Friday, September 30, 2016

Euro Trip - Part 2

We left off on my first night in London and how terribly sick I was.

Monday morning, I met my co-worker for a latte and almond croissant. We opted for this breakfast daily as England doesn't have the best breakfast. Think cured bacon (ie not cooked), overcooked sausage, blood sausage, beans on toast, cottage cheese style eggs or barely cooked eggs.

Breakfast settled ok, but my stomach still wasn't feeling all too great.

We worked all day (sorry, I can't go into what we did for work daily....privacy issues), went back to our hotel, changed and then went sightseeing. Both of us had been to London before, so we didn't NEED to go to all the sights. We did go to Hamley's (amazingly big toy store), Harrods (classic), Selfridges (another classic), all the shops in between and Buckingham Palace.
guard at buckingham palace
Buckingham Palace
 Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

I was sad that we didn't get to see Prince William or his family. Didn't he know we would be there?

I got this drawing magnetic laptop at Hamley's since the girls are really into drawing. They love it and have been playing with it daily. Even fighting over it. Maybe I should have gotten two.

After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we ventured out to Burger and Lobster for dinner. My co-worker got the burger and I got the lobster roll.
Burger and Lobster
Chips, lobster roll and a salad

The food tasted incredible, but my stomach was still off from the food poisoning on Saturday.

Tuesday, we headed up to Harrow, England for the day on the subway. England doesn't have air conditioning on their trains because it doesn't get too hot there. Except when the first time in about 50 years, the temperature is 88 degrees in September. So hot. Being in a suit is no fun on a hot subway.

We worked all day, took the hot sweaty train back to London where I worked out, got ready and headed back on the train out to High Barnet. It was the last stop on our subway train (about 30 minutes away). We were meeting a mutual friend who now lives in England. And bonus, she is a twin too! 

We had the best time hanging out with my friend Kettie. She was due with her second child a week after we got back. We met her husband, had drinks and then went to a local brasserie for drinks and dinner. I opted for the fish and chips since it was the first time since our trip started that my stomach felt ok. The food was really good, the beer was exceptional, but the company was what made this trip the BEST. We took the train back to the city and made it back to the hotel around 10:30.

Side note: Kettie had her baby girl on Friday September 23rd!

Wednesday, we got up bright and early to take the train (actual train) out to Birmingham for work. The train ride was beautiful and only took an hour and a half. We worked there, had the BEST indian food for lunch, did a bit of shopping in the train station (seriously the best shopping there. It was a mall inside the train station.) and headed back to London. This is where I got the girls their backpacks that they absolutely love and refuse to take off. We have had to bring them in the car on the ride to daycare because they don't want to leave them.

Wednesday night, we did our own thing since we had such a late lunch. I went walking around the city again, searched for some souvenirs that my co-worker back home requested and settled on an Italian tapas place (San Carlo Cicchetti) for dinner. I wasn't too hungry, but knew I needed something for dinner. I had the best pasta with lobster. This place was ran by Italians and it was so much fun listening to them yell at each other in Italian. But the bartender who served me was awesome and taught me how to make a couple drinks and let me try a bunch of different wines. I settled on a glass of the rose to compliment my meal.
lobster pasta

After dinner, I walked through Covent Garden again and had to make my stop at Laduree for macarons. I was just going to get two and have them that evening, but I knew I would regret it since I wasn't going to Paris for another set. So I opted for 6 and they were heavenly. Don't worry, I controlled myself and ate two per night for three days in a row. They were just as soft and amazing on the third night.
Laduree Covent Garden
Laduree macarons
Strawberry and vanilla

I was able to facetime the girls that evening and it totally made my day.

The next morning, we were flying to Edinburgh, Scotland, but not until 1 pm. That meant I was able to do more walking which was good because I found out that my husbands grandfather was going into hospice care. I needed to clear my head and a morning walk around London was perfect to do so.

Stayed tuned for Part 3 - Scotland.
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Confessional Thursday

It's Thursday which means it is time to confess. Even though I wrote confessions the last two weeks, being gone made me feel like I missed out. I am still trying to catch up on reading all of your confessions.

Grab the button below, write your confessions and come back here to link up.

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/ that I missed the blogging community while I was gone. I was able to read a few blogs here and there, but not like I am used to. I am still so far behind on reading blogs, but I am getting to it. Who knew I would have so much work and emails to attend to after being gone two weeks?!

/ that I only bought myself one thing in Europe...a shirt and it was on sale for 8 pounds which is about $10.50. But now I want to buy all the Fall things now that I am back.

/ that ever since I had ginger ale on the plane to London (when I got super sick), I can't get enough of it. I am not a soda person, but ginger ale is my jam right now.

/ that I miss all the sleep I got in Europe. The first few days were a bit rough there, but then I settled into a nice routine of so much sleep. Now that I am back, sleep isn't coming as easy. Between jet lag and the girls, I could use a few extra hours.

/ that I tried to mail out my mug out for my blogger exchange yesterday and the post office window was closed for lunch for an hour and a half or more. At lunch time. That is the time everyone goes to the post office. So not cool. Now I have to try to go today so it doesn't go out late.

