Monday, September 30, 2013

Homecoming, Showers, & Photoshoots


I was anxiety ridden all day long on Friday, freaking out about whether or not my girls would pull off their performance. Thankfully... they did! I was proud as a peacock when they were finished. They still have a long way to go to do well at competitions in the coming weeks, but we're well on our way! Of course I still made them have practice Friday night, so that's what I spent most of my evening doing... 

Ella was already gone with my parents by the time I got home & Eric had dinner waiting for me. We dined on some homemade pizza & then settled in to watch an adult movie uninterupted. (Clarification, the way I just typed that it makes it sound like we were watching "adult films." No, I just mean we weren't watching an animated feature.) We decided on Gatsby & I liked it, but I didn't love it. I'm thinking that if I'd read the book, I'd have understood it more. I felt like there was more to Daisy's character than the screen was able to portray...


I was able to sleep in until 7:15 Saturday morning, but then it was time to rise & shine for Homecoming Festivities! I stopped & grabbed Panera for a special treat then walked over to pick up the balloons for the float at Party City. I was fairly certain that I was going to get pulled over on my way to school, because I definitely couldn't see out my rearview mirror.... 

We decorated the float & I love how it turned out... 

It was also a gorgeous, sunny day which made it possible for me to wear shorts & a tank top, helping me preserve my tan just a little while longer :) We paraded, then cheered on the sidelines for the game. The atmosphere is just amazing & it's what I imagine every football game feels like in the south. I really wish all of our games were so much fun... 

After the game, I drove back to my parents' house for my uncle's 50th birthday party! I arrived to a house full of my favorite people & lots of love from my little peanut! My Aunt Babs had made Fettucine Alfredo, garlic bread, salad, and cake. It was delicious & just what I needed after a day on the go...


Sunday morning brought the excitement of Ella's photoshoot. My aunt met us at my parents' house& we headed into the backyard. The leaves had fallen, the grass was dry enough to sit on, the sun was shining - a perfect day for our mission!

Ella was exhausted after her modeling, so she took a power nap while the rest of us got ready for my cousin's baby shower. This is what I wore for it... 

We headed to my Aunt Babs' house for the shower around 1. She welcomed us with a large spread of sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cupcakes! Ella was in heaven & I swear she consumed half her body weight... 

She got even more excited when it was time to open presents... 

That's a wrap on another amazing weekend. I'm linking up with Sami & Bre :) 

Ella's Fall Photoshoot

My aunt came over yesterday morning to do Ella's "one year" photo shoot. (Clearly, we're two months late on that, but no big deal...) I absolutely love fall photoshoots. (Evidenced by my own engagement session which is still plastered all over my house...) Who can resist all of the reds & oranges? The biggest perk of having a professional photographer as an aunt is that she comes right to my parent's house. So, these photos are done right in the backyard. Second perk - she was so excited she started editing right away & I had all of these images less than 4 hours later! There are more to come, but I just couldn't wait to share because I am so in love with them! 

All images by Tonia Prutsman. Contact me for information if you are in the Western New York area. 
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Current Obsessions...

It's been awhile since I featured a new batch of my favorite things. I guess I just assumed that you knew my favorite things for summer: aviators, maxis, sandals, & frozen margaritas. Fall is another story though. I'm back to school & coaching, no longer lazing around my back yard or running errands with Ella. Despite that, it is my absolute favorite season here in NY. Our weather is made for fall. So here are my current obsessions for the season... 

leopard loafers

I bought these for Ella over the weekend & could not be more obsessed with them. They're easily the most adorable pair of shoes I've ever bought her! Hers are from Gap, but if you're looking for an adult version, here you go

apple crisp 

it's confession time... I ate a whole pan of apple crisp last week. I knew it was going to happen the second I put it in the oven. It always does. Eric has way more self control than I do when it comes to baked goods & he may have had two servings. The rest of that pan, all me. And honestly, I don't regret it. Everything still fits. I make it once a year. Indulgence happens. If you're looking for a good recipe, try this one! 

slouchy sweaters

pinned here
I was in love with slouchy tees over the summer & my addiction has translated to fall in the form of the slouchy sweater. They're so freaking comfortable. I wore this hot pink one yesterday. My sister wore this one on Sunday. I also really love this one... it looks a little funky online, but I saw it in store over the weekend & it's gorgeous. 

burlap wreaths

Burlap just screams fall to me & I have found a ton of options on Etsy. The one pictured above is my absolute favorite, but I also love this one & this one

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I had a "real" post planned for today, but then last night got real random real fast. Here's what happened... 

