Monday, September 29, 2014

Any Given Sunday...

Sundays are by far my favorite day of the week. I rarely have anything scheduled for my Sundays, and even if I do, it's usually pretty low key. Sundays are my day to spend with Ella, relax, be a wife, clean up the house a bit, maybe even do some cooking. This Sunday, was a near perfect Sunday...

6:30 - Ella wakes us up. She comes in & climbs up into our bed. (We have drawers underneath our bed, so she treats it like a climbing wall and scales it daily.) We snuggle, then she starts demanding breakfast. Eric sweetly agrees to take her downstairs & let me snooze a bit longer. #browniepoints 

7:15 - I get up & head down to join the rest of my crew. We have bacon in the fridge, left over from our burgers the night before. I immediately bake that in the over (baking bacon has changed our lives) & start to scramble a bunch of eggs. Eric has already fed Ella, but she decides to share my breakfast too. #sharingiscaring 

8:00 - Ella & I head out for a walk. It's absolutely gorgeous & we decide to take the path that runs along the zoo border instead of our normal route. I was hoping to just see some squirrels & leaves - but we ended up seeing elephants! 

They were out for their morning exercise too. Ella was so excited! The trainers were super nice & let us walk along with them (on our side of the fence of course) - they also let us know when they do it daily so that we can come visit again! 

9:00 - We stopped to let my best friend's dogs out. Ella had to give Riley a treat. 

9:15 - We get home & change outfits to go grocery shopping. I probably should have showered at this point, but I didn't. We head to Wegmans & pick up all of our supplies for homemade chicken soup. 

10:00 - We finish up at Wegmans & make a quick stop at Dunkin' on the way home. 

10:30 - I'm in the kitchen making soup! Ella is playing in the yard with her daddy. 

11:15 - We all sit down & eat lunch together. Our big meal is usually lunch on Sundays, so soup & garlic bread it is. Ella told me my soup was "MMMM, Yummy." So I must've done alright. Eric didn't complain, so that's a good sign too. 

12:00 - We head outside to do some more running around before nap time. Ella played some soccer & we did some chalking. I'm really going to be sad when we can't pop out into the backyard all the time this winter.

12:45 - Nap time for Miss Ella. Football time for Mommy & Daddy. 

1:00 - Go Bills! 

1:30 - The Bills aren't doing so well, so I chat with my sister on the phone as she's driving back from my parent's house in Saratoga. We go over a bunch of wedding/shower/bachelorette details... which results in a to-do list for me. 

2:00 - Time to work on said t0-do list... which is a ton of fun. I'm completely in charge of my sister's shower & cannot wait for it! I've started getting RSVP's & I have all of the decorations ordered! Time to think finishing touches now... 

3:30 - Miss Ella wakes up & she's hungry. Snack time. 

4:00 - We FaceTime with my parents & she's a total ham as always. Mom & I go over more wedding/shower details. Thus, resulting in more items on my to-do list. We also go over logistics for the upcoming weekends, since they'll be coming into town to help out for competition season. 

5:00 - We decide to have chicken nuggets for dinner & I continue on with my mission to finish laundry and picking up... both of which are never ending tasks. 

6:30 - Bath time for Miss Ella, followed by PJs & some stories. She doesn't actually go to bed until about 8, but she takes awhile to wind down. 

8:00 - Ella is up in bed & I prep for the week in the kitchen. Breakfasts, lunches, & snacks are packed while I jam to some Justin in the kitchen. 

9:00 - In bed, reading... 

9:45 - I'm passed out. 
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just Add Leopard...

I was having a neutral moment yesterday morning. I couldn't wrap my mind around matching prints or colors, so I stuck to neutrals. And yes - leopard is a neutral. 

Like I said last week, I am obsessed with my leopard flats. I've been wearing them a lot, mainly with jeans & black pants - but I plan to branch out with some color soon! I've also been wearing my leopard "Raine" inspired necklace non-stop. It goes with absolutely everything & just adds that extra oomph to even the most basic outfits. Like this one... 

pants - Gap Factory // blouse - LOFT // glasses - Ray Ban
flats - Steve Madden // necklace - Purple Peridot

 ** Linking up with Shanna & The Pleated Poppy **
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fitness Update

So I mentioned yesterday that I hadn't run in two weeks. Not due to injury. Not due to weather conditions. I wasn't on vacation. It all boils down to chaos. Pure & utter chaos that permeates my life right now. If I could go back in time & reverse my decision to coach two teams, I absolutely would. It hasn't been good for my family & it hasn't benefited my health either. That said... I've lost 4 pounds since the start of the school year. 

