Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: Dirty Rush

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A few weeks ago, I was contacted to review a new book "Dirty Rush" by Taylor Bell and when I saw that it was about college and sorority life I was in! I received the advanced, uncorrected proof and I couldn't put it down!

Taylor Bell comes from a long line of Beta Zeta sorority sisters, who all expect her to pledge upon starting at the university. But Taylor has other plans: she’s determined to give her family the proverbial middle finger and destroy the rich tradition they hold so dear by eschewing sorority life altogether. However, Taylor’s resolve soon melts when she falls in with a group of hilarious, ultra-saucy girls, who introduce her to all things Greek and soften her to the idea of joining. Resigned to the fate the Greek gods have dealt her, Taylor pledges Beta Zeta and embarks on a collegiate career filled with the kind of carousing sure to make any sorority sister proud.

From the very first page to the last, I was totally engrossed and loved reminiscing on my own sorority experience- rushing the sororities, meeting my big sis (we talk every day still), my first fraternity party, Greek Week, etc. My experience wasn't quite as wild as Taylor's, there was no hazing or drug use, but the friendships and loyalty were a part of my sisterhood.

This is such a fun read! It's fast paced, witty, and easy to read in one sitting. I recommend this book for anyone who was in a sorority or is interested in the sorority life. It's perfect for a beach read or a little getaway. It may not be for everyone- there is lots of cussing, casual drug use, and a sex scandal, but it's hilariously written and pretty true to life in many aspects. I laughed out loud so many times and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 25

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 24 Weeks 6 Days

- Guess what was found out at my last appointment….Little Baby 2 is Frank Breech just like our Elle Bell!! The doctor and I couldn’t believe it! We found out Ellie was Frank Breech at Week 33 and now I’m 24 weeks with #2 so I doubt she is going to flip head down at this point. When our doctor delivered Eleanor, he checked the shape of my uterus to see if that was the cause of her position, and he said it was perfectly symmetrical and that she must have just preferred that position and then was too big to flip later on. Now that this baby is Frank Breech, he said that this position must give the baby the most room to grow and move, based on the shape of my uterus (even though it is symmetrical). As long as she stays in this position, having a VBAC is no longer an option and I’ll have to have another C-section, which is what I had planned on doing anyways (unless my feelings changed later on or if I went into labor before the scheduled date). So, we will see if Baby 2 is going to flip or follow in her big sister’s footsteps and stay right where she is.

-Weight gain: So far I’ve gained 7 lbs, which is about where I was with Eleanor. My doctor appointments have been made at different weeks than before, at week 22 I had gained 4.5lbs with Ellie and by week 27 I was at 10.5lbs. I've been doing the same as before in terms of my diet, I just eat what I want and until I’m full. Mind blowing, right?

-Little baby girl has been moving so much, I was almost worried that she was moving less than with Ellie, but she's a little wiggle worm now. Everyone has been able to feel her kicks, even Ellie, which I don't know if she understands what she's feeling or not yet. 

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Shirt: Lauren Conrad for Kohls (last year) // Shorts

-Leg cramps are the devil! I woke up several times this past weekend in agonizing pain. One of them was so bad down my shin and I couldn’t get it to go away. I thought I was going to cry! My husband woke up wondering what all the fuss was about and why I was breathing so hard, I guess I frightened him with all of my crazy moves in my attempt to get rid of it. I eat so many pickles (and drink the juice!) and have been eating more potassium, but they're still there. Hopefully, they go and stay away. If you have any tips, help a sister out!

-Cravings: This week it’s still been my fave homemade tart lemonade, but I’ve started adding strawberries to it now. It is so good, I down it in seconds. Matt and I have been making fresh squeezed OJ on the weekends, at my dr appointment they had a farmers market going on in the front and I bought the most delicious oranges. They were so good, super sweet and juicy. We also bought OJ from Costco (never as good as fresh squeezed) and I have some every night before bed (with a couple of Tums) for a night cap.

-My sciatic nerve has been a royal pain in my rear end. It's bothered me the majority of my pregnancy, but this past weekend was terrible. My sweet mother-in-law gave me the best massage that helped tremendously. I am so thankful for her! It made a huge difference and it felt 99% better afterwards.

