Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the Ella & Bri!
 

Yes, I dressed my daughter up as a skunk. I think it's adorable & I got it for free - you can't beat that! I promise to get a picture of her backside later today! Right now, she's at daycare celebrating with her BFF & I'm spending the day running the cheerleader's dessert bar fundraiser - aka trying not to eat 60 brownies for lunch. We're headed out trick or treating tonight, so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to see all of our antics!
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - Skinnies & Blouses

I have been living in my fall wardrobe of skinny jeans & blouses for the past two weeks now. It's my favorite time of year with crisp temps in morning and the warmth of sunshine by afternoon. That's perfect weather for bonuses. I'm not sweating & I'm not shivering either. 

skinnies - Old Navy // blouse - Banana Republic
booties - American Eagle // watch - Coach 

I wore this outfit to Sectionals on Saturday afternoon. I love tunic-y feel of the blouse & the rolled sleeves. It's totally casual, but the boots & wrist candy dress it up. Definitely a winning outfit! (Get it?) 

blouse - Target // skinnies - Old Navy // boots - Steve Madden
necklace - Francesca's Closet // watch - Coach 

I am in love with this blouse from Target! The Art Deco print reminds me of Gatsby & I loved how the gold popped against it! I will definitely be repeating this outfit.

shirt - Gap // skinnies - Gap // loafers - Gap
watch - Coach // bangles - Alex & Ani // necklace - Francesca's Closet 

And that brings us to this year's competition outfit. I'm incredibly superstitious, so if my team is competing, I wear my outfit more than once. That means I wore it on a Tuesday, and then turned around and wore it again on Sunday. I had to act fast on the laundry front, but I pulled it off. This shirt is from Gap & reminds me of a more fitted Piko top. It's loose in the tummy, but has fitted 3/4 sleeve arms. And let's talk about my gold loafers.... I'm obsessed with them! I got them for 40% off & they were definitely worth the $20 I paid since they take a very simple outfit to another level! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You Need Ankle Zip Jeans!

I fell in love with Laura's ankle zip jeans last week & was immediately on a mission to find a pair of my own. I found mine on Friday night & am dying to wear them! 

I bought mine from Old Navy. They're The Rockstar Ankle Zip Jean. I'm going to warn you right now... you need to go to a store & try these on. They are amazing, but size wise, they're completely off from my other Old Navy Jeans. 




Now, I went low budget on these ($19.99) because my husband has me on a budget. However, it never hurts to window shop, so here are some other ankle zip jeans that I found in other price points. 


These jeans are from Madewell & I love the color of the wash! I've never bought a pair of jeans from here, but Laura wears them all the time & I trust her! You can find these here...

Now if you're looking for an edgier look, maybe for going out or a dressier/hipper work environment, I've found the perfect pair for you... 




These are the Sanctuary Ankle Zip Charmer Skinny. I'm in love with the combination of the black with the zipper. You can find them on Piperlime here... 

And the ultimate find in my hunt....




These are the Colored Zippered Skinny Jean from Forever 21. They come in 6 colors & only cost $15.80. Definitely a bargain. Perfect if you're on the fence about the trend! 

If you find other fantastic options, let me know in the comments! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beyond Blessed...

I spent a lot  of time this weekend feeling purely blessed... It all started as I was sitting in the parking lot of a high end photography studio, in my new car, sipping Starbucks. I had a few minutes until Britt got there, so I decided to savor the alone time. That's when it hit me. I am so incredibly fortunate to have the life that I do. I'm not normally a reflective person, but I think I need to strive to become one, because as I reflected, I felt more at peace with my life. It may not be perfect. We may not have everything that I want, but we have everything that we need. And that is a reason to feel blessed. 

Other reasons why I'm feeling blessed... 


