nypd memorial run + links

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this weekend we ran in & completed the NYPD Memorial 5k. this was Madison’s 4th 5k since birth & i really can’t wait until she can run beside me instead of in the stroller. her 30 pounds + the strollers 29 pounds has made running, all the more difficult. however i love the versatility of our jogging stroller for the city & hopping curbs & being able to have her yell at me to “run faster mama” / she is my mini personal trainer. i’m also so happy brian got to run with us this year, we ran it together & finished together, sunburns, sweat & all.

other jogging strollers i am loving are here, here & here

best time watches for running here & here

just got these new nike sneaks for brian to start running again / and my favorites here 

new favorite sports bras here (moisture wicking & they have a very slight padding in the front so you don’t have to worry about your perky nipples showing up to say hi) / i like this style also

favorite work out tanks here, here & here

water bottles to get your drink on here, here & here

this is my favorite healthy post workout snack / also this smoothie

thank you

everyday i leave the house and kiss my sleeping husband’s arm. that crook right where his elbow is. he’s usually rolled up in blankets & sheets, his pillow long ago knocked onto the floor and gus curled up on top of him. there is possibly a little bit of drool on our sheets. okay we will go with probably. and i don’t want to wake him. he was working late. always working late. getting home around midnight or one in the morning usually. and crawling into bed next to me. that’s when i let out the breath i’ve been holding all day. from the moment i leave him until the moment he comes home & is beside me again. because these days, i find myself filled with anxiety & fear that i will open my eyes, and he won’t be there. that i will roll over in the middle of the night and reach for him, but not feel him. and i realize i can’t live my life that way. full of fear. always holding my breath. but a shield has become a target. it doesn’t matter that he straps on a gun everyday and goes out into the night to defend people who would spit on him in return. we are in the midst of a war on cops. a war on my husband & our friends & our family members? i can’t grasp this. i can’t grasp how devoting your life to an honorable cause has somehow become the center of contempt. how the pride i feel seeing him in uniform is equally matched by hatred across another line. how someone can want to take him from me, because of the uniform he wears. and sometimes i wonder… i wonder how does one remain human when dealing with such inhumanity? how do you stay sane? how do you deal with shots fired, rape, blood, dead bodies, children with guns, drugs, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, anger, fear, and bewilderment at work and are then able to come home and do pony tails & piggy back rides? to read stories and have tea parties? to hold your wife in your arms and make her feel that she is the only thing that matters. how do you do it day in and day out? how do you separate the hate from your compassion? how do you hold onto your empathy? is it even possible? or are these demons & fears always there? fighting to come to the forefront of your thoughts. do they follow you home in the night? is there anyway to get rid of them?  i wish i could promise you you’d never have to bury another brother again. but we both know i don’t make promises i can’t keep. i wish i could help alleviate the pressure of it all.

does holding onto me in the night help?

i hope so. i hope you know we can battle together. and that you know you can always release your fears to me. and know that i’ll never see anything but strength behind those eyes. this house will always be your escape. from the chaos and violence and the hate. we will always be here for you to come home to. and for you to hold.

it is often a thankless job. but i want to thank you. all of you. my husband’s band of brothers. a cord of three strands is not quickly broken / Ecclesiastes 4:12 / there is truly strength in numbers & i am grateful for each of you. that you help ensure my husband walks through that door way each & every night. and for allowing me and my daughter to safely lay our heads down at night to rest. please join me in thanking a cop this week during national police week. and pray for these families & all from 2015. and if you’re in the NYC area this weekend, please come out & support us on Sunday at the NYPD Memorial 5k. This race is run in honor of all NYPD Officers who have died in the line of duty. There are more than 850 NYPD heroes whose names have been etched into the granite New York City Police Memorial Wall in Battery Park City. We gather yearly to honor these brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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mother’s day recap + links

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grammy’s surprise was a great success. how lucky are we to be able to do such wonderful things? i am so grateful for a father who loves me & mom so much he made this possible, and for a mama who was so excited to just have me home. although….. i think madison stole the show. the few phones calls grammy made after my arrival consisted of “guess who came to visit?! MADISON!” as i exchanged “what about me looks?” with my dad across the room. he just smiled to remind me that i am “chopped liver” now compared to M (his exact quote). i guess that’s what happens lol, she’s cuter. but the weekend was wonderful. even with tornados and flash flooding. i miss being apart of their every day life and i wish madison could grow up knowing them more and seeing them more. but i cherish every minute we do get to be together. i will continue to try and convince them to retire in NYC (because it makes economical sense) so they can see madison, and secretly me, every single day.

