How I Stay Inspired and Motivated

January 29, 2020
If I get back to why I started writing a blog, it was as a creative outlet for things that inspired me and motivated me. It's still that space for me, but of course has taken on a new life of sharing products that I'm loving, places we travel to and as a journal of sorts. I really enjoyed pushing myself to think of ways that I could grow this year and want to get back to more of those types of posts, if not weekly, then at least monthly! 

It's so easy to get the feeling of being burnt out or lacking motivation, especially when you think about how stimulated we are throughout the day and with all that we have going on at any given moment. I caught myself the other day listening to a podcast and reading the news - was I even taking anything in?! I can't tell you how many times I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and jotting down something that I need to do the next morning. There's a balance we all strive for and sometimes that balance occurs and more often than not you find yourself struggling. For me personally, motivation is often sparked during those moments where I feel like I'm struggling. Those are the moments that get me to where I want to go. 

Staying motivated and inspired is as much of a mental game as it is a desire that you have to have. My sister says that this current stage of my life is the time in most women's lives where they feel the most energized to create, to build something, to innovate and I find that to be so true - just look at your Instagram feed and the hundreds of women who are hustling to make a difference and to create something worthwhile. 

I wanted to share just a few of the little ways that I stay on track, motivated and inspired. 
  • Keep a notepad handy || I have a small notebook that I carry with me in my purse and when the mood strikes or I have an idea, I take the time to write it down. It's nothing pretty or fancy, just a small spiral notebook that houses blog post ideas, business ideas, travel needs, blog pitches I want to make, etc. This is not a place for my to do lists, this is strictly for ideas! I went to a conference last year and Joanna and Chip gains were the closing speakers. Chip said that Joanna had a notebook full of ideas and he told her, pick one and lets do it. If it doesn't work out then we tried and we move on to the next, but at least we know we tried! 
  • Content Creators that inspire || I try to follow people on social media that provide some value to me, be it looking at their beautiful photos, content they create or the way they are as a person. I am filled with so much motivation and inspiration following along and reading about their journeys. I prefer to follow accounts that bring me joy and are positive. I appreciate realness, but when I'm on social media, I like a little break from reality. These are just a few of the people that I get daily inspiration from:
  • Sophia || She is my true inspiration and motivator every day. I know this to be so true for a lot of parents, but with everything I achieve I want her to be proud of me. I want her to grow up seeing hard work should be celebrated. Every little victory is just that a victory and something to be proud of. Most of all, on days when I'm feeling truly uninspired and lacking motivation, one hug or smile from her lifts me up in ways I can't even begin to describe. 
  • Taking some time for myself || I'll admit that taking time for myself makes me feel a little selfish, especially on the weekends when I should be maximizing the time I spend with G & Sophia, but I need that hour or two on my own to have a mental refresh. Most of the time it's Gary taking nap time (because he not so secretly loves to nap too 😂) or my mom coming over so that we can both accomplish things we need to get done. During the week it's me taking 45 minutes to an hour to go to the gym at lunch to get those endorphins pumping or walking around downtown to run errands so that I can spend more time with them and not thinking about what I have to do. 
  • Folder of Inspiration || I often go to Pinterest and look through inspirational quotes, so much so that I created a board for inspiration / motivation. Whenever I need a little extra push, I go to this board and read the quotes. When I need something uplifting to bring me out of a funk, I read the quotes. That's usually enough to propel me to do what I've been putting off. 
  • Treat yourself || This can certainly get out of hand if you let it, but when I accomplish something pretty big, like a promotion or landing a campaign I was dreaming about, I reward myself because it's a huge win. Knowing that I'm working toward something I've been coveting (typically a new bag 😍) helps keep me on track and motivated. 
  • Bouncing Ideas of family || My sister and Gary are my sounding boards for pretty much all of my ideas. With my sister, I'll go for coffee or take a walk, talk for 10 minutes about our ideas and then say, so next step is?! She pushes me to make things happen, whether intentionally or not and gives me the motivation I need to not be scared. I have something commonly referred to as paralysis by analysis, where you over analyze pretty much everything and then talk yourself out of said idea because it just must not be that good. Having a sounding board, someone you can rely on and trust that will tell you when something should be pursued is really important to me.  Gary is my biggest champion and any idea I get, he gives me the green light to go out and do it because he really appreciates how inspired I am about the ideas I have! 

How do you keep yourself inspired and motivated?