1 - Worst Practice Ever... I had a few girls sick & those that were there would not. stop. talking. I know they're in 7th & 8th grade, but I felt like I was dealing with kindergartners & may have said so at one point. We are supposed to perform at Friday's pep assembly, in front of their peers & my colleagues. I don't want them to look unprepared & I am currently freaking out. Here's hoping that tonight goes more smoothly. 

2 - Delicious Dinner... sometimes simple dinners hit the spot. Eric made shake & bake chicken strips, stove top stuffing, and green beans. It was so good. 

3 - Eric's iPhone... as you may remember, Ella threw Eric's iPhone in the toilet while we were on vacation. He's been patiently rocking his 3GS, waiting for the release of the 5S. When we finally get the release date, he starts to freak out about the cost  & decides to just use what he has for awhile longer. That lasted a week & last night I found myself at the Apple Store at 7:30. Luckily, we were in & out - my fastest Apple Store experience by far. I haven't gotten to play with it yet, but I'll be sure to let you know what I think when I do! 

4 - Janie & Jack... since we were at the mall, I decided to stop & show Eric the dress that I've been obsessing over since Saturday. I had already decided that it was going to be the focal point of our Christmas card. Apparently, a lot of people feel this way, because there were only 2 left last night. Luckily, one was in Ella's size! Then, the lady tells me that they're having a Friends & Family Event this weekend! 25% off! Oh wait, that doesn't help me on Monday... Oh wait... yes it does! She agreed to price adjust my receipt! Thank you sales associate Amy for making my Christmas card vision come to life! 

5 - Hair Color... my hair was in rough shape. When I got it cut, they didn't have time to color it. I didn't think it'd be a big deal & then my grey started to come in strong. It was to the point that Eric noticed & if he's noticing, then the women at work & cheer moms definitely are. Thus, my wonderful hubby threw on a bottle of hair dye at 9 o'clock last night while I watched DWTS. I'm looking a whole lot fresher today because of his efforts :) 

And yes... the world's most random night makes for the world's most random post. Happy Tuesday! 
Monday, September 23, 2013

Football, Rainy Day Shopping, & Wedding Planning


Friday was our first football game of the season! I was nervous because my girls are still pretty young & many of them have never cheered a game before. I was afraid it'd be a chatterfest on the sidelines & that pyramids would come crashing down... seriously, I had a bellyache all day long. They did great though! They we're loud & proud and all of our stunts hit! Woot! Not too shabby for our first time out! 

with my little Jillie at our first game - this is my 3rd year with her :) 

By the time we were back from the game, I was starving! So, I decided to drive-thru Wendy's & try the grilled chicken flatbread that everyone has been talking about...

Seriously, it was delish. Go try one & make your own video for the #6secondsflat contest. Your video could win you $6,000

As if my sandwich wasn't the perfect way to end my evening, my parents pulled into our driveway at the same time I did, and stayed with us for the weekend! It's the first time they've spent the night at our new place & Ella absolutely loved it. OK - I loved it too. I really wish they lived closer to us... 


I had to have practice on Saturday morning because we're getting dangerously close to competition & still have a ton left to do. I'm a serious stress case over it & was hoping that an extra two hours on Saturday morning would help. It didn't. It was pouring rain, girls were late, they were unfocused. GRRR!!! We'll leave it at that & say that I was really glad to head out shopping with my family after practice...

