June 26, 2014

Personalized Gifts for Baby (Ok, But Really For Mommas-To-Be!)

If there was a way for me to monogram my baby, I would.

Ok. That's a lie. 

But really...isn't it like an unwritten rule that baby girls should automatically be born into a world full of monograms, initials and personalized items galore?! I rest my case.

Because I've spent more time researching all things monogrammed than I've researched hospitals and daycares (#truestory), I wanted to take a quick minute to share them in case any of you are in the market for similar items either for yourself, or for a mommy-to-be! Also because giving things like diapers, wipes and butt cream are just far too practical to give as gifts... ;)

And also because they're just too stinking cute not to post about. Le duh.

First things first, the baby book. Ahhh. Something I couldn't WAIT to buy, but at the same time, the thing that took what felt like forever to find! (Sidenote: did you know that people pay anywhere up to $200 for a freaking monogrammed baby book? Ya. Me either.) I knew I wanted something timeless and not modern, yet soft and girly but not outrageously expensive. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, I stumbled upon The Sweet Rhino's personalized baby memory books and it was love at first site. 


I meannnnn....everything I was looking for...

She has all types of prints of fabrics for the outside of your baby's book, several different options as far as the inside page design and you can buy allllll the extra pages you want. Not to mention...she doe custom jobs, too! The cover is lined with fabric, in case any of you are wondering, so say you had some fabric that matched baby's bedding, she could make a book out of that!

Also to note: I placed my order on a Thursday and had it in my hands at the beginning of the following week. Definitely a plus!

As a writer, naturally, I cannot wait to sit down and take the time to fill in every single little blank line on every single page!

Ok moving right along.

Besides a baby memory book, I knew I wanted some type of journal for baby girl so that I can write notes to her as the days go by and so that she will always have something to look back on when I'm old and gray and can't write anymore. I knew I wanted something simple, yet again, something that was personalized for her and her only and that I could always buy more of , should I fill the first one up.

Insert: the May Designs custom May Book.

I hope I fill this one with so many little love notes that I have to buy a new one for each year, but I'm trying not to put to much pressure on myself and just take it one letter at a time. To say I'm anxious to sit down in the rocking chair in her room and write her the very first letter would be the biggest understatement of the year! Now just to figure out exactly what I want that first letter to say...

This next one is incredibly near and dear to my heart: the monogrammed hospital gown. Seriously...when I got this out of my mailbox, I instantly thought to myself,"Ok I'm pretty sure this is the most precious piece of mail I will ever receive!"...besides a puppy, of course. But please don't mail me a puppy. Oakley is enough to handle right now. ;)

While I'm not 100% sure if she will be coming home in this or if this will be the very first real outfit baby girl wears outside of the womb, knowing that I will have a precious little pink bundle wearing this little number in less than 11 weeks makes my heart skip a beat. I know that's "so cliche" of me to say, but it's an honest to goodness feeling that I just can't explain!

And last, but definitely not least...something that will make cleaning up baby puke cuter than EVER...personalized burp cloths! So bright and cheery and hello...they scream girly girl! I just can't handle it. Who knew getting burp cloths in the mail could literally make your week?!!

Know what else can make your week? YOU get a chance to win your very own set of personalized burp cloths! And you can personalize them ANY way you want!! No really...ANY way you want!

The ever-so-sweet Susanna with Sweet & Simple Stitches has offered to giveaway a set of personalized burp cloths to one lucky follower!! She was seriously a JOY to work with and her products are nothing short of adorable! (DUH!) She also makes the most precious monogrammed sippy cups that I cannot WAIT to get my hands on once Paisley is old enough to drink out of one (though I'm definitely not trying to rush any milestones here!).

To be entered to win a set of personalized burp cloths, all you have to do is 'like' Sweet and Simple Stitches on Facebook ! That's it! And even if you're not a momma or momma-to-be, don't be shy! Go ahead and enter...you can always gift it to one of your momma bear friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So ya...I used to talk about happy hours and booze and here I am talking all things burp cloths and baby books. My how things have changed... ;)

June 25, 2014

Hump Day || Bump Day - 29 Weeks

How far along: 29 weeks!! Ahh!! The countdown is seriously ON!

Baby's size: Acorn squash - about 3 pounds and 16 inches long! Grow baby growwww!

Baby's progress: Baby is finally putting on a little fat! Come onnnn chubby cheeks and thigh rolls!

Weight gain: 18ish pounds...I'll find out at my appointment next week.

Stretch marks: I can officially say there is a faint stretch mark on one of my boobs. While I'm not thrilled about it, it's definitely not the worst thing that could happen and hopefully it will disappear after pregnancy/breast feeding. Other than that, I'm constantly scoping out my hip area and slathering on Burt's Bees Mama Bee.