/ that I had to get gas at lunch yesterday as well and I had to go inside to pay since the card system was down and I subsequently purchased Airhead Bites and ate the entire bag yesterday. Oops.

/ Avery did not want anything to do with me on Tuesday evening. I dropped Rory and the girls off at home and came in to help them get into their highchairs and bring everything inside. But Avery refused to let me put her in her highchair and was pushing me away screaming daddy over and over again. Broke my mommy heart.

/ Avery also woke up at 4 am on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and proceeded to cry for daddy over and over again.

/ that I miss the amazing Indian food overseas. I swear it was the best of my life. No joke. I overate the three days I had it. No shame.

/ that I finally bought the girls Halloween costumes after going back and forth with my husband. Donuts won!! I can't wait to see the girls all dressed up and Trick or Treating.

That's it for my weekly confessions. Don't forget to link up below.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Hap-Pinning - Euro Trip Part 1

I can't believe I have been back from Europe for almost a week. I felt like I was away for a very long time, but in reality, it was only 12 days. Time to start my recaps.

I would like to believe that I made the most of my trip. Between work, sightseeing and the food, the time really did fly by.

It all started on Saturday September 10th. My flight wasn't until 4 pm, so I got to spend most of the day with my sweet family. We went to breakfast at one of my favorite places and came home to have a dance party. Avery was all about the music and dancing in my arms. So much fun. We also did a bit of bouncing on our yoga ball.
exercise with twins

They also helped me edit my guest posts.
twins helping with the blog

Not long later, it was time for their naps and time to finish my last minute packing. At 2:30 pm, we left to the airport where the girls had major meltdowns in the car. They were super upset that I was leaving them which only prompted more tears from me. So hard to say goodbye to my little turkeys.

I had a short flight to San Francisco, followed by a two hour layover before boarding our flight to London.
My view.

Before I turned my phone on airplane mode, I received two sweet photos that I looked at every chance I could on the long flight.
New pjs from Old Navy 

Side note: I seriously can't wait to start renovations on our kitchen (especially with that top photo of miss Sutton). I am counting down the days.

I had a 10 hour flight over to London. I had a glass of champagne upon take off, watched a movie, had dinner and fell asleep. About two hours later, I woke up and needed to throw up. I searched for a barf bag and no go. Luckily or not, the bathroom was open and I ran to it. Getting sick in a plane bathroom is the worst. You don't want to get too close to the toilet, but you don't want splatter. It's a lose lose situation. I chose to have a bit of splatter. 

After getting sick, I went back towards my seat and the flight attendant asked if I was ok. I told her I think the food upset my stomach and felt awful. She offered me ginger ale which I accepted and told me another passenger was sick, but she wasn't sure if it was from the food.

I tried to sleep the remaining part of the flight, but I felt soooo sick.

Finally, we landed, but I still felt awful. We went through customs, gathered our bags and set out for a cab. I knew it was going to be a 45 minute cab ride, so I settled in and hoped that I didn't smell too bad. My co-worker said he didn't think I got any throw up on myself because I didn't smell, but I still worried.

Our 45 minute car ride turned into an hour and a half car ride. Since it was 9/11, traffic was crazy and then there was a cyclist race going on as well. Once we got to our hotel, got checked in, texted back and forth with Rory and the girls, I had the best shower. I felt clean and ready to walk around. Or so I thought.

We walked around Covent Gardens and the shops for a bit before finding a place to eat. It was a typical Brasserie, but the menu looked good. I opted for soup and some risotto. I thought it would be gentle enough on my stomach. I ate most of the soup and about a few bites of the risotto before feeling really sick again. We left and walked around a bit more before my co-worker talked me into gelato. After gelato, we headed back to the hotel where I felt awful all night long. I definitely had food poisoning.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we work and explore London and England.

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I am back in the States, back at home with my family and I think I am finally passed the jet lag. Let me tell you, jet lag this time around has been awful. I barely slept Wednesday night after being up for 24 hours and Friday night was even worse. Let's just hope the sleepless nights are done.

I had the best time in Europe, but I am definitely glad to be back to my family. I have some recaps planned for the sights, food, shopping and everything in between. I hope to get some of those out this week. So stay tuned. But let me just say that Scotland was beautiful. So much greenery and beauty.

But for now, I am going to recap my weekend.

Friday I went to work and I dragged butt big time. But luckily, I only worked a half day. After work, I got lunch by myself and then picked up the girls from daycare. They napped briefly on the way home and then full on meltdowns ensued, so they took a 2 1/2 hour nap once we got home. I was able to catch up on some shows, take a short nap myself and some chores around the house. Once the girls got up, we played around the house. Let me just say that in the two weeks that I was gone, my girls grew up so much. Or I seem to think so. They play so much more, they say so many more words and they are just at a great stage right now. So much fun!!!

Once Rory got home from golfing, we took the girls and Walter on a walk since the weather was perfect. After our walk, we headed to Mexican food. I hadn't had Mexican food in forever and I was craving it. It was a risk taking the girls since dinner time is hit or miss with them, but I am happy to report that they were extremely happy. They tried a bunch of new foods and were such sweet ladies at the dinner table. Plus I got to have a margarita.
Radio Flyer Wagaon

After dinner, we went home to play some more and then we put the girls to bed. We watched more shows, but I ended up falling asleep at 8:30 on the couch. Jet lag.

