Bad Shopping Habits to Fix in 2018

Hi, I’m Heidi and I have a shopping problem.

It’s gotten better in recent years – of course, we’re spending a lot of money on all of Little Man’s various therapies and of course daycare so my shopping budget has gone down. But I still find ways to find a great LOFT or J.Crew Factory sale that I just can’t not buy something from. No Mas!

This year, I’m committed to paying off debt and a large part of that means stopping some of my bad shopping habits (it also means earning more money but that’s a topic for another day). Seriously, I’ve been a habitual shopper for many years (thus my foray into style blogging – after reading so many fantastic, and relatable, style blogs for so many years but with goals to pay off debts, it’s time to crack the whip on bad shopping habits of the past.

bad shopping habits

Stop buying things just because you see it on a blog

I love reading style blogs and will often buy things that I see that look cute on others buuutttt then I get it, and while I love it, it might hang in my closet or just not look as good on me. I want to stop being so quick to those impulse buys and start holding back on what I purchase but, fun fact: we’re all called influencers for a reason and those homegirls got my number. 

If it doesn’t fit, return it.

See above. Rather than letting unworn clothes sit in my closet for a year before they get resold or donated, returning within the 2-4 week return window that most stores have. There’s really no reason to be holding onto pieces in my closet that I do not absolutely 200% love.

Stop using retail as therapy

When I was in college, retail was ABSOLUTELY therapy for me. Bad day? Go stroll down Newbury Street. Hungover? Brunch at the Pru. No class on Wednesday afternoon? Go shopping at Cambridgeside. Granted, while those time-wasting habits are gone,  I am still the queen of finding good prices (it’s not like I was raking in dough and most/all of my credit card debt came on after college when I got my first credit card) but I would buy cheap pieces that would fall apart after a few wears, or pieces that were good for a Friday night out but not necessarily office friendly. Nowadays, while I’m less likely to use retail as therapy, after a bad day at work there’s still nothing I love more than to pop into Target or Old Navy or Arundel Mills on my way home and peruse the racks. That’s gotta stop. Like…yesterday.

Invest in quality pieces

See above. I want quality pieces that are not only multi-purpose (i.e. great for weekends AND the office) – it’s not like I’m strutting around in crop tops here, so a solid sweater from Nordstrom that can be paired with a skirt or a nice pair of work pants is a win in my book. Stop buying cheap-o handbags that fall apart after a season (especially given how much ish I put my tote and handbags through), but invest in one or two solid bags for weekend and work. Those inexpensive Old Navy jeans are still solid (seriously, my favorite budget pants), but make sure that the blouses you’re pairing with them aren’t from Forever21 – you’re too old for that.

I’m going to hold myself accountable here,  I’ll share what (if anything) I bought/returned each month and i will refrain… from buying the same pieces in multiple colors. Unless I know for SURE that I will wear it. A number of my favorite bloggers do this in various ways and I want to hold myself to this resolution – besides what doesn’t fit one style blogger and looks like a giant sack, might be the best thing someone else has tried on all year! Right?!

 

What are your shopping tendencies? Any bad habits you’re looking to break in the year ahead?

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Currently Craving: Fitness Gear

This week I started round 3 (and a half since the mini session over the holidays) of Body Back with my Fit4Mom Severn gang. So of course, I’m looking to add more workout gear into my closet – not that I need ANY MORE workout tank tops or leggings. But well, my usual digs are getting tired. 

I don’t REALLY have the budget for this gear, BUT it is ALWAYS fun to lust over new workout digs right? So instead of hitting the purchase button, I’ll share with all y’all 😉 Here’s what fitness gear I’m currently craving….

Yoga Mat – Manduka is one of the gold standards of yoga mats – even though I’m not practicing as much, my yoga mat is roughly 7 years old and could certainly use an upgrade this year.

Criss Cross Sweatshirt – I have this in white and it’s by far one of my favorite weekend lounging pieces and a great to-fro piece. Super soft, super comfy.

Kate Spade Tank – KS announced their new athleisure line this week – and it is as pretty, girly and all the things a fitness line should be for the girliest of girly girls. Seriously, if you love scalloped edges and fun colors (and/or black and white) You’ll love this line. While I doubt I’ll be able to justify $78 for a workout tank, it’s still nice to crave it right? 😉

Old Navy Tulip Hem Tank – Speaking of tank tops – i have three of these. They’re super comfortable, light weight and great for my HIIT workouts. If you’re looking for cute workout tanks fit for any budget, check out the old navy ones – they hold up super well!

