This is the 11th time Michael and I have spent Valentine’s Day together!
The first three years of dating before marriage were on and off. But I don’t recall a time where we were not dating during Valentine’s Day.
What I do remember is the first Valentine’s Day we ever celebrated. We had been dating only for a few months and I just started a new job at a market research company I worked for in down town Chicago
It was supposed to be a regular work day and then we had plans to meet for dinner that evening.
When I stepped away from my desk for a meeting at the office I had no idea that there would be this ENORMOUS box sitting on my chair !!! I think I turned all shades of orange and red when I first saw it. The whole office was waiting to see what was in the box… when I realized that it was my boss who signed off on the delivery, I felt so embarrassed and shy about the whole thing I actually stuffed the box under my desk and hid it with my coat!! haha.
Soooo ridiculous I know!! People where whispering like “where did that box go?” ” who was it for?” “what was in that delivery?”
Anyway, when everyone finally went home and the coast was clear I pulled out the box and inside was a beautiful huge bouquet of bubble gum pink tulips.
It was really romantic and thoughtful because they were cute pink tulips and not ugly blood red roses. Of course red roses are lovely too but knowing me I’ve never bought red roses in my life so the pink tulips were personal and sweet. Also, till this day I’m sensitive and shy about certain things. Micheal never lets that get in the way from making me feel special and allowing me a space to feel safe and important.
Later that day he met me at the office after work and I came out with my huge vase of pink tulips. We went to a little Italian place where they had a band that played Lionel Richie classic love songs and I ordered pasta 🙂
It’s funny the things you tend to remember. haha. Not really critical details. I have no idea what we really discussed. We had a lovely evening and have shared every Valentine’s Day together ever since.
Valentine’s Day is becoming more about the kids now that they are getting older and starting to understand the value of Valentine’s Day treats. haha.
I asked Annabelle if she had a secret admirer and was shocked that she immediately called out this one boy from her old Kindergarten class who used to tease everyone! She said he gave her a flower asked her to marry him on the playground. Haha.
Love is in the air!
Happy Love Day!! However you choose to celebrate it ♥
I think we only got one day of winter but this wool number is so chic and cozy.
If I ever had to “invest” in a piece of clothing it would definitely be a coat. When I first moved to Chicago a few years ago this was something I didn’t understand. I spent my shopping trips looking for cute outfits and the latest trends. I did not invest in a good coat.
Ironically, as probably anyone else can guess, it’s the coat that you probably should invest in because that is the item that you will get the most milage out of. Also, that is what most people will see you in when you are rushing off to work, running errands or just going for a walk.
The Coat you choose should also be good quality and probably a classic and flattering cut. If I wear a flashy coat I feel like I’m wearing the same thing everyday and I get tired of it pretty quickly. When I have a more “basic” option I can change up my accessories, hat, gloves, shoes, bag, hair style, and the vibe is completely new again.
This red color is one of my new favorites! It’s classic, yet special at the same time. I love that I can dress it up and dress it down. Add heels and a sparkly clutch to jazz it up and then jeans and sneakers for a more sporty feel.
Michael, said we are going to try a new steakhouse tonight for our dinner date. I know we should probably be going out tomorrow since that’s when Valentine’s Day is technically. BUUUUUTT, when you have a sitter that is available to stay and help out on a Monday evening, that’s when you go!
This is going to sound really bad but I can’t actually remember what we did last year at all. Total amnesia?!! Oh my, I guess Angelina must have just been a few months old and the whole thing feels like a total blur right now!
Hope this is a Valentine’s Day to remember, at least this year I won’t be pregnant or nursing so I’ll be enjoying a nice big glass of red wine.
Still a school night, so we won’t be getting too carried away…
This is going to be our 11th Valentine’s Day together! Wow, I don’t remember last year’s but there is one year I surely won’t forget! The first Valentine’s Day we ever spent together! Tune into tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day special to hear more about it!!
Thank you for following along, Happy Valentine’s Day however you choose to spend it!!
