I can't believe how long it has been since I have written a post! I continuously kept telling myself, "Fit in a post today, even if it's a short one" and I was constantly distracted by one thing or another. As I mentioned in a previous post, Fall is my favorite season and I am sad that we are now entering that last month of it. Pumpkin spice is slowly disappearing from coffee menus and gloves are slowly making more and more appearances. All is well in the Pierce household and I am working on coming up with some new ideas for my blog... I think it could use a new look...
I know, I know! There is still a few weeks of summer left but it's around this time every year I start yearning for pumpkin spice coffee and big, cozy sweaters. Without a doubt, it's my favorite season! From the temperatures to the fashion, fall has a big place in my heart. Here are a few of my favorite things (and admit it, you just read that sentence in the Julie Andrews "Sound of Music" voice!)
Cozy Couture: Leggings, Scarves, and Boots ... Oh my! My unofficial uniform for fall is a long sleeve, scarf, leggings, and knee high (or thigh high, if I'm feeling scandalous!) boots. And with so many color and texture combinations, it's easy to create a new look from these 4 staple pieces every day!
Pumpkin Spice and Apple.. ANYTHING!: The rich, velvety aromas that swallow my local Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are absolutely intoxicating. I must say that it should be considered cruel and unusual punishment to limit the sale of these flavors to one or two months out of the entire year!
Fun and Spooky Movies: abcFamily always has a fun and family friendly line up for the month of Halloween. After the little ones are tucked in, me and Adam usually switch it over to AMC to catch a part of the Michael Meyers or Jason marathon!
From one of my FAVORITE halloween movies... Hocus Pocus!
This past weekend during a trip to the park, Jaxon fell off of the swing and I immediately went into panic mode. As my heart was beating out of my chest, unsuccessfully balancing Sophia on my hip, and frantically trying to check every inch of uncovered skin, Jaxon simply stood, dusted himself off, and said, "I'm okay, Mommy" and ran over to the sandbox. The saying is true - kids really are as tough as nails.
After this mini heart attack, I got to thinking - do I create unnecessary stress for myself? Do I worry about the most minute details that I miss out on some of the "big" moments? These following points were some of the major revelations I pondered, Mott's juice box in hand.
1) Trying To Be "Supermom": There is no such thing. As a new mom or a mom of multiple, new situations will present themselves daily that one may not have the answer for. If you are able to get laundry folded, the bathroom cleaned, dinner on the stove, and write a new blog post during your toddler's nap time, then fabulous! You are AMAZING! But for most of us, we are lucky to finish 1/3rd of the items on our "To-Do" Lists. So take comfort in knowing that finding these Supermom's are rare and that the amount of tasks you can complete doesn't measure how great of a mom you are!
2) Being Scared To Make A Mistake: When Jaxon first came into our lives, I'll be the first to admit it: I was scared out of my mind. No matter how many books I read or awkward birthing videos I made Adam sit through, having a living, breathing human being bundled up like a burrito in your lap really changes things. I had to switch to the unlimited cell plan because I was calling my mother on average 17 times a day. No, seriously. I sometimes got so caught up in making sure everything was done "the right way", that I didn't allow myself to learn my own ways of doing things. Trying things on your own allows you to create your own way of doing things, mistakes included. You get comfortable through learning and sometimes learning involves making a mistake or two along the way.
3) Stop Overlooking Moments: Time never slows down for anyone and I find myself rushing from one playdate to another, never really stopping to look at the little things. Your kids are only kids for what seems as long as it takes to blink. So instead of rushing through play time or multitasking during a swim or tennis lesson- take pictures, involve yourself. Do everything and anything you can to preserve a memory! The half finished grocery list can wait.
4) Worrying Constantly: As shown in the park example above, worrying about every little thing that could go wrong will not prevent it. While it is good to make your child's safety and comfort a priority, covering them from head to toe with padding, helmets, and shields to walk down the street may be a little much. Understand that things can and will almost always be out of your complete control.
