Red, White and Chambray

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With Independence Day around the corner, I had to put together a festive (and comfortable/nursing-friendly) outfit with red, white and chambray blue. I’m counting the white in the embroidery of this top…and in the bird poop on our deck.  Just keepin it real…

Anyways, I styled this look with the chambray shirt I picked up last month, but the sleeves on this top were all kinds of weird.  They were billowy and came too long to be a 3/4 sleeve and too short to be a long sleeve and wasn’t very flattering on me. Luckily, my Momma was able to adjust these for me (along with my shorts) and made it into a short sleeve top, which I love so much more!

Sandals:  Target [exact] on sale!
Top: J. Crew Factory [exact]
Shorts: J. Crew Factory [exact]

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Linking up with The Pleated Poppy | Because Shana Said So | Tucker Up

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June 2015 Clothing Budget

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June 2015 Clothing Budget

June 2015 Clothing Budget

Old Navy linen-blend boyfriend tee: $10.35 after SuperCash
Under Armour uptown moto jacket: $35 on clearance (got in fuschia)
Old Navy v-neck tee: $5.81 after SuperCash
Old Navy striped ponte knit dress: $19 on clearance
Old Navy diva skinny jeans: $15.28 after SuperCash
Costco black leggings: $12
Old Navy white shift dress: $8 on clearance [worn here]
J. Crew Factory boardwalk shorts: on sale for $21 [hemmed inseam, see here]
Sperry Top-Sider cherubfish mariner stripe shoes via Shoemall: $40 after promo code & 7.5% cash back at Ebates

So Old Navy really got me this month.  I had some Super Cash and got the two tees and replaced my white skinny jeans earlier in the month.  Then they were having an activewear sale that I went into the store for a few weeks later, and ended up hitting the clearance section to find the two dresses and a workout tank for cheap…win!  I also was able to hit up the outlet mall with my Mom and snagged up another pair of shorts that I just love, and a really flattering assymetrical jacket from UA that is perfectly casual, yet stylish (I’m a big fan of layering, so this will get some serious mileage!)  I’ll be honest: the Sperry shoes were a total impulse buy because they were on super sale…but they are ridiculously comfy and cute!  And lastly, Costco (of all places) had some serious high quality leggings for cheap.  They also had them in navy, gray and olive in case you are curious.

I also stocked up on a few workout essentials since I’ve been wearing it on the daily and trying to get a sweat on as often as I can!  I have tried a number of brands for workout capris, and I have to say I love Old Navy’s compression capris (and Fabletics).  And I’ve also tried a number of headbands to hold back my hair when I workout (or just want the whispies out of my face).  Hands down, Sparkly Soul is the best…the crushed velvet goes all the way around my head and stays put on my fine hair.  And I have to agree with runner extraordinaire Kim…Champion sports bras are the best!  Great support and they don’t break the bank!

June 2015 Workout Essentials
Old Navy pink racerback tank: $4 on clearance
Sparkly Soul wide headbands: $15 each
Old Navy compression capris: $18
Champion racerback sports bra: $20 (at outlet)
Under Armour Perfect Jacket: $40

=$278.44 for June, but I did collect some income just like last month by cleaning out my closet and selling on eBay/consignment stores, as well as a little blog income from sponsored posts so it was enough to cover my purchases- YES!

I was also very fortunate to be able to pick out a few items c/o or sponsored items this month. I had some credits at Wantable that I used to keep this BCBGeneration Overlay Top (see my review here).  PLUS, I found out that they price match from the retailer’s site, so I was able to get it for nearly half off!

I also had some credits at Shopbop and got this Michael Kors crossbody purse that I absolutely love!  The cognac color matches with everything and it’s big enough to hold my phone, wallet and keys without carrying around a diaper bag!  Then I got this great red dress from Pumps and Pushups that I styled here.

June 2015 sponsored items

What did you pick up this month?

Linking up with Franish | Olives n’ Wine | I do DeClaire

Facts About Pregnancy No One Tells You About

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Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Facts about pregnancy no one tells you about
Pregnancy is truly one of life’s miracles. You are growing a life inside your body!  So incredible. When I look at Bryce, I am still in awe that he was in my belly a couple months ago.

