Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

We unofficially kicked off summer this past weekend by taking a (small) break from the moving "situation" to indulge in some of our favorite things!

Friday night Mike had a work event that was kid-friendly and involved tailgating before the Pirate's game, so I was all for getting out and soaking up as much of Pittsburgh as we can, while we still can. We didn't make it to the actual game, but we had a blast eating, drinking, and playing before it started.

Saturday was spent wrapping up more home projects during the day, but Saturday evening we took some time to unwind and had an outdoor fire and some adult beverages, while Max went crazy for roasted "mushrooms"... aka marshmallows.

On Sunday our friends invited us to spend the day at their neighborhood pool, which was honestly pure bliss as far as this family was concerned. We were in desperate need of a break from all things "moving" related, and some fun in the sun was the perfect anecdote. M&E literally swam, snacked, played, and ran themselves to the point of exhaustion.

Sadly though, that was the end of the fun stuff for us. Monday we were back down to business as usual. My mother in law came out to watch the kids and Mike and worked on painting, packing and more cleaning/purging. I am seriously blown away by how much stuff we have collected over the 7.5 years we have lived in this house.

We're hopeful all of this hardwork will pay off as our house officially hits the market this Thursday, with our first potential showings this weekend. 

Next week the moving company is on their way to start packing, loading, and shipping us off to NY! 

In the meantime, I plan to try and continue to blog as usual, but if I miss post or two, you'll all know why.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Swoon Worthy

With another weekend full of cleaning, packing, and hopefully enjoying some Memorial Day festivities ahead of me, I'm going to get right to the point this Saturday, and dive right into what I'm swooning over at the moment...

1. This breakfast idea straight from Pinterest is definitely not new or original, but if you've never made these delicious "waffles", you absolutely must!

2.  The beautiful work of Anna Rifle Bond turned into a dress... Swooning for sure!

3.  Seeing as this weekend is the unnofficial kick off of summer, I'm dreaming of lazy pool/beach days ahead, lounging in this float, drink in hand of course... Obviously this is a dream, because in reality I'll be too busy chasing kids to lounge anywhere.

4.  Speaking of summer, I'm adding this book to my list of beach reads!

5.  I love a good warm weather appetizer, this sounds delightful!

6.  This dress... I think Ella needs it in every fun color (and they're on sale this weekend).

7.  You guys know I love a good free printable, and this one from Hello Maypole, is perfection!

8.  Looking for a fun and festive drink idea for your cookouts this weekend? I love this idea!

9.  With all of my online browsing for home decor for the new house, I'm having a tough time choosing from all of the things that I love from this shop!

10.  Who knew there was so many amazing ways to enjoy my favorite summer fruit? I might just have to try them all!

I hope you all have the most amazing holiday weekend with your friends and family. A HUGE thank you, on Memorial Day and always, to those who have given their lives so that the rest of can continue to enjoy our freedom!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Can't Live Without It

I am a firm believer that having a cute water bottle totally encourages me to be better about staying on top of my hydration game.

When I was about 8 months pregnant with Ella, I began to suffer with "pregnancy related kidney stone issues". If any of you have any experience with this, pregnant or not, my heart seriously goes out to you... I would literally rather deliver 5 more children naturally, then have to endure that pain again... It was absolutely unbearable!

All of this sounds super glamorous, I know, but if nothing else, the experience has forced me to make it a point to drink as much water as possible on a daily basis. You know, between all of those (much needed) Venti skinny vanilla lattes.

I picked up this water bottle at Target awhile back, in lavender, and I loved mine so much, that I picked one up in gray (there are many more color options in-store) for Mike too.

Not only do I love the fact that we each get to have our own designated/color-coded water bottles on hand, but I really enjoy the options this bottle has to offer. You can choose to either just screw part of the top off, and drink from it like a typical water bottle, or you can screw off the whole top for more of a wide mouth feel.

I am fully aware that a water bottle isn't exactly super exciting, life-changing stuff, but seeing as water is pretty essential to my health (and everyone else's), I suppose that this is something that I truly "can't live without", and the fact that it comes in lots of fun colors just helps to make drinking copious amounts of H2O a little more fun!