-We also bought a few frames, the dresser, and some wall decor for little girl. We're going to get some paint samples this week and will paint the room once it's decided what we like. I'm excited to put the room together, but I don't feel any pressure to get it done right away yet.

Thanks for reading! I posted about this in last week's bumpdate, but if you are pregnant or were recently and would like to be featured sharing your experience and advice, you don't have to have a blog to participate. Just leave your email below!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lust List

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Spring is the worst season on my wallet, I swear. There's so many things I want and I feel like a child in a candy store. Ooh shiny! Ooh pink! Ooh nude! Ooh shimmer! It's ridiculous and since my wallet isn't as fat as it used to be in the "let's spend all of my money and pick up an extra shift this weekend because my bills and responsibilities are little" category I had in college, so I made a fun collage instead. Also, my birthday is coming up so hubs, if you read the blog, just click the links, add to cart, and check out. Please and thank you. 

Sunnies- I love my cheapie cat eye sunglasses from Nordies, but I love these pink aviators, although I have no idea if they would work with my face shape. 

Purse- I've had my eye on a few cross body bags (Michael Kors and Kate Spade) and I think this is the perfect size and shape. I love the chain detail and although I really would love a fun color, I think nude is best to get the most wear out of it. I was checking out their aquamarine, but my sister has a MK purse in that color and rarely uses and we both think it's more of a "summer only" type color. 

Nikes- So I never work out, but I really need a new pair of tennis shoes. Do people still call it that? Anyways, my only want for work out shoes is a fun bright color (by "work out" I mean to wear with yoga pants that have never been to a yoga class).

Sandals- This season I really want a pair of dressier gladiator/strappy sandals. I've seen cute ones online for under $50 at Old Navy and Target, but they sell out so quickly. I'm looking for a pair like these that have a small wedge and would look great all summer with shorts and dresses and go perfectly with a cuffed pair of skinnies in the fall.

Earrings- Aren't these Derng earrings gorgeous?! I love the color and the mixed metals. I would definitely wear these all the time.

Blush- This MAC Dame blush has been on my radar for a while (I featured it in my Spring Beauty post) and since I found out my beloved Pink Swoon has been discontinued, I want this blush real bad. Like Elle's sidekick in Legally Blonde wanted a hot dog, that bad.

Ring- This ring has been in my cart from Stella and Dot since forever. Why haven't I bought? No clue. It reminds me of Olivia Pope's ring in Scandal (they're not really that similar, but it reminds me of it nonetheless) and I just love it. It's simple, chic, and right up my alley.

Wallet- I need a new wallet so badly. I'm so crazy picky about one that I've been using a small Coach coin purse/wristlet for much longer than I care to admit. Although, I do like that it's small enough to fit in my clutches and has a wristlet to whip out on a quick errand, I need a big girl wallet like yesterday. This bright yellow one makes me happy and I thought it would be a great way to get organized.

What items are you lusting over this season? Which season do you love to shop the most? Are you an add to wishlist/cart and never check out girl like me? Spill the beans ladies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 24

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23 Weeks 4 Days

This morning I have a doctor appointment and my glucose testing so any news from these appointments will be in next week’s bumpdate. I’m so excited to see our little girl, I look forward to all of my appointments and seeing her on our ultrasounds and hearing her heartbeat. I’ll also have the results of my anatomy scans and blood work and I’m praying for good results. There’s no reason to be worried, but I always worry a little bit, like every mom I want a happy and healthy baby. I also really hope they haven’t changed brands on the glucose test from last time, I didn’t mind the flavor at all, it tasted just like a melted Otter Pop to me. Later today, I’m finally getting my hair done and adding some more blonde to it. I haven’t had my hair done in months and I’m so excited to be able to get some girl time with my hairdresser who is also expecting!

Here are some updates from last week:

-When we were reading Ellie’s big sister book we gave her, after reading it twice I asked her to start pointing out the characters/objects and when I asked her where the baby was she pointed to my belly! I thought it was the cutest response and she followed it with waving hi and giving my belly kisses for the baby.

-This week was a bit better in sleep, I’ve been sleeping mostly through the night but have been waking up really tired. So, I just can’t catch a break! In the previous 3 weeks or so, I was sleeping great, but would wake up around 2 and be up for 30-45 minutes, but wouldn’t wake up tired. Now, I’m sleeping through the night, but tired in the morning. Go figure.

