Skincare regimen


I love reading posts about skincare products and makeup (most recently Christina's and Katie's) because I often discover new products to try.  Today I'm sharing my skin care favorites. Make-up faves soon to follow!

I'm no expert but I have tried many, many, many different products. When I was pregnant I began looking for products with fewer chemicals and often found I hated them! I'm not totally chemical free but have discovered a couple of brands (Korres and Josie Maran) I love that are formulated without parabens, sulfates, pthalates, and all the nasties.

Mac Cremewash: Not chemical free but very mild and effective.  It removes my makeup easily and leaves my skin feeling clean. I use it with a Clarisonic Mia. My face has always liked Mac products.

Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ sunscreen: I started wearing sunscreen daily just last year (gasp, I know, should have started way sooner). In the past sunscreens always made my sensitive skin break out.  This one is lightweight, not greasy, and works really well (I use it at the beach as well).  It has no nasty chemicals and I wish I had found it years ago. One bottle lasted 10 months!

Korres Wild Rose 24 hour moisturizing and brightening cream: I really love this moisturizer.  It is very smooth and creamy and just the perfect consistency for my skin.  Moisturizes really well and doesn't leave me shiny.

Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle eye cream: My eyes are extremely sensitive. Most eye creams make my eyes sting and burn. This one is very lightweight but works well under my concealer and doesn't irritate my eyes at all. Will it make my wrinkles magically disappear? I doubt it, but I still am in love with it.

Benefit It's Potent! Eye cream: This one came in my Birchbox and I've nearly used it all.  It's mild, doesn't irritate my eyes, and is a good basic cream. Not chemical free, but you can't win them all.

Happy Thursday friends, this girl is looking forward to Friday:)

The boys' favorite books


The boys love books and I thought I would share some of my their favorites.  There are so so many great books for children but these are a few we love to read together.

Baby Brains Superstar: I admit it. This is one of my favorites (a gift from cousins, they always know what's cool) and I begged the boys to like it. And thankfully they do (because I love reading it!). It's about a mommy who puts headphones on her tummy when baby is in the womb and he's born loving music and wanting to be a superstar. A really fun story!

How Rocket Learned to Read: A gift from a dear friend I've known since we were babies ourselves. This book is a precious story about a dog learning to read and has beautiful illustrations. I was tempted to order an extra one and frame some of the pages. They are that precious.

Hugless Douglas: My four year old asks for this to be read over and over.  Douglas is a big bear looking for a hug. And he's just so cute.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons: Cute books with adorable rhymes and lots of fun. You'll walk around humming the song once you've read it.

Bob reading books: a favorite for my 5 year old. He's so proud of himself when he finishes a page. I wish I had introduced these sooner.

The Story of Ferdinand: An old classic. I had read this story many years ago and forgotten about it.  A friend once told me that my 5 year old reminded her of Ferdinand (tenderhearted and could not hurt a fly).  It has since become a favorite.

Corduroy: Another old classic. Who doesn't love a sweet little teddy bear?

Llama Llama Red Pajama:  We love all these books. They are encouraging and funny and rhyme, our favorite combo.

Fall Mixed Up:  This is a silly one with mixed up seasons and words that the boys love. They love correcting the mistakes!

The Very Busy Spider: A classic. My oldest reads this over and over.

We Are in a Book:  This book is filled with silliness and super fun to read out loud.

The Something Wonderful: This was a Christmas book a teacher gave little C. The story is told in a darling way and we read it year round.

I know there are so many other great stories--please share your faves!



I have a new toy.

Say hello to the Garmin Forerunner 210.  I've kicked my Nike+ sportwatch to the curb and traded up. Nike was letting me down.  I loved the look of it but I don't have an extra hour every time I run for it to find a GPS signal, ugh! It was too temperamental.  I headed back to REI and they were happy to exchange it.  I love the Garmin, it fits my wrist better and feels more sturdy, plus it gets much better reviews and I think I can see why. I'll give you an update once I've taken it for a run.

While home in Virginia we stopped into our friend's children's store and my sweet mama got the boys' spring wardrobes. The clothes are SO cute this year, here's a sneak peek..

I haven't had much time to read due to my Downton Abbey addiction but I did recently finish Violets of March by Sarah Jio. I really liked it.  Blackberry Winter is still my favorite of her books but this one was good too, a very quick read. I'm on to The Language of Flowers next, my sister in law is an avid reader and recommended it. Sounds really good!

Speaking of Downton Abbey I must share that Mr. C now likes to eat in the dining room and calls me Ladyship. HA! Now if only he'd hire a butler and a cook.

