This and That

April 29, 2020
Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought today would be a great catch up day with all the little things that I have been wanting to get on here - from books that I've read (a sad sad number) to recent things keeping us occupied during self isolation! Here's a little brain dump of all of that!

Beautiful Deliveries 

Floristka Studio, a local florist that I worked with frequently on weddings is doing Mother's Day no contact deliveries in Boston and surrounding areas. On Monday I got a beautiful delivery and I will be admiring these gorgeous flowers for a long while! You could also add on a petite desserts from Silver Whisk Bakery with the flowers and let's just say this is the sweetest Mother's Day delivery if you can't be together!

Recently Read 

To be honest, I am pretty sad with how little I've been able to read in the last 7 weeks. I am so used to reading a book a week that having only finished 2 is just so low to me, but my schedule is not my own and between working and taking care of Sophia, there just isn't as much time because when it comes to down time I would rather veg out in front of the TV on the couch! 
The Light We Lost || One of those books that is hard to read because you aren't sure how you feel about the characters, but at the same time you're engrossed in their story and can't put it down. Lucy & Gabe's love story started out on one of the worst days ever and their story spans decades. Through it all, they come in and out of each other's lives at the right and wrong times. It was also interesting since it was only told in Lucy's voice, so we never really understood where Gabe came from in all of this. Overall it was a good read and had an element of surprise, but then I would have loved an epilogue, as I always do!
Yours in Scandal (Kindle Unlimited) || I'm usually really into Lauren Layne books, but this one was a little flat for me. Robert Davenport has been on the political scene since his 20's and now that he's in his 30's looking towards more a political future he's lacking one thing that voters want, a wife for him. Enter in Adeline Blake, the daughter of his would be opponent, only trouble for him is that Adeline wants nothing to do with the world of politics and has a serious hate for her father. This book just didn't posses the same flow that her others have and the characters were somehow both never really fully developed. It just lacked something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. With that said, if you have Kindle Unlimited it's a free read! 

Cooking Lately ||

Like many of you we aren't ordering take out much - we like to have it as a treat once every few weeks, but with how much anxiety we both get from having to clean the containers, put the food on our plates and then reheat just to be safe, it's just too stressful! I made two new to me things this past week that were both delicious. The first is this egg salad without mayo! I didn't take a picture but the caramelized onions and garlic added such a flavorful punch! The other recipe was a total hodge podge based off this creamy sun dried tomato recipe. I honestly didn't have many of the ingredients and improvised with real tomatoes, onions & orzo, but it was delicious and even better on the second day. 
I also made a lasagna from Delish yesterday and of course we didn't have parmesan or mozzarella cheese, but it was just as delicious with cheddar! 

Taking in Nature ||

My sweater  comes in three colors!
Gary bought Sophia the cutest outfit from Target after I told him she basically has no 2T clothes to wear when I cleaned out her closet last week!
We try to get out to a new park once a week - typically on the weekends and this past weekend we went to the other side of a pond that we frequent. It's larger and has a lot more trails that were fairly unpopulated even though it was a beautiful day on Saturday. As you can imagine the nicer days are so much better for us than the rainy ones. 

Working out ||

I haven't been as consistent with workouts as I had hoped to be - squeezing them in whenever I had an extra 20 or 30 minutes. When I saw everyone raving about the Peloton app, I decided to give it a try. You get a 90 day free trial and even though we don't have a Peloton bike the workouts they offer are incredible. The one I've really enjoyed so far is a 20 minute HIIT Boxing workout - no equipment required but the sweat was insane!

Have you read or cooked anything good lately?

April Amazon Purchases

April 27, 2020
Happy Monday, friends. We are starting week 7 of quarantine with no real end date in sight. Our daycares will be closed until at least June 29th, so I don't foresee going back to work before that's a viable option for parents here. What I have been doing to take my mind of things?! Busy buying all the things on Amazon. Spending so much time at home, you start to go on a little purging craze and then once you've thrown things away, you realize, probably needed that and now here we are reordering it! Here's a look at my Amazon purchases in April!