-I’ve had a few leg cramps this past week and thankfully they weren’t nearly as bad as I’ve had them in the past and went away quickly.

-My sciatic nerve has been a bit of a bother, just a slight annoyance instead of lasting pain.
-I’m still craving salt and vinegar chips (Ellie enjoys them too), sour candy like Sour Patch Kids, and tart drinks like lemonade (which I'm currently drinking right now with some cut up strawberries). Before we knew we were having a girl, I thought we might be having a boy because with Ellie all I wanted was fruit and frozen yogurt. My cravings are so opposite this time!

-Matt and I have some time off coming up soon and we plan on getting the nursery together and I’m so excited about setting it up. We plan on buying her dresser and painting her room, nothing huge, but I’m excited to see it all come together. I just want her room to be simple and calming, but with some more color than what I did Eleanor’s room (see hers here, it’s just about the same in our new home now).

-Little girl has been moving more often now and I just love feeling her kicks. It’s such a magical feeling and I look forward to her kicks each day.

-We also tentatively booked our newborn/family pics with Lovers of Love this week for when little miss arrives. It's just penciled in for now, depending on the baby's schedule and my recovery. I'm so excited and we plan on doing them at home, I'd love to maybe venture outside as well for a few pics, but I'm not counting any eggs before they hatch.

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I’m thinking about doing posts featuring other pregnant mamas and their experiences, please let me know if you’d like to be featured and leave your email below! Any one is welcome, you don't have to have a blog to involved. Hope you’re all having a great day, the weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Maternity Clothes Reviews

One of the things I told myself before I was pregnant, was that my second pregnancy I would buy more clothing. Most of my items are loose and flowy so I didn't have to buy a lot when I was pregnant with Ellie. However, by the end of my pregnancy, I was so sick of the few items that fit me at the end and it was too late to buy new clothes- I just didn't see the point in buying something that would only fit for a month or two. I mentioned in last week's bumpdate about doing a review of what I've bought so far and here it is! I still need to buy a few more items for every day wear and blouses for work, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

With my first pregnancy, I only bought full panel bottoms and this is my first pair of side-panel pants. The reviews on the pants were really mixed, but I went ahead and bought my regular size. Old Navy offers free returns/exchanges, so it was worth the “risk”. I absolutely love these pants! They are so cute on, fit great, they don’t stretch out, and wash well (I wash inside out in cold water and hang to dry). For me, they fit true to size, some of the reviews were mixed about that. I love the cropped pant leg, it looks great with flats or heels. My only complaint about the pants is that there’s no pockets, but I can live without that. I like these pants so much, I plan on buying a non-maternity pair when I return to work after my maternity leave.

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When I was pregnant with Ellie, my mom bought me a cute pair of colored shorts (check them out here) and knowing that I was going to be pregnant all summer long, I had to buy some denim shorts to get me through. A woman from church game me a pair of Bermuda denim shorts in a dark wash, so I bought this pair to have a light wash in a different length. They are pretty comfy, but the first day I wore them literally all day long (from like 9am til 1am) and the seam on the side kind of bugged me by the end of the night. It just rubbed and rubbed and made my skin itch on that side. I’ve worn them since and it hasn’t bothered me, but I’m also haven’t worn them for 12+ hours. These also fit true to size and they have pockets! I like that these don’t have a full panel to them, they feel more like real shorts and are (mostly) comfortable to wear.

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I bought this shirt forever ago and it’s easy to just throw it on. It’s runs large, I did have to size down and even when I’m at the end of my pregnancy and I’m huge, it will still fit nicely. I wash it in cold water and hang to dry, but it still has pilled a bit. The description says it’s a sweater, but it’s really thin and will be ok to wear in the summer heat.

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I love me a good white tee and this one is perfect (white is currently sold out, available only in gray). I bought my regular size, it fits great, washes well, and I like the texturing on the shirt to make it a bit different than a regular t-shirt. My only complaint is that the scoop is a bit lower than I prefer.

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Patterned Crepe Top
Initially, I bought the non-maternity version of this shirt, but it wouldn’t be long enough to last my whole pregnancy. I then exchanged it for the maternity version and love it. I actually prefer the hem line over the non-maternity version, pregnant or not. I don’t have very many prints in my closet and I fell in love with the florals on this shirt. It’s so easy to wear with my double pearl earrings (LINK TO ITEM) and I always get compliments any time I wear this top. Definitely a top pick for me!

