Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Might Not Know...

It's been a random kind of day for me & I thought I'd spread the love by sharing a few random facts you probably don't know about me...

1 - I suck at doing laundry. As in, I put a load of laundry in the washing machine on Sunday night and just put it in the dryer an hour ago. (After re-rinsing it obviously...) Eric is a perfectionist when it comes to laundry, so he gets very annoyed with me. Over our ten years together, I'd estimate that at least 25% of our arguments can be traced back to laundry... 

2 - I'm a huge believer in small changes. We just recently replaced both our kitchen & dining room curtains and it has made a HUGE difference! We inherited all of our curtains from the previous owners & they definitely didn't have the same taste as we do, but it can be expensive to just replace them all at once, so we've been dealing with it. Two rooms down & five to go... 

3 - I have mastered the Hot Dog dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I also know all of the words to the theme song for Sofia the First. 

4 - I could eat chicken fingers & French fries for every. single. meal. I don't even notice how often I order them (or eat them from the freezer) until Eric calls me out on it. Thank goodness I have someone to keep me in check.

5 - I hate ice. I understand it's purpose, but prefer my drinks without it. I also can't drink a drink with ice in it without a straw. 
Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday's Recap...

I have very few pictures from the weekend, probably because we barely left the house at all. It was one of those kind of weekends... the kind where you just stay home. I did get some things accomplished though, so let's go with that theme for today. 

1 - Charlie got a haircut! Our dog is a Miniature American Eskimo. That basically translates to a white, hairy, fluffball. We let him grow his hair out for winter, so he can stay in touch with his Eski roots, but it was time for him to get a serious trim. Little did I know they'd take it to the extreme & now you can't really figure out what kind of dog he is. I know it will only last a few weeks, but in the mean time I may need to buy him a sweater! 

2 - Ella got a big girl bed! This one, was not my doing. Her father was all about trying this out. I was skeptical, especially after he ended up sleeping on the floor next to her all Saturday night, but last night she slept in there on her own without waking up once. I even had to go in & make sure she was still breathing at one point because I am not used to her sleeping so soundly. Fingers crossed it goes that well again tonight! 

tucked into bed last night... 

3 - Thanks to DIY Network & Pinterest, I'm slowly formulating a plan for my backyard. My mom keeps referring to it as a "blank slate" - which is pretty accurate. It needs a lot of work, but a lot of work requires a lot of money - something we don't have. So, I've been pinning my butt off trying to figure out what small changes we can make to have a big impact. If you're curious about what I'm thinking, check out my backyard board here...

4 - I cooked! Yes. I cooked several real meals. We had waffles on Saturday morning, pizza on Saturday night, omelettes Sunday morning, and steak Sunday afternoon. We didn't eat out once, which is a rarity in our household. It was all absolutely delicious, but I'm not sure Eric wants to keep it up. He already asked me last night if we can make plans to go to one of our favorite restaurants on Friday night... 

So that was our un-eventful weekend. I kind of liked it, but I know it won't happen again for awhile. Next weekend is already jampacked & the weekend after is too. Summer is our "busy season" in that we have family events or golf tournaments almost every weekend. So things will be more exciting around here soon! 
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday - Wedge Obsessed

It must be this spring weather that has me suddenly obsessed with wedges! I've had my camel colored suede wedges from Target for almost a year now, and usually wear them once a week or so. They're cneutral, so I can wear them with almost anything. But I hate wearing black & brown together & they're closed toed, so I decided a few weeks ago that I needed a black pair of open toe wedges in my closet. 

I started my hunt on the Nordstrom website, and immediately fell in love with these black TOMS wedges. I've never worn regular TOMS before, but I've only heard great things, so I decided to order them. GREAT DECISION! I am in love with them & have already gotten a ton of compliments even though I've only worn them four times. Here's a sampling of how I've been wearing them... 

skinnies - J.Crew Factory // blouse - TJ Maxx // wedges - TOMS
bracelets - Alex & Ani // necklace - Francesca's // watch - Coach 

This was my outfit for Easter day. It's a pretty casual affair at my in-laws, so I chose to wear my black skinny jeans & a sheer, blush blouse. Just dressy enough to feel "holiday-esque" but comfortable enough to chase Ella around on her egg hunt. 

skinnies - Gap // blouse - TJ Maxx // wedges - TOMS
bracelets - Alex & Ani // necklace - Francesca's 
I had loved my outfit the day before so much, that I basically replicated it in bolder colors for my return to work on Monday. I love wearing my bold, green skinnies with black because they really pop! This blouse is my new favorite too, so comfy & perfect for the warmer weather that will be here soon! 

pants - Banana Republic // tunic - Target // wedges - Target 
And today, it is pouring. So I went back to my closed toe wedges & kept it simple. No point in straightening your hair just to walk out into a downpour, right? I've had both of these items for over a year now & still love wearing them. I usually wear the tunic with leggings, but I'm kind of loving how it looks with my structured crops. 

