28 April 2016

Thoughts for Thursday: Home Renovations- The Dream vs The Reality

About a week and a half ago I met with the builder for our kitchen and first floor renovation so that he could take some measurements.  He brought his interior designer with him which I was not expecting at all.  She was very nice but was throwing questions and ideas at me left and right that I wasn't prepared for.  While I wouldn't say I clicked with the interior designer right away she did bring up some really good points that have stuck with me ever since our meeting.

As I was describing my dream house and the way I want it to feel I was telling her and showing her pictures of houses that I loved.   The problem is that I love love love the craftsman style houses like this one below.  

 This is newly built house that just sold in Northern Virginia last year. First of all it's way bigger than my house and worth a whole lot more money, but it pretty much has everything that I'm looking for in a house.

The biggest problem though besides the fact that it's a $3 million house and not even close to where I live is that it's a craftsman style house.  I live in a colonial.  A very traditional colonial house.

 While I can have lots of features of my dream house the interior designer was explaining to me that I should respect the style of my house and modernize it from there.   It was something that I hadn't given much thought to honestly but now I really get it.   Maybe one day I will get to live in my craftsman style house but for now I live in a colonial and there are tons of way for me to update it without completely breaking the bank and trying to make it something it isn't.   So back to the drawing board I went.

If you follow Elements of Style, Erin and her husband bought a colonial in New England a few years ago and I think she's done an awesome job of updating it while respecting the fact that it's a colonial. I've been scouring her book and blog for inspiration and it's helped a lot.  

So I've been spending the last week on Pinterest looking for updated colonial ideas and I've found a lot of stuff that I really like, as far as floors and mouldings go.  My kitchen ideas don't really need to change it's more the design elements and details that I needed to tweak.   Once we hear back from the builder with the designs and plans I will share them with you all. I cannot wait to see what they come up with!

Happy Thursday Friends!

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26 April 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is just around the corner so I've rounded up a little gift guide with some perfect gifts for mom!  Well at least these are some gifts I would love to see pop up for me on Mother's Day ;)

Mother's Day Gift Guide


What are you getting your mom for Mother's Day?  If you're a mom are any of these gifts on your wish list?  

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25 April 2016

Thoughts on a Monday

Happy Monday Friends! I hope you all had a great weekend.  Sorry that I totally dropped the ball on the blog last week.  Life has been busy around here!  We had a good weekend.  We started potty training Miller on Friday, it's going well, I think.  I really don't know what to expect and I will share more about our experience once I get through it but it definitely takes patience and diligence on my part.  

- I'm thinking about trying Amazon Pantry, has anyone tried it?  Taking two toddlers to the grocery store or Target is a lot these days and I feel like I always spend so much more money on stupid stuff. Either random Target finds or random things to keep my kids quiet and not screaming ;)  I would probably still go to Whole Foods or Wegmans for my meat and produce but I feel like this might cut down on my spending and their prices are better than my local grocery stores delivery.

I've been doing some spring shopping lately and have found some great affordable mom-friendly pieces.    This Loft top below is a new favorite and on repeat.

Then on Saturday I went into Old Navy looking for shorts for Miller and instead ended up with this shirt below for myself.  I think it was maybe $15 and it's so cute! I paired it with white jeans and I'm thinking of going back and getting the white version, since I'm on a white kick.

I'm finding this almost 3 year old age to be very opinionated.  In some ways I love and it others it's a struggle.  Miller loves to "do it myself" now when it comes to most things but especially dressing and putting on his shoes.  He also loves to walk Layla and pull the wagon instead of riding in it with Matthew.

We went out on Saturday night (took a potty training break) to celebrate my mom's birthday.  We went to Brio for Italian food but it was so much fun and the food was so, so good.  I splurged and got the Pasta alla vodka, I'm a sucker for vodka sauce.  It was so good and I'm going to need to work out hard for the next week to get rid of those calories.

On Sunday we just did yard work and played around the house.  We picked up another Little Tykes Car at a yardsale this weekend for $5!  The boys were obsessed and drove around the driveway all day.

Hope you all have a great week! 

20 April 2016

Guest Post Over at Pampers and Pearls

Hi Everyone! I'm over at Pampers and Pearls today, filling in for Morgan while she patiently waits for Baby #2 to arrive!    I'm sharing my recent favorite beauty buys.  Stop on over and let me know what you think!

Do you have any drugstore beauty favorites?   Would love to hear about them! 

19 April 2016

Tuesday Instagram Round Up

Happy Tuesday Friends!    I just wanted to share a little instagram round up with you today.

My favorite Joie blouse is on sale!!   It's marked down for the Saks Friends and Family sale and then Nordstrom is price matching.  If you've been thinking about buying it I would snag it now before it sells out.  Great for spring and summer.

It's also available in black at Saks

I wore this dress and sweater from Old Navy on Saturday to my friend's son's baptism and it's my new favorite.  The best part is the dress is only $19!  

How good are these cookies my friend Caroline made?! She just started doing this as a hobby!

Friday night night I wore my favorite Elsa blouse, this print is from last summer but all the other prints they have right now are so cute.  I've had my eye on this one for our Rosemary Beach trip, I just love the flamingos.

If you're looking for a good Sauvignon Blanc now that the weather is warming up this one is my hands down favorite! 

