Thursday, March 28, 2013

Real Life Lately

So, to be quite honest...I haven't been feeling that great. Trying to stay positive about losing post baby weight is harder than I thought it'd be.  I know it took 9 months to grow her/gain it, but I was hoping to be in my pants by now.

 womp womp.

I'm not trying to complain, really, but I want to be honest.  I  am used to losing weight by cutting carbs/working out hard.  But throw in this breastfeeding thing, and I feel a bit lost.  How do you mama's do it??  {Besides the obvious, not gaining 60+ lbs}.  I feel so ravenous after a workout and I try to eat healthy foods, but then I feel like it's a balancing act keeping my milk supply up. 

Any tips or tricks??

Am I being too hard on myself?   Am I not trying hard enough?

I drink a shit-ton of water, I really do.

I've also developed this awful ringing in my left ear---it's like a hissing/buzzing sound. Tinnitus. WTH??

I went to the doctor and was given an antibiotic for a sinus/ear infection, which stresses me out because I hate pills and especially with breastfeeding. {Regardless of the 'harmless' side effects}

So while I consider myself a fairly upbeat and happy person, these last few days have been a bit trying!!

Some positives:
I've been seeing a chiropractor and he's helping with my pelvis pain I started getting while pregnant.  It was seriously out of whack!! He's an amazing guy and really helping with that.  He recommended for me to get a Foam Roller, which I just got from Amazon yesterday. I'll let you know how those exercises go!

My hip is doing much better since visiting the Chiro; I was able to walk about an hour the other day pushing Brooke in her stroller. That felt amazing...

The chiro is also helping with my back; he calls it "Mommy's Back" from all the bending, looking down, carrying her, carrying her in the car seat etc.  It hurt so good when he was working on it the other day.  Highly suggest new mommies get themselves a good chiropractor. 

Brooke slept 8 hours last night.  She sure sleeps a lot!!

I tried her Easter dress on and it fits! I was so worried she'd be too big--but luckily 3-6 months is still good to go.

She is seriously the sweetest and best thing that ever happened to Joe and I; I am so very grateful and thankful she is ours.  I really couldn't ask for a better baby! 

I have been cooking some great meals that Joe has enjoyed: Chicken Spaghetti (Thanks Jamie!)  Chicken Cacciatore, Shrimp Fra Diavlo, and today will be Tilapia with Mango Avocado Salsa I'm also obsessed with some organic Caesar dressing for my daily salads.

We are getting new counter tops!! The guys came and measured a template and in about a month we should have brand new counters. Very exciting.

I have an amazingly supportive husband and I know he loves me no matter what, but I really really really wanna be back into my old clothes soon.

So that's what's going on casa Delle Fave. 

I really hope the weather breaks soon and I can spend more time outside. I think this girl needs a tan some vitamin D.  I am a leo after all! 

Oh, and totally random, but I had a dream that I cut my hair like the OC housewives. I have an appointment next Friday.  Should I go for it?!? #babypullsmyhairandithurtslikeabitch

google images

That may have been my most random post ever.  Thanks for reading if you made it all the way!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fresh Spring Recipes

 Life and Times of Alison and Justin

I have three for you today!

Starting with my newest obsession--Mean Green Juice

{Yes, we bought a juicer and yes, we watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead}

Warning: This stuff is addicting!! No joke.  I made some Wednesday night. Then Thursday night I poured a glass of red wine. Took a sip.  Then realized I really didn't want wine....I dumped it back into the bottle.

I really wanted some green juice!!

{I'm not making this up; and yes, I'm as shocked as you are.}

I threw a kiwi in for kicks and a whole lemon--it was divine.


2 stalks of celery
small bunch of kale (all I had)
1/2 cucumber
1 kiwi--remove skins
2 cored apples
1 whole lemon
slice of ginger

Juiced it.

I think it tastes best with ice.  Seriously,  I want another right now!! It just makes you feel so healthy.

