*thirty four* weeks



I know I'm posting a lot of "what I wore" posts but I can tell you I will be taking  a HUGE break from these once the baby is born. I know myself all too well and wish I could say that I will be comfortable enough to  post outfit posts right after the baby is born but I know I won't.
 It takes me a few months to get back into a groove of feeling good after I have a baby. It's not just the weight gain for me. My whole body just feels out of whack and oddly shaped so I figure I might as well take the pics while I have a cute bump to show off and not a saggy pouch:) 
gotta love motherhood!!!!

How far along? 34 weeks

Baby’s Size: 5 pounds apparently

Weight Gain: 65 pounds! It's a good thing I happen to be really good at loosing weight:) 

Bellybutton: in

Stretchmarks: just a million old ones


Maternity Clothes: Yes......Now I'm having a hard time fitting into much of anything. It's pretty much Pajamas from here on out!!!


Names: We are rock solid on a boys name, it will be Tosh James. 
We are rock solid on the girls first name only, we keep changing our minds on the middle name and we're keeping that one a secret. (nothing new here)


Gender: S*U*R*P*R*I*S*E baby. 
My son, my husband and I all think it's a boy but my daughter thinks it's a girl. We'll just have to wait and see! 

Movement: TONS!! My belly now "JUMPS" to high heaven when the baby kicks!

Sleep: Not going to well. I'm averaging about 3 -4 hours a night.

Symptoms: CRAZY mood swings STILL!!! I'm out of breath very easily. My legs and ankles are swollen most days and my hips are KILLING me at night. 

Food Aversions: I never get any really terrible food aversions, I just usually like very simple food when I am pregnant which is out of character for me because I LOVE all kinds of crazy food when I'm  not! 


Food Cravings: NONE:(

Best Moments this week: Everyday it seems we get blessed with a little miracle of one kind or another!!! This week we received some gift cards for Whole Foods. 
I am very grateful!!!!

What I miss:  Feeling "normal", my body, my brain, my clothes, sleeping, RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

What I am Looking forward to: Having the baby! I know it's going to be tough few months with 2 toddlers and a newborn but I am just getting to the very uncomfortable stage now.

Milestones: I managed to buy diapers for the new baby and all the new born clothes are washed and put away.



Head band: {Lemons and Lace}
Bracelet: {Neon & Nude}
Scarf: J Crew (really old)
Shirt: Motherhood
Cardigan: Banana Republic (really old)
Jeans: Joe's Maternity (3rd pregnancy:)
Flats: Forever 21



STYLELIXIR Style Sessions

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Valentine's Day Lollipop Cookies!!!


This was a recipe I shared last year but it was so cute that I had to share it again this year!!! 

I have some great posts lined up for this week too!!!! 


INGREDIENTS for cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or disks
  • lollipop sticks
  • sprinkles

  • INGREDIENTS FOR ROYAL ICING:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon pink gel food coloring (you can purchase this at hobby lobby or your local craft store)

  • DIRECTIONS FOR ICING:
  • 1. place egg whites in a bowl and whip on high until fluffy, slowly add the confectioner's sugar and keep beating. Now add the lemon extract and the food coloring and beat until slightly stiff. Set aside.

DIRECTIONS for cookie dough:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in another large bowl. Add egg, vanilla, milk and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating until combined. Knead dough for a few minuets to combine thoroughly. Wrap with saran wrap and place
 in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minuets.

