Speaking of bags, I am considering a new diaper bag. The one I have has shoulder straps that are constantly slipping off my shoulder, and I want something with multiple ways to wear i.e.- backpack straps, shoulder straps and crossbody perhaps. I’m eyeing up this one and really leaning towards this one, but they are a little pricey! Mommas- are they worth it? What do you recommend?
With Halloween fast approaching, I’m search for costumes for Bryce. So far, I’m really liking this one. Have you seen any creative baby costumes? And while I’m at it, I totally want to make this sign for our front door…
This dance is just awesome. Now to try to learn the moves….HA!
These wood signs are gorgeous. Would love to get one for Bryce’s door to his nursery!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees then line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine oats, pecans, ground flax seed meal, spices and salt in a large bowl then stir to combine.
In a separate bowl stir together remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips. Pour into dry ingredients then mix very well to coat. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet then bake until nuts and oats are golden brown, 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes (this could be faster if you use a convection oven!). Granola will crisp as it cools.
Cool granola completely on baking sheet then stir in chocolate chips. Store granola in an airtight container or jars at room temp for 4-5 days.
Ta da! Can it get any more fall than this?! Now that I’m on a pumpkin kick, I want to try to make these pumpkin marshmallows…and this pumpkin creamer that my high school friend blogged about (she is an expat living in Scotland right now, where they don’t have the fancy flavored creamers like we do…plus, it looks a lot healthier than the jugs of stuff we have!)
What pumpkin flavored recipes do you love? Share them in the comments!
If we are being honest, I’ll tell you that this Old Navy fit and flare dress is super comfortable—it’s the perfect casual dress that makes you look put together just throwing it on, or more put together when you add some completer pieces. At under $20, I knew it had to be mine. So much so that I got it in stripes too. Great layered with a vest or blazer, or with a necklace or scarf. And when it gets cooler out, I can see this with some tights and boots. (For reference, I am 5’5” and got this in a medium. It’s quite fitted at the top, so if you are large busted, size up.)
And if we are being honest, I’ll also tell you that the reason I added the vest was because Bryce spit up on me all the way from my shoulder to my hip. Lovely. #momlife
10k in August in Gurnee, IL (50:20, 2nd place AG)- early race, so Bryce stayed home with Daddy!
My first evening 5k in September in Pleasant Prairie, WI (24:09, 3rd place AG)- first race with Bryce as spectator!
Needless to say, I’m excited to get back into running!
So back to this past weekend. This 10k race fit in perfectly with my half marathon training schedule. (I actually had to do 8 miles, but figured if I pushed myself, I could skip those extra two.) The weather was perfect, scenery was gorgeous, and I had some great company with my husband, Bryce, my Mom, blogger/runner Erin and her husband, my cousin and her husband…and an old childhood friend too!
It was an awesome race. I finished in 48:17 (a PR for me…and time for me to update my PR page!) AND I finished as the 1st overall female! And I got to pose with my little guy for some sweet photos…the best!
I’ll let the photos do the talking.
My little superhero… Bryce at 5.5 months
Because I love a race where you can coordinate with your baby…
Wait…how’s my cape look?!
The perfect photo to promote next year’s race…I’ll have to let the race coordinator know :-)
Top 3 female finishers! My friend from high school and Erin! #girlpower
Not pictured: this space dye tee from Banana Republic Outlet. Paid $5 for it after my rewards…can’t beat that.
What can I say? Old Navy is hitting it out of the park with their fall clothing lineup! And I feel pretty good about my purchases because one of my favorite style bloggers Audrey at Putting Me Together blogged about the dresses and pants as fall staples a couple of weeks after I made my purchases! #win
Anyways, I had some SuperCash burning a whole in my wallet, so I opted to get a few remixable, somewhat neutral pieces for fall…and to treat myself after my WW adventures. The dresses are perfection, especially at under $20 a pop. And the best part? It’s one of the few dresses I can wear and still pump! (In case you are wondering, I use these when pumping. MUCH better all around!) I also grabbed another pair of my favorite compression capris…a workout staple for me.
