Happy Tuesday! I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday. I am counting down the minutes until December 20th, when we fly down to Savannah for some rest and relaxation. While I’m loving my new role, it has been a fast and furious few weeks. This morning I was able to draft this post during my commute into Manhattan. You guys have requested a life update, so here are a few random thoughts for your Tuesday evening!
- We received the images from our family photo shoot with Michelle Rose and we are both so please with the moments she captured. As y’all know from the blog and Instagram, Katie isn’t necessarily a baby who gives a ton of smiles. She saves her smiles for special moments and often has a more serious look. Though she’s a giggly happy baby, getting her to smile for our photo shoot wasn’t easy. But, Michelle was able to work some magic and capture a few moments that express the joy we have in our lives. I never thought I’d be the parent who wanted to do a staged shoot but I’m in love with the Santa pics too!
- I’m still trying to find my rhythm in my new role as right now my goal each day is just keeping my head above water. Since my customers fiscal year is February, I definitely joined at busy season!
- I had a meltdown yesterday as I didn’t take the time to fully purge my closet this weekend. Instead of grabbing an outfit and quickly getting ready for work, I tried on four different things before I found something that worked. Even though I worked out all during my pregnancy and stayed very active during my maternity leave, my body is a full size larger on top and bottom. I spoke with one of my friends, who is a talented stylist, and I’m hoping to do a post dedicated to this topic in early January. Needless to say, my closet needs an OVERHAUL!
- I sold a few things this weekend but then decided that it was easier and more gratifying to donate to those in need. It felt wonderful to give a pile of sweaters and pants to a clothing drive. If you need to clean out your closet this is a great time as so many people need warm clothes as winter temperatures arrive.
- I am so excited for Christmas vacation in Savannah. We are staying longer than normal this year and look forward to enjoying rest and relaxation with loved ones. There is a lot to celebrate this year between my brothers engagement and Katie’s arrival! I can’t wait for her to meet Sulley – Meg and Russell’s adorable mini doodle or Patches – my parents cat! There are also extended relatives joining for the holidays so I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun and a lot of chaos.
- While we have time off we are also going to start introducing solids more regularly. Our plan is to begin this weekend and then truly focus on it when we have two weeks of relaxed time with Katie to give it the time and attention it needs.
- Speaking of chaos, as Bo and I both acclimate to my new role and the busy holiday season, we are making an effort to minimize our weekend commitments. While it has meant declining a few holiday parties and fun events, it has allowed us to catch our breath and stay sane. In fact, this coming weekend, my only social commitment is Theodora’s annual cookie swap which is sure to be a great time.
- Speaking of Theodora’s annual cookie swap this Saturday, I haven’t decided which cookies to bake. I have my eye on these four, each of which are easy enough to make Friday evening but look as if they’ll be quite tasty. What’s your favorite holiday cookie? We look like such babies in these pictures! I can’t believe this cookie swap was six years ago!
- The other thing we’ve started doing is reviewing our calendars together so we are both aware of commitments and project deadlines. Sometimes just being aware of what each person is managing allows us to be more understanding and supportive.
- Now that I’m traveling for work a few times a month and heading to Hoboken or Manhattan weekly for meetings, I’ve started relying on a few key items daily. This bookbag has been a favorite of mine for two years and has plenty of room for my computer, notebook, heels and snacks! I also keep a few essentials in a small pouch including an RX bar, an extra laptop battery, this lip balm, herbal tea bags, hair band, tiny brush, lip gloss and this backup battery!!
- Since Katie is growing so quickly, we’ve become huge fans of clothing from Gap Outlet, Carters and Burt’s Bees! Often we can find pajamas for just $5 with coupons and outfits for $15! But, we did splurge on this adorable, plaid dress for Christmas and I can’t wait to try it on this weekend. I had no clue that Vineyard Vines has baby clothes!
Okay, I hope you guys have a great evening. I have at least another hour of work which means it’s time to get to grab a fresh cup of steaming herbal tea and get focused. Have a great evening!
