Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Finally: Fashion Edition

At least for the moment it is actually cool here! Can I get a heck ya??

I've bought a few items for fall already, but I've mostly held back because up until this weekend temperatures have still been into the 90's every single day.  I think temperatures will soar at least once more before I bring out my jeans and flats for good, but for the moment I'm soaking it up!

Flats are my shoe of choice for all of fall.  I do break out boots occasionally, but for me, flats are just so comfy, easy to throw on, and always look chic.  As an aficionado of flats, I of course love Tory Burch.  Have any of y'all hit up the Tory Burch Friends and Family sale? (Use code FRIENDS for 25% off and free shipping).  I was thrilled to learn that Nordstrom is simultaneously discounting all of their Tory items 25% as well!!  Since I had some Nordstrom notes to use, I picked up these beauties:

I've been hunting high and low for months now for the perfect nude flat and snagged these Vince Camuto nude flats last month.  They are relatively affordable and SO comfortable.  I also think they are the perfect nude color (not too tan and not too pink).  They go with everything!

Last night I paired them with this engineered striped boatneck top from J Crew for the Fun. concert with my hubby (sold out but I love this one).  It was our first date night in months btw!

Today they went great with this outfit for dropping Phillip at school and a little shopping date with my Mom at Nordies:

In the bargain department, have y'all seen these adorable quilted barn jackets and vests from Old Navy?? This tweed puffer vest is adorable too and only $40.

A few weeks back, when J Crew Factory had 40% off everything in store, I picked up this chambray dress (Factory is currently having 20% off all orders over $100 with code EXTRA20).  I love it but this one from Old Navy is pretty cute too!

J Crew Factory - on sale for $64.50

Old Navy - $34.94 but use code ONSAVE20 for 20% off.

Lately, I have been obsessed with the array of affordable accessories available on Etsy.  Last year I was so disappointed when I hesitated too long and missed out on the Missoni infinity scarf.  But, I found this scarf on Etsy that is so cheap and just as cute, IMO. 

$30 from seller DesiLoop on Etsy.

So, tell me ladies... what trends are y'all loving for fall?  Also, I just recently upgraded to the new iPhone 5S (believe me not by choice... my old phone recently suffered a grievous injury at the hands of my adorable daughter!).  I'm looking for a cute cover that will not break the bank.  Any suggestions?


Thursday, October 3, 2013


My big brother Tom and me at my wedding in 2006.

I know I promised y'all some fun fall posts, but I need to share something a little heavier today. This post has really been a long time coming.  I've started to write it a hundred times, but just never felt like the time was right.  I've mentioned before in passing that my brother passed away but I've never really talked about it here before.  This really probably needs to be two separate posts (or maybe even more): one about what happened to him and at least one about how I feel about it, but for now, I'm going to focus on the more pressing issue and that is: why it happened.

Two years ago, on Christmas Day, my older brother Tom died.  He was 31 years old.  He was a graduate summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Trinity University.  He was a many time marathon runner, iron man triathlete, and he had recently qualified for and was scheduled to run the Boston Marathon.  He was, most of all, a beloved uncle, brother, and son.  Then, on Christmas Day, he took his own life. 

The moment I found out that my brother had died was an absolutely defining moment in my life.  I lost a vital part of myself.  To say it devastated me and my entire family is a gross understatement.  I will spare you all the details but the events of his death left some members of my family in treatment for post traumatic stress.

Tom and me at almost the exact same ages as Phillip and Natalie.

Growing up, Tom and I were as close as a brother and sister could be. I  spaced Phillip and Natalie's ages with that closeness in mind.  Huge parts of my life were experienced only by the two of us.  His death would have left a gaping hole in my life under any circumstances, but his sudden shocking end was especially devastating.  But, as I said before, I'm not writing this post to say woe is me or even to really share how his death has affected my life.  I want to talk about depression.

At Disney World - 5 and 7.

I've never been depressed.  Not truly.  Not the way he was.  And I really didn't understand it.  At its height, his depression made me too sad, and uncomfortable, and even angry to be around him.  I carry around a lot of guilt and feelings of "what if??"  But the fact remains that people who are depressed do a pretty good job at hiding their issues and not expressing the true extent of their depression.  I think a lot of that has to do with how society views it.  This TED Talk by Kevin Breel has really helped me understand a lot better what it feels like to be a depressed person and also shed a lot of light on the huge problem that it really is.  He reminds me so much of Tom.  I hope you'll take the time to watch it.

