Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spring Swing Dress

I just want to dedicate this blog post to this special day in where it's 70 degrees on a Chicago February day. Not in 30 years can I recall a similar occurrence - In fact, it's usually around this time when I start frantically looking for cheap flights to anywhere but here because I can no longer stand my Winter jacket. But this week is different. It's a well-deserved, though certainly not normal, welcome break from the long string of gray skies and hibernation we have endured. For all the times we ask ourselves, "Why do I live here?," we now start to remember. That moment when you can finally breathe outdoors again in the Midwest is so appreciated because it always seems like decades have passed since you dined on your deck or went for a run on actual pavement...or wore a dress WITHOUT tights. SWEET FREEDOM!

I took a chance on that last one and ran with it, as I'm certain this weather isn't here to stay. I was grateful for every minute spent outside in this lightweight swing dress (on major sale, BTW), which feels more like pj's than casual wear because it's made of tencel, the softest material I never knew existed - FYI, it's a cotton alternative made from natural fibers. PLUS, the swing style is more than perfect for this preggo gal...these days, I love things with a little extra room.

As for a mini bump update, baby and I are feeling pretty great as we close in on 18 weeks. Honestly, I only feel pregnant in the sense that my clothes no longer fit like they used to (holy Dolly Parton changes!). My belly has been on a growth spurt so I finally gave in and bought a few new pairs of regular jeans (just sized up) AND a two pairs of maternity jeans, panels and all (review to come!). 

I can't say I'm in love with the style of the elastic band around the waistline but they definitely offer some comfort & relief, whereas my "rubber banding plan" for my regular jeans has grown a bit tired. I think this means it's about time to invest in a belly band too...Lisa highly recommends it for getting more use out of your go-to pairs of jeans, plus I think it's a Mom-to-be right of passage sort of deal :) 


P.S. My beautiful Mother/best friend graciously snapped these photos for me (as she does quite often and I am so thankful!), and suggested I go for the "Mary Tyler Moore" to end our shoot. "Throw your jacket up in the air, it will be great," she said. I sighed, assuming it would be ridiculous but you know what? That tiny moment was fun and had us both laughing...a great reminder that it doesn't pay to take anything too seriously. You're gonna make it after all ;) 

Cheers to Sunshine & sightings of Spring!


Dress: c/o J. Jill 
Jacket: Old Navy - Similar
OTK Boots: Amazon - Similar
Bag: Old Navy - Similar
Hair Clip: Headbands of Hope - Similar under $15
Sunnies: LOFT

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Workout Style with MPG Sport

I received the product(s) mentioned in this post for free from MPG Sport.  This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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The only thing better then this unseasonable warm weather is all the outdoor exercise we are able to do lately! On this day, in February, it was 70 degrees out. No coats needed, we just enjoyed the sunshine and vitamin D. All four of us went on a family bike ride and I also went out for a solo run. I love exercise but even more so, I love exercise clothing. We've said it here before on the blog, and we'll say it again, it's way more fun to workout when you love the clothes you are wearing. I am convinced I work out better when I am dressed in cute clothes! Hey, whatever works, right?

We as bloggers owe it to you as our readers to not stand behind products or brands that we do not truly love and want to support. MPG Sport is the only brand we are affiliate members of because we truly love the products they put out. These workout clothes are not only stylish but comfortable, well fitting, and the quality is outstanding! Truly, every item is so well made, it's no wonder we decided to join the program. Don't just take my word for it, try it out for yourselves! Receive 15% off regular priced styles (one-time use per customer) using code "SISTERS15". This offer is valid until 12/31/2017. 

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Top, Sports Bra, & Pants: c/o MPG Sport // Shoes: Nike // Hat: ASOS 

What is your favorite workout?
Do you own any MPG Sport items yet? 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Maternity Monday: How to Make Preggatini's

"By my second trimester, I started dreaming about my delivery. In the dream, I popped the baby out effortlessly and, immediately, the nurse handed me a big ol' margarita on the rocks, no salt. Turns out, that dream never came true. But I do remember my first post-pregnancy martini with my girlfriends at our local bar. It's the best drink I ever had." - Brett Paesel, Author

Mom's to be: I think it's safe to say we all experience this feeling at some point. As I turned another corner and my baby bump grew from an avocado to a pomegranate in our 17 week mark, I must admit: The craving for a cocktail has grown. In the first trimester, I didn't think about it much because I was too busy adjusting to how tired I was (and that nasty metal taste in my mouth -- any other Preggo ladies have that problem?). 