Sleep: Loving it...in between potty breaks. :)

Gender: Do we really need to cover this anymore?!

Movement: Yessireebob! I'm starting to feel more all over movement,  like in my sides, which is pretty cool because it lets me know baby girl is growing away in there! Also see: she's starting to run out of room so it's less kicking and jabbing and more complete movements. If that makes sense?! Basically instead of feeling like a poke here and there, I can actually see her moving inside me. My tummy is beginning to take on all sorts of weird shapes lately!

Best moment this week: Hands down, our 3D ultrasound was amazing! Beau and I were both a little skeptical because, well, the pictures are kind of odd looking but the place we went to (Baby image in Sugar Land, for any of you locals!) spent over an hour with us and gave us over 50 shots of our baby girl! It was seriously so cool to actually SEE her moving and looking like a real baby, rather than a little skeletor baby (though I cherish those ultrasounds too!) The tech said she has really chubby cheeks and her lips look super full (not sure where she got those?!) and most importantly, they said she had a very strong heartbeat, ten fingers, ten tiny toes and looks great! All we could ever ask for! Oh-and they weighed her in at 3 pounds! Crazy?!?! If you're teetering on the idea of having a 3D ultrasound done...take my word and DO IT! Being a skeptic myself, I am so so happy we had this done!

Looking forward to: My first shower this weekend! A few of my mother-in-law's girlfriends are throwing it, who also threw us a wedding shower, so I know it will be nothing short of fabulous! Plus, it's my "girlfriend" shower so I'm excited to have all my girlies in one place with me celebrating our little girl! (And I'm not even gonna lie...I know they're going to have Crave cupcakes there and that's TOTALLY something else I'm looking forward to!)

Food cravings: Nothing really this week. I'm still crushing an entire watermelon and pineapple (by myself) every week and the other night, even though dinner was completely cooked, I made myself pancakes, instead. I don't know...they just sounded damn good. And they were! I'm noticing I tend to want more carbs than ever, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a "craving".  I'd call it "I'm pregnant and know I'm going to gain weight so I might as well enjoy every bite along the way!"

Weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing comes to mind?

Anything making you queasy or sick: Negative ghostwriter.

Labor signs: A few Braxton Hicks here and there but nothing worth calling the doctor over.

Symptoms: The ever-shifting pelvis is here to stay and oh-my-lanta it hurts! Every once in a while I'll stand up and have to sit right back down it hurts so bad! Walking/working out tends to help, but sitting all day at a desk definitely does not help my case. This symptom can definitely see its way out anytime now...

Workouts: One down this week, one or two more to go! Might I add I attempted running on the treadmill and I'm pretty sure I gave everyone in the gym a free comedy show. Picture an elephant with molasses stuck to its feet and that's what I'm sure I looked like. I even got a kick out of it!

What I miss: Hmmm...let's see here. Wine, bending over easily, sleeping on my back, sleeping without waking up to pee 1 zillion times, not having to pee 1 zillion and 1 times throughout the day in general, having a larger selection of clothes, blah, blah, blah. And no...this is not a pity party so don't go feeling sorry for me...these are just a few things I honestly miss and I promised myself I would never take them for granted again!

Things that suck: Double foot cramps + a Charlie horse while pushing a grocery cart in the store. I honestly didn't know what I was going to do. Pretty sure I was a site to be seen trying to walk and push a cart while standing on my tippy toes...

Things that don't suck: Crossing things off my to-do list like a BOSS! Seriously...I have been pretty darn productive these past couple of weeks...if I must say so myself...
  • Pre-register at the hospital...check!
  • Register baby girl at daycare...check!
  • Order a rug for the nursery...check!
  • Order hospital outfits for baby girl...check!
  • Schedule pre-deliver hair appointment...check! (And totally a necessity!)
  • Schedule maternity pics...check!
  • Order outfits for newborn pics...check!
  • Organize clothes in baby's room...check!

Ok and just for the heck of it...here's a glance at weeks 26, 27 & 28. :)

And just like that...I'm outty 5000!

June 23, 2014

Blogger BFF Babies (You Knew It Was Coming!)

I've said it once before...and I said it again...and I'll say it again (and again, and again!)... ;)

Being pregnant with your best friends is quite possibly the most fun time in my life! I feel like it's something best friends dream of but the fact that so many of my girlfriends and I are pregnant at the same time seems a little unreal. Like...we pulled it off?!

From sharing ultrasound pics and maternity clothes finds, to talking about symptoms and dreaming of our babies growing up and either being the best of friends or even husband and wife, it has been such a fun journey to experience and I cannot wait to get all these babies together in one place...one day...

And now we welcome this girl to the club...

Yep! My Ohioan other half, Katie, is expecting her little babe in January 2015 and I could not be more excited for her and Billy!!! 

