Another Trip Around the Sun, Graham. Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Graham! Today you are TWO!

It has been a crazy year that has flew by in the blink of an eye, but then when I look back at these photos from a year ago, it seems like forever has past. Time is funny like that when its both quick and slow at the same time.

This year was a big year for my little Graham – and right in front of me he has gone from a baby, to a little boy and THAT is what makes me weepy. I love baby cuddles and the sweet baby smell and baby wearing! But I love seeing my little boys grow, learn and develop – being at home with them and seeing everything through their eyes is the greatest gift.

This year, Graham learned to walk, and now he’s a running, skipping, jumping, scooting manic who loves to race and go FAST! {Just like his big brother.}

This year Graham stopped nursing. We made it to about 14 months {which was about the same with Brooks} and he still had breastmilk from my sweet stash for another month or so. Proud of that and for us, weaning was easy both times – Forget a baby moon, I’m all about the post nursing trip! Woohoo!

This year, Graham learned to talk! Brooks started speaking way earlier, and I assumed it would be the same with G, but I think he enjoyed listening and learning to B talk {who goes a mile a minute!} so Graham wasn’t in much of a rush. But the past few months he went from a few words, to all the words. I love hearing his little voice tell me whats going on, its the sweetest.

This year, Graham moved into a room with Brooks. The two share a room and it’s been really great – they love it and I love having the two of them in there together, looking out for one another. It’s the beginning of an amazing bond I know they will have for the rest of their life.

Graham is very passionate about everything. He loves to play with Brooks {and bestie, Noah!}, he loves his favorite stuffed buddies {Teddy + Neigh – who is actually Bullseye from Toy Story} and he’s obsessed with orange juice. Brooks & Graham’s favorite music of the moment is anything N*Sync {so proud!} Graham is my sweet little love who even though he’s a big kid, is still my little bitty babe who loves to cuddle with mama and be carried all around. But at the same time, he’s very independent, loves to do everything on his own and is fearless {again, just like big bro.}

Graham full of spirit, loves to draw & paint and mostly love to get his way {or else we all feel the wrath of Gam} BUT his big brother is the best at getting him all crazy & excited but also calming him down too.

I love you, little G so much, I can’t wait for the years ahead to see you grow. You are a light in our lives, my little love, my sweet little bep. Gam, Gammin, Gammers, G, GOB, little baby sweets – we have all the names for you. {These are the nice ones – Ha!}

We love your highs and a hug from mom or dad can usually cheer you from any low. Your big eyes are full of wonder and you give the tightest little hugs along with the sweetest little kisses. Can’t imagine life without you in it, you are a beautiful soul

Happy Birthday Graham – here’s to another trip around the sun!

Too infinity & Beyond! xo – mom

Here are way too many pictures of Graham from the past year, but this is my little online memory book, so they all have to be here! And for a look back along memory lane with G, check out these posts:

Graham’s Birth Story / Newborn Photos / Graham’s Page / A Year of Graham / Graham’s First BirthdayMonthly Updates

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Three Things

Happy Wednesday! Just a little check in to share with you what’s been going on this week. Here are three things on my mind at the moment:

1 – Today is HAMILTON DAY! aka – Best Day Ever! We got tickets 9-10 months ago to see the show in NYC on Broadway and the day is finally here – EEEK! I have been jamming out to the soundtrack for almost a year straight and I can’t wait to see it live, up close and personal today. It’s going to be amazing! I’m beyond pumped.

Are you a Hamilton fan? If you are – we should be friends! Ha!

// Hamilton shirt 

2- Brooks started pre-school this week! <cue the mom tears> My little man is growing up! I can’t handle it! I loved our fun summer together, but I’m excited to watch him learn and flourish in school with his amazing teacher and friends. I think he is excited to be back in the swing of things too. He is so interested in the world around him and he’s so stinkin’ smart! Can’t wait to watch him take over the world one day!

Happy first week of school little man, you are a rockstar!

Do you have a little one fresh in school this week? How’s it going?

3- I did a little choppy chop on my hair this week. Was starting to get itchy for a little change. Cut off almost 5 inches and tones down the color for a more Fall look. I’m really happy with how it turned out – it feels so light, like I’ve lost 20 lbs! I haven’t had short hair in YEARS! So it’s a big change for me, but I am excited to explore possibilities beyond the #mombun I even got excited and ordered the curling iron my stylist used on me {it was so adto hopefully add in a little volume every day, because I love this beach hair vibe!

If you are on the fence about a fun cut/color for Fall – just do it! It’s just hair! Have fun with it!

Would love to hear a thing or two going on with you this week!

Please share and I’ll send one or two friends a cool shirt from my avocado party! Woohoo!

Style Favorite: Dresses + Sneakers

So it’s September!

Technically Fall doesn’t start for another few weeks, on the 22nd to be exact, but it’s still feeling hot + summery in Philadelphia today! So I am busting out a pretty dress that I had to share!

// dress {under $25!} / shoes

As mentioned in pretty much every other previous post, I’m floral obsessed.

