Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Weekend

On Saturday....
We visited the Mill Market to pickup some fresh produce locally made dairy products. It's our new grocery hot spot because everything they sell is fresh, organic, and locally grown/made.


We stopped for ice cream by the lake. Aubrey and I shared this Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie ice creme. It was SO delicious!

Then we stopped by the lake to dip our feet in and see what Aubrey thought of it. 

...turns out she loved it and we couldn't get her out of the water! She was soaked by the time we left so we had to strip her down to a diaper and head home after that. We're going to make a day of it next weekend though and take her to the beach area of the lake. She is going to love it and I can't wait for next weekend already.


We stopped at a local winery along the way too where we picked up so wine to cook with. 

Some of the butter, cheeses, bread, and arugula pesto we picked up. We also found PB2! I'm so excited to try it out because I've read such great things about it. It has 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter and its in a powder form so it's really easy to add to a shake.

I bought some fresh mozzarella to have with our first ripe tomato from our little garden.

Sunday was a lazy day. Aubrey kept us up all night on Saturday. She's going through some major separation anxiety when it comes to nap time and bedtime. She woke up at 2 am, I was able to get her back to sleep pretty quickly but then she was back up at 4 am! I finally gave in at that point and brought her into our bed because I was so exhausted. She was restless for a little bit and then finally settled down until about 6:30- then she was up for the day.

It's been so rough getting her to sleep. I hate letting her cry and I really thought we were finally past the sleep training thing so this really sucks. Sometimes I end up laying next to her crib on the floor just to get her to calm down, lay down, and relax.

Have any of you experienced this during the toddler years? 

Passed out watching Frozen for the 989th time way before her normal nap time. 

After her impromptu nap was over we hit the road and headed to my in-law's for a birthday party. Aubrey had a ton of fun playing with her cousin so she slept well Sunday night, thankfully! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our Fourth

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. This post is a little late, but better late than never, right?

We hosted our first outdoor party at our house this weekend. It went so well that I think it's safe to say that our place will be "the" place to be next year.
I finally got her to keep her sunnies on! This is a huge step in the right direction!
We spent all day Friday and most of Saturday morning working on getting things ready outside. We have SO much work to still accomplish outside and so many plans but not enough time to get it all done. We have so much property to maintain now so many exciting plans for it too. We are so used to a teeny tiny strip of lawn that we had when we lived in our double block so this is like going from one extreme to the next.
We still have lots of grass to plant and lots of landscaping but here is the start of our fire pit. This is something that I knew I wanted from the beginning.

We recessed it into the ground but we want to make it a bit higher and eventually add stone seating around it. Although it isn't finished, it served its purpose on Saturday night and there were lots of laughs, lots of memories made, lots of s'mores, and the Corona's with lime were flowing. 

This is Aubrey's little area of the yard. It's the shadiest part of the yard so it's a nice retreat on a hot summer day. We'll be adding a swing set and some hammocks to this area in the next year or so too.

When you live in the woods you better have lots of citronella on hand if you plan on staying out on a hot summer night. I found this adorable lantern at Ikea and the candle next to it is from Walmart it's a citronella but it smells like cedar wood which I thought was amazing because I really don't love the smell of citronella.

This right here is what happens when you let guys go shopping...
My husband texted me this photo from the store and I nearly died. This is what happens when your fire obsessed husband, brothers, and dad go shopping for the 4th. Insanity happens. Everyone in the store was laughing and pointing at them and rightfully so because this is just madness. Who does this?

Aubrey anticipating the big firework display in the backyard. 
Aubrey loved the fireworks last year so I figured she would love them this year. Well, not so much. She loved watching them but could do without the sound so we sat inside and watched the 2 1/2 hour long firework display from the second story sitting room. I didn't even mind it because we really had the best view, no bugs, and we were all cuddled and cozy on the comfortable chair- but I did feel like I was missing out a little on everyone's company outside.

So all of these pictures from this point on are taken from the window of the sitting area of the house. Not the best, but you get the idea.
All lit up! This is one of my favorite parts of the yard. They look so magical in person.

Now onto the fireworks (aka: the 2 1/2 hours of pyromania that went on here):




Our town's firework display was on Sunday night and we didn't plan on going because we were tired from our party on Saturday and we didn't want to keep Aubrey up past her bedtime 2 nights in a row. This was our first 4th of July in our new home so we had no idea but it turns out that we have the most perfect view of the town's firework display from none other than our sitting area! We'll never have to sit in the traffic or wait around outside on the buggy streets filled with people. The sitting room was a one of the major draws when we choose the design of our house but we had no idea how much use we would actually get out of it until now. 

