June Amazon Purchases

June 29, 2020
It's that time - the June Amazon Purchases post! The theme this month was all things summer! 
  • Bloom Daily Planner || I normally have a ton of daily planners at work, but I've used up all of the ones I had at home so I bought this daily planner that has been awesome. I actually use it for more of my to do lists for a couple of days rather than just one day. 
  • Fashion Sunglasses || Needed a little something fun for my summer sunglasses. 
  • Toddler girls denim jacket || Nothing cuter than a toddler denim jacket. It's perfect for those chilly mornings or evening strolls we take.
  • Toddler Pillow || Sophia has been loving pillows recently and when she plays around in our bed she always lays her head down and says "night night." So I bought her a pillow for her crib, but she has yet to really sleep on it, just likes to play with it and rest her babies on there. 
  • Bathing suits || 
    • Just purchased this Color blocked  and Striped bathing suit for an upcoming trip and also after realizing that I only really had one bathing suit that I liked. 
    • Swim trunks - Decided to get Gary another of pair of swim trunks and these from Amazon look great for only $15.
  • Little black dress || This little swing dress is so nice and loose fitting. I actually paired it with a belt bag and it elevates the dress really nicely.
  • Romper || Easy, breezy and perfect for running around without getting hot.
  • Portable chair || I scooped this chair up for a couple of reasons, mainly to give Sophia a nice and easy place to eat when we aren't at home. Perfect for the beach and also for a condo that we will be staying it that doesn't really have a table set up. 
  • Bubble Solution || I swear we go through bubbles more than anything else in our house - she's in a real bubble phase!
  • Ice pop molds || I wanted to make my own fruit pops for Sophia (and us) to enjoy on those really hot days. Gary found these and liked that they were push pops rather than just the regular molds so hopefully that means less mess. 
  • If animals kissed goodnight || Such a sweet book to read at night. Sophia actually asks for it almost every night - one of my favorites to read to her. 

What's been some of your favorite Amazon purchases this past month?

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Fourth of July Inspiration

June 24, 2020
Here we are, a little over a week away from the Fourth of July! I'd say I can't believe how fast this year has gone by, but then again I think we're all wishing 2020 away! Probably no surprise here, but we don't have any plans for the long holiday weekend. We'll more than likely do a beach day, grill out at home and have some outdoor time - but other than that, we are not planning to go and see friends like we normally would. Even so, I still picked out some cute red,white and blue things for us to wear and celebrate with to make it festive!
  • These confetti poppers would make your table set up so fun and festive! Slight alternative to fireworks - okay it's really different but with little kids it's probably better. 
  • If we had a pool or I was going to be on the lake, I would 100% have this float!
  • These earrings are the perfect little addition to your outfit and my heart sunglasses in white are also fun, basically an inexpensive way to dress up an outfit. 
  • This set of napkins is perfect for summer and not too in your face for the Fourth either! 
  • Bought this dress for Sophia to wear! Comes in so many kids sizes.
  • You guys, I do not have a single pair of denim shorts - this pair will change that!
  • The weather could go either way here for the 4th, so if it's going to be chilly at night by the water, this star sweater is a perfect addition. 
  • I have a really similar belt bag that I wore last year for the 4th and it carries all the essentials. It also paired perfectly with this white denim skirt that I bought as well. 
  • If I didn't just buy three bathing suits, I would have sprung for this gorgeous one from J.Crew. 
What are your Fourth of July plans? Do you wear anything festive?
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What's in my Beach Bag

June 22, 2020
Happy Monday, friends! How was the weekend? We had a great one here - Father's Day and great weather really helped. I've been spending a lot of time taking Sophia to the park which also has a splash pad and decided to keep a bag ready with all the essentials. 
The great thing is that this bag is packed with just about everything you would need for the beach or pool too!