  • Melissa & Doug - Dust, Sweep, Mop || Actually a purchase from my mom for Sophia and it could not be more of a hit. Sophia started wanting to help us clean up at night and I saw this and thought it was perfect. It has all the "attachments" we adults need, so she thinks she's getting the real deal!
  • OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner || I fly through shampoo, but of course conditioner takes forever. Needed a new one and went to an old favorite of mine.
  • Sharpie Gel Pens || I already talked about these in a previous post, but I'm still loving how they write and they really are great for lots of note taking and don't bleed through paper. 
  • Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent || This is where I should have read the fine print or looked at the price! I thought I was getting two full size detergent's but it turns out they are much smaller, but I'll still get a little over 100 loads from both of them, so not too bad. 
  • Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap || This is the first time I've ever used any Mrs. Meyers cleaning product and I don't think I'll go back to anything else. This particular one smells so fresh and came with a pack of 6 - hopefully enough to get us through the quarantine period. 
  • Blue light blocking glasses || I mentioned these in a previous post and am still loving them. I have found that they have really helped curb how tired my eyes feel after a full day of working on my laptop. Two for the price of one with these!
  • Elements of Family Style || It had been a while since my last coffee table book and I was looking for a little home style inspiration. This does such a great job of illustrating the best functionality for different homes and infusing the right thing to keep your place looking stylish even with kids!
  • Toddler rain boots || What kid doesn't love jumping in puddles?! I didn't have any rain boots for Sophia so when I saw a lot of rain in the forecast, I ordered these right away. They come in a ton of colors and easy to get on and off their feet. 
  • Spice organizers || I am honestly so in love with our spice cabinet after changing out to these glass jars. I did need to order another set because 12 wasn't nearly enough, so when the next set comes in I'll be able to finish this little project. 
  • Toddler pouches || Rather than putting Sophia's pouches into our grocery delivery, I realized that I could order these direct from Amazon. There's a great variety in them and it's the easiest thing to fill her up with veggies when she's not into the real thing. 
  • Push around buggy || This was my personal favorite purchase of April! Sophia is so independent and doesn't go into her stroller for anything, this was the next best thing, although she's more interested in pushing her babies around it instead of begin in it on her own! One of those things she's interested in one day and then not the next, but it does keep her occupied which is nice!

What's been your favorite Amazon purchase this month?


Sephora Sale Picks

April 22, 2020
It certainly feels like there have been a ton of sales happening recently and while I know that many people aren't shopping right now, I am thinking ahead to birthday's, special gifts and stocking up on some of my own favorites. The Sephora Spring Sale event is here and as a VIB member you can save 15%, it's not the 20% that Rouge members get it's still a nice little sale. 

Rouge Early Access: April 17 – May 1 // 20% off with code SPRINGSAVE
VIB: April 21 – April 29 // 15% off with code SPRINGSAVE
Insiders: April 23 – April 29 // 10% off with code SPRINGSAVE
  • I have wanted to try so many of Charlotte Tilbury's makeup, but the two items that I can't wait to get my hands on are the mascara and creamy eye shadow
  • Summer Friday's can do no wrong in my book and the newest thing I want to try from them is their exclusive gel cleanser
  • In terms of hair care, there are a few things I've been wanting to try including the Verb weekly hair mask and also the DAE hair care line
  • Rather than trying a new primer, checking out the glow makeup serum by Laniege - the same product line that made my favorite overnight lip mask! 
  • I am fresh out of my bronzer and I thought it was time to go back to a trust favorite - Chocolate Soleil which also smells delicious! 
  • Retinol is something that I haven't tried yet, but it's a necessary step in my skincare regimen right now. 
  • Pretty much using concealer daily and this hourglass one is one that has been recommended by so many! 

Are you shopping the Spring Sephora Sales Event?


Mother's Day Gift Guide

April 20, 2020
Happy Monday, friends. There's a really good chance that this Mother's Day will be spent a little differently than in the past. Making reservations for brunch or a solo relaxing massage are not going to be happening. Instead of seeing our mom's in person, we'll be FaceTiming, but that doesn't mean we still can't make it a special day. Here's a little gift guide for the mom's in your life - or even for yourself if you want to treat yourself during this quarantine! 

