Friday Favorites and a Birthday Wish List

February 28, 2020
Happy Friday! It's the last Friday of February and I'm gearing up for my favorite month - the start of spring, my birthday and our anniversary! 

We enjoyed some spring-like weather over last weekend and spent a good chunk of our days outside! Sophia is very much in the "do it on my own" stage, so the walks take three times as long 😂 We ate lunch at our favorite family friendly place, Max Brenner's - no joke, their waffle fries are the best ever!
Monday we had dinner with friends at Glass House in Cambridge and holy yum - the food was so good and the portions were crazy big! We split the crispy cauliflower and all had something different for our main entrees, but I think my bolognese was the best, although the others would argue their dishes were the best! 
Have you watched Love is Blind on Netflix?! For anyone that hasn't it's a three part series released in waves. The final episode aired yesterday and oh my gosh - this social experiment was so fascinating. It basically takes 90 day fiance, married at first sight & the bachelor and rolls it all into one! I was absolutely hooked and my jaw was on the floor during the final episode. Worth the watch!

To be totally honest, I have had the hardest time coming up with ideas for my birthday. I think I have finally reached the age where I would much rather have experiences rather than things, but when push comes to shove, I was able to find a few things that I really wouldn't mind for my birthday! 

This beautybio 3 phase treatment system has been on my wish list for months!

How cute is this water bottle? I'm the worst at water intake and at least this would be fun way to get that H2O in! 
Cue the "you know you're an adult when" remarks, because a handheld vacuum would be awesome!  
It wouldn't be a wish list of mine without some sort of bag! I'm in this weird stage with Sophia where doesn't really need a diaper bag anymore, but I still need a tote big enough to carry some essentials for her. 

Hope you have the best weekend! 

Shoes for Spring

February 26, 2020
Now that we've been blessed with a few days of warmth and sunshine, I've got Spring on my mind! I also haven't updated my warmer weather shoes in quite some time - some are looking quite haggard. So I wanted to round up a few favorites in each category of shoes that I'm shopping! 

Sneakers, not just for the gym || I have two pairs of sneakers and only one of those I actually use for workout purposes. The other is for running errands and are just incredibly comfortable. I wanted to add another pair of sneakers to the rotation that are more every day use and are easy to slip on and wear to the playground! I guess you can call it a casual sneaker! My perforated sneakers take a beating and I end up getting a new pair every year - I don't spend a ton on them because I know how much they'll be worn! 

Espadrilles || Pretty sure my favorite type of shoe style are espadrilles! Whether it's a wedge heel or flats, this is one of my favorite styles that can be dressed up or down. I also find that I get the most wear out of my espadrilles because of how many outfits I can pair them with. 

Heels || The majority of my heels are worn at work, but I do get dressed up for date nights and girls nights, so heels are needed. I gravitate towards pointy toed options, but I'm starting to expand out of my comfort zone!

Children's Shoes || I also thought I throw in a few options that I am looking to get for Sophia. I don't spend a ton on her shoes because she really grows out of them so fast. What I do like to make sure is that they are easy to get on and off and that they have good support for her as she walks and runs!

Are you shopping Spring shoes yet? 


Current Hair Products and Accessories

February 24, 2020
Similar to my skincare routine, I've been trying to make it a point to be kinder to my hair, especially since getting balayage once a year. That's actually one of the things I like most about balayage, because it's more natural looking, the way it grows out and the fact that it's not applied to my roots gives me the opportunity to do it only once a year. You wont notice a shampoo / conditioner on the list of products because I'm really not loyal to one right now. I typically run out of one before the other and just scoop up whatever looks good ( and go for it! These are a few of the hair products and accessories I've been using and loving. 

  • Revlon One Step Hair Dryer & Brush || By now I'm sure everyone has seen / heard about this brush. It's constantly sold out on Amazon and has thousands of 4 & 5 star reviews. It works! I have long hair and to blow dry and style it before this brush could take anywhere from 30-40 minutes, now it's about 15-20 depending on how much I let my hair air dry before. You get a salon worthy blow out every single time with very minimal effort. It gets very hot, so you have to be careful not to get it too close to your scalp! Other than that, I have no regrets with this purchase. I only use it once a week, typically on Sunday's to get my hair looking all fresh and pretty for the week. You could definitely use it daily, but I like to minimize the amount of heat I put on my hair. 
  • Kristen Ess Pivot Curling Wand || My absolute favorite curling iron and it's so easy to use! I have used a ton of different wands and irons in the past and have always had a hard time with different sections of my hair. Because of the pivoting wand feature, it helps you get those hard to reach places in the right angle. I also love my second day curls using this as well. Once again, I don't curl my hair all that often, but when I do it's so easy and not time consuming at all. For setting my curls I use this hair spray - it smells amazing! 
  • Sleek Oil Treatment || For years, and I mean over 10, I have been using this oil treatment after the shower to help nourish my hair. It's one of my favorite drug store products. 
  • Heat Protectants|| I alternate between the L'Oreal spray and this Shu Uemura Wonder Worker spray, both of which are great at minimizing the damage done to your hair from applying heat. If you're looking to minimize drying time, then the L'Oreal spray is the way to go! If you're looking for sleek and salon worthy, then you may want to splurge and try the wonder worker! 
  • Accessories || Admittedly it's really hard to get motivated to do anything with my hair in the winter, mostly because I'm wearing a hat for so much of it. On the off chance that the weather is mild or I'm in the car you can find me sporting these: headbands, these hair clips or these silk hair ties.  

