Why Not Get to Know Me A Little Better: Here Are 20 Random Bits and Pieces of Me

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Happy Wednesday, you guys! It’s the middle of the week, the prettiest day, and my kids are being extra sweet today – so it’s a win over here. Hashtag winning.

So last week I began a Why Not Wednesday series dedicated to trying new things, going outside my comfort zone, and really shaking things up a bit. I did try several things I might not have tried before in the past week – but that’ll have to wait.

Because I’m the boss and I get to do things like that.

But really, because I have so many new followers and subscribers, and I wanted to re-introduce myself to everyone, open up a little, and let you in a bit more. Because…why not? I promise I think I’m more fascinating than I really am, but still. Getting to know people is fun.

So here’s the quick information you might already know. Feel free to keep ready past this to the fun stuff, but stick around for a sec if you don’t already know me.

I’m a wife to my high school sweetheart. We were set up on a blind date, I knew I’d marry him the night I met him – and I was right. We have four little ones. Our oldest daughter is 9 next month. Our middle daughter turned 6 in March, and our boy/girl twins turned 3 in March. We are lifelong Floridians who are living our little dream. We both work from home. My husband is a tech genius, I’m a writer, and I started blogging at the beginning of 2017 after almost 9 years of web content creation for a really long and exciting and kind-of impressive list of clients (not to sound full of myself, but I really do have a list of super impressive clients and I’ve gotten to do some of the most spectacular things since starting my company in 2008). I’m 5’3, naturally blonde, but then naturally brunette, now artificially blonde because I am now naturally silver.

Are you following? I like long walks on the beach, except I don’t because I’m not a fan of sand. I know, I’m the worst Florida girl ever, right?

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That said, here are 20 random facts about me (random is my middle name, guys).

  1. I have an abnormal fear of tubs. I can’t sit in them, look at them, or even bathe my own kids. They freak me out. It’s something about grout and corners and small spaces and sitting naked in water filled with your own filthe. OMG. I shudder even thinking about it.
  2. I’ve never had a C-Section, and I can’t figure out why this is so shocking to people.
  3. My husband and I spent 10 days in Hawaii for my 24th birthday in 2007 and never once stepped foot in the ocean. We spent every waking moment looking at it. From the pool bar, the lobby bar, the restaurants – but I don’t like sand.
  4. My favorite moment ever in life (aside from the super important things like getting married and having kids and stuff) was a Thursday night during Fashion Week in NYC in 2015. My husband and I were done with all of our events for the evening and chose to book a late dinner reservation at a little place called Il Tinello because Regis Philbin always talked about it on Live with Regis and Kelly. And I love Regis. So we booked, we ate, we ordered a couple bottles of wine, and we loved every second of it – but never more than the actual moment Regis and Joy walked into this small, completely spectacular, amazing little gem and were seated at the table next to us. And SPOKE TO US. Best. Day. Ever.
  5. We actually end up hanging out with celebrities all the time by accident, but I’ve never been impressed. Until Regis. I mean, we sat down next to Nicole Richie at the Chateau Marmont and had cocktails, had lunch at the table next to LeeLee Sobieski at The Ivy, had an entire conversation in an elevator with Bill Murray, had dinner at Tavern on the Green while freaking Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood were there, and dozens more. And I don’t even care. But OMG. I cared so much about my quality time with Regis.

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  1. I prefer to wear men’s cologne to perfume. I think I just like to smell like my husband. Well that makes me sound crazy and stalkerish and obsessed.
  2. I have cameras and parking sensors, and every device imaginable to show me exactly where to go and what to do, but I suck at parking. It’s really, really bad.
  3. I won’t park in the front row anywhere I go if I don’t have the kids with me. I feel those spots should go to moms with their hands full of little people. Less parking lot time, more safety.
  4. I always put the cart in the return at the supermarket. Unless it’s raining. Eff that.
  5. I think my husband is one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, but I’m not telling him for fear he might (gasp) realize I’m not always right.

