Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How I plan our Christmas party...

I love throwing holiday parties at my house! It’s a ton of work, but I find it really enjoyable, even if on the day of I want to cancel and wonder why I ever got myself into it in the first place. There is just something so fun and fulfilling about entertaining for my/my husband’s friends, that I continue to do it even through the complete exhaustion that has enveloped me during this pregnancy.
I thought I’d write up a little bit on my strategy for party planning and execution. My husband and I started talking about the best date for our Christmas party in September. It was too early to invite people, but we narrowed it down to 2 dates we knew would work for us. Of those, one was eliminated a little later since my parents found out they would be visiting. So, in the end there was one possible date, which made things easy because I didn’t feel like I should try to cater to people to make sure they could come. It was either you’re free on this day, or you’re not.
After picking a date, I didn’t think much more about it until October. That’s when I started loosely planning what I might like to serve at the party. Each year I try to serve at least one hot dish that is completely homemade. Last year we made two big batches of chili. This year I thought about doing wings, but eventually decided they’d be way to messy. I also thought about doing a couple kinds of quiche, but eventually ruled that out thinking it’d be way too much work (I make a great pie crust but I hate doing it!!!!). Finally, sometime in November, I settled on sweet and sour meatballs. Fried rice was a last minute addition since I have a vegan co-worker who would be coming and I wanted to make sure he could eat at least some of what I’d be serving.

 Starting in November I used weekends to build up my freezer stash of Christmas baked goods. I try to make one thing each weekend. In total I ended up with shortbreads, peanut butter balls, chocolate ball cookies, cupcakes, Fudgeo brownies, and cherry pound cake. I still need to blog most of those recipes, so stay tuned! Hopefully I can get to them before Christmas arrives :)
So, now that all of the food was basically planned, and the sweets were all baked, the next step was to actually invite people to the party. I waited until 3 weeks out and I went with the super easy email invite. I try to make it look a little festive by changing up the text colors and stuff, but it’s pretty basic. I asked everyone to RSVP, just so I could get an idea how much food I needed.
The days leading up to the party are spent tidying the house, and bringing up all of my serving dishes from the basement. Some of the grocery shopping happened the weekend before the party, but a lot of it had to be saved for the morning of, so that things like bread and dip would be fresh. We rolled all of the meatballs the morning of the party. That was a ton of work, I kind of wish we had done this the night before. Anyhow, all of the other prep couldn’t really happen until an hour or so before the party, this is super stressful!!!! I felt extremely tired by the time all of our guests started arriving, but this year I had a great excuse for sitting and not doing too much mingling. I let people come to me!
Here is a list of the food we served this year (homemade food shown with an *):
  • Sweet and sour meatballs*
  • Vegetable fried rice*
  • Baked brie with pear and rosemary preserve
  • Pepperoni, cheese, and crackers
  • Mini-quiches
  • Spinach dip in a pumpernickel bread bowl
  • Hummus and pita
  • Nacho dip and chips
  • Various homemade sweet treats, as mentioned above*!
  • Various bowls of nuts
As you can see, I didn’t go too overboard with the homemade food this year. I blame pregnancy. Either way all of it was delicious and everyone had a great time!
I hope this post was even a tiny bit helpful. Maybe next time any of you throw a party you’ll be a little more prepared!

Oh and Leroy was so good! He just chilled out :)

30 posts in 30 days is winding down...

I realized this morning that I didn't post yesterday, and since it's the last day of my challenge today, I was super bummed. I decided that I could make up for it by posting twice today, and maybe once tomorrow for good measure! Does that seem fair?

It has been extremely difficult trying to find something worth posting every day. I hope that you guys have enjoyed it, even the silly 2 or 3 line posts I made from my phone!!! Seriously, my life isn't interesting enough to have good material for 30 days. And even when it is (lots going on for Christmas!), it's hard to find the time to sit down and write it all out.

I still have a few Christmas cookie recipes to share, and I want to write a post about why I like to throw holiday parties, and how I prepare for them. Maybe I will work on that I one for tonight :)

It's only 3 working days until vacation for me and my hubby! Can't wait to have a week and a half off to catch up with friends and family, and also on sleep. Just gotta get that pesky 14 hour drive out of the way first!

Monday, December 17, 2012

24 Weeks!

This is a big week, at 24 weeks this little baby has a 30-70% chance of survival if for some crazy reason I went into labor this early! It's a big deal :)

This week we hosted a Christmas party for 30 people at our house. It was so much work, but so worth it because we had such a great time. I got dressed up (same dress as 2 weeks ago, limited maternity wardrobe!!), and we made a ton of yummy food. I'll post more about the food another day!

