Saturday, June 28, 2014

On the Go

I'm blogging from my phone to pop in & share what a fab day we had! We're all in Saratoga at my parents house & loving this gorgeous weather! This morning the entire house was up by 7 am - thanks Ella - and all of us girls were out getting 3 miles in before 7:30. I'm not sure if the cardio was necessary though because we spent the rest of the day on the go! 

The guys had an 8:30 tee time, so us ladies got ready & headed out shopping! We were on a mission to find Ella a new, big girl stroller - which we accomplished! 

We bought the Uppababy G-Lite stroller & so far, I'm in love. It's so light & I love that she sits right up & can see everything that's going on. 

We hit up the mall too, but didn't buy all that much since we were just there last weekend. It was a quick trip & then we were back to meet up with the guys so we could take Ella to a small amusement park. 

The girl absolutely loves rides! She rode everything she was allowed to & then rode some again. I can't wait to take her to Disney again! 

We only lasted a couple hours at the park before we were ready to go home & clean up for dinner on Broadway. We ate at a brewpub named Druthers & the food was fantastic. I hat white sangria that was good but I've had better. Everyone said their beer was amazing though! 

Hoping tomorrow is as amazing as today was! 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Casual Summer Saturday

shorts - Gap // tank - LOFT // jacket - J.Crew
necklace - LOFT // sandals - Gap (old, but similar)
Yesterday, I spent a lot of time talking about my Saturday on the golf course. What I failed to talk about was my outfit. I learned a long time ago that the golf course is not the time to try and go high fashion. It never works. You just have keep it low key & layered. On Saturday it went from 55 & windy to 79 & sunny - I was so glad that I had my jacket with me, because unlike my friends, I was able to throw on something I brought instead of buying a $30 sweatshirt that I'll probably never wear again. Rookies. 

Speaking of that jacket... it's easily one of the best investment pieces I've made in a long time. I lusted over it in J.Crew for months before I finally found a sale price that I could get away with. I couldn't be happier with it. Unlike most military jackets, it isn't cotton. It's made of a heavier fabric that is rainproof & while it doesn't have a hood, it does stand up to the wind nicely. I've found myself layering it over sweaters on milder winter days & throwing it on with shorts on brisker summer mornings. If you're in the market, definitely keep it in mind! Oh... and as I was putting the links in this post I discovered it's on sale right now! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our Weekend Can Be Summed Up in Three Words...

Most weekends, it would be impossible for me to sum up our weekend in less than 100 words. But, this weekend can be compressed into 3 - shopping, golf, and soccer. 

1 - Shopping 

I told you on Friday that my mom is in town & that of course means shopping! I didn't have much on my own personal shopping agenda, but my sister was looking for sundresses & my mom was looking to spend a bunch of cash on her grandbaby. They both succeeded.  My mom was feeling extra generous too & even bought my sister & I a present! I got a new piece of swimwear from Athleta that I'll be wearing shortly! There's a hint in that sentence, but I don't want to spoil the surprise! 

She is getting WAY too grown up!
She insisted on going to the counter & ordering with my mom and Aunt Britt! 

She kept taking my mom into dressing rooms so that they could sit together :) 
2 - Golf

two of our long-time friends & Miss Ella
Saturday was an early wake up call. We were on the road to Eric's hometown by 6:15 so that he could golf in a tournament that honors one of our dear friends who lost his life in Afghanistan. This is the 5th year they've held the tournament, but it never gets any easier to realize that Zack isn't going to show up & start cracking jokes. We know he'd want us all to have a good time though, so that's what we do! 

Eric plays with the same team every year - it's a group of guys that he went to high school with & is still very close to, even though we're grown ups now. I always love the tournament because it's really one of the few times that we all get together without a holiday to celebrate. And while I didn't realize it until we got there, Saturday was one of the first times that the boys have really hung out with Ella! Normally, Ella & I are off doing girly things while Eric hangs out or she's at her Grammy's while we're all out for the night. They were totally smitten with her! They kept giving me their phones to take pictures with her & kept asking Eric if she could come along with them for the next couple of holes. It was SO cute. I think the only people who loved it more than I did was the boys' moms who were cooing over the whole thing on Facebook the next day... 

teaching Ella a thing or two about putting...
all of which I learned from watching Michael Phelps on the Hank Haney Project

Miss Ella brought along her own clubs & played on the putting green for hours! I think we might have a future golfer on our hands... which would make my dad the happiest man in the world. 