New Balance for J. Crew leggings – So I pretty much, with the exception of winter running because…cold, only work out in crops. Why? At a petite 5’1″ most crops are practically leggings on me anyhow. These JCrew leggings bring out the scalloped hems at the cropped length – perfect for any petite gal. Also fun fact: The New Balance x J.Crew line at J. Crew factory is currently BOGO with code FREEGEAR.

Amazon Basics Hand Weights – The only weights I have at home are measly 5 pounders. I currently work out with 15’s mostly. Time for an upgrade (a la Beyonce right?!) and these are a great price!

New Balance Sneakers – I need to upgrade my Nike’s and though these are running sneakers, I think they’d do nicely for HIIT training. I mean, not that I would ever buy sneakers for how they look (Fun fact: I did this for marathon #1 when I wanted to wear Nike’s that had the Nike pod thing in them. Bad idea.)

 

What are YOU currently craving?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Only One Heidi! 

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Ten Ways to Practice Self-Care

Last night at my Body Back session, when I was chatting with one of my coaches, she reminded me to practice self-care. I KILLED it with our assessment and am really proud of how well I did – but the one thing I have been struggling with is self-care.

Hubs has been sick. Managing our finances has been…tough. And, yesterday we had a long 5+ hour evaluation at Kennedy Krieger for little man. Needless to say, stress is my middle name lately.

Each week our coaches are suggestion focus areas, which could be anything from “drinking more water” or “don’t forget your snacks.” This week, my coach’s suggestion for me was #selfcare. Which admittedly, hasn’t been my strong suit over the past two months.

I actually had to do a little brainstorming here – and thought about my favorite ways but also looked up some new ways because, well, like most working (and non-working) moms, self-care isn’t always my forte.

Here are ten ways to practice self-care that don’t take a lot of money, or effort, and depending on where you live, are also seasonally appropriate.

 

  1. Get lost in a good book under a cozy blanket.
  2. Get a mani-pedi.
  3. Unplug/turn off your phone.
  4. Take a relaxing bubble bath
  5. Do something creative for an hour (I’ve recently started hand lettering and bullet journaling which is super fun for me)
  6. Go to a yoga class
  7. Meditate
  8. Take yourself on an afternoon date
  9. Diffuse some essential oils
  10. Declutter your workplace/home office.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do for myself over the next week, but whatever it is, it’ll be for just me, not for hubs, or little man. It’ll be an hour for me to be selfish. We as mamas give so much to everyone around us, and so often forget about ourselves. So take that hour mama. I will. We deserve it.

How do you practice self-care? 

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Currently | January

Happy new year friends! After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’m trying to get back into life. Being that it’s the first Wednesday, I’m jumping onto the Currently wagon yet again 🙂 Join Anne and her co-host the first Wednesday of every month to share what’s currently going on in YOUR life 🙂

STARTING | Bullet journaling! I’ve wanted to get into this for a while, but I finally made the plunge and not gonna lie, I’m a huge fan. We’ll see if I can keep it up but I’m a big list maker so I think this is going to be good for me.

HOPING | to make this a great year in all aspects – getting finances back in order, getting myself a promotion, taking my blog to greatness, getting in shape…also known as kicking butt and taking names.

SCHEDULING | A trip up north to take Hubs cross-country skiing in February. It’ll be a nice little get-away, we’re going to stay at my dad’s and do 2 days in Vermont I think to hit up some trails. I’m super excited since it’s been SO long since I’ve been nordic skiing but man, do I miss it!

READING | Currently reading My (Not so) Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella (delightfully chick lit-y) and about to start Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.

PLAYING | HQ Trivia. If you’re not playing yet, you should be (use code LEGALLYHEIDI to join!) It’s twice per day – 3 pm EST and 9 pm EST. 12 questions, with chances to win real $$$ (new years eve they had a prize of $18,000! Most days it’s between $1k-2K.)

What are YOU currently up to? 

{Linking up with Anne}

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Gift Guide: for the working mama

I always have such a hard time figuring out what to ask for for the holidays. Most often, if I want something, I either buy it for myself or determine I don’t really NEED it and change my mind – which I’m sure many working mama’s can relate to.

So I put together a fun gift guide comprised of fun pieces that are both practical and not so practical – things I wouldn’t be likely to buy for myself but would love to have.

