More Neutrals [with CupShe] + Options to Accessorize!

Hi Friends – I can’t believe this is the first time I’m posting this month. Let’s just say it’s been a crazy December and I’m just trying to make it through 2016 in one piece 🙂 Although this is one of the best times of year, it can also be the most stressful! Who else is with me?
I’m excited to finally share this shirt from CUPSHE – my newest fave online shop I just recently ordered from for the first time. Their items can only be found online and are super super affordable if you’re looking to mix it up! Also- I was actually blown away by the quality of the items I purchased!
This black, brown and white top is so ME – that sounds so cheesy but it’s true! Anyone who knows me would agree. I’ve mentioned before that I love any piece of clothing or accessory that I can mix with black and brown, so I had to have this shirt. It was only 23.99 and can be found here.
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Because this shirt is super casual, I wore with leggings (because they are technically pants) and brown booties.
^Michael Kors watch
^Purse is Adrienne Vittadini
Get this look from CUPSHE:Cupshe What A Patch Knitting SweaterCupshe Lady In the Streets Leopard TopCupshe Young Without Limit Patch TopCupshe Stay With Me Stripe Printing CardiganCupshe Print All Over Me Stripe Casual Cardigan
CupShe is currently offering some deals on already great prices now – 12/26. Banners below will allow you to redeem the deals:

Christmas Carnival! $10 Off Over $95   Code:CH10! $15 Off Over $145  Code:CH15! Free Shipping!

Merry Christmas! $42+One Free Gift Bag! Free Shipping!

Winter Clearance!Start from $8.99! Free Shipping!

Some accessories to go with:

MICHAEL Michael Kors Rhea Zip Small Backpack

Main Image - Echo 'Touch - Zip Bouclé' Tech GlovesCupshe Keep Me Company Knitting BeanieCupshe Leave You Hanging Tassel PU Bag

We have a packed weekend ahead of us – Calvin dr appt, blog pics today (much needed!), brunch on Sunday with some co-workers, oh and we NEED to pick up our apartment. It is a disaster during the week and we always use the weekends to tidy up! What are your plans?  Are you done Christmas shopping? I’m not even close!
Love you all & hug those loved ones tight this weekend ❤

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*this post may contain affiliate links in which I would receive some commission for your purchase*

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A Day in the Life: Balancing Business Blogging & Baby

Hello, Friends! Can you believe that this was the last full week before Thanksgiving?! This has been THE FASTEST year.
PS – I got a notification today that another one of my blog posts was published today on Elite Daily here! The original article all about the “5th Trimester” can be found here and is still one of my favorite posts I’ve written to date.
We went home this past weekend for my sisters wedding (which was amazing BTW) and I had so many questions and comments about my blog! It makes me happy because I know that people are reading and engaged with my writing.
 Two of the most common questions were: when do you blog and how do you have time to blog? Or comments of “I don’t know how you do it.” There were also comments saying that I must be spending a lot of time on it. Which is true, but I have to be very strategic about when I can work on this, and yes, I wish I could do way more. Craig says I spend more time working on the blog than I think.
I decided I’ll write about a day in the life of a working, blogging, Mom for some perspective – I know so many working Moms can relate so I’d love to hear from you on how you balance it all as well!
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  I’ll start at midnight so we can include the entire day. Pretty much every week day is the same routine:
  • Sometime between 1am and 3am: Calvin is not consistent about sleeping through the night even at 9 months, so once a night, Calvin usually wakes up whining in his crib. Craig is on this time of night duty so he will go in to rock him back to sleep if he doesn’t go back to sleep on his own. I don’t feed him during the night anymore.
  • Sometime between 5am and 6am – Cal wakes up again. At this odd time of the morning, I don’t have the time or patience to rock him back to sleep. If it’s earlier than 6am, I grab him and lay with him in our bed with me so I can get just a bit more sleep. He will almost always snuggle back up and sleep for a bit longer.
  • 630-730am: wake up and feed Calvin (I am still breastfeeding in the mornings and evenings) then we “talk and play” for a bit.
  • 730-830am: Get myself ready for work while entertaining a baby. Calvin plays & rolls around in his pack ‘n play, I pack my lunch, coffee and english muffin with peanut butter while Calvin stares at me sitting on the kitchen floor, get Calvin changed & dressed while he screams because he doesn’t want me to lay him on his changing table.
  • 8-830: I leave for work, Craig finishes getting Calvin ready and takes him to daycare. My commute is 30 min.
  • 830ish-530ish: Work work work work work – meetings, calls, project work, emails, and more meetings.
  • 6-630pm: Get home from work. Craig has usually already picked up Calvin and they are both waiting for me at home.
  • 615-630pm: Feed Calvin dinner (1 jar beech-nut baby food & gerber rice cereal or oatmeal) while the other starts dinner.
  • 630-730pm: Play with Calvin/Eat Dinner
  • 730-8: Bedtime routine: bath, pajamas, books
  • 8pm: Feed Calvin then let him lay with me for cuddle time for at least half hour.
  • 8-830pm: Craig takes Calvin and puts him in his crib.
  • 830-? pm: “Personal” time – this is usually when I do all of my blogging/social media work. The end time is “?” because sometimes I am too tired to do anything and sometimes I am up until midnight.
    I am committed to continuing my blog, with some other long term goals in mind as well. At this point, I’m definitely feeling like something always has to be given up in order to balance business, blog & baby – at this time in my life, usually it is sleep or exercise! I know, I know, I’m working on it.

