Lifestyle Archive

Home For The Holidays

Tree (another option here) || Ball Ornaments || Stocking Holders || Stockings (old, another option here) || Garland (another option here) || Nutcracker || Christmas Cars || Christmas Pillow

Addi’s & Ellie’s Top || Addi’s & Ellie’s Pants || Addi’s Bow || Ellie’s Bow

I don’t know about you guys but I kind of felt like the holidays crept up on me this year.  Summer seemed to come to an end and then in a blink of an eye it was Thanksgiving, and before I know it we will be opening presents on Christmas morning.  I guess that’s what happens when you have two active little ones to chase around and no longer have time to count down the days until Santa arrives…am I right?

You may have heard me mention this before but I cannot bring myself to decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.  I can’t imagine enjoying turkey and stuffing while looking at a Christmas tree.  Maybe I’m weird, but it’s just a thing I have, and until this year we have always gotten a real tree so putting it up early was never even an option.  Well, this year we caved,  it probably has to do with the fact I’m still on crutches, and that I’m tired of cleaning up pine needles, but we ordered this tree and as soon as Thanksgiving was over we had it set up in our living room.  After the tree was up we slowly brought out the rest of the decor and I have to tell you it definitely got the whole family into the holiday spirit.

One thing I am loving about our new (fake) tree is the white tips on the branches.  It makes me feel like winter is officially here, and we should be roasting marshmallows by the fire.  I am also really excited about the way our mantle turned out.  It’s pretty simple with just our stockings, holders and a pretty garland, but adding the pops of red with pillows and these adorable trucks I found at Target add the finishing touch.

I’ve also been asked a few times about how we handle having a toddler and a Christmas tree all at the same time.  Well, to be honest, we have been firm believers of teaching Addison, and eventually Eleanor, that some things are OK to touch and some things aren’t. The tree is one of those things we look at but don’t touch.  Most of what is in our living room isn’t really “toddler friendly”,  but I have never been worried that she will destroy items, or pull our decor down.  We obviously keep a close on her, but so far no accidents!

Don’t worry, if you haven’t gotten around to decorating for the holidays just yet, you still have plenty of time. I have linked some of my favorite decor items below, and most of them are super budget friendly!  Happy Wednesday, we have made it halfway through the week!

 

xo Ali

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The Stylish Mama’s Guide To The Holidays: Holiday Traditions with Mackenzie Childs


Tea Kettle: c/o Mackenzie Childs || Mugs: c/o Mackenzie Childs || Sweater || Tray

As a little kid the holidays at home were pretty magical.  I know that sounds really corney and like I am exaggerating, but looking back our house was always dressed with wreaths and red bows and our Christmas tree was more of a work of art than just a tree.  On Christmas morning the house always smelled of Christmas candles, cookies and coffee and we took our time opening presents going around in a circle oo-ing and ahh-ing as one by one we each worked through our little pile under the tree.   I never really thought about the time and effort that my parents put in to making the weeks and days leading up to Christmas so special until Brian and I moved into our first house.  All of a sudden I wanted the house to smell the same, look the same and feel the same, but it was just different.

Then we had Addison, and my desire to re-create the magic at home went to an all new level.  I remember the first Christmas with her at home we had all our stockings hung and the tree was dressed just right, but Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas until we stepped into my parents home on Christmas morning.  It was strange because here I was with my own little family and yet I still wanted to be “home.”

For 29 years we have always been at my parents together on Christmas Eve  and Christmas Day.  Even after I got married we somehow made it work and we at one point did three separate Christmas mornings at three different houses just to make sure nothing changed too much.  This year we will be altering our plans a bit and while I am so very excited to start some new traditions as a family of four a part of me is longing for the Christmases I had as a little girl.  I guess that is a part of growing up and building a family and life of your own.  Things change, but sometimes if you let it happen they can change for the better.  One thing I know for sure is when Addison and Eleanor wake up to see if Santa came to visit our house will be decked out with wreaths and ribbons, candles will be burning and cookies and coffee will be served.

