh, and these grey terry joggers are looking perfect for a day of errands or day at the park.

It’s actually been fairly cold these past few days, and I have a feeling temps are going to go back and forth for the next few months. So, I snagged this grey fuzzy sweatshirt (but it comes in so many different color options), and have my eye on this gorgeous sleeveless sweater, off the shoulder sweatshirt,  and this open stitch grey sweater (which looks so pretty!). I’m also in the market for a good transitional coat and am looking at this lightweight khaki trench coat, white drape front jacket,  and this adorable blush blazer (love the shape and drapery).

I also couldn’t resist a few pieces for little miss (spring fever I guess….). My mom bought her this adorable striped ruffle one piece (she’s already worn it twice). I bought her a few of these ruffle onesies (she grew out of the ones I bought her last year…. obviously, but they were the best), and these adorable light grey and polka dot joggers….. and these striped pink and white bubble shorts are just tooooo cute.

02.01.2017

Wellness Wednesday: Self Love

The running joke on my birthday (which coincides with the beginning of a New Year) was that 2017 was going to be “The Year Of Shannon….” (and we meant that in the lightest of ways possible…. no narcissistic intentions here). It all stemmed out of a conversation I had with my sister and TJ one day…. I had the realization that for the past 2 years of my life, so much was focused on getting pregnant (I had to change my diet {no dairy, no gluten, no sugar} and attend acupuncture regularly for 6 months), being pregnant (read: no sushi, no runny eggs, no wine amongst the few things….), and keeping a newborn alive (I don’t think I even need to expound here… but nursing isn’t easy….). At the end of 2016, I felt drained…. I was ready to have my body back. To myself. So, it jokingly came about that this would be “my” year…..

Yet, when I got to thinking, I wasn’t sure what that really meant… I mean, it’s not like I’m going to abandon all responsibility and throw caution to the wind. All of my girlfriends have little families too…. so it’s not like I’d have a partner in crime (well…… just kidding)…. So, as I got to thinking, what it all boiled down to was increasing the ways I show myself self love….

For me, self love has to come from internal validations, as opposed to external influences. It comes from knowing myself, my needs, and how to meet them on my own….. not relying on others to validate and fulfill them for me (that’s pretty much setting myself up for failure)….. For so long, a big part of who I was revealed around getting pregnant, carrying a baby, birthing a baby, and then sustaining life. I wouldn’t say I lost myself by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just that a lot of effort was focused into that facet of my life, that it took up a very large space….. I started to think about a lot of things I used to do… and then thought of the things I still do, and compiled a list of the ways I plan on showing myself love over the next year…. and, since it’s February 1… the month of love, if you will… why not kick it off by loving yourself too, right??

1. Activity: This is typically number one for me. Always. My reasons for being active have changed throughout the years, from the vain to the more practical… I want to feel good, look good, and be a healthy parent. Yet, I want to get back to the ways I used to be active… I (and TJ does too) have a road bike that I used to ride religiously (together with TJ we rode from Angel’s Stadium in Orange County to Oceanside…. a 65 mile bike ride) which had to be put away when I became pregnant (doctor’s orders…). I’m hoping to get back on it again this year, and while 65 miles might not be in the cards, I’d happily accept 30….. I want to resume my long hikes, long(er) runs, and finally complete that post-pregnancy half marathon I promised myself I’d do last year….

2. Connect: I’ve always been of the belief that having a handful of friends is much more valuable than a bunch of acquaintances. I like to invest in my relationships…. and this past year was definitely a challenge.  I feel so fortunate that pretty much all of my girlfriends either had a first baby, or grew their families, this year and we were all on the same page. Which pretty much meant automatic understanding and forgiveness (sorry it took me 2 weeks to return your text…..). Yet, this year, connecting is a priority. I feel so refreshed after a long chat with a girlfriend…. or a quick visit. First on the agenda this year? An evening away with one of my girlfriends…. location TBD, date is scheduled.

