Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday - January 2016

Today is one of my favorite blogging days of the month! I just love to read through what everyone has been up to, especially when it's been a crazy busy month & I've probably missed a few posts here and there! 



What we're eating this week... 

This is my last week of the DietBet & I'm set to make to some money!! I just need to stay the course & stick to my calories. So meals this week have been pretty boring. However, we did go out this weekend & I was able to eat one of my favorite salads ever :) 


Honey Crisp Chicken Salad from Uno's

What I'm reminiscing about...


So I have no idea why I'm just getting around to this, but I finally installed the TimeHop app on my phone & have been loving all of the photos of Baby Ella that keep popping up! I cannot get over how much Ella & Livy look alike! 

What I've been up to...

I've been spending a whole lot of time on cheerleading. January is always this way. It takes over my life. Thankfully I love these people...




What I'm dreading...

Report cards & progress notes. If you're a teacher, you understand. 

What I'm working on...

I'm currently in the middle of registering Ella for Pre-K next year. I didn't anticipate it being this stressful, but it has been overwhelming. I have researched close to 20 options and ruled out almost all of them. We need something that's full day because our babysitter doesn't transport kids. We want something that is play based, but will teach her the social skills she needs for school. We want something close to me with reasonable hours. We need something affordable. It's gotten to a point that I have a spreadsheet made & we've scheduled visits. I feel like I'm sending her off to college, not pre-school. 

What I'm excited about...

I'm excited that I finally fit back into all of my pre-pregnancy clothes! Now that I'm back to that weight, I can focus on maintenance & building muscle back up. With cheer season ending in just about two weeks, I'll be able to use our school's weight room before I pick up the girls & can't wait to see some results. 

What I'm watching... 

My TV is pretty much always tuned into HGTV. I am a huge fan of Fixer Upper - I mean, aren't we all? But this week I've been watching some of the pilots for new shows. Hometown was cute, but I felt like they were trying too hard to be Chip & JoJo. Wise Buys was a little boring, but it's clear that Chip Wade knows his stuff. I'm going to give them both a chance & hope that they hit their stride in coming episodes. 

What I'm listening to...

I made the mistake of buying Ella a Sofia the First CD for Christmas & it's pretty much all I'm listening to these days. Even once I've dropped her off I'm usually so focused on what I need to do when I get to school that I forget to turn it to the radio! 

What I'm wearing... 



I'm going to do a full What I Wore post next Wednesday, but I thought I'd share a few of the weekend outfits I've been wearing. Lots of leggings. Lots of sweaters. That's winter in New York. 




What I'm doing this weekend... 

Another competition. The "Super Bowl of Cheerleading" to be exact. Tons of pressure. I'm already stressed about it. But on a positive note - my parents are coming! We haven't seen them since Christmas, so I cannot wait to see them! 

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

We have a Spirit Week in February followed by a week off for President's Day. I cannot wait to have some time off with my girls without practice or any other commitments!


And thanks to a little package from Grammy Nancy, Ella is really excited for Valentine's Day! I cannot wait to dress my girls in head to toe pink & red to celebrate! 

Ella with her bestie at Miss Jennie's last year <3

And this month's bonus question - What is your favorite Valentine's Day Treat?


So technically this is not a Valentine's Day treat, but I'm modifying it to be a Valentine's Day treat this year. Last year I made Shay's Marshmallow Peep S'Mores Bars for Easter. OMG they're so delicious - and also the reason that I failed my first glucose test - whoops! This year I'm going to use red & pink heart peeps to make them for a Valentine's Day party. #sugarhigh

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

5 Reasons I'm Happy Today...


Today was one of those days where I hopped out of bed with a little extra positivity and if there's one thing that the world needs more of - it's positivity! So I thought I'd share what is making me happy today with all of you...

1 - 7.5 Pounds Down

I do not let the scale define me, and actually, I didn't even step on it this morning. But I did step on it yesterday morning & I just feel so darn good that it can't be ignored. Taking off all the holiday weight plus the last of my pregnancy weight has made a huge difference in how I feel every day. My DietBet ends in less than a week, but I'm going to keep tracking my food & hitting my steps just to keep my energy up! 