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You can probably tell by this schedule that I need efficiency – I need things to be quick, simple and easy for me to fit everything into my day. No time for BS. I was actually looking back through some old blog posts and realized pretty much everything I support and write about is related to making my life easier and more efficient. Here are some mom hacks I live by every day!
*I only wash and style my hair once a week – usually on Saturday. The rest of the week I wear it half up, in a pony tail, in a bun, etc to mix it up and make my blowout last. I was #blessed/cursed with very dry hair that allows me to do this. I wrote about “2nd day hairstyles” here – but really they can be used for 3rd, 4th, and 5th day styles too!
*I put on the same makeup every day – watch my 10 minute every day makeup tutorial here 
*Microwaveable vegetables & bagged salads – need I say more?
*Draft settings on wordpress, instagram, facebook, outlook, gmail and other social channels are life savers! If you ever see me post something during the week, it’s likely because I took the time the night before or on the weekend to create drafts of social posts/blog posts or emails.
*Crockpot Meals! I wrote about my favorite easy meals here and here.
*The Keurig coffee maker – one quick cup that I can grab & go!
*Flossing in the shower – anyone else?
*Low maintenance hair color – I really love getting a fresh cut & color but it takes such a long time from start to finish that I can only really find time to go about 3-4 times a year. I recently had my stylist take out my blonde that goes all the way up to the roots so that the color can gradually grow out and still look okay. This allows me to go longer between visits.
*Lastly, I have become more and more open about my honesty on when I need help. It’s just natural that a lot of responsibility falls back on Mom, especially when the baby always wants you or you are still breast feeding. Lately I am very open about when I need help on ANYTHING. For example, I really dislike going to the grocery store so Craig will stop on his way home from work. It is one thing off my plate each week.
Who else’s schedule feels just as crazy as this? Moms of multiples, I don’t know how you do it!!! What are your hacks, daily efficiencies, or tips? Would love to hear about how I can cut more corners! LOL
Have a great weekend!!!KaylaSignature-02

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4 Universal Life Lessons I’ve been Taught in One Year of Blogging 

I can’t believe it but…
November 9th marks my ONE year anniversary of blogging!
On a random Tuesday in November last year I decided to write a post on pregnancy style and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into! I had tried a few times in the past to start a tumblr, or other sorts of blogs but never exactly could follow through. I had been seriously thinking about it again for a while and voiced to a few friends that because of so many life changes, I wanted to start a blog.
I spent the following few weeks teaching myself the WordPress platform, wrote just one post, and then hit publish! There are some that say you should be writing for months before marketing your blog and others say just start. I am definitely a believer of the latter – once I get something in my head I have to do it immediately. You can grow and find your voice with your readers. I do not have the patience to overthink or over analyze, so I just went for it (more on this below.)
What was originally kaylagreenstone.com titled Kayla Marie (so creative, huh?) evolved into runningwithstrollers.com as I began to find my niche in writing about motherhood and what comes along with balancing it all. I never had plans or aspirations to become a #momblogger but becoming pregnant and then a mother was my new reality, and I couldn’t help but share it with others.
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I may not have the most followers, the most likes, post as often as I would like, or be making thousands of dollars a month – but I stuck to something I believe in (and created) for a whole year and am freaking excited about that.

