Weekend Favorites

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Happy Saturday! With the start of school, I find myself more anxious than ever for the weekends to roll around. My girls savor this time to reconnect, relax, and play to their heart's content... and I love it! Speaking of school, Hadley already caught some cold germs from preschool (two days in) and guess who definitely isn't in the running for mom of the year award after forgetting to pack Carrie's (fully made, I might add!) lunch? That's right... this girl! I may or may not have called Steve sobbing. Not even sure I can blame that one on pregnancy hormones. ;) 

BUT, besides those hiccups, school has been going great for my little girlfriends, and for that I am so thankful. 

Moving right along to this Friday's favorite things:

One. Have you ever been obsessed with a soap? No? I had never been either, but then I discovered Mrs. Meyer's Apple Cider hand soap and I now go out of my way to find a reason to wash my hands (which isn't hard, haha). I find mine at Target! The Acorn Spice scent is also yummy, but Apple Cider is just plain amazing. You won't be disappointed.

Two. I was literally laughing out loud reading this honest piece about the stages of newborn-hood. If you've been through it, give it a read! I promise you won't regret it! 

Three. Comfort food. Does anyone else just get in the mood for warm, cozy food this time of year? (Send any crockpot recipes my way, please -- those will be winners with this extra crazy season of life upon us!). Two of our favorite easy dishes are this baked ziti and simple baked potatoes with melted cheese, crumbled bacon, and broccoli. 

Four. I'm new to packing lunches every day, but we've been really liking these bento boxes. Does anyone else's kids' lunch come home looking like raccoons broke into it, though? I also spotted these healthier alternatives to Lunchables (nothin' wrong with Lunchables, but for the same price I figured I'd try these!) at Target. 

Five. The Target clearance section is legit lately. I picked up this simple market stand set up for EIGHT BUCKS. I figured we can set it up on Christmas Eve with a big bow and some play food tossed in the bins. My girls love anything make-believe!

Have a wonderful weekend!

We Have a Kindergartener!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Last week, we sent our first baby off to kindergarten. 

Carrington was so excited to head off on the big yellow school bus -- I couldn't quite believe I was standing at a bus stop with my child, watching her climb the stairs, waving goodbye. Our kindergarten program is full day, so it's a huge change from the 2.5 hours of preschool/4 days a week that she had before. No more lunches together, unstructured days, spontaneous outings, lazy mornings. Man, I reveled in all of those things with my first girl. They are tough changes for this momma heart to accept, and yet I know without a doubt in my mind that my almost-six-year-old is ready for more.

She's ready to meet new friends, to learn to read, to do arts & crafts projects to her heart's content (something I was having a particularly hard time keeping up with this summer, as much as I tried!). She's ready to expand her knowledge about all sorts of subjects she's curious about -- she's so ready to learn. And if I'm being honest, she's probably got a few things she can teach others, too. ;) I marvel at how much she already knows and can't wait to hear what she discovers, all she absorbs.

Hadley has been taking it pretty rough, but then it's only been two days and she hasn't started pre-school yet. She has a tough time accepting that sissy gets to go off on the bus each morning and she can't. She misses her all day, everyday playmate... her best friend. It's a long day without her big sister, and we're both feeling it. It hurts my heart to see her missing Carrie, but at the same time we knew it was an inevitability, and I'm excited for her to begin pre-school and meet new friends and teachers of her own. She's ready for her own thing, too! I'm also looking forward to a bit of one-on-one time (ok, maybe with baby sis in tow!) with my Haddie and plan on treasuring it fully knowing how fast it all goes.

Have you sent a kid off to kindergarten or full day school for the first time? Was it a difficult transition? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I know we're not alone with all of these crazy, mixed emotions. ;) 

Fall Bucket List

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day! Can you believe it: the official end of summer? This was the fastest season -- and year -- I think I can ever remember, and I have no doubt fall will feel the same way. We're going to have a busy one over here! I tend to be a restless, get out, get-it-done sort of person so I am hoping to balance that part of me (thus the bucket list!) with a momma who can sit back, embrace and enjoy the moment, and take it all in. 

