Friday, March 29, 2013

A Bachelorette Party with Flair!

One of the events we celebrated during my trip was my sister's bachelorette party. We hosted it at my parents place in Palm Beach just like we did with mine. The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time.

Since the group was small, and I'm getting close to six months preggo, I tried to mix it up and find a few things for us to do that were fun, but not too 'crazy-pregnant-lady-in-a-bar' type things. My sister isn't a huge party-er, so I figured one big night out would satiate her, and then planned something relaxing and unique for our second night.

We spent the day in the sun, and even did a bit of shopping. I told her everyone needed to be back at the house by 3:30 PM because we had something planned for 4 o'clock. I had spent part of the morning setting up for our night. I wanted simple touches, and a few fun things to add some flair.


Right about 4PM, the doorbell rang, and I surprised her with our very own at-home spa day of sorts. We each had 30-minute massages at the house, and enjoyed cocktails, appetizers and some fun music while we waited our turns. 


That pretty little banner you see? That was the icing on the cake! A perfect way to surprise my sister with an extra special decoration, and something that she took home to use the weekend of the wedding!


The wonderful people at Signazon allowed me to custom design and review this banner for our special occasion.

I started with a blank template, and found their online design tool to be very user friendly. I was able to upload my own image, as well as choose from their stock clip art. The printing was spot on, the colors were vibrant and overall, I could not have asked for a better experience.

Signazon has signs, magnets and banners for all occasions. Perfect for baby or bridal showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, or even a fun girls night!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who Doesn't Love A Coupon Code?!

Remember when I wrote about our gender reveal and how I didn't waste any time hopping right over to the baby department at Kohl's to snag a few outfits for little G? I adore their baby section and often stop in to see if they have any new Carter's of Ralph Lauren items that will be perfect for Gavin.


Well, the wonderful people at Kohl's read my post and sent me a coupon code to share with all of you! Between now and May 10th, use the code below to save 10% on any order. This code can also be combined with other offers for even more savings!

Use code: BLOG10 for 10% OFF your order today!


Happy Shopping friends!

A Braindump of Sorts & A Nursery Sneak!

Being away for ten days took a lot out of me. Despite the fact that my trip was mostly for fun, and we did a lot of celebrating for my soon-to-be-the-bride sister, taking an entire ten days away from my family, my house and my business was definitely a challenge. Thank goodness I have a father-in-law that owns an IT company and could easily lend me a laptop for my travels. 

I am the type of person that needs to get my whole 'life' back in order after a trip of this sort. Things like re-organizing our bedroom, cleaning the kitchen counters, unpacking my bags and getting piles of laundry ready for washing took up most of my day on Tuesday. 

And then there is catching up with my husband, giving Riley a little extra love, running errands, answering emails and getting back into the swing of things with the business. No wonder this week has already been a whirlwind.

But, I would be remiss (and a terrible wife) if I didn't give B a huge pat on the back. He took care of everything while I was away, and even found time to complete several of our 'pre-baby' projects around the house. He painted the nursery, two pieces of furniture, and our master bathroom in preparation for tile install. He even moved my office down to its new location in our basement and surprised me with a freshly painted filing cabinet! I love that man.

Needless to say, it's good to be home and getting back into our routines. Our big project for this weekend is to (hopefully) pickup and put together all of G Baby's furniture. The nursery is really starting to come together, and I am loving the way all of the colors compliment each other already!

Ready for a little sneak?! 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Small Business, Big World. Managing A Business With Technology.

When you are a small business owner in a world that is constantly changing like ours, it is important to be flexible, to stay on top of the advances in technology and social media, and to make sure that the programs, applications and equipment you use are made for your lifestyle.

When I started my business back in 2011, I was mainly working from a borrowed laptop and saving almost everything on a thumb drive or somewhere safe in my web email account. Sure, that works great for when I have a computer to sit in front of, and some uninterrupted time on my hands, but as I got busier, I realized that there will be days when I need more flexibility than a thumb drive can offer, and taking my laptop with me to a client meeting isn’t always ideal (or easy).

To read more about managing your business with technology, check out the rest of my post via LifeScoop.

