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Baby Haguewood #2 – 36 Weeks

36 weeks with baby #2

How far along? 36 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +23lbs. 

Maternity clothes? YEP! 

Stretch marks? Nothing.  I’m on track with the weight and my belly is about the same size as my first pregnancy. I feel like i’m carrying the same as well. 

Sleep: Some good nights and some bad nights.  I’ve graduated to multiple pillows positioned in a very specific way and then I just flip from side to side with bathroom trips in between.  We also have the AC cranked because i’ve been hot as heck lately at night.  

Best moment this week: With hitting week 36 we are now in the final stretch and are visiting the doctor weekly.  We learned we are still 2cm dilated and are making progress. Slowly inching closer and our doctor seems confident that it could be SOON!

Have you told family and friends? Yep!

Worst moment this week: I realized that I might still go full term and that means 4 MORE WEEKS of pregnancy. 

Miss Anything? Still EVERYTHING!!! I’m so looking forward to my first post-baby cocktail just in time for Summer!!! YAY!!!

Movement: Strange movements and baby is most active when i’m laying down. But Hubby made a good point, this could be because I pay attention more when i’m laying down.  Most days we are so busy chasing Miss Reagan around that I don’t even notice fetal movement until she is in bed. 

Food cravings: No

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not real. Still no appetite but the baby and I are both gaining weight so we are good. I’m almost at the 25lb. weight gain minimum.  I gained 26lbs. with Reagan.  

Symptoms: Rib pain, back pain, a little acid reflux, and an electrical sensation in my pelvis that is the baby hitting nerves as he or she drops. This sensation is usually followed by a Braxton Hicks contraction, which I have multiple times daily, and sometimes a brief real contraction that feels like someone stabbed me in the pelvis with a knife.  I remember when I was in labor with Reagan I was TOTALLY SHOCKED at how painful “real” contractions can be.  I thought I could handle it but boy was I wrong.  The nurse just held my hand and nodded her head saying, “Yep, there is a reason they call it L-A-B-O-R.” I do wonder how men would react to such pain.  I’m just curious.  

Have you started to show yet: YES

Gender prediction: BOY!!!

Labor Signs: I thought my water broke the other day. NOPE. TMI, but yea, it wasn’t water. Enough said. PS this is totally real, unglamorous, motherhood at its finest.  Everyone is so busy “glorifying” motherhood in all its perfection on Instagram and Facebook.  BULLSHIT! TOTAL BULLSHIT.  Real motherhood/pregnancy is peeing yourself and thinking your water broke, being so tired that you don’t shave your legs, and maybe not wearing a bra for like, IDK, a week maybe.  Also true, sometimes I let Reagan cry in her crib because I just can’t handle it and am busy crying myself in my big girl bed.  TRUE LIFE. Being a mom is really hard some days, not all days, but some days.  And I am so thankful that I don’t feel ashamed at crying or asking for help when I get strung out. 

Belly Button in or out? OUT

Wedding rings on or off? On but only sometimes.  I’ve always been in the habit of only wearing my wedding ring when we go out in public. And we aren’t doing a whole lot of anything these days so its mostly off.  My hands are slightly swollen but not too bad. 

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m feeling all the emotions there are to feel. Mostly nervous/anxious about delivering and what it will be like to have a toddler and a newborn in the house at the same time. I have no expectations about what life will be like with two kids and am trying my darnedest to stay grounded and calm.  I’m assuming that “strung out” feeling with be multiplied by 10, but don’t want the fear of that to overshadow the joy and love we will experience in the first few days and weeks of being newborn parents again. 

Looking forward to: NEXT WEEK, week 37!!! Baby will be considered full term at that point which means we have the go ahead to deliver whenever baby should decide to come! YAY!!!

xoxo Friends,

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36 weeks with baby #2

Categories CHALKBOARDSPREGNANCY

Baby Haguewood #2 – 35 Weeks

week 35 baby number two

How far along? 35 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +21lbs. I’m really hitting the weight milestones now.  The baby is busy growing about a half pound per week and so am I.  I think i’m going to be right on track compared to were I was last time. 

Maternity clothes? YEP! 

Stretch marks? Nothing yet. Still keeping my fingers crossed.  My belly is getting pretty darn tight.  

Sleep: I feel like i’ve already covered all the sleep difficulties in previous posts.  I’m simply accepting that NO SLEEP will be the new norm for the next several months.  I do feel like my body is slowly acclimating to constantly being in a sleep deprived state.  Its amazing what the body is capable of doing on very little zzzzzz’s. 

Best moment this week: It has been an interesting week for sure.  I went in for my checkup and learned that I am 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced.  Getting closer.  The doctor said it could literally be any day now OR I could still possibly go full term. Although this is unlikely because I didn’t go full term with my first. It definitely got the anxiety flowing and i’ve been sitting around ready to give birth at any moment.  I don’t recommend this.  It is highly unlikely that i’ll deliver before 37 weeks and completely normal for women to walk around dilated up to 4cm for weeks before they go into active labor. 

Have you told family and friends? Yep!

Worst moment this week: We had a mini scare with Miss Reagan.  For the first time she had a bad fever and we couldn’t get it to break.  She is such a healthy little girl and normally has so much energy.  We found that she was tired, sluggish, unfocused, and simply not being her normal little Reagan self.  It is so sad to see your baby not feeling well.  She has had mini episodes of not feeling well but nothing like this before.  After 3 days of high fevers and her little lips, hands, and feet occasionally turning blue we decided to take her to urgent care.  Her oxygen levels were completely normal and her vitals looked good.  She still had a high fever but we got lots of good tips from the doctor.  Being a parent is scary and I am always questioning if I am doing the right thing.  We had to go with our gut and ended up feeling so much better about the decision to take her.  Knowing she is ok, has a completely normal fever range for young infants, and that the “blue” issue ended up being nothing was such a relief.  

Miss Anything? ALL OF IT!!! So ready to have this little peach!

Movement: Baby has been moving the same for awhile now.  I’m still feeling a foot tucked under my right rib cage and can occasionally see the foot pop out.  No distinct foot imprint like in the movies, but definitely a bulge.  

Food cravings: Almost NO appetite whatsoever.  This is normal in the 3rd trimester and can even be coupled with a reduction or plateau in weight gain. I’m trying to remain hydrated.  

Anything making you queasy or sick: Occasional nausea and dizziness.  I have almost no desire to eat and the thought of food makes me feel sick most days. 

Symptoms: EVERYTHING!!!! 

Have you started to show yet: Mama is busy baby bumping for sure!

Gender prediction: BOY!!! But I have completely fallen in love with the name we chose for a little girl, so secretly I would love another little girl!!!! But we would love a little boy too!!!

Labor Signs: Just normal Braxton Hicks contractions and lots of pressure/tightening of my abdomen!!!!

