Feeling Thankful

Leave a comment
lifestyle
Home for the holidays ✨❤️

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m posting a day early, because tomorrow I’ll be busy and spending the day with my family. I’ll be drinking wine, eating good food, and soaking in one of my favorite holidays. Besides taking photos, I won’t be on my phone very much.

I know that this year is different than years past, but I’m more thankful than ever for what I have and who I have. Ever since I was a little girl Thanksgiving was spent in New York City, at my late grandmother’s apartment in The Village and then at my brother’s apartment in Brooklyn, but of course this year there’s no traveling or seeing relatives. I love Thanksgiving and eating dinner surrounded by Christmas decor. There’s nothing better than eating good food with the people you love and drinking a little too much wine. I love cuddling on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner and admiring the Christmas tree. Andrew and I are homebodies and feel much better staying home and staying safe, especially during the worst of COVID. We are officially home for the holidays.

This morning I woke up and cooked my famous sweet potato casserole and my green bean casserole. I watched Gossip Girl, because I’m missing New York City a little extra this week. I’m getting all of my cooking done today, because tomorrow is Andrew’s turn to cook. Tomorrow we will put on The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I’ll do my hair and makeup, slip into a festive dress, and Andrew will cook the turkey. We’ll have dinner with my parents and Andrew and I will end the day cuddled in bed with Greyson, watching Christmas movies. Andrew has to work on Black Friday, so Greyson and I will spend the day watching movies and we’ll go for our usual walk around our neighborhood. Saturday night Andrew and I are going to a drive-thru, holiday light show, which I’m so excited for. It’s a magical time of the year and there’s always so much to be thankful for. Many view 2020 as an epic failure, a shit show, and a year they wish to forget (I don’t blame them), but despite our new normal, I’ve had a really beautiful year filled with strength, growth, and love. 2020 has taught us valuable lessons, showed us who our true friends are, and reminded us of what matters at the end of the day.

I’m so thankful for my almost two year old son, who made my life somersault. Greyson, you’ve changed me for the better and have brought so much light and joy into our lives. I gained a best friend and a new outlook on life the day you were born. I love you more than words could ever describe and every day (even the hectic ones) are amazing. Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy and for being so smart, creative, silly, and wild. Motherhood is a gift and it should never be taken for granted. I’m thankful for my ability to be a stay at home mama and for my days spent with my little boy. I know that there are so many different ways to parent and each mom must find their own balance, but this is what I wanted and I believe it is what’s best for myself and Greyson. I love every single day spent with my son and the messy, crazy, beautiful moments.

I’m thankful for my incredible husband who always puts our needs above his own. Andrew, thank you for our life and the breathtaking moments. Thank you for working endlessly and tirelessly to provide us with everything we need and want and for allowing me to be home with our son. Thank you for dreaming everyday about our future, for never giving up, and for inspiring me to do the same. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and deeply. Thank you for showing me that soulmates exist and that true love is real. You’re my life and you’ve taught me so much and not just because you’re older than me, but because we’re different. We bring out so much in each other. I’m the free spirited, wild, spontaneous one. You’re the steady, stable, rational one. Together, we’re everything. I found my balance when I met you and I’m grateful for our life together. I love you so much, forever, always, no matter what.

I’m thankful for my closest friends and family who continue to stand by my side, share in the beautiful moments, and remind me of what’s truly important. I love all of you and I hope that next year we can all be together again from my annual Friendsgiving to a large Thanksgiving gathering with family. It’s the little things that we miss this year, but we’re all together in spirit, sharing food, wine, and stories. I enjoyed a Zoom family gathering last night and it reminded me of my favorite memories as a child, which was our crazy, fun, holiday dinners as a family in the city. I’m thankful that my family and friends remain healthy and safe during a very trying year and that we all have a place to call home.

I’m thankful for my gorgeous life, my home, and my pretty things. I’m thankful for my passions, from ballroom dancing and fashion to writing and nature. I’m thankful for our planet and the animals and plants that make me smile every day. I’m thankful for my body, mind, and soul and for being healthy. I’m thankful for every breath and every day.

May we all emerge from this year stronger, better, and filled with inspiration. Life is scary and unpredictable but that’s part of what makes it so beautiful. Take a moment to be thankful for all that you have today, tomorrow, and always. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. I wish you all beauty, good health, and lots of love.

Cheers. Xoxo.

Long Time No Post

Leave a comment
lifestyle

Hi readers,

I’ve been absent from my blog lately and honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write. Although, I have been working on two pieces of writing off of my blog that I will post as soon as they’re complete. I hope everyone is finding inspiration in the days leading up to the holidays and enjoying the colder temperatures. I’ve missed the sound of my nails tapping the keys on my iPad keyboard as I write about my days and share inspiration with all of you, but I definitely needed a writing break. Sometimes, I just feel blank when it comes to writing projects and I need time away, distracted by other creative ventures.