The Love Is What Matters :: A Guest Post from Caitlynne

My name is Caitlynne. I married my high school sweetheart, Jared, almost four years ago and we have a precious almost-two-year-old named Paxton and are just a few short weeks away from welcoming our second little boy. I blog over at Love At First Sight

I do a lot of my thinking at night. Those moments right before sleep hits, as I listen to my husband breathing beside me and curl around our baby who has finally stopped kicking me in the bladder. I think about what he's going to look like, if he'll look like his daddy did as a baby, with a mop of red hair and big brown eyes and freckles, or if he'll look more like I did, chubby cheeks, blue eyes and a big bald head, or if he'll be the perfect mixture of both of us like his big brother, curled up with his stuffed lamb in the next room. I wonder about mundane things like when he'll sleep through the night and if he will need to supplement with formula and if he will be allergic to Pamper's like Paxton is. I also wonder about things that matter. Will he be a sweet kid? Will his big brother love him and protect him? Will he want to make us proud? Will I be able to love him as much as I love his brother?


I've done this once before, so I know the second I see that red, wrinkled face and those perfect little hands, I'll be his mommy. I know exactly what emotions will overcome me as he is placed on my chest that first time and as I watch his Daddy cradle his son's tiny head. I can't wait for those moments. I can't wait to watch Paxton walk in the room to meet his baby brother, to see those sweet little toddler lips brush across his new brother's soft forehead, and watch those chubby toddler hands gently point at his brother's features. I can't wait to watch my boys become brothers.


My husband rolls over next to me and my mind shifts to the nursery, the big room my two boys will share. We aren't ready for this baby. We don't have a crib yet. I haven't washed his tiny pajamas in Dreft or sanitized all of the bottles. We don't have his carseat installed and with only seven weeks to go, I don't have my hospital bag packed. All of the things that seemed so important to have ready when Paxton was coming are not my priorities now. I know this baby will have a warm, comfortable place to sleep, I know he'll have sweet-smelling blankets to be swaddled in, and most importantly, I know he'll have three people at home loving him wholeheartedly. I'm choosing to spend this time curled up on the couch, reading books with Paxton, enjoying the moments where I'm all his. And if reading Goodnight Moon for the sixteenth time today means I won't get the baby bathtub cleaned out again, that's ok. I've learned that the love is what matters.


And with that thought, I can drift off to sleep.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How To Help 'Bleary-Eyed' New Moms :: A Guest Post from Jennifer


Hello “Our Love Nest” readers! I’ve been an avid reader of this blog for about a year now so I’m so glad to have the opportunity to guest post. I recently started a blog with my sisters, called The Four J’s (www.thefourjs.com). Through my blog, I post baby updates as well as my ramblings about cooking and crafting attempts. My super cute sisters often post about fashion and fitness. Because, you know, they are still cute like that. I’ve crossed over into mommyhood and fitness and fashion are no longer at the top of my priority list!

Like Pamela, I am expecting a baby boy this summer. This will be my second baby – my first is also a boy. Shout out to all boy moms! I’ve loved reading Pamela’s updates - first babies are so exciting! But do you kind of hate how cute Pamela looks even as a pregnant woman? She makes those colorful skinny belts work! I, on the other hand, am loving anything oversized and stretchy…
When I met my handsome firstborn two and a half years ago, the heavens did not part. I did not hear a chorus of angels. I instantly fell in love with my little 7-pounder, but it was a hard adjustment for me. My husband and I had enjoyed a relatively easy 5-year marriage. No big fights - just fun, selfish spontaneity!

After I had my bundle of joy, I was a mess. I did not slip into my pre-pregnancy jeans easily. In fact, I wore nursing tank tops ALL. DAY. LONG. I suffered a pretty tough physical recovery. I showered regularly but did not wear make-up. I fought with my husband pretty regularly - he’s a saint for sticking with me! I was tired and I had a little sweet one who would not sleep in his crib.

Some women have it together early on. Clearly you can see that I didn’t.

Us moms spend so much time being critical of each other. Who has the smartest kid. Who has the cutest kid. Who is and who is not breastfeeding. Who is and who is not vaccinating their children. Who disciplines the “right” way.