Belly Button in or out? OUT

Wedding rings on or off? On but I am noticing some swelling in my feet and hands.  

Happy or Moody most of the time: Oh man, MOODY, HAPPY, CONFUSED, ANXIOUS!!! Feeling all the “feels” there are to feel.  

Looking forward to: BEING DONE!!!! And having a sweet little peach of a baby in my arms. I’m excited to give breastfeeding another try.  Reagan didn’t take to breastfeeding, and lets be honest, either did I.  But i’m feeling much more confident and dedicated to sticking it out and not defaulting to my pump. I’m also so looking forward to seeing how Miss Reagan does with being around the new baby. She LOVES being around other children and her new nickname is the “social butterfly.”  Whenever we go out in public she is the bell of the ball and people seem incredibly drawn to her energy.  

xoxo Friends,

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week 35 baby number two

Categories CHALKBOARDSPREGNANCY

Baby Haguewood #2 – 34 Weeks

34 weeks pregnant

How far along? 34 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +20lbs. Making progress.  

Maternity clothes? YEP! Lots of regular clothes, sweatshirts, and some maternity bottoms mixed in.  Other than a few more pairs of my all-time favorite maternity leggings and these amazing Pure Body Maternity Tees from the Gap, I didn’t really invest anything as far as a maternity wardrobe.  Once again, most of my pregnancy was during the colder months so I didn’t have to worry about Summer maternity attire.  I personally love a low-rise maternity pant over a full panel maternity pant.  My belly gets so itchy and I hate having a thick band wrapped around my midsection.  

Stretch marks? No

Sleep: Up most nights with pregnancy insomnia.  Lots of naps during the day while Reagan is still napping twice a day.  

Best moment this week: I had a few days this week were my production was through the roof.  Most days I feel like a mom zombie because I barely sleep at night. But not this week.  I still slept like crap but nesting was kicking in big time and I was able to check quite a few items off my to do list.  It feels so good to be getting closer to the end, and there is definitely something to be said for the piece of mind that “being prepared” brings.  I know if I were to go into labor at this time, while not ideal, at least we would be ready to go and could make the best of it.  Keep cooking in there little baby.

Have you told family and friends? Yep!

Worst moment this week: Rib pain has started this week.  The baby is sitting up high in my rib cage and likes to kick the right side of my ribs.  Ouch!  

Miss Anything? All the normal stuff at this point.  Mostly I’m just ready to not be pregnant anymore.  Its such a weird paradox.  When I wasn’t pregnant, all I wanted was to be pregnant AGAIN.  Now, i’m so ready to be DONE!!!!!!!! And I sort of don’t want to ever be pregnant again.  We’ll see what happens and what the future brings. 

Movement: Lots of kicks and rolls.  Lots of Braxton hicks contractions and intense tightening. 

Food cravings: Pecans and Craisins.  Ice water and plain seltzer water.  I think the sparkling water makes my tummy feel better.  

Anything making you queasy or sick: Everything.  My stomach is about the size of a golf ball these days and I tend to just graze on everything.  The though of eating a full meal makes me nauseous.   

Symptoms: Just normal 3rd trimester stuff.  Whacky sleeping, hip pain, light nausea, back and rib pain, some headaches, low energy, and difficulty breathing.  All of which go away right after the baby is born.  Hubby says I sound like Darth Vader on a regular basis.  

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes.  People stop me in the grocery store all the time.  The frequent comment I seem to get over and over again, “Is Reagan going to have a little brother or little sister?” Then I have to explain that we are not finding out the gender, which surprises EVERYONE!!!! 

Gender prediction: BOY!!! People say I look like i’m carrying a boy. I feel like I look exactly the same as my last pregnancy.  

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton hicks contractions, tightening, and a few bursts of pain that feel like contractions.  They are so random and short though, definitely not real labor yet. But things are moving in the right direction. 

Belly Button in or out? Out

Wedding rings on or off? On but only when I go out in public.  My hands and fingers are starting to feel slightly swollen.  I didn’t get any swelling until around 37 weeks with my last pregnancy.  

Happy or Moody most of the time: Mixture of both.  

Looking forward to: Hitting the 37 week mark.  This is considered “term” for pregnancy which means that if the baby comes then we don’t have to spend any time in the NICU and baby will be fully developed.  Slightly smaller but still a healthy and functioning baby.  I will be ready to go anytime after 37 weeks.  

xoxo Friends,

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34 weeks pregnant

Categories BABY

“Our Little Bunny is ONE” – Reagan’s First Birthday Party

Last weekend I threw little miss an awesome First Birthday Party.  We had so much FUN and the biggest thank you to everyone who gave up their Saturday afternoon to hop on over and celebrate our sweetest little bunny, Reagan Marie.  It was just so much fun.  Normally planning everything is what really gets my creative juices flowing, but the actual day and seeing Reagan so happy made my heart sing.

After Christmas I started searching and searching for cute party themes. I didn’t want anything corny like pink sparkles, and ultimately thats just not Reagan.  She has such an independent and unique goofy personality that I just knew a cookie cutter first birthday wasn’t going to work for us.  Besides, there is no way in hell that I could go for pre-made party decorations. I love a good DIY project and throwing parties and decorating spaces is totally my jam.

Given that her birthday is in March, I knew we had to do something indoors.  We still have like 2 feet of snow around our neck of the woods. Which is so funny, because when I gave birth to her last year it totally felt like Spring with sunshine and green grass.  Such a difference this year. I didn’t want to spend a small fortune on her party and knew I needed to get creative. I found the bunny theme on Pinterest and voila, party perfection!

I gutted out my office/craft room and couldn’t believe the treasures and endless supply of stuff I had snuck away over the past few years.  I raided all my Easter decorations and went to work putting together a party.  I knew the garden/bunny theme would be great for her and I can leave up most of the decor for Easter next month.

Most of the tangible decorations I pulled out of my Easter decor and then I made a ton of stuff using random craft supplies that I found.  I snuck in a HUGE goodwill run full of random crap as well which felt really good.  I’ll try to provide links to things that I did purchase, links to old products if they are still available or something similar, and links to DIY tutorials that I used or made up.  Most of the ideas can be found on Pinterest and I’ll provide the links to the cake stuff I used to build her birthday cake.

I know throwing your child a BIG first birthday is totally cliche these days, BUT it is so much FUN!  I totally get why parents do it.  As a guest, i’m sure its a little boring but we so appreciate everyone who supported us and helped us celebrate our baby girl. We literally couldn’t love her more than we do and i’m sure that was more than evident at her party!!!!