I really wanted some pants that A-weren’t jeans and B-fit me without falling down so I ordered these mid-rise pants. I ordered in two sizes and while the larger size fit great in the thigh, it was loose in the waist (I really don’t like wearing belts, either…and the fact that it was mid-rise, the button hit me in a weird spot and I was constantly pulling them up,) On the other hand, the smaller size was perfect in the waist, but tighter in the thigh. Anyone else have this problem?! Needless to say, I went with the smaller size, knowing that pants always stretch out as the day goes on…and I can always do a few lunges in them when I first put them on to “break them in.” Come on, you know you do it too! ;-)
And a few other purchases…
I was curious to try out Lulelemon and see what the hype was about. I got this pair on eBay since there was no way I was going to pay full price and while they are SUPER cute, they really don’t have any advantage over the shorts I can buy at Target. They are pretty well made though, so I have to give them that…and I hear their guarantee is pretty great if their items ever break down. So I’m on the fence with this one…I might sell them on eBay, who knows.
I also wanted a basic striped tee that I can remix with the pants I bought, jeans, leggings, etc. so got this one after seeing it on Fran.
Lastly, I also used some Shopbop credits (and a some of my own money) to purchase this one piece swimsuit. I’ve been on the hunt for a one-piece that is flattering, but still covers and this one does the trick! And it fits great—perfect amount of support and coverage…I LOVE it!
All in all, this month’s purchases were again covered by blog income and eBay sales. Woo hoo! Super pleased with my purchases- all very practical, remixable and fall-like.
Speaking of…looking for some fall wardrobe favorites? Check out my post for Little Lake County!
So tell me, what did you treat yourself to this month? Post it in the comments!
Happy Friday! Just wanted to check in and share the latest post I wrote over at Little Lake County. It’s all about Fall Wardrobe Favorites! So if you live in Lake County (or the Midwest, or anywhere where it gets a bit crisper outside), head over and check it out!
And check out my other Little Lake County posts here!
I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Bella Gravida. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Happy Friday! Just wanted to pop in with a fun find that I wanted to share with any ladies that are currently pregnant, or plan to be, or are nursing.
We all know that we can rent everything from movies to handbags to shoes and red carpet dresses, but what about maternity wear? Seems totally logical to have maternity clothing be “rented” instead of buying pieces you truly only wear a handful of times.
That’s where Bella Gravida comes in. From what I understand, it’s similar to Le Tote (see my reviews here), but for maternity clothing AND nursing-friendly outfits. It just launched today and I SO wish I had this during my pregnancy!
A little more about Bella Gravida (which means “beautifully pregnant” in Italian):
For a flat monthly fee, you get access to a revolving closet of thousands of designer maternity and nursing outfits with free shipping and unlimited exchanges.
They offer styles in six categories, Classic, Modern Trendy, Romantic, Bohemian, Dramatic, and Southern Chic
No return deadlines and unlimited exchanges
Includes laundry service
Monthly pricing plans start at $39 per month for 1 garment at a time, $59 for 2, $79 for 3, $99 for 5, or $119 for 7.
They have a ton of great maternity designers, including styles worn by one of my fashion crushes: Kate Middleton!
So check out Bella Gravida for yourself, and if you do- let me know what you think!
Saw this review on the book How to Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Putting this on the reserve list as the library! Has anyone else read it?
Since I clearly have an unhealthy obsession with planners, this Buzzfeed article hit me good. Impressive, I tell ya.
On the style front:
I’ve always been so intrigued by capsule wardrobes. This blog has a great capsule series/challenge for women that are pregnant- a time when a capsule wardrobe is PERFECT!
This white tunic remix is great for fall and is part of series where the blogger will share remixed looks for fall staples each week.
