Monday, September 30, 2013

Breaking Bad Habits

Hey everyone! So glad to have you back - I hope you all had a great weekend. I've been on a bit of a better mind, better heart, better life kick recently and I've been needing to conquer this for a while. This is in no way directed towards my favorite Upper East Siders.
I realize that we are women and it's kind of something that we were wired to do but it's not healthy. I'm sure that you've even noticed men don't do it, they don't condone it and don't want to be around it. I know, I know, It's not the easiest to remove from your life. Especially when your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family are all doing it. It's actually something that I decided a year or so ago I was going to stop doing. I lasted for a while but slowly started again. Why do we find it necessary to gab about other people's life's, information, problems and relationships? It's my opinion that we want to feel empowered. If you've ever gotten half way though a really funny story then stopped talking you know what I'm talking about. You leave people on the edge, they are excited sometimes even anxious to hear the end. That's exactly what gossip is. We brag about knowing juicy details of others and become "stronger" by spreading the information.
We want what we don't have and ultimately want others to have less than we do. The crazy part is that we were taught this; by our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends. It's something we witnessed, participated in and gradually started doing ourselves when we were younger. It wasn't their fault, they were taught as well. It's a cycle that will continue unless you intervene and break the habit. I've noticed recently some friends that have realized the nasty habit and have started taking action. If I'm around someone that starts gossiping or starts asking me about others I simply respond with, "I've decided that I don't want to gossip anymore." It was hard at first but now people know not to do it around me and I'm sure it's made them check themselves as well. Some of my friends that used to do it all o the time hardly do now. Take it a day at a time. Make decisions and take a stand. I know you can all do it.
                                                                      - Erica

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Because I'm a twenty Something

I came across this blog post on Facebook, some of my friends had really connected with it and decided to share it. I thought I would check it out and about a quarter of the way though and started to completely become vulnerable with it. I completely understood what she was talking about. I wanted to post it here to possibly help some of you get on your path. I hope you all find it as encouraging as I did. HAPPY TUESDAY :)
when i was thirteen, i couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  i thought i’d know it all by then- have all the answers and that prized freedom. and when i was sixteen, i planned to be married by age twenty-three with two kids. i’ll always smile to myself when i think about how time changes things. and when i turned twenty four i made a list of as many goals as i had in years. by my 25th birthday, i’d accomplished them all.
and a funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty.five. people start asking about marriage and kids and houses. and you begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  you start spending your money on tires. short term sacrifices for long term gains, right? and sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. you wonder if you’re on the right track because it’s different from all the people you’re surrounded by. you start going to your friends’ weddings and buying baby gifts for second birthdays.  and suddenly you realize you’re at the exact age that seemed so far away just five years ago.
i’ve always liked including myself in the 20.something. category.  growing up, but not quite grown up. you’re an adult, but still recognize that you’re part kid. i’ve enjoyed the navigating of adulthood and all of my new first time experiences. a new job. my first ‘grown-up’ paycheck. growth. being old enough to rent a car. but it seems like the older i’ve gotten, the more aware i’ve become of my short-lived stay in the ‘twenties’ and the pressure to fit the mold of all of the rest of the twentyfivers.
i’ve started to think about how easy it is to become controlled by our age. and the expectation of what your age signifies to everyone else. how old you should be by the time you your first house. get married. have kids. start your retirement. suddenly it seems like there are all these benchmarks to meet, even when they don’t match the goals you are trying to reach.
forget molds.
because as easy it is to forget, you’re free to do what you want with your life. the problem is, that can be quite the responsibility, to live your life the way you want to, rather than they way you are expected to. especially if that means taking a big jump. and especially when that jump may feel like a free fall.  maybe quit your first job and go back to school if that feels right. get married or don’t. maybe you drop out of school or chop off your hair. maybe you change your mind. end  a relationship that no longer serves you. become a different person.maybe you move away or move back home. or maybe you’re scared to do these things because it’s uncomfortable and unexpected. maybe it’s because you don’t know if everything would fall into place or you’re scared what that would mean if it did.
IMG_7965and when you’re in your twenties, i hope you buy a plane ticket to paris. i hope you get lost wandering all of the streets. i hope you travel the world and read lots of new books.  i hope you have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea.  i hope you drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass. i hope you have a water fight in central park. set goals and change them. quit your day job. i hope you don’t do any of these things or that you do them all. write a book. change your mind. start new friendships and let go of the ones that you need to. say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward.