  • I met with my sister's wedding photographer! I am so in love with her & all of her images. We talked about the plan for Britt's engagement photos & the photo above is the inspiration... I get to play stylist for the shoot & am really looking forward to it. It's only 3 weeks from today! (Can you tell that I'm getting really into my role as Maid of Honor?)
  • I have fantastic in-laws that love their granddaughter so much. They took her to their house for two nights & gave us some time to get the house back in order after a crazy fall season. Some people think it's crazy that I don't worry the whole time she's gone, but they're amazing with her & I know she's having a blast. 
  • We won our 7th straight Sectional title on Saturday! I am so blessed to be a part of this program & really believe that I'm meant to be here. I had planned to give up coaching when I took my new teaching job four years ago, but somehow this landed in my lap & it's now a huge part of my life. Words cannot express the amount of pride that I have in those girls. Love them & can't wait to watch them go for #8 in the winter.
  • I have the best cousins ever. I take it for granted that Britt & I had such close relationships with our cousins growing up. Today, they're still some of our best friends. Two of our cousins are going to be in Britt's wedding with us & one was able to attend a bridal show with us yesterday.  We had a blast  and got some great ideas for the wedding! (Again, I love being a Maid of Honor!) 
  • Eric. Hands down the most amazing husband ever. He doesn't complain when I spend the entire weekend at cheer competitions & bridal shows, he just cleans the house & does the laundry. I'm not kidding, he is that amazing.... 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Social - Halloween Edition

1. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? I was a Christmas present one year & I just loved it!
2. If you could go back to your childhood and dress up as something, what would it be? I would've gone as a Disney Princess. I know my sister was Jasmine one year, but I never got to be one :( 
3. What was your favorite Halloween costume as an adult? I was a flapper two Halloweens ago. It was the first costume that I actually purchased ever. I was a DIY at the last minute kind of girl all through college... 

4. What is your favorite Halloween candy? Those little Mallowcreme pumpkins are the death of me...
5. What is your favorite Halloween memory? Halloween parties at my husband's college house. They were always over the top & crazy. I miss those... 
6. What is your favorite scary movie? I don't do scary movies. I'd much rather watch the Halloween party scene from Mean Girls... 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Obsession With Piperlime

I am the loyalest of loyal shoppers when it comes to the Gap Brands. I buy things for Ella & myself all of the time from Old Navy & Gap. Many of my work staples & investment pieces come from Banana Republic. But sometimes, you just need a designer item... which is when Piperlime comes into play.

I have been shopping with Piperlime for all seven of the years that it has been open. I've purchased everything from handbags to heels, earrings to sandals. Oh, and tops... lots and lots of tops. I love perusing the site & love their sale section even more. Which brings me to my point. Piperlime is having 40% off their sale items right now! That's right, you can get designer denim on sale for an extra 40% off. You could get a Marc Jacobs handbag for an extra 40% off. Who can pass up a deal like that? I certainly can't...


Collective Concepts Textured Peplum Top

Elizabeth & James Davis Jean with Zipper Ankle

Pim & Larkin Dolman Cashmere Sweater

Hudson 10 Studded Flats

Sabine Graphic Sequin Tee

Here's all the info you need to get shopping... 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day to Night in Skinny Jeans

Today, I am linking up with my fabulous friend Laura to style skinny jeans two ways... for day & for night. Now let's be honest, I don't go out at night much any more. In fact, I am typically in bed by 9 p.m. - so I left that to Laura! Here's how she's working them... 



A few thoughts on her outfit... I love that she chose skinnies with zippers at the ankle! I need to find a pair ASAP. Also, I love how she is pairing her soft sweater with the leather jacket - feminine & edgy at the same time. If you don't already follow Laura, you must. She is one of my absolute favorite style inspirations & you will not be disappointed. 


Now onto my look for day. I live in skinny jeans, so I "style" them often. My  favorite way to wear them is with boots. Whether they're heeled or flats, boots always look fantastic with skinny jeans. And now that it's finally fall in NY, I can finally pull out my other favorite style staple - scarves. This one from Gap is ultra soft and large. The perfect combination for a blustery day of car shopping & running errands. 



Don't forget to stop by & see all of the pics from Laura's look on her blog today! 



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Do It Fabulously


Life has been a little overwhelming lately. I've been in the heat of competition season, while trying to do my real job here at school. Throw on top of that, the furnace needs to be replaced, we have to trade in our lease & find a new car, we need to have our Christmas photos done, my parents are coming into town. Oh, and we have a child to raise. The house is a disaster & if it was left up to me we'd eat chicken nuggets & tater tots for dinner every night. Screw exercise right now, I want a nap. 

Typing that paragraph just gave me anxiety all over again. I can't continue to live in a constant state of frenzy... which means cutting back. If I can't do it fabulously, then I'm not going to do it. It was time to prioritize. So, last night I sat down with Eric after Ella had fallen asleep & made a list of the 5 things I'm going to focus my time & energy on... 


