Friday, January 29, 2016

January Favorite Finds

Elizabeth and I are linking up today to share our Favorite Finds from the past month with you guys!

Be sure check out her list here and share any of your own favorite finds with us in the comment sections below our posts.

Let's get to it!

Hobo Wallet
After quite a few years with my previous wallet, I received this great wallet as a gift and LOVE it! I love the look, the size, and the layout of the compartments. I have the color shown below, but it comes it tons of different colors that you can check out here.

Conair Hair Dryer
I recently had to purchase a new hair dryer and LOVE the one I found! It's light-weight, quiet, has good power, and is under $30. I bought mine here and took advantage of the free shipping. Love this hair dryer!
I tried this fancy drink (cranberry raspberry flavor) when we had a girls' night a couple weekends ago and absolutely loved it! It has the best flavor and is made from natural ingredients. Here's the blurb straight from their website: "We start with triple purified sparkling water, fresh squeezed fruit or berry purée (pulp and all!), and a dash of cane juice. No syrups, no juice concentrates, no additives, no preservatives." And y'all, it tastes like soda. Our Trader Joe's carries them and I would bet Whole Foods does too. So yummy!

BP. Topaz Earrings
You guys, these earrings are $5.98 with FREE shipping right now. I have them in a different color that I'm not seeing anymore, but am about to buy this color too. Like right after I finish this post. I love this color! And $6 and I don't have to leave my house?! Thank you, Nordstrom.

Plaid Woven Scarf
Ahhh, this scarf! It was sold out but is back now and 40% off with FREE shipping! It's in my cart with the earrings above. I just love this scarf!

JBL Bluetooth Speaker
I've been looking for a small, inexpensive bluetooth speaker for quite awhile now and recently bought this one and LOVE it. It's under $30, doesn't take up a lot of space on my counters while I'm cooking, and can easily be moved to any room in the house. No, it's not a Sonos or Bose, and yes, I'm sure their sound is clearer and fancier, but for $30 bucks, this one is legit.
Juice PLUS+
I mentioned this in my Favorite Finds: Maternity Edition post last week, but I'm really enjoying my Juice PLUS+ fruit and veggie gummies. I'm not the best about getting my daily allotment of either, so I love knowing that taking these tasty gummies gives me everything I need everyday. My cousin is a Juice PLUS+ rep and is the sweetest person on earth- if you have any questions about the product or would like more information on becoming a consultant, she would be happy to talk with you! You can check out her site here.

This pantry
My friend Meagan sent me this picture and I died. One day, when we have a walk-in pantry, this labels-facing-forward look will be my happy place. Ahhh... I mean type-A people, does this not just do it for you?!

Nail Polish Organzier
My mom got me this nail polish organizer recently and it made me a little too giddy to set up my nail polishes in it. This one is currently $7.99 with free shipping, but I've also seen a smaller version at TJ Maxx and Marshalls for $4.99. People who love to have a place for things, I think this little tray will make you super happy. :)
Sally Hansen Gel Polish Kit
I think I've shared this before, but I seriously love this kit. It lets me give myself a gel manicure at home that honestly looks just like the salon and lasts just as long too. The prices are always changing on it (right now, this one is $34.63 on Amazon) so check back periodically. I bought  mine for $26, but even the current prices are less than one trip to the nail salon!

That's it for this month! 
Next month, I'll be writing this post with a Baby Girl by my side! Eeeek! 

Don't forget to check out Elizabeth's Favorite Finds here- if they're not up yet, she'll have them posted soon!

Have a great weekend, friends!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This is how I nest

Because of my type-A (the word crazy could also work here) nature, I have a feeling this post is going to read more like one long confession. But I'm 31 years in to this kind of crazy, so I don't see it changing any time soon.

So here goes...
This is how I nest:

In the past two weeks, we decided we would probably start to feel tight in our house once Baby Girl arrives and strongly considered moving. Like we almost put an offer on a house.

