Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tis the Season for Family Pictures...

One of my favorite parts of fall is getting our pictures done for our family Christmas card! Judging by my IG feed, I'm not the only one who gets excited about this either. Tons of families have been putting on their coordinating outfits & headed into a field for a Pinterest worthy family photo. This year, I've decided to go with a navy, red, and white color scheme. This may be our last family photo of just the three of us, so I want to make it a keeper! 

I'll probably be making some tweaks to our outfits between now & Sunday morning. I have an awesome red hat from the Gap for Ella, that I can't find online for some reason. I will probably have a scarf on in some pictures as well, maybe even my navy vest too. It is probably going to be chilly, so Ella & I are both wearing knit tights as well! I hope this provides you with a little festive inspiration! I'm looking forward to seeing all of these new holiday pics soon! 
Monday, October 27, 2014

Zoo Boo 2014

This weekend was a fall extravaganza at our house! I'm going to break it into chunks, because I think the post would take an hour to load if I did it all at once... so let's start with Zoo Boo! 

My parents arrived on Saturday morning, and since we had glorious weather in the mid-60's, we decided to head to the zoo for Zoo Boo. This was our first time going, it rained on the day we tried to go last year, and Ella was so excited! 

We live within walking distance of the zoo, so we loaded up the wagon & were off! I had been very nervous that Ella wouldn't want to put on her costume, but I think she was in the mood to show off, which meant some seriously cute photos. 

My sister was in a wedding the night before, but didn't want to miss out, so she powered through Zoo Boo on 4 hours of sleep. #trooper 

Her little tail sticking out the wagon was just too stinkin cute... 

We ran into Ella's boyfriend Keith! He was supposed to be a gorilla, but he hated his costume. Luckily, his mom managed to wrangle him into a Woody costume instead! 

And by the end of it all, she needed a cat nap... 

Does your zoo have a trick or treating event? I feel like my IG & FB were full of them this weekend!
Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

Tomorrow is the day people - Sectionals! It makes my stomach hurt to think about the fact that my whole season will be remembered by this one day, one performance, two minutes & thirty seconds. Crazy. I'm certainly ready for a break - albeit, not a very long one - but this kind of ending is scary. So much pressure. Only one shot. I need to stop thinking about it... 


1 - This Picture 

My dad sent me this picture on Thursday morning & I can't get enough of it! This is my 3rd birthday party (dad had told me 2nd, but mom is insisting it's my 3rd) and it's basically the 80's version of Pinterest! My Grandma Ellen is in the picture with me & that just makes me so happy. She's been gone 10 years now, but I can still feel her with me all of the time. Knowing that she was there with us in spirit as I cut Ella's Elmo cake in July sent me into an ugly cry on my way to work, but it was good. I was crying because I know how much she'd love her namesake & how proud she'd be of all that I've accomplished. It was a real good Throwback Thursday. 

2 - This Picture Too

She has been a real two year old lately - full of it & stubborn as can be - but this picture just melted my heart. She has her daddy's baby blues... 

3 - This Post 

Yes, this post is haunting me. I'm still trying to decide what I should actually purchase from my Gap cart! I want it all! I'm going to have to venture to a store to make my decisions though. I need to touch everything before I actually buy! 

4 - This Jacket

I'm absolutely obsessed with this Chateau Parka from J.Crew. Problem - it's way out of my price range - even on sale. So, if you see one that looks exactly like it, be sure to let me know! 

5 - My Scale 

I have some monumental news to share. {drum roll please} For the first time in my seven years of coaching, I did not gain a single pound this season. I have stayed at a sensible 127 lbs since returning from the beach & have barely moved from it. That's willpower people because I haven't had time to exercise & I have certainly wanted to stress eat - but I haven't. Well, I have, but when I have I've gotten right back to business. I can't wait to return to the gym next week & not have to start all over with the scale. I can focus on my strength & endurance instead, which I'm sure I'll need to get me through the next season :) 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's In My Cart @ The Gap

There's just something about late fall at the Gap. They start gearing up for the holidays & as far as I'm concerned, nobody does comfy, cozy holiday like the Gap. It's always festive in a timeless way. The pieces are ones that I can pull out of my closet year after year & still love. What sets this year's collection apart - and possibly a step above - other years? Textures! The shearling inside the booties, wool skits, velvet pants - I can't get enough! And let's talk about these Maximum Heat Leggings - I need them! What New York girl doesn't? Bonus - free 2 day shipping at all Gap brands today! 
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sweater Season...