What are some of your tried and true hair favorites?


Friday Favorites

February 21, 2020
Happy Friday, friends! Who doesn't love a short work week and what's promising to be a relatively nice weather weekend for us here! We celebrated Gary's birthday with a dinner date at a new restaurant in Boston called Mariel. It's a Cuban restaurant with a very fun Miami vibe! I cannot say enough great things about the food and service - seriously, everything we ate was beyond delicious. All the food is meant to be shared and our favorite was the Fufu Gnocchi, which honestly was one of the best things I've ever eaten!

(Notice all the great toys at our feet!)

They treated us to a glass of champagne since we were celebrating Gary's birthday!
What's in my Amazon Cart?! A few random bits that I'm getting ahead of vacation and also just because. 
 Love this one piece swimsuit and it has fantastic reviews. 
 This dainty necklace hits at the perfect length with the other one I wear every day. 
Bought this ruffle skirt for our trip to Portugal and also for warmer months. Comes in a ton of fun colors. 
Links & Other things
  • I loved this article about how to raise kind kids
  • I tried this nail polish I mentioned last week and 3 coats seemed to have done the trick at not chipping as easily. Also, it lives up to the hype of drying fast! 
  • This was a fun read from The Everymom on a morning routine with 2 kids
  • Our Air Fryer may just be my favorite kitchen appliance - can't wait to try some of these foods from Trader Joe's that are perfectly done in the air fryer. 

In case you missed it I shared some recently read books and spring work wear pieces I'm eyeing! Hope you have the best weekend!


Work Wear Pieces I'm Eyeing

February 19, 2020
I'm probably in the minority on this, but I really love shopping for work wear. I have more clothes in my closet that I wear for work than what I could wear out on the weekends, but as with anything it's time for a little refresh and I want to liven up some of my skirts, blouses and pants. I work in a business casual environment and like to have a nice rotation of clothes that are bold, but also those that I can get away with wearing for any season. The upside to working in a business casual office is that a lot of my pieces can be worn on the weekends which is a great return on investment for me! I also tend to hold onto clothes probably way past their prime, so here are some of the pieces I'm currently looking at! 

  • The puff sleeve sweater from H&M is one I already own and have paired with both ankle pants and jeans - it's a really great staple for the wardrobe. 
  • I'm really happy that pleated skirts are still in for this year because I already have one in my closet and hope to add this one soon. 
  • Dresses are probably the easiest work wear staple for me, it's one and done when getting dressed! I love anything wrap style because of how figure flattering it is, but also there's something really fun and interesting about this one with all the buttons
  • Blazers are something that I haven't utilized enough, but having one handy for a meeting that might pop up is necessary. I really like this Chanel inspired one and this multi pastel colored tweed one
  • This blouse is super chic and I love the color of this one

Before finishing up today's post, I have to give a special birthday shout out to Gary! He's one of the most hardworking, loving and wonderful men in the world and we're very lucky that he's ours. We celebrated early with his parents this weekend and this is one of my favorite photos! I seriously wonder what Sophia is thinking - is it, "wow, fire!" or "Dad is really 39?!" or "YUM YUM  YUM!" Which one get's your vote?!

Where do you like to shop for work wear clothes?


