birthday, monday must have's, must have's

because birthdays are for wishes!


Since my birthday is next Saturday, what’s more fun then a birthday wish list?

A new Camera/Camcorder for Vlogging: I think I want the Canon VIXIA Mini Compact Personal Camcorder. It has great reviews, a good price point, and should fit my needs. I would love to do more vlogging and think this will be a great tool for it. Honestly I just want to rant about shit and talk about my dogs and celebrity gossip and why people feel the need to sit in the stall RIGHT NEXT TO ME when there is room to space it out…how annoying!

Core Power Yoga Gift Card: Because Yoga really does make me happy and feel good. I love the Old Orchard location which is on my way to work and has great teachers. This will motivate me to go back and get my mental and physical health even better! Plus the older you get, the better stretching is for you and considering the way my back feels sometimes, this will only do good for me. That and flexibility. So really, if Joey gets me this, it’s a win win for both of us (yes you can say ewwww out loud lol).

Express Gift Card: Because they have been killing it with their amazing clothes and everything I wear from there I get complimented on and feel really good in. I am drooling over their fall dresses and jeans. Which of course means I need new boots! But some of the dresses below definitely need to make their way into my closet.

Kettle Balls/Light Weights: I need to get more weights for the house, especially with winter coming up. Kettle balls are great for squats and other excercises, so one or two at home would be awesome. Otherwise some 5, 10, and maybe 15lb weights would be awesome for arms, back, and shoulders.
Scratch Lotto Tickets: Because there is almost nothing better than scratching lotto tickets. Blame it on my Grandma but it truly brings me joy. Winning is a bonus!


JoeyWaffles made dinner reservations for two of my favorite restaurants, Sabatino’s and Cooper’s Hawk and I’m hoping there will be Sushi Staion for lunch Saturday. Sunday we are celebrating my birthday along with my Grandma’s and the whole family is going to lunch. It should be a fantastic weekend and I hopefully will spend Saturday night with some girlfriends (should probably text them!!) and a few bottles of wine and some cake!
What do you love about birthdays? Are there any fun tradition you celebrate?
A certain kind of cake you must have?
monday must have's

Monday Must Have’s!

Guess who’s back? Back again? Must have’s are back. Tell your friends.
Yeah. I went there. North Shore Shady.

So with summer right around the corner, shopping has begun! So what do you need to get ready for summer?

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray– This has been my go to for the last 4 years and I am OBSESSED. Seriously it has changed my life. I have a natural wave to my hair but it just looks messy and weird when I leave it to air dry so I usually just blow dry my hair and it gors straight really easily. The thing is, I HATE blowdrying my hair in the summer. Who wants to spend at least 30 minutes under the heat of a blowdryer? Especially when I’m just going to end up throwing it in a ponytail to stay out of my face. With this product I just wash and condition my hair, towel dry it, and spray this on. Done! I don’t brush my hair and it can look pretty great for a few days.  If there is one hair prodict you use this summer, get this. Plus I really enjoy the smell since it reminds me of summer.

Jeep Wranlger– Okay so this is not really possible for most but I do have to say, there is nothing better than driving down Lake Shore Drive with the top and doors off enjoying a beautiful summer day. I’m glad JoeyWaffles is a car guy. Now all I need is for Alex to teach me how to drive stick although I’m pretty sure JoeyWaffles is avoiding this so I don’t try and steal Autumn (his jeep). So really try to find a friend with a Wrangler or convertible and enjoy the ride.

work in progress

A great bikini-I bought two this year from Victoria’s secret, the hottie halter and the fabulous (not the one to the right although it was cute). I have a lot of Target/Old Navy bathing suits but the best ones I’ve ever bought have always been from VS. They offer great support and a better quality. They are ridiculously expensive but they usually have some great sales. I actually ebayed some old bathing suits that I had worn only a few times and bought these. Who knew people bought slightly used bathing suits? I bought one in an “underwater” color that looks like teal and one in a medium shade of purple so I am really excited to wear them! No matter what size you are, do NOT be afraid to rock a bikini. I wore one when I was 80lbs heavier and no one ever laughed at me. I wanted to be tan all over and I didn’t care. If someone is going to body shame a person, call them on it. I would LOVE to hear them explain why they think it’s okay to tell a person how they should look and why they are perpetuating discrimination of ANY size or appearance.