There's just something about a good sweater that makes me happy, which is a good thing, since I've essentially been living in them over the past two weeks. The weather has taken a nose dive into the 40's here in Upstate NY & a sweater with a vest is my go-to fall look. Depending on just how cold it is, I may wear booties & a scarf too. If you haven't heard yet, LOFT has some absolutely adorable & affordable sweaters this season. 3 out of the 4 in this post are from there! {not being paid to say that, just wanted to share the love!}

jeans - Old Navy // flats - Steve Madden // scarf - Crystal Feather Boutique
sweater - LOFT // watch - Coach

sweater - LOFT // jeans - Old Navy // necklace - Nordstrom // booties - American Eagle

sweater - LOFT // flats - Steve Madden // jeans - J.Crew
necklace - Purple Peridot // watch - Coach

sweater - Gap (old) // vest - J.Crew Factory
jeans - J.Crew // boots - MIA

Linking Up for Trend Spin & wishing Laura the best of luck with Baby Leighton today! 
Monday, October 20, 2014

All By Myself...

It is a very good thing that Eric doesn't travel for work... because apparently he doesn't do well with communicating while out of state. On average, it has taken me at least 3 attempts to contact him before he finally responds. I get it, he's in Cali & it's amazing. He doesn't really care that I just finished all of the laundry & got my hair done. But it's driving me crazy having him on the opposite coast & can't wait for him to fly home tonight!

one of the many pics Eric has sent me from his trip to San Diego...

What made it worse though, was that this peanut was away all weekend too...

our little cheerleader!

Ella spent the weekend with Eric's mom so that I didn't have to take her out in the cold to games all weekend. They went to a Pumpkin Party on Saturday morning & his mom put this costume on her! I totally would've sent her costume with her if I'd known, but this was a really nice surprise to pop up on my phone!

This is the absolute longest I've ever gone without Ella. It's also the longest Eric & I have gone without each other since we've been married. People - it was rough. Don't get me wrong, I got a ton done, but OMG I missed them.

So here it is Monday morning & all the laundry is done. The floors are vacuumed & the dishes are put away. I no longer have gray hair & my layers have returned. I have freshly painted nails & my eyebrows are plucked to perfection. My DVR is cleared out & I watched three movies I've been dying to see. I'm out of things to do... time for everyone to come home!!
Friday, October 17, 2014

Five On Friday - A Weekend of Possibilities

1 - I slept horribly last night! This happens every time that Eric is out of town. The dog stays up all night and that wakes up Ella. It's truly the part I dread most about any trip he takes & is the reason that we normally pack up for my parents too. But, that can't happen this time... Instead, Ella is headed to visit her other Grammy & Gramps for the whole weekend. (Which I'm really, really nervous about because she's been a total crank lately.) I really have no idea what I'm going to do with myself. The sweet smell of freedom is intoxicating. (Prediction: I'll be hear on Monday telling you that I took a nap & did laundry. #wildchild

2 - One thing on my to do list this weekend is to go get my first ever gel manicure. I'm horrible with normal nail polish, but my sister insists that this will stay put for me. I trust her, so I'm going to give it a shot. These are the two colors I've kind of narrowed it down to... the blue for Sectionals or just a deep red because it's fall. Opinions appreciated! 


3 - I've been really obsessed with Poshmark lately. I had tried it before, but only recently did I make an actual purchase - my amazing leopard flats. Now, I'm selling off a bunch of stuff in hopes of accumulating enough money in my account to purchase a Tory Burch bag. It's going to take a lot of restraint to save up that much... but I know I can stay strong. I hope to use some of my free time to add a bunch of stuff this weekend too, so be sure to check it out! 