If someone would like to send me these booties in a size 9 in black, that would be lovely. :-) The criss cross straps would definitely make my large feet look a little smaller (at least that’s what I’m telling myself.)
Vest: J. Crew Factory [exact] Top: Market & Spruce via Stitch Fix [review here] Jeans: American Eagle [exact] Booties: Splendid c/o Shopbop [options]
Ahh fall. Probably my favorite time of year! And what could be more fall than this outfit? Booties. Plaid. Puffer Vest. Check mark! And sometimes fall is a bit unpredictable (at least where I live), so adding this puffer vest is a nice layer for warmth, but doesn’t make me overheat. SO glad I grabbed this vest as part of my clothing budget last month…I think it will get lots of use!
Style tip: When you wear ankle booties- be sure to wear low cut socks. Nothing worse than seeing socks peek out of those boots! And try rolling up your jeans versus tucking them into your boots. It will make for a cleaner look!
So, what else do I love about fall (besides the clothes of course?)
The leaves a changin…and the lovely weather.
Football. (Go Packers!)
Corn mazes, hay rides, apple picking.
Halloween (and getting to figure out Bryce’s 1st costume!)
Annnnd the pumpkin flavored everything.
Compared to last month’s Wantable box, this month’s came much faster! My box was scheduled for the 22nd of every month, and I got it at my doorstep about 2.5 weeks later (which included a little extra shipping time over the Labor Day holiday).
I asked for classic, casual pieces in neutral colors. No hi-low tops this time around! And I included my Pinterest board with Wantable items I’ve seen on other bloggers.
Here’s what I got…
Let’s get into the specifics!
Dex 3/4 Batwing Sleeve Top
Basic navy top with a raglan sleeve. Retails for $39. Didn’t care for the “batwing” cut though—made me look boxy when I opened my arms. Plus, I already have a navy top (see May Clothing Budget).
Jack Kath Sweater Striped sweater with a slit back detailing. Retails for $80. Super comfortable and love the color/fit, but what is with the slit back?! Are you supposed to wear a cami under it? Hmm…
KLD Long Sleeve V-Neck Tunic
Soft jersey tunic in basic black. Retails for $49. But like I’ve said in previous reviews, still not a fan of hi-low for some reason. Plus, not worth the price tag for a black long sleeve in my opinion.
Project Social T Bonfire Hoodie
Relaxed fit hoodie with V neckline and kangaroo pockets and hood. Retails for $52. Very comfortable, but I have something similar already in my closet. At least it’s my style!
Jack Rai Top Jersey tank with lace yoke. Retails for $40. LOVE the top…something about the relaxed knit tank with a bit of lace to dress it up! Wish my bra straps didn’t show though…I think that is persuading me to send it back, but it really is darling and can be dressed up or down!
So in the end, did my stylist get my style? Yes and no. The pieces were definitely a nice mix of classic and casual items in neutral colors like I asked for. But I also got a hi-low top when I specifically requested that I not get any, and none of the items I pinned were available. Bummer, but still not bad! Can’t beat the excitement/convenience of getting to try on some pieces in your home each month. Looking forward to what I get next! (Note to self: make sure I request no trendy cuts i.e.- dolman, hi-low, batwing, slit back, etc. What is with all that?!)
What would you have kept?
Interested in trying Wantable out? Get started here! <——–
Check out my other Style Edits: May 2015 | July2015 | July 2015
And check out my reviews of their fitness, accessories, makeup and intimates boxes here.
Dress: J. Crew Factory, sold out [option, option, option, option] Shoes: Naturalizer via Savers [option] Got this scalloped edge dress on super clearance. So classic and can be layered in lots of ways, which I’m a fan of. Can’t go wrong with a plain navy dress, right?!
It’s been yet another month since my last Weight Watchers check in. Using this space as a means to stay accountable, so wanted to share an update now that it’s been 3 months on good ol WW.