Miss Ella & her daddy...
The real highlight of the weekend was getting to play with my mother in law's new Cannon DSLR camera. I want one of my own... badly. I had so much fun taking the photos & then editing them later. I've already warned my mother in law that I might just steal hers :) 

Ella is big into fist bumps right now & the boys were loving it! 

3 - Soccer 

all dressed for the big game... most of which she slept through
My husband is a HUGE U.S. Soccer fan. He's a member of the American Outlaws & has road tripped to several of the games leading up to this year's World Cup. He begged & pleaded to go to Brazil... but there was no way in hell that I was going to pay $5000 for him to go to Brazil without me. So instead, we're in America watching the games from the comfort of our own home. Everyone was all decked out in red, white, and blue... despite the fact that it was just the three of us in our living room. The game was noisy & Ella probably learned a few words that she shouldn't have. Eric was incredibly disappointed by the tie... treating it as if they'd lost. Now, I agree that the last minute goal by Portugal was heartbreaking, but I'm more of a glass half full kind of girl. We tied with the 4th ranked team in the world! That's huge for U.S. soccer!! Next up, we take on Germany - which in case you don't know is the country where our own U.S. coach played & won a World Cup in the 90's. It's a big deal. That's code for Eric is taking a half day to watch it live... men

even our dog gets in on the action

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone! 

This week has flown by. Wednesday was our last day with kids & now we're in finals mode, which means they only come in from 8 to 10:15. That leaves me the rest of the day to get all of my end of year work done... and go out to lunch with friends. 

1 - Moving! 

I'm moving to a new classroom & I'm a little bit sad about it. I absolutely love my room I'm in right now. I had it all decorated & organized, now I'll be starting from scratch. I'm also leaving behind my massive wall of windows & my own personal bathroom. My new room is BIG but it doesn't have either of those things. To top it off, I'm trading rooms with an amazing teacher who also happens to be a hoarder, so to say that things are a cluttered mess in both rooms right now would be a massive understatements. And if you don't know... I can't stand a cluttered classroom. This is a snapshot of what my room looked like up until Tuesday... 

you'll notice that my shades are drawn... because elementary field day was happening & my kids were totally distracted

2 - Mama's Here

My mom is in town! She had to visit customers in Buffalo yesterday, so she stopped & stayed over in Rochester last night. I had a meeting for cheer, so she picked Ella up from daycare & took the rest of my family out to dinner. I was so sad that I missed out on dinner. The meeting took forever & a day, so I didn't make it home until 7:45. Luckily, she's visiting more customers in Rochester today & gets to stay another night! We're all headed to the mall after school to do some shopping & eat out - just us girls. I'm so glad she is here! 

3 - Speaking of Shopping... 

Loft is having 40% off everything right now! If you read my post on Monday, then you know that I'm in love with their rompers. I may or may not be purchasing another tonight... 

And J.Crew Factory is having 30% off too... 

4 - Photobook Obsessed

I'll be doing a whole post on this soon, but I have created 3 photobooks in the past week. It all started because of this post from Young House Love paired with a free photobook coupon from Shutterfly. Then it escalated from there as friends sent me their coupons & I may have gone a bit overboard. 

All three books should arrive by the end of next week & I cannot wait to add them to my bookshelf! We already had a bunch from our wedding & vacations, so these ones focused specifically on our life with Miss Ella will be the perfect addition. 

5 - Let's Get Down

Every year when the kids walk to their buses on the last day, we play music over the PA system & all of the teachers walk them out to the bus loop. As the buses pull away, we all wave goodbye to the kids. Then... it basically erupts into a big dance party as we celebrate the fact that we have 10 weeks off! This year, this song came on just as they were leaving. It was the perfect sendoff...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Impromptu Photo Shoot...

So on Sunday afternoon, I got the fabulous idea that I should take some spring photos of Ella. She's changing so fast & I want to remember how adorable she was at this phase for years to come. And while we were at it, I thought my sister & I could get in a few pictures to send to my parents. I called my sister, told her she needed to shower & wear something neutral. I got Ella bathed & even straightened my own hair. I picked out outfits. I thought we had the whole thing under control... 

