November 30, 2016

3 Things #6: To Help Get Over Your Ex




Today’s series post was actually inspired by an old friend of mine, Melanie, who has just started a new blog exploring her journey as a newly single girl. If you haven’t discovered it yet, you need to go check out Everything Happens for a Riesling


1. Time Alone.

I’m serious…Usually when you break up with someone, you feel like you want to just surround yourself with other people so you can forget about how much it’s actually bothering you. But then while you’re surrounded by the people and the music, you’re going to have these moments. These out of body experiences…where you look around, the sounds are muted, and you wonder how you got here. And it sucks. Don’t do this! Now is the time to take advantage of the quiet, step away from the noise and rediscover who you are as an “I” instead of a “We”. Stay home, watch some movies, read, go shopping alone. Just give yourself some space from everyone for a short while. Figure out what it is YOU love to do again.

2. A Finger.

To block your ex on everything! This might sound petty or immature, but it’s not. Until you are strong enough and responsible enough to not want to text, call or contact your ex without weeping and flirting, you need to stay away. It will also speed up the healing process if you’re not hearing from him/her every day. You need a clean break away.

3. A Break-Up Playlist.

Again, sounds petty, but it’s extremely therapeutic. Music has a way of evoking emotion within us that we didn’t realize we had. And you need to bring that out and go through your stages of grief. If you want to speed up the process, create a great break-up playlist including sad songs, angry songs, songs that remind you of good times, and songs that empower you. Some of my favorites to get you started are:

Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballerini
Different for Girls by Dierks Bentley
Church Bells by Carrie Underwood (who doesn’t love a good ‘kill your husband’ song)


What are some things that have helped you get over your break ups?


November 28, 2016

Mom Bra-blems




Okay moms. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the one thing we all hate shopping for post-partum…bras.

If you’re anything like me, you couldn’t believe how huge your lady friends were right after delivering your bundle of joy. And you may have lived in nursing bras for quite some time afterwards. But you know that as soon as you put those breast feeding days behind you, the girls tend to take on a whole new shape of their own. Your perky breasts now resemble pancakes, and none of your pre-baby bras fit anymore, both around your chest or in the cups.

Let’s talk about common bra-blems you’ve most likely had, are having, or are going to have post-partum.



1. Slipping straps.

This is a huge one for me. I can never get my straps to stay up, probably from the terrible posture I now have from carrying the weight of my baby belly. 

2. Gaping cups.

Before Cooper, I was a nice full C-cup and totally proud of it. My ladies were awake at all hours and filled out my clothing perfectly. Since breast feeding, they have been completely deflated. This has left a big gaping space of air in my bras. No more perky push-ups. Just Frumpy McFrump mom.

3. Back band riding up.

All. The. Time! This is my pet peeve. I’m constantly pulling the back of my bra down and adjusting it. A lot of this is usually due to me tightening the straps too much because they are slipping, so in turn, the back pulls up on me.



After dealing with these annoying problems for 8 months (I stopped breast feeding after 2 months), I’ve decided it is time to invest in some really good bras. Let me tell you…I’ve tried the cheaper route. Purchasing those cheap no name bras from some big box store. I promise you, DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY! These bras become misshapen so fast, you’ll end up spending more after having to  buy new ones again shortly after.

On the same token, I try to stay away from the flashy, “pretty” lingerie (except for special occasions, of course) because it will cost you an arm and a leg, and you won’t get the support you really need. That's not to say that supportive can't be pretty. You will just need to find the balance. Look for companies that specialize in providing supportive and great quality bras. One of my new favorites is Third Love because they have both super functional and really pretty lacey bras that fit AMAZING! What I really like is they allow a free 30-Day Trial for their classic bras using their Fit Finder. Once you find the right fit, you’re guaranteed to be hooked, so use code: TLNOVBB15 to save 15% off your first purchase.

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** Thank you, Third Love for supplying my readers with the generous coupon and photos! All opinions about products mentioned in this post are my own. 