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This first year of blogging has confirmed a few universal life lessons for me and I want to share them here as every day reminders for both myself and others who have dreams & goals of their own.
Stay In Your Own Lane 
What I mean by this is that you must stay on your own path, looking forward, and believe it what YOU are doing – or you will likely drift off. In the admittedly over-saturated hobby/profession of blogging, it is very easy to feel like you are getting lost in the crowd. Just when you think that you thought of something first or had the best idea, you come across another blogger who just wrote about the same thing and has 3 time the amount of followers. Thoughts of “why am I even doing this” or “what makes me special?” immediately start to creep in. Should you glance over at what others are doing? Always. Should you join in the community and provide value for others? Definitely. If you keep your eyes set on what YOU are trying to accomplish and believe in it, self doubt will stay in the backseat and you remain in the driver’s seat. The success of others should never make you question yourself. Because guess what? Success doesn’t discriminate against hard work and there is room for everyone to share a piece of the market.

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Putting Yourself Out There is The Only way to Get Somewhere
Oh. my. god. I can’t stress this one enough. You have to put yourself out there to get anywhere – you have to take action to see results. The more you do both of these things, the more opportunities you are creating for yourself within the universe. I got accepted to be an Elite Daily Contributor a few months into blogging (which was very cool) but it was because I put myself in front of them and sought out the opportunity. I submitted articles and a few have been featured on the site (which only happened because I actually submitted) – I did not wait for Elite Daily to magically find me because it doesn’t always work that way…in fact I would have been waiting a very long time. One of my favorite podcast episodes EVER is “Adventures with Mike Dooley: The Mechanics of Manifesting” on the Adventures in Happiness Podcast with Jessica Ortner. Honestly, game changer. Mike believes that essentially if you get the ball rolling and keep it rolling, the universe will do the work to put opportunities in front of you. The reason more people don’t put themselves out there is because they are afraid of what others think – so they spend their lives with great ideas kept to themself because they are worried a group of individuals they went to HS with 10 years ago will judge them. If people have an opinion about what you are doing, good for you, because it means you are taking ACTION.

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  Anything Worth Doing Takes a Consistent Grind
Nothing worth doing happens over night, but ugh, wouldn’t that be awesome if it did? Successful businesses, ideas, blogs, etc, take work. A LOT of work. A lot of CONSISTENT work. If you want something to be successful you have to work at it every day. Would you be successful in your career if you only worked at it once a week? No, and you’d probably be fired. It’s easy to feel like you are doing a lot, when in reality, it’s probably not nearly enough. What are you willing to give up to make your project a reality? Lastly, don’t judge where you are one year into your journey against where someone else is 4 years in…because well, they have been at it 4 times as long as you. Chances are if you were to look back at your life last year at this time, you wouldn’t believe where you are today. Imagine where you could be a year from now with consistent effort toward your goals?

Be Intentional With Your Goals and What you Want 
I didn’t necessarily believe in this one until I tried physically writing down what I wanted and then I saw it slowly come true. Back at the beginning of the year, one of my best friends sent me a journal in the mail with the quote “She believed she could so she did” on the front cover (thanks, Shan!) I was feeling inspired so I decided to write down some blog goals for the upcoming year. On the first page one of my goals was to work with 6-8 brands, or on 6-8 sponsored posts in 2016. I honestly don’t even know where those numbers came from, and at that time I had done 0 sponsored posts. 10 months later and I have partnered with 9 brands (Little Tikes, Gerber, FX, Pink Blush x2, The Initial Co x2, JORD Wood Watches, 4moms, Glassesshop.com & Kayello coffee) and have had to turn down a few others. Are these the biggest, most prestigious brands in the world? No, but I was intentional about what I wanted, I put myself out there, and the universe helped me out a bit from there.

