Monday, December 7, 2020

Gift Guide: Toddler Boys Age 2-3

(and this Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage as a "big" gift if you can find it!)

Thanks to everyone on IG for helping me make this list! I was looking for a "big" gift for Chase and definitely identified some popular choices and themes thanks to you. After all of the feedback paired with my research, I decided to get Chase the Paw Patrol Tower and Cat Ride on. I can't wait for him to wake up on Christmas morning to play with them!

Many of the suggestions we already have for Chase and big sis, so I can personally vouch that they would be great for your littles around this age. The front runner was a scooter, which we have and love. It was our "big" gift for Lexi a few years ago at this age. Lexi and Chase both get a lot of play out of our kitchen and food items (the ice cream has been a hit), Magnatiles and the tool set.

Not pictured.... train tables were also popular by boy moms (Thomas highly recommend) so we need to make some room for one in our basement. Kitchens, slides and coaster were other suggestions. KiwiCo, a subscription-based project box, was another great gift idea. 

Be on the lookout for German made Bruder trucks at Home Goods.

Always with truck in hand :)

Happy shopping!


Monday, November 16, 2020

November Edit: A few of my favorite things!


Santa, can you hear me?
One of my most worn sweaters this fall at a great price point.
This top is currently 45% off and also comes in Black Watch ... I couldn't decide so got them both!
My most worn face mask... the elastic is strung with pearls. I get asked about it all the time. 
Ted recently made whiskey sours and asked if we had these... seemed like a great reason to add them to the ever growing Juliska collection. (If you're local to me, you probably have heard the news that Juliska is moving their stores from Stamford to Charleston. I'm so bummed.)
Versatile print for all seasons and upcoming holidays.
This salt is one of my favorite things of 2020. One of my besties seasoned grape tomatoes with it as an appetizer and I was immediately hooked. I don't even really like tomatoes and now eat them all the time. I also love on mozzarella. 
"What is this seasoning?"
"My MIL bought it... it's from Nantucket...I don't know if you're going to be able to find it..."
 Thank God for Amazon!
My friend in LA texted me that they were limiting these cups to 2 per customer... so naturally we both had to buy them since they're flying off the shelves.
I'm a sucker for patchwork. I discovered this crossbody from a local boutique, Palmer & Purchase, that you can also shop online. It's the perfect size for your essentials and when I'm out with my kids it fits into a large tote.
The current "it" boot... I didn't think I was going to get combat boots until I fell in love with these!
I post about this candle every year on Instagram. One of my best friends is a fragrance chemist and tipped me off to this bargain candle. It's a must for the holidays and on sale frequently. Insider info!
I can't wait to start trying some of these new recipes.
These blankets are $10 and with promotions go down to $5! Would be great to have a bunch and drape over chairs for your guests while entertaining outdoors this fall and winter.
No explanation needed... classic. 
An unexpected gift for the host... especially for all those outdoor firepit parties to come this winter. 
Year after year this sells out at Tarjay. I have mine hanging on my bar cart with a navy velvet ribbon.
On my wishlist! 
The best ornament I've seen so far this year.
I bought a set of these frames while locked down at home... they took months to arrive but worth the wait. Now I need to print my family photos from Karen Morneau Photography to put in them!
I found these bags at Bespoke in Westport a couple years ago... now a staple for gift giving. This navy "Cheers" version is my favorite and you can switch it up for the occasion with a different ribbon.
Good luck deciding.... so many great designs. 
Beautiful work and so many options (I have used this shop for my pillow shams). There is also this tissue box cover with several embroidered monograms to choose from. 
No need for a bottle bag... amazing branding just as great as the wine.
Beautiful block print designs. I love an India Amory tablescape!



Monday, October 26, 2020

My Favorite Hair Products 2020

No one asked, but here they are. My top hair care products... many tried and true that I have been using for YEARS!

For my fellow "blondes" - I use this shampoo once a week to keep my color bright and cut any brassiness - I have tried several purple shampoos and this has been the most effective. The downside is that it is very drying.... so on the days I use this I will leave my conditioner in longer and make sure I let my hair air dry as long as I can before using any heat. Whenever I stop using it, there is a notable difference when I'm due for color. (This was recommended to me by Erin Coyle - balayage extraordinaire and owner of Hair Canvas in Milford, CT.)

