Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Maternity Fashion :: 1st & 2nd Trimesters

I am new to this whole 'pregnant, maternity, Momma-to-be' part of my life, but I feel like I'm learning quickly what works and doesn't work for me. Isn't that what we are all faced with in the months we are pregnant? As long as forty weeks really is, it seems to fly by.

If there is one thing I do know, it's how to shop. I was raised in a family of mostly women with a mother who liked to shop. So, it's in my blood. I love to buy a new top just for one night out, and I am rarely seen in the same dress at more than one or two fancy functions. I don't splurge on super expensive threads, but I do shop, and my closet is practically bursting at the seams with an eclectic collection of styles, colors, cuts and brands.

For the first twelve weeks of my pregnancy, there was really not much need for any maternity garb. But, in my world, there is always a need for online shopping of some sort. Or at least browsing.

I wanted to start with the basics. My schedule is always changing and very flexible, so I knew my wardrobe would be the same. And, since I already owned at least ten pairs of leggings, I decided I would put them to good use until they started to get uncomfortable.

Lucky for me, I have friends and family who have been to this rodeo before, and they were more than willing to share their tips, tricks and advice with me. I adapted their advice, my style and what I find myself grabbing from my closet most mornings and put together my own Maternity Fashion post.

There were three things I knew I would need, even in the early parts of my pregnancy, so I started by purchasing what I will call my three basic staples.
  1. Maternity Leggings - when the band in some of my leggings began to feel and look too tight on my tiny bump, I went to two places for maternity leggings; Old Navy and Target. When it comes to size, I ordered either my pre-maternity size, or one size up just in case. Both of these legging options are full panel, so they cover most of my belly. Right now, I prefer that type of fit, but I'm sure that is bound to change once I get bigger and the weather gets warmer. 
  2. Belly Bands - After hearing that the belly band would change my life from multiple people, I bought a black one at Target and also received a nude colored one from a friend as a hand-me-down. I have to say, it is true about the life changing. I popped on a pair of my pre-maternity skinny jeans the other day with one of my bands and I was surprised by how comfortably they fit!
  3. Maternity Tanks - This may be the most important part of this entire post. I wish someone had told me about how wonderful Old Navy tanks were before now. I swear I will wear them, pregnant or not, until they start to fall apart. If you are newly pregnant, or just looking for tank tops that are long enough, soft enough and stretchy enough, invest in any and every color that Old Navy offers. I have about six of them so far, and I plan to keep adding to my collection over the next few months. I don't know if I will ever buy another style tank again.

Once I added these items to my wardrobe, everything got much easier. I was able to style the clothes I already had around my growing bump for a while.

When I hit fourteen weeks or so, I needed a few more tops to cover up the bump. I think I popped pretty early, so my experience may be a bit different than others. When shopping maternity tops, I stuck with soft, fun, cotton and turned mostly to Old Navy and Gap

Each morning when I stand in my closet looking for inspiration, I typically start with the top and work my way down. I found that a combination a maternity and non-maternity tops paired with cardigans, vests and scarves works best for me.

And, since I can't wear leggings every single day (much to my dismay), I thought a pair or two of comfortable maternity jeans would help to round out my collection. I went to Pea in the Pod, Gap and Motherhood to try on jeans. Truthfully, I thought for sure I would invest in a pair of Joe's or Citizens and call it a day. But, I decided to head to Motherhood before I pulled the trigger, and I am so glad that I did.

I found two pairs of jeans that fit great, made me feel great and the price tag didn't make me cringe! 

I would definitely recommend investing in maternity denim. It makes me feel more put together, and like I can actually dress up on the days when the leggings just aren't cutting it. Plus, I'm sure my husband appreciates me getting a little dolled up every once in a while since my window of having enough time to get myself ready each morning is shrinking quickly.

My two biggest tips for maternity wear? Rock the form-fitting tops and tanks. Show off the belly, and even feel free to grab a skinny belt to accentuate the bump and the tiniest part of your waist. Or whatever is left of it!

The three styles above have quickly become my favorites, so expect to see my in a lot more of the same over the next few months. I haven't even begun to break into my maxis and maternity dresses yet, so expect another post from me once this weather warms up and I've grown a size or two.

Where are your favorite places to shop maternity?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trendy Tot Tuesday: Expectant Boy Moms!

