Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Weekend Musings

This is my first blog post of a series I am titling "Weekend Musings".  I want to highlight what we do with the kids to keep them busy and how we, as a family, spend our weekends.  What you'll find is that sometimes we spend them together and other times we spend them apart.  However, it's a healthy mix of both which helps us feel rejuvenated as individuals, strong as a couple, and in sync as a family.   I hope you like this series and that it spurs imagination or inspiration for your weekends!

Water Play

It was SO HOT this weekend here in the NY!  I half wanted to stay inside in the air condition all day and the other half wanted to sit in a pool of water.  I didn't think staying inside was an option with the kiddos so I thought water would be a great idea instead.  However, I didn't feel like dealing with the crowds at the pool since hubby was away for most of the weekend.

I had conveniently thrown out our water table and actually had one in my cart on Amazon for a while!  I really didn't want to spend the money on another water table that they may grow out of soon but I know how much my boys (and every other kids I know) loves playing with water.  So, I improvised and found these plastic beverage tubs on sale and filled them with water.  Instant "water table"!

The boys had a blast and it entertained them for a full 2 hours, while keeping them cool, and tiring them out for a good nap!

What was I doing during this time?  Relaxing on a chair nearby and reading a book!!!

Books I've Been Reading

For my birthday hubby bought me a new Kindle Paperwhite!!  I cannot tell you how much I LOVE IT.  I even got the cover below to make it more fun.

Before I had kids I devoured books, however, since having my boys it's been harder to sit down for long periods of time to read.  Since the kids are getting older and able to entertain themselves for a bit it gives me more time to sit down and read.  Albeit not without interruptions, but I'm happy to even get a little bit of "me" time in when I can.

I seem to gravitate towards lifestyle, period novels, and scifi/fantasy.  I also read some educational books for leisure so if you are interested in photography I'm listing one that has been helpful.  Below are some recent titles on my kindle.

Stay cool!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Wedding Guest Style

I've been blogging so much about our trip and our friends' Punta Cana destination wedding that I haven't mentioned anything about what I wore for the actual wedding!  Well, I believe I've said before in previous posts that I love a good dress!  For me, a dress that can be worn on more than one occasion is the best kind of dress.

I bought this Yoana Baraschi Silk Maxi Dress for another of our friends' summer wedding about 7 years ago!  I kept looking at it and going back to it during the same shopping trip so obviously I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I love those kind of clothes, don't you?  The material, the way it fit, and the pattern on the dress were beautiful and I wanted to wear it again and again!  Oh, and it had pockets!!!  I love dresses and skirts with pockets!  I'm so happy I kept it all this time.  This was actually only the second time I've worn the dress but it still fit perfect, exciting after 2 kids, and the style worked for the beach wedding we were attending.

I paired the outfit with my mother's hand made straw basket from Thailand (thanks Mom!).  I adore anything unique and handmade!  The detail on the dress begged for a simple summery bag that didn't take too much focus.  Similar straw purses I would love with this dress are here and here (in natural color).  Etsy has some beautiful handmade or vintage straw purses that are really budget friendly as well!  Some of my picks would be here, here, and here.  This custom initialed straw clutch is just beautiful and so reasonable so I had to link this as well.  It makes a beautiful gift!

Here are some summer wedding guest dresses I really love:

Have fun dancing the night away!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Cutest Little Romper

One of the reasons I love going away is because I have the opportunity to wear more tropical clothes and to dress up!  We had a couple of events during our trip to Punta Cana which gave me the chance to wear this Goodnight Macaroon romper. This was love it at first sight!  I wore this outfit for our friends' rehearsal/welcome dinner.  It was very hot while we were down there but the fabric was pretty light so the 3/4 length sleeves were perfect.

What I love about this Alison floral print Goodnight Macaroon romper is that it's not black, because I definitely wear too much of that color, and the cut is really flattering.  I am wearing a size medium but you should definitely note the measurement description for each size when purchasing.

Outfit Details:  Romper (size M) // Shoes // Earrings (Similar) // 
Necklace (Similar) // Watch (Similar)

The earrings were a birthday gift from my husband years ago before we were married.  They are classic and I LOVE the blue stone in the middle.  Similar earrings are here and here or more budget friendly option here.   These shoes have been on repeat since the beginning of the warm weather!  Summer favs!

Here are some fun rompers that I'm loving for special occasions:

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Destination Wedding: Punta Cana

Last week we went on our first Adult Only vacation without both boys!  I definitely recommend this for all you momma's out there even if it's just an overnight.  We had a happy occasion to celebrate with my husband's childhood friend getting married!  This event took us back to our own Destination Wedding in Rome, Italy which I had blogged about in my first post here.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort  The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical specifically in the Adults Only section.  The Melia Caribe Tropical is a huge resort with different sections catering to Adults only and Families.  It was a really beautiful place, but how could you go wrong with the view in Punta Cana?