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  1. I wake up at 5 am every morning, but I like to sleep until 8:30 on the weekends – and my husband has never complained once about getting up with the kids and letting me do just that. I love that.
  2. I really have come to love being at home more than anything else. Maybe it’s because with four kids we are always busy and it’s not by choice. When I have the choice to be busy or to relax, I’d rather just relax. I have to find a happy medium or else I’m going to become a total recluse – and I don’t want that!
  3. My husband changes more diapers than I.
  4. I clean my car out every single day. Multiple times. Anytime I have the kids or someone else in the car with me, I pull into the garage, unload them, and grab my always plugged in shop vac and run it over the floors. It takes me approximately 30 seconds each time – but it provides me all the happiness. I get anxiety if my car is dirty.

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  1. I shower 3-4 times a day. I don’t like to be sweaty or feel dirty.
  2. I can’t even imagine being a small family again. I love being a big family. I love knowing we always have a house full of people we love so much – and we always will.
  3. I like people who love their life.
  4. I could never work for someone else. I’ve spent almost a decade working for me, and I love every second of it. I love being in charge of my schedule, I love working because it never feels like work, and I love making new connections, networking, and being in control of what I earn and how I live. It was always a pipe dream growing up, but I never thought it was possible to work for myself doing anything like this. I’m grateful for it every day.
  5. My 6-year-old is the funniest person I know in life. She is seriously hilarious, and I get why people just love her.
  6. I choose gratefulness and happiness each day – and I’m mostly good at it – but I do feel that I lack in one area. I’m working on rectifying that. No one in my life does the same thing I do, so no one gets just how much work, effort, and hustle goes into every waking moment of my day to allow for the kind of success I’ve had. I crave a community of people who do what I do, who get it, and who just get it.

So there you go. Now you know a little more about me, probably mostly that I’m really neurotic and anal-retentive, and obsessive about so many things. You also know that while I never hesitate to tell you my kids are sometimes assholes, I really do love them and wouldn’t trade any of them for the world (most days).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve taken advantage of my #bossbabe status this week and carved out some much-needed time with my family. Shopping and lunch on Monday, a movie with the big kids on Tuesday, and right now I’m shutting down and spending the day spending time with my father-in-law who is visiting us from NC this week before we head out to enjoy dinner with friends. Because (hashtag) sometimes I do stop working long enough to enjoy the why behind my work ethic and drive.

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Friday Favorites: The 5 Things I Do For Myself When I Need to Recharge My Soul

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Four kids + one business + a husband + a house + social life + children’s activities = One busy mama.

I’m (hashtag) blessed, you guys. I married a man who doesn’t have a traditional view of “men and women” in the home. He’s the kind of guy who goes above and beyond for us – every single day. He does 95% of the laundry, he vacuums the carpets in our house every night, he cooks, he cleans, he gets the kids dressed for school, and he changes most of the diapers. He respects my business and does whatever he needs to do to support me so I succeed.

He also has a career that keeps him very busy. He’s a senior systems engineer, and he works from home. Hard. He works hard, but the man never stops. What I’m trying to say is I’m really nowhere near as tired as much as I could be or would be if it weren’t for him.

But even with all he does, I’m still tired. I started my business almost 9 years ago, and I’m adding to it each and every day. This year I decided to learn to say yes to new opportunities, and that’s what I’ve done. In addition to my already long list of clients, I’ve started my own blog and decided to expand my business. I work every waking moment of every day. And I wouldn’t change a thing. My success is important to me, as is the freedom it provides me.

When people ask me why I work so hard as a business owner and my own boss, I have a simple answer. I want to. I want to work hard. I thrive on hard work and dedication. I love being in my office at home, and I love creating and developing and making my clients happy. I love it. I don’t feel like it’s work. It’s my passion, and I’d spend even more time in my office if I could. I’m such a big believer in working hard and playing hard; and that’s precisely what I do.

