Saturday, March 30, 2013

Laura's 1,000 Follower Giveaway!

This past week Laura from Walking in Memphis in High Heels reached 1,000 followers on her blog!  To celebrate and thank her readers, she has teamed up with some of her favorite bloggers to have a huge giveaway!  Please take a moment to show these women (and one man) some love!  One lucky reader will win a $300 gift card to J.Crew, a $200 gift card to Target and a $200 gift card to Sephora!  How amazing is that?!  You can check out each blog by clicking on the link below their name, and enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter below.




Abigail  ||  Ady  ||  Alicia


Andrea D  ||  Andrea M  ||  Angela


Alyssa  ||  Amy D  ||  Analisa






Ashlee  ||   Bekah  ||   Brianne








Chioma   ||   Colleen   ||   Dani





Emily  ||  Holly  ||  Jaclyn





Karri  ||  Keyona  ||  Kira 



Laura  ||  Lindsey  ||  Maria




Merchon  ||  Serena  ||  Taber 






Hoppy Easter to You!

Happy Easter Everyone! 

another awesome photo from my Aunt Tonia

We're spending the weekend with Eric's family, which is about an hour away from our house. We drove in this afternoon after I got a solid 9 miles in. It was an awesome run & I am so excited for the weather to stay like this. It is so much easier to run outside, mentally that is. Physically, I kind of missed the soft cushioning of the treadmill beneath my feet.

Now that we're here, Ella is having the time of her life playing with her Grandma Mary! We've been able to spend some time outside because it finally hit 50 degrees. I know that's freezing to some of you, but for us it's a heat wave. We're going to be at my other in-law's tomorrow, so we had to go hunting for Ella's Easter basket! She was very confused by the whole thing, but really enjoyed the concept of getting presents (as if she doesn't get some sort of present every weekend...) 

I hope you all have a blessed Easter & I'll be back on Monday to update on our Spring Break plans!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy 8 Months to Ella!

Ella is 8 months old today! I cannot believe how big she is getting.

just the two of us screwing around :)

She can now sit up without tipping over at all.

Isn't her Easter shirt the cutest?

She can stand up while holding on to things.

with her BFF at daycare

She is making noise all of the time & I'm hoping that she'll be able to say "ma" soon!

chillin with my Aunt Babs & the coolest toy ever

She's pretty much the coolest ever - you know, like her mom :)
Thursday, March 28, 2013

Things I'm Into... March Edition

I cannot believe that March is almost over already! I swear, March normally drags by when you're a teacher, but this year was full speed ahead! As you're all aware... I'm dying for spring! So in that spirit, here are five things I love that are helping to get me into the mood, even though it's still 30 degrees outside... 

1. Mint

mint & chambray... she's definitely mine

I am all about the color mint this season! I am currently rocking it on my nails & Ella is rocking it too! It's such a fun color & easily paired to make so many awesome looks. I am still searching for my own personal pair of mint jeans at a reasonable price, so until then I'll just live vicariously through my child!

2. Lace

source via Pinterest

I don't own any lace yet, but I am absolutely loving it in this inspiration outfit. It's so feminine and polished. I think I subconsciously associate lace with class - and every lady should strive to be classy.  I'm going to hunt down a deal over spring break & hopefully you'll see me copying this look soon! 

3. Petunia Pickle Bottom

purchase here 

If you're a mom, or if you're going to be a mom, you need to know about Petunia Pickle Bottom! The company makes the most stylish diaper bags on the market & their spring collection is as amazing as ever. We have this one, but I absolutely love the one above. It's a bit of a splurge, but would be perfect for outings where I don't want to carry a purse & a diaper bag. 

4. Dancing With The Stars

I love how goofy these two are together...

Technically this has nothing to do with spring, but DWTS is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I vote weekly. I always cheer (and vote) for Derek & Mark. They're my faves - always have been, always will be. However, I fervently pray that some day Julianne returns to the show. After Jillian's return to The Biggest Loser, I have hope. 