To Make Cookies:
1. break the dough ball in half and roll out on a clean surface covered with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. 
2. ll dough out until about 1/8 of an inch thick.
3. use heart cookie cutter to cut cookies.
4. Now use small heart cookie cutter to create the heart hole.
5. use a spatula to lift cookie off of counter and onto a sill pat or cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
6. bake cookies for 10-15 minuets at 375 degrees. Cookies should just start to get golden brown around the edges. 
7. Repeat with the other half of your dough. You may do it all at once if you have room in your oven and enough cookie sheets to fit the entire batch. I had to do it in 2 rounds.
9. While the cookies are baking take 1/2 cup of white chocolate and melt it in the microwave. Set it aside with lollipop sticks ready.
10. MOST IMPORTANT STEP FOR SUCCESSFUL LOLLIPOP. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven  very carefully transfer them to a wire wrack with spatula while piping hot. Now dip a lollipop stick in the white chocolate and press into the lower portion of the heart. You MUST do this when the cookie is still hot and soft. Do it as soon as they come out of the oven. Once you have them finished place them in the freezer right away for the chocolate to set around your stick.
11. Make your royal icing while the cookies are setting in the freezer.
12. Now ice your cookies, top with sprinkles and add a bow. You may place them in the refrigerator to set. The royal icing will harden after a couple hours and be easy to transport with no mess. 


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY LOVES!!!



And Oh how I wish I was that tiny and cute right now at almost 9 months pregnant:) 

HA!!!! Soon enough I'll get it back!!

 
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DIY Chubby Heart Garland



Hi there!!! 

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I suppose I will take any chance I get to spruce up the place with some festive crafts or food. 

I really like working with felt. It makes things so easy and beautiful! And I'm loving chubby things right now so I decided on a chubby heart Garland for us this year! 

It came out adorable and was so easy! I hope you'll give it a try! 


#1. You will need:
-6 felt squares. I did 2 soft pink, 2 hot pink and 2 red
-Twine for stitching.  Mine came from {THE TWINERY}
-A needle with a large head to thread twine.
-scissors
-poly fill
-brown twine for threading garland when finished with hearts.

#2. First cut felt squares into quarters:
 then cut a heart out of one of the quarters. You can use this as your pattern or guide for cutting the rest for cutting the rest of the hearts. 
Cut them in sets of 2 to be sure that every 2 you plan to sew match exactly. So be sure to cut in sets of two with the same color felt.


#3. Now stitch your hearts together with big stitches:
When almost finished stuff each heart with poly fill and complete stitching. Tie a knot.

#4. Your finished chubby heart. Isn't it cute?

#5. Gather all your finished hearts and some brown twine.
#6. Now lace the twine through one corner of each heart.
#7. continue to string each heart on by it's corner:
Try to use the same corner of each heart so they hang uniformly when complete. Mine stayed fine with no glue but if you wanted a more secure fit you could use a dab of hot glue to hold each one in place on the twine garland.



HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!!!!
 

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This Little Community



I have been meaning to write a post about "The Blogging Community" for a few months now but it just hadn't fully developed yet. Then on Friday I came across Alissa's {FRIDAY COFFEE DATE} and found out the topic was to share what this community has done for you.  

I  have also met a few bloggers over the past few weeks who have truly inspired me with how amazing this community is so I am feeling extra inspired!!!  Hopefully you will get to meet some of these amazing women as I have asked many of them to guest blog for me while I collect myself after I have the baby.


So here are some things I want to share about what this community has done for me and continues to do for me.

I started blogging in the Spring of 2009. I started when I was pregnant with  my first son, little Milton, on a suggestion from a friend who has a lovely design blog called {CIVETTA}
Honestly, I had never even seen a blog before. I had Never even read a single post but decided to start a blog as a fun way to document my pregnancy for friends and family. 

Well, turns out I LOVED IT!!! 
I couldn't get enough and found myself wanting to share more and more. I wanted to share about motherhood but I also found quickly that I loved sharing great recipes, fashion, handmade shops I liked.......you name it, I wanted to share it! 


The longer and longer I blogged the more and more I loved it. I met more and more wonderful women. I hate to exclude men. I'm not on purpose. I just so happen to have  only met women in the circles I roam. 


