Friday, December 30, 2011

...Tick Tock...

It's here....










....and now we wait




Naturally when Auntie A went shopping, she threw in one of her classic Lucky Ducky's.  We've been friends since we were 10 years old, so I still can't see a ducky without associating it with her... I mean, the girl wore her Lucky Ducky dress socks for every track meet we had during middle school through high school (with her track spikes).  Every single meet.  

When loading my car with the pile of gifts (baby is spoiled already!) she said she needed to leave her impression in some way, and I couldn't image a better gift from the best Auntie around.




...28 Hours and counting!

Countdown Is On!

So, I'm still painting.  Turns out, the stamina I once had is seriously waning and I can only get in a good hour of cutting in before I call it quits.  Slow and Steady right??.... Too bad I have to finish all the edges before Husband and can roll it on in 2.3 seconds.  Damn my patience and steady hand!


We also had our big Anatomy Scan yesterday. The baby has all 10 fingers and toes, a crazy ass (yet healthy) spine, two lungs, two kidneys, full heart, good looking noggin', and all that fun stuff.  It was such a relief! Naturally though, having us for parents, the baby was in breech position and while that isn't an issue this early on, it did make it a little difficult to get some of the needed shots.  After some not so gentle prodding (literally) we got them all.


We did decide to close our eyes when they went to find out "who's" been baking inside.  I had the technician write it down in a card, in a sealed envelope, and I went straight from the appointment (to the mall) to meet my best friend for the hand off.  Right now, she's the only one who knows! 

After a yummy lunch at Nordstrom Cafe, we split and she went to do some shopping for the mystery babe.  I'm going to catch back up with her before tomorrow night, so we have our gift to open at midnight!



I'll be sure to share the news on New Year's Day, this will be the best Birthday gift EVER!... Oh and for fun, feel free to leave your guess in the comments!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Five and Five




(winsome pullover, flowering pompona cape, grand tour loop, centerpiece apron, spa gift card)



1. Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

2.  The above 5 and 5 is the loot the Husband surprised me with yesterday.  I didn't think we were doing much for gifts since I made the large camera purchase a month ago, but I guess these were sorta dual Christmas/Birthday presents - he can't ever wait until New Years, I always get everything at once (which is cool, since I'm just as impatient). 

Seriously though, the man went to Anthropologie all by himself and picked these things out.  The scarf because he liked it and knows I love my scarves.  The top and sweater cape so I can grow into as I expand throughout my pregnancy (how cute! he wants me to be stylish!)... (or, maybe that's a hint to stop throwing on the same fleece pants and hoodie every.single.day. - hmmmm) and the apron to get back in the kitchen!  Kidding, he just liked it and knows it'll probably come in handy when I'm staying home and making homemade baby grub for a little human... and maybe some chocolate chip cookies for the big manly human.  Kidding again.  He's only 5'8".

3.  You may remember this from my last 5 and 5.  They are having a 25% Off promo (BoxedUp2011) right now, so I snagged one... you should too! (well, if you are hunting for the prettiest camera bag around that is....)

4.  I ate like 50 buckeye balls on Friday.  Then had a salad.  It's all about balance right???

5.  Today I'm working from home.  And by working, I mean painting.  Well, if I can get off the couch....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[Little Room] Pinspired Mood Board

If you follow me on pinterest, you may have taken a peek at my previous ETA-TBD board.  Well, now that board is ETA - MAY 2012 (woot!).   I started that board when I first joined pinterest in the Spring, as place to save a lot of the things I had bookmarked the previous Fall.  And of course, it slowly grew as I saw things I liked popped up throughout the summer.

When I found out I was pregnant again, earlier this Fall, I decided to make a mood board to actually place a lot of those items together in a more designer like fashion, since the board wasn't necessarily color focused, but more a hodge podge of ideas.  Since I was refusing to look at new baby things, I thought playing around with things I already had pinned would be "safe", since I wasn't technically getting ahead of myself out in search of new things.