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Ok, so I bought these when I was pregnant with Ellie, but I’m still wearing them and wanted to include them in my reviews. These pants are so comfortable, I could sleep in them. Plus, they have back pockets, woohoo! They wear and wash well, I swear by them and tell all my preggo girlfriends to check them out. I would definitely order two sizes to see what fits best, they run a bit different than their regular Rockstar jeans (not necessarily bigger or smaller, just different). Old Navy offers free returns/exchanges so it’s a great shop to test out different sizes you don’t find in store.

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Oh my goodness, this shirt is so terrible. I returned it immediately, but with a sad heart because I really wanted this to fit. When looking through their site, the shirt didn’t appeal to me at first, but when you look at it on their model (LINK TO PIC), it’s adorable! I thought it would be the perfect shirt for work. The sizing is so terribly off though. I realize that this is a “boyfriend” fit, but it looked like I was wearing my husband’s shirt. It totally swallowed me up and I don’t think that sizing down would have done any wonders for it. Also, the collar is really slim/small and the wrong dimension for the shirt. Definitely pass on this baby!

Non-Maternity Items

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This dress is so comfortable and at a great price point- under $20. It comes in four colors and I just chose a color I didn’t already own for a maxi and went with basic black. I ordered my regular size and I think it’s roomy enough that I’ll be able to wear it til the end of my pregnancy and after. There is a slip underneath that will probably ride up, but the black isn’t see through, so I’m not worried about that. I’m really happy with this dress, it’s very easy to wear and just throw on and go. It looks really cute with a jacket or cardigan too.

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I wore this dress for Easter and I love the print. I probably will only be able to wear it another two months, it’s not going to last me until the end, but I’ll definitely be able to wear it afterwards. The fabric is sheer and there’s a slip underneath that will ride up and there’s just not enough stretch or fabric to wear the full 9 months. I also bought this dress in my regular size.

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This one obviously will be worn throughout my pregnancy and after. It runs a bit large, I bought my regular size and I’m happy with the fit, but if they’re out of your size, you can definitely size down and still have it fit right. One of my best girlfriends has a blue floral kimono and I’ve always loved it, she looks so adorable in it and when I saw this one online I immediately added to my cart and checked out.

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Every Target’s maternity section is so different and I really wish they carried more items overall at their store. They had similar white tanks for maternity, but they are always out of my size and it’s so annoying. Instead, I just bought a regular non-maternity long and lean tank in a size larger and I’m happy with it. I didn’t get a chance to compare their maternity vs non-maternity to see how different they were since they were out of a bunch of sizes. When I was pregnant with Ellie, I lived in these tanks, they’re such a staple in my wardrobe to wear under clothes, paired with cardis, or wear alone.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pic Dump

Here's another post from pics that never made it to the internets, I take them to share with friends and family and some are taken totally for IG purposes, but they were never posted. So today is their day! I'm sure they're all so excited to see the light.

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The view from above the bump
Shorts // Sandals // Sunglasses // Polish

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I know that children and babies grow every minute, but some days and moments Ellie looks so big to me. When she curls up on the couch with her dolls, when she's telling me about her day, or when she hugs me and gives me pats on the back like I do to her. This moment of her on her belly coloring with her legs crossed just killed me. Why does time go by so quickly?

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Shirt // Shorts
Eleanor is so girly and I absolutely love it. I don't know if she'll always be so girly, but I'm reveling in it now. She's obsessed with my makeup and loves to put some on when I'm getting ready.

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This kimono is everything. So easy to wear and super comfortable.

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Ellie got a little update to her room, the LOVE and bun frames are from Hobby Lobby, the E is from Home Goods, and the mirror is from Kirklands (same one here). We just added the two prints to the wall and the rest we already had in her room. Next up for her is a big girl bed. I'm glad that her nursery wasn't too baby and that it will be an easy to transition as she gets older and her tastes and needs change.

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We went on a date with my girlfriend and her son to Chick-Fil-A for the first time and we really enjoyed it! I don't know why we haven't eaten there sooner! The ice cream was a big hit and I'm lucky she wanted to share it with me.

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I love this polish shade! It's Sinful Colors Tempest.