I think the biggest thing that blogging has done for me is allowed me to have a really lovely community of positive woman supporting me when I may have otherwise felt alone. 
As a mother to multiple young children I feel like I don't get out nearly as much as I used to. In fact, I know I don't so I often feel lonely or isolated. This community of women has been amazing in the kind of support I have found here. 

I recently wrote another post about how much this blog graced me {HERE}


I always try to blog from the heart! 
I try to write my truth!

I didn't always write that way but I have found that in my darkest hour there is always light to be found here. There are so many beautiful women of all ages, races, religions that have lifted me up, encouraged me, sent me money, (as I was writing this post one of my readers {Erica} sent me $20 and just days before my friend {Susan} has sent $25) or diapers or beautiful handmade things when I thought we might not make it another day.  At the very least they have shared their stories and their lives with  me, assured me I wasn't alone when I thought I might be and I'm not. 

It feels really good to be here.
It feels safe, It feels warm.


Honestly, One reader sent us an entire Christmas in a box; gifts for my children,  myself and my husband because she knew our financial situation was so hard.I still don't know her name or which reader it was. You can read about that post {HERE}.

 I've had multiple blogger friends send me boxes of diapers, our favorite foods and yes money. It is amazing; these people who I have never even met have hearts so big they are willing to share their wealth with my struggling family because they are just good people. I don't know what else to say except how GRATEFUL I am to be here! I mean how lucky am I that I get to partake in these wonderful relationships with these beautiful people everyday. I get to watch their kids grow before my eyes, read their daily triumphs and struggles and hopefully help uplift them in some way as well. I have met women {here} and {here} who I plan to meet and runs marathons with or women {here} that I plan to meet for coffee and a play date when I swing across that side of the country!  

Its amazing!!!


I have found support here as a mother, as a runner, as a woman, as a wife, as one human being to another trying to make their lives better everyday. 

I truly LOVE this community! Thank you all so much for being part of it. Thank you for reading my blog, an letting me read yours. Than you for being a part of my life and for allowing me into yours. 

Honestly, I am truly honored! 


I also just wanted to say how important I think it is to continue to support each other no matter what! I know there seems to be this divide between "the real moms" and "the perfect pinterest moms" and I just really don't like it.
I really try my best to stay away from Facebook as I find it fairly toxic to me personally but I have noticed a lot of snide remarks there about these perfect moms who pretend to have it all together with their perfect parties , high heels and crafting skills. 

I think some women choose to portrait only the positive sides of their lives which I think is great. I mean we really don't want to all sit around moping about how miserable life is, do we???  Yet others, like me, post a lot of truth whether it be good, bad or ugly but I try to always do it in an uplifting manner. 

My point is, this divide between the "happy, perfect" moms and the "real" moms concerns me because we are all the same. We are all mothers and we all have problems and struggles. 
I have my days where I craft up a storm and cook a 3 course meal for  my family in a cute outfit! Yes, it has happened before but I also have days where I'm in the middle of a mental breakdown and can't get out of bed or my pajamas for a week so it's not cut and dry. 
I think it's really important to support each other as woman no matter what state we are in. It's not nice to judge when you actually may have no idea what's really going on in someone Else's life. 

I sponsor my friend Jenni's blog, {STORY OF MY LIFE} and a woman left a really hurtful comment on her blog last Friday and it just made me really sad. Jenni handled it with such grace. I immediately thought I should probably pray for that poor woman because obviously she is so unhappy in her own life that she has to spread that toxicity around. It has happened to me before too, twice in the 3 years I have been blogging that someone has left a nasty comment but for the most part I don't see much of it. 


My point is, this community should be a safe and happy place to be and I just had to throw in my two cents on supporting each other despite our differences. 

I can honestly say this blog has blessed my family and I in so so so many ways!!!!! 

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

It's all *GOLDEN*




Well, HOWDY!!!!

Today is a new day. A Friday even and I've got a shiny new bracelet from NEON & NUDE to show off.

It's pretty safe to say I am IN.LOVE.WITH.IT.

