It’s Been a While

Wow has it been awhile. When I got pregnant with Wallace I knew I’d lose a lot of my free time, and I was and still am okay with that, but I didn’t think I’d go so long between posts. I really do enjoy having a blog and somewhere to share projects I’m working on, things that are going on in my life, and mostly share my wish lists 🙂

Here is a run down of what we’ve been up to lately. First off, Wallace will be 10 months in a few weeks. I have no idea where the time has gone or where my tiny baby went. He’s so busy and constantly on the move. John and I really lucked out with such a sweet, happy baby.

Second, we bought a house! I want to say buying a house was very planned out, but that would be a lie. A few months after Wallace made his debut we realized the townhouse was just too small and we needed more space. Needing a bigger house had always been in the back of my mind, but I really thought (in my pretend world) that we could stay in the townhouse until Wallace was about  a year old. John and I had started casually looking online but nothing had jumped out. We went to look at one place and found out the photos had been very misleading and the house was in terrible shape and in addition to needing a ton of work the layout was awful. About 3 weeks later this cute 3 1/2 bedroom popped up. I liked it well enough based on what I had seen online, so John and I decided to check it out. We set up an appointment to tour the house and the next thing I knew we were putting in an offer. Then, 3 days after Christmas, we closed on our first home! Now, I want to address something I said earlier, 3 1/2 bedrooms, no this isn’t a typo, I really do mean 1/2 a bedroom. There is a random room that we aren’t sure what to do with and aren’t sure why it was even added to the floor plan. The family that lived here before us used it as a dog room (which was really cute) they had the dogs’ beds and crates as well as toys, so the dogs were comfy while their humans were at work. Currently we have the liter box in there as well as a few random boxes we have yet to unpack. The room is really odd because there isn’t really room for a bed… maybe a twin bed, but that would be it. Right now I am leaning towards making it our “gym” and buying a treadmill and set of hand weights. I’ll be honest, no matter what happens with that room, the cat box is staying in there. If anyone has any suggestions I’d love it hear them.

Finally, since we bought a house that doesn’t require or need any major work, everything that we want to do is purely cosmetic. Sadly Wallace had to have surgery the week before we were supposed to move it, which forced us to shift our plans a little. Originally I was going to come over after work and do some painting, but since Wallace was recovering I really wanted to be with him instead. I was able to paint the living room before we moved in, which I’m very happy about . John and I also found a little time to pop into Haverty’s and pick out a new sofa for the living room, a new sofa for the downstairs rec room as well as a recliner ( something John’s had on his wish list for years) . I’m debating on which room I’d like to work on next, the master bedroom ( I just need to paint and order some art for above the bed) the upstairs bathroom, or the guest room. I never thought my love of shopping at J. Crew and Anthropologie would be replaced with a desire to peruse Lowes, Home Depot, and Pottery Barn. I’ll be sure to share updates as I finish the rooms. If you have any favorite places to shop for home decor I’d love the hear them. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Scallops With Lemon and Spinach

I know I’ve been absent for a very long time; and I apologize for that. But I’m sure all the parents out there know how time consuming a baby is. That being said, I’m still working on losing weight (down 13 pounds! but I still need to loose another 9 and then after that 15 more). I have been combing the internet looking for tasty, but healthy recipes. I found this one and thought I would share because it looks amazing. I am not a huge scallops fan, so I’ll more than like substitute with a piece of Tilapia. However, my mom and sister like scallops so I’ll be sending this their way.

Scallops With Lemon and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

1 pound scallops
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced into thin slivers
Juice of 1 lemon
½ pound fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and cut into thin slivers
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Place a clean towel on the counter, arrange the scallops in a single layer on it and gently pat them dry. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for several minutes without browning. Add the scallops and sear on all sides until browned, about 4 minutes total. Add the lemon juice and spinach, toss and cook just until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4. Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 21 g protein.