Ella is my #1 priority - at all times. She is the non-negotiable in this scenario. Because she is the #1 & now eats exactly what we do for dinner, cooking healthy dinners has to be a priority too. Since my teaching job & coaching pay close to 3/4 of our bills, I need to continue to do them well. Luckily, it is the off season for the next 3 weeks & my cheer responsibilities will be far less than normal. And because my husband says that I am a far happier & balanced person when I exercise, I'm going to make sure I get something in every day. I may start running before the sun... but more on that later :) 

Eric is going to pick up the slack for me on house cleaning, laundry, and general house maintenance. He's overseeing the new furnace/hot water heater install as I type this. Such a good husband... 

What do you prioritize? 


Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Over...

You know how some people wake up on Fridays & think TGIF. Well, I woke up this morning thinking TGCSIO. That stands for Thank God Cheer Season Is Over. I am in desperate need of these next three weeks off so I can mentally prepare for the marathon that is winter cheer. 
Ella at competition yesterday... 

The girls took first place again yesterday! So proud of them & all they've accomplished. Just ready to spend a little less time with them :) 

In other news... I am picking up my new car tonight! I posted awhile ago that we were going to start looking, but it turned into a completely different scenario than I'd planned. So... we're keeping my car that is totally paid off & picking up a new lease on a pretty pimped out Nissan Rogue. I'm very excited about owning a SUV. I plan to start hauling & towing immediately. Joking! I'm way more excited about my sunroof & nav screen. I never thought I'd be getting those any time soon. 

What else did we do this weekend? Well... my parents came into town Saturday night & attended my competition yesterday. (My babysitter informed me that all of the cheer moms now have a crush on my dad. A little weird, but I think it's a compliment.) We ate dinner & did some light shopping. I picked up the scarf that I'm wearing today for $15 at J.Crew - originally $89. Score! (Seriously, who pays $89 for a scarf?) And... that's about all I have for this insanely random post. Be back with something far more normal & interesting tomorrow! 
details on this outfit on Wednesday! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Prepping For Our Christmas Card

I know what you're thinking... WTF? Christmas? It isn't even Halloween yet! I know... it seems crazy. But it isn't. The time to shoot your Christmas card photo is now! Especially if you live up north & you want to take it outside. We're having ours shot over the weekend & I've been working diligently to put together the perfect photo... 

Decide on the Location


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We are opting to have ours done outside, along the white picket fence of our new home. We wanted to feature our new house, but it obviously isn't decorated for Christmas yet! Thus, we picked a neutral background, that I can easily add decorations to. I have the garland pulled out & will be stringing it along the fence. I also pulled out my wreaths & will be incorporating them as well. 

Last year, we waited too long & had to take our photo inside. At the time, we were living in our rental & the decor was less than appealing. Plus, we didn't have a tree or a mantle. So... we crashed my BFF's house & pretended to live there. It turned out adorable, but I would've been in a pickle if I didn't have a generous friend with a beautiful house. 

no planning whatsoever = slightly boring Christmas card photo
Decide on a Color Scheme

You're probably thinking, red & green - duh? But there are so many more options! I was torn between classic red, white, and black or metallics this year. The final decision was made once I found the perfect dress for Ella to wear! Which brings me to... 

Select Outfits 

You don't have to be too matchy, matchy - but try to coordinate with one another. Decide if you're going casual or dressy. Last year, we wore jeans with sweaters for the photos. 

This year, we're dressing up a bit more. I'll be in a sleeved maxi, Eric is wearing a shirt & tie, and Ella is wearing a dress. It looks like a lot of red in the collage, but Eric will mainly be in black & white to break it up.  




Choose Your Card Design 


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This is important to look at ahead of time because if you fall in love with a card design, you need to make sure you choose the appropriate orientation. You also need to know if you're looking for one amazing shot or multiple amazing shots. Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, and Etsy are my favorite places to browse for custom Christmas cards. 

Browse for Posing Inspiration  


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Last, figure out how you want to pose! Do you need props? If so, purchase them/find them ahead of time and have them ready to go. The easiest way to find posing inspiration is to search Pinterest for Christmas Card Photos.

