Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I hope it's been a good one for you. This week has been an interesting one for us with some crazy weather and being without power at our house. It could always be a lot worse but it doesn't necessarily make things easy. We were out for three days and it kind of felt like a lifetime.

I will be traveling to Charleston for a girls trip next week so it will be a little quiet around here. I contemplated scheduling posts out but to be honest, I like to check up when a post goes live and read comments as they come through, schedule pins, and all that good stuff. I just don't feel like I could give my attention to things while I'm away. I also want to focus on disconnecting a bit and spending time with friends. A quick break will be a nice treat. I'm hopeful that you who enjoy this little space of mine will visit when I get back. I also have some exciting and fun things to share in the next few weeks to come and I'm sure I will be sharing some of our trip on my insta stories (@beautifully_candid) if you'd like to follow along there.

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

1. Muffins with mom: last week I got to enjoy muffins with mom with my two favorite little boys. I was so thankful that their school staggered the times so that mother's with more than one child could spend time with each of them. I got so spoiled with tons of hugs and kisses, adorable crafts, tasty treats, and my boys really know how to make me feel like a million dollars with their sweet compliments and telling me how much they love me. I really am so blessed and I even teared up at some points. And don't mind these selfies, I am the worst at them and my arms just are not long enough.

2. Mother's day: I woke up to snuggles in my bed and sweet kisses from my little nuggets. It was mine and Eric's week to teach Sunday school so we started our day off with twelve little three year olds who were so well behaved and so sweet. It's usually not always like that, so it was a nice surprise. After church we met my sister, brother, mom, and in-laws out for brunch at a local place called Pig and Prince. It's a pretty cool spot that was an old train station that they renovated into a restaurant. Unfortunately it rained all day so our plans of going to a park afterwards and spending time outside just didn't happen. We did stop by a greenhouse on the way home because they boys wanted to pick me out flowers. I think little nugget missed the memo that we weren't supposed to actually pick the flowers. Uh oh.

3. Master's degree: I don't like to come off as bragging but I can't help being proud of Eric. Seriously, I don't think there is anything my husband can't do. I am so appreciative of his hard work, constant drive, and always thinking outside of the box. Last week he completed his finals and got his final grades which earned him his Master's degree in Clinical Research Organization and Management from Drexel. On Friday during my lunch break, I snuck home to put up some decorations and picked up some of the tastiest pizzas to celebrate. I heard about this local place that does these crazy combinations and is also famous for their dessert pizzas. Well they did not disappoint. His favorite is cannoli so that was the top choice for a dessert pizza and we all loved it! We beat him home that day (he had no idea I was doing this) and all hid under the kitchen table and jumped out and yelled surprise when he came home. It was so cute because little nugget kept saying it was daddy's birthday and then when we kept saying it was for his graduation, he would say, oh his congratulations.

4. Mom boss: I got to attend an event with one of my fellow NJ mom bloggers/influencers at a local department store. It was so nice to meet Karen from Paris and a Latte in person. We have been insta friends for a while now and it's always nice to connect with others and show support. Plus who doesn't love to do a little shopping and get some goodies.

5. Day in the life: in case you missed it, we had our girl chat link up yesterday for May where we shared a day in the life. Of course the day I picked to document our day was when a storm hit and we lost power. It just goes to show that things can happen at anytime and such is life. I am hoping to put together another one of these at some point and hopefully it will be more of a typical day at our house with no shortage of power.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!! I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get back. Here's where you can find me linking for all the link up fun.

A Day In The Life-Girl Chat Link Up

I always enjoy reading these posts and seeing how everyone's days go, but I've never done one myself. I had a lot of fun with this but it isn't the easiest thing to remember to document everything. At least for me it wasn't. For the sake of convenience, I took pictures with my phone and tried to keep it simple. 

I documented our Tuesday 5/15 which would have been a typical day for us, and it did start out that way, but ended very different. Such is life and you deal with things as they come...

5:03am: way too early for my liking I heard the birds chirping outside of my window and had a hard time falling back to sleep. 

6:24am: little nugget comes into our room which is rare for him because he usually calls for us to come get him out of bed. He needed to go to the bathroom so we helped him out. We also noticed he must have been bit by a mosquito in his sleep, right smack dab in the middle of his forehead. At that point Eric woke up and got in the shower and I gladly stayed in bed. 

