Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mommy + Me Style

The snow is melting and spring is right around the corner.  I cannot to do many "firsts" with Gavin this spring as the weather gets warmer such as push him in a swing, take him to the park, and have a messy, baby-food filled picnic!  Gavin was born late May so it's no surprise that he loves being outside in the fresh air.  His absolutely favorite thing is watching animals.  He loves to watch our cat, Jingles and our dog, Zoey, and outside he is mesmerized by the neighborhood cats and dogs (and occasional squirrel or bird). 
   Also, whoever said dressing a boy is no fun was completely wrong.  Move over glitter and bows, we've got bow ties + hipster outfits that will put your tutus to shame (haha!).  Hope everyone is having a fabulous week! 

Gavin: Geometric Bodysuit: Old Navy | Jeans: Old Navy | Socks/slippers: Hand me Downs| Bib: Aden + Anais
Jamie: Skinny pant in merlot: American Eagle | Metallic pumps: Steve Madden | Lace cardigan: Target  

Ever After,

Monday, February 22, 2016

Motivational Monday: Travel Bug

    My husband and I were married three and a half years before we got pregnant because our goal was to travel before we started a family.  I am so happy we took the time to travel to some parts of the worlds such as Italy, Mexico, the Dominican,  Virgin Islands. and all over the U.S.  So far, my absolute favorite place I have been is Sorrento, Italy.  I could stay there forever.  The charm, the food, the wine, the people; it was the most amazing energy I have ever experienced in my travels.  My goal is to see much more of Europe when Gavin gets a little older.  My mom grew up in Poland and visiting her home country is definitely on my list.  I'd love to see the country in where my family was started.
(paddle boarding in St. John)
     A lot of people never travel once they have children, until they are older, however I was given advice from several parents that if you get children comfortable with traveling young, it will be easier as they get older.  Since Florida is only a about a 2.5 hour flight from Connecticut, we decided to take our very first family trip in April.  I have been to Florida several times but mostly Southern Florida.  This time, we will be staying in Marco Island which I hear is very family-friendly and beautiful.  I am hoping my first travel with a baby will go smoothly.  I hope he loves to travel as much as we do.  Any advice from you traveling moms?

Ever After,

Friday, February 19, 2016

Homemade Minimalist Granola Bars (4 Ingredients!)

These homemade granola bars are seriously delicious. Although I made a large batch, they didn't last long.  I used all natural sweeteners such as honey and peanut butter so they are filled with nothing but all-natural ingredients.  The best part is, they are no bake and only 4 ingredients. SO EASY. These are perfect to make in bulk and freeze so you have them for snack-attacks!

  • 2 cups rolled oats 
  • 1 1/4 cups natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • (optional ingredients: chocolate chips, cranberries, dried fruit)            

  • Directions: Stir oats, peanut butter, honey, and almonds together in a bowl.  Press into a 9x11-inch baking dish, using the back of a spatula to press flat.  Refrigerate mixture at least 1 hour.  Cut into 12 bars and enjoy!

Ever After,

Monday, February 15, 2016

Motivational Monday: Guest post by Allyson Spellman

   Every Monday, my mom sends me an email titled, "Motivational Monday."  Usually there is a short story, motivational quote or even just a really intriguing photo.  As a working mom with a high-pressure career in media, even these small encouragements really resonate with me and help me start my week on a positive note.  I realized after getting a few months of my mom's Motivational Monday emails, this was the perfect for a blog series!  I know a lot of my readers have high pressure careers and huge goals to accomplish and we all need a little motivation.  Each Monday, I will have something to really get you excited about the week.
       One of my absolutele favorite things about working in broadcast TV is the opportunity to network and meet amazing people.  I met Allyson Spellman through a former colleague/friend Erin Logan, who is now a reporter for Fox 61, on our Women Who Wow initiative.
Allyson is the true example of balancing it all.
Allyson Spellman is a TV personality, women’s empowerment speaker, entrepreneur and the founder of Heels, Hustle and Muscle.  As a motivational speaker and author, Allyson takes over the blog today to shares some inspirational advice on how to reach your personal goals through self-empowerment.   