I completely fell in love with the vibrant greens, pinks, and purples, the bright sunlight coming in through the windows and of course all the bunny and garden vintage looking decor! So much fun and so perfect!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

IMG_0654

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Green Moss Table Runner // White Cake Stand // Jade Cake Stand // Tin Tiered Tray // Gold Polka Dot Paper Plates // Gold Silverware // “Reagan is One” Custom Cake Topper

I opted to go for a light lunch, tons of fresh fruit and veggies, and a dessert bar displaying all her cakes and treats.  The dessert table was so pretty and I was ECSTATIC with how the cakes turned out. It was just a really simple layout on this Green Moss Table Runner and a long end table we already owned. I made her a mini 6″ basic vanilla cake for photos and her little cake smash.  But I ordered a cake from our FAVORITE dessert place.  They did our wedding cake, my bridal shower cake, and multiple other events and birthdays.  It was my favorite white cream cheese cake with rum raspberry filling!!!! SOOOOO GOOD! I also made THESE “bunny tail” sugar cookie truffles, THESE “lettuce” oreo truffles, THESE “carrot” strawberries, and pudding cups with crushed oreo and a carrot strawberry on top!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

I moved our dining table to the side of the room and used our mirror as a backdrop with some hanging garlands that I made out of old scrap paper. Most of the table decor was a bunch of random mishmash from our house including some old glass vases, mason jars for flowers, craft crates, faux boxwood green balls, and ceramic bunnies from my Easter collection.

Lunch was chicken salad on croissants made to look like carrots with bits of parsley coming out the end, a gluten free and paleo option on beds of lettuce, the yummiest cheese ball recipe HERE, cheddar bunnies, a full garden of fresh veggies, and strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry patches. It was pretty easy other than lots and lots of washing, chopping, and assembling everything right before people showed up. But it seriously turned out way prettier than I had pictured in my head.

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Beverages were strawberry lemonade, fresh cucumber water, and fresh lemon water.  I was going to do champagne but decided not to at the last minute.  My sister and I are both pregnant and we had lots of people who don’t drink at all.  Not to mention lots and lots of little ones and it didn’t seem right to have alcohol for some reason. Totally not like me one bit…must be the pregnancy hormones.

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Bar Cart // Beverage Dispenser // Glass Pitchers

I made the cutest favor bags for our guests and then completely forgot to hand them out to people.  Totally my fault for putting them on the bottom of the bar cart.  Out of sight and out of the way.  I found the cutest vintage bunny graphics on The Graphic Fairy.com and printed them out on basic paper bags with the added wording, “Thank You for Hopping By.” I added a doily, some pink satin ribbon, a white bunny tail, and filled them with THIS recipe for “Bunny Bait” that I found on Pinterest. They were just adorable and the treat inside is so addicting!

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress // Blush Lace-Up Sandals // White Maxi Dress

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress  //  Blush Lace-up Flats  // Bunny Ears Homemade *Tutorial coming soon

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress // White Maxi Dress

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

1st Birthday Setup - Bunny Garden Party

Baby Girls Mint Flutter Dress

The whole party was just spectacular.  We watched a bunch of little ones play together, ate lunch, sang “Happy Birthday,” and watched Reagan go to town on a piece of cake.  The guys played pool in the basement and watched the NFL combine on tv.  It was so low-key and so perfect.  I intentionally went into the whole day with zero expectations on how the decor, food, people, or Reagan’s behavior would turn out. AND…everything turned out so perfect and couldn’t have been more awesome.  These kids parties can get out of control pretty quickly and become all about the parents and the production.  While I might have gone a little overboard on the decor, I never lost sight of the true purpose of the day…celebrating our sweet Reagan Marie.  She is such a little miracle.  It was a fantastic day and again thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate!!!!!

xo xo,

michelle signature

Categories BABY

Happy First Birthday Reagan Marie!!!!!

It doesn’t seem possible, but our beautiful baby girl turned ONE last week.  We officially have a one year old.  I can hardly remember what life was like before she was here with us, entertaining us on a daily basis.  She has grown from the littlest 6lb. newborn into a full fledged baby girl complete with chubby baby arms, wrist cankles, and michelin man baby legs.  If I could bottle up the chubby baby cuteness I totally would.

Reagan Marie

Version 2

She is such a sassy little goofball and loves to giggle and laugh all day long.  She is such a presence and people seem drawn to her even walking through the grocery store. It cracks me up when she gives her silly toothy grin to random strangers at the grocery store, but it makes my heart happy that she is such a joyful little soul.

Reagan bday photos

Reagan bday photos

Reagan bday photos

Reagan bday photos

Reagan bday photos

On March 2nd we celebrated her first birthday and I kicked off the day by running to the store at the ass crack of dawn to buy her some birthday donuts.  I was going to make her funfetti waffles but ultimately my 7 month pregnant belly wasn’t down for early morning baking and I opted to hit the grocery store instead.  I think she was digging the choice and we sugared her up before the day had even started.  I cranked the tunes and decked out in her new strawberry jammies, we fed her her first ever maple bar donut, a personal favorite of mine and I think now hers as well.

“What the heck is that thing?”

baby birthday donuts

“Seriously, what trickery is this? I’m never allowed to have sweets.”

baby birthday donuts

“Well, it is my birthday, i’m game to give it a go.”

baby birthday donuts

“Hey guys, this is really good!!!!!”

baby birthday donuts

Silence and heavy breathing as she demolishes an entire freakin’ donut before my eyes.

Version 2

“Mom, this is the BEST birthday ever.”

baby birthday donuts

The entire production had me bursting at the seams. Our day together was really low-key and pretty normal.  We played extra hard, took lots of photos, I told her a million times how much I love her and that this is the special day of her birth.  The night before we told her her birth story and reminisced about the crazy night I went into labor.  I really thought I would be super emotional and have a mommy meltdown, but I held it together and just enjoyed every moment of her day.

My mom flew in from Chile that afternoon and she got lots of Grandma love, followed by the arrival of my husband’s parents and even more grandparent love!!!! It was awesome.  We went out to dinner and she enjoyed some salty french fries followed by an early bedtime because Mom had lots of party prep to do still.

I don’t think I left the kitchen the next two days prepping all the food and treats for her party, but it was totally worth it!!! She is such a special and unique little personality and she deserves all the love and birthday goodness in the whole wide world!!!

