Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favorites...

Happy Friday Everyone! It's homecoming in this neck of the woods & it is going to be a very crazy 48 hours for me - but I love it so I can't complain! I'll be sure to share a recap of all the festivities on Monday, but for today I want to share some of my favorites with you all! 

- one - 

Right before Disney, I picked up a leave in conditioner for my hair at the salon. I knew my hair would take a beating in the Florida sun & didn't want the color to fade as soon as I got it done. So, my stylist recommended Paul Mitchel Curls Leave In Conditioner & I am obsessed. The whole trip, I'd shower then put my hair in a braid or let it air dry. The conditioner protected my hair & made it smell amazing! Back in the real world, I still use it a few days a week - showering at night & letting my hair airy dry as I sleep. 

Paul Mitchell Curls Full Circle Leave In Treatment for Unisex, 6.8 Ounce

- two - 

Apple Pie Fritters are back at Tim Horton's & I may gain 20 pounds by Thanksgiving. They're just so good. 

- three -

I have binge watched the first season of Quantico in the past week. Eric keeps coming upstairs for bed at night & finding me still wide awake freaking out over Alex Parish. Last night, I finally finished season one & OMG. I couldn't believe it! And now I'm watching Season 2, which just started again on Sunday. Can't wait to find out what happens next! 

Image result for quantico

- four - 

I have been searching for an affordable pair of cognac booties for quite some time now & my prayers were finally answered by Target! They're from the DV collection - which is an affordable line by Dolce Vita just for Target. I wore them to my friends' wedding with a dress last weekend & my feet felt amazing. So comfy! I've worn them with jeans & dress plants for work a few times too & they're awesome! 

- five - 

My last favorite for the week is Ella's duck boots! My mom snagged these with her GapCash and they're too adorable! It's supposed to be raining & chilly for our parade tomorrow, so you can bet that she'll be rocking these all day! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

What? What?! I've posted three days in a row for the first time in forever! That's a sure sign that we're settling back into our school year routine! I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in my new role at a new school, Eric & I have finally figured out a pick up/drop off schedule that works for us, and I feel like I can breathe after drowning for weeks. I'm so thankful for all of the help and prayers that have been extended to me these past few weeks. I was living off kindness for a few days, so thank you! We have a lot to catch up on, and I couldn't think of a better way than with What's Up Wednesday! 


What We're Eating This Week...

We are all about simple school night meals at our house. I shared one of my favorites a few weeks ago & we'll be eating it again this week. I'm a huge fan of fresh mozzarella, and this new Ragu Homestyle sauce is amazing! It reminds me of my Grandpa Bill's sauce that I grew up on! 

What I'm Reminiscing About...

Fall is one of my favorite seasons because we spend so much time together as a family! It has me thinking back to pumpkin picking with my little loves last year. I'm trying to find a time to go to the Pumpkin Fiesta again this year, but can't seem to find a date that works. We're definitely going to hit up Stokoe Farms again though because as much as Ella loved it last year, I think she'll be the perfect age for it this year !

What I'm Loving...

It's almost embarrassing how much I love my mini-van. We were at a wedding this weekend & we piled all of our friends in it to make the drive from the ceremony to the reception. I was thinking to myself as Eric was driving, "what did we ever do without our van?" That sentiment is echoed over & over throughout my week as I load up supplies for cheer, haul our groceries, or pack in extra passengers. You can call me a soccer mom if you want, I don't care, I love my mini-van. 

What We've Been Up To...

This past weekend, Eric & I celebrated the wedding of two of our very good friends. They've been together almost as long as we have, so to see them finally get married was very exciting! 

with some of my girls before the reception
And while we were at the wedding, my parents came to watch the girls for us! Gramps looks pretty comfy with his girls :) 

What I'm Dreading...

Eric is going to be traveling for a week in October, November, and December. It's open enrollment season & he works in insurance, so it's inevitable. It will be really challenging though, as my sister is due with my niece in December too & I know I'll be stretched thin with my normal extra help out of commission. I'm secretly hoping my dad will come up to help in November so that I don't lose my mind, but he hasn't actually offered yet. If October's trip is as hectic as Septembers was, I'll just have to swallow my pride & flat out ask him. 

What I'm Working On...

I am currently planning two big events. The first is our homecoming float for this year! We decided on a Toy Story theme & it has been really fun to plan it with my team. I can't wait to see it all come together! 

The second event I'm planning is my sister's baby shower! I cannot wait to welcome Baby MJ & I have been working tirelessly with my mom to plan Britt's shower. We have our venue all set and rough plans have been made/pinned - we have a lot to finalize in the next month though! 

What I'm Excited About...

We're pretty excited about a few things at our house...

