Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favorites



Hello Friday and hello last day of September! It's crazy to think that tomorrow is October 1st! I guess that means it's time to bring out the Halloween decor! It's so funny how time just flies by when you want it to go by the slowest. October 1st brings a lot of emotions because it's my last month of maternity leave. The last month I'll get to spend 24/7 with my sweet girls. But honestly, I'm so fortunate enough to have had a husband who worked his butt off so I could be at home this long with the girls. And before I know it, Thanksgiving break will be here and I'll have a whole week to snuggle with my girls. Plus I went into work yesterday afternoon for a book study meeting and I got such a warm welcome from my coworkers. Oh and my boss asked if I could come back to work today. Sorry boss, mama needs one more month! 

Now that I've gone off on a tangent, it's time for my Friday Favorites! 

{one}
Ellie the Elephant
Ever see a stuffed animal for your baby and realize she HAS to have it? I came across this adorable elephant while on vacation in Buffalo and had to order it.  I was waiting until K was close to sitting up to pull it out and oh my goodness, just look at this sweetness.  Oh and I named her Ellie. 

{two}
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Raise your hand if you're a basic girl! I love me some pumpkin -- but I also realize I need to keep my love for pumpkin under control.  These cupcakes are so simple and don't require any icing.  All you need is a spice cake box mix, a can of pumpkin, and some chocolate chips! So tasty -- just mix the ingredients together, bake at 350 degrees until the toothpick comes out clean, and viola -- you have a pumpkin treat that isn't a zillion calories.  So go ahead and have two, I won't judge! 
{three}
Mom to the Rescue
My mom is coming into town next week and I am so unbelievably excited.  I will totally be spending this weekend getting the house ready for our special visitor, but I need my mama! She actually planned a great week to come visit -- my husband will be out of town for the week. Plus I have K's 6-mo well visit, a doctor's appointment for myself (yearly well-woman exam and to be quite honest, I'm dreading the appointment because it's a trip back to the hospital where I was treated for my postpartum emergencies and where I had so many doctors appointments as I recovered -- I know the doctor is going to ask how I'm doing and well, not a day goes by where I don't think about what happened), and parent-teacher conferences for Elizabeth's preschool. But other than those three appointments, I'm looking forward to just spending time with my mama! 
{four}
Kitchen Redesign
Sometimes my sweet babies nap at the same time and I'm so productive I feel like super mom.  Monday was one of those days where both girls felt the need to sleep forever, so I did some cleaning and rearranging in the kitchen and I'm now in love with my new space! I moved the microwave to the other side of the sink and that freed up a ton of space, so now I have a little coffee nook and a great place for all of my to-do lists.  Just look at this cute little space! 
{five}
Six Months
Six months you guys. My baby is SIX months! I'll have an update next week but this baby is seriously getting cuter by the second! 


I hope you have a great weekend. I have some fun posts planned for next week and don't forget to make sure you entered my Jord Watch giveaway! 



You can find the post about it here!
 
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Jord Wood Watch


Now that it's Fall, I've been all over the latest and greatest trends in fashion. I recently came across Jord Wood Watches and my attention was immediately grabbed by the beautiful designs and unique dimensions. I dropped the hint to my husband that I wanted one and that he should thank me for making his holiday shopping so easy. He then casually mentioned that he secretly loved the men's line of watches as well. 



Jord offers such deep and rich colors that are perfect for Fall. I was given the choice between three beautiful colors all in the Delmar series. I chose the Dark Sandalwood and Blue Carbon because I thought it matches all of the hues of autumn -- it arrived very quickly and I was pleased with the ease of ordering the right size that would fit my husband's wrist. 


The deep brown color screams Fall and pairs well with a variety of colors that range from the reds and oranges of the season to plaid and pattern prints. The Sandalwood that is used for this particular line comes from Africa and offers beautiful grains and textures. 

