Exciting Things have been happening

It’s been hard for me to be inspired to write about anything these last few weeks, because of the amazing news I have been hiding for the last 13 weeks! But I can finally shout it from the rooftops and announce it to the world that we are now expecting our second!! The hubs and I are super excited, as well as little man. He was so amazing in being part of our official announcement that we posted over the weekend. He was so proud to be a big boy and help mommy spread the word that he would be a big brother and letting mommy take these adorable photos.

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I cannot wait to share and write about; What the latest baby crazes are,  mommy to be fashion from small bump to big bump, How to prepare little man for a baby,and What I will do this time around vs last time

I mean the list goes on! So stay tuned for more on baby bump number 2 and all the great mommy to be posts to come now that I can finally share it with you all!

Road trips and toddlers

I know! Memorial weekend came and went already and I am just getting this post out! Well so where do I start? I mean it was almost a month ago!

We decided for our Memorial weekend we would pack ourselves up this year and drive on out to the beautiful state of Montana to help out my husbands college friend at his family’s cattle ranch. I know not your typical memorial day weekend, but wow was it ever an experience. Normally I spend this weekend sitting at a baseball field in the middle of nowhere’sville Wisconsin watching a baseball tourney. It was awesome to do something different this year. We literally got to experience what it was like to live on a cattle ranch. Rounding up cows and calf’s for tagging and branding, riding four wheelers, working in the hot sun from the early hours till the sun started to set. No joke, I felt like the pioneer woman! The best was watching little man assisting dad and the big boys while mom stood bad and tried to capture every moment possible on camera.

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So in order to experience this amazing weekend away we had to get there. This was not a flying kind of trip so we packed up our vehicle and made the 10 trek on the road in order to experience this opportunity. Also understand that once we were there that was the easy part. A place like that has so much a kid can do to be entertained. It’s that 10 hour drive getting there that is challenging. Here we thought driving overnight to get there would be the easy part, hoping he would fall asleep in the car…Nope. I am not even kidding that kid did not fall asleep till 11 PM in the car, and woke up at 1:30 AM and about every 30 mins after till we arrived at the ranch at about 4AM. Poor kid was just a zombie by 5PM the next day. It was actually our drive home that was the most successful. 10 hours in a car all day he was a rock star. Between Veggie Tales and Bob the Builder on the kindle and the Fisher Price learning laptop my mother acquired for us, he was one happy kid. Why was he so much better during the day rather then night? I am not totally sure, but I do feel that having the right tools of entertainment, snacks, and furry friends to keep him company, help out a ton. So I wanted to share with you all what I feel where successful road trip essentials for toddlers

What I have learned are some essential road trips for toddler tools

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1. A toddler neck pillow. I cannot tell you how many times this kid falls asleep and his poor little neck just hangs there. This is awesome for neck support so there little toddler muscles don’t cramp up.

2. Any Tablet of any kind for streaming movies and shows. We use a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and along with that purchased a car holder (not Shown) to hold for viewing. I get some parents aren’t fans of to much tv or movies, but road trips to me are a special exception to that rule. a none screaming car is a happy car;)

3. Any type of blanket or dual animal blanket mix. I was lucky enough to get my hands on Fritzie the frog awhile back, and he is just the best stuffed animal blanket mix I could ever have gotten. for the car he is perfect for snuggling, and for staying warm in the AC.

4. Snacks! Yes we stop and eat lunch or breakfast on the go, but a good healthy snack is a great way to keep kiddos occupied and happy. I find these Happy Tot Bars are perfect for the road. Easy to eat and nothing to feel guity about.

5. The learning pad. Sometime the kids get bored of the same movie or show and are ready for something different. We acquired the Fisher Price Smart Tablet from my mother and it is awesome. He is occupied playing games while learning numbers and letters at the same time!

So the next time the opportunity arises to pack up the family and hit the road, just be prepared, take note of the items listed above and just try. You might be sweetly surprise how doable this really is!