We went to my mom's favorite sub shop for lunch & then went to our happy place - Eastview Mall. My cousin's baby shower is next weekend, so we got to do a bunch of baby shopping! We got stuff from Gymboree, Pottery Barn Kids, and of course - Baby Gap. This is one of the items that I bought for Baby Ethan :) 

find it here & use the code THANKYOU for  30% off

We also got some new stuff for Ella, but I'm not sharing it yet because she is having a photo shoot next weekend & I don't want to ruin the surprise! Hint - it's fall themed! Hint hint - it may involve her frolicking in her Halloween costume!! 

Our last stop of the day was dinner. My mom wanted to try brick oven pizza since I'm always raving about it, so we hit up Brick for dinner. I've said it before & I'll keep saying it - I love Brick! Big family salad, wood fired wings, bread sticks with the most delicious marinara ever - oh and pizza!!! If you're in Rochester, please do yourself a favor & try it. 


We woke up Sunday morning & headed out to look at a possible location for my sister's wedding! The venue is about 2 1/2 hours from our house, so we left early & had breakfast along the way. Ella went back to sleep on the ride, which meant she was wide awake during the tour! We haven't made a final decision on the venue, but I will say that it is a strong contender. Here's a small sneak peak :) 

After the tour & lunch at the hotel's restaurant, we parted ways with my parents & headed back to Rochester. Since that meant driving right past the outlet mall, we just had to stop! I mean... J.Crew was having 40% off everything! Who can pass that up? I bought a sweater & headband for less than $40. I'm wearing the sweater today & just love it! I wish I'd bought it in another color & may be getting online to find it! 

We made it home around 5, just in time for the Bills game & dinner! I had already decided that I wanted to make this recipe & had Eric prep the ingredients. It was so easy to throw together and OMG it was de.lish.ious. I have leftovers packed for lunch & have been thinking about them since 8:30! 

So yeah... I did a lot of shopping & eating with my family this weekend. Which in my book is perfection :) 
Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Social - Handbags

1. What is your favorite handbag you’ve ever owned? 
This is hard, but I'm going to go with my black hobo from Banana Republic. The leather is supple & I love the subtle braiding on the handle. It's extremely versatile & timeless. 
2. What is your dream handbag you lust over? 

3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag? 

always - iPhone, house keys, work keys, sunglasses, school ID, planner, wallet, checkbook, coupons, pens, extra binkie. 
occasionally - iPad, snack for Ella, scarf, checkbook. 
4. What’s in your purse (with pictures)? This is a view from the top….
notice today's bonus items - Ella's leopard flats & gold bow headband :) 
my bag is Phillip Lim for Target

Friday, September 20, 2013

Every Mile a Memory

My car currently has 125,000 miles on it. But, it's still running & it's paid off. So, I'm keeping it around. 

I think about buying  a new car every day. I talk about it & have even looked into a few things. Money is definitely an issue, but it really boils down to the amount of nostalgia attached to my car... In the 6 years that I've owned my car, my life has changed drastically. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? 


  • Buy my new car in February & pass on my beloved Dodge Neon to Eric :) 
  • On the same day that I buy my car, my parents announce that they're moving to Albany so my mom can take a promotion. Sobbing. Lots & lots of sobbing. 
  • Graduate from college in May 

  • Hired for first teaching job in June 
  • Take car on road trip to Myrtle Beach... first time driving there without my parents! 
  • Start new job in September. 45 minute commute each way = lots of time in the car. 
  • My parents actually move, leaving me to live alone in our very big house in the middle of nowhere
  • Live with Eric for the summer at 69 State :) 
  • Another road trip to MB 
  • Go back for year #2 - aka the most stressful teaching year of my life
  • Eric & I "take a break" because the long distance is taking its toll 
  • Eric & I get back together on New Year's Day :)
  • Lost a dear friend to the war in Iraq... 
  • Got engaged!

  • Had a furbaby named Charlie!  
  • Moved back to Rochester & took on an even longer commute
  • Hired for new job in Rochester :)
  • Last summer working at day camp 
  • Start coaching & my new job 
hosting my first 512 Feast! 

  • Wedding planning! 
  • Continued to plan wedding... 
  • Move into the rental house... with my little sister. 
  • Got married! 

  • Taught summer school 
  • Got pregnant! 
  • Took our honeymoon/babymoon to Vegas! 