I can't believe Christmas is so close. We are headed on our 14 hour road trip on Saturday!! Can't wait to see my family and spend the holidays with them. There will also be a baby shower involved in the trip! I am hoping to take a ton of photos so I have a lot to blog about in the New Year.

Here's your weekly photo, and one of me and my hubby at our party!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas came early!

Since we are spending Christmas with my family this year, today we had our Christmas with my husbands family! We went over for a yummy brunch of pancakes and sausages, plus blueberry bran muffins (of which I ate 3... Shhhh!). Then we all sat around the tree and opened out presents.

My in-laws are extremely generous and we are super spoiled! Some of the highlights: a kitchenaid food processor, and the diaper bag from our registry! Oh, and these pretties... I wish it were anything other than the dead of winter so I could wear them!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Party prep!

Tomorrow is our big annual party at our house :). We are expecting around 30 people. Tonight we (my hubby is cleaner extraordinaire) are cleaning, and setting up. It's too bad all of the food prep has to happen tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day! I'm going to try to get a nap in the afternoon so I can make it past 10pm. Would it be unreasonable to kick people out then? Haha. Just kidding. Sorta.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Open bar: Score!!!

Well, in a past life anyhow. Every year since I've been in Ottawa I've attended my dad's work open house around Christmas time. It's at a bar downtown and there's a bunch of food and it's an open bar! That used to be appealing to me, but obviously it's not at the moment.

That's where I'm headed this evening! At least I know I'll be able to stuff myself pretty decently :)

I love holiday parties!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My favourite tree ornaments!

Our house is all decked out for Christmas so I thought I would share some of my favourite tree ornaments. The first one is brand new! My mom just brought this for me when they visited last weekend. I have always loved pigs since I was a little girl. I have quite a collection, a lot of which will make its way into our nursery :)
The next is also a sort of recent addition. It's the ornament we bought for our first Christmas together, however we're weird and cheap and we actually bought it on sale after our first Christmas married last year! Haha! We probably won't do that with the baby's first Christmas ornament though...
Ok, up next is a sentimental ornament. My dad cut a bunch of these snowmen from wood, my mom and I painted them, and then we sold them at craft fairs to raise money to buy some oars for me (for rowing!). I have one or two on my tree :)
Just one more for tonight. These don't have any special meaning to me, they're just really pretty! My mom had some on her tree and I looked for a couple of years before I found some for myself. I love glass ornaments, and the detail on these ones is just particularly awesome.
There you have it! Do you guys have any tree ornaments that are special to you?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Pregnant Kate"...

Here comes another short post, but does it bother anyone else that the Duchess is now being referred to as only "pregnant Kate"? I find it rather weird and rude. It definitely rubs me the wrong way, it's like her pregnancy now defines her and she's no longer a real person, just a pregnant lady.

Monday, December 10, 2012

23 Weeks!

It was a whirlwind of a week and weekend! As you know from my other posts, my parents are in town visiting. Blogging while they're here has been difficult, but I've still managed to post every day! We have accomplished so much this weekend, the nursery is looking awesome but still isn't fully completed. You guys will have to wait a little while longer before I share :) My mom is superwoman though, I swear. She completed every sewing project we planned for the whole space, we never thought it would all get done this soon!
I am off work today but my husband had to go in. This is a typical scene once he leaves for work if I am still in bed. The white bit is my husband's pillow. Leroy and I had some major snuggles this morning! He's so spoiled... he's probably in for quite a rude awakening once baby arrives and he's no longer the complete centre of attention...

This coming week is going to be brutal. It's back to work tomorrow, and we're having a big Christmas party at our house on Saturday, and I am so behind on the baking and planning for that! Every evening this week will probably be very busy. On top of that, my dad is here all week for work, so I'll probably see him some evenings too! Yikes. Oh, and did I mention I am also behind on Christmas shopping??? I am a big ball of stress right now...

And in other pregnancy news, I finally weighed myself. At 23 weeks I am up about 22 pounds. That's higher than I initially planned, but I am feeling pretty good about it. It seems to be evening out too. My weight gain seems to come in spurts, I am in a slow one now, probably about 0.5 pounds/week. With 17 weeks left, my new goal is to stay under a 40 pound gain.

