Toddler Cardigans are Adorable

I can openly admit that I didn’t really anticipate being a “milestone” photo shoot collector. But, when you find the right photographer that manages to capture your kiddo in the best way possible — and in a quick and painless way — well, I can’t imagine NOT doing it!! Thank you again Sarah!

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Giggle fits, smiles and dancing. Smith, you are a gem!!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Smith!

I can’t believe I have a two year old. As the big day was approaching, I caught myself thinking, ‘oh yea, Smith will be 1.’ I can’t even really explain why. I think it’s because the first year is just so change-change-change; breastfeeding, baby food, first steps, etc. And moving in to the second you, you feel like you get the hang of life with another human a little bit!

Anywho. Smith is two. He is funny. He is cute. And he is smart. We celebrated our main man with friends and family on a nice Saturday afternoon with a Sesame Street party. It was a crazy fun couple hours and Smith had a ball!

Enjoy the slideshow below!

Here are some of Smith’s favorite things these days (per his birthday board above!):

Favorite characters:
Itsy Bitsy Spider (all.the.time.)
Thomas the Train
Spiderman
Sesame Street
Favorite things to do:
Play outside
Puzzles
Read Books
Build blocks
Play trains and trucks
Favorite Foods:
Hummus
Pork
Red peppers
Oranges
Cinnamon Rolls (it’s possible I’m a bad influence here!!)
Smith, thank you for being such a joy in our lives. I love watching you grow up and can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Denim Blazer

Sometimes you follow trends. Sometimes you buy staples. Sometimes you buy because it was on sale. 

This demin blazer fills all three of those. Blazers really made a come-back a couple years ago. As in, they were cool to wear to your interview AND out with the girls. I was, and still am, a big fan!

Anyways. I found this blazer on an awesome mark-down table for $20 and thought it would be nice and versatile. Boy was I right! So it was on sale, trendy at the time, but is now what I consider a year-round staple in my closet. It’s a great transition piece for Fall and Spring!

   
Dress: Von Maur, Jacket: Ann Taylor, Leggings: Forever 21, Shoes: Payless.

   

What are some of your closet staples for Fall?!

Geo Dress

In efforts of holding on to the colors of summer for as along as I can, I squeezed in one more wear of a favorite dress of mine.  
Dress: Francesca’s, Jacket: Von Maur, Bag: Coach Outlet online, Shoes: Target, Watch: Michael Kors, Belt: NY&C, Sunglasses: Ray Ban.

  

What staples will you miss as you pack up your Summer wardrobe?

Fitness Tracker Test

I was enjoying my monthly People Style Watch earlier this summer and saw a highlight talking about Lumiod. A great website that let’s you trial products for a flat fee. Yes, it was that easy. Originally created for camera equipment, it has since expanded to fitness trackers. Here is how it works.

Go to the website. Pick up to five devices you want to trial. Pay $25. They send you the devices you chose. Use them for up to 14 days. Send products back with provided return label. Honestly, it was that easy. Oh, and an added bonus? Purchase the device you liked best through their website and the $25 becomes a credit towards that product!

I had no idea there were so many fitness tracking devices on the market. Wowza! It was helpful that Lumiod asked me some key questions to narrow down the options. Examples: sleep tracking, notifications, swimming, display capabilities, price points, etc.

I ended up trialing the following:
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Garmin Vivosmart.
Pros – Vibrates when it’s time to move (triggered after one hour of no movement). Sleek design. Comfortable to wear. Displays all stats.
Cons – I felt like I was pounding it to get the display activated (it’s touch-activated). I didn’t like the app. Cumbersome charge cord/hook-up.

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Timex Ironman Movex20.
Pros – I like having the two buttons for display and menu functions. App has calibration to increase step count accuracy. Has a ‘find phone’ feature.
Cons – Not a very sleek design. The display part was ‘hard’, so not very flexible on your wrist. The app required a couple extra steps to get to your dashboard that I found annoying.

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Fitbit Flex.
Pros – Super easy app. The actual computer part ‘pops out’ of the band so you can tuck it in your sock or bra if you don’t want to wear it on your wrist. Fun colors.
Cons – No display (so you have to pull up the app to see your daily progress, turn on/off the sleep function, etc).

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Jawbone Up24*.
Pros – The charge cord was super sleek. I liked the app.
Cons – It was extremely uncomfortable on my wrist. No display.
*In refreshing myself on this device it appears they have a whole new line. UP2/3/4. They definitely look more comfortable but still don’t appear to have a display. If it did, I would highly consider this option. Plus, I LOVE the look of the UP2 Oat color.

