Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shopping Wishlist

J.Crew Factory is having a having a 30% off sale (with the code "hurryspring") right now. I'm loving these pieces:

I also love this for little girls. A perfect summer dress. The back is the best part.
 Converse is one of my favorite brands of shoes. I love the aqua for the girls. I feel like that would match most of what they have in their closet, especially their Matilda Jane. Summer has these in the velcro and she can put them on herself, which is great. The ties are a little more difficult, I think, at the toddler age.

** Affiliate links are used in the post. All of these items are ones I intend to buy or would buy for myself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Things I'm Loving

Love this new color combo by Made by Girl. I have one of her "love" prints in Summer's room and the mint/gold print in the playroom. 


Mini Boden! I made my first purchase a couple weeks ago. Ellie really needed new leggings (hello, long legs) so I got her two pairs, as well as a cute top. Summer really needed new socks and this set is so cute, but they are too big so will need to be exchanged. I love the bright colors and patterns. It's good quality so I know Summer will one day be able to wear it, too.


Paper Source wrapping paper. I love pretty paper for wrapping gifts, but also for framing or as a backdrop for bookcases or my vanity, which you can see here. They have cute gifts, too.


This can be used as a table runner

Pretty paint color by Benjamin Moore

I'm thinking of painting this table this color (in our downstairs hallway):

** affiliate links are used in this post (for products I purchased).

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekend Recap + Valentine's Day

Ellie celebrated Valentine's Day with her class on Thursday. I had plans to be creative for her Valentine's, but being so busy we just bought ones at the store. Summer picked out Frozen ones for her. I had already bought bubbles at Target and lollipops. Ellie wrote her name on each one. We had a fun afternoon putting them together while Summer napped.


Over the past week I had been making Valentine flamingos to give to family using the girls' hand prints. I love the way they turned out, especially because flamingos make me happy. I'm definitely framing one! I found the idea on Pinterest.

 
Our weekend was pretty low key since it's been so cold and Ellie got the stomach bug Saturday night into Sunday. Saturday morning I woke up to a kiss on the cheek and Ellie saying, "Happy Valentine's Day, Mommy!" It was the sweetest. She was so excited. Nick took the girls to Whole Foods to pick up the pink roses he ordered for the girls and I. Ellie insisted on playing with one of them and she wouldn't let it go. Of course, Summer had to do the same. While I was making my breakfast Ellie hopped up on her stool and said in her shy voice, "this is the best Valentine's Day ever, Mommy." It was so sweet. 


Growing up my Mom always made a special Valentine's dinner and she gave us a card, small gift, and a piece of chocolate. I want to continue this tradition. You can read about last year's Valentine's Day here. So, I prepared a special Valentine's lunch since it was on a Saturday. The girls each got a Strawberry Shortcake character doll (Blueberry Muffin and Cherry Jam to be exact). I had actually ordered these for Christmas, but thought it was too much so I decided to save them. I also gave the girls heart necklaces from Carter's. I bought them each a chocolate heart (which I don't actually plan on letting them eat). Ellie took one bite yesterday and I ate Summer's yesterday. My husband and I usually just exchange cards and I bought him chocolate covered pretzels- his favorite. Usually he cooks me an extravagant dinner (steak and lobster tail).  I made Summer and Nick grilled cheese paninis and Ellie and I homemade pizza (nothing fancy- it was just a sandwich thin, pizza sauce and mozzarella and she loves it). 


 I attempted to do a mini photo shoot, but the girls were too distracted!
Summer is wearing one of Ellie's hand me downs (one of my favorite shirts and it's from Children's Place!). My Mom gave the girls matching shirts (Ellie is wearing hers, Old Navy) and both of their ruffled pants are Persnickety. 


This year my parents offered to babysit so we went to a 4:00 movie to see American Sniper. I highly recommend that movie. It's so powerful and Bradley Cooper did an amazing job. When the movie ended no one in theater moved and we sat there in silence. Afterwards, we walked across the street to the restaurant (Marzano's) and had a delicious meal with a window seat. It was flurrying so the view was pretty. It was a BYO so I brought wine and my husband, beer. I had bruschetta, an amazing beet salad (with goat cheese, walnuts, and a balsamic dressing), and lobster ravioli. My husband had a shiitake mushroom and crab meat appetizer, Caesar salad, and lasagna. On our way home we got a call that Ellie had thrown up. At least it was at the end of our date! She is all better and it only lasted a couple of days. I'm hoping the rest of us are in the clear!

My handsome hubby at dinner. He is wearing my new favorite shirt I gave to him for Christmas (Banana Republic).

 
Between sickness and the cold weather we've really been staying inside. I started reading this book and it's good so far (I'm about halfway through). 


Next on my list is this one, which I took out at the library. She is one of my favorite authors. 

You can find me on Goodreads here.

I've been spending a lot of time at night in my bed. We had a television on our wall, but it didn't have high definition. So, finally we got that installed today and I catch up on my dvr'd shows in my bedroom. I'm behind on Revenge, Parenthood finale, Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce (my favorite), and a few others I'm sure. Seriously, how funny is this show?! 