November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Hiatus

Good afternoon loyal readers!

I wanted to let you know there will be NO POSTS on Thursday or Friday. Family time is super precious in our house, as it is rare we all get to be together, so I am very strict with no blog posting during that time.

If you want to keep up to date and follow along with our first Thanksgiving hosting, follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (@erinnicole401) !!


Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Things #5: To Survive Black Friday



1. A Game Plan

Do not...I repeat...Do NOT go into Black Friday shopping without a plan and a list of items you need. Black Friday is not the day to browse the aisles. Make sure you are sifting through all your sale flyers and finding out where all the best deals are.  Try using THIS website to see who has which sales going on. Develop a plan on where you will stop and around what time. Go in for what you need and get out as fast as you can! Your survival depends on it.




2. Coffee/Breakfast

There is no time to stop for coffee or food while you are shopping. Time is of the essence on Black Friday, and if you are a true Black Friday shopper, you are probably starting at midnight and going for the next 6-8 hours. You need to fuel up. Bring snacks in a backpack or purse, and make some eggs and coffee before you leave the house. Otherwise you aren't going to make it for any of the deals you came there for. They will be GONE!


black friday shopping



3. Comfortable Clothing

Black Friday is not the time to sport your new 4" heels, and there isn't even any room for jeans during sales like this. Comfort is KEY to maneuvering through those crowded aisles, and getting to that 75% Off 60" Flatscreen before that crazy lady who is able to club you. Opt for your most comfortable sneakers, and some athletic clothing. Plus, it's friggen the middle of the night. Who the hell are you trying to impress? Honestly!



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November 22, 2016

Holiday Wish List

It's my favorite time of year! Time to create my Christmas wish list. I get asked by husband and relatives all the time what I want this year. And most of the time I really don't know. But this year, my Christmas list is kind of....peculiar.




1. Fawn Design Diaper Bag

This super stylish diaper bag that I've been dying for! It can be worn as a shoulder strap or a backpack and has TONS of pockets! This is a diaper bag I would not mind carrying around. I'm dying for the Cognac or Burgundy colors. (insert heart eyes)


2. Gift Cards

One of the easiest gifts that people hate giving because there is no "thought" behind it. I disagree. I think there is a ton of thought behind it. It makes things much easier when I am ready to purchase something I REALLY want instead of another lotion and body wash gift set.




3. Planner paper and tab dividers



All good planner girls want planner goodies. I have recently begun experimenting with bullet journaling in my Filofax, and need a bunch of blank paper for it. I really would like to use dividers for my other sections as well. Stay tuned...I'll post a bullet journaling review after trying it for a little while.
American Standard toilet | www.lowes.com


4. A new toilet

Okay. Even I'll admit this one is a bit weird. With an old house, comes old stuff. Our toilet is on it's last leg and about to "shit the bed", pun totally intended. Every time I flush it I cringe, praying that today is not the day it decides to snap in half. There are some pretty fancy toilets out there, and who knew these things cost hundreds of dollars! Check out this crazy self-cleaning toilet. Technology has really gotten scary.




5. A cute apron

I don't really understand why I want this. I guess it would just make me more excited about cooking meals if I had some cute accessories.



6. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1"

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of Android products. I've tried the phones, liked them enough but still always gravitated back to my iPhone. However, Blogger is no longer supported in a Safari browser or an iPhone app. Having a tablet that I can work on for my blog will make getting great posts to my readers much faster, as I will be able to write on the fly.


November 21, 2016

First Holiday As A Family





Hello all you wonderful people! Last night we got our first snow of the season, which I couldn’t believe! Just a dusting but it still really made the holidays feel so close and real.

This is the first year we will be hosting the holidays as a new family. Last year, I was REALLY pregnant and just didn’t feel like taking part in much of the holiday season. I was tired and uncomfortable and couldn’t see my feet. This year, I have the cutest little boy to enjoy it with and make his first Christmas memorable. I think it’s definitely put me in the spirit much earlier than normal.