So about this pregnancy thing…

Of course, there are the symptoms of weight gain, swollen ankles, the need to use the bathroom all the time – but the end result is the best gift you will ever receive.

So let’s get real here.  I remember when I was newly pregnant (and the time leading up to it) when I was searching all over the interwebs and asking friends about what to expect with pregnancy.  There is SO much information out there- some of it trustworthy, some of it as more of a scare tactic if you ask me, so I put together a list of the top facts about pregnancy no one tells you about…

1) Your uterus expands up to 500 times its normal size. A woman’s body is an incredible thing.  Your uterus can go from a couple of ounces to 1-2 pounds in weight. Once you have delivered it gradually goes back to its original size and weight.  Talk about resiliency!  That said, I noticed my body changing even in the initial weeks of pregnancy, with my midsection shifting, making my clothes fit differently.

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2) Your joints get softer. In order to prepare your body for birth, it produces a hormone that softens your ligaments. This softening helps your baby pass through your pelvis during labor. This is also important to note when you are working out (and something my prenatal yoga instructor warned me about). Although you may feel extra flexible, don’t push it because you can injure yourself!

3) Your hair gets fuller.  Well, I wouldn’t say I got flowy, voluminous hair like I see in commercials, but my hair certainly grew a lot faster and seemed more healthy. Higher levels of estrogen during your pregnancy prevents your hair from shedding at it’s normal rate. This results in fuller hair (and the dreaded hair loss after pregnancy.)

4) You might swell up.  For me, this included my fingers, ankles and feet.  This didn’t happen for me until the last trimester.  I’ve also heard that your feet may not return to their normal size postpartum.  Two of my coworkers can attest to that!  Luckily, my feet seem to have gone back to their previous size, but I definitely had to buy a couple pairs of shoes one size up towards the end to accommodate them!   Those hormones, combined with your increased body weight, adds to your foot’s width and length.  Lovely!

IMG_20150317_160738Finished walking a 5k: just me, Baby P and my cankles.

5)  When you are trying to get pregnant, there are some great products to “help you along.”  When trying to conceive, it is vital to provide an environment where sperm has a chance of survival. And Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™ is a  specially formulated lubricant designed for couples who are trying to conceive. It supports fertility with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality (a fancy term for the concentration of substances like sodium and potassium)and a consistency similar to your body’s cervical mucus, making it less likely to hinder sperm motility than traditional lubricants.

Astroglide TTC
Astroglide TTC™is available nationwide and comes in a package with 8 pre-filled disposable applicators.   It retails for $12.99.

6) Blood flow increases during pregnancy, so occasional nosebleeds and bloody gums are common.  I normally use an electric toothbrush and had to switch to a manual one so I could be more gentle on my gums.

7) Some women (including myself) develop a dark line on their abdomen in pregnancy. It’s called the linea nigra, and it fades over time postpartum.

8) You don’t really need to eat for two. Despite the rumors, most women will only need an extra 300 calories per day. That’s equivalent to about one serving of yogurt and half a bagel.  But those cravings are real, and I say it’s ok to indulge every now and again :-)

What am I missing?  What was something no one told you about pregnancy that you wish you knew?

Note: I am not a medical professional, so take these facts (and anything else you read about pregnancy on the Internet) with a grain of salt! :-)

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine

Pioneer Woman Must Have Kitchen Essentials

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE watching The Pioneer Woman.  Especially on Saturday mornings when the new episodes air with a hot cup of coffee.  Pure bliss!

Pioneer Woman Essentials

I’ve tried a number of her recipes (like these, among many others) and haven’t come across one that wasn’t downright delectable.  (Part of me wants to take the “Julie & Julia” concept and make it my mission to make every single one of Ree Drummond’s recipes and blog about it….never say never!  It’d be a fun challenge!)

After watching way too many episodes of The Pioneer Woman, I put together a list of the must have kitchen essentials that Ree Drummond uses on her show.  I’ve got a bunch of these on my wishlist, that’s for sure!

