Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Now that I am no longer pregnant I have noticed a dramatic change in my skin. I noticed it the morning after I delivered, my hormones had gone crazy over night. My hormone change was probably the only thing I had prepared myself for. 

Thank goodness for getting educated on Murad because it really did save my skin. 

Below are a few products that are helping save my skin. Don't let the individual lines fool you, each has something unique to offer regardless of their initial impression.

{Renewing Cleansing Oil: This is a gentle cleanser that draws out the dirt while leaving your skin soft. I generally use it as a pre-cleanser because it helps start the process of smoothing your skin.}

{AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: This gem is the epitome of all cleansers. With the powers of salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids it polishes the skin while improving cell turnover. The skin is insanely smooth after cleansing.}

{Rapid Collagen Infusion: Being a 20 something it might seem crazy to start using collagen, but in a personal opinion now is a very optimal time. Collagen builds off of preexisting collagen. I am still relatively young and coming off of some intense hormones that made me look my best, there is no better way to keep that glow than with this product.}

{Age Balancing Moisturizer: The name may fool you, but this product packs a punch. It is incredible for hormone imbalanced people. The line it derives from is all about adjusting those devilish hormones, so this was definitely my life saver postpartum.}

Monday, December 29, 2014

Goodbye, Hello

In light of us being a few days away from a new year I find myself replaying this year in my head. There have been so many highs and lows, but either way I made it. I'm on the cusp of seeing another year go and a new one begin.

To celebrate such occasion I have decided to share the 10 best moments of 2014!

10. {Our Trips To New Orleans}
We were fortunate enough to visit twice this year and let me tell you, it is the most incredible place. Our visit in May was the first time I had ever been and I was so anxious to take in all the culture. The city is so colorful and alive with spirit, I had never been so engulfed by a place in my entire life.

9. {Lucy's First Birthday}
I am perfectly aware that it is ridiculous to be obsessively in love with a pet, but I swear to you Lucy and I were besties in another life. We had to be!! I have never, ever been a pet person. I always wanted to be but never was. Then we met Lucy. She truly did pick us. Lucy isn't just my dog; she's my cuddle buddy, my soother, my confidant, she is without a doubt my best friend. So to celebrate such an occasion for the pup I love most made my heart overflow with joy.

8. {Fourth of July Weekend}
In St. Louis there are always big summer festivities and this was it for 2014. Shawn and I were both off work so we were able to spend the entire day down in Forest Park. There were so many amazing bands, but I was thrilled to see Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw. To make it even better, I was able to go back on Saturday night to see one of my favorite bands, The Fray, with my friend Jordan. So many memories were made that weekend, it was unforgettable and such an incredible experience.

7. {Finding Out I Was Pregnant}
Most people would rank this higher on their list, but to be perfectly honest...I was terrified. For as much as Shawn and I wanted this for our little family, I didn't know what to think or do. My entire life changed in one minute and seventeen seconds. After it all sank in and I came to terms with it all I became excited for our new addition. Even if I wasn't the pregnant girl who adored each freaking second of the pregnancy, I found joy in it my own way. It pushed me to discover more about myself.

6. {My Bestie Break-Up}
Most wouldn't put this on a list of great things that happened in a year and I still miss this particular friend dearly. This bestie break up brought me freedom. Freedom from my past, from mistakes that I couldn't shake, from who I used to be. I now was given the opportunity to fully embrace my new life and finally had the chance to close that particular door in my life. 

5. {Choosing A New Industry}
I spent eight years in the service industry...and I liked it! Then one day I woke up and decided I wanted a change, something different. Of course I was horrified about the change, but Shawn was my rock through the whole transition. Now I am growing and learning more than I could have ever imagined.

4. {Our Honeymoon}
In January we were blessed with a check from an old friend, and with this check we planned a very spontaneous trip to Chicago for a three day honeymoon. We quickly found a five star hotel on Hotwire, packed our bags, and left for a few days. It was our first road trip together (which was very enlightening) and once we got to the city we didn't rest for a second. It was freezing cold, but we didn't care. We saw everything we could. I wish I could relive that trip, we made amazing memories.

3. {Christmas Eve}
I love the holiday season! The fashion, shopping for others, family parties, the dinners, wrapping gifts, EVERYTHING! Since we were still in the hospital I knew this year wasn't going to be my year for all the holiday fun I normally partake in. Bless Shawn's soul, he surprised me with a tiny Christmas tree, treats, presents, and an independent film I had been dying to see. It may not have been my normal festivities, but it was perfect. My favorite Christmas Eve by far.