Miller had his last winter swim class on Sunday! While he's still not a swimmer, I can't believe how well he is doing and how brave he is in the water now!   We are going to start them up again in June and I can't wait to see how he progresses this summer. 

After reading Jess' post today I will probably be using an obnoxious watermark on the kids pictures if I post them.  I know it's happened to so many people and I feel like I've just been too lax about it lately. I hate that people are doing this to bloggers and I want to share with you all but at the same time I feel very protective of my kids privacy. So for now I'm going with the watermark, I know you all understand. 

16 April 2016

Saturday Shopping: Sunglasses

One of the most asked questions I get on Snapchat (@eastcoastnat) is about my sunglasses.  Since I'm usually wearing a different pair everyday I decided to share with you all my favorite sunglasses and the best part is that two pairs are only $9.99!!

I had been wanting these for the past year and I finally splurged on them before our trip to Mexico. I am so glad I did because I'm obsessed! Yes they are big but they are so comfortable and I get a ton of compliments on them. Every time I wear them at least one person asks me about them.  They have also proven to be very sturdy since some little hands have gotten to them a few times and they haven't broken.  

I have been drooling over these Celine sunglasses forever but I just can't justify the $400 price tag, so I found these great lookalikes on Amazon for only $9.99!! I have the black and tortoise pair (shown above) and I love them.  You can tell they're only $10 sunglasses if you get up close but that makes them kid approved! I can wear these with the kids all the time and not stress about them getting broken or scratched.  

I picked up these sunglasses in a boutique in St. Petersburg, FL last spring.  The color I have is no longer available but this blue one looks so fun!   People always ask me about these sunglasses when I wear them I think because they have a lighter tortoise color that's different from your standard sunglasses.   They're super comfortable and under $100 which is always a win.  

I've had this style forever in the black first and now I have the tortoise.  They're simple, classic, and go with everything.  I don't think you can ever go wrong having a pair of these in your purse.  They're also really durable and have survived many tosses from the kids.   They're also on sale at Nordstrom right now thanks to price matching if you're in the market!  

What are your favorite sunglasses? Do you splurge on sunglasses? 

Interested in other things I love, shop my favorites here

Have a great weekend friends! 

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14 April 2016

Thoughts for Thursday: Beach and Pool Essentials for Babies and Toddlers

Happy Thursday Friends!  Since I've started getting organized for our trip Rosemary Beach next month I wanted to share with you all my beach and pool essentials for babies and toddlers.  In my almost three years of parenting (I know I'm pretty much still a rookie) this is what I have found works best for us and these are the things I've come to need/want for the beach or pool.

Beach Essentials for Babies and Toddlers

1. Long sleeved rash guards-  My boys are so fair so these are essential for us! I love these solid color ones from Hanna Andersson or Land's End because they can be paired with so many more swimsuits.  When I'm looking for a matching one I do love the Carter's ones and prices can't be beat.

2. Hats- These are another must for my boys.   My hands down favorite hats are the Hanna Andersson ones.  They have a huge brim and are made of bathing suit material so they can get wet and dry super fast.   They also have a tie on them so I can tie them on and the boys can't take them off.

3. Swim Trunks- This is obvious but I had to share this adorable pair I found from Janie and Jack- how cute is this palm print!

4. Puddle Jumper-  I put these on both my boys, even in the baby pool. Since they're so close together in age and both still need a lot of supervision it's nice to have a slight peace of mind that they are wearing something that could keep their head above water god forbid something happens.  These are also coast guard approved so they can be used on a boat.  I found mine at Target but you can also find them on Amazon.

5. Babyganics Bug Spray- You never know where you might run into bugs and now with Zika virus making it's way possibly up to the US I know I will be using this more this summer.  Babyganics products are my favorite for the kids sensitive skin.  I love that they don't have a ton of chemicals.  This is my best kid friendly bug spray I've found that I can tolerate the smell and feel of.

6. Babyganics Sunscreen-  My favorite sunscreen, again because of the boys skin, but the lack of chemicals is another big plus and after using it for two years we have been burn free (knock on wood) so I know it works.

7. Huggies Little Swimmers Swim Diapers-  For the non-potty trained baby/toddlers these are my favorite swim diapers.  I've found these fit my skinny guys the best and contain what the need to.

8. Sunglasses-  Miller loves wearing sunglasses!  We just picked up a pair of Babiators for him for this summer.  He's so excited for them.  Matthew doesn't want to wear them as much so I have some of Miller's old pairs for him.

9.  Cros or Natives- I have found that toddlers and flip-flop like sandals don't mix.  Since I still want a waterproof sandproof shoe I have found that Crocs or Natives do the trick.  My boys will wear both with no compliants.

10. Go Pod- This was our favorite gadget for Matthew last summer! If you have a baby you want to keep contained but still be part of the action the Go Pod is perfect.  

11. Baby Wipes-  I always keep these with me to wipe off dirty hands, sand, bottles, toys etc.  Baby wipes are the universal cleaner and again the Babyganics are my go-to.

12. Baby Powder-  I shared in my post about traveling with kids that baby powder is a great trick to get the sand off of kids quickly.   I always keep some in my beach bag for a quick fix.

What are some of your favorite baby and toddler pool items?  

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