Reagan Marie, we love you more than there are words to describe or feelings to feel.  Bringing you into this world has been the biggest joy and blessing of our lives and you make every single day so special with your light spirit and happy energy.  We are so incredibly grateful that God blessed us to be your parents and although life is full of ups and downs, we pray that you never lose your happiness.  Hold onto who you are in this world and never compromise your true nature.  I simply can not wait to see the beautiful life you will live. And, if your FIRST YEAR was any indication, life with you will always be an incredible journey.  Thank You for making us parents!!!! Happy Birthday our little darling, we love you so very much!!!!

xo xo, Mommy & Daddy!!!!

michelle signature

Categories HOLIDAYS

Christmas Gift Guide for Baby

I think it goes without saying but little Reagan Marie has been a very good girl this year. I have a sneaking suspicion that Santa is going to be very good to her. I decided to put together a little gift guide with some of the ideas I found for Miss Reagan. Being that this is her first Christmas, we are just so excited to see her little face light up when she gets all her goodies.  She will most likely be totally pumped about the wrapping paper, bows, and nothing else. We decided to go with the easy “something to WEAR, something to READ, something you WANT, and something you NEED” formula for her gifts. She is in desperate need of a winter coat and slippers, is always down for books and new toys, and mommy kinda WANTED her to have to cutest little elf slippers i’ve ever seen.  This age is so much fun to shop for but a little tricky at the same time.  We went easy on the toys and aimed for mostly useful items that we can use over and over.  She is getting bored of her baby toys so having a few new things around will be great for her and we were in desperate need of a few new bath toys to keep her occupied and entertained.

2016-reagan-gifts

Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker     BabyGAP Pink Puff Coat     BabyGAP Cozy Elf Booties     UGG Bixbie Baby Booties     The Day the Crayons Quit     HAPE Color and Shape Sorter     Fair Isle Christmas Pajamas     Munchkin Bath Letters     Baby Lit’s A Christmas Carol

And in the parental department I like to think we’ve been very good “kids” as well. You’re never too old to believe in Santa and you gotta be GOOD to earn that visit from the Big guy!!! Here are a few things that are on our adult wish list this year…

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-07-22-pm

FOR MOMMY: 

Canon Rebel T6i     FitBit Charge 2     Threshold Izon Silverware Collection

Anthropologie Latte Bowls     Ceramic Berry Basket

FOR DADDY:

Philips Sonicare Toothbrush     Nike Men’s Metcon 2 CrossFit shoes     Kindle Fire

Lulu Lemon Gift Cards     Underarmour Men’s Athletic Gear

These Santa’s Elves are completely FINISHED with their Christmas shopping and are so grateful for Black Friday deals and online shopping.  The stockings are hung, the halls have been decked, and we are just so excited for all the festive FUN! Now we need to hit the hill for some sledding in the SNOW and I can’t wait to bake Christmas cookies with Reagan for the first time.  I’ve been waiting for our first Christmas with kids since the day I found out I was pregnant and have been playing Holiday music since the day after Halloween. Bring on all things Christmas and Festive!!!!!

xo xo,

michelle signature

Categories Uncategorized

2nd Trimester Favorites

BYE BYE 2nd Trimester!!!!

And that is officially a wrap on the 2nd Trimester for this pregnant mama! I can’t believe i’m almost at the end of my pregnancy and we are in the final stretch.  The countdown is on and my to do list is longer than ever.  Every time I cross something off the list, I think of two or three more things that need to be added. Thus is life and at this point i’m just rolling with “the pregnancy vibe” and trying to enjoy every minute before the baby comes and our lives change forever. It really is so easy to get carried away with all the “baby stuff” out there and lose sight of what is really essential or necessary! Here are a few items that have helped me survive the middle stretch of my pregnancy.  They really do call it the “Honeymoon Phase” and it has been glorious.  I get to enjoy being pregnant without being sick and i’m not that BIG yet.  Feeling Good and Feeling very very Happy and Optimistic.

2nd Trimester Favorites

#1 – Crane Humidifier     #2 – Foam Roller     #3 – 10 lb. Weights     #4 – Peach Sorbet

#5 – BKR Water Bottle     #6 – MinneTonka Slippers     #7 – Lime Perrier

#1 – White Crane Humidifier

This was on my First Trimester Favorites list as well. We use it almost every single night and have especially enjoyed it during these cold and dry winter months.  Growing up in the Northwest i’ve always been acclimated to the cold weather, the dry air, and the hard water.  These are all a wicked combination for dry skin and believe me, pregnancy already takes a huge toll on the skin.  While we’ve been dipping down into the chilly teens at night i’ve loved having this humidifier to help balance things out a bit.  Pregnancy hormones also make for a stuffy nose pretty much 24/7 and the extra moisture makes a huge difference.  I’m so glad we have this little machine and am planning on purchasing a second one for the baby’s nursery as well.

#2 – Foam Roller

This is a spill over from my short lived Crossfit days.  I loved stretching out my tight and sore muscles after a good workout and apparently the same can be said for pregnancy. Things, aka muscles, move on their own and things get out of alignment quickly from the growing belly.  I started going to the Chiropractor about once a month and my doctor was fantastic and taught me some great stretches/ techniques for a stiff back and for readjusting myself after a long day on my feet at work.  I made this part of my nightly ritual before bed and it really helps alleviate any pain before the stiffness sets in from sleeping on my side.  The joys of pregnancy friends! Every second is worth it though!

#3 – 10lb. Weights

These have been amazing for my half-assed attempts at staying in shape during this pregnancy.  I’ve done quite a bit of research on what exercises are safe and helpful during pregnancy and have tailored a morning routine that I try and do every single day.  Some days…i’m just not up for it and as i’m entering the 3rd Trimester my belly is growing larger by the minute.  It throws off my balance and even doing simple exercises can be difficult at times.  I know there are several woman out there who have just rocketed through their workouts while pregnant but i’m not one of them.  This routine has really worked for me though.  You can check it out on my Pinterest page HERE and be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program especially while pregnant.

#4 – Haagen-Dazs Orchard Peach Sorbet

This is a little treat that has really helped my pregnancy. I’ve been addicted to this yummy treat for years but really try and stay away from it as much as possible. Every once in awhile though…this treat is THE BEST EVER!!!!

#5 – BKR Water Bottle

Staying hydrated during pregnancy is absolutely essential.  I am not going to get on my soapbox about this topic because the internet is covered in research that supports it.  All I can say is that drinking lots of water + a little extra has made a huge difference in how I feel on a day-to-day basis.  Find a cute water bottle that you won’t want to put down and chug away!!!

#6 – MinneTonka Brand Slippers

These were actually a gift from a coworker and I am so thankful for them! I have always been a die hard UGG Slipper fan and still love them to pieces, but these beauties are fantastic for keeping my feet cozy and warm while doing chores around the house. They are great for the cold winter months when our hard wood is super chilly on the feet.  And we have tile flooring in the kitchen and our house can get super drafty at times so the floors feel like icicles.  These are a great addition to any pregnant woman’s wardrobe.

 #7 – Lime Perrier

My recycling bin is overflowing with bottles and bottles from this pregnancy addiction.  Lime flavored Perrier quickly became my pregnancy go-to drink shortly after the 1st Trimester when morning sickness stopped.  I am a HUGE margarita fan and love the tartness and sour flavor of a yummy carbonated beverage with added lime. Given margaritas are out of the question for 9 months…this is as close as I could come to my favorite drink.  I drink tons and tons of regular water on top of this, which is probably why I am stuck using the bathroom all night long.

