Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ella @ Two

Two years ago today, after a very long stay in the hospital, I welcomed Miss Ella into the world.

she was too little for all of the clothes I had for her... hence the wardrobe choice

And in the two years since, my life has changed in the most amazing ways possible. There are no words to explain how much I love my sweet baby girl. She can be a challenge at times, but I'm beyond blessed to have a smart, healthy, loving baby girl. 


Talking nonstop. She can put two or three words together to form simple phrases now! Like the other day, she was at her babysitters napping & when she woke up started yelling "Jennie Me Up" over & over. She also knows all of her body parts, her favorite of which is the belly button. 

Obsessed with... 

  • Jumping
  • Books
  • Elmo 
  • Driving the truck cart at Wegmans
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Popsicles
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Her Grammy 
  • Doggies 
Eating like a horse. We're working really hard to teach her to eat the same foods as us. Occasionally we'll toss her some goldfish if she clearly hates what we're having, but 90% of the time she goes with it. She loves fruit, but veggies are a struggle. She's definitely my daughter too because the girl eats cheese like it's her job. 

Extremely active. Like I said, the jumping - it never stops. She also copies all of my motions, which means she can do squats & walking lunges with the best of them. 

Loves being read to. Every night we read at least 20 books. That isn't an exaggeration, she's relentless. I can recite Chicka Chicka Boom Boom & Brown Bear, Brown Bear from memory. I embrace it though, because I know how many kids have no interest in reading or parents who don't read to them. That's not Miss Ella. 

A fashionista. I'm starting to teach her how to get dressed. She can put her own shoes on & take them off. She puts her arms into shirts & can take off her own jacket. All small victories. My favorite is that she's starting to pick out her own clothes. I give her two choices & then let her wear what she chooses. Obviously I give her reasonable choices, but I figure you gotta start 'em young. 

Most importantly, she's loving & caring.  She absolutely adores her family. She is always asking about Grammy & Gramps & Britt & Matt & Daddy & so on.... and when she runs out of those people, she starts asking about Miss Jennie & her family! It's adorable. She's the queen of kisses & squeezes, which absolutely make my day. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Day at the Lake

On Tuesday, it was ninety degrees with clear skies - which is perfect lake weather in my opinion! Lucky for Ella & I, we just so happened be invited to a lake that day. Conesus Lake to be exact... 

My friend Kristine has a lake house & a pontoon boat, so we slathered on SPF 50 & headed to the sandbar! The kids were able to swim in the shallow water & the adults were able to relax. 

Ella absolutely loved it! She spent most of the day jumping off the boat (daredevil) & chasing the ducks that were brave enough to swim near us! By the time we headed back, she was whipped... 

And the best news is, we were such good guests we're invited back again! We can't wait!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Miss Ella's Two Year Photos

As promised, here is Ella's two year photoshoot! I'm absolutely in love with them & truly want to wallpaper my house in them. Granted, that happens every time we have professional photos done! I think that we really stayed true to our inspiration photos, but also embraced opportunities as they presented themselves. Ella was a real trooper for the shoot. Four outfit changes is a lot to handle when all you really want to do is play in the water! I'm still deciding on which ones to frame, so any (polite) opinions would be appreciated! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Photoshoot Time!

This morning Ella & I are heading out with one of our favorite photographers to shoot her two - year pictures! I am so excited. In the past, my aunt has done all of Ella's big spreads, but she's wicked busy with senior pictures right now, so we're going with my second favorite photographer, my best friend Jackquelyn. She shot our Christmas card photos the past two years & I loved them! 

One of the biggest perks of having Jackquelyn shoot the photos is that we don't have to travel. She lives literally a 1/4 of a mile from us, so we're going to swing in her driveway to pick her up & then head to Durand Beach to shoot. The whole trip will take 5 minutes. 

A second perk of Jackquelyn is that she is just as obsessed with Pinterest as I am, so we naturally spent a couple of hours going through & gathering inspiration photos! This is what we're going for... 






So basically we're bringing our radio flyer, balloons, and bubbles. I'm hoping to get a few cute pics together too, because they're always my mom's favorite. And now I'm off to get Miss Ella looking her best & make myself presentable as well. We'll have photos to share soon! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Well this week has certainly flown by! I just really can't believe we're already half way through July! I have Ella's birthday, cheer camp, and a trip to the beach to look forward to - but summer is just moving too fast. Here's what I'm excited about right. this. minute. 

1 - Ella's Pictures 

2 - A Weekend Girls Getaway

Ella & I are heading back to Saratoga to visit my parents again, but this time it's for our yearly girls trip with my Aunt Babs. If you're new to the blog, Babs is easily one of my favorite people in the world & we take a trip together every summer. It used to be big - think Disney - but now it's usually just a visit to my mom & dad's. This year we invited my grandma to come with us too & we're leaving this afternoon. 

