May 31, 2017

Mid-day Relaxation Tips for Work









Atmosphere
Keep the atmosphere at your desk bright, cheery and just full of things that make you smile. My favorite item to have around is a Yankee Candle Fragrance sphere. Since I work in an office building, I can't burn a candle at my desk. This gives me a whiff of my favorite scents without a fire hazard. Also, I found this really cute rose gold holder to put it in that goes with my decor. Win-win! Another thing I love to have around are plants. For years I had a bamboo plant at my desk that just recently died. Last week I had a bad week, so my boss brought in some Gerber daisies for me and they have become my new desk buddy.

Self-Care
As a busy mommy, I don't have time to primp at home most days. Instead, I use my three minutes of downtime at work to do this. I always keep lotion at my desk (it's so dry in office buildings), this Evian facial spray (I wrote a review on it here), a few lip balm options and cuticle cream. This LUSH cuticle cream is my all time favorite and it smells like Pez candies.


Refreshments
I'm a grazer. I rarely eat big meals so I always keep goodies to snack on in my drawers. You will never find me at my desk without water and coffee. I try to keep a few healthy snack options in my drawer like granola or NuGo bars, dried cranberries, and fruit. I do sneak a couple pieces of candy for when I'm really craving something sweet. I almost always did a mid-afternoon coffee/tea run. There is something about grabbing a fresh cup that just wakes me up and re energizes me for the rest of the day.


How do you relax at work when things get stressful?

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May 29, 2017

An Open Letter to My New Step-Father & Step-Brother

photo credit: Sophie Charron Photography


Hey Guys,

Welcome to our family! I’m here to warn you about what you’re in for as we begin to meld a family of bachelors with a family of women.

As you know, you’ve not only married my mother, but also her three (count ‘em, THREE) daughters, her son-in-law and her grandson. We can be a bit of a handful. So let me give you the rundown on what you’ve missed over the years and what to expect in a family of women.

See, growing up in a house full of ladies led to some life lessons every man should know as they enter a family of girls. For instance, when someone says they are “fine”, they are in fact NOT fine. And while men tend to quietly keep to themselves, we are into each other’s business constantly. We need to know the details.

Ariana is the typical baby of the family. She’s also the smartest, most reserved and most likely to NOT strike up a conversation. It’s not a sign she doesn’t like you. Ari is just a serious, determined, and practical individual. She missed the social gene that you’ll soon see I received.

Alyse is the unexpected one. Growing up she was quiet, super reserved and not very social. Alyse was a homebody. She ironically became the only one of us brave enough to get up and leave home to follow her dreams. She’s determined and inspiring. Her role was always the peace keeper in the family as Ari and I almost killed each other growing up. Weirdly enough, Ari and I now live together. Go figure.

And myself. Well, as I’m sure you’ve come to know…I run the show. I’m bossy, loud and have always been a social butterfly. I’m protective of my family in all the best and worst ways. I will be the person to butt into everyone’s business so I can make sure they make the “right” decisions. I drive my sisters insane and they roll their eyes at me constantly. But I don’t care. I’m the second mom. I make the rules. I’m exhausted 98% of the time and you’ll rarely see me on the weekends in anything but my pajamas from the night before. Because who has time for that? Growing up I was the one who gave my mom all her gray hairs, I didn’t follow rules, and I was dramatic. I still am sometimes.

While we are all very different, we all share the same common feeling in this family…love.

You may be questioning how you both will fit into our lives, or how we will fit into yours. So I’m here to suggest something. What I’ve come to learn over the years is family is a very ambiguous term. Family to me is not those who share your bloodline. It’s the people who are there for you no matter what. The people who care about your well-being. The people who share joy with you during your accomplishments and feel pain with you when you are sad. The people who you can crack a beer with and make fun of the stupid mistakes they made over the years. That is family. Our family is not gaining a step-father and step-brother. We are gaining a second father and a new brother to me and my sisters. A father-in-law and a brother-in-law to my husband. A grandfather and an uncle to my son.

The rule in our family is no matter how close we are or how far apart, no matter how much we yell or cry or want to rip the other’s head off, we are still always there for each other no matter what. Welcome to our family, and feel free to call us crazy at some point…because we totally are.