Weight Loss Tip: Snack It, Track It

Discovered this tip on my weight loss journey. It’s a duh, slaps forehead for sure, but it’s still a great tip. 3 years ago when I was trying to lose the weight I gained due to a side effect of a medication I was on I used this same tip and found it did work. I saw that I tended to eat more at certain times and found I’d snack when I was hungry due to boredom or because people were gathering in the kitchen at work snacking and I’d join them just to get away from my desk… I wasn’t even hungry! Once I started writing down what I was eating and when I was able to cut back on my snacking and the pounds fell right off.

For one day, track your current habits by recording what you eat and drink. It doesn’t matter whether you put pen to paper–or use a tracking site or app.People who are the most successful at losing weight typically track what they consume.

On your day of discovery, track:

  • What. List ingredients separately when you know them. For example, if you’re eating pasta with sauteed vegetables, include the oil or butter used in the pan.
  • How much. Estimate in tablespoons or cups.
  • When. No need to track to the minute, but you’ll learn a lot by seeing the difference between what you choose for lunch at noon versus 2 p.m.

The point is not to shake a finger at yourself for your choices. Instead, discover and experiment. What if you ate a little bit less–would you feel just as satisfied? What if small adjustments in the times you eat make a huge difference in your energy level, hunger or weight?

Losing the Baby Weight

Like so many other women out there who have just given birth, I’m struggling to lose that baby weight. I retained a stupid amount of fluids during my pregnancy, I started retaining excessive water around 23 weeks, and because of this I was unsure of how much weight I had actually gained during my pregnancy. I went to the doctor 1 week after having Wallace and learned I had lost 26 pounds! Obviously that was all fluids and a 8.5lb baby, but I loved knowing that my weight had decreased. Plus, I felt great having lost so much water weight and no longer having swollen feet and legs was just amazing.

Since then I have been struggling to shed those baby lbs. My goal is to lose 20 pounds. I currently walk 1.5 miles every night (John and I take the dog and the baby for a walk) and a few nights a week I manage to slip over to my parents and hit the treadmill for an additional 3 miles of walking/jogging, and I try not to eat after 8pm. I know losing the weight will take time, but I’m impatient and want to get back into my per-pregnancy pants; so I started looking around for some helpful tips. My office has this great partnership with Redbrick which offers various “journeys”, a series of tips to getting healthy, losing weight, reducing stress, sleeping better etc., all for free! I signed up for the 21 Days to Lighten Up Habits and also for Weightloss. I’ll share helpful tips as I discover them. I know losing weight will primarily be a healthy diet, exercise, sleep (yea right, as a mom to a new born), and drinking water. But I’m positive I will find a few helpful tips that will help me lose stubborn pounds.

Below is the first tip I discovered on the journey. If you have any helpful tips please do share! Thanks and I hope everyone had a great 4th of July, ours was very low key 🙂

Be curious about how much you weigh. Explore how and why the number changes from day to day.People who weigh themselves regularly tend to lose weight and keep it off, with daily weigh-ins typically being more effective than weekly weigh-ins.

So for one day, weigh yourself. Here’s how:

  • Weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Put the scale in a noticeable spot to help you remember.
  • Wear as few clothes as possible.
  • Yes, go to the bathroom first.
  • For extra motivation, write down the results so you can track.

Your assignment: Weigh yourself first thing on the first day of your Journey–and any other day you can.

Post Baby

I’m so sorry to stay away so long, but the arrival of our sweet little boy has left me little time for anything other than short naps when he’s napping.

One of the things that really annoyed me when I was pregnant was when other parents would tell me “you have no idea what’s coming”. I always wanted to tell them, you didn’t either, you just happened to have a child before I did and experience has been your education. That being said, I wanted to share five things I have learned in the two weeks Wallace has been home. I hope you find some of what I have to suggest helpful. Just remember, all babies and pregnancies are different as are recoveries. Recover at your pace and at your comfort level.

