Friday, October 21, 2016

Currently: October

I posted a few of these on Instagram recently, but I just love these photos Cameron took of Henry and I this week :)
 Well, yesterday was my due date and I'm still pregnant...whomp whomp. Ha. 

I really felt like over the past few weeks that he might decide to come early, but he seems to be pretty cozy in there! Earlier this week, I was thinking I might go into labor, but the past few days I've felt totally fine with no signs of labor at all. I'm still feeling him move and kick a ton and I had a midwife appointment on Wednesday where we listened to his heartbeat and everything sounds great. Henry came four days past his due date, and I know this little guy will come when he's ready too! But in the meantime, I thought I'd write this month's 'Currently' post since I have some extra time on my hands!

Wanting: Everyone to enter my Minted giveaway! They're giving $100 credits to three lucky people, perfect for using on holiday cards. The giveaway ends Monday 10/24 though, so be sure to enter

Watching: Now that fall is in full swing, it's nice to have more shows to watch again! We've been enjoying The Mindy Project, New Girl, Blackish, and This is Us lately, and then we just started watching WestWorld and it's very intriguing. But I know once the baby comes, we'll be having quite a bit of downtime at home so I'd love suggestions for good shows/documentaries to watch!

Enjoying: The rainy weather lately! Normally, I'd probably be a more annoyed that we haven't had many crisp, sunny days this fall but being pregnant, it's so much easier to stay inside and get things done when it's drizzly and gray out.

Making: The most of having my mom in town and trying to go out just Cameron and I as much as possible. Earlier this week, we went out for a late dinner just the two of us and last night we went out to a late movie aka things we probably won't be doing for awhile after baby arrives! (We saw Girl on the Train btw, and it was pretty good! I wouldn't say great, but we enjoyed it.)
Cooking: Lots of squash! I picked up a bunch of different varieties of acorn squash at the farmer's market last weekend and I baked them and stuffed them with a mixture of sausage, apples, kale, onions, and celery - such a yummy fall meal. And then spaghetti squash with meat sauce is another one of our go to meals in the fall and winter, so that's back in our regular rotation again.

Reading: About natural ways to induce labor...if anyone has anything that worked for them, I'd love to hear it! (I'm hoping he'll just decide to come on his own, but I figure it can't hurt to give him a little nudge at this point)

Wishing: This election could just be over already. I have no interest in discussing politics here on my blog, but I think it's safe to say that this has been a particularly draining and depressing election season. I'm just tired of seeing all the posts on Facebook, constantly hearing about the same things on repeat in the news, and just the overall negativity.

Loving: Kate McKinnon's impression of Hillary Clinton, it seriously kills me. I'm a SNL fan but I think it's off to a rocky start this season, and the opening sketches of the debates the past few weeks have been the only real funny parts. I just think that Kate is hilarious and her Hillary is espeically awesome.

Looking: For cute Christmas stockings! I've had these grand plans for the past two years that I was going to make stockings for us, but it's yet to happen. And with a new baby and I toddler, I'm trying to be realistic and want to just go ahead and order some. Pottery Barn Kids has some cute options and I could always go the Etsy route, but I'm open to suggestions on where else to look! Ideally, I'd like to have stockings that can be embroidered with our names and I'd like for them to all be different but coordinate with one another...the search is on!
Eating: So many good meals lately! I know I talk about it a lot on Instagram, but one of the (many) things I love about Portland is how amazing the food is here. And with the baby coming, we've had extra incentive to go out to eat lately. Cameron's birthday was last week and we had dinner at this pop-up called Mae and it was AMAZING. It was a 10 course meal of super traditional Southern food and everything was so, so good. Earlier this week we had a really great brunch at Tasty n Sons and then yesterday, my mom and I had lunch at Sweedeedee, which is another one of my favorites that I don't get to often enough. And then this morning, we had the chance to attend a media preview to check out the new breakfast offerings at Pine Street Market, which were all delicious!
Needing: For this baby to hurry up and get here before the house gets messy again...ha! I felt like we actually accomplished most of the home projects we had on our list and the house has been relatively picked up lately. But with a toddler and a dog, it's only a matter of time before things get crazy again so I'm hoping baby boy decides to come before things descend back in to chaos. LOL.

