Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer Skin Care Solutions for the Babies in Your Life

I can still remember the phone call that I got from Miss Jennie one hot afternoon in May of 2013. She never interrupts my day with a phone call unless it's an emergency, so I began to panic as soon as I saw her name on my phone. She was calling because she had put sunscreen on Ella (the kind that I'd provided) and Ella was having a reaction to it! I obviously freaked out, called the main office to get someone to cover my room, and sprinted to my car to drive to Jennie's. Thankfully, just the bath in the sink that Jennie was giving her was all that it took to stop the reaction & calm her down, but it was a scary lesson in the importance of quality skin care products! 

Because of that incident, Eric & I are extremely picky about the products we put on Ella & Olivia. We never want a scare like that again, and recognize that it is worth a few extra dollars for sound peace of mind. While we've tried a lot of products along the way, we've recently switched over to Skinfix and we're loving it! I first found the award winning products at Target & fell in love. Then discovered they had other products at CVS & knew I needed them! The products are award winning & as you can probably tell by my enthusiasm, it's easy to see why! They're currently tackling our two biggest summer skin issues - bathtime & diaper rash.

Throughout most of the year, I only give the girls a bath every other day. Not only is bathtime a production at our house, their skin just tends to get really dry if I bathe them every day. In the summer though, we switch over to daily baths, mainly because they're wearing sunscreen & I don't want that left on their skin overnight. Skinfix Gentle Hair and Body Wash has been perfect for our daily baths because it doesn't dry out their skin & it's extremely gentle. I also love that it is a combination body wash & shampoo so I only need to worry about rounding up one product instead of two! 

Our second summer skin problem is diaper rash. Ugh, I hate diaper rash. It's a reality though & summer always makes it worse at our house. I'm not sure if it's the teething or the humidity, but the routine that has worked for us all year, just doesn't work as well in the summer. Thankfully, Skinfix Diaper Rash Cream has been the fix that we needed to solve the problem! This balm is super rich and helps replenish essential moisture to your baby's skin with emollient protective oils. I use it at every diaper change & really lay it on thick at night to keep Lady Liv happy as can be! 

Skinfix products are available only at select CVS and Target stores- both online and in-store. Find out if your local store carries these great products here!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Let's Talk Summer Plans...

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! Since this weekend is the official kick off to summer, I thought I'd link up with Erika to talk about our summer plans...

The first big thing we have planned for the summer is a trip to visit my parents in Virginia! Ella, Olivia & I are driving down with my Grandma Gigi & Aunt Babs to spend a week there. We leave the Saturday after school gets out & I cannot wait! I have big plans to shop with my mom and lay by the pool at their country club. Bonus is that it'll be five adults to two kids & that's a ratio I like!

- my parents' new house in Virginia - 

In mid-July, I'll be traveling to Baltimore for the Northeast Reagional Cheerleading Conference. All four of  our coaches are going on a road trip - all expenses paid - and we are all super excited! I've never attended an overnight conference for cheer & I think it'll be really interesting. Some of the best all-star gyms in the country will be there too & I can't wait to see what is presented! 

Side note - both of these trips will involve me eating Chic-fil-a as well, which makes me happy just typing it. 

Once I'm back from the conference, we have two birthdays to celebrate! Olivia will be turning one & Ella is turning four. We're going to celebrate with a Disney Princess Party that Ella has been planning since the day we took down our Christmas tree!

I'll be focusing all my time & energy on prepping for our trip to Disney! There are no words for how excited I am about this trip. I am beyond grateful to my parents for taking us all and have planned like a madwoman for it. That said, once we actually get there, I am going to go with the flow & make the most of every minute. If we miss a Fastpass & go to the pool instead, I'm fine with that. I know that it's going to magical either way. I have so many amazing memories at Disney & cannot wait to make more!

On top of those three trips, I am able to look forward to a ton of time at home with my girls. I have a whole summer bucket list planned with Ella that I'll be sharing soon. It's going to be a great summer! 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites - Memorial Day Sales

Memorial Day Weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. I love everything about it. The patriotism, the barbecues, the parades... and of course the sales! I've been scoping out a ton of items & thought that today would be the perfect time to share a few with you as we all prepare to do some serious shopping over the holiday weekend! 