So, the fact that my favorite red wine was missing from our dinner table wasn't so obvious during that phase. But as time goes on, and Mexican meals/nights out with friends continue to be planned, I do feel a little envious I can't partake. 

I think the jealously increased a bit these past few days with the surprise return of Spring -- We spent the whole weekend outdoors and even dined al fresco a few times and I couldn't help but thinking how perfect a mimosa in the sun would have been. That said, I haven't missed the negative aspects of drinking at all...I feel fantastic every Saturday and Sunday morning and look forward to starting the day early, instead of feeling sluggish from a drink or two the night before (yes, that's pretty much all it takes these days. I'm a cheap date!). There are no "empty calories" to regret (though, those kind of come in the form of ice cream these days) and our restaurant bills are certainly much lower. 

But with all that said, I don't see why there's any reason Mom's to be should have to feel completely left out in during moments of just have to find a way to modify, much like most things during the 9 months. My husband was so sweet and bought me a "Preggatini" recipe book for Christmas. forecasting that I may start to miss our wine and pasta nights, he figured this would be a good way for us to have some fun with mocktails. He figured right!

Because it was in the 60's this weekend, I decided to make two of the Spring-Summer-ish recipes to keep the good vibes going. Hope these temps are here to stay!

1) Coconut Key Lime Momtini 

4 ounces limeade (lime juice and simple syrup)
2 ounces coconut milk
2-3 drops vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut flakes

Shake all ingredients with ice. 
Strain into a martini glass and sprinkle with coconut flakes on surface of drink.

2) The Mama Sunrise

Orange or Mango Juice (I used mango)
2 dashes Grenadine
1 lime


Take a highball glass and fill it with cracked ice. Add the juice to the top of glass and then carefully pour the grenadine onto the surface of the drink. The grenadine will slowly sink to the bottom for the beautiful sunrise effect.


Mom's & Mom's to be -- Do you have any fun mocktail recipes? 
I'd love to hear!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pregnant in Peplum

I feel like peplum has made a triumphant return and being a little more than 4 months pregnant means I have no qualms with this situation ;) I remember how popular the style was in 2013-ish because multiple of my friends wore peplum to my bridal showers and Lisa and I each had peplum tanks that we wore relentlessly. 

I don’t know that it ever actually went away but I really like some of the new ways I’m seeing it styled throughout retail outlets and via other bloggers. There are so many cute styles, whether it's stripes, polka dots, short sleeves, tank top, long in length or cropped and I will admit, I want them all! A little extra ruffled material around the waist is not only fun and feminine but perfect for a rapidly-growing bump and my maternity seems to be happening overnight, guys! I think I need a few more of these babies (clothing, not humans that is…let’s just start with one of those for now!)


How do you feel about the peplum style?
Like, love, hate?


Peplum Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: c/o J. Jill
Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Bag: Just Fab
Sunglasses: H&M
Necklace: Old (similar)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rocked it & Swapped it: Navy Faux Leather Jacket

Sweater weather may still be upon us but when we want to change it up and dress up our looks a bit, we always look to the leather jacket. Since late Winter/early Spring temps can vary, especially between day and night, layering is key. A black leather jacket is a staple piece that should be in everyone's closet but with brighter colors and sunshine around the corner, we're shedding the traditional style for fun addition to our outerwear collection. The navy blue leather is a unique twist on a classic and really pops, whether it's styled with similarly colored maxi dress or floral beauty.

