Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One Year in Our Home! :)

Today marks the one year anniversary of signing the closing documents for our first home!!
I seriously can't believe we've been in our house for one full year now. Looking back, I'm so happy with what we've accomplished and the fun we've had in one little year...
 
{Here's the silly photo we took right after we got our keys to our new house! So excited!!)
 
In the first year, we...
+ painted almost every room in the house
+ bought new furniture to fill the house
...and many many other things! :)
 
In year two, we want to...
+ finish the kitchen renovations (add backsplash / update lighting / paint walls)
+ complete the nursery (build new closet / furnish / decorate)
+ renovate the main bathroom (update vanity, mirrors, lighting / renovate tiles and tub)
+ paint trim in the entire house
+ organize the basement storage
+ paint the basement
....and soooooo many other things. But this short list will keep us busy for a while!
 
Thanks for following along our little homeowner journey!
I'll be sure to post more house renovations soon! :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 23-24

Weeks 23-24

Size of Baby: Grapefruit (23w) and Cantaloupe (24w)
Gender: It's a Girl (name is still a secret!)
Feeling: Great! Amazing! Blessed!
Weight: +17 pounds total. As long as I stay under 35 pounds total in the end, I'll be a happy camper! 
Maternity Clothes: I'm slowly filling my closet with more maternity clothes. I did some online shopping at Old Navy & ASOS this week. (that's what happens when you're stuck inside all week due to a snowstorm) I hope these clothes are cute when they arrive in person.

Symptoms: I feel great in the mornings, but the evenings are a little less comfortable. My stomach feels so tight after eating...and my body aches here and there. Oh, and I have to pee more than usual....but that's it! Not too bad.
Stretch Marks: I've been lathering up with cream every single day. Let's hope it prevents any stretch marks!
Movement: Tons and tons of movement. She especially likes to kick when I'm driving/riding in the car.  
Highlights: Going to our first (of 5) childbirth classes.  The first class wasn't that exciting so far, but I like that we are being prepared. Also, we bought our glider and ottoman!! Yay!!! It takes 8-12 weeks to arrive since we did a custom order, but hopefully it gets here sooner than later.
Looking forward to:  Going to my 24week appointment today, we get another ultrasound so I'm excited to see our little sweetie very soon!!! :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

5 Favorite Non-Registry Baby Shower Gifts

I currently have 11 friends and family members who are pregnant right now.  Crazy right?
1 is due in March, 3 in April, 4 in June (5 if you include myself), 1 in July (twins!), 1 in August, and 1 in September. That's a lot of babies this year...
and...that's A LOT of baby showers too!!!
For baby showers, I usually try to buy a few things from the registry, and 1-2 non-registry items. There are just too many cute things out there for new moms that I want to buy my friends.
Here are some of my favorite things to buy new/expecting moms...
...some of these items I already own so I'm super excited to check them out myself!!

1. "I'm So Pregnant" T-shirt
http://hellomerch.com/products/im-so-pregnant-adult-womens-maternity-t-shirt
I actually think funny maternity t-shirts are pretty awesome and they make a great gift. This one from Hello Merch cracks me up! I'm going to wait until I'm closer to my due date to wear mine so it will be extra humorous.  Check back in a couple months - I'll be sporting this little t-shirt soon!
2. Happy Baby Wrap
Seriously, how cute are these soft baby carriers. I love the idea of carrying my little baby around and having them close to me, while my arms are free. These are organic, lightweight and ideal for hot weather (good for a summer baby!) I love that they come in different colors and styles too, it's a great gift for a mom on the go!
3. Teething Necklaces
http://www.milkandbaby.com/collections/nursing-jewelry
I wear a necklace every single day. I love statement jewelry and love how it can jazz up a simple outfit.  But realistically, a necklace will probably get in the way when cuddling/nursing a baby. So I love that there is nursing jewelry out there. Particularly, beaded teething necklaces! It's something stylish that a new mom can wear that won't hurt the baby (or break bc the baby is pulling on it) and it is useful since the baby can teeth on it. Adorable, right!?
I think it's a great gift for a stylish mom!