That said – I do get burnt out from time to time. I put in 16-18 hour days most days. It’s not all work; it’s kids, activities, social life, date nights, and all things related to being all the things I am. But I’m tired sometimes. Obviously by sometimes I mean every moment of every day. Tired, though, is my way of life. It’s the burnt out part that bothers me. That’s why today’s Friday Faves focuses on the things that help me de-stress, relax, and unwind. They’re what make me feel better and stronger – and just maybe they’ll help you do the same.

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I Exercise Daily 

For real, guys. I hit the gym every day. I need to exercise. It gives me energy, makes me feel strong, and it motivates me. I like all kinds of exercise, and recently began trying new classes. Yoga, spin, whatever. I’m down with anything that makes me sweat and pushes me beyond my comfort zone.

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I Keep A Peaceful, Happy Home 

I need, need, need order in my life, and a peaceful home is one of my favorite things. By peaceful, I mean I need to feel good when I’m home. I need a clean home. I need it to smell nice, and I need a lot of bright light. Fresh flowers, decadent candles, and order create a perfect marriage of a peaceful home for me. I work from home, and I need to feel relaxed when I’m there.

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I Focus On Self-Development

Some people prefer a day at the spa or a night out – both of which I adore – but it’s time to practice self-development that I love. It’s listening to an inspirational podcast (the Becoming Fearless Style Collective Podcast by Annie Spano is EVERYTHING, you guys) in the car on the way to drop my kids off at school, or reading a book that motivates me to push myself further than I’m currently pushing. I’m all about being better, doing better, and always learning.

I love to hear the stories of others, to find inspiration in their words, and motivation to help me grow. I live by the knowledge that I certainly don’t know everything – and I never will. I want to learn something new each day, and I want to push myself to do more. I am a sucker for self-development. It’s my favorite way to unwind. Journaling, praying, podcast-listening, and reading are my jam.

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I Hang With My Family

I won’t lie – I’m never relaxed when I’m hanging out with my kids. Our oldest will be 9 next month, our “middle” daughter is 6, and our twins are 3. There’s no such thing as relaxing with them, but I do feel recharged and really good when I get to spend time with them. And it’s not just being in the same room or the same house or at the same party – I crave actual family time. As much as I enjoy spending time with others, I need my family to myself sometimes. I need to be able to play with my kids and my husband without interference or distractions.

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I love being present while they play with their friends and we spend quality time with ours – but I need to have time in my life where there are no other people around and we get to be a family of six who spends real, quality, good time together. I’m exhausted, and usually annoyed, and probably over it by the end of the day, but oh my goodness do I feel good that we had that time. So, restful? No. But I’m recharged.

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Date nights and weekends away – yes, please. I can’t get enough. My sweet best friend recently pointed out how much time Craig and I get to spend together, and I told her we just need it. We work from home together all day, but we don’t speak. He’s doing his job, I’m doing mine, and we don’t socialize during the day. Half the kids are home all summer, we’re constantly busy, and we need time to spend alone.

He is my favorite person, and our date nights every other week and our weekends away every few months are everything. I come home feeling so rested and relaxed – but my cheeks always hurt. We spend a lot of time laughing, and I can’t stop smiling when we have time alone. I love it.

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I Relish the Quiet Moments

I can’t get enough of them. Probably because I don’t get enough of them. Like I said, I have a family of six. My house is noise and chaos from 7 am to 7 pm every single day. Unless they’re not home or asleep, we don’t even know what quiet sounds like.

But I do live for the quiet moments. I love to steal 10 minutes sitting outside on our deck with the appropriate beverage (coffee, wine) and listening to absolutely nothing. I love it even more when it’s raining because I can sit on my front porch in my red rocking chairs and listen to the rain. I love the moments when my husband is in the shower in the morning and the kids are asleep and the whole house is quiet while I have my coffee.