This was the first board I threw together.  It's mainly a lot of fabric swatches, prints, and other things I've been inspired by, like the Serena & Lily Buddy Pillow I mentioned here.

I also posted in my 5 & 5 from earlier in the week, this paint swatch...


If you haven't put it together, we will painting the room Benjamin Moore Ashland Slate.  I'm sure the room looks pretty "boyish" to most of you, but I'm really going for gender neutral, despite the fact we'll know whether Bouncer is a boy or girl in 10 days.   (what can I say, I'm not a girly girl... sorry potential future daughter!)

I think the Husband is doing a good job appeasing my "vision", since I can tell he's a little hesitant to paint a baby's room so dark.  I tried to show him some examples online and I used words like Modern, Whimsical, and Unique.  I promised this would not be any "cookie-cutter chair rail with pastels and copyrighted cartoons" type of nursery (no offense to those with that type of room!), I'm just trying to think outside of the box and go for the unexpected!





You can plan on seeing some sunny/mustardy yellow, graphic designs, puppies, DIYs, crisp white and modern furniture, and (naturally) pennants.  You know I love a good baby related pennant! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[Little Room] The Before





Oy! Lots of work to be done.   This room, what's currently known as "the office" - yet does not function at all like one - is ready for it's makeover.  We never really did anything to this room aside let it be a dumping ground for my old college desk, shelving, and boxes.   Wedding boxes, shipping boxes, shoe boxes.... this is where boxes go to die.  And collect dust.

In the next two weeks (actually less, my deadline is New Year's), I'd like this room cleaned out, furniture moved and painted.   It's going to be intense, but I think it'll work out.



....and I'm referring to the paint.









Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Five and Five

Just a little post tying together some things I've had my eye on and general life happenings....


(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)



1. Bouncer is bouncing!  Surprisingly, this started as we sat down two Saturdays ago to watch Crazy Stupid Love (at 16w5d).  If Bouncer is a girl, I have a feeling she's going to have a strong connection to anything with Ryan Gosling... just like her mama!

2. Related to #2 above, I bought this dress at Madewell (from the sale rack for $99!!) last week.  I needed something to wear to a Baptism yesterday and the dress is adorable.  I was able to buy it in my normal (pre-pregnancy) size and since the waist is elastic, I'm hoping it'll last until my shower.  I love that I can dress it down with boots, wide belt, and cardigan or dress it up with heels, a skinny gold belt, and a statement necklace.

3. Sweet Case of the Mondays. My Husband carpooled with a coworker to a seminar today.  He got picked up at 6:30.  When I went to leave at 8:30, I realized I had to move his car since he parked me in.  Yeah, Husband is a genius and took his keys with him.  Looks like I'm working from home.  Not too bad for a Monday!

4.  Carnivore.  As I've mentioned many times, I don't eat meat.  I'll eat fish, and I'll have (organic) turkey on Thanksgiving, but that's pretty much it.  Since being pregnant all I want is meat based protein!  I ate so many turkey leftovers (normally I never touch them), I once craved KFC around 6wks (didn't give into that), I tried to make buffalo chicken sandwiches (with organic chicken in the crockpot), and while they were good... they were no comparison to a real chicken cheesesteak.  Last Thursday, I called Husband before he left work and told him I needed a chicken cheesesteak, pizza shop style.   I haven't had one those in over 4 years.  It was the most glorious meal.  I have a feeling I'll be indulging in a few more over the next 5 months!

5. Bah Hum Bug.  Aside from the lights on the bushes outside that make our neighbors think we're festive, we have NOTHING up inside.  I do however have a Christmas scented Yankee Candle burning... that counts for something right??





For the items linked above, but not mentioned, don't worry I'll get to them soon enough!

Bump-date: 4th Month (14-17 Weeks)

It's about time to share the ever growing bump!  I didn't take pictures early on throughout First Tri.  I did that last time, and then it was pretty sad to look at them after everything that happened.  So like many things I avoided doing this time around, "bump" pictures was one of them.  However, at 14 weeks I felt it was time to hop back on the time tracking bandwagon and it was really the first week with any real visible growth.

