Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fashion & Beauty

Mmmmmm it's THURSDAY!! This means that today is MY SPECIAL DAY! I am really truly over the top ridiculously excited for a little ME time.  Long. Over. Due. 

Anyway, I've started this post a gazillion times and never finished it.  I just love fashion and girlie things, so I wanted to share some of my faves.   I am still wearing a lot of basic tees and clothes aren't totally fitting quite yet, so I am all about the accessories.

I still obsess over this one's hair!  [ps. when does PLL start back up?! I'm dying to know about this Charlie character?]  

My hairdresser says those are def extensions, but I just can't wait til my hairs grow just a weeeee bit longer. Not that I have much time to do much with them, buuuut, it's so pretty!

And I really became fascinated with some pretty jewels.  I feel like my wardrobe is pretty basic as I'm still working on dropping the weight, but jewelry?  It lasts forever [the good stuff anyway] and it can dress up the most basic of things.

Enter my girl Amber  as a Stella and Dot Stylist.

I had a hard time deciding on which piece I wanted, but when I saw this Kaia pendant, I was in LOVE!

And the matching earrings…I die! They are a wee bit heavy, but I was fine wearing them one day.

Cheesy selfie--- I wore this on Easter Sunday.

I also found this beauty at Target--

The statement necklace…

And these two (BOGO 1/2) at Francesca's

This one is super light and so pretty!

I am a tad still a Bare Minerals obsessed.  I love this pinky blush I found in my purse that I hadn't used in a year--ha!  Maybelline lilac lip color for the win.

I even tried out some Jamberry nails.  To be honest, I don't love them…it's fun for a pop of color but doing my own nails in any fashion, does not really relax me.  It kind of stresses me out.  Plus, I can easily peel these off and that's just annoying. Fun to try though, but not something I'll do all the time.

For a good drugstore lotion--this smells so yummy! It takes awhile for it to soak into my skin, but totally worth it.  I hear the other products in the line are fab as well.

In other makeup news, I am finally going to try some Younique 3D mascara.  My eyelashes (along with my hair) have been falling out a ton because of postpartum.  I don't recall the eyelashes with Brooke, but I did lose a lot of hair.  It's a little alarming at the amount that is coming out, but I am sure it will even out soon.  

Any other new beauty supplies I should try?

Happy Thursday beautiful friends!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kiddos [Lately]

Crazy how I can go from zero to busy in such a quick time!! I am so happy to report that everyone here in the house is healthy and well--my allergies are a bit annoying--itchy eyes--but other than that, all is well!!  It's been really great these last few days and I want to make sure I capture some moments up on the blog!

This one.  Oh, he is just too much!

But these two?? Be still, my heart.  Brooke is really starting to become more and more interested in "brudder" and you can find them smiling, laughing, "talking", holding hands, rubbing feet…you name it, she's such a good big sister!

I tried him in the high chair--I cannot believe he is big enough.  We go tomorrow for his 4 month checkup!! Oh, my, goodness.

Mama D stopped by briefly before we headed out to dinner.  {and she loves them so much she'll be back Thursday so I can have some MOMMY TIME!! ahhh!! So excited and thankful!}

Unless he's hungry, tired, or needs a change, you will see lots of this.

Saturday we met my friend and her kids at a park.  They had so much fun, those little monkeys!

She taught Brooke how fun it was to run through dandelions and kick them!

Such a big girl…

My little baby boy!

She was trying to get him to hold one of his toys.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, and after an early sushi dinner we came home to enjoy the sun.   Joe and Brooke had a ball with the water gun!

He's not totally ready for the doorway jumper, but he loved sitting in it and looking around.  His little arms fall to the side though, so I had to be right here to help.

And tonight, Bradley fell asleep in his swing and Miss Brooke and I had some girl time.  We played and read stories…she loves her book Grandma made her.

And me? I'm doing really well.  I feel like I was sort of in a funk, and ya know what, I get that way every end of Winter--Spring.  I know so much has changed, for the better, and the changing of those seasons, to me, is the most dramatic! It's like we never go gradually from cool weather to slowly warming up, it's all of a sudden, BAM 30-80 degrees and I'm all like whoa.  Also, we now have two little kids; not just like small but baby small!! It's crazy and I have to stop and remind myself, pretty much every day, that I just need to enjoy it.  Breathe it in.  Let what is, be, and love my life where it's at.  Granted, I still need a break and totally appreciate my solo Target run the other night and again, I am sooooo looking forward to my "ME DAY" Thursday.  