I also recommend this easy soup recipe.  If you're busy with your Spring Cleaning, this is a great recipe to throw together quickly, or you could do it in a slow cooker.


Soups are great because you really can't mess them up.  Just toss in what you have on hand! For me it was:

1 1/2 cartons of Chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 of a container of fresh spinach
1 large container of cheese tortellini
I package of Chorizo sliced
1 small onion diced
2 garlic cloves diced
Italian seasoning
Salt pepper to taste
EVOO

1.  Saute onion in EVOO until soft.  Then add garlic to soften, NOT brown.
2.  Add sliced Chorizo (or sausage, or omit, whatever!)
3.  Add tomatoes & broth---bring to a boil.  Add seasonings to taste.
4.  Add tortellinis and cook for 8 minutes.
5.  Throw in spinach to soften.
6.  Serve with parm cheese or feta on top, either is delish!

And the last meal is super quick and very light.

Avocado Pasta
1-2 ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
handful of basil (and/or spinach)
1 whole lemon
EVOO
1/2 box of pasta

1.  Cook pasta according to box
2.  Peel 2 garlic cloves--put into food processor.
3.  Add EVOO (a few splashes)
4.  Add juice of one lemon & puree in processor.
5.  Add 1-2 avocados
6.  Add basil and/or spinach & puree to make your sauce.
7.  Stir into cooked pasta
8.  Season with salt or pepper and top with a little fresh parm cheese.

You could try it with lime--I liked it better that way.  This was the first time I made it.

Just a few quick mealtime fixes for your Spring kitchen.  What's cooking for you this Spring??

Thank you to the girls who hosted this fun link-up.  I had so much fun linking up.

I hope you  do one for Summer!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Super Easy Spring DIY Project

 Life and Times of Alison and Justin


If you follow my blog, you know that I don't do a ton of DIY things...mostly because I tend to start them, and never finish!! When I saw this linkup party, I viewed it as a challenge to myself to not only blog consecutively for 5 days, but to also find something I could do to share with you!

I went basic.

Very basic.

I had a babysitter during the day (thanks mama in-law!!) and so while I was out, I decided to stop at Michaels and see what jumped out at me. Of course a million awesome ideas popped out at me, but knowing that the baby takes most of my time, I wanted one fairly easy task.

Enter:

Wooden letter & glitter spray paint.

 

Of course we all love monograms, and I realized while our darling daughter has quite a few all around, we didn't have any letter D's displayed.

I have been sadly staring at our mantle, wishing it were prettier...I thought I'd spruce it up a bit with some Spring-like essence.
 
I found two awesome peach scented candles on clearance for 4.99
Some pretty purple garland half off.
And a pretty green butterfly.
Husband loves that silly frog...


**Note: If you live up North and temperatures are in the 30's and "feel like 14" your pain will probably not dry as wonderfully as it would on a non freezing day.


The paint kind of bubbled and dripped, but I made it work. (I had never tried to paint anything in sub-freezing temps...)

Not my finest project, but hey, I did something!


I can't wait to pick fresh tulips from our garden and place them up there. Now that I have something to work with, I can add "springy" ideas to it.

At least I now know to leave my chalkboard paint project for a warmer day, haha!

So even if you're not crafty, just wait for some warmer weather and this project is for you!

I seriously cannot wait for this crazy cold winter to let up.

Tomorrow: Best Spring Recipe

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks

 Life and Times of Alison and Justin
I love a freshly cleaned home, who doesn't?  It's just super hard to keep a house looking pristine when you have two furry dogs, a baby, and two active people! The outside is already like a mud pit, and leaving towels by every door to dry off muddy paws helps, but certainly doesn't eliminate.  I must say however, since using my steam mop, I feel like the floors are much more manageable to keep up with. I love it!
Last year I wrote this post to help me.  I didn't stick with it 100%, by any means, but if I can do the following, I feel like I can stay on top of things.
Daily:
Run the dishwasher
Wipe counters/clean after every meal
Make bed
Do at least one load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away!)
Tidy up living room
 Check floors--vacuum as needed
Get mail & sort (throw away junk asap!)