I think self care is going to go over big with all the mom's in our lives. We aren't going to make it for any facials, but this ultrasonic pore extractor would make us feel like we just had a relaxing time at the spa and if you add on the facial roller it would be another little pick me up. 

I've been loving my Olive & June Manicure set, and found the polishes at Target, but the poppy is what makes the manicure really flawless. They also have these fun nail art stickers that would bring a little fun for our quarantine manicures. 

While being at home, I've really wanted to have fresh flowers - I can actually enjoy them! A flower delivery would be a welcome treat on Mother's Day! 

There is nothing like the gift of coffee to me, Starbucks gift cards are one of my favorite gifts to get and give, but while we're home and not really able to access our coffee shops, I think the gift of a great coffee maker with pods is even better. We have the VertuoPlus, order most of our pods from Amazon or directly from Nespresso and I just found this amazing pod organizer that I would love to add! 

I've been using the trial size of the Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes and have fallen in love with this mascara. It's seriously incredible and does wonders for lifting, lengthening and volumizing your lashes! I'm a fan and think this would be a great gift. 

A fragrance is something I very rarely buy for myself, but with it being such a personal thing, I think one that has a deep meaning behind it is so special. I was sent the Bluehill Fragrance "Metro Garden" a few months ago and it's inspired by the garden's in Boston. Fragrances like this have so much meaning behind them, especially because the garden's in Boston are some of my favorite places to explore. They also have a more urban fragrance and one that has scents of the beaches in New England!

On the off chance that I have some time to really relax, there is nothing I like more than lighting a candle and reading a coffee table book!  

How are you planning on spending Mother's Day this year? 


Our Easter in Quarantine

April 15, 2020
Our Easter wasn't exactly what we had planned, but it turned out to be a pretty special Sunday. I haven't done an Easter Basket or egg hunt with Sophia partially because I didn't grow up doing it, obviously because I'm Jewish, but also because I think she's too young to comprehend any of it. Next year, I'll go all out on the basket and the egg hunt and hopefully we won't be in quarantine! We lucked out with a really beautiful day and made our way to a park a little bit further from our house. With everything starting to bloom it made it feel almost normal being outside. 
Sunglasses // Sweater (Similar & Similar)
Sophia was given this darling dress by a friend of my mom's and I was so excited to have her wear it. She looked like a little royal and did not want to take it off for anything! There is actually a little dress underneath, but again she loved the coat so much so she didn't want any photos without it on! 
Our neighbor saw that we went to take photos and told me that she'd take a family photo, from 6 feet away on her phone. These are certainly weird times, but grateful we still got a photo of the three of us! If you're noticing Gary's hair - he somehow trusted me enough to do a proper cut with a fade and everything! I don't think he'll be going back to paying for haircuts ever again!

There's a little nature preserve at the park and Sophia had the best time chasing squirrels, looking at the swans & trying to find fish in the pond. 
I also had every intention of making a lasagna for dinner, but we weren't able to get our groceries in time, so I found a local market that was selling frozen ones and they were able to drop it off with zero contact, which was a win/win! It wasn't the normal holiday we were used to, but somehow it was slow, yet still fun. 


Work From Home Essentials

April 13, 2020
Happy Monday friends. We really enjoyed having an extra day off even though there wasn't really anything that we needed to do or anywhere to be, it was just nice to have a day off from work and an "extra Saturday" of sorts! We're going into week 5 of working from home and I have to be honest with you, I don't think I will want to work from home for a while when this is all over. We don't have a dedicated office, so getting into the "work" mindset is really something that I could struggle with, but I've found a few essentials that really help my productivity and make working from home a bit easier. 

Blue Light Glasses || I have a pair of blue light glasses, but left them at work and after a couple of weeks of staring at one laptop screen for hours upon hours, I decided I really needed to get another pair. I see a difference in how tired my eyes feel when I wear them versus when I don't. I really like these because you get two for the price of one - and you can choose your color ways. 