Recently Read | Volume 1

January 27, 2020
Happy Monday, friends! It was a really good reading month and it felt like I read a little bit of everything, except for a good thriller / suspense. I haven't found one that I have wanted to read, so if you have a good recommendation - please let me know! Sharing 5 of the first books I've read in 2020 and while I don't have a reading "goal" it would be great to see 45-50 books this year!
Regretting You (Kindle Unlimited): If Colleen Hoover comes out with a book, then you better believe I'm reading it! Mother and daughter, Morgan and Clara could not be more different and more than anything Morgan doesn't want Clara to make the same mistakes she made, getting pregnant at such a young age. Morgan is happily married to her high school sweetheart and Clara's dad, but he's just about the only person that can ease tensions at home so when an accident leaves them to pick up the pieces together, they each find comfort in the last place they expect! Colleen Hoover has a way of just bringing you in and you get lost in every book she write - this was no exception!
We Met in December || While the title of this book may lead you to believe that it's set only in December, it actually takes you through the year in the life of Alex and Jess. Jess moves to London to set out on her dream life and ends up in a house share with Alex, a lawyer turned male nurse also looking to start his life over. The only rule in the house, no shacking up with roommates! When Jess get's back after a holiday, she realized that Alex has already broken the rules, but that doesn't mean she can't be friends with the guy who is pretty much the man of her dreams. I would say hilarity ensues, but it's a very touching book that leaves you smiling. As a lover of romance, chick lit and everything that this book is about - I devoured it!
The Last Post || I enjoyed this book by Renee Carlino so much more than the last one I read by her. The characters were flawed, but that made them real to me. Laya's husband is a daredevil through and through; it's actually his job, so when he suddenly dies, it's soul crushing. Laya is a doctor that's supposed to "put people back together" and she couldn't do that for Cameron. Micah is an architect at Laya's dad's firm so when she moves back to NYC, he is instantly pulled to her, but he's no walk in the park either. It was fun to read about how each of them would overcome their baggage. Laya really struggles with understanding that she could and should love again! 
Lightweight (Kindle Unlimited) || I very rarely share books that I didn't care for, but this was one that if I spent money on, I'd be pretty upset with myself, so I'm happy it was via Kindle Unlimited. The premise is that Isla was wronged by an ex-boyfriend pretty badly, which causes her to lose her self esteem and gain weight. Through the encouragement of her cousin, she decides that it's time to get her life back in order so she wants to make healthy decisions, which I thought was a great premise. She of course meets Wes, a personal trainer and some pretty mediocre relationship dialogue takes place. Isla also has an interesting job where of course she flies through from being an assistant to pretty much running the entire operation. Overall, it had the chance to have a good message which it sort of did, but was so far fetched and not that well written. It also abruptly ended, which was bizarre. Not a fan!
Focused (Kindle Unlimited) || Noah and Molly have quite the history. The kind where Molly almost ruined Noah's football career before it began and now he's back in town and playing for the team that she happens to run marketing for. Noah doesn't want to be near Molly, so when she's put in charge of a special project that he's the star of, things are about to get tricky. She's the only one that can get "the machine" to open up and everyone can see it - except for Noah. Ten years ago it was Molly that made the bold move, this time Noah will have to! Fans of hate / love romance and R.S. Grey will like this book as well!

What have you read recently that I should add to my list?


New In | January

January 23, 2020
I'm feeling all sorts of out of whack with the long weekend and thus here we are with a post on Thursday! I do a lot of round ups for Amazon hauls, but I promise I do shop at other stores! Admittedly a few of these were gifts from the holidays but I cant stop using them and they are all technically "new in!"

Spanx Leggings 

Most recently worn on Monday & with my relatively new Cole Haan Hiker Boots (still on super sale!)
I can't sing the praises of the leggings enough! I get the hype, I get the cost and more importantly, I get why there are so many posts floating around about ways to style these leggings! There are endless ways to wear them and I have already put them to good use in the last month. Gary got these for me for Christmas! I sized up and I personally feel great wearing them. The waist doesn't roll down and they have held their tightness very well! If you are on the fence about buying them, you wont regret it!

Pivoting Curing Wand 

these were second day curls
The Kristen Ess Pivoting Curling Wand was on my wish list for about a year and then it was the first thing I thought of when Gary asked what I wanted for the holidays. I use it once a week because I don't like putting a lot of heat to my hair, but it's been a game changer at getting some really beautiful look curls. I have a post coming up with all of my current favorite hair care products, so I'll review it there in more detail! 

Calzedonia Tights 

On a whim I picked up these tights at their store in one of our malls after seeing some of my favorite UK bloggers raving about them. They are amazing quality tights, not too opaque and they certainly don't break the bank compared to other tights. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, but I stuck to the black and grey pairs. I do like the polka dot option and will get those next. Personally, I love control top tights and these do a great job of keeping everything nice a smooth. I wear tights pretty much from late October to April here with the cold weather and need good quality that doesn't rip or get holes easily. 