 

[Clockwise from top left]
Convertible tunic | Glossier phase 1 kit | Essential Oil Diffuser | Under Armour leggings | Athleta Crossover sweatshirt | Chillax key finder | Aerie flannel joggers | Bluetooth Headphones | J. Crew Pajama set | Kate Spade tumbler | Reversible Tote Bag with wristlet | The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family

 

  1. I saw this convertible neck tunic on Audrey’s blog and have been lusting over it ever since. I love that you can wear the off the shoulder look or the cowl neck look – a great piece for weekends or work. ($54)
  2.  I don’t spend a lot of money on my skincare but I’ve heard so many amazing things about Glossier and this Phase 1 Kit would be a great gift for the mama who loves to pamper herself but doesn’t love to spend the money. ($40)
  3. I’m dying to get an Essential Oil Diffuser for my desk at work and for our living room. I’m a huge fan of them in general and think they really help with moods – plus I’ve totally gotten into making my own cleaning supplies (mainly an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar)  so consider me an Essential Oil super-fan. ($18)
  4. For a long time, I was a Lululemon evangelist when it came to my workout leggings. I still am – their running shorts are my all-time favorite and the only ones that don’t make my legs chafe. But these Under Armour leggings are my new favorites. The colors are fun (I’m a solid color legging gal) and the price doesn’t break the bank. ($35)
  5. I have this crossover sweatshirt in white and it’s one of the coziest pieces in my wardrobe. It’s a great to and from the gym pullover or to wear on the weekends with a vest/leggings and boots. ($69)
  6. How often are you late because you can’t find your keys? Too many to count? I’m dying to get one of these bluetooth key finders to prevent those frazzled mornings.
  7. I am a HUGE fan of Aerie’s pj’s – one of those things I just hate spending money on for myself but a fun, cozy pair of fleece joggers would be a great gift for mama to relax in on the weekends. ($16)
  8. Lately, I’ve found working out with my HIIT workouts at the gym has been a pain in the butt with my issued earbuds from Apple. A nice pair of wireless/bluetooth headphones to make those long runs or HIIT workouts easier would be a great stocking stuffer. ($28)
  9. Similar to the Aerie PJ’s – J. Crew makes the BEST matching PJ sets. I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t love a cozy set like these under the tree.
  10. I’m not a hot coffee drinker – iced coffee all the way – and every day i pour my stok’d coffee into hubs’s old tumbler. Time to upgrade. Get the iced coffee-loving mom in your life a pretty Kate Spade tumbler. ($18)
  11. This reversible tote bag with wristlet is a super winner. It doesn’t break the bank and you get like three bags in one with the included wristlet. ($25)
  12. I don’t need to preach my love about Body Back, but the founder of Fit4Mom recently came out with a book – The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family which is like the ONLY book on my wishlist because there are some books that you just need to have in your library and this is one of them.

Anything I missed? What’s on your wishlist friends? 

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Holiday Fun: 9 Things on My Holiday To Do List

Ahhh the holidays. It always seems to go by FAR too quickly and there never seems to be enough time to do everything I want. This year though, I’m making a list. Little man is super into Santa and our Elf on the Shelf, so that just makes this whole time of year more festive.

  1. Bake cookies

    My favorite recipe is one that I remember my Nana making every Christmas (similar). I know they’re Peanut Butter based, so I’ll just make sure to NOT give them to E’s teachers. But this year I’m making four types of cookies, inspired by this post – candy canes, pinwheels, traditional sugar cookies and of course, peanut butter blossoms. If I’m inspired, I’ll also make my cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies to boot.

  2. Donate to a good cause

    I gave to Junior League of Annapolis on Giving Tuesday – an organization I’ve been involved with for nearly 8 years. I also plan on giving to the Alzheimers Association – that I do every year, usually on the anniversary of Nana’s passing, but this year we were low on funds so I’ll do so before the end of December. We also pick out angel tree families from church and E’s daycare as well to help teach him that it’s good to give back to kiddos with less than you.

  3. Go ice skating

    Hubs is afraid of ice skating but I grew up ice skating on weekends with friends and had many cousins who play(ed) hockey so I absolutely want to make sure Little Man learns how to skate. This year is the year where the three of us will head out to an ice rink under the lights and have a fun family night out!

  4. See a train garden

    There are a couple in Anne Arundel County that are supposed to be fun to check out – at least two of those being outdoor train gardens in Pasadena, so we’ll be sure to visit before the season is up/they close down!

  5. Visit Santa

    We’re doing that this weekend at Homestead Gardens when we get our tree, since the line was SUPER long to see him at the Lake Shore Plaza tree lighting last night.

  6. See Miracle on 34th Street in Baltimore

    We keep meaning to do this, but this year I actually want to trek up to Baltimore to see it. Apparently, it’s incredibly fun and festive to walk around, and I think little man would LOVE it.