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So one year in and there is so much more I want to do – one of my biggest goals in 2017 is to do a RwS event or meet-up! Who would come? It’s amazing to look back and see what can be accomplished in just 12 months. I now have a blog that I’ve posted on 67 times, a 9 month old mobile, healthy baby and a fiancé 💙 Here’s to another year of changes, successes, failures and more mom bloggin’ 👶🏻
To the people who have followed and have read any of my posts – I love you ❤️ your support, comments, likes and shares mean more than you know! 
Here are my favorite posts from the past year:

To the Working Mom: Your Child Goes to Daycare and Why it’s Okay

The Importance of Personal Days

My 10 Minute Easy Everyday Make-up Video

Flying with an Infant & Travel Necessities

The 5th Trimester: Learning to Balance Time and Give yourself a Break

Women & Guilt: How to Stop Comparing and Feel Like a Badass

6 weeks into Motherhood: My New Normal


What am I wearing?
dress 
boots
bag

As always, don’t forget to follow RwS by entering your email below & find me on my socials as I would love to have you!
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It’s Officially Sweater Weather (+a DOUBLE Pink Blush Giveaway!)

It’s finally SWEATER WEATHER! The comfiest time of the year (I’m ALL about comfort so it’s my favorite.) A co-worker asked me the other day how many comfy sweaters I have (since I’ve been wearing them alot.) Literally a million – this is what I live in during the fall/winter much like everyone else! You know that meme saying “my swimsuit body wasn’t ready but my sweater body is on point?” Well, that is 100% me this year!
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I am kicking off SwEaTeR wEaTheR with a Pink Blush giveaway!
I first experienced pink blush earlier this year when featuring this mint floral dress and I was hooked! So flattering and a great fit for my new post-partum bod at that time. Pink Blush is the best one stop shop for transitioning from pregnancy, post-baby and beyond – I love ANYTHING that can be repurposed and re-wearing everything *guilty* so these pieces are my favorite.

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“PinkBlush brings the latest trends in maternity clothes to the modern mother so that she can transition into pregnancy without skipping a beat, delivering bold prints in vibrant hues to make sure you stand out in style. We offer a comfortable, stylish, and always affordable look for every occasion from Baby Showers to Weddings in a simple and enjoyable shopping experience. It’s your one-stop shop for every wardrobe essential from maternity tops and maternity jeans to shoes and accessories. Fortunately, these styles will not only dress your growing bump, but effortlessly adjust to motherhood and beyond.” – shoppinkblush.com
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I paired this Navy Heavyknit Turtleneck Sweater with black jeggings (I swear I live in them) and my go-to black booties.
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I am currently hosting a giveaway on instagram for a $50 Pink Blush giftcard! Super easy to enter and an e-gift certificate will be sent straight to the winner via email. Giveaway will close on 11/8 at 11:59pm. SO head over to IG ASAP & good luck entering! ❤

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I want to give one of my pregnant mama friends or new mama friends with that ‘new mom bod’ this fabulous, comfortable, beautiful Pink Blush dress pictured below. This giveaway will be exclusive to the blog, meaning there will be no other way to enter that right here at RWS. Less people will probably enter, so your chance of winning is greater.
This dress has a value of $65, is almost sold out on the site, is a size Medium – fits true to size – and is brand new with tags on!
Please let me know if you have any other questions about the dress.
To enter to win this dress, all you have to do is enter your email below to subscribe to Running with Strollers! If you already follow RWS via email, comment below and let me know, then I will enter you in the giveaway.

I’m so excited about this DoUbLe giveaway – so make sure to take advantage now through 11/8!

As always, thanks babes for following and reading! My ONE YEAR anniversary of blogging is coming up on 11/9…the only thing that keeps me going is my blog friends and readers 🙂
HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND!KaylaSignature-05Don’t forget to follow me on my socials! I’d love to have you!
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Bengals Themed Family Pics + My Simple Gameday Chili Recipe!

