Friday, May 31, 2013

My Favorite Things from May

Ummm... does anyone know where May went?! I really have no idea how it went so quickly. That's typical though. When you work in a school, May is always a blur of review, testing, and cranky, hot, unmotivated children. Then outside of school there are festivals, holidays, and nice weather to keep you distracted. Here are some highlights from the month! 

Running the Lilac 10K

I ran my first 10K and absolutely loved it! It was especially awesome because I ran the whole thing with one of my best friends from high school. Running with friends is the best. 

Purchasing My Purple Pants!   

I LOVE these pants. They're so lightweight & comfy. I can wear them on a 90 degree day and still be as cool as a cucumber (Side note: does anyone know where that phrase comes from?) They go perfectly with flip flops or boat shoes. You can dress them up, or you can dress them down. They're amazing! I've even convinced three of my co-workers & my mom to buy these pants. Seriously, they're awesome!

My First Mother's Day!

I didn't get a huge gift for my first mother's day, but what I did get was so perfect that I can't imagine getting anything else. Ella made me a flower pot with her little handprint on it & it's so precious. It's proudly displayed atop the microwave at our current house, but I plan to find an extra special place for it in the new house! 

Making My Birthday Wishlist!

A few days ago, my mom e-mailed me & asked me to put together a wishlist for my birthday! I went through & picked out about 10 things that I liked and then emailed the links for her to choose what she wanted to buy me. This is standard procedure for all holidays in the Bliss family, and is honestly just as exciting as actually opening the gift. My ultimate gift would be the Michael Kors Tote pictured above, but that probably is a long shot. I'll more likely end up with some new running gear and J.Crew jeans - you never know though! (I'll be posting my birthday wishlist next week so you can see all of my wishes!) 

Oh! One last thing... don't forget to enter Olive & Ivy's May Sponsor's Giveaway

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Olive & Ivy Group Giveaway

This month I was lucky enough to sponsor the fabulous Chelsea at Olive & Ivy! She has put together a fab group giveaway for the month & I thought I'd share it with all of you as well. There are lots of great items to be won, specifically my item - this amazingly patriotic headband from Three Bird Nest. 

I have one already & rock it with pride!

Get to clicking & enter today!

Thanks to these lovelies...

My Pet Peeve of Running

The weather has been lovely for the past month or so, and I've been completing all of my runs outside. I love running outside. I find it relaxing... unless I have Charlie with me. 

on our way out for a run this week

You look at the face above & think, "Oh, he's so excited to go running with her! He loves her so much! They must have so much fun together!" No... we do not have fun together. Runs with Charlie are a constant battle of the wills. Where should I start... 

  • Charlie loves to chase squirrels. He takes off on a dead sprint if one comes into sight. I have almost had my arm torn out of my socket on many occasions.
running down his favorite tree lined street

  • Charlie apparently doesn't get enough to eat at home, because he spends his entire run looking for trash to eat. It can be a fast food wrapper, abandoned pizza crust, or rotten fruit. Charlie doesn't discriminate. He especially loves running on Sunday mornings when the street meat carts have been out... prime pickings. 
  • Charlie looks like a very friendly dog. I think it's his omnipresent smile that fools people. Take my word for it, he isn't friendly while running. He fully believes that his duty on these runs is to protect me, and if you get too close his teeth come out. I spend a lot of time on runs reigning him in, switching sides of the street, and warning/apologizing to other dog owners.
  • My last pet peeve is that Charlie knows nothing about negative splits. He doesn't care. He likes to spring the first mile and then mosey along for the remainder of the run.  I'm practically dragging him along by the time we get home. I've given up on keeping pace while running with him. I have to pause my run every 4 minutes for some kind of break, so it just isn't accurate. 
crashed after a run

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Ella's Wearing

It's a sad day when you flip through your phone to put together your Wednesday outfit recap & realize that your daughter's outfits have been way more exciting than yours! This is my reality this week though. It isn't that I haven't been dressing cute, I have. Promise. It's just that I haven't had the time to document it! On the other hand, I take a picture of Ella almost every day. So I have an accurate record of what she has been wearing lately, and it's pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! 

