Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Alex & Ally Giveaway {Winner}!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered into the Alex & Ally Bib Set Giveaway!
Congratulations to #69, Andrea S, on winning a bib set of your choice and free shipping!


And a huge thank you to Alex for hosting such an adorable giveaway!  
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 39 Bumpdate

  I found an old Polaroid picture of my birth mom, Caroline, awhile ago and have been saving it to see if I would carry my baby girl the way she carried me towards the end of pregnancy. If anything, I hope my labor and delivery is as quick and easy as hers was (both times)!
How far along: 39 weeks! One week to go (maybe).

Baby Size: A watermelon {20 inches, 7.25 lbs}!

Weight gain: 32 lbs

Maternity clothes: Living in dresses and maxi skirts these days.

Stretch marks: About to find out post-delivery.
 
Sleep: Really good sleep - taking advantage of it while I can.
 
Gender: Caroline Grace Marcellino!

Movement: Lots of rolls and pokes.

Best moment this week: My last prenatal massage, squeezed in lots of lunches and dinners with friends, a pedicure date with April and breastfeeding class.

Should also add "scariest moment of the week" when I tripped and fell straight onto my belly in my driveway. I was pretty shaken up but Matt was a complete mess. Thankfully baby girl was squirming like crazy afterwards despite the trauma.
 
Looking forward to: Our (last) doctor's appointment on Wednesday to find out if we've made anymore progress!

Food cravings: Just pineapple.
 
  Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
 
Labor Signs: 1 cm dilated and having Braxton Hicks contracts at night once I lay down. I think we'll see a May birthday which I am really excited about! And it may sound weird, but I absolutely cannot wait for labor. I know there will be pain and discomfort but I am so ready for it so we can meet our baby girl!
 
What I miss: Brushing my teeth or tying my shoes without crushing my belly.
 
Symptoms: Ugh, pretty much every pregnancy ache and pain you can possibly have but am really thankful for a healthy pregnancy!
 
Nursery: Ready to bring our baby girl home and show her the nursery!
 
Belly Button in or out? In and out, it varies.

Wedding rings on or off? On and no swelling at all.

Mood: Ready and excited.

Workouts: Several walks around the neighborhood this week and some squats every day!
 
Prayer for Caroline:
Dear Lord, I come to you this week with praise in my heart. I know you will bless delivery and be with me the whole time. Please take away any fear that I may have, and help this baby to come quickly and safely. You are a great and powerful God. I know that if I praise You, You will rain down Your blessings from above. Thank You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
 
The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him. - Exodus 15:2 

 Twelve / Thirteen / Fourteen
Fifteen / Sixteen / Seventeen
Eighteen / Nineteen / Twenty
 Twenty-One / Twenty-Two / Twenty-Three
 Twenty-Four / Twenty-Five / Twenty-Six
Twenty-Seven / Twenty-Eight / Twenty-Nine 
Thirty / Thirty-One / Thirty-Two
 Thirty-Three / Thirty-Four / Thirty-Five
 Thirty-Six / Thirty-Seven / Thirty-Eight
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday y'all! We've got a good line up today so let's get right down to business...
- ONE - I ran out of mascara two weeks ago and have been scrapping by on the remaining drops in my tube. I finally ran to Ulta earlier this week and realized I hadn't done any research on what kind I wanted to try. For awhile now I've been using Benefit's They're Real mascara for the weekends and the good ole trusted Maybelline Great Lash for every day use. Mascara is the one makeup product I always try and experiment with though...so I grabbed 4 tubes since they were one sale, buy one, get one 50% off. 
 
I really like all of them with the exception of the Mega Plush mascara. The wand is bendable which makes no sense to me. I thought I got a broken tube at first and found it difficult to apply.
  - TWO - A few nights ago a group of us girls surprised our friend, Mary, with a little goodbye party at Cowfish. She is moving to Denver in a just a few weeks! It was such a great night and the perfect sendoff. Per usual, I got my favorite Bento Box.
- THREE - My favorite book of ALL time is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I've read lots of her other books and they are great, but RL is definitely her best. Anyway, she released her new book Bridge to Haven this week and I am dying to check it out!
- FOUR - Alright friends, I need your advice! One of my very best friends is getting married next May and it's time to start thinking about her bachelorette party! We are hoping to take a mini vacation (3 nights) somewhere sandy and sunny...out of the country. We don't need a fancy destination since we're all on a budget...just a quick flight somewhere warm that serves (preferably all-inclusive) cocktails. Any recommendations?
- FIVE - Today I am kicking off my last official giveaway before my water breaks. I recently received the cutest burp cloths and pacifier clips from Alex & Ally. When they arrived I was so giddy. The colors, the fabrics, the quality...they are truly perfect! Alex has graciously offered to give away one Alex & Ally bib sets of your choice (with free shipping) by entering the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway     
Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
  1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!). 2.)  Share the logo on your blog and link back. 3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cabernet Burgers

Any recipe that calls for an entire bottle of wine is a winner in my book. Last weekend Matt and I grilled the very best burgers ever, and I mean EVER. We found the recipe in one of my Bon App├ętit magazines and have had it bookmarked for far too long. Now I'm mad at myself for not making these sooner. These burgers are extremely tender and flavorful. Go ahead, pin them for your next Spring cookout, but don't wait too long to actually make them!
Napa Valley Cabernet Burgers
By Bon Appetit

Ingredients
    1 750-ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
    1/4 cup minced shallots
    9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
    1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
    1 1/2 pounds ground beef
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    Vegetable oil
    1 cup (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
    4 4 1/2-inch squares focaccia, cut horizontally in half
    8 large tomato slices
    2 cups arugula

 Directions

    Boil wine and shallots in medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and brown sugar; whisk until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix remaining 8 tablespoons butter and rosemary in small bowl. Set aside.