H&M Puff Sleeve Sweater 

Saw this a few weeks ago in an email and finally picked it up. I love the puff sleeves and that they are shorter but it's still a warm sweater. Gives me a little variety in my sweater wardrobe! 

Alleyoop Makeup Brush 

Sometimes the things I buy on a whim end up being my most loved items! This multi-tasking makeup brush has a blender, a blush brush, and brow and eye shadow brushes all in one! This is the perfect on the go makeup brush and travel companion. I bring this with me when I have an event after work and it's always in my travel makeup bag!

Good Chemistry Queen Bee Perfume 

My sister bought this for me because it had "bee" in the name, but in reality this is one of my favorite perfumes I've ever worn. It's got hints of black currant, peony and amber and the huge bonus is that it's paraben free! You know when you've found "your" fragrance, I've definitely found mine and it doesn't break the bank. You can get a roller ball, body mist or perfume. 

Those are a few "new in" things for January! Anything you've tried on this list or that I should try next? Hoping to make this a monthly series!


Valentine's Day Gift Guide

January 21, 2020
How was the long weekend, friends? Ours was a little different than I was expecting because Sophia was home sick on Friday, so the rest of the weekend was spent with lots of cuddles and getting her back into top top shape! We're more than halfway through January which means Valentine's Day is right around the corner. My favorite gifts are those from me to me...which is something I always do for Valentine's Day! 
What to get your girlfriend for valentines day; valentines day ideas for gifts, girly gifts

  • Coin Purse || I love these inspired pieces on Amazon and they aren't fake's because they don't have the symbol or name anywhere on them, just inspired! Two for $12 so you can keep one for yourself and give one to a friend with a gift card as a cute gift!
  • Longchamp Le Pilage Club Tote || There is a new style to the classic Longchamp tote and it comes in so many different colors. This is the best every day bag and really great for travel too because it's so packable. 
  • Face Masks || I love a little self care time and the easiest way to do that is with a face mask that you can put on and do other stuff while wearing it! This set is incredible for 24 and only $13!! You can basically treat yourself to an entire month of self care in February!
  • Slip Sleep Mask & Pillowcase || For years I have been saying I want to treat myself to the slip pillowcase because of how great it is for your hair and of course there is a bit of luxury to sleeping on silk anything! This set is perfect for valentine's day with the adorable lip print!
  • L'Occitane Hand Cream || I keep this in my purse, this particular scent as well and it's creamy without being greasy and through these winter months my hands have not cracked at all! 
  • Charlotte Tilburry Pillowtalk || Jackie bought this for me for Christmas and I love wearing it on top of my favorite lipstick or on it's own when I just want a bit of color. I love all CT lipsticks and this one is a great addition to your beauty bag!
  • Mini Fridge for Skincare || If we had the space, I would definitely be getting this mini fridge for face masks, serums and my jade roller! You could definitely use this in your office for a small drink, yogurt or small lunch! 
  • Soft Glam Palette || Eye palettes may just may be my love language! I have this one from Anastasia of Beverly Hills! 
  • Earring Set || How amazing is this set of earrings from BP! I'm really into dainty earrings and this set would be perfect, especially the huggies that I've been wanting to try!
  • Love Case || Pretty perfect iPhone case for Valentine's day...much better than my plain clear one!

Are you going to treat yourself to anything for Valentine's Day?


5 things I'm Loving This Week

January 17, 2020
Happy Friday, friends. I'm really looking forward to the long weekend and having an extra day to spend with Sophia! I wanted to share 5 things I'm loving this week - maybe this will turn into a weekly series, maybe it'll be a monthly one, who knows! 

1. My Air Fryer (comes in 4 colors) || This has been a game changing dinner maker for us! I absolutely love it and while we've only made a handful of things including fries, Brussels sprouts and salmon, I can't wait to share all my favorite Air Fryer recipes after we've used it for a few months! I bought this book to get recipe ideas and then proceeded to tag almost every recipe as one to try!
2. Spinning Out || I know that I just shared a lot of shows to add to your next binge watching list, but I'm adding one more to the list - Spinning Out on Netflix. Highly addictive show about competitive figure skating and tackles some pretty serious issues like substance abuse and mental disorders. You'll find yourself saying toe-pick over and over and not really knowing why! I really hope they renew it for another season, just like we just found out You is coming back for Season 3! 
3.Booking Travel || This happened earlier in the month but I have two trips already planned for this year they will be here before I know it! Gary and I are going to Portugal for a long weekend getaway in March (just the two of us) and then in April I'm taking my sister to Nantucket for the weekend to celebrate her birthday a few months early! I've been planning what we're going to do, see and eat for each of these trips this week and it's getting me very excited! 
4. All of the brights || I bought this neon yellow sweater on super sale at Gap over the weekend and put it on straight away - channeling spring as best as I can! Also non-stop wearing the tote I mentioned in my post earlier this week - it's fits so much and is my new every day bag!
5. Blue Light Glasses || I've been wearing these blue light glasses a lot this past week because of how much spreadsheet work I had to do and it's been a game changer in relieving headaches from staring at the computer for hours at a time! I've had these for a year and while I don't wear them every time I'm on the computer, but I notice a difference when I actually do wear them! It's a great $15 purchase!