I took the pics at night and then sent them to the Husband who was still at work.  At the time, his response was "you're pushing out!"  Except I totally wasn't!  Looking at week 14 now, a month ago, I still looked so tiny!


(Another "night" shot - my bump seems to grow throughout the day, so it seems bigger here than it does the next week.  I'm also wearing a maternity tank, which I think helps show off the expanding belly)

(Week 16 - Bouncer is the size of an avocado!)



I'm actually 18 weeks today, but I'm still trying to play with both cameras to get a good shot.  The 16 week shot was with DSLR, but clearly I have not figured out how to best take a self timed shot.  Speaking of the new camera, here are a few of my first test subjects...  I'm still working on it!

 Baxter
 Penny (on her 3rd Birthday!)
 Molly (my in-laws dog)


I'll try to come back later with a 18 Week update and some other related milestones!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

[Shopaholic] The things I have been buying...

Thank you to all who left such sweet comments and sent personal messages to me after yesterday's post.  It's very exciting to know I have your support and it means so much to me!




Last post, I mentioned that I haven't really been shopping much.  It's a bit of a lie.  I actually did ZERO shopping from August through the beginning of November, then we had our 1st Trimester Screening (which was our milestone from before) and after that came back with good results, I finally whipped out the credit card!

I first made a purchase for the Bouncer. Since I was holding out on any and all things baby related making sure we'd "make it' through the 1st trimester, I bought the item that had inspired the nursery design - when I started designing it (in my head) a year ago.   It was a total splurge, because really no throw pillow should cost this much, but I just absolutely love it.  Damn you, Serena & Lily!
Curry Buddy Pillow - Serena and Lily
(our nursery will be gender neutral and I'll share plans and hopefully some progress in a few days!)

So about a week after that, I realized I quickly getting uncomfortable in my jeans.  My pair of Free People Skinnies were still holding tight... or well stretching tight, but wearing black skinnies almost every day got old fast.  I ordered the 1969 Skinny Maternity Jeans from the Gap with a coupon, and while they felt like sweatpants up top (with the demi panel), they were awkwardly baggy in my calves, yet tapered at my ankle.  It was like a bad 90s jean.   So those went back. 


I then decided hell... I wear jeans everyday to work, I might as well splurge on a the good stuff.  With a 20% Off Piperlime coupon I got the J Brand Mama J Skinny Jeans (in my usual size) and they are a perfect fit.  They actually are cut below the bump and have elastic where the front pockets would be.  I do have to pull them up quite frequently (especially if I bend over to pick something up), but otherwise they feel like leggings.  I don't know if they'll last me the next 5 months, but they are great for now.  I seriously might wear these after the Bouncer arrives.  Big fan.

I also scooped up a few non-mat items from Piperlime, with the intent to get good wear out of the next few months.

 
Oh, how shopping is fun again!!  Happy Weekend!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Where I've been hibernating....

Oh, where do I even begin...


Writing posts like these can be so difficult and that's why I usually don't do it, because putting (meaningful) feelings (about something other than boots) into words sometimes is virtually impossible.  On one hand, your emotions are wonderful and ecstatic and on the other they are just simply terrifying.  It's also really scary to be so personal on the internet, but I hope it's worth it for those who may be in, been in, or will be in similar shoes.

So I'll rip it off like a bandaid and then maybe try to explain "where I am"... again, if it's possible.














I'm pregnant.



Hold on, let me try that again.... I'M PREGNANT!!!!

....and 17 weeks and 3 days to be exact!




I know, I know. I've been holding out on sharing the news for a LONG time.  Though it may have been obvious from my recent absence, if you remember I also went AWOL last year during my first pregnancy.   That's half of, well most of, the issue.  I know I alluded to it, but I guess I never truly discussed it.  Miscarriage sucks.