When Megan asked me to participate in the 'Trendy Tot' linkup, I wasn't sure if I had the right 'expertise' or experience to offer advice at first.

Then I thought about it some more and decided that I am definitely not the only one out there who is expecting their first baby, so why not offer up my advice, opinions and thoughts on the styles I'm planning to use one our Baby Boy arrives. 

I would say that I have a little bit of a shopping problem. This problem normally presents itself in the form of online shopping, which I can easily and painlessly do from the comfort of my home office while I sit in PJs on a cold, Monday morning.

Almost the minute we found out we were having a boy, I knew there were a few items I was going to order to start Baby Boy's wardrobe.

I started with the basics. Snagged a few one-piece sleepers that can be worn any time of the day from Kohl's, then moved on through the Carter's BOGO sale and scored some adorable threads clad with MD crabbies, perfect for late beach trips this fall. 

What I didn't anticipate was how many gifts and hand-me-downs would make their way to me so quickly after finding out he was a boy! I went from having four to five outfits, to having a drawer full of baby clothes just waiting on Baby Boy's arrival.

For Valentine's Day, Baby Boy received this adorable Ravens gear from my in-laws. Just what Daddy ordered after the Ravens won the Super Bowl this year. This boy will surely be raised in a divided household. The Jets gear hasn't even begun to come in yet! I can't wait to dress him up for gamedays in comfy pants and a team onesie. Oh, and being able to drink a beer during a game again will be pretty cool, too. 

After heeding the advice of some of my Mommy friends, especially those that are dressing little boys every day, I headed straight to the Baby Gap website and started perusing their goods.

I just die over the entire 'First Favorites' collection, and have already ordered Baby Boy a few pairs of pants and a onesie or two. I plan to add to this collection over the next few months, and to take advantage of the sales that they offer!

If you're in the market for some comfy and good quality baby clothes, check out the Gap sale going on now through March 2nd! You think I have a thing for gray, blue, orange and stripes?!

I plan to come back most week's to link up the new styles, brands and opinions I am developing in my time before Mommyhood, or even just to share a favorite new outfit that we've been gifted with. 

Will you join us and link up your current favorite styles for your kiddos?!

***Link-up Info***
  • 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 (Kelly, Lindsay and Megan), and jump around to meet other bloggers!  We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link up and finds some fabulous new blogs!

I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions are solely my own.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monogrammed Tumbler Review & Giveaway :: Shop Crystal Faye

I have always been an avid water drinker. In fact, it is so bad (or good?) that if I go more than two hours without at least a sip of water, my throat gets irritated. Now that I'm a pregnant Momma, it is even more important that I keep myself hydrated, and drinking lots of water can help flush out infection and sickness, too. 

Since I work from home, it is easy for me to hop down to the kitchen for limitless refills throughout my days, but my schedule is always changing, and always busy, so it's nice to have some easy on-the-go options that can go with me wherever I go. 

I started working with Crystal of Shop Crystal Faye earlier this month, and the Monogrammed Tumbler was the first item I got to review.

As soon as I received this tumbler in the mail, I immediately washed it and started taking it with me everywhere. It's the perfect travel companion for running errands, jetting off to business meetings and road trips. The lid makes it easy to throw into my purse if I need an extra hand or even if I want to take some water into a movie with me. The monogram adorning the front of the tumbler was an added bonus, and I love the way it personalizes it just for me. 

And, who couldn't use one of these cute tumblers to travel with them? Even better is the fact that the design of the tumbler helps to keep your beverage hot or cold just a little longer.

Sound great to you? Well, you're in luck because today I am hosting a giveaway where one lucky reader will be chosen to receive their very own Monogrammed Tumbler from Crystal Faye free! Simply use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. This giveaway will close on Friday, March 1st, so get your entries in! 

And, if you just can't wait, or you've been eyeing up another item in Crystal's shop, don't forget to use code: NEST10 for 10% off any order!

The Dog Days 'Clean It!' Challenge

I am a total neat freak at heart. The girl who never goes to bed with a dirty kitchen, and never starts the day without making her bed. I can probably blame my Mom for these habits, but that's life.

I typically spend most of my Saturday mornings cleaning bathrooms, wiping surfaces, doing that extra load of laundry, vacuuming and sorting through that week's clutter that has formed piles all over my kitchen table.