Recently Read | Volume 2

February 17, 2020
Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all are enjoying the long weekend! We have a full week of birthday celebrations ahead so before I get to that, I wanted to share a few recent reads! This was a really good reading month for me. I enjoyed every single book I read and got through them so quickly that I felt so much excitement reading!
The Story of our Life (Kindle Unlimited) || I may have found my new favorite author, Shari Low. Colm and Shauna have a once in a lifetime love that spans 15 years. The story alternates between the years that they met and the present (2016). After receiving devastating news, they both come to terms with a future that doesn't seem to be the fairy tale they had signed up for. It was such a beautifully written book, so full of emotion and character development, you just really felt for both Colm and Shauna as well as many of the supporting characters. One of those stories that isn't so far fetched after you read it. Even though I didn't cry, there were moments that I could have! Loved it!
The Moment of Truth (Kindle Unlimited) || Laney, Millie and Tash run a proposals agency so when a woman comes in wanting to do a surprise proposal for her boyfriend, Laney starts to think she's hallucinating because it can't possibly be her loving and supportive husband. She has two options, go through with the proposal to see if it's really him or confront him and her right away - I think you know which direction she went in. Millie is the hopeless romantic that can't seem to get her boyfriend Leo to think of marriage and Tash is the happily single girl that loves her no commitment style affairs! I thought it was a charming and fun read, but it did drag on a bit and probably could have been cut down by about 50-75 pages. Over all for a free read, it was perfect!
Doctor Dearest (Kindle Unlimited) || Any book that takes place in Boston keeps my interest and this latest one from RS Grey didn't disappoint. Natalie and Connor are both doctors in the burn unit and while they have the same specialty they've really never practiced together. Connor is a walking legend around the hospital and also happens to be Natalie's brother's best friend. So when her brother goes out of town and Connor has to move in while his house is being renovated, the sparks that were always there between them really fly. Both of them are weary of anything happening, but Connor really can't help the way he's always felt about Natalie. I could envision all the characters walking some of my favorite streets in the city and going to the places I always go to. It was a quick, fun take your mind off of other crap read! 
Open Book || If you read one book from this list, I hope it's Open Book by Jessica Simpson. I could not get enough of this - it was so beautifully written, so raw and vulnerable and above all else, it felt like she was just talking to her friends. I am admittedly a fan of Jessica and have been for years! I loved how open (pun not intended) she was about her relationships, especially the romantic ones and when she talked about her struggles - gosh I cried along with her. Her struggles were struggles that so many of us have had, she just happened to go through them on a national scale. Even when she was talking about her marriage to Nick, she was really respectful while telling her side of the story. It's not like this is a spoiler, but they didn't sign a prenup, so when her dad and Nick were fighting over money, she said give him whatever he wants, I'll make it back - and in her book she writes, I did make it back, give or take a BILLION! That woman is a hard core boss! Please do yourself a favor and read all the way through including the acknowledgements because those also brought me to tears! 

I have about 3 books I'm excited to read and hope to have one Recently Read post a month for the entire year! Anything you've read I should add to my kindle next?


Friday Favorites

February 14, 2020
Happy Friday and Valentine's Day, friends! I am so ready for the long weekend and looking forward to a good mix of everything! Here's a bit of randomness that I came across this week for a favorites round up!
Last weekend I went to a girl's brunch at Loco in Southie to celebrate Jackie's birthday. We actually went there for her birthday last year, so it's always a favorite! I had the breakfast quesadilla which was insanely delicious and the live music was not at all overpowering - meaning you could still hear what your friends are saying next to you!

  • If you create a lot of collages for the blog or need to remove a background from anything, I found this website that does it for free and super easy. There's no need for photoshop! See a photo I used this week. Suit is from Target!
  • The sequel to All the Boys I Loved Before came out on Wednesday and I don't know what it is about these teeny bopper movies, but they are just so fun to watch. Is it as good as the first, no, but it's still a fun one to watch. 
  • Sometimes it takes an article like this to really change your perspective. Instead of saying "I Have To" switching our mentality to "I Get To!"
  • I have a running list of beauty products that I really want to try. This didn't warrant a post on it's own, so I thought I'd throw it in here! 

Wishing you a very love filled long weekend! 


Early Spring Wish List

February 12, 2020
It's around this time of year that I am really itching for some warmer weather. While I certainly can't complain about the winter, I'm ready to feel the sun actually work it's magic and provide a little warmth. We still have a few months left, but we do have a warmer getaway planned for March so hopefully some of these pretties will make their way to my closet!
  • We are signing Sophia up for swim lessons and Gary and I will be trading off who gets in the water with her. Target has some really great one pieces - love this one and this one
  • I have the hardest time traveling with my jewelry and this organizer is an all in one for necklaces, rings, earrings and little odds and ends! 
  • I absolutely love this thermal top from free people - the design is pretty funky and just different! It's long sleeved weather for us here until sometimes May! 
  • Wrap style jersey dresses are so versatile. You can wear it with a denim jacket for the day while sight seeing and then put on a leather jacket and throw on some heels for a date night look! 
  • I live in my chambray top and I love the look of chambray dresses! They are so easy to throw on and go and I like the look with sandals or more sensible walking shoes! This particular one comes in 5 different denim styles. 
  • How great is this short sleeve midi dress?! It comes in a wide color range, but I can totally see it being so versatile, especially for trips coming up! Also, it has pockets - WINNING! 
  • I have one pair of nice sunglasses and the rest are sort cheapies that still look really nice. I get one pair every summer or spring and wear to death! Love these Celine dupes for $12.99!
  • This is a total splurge, but I've had my eye on this small leather crossbody from Louis Vuitton for a few months now and I love that not a lot of people have it! May have to be a purchase while we're away! 

