Monday, June 30, 2014

Goodbye June!

Last week I was LOVING the fact that I was feeling better.  I even took a day to clean out my Yukon, which is never something I like to do.  I really needed to de-fur all of Sadie's lovely hair in there and I am so happy that I did. I broke a sweat trying to get those darn little pieces out of the back!  Definitely counts as a workout.


I even broke out that juicer, like I wanted to and made some delicious apple, beet, carrot w/ lemon!

I wanted to fill up on some healthy goodness before we headed over to my in-laws for dinner.  I got my Chicken French wahoo!!

Daddy and Brooke playing on the steps he used to when he was a kid.

Ok, so maybe the extra energy is mixed with a little bit of 'nesting' because Friday came and I just had to make jam.

The strawberries were so sweet!

This darn thing took forever to boil and I have to say that is the "hardest part" haha.

I just made a small batch, 5 jars.  Not really enough to give away, sorry everyone!

Shortly after our jam making sesh, little miss took a tumble and had her first bloody lip.  We felt so bad! Thank goodness Joe was sitting next to her and kind of caught her with his foot, otherwise her whole face would have landed on the driveway.  She's a trooper!

Saturday she was full of it, running around, singing, dancing, and playing with Daddy's shoes.

Sunday we went to my dad's and hung out with everyone since our step brother is in town, and my sister will be gone for the fourth. It was a laid back pool day!

We had to take our pic since we were all rocking the 'ray ban' look.

My loves!

This pic cracks me up!! We are shoving our faces and Joe made sure to snap pictures.

She LOVES to feed people. Gets all excited and claps, "yay!"

Brooke just loved the pool-- she's in the "sunshade float" in the orange.

Love her little suit.

The only "downer" of the week is my poor husband and his poison ivy! We have tried everything and it just keeps popping up in more spots.  He was so uncomfortable Saturday night [after trying Apple cider vinegar] I grabbed a bowl of cold water, ice, and dumped a packet of baby bath --Aveeno's colloidal oatmeal and soaked some washcloths and wrapped him up.

Ugh! The worst.  Luckily neither Brooke nor I have it, but Joe has it pretty bad.  Go away stupid poison ivy!!  We have too much Summer fun to enjoy without you ruining it!

So here we are Monday, and I have lots to do to close out June, get ready for July and all its festivities! It's my faaaaaaavorite month for many reasons, and I can't wait to get this party started. 

To kick of the first day tomorrow, we get to see baby #2 again!! First trimester screening already! Yay!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

11 Weeks

I am feeling SO much better these days! I am still really tired, but the nausea has subsided I do believe! I am craving good, healthy foods---like desperately need Thursday to get here so I can stock up on fruits/veggies from our CSA/Farmer's market.  I am dying to juice!! I need lemons, ginger, greens, beets, apples--in ma belly!

Tuesday we had a checkup to hear the heartbeat--so I took some photos to document.

I then went back and found the photo of myself I took on the first day we heard Brooke's little heartbeat.  I wore the same skirt for good luck ;)

I think I'm already carrying a little differently, but I also know that I weighed almost 10 pounds less when I got pregnant this time than I did with Brooke. Since I was #stmartinbikinibody and all that jazz.

I don't think my rump is growing with my bump, so that's interesting!!!
On the way to the Dr, I was looking for a donation box for our clothes that have been riding around forever.  I had NO idea one of these bad boys opened up right around the corner from my Dr's.

So. Good!  I hadn't had one since college. I only got one and it was totally worth it.

I got a little frustrated because we waited a half an hour for the Dr…and trying to entertain a 17 month old who hates sitting still, was rather tricky.  We played peek-a-boo, I changed her diaper, she watched MMC, and ate snacks.

All for a 2 min checkup to hear the most amazing little sound of a new heartbeat.  It was 155 and totally made me tear up.

I actually worked out yesterday too which is amazing because I have felt so terrible these last few weeks.  I can totally feel it today!  My thighs are burning, my arms and back are sore and I am ready to just rest, since we just spent the day at the Museum of Play. 

I'm excited to get into the second trimester and continue to watch the bump grow!  I definitely show earlier than others, but this time I definitely feel like I have a baby belly now.  How fun!  Do you find that most people show early or most show late? I always compare my bump to others...

Here's a vlog I made on Sunday updating my pregnancy.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Looky Looky!!

Call it an upgrade.

A face lift.

A change of scenery.

Whatever you want.

My little piece of this internet needed a new look!!  A few weeks ago Erin said she was really interested in spreading the word about her biz in designing.  I quickly wrote her back and let her know, I was excited to work with her again and give myself a new look!  She designed my page last year and it was everything I wanted.