So keeping up with the daily cleaning is one thing, but how about a nice deep clean around the house that isn't always taken care of?

Spring Cleaning List:
Clean and organize office 
Windows in/out
Guest room: organize clothes w/ bins
Organize shoes better
Donate clothes
Tidy up basement storage
Clean oven
 Clean refrigerator and freezers
Organize kitchen--cabinets, cupboards
Begin outdoor work-pick up sticks

I have already begun de-cluttering, which I believe is the biggest help around my house.  Three people can accumulate a lot of junk over the years (months-for baby!)  I started with our 'office' which was really just a catch-all for all of the stuff I never knew what to do with.  Extra books, papers, nick-knacks, craft supplies...the list goes on and on!

My best advice is to just start some place. 

Then make three piles.

1.) Keep--stuff you use on a daily/weekly and find a home for it.
2.) Throw away (or give away, like books)--stuff you don't use.  If it's in good condition, donate it. If it's broken, why are you still holding onto it anyway?!
3.)  Store--Grab a box, bin, bags, whatever, and place items in here that you just can't let go of, but don't need to look at taking up space in your new area.  (You can then throw/give away next spring when you realize you didn't use them for an entire year!)

Of course, since I am no expert...I'm going to resort to these.  Thank you Pinterest!  There are some really useful tips here that I hope to implement. 








TIPS:

Be sure to generate your own list of areas in your home you want to deep clean.

With that, make sure your dinners are planned ahead, ideally with little to no effort. (Think freezer meals or crockpot meals) because you'll be tired!

Be proud of yourself after you've cleaned an area.  Make it pretty! Get rid of things you are not in love with. If there are things you're staring at on a daily basis that are not appealing to your eyes, why is it there?  Now, I understand when living with other people, tastes can be different (husband's desire to collect odds and ends from our trips) so you must compromise. Husband now has a man cave where all these 'special things' rest and I have my office back.

Now I have a clean space to write, make notes, plan menus, do bills, and stay motivated! This way I won't mess up our kitchen table on a daily basis.

Happy Cleaning!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Fashion!

Since writing yesterday's bucket list for Spring, it made me really think about what I hope to accomplish these next few months.   I chose appropriate activities that can and hopefully will get done by my family!  I kind of felt the need to make the same thing happen with today's topic: Fashion.

I could pin a bunch of unrealistic outfits, and dream away {which is a lot of fun, don't get me wrong!} but I since I'm still struggling with dressing cute with a post-partum pooch, I am keeping it real.  And keeping myself accountable! I'm breastfeeding, eating healthy, working out...I just know it will be some time before I can rock some cute colored denim.

None of these items are crazy expensive, and if you look closely, you may have something similar in your closet to use!  I figured I'd share some of my newest Spring purchases and some oldies but goodies I hope to pair them up with. I'm hoping some of my closet shares will inspire you to take a closer look in your closet too. Of course, there's still a few items on my 'wish list' but I thought this was a good place to start.

My newest purchase was from Express; I went shopping last week with my step-mom.  I needed a cute/trendy going out top that I felt good in.  I don't want to spend a ton of money on items I won't wear long, so I really tried to choose items that can get me through different seasons at a little bigger of a size.

Dressy tank & moto jacket:

Here's a look at just the tank:
The back (left) is white and black with an opening for an extra bit of detail and the front (right) is an off-white.  I am hoping to pair this with the moto jacket, skinny jeans, and a pair of booties for a night out on the town!

Now the tank can easily go under a black blazer, cream blazer w/ a statement scarf or necklace, a purple blazer, with a colorful skirt, a black skirt, jeans...what else?!  I think it can also be an all season tank, pending on what I pair it with.