Get Planning & Good Luck! I'll be sharing ours before you know it! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sunshine

OMG is it Friday yet? Longest. Week. Ever. Thankfully Miss Caitlin has brightened things up a bit for me by nominating me for the Sunshine Award! Have I ever told you all about my love for awards? Well, you should know that I am always gunning for first....



Anywho... the award is simply given to a blog that brightens your day!

1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Check my phone. Horrible habit, but it's what I do.

2. What is the 3rd picture on your phone? Share it!

with Ella at competition on Tuesday :) 
3. What TV show are you most excited about returning this fall?

The return of Nashville! I just loved the first season & can't wait to find out what's going to happen in Season 2.

4. What is something really popular that you secretly (or not so secretly) loathe?

Crop Tops. I'm not sure if they're popular everywhere, but plenty of my students are trying to pull them off these days & trust me, they are NOT made for everyone! Oh, and I hate Nutella.

5. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them! Bonus points for pictures.

Oh Charlie... I know I complain, but I love him to pieces.

6. If you could put together one outfit that represents you perfectly, what would it be?



This... I would live in this every day if I could.

7. What is your favorite adult beverage?

Frozen Strawberry Margaritas!


8. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Gossip Girl! I miss it soooo much. I love a good scandal & secretly wish for a love like Chuck & Blair. Eric & I just aren't that exciting...



9. What are 3 positive words to describe you?

Positive, Stylish, & Genuine

10. How excited are you to be nominated?

Like I said, I love awards. If it was up to me, I'd build an addition onto the house & all of my cheerleading trophies would be proudly displayed in pristine display cases. So, I'm pretty pumped :)



Alright & here are the 5 blogs that brighten my day... be sure to stop by & show them some love! 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Waiting Game...

I was planning on posting my favorite plaid & gingham looks for Laura's Trend Spin Link Up today, but honestly... I'm just not pulled together enough to pull that off today. 

I am a bundle of nerves. I don't think I've felt this nervous going into competition in a long time. It's been at least 4 years, back when I ran my own program & coached varsity. Never in my history at SHS have I felt this out of sorts over cheerleading. On my drive in to work this morning, I contemplated why I'm feeling like such a basket case....

  • Are the girls unprepared? Nope, they know exactly what they need to do. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they're 7th & 8th graders, so I don't expect perfection, I expect effort. If they step onto the mat & give 100%, I'll be happy. Although another 1st place trophy wouldn't hurt... 
  • Is it because you have to make it through a full day of work before you head off to competition? This may be a part of it. I'm used to getting on a bus at 7 am & having the whole thing over with by lunch. This day of waiting thing may push me over the edge. Say a prayer for my students that I don't snap today... 
  • It is because you feel like you have something to prove? Definitely. Our Varsity coach is going to be leaving within the next few years. I want to take over. It has been my goal since I started coaching here. All I want it to have my own program again. She has high standards & I feel like I generally meet those as her freshman coach. But do I impress her enough for her to hand over the program? A six time Sectional winning program? I don't really know. She is the queen of the poker face. I never know where I stand. 
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSER WHO WAIT NO!!! GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WORK THEIRASSES OFF AND NEVER GIVE UP click this image for more inspiratin quotes #quotes #inspiration #words

Today is a day of waiting, anticipating, and praying...


Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanks Columbus...

Today is our first day off of the school year. (insert eye roll from all non-teachers) It couldn't have come at a better time either, because we compete tomorrow night & I need to mentally prepare for that! Competition is stressful to begin with & my brilliant idea to change a whole dance at Saturday's practice isn't helping that...

My view at practice. Yes, that is my boot. Ella is great at dragging them all over the place. 
So whats a girl to do to relax & de-stress? Head to the mall of course! Ella & I are going shopping with the rest of the coaching staff, then onto our last practice. This is always my favorite practice of the season too. All three levels practice together, making small tweaks but basically just cementing everything in their minds. Then we invite the parents in to see it, after which we are showered in applause. 

