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Damsel in Dior by Jaceylenae - 7h ago

The whole family went swimming today!

June has the cutest little floaty and Polly really held her ground on the steps {ha!}. It’s been such a treat having a pool at the villa we’re staying at, we’re making sure to take full advantage of it.

Please note that I linked to a similar hat by Janessa Leone, as the one I am wearing is currently sold out.

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Damsel in Dior by Jaceylenae - 21h ago

Ready for tonight’s family dinner.

I bought this top and bottom separately because I adored them each so much, but loving them together. And they’re both on sale right now!

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When it comes to beauty products, I don’t mix it up very much.

I know what I like, and I stick to the basics. I don’t layer tons of products or switch up my routine every day. I like to have a simple stepped process that I know I can easily stick to.

In the realm of moisturizers, it can feel daunting with the sheer amount on the market. From online shopping to beauty stores, it’s overwhelming to read through all the benefits of each and figure out what needs to be mixed with what. That’s why I love lotions that feel like one stop shops. They do what I need them to do for my face, and I can go on with my day knowing I took good care of my skin.

While the price point of moisturizers varies drastically, I can safely say that these 4 are ones I would {and do} invest in. It is frustrating spending a good deal of money on a product that isn’t as amazing as you hope, so here are my top picks for moisturizers that do the job and then some.

La Mer Soft Cream

This was the first luxury skincare product that I invested in and still stand by my purchase. I originally tried a sample of the regular cream but it was far too heavy for my liking. Then the soft cream won me over with its silky texture and heavenly scent. It’s all I wore for several years in a row and truly still love this product so much.

La Mer is the pinnacle of luxury skincare and for good reason. Just a little goes such a long way because of its concentration of incredible ingredients, or its “Miracle Broth” as the brand calls it. It leaves my skin ridiculously soft, even, and ready to accept any sort of makeup I plan to wear for the day. 10/10 would recommend if you’re looking to treat yourself. Fair warning, it’s hard to switch back to other moisturizers after you bite the bullet and go for La Mer, it’s just that good.

Rodin Luxury Face Cream

Rodin sent me this cream about 2 months ago and I absolutely love the way it smells. I don’t just use it on my face, I love using it on my hands and neck as well.

What I love about this cream is that it is infused with different oils for ultimate hydration. This is amazing because you are able to get next level nourishment without needing a super heavy cream. I love something that feels light and leaves my skin feeling fresh, and this is it. Not surprisingly, the reviews of this product are off the charts.

Augustinus Bader Rich Cream

The Rich Cream is where it’s at. I feel like Augustinus Bader just popped up one day and then was instantly everywhere. First of all, I really like a moisturizer in a pump. It is easy and ensures I get the right amount of product every time. Most importantly though, I’m obsessed with the effects I have seen from this cream.

I don’t like a million different products and a long routine, which is why I absolutely love this cream. It is a one stop shop, meaning I don’t have to layer it with other products. Even though I have a few other products in my routine, you really don’t need to. This has it all. This is my moisturizer of the moment and I’m already on my second {or third?} bottle. The formula is seriously unbelievable.

Sisley Paris Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream

Last but certainly not least, this special potion from Sisley. It smells incredible and is so light when applying. Using this cream just feels like a luxurious experience.

This product seriously makes my skin feel and appear younger and more vibrant with just one use. This cream is like an instant facelift. It plumps the skin and truly feels lifting. This product is also great if you like having a routine and using products with all the same fragrance, as Sisley offers a mask and an oil in this same exact product line that people swear by.

What is your go-to moisturizer? Is there something we NEED to try? Let us know below!

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Damsel in Dior by Jaceylenae - 4d ago

Had to go all out for last night’s dinner.

Whether we cook at home or eat out, I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten pasta every single night since we’ve been in Italy… and I’m not complaining {or stopping anytime soon}. Big hat, big attitude, big bowl of pasta. Delizioso!

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I went to a wedding recently and started chatting with a fellow guest about the importance of good accessories, especially for summer weddings.

You want to carry a clutch, but nothing too small. You want to wear a heel, but nothing too high. And you want to wear a cute dress, but nothing that will cause you to feel cold at night. And these are all things you have to either carry or wear while also looks cute and effortless during cocktail hour.