4 - Eric & I have completely different tastes in movies, & he pretty much runs the TV, so I'm planning to rent at least one this weekend. I'm thinking either The Neighbors - because duh, Zac Efron - or The Fault in Our Stars - which I know will make me weep, but I want to see it anyways. Opinions? (As you can see, I'm really bad at making decisions for myself right now.) 

5 - Last on the weekend to do list... Pinterest Projects! Have you ever tried to do a Pinterest project with a 2 year old in the house? Don't. It's a really, really bad idea. My original thought was to finally paint a wall in the house, just to freak Eric out & make him never leave me again. Kidding. All our walls are gray though, so I do want to get around to it. I'm a horrible painter though. It just screams disaster. So instead, I'll probably stick to some basic Halloween fall projects that include nothing but Pumpkin Pie Spice & cardstock. #basicbitch

Let the weekend of Bri commence... 
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our Travel Bucket List

One of Eric & my greatest goals in life is to travel. Both of us have only left the U.S. once, on a trip to Mexico that nearly scarred us for life. (I just realized that's a huge lie... we live two hours from Canada - we go "abroad" all the time... it just doesn't feel like it.) When we got married, we agreed that we truly wanted to make traveling a priority for our family. We want to take our kids to see places & experience new things. If that means we drive our cars until they're absolutely dead, we're o.k. with that. We want to experience things, not just have things. 

The problem is, Eric & I have very different travel related priorities. His tend to revolve around sports & big events, like the World Cup, while mine tend to be centered more around beaches & Disney. That said, we've been working to prioritize these experiences & come up with a list of vacations that we want to take as a family. We know that not all of them may be possible. Some may take us years to accomplish, but we're sure as hell going to give it a shot. 

  1. Disney Cruise

    I love all things Disney & from the day they launched their cruise line, I've been begging my parents to go. I've watched the documentaries about all the ships on The Travel Channel & am just blown away by all their is to do on those ships! But since all that fun comes with a hefty price tag (I truly just priced it - over $5,000 without flights), this one is probably going to wait awhile.
  2. Hawaii

    This is #1 on the list for a reason. I'm dead set on going. Ultimately, I want to stay at Disney's Aluani Resort, but honestly, I'll take any Hawaii I can get! My parents are going this summer for their anniversary & Eric keeps joking that I'll probably end up getting to go because they'll want to take Ella, but I'm not getting my hopes up... but if you're reading this mom, I'd definitely say yes!

  3. Alaskan Cruise
    Alaska absolutely amazes me. I feel like it's the closest to a frontier
     that I'll ever be able to see. I may have unrealistic expectations thanks to The Proposal, but I'd truly love to go & take it in.

  4. San Diego

    My husband is actually on a flight to San Diego as I write this & I hate him for it. I am DYING to go to Southern California! Eric's college roommate just happens to live there & he found an amazing deal on his flight... so he is officially dipping his toes in the Pacific without me. I couldn't tell him no, but I will be going to the zoo soon!

  5. The Olympics 

    We've agreed that we'd prefer to go to the Olympics in the U.S. or Canada, for safety reasons, but we'd be open to other countries if we felt they had it together. (ie - We're never going to Russia or the Middle East.) Ella was born during the Olympic ceremonies, which makes it kind of a big deal to me. I'd love to take her to experience the Olympic spirit. Not to mention, my husband is one of the most patriotic people I know. So, every time the U.S. bids on the games, I keep my fingers crossed!

  6. The Jungle 

    I have a few friends who have been to Costa Rica & Belize. Everyone has loved it! One friends even river rafted through caverns. That just sounds amazing...

