My First Outfit Post

 

Top: Topshop (comes in gray too); Jeans: Loft (on sale!); Purse: Kate Spade (mine is discontinued, but I linked something super similar – btw, this bag was a gift from David after I had Finn!); Loafers: Coach (love these & these, too!); Sunglasses: old –  Francesca’s! (love these ones, and these)

More adorable ruffle tees:

OMG! I never thought I’d see the day where I would be posing for photos, wearing outfits, and posting them for the world to see. However, for the past few years, I’ve been following other bloggers and getting green with envy as they make a living doing just that. I’ve always figured, why not me? But never really had the guts to do it. I still don’t have the guts, actually. In fact I’ve seriously considered deleting all of these pictures and writing a post about anything else in the world. But then I’d still be the girl scrolling through Instagram, wishing I could do something that I don’t have the guts to do. So, I guess I’ll press publish…

So, why fashion blogging? I have no idea. I don’t consider myself ultra-fashionable or edgy. I don’t even consider myself photogenic. But I love photography, and I love blogging, and after a pep talk from David, I realized the only thing that’s stopping me from being a fashion blogger is me.

David dragged me out to take these photos. He told me that he knew what he was doing since fishermen have a good eye for photography… I thought it was a joke, until I started editing. In fact, I don’t even think the photos in this post really show off his skills, so I decided to start with these and leave the better ones for later.

You see, around the first of the year, David and I both discussed our goals for 2017. For both of us, many of our goals revolved around our careers – where we would like them to go and what we would like to be doing. I’m so fortunate to have a career job. It provides stability, a sense of purpose, and even some creativity sprinkled in. This blog, though, is something I have huge ideas for, and I know I’m totally in control of turning those ideas into realities.

Moving forward, I hope to continue to grow a blog around the posts I enjoy writing. I will continue to blog about Finn and about being a mother. I will also be blogging about things that inspire me and get my creative juices flowing. And, as a new addition, I’ll be sprinkling in some fashion/outfit posts because these things inspire me!

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DIY Coffee Table for Under $100

A few months ago, I looked at our apartment and started to feel frustrated. For years, David and I have been renting apartment after apartment in each new city we have lived in. With each move, furniture was left behind for one reason or another and replaced by another piece that may or may not fit the current aesthetic. Before, I had always appeased my feeling of frustration by telling myself that each apartment is temporary, and in the next place we live, I will care more about the decor and the furniture we invest in.

As of last September, we’ve been in our apartment for two years. Wake up, Erica, this isn’t temporary anymore 🙂

We have plenty of space, which worked out well when we found out we were pregnant. Our apartment has a master suite and a loft with a half bath – which we’ve morphed into a nursery. Our living room and kitchen are a huge space as well, and we even have outdoor space. (After some preliminary house searches online, our apartment is actually larger than some houses in Charlottesville that sell for way above our budget! So I can’t complain!)

So with this realization, I looked at David and told him I was finally ready to make our house a home. Let’s start decorating and investing in some forever furniture. We had one caveat – no sofa until we buy a home. Until we see what kind of space we are working with in our forever home we didn’t want to spend the money on a sofa that may or may not work. The first thing I started searching for was a coffee table.

I had some qualifications for a coffee table – I knew it had to be sturdy, and all one piece, since Finn is starting to pull himself up on things and a lightweight or moveable table could be dangerous. I tend to lean towards wooden, rustic decor – maybe because I grew up in the country – so glass and metal were easily scrapped. Once we started looking at wooden tables, I became even more frustrated. Each wood color was different from brand to brand, and if we wanted to add end tables, and eventually other furniture in the same space, the color would have to match!

This is when David offered to build a table! I was on board from the moment he offered. David is a perfectionist, so even without any formal knowledge of woodworking, I had faith that once he put his mind to it, he would build a really beautiful table. It made it even better that it was his idea and he was so excited, too. I hardly had to talk him into it 🙂

So we picked out a table we loved and David found the plans online. We headed to Lowe’s – Finn in tow – and bought all the wood and materials. We walked out paying just under $100! David built the table in just over two days. (His dad bought him his very own miter saw for Christmas, too, after seeing the awesome work he did. Now he can build me more goodies!) I found the color I wanted him to paint it, and he did such a beautiful job making my idea into a reality.