Keeping a home clean and presentable is an on-going process. One that is never finished, and to be honest, I am never truly satisfied with the state my home is in. Between our 65 pound lab and a husband who wears muddy boots to work most days, it is hard to keep the cleanliness up to my standards. This is one of the reasons that I am sucker for any and all 'easy' cleaning tips, tools and products. I have tried the many uses of the dryer sheet, and have a cabinet under my kitchen sink that is chock full of spray cleaners. 

In our world, the one that for the next few months, does not contain any children, but does include lots of cooking and very busy schedules, I need items that will help me keep my home clean, disinfected and efficient. 

When I started seeing commercials for the new Windex Touch-Up cleaner, my interest was immediately peaked. They had come up with a small bottle of disinfecting cleaner that is easy (and small enough) to keep out all the time on your kitchen or bathroom counters, and with a swift pump or two, you can easily wipe down surfaces while you're in the room without having to whip out the gloves and Clorox wipes. 

I spent most of last week trying out their citrus scent in my kitchen and powder room on the main level of our house, and I am happy to report that I am pleased with the ease, scent and overall use of the product. I bought my dispenser on sale, but do have plans to hunt another bottle or two down to keep in our other bathrooms. 

This won't take away from the deep clean that I do each week, but Touch-Up is perfect for the day-to-day messes, and for the nightly after dinner cleaning. 

If you're looking for a new, easy way to keep your surfaces clean, I would definitely give this stuff a try! 

Today, I'm linking up for another week of The Dog Days {of Winter} Are Over 'Clean It!' Challenge along with some fabulous other ladies. If you haven't linked up yet, be sure to check out all of the fabulous projects and get inspired to join the party next week!

I was in no way compensated for my review of this product, and the opinions 
expressed in this post are solely my own.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Stuff Nobody Tells You. See Also: Sleepless Nights Before Baby

There are a few things that I was told would likely happen while I was pregnant. Things like you may feel nauseated for weeks on end, you'll want to eat things that were never appetizing before. There will be the inevitable backaches, and you'll probably want to burn most of your maternity wardrobe by the time the baby arrives. But one of the things that people failed to mention to me was how soon insomnia can begin.

Don't get me wrong, I am still practically falling into bed each night with hopes of at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, but between the bathroom trips and the early wake up calls, I find it hard to get more than five hours of sleep at a time. Doesn't this insomnia thing usually happen later in pregnancy?!

I guess you can call it 'training for when the baby comes,' but I didn't think it would start this early. Just last week, I was up and out of bed before B almost every day. Once I am awake and scanning through Facebook on my phone, there is little to no hope of me falling back to sleep. So, my days are beginning earlier and earlier.

There is something peaceful about those early mornings. I find myself so much more motivated and productive when I am up and ready for the day by 6:30AM.

Still, some mornings I spend my early hours shopping online (hello, drawer full o' baby clothes!), or browsing my Instagram feed. We all know how much of a time suck that can be.

I am wondering if purchasing a Snoogle will aid this problem, or perhaps it just means that I need to be more active during my days? Pretty soon I will be turning into one of those women that is snacking and watching Lifetime movies at four in the morning. 

I don't think I'm quite ready for that reality yet.

Anyone else go through this? Any tips to share??

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bumpdate: 16-18 Weeks

It is hard to describe just how amazing these last few weeks have been. I think I am officially 'far enough' into my pregnancy to claim that I actually enjoy being pregnant, at least for now. There is just something so amazing about what your body can do to house and grow another tiny little human.

I have been feeling really good, well except for all the heartburn. I feel an even stronger love and connection for the baby now that we know he's a BOY. And, I've started feeling lots of movement sensation. It happens mainly in the afternoon and evenings and/or after I eat. Sometimes it startles me, but I love that it's happening more and more.