We enjoyed a wonderful and much needed date night out to our fave restaurant RPR.  My outfit..

{Thank you again Andrea for my necklace, it's a fave!}

For dinner I had a really wonderful glass of wine (and some food of course). I highly recommend Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, very tasty.  And for the record I'm succeeding with my new drinking policy of no week night drinking, only weekends.

On weeknights I'm loving this Pomegranate Italian soda mixed with seltzer. It's really good and such a pretty deep red color. I love a pretty drink.

Both of my babies have started soccer and it's just the cutest thing ever. I have to smile about the fact that having my boys really inspired me to get sporty.  A few years ago if you had shown me a Garmin 210 and said I'd be running half marathons I would have laughed you out of town and called that watch ugly. Trying to introduce them to things and find their talents has made my life so full and also helped me discover things I love. They bring me happiness in so many ways. Seeing them try things and improve fills my heart with joy.

And that is all for now! I'm hoping to finish my little kitchen project tomorrow and get it posted early next week. Crossing my fingers. Happy Tuesday:)

Back from a road trip


Sorry I've been MIA again:) On Sunday the boys and I headed out on a little road trip to Virginia to spend a few days with my mom and dad.  It was a good time to go since Mr. C had business in North Carolina. I miss my parents (and my brother and his family) so much!  We took 2 cars and I had the boys.  They were so good considering it took us 9 hours. Nine very long hours!  But we got there safely and that's what matters. I thought I was so smart bringing the LeapPads this time (forgot them last time) but the combination of Leapster + mountains = carsickness for one little C.  We live and we learn:)

I packed my suitcase full of the above outfits (plus a few extras) and my new vinyasa scarf from Lulu (upper right corner). I admit my Lulu addiction is growing. Their clothes are so soft that I just can't stop wearing them. My girlfriend gets the credit on the vinyasa discovery, she told me about it and then I stopped by randomly and they were on sale! Can be worn 600 different ways, very fun.

My brother and sister-in-law have 4 precious children and there is nothing sweeter than watching them play together. It is hard to get them to slow down long enough for a picture but I snapped a sweet silhouette of the 5 oldest (little N was on the move so he missed out!).

Me with my sweet mama.

And daddy. This picture is from a previous visit but I can't leave him out. He's so good to me!

And for the sake of throwback Thursday here's a picture I found of me when I was little C's age.  I think we look alike?! Loving my Peter Pan collar and pearls mom, you go;)

There's so much going on right now! We have tons of house projects in progress and I can't wait to finish them, photograph them, and share them.  Living room drapes, pillows, kitchen drapes, and a very cool kitchen project.  We got a new counter depth fridge and Mr. C built it into the cabinets (the fun part is that I'm making a magnetic chalkboard on the side, can't wait to get it done)!

Hopefully now that I'm back I can get something finished! Happy Thursday:)

P.S. Thanks for your sweet comments and encouragement from Tuesday!!

Hello Chicago!!!!


It's official!! I'm running the Chicago Marathon!! I couldn't be more excited (or scared)!!

Registration is going on right now so hop to it if you're game:) I can hardly believe I'm going through with this but it will be a dream come true to complete it!


Valentine's Day hodge podge


Happy Valentine's Day!  I've been running all over the place this week.  We've been up to our necks with school projects, Valentines, you name it.  So it looks like today is random, we have some catching up to do!

I picked up the cutest blouse from F21 yesterday.. sporting it today of course.

F21 blouse / TB flats / William Rast skinnies / F21 pearls
Quite similar to the JCrew Factory version, yes? Only much easier on my wallet:)

Another OOTD from yesterday..

While at Target this week (my home away from home) I noticed this adorable Nate Berkus fruit bowl thingie..on the clearance shelf no less(??!) I had to pick it up. I was getting tired of moving flowers off the table so that I could see my children. And good news, they keep eating the oranges!

Speaking of my sweet boys I walked in on this the other day.  How precious. Normally when the house is quiet I know trouble is lurking but not this day. They had created a little reading lounge. My heart skipped a beat!

We're jumping on another bandwagon and loving every minute of it..

I'm late reporting on the Grammy Awards but I surely did love Adam Levine and Alicia Keys. Wow.

And our plans for this evening.... we don't go crazy on Valentine's Day.  We'll make a nice little dinner, give the kiddos some treats, and cozy up on the couch for Skyfall, I've been dying to see it.  My idea of a perfect night!

What about you guys?  Hope you have a very fun Valentine's Day!

Book Review: The Bungalow


I recently finished Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read some of her other books.  One of those is The Bungalow. I loved this one as well!

