Feeling overwhelmed? Try this!

Ever put off something that is kind of important?

Maybe for like, a day?

A week?

A whole year?

::raises hand slowly:: 

I can be super forgetful, especially about things that are pressing. And ESPECIALLY about things that are NOT work related.

My brain is clogged with a ton lists. To do, to buy, to drop off, to pick up, to order, to clean, to share, to try, to post… I mean, it is endless. And also really hard to keep track of when I try to manage it all in 1000 open tabs on the browser also known as my mind.

When I have all of these thoughts and ideas floating around in my head it’s easily to forget some of them.

It is also just as easy to get overwhelmed. My mind goes wild and I get anxious. When I have so much to tackle and so many things I want to explore I honestly sometimes can’t breathe until I get them all down on paper.

Enter my go-to strategy for feeling less anxious- the brain dump!

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What exactly is a brain dump? 

I am sure you are wondering, “what is a brain dump and how is this different from a to do list, Stephanie?”

​A brain dump is essentially putting a pen to paper and quite literally, spilling its contents onto the page. You are getting it ALL OUT so you can have clarity. Both on what needs to get done AND mental clarity so you can feel less overwhelmed.

Brain dumps differ from to-do lists in the sense that a brain dump can be things you need to do, but also things you want to try or simply ideas you have that you don’t want to forget!

When would you do a brain dump? 

I use brain dumps all the time for different reasons! Here are a few examples…

⚬ When I simply have reached the point where I can’t breathe and I need to visually see all of the things I have been meaning to get done, no matter what time frame they have to happen in.

⚬  When I am about to go on vacation and I need to get organized on what to pack, my agenda and what I still need to book, reserve or order.

⚬ When I need to clean/organize my house. This is a big one for me because I hate clutter. I actually just did a brain dump on this and some of the things I jotted down were: organize linen closet, change sheets, fold laundry, put away laundry, clear out closets and donate clothes.

⚬ When I am planning a party or an event.

⚬ When I need to get organized on my content. I will often use a brain dump to write down ideas for blog posts, captions, photos and live videos.

How can you organize a brain dump? 

There are so many ways to dump- and none of them are wrong. Some people like a plain sheet of paper with no separation of thoughts. I have done it this way in the past, and although it does get the job done, I still feel a bit unorganized because there is no order to what I write.

After years of dumping I feel like I have found a great system. I use a piece of paper separated into quadrants.

Sometimes I label the quadrants (I’ll give you ideas for this below) and sometimes I don’t because my brain dump is a more general one (like when I have a ton of random tasks that I need to get done). But generally speaking four quadrants is enough space for me to not only dump everything but also allows for general organization of thoughts. I can then go on to make smaller to-do lists out of my quadrants if I need to.

How can I label my brain dump?

I find quadrants to be super helpful. They allow me to focus and even sometimes jog my memory so I don’t forget anything!

Here are a few ways you can label your quads: 
-To do, to buy, to try, to get rid of
-Today, this week, this month, this year
-Immediate, soon, later, down the road
-Urgent, important, less important, least important
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter
-Family, business, side gig, self care
-1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, 4th quarter

You can also make your own more specific labels like this real-life example I use before a trip…
To pack, to book/reserve, to buy, to organize

Or, if you just need to get it all out, don’t label the quadrants at all – just have at it!

As you can see, I am preeeeeety enthusiastic about brain dumps! It is truly the number one way I gain clarity and stay focused! That’s why I am sharing my free brain dump printable (which is perfectly separated into four quadrants!).

I hope it helps you tackle everything from giving the dog a bath to crushing goals at work!

My favorite Christmas movies of all time

I can’t imagine a more perfect December Friday night than curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a mug of hot chocolate and a Christmas movie! 

Here is my list of all-time favorite holiday films- everything from romance to drama to comedy – and sometimes all three in one! Check out my list and let me know how many you have seen… or how many you watch this month! I included the category of movie as well as where you can watch them on demand tonight!

