#TommieTough



While I had planned on putting together multiple gift guides, this weekend my best friend's daughter, and Georgia's sweet friend, Tommie, was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma. It feels completely silly to put together a gift guide when your friends are going through absolute hell.

With that in mind, if you feel generous, please donate to support them through this GoFundMe. The goal of the fund is to allow them to concentrate their efforts on getting Tommie well, and don't have to worry about money. We are also working towards bracelets and t-shirts in the future.

I've also decided to run the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, in support of the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, where Tommie is receiving treatment, and my amazing niece, Cameron, receives care and has benefitted from the Down Syndrome Center. I've set a goal to raise $550 before the Marathon on May 5th. I'll be sure to share the story of my training as that gets underway. It's been a long time since I ran 26 miles, but it feels like the perfect time to raise some money in support of this hospital we are so lucky to have in Pittsburgh.


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Gifting Guide: The Girl Who is Hard to Shop For



When I was in high school, I used to design gift guides for my parents in PowerPoint, complete with link, size, and color preference. Little did I know that would essentially become an entire industry, so here I am. I recognize I'm tough to shop for, so why not start with a gift guide almost exclusively for my husband and family? Here's what I'm hoping for!




1. Golden Goose Superstar Sneakers: such a splurge but I seriously love the pair I have. Also all these different prints just make me so happy!

2. Fancy a Shag Fringe Cardigan: so easy to toss on and look immediately put together.

3. Women's Supersoft Supima raw-edge Shirt: could really use about 6 of these.

4. Eva Jeweled Mule: fun to dress up or down.

5. 9" High-Rise Toothpick Jean with Cut Hem: awesome everyday denim.

6. Ribbed Beanie with Faux-Fur Pom-Pom: I have this from a few year's ago and Georgia has stolen it and made it hers! Such a great bold color.

7. 6-Pack Trefoil Superlite No-Show Socks: anyone else in desperate need of new socks? The quintessential stocking stuffer.

8. Smooth Ball Chain Leather Belt: it's not easy to find a great belt and this has the perfect blend of edgy & cool, at an awesome price point too.

9. Madewell Leopard Dot Flannel Bedtime Pajamas: I bought these for myself. The leopard is just SO good! And they have this print in tons of other options on Madewell's site.

10. Apple Watch - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band: Jeff got me an Apple Watch a few years ago for Mother's Day. I dropped it on our kitchen floor, it shattered (so sad!), and I never replaced it. Every time I start a barre class and clients are setting their watches up, I am jealous. I'm dying for a new one!

11. Fringe-Sleeve Pullover Sweater: More fringe! Obsessed with this color too. Perfect for the transition to spring and will look adorable with white denim!

12. Lululemon Turn & Twist Tank Light: saved the majority of my activewear for another post, but I'm dying for the cut of this and I love the peekaboo on the side to show off a great sports bra. How amazing is this color?

13. Penny Top: perfect with the belt & jeans above, love this for a night out!

14. Cubic Zirconia Earringsconstantly in need of new everyday earrings & these look like the perfect amount of sparkle.

15. Luminosity Foil Print Black Silver: loving the metallic look and this is my favorite cut of Lululemon leggings (though I usually lean towards the 7/8 option!).

16. Side Stripe Funnel-Neck Pullover Sweater: I bought this set and I seriously LOVE it. The best for everyday casual wear and it elevates my sweats look in a serious way!

18. Evie Swing Sweatshirt: how amazing is the shape of this sweatshirt? 

19. Rainbow Evie Swing Sweatshirt: same deal, but loving the colors on this. Perfect year-round!

20. Deerupt Runner Sneaker: let's face it, most days I am in leggings and hoodies and these look amazing for running errands in!

21. At The Disco Hoop Earrings: I've been waiting to dive into hoop earrings, and these are the perfect blend of bold shape and fun design.

22. Manière Kay Velvet Knot Headband: I got a velvet knot turban and my head is way too big for that stuff. It ended up pulling my hair back and looking super weird when I wore it... this headband cures all that!