Europe in the springtime

I feel like it’s that time of year when people tend to book a very specific type of trip or vacation… the European tour. Heck I did it myself after graduating college. I know more people this spring taking a big trip like this either due to graduation or just a trip that has been on the checklist for sometime now. With that comes preparation. I feel that many people are unaware of the preparation that comes with a trip like this. on the other hand some are good ole fashion pros! I guess I was inspired to share my thoughts about this because of a email I had received from a family member, with a ton of questions to help her prep her college age son for his upcoming trip.  I am not a travel expert, but I do feel I have traveled to enough countries thus far to have figured out a few tips and thoughts on prepping for international travel

How to pack 

This took me awhile to figure out the best way to pack without being that one girl with two suitcases, one being solely for shoes (J/K.) But seriously I tend to think about each and every scenario possible, and then I tend to over pack. First piece of advice, do your research on the places you are traveling to. what’s the weather like? whats the fashion like? What are the do and don’t in that culture for clothing? With that in mind pack with the idea of monochromatic and mix and match pieces. Staple pieces that you can create 10 outfits with by only packing a few items. Using the items below I can literally create seven outfits. A list like this can easily get you through a week in Paris for sure.

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Luggage

You obviously need to put your attire in something, so lets talk about what to use. Depending on your trip whether it be straight up back packing or just easing through a variety of cities, you need to be prepared. There is never a need for a humongous suitcase when doing this type of traveling. Especially if you are moving from place to place on trains, buses, cars, etc… You need to be able to maneuver with ease. Other things to consider are toiletry bags,  are space saver bags to make room for things you buy and shoes, an outlet converter, and a lock if your suit case doesn’t have them already built in.

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Money/phone/Day bag

One thing I will say that is nice is the evolution of our phones, money and how we carry around our belongings as we travel. we no longer have to use travelers checks (if you don’t want to), pay credit card fees, or carry hideous, “Hey look at me I am a tourist” type bags we live in a time where phone carriers can turn on international roaming or some just need a simple sim card to switch out as soon as they arrive in that country. Credit cards are starting to jump onto the no international fee bandwagon, which is wonderful since many like myself hate to carry around large amounts of cash. And how we carry this all around is another story. there are so many better moods of carrying your travel items with you and on you in this day that don’t cause you to look like a total tourist ready to be pick pocketed, and accommodate a camera.

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Other things to consider while traveling are hotels, tours, excursions, dinner, and museums. This can all seem overwhelming, but again we live in a day and age where we can literally get to, and find, everything we need with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. Here are some other great links to help you on planning your European excursion

Hotels and Hostels and other options:

Venere.com

Agoda.com

Homeaway.com

airbnb.com

Hostels.com

Hostelworld.com

Museums

Italy – You can pre-order your tickets and avoid all queues to get into places like the Colosseum, and art museums like the Uffizi here.

Paris – You can buy the Paris Museum pass. This allows you into 60 different museums and monuments for either 2, 4 or 6 days depending on your stay and budget

London – Similar to Paris, London also provides a London Museum pass option.

Restaurants:

sometimes finding a place to eat can also be an adventure. you go from place to place looking through each menu deciding if you like what they offer, and if it’s in your budget. Then you decide on the place you saw three places prior, but you can’t remember where it is. Well now we have our phones. if you get a sim card or open to international usage you can use these apps to help you find restaurants, ratings and all within you budget.

Droid – Restaurant Finder

iPhone – 42 Restaurants

Otherwise, when in doubt ask the locals!

Tours and Excursions:

I have found that when it comes to tours and excursions here is where you really need to do your own research. this really all depends on the types of excursions you like. Here are a few ideas I am personally a kin to.

I have found that Cycle Cities provides information for day bike tours for cities all around Europe.

If your into Hiking I highly suggest the Cinque Terra and the Dolomites in Italy. I am sure there are literally tons more around Europe, But I have personally experienced Cinque Terra, and my best friends swears the Dolomites are amazing! You can read her review and story about them here and here

*I also Highly recommend reading her Blog to get some other great ideas on where to travel and her own experiences.

Other great sites to get day trip ideas are Viator and  STA.

