Pages

Five on Friday- Pregnancy Edition!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The weekend is here! So happy about that!

 I am linking up with DarciApril and Natasha for Five on Friday!
Well- First I think it is important to indicate I am NOT pregnant.  
But...I know of so many women who are pregnant and I have been pregnant FOUR times...so I thought it would be fun to share my 5 Favorite Pregnancy Items!

But first humor me and take a quick walk down memory lane :)
And just a fun fact...we didn't find out the gender with any of our babies..so in these pictures I had no idea what we were having :)

Here I am pregnant with our first daughter Charlotte!
Pregnant with our second daughter Cora Maye in this picture!
Pregnant with our third daughter Celine!
And less than a year ago...pregnant with our baby boy James!

Okay...so now that I got that out of the way- here are my FIVE FAVORITE pregnancy/maternity items!

ONE
This dress from Old Navy.  I got this during my last pregnancy and wore it ALL THE TIME!  When it was still chilly outside, I would wear it with a cardigan or a denim jacket.  When it got hot during the summer (I had my baby in early July) I wore it every Sunday to church and several days during the week.  It became known as THAT DRESS in our household.  My daughters would see me wearing it and say, "Mommy- you are wearing THAT DRESS again?!?"  Yup..sure am! :)

TWO
This pillow.  During my 3rd pregnancy, I had horrible sciatic back pain and just kind of suffered/dealt with it.  When I got pregnant with my 4th baby, I knew I had to find a body pillow to help me sleep comfortably at night.  I had seen a lot of reviews for the bump nest pillow on various blogs and my sweet husband ordered me one.  OH MY GOODNESS.  This pillow is heaven.  SO SO SO comfortable.  It is an investment- but I highly recommend it.  Especially if you plan on being pregnant several times...it will be a staple during your pregnancy!  
Confession: I would still be using it if my husband didn't feel like it was the third person in our bed! HA! 

THREE
These tank tops from Old Navy. I have several in black and white and wore these throughout my last 3 of 4 pregnancies.  They are exactly like the non-maternity version and I just really love them.  I also really like wearing them the first few months postpartum when you need a little extra room but want to feel nice and "smoothed out" under your t-shirts or blouses.



FOUR
LOVE these pants! I worked out regularly with all of my pregnancies- so having a good pair of workout pants (that also functioned as every day pants too) was a must for me.  I pretty much wore these pants at least 5 days a week for almost my entire last pregnancy.  They never faded, never stretched out and I was able to wear them up until I had my baby!  I know some women don't like the full tummy panel...but for me- I am definitely on Team Tummy Panel :) I just find it more comfortable than the low-rise waistband options. These pants also come in a capri version (which I have and they are so great for the warmer months!) Also- the great thing with Old Navy is that all returns are free!  So if you are unsure of your size or not sure how something is going to fit- just order it in a few sizes!  You can send back the ones you don't like or don't fit- for free! YAY! 

FIVE
These tops from Motherhood Maternity.  The colors available now are different than when I bought them- but I got a black, white, coral and mint color.  They have some spandex in them so they don't stretch out and get all frumpy looking.  They were a GREAT staple in my maternity wardrobe.  Basically, every day, I would put on either black maternity leggings, my black compression pants (shown above) or maternity jeans, one of my Old Navy maternity "tamis," one of these shirts, and either a fun pair of earrings or a statement necklace.  I am all about sticking with what works!  

After going through multiple pregnancies, I figured out my "style" or more like a "uniform" that worked for me.  By just having a few staple maternity pieces, you would be surprised how easy it is to mix and match different outfits with existing items you already have in your closet (that can function as non-maternity or maternity)!  And of course, accessories are where it's at when you are wearing more basic pieces.  There were definitely days when I bummed around in my pajama pants and wore my husband's oversized sweatshirt- but overall- I really made sure I got dressed every day when I was pregnant.  It just made me feel better!  

What are some of your pregnancy favorites? 
I would love to know what other ladies consider their MUST HAVE maternity items!