Here's what's on our Fall Bucket List this year. What's on yours?

Friday Favorites | New Beginnings

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Good Saturday morning! Whew, it's been a busy week. How about yours? This truly feels like the end of summer now, with Labor Day upon us, the pool closing, and school starting this week (ahhh!). It's funny, spring gets all of the glory for new beginnings, but there is so much to anticipate and look forward to in the fall, don't you think?

I thought I'd touch base with some "life lately" updates in lieu of the typical Friday Favorites, one day belated. 

Countdown to Baby #3

We are less than three weeks away from meeting our third little girl! I really can't believe it. A full 35-week update probably isn't necessary, but here's a little glimpse into life at 35 weeks pregnant: restless leg syndrome at night, huge baby rolls and stretches (this sweet girl is running out of room!), 5 lbs 3 oz at our 34 week growth scan with the most perfect cheeks and little lips, momma can't get enough of anything cold and thirst-quenching -- plums, Italian Ice (especially lemon), ice chips. I'm nesting hard and literally snapped the handle off of my Swiffer Mop cleaning the kitchen floors so intensely the other day - a new low, ha! We've crossed almost everything off of our "to-do before baby" list, except: clean and set up the Baby Brezza, sanitize bottles, pack our hospital bags (her's is ready to go), and clean/set up baby gear like swings, co-sleeper, etc.

The big girls are so excited and we're getting anxious to meet this babe, and to safely and healthily have the delivery and recovery behind us and the rest of our lives as a family of five (six including Layla pup) ahead of us. :) 

New Instagram Account for The Lucky Lifestyle

One morning last weekend, Steve was so sweet to deliver my iced coffee and protein bar while I was still in bed and I'm not sure if it was the luxurious feeling of lounging for a few extra minutes, but I suddenly felt inspired to create the separate Instagram account I've been dreaming and scheming up for a while now for this little space. I haven't had time this week to devote to it, post anything, or follow anyone but several of you have already found me, so if that's you... thank you! And I promise to begin sharing there soon. Why a new and separate account? I've finally accepted that Instagram is the tool to help expand the depth and breadth of wonderful people I can connect with, grow this space, and share authentically while protecting the privacy of my kiddos as much as possible.

Back to School

Both girls head to school very soon, and we're all excited to see what they learn and how they grow this year! Don't get me wrong, I will absolutely be weeping at the bus stop for the first couple of days, but I keep repeating to myself "this is good." This is what is supposed to happen when you have children, right? You prepare them, little by little, for the great big world. This feels like our first real step into it. Wish us luck!

Here are my favorite places to back-to-school shop, by the way -- check out Labor Day Sales!

-H&M (you cannot beat their $4.99 dresses, just size up one size!)

-OshKosh (cute and classic playtime favorites)

-Target (is anyone surprised? Cat & Jack is the best and their Art Class line is super cute, too!)

-Kohls (we love their Jumping Beans and Sonoma lines)

Our New Car

We knew when we found out we were expecting our third child that we'd need to upgrade to a car with a third row. It took almost the entire pregnancy to finally go shopping, but after a couple of weekends of waddling around lots comparing a few of the models we liked, we found the one! Say hello to our (new-to-us) Honda Pilot! We received recommendations from several people with three kids that the Pilot was awesome, and so far, we're loving it. Truth be told, my eyes filled with tears as I watched my old car drive away (thanks hormones), but I'm sentimental like that. Anyone else? 

Anyway, if you're in the market for a three-row car and want to chat about different features and what we compared, liked, and didn't like... feel free to reach out! 

Finally, I wanted to share a really cool idea inspired by a friend who recently messaged me on Instagram. This was a girl I went to middle and high school with -- we keep in touch on social media but haven't seen each other in a good decade probably. She messaged me wanting to spread some positivity and let me know about a conversation we had many years ago that helped her decide on her college major, which led to a career she loves. I was totally surprised and really touched -- that this one conversation so long ago meant something to her, and that she would take the time out of her life to let me know that. Thank you, Brooke!

