Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Family Photos - Fall 2015

Two weekends ago, my wonderful best friend fit my crazy crew in for some family pictures. The pictures don't tell you how cold it was, but the fact that she was up for braving the elements with us makes me love her even more than I already do! Something about my scheduling family photos just brings out the worst in the weather... last year it snowed! But this year, we got the gorgeous fall colors & blue sky that I had envisioned. 

Our photos were taken at a trail that I drive by on the way to my sister's house & just fell in love with. The trees, the cattails, the wooden bridge with iron railing. I just love it all! 

One of the definite perks of having your best friend do your family photos is that everyone is totally comfortable with her. Ella was herself the entire time & I didn't have to worry about her playing shy. And the fact that Jackquelyn offered to bring Eric a beer didn't hurt either (for the record, he declined since it was 10 a.m.) 

The best part of having Jackquelyn shoot the photos though is that she knew exactly what I wanted without me having to tell her... which led to totally candid photos like this with my Ella. 

This picture is one of my favorites - just because it totally embodies my relationship with Ella. She makes me laugh - every. single. day. She's the most joyful little girl & I want to remember these moments forever. 

Now comes the hard part, deciding what makes the Christmas Card, but more on that later!

To see our past family photos, click here & here! And to see what we wore for these photos, check out this post
Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites - Halloween Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I'm just popping in between grading tests & planning for my observation next week to share our Halloween favorites from this year! Enjoy! 

- one - 

I absolutley love festive pajamas for my girls & I found the best ones at Gap this season! These monster ones are Ella's favorite, but she loves her Halloween Kitty ones too. (Sidenote: if you plan ahead like I do, Gap's Christmas PJs are out & absolutely adorable too!) 

- two - 

five little pumpkins printable bag topper:

I found this free printable on Pinterest & am making them for Ella's treat to pass out this year! The teacher in me loves the little poem, mallocream pumpkins are my favorite, and they were super easy to make. In hindsight, I wish I'd printed them on cardstock, but I'm sure the kids won't mind! 

- three - 
Sign // Spatulas // Towel // Pillow

I just love all of the Halloween decor I found on Nordstrom! I typically only shop Nordstrom for clothes & accessories, but was really impressed by the cute home items I found this season. And... it's all 40% off now, so if snatch it up while it's cheap. 

Other places I've found Halloween decor I love - Target & Marshal's. I didn't make it to Home Goods this season, but I'm sure they had awesome stuff too! 

- four - 

I've been feeling pretty crafty lately, but I don't actually have the time to DO the crafts with Ella at home. So... I've been sending ideas to the wonderful Miss Jennie and even went as far as to do all the prep, but send it for her so that she could do it with her friends at daycare. Two crafts we've done this season... 

 - original post here -

SUPER easy Halloween craft. Perfect for preschool aged kids. Even includes a free printable of the candy corn!:
- original post here -

And if you're looking for more ideas, this post has a ton of them (well 31 to be exact) that are perfect for pre-school kids! 

31 Easy Halloween crafts for preschoolers. TONS of great ideas that your little one will love!:
- original source here -

- five - 

Spooky brownies make for tasty fun! Great for a Halloween party or October baby shower:
- original source here -
The other day Ella happened to be standing next to me at my desk while I was on Pinterest & she saw the brownies above. They must have spoke to her soul, because she has been talking about them ever since! So... this weekend I'm going to make them with her so she can take them to her Halloween themed dance class on Monday! I love marshmallows & I love brownies, so I'm thinking this is a win-win for everyone... well, except for my diet. #caloriesdontcountonhalloween 

And to see more of my favorite Halloween ideas pinned in one place, follow my Halloween Pinterest Board below!

Have a Relaxing Weekend Everyone! 
Thursday, October 22, 2015

Life Lately

It has been one of those weeks where I feel like life is flying by right in front of me! We have parent teacher conferences tonight, so I'll be teaching all day then "entertaining" families for the rest of the evening. It's my hope that I can get a walk in during lunch because I've been doing really well with IIFYM & the baby weight is starting to come off. I don't want events like this to throw me off my game! 

Since it's been a little crazy, I thought I'd share some of the more random snippets of our lives with you today! 

Olivia's hat for Halloween finally arrived! I was bummed that we didn't have it in time for Zoo Boo, but I know she'll get to wear it trick or treating & it's really so darling that I might just put it on her for fun too :) Her hat is from J White Vintage on Etsy and I was really impressed with the quality!

We had our last football game of the season last Thursday & Ella soaked it all in. She just loves going to games as my sidekick! 

I was at competition all day (as in 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Sunday & someone was happy to see me when I got home that night! I snuggled her forever and took about a hundred pictures of her because she was just too cute! The other one was "too busy watching shows" to give me the time of day. #howrude

This hat was Ella's & she actually has it in two sizes because I just loved it so much! I found it while sorting through the bins in the basement and was so excited to put it on Liv Monday morning. I mean, doesn't she look adorable? 

Monday afternoon, I got to take Ella to dance class. I rotate weeks with my sister when I'm in season, so it's always a treat to take her myself! 