David followed the instructions from RogueEngineer.com. Color is Minwax Wood Finish Classic Gray 271.

Have you done a successful DIY project before?

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My Favorite Podcasts

About four years ago, I was working in a really dull, dead-end job. The office was musty and quiet, the employees were silent and unfriendly, and I craved the sound of talking… or really any sound at all. I remember vividly typing into Google “podcasts about Bravo” – I’m such a reality tv nut and I have no shame about it! I ran across a podcast called “Watch What Crappens” and immediately fell in love with the hosts, Ronnie and Ben. At that time, they were only recording once a week. I would gobble up their hour-long podcast and impatiently wait until the next week’s edition.

Since then, Watch What Crappens has become a daily podcast, and my life is now complete. Ronnie and Ben do hilarious recaps into Bravo TV shows. They have ridiculous impressions and inside jokes. I actually feel like I’m sitting and chatting with my besties instead of listening to a podcast. I told my little sister about Watch What Crappens, and we text daily about some joke that was on the latest episode. Shout out to Ronnie and Ben, my sister, Sarah, and I want to be your friends! Love you guys!

In any case, the Crappens guys have inspired me to listen to more podcasts. I have made a list below of my favorites. I now subscribe to so many of them that it’s difficult to keep up!

  1. Watch What Crappens. Besides the awesomeness I’ve explained above, Ronnie Karam and Ben Mandelker answer questions from a weekly mailbag where readers submit questions, requests for impressions, and hypothetical scenarios to play out for the audience.
  2. The Rose Pricks Podcast. Any Bachelor/Bachelorette/Paradise fans? You have to listen to this hilarious podcast that recaps each episode. Ronnie Karam (yes, the same Ronnie from Crappens) and Stefanie Wilder Taylor mock the entire show and do deep dives into the psyche of the crazy women (and men) that willingly participate on this crappy, but wonderful, television.
  3. Up and Vanished. Okay, I know this is a total 180 from my reality television obsession. Up and Vanished is a real crime podcast that follows the disappearance of a teacher from Georgia in 2005. The case has so many crazy twists and turns, and remains unsolved. Payne Lindsey, the host, has never produced a podcast before, which is pretty impressive after hearing a few episodes. He has been playing detective in real time, and giving weekly updates on the case since September. In a way, I guess this is reality television, just in audio form!
  4. Accused. Similar to Up and Vanished, Accused is a project done by journalists at The Cincinnati Enquirer in which they do a deep dive into a murder case from 1978. Beth Andes was found in her apartment near The University of Miami (the one in Ohio) by her boyfriend, Bob. Bob was then tried for murder, but was found innocent in both the civil and criminal trials. Since then, the case has been closed, even though Bob was found to be innocent. The two journalists investigate other leads and dive deeper into the police investigation.
  5. This American Life. Usually told in a first person narrative, This American Life chronicles normal, every day Americans daily lives and experiences. Sometimes, they are totally bizarre. Other times, totally simple and relatable stories. It’s an interesting take on journalism, because it’s so raw and so real.

Do you have any podcasts that you absolutely love?

PS. 5 things I’m loving

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My Postpartum Workout Routine

I’ve always been an active person. I played soccer in college, and even after that, I continued to find peace in long runs. When we adopted Juneau, I was re-inspired to keep running with my new partner in crime. Juneau loves a good run! I even kept working out into the second trimester of my pregnancy. David and I made it a goal to wake up early and hit the gym. Of course there came a point where I’d rather stay in bed than brave the cold, dark mornings to make my body ache even more.

Since having Finn, I’ve struggled a bit to stay regimented in my workout routine. Instead of running, I had been taking longer walks. (Btw, navigating a dog with a stroller is harder than it looks!) In the last few months, however, I’ve really been slacking. I have plenty of excuses, but it truly is hard to find time in the day between working full time and being a mom – especially when it gets dark at 5:30pm. My poor Juneau has been aching for a long run. I cannot wait until spring!