You can find me in pretty little floral dresses throughout the whole month of February!!
This is one of our favorite spots at the park, right by the water. It’s so pretty and quiet out here, and you can watch the ducks and birds sail down the water. I love a peaceful park bench and knowing that Angelina is safe to March around and not get into too much trouble is the best. Some days I even pick up the kids and come here with a box of donuts and some bread for the birds. They feed the birds and then we have a mini picnic on the bench and catch up on our day.
I saw this adorable little red floral dress the other day and was waiting for an excuse to take it home 🙂 When it finally dawned on me that it was February (= the month of love= wear red everyday+ flowers+ eat chocolate anytime) – I was sold!!
Typically I shy away from red but it’s growing on me.
I once picked up a make up book from the 80’s off of my mom’s stack of old books and I read something really interesting about finding the most flattering color for your own complexion:
hold up the dress to your body if you look at your face in the mirror then the color is flattering on you\\ if you look at the dress then the color is off because it doesn’t bring attention to YOU
hold up the dress to your face, if you see the bags under your eyes + the blemishes on your face then the color is not flattering on you \\ if you hold up the dress to your face and your eyes sparkle and your complexion looks good then it’s flattering!
I always try to keep these two tips in mind when I find something and I’m either on the fence about it, or I love the dress and color but am not sure if it’s flattering on ME.
Okay, the one exception to all this?!! When it’s festive season and you want to wear something because it fits in with the holiday. For example on Saint Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc..
Beisides who needs an excuse to wear florals? Flowers are pretty and they make us happy, in my opinion the more the merrier-on Valentine’s Day and beyond!!
Am I the only one who finds there is little or no time to prepare any kind of healthy fresh meal, continuously throughout the day?
By the time carpool is over, nap time is in full swing and I am showered and all caught up on email, I never seem to find anything healthy to eat in the fridge. The thought of preparing something nutritious is daunting. At times it’s easier to warm up some toast and alternate between peanut butter or jam. This leaves me unsatisfied and circling around for snacks, none of which include anything healthy or fresh 🙁
An hour or two later, I’m still hungry, feel sluggish and low on energy. UGH. Is it just me?!
Right,now I’m all about the short cuts. Whatever is going to give me extra time and whatever is easiest is what I end up going with. So when I heard aboutSnap Kitchen and their fresh easy meals I had to go check it out!When I went to my local store I was so excited about the big selection. They had these cute little dishes all stacked up with fresh ingredients. I filled up my basket with a Greek salad for lunch, coconut soup for dinner, and lasagna for the next day! I even picked out some banana pancakes for Angelina as a snack.
The meals were the perfect size. Fresh, delicious and nutritious. The next time I went, I piled up dozens more to try! Chicken and beef, more salads and soups! Just click here to browse the menu. I wish they had these little healthy stores in Chicago when I worked in Downtown! The closest place to my office was a coffee shop and their healthy options were scarce! It would have been perfect to stock up on these fresh meals, they fit perfectly into my fridge and there is a wide selection.
With as many local ingredients as possible Snap Kitchen is in heavy rotation around here. I’ve even urged Michael to go and collect a few salads and meal options to pack for the office.
Getting healthy is a lot easier. When I’m hungry and want a snack I’ll just grab one of the meals- I actually cannot get enough of the Greek Salad right now. I think I have at least one a day!! The menu has many different options, eventually I will try to expand my dish selections, haha.
My advice is, locate your local Snap Kitchen by clicking here. Head over there and stock up on a bunch of healthy meals, at least a few a day for 2 or three days to start. Pull out and warm your meals when you are hungry or pack them with you for a healthy snack on the go! Just like that easy peasy, you’ll be able to build in those healthy options in a SNAP 😉
Do you ever struggle with preparing healthy, fresh and nutritious meals for you or your family at home? Have you ever visited Snap Kitchen before?! Which is your favorite Snap Kitchen dish?!!! Write below in the comments and let me know, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Thank you for following along, what do you want to read about next time?! ♥
Happy 4th birthday to our darling sweet boy Alexander London Bowman.