5. Clutches


When warm weather arrives, I carry my purse less & less and transition to my collection of clutches. They're the perfect accessory for festivals & concerts. (I'm well aware that they aren't very practical for a mom-on-the-go... but I'm still going to make it work.) This season, I have been lusting for a classic clutch in neutral colors. Ultimately, I would love to purchase the one above from Coach, but I'm keeping my options open and would probably defer to a cheaper option if it presented itself. 

One Last Thing...

I have a few new sponsors on my side bar! Be sure to check out their awesome blogs. They'll be popping up around here shortly, but in the mean time, click on over!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Dress Down Without Looking Like a Total Slob Kabob

This week is dress down week at my school. Let me be clear... I love to dress down. However, some of my colleagues take dressing down to a whole new level...

I wish that this photo was an exageration, but sadly it's closer to reality than it should be. On Monday, I attended a parent meeting with a colleague that was wearing an oversized hoodie, ratty sneakers, and holey jeans... with her hair in a sloppy pony tail. If I were the parent, I wouldn't have taken a single thing that she said seriously. This woman is highly intelligent, but I was so distracted by her appearance that I wasn't listening to what she was saying. Clearly, this is a problem. So I present to you a few simple rules for dressing down & still maintaining your professionalism...

1. Wear Clothes That Fit

shirt ~ Gap Outlet
jeans ~ Gap
flats ~ Kohl's
belt ~ Target 

Yes, you can wear jeans. But, your clothes should still fit. Jeans don't have to be paired with a baggy sweatshirt. I look at dress down week as an opportunity to pair some of my "work tops" with jeans & creat outfits that I normally wouldn't have an opportunity to wear. For instance, I normally wear the top above with a skirt. Yesterday, I paired it with skinny jeans, a mint belt, and flats. It was a casual, preppy look and I was totally comfy all day long. I spoke with my administrators and met with parents, all without losing respect.

2. You Still Need To Shower...

pulled together pony tail
source via Pinterest

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but dress down week is not an excuse to roll out of bed and skip your shower. (again, I'm pretty sure some people I work with do this...) You should be still take the time to do your hair and make up. If you want to switch up your hairstyle & rock a pony tail - that's fine. I wear pony tails & top knots with my dress clothes all of the time. But it needs to be clear that you made an effort.

3. No Holes

Work is not the place for holey jeans... or holey anything for that matter. COVER UP. I mean it. Especially if you're a teacher. Think of your credibility! Remember that a parent or client can walk into the building at any time. So can your boss or the superintendent. It's dress down week, not work at home week. You need to be presentable.

4. Accessorize

Laura is the Queen of Accessorizing

Adding accessories to your outfit adds polish. Wearing a nice pair of heels or a statement necklace can really dress up an outfit! For instance, here is a photo from Laura's blog yesterday. If you check out the whole post, you'll notice that she's in a basic white shirt with a top knot, but do you see how classy her bling is? It adds so much to the outfit & I don't think anyone would question her style while wearing that.

5. If You Wear It To The Gym, Don't Wear It To Work

Nicole can wear gym clothes all day long... you can't.
source via Pinterest

Sneakers are meant for the gym. Don't wear running shoes to work. You'll be just as comfortable in flats and will look far more pulled together. Same goes for yoga pants. You can find a pair of legging jeans that are just as comfy and maybe a little less obscene. (Side note - I had a coworked twice my age come into work with PINK sprawled across her booty - the children were mortified & talked about it for weeks.)

And in case you still don't understand how to dress down without looking like a slob kabob... here are some Pinterest inspiration photos for acceptable jeans at work looks:

source via Pinterest
source via Pinterest
source via Pinterest

Today I'm Linking Up With... 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Training Update & Spring Fitness Must Haves

On Sunday, I ran 10 miles. I had limited motivation for this run, but once I got to mile 3, I started to hit my stride. I was watching Something Borrowed & got distracted by all of the rom-com goodness, so that helped too. I was able to keep my pace at 10 min/mile, which is my goal for the actual race. I figure that I can keep it up for another 3.1 miles & I'm finally starting to feel confident about this whole thing. (Unlike last week...)