One of the hardest parts of hosting holidays…the cleaning! We are taking the attitude of divide and conquer this year. I have been scrambling to clean up our dining room, and I ended up convincing my husband to get an artificial tree this year. I know…gasp!! We really would love to have a real tree, but with us never being home at the same time, having two cats, and everything else we need to do to host, I don’t feel like cleaning up after a tree, and remembering to water it. For those who don’t know, I don’t exactly have a green thumb. I forget to water plants all the time! I did put the tree up last night only to arrange my dining room around the tree for the holidays, but we won’t be decorating until after Thanksgiving. 

I did, however start decorating the rest of the house in “holiday” d├ęcor. I’m sticking with my plaid and fur pillows, stringing some twinkle lights around and keeping out big cozy blankets. Yesterday, I couldn’t help but have my Yankee Candle warmer on with a Mistletoe scent cup. My whole house smelled like Christmas. It was amazing.


Any tips for surviving my first holiday season as the hostess?

November 18, 2016

The Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Outfit

Thanksgiving



It's almost that time! 
Time to put on your pants with the most forgiving waistline, and visit with relatives you barely see all year. Yippy! This year, my husband and I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in our home. Our normal Thanksgiving plans fell through so we were picked to suffer the consequences.

The good news about hosting Thanksgiving at your own house is you get the set the precedent for the formality of the day. Since we are only have my husband's parents and brother over and we will be a small group, I've decided to go non-traditional and keep the day super casual. I hate getting dressed up for holidays. You feel super uncomfortable, your belly is full and you just can't wait to spend the rest of your day off on the couch with a movie.

Why? Well first of all, I have a 9 month old to deal with while cooking. Finding time to make myself presentable for the day is going to be extremely difficult. And second, I lived in my in-law's home for a year before we moved. They've seen me in my pajamas more times than they can count. I don't think they are the type to get offended, and in fact, I'm sure my mother in law will appreciate it.

The number one must have item for Thanksgiving dinner no matter where you go is STRETCHY PANTS!!! I highly suggest deciding on your outfit, no matter the formality, based around a pair of leggings. This way, you don't have to embarrassingly unbutton that top button after your pumpkin pie.

I will most likely have a glass of wine in hand at all times. Since my mother in law is taking the lead on cooking this year, I know we are going to have some good laughs as she tries to teach me her Yoda Cooking Ways while the boys watch football.

Share your plans for Thanksgiving, or what you hate most about the holidays!

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November 16, 2016

3 Things: #4 Items to Revive a Boring Closet



Old Navy Sweater | American Eagle Skinny Jeans | Forever21 Statement Necklace


NY&Co Sweater | Old Navy Boyfriend Tee | INC Watch | Francesca's Bracelet & Earrings


Etsy Blanket Scarf | Old Navy Boyfriend Tee | Fergalicious Booties




1.     Costume Jewelry

It’s gorgeous, inexpensive and can make the most basic and boring outfit look brand new. Sometimes just adding some sparkle to an old top makes it feel like a whole new outfit. Francesca’s is one of my favorite shops to find quality costume jewelry, and they are always having BOGO-50 sales!

2.     Cardigans

I have a ton of casual tees and tanks that I just can’t seem to find something to wear them with. I ended up purchasing basic cardigans in every basic color (black, white, navy, red) and was able to make all of my casual tops appropriate to wear to work. Mixing these with some fun accessories really helps! I’m also a huge fan of ruffled and duster cardigans just to make a solid colored top a little more interesting.

3.     Boots

I’m all for a nice pair of heels, but let me tell me…boots are just WAY more comfortable and can make a stuff outfit instantly look trendier. Booties have been the “it” shoe this season, and I can’t help but want to jump on board with the trend. I got these booties from Famous Footwear a couple years ago, and they still have them in multiple colors.