Then we came to our senses and Matt came up with a genius plan to have our TV mounted and store our huge entertainment center to create more play space and seating in our living room. #waycheaperthanmoving #andwaymorerational #Iamdueinlessthan3weeksletsremember

So our TV and speakers were mounted yesterday and my parents are coming today with their truck to help clear out furniture and rearrange the room. I hear angels sing when I picture the extra space we're going to have so soon!

I have cleaned out every cabinet and drawer in our kitchen, reorganized our spice cabinet, cleaned out closets and drawers around the house, and have taken more trips to Goodwill this month than some people have taken to the bathroom.

Tally is going in for a bath and hair cut and teeth cleaning today because it feels like I need to do something to get him ready for her arrival. And hovering over his 75lb body in our tub with my 30lb belly gives me an image that's worth paying someone else to do the job for me.

Baby Girl's clothes and swaddles and pjs are washed and folded in her drawers, and her closet is ready and organized with her little clothes-size dividers, shoes and little hamper. I have a handful of tiny things left to complete before I take pictures and share them on here!

During Ryan's nap yesterday, I got out the infant car seat, washed the inserts, installed the base into my car, and reinstalled Ryan's so that both were tight and right next to each other like I had planned/pictured it in my head. Ryan is in the middle now and that's where I wanted to keep him- however, when I went to click Baby Girl's carrier into the base, it wouldn't click in because Ryan's seat is the tiniest bit too wide. Insert me trying not to cry and telling myself that this is actually not that big of a deal and then arguing with myself about whether it was in fact a big deal or not.

This bothered me A. because I like being able to easily see Ryan's cute face in my rearview mirror when we're talking in the car and reach him easily if he needs anything from me and B. because Tally (first born, 4-legged child) has a hard enough time fitting in the back seat with one car seat, let alone squeezing between two.

So what was the outcome you ask? 

Me deciding that the most logical plan was to search for a new car that has captains seats in the middle- space for Tally to lay in between the two kids when he's in the car with us and easy access to the back seats for future kids or passengers.

And it's worth noting that my logic involved the thought, "I mean we were going to move... this is really a minimal change compared to that."

What I love is that Matt didn't even bat an eye when I told him I was looking at cars. He amuses my nesting-overboard self and let's me do my thing (not sure what my thing is exactly, but it's definitely there. and it's a special kind of crazy.) I guess he figures it will run it's course or he'll help reign me in when I'm about to go completely off the deep end. Or maybe he's just hoping Baby Girl will get here before that point.

Annnywayyy, if you've made it this far, thanks for "listening" ;)

She will be here so soon! And then maybe I'll ease back into my normal type-A-ness that involves more practical applications like wiped counters and labels that face forward in the fridge.

I'll be back Friday with Elizabeth to share our Favorite Finds for the month!

And if you missed my Favorite Finds: Maternity Edition last week, you can check that out here.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Favorite Finds: Maternity Edition

My friend Katie suggested on a recent post that I write about my favorite maternity finds.

I told her I would be happy to once I made sure the list would include more than over-sized sweats and yoga pants. Because let's be honest, when it's winter and your belly gets big enough that it's bumping into things, the husband's lounge clothes start looking a lot more appealing than the cute ones that fit your pregnant frame. 

But once I got to making my list of favorite things from this pregnancy, I realized there were in fact some great things worth sharing with you guys!

So here goes:

Let me be upfront and say that thanks to really great friends and a super sweet sis-in-law, I have not had to buy much AT ALL for this pregnancy. The three pairs of jeans I wear the most were handed down or bought for me as a gift. HOWEVER, if I was spending my own money on a maternity wardrobe for the Fall/Winter months, this is where the bulk of my money would go.