First stop, the Nordstrom Semi-Annual Sale! So, I've bought a few items from this sale already because we don't have one near us & I have to shop online. I picked up this top - a recommendation from Cassie - and this dress, which was also recommended by Cassie. I already have it in a raspberry pink color & think this orange/red version will be perfect for summer too! Another item  that I'm loving (and my sister ordered) is this dress from Socialite that Shaeffer has been talking about! 

Sidenote: Be sure to use Ebates when you shop because you get an extra 6% cashback this weekend at Nordstrom!

Alright, our next stop is Old Navy because I've been totally surprised by how cute their summer line is! I am currently eyeing these three items... 

Third stop is J.Crew Factory where they're having 50% off & you just can't miss a sale like that! And if you use Ebates... there's an extra 4.5% cashback here too :)

OK, sadly that's all the time I have for shopping today. But... there are still tons of great sales you can check out!

J.Crew - 30% Off 
LOFT - 40% to 60% Off 
Gap - 35% Off 
Anthropologie - Extra 30% Off Sale 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life Lately...

The weather has definitely taken a turn for the better around here, so be prepared to see a lot of stroller & sprinkler pictures! We have a great yard & I love to spend as much time out there as possible, so to say that I've been in my happy place over the past few days is a huge understatement!

So like I said on Monday, our babysitter was sick & I had to stay home with the kids. Once the sub plans were written, it was the best! The girls had been at their grandma's all weekend, so I was totally refreshed & ready to play all day with them! 

We started off with a walk & a trip to our favorite playground. Since Olivia was passed out, we got to run all over together & take "slide selfies".

I know that Ella is growing up, but nothing reinforces that quite like a trip to the playground. She's so independent there now! 

Thankfully, I have this girl that still needs me! She woke up from her nap & we swung in the shade for a bit. 

We tried to take a "swing selfie" together... 

We headed back home to get the sprinkler out for an hour before lunch & it made Ella so happy! Livy played in her pack'n'play in the shade while I sat in the sun watching them both. It was probably the best hour I've spent in a long time!

And... apparently I have a tree hugger in the house because she now hugs this tree every day. Eric asked me what the heck she was doing last night & I just shook my head... 

After lunch, I put Olivia down for her nap & let Ella play a little longer. She decided that she "wanted to relax" with me, which basically meant kicking me off my towel, stealing my shades & taking over. Such a diva. 

I stayed outside while the girls napped & then headed in as they woke up to get us ready for dance class that afternoon. We only have 1 class left until the recital & Ella is NOT prepared at all. I'm actually starting to feel a little releived that I won't be there to witness it in person. She beats to her own drum & I rarely see her following the routine at the end of class. I took a video to prepare my mom for it, but I think she thinks it was a fluke. It's not. 

On Tuesday I went back to school & the girls went back to Miss Jennie's. Ella was super excited to see her friends & wear her new purple dress! 

We came home that afternoon & immediately got the sprinkler back out! 

While Ella played in the water, Olivia played in the grass. She is so confused by the texture of grass! It cracks me up! She decided she's much happier in her chair than on the ground...

And we finished off Tuesday night with a nice stroll around the neighborhood with our little fishy! 

I got out of school a few minutes early on Wednesday afternoon, so we headed to check out the new ice cream spot that just opened up! Livy kept attacking my cone & Ella sent sprinkles flying everywhere at one point, but it was pretty much a perfect afternoon other than that! 

Following ice cream, we headed to pick up Ella's new glasses! They're still purple, but these new ones have a little turquoise in them too that she really likes :) 

We were supposed to have open gym for cheer last night, but we cancelled it because so many people texted us ahead letting us know that we couldn't make it. I am so glad that we did too, because we got to go hang out with our favorite family! My bestie had turned her hot tub down so that the kids could swim & they had a blast! We're super excited because they get their actual pool installed next week & it's going to be an awesome summer hanging out with them! I have big plans for a case of freeze pops & a whole lot of sunscreen! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Recap via My Social Media

The weekend kicked off with beautiful weather & I had to giggle when Miss Jennie snapped me this pic of Ella "sun tanning." Don't worry folks, that bathing beauty is sporting SPF 50! I was definitely jealous though as I sat inside at my desk grading papers! 