3. Small Self-Indulgences: I don’t mean anything monetary here. I’m talking about allowing myself to take a 20 minute bubble bath, actually finish the book I started back in May (not sure what made me think I’d actually finish it during the summer)…. allow myself a morning to sleep in (TJ offers it all the time and I come up with all the reasons I don’t have time for it….)….

4. Self-Forgiveness: I’m hard on myself. Sometimes not very nice. So, I think I saved the best for last. While the above mentioned ways are a priority, this one takes the cake. I just need to be nicer to myself, period. I think as women, we all do. One of my girlfriends posted a photo of a coffee mug her sister gave her. It read “World’s Most Okay-est Mom.” I literally laughed out loud. I’m not perfect. Don’t have to be perfect. Oh, and to laugh at myself… because if you can’t, then what’s the point of living, right??!
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{Outfit Details // Leggings | Sweatshirt | Sneakers (run very big, I went down a 1/2 size) | Sunglasses}

01.30.2017

Weekend Recap // What A Difference A Week Makes

{Weekend exploring with this little gal (sweatshirt)}

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend, and at the beginning of this week, we played hibernation. Hiding out from the rain, being lazy, not doing much for fear of being drenched in the storms… also, nursing a cold, and feeling under the weather for most of the weekend…. fast forward 7 days later to temperatures in the high 70’s, cold free (everyone!), and a weekend spent exploring….

I was actually quite proud of myself this weekend. I’m not one for spontaneous, spur of the moment decisions (much more of a planner since having little miss)…. but when TJ and I went to bed on Friday evening, we decided to wake up Saturday morning and see what sounded fun. When our alarm went off (aka Harper), we decided workouts were a must (I headed out for a 6 mile run… the longest in many months), and when I returned, we decided that after little miss’ morning nap we’d head up to LA for brunch and the afternoon. We took off without a plan, made one up on the drive, and it couldn’t have been more fun (minus the obscene amount of traffic on the drive home)….

And, so, given how much can change in a week, and the adventures that can come when we welcome a little spontaneity into our lives, I go into this week looking forward to what changes it may bring! Hope you all have a great one!

{A delicious brunch at Au Fudge… a must see if you have kiddos and are visiting the LA area.}

{A “Mamma Mimosa…..” the fact that they have a cocktail for moms makes me love them more…. (sunglasses)}

{Love her}

{A stop at our favorite before heading back home… and sitting in massive amounts of traffic….}

{Inevitably late for Sunday morning church… but we made it regardless (crochet kaftan)}
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For the next week or so, we’re expecting pretty mild weather… mid-70’s… which is a nice change from the cooler temps we had for a few weeks. Of course, this weather gets me thinking of warmer weather clothing. I still had some birthday money left over (not sure how that happened….) and snagged this gorgeous open knit pullover…. and thinking about this crystal cuff or this crystal bracelet as simple pieces to dress up my everyday basics….

And, speaking of basics, since I think you can never have too many, I currently have this front tie white tee, ribbed henley (in grey), open shoulder white tee, striped popover top, and basic black tank in my cart. I also love this loose fitting grey tank… such a perfect layering option. This open shoulder pullover, which comes in so many color combinations, is also a great transitional piece and perfect for everyday living. I’m also thinking this sleeveless sweater would be great paired under a suede jacket now… and alone in the warmer months…..

 I have my eye on this shorts/ribbed henley set (don’t know if I like the black or grey option better)… and these color block leggings, pink hooded pullover, and long sleeve top for working out…. I’ve been enjoying longer runs as of late and these items would be perfect.

I’m also in the market for a new pair of jeans… I haven’t bought a pair since before Harper was born! I’m currently looking at this high-waisted, raw hem pair, this classic high-waisted option, and this lighter wash girlfriend jean. And, I’m looking to pair them with some cute slides in warmer weather…. I’m loving this rose gold sandal, espadrille slide, and cognac colored kitten heel slide.

Two items I’m loving for little miss right now are this striped dress and peplum zip up jacket. Both are just so cute.