I have literally been busting at the seams waiting for her to announce this exciting news so head on over to her blog and check out ALL the adorable pictures of her and little (growing) family! Seriously...they're stunning!

But one more before you leave...because this guy is seriously the most precious ball of fluff you ever did see...
Do you die or what?

Rocky...I love you. 

Katie & Billy...I love you more and am so so SO excited for you and baby Krysh!!! I cannot wait to wrap my arms around that sweet little baby and pave our way through parenthood together!

June 19, 2014

Top 5 Pregnancy Must-Reads

I should start this out by saying that I am not a reader. Sure, I enjoy reading from time to time, but overall, I really wouldn't consider myself to be a bookworm at all.

I should also mention I am not a researcher. I don't care about the facts or tiny little details. Sometimes, for me, ignorance is bliss. Beau, on the other hand, needs to know every single little detail about any and everything. He's so inquisitive and such an analyzer and I'm thankful for that because, well, if it weren't for him, everything in my life would be an impulse decision and something tells me that's not the best way to live. 

Enter: pregnancy. Ah this little miracle that happens and you get all excited and wrapped up in a whirl of pink and blue when all of a sudden you think to yourself "Shit! I don't know anything about this!" but at the same time, you know deep down you probably shouldn't rely on Google for all your pregnancy questions either. 

If there's one thing I DO know, it's that you should never rely on Google (or the internet, in general) for any health concern matters. One time I Googled something about these little bumps Oakley was getting on her chin and by the time it was all said and done I was convinced she had a terminal illness and only had days to live. Turns out it was acne and it cleared up on its own...

Anyway, back to my point here. Perhaps pregnancy has changed me. Maybe it's just because I am happy to admit I literally know nothing about anything when it comes to sustaining a baby in my belly but over the past 7 months, I have come to learn that I thoroughly enjoy reading and researching all things pregnancy and baby-related. Though some things I'd rather not know about, like bloody shows, mucus plugs and needles the length of my forearm, the truth is, I need to know about them so I'm not surprised when any of these events inevitably occur over the next 12 weeks. 

After the first couple of weeks went by and the whole "Oh my gosh I'm pregnant?!" sensation went away, I started to realize I needed to learn stuff. All the stuff. I needed to know about as much as possible and I knew I needed to find books because I knew people were going to give me all kinds of advice and I wanted the facts. Cold, hard facts. So where did I turn? Well the holy grail of all things...Pinterest. What did I learn? Not much.

So thanks to all the other lovely mommas-to-be that I know in real life and on Instagram, I was able to figure out which books I felt were the most important for me to read. If you are newly pregnant, or plan on being pregnant in the next year or so, I hope you find this helpful!

Baby 411: I've heard about this book for a while now and finally picked up a copy. It's almost like a baby manual, if you will, that helps you in just about every category: picking a pediatrician, first aid, nutrition, sleep safety, etc. This would be a good book to keep around at all time to refer to as certain issues arise. (Also see: you don't have to sit down and read the entire book in one sitting...you can kind of read as you go. My kinda book!) ;)

The Happiest Baby on the Block: I am loving this book. Though I'm only about halfway done, I love how the author helps you understand the reason for colicky babies and how you can soothe them from crying all day, every day. He really drives home the point that human babies are just born too early, and that we should actually carry them for another 3 months ("The 4th Trimester", as he calls it) so that they can continue to develop but because we are physically (and mentally) unable to, he explains all the different techniques to make your baby think and feel that they are still in the womb for another 3 months so that you (and baby) can survive that 4th trimester, outside of your belly.

Belly Laughs: LOVE LOVE LOVE. I read this book while we were on our babymoon and I literally finished it within hours. I adore how Jenny McCarthy is so lighthearted throughout the entire book, yet so open and honest. She discusses topics that you would swear should be illegal, but she makes it so humorous and reminds you that woman have been giving birth for centuries and you can do it, too! Though I read this one halfway through my second trimester and loved it, it really is a great read for anyone newly pregnant and/or still in their first trimester.

What To Expect When You're Expecting: My sister-in-law is letting me borrow this book and it has been incredibly informative. I enjoy it because, like I said before, I'm not a reader and because it's broken down by trimesters and months, I just read the chapters as they apply to me, rather than reading the entire book all at once. It helps you understand what's going on with baby, how he/she is developing, what's going on with your body (internally and externally) and what you can expect (duh) throughout the entire pregnancy journey.

The Vaccine Book: This is a new one for me and though I'm only into the first few chapters, I am loving how informative Dr. Sears is and that it's based on neutral grounds. Working in natural healthcare, and going to a mainstream medical doctor, I 100% understand how controversial vaccines can be so I'm not here to say I'm not vaccinating my child. I am simply reading this book to understand what all these vaccines are, why they're going to be given to my baby and the risks that come with or without receiving them so that when the time comes, Beau and I can make an educated decision as to what's best for us and our baby girl.

