Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter {begg} Hunt.

   It's absolutely no secret that I love my dogs. Perhaps it borders on obsession? Either way, I can't ever pass up a good excuse to do cheesy things with my dogs. Case in point: a dog-only Easter egg hunt. You guys. I can't even begin to explain the extreme cuteness! A local dog bakery held the event in two different locations around Indy and we joined some of our good friends this past weekend. {A perk of having friends who are as dog-crazy as me}. 
   We left Jersey at home because, well, crowds aren't her thing. Murphy, on the other hand, is a complete ham and lover of all people, dogs, and babies. He especially loves other dogs and babies. We had really low expectations of him being interested in any of the treat-filled eggs, because if there are other dogs around, treats are meaningless to him. But he sort of dominated at the actual egg hunt {I use the term 'hunt' loosely since the eggs were covering the ground}. Afterwards, we walked to the bakery to pick up some more treats and he was SO proud of himself. And in case you're concerned about Jersey feeling left out, she gorged on treats when we got home and was none the wiser. Ok, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

  Please tell me I'm not the only one who loves these types of cheesy pet-owner things! Has your dog ever gone to an Easter egg hunt?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gardening. {making plans}

Let's just go ahead and call this year's garden the Pregnant Edition. Over the last two years, I have really fallen in love with our little garden. I've learned what veggies we do and don't use enough of and that I absolutely love being able to cut fresh flowers every day. Last year, I started everything by seed and felt so proud of myself every time I harvested tomatoes or basil or peas. I grew this! From start to finish! All around, even the daily watering, gardening is just a fun process for me.
   At the end of last season, I had already started dreaming up this summer's garden. And then I got pregnant and decided to scale back a bit. I definitely have the energy right now to tackle it head on and start from seed again. But I have a feeling that energy is going to start dwindling any day. So, here is how I've kept my garden plans simpler and much more manageable for myself this year.

No starters inside// Last year, I took a chance on starting my seeds inside and loved the result. But this year, I've decided to just buy baby veggie plants at the nursery, transplant them, and call it a day. My mom thinks I'm crazy for starting things by seed, anyways, since baby plants are pretty cheap. But I did still start some flowers inside, because I love having a shorter wait for blooms!

Sticking with what I know// Last year, I tried out some new plants and experimented with placement  and such. This year doesn't seem like the best time to do that, so I'm sticking with tried and true veggies and just about the same layout that worked last year. Easy, simple, tried and true.

Asking for help// When I talk about our garden, I really mean my garden. It's not that Justin doesn't love fresh veggies, but he's not really into the garden situation. Specifically the upkeep or planning. Which works, because I love those parts! I usually trek to Tractor Supply, load up on compost mix, and weed/fill the garden space on my own each Spring. Well, I'm thinking that might not be the smartest this year, pregnant belly and all. So, I asked for a bit of help. Justin helped me pick up all my compost dirt this past weekend, and after I clean out the garden plot, he'll help me fill it. I think I can still handle the planting on my own...especially since that's my favorite part!

Ok, now let's get to the specifics. Just in case you're planning your first garden or just want to hear how I do things, here it is:

starters// Last year I used a plastic greenhouse for all my starters, since I had so many. I thought about doing it again this year for my flower starters, but went a cheaper route with these Jiffy Strips and soil. To give my seeds a 'greenhouse' effect and keep them moist, I just popped each tray into a storage-sized plastic bag. I have them on a windowsill in our bonus room- which gets full sun and is HOT. 

markers// I've found that I don't really need real plant markers once my plants are mature. I have a pretty small garden with only about 10 different veggies/herbs, so it's pretty easy to remember what is what. When things are itty bitty, though, it's hard to keep track. So I wrap washi tape around a toothpick and stick in it with my starters, and then wrap the seed packet with the same tape. Easy peasy.

storage// I have a lot of seeds from last year, most of which I'll use again this year. They can last forever if you store them right! I keep mine in this old recipe box. 

plan// Unless you want to get in over your head, it's good to start of simple. And plan everything out. I draw out my plot and where I want each plant to go. I keep my vining plants {squash, cucumber} in the back, along with my tomato bushes. Smaller, more compact plants, like basil, stay up front. Also, ALWAYS account for things to get big. I do this every year, and still end up being amazed at how big my tomato plants get! Spacing everything out is really key to not having an overcrowded garden.