The Holiday – This is one of my go-to holiday romance movies! Who can resist Jude Law in a cozy English cottage? It’s all about two women who do a house exchange for the holidays and find love when they are not looking. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are the leads alongside Law and Jack Black. [romance/drama] – watch on demand with Amazon Prime Video! 

The Family Stone – I LOVE this movie. It is all about a FUN/dysFUNctional family from Connecticut. The cast is incredible (Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams to name a few) and the story line that makes you feel all the feels. It reminds me of everything that makes being home for the holidays so special. [comedy/romance/drama] watch on demand with Amazon Prime Video! 

Four Christmases – Two reasons why you’ll love this: Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. You will recognize Favreau if you are a Friends fan, or if you have seen The Breakup. This movie also stars Reese Witherspoon and it’s all about a couple that tries to avoid their families during the holidays by traveling. But not this year… [comedy] watch on demand with Amazon Prime Video! 

A Bad Moms Christmas – If you are a mom (or even if you’re not) you’ll want to watch this hysterical  movie (but without the kids). We can all relate to these “bad moms” especially this time of year. The weight of expectations, the desire to pull out “all the stops” for the kids, dealing with family dynamics – this tackles all of that in a lighthearted way. [comedy] – watch on demand on Hulu. 

Daddy’s Home 2 – Even if you haven’t seen the first one you can still pee your pants watching the sequel. If you want a FUNNY holiday movie, put this on your list! Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg are all in it and they are a comedy power trio. All about blended families and how they share the holidays. [comedy] – watch on demand on Hulu. 

A December Bride – Any 90210 fans out there? This Hallmark movie stars Jessica Lowndes as an aspiring interior designer wishing to have a December wedding. She ends up agreeing to decorate the home of the man who broke up her engagement by setting up her then fiancé with his new fiancé- who also happens to be her cousin! You’ll love the ending. I think it’s the BEST Hallmark movie! [romance] – watch on demand with Amazon Prime Video! 

Christmas With A View – The cutest Christmas movie on Netflix! I love the stars and the storyline. It is all about Clara, a former restaurant owner who now manages a cozy restaurant at a ski resort. A celebrity chef begins a 6 month partnership with the resort and Clara begins to fall for him. Is it cheesy? Kinda. Is it everything you’d want in a Christmas romance movie? YES! [romance/drama] – watch on demand on Netflix! 

The Princess Switch– This movie is seriously SO CUTE. No matter your age you will love it- and I think it would be a perfect “girls night” … add some fuzzy slippers, hot chocolate and a dessert charcuterie board and you’re good to go! Vanessa Hudgens stars as the lead x 2 …. she enters a baking competition and discovers she looks identical to the Princess of Belgravia.  The two switch places for a few days and romance develops. Seriously- watch it tonight (it’s on Netflix). [romance] – watch on demand on Netflix! 

Home Alone – A classic. You don’t need need a synopsis on this one. Just know it is the best out of the trilogy. 😉 PS- if you didn’t see it last year, check out the Google Home commercial with Macaulay Culkin!  [comedy] – watch on demand on Hulu! 

The Santa Clause Trilogy – Tim Allen will forever be Santa in my heart. I love the first movie (growing up it was my favorite) but in my house we watch the third movie the most often because Allen spends the most time as Santa – and Audriana loves it! [comedy]. – watch on demand on Hulu! 




In my cart: Amazon holiday outfits

Amazon has been my go-to for a while now when I am looking for cute, trendy, inexpensive pieces!

Most of my wardrobe for tips comes from Amazon and the most worn pieces from my everyday wardrobe are also from there.

I’ve searched for a few key pieces that I think would be perfect for holiday parties and events. They are all under $40 and can be mixed and matched with things you already own to make great outfits now and throughout the year.

Click here to shop all my picks or on the images below!



What is your holiday style? Cozy pieces or dressy and versatile? Let me know in the comments!  

Best of: Nordstrom Cyber Sale

It’s no secret that Nordstrom is one of my absolute favorite retailers. Their return policy and customer service is the best!