Here's your photographic evidence of my pregnancy for this week! 1 more week to viability!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Man mug...

Out to supper tonight, and my husband had to have the biggest beer I've ever seen... They call it a "man mug". I can't decide if that offends me as a woman or not!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My amazing parents...

My parents are home renovation/decor SUPERSTARS! Seriously, I feel like they should have their own show. It could be called: How to completely transform a room in 8 hours or less!

Today we managed the following: made a crib skirt, and a roman shade, hung sheer curtains, painted the entire nursery, hung a new chandelier, and put together some wall shelves. All of that in about 6 hours.

I love my parents. They are definitely the best and I am so lucky to have them! Can't wait to show you guys once it all comes together :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A sneak peek!

My parents are here for the weekend so this whole blogging every day thing is tricky. There'll definitely be some super short posts for the next few days!

My mom and I just returned from the fabric store so I thought I'd give you all a sneak peek!!!! Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New favorite show?

We just started watching Homeland! We're on episode 3 of season 1 and are officially hooked. My parents are coming this weekend but if they weren't we would totally spend the whole weekend watching hours of this show.

I can't wait to get caught up!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We've finally crossed the Christmas decorating off of our to-do list!!! Yay. I love our tree. It's full of pretty glass ornaments and some sentimental things like wooden ornaments my mom and dad brought back from Germany, where they lived for a couple of years before I was born.

How do you decorate your tree? Do you have a theme?

P.S. Leroy totally photo bombed me!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bye bye wedding rings...

Well, I might be done wearing my rings until this little baby is done cooking. I'm sad! Maybe it'll be a day by day thing?

Monday, December 3, 2012

22 Weeks...

Well, I had a very busy week! I have been baking and trying to get things done in advance for Christmas. We also put up our Christmas tree and decor since my parents are visiting this weekend, and the following weekend we're having our big party at our house! All of these holiday things are getting a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, we also attended my husband's work holiday party. I bought myself a pretty dress to wear since I've been feeling less than awesome about myself, and I felt really pretty :). The $80 was WELL worth it, and I'm trying to think of some other occasions for me to wear the dress again! So far I think I could get 4 wears out of it.

In other news, I forgot to mention that I am feeling baby kicks these days! It probably started around 17 weeks, but I wasn't entirely sure it was baby until probably 2 weeks ago. At this point my husband can feel it, and sometimes we can actually see my belly move. It's actually so cool. I just love the feeling! I thought I might find it kind of creepy and alien-esque, because I'm weird like that, but I totally don't. It's just simply amazing. I'm still waiting for the kicking to become a little more consistent, right now it's just a few times a day.

I would update you on the weight gain, but I can't even bring myself to step on the scale... People tell me it's all belly though :)

Next week I should have the very first nursery update, as my parents are planning to do a bunch of work while they're here. I'm so excited to see it really come together! Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Apparently the Starbucks barista spells Simon way different than most people...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What I did today...

Shortbread cookies!!!
Here's the recipe, it comes from the box of cornstarch :)

1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions) 
1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups flour 1/4 cup Corn Starch

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). 

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly using an electric mixer. Gradually blend in flour and corn starch.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Gently press down on each cookie to flatten using a fork. Place a small piece of cherry in the middle, I only had red but a mix of red and green would be awesome!

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

And voila! These are super simple!! And so buttery and yummy. It's hard to eat 10 at a time...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another 101 in 1001 update!

I have actually crossed quite a few more things off of my list, so I figured it was time for another update! Some of these things will have to be put on hold for a little while, like I won't be trying any more new beers for a while... or I won't be losing 20 pounds in the immediate future... But I think I'll still have time to fit everything in :)