  • My sister moved out
  • More teaching, more coaching, more summer school 
  • Welcomed Ella into our lives :) 

  • Many, many firsts with Miss Ella 
  • Started this blog! 
  • Took a reunion trip to Lake Placid :) 

  • Ran my first half-marathon
  • Ella started crawling
  • Bought a house & moved in
  • Ella started walking...

I had no idea when I put those keys into the ignition for the first time how much my life would change over the lifespan of that car. 125,000 miles... 125,000 memories... and many more to come. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Identity Crisis

The weather in Upstate NY is suffering from a serious identity crisis. Is it still summer? Is it fall yet? I'm all for variety, but it's really been complicating my outfit planning these past few weeks. Here are a few of my fave outfits since I've been back to work... 

Weather: Rainy & 60 
Wore For: Casual Friday at school, followed by a trip to the mall with Ella (hence the pics in the Gap dressing room...) 
Who I'm Wearing: shirt - J.Crew // booties - American Eagle // skinnies - Old Navy 
Weather: Drizzly with temps ranging from 50 to 75
Wore For: A Saturday Family Party 
Who I'm Wearing: sweater - Ann Taylor Loft // shirt - Gap // skinnies - J.Crew 

Weather: Sunny & 80
Wore For: A day at school 
Who I'm Wearing: pants - Gap // tank - Forever 21 // sandals - AE

Weather: Overcast & 55 
Wore For: Casual Friday & Dinner with Eric 
Who I'm Wearing: boyfriend jeans - Ann Taylor Loft // sandals - AE // belt - Gap // tee - Target // scarf - boutique

Weather: It's supposed to be sunny & 75
Wore For: Today at school 
Who I'm Wearing: shorts - Gap // sandals - Target // tank - Gap // cardigan - J.Crew // bag - Phillip Lim for Target

And in honor of the fact that it's supposed to be sunny & 75 today... 

Linking Up with The Pleated Poppy
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Target Escapades

This weekend, I spent a lot of time at Target. Not intentionally. It just happened... 

On Saturday morning, I went to get Ella dressed for apple picking & realized that she didn't have any jeans. I don't mean that they were all dirty. I mean she had outgrown every single pair she owned & mother of the year had neglected to buy her new ones. Eric suggested that I simply put her in sweat pants, but I had a vision of her in her jeans, crocs, & hoodie that I refused to abandon. Thus, I headed to Target. Here's what I found... 

Watch, Jeans, & Scarf - all under $20

All glorious & totally necessary purchases. Isn't the watch a dead ringer for the MK watch I featured on my fall must haves? I wish I had kept it for myself, but sadly it has gone to live on my sister's wrist as her belated birthday present.

The next morning, I awoke to a quiet house. Ella was still sleeping. Eric had already left for the Bills game. I decided to stay snuggled in bed & scroll through my Instagram feed. That is when I saw this... 

It was 7:26 when I read it. At 7:27 I got out of bed, changed into yoga pants, brushed my teeth, & fashioned a pony tail out of my mess of hair. At 7:32 I pulled Ella out of her crib & changed her diaper. At 7:38 we were in the car, on our way to Target. At about 7:43, I realized that my yoga pants were on inside out. I was going to look like a true beauty on this mission. 

We pulled up to Target,Tim Horton's in hand, at 7:51. I begin to hawk eye the other cars in the parking lot. At 7:55, people begin getting out of their cars, so I do too. I pull Ella out of her carseat & walk up to the building. I use her presence in my arms to position myself close to the door. She was so cute in her PJs that no one said a word to me. At 7:58 the manager came to the door & let us in. I didn't run, I'm not that crazy. But it was a pretty brisk walk to the 3.1 Phillip Lim display. I only saw taupe at first, so I snatched one. But then a nice lady that was in line with me handed me the black version with a smile. You see, we had to stick together, as we were surrounded by women snatching bags by the armful, most likely planning to sell them on eBay. 

Now at this point in time, I just want to point out two things. 

1) I have never done this before. I don't even do this for Black Friday sales. However, I have been coveting this designer's bag for months & don't have $1,000 to spend on it. Also, the Target version looks a lot like the Celine Luggage Tote, which I've also been coveting & cannot afford. Thus, I went for it. 

