A look back...2018

December 21, 2018
Looking back on 2018, one word that comes to mind is EPIC! This will always be one of my favorite years because of Sophia! So much of this year centered around her and getting ready to become parents, but in between that we had other really memorable moments! I've done this look back for a few years now and it's nice to have shared these moments with you! 
This year was one of real growth for me - not only professionally, but personally as well. One unexpected gift of this year was growing closer to new and different people as I entered this new chapter of my life.  I've mentioned before that my mom and I have a very special bond, but after this year it's changed and became so much more than it ever was. 

My favorite Sophia related posts of 2018 ||

Pregnancy Announcement 
Maternity Photos
Baby Shower 
Sophia's Birth Story
Newborn Photos

We didn't travel quite as much in 2018, but we did have an incredible anniversary / babymoon trip around Ireland. We started in Dublin, made our way around the Ring of Kerry and finished up by seeing the Cliffs of Moher and Galway! Right after Ireland we made a quick trip to Florida to see my grandmother's and I'm really excited since we're heading back there in January and March with Sophia! 

It was truly one of the best years ever and I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store! Wishing you all an amazing end to 2018 & I'll be back January 2nd with new posts! 

Holiday Outfit Inspiration

December 19, 2018
Happy Wednesday friends! Dressing up for the holidays is always really fun for me. While Christmas Day is more relaxed stay in pajama's kind of day, Christmas Eve and this weekend at my sister's is a bit more dressed up! 

Pairing burgundy and navy is probably one of my favorite combinations. While not overly festive, the burgundy velvet pants really dress up the look! I'm planning on adding a navy lace top that's a little roomy and not tight (because gotta leave room for food)! My Jessica Simpson animal print pumps are honestly some of the most comfortable heels that I own. I can spend all day in them at work and not feel any pain! Highly recommend the shoes if you're looking for a new pair of heels. They come in 7 different colors! Punch up the look with these really fun under $10 fringe earrings. Can't forget a bold lip and the velvet matte shades from NARS glide on like butter! 

There's really no need for a full fledged purse when I'm with Sophia since I have her diaper bag as well. I throw in a clutch with the essentials. In this case, I'll add a bit of a dressier clutch and one that I should use way more often! Gary got this for me as a birthday gift a couple years ago and I've only worn it 4 or 5 times since! 

What do you typically wear for holiday parties that are a bit more low key but you still want to dress it up? 

Goal Planning for 2019

December 17, 2018
Happy Monday friends!! We had a pretty low key weekend and in true New England fashion we had a random 50 degree day followed by a snowy / rainy cold day. As we get into the final days of 2019, I am doing a little goal planning and setting! Last year, Gary and I sat down to write down 5 goals that we had for our home, finances & life in general. We gave ourselves exactly one year - 12/1/2018 to make those happen and at the start of November we did a little check in and were happy to check all 5 goals off our list! We had them displayed on the fridge - front and center so that we always had our eyes on the prize! We've already done the same thing for 2019 & since it worked so well for us, I thought I'd do something similar for my own goals in 2019! In the past, I will do a really good job of sticking to the goals and then somewhere during the summer I fall off. This year instead of doing monthly and yearly goals, I've decided to try quarterly. The photos below have nothing to do with goal planning, but are a few randoms I took over the weekend! 

Closet clean out and sale || I desperately need a proper closet clean out and sale! I have a running list of items that I'm going to be selling, but haven't gotten around to it. I try to do a clean out twice a year, but I'm already planning on having this on my list every single quarter! 

Blog Update || I've toyed with the idea of Wordpress for a year or so, but it feels like a really big undertaking. I have wanted to make the switch because of how editorial content looks on other sites, the analytics that come with Wordpress & that I would be the true owner of my work. If Google (or Blogger) decides to shut down tomorrow, then all the work I've put in these last 5 years will go away - that's a little scary! 

Photo Storage || Since having Sophia, every single photo lives on my phone! I need a better way of storing and organizing pictures. Not only to make sure I never lose a single photo, but also because it'll make creating books that much easier. I am making it a point to have actual albums that she can look back on - digital is great, but nothing beats printed photos! 

Blog Post Ideas || Along the same lines as content planning, I want to have a solid plan for the next three months and posts that I need to write, posts that I want to write and leave room in the schedule for things that just come to me! I want to have content planned out at least through March. Let's finally put that planner to good use! I want to have a good mix of fashion, beauty and lifestyle - perhaps even start sharing recipes again! I haven't done that in a few years!

Four goals for 3 months! If it doesn't happen, then I'll just move it into the next quarter! How do you set goals for yourself? Are you a planner person?