The weekend is almost here! I hope the rest of the week goes quickly!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 23

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22 Weeks 3 Days

Did you miss our announcement or our first bumpdate? Check them out if you need to catch up!

This week has been great! I said in the first post that I'll probably just do simple posts with updates on any major changes or feelings. I'm gonna try it this week, please let me know what you think and which you prefer! Thank you so much for all of your feedback and comments, this has been a great journey and I'm so happy to be doing it again.

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Dress (non-maternity)

Here's some updates from last week:

- Pregnancy insomnia is still around! I've woken up almost every night around 2am and will be up for 45-60 minutes. Luckily, I'm not tired in the morning and I'm able to fall back asleep after some time.

-I love the items I've bought for clothes this pregnancy and will do a review of everything I've bought that's maternity so far. Would you want a review of the non-maternity items too?

-The salty/tart cravings are still going strong. This weekend I made homemade lemonade with lemons from my uncle's tree. I've already finished the pitcher and can't wait to make another one. I've also been drinking the juice from our green olives (which I always regret after).

-The baby has been so active! Last week I posted that she doesn't move all the time, but I've felt her so much more since that posted. It's like she knew I wrote that about her and she had to prove me wrong. I love it!

-We've bought a few things for the new baby's room, I'm really excited to get it set up. Right now, we use it as a guest room so we have to clear out the Cal King Bed (our old one) and some dressers and we plan on re-painting it at the end of this month. We're thinking a soft white with a gray tone to it. Any suggestions?

Hope you're all having a great week! If you're expecting, please post your site below if you blog so I can check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Must-Reads Reunion Post: Spring Trends

Spring is one of the best seasons in my opinion, it’s the pre-season to summer, but it’s not outrageously hot yet. It’s also one of the best times to shop for your warm weather wardrobe, you’ll get the most wear out of your purchases, right at the start of the season. Also, sometimes it’s easier to purchase on a smaller budget scale a new trend to test out before biting the bullet on a more expensive version of the trend.

Two of my favorite trends for spring are trends that seem to be around every year- pastels and florals. I love these two trends! They’re fun, easy to wear, and so versatile. I think they’re great for any age and gender. Pastels and florals are available at every price point and simple to try out in a variety of ways. Sandals, shorts, tops, dresses, and accessories are all ways you can try out a new trend without fully having to commit to it.

Here are some of my favorite pieces I’ve seen for the trend:

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A while ago, I used to participate monthly must-read posts with several bloggers and today's post was a reunion one! We haven't posted together in some time now and it was great to to catch up and see where everyone is today. Below is some recent posts from these great gals and you can also check out their favorite spring trends too!

What are your favorite sprint trends?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Product Review: TRESemme Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray

Sea salt sprays always come up every summer to help achieve the perfect beach waves – a favorite look of mine that I hope never dies. I’ve always wanted to try different sea salt sprays, but have never bit the bullet after reading reviews. I know Bumble and Bumble have a really popular beach wave spray, but my stylist suggested that it would be too heavy for my fine hair so I skipped it altogether.

I typically wear loose waves on a daily basis, curling my hair using a 1 ¼ curling iron focusing on just the mid-shaft of my hair and leaving 1-2 inches out from curling at the ends. You can check out a video of how I do this here, but it’s a bit old and although I do curl it with the same technique, I style it a bit messier using my hands to break up the curls.

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This spring I really wanted to add some texture to my hair without having to weigh it down. I thought about finding a good sea salt spray, and put it on my Spring Beauty List after seeing the TRESemme (un)Done Sea Salt Spray in store and on my next Target run I put it in my cart and didn’t look back. I’ve been using it weekly (not every day) and really like this product! It’s a great price point (under $10), smells great, dries quickly, isn’t sticky and doesn’t weigh my hair down.