5) Putting Your Own Needs Aside: The quote "Happy wife, happy life" is in some ways very accurate. But what about happy moms? I'm guessing there isn't a quote about happy mom's because I'm sure it's pretty impossible to find a word that rhymes with "mom". But really, allowing yourself a moment or two to enjoy something on your own, such as a mocha frapp with extra whipped cream and ten minutes of quiet or taking advantage of a half off manicure coupon at the cheap salon down the street. Whatever it is, trivial or not, taking a few minutes out of everyday to say "Hey, I'm a human and I have needs too!" is important in maintaining your sanity. Just don't let those few minutes turn into a 7 day binge of greasy foods and champagne.
What are some things you wish you would stop doing to yourself?
This past weekend was our long awaited trip to San Diego! Adam's mother volunteered to take over babysitting duty with Sophia and Jaxon. As much as I love to travel as a family, it's always nice to get away for some grown up time! We opted to fly out Thursday evening so we could enjoy a full day on Friday. I will never understand how supermodels can get off a flight looking like they stepped off of a Marc Jacobs catwalk. San Diego welcomed me in the wee hours of Friday, with smeared eyeliner, frizzy hair, and a stiff neck!
My top two places I wanted to visit were the San Diego Zoo (for my inner 7 year old) and Fashion Valley Mall (well, because I'm a woman).
San Diego Zoo Thoughts: PANDAS! I am a panda nut as I think they are so stinking adorable! That was probably the highlight of the visit for me and luckily, I controlled myself enough not to break into their habitat and steal one. Adam loved the gorillas and could not stop laughing uncontrollably when they pressed themselves up against the glass. (Typical boy!) There is so much to see that I feel like it would have to be split into two days. Walking around in that heat was so draining, I definitely wished there was such a thing as an adult stroller(with cup holders!)
Fashion Valley Mall: As many times as I have gone there, the fact that there is no roof always leaves me in a state of shock! The walk ways are completely open, complete with palm trees but the stores are covered. Coming from the unpredictable East Coast, Definitely had to hit up Kate Spade, Lacoste for Adam, and the Lego Store for Jaxon! This mall is a big favorite of mine as it has a nice mix of high end and affordable stores!
The long weekend was so relaxing but I was EXTREMELY anxious to get back to my little babes! One night away is ok but three was just too much! I can't even imagine how it will be when they have to leave for college. ( I know, I know, years and years away but still!) I have a scary feeling I will be one of those mom's that moves away to college with their kid... in an apartment across the street... haha Just kidding! But overall, it was a great weekend and I am excited to start planning for our annual end of summer party!
Comment and leave me some new recipes to try for the party!!
Buying sunscreen at the beginning of summer is kind of a love/hate relationship for me. All sunscreens expire after a certain amount of time (usually around a year) so it is one of those necessary evils. I love the thrill of stocking up after a great deal but I hate (well, strongly dislike) the shelves packed with an obnoxious amount of choices!( Oh, don't even get me started on choices and Netflix!) After a few years of trying and tossing, here are a few of my top picks!
** All items and opinions are my own. I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies below. **
For the Kiddos:
Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple SPF 50:
Free of: Dyes, Fragrances, Oil, and "Tear"
Water Resistant (up to 80 minutes)
Creamy and easy to spread formula
A big fan of this as it is gentle but still does everything a sunscreen should! Coppertone is a drugstore brand that has been around for years that is still a top contender!
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 30:
Chemical free sunscreen
Contains sunflower oil, grape-seed oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera
This brand is a favorite of Adam's parents. It is very thick, so you don't need a lot per application. It can be found in the organic section of most supermarkets!
Peter Thomas Roth Uber-Dry Sunscreen SPF 30:
This has been a long time favorite of mine and can be found at Sephora or Ulta. It doesn't leave a greasy or slimy feeling like most sunscreens do. But ladies, keep this as a makeup free beach day staple because the formula will pill up on your face if you try to apply anything else on top of it!
Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Spray-On Sunscreen SPF 100:
Easy to apply
Oil-free and Won't clog pores
Resists sweat off
This is great for active days, whether at the beach or going for a hike. Most drugstores usually have Neutrogena products on sale regularly, which is great because Adam hasn't learned how to apply this with a light hand yet.