How was your weekend?
Am I the only one with a family of fire-loving guys that fill up carts of fireworks like this?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kendra's Miami Fashion Challenge

---click to enlarge---
Mini Maxi- LULUS (lulus.com)
Beach Cover Up- Lilly Pulitzer (lillypulitzer.com)
Coral Bikini- Miss Selfridge (missselfridge.com)
Wedge Espadrilles- Just Fab Rebekah in Cream (heels.com)
Bag- Lilly Pulitzer Resort Tote (nordstrom.com)
Sunnies- Tom Ford (sunglasshut.com)

I'm so excited to be a part of Kendra Thorton's Fashion Challenge. For those of you who aren't familiar with Kendra, she's a wife, mom, and travel expert who has been featured by Nate Berkus and Tyra Banks just to name a couple. She's reaching out to fellow beauty, fashion, and lifestyle bloggers for a little help with an upcoming trip that she's taking.

Here's a little background information that Kendra supplied me with to better help me come up with some outfit suggestions:



"In a few weeks, I’m going to be soaking up the sun in Miami! My husband and I are going on a romantic vacation, I can’t wait to hit the beach, enjoy romantic dinners and explore the Art Deco District. To book accommodations and find out about local attractions, I sought assistance on the social media site gogobot. We ended up finding the greatest hotel! Before we enjoy our stay at the Delano South Beach, however, I need some assistance from my favorite fashionista’s! My husband and I are sure to take tons of photos, and I want to look great regardless of which side of the camera I am on.
As a mother of young children, I could use a style update before we embark. After I booked our stay at the Delano South Beach Hotel, my husband purchased a luxurious spa package for us to enjoy. The hotel’s spa, Club Essentia, features a wide range of rejuvenating treatments focused on restoring youthful vitality. We have our first couples massage booked on the first day of our arrival! I am so excited to get out and be able to spend some quality time with my husband in the beautiful paradise.There’s no treat quite like a tropical getaway, and I know I’m going to have lots of fun on my vacation to Miami. Of course, I’ll have a better time when I feel confident and fashionable in the clothes and accessories that I’m wearing. I can’t wait to see what looks and styles you recommend for my tropical adventure."

I had so much fun putting this inspiration board together and now I'm anxiously awaiting our trip to the beach. I'm really loving coral and mint this summer as you can tell. I think those two colors, along with white look so amazing with a tan. 
Are you planning a trip to the shore soon?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Journey through the Weaning Process

Oh what a journey it has been. In January, when Aubrey's first birthday was approaching I started to think about weaning. I planned on starting when she was one and slowly tapering off from there. A part of me was really looking forward to being done with nursing and another part of me was not so ready and a little upset. I love all of our memories of snuggling up with the Boppy when she was teeny tiny and I was fascinated with the idea of being the one who was supplying her with all of her necessary nutrients. It's so crazy to think that all of that growing that she did before being introduced to purees was all from the breast milk that my body supplied her with. On the other hand, I was so sick of pumping, and wearing nursing bras and I was ready to have my body back.

I stopped pumping on the day of her first birthday party and I was thrilled when I packed away the pump and all of the 3 million parts that go along with it. I continued to nurse her here and there though. I nursed her first thing in the morning, usually once during the day, and before bed. We did this for about a month and a half and then I dropped the daytime session and only nursed in the morning and in the evening before bed.

The Cycle Returns
I was one of the lucky ones who never had a period while was nursing but as soon as I started weaning, it came back and with vengeance. The month after I stopped pumping is when my cycle started back up. I had no idea what I was in for either. What I'm about the explain might be TMI for some so I'm just warning you now... I was out shopping with my mom and Aubrey the day that it came back and it came on so suddenly. I started to gush blood and I had the worst cramping (very similar to the early stages of labor). I got to the point where I couldn't even walk because I was in so much pain and I was just bleeding so much. We got in the car and headed home and I considered going to the hospital but I didn't, I went home and turned to google instead. I found out that I wasn't alone here because the lining still builds up even though you're not getting your period so it's like your body is making up for lost time. Lovely, right? I had 2 cycles of this and I'm happy to report that the 3th cycle was a charm because I'm back to normal... well in that department anyway.

Acne
Something else happened to me when I started to wean. I started to break out worse than I ever have in my life. I'd get the occasional pimple here and there when my cycle was about to start but that was about it. My teenage years weren't too bad on me either and I never suffered from acne but here I am, 29 years old with the face of a teenager (well, add some sun damage and what not to that mix). I actually had acne from weaning. What in the hell is going on here?! I am starting to notice that it is getting better and I'm only breaking out now when my cycle is near but those breakouts are still far worse than what I'm used to.