  • Start blogging (Started in May 2012)
  • Take a photography class
  • Take a cake decorating class (Completed in April 2012 at Michael's)
  • Blog every day for 30 days (In progress as we speak!!)
  • Go to NYC (Went for our 1st anniversary in May 2012)
  • Plant a vegetable garden (Planted a veggie garden with my mom in June 2012)
  • Sell 1 item a month from our Etsy shop (My mom and I had to temporarily shut down our Etsy shop so she could sell her stuff at Christmas craft markets!!! Hopefully soon we'll be up and running again)
  • Lose 20 pounds (get to 160 lbs) (this will now come AFTER baby is born :) )
  • Maintain weight for 6 months (see above)
  • Refinish a piece of furniture (A work in progress, hint: it's for the nursery!)
  • Reupholster an old piece of furniture (See above!!!)
  • Go to Las Vegas
  • Take a knitting class
  • Knit a winter hat
  • Take one photo I am really proud of
  • Take a photograph of a rainbow (in progress - this was actually code for "get pregnant again and carry to term!")
  • Say “yes” to something I wouldn’t normally
  • Host a dinner party for 8
  • Go a week without buying anything
  • Read 40 books (It's sad, but I have read 1 so far - The Help. I have edited this and picked a better number, 100 in 1001 days?? Yikes. Who can read 1 book every 10 days?? Yeah, new updated, I have still only read 1...)
  • Don’t say anything negative for one day
  • Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  • Try a sport I've never tried before (My husband and I played flag football summer 2012!)
  • Donate money to a charity
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
  • Bake and decorate a birthday cake for someone (Baked my husband's birthday cake in June 2012)
  • Try a new recipe once a month for a year
  • Find out my blood type (easy! Had to do this when I got pregnant, I'm O+! August 2012)
  • Go to the gym 5 days a week for a month
  • Take a cooking class
  • Send a hand written letter
  • Spend a weekend without the internet
  • Make bread without the bread maker
  • Train Leroy to come when called
  • Learn how to cook fish!
  • Finish the photo wall going to the basement
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Watch Gone With the Wind (Loved it! July 2012)
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Figure out what to do with my wedding dress (I donated it to a charity here called The Breast Dress Project which raises money for breast cancer research - October 2012)
  • Send in the paperwork and get my PEng
  • Have a blog post published on a well known blog
  • Have my blog redesigned to have a more personal style (Thanks to Emily at oh hello, love! this has been completed, July 14, 2012)
  • Make a meal with all ingredients bought at the farmer's market
  • Throw a surprise party for someone
  • Go on a girl's weekend with my sister
  • Have a will written
  • Try being vegetarian for one week
  • Write 100 thank you notes
  • Meet an internet friend in person
  • Go on a picnic
  • Go camping with the dog (We went camping in August 2012)
  • Go to trivia night
  • Be professionally fitted for a bra
  • Send at least 3 letters to the editor of our local paper
  • Move my blog to self hosted
  • Give up Facebook for a week
  • Try 10 beers I have never tried before (Rickard's White, Molson Canadian 67 Sublime, Upper Canada Lager)
  • Go to an exercise class that makes me feel awkward
  • See 45 movies in the theatre
  • Go for a ride in a helicopter
  • Get a promotion
  • Eat at 10 new restaurants (In progress - Must Wine Bar)
  • Host Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner
  • Make a surprise visit home to see my family
  • Spend 1 day a week television free for 6 months (Started this in July 2012, we're going with Wednesdays!)
  • De-clutter our house
  • Go to a comedy show (went to Absolute Comedy with two of my coworkers! July 2012)
  • See The Nutcracker at the NAC
  • Do something nice for someone anonymously
  • Go to a spa
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers game
  • Give a 100% tip
  • Have a booth at a craft sale
  • Take a spontaneous road trip
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Finish bathroom and back room in basement
  • Finish the fence in the backyard (Last pieces went up in May 2012!)
  • Buy a mouse pad for my desk at work (Just did this! I got a mouse pad AND a keyboard wrist rest. July 2012)
  • Learn how to use all of the applications on my Mac
  • Grow and use 3 varieties of herbs (Grew basil, oregano, and parsley, used all 3 in my roasted red pepper soup! July 2012)
  • Organize all of the documents/photos on my computer
  • Finally load up my digital picture frame
  • Go to a drive-in movie theatre
  • Have someone guest post on my blog
  • Go on a date night once a month with my husband (Edited to add a timeframe - let's go with a year! Started this in July 2012)
  • Get 5,000 views of my blog - I just checked and I can't believe I've already passed this goal!!!!!! Thank you to everyone for reading :) (5550 of 5000)
  • See the Best Picture Oscar winner from the last 10 years.
  • Enter a photo contest
  • Complete a crossword puzzle
  • Host a poker night (We did this recently, it was so much fun! We had about 8 people and I made homemade pizzas and had some other snacks - November 2012)
  • Buy a bigger TV for our basement den (We unexpectedly crossed this off on Black Friday 2012!)
  • Plant a tree
  • Read a novel in french
  • Make homemade jam
  • Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  • Write a list of 101 things I have already achieved in life
  • Celebrate finishing this list!
  • Thursday, November 29, 2012

    An important milestone...