Sooo…overall, I am down 23.2 pounds. What’s even better though- I just feel so much better! All my old clothes certainly fit (and are a little loose in some), which is a true indicator of how I feel it’s going.
My membership runs for one more month, then I’ll evaluate and see where I’m at and determine if I want to continue. But so far, I feel like I’ve picked up really good eating habits and can continue on! Ultimately, I’d love to be at the same weight when I finished WW three years ago, which is only 7 pounds away. (I’m a competitive person by nature, especially when it comes to challenges with myself!)
Here’s what I’ve been eating/doing along the way:
T25 Beta is still going strong about 3 days a week. Starting to get a little bored with it, so I might try the P90X3 I have sitting in the drawer. We will see- never did it before!
Half marathon training: I finally added in one additional day of running to Saturdays when I do my long runs. It’s just 3-4 miles on the treadmill so I can keep an eye on Bryce, but it’s something! Long runs are going great and have mostly been by myself, which I am kind of enjoying. It’s my “me” time to de-stress and have quiet thoughts to myself (and jam out to music.)
BONUS! Went to my first barre class post-baby with my cousin! I SO missed it, and would have gone back sooner, but there isn’t a studio in the northern suburbs of Chicago (or SE Wisconsin for that matter)…there needs to be one (or maybe I should just open one myself!) I ended up going to class in Indiana when I visited my parents, and it was so fantastic and worked all the muscles…wow! Looking forward to taking more whenever I visit (especially since my cousin is training to be an instructor, how cool is that?!)
I try to avoid pop at all costs- especially the dark stuff. It makes me break out. But sometimes I want something bubbly without the calories. My trick? 7-UP TEN with a splash of cherry juice (and a cherry). Super refreshing and no points (well, the cherry juice might be a point, but I just do a little.)
Made this super delicious veggie tian that I shared on Facebook. Easy, and lots of healthy seasonal veggies. Points-wise, it’s really low!
Sweet potato chips…oh my word. Easy, and oh so tasty! I loved sea salt on mine. But you can always try variations with seasonings, like cayenne or cinnamon. YUM! (Still trying to perfect the bake time on these so they aren’t so soft..)
These taco cupcakes have been on constant rotation for dinners for a looong time. And only 4 points per cupcake! Plus, they pack a TON of flavor.
This recipe for One Pot Cheesy Turkey Taco Chili looks amazing. 8 points for a generous cup. Perfect for fall and football season, and love that it’s one pot, which means less dishes- HOORAY!
Any good WW tips to share? Any tasty recipes/swaps you’ve tried lately? What is your workout routine like? Tell me in the comments!
Diaper: Size 1, but getting pretty tight! Trying to blow through this last box (pun intended.) :-) He is ready for size 2!
Clothes: Still fitting in some larger 3 month clothes, but definitely filling out 3-6 month and even 6 month! (I’m super excited about this, because I’ve got a whole closet of adorable “big boy” clothes that I can’t wait to get him in!)
Eating: At his 4 month appointment, pediatrician recommended boosting the ounces he gets in his bottles, and feeding him rice cereal twice a day. Man, has that made a difference! Little guy has really chunked up and filled out- it’s adorable! Love those baby rolls! He gets 6 ounces, 5 times a day, plus rice cereal once in the morning and once at night (couple tablespoons each time). I tried mixing breast milk with the rice cereal, but my supply couldn’t keep up with all the ounces he needs, so I chose to add formula to the rice cereal at 4.5 months and keep the bottles entirely breast milk. However, I am slowly working through my freezer stash, so my goal is to continue to pump as long as I can (and pop those Fenugreek capsules, eat lactation cookies, whatever it takes!)
Sleeping: Like a champ! He has been sleeping solidly through the night. Bryce will fall asleep after his last bottle around 8:30 or 9pm and wake up around 7am. In terms of naps, he also takes a short snooze around 9am (although this nap has been getting longer), as well as a long afternoon nap (about 2 hours AKA Mommy’s productive time!) Sometimes, he breaks the afternoon nap into two (before and after bottle). Loves napping on his tummy when I can keep an eye on him. Otherwise, I’ll swaddle him up and he sleeps solidly.