  • Tote Bag || We have so many of these LL Bean bags that I've now lost count! I love the zip top ones but the open ones are also great which is the one we use for day care.
  • Sunscreen || The Babyganics sunscreen is my favorite one for Sophia. It's SPF 50 and is really easy to apply. I remember it being such a pain to put sunscreen on when I was younger, but for some reason Sophia doesn't mind it at all and thinks it's a game - I'll take it. I also use a spray mineral sunscreen but I just purchased this Beauty Counter one that I can't wait to test out. 
  • Wet wipes & hand sanitizer || I actually always had these in our diaper bag and think it's great to have when you're ready for snacks. Especially now, I don't go anywhere without cleaning wipes and antibacterial, they are quite literally in every bag I carry. 
  • Wet Dry Bags || I use one wet dry bag for a change of clothes for Sophia after the beach, pool or park (if she get's super wet at the splash pad) and then I just put the wet bathing suit in the same bag. 
  • Clear pouches for toiletry items || These come in super handy for travel, but also for keeping things clean when you're at the beach. I just started carrying baby powder for the beach because I read that it's easy to get wet sand off and there are few things worse than being sandy! I keep some extra hair ties, a pair of sunglasses, my water spray and some lip balm. In another bag I keep some wipes and extra diapers. 
  • Portable fan || I bought this last summer for Sophia's stroller, but because flexible tripod you can really adjust it to be set anywhere. I post this up in our tent and it's a nice little breeze when we're snacking. 
  • Towel || Obviously a towel is a must in any pool bag, but I keep one packed in case we go to the splash pad and I also find it handy for getting Sophia dry before I change her form her suit and into clothes. The target $6 towels are fun and cheap - so easy to keep a few handy. 
What are some of your beach bag musts!
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Recently Worn Roundup

June 17, 2020
Happy Wednesday, friends. I normally share all my outfits over on Instagram, but thought I had enough great new finds and recently worn outfits that were worth sharing here as well. 
Easily one of my favorite and most comfortable dresses for Summer. I wear it weekly and love the fabric - it's so soft and it has pockets! I also got it in grey!
This is just the most feminine skirt that makes you feel like twirling all day long.  I bought this back in February before our now cancelled trip to Portugal, but I'll be getting a ton of wear out of it this summer. 
If you're on the hunt for a comfortable jumpsuit to wear around the house and for lounge wear - this one fits the bill. It's roomy, soft and of course has pockets! I bought this back in March right when quarantine started and it has been worn a ton!
I pair this red top with practically everything in my closet - from jeans to white skirts to shorts - it's the perfect summer top! They eyelet detail on the sleeves is so darling!
I'm sensing a theme with my outfits - if it has pockets, I will buy it! This tie belt maxi dress comes in leopard and black. 
I wanted a pair of fun glasses for summer and this $15 pair is perfect. Gives me all the J.Lo vibes! Also, not a terrible loss if Sophia breaks them.
I have a few pairs of sneakers, but none that look particularly good being worn with more causal outfits. This is the New Balance 997H sneaker and they are so comfortable!



Just a few outfits from the days when I'm actually dressed in something other than leggings! 
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At Home Manicures I've Tried

June 15, 2020
Since I can remember having my nails painted and done in some way makes me happy. I've always enjoyed doing my own nails at home, but when it came to something a bit more "professional" I would go get them done. At some point it got easier to just go get my nails done than to do them at home, but ever since being in quarantine I have had to master the more difficult manicures, so for the last three months I've been practicing different at home manicures.

Olive & June Manicure Set || 
I purchased the Everything Box from Olive & June which comes with:
  • Poppy polish bottle handle
  • 6 Polish Colors of Your Choice
  • The Top Coat
  • Cuticle Serum with Cactus Flower
  • Clean-Up Brush
  • Polish Remover Pot
  • Flat-Edge Clippers
  • Dual-Grit File
  • Nail Buffer Bar
What I loved about the Olive & June set was that it teaches you the right way to give yourself an at home manicure. You can clean your cuticles, shape your nails and perfect the manicure with their poppy bottle handle which makes painting with your non-dominant hand easier. Their nail polish is also a 7 free which for me typically means that it doesn't last as long, but that is not the case with Olive & June polishes. I am pretty rough on my nails - between bottle washing, dishes & baths every single day this polish lasted for 7 days without a chip. If you are already really good at doing your own nails, then I would recommend just getting their polish which is sold at Target separately as is their poppy & nail stickers

I would highly recommend the Olive & June line if you like the shape, length of your nails and like regular nail polish. 