Saturday morning we had the Nevada Wolf Pack game on tv, so I grabbed us some coffee and pastries at the local coffee shop and we spent our morning watching the Pack lose. Such a disappointment. After the girls naps, we had an even bigger disappointment with appliance shopping. We are getting so close to starting our renovations, so we have to get our appliances. There was not a great selection on anything and we didn't get anything. Doesn't it suck when you have the money to spend but you can't find anything to buy? Our only success was a stop at Target. 
Cath Kids backpacks
 Cath Kids London backpacks
Cath Kids backpacks
These backpacks that I got the girls in England were a huge hit! They wore them everywhere all weekend.

That evening we took another walk with the girls and Walter after the girls ate dinner. Then it was time for baths and quiet time. Once the girls went to bed, we ordered some pizza and watched American Horror Story.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast because European breakfast leaves much to be desired. The only breakfast I enjoyed was pastries and coffee. I had the best huevos rancheros and the best time with my family. After breakfast, we headed to the mall to get the girls new shoes, some more clothes (Old Navy is having up to 60% off children's clothing FYI) and look at more appliances.

We headed home around noon so we could get the girls their lunch and get them down for their naps. They took decent naps and while they were sleeping, I headed out to get some diaper rash cream (Walgreens is the only place that sells this stuff) and to the grocery store. 

Once I got back and the girls were up, we ate snacks and played while Rory did some yard work. After he finished, we took another long walk and then headed to my in-laws for dinner. My sister-in-law and nephew are in town until Thursday so we went over for dinner. The girls played in the water, had family time and we got to all catch up.

I forgot to mention that after I took my car into Subaru for the finishing of the oil consumption test, it failed and now my car is getting a new short block put into it. I have a brand new 2017 Subaru Legacy and it has me wanting a new car. 

Anyways, back to Sunday night. We headed home late and the girls were exhausted. We put them down and about an hour later Sutton started screaming and thrashing around in bed. By the time I got in there, Rory had picked her up and was trying to calm her down, but I told him to put her down because she was having a night terror and not to wake her or calm her. She needs to do it on her own because if she wakes up, she could be terrified or have the flight or fight response. It is the first time one of our girls has had night terrors, but I remember reading on them a couple months back. We just made sure she didn't hurt herself when she thrashed around. She was fine within a couple minutes and back to sleep. So crazy to see it happen. I hope it doesn't happen often or never again at that.

After Sutton's night terror, the girls never slept that well and were up off and on through the night. I am exhausted, but we did have a pretty great weekend. 

Today I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Confessional Thursday

It's Thursday which means Confessional Thursday again!! Grab the button, write your confessions and link up below.

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/ that being away for almost two weeks is and was hard, but the good news is, I am back. We had to cut part of our trip out due to some privacy issues. So I was gone 12 days instead of 14. It feels good to be back.

/ that even though I am happy to be back, the jet lag is REAL. So you can find me sleeping in bed all day. Yes, the girls are at daycare and Rory is at work. But I will be making an appearance at work tomorrow.

/ that I was worried I would gain some extra pounds on this trip, but I don't think I did. We walked everywhere (on cobblestone) and I worked out a ton. Some of my hotels had killer gyms. Can't pass that up.

/ that I really want a huge hamburger, plate of pasta or sushi. European food is pretty good (oh gawd the pastries!), but I missed my staples.

/ that my next trip is less than a month away. But this time it is for fun and it is with my husband. We are going to Oklahoma to visit Nick and Nathalie (my maid of honor) and have a kids free weekend. I can't wait!!

/ that today is the official start of Autumn and I am looking forward to our Apple Hill trip, Halloween, the leaves changing and all the Fall festivals!

/ that I am busier than ever at work which is a nice change. I love being super busy and on deadlines. It makes the days go by faster and the time in between seeing my girls seems shorter.

Happy Fall All!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Guest Post - You Know You're a Mom When

Today I have Mackensey from Stang&Co guest posting for me. I have absolutely loved following along in her journey through motherhood. From her fashion posts to her birth stories, I know she and I would be amazing friends if we ever get to meet in person. I "met" Mackensey through blogging and I have been following her ever since. Plus she writes some awesome confessions! She has two amazing little boys and I love seeing how different boymoms and girlmoms are. Enjoy!

While Danielle is off experiencing incredible Europe, I am stopping by today and am thrilled to be a guest on her blog! Can I just begin by saying how jealous I am of the travels she gets to do!? She is one awesome mom and lucky lady to experience the world through her job.

My name is Mackensey, and you can find my little corner of the internet over at Stang&Co. I blog about everything, from mommy mishaps, to fashion, to balancing out being a working mom with little ones at home. I live in the Midwest, have purchased more baby pajamas in the past two yeras than I care to admit, and am convinced that nothing is better for the soul than baking a batch of brownies. Stop on over to my page and say hi!

