My Favorite Items to Stay Organized and Reduce Clutter

January 30, 2019
It seems like the world has been taken over by Marie Kondo and asking yourself if an item "sparks joy" for you. As someone who absolutely loves organization, I get the obsession, but this is less about de-cluttering and more about organizing some of my messier things! While I have started to toss things that are unused and don't serve a purpose, I've also found really great organization pieces to keep the mess looking tidy!
  • Gift Wrap Organizer || All those fun and beautiful gift wrapping rolls that I have are no longer under my bed, but instead they are neatly packed away in this gift wrap organizer, that can hold up to 25 rolls! 
  • Food Container Lid Organizer || I can't tell you how many times I've opened up our cabinet only to have lids come flying at me from our plastic containers. Now all the lids have a place and everything is neatly stacked!  
  • Oxo Tot Drying Rack || We have a ton of bottles at the house for Sophia and now that we're feeding her cereal and some pureed foods, her dishes are starting to pile up and our orginal "grass" drying rack started to over flow. I like that this has it's own space for spoons, bottles and other bottle parts! 
  • Battery Organizer || Super random, but we have a ton of batteries. This little case also comes with a battery tester and holds up to 93 different size batteries. 
  • Fabric Storage Bins || Sophia's toys were all over the living room and I needed a way to separate them, so I found these cute little storage bins that went with our decor and throw all the toys in there after she goes to bed. They're cheap and functional. 
  • Storage Ottoman || We have had this storage ottoman in our living room for at least 4 years! We store a few extra throw blankets, my workout weights & jump rope. It also doubles as an extra seat near our couch when we have company. 
  • Space Saver Bags || I'm somewhat obsessed with these space saver bags. I used them for my maternity clothes and also for Sophia's clothes that she's already grown out of. We have guests sheets and extra pillows in one of them as well. Considering we only have two real closets and one storage / utility space inside our condo, this helps keep bulkier items in tight spaces! 
  • Spice Containers || I have Karly to thank for this one! I have wanted to have all my spices organized ever since we put in our spice drawer. There is something very satisfying about having all the spices look the same. I also like these containers because you can either pour or sift the spice out! 
Along with all of the above, we also keep the boxes for all of Sophia's bigger items like swings & bouncers. Once she's outgrown something, we slip it back in the box and put it away in storage! Things I have yet to figure out how to declutter and organizer...all my bags and shoes! Any ideas welcome!What are some of your favorite ways to reduce clutter and organize?

Recent Amazon Purchases

January 28, 2019
I'm convinced that my orders from Amazon have exponentially grown since having a child. What was once a bi-weekly shopping habit has somehow turned into me ordering every other day for something new and only half of it is for Sophia! Here's a few of my recent purchases that are not baby related! 

  • Apple Watch Bands || I'm pretty sure I wore the same leather watch band for my Apple watch all of last year. This year, I've decided to add a few more into my rotation. I absolutely love this pink acrylic band and rose gold & silver stainless steel band
  • Blue Light Filter Glasses || I'm guilty of jumping on the blue light filter glasses train, but to be fair I am on the computer at least 12 hours out of the day and looking at my phone non-stop, so why not see if this fad actually works! When I posted these glasses on stories I got a ton of DM's about where they were from...Amazon and under $20! So, do they work? Jury is still out, but I do feel like this past week I have had fewer headaches! 
  • Zippered Toiletry Pouch || I picked these up right before my trip to Florida and used one for all of my cords and wires and then the other I used for my liquid makeup items. I normally put each of those things in ziplock bags, but I thought having something a bit more permanent would be better. Not to mention this two pack is under $6! 
  • Purse Organizer || I have LONG wanted to get this purse organizer for my Louis Vuitton Never Full and after seeing so many people reviewing it over the holidays, I decided to get it and I'm so happy that I did! Everything has a space now instead of it being a black hole. I have the GM LV Never Full and bought the x-large size in red to match the red interior of my bag. I'm incredibly happy with this purchase!
  • Derma Roller & Vitamin C Serum || I first mentioned the Derma Roller and Serum in this post and after using it for a few weeks I'm so happy with the little investment into this new part of my beauty routine. 
  • Vital Proteins || I first reviewed Vital Proteins in this post and then just recently started using it again. I prefer the one that doesn't have a taste and add it to my morning coffee. I always see a difference in my nails and my hair, more so than with any vitamin I've ever taken. 
What are some of your recent purchases?