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Day One Curls

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Day Two Curls

Here’s how I’ve been using it:
-If I let my hair air-dry, I spray it liberally over my hair after I’ve applied my leave-in conditioner and anti-frizz serum
-I love the extra texture it gives to air-dried hair and have noticed it helps to keep more volume in my hair if it hasn’t been blow dried with other products
-After I’ve curled my hair, I spray it all over before separating the curls with my hands and then again after for some extra texture

Some extra details:
-I haven’t used it on wet hair when I blow dry, I prefer to use other volume boosting products, so I can’t comment on how it works using it that way
-If I’ve gone a little overboard with spraying it for multiple days, I’ve found to have a bit too much texture on my hair by day 3

Overall I really like this product a lot and I hope they don’t discontinue it. The spray is infused with sea kelp extract that’s supposed to help create full-bodied waves. Like I wrote above, I think the texture really helps on air-dried hair to give some more volume and texture. Usually, when my hair is air-dried, I have a harder time getting volume on day 3-4 when compared to volume on the same days after it’s been blow-dried. This spray has been a win-win for me! Have you tried sea salt sprays? What did you like, how do you use it?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 22

Good morning!! Today is the first of my Baby 2 Bumpdates, thank you all so much for your comments and feedback from our announcement! I'm not sure if I'm going to keep with the same format as my previous bumpdates, I might just do weekly posts that highlight major changes and feelings and not a questionnaire of the basics. I'm very lucky that my pregnancies are easy and I feel great every day, I'm so thankful for that! If you have any questions or suggestion on what you would like to see, please let me know!

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 21 Weeks 5 Days
Dress (non-maternity)

How far along? 22 weeks today, reviewing week 21 in today's post.

Total weight gain: 4 pounds, same as with Ellie at this time!

Stretch marks?: Nope, I do have those silvery marks from my pregnancy with Ellie that a lot of women get, but nothing serious. They do seem to be more prominent now that my belly is large and stretching.

Maternity clothes: One thing I've said since Ellie's pregnancy is that I want to get more maternity clothes from the start because I felt like I had nothing to wear at the end of my previous pregnancy. So far I've bought three maternity shirts, jean shorts, and a pair of black slacks.

Belly Button in or out?: In, just flattening out.

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Sleep: I've been sleeping so much better this pregnancy! I attribute it to our new bed and better support. I've had a few nights of insomnia, but I'm not tired all day or groggy in the morning. This past week I did have some leg cramps one night that woke me up, but they thankfully went away quickly.

Best moment this week: I love that everyone knows! It's great to talk about it openly and get asked about it from clients at work and out in public. It was great seeing my family on Easter and talking about the baby and Ellie with them since it's the first I've seen them since the announcement. 

Worst moment this week: The leg cramps! I've also had a little bit of sciatic nerve botherings, mostly my right side and it's not as bad as it was earlier in my pregnancy, but still annoying.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Miss Anything? Being able to wear whatever I want and rare meat.

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22 Weeks 6 Days

Movement: Yes, but she's not moving as much as Ellie did at this time. She's active in the morning, after lunch, and at night. It's smaller movements, they feel like she's shifting into a different position. 

Food cravings: This week, carbonation and sweets. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: I gag almost every time I brush my teeth. That happened with Ellie too, but I remember it being mostly at the beginning.

Have you started to show yet: Yep, it's totally obvious.

Gender: Team pink!!

Symptoms: Leg cramps, sciatic nerve pain, bleeding bums. .

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! No big mood changes.

Looking forward to: Seeing her and how she's different from Ellie. Matt and his sisters are all nearly identical (even with different eye/hair colors) and I love to think about how she will look. In the sonogram you can see she has my nose (so does Ellie), but I wonder what color eyes and hair, if she'll have big cheeks, if she'll be as long as Ellie, etc.

Until next week ladies! Again, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future bumpdates!

Are any of you pregnant and have a blog that you're sharing bumpdates? Leave your site below so I can check it out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Easter Holiday

I've said this in previous posts, but Easter is one of my favorite holidays! Now that Ellie is a bit older, I couldn't wait to celebrate it with her. I've been buying Easter treats for her basket for a few weeks, see what was in it here. A week or so ago we also bought her a 4-in-1 Radio Flyer Tricycle. All week long, Matt and I were so excited about the her new tricycle and talked about how much fun it’s going to be for her and our family walks. I knew she was going to love it so much and I couldn’t wait to give it to her. We’ve been talking about getting this for her since just after Christmas and thought it would be a great Easter gift (we already have birthday plans/gifts for her next month).

On Saturday night, Matt started putting it together and there was no hardware with it! We couldn’t put it together! We were so bummed out and upset, but then we remember that Target had it on sale so I called around and a store nearby had it in stock still and was holding it for me at their customer service desk. I am so happy we were able to get one in time for her! I know we could have given it to her any day and she would have loved it just as much, but I wanted to give it to her on Easter and make the moment a little bit more magical with the holiday. Target for the win!