She got her baton (God help me) and was so excited to show me all of her skills. But as far as I can tell, all she really knows how to do is hold it under her neck? I guess that's a real thing? I know nothing about batons... However, fun fact about my mom is that she was a majorette & twirled fire! I've seen pictures & she looks pretty badass. 

And I snapped this picture as we were leaving dance because she's just getting so grown up!

Last night we had our last practice of fall season & had to take a picture with our favorite - Emma. Emma has cheered for me the last 5 years - starting with Jr. Rangers then Freshman and now JV. I will probably cry when she goes to Varsity next fall. My kids just love her! 

And in other exciting news from last night, Grammy Nancy sent this to us! It's true, I was more excited than Ella. It was just as good as I remember it being. She was totally into it & asked to watch it again tonight. Now if only I could convince her to love Lion King as much as I do... 

Watching Aladdin together in Ella's room. Two things about this picture - Olivia is clearly staring at a spot on the wall & not actually watching the movie and yes, those are Santa sheets on Ella's bed. She really wanted to put her "soft sheets" on her bed, and those just so happen to be Santa, so I rolled with it. 

And Olivia's outfit this morning was just too cute not to share! Her & Ella are actually matching today, but getting a picture of them together is near impossible, so I just snapped this one of Livy :) 

TGIT! I'm all caught up on Scandal & should be home in time to watch tonight! See you back tomorrow for Friday Favorites! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pinterest Inspired: Leopard & Goldenrod

One of my favorite link ups of all time was Get Pinspired with Shay & Shaeffer. Even though they no longer do it, I still see things on Pinterest & say to myself, "Oh that'd be perfect for Get Pinspired." Then I get sad because like I said, it no longer exists! 

Well, this photo recently popped up on my Pinterest feed & to say that I was immediately smitten would be a massive understatement. I love the color of her sweater against the leopard & knew that I wanted to recreate it on my own - link up or no link up!  

I mean, isn't it just the perfect fall outfit? I'm loving the neutrals with the pop or her sweater. And yes, leopard is a neutral. I love the gold jewelry & the chunky boots. It's just perfection. I had to attempt to recreate it, so this is how I pulled it together myself... 

Since carrying a clutch is completely impractical for me at the moment - I need every hand I can get most mornings - I opted to tie in the leopard with my favorite flats instead. Even though I love her boots, my favorite black skinnies have gold zippers on the ankles and tend to work better with flats, so it was the perfect way to bring in the leopard! 

And true life moment, I did end up wearing my chunky gold watch with this look, but I had to go into the playroom & search for it after I took this photo because Ella had hidden it as "buried treasure." I swear... 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What We Wore for Family Pictures - Fall 2015

Family pictures are one of my favorite things to plan. I love think up locations & color combinations months in advance. I'm just always dreaming of that "perfect" canvas hanging on the wall!

That said, I found myself just a little overwhelmed this time around. Throwing one more person into the mix was more of a challenge than I expected because I didn't want too much of one color, but I also wanted us to be coordinating. Add in the weather and the fact that I didn't want to buy anything new... and I've really had to think this one through. This is what I finally decided on...

For Me: vest // sweater // button down // jeans // boots 
For Ella: jeans // sweater // hat // boots 

For Eric: button down shirt // jeans // shoes
For Olivia: dress // mocs // bow

Now two things...

1) Like I said, I didn't want to buy anything new specifically for these photos, so I tried to use what I already had in our closets, but I am linking similar items for you. 

2) I kept things a little less matchy-matchy than I have in the past. I was focusing on fall tones, but I was more flexible since I was shopping in our closets instead of in the store. Eric's actual shirt has more red in it than green, so it all tied together really nicely in real life! 

I can't wait to share the final product with you all! 
Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Favorites

Why is it that short weeks always feel the longest? This week has been absolutely insane! My house looks like a tornado blew through it & our cupboards are somehow bare again already. I'm super thankful that Eric has kept homemade meals on the table all week long & that I get to go to Team Taco Night for dinner this evening! Since it's Friday, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from the week!  

1 - Baby Feet 

Olivia finally fits into her Freshly Picked moccasins! She's wearing the Petite Ivory Crib Mocs & they look so cute with all of her outfits. She had them on with red skinny jeans & a little ivory blouse yesterday - I was totally swooning. Unfortunately, she had a major blowout before I could snap a picture. #notmyfavorite You can order mocs from the company's own website, but if you order them from Nordstrom, you'll get free shipping! #protip 

2 - Fleece Lined Leggings

My fall wardrobe is probably my favorite of all seasons. I've been enjoying pulling out my tall boots, scarves & sweaters. But one of my all time favorite items for fall is these fleece lined leggings from Anthropologie! They were recommended to me two years ago by a co-worker & I've owned multiple pairs since. They're so incredibly warm & comfortable. Bonus - they're not see through. So they're perfect for cooler days in my classroom. 

3 - Baked Potato Soup

I love to eat soup this time of year & this crockpot recipe will not disappoint you! 