Here are a few picks from their cyber sale happening right now! 



*I have had my eye on this for weeks but wouldn’t spend over $100 for this kind of sweater. Finally it is 50% off! I am getting black, but I also loved this brown as well as the lime green if you want to have a little fun.


*A great price and a beautiful gift! $80 off retail- I don’t think you’ll find a better deal on Tory.


*This style is so pretty. I love that they are a non-black aviator style. I have never seen Quay on sale for 40% off.


*I have this style in a few colors. I think the price can’t be beat. You are need to purchase multiples of a gift or are looking for a pretty stocking stuffer these are perfect and only $15.


*Prices vary on this style but the gold/platinum druzy is only $27 with this sale. That is 60% off retail!


*This is the cutest! Shadow palette, mascara, blush palette and bronzer/highlighter all for $29.


*These heeled booties go with so much and are a trendy steal under $50. They also come in a really pretty holiday red.


*I desperately need a new pair of UGGS and I love these because they can be worn folded or unfolded and have a white sole. They are 33% off with this sale and also come in black!


*I love destroyed denim, especially at the knee. This pair has 2% spandex and are ankle cropped so they look cute with booties.


What’s in your cart for this weekend?

Tell me in the comments where and what you are shopping for!

The Best Black Friday Sales 2019

Here is my master list of the best Black Friday sales! This is not every sale out there – just the ones I researched and thought were truly great offers. Things I love and use and brands I know you love too! Check back often for updates. 

Updated last- 12:27pm EST, 11/29

Alo Yoga– Up to 70% off select styles with different discounted outfit drops everyday! I have these leggings in my cart and I am obsessed with this sherpa.

Asos–  30% off everything through 11/28-12/2!

Aerie– 40% off the Aerie collection. I love these leggings and this is the sweatshirt I am wearing 90% of the time you see me on IG stories 🙂

Amazon– Deals all week long! I love this weighted blanket– it is under $50- one of the best prices I’ve seen- and these fuzzy slippers which I think are the PERFECT GIFT.

Carter’s– $5 PJ’s for baby, toddler and big kids! Plus other door busters. I picked up two Christmas jammies for A ($5 each) and use a $10 rewards credit I had so I paid $0! You can combine this sale with rewards if you have- check your account.

Fabletics– 50% off the entire site!

GAP– 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY + and extra 10% with code BESTEVER! Just added this pompom hat and plaid dress to my cart for A!

Glossier– 20% off the entire site beginning 11.29-12.2! The only sale they do all year. The one thing you NEED? Cloud paint– a sheer cream blush that is the best I’ve ever tried. I’m partial to the shades Haze, Puff and Dusk. 

Lululemon– Up to 50% off on select merch including leggings + outerwear! Plus free shipping. Begins on Black Friday, 11/29.

Macy’s -Receive an extra 20% off, plus free shipping at $25! Use code BLKFRI for all Black Friday specials. 11/27-11/30

Nordstrom– TONS of cyber deals beginning 11.27! Check out my post here for my favorite picks and what’s in my own cart!

Lulu’s: 25-90% off the entire site + free shipping with code Friday25. 

Old Navy– 50% off the entire site from 11.27-11.29. I love this $35 black J-Crew DUPE peacoat!

Revolve– One of my favorite places to shop! Here is the breakdown: 20% off new arrivals, 25% off shoes, 30% off clothing (not new arrivals), 40% off beauty and 50% of sale items. I’ve gotten evening dresses on sale here before and it is the best deal! I love these mom jeans, this cute dress and this hot pink jumpsuit– all of which will be 50% off sale starting on 11.29!

Shutterfly– 50% off cards! A great deal that I WILL be using this weekend to order ours! This is where I ordered our cards from last year and they were beautiful!

SPANX– 20% off the entire site beginning 11.27. I am partial to the leather leggings, leopard leather leggings and “The Perfect Pant”– which was one of Oprah’s favorite things. PS- If you prefer to shop Nordstrom they are price matching the leggings

Stila: 35% percent off everything with code BF35, no exclusions. I love their Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks and Glitter + Glow shadows.

