September 21, 2016

What I Wore

During our recent trip to Sun Valley, I picked up this amazing Rebecca Taylor silk ruffle dress at Consign Design. We returned to SV over the weekend to meet Mini Fashionista II, and some family friends hosted a "sip n' see". It offered the perfect opportunity to wear my new dress. 

I paired it with my Target Wedges (post here). It's hard to believe they are 4 years old. And for my birthday (it's this week), Katie gave me the Smith Sidney sunglasses I was coveting (post here)...Thanks Sister.

This post is a good example how you can mix and match expensive and inexpensive. Rebecca Taylor dress + target shoes. A match made! 

And cheers to AS (a loyal friend and reader) for taking the photos! She experienced her first trip to SV over the weekend, and I think she's hooked. Of course we had to take her to Consign Design... #svlifeisthebestlife

September 20, 2016

Keeping it Real: Mind Your Manners

I wrote this "Keeping it Real" post on manners over two years ago, and I felt like it needed to be pulled back out of the vault, for my own good and the good of society.

From July 25, 2014...

Katie and I grew up with parents that heavily stressed good manners.

We were taught to shake someone's hand (with a good, firm grip), look them in the eye and address them as Mr. or Mrs. until we were told otherwise.

We answered the telephone with a script, "Wilson residence, Regan speaking".

We wrote thank you notes.

We said please and thank you.

We sat up straight without our elbows on the table (most of the time).

We asked to be excused.

We cleared our plates and put them in the dishwasher.

My question is this, when did it become socially acceptable to be rude and disrespectful? Is it just me or have good manners become a thing of the past? This topic is on my brain because I drill into the Mini Fashionista on a daily, hourly, minutely (is that a word?) basis the importance of nice manners.

Just last week we were driving to an appointment and there was an unusual amount of traffic which was going to cause me to be about 5-10 minutes late. So I picked up my phone and called to let them know that I was going to be late. The Mini asked me "mommy, why did you say you are sorry? We only say sorry when we hit". Well yes, apologizing after hitting is important, but that is not the only time (the conversation went on).

While five minutes is a somewhat insignificant period of time, it's not really about the time. It's about having the courtesy to appreciate that everyone's time is precious and be respectful of that.

I'd like to make a few of my own observations about manners, or lack there of. And please remember, I do not admit to being perfect (Emily Post would surely have some suggestions), but I do make a concerted effort. And, I respect the fact that not everyone will agree with me on this topic.

1. It is not okay to leave a phone call/voicemail unanswered. EVER. Be it personal or professional. One of my biggest pet peeves during my time at Nike was this exact problem. Call people back. Similarly, I would like to add (2016) if you receive an invitation, make sure to it an evite, an email or a paper invitation. It is so rude not to. 

2. Make introductions. If you are in a social setting and two people are not acquainted, introduce them as soon as possible.

3. Ask nicely. Say thank you.

4. Write thank you notes. If someone goes out of their way for you, hosts you for a dinner, makes a kind gesture, or gives you a gift, write a hand written note. Not a text. Not an email. A note. With pen and paper.

5. Write a thank you note(s) after an interview. If you really want a job, you should have enough time and motivation to do this.

6. Look people in the eye. Why is it that so many people cannot have an eye to eye conversation? I can't tell you how many times recently I have been talking to someone and they can't look me in the eye.

7. Shake hands when you meet someone. And please, please don't have a limp hand shake. There is nothing worse than a limp grip.

8. Don't be late. And if you are going to be late, pick up the phone and call, or at least, send a text. Be respectful of other people's time.

9. If someone has food in their teeth, tell them...likewise, if their underwear is caught in their skirt, they really should know.

10. And finally, put down the phone. I am writing this to tell myself as much as I am hoping to tell others. It is rude to constantly look at your phone as if there is something more important than the person/people in your company. Engage with them as if they matter. Because they do.

I believe that good manners begin at a young age. Children with bad manners are simply a result of parents with bad manners. As a parent, one of the best gifts you can give to your children is that of manners. Teach them young, and it will surely carry into their adult life and serve them well.

And may I say, thank you for reading.

September 19, 2016

Rockets of Awesome

I was recently introduced to the kids clothing subscription box called "Rockets of Awesome". 

Four times a year they send you a box with 12 items (11 pieces of clothing and one accessory) for your child. You fill out a profile with your child's sizes and preferences, and they send you items based on your profile. 

Shipping is free, and you are only charged for the items you keep. The clothes are designed by the Rockets of Awesome team to be durable, comfortable and at an affordable price point....most items fall between $12-$36. 

We received our first box last week, and I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised. 

First the items we didn't keep....I would have kept some of these if she didn't already have so many clothes. 

I really loved this dress ($34), but with the warm weather coming to an end I am only buying long sleeve dresses.

I kept two items, a pair of basic navy leggings ($14) and this adorable top ($24). 

Overall I really liked the style of the clothes, the design details, like the colored zipper, and the out of box experience. 

I highly recommend anyone with a child between the age of 2-12 try it! If you use this link to join, once you make your first purchase, you will get one item for free! I can't wait for our winter box to arrive! 

September 16, 2016

Like Mother Like Daughter

You may remember last year when I bought this sweater/shirt from Nordstrom (post here). 

I was at J Crew a few weeks ago and came across this shirt in the girl's section, and it is nearly identical.  

I didn't buy it because $65 is only $3 less than what I paid for mine....ridiculous!! And, I'm not really sure I need to match my Mini. Although, if and when it goes on sale....I could be tempted. 