    Sitting on the bus is such a rare occurrence! I commute about 40 minutes each way to work and by the time my stop rolls around there are rarely any seats left. This was complete torture during my intense morning sickness days, as standing in a moving vehicle just made things so much worse!!

    Lately though, I've been getting seats. Is it weird that this was the point in pregnancy I was most looking forward to?? People are actually giving up their seats for me. I'm finally looking that obviously pregnant! Yay :)

    As a side note: this 30 posts in 30 days thing is rough. I'm aware that my topics have been boring, but my everyday life just isn't that exciting! I have some Christmas baking to do and parties to attend though, so I'm pretty sure it's going to get better for you guys :)

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Big nursery component has arrived!

    Here's a sneak peek of what we are up to this evening. Can't wait to share more soon!!

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    21 weeks!

    This week was fairly uneventful. I did go to a friend's bachelorette over the weekend and that was tons of fun, even if I couldn't make it out to the bar!!! I think I did pretty good going from 2pm to 10:30pm!

    I bought a new outfit for the occasion but then didn't get any photos of me in it, whoops!

    This week I craved chicken McNuggets, and I gave into the craving. It was not worth it, my tummy ached a lot afterwards. Right now I'm craving a ham and Swiss sandwich. At least that's much healthier :). Damn deli meat being a no-no though!!! I'm thinking of buying a ham to bake and slice myself. That'll be this weekend.

    Here's your photo for the week!

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    About weight gain in pregnancy...

    Guys, I am struggling. Before I got pregnant I had all of these ideas about what kind of pregnant lady I would be: a healthy eating exercising kind. I figured I could keep up my gym routine and hopefully keep my weight gain to 30 pounds. I was scared of gaining more than that. Well, I am learning now that you can make all of the plans you want, but your body is going to do what your body is going to do.

    My dreams of healthy eating quickly went out the window when I was so sick from weeks 6-18 and couldn’t stand even the sight of a vegetable. My dreams of keeping up my gym routine went around the same time, when I was nauseous and falling asleep on the couch around 8pm every night. It was all I could do to make it through the work day and home to my new favourite spot on the couch. My husband had to cook all of my meals. I was barely functioning!

    It’s been better lately, I have been getting out for walks with my husband and Leroy, but still haven’t made it to the gym. I’m back on vegetables, thank god, and have been having a big salad for lunch every day. I’m trying very hard to cut out all of the fatty, carby things I have been eating daily, but it’s hard! I have almost no self-control.

    Anyhow, the point of all of this is that I have gained way more by 21 weeks than I was intending. When I went to buy some new clothes on Friday, I actually cried in the dressing room. I’ve never seen my body like this, and even though I know it’s ridiculous because it’s for such an awesome reason, I couldn’t help but feeling bad about myself. I just feel fat. Again, I realize this is insane, I am growing a baby after all! I think it’s just hard to adjust to the new you, even if it’s temporary. My mom and sister were super supportive when I called in tears over this, but were quick to tell me how silly I was being. I realized that pretty quickly. I’m just not entirely sure how to snap out of this funk…

    My “cure” for these feelings? I’ve decided that I need to spend a little bit more time, money, and effort to make myself feel pretty. It’s really important that I feel good about myself, not just for the next four months, but beyond that too. On that shopping trip on Friday I bought myself two new shirts that look really pretty, and tonight I am going shopping for a dress to wear to a Christmas party next weekend. I’m also going to replenish my MAC makeup supply. I also got my hair cut on Saturday and plan to keep up the look because I like it so much! I’m hoping that these things will boost my self-confidence about my new body, the one that’s going to continue to change shape for oh I don’t know, the next 2 years?

    Oh, and I am signing up for prenatal yoga and making an effort to get out for more walks, and hopefully a few trips to the gym in my near future, not so I can gain less weight, but so I can feel better about myself too.

    I just have to have faith that my body is doing what it needs to do, and enjoy the ride…

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    One of my first baby purchases!

    I told my husband that if we ended up having a girl, he was in for quite a shock. I feel like I will definitely shop WAY more for a girl than I would for a boy. Girl clothes are so fun! There are just so many options, dresses, headbands, polka dot tights, etc. So. much. fun.

    Anyway, as soon as we found out we were having a girl I took right to Etsy! Here's what I picked up.
    The green and gold one is for my husband, it's a Green Bay Packers baby hat! It's girled up a little with the appliqued flower. I absolutely love it and so does he! I ordered it in 6-12 months so she'll actually be able to wear it during football season next year.

