Adulting your Littles Birthday Party

In the past 2 years and 8 months, I’ve planned 3 parties for the littles in my life – Brooks’ 1st and 2nd birthday and more recently Graham’s First Birthday party. I’ve planned m0re parties for these kids in the past 3 years than I have in the past 10 years {probably more!} for anything else! It’s sort of amazing how time consuming and stressful planning a birthday party for a tiny person can be! Especially when the littles are still so little!

But I grew up with my parents throwing me a special birthday party every year and I want to create that for my children too. And you can bet that even though the party is still for Brooks + Graham – it’s also for me too! Because we made it another year together! Woohoo! table

When I was going into the planning phase for Graham’s birthday I was a little over my head. It was the end of summer, everyone’s schedule was a little all over the place and did I mention the insane heat?!  I wanted to do something a little different and while celebrating Graham’s first birthday and making sure he had his special day, I also wanted to use G’s party as an ‘excuse’ to get together with all our friends + family to reconnect after a busy and beautiful summer! on-table

Side Note: I’m obsessed with Graham’s September birthday. Brooks’ January birthday is cold and snowy but September is all about that fresh air and {possibly too much} sunshine! I sort of want to celebrate both their birthdays in September next year! Ha. party-hat

In an effort to reconnect and make it more than just a birthday party, I wanted to make it more than just pizza and cake for the littles! Sure we had it at a massive playground in the city {which is amazing by the way} so that was great for the kids, but I wanted to do something special for our friends and family – for the adults to take a little time out and enjoy  the party, the day, the season. I know I’m guilty of getting all wrapped up in the whirlwind of a party, blinking and then the  few hours of the actual event I spent weeks and weeks prepping and planning for, is over. Just like that. one

I was SO excited when I found out the lovely folks at DiBruno Brothers {my favorite) wanted to treat the adults at Graham’s party to some extra special eats on my little’s First Birthday. This was the perfect way to ‘adult’ Graham’s party up a million notches! Cheese plates, vegetable al forno, antipasto of my dreams! Throw in a cookie and brownie platter and I’m done. And that’s just what my friends at DiBruno did!

Seriously, CHECK OUT those gorgeous platters!

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Some amazing things we got to enjoy:

Rittenhouse Cheese TrayGorgonzola Dolce, aged Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Manchego, Delice de Bourgogne, DB Roasted Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread, sweet soppressata, Très Toffee Cashews, truffle honey

Crowd Pleaser Cheese TraySharp provolone, aged Gouda, Cantal, Pecorino Crotonese, DB Roasted Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread, pepperoni, sweet soppressata, fig preserves, Très Toffee Cashews

Vegetable al Forno – Grilled seasonal vegetables, hummus, marinated feta cheese, sliced pita

Traditional Antipasto – Prosciutto di Parma, soppressata, pepperoni, grilled asparagus, artichokes, hand-stuffed pepper shooters, lightly dressed mozzarella, sharp provolone, imported olives

And a Cookie + Brownie Tray for good measure.

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If you aren’t drooling on your keyboard right now, something’s wrong with you. These pictures don’t even do this amazing tray justice. 

I’m so glad I had the chance to partner with my friends at DiBruno Brothers to celebrate Graham but also to celebrate the special people in our life. It takes a village to raise kids these days and I really believe that it’s so important to stop, take a moment, eat some good cheese and enjoy those around you that make the difference in you and your kids lives. I think that was the great thing about this special part of Graham’s party – the cheese and antipasto treats brought everyone {adults and littles alike} in to connect .

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I have to say, that if all kids parties had eats like this, I would be WAY more excited to go to them. And just stand here, in front of the food table all day. And I’m not just saying that because this was actually my kids party – I’m saying that because I’m obsessed with good cheese.

And this is some seriously amazing cheese.
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Pretty much everyone was hanging around this table all day long. And how could they not, the food was just too good/Sure, I rented out a massive playground in Philadelphia for everyone to enjoy to celebrate Graham and run around and play –  but let’s be honest – the cheese plates win. Every. Time.

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For Brooks’ past two parties the only ‘adulting’ I did to step up the party game for my friends with kids and my friends without kids was to have champagne and mimosa bar {since all the parties were in the am} – to take the edge off. And everyone was really into that – I would have done that for Graham’s party too, BUT alcohol wasn’t allowed {I totally checked} but DiBruno’s was an even better treat for sure!

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Now it’s your turn to share – because I am already starting to think about Brooks’ 3rd birthday in January {how is he almost 3?!} and how I can step up the Littles party for the Adults again! Obviously DiBruno Brothers + cocktails are top of my list – but would love to hear your thoughts too!

Do you have any ideas or inspiration on how you make your kids party extra fun for the adults in attendance?!

Please share!