i hope your fifties mean going back to school or starting yoga. i hope your forties include falling in love with someone new- a friend, child, or partner.  i hope you stay up all night laughing with your friends. and when you’re thirty, learn something new. i hope your life is one of wisdom and youth, adventure and old age- no matter what year it was that you were born.
but what i really mean to say is that I hope you aren’t held back because of a number. and that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. i hope you do what’s right for you.   hold on. slow down. and breathe in. your age is your age. but more importantly, your life is your life. don’t change your journey so that it matches someone elses. we need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored. revel in the differences. and enjoy where you are.
here. right here.
Check out the rest of Today Was Meaningful
                                                                - Erica

Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday Night Lights & Birthday Celebrations | Gift Ideas

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I feel like I did a hundred thousand things over the weekend but It was a bunch of fun spent with really great friends and family. High School football is a pretty big deal in this part of the country and rivalries are super intense. The biggest in the area has become sponsored and it's now a high school bowl game. I can't really pick a favorite since each year I cheer for a different team but it's always fun to go and have fun with everyone. A bunch of my youth kids go to both schools so I can't really pick a side. My cousins Jordan & Cameron are both Varsity cheerleaders on one of the teams so I was taking pics of them the whole night. These are some from after the game when we won and rushed the field! It was a mad house being on the same level looking for them but we found them and got to take pics with them both.
"PULL!" was my favorite word for the weekend. Saturday was spent in the country at a family friends house where their son was turning 17. There was a bunch of fun things to do: swimming, human bowling, zip line, driving range with tennis balls into their pond and last but not least the gun range!! I was a little anxious because it's been over a year since I shot a gun. I got to try Skeet shooting for the first time and I actually did really well. I try to claim that I'm a natural :) Anyways after we had shot though a bunch of shot gun shells I got to shoot some pistols. I had never shot one before so I had to learn how to hold it and everything but overall I did pretty well. The target was pretty small and it was about 30 feet from me. I grabbed a pic with my intern brother, Neafus since he was the one showing me the ropes. I love shooting and I'm even thinking about getting my own so that I can practice and get really good. I think it's such a fun hobby to have and one day really could come in handy. You know just incase I become a secret agent....
On the way to the party on Saturday we stopped to get the birthday boy a gas card and that's when I remembered some really cute gift ideas that I had been wanting to try. None of them would have been right for him but for the future it's something I want to do. So I rounded up some of my favorite ones:
Do you have any other ideas that are cute in a jar?! We want to know!
                                                           - Erica

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bridal Babe Juice | Tone It Up

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I took off Friday which meant that I got to have another 3 day weekend, It however wasn't as relaxing as Labor Day. One of our own Peaches + Planks team contributors got married on Saturday!! YAY KATEY!! We spent Friday getting our nails and toes done, then mid day going over the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner then the lady's and gents split and had our bachelorette parties. We ended the evening back at the hotel in our pj's just catching up with each other and celebrating Katey. After a quick 4 hours of sleep we were up and at it, we made a Starbucks and breakfast run while some of the girls started getting their hair and makeup done then we were off to the gorgeous wedding location. It was such a beautiful location, right on the water and the weather was perfect! The new bride and groom left around 3pm to head off on their honeymoon and I was found about 2 hours later passed out in a deep nap on my couch at home. I mean, who doesn't love a great nap?!
With all of this freshly in my head I remembered seeing an email not to long ago from the lovely babes at TONE IT UP - take a moment to become obsessed with them :) - that had a Bridal detox drink. After searching through a few emails I found it and thought you all would love it. I love finding yummy detox's! I realize that Katey is already on her honeymoon, so I hope she doesn't kill me for posting this after and not telling her about it. I'm going to be making it hopefully this week, if my schedule allows. So I will let you know what I think! Do you have a favorite detox that you want to share with us? Send it to us - we always love hearing from you!