  Wearing: Since I'm barely fitting into my maternity clothes these days, let's talk about makeup! I have two new lip products that I've been loving this fall and I have been meaning to share them so I'm glad I'm getting a chance to before baby comes because you need these in your life! Recently, I'd been wanting to find some lip color that would stay on and not transfer super easily, but I'm not a huge of liquid lipsticks because of how finicky they can be to apply. I know lots of people swear by wearing lip liners on their entire lip, and I had heard MAC makes good ones. My friend Megan recommend MAC's Dervish lip pencil, which I know is a cult favorite, so I recently picked one up and love it! I'll fill in my entire lips with it and then typically top it with a lip stick or gloss, and it's a neutral pinky mauve color that works with so many different lip colors. I've also found a nude lipstick that I'm obsessed with, and it's from the drugstore! Last fall, I got one of Maybelline's Color Sensational Creamy Matte lipsticks in the shade Touch of Spice after hearing a lot of YouTubers raving about it, and I really liked the formula. Recently I was at Target (shocker) and saw the Creamy Mattes on the end cap and spotted this color, Daringly Nude, and decided to pick it up because it looked incredibly promising. A "nude" lip is very popular these days, but I think it's incredibly difficult to find a color that works, especially if you have more fair skin. Either a color is way too light and ends up looking like concealer on the lips (which is not a good look) or it's too dark and ends up being unflattering. But thankfully Daringly Nude is a perfect color and I'm obsessed. It's a definitely a more pinky nude, but it's not too light and not too dark. The formula is definitely more of a demi matte, but it's not too drying and stays on the lips really well. I also love the way this lip liner and lip stick look together, it's a little bit deeper mauve color that's perfect for fall.

(Also, I may be a boy mom but I'm always going to love talking about makeup. LOL.)

 Feeling: Kind of weird about the fact that my belly button is an intense outie at this point...ha! It's just very strange, but so are a lot of aspects of pregnancy.

Hoping: That I go into labor SOON. (And that everything goes smoothly of course!)

I'm not planning on writing any more posts until after baby boy arrives, but feel free to follow along on Instagram as I'll most likely be sharing updates there first once he's born!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holiday Card Favorites + A HUGE Minted Giveaway!

I know it's only October and it may seem a little early for this post, but hear me out! I love the holiday season, yet it always seems to fly by way too quickly. Sending out Christmas cards in the mail is one of my absolute favorite traditions because I think it's just such a fun thing to do in this age of social media. And while I'm a huge procrastinator when it comes to most things in life, I've learned that it's so much easier to send out cards if you don't wait until the last minute to start thinking about it. And especially this year with an October baby due, I know there's no way I'm going to be able to send out cards unless I get going on it early! (And yes, we're still on baby watch over here!)

So that's why I wanted to go ahead and share some of my favorite cards from Minted's holiday collection this year! I've used Minted for our Christmas cards the past few years and have been super happy with the results. Their quality and customer service are amazing, and they have so many gorgeous options to choose from! They've released their beautiful new holiday designs for this year and although I had a (very) hard time narrowing it down, here a few cards that really stood out to me:

Watercolor Spray
Be Merry Paint Splash
Merry Christmas Sparkle Snow
Bold Botanical
Be Light Hearted
 They also have tons of foil pressed designs that I think are especially pretty, I love how they shine!

Tidings of Great Joy Script
Illuminated Rings
Oh! What Fun
Golden Boughs
 Another thing I noticed about their card selection this year is that they seem to even more unique options for major life events like a new home, a first married Christmas, and state specific designs, which I think is such a fun idea! I especially love all first married Christmas designs because sending out holiday cards is a such a lovely way to showcase your wedding photos!

Married and Bright
Michigan Love
Merry and Married
West Coast Wishes
Married Christmas Sprig
 Last year, we actually went with one of their letterpress designs and I was super impressed with the quality. I just think letterpress looks so classic and they have tons of great options!

