Weekly Reads Wednesday #3

My days are messed up this week with Monday being a holiday and yesterday being a snow day! I literally checked my calendar twice to make sure I was posting this on the right day. Sometimes, I think I’m losing my mind…

Anyway! I linking up with my friend, Clare, again this week. I hope you guys enjoy this weekly post as much as I do! 

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.39.52 PMIf for some odd reason you haven’t checked out Clare’s blog, I highly recommend you go there now. Well, after this of course.

Life + Lessons 

The Best Thing You Can Do for Yourself – And ALL the Women Around You <– YES!

This is What Post-Pregnancy Bodies Actually Look Like

5 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Your Facebook Friends <– Because we ALL need this reminder from time to time

10 Things You Need to Learn Quickly in Your 20s <– I’m 27 and still learning these, sooo I guess I’m not a quick learner.

Humor + Happiness

21 Things Girls Who Love Swearing Just Get, as Told by Khloe Kardashian <– Story of my life, pretty much

10 Times Reporters Asked Female Celebrities the Wrong Damn Question

5 Phrases That Only Make a Bad Situation Worse <– If you are a person who ever says, “well this is awkward…” I can’t stand you. 

Love + Relationships 

Wedding Details that Make Your Big Day Uniquely Yours <– For my engaged readers :) The pictures alone are worth pinning! 

Couple Leaves a Note Behind for a Man When They Realize He’s Out on a Date That’s Not With His Wife

These Couples Played a Game of Truth or Drink, and the Results was Hilarious

Dating Myself was the Best Rebound I’ve Ever Had

 

 

Registry Items for Baby #1

I’ve had a few people ask me to do a post on “what the hell to put on a baby registry” and I couldn’t be happier to oblige, because it was something that I found to be completely overwhelming! As someone who has very limited experience with children, it was almost impossible to know what was what.

It took hours of research and reading reviews and asking close friends and family members what they recommended, but we finally came up with a registry that we feel is realistic. I know I’ve mentioned them before, but BabyList is hands down the coolest registry ever. [They don’t know who I am, and they don’t pay me to say that, I’m just a fan.]

Clearly, this is not the be-all-end-all (nor is it our entire registry), but I’m hoping it can serve as a starting off point for couples who are starting to compile their registry.

registry

 

Diaper Bag

bagSkip Hop Chelsea Diaper Bag via Target ($99.) I’ve been adamant on finding a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag, but is still functional. I also wanted tons of pockets, and I feel like this bag satisfies both of those desires. My brother and his girlfriend got it for me, and I am so thankful! At the shower, several non-moms said “I would carry that as a bag!” which sealed the deal for me ;)

Baby Gear

sleeperFisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, My Little Snugabunny via Amazon ($58.) This contraption came highly recommended from several close friends. It vibrates, you can rock it, and some parents I know have said it’s the best thing they owned for the first few months. I know all babies take to things differently, but I’m hoping we have similar success!

evenfloEvenflo Exersaucer Jump & Learn Bouncer via Target ($89.) Honestly, I had no clue what the hell an exersaucer even was until I Googled it,  but apparently these things are good to have.

bumboBumbo Floor Seat via Target ($39.) Again, WTF is a Bumbo? Apparently it’s a great seat for little ones, if their legs aren’t too cubby too to fit through the leg holes.

woombieWoombie via Babies R Us ($25 – $27.) I hear that swaddling you baby is the shit, but having never actually swaddled a baby, I registered for these (as well as swaddling blankets) because they seem pretty fool proof.

bjorn Baby Bjorn via Amazon ($152.) Oh, the Ergo vs the Bjorn debate is one I found to be as old as time. I think you’d be fine with either, but we ended up choosing this one because of the reviews on The NightLight (an extremely helpful website for parents and parents-to-be!)

nyc mommaThe New York City Momma changing pad via Patemm. From the Patemm website: patemm inc proudly introduces the original, new and improved, mom-invented, patented*, award-winning portable patemm® pads, a round design that allows you to place your little one in any direction. You can store diapers, wipes, and even a set of clothes in the cleverly-placed inside pockets. When not in use, the patemm® pad folds into a compact carrier without the use of ties, buttton, snaps, or Velcro®

dropcamDropcam via Dropcam ($200.) We got the Dropcam as our baby monitor; it’s one of the higher-end items that we asked for, but it’s pretty damn cool. It hooks up to an app on your phone, and you can see the whole room, not just the crib. I love it.

