Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I hope your week was a good one. Ours seemed to go by really fast which is always a blessing a curse because sometimes I wish things would just slow down a bit. The boys ended up catching a cold towards the end of the week and night time has been rough over here. With all the coughing and waking up, I'm hoping everyone will be back to normal soon.

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

1. Giving back: I was honored to be selected to work with Barilla on their #sharethetable campaign over the next year. To kick it off, I joined them on a service project with the Food Bank For New York on MLK Day. If you follow me on instagram (@beautifully_candid) then you might have seen some of the behind the scenes in my stories and how much attending this event meant to me. One of the things I really wanted to focus on this year was not only explaining to my boys about the importance of helping others, but by being an example and actually doing it. This was the perfect way to jump start that.

2. Mom's birthday: it was my sweet momma's birthday last Friday, so after work we had a little dinner and cake for her before she left the next morning on a trip to FL. I am so jealous she has been in sunny FL on the beaches and even took a cruise to the Bahamas. We'll be celebrating more with her this weekend and I can't wait to hear all about the fun she had.

3. All the noodles: the struggle to keep the boys occupied with all of this cold weather around here has been real. A friend recommended a local ramen house and it turned out to be the perfect place to take the boys. The atmosphere was loud (but not annoying), it was laid back, and Eric and I could enjoy our meals without telling the boys to be quiet every five minutes. The boys also loved it and ate their meals like champs. I'm going to be putting a post together with some of our favorite indoor activities and places to visit in the winter and will be sharing that next week. So if you're looking for some ideas be sure to stop back.

4. Wood wall: in our living room we have this small wall that our tv is in front of. We have it sitting on a stand that I've never liked, and it's not even an official tv stand. It's more of like a cabinet that we used to have in our dining room. When we moved into this house we kind of just put it there for the time being and then it never moved.

The other day the boys were running around and I saw the tv wobble a bit. That was enough for me to finally make a change and want to get rid of this setup. I talked to Eric about putting a wood wall in and then mounting the tv there. The amazing man that he is was on board with it. He's basically a wood wall pro at this point. Not really, but I'm sure he'd appreciate the compliment ;)

I made my way over to the supply place where we get our wood from and picked out the boards I wanted to use. I'm excited to get this little project underway and share a bit more here. Plus I kind of feel like when the holiday decor comes down, something is just missing. I think I'm going to run with this one and do a little overhaul to our living room. Here are some pics of previous wood walls we've put in, all at different houses that is. We aren't some sort of wood wall fanatics, but I do think they make for some great accent walls and add a bit of character.

5. Snow time: we had some more snow this week and the boys were excited to find out that they had a delayed opening. This was the perfect snow for building a snowman. Unfortunately this guy lasted not even five minutes before he toppled over. The boys did go out later that night and built new one,. This time around it wasn't so tall and better supported. It was dark and instead of trying to capture every moment with my camera, we danced around and jumped up and down for Mr. Snowman.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Here's where you can find me linking for all of the link up fun. We also kicked off our Girl Chat link up yesterday where we reintroduced ourselves and are so thankful for all of you who joined us! It was so great getting to connect and make some new blogger friends. If you want to get to know a little bit more about me you can read more {here}. Happy weekend!

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself-Girl Chat Link Up

I'm really excited we're kicking off our Girl Chat link up this month with a fun topic. I've had some new friends around here and the perfect way for you all to get to know me better is to share a little more about myself and my little family. 

Hi I'm, Sierra! I'm a full time working mom that is trying to juggle everything in a 24 hour period. Aside from my mom hat, when I'm not running the behind the scenes of this little space, I'm putting out fires at my day job as a corporate HR Manager for a company in the retail and fashion industry. I say putting out fires, because a lot of my responsibilities are handling employee relations issues, and boy do I have some stories. You seriously cannot make this stuff up. 

While I enjoy my job and the opportunities it has provided for me, I'm not so sure I want to be doing this for the rest of my life. 

My relationship with God is the most important and everything else follows.

My family is everything to me and it's because of His blessings that I am so thankful for the life I have.

My husband (Eric) and I met back in high school but didn't officially start dating until he was away at college. We were friends first and both were in different relationships. Later on down the road something just clicked and the rest (along with some stuff in between) is history. We've been married for seven years and as cheesy as it sounds, every year really does get better than the last.

