The Liebster Award!

Most of the time, blogging creates friendships between other bloggers, however in my case, my friendship with Zoe of The Latina Lens started pre-blog, but gives me someone who pushes me to blog, as well as gives me inspiration from her cute crafts to fun family outings. Seriously, check her out. Plus, she has been published at XoJane.com, so she is pretty much a big deal. You’re welcome.

And since I had my blogging hiatus, she pushed me back into the blogging world by giving my The Liebster Award! (Thanks Zoe!)

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According to Zoe, a Liebster award is given out to bloggers with less than 200 followers to let them know what a fabulous job they’re doing. I used to do a fabulous job, so hopefully I can get myself back there. I have some big plans in the works, so let’s make sure I follow through!

So here are the rules:

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2. You have to answer all the questions you were given by the person who nominated you.
3. You must choose 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and come up with a new set of 11 questions for them.
4. Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated.

Now, I am not going to nominate anyone just yet, because I want to get back in the groove and meet some new bloggers that have popped up! But, once I find them, I will nominate them so you can check out even more fun people in the Blogosphere. I am going to answer the questions that were given to me for the Liebster Award though!

Why did you start blogging?

This one is easy. I started blogging to document everything my family is doing, and also to have a place to share my creative ideas and get input from other people on them (since I can be REALLY indecisive). What I didn’t expect was to meet so many great bloggers and spend an hour each morning reading their amazing blogs!

Favorite movie of all time?

This is tough – I have 3. Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, and Uptown Girls. (miss you Brittany Murphy)

Mac or PC?

Mac, duh. My husband is in Graphic and Web Design – we don’t do PCs.

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram. I LOVE pictures – posting them and seeing everyone else’s.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Ugh, I have a lot just because I can be so bitchy sometimes, but the biggest one would be to not acknowledge when I am speaking to you. A simple “That sounds great” will suffice.

Do you have a green thumb?

NO! Which is so depressing since my parents can grow ANYTHING and I have spent hundreds of dollars on plants to have a beautiful garden. I am hoping the beautiful Florida weather will help turn my luck around.

Most exciting moment of 2014?

Celebrating SJ’s birthday and the birth of Lilly. My heart is so full with where my family is now – even if my brain is so tired.

What is your favorite adult beverage?

I haven’t drank in SO long…I miss all adult beverages, but I think my go-to has to be a margarita or a jack and coke. It all depends on the situation, which I hope will involve dancing in the near future.

WordPress or Blogger?

WordPress. I have heard pros and cons for both, but WordPress is easier for me.

What is your least favorite store in the mall?

Hot Topic. Always has been, always will be. It literally terrifies me.

iPhone or Android?

Wait, there are other phones out there besides iPhones?! :)

Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed reading my answers. Today is actually Lilly’s one month birthday! I am hoping to get some photos of her and let everyone know how she’s doing. (spoiler alert: SHE IS AWESOME! :))

XOXO,

nicole6

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Flying South

I have no excuses for why I haven’t been blogging. I could tell you that being pregnant with a baby was exhausting (which it was), or moving from my home of 7 years away from all of our amazing friends and life was took up a lot of time, or even that moving into 3 different homes in the span of 2 months was stressful – but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that I haven’t blogged since January.

The fact of the matter is a LOT of things have changed for the Phaler family in a short period of time, but things are getting better every day and I don’t think i have ever been happier. Now that I am getting more into the groove of managing two sweet, adorable babies – one of which is actually a toddler that is ALL boy ALL the time – and keeping the household under control, I want to get back into the groove of blogging. With a blank slate of a rental home (until we sell our home in Charlotte and save up to buy something permanent) and a lot of kid activities going on around our new home, I feel rejuvenated with new, exciting things to blog about!

So, I apologize again to all of you that have been reading, but I promise to be more consistent with blogging and that things will be more exciting! Plus, we bought a camera for documenting our life, so I can start using those rather than instagram photos or blurry iPhone pics. Although, the iPhone pics may get better once I get the new iPhone 6….because even with 2 kids, I still tend to be a spoiled brat….

Tomorrow, updating everyone with the Liebster Award given to me by Zoe over at The Latina Lens! Seriously check her out when you get a chance. She shows the good, the bad, and the fashionable when it comes to being a mommy to two gorgeous and sassy girls!

See you tomorrow!!