Basically, I need a little bit of quiet, a lot of noise and tiny kisses and laughs, my husband, and cleanliness to recharge. We all need that time – and since Friday is my favorite day, and these are my favorite things to do when I’m in need of a de-stress, I wanted to share.

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How do you unwind?

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Why Not Wednesday: Why Not Follow These Three #Bossbabes Today?

 

Trying new things makes us well-rounded, more worldly people, right? It’s easy to look back and see how trying new things has helped me to evolve and grow as a person, a wife, a mother, a writer, and newly-minted blogger…yet most new things must be forced on people while they may or may not throw an internal temper-tantrum to rival that of the worst 2-year-old. You do that, right? No? Asking for a friend…

I like working on me, and that means trying new things. I thought it might be fun to try a weekly series where I try something new, bring it to you, and share it with you. This week I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite reads this week. I’ve yet to share what I read when I’m procrastinating doing anything productive spending a few moments relaxing over my third first cup of coffee.

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Summer is here and we are all looking for a little DIY project to take on, but we definitely don’t want to get all messy at home. This DIY embroidered suede heel project by Rebecca at Beckabella Style is To. Die. For.

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Shopping is my cardio and buying new stuff for my house is one of my favorite things to do. Becky at Daly Digs created a weekly series called Friday Finds where she’s sharing what she’s come across that we need to know about. Her eye for style, design, and decor is seriously kick ass.

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I live for a sarcasm, coffee, and wine – and a graphic tee that tells you how I feel definitely speaks to me (and for me, since people-ing isn’t always my thing). The gorgeous ladies behind Caffeinated Curls always bring the cutest styles and this one is no exception. And can I just say that I’ll miss their posts the rest of the summer, but I do admire their tenacity and desire to live life their way while they get their vision together for the future?

If you aren’t following these #bossbabes yet, run – don’t walk – to their sites and get to it. They’re all on Instagram, and they’re all worth the follow.

I’m excited about this new series each week, and I can’t wait to see what kind of new venture next Wednesday will bring! Is it a new recipe? A new style? Stay tuned next week to find out!

6 Easy Tools to Set the Tone for A Great Week Ahead

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Bottomless mimosas overlooking the bay in Tampa followed by a day of shopping til we dropped with my favorite person by my side is my idea of a gorgeous day. Any day with my husband, best friend, partner in crime, built-in comedian is a gorgeous day – only made more gorgeous by the fact our four sweet little ones were with Nana for the day and we got to enjoy an entire day by ourselves doing grownup things (like using the restroom alone). That’s how we spent our day last Sunday. It was nice.

Monday, on the other hand, was not so nice.

It was a chaotic morning.

I don’t like chaotic mornings.

I like order and efficiency, and I like not being exhausted.

Monday sets the tone for my week, and that’s why I work hard on Sundays to make sure Mondays are good days. With four kids, a business to run, a husband to love, a house to care for, a busy travel schedule, and a busy social life, I don’t get a lot of down time, but I’ve found I really crave downtime more than anything else. I need Sundays “off” or the rest of my week is a mess.

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Ah, Mondays. So many people view them as negative, but I don’t hate them. I’ve said it before, but I really do believe Monday is a lovely day (can you tell I like schedule and routine?) and it’s a personal choice to make it that. There are so many articles on the internet telling us how to make Mondays better days, to conquer the day, to wake up, kick ass, take names, and repeat.

I like it.

But I’m a bigger believer that sometimes it’s taking the time to make the entire week count that works in our favor. Motivation Monday is here, y’all – and I’m sharing just a few of my favorite ways to begin my week on a killer note (read: well-rested, happy, and excited).

Make Sunday Count

I’m basically always tired, because I have four kids and I spend 16 hours a day doing, doing, doing, doing, doing, and the other eight sleeping. I don’t sit down except when I’m at my desk in my office – and we all know that doesn’t count. There is no rest for the weary in this house, my friends. That’s why we made the decision to make Sundays count. We were getting sick all the time, and we knew it was because we were overdoing it. We decided it was imperative to take one day to plan nothing and rest. Sundays are for rest.

