Saturday, May 31, 2014

Training Update

It's 5:15 a.m on Saturday and I am awake for a run. I set 3 different alarms to make sure I got up, but Summer woke me at 4:50 instead to nurse. She did that yesterday morning, too, and I had planned to run. I went back to sleep "for just 20 more minutes" and never woke up again until Ellie was standing next to my bed at 7:00. So I'm up and I'm going running after I drink my coffee. My husband is out all day today for a workshop so if I don't get my run in early it won't happen. That's been the theme the past couple weeks. I realized I need to get myself out of bed early to workout because it's very unlikely I will have the time or energy to do it later in the day.

Sunday, May 25th: P90x-Cardio
Tuesday, May 27th: 6:00 a.m 3.5 mile run (I felt so good during this run and it was perfect weather!)
Thursday, May 29th: Kettle bell class
Saturday, May 31st: 3.5 mile run

On Thursday I took a class using kettle bells- something I had never done before because I never knew how to use them correctly. I loved the class and hope to go back again soon. The class was during the day so my mother in law came over to watch the girls. I am still very sore. The instructor's motto is "mind, body, spirit" so during the class we practiced our headstands. I have never done one on my own before, but after a few tries I was able to get up by myself (using the wall). I did it for Ellie when I got home and maybe one day I'll be able to do it without any assistance.

Next week I'd like to run more than 2 days a week. I'm hoping I can exercise 5 days a week. I have been trying to snack on healthier foods like watermelon and roasted Brussels Sprouts. Tomorrow I am going to meal plan for the week and I have a delicious chickpea salad recipe I have been making and will share the recipe.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Luscious List

1) This is my new favorite hoodie. It's been chilly here the past couple days so I've been able to wear it. So comfy and cute. I got the black, as shown, but would love a white one, too.
2) I love these wood floating shelves:
3) I want these bracelets by Toms. They would be perfect for wearing everyday this summer.
And, this cute friendship bracelet making kit is from J.Crew in their little girls section. It is a great summer gift idea, but I'm thinking about it for myself (with all the free time I have haha).
4) This weekend I have a few things to hang in the girls rooms and I'm hoping tomorrow will be warm enough for the pool again. I just read a really good book this week, The Island. I love this author. I couldn't put it down it was so good. I'm now picking out a new book from my list on Goodreads.
5) I am also browsing paint colors to paint this furniture I mentioned a while back. It's been in our garage, but I've been waiting for a nice day to paint outside (and also a day my husband is home so he can take the girls). I'm thinking about painting with Annie Sloan again. You can see my first project with the paint here. I recently rearranged some of our furniture in our great room. More pictures to follow and you can view updated photos in the "house tour" section at the top of my blog.
6) Next week will be dedicated posts to Summer's First Birthday Party! All the photos and details, including how to make this adorable tutu yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Interior Design: Inspiration

This image popped up in an email and I've been thinking about it since. I love the purple and gold entryway. This apartment was designed for a woman in her 20s living in NYC. I love how they painted the kitchen cabinets black. Such a cool, bold look for a small space.
All images via House Beautiful. You can see the rest of the apartment here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Recap + Purchases

Ellie's words on Saturday were, "I'm so excited to have a family date!" And, we did just that. We went into the city to Franklin Square. There is a big fountain with an outdoor carousel, train amusement ride, mini golf, and a big playground. Steven Starr also has a burger shack there, Square Burger, which makes for a 5-star lunch. My Dad told Ellie about the milkshakes so she was looking forward to having one. We all shared a black and white milkshake and Nick and I had burgers and crinkle fries. Delicious. It was during lunch that Ellie made this statement out of the blue and it was just too sweet. We had so much fun. Nick and I mentioned we had to do this more often- make more trips into the city. We found meter parking so it only cost $4 to park for 3 hours (lots can be expensive). When I asked Ellie her favorite part of the day in bed that night she said the milkshake (can't blame her). Second, was the playground- we literally had to carry her out of there. And, third, the carousel.
The weather was perfect and in the 60s so the girls and I wore pants and tanks. Ellie wore a tank by Matilda Jane I got months ago and paired it with Gap white skinny jeans (similar here) I bought on sale the end of last summer. I love the little bow detail on the bottom. Her light pink Toms she got for Christmas matched perfectly. Summer wore a Roxy tank I got on major sale on Amazon months ago (I also borrowed a dress from my friend in the same print). Her leggings I have in a bunch of colors. I always find them on sale. I wore Forever 21 jeans, which I bought two years ago for $11! My tank is American Eagle and I love how light and flowy it is. I don't see it online anymore (I bought it in store a couple months ago), but this is similar.

Sunday and Monday we went to the pool for the first time of the season. The water was a little chilly, but of course the kids don't mind and it was actually refreshing. Monday was hot- in the 80s here so it felt great. We go to my parents country club and on the weekends we are there with my brother and his family, too. The girls can play with their cousins and it's nice to be able to catch up in person with my parents and brother and sister in law. Ellie was so happy to swim on Sunday. She was smiling all day and definitely in her happy place. Last summer Summer was only a few months old so it was fun to see her enjoy the water, too. Both girls are wearing Gap swimsuits. I love Summer's bright neon suit.
Summer is walking so much more now. She had been walking more and more steps each day, especially last Friday when we were home most of the day. Sunday night she walked about 10 steps at my parents, then yesterday she stood up and walked over and over with about 10 steps at a time. I love this beginning stage of walking. It's so cute to watch!