Kiss Brush On Gel Kit ||

Because my nails are really short, I like to get nail extensions for some length. I don't have the best luck with the full nail so when I saw this kit had short nail length - I decided to give it a whirl. This kit comes with:
  • brush-on gel nails
  • 48 short-length tips
  • activator
  • gel and brush cleaner 
Following the steps it's easy to get a salon quality gel manicure without any need for an LED light - the reason, it's not really gel you're using, it's nail glue but with the use of the activator it's made to look like gel. What I really liked about this kit was that it came with french tips as well as clear tips. The first time I used it I went for regular nails that I painted but I wasn't crazy about how it looked. The second and third time I used the french tips and didn't need any polish over top and absolutely LOVED the look. Buffing was key to keep the line seamless and looking like your natural nail. I think this is a great purchase if you want length on your nails and something a little stronger on top of them. It says you get two manicures out of it, but I actually think you can get at least 4 because you get the clear & french tips, but if you file the rest of the tips to the size of your nails, you can get more.

Kiss Salon Dip Nail Kit || 

If you asked me three months ago if I could do my own dip nails at home, the answer would have been no. If you ask me today whether I think I need to go back to a nail salon to get a dip manicure done, the answer would be no! What I've gotten done for the last year at the salon are nail extensions with dip and this was the perfect kit for that. It also comes with nail extensions, but I used the extra tips that I had from the gel nail kit. I was a little scared that the dip application would be too thick, but it turned out I've watched enough Youtube tutorials and gotten my nails done enough to get the process done. The kit includes:
  • Base Gel
  • Top Gel 
  • Brush Softener 
  • Activator 
  • Color Dip Powder in Liaison 
  • Dip Tray
  • Sponge
  • Nail File/Buffer
  • Manicure Stick
  • Replacement Gel Brush
                  I purchased two other dip powders just to have so the next time I can do another one. Maybe it's because this is how I've wanted to have my nails done, maybe the dip makes the nails a bit stronger, but this is my favorite way to do my nails at home. The dip tray really helps with the even application which is also why there was no thickness on any of the nails. It's been a little over a week since I did my first set and there's not one crack, not one lift & best of all it feels exactly like it did when I got them professionally done. 
                   
                  I have found that watching YouTube tutorials on the exact nail kit I purchased have helped. The biggest takeaway was that in order for nail polish or anything to really stick to your nail it has to be filed with no shine on both the nail / nail extension if you have it. 

                  What's your favorite way to do your nails at home?
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                  Straw Bags I'm Loving for Summer

                  June 12, 2020
                  Happy Friday, friends. Another weekend is upon us and as things start to slowly open back up here, we're cautiously optimistic with what we get up to. Perhaps a little dining al fresco is in our future, but may give it a few more weeks to work out all the kinks before we branch out. Today I wanted to share some straw bags that I've been seeing and loving! Some are great for the pool or beach and others are great for running errands because we get dressed up for that now!
                  Since these are such a "summer" bag, none of these really break the bank and that's what I look for a purse that I won't necessarily wear that often. The circle straw bags are some of my favorites because they can be worn cross body. The Lexi Woven purse takes the circle bag to a different and fun level. This circle rattan bag is perfect for all your essentials as is this one from Amazon and has pretty blue and white stripes on the inside. The blush rattan bag is number one on my list to purchase!

                  I love how different this pink straw clutch is and also comes in two other colors. The best hands free option I have seen is this belt bag for under $40! The most ladylike straw bag I have ever seen - I think the best way to describe it would be, lovely.

                  A tote that I can carry Sophia's stuff in as well as mine is perfect either for the beach like this one or a more structured tote like this one from Target. 


                  How do you feel about straw bags?


                  SHOP THE POST

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                  6 Hiking Trails Near Boston

                  June 10, 2020
                  Ask anyone that knows me and avid hiker is not how they would describe me. In fact, prior to a couple months ago I can count on one hand the number of times I actually went on a hike. However now that being outside in nature away from people is one of the safest ways to socially distance ourselves, we find that hiking is the easiest way for us to get out of the house with Sophia and explore different reservations that are all so close to the city. I put together a list of 6 hiking trails that are all relatively close to the city, but once you are in the woods you feel like you are a world away! 