November 15, 2016

October Favorites

www.southernliving.com

Mums


I love these flowers. If you want your house to have instant fall curb appeal, add some colorful mums by your door. I went late in the season to pick some up at a home improvement and they were half off! The best part about mums is the require little to no green thumb. I kill almost every plant I have. Water these every now and then and they will be good until the frost hits. It rained here on an off for like two weeks so I literally did nothing to them.



Home Depot Festive Throw Pillows

I’m sorry, but these throw pillows are the cutest for the fall! Let’s be honest, fall is the unofficial “pumpkin spice season”. The best part is each of these pillows was only $12! I mean, I'm cheap but that was easy and affordable decorating.



Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

I found this recipe on some video that was floating around Facebook and I’m so glad I actually tried it. It’s extremely hard to follow those videos though, since they try to cram an entire cooking session in a minute or less. These are some of the yummiest guilty pleasures you could find, and would make great finger foods for a party. 



Evian Facial Spray

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again (you can read this post for the full details), this facial spray is just so refreshing! I keep it at work and spray it on my face once every morning. It wakes me up a little more, and helps keep me moisturized with all the dry air that is in my office building.



ELF lip crayon

I picked up this lip crayon from Old Navy as an impulse purchase. I’m so happy I did because it goes on so smoothly, the color is great, and it’s so easy to apply. The color is super trendy for a fall nude and looks great with every skin tone.

November 14, 2016

Recipe: White Bean Chicken Chili




Okay people. I've been meaning to share this recipe with you all for quite some time. Because it's seriously just amazing.

Let me start by saying, I've never been a big fan of chili. I love the smell of it, but it just never was my thing. I don't like red or black beans, I'm not huge on ground hamburg in soups. It just wasn't for me. That was until my mother-in-law introduced me to her White Bean Chicken Chili. And I have been hooked every since.

There is just nothing better than a warm and cozy mean on a cool fall or winter night. And this chili fits the bill. The best part, it takes 10 minutes to prep and then you just let the Crock-Pot do the work. Best meal to make for busy schedules. So read on, and enjoy this! You'll thank me later.

Deb's White Bean Chicken Chili 


2-3 Chicken Breasts (cooked and chopped into bite size pieces)
1 small can Chicken Broth (or 2 cans if you like a thinner chili)
2 small cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Taco Seasoning Packets
3 small cans Chopped Green Chilies
2 small cans White Corn (or any kind of sweet corn)
3 cans Cannelloni beans (white kidney beans)
1 bag of shredded cheese (I prefer to use the Mexican blend)
Sour Cream
Large Crock-Pot
Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners

  •         Rinse Cannelloni beans well (this will help a lot with indigestion & gas). 
  •         Mix chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, and taco seasoning into Crock-Pot
  •         Drain first, then Add in Chopped Green Chilies, Corn, and Cannelloni beans.
  •         Add in chopped Chicken Breasts
  •         Stir all ingredients together well.
  •         Cook in Crock-Pot on LOW for 4-6 hours (or HIGH for 2-3 hours).
  •         Top with shredded cheese (of your choice) and sour cream if you'd like.
  •         ENJOY!!!




That's seriously it. It so quick to prep and then I can do whatever I want while it's cooking. This chili is seriously soooooo delicious. I could eat it every week. We are a family of 3 adults (my sister lives with us now), and one crock pot of this will last us an entire week. It's great to keep in the fridge for leftovers and lunches during the week. I personally never get sick of it. I even got my sister to love it and she is by far the pickiest eater I’ve ever seen.


Give this a try with your family and let me know what you think! I know my MIL will be so excited to hear how much everyone loves it.



November 9, 2016

Girl's Night: Facials & Bubbly






Hi babes!
For all of you have been following my social media accounts, you know that October was a not my month. I just couldn’t seem to pull it together. So when Evian sent me their Brumisateur Facial Spray, I was super pumped to use it as an excuse to plan a girl’s night.