Hoping to get the activewear gift guide out in the next few days! Xo!

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Our Family Photo Experience


Photos are always a last minute thing for me. I value them so much and I still managed to fall behind on booking a mini session with our big move and life being a little hectic this Fall. Well, I won a photography session, talk about lucky! We worked with LeeAnn K Photography on an in-home session just last month. LeeAnn is newer to the area and is launching a really cool service. In our case, she virtually met with me via FaceTime to get a feel for what I wanted out of the session. I really just wanted some great lifestyle photos in our new house. There's something special about having photos taken in your own home and since we just moved, I knew it was something that was going to be meaningful.

When our photo day rolled around, LeeAnn sets up an awesome hair and makeup artist to come to your house to get the mom dolled up. Moms rejoice, right? Every year photos come up and I'm easily the last person to get ready. When we did our newborn photos with Georgia, I literally put my hair up in a bun because I was so worried about having her nursery finished. The photos were amazing, but I was so mad at myself for not preparing a little better. We worked with Rain's Skin Prescription (a current Pure Barre friend!) on the hair and makeup, and Natalie Labarbera Styling (a former Stitch Fix friend and current Pure Barre friend!) was on-hand to help make our home and clothing look its best. There is a lot of care that goes into women feeling like the best version of themselves before the photos are taken!

Our kids were not the easiest to work with that day, but amazingly she came out with photos we love, and it's clear the care and heart that goes into LeeAnn's work. She cares about your experience. She craves feedback. Are you curious about her services? Shoot her an email! It really was a special day and I loved the opportunity to talk about it here.










Our Clothes
Me: Dress (on sale for $27.00) | Shoes (similar) | Earrings are Stella & Dot
Bodie: One-Piece was old Gymboree | Vans
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Easy Recipe: Cookie Butter Cookies


When you realize you haven't blogged in two weeks! Yikes! Blame it on strep throat followed by a trip to New Orleans and I think I've been trying to recover ever since! Today I'm sharing a quick and easy holiday cookie recipe I made for our neighborhood's cookie exchange. We are avid CrossFit fans, so if you follow the sport at all, you're familiar with Mat Fraser. His fiancée does his cooking and documents all of it on her Instagram, @feedingthefrasers. When I saw her Cookie Butter Cookies, I knew I had to try them! The Trader Joes Cookie Butter is seriously amazing, and I'm dreaming of the ways to add on to this recipe... maybe a fun Nutter Butter-esque sandwich? As you can see, Jeff did most of the baking, but this was the easy and delicious recipe I was looking for on this lazy Sunday! Enjoy!



Cookie Butter Cookies, from Feeding the Frasers
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Trader Joe's Cookie Butter
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cooking Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together cookie butter, butter, and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually mix together the flour into the butter and sugar combination until it is well combined.
  4. Place 1 inch balls of dough onto parchment-covered  (or these great baking silpats!) baking sheet.
  5. Using a fork, create a cross-pattern on the dough. Dip fork into water to prevent sticking to the dough.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Allow time to cool on tray before moving to a wire rack for effective cooling, they'll need time to set on the tray!
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Anthropologie Home Sale Favorites


So Anthropologie is having an amazing home sale right now! It's 20% off full-price home & furniture online & in stores, just add to your cart and the price will be reflected! Here are a few pieces I'm loving for the holidays and home:

Miniature Retro Ornaments, set of 20. This is so perfect for Georgia's mini tree. Seriously purchase this and have the perfect, girly, colorful mini tree for your little lady. - on sale for $30.40

Velvet Elowen Chair. I'm starting to make some loose plans for our dining room and I'm in love with the bold emerald color of this chair. Would be fun to pair with a darker dining room table and amazing wallpaper, plus will match perfectly with the black console & metallic vibes we already have happening in the entryway!

Speaking of our entryway, the Fela Tassel Chandelier is a part of the sale! I'm considering buying another cream one for Georgia's room. It's my favorite thing in this house so far!