Some 2nd & 3rd Trimester Thoughts…

I now totally understand why they call the 2nd Trimester of pregnancy the “honeymoon” phase.  Everything was great for me, minus the passing out and lightheadedness that hit me often.  I am so excited to see what this next trimester will bring and at the end of the journey we’ll have a sweet little nugget in our arms.

I think the reality of my pregnancy is finally setting in.  The first few months I felt off, sick, and tired but I never really felt “pregnant” yet.  The 2nd Trimester was wonderful because my energy and appetite returned and I actually felt normal most of the time. The third trimester feels very intimidating to me because I know the end is coming and that means Labor & Delivery. HOLY CRAP.  The thought of the that literally scares the shit out of me.  I think once we take our birthing classes i’ll finally be able to wrap my head around the birth process and will be able to process my feelings.  I know this is a major part of pregnancy and I can absolutely tackle it…but i’m still terrified. HAHA.

Some Fun & Exciting things to look forward to in the 3rd Trimester…

The 3rd Trimester is full of excitement for us and i’m so pumped.  Everyone keeps telling me that it is going to fly by and our schedule is already packed which will make it all go by in the blink-of-an-eye.

First off, I am going into the busy season at work which is always exciting and exhausting.  The days fly by and every hour is packed with good friends/coworkers and the most wonderful brides.  I absolutely LOVE my job as a Bridal Consultant & Sales Manager and can’t imagine doing anything else. Next up, the hubby will be cramming all his business trips into the month of January so that he can be available should Baby H decide to make “his or her” appearance early.  We have my Baby Shower which will be hosted by my mommy…the best future grandma ever and a Maternity Photoshoot scheduled with a fantastic photographer.  Literally every weekend is packed with something new and fun and the days already feel like a whirlwind.

In February we have an Infant CPR Class and a 3-part Birth Class from our local hospital.  I’m nervous and excited for these.  The thought of “needing” to give CPR to my child is not something I want to even think about, BUT I am all about being prepared and knowledgeable instead of ignorant. The birthing classes are going to be essential and I can see us retaking them with each pregnancy in the future. I know absolutely nothing about the birth process and these classes will be so helpful and eye-opening for both of us prior to Baby H’s arrival.

We have a few more projects to wrap up in the nursery and then we are going to start unboxing all the “loot” that we have been stockpiling over the past few months.  I am really excited to see the transformation.  We did have the carpets cleaned and the hubby is going to do a little paint touch up, but really we have an “empty and clean” blank space to create a beautiful nursery in.

Nursery - Clean Slate

I go to bed every night a little anxious knowing that we have absolutely nothing set up yet…what if Baby comes early??? I have to remind myself that we have lots of time left and I can only control the things I can control and everything will work out the way its meant to. I am so excited to meet our little gummy bear so with each crazy weekend and fun event we are getting closer and closer to meeting out our little miracle child.

If your interested in checking out my 1st Trimester Favorites click HERE!

And with that i’ll close on the 2nd Trimester! Time for the big-girl/mommy panties and the final stretch of this pregnancy.

Hello 3rd Trimester!!!!

xo xo Friends,

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Baby’s Nursery Layout, Mommy’s To Do List, & a few Nursery Finds!!!

Here is the general plan so far for the nursery layout. I am an incredibly visual person and my brain needs to see things fully laid out before I can decide 100% what I want or how I feel.  While i’m supposed to be “taking it easy” and staying off my feet I decided to put together a visual of what i’m thinking for the nursery layout!!!

Nursery Layout

And so I don’t lose my mind or lose track of what I need to do here is an updated “to do list” on baby purchases and projects.  In addition to these fun tasks, I can’t even begin to tell you all the ideas swimming around in my head at all hours of the night. I swear I’m dreaming in everything “baby” these days…and I really don’t mind all that much. I think our biggest project so far is going to be cleaning out the babies room which has spent the last 4 years as random storage and also the “dogs” bedroom.  They have more “stuff” then we do these days and their crates cost about as much as a baby crib. HaHa!!!

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I’m most excited about purchasing the baby crib and my rocking chair!!! I think once we get everything cleaned out and filled with our sweet babies necessities I can start to relax and everything will begin to feel REAL finally!!! I am just soooo excited!!!

I will be spending the next couple of days scoping out Sales for baby furniture and the perfect pieces to go in the Nursery!!! I’ve already found a few key pieces and its so fun to see the general look come together as I add pieces.  Below is the most amazing sherpa rug that I found at Costco, a cute mint nursery quote that I immediately fell in love with, and the softest mint minky pillows that I unexpectedly stumbled upon at Tjmaxx.

Nursery Decor

YAYYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

xo xo Friends,

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Our SuperBowl XLIX Party

Well…the SuperBowl was definitely a BIG disappointment for our Seattle Seahawks. But, a true fan is always a fan even when their team loses.  It simply comes with the territory and nature of competitive sports. We had high hopes for a 2nd SuperBowl win, but it just wasn’t in the cards for our 12’s!

Our original plan was to watch the game and enjoy some game day food with our girly puppies.  Things changed rather quickly and we enjoyed the game with a house full of FAMILY! It was awesome.  We have never done much “entertaining” at our house so it was wonderful to have everyone around for the FESTIVITIES!!!

I decorated our basement and turned it into a “HAWKS NEST” of sorts.  Festive decorations always help to set the mood and we wanted to send good energy to our Hawks on game day.  I decorated our mantel last year, but this year we went all out with balloons, streamers, and football pom poms in addition to last years decorations! I’ve got quite the collection going on.

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I took last years mantel decor and gave it a little update.  To check out last years mantel and how I made the “GO SEAHAWKS” letters click HERE!  My Circle Garland Tutorial can be found HERE. This year I added the festive tassel garland and football yardage banner! They turned out so good and I can reuse all the pieces again next year!

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We wrapped up our “Hawks Nest” decor with a cute football field snack table! Add some yummy lime chips, homemade guacomole, veggies and one of my FESTIVE chalkboards and we were ready to start some pre-game party action.

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I was sooooooo pleased with how my Seahawks Chalkboard turned out. I have made it available in my Etsy Shop, LoveTheSparkle, if you are interested in downloading it.  I also have some other Football Inspired prints available to help carry you through the off-season.  

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We continued our SuperBowl Shenanigans upstairs with LOTS & LOTS of appetizers, drinks, and my spicy homemade Chili! To download the recipe click SuperBowl 2015 Game Day Recipes and ENJOY!!!!