I came back from vacation at 129.5 pounds. The week after vacation, I ate like a race horse, but stayed at 130 thanks to exercise. Once school starts though, I pack my lunch & plan ahead. This has made all of the difference for me. I don't have things to snack on throughout the day, instead I drink water from our buildings awesome filtered drinking fountain that fills bottles. (I really wish we'd had these in school!) I'm not tracking my calories, but I'd guess that I'm hovering around 1,500 - which is my normal. Eric is being super helpful & having dinner ready for me when I get home at night too. Without him, I'd be eating dinosaur chicken nuggets over salad every night. 

As far as exercise goes, I'm on my feet teaching then head to the gym for another 4 hours. I'm up, down, & moving around all day long. I even have my laptop stationed at my classroom counter so I'm not sitting for too long. Quite simply - I'm active. It's not that I wasn't active when I was home with Ella all summer, but I definitely spent more time in the recliner or playing on the floor than I do now. I've also been doing short at home workouts to keep my arms, legs, & abs toned. Somedays I pack clothes to condition on the mat with the team too - but that's only once or twice a week at most. 

I have been stepping on the scale every day, which I normally preach against, but I need that accountability right now. I need to know that what I'm doing is working so that I have the willpower to keep it up. In the past I've resorted to stress eating, but I refuse to let that happen this time around. I have less than a month left of coaching two teams... I know that as long as I keep up my healthy eating & stay active I'll come out on top through all this. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Blessings

As I was driving back from the country last night, Eric was listening to football, Ella was sleeping, & I was feeling reflective. I started to ponder how blessed we were to have had such a wonderful weekend with family & friends. Too often I get wrapped up in the chaos of our hectic life & forget to appreciate the little things, so today I thought I'd take a few minutes to do just that this morning. 

  • I had absolutely beautiful weather for my football game on Saturday morning. It was sunny & sixty degrees... just cool enough to rock my scarf, but not so cool that I needed gloves. 

  • Ella got to spend so much time with her family this weekend. She went apple picking on Saturday with Eric's mom, then spent the night at Eric's dad's, and finished off her tour with a football day at my aunt's. 
  • Running. I haven't been able to get out & run very often since school started. Actually, I haven't run at all in the past 3 weeks. Which makes me feel horrible when I say it out loud, but it's my reality at the moment. So the fact that I was able to get out & run on Sunday morning made me very happy. I just missed the rain & got in a solid 3 miles. Surprisingly, I'm walking just fine this morning too, it must be all of the pacing I do in the cheer gym every night that's keeping me in shape. 

  • The Bills... they didn't win, but they provided us with a great day of entertainment. 
  • Homemade food! My aunt & I made chicken noodle soup then my mother-in-law sent me home with homemade apple sauce & apple crisp! I love all things apple, so I went home very happy yesterday. 
  • My parent's house in the country. I absolutely love it there. Eric & I stayed the night on Saturday, just the two of us, and it was far quieter than normal - since normally the whole family is there at once. Even with just us, it still felt like home. I lived there by myself for two years when my parents first moved, so I think the quiet brought me back to a calmer time in life. No matter what it was, it was good to be there.
  • Online shopping. I had packages from Gymboree, Bath & Body Works, and a boutique arrive on Friday afternoon. It made coming home from my football game at 10:30 just a little more exciting. 

What were you blessed with this weekend? 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites

This week flew by & was so much less chaotic than last week! Hallelujah! I have a lot of favorites to share this week (since I missed last week), so let's get started... 