TRVL Design– My go-to for the cutest travel accessories! They are offering 25% off travel bundles (AKA everything you need to get organized for any trip) today until 5pm EST!

Stoney Clover Lane – 25% off everything starting 11.29! 


*some, but not all, of the links above are commissionable links.


SPANX leggings on sale!

Happy Thanksgiving week! 

I wanted to share this pre Black Friday deal today because…

1. Spanx leggings are AMAZING – I love how they hold you in.
2. The price is better than what I have ever seen on the actual Spanx website
3. The sale is only good for today!

If you have never tried Spanx leggings today is a great day to grab your first pair. QVC has an amazing return policy so you don’t need to worry if they don’t fit or you don’t love them as much as I do.

Click here to check them out…. or scroll down to learn even more about why I love them!

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This is a one day only price! You can always return them by 1/31 if you aren’t 1000% IN LOVE. 🙂

Baby Essentials… from a first time mom!

I don’t think first time moms give themselves enough credit!

Often times they think that because they’re “new” at the whole motherhood thing that means they aren’t qualified to give advice. But you know who helped me the most when I had my daughter and was leaning it all myself?

Yup– my friends who were new moms! They are IN it and living it everyday! Who better to ask?

All the suggestions my new mommy friends gave me were great, and I am so excited to share with you guys a few of my all-time favorite products. These are the things we use day in and day out, and the products that Audriana loved the most when she was a newborn.

B A T H   T I M E 

Baths have always been part our bedtime routine, even when Audriana was a newborn. This tub has been so easy to use and has a lot of great features. Our sink is kind of small and I was worried that it wouldn’t fit on top of it, but it actually fits perfectly (and would also fit a lager sink too– the design is genius).


I love how there is a built-in thermometer which will beep once the water gets too hot or too cold. It even comes with a rinse cup (and cup holder)! The two chambers allow for clean water to flow in while the dirty water flows out. And you can plug both chambers to keep warm water in, especially once your babe discovers how to splash and play during bath time.

4Moms Infant Tub, White


Aiden and Anais Hooded Towel Set


One of my all-time favorite gifts that we received are these hooded towels. They are just the cutest, and super functional. The best part is that your baby will continue to use these as she grows since most hooded towels are oversized. I love this set by Aiden and Anais because it is fluffy and soft. If you don’t know this brand, look them up! Their entire line is perfection (and you will see some more from them below!)

For a less expensive option, I also really love the hoods on these:

Hudson Baby Animal Face Hooded Towel


B E D   T I M E 

The best thing I learned in my parenting class/during my hospital stay was how to swaddle a newborn! It makes them feel cozy, safe and secure, which helps them sleep better! There are all kinds of swaddles out there but I personally love these Aiden and Anais sets for a few reasons…

aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Plus, Baby Star

aden and anais swaddles

Not only are they adorable and come in tons of cute prints and patterns, they are also very soft and make great lightweight blankets for when your baby is too old to be swaddled (so you are not just using them for a few months). I use mine as stroller blankets and for naps. They also make bibs with the same material and patterns too!

This mobile has been a lifesaver for us! Audriana had a hard time falling asleep in her crib, but now she puts herself to sleep every night (and even reaches up to change the music on the mobile herself! EEK)!

Fisher-Price Smart Connect Deluxe Projection Mobile


It protects and it also turns while playing your choice of lullaby or soothing sound. Set up is easy and it connects right to the side of the crib.



D I A P E R I N G 

I think that diapers and wipes are very much a personal decision. You have to try out different brands and see what works best for you and your baby. We tried a few other brands, but I always come back to Honest. They are absorbent, don’t leak and Audriana has never had a diaper rash or a massive blow out, especially now that she is a little wiggle worm! The seasonal prints are also adorable and make me smile every time I change her diaper (yes– even if it is a big stinky one– you can’t help it!).

Check out A in her fireworks from 4th of July weekend… you’ll see what I mean!