There’s nothing better than a chilly fall day with football, family, time for relaxation, and good food! I am sharing one of my favorite, easiest recipes below – Gameday Chili! Perfect for staying in, or taking to share with others.
First off, we are a Bengals family through and through so I thought it would be fun to do some Bengals themed family pics at the park. While we are living in New Jersey right now, we still cheer on our team from afar each week. We used to go to games at Paul Brown all the time and I can’t wait to take Calvin to his first game! Such a fun thing to make a tradition. Cal is a baby bengal, he just doesn’t know it yet!

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Simple & Yummy Game Day Chili
Ingredients 
1 red onion
1 can organic kidney beans
1 chili packet
2 cans organic tomato sauce
1 can rotel tomatoes & chilies 🍅
1 package organic ground turkey
Sprinkle of Red pepper  🌶
1 box elbow macaroni
Sharp cheddar and crackers to top
  • Sauté finely chopped red onion and brown ground turkey in a pan
  • While onion and meat are cooking, pour 2 large cans hunts sauce, rotel tomatoes/chilis, kidney beans, and chili packet into a large soup pan and turn on medium heat
  • Once cooked, toss onions and cooked meat into the mixture
  • Pour in 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper if you like some spice
  • Simmer on low/medium heat until macaronis are softened
  • Top with cheddar cheese and crackers
  • Enjoy! So easy & yummy.

Let me know if you try! Have an awesome rest of your weekend. We are spending this Sunday relaxing and catching up on some 💤💤


Our {Mommy & Me} Fall Fashion Favorites + a GAP discount code

Hi all, how are we? I’m back, back again – I have to write about the sweetest thing that has started happening with Calvin lately. I wrote about this on a previous instagram post, but he has definitely started WANTING me and showing preference to who holds him, and when. This is new in the last few weeks. When I get home from work he is basically reaching and lunging for me to hold him and just pick him up and squeeze him. If I go in the other room, he now notices, and if I put him down before he wants me to, he’ll grip onto me harder. If we’re sitting on the floor he tries to crawl up my legs. I know that this will probably get old but for now I am just enjoying him wanting to spend time with and love his mom! He shows he needs me and I know I need him, too.

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Anyways…it’s a new season, a new month, and guess what? I’m still obsessed with neutrals. I’ve enlisted the help of a particularly cute baby model to help me with this post 🙂 I’m thinking I will do a ‘Mommy & Me’ type fashion post every so often going forward.
Last fall I was preggo and wearing pretty much all maternity clothes, this fall, I get to match with my little dude – so fun!
So because of this year’s change in size, I was feeling like I needed some new things… and I found myself going for all of the brown, tan, cream basics per usual. Am I boring? I’m such a brown, goldeny wearing girl. I love wearing these type of shades, and this always translates into my make-up and accessories as well. I talked in my everyday makeup routine about this and I will be showing you all my newest neutral favorite fall/winter accessory from JORD watches next week!

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My fall necessities as always are sweaters, jeans and boots. #basic huh?  I love me a good pair of brown boots, a soft comfy sweater and perfect fit pair of jeans. Obviously I had to get Calvin the same items – brown baby booties, a comfy knit henley onesie and the cutest little baby jeans.

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What I’m wearing:
Boots
Sweater
Jeans (Similar)
What Calvin’s wearing:
Booties
Onesie (similar)
Jeans
Both of our jeans are from GAP – all of my best, comfiest, and longest lasting pants are from here. I’m so happy I can pass my love of GAP JEANS onto Calvin so we can match. He’s totally going to hate me for this later on in life so I’ll just do it now while I can get away with it!
Use my code below for 35% off a GAP purchase through 10/8:
35% off! Includes sales styles. Use code WANT at Gap. Restrictions apply. Ends 10/8.
Shop some of mine & Calvin’s other fall favorites:

Cable Knit Sweater Top

Heathered Mock Neck Sweater

Ribbed Knit Sweater

Contemporary V-Neck Sweater

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^I’ve had a pair of Aldo knee high brown boots for 3 years – more pricey, but the best!