  • I am obsessed with apple bread. We've had four loaves this season already & I'll probably make another this weekend. Like I said, obsessed. It started with this mix from Williams-Sonoma, but since money doesn't grow on tress, we're eating tons of Pillsbury's Apple Cinnamon Quick Break. They're both delicious, but the Williams & Sonoma has more of a cider flavor to it & the Pillsbury mix has more of a cinnamon sugar feel. Neither will disappoint. 
  • I can't get enough leopard print! I have been living in my leopard flats & my leopard tassel necklace! Both pieces were a total steal, which makes me love them even more! For a ton of leopard outfit ideas, check out my post here

  • I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who hate it, but I love my new iPhone update. Sometimes the little things make a big enough difference to almost make you feel like you have a new phone. My fave new feature? The health app! I've already set up all of my information & plan to use it when I get pregnant with baby #2 to track my weight gain - aka keep myself in check. 
  • I had an eye appointment yesterday & got myself a new pair of glasses! I don't wear them very often & haven't even owned a pair in over a year, but my eyes definitely need a break from my contacts, so I bit the {expensive} bullet & got a new pair. I went with slightly larger ones & was nervous about what the hubs would think, but he loved them too! Everyone at school has liked them too, and if the middle schoolers aren't picking on them, I must have done ok! 

We're headed out to do some apple picking and embracing all things fall this weekend. My mother-in-law is going to make homemade applesauce, which gets me really excited because I could really eat an entire pot myself. Have a great weekend! 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I Wore for The Bills Game

This past Sunday, I went to the Buffalo Bills game versus the Miami Dolphins with my husband & a bunch of our college friends. As you all know, I've been super busy, so my outfit wasn't exactly on the top of my priority list, but as the day got closer I realized that I hadn't bought any new Bills apparel in a long time. Thus, the search began... and it was a little harder than expected! I was limited to what I could buy in store locally, so I ended up purchasing this long sleeve tee from the Boys Department at Old Navy - and I loved it! The boys XL fits great & it was super soft. Best part - only $16! And... they had one in the Toddle Boys department too, so I snagged one for Ella! {sorry: can't find links to either of our Bills shirts online at}

Ugg Slippers // J.Crew Socks // Old Navy Jeans // Old Navy Long Sleeved Tee // Loft Sunnies

Once I got to the game, I started seeing SO MUCH cute stuff on woman everywhere! So I decided to do some shopping after the game & I purchased this hoodie. I've worn it twice already & am in love. I already own these sweatpants too, so they go perfectly together. I could've bought the entire Bills Store! But even with our 25% off season ticket holder's discount, Eric wouldn't let me... but these are the items I have on my list for my next Bills game appearance! 

Go Bills! 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Right Now...

Right now...

  • I just finished ordering fall candles from Bath & Body Works! They're 2 for $22, but then every candle after that is only $11 too. So I stocked up. My absolute favorite scent for fall is Harvest Apple, but I'm really excited to burn the Pumpkin Spice Doughnot too. #iheartdonuts Fun fact - Eric loves candles more than I do, so I'm passing this off as a present for him. 
  • I'm listening to classical piano on Pandora in an attempt to calm my nerves. It's only Tuesday & this week has already been one thing after another... 
  • I'm wishing I was back at The Ralph tailgating. Seriously, it was the most relaxed I've been since I returned from vacation in August. I really need my Sundays off. And I prefer to have my Sundays off with sunshine, friends, and a Bills win. 

  • I should be finishing lesson plans, but I missed you guys... 
  • I'm pretty pumped that I won a giveaway from Simply Clarke. Who doesn't love to win things? 
  • I'm worrying about Ella, she has an ear infection & I ended up at home with her on Friday. She snuggled in her new favorite pajamas & watched Disney Junior. It seemed to do the trick, but we kept her home again yesterday to rest with her daddy, so today is her first day back at Miss Jennie's after a four day weekend. Finger's crossed that she behaves herself. 
with my little pumpkin before we left the house this am...
she's in head to toe Gymboree
  • I'm debating which Halloween costume to order for Ella... would you go with the donut or the kitten? I love them both & should probably order soon. Help!  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our {Rushed} Bedtime Routine...

** This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree. The opinions and text are all mine.**

Now that I'm coaching two teams, our time at home is even more precious. I usually get home from practice around 7:30 - still needing to eat dinner & take care of any household tasks that have come up. That doesn't even begin to mention grading & schoolwork...  

Despite all the chaos, Eric & I have decided that Ella's bedtime routine is going to remain a priority. This is our current routine: 

7:30 - Mommy walks in & scarfs down whatever Daddy has made for dinner, while Ella works hard to steal bites, even though she has already ate her own dinner. 

7:45 - Tub Time! 