My husband is a casual dresser -- jeans and a button down shirt are his typical go-to for clothing. The color from the sandalwood matches perfectly and adds a bit of sophistication to what would usually be a casual look. 



Jord watches is offering one lucky reader a $75 credit on any unique watch of their choice. Anyone who enters will receive a $20 e-credit via email towards their purchase. This contest ends on October 23, 2016. 

Enter here

The men's line from Jord is absolutely gorgeous -- each watch is crafted beautifully from the most perfect wood from around the world. The various colors are stunning and capture the true beauty that nature has to offer. The watches are also very light, which is perfect for the early Fall heat that Florida is still encountering. 




This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches. I received this watch in exchange for a review but all of the opinions are my own. I ONLY recommend products that I truly believe in.

 
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Meal Plan Monday

 
 
Happy Monday! This past weekend flew by because I was so busy trying to catch up on housework. It's amazing what can be accomplished when my husband is there to play with our two girls! I managed to get almost my entire to-do list complete which included a TON of laundry. Wow do two kiddos create a ridiculous amount of laundry!
 
Since my husband was in town all weekend and will be in town at the end of this week (he's headed to Puerto Rico tomorrow until Wednesday evening), I made sure to meal plan so I don't end up eating peanut butter and jelly for dinner. 
 
I also included what we had for dinner this past weekend because hey, when I cook THREE nights in a row, that should be celebrated!
 
Saturday I made baked Parmesan crusted pork chops served with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed corn. So good. I don't know the last time I had pork chops that didn't involve applesauce! There really isn't a recipe -- just dredge pork chops in some olive oil, toss in a mixture of bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper, and then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. So tasty! Oh -- insider tip: once the pork chops are done, turn on the broiler, raise the rack in the oven, and broil for about 5 minutes. So crispy and so good! 
 
 

Sunday I made these Baked Buffalo Chicken Tacos. Oh. My. Goodness. Literally stop what you're doing now, write down the recipe, and go to the store. I followed the recipe perfectly (except maybe a tad less hot sauce) and it turned out amazing. You're welcome. 
 
 
Here's what the rest of my meal plan looks like for this week! 

 
Image from Cafe Delights
 

Tuesday -- Stuffed Peppers (I'm cheating, I have one already made in the freezer)

Wednesday -- Meatball Sliders
Image from Homemade Interest
 

 


What's on your meal plan for this week?
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites

Why hello there Friday! I'm looking forward to this weekend because my husband should be home which means I'll be able to be productive and get things done. Mad props to all the moms out there who excel at the naptime hustle because this mama over here is slacking in completing household chores. My husband came home last night to a mess and I ended up staying up late to catch up on all of the things I should have done during the week. Oops. 

I cannot believe it's my last Friday Favorites of September. I don't know about you guys, but I'm in utter disbelief that October begins next week. Crazy I'll tell you! 

Here's the latest and the greatest in my Friday Favorites...

{one}
Fall is Here
From one pumpkin spice lover to another, I'm so happy Fall is officially here. Although it's still crazy hot here in Tampa, I'm ready to begin decorating the house for Fall/Halloween, making comfort food (chili, chicken pot pie, and anything pumpkin), and watching football. Yep, that's right. I actually enjoy watching football. I mean anything to make excuses for halftime snacks, right? 
 

{two}
Personalized Jewelry
What is it about Instagram that just drains my bank account? Oh right -- adorable small business shops that just offer the cutest baby/toddler clothing and graphic tshirts for me. Last weekend I came across Call Me Mama Designs and I fell in love with her necklaces. This mama bird over here immediately ordered one that was personalized just for me. I chose a sterling silver necklace with two pearls -- one a light pink and one a darker pink -- each represents my little baby birds here at home! What's even more fabulous was how quickly I received the necklace -- I ordered on Saturday evening and by Wednesday afternoon, my necklace was at my doorstep. Go and check out Natalie's Instagram page -- you'll immediately fall in love! 
 