4. Closet Dividers
I saw many DIY projects on how to make your own closet dividers, and I also saw several in etsy stores, but none of them were that cute.  Until I found Lucy Darling....OMG. I love love love her products.  These are literally the cutest closet dividers that I've ever seen.  They are thick/sturdy and I love that they are easy to see in your closet. I bought some for myself and also bought some for a friend's baby shower too! They got a lot of applause at the shower! :)
It definitely makes clothes organization a little bit easier, so it's a great gift for an organized mom (or a mom who needs to be more organized!) haha.
(Use discount code Jax2015 for 10% off! This code expires in 10 days.)
5. Monthly Stickers
You know I love photos...so it's no surprise I would want to buy all my friends these amazing photo props! Lucy Darling has so many designs and themes that make it so much fun to take milestone photos of your baby! Again, I already bought two sets of these for friends because they were too cute!! Definitely a great gift for a picture taking mom! :)
(Use discount code Jax2015 for 10% off! This code expires in 10 days.)

 That's all for now. But I'm sure I will find a lot more great non-registry baby shower gifts in the coming weeks! I can't wait to add more amazing products to my new-mom collection and spoil my expecting friends! :)


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Birthday...

I never talked about my birthday...so let's do that.
CV and I, along with our besties A&A, went to dinner at Coopers Hawk to celebrate my birthday. When we were seated at the table, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers waiting for me! :) (CV dropped them off at the restaurant earlier that day!!) What a sweetie!
 They also gave me a complimentary dessert of chocolate covered strawberries and truffles...and a little note written on a tiny piece of chocolate. :)  I definitely recommend the restaurant for my Cincinnati locals! :)
CV also spoiled me with some amazing gifts! I typically always have nice sunglasses, but I usually buy them at TJ Maxx or on major sale...because I never splurge on clothes/shoes/accessories for myself.  But luckily I have an amazing husband that said I deserved a really nice pair of sunglasses - so we went to Macy's and tried some on - and I went home with some new beauties! :)
He also bought me an amazing smelling candle too. He's a keeper!
The next day, my preggo friend Alison and I went to Woodhouse Day Spa (best massages in the city!) for facials and prenatal massages. This was my second parental massage and it was wonderful (even though it was done by a guy - which I don't typically prefer.) We followed it up by going to lunch and chatting the afternoon away.
 
Also, for my birthday, I had some super sweet friends treat me to meals! My friend/coworker, Sam, took me to lunch the day before my birthday. My girl, Mimi, drove downtown during the week to take me to lunch.  And my girls, Sara & Ashley, took me to dinner that week and pampered me with a pedicure gift certificate.  I certainly have amazing friends! :)
 
And the weekend was also the Superbowl, (and the 1 year anniversary of CV's surgery), so we had a few friends over and spent the night watching the game!
 
It was definitely a great 32nd birthday, and probably my only birthday in the last 11 years where I haven't celebrated with a glass of champagne/wine/margarita! haha. 
I can only imagine how different all my future birthdays will be....


Monday, February 9, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 21-22

Week 21-22
Size of Baby: As big as a pomegranate (21w) and Papaya (22w)
Gender: It's a Girl (name is still a secret!)
Feeling: Amazing! Excited!
Weight: I haven't weighed myself since my 20 week doctors appointment, which I was +14lbs.
Maternity Clothes: I did buy two maternity things this week that I'm pretty happy about. These leggings (they are so comfy) and this dress (on sale). I know, both black and boring, but good staples to have in my closet that I can wear over and over again.
Symptoms: Some back and body aches...and a leg cramp that woke me up in the middle of the night.
Stretch Marks: I've been lathering up with this, so far so good.
Movement: WE FELT A KICK!!! I am so excited to finally feel kicks and movement all around. It happened the day after my birthday, thanks for the birthday present little one.
And even CV got to feel a handful of kicks too! Ever since, she's been movin' and groovin'!
Highlights: Getting my second prenatal massage and feeling kicks!!! :)
Looking forward to: Getting the nursery together! I'm hoping to go pick out a glider this weekend. Does anyone have any glider recommendations???
 
