Monday, May 4, 2020

Scenes from the Weekend


Finally... the sun came out in Connecticut after a rainy and cloudy week. On Sunday we worked on our planters and window boxes. Last fall we replanted the center boxwood shrubs into the backyard and dug them up to use again. (Obviously by "we" I mean Ted.) No excuse this spring not to water them daily in the morning, since we are both home. Hoping the ivy and petunias grow and cascade out of the boxes.


I think this was the only few minutes that Chase sat still all weekend. Glad I have a shot of him in these sunglasses before they inevitably go missing. 

Dress: Polo Ralph Lauren (old ~ check out Poshmark and eBay for similar styles). 
Headband: Bari Lynn (sold locally at Egg). 
Gardening Gloves & Tools: Little Pals


Moments before Chase was covered in dirt. Ted told me to get used to it.... ha. 

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sephora Favorites



I have cut back significantly on shopping for myself during quarantine... sneakers, sweats and skincare have made the cut. Can't say I have used any makeup other than CC Cream lately, but I'm focusing on my skincare regime now and trying to combat the toll stress has taken on my skin. The Sephora Spring sale is on... one of the most popular beauty sales. It's been a hot topic on Zoom calls lately, so rounded up my favorites and you can always save for later.

Not all of the  products I use are available at Sephora ... so more beauty posts to come.

SKINCARE
KATE SOMERVILLE ExfoliKate Intensive Pore Exfoliating Treatment 1x a week exfoliator... I haven't used this in a couple years but the quarantine is clogging my pores!
DRUNK ELEPHANT Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Hands down my favorite cleanser... I was immediately hooked.
DRUNK ELEPHANT Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer I tried this last year to replace some Beautycounter products and loved it... light and great pump dispenser.
SEPHORA All Day Hydrator - Hydrate & Glow I got several samples of this and used it while I traveled last year... I thought it was Drunk Elephant by the packaging and was surprised to learn it was the Sephora brand. If I had never tried DE, I would order this.
ERNO LASZLO Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask Obsessed with these eye masks for a pick-me-up! They also would make great a great gift.
TATA HARPER Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask Year after year I go back to this mask. My skin always looks glowy after... was bummed that it was sold out but putting on my list in case you see it in a set! I love all Tata Harper products.

HAIR
HUM Hair Sweet Hair Growth - Vegan Gummies I started taking these consistently while I was working from home.
DRYBAR Detox Dry Shampoo Always in rotation - I switch up my dry shampoo pretty frequently but always come back to this one.
DYSON Supersonic Hair Dryer I wish I had never borrowed my friends... once I tried it I had to have it. It cuts drying time down significantly and is less damaging on your hair.

MAKEUP
TOO FACE Better Than Sex Mascara The best.
ANASTASIA DIPBROW Pomade & Brush #12 I have a pot that has lasted years. I use the medium brown shade.
OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Face Primer This is a new product that I have been using together with CC Cream, recommended by Lunchpails & Lipstick. It smells amazing and gives your foundation a dewy look.
IT COSMETICS CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ This is my official quarantine makeup... if I'm wearing anything it is this along with the primer.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation My shade is Sante Fe... it gives a flawless finish. I might wear during quarantine just to feel better about myself.
BEAUTYBLENDER beautyblender pro Saving when society opens for blending.
SEPHORA Contouring: Uncomplicated Brush Set I was searching high and low for a new brush set that wouldn't break the bank... this nailed it. When I'm regularly wearing makeup, I use 3/4 brushes daily.
NARS Bronzer Powder in Laguna No explanation needed.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop I have tried a few highlights and this one is amazing and the Champagne Pop is a universally flattering shade.
TARTE Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Peaceful & Paaarty Peacful is a soft nude peach shade and Paaarty is nude pink. Long time fan of both.
BUXOM Full-On Plumping Lip Cream Gloss in Mudslide My absolute favorite gloss... sadly sold out.
FRESH Sugar Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 15 in Petal Always in my bag.

