Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

I honestly can not believe another year has come and gone.  I now have a one year old and an almost five year and that seems crazy to me.   This year has been one filled with many ups and downs and I look forward to seeing what the New Year has in store for us.  I am thankful for so much this year, my family, friends, Matt, Sterling and Frances, and our health.  I am especially thankful for all of you who read my blog,  leave comments and email me.  You all lift me up and inspire me everyday and I thank you.  I read every single comment and email even if it takes me awhile to respond!   It is crazy once we get older how fast the years seem to fly by.  Sometimes the days seem incredibly long but then in the blink of an eye another year is gone and we are a year older. 

I have grown a lot this year and I am still working on bettering myself.  It is a constant journey to connect with yourself and be best the version of you.  I have learned I am stronger than I think I am but I greatly rely on the support of my family as well.   I have learned to say no and that I don't have to attend every single event I am invited too.  Sometimes family time and a night in is more important.   I love a night in almost as much as a night out.  I have learned that the quality of your friends is way more important than the quantity.  I have a handful of friends that I love and trust and that matters most.  I have learned lunches with my girlfriends make me incredibly happy,  a time to connect and laugh that is so good for the soul.  I have learned a hangover is not worth it once you have kids. I have learned sleep is a thing of the past once you have kids.  I can now function on few hours of sleep and it is my new normal.   I have learned that not using credit cards is liberating and not as hard as it seems (more on our debt journey later this month).   I have learned that good tequila is worth the money- don't drink the cheap stuff!  I have learned just how much I appreciate my parents and how hard they worked to raise us after struggling to discipline Sterling, this year has been trying with him.  I have learned my stomach and boobs may never look the same again after two kids and that is ok.  I have learned that having two kids is HARD (harder than I thought it would be)  never a moment for you but also so rewarding.  I love seeing how much Sterling and Frances Moon love each other.  2014 was my first entire year with two kids and I am so grateful for the two of them.

 I get so inspired at the end of each year to start a New Year fresh.  I am not big on making resolutions because I usually break them.  I set simple goals for myself instead.  These are my goals so far-  I also have a list of house improvements I want to do next year that I will share as well after the New Year.

I want to exercise more and do more yoga.  I have been slack in the exercise department lately.  I need it for my mental sanity as much as to tone up my body.

I want to meditate at least 10 minutes every single day- lately I have been doing about 3 times a week I want to do more.

I want to drink more water and less wine.

 I want to remember to tell Matt I love him everyday. 

I want to volunteer my time in some way and perhaps take Sterling with me to do this.

I want to try and be in the moment with my children.  I have a hard time with this I am frequently multitasking and thinking about what I need to do next, my mind never rests.  I want to sit down and just enjoy them because they are growing up way too fast.

I want to eat less meat,  mainly chicken and beef.  I feel so much better when I stick to a mostly vegetarian diet - but don't worry I am never giving up cheeseburgers or bacon:)

I want to get more organized and plan out my blog more than just the night before

I want to really clean out and organize our garage- it would shock you if you saw the inside:)

I want to read more good books.

I want to declutter.

I want to judge less and be more accepting.

I want to grow a garden,  a legit garden not just one in pots.

I want to take a vacation with Matt somewhere tropical.

I want to spend more time outdoors.

I want to try more new recipes- cooking brings me so much joy.

I wish you all the happiest New Year and I hope 2015 brings you everything you hope for.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Favorite Healthy Meals of 2014

After a glutinous week last week, this week I decided I need to eat clean and avoid the usual suspects like alcohol, white carbs and sugar at least til New Years Eve.    I picked up this Suja Master Cleanse juice and just love it.  I know you can make your own but this is so convenient!  I highly recommend it.

I thought I would round up a few of my favorite healthy recipes from this past year, if you are inspired like me to try and eat healthy after the holidays.   If you have any favorite healthy meals or cookbooks I would love to know!

||  A V O C A D O  T O A S T ||
This may have been my favorite discovery this year. Totally obsessed with this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I like mine mashed with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Then topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, green onions and red pepper flakes.

I make this kale salad all the time.  It is great because kale doesn't really wilt so it can sit in the fridge for a few days.  Little secret about me, I love sardines.  I know some people are grossed out by them but I love them and they are so good for you.  If you have never bought them before look for the kind that are boneless and skinless in olive oil.  I like to eat mine with whole grain mustard and cheese.

I make this about once a week now.  One of our favorite sides.  It is so good, the best way to eat cabbage.

These are so simple and full of flavor, you won't miss the flour shells.

These healthy muffins are great for breakfast and an easy way to get the kids eating veggies.
This is one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa Recipes.  Such a great way to use butternut squash.
I use kale sometimes instead of arugula but it is great with both!

You can really use any veggies in these egg muffins.  They are great because you can make them ahead and just reheat each morning for a healthy breakfast.

This is a great Summer dish and can be made with any type of fish, the relish is the star!

This is a fabulous salad.  Easy to chop and make ahead- just don't toss with dressing til right before you are ready to serve it.

These meatballs are amazing!  They are mainly just lean meat and cheese so they are not bad for you all at.  I serve ours with a salad instead of pasta or bread.

A fun spin on a boring kale salad.

This is a great hearty and filling soup. We add hot sauce at the end for extra heat and flavor.