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Distressed Low-Rise Jeans

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We are going to a beer festival tomorrow during the day with our friends who have a little baby boy as well – yes, we’re taking the little guys! Can’t wait to relax and have some fun on this October weekend.
Love you all! Thanks for reading – I hope you can find some comfy & casual fall picks for you and  your babes ❤

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Increasing Happiness: How you Think about Current Life Situations & Apply a Shift (+ boots & shorts style inspo)

Happy Weekend!!! We are in NJ again this weekend, pretty much in chill-ax mode before we are traveling again next week!
Can I be transparent and say that pretty much everything about the past 3 months has been challenging and life changing? It has forced me to be intentional with my thoughts and seek out information that will allow me to grow instead of shrink down into the pit of #stress.
I had a conversation recently with a co-worker and they were asking me what I wanted and made the comment that they wanted me to “be happy.” It was interesting to stop and think about this – because I haven’t actually thought about me, my goals, my future… in a very long time. I am constantly thinking about what will make Calvin happy, what will make my family happy, what will make my co-workers/team members happy, what will make my clients @work happy. Although it’s true that if all of those individuals are happy, so am I, but I also got to thinking about what makes ME happy and how can I have more of that in my life?
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Sometimes it’s the little things, right? Like a cup of coffee in the morning, getting an extra hr of sleep on the weekend, a new lipstick shade, or the feeling when you can tell fall is on its way.
But most of the time in the midst of busy days, weeks, long days and long nights, true happiness takes effort and a commitment to saying, “I’m going to remain positive, no matter what is thrown my way today.” Unfortunately, it does take effort to count your blessings and remember how amazing your life truly is. The realization of this comes from the self-awareness of NOT remaining as positive as I could when challenges or tough situations have come my way in the past.
I also recently listened to a podcast and it was talking about and listing activities that are PROVEN to increase happiness on one’s life. Some examples were silently meditating, journaling each night, committing to 5 random acts of kindness each week, and taking brisk walks 3x a week. While I’m sure these are proven to increase happiness, I couldn’t really relate. Can you imagine me silently meditating each morning in addition to feeding & changing another human being, getting myself ready and commuting to work all before 830am? As a super busy working mom, I’m not in a spot where I can ADD things to my life. Yes I want to achieve ultimate happiness and overcome stress, but I feel like there’s things I’m already doing, that when viewed with a different mindset, could really change my outlook on love, life, and happiness.

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These are some every day realities that could (and often do) weigh on me and prevent me from feeling fully accomplished, fulfilled, and happy. When I change my mindset and develop a PMA (positive mental attitude) these situations are suddenly a blessing instead of a burden:
Situation: Spending weekdays at work, while others get to stay at home with their babes
Shift: You are a strong, hard working, ambitious mom who gets to go to a great job and make money for her family. This job allows you to give your family things and do things together you might not be able to without your income. Your family will look up to you for the things you have accomplished professionally and the success you were able to achieve while balancing both.
You have a long commute
This is YOUR time – time to think, fill your brain with positive info via podcasts or listen to music. Take a deep breath, think your thoughts, and enjoy your cup up coffee the whole way there.
Situation: You’re freaking tired
Solution: Stop and get that damn iced latte if you want it. You deserve it. DUH.
Situation: You don’t have enough time to workout so you’re feeling down on yourself and your body image
Solution: I can’t say we’ll ever have more time, but I’ve been told that if you have a small baby, don’t fret on this. This stage of your life is so quick and fleeting, enjoy it spending time doing what needs to be done (dishes, dinner, baby cuddles, breastfeeding, etc.) Another thing I’ve thought about on this topic…if you don’t have time to workout, you DO have time to eat and drink water (or else you wouldn’t be alive), so make some healthy swaps and it could take some of the stress off of fitting exercise in your schedule.
 Situation: You’re worried about your quality time with your significant other 
Solution: Even being aware of this is key! Keep it top of mind and talk about how you can solve for it. It could be as simple as making sure you eat dinner together, talking about your day each night, or committing to going to bed at the same time each night.
Have you thought lately about what makes you happy? What are your “situations” and “solutions?” How do you view happiness and make sure you are intentional with your thoughts? Any ideas or recos!? Seriously need to hear 🙂

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 *Shop my look*
Black Fringe Boots 
Black MK Watch
White Shorts
Flannel Shirt
Choker
Tank – Similar
More boots/shorts inspo: for when you still want to summer (shorts) but you’re ready for fall (boots!) Love this trend.
Have a great weekend, all!!