6:55am: my alarm goes off and I hit snooze. 

7:05am: I get up, look at my phone, check my email real quick, read my verse of the day and drag myself out of bed. Little nugget is upset about what I picked out for him to wear. He wants to wear the same outfit he had on yesterday but he has watermelon all over the front of it, so we compromise and let him pick something out. A dinosaur shirt and sweats were his outfit of choice. 

7:08am: A wakes up because he hears little nugget yelling and comes in with the sweetest smile and to give me a hug.

7:10am: I turn my pandora on to the elevation worship station and have it playing while I get in the shower. I try to start my day with some worship music and spending time in prayer. I hear ruckus going on in my room so I decide to skip washing my hair. Even if I wanted to, I was running behind because I usually wake up earlier when I wash my hair. Looks like it's a dry shampoo kind of day.

7:25am: I head to my closet to get ready. I have my clothes picked out from the night before and do my makeup in there. 

7:30am: Eric takes the boys downstairs for breakfast. They have their staples they like, cereal, pancakes, or waffles. A goes for his usual of waffles with peanut butter (he does not like syrup) and little nugget throws everyone off with a tantrum of not wanting any of that and decides he wants a bowl of soup instead. Soup?! I mean, he wasn't asking for cookies or chocolates, so we pick and choose our battles. Thankfully we had some chicken noodle soup so that's what he got. I really think that dang mosquito bite really threw him off. 

7:55am: I'm done getting dressed and putting my make up on so I head down stairs. Eric already has the boys backpacks and lunch bags set, hair done, and shoes on (he is seriously father of the year). I grab my breakfast to bring to work and head outside.

8:03am: I am trying to round the boys up to get in the car as they are running around the backyard with a bug net trying to catch a fly. We finally get the boys in the car but realize the dog is still outside so I run back to let him in the house.

8:08am: we are on the road and in route to drop them off at day care. 

8:22am: we pull into the parking lot, I unload them, grab the backpacks, nap mat (we forgot that on Monday) and get them situated in their class rooms. 

8:35am: I arrive at work, turn on my computer, check my emails, check my faxes, resume inboxes, and see what crazy awaits for the day. So you understand what I do on a daily basis, I'm a corporate HR Manager for a company in the retail and fashion industry. It's hard to explain if someone isn't familiar with the industry, but we run and operate a leased department inside of major department stores across the US and Canada.

8:52am: I grab that breakfast I threw in my purse.

9:28am: I'm called into a 9:30am meeting that I didn't know about, but it's all good. 

10:30am: I'm back at my desk. I sneak in a few minutes to try and get some blog reading in and comment on my favorites. That's short lived when my phone rings and it's an issue with an employee who is behaving badly. Sometimes I really feel like half of my job is babysitting. 

11:30am: I hop onto bloglovin and try to catch up with as many blogger friends as I can in between taking phone calls and printing things out. I have another situation I have to deal with so work flow it is.

1:24pm: I leave for lunch. I usually take a later lunch so this is nothing new. I am lucky enough to live relatively close to my job so I head home on my lunch break to try and conquer the world. I get home and let Coaty out, start dinner for tonight, make myself a salad and sit outside since it's so nice out. I have a sponsored instagram post that needs to go live so I get that taken care of. It just earned the boys some extra money going into their college funds, so priorities.

2:38pm: I get back into work and find three missed calls and two voice messages. For the remained of the afternoon I have a few people come in and out of my office. I have to draft a disciplinary action for someone not following directives. I get an employee situated with FMLA paperwork since they will be going out on a leave of absence, and other random daily tasks.

4:33pm: a crazy storm rolls in and it looks so bad outside. The wind is blowing like crazy and there is thunder and lighting. The power goes out twice but comes on right after. Of course it happen right in the middle of sending out an email.

5:08pm: I head out of the office a little earlier than I normally would. The rain is crazy and there are trees down, things blown into the road, and that sky is angry. It's dropped over 20 degrees from lunch time and you would have never known it was the same day.

5:14pm: I get to the kids school and find that they are all in one classroom because the power was going in and out in parts of the building.

5:46pm: it takes me a lot longer to get home than normal because some roads only having one lane open. We pass a huge tree down up the street from us and I know this can't be anything good. We run into the house and my feeling was right, no power.

6:00pm: luckily I made dinner during my lunch break so we quickly open the fridge and take everything out and use a lighter to heat the burners on our stove. We have our taco night and eat by candlelight.