Next on my list to find is some sort of breastfeeding book. Besides pushing an 8 pound human being out of my hoo-ha, breastfeeding is second on my list of "Things I am absolutely terrified of". Any recommendations, ladies?!

Do you know of any other pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and/or baby-raising books I should read?! I am completely open to reading more and more about all this so that I can be as informed as possible!!

June 18, 2014

Hump Day || Bump Day - 28 Weeks

How far along:  28 weeks. 7 months! Holy crap! I swear the further I get, the quicker it goes by!

Baby size: Eggplant - about 2 pounds and 14 inches long. :)

Baby's progress: Baby is starting to put on more fat (come on big, chunky thighs!) and her lungs are pretty much completely developed at this point!

Weight gain: 18 pounds. Womp womp....

Stretch marks: Nothing new in the stomach/thigh/butt area. I thought I found a small one on my boob last week but I haven't seen it in a few days so I'm not 100% sure. I'm also not sure whether or not this Mama Bee Belly Butter works or not, but I'll take my chances and keep using it!

Sleep: I know I say this every week but my sleep would be great if I wasn't woken up 19 times in the middle of the night feeling like I've been holding my bladder all day long. I'll be really happy to replace my trips to the toilet to trips to baby girl's nursery!

Gender: Baby girl!

Movement: Oh ya! All day long starting at 5am! She had a serious dance party in my belly the other day and in finally got it on video! I swear it lasted for a good 30 minutes. This is probably my absolute favorite part about being pregnant! It just never gets old! 

Best moment this week: Receiving Paisley's baby book was definitely a highlight this week! It's so surreal to have a completely blank baby book all for me to fill out just for her! (They messed up on the spelling of her name so once it's fixed, I'll be sure to blog about it!) Also, just finding more decorations for her nursery makes me happy! Lamps, curtains, picture frames...ugh...it's just all so dang cute! (Also see-so dang expensive!) Oh! And we toured a daycare and the hospital, too! We have a couple more daycare tours and one more hospital tour before we make up our minds for each, but it just makes it feel that much more real!

Looking forward to: Our 3D ultrasound on Friday!!! I seriously cannot wait to see what this little peanut looks like! I've only been able to associate her with fruit sizes up until this point so I am literally counting down the days until I get to see that tiny nose, those precious cheeks and her little baby hands! Plus, both sets of parents are coming as well as my aunt and uncle so everyone will get a peek at our baby girl!

Food cravings: Still Fruit Loops and watermelon. I've killed an entire watermelon by myself every week for the past month. So so good!

Weirdest food I ate this week: I actually started eating chicken again! For a while there, I couldn't stand the idea of chicken but I've had it twice this week and I think I'm slowly getting out of that funk!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No and thank God!

Labor signs: Nope. Let's hope it stays that way for another 12 weeks!

What I miss: Forget the wine...though I miss that for sure...I definitely miss sleeping comfortably, on my back and uninterrupted. 

Symptoms: This week, my pelvic bone is still sore and almost feels bruised. According to the doctor, it's completely normal and is just caused by the shifting/spreading of my pelvis. Also, my legs and feet get really tired at the end of the day. I went to the mall last weekend...the same mall that I used to easily walk up and down twice in the same trip...but this time, no way. No lie I had to stop and sit on a bench twice & I even considered calling Beau to come pick me up because I honestly didn't think I'd make it back to my car! Slightly dramatic? Probably. But it's just weird to not be able to do things I'm so used to doing!

Workouts: I snuck in one workout this past weekend and am hoping to get back up to the gym a couple more times this week. 

Things that suck: Having the read up on all the different necessary & unnecessary vaccines they try to inject baby and me with. Beau and I want to be able to make an educated decision about us and our baby being vaccinated so though it's obnoxious to have to do so much research, it's worth it to me. The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears came highly recommended to me from my boss and I'm anxious to bust it open and dive in. I've heard really great things about the book and that the author is on neutral ground when it comes to vaccinations, in case you're wanting to do some research, too. 

Things that don't suck: I really can't complain! I have a sweet baby girl in my belly who loves to squirm around and I feel pretty great for being in my third trimester! Oh-and yesterday my work upgraded me and all the other preglets at my office to better parking spots for the rest of our pregnancies! Definitely a perk I'm very thankful for!! (It really is the little things!)

I'm hoping to put together an awesome registry checklist tonight and have it up tomorrow for anyone else needing to start their baby registry. The combination of two lists I've been using have helped Beau and I tremendously so I hope it is just as helpful to someone else out there! We shall see...no promises! ;) Every time I say "I promise..."...it never happens...

