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.


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.


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?


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!


All items above found on this week.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Musings on Motherhood

I'm stuck on the couch holding a sleeping baby. My arm is falling asleep, I've had to pee for the last hour, and I need to pump. Yet I can't bring myself to move.

This sweet boy refuses to nap more than 20-30 minutes anywhere but in my arms. We're definitely not sleeping through the night yet (how one child can be so hungry at 3am blows my mind), and bad habits be damned - I'll take the naps whenever and wherever I can get it.

And I know these first days and weeks can seem to last forever, but I'm trying to soak up every snuggle, breath of baby smell, and milk-drunk smile I can. Because already I feel time slipping away. My little man is changing before my eyes. I can tell by how fast he's growing out of clothes (6-12 month socks already?!).

So we're slowing down. Taking in all the moments. The playtime grins. The midnight cries. The tummy time. The trillion diaper changes. The way he knows our voices and follows us across the room. Every moment, even the ugly ones.

Have you seen this video yet? If you have humans, tiny or grown, you'll feel all the feels while watching it. Grab the tissues.

Here are a few other musings on motherhood, especially in the fourth trimester:

Dry shampoo and deodorant. That's all.

Although you'll be tempted, don't buy baby blankets before your baby is born. Because they are so damn adorable, you'll be gifted plenty. And you'll wish they came bigger than tiny human size because you'll love them so.

Why don't they prepare you for how loud babies can poop? It's absolutely terrifying.

There is a special place in Heaven for people who bring new parents ready-to-eat meals. And wine. Lots of wine.

There's no shame in relieving yourself while baby wearing. You do what you gotta do.

Maternity leave can be super boring - not always so don't judge me. But for someone who is typically doing about 10 things at once, I need a little more brain stimulation than avoiding pee when changing diapers. I've read the internet. Now (and always) taking book recommendations.
Here's more:

Raising a son to be an emotionally honest man

7 parenting podcasts you should be listening to

And since it's Mother's Day, and there is so much that can be said about that, I'll leave you with these thoughts by Cheryl Strayed:
Dear ones: I know Mother's Day is a joy to many of you. I know it's a giant suckbag of sorrow for others of you. I know some of you are indifferent to it. I know some of you have wonderful mothers and you get to pick out the perfect card for her and take her to brunch and give her a bouquet of flowers and others of you are alone and weeping while watching your monstrously sad faces in the bathroom mirror, wondering why your mom had to die or be a drug addict or be mentally ill or be such an inexplicable evil shit to you. I know some of you desperately want to become mothers and can't and aren't and will never be and some of you have zero interest in becoming mothers and you feel sickeningly suffocated by a world that equates womanhood with motherhood and some of you ARE mothers and you love it and you treasure this day because finally someone picked out a card for you and took you to brunch and gave you a bouquet of flowers. I know it's a holiday that will change in meaning to you over time, even if it has not yet occurred to you that it will. Whatever it is, I want to say I know it's there and it's real and it's true because it's YOURS. I'm with you, wherever it is you are, in heart. 
I'm with you, wherever it is you are, in heart.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Breakfast Cookies

These cookies top my list for breakfast during the week. They pack a punch - I can get to lunchtime without a snack. Plus, they can be made in advance. What's not to love?! And if I ever get bored of the current recipe, they are easy to modify. I think dried cranberries or raisins added in would be delicious. But here's my go to:

Breakfast Cookies

2 & 1/3 cups gluten free quick oats

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. [Note: I throw everything but the chocolate chips into my mixer first. Once it's combined, I add the chips and mix for a little bit longer.] The dough will be very thick. Form the sticky dough into a cookie shape. They don't spread in the oven so make them to the size you want. 

Bake for 15 minutes until edges are very slightly brown. Don't bake any longer or the cookies will taste dry. Cool completely before putting 2 cookies into a freezer bag. These breakfast cookies can stay frozen for up to three months, or fresh at room temperature for a week. 

I'll take a bag out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight to thaw. These are perfect for breakfast on the go or when I wake up starving in the middle of the night to feed the little man.

Let me know if you make a batch! Enjoy!

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