Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Pregnancy Must Haves

I've been thinking about doing this post for many weeks now, but I keep running out of time in the day editing my list of items as my pregnancy progresses. With only 8.5 weeks left... I thought it was about time!
Please keep in mind, these are things that I personally found to be the most helpful and/or necessary to survive my pregnancy this far... by no means does that suggest every pregnant woman will agree!

For any fellow Mamma's or Mommy's to be - I would love to hear what items/products you have found to be the most helpful in your pregnancy!
1. Belly Band - These are great for wearing over pants that don't zip/button or just wearing as an under layer! I purchased the BeBand from Target for $16.99 {or use a coupon to get it cheaper}. I would highly suggest getting a large size no matter how big/small you are because you WILL grow into it. I originally purchased a small and the elastic around the lower waist became uncomfortable quick! Once I got a larger size, I was much more comfortable and I use them quite often.
2. Bolthouse Farms Fruit, Veggie, or Protein Drinks - Let's be honest... I'm too lazy to do juicing myself. And I certainly don't have the extra money to buy a juicer. So I came across these delicious drinks that have no perservatives and contain many vitamins along with high servings of fruit/veggies/fiber/protein etc.
3. Belly Boost Bar - These bars are delicious! Something great to have on hand for a snack. They have additional nutrients to supplement your prenatals. I found them in store at Babies R Us {not available online} or I have seen that they were on Amazon and some other sites as well. {contains: 170 calories, 95mg sodium, 25 carbs, 2g fiber, 13g sugar, 8g protein, 55mg Choline, iodine, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D}
4. Body Pillow - Hellooooo good nights sleep! I was to the point where I was barely sleeping at night because I wasn't comfortable and/or my back hurt. With not being able to sleep on your back, having a big pillow really makes life better! My husband hates the darn thing because it takes over the bed... but it's so worth it! There are so many different shapes and sizes, but I think regardless, any body pillow will help a pregnant woman get much better sleep!
5. Maternity Jeans - I know I mentioned the Belly Band is great for wearing over your pants that don't button, but I must also say that having at least one pair of maternity jeans is so worth it! They truly are very comfortable and you can't even tell they are maternity! Not to mention that if your anything like me, my thighs and butt have grown too much to fit comfortably into my regular jeans. {I envy those women who say they wear their regular pants their entire pregnancy!} I found these Jessica Simpson maternity jeans from Motherhood and they are my favorite!
6. Exercise Ball - A ball has really helped me with exercising! Especially with squats and stretching! Luckily, I already had one of these pre-pregnancy and I found that I began to use it much more once I was in my second trimester! I have found some great exercises on pinterest that include an exercise ball!
7. Leggings - I know us women all love leggings as it is... but maternity fleece leggings are SO much better than your ordinary leggings! And the best part is they can definitely be worn post-pregnancy! They are not full panel. These Fleece Lined leggings from Pink Blush have been my absolute favorite! The quality and comfort is much greater than those I found at Motherhood Maternity.
8. Tums/Zantac - After having some complications in my early 2nd trimester with gastritis {acid/heart burn} these two medications have been my life savior. The 2nd trimester wasn't so bad by watching what I ate. However, now that I've entered the 3rd trimester, it's inevitible that everything I eat gives me heartburn or acid reflux. Not fun!
9. Gummy Prenatals - I began taking these as recommended by my Dr. three months prior to concieving. At first I had a hard time with them. I don't like swallowing pills so I was happy to see the gummy option. However, the first container I bought was really yucky. So I encourage you to find a flavor or brand that you like best! I also found that it's easier for me to take mine at night. When I take them in the morning they would make me sick. Same thing, do whatever works best for you!
10. Foam Roller - Along with a growing body, comes a sore body! Especially with continuing to exercise through pregnancy. And since my husband doesn't give massages {Yep, I just threw you to the wolves Michael}, I splurged on this massage foam roller! You can get them without the massage knots as well. I have really loved this thing! It really helps me to stretch out my back and it feels great on my sore legs! There are also pins that you can look up to see different moves for different areas of your body. This specific item I purchased was the Gold's Gym Massage roller from Walmart for $21.97
11. Sports Bras - Oh heavens... we all know how precious our twins become once we find out we are expecting! If your anything like me, you don't want those babies to even move! Therefore, I highly suggest stocking up on some sports bras! Even though I already had some, I got a few new ones from Target as well. I've also heard that keeping your girls restricted will help limit any stretch marks while they are growing.
12. Coconut Oil - Oil pulling has many benefits whether pregnant or not. I found that by continuing my routine of oil pulling in the morning for at least 10 minutes, it helped subdue my nausea and headaches{during the first trimester}. I also found that before and during pregnancy, oil pulling helped my skin/acne. During my first 18 weeks of pregnancy, I had spurts of acne. And since I didn't want to put most acne creams on my face with all the chemicals, I relied on oil pulling much more. Lastly, I read that coconut oil was a great moisturizer for your growing belly! Although it is kind of messy, I didn't use it too often. But now that I feel my skin is stretching more and more, I think it helps keep the skin moisturized much longer than your average lotion!
13. Body Butter - C. Booths Almond & Honey Butter is one of my favorite moisturizers to use on my growing belly! I highly recommend it! Regular price $9.99 at Ulta however I always used a coupon or waited until it was on sale. This stuff goes on thick and really holds moisture in the skin for a long period of time. Plus, it smells great!
14. What to expect before your expecting - I found the "pre pregnancy" book to be much more informational than the more common "What to expect when your expecting". I just felt that there was a lot of great information for new parents!
15. Travel Cup of Water - Honest engines, I have a tumbler full of water with me at all times. No matter where we go. And if I'm going to be gone from home for long, I take some bottled water to fill it up! Gotta keep that body hydrated! I really struggled with drinking enough at the beginning of my pregnancy, but it's just become part of my routine and having a cute tumbler helps, right?! ;-)
16. Burts Bee's Natural lotion and oil - My Dr. recommended Burt's Bee's because it's all natural. I couldn't find the oil or Belly Butter in any stores, so I wound up ordering it online directly from Burt's Bee's. In using it, the oil felt very oily on my skin and if I used it 2 days in a row, I would get red bumps all over. The Belly Butter seems to be very thin and I could stand there and rub it in for 5 hours. Besides those two factors, I do like both products! Especially because they are natural. So that's when I decided to add the C. Booths body butter mentioned in #13 and I rotate between these three products to keep my skin moisturized!