6 Cozy & Romantic Restaurants in Boston | Series

January 23, 2019
As the temperatures dip, the motivation for going out starts to dwindle! Considering winter lasts for a while here in New England, I'm happy that we have a lot of cozy and romantic restaurants in the city to make you forget about the cold! There are a ton of restaurants that fit the bill for being cozy & romantic, these just happen to be 6 of my favorites. 
Lolita Cocina in Back Bay || This ground level Mexican restaurant is perfect for a romantic date night in the city! With it's dark decor, sexy red uplighting, inspired drinks & delicious food - the intimacy of the restaurant will make you forget that it's frigid outside! TIP: Make a reservation for earlier on in the evening before it turns into a nightclub of sorts! There is also another location in the Fort Point area of Boston. 
Buttermilk & Bourbon || We went to this Southern style restaurant when it first opened (see food pictures here) and it took us back to our time in New Orleans and the delicious food! Cozy up on the same side of the booth and split the delicious beignets! After dinner make your way to the voo doo lounge for some cocktails!
Oak Long Bar + Kitchen || The hotel bar situated in the Fairmont Copley, has been voted one of the best places to grab a drink in Boston. I celebrated my 27th birthday with the best mac & cheese I've ever had and continue to go here with not only Gary, but friends that are visiting from out of town as well - most recently with my good friend Jess
Eastern Standard || There's a little bit of everything on the menu at this glam and modern French brassiere restaurant. They have really imaginative cocktails and cozy booths. I will say that the bar area is always quite a scene and can be a bit cramped - the opposite of romantic, but once you're seated you quickly forget about all the other people! After dinner, walk over to the Hawthorne Bar to sit by the fire and sip on some more delicious cocktails. Split the dessert with one of you getting the Angel & one getting the Devil 😉
Sip Wine Bar || This has long been a favorite date night spot for us! The menu is fantastic and if you really want to make it a great date night, you can score some tickets to a show that in the Theater District! The mini arancini, grass fed meatballs and rock shrimp are just a few of our favorite appetizers that we share! 
South End Buttery || Most people don't realize that the South End Buttery actually has a lower level that is the coziest and most romantic date night spot, complete with a fireplace! We went on a double date with friends here and the food did not disappoint. Like most places in the South End, space is limited (ie very tight quarters) but that adds to the experience of being cozy. 
My favorite restaurants are always changing, but if you're planning a trip to Boston be sure to add one  (or all) of these to your list of places to try and some of my other favorites as well! 

Weekending in Florida

January 21, 2019
Happy Monday friends! I survived my first time away from Sophia, barely! I had this gut feeling that our flight on Sunday was going to be cancelled because of the storm that was making it's way to the Northeast and a few hours into being in Florida, our flight was indeed cancelled! After a mad dash to get out on a flight that was leaving before Tuesday, we were added to a flight to JFK and then we rented a car to drive the 4 hours back to Boston. It was probably the longest car ride of my life with the ice, sleet and freezing rain, but we made it back funny enough before our original flight would have even landed in Boston - so it wasn't a total loss! Here's a bit of a photo dump of our 36 hours in Jacksonville!
My cousin hosted a pre-party at her house for all the friends and family that flew in for the birthday celebrations!
I wore this dress for the first time when I was almost 36 weeks pregnant (it's non-maternity) and now I get to enjoy how it's supposed to be worn!
 Was able to visit with my grandmothers

Took full advantage of a free afternoon and went shopping with a lot of success! I'll share some of my finds later this week!
My cousin planned an amazing 40th birthday for her husband - Bond Style! Complete with an incredible live band, full casino games & three different bond movies playing throughout - it was so much fun!

 Danced with my bestie like we were back in college!