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Striiv Fusion.
Pros – Pops out of the band so can tuck it elsewhere. Cool colored bands (and you get three options with one purchase). Neat display and easy to use.
Cons – The screen display took a couple taps to actually show up.

Overall consensus:
I definitely want a device that displays your steps. But I didn’t like the full notification features of all your calls and text messages (I mean some times I tuck my phone away for a reason and if now my wrist is vibrating all of the time, I never get a break. But I like the idea of a call because during the week I’m day cares first call! ;)). I like a real button because those I experienced without one felt like I was beating the thing to get it to light up. Comfort and sleekness is important to me. I don’t want to give myself excuses to not wear it because ‘it doesn’t go’ with something (<–real talk). And while I appreciated some of the apps being better than others, I truthfully didn’t invest much effort in that aspect of the trial since I knew it was a short time, relatively. But regardless, I want one that is easy and clear.

Winner –
Fitbit Charge.
That’s right. I am picking one I didn’t even trial!!! I liked the Fitbit app, so I know I’ll like the functionality. I like that the Charge has a display, a button, and will alert you with an incoming call, but not text messages. I plan to purchase the Slate color so it’s a bit more universal.
I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I will soon. I’m secretly hoping/waiting for more of a peach/cream/rose color to come in to their line-up, slash, house projects keep sucking up my fun money/budget! ;) SOON though!

18 Months

It seems like a blink of an eye ago I was writing about my newborn. Now, here I am with a full-blown toddler. Yeah, yeah, it’s true what they say time flies. Truth is, I thought life was fast without a kiddo! But when you find yourself talking in weeks and months the first couple years with a kid, it really hits you how fast all the moments come and go.

So here are some highlights of Smith.

He loves books. Some of his favorites are The Pout Pout Fish, his ‘words’ books, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs, Peek-A-Who?, Going To Bed Book,  and A Very Busy Spider.
He loves water. We have had such a fun summer with trips to the lake and pool. But really, the hose and his water table at home work too!
He is really good with his words. I do not have much comparison and clearly I am biased, but Smith seems to have a pretty stellar vocabulary and has started putting words/phrases together. “Thank You Momma”, “Dadda Read Book” and “Milk Please” are some favorites.
Elmo. Yes, another one bites the dust. He loves Elmo!
He loves being outside. We spend, literally, every night outside. Smith loves driving his cars, pushing his cart, going on walks, helping us around the yard and going to play with the neighbor kids.

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Thank you for brining such joy to our home Smith. You are busy, goofy, sweet and I wouldn’t trade you for the world!

Hello Old Friend

Hello Blog!
It’s been a year. I think about coming back to this space all of the time. But then I feel embarrassed because I let so much time go by. That seems silly now that I am saying it out loud. No one is holding me accountable for these posts but myself! Much like, oh, ya know, working out, eating better, catching up on those podcasts…it is so easy to choose other options.

To be honest, I experienced a bit of an identity crises with my blog. And looking back on a prior post, this is not new. And instead of just doing it, I shyed away. But the other thing I noticed as I looked back (yes, read about myself) is that this blog has been with me for a lot longer than I realized. And I don’t want to give up on it and have it be ‘this thing I did for a couple years.’ So I am setting a couple goals for myself in hopes to rekindle my love of this space. I know I won’t regret it, that’s for sure!!

I mean, I have talked about so many fun things. Like:
**The time I got pulled over by a cop on my bike commute to work.
**The time I counted my shoes and confessed about it!
**Celebrating wedding anniversaries 1-5 (the last two of which were not blogged!).
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**Sharing my hatred of Uggs. Ugh, tis the season for those coming back!
**My journey of graduate school. I can’t believe I took my first class in January of 2012. I didn’t fully start my program until August 2013 and I will be done in December 2015. What a long, strange trip it’s been! ;)
**My career timeline. It seems as though I’ve been around a lot in the last four years. I feel at home these days with my current position back in healthcare. But more on that later!
**Displaying some of my favorite fashion looks!
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**Documenting my pregnancy journey. Seems like ages ago!
**Subsequently, announcing the birth of my baby boy!
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**Countless other life highlights, hardships and shoes.
**Or, oye, that time I tried a video!

Yeah. It’s good to be back. I hope you agree. More coming soon y’all!