Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Recap

This weekend was one of the last completely free weekends T and I will have until we're on baby watch in May. It seems so weird to even write that, my due date seems so far away, but I know the next three months are going to fly by. We made every effort to make the most of our time this weekend, and I think we did a pretty good job.

 Friday nights are always very low key for us, both of us like to use Friday evenings to unwind and zonk out from the craziness of the week. Our ritual is takeout and Dateline, and we did just that.

We were up early on Saturday to run a few errands around town, and then headed to Clemson for the day. The weather is just starting to warm up in the Upstate, so it was the perfect day to get out and walk around. We had lunch at one of our favorite spots (which made us feel so old) and then walked with the dog around campus.  T and I met while at college, so returning to our old campus is always so neat and nostalgic for the two of us.  Going back this weekend with our baby in my belly and pregnancy hormones galore made it even more special.

That evening we returned home and met some friends out for dinner at Yard House, and then came home and crashed.  It's amazing how my energy levels these days are so low.  One afternoon of walking around a hilly campus will completely take it out of me.  

Sunday was an even more beautiful day that Saturday, temperatures were almost in the 70's which truly gave me a taste of spring.  Warmer weather just makes me a happier person, so I can't wait for spring to finally be here.  We did some work out in our yard, attempting to get rid of the highly embarrassing weed situation we've got going on, and rewarded ourselves with a yummy dinner and some Oscar watching.  I made my own version of Skinny Taste's Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, making them not-so-skinny by adding hot Italian sausage.   They were big hit, and we devoured all four.  

Now I'm off to tackle this Monday.  Hope y'all have a great week! 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five On Friday

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you, but I am SO ready for this weekend to be here.  This week I returned to my previous employer to do some freelance work for them.  Don't get me wrong, having a little extra cash flow this month is going to be nice, but returning to the 8:30-6:00 schedule and battling morning and evening rush hour has been quite an adjustment.  There are a lot of things I don't miss about my old job now that I'm working from home, but I've also come to realize there are so many things that I don't get when it's just me working from my kitchen table.  I've loved getting to catch up with old coworkers and friends and just get that social interaction during the day that I typically don't.

I'm linking up with April, Christina, Natasha and Darci today for their Five on Friday post.

Here's a peek at the top 5 things on my list for this Friday.

1. Lip Maximizer- I mentioned earlier this week that I purchased this Lip Maximizer.  I've only  been using it for a couple of days now, but I really like what I've seen so far.  I'm not too convinced that it will permanently plump my lips like some say it will (that just sounds too good to be true), but it does give a nice tingly feeling and draws more blood flow to my lips which gives them a little color and slightly fuller look.  I took a few before pictures this week, and I'll be interested to see if there's any noticeable difference in two weeks.

2. EPantry- As we prepare for our little guy to arrive this spring, I've become more interested in subscription and home delivery programs.  My sister April blogged about EPantry earlier this week, and I've decided to give it a try too. Not only is it convenient to have natural cleaning products delivered to your door, but I think it's also going to end up saving me money.   The prices they have on their products are cheaper than what our local stores sell them for.  On Tuesday I placed my first order, and it will be delivered today.  If you're interested in learning more about the service, read April's post about it here.

3. New Designs for Spring- I've been having fun putting together some new necklace designs for my Etsy Shop, and will be getting them added to the website over the weekend and next week.  I'm so excited that colors are getting bright again or spring, making colorful and cheery designs just puts me in the best mood!  I have just about had it with winter.

4. Stuffed Peppers Recipe- Since I was working longer hours this week, I planned for dinners that could be prepared ahead of time, or had a quick preparation.  We tried these stuffed peppers for the first time on Wednesday, and they were a huge hit.  I used Aldi's chorizo which we've both come to love lately. The stuffing had just a hint of heat, and the flavors were amazing.  They were just as good the second night as leftovers, too.


5. I've finally (I think) completed our baby registries.  We decided to register at both Babies R Us and Amazon.  It's so nice to be able to view a list of everything we need for our little guy's arrival.  As the nesting feelings are getting stronger and stronger, I crave organization with everything baby related.  Being able to log on, see what all I need, and what all I've purchased so far makes me happy.  A few of the things I'm most excited about are our stroller/travel system, Puj tub, Bunnies By The Bay pacifier holder, and the ever-popular Ergo 360.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

*affiliate links used 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Taking A Tumble + Recent Purchases

Hi there!  Today is my first day back to blogging after taking a break last week.  Last weekend I took a little tumble down some stairs- yes, every pregnant woman's worst nightmare- and I've been dealing with terrible back pain ever since.  Everything is okay with the baby, thank the LORD, but my body has been slow to heal.