Let's start with Memorial Day because I have gotten a few e-mails asking where I got her outfit from. My mother-in-law picked it up at the Children's Place. The romper is on sale, and the headband is sold out online, but if you're looking for a 4th of July outfit for the kiddo, now is the time to strike because Ella absolutely loved this outfit! Since I'm in this picture too, I'll just throw it out there that I am wearing the most comfortable shirt ever. I included the link to it in my sale post on Sunday, and I stand by my love affair with it. You need to get one. It was the perfect layering piece for the 70 degree weather Monday, when I didn't want to wear short sleeves but wasn't feeling a sweatshirt either. 

shorts - Target // shades - Coach // shirt - GapFit

Ella wore this dress on her big date a few weeks ago & I can't find it online, but it's from Crazy 8 and has great details. The lace on her shoulders works perfectly with her lacy headband. PS- I'm getting really excited that she'll actually wear headbands again. She went through a phase where she would rip them off herself, and I was concerned she wasn't interested in accessorizing. 

It was pretty chilly on Saturday, so she wore her new neon sweater! I love it when companies copy adult trends & this sweater is no exception. She was not happy to have socks on, but otherwise she was very comfy and snuggly warm in this outfit. I plan on her wearing the sweater with shorts when it's warmer out, but it just wasn't an option on a 40 degree day. 

This is probably my favorite outfit that she's worn all month. She was just too stinking cute in it & I secretly wish that I could pull off a romper myself. (I've tried - trust me, it isn't cute.) Her romper is from Target, and her hat & shoes are from BabyGap. It was 90 degrees this day & she was so comfy in this outfit. It will definitely be a summer go-to. 

Today I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy, for What Ella I Wore Wednesday! 

OMG She's Fast!

I have to keep this brief because I'm swamped at school today, but we had a very exciting long weekend. Lets start with the big news, Ella is walking! She has to hold onto her little walker toy, but the girl moves & she moves FAST

she moves so fast the picture is a bit blurry!
I am going to have my hands full this summer. I figure we'll just immediately baby proof the house as we move in. My birthday gift this year will probably be a huge baby gate to shut off the the dining room from the living room - aka the carpet from the hardwood. 

We spent time with all of the grandparents this weekend, which basically means we ate like kings. There was a ton of deliciousness to be found at all three houses. Brownies, banana split cake, bbq chicken... you get my  drift. Yum.

Ella isn't sure what to think about grapes yet... 

Because I was eating all of this delicious food, I made sure to get a run in every day. I have to run at the track when I'm home because we don't have any sidewalks. It's so annoying, but at least my sister went with me to keep me company. She's just starting to run & I was very proud of her for sticking it out with me for my entire run.

here she is coming down the straightaway... 

Ella loved Memorial Day & got very into the festivities. Here is her outfit from her grandma. I absolutely loved it & wish I could dress her up with matching headbands every day!

Here are a few other random pictures from our adventures...

posing together on the front yard

her face cracks me up in this picture!

walking with her Uncle Kevin

posing with her Aunt Brittany

trying to get into her grandma's wallet

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Sales 2013

Just stopping in to update you on a few sales happening at my favorite stores this weekend! I'm in the boondocks, so I'm shopping online. But there are even better deals to be had in stores! Here's the scoop...


ShoeDazzle has up to 65% off this weekend! I am still in love with these heels & since my birthday is only 2 weeks away, I might just snatch them up as a gift "from Ella".


Gap is hosting its annual Red, Bright, & Blue Event. Select items are up to 40% off, and if you use the code "GAPGIFT" you can get 20% off anything. I'm eyeing the shorts above, but I'm thinking about adding another one of these shirts to my collection. I own 3 of them & they're the comfiest for working out or for just daily wear. Great investment.