Last night, I spent the afternoon with our JV cheer coach and didn't get home until 7 p.m. Ella still had to be fed, I had to eat dinner, there were dishes to be done... I could've found so many excuses to skip my run. What saved me was the arrival of my new sneakers! They were just calling my name, so I left the house at 7:50 & started running at 8. (Let me warn you, if you decide to run at 8 p.m. - you will not be ready to go to bed at 10. You will be WIDE awake. This was the case for me last night...) I ended up setting a new 5K PR! I held an 8:55 pace & finished in 26:49 - I was pumped!

loving my new Mizuno Wave Rider 15's

Because I was so pumped, I couldn't sleep. I was up in bed - emailing, blogging, and browsing online for some new running gear. Here are a few things that I NEED (hear that Eric, I NEED) to have for my spring runs...

Embody Crop
Embody Crop from Lululemon
GapFit Motion Tank

Nike Sphere Dry Half-Zip Women's Running Top
Half Zip Dri-Fit Top from Nike

Today I'm Linking Up With...

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Triple Date

We had such a fab weekend! We didn't have to travel & got to spend the weekend chillin' at home with friends & family.

totally normal family time with her Aunt Brittany & Uncle Matt

On Saturday night, we went on a triple date with Britt, Kaylee, and their Matt's. Britt is my sister & Kaylee is like a sister to me. Eric & I have been on countless vacations with them and we always have a blast when we're together.

in Myrtle Beach with Britt & Kaylee on one of our many vacations together!

We decided to go to McGregor's, because they have every beer imaginable on tap. The restaurant was packed because of March Madness. We had an hour wait, so Ella took a snooze & we boozed. (Please note that when I say I boozed, I mean I had a single margarita. Somebody had to get the Bliss family home safely!) By the time we were finally seated, we were ravenous. At this point, I made the greatest decision of the night. Pulled. Pork. Nachos.

before & after - only about 5 minutes apart

They were awesome! I followed that up with my standard buffalo chicken salad, which was also delish.

We got the most exciting news at dinner! Kaylee & Matt are coming with us on vacation in August! My family adores Kaylee, and like I said, she's traveled with us many a time. Britt & I are both ecstatic with this news... now if only vacation wasn't 6 months away.

Today I'm linking up with Lisette & Sami!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is It Spring Yet?

1. What is your favorite thing about spring?
I love the warmer weather & the sandals that go along with it! In NY we don't always get to wear shorts before June, but once it cracks 50 degrees, I start rocking sandals.

I've been coveting these sandals from Target 

2. Favorite kind of flower?
I'm with Blair Waldorf on this one... pink peonies! They're my absolute favorite.

yes Chuck, the answer is always yes

3.What is your favorite nail polish color?
Right now... It's mint! But I also have gone through multiple bottles of OPI 's Cajun Shrimp.

4. Favorite outdoor activity?
Running of course! I love my outdoor runs & can't wait to be outside on a regular basis! My parents found me a used jogging stroller so Ella & I can cruise all summer :)

5. Do you have any Spring plans?
Why yes, we're taking a little trip to DC at the end of April! On the agenda, taking Ella to the zoo, taking Eric to any museum, & running my half marathon!

Today I'm Linking Up With...

