Ruffled Sleeve Tunic and My Struggle With Small Bags

 
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I think I'm starting to see a trend with myself as I'm leaning more towards all things ruffled sleeves, or maybe just statement sleeves in general. They have been all over the place lately and I am just getting sucked right in. I'm not complaining though, they're fun and add a little something extra to an overall look.

I picked up this ruffled sleeve tunic dress (currently sold out) during the Nordstrom anniversary sale but it was still too warm to wear it. It's the perfect time to wear it now with these up and down temperatures. The fabric feels like a very light sweatshirt material so it's easy to wear with wedges (which I'm not ready to give up just yet), booties, and I'm sure I can wear this with leggings and boots when it gets even cooler. My favorite pieces are the ones you can wear multiple ways and over different seasons.

My sister got me this great Kate Spade bag for my birthday and at first I was thinking is she nuts, I haven't really used a bag that small in forever. Ever since the boys came along, I've been lugging around a tote with snacks, toys, and wipes on hand like it's no ones business. I loved this little bag though, and after she asked me about 10 times if I liked it and that she wouldn't be offended if I returned it —I assured her I would use it. That night Eric and I went out for a quick bite to eat while his parents watched the boys. It was the perfect time for me to break out my new bag. I only brought along my essentials and at first it felt so weird and I kept double checking to see if I had every thing I needed. While we were out I realized that it's ok for me to disconnect from time to time and stop lugging around all of the mom burdens and guilt. That it's important to have moments where you take on a lighter load and can still be true to yourself. It's so silly that something so simple as a new bag can help you remember and put things into perspective for you. Now, this is the first thing I reach for when I know I don't have to lug around the world and it's even more special that it came from one of my favorite people.

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A Day Date In The City

On Friday Eric and I decided to take the day, drop the nuggets off at school, and head into the city for a day date. It's always so tough to find a sitter and really enjoy ourselves when we go out because we never know how they will act, how bed time will go, and not to mention paying someone to watch two kids comes at a premium. 

I may never be able to look at date night the same way again. We were so much more relaxed, we weren't tired #oldpeoplestatus, and we were still able to enjoy the night with the boys and then relax on the couch later. I am day date hooked, you guys. Now, if only we could do this more often. 

We've gone to the city plenty of times but have never been to top of the rock. We finally made it a priority and got to experience the amazing lookout. The views were beautiful and it was so cool seeing the skyline from a different perspective with the statue of liberty off in the distance. We spotted a bride and groom who were taking their pictures up there and I couldn't help but snap a pic of her. That veil floating in the win, gosh her professional pictures must have came out amazing. 

After top of the rock we headed to bryant park to grab some lunch and take advantage of the beautiful weather and eating outside. We always go to the park in the winter when we go to see the tree but it was nice to visit at a different time of year. I've always wanted to get a NYC walking across the street pic (big goals, right) so Eric was nice enough to capture that. Don't worry, I did not risk my life (not worth it) and it was a very calm area. As we were walking around I came across my name that was carved into the street, so naturally that needed to be captured. And if you haven't noticed, yes, I usually travel to the city with two pairs of shoes. My walking shoes and then my big girl shoes. Kind of silly—I know—but I've always been that way especially if I go in for work.

One of the main reasons we went into the city was to stop by mood fabrics in the garment district to pick out fabric for curtains and a couch cover for the airstream. We've purchased from them before when we redid our dining room chairs and also my grandmother's rocking chair and have always been happy with their selection. I love what we found and look forward to seeing how it all comes together. That blue pattern feels very airstreamish (probably not a real word but let's pretend like it is) and the curtain colors will be that lighter tan with blackout fabric behind it.

Poor Eric had to carry what felt like fifty plus pounds of fabric back to penn station, but he definitely got his workout in for the day. It was so random because on our way back to the train we were stopped by a cop who said, hey, look at this lovely couple over here. Unfortunately my first reaction was thinking, what in the world did Eric just do?! It turns out it was one of our friends from high school who is now an NYPD. I'm telling you, sometimes this world is so small. After chatting with him for a little while it was off to make a mad dash for the train. We've come to the conclusion that our NYC trips aren't complete without making a run for the train (we're never on time). Even with carrying yards and yards of fabric. Here's to more day dates and random happenings. Because as our friends would say, only you two.

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Top-(here) | Jeans-(here) | Mules-(here) | Heels-old similar (here and here) | Sunnies-(here)

Friday Favorites-Happy Fall

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week. This one felt like it flew by and I can't believe we are almost at the end of September and today is the first day of fall. Our temps have been all over the place and it feels like summer's not ready to say goodbye just yet. I did get to do some fall shopping this week which makes me happy because fall is one of my favorite times for fashion. 

