Thoughts for Thursday: Snap Chat, Distressed Jeans, Flowers, and J.Crew Factory Sale!!

Thanks for all the love on yesterday's post! I'm working on emailing everyone back today!

 First things first I finally joined snapchat thanks to some other lovely blog friends and I'm kind of loving it! It feels more authentic and silly than instagram. It's also fun to hear people's voices! If you use it leave me your name below so I can find you. I'm eastcoastnat

So I've been wanting to get a pair of distressed jeans but I've been hesitating. I wanted something that wasn't too distressed but wasn't boring either.  I finally bought these Blank Denim ones from Shopbop and I'm obsessed! The best part- only $88!!  I love a good designer jean that doesn't break the bank.  They are so flattering and totally suck me in. This might be my new favorite jean brand!

The jeans fit TTS 
 I'm still working on figuring out where to put my selfie mirror in the new house ;)

 Last night I attended my first floral design and wine event with Everyday Rose Events! It's my friend Mallory's new company based out of Baltimore.  We used to work together doing event planning so I knew she would be perfect for this new venture! You know those paint and drink wine nights?! This is the same thing only she teaches floral design and you get to take the vase and arrangement home with you. It was soo much fun!! I'm pretty impressed with my arrangement considering I went into the night having no idea what I was doing.   If you're local you must try one of her workshops- such a fun girls night out!

Lastly I just saw that J.Crew Factory has 50% off women's styles and my favorite skirt I posted last week is only $39.50 and the oversized turtleneck is only $24.50!!  If you haven't scooped these up yet this is your chance!

So happy tomorrow is Friday! Enjoy your Thursday friends!

Thoughts for Thursday

Real Talk: Being a Stay at Home Mom

I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a stay at home mom. There I said it and to be honest I've said it about once a day for the past few months.  The idea of going back to work has been floating around my head so much lately but I can't really pinpoint why I think I want to make this change. If you're new here or need a refresher you can read my post on deciding to stay home here

Don't get me wrong I love my kids and I love spending time with them but I don't know if this job is for me.  Lately I've been feeling like I'm missing something or I need something more in my life.  Some days I find myself stressed out over the most ridiculous things.  Some days I'm not sure I have it in me to save Sir topham hat from a burning building for the 100th time or play trucks in the dirt.  Some days I just really want to use a bathroom by myself or eat a meal without sharing. Some days I just want to talk to another adult about anything other than kids.  Some days I want to get dressed up and wear heels.

Then I start to think these things and talk about them and I start to feel so guilty. I start to feel guilty that I want to work. Guilty that I don't love every moment of every day. Guilty that I wish for alone time. Guilty because so many woman want to stay home and I'm not grateful enough. I thought Catholic guilt was bad but it has nothing on Mom guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

I also never realized how much of an identity I would lose by not working anymore. I didn't even have a crazy successful career but when people ask me what I do I sometimes don't feel good enough saying "oh I'm home with the kids".  The first thing they usually ask me is "Do you think you'll go back to work? You want to go back right?"  I never know what to say to this.  What's the right answer? What answer do they want to hear so they don't judge my decision?  I usually give a "oh I definitely think I'll go back I'm just not sure when yet" and I'm usually met with a "that's good"  and the topic is changed and I'm left feeling slightly uncomfortable.  Staying at home is not the norm where I live so I can't really tell what people think after I tell them this.  

Lastly I feel so far removed from my working mom friends. I still love them but I feel like our lives are so different.  I think some of them think I go to Starbucks and the mall everyday and gallivant around with my easy carefree life. Then I see their pictures on instagram having cocktails in NYC while I'm unshowered and covered in baby food and dirt and I think Wow your life is so glamorous and successful and I sulk while I drink my wine out of a plastic cup. But I know that's not the case because they might be putting on fake smiles and pretending to be having fun when they wish they could trade places with me. 

The grass isn't always greener. I know that. 

I'm hoping I can find some peace with my current situation or find an opportunity that I could make work with my family's situation. To be honest I don't know if I could leave my babies all day but at the same time getting to be just me for a few hours a day might be good for me and make me a better mom. I don't know.  I don't know what the right answer is. 

If you made it to the bottom way to go... sorry it's not the most cohesive post but I just had to get my thoughts down.   Any other stay at home moms feel this way?  Any working moms feel they are better moms with time away from their babies?   Not trying to start and drama because being a mom is tough no matter what I just love to hear other perspectives on the issue.

Thanks Friends!

Sweater Weather

The last week around here in Maryland has officially brought sweater weather! While it's a little warmer this week the mornings are still chilly so layering is your best option.  I can't wait to add a few new sweaters to my closet this season and below I've narrowed down my top four styles.  

Sweater Weather 2

The oversized cardigan and skinny jeans with booties is my favorite look for fall and winter. Is there anything cozier than an oversized sweater you can wrap yourself in?!