Pioneer Woman Must Have Kitchen Essentials

 

All-Clad multipot | Offset spatula | Fish turner | Pyrex measuring cup set | Zester/grater | Kitchenaid mixer | Cast iron cookware | Fiestaware

Pioneer Woman fans…what am I missing?  What are your favorite Pioneer Woman must have kitchen essentials?

DIY Housewarming Gift Idea

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DIY Housewarming Gift Ideas

Friends of ours recently had a housewarming party, and I was scratching my head on what to get them.  But then I took to good ‘ol Pinterest and found this idea and got to shopping.  Who couldn’t use supplies like these for their home?  Practical and such a fun talking piece at a party!

I consider myself to be a couponer, so I made a list of the things that I needed and watched for sales and combined it with my coupons.  Most of the items I got at CVS– my go-to for toiletries, beauty, health items and other non-food “stuff.”  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I love me a good deal (see here and here for a couple examples).

Then I used packing tape to secure everything together, wrapped it with ribbon on each tier, added a bow on top and a “Happy New Home” note (free printable found here.)

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And there you have it!  A three-tiered tower of home essentials.  Such a fun DIY housewarming gift!

What would you bring to a housewarming party? Do you have a DIY housewarming gift idea?  Share in the comments!

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The Perfect Shorts Inseam

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I’ve always been a fan of dresses and skirts over pants and shorts.  But now that I’m pumping every few hours, I tend to gravitate towards clothes that make it a bit easier and right now- they are shorts.

This is pretty much my go-to outfit: shorts, plain tee, perhaps a necklace, and sandals.  Super comfortable and practical.

Shorts have always been tricky for me because the inseam is either too short (can we say chafing anyone?!)  or too long, which isn’t very flattering on someone that is only 5’5” and doesn’t have skinny thighs.  After a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered that 4 inches is the perfect short inseam for me.  But where to find them?!

Enter the J. Crew boardwalk shorts.  Elastic waistband.  Super fun colors (and prints!) and comfortable to the max.  But they only came in 3 inch and 5 inch options.  I opted for the 3 inch version and had them altered…by my Momma.  (Thanks Mom!!!)

These shorts are made really well so that you can let out hem to create a slightly longer inseam without them looking “altered.”  She also sewed down the pockets (which I wouldn’t use anyways) and it made for a more slimming effect instead of the pockets “poofing” out, especially after the fabric creases after a day of wear.  Much better!

What is your perfect shorts inseam?

Sandals:  Target [exact]
Top: Lands End [exact]
Shorts: J. Crew Factory [exact]
Necklace: Payless [similar]

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Linking up with The Pleated Poppy | Because Shana Said So | Tucker Up

Bryce: 2 Month Update

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Bryce 5-6-7-8 Weeks
Bryce: 2 Month Update

Height:
at birth: 19 inches
at 4 weeks: 21 inches
at 9 weeks: 22 inches

Weight:
birth weight: 7 lb 2 oz
at 4 weeks: 8 lb 6 oz
at 9 weeks: 10 lbs 8 oz

The Highlights:
-Found your lungs and are a bit more fussy- especially in afternoons and evenings (just in time for when Daddy gets home)
-Loving your Kick & Play Piano Gym and looking at yourself in the mirror
-Want to be held all the time- a little snuggler!
-Staying awake longer during the day, taking things in
-Right around the 8 week mark, moved out of newborn clothes–thank goodness-,he has a large head (90th percentile) so it’s been tricky to dress him!  He gets it from both Daddy and I.  Whoops!
-Finished up the newborn diapers at about 9.5 weeks and graduated to size 1!
-Sleeping longer stretches at night (occasionally there is a 3am feeding in there), but usually you are asleep after your last bottle around 9:30pm and up at 5am.
-Loves being swaddled (it quiets you down!), especially when it’s time for bed
-Enjoys car rides and long walks- both put you to sleep!
-Recognizing faces, tracking people as they walk by, and smiling a TON—at everyone from Mommy & Daddy to ladies at the doctor’s office to random strangers out shopping—what a charmer!

Wow…I literally can’t believe another month has come and gone and that Bryce is 2 months old (actually 9.5 weeks as I right this). He is literally growing before my eyes and looks like a little man!  It’s so incredible to watch him grow and learn each day.  I so enjoy watching his eyes start to explore and learn the world.