We have a lot of fun things we're looking forward to this weekend and Eric and I took today off to have a day date in the city. The boys will be in school which means we don't have to worry about getting a sitter, that's a win win. 

Here's a look at some of my favorites from the week...

1. Hoedown: one of the local towns near us had their annual hoedown which we had to check out. We enjoyed sipping on lemonade while the boys got their energy out in the bounce houses and enjoyed all of the festive fun.
 
 
2. We're corny and we know it: I couldn't help but share this silly picture of us on my instagram. We were peeling corn the other night and one of them happened to be a double eared corn. After looking at it, I realized it kind of resembled something questionable and Eric and I got a good laughed out of it. Of course not without getting a picture—because who could pass that up? The boys ended up eating the ears raw and this corn was so fresh you didn't even need to cook it.
3. Prague: I am happy to say I will be tagging along for another one of Eric's work trips and in two weeks we will be off to Prague. He's already traveled there before but this will be my first time visiting and I'm really excited because it's the country where my grandfather immigrated from. I'm really looking forward to Czech-ing it out (see what I did there, haha). We'll be traveling kid free which is always so hard to be away from them but also nice to connect and experience new things as a couple. The boys will be in the best hands possible and will probably be getting spoiled like crazy.

4. Airstream update: It's official, we finally started renovations on the airstream. We are still waiting for a few things that we ordered to come in but we did pick out new flooring, paint, and got a butcherblock counter top this week that I am so excited about! The cabinets haven't come in yet and we are working on taking the heating system out because we won't be traveling with it during the winter. This will allow some extra room in there as we are trying to maximize the space. On our day date we'll be stopping by Mood Fabrics which is my favorite spot to pick out materials. We're hoping to find some fabric for custom curtains and seat covers.

We are still tossing around some ideas for what would work best in the bathroom and don't want to make any hasty decisions. Renovating a travel trailer is very different than a stationary home because you need to keep in mind and make sure you are using materials that won't crack or break while you are driving it. I plan on doing several dedicated posts about our renovations once we get a little further along, but for now, we are so excited to see where the <<Road Toad>> takes us! And yes, we finally have our name!

5. Moming: this week I shared something that was on my heart about how sometimes moming can get the best of me. I can always appreciate those real moments where I can relate to other mothers and I feel like it's so important to let our guard down at times and just have real life talks. It's important to know that we are all in this together and that no one is perfect. I was overwhelmed by the support and my post being shared to several facebook moms groups where conversations were started and others could relate. You can read more {here}, and if it's something that speaks to you, sharing it with others is always appreciated. We are all amazing women doing the best we can for our families.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and enjoys the official start of fall. Here's where you can find me linking for all of the link up fun.

Floral Maxi Dress and a Winery Day

One of the things I love about the state we live in is the diversity and so many things you can explore and do. If you're willing to drive an hour or so there is so much territory to explore and different adventures to stumble upon.

There are a lot of different wineries around to visit that you could spend an afternoon at and they also make for some really pretty backdrops for pictures. Eric and I actually had our wedding reception at a winery so we thought it would be fun to take the boys and snap some family pictures. September is also when the grapes are on the vines which is a nice time to visit .

We didn't visit the actual winery that our reception was at, although we do plan to take the boys one day, but decided on more of a low key location. You know, kids running around and causing a ruckus—you never really know how that's going to go. This one had tons and tons of rows of grapes, but some of them had nets over them, and others looked like they were already picked over. 

You know sometimes when you have an idea in your head about how you think something is going to go and then when it actually happens in real life it couldn't be so far from what you envisioned. Well, that was this scenario. 

I don't know why I thought we were going to snap some beautiful pictures of us frolicking in between the vines, with great lighting (more like harsh lighting and then it got overcast), and everyone would be in focus. Now that I actually typed that out it makes me feel kind of dumb for even thinking that lol. I guess a girl can dream, can't she?! 

As someone who's experienced many failed picture attempts, I've learned to just enjoy what I get. While they might not be the perfect pose, white balance (the struggle is real) or facial expressions, it was our moments and what actually happened. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love these and my heart is melting from the kiss little nugget planted on my cheek. I just wasn't what I envisioned, you know. Of course sticks and rocks had to make their way into the pictures and once the boys spotted horses off in the distance—they were done with any sort of smiling. I chased after them and we let them climb the fence but not without making a reference about how it looked like the Jurassic Park fence. It does though, doesn't it?