Life Lately | December

December 14, 2018
Happy Friday friends! This was a blur of a week as most of December has been. I had a day off on Wednesday and it was awesome to get an extra day with Gary and Sophia, also made the work week go by that much faster. With how quickly December (and this year) has gone by I thought I'd do one final life lately post. This is one of my favorite times of the year and I really refuse to let it just pass by without really enjoying every moment!
Watching || We just finished the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the only downside is that we have to wait another full year before the next season comes out! I thought this season was even better than the last and if you haven't watched it, you absolutely should!
Making || Plans for blogging in 2019. I have a lot of goals for myself and this space - including possibly switching over to WordPress. Similar to goals I have for myself at work (that I'm reviewed on at the end of each year) I want to do the same for my blog!
Enjoying || Sophia's first holiday season! We finished celebrating Hanukkah this past Sunday and now we're on to the festivities of Christmas. Santa photos, celebrating Christmas at my sister's in a couple weeks & then heading to celebrate with Gary's family for the actual holiday! This is also the first time I'm going to take Christmas Eve & the day after Christmas off, so that in and of itself is a great thing to enjoy!
Planning || A couple trips taking place at the start of next year! Gary and I are headed to Florida for a very short trip in January and then again in March to celebrate my birthday with Sophia! So also trying to figure out what I need (documents and stuff) to travel with an infant!
Changing || I got a much needed hair refresh this week! It actually looks a bit more blondish in the photo, but it's just the light! I ask for caramel balayage and my guy knows me pretty well - I've gone to him for the last 8 years and the last 2 for color. I go in with a ton of pictures of what I like and he nails it every single time! If you're in Boston and want to know who I go to, just let me know! 
Buying || Unnecessary items that I don't need, like this rose gold utensil set! The brand "cook with color" has a lot of different options, so I'll be updating our cooking sets to match this! 
Also this beanie that seems to always be out of stock, was in stock (as of yesterday and on sale for less than $8!!) Needless to say I added to cart super fast and bought it! 
Reading || I shared my recent reads last week and since then I've finished two more books - one of which was another RS Grey read!! Next up is Tony's Wife by one of my favorite authors - Adriana Trigiani! 
Hope you have a fabulous weekend friends! 

Five November Favorites

December 10, 2018
Happy Monday friends! We had a pretty low key weekend - watching the latest season of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon, going to a barre class and a little friend holiday date with Jackie. I wanted to share some of my favorites from the last month. I've really like highlighting how certain products I'm using have held up over the month!  
IT Cosmetics Concealer || I have been using this concealer for the past month and I'm loving it. Much like other IT Cosmetics products, a little goes a long way. I'd say it's more of a thicker consistency that smooth, but if you use a setting powder you don't get any creasing! As you may know, we've been going through a bit of a sleep regression with Sophia so all the concealer is needed! When I tell someone that I'm only getting 4-5 hours of sleep (and not even at the same time) they are shocked because they say I don't look tired! I attribute this 100% to the concealer! I wear the lightest shade so it does a good job of brightening! 
L'oreal Nude Lip Balm || I've either used a chapstick or a lipstick, but this lip balm marries those two things perfectly! A hint of color and so much moisture for my lips, which is a must this time of year. I bought the shade "nourishing nude" and I'm a huge fan of how effortless it looks! 
Holiday Cards || I got our holiday cards out at the end of November and this is definitely my favorite card to date!! BUT full disclosure, I seriously had a moment - likely because I'm always doing 20 things at once - and had a repeated word on the back of the card. I was mortified for about 1 minute, until my sister reminded me that this is the season of life I'm in - it's a little messy and I'm going to make mistakes, but I'll always look back on this card and smile with that little mistake! 
Celebrating the first of many holidays || I recapped our Thanksgiving weekend, but it was definitely the highlight of the month! There are so many firsts this year and the first Thanksgiving is one we will always remember! 
New Bag || I think this is my favorite bag of the year because of how different and versatile it's been to use. I wear it to work daily and then out and about as well. It has so much storage space and I'm so impressed with the quality! 

Hope you have a great start to the week friends! 

Gift Guide | Stocking Stuffers

December 05, 2018
I love buying all types of presents, but stocking stuffers are my absolute favorite because it's these little gifts that are really unexpected! I put a little something in the guide for everyone on my list & hopefully on your list as well! 
This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them help support this website.