We didn't. My sister arrived & I ended up changing my outfit into something more neutral to match what she was wearing. Then, I had to deal with the two dogs who refused to stay in the house while we took photos. Oh, and I had to convince my husband to take the photos of the three of us, which was probably the hardest part of the whole ordeal. There is a reason why professionals make a ton of money to photograph families & children. It's hard work. My sister kept her sunglasses on. I'm posed awkwardlly. Ella has the attention span of a two year old...

So, it's safe to say that I didn't get exactly the photos I'd envisioned. But, I did get some that I am in love with. They're certainly imperfect, but they served their purpose of capturing who Ella is in this moment & making my parents day. Next time I'm paying a professional though! 

And saving my favorite for last...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's Romp

On Tuesday, I did a post on sundresses & rompers for Miss Ella. I love to see her in a romper. She looks adorable & comfy at the same time. What's not to love about that? But I'd be lying if I didn't have a double standard towards rompers on adults. I guess I've just seen it go bad too many times...

So when I walked into the LOFT on Saturday afternoon to exchange a pair of shorts, I was totally blown away to see the sweet sales lady in a romper - looking fabulous! This is what she was wearing... 

romper - LOFT // denim jacket - J.Crew // necklace - LOFT // sandals - Nordstrom

Seeing her in looking so cute in the romper, inspired me. I HAD to try it on...
romper - LOFT // necklace - LOFT // watch - Coach

And then, I loved the first one so much, I tried on another one! 

romper - LOFT // watch - Coach

Now, I knew that it'd be ridiculous to purchase both. But trust me, I wanted to. I bought the first one, mainly because it's a little dressier & I can see myself wearing it out to dinner & maybe even to work. I'm quite confident that I can dress it up & down. I also ended up buying the necklace that the saleslady was wearing too, because 1) it looked perfect with the romper, 2) it reminds me of the Kendra Scott necklace I've been drooling for over a month, and 3) I had store credit, so why not?

Now let's get real... I just reread this post and I'm acting like I was totally ballsy about this whole thing. That was not the case. I texted the pictures above to several trusted fashion advisors before purchasing. If anyone of them had told me I looked ridiculous, I would've backed out. Taking fashion risks is scary stuff! What do you think? Are you bold enough to try a romper? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Boyfriend Jeans - Love Em or Hate Em?

jeans - LOFT // sandals - Forever 21 // belt - J.Crew // tee - J.Crew Factory // watch - Coach

I have owned these boyfriend jeans for a year now. I bought them from Loft at 40% off. They were a great bargain & I just knew that I'd wear them all of the time. But... I didn't. Why? Well because honestly, I had no clue how to style them. I always see people wear their boyfriend jeans with high heels & that's just not me. I sort of got the hang of it towards the end of summer... see here & hereBut then fall came around & I had absolutely no idea how to style them with boots. So I gave up. Until the other day, when they were staring right at  me, practically yelling "Wear Me!" So I did. And I loved it. Mine happen to be perfectly slouchy, soft, and distressed. I plan to wear them over & over again this summer with simple tank tops & sandals. That's my style. 

Do you wear boyfriend jeans? How do you style them? 
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sundresses, Rompers, & Sandals... Oh My!

toddler sandals

Today I'm starting a new series on my blog - Toddler Tuesday! Basically, I've decided that shopping for Miss Ella is just as fun & rewarding as shopping for myself. In fact, I probably spend more time shopping for her than I do for myself these days! I find so much cute stuff & I couldn't possibly keep it to myself, so this will be my forum to share it. The plan is to have some of my friends guest post as well & I'll be featuring some of boys clothes too - because I shop for my nephews pretty often too. 

Today is all about Ella's summer wardrobe - sandals, sundresses, and rompers. I love to put them on her because it makes her look just a little dressed up, but I still know she's comfy. This was our strategy last summer too & it worked well for us. She was one happy peanut!

the day she learned to walk last summer! 
Friday, June 6, 2014

Five on Friday!

This Outfit

I'm going to be honest, I've basically been living in this outfit. It is beyond comfy & I'm in love with these shorts

Last year, I thought these were the comfiest shorts ever. Wrong. These are. If it was acceptable, I'd be wearing this at work right now, but I really can't complain too much because I'm wearing boyfriend jeans, sandals, and a v-neck tee. Thank God for casual Friday! And if we're being honest, just #TGIF in general. 