Happy Birthday to My Man :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today is my amazing husband's 36th birthday!
I have been giving him quite a hard time about being SO old ;)

Before I met Aaron, I had a "list" (you know about the list...right?!) of all of the characteristics I hoped my future husband would have.
Wouldn't you know it...God blessed me BIG time and gave me a man who had so many characteristics I had hoped for and many more I didn't even realize I wanted or needed for that matter.

Aaron is SUPER funny, EXTREMELY hardworking and VERY competitive...
He is the BEST dad, is SO focused on taking care of his family
and LOVES to make his kids laugh and smile.
He stills gives me butterflies, makes me pee my pants laughing (happened yesterday:) and loves me unabashedly and unconditionally.

Happy Birthday Babe!! So thankful we get to celebrate YOU!!

Favorite Things!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy Wednesday! 
Today,I am linking up with Erika and Andrea for their Favorite Things Party- $10 and Under Edition!

I picked up this necklace a couple weeks ago when I was at WalMart!! 
Get this- it was on clearance for $3!!
I also picked up these earrings at WalMart for $5!  Can't wait to wear them this summer!  They are super light weight and I feel like all the colors will go with everything in my summer wardrobe!
Wal Mart's jewelry selection is SO awesome right now!  Seriously- you need to head to your local WalMart and check it out for yourself!!
Keeping with the WalMart theme :), I got this adorable Valentine's shirt and leggings for my youngest daughter there!  The shirt was $4.97 and the leggings were $4.97 as well.  
$10 for super cute Valentine's outfit- LOVE it!
I couldn't find the link for the shirt and leggings I got her, but this super sweet shirt is online and I have seen this shirt in person too!  It is SO cute! It is $5!
And finally...these are my girls' new favorite pair of pants!  I got them from Southern Tots and they have several colors of the same pants on sale for $8.99!  They are so soft, comfy and CUTE!

What are some of your favorites under $10?? I LOVE a good deal! :)


Organizational Tips and Tricks: Lunch Boxes!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yay for Tuesday! 
Last week, Andrea, hosted her Show and Tell Tuesdays Link Up and the topic was "Organizational Tips and Tricks."  
So...I may be a week behind, but I thought I would share one of my favorite organizing tools...LUNCH BOXES!  I know...it's kind of obvious...you can use lunch boxes to pack lunches. DUH.  But...there are also a couple other uses that they work great for too!

Okay...so first- I use lunch boxes every day to pack my girls' lunches.  My baby boy is not old enough for a packed lunch so he doesn't get one yet :)  My oldest daughter is in kindergarten, so she brings her lunch to school.  My other two daughters are home for lunch- but I still pack their lunch everyday.  I do this for several reasons: 1) They LOVE it.  They think it is SO fun to have their lunch packed in their special lunch box every day.  2) It is SO convenient to have their lunch packed.  Three days a week, I am picking up my second oldest daughter from preschool and we are in the car at lunch time. My two daughters watch a show in the van and eat their packed lunches.  By the time we get home, they have time to play before nap time AND I don't have to clean up a mess from lunch!  On the days we don't have preschool, my girls love to have picnics or lunch at their little table in their playroom.  Again, SO easy to hand them their lunches and they are good to go!  
It is especially helpful to have their lunches already made in the event my baby needs to nurse or it is time to put him down for a nap.  Everyone is taken care of and I am not stressing out trying to get lunches made and feed a hungry baby!