Transportation

strollerBritax 2014 B-Agile Stroller via Amazon ($229.) Don’t stress about picking the right stroller; there’s only forty thousand out there to choose from. WTF. Like, isn’t a stroller a fucking stroller?! Apparently not, my friends. I hear that the BOB stroller has a cult-like following if you’re a runner, but I don’t get the hype. Maybe it’s because I’m not a runner, nor do I plan on ever running or jogging post-baby.

carseatChicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat via Target ($189.) I learned in an “infant care and safety” class that kids these days are in some sort of carseat or booster seat until they get their learner’s permit (ish), but we didn’t bother with a convertible car seat just yet. I wanted a carseat that I could carry into a restaurant or something like that. This carseat also fits into the stroller we chose, so that’s good.

Feeding

high chairKeekaroo Height Right High Chair with Tray via Target ($199.) Kind of like wanting a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag, we wanted a chic-looking highchair. We know we won’t be using this for some time, but we also know it’s inevitable.

feedersMunchkin Fresh Food Feeders via Target ($7.) Again, not something we’ll need right away, but I’ve heard good things about these mesh feeder things. I also hear they’re good for teething if you freeze them.

food processorCuisinart Food Processor via Amazon ($169.) I plan on making my own baby food because I’m cheap as hell. We own a tiny food processor, but this one is much bigger (14-cup) and newer and nicer and I’m looking forward to making mushy food with it.

boppyBoppy Newborn and Infant Lounger via Target ($29.) My cousin, Sarah, told me she found this contraption to be helpful, and I trust everything Sarah says. My cousin, Sam, also swears by the original Boppy for breastfeeding, so we got that as well! I have a feeling that this kid will have so many different things to lounge in…

So there you have it! A list of the items on our registry that required the most thought and research. I hope my moms-to-be found this to be helpful!

Moms, what are some of your “gotta have it” items?

Penny Takes a Tumble

Happy Friday! Do you need a good giggle today? I think you do. Check out this ‘just so happened to be recording’ video that Cory got of our sweet, graceful Penny the other day. She’s going places, my friends.

 

Totally Truthful Thursday

Totally Truthful Thursday

// Earlier this week, we took a tour of the hospital where I’ll be delivering. Leading up to it, I just considered it another run of the mill ‘check the box’ type thing, but when I walked into an actual delivery room, I kinda sorta couldn’t breathe.

// To keep my anxiety at an all-time high, I scheduled our first tour of a daycare facility for the following day. SHIT IS GETTING REAL, and I can’t really take a deep breath.

// So, we officially cut the [cable] cord and are surviving on Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV/RokuI’m really missing Downton Abbey, Dance Moms, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, and Sisterwives more than I should admit. Like, how am I supposed to LIVE MY LIFE without knowing how Maddie the ALDC performed in LA this week?!

// Do you know what annoys me? When I unsubscribe from getting emails, and then the company sends me an email confirming my unsubscribing.

// Does anyone else think Kanye needs to STFU and sit down? My skin crawls when I read about his Beck “incident” at the Grammy’s. What’s his deal with Beyonce anyway? [If I’m asking these questions, it probably means I’m old and irrelevant.]

// Waxing hurts double-time when you’re pregnant, just FYI.

// It’s no secret that we’re always looking for fun ways to work on, improve upon, and nurture our marriage. I read about The Love Dare and it seemed interesting, but I have some reservations. Is anyone familiar with it? Yay or nay?

// I’m stalling on your requests for a video blog, because I cannot think of anything worth talking about.

 

Weekly Reads Wednesday #2

Happy Wednesday! How’s everyone’s week going?! I’m in a place where the days seems despairingly long, but the weeks (and weekends) seem short. Does that even make sense?

Anyway.

I’m linking up again with Clare and her Weekly Read Wednesday brainchild. Enjoy some of my favorite reads from the past week!


 

wrw

Life + Lessons

Life: More Than the Counterfeit 

20 Signs that You’re Doing Better than You Think You Are

4 Steps to Quit Comparing Yourself to Other Women

27 Life Lessons I Learned Before Turning 27

Why I’m All for Aging

Humor + Happiness

21 Dogs Who Would Like Everyone to Just Not

Chris Pratt and Chris Evans Make Good on Their Superbowl Bet and it was Adorable

Parenting 

Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads + Why You Shouldn’t Either <— very interesting! 

STOP Doing That for Your Kids! <— Totally agree

“Mommy, Will You Lay With Me?”

10 Rules of the Mom Club

Love + Relationships

17 Expert Tips to Help Couples Actually Solve Relationship Issues 

11 Things that are Supposed to Happen on Real Dates that Don’t Anymore

56 Years of Marriage – Now She Hears THIS From Her Husband <– O.M.G. please watch this video! It’s so precious (and it’s not even 2 minutes long)

 

Made in Mechanicsville

I’m always so pumped for my friends when they follow their dreams, and my friend Lauren is no exception. Not long ago, she and her husband, James, opened an Etsy shop, Made in Mechanicsville, to sell their handmade jewelry.

Lauren has always enjoyed making cute jewelry for herself, and after tons of compliments got through her thick skull ( ;) ), she decided to start selling her pieces!