Can't pass up a great photo booth!!
It was a super fast weekend, but worth it to have a little time alone together and see some family and friends! Already looking forward to taking Sophia with us in March!
How was your weekend? Link up below to share it with us! 

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

January 16, 2019
One of my favorite gift guides each year is the "From Me to Me" Valentine's Day guide! I'm a firm believer in treating yourself to something special and what better time than during the season of LOVE! 
  • Bobbi Brown Palette || I've had this on my "lust list" for a while now! I love the pretty shades in this palette and think it would work well to create some romantic and dramatic smokey eye looks! 
  • Spanx Leggings || I have wanted a pair of these leggings for the longest time! I always miss out on getting them during sales, but I think they are versatile and will last a long time! 
  • Leather Card Case || I have a wallet, but also carry a card case to store business cards, my debit and credit card as well as my metro card for every day use! I like a bright color that's easy to spot in my bag!
  • Makeup Case || I recently started taking certain makeup with me to work, but mostly it's to keep all my lipsticks and lip glosses in one place! 
  • Pink Yeti || I don't have a pink yeti, but I do have one at my desk and each morning I pour my coffee in here and sip it throughout the morning. Usually I get a cold brew and the ice doesn't melt at all! 
  • Portable Perfume || This is the first time in years that I'm actually low on (as in going to run out of any day now) perfume! I'd love to have one that I have on hand with me at all times and one that's travel friendly! This Dior one is actually a roller ball, but a bit bigger than your normal ones! 
  • Lipstick Set || There are two things I'm constantly buying - pens and lipsticks / lip glosses! I can't get enough and think that I will always be on the quest to find that perfect pink nude shade! 
  • Fuzzy Slippers || I have a pair from Target and they are without a doubt the coziest slippers I've ever owned! It's like stepping on a cloud with every step! 
  • Sunglasses || I actually treated myself to these sunnies a few weeks ago when Nordstrom was having their end of the year sale and I could not be more excited about them. The frames are slightly retro, but are very flattering! A classic pair of sunglasses I will have for years to come! 
What are you going to treat yourself to this Valentine's Day?

Weekending Things

January 14, 2019
Happy Monday friends! Gearing up for a bit of a shorter week as we're heading for a quick trip to Florida on Friday (without Sophia, cue the tears!) Here's a little bit of a photo dump of the last couple of weekends!
Gary & I had a date night with some friends last Saturday! I checked the baby monitor and texted my mom no less than 4 times...and still went home early! This trip to Florida should be interesting! 
We saw On the Basis of Sex which was really inspiring!
 This love bug turned 5 months old & I honestly don't know how that even happened?!
 Took my new glasses for a solo trip to Target where I spent too much on things I didn't need! #alwayshappens
The temps have been dropping and staying inside is just not an option!! I finally put Sophia in her snow suit and went for a spin, she fell asleep right away so safe to say she's a fan of the snow suit & being outside! 
One of the items I bought at Target was this sherpa jacket that is quite possibly the coziest and warmest piece of clothing I currently own! It comes in 3 colors and I wore it to the gym and then layered with my outfit later!
We started introducing foods (using this term loosely) this weekend & she wasn't sure about the cereal at first...
But quickly decided she was a fan! 
Not technically from the weekend, but this was the best photo we got on Gary's first day back to work last Monday! Sophia is always on the move so her hands are constantly in motion!! 

I have no less than 4 posts in draft mode, just waiting for pictures to be added! Ready to publish some fun reads soon! Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week!