For more information on sunscreen for kids, check out this article on Consumer Reports!
Roadtrippin': Saturday, we took a mini road trip upstate to visit some of Adam's college friends and we stopped in at the local mall. I don't know what holiday it was but WOW there were some great sales. I definitely stocked up on some great pieces for our upcoming San Diego trip (next weekend! WOOHOO!) like this FABULOUS Bebe dress:
picture credit: Bebe.com
Definitely excited to wear this out for dinner! I love the color and the fit was extremely flattering. I'm thinking flat sandals to dress it down a bit. Or is this a "with wedges" dress? Let me know below!! :)
Jaxon's new favorite word is "Why": On the road, Jaxon loved asking "why" after everything Adam said . Thankfully, this new found curiosity about everything and anything was reserved for Dad. Three and a half hours in the car and a good portion of the sounds coming from the back seat were "why?" and little bursts of giggles (my heart melts everytime I hear that sound!) I don't know if this is a new little habit picked up from his friends on playdates but let's hope this phase ends... QUICK!
Taco Bell Double Steak Quesadilla... Double disappointment: Overpriced, average, unsatisfying... the list could go on and on. I'm not a big fast food eater but I admit, the commercials got me. Maybe it was just how it was made at my local Taco Hut ( that's a combination of Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in one building), but I basically got bread, cheese, and about four chunks of steak. No me gusta. (Photoshop at it's finest below!)
picture credit: tacobell.com
Sad day for a Gleek: I was beyond crushed hearing about the unexpected passing of Glee star, Cory Monteith. I really thought it was a hoax until the official rep statements started coming out. Although I have not kept up with watching the show consistently, I loved the message that Glee sent about embracing who you are! It's rare to see a show that encourages kids to be themselves instead of be obnoxious or exhibiting bad behavior to get attention. I'm very interested to see how the show will continue. My heart really goes out to his family and friends and especially poor Lea Michele.
picture credit: dosomething.org
Now that the weekend is over, it's back to taking care of the busy bodies and this mountain of laundry I can't ever seem to conquer. How was your weekend??
After a weekend of hot dogs, mac salad, and every other sinfully delicious treat, my jeans were feeling a little snug! So this morning, I headed to a spin class at the local gym. I had tried to get into a routine of taking a few classes a week but really keeping any kind of consistent, non-kid related routine can be a major challenge when you're a mom! Luckily, our gym has a "playcare" center with really great and certified attendants to watch Jaxon and Sophia when we want to sneak in a quick workout!
Leaving the class, I left feeling powerful, drenched in sweat, and a little bit wiser in spinning etiquette. Here are a few things I learned:
1) A change of clothes should be a necessity, not an option! If you are working at the level that the instructor has suggested, you will be absolutely drenched at the end. Spinning supposedly burns 600 - 900 calories in an hour workout and it shows by the ridiculous amount of sweat all over.
2) Gel seats make all the difference. "Ouch, that hurt" is probably going to come out of the mouth of a new spinner at some point. From top to bottom, muscles that have never been worked are DEFINITELY being worked. A gel seat can help with comfort, height, and any unwelcome soreness the next day!
3) Bring your Ipod just in case the instructor is a Kenny G fan. Depending on the age or style of your instructor, musical tastes are almost bound to differ. I've gone to a spin class where the instructor played nothing but Cher, Kenny G, and Barry Manilow. While that may be encouraging music for some, I prefer faster paced beats like Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Kesha bumping in my ears. I will sometimes bring my Ipod, safely secured in my armband with one headphone in and one out to hear when to "jump" and when to "sprint"!
4) Have a light snack before! Because you don't want to pass out from starvation mid cycle and fall off your bike, right? I like a chopped banana with a scoop of peanut butter or a Kind granola bar before.
5) Don't abandon your spin workout...even on vacation! An older gentleman in the class was visiting family in town and actively sought out a gym that offered spin classes close to his son's house. While enjoying yourself while away is a nice break from reality, consistently sticking to a workout routine is beneficial for mind, body, and soul. This man has inspired me to look out for hotels with gyms in our upcoming trip !