 My girls have lunch boxes from Stephen Joseph.  
You can find them on Amazon and a bunch of other sites. 
When we get home from picking up my oldest daughter from kindergarten, one of the first things I do, after I get everyone settled and happy :), is pack the girls' lunches for the next day.  It takes me 10 minutes max.  I do NOT pack fancy or super cute lunches.  I occasionally slip my oldest daughter a sweet note...but on the regular, I am just packing them a healthy, simple lunch.  The moms who pack their kids really creative, cute lunches- you are my heroes!! I think that is so neat!  My girls are simple (or AKA picky) eaters- so we stick to fruit, cheese or peanut butter sandwiches, goldfish or pretzels, yogurt and a little "treat"  like animal crackers or a couple Nilla wafers.  I use containers because I hate wasting a bunch of plastic baggies.  For my youngest daughter, I use those snack containers with the flip lid you can get at the Target dollar spot.  
She is able to open up all of her containers without any help- 
which is super helpful and a must when she is eating her lunch in the car.
So there you go- that is the first way I get the most out of lunch boxes! :) 
Next up is using a thermal lunch tote for a snack/diaper bag when we go to the park or when we are out running errands.  This bag is from Thirty One and I really love it.  
My mom got it for me a couple years ago for Christmas :)
I have 4 kids: 6, 4, 2, and 6 months old.  Whenever we are out- it is a MUST to be organized and have everything I need.  I use a large Vera Bradley tote for a diaper bag...but when we are running around or out at the park playing, I don't like to haul my big diaper bag around.  That is where this lunch tote comes in handy!  I am able to fit water bottles for all of my girls, snacks, diapers, wipes and my nursing cover all in this compact little bag!
I have three good sized water bottles (which stay nice and cold because the bag has a thermal lining), 2 apples, 3 granola bars and a bag of gold fish inside the bag.
I tuck my nursing cover into the bag and I am ready to go!
I am also able to slip my keys, phone and wallet in the pouch where I have my diapers and wipes.
It is such a convenient, multi-functional little bag!  I just love it and I use this lunch tote ALL the time, especially in the warmer months when we are out and about every day!
Now for the last way I use a lunch box/bag....
I put my makeup in it! :)
I use the Vera Bradley Lunch Bunch bag as my makeup bag!  I couldn't find a makeup bag big enough to fit all of my makeup in, but compact enough that it didn't take up a ton of space (that makes sense...doesn't it?!) HA!  I stumbled upon this bag when I was looking in a Vera Bradley store and figured I would give it a try!  I love that it has plastic lining that I can wipe clean, I love the two little handles, the fact I can zip it up and that it fits A LOT of makeup inside of it!  It really serves as the perfect makeup bag!



So there you have it...the good old lunch box...used 3 different ways! :) 

Hope you have the best day!

The Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Monday!  What better way to start off the week than with a yummy recipe??

Sooo...I have been with my husband for 8 1/2 years and in March we will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  We met on Match.com :)  
I will save that story for another day...it's a fun one to tell!
Anyway...he is currently working with a doctor who loves lemon meringue pie and he asked me if I had ever made one....because he loves lemon meringue pie too!  Say what?!?  TOTALLY did not know this about my husband!  Geesh- you think you know a person- HA! 
(Sidenote- I also just found out that he loves crunchy peanut butter! I love all these fun little facts I am still learning about him!) 
My mom made lemon meringue pie all the time while I was growing up...
but I have never been a huge fan.  
I love lemony things...but I am not a huge fan of the meringue portion of the pie.
Needless to say, I do love a fun dessert challenge, so I contacted my best friend, Google, about "The best lemon meringue pie recipe" and I have to say the reviews for the recipe were RIGHT on.  The pie turned out so yummy and it was a lot of fun to make!  My husband loved it, his supervising doctor loved it and I even thought it was pretty darn good!


The Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Graham Cracker Coated Pie Shell

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and frozen
  • tablespoons vegetable shortening, frozen
  • 3 -5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ***So- I took a short cut and used a store bought pie crust from the refrigerated section of Aldi. I personally think they have the best pie crusts!  Feel free to make your own crust, the graham cracker crust listed above or go store bought :)
  • Lemon Filling
  • cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh from 2 - 3 lemons)
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Meringue Topping

    • tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • large egg whites
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:



    You can omit steps 1-17 if you are using a prepared pie crust!



