Super Bowl Party Decor

The Super Bowl is two weeks away, and if you are like me…you may be more excited about the halftime show, the commercials, and the food. But in a house of all boys, I figure I may as well make it as fun as possible for me too! And any excuse to have a themed party is pretty much right up my alley. This year I’m planning on decorating and letting Cole invite a friend or two over for a little Super Bowl party, and today I wanted to share some cute decoration finds I’ve come across.

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Self Care For Busy Moms

For week 3 of my wellness series, I wanted to talk about something that I feel is so important for all moms – that we don’t focus on enough! While we are always busy taking care of everyone else, we often let our own self care go by the wayside. But just like we are told on an airplane – in order to help anyone else you really need to put your own oxygen mask on first. Today I wanted to discuss some tips for making sure you are prioritizing your own well being and giving yourself the care you need.

Make time for exercise

When I had my first son, I quickly realized that finding time to work out was a challenge. If I waited for my husband to get home from work, I was often too tired to go to the gym that late, and early morning workouts after being up with a baby felt impossible. I realized that finding exercise that I could incorporate into my schedule and include my baby made things a whole lot easier! I bought a jogging stroller and began going for runs during his nap time (he slept while I ran), and I also started doing mommy and me swim classes and yoga classes. Now that my kids are a bit older, we can do family bike rides, kick a soccer ball around together, or take a family walk or hike. With a little flexibility it is possible to find a way to make regular exercise happen.

Touch base regularly with friends

One thing that isn’t talked about enough, is how isolating motherhood can be. We can all easily get trapped in our own little bubble of family life, but it is really important to reach out for support and adult conversation. It can be hard to find time to talk on the phone, so mom friends and I will often connect by text and just share funny things or vent when needed. It makes it easier to keep in touch over text when you are juggling kids. And try to get out once in awhile too! Even a weekly coffee date/play date with the kids really can be that little break we all need.

Prioritize sleep

When my kids go to bed, I often feel really tired and ready to go to bed myself. But I love this little bit of time to myself so I often stay up way too late – and then of course pay for it the next day. (I think so many moms can relate to this struggle!) Getting adequate sleep is so crucial, and I think it’s important to set a structured bedtime for yourself and make it a priority to get the sleep you need.

Treat yourself to something new

I think it is so easy for moms to stop doing things for themselves and everything becomes about the kids. I know moms who say they haven’t bought themselves anything new in years! Motherhood is often a thankless job, and it’s important to reward yourself from time to time for a job well done. If you find it hard to go shopping for yourself, consider joining a subscription service for something you love (I personally love my Fab Fit Fun subscription!) so that you are forced to get a little treat every now and then. Even just buying yourself a pretty bouquet at the market or treating yourself to that latte at the coffee shop, can really brighten your day! And you deserve it!

Nourish your body

You know how you get busy preparing meals for the kids, and then you end up eating their leftover Mac and cheese when you realize hours later you haven’t fed yourself?! Yep. We’ve all been there. Make sure you are finding time to sit and eat meals (standing in the pantry shoving a few goldfish in your mouth doesn’t count) that are healthy. Have some easy staples on hand – things like overnight oats, egg/veggie casseroles, soups, whole grain bread with lunch meat, Greek yogurts – are all nutritious and can be whipped up into a quick meal in minutes.

Pamper yourself

It can be really easy to stop going to the hair salon or getting your nails done, but having this bit of time for yourself is so important! Even if you feel you absolutely can’t get away to the salon for a few hours, make it a habit to spend 20 minutes a day taking a relaxing bath or developing a nightly skincare routine.

Learn something new

I didn’t realize how much I would feel a loss of my personal identity after I had my first son. Overnight I became a stay at home mom and all of my career ambitions and personal goals really took a backseat. I really started to feel that I needed something for me…and so I took up a few hobbies that I still do to this day! One was running, and while I don’t do as many races as I once did, I still enjoy regularly running 3-4 days a week. And I always had an interest in photography, and finally bought a camera and took some classes. Photography is something I absolutely love and is a huge creative outlet for me.

Ask for help

Nobody, I repeat nobody, can do it all. We all need help from time to time and it truly takes a village. While I have never had a nanny or had any help with the kids from family, I did come to realize that I needed some help. Years ago we hired a housekeeper who comes once a week to help out and I can’t tell you how helpful this is for me. While it’s just a few hours of help for me each week, it really helps me stay on top of the housework the rest of the week and frees up hours of cleaning time so we can enjoy time as a family instead. Whether you hire some help or simply ask your partner, friends, or family for some help from time to time – make sure you get the help you need.