A few other things I've found helpful during my pregnancy that is not pictured above...
~ Endless Cardigans of all styles and colors; it is sooooo easy to throw on a tank top and cardigan and make an outfit look great! Throw on belt with that and walllllah!
~ My favorite tank tops to wear as undershirts or under a cardigan were the ones from Maurices. They come is so many colors and they can be worn before/after pregnancy. They are long enough to grow with the belly!  
~ Essential Oils - Specifically Peppermint and Lavender. I had a lot of headaches {and still do} so I use peppermint on my neck/temples. And Lavender has really helped as a sleep aid on the nights I'm restless and can't fall back asleep!

~ Last but certainly not least, a camera! To take bump watch photos! I don't know about other expecting Mom's, but I just think it's great to have the photos to look back on! I wish I could be one of those chalkboard adorable pregnant women, but I'm just not that crafty!
I hope some of these items helped others! And like I said, I would love to hear what products you recommend as well!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baby Shower #1 ♥

We are so blessed to be given not only one, but two baby showers!
This past weekend we attended our first one - which was hosted by my wonderful mother in law in the Thumb!
I'm not going to lie... my excitement was a little held back for this shower for a few reasons. One being that I received several "complaints" about my registry being at only one place which is 2 hours from where we live. The second reason being that there are some folks in my husbands family that dislike me and it makes for some awkwardness/drama.
I'm happy to report that regardless of the above two things that gave me slight anxiety leading up to the shower, everything went perfect! My mother in law cooked an amazing spread of food and desserts as she usually does! And she had a perfect setup in the hall! We visited with lots of friends and family we don't see nearly enough, and we received many great gifts! Everything was lovely! Even though I offered her help all week long, she refused to let me help her. So I call her an over achiever! Ha!
Excuse me while I now provide an over abundance of photos.... 