Probably the most random post I've had in a while, but these are truly 5 things that I'm absolutely loving this week! Also, really enjoyed this post on The Every Mom! I hope you all have an amazing long weekend!


Recent Amazon Purchases | January

January 15, 2020
It probably feels like there is an Amazon post weekly on the blog and that's due in large part to the fact that I order from Amazon nearly every other day. Between random things I find to items we need for daycare, there is always something that is on it's way to our house via Amazon! Not sure how we survived before Amazon. 
  • Food Pouch Tops || Emily from Two Peas in a Prada mentioned this on her stories and since we love pouches in our household, I decided to give these a try. For anyone that has ever given their child a food pouch only to turn around for one second and then see that the entire contents of the pouch have found there way to every surface except for your child's mouth - these were made for you. I don't know what sort of wizard magic they are made with, but somehow they are spill proof and will only let out pouch contents if your child actually eats it! 
  • Soft Tote || I randomly found this great tote and quickly ordered it when I saw that it had some Gucci-esque elements. I call it my "Fucci." I have gotten more compliments on this bag than anything in the last few weeks and it fits so much. I also love the little pouch that comes connected to it because I put a few lip glosses, a pen and other little things in there! Comes in a few colors and is great quality! 
  • Calligraphy supplies || I already mentioned the pens and book that I purchased for learning calligraphy and it's been great. For those of you that love to write in planners, these pens are actually incredible and don't bleed through paper!
  • Amazon Elderberry Vitamins || I take elderberry every single day and I found a great option via Amazon Elements. Like I said previously, whether it actually helps with my immunity to germs is up in the air, but I'll take anything that will help me avoid getting sick, or my perception of getting sick! 
  • Mitten Clips || Sophia refuses to wear her mittens / gloves so the teachers at her daycare requested that we purchase some clips for her. Wouldn't you know, since we added these to her jacket she doesn't take her mittens off as often. Only needed if you live in cold climates! 
  • Snow Pants || Another one of those items that I didn't realize we needed until daycare asked for it were these snow pants. The reason I opted for the pants instead of the full suit is the ease at which you can get them on. I put these over her pants whenever we're going outside and it's below freezing. They are comfy for her to walk in and not so bulky that she's annoyed by them. She actually looks so adorable and like a little skier! Kids grow out of these types of clothes so fast so I didn't want to spend a ton and for $20 these keep her warm and are water resistant! 
  • Snow Shoes || Add these to the list of things a toddler needs in the winter, but also the cutest snow shoes I ever did see! They come in a few different color options and they keep Sophia's feet super warm. Plus they are so easy to get on with a Velcro strap. 
  • Make your own capsules || We have a Nespresso machine but Gary also like fresh ground coffee and we had a lot given to us as gifts. Gary found this tool to make your own capsules using Nespresso pods and it's genius! It took him about 10 minutes to fill the pods and fresh coffee was ready to go! 
  • Fridge Magnet Letter Set || This was a gift we got for Sophia and she absolutely loves it. It sticks to the fridge and is great for kids learning the alphabet, plus it helps them figure out how to get the letters into the little spot so that the music plays. I will say the songs get stuck in your head and you find yourself singing them even when the kids aren't around!
  • Accordion File Folder || I'm one of those people that doesn't like to throw memorable pieces out - cards, letters, anything that we may need one day. So when Sophia started bringing home artwork from daycare I couldn't bring myself to throw any away yet. I got this expanding file folder and for each month of the year I put her artwork into the corresponding tab. At the end of the year, I'm going to send it in to Artkive and have it turned into a book and then I can get rid of the paper. These file folders are really handy for just about anything!

Have you made any fun Amazon purchases recently?