In an effort to support each other, here are some things you can do for a new mom in those first few months after a new birth:
  1. Bring her a meal, and better yet, bring her a meal in a disposable container: My friends from church do this regularly. It is very easy to set up through online programs such as www.themealtrain.com. An added bonus is using disposable containers so the new mom doesn’t have to do dishes! 
  2. Offer to run errands: It is hard for some new moms (like me!) to get out those first few weeks. I had friends offer to pick things up from the store for me which was a huge help! 
  3. Visit her and make her take a shower and nap while you watch the baby: When friends visited me, I felt like I had to entertain them. Yes, I loved the adult conversation, but I was exhausted. One of my friends insisted that I take a nap when she came over, which was glorious! Additionally, my mom lives in town and she came over daily to give me time to take a hot, long shower. It felt so good to be clean when I felt like I was a mess. 
  4. Offer to watch her older kid(s): I’ve heard the adjustment from 1 to 2 kids is tougher than 2 kids to 3 or even more. I’m a little nervous about how this will work out, especially since my firstborn cries whenever babies cry and he regularly tells me that he does not like babies. Silly boy! I think he will enjoy time out of the house as much as I will enjoy some alone time bonding with my baby. 
  5. Make the new mom get out of the house: I had a hard time leaving my house, partly due to my tough recovery. One of my friends forced me to get out. She picked me up in her van, installed my son’s car seat, buckled him up, and drove us to a store. This first time getting out helped me realize that I could do it. Yes, the baby will cry in public and I will struggle to calm him, but it’s okay. Some people will look at me like I’m crazy and some will look at me with empathy because they’ve been there. 
  6. Compliment her and the baby: Because who doesn’t like a compliment? Do not tell her that she looks tired. Tell her that she looks great and that she has the cutest baby in the world! 
  7. Clean for her: It was almost an embarrassment for people to see my messy house.  My mom was so much help since she allowed me to shower, but I would have loved more help with simple household tasks (i.e. laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.). I tried to “do it all,” but I couldn’t keep up. Nursing was difficult and my son was a lazy eater so I felt like I spent my whole day on the couch with him and never got anything done. Some women will not let you touch their house, but others wouldn’t mind if you wiped down the counters or vacuumed a couple of rooms.
Having a new baby (especially the first one) is quite an adjustment. We need lots of support early on. How can moms continue to support each other as kids grow? Here is one of my favorite articles: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/01/what-mothers-can-do-for-one-another/

How do you support new moms? If you are a mom, what helpful things have others done for you?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bumpdate :: 22 Weeks!

This pregnancy is flying by! I have heard from other, wiser Mommy's-to-be that things will slow down once we reach 30 weeks, but I feel like the last few months have been a total whirlwind of joy and surprises, and the next six weeks are sure to keep me on my toes!

My sister is getting married in Atlanta in less than three weeks. My youngest sister and I are sharing the matron/maid of honor duties, and just so happen to be in Florida as you are reading this preparing for the bachelorette party this weekend. So, there are lots of things going on in preparation for that and the big day, and lots of things keeping me busy and away from home.

Nursery prep and organization is going to be in full force once I am back home.


  •  How far along are you? 22 weeks as of 3/19/13 (today!)
  • How I'm feeling: Feeling great and so blessed. Really enjoying being pregnant at this point, as I'm sure is normal for the second trimester. Having some back pain in the evenings on one side if I am sitting or standing for too many hours throughout the day. I am trying to make myself get up from my desk at least once an hour to stretch or walk around, but it doesn't always happen. 
  • Total weight gain: 7 lbs. as of 3/5/13 
  • How big is baby? Size of a spaghetti squash/papaya and nearing the 1 pound mark!
  • Maternity clothes: Wearing them most of the time. Still wearing all non-maternity cardigans and some blouses, and the occasional pair of pants. Absolutely could not LIVE without my Old Navy maternity tanks and getting excited to finally start wearing dresses again!
  • Stretch marks? Not yet!
  • Sleep: Bought myself a body pillow (just from WalMart) and it has worked wonders for me! I can get comfortable so much easier and I'm sleeping for much longer stretches. I definitely recommend investing in one.
  • Best moment this week: Our boy officially has a name! Baby 'G' can now begin receiving nicknames and personalized gifts, and I am even more excited to put a name to his sweet face. B is also painting the nursery for me this week while I'm out of town, and I am beyond excited to see how it turns out, and to start putting the room together. 
  • Movement: Still feeling him move every day. I always try and stop what I'm doing to focus on his activity for at least a moment or two. He is definitely an active little guy!
  • Food cravings: My mantra: Carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets. Definitely eating lots of fruit and have at least a smoothie per day, on average.
  • Food aversions: Nothin'
  • Labor signs:  Nope. 
  • Belly button in or out: Definitely out. Wayyyy out.
  • What I miss: Bud Light. Not having to get up to pee twice every night.
  • What I'm looking forward to: Getting the nursery started and seeing it come together. 24 week appointment coming up April 1st and glucose screening shortly after.
  • Milestone: Referring to Baby G by his name. It takes on a whole 'nother level of  bonding. And I simply adore hearing B say his name. Swoon.  
  • Trendy Tot Tuesday :: My Co-Host Debut

    A few weeks ago, I teamed up with the fabulous ladies that co-host 'Trendy Tot' Tuesdays. I was honored to be invited to do this, especially since my feet are barely even touching the waters of motherhood. 