Cute sandals– I bought two great pairs already from TJ Maxx. A pair of Michael Kors and a pair of BCBG’s. I myself like flats with a bit of bling on them to make them pop a little.You can’t forget to get a few pairs of Old Navy flips in black and some fun colors. I’m lucky at my work you can wear sandals as long as they aren’t something you’d wear to the beach, i,e. the Old Navy flip flop. DSW always has amazing sales so go get some now so you’ll be ready for great weather.

Cute sundress– Every girl needs a cute sundress that you can wear to the beach or dress up for a night out. Forever 21 has a ton of great options for practically nothing. Old Navy has a medium good selection usually and I love the Lauren Conrad line at Kohl’s. I bought this American Eagle dress 2 summers ago and love wearing it to work or just our for a drink with friends. I also think Maxi dresses and skirts work great. Anything that can show off your favorite features, makes you feel comfortable, and is easy to throw on. Men, I didn’t forget about you! All you need is a nice pair or khaki cargo shorts and you’re good to go. Target and Old Navy are a great resource if you don’t feel like spending Gap or J. Crew money.

Trashy Summer Reading– Shows are on hiatus and sitting next to the water, go old school and grab a book. I myself love some romance novels like Kristan Higgins or anything from Danielle Steele. Grab an Emily Giffin or Jane Green if you love chick lit. If you’re feeling like chick lit with more substance, try Elizabeth Berg. James Patterson’s old works are always great and I love browsing the book aisles at Target. I love teen reads and started The Blackcoat Rebellion series which is not to bad. So get the real deal paper book or a kindle edition and don’t forget your summer reads!

Summer Playlists-It needs to be poppy, something you can dance and sing along to and capture the feelings of driving in the car with your friends where anything is possible. I love Sam Hunt, The Band Perry, The Beach Boys, Selena Gomez, Fleetwood Mac, anything 70’s makes me happy and any new country.

Obviously you need a few more things like a great lip gloss with spf and a beach bag (Thanks Riva!); a great beach cover up, and a vacation of good place to get wet and get tan are musts.

What are your summer must haves? what should I be reading and listening to?

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Monday Must Have-5 weekends til Christmas!

Since it’s only 5 weekends away, I thought it would be fun to post my Christmas Wish List. My Dad still asks my brother and I for them so I have to start thinking about what I want. My brothers hasn’t changed much from when we were kids, the newest video game system and this year’s was no different, the Playstation 4. My list is definitely more practical than when I was little but I also buy myself the fun stuff now instead of relying on my parents. So here we go!