2. {Our First Anniversary}
Originally, we had planned a simple dinner at home cooking together. Shawn surprised me by taking me to a fantastic Greek restaurant. Just thinking about the food right now makes my mouth water. It was such a beautiful night. To make it even better, a few days prior we had gone shopping together for our anniversary gifts. We split up and had one hour to shop, it was a blast! I am one lucky lady to have such a fun husband.

1. {December 11}
The day our sweet son was brought into this world. He was six weeks early, we were nowhere close to being prepared, but I knew he was ready and I was too. Remy and I were so anxious to see each other, as soon as we arrived at the hospital I told Shawn today was the day. It was a difficult labor and painful surgery/recovery, but I would do it all over if it meant getting Remy again. My heart became whole that day.

Friday, December 26, 2014

My sincerest apologies for being a slacker on blogging this week, it has been insanely busy for our little family. Luckily, things have slowed down (momentarily) for me to share a few Christmas pictures with you. Since we are still in the hospital our family rallied together to still make it a cheerful holiday and a very special one for our sweet boy. 

{Our tiny tree & treats}

{Grumpy Santa}

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Unfair Truth of Bestie Breakups

Just the other day I saw a picture of this girl who had been my best friend for five years. We did everything together, but Christmas was the one time a year that we held some of our most sacred traditions. No matter if we were arguing or laughing, once Christmas was here all was forgiven so the festivities could begin. So when I saw this picture of her celebrating with other people the realization set in that breaking up with your best friend is way worse than breaking up with any significant other.

Who are you going to vent to (judgment free) about the people whom you loathe the most? There are so many days that we all deal with complete bone heads, but being able to call your bestie to complain, reenact situations, or simply vent to makes us all feel so much better. After you break up though, who do you call? Let's be honest with ourselves when we say our significant others can only handle so much of our bitching before they tune us out, our bestie would have joined in on the bitch fest to make us feel so much better.

Boyfriends/Girlfriends can be replaced, years of friendship cannot.
As much as we would like to think our ex bestie can be replaced, the truth is they can't. Those years of friendship, secrets, drunken nights, hungover mornings, traditions, inside jokes, tears, and joys can never be erased as hard as we might try. No one will truly understand a particular season of your life that your ex bestie saw you through and why it molded you into who you are now. That is such a hard concept to accept and probably the most painful one. They held a piece of your heart that no one else understood.

The shameful days of binge watching Netflix & eating junk food is now a solo job.
Let's not kid ourselves, those days weren't as shameful because your bestie was looking just as awful as you were and justifying it as a "personal health day." Now that you two broke up it truly is shameful to sit on your couch all day watching a Gilmore Girls marathon via Netflix while eating bags of Doritos, Cheetos, Chili Cheese Fritos, basically the entire -itos family. It is no longer considered having a girls' day, it's just pure lazy. I find this to be one of the hardest things to give up in a bestie breakup...I enjoy my "personal health days."

Bestie break ups are tragic and will hurt no matter how many years go by. You can try to replace that person but it is the memories that kill you most. Significant others come and go, they can be replaced, but your ex bestie cannot be by any means...not if it was a true bestie. I don't have any advice on how to move on from it considering I'm still trying to figure it out myself. If anyone has advice, feel free to drop it. This just felt like a topic that doesn't get much recognition, but the heartbreak and struggle are real. So where do we go from here?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

{ Root Vegetable Hash }

This is an amazing recipe for an energy boosting breakfast and very simple to make.

{2 tbsp} Coconut Oil
{6 cups} Small Diced Root Vegetables--Ex: Carrots, Turnips, Rutabagas, Parsnips
{1} Medium Onion--Diced Small
{2 tsp} Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Sea Salt to Taste


  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add root vegetable. Stir the vegetables occasionally, to prevent sticking, for about ten minutes.
  3. Next, add the onion and continue stirring until vegetables are tender. They should start to meld together. 
  4. Finally, sprinkle the rosemary and sea salt to your liking. Serve warm.

{Egg is optional a top the hash, but does add a pop of taste}

Friday, December 19, 2014

Big Eyes

Margaret Keane is BRILLIANT! I first learned of the "Big Eyes" paintings in an art class I took in college and fell in love. So to hear that a movie was being made about Margaret Keane's life caused me to have a minor heart attack. There is just so much beauty in her paintings...gahhh, I love them so!!