2 - Another Tooth for Livy 


Livy has sprouted another tooth right next to the one she got last week. These are exactly the same two teeth that Ella got back to back when she was 6 months :) I tried to get a picture, but she just didn't want to open her mouth that wide. So use your imagination & visualize her teeth in that cute little mouth! 

3 - My Outfit


My outfit just clicked this morning! I love it when I don't have to change my clothes five times before I'm happy. 

4 - Only 8 Weeks Until Spring 

I was going through emails last night & saw on Gap that there are only 8 weeks until spring! Knowing that there is an end in sight makes it a little easier to tolerate the cold & the snow. I'll be running outside and back to only wearing 1 pair of socks at a time before I know it! 

5 - Sales Shopping

Speaking of Gap, they've been having some great sales! I haven't shopped for anything for myself but Ella has just gone through a growth spurt, so I've ordered a few things for her like these polka dotted joggers & leopard slide on sneakers! Can't beat spring essentials at a deep discount! 

Also, Carter's is having 40% off everything & Gymboree is having an extra 30% off clearance.
{Plus if you use Ebates you can get even more cashback while shopping online!}

I hope you all have a great day too! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

TGIF. Rule #1 of teaching, if it's a short week, it's going to feel like the longest week ever. I loved my MLK Day off, but I've been paying for it all week long! It's a miracle that I was able to find some time to gather up my Friday Favorites :)  


Part of the reason we've been so busy this week is that my team has competition this Saturday & we've been at practice every night. Thankfully Ella & Livy are plenty entertained in the gym every afternoon. They play with "their girls" and giggle their little hearts out. It's always entertaining to go through snapchat after practice & see how many selfies Ella has found her way into! 



And speaking of giggling... there are no happier girls than girls making fruit loop necklaces! 



Ella & Addy are all about craft projects & Miss Jennie is so good at keeping them busy! 


The most exciting news of the week is that our sweet Livy got her first tooth! She's working hard on one right next to it too! 


I mean, she's just the cutest! 


And one last thing before I go! I got two exciting emails from Gap this morning. The first one said that they're offering 40% off with the code TGIF. The second one said that you can get 18% cashback through Ebates! If you haven't tried Ebates yet, you definitely should. I use it all of the time & the incentives are typically between 1% & 5%, which adds up way faster than you think on all of your online purchases! This deal from Gap is one of the best I've ever seen though, so definitely pounce on it if you're looking for some discounted items! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Show & Tell - Momfessional Moments

I would have to say that 95% of the time, I can take pride in myself as a mother. I love my girls & would do just about anything for them. But all mothers know, there are moments that things just fall apart, so today I'm linking up with Andrea for some "momfessions." 

I Forgot the Cord 

One of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in life was buying Ella a Sofia the First album on iTunes. We listen to it non-stop & somedays I just can't take it. On those days, I tell her I left the cord at home & that we no choice but to listen to the radio. 

Mommy's Phone is Dead 

Ella loves to watch Disney Jr. on my phone at cheerleading practice. The majority of teh time, it's not a big deal, but when I actually need my phone at practice & tell her no we go into meltdown mode. So, to avoid a scene, I now tell her that my phone is dead & then proceed to sneak peaks at it while she entertains herself with all the other toys that she insists on packing. 

Speaking of Shows...

Ella may watch more TV than she should. I justify it with the fact that even though the TV is on, she's also running around playing dress up, cooking us a meal, and performing a dance recital. The girl is a multi-tasker like her mama. 



It's Too Cold to Wear That 

Whenever Ella asks to wear something that I don't want her to, I tell her it's too cold out to wear it. She's not very well versed on temperatures & dressing for the weather yet, so for the time being it's a viable excuse. 

Fruit Snacks Count as Fruit Right? 

Ella is absolutely addicted to Welch's Fruit Snacks. She eats them like crack. We buy the huge box of them at Costco & store it in our lazy susan. The problem is that now she knows how to open the lazy susan, she is helping herself to them & we keep finding the wrappers throughout the house! 