    But, luckily for them, one of my greatest strengths is the ability to shop. At the mall, from my desk, on a budget and with coupon codes, I do it all. 

    In my few shorts weeks of shopping for our Baby Boy, I have already narrowed down my favorite places to Baby Gap, Children's Place, Mini Boden and Carter's. And today, I want to share with you one of my absolute favorite collections for baby boy's from Baby Gap: The Little Aquarium Collection.

    Sadly, our Little G already owns about half of this collection, and he is not even here yet!  His Momma really needs to be put on a leash at this point. 


     The fish, the stripes, the color blocking and overall versatility of this collection have me going back for more and more. And who ever said shopping for boys wasn't fun?! 

    Truthfully, G already has about a dozen items from this collection, ranging from sizes 0-3 months through 6-12 months. I guess you can call me extra prepared

    Some of the items can be a tad on the pricey side, but if you wait for a sale or coupon code, you can score a whole cart full of stuff for under $100.  

    I already have visions of G wearing his outfits to watch football with Daddy, or visit the pumpkin patch this Fall with some friends.  

    So, what are you favorite things to dress your tots in? I am all ears and definitely up for trying new things and learning from other, more experienced Mommy's!


    And this week, I'm co-hosting this linkup along with the other ladies. I hope you'll join us!

    This week's 'Tot of the Week' is ... Kinley from Eaton Party of 3!


     
    More about the 'Trendy Tot' Tuesday Linkup:
    • Trendy Tot Tuesday is a chance to talk about kid's style, and pretty much anything goes.  Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid's line at the Gap - anything!  All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now  
    • This is a hop-style link up - please follow your hosts (MeganKelly & Lindsay!) and this week's guest host (ME!) - we are in spots 1-4.  Also, jump around to meet other bloggers!  We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link up and finds some fabulous new blogs!
    • Please link back to (at least!) one of us, and feel free to steal our Trendy Tot Tuesday badge if you'd like.  If you're a tweeter or instagram-er, use #trendytot
    • Interested in guest hosting?  Please let me know if you think you'd like to be a guest host!! You can leave me a comment or email me!! :)
      
     

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    A Guest Post From Jillian :: Exercising While Pregnant

    Hi, my name is Jill!! I have a little old blog over at itallbeganwithamaninablackjeep. I basically just write about being a mommy on a daily basis. It's nothing fancy but I started blogging four years ago right before I got pregnant with my first child. I have two girls, Emerson (3 1/2) and Ansley (2). We are expecting our third little girl (Charlotte) in July. We are currently building our dream house and it will hopefully be done in late May or early June!! Just in time for our baby girl to be born.  I stay home and my husband works at the airport as an air traffic controller! Oh and I am a Speech Language Pathologist. I love it and will eventually go back! Maybe not full time but part time.  Enough about me..... let's move on to the topic:) 

    I want to point out that I am not an expert in fitness! Not in the least! I have been working out in a gym since I was 14 so I would say I have a great base but I am not an expert!! Always, Always consult with a doctor before working out while pregnant!  All that business out of the way... :) 

    I am on my third child, I have worked out for all three of them! I have worked out differently thought for all three of them! I love to workout. I love to run, sweat, burn some calories!! I'm kind of obsessed. I actually just finished Insanity right before getting pregnant with baby Charlotte! Working out is my therapy, some people like alcohol, some people like eating (me too actually:) but me?? When I'm having a bad day? I need to work out!! I crave it,  I love it!! So when I'm pregnant that does not change!! 

    With my first child Emerson, I worked out (spinning was my obsession at the time) until 25 weeks. I then had complications and I was put on bed rest until 35-36 weeks! That labor was long and hard! I pushed for 2 1/2 hours!! 

    With Ansley I was running the day before I gave birth to her! We did not belong to a gym at that time so I took lots of walks with Emerson, ran 2-3 miles 3-4 times a week and went on lots of bike rides! That labor was EASY! I pushed for 2 1/2 minutes!! 