4 - My Team

I just love my team this season. They are talented, which obviously makes me happy as a coach - because who doesn't love to win? More importantly though, they're growing up to be kind, loving, genuine young ladies. Bringing my kids to practice with me every day can be really challenging, but they've embraced them & Ella now looks up to all of them as role models. It's kind of like she has 48 big sisters & that makes my heart happy. 

Ok, I had planned to share more, but it's going to have to wait because I'm off to prep for another busy weekend! We have dance class, family pictures, & competition on the books! 

** Linking up with Andrea for Friday Favorites **
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dropping the Baby Weight - Round 2

Olivia turned three months old on Tuesday! I have no idea how time is flying by so quickly, but it is & I'm not foolish enough to believe that I can slow it down. The first three months of her life have been focused on her needs - specifically breastfeeding. I ate whatever I wanted, knowing that if I lowered my calories, my supply would drop substantially. But now that I'm officially done breast feeding Olivia, I'm switching gears & focusing on my own fitness journey again. 

I know a lot of people dread this phase, but I've been looking forward to it & plan to embrace my healthy lifestyle again. I've missed hard workouts, I've missed goals, and I can't believe I'm saying this but I've even missed logging my food in MyFitnessPal every day. 

Whenever I've lost weight in the past, I've used Weight Watchers & it has worked well for me.  I'm a big believer in the program & am so grateful for how far it brought me. However, I feel like my weight loss goals are different than they've been in the past. I really only have about 5 pounds to lose and paying for the membership seemed unnecessary for such a small amount. 

So, I started doing my research & I've decided that I'm going to try flexible dieting this time around. I'll be following the IIFYM philosophy & using MFP to track everything I eat. Like I said, I've been doing a ton of research on it, so if you're interested, follow my IIFYM Pinterest Board!

  • Get down to my happy weight of 128 to 130 
  • Start to build back my muscle mass 
  • Run a 5K in 30 minutes 
I've committed myself to the Turkey Trot in Eric's hometown on Thanksgiving Day, and quite honestly I'm hoping to be back at my happy weight for the holidays. Nobody likes to diet between Thanksgiving & Christmas, so I'd really like to be in maintenance mode by then! So even though it isn't a do or die deadline, Thanksgiving Day is my target date. 

Be better:

I don't plan to kill myself at the gym every day. That just isn't realistic right now. But I am going to strive to be better - every. single. day. 

Current Stats: 
  • Current Weight - 135 pounds 
  • Current 5K Time - 32 minutes, 15 seconds 
I plan to assess my muscle mass purely by how much I can lift & how I look in the mirror. I have no plans to get my body mass measured any time soon, but once I decide on long term training goals, I may. And... I was going to take some "before" pictures this morning, but that just didn't happen because life gets crazy. The important thing is my lunch is packed, my macros are planned for the day, and I'm ready to do this! 

So that's the plan! I'll keep you all posted :) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday

While I know it's still blazing hot in parts of the country, it is most definitely fall in Upstate New York! I've been loving the weather & have been busting out all of my fall favorites. I haven't bought a ton of new items lately - double daycare will do that to you - but I have been enjoying remixing many of the pieces that I already have in my closet. I think that's the great part about fall, the items tend to be very classic so it's easy to reuse them season after season. 

pants - J.Crew // sweater - J.Crew Factory // sandals - Tory Burch // necklace - BP via Nordstrom

jeans - Old Navy // shirt - J.Crew // hoodie - J.Crew // Sperry's

shirt - // leggings - Zella // boots - Steve Madden // necklace - Kendra Scott

jeans - Loft // vest - J.Crew // flannel - Old Navy // mocs - UGG

pleated poppy
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Stokoe Farms 2015

Thanks to our long weekend, we were able to cram in another fall tradition on Monday! Eric's mom & sister came to join us, and we headed off to Stokoe Farms! About 20 minutes outside of Rochester, the farm has activities for all ages. There's a bounce pad, petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin launcher, slides, hay rides, and all sorts of delicious treats! 

We started the day off by playing on the massive hay hill! 

And by conquering the massive slides in the background. On a sidenote - I can't believe Ella is 3 feet tall! 

After a quick bite to eat, we headed to the petting zoo & made friends with the pigs.

We took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch & corn maze. 

And Ella picked out two pumpkins for her & her sister. She kept picking them up & saying, "nope, too heavy." In order to move on, we had to convince her that the one she is holding was just perfect & then offer to carry it for her. #thankyoustroller

This year Stokoe Farms did their corn maze in honor of the Buffalo Bills new football coach - Rex Ryan. Since Eric is a huge Bills fan, we had to take a picture to show him :) 

And here we are smack dab in the middle of the corn maze, that we didn't finish because a corn maze with a 3 year old & an infant in a stroller is a lot of work. 

And we ended our day with a little wagon ride around the farm!

Not pictured. Half a dozen apple cider donuts eaten mostly by myself. So if you need me, I'll be on a treadmill somewhere... 
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