He is my better half, he's such a positive guy, and always looks for the best in people. I seriously got the best of the best when it comes to him being a Dad. I mean, I didn't even change a diaper for the first two weeks after I had the boys because he didn't want me to have to worry about it. Keeper right there, I tell ya.

We have two sons who I refer to on here as A and little nugget. Although, I'm not really sure how long calling him little nugget will work because he will certainly put me in my place and confirm that he is in fact, a big boy.

A is four years old and little nugget is two, but I joke around that they have little dog syndrome. You know, those tiny dogs that think they are as big as a Great Dane. Together they are a little powerhouse of all things silly, some tantrums and major attitude, and then a whole lot of melt your hear moments.

They are 22 months apart and I'm not going to lie, the first few months were really rough. A still needed me very much and juggling your attention between two little ones is not easy. Thankfully it has gotten easier over the years with them becoming more independent. Now I have to watch out for things like booby traps, bugs, and all the fun boy phrases which some how always center around bodily functions. 

They are a lot of fun though and I could not imagine life without them.

We also have a Golden Retriever fur baby named, Coaty, who I consider my first son. He has always been such a great dog when it comes to people. We laugh about it all the time though because he is such a goon. The things he gets into, or does, it's hard to explain but somehow he fits perfectly into our goofy family. When he's with the boys we call them the goon squad.

In between being a mom, wife, working, blogging and finding time for adventures, Eric and I are also into real estate investment and are also landlords. That kind of exhausted me typing all of that out, but somehow we always find a way to make it all work. It's something we got into back in 2012 and have really loved it. We have a handful of different properties that we rent out and one of them being where we are currently living. It's a long story, and the ending is still being written (stay tuned), but you can read a bit more about our journey here.

Our most recent project is renovating a vintage 1978 Airstream that I am so anxious for the weather to get nicer so we can finish our Road Toad (that's what we named it). I'm also looking forward to sharing updates as we move along. 

I am kind of obsessed with traveling and if we don't go somewhere every few months I tend to get antsy. I think the Airstream will help with that because our plan is to pack it up on the weekends and explore where ever we want. We hope to take it across country at some point and are also thinking about visiting Cuba for our next vacation spot. The Airstream would not be coming along to Cuba though.

Some other random things about me are...

I was born exactly on my due date (which apparently is kind of rare).

Summer is my all time favorite season with fall being a close second. Next comes spring, but I am not a fan of my seasonal allergies.

Speaking of allergies, I have a really loud sneeze. Like loud enough that people jump and get startled from it. I feel bad, and it's not on purpose, it's just how it comes out.

I can't stand mustard or mayo but I love deviled eggs. Go figure.

I seem to laugh at inappropriate moments, you know those ones when you're supposed to be quiet. And don't get me started if I see someone fall. Of course, I'll make sure they're ok, but I can't guarantee I won't be laughing for the next half an hour. 

I'm also really bad with facial expressions and it's pretty easy to read me. My co-workers always joke around with me because they say they can tell when we're interviewing someone if I like them within the first few minutes just by my face.

My favorite color is blue.

I can't sleep with socks on. I could lay there all night trying but won't fall asleep until I kick them off.

I love wearing beanies in the winter and would eventually love to have a collection of them in all different colors. Currently I'm up to nine of them but plan on hitting up some after season sales.

Sometimes I need to remind myself to take my own advice. I recently wrote a letter to myself that I plan on referring back to throughout the year to keep myself in check.

Now it's your turn to join in on the fun and share a little more about yourself. 

To link up-grab our graphic, link up, and let's get to chatting! Make sure to stop by a few other posts in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!

And don't forget to follow your hosts!

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Dear Me, Here's What I Hope For You This Year

winter fashion
winter outfit
Since we're already half way through the first month of the year, I can't help but dive a little deeper into some more thoughts and goals. I'm sure everyone is probably all resolutioned out (I think I just made up a word, but it feels like it works there) and over these posts. 

I shared our word for the year and excitement for new adventures, and also my thoughts on blogging, but something I always tend to unintentionally do, is put myself on the back burner. I think as a woman, and as a mom, it's just a natural instinct that kicks in as a want to do for others first. And ironically enough, that's also something I want to do more of this year.