Listen, these are all things that aren’t the most fun purchases. But I promise you will get so much bang for your buck if you finally bite the bullet and add them into your wardrobe.

The Shawl

First thing is first. I wore a blazer tossed over my shoulders to my last summer wedding and honestly I regretted it. I felt a little sloppy and when I saw a fellow guest carrying a wrap with her, I looked with envy wishing I had done the same. She looked so flawless and well put together. If push really comes to shove and you are freezing, you can borrow a guy’s jacket. Otherwise, select a light wrap that can easily be folded up and carried alongside your clutch.

The Clutch

I invested in this clutch 5 years ago and I have gotten so.much.wear. from it. It was worth every single penny. Not only is it my go to for any cocktail or black tie events, but I can easily grab for it on a girls night out or date with Grant. You need an elevated evening bag in your wardrobe.

The Handy Hair Piece

Please do not have a black hair tie around your wrist when you’re attending a wedding. There are too many cute options now! Also, a fun pearl bobby pin is a nice and easy way to jazz up any old dress you have in the back of your closet.

The Happy Set of Heels

They used to say the longer the dress the higher the heel, the shorter the dress the shorter the heel. These rules do not apply to weddings. Just go with what is stylish but comfortable. This means a lower heeled option and whenever in doubt, stick with a nude color. This is my all time favorite pair that are worth every penny but if you’re shopping on a budget, here is a cheaper alternative.

What are your favorite wedding accessories? 

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Damsel in Dior by Jaceylenae - 6d ago

My best friend Gia just landed in Florence to stay with us for a few days.

She’s been touring around Italy visiting family, and I’m so happy it worked out that she got to meet us.

Please note that I linked to a similar pair of shorts {from a brand I also love}, as the ones I’m wearing are currently sold out. 

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“You guys are so lucky that you got a good sleeper,” everyone keeps saying to Grant and me.

Yup, we just miraculously got a good sleeper. In fact, I put it on the special order instructions when I was picking out the picture perfect baby I’d always dreamed of.

I say this with sarcasm because it’s been a little frustrating over the months to have people think that we have it “easy” because June is doing her nights.

The truth is, it took quite a bit of work to get us here.

Listen, every baby and every family is so different and I do not by any means think that we have it all figured out. After all, we are only 5 months in! There are so many days I’m running around with poop on my shirt, hair is a mess and it’s 4pm and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.

But the minute we got pregnant I knew there was one area of weakness that I wanted to zero in on and it was this: sleep. Grant and I are babies when it comes to sleep. It isn’t just one of us, it’s both of us and we can’t really pick up each other’s slack when we are sleep deprived. So I literally put us through baby sleeping boot camp and became an EXPERT at all things baby-sleep related.

1. Read, Read and Read Some More

Throughout my pregnancy, I read everything I could get my hands on. From Bringing Up Bebe, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Cherish the First Six Weeks to Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, The Wonder Weeks and Baby Wise, each and every book gave me something valuable. There were tidbits that I took and continue to take from each book that I apply to parenting. You really do need to educate yourself first so that you know how sleep works with babies. You also need to learn how to adapt different schedules and techniques to work for your baby. What worked for my baby may not work for yours. Everyone is different. Just like I might like to go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 7am, it doesn’t mean that my neighbor does the same thing!

2. Get On A Schedule ASAP

The very first day we came home from the hospital we put June on a schedule. I know a lot of people disagree with this but it wasn’t like we were super strict about it and we genuinely followed June’s cues if she was hungry or sleepy. But the schedule is more for the parent’s at this point than it is for the baby. The schedule gave Grant and I the structure we needed in order to survive in those early days of complete chaos. The days were such a blur, but it was comforting knowing that every 2 hours, on the mark, we would start feeding her. Feed, Wake, Sleep was our cycle every 2 hours and it really did teach us how to manage June’s day. In order to track all this information, we purchased an incredibly handy little tracking notebook from Amazon. It was a true game changer for us throughout this process.

3. Cut Back On Night Feedings

By the time June hit 3 months, cutting back on the night time feedings came easy because she was already on her schedule. This part came with a lot of ease because we increased her daily ounces and slowly tapered down on the middle of the night feedings.