The Honest Company makes it easy for you to always be stocked up. Their diaper and wipe bundle will not only save you money, it also comes automatically to your door step, so you’re never without! You can customize prints and sizes, and even change the delivery date if you need to.

You’ll receive 6 packs of diapers and 4 packs of wipes with your bundle.

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PS— look at their cute limited edition fall prints! I am in LOVE with all of them (we just got our September bundle yesterday and they are even better in person). Check them out here.

F E E D I N G 

When it comes to bottles, I feel like I could open up a shop. We have SO many because we were desperately looking for the perfect bottle that wouldn’t create any excess gas. I felt like Audriana was living on gas drop the first few weeks of her life because she was ALWAYS so gassy and uncomfortable. Then we tried Dr. Brown’s bottles, and she was a totally different baby!


Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle, 8 ounce, 4-Pack

Dr. Brown’s are specifically made for babies who are colic/gassy. They have an inside chamber that reduces the amount of air that babies suck while drinking. HOWEVER… and this is a total disclaimer… so don’t say I didn’t warn you… they have A TON OF PIECES! You will curse me when you clean them. BUT on the flip side, you will be happy that your babe is comfortable and smiley! #worthit

We are still using these, and actually just yesterday I learned that the 8oz “options” bottles (different from above– I will link them below) do not require the chamber, so if you get sick and tired of cleaning all of the pieces (ahem, ME!) then you can simply remove the chamber later on.


Dr. Brown’s Options Narrow Feeding Set, clear

Now that A is a little bit older and can try more foods, I love giving her one of these Munchkin mesh feeders filled with frozen mango. It is perfect for babies about 6 months and up… they can teeth on something cold and enjoy tasting something sweet at the same time with any choking hazards.

Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green




P L A Y   T I M E 

I could probably post about 100 different toys that A loves to play with (mainly boxes and bins fill with my stuff that she likes to pull out) but I just picked one great item that she uses every single day!

Our Joovy walker was actually a recommendation from my friend Danielle, and it was one of the best things we received from our registry. This walker may seem “bare bones” because it doesn’t have anything attached, but I think that is what makes it so great!


Joovy Spoon Baby Walker

Since the surface is large and empty, your baby can play with any toy she is loving at the moment. I think this is smart— because her walker will grow with her! Right now I put teething rings and some musical toys on it for her everyday, and she keeps herself occupied as she rolls around our house. Suction toys (also know as “high chair” toys) are perfect for this!

The best part? If you are short on space it FOLDS UP flat! So you can store it somewhere when it’s not in use. Love that.

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Some of A’s favorite toys to play with on her walker:

Baby Teether Toys 3-Pack by Infantino Sparkle Jinglin’ Gem Jittery Pal with Jittery Action and Rattle Sounds, Ideal Gift for a Baby Shower

Infantino Sparkle Lil’ Gem Chime Pal

Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat



D R E S S  U P 

One day I will do a full blog post on where I shop for A, but for now I thought I would link some of our go-to sites.

I buy a ton of pieces that you can mix and match from ALL OVER! Seriously! Target, Baby Gap, Old Navy, Denny’s and Janie + Jack are a few of my favorites. Here are some of her greatest hits (so far!) and where I shopped for them…

LEFT: Romper is from Denny’s, bow is from Babies R Us.

MIDDLE:  Dress is from Janie + Jack , bow is from Babies R Us.

RIGHT: Top is from Old Navy, leggings are from Cater’s, bow is from Angel Face Headbands. (Note: the top isn’t available anymore but I linked my most favorite pieces from Old Navy baby right now instead!)

I also like to buy a few things every season from Nordstrom. My favorite thing I have gotten her so far from there is a pair of baby Ugg boots!!! These are for both walkers and crawlers and they have a velcro opening to get them on and off easily. I love the bow!!! Perfect for her!

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I hope you love some of my recommendations and that if you are expecting or a brand new mom that this helped you! If you are neither, but know someone who is, all of these items would be fabulous gifts!

Did I leave out something you think is awesome? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your favorites as well.