XOXO

nicole6

Five on Friday: Happening Lately

Happy Friday y’all! Sorry for the radio silence, but here’s what we have been up to lately. I am linking up again today with the lovely April, Christina, Darci, and Natasha for Five on Friday!

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Starting off with Team Teddy! Read all about Menkes Syndrome here. Spread the word to help make people more aware! I personally had never heard of this until today’s link-up.

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  1. We officially have now had 2 full snow days in Charlotte, and are going on 3. We aren’t much for snow in the Phaler household, but we did have to take SJ outside to “play” in it at least once. He wasn’t a huge fan, probably because we had him in 3 layers of regular pants that weren’t waterproof and 2 sweaters and a jacket so his mobility wasn’t at an all time high. He did try and eat the snow, so maybe snow cream for next year’s snow days? And by that I mean, in 4 years based on Charlotte’s snow history.

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2.  We are over halfway to having a one year old in our house! I cried at Party City the other day when I saw a giant “1”
balloon. The recap of his 6th month on the blog Monday!

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3. In honor of Valentine’s day, we have entered the 4Moms Smooch Contest! Check it out HERE and vote for SJ!

4. Ok, that was a lot of baby in the first 3 points, so the last two will be about V-Day for the grown-ups! Below is what I
would love to wear for a sweet date night out with the hubs. Seriously, I need to hit the lottery soon, because I am D-Y-
I-N-G over this dress.
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              5. And of course, if I am wearing something fabulous, Sean should too. So, I would imagine him wearing the below on
our way to Bentley’s on 27th, obviously.

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To be honest, I have no idea what our Valentine’s day plans are, just that we are going out Saturday somewhere. I will report back on where we go. Or, follow me on instagram for up to date posts! What are y’all’s V-Day plans?

Hope everyone has a super steamy Valentine’s Day weekend, we need to melt this snow somehow!

XO

nicole

Workout Wednesday: The Ghost of Cores Past

Happy Hump Day everyone!! Sorry for missing out the past two days, there are still some things in the works at the Phalers, but I will be letting y’all in on it very soon, I hope!

So, let’s get down to it, shall we?

Weight – 1/21 – 215. Back down to my starting weight, but debating on cutting out some things from my diet to help…

Plan for the Week of 1/15 – Reflections on the past week

  • Wednesday – Core reformer workout. I didn’t workout Wednesday night because I deep cleaned my house. Based on the number of stairs alone I had to climb, I am calling that a win. I also got in an incline walk at the gym for lunch!
  • Thursday – Do Madison’s TV Commercial workout. Thursday night is Grey’s, so I think planning this workout won’t set me up for failure. I actually did the Kettle Bell routine and skipped Grey’s!
  • Friday – Core Reformer workout. I need to get my money’s worth! Excuses for this, but I had a rough day at work and we had a friend in town, so I actually just vegged out with some pizza….
  • Saturday – Fitness Blender Kettle Bell routine. I actually started this last Friday, but SJ got really fussy so I stopped to feed him and didn’t pick it back up. :( No workouts for Saturday either….
  • Sunday – We are clearing out the garage and storage room, so I am going to use that as a workout, but also try and get a long walk in. I did not clear out the storage room, but we did get a long, hilly walk in!
  • Monday – Fitness Blender Cardio Bodyweight workout. I did this in one of my 2.5 workouts last week and loved it. You really sweat it out! I did Fitness Blender’s Thigh and Butt workout….omg, I still hurt.
  • Tuesday – Core Reformer workout – YES! I did this!

Last week at work was crazy, so I barely took lunch, much less got in more than workout. I am definitely hoping that the lunchtime workouts will improve, starting tomorrow.

Reviews of Workouts

  • Kettle Bell routine – I highly recommend this for anyone new to using a kettle bell. It’s intense, but manageable and you work all muscles in your body. I really could feel it in my core and glutes the next day.
  • Thigh and Butt workout – Obsessed with this workout. I plan on doing it at least once a week. I don’t plan on wearing Mom Jeans ever, and I don’t plan on having a Mom Butt.
  • Core Reformer workout – I was going to take pictures of me doing this last night, but I actually was embarrassed. Y’all, I was a college athlete – I played collegiate basketball and had ABS. Seriously, I had one hot midsection. However, after 2 years of floundering workouts and 40 weeks of pregnancy, my core is shot. It was so hard to balance on the reformer machine, and even harder to add in the workouts they requested. I chose to get this machine because i have heard that Pilates is great for your core post-baby because your abs need to be worked in a different way. What I didn’t hear….PILATES IS HARD! Oh my goodness, I never knew how hard it was. I always assumed that if you weren’t lifting weights or running sprints, you weren’t working out hard enough. I was so wrong. My entire body aches, especially my core. I am excited to start doing this at least twice a week and see the results!