September 15, 2016

Products We Love

I love supporting friends and local businesses, so when I found out a good friend of ours was launching this Kick Starter campaign, I knew it was something I had to share.

OTTOLOCK is for every cyclist and outdoor enthusiast in your life! We already placed our order, and I can't wait for ours to arrive.

Even if you don't own a bike, how great would this be for a stroller? I've had a few friends have their strollers stolen off their porch, and the OTTOLOCK would totally prevent that!

September 14, 2016

Currently Coveting

If you read last month's Back to School post, then you saw that the Mini Fashionista got some new  New Balance sneakers.

Having worked at Nike for 6 years, it was hard for me to have in her in a non-Nike, but these are just so cute, and they have velcro, and Nike doesn't offer many shoes in her size with velcro. 

After watching her run around in these cool kicks the last week, I'm coveting a pair for myself. 

Given how much navy and white I wear, I think these would be my first choice.

I have a birthday coming up next week, and these are definitely on my list. 

September 13, 2016

Keeping it Real: Priorities

I’m back with another “Keeping it Real” post. As I said in my last post, I spent a lot of time on our two week vacation reflecting on my life, my family, and as we celebrated our 10th anniversary, I couldn’t help but also reflect on our marriage. While 10 years is certainly not a long time to be married, I believe that each decade of marriage will bring the same kinds of challenges… after 10 years or 50 years. What I’ve learned is that life is a roller coaster, there will always be ups and downs…be that related to health, finances, family, friendships, etc and getting through them takes a lot of hard work, dedication, thoughtfulness and love.

There are many things that contribute to a successful marriage: good communication, respect, intimacy, teamwork…the list goes on. I’m not an expert on marriage, so this post is based on my own experiences and from observing others. I’m a reader of “self-help” books and a big fan of continuous self evaluation, which is probably why I like to write posts like this. My goal is to share my perspective and hope that it resonates with you and provides some sort of positive impact on your life.

So, to the topic of today’s post, Priorities. One of the reasons that I believe my husband and I have such a fun and healthy marriage after 10 years (and after a child) is because we prioritize each other and ourselves. Prior to having children it was a lot easier to prioritize myself and my husband. Besides work, I didn’t have commitments that warranted greater attention. Having a baby changes all of that. Suddenly your world is consumed by another person’s life, and it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself and your partner. I’ve watched many of my friends struggle going back to work full time after having babies, and rightfully so, it’s hard. In less than two months Katie’s maternity leave will be ending and she will go back to her demanding full time job, and I’m sure the transition will be rough. My best advice for her, and for all women with young children, going back to work or staying at home, is to remember that you cannot take care of your child or your spouse if you don't take care of yourself.

Make yourself a priority.

So what might that look like? It might mean that instead of pumping 4 times a day while at work, you give your baby formula and instead spend that extra hour at the gym. I know this statement will cause controversy, but if exercise is something that is important to you, and there is no other time in the day, then make that a priority. You will be happier for it and so will your baby.

Similarly, if you are a stay at home mom, make sure that you have some type of a break in your day when you can do something to fulfill yourself. That might be having a babysitter for an hour or two so you can go to the gym or to lunch with a friend. Or if you don’t have or can’t afford help, maybe that means you do an online workout class while your baby naps or you watch an hour of reality TV. Do something that makes you feel good.

Make yourself a priority.

What I’ve found through my own experiences and through observing others is that when you are unable to take care of yourself your are more likely to be bitter and resentful when your spouse does things for himself. For example, let’s say your husband spends every Saturday morning playing golf, that’s easily a 4+ hour commitment. If you’re at home with your children during that time, then chances are you will be bitter and angry that he spent the whole morning doing something fun while you listened to your 4 and 6 year old fight over who gets to use the Easy Bake Oven first. I’m pretty sure if you have a child, you’ve had this type of experience and feeling. If you are regularly prioritizing yourself and doing things you enjoy, then the resentment and anger will likely pass quickly. However, If you don’t regularly prioritize yourself, these emotions will escalate into feelings of constant anger and resentment, and that is never a good thing.

Make yourself a priority.

While it’s important to make yourself a priority, it’s also crucial to make your spouse a priority. It’s very easy to put the entire focus of your family on your children, their activities, their routines, etc. I think this is one of the biggest challenges in a marriage (with children). There are so many ways to prioritize each other. Have a regular date night each week (or once a month) where you and your spouse go out and enjoy each other’s company without your children. I also believe it is important to take vacations without your children. This might not happen very frequently, but even a night away can help to rejuvenate you as a couple.

Make each other a priority

While date nights and vacations are great, they take time and money, which not everyone has in abundance. There are also small ways that you can prioritize each other in your daily life. One of the biggest ways is by giving your spouse the same love and attention you give your children. I noticed that when my husband was coming home each day from work he immediately gave the Mini a hug and a kiss and often times not me. While not intentional, it sends the message that your child is a bigger priority than your spouse. We now make a conscious effort to greet one another with a hug and/or kiss each time we come and go. This kind of deliberate prioritization helps to keep a strong emotional and physical connection in our marriage.

Make each other a priority.

My husband and I have achieved a great balance in our lives where each of us are able to do the things we love, we are also able to do things together as a couple and things as a family. I know that this is one of the many reasons we have a happy and healthy marriage after 10 years and will continue to for years to come. We prioritize ourselves and each other.

For most of you I hope this post reaffirms what are you already doing in your life to make yourself and your spouse a priority. Or, I hope it helps you to see an opportunity for improvement. By no means is my marriage perfect, no marriage is. But, I can assure you that thinking about yourself and your spouse as a priority will certainly help to lead you down a path to greater happiness and fulfillment.