Joe and I have had some great quality time too; we haven't gone out or anything, but just lots of good talks about our future and even had time to watch movies!  I'll shamelessly admit we totally watched 50 Shades and I may or may not be actually reading 50 Shades Darker.  We also just watched MockingJay and that ending had me at whaaaaaa. No fair.

Anyway, back to me...I'm turning a corner and really working on my spirituality, my understanding of all that is, and trying to find peace, calming and balance in my world.  Again, with a very active 2 year old and a 4 month old, that's pretty funny of me to even type, I'm literally laughing at myself, I know, but in all realness, I feel like I have begun a little journey…I've taken a left at a fork in a road, and I'm excited to see where it leads me.  More on that later, but for now, a sneak peak of some new purchases!

I hope you are all doing well….love and light to all!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Food 52 Genius Recipes {Book Review}

It's no secret that I love reading.  It's also quite obvious that I don't have a ton of free time on my hands, so when I do make the time to read, I want to make it count!!  Lately I have felt a little boring in the kitchen; I absolutely love to cook, but sometimes get overwhelmed by some of the daunting recipes that look amazing but have so many steps and/or ingredients.  When I saw this cookbook, I knew that I had to have it!! I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I am so darn glad that I did! I am currently making the front cover's recipe and let me tell you, it smells divine.  

I mean really, look at that pasta dish…

Oh, and the best part?  This book is full of delicious recipes that are simple.  I am a huge fan of cookbooks for so many reasons.  Sure, online is a great source, but just like curling up with a good romance novel, getting all cozied up with a cookbook really makes me happy.  I envision a big group of friends and family sitting down to a perfectly prepared dish that I've made, as food is most definitely one of my love languages.

When I received Food 52 Genius Recipes  in the mail, I immediately opened it right up, poured a cup of tea and couldn't wait to run my fingers through the pages.  The photographs {which are KEY for me to want to cook something!} are absolutely beautiful and each recipe is easily stated and a short snippet about the dish as well.   It explains why and how to do things in each recipe, and I have found myself nodding my head several times at a new trick to try!

From meatless dishes, to scrumptious breakfast ideas, and even desserts, this book has it all.  Sometimes I feel like a cookbook has so much in it, I don't even know where to start.  Well, in this case it was a no brainer, as my husband even saw the cover and said, "I want that now!"  I prepared the front cover pasta dish last night and my husband is Italian, so I am always seeking his approval for pasta dishes.  This was no exception; as simple as the ingredient list was, he went back for seconds and even said, "This is a make again, for sure!"  I call that winning.

I think sometimes even the best cooks can get a little over-worked or even bored.  I know that having two little kids 2 and under has made my kitchen time a bit frazzled, and I am always looking for simple but good meals to try.  My mouth is literally watering as I flip through the pages collecting inspiration from this gorgeous cookbook.  Not only does is serve as a tool in my kitchen to whip up fantastic meal for my family, but it is also such a pretty book to display in my home.  I appreciate both the artistic photographs and the written recipes so much.

If you are a lover of cooking or know someone who is, this for sure a kitchen staple.  I cannot wait to try more of these recipes in my kitchen. It has brought some joy back into the mundane chore of cooking.

One of my fellow blogging friends told me about this wonderful opportunity to become involved with Blogging for Books.  This is my first review of a book and I am so happy with my choice!

*Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  All of the opinions are honest and are my own.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day {blessings, love, beauty}

Hello beautiful friends…I have gotten sick!! I really thought I had escaped it, but alas, it came for me.  Last Tuesday I started feeling ill: body aches, fever/chills…I rested, slept 9:30-5:30 and thought I was getting better!! Thursday I even enjoyed a Corona.

Thank goodness Brookie and Daddy are super connected and have such a wonderful relationship.  She has spent all of his time home, making him work haha!

Her first "bike"!

And then Friday, it hit me again, HARD.  I can feel the tightness in my chest and continue to cough, ears plugged, and am taking tylenol.  I think I have blown my nose so many times, it feels like I have broken it!! Crazy how sore it is. Between my terrible allergies and this icky sickies, it has been a rough few days--especially since the weather has been unbelievable and all we want to do is play outside!  I mustered up as much energy as I could to let her play a bit...