daddy might go hide in east texas.

i miss you both already.

i miss dillards in texas, mom & i went and found so many dresses i wanted (here, here, here & here)

this top / these birks in pearly hazel / these tanks all day every day

i also discovered the fitness section at kohls which was pretty great / i got these pants in several prints (they’re amazingly comfortable)

trying this new moisturizer and loving it / another favorite here and well here also

zella live in leggings

i want to fill our house with these prints especially this one 

summer is coming, you need corn hole (‘merica)

favorite anthro new arrivals here, here & here

obsessed with earning starbucks stars & free drinks / earn your free drinks here & try the new s’mores frap (it’s bomb.com) but my favorite combo is a soy vanilla latte #allday #everyday

nook books under $5 / and currently reading 

HELLO monday + links

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derby day had our family betting on 3 horses: american pharoah (brian), firing line (madison said she wanted the pink guy) and frosted (me, b/c well “frost yourself”). and check us in the courier journal (number 67).

it’s no secret i love derby. this year was fairly uneventful for us though, other than a little dress up & some virgin mint juleps for M. but i love to look up the fashion from the day & well the BEST HATS! my favorite looks from the 2015 derby are herehere & here.

and my favorite hats for summer are here, here & here

and the bourbon! kentucky is known for horses, bourbon & basketball (in no particular order) / you can find my favorite mint julep recipe here

and in derby fashion for today, my favorite mint colored styles for spring are here (on sale now), here & here / and some mint colored beach faves here, here & here

wild horse artwork here (all prints are for sale, contact kristen)

derby / horseshoe jewelry here, here & here

running for roses / rose gold faves here, here & here

easy derby pie recipe here (it’s so good, it’ll change your life)

favorite books with horses in the title (this is getting fun huh?!) here, here & here

and lastly kids horse inspired style here, here & here

hello wednesday + links

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made this super simple baked salmon recipe last night & it was ammmazing / only 5 minutes of prep time (for you working mamas out there who have toddlers demanding to be fed as soon as they walk in the door)

loving the new kate spade kitchen items including aprons, kitchen mitts, kitchen towels and other accessories / would be great housewarming gifts! also this table runner (NEED!)

currently reading (and highly recommending)

just purchased this kids folding picnic table (for those of you small urban spaces like us) / some other kids patio furniture i love here, here and here

new coach bags / slightly obsessed / here, here and here and this collection too here, here and here

this dress

phone clothes are officially lifeproof (since we’re on our like 5th iphone at this point…)

extra 50% off sale at piperlime today

swimsuit season is coming (time to hit the gym people) fave suits here, here and here

rashguard set options here & here

and to get you ready & still feel cute at the gym here, here and here

wedding season is also approaching / favorite spring dresses from RTR here, here and here (OO and this jumpsuit)

madison is starting soccer in june (I’M SO EXCITED!) / here’s some cute athletic apparel for your toddler girls here, here, here & here

happy hump day, xo

she is strong + a giveaway

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Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future”

dear madison, this post is for you sweet girl. i need you to know some things. from my heart. i need you to know first and foremost that you are so much stronger than you will ever realize. you, baby girl, can do anything. and yes it’s a parents job to be a protector of dreams and an encourager of adventure. it’s my job as your mom to help you realize all that you are worth. especially in a world such as we live in. i do not want you to grow up thinking you are not enough. pretty enough. smart enough. fast enough. strong enough. funny enough. lovable enough. perfect enough. you are imperfectly perfect. you were created in His own image. i hope that the reflection of His beauty shines in your life. and that you realize you have a purpose. you have a path. and you can choose which way that course runs. i need you to know that the only standards you need to live up to are your own. you are and always will be enough. you deserve happiness. you deserve love. you deserve success. i pray every single day that you are better than your old mom. that you realize when opportunities present themselves, and that you realize how lucky you are, before it’s too late. my hope for you is that you have no regrets. that you get the chance to try everything & that you will grow into a strong woman. one who will realize her worth. one who knows she can change the world, if she wants to. i want you to possess all the things that i lacked previously in the stupidity of my youth. it takes some of us quite a bit longer than others to get where they are going. and i’ve found my way here, to happiness, finally. the round about way, and with lots of regrets that sometimes weigh me down but for the most part i have made my way to a place i am at peace with. and a whole lot of this has to do with you. and your dad. i want you to know that your dreams can be as big or as little as you want them to be, but please dream. please be a chaser of dreams. a doer. a lover of life. a faithful friend. i hope you laugh a little too much, and that you know you always have me in your corner. forever. and ever. you will always be the entire world to me. and if you ever get to a point where the weight feels like it’s too much, home will always be there. our door will always be always open. my shoulder is always yours to cry on. my smiles are reserved for your victories. my arms are always yours. and make sure when you go out into the world, you know who you are. a daughter of God, the light of my life and your daddy’s little girl. your dreams (whatever they turn out to be) matter & so do you.