Election day and the days that followed (Election Day continued) were stressful for me and I couldn’t sleep, which threw off my entire schedule. I’ve always been very vocal and honest about how I feel regarding Donald Trump and my disdain for him. It has been a long, four years and when I heard the news that Joe Biden will be our next President of The United States, with Kamala Harris as our next Vice President, I cried. I haven’t felt as though we had a leader for four years. Donald Trump, who continues to fall short as not just a leader, but also as a human being and a man, gave racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, transphobia, and misogyny a platform in this country. No, he didn’t create racism or violence, for those two acts have existed for as long as there have been humans on this earth, but he made it okay for men to openly bash women and their rights, for black men and women to be murdered brutally, for gays to be mocked for who they love, and for white, angry men to brandish weapons, while wearing a hat with Trump embroidered on it. In short, I am thrilled to be able to look to my son and say that we now have a President coming into office in January who cares, who loves his wife and kids, who has known heartache and who rose above the pain, who has always worked hard, and who was man enough to choose a woman as his Vice President. I’m excited for the protection and preservation of our environment to be important again and for all human rights to matter for the first time in four years.

I turned twenty five on November 4, the day after Election Day and let’s just say I got my number one birthday wish. Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their incredible victory. As a twenty five year old, a young mom, and a wife I have learned so much about myself and the world around me during the past couple of years. I’ve never been happier with my life or myself than I am at this very moment. I have chosen the people who are in my life for a reason and I’ve said goodbye to toxic, negative people. If I don’t talk to you or interact with you, there’s a reason. If you aren’t my kind of person and don’t bring light, love, and positivity into my life, there isn’t a place in my life for you. When you’re a teenager and entering into your twenties it’s hard to let go of people that you don’t care for, but as you get older you realize it’s the only way to truly be happy. It’s not about quantity…it’s about quality. I no longer care about what others think, how many likes I get on social media, or about being “perfect”. I care about happiness, my family, my dear friends, the environment, animals, and my home. I care about good sex, good food, and good wine. I care about laughter that leaves you sore, soaking up nature, and breathtaking moments. I feel secure and happy beyond words. I know who I am, what I want, what I need, and what I love. There’s power in knowing who you are and in feeling true happiness.

As we all know this has been one of the weirdest, hardest years for everyone and 2020 isn’t over yet. I decided to decorate for Christmas on Election Day because this year deserves an extended holiday season. I’ve been falling in love with my beautiful decorations, Christmas music, and Christmas movies. I’ve already done all of my Christmas shopping and I’m inhaling every beautiful moment and day, making the most of every second. I love waking up and walking into my living room, where my pretty Christmas tree sparkles and glows in the early morning hours. I love going for a drive, singing along to my favorite Christmas songs and getting hot chocolate. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it feels completely magical this year. I fell in love with the holidays when I was a little girl and I love sharing the magic and moments with Greyson. I’m of course looking forward to Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for this year, as always. I know that many aren’t celebrating the holidays this year with their extended families and are sticking to their immediate family, but it’s still important to fill your home with love, good food, and fun. I won’t be seeing my brother, sister in law, or my aunts and uncles this year, which makes me very sad, but we did plan a Thanksgiving Zoom date a few days before, which is something. I would rather us all be safe and careful than careless during the colder months when the Coronavirus is surging. Regardless of how you feel, mask up. Do it for your kids, your parents, or anyone in your life whose older or immunocompromised. It shouldn’t have to happen to you for you to care. It’s a time of the year to give more than you take and by wearing a mask you’re giving yourself and others way more than you think. By cancelling big events and making the most out of smaller, more intimate gatherings, you will discover that less is always more and it’s the little things that matter most.

Andrew, my incredibly hardworking husband has been renovating one of our bathrooms and I can’t wait for that project to be done. It fits our farmhouse perfectly and the tile, fixtures, and the vanity that I picked are gorgeous. I’ve also been busy lately with dog walking, leash training, and pet sitting clients. I always love going to a client and making them happy along with their four-legged friends. For anyone who was wondering what presents I got for my twenty-fifth birthday, (because who doesn’t like to hear about gifts?) it was a Burberry birthday. I got beautiful, Burberry sunglasses that I’m obsessed with and two Burberry perfumes that smell too good to be real. I also got to go out to dinner with my husband and son at one of my favorite restaurants, have champagne and cake with my mom, and I received so many birthday text messages from my closest friends and family that truly made my day special. I’m so glad that I took some time on this quiet, chilly Monday to share anything new in my life with all of my readers. I will try not to disappear again! Stay tuned for a Thanksgiving post and please stay safe 💜

Xoxo

The Greyson Diaries

Leave a comment
lifestyle

Home With my Boy 💙

Before I had Greyson I worked at least forty hours a week in the fashion & marketing world. I worked crazy holiday hours, wore high heels every day, and I spoiled myself with gifts every week. I actually just began a new role as Marketing Assistant for an upscale shopping and dining plaza when I found out I was pregnant. I was there for exactly a year and I worked right up until I was about to give birth to our beautiful boy, but when I was ready to return to work after my maternity leave I met with my boss in-person, with Greyson beside me in his stroller, and she basically told me they could no longer afford to pay for my position. I was heartbroken because I loved my job, the connections I made, and I was talented. I came from a fashion retail background and started as a seasonal sales associate at PacSun at age fifteen, started my own pet sitting and animal training business in 2014, and then wound up at Francesca’s as a manager shortly after starting my own business. I live and breathe fashion, style, and design. I will be embarking on a schooling journey shortly that revolves around fashion and marketing, but I’m not prepared to talk about it just yet. Creativity is who I am and despite being a stay at home mommy now, I still own and operate my pet sitting business, Petsitting by Lizzie LLC and I spend my days falling in love with clothes, adventures, and writing. I never let go of any of my passions, skills, or hobbies, but at the end of the day my favorite job, and the job I’m the absolute best at is being a mommy to Greyson. Being a mom is a tiring, stressful, and beautiful job. No two days are alike and there are no direct deposits, vacation days, or promotions. On good days and bad, I’m home with my boy.