  • Sleep in
  • Go to church
  • Relax
  • Rest
  • Play

Sunday counts because it’s our family day. We do was we want to do, how we want to do it, and we allow the day to be nothing but ours. It means the kids are in bed early, we have time to prep for Monday, and we are in bed early. When we do have plans on a Sunday, Monday sucks. When Sunday feels rushed and busy and it’s not relaxing, Monday is a beast.

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Get Ready for the Week

I like to spend 15 – 20 minutes in my office on a Sunday evening while the kids are winding down and cleaning their rooms to prep my calendar for the week. I take note of what’s in there, make my list of things to do Monday morning, and I go ahead and organize and prep a few things to help me get started faster and more efficiently in the morning.

We also like to make sure we wake up on a Monday morning with no laundry, no dirty dishes, no mess. Okay, okay, okay; we wake up every morning like that because I’m an anal-retentive neat freak who cannot handle messiness or disarray. BUT…believe me when I say spending 15 minutes each night tag-teaming the dishes, floors, countertops, and laundry is worth every second.

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Invest In Quality Tools  

Whatever you do, do it with items that help you stay focused and motivated. For me, it’s my Lilly Pulitzer agenda that helps me stay motivated. It’s also my Erin Condren notebook for making short-term to-do lists. I also love my dry-erase wall calendar for keeping the family schedule (color coded, of course) next to my desk so I can keep track of all the schedules at my desk.

When you have the right tools, work is easier, and simpler to manage. We all want to be more effective, and the right tools make all the difference.

Get Up With the Alarm

I won’t lie – I do sometimes let the 5 alarm go and sleep until the 5:30 alarm as the weeks wears on. But, I never let the alarm go off on a Monday morning with a snooze. I find that Monday is easier when I get up right away and spend no time lounging. I feel more productive, more energized, and just plain better about the day.

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Get Dressed

Wanna know a secret? I am happier without pants – and I spend most of the day in my favorite little red and black robe. I get dressed to take my kids to school, but I strip it down and get back into my robe the second I get home. Rest assured that every Instagram post, every blog post, every moment of my day I’m not out of my house, I’m in a cute little robe.

But – Monday mornings are for getting dressed. I choose a cute dress and jewelry, get myself together, and pretend I’m a responsible adult who has a plan for the day. It helps get me more motivated. When I feel good about how I look, I am in a much better mood. When I’m in a good mood, it’s easy for me to motivate myself.

Read Something Motivational

I cannot tell you how easy it is to start the day on a Monday morning with good intentions and a great tone when you start with something motivational. When I get out of the shower and pour my first cup of coffee, I immediately sit down on the couch in the dark quiet of my house and ready my First 5 app.

I peruse social media for a few moments, and then I head to Pinterest and read motivational quotes and articles. I love Instagram to read the inspiring blog posts, the great marketing and business tips, and the wonderful posts from my blogger friends and the amazing communities I’ve become a part of over the past few years.

There’s no right or wrong way to start your day to make Monday a good one, but it does help to remember you’re not just starting your Monday off on the right foot. You’re setting the tone for the entire week.

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What do you do to prep for Monday so you can have a good week? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Friday Favorites: Bright, Bold, Beautiful Bobbi Brown Lipstick Shades You Cannot Live Without

Happy Friday!

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I love Fridays. Today is a good one, too, because our big girls have their cheerleading camp showcase today to show off all they learned this week at camp, and they are so excited! It’s also a good Friday because my husband just told me I need to be ready to go in three hours. He booked a sitter, made a dinner reservation, and he’s taking me on date night – he is the best! We’re also leaving tomorrow with the little ones to spend the rest of the weekend at our favorite hotel doing all things pool-eat-drink-pool-fun related to celebrate my husband and his awesome dad-skills.

It doesn’t get better than this sweet life we live with our crazy little ones and our overly-booked schedule and our lack of time to relax or sleep or do anything we need to do. But, that’s how we like it – apparently!