This post is part of a link up with Steph, Cait, and Laura!

Don't forget to check back on Saturday for this week's Swoon Worthy post!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our Weekend

It seems to be par for the course lately, that I'm a little behind on recapping our weekend.

As much as I wish this was a post all about our relaxing, leisurely paced days together, spent enjoying each other's company, the reality is, that this weekend was full of lots more packing, cleaning, and purging, with a dash of Trader Joe's and Target somewhere in the middle.

The official date of our move is creeping up really quickly, and we have a little less than 2 weeks before we are off to New York... Which doesn't seem like nearly enough time to accomplish all of the things on our list... So I'm keeping it short and sweet, and recapping our completely unglamorous few days in photos!

And now back to the chaos! Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Swoon Worthy

You guys, stuff is getting real, real quick around here.  The movers were here this week, doing their walk-thru/giving us an estimate of just how much it's going to cost to pack up our entire house and ship it off to New York.  Mike was up there this week for meetings, and had the chance to do a bit more exploring, and from what he had to say, I'm getting pretty excited about our future home...

With that being said, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to the fact that I'm also suffering from some pretty extreme anxiety over leaving our current home.  After the movers left, I started thinking about what it would be like in a few weeks, to see this house completely empty... stripped of everything we have put into it, to make it our home, over the last seven years, and I have to say that the thought had me feeling really emotional.

I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize, and I know that in a few weeks I'll be so consumed with unpacking/decorating our new house that I will have little time to be sad about what we are leaving behind, but it will be an adjustment to say the least.  

As I mentioned before, taking the time to sit down and write these blog posts is actually pretty cathartic.  It gives me some time to focus on something other than all of my (many) feelings about our impending move. So, with that, let's move on to the lighter much more upbeat stuff.  Here's what I am swooning over this week...

1. Starbucks went and turned my favorite dessert into a beverage, so naturally after my run yesterday, I had to treat myself, and try the mini version of this  new Frappuccino.

2.  I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the adult romper fad, but they look super comfortable, and I'm considering taking this one for a test drive.

3.  How cute are these little dishes?  I kind of feel like I have to have them!

4.  I love it when I find shoes that Max can a) put on himself, and b) can easily be cleaned with a quick wipe down, so I'm kind of feeling these cool kicks!

5.  I've already raved about my love for boyfriend style jeans, but now these shorts are calling my name!

6.  I'm kind of dying over the thought of Ella rocking this little hat at the beach this summer.

7.  It's just too hard to select one thing from this shop that I love... If I could, I would take one of everything!

8.  I am seriously considering making these breakfast cookies this weekend!

9.  I'm totally digging this adorable tote as a summer bag!

10.  I'm pretty sure adding fruit to your wine erases the guilt factor, so basically, this sangria is almost like drinking a smoothie!

Cheers to the weekend friends, hope it's a good one!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Can't Live Without It

Ladies, it's here... The time of year when the warm weather comes along and suddenly forces us to bare our pasty white skin, before we are really and truly prepared to do so!

This week's "Can't Live Without Post" is dedicated to a product I honestly cannot live without... Jergen's Natural Glow lotion... Both their Daily Moisturizer for the body and for the face!

I love this stuff, because when you apply it daily, it gives you a lightly sun kissed glow, rather than the orange-y Oompa Loompa-like complexion you might end up with after using other self-tanning lotions.

It's tinted just enough to make you feel less self conscious about your pale legs, and more confident when rocking that sweet sundress for the first time this season! Also worth noting, it doesn't have that funky scent that other tinted lotions have, and it leaves your skin feeling silky soft!

This post is part of a link up with Stephanie, Cait, and Laura... Head on over to these lady's blogs to see what items they can't live without!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day In Photos

Seeing as I'm knee deep in boxes and junk piles of things that are on their way to be donated, I thought I'd recap my Mother's Day weekend in photos. 

We spent the day at a local (kid friendly) winery, so as you can imagine, I was in my happy place.

Really and truly though, as tough as motherhood can be at times, I feel so blessed to be Max and Ella's mommy. God has certainly been good to me, and a getting to spend a beautiful day with my babes and my handsome husband was by far this mama's favorite gift.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Swoon Worthy: Mother's Day Edition

For all of you last minute shoppers out there (and most likely my husband), I thought I would dedicate this week's Swoon Worthy post to some of my favorite finds for mom... Or any of the deserving ladies in your life! 