I thought this list was great of Super Foods to add to your diet.

Here's to a healthy 2015 and more fun recipes to come!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Scenes From Our Christmas || Gloria Ferrer

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Ours was so nice, I would like to say it was relaxing but are the holidays ever relaxing with the little ones?  Either way it was a fabulous week with family, friends, and lots of love, laughter and fun.  The biggest miracle of all is Matt was able to get and up walk after a few weeks flat on his back.  He is still in major pain and having numbness but this is a vast improvement we are so thankful for.

The night before Christmas Eve my parents always host a party.  It is a fun way to kick off the week of Christmas.

Gloria Ferrer was sweet enough to send a few bottles of their Champagne for us to enjoy. I knew I had to share with my mom and sister as we love Champagne!  I have to say I tried and loved all three types.  All were crisp, not sweet and perfectly bubbly.

This one was probably my favorite though!
 Pouring up the Goria Ferrer Champs for our guests!

The food spread from our party was pretty amazing.

I was proud of the appetizer I made, my favorite stuffed endive lettuce.  We put olives in the middle to make it look kind of like a wreath.

On Christmas Eve my favorite tradition is my dad takes my sister and I shopping for Mom.  We love the one on one time with my dad and helping choose gifts for my mom.  This was Frances Moon's first year going with us!

Later that day we went to church and opened some gifts with my brother and sister. 
 The whole family and yes Sterling is in a bath robe- my sister gave him that as a gift and he immediately wanted to put it on:)

 Then Sterling was ready to write his note to Santa and put out cookies and milk.

Santa gifts were a hit.  They each had their own individual Santa gifts and then a kitchen set to share.

I love this picture of Sterling walking in, he was so surprised and excited.  The beauty of Christmas through a child's eyes.

The biggest hit was the piano and guitar from Serena and Lily.  I may regret this in a few weeks when the noise won't stop- haha!

We made our favorite Breakfast Casserole for breakfast.

My favorite mustache man up and standing (the stache was joke for Christmas and promptly shaved off).

Christmas Day Happy Hour. I got those cute napkins in my stocking and couldn't wait to bust them out.

Frances Moon in her smocked dress.  I don't dress her in smocked clothes often but when I do I forgot how sweet they are.

Matt and I were kind of obsessed with Sterling's lite brite since we both had one as kids and loved it.

The next day we took the kids to visit Matt's old school,  Providence Day.
Frances | Deer Dress | Vest | Tights
Sterling | Tee | Pants

We of course had to check out Daddy's brick.

The next day it was back home and back to reality.  I have to admit I was happy to be back near the water.
The leopard cardigan I am wearing was a favorite Christmas gift. The front is plain black and the back is silk leopard.  Love it!

Enjoyed one last night with our tree.  Yesterday I took down all the decorations.  I love Christmas so much but when it is over I am so ready to undecorate and declutter for the New Year.

 Spend a lot of time in my new pjs.  Major love.
Heart Silk PJS || On sale plus use code HOLIDAY25 for extra 25% off.

Happy Monday.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite Christmas Gifts + Sales

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I know we did, I will be back Monday with pictures from our holiday.  In the meantime I wanted to share a few of my favorite gifts I received because they are all currently on sale!  Today is a great day to take advantage of after Christmas sales.

These  Equipment pjs are the best.  Probably my favorite Christmas Gift.  I have never owned nice pjs before and these make me so happy.  They are so soft and comfortable. Currently on sale.  I am in a size small and they run on the large side.

Tory Burch is offering extra 25% off all sale items with code NEWYEAR.
I got these slippers from TB for Christmas and love them.  Looks like they are sold out online but a similar slipper is here.

I was also gifted the Tory Burch perfume with the free lipstick and let me tell you I love the perfume and lipstick.  The lipstick is the perfect everyday neutral shade and the perfume smells heavenly!  I actually just ordered two more lipsticks in different colors I loved the free one so much.

If you need an everyday purse I love this quilted one.  On sale plus the additional 25% off!
I had lusted after this Joie blouse for awhile so I was so excited to see my mom and remembered and gave it to me for Christmas.  I even put it on that day.  Sold out most places but a few sizes still left at Neiman Marcus.
Neiman Marcus is offering additional 33% off sale items no code necessary items are already marked reduced.
Similar style and look is this Equipment Blouse on major sale.
 This morning I picked this blouse up in the store.  I couldn't resist the neckline.

Another great deal is this Rebecca Taylor Floral Haze Blouse, 60% off.
Nordstrom just started their clearance sale.
Top pick is this Equipment Aubrey Dress on sale for 60% off.  I have this same style dress in a different pattern and wear it all the time.  Such a versatile easy dress.

These Vince D'Orsay pumps are 50% off.  I have them in the black and love them.  

Lastly, The Nespresso was a gift to myself.  Best coffee ever.  I love the foam or crema on top that it makes while it brews.  My parents had one and I am addicted to the coffee.  If you buy now before January 1st you can get a $100 credit towards pods, save your recepit.  I found they were cheapest on Amazon and you can use your prime account for free shipping.
I have the Chrome Vertoline one that bews regular coffee and espresso as well.

If you are relaxing today or just bored take time to browse these sales online, there are some great deals that end soon!