Her kindness and openness inspired me to do the same, and I hope it does for you, too. :)

Have a wonderful, warm, and safe LDW friends!

Back to School Must-Haves: Kindergarten Edition

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Happy Sunday, friends! It's been a second since I could actually hit "publish" here, and that's because the back-to-school whirlwind, an uptick in work, and prepping for a new baby has taken over (and I've allowed it!). There's much to catch up on, but first I wanted to share some back-to-school favorites.

This is an especially exciting fall for us with one kiddo headed to kindergarten -- hold me -- and another starting preschool (and yet another coming into the world! ;)). We haven't gone too crazy with shopping since the girls have a great summer wardrobe to get them started, and it's still warm here at the beginning of the school season, but we've definitely scooped up a few new things and wanted to share our must-haves! 

Scratch-off lunchbox notes // Sturdy backpack (this pattern sold out) // Bento box (sale!)

First day dress (Under $9) // Stasher bag (this stye on sale!) // Rainboots (GREAT sale)

Does it ever seem like one day all of your kid's shoes fit, and the next day they don't? I hope we're not the only ones! We had to get all new shoes for Carrington for fall, and those adorable rainbow sneakers were first on the list (still working on learning to tie those laces!). When I saw the Joule rainboots on such a great sale (40% off), I had to get them. There are so many cute designs on sale right now to choose from. We also recently hit up DSW for these athletic sneakers -- PSA: don't forget to check your rewards points at every store you visit, just in case! I had $20 that I almost missed out on. Also, if I had a boy, I would get these immediately. So cute!

This is the first year C will be eating lunch out of the house. Santa brought her a new rainbow lunchbox last Christmas ;), so we invested in those great bento boxes to help keep her food separated. The boxes plus those Stasher bags (genius) will help us greatly reduce the number of plastic baggies we use. For every day things like water bottles, you can't go wrong with Camelbaks (we find ours at Target). They come in a ton of different colors and patterns, last, and don't leak. 

Speaking of lasting, the LL Bean backpack is so sturdy -- I'm hoping it carries us a couple of years beyond kindergarten. C was so excited to pick out that flower pattern herself (that pattern is now sold out, but there are others still in stock! Plus free shipping!). She'll be rocking it with that floral dress for her very first day.

And, just for fun, how cute are those scratch-off lunchbox notes? We're big into note writing/picture drawing in our family and I'm excited to send C off with little surprises each day for her to find when she opens her lunchbox. 

I'm going to miss that kid so much when she's away all day. It's going to be an adjustment for all of us, I think, but seeing how ready she is to learn all of the things, make new friends, and be more independent makes letting go just a teeny, tiny bit easier. 

Anyone else sending a kid off to kindergarten this year?

The 5 Minute Face | Favorite Beauty Products for Busy Mornings

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The title of this post makes me laugh, because who am I kidding? Every morning is a busy morning. I like to wear a little makeup every day -- nothing crazy -- but putting something on just makes me feel a little put together even on the days where I'm anything but (which is most). I'm also a product loyalist. Are you? When I find something I love, I tend to stick with it for years. These are my tried and true favorites that I put on every single day in five minutes or less.

Every Day Must Haves

1. Olay 7 in One Moisturizer

One of my go-to drug store finds, this moisturizer gets the job done. I feel like I really have seen a difference in my skin since using it consistently, plus it has SPF.

2. Bare Minerals Bare Pro Foundation

I've been using Bare Minerals foundation for forever. I hate feeling like I have a mask on, and this foundation gives me great, glowy coverage.

3. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illuminating Concealer:

My favorite product and a true game changer. If you want to look like you got 12 hours of sleep, just grab some of this. The secret to applying it is to warm a tiny dab between your fingers before rubbing it in. It covers everything and the littlest bit goes a long way.

4. Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara:

Another product I've been using for years and one that you can grab at any local drug store, Target, Walmart, etc. It just works and is perfect for every day.

5. Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder:

This is a newer favorite, as I used the cult favorite Nars Orgasm blush for so long but grew a bit tired of the high shimmer. I love how this powder takes care of three things in one: blush, bronzer, illuminator. Just a little bit does the trick!

