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January 20, 2017

Five on Friday: New Year's Resolutions

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Back again! Let's see if I actually stick to blogging this time around, ha!

I love the new year. I realize we are a few weeks into 2017 but I still consider it the new year. I love a clean slate, a fresh start, a blank page. 

1. Exercise. I'm putting this on my list in an effort to keep up my momentum. After my sister had this wake-up call in the fall, I headed straight to my local gym to sign-up. I wasn't taking care of myself at all and needed to rectify the situation. I've made it a point to make it to the gym 3-4 times a week since late November and I'm proud to say I've actually stuck with it. I meet with a personal trainer once a week which definitely helps with the accountability factor. My goal is to simply keep up this pattern. Getting up at 5am sucks but I remind myself that this won't be forever. Once my child is in school I can work out at a more humane hour but until then 5 am it is. 

2. Drink more water. I think this is a goal of mine every year and it's a goal everyday. 

3. Be more mindful about purchases. I recently read The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. It was eye-opening. Last year, I set a goal of not shopping for the entire year. It did not go as planned. I certainly shopped less but was unable to abstain altogether. It was also a terrible idea considering I was newly postpartum and clothes simply did not fit the way they did before. This year, I am aiming to only shop the big sales for clothes I actually wear (Lilly Pulitzer's After Party Sale and the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale). I am also instituting the one in, one out rule from The Joy of Less. If I purchase something, something else has to leave my closet. This idea has already helped; I've looked at items of clothing and thought, "is there anything in my closet I'm willing to sacrifice to buy this piece?" and usually the answer is no. It has definitely saved me from impulse purchases in 2017. 

4. Volunteer. My grandmother passed away in October of 2015. My mom had this wonderful idea to have everyone put a goal they want to accomplish in 2017 in her Christmas stocking to be revisited at Christmas in 2017. My goal is to volunteer at a Baltimore based organization. I have a young child so I will likely need to find a virtual volunteer position but I am confident I can find something. Putting the feelers out next week. 

5. Cook more. Since the arrival of our offspring, cooking has definitely taken a backseat. G and I both agree it's something we'd like to get back into so we've started making Saturday nights a cooking "date night" of sorts. Hoping to keep this up as it will save us money and calories, which is always on the list of New Year's Resolutions for us, ha! 

6. Blog regularly. Being a SAHM means needing a hobby/outlet. Planning to make it to the blog a few times a week. Definitely need a redesign as I don't think I can claim us as newly married (coming up on 6 years this year) or new homeowners (coming up on 5 years of living in this house).  Look for that in the coming months! 

Happy Friday, friends! 

May 9, 2016

Monday Musings


We returned from our family vacation to Rosemary Beach, FL late last night. Normally after vacation I feel depressed but today I'm feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week after a great 5 days with my family! We are off to music class this morning and then heading to the grocery store and pick our best friend, Macy from doggy camp! Hope everyone has a great Monday!

February 19, 2016

Five on Friday 2.19.16


Linking up with the ladies today to bring you five things I'm loving this week!

1. Fixer Upper. How can you not be obsessed with Chip and JoJo? Joanna's design eye is on point and I love her casual yet put together style! Chip is hysterical and I always think how nice it must be to be married to someone so handy! Other than the house prices making me cry into my wine glass because they're so cheap, I absolutely love this show. Ready to shiplap my whole house haha. 
chip-and-joanna-gaines

2. Usborne Books. If you're anything like me, you decline any and all Facebook invitations but I urge you not to skip a Usborne Book party! My sister-in-law hosted one on Facebook and since I read to J everyday, I was in need of some new books. Besides the great stories, the books are of really great quality. The pages are sturdy and the colors are so bright, perfect for grabby little hands! Some personal favorites: Animally, B is for Bedtime, Bears Can't Read, and the Usborne Big Book of Colors. 
3. Snapchat. I used Snapchat when it came out a couple of years ago but then fell off. My sister convinced me to start using it again and I've been having such fun with it! If you're interested in the ever so exciting activities of SAHM with an infant, follow me! My user name is prissytal. 