Lately, my life is consumed with motherhood. Having two under the age of two will do that to a person. Sometimes, I catch myself doing or saying something that cuases me to freeze and think, wow, when did I become a real mom? All of those other people are moms, but not me, right? Just because I have two little people attached to my hip doesn't warrant me the status of being an actual mom, does it? While protecting our sweet babies from the moment they are born is instinct, feeling comfortable in our mom skin is a bit more of a gradual process. if you have found yourself doing any number of the things on the list below though, you have most definitely earned yourself the title of MOM.

You know you're a mom when:

1. You look down at your shirt and are unsure whether it is spit up, boogers or food on your shoulder. And then you move on with what you were doing because you really don't care.
2. You have drawers full of burp cloths and towels, but are lazy and when boogers and spit up happen, you use your own sleeve or whatever piece of dirty clothing may be laying around and use that instead.
3. You tell your husband you have to "go to the bathroom" and lock the door for half an hour, using this time to check your phone, tweeze your eyebrows, or just shut your eyes for a few minutes.
4. A legitimate daily task is ensuring that one of your children does not kill the other one.
5. Bedtime is no longer something you look forward to, but rather dread as you know it is going to be a two-hour process, usually ending with someone in tears (and the person in tears is probably you!).
6. Nothing gives you a greater high than stacking coupons and scoring the deal of the year on diapers.
7. You go shopping for yourself, and walk out empty handed but with two new outfits for each of your children.
8. Chicken nuggets are a staple in your freezer, and life will cease to exist if you accidentally run out.
9. You have been pooped on in public, and it almost always happens that one time that you brave a run into Target without the diaper bag.
10. You know all of the words to the children's CD that is in your car. And you catch yourself listening and singing along, even when your children aren't with you.
11. The only vacation you have taken recently was to grab a Starbucks and roam the aisles of Target by least until your husband texts you five minutes later asking when you will be home.
12. You find yourself regularly saying things such as "don't stick that in your nose", "get your hands out of your pants", and "No, don't eat that"!
13. Cute home decor is tucked away in your closet because your toddler decided your seasonal pumpkins made great bowling balls to throw down the stairs.
14. You look at stay at home mom's and think nothing but the absolute highest of them, because you know they have the hardest job on the planet.
15. Going to work in the morning often leaves you feeling giddy, because it is when you will finally be able to sip on a hot cup of coffee in peace.
16. You no longer share pictures of nights out or cute outfits, but rather have to refrain from sharing every adorable and precious thing your children do throughout the day.
17. Despite it all, your heart has never been more full, and you find yourself repeating what everyone always told you but you never really understood. That you love those little monsters more and with a deeper fierceness than you ever knew existed.

What are your "a-ha" moments in motherhood when you realized you were officially a member of the club!? I would love to hear about those little experiences that (looking back on) make you laugh!

Thank you so much Mackensey! When I first read this, I was nodding my head along to almost every single one of these. Being a mother is the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. I never knew if I had the mom gene, but now having children, they are what I live for. Through their crazy actions (like throwing mommy's candles and seasonal decor) to their hugs and kisses, I wouldn't change being a mom for anything.

I think we both have totally earned our mom badges!!

Please head over to Mackensey's blog and follow along.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Guest Post - Top 5 Beauty Items at the Drugstore

Hello Everyone! I'm Claudia and I blog over at It is such a pleasure to be blogging here today! As soon as Danielle posted that she was looking for some guest posts, I jumped at the chance. Her weekly confessions link up is always the best part of my Thursday. Be warned, when I link up, most of my confessions involve something I ate or something I brought.

I am a self-declared beauty junkie and spend an embarrassingly large amount of my spare time researching & buying makeup. I consider it research and development costs for my blog ;)

So, to get something out of all those hours, I want to share with you all my top five beauty items at the drugstore.

This was tough to narrow down! I started with 18 items and slowly, but surely, narrowed it down to just 5. Although I have a TON of drugstore favorites, I really cut down to those favorites that I prefer over any of my high end products. I asked myself: if the drugstore were to disappear, what five products would I want to keep? These are all products I use regularly and many of them I've repurchased over and over.

Bottom to top: Mac Cosmo, Wet N Wild Bare it All, Too Faced Chihuahu & Charlotte Tilbury Nude Kate

Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color in Bare It All - $2.29

The megalast lipsticks are actually the first lipsticks I bought when I was just starting to get into lipsticks. I didn't want to spend a lot of money when I was first experimenting with colors and I can find these for $1.99 at some drugstores. Who knew I started with the best. These lipsticks are pigmented, creamy and stay on forever. Although the actual lipstick itself may seem a little stiff, I don't have any issues gliding them over my lips. Plus, they are all matte but are not drying at all!

I recently purchased a $32 lipstick and honestly it doesn't even compare to the Wet N Wild ones.

Although I have over 10 shades of this formula, my absolute favorite is Bare it All. It's a nude shade with just a hint of peach & brown so it doesn't make me look like I'm sick (which can happen with nude lips). Think Jennifer Lopez at award shows. You can see a swatch above compared to some higher end products.

A coupe of other favorite shares are Just Peachy and Cherry Picking.


Jordana Best Lash Mascara - $3.99

I recently raved about this mascara on my blog (readhere). the formula isn't too liquid or too dry. It lengthens, defines and volumizes with one coat. It doesn't flake or run and basically looks amazing. This mascara is better than any drugstore or high end mascara I have ever tried. It's the most comparable to the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara that everyone loves, but for a fraction of the price. 