To save this from becoming a totally depressing post, because I want to stay on the happy thrilled side here, we suffered a loss last year.  Days before Christmas.  A week before I thought I'd be "safe" to share the news - planned for my Birthday, no less.  It was devastating, and I was naive.  We had seen the heartbeat twice, yet we still didn't make it past 12 weeks. I was heartbroken, and well just plain broken, for a long long time.



And then to save you a lot of dirty details from the journey from then to now, we were lucky enough to get a second chance. And while this road is supposed to bring you joy and ear to ear non-stop smiles, and it has, on occasion.  It's also brought tears and so many fears.  The feeling of constantly holding your breath and waiting for things to "be okay", but the thing you realize after a loss, is that it may never be okay.  When you've fallen into that tiny 2% before, you realize you could be on the other side of "that won't happen to us" again at anytime - preterm labor, still born, SIDS, car accident when they are finally old enough to drive - the worrying will never cease.  But there is a point where you need to let go and let things be... and that's where I am.  (or trying to be any way).

So here I am.  17 weeks in and finally letting the excitement slowly get to me.  We have our big anatomy scan at the end of the month and are going to wait to find out the sex until New Years Day (my birthday).  We can't wait to give the Baby a name and not call him/her "it",  though right now we call it Bouncer since at one of our many early ultrasounds it was bouncing on the yolk sac like it was an exercise ball.  Look at that, already athletic!

I have lots of posts - that I planned in my head, but never wrote - about the nursery progress, the appointments, the cloth diapers, the bump I'm starting to grow and symptoms I've felt.  All the usually "pregnant blog" type things.  I really hope I can keep the courage to share the experience because I really enjoy reading others stories.  At the same time, I'm sure as a reader it will be totally annoying to keep reading me say "IF" and "HOPEFULLY" at the beginning of every sentence, but so far it's a habit I haven't been able to break.


I also should note, I'm not really sure where the direction of this blog will go.  Since I haven't been shopping much recently (or if so it's been for totally awesome J Brand Mama J Maternity Skinny Jeans -LOVE!) which is why I haven't shared sales or wishlists, I'm not sure I'll stick with the routine shopping addict type posts.  I know I'll still continue to share my obsessions and pinterest love, obviously our home decor and reno's (since they will be bountiful), but I don't want to go full blown noting every pregnancy/mommy detail either.  I think it's something that for right now will just be there...  I hope you all stick around for the ride!


And for all of you that still actively follow along - thank you for sticking with me during my absence!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Request!

Okay all you fancy DSLR owners out there!  I just got my Canon Rebel T2i (and 18-55mm lens) yesterday and I've read most of the manual (heh) and a handful of tutorials that I've pinned on pinterest.  Any other MUST KNOW tips, tricks, etc you can share?

Favorite settings to take different style pics?  Links to your favorite How To sites? 



I'm a sponge!






P.S. I plan to pick up the 50mm f/1.8 lens in a few months when I finally get a hang of the settings.  OK, back to the dropping of knowledge - GO!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

[Recipe Share Sunday] Leftover Throwback

I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to repost an old post from two years ago.  If you hosted Thanksgiving, or got stuck taking home way too many leftovers, here's a great way to refresh all that stuffing!




(original post date 11/29/2009)

Looking for a new way to serve those Thanksgiving leftovers?


Earlier in the month at my "Dinnerless" Dinner Party, I made these great Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms as hors d'oeuvres . They were so easy to make and very tasty! I'll definitely be doing this again with all the stuffing that's hanging out in my fridge.

Ingredients
2 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup grated provolone cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
18 large button mushrooms (about 1 pound), stems removed


Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F. Break up stuffing into bowl. Add 3/4 cup cheese, egg, parsley, basil, and green onions; mix well. If mixture seems dry, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop out center of mushroom caps using small spoon. Fill each mushroom with stuffing; place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until stuffing is golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand covered at room temperature.)


Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Under the Covers ... Happy Gobble Gobble Day Ya'll

I'm Here! I'm Here!  

No I didn't run away to Occupy Wall Street, instead I decided to "Occupy Comfy Spots" for the last two months or so... or however long its been since my last post.   I took a note from B-Boy and snuggled in...



It seems like there is so much to catch up on.... 


After a year, where I thought we'd have little to be thankful for today - after suffering through a personal loss and subsequent struggles, the loss of my last living grandparent, and now even the impending loss of my job (my department, and entire building is being relocated - to Boston, which has kept me busy and away from the blogging as much as my snuggly blankets) all in the last 12 months... it's truly is a miracle that we found a something to be thankful for in addition to our good health and wonderful family and friends.

I hope all you readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the turkey!




I promise to be back soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

[Sale] Tory Burch Friends and Family

Thanks to Chloe and some reminder emails, I decided to take advantage of the Tory Burch Friends and Family 25% Off Sale!  The sale is good through today so get shopping!


I should note, the sale is not applicable for the Tumbled Leather Selma Boot, Reva Ballet Flats, Gift Cards, Pre-order items, Tory Burch Foundation product and other charity items, but all other items qualify.  Get Free Shipping on all orders over $350 (and also Free Shipping on any order of Eddie Flats - my favorite!... don't forget to size up a half size), with code FRIENDS2011.


Also don't forget to shop thru ebates and get 3.5% cash back!

Happy Shopping!




Sunday, October 9, 2011

[Recipe Share Sunday] Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Very few things can put a smile on my face the way a full cookie jar can...



Yesterday morning the Husband was slaving away working from home, I thought it'd be wifely of me to bake some fresh cookies (and it's total win/win, right?).  So I decided to use this recipe a friend of mine sent me a few weeks back.  You can find it here on epicurious, but I'll post the way I did it.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (butter flavored)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3.4-ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Beat vegetable shortening and unsalted butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add white and brown sugars and beat mixture until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla pudding mix, vanilla extract, baking soda, water, ground cinnamon and salt and mix until well blended. Mix in oats, then flour. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by large rounded spoonfuls (about 3 tablespoons each) onto cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies appear dry and tops are lightly cracked and soft when pressed, about 12 minutes (do not overbake). Cool cookies 5 minutes on cookie sheets. Transfer cookies to racks and cool. (Store cookies in airtight container.)



ENJOY!  Happy Sunday Friends!





Wednesday, September 28, 2011

[Wishlist Wednesday]



Wishlist



Most of these were taken from the items I said I was lusting after for fall yesterday over at my guest post on  Chelsea's blog.  Now, if only money grew on trees! 

What's on your wishlist this week??









Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Posting

Hey everyone!  Today I'm over guest posting for Chelsea at Haute Child in the City!



Go check it out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

[Crafty Lady] Little Cupcake

  
As soon as I came across this little applique frame on pinterest, I knew I wanted one for myself.  Problem is, child decor doesn't really fit into a house of 2 adults.  Instead, I thought, maybe I could make my own version and use it as a gift.

My friend was due at the end August (and this was back in June), I knew her nursery "theme" was cupcakes and figured that would be the perfect (and hopefully easy) way to try out something new.  You see, I have very little sewing ability outside of a button... and even that I hate doing.

So as I started to detail here, here's my little step by step tutorial (using that word loosely.... it's a more what I threw together and hoped worked out!)



First I found my fabric.  I bought two of the little quarter squares at Joanns.  They had a ton of options and basically looked like enough fabric for a bandanna - which would be more than enough.   I grabbed two coordinating fabrics that I knew would go with her blue and pink nursery.  I also liked that the floral print sort of mimicked sprinkles.  I also grabbed heat and bond transfer paper, and linen embroidery backing.


I cut two squares of fabric and two squares of iron transfer paper and attached them following the directions on the Heat and Bond packaging.


Once on, I free handed a cupcake stencil, in 2 parts, the cup and the cake on construction paper.  Once satisfied, I cut out my template and I then transferred that to iron on transfer paper (the back side) and then cut out my shapes. 