{three}
Katherine's Love for Food
My little Katherine has a slight obsession with her baby food. Like I literally cannot put the spoon into her mouth fast enough. So far she's had avocado, butternut squash, and peas. Her favorite so far? ALL THREE! I thought for sure she'd push the peas out of her mouth yesterday morning but nope, she just kept opening her mouth for more.  At one point, I think she grabbed my hand and brought the spoon to her mouth. I've been serving the puree with oatmeal and that's been her breakfast. Next week I'll start feeding her at breakfast and dinner.  On the menu for her? Green beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, and peaches! 

 That's all I have for you now -- check back on Monday for my Meal Plan Monday ideas! 
Have a fabulous weekend!

 

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Easy Weeknight Dinners

I'm all about easy dinners during the week -- I like to save the complicated recipes for the weekend.  I've been getting tired of our usual dinner rotation lately, so I spent the morning looking on Pinterest for some easy dinners and found a bunch that grabbed my attention. 
 
Head on over to my Easy Weeknight Dinners Pinterest board for some other ideas -- but here are three that I'll be planning for next week! 
 
 Recipe from Lil' Luna





 Recipe from Carlsbad Cravings
 
Recipe from Plain Chicken
 
What are your favorite easy weeknight dinners? 

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! 
 
This past weekend was fantastic -- I was able to have some time to myself, had a date night with my husband, and enjoy a Sunday morning at the Florida Aquarium. Normally we don't do a lot on the weekends because my husband typically just wants to stay home and be with the girls and I, but we mixed it up and made plans for Saturday evening and Sunday morning!
 
I kicked Saturday morning off myself with a trip to the hair salon. For months I've been wanting to color my hair but I just seemed to always chicken out. Well friends, I stuck with my appointment and a friend's sister did my hair -- omg, amazing! Other than doing blonde highlights once during my senior year of high school (what was I thinking...), this was my first time coloring my hair and I LOVE IT! We should have taken before and after pics, but here's the finished product! 
 
 
Isn't it just gorgeous!?!? Now if only it still looked that styled... That's something I need to work on! 
 
Saturday evening we had a date night -- I wanted to enjoy dinner outside on the beach, so we headed to Clearwater. We ended up at Crabby's Bar and Grill and it was exactly what I wanted -- we were right on the beach, had a perfect view of the sunset, and enjoyed a glass of wine. 
 


 
At dinner I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich -- just look at this deliciousness! It was amazing! 
 
 
Sunday morning we went to the aquarium since we are members. It was so busy -- lesson learned to maybe just go during the week. Luckily since we're members we didn't have to wait in the line to get in - we just flashed our pass and walked right on in! 
 


Sunday evening we relaxed -- until I realized that I had wanted to make a few batches of baby food puree. Luckily I have that routine down to a science so I quickly steamed some butternut squash, pureed in the blender, and then stuck in freezer. I know my little Katherine is going to love having some this morning! 



I'm off now to get ready for the day and then head on over to a friend's house to watch her sweet boy Bennett for a little bit!

 

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Favorites

 
 
Hello weekend! I am so incredibly happy it's the weekend. It was a tough week guys -- TOUGH. There were a few moments when I actually cried because I was just so overwhelmed. My sweet Katherine is fighting a cold and/or teething so she's been miserable unless she's being held.  Luckily my darling toddler Elizabeth has been a little angel all week -- minus a couple times where she had to spend five minutes in time out (Strict mama over here doesn't play!) Let's just say the days were LONG and the nights of sleep were SHORT!

Even though it was a challenging week, I'm soaking up these moments because in just a little bit over a month, I'll be back at work and totally missing my babies. Sigh. 

Since it's Friday, it's time for my Friday Favorites! 