Bridal Babe
1 cup kale
1⁄2 large cucumber
2 apples
1 tsp. Cinnamon
8 oz. coconut water
Once kale, cucumber and apples are juiced, shake it all up with cinnamon and coconut water. Sip and enjoy.

                                                                              - Erica

Thursday, September 5, 2013

10 Important Lessons | Lauren Conrad

Happy Thursday everybody! I'm so excited to share these lessons with you! It's originally from the blog of  Lauren Conrad, which I'm a huge fan of. I can spend hours discovering her tips, and fun beauty advice. Give yourself plenty of time to read over her posts, you will love them! These 10 important lessons that they don't teach you in school are extremely well thought out and things that I feel we were all told at one point or another. It was the lesion we needed at the time but didn't want to hear it. So now that we are a little older and in a more mature place in life, look them over and really give each lesion a thought. You won't regret it!

While writing, reading and arithmetic are the building blocks of a basic education, I have come to learn that some of the most important lessons will happen outside of the classroom. Some you might have to learn the hard way, and others will come easier, with a little luck. Today I’m going to help guide you in the right direction with 10 of my best life lessons I’ve learned in the real world. Keep these lessons in your back pocket for years to come…
1. The important questions can’t be answered.
If all of life’s most challenging moments had answers, everyone would be going through the motions without actually living. Do not get frustrated when you face a tricky situation that does not have answers. The future is exciting and scary for a reason. So instead of worrying, choose the course you want your life to take, and then work hard to make it happen.
2. Life is a marathon, not a race.
This lesson may sound cliché, but most of us try to sprint through life—whether we realize it or not. There is no “first place” in life. Making comparisons will only leave you feeling unhappy, unappreciative, and unaware of how many blessings you have. To be the happiest you can be, concentrate on fulfilling your own personal goals in the timeline that is right for you. People will get promotions, get engaged, and start families at completely different times. There's no right or wrong time for any of those things.
3. Stand up for yourself.
There is a graceful yet assertive way to ask for what you want. Learn this and you will have unlocked the key to getting what you want in life without burning bridges along the way.

4. Worrying about things you cannot control is the biggest waste of your time.
Throughout your entire life there will be situations that you want to control but the outcome is 100% out of your hands. This is for a reason. If we could control everything, life would be one pre-written story. It wouldn’t be exciting, and you wouldn’t learn a single thing. You can live a stress-free life if you learn to let go of the things you cannot control. Because when we do try to control situations, we often times look back years later and wonder why we wasted so much time on them.
5. Exercise isn’t about numbers.
Once you realize that treating your body well and being healthy isn’t about being “perfect,” you will free your mind. Exercising is about getting your blood running through your body, pumping oxygen to your brain, strengthening your heart and muscles, and reaping the wonderful benefits of those mood-boosting endorphins. You will find that the more you accept your natural physique and embrace the figure you were given, the more you will fall in love with your body and treat it like a temple.
6. Make your mother proud.
When it comes to deciding right from wrong, ask yourself if your mother (or another mentor) would be proud of you for making the decision at hand. It can be easy to lose sight of where we came from, who brought us into the world, and the sacrifices that our loved ones made to ensure we would be happy. This doesn’t mean you should hold back from taking risks or trying new things—that is what life is about. Just make sure you keep your moral compass in mind. Honor your family by making choices they would approve of and I can guarantee you will look back with fewer regrets.
7. The happiest people have low expectations, few desires, and great appreciation for the little things.
Every so often, we are all guilty of focusing on things we don’t have, things we want, and things that aren’t perfect in our lives. These thoughts will only lead to an ungrateful mentality, and the never-ending search for a “perfect” life that doesn’t exist. It is great to have goals and things to look forward to. Don’t get me wrong—I love saving up for a brand new purse as much as any girl! But I find that I am much happier when I focus on the small blessings and the things I have instead of worrying about what I don’t have. Take a few minutes each day to yourself and think about how grateful you are for your family, your friends, having food on the table, and all the other small pleasures in life that go unnoticed.
8. Helping your community will enrich your life.
It’s easy to get wrapped up with doing something that makes your resume look well rounded. Sure, saying you were involved in a charity might help you look good when you apply to college or go to job interviews. But community service will also add a special touch to your life. You will gain valuable insight, become more grounded, and gain an understanding for people in ways you never thought you could.
9. Never settle.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to never settle in relationships, friendships, your career, or your dreams. Never accept less than what you think you deserve, and aim for bigger and better (because you will probably get it!). You never want to look back and think, “I could have done more.” You can do more…right now. Stop saying “someday.” Start saying “today.”
10. There is no such thing as a perfect life.
The overall goal in many people’s lives seems to find the perfect partner, reach the perfect weight, have the perfect job, or wear the perfect wardrobe. The problem is, none of these things exist. Everything has its flaws, and most of those flaws are what makes your life exciting, challenging, and, in fact, pretty perfect if you look at it the right way. Your boyfriend is going to make mistakes, your job will have its down days, and you will have moments where you want nothing more than a full-fledged makeover. Take these moments as positive opportunities to make exciting changes instead of dwelling on the negative aspects. And, enjoy the next chapter that awaits you after these changes do happen.

