I’m at that point of my life where Saturday weddings are now replaced by Sunday baby showers, and I’m loving it. Whoever decided mimosas and snacks were the perfect pregame to opening tiny shoes and tiny hats was right. Who doesn’t love tiny adorable tiny things?
But as much as I love a good stroller accessory, I can’t help but think I want to do more. Go above and beyond.
I want to be the friend known for the epic gift at the shower. The showstopper, if you will.
And so whenever it’s time for me to pick up another gift for my future niece or nephew to be, I get them a Money Savvy Pig.
The Money Savvy Pig is a piggy bank. But not just any piggy bank, it’s a bank with four slots instead of one. Instead of one choice for your money, it suggests four: Save, Spend, Donate and Invest.
WAIT – I can hear you now. You’re thinking, Allison this high-end piggy bank is for a baby?
YES. This piggy bank, which looks ever so cute on top of their dresser when baby is young, is especially for them. It’s ready and waiting, holding onto 1st year birthday cash from relatives, until one day baby is a curious toddler, ready to see what the fuss is about.
This piggy bank is there to be an afternoon activity where mom and dad can show their curious toddler that money has choices.
And when said toddler has questions about money, the Money Savvy Pig is there to answer them. To teach long and short-term goals, to remind them that these goals are not one and done options. Achieve a goal, remove the funds from the functioning feet and start again. Keep setting goals.
I love the idea that this piggy bank will grow up with baby. That it isn’t just a cute onesie that only lasts a season. This piggy bank can grow with baby. Did you know that money habits are set by age six? With the Money Savvy Pig, your child’s financial literacy isn’t daunting. It’s been growing with them since birth.
And because we all love options, know that I never give the same Money Savvy Pig twice. There are so many colors, including the cutest platinum option, which give me Tiffany vibes. Or should the parents of baby happen to be football or soccer fans, there’ a Money Savvy bank for that as well. Pigs not your style? They’ve got a cow guys, named Moolah. Tell me you didn’t just giggle.
So, if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE baby shower gift, the one that gets the cute “awwws” from the girls, the approving smiles from mom, and all-knowing nods from grandma, this is IT!
One of my favorite things to do is host a cozy girls night. I’ll break out the snacks and champagne as long as my friends are willing to come over and get cozy. So here here are my five quick tips for a cozy girls night in that ensure a successful evening:
1. Tidy your space! It’s amazing what a fluffed couch and clean kitchen can do to improve your mood and get you ready to be hostess with the mostess.
2. Get the vibe going. Put on a fake fireplace (or a real one if you’re lucky!) light some candles, get out your blankets and party napkins and put on some music. I love a good jazz cocktail playlist or one of the Gilmore Girls ones from Spotify.
3. Bring on the snacks. Everyone loves a good nibble with their cocktail. Focus on finger food like olives, nuts and some cut up cheese to keep things easy. *Always survey your guests to make sure you’re taking allergies into account.
4. Consider your guests point of view. Polish any glassware they may use and tidy the bathroom they’ll use. I always provide bathroom paper napkins because it takes the stress away from my guest on whether or not to use my hanging towels, and because it’s another place where I can spice it up with a themed pumpkin.
5. Always chill your champs at least 30 mins (preferably an hour) before serving! I like to pop my bottle in the fridge the night before and then fill my ice bucket about 30 mins prior to guests arriving so that when they come in, we can pop bottles and get the party started!
What other fun tips do you have for hosting a cozy girls night in?? #lifesabeacham
I’m updating this blog post pandemic, which seems insane to say. I’m also dedicating this blog to my two new team members Dee and Shannon, who showed me that instagram now allows little bloggers like me to link to their posts! Thanks ladies, for inspiring me to get back to something I love.
This post is here to help you plan a trip to Chicago. I’ve included some trendy neighborhoods to stay in, restaurant recommendations, as well as some interesting Chicago activities for cold & warm weather.
I love this kind of stuff, and I take pride in knowing all the must-go places to check out in Chi city so without future ado, here is my Chicago weekend guide: perfect for three day weekends, romantic getaways, overnight business trips and more! All of the restaurants I’ve recommended are places to safely dine #glutenfree unless stated otherwise.
Growing up I was the kid that tried all the sports. I tried gymnastics, field hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis, figure skating, hell I even did Irish step dancing (why mom) but it wasn’t until I started swimming that I found a sport I was truly good at.