Honestly I don't know how I lived without this. If I could only have one hair tool, this is it.  I try to let my hair air dry for as long as possible - I don't recommend using it on really wet hair (a tip that several people shared with me on IG). I also use it when my hair needs a refresh after a non-washing day, and it brings it back to life. My only complaint is that it does get really hot - so I will take a break occasionally and use my Dyson dryer, which I find the least damaging of all dryers. It's just more work because I have to use a round brush, etc. Jump down to #10 for more!

Before I discovered the Revlon tool, I would use these curlers to add volume and smooth out my hair. I still occasionally use these when my hair is feeling flat, or I'm taking a break from the Revlon dryer. I've been using rollers since I was little, thanks to my mom. 

4. Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo & Conditioner
Worth. The. Spluge. I have several favorites when it comes to shampoo and conditioners, and often rotate, but will always come back to this set. I love how Oribe products smell... my bff is a fragrance chemist and got me unexpectedly got me hooked on the perfume.

If I'm not using #8, it's this. 

I have been using this spray forever (college) before my straightener..  way too many years to count because it was a favorite of my longtime stylist, Nicole Marie Salon in Southbury, CT. Love how it smells too. I can typically find it at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. 

I have a few favorite dry shampoos... but if I could only choose one it would be this.

I've been using a teeny tiny amount of this before blow drying...  I can't believe how it's almost transformed my hair. Just give me all of the Olaplex products, please!

Noted they are ridiculously expensive and I really want a full size someday.... this is a test to see if Ted ever reads my posts. They say these last forever, though! The boar bristles keep your hair smooth and shiny. Always in my bag... 10+ years and counting. (PS - Wait for Anthro to have a 20% off sale to purchase this one...)

After using my friend's on a trip, I was hooked. I couldn't not get it. Sometimes I wish I never even tried it, ha. You can save by purchasing a refurbished one (12 month warranty) from an authorized dealer.  I would love to hear from anyone that has tried the Dyson Styler and how it compares to the Revlon tool.

Minimal creasing in my experience. 

OG. Notably missing from this list was my straightener, I had to go back and add it. I have been Chi loyalist since college. I have a dual voltage so that I can travel internationally with it anywhere (remember those days...).

Lastly... I forgot to number the cheap clips. I have tried some fancy ones, but nothing beats a basic butterfly clip  IMO!

Mask: Lele Sadoughi. Sweatshirt: Dudley Stephens.
Fresh blonde from Nicole Marie Salon in Southbury, CT. #nofilter


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Lexi and Chase's Style File: Toddler Jackets

Toddler Jersey-Lined Raincoat $25 (Regularly $49.95)

A top question that I get is where I shop for kids clothes... I get a lot of great deals at Gap (I also have their card, it's worth it!). It's harder as Lexi gets older to find unisex jackets to pass down to Chase, but this yellow rain jacket is a classic and I love the striped lining.

Toddler Sherpa Vest $22 (Regularly $44.95)

I also ordered Chase this vest. A similar style sold out last year and it took me awhile to find one in store. Patagonia vibes for better price.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Looking Back: Chase's First Birthday

We are approaching Chase's 2nd birthday (just a few weeks away!) and I realized that I never posted pictures from this little guy's first birthday celebration. It seems like yesterday he dug his little fingers in that Funfetti cake with Lexi right by his side. 

Love you, Mr. Chase!


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Beauty Edit

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty section at the SoNo Collection last week. The beauty deals can't be beat! For once I stuck to the plan... we'll see what happens. Below is what I came home with along with a few of my other favorite products that are part of the sale. There are also several sets and candles that make great gifts. The sale opens to all cardholders this Thursday and everyone next week. For those of you that are local, there are some great in store events coming up that I'll highlight next week. 

This is one of my favorite Nordstrom Anniversary Sale beauty items that I have bought for consecutive years. I keep this in our master bathroom and both Ted and I use it. It's such a great deal. When we run out I just can't justify the price so always wait for this sale. I've also bought the Jumbo Grapefruit Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser in the past for us to share. 

I have a few favorite dry shampoos... this one is always in rotation! I also love the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo that comes in this set in the sale along with another favorite product.