Love,
Erin

May 26, 2017

Friday Ramblings #3



*Another Half Day*
With the holiday weekend, we normally get out around 12pm which is amazing. My sister is up visiting this weekend from Nashville because my mother is getting married tomorrow! It's so nice to have my family all together for a weekend. It's such a rare occasion for us. We are all meeting for pedicures after work.

*Spray Tans*
I'm obsessed with spray tans. I really am. And if you don't believe me, read THIS. I just wish I could afford to look beautifully tan all the time without worrying about skin cancer like I am with a spray tan. I guess that's the price you pay for safe beauty. 

*Little Rhody*
I'm feeling extremely Rhode Island today. It's pouring out this morning and all I could think to do was put on my coziest and warmest clothes in my Spring closet. So I've settled on this L.L. Bean Fisherman Tunic, a pair of leggings, a monogrammed baseball hat and my Jack Rogers sandals. Throw a Columbia rain coat over it and I swear to God it was like I went back in time to college in Newport. Then it made me miss Newport and want to take a trip there soon. It really is one of my favorite places in Rhode Island, aside from all the tourists. But Newport this time of year is so fun. I'm like Moana, the ocean just calls me.

*Traffic in the Rain*
Like, I don't get it. It rains all the time. Why is it that people forget what it's like to drive in the rain? Any time that it rains here, the traffic is INSANE! And there isn't even an accident to blame it on. People are just break jobbing each other and driving 20 mph on the highway. Maybe the rain just makes people fall asleep while driving. I won't lie, it makes me sleepy sometimes. I'm already planning an afternoon nap for today.

*Blogger Friends*
Gosh, starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. There are so many cool and interesting people in the blog community that I never would have "met" if I hadn't started this. Honestly, it's amazing. And people are SO supportive of one another. I had someone I'd never spoken to before DM me on Instagram last night just to tell me they can't wait to start reading more. That made me feel so good! 


What's everyone up to for the long weekend? Like I mentioned, my mom is getting married so that's pretty much what I'll be up to all weekend.

May 25, 2017

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale




The word SALE is a moth to a flame for me. I can't help it. But the Nordstrom sales are usually my absolute favorite! It amazes me the things you can find for 40% off! Yesterday, I picked up the perfect pair of Jack Rogers sandals to match a Lily Pulitzer dress I am wearing for my mom's wedding and I paid almost half the price. You really cannot beat that. 

I'm really feeling all the springy pastel colors this sale. The Rebecca Minkoff backpack is just a gorgeous pebble leather that you can't beat. It would be perfect for day trips during the summer. Most of the items I tagged below are around $50 and under and totally worth getting yourself something special. 

What are some of your favorite items you've found at the sale so far?


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May 23, 2017

Favorite #OOTD Posts


Shoes: Sam Edelman | Trousers: Cynthia Rowley | Sweater: BP. | Handbag: Dooney & Bourke | Scarf: Handmade - Etsy shop


Swing Dress: Forever21 | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Handbag: BP. | Necklace: Alex & Ani


Blazer: H&M | Tank Top: Express | Shorts: NY & Company | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Necklace: H&M 


Dress: H&M | Shoes: Express | Coil Bracelet & Necklace: Francesca's


Dress: Lily Pulitzer (Rent the Runway) | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Necklace: Alex & Ani 


Sweater: Not sure, TJ Maxx find | Jeans: American Eagle | Booties: Fergalicious | Handbag: Coach (the pebble leather is GORGEOUS)


Sweater: Forever21 | Trousers: Cynthia Rowley | Booties: TOMS


Swing Dress: Forever21 | Scarf: BP. | Boots: Bamboo 



Mmm yea. I'm a bit of a selfie queen. My friends think it's ridiculous and I don't care. :) But my #OOTD selfies are always my favorite. Usually I have to really be digging what I'm wearing to take one. And to be honest with you, most of my outfits are really not that complicated. But that's the point...feeling good in whatever you wear doesn't need to be a complicated process. 