We put together her basket and bike and then left an empty basket next to her bedroom door and a trail of eggs leading her to her goodies. It was so cute in the morning! She opened each egg individually to eat the treat inside before moving on to the next one (thank goodness each one only had one jellybean!) and then started to keep each jelly bean in her hand and put the empty egg in her basket.

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When she reached her Easter basket and bike downstairs her eyes absolutely lit up and she ran over to the bike! We had to put her in it right away and take a few spins around our first floor. She keeps saying “wheeeee” every time we round the coffee table in our formal living room. After a few laps around the downstairs, she settled in on the basket and took everything out one by one. She was obsessed with all her Frozen stuff and opened her other Easter eggs to find different treats and $2 bills.
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After we were done opening her gifts, we had fresh squeezed OJ and started getting ready for the day. We packed everything into our car and headed to Matt’s parents house for some bagels and strawberry cream cheese breakfasts and more Easter activities. Once everyone arrived (we got there super early), we had an Easter egg hunt and Ellie did so much better! She still wanted to open each egg, but soon learned it was better to dump it in her basket and then check out the goods later. She is the youngest of the cousins (for the time being) and has so much fun with them! They teach her so much and she just has a ball playing with them. I’m so happy that she has cousins that she can grow up close with- something I had and always enjoyed.

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Then we headed to spend some of the holiday with my side of the family, we’re really lucky that both sides of our families lives near each other. It makes it easy to split holidays if we need to. There we ate and ate and then ate some more. It was the first time seeing some of my family since our Baby #2  announcement and it was fun to catch up with everyone. We hid so many eggs, the kids were finding them still hours later! The egg hunt was so much fun and Ellie really understood it by then, she was looking around and not wanting to go to the easy ones on the lawn that were for her (she’s the youngest on my side too).

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I made these sweet coconut macaroon nests for the kiddos and they were a big hit! They're so easy to make too! Just 14 ounces of coconut, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 4 egg whites then mix and place into muffin pans for about 30 minutes and they're done! They were so easy and everyone enjoyed them so much, I think I may make them for my sister's bridal shower, but dip them in chocolate!

Overall, we had a great day! It was so much fun to see both sides of our families and share all the magic of Easter with Eleanor. When I was watching her look for eggs, I kept thinking about how next year I’ll have another little one that may or may not be crawling by then and how they’ll be in matching dresses, then the years after that they’ll both be searching and comparing their finds together. It really made my heart so full knowing that Ellie will have a sibling to share her childhood with and that our little family is growing.

I hope all of you had a great Easter holiday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ellie's Easter Basket + Ideas

Easter has long been one of my favorite holidays. It’s a simple holiday, warm, includes great food, and everyone busts out their pastels. It’s kind of like the unofficial start of spring (although, it technical happened last week). There’s not a lot of build up to the holiday like there is for Christmas, it isn’t too commercialized, and it’s a holiday that doesn’t break the bank to celebrate. I’ve already started on Ellie’s basket, but there’s still some items I’m looking to add in the next week or so. 

I really, really tried not to spoil Ellie rotten this Easter, it's so hard not to buy everything and give it to her. I love shopping for kids and get so excited to see the look on their faces when they see something they love. Here is what I have so far for her basket:

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Coloring Books/Bambi/Bracelets all from the Target $1 Spot
Crayons // CD (from Target, can't find online) // Dr Seuss Book

Here are some great ideas to fill your little one’s basket:

Coloring books
Cover up
Fairy Wings
Nail Polish
Play Doh

Matt and I are candy fiends and always have a bag or two of candy around for us to enjoy. This is not a trait I want to pass down to Ellie, we really strive to have her eat better than we do and the longer I can push off sweets and sugar for her the better. Here are some ideas I’ve thought of to fill her Easter eggs with, although some of them can still have sugar, I figured it’s better than actual candy. I may also fill her eggs with small trinkets or stickers as well.

Candy Alternatives:

Sugar Free Jelly Beans
Dried Fruit
Yogurt Covered Raisins
Fruit Pouches
Yogurt Melts

What's one of your favorite Easter traditions? What do you like to put in your kids baskets?