Oh, and if you are wondering about what I might be drinking my coffee in on Christmas morning, it’s safe to say these mugs from MacKenzie Childs will be with me as we open presents around the tree.  The pattern just reminds me of the holidays and I love a coffee mug that allows for a generous pour (this mama needs her caffeine fix in the mornings!).   MacKenzie Childs has so many fun and festive items on her site that would make great gifts for you or someone else this holiday season.  Be sure to check out how my other favorite mama’s use their MacKenzie Childs items during the holiday season.

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

We will also be giving away $250 worth of MacKenzie Childs products tonight over on Instagram.  Be sure to check our accounts at 9pm EST for all the details!

 

(Thank you to MacKenzie Childs for these beautiful mugs and tea kettle!  All thoughts and opinions are my own. )

 

xo Ali

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The Stylish Mama’s Guide To The Holidays: Gift Guide For The Guys

Is it just me or is buying gifts for the men in your life always so hard?  I’m not sure why, but every time I ask my husband, dad or brother what they want for a birthday or for Christmas I always get the same answer, “I don’t know.” I like to think of gifts that are meaningful or will be used by them, and not just something that will sit in their office or closet.

One thing I think all the guys in my life can agree on is that they love being pampered…even if it’s just a little :).  My dad in particular is someone who loves trying new products, if you look in his bathroom cabinet it is always filled with a ton of items that are only slightly used.  When I received these Fulton & Roark items in the mail I immediately thought of him and how much he would love them.  However, when the package arrived and my husband saw what they were he was more than happy to be the guinea pig and try them out.  He loved them all, but mostly loved the way the After Shave Cloths felt.  I loved that they were compact so we could toss them in our carry on if we were traveling or taking a road trip.  So, needless to say I think I’ll be buying a few more items for the guys on my list this holiday season.  Want to try Fulton & Roark for yourself use code MOMMYMONDAY15 for 15% off your next purcahsed, because who doesn’t love a good deal during the holidays?

Anyway, if you are in the same boat as me here and trying to find the perfect present for the guys in your life, here are some other options that will be sure to please even the pickiest of people.  I have already scooped up a few of these for my husband and I hope is is excited to find them under the tree on Christmas morning.

Luggage || Fulton & Roark Set || Sunglasses || Shoes || Tie || Watch || Headphones || Leather Kit ||Sweater 

 

Also, you can see my other favorite Mama’s gift guides here:

MIRIELLE, CITY PEACH

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

(Thank you Fulton & Roark for sending these amazing products.  All thoughts are my own!)

xo Ali

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Our Thanksgiving Table

Napkins || Napkin Holders ||Utensils || Chargers || Glasses (old, similar here) |Plates || Chairs 

I cannot believe we are so close to celebrating another Thanksgiving day with our family.  This year is the first time we are officially hosting at our house, so I figured I should probably get my act together and start building a collection festive holiday table decor.  I never really thought about all the things you need when entertaining for a holiday and in all the years we have been celebrating Christmas or Easter at my parents house my mom just seemed to have everything she needed, so I guess over time you just build up a stash of cute holiday items, right?

  When I was looking around online there is so many cute  patterns for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I thought I should probably look at the bigger picture and pick something that could potentially be used for more than one holiday. I found this cute bowl and plate set at Pier 1 and from there everything else came together.  My thought is, these plates and bowls can be used for numerous occasions along withe the flatware and chargers and then I can switch out things like napkinsnapkin holders, table runners, or glasses depending on the holiday we are celebrating.

Since right now I am also off my feet for another few weeks I also needed to create a tablescape that was simple but festive at the same time.  Adding these cute pumpkins and simple greens really made the table come alive.  We will be adding a few more settings and connecting a larger table on Thanksgiving Day but all in all this is what the table will look like as we sit down and give thanks for another inspiring, beautiful and blessed year.

If anyone is looking for some last minute Thanksgiving items or searching for some holiday decor for Christmas head over to Pier1 they are currently running 25% off all items in store and online.  I will probably be making a few more purchases this upcoming week. Next on the list, food prep…but who am I kidding because my husband is going to be working his magic in the kitchen this Thanksgiving :).