If you know someone with depression, please let them know that you understand and you're there for them.  If you know someone who is or who you think may be suicidal, force them to get help.  I have several posts with tons of searches on Google and pins on Pinterest and I have no doubt that this will never be among them, but it was too important not to write.

Finally, if you are here and still reading, my family and I will be participating in a walk to raise awareness and understanding for and to prevent suicide.  If you'd like to donate, it would mean the world to me, and if you are interested in participating there are Out of the Darkness walks all across the country.   


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lately and Running Essentials

Howdy and happy fall y'all! See? I'm back and it didn't take months :)

I just wanted to share a little of what we've been up to lately.  I'm also working on some "Finally Fall Favorites" posts for both food and fashion so look out for those in the next week!

Things are really great.  Basically, I just really feel like I'm starting to hit my stride as a mommy of two.  Yeah.  It took me more than a year.  But hey I'm just being honest!  Phillip is a little spit fire these days.  He argues and bargains constantly, but he is also so much fun!  One of the things I looked forward to the most about being a mom was reading my kids the books that I loved as a child and I was so excited when Phillip and I headed to the library this week and picked up Charlotte's Web.  When I was a kid, my mom would read us books like that, maybe a chapter or two a day each afternoon and I loved it.  I was a little worried that it might be too soon but so far it's been great.  He actually has a great attention span for it and seems to be enjoying the story.

Little Natalie is as busy as ever and (I can't believe I'm actually typing this) STILL not sleeping through the night.  She was for a while when she was much younger but she hasn't been for about the last 5 months.  I think I am going to have to let her cry it out, which breaks my heart, but I really need to get some sleep!

Phillip is in school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings so the other days we usually try to head out of the house and do something fun.  The last couple of weeks we have gone to the Children's Museum.  They both LOVE it and are finally at ages where they can kind of do the same things.  Both of them are obsessed with all things ball related so we do a lot of that.  We usually pack a lunch and eat there so that when we get home right at nap time, everyone is fed and ready to rest!


I have been running a lot lately and it feels so great!  I am by no means a serious runner but I do consider myself a runner since I get out there and move by butt at a quickish pace for at least three miles a few times a week.  Right now I'm training to do the Rock n' Roll half marathon in November just like I did last year.  I'm not too worried about finishing in a certain time, but I do think I will run it a bit faster this year since I'm not just a few months post partum. 

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite running accessories for any of you fellow runners or those hoping to start running!   P.S. I'm not making money off of any these, just sharing because I love them!

Here's a little awkward post-run selfie that, incidentally, shows you how messy my closet is!  It shows you some of these running faves though!  And check out that awesome shorts tan...

This puppy is amazing.  If you have C cup or larger breasts you MUST get it.  It is not cheap, but it will hold your breasts in place like nothing else.  It's even comfortable for me when I'm super big in the early days of nursing.  I love the adjustable straps and hook closure in the back.  It comes in cute colors I think, but I just have black and white. 

Nike LunarGlide Running Shoes in Grey/Pink (as with most running shoes, I size up .5)
I don't have really sensitive feet, but I like these and the cuteness doesn't hurt!

Lululemon Run: Speed Short (these run very small - I'm a 4)
I used to be a total Nike Tempo devotee, but I really like these better.  The Tempos tend to be a bit long on me and I feel like the shortness of these elongates my squaty short legs.  Bonus: the waist band is very soft and doesn't pinch your muffin top!
Like I said above, I'm not a super serious runner, but this watch is great.  Hubs surprised me with it and I couldn't be more thrilled to have it. I've never wanted to invest in a GPS watch before, but this one is relatively inexpensive and is very light weight.  I love being able to just set out on a run now without worrying about making a route before I go.  Plus, looking at all my past runs is really motivating for me. 
I have a treadmill too, so that should probably be on this list as well.  If it wasn't for the treadmill and this stroller, I would never be able to workout.  But seriously y'all this stroller is so wonderful!  It is big and heavy, but surprisingly easy to maneuver and great to run with.  I can push it one handed most of the time.  The kids are very comfy in it and it has great oversized sunshades. 

Ok, that's all I have for today!  I'd love to hear any running essentials y'all have.  I'm always looking for new ideas :)

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