    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix beef, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup wine-shallot mixture in bowl. Form meat into four 5-inch squares or rounds. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill burgers until brown on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn burgers and brush with wine-shallot mixture. Continue grilling burgers until cooked to desired doneness, turning and brushing occasionally with wine-shallot mixture, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. Sprinkle with cheese after last turn and grill until cheese melts.

    Spread cut sides of bread with rosemary butter. Grill, cut side down, until golden, about 2 minutes. Arrange bread, grilled side up, on plates. Top bottom halves with burgers, then tomatoes and arugula. Cover with top halves of bread.
 
Yields 4 burgers
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's In My Hospital Bag?

If you've ever given birth, odds are pretty good you received a handful of "packing lists" from your mom friends that include all of the essentials for your hospital stay. As a first timer, I had absolutely no clue what I would need for the hospital so I relied on my mommy friends to help me pack (shout out to LRT for the most thorough and helpful packing list ever). Who knows if I'll need or use all of these items but I'd rather over pack than under pack!
 
Soooo, what's in my bag?
Hospital Bag Packing List
For Mom
  • Pajamas: Button up front shirts for easy nursing
  • Robe, Slippers, Flip Flops & Socks: The hospital floors aren't exactly awesome to walk around on so you may want to pack slippers that you're okay with tossing afterwards.
  • Yoga Pants (Maternity)
  • High Brief Granny Panties: Make sure to get a size bigger than you normally wear. 
  • Maxi Pads: The hospital will provide mesh undies with extra thick pads (and send you home with extras). If the mesh panties aren't your thing, a less bulky option is Always Overnight Ultra Pads with Wings (offer good protection but isn't too thick).
  • Go Home Outfit
  • Nursing Sleep Bras: Go with the kind that come in small/medium/large sizes and wait to buy actual nursing bras until your milk comes in because your cup size will change. 
  • Nursing Tanks
  • Pillow: Don't use a white pillow case so your pillow doesn't get stolen by the hospital.
  • Toiletries: Lotion, Makeup & Wipes, Shampoo, Body Wash, Face Wash, Blow Dryer, Toothbrush, Deodorant, etc.
  • Nursing Pads & Lanolin
  • Chapstick, Gum, Hard Candies, Hand Lotion, Hair Ties/Bobby Pins: Have nearby for during labor.
For Dad
  • Slippers
  • Pillow, Sheets & Blanket: Again, make sure you don't bring a white pillow case so his pillow doesn't get stolen by the hospital.
  • Comfortable Clothes
  • Toiletries
For Baby
  •  My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: The nurses will show you how to nurse with the pillow you are going to use at home.
  • Baby Blanket/Swaddling Blanket: Use the hospital blankets for swaddling so you don't get yours dirty. Then use your nice blankets for pictures in the hospital and for the car seat on the way home.
  • Go Home Outfit.: Of course you need one cute outfit for bringing baby home in! No need to bring lots of extra clothes for the hospital stay - the nurses are already familiar with the hospital onesies and it makes for less laundry once you get home.
  • Accessories: Bring any beanies, bows, mittens, hat, socks, etc.
  • Bottle: If you have to start pumping in the hospital, having the bottle you plan to use at home is helpful (especially if you plan to breastfeed) so the lactation nurses can show you how to "deep latch" a bottle nipple so baby has a smooth transition from bottle to nipple.
  • Soothie/Wabbanub Pacifier
  • Toiletries: If you plan to use any special lotions, bring them. Otherwise the hospital uses Johnson & Johnson (not recommended by pediatricians for newborn's delicate skin).
  • Car Seat
Other 
  • Wallet: Make sure to have your drivers license, insurance cards, etc.
  • List of People to Call
  • Camera & Charger
  • iPad & Charger
  • Docking Station: Nice to have music during labor so it's not super quiet.
  • DVDs, Magazines, Journal, etc.
  • Snacks and Bottled Water: Gatorade, Trail Mix, Pita Chips, Goldfish, etc.
  • Extra Duffel Bag: For raiding the hospital cart! 
  • Nurse Treats: To thank your nurses for taking care of you! 
For our nurse treats I tied "Thank you for helping with our little peanut" tags on peanut M&Ms. If you have extra time to spare before going into labor to make "thank you gifts," I highly recommend it! All of my nurse friends have told me how much it means to them to be appreciated...plus it automatically makes you one of their favorite patients, right?
Am I missing anything? What were some of the most useful items you packed for the hospital?
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