This time, I was looking for sleek, simple, and yet something that still showed my personally. I can be serious, but I also just love having fun.  I also knew that I just adore these colors [orange, pink w/ a pop of neon] as they were my wedding colors four years ago.  And while that may seem like old news, I just love what she has done with it!

I cannot believe how fast and easy it was to work with her, and she literally read my mind as for what I was looking for. I even got a few new additions, like my You Tube channel now has a link and bloglovin.

I love my new little button as well.

Bliss to Bean

Thank you so much Erin, for helping me out in an area I know nothing about--web design! I will be back again in the future, as I'm sure as my family grows, so will my change in style.

If you are looking for something new, check out her portfolio!  Her prices are really great and she's super quick to get the job done. I highly recommend Designed by Erin

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Story: A Picnic

I saw this quote online and it just really got me thinking…

What will our summer story be??  I don't want to be heading into Fall and upset that we didn't "do enough Summer" if ya know what I mean.  So I made sure to make shit happen this weekend!  OK, Sunday really, since Saturday Joe worked all day, came home a little late and I threw together the laziest dinner ever!   I had the grilled chicken (just re-heat and serve) from Trader Joe's.  Broccoli with lemon and butter [obsessed lately] and rice.  I may have made some brownies for dessert too.

We were asleep on the couch before 10.

Sunday we got up and I made pancakes with bacon.  A little weekend treat!   Joe headed out early to set up for our rental open house, I actually curled my hair--whoa--and packed a picnic lunch in a cooler for us to enjoy after the open house.  I was determined to start making the most of Summer!

We hung out while Daddy showed the house.  I think we found the perfect renter; yay!

Shirt made by Leah @Simply Made with Love

It was perfect day! Sunny with a breeze. 

We found a perfect little spot to have our little lunch.  We were hungry bears!!

I kept it simple with pb&j, grapes, and chex mix.  Can't really go wrong with that.

Brooke is totally in the monkey see monkey do stage, but she doesn't like sitting still. So she peaced out when I laid down.

Joe said it looked like I was doing Yoga here haha.

The sun felt great and spending time just us three, with no real rush to be anywhere was just what we needed.

When we got home, Brooke took a little nap, I got to read little more in the sun and we barbecued for dinner.  




I love that we have already started writing, our summer story.

Now to do the dishes that I ignored yesterday and get some things at the store that we've literally run out of.  It was good to "take a day off" yesterday. Our souls needed it.

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday

Just a quick hello!!  I'd say we had a great week.  The weather has gone from hot and humid to cool and breezy.  I like both, so that's ok with me!  Not a ton of plans for the weekend. We have to show our rental property to get that thing rented for July, so Joe is busy with that.  Otherwise I have items to be grilled and a deck to lounge on.


I made myself sit for a timeout and finish a collage. I've always had a creative side, I just don't always let myself tap into it.  I ripped some things out of magazines when we went away on vacation, and finally just cut and pasted them to a scrapbook sheet.  It makes me smile and a nice little reminder of how fun Summer will be.  I look forward to staying really healthy this pregnancy and hope this continues to inspire me!


On those hot and humid days, we pulled the sprinkler out, watered our plants, and even played in the rain when it briefly came down!  This was my favorite day.  I love this little dress we got her in St. Martin. Barefoot. Sweaty. Soaking wet from the water.  Love love love summertime.


Thursday was our first day to grab our CSA bag at our local farm market.  It's cool because they hold it right at the local mall parking lot and there are tons of vendors.  I may have made a pitstop at the Bux before we went and lil miss had her first cake pop. Cue: she was covered in pink goo in no time.

I am so excited to have this little tradition with my kid(s)--whoa!  I think it will be so fun as they get older to experience this each year.

My husband actually met the lady who runs this local farm and I SO SO thankful he did! They are a super sweet family and all of their practices are very old school, traditional, no nonsense farming!  This was our first share!  They are not certified organic, but if you know anything about farming, sometimes even certified organic farmers use sprays…no bueno.  So this family know what's up and keeping junk off their food is their number one priority!

We did a CSA two years ago, but it was totally different. We got a lot of random stuff and really no fruit. I can tell you that this quality is already much better and I swear the strawberries are sweeter, juicier and way better than Wegmans or Trader Joe's. I know this for a fact, because I have all three in my fridge.  Well, the ones from this farm are mostly gone because lil miss and I ate a few…I am totally craving all things healthy---YAY!