Here are the girls hanging out in my bed while the Comcast men install it. Ellie dressed herself this morning (ruffles and a tutu) and Summer loves these footie pajamas and I don't blame her!


 Yesterday we painted and made a huge mess, but that's what the bath is for. Washes right off and the girls had a lot of fun and that's what matters. I put down a plastic tablecloth on the floor and used this muffin tin for the paint. It makes it so much easier. And, a roll of paper. Next purchase: an easel!


I made this delicious vegetarian chili again Sunday night. I will post the recipe this week. It's a keeper!! 


I know I'm so behind on my "clean eating/fitness" posts! I promise another is coming soon. I've had a few emails asking about the program. I am still loving it and on Month 2!

Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day! I created this card via Red Stamp app and sent it to family.




Friday, February 6, 2015

The Luscious List

I had a much better day yesterday and I felt productive. It really helped that my Dad took Ellie to school. Summer slept in and I caught up with some things on the computer (and got to write a blog post), then we ate breakfast together and played before picking up Ellie. We stopped at Home Goods before heading home to nap Summer. I saw a vase there a week ago and didn't buy it, but decided I wanted it and of course it wasn't there anymore. The girls entertained themselves while I browsed by carrying around dolls in a basket and putting on dancing shows for other customers. Below is a video I couldn't resist sharing!


In the afternoon while Summer napped I let Ellie watch a Care Bears movie and I finished the work I needed to for my job. My husband took Ellie to swimming lessons and I did Insanity before Summer woke up from her nap. I cooked dinner and we played Legos and Play Doh while waiting for Ellie to get home. I love how Summer is sitting Indian Style here. The shirt she is wearing used to be Ellie's and I feel like it was just yesterday that Ellie was wearing it! It is Crewcuts and the quality is great (it makes me happy I spent the money on quality clothing pieces that Summer can now wear, too).


I bought these white artichokes at Home Goods yesterday and love them! I'm still playing around with where they will go, but put them here for the time being. I also moved this table behind the couch just to get an idea of furniture placement. I do like a table here, but just not this one. I also recently moved around our couch and chairs. Another post coming soon.
I also saw this large rug at Home Goods yesterday and was thinking it could go lengthwise from the couch to the TV. This color may be too dark for our space, but the size is a possibility.

I finally got my hair cut and colored this week. It was much needed and I really wanted to brighten it up a little bit and have it a little shorter in the front to give me some style. I love my hair long and want to keep it that way, especially in the front. I also have a few long layers in the back. I went to somewhere new in the fall when I couldn't get an appointment with my regular stylist before our fall photography session. I paid twice as much for color that I didn't love. I won't be doing that again!


This isn't a great picture of Summer and I. I think she was coming to give me a kiss. But, you can see my hair from the side. I love getting it blow dried at the salon because it looks so much better than when I do it and it lasts a few days! I love the highlights, too.


Gap and Old Navy are having sales on toddler and baby clothing. 
These are my favorites for girls:


I've been looking for mirrored sconces for a while now for our dining room. Well, affordable ones. I found one at Home Goods a while ago for only $17 and went to a few other stores searching for one more with no luck. So, I returned it. I definitely want two. I like these, but I don't love the shape. They are affordable, though. Only $30 each.

 Another option are these simple gold ones from Pottery Barn.

This would be good piece of furniture for an entryway. We need hidden storage for winter accessories, my bag, and other small items. It comes in 6 finishes.

 This new studio opened in a neighboring town and I'm looking forward to trying out the classes. A 10 pass card is only $120! Check out the website HERE. And, Seasun, the owner is an awesome instructor! I can't wait to try out the TRX and 3D Barre classes.
If you are looking to try a new coffee I highly recommend the Allegro brand at Whole Foods. I tried a few different kinds and the Continental is my favorite. Plus, it's organic. I choose the whole beans, then ground them at the store.
Morning Coffee Station
Spoon Rest / Mug / Sugar Bowl

The girls and I are doing a fun activity this morning. Tomorrow I am doing a class in the morning, then meeting with my cousin and her two kids. We don't have much going on the rest of the weekend. I wouldn't mind relaxing and taking it easy! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