Things I've learned from my selfies are that:
 1) I tend to stick with solid colors. Prints scare me sometimes unless I keep them limited to accessories.

2) I really like neutral footwear. So the reason for this is because I keep an entire drawer full of shoes at work. And all of these shoes I keep only in this drawer. They rarely go home with me unless I have something to wear them to. So most of them have to be a neutral tone to go with any outfit I have planned. This allows me to swap out shoes through out the day if I get uncomfortable and also my shoes last a lot longer from now wearing outside much. 

3) I hold coffee/items in my hand a lot when taking selfies. IDK, I just feel like my hands look so awkward without it. Ha! 

I need some selfie tips....dish em'!


May 19, 2017

Friday Ramblings #2



*Half Day*

I decided to take a half day today for reasons I’d rather not share just yet. But honestly, I just needed some time to decompress and put myself in the right head space. This week has been more stressful than things have been in a while and I’m so ready to just hit refresh and start over.

*Day Drinking*

Why don’t I day drink more often?! It is so much fun! Oh yea...I have a kid. That’s why. I serious miss the days when I worked nights for some crappy job I didn’t care about and I could go out for lunch with my friends and have a couple beers at lunch before going to work. I seriously just didn’t care. Plus those jobs a monkey could do with his eyes shut.

*New England Weather*

It’s friggen crazy! On Monday, I wore a sweater to work because it was in the 50’s and raining. Yesterday, it was 95 degrees and sunny. We put two A/Cs in at our house and had all the fans running and were still hot. My poor body is like stressed out because it doesn’t know how to handle this weather anymore. I. Can’t. Even.


*Lazy Blogger*

I really am such a lazy blogger. It might be why my blog is named after a sloppy hair style and a pair of clothing you eat chocolate in a lone on your couch on a Friday night with your cats. Like today would be the PERFECT day to plan new material, go take some photos, etc. And yet, here I am…sitting at a bar named after a thirsty rodent and rambling on about nothing.

*Front Porches*

Okay this is a special one…I LOVE houses with front porches. My ultimate goal in life has always been to own a house that I can sit and relax on with a drink or a cup of coffee and just watch my neighborhood do it’s thang. And I have that…sort of. Except mine is full of junk I need to get rid of but don't have time to. So I guess technically, I don't even have time to sit ON the porch with a drink. Sigh. Mo' money, mo' problems.

May 17, 2017

5 Best Products for the Person Who Hates Make-Up





Okay. Let’s get right down to it…I hate wearing make up. And if you’ve followed me on Instagram or know me IRL, you know that about me. I rarely wear it, am fortunate enough to have pretty manageable skin where I don’t feel I need to, and I try to avoid it at all costs. I hate the way it feels on my face and I hate washing it off later. So I’m compiling a short list of low-cost, easy to use products even the girl who hates make up can wear on a regular basis without feeling like they are covered in make up.


Moisturizer

I typically have combination skin with some spots that are super dry and others that are super oily, but I still like to use a moisturizer with SPF for the protection from the sun. I personally really like just a regular old Olay moisturizer because of how light it feels. I just put a small dot on my finger and apply a thin layer wherever I have dry spots.

BB Cream

Okay – I know BB Cream is supposed to include a moisturizer in it as well, but I just don’t think it’s enough. What I do love about BB cream is I get the light coverage that I need without feeling like I have makeup caked on. I just started using this Maybelline BB Cream. It’s affordable and works pretty well. If you are looking for a little more coverage, I suggest using CoverGirl Matte BB cream. For some reason, this one feels a bit thicker that the Maybelline version and works great also! It’s also made for oily skin so it won’t make you feel like you have too much on. If you really want to be cheap and not purchase a separate BB cream, use a foundation you already have and mix it with a dot or two of your moisturizer. I’ve done this before and it’s really helped to dilute the heavy feeling of a foundation. I’m sure all your beauty bloggers are gasping at that but hey, I’m cheap too.

Mascara

I suffer with chronically looking like I’m exhausted as well as having super thin eye lashes. It’s the worst. For some reason just one or two coats of black mascara does the trick. Daily, I use Maybelline Great Lash. It’s cheap and works really well. My all time favorite though is the Benefit They’re Real mascara. I always use black mascara because my lashes are super dark. Plus I feel like it makes your eyes pop.