    With Charlotte? I am 24 weeks pregnant, I belong to a gym and I workout 6 days a week! And my workouts are pretty intense. I have modified them a little bit but not much! I do body step three days a week, body pump mixed with the stair climber twice a week and one day a week I just do an hour of a variety of cardio. I'll let you know how this labor goes ;) 

    This third pregnancy has been my most pain free pregnancy to date! I am working out about the same, but I am eating healthier! We juice, I make my own bread, eat clean about 90% of the time and I am seeing a chiropractor once a month.  This does not mean I do not splurge, because lets face it, I'm pregnant :)  I am going to indulge, I'm going to eat my cravings because this is my last pregnancy and I want to live it up! With my first pregnancy I craved hot dogs and ate almost one a day, YUCK! With my second pregnancy I drank a cherry Dr. Pepper every day, another YUCK! This pregnancy I allow myself a soda about once every two weeks! Only because I gave up caffeine a year ago and being pregnant and taking care of two young children? Sometimes you just need caffeine!  This pregnancy I am also doing good with salads, fruit, meat, peanut butter, etc.... so I am eating much healthier this time around. And don't ask me about weight! I don't know my final weight until the day I deliver! I can't stand looking at scales it would drive me insane! I gained 25-30 with both of my girls so I assume that is what will happen with this one! 

    Also I get this question a lot... what about a heart rate monitor? Well I have one and at the beginning of the pregnancy I used it but... I haven't used it since I was about 11 weeks. My doctor is pretty laid back and never told me to use one. His motto is if you did it before your were pregnant you can do it during. And he pretty much just told don't worry about the number of your heart rate just make sure you can talk and workout. If you can't talk, you can't breath well, which means baby can't breath.  And most importantly he told me to listen to my body. I know my body and if I don't feel right I don't do it.  

    When I'm at the gym I get such a mix of looks and comments. It is split 50/50, some people think what I am doing is amazing and impressive! To them I am a rock star (whatever:), the other half? Look at me like I am killing my unborn child.  I get told a lot to be careful, watch out, your making me nervous... etc....  I just laugh and smile and say I'm fine don't worry. It doesn't bother me all the time but I'm glad I get to talk to my doctor once a month because he assures me that I'm healthy, the baby is healthy and I keep going as long as I feel good!  I mean a women ran a full marathon a day or so before giving birth. And her time was decent! Her baby was healthy, she was healthy, exercise is HEALTHY when your pregnant!  


    Great chatting with you.... :)

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Sunshiney Florida Is Calling My Name.

    I remember thinking, way back in December, that I would be almost six months pregnant by the time my sister's wedding came around. It felt so far away, and now it is less than 3 weeks from today, and I can hardly believe it.

    Since my sister now lives in Atlanta, she decided to have just one bridal shower down there where members from both families can be present. So, my Mom, youngest sister and I are all flying in this weekend to enjoy her shower (Saturday) and then head to sunny Florida to prep for her bachelorette weekend!

    Call it sort of a 'Babymoon' for me, even though B won't be with me. As much as I am going to miss both him and Riley, I am looking forward to the warm weather, the sun, the girl time, and some relaxation.

    So, while I was planning for this trip, I thought what better way to hold things down here at OLN than to invite some other favorite preggo Momma's to guest blog for me while I'm away?! 

    All three of these ladies are pregnant, and all three of them are first time guest bloggers here. It is my hope that you will show them some love over the course of the week, and maybe even follow along on the rest of their journeys through pregnancy like you're doing with mine!

    Tomorrow, Jillian from 'It All Began With A Man In A Black Jeep' will share with us some advice on Exercising While Pregnant. This is something I could definitely use, and since she's an experienced Momma, and pregnant with Baby #3, I'll take her word. 


    Wednesday, the lovely, Jennifer from 'The Four J's' will be joining us and sharing with us some tips about how to help out sleep-deprived new Mom's. This is one I will definitely be referring back to often!


    And, to round out our week, Caitlynne from Love At First Sight will be here on Thursday sharing why she believes that 'the love' is what's most important in this part of her journey through motherhood as she prepares to welcome Baby Boy #2. I definitely got teared up reading her post, so please make sure to check it out!


    Thank you ladies for taking the time to write for my readers, and for sharing some of your insight and wisdom with me, a first-time expectant Mom who has little to no idea of what to expect over the next four months.

    I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have! Have a fantastic week!

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    My Favorite Pregnancy 'Mocktails'

    When I got pregnant, I knew one of the things that would be tough for me was the total giving up of my occasional cocktail. After a long day, while cooking dinner, or even while catching up with B after a trying week, I enjoyed a glass or three of wine or champagne. 

    There is just something so satisfying about the carbonated goodness of a cold drink at the end of a long day. But, I knew I wouldn't be one of those girls that would be totally comfortable indulging in a glass of champagne while preggo, at least not until I was past the halfway point. And with my sisters wedding just three weeks away, we'll just have to wait and see what happens with that.

    All judgements aside, I knew I wanted to find a few 'virgin' options that I could keep on hand around home. A girl can totally drink Ginger Ale out of her favorite wine glass while she cooks dinner, right?