It's going to be a great day, so thanks Columbus for making it happen...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Social - Blogging

1. What is the first blog you ever followed?
Mama Laughlin. I found her on Pinterest while I was pregnant & freaking out about losing the baby weight. I've been hooked ever since. She also introduced me to three of my other favorite blogs... Skinny Runner, Where We Can Live Like Jack & Sally, and Walking In Memphis in High Heels
2. What was your first blog post about?
I had to look this up even though it was less than a year ago. It was The Highlights of 2012. Rereading it made me happy - 2012 was good to me. 
3. Who left you your first blog comment?
Mike Anderson - my most random reader. I have no idea why he follows me, but he's a great guy & I've had many e-mail conversations with him over the past year. Thanks Mike! 
4. Who was the first blogger you ever met in person?
OMG - I still haven't! So, I'm going to go with who I'd most like to meet & that would be Nadine. She's super paranoid though, so I'll probably have to get fingerprinted & do a DNA test before she agrees to it. 
5. What was your first “blogging milestone?”
I'd have to say it was when I had the blog professionally designed! I love my blog design & could not have been more pleased with Lisette & High Note Designs

6. What is one thing you've discovered through blogging & now can't live without?




Oh dear...  there's a lot. The Lenore Scarf (seen above) from Kiki LaRue is one of my fall/winter staples. Also, dry shampoo. And camouflage pants... I never would've worn them before & now I absolutely love them. 

Linking Up With... 
Sunday Social

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some Songs Just Shouldn't Be On the Radio...

When it comes down to it, there are just some songs that shouldn't be put on the radio. While driving to my in-laws with Eric, we uncovered three such songs within an hour of each other. They were songs that made us shake our head & change the station. Here they are & here's why they don't belong there...

What Does the Fox Say? 

This song is just obnoxious. My middle school students are in love with it, but highly functioning adult minds? Not so much. I hate it & the worst part is, once you hear it, you'll never get it out of your head. It's so damn catchy. I don't care if it's in the iTunes Top 10 - it doesn't belong on the radio! 

Gorilla

Ok, before you start hating on me. This is one of my favorite songs. I absolutely love it. However, it doesn't belong on the radio. I have two reasons for this. One, the edited version doesn't do the song justice but you can't say "cocaine kicker" on the radio, so that's what they have to play. Second, even the edited version is dirty as all hell & I just don't think it's appropriate for mainstream radio. Singing it at the top of my lungs in the privacy of my car. Definitely. Listening to a chorus of middle schoolers sing it on a bus ride? Horrific. 

Anything Glee

Again, I'm a huge Gleek. Love the show. Always have, most likely always will. But it doesn't belong on the radio. This was my thought process... Seriously? You're playing Glee on the radio? You know everything they sing is already an actual song right? I was so confused when I heard Lea Michelle singing Adele's "To Make You Feel My Love." I'm pretty sure it was to promote the upcoming tribute episode to Cory Monteith, but still - lame. 

What songs do you think should be permanently removed from radio airplay? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Favorite Pinterest Fail Ever...

We've all done it. We've seen something that looks awesome on Pinterest & think .. I can totally do that. You may even convince others to join you, because it can't really be that hard, right? This is how my favorite Pinterest fail began... 

Ella was only about 3 months old & I wanted to take a cute fall picture of her. She couldn't sit up on her own yet, so I was looking for a way to prop her up. That is when I stumbled across this Pinspiration... 

pinned here
I immediately sent it to my sister, who obviously cooed over it the same way that I did. That is how we ended up at Wegmans, picking out a pumpkin that would fit Baby Ella. I even got my husband involved, and he drilled perfectly round leg holes for us - rolling his eyes the whole time. The end result? She hated it & screamed the entire time. There isn't a single photo where she looks content, let alone happy to be sitting in a pumpkin. 



Even though they didn't turn out as planned, I absolutely love these photos. She may look like she's an extra in a horror movie, but she's still my little pumpkin. I pulled the photos out the other day & they immediately made me smile. They aren't perfect, but memories rarely are. 

You can see this year's fall photos here... 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Booty Booty Booty Booty... Booties with a Dress

As I've already told you all... it is not boot weather here yet. I've been disappointed in the weather, but I have hope for October. We're down into the 60's this week & I can definitely rock my boots when it's in the 60's! 

Yesterday, it was raining, so I decided to pair my new booties from American Eagle (also seen here) with one of my favorite dresses from Gap. I've literally had this dress for 3 years & am still finding new ways to wear it. If there's one thing I'm sure of in this world, it's that a little black dress is always a good investment.



I wasn't really sure how I'd like the booties with a dress, but I'm loving it & will be doing it often. I got a ton of compliments, even from people that I wouldn't have expected it from. Second lesson of the day... take risks, it will be pay off.

And for your listening pleasure... the song that inspired the title of today's post.



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