Overall, everything is going well.  Bryce is starting to sleep though the night which we are SO thankful for!  Occasionally, he will wake up in the middle of the night, but for the most part, we are sticking to a routine and he sleeps well once he’s had his last (large) feeding and gets swaddled to go in his bassinet (although he is a noisy sleeper!)

In terms of eating, he usually eats six times per 24 hour period if he sleeps through the night- taking 24-26 ounces.  Doctor said we can try upping the ounces, especially at night before bed and see how it goes.  Pumping exclusively has been so great for both Bryce and I.  We wash/sanitize bottles daily, but it’s worth it all around.  At his checkup appointment, Bryce was referred to physical therapy for possible treatment of torticollis, an assymetrical head/neck position, which I’ve heard is pretty common in newborns.  Interested to hear what the PT says later this week.  Hopefully we will get some exercises to do and hopefully it will correct itself!

Bryce was also baptized at 7 weeks.  It was such a wonderful day and we were blessed to have Bryce’s godparents and grandparents there to celebrate.  Our extended family came over afterwards to party too!

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Bryce also had a couple “play dates” AKA sleeping by his similar-aged friend Gracin while his mommy and I walked on the trails.  We also went out to dinner to celebrate my cousin’s graduation and all went well!  He sleeps right through trips to the grocery store (and was in awe of the floor to ceiling STUFF at Costco.)  Many neighbors and friends have met (and held) him too.  We even took a day trip to Indiana while T was at a conference and he traveled so well!  Izzy has also been warming up to him day by day (and shared the backseat well on our day trip!)

Month three will bring some fun adventures, I’m sure.  We are looking forward to taking a trip up north to the cabin to meet Great Grandma!  Can’t wait to see what it holds!

Bryce Loves:
being held & snuggled
-smiling and laughing
-bath time
-eating!  (what a guzzler…I have to slow him down!)
-stroller and car rides
-playing under the Kick & Play Piano Gym
-being swaddled (this one and this one are favorites)
-mesmerized by the TV
-when Mommy dances or walks around with him and sings

Bryce Dislikes:
-not being held
-diaper changes
-shots (Mommy hated seeing him get them, too!  I could have died!)
-tummy time (although it’s growing on him)

Resources I’ve loved:  Lucie’s List

Check out the other updates: One Month

Day to Date Night: Red Shift Dress

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Day to Date Night- Red Shift Dress I can’t believe it.  I finally got around to taking photos for an outfit post!  WOO HOO!  Don’t get me wrong- I love wearing workout clothes all day, but sometimes I just want to get dressed up!

Case in point: I got this lovely dress from Brooke at Pumps and Pushups, a store with the cutest tops, bottoms, dresses and accessories.  (Sidenote: you have to check out their blog: Pumps and Pushups—it’s all about wellness and style and is run by three health pros (including Brooke!) that share fashion, fitness, nutrition and health articles.)

Anyways, I knew this red shift dress would be really versatile for anything from day to date night so I styled two looks for these occasions.  Plus, you can’t beat that bold, vibrant red!  FYI- the dress is fully lined and machine washable.  As a size reference, I am 5’5” and ordered a large and it fit well—just a little tight in the chest area…I blame it on nursing ;-)  It’s also cut a little shorter so if you are wearing it by itself and/or belting it, be careful!  Otherwise, this would look cute with black leggings in the fall/winter!

The first look is a casual outfit with a jean jacket (in honor of Bri’s Third Thursday Threads), and cognac flats and belt.  Relaxed and fun!

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The second look is for more of a date night or girls night out.  I went with just the shift dress and a black statement necklace and my spunky black cutout lace up wedges.   I love these shoes.  They are so sassy!

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Shop the look:
Dress c/o Pumps and Pushups (exact)
Jean Jacket, Old Navy (option)
Necklace, Boone Belles (option)
Belt, Target (exact)
Flats, Old Navy (option)
Wedges, DSW (option at 40% off!)

PS- Did you enter the giveaway for a $200 Target gift card?  Go back one post and enter!

Linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose | Mix and Match Fashion

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Instagram Love + a $200 Target Gift Card Giveaway

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Hi there!  Wanted to give you a  little “insta” update…since clearly, that’s where the action is!  (And be sure to follow me on Instagram for the latest.)