3 - Party Planning 

I am up to my ears in planning for Ella's Elmo Birthday Party... and I'm loving every minute of it. Seriously, this is one of my favorite parts of being a mom. I'll do a big post after the party, but if you're curious, check out my Pinterest to see what I'm up to! 

4 - The Bachelorette Finale


So, I hadn't watched The Bachelorette in years, but then I started reading Sheaffer's recaps & my interest was piqued. Well... I got into it. And now I'm rooting for Andi to choose Josh - I just think Nick is a bit much. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when she sent home Chris, but I think we all knew that there was no way Andi was going to live on a farm. Just no. 

5 - Playdates

We've been having a lot of play dates this summer & we're loving them! Ella was really too little to do too much last summer, so we are soaking it all in this year. We've been to the zoo & the beach so far.  Next week we're visiting a farm! 

**linking up for Oh Hey, Friday** 

What I've Been Wearing This Summer...

Life has been pretty simple around here lately - busy, but simple. I don't have to rush to get ready in the morning. I don't think about what I'll wear the next day as I fall asleep at night. I just go with the flow & throw on what's clean. That's the beauty of having my summer off! Chasing Ella around all day necessitates comfort and the heat has made it impossible to layer - so again, I'm sticking with simple. Here are some of the outfits I've thrown on lately. I'm throwing in everything from daily shopping to the 4th, so it's about to get random... 
shorts - Gap Factory // shoes - Sperry // t-shirt - Old Navy // jacket - J.Crew 

ignore LeeAnn, I have no idea what she's wearing...
me: jeans - J.Crew // tank - Old Navy

romper - LOFT

tank - GAP (old) // shorts - GAP // sandals - GAP (old) // bag - Coach

shorts - LOFT // tank - LOFT // Ella's dress - GAP

my sister: dress - LOFT // sandals - Gap // bag - Coach
me: dress - LOFT // necklace - LOFT // sandals - American Eagle (old)
Ella's dress - GAP 

Monday, July 14, 2014

So... Are You Still Working Out?

Yes. I am still working out. I'm just not really talking about it all that much. It's pretty routine at this point, just a part of my day to day. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes I do intervals. I'm kind of just going with the flow. I'm happy with my body, I'm happy with my health, I'm happy in general. So why should I stress about it? 

As for my eating, that I've cleaned up a bit since being home for the summer. It's so much easier to be healthy when I'm in my own kitchen & not in my classroom. I've been really cutting back on carbs & processed foods - which are my two pitfalls for sure. It's making a big difference in how I feel, which is why I'm sticking with it. I can finally feel some of the stubborn belly fat coming off too, which is huge for me.

I've also started doing this ab workout & this inner thigh workout pretty regularly, both of which are making a huge difference! 

a very honest look at me in a bikini... and the mess inside my closet ;)
Sorry it's not a more life-changing, mind-blowing update - but it's the truth! 
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Adults Only...

Yesterday we headed packed the car & headed out to tailgate! Not football tailgating, which I do love, but concert tailgating - which is my favorite. We had tickets to see Florida Georgia Line & Jason Aldean, so it was a very country crowd. Let me rephrase - I've never seen more rednecks in one place at one time in my life - which is saying a lot considering where I grew up. I loved it! Best people watching ever! I really wanted to sneak pics & do a post - but that just felt too intrusive, so I didn't. 

this pic was taken right when we got there at 2 - the whole lot behind me was a zoo within the hour
We went to the concert with my sister & Matt, then met up with tons of people we knew to play games & do some grilling. It was a gorgeous day, so we got our tan on & tipped a few back. Well, everyone except me - I was driving. I couldn't even stomach the thought of camping again... 

My always patriotic & ever entertaining husband was in rare form, especially when we met up with his old roommates from college. The man loves America. 

We grilled up burgers & dogs, but I'm telling you our spread was a joke compared to the people around us. People had some serious set ups. The people two trucks over from us put plastic in the back of their trucks & filled it with water to make a pool! Apparently this is known as a redneck hot tub? I was blown away... 

Matt & Eric firing up our (tiny) grill

And while we partied, Ella was at her grandma & grandpa's for a girls weekend with her cousin Ophelia! They went to the park, a grad party, and broke in Ella's new play house! I'd feel guilty about leaving her if she wasn't so darn happy about it! 

And now we're all back at home - recharging our batteries if you will. It was a totally low key Sunday & I'm feeling energized for the weekend. Ella & I have some big plans, but more about that tomorrow! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Living a Teenage Dream...

If you think way back to Christmas, you may remember that my husband bought me concert tickets. And not just any concert tickets, tickets to see this man. As in the sexiest man ever. As in the teenage love of my life. I almost died when I opened them. 

And then in February, the concert got cancelled because Justin was sick. Then, because of the Sabres schedule & his impending trip to Europe, it got moved to July. July 9th to be exact. As in last night... 