  • How far along are you? 18 weeks as of 2/19/13 (today!) 2nd Tri 
  • How I'm feeling: Feeling great for the most part. Getting mild to moderate heartburn on and off most days, and still getting the occasional headache, but other than that, I feel like my normal self!
  • Total weight gain: 2.5 lb as of 2/6/13 
  • How big is baby? Size of a sweet potato last week - this week is a large mango!
  • Maternity clothes: My mother-in-law took me shopping for some new stuff last weekend and I finally found two pairs of maternity jeans that are comfortable and adorable! It's amazing what a good pair of maternity jeans can do for your confidence with a growing baby and body.
  • Stretch marks? Nada. But I'm on the hunt for a good lotion so I can be proactive!
  • Sleep: Up at least twice per night to pee. Already. Falling asleep easily as long as the room is quiet.
  • Best moment this week: We found out the sex of the baby on 2/13. We are having a baby BOY and we are absolutely elated. I have already started planning the nursery and may or may not have ordered the rug and curtains the day after we found out.
  • Movement: Feeling a LOT of movement sensation, especially in the afternoons and evenings. It is so cool to be able to feel the little guy wiggling around in there. 
  • Food cravings: Still the same. Carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets, carbs and sweets.
  • Food aversions: No aversions at this point.
  • Labor signs:  Nope. 
  • Belly button in or out: I am surprised at how quickly my belly button changed. But, it has definitely changed to an outtie and I am starting to notice it through my tank tops already.
  • What I miss: Drinking a glass of wine and a few pairs of pants that I won't venture to squeeze into at this point!
  • What I'm looking forward to: My 20 week anatomy scan on the 27th and getting to see our baby boy again.
  • Milestone: The night we found out we were having a boy was one of the best of my life. We are overjoyed and have already started talking names a lot more often. 

  • I can hardly believe that the middle of my pregnancy is so close.  My head is spinning with all things nursery and I'm starting to get so excited for what our baby boy will look like in all of the cute outfits we've already gotten as gifts. 

    We have lots to do over the next few months, and I cannot wait to update you on our house projects, the nursery and more!

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Dog Days Paint It! Challenge :: DIY Framed Nursery Chalkboard

    I had every hope and intention of having my planned furniture painting project done in time for this week's 'Paint It' challenge. But with the weather being as cold as it is, there was no time this weekend to drag a dresser outside, paint it and allow it to dry for a few hours. 

    So, my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint will have to wait for a warmer day. And since it is one of the last DIY projects to complete before we start painting and prepping the nursery, you can bet that I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first Spring-like weekend! 

    So, this week, I thought I'd share a simpler project that I completed about a month ago. 

    Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, and once it was 'confirmed' by my doctor, I found myself browsing the aisles of Hobby Lobby one afternoon. Shocking, I know. I knew I was going to want to do weekly or bi-weekly updates, and I thought I could find the perfect picture frame to use as my chalkboard. 

    I found the perfect white 16x20 frame and couldn't wait to get it home to paint the glass with Chalkboard paint.

    If you've never used Chalkboard paint, I suggest you try it as soon as you can. I typically buy the Krylon brand. It sprays on easily and the finish is great!

    This project is so easy. Almost too easy.

    DIY Framed Nursery Chalkboard

    What You'll Need
    One (1) picture frame in the size and finish of your choice
    One (1) can of spray-on Chalkboard paint
    Chalk Pens in the colors of your choice (optional)

    All you need to do is clean the glass inside the frame. Remove any stickers or price tags and wipe down the surface well.

    Spray the Chalkboard paint evenly over the entire surface (just on one side) and allow to dry for an hour or two. If you can do this outside, it is best. Especially if you're preggo. Or, you can employ your helpful husband.

    Once the glass is dry, replace it in the frame and voila!

    As you can see, we're currently using our chalkboard to focus on names for our sweet baby boy. Once our name is chosen, I plan to hang it in the nursery and use it for quotes and sayings that I love. 

    In case you are wondering, I snagged a 4-pack of Chalk Pens at Michael's and have been using them to start. I will probably try to find a few softer colors before the baby comes.

    So, there you have it, my very first nursery project! This project is also perfect for a bathroom, kitchen, pantry or playroom! The uses are endless. 

    What have you painted recently? Make sure to head over to the 'Paint It!' Challenge and check out all of the other fabulous projects that were linked up this week!

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    The BIG News. 'Little M' Gender Reveal

    Photo courtesy of Melissa Manzione Photography

    Last night was the big night. I had this weird feeling all day yesterday. It was a combination of excitement, anticipation, and certainty that once we knew if our baby was a boy or girl, it would be like we've always known. This small window of time of not knowing, though it felt long, would be gone in the blink of an eye, and our lives would be even more forever changed.

    I kept myself busy and out of the house for most of the day. When your gender ultrasound appointment is at 7:30PM, it is a must to preoccupy yourself in every way possible. The day felt long and short at the same time. The part that I underestimated was how anxious I would become as the appointment grew closer and closer. 

