Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 17

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a pomegranate and weighs 5 ounces.

Gender: We find out this week!! Just for fun, I made a chart of old wives tales predicting gender. Honestly, I do not place any weight into wives' tales regarding gender. None are based on data just anecdotal experience. There is evidence to say that you may be more prone to morning sickness if you experience motion sickness. Additionally, headaches and skin changes can happen due to skincare routine, changes in diet or even the weather. But, based on these it seems like the odds are leaning toward a baby boy. 

Weight Gain: I am up 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Which is right on track. At least a few pounds are due to all the candy corn M & Ms I have been enjoying! Guilt free :) 

Maternity Clothes: Still rocking mainly dresses and loose tops. My non- maternity pants may need to be retired in the coming weeks.

Nursery: Making a shopping list for Ikea when we go to Charlotte in October. 

Movement: I have started feeling small kicks really low in my abdomen especially late at night. 

Symptoms: I have been extra emotional this past week. I cried watching Pitch Perfect 2- not at all a sappy movie. Thankfully, I have been able to snap out of my moody spells pretty quickly.  

Sleep: Sleep is becoming more and more difficult by the day, I ordered a maternity body pillow over the weekend and have been giving it a try. Sleeping on my side is something I will have to get used to. 

Cravings: Loving Candy Corn M & Ms. They truly taste noting like candy corn and are more of a white chocolate flavor. 

What I Miss: Alcohol. All the fall flavors have come out in the grocery stores and have me yearning for a Strongbow cider.

Exercise: 4 Pure Barre classes as well as 2 long walks. 

Best Moments: Feeling definite kicks at night has been amazing. 

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Five

I hope everyone is staying dry and warm this Friday morning. It is dreary here in NC thanks to the remnants of a tropical depression brining rain and wind to the east coast. Not a great weekend to go to the beach, which exactly what our plans were! Instead of heading to the beach I decided to stay home, rest up and take some time to go shopping for home decor. What are your favorite places to shop for pillows and home accessories? I plan to hit up Home Goods and TJMaxx.  On this dreary Friday, here are a few things that are making my week a bit brighter.

One. Starbucks Hack. This week I splurged on my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Instead of going with the basic PSL, I ordered a tall PSL with one pump of chai syrup. It is the perfect blend of spice and pumpkin. I highly recommend mixing up your basic order and giving this a try! You can also buy Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Concentrate at Starbucks for an at-home version.

Two. Currently Reading.  I loved this book by Emily Oster on the data behind pregnancy guidelines. Emily is an economist and explains the research studies which many pregnancy rules are based. I love being able to make an informed decision based on research on things like weight gain and epidurals.  I was tuned into this book thanks to Sarah who recommended this on her blog.

Three. Currently Craving.  I am still loving all things candy related with a hint of fall. This week I noticed that candy corn popcorn was back in the stores and am convinced I could make it at home.  Until I can perfect the recipe, I will be doing research by enjoying a bag of Angie's popcorn.

Four. Great Customer Service.  Zulily features great prices on trendy items. I was tempted to give them a try due to their low prices on adorable maternity clothes.  I ordered a few adorable maternity cardigans and dresses through their site last month. Shipping is free and typically takes 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately, when I got my first order the items did not fit. So, I reached out to customer service where they promptly replied crediting my card back for my purchase and issuing a story credit. I am highly impressed with their customer service and am happy to report my second order fit like a charm! 

Five. Baby Registry. It is time to start thinking about registering for little one. This has got to be one of the most overwhelming parts of being pregnant. I would love to heart your newborn must haves and tips for making the most of our registry!

Linking up with ClareKarliAmanda & April .
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 16

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of an avocado and weighs 3.5 ounces.

Gender: We find out next week!! 

Weight Gain: I am up 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Side note: This is based on my friendlier at home scale. We had a doctor's appointment this afternoon in which the scale showed a completely different number.  I believe the weight gain is still the same based on the doctor's scale starting weight. It has always baffled me why there is a significant difference between at home vs doctor office weights! 

Maternity Clothes: I find myself gravitating toward dresses and loose tops. I am still fitting into most of my non-maternity pants using an elastic to expand the waist.  

Nursery: Looking forward to start planning next week. 

Movement: Still just feeling little flutters at times. Can' wait to feel larger movements and for when Joe can feel from the outside.  