June 16, 2014

Father's Day Firsts

Hello hello! Happy Monday! #not

I know I say this every time but can we just roll back to the weekend already? I really prefer the days where alarm clocks and emails are replaced with donuts and sleeping in. (Duh. Who doesn't?)

Hi. I love you.

Friday night, Beau and I finally got a chance to go see Neighbors. We both agreed it was funny, but nothing to write home about and it's a movie we probably would never watch again. Beau, being a retired frat boy, also saw it as a huge reality check lol...

Saturday, we spent the day doing stuff around the house and running errands. That night, we had my 10 year high school reunion and want to hear the most shocking news of the century? I didn't take a single picture. Not a one. I don't know what happened but it honestly never ever crossed my mind to whip out the ol' iPhone and snap a gazillion photos. Meh, oh well. 

Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early, loaded Oakley up in the truck and went to get Beau coffee and donuts. (Ok, so I really wanted them, too.) I know it wasn't his "first real" Father's Day but I kinda feel like it was and wanted to recognize it because, well, A) he flew me here for my first "technical" Mother's Day and B) I love any excuse to go buy him stuff...whether he wants it or not.

Plus, I think he's pretty darn proud of this baby girl he's helped make... ;) 
Thank you, Erica, for the most fitting shirt ever! 
(You can find one similar here.)

Also see, I can't just throw all his gifts in a bag and be done with it. Nope. Everything has to be individually wrapped and themed because, well, why not make it more difficult when you're wrapping presents at 7am on Sunday morning? 

No but really, I had a lot of fun with his gifts and because I searched HIGH AND LOW on Pinterest for "Father's Day gifts for expectant fathers" and found nothing, I wanted to share this with you just in case any of you (next year) are looking for a fun Father's Day gift for your "expectant father". 

Coors Light Summer Brew...I don't know who wants this more right now: him or I.

I couldn't pass up on this burp cloth when I saw it so I paired it with a car wash gift certificate. :) 

And a Starbucks gift card because it's inevitable that he ends up there every. single. morning so I thought I'd donate to the cause... 

And because I LOVE me a well-dressed business man...a new pair of slacks and a gingham button-up. :)

We have our 28-week appointment later this afternoon and I am so so excited!!! I'm crossing my fingers there's no bloodwork to be done but that an ultrasound is involved because I NEED to see this baby girl again!! Month numbero siete starts today! Unbelievable, y'all. I can't believe there are only 12 weeks left! 

I hope you had a great weekend and the men in your lives had a wonderful Father's Day! If this picture doesn't absolutely make your Monday, I don't know what will... 

June 11, 2014

Hump Day || Bump Day - 27 Weeks

(Dress is old but I think it's from Macy's)

How far along: 27 weeks! Hellllllo third trimester! I think?! I swear these whole "trimesters" have me all kinds of confused. Some books and sites say it starts at 26 weeks, other 27 weeks and others 28 weeks. I really have no idea when he "official" third trimester starts but I figured I'd be close if I considered 27 weeks to be it. Can someone clarify please?!

Baby's size: A cucumber - a little over 15 inches and almost 2 1/2 pounds!

Baby's progress: Baby girl is sleeping and waking at more regular intervals, opening and closing her little eyes (seriously so cool!) and could be sucking her thumb (but let's not make it a habit, mmmkay??) !

Weight gain: I'll know for sure at next week's appointment but if I had to guess I'd say about 15-16 pounds. 

Stretch marks: I think I found one on my boob. Awesome, right? I'm telling y'all, they grew like crazy in the second trimester. It seems to be kind of light, like some days I can see it, and others I can't. It is what it is. I'll try my luck with Mama Bee and hope that I can stick to just that one.

Sleep: Sleep is glorious...in between all 8 trips to the toilet. 

Gender: Baby girl 

Movement: Oh ya! She's been squirming around like crazy this week!! I swear there's a dance party in my belly every single night and I am loving it!! Oh-and I felt her hiccuping for the first time yesterday morning and it might be the coolest feeling yet! Actually, it's pretty darn adorable!

Best moment this week: Hands down, finishing the paint and hanging the chair railing in the nursery and...seeing the crib put together for the very first time! I may or may not have shed a few tears but I couldn't help myself! It's SO surreal knowing there will be a real life baby in that beautiful little crib in just 3 short months!! I can't wait to see the entire nursery come together and show y'all what the finished product looks like!

Looking forward to: Our appointment next Monday AND our 3D/4D ultrasound next Friday!!!! I can't wait to see this baby girl again! Also, her crib bedding should be in at the middle to end of the month and I am DYING to see it in her crib! Without a doubt, I'll be stalking the mailman until I see it on my doorstep...

Food cravings: Still Fruit Loops. Hey, they count as fruit, right?? ;) Ok-and watermelon. I cannot seem to get enough lately!

Weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing too odd. Just lots of fruit loops and watermelon!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No and thank God!