    B didn't walk through the door until 5:30, which is a rather long day for him. We chatted for a few minutes before I nudged him to go grab a shower so we could make our way to the pizzeria down the street for some dinner on our way out. 

    We walked through the doors of the pizzeria at 6:15. I pretty much hurried through my meal. I joked that I barely enjoyed my pizza because of my extreme tunnel vision.

    The winter weather that I was worried about definitely became a reality as we drove north on a busy highway toward our appointment. B commented that we would never forget the weather on this night. This was definitely one for the books. The traffic that we hit with just fifteen minutes to spare made the ride even more memorable. We were both anxious and nervous.

    As we walked into the office, we were greeted by a woman and tons of tiny baby photos hung all over the waiting area. It was perfectly bubbly and baby and made my heart jump a bit. 

    The couple before us had just found out that they were having a boy and had brought at least ten members of their families with them. I couldn't get over how many people came out of the ultrasound room when they were finished.

    We were called in next, and in a matter of moments, we could see our baby up on a 42-inch flat screen on the wall. The images immediately brought tears to my eyes. This was the first time either of us had laid eyes on our baby since our first ultrasound at eight weeks.

    The tech spent a few minutes showing us the baby's nose, arms and legs, and then she uttered the sweetest words ...

    It's a BOY!!!

    In that moment, all I felt was sheer happiness. It was real. We are going to have a son. Still, I can barely wrap my mind around it.

    B was BEAMING. So excited and amazed at the images on the screen, and even happier that his first born would be a son. These M boys sure do know how to produce boys! 

    I thought about how lucky our baby will be to have two boy cousins so similar to him in age while the tech showed us our baby's beautiful face in 3D.

    A few minutes later our appointment was over, and we packed up to head home holding a long strand of new photos of our beautiful boy.  

     I am going to be a BOY MOM. And that is the best news I've ever heard.

    Of course we had to stop at the Kohl's baby department on the way home and buy our boy a few new threads. A terrycloth onesie adorned with crabs and a Ralph Lauren sleeper with matching hat were my choices within minutes. I can already picture bringing our baby home from the hospital in that sleeper.

    It is hard to put into words just how completely happy we feel today. Only a little more than five months until we meet our little one!

    A HUGE thank you to EVERYONE that has been a part of this special time in our lives so far. We sincerely appreciate all of the congratulations and well wishes, and can't wait to see what the rest of this journey holds!

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Valentine's Day Date Ideas for The Man In Your Life

    Every year as February approaches, I get sort of giddy with anticipation over the arrival of Valentine's Day. Call it the romantic in me, but I still appreciate having a day to celebrate love.

    But, I think it goes without saying that Valentine's Day must have been thought up by a bunch of women with the same sentiments as mine, because, what on earth do guys really want for this 'Hallmark' holiday?!

    If your husband is anything like mine, he only shops for himself about twice a year, and he's happy sitting on his own couch drinking a cold beer from his own fridge in that same JCrew cotton tee he wore three days ago. Don't get me wrong, B has his own style and I love that about him, but he just doesn't revel in all things new, threaded and shiny like I do. 

    So, I've come up with a few fun date ideas that are perfect for surprising my man this Valentine's Day.  I wanted to share because I'm sure some of these ideas would be great for the men in your lives as well!

    1. Tickets To A Sporting Event. My husband is a big football, college basketball and hockey fan. Since the Super Bowl is over, I know he'd love tickets to a University of Maryland basketball game, or a Capitals hockey game. I think my preggo self can handle either of these events! Check for tickets on other sites such as StubHub to make sure you're getting a good deal.
    2. Write A Letter. B and I both come from families that value the written word. In fact, both of our Dad's have written us at least one letter (usually around the holidays) each year for as long as we can remember. B is awesome at writing 'love letters.' I have never gotten a card from him that didn't include at least a few heartfelt lines of text. I want to do the same for him, so this year's card will definitely include a short letter for my guy.
    3. Game Night. My husband likes to play games. Board games, card games, he just enjoys it. And, it's something we rarely ever do because we have the TV or radio on 90% of the time we're home. This can be done right in the comfort of your own home. You can even wear comfy clothes, pop some popcorn and make a night out of it! We got Jenga, Uno and Apples to Apples for Christmas, so I'm thinking a game themed night is definitely in order for us. 
    4. Candlelight Dinner At Home. I am a big fan of this kind of date, and I know B loves it, too. It's a great way to save some money. We did something similar last year where I created a 'happy hour' for him to come home to complete with champagne, sweet treats, music playing, candles and a yummy dinner in the crockpot. I really need to implement this more often. I love nights like this, even for no special reason!
    5. Dinner At A New Spot. B and I are both big subscribers to routine, so we frequent the same restaurants often, and we even order the same things most of the time. I love the idea of dressing up and getting out to try some place new. Maybe there is a new hot spot in your city that you've been dying to try. Valentine's Day could be the perfect occasion for that. Sometimes we even do our real 'date' the night before or after the actual holiday to cut back on crowds, but that may just be us!
    6. Comedy Club. My husband loves to laugh. We have been together for over six years and have never been to a comedy club together. I know there are a few in Baltimore, and I would love to plan a night for us to get out and just laugh together. Consider this added to my 'Before Baby Bucket List!'