  7. Europe

    So... Europe is another broad title. We can't really agree on exactly where we want to focus. I'd prefer the Mediterranean so that I can visit the ruins of Greece & Italy. Eric would prefer Ireland because beer. I'd also love to see the Eiffel Tower & London. So... we'll see. The lifesaver here may be if the Olympics goes to one of these locations & seals the deal, allowing us to kill two birds with one stone.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Clean Sweep

I'll be back to real blogging tomorrow, but I just wanted to pop in today & let you all know that I made it through the chaos! After last night's competition, I'm officially down to one team again! We have just over a week until Sectionals with Varsity & then it will be back to life as normal. It's so close that I can taste it people. I'm actually looking forward to cooking, cleaning, laundry... basically anything that lets me live outside the walls of the cheer gym. 

And how did we end all of the chaos? All of our teams took first place last night! And what's even better than that??!! We took home both Grand Champion trophies too!! It was definitely an exciting night & has us all excited going into Sectionals. There is still a lot to be done, but victory gave us enough gusto to get through it. 

Go Rangers! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's On My Feet?

Today I'm linking up with Andrea to talk about shoes! When I was younger, I didn't understand the female obsession with shoes. As I've gotten older, I totally get it. As in I have at least 30 pairs in my closet get it (but in my defense, a lot of those are sandals!) 

Since it's fall, I'm basically rotating through my boots & pulling out my leopard flats whenever it's warm enough. People, let me tell you, I will be so sad when there is snow on the ground & I can't wear my leopard flats. I am obsessed with them. Best part - $8 on Poshmark! What the what?? I know! They may be the most practical footwear purchase I've ever made in my life. 

scarf - Crystal Feather Boutique // shirt - Target // jeans - J.Crew
bag - Michael Kors // flats - Steve Madden // watch - Coach 

So like I said, I'm wearing my leopard flats whenever I get the chance, but this is New York & sometimes a girl just needs to wear a pair of socks. That's when my boots come out. Today, I'm wearing my grey, ankle zip booties from American Eagle (last year). I love that they're so versatile. I've worn them with jeans, dress pants, and even dresses. The heel height is perfect & you can wear grey with just about everything... 

my view of my shoes right now...
And here's a shot of the boots with today's outfit....
sweater - LOFT // jeans - Old Navy // necklace - Nordstrom // boots - American Eagle

My other favorite boots are my knee high (not over the knee) riding boots. Another steal, I got them from Francesca's two years ago for $40. They have gotten a workout over the years - New York winters are no joke - but they're still in amazing condition. I especially love the the zipper in back is a red/orange & adds just a little something every time I wear them. 

in a skirt...

And since the snow will be here before we know it... I should tell you about my colorblock Hunter boots. I wear them with fleece inserts & they keep me so warm. I've been wearing them to football games all fall long, but they work great on snowdays too. If you don't own a pair of Hunters, you need to get on that - ASAP! 

looking super stylish in my Hunters at a very rainy football game this season

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

To Train or Not to Train... That is the Question

Before you get excited. No, I'm not getting ready to train for a race. Just not there right now. I'm too busy & a training plan would push me over the edge...

I'm talking about training Miss Ella... as in potty training. #dundundun People - I am so scared to do this! I have heard story after story about what a nightmare I was to potty train & I'm afraid Ella will follow right in my footsteps. But... I think it might be time to bite the bullet.

she's always had in interest in all things toilet...
Thankfully, Pull Ups has just opened enrollment in their Big Kid Academy! If you decide to enroll, you’ll get a personalized “My Pull-Ups®” page with potty training activities and advice customized to your point in the potty training journey. I'm super excited about this, because Ella has been really motivated by her sticker chart for naptime at Miss Jennie's & I think that the activities will get her excited about it! 

The Big Kid Academy also has a world-class library of potty training tips and advice from parenting experts, medical professionals and our brightest alumni: parents who have been there. Subjects include:
  • How to talk to day care providers about potty training - I think I have this one covered. Miss Jennie is known to be a rock-star potty trainer. 
  • Solutions for nighttime - Yeah, I'm nervous about this...
  • Potty training on the go - Nervous about this too! We are on the go all of the time. I'm worried that she'll have accidents at practice because one of us will get distracted. 
  • The best clothing for potty training - Any excuse to shop people! 
My favorite part of the program is the Potty Timer on the app. It helps you to set reminders to check in on our kid at regular intervals. Ella & I get easily distracted, so this will be really helpful for us! And she loves absolutely everything on my phone, so I know she'll get into the charts & games too! Added bonus... Pull-Ups now has Doc McStuffins designs! Ella loves her some Doc, so I'm hoping it will make this just a little more fun for her!