Favorite "Extras"

1. Bare Minerals Prime Time Primer:

On the days (or nights) I have extra time or a specific reason to get a little more made up, I make sure to use primer under my foundation to help it stay as long as possible. 

2. Chella Brow Pencil

I tried a couple of brow pencils before asking the woman who waxes my brows (when I remember to go, like, twice a year) what she recommended and she quickly told me about the Chella pencil in taupe. It blends naturally with my dark brows and has a brush on the other end.

3. Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Stick

Perfect for on-the-go, this stick has rich pigment that goes on easily in one swipe. I have a double-sided one with the colors Truffle and Stone and they're so pretty and natural.

Are you a no-makeup person, a 5-minute face kind of gal, or do you like fuller coverage for everyday? I'm always curious about others' routines & favorite products!

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 26, 2019

Happy almost weekend! 

What does this weekend have in store for you? We're painting the nursery tomorrow -- yay! We went with Falling Snow (Behr), so hopefully it will be bright and fresh. The baby's room is the smaller of our bedrooms with just one window so we wanted something that would maximize natural light and be neutral that the room grows with her.

Today I have a whole bunch of random favorites from the week to share:

+ Our new NEPHEW was born! I won't share pictures here, but we went to visit on the evening he came into the world and it was magical. He's perfect and his momma is a rock star!

+ Are you a lazy parent? (This piece was interesting and worth a read -- embracing my kids' "help" is something I'm always working on!)

+ On Saturday, my mom, aunt, and I ventured to NY to attend my cousin's baby shower for her first baby -- a sweet little boy! My cousin and I are due two weeks apart, which is kind of fun (our moms were due less than 2 months apart with us!).

(My dress is non-maternity Nanette Lepore found at TJ Maxx for $29.99, originally $150! I did find it here online at Saks Off Fifth, but it's listed at $55. It was so comfy and perfect for travel as the fabric didn't wrinkle during our 5 hour round trip!)

+ I read this article in the August issue of Real Simple and enjoyed it. I think a lot of people would be able to relate and I found nuggets of wisdom throughout it, like "I found that in the quiet, I could still move forward." Meaning, in those moments where it seems like you're staying still or stuck somewhere, literally or figuratively, you still have ownership of your own mind and can use it to think, dream, and progress.

+ The girls and I went peach and zinnia picking at our local farm yesterday. We came home with tons of juicy peaches (and some flowers, plums, and lemons) so we made homemade peach crisp. Dangerously good!

+ My favorite new (to me!) design Instagram account. I am obsessed with every single thing she posts!

+ With some birthday money, I recently picked up literally the softest sweatshirt and sleep shirt (nightgown length) you have ever felt. I'm planning on packing both in my hospital bag! 

+ Many of you are already familiar with veteran blogger and sweet momma April Robson. Her now three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was diagnosed last July with a devastating quickly-progressing and eventually terminal illness and yet -- yet! -- this family has managed to find and spread joy amidst the unimaginable. There is a kindness movement being organized for July 31, and we are each encouraged to participate in random acts of kindness in this precious little girl's name. Won't you join? You can read more about the movement here.
Have a beautiful weekend!

Nordstrom Sale Favorites | For the Ladies

Friday, July 19, 2019

If you read literally any other blog, chances are you've heard quite a bit about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale -- and today it opens to everyone (not just cardholders). This week was a little bit of a crazy week sale-wise. Prime, of course, was huge and then a slew of other stores held big Christmas-in-July type sales to compete with Amazon (like Target, most of the major clothing retailers, etc.). 

Want to know a deep, dark secret? I don't use Amazon. Pretty much ever. I think I'm the only mom I know who doesn't use Prime. But the #NSale, on the other hand, is one I can easily get behind! ;) I'm trying to be mindful of spending right now with all of the new baby expenses coming our way (hello diapers, formula, bigger car...!), but I still couldn't help but browse and here are some tried and true favorites from the women's selections, plus a few extras that would be on my list if I were shopping for myself. ;) 

Women's Have & Love

I got this long cardigan during last year's sale and wore it non-stop during the winter. Anything you can pair with leggings is a winner in my book!