By the way, the one we're both wearing here is on sale for $27 down from $90 (and also comes in cream color!) If you want to buy it in both colors, we support it ;)

Do you own any different colored leather jackets?
We've got our eyes on pink for Spring!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bell Sleeves & Braids

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I have to say, I am loving all the bell sleeve styles currently selling everywhere I look. I still can't get enough of my bell sleeve turtleneck, but I am happy to trade it in on these warmer days for a breezy blouse like the one I styled here. This outfit was perfect for a weekend brunch at my in-laws house. The blouse is so flowy and comfortable, I definitely had lots of room in case I wanted a bit more bacon or a second mimosa (OK, I'll admit it, I had both this day)! ;)

I wanted to style this blouse with black skinny jeans but then I felt like I was wearing too much black for a Sunday with the fam bam. So, I simply did what any fashion minded individual would do. I added lots of plum accessories and gold jewelry of course! Seriously though, is plum not the best color ever right now? I'm still lusting over these boots and I've had them since Fall. The chains on the heel though....swoon!

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Top: c/o Style & Co. // Jacket: Sheinside (similar) // Jeans: Gap // Boots: Michael Kors (similar)  Bag: c/o Sole Society // Sunglasses: Kate Spade // Moon Ring & Earrings: Express
Large Ring: c/o Park Lane Jewelry
Are you embracing the retro bell sleeve styles? 
What do you think of this pairing?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mom Monday: Mother-Daughter Date

Becoming a mother was hands down the best thing I have ever done in my life. It is what I am most proud of and something that challenges me on a daily basis. That said, it truly is the hardest job I've ever had, but one I constantly try to raise the bar on as I am responsible for two other lives. The interesting part is what worked for one year, month, or week all of a sudden no longer works. These beings are ever changing and so are their needs and my (daily) responsibilities. So every so often, we as parents need to make a shift in our parenting techniques. 

Having babies was hard, exhausting even, but looking back those were the easy days. They didn't climb on anything (to fall off of) or talk back for that matter. ;) Having toddlers was maddening, but again looking back, a lot of stress (I did have two young children who both had IEP's...yes, that was a very stressful time!), and chaos, but also a whole lot of laughs and amazing memories!  Now I have a six and an eight year old. These ages are both fun and so hard in their own ways. My kids are trying to figure our where they belong in this world, what sports or activities make them happy, trying to make friends and fit in at a new school, this is an entire new chapter! They are no longer little kids, but miniature people who have all of the feelings and stresses that being in school all day and having their own responsibilities that comes with things like homework, chores, etc. 

This year specifically, we have needed to shift the parenting once again. It's so easy to get stuck in the day to day grind that you forget to stop and just talk with your kids. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have dinner together every night and discuss our days and chat before or after our nightly book reading time, but I'm talking really being included in what's going on in their heads. Enter date days/night with our children.  

For our first date of the year, my husband went out with my son and I was blessed with a mother-daughter date. I let her pick all the activities. She told me she wanted to go painting so I found the cutest little place in Geneva called Color Me Mine. You pay a flat rate to enter and then you purchase the item you want to paint. My daughter chose a "Love" statue for her desktop and I opted for a jewelry dish. Next up, we chose our colors and from there we just chatted and painted. The entire room is so charming, it was easy to forget I was there with a six year old, I was just hanging out with one of my best girls. She talked and talked and even vented about things that have been stressing her out lately and I just sat there and listened. I think I said "Really, how come?" about twenty times! 


After we were done paining, we paid and were told we'd be getting a call once the pieces were fired in the kiln and ready for pickup. She proclaimed this was the best day ever, but she was hungry so next we went out to lunch. We ended up at CPK and ordered pizza and lemonade. From there we had lots more laughs and quite a bit more girl talk. No, really! She was asking about daddy and how I knew he was the one I was going to marry. It's always fun to see what going on in the beautiful head of hers! During lunch she told me she wanted to get a diary and although I'm not all about getting my kids whatever they want exactly when the want it, this was our special day together. So, shortly after lunch I found a Claires Boutique and picked up a diary with a lock and key. This day was so special to me and it was so wonderful to not only hear her say the same, but watch her write just that in her new diary! 

About four days later Color Me Mine called and said the ceramics were ready for pickup. I dashed back to Geneva while my daughter was at school mostly because I was so excited to see how they turned out. I think they are beautiful. When she got home from school that day, I had both pieces sitting out on the table and she shrieked when she saw them! "They are done? Daddy look, this is what we made on our special day!" Awww, my heart! Now, I can't wait to see what is to come when I take my son on our date. To be continued...

As parents, do you too find you need to shift tactics every few years? 
What do you do to make sure you are getting quality time in with your kids?