The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is upon us & I have been carefully searching and adding to my cart. I plan to make my purchase tonight, but decisions like this take time & careful editing. The t-shirt above is a definite though. It was originally $68 & is marked down to $38.50. The reviews say that it's a lightweight knit & a little baggy - perfect for summertime.

Old Navy

Yes, I just went from Nordstrom to Old Navy. But you could score some serious deals here this weekend because they're having up to 40% off. I buy a lot of stuff for Ella at Old Navy, and my mom just ordered these ombre shorts for her - only $12. I'm tempted to order her a 4th swimsuit because this one is so cute, but Eric might go over the edge if I put her in a bikini.

Get out there & start shopping!
Friday, May 24, 2013

Let It Rain

The weatherman is calling for a rainy, dreary long weekend here in Upstate NY. I'm not planning on getting outside a whole lot, but I'm sure we won't be able to completely avoid it since my parents are supposed to be installing their new deck this weekend. (Yay - railings for Ella!) Dressing for the elements can be super cute though.. check out my picks below and make the most of the rain! 

For You: 
North Face // Hunter // Nike

For the Kiddo: 
North Face // DVF for Gap // Hunter // E-Bay

Eric & I are obsessed with our North Face rain jackets & fully intend on purchasing one for Ella soon. Also, I have a deep love for my Hunter rain boots & truly feel that they're worth every penny. Get splashing everyone! 

Friday Favorites!

Today, I am linking up with my good friend Lindsey for...


Favorite Pin: 
MINI Tacos Appetizer- Use scoop chips and fill with meat and cheese. Bake till cheese is melted. SO SIMPLE! I say add a spoon of salsa and a squirt of sour we're talking!

These are individual taco cups & I have every intention of making them this weekend! They look like bite-sized deliciousness! I'll probably add a bit of bacon to them as well. Everything is better with bacon.

Favorite Post: 

I got a good laugh out of Whitney's post yesterday. It's definitely something that only other bloggers would understand, but it's awesome nonetheless. 

Favorite Outfit: 

Camo Print with White Jeans

I really loved this outfit from Moiology & have everything I'd need to recreate it at home. I would never think to pair camo with white pants, but it definitely works. Camo is the norm where I grew up, nobody will think it is chic. But I will love it. 

Favorite Moment: 

I wish I had a picture to back this moment up, but my hands were pretty busy. Ella has figured out how to pull herself up from the crawling position! She crawled over to me, put her hands on my thighs, then put one hand on my shoulder, and then the other. Finally, she popped up right in front of me and was SO proud of herself. It was an awesome mommy moment. 

Favorite E-mail: 

I really love checking my email every day. Some people hate it, I love it. I got this e-mail from Nike featuring their new summer line & cannot wait to do some shopping! Polka dot sports bras & compression shorts... yes! 

Favorite Song: 

I've been singing along to this non-stop. It's upbeat & sad at the same time. That's why I love The Lumineers, you never know what you're going to get. 

Happy Friday!
Thursday, May 23, 2013

People Who Are Cooler Than Me...

Sometimes you just have to face it, there are people in the world that are cooler than you. They're the people you see on Pinterest, read their blogs, and just generally stare at on the street. They wear things that I could never pull off & write things that are funnier than a Will Ferrel movie. Here's my top five list of people who are cooler than I am.

1. Anyone Who Wears a Fedora

Let's face it... Rachel Zoe is way cooler than I am.
I cannot pull off hats. I look like I'm trying to hard to be cool. The people who rock these hats look effortlessly cool. My best friend happens to be one of those people. She can throw on a fedora & a maxi dress and look like a million bucks. I just can't pull it off. This really applies to any & all head related trends. I cannot rock head scarves, headbands, or tiaras either.

2. People Who Cook Real Meals

I'm sure I'll look just like Giada cooking in my new kitchen.