All in all, I haven't made too many modifications. In my specific plans, I'm gearing up for even more flowers this year than last. I learned last year that I really, really love them. Once they're planted, they pretty much take care of themselves and are just gorgeous. Once summer hits and baby boy is here, I'll have to be extra intentional about making time to water and harvest. And probably leaning on Justin for a bit of help with that sort of upkeep. I can't imagine a summer without a garden, and even with this busy one coming up, I'm glad we'll still have one!

Do you have a garden? What are you planting this year? How simple do you keep things?

Monday, April 21, 2014

For Two Fitness. {giveaway}

I am thrilled to partner with For Two Fitness for an amazing anniversary giveaway. If you know me, then you know how important staying fit during this pregnancy has been to me. I love all of For Two Fitness's workout gear and their blog that's full of great tips for staying active during and after pregnancy! For Two Fitness is running a phenomenal giveaway for their anniversary. Read the details below. 

For Two Fitness Giveaway
It's our anniversary month! We are so thankful to YOU -- our community, customers, and friends. In order to express our thanks, we are hosting a huge giveaway this week in partnership with some amazing brands and fit mom ambassadors.
There will be three winners of the giveaway prize packages. A grand prize winner and two other lucky ladies. Here are some details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy!
For Two Fitness Giveaway
Giveaway items:
  • Sarah Haley Fit DVDs Expecting More and Sweat Unlimited -- prenatal and postpartum workout DVDs for fit mamas and mamas-to-be.
  • Kind Bars -- healthy snack bars to fuel your day.
  • Maclaren Beginnings care products -- oils, lotions, shampoos, and nursery/powder room products for both mama and baby.
  • GNC -- a three month supply of prenatal vitamins.
  • Happy Family Brands -- baby and toddler foods for your little ones.
  • For Two Fitness racerback tank and pair of pants or capris
  • Baby K’tan -- stylish carrier to aid in hands-free baby-wearing.
  • Zensah -- must-have compression leg sleeves. Relieve leg fatigue, increase circulation, reduce varicose veins, and get fresh legs.
Wow, we are thrilled to have some amazing products for you to win with a grand prize worth over $600.
So, here's how to enter:
Visit the For Two Fitness site to enter via Rafflecopter. Be sure you "Like" For Two Fitness on Facebook, and follow For Two Fitness on Instagram (@fortwofitness), to say up-to-date on giveaway announcements.

29 weeks.

 I think I say this every week now, but time is absolutely flying. 11 weeks until our due date and so much fun stuff is on the calendar between now and then! We did some last touch ups on our nursery project this weekend, but other than that {and deciding on a nursery chair!}, it's pretty much finished. Next weekend is our baby shower, and I'm really excited! I mentioned last week that I have a few really irrational fears about this pregnancy, and no one coming to my baby shower is one of them. Silly, I know! But still, I'm thankful that a handful of my favorite people will be there to celebrate this little guy with me.
  I think I'm finally coming to terms with hanging up my running shoes until Fall. I've gone on lots and lots of walks lately {including a 5k last weekend} and just moving feels good these days. I find myself feeling a bit more pregnant lately; I get up a bit slower, varicose veins are starting to pop up {read: nightly foot-propping sessions}, and sleep is starting to become a thing of the past. Also, I'm kind of losing my mind without even realizing it. Case in point, I just stocked up on a lot of dresses for the summer and realized I unintentionally bought the same dress twice. The exact same dress. I had been looking at it online and then bought it in the store {Target has a steal on dresses right now!}. But then one showed up in my mailbox, too. Somehow I ordered it online without realizing it?? I have no idea how that even happened. Another fun thing? I was walking out of school one day this week and a random kid yelled down the hall, "Hey! You having a baby?" I just laughed an shook my head. Kids.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

To the brim.