Lastly, make small talk with the locals and learn where the hidden gems of the city are from them.  Those hidden gems, I have found, tend to be the best places and I have yet to be disappointing with this method.

I hope this post helps all those getting prepped and ready for that upcoming trip whether it be this year or next.

Happy Thursday!

Currently loving – Mexican inspired, hippy, romantic styled patterns

As the temps around us are warming I can’t help but fall in love with new styles for the season. This spring I have been lusting over all things that have a Mexican inspired/hippy/romantic styled patterns. I know this is a mouthful to say. I can’t help but be drawn to the airy bright warm looks for everything from fashion to decor to accessories.

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Happy Tues everyone!

Who inspires your style?

What is style? Who depicts what we wear and don’t? Who sets the trends? I start thinking about this and slowly realize the answer is,  “all of us.” We live in a time when we set the trends, we inspire one another. What an amazing time we live in to be able to pull off 50″s Glam one day, and grunge chic the next. We have everything from vintage icons and inspiration, to tools like pinterest, movies and celebs to inspire what we wear. So where do you get your inspiration from?

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Image found here

ceb594fb6e94156387b6adc230c4d6a3Blogger site found here

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Image found here

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Original taken by Richard Avedon

Some of my favs for pulling inspiration from

Atalantic Pacific - Blog

Pink Peonies - Blog

Jcrew – Retailer

Olivia Polermo – Modern Style icon

Kate Middleton – Royalty Fashion awesomeness

…Just to name a few. So tell me who inspires your fashion?

A little face love when your on a budget

I know I posted earlier about my LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for the Arbonne primer form this post, But sometimes I just want a little something different to . For many of you buying a nicer face primer is just not in the budget or If you are out and about just want to grab whats available. So if you fall into this category I share my latest favorite find.  The E.L.F brand, mineral face primer . This particular primer has a shimmery tint to make your skin literally glow, which is perfect for when you want to change things up a bit in your makeup routine. Since this winter has been a little long and little tough, anything that makes my skin glow like I have just been outside is a thumbs up in my book. And to top it off E.L.F. has this great little all over color stick that works wonders for creating that seriously natural sun kissed rosy cheek. FaceLove

Original images and product found here and here

You can find quite a variety of these primers  to support your skin wants and needs. I personally went for the Radiant Glow (which is where the shimmer came from) to add that spring shine to my skin. Once primed I sweep my mineral powder lightly across my skin and finish with a swipe or two of the All over stick,  in Pink Lemonade. Blend that in and top with mascara (or your regular eye makeup routine,) and you have an easy breezy barely there make look that allows your skin to look radiant and glow.

I made the hubs take this pic while out on the porch yesterday evening (in my awesome hanging out at home attire) to show you how great this stuff really is. this is me at the end of my workday. Because I ran over lunch I typically do a very minimal make to finish the workday. I had been wearing my makeup since about noon after my lunchtime run and this shot was taken at about 7:30PM! My skin still looks fresh and amazing.

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So the next time your in Target and you need to stick to a budget check out these two products!!

*These opinions are my own, I am not being sponsored to share these opinions, but rather just love to share products I find and love

Latest obsessions – revving up for spring!

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After what has seriously felt like the longest winter ever, I think we are finally into official spring. I can tell everyone here in the surrounding cities are just plain out tired of snow, and ready to be outdoors as much as we can be. With a new season, comes new obsessions.

Because of the amount of snow we have had I feel like some great rubber boots are in order for this spring and summer. Currently craving these or these

If you are remodeling or attempting any home project this spring you NEED to check out Houzz.

Have you ever heard or TRX Barre/Cardio Barre? Check me out in the TRX straps here and here. No joke this is a hard class, I mean I am still sore for days after, but I am obsessed and I highly recommend it.

I am slowly jumping onto this Paleo Bandwagon. I am not 100%  strict on it, but I would say about 85-90 % of what I cook these days is following that diet, and I feel spectacular!

Just ordered these pants for spring. I cannot wait to try the loose pant trend

Just made two of these books to document little mans first two years. They are so adorable and even the Hubs loves them!