I’m already planning ahead with what I want to do once Greyson is in school and I can jump back into the workforce. It’s a hard decision, deciding whether or not to wait to go back to work or to put your young child in daycare (or hire a nanny if you’re able to afford one). Now, during Covid-19 it’s an even harder decision for many moms and dads, because school and childcare is changing. I don’t even feel comfortable leaving my child with a babysitter or a nanny for health reasons. I tried to go back to work part-time in the fashion retail world when Greyson was six months old and I was miserable. I was anxious, depressed, and the job didn’t seem worth the emotions I was feeling. I hated leaving Greyson and because of my existing anxiety issues I truly couldn’t handle it. I left the retail job and I’ve been home, only operating my pet sitting/animal training business ever since. I’ve been asked many times about the true life of a stay at home mom, if I miss working full-time, if there are cons to being at home 24/7, and if I think it’s a lifestyle any mom can adapt to.

The truth about being a stay at home mama is that what you see in pretty photos on social media, on reality tv, or on the covers of glossy magazines at the grocery store is not reality. For example, it’s important to soak in that what you watch on The Real Housewives franchise and other reality television series that portray a mommy/housewife lifestyle is far from realistic. One, if you’re watching a TV show with busy, wealthy housewives there are nannies in the background to help them (I don’t care what they say), which is not the norm for most stay at home moms. Two, there are no television crews following the average mama around while she makes breakfast, runs errands, and grocery shops, so she doesn’t need to be done up and over the top every day. Most of us aren’t posing for magazine covers and flooding social media with photos during the day. Three, most stay at home mamas don’t brunch with their friends every week at expensive restaurants or plan elaborate parties. Way too many don’t understand what it’s really like being home with kids because media isn’t honest. Media is damaging on so many levels but especially for moms. We see these women glamorized in perfect homes and we think we NEED to be that. That doesn’t exist, mamas. No one has a perfect life and no one looks perfect 24/7.

My lifestyle as a stay at home mom is busy, simple, and a constant adventure. I take care of our home, plans for the week, myself and creative passions (such as ballroom dancing). I make sure I do yoga every day and I try to go for a walk with Greyson every day (if the weather permits), and of course, I take care of Greyson’s needs 24/7. I manage to keep it all together, but some days make me want to cry because I’m exhausted or at the end of my rope, which is completely normal. My thirty minutes of yoga at the beginning or end of the day surrounded by candles is everything to me, because some days that is the only true peace that I get. I only have one child so that makes things much easier, but for many mamas who have more than one their days are quite different than mine. I don’t know how some moms with three-four kids (all under the age of five) do it, but I do know that moms are superheroes. We create a life, house that life inside of us for nine months, we deliver that life despite fear, and then we jump right into our motherly instincts and raise that life to be a beautiful, healthy person. I don’t always have time for myself and I’m always putting someone else’s needs over my own, but that’s okay. That’s what I signed up for and I’m happy that I did. I’m happy and thriving and balanced. It took awhile to feel balanced and at peace as a busy mama, but I am proof that you can feel amazing and fulfilled as a stay at home mom. Being a mom who truly enjoys their day to day life is all about harmony. You need to give yourself just as much as you give your children.

I’m excited for the future and for a job one day that fulfills me the way being a mom does, but I don’t miss working full-time, because I know being home with my boy is where I’m supposed to be right now. I will find another job one day that I love so much and that makes me excited to go to work every day, but for now I’m enjoying the opportunity to spend my days with my boy. For me, I don’t feel as though there are any cons to being a stay at home mom, but there are adjustments. I was lucky enough to stay home because my husband takes very good care of us. He works so hard and I’m so grateful for him and the person that I married. It’s nice being taken care of, but it’s an adjustment not receiving a direct deposit to your account every week, or two weeks, that you worked for once you’re a stay at home mom. Once you’re home there’s no payment process at all. You’re just a mom. Andrew is the first guy that I ever let take care of me besides my dad, which was the biggest adjustment for me. When you operate on one income you’re more thoughtful about your spending because it affects everyone, which is actually a positive thing. As a stay at home mom you don’t need to do your makeup everyday or get dressed up. I choose to do my makeup and wear a cute outfit most days because it’s important to take care of yourself and to feel beautiful, even if you’re just cleaning and cooking that day. When you’re home every day you might find yourself cleaning too much, doing too many home projects, and feeling as though you’re trapped in a bubble. I love my home and I love taking care of it but there are definitely days I drive myself crazy obsessing over things. It’s okay to take a day elsewhere, like a day trip with your children to breathe outside of your home. It’s healthy to have a moment somewhere else, where you can refocus your attention. This is one reason I love going for walks.

Being a stay at home mommy isn’t for every woman. Honestly, I know many women who would hate being home and could never live the lifestyle I’m currently living. But, I also know many women who have been stay at home moms and who loved it and many who would love it if, or when they become moms. It’s a choice that only the woman can decide for herself and no one should ever make that decision for someone else. I love my life and my lifestyle but I’m also respectful of those who needed (financially or emotionally) to jump right back into working full-time. If you can financially be home and it feels right, do it. You can always go back to work if you choose. Your resume and experience isn’t going anywhere. Your passions will always be there. Remember mamas, we have the hardest and most rewarding job in the world and despite the fact that we might not always get the credit we deserve, each day as a mom is gorgeous. Follow your heart and whatever you do, do it with love and you will never be wrong.