Recently Read

January 09, 2019
I ended 2018 on a reading binge! The week between Christmas and New Years I read a ton. Safe to say Colleen Hoover can do no wrong in my eyes - she's one of my favorite authors and probably why she's the author of so many of the books below. One of the questions I'm asked is how I find the time to read. I'm thankful for my commute to and from work because that gives me 20-30 minutes to read and at night / during the weekends when I'm rocking Sophia to sleep I'll read on my phone. It's allowed me to really plow through my TBR (to be read) list! 
My Oxford Year || This book broke my heart, in the best way possible. It was such a great read andif you are a fan of Me Before You then you'll like this book. I actually liked it so much more than Me Before You. Ella is a fierce girl ready to make her mark for her one year at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Of course she's thrown of track with Jamie who has a really big secret that changes the course for their time together. It takes a lot for a book to move me to tears, but this one did and I still can't shake it! LOVED IT! 
Verity || WOW! I haven't read a book that I needed to finish in a really long time and this one I read in a day! I love Colleen Hoover's writing style and this was a departure from her usual romance. This was a thriller through and through. It was creepy to read because it got really dark and depressing, but that's just a testament to her writing ability and how consumed you are by the characters. Lowen is a writer and she accepts a once in a lifetime writing opportunity from Jeremy, the husband of a bestselling author. Verity Crawford is unable to finish the remaining books in her series and Lowen is tasked with getting into the mind of one of the most successful suspense writers out there. She stays in the family home and finds an autobiography that reveals that Verity isn't who Jeremy thought she was at all. The book alternates between the present and Lowen to the autobiography. I thought I had it all figured it out and then it totally flipped!
All Your Perfects || Oh boy, this book was really hard to read. Not because the writing was bad (the opposite, it was beautifully written), not because the characters were horrible (the opposite, you could absolutely relate to them in some ways), and not because the plot was far fetched (the opposite, it could and does happen every single day). This book was hard to read because of those reasons, it felt very real and almost like it could be any one of your friends going through this. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character, Quinn, but her husband Graham was written perfectly! This asks the tough question of a married couple: can your love withstand heartbreak if you can go back remember your perfect beginning. 
Blind Kiss || 14 years ago Penny and Gavin shared a blind kiss as part of a psychology experiment that changed the course of their lives. Their friendship and love for one another that first year is almost heartbreaking and I kept reading, willing the book to take the turn that I wanted it to take. There were moments that I was really annoyed with both characters, but I guess that's why Renee Carlino is such a great writer, she made me invested in their lives. I really loved the book and read it in a flash! 
November 9 || Fallon, a one time teen actress and Ben, an aspiring novelist, meet on the day she's set to leave for NYC. They spend the day in LA together and decide for the next 5 years they are going to meet up on November 9th with goals that they set for one another. They aren't allowed to communicate with each other during the year & they don't even exchange contact information. When Fallon comes across Ben's manuscript on one of their day's together, she doesn't know if he's been telling the truth or if it's for the sake of the book he's writing. While this wasn't my favorite Hoover book, it was interesting enough and had a twist I wasn't expecting! 
Maybe Now || I read Maybe Someday two years ago, yet the story of Sydney & Ridge (and all the other characters) was still really fresh in my mind. I really liked that this book took the big 6 characters and alternated chapters with the POV's. I really liked getting to know Maggie & Jake in this book even though their relationship wasn't at the forefront. I would make sure to read Maybe Someday first before Maybe Now because of the character development and you really don't want to ruin the story for yourself! In short - read both books, you wont be disappointed! 

I don't really have a reading goal for myself this year, but at I'd love to read a book a week. Would love to know what's on your reading list! 