I know I'd be thrilled to receive any of these items, but let's face it, at this point I'd be elated over a solo trip to Target!

Now I'll be honest, I think a few of these gifts are a little over the top (Starbucks gift card, I'm talking about you), but most of them are budget friendly items that are sure to please the women in your life who does it all and never asks for anything in return...

Lastly, if you just so happen to be planning a little Mother's Day brunch like we are, I love this mimosa bar idea!  Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Can't Live Without It

I am completely aware that this week's "can't live without it" item might have many of you thinking that I sound a bit like a 90 year-old lady, but bear with me for a minute and hear me out, okay?

As much as I adore my baby bag, I just couldn't handle the thought of lugging that massive thing around forever. Convenient, yes. Cumbersome, double yes. On top of that issue, I am a self-proclaimed bag lady, as in I love to switch things up from handbag to handbag, and I especially adore a good tote!

But... Here's what I can't stand... Digging, and digging through my mess of an oversized bag to find my breath mints that just so happen to be way at the bottom of said purse, along with a handful of long lost puffs from God only knows when!

Enter this fabulous, and in my opinion, life saving purse organizer. Yup, I went there and got all OCD, handbag style, on you guys.

Seriously though, now that I own this handy device, I seem to have a little compartment for all of the items that I need to have at my fingertips on the fly. Throw in a few diapers, some wipes and snacks, along with an additional pouch full of lip balms that even a hoarder would be impressed by, and I'm good to go!

{organizer | lilly for target, sold out | tory burch make up case, similar | downing tote}

Linking up with Stephanie, Caitlin, and Laura!

Home is....

I've been wanting to share a HUGE announcement with all of you for quite some time now, but I'm a firm believer in making sure that details are 100% official before I begin spreading the word like the Town Crier announced the arrival of the 2nd royal baby... (I loved that guy, by the way!)

 So... Here it goes... Our family is picking up everything, and moving to New York... 

In a month!!!

Mike was offered a great opportunity with his company here in Pennsylvania, to manage a job out of state for the next couple of years, and it was an offer we really just couldn't refuse. So over the next couple of weeks, we are literally packing up our entire house, putting it on the market, and heading north.

Naturally, I have crazy mixed feelings about all of this.

I am excited about our new house, thrilled that I will be within driving distance of my family and friends in Maine for awhile, and psyched about the area where we will be living....

But, I am anxious about the changes and fearful of the unknown. I am sad for Mike and I, and our kids, to have to leave our wonderful family and friends here, and to leave everything that is familiar to us, especially to go somewhere where we will literally know no one.

And... Even though I'm aware of the fact that a house is just a dwelling, and that a home is wherever loved ones are together,  my heart still aches over having to say goodbye to our first family home.

I keep hearing the saying, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" on repeat in my head when I think about leaving this place. We purchased our house 7.5 years ago, before we were even engaged. It is where Mike and I finally planted our roots together, after several moves, and this is where we started our little family.

A true fixer upper, we have put so much work into this house over the last several years, in an effort to make it our own. 

I have cursed and complained about so many things in this quirky little old place, but at the end of the day, it is where we owned our first dog together, (our beloved basset hound, Homer, who we sadly had to put down last summer, far too early), and it is the house that I have brought both of my babies home to... Where I have rocked them to sleep and tucked them in at night, where we have sat around the dinner table together night after night, where M&E have reached many of their first milestones, and where we have celebrated holidays and birthdays together with our family and close friends... And now, just when we've finally made this house look so closely to how we wanted it to all along, it is time to say goodbye.

The whole thing is bittersweet really, but I know that God has big plans for us, so I am putting my faith in him and his timing, and I know that everything will work out just as it is supposed to. It helps that I find comfort in knowing, that for all of the new and exciting things that are about to be thrown our way, we will endure them together, as a family. We have many wonderful memories here, but I feel confident that we will continue to make beautiful memories in New York as well... This is just a new chapter for us.