Sunday night we had dinner at my parents and my Mom made a new lentil dish that was so good. I plan to get the recipe and will share with you once I make it. Yesterday Nick golfed with my Dad while we were at the pool so when we got home in the late afternoon I went to the mall to do some shopping- alone. I bought a maxi dress at Nordstrom Rack by Sweet Pea. It's so lightweight and will be perfect in the summer. I love the colors.

I also bought this tank, which I'm planning to wear with my black maxi skirt. I bought new dish towels since we needed to update ours. While I was there I fell in love with these floral canisters and bought my Mom the small one as a little gift. I tried on this dress at Forever 21 I mentioned I loved online, but the dress had too much fabric and the ruffle was too big. This is a size small and it doesn't come in an XS. The blue and white striped dress hanging I did really like and it was only $11. I didn't buy it, but I definitely recommend it. It would be a great summer pregnancy dress or beach cover-up, too.

Of course, being Memorial Day, I told Ellie why Daddy got to be off work today and why we should thank everyone who served and serves our country (her grandfather and Aunt Mia included)! Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Homemade Watermelon + Strawberry Popsicles

We bought our first watermelon of the season last week. To be honest I've never bought one before since none of us really loved it. It's been one fruit I never cared for until now (Ellie either). The one I bought at Whole Foods was so flavorful that I'm now addicted. It's such a refreshing snack and so healthy. After cutting up one half for the fridge I decided to make homemade Popsicles with the other half. Amazingly delicious! 

I looked up recipes and most used honey. I omitted the honey so there are no added sugars in this recipe and instead added lemon. I only used two ingredients before adding strawberries to the second batch.

Homemade Watermelon + Strawberry Popsicles:
(6 servings)

1/2 watermelon, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
10 strawberries, approximately
 Popsicle Molds (I used Tovolo)

Blend into a smooth consistency. Then, pour the juice into a mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the seeds. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. To remove the Popsicle I recommend running it under cold water.

I used the remaining watermelon juice and mixed it with pureed strawberries. I didn't add anymore lemon to the blender. I just cut the stems off and blended the berries until smooth. There is no need to strain the strawberry juice. I mixed the two juices and poured into the remaining 3 popsicle molds. The strawberry puree was so good that I was eating spoonfuls of it out of the blender. That's when I thought of making watermelon/strawberry margaritas. Yum! This is on my weekend to-do list.

The girls loved them and I love that they are healthy. These will definitely be a staple in our house this summer.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Holiday Weekend Shopping

Lancome is having their friends & family sale: 20% off your online purchase till 5/25. Plus, you get free shipping on orders of $50 and a complimentary item. I love ordering online because they always include full-size samples with my order! I haven't been using a night eye cream since I ran out a few months ago and really need to replenish. This is my favorite:
I also love their lip gloss:
 This blouse from Forever 21 is so pretty (and under $20)!
I love the back detail of this one:
I feel like this store is hit or miss and some seasons I don't find anything I like or worth buying. But, I've found a lot I really like right now and the deals are great. Not always the best quality (reflected in their prices), but I do have a few pieces I bought years ago that have held up and I still wear. I am contemplating buying this dress (below) and I really love this cardigan. They also have a girls collection with such cute stuff! The smallest size is a 5/6 so I will have to wait a few years for Ellie.
Gap and Banana Republic are both 40% off this weekend. I love shopping Baby Gap sales for the girls. All Ellie wants to wear these days are dresses so I need to get a few more. Athleta is having a sale, too, which doesn't happen often. I love all of their stuff.

West Elm is having great sales. I just got a coupon in the mail from Pier 1. I love their outdoor furniture and accessories. And, Target is having 20% off outdoor living. I love this outdoor rug. I hope you find some great sales this weekend!

Check back tomorrow for my delicious homemade popsicle recipe!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Picks

Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale for women and kids. This is the time that I buy Ellie Keens- my favorite outdoor shoe. They survived sprinklers and water tables, sand boxes, playgrounds, and mud puddles. They are washable and sturdy shoes. Ellie wore hers all summer long. She also loves her Toms Botas and this color is on super sale for only $22. They are very cool shoes (I kinda want a pair for myself).
 I have been looking for a new pair of gold hoops. I love these classic ones by Kate Spade.
These candles would make a cute gift at only $20:
I love crossbody bags and this is no exception. Love the tan- will go with everything. On sale for $132 ($70 off!):
I want a new maxi dress this summer. The orange one would look good with a tan and the gold earrings above. 
I've been looking for cute shoes for the playground. I have worn Converse in the past and love the mint green. They are on sale for $30:
And, here are a few girls items I love. Lots of Mini Boden on sale and some Tea Collection.