4. Develop A Night Time Routine

The night time routine is SO important. Doing the same thing, at the same time to cue up the baby’s internal clock that it is time for bed time. We started this routine at the 3 month mark and even though it was a little early, it got Grant and I in the habit of doing it. This way, by the time June started to notice, we were already well practiced! I am home almost every night at the same time to do her night time routine. It’s a part of my day that I simply cannot miss. Once June started doing her nights I was able to slowly allow Grant and my mom to try night time routine but it’s usually just me.

5. Trust Your Instinct

The very first time I recall June “doing her night” {aka sleeping 12 hours straight}, we did our normal routine at 7pm. Grant and I went downstairs for dinner but I knew we would still have to feed June around 3-4am when she typically woke up for an extra ounce or two. So, at 10pm I kept June in her swaddle and gave her an extra 3 oz. I didn’t change her diaper and she was half sleeping through the feed, but this allowed her to stay full until the morning – she made it all that way through! I just had a gut feeling that June could do the entire night if she had a little night cap and it worked!

6. Have The Right Tools

We also never let June “cry it out.” We use a pacifier and anytime she starts to cry we immediately pop in her pacifier. I believe that by letting June cry, it gets her heart-rate going and actually wakes her up more. So anytime she starts stirring a little early, we go in and pop in her pacifier. We also are firm believers in the swaddle and black out curtains and have a good noise machine. Basically, we set up a nice little cozy cave for her to rest comfortably in and have no distractions.

Listen, I cannot stress enough how every baby is different. But I don’t think that there are “lucky” and “unlucky” ones. Outside of truly colicky baby’s or unfortunate sick infants, most baby’s are just in need of some structure and guidance. They need to be taught how to sleep.

So many of you had written in asking how we got June to sleep through the night so quickly and this is everything I did. I hope it helps someone out there who is up until 2am researching away {like I was, ha!}.

Full disclosure: We had a night time nurse specialist who helped us tremendously in the beginning. However we felt like we really broke through into 12 hour nights after she left. We also are bottle feeding which makes it easier than breastfeeding to keep track of ounce intake etc…

Happy Sleeping!

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We had the most amazing first day in Florence.

Because Grant and I have both spend quite a bit of time in the city, we were able to leisurely walk the streets rather than fight the lines at popular museums and the Duomo {since we’ve both seen it all}. We do, however, plan on soaking in some culture later in the trip.

I had heard wonderful things about the custom nightgown store, Loretta Caponi, and it did not disappoint! I invested in a super luxe robe that was worth every penny. The entire shopping experience was truly unique and felt very special. Also, I purchased a silk handkerchief that I want to put under a vintage case on my piano.

We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Mamma Gina! I will be adding all of my Florence favorites to this blog post throughout my trip so be sure to check back in.

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I don’t want to work right now.

How many of you experience that feeling? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s everyone. No matter how much you love your job, there are moments, or days, even weeks, where it just feels so much more difficult to stay motivated to get things done.

I was just talking about this the other day. Sometimes all I want to do is work. I get in the zone and nothing feels better than knocking stuff out. But what about the moments when that’s not the case?

Here are 5 simple tools to get back on track when you’re so not feeling it.

ONE Set Weekly & Daily Goals

Everyone knows that making a list {and checking things off} is helpful, so to take things one step further, set intentions. They can be the most straightforward of tasks {i.e. have an empty inbox by the end of the week}. I even like to make more general life goals. I find that those are oftentimes the ones that make me the most productive. These include eating healthier, working out 3x/week, drinking more water during the workday. This level of intentionality and self-awareness ultimately makes me more motivated to take the week by storm and kick a**.

TWO Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

While this may sound similar to making a list, it’s not entirely. I am diligent about scheduling my days a certain way to aid in productivity. Whether that’s dedicating half a day to banging out conference calls, or taking a full day to write, this time blocking system helps me get a lot accomplished at once. Furthermore, I avidly update my calendar. This helps me gain a larger picture of my week. I add in reminders and other tasks that may seem minuscule to some, but having it all scheduled out helps my brain focus simply on what needs to get done in the moment.

THREE Stay Inspired

Whether you work in a creative industry or not, nothing is more important than staying inspired. It’s nearly impossible to stay motivated when there is nothing driving you to do your work. Beyond simply staying motivated, this ties into your overall happiness, which is obviously the most important. It’s hard to be happy doing your job if you don’t find the things about it that keep you inspired. Sometimes it will be easy to be inspired — you’re working on a project you love or you just got promoted and feel super motivated to do your best work. Other times, you have to dig a little deeper, but it’s so worth it. It is also crucial to create a work environment that keeps you inspired. Tape up quotes, magazine clippings and be surrounded by things that get you in your best productivity zone.

