Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: September Edition

I am officially in love with today - and it isn't even 8 a.m yet. The weather is cooling down, the school is buzzing with spirit, I got to wear PJs to work & I'm linking up with two of my favorites - Shaeffer & Shay - for What's Up Wednesday! 

1. What we're eating...

Since we went apple picking last weekend, I've been making all things apple at our house! I love these Apple Oat Bars & homemade Apple Fritter Bread is on repeat. 


2. What I'm reminiscing about...




Last Halloween was so much fun for our family! 



We went to ZooBoo, carved pumpkins, and did some Trick or Treating. I have that picture of our family on my desk at school & every time I look at it I think about what a great season last fall was for us! 



3. What I'm loving...


I'm loving these cooler evenings & crisp mornings. I get to throw on a jacket in the morning & can wear boots without sweating all day in my classroom! I'm not looking forward to putting all of my sandals away, but right now, I have options & I love it!

4. What we've been up to...





Ella has been loving dance classes.



We've been hanging out at football games. 


The whole family is all about fall activities!

5. What I'm dreading...


This is going to sound really bah-humbug, but the prospect of Christmas shopping has me cringing already. We're on a pretty tight budget with two kids in daycare right now & I'm afraid that we'll be disappointing people.

6. What I'm working on...


My main project right now is cheerleading. We compete in two weeks, so I'm really focused on fine tuning the routine & getting the girls where they need to be. 


When I do have a little free time though, I'm working on cleaning out our closets & getting things switched over for fall. I've listed a ton of items on Poshmark, Tradesy, and Totspot - so be sure to check them out for some deals! 


7. What I'm excited about...


We're only 10 days away from our first competition of the year! I absolutely love cheerleading competitions & my girls have been working so hard. I'm so hopeful that their efforts will be rewarded!

8. What I'm watching/reading...


This month I've read two of Liane Moriarty books - What Alice Forgot & Big Little Lies. I loved them both! I'd have to go back & check, but I think Shay has recommened them both in the past too. I loved that they were suspenseful, but still focused on the realities of every day "mom life." I definitely recommend both if you haven't already read them! 

And as far as TV goes...
  • I finished Parenthood & I'm really going to miss the Braverman's. 
  • Dancing with the Stars is back! 
  • I started Scandal. #OMG

9. What I'm listening to...

Ugh... we're going through a phase where every time Ella gets into the car she wants to listen to her Sofia the First album. At first, I thought it was cute. I'm so over it now though. Some days I'll hide my auxiliary cord. Other days, I try to bargain with her & either let her listen to it on the way to school or on the way home from school. I usually don't win & end up singing along... #thejoysofparenthood 

10. What I'm wearing...


This week is Spirit Week at school, so on Monday, I twinned with my BFF Kristine. 



On Tuesday, I looked ridiculous in one of Eric's Hawaiian shirts for Luau Day. 



And today I'm rocking my PJs! #cantbeatthat

11. What I'm doing this weekend...



It's Homecoming! We have our pep rally on Friday afternoon, then Saturday is the parade & football game! Go Rangers! 



12. What I'm looking forward to next month...


All things Halloween! Ella came up with the most adorable idea ever for their costumes that I cannot wait to share with you all. We also have plans to go to Stokke Farms with Eric's mom & sisters on Columbus Day, which will be tons of fun! 


13. What else is new...



I'm coming to the end of my breastfeeding journey. My goal was to get Olivia to 3 months & that's only about two weeks away. I'd keep it going, but pumping is taking a serious toll on my productivity at work, so the time has come. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing - part of me is like yay! I can start dieting & finally get rid of this spare tire. The other part of me is like ugh! I have to pay for formula & remember to pack bottles whenever we go anywhere. 

14. What is your favorite Halloween tradition? 



Easy. Zoo Boo! It's a fundraiser that our local zoo runs every year to raise money for endangered animals. The kids wear their costumes to the zoo & get to trick or treat at stations set up throughout the zoo. Ella absolutely loved it last year

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

October Goals

source
I'm not exactly sure where September went... it's just kind of a blur. I'm hoping October goes a little slower because it really is one of my favorite months of the year. We're settled into a routine, fall cheer season wraps up, and we get to celebrate Halloween - a holiday that I've always loved for the simple reason that I love to dress up. But before we get to all of that, let's set some goals for the month...