    So, over the last five months, I've come up with a few go-to 'mocktails' that make this preggo Momma feel special when she needs a pick-me-up. Nothing super fancy, and they can all be found in grocery stores and travel well if you're headed to a friend's house, a party, or just kicking your feet up at home.
    1. Martinelli's Sparkling Cider: I am sure I'm not the first girl to buy a bottle of this when a little celebrating is in order. It's light, refreshing and even comes in a champagne-like bottle.
    2. Ginger Ale: For me, it doesn't really matter what brand it is. I stocked up on some mini cans at the beginning of my pregnancy to help combat the nausea that I never really ended up having. Now I like to have one or two each week just for something different. My favorite thing to do is pop one into the cupholder in my car for a road trip refreshment!
    3. Safeway Organics Italian Soda: My SIL introduced me to this 'mocktail' at our family Christmas celebration this past year, and I have had at least one bottle in my fridge at all times ever since. My favorite is the Blood Orange, but I have also tried Passionfruit. This stuff is light, fruity and easy to sip on! I definitely recommend trying it if you can find it in your area.
    4. Hot Chocolate: This list would not be complete without my favorite evening/dessert beverage. Since I am trying to keep my caffeine intake down, I am limiting my coffee drinking to just the mornings, so in the evening, if I want something warm and satisfying, I don't hesitate to prepare a hot cup of cocoa and top it with a bit of whipped cream!

    So, if you're craving something other than water these days, I recommend giving each of these a try. I'm also open to any and all suggestions, ladies! Happy FRIDAY!

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Baby G's Nursery Inspiration

    If I'm being totally honest, which I like to do here, one of the things I was the most excited about on this whole pregnancy journey was to come up with ideas, design and to see a nursery come to life. The rest of my house has already seen so much decorating, DIYing, painting, and, you get the drill. This nursery project has given me a reason to start something new and fresh, and I cannot wait to see it all slowly come together.

    Before we even knew that Baby G was a boy, the wheels in my head had already started turning about what colors/themes/ideas I would use for a girl or boy. My ideas for a girl's room were bright, floral, patterned and whimsical. My ideas for a boy included deeper colors, animals, light patterns and deep, dark wood furniture.

    So, as soon as we got the news, I quickly eliminated half of the items I had been 'saving' via emails and links, and starting narrowing down the boy stuff to our most favorites. Granted, B wasn't overly enthused about designing a nursery, but he did help me make a decision about the crib bedding. 

    I wanted something boyish and fun, but not something too childish, and I didn't want the entire room to be blue either. I started with the easy stuff (for me) and ordered a rug and curtains within days of our gender reveal. Light blues, creams and greys were what I had to work with, so that made narrowing things down that much easier.

    I also knew I wanted dark wood furniture, especially if we had a boy, because I think it will withstand the years, and hopefully, multiple babies.

    Like I've said before, I would be nowhere without the advice of my friends and family. In fact, I'm ordering the same furniture set that Aliya has for her son's nursery and am so grateful to know that someone I know has it and loves it! 


    I cannot wait to get my hands on some of that adorable bedding! The one thing that is not pictured is the glider my in-laws bought for us. I will be sure to post an update about it once it's here and we've gotten some use out of it! 

    We already have the curtains, rug and zoo animal canvas art, and we'll be ordering the furniture set as soon as I get back from my trip next week. I am thinking of waiting to order the bedding until it gets closer, as it may be something that my family will want to buy for my shower. 

    My sweet hubby is planning to paint the nursery next week while I am out of town. A freshly painted nursery all ready for furniture will be so exciting to come home to. I have already been building quite the collection of baby clothes, hand-me-downs and random items, and I cannot wait to have drawers and a closet to organize them in.

    Lots more to do over the next four months. I'm scared, excited, happy and overwhelmed and I know this is just the beginning.

    So, is it true? Does it start to feel even more 'real' once the nursery is close to ready?


    Nursery Sources:

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    My Husband Isn't the Only One With A Hidden Talent

     
    We are big time 'snackers' in our house. You will seldom open our pantry and not find at least a bag/box or two of our favorite snack cracker, chip or popcorn. But, because I know snacking can quickly turn unhealthy and glutenous, I try to keep our snacking options on the healthy side wherever I can.

    Another interesting fact about our snacking habits? My husband has a secret power of sorts. This secret power enables him to eat through any and all snack food that we have in the house in record time. Sure, getting married was my first real experience keeping food in the house when living with a boy, but wow, was I in for a challenge. Gone are the days of enjoying the perfect snack for days on end. If I don't get my hands on my favorite snack within three days, it is guaranteed to magically disappear. 