How to have a successful girl’s night you ask? Start by bringing the basics.

Face Masks
Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray
Something Bubbly
A ton of juicy gossip


Let me start by saying that pampering myself is not one of my strong suits. I’ve never been the person to spend my money or time on skin care products or expensive make up because I just don’t have the time for it. But let me tell you…the Evian facial spray was so quick and easy to use I just couldn’t help taking it with me everywhere and I’m happy to say it is now a staple in my purse. Seriously, start making it a part of your beauty routine. It made my skin feel so fresh and dewey. You can find it sold at most beauty supply stores like Sephora, or on Amazon.com.


Me and my two girlfriends ended up kicking up our feet last night opting for a basic sheet face mask, but then used my Evian facial spray to give it an extra boost of moisture, which honestly just felt amazing. The closest thing I can think of to describe it is when you go on one of those raft rides at an amusement park and you get that light mist feeling over your face on a hot day. So refreshing! It is so nice catching up with your girls after a busy month. Once kids enter the picture, it makes it extremely difficult to find some time to spend with your girls.

In true late 20’s fashion, we wrapped up our night around 10 PM (sorry, but momma’s got to get up for work). Bubbly is also my kryptonite so the massive headache I woke up with was quite unwelcomed. It was one of those hangovers that makes you feel all clammy and like your pores are begging for relief! Luckily, when I woke up, I found my Evian spray that I must have left on my night stand. One quick spritz was like heaven on Earth. Then I sprayed my husband and woke him up just for laughs. :) This could be fun…


And with that, I started thinking of some interesting possible uses for Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray :

Facials
Add moisture to powdered foundation
Hangover relief
To play pranks on people
If you don’t have time to shower after the gym
To clean your son’s face when it’s covered in baby food.
In fact, clean his hands while you’re at it.
To clean your countertops (I guess if you are rich)
Pinning down fly-aways in your hair, on the fly ;)
A midday spritz while at work just to freshen up


Have you ever tried Evian facial spray before? What were some ways you like to use it?


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Thanks Evian for sponsoring this post! I received Evian Facial Spray free in exchange for my honest opinion about the products.



November 8, 2016

Instagram Round Up :: October 2016

Hi there! I haven't done an Insta round up in a bit, so I wanted to share what's been going on. If you don't follow me on Instagram, make sure you do!

CLICK TO FOLLOW




NY & Co. Sweater (similar HERE) | Victoria's Secret Scarf (similar HERE) | INC Watch


My sweet little peanut sat in a shopping cart all by himself for the first time. And it just so happened Lowe's Halloween display made an awesome backdrop for this photo.





I got my first FabFitFun box, and it was AWESOME! Read the review on it HERE.


I made an Apple Cider Mimosa for the first time. It was delicious. The second time, I added a cinnamon sugar rim. Heavenly!


Abercrombie Sweater | AEO Jeans | INC Watch | Jook & Nona Necklace | Alex & Ani Necklace (similar HERE)


I had my last Shipyard Pumpkin Head for awhile, after it was ripped from the shelves because of a bad batch. This stuff is seriously missing EVERYWHERE!


Fun Corner Friday in my MAMBI Happy Planner. And treated myself to Marylou's




I got to try the Evian Facial Spray and it is so refreshing! Post coming to you tomorrow on how I used it for Girl's Spa Night...Stay Tuned!


I fell in LOVE with this look.
Forever21 Sweater | Just Black Jeans (Stitch Fix) | TOMS Booties | Starbucks Mug


My Election Day look. Super Patriotic.
Forever21 Dress | Anne Klein Boots (similar HERE)

November 7, 2016

The Balance of Mom & Self


MOM MONDAYS



Recently, the ridiculously hilarious mother mantra movie, BAD MOMS, came out on DVD (and Amazon Instant Video…my fav)! As I watched it again for the second time, I couldn’t help but laugh and feel relieved I wasn’t alone in my frustrations and guilt.