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And a HUGE Thank YOU to the wonderful folks at DiBruno Brothers for totally MAKING Graham’s Party extra delicious! We SO APPRECIATE all the amazing eats!
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The Clothes Mentor Experience

A little while ago I was invited to the Clothes Mentor store in Springfield, PA to visit and shop! If you aren’t familiar, Clothes Mentor is a women’s clothing store that buys and sells gently used name-brand and designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. What makes them unique is the fact that they offer cash on the spot for items, meaning that you can be paid immediately just for cleaning out your closet!racksmore-racks

I was so excited to partner with Clothes Mentor – obviously I love to shop and share my style on the blog, but I also love to get a great deal! And if you shop here, you will get just that! So many items at incredible prices, so many never even worn! I also love to clean out my closet and this was the perfect excuse to do that – I’ve had 2 babies in the past 3 years and have so many different sizes of everything, felt so amazing to have an excuse to pass along things that just don’t work for me anymore. I brought with me a massive bag of clothes to sell and they treated me to a gift card to do some shopping as well! shop1

When I first got there, I met with my amazing contact – Erin, she and her team had pulled an amazing selection of clothes for me to try on. { I had sent my sizes beforehand} and I was treated to a fun little style session! I can’t remember the last time I was in a store without the littles, just taking my time, trying on clothes, having a blast – it was so much fun! I got to have a little style session and a mini photo shoot of some of my favorite looks!white-stripes

Here are a few of my favorite picks from the style session:

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I love this top – Navy is one of my favorite, go-to colors. The cute little tie in the front is really sweet and it’s an easy piece to wear with a tank layered under or on its own. It’s also super soft – I see myself wearing this all the time now that the weather has cooled down and it finally feels like Fall!

I totally kept this, it was $10 and I know I will wear it all.the.time!

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More Navy with this fun sweater! Navy tops and my brown boots are a easy go-to Fall staple in my life. Love. I also find myself overheating a lot in most sweaters, so I sort of enjoy that this is short sleeved so when I’m pushing my double stroller around town, I’ll still feel cool – Ha! But seriously, I love this navy and white sweater – and check out the back below:blue-sweater

How fun is that zipper detail?!

This is a Free People sweater and was $22 – kept this lovely little thing!
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Next is this adorable jacket that the lovely stylists pulled for me to try. Such an awesome basic to have in the closet and a easy layer to throw on when it’s a little chilly out.

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This vest was definitely a fan favorite of mine. I love the color – it’s a great neutral that will go with everything AND I loved the length too!

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This is a Cynthia Rowley very and was $27 – kept this one too!

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I’m a sucker for a drape sweater, especially one with such gorgeous colors – this one is a light grey with orange and blues, a little hard to see in the photo, but it’s really pretty in person. Plus I love the fringe! It’s lightweight and delicious! This brand was trillium and was $12 – took it home with me as well!

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How cool are these fun pants? They are so light and comfortable – I love the print too! Fun Fact: They are maternity pants! {#notpregnant} I just love the print of them so much and can totally see myself wearing them with some fun layers on top! Maybe like the first navy long sleeve with the tie? Could be cute – I’ll have to try it! Kept them as well, they were $12 and I’ve already worn them a few times – so comfortable!

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How cute is this little dress? It’s a Jessica Simpson brand and I really loved the colors and print – if we weren’t just going out of the spring/summer season I would have totally brought this baby home with me. Still really like it though – would be so cute for a baby or bridal shower!

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This was another top the stylists pulled for me to try. It was lightweight and delicate – I love the purple, would look better with a nude or black tank – it was fun to try on, just not something I would wear a ton right now. Cute though!

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And this butterfly dress was cute too – the size was a little off for me, a little big and shape-less but it was still a cute dress to try on. I love a fun print!

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Clothes Mentor is a national franchise with local owners. Chris Barnett is the owner and operator of a few of the stores in the Philadelphia area. She is a full-time entrepreneur, a small business owner, a mom and wife. She has a strong commitment to every woman being able to feel stylish on a budget–as a lift to self-confidence–and she loves resale because of both the frugality and it’s environmental benefits. I’m so lucky I got to meet her in the store during my time there and I look forward to working with her and her team again soon!

If you are in the market to clean out your closet, spruce up your wardrobe and make a few bucks while you are at it, you totally need to check out Clothes Mentor – I had such an amazing experience there, and you can bet I will be back!

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Are you into buying/selling gently used clothes?

Do you have a method to cleaning out your closet? Please share! 

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They Call It A Comeback + a NATHAN Sport Giveaway

I’ve been on a hiatus from running FOREVER. My goal in 2016 was to run a race every month – I did the Run into Spring 5K in February, the Back on my Feet 5 Miler in March and the Hot Chocolate 15k and then pretty much stopped. The summer got so crazy busy and I don’t own a double running stroller  {pretty much the only kind of stroller I don’t own } so the logistics of running with the two littles who are with me 99 % of the time is slightly impossible. amore

I’ve also found that if I don’t have something I’m training for, I really am not motivated to get out there and run at all. I know myself and I need a end goal to work towards. Last week I signed up for a 5k run that’s happening in our neighborhood next weekend. For the runners out there I know 5k is not much – heck, I haven’t run in MONTHS and my first run back was 3 miles – oh, but it was SERIOUSLY a rough one. But that’s my personality, if I don’t have a race to run, I’m less likely to train. If I’m going to make the time and effort and coordinate schedules to be without the kids for a little to go out for a run, it’s going to be for at least 3 miles because I’m going to make it a worthwhile one!