Labor signs: No "real" labor signs but I'm pretty sure I was having Braxton Hicks on Sunday night. I'm no doctor but Google tells me they're cramp-like sensations that last for about a minute and kinda take your breath away when it happens...and that's exactly what was happening. Thanks, Dr. Google.

What I miss: Sleeping on my damn back! Ugh-I miss that something fierce!

Symptoms: The "supposed" Braxton Hicks on Sunday night, and this could be TMI but my pubic bone started hurting this week. Nothing severe-it just feels bruised when I walk, but I'm just assuming it's just getting used to everything around it moving and stretching so I'll just leave it at that. Then again it could be round ligament pain. Heck if I know! I've been trying to figure it out but it's all so confusing!

Workouts: I snuck in one workout this past weekend and am hoping to get back up to the gym a couple more times this week. 

Things that suck: Sleeping on your side. Not cool. Not cool at all. 

Things that don't suck: So last night I starting to fold and put away sweet baby girl's clothes and I swear my heart swelled more and more with every onesie and pair of baby skinny jeans I folded! Granted-I still have to wash it all but I wanted her clothes to be IN her dresser since it's all put together now. 

PS-I think it's safe to say nesting has finally made its way into my life. I organized two random kitchen drawers on my lunch break yesterday and partially cleaned out the garage and a closet last night. 

When I got home, Beau was all sorts of confused in the kitchen. I guess moving the silverware to a completely different drawer is a little confusing, but he looked at me and goes "Are you nesting?" and then proceeded to tell me that it's okay for me to nest by organizing everything but the second I start bring sticks and twigs and leaves into the house we're going to have a real problem. That guy...

I say...LET THE NESTING COMMENCE!!! My house could use some serious organizing/deep cleaning!

June 10, 2014

Maternity Wear {The Staples}

When I first started "showing", I was really not looking forward to maternity clothes. They were all so frumpy and non-figure flattering and honestly, made me look and feel so not confident in myself. Like-I dreaded getting dressed every. single. day. because I didn't know what I had to wear that would fit and I knew all the maternity clothes at the store made me look like I was wearing an oversized trash bag.

That is...until I found the right maternity clothes.

Now I know every body type and person is different but of all the girlfriends I have pregnant right now, we have all agreed that Gap, Old Navy & Target has got it goin' ON when it comes to maternity clothes!

Side note: One thing I quickly learned is that one would have to sell their home to fill their entire closet with 9 months of maternity clothes. It's one of those things where the retail industry knows you have to buy it so they jack up the price and they never put the stuff on sale. Well-every other retailer except for Gap, Target & Old Navy. Maybe they're late to the party on that scheme but hey, I'll take advantage in the meantime.

Once you find the right maternity clothes to fit your body (& your budget), you've just welcomed the softest line of clothing you will probably ever wear on your body.

I should also note that I've quickly found out that the whole "full panel" thing is not for me. Besides the fact of me knowing what it looks like underneath my shirt, I feel like I'm wearing panty hose up to my boobs and it is less than cayuute...

I've really tried to keep my maternity clothes to a minimum because, well, you only wear them for a few months and then they get packed away until the next bambino decides to come along. Plus, like I said, it can get really expensive really fast.

Sooo...because pregnancy seems to be contagious these days (no really...I have 8 friends and a cousin... ALL pregnant right now, too!), I thought I'd go ahead and put together a quick list of my maternity clothes staples. You know...the stuff I wear day in and day out and could not survive without.

1. Tube Top Maxi from Old Navy: So soft. So long. I could literally LIVE in this dress!! Love love love love love.

2. The Favorite Tank from Target: I've been buying these (non-maternity) tanks for years to wear under my work suits and to no surprise, they've made the best maternity tops, too! They come in so many colors and are like $9 each so you really can't go wrong. Plus, they're not that clingy, ribbed type of wife-beater tank top...they actually look decent.

3. Fold Over Maxi Skirt: You can find these anywhere but Target seems to be my go-to for maxi skirts because they are all long enough for me. I really prefer the ones that fold over because it means I can lengthen the skirt if I need to, but to each his own.

4. The Favorite V-Neck from Target: Another (non-maternity) staple I've been buying for years to wear under my work suits. They come in a ton of different colors and are so lightweight. Like the tanks, they're super cheap and look really cute with anything.

5. Under Belly Cuffed Shorts from A Pea In The Pod: OH MY GOSH. I honestly don't know where I'd be without these shorts. The second I put these on, I immediately bought them in navy, khaki and black. Because they have an elastic waistband (not any type of panel), they could easily be worn after baby and no one would ever know they're maternity. These were the most expensive maternity item I bought and I don't regret it one bit. Best maternity purchase I've made...hands down!