    The pink owl is hopefully going to be a prop for our newborn shoot, although it's 0-3 months so it could be a teeny bit too big depending on how big our baby is when she comes out :)

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    Yay for Black Friday!

    Oh hello, brand new much bigger TV! We have been waiting so long for you :) I know what I'm doing all weekend!

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Giving thanks...

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!! I am pretty jealous that you're all probably in a pretty awesome turkey coma right about now...

    I thought I would take some time to reflect on what I am thankful for this holiday season:

    - my amazing and supportive husband, who's strength I admire, and didn't even know the power of until this year.
    - our comfortable home. I know we're so fortunate to live in such a great neighborhood and beautiful house at our age.
    - our little doggie, he's been so much better behaved these days, and I am very thankful for less poop in the house!!!
    - my wonderful family. I am so blessed to have 2 amazing and supportive parents, an awesome sister who is my best friend, and incredibly lucky to have amazing in-laws who make me feel loved every day.

    And finally, I am so grateful for this little bean growing inside me. I already love her so much and I just pray that everything continues to go smoothly and we get to meet her in a few short months!

    What are you thankful for this year?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Leroy's "shenanigans"...

    I haven't posted about Leroy in quite a while, so I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know what he's been up to:
    "Hanging" out with us inthe basement
    "What do you think you're looking at?"
    After a long evening of chewing a bone...
    So many toy options, but oh so tired...
    "Hmm..  this little unused corner by the stairs is really promising."
    Sleeping on my baby belly!
    He lives such a hard life, he needs a sleep once in a while!
    That is one LAZY dog we have on our hands, I tell ya! It's quite a change from the super energetic little puppy who couldn't be left alone for a second lest he chew on baseboards or pee and poop everywhere. This is such a better version of him, in my opinion :). Don't get me wrong, he still has a ton of energy and needs a lot of attention, but he sure doesn't take as long to tire out! I love my awesome little doggie.    

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    30 posts in 30 days!

    I haven't been blogging like I would like to since I got pregnant. First it was the sickness from 6 to 18 weeks, now it's just laziness and lack of anything very interesting to write about!!! I'm sorry and I really hope to have some interesting content for you over the next month.

    One of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to blog every day for 30 days, so I've decided to embark on that adventure to kick start my writing! I also figure leading up to the holidays is an excellent time. I should have more to talk about, like holiday baking, social events, and shopping! And we can't forget the decorating, which is scheduled to happen on December 1st :)

    So get ready for my return!! I promise this includes responding to all of your sweet messages and reading/commenting on your blogs too!!!

    Since I posted yesterday we'll call this day 2, ok?

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Whoah, we're half-way there!!!

    We are half-way through this pregnancy! I couldn't be more excited about making it this far. I didn't write an update last week, I was too busy cooking this baby, and that pesky little thing called working. We started making some progress on the nursery. We cleared out the room of all the junk that was in there, and we bought a new dresser for our bedroom so we could put our old one in the baby's room. My sister gave us 2 huge containers of baby clothes, all of the gender neutral stuff she had since they were team green. We went through it all and put it away in the dresser :)

    Ok, I have been holding out on you guys. This week we also found out...

    It's a...


    I couldn't be more excited. I would have been just as excited with a boy, but a girl it just so awesome. Bring on the frilly-ness, I'm ready. :)

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    And we're officially caught up!

    So you are finally (almost) all caught up on my pregnancy journey so far! I am lumping 17 and 18 weeks into one post because I didn't write anything last week. I did take the weekly photo though. Soon I am going to attempt to take nicer weekly photos, preferably not self portraits in the bathroom at work... haha. Which means I will have to start taking them on Sundays, when I change weeks on Tuesdays. I'm sure that's not going to make a huge difference :)

    Anyways we had a good weekend in our house! On Saturday we hosted a little poker game which was tons of fun, even if I didn't win... sad face... I made homemade pizza and had chips and candy and everyone seemed to have a great time. I'm definitely going to be posting the pizza dough recipe because it's totally worth sharing. Since I am still trying to get back into the swing of things, blogging wise, I took no pictures. Boo!

    Ok, enough small talk, here's my update for this week!

    How far along?:  18 weeks (plus some notes from 17 weeks)

    Total weight gain/loss:  I finally checked and at 18 weeks I am up 13 pounds. That doesn't seem as bad as I thought!!