Overall, with the added benefit of a playcare in the gym, fitting in a workout at least twice a week is so much more convenient. Now, I really have no excuse to skip a morning workout... but I'm sure I will end up finding one (especially when it comes to NYC Fashion Week!)
Who doesn't love getting free gifts with purchases or even just free anything?! Adam loves to make fun of my bulging wallet, filled with every kind of club card you can imagine! Truthfully, I rarely use most of them... but I always sign up with the best intentions! What can I say... I'm addicted! Here are my top favorite rewards cards:
1) Gymboree Rewards: This kids store is one of my go-to places to pick out some casual basics for the kids! Durable and quality material make these duds look like they cost way more than they actually do! With this rewards card, you get a point for every dollar spent which can lead to member only discounts, a free class pass to Gymboree Play and Music, and early notice of major sales! (Free to sign up)
2) Sephora Beauty Insider: What red-blooded woman doesn't love Sephora? I don't think there has ever been a time that I have left that store without buying something! This program gives you a point for every dollar spent, which you can use on 100 point or 500 point bonuses, which are usually deluxe sized samples or kits. Also, in your birthday month, you get a free gift to celebrate your birthday! In the past, they've had a Philosophy full size body wash and a Benefit trial kit of their best sellers! (Free to sign up)
3) MyPanera Card: Panera Bread is without a doubt my favorite stop for a quick lunch! Almost every time I have visited there, I have a free SOMETHING waiting for me! From smoothies to bagels, I feel as though I'm constantly being rewarded just for setting foot in Panera! It's free to sign up with no minimum amount to spend to receive awards.
Since becoming a SAHM, entertaining on the weekends has become a HUGE obsession of mine. I always like to try out at least two new recipes (1 appetizer and 1 dessert) to spice up each and every gathering. The 4th of July is coming up and that means that the snack table will be almost primarily dips because of the wide variety and ease of setup. I was browsing on Pinterest this morning and discovered this recipe and I CANNOT wait to try it. It's called "Green Chilli Crack Dip" (sounds dangerous, right?!) from SweetCsDesigns. It's a fairly simple combination of Stokes Green Chile sauce and Velveeta, so it seems like a quick and tasty snack.
I might have to do a test run tonight (ok, not "have to" but still) for movie night with Adam. I picked up "The Call" and "Parental Guidance" (LOVE Bette Midler!) from Redbox this morning, so hopefully whichever movie we choose is as good as I hope this dip is!
Rolling out of bed this morning, I realized that it doesn't matter if you're a SAHM or a woman in the working world... Mondays are always tough, especially after a great weekend!
I usually reserve Saturdays as a day to get all of my errands out of the way. Adam watches the kids and always plans something for their "Daddy and Me" day. If it wasn't obvious enough by the pile of chocolate and sprinkle covered laundry, yesterday was a trip to the park and the local ice cream stand a few blocks from us.
With this few hours of freedom, I was able to get done what I needed to get done with two free hands and a chance to wear my new wedges from Saks! (I'm usually in my Tory Burch flats or sandals because let's face it... chasing after toddlers with an extra 4 inches underneath you isn't as easy as they make it look in the movies!)
picture credit :www.saksfifthavenue.com
I started out at the grocery store around 9 and it was actually not as busy as I anticipated. The last time I went this early was Memorial Day weekend and it was a madhouse! After that, I was able to pick up Adam's dry cleaning, take a quick trip through the car wash, check out some shops in the local plaza and stop at Starbucks. Next time you are there, stop in and get a grande Java Chip Frappacino with whipped cream! Trust me, you'll thank me later!
Sunday, we spent in the backyard and by the pool. It was the perfect weather for it and I was so glad I could spend the day lounging with my family!
Fun Parenting Find:
picture credit: www.toysrus.com
This "Shade Shack" is Jaxon's new favorite hideout! It is so light and easy to handle with no assembly. It just pops right up and is a nice little spot to take a break from the sun! Definitely will be a necessity during this humid summer!
How did you spend your weekend?