4, Essential Oils. I know EOs are such a buzzword/fad these days but my mother-in-law has been into them for years and is always spouting their benefits. Then a girlfriend of mine also got into them and well, here I am, awaiting my starter kit. I don't expect to get into like making my own chapstick but I am excited to diffuse some oils to make our house healthier. I promise not to become an EO pusher :)

That's all I've got for today, J and I are headed to Stroller Strides and then to meet up with some friends! I hope ya'll have a great Friday and an even better weekend! 


February 18, 2016

On Motherhood


I'm three months into being someone's mother. It seems both short and long at the same time. For a large part of my adult life, I was unsure if I wanted children. Being teacher, I was so mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, that most days I thought, "I could not do this 24/7". I vacillated weekly about whether or not motherhood was for me. I had, and still have, fears of how my child will grow up. Will he/she be a good person? How will I react if he or she is not a good person? What if my child is a bully or is physically hurtful towards others? I blame these fears partially on reading the book, We Need to Talk About Kevin (excellent book- chilling but excellent). These fears, when vocalized, were met with anger. People would say, "that won't happen to you" or "you won't raise your child to be like that". Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, but do you really think mothers of children who are bullies or worse, ever thought they were raising someone that could behave in such a way? Highly doubtful. 

There are things I took issue with when speaking with others about the decision to become a parent. The idea that I was somehow incomplete without a child, that the life I had worked hard to build wasn't enough, that I would regret it later in life. I love my son with every fiber of my being but I can say with certainty, that he does not "complete" me. He is a wonderful addition to our lives and yes, makes me a better person, but he did not fill some arbitrary empty hole in my life. I worked hard, alongside my husband, to build a life that reflected us and the things and people we value. To say it was incomplete before does all those previous years a huge disservice. I do believe that somewhere down the road, I would have regretted not having children but ultimately, I will never know and no will anyone else who said those things to me countless times. Also, all of those things seem like shitty reasons to procreate if you ask me. Bringing a child into this world is a HUGE deal. Possible regret is NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON. On the daily, I saw what happens when people have children because they think they should and guess who suffers? Everyone. 

My husband and I discussed children regularly. Almost every Friday night was spent discussing how we would raise them, the things we would teach them and show them and ultimately, we decided that parenthood is something we wanted to embark on together. 

Three months in, I can say that parenthood is one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It has brought indescribable joy and unexplained tears. No one can ever prepare you for what being a mom is like, no matter how many times and ways they try to explain it. I certainly didn't understand it as a non-parent. I love this kid so much it hurts. Ours was the slow burn kind of love not a huge rush of emotion but it is deep and profound nonetheless. It is the hardest job I've ever had and I question my ability to do it well on the daily. But at the same time, everyday that we get to spend together is a new opportunity to get it right. To be the parent I want to be. To teach him new things and watch him grow.  Yes, I still have fears about how this whole thing will turn out and think about all the ways (that are much too easy, might I add) I could royally screw this up but it is an adventure unlike any other and I am grateful for the opportunity. 

In closing I want to say this, becoming parents was the right choice for us. It is not the right choice for everyone and I respect those who choose otherwise. I will never try to convince someone that parenthood is the better choice, the responsibility is too much to put on someone who doesn't want it. And also, whenever I used to say that I wasn't sure I was going to have kids, people would get SO angry. I vow never to do that to someone else.  







February 16, 2016

Tuesday Trend: Playroom Dreams

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Even though J is still an infant that can't do much and we live in a 1500 square foot rowhome, I can't help but dream about a place in our home for the babe to run wild. I absolutely love the idea of a dedicated playroom and hope that in our next house this can be a reality. The space needs to be functional for young kids but can't be an eyesore either. How great is this tufted couch by Novogratz 9 from Walmart? Only $349 and it turns into a futon! Perfect combination of modern and budget friendly, a playroom necessity! The kid-friendly sheepskin rug is also a personal favorite and I'm dying over the personalized busy board by Mortimer's Busy Boards on Etsy! I think I know what someone is getting for his first birthday (...9 months from now)! I'm a sucker for gold accents and love the bright red color of the lamp. The alphabet print would be great for youngins learning their ABC's!

couch//print//storage bin//sheepskin rug//teething toy//NogginStik//personlized busy board//lamp//pillows

February 15, 2016

Monday Musings: Gallery Wall Inspiration

Gallery Wall Inspo

Happy Monday! Did everyone have a lovely Valentine's Day? We celebrated Saturday night with dinner at home after putting the babe to bed. He is finally sleeping a fairly long stretch at night which gives me a little more freedom. Loving it. 