The same goes for the jacket--it's my first "moto jacket" purchase.

Here are some of my ideas:
Flowy coral top from Express & a beaded necklace from an antique store.
*Pardon my wrinkles and odd photos...sick hubby and a 2 month old--hasn't been an easy day. :/
Fuchsia dress & a pop of yellow scarf
Little black dress--casual:
W/ leopard infinity scarf
I'm thinking with boots--great transition since it's still chilly in "Spring"
or get a little flower action; adds more femininity
Basic Old Navy Tank & another flower scarf:
A few more items to 'spruce up' my wardrobe:

Spring Fashion

Spring Fashion by jennifer-delle-fave featuring essie nail polish
Similar items in my closet:
Mint shirt--ON
Yellow Scarf--Express
Coral Tank--ON
Just ordered those earrings from Silpada!
Nail polish from Target
Wants:
Love the brown flats from Target
A big flashy coral statement necklace

So, I'm definitely ready to get out of my maternity pants and leggings...and wear some cute dresses and skirts.  I believe that warmer weather will most definitely put a pep in my step!!

Since my clothes aren't too exciting, here's a sneak peak of what my little fashionista will be donning in the weeks ahead!

Carter's brand
Carter's brand
From Target
Left: Carter's Right: Baby Gap
Old Navy

Stay tuned for some fun OOTDs for both me and baby Brooke, once this weather begins to break.  For now we're still bundling up in fuzzy fleeces, boots, and sweatshirts!  Come on Spring, we are ready!

What spring fashions will you be sporting?
Link up!

Tomorrow: Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

 Life and Times of Alison and Justin

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Bucket List: Linkup Party

Spring is right around the corner!  Not that I can tell, since the ground is still covered with snow.  There are still whiteouts happening and people driving off into the ditches because of this slippery white stuff.  Enough is enough, I am ready for fresh air, tulips, sunshine and shoes.  I'm not even asking for flip flops people, (those would be nice as well) but I'm just ready to shed the boots with the fur!! I have been wearing them for so long, since my feet swelled up so bad during the last trimester...I wanna wear flats!

I haven't done a link up in awhile, and Alison is one of my favorite bloggers, so I figured I'd join in on the springtime fun.  I am hoping it warms up soon!

 Life and Times of Alison and Justin
Today's topic: Spring Bucket List
Now that we have a new member of our family, of course there is a ton of stuff I cannot wait to do!
I am looking forward...
...to long walks with baby Brooke in her stroller.
 ...to taking just my dogs on runs like the old times. {daddy can watch baby girl!}
...find some excellent springtime pasta recipes to make
...celebrating Easter with family {since usually we our MIA}
...enjoy a springtime brunch
...freshly painted pedicures with bright colors
...maybe having the husband taking off a week in May to prepare for summer
...as in cleaning the deck, bringing out our deck furniture, cleaning up the yard
...time spent outside enjoying our new deck
---specifically coffee in the morning, dinners at night, day time playing with baby
...to hiking at a local park where you can bring bird seeds in hopes to having birds land on you
...simply taking outdoor pictures of our little girl--every photo we have is inside!
...taking a long drive down to the lake where we got married and visiting the winery.
...plant some flowers

...visit Hobby Lobby or other craft stores for spring {or summer} treasures to decorate mantel with
...continue going to at least one weekly exercise class
...clean out the guest room/my closet {aka my disaster area of clothing!}
...enjoy time with my momma who comes for a week in April!!
-------visit the mall, go on walks, go out to breakfast spend time with my mom, daughter, niece--make play-dough with her, take her to the playground, blow bubbles, look for butterflies--what else mom?!
...go on a movie date with my man wearing a maxi dress (non-maternity please and thank you!)
What's on your Spring Bucket list?? 
Link up!
The spring fun is happening all week long!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy 2 Months Brooke Lynn!!