Monday Must Have’s Christmas Edition

North Face Winter Jacket-BlackWhen I was heaver I had the typical North Face that everyone has but I had to buy it in a Men’s XL which was pretty mortifying even though no one could tell. I always felt bad knowing that, so when I lost the weight and the jacket was huge on me, it was a huge victory. I’ve had a nice coat for the last two years but it’s time for a change. Something classy, something warm and functional with the Polar Vortex that’s sure to happen again. This coat looks great on everyone and I am totally copying my friend Carly, who has this and looks amazing in it.
Benefit Cosmetics Gift Card or productsBesides the advent calendar I’ve previously mentioned, I pretty much want anything else that’s from Benefit. I love their products: Big Easy, Hello Flawless, Gimme Brow, Brow Zings, They’re Real, and on and on and on. Benefit is my favorite make up brand and I am almost out a lot of my products so it’s gonna be a great time to fill up. The products last a long time without getting gross so it’s a great for the wallet as well!
Erin Condren Life Planner with this photoI’ve ordered a planner before and I love it. It’s fun to use and I love that you can make it personal. Picking a photo from my instagram, I get to enjoy keeping track of all my shit with stickers and color coded pens. I love being organized and this is a great and useful way to keep myself together. A little pricey but if you still like hand writing things and not using your phone or a tablet, this is a great way to go. 
Hunter Boot Welly SocksFirst off, if you don’t own Hunters and you live anywhere with snow or heavy rains, stop reading and run to Nordstrom’s and grab a pair. They are AMAZING. Your feet will absolutely not get dry but I will warn, even with Wellies, your toes can get cold. I has a glossy black pair and grey cable knit socks and want a few more for outfit choices. If you want to wear hunters with leggings to work, these really class them up and are comfy. Long term for $140, these are a great investment.
This or this funny notepad from PapyrusAnother great way to stay organized and they’re pretty funny. These are going to be great for work and they make me laugh out loud.
Lifefactory 16 oz Classic Cap bottle (pink)Because I’m trying to stay away from bottled water and the big bad BPA’s and because it’s super cute. It’s never bad to stay hydrated and be fashionable at the same time.

Fleece Lined Leggings from WalgreensLast year I wanted a pair of fleece lined leggings but wasn’t sure what direction to go or where to start. One day I was in line at Walgreen’s and saw 2 pairs for $10 and took a chance. I have never looked back. This is a STEAL. These pants are one sized fit all, comfy, the perfect thickness, and they look great. They havent’ ripped or gotten nubby ad they keep my really really insulated and warm. Grab a pair!

This weekend I had the new Starbucks cranberry bliss bar and it was so delicious. JoeyWaffles and I had dinner at Sushi Station, I did some laundry and visited a psychic. I wore adorable leg warmers and meal prepped for the week. Most importantly I got to catch up with a dear friend Kristen. I had a wonderful time seeing her, meeting Bacci her adorable Chi mix and learning about Essential Oils. It was a great party and I looked forward to seeing more of her! I also got to play a lot of Tetris Attack with JoeyWaffles and hang out with the pups and relax. All I need now is a fireplace
What are you asking for this Christmas? Hannukah? Anything special you really want? Or are you excited to buy gifts and enjoy the gift of giving?
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Monday Must Have’s- Fall into Comfort…and the beginnings of Winter

Fall means thermal shirts ($9 on sale right now at Old Navy) and the leaves changing from green to reds and golds and it means dressing up for Halloween. It means rainy Friday nights cuddling with the pups watching Christmas movies (it was November pretty much so that’s totally allowed) and it means the transition to Winter. So just like sinking into a hot bubble bath, this weeks Monday Must Have’s bring comfort and relaxation to my life.

Work BFF– Everyone needs a work bff to laugh with, get water with, throw tantrums at, jump out at you and make you scream (okay maybe not this one), and have general debauchery and shenanigans. I have an amazing work bff and now we get to go through the whole30 together. While I already have a really amazing workplace, having my bff there makes everything better and means one of us is always ready and willing to go shopping on lunch or switch off Starbucks runs. Reading this article in the Huffington Post, there are a lot of great reasons having a work friend is actually highly beneficial to the office, so, really it’s your duty to find someone to have slop buckets with and eat at spider table. Don’t ask, just go find the Meredith Grey to your Christina Yang.

Smart WomenSome books just stay with you and this has been one of my favorites since I first picked it up. Set in Boulder, CO in the 1980’s, it deals with growing older, friendships, relationships, and has a great protagonist in Margo Sampson. Judy Blume is an honest, funny, smart woman herself and her writing never disappoints. If you want a reflective, fun, and comfortable story, this is the book. A great read, especially if you loved her other novels, Summer Sisters and Forever. Plus, sometimes I just want something real without there being something crazy or depressing or someone getting terminally ill.