So like I said, I'm definitely not perfect. No mama is... have anything to confess? 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Everyone! It's cold & snowy here, but it's also the start of a THREE DAY WEEKEND! #andalltheteacherssaidamen It's been forever & a day since I did a Friday Favorites post, so we've got lots to cover! 


First up, I have to share this fab bag with you all while it's still on sale! I totally have to credit my mom with this find. She said it kept coming up on Keep & she just loved it, so she eventually pulled the trigger. I loved it from the moment I saw her with it & borrowed it for Black Friday shopping this year. Well apparently great minds think alike, because Shaeffer recently featured it on a Nordstrom sale collage when it went 50% off. I snatched one of my very own up at that point & it just arrived! I'm still totally in love with it & love that the "Tan/Greige" color is so versatile. Unfortunately, that color is no longer in stock but the black is gorgeous too & this would be a perfect staple crossbody for your collection! 



In other shopping news, I am loving this layering tee that I got from Banana Republic for Christmas. It has been perfect for popping out from underneath from sweaters - like I wore it in the picture above - but I can also see myself wearing it with shorts & flip flops all summer long too. It's extremely versatile & just happens to be 40% off this weekend, making it less than $20! 

The girls have been getting lots of use out of their favorite Christmas presents too! I had every intention of doing a round up of the awesome stuff they got because our families just nailed it this year, but that didn't happen so I'll just share each of their favorites right now instead. 

My dad made Ella a dress up closet for all of her costumes & she is obsessed with it. She currently has Anna, Elsa, Belle, Jasmine, and Sofia dresses, but is adament that she's going to add a Snow White to her collection too. Every night she has one on right up until bedtime & sometimes she just lays them out on the floor to admire them. Total girly girl! 


Olivia's favorite present was from her Uncle Kevin, who got her a stuffed unicorn from Pottery Barn Kids. Livy loves his horn & is constantly playing/eating it! My father-in-law named her unicorn Spike  & we all thought that was hysterical, so Spike it is! 


And last, my favorite baby turned six months on Wednesday! I just cannot believe that my sweet Livy is already half a year old. Knowing that this is our last makes me want to cherish my time with her that much more & even though I'm so excited that she's sitting on her own & eating baby food, I kind of wish that I could just freeze her sweetness as it is now because she really is the happiest baby ever. 


Have a Great Weekend! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Losing the Fluff - Week 2

So I totally meant to take new progress pictures to accompany this post, but I woke up about half an hour later than intended this morning, so that didn't happen! Whoops! I still wanted to give you a recap of how things are going though, so here is the picture-less edition of Week 2's Progress Report. 

Progress: This morning, I weighed 130.5 when I stepped on the scale, which I'm really happy with. At that weight, I will win the Diet Bet & get my money back. I'm also feeling far more comfortable in my jeans again and have felt my energy returning. 

What's Working: I've been tracking every bite I've taken since January 1st - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm trying really hard to hit my protein goal every day & keep my fat intake in check. I know most people struggle with carbs, but I actually crave fats more because I love cheese! 

What Else is Working: My step goal of 10,000 is keeping me moving every day. Ultimately, I'd like to get more intense workouts in, but between coaching & my kids, that just isn't feasible right now. So I'm doing my steps, planks, and squats. 

Setbacks: I got a HORRIBLE stomach bug last Friday. My step total for the day was less than 1,000. I barely moved. It may have helped me lose a few pounds in the short term, but the dehydration & weakness took me awhile to recover from. It also kept me from achieving my weekly goal of 70,000 steps, which I was really angry about. 

Plans for Week 3: I have Monday off & the kids are going to be with Eric's mom, so I should be able to get a run in. I'm also going to go beyond my breakfast prep & prepping lunches for next week too so I can incorporate less processed foods at lunch. 

And I just love this quote I found on Pinterest... you have to make it happen! 

truth.:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When I Win Power Ball...

Like the rest of the country, everyone at school is abuzz over the big PowerBall drawing tonight. 