Avoid the comparison trap

With the rise of social media, I feel that this one has become even tricker. Also there is so much societal pressure on women to be able to do it all, and it can be so hard to be constantly seeing images of perfect appearing women appearing to be perfect mothers, wives, employees, etc. The truth is – we are only seeing the highlight reel of anyone else’s life. Even if you feel that everyone else seems to have it all figured out, I can promise you that everyone is struggling with something. I have a very difficult relationship with my family and have now been estranged from them for several years, and it is hard to constantly see women sharing their supportive relationships with their mothers and the grandparent relationships their kids have with their parents. I even admit to feeling envious of my own friends sometimes when their mothers are so involved and jumping to babysit and doting on their grandkids. I have found a few things that help me when I’m really struggling with this and really hurting. One is to practice gratitude. I know that I have SO much to be grateful for and while I may not have been blessed with loving and supportive parents, I am incredibly blessed to have built my own loving and supportive family. And the other thing that really helps – is to unplug when I have to. If I’m seeing something on social media that is a sensitive spot for me – it’s easy to unfollow. I especially avoid social media a lot around Mother’s Day as it’s a very bittersweet day for me. If something (or someone) is making you feel bad – it’s okay to disconnect.

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Banana Republic Is Having A Sale…And It’s Good

img_0852Puff-Sleeve Sweaterimg_0865Puff-Sleeve Cropped Topimg_0909Chunky Color-Block Sweater

Banana Republic is having a pretty incredible sale right now with all sale items reduced another 50% off at checkout. And there are some really great wardrobe staple pieces – many of them marked down to under $50. I snapped up a couple of great basic sweaters and an adorable puff sleeve cropped top (cannot wait for spring to wear this!). I love the puff sleeve top so much that I ended up ordering it white too (and it also comes in a really pretty blue color.) Here’s a few more things that have caught my eye!

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One :: The same chunky sweater I’m wearing in the solid color version. $44

Two :: Super on trend navy velvet puffer. $103

Three :: This metallic skirt is so fun. $53

Four :: This turtleneck comes in several pretty colors but I think the pink is really fun for Valentine’s Day. $40

Five :: This chunky cashmere sweater looks so cozy and comes in a few colors. $103

Six :: This dress would be so perfect paired with sandals for any upcoming spring break trips to somewhere warm! $31

Seven :: Grab this velvet dress now and be prepared for the holidays next year! $43

Eight :: This ribbed sweater dress is so versatile, and it also comes in a few other color options too. $39

Nine :: Everyone needs a LBD to have on hand. This one would be so flattering on any body type. $35

Ten ::  I’m a sucker for stripes, and this rugby stripe sweater is so classic. $35

Eleven :: This gold button dress is so stunning (it also comes in black & green). $40

Twelve ::  The cropped silhouette updates a basic cable knit sweater. It also comes in a few other colors. $44

Thirteen :: This sherpa sweatshirt is cute enough to leave the house in. $39

Fourteen :: This sunny yellow cashmere sweater is the perfect spring transition piece. $76

Fifteen ::  This leopard dress is absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day. $55

Sixteen :: Another great option for Valentine’s Day. $46

Seventeen :: Satin slip skirts are having a moment and I love the color of this one. $49

Eighteen :: I love the bold color of this green skirt (but it comes in a few other colors too). $53

Nineteen :: These sweet little satin shoes are the perfect punch of pink. $58

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Cold Weather Running Gear

facetune_12-01-2020-19-19-31Coat (Lululemon, similar) | Leggings (Fabletics, similar) | Gloves | Headband | Shoes

Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you have to take your workouts indoors! I personally hate working out inside and prefer to be outside running. And even if it’s snowy and cold, as long as I’m dressed for the weather I find running outside in the winter to be pretty enjoyable! Today I wanted to share some of my cold weather gear favorites as well as some other highly reviewed items I’m eyeing.

Base Layer Shirt

This top from Lululemon is my favorite cold weather shirt. It is really warm and also moisture wicking. Here’s also a few others that look really good.

RunningShirtsOne | Two | Three

Vest

For milder winter days (or spring/fall) I find a vest to be the perfect layering piece. I do get too hot quite easily, and a vest is much more breathable than an actual coat.

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Coat

Once the temps dip lower (especially on snowy and/or windy days) it’s time to break out a warm down coat. My favorite is the one I’m wearing above which is Lululemon’s Down For A Run Pullover. It is a few years old and is not currently available, but they do have a really similar coat.

RunningCoatsOne | Two | Three

Leggings

On more mild winter days I can wear pretty much any leggings, but for the coldest days the key is to go for fleece lined leggings. The pair I’m wearing above is from Fabletics – they are really thick and fleece lined and are my favorite cold weather pair. Unfortunately these are several years old and I’ve not seen them come back into stock, but I just ordered this pair from Lululemon and I’m really excited to try them out!