I am in the coziest mood lately!! Everything about the snow is making me want to curl up with a good book and the softest blanket. Since my library is limited due to me still being in the hospital, awaiting for the okay to take our sweet boy home, I'll settle for curling up with my laptop and a warm hospital blanket. 

Peace Is The New Black

One thing I constantly struggle with is positive thinking. Not that I am a "Negative Nancy" by any means, but that most the time I am on the dark side of the moon. I don't expect much from people, that way I'm not disappointed. I assume everyone constantly lies, that way I'm not as hurt when the truth comes out. If you can tell, this is mostly a protection method I have acquired. 

I do believe in second chances and that people have the potential to change, I just think most take the easy way out and keeps things the way they are. 

Recently, I tried a type of therapeutic massage called Reiki. The general idea of Reiki is to change the life force energy in your body. It is a type of spiritual healing and self-improvement. I did this primarily for my pregnancy, I felt that I needed to take away the overwhelming stress I had been carrying around. After my session I felt incredible! So much so, that when I got home and tried to explain it to my husband he looked a little concerned due to the drastic change in my mood. 

I decided that day that I want to live a more positive lifestyle. Not just for my own good, but for my son's. I didn't want him to live on the dark side of the moon, I want him to shine in the sunlight. 

So here are a few ways I have started to change my outlook on life to decrease my skepticism and increase my peace of heart.
  1. Begin With A Positive. I have a horrible tendency to have the first word to any response I give be, "No." I'm not trying to be rude about it, because nine times out of ten I am actually intrigued by what the other person is telling me. It is just this awful thing I picked up at some point in life and mindlessly say. Instead, I try to say "oh yea" or "that's interesting" to validate that I am listening and do care. Though I will say this is a very hard habit to beak, thank goodness for my husband who will (gladly) call me out.
  2. Think Five Positive Thoughts. This is something I enjoy doing first thing in the morning. It is generally hard for me to get out of bed, so I tend to linger. While this is happening I think of five positive things. It could be anything really. Sometimes they are things I would like to accomplish, things to be thankful for, things that were great the day before. It truly doesn't matter what they are just as long as they are five GOOD things.
  3. Saying Thank You. This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but think of all the small things that are done for you in a day that go unappreciated. Today an elderly gentleman held the door open for me. Then a lady who was mid conversation with her friend stopped to ask me what floor I was going to on the elevator. These were just small things. These people went out of their way for me, a complete stranger. It would be so easy to nod and smile as they did them, but to say thank you I know made them feel appreciated for their small acts of kindness.
  4. Smile. You may not always be in the mood to smile, but do it anyway. This past week has been such a joy and a challenge for me. There have been so many times I didn't want to smile, but I was around people so I did it anyway because I didn't want them to know I was upset. Even though my fake smile was done out of selfish purposes, it eventually led to real ones. Smiling even though I didn't want to pushed me outside of my comfort zone and let in the possibility of something good to happen.

These may not be massive, eye opening motivations for everyone, but they are small virtues that are easy to try everyday. 

It looks like St. Louis will be having a white Christmas this year, which I for one am looking forward to.  With all this chill I am thoroughly craving some hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and a classic Christmas film. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I have been looking for the perfect gold flat lately. I know, I know...it's winter and boot season, but I figure since I'm on maternity leave for the duration of winter it is totally acceptable. As you can tell, I'm looking for something ultra feminine. Not my typical look, but motherhood is bringing the girly out in me. 

Java Love

I will be the first to (gladly) admit that I have a SERIOUS coffee addiction. Obviously, when I saw these nifty gifts I couldn't help but crave. Any true coffee addict will understand that the struggle is real.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 { Fashion Staples }

One thing I have always wanted to do is rebuild my wardrobe from the ground up. Seeing as I am on maternity leave now, have my healthy life game plan (food/exercise included), and an opportunity to get rid of all my last season attire as well as maternity clothing collection...it seems like a pretty perfect time.

I'm not 100% able to tell you what my style is anymore considering I have changed as a person, but I do know I am loving neutrals and clean cut lines. Based off of those things, I can at least show you the closet essentials I will be investing in.

I say investing because these are the items I intend to spend some serious money on since they will be pieces that can carry on for years to come. Investment pieces are pretty vital to any person's closet and I currently have maybe one investment piece...a coat purchased for me Christmas 2008.

Anyway... Let's get started!

1. Neutral Colored Coat
As I said, I heart neutrals. I do feel as if everyone should. With them being such versatile colors the wardrobe item of choice can be carried through to just about any season or yearly trend.