I also gotta admit that my body feels totally different in these postpartum months. I mean, the first few months were so difficult. Can any other moms relate? My belly felt like there was still extra water inside of me, and my ab muscles were buried under layers of squishy Jell-o. This may be TMI, but just keeping it real! Also, I’ve always carried my weight in my upper thighs and my butt, and never had an issue with my belly. Now, all my extra weight sits in my mid-section.

Since the new year, my physical health has become a priority. I just feel better when I’m working out. In addition, David made a pact for a No-Sweets-January, and besides a moment of weakness at Starbucks the other day (omg cake pops are amazing!!), I’ve been 100 percent committed. We’ve been starting our days with peanut butter smoothies and I’ve been cutting as many carbs as possible. This is all in preparation for No-Carbs-February. Eek!

My workout routine is fairly inconsistent, but for the most part, this is what it looks like:

Sunday: Rest, girl.

Monday: Arms & abs at home after Finn’s bedtime*

Tuesday: A long walk during lunch.

Wednesday: Legs & abs at home after Finn’s bedtime*

Thursday: Barre class during lunch.

Friday: Rest… and maybe cheat a bit on that diet 🙂

Saturday: A nice morning run with Juneau.

*My arms, leg and ab workouts are a sort-of hybrid of the popular BBG workouts. They are less than a half hour, so intense, and I totally see a difference in just a few weeks!

What are your 2017 fitness goals? For you moms, what are your workout routines like?

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Five Things

In an effort to keep you all inspired, I’ve decided to launch a weekly series that includes a list of things that have been on my mind recently. Whether it be a quote, an adorable sweater, a movie or show that has me hooked, or a new toy for Finn, these monthly posts are meant to give you some insight to my world!

 

    1.  Cute sneaks. I used to find it so impractical to buy sneakers that were also adorable. I mean, aren’t they meant to be worn in the gym?! Gross. However, as I get older I realize that the very thing that gets me motivated to work out are cute clothes. I know, I’m such a girl. As a new mom, I find myself leaning towards my running shoes or loafers (these ones are the most worn shoe in my closet) most days, just for comfort alone. Why not have adorable running shoes to make yourself feel a little more confident? I’m seriously considering buying these beautiful pink babies as an early birthday present to myself.
    2. Better an oops, than a what if. For years I’ve been wanting to take this blog to the next level, and I always say I’m going to, but haven’t really put the work in. Well, this time feels different. I bought a planner and spent way too much time this weekend planning out posts. David and I made a plan around when and how we are going to make our schedules work, and we have a plan with action items, and I feel really good about it. This quote resonates with me. For too long I’ve been worried about what people think when they see this blog, but I have to stop worrying, stop making excuses and just do it. 
    3. Plan, plan, planner. I haven’t really had a planner since college, and even then, it was more of a cute accessory than a useful tool. However, while we were at Target this weekend, I picked up this gorgeous and simple BlueSky planner and immediately felt inspired. Like I said, I felt way too much time planning out my life this weekend, but with this adorable planner, it’s easy to do!
    4. All of the essentials. Thanks to my mom, I’m on an essential oils kick. I could literally smell lavender all day long. We’ve been known to add some drops to Finn’s bath when he has had a tough day, I use it on my skin (mixed with coconut oil) to help heal. And for my birthday, my mom bought me this diffuser! We’ve been using this in the evenings when things are calming down for the evening. There are so many wonderful benefits to essential oils!
    5. Behind Closed Doors. OMG, this book was seriously terrifying. But soo good. I’m not usually a scary book/movie lover, but this book was so well written and so smart! I couldn’t stop reading it, even before bed. (But then I’d have David put a comedy on to fall asleep to because nightmares.) Anyways, if you are in search of a new book, definitely check this one out. But read it earlier in the day so you don’t lose sleep 🙂

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