6. Fitted Short Sleeve Black Dress from Target: I just bought this baby a couple of weeks ago and am kicking myself for not buying it sooner! It is the perfect length for work and looks so classy even though it's just cotton! Not to mention-it is incredibly comfy! I'm wearing it in this pic, if you want to reference the length.

7. Maddie Jean Shorts from The Gap: These are probably my second favorite maternity purchase. They are always dirty because I wear them so much! They don't have the unattractive panel and are a great length (not too short, not too long). I have them on in this post in case you want to see what they look like on me.

8. All Over Lace Panty from Victoria's Secret: I've always worn these panties but when I started "growing" I invested in literally ten more pair. They're perfect because they grow with you, so you don't have to waste money on maternity panties. Plus-it's one little thing that I mentally tell myself is remotely sexy about my wardrobe at this point. ;) (PS-did someone say "SEMI ANNUAL SALE"??!!)

9. Striped Cross Front Dress from Old Navy:  This is a more recent find that I am LOVING because it's so versatile. I've worn it with flip flops to a crawfish boil, as a swimsuit cover at the beach and even...as a nighty. :) It comes in a few different colors and it's only a matter of time before I go back to buy the rest of the collection!

With only 13 weeks to go (holy WHOA!), I'm hoping I can get away without buying anymore maternity clothes, though sometimes, my eyes begin to wander and items magically appear in my cart. It's weird.

What? That doesn't happen to you?

June 9, 2014

{Recipe} Fresh Fruit Dog Pops

Can we rewind the last 48 hours, please? Seriously. Who's in charge of the clock here? I need it to be Saturday again.

Ok-well while I'm off trying to figure out who can set the clock back 48 hours so we can all be back in bad and in our pj's, I have a new recipe for you. Well...for your dog. But since dogs don't have thumbs and making treats seems rather difficult for someone without thumbs, this recipe is for you.

One thing I must admit I'm guilty of is over-treating Oakley. AKA: any time she does so much as look at me cute, sister gets a treat. (Ok so there's a little, tiny exaggeration in that but still...you get what I'm saying and you're probably just as guilty as me. Right?!) While this is not only a not-so-healthy habit of hers mine, it also gets expensive because lets be honest, she's not getting the Milk Bones. Her treat stash consists of all-organic/all-natural treats that are free of all the crap and preservatives and they are less than cheap. Hey-if I wouldn't eat something like that, why should she? Exactly.

On another note, I firmly believe if Oakley had the option, she would turn into a fruit bat. I've had several dogs in my life and never have I ever seen a dog who loves fruit as much as she does.

She also LOVES ice when we come in from our 95 degree morning walks. Yes-I said 95 degree MORNING walks... (I think I'm sweating again just thinking about it...)

So I took the combination of her love of fruit and ice and voila! Fresh Fruit Dog Pops came to life!

Here's how to make 'em:


  • 2 C fruit (any dog-friendly kind)
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • water 

1. Chop up your fruit. I went with pineapple, watermelon and (skinless) apple. Refrain from using grapes or apple skin...no-no's on the dog-friendly list.
2. Mix in your Greek yogurt.
3. Add water until you get a consistency that looks like milk. (You need it to be pretty runny so that it freezes.)
4. Have your dog perform a taste test. 

5. Once your dog approves, pour your mixture into an ice tray & freeze for at least 12 hours.

6. Finally, if you're a really good mom, you'll let your dog lick the bowl when you're done. Duh.

I break all of mine out of the ice tray and keep them a bowl in the freezer once they're frozen for quick and easy access. When it's scorching hot outside and we just get back from a mile-long walk, you try holding back an 80 pound Ridgeback as you struggle to break out one cube from the tray! ;)

Seriously though-she LOVES them and literally sits in front of the freezer when we get back from walks!

And I LOVE them, too, because they're SO easy to make and they're super healthy! She gets lots of vitamins and nutrients from the fruit (especially because it's frozen, not cooked-out like the nutrients are in most treats), there's NO crap added to it (just yogurt, fruit and water) and the probiotics in the Greek yogurt are really good for her skin and immune system. #WINNING

If you're in the baking mood, these Peanut Butter + Pumpkin Dog Treats are also a HIT! I promise your dog will love you even more...as if that's even possible, right?! ;)

That's all I gots for ya today! Have a great week!

June 4, 2014

Hump Day || Bump Day - 26 Weeks

Dress is a recent maternity find from Target & I LOVE it!

Can I just have a moment to celebrate the fact that I'M ALIVE?! Yes, indeed. There is LIFE in this body of mine again!! Praise Jesus! I woke up yesterday morning still dragging from the food poisoning that took up residence in my immune system late Saturday night and I honestly didn't think I'd ever feel like myself again. Thank GOODNESS for days off for a little R&R because I finally feel human again! (Hence the above photo which I felt well enough to get dressed for for the first time in three days.)