She was kind enough to send me two sets of earrings, which totally made my day. I don’t know about you, but free jewelry (that’s actually cute) is one of my favorite things.

CollageIf you follow me on Instagram, you know know that I’m not kidding about jewelry being one of my favorite things, because these Hartford earrings were a genuine pick-me-up last week. I had yet another sleepless night and I was just over it. Like, cried-before-I-even-went-to-work, over it. But I’m so serious when I tell you that these new earrings put a little pep in my step that day.

Life really is about the little things, isn’t it?

earrings

Made in Mechanicsville is offering 20% off your order when you use the coupon code BLOGLOVE. I will absolutely be applying that code to order myself these Lark earrings (you get two pairs – silver and charcoal!)

lark

So, go treat yourself to a little Valentine’s Day present. I mean, why not?!

 

Baby Shower Recap

I woke up on Saturday like a kid on Christmas morning. Despite my body being the vessel for this whole baby-growing phenomenon, there’s nothing that makes the pending birth of your baby seem real like a baby shower. 

bffs

My house was buzzing with excitement that morning as Emily, Jamie, and my mother-in-law (the amazing hostess trio) came over to transform my home into a winter wonderland. Emily had chosen a “baby it’s cold outside” theme, and they went to town with it! It was perfect! 

CollageRemember Kate’s cookies from this post? Her cookies made an appearance, and I was so pleasantly surprised!

cookies

Emily and my mother-in-law are both such sticklers for detail, and I was beyond impressed with how well everything came together. I was somewhat nervous about the showering being at my house and not having any idea (read: control) about what the plan was, but that was just wasted energy on my part. They had everything covered, and all I had to do was relax and enjoy myself. 

pics

Emily asked our moms to bring a baby picture of each of us, and it was so funny that of the pictures they brought, Cory and I were in same car seat, just different colors!

Not only did our local friends and family make it to the shower, but my brother and his girlfriend Erin made the trip to Richmond, as did Bobby and Whitney, our good friend Ashley, and my mom! 

Collage

At some point, the boys made it outside to smoke cigars, and I found myself wandering over to the gift display. Since it was a co-ed shower, we planned on not having a formal “unwrapping of the gifts” ceremony, but somehow all the ladies ended up in the living room oohing-and-ahhing over all the adorable baby gifts. 

Collage3

It was honestly such a perfect day, and we felt so loved. Having a baby is the most exciting thing to ever happen to Cory and I, and we are so fortunate to have so many people in our lives who genuinely share in our joy and excitement. 

cory

February will be a whirlwind of baby showers and baby celebrations, and we’re just overjoyed! I cannot believe it’s a little over six weeks away until we get to meet this little one! 

Friday Favorites #4

Good morning and happy Friday! This weekend is my first baby shower, so I’m abnormally pumped for the weekend :) I can’t wait to share it with you on Monday! For now, let’s get on to my Friday Favorites.


 

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser and Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover 

Okay, so I recently had a major breakout. I mean, bad. I was so caught off guard because my skin issues have cleared up for the most part during this pregnancy. I’ve actually just stuck to a soap + water routine because I was trying to avoid as many chemicals as possible. [I read somewhere that that’s the thing to do…]

face wash

Anyway, when I had my last appointment with my OB, she gave me the go-head to use something else, as long as it wasn’t an oral acne medication. After standing in the face wash aisle for literally 15 minutes, I walked away with these two cleansers. I use the purifying cleanser in the morning and the fresh cleanser + make up remover at night.

I love both, they smell soooo good, and my face has started to clear up! My skin has the tendency to react poorly to new products, but it hasn’t been the case with these. They’re mild and don’t leave my skin with a burning feeling, which some cleansers tend to do. I’m quite pleased!

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15

I bought this at the same time as the above cleansers because it’s “clinically proven to visibly reduce redness and soothe irritated or sensitive skin.” It honestly does leave my skin feeling hydrated and calm which is exactly what I need.

aveeno

The Jar Half Full: Mason Jar + Gold Foil Print 

Jamie reached out to me about her etsy shop [after I posted about being on the lookout for cute etsy shops] and offered to send me a mason jar and a gold foil print. Fact: we own at least 15 mason jars. I just love them.

jar

I love the work hard & be nice saying, because I think that’s what it’s all about. And when Jamie asked what I wanted my print to say, I knew what it had to be; because after you work really hard and are really nice, you need to know when to give up and have a margarita. AMIRIGHT?!

bar

I haven’t found a frame for the print yet, but it will go perfectly on our bar once I do.