Linking Up for What I Wore Wednesday

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Day of Play

On Friday afternoon, my grandma & aunt came up to visit Ella & I. Since my aunt is a school nurse, she had the week off as well & we wanted to savor our last day of freedom until June. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, The Gate House, and then ventured to the Strong National Museum of Play

OMG! I'm having so much fun!

Basically, the museum is full of interactive exhibits for children ages 1 to 100. There is something for everyone, from vintage toys to a mock up of our beloved Wegmans supermarket to a complete replica of Sesame Street. Ella was in heaven & we didn't even see half of the place! 

Highlight of Ella's life - meeting Mo!


If you decide to take a trip to the museum yourself, I'd recommend going on a weekday. I've heard that it is complete chaos on the weekends. Also, I would eat before you arrive, as their was food, but it was of the food court variety. There are far better local restaurants that offer better food & a better value. If you want some suggestions, just ask! 

driving the tractor with her great-grandma
Monday, April 21, 2014

Ella's Second Easter

I'll be back later this week with a full recap of our (very busy) Spring Break, but for now I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from our Easter celebration yesterday. We spent the day at Eric's mom's with his side of the family. It was absolutely  gorgeous outside - 75 & sunny. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Ella was also a champ, even though she was running a fever from teething & really just wanted me to hold her. I don't think you can tell from the pictures though... 

opening her Easter basket from Grandma Nancy
with my sweet girl as she tore her basket apart
posing with Grandma's big egg 
hunting for Easter eggs
found one!
family shot in our non-coordinating outfits
no caption needed - she's just too cute

As far as outfits go, I kind of failed...  

  1. We didn't match. We all just kind of did our own thing for the day. I normally would've tried to get us all on the same page, but I just didn't have it in me. 
  2. Ella didn't wear a dress. Don't get me wrong, I had originally planned to put Ella in a dress, but at the last minute I decided to let her wear her new flowy, flowery shirt instead. She was happy as a clam running around in her boyfriend jeans & sneakers. 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Bunny Garland

I saw a version of this garland on Pinterest about a month ago, but it was one of those annoying pins that when you click on it, it takes you to a totally random website with no instructions. I still loved it though, and I figured it couldn't be that hard, so I decided to figure it out on my own. I knew it could go one of two ways... as I envisioned it or horribly wrong. Luckily, it was the first. Here's the finish product hanging over the entrance to our living room... 

Step 1: Gather materials! You'll need...

  • Scrapbook paper - the number depends on how many patterns & how big of a banner you want
  • 1 sheet of card stock
  • Scissors
  • Single hole punch
  • Cotton balls
  • Elmer's glue
  • Twine, ribbon, something to use as string... 

Step 2: Create a Template 
Take your sheet of card stock & fold it in half. Then free hand half of a bunny. I am not an artist & was a able to handle this. Practice on scrap paper at first if you need too, but it's pretty simple. I promise. 

Step 3: Trace
I was able to fit about 5 bunnies on each piece of scrapbook paper. The number you can will depend on the template that you create. Just try to take advantage of all the space you can so you have the most bunnies possible! 

Step 4: Start Cutting

Step 5: Glue on the Cotton Balls
I simply placed a big glob of Elmer's glue on the center of the bunny's bottom, then stuck on the cotton ball. It was dry & ready to handle within 20 minutes. 

Step 6: Punch Holes 
You need to use the single hole punch to make a hole in each of the bunny ears. Try to keep them symmetrical, but it isn't necessary to be perfect. You can eye ball it. 

Step 7: Thread the Garland
Put the string through your bunny ears & thread the bunnies onto the garland. I made a pattern with the different papers, but that isn't necessary. Also, make sure you measure your string in accordance with the hanging space before you cut it, and leave a little extra on each end, just in case. 

 Enjoy your cheap & easy bunny garland!! If your looking for more Easter projects, check out my Pinterest board here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Things Got Crafty...