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Our Engagement Story + My Fave Vacation Photos

Hi Friends! It has been a CRAZY week back from vacation and so much has happened since I posted previously about the 4th of July. I got those pictures taken of our family for both the blog and just to have some quality images of the 3 of us – little did I know that this holiday would take on such a larger meaning for our family. We got engaged on July 4th, 2016, in Corolla, North Carolina. We were on a family reunion type trip with 18 of my family members staying in one large beach house, so they were all there watching!
I know it may sound dumb or that you’re thinking, “yeah right”, when I say I was shocked. We do have a child together and already function as a true family, but I had NO IDEA it was happening at this time, let alone this year. We had talked so much about re-focusing our priorities to Calvin, our careers, figuring out where we’d be long term, and eventually buying a house, that I thought engagement was the LAST thing on our roster for this year. Also, Craig can hardly ever surprise me, so I thought I’d know for sure before it happened, and that I’d have to fake being surprised so he didn’t know I knew …lol! Well he got me good.
I has previously told Craig when we do get engaged, I better have my nails, hair & makeup done for picture purposes. #princessstatus So, the day before (July 3rd) it was pouring all day and my sisters tried to take me to get my nails done. I didn’t have time to go before we left & what else do you do on a beach vacation when it’s raining? When we got to the place they couldn’t take us because of availability and I said “oh well, I don’t even care about my nails.” There was no more convincing me that we should try elsewhere. Fail #1.
On the 4th, before dinner, we took showers and Craig was trying so hard to get me to dry my hair and “get ready” but I wasn’t having it because we were staying in for dinner to grill out. God knows I won’t get ready if I don’t have to…especially on vacation. 😂 So I threw my wet hair into a clip and bolted up to dinner. Fail #2.
These two things show right away that I had absolutely NO IDEA I was about to get engaged, as I was always sure I needed to look my very best during one of the biggest moments of my life.
Earlier in the day, Craig had told me that he wanted to give a toast before dinner just to thank my family for having him and say how cool it is that we all got together. I said, “ARE YOU SURE?” I thought he maybe just had too many beers at the pool…however, others had said prayers or toasts before previous meals, so I suppose it wouldn’t be that weird.
Craig telling me ahead of time he was doing this was so so smart – when everyone had gotten their food and he stood up, I was expecting the “toast.” When he started talking, I took a hugeeeee bite of my cheeseburger because I did not think I was about to get engaged. #hangrymama
As he began to get more serious and look a bit nervous, my chewing slowed immediately and my hands covered my face to hide my tears. I don’t even cry that often. I couldn’t believe it was happening. After every thing we’ve been through in the 3 years we’ve been together – a move across country, 3 apartments, stressful days at new jobs, A BABY – it was just so bittersweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. He did so good. He’d been planning so long for this moment.

It’s funny, you set all of these ground rules or requirements in your mind for when you get engaged and how you want it to happen. Then, when the moment came, I wasn’t thinking about anything except the fact that it’s finally official – I’m going to marry the most selfless, caring, sweet man and Dad that I know!  No fancy location, fancy outfit, perfectly polished nails, or expensive dinner could have topped this moment. I feel so lucky every day and I can’t wait to finally share a last name with my two guys.

Here are a few other of my fave photos from our trip:

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We didn’t take as many pictures on vacation as I would have liked because Craig’s phone got wet and we usually use his camera. Honestly, I was also trying to just enjoy each moment on our trip & not think as much about perfectly capturing every second. We also haven’t bothered lately with using another camera because well, that’s one extra thing to worry about. I do, however, want and NEED to invest in a DLSR. Does anyone have any recommendations for one that is easy to use and won’t break the bank? Please shoot me a message – would love your opinions!
Now, onto planning a wedding (scary!) We have a really busy summer with my work trips, my best friend’s bachelorette & wedding, etc, so we will probably focus more on planning come fall. For now, we are not in a HUGE rush, but I’m sure I will be capturing a lot of the planning journey here on the blog once it begins.
Huge thanks to everyone for your continued support and sweet notes on our engagement. Love you all!

❤ Kayla