6:30pm: the boys play games by candlelight, we build blocks with them, and make the best of it. We have portable chargers so Eric and I could still use our phones and have mobile hot spots. We called my brother in Chicago to talk to him for a little while and the boys were running around the house with him on speaker phone.

8:08pm: we take the boys upstairs to get ready for bed, brush their teeth, and get them tucked in. We put flashlights in their rooms as nightlights but little nugget is really unsettled and scared of the big booms.

9:15pm: we've already gone into little nuggets room twice now and he asks to come sleep in our bed. We bring him in and within five minutes he falls asleep curled up next to me. I let him lay there for a little while and both Eric and I stare at him as he makes the cutest faces and moves his arms in his sleep. We carry him back into his bed until he makes his way back in our room somewhere around 4:00am. 

The rest of the night I spent browsing the internet and talking with Eric. This isn't so typical because after the boys go to bed we're usually packing lunches for the next day, doing dishes, laundry, starting the dishwasher, and then finally sitting down to watch some tv together.

11:00pm we head to bed and make it an earlier night.

We wake up the next morning and still have no power. I don't want to complain because I know it could be a lot worse, but it is so crazy how dependent we become on something so simple as electricity.

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

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week. This week has been something else for me.  My allergies have been so bad that I honestly haven't felt like doing much of anything.  I get really bad nasal inflammation and it was so bad this year, with so much pressure, that it even made my teeth hurt. Kind of weird. Anyway, Eric was away with his brother last weekend so I was riding solo. Thank God my mom and sister came up to help me because I'm not sure I would have made it through without them.

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

This post contains affiliate links in which I get commission for purchases or clicks made at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.

1. Airstream: since Eric was away, and I barely left my living room, we did not get a lot done on the Airstream this week. But, our couch cover and custom curtains are done. We went with a more plush futon mattress because mama will need a good night sleep once we are camping. We also had the curtains reinforced with blackout shades in the back, because when you are camping, that sun is coming up no matter if you're ready to wake up or not. Now we just need to hang all of them, which will be time consuming because they each go into a track with tons of little pieces.

2. Cindo de mayo: this was actually the only time I left the house last weekend and I survived the few hours we went out. I mentioned I wanted to head out early with the boys to avoid all the craziness and it could not have worked out better. My mom came with us and we went for lunch. The boys were great, the food was really good, and by the time we left there were was a line out the door and there were cars lined up to try and get our parking spot.

3. NJ family magazine: a statewide magazine recently did a mother's day gift guide article and I was one of the bloggers/influencers asked to be apart of it. I was really excited because this is the first time my name, blog, and instagram (@beautifully_candid) were mentioned in a publication. It's a pretty well known magazine for our state and I even had a few friends text me before I mentioned anything that said they were so happy to see the article. You all know me and my love for sunglasses, it was only natural that was the item I suggested for moms to treat themselves to.

4. Motherhood: speaking of mother's day, in case you missed it I shared early this week what I've learned since becoming a mother. I partnered with a few other bloggers for a fun mother's day blog hop where we shared our thoughts. I am so appreciative of all the responses I got, pins, shares, and love on this post. You all are the reason I keep on coming back to this space of mine.

5. Favorite finds: you all know I love hitting a good sale so when I saw Target's BOGO sale on dresses, not browsing their site wasn't an option. I picked up this yellow midi ruffle hem dress and thought it would be really cute for our Italy trip. I have been loving the midi length (even though I'm on the shorter side) and I have a feeling that throwing on a sun dress will be my go-to on vacation. Well since it's a BOGO sale, I couldn't pass up the deal and also hit purchase on this tie front dress. I have been wanting a neutral pair of wedges and came across these that are really cute.

I hope all of you beautiful mothers, and all women, have an extra special weekend. May the memories you've created live forever and the sweet moments of making new ones fill your day. Happy Mother's Day!

What I've Learned Since Becoming a Mother

Today I'm joining several other amazing bloggers to share more about our experiences as mothers in celebration of mother's day to come. I think it's a true understatement that being a mom is the hardest job in the world. 

Boy oh boy, was I clueless before I actually had my own kids. I'm the oldest of five and in a way always kind of felt like a second mom to my sister and brothers. I thought for sure that gave me some sort of advantage and I could handle having my own. I mean, I can handle them, but it's certainly different being on point twenty-four-seven. I shared before 7 goals that every mom should have for herself and that time momming caught up to me. We all have our moments, and if anything, this motherhood journey is a constant learning experience.