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In honor of Friday and the it’s my favorite day, I thought this round of Friday Favorites should include something I love the most – lipstick. I love lipstick. I didn’t wear it for a long time. I was more of a nude lip and chapstick kind of girl, but then I realized I was missing color on my face. Now I’m an advocate for bright colors, especially if they’re from Bobbi Brown.

My only complaint is my BB lipstick always comes off on my wine glasses or other glasses, but at the same time it never seems to come off my lips. I’ll take lipstick all over my glass since it still looks just as good on my lips and I never have to reapply.

Lipstick. Bobbi Brown. Right – I know where I was going with this. Today I’m sharing my five favorite shades if you’re into bold, bright, and beautiful colors that make a statement and always elicit compliments from actual strangers.

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If you love color, you’ll want to order these Bobbi Brown shades stat. 

Bright Pink

Raspberry Pink 

Bright Peony 

Parisian Red

Uber Red 

What’s your favorite shade or brand of lipstick?

My Favorite Trendy Tops for Summer With H&M and Old Navy for Under $20

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What I love so much about fashion is just how versatile and gorgeous it is. I love how one woman can wear something so spectacular and look like a total Rockstar while I look like a total lunatic in the same thing (obviously I wish I looked like a supermodel in everything, but we all know our limits!). I love how personal style is, and I love how we all have our personal style rules, which is what I want to talk about right now. My personal style rules. They’re mine. They’re not meant to make anyone else feel as if their own personal style rules are wrong or less or more or whatever; they’re yours, and that makes them the best.

My personal style rules are pretty simple, and they stem from what I’ve learned about myself in the past (almost) 34 years.

  • Accessories pull together an outfit
  • Classics and timeless pieces are always a wonderful choice
  • Dark-wash jeans are the most flattering
  • Always spend more on shoes, handbags, sunglasses, and jeans
  • DVF makes everything in life amazing
  • Lilly Pulitzer is never a bad idea
  • A great mixture of high-end and low-end pieces always rocks

Okay, so those are my beliefs. But you know what I mean. In almost 34 years on this planet, I’ve learned a lot about my personal style. I look best in bright colors. I don’t look good in muted tones. I don’t feel comfortable if I’m not in amazing shoes, and I rarely feel comfortable in trendy clothes. High-necks aren’t for me, and I don’t rock a strapless top. I love an off-the-shoulder top, but I feel like I’m trying to be 21 again when I put one on, and that leaves me feeling self-conscious and less than confident.

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Top Old Navy (listed below as a peplum top) | Shorts Lilly Pulitzer (old pattern) similar here | Shoes Tory Burch Millers here | Sunglasses Gucci (old) similar here 

And that is where the number one rule of style for EVERY woman comes in: If you don’t feel confident in it, it shows and you don’t look good. Back to the off-the-shoulder tops: I love them. The women who rock them, ROCK them. I, on the other hand, don’t.

This year I’ve fallen in love with trendy tops, but I won’t spend a lot of money on them. When it comes to the classics, there’s no price too high. When it comes to trends, I’m not spending $20 on it because I know I’ll only wear it a few times (another good style rule to follow!). This summer I’ve fallen in love with ruffles and lace, and there is no place better than H&M and Old Navy to find super affordable, super trendy tops that always look good. After spending the weekend doing a little shopping, I thought I’m sharing my under $20 finds for anyone who wants to rock a little trendy with a little classic.

Lace is always so feminine and pretty, and you can’t go wrong with this top, this top, or this one. I’ve been in all of them so far, and they’ve been getting compliments everywhere I go.

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Top H&M available in stores | Belt Gucci (old) similar here| Jeans Rag & Bone here | Apple Watch | Bracelet Tiffany & Co. (old) |Lips Bobbi Brown Neon Pink | Sunglasses Yves Saint Laurent (old) similar here

Bell-sleeves are an old favorite. I bought a black dress about a decade ago from Ann Taylor Loft with bell-sleeves, and I still get compliments on it all the time. This top, this top, and this top are always fun choices.