    Now that I've taken the time to sit down and brainstorm all of these ideas, it has me wanting to make big new plans for Valentine's Day tomorrow! Maybe a game night is the perfect solution for us this year.

    What are you doing for the big day?!

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    I'm Taking A Poll. Is Our 'Little M' A Boy or Girl?!

    I don't think I need to explain just how excited we are to find out if our 'Little M' is a boy or girl tomorrow. Well, I'm so excited that I could die; I think B can handle the anticipation better than I can.

    Almost everyone has been guessing girl. Pretty much since the moment we announced we were expecting, tons of people tell me that they think it's a girl! 

    I go back and forth all.the.time. I thought girl for the first eleven weeks, and then all of the sudden right around week 12, I started feeling boy. Ever since, I have been wavering back and forth depending on my mood that day, or whichever way the wind is blowing me. I hadn't had any dreams until this past weekend. I had one quick dream about the baby and it was a boy. So, maybe that's another sign?

    Truth be told, there are a lot more boys on B's side than girls. So, the chances of a boy are very good. We will both be thrilled either way, but I do feel like there will be an extra special 'capture-this-on-your-camera' expression on B's face if they tell us we're having a girl.

    Since there are still 35 hours (not that I'm counting) until our appointment, I thought it would be fun to take a poll and see what our readers think we're having. Our appointment isn't until tomorrow night, so we will do the big reveal some time on Valentine's Day!


    Thanks for voting!


    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Fresh New Faces & Brands :: Winter Sponsor Spotlights

    There are some fabulous new faces around here that I am really excited about! So, I thought it a good time to share some of my new sponsors with you. With the finicky nature of this winter thus far, some new faces, brands and blogs will certainly brighten your day, right?!

    When Kelley from Peek-A-Who Boutique approached me about sponsoring, I was over the moon. My very first 'Momma-to-be' sponsor brand! 

    I went straight to her website and started browsing all of the fabulous baby and kids threads that she has to offer. The wheels in my head immediately started turning over all of the cute, personalized items I can start buying once we know if 'Little M' is a boy or girl! 

    If you are in the market for a gift for a baby shower, a niece, nephew or your own children, definitely check out her collection. Fabulous brands from 3 Marthas to Mudpie. I just can't get enough. You better believe I'll be ordering one of these Zutano pieces once our little one is named!

    You can also find Kelley and Peek-A-Whoo on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

    Scentsy Certified Consultant, Mateya Berg
    I am beyond excited to welcome a new Scentsy consultant into the mix this winter! It is no secret that I am a total Scentsy convert. In the past few months, I've added two full-sized warmer, three plug-in warmers and a dryer bar to my collection, and I've been thrilled with each and every product! I cannot wait to start checking out the new items that I can use around the house once the baby arrives.

    If you're new to Scentsy, or if you're ready to freshen up your collection for the winter or spring, pay a visit to Mateya's site and check out all of the fabulous new things that Scentsy is offering, like the Silhouette or Layers Collection.

    You can also find Mateya on her blog where she talks motherhood, fitness and so much more! She's also on Twitter!

    And, speaking of her blog, The Best Is Yet to Come is also one of our newest sponsors. Mateya amazes me. She is a working Mom, and still finds time to stay fit! I love that she just posted about breastfeeding essentials and included links! Yet another topic I'll be reading up on over the next few months. Make sure to stop by and check out both her Scentsy site and her blog as soon as you can!

    I announced last week that I am participating in a new venture as a brand ambassador for Crystal Faye's shop. A girl after my own heart, she sells beautiful accessories, items for the home and items for any fashionable lady. 