Pressed Pine
A Christmas of Love & Laughter
Height of Happiness
 And finally, there are so many cute cards that can also serve as birth announcements, which is what we're planning on sending this year! I didn't want to show off too many of these designs because I'm not sure which one we'll go with yet, but I'll definitely be sharing our finished card later this year :)

New Name on the List
Merry Little Addition
If you're ready to get your cards ordered ASAP, Minted is actually running a great promotion that ends today where you can take 15% off holiday card orders of $150 and 10% off orders with no mininum - just use the code 'AUTUMN16' :)

Now for the part of this post that I'm most excited about! I've teamed up with Minted for a giveaway where they've offered to give a $100 credit to not one, not two, but THREE different people this holiday season! And the best part is that it's super easy to enter! All you have to do is click HERE and you'll simply be asked to enter in your name and email address and then you're entered to win! (This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, just FYI) The giveaway starts today and runs until 11:59pm PDT on 10/24, and once it ends, Minted will randomly select and notify three winners. 

I'm thrilled for three people to win those $100 credits and I can't wait to get my own cards ordered, especially since it will be our first one as a family of four! I'm sure the holiday season is going to be somewhat chaotic this year adjusting to life with an infant and a toddler, but I know it's going to be even more special. Now we just need baby boy to hurry up and get here already!

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links and I am receiving a credit from Minted in exchange posting, however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I am a huge fan of Minted and have purchased their products (with my own money) for years, as I will only promote brands/things that I truly love.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What I've Learned as a Mom...So Far

Welp, still pregnant over here! I'm 39 weeks (as of yesterday) and I'm in that weird/excited/anxious place that exists when you know you could go into labor at any moment. It's definitely an intense and strange mindset to be in, but I know that baby boy will decide to come join us when the time is right!

This was from Henry's newborn photos, seems so long ago!
In the midst of doing last minute things to prepare for his arrival, I've also been thinking about what I've learned in the past (almost) two years as a mom. And while that may sound deep or insightful, trust me, this post is really not...ha! I would love to put into words some profound thoughts on what motherhood has taught me or share a detailed post about being a stay at home mom, but honestly, I just don't have mental capacity to do anything like that with my current pregnancy brain. So instead, I thought I'd just share my personal top four "must haves" and "mom hacks" :)

Love this one from our family photos last summer when Henry was still a roly poly bebe :)
So first up, my mom must haves! I realize that if you asked most moms what day to day items they couldn't do without, chances are they'd probably list some or all of the following items. So while they're not necessarily mind-blowing discoveries, these were the top four things that came to mind when I thought about the items I personally rely on pretty heavily when it comes to this mom gig:

1. Dry Shampoo - I use this stuff almost daily because after becoming a mom, I realized that washing/drying my hair on a daily basis just wasn't going to happen. Using dry shampoo definitely extends the time I can go between shampoos and as a result, I feel like my hair is less oily since I'm not washing it so often. I've tried all different brands from inexpensive drugstore to pricier options from Sephora and my absolute favorite is the Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo. It's little spendier, but so worth it in my opinion and you can buy it a Target, which is a huge plus since I go through it pretty frequently. It's one of those dry shampoos that makes your hair feel dirtier, but as a result, it looks less greasy and limp, as opposed to dry shampoos that make your hair feel clean but still looking really flat. I have fine hair so I love that this dry shampoo helps to add volume and I've yet to find another brand that I like better. (But I'm open to suggestions!)

2. iPhone - Ok, I know this seems like an obvious one, but I couldn't not include it! My iPhone has definitely become my primary camera since having Henry and I'm rarely without it. My favorite photo editing app is definitely Photoshop Express, but I am by no means an expert when it comes to apps for backing up/organizing photos. I paid for increased iCloud storage so my photos are being backed up there, but I'd love to back them up another way too so I'm open to suggestions!

