Saturday, July 25, 2015

Under construction

Things are a bit under construction here lately. I'm fresh off a 10-day trip, packing up all our belongings for the second time in three months, and today Bug and I are hopping a plane to our new (temporary) home! I'll be back soon with updates!

Monday, July 13, 2015

meal plan monday


I've got another round of Meal Plan Monday today. What have you been eating lately? Any summer favorites?

- Honey mustard salmon, fresh corn on the cob, steamed broccoli. I'm not a big fan of seafood but eat it for the nutrients. I love that this recipe really masks any "fishy" flavor of the salmon and it's super easy! We paired it with oven cooked fresh corn on the cob from our CSA box.

- Orange ricotta chocolate chip pancakes with sausage and fruit. These pancakes sound indulgent and they are, but they are also SO delicious. They came about because I had a big container of ricotta to work through and we'd not had "breakfast for dinner" in a while. This is one of the best pancake recipes I've ever made or eaten!

- Angel hair pasta (gluten free) with tomato pesto, mixed romaine with tomatoes and cucumbers. This pasta recipe was super simple, and I wasn't sure it'd taste great with pine nuts just tossed in the sauce (versus a normal pesto). But this turned out to be a huge hit and the entire family went crazy for it. We'll definitely be making this again! (Recipe from Six O'Clock Scramble--let me know if you're interested in 15% off a membership!)

- Grilled flank steak and grilled broccoli. This was my first personal foray into grilling and it was a success! The steak was marinated in Mexican style flavors--lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano--and came out perfect. Grilling the broccoli gave it a really unique flavor and I'll definitely be tossing more veggies on the grill in the future!

- Golden chicken with snow peas over jasmine brown rice. Delicious Asian-inspired meal! Nice way to spice up chicken breasts and get in freshness with snow peas and bell peppers. (Another Six O'Clock Scramble recipe!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

baby | 12 months!

This first year of "real" motherhood (as Big Girl would say) has been so many things: hard, humbling, amazing, special, fun, stressful, emotional, nerve wracking, sanity-testing, etc. In the end though, I am just SO glad that I had the ability to stay home with our tiny girl and watch her grow. I have been with her nearly every second of her life so far and while it's been exhausting most times, it's also been incredible to see her go from a TINY, frail preemie to a still tiny but spunky one-year-old. She is truly the light of our lives, our sweet little Bug.
12 month stats--

Weight: 13lb 9oz
Length: 27.25 inches
Nicknames: Bug, Buggie, Bugaboo, Peanut Girl, Angel Girl, Bubby, Sweet Girl
Sleep: Pretty much back on track and "normal" thankfully! Normally she sleeps from 8p-3 or 4a (or later!). Her naps have improved as well, with morning naps often stretching from 90min-two hours+. I have at least gotten her used to falling asleep in her pack and play at night again--still never got the naps down in there.
Eating: She still nurses 7-8 times a day, but eats a TON more food now every time she sits down. For the most part, she eats what I eat at every meal and has yet to really meet a food she doesn't like. My family has been so impressed/puzzled by the amount of food such a TINY girl can pack away. ;)
Clothing: She can still fit in 3mo onesies though 3-6mo items are a better fit. There are quite a few 6mo items that finally fit her, too, even with a disposable diaper (and not a fluffy cloth diapered bottom).
Mood: Happy for the most part! Once she cut her teeth she has been much happier. She talks all the time to everyone, waves at strangers, loves chasing the dog/family members around, and is finally a much more pleasant baby to be around. She still has her big personality, but she is much less crazy overall (thankfully!).
Likes:
- Dancing to "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift and "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran with Grandma every morning
- Chasing the dog around the house
- Pulling up and trying to cruise on anything within reach that has any sort of stability
- Eating ALL THE FOOD
Dislikes: 
- Being left alone at all, still
- Any attempt to make her crawl
- Many fewer things these days ;)
What I want to remember/Milestones: 
- She has really been picking up on language since we got back to the States. She knows an impressive amount of words, a number of baby signs, and can follow simple directions.
- She has also blossomed SO much socially! I'm sure it has a lot to do with having a lot more people around all the time, but it's been so fun to see. 
- She cut two more teeth, her first top ones, and she looks like a little vampire with tiny fangs. It's so cute!
- Her actual birthday was so cute! She loved eating her cake and loved the wrapping paper and boxes for her presents (naturally). I cannot believe she is a year old AT ALL and I still have no idea what happened for most of the past 365 days. 
 