And then there’s the peplum top. It’s fun, and I love this one.

3 Summer Staple Splurges for Every Mom on the Go Who Wants to Look and Feel Put Together and Stylish

Happy Tuesday, friends! We are fresh into the second full week of summer vacation, and boy are we struggling to grow accustomed to our new summer schedule. The twins will stay in in school all summer, but the girls are definitely making our jobs a challenge. I’ve been working from home their entire lives, but this is Craig’s first summer vacation as a work-from-home dad and he’s learning the struggle.

Camps, sleepovers, play dates, and finding time to work in between – oh my! He has set office hours at home, so it’s non-negotiable for him, but he’s definitely seeing how difficult it can be for me to rearrange my schedule so often to accommodate theirs sometimes!

I can only play so many rainy-day games of Uno or Go Fish or Candy Land or Monopoly, for real. Right now we are in our office working and listening to them across the house in the family room arguing over who is definitely going to draw the lollipop during their game of Candy Land (someone is definitely cheating).

While they’re actually leaving me alone entertained in the family room, I thought I’d share with you a couple of my favorite summer must-haves. It’s hot in Florida. We sweat a lot in Florida. It’s hot in Florida. I’m a 30-something mama of 4 who can’t function if I don’t feel put together, yet I can’t stand to be in the closet for more than 3.2 seconds on a weekday morning deciding what to wear.

That said, I have three summer favorites for your closet that might just be the answer to your every fashion problem – I’m a big believer in buying the classics and items that never really go out of style…I get it from my grandmother!

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Lilly, Lilly and More Lilly 

Yes, we Floridians and southerners are a little obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer, but it’s for several good reasons. Let me elaborate:

  1. It’s hot here and we sweat a lot, but you can’t tell when you’re in so many bold, beautiful patterned dresses.
  2. How do you not feel pretty in something fun and fabulous?
  3. They’re light and airy.
  4. They’re so stylish.
  5. They’re so easy to wear without spending too long deciding what to wear when you know you don’t have that kind of time.

I just love LP. I mean, honestly – I’m addicted. My go-to dress is the Essie. I have them all – I buy the new ones every time a new pattern or color is introduced. The gorgeous pink one will actually arrive tomorrow on my front doorstep and I can’t wait!

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Tory Burch Sandals 

With four kids, flats are my summer go-to. It’s so much easier when we have them, especially since so much of our time is spent at Disney World where walking is a way of life. The Miller Sandals are worth the price every single time – but there are so many other options that cost far less and still last forever. Also, I love some TB espadrilles, and my newest pair just so happens to be on sale RIGHT NOW so check it out if you’ve been coveting a pair of your own. I seriously get so many compliments on these every time I wear them.

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Cross-Body Bags

9 times out of 10 I’m carrying my Neverfull GM, but I do love a good crossbody during the summer. With four kids the Neverfull is a must most every day, but summer means being a little more carefree. When I’m not carrying the Neverfull, you’ll find me carrying one of my favorite cross body bags to keep my phone, my brightest pink lipstick, and my cash-money – kidding, I totally bring my husband along with so he can hold the $$ and the keys!

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My TB cross body is from last year, and it’s out-of-stock, but there are so many adorable ones available right now at a variety of price points. I love this one, this one, and this one. My husband also surprised me with a gorgeous Prada crossbody that I’m in love with. It’s a little small – but perfect for date nights and Disney days. Mine is sold out now in most colors because it went on sale about a week ago – big time – but there’s still a red one available that I was able to find (MAJORLY marked down) and I also love this one, this one, and this one if you want to spend a little more on something that’ll last a lifetime.