Weight
I had the appetite of a grown man when I was nursing. Actually, I think I ate more than my husband. I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight about 3 weeks or so after giving birth so the appetite was okay. I actually ended up weighing less than my pre-pregnancy weight while I was nursing. I was getting really nervous about my appetite not suppressing because I was still eating the same amount of food and snacks all throughout the weaning process. My appetite finally suppressed by the 3 1/2-4 month mark and thankfully it did because I gained 5 lbs! I don't really mind the 5 lbs because I had room for a little gain but I'd really like to work on toning things up a bit now. Which I am, that's a separate post though. I know some of you that are reading this may give an eye roll and say "really, she's worried about 5 lbs?" When you're 5'2'' like I am, 5 lbs shows, you just can't hide weight when you're that short.

Baby Blues
Last but certainly not least, actually most importantly is the mood swings. I didn't experience PPD, actually it's been pure bliss for me. When I passed by the "window" (first 2 weeks following delivery) I thought to myself "Pshhhh no depression here. Who could possibly be depressed with this little bundle of joy to look at and cuddle with all the time?" Prior to getting pregnant I always struggled with some mild anxiety issues. Nothing that I ever took medication for because I could control it on my own but it was still an issue and a struggle. During my pregnancy and even after I felt so different. I had no anxiety at all, not a lot of stress- it was amazing. I didn't even know who I was but I liked it. My normal self returned about 6 months postpartum with a little anxiety and stress sprinkled in but nothing that wasn't normal. I mean I was a new mom, we were building a house, preparing to move; life was constantly changing. If I wasn't stressed at some point there would be something wrong with me, right?

Fast forward to the wonderful weaning stage and the darkness set in. I've never struggled with depression so this was/is all new to me. The first few weeks of weaning were probably the worst. I was in a pretty dark place and I just wanted to be alone, not away from Aubrey, just away from the world. Here I am, 4 months out from the start of the weaning process and I'm still not myself. I think it's gotten better; like I said those first few weeks were pretty rough but I'm still hormonal both mentally and physically.

The Road Ahead
I made the decision at the start of this month to just be done with nursing. It needs to end. I need my hormones to level out and I need to get back to normal. I stopped cold turkey on the 2nd of the month. On the 2nd I only nursed her in the morning, then on the 3rd I didn't nurse her at all so here we go! I also started a healthier routine that has me feeling better about myself which I will post about soon. I'll do an update in a month or so to check in and see where I'm at with this crazy roller coaster ride.

I had no idea what I was in for here. I know it was all worth it though and I don't regret nursing for a single second. I know that I provided Aubrey with the best nutrition that I could and that makes me happy. I'm also proud of myself for making it this far. There were so many ups and downs and supply scares so reaching this goal is such an accomplishment.






Monday, June 2, 2014

TLC VoxBox

I was so excited when influenster contacted me and told me that I'd been selected to receive a voxbox.  Good things come in small packages. I couldn't believe how many little surprises they fit into one tiny purple box. 
Here's a peek into what I found inside:
Ivory Soap: I've got to say, I've never been a huge fan of the smell of Ivory soap. I'm not sure what it is about it but it always bothered me. I'm going to give it a go though and try this bar out. From what I can smell through the packaging, it doesn't smell as potent as I remember, it's kind of a fresh scent. I'll let you know how I feel about it in an upcoming review post.

Shell Rewards Card: It's free to sign up for and all you have to do is swipe it every time you get gas to start earning points. You can earn 5 cents a gallon for every $50 you spend. That's easy for us because our Jeep costs about $65 to fill... ugh do I hate spending money on gas!

Avon Anew: I always love trying new beauty products so I can't wait to try this moisturizer out. I'll be sure to follow up with a proper review once I've had a chance to use it. I'm planning on doing a skincare routine post soon too.

Neosporin Neo to Go: I was SO excited about this when I saw it because Aubrey just split her knee open for the third time this week and we've been going through Neosporin and My Little Pony band aids like water over here. Poor kid got a small scrape, it formed a scab, next day comes she decides to pick the scab off, more blood, another scab, onto day 3, falls on said knee again, splits open yet again and starts bleeding. I hope this is it and we are on the mend but anyway, I'm throwing this in my diaper bag for sure! What's so great about it too is it's a spray so it's easy to use in a pinch and you don't have to dab it on the boo boo (Aubrey is going to love that part).

Puffs Plus Lotion Travel Pack: Another great item to have on hand in your purse- especially at this time of year with allergy season in full blast. I've used these tissues in the past and they are great! They definitely help prevent you from becoming Rudolph when you are having one of those lovely I can't leave the house or have a phone conversation today because I'm blowing my nose every 2.5 seconds.

Breyer's Gelato Coupon: I've had this stuff before and it's A-freakin-mazing! It's such a great treat for the warmer months so naturally, I was thrilled to see a coupon in the box for a free container of this delightful, calorie-filled treat that by the way is worth every last calorie.


Disclosure:"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."