I feel the need to share the whole story here. The embarrassing truth is, I was walking down the stairs with a doughnut in one hand and a glass of milk in the other with socks on my feet.  I lost my footing and hit the bottom three stairs on the center of my spine and left elbow.  The pain really wasn't that bad at the moment that it happened, but throughout that day it seemed to get worse and worse.  Every day I feel a little bit better, but I think it's going to be at least another week until I'm 100%.  I had already been dealing with lower back pain since about week 10 of my pregnancy, so this added middle back pain was not what I needed. 

So for the better part of last week, I stayed laid up on the couch not really wanting to move.  Since I had more time than usual on my hands, I decided to do some online shopping.   We have most of the big things purchased for the nursery (glider, ottoman, rug, crib, etc.) but now we're needing to pick out all the little things that will tie it all together.  We're going for a baby animal theme for the room which I thought was such an original idea, until I realized that everyone and their brother has a woodland themed nursery.  Oh well, it may not be original, but it's still so darn cute.

The one good thing about going with a popular theme is that it's been really easy to find things for the room that I love.  We ordered six of these prints to hang over the crib.  These prints were actually the initial inspiration for the room to begin with, so while they were a bit pricey, they were a must.  Once again, something I stumbled upon and loved, and have now realized so do thousands of other women on Pinterest.  

I also went ahead and purchased two sets of crib sheets from our baby registry.  I just couldn't wait to get them on the crib to see how they'd look, #nesting, it's a real thing.  I went with a safari print and grey trellis print

And then I bought a few items for myself, because you know, new things just make you feel better. I purchased this concealer after reading several good reviews about it, and so far I'm loving it.  It seems to stay on all day which I really appreciate, and has full coverage without being cakey.  I haven't been sleeping great lately, and the circles under my eyes really show it.  Thankfully this stuff has helped me cover those up. 

I also purchased a tube of this Lip Maximizer which should be coming in today.  I'm so excited to see how it works, because the reviews are all pretty great.  It's a bit pricey, but if it really makes my lips bigger, I'm all in. 

And lastly, I picked up a new pair of slippers.  Totally justifiable because I no longer allow myself to walk around the house sock-footed after my tumble.  They are so cushy and comfortable, I never want to take these things off.  The rubber soles provide the traction I need for my ever-changing center of balance.  And you can't get much better than LL Bean's lifetime warranty, their quality is insane.  
So there's a little peek of what I've been doing over the last week and a half.  Cleaning out my DVR, sitting on the couch with a heating pad on my back, and slowly draining my PayPal account on totally necessary purchases.  Hope y'all are having a great week! 

*some affiliate links have been used in this post

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!  I haven't done one of these in a while, so today I'm joining up with April, Christina, Natasha, and Darci for their Five on Friday link up.  Here are the top five things on my mind this Friday.

1. Our Kitchen Renovation- Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments on our kitchen renovation!  It's one of my favorite rooms of the house (and one that's the most complete) so it was fun to finally share it with you all.  If you missed the post you can see it here.

2.  A Trick For Freezing Bananas- Most mornings I try to make a smoothie for both T and me for breakfast.  Frozen bananas are the perfect base for any smoothie, and this week I learned a really cool trick.  Instead of having to slice the bananas, freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then transfer them to a ziplock for storage, I've learned a shortcut.  Peel the banana, place it in a ziplock sandwich bag, and mash and break it up a bit with your finger tips.  Lay it flat int he freezer, and the next day the banana just peels right out of the bag.  This is what they look like when you put them in the freezer.

3. Simplisafe Security System- T recently changed jobs within his company, and his new gig will have him traveling a bit more than he has in the past.  We live in a pretty safe neighborhood, but we decided to get a new security system for my peace of mind when he's gone.  We opted for the Simplisafe system, and it came in this week.  I'll be working on getting everything hooked up this weekend, and I'm so excited to see how it all works!  The system seems to have some great features, it's completely customizable, no contracts have to be signed, and monitoring for the system is only $14.99/month.  There's a 60 day money back guarantee, so we're going to give it a shot for 2 months and see what we think.  I'll be sure to report back with our thoughts.