in honor of strong women everywhere i am teaming up today with She Is Clothing to giveaway one of their Elle Est Forte black & white tees. to enter please visit my instagram & for additional entries please visit the She Is Clothing site & leave a comment here letting me know what your favorite product is. also right now in honor of mother’s day, use code LOVEMOMS for free shipping (through friday!)

my favorite designer collabs

designer collaborations have always been one of my favorite things! ever since missoni for target crashed the internet though they have been very hard to get your hands on! a similar craze was the lilly for target sale, which i failed at getting anything & everything i wanted for madison online (and most of which is still sold out). also all of the “good stuff” was online only, another sad sad realization as i sent my dad to target to battle the masses. he managed to get his hand on a few dresses she can wear… next year haha. thanks daddy. but there are a few other collabs worth mentioning & the first is milly for kohls!!

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i’ve always loved milly & her colors & patterns. these are mostly all on sale now! kohls is also doing another collab (coming this fall) with thakoon! and i am very excited for mayhem x jcrew for mini fashion this summer. 4 year old mayhem will be designing her first line for Jcrew (it’s an incredible story, check out her mom’s instagram here).

you can also currently shop iggy azalea for steve madden (my favorites are below)

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another collab i am currently loving is at dress barn (yes dress barn…) they are featuring lines by carmen marc valvo, heidi weisel, adrianna papel and tuleste accessories.

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other collabs to get excited for this year..

carine roitfeld for uniqulo (fall 2015)

missoni for converse (summer 2015)

hello monday + the weekend recap + links

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thankful for good friends & warm spring days! we had the best day ever x2 (proof here) / also big thanks to “uncle hulk” for taking pics saturday on madison’s day out / now “PICK ME UP!” haha

lilly pulitzer for target was a nightmare (as expected) and i couldn’t get through to get anything buttttt my dad jumped over there & “fought off grown women” (his words) to get madison a few dresses & a hat. best pappy / daddy ever! IF they ever get restocked, my favorite pieces for madison are here, here & here. and for me here, here & here.

girls rash guard sets for under $25 here, here, here & here

some payless shoe finds for toddler girls here & here + 10% off everything with code: ZZTENOFF

spring colored watches here, here & here

obsessed with this new Nike commercial, for reals + these pants

other favorite athletic pants for spring here, here, here here

fun totes here & here

this week’s etsy finds here, here & here

ann taylor has 50% off everything + FREE shipping / use code: CYBER50 / favorites here & here 

jcrew factory also has 50% off + FREE shipping / use code: FREESHIP / favorites here & here

mother’s day ideas

mother's day gift ideas

i promise this isn’t an idea list for brian, i promise. but these are a few of my favorite things (sing it to the tune) for moms in your life (i have not included the very obvious day to the spa as well, that is always ALWAYS a good option) – you can also shop her lilly for target this sunday! sign up to get text alerts by texting LILLY to 827438.  everything is going to fly off the shelves for this one. they also are including toddlers, but you’ll have to internet fight me for these items. i’ll be up anytime anywhere for this battle.

1. coordinates bracelet / you choose the location (maybe the spot where she became a mom?!)

2. everyday i love you notebook / just an everyday reminder

3. good mom mug

4. my absolute favorite, joe malone blackberry bay or any of joe malone’s amazing scents (find hers!)

5. sand + sky post drop earrings 

6. listen to your mother / a collection of personal stories celebrating motherhood (will make you laugh)

7. gold vase with fresh flowers (1-800 flowers is offering 20% off / use code: MTHR49) & my favorite arrangement is here

8. chay rose tea #2 / i prefer to drink it out of these cups

9. these comfortable / stylist sandals with gold detailing

10. dogeared mother + daughter necklaces

11. misfit fitness tracker lets mom track her activity & sleep while syncing to her iphone

12. sonix dahlia iphone 6 case