Seriously, this table of desserts was bad news.... especially that dirt cake...
I made this picture tree from our left over wedding items.. everyone loved it! So fun! Yes, I was the fat one. Ha!

Baby Joy's first car {in pink even}!!!

A pink camo high chair for camping! Seriously, this is amazing! Our friends know us so well!

This book is absolutely hilarious! It's called 'Go the fuck to sleep'

This adorable onesie Jasmine got her - it says "Cute just like my Aunite" ♥

These are some of my few great friends that have taken me in and been there for me more than I can count on one hand ever since I moved to this area! I'm so thankful for them! The other girls had already left! Buggers...

Jasmine wasn't too thrilled for pictures... and she didn't want to touch my belly. Lol.


Auntie Jess {my NEW sister in law- wooo!}

The wonderful lady behind the beautiful shower! Grandma Sharon ♥

My handsome Baby Daddy ♥
Annnnnnd.... we're 31 weeks! Officially in the single digit count down! Owww Oww!



Monday, January 19, 2015

Bump Watch ♥ 29/30 Weeks


How far long: 30 Weeks - Phew! Almost in the single digit weekly countdown!

Gender: PINK!! ♥ {Read more about our gender reveal here}

Weight Gain: As of 2 weeks ago - 23lbs. I'm slightly over the weight gain aspect. I feel like the lbs come on by the daaaaay.

Baby Size: 3 1/2lbs and almost 17 inches long! {comparable to a cantelope or cabbage}

Fun Fact: Baby's vision is 20/400 and she is beginning to shed her lanugo - the furry coating that protects the baby's skin from the amniotic fluid.

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes. Couldn't live without any of it. I'm starting to hate anything besides leggings! Jeans and tight dress pants are just not comfortable on my thighs! Drives me nuts!

Sleep: Some days are better than others. Still thankful for my body pillow. Waking up 2 times a night to urinate. Definitely more tired in this trimester than I was last trimester!

Movement: Oh yes! She is moving on a constant basis! Full on ninja kicks/rolling around in there! Weirdest yet most amazing feeling ever! I wonder if she sleeps.... ha! The hubs has felt and seen her move a lot now as well! So has my Dad, Mom, and Jasmine!

Stretch Marks: Not at this time... however my skin has been soooo itchy and tight lately so I've been putting lotion on several times a day still with hopes to avoid stretch marks.

Cravings: Nothing in particular as of lately... 

Belly Button: Oh yes, of course. That's old news. It's now to the point of no hiding it. I call it my third eye. Ha!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: Nope.

Symptoms: The linea nigra is in full force, Slight round ligament pain, Slight lower back pain in the evenings. Gastritis/heart burn on more of a regular basis{the complication that put me in the ER around week 14} and headaches every couple days again.

What I miss: I've recently been really starting to miss a lot of things... such as my "normal" clothes... being able to bend over to put my shoes on... not becoming out of breath so damn easy... wine... not being able to go snowmobiling this winter... Just silly things basically :-)

Emotions: Getting slight anxiety about alllllll the things I have yet to do before baby arrives. Also nervous about how  life is going to be once she arrives and mostly worried about doing this whole thing on my own while Michael is away from home 5 days a week.

Dreams: None that I can recall lately...

Hubby's thoughts: I should really start to take notes of things he says immediately so that I don't draw a blank once I write this post. He truly says some funniest things. Some are not so nice... but that's besides the point.

Nursery: Furniture - check! Bedding - check! New plugs/switches & plates - check! Painting - check. Closet Organization - Halfway check!

Need to figure out curtains... glider... new knobs on closet.... décor... hamper... mirror... headband hanger...
Walls were previously blueish greyish. Michael wouldn't let me paint all pink so he picked the tan and I picked one wall for the pink. And then I threw in the pink closet just because
I picked up some materials to make a mobile. I also found this paper mache deer mount that I think would be cute for her outdoorsy room. Just not sure what colors to paint it....

Favorite Moment(s): Baby Shower #1 coming up this weekend! Making progress slowly but surely on projects is a nice thing! But I still feel like I have so much to do!

What I am looking forward to: Continuing to make progress on the room and my to do lists that need done before baby girl arrives!