2) The bag is really nice & beautiful. I took it with me to the mall on Sunday afternoon & received several compliments on it. These of course made my day & validated that my efforts had been necessary. I promise you will see it here on the blog soon... 

Onto our last Target trip of the weekend... After spending some time at the mall on Sunday afternoon, I decided to run into a different Target & have the photos of apple picking developed. I rarely have prints made, but I used my actual camera on Saturday & loved the photos I had taken. While standing at the Kodak kiosk & selecting prints, I handed Ella my keys to play with. I do this all the time, so I didn't think anything of it. Once the prints had been paid for, I decided to take a lap around the store & see if there was anything I "needed." After about 10 minutes though, Ella got sleepy & I decided I didn't need anything, so we put the cart back & headed to the car...

Upon arriving to the car, I could not find my keys. At this point, I realized that I'd given them to Ella & there was no telling where she'd flung them...

This was a calm realization at first. I walked back in, checked to see if our cart was still there (it wasn't), talked to the photo desk man (he hadn't seen them), went to check with the customer service desk (nothing). I decided to retrace our steps, but with every step I was getting more anxious. I couldn't find them, so I went back to customer service & found a nice lady who was far more helpful than the first man I spoke with. At this point, I'm starting to cry, mainly because I didn't want to have to tell Eric that I was stranded at Target. The nice lady took me back to the fitting rooms, where they have an all-call. They make two announcements, still nothing. Multiple employees are looking at this point. Still nothing. I decide to take Ella & go look again myself. Finally, I see a cart in a random aisle, abandoned. I walk up to it & sitting in the bottom of the basket are my keys. I swear to you, it was an act of God. Or at least that's what it felt like at that point. 

So there it is, I spent my weekend at Target. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Picking!

It was a perfect fall weekend in Upstate NY, so on Saturday afternoon, Eric, my sister, and I took Ella to Brown's Berry Patch to go apple picking. The place is fantastic & not only has apple picking, but also a "Barnyard Adventure" consisting of a petting zoo, bounce pad, hay rides, and playground. Ella was a little overwhelmed at first, but once she got comfortable she had a blast. It also has a wonderful cafe that serves apple pie sundaes big enough to share - seriously, the 4 of us shared & were completely satisfied with it! Here are some pics from the day...

We sat her here to get her car seat set up in my sister's car & she thought she was the coolest!
Upon arrival with a still sleepy Miss Ella...


so proud of her apples...

on the bounce pad

So. Much. Fun.
Be back with more on the rest of our weekend later...
Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Faves: Scarves, Sparkles, & Sugar

I didn't do a Friday Favorites post last week because I was still swimming in the back to school craziness. This Friday, I'm feeling a lot more relaxed & a hell of a lot more on top of things. So, here are a few of my favorites from the past two weeks... enjoy! 

Fave Outfit: 

I am absolutely in love with this outfit! I need to have it in my closet ASAP! I know that it isn't exactly "fall"-esque, but I'm down for sparkles any time of the year. I will be doing my best to replicate it soon! 

Fave Pic: 

I just love this picture of Ella trying on Halloween costumes. I am still debating whether to shell out the money for it, but everyone I show it to says that I just have to! 

Fave Recipe: 

This recipe is from Shay at Mix & Match Family. We're going apple picking over the weekend & then I'm going to make it on Sunday! I'll be sure to share the results with you, along with the number of pounds I gain from eating the whole pan myself...

Fave Find: 

I am obsessed with these scarves! The shop is called quotationmarks & I found them through Instagram. I just have to have one. They hand write quotes & lyrics onto super soft scarves that look just as gorgeous on as they do stretched up like above. I think I'm going to have one custom done with one of my favorite Dave Matthew's Band lyrics, but if you have any other suggestions, let me know! 

Fave Song: 

I've been in a mellow, old-school mood lately & have been blasting my DMB playlist on repeat. So enjoy this throwback, it's one of my faves... 

**Linking up for #backthatazzup & Friday Favorites with Lindsey & Style Elixir**

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