The Highlights: -He found his voice! Lots of “talking”, especially at night before his last bottle and at dinner time (probably telling us how his day went).
-We tried our first class at Little Gym a couple weeks ago. Bryce was the youngest in the class, and he was laughing and being super chatty/social at the beginning. Towards the end, though, he got quite fussy/tired, which was to be expected since it was sensory overload for the little guy! Also starting our first 6 week session of “Little Learners” at our local library, which is all about early literacy! Any other recommendations on classes you’ve enjoyed with your little one? (I’m also considering signing up for a local MOPS chapter which starts up really soon!)
-Bryce is interacting with Izzy much more, taking an interest in her, petting her…and Izzy is warming up to him too! Warms my heart.
-Started putting him in his Exersaucer now that his feet touch the bottom. He LOVES that thing…hours of entertainment!
-Also transitioned him from the newborn insert to the regular (incline) high chair for his rice cereal feedings. He did great with it!
-PT Update: No helmet needed (only a very small flat spot remaining), last appointment will hopefully be in the next week or so (it’s been a month!) Glad to be done with that!
-Starting to activate those abs muscles and sit upright (with a little help/supervision from Mom of course!) He reaches for toys and tries to push himself back upright. He will also reach for toys when he is on his back and roll to his side…allllmost a full roll! And lots of pivoting while on his tummy. I’ll set him down facing one direction and in a couple minutes, he’s 180 degrees the other way! I’m convinced he will skip rolling altogether and just walk. Kid has some strong leg muscles and loves putting weight on them!
-Also discovered his feet, pulling at his toys or holding them! It’s so stinkin adorable <— see what I did there?!
-Loves: bath time (enjoys sitting there and chillin…slowly starting to interact with the water a bit more!), exersaucer, kick & play piano gym, crinkly toys
-Dislikes: being left in his car seat too long (if he’s awake), being left alone (i.e.- when I jump in the shower after a workout…he doesn’t like it- but better than having a stinky Momma, right?!)
-He’s such a smiley little baby! He will smile at practically everyone, and he does it with his whole face. Never gets old…the absolute best! He loves when I make a kissy sound at him, kiss his cheeks, sing songs to him or dance, clap my hands or snap– all usually guarantees to get smiles (along with sweet talking him, which isn’t hard to do!)
To see all the latest photos of Bryce growing by the minute, follow along on Facebook or Instagram!
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Chicco. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #ChiccoNaturalFit
As an expectant parents, T and I spent a lot time preparing fine tuning our registry, talking with friends and family for recommendations and researching items and brands. I remember when T and I first went to make our baby registry. We walked on over to the bottle section to start and were bombarded with TONS of options. Talk about overwhelming!
As a new mom with five months of experience under my belt, I can tell you that bottles are tricky. It’s all about what your baby prefers…and those preferences will change over time as baby grows and develops in their eating habits (just when you think you’ve got it figured out!)
We discovered this early on when I decided to exclusively pump and give Bryce bottles starting around 2 months. We did a lot of trial and error, purchasing several brands of bottles until we found a brand he liked. Then, as he got bigger and needed more ounces (and bigger bottles), he also transitioned to medium flow nipples…and it all happened relatively fast. I felt like I was hitting up the baby store every couple of weeks for more bottle supplies!
Luckily, there is a great option that I found at Babies R’ Us: Chicco’s NaturalFit Advanced Feeding & Soothing System.
The NaturalFit® Advanced Feeding & Soothing System is engineered to be responsive to the changing feeding styles of babies. There are three distinct nipple shapes adapt to the specific needs of growing babies by changing shape as the your baby’s way of feeding develops.