Lap Desk || Since we don't have a true desk to work at, Gary will sometimes be at the breakfast bar and I'll be on the couch or in our room, while the other person in on a conference call. In order to be comfortable and not having the laptop directly on me, I have this little lap desk and it's foldable so I park it under the couch when I'm not using it. 

AirPods || I loved my AirPods before, but not having to take my calls for work on speaker phone is necessary right now. Both Gary and I have ours and it's been really handy when we have impromptu calls come up and are with Sophia, we can pop one AirPod in and be hands free and still engaged on all fronts!

Sharpie Gel Pens || I think by now it's no surprise that I'm a pen lover, so I needed a fresh set at home for work. I left all my great pens at work and these are top notch. They don't bleed through the paper and are so smooth to write with. Highly recommend! 

Nespresso Pods || I miss the daily morning coffee run, but what I have enjoyed is experimenting with different coffee flavors for our Nespresso. I have made standard lattes, iced latte's and a few different flavorings. Between Gary and I, we go through 14 pods a week so that's a lot of coffee! 

Note Pads & To Do Lists || Not a shocker here, but I left all my notebooks and pads at work, so I ordered a few to stay organized. I like to have a plain one for things I need to do at work and then I have one that breaks it down for the week and what I have to do for work each day. 

WiFi Extender || We are tapping into our WiFi more than ever now that we're home and working every day. Not only did we increase our bandwith, but a couple months ago, Gary actually purchased this wifi extender so that we can work from any room in the house and not lose connectivity or have slower speeds. We live in a condo, so it's not long distances by any means, but we see a difference in every room in the house now, which is a welcome luxury now that we're home so much. 

What are some of your essentials for working from home?


How We're Embracing Quarantine Life | Week 4

April 08, 2020
It's so easy to get into a funk with the state of things right now and about once a week I just have an off day. I think it's okay and almost necessary to give in to those emotions and then refocus. If you're interested in a great article, this one from the Harvard Business Review really takes a deeper dive into the emotions that we're feeling and one that I've shared with everyone in my family. For me, I try to channel what this experience has allowed me to gain. 
Quality Time with Gary || Before this quarantine, Gary and I barely had any time with one another during the week. If we were lucky it would be a couple hours at night, but we were both working on projects and it wasn't truly quality time, with the occasional "how was your day" and "what are you working on?" Even though this is a high stress time, we are more of a team than ever, especially both working. It's the two of us trying to navigate this and we get to talk about every little thing - celebrating little victories along the way - like making it through a particularly hard day! We eat all three meals together, share all the household chores and now instead of spending our nights on computers, we're watching a movie or a show! Weekly date nights after this will be happening so much more frequently! 

Watching Sophia Learn || Maternity leave with Sophia was a blur, weeknights and weekends never seem like enough and now I'm with Sophia 24/7! There are no breaks and she is in a crazy mommy phase! These last few weeks have been incredibly eye opening in not only parenting, but in teaching Sophia and seeing her learn new things. Just in the last week alone she's started saying new words and phrases and it's so exciting because she didn't know them and now she does. Obviously I know this will continue to happen, but being able to see it first hand and not a daycare teacher or my mom telling me is amazing!
Organization station || Oh man, I love organizing as it is, but this quarantine has brought it to another level. I've cleaned and organized the fridge, ordered spice bottles with labels, purged clothes and just about everything else in our condo and it feels great. I've ordered a lot of new organization things to make things "work" and look prettier. Also, if like organization videos, the Home Edit has a channel called "Master the Mess" that I've been watching non-stop!  
I ordered this spice bottles and labels- I've been wanting everything to look uniform for the longest time!

I have this organizer for pouches in the fridge and then I use this one in a cabinet for little odds and ends like candles, food coloring and baking items. 
I ordered this "mini" organizer to put under the sink in the bathroom. We have an oddly shaped vanity so I hope this works. 

New found love for Pinterest || I used to be obsessed with Pinterest and then I sort of stopped pinning. But I've found myself pinning to my dream home board again because this experience has shown Gary and I that we are craving more space and an outdoor area for Sophia - a move to the suburbs may be in our future, still a distant future, but one we're considering way more seriously now! I've also been cooking so much more than I have in the last year. Every meal isn't something new, but I am experimenting more and I have the time to do so - you can follow my recipe board here. 

