Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dear Breastfeeding, It's Over (Why I'm Quitting Breastfeeding)

Dear Breastfeeding,

It's over. It's been a great (and also not so great) 7 months and 1 week, but today I say farewell. 

{Yes, you heard me right, I'm choosing to quit breastfeeding (queue gasps!)}

Breastfeeding, you were the talk of the town, you were what every mother, nurse and stranger talked about while I was growing my sweet little bundle of joy. I built you up in my head, I was determined to prove we would work, and to be honest you really caused me quite a big deal of stress even before I heard my baby cry. 

Deep down though, I was certain we wouldn't get along, and that you just weren't for me. Yet that all changed the day my sweet Sullivan was born. When she latched right on, I knew then you were the perfect match for us. 

We sure did go through some rough times, the three of us. There was that time you came in way too strong, the time you made a too public appearance while I was shopping, oh and not to mention the time when you decided to peace out for a second and make us all freak the F out. 

Don't even get me started on all the stern and frustrated conversations we've had in the tiny little room at work while hooked up to that horrible contraption called The Pump. It literally felt like the life was being sucked out of me. Oh how many times I almost called us quits in those moments.

Yet, a new day would come and you would swoop back in. I would stumble in to get sweet little girl from her crib, cuddle her back into my own bed and giver her a breakfast I knew was nourishing her completely. Boom, right back in love. Same thing happened when I would get home from work and crave that close bond with my girl. Then again later at night when she would fall fast asleep in my arms, sucking away. Oh how I loved you in these moments.

Breastfeeding, you are one of the hardest and most rewarding relationships I've ever had in my entire life. Today I cried at the thought of saying goodbye. Silly, I know. I hate when people say this, but others just won't understand how conflicting this is unless they've been in our situation.

Yet onward and upward we go ("the girls" included too hopefully ha). And with this I say goodbye. This morning I scooped up my baby from her crib and breastfed her for what I knew would be the last time. 

~Moment of silence~

Was I still producing, yes. Was I still pumping away, yes. But I'm killing myself smalls! I'm fighting an uphill battle. I know you're over it too, the evidence is in the drippings from the pump that were once fountains. Sweet Sully even has a growing disinterest in our food and more in the baby food I make in the food processor. Not to mention her two little new teeth, not so fun, huh.

Let's face it, formula rocks and heck, its what we all grew up on and we all turned out ok (for the most part). In fact, I like that word - ok. It's ok, everything is going to be ok. I'm no less of a mother, that's for sure. It's going to be ok. Yep, okay dokay.

Maybe I'll see ya on the flip side if/when (/maybe never/just kidding Mom(!)) baby number two comes around. But for now, its goodbye, farewell, aideu my friend. It's been real, its been fun, but it ain't been real fun. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ultimate Vegas Outfit

Do you ever catch yourself dreaming of vacation? Ok, duh, we all do! But I mean to the point where you know exactly what you would wear, what you would sip, and who you would do it with?

I had one of these moments recently when asked me to share my #UltimateVegasOutfit. 
After visiting the site to check out all of the hotels, I found myself going back to the Cosmopolitan for inspiration. Hard to know if it was the sleek blue color palate in the rooms, the Sahara Spa inspired by the desert, Marquee Day Pool, or Chandelier Bar that kept bringing me back. Ultimately, it just seemed like the best spot to anchor my stay and set the mood for the Britney concert that I would for sure be attending one night. 

As you can tell, I'm more of the pool, shopping, dinner-and-a-show kind of Vegas girl, so with that in mind, here is my ultimate Vegas outfit(s). One for day, one for night. Which is your favorite?

Considering the weather is in the high 60s in Vegas right now, I wouldn't be able to resist pulling out my summer favorites. Bonus points for a tied up top knot or mermaid braid!
Isn't this the best coverup? The long sleeves keep you warm in case it gets cool. Find it here on Shopbop for $142. 
The sunglasses are a favorite year-round staple from Ray-Ban, $170. 
The tote is under $35 from Target
A word on the towel, this is a Turkish blanket towel (on sale for $25), so its perfect for laying out or cozying up under. 
Gotta have a sparkly cup in Vegas, this monogramed cutie is only $24. 
Trina Turk's one pieces are my favorite, including this style on Polyvore for $140. 
Finally, it's Vegas, you can totally get away with a high wedge at the pool, why not add some extra umph?! I love these from Jack Rogers, $178.

Now for nighttime! Here's what I would don for drinks, dinner, the Britney concert, and maybe a late night club stop - all inspired by the color palette of the Cosmopolitan hotel.
Night would bring a blingier side of my wardrobe, which isn't my normal style. With that in mind, I would definitely rent a dress from Rent the Runway, which also has a location in the hotel making for easy pickup and return.