Either way, "This too shall pass" and I am trying so very hard to not be mean to myself…as I have not kept up with my blogging, the laundry, or even cooking good meals.  But it has allowed me to spend a lot of time just "being" with my children.  Cuddling on couches, resting, laying on the floor.  And maybe it was someone's way of telling me to S-L-O-W down and do this more often.  At least that is what the silver lining is telling me from all of this.  I feel better, but am no where near my normal perky, super productive, happy go lucky self.  And that is okay.  I will be there soon….

He was super clingy Saturday.  I didn't mind.

Sunday brought Mother's Day: My almost 4 month old in a 9 month outfit.

One of my favorite plants that comes up each year!

Our lilacs are in full bloom and smell heavenly.

Joe and Brooke picked me out some beautiful hanging baskets!

These are my favorites!

He also took her out back while I tidied up the dishes.  Yes, I did dishes on Mother's Day.  I actually did a lot of them and changed many diapers…mommies don't get days off.  And that's okay.  One day my Mother's Day won't have little bums to wipe and messes to clean.  I can't even think of that right now.

She was being a little crabby for him and captured it…little drama queen.

My sister and brother in law stopped by unexpectedly and it was so nice to see them!

While Brooke napped, I sipped a little vino, read some of this enlightening book and actually fell asleep in the sunshine.  It was glorious.

My Mother's Day Car {{yes that is chocolate from a little 2 year old's fingers}}

I thought it was so sweet Joe picked the fox out because of baby boy's "theme" and a fox has really come to us with him…love it.

It was such a gorgeous day, nice and warm with a little breeze.

And then it rained  little bit and she just loved dancing around in it.

Joe grilled chicken wings for dinner and grabbed this for dessert.

My Mother's Day was perfect and I couldn't have asked for a better day with my sweet family. 

My mother has taught me how to be an incredible stay at home mom.  I have so many happy memories of singing Winnie the Pooh, finger painting, playing outside in the sandbox and just roaming around in our backyard.  She was always there, watching us three girls.  When I recently read an article about 70s/80s moms and how hands off they were, a chord struck in me and I remembered how nice that was.  I never once felt alone, scared or like my mom wasn't doing something good enough for us--she allowed us to think and use our imaginations.  Granted, we didn't have things like internet or cell phones/ipads, but we had tv and sure I had my favorite cartoons and such, but nothing replaced the ability to create stories with my stuffed animals, playing house, or just running around and letting off some energy!  I needed that reminder, and that although times are different, I want my kids to have that same experience of being kid.  Sticky popsicle lips, dirty grass-stained feet, and being so tired they may even fall asleep before the summer sun sets.  It's so funny how life comes full circle when you have kids of your own, so thank you mom.  My mom was never a helicopter mom, and I love her for that!

My step-mom has taught me to love and accept others as part of your family and that blood doesn't always mean family.  She's allowed me to know that while my parents may be part, she will be there to take care of my dad and that he's happy and not alone.  In the last year alone, I have learned how hard (yet important) it will be to one day say goodbye to my son as he ventures off to find himself and become his own person.  She has always shown my babies so much love and they just love having fun with their Nana.  It is something I am very grateful for!  I know that she will make an impact in their lives for years to come.

My mother in law has taught me how important it is to be close with my future daughter-in-law (and son-in-law) some day.  She was there for me when I was completely losing my mind from lack of sleep with Mr. B and I cannot tell you how much her saving grace meant to me!  Food is definitely one of my love languages, in so many ways.  Any time someone offers my family a meal, I just find that so thoughtful and one of the best things…as a full time momma what I am going to feed my family is on my mind 24/7 and to not have to think about one meal = PURE BLISS.   I am so grateful for my mother in law's amazing Italian cooking and I know she will teach my children some of her incredible recipes.  I also know that her love of gardening will be passed to Brooke, as she already loves digging in her dirt piles with a plastic shovel.

And my children, my sweet, young, innocent babies who have made me a momma.  Thank you.  Thank you for pushing me, giving me a greater reason other than myself and making me want to be better each day.  I sometimes feel absolutely exhausted---deep down into my bones tired---and I know it is because I know how much you both need me.  I know that there is no one in the whole world like your mother.  I am the one you will need for the rest of your life.  So for now, the problems you have a fixable and easy [[thank you God]] A hungry tummy can be fed.  A little boo boo can take a bandaid.  A fussy cry can be simply burped away.  A worry of where "racket/red cat" aka BLANKET can easily be found.  And although these demands pile high, much like my laundry, they are nothing in the scheme of real problems some families face, and for that I am so very thankful.

Happy Mother's Day.