We all have our tickets ready & my principal was even in the hallway telling students goodbye because today was going to be his last day! The kids of course thought this was hysterical and we've all been discussing what we'd do if we won the jackpot. I'm aware that most of my list is pretty practical, but here it is....  

1- Pay Off All Of Our Debt

Do you know how awesome life would be without any debt? Pretty freaking amazing. If I could get rid of the car payment, the mortgage, Eric's student loans, both of our credit cards - my life would be such a breeze! I HATE paying bills & worrying about deadlines, so this would be first on my list. 

2 - Buy New Cars

I'm not talking about Maserati's here people, but I'd buy a large SUV for Eric & a fully loaded mini van for myself. Normally, I hate the car buying process, but when you can just hand them a wad of cash, it's a whole different ball game! It'd be so easy that we'd even replace Eric's mom's van - which is a 1998 Ford Windstar & absolutely falling apart. She refuses to part with it though, so we'd just buy her a new one & leave it in her driveway with a huge bow on it. 

3 - Move

I love our little starter house, but that's exactly what it is. It's little & it's a starter house. I'd move us into our forever home, which would essentially be something straight out of Fixer Upper. Think a huge island in the kitchen, white marble everywhere, and tons of room to host all the family holidays.  

4 - Take Our Whole Family to Disney World

I'm not just talking about Ella, Livy & Eric. I mean ALL the grandparents, ALL the aunts & uncles, ALL the cousins. No cost spared. Ears for everyone! 


5 - Build My Own Cheer Gym 

I love teaching, but coaching is my real passion. I'd love to own a cheer gym that hosts its own all-star teams as well as offered tumbling lessons. If I won PowerBall, I'd finally have the capital & time to pursue that passion. 

I know you've thought about it. Comment & let us know what you would do if you won tonight!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Losing the Fluff 2016 - Week 1

In my January goals post, I mentioned that I'm partaking in the Skinny Meg Diet Bet this month. My goal during this challenge is to lose 4% of my bodyweight, and ultimately my goal is to get back to 128 pounds. I know a number on the scale isn't as important as how I feel, but I've been at this for 10 years now & know that 128 is where I feel the best. My plan is to get there, then switch my focus to toning & getting back into my running. 

After talking to several friends with two kids, they warned me that losing the baby weight the second time around would be far more challenging than it was with Ella. They were right. I have really had to reevaluate some things to see progress & have come to the conclusion that to get back to where I want to be, I need to get out of my comfort zone & buckle down. This is going to be difficult as this month is prime competition season - I have a competition every weekend this month - but I think that added challenge will just make me stronger in the long run! 

So this is me on Saturday... 



In this picture I weigh 136.5 pounds. Umm.... yeah. That's a lot for me. A ton of that was water weight & bloat from holiday eating, I mean I'd just gone to Cheesecake Factory the day before, but a lot of it is lack of discipline too. 

And funny story about those Nike Pros. My cheerleaders wear them every day. They love them. I think they look really cute ON THEM, but didn't really think that I could pull them off myself. The team got me a very generous gift card for Christmas though & assured me that I'd love them if I just tried them. So I did. And they're right. These are so comfy! I cannot wait for it to warm up so I can wear them around the house all the time. (And I've already promised Eric that I will not wear them out of the house other than to run. Because apparently that was a concern for him...) See, I'm already out of my comfort zone! 


This Week's Workouts: 


12/31 - Vinyassa Yoga to sweat out 2015 

1/1 - 10,048 steps mainly done pacing around my house because I refused to start the year with less than 10,000 + Squats 
1/2 - 2 mile walk 
1/3 - 3 mile walk/run with Charlie + Squats & Abs 
1/4 - 25 minute walk on my lunch break 
1/5 - 2.5 mile interval run on the treadmill with 1% incline + weights 
1/6 - 25 minute walk on my lunch break 

Between weather, practice, and my kids, I'm relying heavily on walking/my steps to burn calories each day. My run on Tuesday felt amazing though & I'm hoping to find ways to squeeze more of those in - even if it means I have to bundle up & deal with the cold. I also just signed up for a free trial with Grokker & am going to try those this coming week as well for more strength training. 