Crock Pot Chili

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I finally had an opportunity to put my Pretty Bar Cart to good use.  This sweet thing was a birthday gift from my mom and I have been absolutely dying to do some entertaining so I can show it off.  I brought back the football mason jar from last year and enjoyed “several” tasty rum & cokes during the game.  It was the SuperBowl after all.  I also put out some champagne glasses for celebratory purposes…but we didn’t win.  We totally broke out the champagne anyway…

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I had every intention of posting this several days ago, prior to our Big SuperBowl celebration. Here are some Seahawks Favorites that will knock your socks off at your SuperBowl 49 next game day party…

Seahawks Favorites - 2015

We had such a wonderful time celebrating with both sets of parents and finally enjoying a “day off” together.  They very rarely come around these days so it was so wonderful to see my sweet hubby and rock some Seahawks gear at the same time.  The off-season will “feel” long, but football will be back before we know it.  I’m already anticipating Draft Day 2015 and hoping Marshawn Lynch accepts the new 4-year contract we offered him.  Sigh…

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CHEERS to a very happy and loving February Friends!!! And hopefully it will either snow some more OR spring will pop up early…i’m so over this dark, cold, and brown winter!!!

Hope everyone is ready for “HEART” shaped everything!

xo xo Friends, 

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SUPERBOWL Bound…AGAIN!!!!

SUPERBOWL BOUND…GO HAWKS!!!!

I literally have no words to describe how CRAZY the Seahawks game was on Sunday.  We are beyond thrilled and still in COMPLETE SHOCK that our Hawks are heading back to the Superbowl.  It has been one freakin’ crazy season but with a 9 game winning streak…they definitely deserve to go back to the BIG GAME!!! I am so flipping excited. The news about the game has been endless on social media etc. so I won’t bore you with highlights and recaps.  Just know…that I was completely speechless and crazy excited!!!!!!

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After last years BIG WIN we were hoping that we would make another Superbowl appearance and my brain is on decoration and party planning overload!!!! I don’t know if I can top last years design, but i’m definitely going to give it a go.  To check out last years posts on our BIG Superbowl WIN click HERE and HERE.

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SuperBowl #7

I can’t wait to jump in and get started!!!! Lots more to come on this topic and i’m sure our TV will be stuck on ESPN until the game starts on FEB 2nd.

Let the countdown to Superbowl 49 begin…

“GO HAWKS!!!”

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DIY SuperHero “Photo Booth Props”

Hey everyone, i’m back this week with my absolute favorite DIY SuperHero Tutorial!!! I’ve been saving it because I wanted to get all the details just perfect before I published the post.  Back in April, yikes i’m getting behind, I threw my sweetheart a SuperHero themed Birthday Party with all our friends and loved ones.  We had so much fun.  After weeks of hunting and major “sticker shock” I decided to make all the decorations and props for the party.  I literally went to every single “party store” in our area and struggled to find anything SuperHero related!!! I wanted the party to feel fun and have a definite theme, but I didn’t want it to be a little kids party!!! All the “classic” SuperHero icons were included along with bright pops of color and fun reusable decorations!!! I little Pinterest hunting was a failure so I knew the whole party was going to require some major creativity on my part!!!

To check out past Tutorials and all the details about the Party click below:

Full Birthday Party Recap & Photos – CLICK HERE

DIY SuperHero Birthday Bunting Banner – CLICK HERE

Birthday Banner #3

DIY SuperHero City Back Drop – CLICK HERE

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DIY Circle Garlands – CLICK HERE

This FUN Tutorial is for all the awesome Photo Booth Props I made.  Our family had an absolute blast playing around with these little guys and i’m so glad I took the plunge and made all of them! Not gonna lie, this project is really time consuming but I was so happy with how everything turned out. Definitely worth every minute!

I made the following Props:

Captain America Mask & Shield

Iron Man Mask & Arc Reactor 

Robin Mask & lOGO

WonderWoman Tiara & Logo

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 SuperMan Hair & Logo

Clark Kent Hair & Glasses

Hulk Mask

Batman Mask & Logo

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DIY SuperHero Photo Booth Prop Tutorial & Guide

To make all the props I used the following supplies:

Colored Scrapbook Paper or Thick Construction Paper *I used a mixture of scraps that I had on hand and some pieces that I picked up at my local craft store

Ruler

Pencil or Pen

Sharp Scissors

Craft Glue Tape

Bamboo Wood Skewers 

Hot Glue Gun

Photos of each SuperHero you want to make

STEP 1 – To get started I used basic white THCIK construction paper and hand drew an outline of each mask or logo I wanted to make.  I used the photo of each character as a general guide.  I cut out each outline shape to check the general size and make sure that the mask was proportionate to the average head size.  The first round I did of the masks were all way too big and looked super funky as a mask.  Lol. By scaling each mask I was able to verify that the end result would look fantastic.

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*Below are the White Templates I made for the Batman mask, Robin mask, and the IronMan mask. 

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STEP 2 – The next step is to place the white template on the colored paper that will ultimately end up being the mask itself.  Trace the outline onto the colored paper and cut out the basic outline for each mask.

STEP 3 – If your chosen mask has multiple layers, aka different colors on the mask, draw and cut out the templates for each additional piece on the mask.  The IronMan mask I made is a good example of this.  Below you can see the Red base and outline and then all the different Yellow pieces that give the mask some real dimension.  Utilize your photo of your SuperHero and do the best job you can to create the look your after.

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STEP 4 – The final step is to assemble all your pieces and masks/logos!  I used basic craft tape to piece together my masks and props.  Next I used a hot glue gun to attach the craft stick to one side of the mask OR to the center of the logo/symbol for each SuperHero.  I wanted to make sure that the stick didn’t show too much in pictures and by having it to the side of the mask and below the logo I was able to avoid that.

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Other than taking several hours to make, this whole project was fairly simple.  Patience and a little creativity will go a long way!!! If you have any specific questions about the masks or one SuperHero in particular please feel free to comment below or message me!!!

Next up I made these really CUTE comic book callout props in addition to the SuperHero props!!

For this project I used the same materials as above.

DIY Comic Book Callout Photo Props Tutorial & Guide

Supplies needed include the following:

White Scrapbook or Construction Paper (the thicker the better)

Sharp Scissors

Black Sharpie Marker

Bamboo Wood Screwers 

Hot Glue Gun

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STEP 1 – Determine how many “callouts” you want to make.  I cut out a variety of different “comic book” shapes because I wanted several different sayings.  Also, I made a few black callouts and left a couple of black sharpie markers out so guests could write out their own FUN birthday wish to my sweet hubby.  My shapes included the simple oval, a fun starburst, and the different sized rectangles pictured below.

STEP 2 – Write out your message!!! I mimicked a comic book font that I found online and wrote out several “Happy Birthday” messages to my husband!!! I used a black sharpie to write out the message on the callout!

STEP 3 – Using the black sharpie, draw a thin even line on the outside of the callout to add a nice border.  This helps the callout POP and really makes it distinct in photos.