Relay for Life

Tonight I'm walking in the Relay for Life. This year I'm attending as a chaperone for National Junior Society, but RFL has been a part of my life for many years. Since my Grandma Ellen (Miss Ella's namesake) passed away from breast cancer ten years ago, I've been walking in her memory & raising money for the American Cancer Society. If you've never participated, it's an amazing event that honors survivors & commemorates the lives lost to this horrible disease. If you'd like to donate to my school's team, our site will be open all day & through the event. 

with my family at RFL 2010

I'm part updating in Erin's #1000in30 challenge this month! So far I've logged 135 minutes, and I'm confident that I'll get in at least another 100 tonight at the Relay. My goal is to walk at least 5 miles around the track & to avoid all of the junk food that will definitely be present. 

Birthday Presents

I've been so insanely lucky to have received birthday presents from my amazing co-workers this morning! My best friends/co-teachers even bought me a new Alex & Ani bracelet! And everything I opened this morning was on top of my free birthday pizza last night & my free Starbucks this morning! Gotta love those birthday coupons! 



Last thing, I'm going to try and learn to do some new hairstyles this weekend. I feel like I either straighten it & put it in a poof or throw it up in a top knot. It's time to branch out. So, I'm turning to YouTube, Bloggers, IG... basically anything that might teach me something new. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears! 

**linking up for five on friday**
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Swim Suit Roundup

The one & only problem with going on vacation in mid-March, is the fact that you have to buy your swim gear in mid-March. And really, that isn't such a problem for me, because I don't really change sizes all that often. It is a problem for Miss Ella though, because she's already outgrown one of the swimsuits we bought for her! So, here I am, shopping for swimsuits for a second time this year. But truly, I'm not complaining because look at all of this cuteness! 

Janie & Jack // Gap // Old Navy // Gymboree // Crazy 8

Nordstrom // Nordstrom // Nordstrom // Nordstrom // Carter's

Now as you all know, I'm a huge fan of the Gap & most of Ella's clothing comes from there. However, I'm just not in love with their suits this season, so I'm branching out. I've found at least one cute suit on every site I've visited, so my decision will most likely be based on coupon codes & free shipping. No matter what, I know Miss Ella will rock it! I mean look at her, she's a pro-model already! 

Miss Ella is wearing the Gymboree swimsuit from above & a sunhat from PB Kids
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday - Summer's Here!

Let's just all take a moment to let out a huge sigh of relief that summer is finally here. 

Summer is my favorite. Fall is a close second, but I just love summer. Nothing makes me happier than jean shorts, flip flops, and sundresses. The season (and everything that comes with it) simply cannot be beat. I've been taking advantage of the warmer days & have been busting out my favorite summer items - both old & new. Here are a few of my favorite summer outfits so far... 

I bought this dress before we went to Florida in March, but I never got the chance to wear it on vacation. Thus, I was a little excited to pull it out of my closet & finally wear it two weeks ago! I've worn it again since, and I've gotten tons of compliments on it each time. I love it for school because it has a modest neckline & a full back. It's very difficult to find school appropriate maxis, so this was heaven sent! 

Maxi - Hive & Honey via Piperlime
This was another look that I got a lot of compliments on, which seems funny to me because it is beyond simple & actually happened by chance. I was running really late last week & needed to get dressed fast. So, I did what I always do when I'm in a rush & reverted to basic black. I've had the dress since student teaching, but it's insanely comfy & has held up surprisingly well. (I truly believe Gap had higher quality expectations back then...) Anyway, I threw it on with my favorite wedges & put my hair up in a topknot. Voila! I even ended up with time to take selfies. 
dress - Gap (old) // wedges - TOMS 
This is what I wore for my birthday dinner on Saturday night. The restaurant we went to isn't dressy, so I paired my favorite distressed jeans with a black top & my wedges. I threw on an old necklace & grabbed my favorite big bag so I could carry my coat along. This is an outfit I'll definitely be repeating throughout the warm summer nights. 
top - TJ Maxx // jeans - J.Crew // wedges - TOMS
necklace - Lia Sophia // bag - Philip Lim for Target 
And last but not least, I wasn't planning on sharing this outfit, but I had a few questions about it, so I'll oblige. I found the shorts at the Gap Outlet while I was in Florida for dirt cheap, but I just saw that they have a very similar pair in stores right now! My chambray henley is from J.Crew & is such a closet staple. I've paired it with just about every pair of shorts I own, as well as multiple pairs of colored jeans. It's so versatile & worth a splurge. 