If you look at the brush, it doesn't seem like anything special, but somehow it always seems to pick up the perfect amount of product to prevent any clumping.

I will never be without it.

Image Via

L'Oreal Lumi Foundation - $10.99

This is hands down one of the best foundations I have ever tried. The formula is pigmented, blendable and dries to a very natural looking luminous finish. Even though the coverage is medium, you can build it up to full coverage without looking cakey. It has a little SPF and there is a huge range of shades. As a plus, this comes in a plastic bottle with a pump.

I have combination to oily skin so usually I stay far, far away from anything labeled dewy or luminous. But by some miracle, this foundation works great and I do not end up looking like I rubbed baby oil on my face by the end of the day. I just set my T zone with a tiny bit of powder. The most comparable product to this is my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. And that is a $64 foundation!


Milani Eyeshadow Primer - $5.99

Talk about underrated products at the drugstore. This little tube of goodness is just as good as the hyped up Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Insurance Primer for 1/4 of the cost. The formula is creamy/silicone-y consistence just like the UD Primer Potion. A tiny amount is enough as it spreads really easily.

If you don't use eye shadow primer you need to go out and get this asap. It makes such a difference in how eye shadow applies, looks and lasts. I'm talking about extending your eye shadow for hours! Trust me, take an extra 10 seconds of your life and apply this primer.


Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush in Mellow Wine - $2.99

As soon as I started thinking about this post I knew this blush would make the list. I don't even understand how they can price this at $2.99 when it's just as good as my $38 blushes. The formula is ultra-pigmented and long lasting. This color in particular is my absolute favorite. It is like a wine/deep watermelon color that is prefect for the Fall.

There is quite a lot of fall out with this blush so make sure to very gently tap your brush into the pan and then tap out the excess. The tiniest amount goes a LONG WAY with this so be careful to avoid clown face.

Honorable Mention

Image Via

I know I said just five, but I felt so guilty for leaving this out that I wanted to give it an honorable mention. My second favorite drugstore lipsticks are the Milani Color Statement Lipsticks. unlike the Wet N Wild lipsticks, the creamy shades of these have a satin finish so they are a little more moisturizing. They also smell delicious. My favorite shade is Cabernet Blend, a deep burgundy color that I tend to wear on repeat in the fall and winter. 

Alight friends, there you have it! I hope you'll enjoy these products as much as I do. And let us all hope there is never a true life situation that would require I only pick five products from the drugstore ;) If you want more beauty favorites, reviews and general life posts, come say hi to me at Just a Little Blush.

Thanks to Danielle for letting me post on here today!

Have a great day!

Thank you for guest posting Claudia. I learned so much from your post. I am in desperate need of UD Primer and now I am going to opt and try the Milani Eye Shadow Primer. Especially if I can save so much money. And as soon as I need mascara, I am definitely buying the Jordana one. I feel like I can pick up most of this stuff and it would cost the same as one makeup item I purchase. I love a good drugstore find and you nailed it with this post. So thank you so much.

Be sure to pop over to Claudia's blog and follow her.
Monday, September 19, 2016

Guest Post - Five Favorite Things About Fall

Hi all! I have Emily from Three Boys and a Girl guest posting for me today. Emily and I "met" through blogging and I have been so honored to help her through her first year blogging. Emily and I have connected over clothes, blogging, our children, all of her monogrammed goodies and life. I really hope to travel back East and meet Emily one day. Emily has so many amazing clothes and shops at Nordstrom often and I totally envy her buys.

I am so excited to be guest posting for Danielle today! When I started my blog back in January Danielle was one of my first blogger friends. Since then she has become a great friend. She has always been willing to help me with any blogger questions I have and I've loved bouncing ideas off of her. Watching her sweet girls grow and change over the past several months has been so fun too! So when she was looking for some guest posters while she is traveling I knew I wanted to do it!

Since fall is upon us, and everyone seems to have it on the brain I thought I would share my top five favorite things about fall!

ONE | Fashion
Who doesn't love the sweaters, the boots and the coziness of fall clothes. I am sharing some of my favorite finds lately.

Tops: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 Bottoms: 1 / 2 / 3 Shoes: 1 / 2 / 3

TWO | Food 
Goodness who doesn't love to eat? Fall foods seriously may be my favorite. Maybe its because so many things can be made in the crockpot {who doesn't love that}. I love soups, chilis and stews. Theres nothing better than getting that going on a chilly day and enjoying some football while eating chili. The toppings are so yummy and adding corn bread makes it even better. 

THREE | Football
There is something about the start of football that signals fall. Spending Saturdays at the stadium tailgating, or watching on the back porch at home while the kids play in the backyard. I just adore days like that and can't wait to cheer on our team {NC State Wolfpack} during many games in the coming months! 

FOUR | Weather 
Ok seriously, fall weather is my absolute FAVORITE! I adore being able to throw on some leggings, my boots and a sweater. I hate hate hate being hot, so summertime is never my favorite for that reason. I love winter but it can get super cold and who likes that. But fall, fall is amazing. You can wear all the cozy things you want and still not get too hot or too cold. It's the absolute perfect scenario in my book! 