What are some things that are getting you through quarantine? 


On My Radar

April 06, 2020
Back again for another quarantine Monday! How was your weekend? Were you able to get outside and enjoy some weather? I find that getting outside for even 30 minutes helps break up the day and make it somewhat "normal." I decided to download the News App and through that I have access to all their magazines, similar to what Texture used to have (Apple bought it) you can view them whenever and however you want. I've been able to go through a few of my favorites and screenshot some things that I want to try and some other things that are already in my cart. 
  • Olay released a new line of serums that looks very interesting to me. There is a B3 with hyaluronic acid, one wrinkle corrector and one tone perfection. Really interested to see how these work so I'll probably make my way through each one at some point. They are a bit pricey for a drugstore product, but I do have good experiences with Olay products. 
  • In keeping with the skincare theme, the Neutrogena gel boost cream sounds really good too. It's said to brighten skin and make it look more awake - something I could use more of - especially since we're in the house almost 24/7 these days. 
  • Admittedly the packaging really struck me with the Jergens Sol Water Mousse. I think it's going to be comparable to the St. Tropez water mousse for a fraction of the price. I have the St. Tropez one and rarely use it, so I should probably use it up before buying another one, but this one looks like it would be a good dupe. 
  • Marianna Hewitt is one of the founder's of Summer Friday's so when she announced last week that they released a new balm, I immediately went online to Sephora and ordered it! I can't wait for it to arrive -I'm a huge fan of all their masks! I haven't really been wearing much lipstick lately, so this balm will be great to just have on for an almost finished look. 
  • In that same Sephora order I purchased the instant brush cleaner that Emily Gemma mentioned in a favorites post. I really don't like cleaning my brushes and don't clean them enough - so hopefully this quick cleaning one will help with that. 
  • A little random, but we're trying to transition Sophia away from the pacifier. So far she only has it for when she sleeps, but I'll like to break her of the habit all together. I saw Paci Weaning System and became intrigued. I think she's too young to understand any tricks of reasoning like, there's another baby that needs your paci now. So I'm willing to try this!
  • After three weeks of quarantine, I miss my cold brew. We have really great coffee at home, but I'm craving cold brew and since there is no quick end in sight, I think I need to get my own cold brew maker!
  • When all of this is said and done I think we will all have mastered most of the things we're used to paying money for and for me that will mainly be getting my nails done. I did realize that aside from just having polish, I don't have any proper tools needed. I have this set in my cart ready to purchase!

Have you tried anything new that you're loving lately?


My Experience with Meditation

April 03, 2020
Happy Friday, friends! This week Gary and I decided to put up a calendar and mark off the days until the date we think this will all be over -it's an arbitrary date, but gives us something to look forward to.  It helps to mark off each day and feel like we're getting closer to the end. I really thought that I would finally get into the meditation mindset in the month of March, but not surprisingly the month that I could have used it most threw us for the biggest loop ever. My schedule changed mid month (as did everyone else's) and suddenly finding 15 minutes for this reset just wasn't a priority. 
I started the month off really strong dedicating 5-15 minutes each day to meditation until March 11th. At first I signed up for the Calm App and then for Headspace, but realizing that they weren't truly  "free" apps, I went to Youtube and found a few great guided meditations. The two weeks that I was diligent about getting meditation in, it was because I put that time into my calendar and made it a part of my day. Even with that, I still can't 
As zen as I get, playing on the floor with Sophia!

I think what this entire process taught me was that meditation is just not for me. I am not one of those people that can train myself to quiet my brain from going a million miles a minute. Forced relaxation is not something that I am comfortable with - be it yoga, massages or acupuncture. I enjoy two out of those three, but it doesn't mean I am able to fully quiet my mind. That type of stress relief actually has the opposite affect on me because I am not getting the results I should be getting

I wanted each month to push me with things I didn't necessarily want to do or need to do, but wanted to get better at or learn. In this case, I learned something about myself. This wasn't the first time I tried meditation, Gary has been asking me to medidate for almost 6 years now and it's just not for me. Perhaps in a few years it might be, but at this point in my life, I don't think I'm there. 