4. Maternity Leggings- I mentioned in my day in the life post yesterday that pants have been a challenge for me and my ever-growing tummy.  Thankfully these leggings that my sister April wrote about recently have been great.  I think I'll be getting a second pair soon.  I find myself doing a load of laundry just so I can wash them and wear them again.  They are so comfortable, full coverage in the belly area, and nice thick fabric.

5. Valentine's Day Treats- Somehow Valentine's day completely snuck up on me.  T and I aren't huge celebrators of the holiday anyway, but we both kind of dropped the ball this year.   You know who didn't?  My in-laws.  We received this package of Shari's Berries and Truffles yesterday from them.  The perfect gift for someone who is currently wanting everything sweet in sight.  I've never had Shari's Berries before, but I was really pleased with both the packaging and quality of the berries and truffles.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Day In The Life

One of my favorite kinds of posts to read on other blogs is a day in the life post.  I love getting to read about what other people's days look like.  The mundane things that they do and the not-so-blogworthy moments are sometimes just as interesting to read about as those beautifully staged ones.

I want to preface this post by saying this season of my life has been completely different than any other time for me.  This fall, I decided it would be the best decision to leave my nine to five and pursue my jewelry business full time.  The timing of this all couldn't have been more perfect.  Being able to work from home during my pregnancy has been absolutely amazing.  It's given me the opportunity to finally take things easy, and while that will only the be the case for three more months before baby arrives, I'm soaking in every minute of it.  So, while my schedule may seem a little more relaxed than most, it's going to change very soon, and I'm taking advantage of that while it's here.

7:30- Wake up and head downstairs to make breakfast for T and me. Breakfasts this week are these Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothies.  They both satiate my never ending preggo sweet tooth, and give me some extra iron to start my day.  I've been taking the gummy prenatal vitamins which have no iron in them, so I try to supplement each day with leafy greens.  T likes them because they taste like a Reese's Cup.


7:45- Do a quick kitchen clean up getting everything washed that I was too lazy to do last night after dinner.  Also, go ahead and take chicken out of the freezer to thaw for tonight's dinner.

8:00- T heads to work with the dog, and I sit down in front of the TV with my smoothie and computer.  Catch up on emails and make my to do list for the day.  Wednesdays are doggie day camp days, they run a $10 Wednesday special, so George goes every week.  It's the highlight of that dog's week, he sits by the door and waits any time he hears us say "camp".  It also gives me a break from having to let him out every 10 minutes to chase the squirrels like I do every other day of the week.

9:00- Shower and get ready for the day, which includes the search for a pair of yoga pants that still fit over my ever growing belly.  It's a daily struggle, and my selection keeps on getting smaller and smaller.

10:00- Make several necklaces to complete a wholesale order for a local shop.  Today I set up shop at the kitchen table and watched some episodes of Broad City.  I usually like to have a TV show or pod cast on in the background.   Seems counterintuitive but it keeps me from getting distracted.

11:15- Just an ordinary day so far, but things went haywire around lunchtime. While making necklaces I started hearing a weird meow/scream coming from upstairs.   I usually only hear noises like this coming from our cat when the dog is taunting her, so I went upstairs to see what was going on.  Our poor cat Lulu had blood coming out of her mouth and was clearly in pain.  After further investigation I realized that one of her bottom canines was completely hanging out of her mouth.  I have no clue how this could have happened.  I called T freaking out and thankfully he was already about to head home for lunch.  Once he got home we wrangled her in to the crate, and I headed for the vet.

12:15- Back from the vet, and got some positive feedback from them.  She's no longer bleeding and doesn't seem to be in too much pain right now.  They've got her scheduled for a checkup, teeth cleaning, and extraction so hopefully things should be all okay.  She'll have to stay the night at the vet though.  Poor baby. Looks like the whole thing's gonna cost upwards of $800.  I've been putting money away for months to go towards a new couch for our den that we desperately need.  The one we have has been recovered, but it's older than me.  That money will now go towards our cat dental bill.  So that's just awesome...

12:45- Finally calmed down from the chaos of the cat drama.  Made a salad for lunch with romaine, grilled chicken, chick peas and veggies.  I love that T comes home for lunch each day.  He works less than 2 miles down the road, so it's really convenient for him to just come here instead of eating out. When the baby is here it will be even more useful, I'm hoping he can eat and watch Thompson while I have an hour to shower or get anything else done I need to without a baby in tow.  While he's home, we both realize how quickly Valentine's day is approaching and the fact that neither one of us thought to make a reservation anywhere.  You can tell we're both romantics...haha.  We decide to call a little German place in Asheville that we visited years ago on a Grove Park trip when I was still in college.  It will be fun to take a little road trip this weekend and get to visit this place again.  Hoping the food is as good as I remember!