RunningLeggingsOne | Two | Three

Gloves

Running with cold hands is no fun at all, so gloves are super important. I have and absolutely love this pair from Lululemon (also pictured and linked below) – they are tech gloves, but have a waterproof flap that turns them into mittens for extra warmth if you need it. They are on major sale too!

RunningGlovesOne | Two | Three

Headband or Hat

My ears get terribly cold running in the winter, so covering them is a must. I have several fleece headbands that typically work just fine, but if temps get really low, then a beanie does a better job of keeping you warm and prevent you from losing too much body heat.

RunningHatsOne | Two | Three

Socks

My feet typically stay pretty warm when running (even in the snow!), but if you struggle with cold toes you may want to consider wool running socks. Wool socks are key to keeping your feet warm (it’s all I wear when we go skiing!). A good pair of moisture wicking socks is also a good option.

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Extras

The trails near my house are kept pretty clear, but these cleats would really come in handy for icy areas. Also with daylight hours being shorter in the winter, a headlamp can come in handy for being able to squeeze in runs when it’s dark out. And even though it is cold, don’t forget sun protection!

RunningExtrasOne | Two | Three

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Valentines Inspired Finds For Around The Home

Valentines Inspired Finds For Around The Home

I always feel that my home looks so bare after taking down all of the Christmas decorations, so with Valentines Day around the corner, it gives me an excuse to add some cheerful decor! Valentines Day is definitely a holiday that can veer into (dare I say) cheesy territory, but by adding simple touches in red and pinks, it keeps things sophisticated. Also by sticking with florals and items that don’t scream Valentine’s Day, these decorations can stay up all spring as well! Today I wanted to share a few of my recent buys, as well as some other things I’m loving as well.

img_0701Similar Waterford Vase | Bud Vases | Gold Candlestick Holders | Votive Holders (Target, similar)img_0702img_0703img_0705Floral Heart Wreathimg_0707img_0708Pomegranate Plant (Target, similar) | Candleimg_0706Cherry Blossom Flowers | Similar Glass Hurricane | Candle | Towel | Bud Vaseimg_0710The Finer Things Book | Overview Book | Faux Succulent | Diptyque Roses Candle | Similar Floral Coaster Set

I found a few really cute things at Target for Valentine’s Day dinner like this cute heart embossed pitcher, glasses, serving utensils, and these blush napkins (which will be perfect for Easter too!). And how cute are these little pancake molds?! I can’t wait to make the kids some Valentines pancakes (dyed pink of course).

img_0700Pink Glasses (Not available online – similar) | Heart Pitcher (Not available online – this floral option would be cute too!) | Pancake Molds | Dish Towels | Napkins | Serving Spoon and Fork (Not available online – similar)

Here’s a few more things for the home I’m loving!

ValentinesHome2020-1ValentinesHome2020-2OneTwo | Three | FourFive | Six | SevenEight | Nine | TenElevenTwelve

One – This gray heart platter is so pretty and could really be used year round

Two – These also have matching measuring cups!

Three – These blush tumblers only look expensive

Four – Flowers/greenery that will be gorgeous on the mantle all spring

Five – A ruffled heart dish is perfect for serving a pretty fruit pie

Six – This cheeseboard is stunning, and would be gorgeous paired with the gray heart tray

Seven – Such a romantic piece of art for any room

Eight – Perfect size for serving up a romantic dish for two! Would be such a sweet wedding gift too

Nine – Why not add a little Valentine’s touch to your bathroom with this affordable bath mat

Ten – Put this wreath on your front door and leave it up all spring

Eleven – I’ve been eyeing these blush dishes for about a year now. I love them as everyday plates to use for Valentines and all spring.

Twelve –  Inexpensive throw pillows are an easy way to add a little pop of pink

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Healthy Habits To Start The New Year For The Whole Family

For week two of my wellness series, I wanted to talk about some wellness goals that are great for the whole family to take part in, many of which are personal goals I have with my own family this year! It’s never too early to start teaching healthy habits to the kids, plus you have some built in accountability partners when you are all doing these things together.

Drink more water

I am probably the worst offender in my entire family with not drinking enough water. Drinking sparkling water really helps me increase my intake, and I also want to get a good water bottle to take on the go with me.

Practice better sleep hygiene (and get plenty of sleep)

We often watch TV right up until the time we go to bed, and I’m guilty of reading on my phone once I get to bed. I know these things absolutely affect my sleep, and I think it also makes it a bit harder for the kids to fall asleep after watching TV. I would really love to get in the habit of turning off the TV and reading as a family for awhile before tucking in for the night! I tend to be a bit of a night owl as well and really savor my alone time when everyone else goes to bed, but it’s not the best habit as it drastically cuts down my sleep time. I want to start setting a firm 11:00 pm bedtime for myself to make sure I’m getting enough sleep.