So here we are...Dear Me,

Some of my hopes for you this year...

That fear will not get the best of you. You tend to worry a lot, and if you were self diagnosed, categorizing you with some sort of anxiety would probably be accurate. Fear can also stop you from trying new things, hold you back from pushing your creativity, or worrying about hurting others feelings.

Sometimes you need to do for you. As much as you want to see everyone else happy and everyone else succeed, sometimes you need to just take that step and put feelings aside.

Don't hold back on relationships. Unfortunately they will always come and go. You were always taught to be kind and show love even when others don't. Some people have a hard time with seeing others happy—that's their fault, not yours. Let it go. Pray for them, and continue to invest your time in those that value your friendship, because you know those that are truly by your side have and always will be there for you. On the flip side, making new friends at this age is also scary. To the new mom who wants to grab coffee with you, take her up on it, even if you don't like coffee. Not everyone is out to judge you.

Don't try to be superwoman. Thinking you can conquer the world in a 24 hour period is just plain silly. There is a reason those characters are fictional. It's ok to have a plan, and a goal, but when things come up that are unpredictable sometimes you can't do it all.

Be proud but stay humble. Success is measured by all different standards. As you grow in your career, hopes and dreams, continue to stay true to yourself.

It's ok to get excited. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the small things. If you want to throw a breakfast party for no other reason than it being a Saturday, do it.

Let go of what others think. Don't hold back on sharing things if it's something that makes you happy. The sad part about putting yourself out there is others who can't relate tend to think you are doing things for show, even if you've always been that way but you just share more of it now. Keep doing what makes you happy.

Stand Tall (even if you're only 5'3"). Life won't always go as planned and your path may take some twists and turns. Remain faithful and continue to know all things work together for good.

Laugh a little more, smile brighter (even if it gives you crows feet), and crying at the end of watching Ferdinand is totally ok.

Enjoy all of the adventures this year brings. You get 365 days out of a year but a new start every day to make it better than the last.

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Friday Favorties

Happy Friday, friends! I hope your week treated you well. This one went by fast but slow for us at the same time. I am always perplexed at how that happens. Mind boggling, I tell ya.

Our temperatures did reach above freezing this week, which is a beautiful thing, and I had to rip my scarf, hat, and gloves off because it felt like a heat wave. I'm not expecting that to last long though. I usually joke around with friends from Cali who think it's cold when it gets down into the 50's, but now I can see how you get used to things a certain way. Even with it being in the 40's it felt warm. I shared on my facebook page that with all of my weather talk around here, I should just add meteorologist to my resume ;)

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

1. Snow play: as much I am not a fan of the cold it does make for some fun memories with the nuggets. They would stay out there all day if we let them. Coaty is also a huge fan of the snow and will bark until we let him outside. Then we have to bribe him to come in. Cheese always does the trick though.

If you remember me mentioning a while back, little nugget was obsessed with my kitchen utensils. We put all of them on top of our fridge when I woke up with a potato masher in my bed one morning. We've gradually brought them down because it was annoying to keep them up there, and sure enough, he went for them right away. We've put child locks on our drawers, but that was also annoying to get into them, so we took them off.  At this point, if he wants to carry around a spoon and a spatula, have at it. Of course they made it out into the snow with us because they were his scoopers. For even more snow fun you can read {here}, and I have a feeling this won't be the last of it.

2. Snuggle up: it seems like we've had our fireplace going non-stop this winter, but I love having it nice and toasty. I find it so relaxing to sit in front a crackling fire, especially with a cup of hot tea (and cookies on the side is never a bad idea). We've enjoyed snuggling up and sitting around with each other.

3. Movies: over the weekend the boys were up by 8am and by 9:15am I was googling indoor activities to do with them. I think we were all driving each other nuts. They miss playing outside so much, and while we do get in some fun snow play, it's never for really that long. I am convinced it's also a mindset. When someone knows going outside is limited or that it's too cold, you get a little stir crazy.

We decided to take them to the movies for the first time and they loved it! We saw Ferdinand and it was a really cute movie with a good message and wholesome ending. Is it silly that I felt like I could tear up at the end? I don't know what it is, but ever since I had the boys, I feel like I could cry at the drop of a dime. Don't even get me started on songs or commercials. Like that Subaru one with the dog. Coaty must think I'm nuts because every time I see it I hold onto him like no other.

