Give thanks

I love the time of year Thanksgiving falls on. It really allows you to look back on the year and reflect on how much there is to be thankful for. Family, friends, health and home always come to mind and are things I definitely need to be thankful for more often than this one day a year.

I especially had to keep all this in mind when we had minor snafu yesterday morning, Thanksgiving, getting ready to host my family and had a minor flooding issue in our basement. Sure, I freaked out and thought we were going to have to relocate or cancel Thanksgiving but as luck would have it, the plumber that had worked on this issue a couple of weeks back randomly decided to work yesterday so was able to come over and fix the situation and Thanksgiving was back on by noon so he was another person I was thankful for yesterday.

Also, thankful for nephew #2 to join us next May! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Lace, plaid and sparkles

There are three staples I love that I can count on in my closet every time the holidays roll around… lace, plaid and sparkles. These timeless looks are literally one of the reasons I get so excited for the holidays. This lace top is from JCrew, plaid flannel is from A&F, sparkly top is from XXI and cardigan is from Target. The lace top is perfect for Thanksgiving. I get double use out of the plaid flannel, since I can also wear it to a Buckeye game (score!) and the sparkle top I would wear to a Christmas party. What makes me even happier and makes me feel a little like Kate Middleton, since she knows how to repurpose her wardrobe with the best of them, is only one item out of these four was purchased this year. I’ll give you one guess (spoiler alert!)… it’s the sparkly top. 🙂

So, in order to be budget conscious this year, I decided to take my pent-up fashion energy out on my toddler and made sure to pick up one of each of these wardrobe staples at Carter’s for her the other day. Gotta start ’em young!

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You can pair all three of these pieces with black skinny jeans or jeggings, a cute boot and be good to go. And last but not least, the best way, in my opinion, to pull all these looks together is with a classic red lip. The one piece I am still on the hunt for that also says holiday style to me is faux fur, in either a vest or wrap piece. TBD!

Survival tips

I decided to call this post survival tips vs. beauty secrets because at the time, right after I had had Ava, it felt a little like survival and I definitely felt like I was far from using the word beauty with the lovely bags under my eyes and the consistent smell of spit up on me. I also know this is by no means a secret and has probably been around forever but I am just now learning of it. (Sidenote: I have yet to find the actual beauty secret that can completely erase any signs of exhaustion and fatigue from my face, besides sleep, but will certainly let you know when that day comes, if ever.)

I have always been a big advocate of washing my face morning and night. My girlfriends used to tease me in college that no matter what time I would get home from the bars (or library, if Ava is reading this) I would still make sure to wash my face. I have used Lancome products for years, ever since I worked at the Lancome counter at Macy’s right after college. But once I got pregnant, my hormones were really out of whack and as soon as my face products were running low, I picked up Cetaphil. It was recommended to me as a nice and mild face product. That was a year ago and I am officially hooked. In addition to their cleaner and face lotion, I have since tried their SPF face lotion, face cream and cleansing travel wipes. Big fan.

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The other product I was unaware of before having Ava was Aquaphor. It reminds me of the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the Dad says several times throughout the film, “put some windex on it.” Well Aquaphor is my windex equivalent. I use it on Ava daily to combat diaper rash, if she has a dry patch of skin I cover it with Aquaphor or if my hands are cracked and dry at the end of the day from all the hand washing I lather Aquaphor on before I go to bed and they are restored by morning. I’ve even seen some people use Aquaphor to create a new lip shade by combining it with their blush or using it to set their brows. It’s officially a staple in my medicine cabinet. Not to mention both of these products are affordable! Done deal.

Up-up do

My poor peanut woke up this past Tuesday real sick. She took her morning bottle as usual but about 15 minutes later, when I went to change her diaper, everything came back up. After two hours, two baths, two pajama changes for her and I, two loads of laundry, it finally stopped. It had my husband and I scared to death, since it was the first time she had gotten this sick since she was born. When it finally stopped, the nurse recommended starting pedialyte, giving her an ounce every half hour 2-3 times then work your way up to two ounces and so on to avoid dehydration.

Needless to say, it was a very low-key day. I laid with her for her first nap to make sure she didn’t get sick again and then by her second nap around 2, I realized I hadn’t even brushed my teeth or taken a comb to my hair. I ended up throwing my hair up as high as it could go just as I heard her waking up on the monitor. When I finally got around to looking in the mirror before bath time that night, I kind of liked what I saw. It’s funny (yes, I was able to find humor in something that day) because when I try to do something cute with my hair, it never looks cute but when I spend seconds on it, that is when I end up liking it and can almost never re-create it so I had to share.

On a day I have more time, I might try this same up-do but maybe with a braid on each side or wrap a long strand of hair a few times around the hair tie or add a sparkly headband or barrette to it.

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I have to admit, I did love the snuggling part of the day with baby A.

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Destination play date

I have always been a fan of traveling. I truly consider it a part of my DNA. In fact, when I haven’t gone somewhere for a few months, I get the travel bug to either go somewhere, plan a trip or even jot down places I would like to go next. So when my mom suggested their condo in Kiawah, SC I was more than excited. It is one of my happy places in this world and I couldn’t wait to show Ava the beach for the very first time.

While the thought of going to the beach is always a fun one, going with and packing for a toddler can be daunting. Since we have done lots of traveling with Ava in her first year, her packing list has evolved but this particular bag has definitely become one of my staples. My mom gave me this bag last Christmas from Eddie Bauer to have something a little more compact to carry around for quick trips and/or errands with Ava. She also got it for my sister in blue for her little boy, my nephew, David. He is eight weeks older than Ava and they are best buds. They came to Kiawah with us too! So needless to say, when you’re traveling with two toddlers, two new moms, Mimi and all of their stuff and our stuff, you have GOT to be prepared.

Here is the pocket breakdown…

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Bag from Eddie Bauer

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Side Pocket: Carmex, Honest sunscreen, Honest hand sanitizer, Honest lotion, a pen and a couple of dollars
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Small front pocket: Polysporin, band aids, Babyganics face roll on sunscreen, baby nail scissors

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Front medium pocket: bib, teether toys, bath toy and mini book

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Big main pocket: Arm & Hammer surface wipes, Honest wipes, Babyganics hands and face wipes, Earth’s Best organic squeezable, Pampers Swaddlers diaper, Munchkin changing sheet, Aquaphor and Babyganics SPF 50 sunscreen (yes, I am adamant about sunscreen)

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Buuuuut with faces like these and a view like this, it makes it all worth it. 🙂