After school, I packing up the girls & sent them on the way with Grandpa Dave to spend the weekend in Eric's hometown. Eric's mom had asked us if she could keep them for the weekend, and since we had a yard sale planned plus friends in town from Pittsburgh, it was the perfect weekend for her to have them! 

Once they were on their way, I headed over to my sister's to put up our yard sale signs & drop off all of my items at her house. 

Eric & I had a grown up date night planned, so I curled my hair & got dressed to impress. 

We went to see The Nice Guys with Ryan Gosling, but came across this sign in the lobby & I had to send a pic to Ella! I'm trying really hard to convince her to watch Finding Nemo with me so that we can watch Finding Dory in theaters. This is completely self-serving because I just love Finding Nemo, but she doesn't seem interested at all! 

The Nice Guys was pretty good. It was funnier than I thought it'd be & I was surprised at the chemistry between Russel Crowe & Ryan Gosling. My only complaint - Ryan Gosling didn't take his shirt off once. When I pay good money for a Ryan Gosling movie, I expect abs. 

We left the movies & headed to meet our friends from Pitt at a bar on the water. Two things - I haven't been to a bar on a Friday night past 7 pm in a LONG time & I had to pay a cover charge to get in. Seriously? Anyways... we had a great time & got to catch up with friends we don't get to see very often. 

We're going to both of these girls weddings in September! I've been friends with Kristi (center) since high school & cannot wait to see her as a bride! 

The next morning I was up & at my sister's house by 7 so we could get the yard sale set up. By 8:15, I'd made my first sale! 

I ended up making about $100, which was more than I expected, so I was happy! We stayed open until about 2:30, then loaded everything up that we were donating. I dropped that off to Salvation Army on my way home, then stopped at Sonic for my kind of Happy Hour :)

Not going to lie, I took a nap after that. But I rallied by 5 & took Charlie out for 4 miles. As we were coming around the corner back to our house, we ran into my best friend & her kids out on their walk, so we joined them for another mile or so. I didn't feel all that bad about the ice cream after that! 

Sunday morning started off with a 3 mile interval run with Charlie in gorgeous 60 degree weather! Then I came home & got ready to go shopping with my sister. Kind of the perfect Sunday... 

I made a few returns & bought some things for the girls that are SO cute! Plus we shared our favorite meal at Friendly's! 

I got home from the mall around 3 and it was sunny & gorgeous. I decided to sit out in our yard & read my magazines until it was time for dinner. Sitting that long in peace felt so foreign to me, but I really enjoyed it & was as refreshed as ever. 

And today... my babysitter has the stomach bug. So the girls are home, I called in to school, and we're going to enjoy being together again. I'll be sure to share those shenanigans tomorrow! Have a great Monday! 
Friday, May 20, 2016

Life Lately & Friday Favorites...

So today, we're blending the post that was supposed to publish yesterday but didn't, with the one I had planned for today. #improvise #staywithmepeople 

The weather has finally started to warm up this week & my sweet little Ella has been busy outside all week long, picking every flower in sight. She just runs all over our lawn & collects bouquets for me :) Her dad is loving it because there are never any dandelions in the lawn, but Ella did get quite upset when he went to mow the grass the other night! These little bouquets are my favorite this week! 

You may have noticed in the picture above that Ella has tape around her glasses. After 9 months accident free, her glasses got broken! Thankfully we bought the kind with a 1 year warranty & a new pair will be here soon. In the meantime.. she'll be the girl with tape on her glasses. 
Seriously, it's just too funny not to laugh about it! 

My favorite little nugget is just getting too big, too fast! Bathtime is her favorite & I just love watching her splash in the tub with her sister. They're both obsessed with this swimming Ariel doll that Aunt Britt got Ella for Christmas. If you have a toddler in your life, I highly recommend it as a gift!

Another great thing about the weather finally getting warmer, is that I've finally been able to bust out a few spring outfits! Most of my pieces are older, but it was still exciting to pull them out again, especially since I couldn't wear any of them this time last year! 

top - LOFT // shorts - J.Crew // sandals - Birkenstock via Nordstrom
pants - Banana Republic // tank - Banana Republic // sandals - American Eagle
Ella has been totally procrastinating in the mornings lately & coming up with a zillion and one reasons why she shouldn't get dressed. On Wednesday, it was that Minnie & Tink wanted to take a picture with her in her pajamas. It was too cute of a request to deny, but once it was over I was like "OK, pictures done, get dressed! We need to get to school!" 