 

xo Ali

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The Stylish Mama’s Guide To The Holidays: Colleen Rothschild

Happy Monday everyone!  We are t-minus four days until Turkey day which means we are so close to getting all the holiday decor up at my house.  We have an unspoken rule over here that our Christmas decorations don’t go up until after Thanksgiving but believe me when Friday comes the holiday tunes will be cranked up and we will be like little elves getting all set up.

Just because we aren’t decorated for Christmas doesn’t mean the weather hasn’t starting taking a turn for the cold…freezing cold if I am being honest.  And, as always, with the change of season comes a big change in my skin.  I am by no means a beauty expert, far from it in fact, but I am someone who has very sensitive, very temperamental skin.  Add postpartum pregnancy hormones on top of my already combination skin and it’s just all kinds of crazy.

 

I was only recently introduced to Colleen Rothschild’s skincare brand so I was a little hesitant to try something new in fear I would have a bad reaction.  I eased into the line with choosing to try the Nourishing Body Lotion.  It is soft and silky and I really made my very dry hands and elbows feel soft after just a few applications.

The next two products I wanted to try were a little more geared towards the fact that my skin is a sometimes oily, sometimes dry and am constantly dealing with breakouts.  Her Clarifying Detox Mask.  It is super thick but feels very luxurious when applying it to your face.  I have to say, it was just what my very tired, very warn face needed to a little pick me up.

Finally, the last product I tried was pretty much love at first try.  Like I have mentioned before I have always suffered with acne and I am always up to try something to try and tone down and spots and scars from years of not taking care of my skin properly.  The Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum has already started to improve the look and feel of my skin and I know in the coming weeks it will probably look even better.  I will be sure to keep you posted!

It is safe to say I am a convert and can’t wait to try a few more products.  If you are looking to get your holiday shopping started early or want to treat yourself to a few gifts of your own, Colleen Rothschild  is starting their Black Friday sale early and you can get 30% off site wide starting today with code BFRI30.  You don’t want to miss out on this.

Don’t forget to head over to see what products my other favorite mamas love.  You can check out their posts here:

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

xo Ali
The Holiday Juggle

Dress: c/o BURU White Label || Boots  (more affordable option here) || Earrings

I have always loved celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years (as long as celebrating New Years means I can be in my PJs, with my family and  few good friends and a bottle of wine!), but ever since having kids I feel like the holidays have become extra special.  Mostly, I think it’s because my parents always made the holiday season a little magical at our house and  I want my kids to have those same beautiful memories to look back on, because was never a Thanksgiving or Christmas that wasn’t filled with family, lots of laughter and lots of amazing food.

This year had all these plans of creating a magical first Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years in our new home, but as always life has thrown a little curve ball our way.  If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m headed into surgery tomorrow to place some screws and plates in my broken ankle.  This means I’ll be in a cast until right before Christmas followed by a boot for at least a another six weeks after that.  That means I can do very little without relying on the help of others at the moment and it has been a bit of an adjustment around here in terms of who is helping me with the kids while Brian is at work and how is helping me with me as well.  I have really been living my that phrase “it takes a village…” because I think in the near future I’ll be relying on others a lot, and while some days I am struggling with coming to terms with this, I know if I take a deep breath everything will happen like it is supposed to.

While I can’t control much lately, one thing I can control is each morning getting up getting dressed and starting the day on a positive note.  It might sound silly, but putting on something “cute” or “cozy” to get me through the day helps so much.  When I got this  shirtdress from Buru White Label I couldn’t wait to try it on with an oversized sweater and a pair of over the knee boots.  While I may only be able to get one boot on at the moment, I still love this dress! And, at a price point that is less than $100 it really is a no brainier that you should add this to your wardrobe not only for the holiday but all year round.  If you haven’t hear of Buru yet, you should head over to their website ASAP because they just got in their new Holiday collection and it is pretty awesome.  I have linked some of my other Buru favorites below, but I have to tell you this animal print  jacket is something I might be adding to my Christmas list this year.  I love the colors and the subtle leopard detail!