  1. Buy lots of anti-bacterial hand soap, seriously. I knew hand washing would double once Wallace got here, but for some reason in all the chaos of getting ready for a baby it never dawned on me that more hand washing = more soap. Dumb, I know, but  stock up now. We ran out of soap pretty quickly, however, my wonderful mother ran up to Target and bought us 5 bottles to get us through the next few weeks.  I vow that every baby shower I go to from here on out I will add a bottle of anti-bacterial soap to the mother’s gift bag.
  2. Before the baby comes buy yourself something for after the baby’s birth. By the time I gave birth I was so sick of my maternity clothes I wanted to burn them all. So about two weeks before Wallace was born I bought myself some new yoga pants and a pair of new pj’s. It was so nice to come home from the hospital and put on something that I hadn’t worn to pieces over the previous 39 weeks and I actually felt good, hard to explain why, but I did. Trust me here, make sure you have some nice lounge wear ready for when you return home.
  3. Don’t binge watch anything! Chances are your probably going to spend a lot of time on the couch in the 2-3 months following your baby’s birth, therefore I recommend not binge watching any tv shows so that when you are confined to your couch you have something to watch.
  4. Building off of suggestion #3, create a To Watch List before the baby comes. I really wish I’d done this. I had a C-Section and am limited to how many times I’m allowed to walk up and down the stairs over the next few weeks; therefore I spend a great deal of time on the couch thinking “I’m bored”, but only when Wallace is asleep and I’m not pumping. I don’t have any TV shows I follow and I’m not really a movie person, however there are a few shows I’ve always meant to watch. BUT now that I’m in a position where I can watch said shows or movies I can’t remember the titles of them all. Creating a To Watch List would save me a ton of scrolling through Netflix aimless time.
  5. Have a book ready. Again, I rarely find myself lacking something to do, but in those few hours where I am tired of watching TV or searching the internet, I’ve found reading for 20 minutes is a great way to mix up my day. I have a stack of books I’m currently trying to make my way through and I’ve really surprised myself with how quickly I can finish a book just reading 20 minutes three or four times a day.

 

Baby Things

I really did think I was going to post more about “baby things,” but exhaustion and swelling happened pretty early on in my pregnancy and sadly, the two are still here. So I’m going to attempt to do a small update as coherently as I can before I completely pass out from exhaustion.

Getting the room ready:

Truth be told, John and I didn’t really start working on the nursery until the middle of my second trimester. Now, waiting that long wasn’t really my choice, but I am pretty dependent on John these days when it comes to moving furniture and painting. I had to ask him several times before he finally got a friend over to move the spare room furniture into storage and paint the room (I’ll post pictures of the nursery… it’s almost done just missing the glider!).

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can you believe how swollen my feet are?!

Shopping for baby clothes:

I also didn’t start buying clothes for the baby until we found out the gender at 20 weeks. Carter’s and Janie and Jack are my two favorite places to shop for baby clothes. Carter’s has great sales, but I also highly recommend checking out Ebay and Totspot. It’s amazing how many people are selling baby clothes brand new with tags! No joke, I bought the baby a beautiful camel toggle coat by Janie and Jack off ebay, brand new with tags for $30 shipped and the coat retailed for $200 and a Carter’s sleep sack, blue with elephants, brand new with tags for 54 cents and $3 shipping! Even though I love clothes, I haven’t bought that many for the baby. I know babies grow quickly, so I’m hesitant to buy too many items. But trust me when I say, Wallace has more than enough to last him the first 6 months.

Toys:

I know babies won’t really start playing toys until they are 4-5 months old, but we have bought a few plush toys, think stuffed animals and this ball from Carter’s, and been gifted some as well. But when it comes to toys I’ve been holding off while I do research on the best toys for babies that will help develop skills and jump start the learning process. I did buy these super cute shakers off Amazon and have my eye on these other toys for no reason other than they are just so cute ( Fox Bandana Buddy / Roll Around Hedge Hog  / Sort and Spin Fish Bowl / Alphabet Stack and Stick Zoo )

Car seat and Stroller:

After a great deal of research and talking to friends with babies and small children, we decided to go with the UppaBaby Mesa car seat and the UppaBaby Cruz Stroller. While I actually can’t say too much on this topic yet because Wallace isn’t here yet and we haven’t used them, I can tell you that the car seat is super easy to remove from the base and snap into the stroller frame and vice versa. The car seat is light weight, a mere 9lbs, and the stroller is so easy to push, maneuver, and fold up, that they are well worth the money.