    1. 1
      Make pie shell: Mix flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, by pulsing a few times.
    2. 2
      Scatter the frozen butter pieces over flour mixture.
    3. 3
      Pulse in 1-second pulses about 5 times to mix in butter.
    4. 4
      Add frozen shortening; pulsing in 1-second pulses until mixture resembles cornmeal with pieces about the size of peas.
    5. 5
      Slowly add ice water through the processor feed tube, with motor running, one tbsp at a time.
    6. 6
      When dough forms a ball, stop processing.
    7. 7
      It should take about 2 or 3 tbsp of ice water to reach this stage.
    8. 8
      Shape dough into a ball in your flour coated hands, and then flatten into a 4 inch wide disk.
    9. 9
      Flour disk and wrap in plastic.
    10. 10
      Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
    11. 11
      Generously coat your work surface or pastry sheet with a little flour and about 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs.
    12. 12
      Place dough on floured surface, coat with some flour and graham cracker crumbs, and roll into a 9-inch disk.
    13. 13
      Lift, coat surface with more graham and flour, turn dough, add more graham and flour on top, and roll out to a 13 inch disk.
    14. 14
      Place into a 9 inch pie pan, and finish edges.
    15. 15
      Refrigerate crust until firm, about 30 minutes.
    16. 16
      Prick dough with a fork to prevent bubbling up in the oven.
    17. 17
      While the oven is pre-heating to 375, put pie crust in freezer.
    18. 18
      Bake at 375 for 20- 25 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it's browning evenly and not bubbling up.
    19. 19
      Lemon Filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large, nonreactive saucepan.
    20. 20
      Add egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
    21. 21
      Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking regularly, 8- 10 minutes, until thickened.
    22. 22
      Remove from heat, whisk in zest, then juice, and finally butter.
    23. 23
      Keep warm until meringue is made.
    24. 24
      Meringue topping: Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan.
    25. 25
      Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened.
    26. 26
      Remove from heat when translucent and thickened.
    27. 27
      Preheat oven to 325.
    28. 28
      In a large mixing bowl, mix cream of tartar and sugar together.
    29. 29
      Beat egg whites with whip attachment of mixer until frothy. Add vanilla.
    30. 30
      Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tbsp at a time.
    31. 31
      Then drop in cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form.
    32. 32
      Pour warm lemon filling into pie crust.
    33. 33
      Distribute meringue evenly over the top, starting with the edges, and then the middle.
    34. 34
      Make sure it attaches to the crust.
    35. 35
      Lifting with the back of the spoon, create peaks in the meringue.
    36. 36
      Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
    37. 37
      Cool completely before serving.

      I know the directions look like a lot...but it really is not too complicated!  My tip would be to have all of your ingredients set out and ready to go.  I would also highly suggest using a refrigerated pie crust!  

      If you make this, let me know what you think!  

Five On Friday!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yay! It is my first time linking up with Darci, April and Natasha for Five on Friday!
So excited the weekend is here!

ONE 
I am 34 years old and I can count on one hand the times I have had my nails painted in the last 20 years.  I always like to have my toenails painted- but my fingernails- not so much!  I made a New Year's Goal to sloooww it down just a tad bit.  One way I have been slowing it down is taking the time to paint my nails! My mom has ALWAYS painted her nails and they always look so nice.  She told me the key is to always put on a top coat!  I picked up this top coat by Nicole by O-P-I and I really like it- the best part- it is fast drying- which is a must for me!  


TWO
Loving this comfy long sleeve "sleep" tee my husband got me for Christmas.  The fabric is sooo soft and while it is not heavy, it keeps me nice and warm (which is saying a lot because I am always freezing)!  It's on sale right now too!


THREE
 Loving the clothing company, Southern Tots.  I happened upon their website when I was looking for bows for my daughters.  They have AWESOME Instagram sales and their customer service is GREAT.  I have bought my daughters two pairs of their ruffle bottom pants and they absolutely love them.  They are super soft and ridiculously cute!  


FOUR
With the start of the New Year, I jumped on a great deal Weight Watchers was having and got a 3 month online membership.  I have 7 pounds I need to lose to get to my goal weight.  I have used Weight Watchers throughout the last 6 years to help me achieve my weight loss goals after having all of my babies and I just LOVE the program.  It feels good to be on track and to get the rest of my baby weight off FOR GOOD!


FIVE
This one is SUPER RANDOM...but its the little things, right?!?
My husband was at a dinner meeting the other night and sandwiches, soup, and salad was catered.  At the end of the meeting, they were cleaning up the remnants of the food and someone was about to toss a SUPER large bowl of untouched salad into the trash!  I LOVE salad and have it for at least one of my meals everyday...so my sweet husband brought me home a massive bowl of tossed salad to eat for the next week!  When he first got home from his meeting, he told me there was a surprise in the fridge for me and I got kind of mad at him because I thought he brought me home a big piece of cheesecake (which I have no self control with- HA!)  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Texas sized bowl of salad! :)

Salad!