This sweet angel turned 2 months last week! I am so happy and yet so sad. You really don't quite get it until you're experiencing exactly how quickly little loves do grow.  My husband and I look back at her first photos from the hospital, and think how much has changed in such a short amount of time.  I think about those first few nights, where I didn't think I'd ever sleep again....or sleep for more than three hour increments.  However, although we are not on a 'strict' schedule, we do have quite a rhythm that works for us and I am getting five to -gasp-six hours a night!! I still enjoy an afternoon catnap and a latte, but I'm feeling more human each passing day.  She tends to eat, play, sleep.  It works for us.  She takes a morning and afternoon nap.  I'm really letting her dictate the schedule if we're home; if we are out, we just make it work.  I think we are doing just fine!

Baby girl, you are just so full of love and life.  Your daddy and I both agree our favorite time is first thing in the morning.  You wake up for the day between 8-9 am and rarely cry.  We find you talking to your 'friends' {your new mobile} and just give the biggest smiles.  Daddy usually brings you down for the day, but if you're still sleeping then I am lucky enough to witness your happy morning face!  


You love love love to sleep.  I worry if you sleep too much during the day, you won't sleep through the night, but that's not the case.  The only day you seemed a little confused on, was daylights savings, and well, no one can blame you!!

You also love your food!! I'm still keeping you strictly on breastmilk, as you seem very content {and your round cheeks and tum tum prove it!} and you still take to the boob or the bottle just fine.  Although, you do seem to randomly prefer the left to the right, or the right to the left upon first feeding, so I'm not sure what that is about, but I just let you pick. I'm not fussed. As long as you're eating, I am happy!

Your coos are much more frequent, and you've started this high pitched-semi-screech that is really adorable.  You talk the most on your changing table and I just love the deep conversations you have with daddy. Last night it was about turning your bathroom into something that resembles the beach, preferably The Bahamas...I overheard something about sand being dumped on the floor with heat vents to warm it?? I love you both so very much.

We've been much more social in month two.  You've gone grocery shopping a few times.  I've taken you to Target, alone, followed by a quick trip to Kohl's.  You were so good both times.  You start to fuss towards checkout, but they were slow, so I completely understand.  You'll learn patience soon enough.  You slept the entire outing at the mall the other day.  Daddy and I even took you to sushi and you were so well behaved!
You really do just fit right into our lives and it's as if you've always been here.


You noticed the TV more recently, cooking shows, Fashion Star, Real Housewives...or daddy playing his video game.  I'm not sure what you think of these, but when I turned on "Little Einsteins" you fell right asleep in your swing...

that lower lip kills me!
 
I'm certainly seeing both me and your father in you more and more each day...and yet I also see you.  It really is the coolest thing I've ever witnessed.  You are so good-natured and easy going; I realize how very blessed we are. 

Stats:
At your 2 month old check up you were 13lb 13 oz and 25 inches.  You are over the 99th percentile for baby girls in height---whoa!  That explains why the 0-9 month baby sleeper, the one more like a bag than footed ones, doesn't allow you to fully stretch those long legs of yours.  

You had a bit of a rash, more than just 'baby acne' and the Dr said it will clear up on its own.  She said it was caused by maternal hormones, (Lord knows I had a lot of them, sorry!)  But you're looking as beautiful as ever; grandma even said your skin is like peaches and cream.  I couldn't agree more!

You handled your vaccines without any issues; mama was so nervous and worked up, but like always Daddy was there to calm me down.  He insisted that you are a strong, healthy, big baby girl and won't have any problems.  He's right. 

You hold your head up so long now and are doing awesome at tummy time.  Your little muscles work so hard and it's paying off!  I can envision you rolling over and sitting up in no time at all.
 
Mama sadly packed up your 0-3 and 3 month clothing.  You are squeezing into 3-6 and moving right along to your 6 month outfits.  I guess you just couldn't wait to wear all of those new fun clothes! I am so grateful you are growing like a weed, but could you just stay this size a little longer please!? I just can't take it!