(Pics taken at 22w1d)

Monday, February 2, 2015

One Year Since Surgery

It is the one year anniversary of this happening.
The day I called 911 for my husband...
The day my husband had to be carried out of our house in a stretcher...
The day I sat in a hospital waiting room for 4 hours waiting and waiting for answers...
The day my husband had emergency surgery...
...and lost 1/3 of his stomach...
The day I could have lost him.
The day that I experienced horrible memories that I never want to relive.
...and thoughts that I wish never crossed my mind.
But that's exactly why today I sit here and am thankful and happy.
 It's been a year since the surgery...and today my husband is happy and healthy!
His 10" scar is healing, his eating habits have changed but he's learned how to manage it, and his new perspective on life is positive! :)
 I couldn't feel more blessed to have this amazing man in my life.
I love you forever, CV.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Five Things...

Five Random Things...

1. IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!
I turn 32 today.
THIRTY-FREAKIN-TWO!
Yes, I am really THAT old! :)
I have some fun dinner plans tonight and a prenatal massage scheduled for tomorrow morning followed by lunch with my Cincinnati BFF. Should be a great little start to the weekend! 

2. Abby Girl Cupcakes
If you're in Cincinnati and you haven't tried Abby Girl cupcakes - you better run (yes run, so you can burn the extra calories) downtown or in Blue Ash and pick up a dozen! (yes, a dozen!!)
I ordered some last weekend for a girls night with some of my favorite local bloggers, and they were devoured!!  Good thing I snapped a few photos before everyone shoved them into their faces!! :)
(P.S. The cookies and cream one was my favorite - incase anyone wants to buy me one or eight for my birthday!)

3. More Nursery Progress
We put the crib together!! (And by WE I mean CV did it while I took photos of him!) :)
It's so exciting to get the furniture together and rearrange them in the room to see where they fit best! I absolutely love the crib we got, and we already have the mattress.
Little by little we are making some progress!!

4. Smoothies
I know I just got done talking about shoving cupcakes in my mouth...but I've been making some healthier choices too! I start every morning with a delicious fresh fruit smoothie. I'm not a coffee drinker so this is my little pick-me-up in the morning. My current favorite is frozen strawberries, fresh bananas, an apple, vanilla yogurt and a splash of juice (or milk if you want it extra creamy!)
Or I literally just throw whatever fruit I have into the blender and drink it! Mmmmmmm......
(if none of your fruit is frozen, make sure you add ice! That's why I always freeze my strawberries, so I don't have to add ice and it makes it super cold!)

5. CAMERA TIME
I finally got out my camera this week...and it feels sooooooo good to be back behind the lens.  I took a bump photo, cupcake photos, assembling a crib photos, smoothie photos....who knows what I'll take a picture of next!! :)

See ya next time!! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Week 20

Guess what I did this week? 
I finalllllly got out my tripod and took a bump picture with something other than my iPhone. Woohoo!! It only took me to the halfway point in my pregnancy to finally get on board!

20 WEEKS
Size of Baby: As long as a Banana
Gender: It's a Girl (name is still a secret!)
Feeling: Amazing! Blessed! Happy!
Weight: I finally got to weigh in at the doctors office...and I've gained 14 pounds total, which I of course googled to make sure I wasn't gaining too much weight, but it looks like I'm still on track. 
Maternity Clothes: Still wearing maternity jeans/yoga pants/leggings. But all my tops are regular bc I'm refusing to buy ugly maternity tops. I think I'll stop answering this question until my answer changes.
Symptoms: Nothing new really...just a lot of dry skin...but that might be the weather.
Movement: Started feeling a little flutters, and a few small short cramps here and there, but that's it. No significant "kick" yet.
Highlights: Going to the doctors office for our 20-week ultrasound! It was so fun seeing her again and seeing her little heart beating! :)
Also, getting a few gifts in the mail...we have very thoughtful family and friends!!
Looking forward to: Getting the nursery together! We cleaned out the closet over the weekend, so now CV can built an organized little closet to fit tiny little baby clothing!
See ya next week! :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five Things...

Starting this Friday with 5 random thoughts...