What I'm looking forward to: 
- Getting to see her personality continue to develop as she comes into her own as a toddler.
- Seeing all the fun milestones that are coming in the near future (like walking!).
- Her reuniting with her Daddy, her first trip to Florida, and her second cross-country plane ride (my first solo).

Monday, July 6, 2015

One hundred dollars

'Shaving' with cream and a spoon
{via}

As summer is in full swing, I've been thinking about all of the things I could be doing while I'm not shuttling a kiddo off to school, working around homework or after school activities, or bound by an 8-3 schedule. What would be EXTRA nice would be a little ca$h money to utilize during my (sort of) free time (sort of because, baby). 

If I had $100 lying around with which I could do whatever I pleased, I might:

Get a 90 minute massage! My last massage was six months ago for my birthday. After over a year of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and spending most hours with a baby on my hip, my muscles could definitely use some TLC from a professional. 

See some movies IN the theater! I don't even remember the last "grown up" movie I saw in the theater--the last family one was Book of Life when Bug was still really young. What is even out these days?! (Seriously though.) And overseas we paid $5 a person on base, I'm pretty sure $100 stateside will get me maybe two showings plus snacks? ;)

Visit a local cider brewery! I'm not into beer or wine, but I do enjoy a good hard cider occasionally. My sister introduced me to a local one recently and I'd love to visit them out in the mountains. Plus, I've not had more than a few sips of alcohol total since at least the summer of 2013 so I'm pretty sure just a tasting would be my limit. ;) (And, yes, I know very light drinking is okay while breastfeeding, but I have a low tolerance as is so it's not in the cards for me personally!)

Go on a date with Hubs! We haven't had any kid-free time since Bug was born. We were good about at least monthly dates before, but it's really hard to find a sitter for a baby--especially a trusted sitter for a very attached baby. ;)

Spend a night in a hotel. Alone! Haha. I haven't had an uninterrupted night of sleep since before Bug was born and just one eight-hour stretch sounds like heaven! 

Do you know a way to basically gift yourself $100? Make the switch from traditional disposable razors to Dollar Shave Club! You can get new blades delivered to your door starting at only $3 a month! I plan on switching over Hubs AND myself when we get to our new house next month. Ladies, you can get this for your husband/boyfriend, yes, but you should also stop paying the lady tax for pink/purple razors too! Plus, switching both of our shaving needs to dollar shave club means an extra $200 a year which means double the date nights! ;)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Save the Sparkle


One thing new readers around here might not realize is that I've been engaged twice (married once!) and therefore have shopped for and received two engagement rings. The first time, I'd thought I'd found "the one" but it turns out I didn't realize there was another ring (and partner) that was a better fit waiting to be discovered. 

I'm not what one would call a jewelry person. My everyday "jewelry" consists of a cheap watch from Target, sometimes my college class ring, and a "substitute" wedding band I ordered from etsy now that I spend my days in mama/baby mode. As much as I adore my wedding ring set, I'm always scared it will get damaged!

Shortly after getting married, I was walking around my office super early one morning. I made a trip to the water fountain and when I returned to my desk, my engagement ring center stone was missing! I immediately retraced my steps and, somehow, managed to find it near the fountain. Honestly, I think the only reason it didn't disappear was that it was so early in the day. From that day forward, I got very serious about keeping my beloved ring(s) safe!

How I #SaveTheSparkle:
- When my stone fell out, I immediately went to the jewelry store to have the center prongs replaced with platinum. Because of the design, it was the only option to keep it from happening again!
- I had my set appraised by a professional jewelry appraiser. This ensures that the value is covered by insurance should anything happen to it. 
- I immediately purchased add-on Valuable Item property insurance to our current insurance plan. 
- I make sure to remove my ring when I'm doing anything where it could be lost or damaged. This means that it's in a safe place when I'm playing with the girls, working out, doing things outdoors, etc. For these times I wear a custom band off etsy, and for vacations I wear a "substitute" ring altogether (that I purchased at Walmart for $8!). 

Are you a jewelry person? Do you wear your favorites all the time regardles of what you're doing? 

This post is in cooperation with Wayfair.com and Ritani, an online jeweler specializing in engagement and wedding rings, for their #SaveTheSparkle campaign. All opinions are my own and no compensation was provided for this post.
 
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