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Thats all there is to this fun project!!! You could easily modify this project and adapt it to any character or party theme you want!!! Our family had so much fun playing with these props and we got some absolutely PRICELESS and MEMORABLE pictures.  The whole day was awesome and we will never forget it!

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Superbowl Extravaganza Party Planning

Seahawks Loud

I can barely contain my excitement at the moment as we are only a few days away from Superbowl 48!!! OOHHH MYYY GOOOODDDD our team is amazing and we are so excited to finally see them succeed and make it to the Big Game.  I would like to include the fact that we were die hard Seahawks FANS even when the team sucked and they were the laughing stock of the NFL.  True fans gotta stick it out and BOOM we made it to the Superbowl. Beast Mode!

The past week my brain has been wrapped around party planning and getting everything organized for our Sweet Ass Superbowl Extravaganza!!! To say i’m excited is the understatement of the century…

SUPERBOWL 2014 MENU

Superbowl Food

I’ve also been busy getting the house ready for our KickAss Extravaganza!!! I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas and decorations!

SUPERBOWL INSPIRATION 2014

Superbowl Inspiration 2014

All Image Sources can be found HERE!

I was really pleased with how my rocking Seahawks decorations turned out. I decided to keep it contained to our downstairs media area so we can enjoy it fully during the game. Upstairs we will be rocking the Chili Bar and the “adult beverages!!!”

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We are definitely counting down the days until the Big Game!!!!

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“GO HAWKS”

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Embracing 2014

January 2014

Now that we are well into January I thought it might be time to start thinking about some goals that I have for this new year! I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days now and I keep hitting a wall.  I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that we are already well into 2014 and halfway through the month of January. WHAT?!?!?!

When I think about the changes I want to make this year the only thing that comes to mind is being happy and embracing every minute of this beautiful life.  Sure I could be more efficient and organized, and I could probably work out more and eat a little better.  But those aren’t the things that get me amped up and ready to sparkle every day. Don’t get me wrong, i’m super pumped to get my house in order and possibly dust off my running shoes for a workout, but I really want this year to be focused on having fun, spending time with my family, and doing more of the things I love!!!

I was so excited to whip out my new 2014 planner and start writing down a few new rules to live by.

2014 Planner

Goals and New Years Resolutions for me are totally different tools.  I’m sure that New Years Resolutions have their place in the world and they really help individuals get amped up to start a new workout plan or be a whole new person at the start of the new year.  I, on the other hand, am learning to love who I am and i’m finally beginning to see my value and the endless gifts that I bring to the world.  As I get older, all of my 26 years of expertise (LOL yeah right), I am starting to figure out that i’m exactly where i’m supposed to be. I will be the first to admit that I am a TOTAL work in progress and will never achieve perfection, as much as I want to.

I have always believed that setting goals and trying to be the best version of oneself is a healthy and smart outlook to have. So here is to embracing a GOAL and not setting an empty resolution!!!

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New Motto to Live by in 2014:

“Recognize my light and remind myself that I’m greater than whatever it is that stops me from conquering all that I wish to become.”

#1 – Eat Paleo

This goal is simple, the hubby and I decided that we really wanted to start eating healthier. I’ve always loved cooking but have a hard time coming up with new ideas, and with Jeffrey starting Crossfit I knew we were in for the Paleo diet. There are a ton of recipes and guides on Pinterest.  This is also something that we can do together and enjoy some time planning our menus and cooking together. WooHoo Go Paleo!!! You can check out all my ideas and recipes on my Pinterest Page, Perfectly Paleo!  If I come across any super yummy recipes i’ll be sure to share them on the blog.

#2 – Stay Organized

Last year I attempted to get organized and failed miserably at it.  This year i’m giving it another go!! If you get knocked down, try try again!!! After last years epic fail, I have decided to reinstate my 12-Months to a Clean Home Project.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I have a tendency to just jump into projects with little planning or thought.  This year I have a plan of attack and am ready to SIMPLIFY & GET ORGANIZED! My goal with this project is to get rid of the clutter, allow myself places to breathe throughout my house, and stay organized so it is easier for me to prioritize my To Do List.  I’m the queen of forgetting everything, and I often have hundreds of post it notes with lists and projects to tackle floating throughout my purse, car, and office!!! Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!!!!!!

#3 – Be a Better Blogger

Yikes, i’m pretty sure nobody ever even reads this thing but I enjoy it nonetheless.  I wish I was more dedicated and consistent. Looking back on 2013 I had so much fun reading through all my old blog posts.  The daily and weekly play by play or our life was so much fun and literally brought tears to my eyes.  I know one day when we are old we can look back on this blog and see how much FUN we had constantly.  Also if one of us gets Dementia we can read it to each other and remember how we fell in love…Notebook moment much!!!!

P.S. If your interested in following my blog and want to get email updates whenever I post, sign up in the top right corner of the page!!! Thanks for reading!!!

#4 – Expand & Grow my EtsyShop LovetheSparkle

My chalkboard shop is something that gets my heart pumping and keeps me up at night all gitty thinking of new ideas.  I can’t remember my grocery list but I could outline my whole years worth of chalkboard ideas for ya.  I’m simply weird creative like that.  I’m 26 years old and can’t figure out what the HELL I want to do with my life, but one thing I know for sure is that I was meant to create beautiful Art no matter the form. I have been drawing, painting, and crafting in general since I was little kid and I absolutely love it.  As a teenager and in my college years I ignored my calling because I never found any tangible or monetary value in it.  I always loved Art and History but naively thought the only way to make a living was to teach.  Nope, thats not for me.  I can barely put two words together in front of a crowd. HAHA.  My shop is the perfect platform for me to be creative and enjoy my passion.  Watch for lots of new designs and updates coming soon.

In the meantime i’m super excited to spread the joy and share my passion with all who follow and read my blog!! Use coupon code FINDYOURPASSION at checkout and receive 40% off all prints and/or custom orders in my shop!! Offer good throughout the month of February 2014!

Checkout all the designs I currently have available here!

#5 – Spend more time with my Husband & Animals

This one is simple.  I love my family more than anything else in the world and when i’m a busy, stressed out, and anxious mess they get me at my worst.  We live busy lives and between both our businesses and me having a full time job on the side, our wires get crossed like its nobodies business.  And not in a good way.  This January has been full of transition and tears for me.  One underlining message finally broke through and that was that we need to spend more time together as a family and as a couple.  Kids are definitely on the horizon for us, holy shit, and we want to squeeze the crap out of every second we have together as a young married couple.  Enough said.

#6 – Be More FESTIVE!!!

I absolutely LOVE holidays and totally look forward to each one with a passion.  They are awesome and totally break up the mundane routine of life with color, good food, and family time!! I’m already pretty festive but crafting and decorating are total stress reducers for me.  So if I can kill 2 birds with one stone i’m ALL IN FOR BEING MORE FESTIVE and stress free! Hell YEAH!!!!