The only bra I wear, and the only time I buy them because the price is so good. These hold up (pun intended)! 

I've raved about these on the blog before, but these Wit & Wisdom jeans are truly one-of-a-kind and I wore mine to death last year. They have a stretchy band inside the waist band, folks, and are just overall super comfortable and flattering. 

I have this sheer lip balm and it's great. I always have good luck with Bobbi Brown products and they last forever for me. What I love is that this is like moisturizing balm but with the most subtle, natural tint. This deal is like getting one for free!

Women's Wish List

Are Uggs cute? Eh, that's debatable. But anyone who has ever worn them knows that it goes much deeper than that: they are the comfiest and they last and last. I've had pairs for 8+ years before (kind of gross, I know). But I've never had the slippers

If I needed a bootie, and I most certainly do not, these would be my pick. I love the pointed toe, the color, the heel. Perfection!
This PJ set was actually in my cart! The older I get, the more I realize I like my legs and arms free while I'm sleeping -- and then I just throw on a robe in the morning and at night to keep warm. ;) These have great reviews!

I have a very similar tote-style bag from Nordstrom (but I think the brand was BP), which I got for $30-something a couple of years ago and I have used it as my sole bag (throwing all of the girls' things in) for over a year now. I will be toting a diaper bag soon, but this tote would still be such a useful, classic bag to have. And that price!

This jacket is gorgeous. This would be the kind of piece you would wonder when you'd wear it, and then end up wearing it all the time with everything. It would go just as well with jeans and a t-shirt as it would with a dress. 

Hoping to share a few kid's favorites early next week, because I've seen some really cute things. In the meantime, have a great weekend (and stay cool -- it's supposed to be 100 degrees here on Saturday!). 

Life Lately

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Happy Wednesday! It's hard to believe we're halfway through another week, not to mention more than halfway through the month of July. I'm grateful we don't head back-to-school until September, though I know a lot of districts go back next month! What about where you live?

Life has been busy lately, but in a good way. We switched from school schedules to summer mode pretty easily and have found our groove with what I feel is a good mix of extra curricular activities for the girls to look forward to and plenty of free time to just play, explore, splash around, and be a kid. Maybe even a little time to be bored. ;) 

Hadley turned THREE earlier this month and we celebrated with a princess-themed birthday party, at her sweet little request. We invited friends and family to join us for brunch, and about a half hour into the party we had a very special guest: Rapunzel! She had such a great time and is still talking about her party. I know how special she felt!

Not part of her party, but we started the day with sprinkle pancakes!

My chalkboard handywork. ;) I tried.

Princess everything for our little princess.

I turned 32 a couple of days later and we celebrated in my favorite spot: the beach. We played in the sand, ate crab fries, pizza and ice cream, and rode rides on the boardwalk until it was time to head home for bed. I love living within easy day-trip distance to the shore!

I feel like I also owe you guys a Layla update. If you weren't aware, our beloved senior golden retriever had a scary episode of Vestibular Disfunction (basically vertigo) back in March and there were a few very difficult days that followed. She couldn't walk and refused to eat, and as you can imagine, I assumed the worst (and it wasn't pretty... many tears were shed). BUT I am so, so happy to report that Layla girl has been mostly back to herself in the months since. I know she is not a young pup anymore, but I am just so thankful that she recovered and we are able to enjoy walks, playing outside, and plenty of snuggle time.

Shared this on IG - I have the cutest stalkers.

What else? Lots of pool time, yard time, family time, trips to the movie theater and we are starting to think a little about back-to-school. The girls and I went supplies shopping on Monday armed with the list we received at C's kindergarten orientation, and so many of my mom dreams came true in that moment. It was surreal and so fun to see C picking out her own pencil box, scissors, glue sticks, water bottles, etc. She's pumped!

Hadley got a splash pad (similar here) for her birthday and it's been a huge hit!