4. Medieval Times: we got together with A's best friend to celebrate his birthday at a really cool place. If you have a Medieval Times around you it's a lot of fun. I stopped by the dollar store to pick up some knight wear (not sure that's even a thing), and I could have eaten them up in their little armor. We all had a great time cheering the knights on and eating our food medieval style with no utensils.

5. Drums: you might remember me mentioning the mishap with the drums for Christmas. I know I've shared it on my instagram, but can't remember if I mentioned something here, but they're here. He loves, loves, loves, playing them. He's even slept with his sticks, taken them in the car with us, but we did draw the line with bringing them into the bath.

We have them in his room now and in all honesty, as loud as it might be sometimes, seeing how happy he is makes it all worth it. I might add, for a two year old, he is pretty freakin good. We were also flipping through the tv and saw that drumline was on. He couldn't run fast enough to get his little drum. He had Eric makeshift a strap for him and stood in front of the tv banging away. We were also in the car last night coming back from Target and a Blink128 song came on. Hello, Travis Barker one amazing drummer. Little nugget was holding a box and started banging away on it. After the song ended, A said to him, you did so good drumming! You're going to be the best drummer when you get bigger. My mama heart about melted into a puddle hearing his big brother support him. Little nugget's response had us all cracking up when he yelled, I am bigger!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Here's where you can find me linking for all the link up fun. I am also excited to share our new Girl Chat link up topics and a new date. We will be moving it to the 3rd Thursday of every month. We would love for you to link up with us and join in on the fun.

I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

If you live in the Northeast then you know how cold it's been around here. I know it's the winter and all, so cooler temps are to be expected, but it has been beyond what I'm used to for a typical season. The good thing is, it's supposed to warm up a bit this week and at this point even if it gets into the 40's I'll probably be ready to break out my swimsuit. Not really, but a girl can dream can't she. Ahh those beach days can't come fast enough. 

In the meantime, we have been enjoying the magical feeling that the snow brings. There's always something so special when the snow first falls that brings so much joy and excitement. We've had snow a few times already this season and it's just the beginning. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago when it snowed over the weekend and turned out to be a relatively warmer day. And by warmer, I mean it was in the mid 30's, not this bomb cyclone thing that has been going on. Who comes up with these names anyway? 

Last year the boys made going out in the snow difficult because it was such a process to get them dressed and then hear them complain 10,549 times about being bundled up. Thankfully this year we've had limited issues and they are usually anxious to head out in the snow now. I consider the lack of complaining a win for everyone, it's the little things.

We had so much fun outside with the boys catching snowflakes, throwing snowballs, and even did a relay race to see who could make it to our fence first. That didn't go over so well when A threw a huge tantrum because Coaty actually beat us all. We're still working on how not to be a sore loser over here.

One of the things we love doing after playing out in the snow is starting a fire. Our fireplace seems like it has been going non-stop lately, but I love having it feel toasty in the house. Our firewood is stacked up out back so it's a bit of a trek to go  out and collect it. I offered to help Eric grab some but told him if I'm going to be out there collecting wood I might as well look cute doing it ;) Of course the real cute ones were my two little helpers that came to lend a hand.

My go-to this winter hands down has been sweaters. I just can't seem to get enough of them and they are one of the only things that have been keeping me warm. I think I mentioned it before, that yellow was a color I never used to wear. I don't exactly know why, but it's one of those colors that I think in my head I thought would never look good on me. I think your taste changes as the years go on so what I might have liked five years ago is probably very different from what I would wear now.

When I came across this ruffle trim sweater, the ruffles on it drew me in right away. I love a good knit sweater to lounge around in, but I also love when a sweater has a fun element to it that also makes it easy to wear in the office and have a bit of a dresser feel. I am happy to say that yellow has been a color I have welcomed into my wardrobe and I really think that brighter colors can help change your mood and make these cooler days feel less dreary. Did I mention it's been cold around here?

Sweater-(c/o-here) | Boots-old (similar here and here) |Jeans-(here) | Coat-old (similar here) | Hat-(similar here) | Gloves-(similar here)
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