I can't cook to save my life. That's a lie. I can cook, I choose not to. I'm hoping this will change when we move & I have a functional kitchen. Right now, I simply drool & admire from afar as I scan Pinterest ooohhing and ahhhing over all of the people out there in the world that can whip up a bad ass meal.

3. Mama Laughlin

Mama's blog was the first blog I ever read. I'd found it on Pinterest & got addicted. She's hilarious, has two kids, and is a former fat kid like myself. She works her ass off every day at the gym at 5 AM and doesn't complain about it. She takes mirror pic selfies like her job & doesn't give a shit if other people stare. To top it off.... she has a blogging best friend & a wardrobe that rivals a Kardashian sister. She's awesome - way more awesome than me. She's what I aspire to be.

4. People Who Work for Charities

FYI - Nadine looks just like Angie...
I have such deep respect for people who work at non-profit organizations. I certainly do my part for the world as a teacher, but those who work with those less fortunate truly amaze me. I cannot imagine the things that they must experience on a daily basis. Just the other day, Nadine posted about her job working with childhood cancer patients. It's heartbreaking, important work. Those who do it are most definitely cooler than me.

5. People Who Travel On a Regular Basis

I pretty much drooled the entire time Robyn was in
Hawaii posting photos to Instagram

I get insanely jealous when I'm reading blogs about exotic travels. I love to vacation, but my family tends to play it safe with beach trips to South Carolina or a week in Disney. We rarely go anywhere that could be described as exotic. I love reading about trips to Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and pretty much anywhere else. Traveling is something that Eric & I truly want to do with Ella. We really want to take her abroad & our dream is to take her to see the Olympics. (She was born on the night of the opening ceremony.) For now, we'll just keep reading about people who are cooler than us going to places that are cooler than anywhere we've been to.

I figure there's still hope to be this cool though... a year ago I definitely would've added "People Who Run" to this list, and this year I have a half-marathon under my belt. Who knows, maybe I'll find a fedora on clearance this weekend. Maybe I'll start actually cooking the recipes I've been pinning. Maybe my mom will surprise me with tickets to Hawaii for my birthday. And even if neither of those things happen (and let's be honest, they probably won't)... I'm going to keep on keeping on with my own cool self.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I'm Wearing & A Shirt for a Cause

It has been HOT here the past week & I have been loving it! Lots of shorts, lots of wedges, and lots of curly hair because let's face it... naturally curly hair + humidity = unmanageable. Now last week I promised that I was going to start taking pictures with my real camera. Great premise, only problem is... I'm not really sure where my memory card is! I'm looking into it, but for now, here are more iPhone selfies. 

Lunch with My Mother-In-Law
tshirt - Gap // shorts - American Eagle // shades - Coach 
I wore this outfit for a laid back lunch on the patio & some outdoor shopping. This is one of the tops I bought while shopping on Saturday & I absolutely love it. It's so soft & so comfy. I bought it in an extra small because it seemed like it ran a little big. That's just me though, it you want it baggier, order your normal size. And let's be honest, you can't go wrong with a pair of cut off jean shorts. I've had these for years, but I am loving this pair right now. 

Casual Days at Work
skinnies - Gap // top - Target // wedges - American Eagle

I worked at our district office a few days last week, which meant I got to wear jeans! I would've rather been in shorts, but I didn't want to push things too far. So I stuck with dark denim, wedges, and light weight tops. So simple, you can't go wrong with it! 

Oklahoma Relief

I have been deeply saddened by the devastation in Oklahoma. I am donating in every way I possibly can at this point in time. Hello Apparel is selling this tank & donating all proceeds to the Oklahoma Disaster Relief. Head over & snatch one up - it's a great cause & really cute. 

Today I'm Linking Up With... 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Caffeine Problem...

It is well documented on this blog that I love caffeine. 

I am not a coffee person, I drink unsweetened iced tea. It's like a religion to me. Lately, I have had some people call me out on my "excessive caffeine consumption." And because I do try to live healthily, I decided to look into the matter. Exactly how much caffeine is too much? And are there benefits? I did some digging & figured it out. Since I know that many of you love your caffeine too, I thought I'd share.  Here's what I learned... 