Xoxo

Always Falling for Fall

Leave a comment
lifestyle

Ever since I was a little girl I’d look forward to pumpkins, falling leaves, and cool weather. I’d dream of endless October evenings and comfy sweaters hanging off my shoulders. It’s a special time of the year and it’s the perfect time for change. Whether you’re changing your hair color, wardrobe, or redecorating your home, it’s a time to renew and refresh. I tend to organize and purge my closets and home around this time so that I have a clean slate for the holidays. I’m falling for fall at home and I hope to inspire others to have fun this fall with decorating, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and Halloween magic, despite our new normal. Watch movies and cuddle on the couch, buy pumpkins and mums, cook fall-themed meals, and stay positive.

Here’s a little taste of my home this fall 🧡

My farmhouse theme is always present. Pumpkins, harvest decor, and plaid goes with my home’s vibe, which makes decorating for the fall season even better. I keep my harvest decor out until the day before Thanksgiving. I usually decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving Eve, because I enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with my Christmas tree lit and decorated.
I love outdoor decor! If you’re on a budget, the best and prettiest way to decorate for fall is with pumpkins, mums, and hay bales. Make sure you buy good quality plants and pumpkins so that they last throughout the fall season. My pumpkins and mums usually last from September until November.
There’s nothing better than a cozy living room! Spend some extra time creating a comfortable, cozy seating area for you to enjoy while watching a movie, or having a cup of coffee. I love pillows and throws. They’re fun, long-lasting, and homey. I bought all of my pillows and throw blankets at Marshall’s.

There’s a lot of hate, violence, and illness taking over the United States…flooding our lives like a tsunami, and many are feeling overwhelmed and tired. Decorating for fall reminded me of what’s really important to me and that it’s always therapeutic to do something creative at home. We’re all ready for a better tomorrow and I hope there’s a lot of beauty ahead for everyone. It’s so important to surround yourself with love, light, and joy. Fill your home with fall vibes and enjoy this new season. Be grateful for October and all that it brings. Things are different and there’s no denying the existence of our new normal, but we can adapt and we must. If you don’t feel comfortable going out trick or treating this year with your kids, that’s okay. Plan a spooky, fun night at home with costumes, candy, popcorn, and scary movies. I’ll be dressing up with Greyson and Andrew for Halloween and having a cozy night at home this year. Luckily, Greyson isn’t even two years old yet and he won’t mind staying home for Halloween, but for those who have older kids who are fully aware of the intense changes happening on a daily basis, make their experience at home inspiring.

One great way to inspire yourself and your family at home is through decorating and creating a beautiful, fun space. I love creating beauty out of spaces and moments. I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and cozy fall season 🧡🍂

Lizzie’s Closet

Leave a comment
lifestyle

New Season, New Feels

I’ll be posting Lizzie’s Closet from time to time to inspire mamas and all women to fall in love with their closet. Mamas, just because your life revolves around taking care of your children, that doesn’t mean you can’t look your absolute best. I’ve loved clothes ever since I was a baby girl. Fashion is a form of expression and through your closet you create a story. What’s your story?

Regardless of what I’m wearing and the style I choose for the day ahead, at my core I’m bohemian. I love flowered headbands, cowgirl boots, and flowing dresses. I love florals, earth tones, and beachy vibes. We all have that one word that describes us at heart. Who are you when you’re barefoot and buzzed off of your favorite drink? Who do you become when you fall into your bed at night as you let go of everything else? You can be loyal to one style or float like a butterfly from different styles and be versatile. There are no rules. I go from completely boho to sporty when I’m dancing or working out. Some days I’ll change out of sporty clothing (after working out or going for a run) and slip into a bohemian outfit. Sometimes, I mix sporty with boho style, wearing leggings, a loose tank, and a bohemian headband. I also consider beachy vibes (baseball caps, Vans, and loose tees) to be bohemian. If your outfit connects you to nature (the forest, beach, mountains) it’s bohemian. My favorite season to shop for is fall and I adore the cold weather. My favorite season is upon us, which means new feels. I love hats, boots, jeans, and sweaters. There’s nothing better than cozying up in an oversized sweater.

My life revolves around fashion and what I’m wearing. I’m always saving outfit inspiration on Pinterest, organizing my dresser drawers and closet, and shopping (even when I shouldn’t be). It’s a part of who I am. I was inspired by Rachel Zoe when I was a little girl to view fashion as a lifestyle and that changed the game for me. I handpick every piece in my closet and my drawers for a reason. I make my closet as beautiful and special as possible, from cleaning it regularly to only using black, velvet hangers to create the lifestyle I want. I genuinely feel happier when I’m in love with my outfit and I light up after shopping at my favorite boutiques. What are my favorite boutiques at the moment?

  • Francesca’s
  • Free People
  • Five 0 Six Surf Boutique (Long Beach Island, NJ)

I also love Target! I find such pretty, inexpensive options at Target and they’re always eye catching. I don’t want to discourage women (especially mamas) from shopping at Target and choosing less expensive options, because lets be real…being a parent is expensive and it’s always important to budget. I am so excited to share my fashion style and advice with so many beautiful, strong mamas and women who visit my blog. Stay tuned for so much more from Lizzie’s Closet.

What are my current Fall must haves?