Don’t forget to head over to see how the rest of the #MommyMonday crew styled their Buru White Label pieces and to see their tips and tricks for making it through the holiday season:

 

MIRIELLE, CITY PEACH

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

 

 

 

 

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xo Ali

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Fabulous Flats For The Holidays

1. || 2. || 3. || 4. || 5. || 6. || 7. || 8. || 9. || 10. 

Ok, so I know what all of you are thinking it’s far too early to be getting into the holiday spirit, right? Well, Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away which means Christmas and New Years will be here before you know it.   I also know that I am not alone when I say sweater weather, yummy food, and time spent with family and friends really does make this the best time of year.

 If you are anything like me you are already thinking about what to wear for all the holiday events that are coming up in the near future.  While I am still up in the air about some of my outfit choices what I do know is that when it comes to what I wear on my feet comfort is always key.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good heel, but flats are a girls best friend during the holidays especially if you will be like me and hosting a few of the festivities.  While I have had my eye on all of these choices I recently purchased this pair and they are a really good dupe for a higher end designer version that retails for close to $900.  If you are in the market for something a little more glitzy, maybe for those holiday photos, try these with a tiny jeweled block heel.  Finally, I can’t tell you how many times I have taken these in and out of my shopping cart over the past few weeks but they look like slippers that you can wear outside in public and not feel bad about it.  They also are an amazing designer dupe that you won’t want to pass up.

Many of these flats are under $100, which means they would be the perfect addition to your closet this holiday season or make a wonderful gift for you mom, sister, BFF, any shoe lover in your life.  Oh, and a friendly PSA starting this Monday there will be a fun new holiday series so don’t forget to check back then!  Happy Friday!

 

 

xo Ali

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Becoming A Family Of Four


Jeans || Top || Hat (similar here) || Boots || Sunglasses || Addison’s Shirt (similar here) || Addison’s Bow 

 Happy Monday everyone!  I know everyone says they love this time of year because of the weather, or pumpkin spice everything, or because they are just ready for a change of pace and a new routine, and while all of those things are pretty awesome, ever since having kids this time of year has been particularly fun because of all the activities we can do together as a family.  One of my favorites is pumpkin picking and a few weeks ago we headed out to the East End of Long Island to the cutest pumpkin patch called Hank’s Pumpkintown.  We got there around 4pm on a Friday evening and had the place almost all to ourselves, which with a toddler that likes space to run, was pretty awesome. Addison had free reign of all the fun jungle gyms and her pick of any pumpkin she wanted. Since becoming a family of four we have made it a point to do activities that might be more fun for her than her baby sister, because lets face, it babies take up a lot of mom and dad’s time and attention so we want her to know that we have time for special activities that are just for her.

While I wouldn’t trade my little family of four for the world, it definitely has been a big adjustment over here, and honestly, anyone that says adding a new kiddo to the family was a breeze is probably full of it.  Addison has been doing really well, but she definitely has her moments, and those moments tend to come just when I am sitting down to feed Ellie, or put Ellie down for a nap, or really when I am doing anything where my focus is just on baby Ellie.  I get it, for over two years she was the center of our world, and she still is, but now she has to share the spotlight with someone else.  Her favorite phrases are “put Ellie in the swing” or “don’t feed baby Ellie mommy,” and I know it’s just because she wants me to sit and play with her, but each time she says those things it breaks my heart a little.

In the first few weeks we had Ellie home I thought I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t be a mom to two because my focus was constantly being divided, and I didn’t think I could give each of my girls the attention they deserved.  I kept thinking that I would never get the quiet moments with Eleanor that I had with Addison, or that I would never again be able to sit and snuggle with Addison by myself without having to cut it short to feed her sister or change a poop explosion.  And, for the first few weeks that was definitely true, but over time a new “normal” started to develop.  I am able to sneak in an uninterrupted breastfeeding and snuggle session or two in the afternoon while Addison is taking a nap and I have made it a point to keep Eleanor home with our babysitter or drop Eleanor at my moms’ so I can Addison out of the house by herself, just her and I, at least once or twice a week.  We go to a kids gym class with friends, or take a solo trip to the park, or if the weather is bad we snuggle on the couch and read a few books without her baby sister around.