Bri: shorts - Gap // shirt - J.Crew // watch - Coach // Sperry's 
Ella: dress - Carter's // cardigan - Carter's 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bri's Birthday Wishlist

Bri's Birthday Wishlist

Guess what?? My birthday is on Sunday!! I know I'm probably getting too old to get excited for my birthday, but my mom still asks me what I want each year, which means I get to make a wishlist! Wishlists make me happy! (If they don't make you happy, we need to talk.) And since we'll be spending the weekend with my family at the country house, I'm going to get to have a real birthday party & open presents on the actual day. That never seems to happen anymore! So I'm just going to go ahead & be excited about it!! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Kind of Weekend

I hate to brag, but my weekend was kind of amazing. It involved my favorite people, food, shopping, and laying in the sun. Seriously, you can't beat that. 

My birthday is technically next weekend, but I'll be at my parents' house in the country for it. So, we decided to do all of my fun birthday partying this weekend. 

We started off the weekend with a low key Friday night involving grilled pizzas (info on that ingenious idea coming soon!) and peanut butter sundae cups. OMG it was good. My sister came over & played with Ella too, so I got to relax on the couch & actually use my own iPad instead of engaging in a fist fight over it with Ella. 

Saturday was busy, busy - but so jam packed with things that I loved that I didn't even care! My sister picked up Ella & I and we headed off for a Girl's Day! She was sweet enough to let me pick out my own birthday presents, because she totally understand that the greatest gift anyone could ever give me is a shopping trip. I live for the thrill of the hunt... 

with my shopping partner at Home Goods

We recently got a Home Goods store in our neck of the woods. I honestly didn't know that, but my sister did & it was our first stop. OMG I am in love with that place! I ended up walking out with some really cute beach towels and a new tote for Ella's toys, but I could have done a lot more damage if I'd had the money! 

We followed up Home Goods with a trip to one of my absolute favorite restaurants - Olive Garden! Now I know that OG isn't even close to authentic, but it was my favorite as a kid & it's comfort food for me. I could eat their breadsticks for days & I adore their chicken alfredo. So that's where we went. They're running a special where you get two entrees with salad & breadsticks, plus a dessert to share for $25 - so that's what we ordered & I unexpectedly had cheesecake with my lunch too! 

We headed into the mall after lunch & walked off all of our calories. (OK, definitely not all, but some.) Ella turned Pottery Barn Kids into her own personal playroom. I thought we were going to have to carry her out kicking & screaming. Luckily, her Aunt Britt was able to distract her. We did a lot of shopping at Gap & some of our favorite department stores. 

I am obsessed with this bag below & it would've gone perfectly with my outfit... but I figured Von Maur would have a problem with me stealing it. So I left it behind... 

We ended our trip by hitting up Target for more practical purchases, like laundry detergent & sprinklers. Then headed home so I could rest up for an evening out with my work friends! They were sweet enough to take me out to The Gate House for dinner, which is another of my favorite restaurants. Seriously, just typing the name of that place makes me drool. It is so good. We stayed out too late - mostly laughing at our own ridiculousness. Definitely the best way to celebrate my birthday. 

Sunday morning came far too early... and I knew that I needed to get up & get a little exercise. There was simply no avoiding it. After all, I'd had pasta & french fries the day before & was headed to a pool party that afternoon. Like I said, it had to be done. So, I got the whole family up and ready to do some cardio. Of course, cardio for Ella looks like this...

The rest of the day was spent at one of my best friend's pool! As you know from Thursday's post, I was super excited to spend my day poolside, but I didn't realize how excited Ella would be too! 

Eric spent a lot of time in the pool with her, while I spent a lot of time running around the yard with her. She was just so happy to be outside! I think we all needed the day more than we knew. 

And I'll throw this gem in too because it makes me happy! All snuggled up in her new beach towel! 

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