  • Bralettes (earth tones)
  • Earth tone sweaters
  • Jewelry
  • Fall hats
  • Good quality jeans

Xo

A Different Story

Leave a comment
lifestyle
I was hanging out at a local coffee shop junior year of high school.

I went for a run last week for the first time in years. In high school, I used to go for runs to escape from my thoughts for a little while because when you’re working out, sweating, and focusing on your body, you can quiet your emotions. I walked by so many little kids heading back to school after what has been the hardest year any of us have ever experienced from Covid-19 and our new normal to the economy changing in front of our eyes. I cannot imagine having a school-age child right now and sending them back to school, hoping they’ll keep their mask on, wash their hands, and sanitize. It’s hard to picture little kids wearing masks and immersing themselves in the school experience way differently than I did when I was a little girl. I never saw a world that looked like the one we currently live in. I applaud all moms and dads who are working so hard to keep their kids sane, healthy, and happy during a difficult time. My baby boy is still way too young to even understand what this year has consisted of, which I’m honestly happy about.

As children and young adults head back to school in different forms this month I wanted to take a moment to walk down memory lane and provide my young readers with advice from a woman whose been there. I remember every beautiful and every heartbreaking moment of high school…it wasn’t the happiest of times for me. Although, I did meet one of my closest friends the summer before entering into freshman year and my other good friend I met freshman year. It’s crazy how long we’ve known each other and they literally watched me grow up, which is something you can’t replace. I still remember my first love, my first crazy, sleepless night, and my first wild party like it was yesterday. I can still smell the perfume I wore every day to school, hear the songs that were on my Spotify playlists (so much Lana Del Rey), and taste my drink of choice when I went out with my friends on a Friday night. I did so much growing up and although it wasn’t always pretty, it was reality.

I learned, grew, and changed a lot during my high school years. I don’t relate to the girl I once was, but I love her. I love that she got me to where I am today. I love how fierce, passionate, and emotional she was, always. For those who don’t know, I was raped just after finishing my sophomore year of high school which catapulted me into a darkness so dense I never thought I’d feel sunshine again. I was no longer naive and I was forced to grow up in that moment, knowing that it was the only way to survive and move forward. I had to figure out how to not only love again, but also how to have sex again without having a panic attack. It was a long, painful journey. I remember lying beneath my first love and crying as soon as he touched me. He looked at me with this doe-eyed, worried gaze and I then had to tell him what had happened to me months before, which I was dreading. I had to explain to him that I wasn’t the same girl I was when we met freshman year and that I was barely holding it together. I was struggling with existing and there’s nothing scarier than that. When I say I’ve been there, I’ve been to the darkest places. I’ve also been to the most beautiful and I appreciate every page of my story because it’s made me who I am today.

I emerged from the darkness a stronger, better version of myself and I want to be that strength for others. I want to continue to remind young people that you have no idea how insanely strong you are. You’re amazing and can get through anything life throws at you. No matter how many rainy days you’ve made it through the sunshine is just around the corner. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Gossip Girl, which I watched religiously in high school. I cried when the finale aired and I have always connected with the show because of my personal connection to New York City. I’ve sat on the Metropolitan Museum steps where Blair Waldorf and her band of followers ate their yogurt, I shopped at Saks and Barney’s where the Upper East Side princesses bought their wardrobes, and I’ve sipped martinis at famous Upper East Side restaurants, just like Blair and Serena. I watched Gossip Girl today and thought about my high school self…sometimes I miss her. Sometimes I wish I could talk to her and tell her that the most gorgeous chapter of her story is waiting for her just around the bend. I wish I could tell her that she will be an amazing mom and that becoming a parent will change her life. I wish I knew then what I know now.

Life is short and it’s beautiful. Your strength will sometimes be the only one by your side, but it’s a light that will never burn out. When you’re little you look for your shadow as you’re walking down the road, but instead of looking for your shadow, look for your strength. It’s always there. Don’t worry about what others think about you, or what they say, because there’s literally nothing you can do to control that. What you can control is who you surround yourself with and how you let others affect you. Be you. Be unapologetically yourself and never regret your decisions, even the bad ones because in the moment it was exactly what you wanted. Let your walls down and wear your heart on your sleeve. Your heart will get broken regardless of what you do to protect it, but hearts are wild creatures…our ribs are cages for a reason. Hearts are fierce and will always recover from heartache. Learn from the tears and the pain but don’t run away from it. You need to feel all of the emotions to grow and move forward. Don’t be afraid of your emotions. Every feeling is natural and demands to be felt. Hang on tightly to the people who make you feel loved, alive, and happy. They’re the good ones.

Live wildly and without boundaries. Listen more than you speak…you’ll learn so much about life and other people if you open your heart, eyes, and ears. The most inspiring conversations you’ll ever have will probably be with strangers, and that’s okay. Even strangers are put in our path for a reason. Never judge a person. You have no idea what keeps them up at night, or what they’ve been through. It doesn’t matter how much money a person has…money doesn’t buy happiness. Money doesn’t buy true love, laughter, or inspiration. Be the kind one. Be the sweet one. Be the compassionate one. We need more people like that. Hold the door open for others, ask about everyone’s day, and smile. Let your smile fill the room with warmth and positivity, even on the darkest of days. Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, enjoy the peacefulness of the rain. Dance and laugh more often. When you’re doing the laundry, cleaning, or getting ready for your day put on your favorite song and sing along. Soak in your favorite lyrics and let them inspire you. Go for a drive and roll the windows down on a cool, fall day. Watch the leaves change color in autumn, decorate for the holidays, and light some pretty candles. Read good books, eat good food, and enjoy a strong drink. Find time for you and workout, meditate, and unwind. No matter how tired you are, go for a run, a walk, or do a quick workout routine at home. It’s never fun to exercise, or easy but it’s so good for you. Be thankful for every breath you take and never take a day for granted. Be thankful that you can walk, run, and workout. Appreciate your body. After I became a mom I learned how incredible and strong my body is.