October Goals: 

  • Win Trophies 
    • I have two competitions this season & they're in back to back weekends. The first is on Saturday the 10th & the next is Sunday the 18th. Plus, our varsity (which is coached by one of my best friends) competes at Sectionals on Halloween. Serious goal - win trophies. Preferably first place trophies. Big ones that prove we kick serious ass. 
  • Finish the Girls' Costumes 
    • I'm still not going to reveal what they're going as for Halloween, but I need to get it all wrapped up - hopefully this weekend! Here's a hint though: they're costumes go together. 
  • Hit 250,000 steps for the month
    • 250,000 steps in a month translates to 8,064 steps per day. I think that's perfectly manageable & realistic exercise goal. Hopefully it'll be nice enough outside that I can still fit in some walks with the girls after school, but if not I plan to use the treadmills in my school's fitness center on my lunch break. 
Nothing too major this month, my weight loss goal will officially start in November when I'm done breastfeeding Olivia & can really focus on my calories without impacting her. 

And just a check in on the September goals... 

  • Clean My Closet  
    • Half way done. I'm still in the process of listing items & packing up summer things. But I'm making progress! 
  • Pack My Lunch 4 out of 5 days a week
    • Done! And it's actually closer to 5 out of 5! I just don't have time to get out of the building this year, so packing is definitely the way to go. 
  • Meal Plan & Cook at Home 
    • We're doing really well with this! The only meals we have ate out this month have been when family came to visit us and took us out to eat. 
  • Go Apple Picking 
    • Done! You can read all about our trip to Becker Farms here

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bling, Babies & the Buffalo Bills

Did anyone else struggle to get out of bed this morning? I mean, I literally dragged Ella out of bed. Mondays can be rough... 

This weekend was excellent though! We started things off with a Stella & Dot trunk show at my house on Friday night. I love their trunk shows because they're so laid back & intimate. I had a few friends over, cracked a couple bottles of wine, made a couple appetizers & we were set! As you can see, Ella loved trying on all of the jewelry! I had to close the gate to our living room at one point because she kept sneaking out during the presentation. I'm praying I don't find a piece of it stashed in her playroom - that's a phone call I'd be mortified to make! (PS - my show is still open & you can order here!) 



Saturday morning was hectic because we had to get ready & drive to our hometown for my sister-in-law's baby shower. That meant I had to shop for (and wrap) a baby gift, pack all four of us, and get everyone dressed by 10. Yeah, that didn't happen. We were an hour late. That is so not me, but things happen & everyone understood. 

While the family "don't drop the baby" - aka egg toss - Olivia & I hung out on Grandma Connie's glider. It was a gorgeous day & she was so content to just snuggle with me. I could have sat there for hours... 


Lexi got tons of great gifts & Baby Corbin is going to be so loved! We tried to be practical, but I of course had to get him at least one little outfit... 



Funny side note: Eric's Aunt Pam hosted the shower & I didn't pick up on it until after the fact when his dad told us, but her "theme" was no utensils. There wasn't a single fork in the joint! We had subs, chips, veggies, and fruit with cookie cake for dessert. I think it's genius & will definitely be trying it myself in the future. 




Aunt Kari, Aunt Lexi, & Grammy Mary with Baby Olivia & myself

After the Baby Shower, we headed to my parents' country house to see them! My girls were just a little excited. It'd been three weeks, which is basically unheard of for us, so there were tons of snuggles & giggles when we arrived. 



Olivia must have been exhausted because she slept like the dead & woke up the happiest baby ever. 



Sunday morning we had brunch with my Aunt Babs & Grandma Gigi. Babs made lasagna, I made garlic bread & my mom made a salad. The girls provided entertainment for everyone. 



Eric insisted that we HAD to be home by 4 because the Bills played at 4:25. We made it by 3:45 & I was able to get Ella settled upstairs with "her shows" so that Liv & I could go out to get groceries. Liv was totally over her car seat at this point though, so I carried her in my Happy Baby wrap. I'm just getting comfortable carrying her in it, but I do have to say that a) she loves it & b) it made grocery shopping a lot easier because I didn't have to maneuver a huge cart through the store while trying to see over her car seat! 