Black/Brown Eyeliner

I always look more put together simply by pulling a small amount of dark eyeliner on my inner lids. Rimmel is my all time favorite. The Special Eyes version doesn’t seem to smudge easily and goes on smooth.

Brow Pencil

I can’t go a day without using a brow pencil. If you’re like me and your brows just don’t seem to want to grow in certain spots, this is a life saver. My ultimate favorite is the Benefit Precisely, My Brow pencil. It’s super small so you can really imitate the hair strokes when applying it and it blends in with my natural color so well. My close second is the Anastasia brow pencil


And honestly, unless I’m going out somewhere on the weekends or at night that is pretty much all I will use for make up. Anyone have any good tricks for those who believe less is more?


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May 15, 2017

Summer Fun

Summer Fun




Summer is coming!
Finally!! This is the first full week of warm sunny weather we will be having here in RI (with the exception of today) and I am so excited to start breaking out my summer goodies. I need color! I need tassels and straw and sandals. I need to sit on my porch with some iced tea and just chill out. I need to go hang out with my bestie by the lake with our kiddos and stick my feet in the sand.

I’m totally not looking forward to a bathing suit – mom bod just hasn’t bounced back as much as I’d hoped, but I am totally looking forward to all the summer accessories. I’ve always been into super vibrant and bright colored things. Anything that is loud or pops is for me. So much so that when I received my first Burberry scarf as a gift, it wasn’t even the traditional Burberry plaid, but a rainbow multicolored plaid scarf and it was so perfect for my personality. So yea, I’m pretty pumped for summer. 

I am really into straw totes with fun details, or bright colored jumpsuits. I’ve found a new love for jumpsuits, as long as I can find them in petite sizes. Short girl probz. 



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May 12, 2017

Friday Ramblings



I've decided to switch things up for Fridays. Sometimes, we just need a day to freeflow thoughts and Fridays are now my day. So from now on, we will just be rambling on Friday about what's going on, some random thoughts I had and things that are weird. Enjoy!





* Attic Remodel *
We are officially beginning out attic master suite conversion tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. This is a HUGE project I never thought we'd be able to do for years and we have decided to get a move on it. The contractor is stopping by tomorrow morning to go through our plans and discuss the process and I can't wait. We were so lucky when we moved in to have such a huge open space up there to do whatever we wanted with it, and the previous owners had already installed beautiful hardwood floors. Above are photos of the actual space and what I hope for it to look like some day.


*Reviving my blog*
I've been so MIA lately on my blog. I've been so torn on what I wanted to do with it. I can't figure out the direction it is moving and to be honest, I didn't like the way it was making me feel. Blogging is so competitive and it's so hard to not compare yourself to others or find yourself trying to mirror other successful bloggers. I needed to take a step back and reevaluate why I was doing it and what I wanted to get out of it. Otherwise it's just another phony blog. I really want to just focus on posting things as they come to my mind and having more fun with it. I also am thinking of incorporating some video blog posts to change things up a bit. Let me know if there is something you guys want to see! :)


*Spending Fast*
I was inspired this week by Annaliese from Southern Belle in Training to begin a spending fast. If we are going to begin our attic conversion, it's really time to start pinching pennies and stop spending on unnecessary things. So I've decided to start with a similar 4 week spending fast which means I cannot spend money on unnecessary personal items (coffees, clothes, shoes, etc.). The only exceptions to this rule are things for the house, grocery shopping, and things for Cooper. Everything else goes to savings. That also means no more alcohol and eating out for awhile. :)


*Random Thoughts*
Why is it so cold in office building. It's like they purposely design these building to put vents directly over your cube that blast cold air at you. It's already only like 50 degrees out! There is no need for air conditioning. I'm wearing a sweater in May and am covered by a fleece blanket right now and I'm still freezing. I can only drink so many hot drinks to keep myself warm.