I am in love with this foaming body scrub. If you have not checked out Arbonne you really should.

I hope that you are all loving the warmer temps of spring! Happy Thursday everyone!

I might join the circus

Over the weekend I joined some wonderful friends to celebrate a birthday. Part of enjoying this birthday event was being able to see the hard work that my amazing friend has put into creating for her sister. I mean seriously if she pins it she will make it and she will make it well.  But that my friends is not the best part about this birthday event. The birthday girl decided that the best way to celebrate her day was to take a flying trapeze lesson! This is the type of thing you dream about doing when your 5 and just left the kindergarten field trip to the circus. This has to be the coolest birthday I have been to, and that includes when I was a kid

Check this out..

If you haven’t looked into try this you really should. As sore as I am still two days later, it was the most fun/invigorating outing I have done in a very long time. If your in my neck of the woods check them out here.

To top off this awesome outing my very close friend created the most amazing atmosphere at her home to get us all in the circus mood. I will be posting more of the images to help announce her amazing event planning business soon, but here is a few just to give you an idea of her crafty creativity.

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I cannot wait to share more about her business when we get the rest of these photos ready and her site up to share!

TGIF!

Holy Buckets folks, I cannot believe how busy I have been to the point where I cannot even get a post written! Our lives have been momentarily turned upside down with the hours my hubs has been putting in at work. (Blessings of being married to an IT guy right?) So between work being busy and being a single mommy at night afterwards it’s been a little tough getting posts out on the ole blog. I have some great posts coming up and hopefully I will be able to get my fabulous sister in laws fitness posts up and running soon! In the mean time I thought since it’s Friday I would post some delightful randomness for your viewing pleasure :)

- I have a recent obsession with Poshmark. It’s like online consignment. It feeds my J.Crew Addiction and fits my budget.

- I decided after last weekend celebrating the hubs Bday, that Costco has the BEST pre-made cheesecake if you can’t make your own.

- Happy hours in my life have now turned into after dinner cocktails in the bathroom while the kiddo has bath time. (Apparently I am not alone with this and grateful that I am not)

- This recipe has become a weekly staple in our home, and it’s gets the hubby/kiddo approval. Seriously try this it is so delicious!

- I sometimes think it would be awesome to quit my day job to be a Barre/yoga instructor..Then I realize it would be hard to talk while doing half of what they do and decide that it’s not a good idea anymore

- Speaking of Yoga/Barre, I cannot even tell you how stoked I am to go to the Lululemon warehouse sale a week from today! If you live in the area don’t miss out!

- I came to the realization last week that planning lavish bdays for kids under 5 is just not worth it.

Those are just some random thoughts to start the weekend from me to you. Have a fabulous weekend and stay tuned!

 

 

 

Orange, I guess is the new black..who knew!

Sorry for my week hiatus of not blogging. After vacation, and just getting back into the work groove I needed to re-acclimate to “normal” life. And by normal I mean not sitting in 84 degrees looking at palm trees. Of course the day we came home it was -15 degrees out, but things are finally looking up. after a few days of wretched cold to welcome us home, it has finally started to warm up, and the snow is FINALLY starting to melt! So what does that mean? Spring is just around the corner! It means a new change in wardrobe, brighter colors in everything from fashion to home decor to mother nature herself. I have been scowering the internet checking out the latest trends for everything spring 2014. Bring on the spring!

I see a lot of great things out there but the one thing that keeps sticking out to me, that I am loving the most, is that apparently Netflix was the color trendsetter of the year. Showing us all that orange really is the new black, And not just in an all female prison either.

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Found in…

Fashion

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Image here Rebekah Minkoff | JCrew 2014 Fashion Preview | Kate Spade Spring preview

Makeup

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Weddings

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And Homes

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What are your thoughts on this trend? I personally love the whole orange is the new black trend and embrace it wholeheartedly. granted I may not be sporting orange lipstick anytime soon or re decorating my entire home to accommodate. But a wicked celosia orange manicure,  a few floral arrangements and candles, and a few pieces to wear is all this gal needs to stay trendy for the upcoming spring.