What’s even more noteworthy about this product is that they have a 100% guarantee for all NaturalFit bottles: Those who purchase NaturalFit bottles have the opportunity to return the bottles for a full refund plus the cost of shipping (up to $6.99) if they are not satisfied with the purchase. For additional details about the satisfaction guarantee visit ChiccoShop.com.
So a little more about the bottles themselves…
All of the nipples are made of extra-soft silicone and are designed for easy transition between breast and bottle. There are three stages included…they really have taken everything into account here!
STAGE 1: Newborn Flow
Unique angled nipple with wider, rounded base aids newborn latch and encourages proper neck positioning
Angle stays full of milk, reducing air ingestion
Twin anti-colic valves help prevent air ingestion, gas and spit-up
Available as 5 oz (newborn flow) and 8 oz (medium flow) bottles
STAGE 2: Adjustable Flow – 8 OZ
Angled nipple is replaced with a straight nipple and rounded base to adapt to growing baby’s advancing feeding skills
At 4m+ babies have better head and neck control and colic symptoms tend to subside
Adjustable flow nipple allows you to adjust flow rate for baby’s growing appetite
STAGE 3: Fast Flow – 11 OZ
Designed to accommodate older babies’ increased suction strength
Smaller and less rounded base for tighter lip support
Elongated nipple encourages correct swallowing as baby’s sucking pattern becomes more efficient
Available as 11 oz bottle with fast flow nipple
I definitely plan to try out this system with Bryce. It sounds like this set will grow with him nicely and make sure he is taking his bottles correctly all while eliminating gas and spit up- a win in my book!
And bonus! I’ve got a contest for you to enter to win one of 18 tiered Chicco Prize Packs:
Three Tier 1 Prize Packs valued at $439.98
Five Tier 2 prize packs valued at $189.98
Ten Tier 3 prize packs valued at $59.99
Contest runs now through September 30, 2015. Enter using the widget below and good luck!
Last week was an awesome mail week. I discovered this little beauty on my doorstep and did a happy dance. You know why?
I am a planner freak.
I am one of those gals that refuses to use a virtual calendar/planner. Nope. I am an old-school planner type now and forever.
I’ve tried different brands the past few years…everything from the standard ones at Target to custom designed planners. And since I literally use my planner every day, multiple times a day, I consider it an investment in keeping me organized and I’m willing to pay a bit more. Worth it to keep my sanity!
Here’s a little preview of what it looks like…I’m itching to start filling mine out! (If you want more detailed images of the layout, click here.)
Each page features four simple, purposeful spaces: Schedule, To Do, Notes and Dinner. It also has tips printed throughout i.e.- “Mother’s Day is next week!” to keep me on my toes. And the cover is nice and durable with protective gold corners. There’s also a pocket inside the front cover, which can be used to store these coordinating notebooks. I am considering getting one, because I like to keep my blogging editorial calendar and notes in one place.
Want one for yourself? Well the good news is that the Simplified Planner for the 2016 Calendar year debuts TODAY! Check out the gorgeous designs (including mint dot, gold pineapple and happy stripe) and get to shopping! (I am also eyeing up a few other things…like her incredible baby book collection and home base binder.)
What planners have you used in the past? I’m all ears!
Disclosure: I received the Simplified Planner and page marker courtesy of Emily Ley. I chose to feature it in a blog post because I wanted to share it with you! This post also contains my affiliate link.
Just recently, I joined a team of talented writers (and parents) that blog all about the community where I live. It’s called Little Lake County. It’s an online resource for parents in Lake County, Illinois, located between Chicago and Milwaukee. Kind of like a digital magazine written by parents, for parents about everything Lake County. So excited to be a contributor and share my love of where I live! This site has such a great wealth of information for anything and everything relating to kids and parenting in the northern suburbs of Chicago. If you are near the area, definitely check it out!
In somewhat-related news, check out this video that a colleague of mine made to promote the county. (Spoiler alert: watch out for Bryce…he makes his video debut here!)