No matter how low you’re feeling, this too shall pass. The pain is real, but so is the light. There’s light in every single day…you just have to find it. Sometimes, it’s the little things that are everything. You’re here for a reason. There are only so many tomorrows. So, say “I love you” more, kiss with passion, and laugh loudly. Get a cup of your favorite coffee in the morning and sit in a pretty spot while you drink it, inhaling the entire moment. Watch the trees on a windy day and feel the sun on your skin on warm, summer walks. Moisturize your skin as much as you can, wear sunscreen, and take vitamins. Eat colorful, healthy food, but treat yourself to pizza and French fries sometimes, too. When opportunities come your way, say yes. Get drinks with good people, stay up late some nights just to sit under the stars, and open up to those who love you about your goals, fears, and passions. Live your life with passion and purpose and never give up. This is your story. Write the sentences you wish to read.

Here I am next to the love of my life, my best friend, my husband. I am the happiest I’ve ever been and I’m thankful for every chapter of my story. Soak in my advice from this blog entry, but also make your own mistakes…they’re learning experiences in the end.

XoXo 😘

A letter to Long Beach Island

comment 1
lifestyle

Photography by Lizzie Mognoni 

Thank you for everything, LBI; the views, salty air, warm days, and perfect memories. I grew up in Barnegat…fifteen minutes from the causeway. I was a beach baby, spending countless days on the beach. I’m thankful for my connection to such an incredible place and for all of the moments I’ve spent on the island from weeklong vacations to day trips. 

I love the days I spend at Barnegat light and watching the waves crash in Holgate. I live for the sunshine in Surf City, as I’m listening to the sounds of the ocean. I crave those long walks on the beach and shopping at Five 0 Six Boutique…every moment spent on LBI becomes a part of me. I’ve done a lot of growing up on the island, and there’s something about being near the water that heals old wounds. I always go home missing my ocean view, but I also feel renewed. Life is about finding happiness and chasing moments and in LBI every moment feels special. We all have that place that makes us feel alive and reminds us of what’s truly important. Some crave the hustle and bustle of the city and others desire to be out in the country, surrounded by fields and blue skies.

I love driving over the causeway, rolling my windows down, and smelling the salty air. I swear that salty air and sand beneath your toes heals physical and emotional wounds. Even after a restorative day trip to LBI I feel healed and peaceful. My favorite time of the year to spend on the island is actually fall and winter. I love the island off season and I adore walking on the beach cuddled in a sweater and jeans. The ocean is so beautiful when it’s cold. There’s something magical about walking on the sand during the colder months. After a big snowstorm years ago, I drove out to LBI and walked on the beach in my Uggs, jeans, and a fluffy jacket. There was snow everywhere and the dunes were touched with white, glistening powder. It was breathtaking. When I leave the beach I take a little bit of the environment with me and I feel inspired.

I married my best friend in Surf City, surrounded by the ocean and listening to the sound of waves crashing against the shore. We rented an oceanfront beach house for the weekend and the bridal party stayed in the house with us. It’s one of those massive, coastal themed, cedar shake homes right on the dunes and water. We had the master suite, of course, that had the best view of the water and the beach. I woke up to a perfect, oceanfront sunrise and we got ready the morning of the wedding looking out at the beach. Our first look was on top of the beach entrance, encompassed by the dunes, and looking out at the ocean. The ceremony was simplistic and intimate inside the home, in their huge living room with vaulted ceilings and beach accents. It was a beyond beautiful day and weekend. After our wedding and the reception, (the reception was at Daddy O Restaurant & Hotel) I ran on the beach in my wedding gown and laughed with my close friends. We went for drive-in food at Woody’s (a famous, surfer restaurant) with our bridal party, late that day and walked there and back, soaking up the LBI experience. The wedding was very us and truly memorable.

The following day was Mother’s Day, which we celebrated oceanfront eating breakfast and having mimosas with my family and my man of honor. We got a beach storm on Mother’s Day, which is always beautiful to watch from the comfort of your beach house. LBI will always be a part of one of the most important days of my life, the day I said I do to my soulmate.

I always have fun shopping on the island, but I’m head over heels for my new clothes that I just bought at my favorite boutique. Five 0 Six Boutique is my favorite store in general, but it’s also my favorite shopping destination in LBI. It’s located in Surf City, New Jersey and filled with gorgeous clothing. The quality can’t be argued and the environment is fun, beachy, and inspiring. They carry my favorite brand of jeans, that I could literally live in, especially in the fall and winter. Just Black Denim makes comfortable, pretty, good quality jeans and the different styles allow every woman to find their perfect match. They’re pricey but completely worth it! Any girl whose ever bought a really good pair of jeans knows that you need to spend a little money in order to find the perfect pants. The company is a contemporary, American made jean brand and they pride themselves on the value. Every woman should have that store that feels like them and that instantly brightens their day. For me, that store is Five 0 Six. They’re open until January, which means even off-season I will be driving to LBI for retail therapy 😉

I also want to share my favorite coffee house in LBI with all of my readers, because I love to support local businesses, and there’s nothing better than grabbing a cup of coffee with someone and going for a walk. Coastal Coffee (the Beach Haven & Surf City locations) has the absolute best coffee, little treats/snacks, and my personal favorite…an Iced Chai Latte. They have an Apple Cider Chai Latte that tastes like fall in a cup! I love grabbing a latte and walking down the street to the bay. I instantly feel zen and enlightened. After chatting with the sales associate at the Surf City location the other day, I was told the Beach Haven Coastal Coffee location is open year-round. I hope that remains the case because I will be visiting that location in the fall and winter!