I hope these lessons helped you all to learn something about yourself today. And remember that a classroom education is of course invaluable as well. You need lessons inside and outside the classroom to truly understand how you want to live your life.
Do you agree or disagree? Have some life lessons that you want to share? Post them below!
                                                                      - Erica

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Update: Labor Day Weekend

Hello loves! Feeling a bit like a Brit today so feel free to read this post in your best English accent. I hope you all had a fun, safe Labor Day Weekend! Those last few moments spent outside at the lake or pool. Getting the last rays of sun you can before pasty Patty comes back to town. It can be a little sad but lets face it we are excited about the layers and leggings that Fall brings. Don't even get me started on the boots, scarfs and yoga pants that will soon refill my closet. My name is Erica and I'm a Yoga pant whore :)
I spent the last part of the weekend with friends at the pool and playing cards into the wee hours of the night. It was all fun and games until I woke up at 4am with what I'm guessing was food poisoning. I've only been brave enough to consume water since then. I'm just trying to rehydrate and rest so that I can have plenty of energy to continue on with the rest of my week without a problem. My wonderful friend Katey (TEAM P+P) is getting married this Saturday so I've got many things to get done and brunches to attend before I can relax on Sunday. I'm even taking Friday off so I'm getting a 3 day weekend two weeks in a row and only a 3 day work week. I've got my butt in gear to get everything taken care of over these 3 days. You should all be excited to see the pictures It's going to be so gorgeous! I'm still trying to find something to wear...


On to FALL! Are any of you going to step up and dye your pretty locks red this season? I'm really tempted to! Do you have any fav celeb reds you love?! Send them this way! I love to see what you all are loving for Fall! Here are just a few that I really love. I'm all for natural looking hues and tones that complement skin tones. I tend to love Emma Stone's red and lean more towards the auburn shades that can blend really well with brown hair. Although I'm so obsessed with this bright almost magenta red.

Here are some yummy drinks I discovered over the weekend that I wanted to share with you all. The tea I bought at QT and the orange juice at Starbucks. Both brands have a bunch of different kids of tea and juice. Neither has any added sugar and are delicious! Try them out, and tell your friends! It's so hard to find yummy drinks that aren't loaded with extra sugar. Fact: the daily recommended amount of sugar per day is 26 grams, most of us have this much before 11am. Pay attention to your sugar intake and remember that when you're wanting to loose body fat you will need to cut back on sugar. Try having some almonds, fresh veggies (with no dip) or some fresh fruit! Even a couple of slices of cheese or deli meat is better than processed crap! Step out of your "health" box and try some new things!

                                                                                                 - Erica