Yup............It's the perfect big, chunky gold acccessory that goes with any outfit!!!! 

Obviously, I'm just kinda pregnant at the moment so my outfit choices are pretty limited but I wanted to style this "goldie links bracelet" with something that was REALLY me. 

This outfit is very ME!!! I experiment a lot with bohemian or edgy or whatever is trendy but at heart I'm a prep. So I decided to throw on some jeans and a double breasted sweater and I think it's the PERFECT accessory!!! 

Don't Cha Think?????

Yeah, well that's not all!! 

Jenna is offering my readers a whopping 
30% off anything 
in her shop using the code "BAMBINI30" at checkout.

Hurry up!!!! 
Go on and buy something!!!!!! 


Shirt: Motherhood
Sweater: JCrew circa 2002
Jeans: Joe's Maternity (been through 3 pregnancies)
Glitter Flats: Target
Goldie Links Bracelet: NEON & NUDE

By the way Jenna is a total sweetheart and I adore her BLOG so you can go snoop around over there too!!! 
I would if I were you!!!!


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When It Rains, It Pours




And sometimes it actually feels like dumps huge million gallon buckets of freezing cold water all over you!!!! 

Well, I have been barely and I mean barely managing to keep it together over here. It's like everyday is a very, very delicate balancing act that could go completely wrong in a split second.

We've been having pretty hard financial times for quiet a while now but when I stopped working due to a rough pregnancy, things got REALLY hard. 

Some people use the phrase we live "pay check to pay check."
No, not us, we pretty much rub our pennies together and pray we will be able to afford food, gas and electricity that month; bank account is frequently in the negative.

Two months ago our bank account got hacked for about $900.00 dollars. It almost killed us. I pay the mortgage every month but it's two months behind and has been for a LONG time. Anyhow, that was the majority chunk of my mortgage money for that month and usually you will get the money back but it takes 10 days for the dispute to go through. We survived somehow, rubbing our pennies together as usual. We cancelled our debit cards and got new ones and kept on keeping on.

Well, it happened AGAIN! 
This time for $500.00. My husband had deposited just enough money to pay our electric bill the night before as I planned to pat it that next day. Before i could even get around to it, he comes home unexpectedly in the middle of the day and says, "The bank account is overdrawn again" 

WHAT? I haven't even paid the bill yet. 

Mind you it's already almost a month late and we are days from having it shut off. I immediately go to the online account to check and sure enough the same company has hacked us yet again!!!

At this point, I have no words, I'm just in tears trying to keep as calm as possible so my kids don't see me fall to a million pieces right in front of their eyes. 

It's in times like these that I CANNOT loose faith. I have to know that we are going to be okay! No matter what happens, we will survive this!!!!!! 

Immediately, my mind wants to wander down a horrible path of WHY? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS?

And of course for a few minutes it did but then I got my devotional out, I prayed, I called the bank and began the dispute process, gave the kids lunch and tried to hold it together!

Why am I telling you all this unfortunate situation? 

Because I want you to know that these things that sometimes I think seemingly happen to ONLY US, they happen to everyone!!! In fact as I was writing this I had another reader leave me a message letting me know her water has been off FOR.A.WEEK and she has children!!! LIFE IS HARD!!! And when it's happening to you, it seems like your the only one it ever happens to but that's not true.

It's just another bump in the road of life. My destiny is mapped. I might choose different paths to get there but eventually I will be wherever I was intended to go so I have to trust. I have to have faith that's he's got me because if I don't the battles of this life would eat me alive. I will not let them.

I am not very good as asking for help. This is something I am trying REALLY hard to work on. I would much rather live  a tortured life than simply ask someone for a hand. For some reason I was blessed with the biggest of big pig heads!!! 

Seriously, it's ridiculous how stubborn and pig headed I can be.
Well, I did ask for help yesterday. I was so vulnerable, so weak, so lost, so afraid and I had absolutely no control over that situation. It happened. It was not our fault. It just is what it is sometimes. 