  1. There are many different types of caffeine, and the effects vary widely based on the concentration. IE: the caffeine is a piece of chocolate & the caffeine in a Red Bull are not equal. The caffeine in black tea is pretty low on the scale, and I never touch energy drinks, so I think I'm safe on this one. 
  2. Caffeine is a diuretic - which means it can lead to dehydration. This is a problem for me. I need to be hydrated for my runs, especially as the weather warms up. So, I'm going to be more conscious about drinking an ounce of water for every ounce of iced tea. 
  3. You can't actually go into withdrawal from caffeine, but "it definitely affects the brain and body and stimulates them in a manner similar to the amphetamines such as cocaine." (source) True story, quitting caffeine sucks for the first two days, then you're fine. I gave it up completely during pregnancy & can do it again if necessary. I simply have no desire to...
  4. The Mayo Clinic says that 300 mg of caffeine consumed daily is within safe limits. My black tea consumption, even on a bad day, falls safely within these limits. 
  5. Caffeine can actually help with my running! Studies have shown that ingesting caffeine before a workout increases your endurance, can help ease post exercise muscle soreness, and can help sedentary people exercise more vigorously
So am I going to give it up? Nope. Will I be more conscious of my intake? Yes. Being conscious of you intake of anything is always a good idea. Remember people, everything in moderation. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ella's Hot Date, My First 10K, & Shopping with Grandma Nancy

This weekend was BUSY! But not busy in an overwhelming way, just busy in an awesome way. It was basically Ella & I at home all weekend, because Eric had plans with his college roommates Friday night (into Saturday morning...) and then was golfing with his dad & brother on Sunday. I think I saw him for a collective 8 hours all weekend, but that's ok because he doesn't get to take a whole lot of time for himself these days & I was doing exactly what I wanted to do with Ella by my side.

Ella's Hot Date:

On Saturday we met up with my best friend, whose son just happens to be Ella's boyfriend. She had a ton of gift cards from her birthday that she wanted to use up, so we hit the mall. She was looking for wedges, and I was looking for tops. We both got what we were looking for, and of course bought stuff for the kiddos too!

at Target with her boyfriend
being silly together at the food court
playing in the yard together

My Race:

at the starting line of the Lilac 10K

This was my first 10K race. I've been running 6 miles pretty regularly for the past 3 months, but it was the first time I was doing it competitively. I was also running with a good friend from high school, who is a far faster runner than I am, but kept insisting that she wanted to stay with me & take it easy. The run was extremely pleasant because we chatted with one another the entire time, which made it go by quickly. The course was beautiful & a lot of it was on streets that I run regularly so it made it feel very "normal" to me. The last mile is a gradual uphill though & I really started to feel like I was going to die (note to self: more hills!) but I didn't want to embarrass myself by walking. So, I kept going & finished at 1:00:28. I was pissed that I didn't finish in under an hour, but there's always next year. As both Eric & my Nike+ app reminded me, it was a PR and I can always improve for the next one.

The best part of the whole thing is that it felt so insanely routine to be running 6 miles on teh weekend. My legs aren't aching and I didn't want to sleep the rest of the day. It just felt normal. I LOVE THAT RUNNING 6 MILES IS NORMAL FOR ME! I could not have said that 6 months ago.

Shopping with Grandma Nancy:

Once I got home from the race, I showered and then we headed out to have lunch and do some shopping at a local plaza. Nancy doesn't get to spend a lot of 1:1 time with Ella, so she was in seventh heaven all day long. We ate lunch at The Food Bar, had ice cream at Cold Stone, and did some shopping at TJ Maxx & Carter's. The best part of the day was that the weather was gorgeous, so we got to eat outside on the patio, which is the definition of summer in my book.

trying watermelon & cantelope for the first time!

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