ProTapes Painter's Tape

I use my painter's tape at least once per week. It is truly a staple in my office. It's a chic and easy way to constantly stay inspired through hanging up various images, clippings and phrases.

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FOUR Talk it Out

Find a friend or a co-worker and talk out your plan for the day or week. My assistant raves about the weekly Monday morning hikes she goes on with a friend where they set intentions for the week, hype each other up and get into the right mind frame. While this can of course be done through journaling or writing a list, as previously discussed, sometimes it’s helpful to know you’re in it with someone else and hold each other accountable for your own productivity goals.

FIVE Switch Locations, Stand Up, or Walk it Out

I think this has got to be my top tip at the moment, as I’ve been resonating with it so much lately. I have always encouraged the people in my office to go for a walk if they’re having trouble focusing or feeling inspired. Lately, I’ve really been loving switching work locations. Especially as someone who works from home, it is so lovely to go to a coffee shop for a couple hours or spend time at Grant’s golf club to take some alone time and write. Even if you’re always at your desk or in your cubicle, take a few moments to stand up, stretch your legs, and breathe some fresh air {both literally and figuratively}. I can almost guarantee you’ll notice a difference.

How do you stay productive? Help us ALL out and comment below! 

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In a nutshell: Why the hell not?

Last February I was sitting in a hotel room by myself in Paris watching “Call me by your Name.” Naturally, as the movie ended I was in tears crying with both happiness and sadness. I called my brother the next day and we reflected on how incredible the movie was. We both shared how much we would love to be Oliver, move to Italy for the summer to work on academic paperwork.

Okay, so maybe we wouldn’t work on academics, but we were talking about how wonderful it would be to have a summer in Italy where we could read, write, play piano and have our entire family together. At the time it was a pipe dream, but months passed by and I began to have heart to hearts with Grant about our lives and how we lived them.

Over the past several years, I have been so lucky to have traveled all over the world and nine times out of ten it was either by myself or without Grant. It was lonely and I didn’t really know how I ended up in a place that I found myself always “jet setting” around when all I really wanted was to be close to my family.

When we finally decided to “pull the goalie” last year and try to get pregnant, we opened up the dialogue about what we really wanted our lives to look like, especially with a new addition to the family. As hard as it was, I vowed to start saying “no” to some of the frivolous trips that are offered to many bloggers and start saying “yes” to vacations and trips that truly paid me in more ways than one.

It was very difficult at times, watching all of my “influencer” friends jet set around to Ibiza, Paris and island hop around the world. Imagine getting an e-mail offering to fly you {for free!} to Sydney and stay in a 5 star hotel? Sounds pretty awesome right? And it is. But it’s not awesome when it’s taking a toll on your marriage, on your friendships and leaving you feeling empty and alone.

And that isn’t not to say that I haven’t done my fair share of traveling too. I’ve definitely been traveling a LOT more than most people. But you might have noticed that over the past year we have redefined what travel looks like for me and my family.

So, when we found out we were pregnant last March, was also decided to pull the trigger on making this pipeline dream a reality. My brother and I booked a non-refundable house just outside of Florence for a month – and that month has finally come!

Non-refundable? Really? Yes, we did this so we wouldn’t back out. Life gets in the way and trust me when I say I have tried to cancel this trip – ha! There were times when the idea just became too overwhelming. Traveling for 5 weeks with a 5 month old? It’s a bit scary.

But the day has finally arrived and I couldn’t be more excited.

I have been looking forward to this trip for over a year and honestly the timing couldn’t be more perfect. We have just found our groove with June {even though I’m sure jet lag will mess that up!} and in addition to this, I’m finally working on a project that I’ve been half working on for years – my book!

Grant and I are flying out today!!! Wish us luck! And the rest of my family will start to arrive the week after we are there. I am as giddy as a school girl. I cannot wait to spend my mornings playing tennis, drinking wine and writing pages. I look so forward to sharing this time in our lives with you all and taking photos that I will cherish forever.

Ciao!

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