JUST BECAUSE...
NEST New York Candles Great gift for Mother's Day. Sicilian Tangerine is amazing and Amalfi Lemon & Mint sounds devine.

Happy Shopping, beauties!



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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lexi's 4th Birthday


It's been a couple weeks since Lexi's 4th superhero themed birthday at home. We certainly weren't planning to celebrate under quarantine circumstances with just our little family.... I did everything I could think of to make it special with surprises throughout the day.


When I asked Lexi what kind of birthday she wanted to have back in January, she told me PJ Masks. I wasn't sure if that would still be her favorite show by April, so sold her on a pink and purple superhero theme. 




We decorated the kitchen for a special breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and had her superhero cape and accessories waiting for her. I absolutely love how her personalized cape turned out! I wasn't going to let the decor go to waste, ha.


A surprise balloon delivery from My Balloon Guy. It's still in the dining room, becoming a permanent fixture haha.


Lexi's rainbow layer explosion cake is from DiMare Pastry Shop. It was delicious!  The toppers were intended for her party cupcakes.





Each layer of frosting between the cake was a different color.. and sprinkles galore!


Thanks to family and friends for all the gifts to keep this little girl occupied while she is at home. She was thrilled with new toys, clothes and art supplies. A few friends even drove by to wish her a happy birthday and drop off gifts, which she loved.

Lexi missed having her grandparents to celebrate. We FaceTimed with Ted's parents and since mine are local they drove over. They stayed in the car while Lexi and Chase ran around in circles and watched them play. She loved seeing them, but it made me incredibly sad not to be able to give them a hug. Standing in the driveway 6-feet away while Lexi and I showed them the cake will be a long lasting Covid-19 memory. 


The big gift from Mom and Dad was a purple bike. It looks like Lexi is flying down the street with her cape in the wind... but she actually was screaming "Help! I can't move!" She's finally "getting the hang of it" as she says and enjoying her bike. 


A few thank yous to her friends for thinking of her on her 4th birthday. Dropping them off in mailboxes turned into a much needed activity to get out of the house. 

Happy 4th Birthday, Lexi, we love you to infinity and beyond!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Deconstructing Family Dinner with Hearth Wellness

Wild Cod Tacos

I'm excited to share an easy recipe for a family meal with you, courtesy of Hearth Wellness. Julie, the founder, is a certified Holistic Health Coach and is a wealth of knowledge for busy mamas like herself.

Personally, I have struggled with what to feed my kids since we passed the puree stage and it's even harder with two picky eaters. (Maybe it's because I can barely pick out or decide on what I should eat for dinner!) This meal is one you can make for yourself and deconstruct for each family member. If fish isn't for you, you can swap in a different protein.

Julie is a popular resource in my community but you don't have to be local for a coaching session. She offers a 30-Minute Virtual Kids Healthy Eating Consultation with her go-to tips, meal prep ideas for quick weeknight meals and her favorite healthy kids recipes. Convenient now wherever you are, given the times.



I know from following Julie on IG she is also a frequent Trader Joe's shopper. Personally, I love when people share their TJ hauls and show the packaging because it makes my shopping easier since it's my grocery store of choice. I was finally able to find all of the ingredients on my last weekly run. I went with frozen wild cod. First time I have tried this Chile Lime seasoning, yum!


Ted and I loved the tacos. Chase at least tried everything on his plate - which was a win for me. He had never tried black beans or cod before. Lexi didn't want to eat anything at first but ended up finishing most of her plate. She even asked for fish a few days later. See the recipe below!

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Despite being a decent cook, not everyone loves what I make for dinner! As a mom of two little ones, this is a reality that I have learned to accept. But, my goal is for all of us to sit down to a nice family meal a few times a week, and for several reasons, I want to avoid being a short order cook.

So, I come up with a meal idea and deconstruct a version of it for my kids! I’m in charge of making the decisions on what’s being served (and take into account their likes and dislikes), and then my kids then decide how much they’ll eat. This ensures they will always have something nutritious on their plates and builds an understanding about how dinner works and minimizes mealtime stress. It is also particularly useful in providing my kids’ exposure to new foods and an opportunity for us to show them what we like to eat!