We love you so much. You are beautiful inside and out. To know you is to love you. You have such a kind and generous sprit. I learn from your optimistic character everyday! You always say things like, ” well that was silly” and laugh things off when they don’t go your way. You celebrate the littlest milestones and victories-like finding a parking spot,” We love this spot right Mom?!” Or close calls,” that was lucky right?!” 😉
Today is your birthday and I’m thinking of the day you were born in London, England 4 years ago.
Your daddy and I left Annabelle at home with Grandma and took a London taxi to the hospital first thing in the morning. I had my hospital bag packed. I had just taken a shower and my hair was still wet.
It was a foggy and misty London day in January. The streets were quiet and the cab ride took less than 5 mins. We were so excited to meet you that we arrived to the waiting room early. Your lovely Doctor came over and introduced herself. It was the first time we met her. The whole surgery team was all women and they made us feel warm and comfortable. I was so excited and ready to meet you.
We were relaxed and happy.
I waited patiently on the surgery table. A little tug and a pull, then the first sign,”his head is larger than I thought” 🙂 Next thing you know this beautiful little red boy is waived across my body, and starts sailing around the room. Hardly any crying at all.
When they placed you in my arms I burst into tears. When we looked into each others eyes the world stopped. You were soft, you were sweet. We had already met. We had known each other for a long long time. Of course we shared the some body for almost a year. It was more than that. We just looked at each other and there was such a calmness. It was love at first sight.
The nurses wheeled us into my room, with you in my arms. Daddy went to get Grandma and Annabelle. We worked on nursing and cuddling. You latched like a pro, haha. The nurse said,”he is very good at breastfeeding”. I was so proud of you already. You were tiny and sweet. A perfect weight and steadily growing. We spent the first two days at the hospital nursing and sleeping on repeat.
The first time we left our room was to visit the pediatricians office. I wheeled you over there in your little crib cart. You were all wrapped up in your swaddle like a burrito. Cozy,comfy and secure. The nurses loved you and helped me change your little nappy.
On the third and last day Daddy took Annabelle home and Grandma stayed with me while I signed all the check out papers. A nurse walked us down to the lobby. We put on your violet leopard print fleece onesie with a hoodie and hailed a London cab! “To Marlybone please, Sir!”
No wonder you love Taxis so much, haha.
Never forget that I will love you forever. You make me so proud, the world is better because you are here. I love being your mom.
These Winter basics are on total repeat over here, and I’ve just added this non-momsy diaper bag to the top of my list. I’ve seen it around on other moms but never knew if it was a backpack, messenger bag,or briefcase.
Now that I’ve had mine for almost a week I have not taken it off. Really. I’ve moved in, and cannot see myself moving out. I haven’t used it for diapers-per say but it’s really been practical for everything else.
My favorite attributes are:
pockets –lots, both inside and out.
Two easy ways to wear it- backpack and messenger bag. I constantly go back and forth all day between the two. When I’m in a hurry I throw the messenger strap over my shoulder and run out the door. When I have a second and I need too hands, and no immediate need for wallet/ i phone access I put both stripes on for the backpack.
Zippers are chunky and gold (LOVE!) + easy to slide open and closed (yay)
Bag is not precious and already has popcorn inside and is holding up beautifully.
I love carrying it around, it looks expensive and modern. Not like a baby bag at all. By the way, the packaging was flawless, very high quality… this would be a lovely gift for a friend, sister, anyone you know that has kids or a baby on the way.
My trusted ZARA boots, that match everything, and will go into Spring perfectly are sadly sold out but I like these just the same– they feel so Mod and there’s something really cool about that!
Sweet Angelina is wearing the same Little White Company cashmere sweater that I bought for Annabelle when we lived in London. Alexander wore it when we were in Toronto and now it’s Angelina’s turn. I love a good heirloom piece. Angelina hasn’t worn it as much as the others because, to tell you the truth we’ve only had to dig out these Winter layers a tiny handful of times this year!