Guest post by Allyson Spellman

   People often look at me and think I have it all together or perhaps everything comes easy for me.  I wake up daily with every hair in place, a personal stylist to meet me at my closet, a trainer to tone me up at my home gym and a make-up artist permanently residing in my guest room.  Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
   I usually roll out of bed, fumble for some coffee, pray, meditate, pop in a workout DVD, scramble to get my daughter off to school, run around with curlers in my hair and just pick out whatever is actually clean in my closet.
    The fact is I am a busy working mother trying to make my mark in this world like so many others.  Every day I try to juggle and balance the many aspects of my life. Some days I fail miserably and some days I feel like singing from the mountain tops. 
   It is all about choices and I choose to no longer compromise the well-being of my mind, body and spirit due to limiting beliefs that I can’t do or be something.
   We simply can’t let our circumstances dictate how we live our life. There are always a million excuses to lead us away from living our full potential.  You will never have enough money, time, support or resources if that is what you continuously focus on. 
My world positively changed when I began to focus on what I do have rather than what I don’t. 
   I also carefully choose who I allow in my inner circle. If I want to achieve something then I surround myself by those who have already achieved it so I am inspired and learn from their wisdom and experience. 
I also surround myself by women that are also going after their own dreams because that too is inspiring as we support and encourage one another.  It is so important to always surround yourself with people that build you up and never tear you down. As I get older I have learned it is not about the quantity of people in my life it is about the quality.
A major lesson I have learned on my journey of success is there is one thing you can’t trick in life and that is your belief system. 

   The secret to having it all is believing you already do.  The good news is what you dwell on expands.  The bad news is what you dwell on expands.
   Right now at this very moment you are in the process of creating your world.  It is being created by what you give thought to, what you believe and what you expect.
We tend to get in life what we believe we deserve and you deserve your dreams. You are worthy of them right now because self-worth is not anything you have to work for, earn or hope to have one day. You are worthy by just being.
   When we live from stress, worry, doubt, fear, impatience and the belief we are not “good enough” we put a block to the divine flow in our life. When we don’t trust and own our worth we get desperate and I don’t know about you but desperation has made me to do some pretty crazy things- settle for an unhealthy relationship, agree to something that wasn’t in my best interest and compromise my health & well-being.
   Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. You have to give up the control of conditions in order to live from a divine state of being with an empowered mindset.  That is a pure state where excitement, joy, happiness, love and creativity reside. When you are living from that state of being you are tapped into your full potential.
   Life is not about doing, it is about being.
I encourage you to begin to listen to your inner wisdom or what I like to call “the wisdom within.”  Now we might be unaware of it or ignore it, tempted to look outside of ourselves for answers, but that inner wisdom never leaves us.
Accessing this wisdom within requires that every day we become quiet, allowing ourselves to sink into a deep state of surrender, openness, and then inviting the answers to come forth.  And if we don’t receive an answer right away, that’s okay. We are holding the space for the answers to come.
   As women we give so much of ourselves.  Now it is time to give back to yourself. 
My challenge to you is to set a non-negotiable time every day to just be with yourself. Use this time to turn inward and find the calm within the “busy-ness” of life.  Pray, meditate and one thing I love to do is write in a journal. Just flow, don’t censor as you write and see where it leads you. I believe it will lead you exactly where you need to be and divinely guide you on your next steps.

   When you do nurture yourself and make yourself a priority it will make you an even more engaging and inspiring wife, mother, partner, boss, sister, daughter and friend.
   The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.  It sets the foundation for everything in your life.  It sets the stage for every relationship in your life.  You need to cherish, protect and nurture that relationship.
   Make yourself a priority and honor your health, passion and connection with spirit.

PS- Sometimes saying “no” to someone else can mean saying “yes” to yourself!

 To learn more about Allyson and to receive a free VIP gift visit

Ever After,

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Sweetheart

I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day.  I always felt like if I was not dating anybody, I was left out and if I was, it felt kind of forced or cheesy.  I'd rather get a gift or bouquet of flowers on a random Tuesday than on Valentine's Day.  I did like the day after Valentine's Day though- when chocolate is 50% off. :)
This year, however, my little Valentine is Gavin and I took advantage of the cheesiness and made sure to have fun with it.  My little Bachelor had a ball and loves the camera!

Gavin's first OOTD, he is wearing an adorable outfit from Old Navy which is on sale and Revlon's Colorstay lipstick on his cheeks in Cherries in the Snow.

Hope everyone has a  Happy Valentine's Day!