And there are no words to explain how amazing this man was in concert. He took every single expectation I had & blew it up. He is an out of this world performer, going for 3 hours with a 10 minute intermission. Honestly, I thought the concert was over at intermission & was going to be completely satisfied. Then, he came back & blew. my. mind. 

And let me tell you about my seats... Eric went all out on these. I was 34 rows back, but could see everything without even standing on my tippy toes. And THEN the stage moved over top of all the people in floor seats & he ended up less than twenty feet away from me! I almost died. 

not zoomed in... I was dying
I feel like I'm just rambling... but oh my God. I cannot thank my husband enough for this! 

to see more pics & videos from the concert, follow me on instagram
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wild Hair

I get a ton of comments on my naturally curly hair. Everyone from my co-workers to my hair dresser seems to envy it. Me? Not so much. It looks deceivingly low maintenance - which it it's not. This winter I did a post on taming my naturally curly hair, but it's an entirely different beast in the summer.  I usually end up throwing it into a top knot because it just gets so big & hot. Top knots leave my hair in serious tangles though & the chlorine doesn't help matters either, so yesterday I headed to LUSH to find a solution. 

I don't shop at LUSH very often, because it's pretty pricey in my opinion. However, they do give out free samples of all their products & have killer customer service. I spent 15 minutes explaining my hair to not one, but two helpful ladies (perks of going to the mall on a Monday morning) who had tons of suggestions. 

Suggestion #1 - Curly Wurly 


This shampoo is specifically made for ladies with curly hair. It is as moisturizing as they come, so it fights off frizz. Added bonus - it smells like coconut! 

Suggestion #2 - Retread


Retread is a conditioner that is meant to treat dry, frizzy hair. That's the story of my hair's life all summer long. I'm not completely sold on the smell though, so I took a sample of this one & am going to see how I like it. If it does what they say it does, I may just have to suck it up. 

Suggestion #3 - R&B


R&B is a hair treatment - meaning you don't use it every day. They were very specific about that. Instead, I'm just supposed to use a dime sized drop on my ends every three to four days. They actually put some of this in my hair in the store & I'm already in love with it. It's pretty pricey, so I just took home a sample. However, based on what the sales girls told me, that sample should last me almost two months! 

Suggestion #4 - American Cream Conditioner 


This one was actually my idea. It just smells awesome & they told me it goes awesome with the coconut in Big Curly Hair. Basically, my hair should smell like a strawberry, coconut, vanilla smoothie. I bought the small bottle & am looking forward to smelling myself all day long. 

And I didn't know this until I was putting together this post, but they do tutorials on the website on how to use each product for optimum results. That's perfect for people like me who usually just wing it! 

*I was not compensated by LUSH for this post. I'm just looking for something to try & thought I'd share with everyone.*
Monday, July 7, 2014

A Picture Per Day

We were very busy over the 4th of July, but not in our typical Ella centered way. In fact, Ella was away with her grandparents from Wednesday night to Saturday morning. Normally we would have been clueless about how to entertain ourselves without her for so long, but this weekend we had event after eventse to attend to, so it flew by. I don't want to overwhelm anyone, especially because if you follow me on Instagram you were already flooded with photos this weekend! So, I'll keep it to one picture per day :) 

On Wednesday night, we got dressed & went to dinner on Lake Ontario at one of our favorite local restaurants, The Pelican's Nest. We rarely go out to eat anymore, as we're focussing on saving up some money, but the next day was our anniversary & it was a beautiful night, so we decided to go for it. 

On Thursday, we headed to Conesus Lake for a party at one of my friends' lake house. The lake hosts an annual ring of fire that I've attended before, but this party was huge! I definitely didn't expect it to have an open bar, two bands, a roasted pig & thousands of dollars worth of fireworks! My friend's family went in with two of their neighbors & I cannot tell you how much fun it was!  We had the best time & stayed the night in that tent up there, right on the water. It was the first time I'd "camped" in years... but I wasn't in the state of mind to care too much. 

On the 4th, we recovered from the 3rd... No, we actually headed out to another lake for a family wedding. The wedding was held at Bristol Harbor, which overlooks Canandaigua Lake. I ate cake, drank iced tea, and drove everyone else home... but I still had a great time on the dance floor! 

Saturday morning I headed to my parents house to reunite with Ella! Bad news... she wanted nothing to do with me! She was having way too much fun with Grammy & Gramps! So... I made the best of it & laid out with my sister :) That night we had the usual suspects over for a BBQ that was ah-mazing! 

Finally, the Peanut & I headed home yesterday to see her daddy! When we arrived, he had the whole backyard set up for fun! We splashed & drove Ella's car & played Ella's new game - Ring Around the Rosey! 

Now it's time to get into our summer routine & get back on track with our eating around here. The beach trip will be here before we know it! 
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