Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Maternity Photoshoot Favorites



Greg and I celebrated our first Wedding Anniversary on October 7th, and our gift to each other was a maternity photoshoot. We met Bia Schaefer at Rock Springs in Apopka bright and early and had a great time shooting around the property. She captured gorgeous images of such a special time in our life. The gallery turned out so beautiful and we will cherish these photos forever. See some of my favorite shots below.









Monday, October 8, 2018

Reese's Blondies


Combining Greg and my favorite candies into a delicious dessert - the Reese's holiday shapes are my go-to (double the peanut butter!) and Greg loves the crunchy pieces. I mixed both into blondies and they turned out so good - thick, gooey and loaded with festive treats! If Reese's aren't your thing, you could easily substitute with any kind of candy as this recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween sweets. 

ingredients
12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Reese's Pieces, divided
10 Reese's Pumpkins, chopped

recipe
{1}
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a 9x9 baking dish by either lining with parchment paper or spraying with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
{2}
In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, mix to combine. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until just combined. Using a spatula, carefully fold in 3/4 cup of the Reese's Pieces and the chopped Reese's Pumpkins.
{3}
Spread dough into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining Reese's Pieces, lightly pressing them into the top of the dough.
{4}
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, and the middle looks dry and does not sink in when gently touched. Remove and let cool before serving. Cut into large squares and enjoy!




{recipe adapted from iheartnaptime.net}

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Jack's Nursery


One of my favorite parts of pregnancy has been designing Jack's nursery. We decided to go with a nautical theme, which feels like a natural extension of the decor in our beach bungalow currently. I had so much fun curating all of the pieces - a sign with his name, wall decor, and pillows - all in shades of navy, blue, white, grey and touches of seafoam. The end result turned out exactly how I had envisioned! It's hands-down my favorite room in our home and I've been spending a lot of time in there just daydreaming about our little guy.


The Jack sign was the first thing I bought for the room - it's custom from Etsy and I love the rope and anchor design. My Aunt and Uncle gifted us the crib for our baby shower, and surprised us with a beautiful baby blanket that my Aunt Patty hand-crocheted!


When my parents moved out of their house earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to inherit a lot of furniture - including a day bed and dresser that Greg re-painted for the nursery. We picked out 5 paint swatches to coordinate the dresser drawers with the rest of the room. The throw pillows are all from Home Goods and Pier 1, and the grey blackout curtains are from Amazon.


 I absolutely love the way the dresser turned out - Greg did an amazing job flipping the former black dresser into a colorful piece that really ties the whole room together. The whale lamp is a Home Goods score, and we found the ship wheel on Amazon, which matched the dresser perfectly!


Greg also re-did the whale tail wall art that we found at T.J. Maxx, by painting the background the same grey as the top drawer of the dresser and then sanded it down for a distressed look.


We bought the reclining rocking chair and throw pillow from Target, which is so comfortable! Can't wait to rock Jack to sleep every night. A little over 2 months to go!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Baby Shower


We had our Baby Shower on Sunday, which was nothing short of perfect! Greg and I decided to do a BBQ and pool party, rather than a girls-only affair. We wanted a laid-back vibe and for everyone to just have fun! Enter: the backyard BaByQ!

Our good friends, The Tuckers, offered to throw the BaByQ at their house and it turned out amazing!  My parents and Britt & Zach went above and beyond to make it a special day. They made tons of appetizers and slow-cooked barbecue pulled pork with all the sides: my mom's infamous mac 'n cheese and broccoli salad, along with a few staples - fried chicken and baked beans. The desserts were from a local bakery and featured carrot cake and vanilla cupcakes, mini chocolate cupcakes & cake-pops. 

Greg and I were blown away by our 40 friends and family members that came to the party! We have the most amazing support system, near and far, that helped us prepare and celebrate Baby Jack. We can't thank everyone enough for their love and generosity! 10 weeks to go!

{dessert table filled with cupcakes and cakepops}

{dining table decor: my favorite sunflowers, tassels and balloons}

{diaper raffle prize: a bottle of Jack}

{grateful is an understatement!}

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Second Trimester Recap

{Greg and I on our nightly beach walk with Jack at 21 weeks}

The second trimester is often referred to as the "honeymoon" of pregnancy and I have to agree for the most part. Between finding out we have a baby boy on the way, feeling flutters and kicks, having more energy, less nausea, my skin clearing up a bit (the first trimester hormones did a number on my acne-prone skin!) and my baby bump starting to show, it's been a great three months!

I previously shared all about our gender reveal, but it was definitely a highlight of the second trimester and a day I'll never forget! Greg and I are so excited for our little guy's arrival and love being able to refer to him by name. My bump started to show between 20 and 21 weeks. It was like as soon as we knew it was a boy and started calling him Jack, he really made his presence known.

As for my style, I've gotten away with not buying maternity clothes so far. I retired my jeans (it's too damn hot to wear them anyways!) and I've been living in dresses and rompers. Between maxis and stretchy bodycon styles, I've been really comfortable and can dress my bump with closet favorites and a few new pieces that I can wear after pregnancy as well.

{beach bump at 18 weeks}

After a long Sunday morning walk on the beach, I was doing my makeup and felt the first flutters at 15 weeks and 5 days, which felt like a little tapping from the inside. Movements and kicks (the best feeling in the world!) started getting stronger and more regular by 22 weeks. On August 1st, right at 23 weeks, Greg felt the first kick on the outside! Jack tends to get active in the evenings and we were laying on the couch watching Netflix when I felt some movement so I held Greg's hand on my belly and within 2 minutes he felt a little thump against his palm. Now every night after dinner, we both like to feel him having a dance party in there, and he's getting so strong that we can see his kicks!