    The Bump:   At 17 weeks, on two different occasions, 2 different people offered me their seat on the bus, so suffice to say, I think the public can tell I am carrying a little bambino, and haven't just eaten too many donuts!!

    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Our next ultrasound is next Monday and we're going to find out the gender!!! Wohoo!!

    Symptoms:  Still not feeling great, but there are more days of feeling good than days of feeling nauseous. I'm still super tired though, and if I push myself too much I start feeling sick. It's definitely getting much better though, I've actually been up off the couch and contributing to the household... haha. My poor husband is so relieved!!
    Belly Button in or out?:   It's in, but it's very shallow. I'm predicting it'll pop out at some point.
    Food Cravings/Aversions: Honestly, nothing in either category really, which is awesome! That should help control my weight gain, especially being able to eat veggies again.

    Milestones: We had an appointment at 17 weeks and my midwife found the little heartbeat right away! It was good and strong. My husband couldn't come with me so I took a video of it, which ended up being awesome because I sent it to my sister and my parents :) Plus I listen to it several times a day!!

    Here are the phots, and yes, I am wearing the exact same outfit in both... I only have so many maternity clothes and this top and sweater are my favorite :)
    17 weeks:
    18 weeks:

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    16 weeks!

    This post was written on October 23rd, 2012

    How far along?:  16 weeks

    Total weight gain/loss:  I didn't check again this week!!
    The Bump:   I think strangers might be starting to wonder...
    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  I booked our anatomy scan! it's in 3 weeks and we'll most likely find out the gender :)
    Symptoms:  Still not feeling great, but I have better days mixed in, so I am hoping this is the sign of good things to come. I haven't been sleeping very well because for some reason I have extreme hip pain that wakes me up. I just bought a snoogle pillow so I am hoping that helps out a bit.

    Belly Button in or out?:   Definitely in, but seems stretched out a bit.

    Food Cravings/Aversions: I ate a couple of salads this week! This is huge for me. I might be on the other side of the veggie aversion :). As for cravings, nothing specific, mostly salty stuff though.
    Milestones: Nothing to report this week really...

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    15 weeks!

    This post was written on October 15th, 2012

    How far along?:  15 weeks

    Total weight gain/loss:  I didn't check this week, I know it's not good. I always eat way too much when I visit my parents!!
    The Bump:   It's definitely there, but I still don't think strangers can notice.
    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Still just looking forward to seeing our midwife again in 2 weeks.
    Symptoms:  Same as last week - Sadly I am still nauseous pretty much all. the. time. Everyone tells me it should be ending really soon and I really hope they're right. This is getting ridiculous!

    Belly Button in or out?:   Definitely in, but seems stretched out a bit.

    Food Cravings/Aversions: Still no veggies, lots of junk food.
    Milestones: Nothing to report this week really...

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    The storm that came before our rainbow...