FIVE | Birthdays and celebrations
I can't talk about my favorite things about fall without talking about birthdays. In my family we have a lot. October starts with mine {I'll be 31!} and we end the month with Grahams, who will be turning O N E!! The we start November celebrating Jack who turns three!! In between the two we will celebrate Halloween as well and lets not forget about Thanksgiving to round out the fall season. So there are so many fun things to celebrate over the next few months!

These two have birthdays within 8 days of each other. We will be celebrating for a solid two weeks!

So there you go. My top five favorite things about fall! I could also include the decor, because right now my house looks like fall exploded. I love it, it feels cozier, my house smells amazing and it overall puts me in a better mood as soon as I walk in the door.

What are your favorite things about fall?

Thanks for letting me be a guest poster Danielle!

And thank you Emily for highlighting some of my favorite things about Fall. I love love love the Fall clothes. I really need to add those first booties to my collection. Who doesn't love Tom's? I have my fair share in my closet. I won't say how much, but let's just say I have more than a weeks worth. I am always looking for new recipes and can't wait to try these out, especially as the cooler weather sets in. And how cute are Emily's boys? I adore their shirts she has made for them for all the special occasions. I even have some coming my way for the girls' 2nd birthday. Thank you again for guest posting, Emily.

Please go check out her blog and follow along on her journey!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Guest Post - 3 Steps to Potty Training Success

Today, I have Lizzie from This Happy Life. Lizzie and I met through blogging and have become fast friends. Lizzie is a mom to three children and one of them happens to be named Avery...just like my little Avery. I love reading about Lizzie's life and her adventures with her family. I am so honored to have her as a guest poster today. Enjoy!

Hey there! I'm Lizzie and I blog over at This Happy Life. I'm so excited to be guest posting on Danielle's blog; it's quickly become one of my favorites!

Today I'm sharing 3 steps to potty training. I've successfully potty trained 2 out of my 3 kids and thought this was a great topic to guest post about since I'm about to start training my 3rd.

1. Make sure they are ready.

How do you know? With my kids, I started noticing they were telling me every time they went pee and poo in their diaper.  That made me realize they understood what was happening and that they could probably start going on the potty.  Also, if my kids got excited when I would talk about going on the potty, I knew it was a good time. If they didn't get excited, I would back off.  Once I had both things (telling me when they are going in their diaper + getting excited about the potty) I knew it was time to start.

2. Go big or go home

When it was time to potty train my first two, I took the approach of just diving in.  I did not use training pants or diapers some of the time, it was straight to underwear. (well except for night time, that took a little while longer) We went to the store and I had each kid pick out their favorite pair.  I chose to start potty training both kids on a Thursday and knew that the upcoming weekend would be spent at home, just training. I gated off our downstairs family room and pretty much confined them to our first floor which has our living room turned playroom and our kitchen (bonus is these rooms are hardwood) I would ask my kids several times an hour, "do you have to go to the bathroom? do you have to go pee?" If it would be a while in between going, I would sit them on the potty but only for a couple of minutes.  I didn't want them sitting on it for so long that they just happened to go and then might not be able to decipher the difference of actually having to go vs just being on the potty and going. I would repeat this several times a day.

3. Be their biggest cheerleader

If people could hear me cheering my kids on when they would go potty, they would probably mistake my excitement for winning the lottery. That's how much emotion I put into praising them.  My kids loved this so much.  I would be jumping up and down screaming "You did it! I knew you could! I'm so proud of you!! Yayyyy!!" and my kids would flash me the biggest smile.  I honestly think making such a huge deal when they went played a big role in their potty training success.

And there you have it, my 3 simple steps to potty training.  Of course this may not work for everyone but it could work for some. And remember, there will be accidents, maybe lots of them, but try not to blame your child (I know that can be hard when you're cleaning up pee or even poop for the upteenth time, but try) Most of all, Good Luck!

Thank you Danielle, for letting me be a part of your blog while on your trip!

Thank you Lizzie for these three steps. We are about to embark on potty training the twins and I know I will need all the help I can get. I love your idea of waiting for them to tell you that they are ready. My girls love to go into the bathroom with me and watch me. They are trying to figure out what is going on and I hope it leads to them wanting to try it soon. Thank you so much for the advice. I know I will make awesome use out of this very soon!
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Confessional Thursday

It's Thursday and I am flying to Scotland as you read this. But it is also time for Confessional Thursday!! Grab the button, write your confessions and link up below.

grab button for Sparkles and Lattes
<div class="sparkles-and-lattes-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Sparkles and Lattes" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>


/ that leaving my girls was really hard. I cried a bunch and I miss them terribly.

/ that I bought a box of macarons at Laduree and ate them ALL. They are my absolute favorite and they wouldn't last another week until I am home. No regrets. Ok, maybe my thighs regret it, but my stomach does not.

/ that I want to buy all the things for the girls. With princess Charlotte here, they have so many cute "replica" style clothing for toddlers. I want it all. Is it too early to get them tiaras? Ha.

/ that English food really isn't my thing. Sure, I love some of and chips, bangers and mash, but the partially cooked bacon and eggs or beans on toast or liver dishes are just plain gross. I am kind of craving a burger right now.