Moving on to this month's challenge and one I'm excited for - Spanish practice! I downloaded DuoLingo which is free and have started my quizzes! I set my time for 10 minutes a day and I'm really looking forward to sharpening my Spanish language skills. 

How are you at meditating? Are there any tips or tricks that I should have tried? Stay safe and healthy! 


Working From Home with a Toddler | Our Daily Schedule

April 01, 2020
Gary and I have been working from home for the last three weeks and we feel incredibly lucky that our companies have afforded us the opportunity to continue working during this unprecedented time. The first few days we had my mom here and then decided it would be best for her to go back home to be with my dad. I think we can all agree that this is probably the most anxious and stressful situation we could imagine,  but I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass! 
Gary is growing the quarantine beard 😂

Sophia is a little over 1.5, so activities that keep her attention are hard to come by and while screen limits aren't really applied anymore, I do like to keep her active. Gary and I plan our our days the night before and basically decide who will be on Sophia duty throughout the day - it doesn't always work since she's in a real "mommy phase," but we do our best and Gary leads a ton of projects with so many conference calls, that Sophia usually crashes! So here's a glimpse into our day!
Sophia has been waking up a little later these last few weeks and there are no complaints here. We have a little breakfast and I'm usually online for work a before 8:30. I still get semi ready putting on bit of makeup and trying to look somewhat presentable. She'll get a morning show and we FaceTime with my mom so she can say good morning!  
One of us will take Sophia for a morning walk around 9:30/10. No more stroller walks for this girl, she's Miss Independent and wants to walk by herself. 

We come in and whoever wasn't outside goes on duty while the other person answers emails or does work- it's also snack time. We play, color, paint or do one of the sensory activities I found until lunch and succumb to at least 30 minutes of Buster the Bus so both of us can work. 
I have not eaten at home so much in years and I've been really enjoying cooking dinners, but lunch we keep pretty simple with sandwiches or frozen bowls. While Gary and Sophia eat, I usually try  to get a 20-30 minute workout in. When I'm done I throw some food down and get Sophia down for her nap. She typically naps from 1-2:30/3. 
Outfit change!

This is our time to get as much done as possible! When Sophia wakes up we take it easy for about a half hour and then try to get outside one more time, weather permitting. We'll color with sidewalk chalk, walk her baby or go dig in dirt - anything to keep her busy and outside. 
Made a caprese salad with tilapia made in the airfryer

Around 4:30 I start prepping dinner so that we can eat together at 5:30. It's early, but Sophia's night time routine starts at 6:30. After dinner we keep the TV off and play games - recently Gary and I have started to learn TikTok dances (I know, the things we do in quarantine 😂) so Sophia has loved watching us - she usually just jumps around. We have a quick FaceTime call with my parents to say good night too! 
I still try to maintain the same night time routine we had pre-quarantine days as well as her nap schedule from daycare. We tag team bath time at 6:30. While Gary is doing the bath, I'm cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming and disinfecting the high touch areas and then it's milky, jammies & reading time. Our bedtime routine is about 30 minutes and she's in the crib by 7 (not always asleep in a timely fashion though 😁). I sit near her (usually scrolling instagram) while she holds my hand to fall asleep. Then I'll come out and meet Gary on the couch. 
This is when we both try to get ahead of the next day. Anything that wasn't pressing during the day, I do at night, if possible. It's not ideal, but it gives me a head start on the next day and a way for me to give attention to both work and Sophia, this is also when I'm working on blog posts. We usually have a show on the background and recently we've been watching the last few seasons of the Mindy Project that we missed when it moved to Hulu.

I'm typically in bed by 9:30 with lights out around 10 and mentally preparing myself for another day of our new normal. 

It's obvious that I'm not really including the snacking that I am inevitably doing or the dozens of facetime calls we have throughout the day. I also have my phone with me all the time so I can check work emails when I'm not at my computer! It's not perfect but it's worked for us with a toddler who really loves to play with us and doesn't like to be alone #socialbutterfly!

What's the biggest change from your daily routine to now?