For the next week, I am actually going to keep a similar plan in place, but I added in the Thigh and Butt Workout, as well as threw in a yoga workout for Saturday. Let’s see how it goes!

  • Wednesday – Fitness Blender Kettle Bell routine.
  • Thursday – Do Madison’s TV Commercial workout. I really do need to settle in and watch Grey’s, plus I did a little of this on Saturday, and it is pretty killer!
  • Friday – Core Reformer workout.
  • Saturday –  Fitness Blender Yoga
  • Sunday – I have some shopping plans, so I am going to try and make sure I get a lot of steps in, but let’s consider Sunday – “rest day”
  • Monday – Fitness Blender Thigh and Butt workout
  • Tuesday – Core Reformer workout

How did y’all’s weeks go for workouts? What were your downfalls? What kept you on track? I am definitely starting to feel stronger, but i have to get more consistent….I can feel those Chevron workout pants slipping away!

XOnicole6

Five on Friday: New Year Gear

Happy Friday y’all! This has been a long week for the Phalers, but I will go into that more next week. I am linking up again today with the lovely April, Christina, Darci, and Natasha for Five on Friday!

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After all of the amazing feedback I got on my Workout Wednesday post, I decided to focus this week’s Five on Friday on rewarding myself for a full month of working out. (Thanks for the idea Rachel!) What better way to reward yourself, than with new workout clothes. Nothing makes me feel better than looking cute at the gym…well except chocolate chip cookies, but those clearly are the opposite of what I need right now.

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1. This tank has shown up on several different blogs over the past couple of weeks and I am obsessed with it. I love the draping so that my midsection isn’t on display, and it has a very high fashion feel to it. Maybe I could wear it to the gym and then throw it on with some sequin leggings and heels? (not really, but a girl can dream for multifunctional clothes right?)

2. Once it starts to warm up in Charlotte, I plan on running outside again. These adidas by Stella McCartney pants are so fun and yet will keep me cool and chafe-free while getting in some miles and dropping some lbs.

3. I love working out in tank tops. I have a whole drawer full of colored tanks from Old Navy. This graphic tank from Old Navy is loose and has a fun saying. Workouts have to be fun, or your going to give up.

4. I saw this hoodie at Dick’s and can’t get it off my mind. Right now, I have been wearing Sean’s XXL sweatshirts over my workout gear. Not. Cute. This hoodie would keep me warm when I need to run errands after a workout and I could even wear it on Saturdays and Sundays with some fun leggings.

5. Enter fun leggings/tights. If you didn’t know…I am OBSESSED with Chevron. Seriously, it’s in every part of my life. Home, fashion, blog….I love it. These amazing chevron tights are everything I could ever want in a workout pant.

What are your favorite brands and clothes for working out? Do you reward yourself for being consistent with work outs?

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

XO

nicole

WorkOut Wednesday

OK, so I didn’t even want to write this post, but I have to be accountable to all of you and myself….

I got in 2 and a half workouts last week. Embarassing, I know. I have excuses, plenty of them, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t set aside 30 minutes to an hour to take care of my body. So, here goes last week’s recap.

  • Weight – 216 (i gained a pound…)

Goals for the Week:

  • Plan workouts. I think this is going to be the biggest thing to help me. I have put together my plan below.

Plan for the Week of 1/15

 

  • Wednesday – Core reformer workout.
  • Thursday – Do Madison’s TV Commercial workout. Thursday night is Grey’s, so I think planning this workout won’t set me up for failure.
  • Friday – Core Reformer workout. I need to get my money’s worth!
  • Saturday – Fitness Blender Kettle Bell routine. I actually started this last Friday, but SJ got really fussy so I stopped to feed him and didn’t pick it back up. :(
  • Sunday – We are clearing out the garage and storage room, so I am going to use that as a workout, but also try and get a long walk in.
  • Monday – Fitness Blender Cardio Bodyweight workout. I did this in one of my 2.5 workouts last week and loved it. You really sweat it out!
  • Tuesday – Core Reformer workout

Alright, so the plan of action is in place! Now, let’s do this. My goal is to also go to the gym on my lunch breaks Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but that’s a little bit harder to plan.