Bring on the sequins!! I love the Natasha Dress by Badgley Mischka, $75 rental (originally $465) + get $20 off (see below).
Add a little interest to the low neckline with the Care to Dance Necklace by Kate Spade, $25 rental (originally $148).
Finish it up with the Gray Corsica Minaudiere by Inge Christopher, $30 rental (originally $180).
Vegas is the perfect place to have fun with footwear and I love these gold heels for only $65.99.
My lips would provide a burst of color with YSL's Rouge In Danger, $36.
I love NYX Cosmetic's "Ghetto Gold" (ha, istn't that name the best?!) for my eyes, only $5.99.

Now I want to know, what would be your #UltimateVegasOutfit? Where would you stay in Vegas if you could pick anywhere? Let me know below or on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag!

PS: Want $20 off at Rent the Runway? Send me your email in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

While did reach out requesting I share my #UltimateVegasOutfit, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions and content are my own.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Creating a Cozy Fall Home

During these in-between fall months when the weather is crisp and we all begin counting down the days until Christmas, I can't help but just want to cozy up under a blanket and enjoy the comforts of home. 

This time of year, I always put a little bit of extra effort into decorating for the season. The name of the game is simplicity though. For example, I've been really inspired by a clean, neutral color palate. This translates so well from Halloween to Thanksgiving, and even into Christmas. 
Here are some of my favorite ways to create a cozy fall environment while you binge on Netflix and consume pumpkin everything!

First, bring out the fuzzy blankets. This grey/brown blanket is one of my favorite purchases ever, from Pottery Barn (wait until they go on sale for $99 later in the year!). I like having a basket of extra blankets on hand too for when we have guests over. 
Make your house smell like fall. The warm and spicy smell of pumpkin can really make your space feel cozy. I keep a cabinet of different candles handy all year round, but did buy a new pumpkin spice one this year! Homegoods has a great selection for a good price, and is where I usually stock up on my candles.
Add transitional decorations. I purchased a bag of little white pumpkins when we took Sully to the pumpkin patch for her six month photoshoot (more on this coming soon). They transition easily between all holidays and have become my latest obsession! I even mixed them with SC cotton from our wedding and oyster shells from VA in a bowl for our coffee table.
I also added the pumpkins in unexpected locations around the house, like the bathroom!
We also decorated with large white pumpkins inside and outside. I just couldn't bring myself to put my summery Lilly napkins away, so I just put the most fall-like print on top and rolled with the punch of color over on our sideboard.
Decorate with pieces you already have. Don't let your most prized cookware, dishes, or entertaining pieces stay cooped up. I used my Le Creuset braiser to hold pumpkins and gourds as a centerpiece in our dining room. The white plates are our everyday dishware from Pottery Barn and the "Eat" plates were a purchase three years ago from Joss & Main. Using pieces you already have on hand helps keep costs for seasonal decorating to a minimum.
Finally, fill your home with those you love. We all know the best part of the season is the time spent with family and friends. By having a home that feels inviting, I find myself more likely to invite others over and offer to host. I hope this has inspired you to create your most cozy space so you can spend more time in the comforts of home with those you love!

PS: Have you seen the #CozyFallYall campaign that Southern Weddings is doing right now? I am loving following this hashtag to get inspiration for this time of year.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Baby's First Halloween

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Happy Halloween! 

Our first Halloween with Baby Girl was super laid back, but still a success with our little lamb. 
Earlier in the day we went over and met some new friends, watched the Clemson (and UVA) game, grilled burgers, and hung out with their sweet little ones. It was so cute to watch Sully so enthralled with the two little boys who were older than her. 
This Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole was delicious, super easy, and in the spirit with the sour cream/ranch spider web! Find the recipe by clicking here.
During the day Sully was comfy cute in her skeleton outfit from Old Navy
When dusk rolled around, we headed home to put Sully in her costume (found here on Amazon) and pass out candy. Ryan wanted to be the "cool house" in the neighborhood for our first year and bought the big sized candy bars. They were definitely a hit and we actually ran out pretty fast. 
Welcome to real life in the Phillips household. Cotton got in on the costume fun after Sully had had enough of her lamb hat.
After passing out candy and Sully photo shoots, we hunkered down to drink pumpkin beer (Shipyard Pumpkinhead is my favorite) and watch Scream. Which, oddly enough, was the first time Ryan and I have ever watched a scary movie together. Full transparency, we both fell asleep about half way through, ha! 

We skipped the trick-or-treating this year and were greatly missing our cousins back in SC while they all went around my parent's neighborhood together. Still think it might be a little early for all of that. What age did you start taking your little ones trick-or-treating?

Let me know what you or your babies (this includes fur babies, duh) were for Halloween!

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