Symptoms: Still feeling more like my pre-pregnancy self in regards to energy level and endurance.  I was able to go on a short run this past weekend and it felt great! I have experienced some crazy dreams this week thanks to my vivid imagination mixed with pregnancy hormones. 

Sleep: I have been waking up 2x night to use the restroom. After I get up, it is hard to go back to sleep. 

Cravings: Solved my baked potato craving with a trip to McAllisters where I devoured a veggie baked potato. I am loving some sort of dessert after dinner each night. I typically fix myself a small bowl of ice cream to enjoy on the couch. 

What I Miss: Enjoying a cold glass of Moscato with dinner. 

Exercise: I got in several long walks plus one short run. I also got in 4 Pure Barre classes this week.  

Best Moments: My cousin who had her son two years ago sent up two boxes of maternity clothes for me to borrow. I am so thankful not to have to buy many clothing items! 

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday! I am looking forward to enjoying every second of this weekend once the clock hits 5. Getting this Friday started like always with a round up of favorite things.

One. Currently Loving. This shampoo and conditioner has been a long time favorite of mine which I recently rediscovered. I love the mix of rosemary and mint as it reminds me of being in a spa.

Two. Currently Reading.  
This article on the unhealthy change in fitness mindset.
-These great tips to sneaking in exercise into everyday routines.
- Lauren Conrad's beauty DIY on natural teeth whitening.

Three. Currently Craving.  All the fall candy. This trail mix combines some of my favorite fall flavors including candy corn and white chocolate m & ms. You better believe I will be making a version of this come October.

Four. Feeling Crafty. Love this adorable pumpkin decor. I wish I was crafty enough to DIY but may just settle for Etsy! 

Five. Weeknight Dinners. I gravitate toward recipes that are simple and don't require messing up too many dishes. This round up of 19 healthy one-pot dinners seem perfect for the working girl and filled fall flavors! 

That's it for today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Stay tuned next week as I will be sharing my goals for fall and an update on Baby M!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipe hacks. I feel like calling it a recipe is cheating since there are only two ingredients. This recipe came from my long love for McDonald's Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. I have been eating these McDonald's treats for breakfast or a snack since high school. Recently, I found myself grabbing one from the drive through 1-2x a week. Because of my frequent visits, I decided that it was time to recreate the treats at home. With just a bit of trial and error, I was able to recreate the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait at home!

The ingredient list is simple. Dannon vanilla yogurt and frozen mixed berries. The secret is using frozen berries. As the berries thaw, juices are released creating a natural syrup that flavors the yogurt.

Fruit & Yogurt Parfait
*McDonalds Copycat Recipe

- 1 Cup Dannon Vanilla Yogurt 
- 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries and Blueberries 

Layer 1/2 cup of yogurt in the bottom of a mason jar or any portable container. Top with 1/2 cup frozen berries. Layer remaining yogurt and frozen berries overtop. Enjoy immediately or place in refrigerator of a quick on the go breakfast or snack! 

The mason jars make it perfect to grab while running out the door. I have been making 4-5 of these on Sunday night for an easy breakfast I can enjoy at work. Hope you enjoy!! 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 15

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of an apple. Little one is around 4 inches long. 

Gender: We find out at the end of the month! 

Weight Gain: My calculations were off these past weeks as I had my starting weight incorrect. Blame it on pregnancy brain! I am up 5 pounds which is right on track. 

Maternity Clothes: The few items I ordered from Target and Old Navy came in this weekend. Maternity dresses are still way too big for my little bump. So I am sticking to regular dresses for a while longer. I am LOVING Old Navy's Maternity Side Panel Skinny Jeans which I snagged for under $20! 

Nursery: Waiting to make any final plans until we know Baby M's gender. 

Movement: Feeling little flutters when I lay down or sit still. Can' wait to feel larger movements! 

Symptoms: Physically- I feel more like my pre-pregnancy self. The major symptom I notice is getting out of breath easily when working outside or at Pure Barre. I take lots of water breaks to help get my heart rate back down. Emotionally- I am a basket case. I had a really rough day Friday where I ended up crying in a co-workers office by 10am. Everyone at school has been extremely supportive and caring toward me with this pregnancy.

Sleep: Thanks to your great feedback last week, I decided to embrace my small belly for a bit longer until it gets super uncomfortable. I learned I can still sleep somewhat on my stomach if I elevate one side with a pillow. Thanks to this, I am sleeping like a baby! 