{one}
homemade baby food
With Elizabeth, I made all of her baby food and it was something that I truly enjoyed. Since Katherine is close to being six months (say what!?!?!) and she was switched over from breast milk to formula (I'll share details on that in a post soon!), I decided it was time for her to start solids. Making baby food is truly a fun experience because I know exactly what is going into her little body. Everyone always thinks making baby food is a lot of work, but really it isn't! I just set aside a little time in the evenings once the girls are in bed. Look for a post about my tips for making baby food next week!
I think K likes avocado!
 

{two}
oatmeal cookie bites

Oh goodness. The girls and I were at Target earlier this week and I noticed that all of the Annie's snacks were on sale. As much as I'd like to say that I only give Elizabeth organic snacks, it's just not the truth. I do limit the "junk" she eats and when the organic stuff is on sale, I usually splurge and stock up. I tossed a box of the bunny fruit snacks in my cart and then noticed these Oatmeal Cookie Bites and they screamed BUY ME! Well guys.... I legit ate the entire bag. MYSELF. Elizabeth didn't get any! They are just so delicious -- I'll have to go run out to Target sometime before the sale ends to buy another bag. Or THREE. 

{three}
Le Pens
I'm a teacher, therefore I am obsessed with school and office supplies. I noticed that Groupon had a great deal on Le Pens last week and I had heard how wonderful these pens are. Guys -- they are AMAZING! They write beautifully and don't bleed through the pages on my Day Designer for Target planner. I know they also work for Emily Ley's Simplified Planner (which I used as my planner last year). If you are a planner girl, I suggest investing in these pens! You'll won't regret that decision at all! 
 
 
 I hope your weekend is a fun one friends! Catch up with you on Monday!
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fall Fashion Must Haves

I don't know about you, but I am so excited that fall is almost here! It may still be pretty warm here in sunny Florida, but I'm more than ready for a change in my wardrobe and accessories. In just about 7 weeks, my maternity leave will be ending, so I'm definitely in need of some new clothes for work and figured I'll spend this weekend doing some online shopping! :)
 
Below are my top 10 picks for an essential fall wardrobe! 
 
For over a year now, I've been loving the monogrammed handbags from Barrington Gifts. I recently had my heart set on a Kate Spade crossbody purse but then I came across this beauty. I love that it has so many options to personalize -- the pattern, the stripes, the monogram -- everything is just perfect! Plus I love all things monogrammed!  
 
 
I'm always cold when I'm in airconditioning, so I like to have a cardigan with me. This is a gorgeous one and I love the Lou and Grey line from Loft. It only comes in black, but it can certainly be paired with basically anything! I think it'll look great with jeans or with dress pants for work!  

 

Such a classy piece to add to your fall wardrobe. I love that it has a few color options, but I really think the grey pearl is beautiful. 
4. Heavy Knit Shift Dress - Old Navy
I've been loving black and white lately and this dress looks like it is so comfortable. It would be great for work or for running errands on the weekend! Old Navy sizes are sometimes way off, so I might have to go into the store for this one so I can try it on. 




This scarf will look gorgeous with a tshirt and jeans for casual Fridays at work -- it's got some beautiful colors which means lots of possibilities for colors to match with! 



Because even your coffee cup needs to be accessorized in fall! 



Graphic t-shirts = LOVE! This is a new one that hasn't quite been released yet but I think I need it once it is. Paired with jeans and a cute statement necklace, this t-shirt is perfect for a casual wardobe! 




Run! This one is currently on sale for $18! There's so much you can do with this t-shirt -- pair with a cardigan for work, pair with a cute statement necklace and jeans for a casual date night, oh the possibilities are endless!



Um, hello perfect shirt to wear with my Lularoe leggings! It's almost sold out because it's on clearance, but there's still some sizes left!



Jeans from Gap just fit me perfectly, so I don't mind spending a little bit more on them. These are so cute and would look great with a graphic tshirt and a pair of cute flats. 
 
 
 What are your fall fashion favorites this season!?!
 


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