  I find that when things are the quietest in this little corner of the interwebs, my offline life is the fullest. Isn't that how those things really should go?
   As I sat across a really good friend for breakfast yesterday morning, who happened to be in town for a quick visit from Denver, I just realized how full and good life is right now. She's so intentional about seeing me when she's in town, and I so appreciate that. We shared my absolute favorite cinnamon toast from one of my favorite brunch places and talked about babies and engagements and social work. And all of this was after getting a chance to sleep in a bit and cuddle with my husband this morning. Two things that just don't happen enough.
   So I drove away from that breakfast and that really good morning just feeling full. To the brim.
   That's what Spring is for me this year. A season of fullness and blessings and thanksgiving. Tangible reminders of God's goodness and how he does, he really does, make all things new. In his time. Last year at this time, I was full of sadness and dwindling hope as we still healed from our miscarriage and crept closer and closer to the range of 'infertility' after trying for months for another baby. That was a tough season, honestly. But this is a good and full season. I think I find myself savoring it even more because I still remember last year and it makes this season of fullness extra sweet. I'm really aware that this season won't last forever. The dryness and dwindling hope could come back in any minute. Seasons don't last forever, they're not supposed to. But aren't they such good reminders of how God carries us and blesses us and holds us- through the really long winters and the sunshine-y spring-times just the same?
  As we get ready for Easter, I hope you feel full to the brim. Even if life's circumstances don't make it easy on you, the promise that Easter holds should be enough to overwhelm you with thanksgiving. I love how our Pastor always puts it during his Palm Sunday sermon. Today's Friday {our God is crucified}, but Sunday is coming {he's already defeated our sins when he overcame death}!

Friday, April 11, 2014

28 weeks.

 Happy glucose testing day! I've had a few irrational fears about this pregnancy, one being that I will fail my glucose test and have gestational diabetes {read: not the end of the world}. So I may or may not be unnecessarily nervous about today's test. But here's to staying away from sugars or carbs this afternoon before I drink that delicious drink!
  The only real news this week is that I'm officially hanging up my running shoes for the rest of this pregnancy. I've really wanted to hold out as long as possible, but after a rough mile earlier this week, I realized I have to be done. I'm so middle-heavy and my stomach muscles just can't do it anymore! It's mostly sad because the weather is just starting to be perfect for afternoon runs with the dogs and that's just about my favorite part of Spring. The good news is that I can still walk plenty and I honestly don't think the dogs notice a difference {at least Jersey doesn't}. So there's that. And I may or may not be throwing a pity party about it over here.
   I also started stocking up on a few dresses for this summer. Not maternity dresses, but ones that will work. I actually bought my first maxi dresses! I'm still a bit concerned they just look like moo-moo's on me- pregnant or not- but they are just too comfortable to pass up anymore. And, in case you missed it, you can win yourself {or a knocked up friend!} some adorable maternity clothes here.
   Ok, at this point I'm just stretching for stuff to include in this week's update. In sort of big news, but not really, I made my first baby purchase this week! I have been dying to buy baby boy some cute clothes, but wanting to hold out until after our shower {because people tend to forgo the registry far too often to sleepers with monkeys on the bum} to see what we still need. While doing some baby shower shopping for my cousin this week, though, I couldn't hold out any longer. I went a little wild {note sarcasm} and picked up the cutest striped onesie for $5 at Target! Gah. I love it. It's newborn size and so tiny and adorable and I can't believe a human that size will come out of me sooner rather than later. It may or may not have opened the floodgates, though, since I catch myself almost buying this and oh! look at that! at least 5 times a day since then. 

End most boring bumpdate, ever. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pink Blush Maternity. {a review & giveaway}


Full disclosure? I'm 7 months pregnant and have only bought 3 maternity things. I know. I promise, I'm not in denial that my belly is growing. It's just that I didn't want to stock up on a small winter wardrobe {for the longest winter ever} when I'll be at my most pregnant during the Spring/Summer months. So, I'm just now getting my booty in gear and stocking up on a few basics to tide me over until I get back to my pre-baby body. Enter PinkBlush Maternity. You guys, have you checked this place out? I'm finding that the most maternity clothing comes in dull clolors; black, gray, olive, navy. I need color! And that's one of my favorite things about PinkBlush- such colorful and trendy maternity clothes! The sent me this top, and I can't get enough of it. In fact, if you know me in real life then chances are you've seen me wear it once or ten times over the last month. I love it! It's so bright, fits my bump just right, and makes me feel more cute than frumpy. Every single time I wear it, I get compliments! And now that I'm finally stocking up on some clothes that fit this bump, I have my eye on no less than a dozen dresses from PinkBlush. Too many cute options to choose from!
   And, because I just love you and PinkBlush is of you can win $25 to snag yourself some cute Spring maternity goodies. Even if you're not knocked up, chances are you know someone who is. It's in the water right now, isn't it??

a Rafflecopter giveaway