  • I'm all about mini products because I feel like it will actually be used up! This MAC mini lipstick kit is perfect and has 4 of the most perfect nude colors! 
  • Gary has sort of come to expect a tie in his stocking and for some reason he's actually surprised every year when he get's one - he must just forget! I love these "Tie Bar" ones (we actually have a store here in Boston) and for the price of $19, it's a beautifully made tie! 
  • We're putting a bunch of little things into Sophia's stocking and teether's are at the top of that list! She's been putting everything in her mouth recently and we have a lot of teether's already, but a cute one for her first Christmas is worth it! She also love's her Sophie the giraffe and they also make a miniature teether version
  • I think a gift that keeps coming is a great stocking stuffer in disguise! I've done a hot sauce on it's own and then add a little note saying that I signed Gary up for a hot sauce of the month club! So every month it's a little gift. Funny enough the year that I did get Gary this gift, we ended up having so much hot sauce that we just finished the last of it - 3 years later!
  • Committing to a full perfume is always hard, but a rollerball is the best of both worlds! Also, so easy to transport for someone who loves to travel or likes to keep it with them in their bag!
  • Tech gifts that relate to something bigger under the tree are always a nice little treat! So either an airpod case for their new airpods or watch band for their new apple watch would be a great surprise! 
  • If you're as pen obsessed as me, finding anything stationary related is always a nice stocking stuffer! Last year, Gary got me the entire Le Pen color set! 
  • I received a selfie ring light in a press package a month or so ago and it's been really fun to see the difference in photos. If you have someone in your life that loves taking selfies, this is a great gift - perfect for a teenager! 
  • These are my favorite hair ties because they don't leave your hair with a weird crease and they also don't snag / pull it out when you're taking your hair down! 
What type of gifts do you like to buy to fill a stocking?

Recently Read

December 03, 2018
Happy Monday friends! It feels like ages since I've done a recently read post and to be honest I thought I would read a lot more on maternity leave than I actually did, but towards the end I finally found my groove and was able to read a lot more in the last few weeks. Pretty thankful for the Kindle App on my phone because I'd be bouncing with Sophia on the yoga ball and holding my phone in the other hand reading! I'm still really loving Kindle Unlimited - most of these books were part of the program and free to read with my monthly subscription! 
When Life Gives you LuluLemons | I wanted to read this book for so long and I finally decided that I wasn't going to wait for the library to get me off the wait list for it. I absolutely love the Devil Wears Prada so to continue on with Emily and her story was so fun. She's just as snarky as ever and I really liked the storyline of her becoming a sort of crisis manager for celebrities and high profile people. The majority of the story takes place in Greenwich, CT and I always find it fascinating when authors describe the over top lifestyle of these people. To me it's an absolute must read if you loved the Devil Wears Prada and books like Chasing Harry Winston. 
Evidence of the Affair || I haven't read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book in a long time and this short story was a great way to jump in with my favorite author. The short story is a compilation of letters written between two strangers that have one common bond - their respective spouses are having an affair. It's an interesting bond that TJR is able to convey between these two individuals and only through letters. I read the "book" in day - on my commute to and from work! If you're not looking to commit to a full book then I think this is a great read. 
The Good Luck Charm || Admittedly, this book took me much longer than I anticipated to finish. I would get into the chapter and then find myself sort of bored. I also wasn't expecting this book to quite as provocative as it turned out to be. Not necessarily a turn off, but just be warned. Lilah and Ethan haven't seen or spoken to each other in 8 years, not since he broke up with her over the phone when he was drafted into the NHL. Now he's back and playing for his home team again and it follows their journey of picking back up with their relationship. Only Lilah isn't sure if Ethan is in it for the right reasons - especially since his game is so much better when she's in his life. It was enjoyable enough. 
A Place in the Sun || RS Grey is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and I think Georgie & Luca are two of my favorite character's she's written yet! Georgie is escaping London and her matchmaking mother and it lands her in Italy. She immediately meets Luca, but he's not looking for anything at all. There was a lot of depth to this book, which isn't really common for this genre, but there was also a ton of romance, a little cheekiness & a lot of Italian charm! I enjoyed this book so much, I actually ended up reading it in 2 days! 

The Allure of Dean Harper || Another fun and light read by RS Grey and set it NYC. Lilly is new to the city and trying to make it in the restaurant world. Not surprisingly, Dean is a restauranteur and has pretty much made it! Of course they got off on the wrong foot and of course they just have to work together. Even though these plots are so predictable, there is something comforting about reading something that will put a smile on your face! I think of these books a lot like Hallmark movies - you know what's going to happen, but you still watch! Also it's free via the Kindle Unlimited app so why not read it! 
Have you read anything good lately?

What I Purchased | Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 30, 2018
Happy Friday friends! It's been a quick week for me with Monday off, an event on Tuesday and a slew of meetings in between! I have completed most of my holiday shopping already and managed to squeeze in a few things for myself as well! I wanted to share those bits with you, but I'm keeping the gifts under wraps (literally) since I know my family reads these posts, so I don't want to give anything away!  
This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them help support this website.

While I certainly had no plans on getting a new purse, sometimes there are bags that catch my eye and that was the case with this Cooper Carryall from Coach. I love the structured appearance of the bag and it's so roomy! I use it daily for work, it's classic and very feminine. The inside is a beautiful burgundy suede and has a middle zippered compartment for anything sensitive, like your wallet. I opted to get my monogram etched on there right in the store and it was a really nice touch! Absolutely love the bag!