Date night!  We had our first night out in awhile and left Brooke with a real babysitter; like legit paid someone! I feel so old haha. Usually family or friends watch her, but it just worked out and I think everyone had a ball!

Joe planned the night and picked out the restaurant himself. It was really good!  We went to Rooney's as I have never been and it had been years since he had gone.  It was tucked away in a quiet part of the city, and had that traditional/classic feel.  The food was delicious and I want to go back when I'm not pregnant to dive into all the foods I cannot eat!

I broke into my maternity gear, as it was a little chilly for dresses and I really don't have a lot of regular clothes because I've been prego or fat the last few years and I need some new tops….but since I'm prego again, I just went with this.  I think it's cute.

Oh hey there bitty bump!
10 weeks 5 days


I just stepped out for my first "me" time in a few weeks. It was short and sweet, but did just the trick.  I am loving this new coral with sparkles gel.

Little things to make me happy!

What are you up to this Friday??

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Real Life, Real Talk

I was recently asked, "How do you do it?? You always seem to have it together.  I am almost 41 and I still can't figure it out?!?!"

I honestly stopped in my tracks.

I never thought I was one of those "perfectionist bloggers/instagrammers" where all looks perfect rainbows and butterflies.  I really consider myself a real person, with problems and imperfections.  I don't have a Louis Vuitton bag, or red bottom heels.  I don't whip up Giada-perfect dinner every night. I certainly don't look like I'm walking the runway around these parts.

My reply to her was, "I am flattered that you think that, but I am far from perfect!"

It got me to thinking…

There is a lot that I don't do, but what I do, do, I try my hardest to do it well.

I tend to not photograph or document my less than perfect areas, because they're not pretty.  And honestly? I like pretty!! Sometimes the dust bunnies that collect are just downright tragic, thanks to an overly shedding "lab" mix, I swear there is part husky in her.  I don't ever post ugly photos of my messy closet/future nursery, office, or basement because they're utterly embarrassing.

Not gonna lie, this pregnancy threw me for a loop and it has been SUPER tough just keeping up with the housework, groceries, cooking, and taking care of Brooke, the dogs and Joe.

Brooke's room is somewhat tidy, but it is no where near pinterest/blogger nursery status.  There are empty diaper boxes, missing shoes, broken toys, and probably a dirty diaper stuck some place. No, I kid. I'd smell that thing.

My floors are so dirty sometimes, I don't feel comfortable that my dogs eat off them, let alone if Brooke drops something and tries to eat it.

My laundry piles up and dishes sit in the sink.

I had a mini meltdown as I'm only 10 weeks pregnant and suddenly not fitting into my normal clothes.  I put my maternity clothes on and well, they're obviously a little too big.  I feel frumpy and dumpy, but I know I am very blessed to carry this baby, so it is what it is. Be happy.

My poor husband's washcloth hadn't been changed in who knows how long; let's just say he never asks for a new one, so it must have been awhile.

The last "meal" I made with all the fixings was…


That's a good question.

I did just take the dogs on a walk Sunday night, and it was most likely before our May vacation, or somewhere around then, that happened.

Throughout the 6 1/2 years I have known my husband, the only and I mean ONLY request he ever asks 100% of the time, is that I keep a good attitude.  I am not perfect on this one either, ladies, you know how crazy hormones can make us…or simply a series of bad day events.  I have been known to have some real cranky pants in my day, but the older I'm getting and the more Brooke is watching, my attitude is something I really work hard on trying to control.

I do believe that social media has its perks and I just LOVE the fact that I can google,

"How to remove crayon from microsude" in seconds.

But the comparing ourselves to others, has just got to stop and I kinda did. I admit, I roll my eyes and feel bad from time to time, but I just keep trying to sink in further to the purpose of life; the whole reason we are here. I haven't quite figured it out, but I know that it's not in a Pinterest inspired craft, or a photo-shopped picture of a perfectly groomed family on a beach.

I think it's more along the lines of, sticky pieces of granola in my daughter's chubby little fingers.

It's in the way the dogs chase one another and the rug slides back and forth.

It's in the warmth of an embrace, after we've both had a long hard day, and my husband and I can finally see each other again.

I will tell you a few of my 'secrets'.  What are some ways I help make my life a little easier?

1.)  Pay someone else

Dinner or Lunch?
Grass cutting?
Dog Walker?

Whatever is stressing you…it may just be worth carving a little bit out of your budget for this.

I hire a cleaning service.

This. Took. A lot. Of. Guts.

I was so afraid of what other people would think, "you stay home all day, what more could you need??"