Can’t get enough!

And my favorite way to transition summery dresses {most of which that I own are – you guessed it, floral!} into the Fall season is with a cute pair of kicks!

You can’t go wrong with adding a denim jacket either!

These classic kicks have been a go-to in my closet for YEARS! I love them with denim, shorts and dresses too – they make any look casual and cool – and I think they are an awesome way to transition some summer looks as the weather cools.

Plus I love how some cool kicks can really change up a otherwise flirty look and give it a little edge.

// earrings {versatile 2 in 1}  / Roseberry LipSense / delicate necklace

Do you have any fun tips as to how you transition your summer looks into fall as the weather starts to cool I’d love to hear what you think!

I Used To Be A Runner.

Thank you Biofreeze® for sponsoring this post. Biofreeze® Professional is also available for purchase in retail. Click here to find a store near you.

So here’s the deal – I used to be a runner.

Key word – USED to be.

I have run three marathons – Chicago, Marine Corps. & New York City

Countless half marathons – NYC, Philly, Disney Princess, ODDyessy, Rock N’ Roll  & Zooma – to name a few.

{Check out my ‘Run’ page for more! }

And up until about 4-5 months ago, I considered myself a runner.

Not anymore.

I have fallen in love with everything else that isn’t running.

And my body is thanking me for that.

I have ALWAYS had to run. I played competitive soccer my entire life – traveling the country and a little of the world too. We had different competitions every weekend, were always on the go and obviously staying in shape for the games included running and conditioning. I played lacrosse in college at Villanova and you know what came along with that – more running! And while I loved the sport, the running aspect of it, while I understand we needed to be in shape to perform our best, was always used as a punishment or a negative in some way.

After college I think I needed something that I could do and work on myself, solo – so it sort of fell into my lap that I began running races. I trained, documented my running, did all sorts of race recaps on the blog and worked on my distance – to see how far I could go. And at that point I did love it – working towards training for a marathon was a huge deal for me. Took tons of commitment  and focus, I’m proud to be in the small percentage of humans that can say they have run a marathon. 26.2 miles is no joke!

But then we got married, bought a house and had some babies – obviously running was the last thing on my mind. But I know myself and I need to keep moving, to stay active – for my sanity and for the fact that being an athlete has been a part of me for my entire life, and I don’t want to give that up. Not to mention I’m a much happier person to be around after I get those endorphins up from a good sweat session.

So as the littles got bigger and I was able to carve out some time for myself more consistently each week to workout – I found myself wanted to do anything but run.

And so I did.

I have fallen in love with strength training, weight lifting, an awesome HIIT Ropes class and hiking too. I am getting the cardio workouts in new forms and I am loving it. And I am finding my body is loving it too. After completing the Tone It Up program and loosing about 13-15 lbs. I’ve continued with the workout aspect of the program and have been happily keeping everything off, and even a little extra now that I’m back in my routine and the craziness of the summer has come to an end.

But, like anything – with a new workout routine comes with working out some new kinks. I am not sure if it was my body getting older {and wiser} after two pregnancies or old injuries coming back to life but with running I was always having some sort of constant pains, usually in my knees. And you don’t want to mess with your knees!

With my new strength and weight training routine, I have to say – I’ve woken up struggling to walk on occasion. Soreness sort of comes with the territory when you are working out muscles you didn’t even know you have – which I sort of love!

I love that good sore, after a good workout!

Know what I mean? It’s the best – it means your body is really working for you, and I love that feeling!

But I’m a busy mom who is always chasing after two little boys, I barely have time to get sick, let alone be sore or in any sort of pain – got to keep moving, even on days when I overdo it in the gym! I was excited to partner with Biofreeze ® Professional  for this post, because I’ve been meaning to share it for some time. The colorless gel, continuous spray and colorless roll-on professional products are all amazing options to have on hand when you are battling any discomfort from working out or just from life in general. The soothing menthol has been my go-to for any sore muscles, joints or that pesky back pain that comes and goes from time to time.

Getting older {and wiser} can be rough!

A little more about Biofreeze® Professional -> Biofreeze® Professional Pain Reliever products are a safe and effective pain relief alternative because they are non-systemic, non-narcotic, and contain no NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), salicylates or addictive substances. Biofreeze® Professional products are as effective as ice for treating pain, but without the drippy bag and much more convenient for on-the-go – they are available in both its signature green and colorless (dye-free) formats, are never tested on animals, and are produced in the United States.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It’s an Avocado Party! {yes, thats a thing!}

This post was sponsored by Fresh Avocados – Love One Today® as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. 

This weekend, I had some friends + neighbors over for a Avocado Party!

And yes – it was as awesome as it sounds. Because who doesn’t love some delicious avocados – ESPECIALLY as a way to celebrate the end of summer.

My friends at Hass Avocados hooked me up with some sweet swag for my guests, along with some awesome recipes I was able to recreate for everyone {and their littles} to enjoy!

Keep Calm, its Good Fat! 