We need two more baby items: a high chair and a jumper/exersaucer.  I believe you'll be ready for both within the next month.  You love being with us and seeing what we are up to.  When I'm in the kitchen, you just sit and watch me from your little bouncer.  I know you'll be my little kitchen helper soon enough. 

You still love bath time; I think you love it a little more when daddy is there to help out.  Or maybe that's me. :)  I can't wait to see you play with some rubber duckies; they'll make bath time so much fun!

I never expected you to enjoy getting your boogies cleaned from your nose, but you really think that is hilarious. You smile and coo and are so excited.  I love giving you a little baby massage and bundling you up in your fuzzy warm pjs.

My other favorite time of day is at night, as I feed you one last time before you sleep, you always smile as if to say goodnight.  I play our noise machine, you seem to like the ocean sound best, swaddle you, give you your pacifier, and rock you to sleep. Perhaps I'll regret this ritual later, but for now, it's my favorite.  I sit and reflect on all the wonderful things I have in my life and look down at you; you're perfect.  I wouldn't wish my life to be any other way than exactly how it is right now.  I could sit with you sleeping in my arms for hours...

I am ready for warmer weather though!  Last Sunday we took our first family walk. Daddy pushed you in the stroller and I walked Sadie and Holly.  After our neighborhood stroll, we went out back so daddy could fly his helicopter and I pushed you a little more. It was so nice out; we didn't want the day to end!

 Sundays are truly a wonderful day and always, always, always, just a little too short.

I look forward to many more walks with you, my little baby girl! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Girls' Night Recap & an App Recipe

Can I get a hollaaaaa--
It's Thursday!
Last night Matty hosted our monthly Girls' Night.
It was much needed and so fun!
Brooke decided she wanted to look super stylish
& trendy..
 Sweater dress: ON
Jeggings: Carter's
Booties: Grandma Delle Fave
You're getting me all dressed up 
and we're not going any where for another few hours??
 I dunno about this ma.
I look a little too grown up,
don'tcha think??
 Baby boooooooties!
Yea, I need to rest up for Girls' Night.
 I was in charge of an appetizer 
Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels
{recipe below}
Kristin made a salad
Alison made dessert: Orange Cake with buttercream frosting
and in honor of St. Patty's Day Matty prepared
Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes & carrots!
We each shared the happenings in our lives and laughed.
They took turn loving baby Brooke.
Alison getting her baby fix:
rocking her to sleep like a champ.
Somehow we ended up talking about bats--
and one thing led to another and well,
Kristin flipped out and asked me to play
"The Booty Song"
to help her get her mind off the disgusting bat talk!
I heard this song the other morning while dancing around
putting makeup on...
Don't tell me you don't dance around too!
Anyway I thought it was a catchy stupid song.
Yes, the title is:
WHO BOOTY
 bahahaha
Once again, it was a fabulous night with fabulous friends!
I love my girls!!!!
For my appetizer I tried to go "easy"
Which means, I should have known I'd mess it up.
I suck at 'easy' dishes.
I mess them up.
I don't know why.
Recipe adapted from my free Pillsbury Calendar
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium) 
 
***However, I think it needed more Ranch, more cheese 
and I think the seamless dough would be hella easier. 
 
Mistake--
I should have had 2 long rectangles, not 4 short
made for odd rolling.
Spread the dough out, pinch together the perforations.
Spread the ranch dressing all over.
Sprinkle the green onion.
Have 4 pieces of bacon cooked.
 Crumble bacon on top.
Add the cheese:
{again, use more!}
Roll up...
Slice and bake @ 350 for about 11 minutes
They don't look too purrdy.
And eat.
 They were good.
Nothing to write home about, but simple to make and transport.
I think they'd be better with more ranch and cheese though.
Next up:
Kristin's in April and I am bringing a salad!