Just FYI about The Jar Half Full 

  • Buy 3 or more tumblers, you get 10% off your order with the code “3PLUSANDSAVE”
  • Buy 3 or more prints, you get 10% off with the code “10OFF3PRINTS”
  •  Use the promo code “LUNCHBOX5″ between now and 2/15/15 and get $5 off a purchase of $30 or more
  • Follow The Jar Half Full on Instagram and Twitter

Elephant Hamper 

Can we all agree that this is the cutest hamper ever? I am obsessed with elephants, therefore I’m forcing my unborn child to be obsessed with elephants by making them the underlying theme in the nursery. When we found this hamper on Amazon, we had to have it.

hamper

My February Foodie Collection

Guys, until about 30 weeks, I had no sweet tooth whatsoever. I was all about them fries and cheeseburgers. Then, out of nowhere, this raging sweet tooth hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, I want cake all the time. So, when Foodie.com asked me to create a collection of all-things-chocolate, I wasn’t sure if I should pay them for the opportunity.

Check out I Dream in Chocolate

by Colleen Whitney Nichols at Foodie.com

 

Question: What’s your favorite animal? 

Full disclosure – The Foodie portion of this post was created in partnership with Mode Media and Foodie.com. You know the drill: all opinions and sweet tooth confessions are my own. I appreciate your support!

Weekly Reads Wednesday

I’m such a fan of Clare’s Weekly Reads Wednesday series, so I’m linking up – I don’t even know if it’s a link up, but I’m calling it one. If you’re unfamiliar, each Wednesday, Clare posts her favorite articles from the week; it’s that simple, and I love it. I think she reads the best stuff, so I always look forward to her Wednesday posts. Actually, she’s one of the only blogs I visit on Wednesdays, because I haaaate reading ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ posts.

Thank you, Clare, for such a fun idea!

wrw

Go check out Clare’s WRW post today, too! 

Life Lessons 

// What Ira Glass Explains in 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever

// 27 Life-Changing Lessons All Twentysomethings Should Adopt 

// 20 Popular Sayings and Idioms, Revised

Humor + Happiness 

// This Sniper’s Letter to Michael Moore is Going Insanely Viral  <— loved this! 

// 10 Times Steve Harvey’s Soul Collapsed on “Family Feud”

Parenting 

// Mayim Bialik: Don’t Fall For That Similac Commercial  <— Interesting. Do you agree? 

// 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing About Your Pregnancy <— I think this could apply to all bloggers in general, not just women writing about pregnancy 

// Putting a Price on Family

Mental Health/Counseling

// 10 Things Therapists Wish You’d Understand about What They Do <—- TRUE

Did you read anything of note this week?

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Those of Us Who Think It’s a Dumb “Holiday”

I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day. I don’t consider it to be a holiday or cause for any real celebration. On the flip side, love is at the core of Valentine’s Day, and I love love, so I won’t judge anyone who enjoys celebrating it.

I think the only time we’ve ever done something romantic for Valentine’s Day was the first one we spent together. Even if you don’t like the “holiday,” as a new-ish couple, there is some unspoken obligation to address the day and attempt to do something cute.

valentine's day

Thank God Facebook is a time capsule of really attractive pictures.  

But after the first Valentine’s is under your belt, you can start doing meaningful things like farting in front of each other and beginning to wear your retainer when you spend nights together.

And then, maybe you’ll end up like me, and find yourself wanting to actually do something sort of cute – but not too cute - for your partner on this fake holiday after almost a decade of Valentine’s radio silence.

I’ve done some internet research, and here are some ideas that I came across…

// Buy a sarcastic card

Because who doesn’t love sarcasm? 

cards

 

purchase: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

// Make a Date Night jar

These are all over Pinterest [you should follow me,  btw] and I think they’re a great idea, especially if you’re keeping the gift-giving low budget. It’s totally thoughtful and is a gift that will keep on giving.

Another idea very similar is a “why I love you jar” — take a mason jar and fill it with strips of colorful paper with nice things written on them. I love this idea.

// Bake something [or pay someone to do it for you]

Not to sound like an old Southern grandma, but there’s a lot of love that goes into baking. I always appreciate a homemade baked good, and when I’m feeling lovey, I bake! I’m also realistic, and even when I have the best intentions, sometimes shit doesn’t get done. She has no idea I’m plugging her, but if you want someone to bake cookies for you, Kate’s you’re girl. I love her cookies!

kate2

 

// Alcohol

Who doesn’t love free alcohol!? I think getting a bottle of their favorite adult beverage, along with this cutesy little tic-tac-toe drinking game could be fun. I found this one on Amazon, and there were tons of other fun ones to choose from here

tic tac toe

I can’t tell you exactly what I plan on doing for Cory on Valentine’s Day, because he reads the blog, but I can assure you it won’t be anything sexy or over-the-top. I did tell him that I wanted chocolate this year, so I hope he pulls through ;)

[*None of the links in this post are sponsored and/or affiliate links. Just FYI!]

Let’s take a vote. Valentine’s Day: love it or hate it?