Well, if you do stay home all day, have two dogs, and a toddler, you know that your house does and will get a heck of a lot dirtier than if the dogs were crated, the baby is at day care and you're at work.

Life is messy.

I started having someone come over once a month right around the 7th or 8th month of my pregnancy.  I figured no one could really say boo to me, when I could hardly bend over and the shower was rather disgusting.

Then of course, I had newborn, and I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground for awhile; so that was very very helpful!

Now I have a 17 month old and each month I still write a check for $136.08 and that is the BEST amount of money I spend all month.

To be honest, my husband is kind of messy. So is my daughter. So are my dogs. And well, I'm no angel either.  I hate cleaning the tubs and there is something about someone else helping out with the floors that just puts my mind at ease.  They're all natural green products, so that makes me feel good as well.

Joe loves a super clean house, and I still keep up with the floors every week and try my best to keep it tidy.  But man, when cleaning day rolls around, it is worth every cent.

So I am over caring what someone thinks of me.  Now I can play with Brooke, catch up on the mountains of laundry, work on my Advo Biz (which more than help pays for that cleaning), and heck, pound out a few blog posts all because someone else did my dirty work.

2.) Meal Plan

I used to meal plan; that needs to happen again. I am much better if I have it all written out and ready to go.  I just haven't been feeling well enough to think about food, let alone shopping for and preparing it.

3.) Schedule yourself "me" time.

I know girls, it's tough to sneak out of the house with an empty carseat, BUT YOU HAVE TO.  Whether it's a nail appointment for an hour, a hair appointment, a movie date with your girlfriend, you have to just put you on the calendar and go. No feeling guilty.  No canceling.  Joe really respects this and I work around his crazy schedule, but I still make sure I get out once in awhile.  Even to Target or the mall, or a park, GO.  If hubby is busy, just start asking friends, offer to trade nights with them to watch their kids or go after your family.  People actually like helping others out!  It's OK to ask for help.  Let me say that again, it's okay to ask for help.

4.) Surround Yourself with Positive Energy

This is tough. I feel like I have isolated myself a bit…sometimes I am cranky, and I need to work on myself, so I listen to my audiobooks.  Sometimes people in my life seem to frustrate me and it's ok to take time outs.  Listen to happy songs.  Take your kids to the beach or park.  Read or watch only happy functioning people, and limit drama and dirt.  It really helps…

5.)  Lower expectations.

If you set that bar too high, you will disappoint yourself.  Just continue to be the best you can be; that is all.  Who cares if…exactly. Fill in the blank. There is always someone doing something better than you.  We cannot do it all, ALL OF THE TIME.  So just do what you can, smile and move on.  Sitting there stewing on how terrible you are at something, only makes you more mad, upset, and no fun to be around.  So just set one goal for the day, and follow through.

6.)  Don't like something? Change it.

Sounds easy, because it is.  I was so annoyed and mad at my hair, and was hanging onto it for what?  Joe actually really loves my new do, he even says I look younger; score!  I was afraid that changing it would make it worse, but really, I haven't been upset at all.  Same goes for your weight, your energy level, your lack of this or that…just do something different! Sitting in a rocking chair just bitching about it, aint gonna fix it. Sorry!

7.) Find what makes you happy.

What is that puts a smile on your face?  When I kept saying out loud to myself this past April, "Something's gotta give, what can I do to just be happy??"  I figured it out and started doing it.  It was spending more time, more quality and appreciative time with Brooke.  That's just one thing, there's lots to make me happy. I love reading a good book.  I keep a list of all the books I want to read and check them out at the library.  Now I just need to stay awake long enough to read!!  I also love to write; I love this little blog and that's it's a journal/scrapbook of memories, but it's also a place where I can let out some real thoughts and I want to take that a bit deeper; I feel like there's a lot to say that is still inside of me and I need to continue to let that out.

8.)  Turn off that phone.

Whatever way you do it, delete the apps, put it on airplane mode, leave it at home when you're out and about or just turn it off.  I find myself getting so sidetracked and distracted it ends up taking me FOREVER to finish a simple task.

9.)  Get outside.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

Trust me, I know how hard it is when it's below 30 degrees and you have a little one. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about having a newborn in January again.  Winter can be long and lonesome, but now that Brooke will be older, I know she will LOVE the snow, sledding, building a snowman and having snowball fights.  We will enjoy hot cocoa and have so much fun!  For now? We will soak up the sun and I will be taking her to the beach this week. It's so good for both of our souls to get outdoors.  Everyone's mood seems to change in nature…

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

[I really hate to rush; If I find myself rushing a lot, I hit the pause button.  I don't even like when I'm in a conversation with someone and trying to tell a story and she keeps interrupting, "Uh huh. OK. Yeah." Just let me finish!!]