Current Skincare Favorites

January 13, 2020
Hello, hello friends! This weekend certainly whizzed on by and with really bizarre weather for us here in Boston - almost hitting 70 degrees in January, pretty unheard of, but no complaints. I wanted to dish on some recent skincare favorites that have been leaving my skin feeling very refreshed and glowy! I still struggle with fine lines and the dreaded "11's" - you know that area in between your eyebrows that when furrowed look like the number "11" - but I'm trying all the products to help reduce those!
Summer Fridays, Laneige lip mask, supergoop mositurizer, aveeno cleanser, makeup eraser, beauty bio peeling mask, best skincare products, 2020 skincare products to buy, sephora moisturizer

  • Beauty Bio Paint and Peel Mask || This is my first Beauty Bio product, but after using this mask for close to a month, it will not be my last. This is also the first time I've used a mask that you  get to peel off and there is something so satisfying to peeling. If you've ever gotten a sunburn and start to peel, you know what I'm talking about! My skin legitimately glows after using this mask and I love it so much that I have to remember not to over do it so I limit myself to twice a week with this! I also really like that applicator brush that it comes with to apply the mask - no mess and nothing gets on your hands. 
  • Summer Fridays R + R Mask || It feels like whatever the women from Summer Friday's put out, I need to try. First it was their Jet Set Mask and now it's this revitalizing mask. I know a lot of people are into clean beauty and this is one of the certified clean brands at Sephora! The ground up wild rose powder is what gently scrubs your dead skin away and after it's been lathered on your face for 10 minutes, you wash it off to reveal bright and glowy skin. Every time I use this mask, which is once a week, Gary always compliments my skin after!
  • Sephora Nourishing Moisturizer || This was a random purchase for me during one of their VIB sales and when I saw that it was a Sephora Product and certified clean plus a $16 price tag, I scooped it up. I use this moisturizer nightly and I can't get enough of how the whipped moisturizer makes my skin feel, especially when I wake up in the morning and my face feels nice and plump! The main three ingredients are avocado oil, marula oil and rose hip seed oil, which nourish, repair and soften the skin! All three things I need more of for my face!
  • Laneige Lip Mask || If you haven't bought into the lip mask yet, I understand the hesitation, but not only will you save your lips from being chapped, you will wake up in the morning and feel how soft your lips are! That's a win, win for me!
  • Supergoop Daily Moisturizer || Regardless of the season, I always use a moisturizer with an SPF and this one by Supergoop has 40 SPF. I've been using it since the summer and it's light enough to go on before the rest of my makeup and doesn't leave my face feeling greasy. Another clean product for those of you looking to make any changes. 
  • Makeup Eraser || The hype that this handy makeup towel gets is definitely worth it! It removes all your makeup with just water! It's honestly a miracle product that must have magical powers because I still don't understand how these fibers on the cloth pick up all your makeup, but they do. I got this for Christmas and use a few times a week to remove my makeup. The biggest test was for my NYE makeup which included fake lashes and waterproof liner - it removed it all. Never travelling without this thing either because so often I forget makeup wipes and have to use soap and water which leaves those wonderful dark rings around my eyes from mascara - not anymore! 
  • Aveeno Foaming Cleanser || I've stopped using my beloved St. Ives facial scrub after I read how bad the ground up shells were for your face - whoops! Since then I've been loving all Aveeno products, but especially their foaming cleanser for when I wash my face in the shower. I use this every day and it's so light on my face and removes all my makeup! This is one of my favorite drug store purchases! If it's good for Jennifer Aniston, it's good for me!

What skincare products are you loving right now?


A Year of Learning, Growing and Trying New Things

January 10, 2020
We made it through the first full week of the new year, friends! How was it for you?! It was chock full of meetings and lots of yearly planning at work, coupled with doing some things for myself, so I felt quite productive! Perhaps it's because I did something out of my comfort zone last year by going for more education in a certificate program, but it fueled my desire to learn. Learning or trying something new, perhaps not every day, but at least trying to, made me feel really good about bettering myself. I decided at the end of last year that I loved that feeling so much I wanted to tackle something new to me every month or every other month and whether that something new would create a great new habit or teach me something of value, I would be doing it for the betterment of myself. I wanted to share the 12 "things" I will be tackling in 2020! 

Calligraphy & Lettering || I really enjoy writing and quite like my handwriting, but I've always wanted to learn how to do more fancy styles. I took a class 5 years ago, but never followed up on practice. I ordered this book and these pens and so far have done some lettering every night. It's been fun and it's really nice having 15 minutes of nothingness and just zoning out! 

Celery Juice || Perhaps this is slightly jumping on the bandwagon for things, but there are apparently a ton of great health benefits to celery juice so I decided to give it a whirl. I did try this with my mom and lasted three days because I just couldn't get into the taste which is why I picked the shortest month of the year to tackle this one!

