Monday, May 23, 2016

Seven Year Itch.


I've lived in this little rambler for seven years. After returning home from living a life on the road, I was excited to unpack my suitcase and find a home. I had about three months before law school started in the fall and there was no time to waste. 

I had toured a dozen tiny, smelly, questionable studio and one bedroom apartments when my folks approached me with another option. They were looking to invest in another property in town and they'd make the rent affordable. 

Our goal was to find a flip, work on it for the next three years, and hopefully make a profit once law school was over.

After viewing a few undesirable properties (you haven't really lived until you tour a house that has been condemned due to animal feces inside - pretty sure there was also a rather large animal living upstairs), a cute little house popped up on the MLS. Abandoned for 10 months, it needed work but the potential was huge. We quickly made an offer to the bank and before too long, the house was ours.

I still remember the first night I actually slept there. It was a hot summer night and with the windows open, I could hear the train rumble past. I knew immediately my days of watching Criminal Minds had come to an end.

But I survived. And began turning the house into a home. But truthfully, it only really felt like home when K moved in after graduation. Before him, the house was just a stepping stone, a place to live while finishing school. With him, we began to imagine a life together, our future. 

During the past four years, we've done a lot of living in this house. We've hosted holidays (Easter, Friendsgiving, birthdays, Mother's Day, and graduation brunch), dinner club, game nights, and board meetings.

We've overhauled the house. From our first small project together to a full blown renovation, there isn't one inch of this place that we haven't poured our blood, sweat, and tears into. 

We planned our wedding and celebrated the day to day of marriage here. We brought our baby home here.

And now, we're moving on. A new stage in our lives as parents calls for a new house. Our house. One that we can make a home, for the three of us. For now.

If it doesn't sell, that's okay too. We've turned this house into our home. And it's a beautiful one at that. A part of our hearts will always be here.


xoxo,
Alex

P.S. To celebrate, I'll be sharing an updated home tour all week on the blog. Check back tomorrow for the first reveal!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Musings on Motherhood: 4th Trimester Baby Essentials

Each week I'll be sharing my musings on motherhood. As we wind up our fourth trimester here, I wanted to share a few things things I couldn't live without over the last couple months.

Milk Snob Cover WEE SAFARI SPECIAL EDITION



I saw this on a friend's instagram while I was pregnant and waited until they had a sale to pick one up. These Milk Snob nursing covers double as carseat covers and I couldn't be more obsessed. They have a snug fit, protect your babe from the elements, and allow you to easily check on the babe without removing the entire cover. Plus, they keep strangers away from your little one. I love it so much, I bought two - the fun safari print here and plain black. I also have my eye on this one. My little man loves to stare at the animals and it totally calms him down. Plus if he's snoozin' when we go some place, the cover helps keep him that way! I could go on and on, but trust me, I love our Milk Snob.









I've mentioned it before, but with a new baby, showers become a luxury. I only wash my hair a couple times a week but having some dry shampoo on hand is essential during those first months. Add a little blush and mascara, and you'll feel like a whole new woman.




There are SO many apps out there and I will probably do a future post about all my favorites, but the WebMD Baby App is great for the first weeks because of the tracking feature. Keeping track of feedings and diapers can be difficult when you are working off no sleep. This app syncs between both our phones and it's easy to see when the little one last ate or had a poopy diaper. Plus it's free!



Once our kiddo hit about one month, he was much more alert and ready to look at more than just mama. This play mat has plenty for him to look at and keep him interested. The day he discovered he can kick the sides and make the things move was awesome. He thinks it's just the coolest. And so do we.





For a while, the Rock 'N Play was the only place our little man would sleep. It's about as simple as these rockers get. There are a lot of versions out there that light up and rock 50 different ways, but that seemed like overkill for us. We just wanted something that would keep our guy movin' when our backs gave out. This fits the bill. We are now slowly weaning him out of it and it makes me a little sad that he's growing so fast!





It is well documented on this blog that I am a voracious reader. So of course, I had to include at least one book on my list. This book is great because you absolutely don't need to read it all. It's great as a reference when you have a question about something and don't want to google it. i.e. Is it normal for my kid to get the hiccups every day? Answer: yes.


Date Night


We took a baby prep class at our hospital and while I didn't find it overly helpful, we did walk away with one excellent piece of advice: Plan a date night at six weeks. Turns out that was the perfect timing for me to be ready to leave the babe with my folks and have a nice dinner with K. We talked mostly about becoming parents, but it was lovely to put the focus back on our marriage. So make a reservation, put it in your calendar, and go out, no matter what.

Alright, so those are just a few of my fourth trimester essentials. Obviously, every baby and couple is different so what works for you might not work for the next person. But, I love reading recommendations whether I take the advice or not!

What are/were your essentials during the first months of motherhood?

xoxo,
Alex


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sheryl Sandberg on Resilience



"I hope that you live your life — each precious day of it — with joy and meaning. I hope that you walk without pain — and that you are grateful for each step.

And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself."

- Sheryl Sandberg
Commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Summer Capsule Wardrobe for Work

This article cracked me up. The LOFT has been my favorite store since college. Literally, 90% of my closet is from the Loft. What can I say? They just get me. They have classic pieces that fit my body and you never pay full price for an item. They are LITERALLY always having a sale. Feel foolish if you don't take advantage of a promo code.

So after reading that article, I feel like I've been on the inside of a wonderful secret for years. And just when I thought the Loft couldn't get much better, I got pregnant and discovered their maternity line. It saved me for work, let me tell you. My favorite Lou & Grey leggings? They carry a maternity version. Need a cute dress for work while feeling every inch of nine months pregnant? Covered.

My maternity leave is up in a few short weeks and since my body has obviously changed a bit, and so have the seasons, I thought I'd treat myself to a little wardrobe refresh and give the capsule wardrobe a try again. 

I say again, because when I was a consultant living out of my suitcase, I had no choice to embrace a capsule wardrobe. Granted, I was in a different spot each week and nobody was none the wiser if I wore the same five outfits each week. So in an effort to simplify, I'm cultivating a summer capsule wardrobe for work. My goal is two weeks of outfits that I can mix and match.

Over the last year I've begun streamlining my work wardrobe to the colors black, gray, navy, white, coral (spring/summer) and garnet (fall/winter). So far so good. Everything goes, I can mix and match, and get out the door quickly.

Here are a few pieces that are on their way to my casa and I'll likely be wearing over and over this summer:






  
 
I'll be mixing in some pieces from my current wardrobe but I'm really excited about simplifying this summer. Have you given a capsule wardrobe a try? Tell me about it in the comments!

xoxo,
Alex

All items above found on loft.com this week.
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