  1. It's fall! 
  2. We get to pick out Halloween costumes! 
  3. Baby MJ will be here soon! (Sidenote - the baby's name isn't MJ. It's just what we've called the baby from the get-go when we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. It's short for Matt Jr. after my brother in law, but we know it's a girl now & we still refer to her as MJ.) 

What I'm Reading...

This past month I read "Roommates" by Erin Leigh & Tara Brown. It was a quick read & I really liked it. It's definitely of the romance genre, and a little racy at times, but it was nice to unwind with after a few busy days. 

I'm currently reading "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio with my class & I think every child should read it. The storyline is about a boy who was born with a facial deformity & how he copes with going to school for the first time at age 11. It's an incredibly powerful glimpse into how tough little kids have to be sometimes. Even as an adult, it is an excellent reminder that even the briefest stare can make someone uncomfortable, so choose to be kind. 

What I'm Watching...

So, I started Quantico months ago but got sidetracked & never caught up. Now, I'm bingeing on it while I'm planning in the evenings. It's so suspenseful & thankfully it's filling the void left by Scandal - which isn't premiering until mid-season this year! The new season started last night, and hopefully I'll be caught up soon! 

What I'm Wearing...

The weather has been really indecisive around here lately. One day it's 85 & sunny. The next it is 60 & raining. For that reason, I've been dressing in layers. This is a snap of my outfit Monday...

I'm wearing my new BP tunic, but with shorts because it was 78 in the afternoon. I do love that this tunic is lightweight, so it's been a great transition piece. And for the record, I wore a blanket scarf with this outfit on my way to work while it was still 55 outside. 

And then yesterday was a high of 62, so this is what I wore...

Ok, that picture quality is even worse than normal. Sorry! I wore my navy JCrew Pixie Pants with an older Loft blouse & my new favorite booties from Target. 
What I'm Doing This Weekend...

This weekend is homecoming at SHS! I'm super excited to decorate our float & cheer for the game. Homecoming has always been my favorite week of the school year. We don't really celebrate it here at the elementary schools though, so I've been living vicariously through the snaps & IG's of my colleagues. All the more reason to be excited for the weekend though! 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month...

October is a BUSY month for us! I'm looking forward to a long weekend at the country house with my family. I'm looking forward to a trip to Stokoe Farms with the girls. I'm looking forward to decorating the house and trick or treating. I'm really excited about having a Halloween party with my students this year too! 

What Else Is New...

I don't know if I've officially told everyone this on the blog, but Livy started walking at the end of August, about two weeks after we got back from Disney. She is a wild woman now. She climbs up things, runs out doors, there is no containing her! That's made life at practice pretty entertaining for everyone - and stressful for me. I assumed that Ella was this way & I'd just blocked it out, but after talking to some of my cheerleaders that were with me when Ella was that age, they assured me that Livy is going to be my wild child. I'm in for it! 

*This post does contain a sponsored links. If you click through those links, I will receive a small commission.**

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Family Photos at Eastman House Gardens

It feels like forever ago, maybe because it was the beginning of August & summer feels like a dream that slipped away, but I finally had professional photos done of the girls together! I have had my very best friend take family portraits last year, and my sister took six month photos that I love, but neither of them would classify themselves as a professional. So as Livy turned one, I knew it was time to have some true professional photos done of the girls. 

Our photos were done by SBurrit Photography and I cannot say enough amazing things about her. She is a teacher by day, photographer by weekend, but she does phenomenal work. As a teacher, I love supporting other teachers! She did such a wonderful job capturing each of the girls' personality, despite the fact that it was 90 degrees at 8 am & I wouldn't exactly classify their attitudes as ideal. 

Olivia wasn't walking yet when we had these photos, and now she's going full speed at all times, so to look back at her tentatively standing against objects makes me smile. They grow up so fast and I know that I'll cherish this snapshot of our lives for years to come. 

As far as location goes, we faced a challenge in that our city had a serious drought on our hands by early August. I wanted crisp green gardens for the photos, so we decided on one of the few green spaces the city had to offer - Eastman House Gardens. The gardens remind me of Alice in Wonderland - a giant tea party, English garden. I just loved the stonework too. 

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Eastman House & their grounds crew. They were so very thoughtful & welcoming. We were there before the museum opened, so the staff was buzzing about the property. They stayed out of our way though, and the man I had talked to about using the gardens the day before even stopped over to say hello. If you're looking for a place for family photos, senior photos, or engagement photos in Rochester - this should be at the top of your list! 

We took the rest of our photos in the side gardens & along the entry way that is covered in ivy. I think that Livy looks like a little fairy in these photos! 

If I had to pick two pictures that completely captured their personalities at one and four, the ones above & below this would win. Olivia is completely devious. She's my daredevil, always on the go, always looking for something to do that she's probably not supposed to. And my Ella? She's so incredibly curious. She loves pretty things. She wants to be a princess, and this fountain reminded her of being back at Disney. 

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