Oh and P.S. Adam and I finally came to an agreement for our next trip... San Diego it is! :)
Today, during a free moment as the kids were enchanted by Dora the Explorer, I emailed Adam a list of possible locations for our next couples vacation. We are looking to go somewhere for a 4 day weekend, so we are trying to stay in the US.
A snippet of our conversation.
Adam: "Too hot and I don't know how to hula."
Me: "Las Vegas?"
Adam: "Smells like Kim Kardashian and vodka." (oh, the things that come out of his mouth!)
Obviously, after this brief exchange, I realized how "not in the mood" Adam was to talk about this. How can someone not be in the mood to talk about ice cold margaritas and laying on the beach with absolutely no business meetings or play dates to run off to?!?
So, I nicely asked (or ordered) him to come up with a list of his top five choices of vacation spots and hand it over by tomorrow morning. So far my top spots are :
-Hawaii ( most preferably Honolulu or Oahu )
I will be very interested to see what his list is as he has already X'd two of my choices. I am fully open to negotiations... as long as sun, a beach, and a frozen, fruity drink is included.
Sorry for the short absence! May was a crazy month in the Pierce household but luckily, things have settled down finally! I was recently scrolling Pinterest and found this cute idea for our next outdoor get togethers!
I love the color combination as well as the use of mason jars as a drinking glass! I think it would give a cozy feel to any outdoor gathering! I'm hoping I would be able to find a kid friendly plastic version for the younger ones.
Can't wait for the warmer weather (and less of this rain!)!
This past Sunday, April 7th, Adam and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary.. whew, we made it! ;) After a disastrous first date (including me knocking over a plate of pasta in his lap.. yikes!), six years together, two beautiful children, and a fur baby named Bodie, our relationship has never been stronger.
I woke up Friday morning to a note simply saying to "pack a bag for 2 nights and be ready by 4". And of course, I ended up with a rolling suitcase and a duffel for shoes- Always be prepared! A limo was in our driveway promptly at 4, with Adam inside waiting with a dozen white roses. Even after I got in the limo, Adam still refused to tell me where we were going and kept saying it was a surprise. (Which is funny because he HATES surprises!)
We ended up at a gorgeous bed and breakfast in East Hampton, NY. From the stunning lavender garden to the hot tub with a waterfall, I was blown away! I am continually spoiled by this man in every way possible but he is the most generous with his love. I definitely hit the jackpot with this one :)
Last Saturday, Jaxon turned 4! It is crazy to think how much has changed in these past four years but I would not change a single thing. Being a mother is one of my proudest achievements and I cherish every day I have with them.
Instead of a big party like last year, we took a trip to the Central Park Zoo for Jaxon's big day! Sea lions were a big favorite for Sophia, while Jaxon adored the monkeys!
We finished the day with a brownie zoo cake Adam's mother made and cuddling up on beanbags in the movie room to watch The Wizard of Oz.
The start of any new season, and especially Spring, is always an exciting time for me. From planning weekend getaways to new seasonal collections being released at Nordstroms, warmer weather always means new and fun in the Pierce household. As I was digging through the bottom of my older bag and switching items over to my new tote, I thought it would be fun to share some of my "can't live without" products I keep in my bag! Maybe we share a few of the same items? Leave me a comment of what's in your bag!
This bag can be found under the "New Arrivals" from Michael Kors. It is made of leather and very roomy for all of my needs, as well as enough space to throw in any dolls or cars for Jaxon and Sophia. I chose this color because it has an easy, casual feel but is still structured and sophisticated.
This is a family favorite! This baked snack comes in all different flavors and is gluten free, which has become a major health trend in the past year. This can be found in the organic aisle of most supermarkets.
In the morning, I usually chop up some type of fruit for my kids when we are on the go. Jaxon is a fan of apples with some sort of dip (chocolate or yogurt) on the side.
The SK-II eye mask from Sephora is nothing short of a life saver! After a sleepless night, I usually will apply these underneath my eyes for 10 minutes while I fold laundry or put away misplaced toys. These are especially sticky, so they won't move or slide as I go from task to task.