Here is the Amazon synopsis:

"In the summer of 1942, newly engaged Anne Calloway sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancĂ©, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war. 

A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses--of life, and of love--that have haunted her for seventy years."

While some authors leave the ending to the reader's imagination and some wrap everything up neatly in a bow, Sarah Jio sort of does both for me.  I love her writing style and am currently reading her book The Violets of March.  I would recommend adding it to your list as well, it's great so far!

*On a side note, I signed up for my second half marathon last night and I'm really excited (it's in March)! It has been 6 months since I ran my first.  I think my knees have recovered, I've been training like a mother (ha!) and I feel ready! More to come...

Happy Tuesday friends!

How the week looked


This was a busy busy week y'all! But a great one too:) Here are snippets Insta-style.

I've been snacking on & sweet mustard from Trader Joe's (with pretzel crisps). I'm so addicted I buy it in bulk.  Also delicious on a ham sandwich and for the record, not spicy at all. Just delicious!

I also ate WAY too many of these -- rice krispie treats with peanut butter, chocolate chips, M & M's, and flax seed for a slight health benefit.  So good!!!

Some OOTD's...

Seven jeans / JCrew sweater / Loft shirt / Stella & Dot necklace

Seven skinnies (yes I wear them every day) / Loft sweater /  JCrew popover shirt (a new fave)

Hudson jeans / Loft belt / Loft cardi / JCrew shirt / Stella & Dot necklace
Family snowman from last Saturday, so precious how excited the kids get over snow.  Frosty didn't last long but we sure had fun making him!

I finished a book and discovered a new author I love, Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. I highly recommend it (discovered from EatLiveRun's review, she is such a good book reviewer and I've been a longtime fan of her blog). I was captivated from the first page and couldn't stop reading -- my favorite kind of book.  Add it to your list!  This book really deserves its own post but I had to go ahead and share.

Living room...making major progress!! Here are fabrics that my girlfriend pulled together for me.  Soooo pretty, I'm in love with them!

I'm going to change the wall color (currently neutral) to something similar to the room below (richer for some contrast).  I can tell it's going to be my favorite room.  My girlfriends have such amazing style, I'm enlisting them for the kitchen and dining room too;) I could just squeal, so excited to beautify these rooms!!  I can picture myself sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and a good book (for a whole 5 seconds until I hear someone scream MOM!) Wouldn't have it any other way;)

So happy it's Friday people, this girl needs a weekend!! Hello and welcome to new followers (and old:)! Hope y'all have a great weekend:)

A giveaway!


Who doesn't love a Michael Kors watch?  Super excited to give one away and the fun part is you get your choice if you win!

I've teamed up with my bloggie bud Shanna from Because Shanna Said So, Kaitlyn from Wifessionals, and a bunch of other gals for this giveaway.  Their links are below if you're in the mood to hop and discover some fun blogs:)

Happy early Valentine's Day to you friends!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below.
This contest is open to US Residents only.
The giveaway will run from February 7 - February 13, 11:59pm EST.
Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.  Good luck!

and P.S. I'm sorry for being MIA this week, my boys have needed me and they come first;) Happy Thursday!

***All entries WILL be verified to make sure the winner has completed what she said she did (:

1// Kaitlyn 2// Shanna 3// Emily 4// Stephanie 5// Robin 6// Kalyn
7// Samantha 8// Lisette 9// Kristyn 10// Jami 11// Courtney 12// Ashley
13// Erin 14// Hallie 15// Jessica 16// Kim 17// Michele 18// Rebekah

How the week looked


Did I blog every day this week? Surely that's a record.

As I was looking through pictures to share I realized the title of this post should perhaps be "What I have and have not been drinking."  Ha!

Tuesday's latte from Frothy Monkey, a very cool coffee shop....

my girlfriend's had a heart...cute AND delicious....

I tried to *not* drink wine or beer every.single.night this week, just to see if I would live. I did. But I missed it;) Instead I drank this little concoction and it was refreshing. I love mixing Italian soda with seltzer, the perfect amount of fizz and sweet. I normally buy TJ's Italian blood orange soda but this French berry lemonade is good too.  But boy am I ready for a real drink!

I've also started drinking tea (in an effort to cut down on coffee during the day and throw some extra antioxidants into the mix).  Really enjoying this one....

I love looking at pretty things and after popping into Anthro on Tuesday wanted to share this....

on sale for $39, I love it
and this in the front, party in the back, very cute...

Instagram outfit from Tuesday, felt very cute in my new JCrew tee...

a little $5 scarf I picked up at F21....loving navy and soft blues right now...

and that is how this week came and went, my friends.  Here's to a great weekend!!