01.27.2017

Relationship Talk // It’s All In The Small Moments


{If the video doesn’t start on first try, refresh the browser}

 My understanding of a meaningful relationship has changed, and thankfully, matured, over the years. I read an article, not too long ago, that suggested we all have three loves of our lives. The first is the romanticized version of love… the idealistic love… the immature love based in fantasy, that high school love. The second love is the one that’s hard…. the one we come back to time and time again…. it’s not healthy, it’s not equal, and it’s a rollercoaster… and it typically ends badly, with lots of hurt. I’ve considered myself fortunate to have had both of these loves (and while I didn’t consider myself lucky back then, in retrospect it was a wonderful learning and growth experience)…..

And while I believe I was fortunate to have the first two, I’m even more blessed to have had my third…. the one that breaks all your stereotypes about what love is supposed to be like… the one that catches you off guard…. unexpected….. where the puzzle pieces fit…. where vulnerability is welcomed… and who you are, just as you are, is perfect. And, of course, like every relationship, it’s far from perfect, but the beauty lies in the fact that that’s okay. 

I was recently asked to share what I felt love meant to me…. I thought for a while, and this was what I came up with:

“Before little miss arrived, TJ and I thought long and hard about how we wanted our marriage to look…. and while having a baby changes a lot, the root of what love is to me hasn’t. For me, it’s always been about having fun in the simple moments with your best friend…. and while the way we have fun together has changed over the last year (those long getaways and weekly date nights out aren’t always possible), we continually put forth the effort to create tiny and meaningful moments, where we laugh together, connect with one another over music and conversation, and just be silly. To me, love is about laughter, effort, and vulnerability to be yourself in both the good and bad.”

Nothing profound… pretty simple…. kind of how I think love should be…. grand gestures are not necessary…. because, for me, it’s usually in the moments one would never consider demonstrative where I find myself feeling the most connected…..

So, today, TJ and I decided to share our favorite ways/moments to show love to one another, in case you’re looking for a little inspiration too:

1. Together we commit to Friday evenings. After a long week, we find it’s the best way to unwind and connect. We decide on a take-out spot, have a little bit of wine, and listen to some music. Phones go away, television is off.

2. Since it’s not as easy to get out for a weekend away, we sometimes like to get creative with at home date nights…. s’mores by a fire pit (kind of reminds us of our Deer Valley trip….. without the snow)…. themed dinner nights where we cook the meal together…. creating our own wine tasting by picking up a few bottles in our favorite varietals and doing blind taste tests….

3. Mini date nights mid-week…. they don’t always happen, but we try. They are usually more likely to happen if on Sunday evening we pick a night and commit to it… this often involves popcorn + a good movie… or maybe it means watching a marathon of our favorite television show… but it means the phones and computers are away.

4. We read the 5 Love Languages before we got married, so we try to show love to the other person based on their preferred way… it really makes such a difference.

5. In little, everyday ways…. those ways that aren’t over the top, but because we care about each other… cutting a run short because the other person has somewhere to be and someone needs to watch Harper, letting the other person sleep in a little longer after Harper wakes up on the weekend, listening to the other person when they’ve had a particularly stressful day, picking up the other person’s favorite post-dinner dessert…. those moments that often go overlooked, are usually the most profound and connecting.

I know that this list will probably change over the years, as our love grows and evolves, but, if at the core we remain true to what we feel love is, then I think we will be ok!
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{Post Details || Mauve Cardigan | Grey Fleece Pullover | TJ’s Pullover (color sold out) | Moroccan Blanket (similar) | Faux Fur Throw}

01.25.2017

Wellness Wednesday: My Top 4 Tips For Staying Healthy When Busy + A Delicious Sweet Potato Crust Egg Muffin

Over the past year, the term busy has taken on a whole different meaning. Gone are the days when a “hectic” day at work was immediately followed by a relaxing evening at home (although, Harper does go down around 7:30pm, I still always feel like there is something left to do)… or a weekend day is filled with “nothing.” It seems that there are endless to-do lists, friends to catch up with, a toddler running everywhere all the time, and sometimes it just seems like it would be so easy to just say “forget it” to healthy habits (I mean, going through the drive-through is much easier than actually preparing a meal….). Yet, over the years I’ve found ways to ensure that making healthy choices is a natural part of my lifestyle….. and, as I figure my life is about to get a whole lot busier with little miss running around, I figured now is as good a time as ever to refresh my mind, and share them with you!

