Monday Motivation #20

For today, just a few things that are making me smile:

Cure For Homesickness ~ My parent’s lovely front porch all decked out for fall. (And for my second bridal shower – details on that to come this week!)

For a Brighter Home ~ This lovely little mason jar arrangement from Whole Foods (gifted to me by my future mother in law!)

For a Laugh ~ The little Phillies-Fan Gnome I left in my mother’s garden while home. Little family joke. 🙂

I hope you are having a great Monday & that you have little thing in life that make you smile, too!


Monday Motivation #19

The theme for this week’s Monday Motivation is ideas & finds to inspire a positive start to each day through a morning routine. My morning routine during the majority of last school year consisted of hitting the snooze button about three times, until dragging myself out of bed at the last possible moment & then hurrying to get out the door in time. Those of you who live those kinds of morning surely understand the amount of forgotten lunches & missed breakfasts, and the lack of any hair-doing or makeup-applying. This September I’ve turned over a new leaf. Here’s what’s working, and what I still want/need to try:

For Extra Padding ~ I’ve been attempting to get myself to the 5:15AM Spin Class at my local New York Sports Club on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. So far I’ve been 2 for 3- but this week will hopefully be my first trifecta. With a good instructor & good music, spin is an awesome workout. After I took my first class about a month ago I immediately purchased (from Amazon for about $20) this Bell Memory Foam Seat Pad. My butt thanks me.

For a Breakfast that Tastes Like Dessert ~ Seriously. I’ve got a major case of sweet tooth. I crave candy/chocolate/cake/ice cream/whatever after every meal, and pretty much every other part of the day. I cannot tell you how delicious this Low Fat Chobani Vanilla & Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt is, I can only beg you to buy it and try it for yourself. I’ve been eating it for breakfast, and sometimes I’ll have a 1/2 of a cup for dessert at night. Its amazeballs.

For (Nearly) Effortless Eyes ~ I recently treated myself to this little gem: Dior ‘Au Natural’ Nude Look Palette. The three eyeshadow shades are lovely & simple, and the cute little case is complete with two sweet lip gloss shades, bronzer & brushes – making putting on makeup a breeze. Unfortunately, it’s a limited edition. Which means I will fall completely in love with it, and it will be gone when I want to replace it. Hmph.

For Forgotten Hands ~ Hand moisturizing is typically at the bottom of my list of priorities in the morning. The result is dry, cringe-worthy cuticle-d hands that look like they belong to a twelve year old. Thankfully, Almond Coconut Milk Hand Cream from Laura Mercier came along, and now I can transport myself back to the beach & summer relaxation every morning, while caring for my poor, forgotten hands. It’s the little things in life that make me smile!



What is your morning routine like? What products or foods make your mornings special?
I hope you have a great week!


Monday Motivation

I don’t think I could be more obsessed with fall if I tried. Today was such a perfect day- cool in the morning, sunny & gorgeous all afternoon- fall is coming and we can all feel it in the air!! Here are my weekly faves for motivation & inspiration!

For Fall Decorating Inspiration ~ I am in love with this beautiful fall display from Dear Lillie featuring an Emily Bronte quote on the chalkboard, classic vintage fall colors, and a reminder to give thanks!

For a Sweet Tooth ~ I’ve got to try this Single Serve Pumpkin Cake & Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting that uses Stevia in the Raw, recipe from Something Swanky. YUM!

For a Creative Use of Vintage Keys ~ How cool is the look of these keys secured to pumpkins with pins, spelling out Fall! Another great idea from BH&G.

For Latte – Sipping Goodness ~ I’m loving the idea from Kellie of Le Zoe Musings to use Pumpkin Pie Spices to make up a delicious pumpkin spiced latte. Also love anything I can put whipped cream on.


How excited are you for the fall?

Monday Motivation: New [School] Year Resolutions Edition

For me (and teachers everywhere), Labor Day marks the end of summer (even though myself and nearly every teacher I know works throughout some or all of the summer, it is still a break from the stress of the school year), and the start of a new year: new kids, new colleagues, and new state and/or federal laws carrying huge implications for educators everywhere. If it were any other year, I might be dreading the start of school (tomorrow), but this year I am simply excited for all of the wonderful things to come! Labor Day is the educator’s New Year’s Day- a time of new beginnings and (in my opinion), and excellent time to make some New [School] Year resolutions!

Here are some ideas to help motivate me to meet my goals for the 2012-13 school year!

Resolution: Be Accountable (to myself)

I’ll use this iTunes app “Streaks” – a motivational calendar that tracks how many days in a row you stick to an exercise or diet plan, practice an instrument or skill, or write in your journal (or blog!). Buy it for $1.99 here.


Resolution: Hydrate!

I have a very difficult time trying to get the recommended eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Here’s a tip to help keep yourself on track- mark up water bottles with specific times of the day and stay on schedule! (Original source here).


Resolution: Waste Less

Reduce your carbon footprint & drink your iced coffee from a mason jar – turned travel mug thanks to Cuppow. Bought it. Can’t wait to use it.