/ that it is really hard to blog on an iPad. I am used to my computer and the iPad just doesn't feel the same. #techproblems

/ that my new favorite thing to do with my girls is have dance parties. We had the best dance party Saturday morning and I am still on a high from it. Totally missing my girls!

/ that England is so beautiful in the Fall. I can't wait to see Scotland later today!!!

And those are my confessions for the week!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Guest Post - 10 Reason Why I Love Being a Twin

Today, I have Marie from Twin Living guest posting for me. As you might be able to tell from her blog title, Marie is a twin. I love connecting with twins since I have twins myself. The bond they create is incredible and it has been so fun watching my girls interact with each other. Marie and I often talk about things twins do and I get excited for what my future holds with my girls.

So I bring you, Marie.

Hi all, I'm Marie from Twin Living. I'm super excited to be guest posting for Danielle while she is traveling for work. She has twin girls and I'm a twin, so I thought it would be fun to share 10 reasons why I love being a twin.

1) I have a built in playmate or in our case, a shopping buddy. She isn't really a fan of shopping but she is always willing to go with me.

2) Seeing as I had a "wombmate", I know how to share really well and I will happily give up that last piece of cake for her.

3) You always have someone to celebrate your birthday with. Your twin will never forget your birthday.

4) You always have someone to loan you money if you need some, even if it is just for that cup of coffee.

5) They will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts. But they will tell you in a non-hurtful way.

6) You have a built in support team. They will always be your number one supporter, no matter what. They will be there at your best and at your worst.

7) It's fun confusing people. My twin and I look NOTHING alike but people confuse us all the time. Heck, our family still sometimes calls us the wrong name.

8) You are always #twinning.

9) No one will understand you like your twin will. They will understand you when no one else does.

10) Lastly, my favorite thing about being a twin is that I have a best friend for life. No matter what, she is my best friend forever. Nothing or no one will ever change that.

The bond between twins is amazing. It's hard to explain the bond. People always ask if I like being a twin. The answer is yes, I do. However, that doesn't mean that we are the same person. We are two very very different people. In fact, we are complete opposites, like oil and water. Yet, we have an unbreakable bond.

Thank you for reading, please stop by my blog, Twin Living Blog to say hello. I love meeting new bloggers.

Danielle, thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure. Hope your trip is going well and I look forward to hearing all about it.

And thank you Marie for reminding us how special twins really are. I am so grateful to have twins!
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Guest Post - Throw Away Your Scale

Today, I have a real special treat for you all. My dear real life (in person) friend and blogger, Melanie is guest posting for me today. Melanie is hear to talk about learning to love yourself. She has been writing inspirational posts on her blog for awhile now and I couldn't wait to have her do a guest post for me.

I have known Melanie since 2005 when she took over my internship. We only worked together for about a month, but we became fast friends. We have been really close since day one and I wouldn't change a thing. Ok, maybe for her to move back home so we can see each other more often.

Take it away Melanie...

First, a big giant thank you to my dear friend Danielle for the opportunity to do a guest post. I'm excited to be here!

Lately I've been writing more on the topic of learning to love yourself. A huge part of that is learning to love your body. So today I want to share with you one of the first things I did to improve my own body image...throw away your scale!

You may be thinking, she can't be serious! Yes, yes I am. Well it's probably better to give it away, but the point is get it out of your house! Weighing yourself frequently is one of the worst things you can do for your body image. It is also completely unnecessary. The number on the scale does not represent anything important to your health. How you feel is what's most important. Do you feel strong and healthy? Do you feel like you're eating lots of nutritious food and getting enough exercise? If the answer is yes to both of these then you're already taking steps to be healthy. And if you feel healthy then why does it matter what you weigh? It doesn't! Even if your answer is no to those questions, that just means you need to be making your health a bigger priority, it does not mean you need to stress about the number on the scale.

One of the reasons I'm a big proponent of not weighing ourselves is because of how much our weight fluctuates. From one day to the next and even one week to the next, there are so many factors that can make you gain or lose 5-10 pounds, or more, depending on your body. How much water you're drinking, how much salt you're eating, how much your sleeping, where you're at in your menstrual cycle, etc. These are normal, natural things, some of which are out of your control and others, like drinking lots of water, are important to your health and should not be neglected to simply lose a few pounds.

The biggest reason I'm so adamant about staying off the scale is because I know from personal experience how much it helped me in my own search for body love. As someone who has recovered from anorexia, I know oh too well how detrimental poor body image can be. Obsessing about your weight is a step on the path to an eating disorder. It may not seem like a big deal at first, you'll tell yourself you're just being healthy. But there's a fine line between being healthy and having an unhealthy obsession, and trust me when I say, you do not want to cross it. How thin you are should not be your life's focus. There are so many wonderful things in life that are truly important. Your weight is not one of them. Being healthy definitely is, but obsessing over the numbers is not.