1. Have Pre-Made Snacks/Meals Available: I have always found this to be the most effective option when ensuring I eat nutritious foods/meals.Having something that I can make, in bulk, ahead of time is such a helpful option. Which is why I recently made these egg muffins you see here today. They take about 30 minutes to make 12…. they’re kiddo and husband approved…. and so easy to store and re-heat when you want. I also love making my favorite oatmeal bake (can also be distributed into small containers to store for an even easier grab-n-go option)… or this dairy free chia seed pudding option. I know that these are all breakfast options, but sometimes I feel as if the mornings are the most rushed time of the day…. but also the most important meal… so I’m always sure that it’s a nutritious one.

2. Have Healthy Grab-N-Go Snacks Available: I love to snack in between meals. I get hungry, bottomline. So, I am certain to have healthy options readily available. Some of my favorites include a hard boiled egg (on the days I don’t have one of the egg muffins… no need for an egg overload…), pistachios (I like the roasted, and salted option from Trader Joe’s), Rx Bars (blueberry + chocolate sea salt are my favorite), and Lara Bars (peanut butter and lemon are my fav)… both of the bars have simple ingredients, which I love… and beet chips (Sprouts and Trader Joe’s have excellent pre-packaged options).

3. Keep Healthy Items In The Refrigerator + Cabinets: I only buy items I find to be nutritious…. if I buy the other ones, it’s probably just going to create temptation that isn’t needed (it’s what I talked to my clients about in my therapist days….. stimulus control… if it’s not around, it makes it pretty hard to get into….). When I have healthy items, and it comes time to making meals, it kind of ensures that a nutritious meal will follow. I follow this grocery list (I need to update it) pretty closely.

4. Move Whenever + Wherever You Can: When I don’t move, in some way, shape, or form, I simply feel off the entire day. I schedule it in… I figure that I have no problem scheduling in other activities… so why not this one, that’s an investment in my health? I typically wake up pretty early to get a workout in…. but if TJ is out of town, it makes it more difficult to leave the house. So, I do one of my at-home workouts, or go for a long walk, or quick run, with Harper in our BOB stroller.
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{Outfit Details || Fleece Pullover | Jeans (identical)}

Mexican Sweet Potato Crust Muffins

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1 large white sweet potato (not a yam)
2 cups spinach (cut off stems)
1 large red bell pepper (chopped into tiny pieces)
3 strips of bacon (I buy this kind…. it’s amazing)
1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup vital proteins collagen (they don’t add taste… only good for you collagen, read more here)
1/4 cup almond flour (I use this kind)
Avocado
Salt, Pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450°, and spray cupcake tins very well (or they will stick). Wash + peel the sweet potato, then cut it in half. Use a cheese grater and literally grate the sweet potato on the side with the larger holes. You’ll want to grate the entire potato. Then divide the grated pieces evenly across the muffin tins (I used a standard tin with 12 muffins). Once done, place in the oven for about 10 minutes.

While the sweet potato is cooking, sauté your spinach, red onion, and bell pepper. Cook your bacon…. I just microwave mine for the sake of time, and when it is done break it into small pieces. In a large bowl crack all the eggs and whisk them together, and then add in the almond flour and vital proteins, stir to combine. Next, evenly distribute the bacon, red onion, spinach, and bell pepper mixture amongst the muffin tins. Then, place 1/4 cup of the egg mixture in each of the tins. Then, place in oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. They will rise (and possibly spill over slightly) and will brown a little on top when they are finished… to be sure just stick a toothpick in the middle. Remove immediately. I like to serve mine with a little smashed avocado on top…. with a side of salsa…. TJ recommended a sirracha drizzle too.

You can store these in a baggie, or tuber ware, in the refrigerator and heat up whenever you want.