#7 – Hone my personal style & Radiate Beauty (on the inside)

I always joke that I didn’t get the girly gene one bit.  I love hair and makeup, but when it comes to style and putting outfits together…I FREAKIN’ SUCK!!! I have no “style” whatever the hell that is and can’t put an outfit together for the life of me.  One HUGE goal I have this year is to work on looking a little more “grown up” and put together!!! Turing 26, gulp, and embracing the fact that i’m getting older have shaken me up a bit.  This has contributed to the transitional period and tears that are my life lately.  Getting old freaks me out for some reason.  Yikes.  Back to my lack of style.  I love comfy clothes and ever sense top knots and leggings came into style i’m totally in my element.  I can’t even use “kids” or “i’m tired” as an excuse.  I get a glorious 9 hours of sleep a night and I have lots of personal time to do whatever the hell I want.  Not sure how i’m going to tackle this one yet but it’s definitely on my mind. Fully open to and currently accepting any fashion advice…any takers??????

#8 – Change my Outlook and Attitude towards Life

“I’m going to make everything around me BEAUTIFUL – that will be my life!” – Elsie de Wolfe

I’m such a firm believer that a positive attitude and outlook on all facets of life can literally transform ones happiness.  We are in control of our own fate and no person, place, or thing can change that.  Emotions may fluctuate and influence that outlook but when it comes down to the nitty gritty we are responsible for our own happiness.  Don’t give up your power and remain in control of your own destiny.  Healthy and positive thinking can go a long way.  I’ll get off my soap box now…but its all true.  🙂

Here is to a Healthy, Organized, Festive, Happy, and Beautiful 2014!!!!

Xo Xo Friends,

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Farewell 2013 & Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

For Auld Lang Syne

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.”

Celebrating the ending of a year for me has special meaning as it is also my BIRTHDAY!!!!  The notion of a fresh start and a new year is amplified, as is a period of reflection and appreciation for all the trials and growth I have experienced over the previous year.  I am a huge planner and working towards being the best version of ME is always at the forefront of my mind.

This year I celebrated the big 26 and rang in the New Year with my hubby and parents!  I’ve always been a huge fan of the holiday and not because of my Birthday.  I love the blank slate that the new year brings with it.  As a compulsive planner and list maker,  I usually love New Years resolution time.  This year however, i’m intentionally trying to not focus too much on resolutions.  I feel like they are only a means to failure, and instead I want to work towards transforming my life as a whole and again, being the best version of ME!!! While everyone else is busy getting their lists together and preparing to exercise more and eat healthy, i’m simply going to soak up all the lessons i’ve learned in 2013 and focus on being HAPPY!!!!

Cheers Friends!!!!!

Please pardon the bathroom “selfie!” I usually hate these things, but I wanted to show off my new Nike top in Mint Green that I rocked while shopping with my mommy on my birthday! Love It!!!!!

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I spent the morning relaxing on my birthday, sipping yummy iced coffee and soaking up what was left of the year.  Reflection has been on my mind quite a bit this holiday season and “living” ones life and “loving” ones life were definitely front and center for me.  With the sudden passing of my father this year I was immediately jerked into the reality that life is incredibly fleeting and I don’t ever want to waste one second.

My mommy and I went shopping, as is our birthday tradition, on New Years Eve!!! We had a blast and definitely enjoyed the post-Christmas & end of year sales that were everywhere.  Having my birthday right after Christmas has always been bittersweet.  I always feel so spoiled and i’m definitely not in “need” of anything by the time my special day rolls around.

My AMAZING hubby Jeffrey took me to my favorite restaurant in town, Spencer’s!!!!  The only words I have for this place is AMAZING.  I love a good steak, correction an AMAZING steak, and theirs is definitely the best in town.  At $50 bucks a pop it is well worth the wait to enjoy their filet. YUMMY!!!!

*PLEASE forgive the dark photos. The restaurant had rather dim lighting and this was the best we could do!

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After dinner we met up with my parents for drinks and enjoyed a good birthday chat & people watching downtown. Always interesting, but especially interesting on New Years Eve.  Enough said!

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Thank You to my good friend Amy for the fashion advice!!! 😉

Given that we are now an old married couple, we decided to beat the crazy drivers home before New Years and watched the ball drop in NYC with our puppies & kitties! They’re our life and our furry children, and it seemed appropriate that we be with them when we kicked off 2014!!!!

NYE 2013 #2

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Here is a late toast to 2014!!!

May it be the best year yet!!!!

CHEERS!!!!

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Have a Holly Jolly December

Well, it has finally arrived!!! The most wonderful month of the year is here. And i’m so HO HO HO Happy!!!!

Happy December 1st to you all and let the festivities begin!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Now that we have made it through Thanksgiving I can official rant and rave about all things CHRISTMAS!!! WooFreakinHoo and cheers to that!! The Haguewood Family Christmas Tree has officially been trimmed and i’m hoping to get all of our ornaments up later this week! I’ve spent the last few days Decking the Halls of our house and pulling all of my christmas boxes out of storage!! I am so looking forward to all the fun and festive activities that Christmas Time brings.  All this festive energy had me thinking about all the fun things I want to do this season. I decided that I needed a 25 Days of Christmas Countdown Bucket List complete with all my favorite Christmas Time happenings!!! There is so much to squeeze into one short month.

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25. Decorate the House (tree, lights, stockings)

24. Take Family Christmas Card Photo

23. Buy a new RED nail polish

22. Watch Elf & make paper snowflakes

21. Have a Date Night with my hubby, drink cocktails and watch Love Actually

20. Make Christmas Treats for coworkers, family, and friends

19. Send Christmas Cards & find a cute way to display the ones we receive

18. Donate clothes and other items to a local charity

17. Make a Gingerbread House

16. Make & Decorate “World Famous” Sugar Cookies

15. Kiss my Hubby under the mistletoe

14. Go Ice Skating and Drink Hot Chocolate Downtown

13. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon

12. Make a Festive Christmas Breakfast

11. Do some Christmas Shopping

10. Decorate and Wrap Christmas Gifts

9. Purchase a new pair of Christmas Eve Pajamas!!!

8. Take the Dogs for a walk & look at Christmas Lights in our neighborhood

7. Make & Enjoy a Christmas Sangria while watching White Christmas

6. Go Sledding and enjoy the SNOW!

5. Pay for someone’s coffee in line behind me!

4. Make a Christmas CD with all my favorites!

3. Make popcorn and watch Home Alone 1 & 2 – “merry christmas ya’ filthy animals”

2. Play the Christmas Vacation Drinking Game using moose mugs!

1. Make Cookies for Santa and Wear new Christmas PJ’s on Christmas Eve

Phew…I don’t know if I can make it through my list, keeping my fingers crossed. What other Christmas traditions am I missing? Any other ideas?