I have always been a lover of fresh avocados! And now as a mom, I love even more the the avocado’s smooth, creamy consistency and mild taste – makes it one of the first fresh fruits a child can enjoy. Both of my boys have been enjoying avocados since the beginning – they have always been a huge hit from our Baby Led Weaning days! Not to mention Avocados contribute nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytonutrients, that are important to infant/toddler nutrition.

I was excited to invite my friends over and showcase the awesomeness of the avocado. Wholesome, fresh foods are less likely to contain added sugars, salt and other processed ingredients – and I know thats important to my fellow moms with little ones!

First up on the menu is a fun drink the adults and the littles got to enjoy! Agua Fresca de Aduacate – which is a refreshing juice made of honeydew melon, avocado, water, a little lime and salt!

It was only appropriate to start the party off with an avocado mocktail cheers!

The littles saw us enjoying the drink and had to get it on it themselves too!

Next up on the menu was this delicious vegan avocado ceviche! I paired it with some homemade chips (which I toasted from naan bread) and it was a refreshing and light starter!

I think just adding avocado to anything makes it light and summery, but it packs the flavor too! These chipotle avocado stuffed cherry tomatoes were INSANE! I combined an avocado with greek yogurt, added in a little chipotle spice and a hit of lime, stuffed into cherry tomatoes and they were SO GOOD. Definitely a great snack to have on hand!

One of the stars of the show were these chicken and turkey bacon avocado wraps! I put everything into separate bowls and the littles had a blast helping me make the wraps, it was nice to include them in the preparation process and it was also great to have them see what was going into the dish!

These were so good too. I want to make them again ASAP. They were a great way to change up the old PB+J toddler lunch and get some new flavors out for the littles to enjoy!

Aside from the avocado goodness, the littles had a blast playing dress up and enjoying all.the.bubbles.

The party was off the hook.

After enjoying all the avocado eats, it was time for the mamas to have a glass of wine and relax for a bit, Labor Day weekend calls for a little relaxing, right?

All in all we had a great time and all the avocado dishes were delicious! I can’t wait to create more tasty delicious eats with avocados soon!

What’s your favorite way to eat avocados?

Soaking Up that End of Summer Style

// off the shoulder romper  / jewels

It’s Labor Day Weekend here in Philly! The Summer flew by, didn’t it? Feels like just yesterday I was packing up for a month at the beach. Now I’m packing up and getting ready for back to school + all the Fall!

But for one more weekend (or at least while the temps are still hanging around 80*) I’m going to take advantage of the last few bits of summer, because I know I’ll miss it when its 10* and snowing!

One of my favorite styles of clothes in the summer is hands down the romper – it’s easy to wear, one and done with one piece and it’s really comfortable. I’m usually found chasing the boys around the city wearing one!

This floral one spoke to me at the beginning of summer and I am so glad I picked it up because it’s been really fun to wear. I love that you can rock it off the shoulders, or not. It also has a cute little tie at the waist, pockets (!!!!) and is a fun print that is appropriate for beach weekends or a tropical vacay {which I hope to add to my calendar in the very near future!}

And as a little PSA: This romper, along with tons of other dresses + looks are BOGO 50% OFF – So if there’s anything on your wish list, check out the sale!

I’m off to enjoy the holiday weekend, spend some time soaking up the sun with the littles and checking out all the Labor Day Weekend sales!

Happy Weekend!

Stella & Dot Labor Day Sale Favorites

Is it the weekend yet?

It’s close and I’m excited for the long weekend ahead. I’m also excited for the start of school next week and the start of getting everyone back into a Fall schedule, not to mention Fall weather {its my favorite!}

But I had to pop on the blog today and share with you an amazing sale going on now that will literally blow your socks off.

I have been sharing details about it in my Facebook Group – Lips & Style by Leslie {for a good time, join it!} – last night I posted a Facebook Live video sharing my favorite picks, so check that out if you have a minute!

But today on the blog I had to give you a heads up of the awesome style for a steal going on, that you definitely need to check out! Here are some of my favorites that are an amazing deal!

// Keaton Tunic

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been obsessed with these tunics all summer long. They are on serious sale – 60% off! So cute and comfortable over a swim suit, but I plan to wear them over denim with a cozy sweater or denim jacket into the Fall!

Or if you have any fun trips planned for the winter to somewhere warm and wonderful – such a good idea to stock up on these babies now while they are on crazy sale! Under $40!

// Kai Tunic

It’s also fun to stock up for next summer when you know they will be full price – grab one now, pack away with your summer gear and it’s a total treat next summer when you go to wear it! Christmas in May/June!

// Gemma Caftan 

And believe me, its never too early to start stocking up on holiday gifts, teachers gifts or just a little something you might need for a treat in a pinch. Believe me, you will be happy you did! Check out some of my favorite picks from the sale and let me know what you think! Can’t wait to hear your favorites !

// Asher Necklace

 

// Cay Tote

 

// Rosalind Chandeliers 

 

Use this link to shop the Trunk Show specials for August + September to get additional items for 50% off!

Message me with any questions + thanks for shopping!

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