I absolutely love this scent. Recent studies have changed my stance on aluminum-based antiperspirants. I used this a long time ago and happy to have it back. I keep one in my bag for when I'm on the go.

Nécessaire Body Duo $35 ($50 value)

I've had several friends recommend this brand to me... so I am excited to give it a try. I typically don't buy many new things at this sale but this was a great deal. Appears to have already sold out online but maybe you'll have luck in store.

Happy shopping, beauties!


Friday, August 7, 2020

2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Activewear Edit

Happy Friday, friends! After I wrapped up work today I went to Nordstrom at the SoNo Collection in Norwalk for my first of many Anniversary Sale shopping trips. I always say I'm just going to get a few things...  and it escalates. Quickly. I'll take you along for the shopping ride over the next week.

The sale is currently open to certain Nordstrom cardholders ... you can get all the details here and when you can shop. I've been building up my wishlist online.


First things first: activewear. The only place I consistently go outside of my house is Pilates.... I hit the studio early in the morning and usually just keep my gear on while I work from home. And let's be honest, even if I don't workout it's what I'm wearing 99.9% of the time now. I have found that these items always sell out early... so get your hands on them while you can. Zella, Alo and Sweaty Betty were my highlights.

I came home with this zip up. Such a great staple for $49.90 ($89.00 after sale)! I have a similar style from lululemon and it's time for a replacement.

I went back and forth on this one but ultimately decided on the black zip up because of the pockets. However, I loveeee this color and if you are a runner it would be perfect for the elements and it has a fold away hood. Zella leggings always sell out at these sales. There are some great patterns this year.

Decisions, decisions. I would have come home with these if they had my size, so will be ordering online. The side pocket for my phone is a must have for me! I almost don't think I can buy a pair without one now.

This cropped tank is another great basic to pair with high waist leggings that comes in several colors for $24.90 ($39.00 after sale).

This sweatshirt was so cozy and I love the blue shade. I could see myself living in this all fall and winter.

I was wearing my Nike 270s today... they are so comfortable. Major restraint not getting this new color today, part of the sale. They would be perfect for fall!

Nike 270s as seen on Olivia Palermo, for some style inspo! She has been spotted in several different colorways. Get this look with a Dudley Stephens fleece turtleneckjoggers from the NSale, and neoprene tote

Sizing between brands (I'm 5'2"):
lululemon: leggings 4/tops 6, 7/8 it about full length
Zella: leggings S/tops S
Sweaty Betty: leggings XS/tops S

My activewear picks:

Would love to hear what you're eyeing for the sale. More to come!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

National Backpack Day

Backpacks: Lands' End Small Classmate Backpack. Sandals: Target Girls & Boys.

Today is National Backpack Day. Land's End sent us these cute backpacks to use for the upcoming school year. Chase will be joining his big sis at preschool! They are both wearing the small classmate size - I love the adjustable chest strap feature.

Today all backpacks and lunchboxes at Lands' End are 60% off with code: BACKPACKDAY (through 7/21).

Have a great day!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Beach Days

Packing for the beach is a process... just listing everything out is exhausting! We are lucky to live close to the beach so I try to always have my bag ready to go for those sunny days or pizza dinners by the water. In a perfect scenario we just have to pack a cooler and load everything into the car. If only it was that simple.. we always forget something.

Have to love that the first thing on my list is the one thing we don't have have and need... love this color combo.
The chairs we have from Amazon are currently out of stock but will likely be back if you keep watch. I also have some beach chairs for the kids (Home Goods)... if I pack them they never sit in them and if I leave them at home they ask about them. 
Tall enough for a bottle of wine (4, to be exact). A recent purchase and it has already gotten so much use. There is a larger version available that also looks great. If you are local, you can find them at Palmer's.
I have a fold up blanket from Target and this was the closest match I could find. Anything to save room!
I have the LL Bean version, but love how this one has a side pocket. What's in there? Towels, sunscreen, baby power (to remove wet sand), hairbrush, diapers/wipes, wet/dry bag and change of clothes the the kids, dry snacks, paper plates/napkins/garbage bags and a spray bottle.
Sadly we lost Lexi's large shovel, I have to head to Party City to pick up a couple of these. It's been hard to find a replacement! 
Staple. I haven't had to replace our towels yet but these look like a great option. I also have these microfiber towels for the kids that pack up small. Personally I like a plush towel on my beach chair so bring both. 
A big hit with the toddlers and also keeps you cool. Win win. 
I woke up in the middle of the night to order the Vineyard Vines for Target wagon... if I hadn't purchased that this would be the one I would get! My best beach purchase.
You can never have enough beach toys. I have bought mine at Target, CVS, and Home Goods. 