                  • Blue Hills Reservation || This was actually the first trail that I ever went on. The biggest draw for me are the beautiful views of the city at some of the points and now that things are starting to open back up - I believe the observatory and small little area with indoor and outdoor animals may be open.
                  • Breakheart Reservation || Our neighbors told us about Breakheart and I'm so glad that they did. There's a great pavilion with a big playground and so many great spots to sit and enjoy the lake views. 
                  • Middlesex Fells Reservation || Probably my favorite trail that we have gone on is in the Fells. To me this was for true hikers, but I imagine most of these trails are great for tough hikes. However with a toddler we did okay. You can rent boats, fish and even let your dog off the leash in certain areas. The other draw is that it's really close to the Stone Zoo. We also saw a ton of mountain bikers on our treks. 
                  • Neponset River Reservation || If we had the time to walk the entire length of the river from Milton to Boston Harbor, we totally would. There's a fun playground with a splash pad and a really cute bridge for the natural inlets and ponds in the area. We didn't get to fully explore the trails, but we will do a bit more exploring in weekends to come. 
                  • Nashoba Brook || This is one of the trails that's on my list to check out sometime this summer because I absolutely love Nashoba Valley. We have gone many times during the fall to the winery and for apple & pumpkin picking. I don't know why we have never thought to go in the Summer to hike the trails. From the photos I've seen, the brook that runs through on the trails is so beautiful.
                  • Mass Audubon Ipswitch Wildlife Sanctuary || This is another trail that we have yet to test out but it's close to Crane Beach which is one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts. It offers 12 miles of trails that take you through wetlands and other meadows. We wouldn't be able to do the full 12 miles but this would be a fun day trip with a stop at the beach happening as well!

                  Do you find yourself going outdoors more? Are you a fan of hiking?

                  13

                  Father's Day Gift Guide

                  June 08, 2020
                  Happy Monday, friends! Father's Day is upon us and as luck would have it - everything was closed for Mother's Day and wouldn't you know - things have started to open back up just in time for Father's Day on June 21st! Still unclear as to what we will be doing, but the gifts that I ordered for Gary and my dad are already on their way because I wanted to make sure they got here in time since shipping times are still a little wonky with COVID precautions in place!! 
                  Gifts for men, gifts for dads, birthday gifts for dad, gifts for father's day

                  • Girl Dad T-shirt || Perfect for all the girl dads out there! I know Gary would sport this proudly!
                  • Beard Grooming Kit || Perhaps the newest addition to many dads out there during the pandemic are their beards! This grooming set is perfect and includes beard oil which I've heard is really important if this is going to be a post pandemic statement! 
                  • Cole Haan Sneakers || I love Cole Haan sneakers for men because they can be worn more casually or dressed up too.
                  • BBQ Bowl & Brush Set || Father's Day is also the start of summer. This BBQ set would be a perfect way to kick off grilling season. 
                  • Kabob Grilling Baskets || My dad makes the best kabob's and I think gifting these baskets mean he'd make them more often!
                  • Sugarfina Whiskey Set || Something sweet with a flask for the bourbon! Could always include their favorite liquor as well - Sugarfina makes these for vodka and tequila as well!
                  • Drink Mixers || Parlaying off the previous idea, I bought mixers for Gary one year for the holidays and it's just nice to have on hand when they want to spice up a drink. 
                  • Dad Mug || If your guy is celebrating his first Father's Day this is the best gift! I made one for my dad and for Gary last year - it was Gary's favorite gift. 
                  • Casual Shirt || A dad can never have too many casual shirts that are easy to dress up. These Amazon Basic shirts are really great quality and Gary has quite a few in his closet - courtesy of lots of gifts!
                  • Weather Resistant Jacket || A handy gift like a weather resistant jacket is perfect for all dad's - especially those in unpredictable climates like here in New England or on the west coast! 

                  How do you typically celebrate Father's Day? 