I was not planning on making this purchase, but whoever does the targeted ads on USMagazine.com wins because I booked it over to the Macy's website and looked at this Via Spiga Asymmetrical coat. Absolutely loved that it came in a variety of colors, but opted for the all black which I thought would take me through many years and really never goes out of style. The coat is beautiful and I know I will get a ton of wear out of it! 
I've never ordered anything from Rachel Parcell's online boutique but I stumbled across this beautiful sweater and needed to get it. I love the ruffles, love the colors and the fit is TTS. It's still in stock and still on sale! 
I was looking for an animal print sweater for a while and I wanted something a bit more fitted, so when Veronika posted about this sweater, I couldn't wait to order it. It's exactly what I was looking for! 
I am all about criss-cross tops at the moment and this burgundy front wrap top from Banana Republic is just beautiful. It's super lightweight and the ruching at the sides is very forgiving!  I wore it out to the movies last weekend and loved the fit. 

Leopard print heels have been on my wish list for quite some time, so during Cyber Monday my mom treated me to this pair from Jessica Simpson. I found that a lot of the heels were just a tad too high for every day wear, especially at work, but these were just high enough. If you're not into the animal print, they also come in 7 different colors. 

Did you make any fun purchases during the sales?


Holiday Home Decor

November 28, 2018
The weekend after Thanksgiving has always been the time that we decorate for the holidays. It usually feels like everything happens within a 3 week span, but this year with Thanksgiving falling pretty early on, Hanukkah starting at the very start of December and Christmas at the end of the month, it feels like each holiday really has it's own moment. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to enjoy my decor a little longer! I rounded up some of my favorite holiday home decor pieces and some I've already added to my rotation for this year. 
This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them help support this website.

I went to Target on Monday and picked up this super cute throw pillow. I love that it has more vibrant colors than just the traditional ones. 

New for us this year is adding an advent calendar to our decor. Obviously Sophia doesn't get anything that's going on right now, even though she loves the lights on the tree, so this is still way more for us than her!

I toyed with the idea of getting a very holidayesque throw, but I didn't really want it to clash too much with our decor, so this light pink woodsy throw is just perfect!

Using ornaments in a non-traditional way is one of my favorite things. I take a square vase and fill it with smaller ornaments, I tend to go with one color scheme. 

Since we have a faux tree, the way I get that pine scent is through diffuser and I love the ones from Nest. Would also make a really great gift for someone!  

Two little subtle holiday touches that I add include this  little burlap tree that I have on our entry way table. I also switch our kitchen towels that we hang on the stove - I probably have way more holiday ones than needed, but they're really too cute to pass up. 

We have these snowflake stocking holders - had to buy another pack since they only come in two's and I added a little snow globe to Sophia's changing table to give her something fun to look at! 

These little touches along with our tree and ornaments really make it feel so cozy this time of year! I hope to keep adding little things here and there as I find them, but also as the years go on. 

How do you decorate for the holidays?

Thanksgiving Weekending

November 26, 2018
Happy Monday friends!! Even though we're dealing with the dreaded 4 month sleep regression, we've had a pretty fabulous last few days, including Sophia's first Thanksgiving - so let's get right into picture overload! 

My sister and brother-in-law hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was pretty proud to reel it in and not over stuff myself! I also had my first sips of wine in A YEAR! We found out we were expecting right around Thanksgiving last year, so it's been a while! 
I'm all about getting my holiday cards out right after Thanksgiving and they were in the post on Saturday! 

My mom came over to stay with us on Saturday into Sunday and it was such a treat to have her around...of course we were able to sneak in a couple of dates because that's what mom's are for! I did make a lot of Black Friday purchases and happen to be wearing my new jeans (50% off) & top (50% off)! Also, my bag was sort of an impulse purchase a couple Friday's ago, but Coach was already running their Black Friday special at the time so I was able to score the discount! That night we went out for sushi and laughed because all we could talk about was Sophia!
Sunday was the day I had been waiting for - decorating for the holidays! It was so fun to see Sophia staring at the lights and telling her all about our special ornaments that we collect from our travels! I also bought an ornament to commemorate her first Christmas from Etsy.

We snuck in another day date to do some holiday shopping. We were able to make it a double date with Jackie and Tom to Eataly & I have to say their chef's choice meat & cheese board is my favorite! I ordered this Rachel Parcell sweater (currently on sale!) a week or so ago and it arrived just in time to break it in for the weekend. I love the fun pops of colors that it has and the fit is really nice! Will definitely be picking up some more items from the store! 

It was the perfect weekend and the best part is it's not over yet! I actually took today off so we're enjoying another low key day at home! Hope you have a great start to the week friends!