I feel like there are so many things I've learned since becoming a mom that it's almost hard to put into words. Of course the ever obvious ones are experiencing love, and joy, and all the happiness that I am so blessed and thankful to experience on a daily basis. But there's also a lot of sides to motherhood that not everyone discusses that I think being transparent sometimes can be a healthy thing for all of us. So here we go...


I feel bad writing this because I know there are so many women out there who are struggling and trying their hardest to start a family or complete their family. I've experienced some struggles, loss, and with every hardship it makes me even more appreciative for the the two blessings I do have. My heart goes out to those that are wondering if it will ever happen for them or for those that no longer have their mother's around. Every time I hear something like that it makes me hug my boys a little harder. I try to be so appreciative even on those crazy-hard-tantrum-throwing-food-ending-up-on-the-floor kind of days.


I've always been a smiley kind of person. Not like a weirdo where I just stare and smile at you, but you know, like friendly. If I see someone in the hallway at work, I'm an I'll smile and say good morning kind of person. Anyway, being a mom brings a whole new meaning to smiling. You find yourself smiling at the most random things. Little nugget draws a picture that he's so excited about and tells you, look it's a dinosaur, mama! But when you look down at that paper it's nothing but a squiggly line, but the best squiggly line dinosaur you've ever seen in your entire life and you can't help but smile and think your kid is destine to be the next Picasso. 


I don't think it's ever intentional but at some point we experience a sense of pride (as we should). Like when you hear that your child helped another kid in class or did something above and beyond, you can't help but feel proud and know that maybe you are doing something right. 


I don't want to start anything here because everyone's marriages are different, but I recently heard a comment made that someone would leave her husband in a heartbeat because her kids come first. Now of course if it was an abusive or unhealthy relationship, then mama do what you need to do. For me, I love my kids more than anything, but it's a completely different love than what I have for my husband. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have my boys. Just because kids come into the picture I don't think dad should take a backseat. 


I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way because believe me, I will defend and fight for my kids until the end, but I am also not naive and one of those parents that thinks my kids can do no wrong. I've seen parent's get upset at teachers and neighborhood kids who aren't nice, and the parents think it's everyone else but their child. If my kids do something wrong we use it as a teachable moment, explain it so they understand it, and allow them the opportunity to do the right thing the next time around. I'm not saying we're perfect or any type of experts, but we also don't sweep things under the rug


Aside from all of the smiles, rewarding feelings, and experiencing a love that is indescribable, let's be real, motherhood can be HARD. It seems like just when you think you have it figured out or some sort of pattern down, all of the sudden things go south. I'm not going to lie, some days it feels easier to drop them off at daycare and then pick them up by 6pm. 


I think no matter if you choose to be a stay at home mom, a working mom, a partial working mom, or whatever other title is out there, I think we've all at some point or another felt guilty about our decisions. But oddly enough, the beautiful thing in all of this is, that we aren't alone. We can all probably relate on some level and the best thing is to not be afraid to reach out to each other or let someone know when you need a break or that it's just one of those days. Acting like you always have it all together only hurts yourself.


I think so many of us take on the role of motherhood and can become consumed with it. I'm not saying there is anything really wrong with that, but when it gets to a point that you feel guilty for even having a girls night, it might be time to question things. It's so important to have that time to feel like yourself and make meaningful connections with others or just sit in quiet and be. It's ok to be a little selfish from time to time. Just as I don't think the mom that takes off for a girls weekend without her kids is any less of a "good" mom than the one that couldn't even bear the thought of leaving her kids for a night. It's all about perspective and finding a balance that works for you. 


There is something about a mother's intuition that you can't even really describe. Even to this day my mom can take one look at me and ask me what's wrong, even if I'm smiling at her. It's the weirdest thing, but also an amazing thing. We figure our children out, and at some points, maybe even know them better than they know themselves.


To wake up everyday and put someone else's happiness, priorities, and feelings before your own. To teach your child the best that you can even if you aren't always sure what the best is. To constantly give yourself grace and know that tomorrow is another day to try even harder. To show your children all of the love there is to offer, because I truly believe there is nothing quite like a mother's love. 