I love that so many of these can work now and later as it really warms up! Are you keeping a running list of wish list items?


Sophia is 1.5

February 10, 2020
Where does the time go? It seems like I just wrote about Sophia turning one and here we are right smack dab in the middle of 1 and 2! I keep a running list of things Sophia says, does & just little moments I don't want to forget. She has grown up so much in the last few months and I am loving how much of a personality she has. She is one tough cookie, knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to let us know it! 

Toddlerhood is not for the faint of heart. She has started throwing mini tantrums - I say mini because it lasts for about 2 minutes until we redirect her attention. I understand she's frustrated and trying to communicate with us, so I'm pretty patient, but I sometimes can't help but laugh because she will literally be set off by the most random things and then done crying in a minute - it's a mind trip is what it is! 

Aside from that, she's a little love! She is kind, helps put things away, brings us things we ask for and loves to clean up. She will snuggle up and watch a show and she absolutely loves rubbing my ear when she's tired! It's one of the cutest things! 

Do I even mention sleep?! Sophia was sleep trained and then she got a cold and we went out of town and it all went down hill over 7 months ago. I am going to be doing it again in April and hopefully it works way better this time. I have put WAY too much emphasis on sleep and I think I've frustrated myself more than anything. Every child is so different and what works for one will not work for the other so we are adapting and learning as we go. 

What She Says || Sophia has quite the cute vocabulary and can even speak a few words in Russian. These are a few of her favorites that we hear quite often!
  • Mama
  • Daddy
  • Uh-oh
  • No, no, no
  • Hi
  • Hot
  • This
  • More
  • Milk
  • Stuck
  • Duck
  • Buh-Bye
  • Says 1 & 2 in Russian
  • Says "here" in Russian
  • Yay
  • Oh Boy 
  • Oh No
  • Up

Milestones ||
It certainly feels like Sophia learns something new every single day. Every time she says a new word, we look at each other and say, did she know that yesterday?! Her learning tower has been a fun addition for her because she loves being on our level. She learned so quickly how to climb up on her own! 

One of my favorite things is that she loves to listen and dance to music on Alexa. When we come out to the living room in the morning she just points right at Alexa and says "More!" Then once it's on she starts swaying and stomping her little feet - she also learned how to semi jump!
I'm so incredibly impressed how much she understands in both Russian in English - it's amazing! I also find it incredible that she feeds and loves on her baby dolls that same way we are with her - rocking them and giving them a little fake milk bottle.

She hasn't quite figured out how to give kisses, but I love that when I ask for one, she leans her head in to me for a kiss. She also will run up to you with the biggest smile on her face and then just smile and continue on with what she was doing. 

Her favorite thing is to help unload the groceries. We bring them all in and she takes them out one by one and hands them to us - it's honestly the best help!

Favorite Books || Hard to say if these are Sophia's favorites that we read to her or one's we really enjoy reading because they're just so cute. 

Favorite Toys || There are times she's really great at independent play and then other times she wants us around to engage with her. Either way, I love seeing her imagination running wild!
  • Hedgehog for motor skills
  • Baby with stroller is one of her favorite toys - she just pushes it around and says "baby" the whole time!
  • Leapfrog Fridge Set 
  • Block set with extra big blocks
  • Activity Table, but really she just loves to move this around the entire house
  • We bought this kitchen for her first birthday and she absolutely loves it!! She's getting tall enough that we'll be able to take it to the next stage and get some room back too! My favorite is that when I say, can you make mommy some coffee, she goes and does something that resembles making coffee 😂
  • Color wonder markers and paper - this will only work on special paper and doesn't color on anything else. We learned that the hard way with crayons that she started drawing with on our wall!

Favorite Shows || I was weary of having too much screen time, but she really only watches about 25-30 minutes of TV and not even really paying attention to it. It probably holds her attention for 5-10 minutes at most and then she just goes to play occasionally stopping to watch, which is completely fine with me. 
  • Any of the Super Simple Songs via Youtube - she knows them and dances to them
  • She loves Princess Sophia (Netflix Kids)
  • Chip & Potato (Netflix Kids)
  • Trying to get her onto Peppa the Pig, but so far no interest (Youtube)

This time has flown by. I look back at pictures of her from this time last year and can't believe she was ever that little. Pretty grateful we live in the day and age where everything is digitized and I have so many memories to look back on. Every stage is fun and trying, but this stage has been one of the best ones because she is really working hard to try to communicate and coming into her own. It's truly incredible seeing her grow!