By middle school, I was at the peak of my competitive swimming career. I swam for private winter teams with meets downtown and in summer I kept up with club swim team. My stroke is butterfly, and I’m really good at it.
Fast forward to a meet the summer before my freshman year of high school. One whistle, one leap in the air, one arm goes too far and then stops working. One whistle and swimming is no longer an option or me.
A lot of my friends know this about me now, but I’m double jointed in my shoulders, and I can hyperextend pretty much all of my ligaments. It’s just another one of those super fun setbacks you learn about as you age, and so when I had doctors tell me that it was either surgery or quit swimming, I opted out of getting bolts in both my shoulder blades and began a very sedentary part of my life.
Sure – I was always involved in something, dance, musicals, and I’m lucky, my genes carried me through my high school years just fine, but it was also the 2000’s, working out for the sake of working out wasn’t really a thing yet. Thin was in, and my biggest role models were Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, girls who appeared to be able to eat their body weight in junk food and still wear low rise jeans.
So when I had my tonsils out my senior year of high school I had a rough go of it and lost a drastic amount of weight on top of an already thin body. I liked the results, it felt like that senior year glow-up a lot of my friends were having.
Like I mentioned, up until then diet and exercise weren’t really important to me – and I’ll be 100% honest when I tell you I started running in college as a way to “stay thin” for fear of the freshman 15 putting me back to what I was pre-tonsillectomy. I also loved flirting with the guys at the gym – because, yeah.
Swimming and running can’t be more different – in fact, a lot of people say that runners can’t swim and swimmers can’t run. My first jog got me from my mailbox to the mailbox six houses away. It was roughhhh. But I wanted it, and probably a year later I was running 3 miles a day, almost every day.
This is when running turned from something I wanted to something I needed. Running became a form of therapy for me, but also a form of control. Control over thoughts like “don’t eat that” or as a way to escape after a long day at a job that kept me cooped up. Running was quiet, all mine, and I could go as far as I could push myself, and then be free to eat what I wanted to eat.
Yes- this sounds scary, and in my head, exercise somehow gave me the feeling of being free, I saw it as an option to combat negative thoughts about my body. I think this is a thought a lot of women have but won’t say. I will always be a person who’d rather have the cheese over a flat stomach but don’t think I don’t still struggle with these thoughts.
Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible for a woman not to. One bad mirror, one photo shot at the wrong angle, one person who seems to have it way easier than me when it comes to bloating, it brings me right back to a place where I feel anxious, out of control, competitive, and bad.
But while working out started as a way to keep me from these thoughts, control them, take them away, it’s turned into much much more for me, and I’m thankful to have discovered the following:
Endorphins. Elle Woods said it best, but endorphins make you happy. I find that I have my best ideas and happiest thoughts when I’m post-workout, on my way home to shower and refuel my body.
My future health. Working out now will keep me healthy later, and I’m gonna need it. My body is capable of amazing things, but it’s not always my best friend. Life has thrown me a couple of genetic curveballs and the one thing I know I can do to keep my body on my side is to strengthen my muscles and stay agile.
This is why I’ve taken the steps to change the way I workout. I now focus much more on strength training over cardio. Sure, cardio gives me instant results, it’s what got me addicted in the first place, but it’s the muscles I build now that will allow me to lift my kids, and grandkids in the future.
I’ve also begun to dabble in yoga, in order to cope with stress and anxiety.
Whenever I try something new, it’s easy for me to become frustrated when I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t like being bad at things, especially when I’m in a room full of people who seem to be natural athletes. So when I feel this way I remind myself of my first run and keep going.
I also workout to break up my day, and see a human. I work from home, which takes discipline and by leaving once a day to get out of the house I create structure in my day. It feels good to see an instructor who knows my name or to pass a friendly pup on a run. It feels good to put myself out of my head and into my body. It feels good to come home, shower, and eat lunch.
The moral of this blog post? These days I workout to put something back into my body, not take away from it. I want to replenish my stability, positivity, and confidence. This is my armor against the negative thoughts that will creep up from time to time. It’s the mental check-in I need to stay healthy and happy. It’s preparing me for the future adventures I’ll have and happy memories I’ll make. So – who wants to come workout with me?