    So, in an effort to maintain my sanity, and not blow our entire budget on groceries, I have to have a few tricks up my sleeve, right? Because, sometimes you come across snacks that are just too good to share. Or, if you're feeling generous, you share some, and save the rest for yourself.

    I am not the only one who has a few tricks up my sleeve either. Green Giant is packing a giant surprise as well in the form of their new Veggie Chips!


    I received two bags of their new chips, and they were barely out of the box before we opened them up to give them a try. 

    The Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips were crunchy, yummy goodness. They had the satiating flavor of a potato chip, but with 14 grams of whole grains and 40 percent less fat per serving, you can't go wrong! 

    B's personal favorite has been the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips. They're made with real veggies and contain 17 grams of whole grains. Talk about packing a punch!  


    I may or may not have taken the sweet potato chips into hiding in my office for safe keeping. And now we can both indulge a little when we're craving and afternoon snack and we don't have to feel guilty about it! 

    So now the two big secret's are out: my husband the ultimate snacker and Green Giant, the ultimate snack creator. Do you have a secret talent? You can show yours to the Giant on their Facebook page! Also check out other secret talents that Green Giant has found here
     
    You can grab a coupon here to try the Green Giant snacks yourself! Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity for guilt-free snacking!


    Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at www.facebook.com/greengiant

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Sometimes, I Pat The Wrong Person On The Back.

    I grabbed coffee with one of my dearest friends yesterday. I always look forward to those mornings. We have a tendency to catch up on weeks' worth of happenings in the span of 2-3 hours. We also have the tendency to spend time talking about how we balance life; a small business, a husband, a home that needs taking care of, and a social life, just to name a few.

    These are not philosophical conversations by any means, but they do always leave me thinking. About my priorities and the things that I allow to fill up my life. 

    Just yesterday, I mentioned that I think I have begun to 'worship' busyness. What is it about keeping busy that makes us feel validated? And for some reason, I feel like women do this more than men. 

    I am constantly running in circles trying my hardest to accomplish everything on my to-do list. A to-do list that I spend time putting together each week, and then updating several more times. Of course, there are things on the list that need to get done, otherwise my business would fail. But, there is something inside of me that thrives off of a full to-do list. It's like once I finish a productive day, and cross off more than that day's fair share of items, I sit on my couch coming up with several other items to take their place.

    Do I think that being constantly busy makes me more important? Or perhaps it is just me trying to have more control. I am an admitted Type-A personality, and maintaining a sense of control comforts me. But, I can't do it all by myself, and I am not responsible for all that has been given to me either.

    I often forget to thank God for all He has given me. To stop patting myself on the back for a 'job well done' when the credit and praise should really be His.

    I don't want to keep glorifying busyness. After all, a full calendar and an endless to-do list doesn't make me a better person. It's not the stuff that life is really made of. I want to enjoy my down time and not spend it feeling guilty for what I'm not accomplishing.

    This is an on-going struggle for me. But I want to hold myself accountable, and drawing support from other women will help me to do just that. 

    Here's to patting the 'right' person on the back. And to not measuring your worth by the number of check marks or slashes you scribble each week.

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Fit & Fashionable :: An Ellie Style Review

    I try my best to be a somewhat active person. But, truth be told, it's hard for me to get back into the groove once I've broken my cycle. Over the years, I have gone in and out of good workout patterns followed by periods of time where my activity level drops dramatically. 

    Now that I'm pregnant and expected to gain weight, I am trying to remain conscious of the lifestyle choices that I am making, and trying to remember that what I put into practice today will mean even more once G is here. And, let's face it, that second helping of mac n' cheese that I ate for lunch TWICE last week is definitely not the kind of 'life choice' that will help me stay skinny.

    I do allow myself a little bit of extra grace with my cravings, but I know that after the baby comes, that excuse goes right out the window. 

    So, what is a preggo to do to stay active while her belly is ever-increasing in size?! 


    For me, it comes down to a few things:
    • Weather - totally out of our control, but on days where it's freezing/raining/snowing, the chances of me getting out of the house for a walk are not very good.
    • Consistency - I find that it's much easier for me to keep up with my healthy habits if they are something that I do routinely throughout the week. Get your partner involved in your healthy eating, or go on a family walk and bring the dog. Everyone could use the exercise and we always feel better when we're done!
    • Comfort - this one is obviously HUGE. My body is constantly changing, and some days I have more energy than others. My running shoes still fit fine, but I needed some clothing that would lend itself well to workouts (however short and simple they may be), and that would fit over my growing bump. 