And in case you need a dose of motivation, I just loved this post on Instagram from @fitforhisglory! She posts great workout motivation that is based on scripture. So inspirational! 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What I Wore Wednesday

OMG - it has been forever & a day since I did a What I Wore Wednesday post. I guess that's what happens when you're in a huge style rut & feel like a schlump in your post baby bod. But all that's changing people! I got some new clothes for Christmas & am already down 3 pounds on my DietBet! 

It has been COLD and snowy in Rochester these past few days, and surprisingly no one is complaining. We had such mild weather leading up to Christmas, everyone was kind of ready for this. I've been staying warm with lots of layers, warm boots, and thick sweaters! 


coat - Forever 21 (sold out)  // sweater - Forever 21 (sold out) // boots - Amazon
leggings - Zella // socks - American Eagle
I wore this outfit to dinner at Cheesecake Factory on New Year's Day. I got these new Zella leggings for Christmas & love how thick they are! My bean boots are knock offs from Amazon, but they're really high quality. I've already worn them more than I thought I would in the week and a half that I've had them.

And then there's my coat. I've been in love with this coat from J.Crew for ages. I simply can't justify paying a weeks worth of daycare for it, and even the Factory version was out of my price range. (Though it is on sale right now!) So, my mom & I set off on a mission to find a less expensive version. We happened to stumble upon the one I'm wearing at Forever 21 for $60! I just love the big hood & the overall look of the coat. Expect to see it all winter long!  
jeans - J.Crew // boots - MIA // sweater - J.Crew // long sleeved shirt - Gap
And I'm finally busting out my white skinnies again! I wore them with them with this cashmere turquoise sweater that my mom gave me after cleaning out her closet & was super cozy all day long !

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...

anyone else singing Jay-Z in their head right now? No? Just me? Oh well....

Today is Show & Tell Tuesday with Andrea and our topic is Reintroductions & Resolutions! What a great way to start the year off :) 



For those of you who are new here, my name is Bri & I am...
  • in my late 20's.
  • married to my best friend of over 11 years, Eric. We started dating in my senior year of high school & have been together ever since! 
  • a mama to two sweet girls! My Ella is 3 years old & sweet Lady Olivia is almost 6 months old! The girls are my everything, even though they're the spitting image of their father. 
  • a middle school special education teacher, specializing in English. 
  • a competitive cheerleading coach for the school I work at. 
  • an iced tea addict. 
  • a fitness lover.
  • struggling to fit everything into the day... just keeping it real ;) 
I feel like that's really oversimplifying things, but that's me in a nutshell! 


And as far as resolutions go, I haven't made any big, year-long ones. Instead, I plan to keep up my monthly goals posts. They're so much more manageable & keep me focused! However, I did read an awesome post by Ashley at The Shine Project that challenged me to create a mantra for my year. I've been letting it marinate & really thinking about how I want to live my life in 2016. After a lot of deliberation, I've decided to go with....

Pursue Joy. 

I want to go after what makes me happy in 2016. It may not always be the most practical option. It may not always make other people happy. But I really want to focus on what brings me joy this year - time with my family, coaching a sport that I love, the feel of sweat on my skin after a hard workout. Those are the things that make me happy, why not make them my priority? So there may be some weeks where you see me a little less, and that's because I'm out pursuing joy with the people who bring so much joy to my life! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Goals

Happy Monday Everyone! If you're day is going anything like mine, you're struggling just a little bit. I was so insanely proactive yesterday - I prepped meals for the week, packed bags, laid out outfits, loaded the car - but a little lake effect snow still made my morning hectic! Even though I live in Upstate NY & am totally fine with driving in the snow, I'm always worried about the other people on the road. Are they texting? Do they have bad tires? What if there's black ice? Ugh... winter. Thankfully we made it & the kids are safely at Miss Jennie's & I'm safely at school! 