Motivation Monday: My 5 Favorite Quotes and Verses

It’s Monday, which means most people feel unmotivated – but not I. I love a good Monday. It’s a cliché, but it’s really a fresh start. It’s also the day after my rest day, which means I usually feel full and content and happy. Sundays are family days for us. It’s the day we attempt to plan nothing but church, the day we conquer as a family, and it’s a sweet, slow, special day.

I need more Sundays in my life.

But Monday isn’t so bad. It’s true that when you love what you do, you never have a problem with Monday. I love that quote, which brings me to the point of today’s post: Motivation and Inspiration. I’m a big fan of both.

I need a pick-me-up sometimes, and I find that a good bible verse or quote is often all I need to motivate me to work harder and smarter or inspire me to try something new. I have a new favorite quote or saying almost every day depending on my mood, and I thought I’d share some hashtag motivational Monday with you all today to get you through the rest of your days and into the week.

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Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

  • Leonardo da Vinci

Whether it’s at home, in life, in my career, with my kids, with my marriage; I like simplicity. I love this quote because it’s a wonderful reminder that too much is, well, too much – and that making life more complicated is pointless. I like simplicity.

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still

  • Exodus 14:14

Sometimes when life is overwhelming for me, I call upon this verse to remind me that I need rest. I allow myself to always overdo it, to stress myself out. I overbook, I over plan, and I over commit myself so often that it’s not uncommon for me to cry in frustration to my husband about why I never have time, why I’m always so stressed, and why I’m never rested. He reminds me of this verse, and it’s been the catalyst that’s changed my life in 2017.

At the beginning of the year I said I’d take this to heart: I need only be still. This, to me, says I need to rest so God can work for me. He can restore my soul, my heart, and my faith if I only rest. This was the verse that led me to make the decision that I’d go into this year not making plans every single weekend, not committing myself to things all the time, and that I’d take time to do what is well within my own soul. It’s been so nice to be less busy, to be less overbooked, and to have more freedom to make decisions that apply to what we need in the moment rather than what we planned months ago. I’m learning how to balance it all, but it’s rest I’ve so desperately needed – and this verse served as my reminder.

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Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

So many of us worry so much about the opinion of others, we forget to be ourselves. You know what I’ve learned in almost 9 years and tens of thousands of published articles for my clients and on my newly created blog? I’ve learned that I can be perfect, polite, mean, horrible, judgmental, kind, honest, or straight up and I will never please everyone. It’s just easier to be myself in all aspects of life than it is to worry about what everyone else thinks since someone is always going to dislike me for whatever reason. The good news is that I no longer care, and that’s made being myself so much sweeter.

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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

When I first began writing and the emails began to roll in, I had no idea just how mean people are. I’ve been called every name in the book, threatened, spoken down to, and so many hurtful things have been said to me by people I’ve never even met. There was a time I’d read each and every email that came through, and I’d feel horrible. That’s when I remembered people can think what they’d like, but it’s me who gives them permission to make me feel poorly about myself. When I take the time to remind myself I’m successful, driven, and passionate about my life, no one can make me feel inferior.

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Faith: It does not make things easy, it makes them possible

  • Luke 1:37

Ah, my favorite verse. Faith is a beautiful thing, and it’s been there for me when times were very, very tough. When my husband and I were trying to have our second baby and ended up having two miscarriages instead – one on Mother’s Day – this was the verse I read over and over and over again for mothers.

I was terrified my faith was wavering with the loss of those babies, and the hits just kept coming with the second miscarriage followed by an immediate pregnancy we didn’t want at that point because it was too soon and we were too terrified it would end badly. I bled. A lot. I spent a lot of time in the hospital being tested as I bled through that pregnancy following those miscarriages. We were told our sweet baby girl had a echogenic intracardiac focus and we should prepare ourselves to make a tough choice if further testing proved this spot of calcium in her heart was Downs Syndrome.

It was the most trying, most devastating time, and it tested every ounce of my faith. This verse – it’s everything. Hold on to this one. Because it’s true – faith doesn’t make life easy, but it does make everything in life possible.

What are your favorite quotes or verses? I’d love to hear a few!