One of my focus areas for 2016 is our home. I have so many pictures from our travels and moments with friends and family that I would love to display on our walls. We also had newborn photos taken and we have a few those of I'd love to get on the walls as well. He is already growing so fast! We have a wall just outside of our bedroom that is just begging for a gallery wall! Today, I've rounded up some gorgeous gallery walls to serve as inspiration as I start to gather frames and photos to hang in our space! 

One// I love the idea of using picture ledges to create a gallery wall. It gives you the ability to switch things up without having to change photos out of frames. 
Two// While I do appreciate the symmetry of hanging photos in a grid, what I think is really pretty here is the color photographs in the black frames and the thin black lining of mat that was used to frame the picture. 
Three// Loving the texture this eclectic gallery wall provides. I love the idea of mixing it up and using more than just pictures. 
Four// This gallery wall provides the symmetry of a grid but gives a little more interest. One day I hope to have a staircase where I can do this! Love the ascending gallery wall look. 
Five// For me, this gallery wall is all about the frames. I think keeping the frames in the same color family but different sizes and with different detailing is really stunning and provides great visual interest. 
Six// Absolutely love this statement making gallery wall. I love looking at pictures in other people's houses so I could probably spend hours taking a gander at this hallway! 

So tell me, what do you think of the gallery wall look? Is it a must for your home or do prefer a more minimal look?

January 1, 2016

Hello 2016!


It is hard to believe how fast time goes. 2015 was a pretty incredible year for us as we welcomed our baby boy into the world! The end of 2015 brought huge change with this addition but I think 2016 is going to be the real year of change. As of now, I am staying home full-time with our son and leaving behind my job and my master's degree program... for now. It was certainly a tough decision and my last day at school was bittersweet. My county offers child-rearing leave in which they hold your job for up to 2 years which is great and gives me peace of mind that I have a job to go back to should I need/want to do so. 

That being said, I am in hugely transitional phase and trying to get my footing as a new mom and a stay at home mom. Admittedly, it has been a challenge trying to leave behind the 'old' me and embrace the 'new' me but being a mom is something I have always wanted so I'm looking forward to this new chapter, challenges and all. 

As most people who blog do, I love a fresh start and enjoy setting goals for the year so below you'll find the things I'll be working on in 2016. 

1. Think positively. I am the worst at having a positive outlook. I'd say it's the thing my husband likes least about me. I imagine the worst case scenario and have a hard time believing in the good. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have no reason to believe that something bad is going to happen but can't seem to shake the feeling... I'm really hoping to kick this way of thinking permanently in 2016. 
The Happiness questions - and how to reach it.:

2. Drink more water. This is just a no brainer. It was nearly impossible to drink water while teaching P.E., I simply wasn't stationary long enough and carrying around a water bottle just wasn't feasible. Hopefully being home will allow me to drink more water on the regular. 
3. Exercise consistently. Again, a no brainer but certainly harder to attain now that there is a baby around but my husband has agreed to come home early one day a week so I can go to Core Power Yoga. Really looking forward to getting back into yoga. 
4. Engage with my community. Baltimore offers so many programs, classes, meet-ups, etc for families and I would really like to take advantage of the resources available to us. I've scoped out some classes that I'd like to take the baby to and am looking forward to starting soon! 
5. Let go. Of guilt. Of fear. Of all the things that seem to stop me from fully enjoying my life as it is right now. This life is a good one and I don't want to look back and realize I didn't enjoy it because I was too busy being scared or feeling bad about something trivial or planning for the future instead of enjoying the present. 
6. Shop less. My big New Year's Resolution is a shopping ban for one year. That's right, no shopping for the entire year of 2016. I should clarify that this means no clothes shopping for myself. I LOVE shopping but I have a ton of clothes and truly don't need more so I'm challenging myself to only wearing what is already in my closet. I plan to post outfits daily on Instagram so if you'd like, you can follow along @the365closet. I'm really hoping I can stick this out. I'll be super proud of myself if I can make it one whole year without shopping. 

Cheers to 2016!