Since I was younger, my main ambition in life was to grow up and have a family. I wanted to be a mom, a wife, and enjoy those life experiences that come along with it. Watching your baby learn to walk, making holiday dinners, picking out a Christmas tree together, and taking family vacations. For me, this was a sign I had “made it”. That I was successful in life.

But lately, life has just been so crazy, I sometimes feel like there is still so much growing up I have to do personally. How can I be the best parent if I’m still a kid? To be fair, I’m really far from a child at this point. I’m 27, have been working full time for about 5 years, am married with a child and own a home. Adulting at its finest. But there are some days I seriously feel like I don’t know what to do next, or how and when life will become easier. When will I be able to get through a day without feeling exhausted? When will I finally pay something off? When will I be able to go have a girl’s night out without feeling guilty?

There are days I feel like I’m not ready for this to be my forever life. But then there are other days I feel like I don’t know what I’d do without all of the wonderful things I have. Trying to balance being a mom, a new wife, a sister, a daughter, being good at my job, being a good student is just overwhelming. Oh yeah, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I recently decided I should go back to school and finish my HR certification. There are days I wonder if I really can give my full attention to all of these aspects of my life. How do you balance being the best mother possible, with still giving your husband your full attention? How do you make time for your own mother, sister, grandparents, when you barely have time to brush your teeth in the morning. How do you be a supportive and good friend, when you feel guilty for leaving your son home with a babysitter on girl’s night? The main source of my anxiety comes from these questions here.

I don’t have the answers to these questions. If I did, I wouldn’t be posing them. But what I do know is it is fucking impossible to be all of these things.  And the real truth of it is, not all of the people you are trying to satisfy all the time are going to understand that either. They may say they understand and that it’s okay if you can’t be that person all the time…but let’s be real. They are probably going to give you grief in the next breath for the same thing. 

So, ladies (and gents) who are as fed up as I am…please join me in saying I GIVE UP. I wave the white flag. I can’t be that person anymore. I can’t be the only one responsible for cooking dinners, or bringing and picking up my son from daycare. I don’t have time to visit my grandparents with the baby whenever they want me to. You have a car? Come see us! You’re welcome to come by. But I’m done going out of my way to make everyone happy. Because even when I do, they aren’t happy. So screw it. I am going to do the things I enjoy. I am going to play with my son a little longer, and when I’m tired, I’m going to take a friggen nap instead of folding laundry. I’m going to stop cooking dinner every night and instead ask my husband or sister, “What’s for dinner tonight?” I’m going to have my coffee on the front porch again. And actually finish it before it is cold. I’m done being the Chief Financial Officer for our family. It’s a job I never agreed to take on. 

I need a serious break from being everything to everyone. If I don’t it will kill me. And those who truly care about my well-being will understand and partner with me to keep it together. Not rely on me for their happiness. And thank you, BAD MOMS, for inspiring me to make myself happy as well as everyone else. Because I matter, too. 

November 4, 2016

Winter Decor Inspo



Winter Cozies


The cold is starting to set in and Halloween is behind us. It's time to start prepping for the holidays and winter months ahead. To be honest, I am super excited for winter this year. I know I say this now and I'm positive I'll be complaining after our first big snow storm. But I don't care! Something about the winter chill makes me want to snuggle under a cozy blanket with hot tea, a Christmas movie, and the softest socks. 

Since buying a home, I've been struck with the decorating bug. I really slacked last year in the decor department because I was 7 months pregnant, barely sleeping and just exhausted. So this year, I'm super excited to decorate for the holidays. 

I'm a bit more practical when it comes to festive decor, though. Our house will not be the one with a giant inflatable Santa on the front lawn, or even creepy figurines on every shelf. It's just way too much for me. Instead, I prefer to take a classic and clean approach to my holiday decorating.

This year, I'll be opting for plaids, cozy throw pillows, twinkle lights and pine cones! 

What are some of your favorite things to decorate with?

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