And while I fight the good fight with Ella, this one just crawls around chewing on everything in sight! We discovered two more top teeth coming through this week! 

Last night we took a stroll to our favorite playground - the one by my sister's house - only to find that half of it is under construction! Ella totally made the most of it though & still played her little heart out while my sister & I chatted with Livy. 

The rest of last night was spent hauling things up from the basement, cleaning out closets, and sorting through bins. I am SO over clutter & since the girls are going to see Eric's mom this weekend, my sister & I are hosting a yard sale! We have a ton of great items, so if you live in the Rochester area, send me an e-mail & I'll give you the information! The weather is supposed to be sunny & 70, so I'm looking forward to a day outside and making a few bucks :) 

Have a Great Weekend! 
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Working on My Fitness...

I haven't posted a fitness update in quite awhile, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been a priority for me. If you recall, I set out to drop 10 pounds at the beginning of January & I did it! My clothes fit awesome & I'm finally to a point where running a mile feels comfortable again. All in all, it isn't a bad place to be 10 months after having Olivia.

I'm not the type of person to rest on my laurels though. I'm always looking for a way to improve, so I decided to set some fitness goals for myself for the next 5 weeks in hopes that I'll be feeling (and looking) amazing for the start of summer vacation!

Goal 1- Strengthen My Core

I have my cardio endurance back, but my abdominal muscles are weak. So weak. I know that having a strong core benefits your overall health, but if I'm being honest, I just want a flatter stomach for bikini season. I hate having to walk around in my swimsuit sucking it in, so I'm going to buckle down now. I've already been doing this for a week & my planks are getting so much better. I think I have the most work to do with my upper abs & obliques, so I'll be pinning exercises to focus on those as I progress! 

Goal 2 - Eat More Whole Foods

Confession: I eat like a five year old. Actually, my three year old eats better than I do. My husband & I have both decided to dedicate the next month to more whole foods and less processed crap. Thankfully, it's already grilling season, so I know that we can make this happen! I'm currently focusing on my lunches because I tend to pack whatever is easiest to toss in my bag. Hopefully, with a little more planning I can make these a lot healthier! 

Goal 3 - Be Able to Do Any of These Workouts Without Dying

Overall, I know that my time in the gym is going to be very limited this summer, so I'm focusing on workouts that I can do in my yard while the kids play. I've already pinned a ton of ideas to start trying, and I think the variety will help me stay interested. The problem is, they're way harder than you think they'll be when you pin them! I'm going to put my nose to the grindstone & push though. The results will be worth it. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

What I Did This Weekend...

Our weekend was delightfully low key, so while I don't have a ton of pictures to share, I'm going into the week feeling refreshed. That's bad for blogging, but good for an exhausted mama. This is what we did do though... 
  • Saturday morning we woke up & got down to business cleaning the house. It had been awhile since we really cleaned - like dusted, windexed, scrubbed kind of cleaned - and I feel so much better now that it's done!

  • I took the girls out for a walk. I knew they were both tired & figured Olivia would nap, but Ella surprised me & passed out too! It was the most peaceful walk I've had in ages. It was cloudy but warm & I got an extra mile in.

  • We went to our favorite wood-fired pizza place for a late lunch/early dinner with Grandpa Dan & Grammy Mary! 

  • We did our grocery shopping at the big Wegmans with the cutest little helpers. 
  • Sunday morning, I did some "virtual shopping" - which is where I add things to my cart & pretend that I'm buying them. 
  • We stayed inside & hid from the wind, rain, & 40 degree weather. I'm calling it a rest day, but it's more like an I was afraid I'd turn into a popsicle day. 
  • We had leftover pizza for lunch & it was just as yummy the second time around.
  • I took a nap.
  • Aunt Britt & Uncle Matt visited us :) 
  • Eric made tacos for dinner! #tacosneverdisappoint
  • I finished out the weekend with a ton of laundry, and some help from this cutie! 
Here's hoping that this week is as relaxed as this weekend was! 
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