In an unprecedented turn of events, I had a whole weekend to myself. Eric went to visit friends in Pitt & Ella went to his mom's for a couple nights. I was excited for some freedom, but I wasn't really sure what to do with it. So Friday night I decided to start tackling some Pinterest projects that have caught my eye recently. They're all Easter related because I wanted to have the house decorated for Ella's homecoming. I'm not really sure if she'll even notice, but it's the thought that counts...

I'm going to do a tutorial on the top image, my bunny garland, because the pin was just a picture with no instructions. I figured it out though & I think it turned out awesome. I even made my sister one for her new house! 

The middle image was easy peezy because it was a free printable from Everyday Cheer & I love it!! 

Last up was the Easter egg garland made from paint chips. So cheap & I love how it turned out. I have to say I felt a little sketchy hoarding a ton of paint samples from Lowes, but it was worth it :) 

Inspiration struck while I was in Target Saturday morning too & I ended up buying all the supplies for this centerpiece for less than $3! I have two trifle bowls & honestly never use them, so I was happy to pull it out & put it to use! 

The rest of my weekend was spent rotating between helping my sister clean at her new house & doing some spring cleaning/yard work at our house. The weather was perfect, so I even got to open up all the windows & air everything out. It's finally starting to feel like spring, which is perfect because today is the first day of our Spring Break! The weather is supposed to be beautiful again, so I think we're headed to the zoo! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Break in the Weather

I've spent the past two days in a secure conference room scoring state exams - not fun. So when I walked out an hour early yesterday, I was ecstatic that it was 68 & sunny. Sure it was a little windy, but I'm not about to get picky! I swung by to pick up Ella, ran a few quick errands, and was home by 3:15! 

Even though I had Ella in pants & a windbreaker, I was wearing shorts & a t-shirt. The weather was just gloriously sunny. We headed outside to work in our yard & I was able to snap these sweet pictures of Miss Ella. 

Ella is going to her grandma's for the weekend & I intend to be all sorts of productive! I have a ton of Easter Pinterest projects ready to go tonight & even more spring cleaning. Not to mention I've been recruited to help my sister clean & move into her new house tomorrow too. It's going to be busy, busy, busy! 

Have a Great Weekend! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Training Update - I'm Not

A few people have asked me how my half-marathon training is going, so I guess it's time to fess up. It's not. 

Let me elaborate. I'm still working out every day. I am no longer training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I'm incredibly disappointed about the turn in events that led to this decision, but it's for the best. It had nothing to do with my training progress, I've followed my plan religiously & was up to running 8 miles. The decision was completely financial. We've simply decided that we can't afford a weekend in NYC right now. Last year's race in DC was far more pricey than we anticipated & even staying with friends, we knew we'd overspend again. So, we did the whole responsible parent thing & bailed on the trip. 

Right now I'm spending some time reevaluating my fitness goals. My heart wasn't in the training like it was last year, I just don't love long runs. I'm also thinking about adding a lot more lifting into my routine as summer approaches. I'm a lot more comfortable in the gym now, so I think I can handle it. I'll be sure to keep you posted when I set firm goals. For now, I'm just going to keep on, keeping on...

Friday, April 4, 2014

What Pinterest Can Teach You About Your Mother...

Awhile ago, I logged onto my Pinterest account from my mom's iPad. She doesn't have an account of her own, but she does have the app downloaded so that I can easily pull something up if I need to reference it. Well, apparently she got curious about how the whole thing works, because suddenly I had a new board on my screen. It is simply titled, "Mom."

She doesn't pin a lot, but everything she does pin, she just puts onto that board for future reference. I don't really care, it's not like she's going to pin anything inappropriate. But I do get a big kick out of looking through it from time to time. You can learn about what is going on in your mother's life from browsing through her pins. Let me explain...

Strawberry Lime Moscato Punch | Real Housemoms | Mmmmmmmm
pinned here
I always know what my mom is going to serve at our next family gathering based on her most recently pinned Sangria recipe. My mom is on a mission to find the perfect Sangria & Pinterest is fueling her fire. We've tried a ton of them, but nothing compares to the recipe she was served in a restaurant while on vacation last year. This one looks like a cross between Sangria and her other favorite indulgence - Margaritas. 

Pink bow around baby girl/ blue for boy by Cindy Louise
pinned here
Apparently she's ready for another grandbaby too. Maybe that's why she's going to liquor us up with Sangria...

I pretty much want this color...and this cut.  And I want to never have to work for it! :)
pinned here
I saw that she pinned this & was confused because my mom keeps her hair in a sophisticated bob. She's had it this way for years now. When I saw her that weekend, she announced to me that she was growing her hair out. And then it all made sense...