There are also things that Addison does as a big sister that seem so natural.  She has become a master of putting baby Ellie’s “fire” back in her mouth (what she calls the pacifier), and cannot go to bed a night or wake up in the morning without giving her sister a kiss and hug.  I also love that now that Ellie is recognizing our faces and the sound of our voice she literally lights up and smiles when her sister enters the room.  At just three months old it’s like she knows exactly who she is and their bond is so strong already. To all the moms out there who are worried about how they are going to handle going from one kid to two kids or even more, let me first say, “you got this!”, and then let me tell  you it just kind of happens.  I don’t know how to explain it, and for me it wasn’t a walk in the park and I still have a lot to learn, but one day you just wake up and it just all makes sense, and you know you can handle it. Eleanor will be three months tomorrow and I know I have said it before but it’s hard to remember what it was like as a family of three because life is definitely better as a family of four.

xo Ali

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Fall Mornings


Fleece Sweater c/o Dudley Stephens || Jeans || Bag || Sneakers || Sunglasses ||Stroller

Happy October everyone! It finally feels like fall around here and that has me doing a little happy dance.  It was so gorgeous this weekend that we spent as much time as we could outside, going to the park,  putting new flowers around the house for fall (give me all the mums please!), and taking a few family walks around the neighborhood.  All in all I couldn’t have asked for a better, more relaxing way to spend the weekend.

And, because it is the first Monday of the month it means another addition of #MommyMonday and today we are talking about Dudley Stephens.  If you haven’t heard of them before you need to hop on over to their website.  This fleece that I am wearing is pretty much the perfect turtleneck for the changing weather.  The cut is just right and the quality is amazing.  When the package arrived at my house my mom happened to be over and I didn’t have the box open 30 seconds before she was trying it on.  Needless to say, I think I need to get her one of her own now!

I can totally see myself layering this with a vest as the temperatures dip a bit lower at night.  It will even be great as we head into the spring and early summer.  Along with my pullover, I am also loving this vest for the fall.

Don’t forget to head over to see how my other favorite stylish mammas have styled their Dudley Stephens pieces.

MIRIELLE, CITY PEACH

KATIE, LIFE WITH A DASH OF WHIMSEY 

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

Also, check back on our Instagram accounts tonight at 7pm EST for a fun little giveaway!

xo Ali

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Making A Statement

Earrings: c/o Brynn Hudson || Jeans Jacket || Jumpsuit (old similar here) || Shoes || Bracelets || Necklace

Happy (Mommy) Monday everyone! I don’t know about you, but these few weeks before the chaos of the holidays start to set in are my absolute favorite. It’s like the calm before the storm if you will.  I also love the weather in September and early October, it is cool enough to throw on a jacket, but still warm enough that you don’t have to bundle up.

I also love that this season we are seeing tons of statement jewelry pieces and while I have always loved large statement necklaces (with the right outfit of course),  I have always been a little leery when it comes to oversized earrings. However, lately, I have found myself eyeing tons of oversized earrings including this fun style from Brynn Hudson.  There is something about adding a statement pieces of jewelry to your outfit that  just makes you want to go out to a fancy dinner or a party with friends.  The piece can instantly elevate even the most causal t-shirt and jeans to the next level.

If you haven’t heard of Brynn Hudson before, you should definitely head over to their website to see the full collection of not only earrings, but necklaces and bracelets too.  And, as always don’t forget to head over to see how my other favorite and fashionable mamma bloggers styled their pieces.

MIRIELLE, CITY PEACH

NINA, HSS FEED

TIFFANY, TIFFANY STYLE BLOG

 Oh, and you might notice one name is missing from the usual MommyMonday list, that’s because Katie had her beautiful baby girl a week ago.  If you want to see incredibility cute baby photos (as well as some of the most incredible DIY before and after’s) head over to her Instagram and blog!  Enjoy the week!

(Thank you to Brynn Hudson for the beautiful earrings!  All thoughts and opinions on this post are my own.)

xo Ali