Eric handles the tub. He's way better at washing her hair, so while he does that, I get everything laid out for after - towel, PJs, lotion, diaper, etc. It makes getting her out of the tub a lot easier if we can move fast afterwards. 

8:00 - Pajamas 
find Ella's PJs here

Currently, we're in love with these pajamas from the Eric Carle Collection from Gymboree! They're so much fun & bring back so many memories of my own childhood. Not to mention the fact that they're incredibly soft! As a teacher, I love anything that connects learning with everyday life & I will definitely be buying a pair for my niece & nephew... and maybe even another pair for Ella! 

8:15 - Story Time 

We read Ella two to three books before bed every night. Right now, she's obsessed with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Very Busy Spider, and Barnyard Dance. It's always changing though, we just went through a serious Brown Bear, Brown Bear phase just awhile ago. 

8:30 - Lights Out

with her Very Hungry Caterpillar neck pillow
Yes, I know some of you will think that 8:30 is way too late to put our daughter to bed. Sorry. I'm selfish & want to spend an hour at home with her. Deal with it. She gets 9 to 10 hours of sleep at night, plus a 2 to 3 hour nap during the day... she's doing just fine. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Feeling Chic

shirt - J.Crew // skirt - J.Crew Factory
necklace - Nordstrom // sandals - American Eagle 

Do you ever have a good day simply because you have a great outfit? That was yesterday for me. I just felt confident. It might have been the peplum, that always makes me feel sassy. Maybe it was my girly polka dot skirt. Or maybe it was the overall chicness of the black & white. No matter what it was... I loved my outfit yesterday. 

and I thought this was just too cute & funny not to share... 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our Weekend


  • Like I said on Friday, I was really excited for our first football game of the season. It was  a gorgeous night, perfect for sitting on the sideline. The game got off to a great start too... we weren't winning, but we rarely are. The cheerleaders on the other hand looked awesome :) But then with 2 minutes left in the first half, we got hit with a lightening delay. No big deal... we decided to go to our cheer gym & practice until we got the word to head back out. But that never happened... two hours later our game got totally canceled & rescheduled for Sunday at 2. Seriously. Sunday at 2. In the middle of the first game of the Bills season. #ugh  


  • After getting home at 10:30 on Friday night, I had to be back at the gym by 8 for Freshman practice. It was our first official practice as a team because I had just made cuts the night before. They were so sweet & quiet. I know it won't be like that today... they're 7th & 8th grade girls - but it was nice while it lasted & just what I needed after a long night. We got a lot done & then I went to hand out our brand spanking new uniforms - that are too small. For reference, this is one of the uniforms on Ella - who wears a 2T. So I have to deal with that today... 

  • Once I got home from practice, I was able to do a little houseworkk, did a little baking, & even fit in a nap with Ella before we headed out to eat dinner with Eric's dad & step-mom. They chose Buffalo Wild Wings, which I'm not a huge fan of, but I made the best of it by stuffing my face with all the fried foods. side note: Eric has just informed me that I probably ate less than anyone else at the table, including our daughter... but I felt like a hippo after. Either way, he gets bonus points for saying it :) 

  • Last item on our Saturday to-do list was grocery shopping. Do you know how much easier it is to shop when you have your husband with you? So. Much. Easier. I swear it took half the time & we were home in time to watch Notre Dame whoop on Michigan! And I was asleep by 8:30. #wildthang


  • Ella woke up at 5 a.m. There was no getting her back to sleep, so I decided to just get up & make the best of it... which included Pumpkin Spice Waffles. 

  • So like I mentioned... I had a game to go to on Sunday afternoon. It really messed up my previous plans of laying on the couch & doing nothing all day too. Luckily, it turned out to be sunny & 75, so I didn't mind sitting outside while we played the second half of the game. The crowd was MUCH smaller & even our athletic director was less than thrilled to be working on the Sunday after a very busy first week of school, but we made it happen. 
  • I got home & crept around the house, waiting for the Bills game to be over before I talked to my husband. I didn't want to upset the hornet's nest... and of course that game went into overtime. 
  • Later that night, my sister & Matt came over to grill pizzas and eat chicken wing dip while we watched the 4 o'clock games on our free Sunday Ticket (Thanks DirecTV). Britt's birthday was on Friday, so we got real fancy & had these ice cream sundaes too. #thatswhatyougetafterthefirstweekofschool 
  • And the rest of the night was spent prepping for the week. I forgot how much time it takes to pack her daycare bag, pack my gym bag, reload all of my school stuff, and pack lunches on Sunday night. Thank God I didn't try to save it for this morning... 
Happy Monday! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Favorites

It has been a crazy week of back to school chaos! Despite that... I wanted to stop in, link up, & share a few of my Friday Favorites with you all!