  7. Drive around looking at lights/Go to Lights on the Bay OR Festival of Lights at Watkins Park

    We did this last year on Christmas eve when little man was sick with a high fever (we ended up in the ER because we couldn’t get a good read on it, and he was super lethargic – viral. of course) but it was a lot of fun.

  8. Run a seasonal race

    I haven’t signed up for it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be running the ugly sweater run on the 16th in Odenton with my MRTT friends.

  9. Watch Elf

    Not so fun fact: I’ve never seen Elf. I’m more of a Love Actually/The Holiday kind of gal myself. BUT this year I want to see it. Hubs is less enthused but it’s going to happen.

What’s on YOUR holiday bucket list this year?

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Currently | December

Happy Wednesday my friends! I’ve been a little behind on my blogging game lately (life!) But I’m out of the holiday craziness

Lighting | Holiday scented candles. We finally used up my Fall ones so I’m busting out the holiday scents like Christmas Cookie, Snow Day and Merry and Bright. Target has some FANTASTIC scents right now in their signature soy candles but I usually get my favorites from either Yankee Candle OR Bath & Body Works. #Targetdoesitagain

Spending | A lot of time on pinterest looking for Elf ideas. Seriously, I’m on a roll – exception my Saturday night, when I had a little too much fun at my company holiday party and Hubs, took over – but I’ve been perusing ALL of the Elf Ideas.

Choosing | CHRISTMAS cards. I’m pretty good about getting them out in a timely manner, but I’m a little behind this year. This is also the first year of using a 2-3 photo card since we have some awesome ones from Disney and then our family photo shoot last month so narrowing down pictures is going to be tough!

Sending | all of the emails. We’ve been on an email marketing binge (thankfully to segmented groups biggest marketing pet peeve) sending no fewer than 2 emails per week for the past two weeks. Exhausting to say the least and my marketing brain is mush!!!

Singing | All of my favorite holiday tunes. The other day I was finally into the festive mood when I was getting my nails done for my holiday party – my favorites are Wham!’s Last Christmas, U2’s Please Come Home and of course, Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas (is you).

Linking up with Anne in Residence for the monthly Currently roundup! Join us on the first Wednesday of the month to share what you’re currently up to!

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What to Wear: Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

My family has never been a “formal” dress kind of family for any holiday. I personally err on the side of classic and comfortable when it comes to my holiday attire. This, to me, means ponte pants, nice sweater, boots or heels, or jeans, a nice top and flats.

I dress, in the words of a few, dressy casual.

This year, like the past couple of years (excepting the year my Nana passed), we’ll be traveling up to New Jersey to spend with my Brother-in-law’s in-laws (his wife’s parents – who are absolutely lovely and put up an amazing Thanksgiving spread).

So even though most days off from work, you’ll find me in leggings, boots and comfy sweaters, for family affairs, I generally step it up just a notch or two without going full-on “business casual”

So here are four comfy, and slightly dressed up casual outfits that’ll be in my suitcase for the holidays.

Outfit 1 – Butter top and Ponte Pants  

{ Top: Nordstrom | Pants: Loft | Shoes: Old Navy, similar | necklace: Nordstrom }

I saw this top on another blog and it is one of my favorite purchases this fall. It’s super comfy, cozy and with the right shoes – either boots, booties or even flats/mules- it’s perfectly dressy casual for a nice Thanksgiving feast, but can also be dressed down if needed.

Outfit 2 – Ponte Pants and Knotted sweater 

{Sweater: Nordstrom | Pants: Loft | necklace: J.Crew | Shoes: J.Crew}

Another comfortable find is the Gibson knotted fleece pullover which I picked up early this fall. I have it in Olive and Heathered grey – both would work with either knee-high boots or nice flats (as shown) or heeled booties.

 

Outfit 3 – Ruffled Hem Sweatshirt with Jeans

{Sweatshirt: Nordstrom, similar | Jeans: Old Navy | boots: Macy’s, similar | Necklace: J.Crew, similar}

If you’re apt to wear jeans,  a fun, cozy top, and nice flats. Personally, Jeans are uncomfortable for me after a large meal (hi Food Baby hahaha) so I err on the side of Leggings or ponte pants. Just me?

Outfit 4 – Jeans with Tippi sweater

{sweater: J.Crew | Jeans: Old Navy  | boots: Macy’s, similar | Necklace: J.Crew}

This is one of my favorite outfits for fall, I have the Tippi sweater in four colors – it’s a solid piece and a staple in my winter wardrobe because it’s so versatile for work and play. (Today the Tippi – and everything else at J.Crew.com – is 40% off with code THANKU!!)