3. Crockpot - Seriously, how do people live without a crockpot?! When I was working, I used my a ton but I use it even more now since becoming a mom. I love being able to put together dinner while Henry is napping and then that way, I'm not scrambling at 5pm to start cooking. You can make so many different recipes in a crock pot and we use ours at least once a week, if not more. (This is the one I have, just FYI!)

4. Amazon Prime - Having a baby means you end up needing random things that you never knew you needed, and so we are constantly ordering stuff from Amazon Prime. The annual fee is so worth the 2 day shipping for as much as we use it, plus there are lots of other great benefits. One of my favorite things about it is that here in Portland, Amazon Prime has partnered with the grocery stores we usually shop at for grocery delivery, and it's free as long as you spend over $30. I don't do it all the time, but some weeks it's just so much easier to order the groceries online and have them delivered right to my door vs. trying to brave the store with a toddler!

(And I didn't bother including coffee or wine on this list because I feel like those go without saying)

Love this picture from our maternity photos this summer
As for my personal mom "hacks," or the tricks and strategies I've discovered that help make managing life as a mom a little easier, these four are definitely at the top of my list:

1. Mom friends are essential - I can't stress this one enough! It's so crucial to have fellow mamas to support you, especially as a new mom. There are so many amazing, frustrating, and just plain weird things about having a baby and watching them grow, and it's incredibly reassuring to have people in your life who are going through the same thing. I know that it might seem challenging to make those connections, but it's so worth putting in the effort to build those relationships.

2. Agree with your spouse on household responsibilities - Once a baby enters the picture, so many things in your life change. Not only are you and your spouse assuming new roles as parents, but babies are often super unpredictable which can throw a major wrench into managing household responsibilities in the way you've handled them in the past. That's why I think it's critical to be on the same page about what priorities are most important to each of you, and what things aren't as big of a deal. Because whether you stay at home or you work out of the house, with a baby it just often seems that there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done the way you used to. For Cameron and I, we've come to an agreement that in terms of priorities, cooking and having healthy food in the house is always going to take precedence over cleaning. That's not to say the house is never clean or that we don't spend time on that at all, it's just that we've determined on days where time is limited, food is more important. So for example, during Henry's nap time, I'm going deal with prepping dinner first and if I have time to do other things after that, awesome. But if it ends up being a crazy day and at the end of it the house is messy but we had a healthy dinner, then we're both OK with that. Priorities are different for everyone, but I think just being in agreement about what you value most helps prevent a lot of conflict.

 3. Do what you can in the car - With a baby or toddler, it can be really hard to get out the door a lot of the time. So for me, I've found it super helpful to multitask and do what I can while while we're in the car. Hear me out, I'm definitely not trying to advocate being unsafe and doing a bunch of crazy things while driving around with your baby. But, if I have to choose between trying to drink a cup of coffee at home in the morning while getting Henry ready and I know I'm going to end up rewarming it in the microwave a bunch of times, I'd rather just opt to wait and put it in my travel mug and drink it once we're on the road. The same thing goes for eating; I've found it's often so much simpler for me to just pack myself something easy to eat in the car vs. trying to sit down and do it when we're trying to get out of the house. I also keep a my basic makeup essentials in my console for those mornings when the unexpected happens and I don't have time to get ready. Even if that means that I'm putting mascara on in the parking lot of wherever we're going, sometimes it's just so much easier to do it then while Henry is strapped in his car seat vs. dealing with it before we leave the house.

4. Keep chocolate chip cookie ingredients on hand - This isn't so much of a mom hack I guess as it is one of my life rules, ha! I just think it's important to have a go-to recipe you can make quickly and easily in the event that an occasion comes up where you need to bring food or you've got unexpected guests coming or you're just having a rough day. For me, it's chocolate chip cookies and so I always make sure I have what I need to whip up a quick batch on hand just in case!

Tiny baby Henry, it's so wild we're about to have another one of these!

Like I said, my secrets are dry shampoo and cookies...not exactly earth shattering, ha! But I personally love hearing what other moms do to make life easier, so hopefully some of you out there might find it helpful! And I know there's going to be a lot to learn going from one kiddo to two, so I'd love to any suggestions on making that transition as smooth as possible!