Sunday Social
Friday, March 22, 2013

Happies & Crappies for March

The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up
  • I just ordered new running shoes! I went & got professionally fitted after my knee was sore. I absolutely fell in love with Mizuno Wave Riders, but not with the price tag. Luckily, I found a new pair on eBay at a better price! They're supposed to arrive on Monday, so I'll be sure to share them with you all.
  • I have been able to spend a lot of time with my family this month. I'm thankful that we have a weekend at home this weekend, but the past two weekends with family have been amazing. I love that Ella has such wonderful people in her life :)
family time!
  • I got to  stop at Starbucks for a hot chocolate on my way to work this morning! I have been craving one since I read Lisette's Starbucks rant yesterday... her hatred is my joy.
  • I am in awesome shape. I'm not kidding when I tell you that all of this running has done wonders for my body. I feel good. I look good. My clothes fit. My muscles are defined. I'm so excited to show off all of my hard work in tank tops & shorts this summer!
  • The weather SUCKS here right now. It's supposed to be in like a lion & out like a lamb... I am eagerly waiting the lamb. I cannot take any more snow/sleet/freezing weather! I need to get outside & run! I want Ella to be able to get outside & play! HURRRY UP SPRING!
  • We are in full on State Test Prep mode at school. I really despise prepping for tests, because I'd much rather be teaching new material. I'm looking forward to May when state tests are over and finals prep hasn't started yet. 

  • We haven't started looking for a house yet... I wanted to jump in and get started, but our real estate agent & our mortgage person advised us to wait until mid-April. They have good reasons, I'm just itching to get the ball rolling. So, in the mean time, I will be watching copious amounts of HGTV & driving my husband crazy by showing him listing after listing.
Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Art of the Album

Today we're going to talk about Justin Timberlake's new album, The 20/20 Experience.


If you have not listened to and/or purchased this album, you must. This is why... it isn't a collection of songs that are completely unrelated, bouncing from one track to another. (Read: Taylor Swift or One Direction) Instead, it is a beautiful compistion where each track flows into the next and tells a story. I swear to you, you can listen to this album and feel as if you're watching a movie. He really could have named it The Orgasmic Experience, because it is smooth & soulful with charm and heart. I have not heard music like this in a long time.

Because my husband loves JT just as much as I do, we were having a serious discussion about the album and how disgusted Eric was that people were obviously just buying certain tracks on iTunes. People don't listen to albums anymore, they just buy singles. I totally admit that I am guilty of this... but there are some exceptions to this rule. A Justin Timberlake album is one of them. Taylor Swift albums are another must buy the whole thing as well, but unlike Justin's, you can listen to the songs on shuffle and it won't make a difference. As we talked about this whole thing, we decided that Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox is an actual album. We also decided that Adele's 21 is a true album. And while we may not look like die hard Jay Z/Kanye fans... we are, and their album Watch the Throne, was an album. However... these are rare exceptions in today's musical world.

At what point did artists stop making albums & start creating songs? What happened to the art of the album? Can you imagine a world without Pink Floyd's The Wall? Music is meant to tell a story, so why are we selling it one chapter at a time....

And because it's my favorite song on the album.... here's Justin!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday & A New Purchase

Last Wednesday, I broke the cardinal rule of teaching & wore jeans on a day that wasn't Friday! GASP! They were very dark jeans & honestly, I just needed to be comfortable. Nobody said anything, which is what I expected, mainly because I doubt anyone I work with pays all that much attention to what I'm wearing. My blouse is from Kiki La Rue & if you haven't seen Mama Laughlin or Skinny Meg wearing there stuff every day, then you should check out the website. Lots of cute, reasonably priced clothes to choose from! (Not paid to say that, just really love everything I've ordered from there.) 

My outfit on Friday was inspired by this photo from J's Everyday Fashion.

I absolutely love her blog & especially loved her Journey t-shirt. (HUGE JOURNEY FAN) I decided to tweak her outfit & this is what I came up with... 

I'm wearing a vintage t-shirt from Epcot (bought at Epcot), Gap jeans, and boots from MIA. 

I threw on my neon sweater from Gap to make it pop just a little bit and keep me warm too. I spent most of the day with my sweater off, but oddly enough received a lot of compliments on what I thought was a very simple outfit. 

And since spring is on the way, I'm really excited for sandal season! I bought these from Piperlime & cannot wait for them to arrive. They're the Benedet by Steve Madden. I love how neutral they are. I think I'll be able to wear them at least 3 days a week. Flat sandals are an essential part of my wardrobe in the summertime!

Today I'm Linking Up With... 

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