Swaddle blankets:

Same as above, we haven’t used these yet so I can only say a few words on them. My friend recommended the brand Aden and Anais to me and I’m so glad she did. These swaddle blankets are super soft, a great size of 47” x 47”, they wash well, the fabric is breathable, great price, and the signature prints couldn’t be cuter.  Apparently these blankets get softer the more you wash them as well. For whatever reason, I really wanted a particular set Liam, the Brave, which had superhero dogs and paper airplanes, but couldn’t find them in stores. Luckily Amazon had them in stock and I was able to get a set of 4 blankets for $40

While I’d love to write more and share more fun things we’ve purchased, I’m exhausted and going to head to bed. Thanks for stopping in and bearing with me during the long silence 😦

Happy Friday!

 

Snow Days as an Adult

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The Lake behind our house. I took this picture on Sunday and the lake was half frozen and half slush

Friday we were hit with a pretty insane snow storm. It started snowing around 10am on Friday and didn’t stop until Saturday night, maybe around 9 or 10pm. I’ve heard various reports on how much snow we got, but it is close to 18 inches! If I stand in the middle of our yard the snow comes up to my knees!!! I remember in high school and college really loving snow days because I knew, or thought I knew, that once I was in “the real world” snow days would disappear forever. Turns out I was wrong and I couldn’t be happier to be incorrect about something. The last few days have been interesting because we haven’t stuck to our normal schedule at all, but I thought I should still share an update on what John and I have been up to over the last three days.

FRIDAY: Friday I had the day off I had scheduled  a doctors appoint and it was my birthday, but other than that no plans.  John’s boss decided to close the office with the impending weather and John was able to work from home. I moved my doctors appointment to 9am which turned out to be a smart move because it was snowing pretty hard by 10am when I left the doctor’s office. On the way home I did run into A.C. Moore and buy some yarn, I’m attempting to knit Otis a new sweater, and then did a quick stop by the grocery store as well. Oddly enough there was bread and milk, but no soup, powder doughnuts (which I was there to buy), or orange juice. John and I celebrated my birthday, sort of, we couldn’t go out to dinner because of the snow, but he did give me my gifts and a Cold Stone Ice Cream cake. We then took Otis on a walk, he refuses to use the bathroom in the snow so it’s always a long ordeal, and hung out on the couch and watched tv and a James Bond movie.

SATURDAY: I got up and made waffles for breakfast, John’s request, then made some taco soup for dinner, some snow day treats for us to munch on throughout the day, cleaned the kitchen, started Otis’s sweater, and worked on The Frosted Pumpkin cross stitch sampler for Wallace’s room. John and I took Otis on two long walks because, again, getting him to go to the bathroom in the snow is a huge effort, then we watched Bridge of Spies and spent the rest of the night just hanging out.

SUNDAY FUNDAY: Well, not so much Sunday Funday for me. John and I took Otis for a walk first thing in the morning. The sun was out, a plow truck had come through, and other dogs were running around so we knew Otis would use the bathroom quickly. When we got back I realized my hands and legs were terrible swollen. In fact, my right hand was so swollen I couldn’t hold a fork. I immediately began drinking tons of water, this usually helps, and put my feet up on the table to wait for the swelling to go down. Eventually I took a 3-hour nap then spent the rest of the day in bed or on the couch online shopping for the baby, we finally picked out all the furniture and decorations except for the glider, and whining to John that my right hand hurt it was so swollen. I left the safety of the bed for one more walk with Otis, dinner, and random moments to do laundry. I can’t lie, I really did enjoy our snow days and I’m not too thrilled about having to go to work today seeing as there is still about 18 inches of snow outside and people are unpredictable when it comes to driving in snow and ice, but like a kid in school, I’m hopeful we will get sent home early. #fingerscrossed