Friday Night Football

I got out of bed with a little pep in my step this morning because tonight is the kick off to our high school football season. This will be my first year on the sideline with the Varsity squad & it makes my Friday's even more exciting than normal! Go Rangers!

The Eric Carle Gymboree Collection

these are the ones I ordered for Ella!
I got an email about this collection a few weeks ago & have been excited ever since! According to the description - "The partnership between Gymboree and the World of Eric Carle brings two iconic, parent-trusted brands together and builds on Gymboree’s rich heritage in colorful, quality clothing that parents love and children never want to stop wearing." I could not agree more! We absolutely love Eric Carle in our house & read his books all. of. the. time. I've already ordered a pair of pajamas for Miss Ella & when I did, I saw that adult sizes were coming too! I mean... I don't normally do formal pajamas, but I think they'd be awesome for PJ Day during Spirit Weeks! I can't wait for them to come in so that I can share them with you... 

Oh! And if you're near a Gymboree Store today, they're hosting an Eric Carle Story Time from 10 a.m. to noon that includes a Very Hungry Caterpillar craft. I only wish it had been a week sooner so I could have taken Ella! 

These Invitations... 

Bubbly Brunch - Signature White Bridal Shower Invitations - Petite Alma - White : Front
side note - not the real thing as I realized it had my cell phone number on it! whoops! 
The invitations for my sister's bridal shower came in & I'm loving them! We're doing a Bridal Brunch with a black, gold, & glitter theme - so these were perfect. Now I just have to bribe someone to address & mail them for me, because I have no idea when I'm going to get to it...

** This post contains affiliate links & has been sponsored by Gymboree. **

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I Wore - Back to School

Yesterday was my first day back to school for the year! Even though the kids didn't arrive until today, I still count it as the first day of school at our house, mainly because it's the start of getting back into my daily routine of dropping Ella off, going to work, picking Ella up, and heading to practice. We left the house at 6:30 & pulled in the driveway again at 7:15 - so we had a long day. The good news is, we made it - and I know that once we're adjusted we'll be able to roll with this crazy routine for the fall. But if I ever mention coaching two teams again, refer me to a psychiatrist ASAP! 
dress - J.Crew Factory // sandals - Forever 21 // necklace - // bracelets - Alex & Ani
I've never been a fan of shift dresses, but I decided to take the plunge with this one! It was super comfy & basically felt like I was wearing a necklace with my nightgown - perfect for a day of meetings. Also, I was so glad that I wore sleeves, because unlike today when my classroom is ninety degrees, yesterday I was in & out of air conditioning all day long, and while everyone else was shivering, I was comfy. 

our annual back to school picture
Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend Update - Labor Day Edition

Pardon our absence last week, but our lives have been consumed by total cheer domination... 

I'm headed back to school tomorrow morning, which means that tonight has been dominated by tons & tons of prep. We spent the weekend visiting all three sets of grandparents - one night each - which only added to the chaos, but I can't say that I'd have had it any other way. Ella got to spend tons of time with her cousins, which doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like it to... 

Today we met my sister, my cousin, and my parents to do some Labor Day Sale shopping! I picked up a few things for Ella & then snagged a new sweater for myself. Of course then I checked the forecast & saw that it's going to be in the high 80's all week, so I guess I won't be wearing that any time soon! 

Between going back to school & starting cheer season last week, our house is already in fall mode. I have my pumpkin & apple candles burning and even persuaded Eric to let me put out my fall decorations this evening! I definitely need to pick a few more things up from Hobby Lobby next weekend, but it's just enough to get me in the mood! 

Despite all the fall decor, we still wanted to end the summer with a BBQ, so we grilled up hot dogs & ate these festive beauties for dessert! 

in our backyard grilling... 
Now that I'm back to school & am only running two hour practices, I'll be blogging more regularly. I have some exciting things planned! If you're headed back to school in the morning, good luck! And be sure to check out this post for some of my favorite back to school ideas from last year! 

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