I've also been majorly nesting already, with the urge to organize all of the things and I couldn't resist a few things for baby girl that I came across lately, like these $5 booties, Hearth & Hand pillow for her nursery, and the softest multi-purpose cover ever.

I hope you've been having the best summer so far, whatever that "best" looks like for you. Have you traveled? Made a point to relax? Tried something new? Seen family and friends?

PS: Stay tuned for this week's Friday Favorites! I'll be sharing a select number of things for women that I love from the always-anticipated Nordstrom sale. I own most of them, so only sharing what I truly would recommend (and a few wish list items that caught my eye). See you then!

Pregnancy Update | 28 Weeks

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

How many weeks: 28 weeks! Hello third trimester!

How big is the baby: Babe is the size of a large eggplant, about 2.25 pounds.

Total weight gain: 9 or 10 pounds

Maternity clothes: Of course! Sometimes I can still squeeze into non-maternity dresses, depending on the style. Love this one (which I'm wearing in the photo above!) and this one!

How is sleeping going: It's ok. I ended up getting a full length, $10 body pillow from Target to replace my old, flattened maternity pillow and it does the trick. I find myself switching sides a lot, but overall I can't complain!

Symptoms: I feel really good most of the time, but I've had some recent sciatica (ouch!), which I've never experienced before. It must just be the way baby girl sits sometimes. Also a touch of restless leg syndrome is coming back at nights, which I experienced with Hadley's pregnancy.

Best moment this week: A healthy 28 week doctor appointment, hearing her heartbeat, feeling and seeing her move a ton!

Cravings: Not craving anything too strongly right now. Just lots of sparkling water to keep hydrated in this July heat!

Aversions: Still some meat. Not really in the mood for chicken. 

Gender: Another girlfriend! <3 

What I miss: This might sound cliche, but this is probably my last pregnancy so I'm just trying to soak it all in... even the sometimes uncomfortable parts. 

What I'm looking forward to: Scheduling my c-section and knowing her birthday (ahhh!) in the next week or so, finishing the nursery, nesting, even more movement. :)

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 5, 2019

Happy Friday! Hope your fourth was fun and safe (and hopefully dry so you could enjoy some fireworks!). We spent the day barbecuing with family yesterday; a perfect way to spend the day, in my opinion. :) On our 1.5 hour drive home, C stayed awake way past her bedtime looking for fireworks. We got to see so many different displays as we drove! 

Sending you into the weekend with some recent favorites: 

1. Easiest Slime Recipe from Brittany @ The Snyder Family

The other day on her Instagram, Brittany over at The Snyder Family shared a two-step recipe for making your own slime, and I couldn't save it fast enough. My girls love slime, but the store-bought stuff ruins everything it touches and I am not a million-ingredient recipe type of gal... so this was perfect! Head over to her IG to check it out. C & H each got to pick out their favorite color glue (C went with sparkly glow-in-the-dark orange and H chose shimmery pink) and went to town.

2. Stasher Food Storage Bags

I might be the last to this party, but I scooped up this Stasher snack bag the other day after my friend (hi Jaime!) suggested it and it's fantastic. We go through about a million plastic snack bags a week, so I love that this option is much more environmentally friendly, budget friendly, microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and freezable. C will be bringing a snack every day to school with her in the fall, so this will definitely come in handy. We got ours at PBK (free shipping!) but they also have them at Target and some other places.

3. A Baby Sprinkle

Last weekend, we threw an intimate little baby sprinkle for my wonderful sister-in-law who is expecting her second son this month. We're so excited to welcome a new nephew! We kept things easy with a light but tasty lunch menu (Wegmans catering for the win) and a soft blue, white, and yellow color scheme. I brought some blocks from home to decorate, and we all wrote a little message to the new baby in a Dr. Suess book (love this idea as a keepsake). Have you been to or thrown a sprinkle? I think it's so much fun celebrating each new little life.

4. Summer Fun

We've been enjoying the unstructured days of summer. It's always a little nerve-wracking going from a set schedule to a much looser one, but I actually think it's just what we needed before all of the craziness of full time school, fall activities, and a new baby. What have you been up to so far?

5. Have a great weekend!


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