Ever After,

Monday, February 8, 2016

Why I Breastfeed

I know the choice to bottle feed or breastfeed to some people is very personal.  In my opinion, the most important thing is that baby is happy and fed, no matter if they are getting breast-milk or formula.  As a new mom, there are many decisions to make and I wanted to share my personal reasons for breastfeeding.  I am going on 9 months of exclusive breastfeeding/pumping (with solids introduced at around 6 months) and although it has had it's highs and lows, here is why I am happy with my choice to breastfeed.
  • Because it feels natural. The second I had Gavin, my body provided food that was made especially for him. It felt natural to embrace my body's way of providing nutrition for my child.
  • Studies show it's proven to be the healthiest and best nutrition for the baby.  Specifically the American Academy of Pediatrics claims that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of infections, asthma, SIDS, and obesity in babies. 
  • I'm lazy. Yup, I like that I do not have to get a bottle ready in the middle of the night, especially since my fridge is downstairs.  I lie Gavin right next to me, half asleep, and he feeds while I am half-snoozing.
  • Selfish, I know, but breastfeeding really has helped me lose postpartum weight. According to Women's Health Magazine, nursing burns 300-500 calories per day.  The science behind it is, that your body is working very hard to produce these nutrients for your baby, and this extra work on your body burns calories while you provide nutrition.  It's definitely a win-win!
  • Saves time and work.  While on maternity leave, it was nice to not have to clean a single bottle.  Now that I am back to work, I realize how much time is taken out of my day prepping, cleaning, and warming bottles daily.  It's nice to run out the door when in a rush without having to prep a bottle or even think of packing one and it's always at the perfect temperature.
  • No periods.  Most women do not have to worry about menstruating during the time they breastfeed.  I am enjoying the hiatus.
  • It's virtually free.  Sure, I invested in a breast-pump (some insurances cover elctric pumps), however comparing to the cost of formula which can be $150-400 per month, I am saving thousands.  I must admit, my grocery bill as gone up as I am ravenous but that's a small price to pay. :)
  • The bonding is incredible.  Since the day Gavin was born and I nursed him, skin to skin, I felt that breastfeeding truly connected us in an incredible way.
I'd like to create an open dialogue about breast-feeding.  I will be sharing more of my experiences on breast-feeding and I'd love to hear yours as well!  I am a huge fan of making breastfeeding a natural topic of discussion to normalize it.  I love that female icons such as Alyssa Milano and Jesse Decker are taking a stand to normalize breastfeeding.  What are your thoughts?

Ever After,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shades of Blonde

I am a typical Aries. I get bored really easily which is one of the reasons I love fashion.  I love to take fashion risks, wear new textures and colors, and buy those "crazy" shoes that most people would be appalled by.  I also get super bored with my hair.  Although I don't do anything super-drastic with it, I constantly try new shades of blondes, ombres, bayalages, brondes, highlights-- you name it!  My favorite so far (which is how it is now) is matching my natural color which is like a dark blonde/light brown and doing natural lighter blonde bayalage highlights.  Looking at all my shades of blonde over the past 2 years, I can't believe how many different hair colors I have had.  Which one is your favorite? Pictures from blonde to blondest :)

Ever After,

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Favorite Essentials

Items in photo: Scarf (Venice), Sunglasses (Ray-Ban), Watch & Fragrance (Gucci), Denim (21 Denim), Vest (Sanctuary), Kindle, Lipstick (MAC), Jewelry (Alex & Ani, J.Crew), Heels (Madden Girl). Photo + interview by Ike Abakah

A few months ago, I was chosen as one of CT's most influential bloggers as part of Hartford Fashion week.  As part of the interview, I was asked to choose my favorite wardrobe "essentials".  Boy was that hard!  Since I spend most of my time in worn-in jeans, that was a no brainer.  I chose pieces that tell a story, such as my scarf from Italy as a symbol of my love for travel, a bold statement necklace from J. Crew in neon which expresses my colorful personality, and an edgy faux leather vest that layers well with any outfit combination.  I shared my interview below; for the full interview, check it out here.

Who is Jamie Taylor? 
Jamie Taylor is a TV media professional at News 8 in New Haven, fashion blogger, wife, and new mom.

How would you describe your style?
My style is eclectic; I like to mix and match vintage and modern, high-end and modest pieces.

While we were doing the shoot, you mentioned your love for travel and how it has played an influence on your style...which place has influenced your style the most? 
Italy and Mexico.  I loved the architecture in Italy and visited Milan (the fashion capitol) and loved finding colorful pieces in Burano, Venice, and Rome.  Mexico's colorful palate has also inspired me to try new colors and patterns.

What is your most prized fashion piece? 
A bold statement necklace that has been passed down for 3 generations.  My aunt had given it to my mom and my mom recently gave it to me.  It's a gorgeous bold green color and really pops with a LBD (Little Black Dress).

Tell us a little about your blog & how it began: 
I have always loved fashion so I decided to share my personal style through my blog and just kind of ran with it!

You've worked with Guess Watches, Gucci, Topshop... how did those opportunities come about?

After starting my blog , I gained a lot of positive response from readers and these companies started to reach out to me to do collaborations with me & I delightfully accepted!

What's next for your blog? 
Since my lifestyle has changed as I am now a new mom, I want to take my blog in a new direction to incorporate not only fashion, but also motherhood and family as well.