Sweater Weather 1

The classic cable knit look gets me every year.This one from J.Crew has a little fringe which helps add a fun updated detail.

Sweater Weather 3

I love poncho sweaters so much. They are my new cozy favorite. I love that you can totally dress this style up or down depending on accessories and I love how comfortable they are.

Sweater Weather 4

The sweater dress. Do you love the sweater dress? I feel like most people do, am I wrong?  This one looks perfect for holiday parties or even just church on Sunday.  It's the perfect length too. 

So are you a sweater person?  Do you have a favorite style sweater? occasionally receives vendor/brand sponsorship for mentioning their products and services

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21 Day Fix Review

A lot of you have asked me about my experience with the 21 Day Fix and I'm finally here to tell you all about it!  Back in August I decided it was time to do something about the extra baby weight I was having a hard time losing.  I researched all of the diet options (juice cleanses, Advocare, Isagenix, etc) out there and decided that the Beachbody 21 Day Fix was what would work best for me.  I liked the focus on eating real food and exercise. 

The way the program works is that you're given colored containers in various sizes that you fill up with different food groups to eat. 

Here is the breakdown:

Based on a chart that you're given in the 21 Day Fix book I was to eat in the 1200-1499 calorie range everyday which broke down into containers like this:

3 Green
2  Purple
4 Red
2 Yellow
1 Blue
1 Orange

I could also have 2 teaspoons a day of- extra virgin oil olive, extra virgin coconut oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, nut butters, seed butters 

There are also free foods you can eat as much as you like: water, lemon/lime juice, vinegar, mustard, herbs, spices (but No salt), garlic, ginger, hot sauce, flavor extracts, 21 day fix seasoning mixes

At first I was like 1200-1499 I'm going to DIE OF STARVATION!!  You have to  remember I've been pregnant or breastfeeding at this point since September 2012 sooo I've been consuming my fair share of calories. I panicked a little but trusted that I could do it.   I decided to do the Shakeology part of the diet too. Not everyone does it but I knew that there are plenty of days where I'm too busy or exhausted for a real meal so I knew the shakes would help keep me in line.  I went with the vegan chocolate and it's delicious!! I prefer vegan protein powders over whey protein.  Nothing wrong with whey  it's just a personal preference.

The next component is exercise.  They provide you with workout DVDs and then which day of the week you are supposed to do the workout.  I sort of did the workouts but I'm not the best with at home DVDs they are just not my thing. Plus at this point I was still working out with my trainer and getting my butt kicked in intense workout sessions so I wasn't super concerned about not doing the DVDs but I know a lot of people love Beachbody's workouts.

So how did I like it and did it work?

I loved it and I lost 7lbs!  I lost 2 inches on my waist, 1 inch on my hips, and 1/2 on each of my thighs.  The one thing I learned about myself is that I do not eat nearly enough protein. I really struggled to fill up the red containers everyday but I was never hungry the whole time!  I was shocked that by adding chicken or ground turkey to my salad at lunch filled me up so much I wasn't snacking on crap just two hours later.   I barely snacked at all on this diet which is huge for me because I snack a lot and most of it is crap. I thought I would struggle with  the low carb part but I didn't at all. I usually saved my carbs for my snacks which was more satisfying to me.  I also learned I could survive without so much cheese and that's one part of the diet I've kept up with really well.  I still love cheese but I don't need to have it all day long. 

What about your sweet tooth???

The chocolate shakes totally took care of my sweet tooth craving!! If I was having a day that  I was just dying for chocolate I would mix up a shake with unsweetened vanilla almond milk or some PB2 and have it as my afternoon snack as a little treat but I honestly rarely craved chocolate when I did the fix which was huge for me. 

Here is an example of one day of the diet:

Breakfast:  Vegan Chocolate shakeology (1 red)
Snack: Wholegrain waffle with 1 tsp almon butter (1 yellow, 2 teaspoon)
Lunch: 2 large eggs, 1/2 english muffin and  raspberries and blueberries (1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow)
Snack:  1/2 banana with chopped almonds (1 purple, 1 orange)
Dinner: Taco salad with ground turkey with cheese and the 21 fix smoky southwest seasoning (2-3 green, 2 red,  1 blue)

I'm starting another 21 Day Fix next week as I need a little reset, since I've been getting a little indulgent in all things pumpkin ;) I will keep you updated with how the next one goes and this time I'm going to try the workout DVDs.  I will try to share some of my recipes/meal ideas with you as I go but to be honest I'm kind of boring and could eat the same thing all day everyday. 

Have any of you done the 21 day fix?  Did you like it?  Any other diets you love?

Thoughts for Thursday

My post will be up shortly but here is the link up in the mean time!