If you can't bring yourself to get rid of your scale right away, at least try something for me. Hide it far away, tucked under a bunch of stuff on a high shelf in your garage, or wherever will be really inconvenient to get it out. And just try going for a few weeks or a month without weighing yourself. Then just see how you feel. It may take longer, but after awhile, you'll realize you don't think about it as much and will likely feel better about yourself when you look in the mirror. Eventually you won't give it a second thought that you don't have a scale and aren't positive how much you weigh, because you will realize that it doesn't matter. And big bonus, all that energy you spent thinking about something silly will now be free to be used for something important!

A huge part of my recovery from anorexia has been learning to love myself. And as I learn to love myself, I'm really learning to prioritize my life, and in doing so, learning what is actually important to my happiness. Being healthy will always be an important piece of loving myself, but that not only includes being physically healthy, but mentally as well. Thinking kind thoughts about yourself is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. If you're treating yourself well and listening, and respecting, what your body is telling you, then you won't need a number on a scale to tell you if you're healthy and happy or not.

So here's to loving yourself, all of yourself, and staying off that scale!

Thank you Melanie! I know this hits home with me. I hate the scale and I hate weighing myself. I would rather go off how my body feels than a number. A number that can bring down my self esteem in seconds. I always love a good reminder on loving yourself and your body!

Please go check out Melanie's blog, Mel's Empty Journal where she talks about her children, life, being a mom, the struggles us moms go through, learning to love yourself, exercise and so much more.
Monday, September 12, 2016


It's Monday and I didn't have much of a weekend because I left for work travel. But I still enjoyed the bits of the weekend I did have.

Friday, I worked half day since I still had so much to do at home before my trip. After work, we picked up the girls, headed to lunch and then home for some naps. At 2 pm, we ventured out to the pediatrician. Remember, a month or two ago when Avery got a little boil on her butt? Well, now Sutton has one. We want to nip it in the butt (pun intended) before it got worse or Rory had to take her into the pediatrician alone.

They did and said pretty much the same thing as they did with Avery. But since it wasn't Avery, we couldn't just call and get a prescription.

After the pediatrician's appointment, we headed home, so my in-laws could watch the girls for a bit. Rory and I headed to the cabinet showroom to pick out cabinets, veneers and options.

We are on a time crunch here for our renovations, well planning of them, so we had to go get it taken care of before I left. We have almost everything picked out and are waiting for our bid from our contractor. We are hoping to start the actual renovations in the beginning of October. Fingers crossed.

After our appointments, I did some grocery shopping for Rory and the girls, cooked dinner and hung out with my family. Once the girls were asleep, I started packing. Packing is never fun. Especially when you are packing for almost two weeks.

After all was said and done, we relaxed for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday morning we headed out to breakfast and then I spent my time with the girls, Walter and Rory. I wanted to get in as much time with them as possible. We also started watching the Notre Dame vs. Nevada game which I finished at the airport.

At 2:30, we loaded the girls and my luggage up and headed to the airport. I cried a lot because this will be the longest amount of time that I have been away from the girls or Rory. It will be hard, but I know I will be ok. But let's just say there were A LOT of tears and hugs.

I won't bore you with the details of my flights, but let's just say I made it safely, drank a bunch of wine on the plane and watched many movies.

These next two weeks, I will be having some amazing ladies guest post for me. Plus there will be a few posts from me. I will still be hosting Confessional Thursday, so be sure to link up.
Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Happenings

It's Friday already. I can hardly believe it. When I want the week to fly by, it goes at a slow turtle pace. But when I need the extra time, I can barely blink and it is Friday. It doesn't help that this week was a short week.

But I am here and ready to tackle the day.

One. I so wish that cute utility vest would magically appear at my house today, so I could take it to Europe with me. But alas, it is not. No patience around here. But I had to share it again because I love it so much and can't wait to wear it all the time and find new outfits to pair it with.

Pearl and Monroe also posted this shirt and it took everything in me not to buy it. Self control Danielle.

Two. We are headed to the pediatrician this afternoon. Remember how Miss Avery had a boil on her bum not too long ago? Well now Sutton has one or something similar. So we want to get it checked out before I leave on my trip and make sure she is ok. At least we get to see how much she weighs and what her stats are. I always love seeing how much my girls have grown and change since the last appointment. I don't love paying the pediatrician though. Ha.

Three. Rory was in LA on Tuesday night for work and instead of doing laundry or starting to pack, I tried on all my new clothes (from my gift cards) and my new Clark boots. I loved my boots so much that I finally decided to throw out my old black riding boots that had a hole in the bottom. But I didn't stop there. I started going through all of my shoes and getting rid of so many pairs. 

I like to keep my nicer shoes in their boxes and stack them. Well I had a bunch of empty boxes since the shoes were on the closet floor. But I got rid of about 20 boxes and 10 pairs of shoes. My closet looks so much better. Plus it made room for new shoes!

Four. I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow and I am so excited and nervous. I have several guest posts coming your way over the next two weeks. All of them are new guest posters and some of my favorite bloggers. There is a post on makeup, motherhood, Fall things, loving yourself and many more. I can't wait to introduce you all to some of my blogging friends.

Five. As always, I am window shopping or putting everything into my shopping cart online and never buying it. I need all the good deals and then I will drop the money. Recently, this has been in and out of my shopping cart. Good news for me is, it is sold out. Bad news is, it will be back soon and my wallet will lose some cash.

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.