Also, there is a serious caterpillar infestation in New England right now and it's disgusting. These teeny tiny little caterpillars are all over my porch furniture, our stroller, Cooper's toys, I find them on my car and clothes when I walk outside. Ugh! The worst part is when they are on your skin they give you a rash. Wonderful! It looks like we will be hibernating all spring and summer inside or by the lake to avoid these disgusting creatures.


May 11, 2017

Instagram Round Up





Hey guys! Since being on a hiatus, I haven't posted an Instagram Round-Up in a long time! So for time-sake, I'll cut to the chase and get to the really good parts. Also, don't forget you can shop my looks at the bottom of this post.

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In Las Vegas, I rocked one of my favorite dresses from H&M (old). It is super comfy, the perfect shape and has POCKETS!!



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This look is one of my favorite business casual looks. The classic navy trousers work with almost everything and these loose fitting v-neck sweaters from Abercrombie are perfection for either work or home.


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This was a huge DIY project I had been dying to start since we moved in. I discovered stick-on vinyl tiles while shopping one day and decided for a total of $100, it was worth a try as a temporary improvement on our kitchen until we are ready to someday do the big remodel. They came out fantastic and I have gotten so many compliments!


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I splurged on myself and got the Fawn Design diaper bag that everyone has raved about! This diaper bag really is all it is cracked up to be. So much space, so many pockets, and it looks so trendy!


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Hubs and I took a day a few weeks ago and shipped up to Boston for a Red Sox game. It was so good to get away and just enjoy ourselves as a couple. We hadn't gone to a game since before we got our house!


This Kate Spade krya tote has become my favorite bag ever. It is the perfect size to carry all the necessities without being bulky. Also, I started using the Mini Happy Planner as my every day planner and it's perfect. It's a great size for portability.


I really had an obsession with v-neck sweaters right now. But these are the best transition sweaters for spring. They are light, loose knit and the colors are so springy!



I got a major haircut! I'm trying out the LOB (long bob) haircut and so far I'm LOVING it! It's so easy to maintain and I get an extra 15 minutes back in the morning from not having to figure out what to do with my mop. Also, these sunnies give me life.


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May 9, 2017

Review: The Litter Genie


Okay. Like the crazy cat lady I am, I was super excited when I received the Litter Genie in the mail. As a mom of a silly 15 month-old baby, we use our Diaper Genie religiously. I personally feel it’s one of the must have baby-items. I’ve always seen the Little Genie in stores and wondered if it was worth the money.  We have two indoor cats at home, so we are constantly cleaning the litter box.

So, the Litter Genie is priced very similar to its diaper sister, so don’t think this item is going to break the bank for you. It retails for $15-20, and refill are about $15 for a 2 pack. Each refill should last you about 2 months. And it works almost exactly the same as the Diaper Genie, the only difference being a lever you will need to pull to store dirty litter in the bin.

My first impressions of the LG are that it is a good size where you don’t need to be emptying it every day, but compact enough that you can place it next to your litter box without worrying about the space it takes up. I placed mine directly next to our litter box to keep the smell contained. I also use this charcoal air freshener in the area to keep the mud room smelling freshy-fresh.

My normal process for cleaning the litter box was the double bag reused plastic shopping bags, scoop out everything I could (I highly recommend clumping litter), and then throw the bag directly into the garbage outside. With the LG, you don’t need to do all that. The bags made for the LG are designed to hold the smell in, and to contain the used litter for 14 days.

After using LG for a full week, here is what I’ve determined.

I don’t clean my litter box often enough. My kitties are saints for putting up with me, and never complain about it but honestly…I need to get it together.

The LG is best used on a daily basis, not for major litter box cleanings. The first time I used to was when I was really behind on cleaning the littler box and it was just a lot to put into the LG. I ended up skipping the LG and sticking with my old process for that first round, so not to fill it up right away. I recommend cleaning on a daily basis using the LG.

When I started doing it on a daily basis, it only took me a minute or two to clean instead of the 15-20 minute process I was going through before. Also, my kitties seemed much happier.

Another benefit is I noticed my kitties were not tracking litter around the house as much as they were before because they were consistently stepping into a fresh litter box.