Angry Orchard Hard Cider-This has been around for a while but as I say good-bye to it for the next thirty days, I encourage everyone to try it or keep drinking it. There are so many ciders out there and it can be overwhelming but this one is tops. Delicious and crisp and never disappointing, Crisp Apple is my favorite and Green Apple a close second. JoeyWaffles loves the Cinful Apple and I do have to say, it’s pretty tasty. I love it in all seasons but I do have a particular fondness for it during the fall. Great with some homemade chili, salmon, ribs, okay pretty much anything, it just always hits the spot without feeling like it’s alcohol. To be honest, I don’t even care about the alcohol as much as the great flavor and crispness.

I dressed up as Velma from Scooby Doo for Halloween at work and it turned out great. Last year I was Kim Khardashian and while it was fun, it wasn’t great for working in. By EOD I was wearing some Bearpaw boots with my little black dress, not very chic. So this year fun + function won out. 
Skirt- $2.72 from Ann Taylor Loft via Goodwill
Sweater- $3.99 from the Limited via Goodwill
Kneeesocks- JoeyWaffles bought for $5 from Ebay
Glasses- Borrowed from my friend Marta from her old Garth/Wayne’s World costume
Wig- $14 from Spirit Halloween
Shoes- $19 from DSW
Magnifying Glass- $1.99 from Party City

I am keeping the shoes since they were so comfy and on sale from $69.95. Everything I can sell or reuse (minus the glasses). Considering the Velma costume from Party City is ill fitting and $29.99 for a low quality product and doesn’t include shoes or socks, I consider it a steal. Jinxies!
What did you dress up for this Halloween?
What are some of your must have’s this week?

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Monday Must Haves!

Monday Must Have’s is something that a lot of people participate in and I decided that NoShoPo will be no different. So enjoy the first of (hopefully) many North Shore Poor Monday Must Have’s. It will be a mix of things you can buy, watch, experience, things I just like, etc.

The Worlds Best Banana Bread Recipe I had some overripe bananas and decided it was time to make some delicious banana bread. I added dark chocolate chips,  a teaspoon of cinnamon, and some brown sugar on top and it was AMAZING. JoeyWaffles has something to eat with his morning coffee and I found the only banana bread recipe I’ll ever need. Easy to make and the house smelled glorious. See my instagram for a scrumptious picture.

Benefit Cosmetics Advent Calendar I already emailed this to JoeyWaffles as a pre-holiday gift. He get’s stumped on gift giving, even though he gets me things all year, so usually we make lists for each other. This way we communicate what we want and it’s still a surprise because we give a bigger list then we are going to get. This is top of my list because I love all things Benefit and these would be get things to travel with and keep in my purse.

Criminal Minds Marathons Because sometimes they can’t all be about Law & Order: SVU, as much as you want them to be. Not just because you miss all the Elliot episodes no matter how good Danny Pinto can be but because Criminal Minds is amazing and thanks to ION you have just figured it out. I am pretty much obsessed with this show about the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) and love the character relationships. Starting at season one, while watching season 10 and it isn’t even weird. If you aren’t watching this, you should be.

This weekend I made the above mentioned banana bread and some inside out carrot cake muffins (the frosting was on the inside) so my beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer got lots of love. We resurrected the Keurig for some Saturday morning coffee and breakfast at home. I cuddled with Bella and Dante, went shopping with a good friend, hung out with my Grandma at the nursing home and enjoyed a great Jeep ride Sunday. Went thrifting and grabbed 3 sweater and some books for under $18. Found two fun dresses at Forever XXI…this one is really cute and was on sale for $12.
Living well doesn’t have to mean living large. It’s the simple pleasure that bring the most happiness to my heart. A warm cup of coffee while curled up with JoeyWaffles and a warm blanket. Driving on a gorgeous fall day with the Jeep top down and a great song on the radio. 
Love the life you live. Live the life you love.
bob marley

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go buy and listen to Taylor Swift new album “1989“.
In the meantime, what are your Must have’s this week?