3-5 Month Baby Favorites

January 07, 2019
Happy Monday! It was a pretty dreary weekend here so we kept things low key and were busy getting my mom up to speed with everything Sophia! Our routine is going to be changing once again since now Gary is headed back to work from his few months of paternity leave with Sophia! I'm planning on doing a few different posts including a day in the life and then a morning / night time routine, now that we actually have one! Sophia is going to be 5 months old on Wednesday and we've been holding pretty steady with a lot of our favorite things from months 2-3, but as she's developed so have her likes! These last few months you can really see her personality developing. She's starting to reach for things, become more interested in toys & getting better at rolling over - she still hasn't mastered the back to front roll yet! 
baby registry items, things to buy for three month old, things to buy for four month old, things to buy for a five month old, smilo pacfiers
  • Baby Bjorn || We were lucky enough to have one of our neighbors loan us their Baby Bjorn bouncer when Sophia was 3 months old and it's been a life saver! It's so portable, light & the cover is washable. It folds up nicely so it doesn't take up a lot of space and I'm able to have her with me while I'm getting ready for work in the morning! She's just learning how to rock it herself and you can tell that she's really excited to do things herself!  
  • Smilo Pacifiers || The folks at Smilo sent a pack of three 0-3 month pacifiers over a few months ago and to be honest I was worried Sophia wouldn't take to them. All the other pacifiers that we had tried she was uninterested in or just didn't like. Within a few days of trying the Smilo brand, she took to them and was finally able to soothe herself to sleep in the carseat and stroller. The pacifiers are specially designed to support a baby's growing mouth. 
  • Paci Clips || If I realized anything from months 3-5, it's that babies love to spit their pacifiers out and then they get quite frustrated and upset that it's not within reach to soothe them right away. I purchased this adorable pack of 4 clips from Amazon. 
  • Sophie the Giraffe & Kiki the Elephant || I don't know what it is about these teethers, but babies seem to love them! These are both easy enough for their little hands to grab and easy on their gums! It's a winner and why it's on everyone's registry!
  • V-Tech Musical Rhymes Book || I think this book keeps Sophia's attention longer than anything else. It's full of great primary colors, fun sounds and the pages are really big so she can attempt to turn them on her own. 
  • UppaBaby Ganoosh || This is as must for cold weather and wanting to be outside with a baby! This is basically windproof, insulated & is water repellant as well! The best is how easily it fits on the stroller and you don't have to remove it every time- once it's on there, you're good to go for the entire winter. The zipper allows you to keep it open if the weather isn't as cold. 
  • Milkmakers Cookies || Thanks to my friend Rachel for introducing me to this brand! I basically get to eat cookies and it helps keep my supply of milk going. Variety of flavors and they are all individually packed so they wont go stale. 
  • Daily Kiddo App || We've been using the Daily Kiddo app since Sophia was born to share photos and videos with family. I love that you can view it on the phone or via the website and can make a book right from the app! I don't share every moment on social media and it's nice that our family from all over is able to keep up with Sophia's milestones via this app. 
  • Baby Sensory videos || When we're in the car and there is an epic meltdown happening, our last resort are baby sensory videos on Youtube. I'll let her focus on it for about 2-3 minutes to calm down and then she usually falls right to sleep. 

Over the next month or so we'll be attempting sleep training. If you have any tips on how you were successful to get your baby to put themselves to sleep at night, that would be great! 

Holiday Rewind

January 04, 2019
Happy Friday friends! I know I'm not alone when I say that I have been absolutely confused with what day of the week it has been all week long - Tuesday felt like Saturday and Wednesday felt like Monday, so happy to see Friday! Before we get too far into the new year, I wanted to recap our holiday! I know that Sophia had absolutely no clue about what was happening, but that didn't stop us from making sure we captured everything from her first Christmas! 

Her face in this photo cracks me up!
 super grainy and taken from IG Stories
We started the holiday at my sister's house with Sophia being incredibly spoiled by her cousins! I was so touched (to the point of tears) that my nieces and nephew saved their money to each buy Sophia a gift from them. It was one of the sweetest moments and they were more excited to see her open their gifts than to see what they got! I loved getting to dress her up in bows and the cutest  gold ballet flats - that she's worn 4 times already, so I'll say that's a great return on investment for me! 

On Christmas Eve we packed up the car and headed to my sister-in-law's house! When I say packed up the car, I mean we took everything with us - including her bathtub...for two nights! I chalk it up to being first time parents and wanting to make sure we have everything with us! We didn't go too crazy when it came to gifts, mostly because I knew that family members would be gifting Sophia a ton and she's so young, she was more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual toys! Our big gift was this Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere chair in the regular size knowing that she will grow into it as the years go on. 
 These leggings from Loft are seriously so comfortable and flattering!

 another blurry snap from IG stories

Between Christmas and New Years day we strolled around to take in the unseasonably warm weather in Boston, Sophia went to her first birthday party & we celebrated New Years Day with brunch at one of our favorite restaurants - Max Brenners - best waffle fries around! It was a mostly relaxing holiday season and I'm honestly feeling more refreshed for this new year than previous years!! Wishing you all a wonderful first weekend of 2019!