So, my apologies for slacking on blog posts and for keeping things somewhat secretive, but it has been a bit hectic around here lately, as you can probably imagine.

Now that the cat's out of the bag, I'm hoping to share some glimpses of our current home, as we prepare to say goodbye to it, and of course plan on sharing pieces of our new home as well, once we get there and get settled.

By all means, if any of you have any tips on moving, particularly with children, feel free to send them my way. I need all of the help I can get. We are hiring movers, but preparing a house to be put on the market with 2 kids running around is no joke, so I see a lot of Venti iced lattes coming my way over the next several weeks.

I'll plan on continuing to blog as much as I can through all of this, when I can actually make the time to sit down at my computer and write... it actually feels kind of therapeutic when I do, but if I seem a bit absent at times, at least now you will understand why.

As always, thank you for following along, and thank you for all of your support of this little creative space of mine.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Our Weekend

These last few days have been a bit of a wild ride in comparison to our usually uneventful weekends.

My husband ran his first full marathon this past Sunday, and to say I was proud of him, would be a huge understatement. Tracking his race as he hit certain mile points, and watching him cross the finish line, had me in total awe of his determination and I felt so inspired as I watched his dedication and hard work play out on the race course.

ran my first (and only, at this point) marathon back in 2010, so it felt so awesome to be able to share in this experience along with him, while actually having some sense of understanding as to exactly how challenging running 26.2 miles can be. 

I have to say that watching him has left me feeling motivated to possibly train for a half marathon in the near future. I'm not committing to anything just yet, but the seed has definitely been planted in my mind!

Max had so much fun cheering for his Daddy, and for our friends who were also running.

While we waited near the finish line, we explored the marathon festival and some of Pittsburgh's great landmarks.

Once we finally got Mike home and set up on the couch for some much needed, and totally earned R&R, Ella and I set off for the store to pick up everything we needed to take care of our favorite guy.

Today we got a special treat, when Mike decided to take a day off to recover... And since I like to hit up the grocery store no less than 5 times a week (insert sarcasm), we headed back out to get everything we neglected to purchase yesterday!

Thanks to the great weather we've been having lately, we managed to fit in lots of play time outside too, and of course indulged in some ice cream and "sphrinkles"!

Cheers to the week ahead!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Swoon Worthy

It's been one heck of a week around here friends.  I must apologize for skipping out on last week's "Swoon Worthy" and "What's for Dinner" posts, but we had a big celebration going on, seeing as a certain little lady recently turned one (more about that here)!

Since then, it's been one thing after another... spring colds, teething babes, dealing with a toddler who refuses to be potty trained, marathon preparations for my husband, oh, and a few other HUGE things, that I promise (I swear, I really do) to share with you all in the upcoming week.

Needless to say, we've been just a tiny bit busy... but I'm back, so enough with the rambling, let's get down to business.

Here's what I am currently swooning over...

1.  This maxi dress!  Maxi dresses are such an obsession for me. I bought this one to wear for Ella's garden-themed party, and it is seriously so beautiful and so comfortable.

2.  I'm a huge Katie Lee fan, and a cookbook collector to a fault, naturally this new release is on my must-have list.

3.  Max has really been into Mike and I telling him stories lately, rather than reading to him from books, which he prefers to do on his own (hello threenager!). I think these cards are such a fun find and something he would really enjoy.

4.  Not that Ella is lacking in footwear, but these little sandals are just too cute to pass up.

5.  Something to Snack On strikes again!  I literally drool over all of her fabulously foodie posts, and these meatballs are no exception!

6.  Mother's Day is next weekend people... If you're looking for cute handmade gifts to make with your little ones, here is some inspiration!

7.  You guys... I kind of feel like I might need this mug in my life!

8.  Now that it is May, I am officially on the hunt for a cute one-piece swimsuit (that doesn't scream, "I had 2 babies in 2 years") and a cover up... these are a couple of the ones I've been eyeing. 

9.  In lieu of a real pet, I wonder what M&E might think of one of these.

10.  I pretty much love everything that Oh Joy does, so naturally, this book is another addition to my list of must-haves.

Okay, we're off to make fun signs and get ready to cheer our favorite guy on tomorrow, as he runs his first marathon!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
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