I'm starting to notice a difference in these photos... I'm definitely whiter than a ghost in the winter time photos... my face is slightly rounding out... I'm getting lazier and lazier with getting dressed or even putting on makeup...



Friday, January 16, 2015

Baby Stuff + Random Stuff = Friday Favorites!

It's been a long time since I've linked up with Amanda for Friday Favorites!
I'm throwing a random mix together of things I'm diggin' lately! Of course a few of them being baby related because I'll be honest... with only 10 weeks {plus 2 days} until my due date, baby stuff is weighing a lot on my mind!  
Fav DIY:
As you may have seen on IG {@justjuliejoy} last night... I'm back to making some progress on the burp cloths I started on Thanksgiving. I didn't anticipate it taking over a month for me to get some spare time to work on them again! But phew... I'm running out of time before the baby gets here! I'm hoping to get the majority of them sewn this weekend. I've got the pieces all cut out. Just needs to be pinned together and start up that beast of a sewing machine! Get 'er done!
Fav Pin:
I absolutely adore this mobile for baby Joy's room! I didn't see any in store that went with her room colors not to mention a mobile is $40+!! Nonsense. I'm not sure how crafty I am, but I think I can attempt it. And if I really want to be cheap, you can find me stock piling paint chip cards at the paint store over the next couple weeks. Ha!  
Fav New Item:
I received a lot of new gifts for Christmas that I absolutely love! But this is one that I'm using every single day and I think it's quite awesome! The set I received for Christmas has one larger size as well as one smaller size. The plastic inserts are velcro'd {spelling??} in and you can remove them if need be. And it folds up into a perfect square without throwing the contents all around! I'm not sure where my girlfriend got it from but I found it for sale in different colors for $29.99 on HSN here!
Fav Purchase:
I feel like I have lots of favorite purchases lately... but this one is just too cute not to share! I seen this shirt at Motherhood and since I had a coupon, I just had to buy it!
Fav thing I'm looking forward to:
Okay so there is more than one thing I'm looking forward to...
1.) Going to stay the night at my Mom's plus doing some shopping and getting my hair done!
2.) Baby Shower #1 next Saturday! Eeeek!
3.) My brother is coming home in 3 weeks unexpectedly! It will be a short trip and I'll be working a lot while he's here since I wasn't able to plan any time off not knowing he was coming, but it will still be good to see him and I'm sure he'll get a kick out of seeing me pregnant! ♥
Fav Recipe:
Oh and why not throw in the dirt cake recipe that I posted this week and I know we're all still craving it!
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dirt Cake Recipe

I've mentioned Dirt Cake and how delicious it is several times... and I think you would all love to know how to make it so you can indulgde in the greatness. You'll thank me later, I promise.
What you need:
1 package of Oreos {or if your like me, have a second package on hand because the more the merrier}
1 - 8oz package of cream cheese {softened}
1/2 C butter
1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 C milk
2 - 3.4oz packages of instant vanilla pudding
12oz cool whip
• Crush oreos {set a few aside if you would like to decorate the top as shown in picture above} and set aside. {To crush - use a food processor or by hand in a ziploc baggie works just fine}
• In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy
• In a separate bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Fold in cool whip. Mix well.
• Combine cream cheese mixture with pudding mixture until well blended.
• Begin layering pudding mixture and crushed oreos in a serving dish.
• Top with remaining crushed oreos. Scrap the food processor or ziploc bag so you don't let any go to waste! If you wish to use whole oreos on top as shown, I recommend breaking them in half and placing them around the edges.
• Place in fridge to cool for 2-4 hours before serving.
** Note: There are many different flavors and colors of Oreos that you can use for this recipe. That is completely up to you! In this particular picture, I had made it for Christmas so I choose red trational flavored Oreos. **

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The New Year so far...