1. New Years Resolutions:
I didn't really make any official resolutions this year, but I do have some stuck in the back of my mind like:
+ Be an amazing wife
+ Eat healthy
+ Be active
+ Lose the baby weight (Post Pregnancy)
+ Search for a new job (since this happened)
+ Use my camera on our life more (and not always just the lives of others)
+ Relax
Pretty much, I just want to be my best self this year...I'll be bringing a daughter into the world this summer and I want her to meet the best ME!
 
2. Project Nursery:
CV was out of town for a week, and I had MLK day off work...so I did what any impatient pregnant person would do and got out my husbands toolbox and put together the dresser/changing table for the nursery!
I'm pretty sure everyone owns this dresser. (and if you do - then you know what a beast it was to put it together all by myself!!) Everytime I look at Pinterest I see this dresser everywhere and I know several friends who have it.  I guess it just confirms what a great dresser it is! (And at $230 you can't beat that!!)
*BUT I can say....if you're using it for a changing table like many people are...it is VERY TALL.  I'm only 5'1'', so after I put it together I was kinda disappointed on how tall the dresser was. It might be too tall for me to change the baby on. We will see! If so, I guess CV will be in charge of diaper duty! :)
 
3. Baby Clothes:
I've actually been really good about NOT buying any baby clothes. (I'm trying not to buy any since my sister has a lot of hand-me-downs...and who knows what adorable outfits I'll receive at baby showers!) So far, I've only purchased FIVE things! That's pretty good, right???

4. Photography Update:
I haven't been behind the camera lately.  My last session in 2014 was in early November - and due to the winter weather - I had to cancel the rest of my sessions in November and December since all my customers had little babies. (and I don't do indoor portrait sessions). (AND I didn't mind at all since I had no clue when I was going to be feeling "morning sick".) So, the camera has been sitting on my desk for a while - not getting much use.
The update for 2015? Well, I really don't know what will happen with my business after the baby. Photography is a side hobby for me (that I love) but I can't imagine I would want to leave my baby at home while I go take pictures of someone else's baby/family. But who knows, maybe I will enjoy the break....and maybe I will need the creative outlet and the extra money.  I may just have to play this year by ear and see where photography takes me.
But I do have a few sessions scheduled on my calendar for the Spring that I'm pretty excited about! :)

5. Our Kitchen:
Yes...our kitchen is still in the works. (ALMOST DONE!)  We had our countertops installed last week and let me just say - that is a relief!!! We had to put plywood & some extra cabinet stuff to act as a countertop for the past month.  Sure, it did it's job, but it wasn't easy on the eyes.
So finally our countertops are here!!!!! Hooorayyy!!!
Now, we are just waiting on 5 more things......and then we can begin the backsplash & lighting!!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Week 19

A little weekly bump update plus more bad iPhone pictures of me in house clothes. :)
Size of baby: Mango
Feeling: Pretty amazing!! Energy levels are UP, not feeling sick at all, just feeling a little heavy and tight in the belly after I eat a meal. Small portions are key!!
Weight Gain: I'll find out on Monday at the doctors office. I hope its on track!
Maternity Clothes: Still just wearing maternity jeans or yoga pants/leggings...all other clothes are my regular clothes.
 
Symptoms: I've started to get that line on my stomach already! Isn't it crazy that its already there?? I heard when you have a darker complexion, it shows up faster. It's a faint line - but it's definitely there.
Also, I can tell my belly button is a lot more shallow than it used to be. I wonder if I'll be getting an outie soon.
Movement: No movement yet! I've felt a few things...but I honestly couldn't tell you if it was a flutter, or just digestion of food.
Highlights: Putting together the dresser/changing table for the nursery this week and scheduling my baby showers. It's so fun to have those on the calendar.
Husband: Unfortunately, CV was out of town this week in sunny Key West, FL. But I'm happy he was able to go and enjoy a little vacation. (because lets face it - he won't be able to leave me for a week for a long time after the baby gets here!) :)
Looking forward to: Feeling a kick!!! And tomorrow since it is my 20 week milestone! I can't believe I'm one day away from being half-way through pregnancy!
Time sure is flying!!!