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Story of my life lately… #imsotired

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I decided to join Weight Watchers to lose the baby weight.  I did it about three years ago and lost 30 pounds and never felt better, so I’m hoping it will work for me this time around.  (And all I can say is YAY for nursing…you get so many extra PointsPlus!  Good thing, because I am hungry all.the.time.)

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Oh you know, just kickin’ it…

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This past weekend, T and I were contacted by an old work colleague to participate in a video shoot for our county’s tourism organization.  Afterwards, we walked around for some Starbucks (the mini frappucinos are the perfect size, by the way!)  Bryce is already a star…I mean, he is hiding from the paparazzi with those glasses- HA!

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Not that I am dying to get into a swimsuit at the moment, but it is summer time so the opportunity may present itself. I got this fantastic one piece courtesy of Surania out of Spain.  You can custom design a swimsuit by picking the cut, colors/patters, etc.  You can choose from standard sizing or enter in your measurements (which I did), and it fits perfectly!  And the best part?  It was under $65!  Not bad at all for a custom made suit!  I will definitely plan to order my next suit (tankini, perhaps) from them the next time I need one.

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That time when you notice your manicure matches your baby…

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These two…makes my heart melt!  (And I need more room on my lap, evidently.)

Lastly, to wrap up this Instagram love, I’ve teamed up with a few other bloggers to offer a $200 Target gift card giveaway!

Target Instagram Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

There are 3 ways to win — follow on Instagram, like a photo daily and comment on a photo daily. See the Rafflecopter for links to all the participating bloggers. Good luck!

Prize: $200 Target Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck! (Please email becky@ohmygoshbeck.com with any questions.)

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 6/30 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join me and other bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back at It: Gurnee Days 10k

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IMG_20150608_102144First 5k run through the neighborhood.  (Not gonna lie- was pretty sore after that!)

After getting the “all clear” at my postpartum appointment, I am anxious to get to running again! That is, when I can find the time.  Ideally, I’m aiming to do a half marathon later this fall, but getting out to run will be tricky.  I look forward to when I can use the jogging stroller so Bryce can come with me (which I’ve read it as 6 months.)  Until then, most of my runs are on weekends when T is with our little guy because I am too tired by the end of the day during the week.

And with summer in full swing, I LOVE doing races.  And one of my favorites year after year is the Gurnee Days 10k-2 mile race. (See recap from last last year, where I placed 3rd in my AG.  Yeah…not happening this year!)  This will likely be my first race post baby, and I’m super excited for it!

Gurnee Days 2015
The details:
Gurnee Days 10K Race and 2 Mile Run/Walk

When: Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 7:30am
Where: Warren High School- O’Plaine Campus, 500 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee, IL
Cost (through July 31): $21 for 10k, $16 for 2 mi run, $10 for 2 mi walk (race day registration available)
To register: Register at gurneeparkdistrict.com

What I like about the race:

1) Gorgeous, mostly flat (YES!) USATF certified course covering part of the Des Plaines River Trail.  Gorgeous scenery!
Gurnee Days map
2) Smaller race, which means no overcrowded trails and wasting your energy dodging in and out of the crowds.  Plus, they start the runners first and the walkers a couple of minutes afterwards (it’s a major pet peeve of mine when everyone starts at once.)  Still highly competitive though!

3) A bountiful assortment of food and refreshments.  YUM.

4) Great price for a local, certified 10k race.  Plus, you get a technical t-shirt (which does run big based on my past experience).  Nice bang for the buck considering some 5ks are $30+.

What races are on your calendar this summer?

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Disclosure: I received a free race entry in exchange for promotion on my blog.  However, I enjoy running this race and wanted to share it with you.  All opinions are my own.

Finding Out You are Pregnant and Fun Ways to Announce It

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I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Some days it seems so surreal that I am actually a mom. Just last summer, Bryce was a distant dream. But after being married for five years, establishing ourselves in our careers and buying (and DIY’ing) our first home, Tyler and I knew we wanted to start a family.  And for anyone that knows us, we are serious planners.  So when it came time to start a family, we wanted to know if we were pregnant ASAP!  (Of course, it was all up to God’s timing, but we were anxious to know!)