Meditation || I have the hardest time turning my brain off, especially when I feel like I need to relax. I want to try meditation again for what will probably be the 10th time of my life, but I'm giving myself a full month to practice being alone with my thoughts for at least 5 minutes. I've heard Headspace is the best app for meditation. 

Practice Spanish with DuoLingo || Our hope is that Sophia will be multilingual! She'll speak English of course and has a deep immersion with Russian because of my mom being with her, me speaking to her and also the daycare she goes to. Where we are struggling is speaking Spanish to her. Gary is pretty good at speaking to her in Spanish, but I could be better, even though I'm not fluent, I did study Spanish for 4 years so I have a basic understanding. I'm hoping practicing for a month will remind me of the things I've forgotten also help get Sophia into learning it!

May & June  
Google Analytics Certification || Google analytics is not only helpful for blogging, but for my marketing job as well. There is an entire certification that I started a few years ago and then just stopped. Hoping that giving myself two months to complete and learn everything will be enough! The added bonus is that it's great for my professional job as well as adding it to my LinkedIn!

Learn and perfect new braid styles || This may sound silly, but I only know how to do a regular braid and a fishtail braid. I have wanted to learn how to do a french braid, dutch braid and any other braid styl. I think it will be fun to do new things with my hair, but also I'll get to practice on Sophia since her hair is getting so long! 

Read how to Skimm Your Life || I'm a huge fan of the Skimm morning emails and their podcast, so when I found out that they wrote a book, I wanted to read it, but haven't found the time. The topics they discuss in spark notes fashion are everything from what it means to invest to what you should look for in your health care benefits, to public policy & government issues. It's the cliff notes version to get you better informed on all those topics you should really have at least a basic understanding of!

Learn Photoshop ||  I don't need this for my job, but it would certainly be a nice to have for the blog. I typically use PicMonkey to create all my collages, but I think learning photoshop may up the look and feel of them, especially if I decide to move the blog over to wordpress! Between Youtube tutorials and Adobe's learning suite, I think this one will be fun and relatively easy to tackle!

Take a writing course || I don't know which course I want to take yet and if it will be a business writing course or something for fun, but I have this yearning to write, especially with a book idea that I've had for years. Will the book happen? Probably not, but a writing course / class, that will definitely happen!

Learn about Tailwind, Pinterest and SEO || With a goal of migrating my site over to Wordpress this year, I want to make sure all my links work, the SEO is done correctly and my pins are correctly labeled, thus doing their job and getting more eyes on my blog! If done and set up correctly, Tailwind can really help drive traffic to websites and the goal is to grow this little space of mine, organically and authentically!

Learn how to wrap presents (all kinds) || This one is going to sound so silly, but I am honestly the worst at wrapping presents. I either use too much paper, not enough or it's so wonky looking, I end up throwing all the paper away and starting over again, thus wasting paper! 

I'll give an update either at the end of each month or the start of the next one on how it went and if there was any benefit from it! 

Is there anything you're hoping to learn, try or teach yourself this year?


What Shows to Watch Next

January 08, 2020
Since the Golden Globes were on this past Sunday, I thought this would be a great time to share some of the shows I've recently binged on and loved. Some of these only have one season, other's have a few to get through. Some are great to have on in the background, other's you'll want to give your full attention to! I'm guilty of multitasking while watching TV, but so many of these shows demanded my attention because of the incredible acting / story lines!
Netflix ||
  • You (Two Seasons) ||  There is no doubt in my mind that you've seen endless meme's about Joe Goldberg and how you can let some of his tendancies (ahem stalking) slide! You is disturbing, alluring and sometimes downright creepy, but it's such a great show to watch. Gary and I both preferred season two to the first one and maybe because I was expecting some of the goriness, it didn't seem to gross me out as much. 
  • Virgin River (One Season) || This show came out of nowhere for me! I flew through the one and only season. There are some triggers including fertility struggles, but overall this was such a well thought out show and intriguing plot. It had Hart of Dixie vibes, without the comedy aspect. 
  • Messiah (One Season) || Such a hard show to explain, but it reminds me of Homeland a bit, but only because of the CIA aspect. It's about an enigmatic figure whose followers believe he can perform miracles, but is he really just a big con artist that is good at faking people out. 
  • Good Girls (Two Seasons) || This typically airs on NBC, but I've watched both seasons on Netflix. I honestly didn't think I'd get hooked on this, but the plot of two sisters and their best friend that are for all intents and purposes decent people, needing money and respect so badly that they end up robbing a grocery story, drew me in and the story line took off from there. Beth, one of the main characters gives Book Club a whole new meaning! 
  • Sound Track (One Season) || This was such an interesting show! The first episode leaves you in a state of shock! Think of this as a musical without any of the actors actually singing, but they are dancing about half the time. Each episode explores different characters love stories and all the characters are intertwined in one way or another. Every song can be a love song if you want it to be!
  • Dirty John (One Season) || First of all, I'm still in awe that this show and podcast are based on a true story. It originally aired on Bravo and then it came to Netflix and I watched all the episodes without having to wait! I'm a huge fan of Connie Britton and I think she played the part beautifully as did Eric Bana who was both charming and creepy at the same time. This takes the meaning of "love is blind" to a whole new level! If you love True Crime podcasts, then you'll love this show!
  • Dead to Me (One Season) || Another Netflix original that was just so good! There's a twist you don't see coming and then they just keep coming. I thought each episode went by so fast and even though it touches on very dark subjects, Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini have such great banter and chemistry together, that you find yourself laughing at very inappropriate times. 