My three favorite brands are Gap, J. Crew, and Joe Jeans (listed above as "A Pea in the Pod). Find the fit that's most comfortable for you and then search for a deal online (like these Joe's that are on sale for $119). I know $100+ on jeans that you'll wear for 6-8 months sounds absurd, but you can't put a price on comfort and what I like to call "the I-feel-cute factor" during pregnancy. Honestly- it's real easy to not feel cute when you're carrying around an extra 20+ pounds (30 in my case).

I love the J. Crew ones (and LOVE that sale price!) because the maternity band is built into the waist so they look like real jeans but still grow with your belly.

The Gap pair fit really well and even at their full price are really affordable for the overall fit and feel. You can definitely find cheaper, but I haven't found a cheaper pair that don't sag or just feel uncomfortable.

My last note on jeans is that I like to have a pair that is light wash, one that is medium wash, and one that is dark wash- covers the bases and means you don't have to keep the same pair clean constantly.

Target- BeMaternity by Ingrid and Isabel Seamless Cami
I LOVE this cami. When I'm pregnant, I cannot stand having extra material on my skin, so tank tops that have the shelf lining are a no-go for me. This one is so soft, so long, and comes in 6 different colors. Thanks to this tank top, I have completely foregone the Bellabands this pregnancy.

Gap Pure Body Solid Crew Tee
This shirt is SO comfortable. I have it in white, black, and gray and wear them all.the.time. Aside from the softness, I love the length and fit around my neck and armpits. It is the perfect go-with-anything maternity shirt.
I would say I'm always a comfort-over-fashion person, but this is even more true when I'm pregnant. I want to feel cute, but am not about to compromise my comfort for it. So one of my favorite "looks" for this pregnancy has been the shirts I mentioned above with a cute scarf over top. These four scarves below are all an EXTRA 50% off right now! You can check out the rest of their extra 50% off accessories sale here.
Gap Lightweight Modal Leggings
I have three pairs of these leggings (two black and one dark gray) and pretty much LIVE in them. They're great for lounging around the house, or dressing up with boots and a dress or a long tunic (tunic? I'm going for longer than a shirt but not quite a dress when I use that word... again, fashion is not really my strength). The black ones are on sale for $22.46 right now. Trust me when I say they are the most comfortable pants you will wear when you're pregnant. And they don't sag!

And one note about shirts/dresses- for me personally, fitted clothes that wrap around my entire belly are way more flattering than ones that fits at the top of my belly and then hang. I'm talking it can take me from looking like I'm 24 weeks pregnant to a good two weeks past my due date. So I try to avoid clothes that hang during pregnancy.

When it comes to shoes, I absolutely choose comfort over fashion and love when I can find a pair that are cute and comfortable. I tend to buy my shoes at Marshalls or ask for them for my birthday/Christmas if there's a pricier pair I'm eyeing. The top three pairs are my more fashionable but comfortable (read- worth the money) shoes and the bottom are my staples- a pair of beige suede flats, a pair of gray flats, and a pair of comfy house slippers. And if you've never tried Rocket Dog shoes, they are so comfortable and inexpensive and are always between $10-$20 at Marshalls! And for those of you who mentioned wanting those Toms in my earlier post- that sale price is GREAT! (They come in black and gray for that price/style- found here)

Other Random Favorites
Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
I am a child and do not like swallowing pills (nor do I like the after taste of the "big girl" prenatal horse pills), so I buy these off of Amazon and actually look forward to taking them everyday.

Camelbak Insulated Water Bottle
I drink SO much more water out of this thing than I do a regular water bottle. I honestly don't know why but it's part of what they promise about the product and it's really true (for me anyways). I love this water bottle.
Rolaids Chewable Tablets
I've had heartburn with both of my pregnancies and love these chewables the best to help get rid of the pain quickly. Plus the flavor is yummy. :)

Lastly, I've been taking Juice Plus+ for a few months now (the gummy version of course) and love knowing that I'm getting my full daily dose of fruits and veggies for myself and for this baby girl. I love the taste too! If you're interested in learning more about Juice Plus+, click here. You can also contact my Juice Plus+ rep with any of your questions here.