I normally start my monthly goals posts with a recap of the previous month, but since all of my December goals were Christmas related, I feel like it's sufficient to say that we had an amazing Christmas with family & that I achieved all of my goals! And while I LOVE Christmas, I was super excited to get everything packed away & to reclaim my house. January is all about a clean slate & a fresh start, and that is exactly the focus of my January goals! 



January Goals: 

  1. Lose 4% of my body weight - I'm doing this through Skinny Meg's Diet Bet! I've never done one before, but I'm hoping that having a little money on the line will hold me more accountable! I have about 5 pounds to lose, which is totally practical! 
  2. Hit 70,000 steps per week - A year after I got it & I'm still in love with my FitBit! I'm really going to focus on being diligent about hitting my step goal every day, but if something comes up, I can still make up the steps on another day. 
  3. Zero Fast Food - This one could be really hard because I will be on the go quite a bit this month, but I know that fast food of any kind, even a morning bagel, is my downfall. I need to focus on prepping breakfast & lunch to take with me every day & ordering salads if I do find myself out for dinner. 
  4. Zero Clothes Purchases - So if you think zero fast food is going to be hard, this is going to be torture! But it's winter. I just got a bunch of beautiful new clothes for Christmas, as did my kids. So until January 31st, no clothing purchases allowed! 

So there you have it, my January goals. I'll be back with a (rather embarrassing) fitness update tomorrow & talking about how I intend to kick butt with the Diet Bet! 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Best of 2015

Another year has come to an end & so many memories have been made. As I was putting together my top nine on Instagram, I jokingly declared 2015 - "The Year of Livy" and in so many ways it was. I spent so much time announcing her impending arrival, her gender & her actual arrival - along with documenting my pregnancy week by week. But beyond the amazing blessing that is Olivia Rose, we had some incredible memories as a family of three. Here is 2015 in review... 





January 

January was all about cheerleading. All three of my winter competitions were in January, so weekends were busy, busy, busy! Thankfully, my team was insanely talented & won tons of trophies! 



February 

In February, we celebrated Valentine's Day! 



We found out that we were having a baby girl! We celebrated with a low key gender reveal dinner. From that point on, the baby was officially referred to as our sweet Olivia Rose & shopping for all things pink commenced! 



And we took a trip to visit Grammy & Gramps in Saratoga, where we headed to the indoor waterpark to splash around! 



March 

March was a pretty low key month for us, featuring a St. Patrick's Day celebration in Eric's hometown & the start of Spring Break at the end of the month. 



April 

The weather started to turn in April & we were able to get outside for walks almost every day! We spent Spring Break at home, nesting for the arrival of  Miss Olivia & celebrated Easter at Grandma Nancy's house! 



May 

We celebrated Mother's Day with a visit from Grammy! We spent the weekend dining & shopping - just the way us moms like it :) 



We finished off the month by celebrating Memorial Day with a cookout at Grandma Dan & Grammy Mary's house with all of our cousins! 



June 

I turned 28 in June & celebrated with a birthday dinner with my family! 



I was put on half days for work, but we enjoyed some gorgeous weather & celebrated the end of the school year! 


July

July was obnoxiously big! Almost as big as my belly :) We celebrated the 4th of July at the lake with family & friends.



We welcomed Olivia Rose Eason into the world!



Miss Ella turned three & had a flamingo fiesta! 



August 

In August we adjusted to the arrival of Olivia & returned to cheerleading for fall season! And of course we took our annual trip to Myrtle Beach with my family! 




September 

We all got back into the swing of things as we headed back to school in September. Livy just loved going to Miss Jennie's house & fit right in with her crew! 



Ella got glasses....



and started dance classes! 



And we went apple & pumpkin picking with Uncle Matt & Aunt Britt at Becker Farms



October 


In October we celebrated Ranger Homecoming & Ella rode on our Candyland float with me! 



And we had an Indian Summer that made for an amazing trip to Stokoe Farms on Columbus Day.



Ella was all about Halloween this year & we did ZooBoo as well as regular trick or treating! 



November

Olivia was baptized in November....



and we had Thanksgiving at home with all of our families! 



December 

December was dedicated to all things Christmas! We made cookies...



we took a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa...



and we celebrated the season with our families! 


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