How do you find motivation in your busy schedule??

XO

nicole6

Tuesday Blues

Just so y’all know, this was originally supposed to be Monday Blues, but then I really did have the Monday blues after a tough Panther loss on Sunday and a rough workday Monday. So, you get to enjoy this on a Tuesday.

In case you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of pink. It’s my favorite color, the color of my engagement ring and wedding ring stones, and basically the color of my life. That being said, I live in a house with 2 boys and 2 male dogs, so I am surrounded by a lot of stereotypical blue. The good news for me is, blue looks fab with my hair and my eyes. Therefore, I am going to embrace the hot new blue looks out for the spring transitional phase and share with you my favorite blue fashions right now.

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  1. I have a serious obsession with cardigans. I think other than dresses, this is the largest section in my closet. I just love that they work in every season based on their weight, and they still look more stylish than a coat you need to take off and on. This navy blue aztec print cardi would be perfect to throw over leggings on the weekend, or even belt over a pencil skirt for the office. (And it’s on sale!)
  2. This outfit is EVERYTHING. I need this in my life. I think it is the perfect mom on the go outfit (for me, of course) or just the perfect “I just threw this on” outfit for any weekend event. I don’t know why I am surprised at how perfect this outfit is since it’s J.Crew, but gimme the sweater, shorts, shoes, purse and I may never wear anything else in my closet again. Jenna Lyons, you know my heart.
  3. Of course you need a blue statement necklace in your collection. This one could jazz up a white t-shirt, or even go perfectly with the navy jumpsuit.
  4. OH.MY.GOSH. This jumpsuit is divine. I actually haven’t ever ventured into jumpsuit territory, but this one is perfection. It would be amazing with silver heels for a fancy night out, or even in flats for a day of errands. I know Christmas is over, but can I get just one more gift Santa?
  5. Henley and popover style shirts are my go-to right now. They allow easy access for nursing without screaming “nursing top”, and also skim away from my “problem areas”. Anthropologie always does an amazing job with this style and cut of shirt, and this blue print henley is no exception. This with white pants and some red flats would be perfect come summer time.
  6. While I used to be a 4-5″ stiletto heel girl, those make me nervous now when carrying around the nug. Y’all, he’s 20 lbs and teetering around in those skinny heels just terrifies me. Lucky for me, wedges have gotten to be so sexy. This blue wedge by Nine West is amazing and I could literally wear it all the time, and I love a shoe with versatility.

What are y’all’s favorite blue hued fashions right now? Is there something out there that NEEDS to be in my closet? All these fun pops of color are making me long for spring…

XOXO

nicole6

Workout Wednesday: Week One

Happy HumpDay Everyone! I hope you are all staying warm during the Polar Vortex….Charlotte is getting down to single digits, and I am not a fan.

Alright, so the format for every Wednesday is going to include the following:

  • Starting Weight (taken on Tuesday night)
  • Goals for the week
  • Reflections on the past week – which will include achievements and downfalls
  • Reviews on Workouts

Since this is week one, I have no reflections for last week. I did do one workout, but not enough to suffice as a valid start to a resolution. Also, sorry for the lack of pictures, I am waiting to install photoshop back onto my computer, so next week’s post will be way more enjoyable. (And may include some amazing photos of how great I look dying from lack of oxygen working out.)

Starting Weight: 215 (I can’t believe I am sharing this with the blogosphere, but it’s real life)

Goals for the week:

  • Complete 2-3 cardio workouts (I completed one fitness blender workout Tuesday night already! I highly recommend this one.)
  • Complete 2 Ab Reformer workouts. This came in the mail this weekend, but I will be starting it either tonight or tomorrow.
  • Complete 1 workout fully (without cheating and taking extra breaks)
  • Reduce my soda intake to 3 per week. My goal is to eventually give this up completely, but I have learned that cold turkey isn’t a great tactic for me.

Ok, I think those are some solid, achievable goals! Next week I will let you know how they go, as well as which my favorite workouts were. I have only done two fitness blender workouts, but already love them. I am hoping I enjoy the ab reformer just as much. Fitness Blender also offers a full meal plan. Have any of you ever done a meal plan? How did it go? It’s only $14.99, but it’s hard to have a meal plan in my house with a husband who prefers only meat and potatoes…

Get out there and SWEAT!