According to recent discoveries, the sun is a major cause of the early arrival of (gasp!) wrinkles! To prevent this, every morning, before I apply anything else, I put on a good amount of moisturizing sunscreen. Anything by La Roche Posay is phenomenal! The formula of the Anthelios SX sunscreen is extremely light and doesn't leave your face feeling greasy.
I always keep a notepad and a few Crayola markers in my bag to entertain Jaxon and Sophia during long car rides or trips to the grocery store. This is an activity that encourages the kids to use their imagination, as well as holds their attention.
Sophia's favorite book! The use of color and textures help to hold Sophia's attention for at least a short amount of time. Also, the positive message is a lasting one that I give a "Mommy Stamp of Approval!"
So those are a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews) that are a constant staple in my everyday bag. Hope you enjoyed this post and don't forget to comment what are some your favorite things to carry!
I don't think there could be any worse of a feeling than getting on a jet in the warm sunshine and getting off in a snowy wonderland. (Ok, there probably is worse but it's pretty close!)
The trip was definitely one to remember. We stayed at the Atlantis Resort and they had more than enough activities for each of us. With a casino, a night club, and a movie theater, we had plenty of choices for our 1 date night we had planned. Hopefully, all of these choices gave Adam an idea for our anniversary coming up in April ;).
The resort offered many different options for toddlers to enjoy their own time, from a kids movie theater to pottery classes. But for the most part, Jaxon wanted to hang out on the beach. And I was actually very pleased with that decision. With the weather cruddy weather back home that basically forces us to stay indoors, I was happy to see that Jaxon wanted to spend as much time as he could in the sun.
Jaxon had a blast building sand castles and having splash fights with Dad. Sophia was a little more hesitant to get into the water because she was scared of the waves. Adam swam out a little, made silly faces, and waved back to us on shore to show Sophia that the water didn't hurt.
While it is nice to have "grown-up" time, family time is much more special to me. As I watch Jaxon and Sophia change and grow every day, I realize how important these days are and how fast they fly by. While I'm so excited to see the type of people they become, part of me must admit that I wish there was a way to keep them this little forever! :)
It is officially one week until paradise! Laying in bed this morning, Adam decided to book a spontaneous family trip to the Bahamas as a VERY welcome break from all of the snow we've been hit with. I haven't been to the Bahamas since our one year anniversary way back in 2009, so I cannot wait to go back as a family!
Now comes my least favorite part.... packing! Time to break out the Louis Vuitton!
What are some of your essentials when going on a trip?
While the weather was a bit chilly outside, it was nothing but light, love, and laughter inside! We had a small get together of family and a few close friends for Sophia's birthday yesterday. Her favorite movie of the moment is Disney's "Tangled", so I scoured Pinterest for months to find some inspiration.
These cupcakes were my first and favorite discoveries! I thought these were beyond adorable! I made both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with my trusted Martha Stewart recipes (and without the green food coloring), but kept the design of Pascal the same. The kids loved the goofy treats and were definitely NOT shy about asking for seconds!
Overall, the was a big success and a great get together. Adam's parents were able to visit for the day and it added a really special touch to have all of the grandparents together!
My name is Arianna Pierce and I am lifestyle blogger who writes about all things family, travel, food, fashion, and especially DIY projects! I am a stay at home mom to my two amazing children, Jaxon and Sophia. Throw into the mix my husband, Adam, and our new puppy, Bodie, and we have quite the busy household! While my family will be a constant source of inspiration for this blog, I do wish to keep some of my life personal life personal!
I created this blog to share my experiences as well as hear about others as well! I am constantly pouring over other mommy blogs and always thought, "If they can do it, then so can I!" With the start of a new year, and now that I have a little extra space in my day (did I mention nap time is the greatest invention ever?!), I am taking the time to put together my own special place for my thoughts.
Some of my favorite things are trying out new recipes (especially from Pinterest!), DIY projects, traveling as a family, attending NY Fashion Week (which should be a monthly thing if you ask me!), and online shopping.
Through blogging, I hope to share my findings, as well as connect with some of the other mommy bloggers out there!
I always love hearing from other bloggers, so please feel free to leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!