Ok let's go ahead and get this week's bump date underway mmmkay?!

How far along: 26 WEEKS! TWO. SIX! Wait? What in the what?! I know I say this every week but WHERE has the time gone?!

Baby's size: A head of lettuce! About 14 inches long and 2 pounds. Holy crap! 

Baby's progress: Her eyes are almost completely formed and will be opening any day now! She's also sucking up all my antibodies in order to build up her immune system for her big debut. (Hmmm...I wonder if that's why I was the only one who got sick this weekend??)

Weight gain: I'm not sure anymore because I think I lost 2-3 pounds this weekend. At least my untrustworthy scale tells me so. If I went by my scale, (not the doc's which is what I've been going by) I'm down a little to a total of 14 pounds gained. While I would usually be excited about this, I was so terrified this weekend that my little lady wasn't getting enough food because I wasn't eating anything besides crackers and popsicles but alas, she's been kicking up a storm to let me know she's just fine in there!

Sleep: I'm really starting to have trouble in this department. Getting up to go to the bathroom 4 and 5 times every night is exhausting. Not to mention, it's getting harder and harder to lift myself out of bed to do so. And for the past few nights, when I lay down I get acid reflux so I have to literally sleep sitting up, which is not fun. I really hope this is all just a part of this food poisoning crap and that I'll be back to normal soon. (Whatever normal is these days, right?!)

Gender: Girl. Hello!?

Movement: Oh yes! The other night I swear it felt like I had an eel in my belly as she squirmed around everywhere!

Best moment this week: Definitely walking into a room covered in pink paint. (Nursery progress here.) My heart literally swells knowing that every little detail we are putting into that room will one day be enjoyed by our sweet girl and it's so much fun putting all the tiny little touches on it! Plus-I've always wanted a pink room in my house. Duh.

Also-a second best moment was finding my baby shower invitation in the mail yesterday! I feel like I've always been on the "attendee" side of baby showers for what seems like forever now so that fact that this one is for me and my little baby bear is pretty darn unreal! (Can you tell it still hasn't hit me that we're having a baby?)

Looking forward to: Working more in the nursery and helping (ok, watching) Beau put the crib and dresser together! Also...totally un-baby Howard related but my sweet nieces turn one this weekend and I am so dang excited for their birthday party!! How are these sweet angels a year old already??!

If you think they're kissable here, you should see them now! Oh my word! It really is SO neat to watch these three little ladies grow up and become little people of their own!
 Photo stolen from my sister-in-law's blog here. :)

Food cravings: After this weekend, nothing. I've literally had to force food down my piehole with the soul purpose of nourishing this baby in my belly. However, of the food I have made myself eat, that grilled cheese I had Monday night was pretty darn good. (I'll take another, please!)

Weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing weird this week. I'm really just happy to be able to stomach anything right about now...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Thoughts of Saturday night or the pizza that caused the events on Saturday night. Vom.com.

Labor signs: Nope. And I pray I can continue to answer the same way for at least 13 more weeks.

Symptoms: The tailbone pain is still lingering but I've found ways to manage it (aka: not sitting or standing in the same position for too long or using softer, more padded chairs when I am sitting). Also-this past week I experienced a little cramping at the very bottom of my belly. I thought for a second it might be Braxton Hicks but after talking to one of the head nurses at work, she assured me it was just everything stretching out. They haven't been back since that day, thank goodness.  Also-I'm SO hoping this is just a lingering part of all this food poisoning crap but heartburn and acid reflux have made their lovely appearance and they are welcome to leave ANY day now. Seriously-I don't know if/how I can make it with this any longer than what I've already dealt with it. While all of my other symptoms are manageable, I'm not quite sure this one is.

Workouts: Ha! I snuck in one workout last week and I may be able to sneak in one or two this week. Hopefully.

Things that suck: In case you didn't get the memo...pregnancy + food poisoning = LOTS of suck. However, if anything, it made me incredibly thankful to not have any morning sickness at the beginning of my pregnancy. My heart goes out to anyone getting sick (for any reason) while pregnant. It's definitely not a fun ride.

Things that don't suck: I've said it once and I'll say it again (& again & again & again)...being pregnant with some of your best girlfriends definitely doesn't suck and I'm SO happy to finally be able to say one of my absolute bestest friends, Ashley, and I will have the privilege of raising our babies together!!! Gah-my heart is so happy for them!!

Seriously. Talk about one beautiful baby!!

And because I can't make this stuff up...

Though she may be the biggest sassafrass with fur and four legs, she is the absolute sweetest, bestest snuggle bug in all the land. And I mean ALL THE LAND. I think I could have stayed like this forever last night!

A sleepy girl on my belly. And a sleepy girl in my belly. These are the moments I want to remember forever.


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