For anyone traveling to Long Beach Island, New Jersey for a summer vacation I am here for you for all of your shopping and dining recommendations. I know the best spots for sunsets and for sunrises, where to take your significant other for date night, and the best ice cream shops. I’ve immersed myself in the island lifestyle and the township and that makes my connection with the shore town very strong.

Thank you for the endless sunsets, the sunrises that brought new beginnings, and delicious food. Thank you for being a part of my childhood and for watching me grow up, become a wife, and a mom. Thank you for being there for me on my wedding day with pretty views, salty breezes, and for making our wedding photos perfect. Thank you Long Beach Island, for everything. I love you.

Xo

End of Summer Vibes

Leave a comment
lifestyle

Hey loves! I’m sorry for disappearing from my blog this summer, but I’ve been incredibly busy and creative. I wanted to take some time to share my summer adventures and experiences with everyone before posting my other entries. I hope all of my amazing readers and followers have been staying sane, safe, and healthy this summer despite the new normal we’ve found ourselves living. For anyone whose heading back to school in the fall, I wish you the absolute best as we navigate a different kind of environment. Remember, taking care of your mind and body and staying healthy is more important than anything else. It’s been a weird, uncomfortable year, but I actually had a beautiful, inspiring summer. I am the happiest I’ve been all year and I’m so excited for fall. I’ve been soaking in every second of the season and making the most out of our changed world.

I started ballroom dancing again and I’m currently choreographing three dances for an upcoming showcase in September, with my dance partner/instructor. It feels so good to be back on the dance floor. I’ve always said that true dancers don’t dance because they want to, they dance because they need to. It’s a feeling like no other, creating gorgeous movement to your favorite music and sparkling in pretty dance shoes. I’ve been ballroom dancing since 2017 and although I danced since I was a little girl (Ballet, Hip Hop, & Jazz), I’ve learned so much more about myself from diving into ballroom. It takes a lot of patience, hard work, and passion to grow on the dance floor and I’m proud of myself for following my heart. I’ve been at the studio at least two days a week, putting together my showcase look, and memorizing steps and timing. I took a break from writing as I immersed myself in the dance world once again. Sometimes, it’s important to quiet other creative projects to focus your energy on one artistic venture.

I just back from an oceanfront vacation in my favorite place, Long Beach Island. I grew up around the corner from LBI, spent weekends sitting in the sand as a baby and a toddler, and when I first got my license, I drove to LBI every week to escape from reality. I married my best friend last year, surrounded by the ocean and salty air, in Surf City and I still drive to LBI any day I need a little extra peace and quiet. It’s truly my home away from home. I’ll be posting a special blog post dedicated to LBI, which will allow my readers to explore my favorite shopping and dining destinations in the beautiful New Jersey beach town. I went on a shopping spree during my vacation and I bought really beautiful, beachy pieces that will transition into the fall months. It felt so good to shop at my favorite boutiques and stores the way I did prior to the pandemic. It’s also nice to shop in an inspirational environment, such as the beach. There’s nothing better than retail therapy! I love carrying bags of clothes out of a store and knowing I bought pieces that I love.

I went back for a day trip to LBI the other day with one of my best friends to do a little shopping, get coffee at my favorite coffee house, and walk on the beach. It was raining when we walked down to the bay, but absolutely beautiful. By the time we walked back towards the beach a rainbow shone brightly over the water. It was one of those perfect, peaceful days. I am constantly spending days in LBI because I only live about forty minutes away, which is really nice. It’s always good for the soul to take day trips and adventures…breathing elsewhere for a little while can clear your head. My favorite time of the year to walk on the beach is actually in the winter…it’s a different type of beautiful. I’ve spent a lot of time with my two best friends, Gabby and Danny this summer, as much as we could and that definitely made up for the lack of socialization during the quarantine.

I spent the quarantine with my husband and son, staying as safe and healthy as possible and being super creative. I distracted myself with home projects, writing, and other hobbies. We really have come so far since then, regardless of how some may feel. Simply being able to see your best friends, whether you’re enjoying outdoor dining, or you’re spending time in the comfort of your own home, is everything. We need moments with close friends and family to stay sane and happy. It’s the way we are wired as humans. I feel proud to surround myself with such beautiful people and to know that they’re always there for me, even during the darkest times means so much.

Besides dancing, shopping, and pretty trips I’m loving my busy days as a mama to a lively, sweet, smart almost two year old. Greyson turns two in December and we’re already planning an intimate birthday for him. With the Coronavirus controlling a lot of events and planning still, we’ve decided on an intimate second birthday for our boy. He’s literally my entire heart and soul and every day spent with him is magical. I love watching him grow, learn, and laugh. His smile lights up my days and his cuddles remind me of what is truly important. I love you so much Greyson, Xo.