Check out this recent fish taco meal, and how I break it down:

WILD COD TACOS

Ingredients: 
1-1.5 lbs wild caught cod filets (the thinner the better)
Quinoa and whole wheat tortillas (or similar)
Organic shredded Mexican cheese
Trader Joe’s organic shredded green and red cabbage (or chopped fresh)
1 can organic black beans, drained
1 avocado
1 large sweet potato, roasted
Organic avocado oil
Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning
Adobo seasoning (or cumin/paprika/chili powder also work well)

Main Dish
1. MEAL PREP: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and transfer to a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little avocado oil and massage to coat. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until caramelized on the edges and when you press on the top of the potatoes they have a little give. If prepped ahead, keep them covered in the fridge for up to three days.
2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with chili lime and adobo. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add some avocado oil. When pan is hot, add fish and don’t move it for about three minutes — this helps get a good browned crust! Flip filets and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat black beans in a small pot on the stove for about 5 minutes, being careful they don’t get too soft and break up. If needed, reheat the sweet potato with a little oil on a skillet.
4. Once fish is done cooking, carefully break it up using a fork, into small pieces. Pop the tortillas under the broiler for a minute or two, just until they warm up.
5. Divide fish among heated tortillas and top with cabbage, black beans, and avocado. Serve with a side of sliced sweet potatoes.

Kids' Meal Quesadillas 
1. Place a tortilla on a cutting board, and smear half of it with cooked sweet potato or avocado.
2. Top with shredded cheese and add additional toppings – in this case, I made one sweet potato black bean and one avocado, black bean. You can also add small pieces of the cooked fish in too!
3. Preheat a skillet with a little avocado oil. Fold the tortilla in half and place it on the skillet, cooking a few minutes each side, until the cheese is melted.
4. Serve with a side of fish and sweet potato or avocado. If your little one is just getting to know fish, keep the serving size small and place it next to something they love (in this case, avocado).


More Tips
All of the pieces of the meal don’t have to be the same! The goal is to get the kids used to the foods in the meal so that they can one day eat the same version as you (and you only have to cook one dinner!) If you only use one food from your version, that’s a good start!

You can easily switch out the proteins in this recipe (i.e. chicken, tofu, eggs)

Thank you, Julie, for sharing this recipe and tips!

Hearth Wellness
@hearthwellness


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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Blacklist


MZ Wallace Tote Large Sutton Tote (I also love Oliver Thomas version) $245
I have had my MZ Wallace tote for years... it's been used as a work bag, gym bag and baby bag!

These are the items in my winter wardrobe that are on repeat. Between November and February my wardrobe is basically all black.

my instagram stories

I wear my Spanx several times a week... especially in December when I basically gave up on pants with a button. They truly suck you in... and unfortunately make all other leggings feel loose in comparison.
UPDATE 2/5: These leggings have been a "top seller" and I feel it's important to disclose this to anyone that turns to me for a recommendation. Are Spanx faux leather leggings worth the price $98? While I have loved wearing my faux leather leggings, I am not happy with the quality. I own a few pairs now, and the sheen has only held up for one season while following washing instructions. Since writing this post, I have been in communication with Spanx customer service disputing the quality while following suggested care. For the price, I would expect the lifetime of the sheen to last longer. I hope to find an alternative brand and style for this look next season. Unfortunate because I love the Spanx brand! :(

FAQ: Are Golden Goose worth the price tag?  Sure, if you get your wear out of them... and only if they have glitter, leopard or a pop of something fun! If you're into the look and have the budget, go for them! I love the Intermix exclusives. I was on the fence for awhile, but have worn them constantly since the fall.