We came home & watched the Bills win! I got the girls bags ready for the week & loaded the car while Eric made us some pizza. And while we were eating pizza for dinner, Ella crawled up next to me & asked if we could take a picture together. Of course I said yes. And even though it's a really crappy quality photo, I just love her little smile :) 



And now we're onto another week! It's Homecoming & Spirit Week at school! Even though I'll be crazy busy with cheerleading, it's one of my favorite weeks of the year. Go Rangers! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites

I will be so happy when the clock strikes 3 p.m. today! Both my teaching assistant & my co-teacher are out today & it has been a madhouse here. Plus, I'm really excited that:

My week has gone actually gone by so quickly & next week will too since it's Spirit Week! We're getting back in the swing of things as far as school & practice goes and it's finally starting to feel like fall! Now, since my students will invade again before I know it, here's what I'm loving right now... 

- My Purple Princess - 


I just love dance class is Ella's favorite! She gets so excited to go each week & she's beyond adorable in her leotard & tutu. I'm super grateful that her dance teacher is incredibly patient & laid back because Ella definitely isn't used to highly structured settings yet!

- Baby Shopping - 

Shopping for babies is my favorite. I love any excuse to browse through teeny tiny clothing & fuzzy blankets. Obviously Olivia is my full-time excuse to do so right now, but my sister in law is having a baby boy in November too & this weekend is her shower! So.... I did some baby boy shopping at Old Navy this week :) 

- Scarves - 


One of my favorite things about fall weather is breaking my scarves back out! I absolutely adore the blanket scarf I'm wearing in the picture above (from last year), but I'm also in love with this one too! I ordered it all the way back in July during the Anniversary Sale, but just go to wear to our football game last night.  

- Healthy Babies - 

Olivia had her 2 month check up earlier this week & is healthy as can be! She had to have 2 shots & one was pretty rough, but she was a trooper. She finally weighs more than 10 pounds! 


I took this picture of her & it's definitely my favorite because she's starting to chunk up! I mean, who doesn't love baby rolls?



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bling Bling

Over the past few years, I've really stepped my accessory game up. It's been a very gradual process that started with bold stud earrings, then my engagement ring, followed by bold necklaces & several bracelets. Today, I never leave the house without my studs & my rings and if it's a word day, I'm typically wearing it all. #imadivalikethat 

I tend to keep it pretty simple with my jewelry choices, relying on studs from Kate Spade with Alex & Ani bracelets. Most of my necklaces are either from Nordstrom's Junior section (ie: inexpensive) or were on major sale at Loft. I do have a few Kendra Scott pieces that were gifts as well that I treat like gold because #kaching - they aren't cheap. What I'm getting at here is, I don't normally "invest" in high quality jewelry. 

About a month ago though, I attended my first Stella & Dot party and now I'm hooked. Their line is the perfect combination of quality & affordability! That's why I'm hosting my own trunk show this Friday & you're all invited to join me! I'm in love with so many of their pieces & I'm sure that you will be too. 


My absolute favorites are the mongrammable pieces! I've already ordered one with my wedding date on it & my sister just had the best idea to get one done with our maiden name on it too! 

Just click this link & shop away... 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday: Neutrals

It's that tricky time of year where your mind is telling you Fall, but your body is telling you Summer. You need a jacket in the morning, but by the time you leave work you're sweating. It makes getting dressed a challenge because I'm craving my scarves & fall hues, but the majority of my warm weather clothing is vibrant & summery. Thus, I've been turning to neutrals almost every day! 
dress - LOFT (old) // necklace - BP by Nordstrom (old) // sandals - Tory Burch

I bought this dress for my sister's bridal shower last year, but have barely had a chance to wear it since I got pregnant immediately thereafter. In fact, I forgot that I even had it until I was rummaging through my closet trying to decide what to wear for Curriculum Night. This turned out to be the perfect choice. It's lightweight, yet professional looking, and I love how it paired with my brown sandals! 


shirt - LOFT (old) // pants - J.Crew
Ok, I did put shoes on this day, but they were in my gym bag in the car, so I walked out barefoot. That's what morning are like around our house these days. #itsastruggle But moving onto my outfit, I love this shirt because it's super lightweight & I can wear it in any temperature, I just change up what I wear underneath it! 
tunic - American Eagle // shorts - J.Crew Factory // sandals - Michael Kors via TJ Maxx
I got this tunic at the American Eagle in Myrtle Beach & it's so insanely comfortable! I will be wearing it all winter long with leggings & boots, but for its debut, I paired it with patterned shorts & sandals. And as a side note, I took this picture on Monday evening - after I'd survived a full day of teaching & coaching - so I definitely look a little ragged. Hence why I try to take pictures in the morning! 


** Linking Up with The Pleated Poppy **

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Pumpkin Fiesta!