    Even better, now you can use our code NEST10 for 10% off your order ANY TIME! 

    I am just dying to get my hands on one of her new Monogrammed Tumblers, and her hew iPhone and iPad cases are to die for. 
    You can also find out more about Crystal Faye on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

    Anyone who reads my blog probably already knows who Kelly is. She has been a long time sponsor and has guest posted for me on more than one occasion. 

    She writes behind Today Was A Fairytale and I have loved watching her journey from wedding planning into newlywed life. Not only is she a newlywed, but you'll catch her dishing about life as a working girl, fitness, photography and her many adventures.

    You can also follow along with Kelly on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

    And last, but certainly not least, is my newest sponsor and one of my IRL best friends, Aliya of Aliya Rinaldi Designs.

    Aliya and I met in college, and we have been friends ever since. Not only were we in each others' weddings, but she also happened to create my entire wedding creative suite including our logo, invitations and programs! 

    She is inspired, creative and always knows exactly how to combine the latest trends with a touch of something classic in order to deliver exactly what you are looking for. Whether you are in the market for a new blog design, invitations for your next get together, or your every day note cards and/or business essentials, you will be thrilled to have found and to work with Aliya. 

    You can also follow along with Aliya via Facebook and Pinterest!

    Project Pinterest :: Framed Magnetic Weekly Planner for Your Fridge!!

    i love you more than carrots

    Last week I had one of those weeks where things just fell into place. I was motivated and moving through my to-do lists, ran most of my errands, and even squeezed in some time for some of my favorite girlfriends. 

    One of the things on my to-do list was to frame a new printable that I had found here on Pinterest and make it all pretty like they did here. I think it's safe to say that I have become addicted to all things 'Kitchen-Weekly-Planner' so I just couldn't help myself when a new printable that will hold my schedule, meal plan and shopping list all in one became available! 

    Once I had the printable in my hands, it was time to find the perfect frame. Something fun, but not overwhelming. It was also important that this frame go well with the rest of the Kitchen Command Center I had created a few months ago.  

    So, off to Hobby Lobby I went, and after about twenty minutes of searching, I found the perfect frame. 

    DIY Framed Magnetic Weekly Planner

    What You'll Need
    One (1) copy of your weekly planner printable of choice (printed as standard 8.5x11")
    One (1) 8x10" picture frame
    7-10 round magnets
    Hot glue gun
    At least one (1) glue stick 

    I started by cutting the printable down to match the size of the paper mounted inside of the frame when I bought it. I made sure to cut it evenly so no parts of weekly planner were removed. 

    Then, I placed the printable inside the frame and closed the frame using the hardware on the back.

    I had purchased a small package of strong, round magnets to use on the frame. I glued two to each corner for a total of eight (8) magnets adorning the back of the frame.

    After allowing the glue to dry for a few minutes, I slapped the frame onto my fridge and voila! It stuck easily and the hold is firm, but still easy to move around if need be. 

    Now we have one place to keep our schedule, meal plan, and some of our shopping/errand list. I love how clean and finished the frame made this project. I am now in the market for a slightly larger frame that will fit neatly around my monthly fridge calendar. Hoping to link that up in a few weeks!

    Be sure to head over and check out the rest of the inspiring Pinterest projects over on this week's 'Hey, That's Pin-tastic!'

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    The Ravens 'Good Luck' Charm

    Football is a big part of our lives every Fall. From mid-September through January, you can find us cheering on our teams every Sunday afternoon. Every year, each of our teams has another chance to get to the Super Bowl. Perhaps that is what keeps me coming back for more. 

    This past season was especially memorable. Since the Jets were pretty abysmal, I jumped onto the Ravens ship about Week 10. It was fun helping B cheer on his team, and even more fun since they were actually winning some games. 

    We found out we were expecting in mid-November as the regular season was starting to wind down, and playoff hopes were being solidified or slashed. For those of you who don't know (or care) about the Ravens road to the Super Bowl, let me recap it for you and show you how B named our soon-to-be first child the good luck charm of the Charm City heroes this season.

    Neither of us thought much of the Ravens making the playoffs since they were heavily favored to do so for most of the season. Week 1 of the playoffs brought on a home game against the Colts. At that point, we had shared our news with our families, so we watched the games with his brothers.