Happy Friday!!!


I love leggings! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Over the past few years, I have developed a love for leggings (like the rest of women in America-HA).  What's not to love?  They are stretchy, if they fit right- they can make you look nice and trim and for me, they are super comfortable as I am running around picking up and dropping off kids at school, on the floor playing with my kiddos and I love them for working out as well!
My husband was in school for the past 7 years and this past May started a job as a resident physician; which means, I have been living on a budget for quite some time!  So- these leggings not only make you look great and are comfortable- but they won't break the bank!

So...I am not sure if a lot people know this...but Wal Mart has AWESOME workout clothes!! And you just CANNOT beat their prices! I have several pieces from their Danskin Now line and these leggings are by far my favorite!  First- they are $12.96.  I mean....COME ON.  They have a nice wide waistband, have just the right amount of stretch and support, and they are made mostly out of polyester- which means the black color stays nice and black- no fading.  After wearing the heck out of my first pair, I just bought another pair!  And I will tell you- I have been known to wear these both ways- as workout leggings and with tunic style tops for casual, non-workout outfits!

Danskin Now Women's Performance Leggings



The leggings also come in capri style and I LOVE these for working out and wearing in the summer.  These stay put while I am running on the treadmill and running around the park after my kids :) Again, love their wide waistband and the stitching on the sides of the legs is very flattering.  Definitely get a pair of these for when the weather gets warmer!

Danskin Now Women's Performance Capris


My husband picked these up for me and at first I was mad at him because he paid $23 for them and I thought they were supposed to be on sale for $10! He insisted I try them on....and as soon as I did I was okay with paying $23 for them:) They do not call these "compression" leggings for nothing! I actually really like this because I have very bad varicose veins from all of my pregnancies and it's nice to feel like my legs are being supported when I wear these. The waistband provides nice coverage and definitely helps smooth everything out:) They are also fairly warm- I wore them on a power walk when it was windy and 35 degrees outside and my legs weren't cold at all!

Women's Old Navy Active Compression Leggings

After seeing all of the amazing reviews on these leggings, I asked for these for my birthday.
My sweet husband delivered :) I LOVE the wide waistband and how I feel very "held in." What I don't like about them is that the fact they aren't super black. Does that make sense? I think because they are mostly made of cotton the coloring is not as intense as the leggings made with mostly polyester . They definitely are comfy and usually wear them when I am wearing a "dressier" top.

Hue Ultra' Wide Waistband Leggings


And these are the next pair of leggings I want to add to my arsenal!  They have awesome reviews and I love that Nordstrom has free shipping and returns- with no minimum purchase!
There are actually a ton of things I want to try in the Zella line...I am such a sucker for quality, but not crazy expensive workout clothes! And while these leggings are a little more than I usually spend, Nordstrom runs great sales- so I hopefully I can catch a pair when they are marked down!

Zella Live In - Space Dye Pop Leggings

Have I left out any MUST HAVE leggings?? I would love to know if you have a favorite pair that I haven't mentioned here!!

Time to do this!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I am a mommy of 4 kids. My oldest is 6 and my youngest is 6 months old. I have spent the majority of the last 7 years either being pregnant or nursing :) Between pregnancy insomnia and LOTS of nursing sessions, I have developed a love for reading blogs. There are so many awesome, fun blogs on the internet and it has been so fun to have a peek into other women's lives, to see how they make it all work! Over the past few years, as I have been navigating the waters of mothering multiple, young children- I have thought to myself- "Hey- this works really well for us...maybe somebody else would like to know about it!" I can't tell you how many recommendations I have gotten from reading all of my favorite blogs!  
So here I am - I am hopeful this can be a place of community for all types of women; but most of all, I am looking forward to keeping a journal of this beautiful journey I am on as a mom. I would love nothing more than for my daughters (and maybe even my son?!?) to look back at this blog when they are grown and mothering their own children and get tips, tricks, and recipes.  

                       
I am so thankful to God for blessing me with my beautiful, loud, sometimes messy, crazy and insanely awesome life. 
Full hands, full heart.

 
FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATE BY DESIGNER BLOGS