One thing I do know is this floral maxi dress (compliments of) PinkBlush was beautiful. I usually have a hard time with maxi dresses due to their length, but this one fit me really well and the material was so comfortable. I wore it with a pair of wedges and the length was perfect. We did find a section of vines that had beautiful grapes hanging off of them and now Eric has the idea that he wants to grow grapes one day. The funny thing is, I wouldn't put it past him.

That Time Moming Caught Up With Me

A question I get asked a lot is how I'm able to manage everything and hold everything together. And if I was being honest (which I think I always am on here), I don't have it all together, probably not even close. Although, I really don't know who actually has it all together. I think different things work for different people and for different families. 

I'm a working mom trying to juggle everything in a 24 hour period all while trying to cherish and enjoy precious moments with my two young sons. I think being a working mom is extremely difficult. I think being a stay at home mom is extremely difficult. I think being a mom in general is extremely difficult. 

Correction, it's the hardest job in the world. 

I started a book, Grace Not Perfection, back in the spring but mom life happened and it sat on my nightstand and served as a coaster for my nightly glass of water for the weeks—maybe more like months—to come. It was nothing against the book, at all. I actually think I kept putting it off because I knew deep down there were changes I could be making but just couldn't bring myself to follow through with it. 

Let's rewind to a few weeks ago when moming finally got the best of me and I had a complete meltdown. I lashed out at my husband (who's amazing by the way) having a fun moment hitting the t-ball in the back with my boys all while I slaved (not really) in the kitchen to prepare a home cooked meal. After my neighbors witnessed me acting like a crazy person, I made a promise to myself that night—backing off in the kitchen is ok and ruining a special moment between my husband and boys will not be happening again. 

After that crazy episode I picked up the book and began to read it again. I brought it down the shore with me that weekend and finished it on the beach. I tried to make up for my previous crazy outburst and gave some special time back to my husband with the boys who were off using a kiddie metal detector to try and find some burred treasure. When I got to chapter 11 one of the paragraphs really got me and I started to cry. Good thing I don't wear mascara to the beach. Does anyone actually wear mascara to the beach?! And, I had my trusty sunnies to hide a lot. Anyway, it really spoke to me and I felt like if I could have formulated how I was feeling she was already in my head and wrote it all out. 

I knew right then and there that I might not be able to make all of the changes I hope for right away, but the ones that I can implement, I would. 

For starters, we have always been a home cooked meal kind of family. In general I enjoy cooking, but when you get home after 6pm everyday and everyone is hungry, it's a race against the clock. I always heard everyone talking about these Traders Joe's meals and how good they are, so that week we went and picked some up (shout out to the orange chicken). We decided even if we took two nights off and did a meal like that, it could make things easier. It definitely has, but I wouldn't say it's been life changing. We've tried out a cleaning service before, and while I love the smell of my house when you walk in, for the money, I don't think it's something we would continue with. If the boys were older and didn't make so many messes I could see this being an amazing thing, but I can't see spending the money to have it look messy by the next day. 

There are still a lot of things we are working on, like meal planing, taking Thursday nights to clean things up so it's a fresh start to the weekend and we don't have to worry come Friday, and treating the boys to a hot lunch every now and then instead of packing lunches every night have all helped. We won't get started on laundry that continues to be my enemy and our mornings that are usually hectic because we are not a morning family, at all. 

But what I have learned is, that even in my moments of weakness, God's grace is sufficient. That even when I fail to be an example, or let life get the best of me, there are still those moments that humble me and bring me back to reality. 

Moming isn't easy. Keeping it all together isn't easy. At some point it might get the best of me again. I need to continue to remind myself that while I might not be home with my kids all day, the moments we do have together are so precious. That it's ok to ask for help or lean on friends and others moms to vent. That not looking at my day as a race against the clock but an opportunity to accomplish as much I can in that time frame makes my days more enjoyable. My boys may continue to push my buttons and cause me to question every idea of parenting I thought I had figured out, but just like I'm shown grace, I also need to show them grace. They need to be able to learn and to see us to grow as a family. 

So for the moms who may have cried those tears trying to wonder how you're going to figure it all out, you aren't alone. For the women who are overwhelmed with work and balancing life in general, I understand the feeling. For the women who aren't sure about making a career move or starting something that scares you, you'll never know until you try. For all of us, perfection doesn't exist. Once we let go of the idea of perfection we allow the perfect lives for each of us to begin to fall into place. 
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