Amazon ||
  • Fleabag (Two Seasons) || I am so glad I gave this show a try because it's the most unexpected comedy out there. The main character is just all sorts of messed up and it's very vulgar so it could make you blush, but oh man is it funny. We flew through the two seasons a couple weeks ago during the holidays. It also just won for best lead actress and best show at the Golden Globes! P.S. you'll know why everyone is talking about the "Hot Priest" if you watch!
  • Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Three Seasons) || If you haven't seen this show, then I don't know what you're waiting for. Midge is such a great character and the quick one liners, funny banter and fantstic writing is really what makes this show incredible. I will say season 3 fell a little flat for me, but season 2 was my favorite! It takes a special person to play Midge and they cast it perfectly with Rachel Bronson. Unsung hero of the show is the dad! If you're a fan of 
  • Jack Ryan (Two Seasons) || The most unexpected action star in my opinion is John Krasinski and the fact that he goes all out in Jack Ryan makes him that much more impressive to me. I've never seen The Office (shocker, I know), so I didn't come in with preconceived notions about John K. so it's not that I never envisioned him as this character, it was just unpredictable. I think Amazon has most of it's Video subscribers because of this show. More than the thrill of the show, I really love the unexpected funny moments that the characters have. It's non-stop action and edge of your seat "what's going to happen" moments!
  • Catastrophe (Four Seasons) || Gary and I watched the first season of this show before having a child and found it to be funny. We watched the second and subsequent seasons after having Sophia and found it both hilarious and sad because of how true it is! The two stars of the show are actually the writers as well and the writing in my opinoin is what makes this one of the shows you have to watch! They are super quick episodes that you'll fly through if you watch! 
  • The Last Tycoon (One Season) || I watched this show such a long time ago, but never mentioned it before and I'm still upset it was never renewed for another season. Don't let that stop you from watching it! This is set in 1930's Hollywood and is based on F. Scott Fitgerald's unfinished novel. It's all about the movie industry, leading ladies, hot shot producers and touches a bit on the political times. Really loved this show, but the episodes are long and require your attention!

Of course, no list would be complete without Schitt's Creek, but I've mentioned it so many times before, I didn't want to add it to this list as well! If you liked this post, I can also share a few Netflix and Amazon original movies we've loved!

What show's have you recently watched that I should add to my list?

See other shows I loved here and here

Top 10 Amazon Purchases of 2019

January 06, 2020
Hello, hello friends! First full week of 2020 - who's ready?! I have a notebook full of post ideas, but before I get to the new content, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite purchases from Amazon last year. I looked through all 109 orders that I placed and rounded up 10 that were my top favorites! These are all things that I've mentioned on the blog before, but having used them for the majority of last year, I thought it justified having a dedicated post to my most used and loved products!  
What to buy on amazon, purse organizer amazon, levaca swing dress, best lint roller, best dry erase board, lip sleeping mask, best leggings, makeup organizer amazon, cable organizer amazon, hamsa bracelet, evil eye bracelet