Friday, October 7, 2016

September in Review

Well, I'm still pregnant. I just felt the need to start out with that disclaimer, ha!

We're already a week into October and baby boy could decide to arrive any day now which is exciting! I shared a little recap of my third trimester last week, but I also wanted to go ahead and share a review from the month of September as well! I've really enjoyed doing these monthly "photo dump" posts this year because I take an insane amount of pictures with my phone and since they don't all make it to Instagram, it's nice to have a way to share a few more of them, as well as to reflect on the previous month. September was fairly busy for us as the month kind of revolved around our trip to New York; we didn't want to book our tickets until my nephew actually arrived, but once he was born, it was fairly short notice to head out to the East Coast. We had a great time though and I'm so glad we went! (Also, I didn't include any photos from our trip in this post since I already did an entire dedicated post about it!) The rest of September was really all about soaking up time with Henry! We had lots of fun outings and play dates this month, as well as some fun fall activities like Oktoberfest and apple picking. Overall, it was a fun month but I have a feeling that October is going to be even better :)

I got these crayon decals from the Target dollar spot and just threw them up on a wall in Henry's play area, but he seems to love them! He's very into his colors these days and so they are a great way to keep working on it.
Speaking of Target, we seem to spend a lot of time there. Can I get an 'amen' from my fellow moms out there? LOL.
Playing in our backyard with his buddy Everett, they were born just hours apart at the same hospital!
We took Henry to a big truck day over Labor Day weekend, and I have a feeling we'll be doing lots of things like this over the next few years, only we'll have two boys running around!
Another big thing that happened last month is that Cameron finally finished our basement! It was totally unfinished (and kind of scary looking) when we moved in and now it's a really nice looking room that he's using for his office. He'd been working hard on it for months, and he did everything himself! (He did have some help from his family, but he didn't hire anyone and has put in a lot of hours on this project!) It turned out so great and now he has his office set up down there, which is working out great :)
Also, these pictures kind of look like they're in black and white, but they are actually in color...ha! I just took them at night and the walls are a light gray and the floors are a dark grayish brown.
We made a couple visits to the Portland Children's Museum last month, it's such a fun place for kiddos!
Speaking of fun for the little ones, Polliwog in NE Portland is one of my FAVORITE kid stores in town and it's such a great place to go for a gift. They just have a great selection of toys, clothes, and books and I always want to buy all the things.
Swinging at the park!
Once Cameron finished the basement, my nesting instincts kicked into high gear as far as wanting to get the rest of the house ready before baby arrives. This resulted in a late night at Ikea, I wouldn't suggest it with a toddler...ha.
Making pancakes on the weekend
Henry just wanted to eat the chocolate chips, clearly he's my child :)
Good times at Oktoberfest!
Taking a little rock break on our afternoon walk
Henry loves to say "hike, hike!" and I'm so glad he seems to love being outdoors as much as his parents do!
Spending a rainy morning at Powell's Books in downtown Portland - their kids' section is amazing!
Love seeing the two of them together like this :)
We went apple picking at an orchard out near Hood River last month and it was SO gorgeous!
I just can't handle his cuteness :)
Family selfie fail...ha.
After the apple orchard, we headed out to Lost Lake and it was gorgeous!
Henry's reaction to seeing the water :)
This kid loves to climb!
We also visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland for the first time last month! It's gorgeous and so peaceful!
Smoothie/science museum date with some of Henry's sweet friends and their moms :)
He's super into Legos and his letters so the set up on this light table was perfect!
Last week, some of my lovely mama friends here in Portland got together to celebrate baby boy with me and it was such a lovely evening! We went out for dessert and it was so great to have a fun night out with friends before he comes!
And yes, I had to get a photo of each side of the bump. Ha.
Group photo was a little blurry, but oh well :)

September was a really great start to the fall and I just love this time of year so much! (I know everyone says that but how can you not? Fall really is the best!) We have some fun things on the calendar for the two weeks, just trying to keep busy until baby boy decides to make his debut!


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