XOXO

nicole6

Five on Friday: Recap

Happy Friday everyone! Hopefully you were all lucky enough to have a short week….I am just coming off of a 10 day vacation that I was able to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day with my parents, Mimi, Grandma, SJ, and Sean. It was a fantastic time and my Five on Friday is dedicated to what all has happened in the past 10 days.

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I am linking up again with Christina, April, Darci, and Natasha!

[ONE] SJ’s First Christmas

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I now completely understand when people say giving is more fun than receiving. SJ was only 5 months old for his first Christmas and yet he got excited over every toy. Granted, it was because he wanted to get a hold of it to put it in his mouth, but I will take those sweet faces any day. I have already started planning Christmas for next year – and bought a large amount of Target Christmas on clearance for the decor!

[TWO] New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve was very low key this year, but still very fun. My parents invited over their friends and their 3 little boys, as well as my cousins and their 3 month old son. I got to play party planner and handled all of the decor and the majority of the menu. My mom and Mimi were great assistants though and I think everything turned out pretty cute!

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I created the fringed garland using this tutorial I found on pinterest. I wanted to make sparkly cheers or bubbly letters, but waited too long (there was a lot of fun stuff to be done besides crafts) so I improvised by cutting C-H-E-E-R-S out of foil paper. The 2014 banner is foil number pasted onto a sparkly black card stock that I got inspiration from here. The hats, crowns, glasses, horns, and poppers were all found at Target and Wal-Mart. I should have backed the buffet with a white sheet so that it popped more, but I’ll make a note of it for next year! How were your New Year’s celebrations? Did they end with sweet kisses like these:

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[THREE] Current Accessory Obsessions

This scarf (similar here) and yes, that’s an office selfie…..judge away friends, but the scarf is F-A-B.

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And these earrings (found here) a sweet Christmas gift from my amazing hubs!

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[FOUR] Core Body Reformer

Staying true to our new fitness goals, Meghan and I ordered the Core Body Reformer. It’s a Pilates machine, so I am excited to give it a try because I have heard great things about Pilates for women who have had babies. It comes in tomorrow, but we will do our first workout with it on Wednesday and I will give you an update on how that goes!

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Speaking of workouts, Meghan and I did this one tonight – short but brutal!

[FIVE] Binge-Watching

Sean and I are very guilty about getting into a show way later than anyone else. This is mostly because we are both really busy with our jobs (especially during basketball season) so it’s hard to commit, and then on the weekends we like to run errands and spend time as a family rather than catch up on DVR shows. This has led us to constantly Binge-Watch various shows (Mad Men and Gossip Girl being the previous choices.) Right now we are totally sucked into Breaking Bad…..it’s addicting (pun intended). Four solid days at my parents’s house and we are now starting Season 4. OBSESSED.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend and I look forward to catching up with you Monday!

XOXO,

nicole6

Hopes, Dreams, & Resolutions for the New Year – [Pop Fizz Zzz Link-Up]

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am back at work today after 10 amazing days spent with my family and my little nugget. Seriously, it made me never want to leave him again….but if I did that, then it would be really hard to stick to my resolutions this year. Today I am linking up with Khala and Samantha for the Pop, Fizz, Zzz link-up.

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And actually, we aren’t going to call them resolutions. Why, you ask? Because I suck at those. I think the longest I have ever stuck to a resolution has been a month, and that was when I gave up soda. I have better luck with that during lent (40 days rather than 30!) Goals I am good at, I can set them and achieve them. The best way to do this is with mini goals leading up to the big goal. So I have put together a list of my goals for 2014 and the mini goals that will lead up to them. i also split them out into the Personal and Professional categories (because that’s how I separate my life).

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I actually have a few other goals as well, but currently they aren’t something that I want to put out in the open until I have all of the logistics worked out. I do of course want to get out of debt, and stick to an actual budget each month, but that is something I am going to put into a singular post, because I think it deserves a full post.

Here are a few things I found on pinterest that you can use when planning and executing your goals for the new year!

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My hopes and dreams for 2014 are simple. I just hope that SJ grows to know how loved and blessed he is, and that Sean and I are able to soak up every single second because he’s already changed so much in the past 10 days, so I can’t even imagine how the next year is going to go!

I can’t wait to see what y’all are wishing and planning for this year!

XOXO,

nicole6