I’m also fully ready for the fall season from decor to fashion. I start decorating for fall Labor Day weekend and it’s so much fun. This mama doesn’t waste any time transitioning into fall days. I take decorating very seriously and it’s one of my favorite things to do. I light some fall scented candles, listen to a good playlist, and I unpack all of the decor. I can’t wait for cozy sweaters, hot chai tea lattes, and football. It’s been a really inspirational summer for me despite the chaos around me, but I’m completely ready for a new season and new moments. I hope everyone is finding beauty in each day and that with the summer coming to a close, new chapters are on the way.

Stay tuned for my upcoming posts such as Coming Home & The Greyson Diaries

What’s in my Beach Bag?

Leave a comment
lifestyle

Whether you’re a busy mama like me, or you’re just a gal heading to the beach to catch some waves and soak up the sunshine, your beach bag is essential. After becoming a mama to a fun, crazy, incredible little boy my beach bag has changed immensely. I’ve been to the beach every weekend since summer began this year, and I always pack my beach bag hours before to ensure that I don’t forget anything. I’m here to help you pack for your next beach day! What’s in my beach bag?

  • Sunscreen for myself and Greyson (I bring sunscreen with me, but I apply it to myself and Greyson before we head to the beach to save some time)
  • Bug spray
  • Healthy snack 🍇
  • Water (you can always bring a small cooler for all of your food/drinks)
  • An insulated baby bottle tote that fits food and a bottle for Greyson (I usually pack a PB&J sandwich, a snack, and a drink for him)
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers & swim diapers
  • Two extra outfits for Greyson (always be prepared)
  • Sunglasses (I usually bring one of my Ray-Bans to the beach) 😎
  • Hair ties
  • Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner (refreshing after laying in the sun) ☀️
  • My wallet & cash 💵
  • A book (always bring a book, or a magazine with you…everywhere) 📖
  • Perfume
  • Spray deodorant
  • Hat (a beach hat, or a baseball cap)
  • A cute cover up, or a comfy lounge shirt

There are also beach essentials that don’t fit in my beach bag, but that I always bring with me! What are my other beach essentials?

  • Towels
  • Tanning mat
  • Beach toys for Greyson
  • Cooler (optional)

This has been a very weird, trying year for everyone and I truly believe that the beach can cure all wounds. Take a day trip, or rent a beach house for a week and escape from your daily routine for a little while. You deserve it.

Xo

Coming Home

Leave a comment
lifestyle

The Ultimate Staycation

2020 has not been what any of us envisioned as we watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, ready for resolutions and adventures. We had a vacation planned for May to celebrate our one year anniversary, which we cancelled due to the pandemic, and I had a New York City trip planned with a girlfriend that we put on hold for the time being. We missed seeing my brother and family in the city for Passover and Easter, which made me sad. Although I’ve been making up for the lost time and going to the beach, shopping in my favorite boutiques, and enjoying the outdoor dining experience, I’ve been living the staycation lifestyle for months and I can’t complain. Whether you’re taking it easy, cautiously moving forward post-pandemic, or tight on money after a weird, stressful few months, going on a vacation might not be an option. That’s okay! Don’t let jetsetters on social media make you feel envious. You can have a wonderful summer at home. Here’s my guide to the ultimate staycation…

  • Go to the bookstore, or online, pick out a book that interests you and create a cozy reading area in your home, or outside.
  • Have a barbeque with summer drinks, good food, and music.
  • Do a wine tasting at home with your significant other or friends with a few bottles of wine, cheese, fruit, and crackers.
  • Set up your bedroom for a personal yoga class. All you need are candles, leggings, and a yoga mat (Amazon). Download a yoga app on your iPad and get your zen on.
  • Go to a local farmers market and shop colorful produce, baked goods, and plants.
  • Have a spa day at home and take some time for yourself. Buy some flower petals, lotions, facial masks, scented candles, and make a playlist.
  • Pick a DIY project and have fun creating and crafting something beautiful.
  • Have a movie night with popcorn, candy, and wine. Make it a film festival vibe!
  • Campout in your backyard or near your home, tell scary stories and watch a movie.
  • Have a cultural day at home by picking a theme, such as Greek day. Dress for the part, make something Greek themed for dinner, and decorate your home for the occasion.
  • Go for lots of walks around your neighborhood, discover local parks, and make it interesting for yourself and kids. Tell your kids that on your walk they need to discover different types of plants, birds, or bugs. Make it a learning experience and record everything new you’ve discovered.
  • Enjoy a Disney-themed staycation with Disney music, Disney movies, Disney decor and decorations, and even wear a pair of Minnie ears around the house. This is perfect for a weekend at home with your kids. Make some Disney-themed foods and hide hidden Disney toys around the house for your kids to find.
  • Have a Christmas marathon in the summer, because it’s never too hot or too early to drink egg-nog and watch Hallmark movies, right?
  • Game night is always a good idea! Buy some of your favorite board games and DIY some new, different games and have fun with wine, games, and appetizers.
  • If you have a pickup truck, or can borrow someone’s truck fill the bed with pillows and blankets and lay out under the stars.
  • If you want to have a romantic night at home with your lover, pick a place you both want to visit and transform your bedroom into that place by candles (specific scents), food, and wine (unique to that country or state), and decor.
  • Have a bed and breakfast themed morning in bed with your significant other and, or your kids. Watch a good movie and eat waffles, eggs, and drink some flavored coffee.