My favorite cut of the popular Dudley Stephens turtleneck is the cropped Park Slope. It fits my shorter frame best and versatile by adding longer shirts underneath. I also have the longer Cobble Hill version since it covers my bum in leggings for the office. I should note they are great for keeping up with babies and tots... the vero fleece washes well!

my instagram stories 

My latest purchase is this STIK beanie that I bought at the Darien Sports Shop. Feels like winter is just beginning in Connecticut! The style color is Blacklist... which inspired this post.


Last but not least... I finally caved and bought a pair of black leggings from Amazon, also known as the lululemon Align dupes. I went with this pair (includes the pocket, very important) since they are 7/8 length, 25" inseam, and I don't have to hem them (I'm 5'2"). As for sizing, I would recommend going down and several others I was messaging with over Instagram felt the same. The legs are comparable in thickness but I do prefer the waistband of the Aligns better. Regardless, I think for $25 they are worth adding into rotation for everyday wear and light workouts. I haven't washed them but heard they hold up well. Now I'm off to find a brushed/fleece lined pair for winter paddle. Suggestions welcome!

Happy almost weekend!
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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Disney on Ice


Last weekend Ted and I took Lexi (3.5) and Chase (16 months) to see Disney on Ice Celebrate Memories at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. We all had a great time! It was a last minute decision to go and I'm so glad we did!

I showed Lexi YouTube videos of similar shows leading up to the weekend, which got her very excited. Both she and Chase loved the show. Chase was clapping along and very engaged. I had several people ask me on Instagram if Lexi and Chase were the "right" age... definitely! I won't lie... will probably leave Chase home next year when he's 2 if he's anything like Lexi was at that age.

A few tips...
Leave plenty of time to park! It took us forever to park and longer to leave since we were far up in the garage. 
I wore Chase in a carrier to enter/exit the arena faster.
I wish I had packed my bag more efficiently... I found myself scrambling for things in a tight space.
The show is between 1.5-2 hours with an intermission. 


One of my favorite Disney movies from my childhood was Beauty and the Beast... so I especially loved Be Our Guest.


The highlight for Lexi was Elsa... no surprise! The show ended up with the crowd favorite (judging by costume) Frozen. If you are in Connecticut, there is an upcoming show in Hartford this month.

Upcoming Show Dates in NY, NH, CT, NJ & MA

January 9-12 // Dream Big // Uniondale, NY
January 9-12 // Celebrate Memories // Manchester, NH
January 16-20 // Celebrate Memories // Hartford, CT
January 16-20 // Dream Big // Newark, NJ
January 23-26 // Celebrate Memories // Buffalo, NY
February 19-23 // Road Trip Adventures // Boston, MA
March 26-29 // Worlds of Enchantment // Trenton, NJ



Show tickets c/o Disney On Ice

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Blue and White Monday: Holiday Tablescape

Wine Glasses: Juliska. Tablecloth: India Amory. Plates: Similar. Chairs: Bed Bath & Beyond

Happy New Year! Kicking off  2020 with my tablescape from the holidays. I used my grandmother's Canton reproduction dinnerware with my Juliska glassware. You can find a similar version of the plates sold at William Sonoma.


I probably sound like a broken record... but I have found that building a blue and white collection has been incredibly versatile for all of the seasons and holidays.  Just switch out the flowers or tablecloth.

Double Happiness Ginger Jar: similar.

You can find India Amory's block print tableclothes on her website as well as Orchard Mile. I love following her Instagram account and seeing how she and her devotees style. I am hoping that she brings back the blue bow design, now on my wishlist after seeing on my friend Social Dearest's holiday table.

Bar Cart: Society Social. Champagne Flutes: Juliska. Champagne Bucket: William Sonoma. Napkins: Lettermade

My bar cart is an extension of my tablescape ... always coordinating! Honestly I forget about these napkins every year and it's a pleasant surprise to pull them out of a drawer to use. You can find similar versions on Etsy (I particularly like this design).







Aerin ~ via Pinterest

I didn't have even seats for my table, so ordered these folding chairs and I love them! I have been eyeing them for awhile... love how this style looks around Aerin's table.

Thanks for stopping by!

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