  • Purse organizer || This was one of my first purchases of 2019 and I bought it to help keep the disaster that is my LV Neverfull organized. It would work in any large tote and comes in a variety of sizes and colors. If you love carrying totes, but hate the mess / clutter, this will help you keep everything organized and in it's place. I've also seen a lot of people use it in place of a diaper bag. 
  • Makeup travel organizer || There were so many bloggers / youtubers that recommended this travel organizer last year. For $20 it keeps everything in place and the compartments can be customized with whatever sizes you need. Comes in 12 different colorways and really great to keep your makeup situation under control wherever you do your makeup and also when you travel. I liked it more for road trips since I didn't have to worry about luggage.
  • Evil eye bracelet || Sophia broke my evil eye  necklace and I wanted to something that I could wear every day (I never take it off) but that's dainty enough that it almost goes unnoticeable. This evil eye and hamsa bracelet is perfect! It's under $20 and one of my most loved and definitely most worn items in 2019!
  • Levaca Dress || I cannot begin to stress my love for this dress!! It's the perfect and most flattering dress that I have ever worn. I loved it so much that I bought the long sleeved version for the fall. I always have people asking about it when I wear it and it's also incredibly soft on your body. All around favorite dress and I will 100% be adding another color to my collection this year! 
  • Revlon Brush  (Linked via Target, because it's sold out on Amazon) || This brush was everywhere on the internet and Instagram this year and it 100% lived up to the hype. If you are someone that regularly blow dries your hair or likes to have professional blow outs, then this is for you. I always add a heat protectant to my hair which is about 60-75% dry. Then when drying, careful not to leave it too long near your scalp because it gets really hot. You're basically taking the blow dryer and the brush and fusing them together into this one tool! It's also great to keep second day hair looking nice and fresh. 
  • Yoga Pants || I was first introduced to these pants by Megan from Holy City Chic. After she kept singing their praises, I decided to purchase some and wouldn't you know - they are incredible. The pockets on the side are big enough for my larger than life iPhone. They are high waisted so they keep everything nice and in place and they feel like butter on your skin. Really - there is nothing to not love about them. I wore them so much that I bought another pair in navy!
  • Dry Erase Home Calendar || As much as I love having a digital calendar, the ability to see the entire month with what we have going on right there on our fridge has been awesome. It's been great for my mom as well who watches Sophia a few days a week and knows if we'll be home late or if Sophia has a doctor's appointment. Everything goes on the calendar and we're all a little less scattered because of it. Also came with 5 markers and an eraser!
  • Retractable Lint Roller || I bought this on a whim and didn't think I'd get much use out of it, but having it in my work bag has been a game changer. I don't know if I've been walking around super linty for the last few years or what, but lint be gone! My clothes are much happier and it's also easily one of the cutest lint rollers out there. 
  • Lip Sleeping Mask || Even though this is technically a lip treatment for nights, I use it all throughout the day. It leaves your lips feeling moisturized and I have to say - haven't had cracked or chapped lips in over a year! 
  • Cable Organizer || Our cable and charger situation was out of control before I purchased the cable organizer. Now instead of searching for an adapter or charger that I need for that one little thing that only takes the special USB adapter, I have it all in one place. It also makes packing for trips that much easier because I go to the organizer and pull out everything we need for the trip!

Those are my top most loved and used products of 2019! I also purchased so many items for Sophia, but I'll round those up in a favorites posts another day. What were your favorite purchases from Amazon in 2019?


Holiday Rewind

January 02, 2020
Hello and Happy New Year, friends!! Unintentional, but much needed blogging break over these last couple weeks and I am so excited for the start of a new year! Before starting with fresh content, I wanted to do a bit of a holiday rewind and recap because the last week has been a lot of fun!

We were so excited to wake up and have Christmas morning at our house. Sophia didn't get what was going on quite yet, but she knew that she got some new toys to play with and was enchanted with everything that was left for her. 

 Looking less than thrilled here! 
 Headband found here
After a slow morning, we headed to my sister's house for a late Christmas lunch. The kids all gifted Sophia little gifts, which is just the sweetest thing ever. She had a blast playing with all the cousins and of course, little Ziggy! She also had her best night sleep ever which was the GREATEST present ever!
Curls with my new curling iron - it pivots and makes curling your hair so easy!

Gary and I had the rest of the week off and luckily Sophia's daycare was open, so we dropped her off on Thursday and Friday to get a lot of stuff done and checked off our list! We picked up a new tree since ours was on it's last leg after 9 solid years, had lunch with our friends, worked out, binged on "You" and tried to make up for all the food we stuffed ourselves with by eating salads! 
We had a quick trip over the weekend to see Gary's parents and do Christmas with them - Sophia was living her best life opening boxes!

Our friends were having a 20's themed NYE party - with champagne bottle sabers & all the speak easy vibes of that era and we were so grateful that my parents took Sophia for the night. Actually, she was with them for a few nights which gave us a much needed rest and refresh - really feeling like we started the year in the best way. I bought my dress from Amazon and it could not have been more perfect and comfortable.

On New Year's Day we headed to my parents house to celebrate and pick up our sweet girl! It was such a wonderful start to the year and I hope the rest follows suit!

I really felt like this holiday season was a nice mix of family, relaxing and getting to enjoy quality time with Gary. We went to the movies, watched shows together and actually had dinners sitting down! I am so grateful for the support we get from my family and I honestly don't think I'd be half as put together or "with it" if it wasn't for them! How did you spend your holiday?