2:00- I very rarely do this, but I decide to get out of the house and take my computer to Starbucks for the afternoon.  Tax season has been looming over me, and I'm still pretty behind on getting all of my small business stuff in order for filing our taxes.  Hoping that getting out of the house might force me to really get shit done.

5:00- Wrap up at Starbucks and head home to start on dinner.  Proud of myself because I made a lot more progress than I thought I would with taxes.  Pour myself my current favorite mocktail, Coconut Lacroix with a few maraschino cherries and some cherry juice, and get to cutting up chicken.  Tonight we're having prosciutto wrapped chicken stuffed with goat cheese with cherry tomatoes and roasted carrots.

6:00- T gets home with the dog and we sit down while dinner cooks to talk about our days with the National News on in the background.

7:00- Dinner's ready.  We have developed the bad habit of eating on the couch while watching TV.  We recorded episode 2 of The People vs. OJ Simpson, we watch that.   I was so young during all of this that I don't really remember much from the trial.  Because of that I find this show fascinating.  We also watch an episode of Silicon Valley, a show we just got into on HBO.

9:00- TV is off and we do a quick kitchen clean up to put the dishes away from dinner.  Since I've been pregnant, I get sleepy really early so I'm off to bed.  I go through my usual nightly routine, and then pop a Zantac and a Unisom, and rub my favorite Belly Balm all over my stomach.  I have loved being pregnant, but I do miss the days when I slept just fine on my own and didn't have insane heartburn every hour of the day.

9:15- I coax T into giving me a foot rub and feel baby Thompson moving all around in my belly since I'm laying still.  He seems to be most active at night and in the morning.  The combination of these two things works like a charm, and I'm out.

And that's a little look at what my days look like.  All will change completely in about three months when our baby arrives, but for now this is it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kitchen Renovation

When we moved into our house over six months ago, the kitchen was the first room that we tackled.  We worked with contractors to get it 95% finished, and it was up to me to finish the remaining 5%.  And half a year later, I've finally gotten it done.  There are still things about the room that I'll probably end up changing at some point (like the cabinet and drawer pulls) but the room is finally fully functional.

The kitchen was by far the room that needed the most work.  Floral wallpaper, stained linoleum, fluorescent lighting, and a pink bathroom tile backsplash.  These are some of the pictures that were taken from the original house listing.  

We were able to keep the existing cabinetry which thankfully saved us some money, but everything else was replaced.  We replaced all appliances, new sink, hardwoods were installed, wallpaper removed, new backsplash, counters, pendant lighting, and can lighting replaced the fluorescent box light.  Oh, and we also decided at the last minute to install a little breakfast nook seat in the bay window.  Something I'm SO happy that we did. 

Since the breakfast nook was a last minute decision, we had very little money left in our budget to install something.  We originally got a quote for a fully finished boxed in window seat which would have been great, but was way over our budget.  Instead, we decided to get crafty, and I worked with our contractor to create a seat that was secured to the stud, reinforced by turned legs, and painted white to match the rest of the trim.  I stained some milk crates and attached casters to the bottom of them for some extra kitchen storage, and stuck those underneath.

Since the color pallet of the room is so white, I wanted our pendant lighting to be a focal point of the room, and bring a bit of color back in.  I fell in love with these copper pendant lights from Dot and Bo.  They're currently sold out of this exact style, but I included links to two very similar styles below.

One of the most useful parts of our kitchen isn't even really in the kitchen.  It's just around the corner in the adjoining laundry room.  We had a little bit of extra space in the room, so I decided to put a tall stainless rack in there to hold all of our pots, pans, and small appliances.   I have loved this thing.  It holds all the appliances that usually take up space all over the kitchen counter.  We even keep our toaster plugged in on the rack, so we don't have to move it every time we want toast.  Best $80 I've spent in a long time. 

Here's a list of the sources for everything in the room.  Affiliate links have been used.

Paint Color- Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Counters- Mont Blanc Marble
Sink- Home Depot
Faucet- Similar
Table and Chairs- Antique
Pendant Lighting-  Similar here and here
Boxwood Wreath- West Elm
Decorative Piece Over Microwave- My O'verlays
Utensil Holders- Similar
Copper Fruit Basket- Anthropologie
Outlet Covers- Amazon
Chrome Rack- Amazon

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