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Recent Purchase Reviews

Sorry for the radio silence!  Between colds, house problems (like squirrels in the attic and a leaking washing machine), busy schedules, and Kyle traveling (for the 6th week in a row) I haven't had much time to blog.

I have been doing some shopping so I thought I would share some of my recent hits and misses.  I don't know about you but I love to hear a good real life review of a product.

The Hits:

This tunic is exactly what I was looking for! Lightweight, long enough for leggings, inexpensive, comfortable and adorable on! If you haven't purchased it yet get one now! It's only $14 and if they have a sale even cheaper!! 

Another winner! I still haven't tried the one from the retail store but this one was only $25 so unless the other one magically makes me look 10lbs skinnier I'm probably keeping this one ;)  I got both the white with navy stripe and the black with ivory stripe but I think I'll only be keeping the black one.  It's oversized but not too boxy and lays really well. The sleeves are a great length and the turtleneck is loose enough that it's flattering without being a cowl neck.

These shoes are perfection! I'm considering getting them in the black and deep forest because I love them that much.  The heel is the perfect height for me so that I'm not only not too tall but I'm also not in pain after an hour of wearing them.  

This style mini skirt from J.Crew and J.Crew Factory has been one of my favorites for years! When I saw this plaid one on clearance with an extra 30% off I knew I had to grab it. I managed to get it for $30 and it will be perfect for the holidays! There might be some matching family photos coming to your instagram later this year ;)

The Misses:

First off let me just say these shoes are absolutely gorgeous and I almost kept them but I just couldn't do it. The heel was way to high for me and the cut or something on the shoe made me walk weird in them. You know that awkward heel walk you sometimes do,  I couldn't stop doing that in these so I had to send them back.   If you can pull off an almost 4in heel- buy these because they are gorgeous and make your legs look  awesome. 

I found that the sherpa lining on this vest just added bulk to me and didn't look very flattering. When I took the sherpa lining out the vest was huge. For the record I'm 5'9 and I got a small so it's a pretty oversized fit. I think an XS would be way too small for me with the sherpa lining.  I was disappointed because it sounded like it would be really cute and it has all good reviews. 

I wanted to love this one because I thought it would be easy to dress up or down but the cut of it is so weird. The arm holes were really small and the shirt was almost too over sized and baggy. I tried to size up to the medium to see if that would fix the small arm hole problem but it didn't at all and the medium made me look about 10lbs heavier. Almost like it was a maternity top.  Disappointing for sure.

Loft Fall Flutter Top
Another one I wanted to love but I found it too big/boxy and too short on me. I have a long torso and it just hit me in the wrong spot and made my top half look wide.

So there you have it! I just did a bit more online shopping so I'm waiting for those items to arrive and fingers crossed they work.  Have you done any fall shopping? Found any pieces you can't live without? 

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Thoughts for Thursday: My Favorite Drug Store Beauty Products

I think all of us have our drugstore beauty products that we can't live without.  I use a combination of drug store and department store products but I have some drug store products that prove to be tried and true that I keep coming back to. 

Here are my favorites:

Drugstore Favorites

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer- this is my go-to in the summer. It's lightweight and gives you the perfect amount of tint and coverage for hot days at the pool or beach.

Elf Studio Concealer- I just randomly picked this up at Target the other day and I love it. My circles are big and dark and this does a great job covering them up without being too heavy.

Elf Bronzer- my sister hooked me on this bronzer this summer and I think it's my new go-to. It gives the perfect amount of color without looking like I'm trying too hard to be tan. More of  a sun kissed glow.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque- I know a lot of people love this but I swear by this mask and even use it for spot treatment when I have a breakout.  For $3.99 this cannot be beat!

Loreal Colour Riche Fairest Nude- Another summer favorite I love love love this color and it's perfect (especially in the summer) for giving your lips the  right amount of color without being too much.

Tweezerman Tweezers- Best tweezers ever. Hands down.

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Cleanser- I just started using this line of products because my skin has been horrible over the past few months. I love that they are all natural and after only a few weeks I can already see a big difference in my  skin.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto and Maybelline Lash Sensational- I have tried hundreds of mascaras and I always always come back to Maybelline. I don't know what it is but they are the only ones that work for me.  I use a lengthening and a thickening and the two above are my current favorites.

Loreal Sublime Glow- Best self tanning lotion ever!! I swear by this stuff and use it all winter long. It's the best gradual tanning lotion out there that gives me the perfect  amount of color without looking orange or fake. Bonus- it smells wonderful!

Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover- I have yet to find another drug store eye makeup remover that can even come close to this one. If I can't have my Lancome then this is the next best thing.

Essie Nailpolish and Opi Nailpolish- the fact that I can get some of my favorite colors in Target sometimes makes the trip that much more exciting!

What are some of your favorite drug store beauty items?

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