                  14

                  Around Here Lately

                  June 05, 2020
                  Another Friday is here! It's been a whirlwind of a week with protests, rallies and a lot of learning, listening and acts of action on my part to do the right thing. I have found instagram to be such a great source of content and information - not only in finding incredible brands and creators to follow, but also watching and listening to stories. I've ordered more books, written to legislators and police departments, donated and I know that this isn't enough, but it's just the start. 


                  Over the weekend we had a socially distant play date with my friend Linda. Our girls didn't really know what was going on, but weren't trying to play with each other - more so just excited to explore all the green space at UMass Boston. It was so nice to see our friends and we're going to try to do more of that in the weekends to come. 
                  We've also been going to the reservations surrounding Boston every weekend and Sophia is a natural! It only took us a few tries to realize that the carrier we used with her when she was smaller still works now - she lasted about 20 minutes on each of us and then wanted to walk and explore on her own!
                  At the risk of jinxing the weather here, we have been really lucky with glorious warm days - so warm that we bought a little pool for Sophia. Our condo doesn't have any outdoor space, but there is a common area in the back that is perfect for a little pool - so we set up shop this week and I'm excited for her to get comfortable playing in the water for longer than 15 minutes at a time! Also, I picked up some cute suits from Target Cat & Jack's line
                  I forgot to mention The Idea of You as a recently read book and it was SO good! Solène is a divorced, 39 year old art gallery owner from LA with a 12 year old daughter who happens to be so into the hottest boy band out there - think One Direction. Solène takes a few of her daughter's friends a concert where they get to meet the band backstage and she makes a lasting impression with one of the guys. When a lunch turns into meet ups in different cities - things start to get serious, but she questions if life with a 20 year old boy band member is really the life for her and even more, she doesn't want to lie to her daughter who is closer to his age than her own. I flew through the book and really enjoyed the escape it provided! 

                  Wishing you all a really great weekend!
                  13

                  Product Empties

                  June 01, 2020
                  Happy Monday, friends! Before jumping into today's post, I did want to acknowledge the unrest and injustice in our country. I may never have "the right words" to say but I did post what I'm doing and how I'm educating myself, so that I can help educate Sophia. How I want her to grow up and what I want to teach her is so important to me. This space has always been a place of escape and positivity for me, so that's what I still want to put out there.

                  I have been able to go through quite a few of the products that have been on my vanity for a while. I made it a point to use up products before I started purchasing anything new to try. 
                  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser || I mentioned this in my cleansers post and I loved using it until the very end. This is a great drug store cleanser, but if you are someone that likes to double cleanse, using this one wont dry your face out. It'll definitely be a repurchase for me!
                  • Beekman Blaak Night Cream || One of the most luxurious creams I've ever used on my face! This was sent in a PR package in early March and I think I went through it so fast because there was never a night I didn't use it! The goat milk that it's made with really leaves skin feeling so nice and soft. It felt like my skin just soaked every single bit in. I think this also helped maintain my Botox results even longer. 
                  • Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick || I can't even remember the last time I made my way through an entire tube of lipstick! The Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are so moisturizing and never dry your lips out. The color that I finished was Kim KW. If I didn't have so many lipsticks already, I'd be repurchasing in an instant.
                  • Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Corrector || A holy grail product for me as of early last year! I can't imagine my makeup routine without this product. I apply it after my CC Cream or Moisturizer and before additional concealer - if I need it that day. This product is brightening enough that I've only added additional concealer a few times during quarantine. Not only has this already been repurchased, but it will be for many years to come!
                  • Too Faced Matte Foundation || When I wanted a change from my usual IT Cosmetics CC Cream, I tried the Too Faced Peach Perfect Matte Foundation that was actually much lighter than a typical foundation which is why I chose it. It felt more like a CC Cream, but it had the coverage of a foundation. It smells amazing and will be a repurchase for me just as soon as I finish a Neutrogena one I picked up. 
                  • Glossier Cloud Paint || I bought this blush when Glossier had a pop up in Boston last October and just finished using it during quarantine. It's probably the first blush I've ever made my way through and I will repurchase again once I've used up the other blushes I've had for quite some time. I was never a fan of a cream anything, but I'm 100% a convert for this blush! A little goes a long way and it's perfectly pigmented! 

                  Has quarantine allowed you to get through a lot of your makeup products?
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