Have a great weekend!!!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Recipe: Homemade Calzones

Calzones are one of my favorite treats. Cheese, bread, tomatoes... what's not to love, right?!

So when we're feeling like those ingredients but wanting something different than a pizza, this is the recipe I make. It's quick, it's easy, and it's de-lish. Everything I look for in a good meal.

This recipe is fun to play with too- add in spinach, broccoli, ham, pineapple... whatever your favorite pizza/calzone toppings are. Outside of burning the crust, I feel like pizza is a fail-proof meal, so be adventurous!

1 package Pillsbury pizza crust, thin crust
30 pepperoni slices
1 large sweet onion, julienne
2 cloves garlic, minced
10oz package grape tomatoes, halved
2T butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 package fresh mozzarella pearls (usually in the gourmet cheese section- looks like this)
Kosher Salt
Marinara sauce for dipping (homemade or your favorite jar)

Optional: 1T butter melted with 2 cloves garlic

Preheat oven to 425 and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Sauté onion and tomatoes in butter for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. I like to cover the pan with a lid while sautéing to help the tomatoes cook faster. Remove lid and add garlic for the last minute of sautéing, stirring continually so the garlic doesn't burn.

Spread pizza crust out on baking sheet.

Spread ricotta cheese  down the center of the crust.

Add sautéed ingredients and mozzarella pearls. Sprinkle with salt.

Fold dough over the center or braid dough as shown in the pictures below (directions for braid found here)

Optional, use a baster to brush pizza crust with melted butter/garlic mixture

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown. (We prefer less-cooked dough so ours is on the lighter side!)


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby Girl's "Sprinkle"

On Saturday, four of my sweet girlfriends hosted a "Sprinkle" to celebrate Baby Girl's upcoming arrival.

These girls have known me for the last 12-15 years of my life. Two of us cheered together in high school, and the other three lived with me for three years in college. These girls have prayed, supported, and loved me through the best and the hardest times of life. I am SO thankful for these girls!

My sweet mama is beside herself that we are having a GIRL!

She surprised me at the shower with a whole set of dresses that my sister and I both wore when we were little. I had no idea she even saved them! It was the sweetest, most thoughtful surprise.

This Baby Girl has no idea how lucky she will be to have a Nonna like her!

Love my sis so much- she has been a great sounding board as I've navigated the world of mommy-hood. Not to mention the fact that she saved 5 years worth of clothes and a few toys from her boys for Ryan to wear and use! I can't wait for Baby Girl to meet her Aunt Gigi!

K&M (Matt's sister Karen and his Mama)- since Matt and I have been together for the last 15 years, I think of these two as my own family. They love me like I'm their own sister/daughter! Karen has passed down every piece of clothing/shoes/pjs that her older son wore and has bins of clothes/shoes/pjs/bows/and girlie goodness ready to share for this Baby Girl. She is the sweetest! And M is the best mother-in-law and Mimi a girl could could ask for- so thankful for these two!

An outfit from M- OH.MY.WORD!

My Aunt Georgia is a "fake aunt" (aka one of my mom's best friend's who has always been an "aunt" to us) who has known us since we were born and been there for all of the important events in our lives.

Sweet friends from all different stages- high school, college, and teaching. Gatherings like this make me feel extra thankful for the people who have loved me through life's stages.

These two are besties from college- the kind of friends who pick up right where we left off, even if it's been longer than we want it to be since our last visit. They know me so well and have been my sounding boards for so many of life's decisions!

I pray that this Baby Girl of ours will have girl friends who love Jesus and love her for who she is- friends who will see her through all of life's stages and offer her the kind of love and support that these girls have given me. Oh and make her laugh until her stomach hurts. :)

On Friday, I'll be sharing my Favorite Finds, Maternity Edition! 
And I promise there will be more than sweats and yoga pants and oversized t-shirts on the list. ;)