2. Black Dress
We all love a black dress. Why? Because it is chic and easy. You can wear it plain with a glam pump, you can wear it with a statement necklace, you can do just about anything to it and you will look fab. I'm going to strive to have a variety of styles in black, that way I'll be ready for any occasion or event.

3. A {GOOD} Pair Of Blue Jeans
When I say a GOOD pair of blue jeans, I'm talking about something you may have to throw some money at. It is pretty easy to go to the closest American Eagle and buy a $30 pair of jeans, but they never last. However, my Gap jeans have stood the test of time with me and are still going strong...plus, they are super soft. Do some research and actually try the jeans on. You'll be surprised on the difference it will make.

4. Classic Bag
Again, here I am with the neutrals. Though these bags also display my love for clean lines. Very chic, very simple, very me. Invest in about three solid bags that will transition with you into any season and yearly trend.

5. High Heels
Now picking heels for a staple item is purely based on the person picking them. Everyone seeks different qualities in their heels. I prefer comfort overall. High heels and comfort can go hand in hand, it is all about the research and knowing your feet. I have wide feet by my toes and am pretty narrow the rest of the way down, so I generally have a hard time finding a decent pair of heels. I ended up being measured and surprisingly enough found numerous websites that have heels to fit these beasts. Heels are not to be rushed, take your time and shop around.

{Peanut Butter Energy Bites}

I N G R E D I E N T S 
  1. {1 & 1/2 cups} old-fashioned oats
  2. {1/2 cup} unsweetened coconut
  3. {1/2 cup} ground flaxseed
  4. {1/4 cup} mini chocolate chips
  5. {1/2 cup} smooth peanut butter
  6. {1/3 cup} honey
  7. {1/2 tsp} almond or vanilla extract
  • Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Scoop the mixture with a small cookie scoop.
  • Place on a parchment paper baking sheet.
  • Chill in the fridge until set, about 1 hour.
  • Store in a closed container in the fridge.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boy Meets World

It is with the most satisfying pleasure that I introduce to you the love of my life, Remy. 

On Thursday we were very much so surprised to find out I was in labor and we would be meeting our sweet boy six weeks earlier than planned. Shawn and I are so lucky to have such an amazing family who has rallied behind us with all kinds of love and support.

Having a NICU baby is a little hard for me because all I want is to hold and soothe my son, but it is the little moments (as pictured below) that remind me how blessed we are to simply have each other. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Green Beauty

Oh em gee...I heart terrariums! They are so refreshing to look at in the midst of the harsh St. Louis cold. How soon is too soon to make our little home look springy? 

{Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad}

With the end of my pregnancy drawing near, I've been researching and jotting down all kinds of healthy recipes to get back into a better lifestyle. The following recipe is one of my favorites and is extremely easy to make. Seriously, read the directions and then go make it!

{1} Cucumber
{4-5} Roma Tomatoes
{1} Large Red Bell Pepper
{1} Small Red Onion
{15 oz.} Can of Garbanzo Beans --rinsed & drained--
{Optional} Feta Cheese, Olives, Pepperoncini

{3 tbsp} Red Wine Vinegar
{1/4 cup} Olive Oil
{2 tsp.} Oregano
{1/4 tsp.} Salt


  • Dressing: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients by whisking. Set aside, refrigerate for best results.
  • Salad: Dice cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes (remove excess juice from tomatoes). In a large bowl mix vegetables, garbanzo beans, and dressing. You can eat it right away, though refrigerating for about a hour to let flavors mix tends to be the best way to eat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blooming Beauty

I am loving these photos featured on Poppytalk! These are stills from the Sony 4K TV promo that display what happens when you put 8 million flower petals in a volcano. Even if it is for a TV promo, I can't help but fall in love with the inspiration and beauty in each photo.

Golden Child

The closer we get to our due date, the more inspiration I get over the baby's nursery. I am currently obsessing over gold animal figurines. These little creatures would be the perfect touch with the overall color scheme and dynamic of the room.

Having sweet dreams of the coziest bedroom to be my getaway while on maternity leave. Even in our small space we are managing to make every inch peaceful for ourselves during these last few weeks of pregnancy. Hopefully we can keep that tranquility even after our little is ready to make his grand entrance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Over the weekend we celebrated our sweet baby coming into this beautiful world. Below are a few photos showcasing my favorite decorations, especially the personalized burlap table runners. All items are relatively easy to make...beware of the poms though, they can be tricky and time consuming. Overall, it made for a one of a kind celebration. The ideas were (obviously) Pinterest inspired, but tweeked to fit our overall theme.

It truly was my dream baby shower!