I asked for help. I prayed about it.  I reached out and I got what we needed. I called family, I called friends. Our electricity will not be shut off this month. Our children will sleep in warm beds. 

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE! 

gratitude

Please remember to take good care of yourselves. For the life of me,  this might be the hardest struggle of my life, again, trying to maintain balance but yesterday I did (at least I attempted to). 

I reached out, I was vulnerable,  I admitted our short comings and I got help. 

And today is a new day filled with new possibilities. 

gratitude

Today I would just like to say how grateful I am for each and every one of you who come here, visit me, and make feel like I'm not some crazy lady talking to herself. I'd like to thank God for watching over my family and for all our wonderful supportive family and friends in what continues to be this roller coaster of life. 

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF IT. 
THE GOOD. THE BAD. THE UGLY.

It has shaped me into who I am and I know I will come out better on the other side having learned great lessons and well if their not that great, I know I learned something!!!! 
Gratitude

Now, onto finishing that chubby heart garland I've been stitching so I can add some cheer to the place!!!!! 

gratitude
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*snipits* from this week



One of my favorite parts about having a blog is the ~WONDERFUL~ community of woman that I have met here. 
I have just recently started a relationship with Jenna at {The Life of the Wife}. 

I adore her already! She is gorgeous and stylish but she's also real and funny and honest and I love that!

Look at this gorgeous little package she sent me to review! This my friends is why I love handmade! I'm ecstatic and I haven't even opened it yet! 

JUST LOOK AT IT! 

IT'S.ALL.IN.THE.DETAILS.


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr day Monday and I SOOOOO NEEDED THIS BADLY this week! 
Thank you Sir!!!


Handmade valentine's day cards. 
My heart is warm. I can't wait to give one to my husband! 

Find them {HERE}


I had a rough week. I won't lie to you and pretend it's all honky Dory if it's not. 
I think this may have been the one entirely home cooked meal I managed but it's a great one! 
My Italian grandmother's {STUFFED SHELL RECIPE}


If you want to win some ad space on my blog simply go to {RUSTIC LIVING}. She's lovely, I sponsor her and she's hosting a giveaway! 



AMEN!!!!!!

I lived with my sunglasses like this for 2 months. Plus the lens would pop out every time I put them in my purse which is really a diaper bag so I would have to search through pile of smashed crackers and power rangers to find it and shove it back in. 

Thank goodness FIRMOO decided to send me a pair. You can see my review {HERE}. Bye, bye sad, old broken sunnies!

HONESTLY.......This is beautiful! 
And let me think about this 

RIGHT.THIS.INSTANT.


First time on a teeter totter together!!!! 

God.........I.LOVE.THEM.


And in case you missed it....I posted a post on Ginger's 2nd birthday party!!! Come see it {HERE}. Can you tell, I'm just a little bit proud:)


As we speak I am stitching up some little hearts to stuff so I can make a chubby valentine heart garland. I had a rough day but thanks to great family and friends I am feeling better and crafting something happy always makes me feel better and at ease! 

DIY and tutorial for "chubby heart garland" coming right up:) 


Other than that I am just struggling along everyday hoping and praying and breathing! 

SO thank you Mr. King for this!!!! 
I will whole heartedly agree with you!



Oh.....but I almost forgot to tell you I have some exciting news to share with you later next week in a post about how I am "picking up the pieces" part II edition. Part I {HERE}.
  
I've been invited to be a pioneer of a VERY exciting program and company. I cannot wait to share it with you! It's pretty MAJOR in my humble opinion and it's something I am REALLY passionate about and I can't wait to see how many people we can help with this!!! 


That's it for my snippits this time around!!!!


 I have another confessional coming up too when ever I can get around to it !!!!!!

Aaaaannnnnddddd........some AWESOME, seriously AWESOME reviews on GORGEOUS handmade stuff coming right up too! 


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