Happy Friday! Today has been a whirlwind week but it is ending on a wonderful note as today is my 34th birthday! I’m still in disbelief that I’m 34 or that life has changed so much over the course of the year. Bo and I are celebrating together tonight with a date night at Grand Army. A local restaurant that has been on our list for over a year, I’m looking forward to lots of seafood and a fun cocktail, or two. Due to birthday celebrations and catch-ups with friends, this weekend is going to be busier than normal.
Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.
- One of my dear childhood friends, Mallory, recently opened an Etsy shop. Her shop, The Family Archivist, includes gorgeous, hand-painted traditional keepsakes including ornaments and silhouettes. We just received the above, beautiful, Lilly Pulitzer inspired silhouette that matches Katie’s nursery. She is offering readers 10% off any orders with the code HAPPYHEALTHY as well as giving away two $50 store credits. To win, please comment on this post sharing what you would purchase with the credit. I love her First Christmas Custom ornaments and think they’d make a great gift for my fellow mom friends! I will choose a winner at 10pm on Sunday. UPDATE – Winners chosen – Liz T and Erin P! Congratulations!
- I bought these sweatpants on Black Friday in gray when they were 60% off and am so in love with them that I ordered a pair in black this week! They are cozy and have quickly become my favorite pair of pants to change into each evening. Unlike most joggers, these run long, so they work with my long legs. The soft material and relaxed fit make them perfect for evening playtime and bath time with Katie.
- I love Gina’s Advent Calendar Workout so much that I not only pinned it for future reference but I also printed it out for inspiration. Most of the items don’t require a gym and can be done anywhere, which make them perfect for anyone!
- Last night’s impromptu wine night with girlfriends reminded me that it’s more important to be present than perfect. My sweet friend Liz organized a mom’s night out to celebrate my birthday but forgot to put me or Bo on the email. Unfortunately, since Bo had a work event and we didn’t have a babysitter organized, I almost cancelled the event. But, then, quickly realized that getting the opportunity to catch up with friends while enjoying a glass of wine could still be enjoyed as long as I hosted it at our place. We laughed for more than two hours while enjoying our festive holiday decorations.
- If you’re still trying to find some great gifts under $25, I loved the ideas Julie shared in her gift guide this week! In case you missed it, here is my under $30 gift guide!
- The Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks have always been a guilty pleasure of mine during the holiday season and this SkinnyTaste recipe makes it look SO easy to recreate a healthier version at home.
- I love the pop of fun these tassel earrings give to any outfit and it seems like others do too as I always get compliments when I wear them!
- I’ve been listening to Christmas music non-stop this week in my home office. My current playlist includes lots of Josh Groban, Mariah Carey, and classics like Bing Crosby. What is your favorite Christmas album?
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have evolved over the past few years. When I was growing up, every few years my mom and I would wake up and head to the outlets in Bluffton, South Carolina to work our way through her Christmas list for every one of our friends and family members. I remember the excitement of listening to Christmas music in the car as we drove 45-minutes to the outlets in the darkness, arriving at the first store when it opened at 6am.
These days, I do most of my holiday shopping online, quickly clicking back and forth between websites and referencing a notes page on my phone which I populate throughout the year. In fact, this evening while Katie was taking her short, cat nap, Bo and I spent 45 minutes doing all of our Christmas shopping for friends and family members.
Have you already finished your shopping? Are you team in-store or online shopping? If you plan to spend time online tomorrow or Monday, here are a few of my favorite sales and items.
- JCrew – 50% off your purchase with the code SHOPFAST including the cropped sweater blazer I wore all today, this soft tissue turtleneck, this swing sweater, these flattering jeans, and this amazing cashmere.
- LLBean – 20% off clothes and outerwear plus a $10 gift card with the code THANKS20 including their signature boots, my favorite pullover, fisherman sweater, & flannel pajamas.
- Williams-Sonoma – There are multiple deals on their site including 20% off their entire Peppermint Bark collection, $150 off Vitamix and 20% off their seasonal soap, lotions & candles.
- Athleta – 20% off everything with code BLISS including this cozy sweater, perfect sweatshirt, & their popular stealth tight.
- Bauble Bar – 35% off everything with code CYBER35 including the Luxe Giftset, Tassel set, & this statement necklace.
- Bloomingdales– 25% off when you spend $200 or more or 15% off when you spend $100-$200 including this fun tie-cuff sweater, faux fur vest, & my favorite snow boots!