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on our progress... I'm going to go for it right after my fall season ends. That will give me three full weeks to focus on her & helping her adjust. Hopefully we have good news to share soon! 

If you have any tips, be sure to leave them in the comments! 

Full Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Pull Ups
Monday, October 6, 2014

Insta Lately...

Hey lovelies... it's still a whirlwind around my house. I'm going to be treading water for the next week, just keeping my head above water will be a challenge. That said, not all of the craziness is bad! I've had so many wonderful things happening to me & I'm a lot better about sharing them on Instagram than I am here, so I thought I'd take a moment to share the happiness with you all on what is a very gloomy Monday here in Rochester! 

Last Wednesday, we had to go to a competition & Ella got to ride the bus with us! She was so flippin' excited! She buckled her seatbelt & sat like a big girl. The Varsity girls made a big fuss over her, which made her love it even more...

On Friday night, I was done WAY early with practices because of Homecoming. So... I got to go out for BBQ with these two cuties. Ella ate the place out of mac & cheese while I basically ate a huge plate of meat for dinner. It was glorious. 

I got up early with Miss Ella Saturday morning so that I could spend some time with her before I headed to the parade. I made her bacon & eggs. When I handed her the plate I told her, "I love you." And she replied, "Love Bacon!" I couldn't agree more... 

Team #1 - My Freshman Girls 

Team #2 - a few of my Varsity girls 

Spa Day for my sister's Bachelorette Party - seriously, just what I needed in my life

And even though this gem didn't make Instagram, I just had to share it. I loved that bike! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday & Pinspired...

We've got a lot going on for a Wednesday around here... not only am I going to share some of my favorite looks from the week, I'm also recreating a look from my fashion guru, Shaeffer, for her Pinspired link-up today! 

I saw this shirt on Shaeffer's blog a few weeks ago & instantly became obsessed. I had to have it. 

But it was $68 plus shipping - and Anthro shipping ain't cheap. So, I refrained. But I still thought of it... still lusted for it. Then, in a stroke of fate from the gods, Anthro Day arrived! I felt better getting 15% off & free shipping - so I took the plunge. OMG - the shirt is ah-mazing! In her post, Shaeffer talks about why Anthro is worth the extra cost & she totally hits the nail on the head - it's all about the details. There's sequins, prints, a pop of fun in the back... and the material is to die for. I may live in this shirt. And without Shaeffer, I never would have found this gem. Which is why I love her & if you aren't following her, you should be. 
top - Anthropologie // jeans - J.Crew // necklace - Nordstrom
sandals - Gap // watch - Coach

In other outfit news... I wore this outfit on Thursday of last week & loved it! Black, white, and green - always works. Also, I just realized this is the first time I'm actually carrying my Michael Kors Jet Set tote on the blog... how is that possible? I'm obsessed with this bag. It's big enough to fit all of my teacher/coaching/mom stuff in it & still looks super polished when I'm carrying it. My exact bag isn't available anymore, but the style itself is a classic & I'm loving this one too. 

bag - Michael Kors // flats - Kohl's // tank - LOFT // skinnies - Gap

And on Wednesday of last week, I broke out one of my summer sundresses, but repurposed it with a cardigan & a belt. That's what I love about fall... so many of my summer pieces still work, but with just a bit of layering, they feel fresh again. 
dress - LOFT // watch - Coach // wedges - TOMS // cardigan - J.Crew

On Sunday, I rocked my Bills tee & Lulu running skirt... comfy & cute. That's my life mission. Again, I can't find this exact shirt online, but it's from the little boys section (I'm wearing an XL) and I love it. It's so soft, perfect for lounging around. 
skirt - Lululemon // shirt - Old Navy

** Linking Up With Shaeffer, Shanna, & The Pleated Poppy **
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