Baby Bum Sunscreen Face Stick

La Roche-Posay Kids Sunscreen Lotion

These are my favorite sunscreens for the kids and I often use them also to make packing easier. 

The California Beach Co. Tent

Last year when Chase was under a year old, we used this tent at the beach. I bought it at the end of the summer for a trip - we knew we would be spending hours at the beach at a time. I was hesitant not knowing if I would use it in the future when he was older...  now it's in the backyard as a fort by both kids (almost 2, 4) and was definitely worth it. Love that the side opens up - you can keep them contained or open it up so they can come and go as they please.

One of the best tips I have learned is to use baby powder to remove wet sand. It absorbs the moisture and sand easily brushes off. (My friend Claire at Home With The Wileys also suggested a wide soft paint brush - great idea!)

Bring on the beach days!

Monday, June 29, 2020

At Home Raw Bar

Ted and I love seafood, especially a raw bar, so were excited to make our own at home with a delivery from Val's Ocean Pacific. We've been trying a lot more on our own at home since dining out with friends and family isn't quite back to normal. I covered our turkey platter with crushed ice since it was the largest serving dish I have. Otherwise, any large dish that has some depth would work.

While picking up condiments Ted found this tool at Whole Foods - you can buy on Amazon. Makes it a little easier to shuck than using just a cloth (so I observed).

As for the other prep, the crab was already cooked and arrived frozen so we just allowed it to thaw in the refrigerator. We thawed and cooked the shrimp earlier that day and allowed time to cool in the refrigerator before serving.

Trader Joe's seafood cocktail sauce is really tasty and happens to be low in sugar compared to others.

No room for the shrimp on the platter, I was pretty impressed with Ted's separate display. He knows I take my tablescapes seriously.

Val's Ocean Pacific is offering 10% off through 7/1 with code JULY4 and delivers to NYC, Westchester, Long Island, Northern New Jersey and Connecticut. See their website for details. 


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Scenes from the Cape

We are very fortunate to have family to visit at the beach on Cape Cod. With lighter traffic due to COVID-19, we are taking advantage of the open road and heading up more frequently. Here are a few of my favorite snaps from the weekend... many already shared on IG stories but with some additional commentary :)

We had a water table shipped directly to the Cape house.... nothing seems to entertain them more than this and a hose. This table is smaller than the one we have at home (Step 2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table) but worked out fine and was cheaper. I ordered it immediately after a friend told me water tables were selling out online. 

One piece: Vilebrequin (old - similar). 
Hat: Ralph Lauren. Rash guard: Target. Swim Trunk: Vilebrequin (old - similar).  

Tote: LL Bean. Sunglasses: Quay. Coverup: Poupette St. Barth (old - similar)

This picture of me is deceiving... I barely sit still at the beach and pretty sure that beer was spilled. The kids are always running off in different directions. My LL Bean tote back is the largest size and I love it for the beach. I'm going to do a round up of everything that we pack in an upcoming post. 

Sandals: Freedom Moses.

My friend bought these pool slides and told me how much she loved them. I've worn them just about every day since they arrived. I realize glitter is not for everyone (Lexi's style is rubbing off on me, someone asked if they were mine or hers) - they come in so many shades and patterns.

Mask: She la la.

This was the first mask that I ordered for Ted... I thought it was perfect for the summer haha. 

My dress: LoveShackFancy for Target. Sunglasses: Quay. Lexi's Dress: CPC Classic Prep Childswear. Headband: Wee Ones. Bracelets: Etsy. Chase's Shortall: CPC Classic Prep Childswear.

I woke up at 3AM to order this LoveShackFancy x Target dress on the launch day. At first I said I wasn't going to order anything.... but FOMO kicked in. They are sold out online but returns will start coming into the stores.

Wishful thinking that I would get a picture of the kids in their coordinating outfits .... maybe next time!

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