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It’s so crazy with running how quickly you can loose your stamina and how long it can take to really get it back. I’ve been running a few times a week, all I really have time for, and it feels so good once the run is over but MAN I’m having a hard time getting to that place where I feel good while actually running – Ha!

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Aside from my 5k that I’m running this weekend {Brooks is going to do the Kids Run that day too – can’t wait for that!} I’ve also signed up I also registered for the Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon! I can’t wait for March and the fact that I haven’t run a Half Marathon since September 2011 when I ran the  Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll 1/2 Marathon shortly followed by the Marine Corps. Marathon in Washington, DC  {which was my third marathon! I’ve also run the New York Marathon & the Chicago Marathon – My FIRST Marathon} go

If you want to join me this year in the Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon ->

get $5 off your registration with code: LESLIELOVE 

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I’m excited to get back to training for something and have a little time to myself while running! I feel like I’ve been so bad lately at prioritizing fitness as something I need to make time for myself to do. It’s hard but worth it and I feel so good after getting a run in! March is a little ways away, but with the crazy heat this summer I’m hoping it will be a mild winter and will continue to be able to get those runs in on the weekend!
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As a little extra motivational treat the lovely folks at NATHAN sent me a little care package to help me with getting back in the running game – they call it a comeback – ha!

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My package included:

  • FlexShot– Hydrate all day long with this colorful water bottle that easily packs down for transport to, from, and around the office.
  • PowerShower Wipes– Shower didn’t take? Clean up quickly with this portable, travel-size pack of wipes.
  • LightSpur RX– Light up your run and make yourself seen! USB-rechargeable LED shoe light that lets you choose between red, green, or blue.
  • Hipster– The #1 product across all categories of running essentials, the Hipster can hold it all (and your keys, gels, ID, cash, lip balm, tissues, hair tie and sunglasses, too), This colorful line of sleek, stretchy training paks expand to fit much more than you think!
  • SpeedShot Plus Insulated – This insulated handheld keeps 12 ounces of fluids colder, longer, and has a pocket for running essentials.

skyline

The SpeedShot Plus Insulated has been amazing for my 3 mile training runs! I LOVE running with water – it’s something I just need to have on me at all times. This is the perfect little size for a 30 minute workout. Plus it holds my chapstick, house keys and cash just in case.

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The Hipster is all sorts of amazing too because it not only matches my shoes { winning!} but it is really comfortable around my waist and easily holds my phone. No bouncing – promise!

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I’m also obsessed with the FlexShot water bottle – again, the pink is amaze – but it’s made of the coolest material, you can squeeze and squish it up. Brook is obsessed with holding it – it’s soft, squeezable and indestructible silicone. Love.

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As a little treat for my fellow runners out there, the lovely folks at Nathan have offered up a little running prize pack for one lucky And Her Little Dog Too reader to try out the Hipster, SpeedShot Plus Insulated and strobe light { which is seriously amazing for night running}.

Leave a comment letting me know your favorite running distance

AND Enter the Rafflecopter below { must do both to win!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Friday, September 30th / Winner will be notified via email

I was NOT compensated for this post.

I was sent the products shown for review.

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Fall Favorites On Sale

Sure, yesterday was the official first day of Fall but I have to say – there are SO many amazing deals on Fall fashions right now, it’s hard to believe the season just started. I can’t believe how many fabulous fall pieces are on sale. I love finding great deals on new seasonal favorites. I also love to go through my closet when it’s time to change seasons and see what I can part with and what I can treat myself to, to spruce up my wardrobe – so fun when you can find something for a great price at the start of a new season!

Check out my Fall Favorites on Sale and let me know if you find anything good yourself!

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one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

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What’s your Favorite thing about Fall ?

Please share!

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And as a little added bonus, I’m having an awesome Flash Sale on my Stella & Dot website – so many great pieces to scoop up for yourself, or even start to think about holiday gifts – it’s never too early! All of these would make amazing stocking stuffers or even hostess gifts to bring to holiday parties!

My absolute favorite is the Nile Necklace – which is 50% off TODAY ONLY! It’s hand beaded and perfect over every Fall sweater! Such a unique piece!

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I’m also obsessed with the Legend Pendant – 50 % off today only as well – this is an amazing layering piece and is made from semi-precious larvikite stone. Another beauty at a great deal!

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Here’s another look at some of the sale pieces, use this link to shop!

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And if you use this link you get to shop these items at 50% off! I have and LOVE all three statement necklaces – such amazing pieces!

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