Avoid throwing away chicken that you *meant* to cook, but did not get to until it went bad! Prep in advance, and make up freezer bags full of slow-cooker meals. This will help avoid wasting food, and save loads of time! Check out this ebook from Mama and Baby Love for recipes, shopping lists, and printable labels!


Resolution: Stay Calm

The fall can be an especially stressful time for teachers. My typical fall is quite busy- and expensive. And this fall, there’s a wedding to plan (and lots of things to buy and vendors to pay). I’m resolved to love as much of the process as I can, and get a massage when it becomes overwhelming. Or, there is this option:


And with that- I’m off to prep some freezer crock pot meals & pack lunches for me & FH for our first day of school tomorrow! 🙂 Happy Labor Day everyone, and Happy New [School] Year!

Monday Motivation

Hi friends! Today is the last week of summer vacation for me. Boo. While I am already aching for the summer days of sun & surf that so quickly slipped away, I am SO excited for everything that Fall will be bringing this year! Here’s what is keeping me motivated for the week!


For Fall Decorating ~ I’ve been ‘collecting’ a variety of lovely artificial pumpkins to incorporate in our fall wedding decor. I’m obsessed with these Mercury Glass Pumpkins from Pottery Barn, and therefore did a little jump for joy when I found replicas of these at T. J. Maxx for $4.99 each! SCORE!


For a Refresher with Benefits ~ This summer, I was obsessed with putting slices of lemon in my water. I’ve really been trying to cut down on my diet coke intake, and the flavor of lemon in my ice water makes it so much more pleasant to sip on throughout the afternoon. Now I’ll be trying out this lemon, mint and cucumber infused water (image & information from A Sweet Simple Life) which apparently comes with the added benefit of helping flush your system of nasty toxins. Bonus!




For Fall Cooking with a Crock Pot ~ I received a slow cooker at my Jersey-based bridal shower (yes, I am totally lucky and getting showered TWICE, and yes, I will be sharing all the lovely details this week!) I’m excited to try some of these delicious looking recipes from writer Ashley Hackshaw on Babble (via Amy on Pinterest).



For a Sweet Flower Girl Gift ~ Our flower girl is our dog, Emma. I won’t waste my money giving her this, as she would surely just try to eat it. If I had a human flower girl, though, I think this handkerchief from Wedding Chicks is just precious.



Hope you have a wonderful week! ❤


Monday Motivation!

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s what I’m digging this week!


For a Peaceful Retreat~ I’m totally in love with this Organic Charlie Paisley Duvet cover from Pottery Barn. Completely inspiring for an entire bedroom makeover!



For DIY Motivation~ I would love to recreate this DIY Crate Coffee Table from DIY Vintage Chic. So cool & functional at the same time!


For a Fall Pumpkin Project ~ I love this simple monogrammed pumpkin from All in a Day using thumbtacks!


For My Next Trip~ I am so into Scotland lately, and dying to go there. I love old castles & am dying to see Edinburgh Castle, among others! (Image Source)


For A Smile~ Have a fabulous week, everyone! (Image Source)


Monday Motivation!

Hey peeps- I’m back for the week! Summer so far has been three parts work & one part play, and I’ve been sacrificing blog-time to enjoy my non-working moments of the season. I’m now officially on vacation and ready to bring you a week’s worth of blogging randomness before heading off on our summer trip. (yay!)

It’s a hot & sunny Monday here in Jersey, after some crazy evening T-storms last night. Here’s what I’m loving lately:

For (easy?) Indoor Gardening ~ I have the total opposite of a green thumb. I kill almost every plant I try to grow save one lucky bamboo plant (while FH manages to keep his pre-Laura botanicals green & healthy despite my presence… mostly because he does not allow me to touch them).  I recently discovered it is not *impossible* to kill a succulent (aren’t they supposed to be low-maintenance?), yet the fighter in me would love to try again. I’d like to follow the tips in this DIY for a succulent tabletop garden from the amazing Lovely Indeed.


For a Timeless Tabletop ~ I spent a good day and a half emailing pictures of everyday dish sets to my poor, patient future hubby last week (you know, wedding registries & all that). I campaigned to convince him that white dishes were totally the way to go, and used this as photo evidence from those domestic geniuses over at Young House Love to demonstrate the versatility & the *possibilities!* The photo is courtesy of their well-timed (for me) post: Registry Do’s and Doh’s. Sherry’s colorful yet simple holiday tablescape had me singing deck the halls!


For Copy-Cat-Ing ~ I love the homemade-looking-nature of this Dotted Paper Vase from Anthropologie– and am considering recreating my own version for less than the $49.95 price tag. Wish me luck!

For Adorable, Techy Convenience ~ I love these Skeleton Key Flash Drives found on Uber Gizmo for a fun & unique way to keep your important documents handy at all times. Gotta get me a hot pink one!

So Good You’ll Ask For S’More ~ Can I get a *what what* for these S’moretini Shooters brought to you by How Sweet it Is? Take Smirnoff Fluffed Marshellow flavored vodka (oh yes, it’s true), Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur, Godiva Chocolate liqueur, hot fudge, graham crackers, & toasted marshmallows… and you’ve got a genius concoction. The only question is… will the bartender at my wedding be making these, please?


And with that I leave you to enjoy the rest of your Monday and the week ahead! ❤