I’m not a dress kind of gal for Thanksgiving – mostly because I grew up in VT and if it wasn’t snowing, it was usually in the 30’s and hardly dress weather. On top of that, I still haven’t figured out how to wear tights with dresses so it doesn’t look like I’m 12. That being said, I love this swing dress, and this pretty ruffle shoulder sweater dress if you’re looking for something a step up that’s comfortable and casual.

What’s your holiday wardrobe go to?? 

{this post contains affiliate links – thanks for supporting my blog!}

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A Body Back Inspired Workout

I’ve finished two rounds of Body Back now and I’m an evangelist. Seriously, I’ve lost a total of just about 5 lbs and nearly 10″ total over the past five months, but the strength I’ve gained – mentally and physically – has me in awe of what my body can do now that it couldn’t do when I started this journey.

One thing I haven’t been great at through either of these sessions is fitting in my at home workouts. However, now that Little Man has OT for an hour and a half on Monday evenings, hubs and I have started using that time for the gym…rather than the happy hour at our favorite restaurant.

Since I’m signed on to do a mini-session and the January session to keep me moving through the winter months and since I’ve committed to Monday’s at the gym with hubs, and Saturdays (so long as it’s not raining) with MRTT and two days of Body Back per week, my new goal is over the next four weeks of mini session to get in all my at home workouts. 

What does my workout schedule look like? Well, this is for this week but this is pretty typical give or take depending on what’s going on after work each week.

Monday – GYM (after work, 6:20 – 7:15ish after E goes to OT)
Tuesday – BODY BACK (7:30 – 8:30p)
Wednesday – GYM (I like going right after work if I can get out on time – a new habit I’m trying to keep up)
Thursday – BODY BACK (7:30 – 8:30p)
Friday – rest
Saturday – LONG RUN with MRTT
Sunday – at home workout after bedtime (treadmill or TB)

Here’s a workout that I’ll be doing this week (Definitely tonight and maybe Wednesday unless I go for a run after work instead).

body back workout

This workout was inspired by the whiteboard workout we did after our assessment in class last week.

I changed up a few things – there were some TRX moves in there, so I swapped them out for a lot of things that you can do without equipment – If you don’t have a bosu ball, swap the bosu squat jumps for regular squat jumps. Really, the only equipment you need is a set of weights (I use 15lbs nowadays thanks to my BB workouts).

How do you keep yourself motivated during the holidays?

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What I Wore: Family Photos

So we had our family photos this past weekend – it’s become a tradition every year and one that I always enjoy.

We had a new photographer that I found via a recommendation in a Facebook group since our usual photographer moved earlier this year. Our new photog was super fun and accommodating – especially when little man kept jetting off.

{photos via Jess Lombardi Photography}

Does anyone else feel this pressure to have the perfectly styled family pictures though? Just me? I usually coordinate and move away from being matchy-matchy, but this year Hubs forgot his sweater, and I didn’t take off my vest so my attempts at coordinated were foiled.

Here’s what it was supposed to be… (sorry about my sad attempts at a flat lay 😉 )

flat lay

[sweater | jeans | boots (similar) | necklace | button down (similar) ]

I even got my hurrr did. I was due for a cut, but my stylist (love her!) curled it for me. If only I had someone to curl my hair every day (insert crying emoji here) because every time I try? It looks like garbage. Yes, I’ve even watched all the YouTube videos.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to low-maintenance styling for holiday photos

  1. Consider the weather
    it was 35 degrees when we got our pictures taken on Saturday afternoon. Thankfully it was a mini session so we were only out for about a half hour (which is about the length of little man’s attention span for these things). But make sure you layer up. Subsequently, if we were to get our pictures taken earlier in the year, we probably wouldn’t wear sweaters if it were an 80-degree day.
  2. Be complementary
    I don’t like being too matchy-matchy when it comes to photos. Some families do that – like the beautiful photos where the whole family wears khakis and chambray and they all look perfect, but that’s not us. I usually pick a neutral (grey or tan), a solid and then some sort of complementary pattern – this year we were red and grey – well, little man and hubs were in red/grey, and I was in green. But hubs forgot his grey sweater. So he was in red gingham. Thankfully with little man in a grey sweater over his red plaid, and my grey vest, I think it all worked quite nicely.
  3. Dress like yourselves
    Don’t wear heels often? Don’t wear them to your pictures. Is your little one never in dresses or dressy clothes? Do dressed up casual. Don’t style yourselves in a way that screams uncomfortable OR a way that is inappropriate for the setting you’re in – probably not going to put a little girl in a velvet, frilly dress on a Christmas tree farm right?

 

Do you do holiday photos? How do you style yourself and your family? Matchy-matchy? Complementary or free-for-all?

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