This Saturday we took the girls to the Pumpkin Fiesta at Becker Farms in Gasport, NY! 



Becker Farms is a commercial orchard that also has a winery, brewery, pumpkin patch, and eatery! Basically a one stop shop for fall fun! We actually heard about Becker Farms because my sister was in a wedding there last year too. So much going on! 




Aunt Britt & Uncle Matt came with us to join in the fall fun!




There is a kid's section that is new this year and Ella loved it. It featured pony rides, a bounce house, and a petting zoo. There was also a goat race & sing along that was pretty corny, but the kids seemed to be amused by it.






Ella loved the haybale play area!

There is a bakery at the farm as well & they were serving hot apple cider donuts  - which just happen to be my favorite! 


Ella was SO excited to pick out her very own pumpkin. We explained that we wouldn't be able to carve it for a few weeks, but she was still raring to go when we entered the pumpkin area!


picking out her pumpkin with her daddy



We have another pumpkin picking adventure planned with Eric's mom over for Columbus Day weekend & I know Ella will be just as excited! We're absolutely loving fall at our house!


the cutest pumpkin in the patch!
 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dancing Queen

This Monday was Ella's first dance class of the year & I just had to share these photos with you, because I think they truly embody her personality right now. She'll lead everyone to believe she's a sweet little angelic princess with pictures like this...



But those who know her best know that she's a wild thing...





God bless my little hot mess!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

So, I know weekend recaps are meant for Mondays, but it's been kind of a crazy start to the week around my casa, so I'm just getting to it on Wednesday morning. #whoops Between keeping my kids fed, getting papers graded, and making exercise a priority I've just been crazy busy. And when I haven't been crazy busy, I've been too exhausted to type a coherent sentence. But last weekend was excellent, so I didn't want it to go undocumented. So here we go with a weekend recap... on Wednesday. 

Friday:

Our weekend started off with a killer practice. We started work on the pyramid & got through alot, all thanks to Olivia who decided to behave herself and peacefully stare at the lights while I coached. 


After practice, we picked up pizza on our way home & got ready to go to the Varsity football game! It was a gorgeous night & the game was in the town we live in (I don't live in the same school district that I teach in) so we decided to take the kids for their first taste of Friday Night Lights! 


Of course, Ella could care less about the football game. She was all about the cheerleaders. 


The best part of going to the game is that we know everyone in the stands. I never have to worry about Ella because some is always willing to take her to the bathroom, concession stand, or to play on the playground. 


We didn't end up staying for the entire game, but we did get past halftime!


Saturday: 

It may have been a beautiful night on Friday, but we woke up to a monsoon on Saturday morning. Everyone in the family slept until almost 8, then just kind of laid around relaxing. Around 9, I got Olivia & myself ready to go to practice, and Eric got Ella to go grocery shopping with him. 

After another super productive practice, I came home & got ready to meet my sister for some shopping! Ella was napping, so we snuck out with just Olivia, who did a whole lot of napping herself. 


We started at Target to pick up some fall decor in the dollar bins, then headed over to the mall to find a new Bills t-shirt for Ella & some more long sleeved clothes for Olivia. I know I had more warm stuff for Ella in size 0-3 months, but I haven't had time to dig out the bins & look again, so I just bought her a couple new longsleeved onesies for the time being. We ended up spending a lot longer than planned at the mall, so when I got home, I had to reassess my plans for dinner. I'd originally planned to do white chicken lasagna, but I switched that out for some potato soup instead.


And for dessert, I threw together Shay's Apple Oatmeal Bars, which I cannot stop eating. 


After dinner, I took the girls upstairs for baths & Ella got to bust out her new Halloween PJ's for the first time! This is her monster face - aren't you all scared? 


And then we all snuggled in mom's big bed while watching Sofia the First :) 



Sunday: 

As proof that I'm the best wife ever, I'd like you all to know that I woke up at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, got myself & the kids dressed, then drove Eric an hour in the pouring rain to meet my uncle. Why you ask? Because he was going to a football game. But not just any football game, it was the Bills Season Opener, which is why I agreed to do it. See how happy he is? 


While daddy played in the rain at the game, I took the girls to Aunt Britt's for a football kick-off party! 


Ella was representing her team! But then Uncle Matt got his cheesehead out & her loyalty swayed... 


She just loves her Uncle Matt... 


After the game, I had to drive back to pick up Eric, but thankfully the girls slept in the backseat both ways. #praisejesus
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