Cravings: Same carbs + fruit. I am loving muscadine grapes and pears right now. I could also eat a baked potato everyday for lunch. 

What I Miss: Running. Now that it is cooling off I am itching to go on a run. I hope to try a short one this week. 

Exercise: It was a rough week at work and I came home exhausted most days and it really impacted my workouts. Only got in 2 Pure Barre classes this week. I also enjoyed  4 long walks with the pup. 

Best Moments: Helping out with nursery at church this week. It was such a blessing to talk to the other women about newborn experiences and wisdom.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Five

Another Friday is in the books. I'm celebrating with a Chick-Fil-A diet lemonade and a roundup of five things I am loving this week!

One. Bedroom Inspiration. We have a huge master bedroom with a set of large bay windows. It is great to have a bit of natural light in the room. However, I would like for it to be completely dark at night when we head to bed. I love the idea of doing multiple window treatments to add a bit of character to the room.

Two. Currently Craving. I am ready for fall weather and apple cider. When it comes to mocktails, I am at a loss when we go out to a restaurant as I have no idea how to order a non alcoholic cocktail besides a Shirley temple. I decided to remedy that by making my own at home! Looking forward to recreating this Apple Cider Punch once the temps in NC drop below 80.

Three. Slow Cooker Love. This time of year is perfect for using a slow cooker. I love coming home to a delicious smelling house after work knowing that I don't have to worry about spending a hour in the kitchen. I love the idea of making pulled chicken in the crock-pot but the thought of plain chicken makes me nauseous (Thanks hormones!). This recipe seems budget friendly and delicious which is perfect for a week night meal. 

Four. Crafty. My calligraphy skills are coming along slowly but surely. Still nothing amazing to share on the blog quite yet. I loved these simple tips that break down the art of hand lettering.

Five. Happy Friday! Apparently, I can't emphasize this enough. I hope everyone has a great day and a wonderful weekend!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In Review | Summer Goals

My aim for this summer was to get out and enjoy new things. I kept it simple with four general goals. Here is a quick recap of my adventures over the summer. 

1. Try new restaurants. I have tried several new restaurants since our move including Parker & Otis, The Pit, Brigs, Pipers & Lilly's Pizza. My favorite by far was Parker & Otis and I make any excuse to grab lunch there during the week.

2. Complete new craft projects. I completed the easiest craft project to date with these beautiful coasters. The other "crafts" I completed were working on my calligraphy and enjoying this adult coloring book.

3. Workout 5x week. Not even close. I have been enjoying lots of long walks in the early mornings or late evenings. Since September, I am finally back at it with Pure Barre 4-5x week. 

4. Streamline my wardrobe. I have donated or sold at least 1/3 of my wardrobe this summer. Believe me I still have tons of clothes hanging in my closet. The problem is not dealing with my growing belly! 

Stay tuned as I will be sharing my goals for September later this week.
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Monday, September 7, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 14

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a beet or a lemon. I prefer to think of a little baby beet since  it is one of my favorite foods. Babe is around 3.5 inches long. 

Gender: I have an inkling of what babe may be. Can't wait to see if I am right at the end of the month! 

Weight Gain: I am up three pounds from my normal weight. 

Maternity Clothes: None yet but as my pants are a bit snug I know that they are fast approaching. I caught a great sale at Old Navy and Target for Labor Day and stocked up on some larger camis and basic layering pieces. 

Nursery: Just a ton of ideas floating around in my head. I have been researching cribs like crazy. Thanks to consumer reports I have narrowed it down to two! 

Movement: I have felt little flutters late at night when I am lying in bed. However, it is nothing that makes me 100% sure it is baby.

Symptoms: My belly grows as the day goes on. The picture above was after lunch. It doubled in size after dinner! By the end of the day there is no hope of buttoning my pants. 

Sleep: Sleeping pretty well once I get comfortable. I really need to invest in a full body pillow since I am officially unable to sleep on my stomach.  Any recommendations for the best pregnancy pillow? 

Cravings: Still loving fruit & carbs. Just picked up a quart of grapes at the farmers market today and I could not hide my excitement. The lady ringing me us up thought I was too enthusiastic. 

What I Miss: Laying and sleeping on my stomach. 

Exercise: Completed 4 Pure Barre classes this week. I also celebrated hitting 100 classes with the Raleigh studio! 

Best Moments: Enjoyed the long weekend just the two of us. Trying to soak up every minute of downtime we have these days!

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