Have a friend expecting a little boy soon? Norris the Narwhal is an easy gift, and I'm obsessed with Sly the Sloth or Mimi the Mermaid, too!

The Tree skirt of my actual dreams. The Treasured Tassels Tree Skirt is a bit of an investment but with the 20% off and the quality provided by Anthro, I'm confident this would be worth it.

The Mindra Curtain would be perfect in our family room. The perfect blend of boho and classic given the muted patten. That said, I'm not positive Bodie would be able to NOT ruin these. Love them so much though and only a few sizes are left! The pink is fun for a little girl's room!

Full disclosure, my mom made me an amazing pom pom wreath last year and I want to photograph a how-to for this year's holiday round-up, but if you're not the DIY person, the Pom Bonanza Wreath (amazing name) is now on sale for 20% off and looks to be the most fun thing ever.

Skip the bottle of wine for a hostess gift this year and instead include the Livinia Apron. This fun metallic piece is guaranteed to make Christmas breakfast taste better.

There are SO many great options for hostess gifts. Check out the sale and tell me what you can't pass up in the comments!


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Easy Dinner: Gnocchi Bolognese


I finally decided to order the latest Skinnytaste Cookbook: "One & Done". It hasn't disappointed. We own all of Gina's amazing cookbooks and I totally reference her blog regularly. It's been a favorite for a long time and I was so excited to dig in upon on our return from New Orleans!

I don't know if I'm still "recovering" from the trip (or a bout with strep throat... fun!), but I was in serious need of a hearty meal. The Quickest Gnocchi Bolognese was the perfect solution and something that I plan on revisiting through the winter months regularly, and at approximately 400 calories a serving, it's the perfect dinner. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients ahead, but don't let it! We had most of them on-hand and it really came together in a half hour. It was also my first experience with the Instant Pot and I didn't blow up our house.




Quickest Gnocchi Bolognese (serves 6), from Skinnytaste: One & Done

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped (we had prosciutto on-hand, so I used this)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 1 pound dried potato gnocchi
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • freshly grated pecorino romano
Cooking Instructions
  1. Press the sauté button on an electric pressure cooker. When hot, add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until the fat is rendered, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Brown the meat, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces as it cooks, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring until it reduces, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, gnocchi, and nutmeg. Add the crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, the bay leaf, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Seal and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, until the gnocchi are tender.
  6. Quick or natural release, then open when the pressure subsides. If the gnocchi are not done, press the sauté button and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
  7. Serve topped with the ricotta, parsley, and pecorino (optional).


So, try this cookbook. It's a new favorite and I can't recommend the Skinnytaste blog and brand enough.

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Living Room Inspiration


I honestly thought I'd have an easy time decorating this new house. Like of course, it will take time, it's a bigger space than we had previously and we opted to get new furniture for our primary living room and the rest of the floor there. Let's just say I enormously underestimated the task at hand. While I truly love the openness of this house, it makes decorating a bit tougher.

Every room really does flow into the other, so you have to be mindful of what the entire space is going to look like. With that in mind, I ended up going navy just about everywhere for now, and I can pepper in accents of additional colors elsewhere.

That said, our living room still needs a ton of love! No room is truly done and I can't wrap my head around putting anything on the walls for the most part because I'm horrified I'll change my mind, but we'll get there! Our living room space does have a TV above the fireplace but we are lucky enough that it's not our primary lounge space in this house, so I want to keep this room a bit more formal but still comfortable. This room also needs to house my ginger jar collection and my mom scored amazing ginger jar-inspired lamps that will be perfect for side tables.

I had planned on a beige couch, some lucite accents, leopard print, blush, navy. This photo really serving as my main inspiration. I'm loving the pattern play here, and the idea that it's still comfortable and livable while still maintaining its formal living room space.