Well I have got to be honest... it's been tough to fit blogging into my life lately. I'm not sure if it's because Michael being home every night completely throws off my routine or if it's because I've just been that busy! I think it's a fair mix of the two...
Since the holidays {we had a super busy Christmas as usual and then a wonderful laid back NYE at home with just us} There really hasn't been anything overly exciting going on in our lives... besides preparing for baby Joy {who still has no name} and catching up around our house since the hubs is still off work.
I'm a little late to the NY Resolution party and I don't have anything major that I'm going to hang over my head this year so it's not worth doing a whole post on. I'm focusing on the usual - eat well, be healthy, and exercise. But more importantly I really want to focus on being a good Mom. I know it's going to be tough for a while and I know my life/routine is going to get tipped upside down, but as long as I am being the best mother I can be to our little girl, I will be happy. Also, Michael and I mutually set a goal to focus on paying as much on our debts {Malibu, RV, and land} as we can and put as much money into our savings {including retirement} as possible so that we can feel more financially stable just in case I do decide not to go back to work. But also so we can update some things in our house sooner than later. As easy as this thought is, it is so hard for us to focus on a strict budget! And that is what we need to do in order to pay off the debts we have and then save more money! #neverendingbattle
With the hubs being home, he's been keeping me busy and driving me some what insane. It's been great to spend time together, eat dinner together, wake up next to each other daily, and go do things together. However, it also drives me insane that he's like a man child and I have to tell him what to do, ask him to do this or that, tell him to pick up his shit, etc. Then when I come home from working all day and he wants to know what I'm making for dinner, I just want to bang my head off the wall.
Michael was able to go with me to a prenatal Dr. appointment for the first time last week! Luckily, the Dr. office I go to is very nice and when I explained to my Dr. that this was probably the only appointment he would be able to attend and asked if there was any possible way we could get an ultrasound, she said - absolutely! I was so thankful to be able to see the baby on the screen, but most importantly that Michael was able to see her for the first time. His smile was from ear to ear and he was amazed! The baby is super chubby! Her nose is smooshed {which they said is normal}, she had the hiccups, she kept opening one eye {creeeeeepy}, and she was moving a lot! It was so amazing. Such a blessing! They said we have a very healthy and chubby baby girl on our hands!
I've entered my third trimester of this pregnancy! Which I think is insane... it's flying by! I don't really know that I'm ready for the next 10 weeks to fly by either! I feel like there is so much left to do! But on a good note, we did get the painting complete in the nursery and that was a huge thing to cross off the list. I do like how the paint turned out! Now I've just got to decide what to do for décor, closet organization and curtains.

Both baby shower's have been booked and invites have been sent out! I spent a couple nights working on the invites for my Mom's shower because she had a lot to address. She made the invites on Vista Print and I thought they turned out really cute! I made the "book instead of a card" inserts on Pic Monkey.
Our maternity pictures have been scheduled for the first week of March with Shanell Photography as always! I originally wanted to have them sooner {when I was 34-35 weeks} but Michael disagreed and argued with me about it. So I guess we're aiming for 37 weeks. Yikes! I've been searching pinterest for inspiration of course! I know it's 6 weeks away.... but I really need to start thinking of outfits. We are thinking about going back to the area we took our winter engagement pictures....

It's been almost a year since I've had to make laundry detergent. Therefore, I made a new batch again over the weekend. And now my entire house smells like it. But I'm not complaining because I think it smells nice!
My thoughts on homemade detergent is - it's awesome!! I will never spend the money on liquid detergent again! After using this homemade stuff for almost a year, I will say that it does just as great of a job of washing our clothes, it smells good, and it's SO cheap! I spent less than $30 on these 5 ingredients and it lasted me almost an entire year of washing laundry. How amazing is that?!
This batch I used bounce pebble things instead of the downy unstoppables. You can read my directions here.  {this is front load washer approved and HE washer safe} I store a portion in the large Mason jar and the rest I store in a 5 gallon bucket in my pantry.
Well I think that about sums up what's been going on over yonder so far this year. Well besides all the nonsense that Michael has gotten himself into around the house while he's laid off, but I don't think anyone wants to read about that {welding, cutting wood, wrenching on his pickup, buying stupid shit we don't need, etc}. The projects and stuff he comes up with is quite interesting. Such a man. Oh and notice I don't have any pictures of the dogs lately... that's because I'm chopped liver now that Michael is home 24/7. How rude!
In this second week of the New Year, I'm hoping to get back into the groove of working out and blogging!