So what about you, what's something motherhood has taught you? Even if you aren't a mom, yet, or you're a dog mom, a step mom, or a one day maybe I'll have kids person, what are your thoughts on motherhood?

Don't forget to check out some of the other bloggers and see how they are sharing their experiences.

Justine @ Little Dove Blog // @littledove.justine 
Jenise @ A Toddler & A Topknot // @atoddlerandatopknot 
Sierra @ Beautifully Candid // @beautifully_candid
Bethany @ Waves & Lilacs // @wavesandlilacs 
Mary Leigh @ Live Well Play Together // @livewellplaytogether
Whitney @ Work It Mommy // @thefamilysmith5
Shani @ Sunshine & Munchkins // @sunshineandmunchkins
Katie @ Thrifty Wife Happy Life // @thriftywifehappylife
Tamara @ Tamara Bratton Blog // @tamaraleebratton

Friday Favorites-First in May

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week. With the exception of Monday we had a beautiful week weather wise. We spent most of our nights hanging out and eating outside and it was so fun to be able to relax and watch the boys play. I had my camera packed away for most of the week and I have to say, as much as I love snapping pics of the boys, it was also so great to just sit and be. 

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

This post contains affiliate links in which I get commission for purchases or clicks made at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.

1. Smithville: if you're in the jersey area, there is a cute little historic town with a bunch of shops and restaurants called Smithville that you can check out. After all these years we've never been before and decided to go to celebrate my dad and mother in-laws birthdays. Their birthdays are two days apart so it worked out perfect. They have a carousel and a train ride that the boys loved going on. They also couldn't get enough of seeing all of the ducks, turtles, and fish at the lake and enjoyed yummy ice cream treats, and snuck free samples at the peanut butter shop. It was a really nice time and we all enjoyed ourselves.

2. Airstream: I will get around to doing some dedicated posts about this fun adventure we are embracing, but for now this is the perfect place to share some of our updates. The kitchen is underway and I am so in love already! If you caught my insta stories (@beautifully_candid) and participated in my poll (thank you so much to my loyal followers) then you saw that I asked about keeping the counter this natural color and just sealing it, or if we should stain it too? My initial thought was to keep it natural and a lot of you agreed. There were still a lot of votes for staining it too, but after looking at some stains and not knowing how it will take to the butcher block, we will be keeping it natural and just sealing it. 

We still have to make cuts in the counter for the sink and stove top, and do some custom work where the fridge is, but having the cabinets in place is already making it feel even more amazing. How fun is this vintage inspired fridge we got?! Next up, our couch cover for our futon bed and the custom curtains should be done soon.

3. Matchy matchy: if you saw my post earlier this week then you caught that little and nugget and I sported our matching camo wear. This is my first pair of camo pants and I got a lot of compliments on them when I wore them. They have a raw edge hem at the bottom that look really cute, and wearing it with lighter colors gives it a more feminine feel. They're currently on sale and Old Navy (or Gap) cardholders get 40% off with code THANKYOU (good until the 6th) and non-cardholders get 30% off. They run a bit big in my opinion. I'm wearing a size two and my hips don't exactly lie.

4. Favorite finds: continuing with shopping, because who doesn't like to see what others are thinking about getting? I have a few things I came across this week. Speaking of Old Navy, and some of our trips we have coming up, I also saw these high-waist swim bottoms that I decided to pull the trigger on. I have so many tops that I can switch out with these and I thought getting a basic color would be perfect for that. And you guys, how can you beat that price?! $9 dollars, ladies!! Don't forget to use that code THANKYOU. I also really liked this knot-front one piece (comes in several colors). There were a ton of really cute things for the boys and A needs some new shorts, so it looks like we all made out.

Since I'll be going on a girls trip in two weeks, I realized that I won't need my huge bag with me. I love the look of a cute round straw bag but I'm not loving the prices of some of the ones I've seen. Well wouldn't you know, I came across this straw crossbody bag and I can't wait for it to come in.


5. Cino de Mayo: since cinco de mayo falls on a Saturday this year we're planning on grabbing some yummy food and venturing out with the boys. We plan on going out earlier because I really don't want them around any rowdy crowds and would like to actually enjoy myself. My mom and sister will be coming by so we were thinking about doing some crafts with the boys in the afternoon. How cute are these homemade sombreros and little maracas? 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!! Here's where you can find me linking for all of the link up fun.
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