    Playoffs Week 2 took the Ravens on the road to play Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. By then, we had told a few of our close friends that we were expecting, and invited a few couples over to watch the game at our house. That game was nothing short of crazy entertaining and emotional. At more than one point, we thought the Ravens had blown it, and the end of their season was in sight.

    But miraculously, and after two overtime periods, the Ravens came out on top and they were on their way to the AFC Championship game to play my least favorite team in the NFL, the New England Patriots. This would be the exact same AFC Championship match up as last year's.

    About this time, B decided that our 'bun in the oven' might just be the extra good luck charm that his team would need this year. He then said that 'having a baby and winning the Super Bowl in the same year would be the best year ever.'

    Well, you probably know the rest of this story, but the Ravens went on to crush the Patriots on the road, and as of two weeks ago, they were headed to the Super Bowl. The look on B's face when they won that game made the whole thing all the more exciting. Sort of romantic in a way.

    And then just this past weekend, the Ravens won the Super Bowl. The game wasn't the prettiest I've ever seen, but it sure was exciting. The Championship was brought home to Baltimore, and I was surrounded by some of the happiest grown men I've seen in my life on Sunday night.

    The Ravens team is full of talented players and awesome leadership, and sure, our baby really had nothing to do with the whole story. But, this baby's Daddy placed the two things hand-in-hand this year, and for that I am thankful. After all, I can only romanticize about the whole notion for a few more weeks until the big win starts to wear off.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Bumpdate: 14-16 Weeks

    My pregnancy has flown by so far. I can't stop thinking about how lucky I am to have felt so good throughout these early months. 16 weeks feels like a pretty big milestone to me. We're into the time that the sex can now be determined (soon!) and we're getting so close to halfway! 

    The last two weeks were kind of a blur. I had two quick business trips flanked by the AFC Championship game, and of course, the Super Bowl. A big day in our house.  

    We are getting so close to finding out the gender of our baby, and I am so excited it is making me horribly impatient. Just the fact that there is technology readily available to tell you if you're having a boy or girl blows my mind. But, I would be lying if I said I wasn't DYING to pull the trigger on all of the adorable things I have already started to find for the nursery.

    My solution is to start pulling together an inspiration board as SOON as we know the gender. Is it time yet?!

  • How far along are you? 16 weeks as of 2/5/13 (today!) 2nd Tri 
  • How I'm feeling: Feeling great! Heartburn is raging most afternoons, but luckily I was already used to that. Normal energy level is creeping back and my appetite is definitely growing. 
  • Total weight gain: 0.5 lb as of 1/8/13 -weighing in tomorrow (2/6) again! 
  • How big is baby? Size of an open hand!  How amazing is that? The growth happens SO FAST. 
  • Maternity clothes: Same old story. Old Navy cotton tanks and tops, and just invested in a few Gap maternity tops, which I adore. Planning to do a little more shopping in the coming weeks. 
  • Stretch marks? Nada. Belly button is in full force. I can even see it beginning to pop out of some tops. 
  • Sleep: Up at least twice per night to pee. Already. Pretty comfortable but definitely considering ordering a Snoogle soon. 
  • Best moment this week: Appointment on Wednesday, 2/6 to check on the baby, and then finding out the gender for Valentine's Day. Does it get much better than that?! 
  • Movement: Feeling sensations more and more, and definitely feeling more pregnant. My lower back is already starting to get sore in the evenings. 
  • Food cravings: Still loving anything sweet. There is just nothing that satisfies me quite like the perfect sweet at the perfect time. And my intake of carbs is starting to scare me. I am trying to balance healthy and a bit of indulgence the best I can. 
  • Food aversions: No aversions, but when the mood strikes, there are certain things I just need to have and nothing else will suffice.  
  • Labor signs:  Nope. 
  • Belly button in or out: Like I mentioned above, I am already able to see my new 'outtie' popping out of some tops from time to time. Sheesh, things are going to get scary. 
  • What I miss: Drinking a glass of wine. Luckily, my fellow preggo buddy Shannon suggested an alcohol free wine I'm just dying to try! 
  • What I'm looking forward to: My 16 week appointment tomorrow and finding out the sex right around Valentine's Day! The closer it gets, the further away it feels! 
  • Milestone: The Ravens won the Super Bowl and this baby's Daddy swears he or she was the good luck charm that helped everything fall into place. What a year for B's favorite team. And, I can't wait to hear that heartbeat again tomorrow.