When I worked at Stitch Fix and now Mac & Mia, pattern-mixing was seriously one of my favorite things to do with clothing. This living room is definitely going to have a lot of pattern, and I really love the floor-to-ceiling curtains in play here. We're lucky enough to have nice, high ceilings to work with at this house so I definitely plan to take advantage!

This ottoman really got me thinking about texture. I ended up purchasing the Ryder Rug from Serena and Lily and I love what it does for your line of sight!

The Fela Tassel Chandelier is something I've wanted in my house for way too long. I purchased the indigo option for our playroom in addition to the cream option for our entryway. When we received the navy chandelier I scrapped my plans for a really cool lucite fan because it needed to go in the living room. Too cool to pass up! If we decide we want a fan in there later down the road, we can always do that!


We purchased a custom couch locally, and I was able to get these chairs too, because they were just too fun to pass up. A few things we still need to take care of in this room:
  • side tables with two levels: need a place to house/hide the cable box and NUMEROUS cords
  • amazing patterned curtains and perhaps two matching roman shades for the walls flanking the fireplace
  • fun gold hardware for the curtains, loving these (as well as just about everything this Etsy seller is selling), and these.
  • new throw pillows? Have you seen the Rifle Paper Co. options? All of the rugs & pillows are so, so good.
Here's how she currently looks! Just an iPhone photo, if you have any questions about sources, let me know! I'll share them all in a big roundup once it's all done!


All of the photos in this post link to my Living Room Pinterest board if you want to poke around and see what else inspired me! Hopefully getting this down in blog post form will get me to finish up the room and get photos of it! I can't wait to share!
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My Everyday Smoothie


Are you a big fan of Bravo's "Southern Charm"? I honestly wasn't, but given my family's love for the city of Charleston and the need for mindless TV I've become completely obsessed in the past few years. I follow Naomie on Instagram and about a year ago, she posted about something called Blender Bombs. Being the social media believer/creep I am, I immediately bought a bag of them and now I have one in a smoothie five days a week. Totally ridiculous that I don't get sick of them? Probably, but I look forward to my BB smoothie every single day. If you know me personally or have followed me on Instagram, you know how totally in love I am!


Now, my smoothie isn't the MOST healthy. Hushup + Hustle has tons of awesome, healthy recipes on her site you can try! I have this smoothie Monday-Friday for lunch and it keeps me totally satisfied until dinner, so I'm calling that a win!

Ingredients
  • 1 Cacao + Peanut Butter Blender Bomb
  • 1/2 Frozen Banana
  • 1 tbsp Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt (be mindful of the sugar added)
  • 1 tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup nut milk (or water)
  • handful of ice
  • handful of spinach

Blend together and enjoy! I've also halved the water or nut milk to 1/2 cup and added a 1/2 cup cold brew coffee if you need some afternoon caffeine! Here's our blender, too. We've had it for over a year without any complaints!


Do you have a go-to smoothie recipe you love? Share it with me in the comments or on Instagram!
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I'm Back



Well, it's been over three years since I last blogged and a lot has happened. Bodie Charles joined us in September, 2016. Georgia is now 4 years old. We've built a new home and I'm in the process of decorating it. I let go of my wedding invitation and paper goods business in 2016. I now work as a Children's Stylist with Mac & Mia and I teach classes at my local Pure Barre studio.

I've gone back and forth about blogging more times than you can imagine. I've chosen to revamp this blog to share a little more, let it function as my kids' baby books, and have a home base for my brain as I sort through decorating this new home of ours! I've always loved sharing bits and pieces of our life over on my Instagram, but I feel like there are days when it would be nice to have a little bit more space for my thoughts. This will be that home.

I look forward to sharing thoughts about motherhood, style round ups for moms & kids (maybe men too!), fitness tidbits, some healthy recipes, some not-so-healthy recipes, and interior decorating posts. A full-blown lifestyle blog space. I'm still working on updating the site design, and I'm loving every minute of it.

I can't wait to share more. Xo, Molly

Photo by Rachel Rowland Photography
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