Thank you to the FAWN DESIGNfamily for my gorgeous bag, I only feature things that I love, and this is right at the top of my list ♥
Time management is something that I always struggled with.
I find that I am most productive when I have a list and a deadline. Of course balancing kids and trying to keep a deadline can be difficult.
I let go of a lot of stress when I prioritize. Sometimes, if I have too much on my plate and can’t get it all done I end up feeling like I’ve failed. This emotional set back makes it more difficult for me to muster up the courage to try again at times.
When I put together a logical timeline, I am able to allow a little flexibility for myself and the little ones. This makes it easier to cross things off my list, and motivates me to keep going.
I love to feel busy and productive. I hate to feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
One of my flaws (that I would never bring up at a job interview, haha) is working under pressure. I can do it, I’m just not very good at it. When we have 5 seconds to get out the door in the morning for an early doctor appointment, I end up crashing into furniture, can’t find my keys, lose my phone, and leaving in sneakers without socks.
I’ve learned a lot from Michael who has always been great with punctuality. One of the things I fell in love with him for was how time accurate and dependable he was. When he said he would pick me up at 6pm, he would be there at 6 pm. When he said he would call at 9:00 he would call at 9:00. He was someone that I could count on, and never played games with time.
I still have a tough time getting started in the mornings. Confession: I am not a morning person, never was, never will be. However, once I get started I feel unstoppable.
My saving grace is allowing myself to stop for breaks through out the day.
Having a routine also helps a lot. Now that Angelina is on a nap schedule (11-12:30) I can count on that time to do a little work, take a shower and have some lunch. That’s really all the time in the day that I need to myself.
All in all, it’s something I think I will constantly be trying to manage to make sure I get the most out of my day.
Over all the most important thing I have to keep in mind is never to waste it. Never to take one moment for granted.
I stumbled upon this little note the other day and I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since:
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
-Henry David Thoreau
Thank you so much for reading along, and thank you Daniel Wellingtonfor sending me this gorgeous watch!!
Use Code: Stephany15 and get 15% off your new watch!!
Am I the only one who misses my bronze legs come mid-January?!! I’ve found a make-up product that can help bring out your best features on your legs! I know that your legs are already perfect! But sometimes I really miss those summer bronze legs.
When I was asked to try out the new product, Say Hello To Sexy legs, I was pretty curious and excited to try it! It is the number one selling bronzing product at Sephora, and how cute is that packaging?!!
It comes with 3 bottles
A bronzer- a really pretty caramel color with a tad of shimmer, think Brazilian beach vibes 🙂
A highlighter- a champagne color. Apply right down the front bone of your leg. This is supposed to reflect the light and draw your eye inward-resulting in a sliming effect.
A contour stick- a deep caramel color, designed to add some definition to your leg.
You can use one of these, all of them or any combination of the three.
I really liked the bronzer. If I was in a hurry I would just apply that and my legs would instantly look tanned with a glow. If I had more time, I could dab a little champagne shimmer down the front of my leg for a silky smooth finish.
Over all, I probably wouldn’t use Say Hello To Sexy Legs on a daily basis, but would definitely use it for a night out. If I was going to wear something short, which is not unusual for me, and didn’t have a tan- this is the product I would go for.
I would use the bronze leg contour with caution. If you are going to rock the combination of all 3 products at one time,I would make sure they were really well blended into my skin. A little goes a long way. If you have fair colored skin, build in the bronzer slowly so you don’t have blotchy spots.
Like all bronzers, apply in the bathroom. I always use it AFTER I’ve already gotten dressed because I’m the worst under pressure! Seriously, when I’m out of time and trying to get to the door, I start crashing into furniture, can never find my keys, phone, ID, mind, NADA!!!
So if you are anything like me, do yourself a favor, build in a few mins to get this right. Don’t set yourself back by making a huge mess of it!
Verdict: I can see why this product is a top Sephora seller. Glossy, bronze, and easy to use. I would defiantly try it again, and the packaging is so cute!