Groom is wearing: JCrew linen pants //  JCrew linen shirt // JCrew tie
Bride is wearing:  Maggie Sottero

The ceremony itself was on the beach.  It was both beautiful and magical.  Anticipation, friendship, respect, and love were all in the air and my tears flowed from the moment I looked at my husband's friend watching his bride walking down the aisle to when they walked back up the beach as one.  

Our entire 5 day trip was amazing!  It was a time for us to catch up with friends, make new friends, let lose, and celebrate two people we love.  So happy we were able to be there for this special occasion!

So, who's having their next destination wedding because you can definitely count us in!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Adore Me Swimsuits

Hi Everyone!  I'm finally getting around to looking at my pics from our amazing vacation to Punta Cana for our friends' destination wedding!  I will definitely write more about the wedding soon but I first wanted to review some of my Adore Me swimsuit purchases since swimsuits were our outfit of choice during our trip.

Outfit Detals:  Adore Me Alani Bikini Top (Size M) //  Old Navy Bikini Bottom (Size M) //
Loft Sunglasses

What is Adore Me?

Adore Me is an online lingerie, swimsuit, and some clothing (cover-ups & activewear) retailer.  You have 2 options:
  1. Join the VIP program where you are subscribed to the purchasing program.  You can purchase items at a discount between the 1st & 5th of each month and you  can skip as many months as you like, you just need to remember to do this prior to the 6th of each month.  For more details on the VIP program you can look here.
  2. Pay as You Go full price of the item(s) you are purchasing.  
Return Policy:  Shipping for exchanges or returns are covered by Adore Me.  However, returns are subject to a stocking fee and you can only exchange 3 times.

In a previous post I stated that I don't feel as comfortable in a bikini as I used to.  My body is just not the same since having my kiddos but I work hard at maintaining a healthy lifestyle so I definitely try to embrace it as much as possible.  However, it's never been that easy for me to find bathing suits that I love....even pre-babies.  My athletic frame with wide shoulders and narrower hips makes the task of finding something comfortable challenging.

This Alani bikini top was really cute.  It was actually part of my 3rd exchange.  Unfortunately, I ordered a small bottom and even after contacting Adore Me twice, they said it was company policy that I couldn't exchange one more time for the correct size.  I was honestly pretty surprised that they wouldn't make an exception so unfortunately that bottom will be unworn for now.  Just to note, the bottoms were quite skimpy and usually I do wear a small bottom but due to the lack of material I really needed a medium.

Outfit Details: Adore Me Swimsuit (Size M) //  Loft Sunglasses //  Headband (Similar)

I'm definitely loving the variety of full piece swim suits in the stores and online this season!  They range from modest to sexy and I definitely prefer in between!  My only issue with a one piece v. bikini is that it is definitely much hotter with a one piece on!

This Adore Me Marla swimsuit was really very cute!  Despite the thought that I probably could have worn a size small the bathing suit itself looked sexy but classy and the halter top made it quite adjustable.  It held up very well from the beach to the pool!  This is the one suit I did not return or exchange!

My final review:
I did have a hard time finding the right fit and size when ordering online.  I definitely prefer online retailers where I have the option of returning or exchanging in store.  For that reason, I don't love the max 3 exchange policy.  As I also said above, I was surprised they wouldn't do an extra exchange for the right size.  It kind of turned me off since other retailers I've dealt with are more than happy to make at least one exception.  The bathing suits themselves were good quality and held up nicely throughout our vacation.  I received many compliments on both swimsuits.

I ended up cancelling my VIP membership.  Partly because I was turned off by their return policy but mostly because I have a hard time shopping online!  This doesn't deter me from shopping online though since I am determined to eventually find a brand that fits me perfect!

Please note my disclaimer & copyright policy  here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Packing Essentials for Travel

This week we are going on an Adult Only vacation!  Yay!  One of our friends is getting married in the Dominican Republic and you better believe we told them we were coming even before the invites were sent out!  Of course we are big fans of Destination Weddings since we had one ourselves which I blogged about in a previous post.

I'm currently in the midst of packing and at one point it looked like this:

OMG!  Why do I wait until the last minute???  Well eventually I got it together and my suitcase is much more organized...thank goodness.  Since summer is here and everyone is traveling I wanted to share my most coveted travel essentials.  Most of these items ultimately ended up in my suitcase!

Travel Steamer

Passport Case

Ticket Case

Travel Bag Organizers

Happy Travels!!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Thank My Lucky Stars & Stripes

This week we went to the Mamaroneck Fireman's Parade with our boys.  This annual event is so much fun and of course involves trucks so we couldn't miss it!  I brought my camera with me to take some pictures and I wasn't planning on posting them but I couldn't help myself.  The joy and excitement the kids exuded was just so contagious!

On this Friday before Independence Day I reflect on everything I'm thankful for living in the United States.  There is so much going on in the world around us and sometimes we take for granted the opportunities, safety, and the life we live in this country.

We met a veteran on the street at the parade.  He reminded me of my grandfather, a WWII vet.  Meeting him reminded me that it was he and many other men and women who have kept us and still keep us safe home and abroad.  I thank him for helping me remember.

I hope you and your loved ones have a Happy 4th of July weekend!

Happy Birthday America!!!

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