One improvement I would suggest is a more secure closure on the container. Where you pull the two pieces apart to take the bag out would stay closed for me securely so if I picked the LG up from the top, the whole thing opened.


Since the LG is so inexpensive, I highly recommend it for any cat family, specifically if you have multiple cats. That stuff accumulates twice is quick with two cats, and having the LG handy next to little box has honestly made our mud room cleaner, fresher smelling, and our kitties much happier and cuddly.

**POWERED BY BRANDBACKER.

Why Anxiety Sucks So Bad



This weekend I was faced with a situation that really got me thinking about others and how others perceive those with mental disorders. Now, I've mentioned my anxiety plenty. And I will admit, my anxiety is self-diagnosed...mostly because (joke's on me) the thought of going to see a doctor about it gives me panic attacks.



But anyway, this weekend I was at a bridal shower, where I sat at a table with some girls I mostly knew, some better than others, some not at all. It was fine. I've learned to be able to handle these types of situations fairly well. But for some reason, Sunday was just not my day and I could feel my anxiety creeping up my spine. I was fully aware of how stand-offish I was being. How little I wanted to talk to anyone, and how I tried to avoid eye contact with almost everyone. The more I became aware of it, the more stressed out it made me trying to not doing it, and it became a vicious cycle. Now, I wouldn't put it past any of those women to have felt like I was being a total bitch or just weird, because the awkwardness I was giving off was severe. And I can't say I would blame them for feeling that way. If I didn't know what I know about anxiety from experiencing it, I would think someone acting that way was a snob, too. But it also has opened up to my eyes to how little people A) probably know about me personally and the reasons why I've never been very open to making new friends, and B) how little people know about social anxiety and other mental disorders.

So I'm here to educate from my personal experience only. You may have felt similar things, and I am: 1. Not a doctor nor trying to make a medical diagnosis.
2. Not making a definitive list of what anxiety is.
3. hoping this doesn't alienate me from anyone. I am not shaming anyone, just explaining my behavior if you happened to be one of those people present at the bridal shower.



Anxiety to me is like this:

  • Know that feeling when you saw a spider on your bed and you didn't catch it before it ran away, so now you know it's crawling around your bed somewhere and you can't sleep until you find it. That's how I feel on a daily basis. That skin crawling anxious feeling like something bad is about to happen.
  • When I am in a crowded room, concert, fair, etc. Anywhere there are big crowds, I get the same feeling except heightened. It becomes unbearable when I feel like I can't hear my own thoughts, my breathing gets heavier and I start to feel dizzy. Large crowds where people are standing on top of me and all I can hear are other people's conversations make me want to run outside or away from the area just to breathe.
  • On the same token, if there are too many conversations going on at one time, I feel completely overwhelmed and can't focus. 
  • Coming home every day is like a weight off of my shoulders. Sitting down on the couch or my bed is how I am able to recharge and breath. I would rather stay home every night than have a million friends and go out all the time.
  • I trust few people because I feel like explaining these things to others is overwhelming and like people won't understand. 
  • Running late for anything makes me panic, so I am 10-15 mins early for almost everything in which I panic inside for being so early and looking stupid.
  • Not having an appropriate outfit picked out ahead of time for an event or for work is impossible because if I show up wearing something that makes me stick out like a sore thumb, I can feel myself getting anxious and wanting to leave.
  • Any and all small talk is painful to me. I can't make eye contact and I run out of things to talk about after 30 seconds. I end up sounding self-centered for not asking questions about the person I'm talking to and only talking about myself. I just honestly freeze up and don't know what to say.
  • For those that I make true connections with, they are all the more meaningful to me. If I can find a friend that I feel truly comfortable around, I will be loyal to a fault with them. It's rare that I find that.
Those are just a few examples. And you may turn around and say I'm a total weirdo. And that's okay. I get it, not everyone will understand what it is like. But if you think I'm a flake, am awkward, am a bitch, am snobby...please know, I'm not. Awkward might be the most relevant of those. But I'm just overwhelmed. I'm lucky enough that I'm OK laughing at myself. It's how I personally cope with it.

Do you have any awkward traits that you feel like make others perceive you differently?