 

After my "cup" and my "cake" were cut, I planned the placement on the linen backing.  Removed the second layer of paper from the iron on transfer and bonded the fabric to the linen per the instructions given.


After this, I placed the linen in an embroidery hoop so I could stitch and outline around my little applique.  I'm sure if you have a sewing machine, and/or actually know how to work one, this step would be easy peasy.... instead I did it by hand, taking my time to make sure my stitches were roughly the same length and distance from the edge.


I did the "cake" part in a contrasting blue so it would stand out a little more. 


Instead of writing "hello" like the pinspiration picture above, I wanted to write the baby's name.  Collins.



I free handed an attempt in pencil (lightly) at centering it under the cupcake and writing it in cursive so I would be to easily go from one letter to another.  I used this stem stitch technique found here....



It didn't come out perfectly, but not too shabby for being my first time.  After I was done, I removed the embroidery hoop and ironed out the wrinkles.   I searched high and low for WHITE 8x8 frame, preferably with mating, but I failed and I was running out of time.    I grabbed a 5x7 white frame at Target and knew it would be a tight squeeze.

Tip:  Pick our your frame first before cutting your shapes to size!

I cut the linen backing with enough extra that I could "wrap" the cardboard insert that came in the frame.  To keep it pulled tight and in place, I stapled the fabric directly to the cardboard and and finished wrapping it just like you would a present.

Here was the final product!


After this picture, I decided to remove the glass, but put it in the back of the frame in case my frame would like it there. 

 

She was so happy to have received a handmade gift that was custom for her new little girl.  I definitely hope to make a few more of these in the future!




What kind of homemade gifts have you made in the past?  I'm always looking for new ideas, please share!



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer To Do List Follow Up!

Back in the beginning of the summer, I created a little project 'to do' list and shared it with you readers. While I didn't get to accomplish everything, I did knock out a good portion.

Here was the original list.....

Deck
Paint the Guest Bathroom
Paint the Garage Door
Address Planter
Personalized Presents
Spray Paint Shit
Make a Wreath
DECK
The deck project started out as a dream of custom built raised planters for a little veggie patch. 


That quickly fell through since I was running out of time of getting veggies planted, I didn't want to be harvesting tomatoes in October....  Instead, I grabbed 3 large planters and started out our patch like this....

(6.10.11)

and at the end of August, it looked more like this...
(yeah the cherry tomatoes took over and went crazy!)

PAINT THE GUEST BATHROOM
Next on the list was to paint the guest bathroom.... unfortunately I skipped out on this in lieu of the closet makeover

 

I'm planning on getting to the bathroom sometime in the next two months....

PAINT THE GARAGE DOOR
dunzo!

We previously had a panel replaced when our garage door mysteriously broke.  The new panel was a good 2 or 3 shade whiter than the rest of the door.  Our (lovely) HOA asked us to paint the door...




ADDRESS PLANTER
I already recapped my planter here, but again, here was my inspiration and what I did.... I'm actually planning on working on it this weekend, planting some mums and getting it ready for pumpkin season.



ready to get fallified

PERSONALIZED PRESENTS
My original to do was to make a gift for my friend's new baby in time for her arrival in August.  In addition to that, I made her a little wedding gift as well.


And the baby gift was inspired by this adorable applique found on pinterest.


And here is my take....  Stay tuned for details and a How To.


SPRAY PAINT SHIT
Man, there were so many things I wanted to go crazy spray paining this summer, mainly things like this.....

 

Instead, all I did were our closet shelves, but being that I went through a good 8 cans... I think I met my quota.

MAKE A WREATH
I wanted to make a wreath for summer that I could transition and change up for autumn... Instead, I'm just finishing it up now, so it's going to be ready for the Fall.  Here are some of my inspirations shots.... I should have a follow up in a few days!

 
 


Did you get everything accomplished on your summer to do list?