It was such an awe-inspiring experience when I saw a positive First Response pregnancy test.  While we were certainly trying, but it was still a big “pinch me” moment to know that an incredible blessing had happened that would change our lives for the better.  And seeing those two pink lines was a moment I’ll remember forever!

Throughout the years, pregnancy testing has changed drastically. Back in the day before digital tests, there were analog tests, and the detection after your missed period took FOREVER compared to today.  And sometimes the tests weren’t always accurate, which is a major concern.  All I have to say it I’m glad that technology has advanced!  That waiting game is so suspenseful!

In fact, First Response has redesigned their advanced Early Detection Pregnancy Test to diminish those troublesome moments that come with determining pregnancy.   First off, the design is pretty slick.  They have a curved shaped design to fit your hand, along with a longer handle and 50% wider tip so it’s a bit “cleaner” experience if you know what I mean! Besides being FDA-approved, it is designed to detect pregnancy as early as 6 days before the day of your missed period.  And the results are very easy to read and ready in just 3 minutes with over 99% accuracy!

So after three looong moments, the pregnancy test comes back positive—woo hoo!  So then what?

Tyler and I were ecstatic…and in awe.  We immediately got to thinking how we would tell our friends & family in the coming weeks…

We told our immediate family over meals.  We served dessert on plates and hid the dessert on top of a message on each of the plates saying “You’re going to be a Grandpa/Grandma/Aunt/Uncle” and they were so surprised to see the message as they finished their dessert.  It was awesome.

pregnancy Source

As for our extended family, we created this video to tell them the good news!

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And of course, Izzy was in on the action!

Facebook announcement

Sharing the pregnancy news is oh so much fun!

So tell me, how did you announce your pregnancy?  Or have you seen any cute announcements from friends/family lately?  I want to hear about it! 

Links & Loves: Baby Edition

Links and Loves

Links and LovesIs there anything cuter (and more peaceful) than a sleeping baby?!

Happy Friday!  Here are a few links & loves (baby style):

I love Jessica’s post on “nine truths & a lie.”  She’s a momma that is keeping it real.

On the fashion front, I love these three ways to wear a midi dress.  I just don’t know if I could pull it off personally– the length would make me look odd I think, but it’s a comfy look and you wouldn’t trip over it and you wouldn’t have to worry about it being too short either.  And Audrey put together some great “mom uniforms” that are relaxed, yet stylish!

These 25 Bible versus are perfect for praying for your child

Found this article to be interesting on why fewer toys will actually benefit your child.

Lastly, new momma Madison is starting a series on how she is budgeting post baby, and the first one is about cutting her cable bill.  We did something similar before Bryce was born and pay $66 for Comcast (basic cable & Internet) and $8.99 a month for Netflix, which seriously cut our costs when we were paying more like $150+.  (Who has time to watch all those channels anyways?!  Better spent outdoors, with your baby, etc.)

Any fun links you want to share?  Post them in the comments…I want to see!

Sweet Swaps: Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.

This past weekend, Bryce was baptized.  It was a truly wonderful day!  After church, we invited our family over for a big celebration.  We had quite the large crowd, and were busy cleaning and prepping food in the days leading up to the party (which is no easy feat with a 7 week old!)

Bryce’s baptism party seemed to kick off the start of summertime get togethers. Summer always comes with a busy social calendar full of events and activities….and tasty foods.  It’s so easy to eat mindlessly and realize later that you’ve overindulged–I’ve definitely done that before!  So when we were planning the menu, we knew we wanted to offer a wide array of healthy options for our guests.  We had quite the spread of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches and a few sides.  I  was definitely on the hunt for simple recipes that were quick to put together.

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One of those recipes was for Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread via SWEET SWAPS.  The SPLENDA® Brand is dishing out ways to reduce added sugar by swapping out full sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Product.  It was so easy to make, and tasted great!  (And random fact: did you know that swapping just one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener can save more than 600 calories? That makes a huge difference!)