Ok there are actually a ton of fabulous quotes…just go check them out! HERE and Here

10.)  Breathe

When all else fails and I want to scream, I just learn to breathe.  Inhale, exhale…"this too shall pass."   

Or?  One of my favorites, "Fake it til you make it."  

Everyone has parts of their life they are unhappy about or too embarrassed to instagram. I PROMISE YOU.  So just be happy for others and their pretty photos, and be proud of yourself, in this very moment of your life, find something to be happy and grateful for.  It will change you.  Remember, negativity breeds negativity and optimism breeds optimism! 

I'm just sharing what came to mind when I thought about, what makes me "seem to have it all together."  These are just things that I try to focus on and maybe they could help you too, in some ways.  But trust me, I still have days where Brooke has Annie's Easy Mac and Cheese, my plants are dying, I run the washer two times because I forgot about a load, and the dog water dish has probably been empty  Oops.

Everyone is alive and well!  I'm here to tell ya that.

What tips do you focus on when trying to keep yourself together?

Oh, and if you're wondering, Mr. Clean magic erasers quickly remove crayon from microsuede. #yourewelcome

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

As I sit and finalize this post, I just have to comment how warm and nice it is! I can hear the PE class out back (we live near a high school) and they must be doing the mini ropes course.  Pretty soon we won't hear anything, as school will be out.  But I remember the moments between now and then; the longing to be on vacation, while finalizing another in the books.  

But now my days consist of playing with blocks, choo-choo, wiping dirty hands, singing nursery rhymes, and cleaning up the endless random toys and things strewn about my house.  Right now it's the bucket of K-cups she found in the cupboard.

I love it.

Anyway…my post for today.

Father's Day is a little tricky.  

It's the "last day" of the tent sale shenans, and basically Joe gets up super early to go move cars and put his store office back together.  I would much prefer wake up and make a lazy breakfast, full of applewood smoked bacon, muffins, sausage, eggs and blueberry pancakes, but that will just have to be for another random Sunday. 

For now?  We get all of Joe's gifts and cards ready and impatiently wait for him to return.  

This year it was a pair of Under Armor shorts [similar to the pair Brooke got him last year] some big league chew, and a homemade desk calendar I did on Snapfish.  

Oh, and baby #2 got him a picture frame to be properly displayed in the home!

To say he liked the calendar, is an understatement.  I try to match up the pictures from the previous year (or two) and it's just a cool reflection of how big Brooke's gotten and some wonderful memories that were made.

The silly burger card? Brooke picked that out all by herself!!

She wrote on the envelope.

And diligently signed her card.

Little miss decides to start doing cute poses for the camera! "Cheese", as she shovels cheese in her mouth!

After the unveiling of the gifts, Joe really wanted to go checkout the latest fixer upper that is ready to be rented out!  My man just loves to work, and it was "his day" so off we went.

Prior to leaving, I made sure to say, "Brooke and I will need to eat within the hour, as it's around noon. Should I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?"

"No, no we will just grab a bite."


3 1/2 hours later…

I tell myself and my mother in law, next time I will make the damn sandwiches!! I was so hungry and Brooke missed her nap, but we made it through the day.

I vowed not to bitch, since it was Father's Day, but I know better than to not eat a meal or bring one along!!

Some shots of the rental.

I think it has a lot of potential and tons of charm.

My father in law and brother in law did a lot of the work and they did so great!

It's so awesome to see a complete dump turn into a cute home for a new family to rent.

Snacking on the last bits of treats I brought…

Monkey See Monkey Do.

I'm not sure if we have ever all been together on Father's Day, so it was nice to see everyone.

Oh yeah, do you see what I see?  My belly is already huge. ::: cue the next long 30 weeks of, "Oh wow you're gonna have a big baby!" Yes, it's already been said to me, and yes I am going to give birth to a big baby.

My belly just loves to grow, what can I say? C'est la vie.

Joe's eyes are shut for most of the photos, and Brooke lasted only a few...

Brooke and Grandma: Belly button!

She's starting to imitate what we do, so that was pretty cute.

We ran for burgers for a late lunch, came home and tried relax a bit.  It was almost weird having Joe home, as it's been so long since he's been here in day light!  

While it wasn't picturesque, it was perfect for us.  Seeing him at all, even if for only part of the day, was worth it.   I won't lie; I look forward to some lazy summer Sundays head though!  I see beach trips, walks in the park, and lounging on our back deck in our future.