I've definitely had more energy the last few months and have been able to get back into my workout routine. A typical week for me consists of weight lifting 3 times per week with arm and leg exercises (no more abs or moves that required me to lay flat on my back), yoga & stretching, and a ton of walking - incline walking on the treadmill before work 2 days per week, 15 minutes around the block on my lunch break, and 30-60 minutes on the beach after work with Greg, which is our most treasured time together.

{before my Saturday workout at 25 weeks}

Pre-pregnancy I was following a modified paleo diet (loosely put: no dairy, no carbs, no sweets, no alcohol) and the 80/20 rule to allow myself a few treats without the guilt (I love pizza, sushi & cookies!) Since becoming pregnant, I have stopped doing paleo and have eaten what I please, while still focusing on nutrient-rich foods to help develop my growing babe, and drinking as much water as possible. I eat about every 3 hours to keep the nausea at bay. I have been trying my best to stay healthy the majority of the time, eating mostly protein, fruits and veggies, but don't beat myself up if I occasionally want Chick-fil-a or a little dessert here and there. It's all about balance! 

Most days I start with a protein shake (a banana, strawberries or spinach, peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla protein powder & ice), for a mid-morning snack I eat Greek yogurt with a dozen almonds mixed in, lunch is usually a salad with chicken, my afternoon snack is either a Halo orange or Kind bar, and dinner is generally a home-cooked meal involving a protein, veggie and grain. I haven't had much of a sweet tooth since becoming pregnant, but once in a while I'll have a little something.

After completely cutting out caffeine during my first trimester, I started drinking one cup of coffee only on the weekends starting around 16 weeks. By 24 weeks, I was craving iced coffee so I introduced it back into to my morning routine, with just half of a cup of iced coffee each day to stay under the recommended 200 milligram limit. 

Although I've been blessed with a healthy pregnancy, it hasn't all been rainbows this trimester - between daily backaches, severe pelvic and abdominal pain, and trouble sleeping (a mix of insomnia, acid reflux, getting up to pee 2-3 times a night, and not being able to get comfortable without sleeping on my stomach or back). I also experienced my first Braxton Hicks contractions at 23.5 weeks. I'm trying to embrace every little change and kick in the ribs, and enjoy this journey to the fullest. I can't believe we are mere months away from meeting our little Jack!

{ending the second trimester at 27 weeks}

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Value of Time + JORD Watch Giveaway

{beach bump 25 weeks pregnant // wearing the JORD Frankie in Zebrawood & Navy}

The older I get, the faster the years seem to go by, and this year in particular has moved at lightning-speed. Since becoming pregnant in March, my world has revolved around time - between counting the weeks of pregnancy, how many months until I'm due, and trying to push pause to enjoy this special time; all while relishing in the last few moments of my current realm of reality. 

One of my favorite rituals since moving beachside last year is that Greg and I go for a walk on the beach almost every day. It's our most cherished time together - no phones, no Netflix, just the sound of the waves, and us talking and connecting without any distractions. Lately we talk a lot about Jack - how we plan to raise him, how excited we are to learn about him and who he will become, and how we can't wait to bring him on our walks, seeing him experience the beach for the very first time. 

We are soaking up these warm summer months, as time is inching closer and closer to when it won't just be the two of us anymore. Change is on the horizon, which is both thrilling and slightly terrifying. While we anxiously countdown to our little guy's arrival, I'm trying my best to live in the moment, and remind myself that the only constants in life are change and time.

- - -

When JORD Wood Watches reached out to work together again, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. JORD offers an amazing selection of unique watches for men and women. Greg lucked out the first time (remember his Valentine's Day gift?) and I was excited to choose a stylish wood watch for myself this round. I instantly fell in love with the Frankie in Zebrawood & Navy. The natural look of the wood paired with classic navy is the perfect compliment to any outfit, and every time I look at it, I have a sweet reminder of the ocean. 

I have teamed up with JORD Wood Watches to host a giveaway for my readers!

One winner will receive a $100 gift code for JORD Wood Watches!!!

And EVERYONE that enters will receive a code for 10% off their purchase!

Enter the giveaway HERE

{contest ends September 23, 2018 at 11:59pm}








Wooden Wrist Watch

This post is sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fave Drug Store Beauty Buys Vol. 5


{1}
L'Oréal Elnett Hairspray
The Florida humidity has been brutal this summer, but this hairspray keeps my waves intact all day. I love that it leaves my hair feeling soft & touchable, rather than crunchy like other extra strong hold hairsprays.

{2}
Burt's Bees Mama Bee Tummy Butter
I've been slathering this lotion on twice a day (in addition to Bio-Oil) since week 9 of pregnancy. Not sure if it will be enough to keep me tiger-stripe free by 40 weeks (they say it's mostly genetics), but it's kept me moisturized so far.

{3}
Essie Gel Polish in "Living Legend"
I love this classic red, which is perfect for transitioning between seasons. It has staying power too - I can go a solid 10 days chip-free.

{4}
NYX Liquid Lipstick in "Orange County"
My everyday makeup is pretty low-key, but I love to do a pop color lip. This bright orange is a fun compliment to an otherwise natural look.

{5}
L'Oréal EverPure Blonde Shampoo
I spend a fair amount of time in the sun so my salon-colored hair has been turning a bit brassy. I tried this purple shampoo for the first time a couple weeks ago, and although I've only used it a handful of times, I'm already seeing a difference.
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