Stick with a clean diet during the week

I’ve found that eating clean is easy…as long as I prepare with having plenty of healthy options on hand. And the even bigger key for me is not allowing myself to get hungry. I often get busy and forget to eat, and find myself reaching for junk around 2:00 in the afternoon because I’m starving at that point. Having a structured plan and regular mealtimes makes sticking with healthy choices so much easier. I also really limit the kid’s sugar consumption during the week.

Get active

Winter can be a bit of a struggle for me to find motivation to run when it’s cold out, and I admittedly haven’t been consistent the last few months. Our winter hasn’t even been too brutal so I really don’t have much of an excuse! But even if I don’t feel like running, taking the kids sledding or skiing is great exercise and something the whole family can do together.

Read more

This ties back in to my sleep goals above, but I also want to start reading more in my (limited) free time. I used to read constantly before having kids, and it can be hard to find the time. But even if I can just find a little time after the kids go to bed, or waiting at their Taekwondo classes, I want to make this more of a priority for myself.

Practice and teach gratitude

“It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” This is one of my absolute favorite quotes and a mantra I try to live my life by. Every day when I pick my kids up from school, I ask them about the good things that happened at school that day. And when they have a bad day, we talk about the lessons we can learn from it to make us better people in the long run. Every day there is something to be grateful for (even if it is just getting through an awful day!), and trying to focus on the good things in our lives makes for a whole lot more happiness.

Try new things

I grew up in an extremely small town and was quite sheltered growing up, so it is really important to me to expose my kids to lots of different things. I really try to be pretty open minded to trying new things and having new experiences. Even something as simple as trying a new restaurant, community event, or taking a trip somewhere – there is always something new to be learned and experienced.

Eat dinner together

I think this is such an important habit to have, and something I really want to be better about. We have extra curricular activities almost nightly, so I often feed the kids right after school, and then my husband and I eat later. I would like to try to get in the habit of all sitting down together on nights that it’s feasible to do so.

Have device free time

We do have a rule that the kids aren’t allowed devices Monday – Thursday, and I’m thinking this would be a really great rule for myself as well. Every weeknight after the kids get home, I want to start putting my phone away and just be fully present and focused on the family. It’s so easy to get caught up with texting friends, checking notifications and email, and scrolling social media. But I think it would also be a good example to set for my kids to follow the same rule I have for them, and also important to be more focused when I’m with them.

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Winter Boots That Are Actually Stylish

Winter Boots That Are Actually Stylish

My Coat | Sweater | Similar Tee | Leggings | Boots | Hat | Evan’s Boots | Evan’s Snowsuit

img_0684Coat (Burberry, old – similar) | Turtleneck | Leggings | Sunglasses | Boots

Just because it’s cold and snowy out, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your footwear style! The hiking boot trend is still huge this season, and lots of winter boot brands are making really cute, stylish boots that look good while still being waterproof and warm. Today I’m rounding up some of my top picks!

WinterBoots-1WinterBoots2One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | NineTen | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | FifteenSixteen | SeventeenEighteen

One – Love the pop of leopard

Two – The slight wedge will give you a little added height but be comfortable all day

Three – A Kate Middleton approved brand and these are so cool

Four – On the pricey side, but I love everything about these

Five – These are kinda crazy…but I’m a sucker for shearling and they are 60% off

Six – All the Isabel Marant vibes but for a fraction of the cost

Seven – I’ve been really drawn to winter white lately, and I also love the green laces

Eight – All the comfort of Uggs, but waterproof

Nine – These are just a great, go with anything, pair of hiking boots

Ten – I have these in brown and loooove them. The brown color I have is sold out but  they are still available in dark brown & black here, and this leopard is also really fun and on sale

Eleven – These are such a cool hybrid of a sneaker and a boot, and Sorel is my favorite winter boot brand

Twelve – Perfect rain boots for a bit warmer climate

Thirteen – These look JUST like Sorel and are only $27

Fourteen – When it is super cold and snowy, these boots can’t be beat. I’ve had mine for years and they are still in great condition

Fifteen – These are called the “perfect winter boot” and they really are the perfect, everyday boot when you are dealing with daily cold and snow

Sixteen – These Meghan Markle approved boots are perfect for any snowy situation

Seventeen – I have these as well and they are really comfortable and water resistant (and on sale)

Eighteen – These look like the perfect comfortable boots to wear to and from (and around) the ski resort

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