* affiliate links are used in this post






Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mommy Confession

I admit I have felt pretty overwhelmed lately. I have so much going on and lately feel like I can't even come up for air. The only reason I am writing this morning is because my Dad is taking Ellie to school and Summer is still sleeping. And, she should be! She has been up the past two nights till about 1am. The past two nights Ellie also has had some trouble sleeping and it's taken a toll on me. Ellie has always been a tough sleeper. When she moved to her big girl bed she had trouble adjusting. Now, my husband or I will read her books before bed and fall asleep with her. I will always get up and go back downstairs, but my husband has been falling asleep for the night (between 7-8). I feel like I have to do much to do plus it's my one time of day to have some peace and quiet in the house. Ellie doesn't nap anymore so it's always a long day for her and if she goes to bed too late she will be at some point with a night tremor. However, if she does fall asleep in the car for a bit or while watching a show (as she did yesterday) for a half hour she won't go to bed till later than her usual bedtime (usually 7-7:30) and that drives my husband crazy. I'm definitely more patient at night time. Last night I wanted to put the girls down early and run out to do a few errands. Of course it was the last thing I felt like doing after a long day, but I knew it would be easier without the girls and it's been on my list to return to the mall for two weeks now! You think I would have time to do that, but I just don't. Or other things take priority. But, since Ellie napped on the couch she didn't want to go to sleep and my husband couldn't handle that (she needs to go to bed when we tell her to, he says). She wanted me to put her to bed. So, instead of going out I put her to bed and that's ok with me. Yes, it would have been nice to get out, but she wanted me and I am her comfort and that's what I love about being a Mom. She fell asleep with her arm around me. Doesn't get much better than that. 

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 Many of my Mom friends also fall asleep with their kids at night so I know Ellie's sleep routine is common, but it would be nice for her to be able to fall asleep on her own, too. She will be 4 in April and I'm thinking around that time would be a good time to try a sleep chart. Honestly, I love when she comes in my bed with me in the morning and snuggles with me and I still want her to do that! Anyone else have these bedtime struggles? I would love to hear what works for you!

So, besides the sleeping that has been off I'm also taking a college course for my continuing education. I am taking this one this month and another in March. I need to do to keep my teaching certification. I definitely don't want to lose that after spending so much on my education! It started this week and I've only had time to look over the syllabus. Luckily, everything is online and we are able to go at our own pace. I've also been doing some work for my part-time job, trying to exercise every day, cooking and making meals for the girls, and activities. I'm sure most Moms also feel that there are not enough hours in the day. I skipped Insanity yesterday because I literally did not have 30 minutes to exercise. I know I need to start getting up early, but when Ellie comes into my bed in the morning I don't want to get up and wake her or I need the extra sleep. I just feel so busy all of the time! Days pass and the list of things to do keeps growing that's for sure.

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If you check my blog and see I haven't written you can always check in with me on Instagram. I usually post at least once a day. Hopefully I'll soon be back into a routine. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Clean Eating + Fitness

 // Fitness //
This is week 3 of Insanity and both my husband I saw changes in our bodies after just 2 weeks. I'm starting to see my abs again (like I had this past summer). We will measure and take more pictures at the end of week 4. Last Friday I skipped my workout. I wanted to do it at nap time, but Ellie and I did crafts and Summer woke sooner than expected. Then, I wanted to do it when the girls went to bed, but Summer woke again. So, I pushed the workout back to Saturday and did Saturday's pulse on Sunday, which is supposed to be a rest day. I also added an EFX workout on Sunday before the pulse. We have an elliptical, but hardly use it. After Sunday's workout I realized I really should use it more often, especially since it's been too cold outside to run.

 // Eating //
I've been still eating well with exception to an increase in snacking (I have to stop buying the girls mini peanut butter crackers from Whole Foods)! I also broke my no wine rule last week and had a glass one night. I've been eating some of the girls snacks lately because I get hungry and I don't have anything prepared. So, I have to make sure I stay on top of that and prepare snacks ahead of time for the week. I also ate more than two chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I have no self control when it comes to sweets in the house, which is why I don't buy them.


Last night I cut carrots and cucumbers for snacks, and I plan to make a lentil salad today. I have been making green juice during the week and drinking a lot of water. 

One of my favorite snacks (and the easiest!) is to buy a package of cut butternut squash from Whole Foods (about $5), put in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

I also roasted two bags of frozen Brussel Sprouts (Trader Joe's) at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. I prepare them the same way as above. Ellie loves them for a snack, too.

Breakfast:
Everyday I've been eating oatmeal (in the microwave) with almond milk and slivered almonds. Coffee, too, of course. It's easy to make and even if I don't have time to sit and eat I will make it and bring it in the car in a tupperware.

For lunch one day I ate asparagus and hummus, hard boiled eggs, and beets. I bought the beets in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods ready to eat. They are messy and stain easily though!

This weekend after a long workout I re-fueled with one of my favorites- eggs, sweet potato, and sauteed spinach. I also added two slices of turkey bacon. Usually I make it with two over easy eggs, but Summer was eating them, too, so I made scrambled. Nick had made the sweet potatoes the night before so we had it ready in the fridge. I buy a bag of fresh spinach and it only takes a minute to cook in the pan. It's another easy meal to make if you have the sweet potato already.

Dinners:
We made chicken in the wok last week with fresh broccoli and carrots over brown rice. We used the last bit of Teriyaki sauce (I usually like to add a little more for flavor). The girls like this dish, too. 

I also made our new favorite dish- Butternut Squash Lasagna. It is so good! This time I made it with whole wheat lasagna and we couldn't tell the difference. And, it's low fat. The only cheese in this dish is Parmesan cheese! I will follow up with the recipe this week.