    And then I met the wonderful stylists from Ellie.  They offer a range of fashionable workout pieces that you can mix and match yourself. The best part about it is that you can simply shop their site, or you can become a member and receive two pieces per month for just $49.95!

    Shipping is always free, and if you use that fancy button in my sidebar (you see the hot pink one over there ---->), you'll receive 20% OFF your first order!!

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to stop making excuses for myself and get outside now that our snow is starting to melt! 



    I received two pieces of workout gear free of charge in exchange for my honest review of the products. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Our Baby 'G' & The Baby Name Game

    When we found out we were expecting, there were a million things flying through our minds. Understandably, the name we would give our first born was not the very first thing on my mind. A few weeks later, while I was working in my office one day, I decided to pull up the short list of baby names that I had been writing down to save for when we needed them. 

    This list contained about five boy and five girl names, and B had never laid eyes on it. Once we got through the 12 week appointment and heard the baby's strong heartbeat, I knew it was time to at least introduce the 'name game' into conversation.

    One night after dinner while we were relaxing over an episode of Modern Family or Cake Boss, I decided to show B the list.

    He quickly 'vetoed' a few of the names that I knew were a bit of a stretch, but to my surprise, he liked some of my favorites and it was pretty easy for us to come up with a short list for both a girl or boy.

    Fast forward a few weeks, and we found out our little one was indeed a BOY.

    I immediately threw myself into nursery planning, baby gear buying and registry creating. We let the name choosing take a rest for a few weeks, and then picked it back up last Wednesday night after our successful anatomy scan appointment.

    We went back and forth a bit between our three top choices, as most couples do, I'm sure. For me there was always one front runner, and it just so happens to be the name we chose. Shocking, I know. But, B was a huge help. He was creative, and brought a bunch of names and combinations to the table that I loved. In fact, he may have named our second son in the process, if we have another boy down the road. He was also the one that confirmed the name we chose for his middle name. I was still wavering, and he really helped me choose. 


    How's that for suspense, huh? 

    We are still getting used to actually calling him by his name. 'Baby Boy' has already stuck, so that will take some time. And there is no doubt that 'Baby G' will probably become his nickname very quickly. OK, maybe it already has.

    We are so excited, and one step closer to meeting our little man! Thank you ALL for your love and support, we appreciate it so much!

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Halfway There :: 20 Week Bumpdate!

    How is it possible that we have reached the halfway point already?! As much as I am wishing the time away, and am anxious to see what the next few months will bring, and to meet our boy, I am trying to savor and remember the moments. What his kicks feel like and the sound of his heartbeat at every doctors appointment. All of the anticipation and the new things that B and I are experiencing as a couple. I want to remember it all.

    Since we chose a name for our little guy, I feel like we re moving right along. Next up is getting the nursery ready. We have plans to clean out the room that is currently housing my home office. We'll move my office downstairs and create the nursery down the hall from our bedroom upstairs.

    Once the room is empty, we plan to paint it and order the furniture. I already have so many little outfits and baby items that I can't wait to have actual dresser draws to organize them into. More to come on our plans for the nursery soon!



  • How far along are you? 20 weeks as of 3/5/13 (today!)
  • How I'm feeling: Feeling great for the most part. Still fighting the heartburn, and not sleeping as well as before, but I have much to be thankful for in terms of my health!
  • Total weight gain: 7 lbs. as of 3/5/13 
  • How big is baby? Size of a large banana
  • Maternity clothes: Sporting them often now. Jeans, leggings, tanks and tops. Still throwing in non-maternity stuff here and there as long as it fits ok!
  • Stretch marks? Nada. But I am counting the days.
  • Sleep: It takes me a while to get comfortable once I'm in bed. Watching a few minutes of mindless TV and snuggling my new body pillow seem to work well for now.
  • Best moment this week: Our anatomy scan last week was awesome. It is so amazing to see his fingers, toes, limbs and so many working organs! He is measuring right on schedule; right around 10 ounces!
  • Movement: Feeling movement every day. It never gets old.
  • Food cravings: Still the same. Carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets.
  • Food aversions: Nothin'
  • Labor signs:  Nope. 
  • Belly button in or out: Definitely out. Wayyyy out.
  • What I miss: Sleeping on my back and not thinking about it, and having a drink when we go out with friends. Am I starting to sound like a broken record yet?!
  • What I'm looking forward to: Headed to ATL for my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette in a few weeks, and I'm excited for the girl time. My 24 week appointment is April 1st and shortly after that I'll do my glucose screening. Eeek.
  • Milestone: Still overwhelmed with all of the excitement over our little guy. We chose a name and I plan to announce it here THIS WEEK!