Fruit Pizza Sugar Cookie Dough
pinned here
My mom doesn't really bake. She loves bakeries, but doesn't enjoy making a mess in her kitchen. Thus, I'm willing to bet that she will ask me or my sister to make this for her in the near future. She has a habit of throwing recipes & ingredients out on the counter & asking my sister or I to make it happen. And we do, because we love her... 

love the colors of sweater and scarf
pinned here
And this is the pin where I realized we have the same fashion sense. My mom can actually afford our fashion sense though, so she actually buys a lot of the items she pins on Pinterest... and then I borrow them. But seriously, she has the best clothes & I'm never surprised when I'm scrolling through my home feed & repin an outfit from her board. Great minds...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

That In Between Season

We're in the midst of that horrible in between season that plagues the end of every March in Upstate New York. One day it'll be 60, the next it will be 20 & we'll have a foot of snow dumped on us. It makes getting dressed a daily challenge, but I've been doing my best to transition my wardrobe from winter to spring, even when it doesn't feel like spring outside. Here's a peak of my outfits lately... 

maxi - Forever 21 // cardigan - J.Crew // watch - Coach // necklace - Francesca's Closet

jeans - Old Navy // top - Gap // bracelets - Alex & Ani

blouse - Loft // pants - J.Crew Factory // flats - Kohl's // bracelets - Alex & Ani

shirt - Target // capris - J.Crew // cardigan - J.Crew
flats - Kohl's // watch - Forever 21
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Weekend Recap... on Tuesday

Happy Monday Tuesday.... I came down with a stomach bug yesterday, so my weekend recap is a day late. Now that I'm feeling better, and drinking something other than Sprite, we can get to it... 

I got out of school on Friday afternoon & had all the energy in the world. So, I ran 4 miles & killed my abs. Surprisingly, I didn't pay for it the rest of the weekend like I thought I would either. My body is definitely adjusting to the training well. I came home all fired up & made a healthy dinner too, which Ella & I enjoyed. My hubs went to a March Madness party, leaving me home alone for the night (don't drink & drive people!), but before he left he kindly reminded me to lock up everything in the house because there was a robbery a few streets over the night before!! Who says that to their wife before she has to stay alone over night? Needless to say, I was freaking out. I wanted to vent about it on Twitter too, but then everyone would've known that I was home alone & I would've surely been murdered. Luckily, we survived... 

Ella woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, as she always seems to do on the weekends. It'd be great if the gym's daycare center opened before 8, because then I could get a sweat in before I have to get ready for other engagements. But without Eric at home & no daycare open, I had to suck it up & skip a workout. Our annual cheer banquet was at 10 & I had to get there to help set up.

The banquet was a huge success though, so that made up for the missed workout. It's kind of nice having it a while after the season has ended because it gives me time to actually miss them a little bit. They were so sweet & got me amazing coaching gifts. I got a new Alex & Ani bracelet, a Starbucks travel cup, and a very generous gift card to Disney (which I already had & used). They're such sweet girls & I'm really going to miss them. 

my lovely team all dressed up
one of my absolute favorites & Winter MVP
I came home & took a power nap (no sleep the night before, too scared) before our Hibachi date with my work friends. We had an amazing time. Eric drank a lot of Saki. I caught a rice ball in my mouth. Things got pretty loud, but no one seemed to care. It was the first time we've ever "double dated" with people from work, so I was glad that it was a success! I'm hoping we'll do it again soon...

On Sunday, I got my butt up & immediately started cleaning our mess of a house. I swear, it was the worst it's ever been. My suitcase from Florida was still half unpacked in the guest room, my laundry pile was a monster, and the floors hadn't been vacuumed since February Break. I had a lot to do. Eric & I decided to divide & conquer though, so I did the upstairs & he did the downstairs. It's amazing how much better you feel when your house is clean! 

After the cleaning frenzy, I headed to the gym to fit in a leg day. I ran 3 miles, lifted, and ended things with 30 minutes of spinning. I could barely walk by the time I left, but I felt awesome. 

Eric's whole family showed up around 2:30 for a family dinner. We have never hosted them all for a meal, so I was a little bit nervous. I kept it simple, serving pizza & tossed salad. Overall, I think it went well. To be honest, I probably could have served burnt hot dogs & they would have been happy just to see Ella. 

This week is another busy one for me. We started state testing this morning & while I won't go in depth on my opinions on it, I'll leave you with this... 

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