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Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread Recipe via SWEETSWAPS.com

Servings Per Recipe: 16 (Click here for nutrition info)

Serving Size: about 2 tablespoons

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup roasted red peppers, well drained, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  I told you it was easy!

After we ate, some of us decided to move around a bit and play with Izzy and start a friendly game of bags (or cornhole, depending on where you are from).  It was nice to take advantage of the nice weather (before the rain came!) and burn some calories while still enjoying each other’s company.

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It was a fantastic day all around- so nice to spend time with family and celebrate Bryce’s baptism!  Here’s to many more summer parties!

What is your go-to summer dish?

Instalately- June

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The makings of a successful grocery store trip: a sleeping baby and samples.  #winning

Little Letter Lights Co

The folks wayyy over in Australia at Little Letter Lights Co. sent over this gorgeous marquee light.  It is the perfect size and super high quality and no cords necessary!  Just pop in 3 AAA batteries and it’s good to go.  There are also two settings (bright and dim).  They carry tons of options, from letters in various colors, to clouds, hearts, mustaches and hashtags! Now the hard part: do I display it in Brycer’s nursery or in the bar?!  Hmmm..

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Looking for some cute (and cheap) decorations for 4th of July? Check out the dollar section at Target—these were out around Memorial Day and were $3 each.  (And I may be slightly obsessed with burlap banners…)

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I could stare at this little guy all day.  He loves being swaddled, but I swear he is a little Houdini and can bust out of that thing if I don’t wrap him super tight!

IMG_20150606_130034And my other {fur} baby got some tasty treats courtesy of Chewy.com!  They carry literally EVERY brand imaginable for dogs and cats on their site.  Each month Izzy gets to try a new treat from them, so it’s nice that she gets some love and attention when Bryce is getting so much of ours at the moment. (If you want to be part of their Blogger Program, let me know!)

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Absolutely in love with these onesies from Witts End Design.  After Bryce’s baptism this weekend, I changed him into the B onesie for the party—he was one stylin’ little guy!   PS- Follow @WittsEndDesign on Instagram for discounts, and giveaways and receive 15% off your first order.

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A little “ootd” action.  Sorry folks- not so many outfit posts these days because most days, I’m in yoga pants or workout clothes all day.  No makeup, dirty hair…you don’t wanna see it.  But I picked out this outfit for my cousin’s graduation dinner.  Dressy, but relaxed too!

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Tried this sunscreen from Block Island Organics for a walk on the trails the other day. Smells lovely, and free of parabens, sulfates, dyes and artificial fragrances AKA all the junk you don’t want to put on your skin. Plus, they are a majority-owned woman family company, which I appreciate growing up in a family business myself!

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Target had a sale on shower curtains so I picked up the teal lattice print on the right.  Totally gives the guest bathroom a big makeover if you ask me!  Much lighter and more relaxing in my opinion!

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It’s really been a killer week in the mail…this Nurture VoxBox from Influenster came loaded with goodies targeted for Moms.  Can’t wait to test these products out!  That Ore-Ida potato coupon will be used ASAP, and I’m looking forward to trying the detangler from Attitude since all I do to my hair these days is wash it and let it air dry.  And that Dramamine will be a staple– I get motion sickness in the car so it’s a must on road trips.  But the Red Vines?  I’ve never been a fan…they taste like rubber to me.  Red rubber.

What’s going on with you lately?  (Follow me on Instagram for the latest happenings in my life!)

PS- Have you entered to win a Layette Set from Baby Aspen?  Perfect for your little one or as a baby shower gift!   Giveaway ends Wednesday.  Enter now!

Friday Funnies

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Have you seen Lip Sync Battle on Spike TV?   It is freakin’ hilarious.  I think my favorite performances are Anne Hathaway and Anna Kendrick.  I watch all of the battles on Youtube since we don’t get Spike and I literally laugh out loud by myself when I watch them….and I’m betting you will too.

And you know what else is funny?  This newborn photo shoot…with a dog.

Are you immature and think farts are funny like I do?  Then you’ll like this thread

Want to chuckle?  Check out these dads rapping about fatherhood

Lastly, I need to take some of these photos with Bryce and then make a mental note to do them 20-30 years later.  Downright funny (and some are rather incredible!)

What things have you found to be funny lately?