    When we started telling everyone about our pregnancy, we got a lot of the typical (and super personal!) questions, like “were you trying for a while?”, “was this planned or a surprise?”, etc. A lot of people find these questions annoying for a multitude of reasons, but for us they were even more difficult to answer. I haven’t talked about this to anyone but both sets of parents and siblings, but this isn’t our first pregnancy. This pregnancy will (hopefully) result in what people call a "rainbow" baby, a baby that comes after a loss.
    When we started thinking about having kids, we envisioned exactly the timeline we’re at right now, get pregnant in the Fall of 2012 (ok we actually got pregnant in July, but close enough). However, when I went off the pill I was having extremely long and unpredictable cycles. I’m not kidding, this was the pattern: 32, 48, 48, 54 days. My doctor suspected I might have some issues, so we decided to try right away, she told me that after 6 months of trying she would refer me to a specialist. Imagine our surprise and delight when we got pregnant that first cycle in February 2012. It was actually pretty shocking. We told our parents and siblings right away, and I went to see my doctor and booked an ultrasound for when I should have been about 7 weeks.
    At the ultrasound we found out that the baby measured only 6 weeks, but it had a heartbeat! The ultrasound tech didn’t seem fazed when I told her that was a week smaller than I thought. My husband left feeling positive, there was a heartbeat after all. I wasn’t so sure, and for the next week and a half, I was pretty pessimistic about the whole thing. A week and a half later, at what should have been just over 8 weeks, I started spotting. It was just a tiny amount and it stopped pretty quickly, but off we went to the hospital anyways.
    The hospital we went to didn’t have ultrasound techs on duty during off hours, so the ER doctor attempted to use the machine and told us she was pretty sure she saw a good heartbeat. We left feeling pretty good, but the next morning scheduled an ultrasound at the clinic just to be sure. Everything was not great. Unfortunately, there was no heartbeat and the baby measured about 6 weeks. I had what they so insensitively call a “missed abortion” in medical terms. It basically means that the baby died, but my body didn’t recognize it and carried on.
    After all of that, it took me a really long time to feel even slightly normal again. Actually, even though I am pregnant again, I still mourn and grieve for the baby we lost. It still hurts to think about, and we just passed what would have been our due date last week. I know this is something I will never forget, and even though it will fade, it’s a scar I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
    So, questions like “have you been trying long?”, and “was this planned?” are especially difficult for me to answer, since no one really knows what we went through. I want to say, no, we haven’t technically been trying long, but we’ve gone to hell and back, and then I want to say YES, you have no idea how planned and how wanted this little baby is. But you can’t really say those things, because people are just trying to be friendly and ask what they think are the right questions. I will never ever ask someone a question like this again, because you just don’t know what anyone has been through to get where they are now.
    I didn’t put this out there for pity, I put it out there for awareness. I wanted to write a little bit about this because I really feel like miscarriage is such a taboo topic that nobody wants to talk about. It’s almost like there’s still a little bit of that old mentality, like if you miscarry a baby you’re somehow less of a woman, or less desirable because what if you can’t procreate? No man will want you! Obviously, this is not really the case in this day and age, but it just seems like we all still sort of believe that, so we don’t really talk about this. I just want to put this out there, and offer my support to anyone who might be going through something similar. Please don’t hesitate to contact me (!!

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    A photo recap of our trip to Halifax!

    My husband and I were able to go to Halifax to spend Thanksgiving with  my family this year, and it was so much fun! My parents had just bought a 27 foot boat, so we went on two trips around the harbour on that.
    We also had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner filled with good food, and great company! I was so excited to have some of my mom's (best in the whole world if you ask me!) pumpkin pie. With fresh whipped cream. Yummmm.
    All in all it was a great long weekend! Can't wait to go back at Christmas. I think the Christmas trip will be my last trip home before the baby comes, I'm planning on really savouring it. Too bad it won't exactly be boat weather... damn you winter!!!

    I know American Thanksgiving is coming up soon, what are your plans? If you're Canadian, did you do anything special this year?

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    14 weeks (and a photo from 13 weeks)!

    Hey everyone! I have been meaning to start some other posts for a couple of weeks now, but I am still feeling pretty sick and I have very little energy to sit at my computer. I hope you're all going to bear with me and stick around, because I absolutely promise this blog is going to get more interesting!!!

    I'm not sure what happened, but apparently I didn't write a post for 13 weeks! I'm actually pretty sure I did, but I can't find it anywhere. Oh well, we'll just skip right on over to 14 weeks. I'll just put the picture for 13 weeks at the bottom of this one, before the 14 week photo, how's that? :)

    This post was written on October 8th, 2012

    How far along?:  14 weeks

    Total weight gain/loss:  +4 pounds, the Thanksgiving turkey really kick started my weight gain :P

    The Bump:   It's definitely there, especially in the evening after a full day's worth of food in there!! Strangers probably still think I have just eaten way too many cheeseburgers.

    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  I've made it to the 2nd trimester!! We're looking forward to seeing our midwife again in 3 weeks to hear the heartbeat again.

    Symptoms:  Sadly I am still nauseous pretty much all. the. time. Everyone tells me it should be ending really soon and I really hope they're right. This is getting ridiculous!

    Belly Button in or out?:   Definitely in.

    Food Cravings/Aversions: Same. No veggies, lots of junk food. Trying to reign it in!!

    Milestones: Solidly in the 2nd trimester, and 100% out of the pregnancy closet. Made the blog announcement yesterday!

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    12 weeks!

    This post was written on September 25th, 2011

    How far along?:  12 weeks
    Total weight gain/loss:  +2 pounds, I guess I am playing catchup! Either that or I had a lot of salty food this past weekend!

    The Bump:   Same as last week, no one but those closest to me can really tell, but there's definitely the beginnings of something there!!

    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Same as last week, mostly I am just looking forward to the 2nd trimester so I can hopefully stop feeling so terrible.

    Symptoms:  Again, same as last week, all day sickness, fatigue, mild headaches, and this annoying stretchy feeling. It feels like I've done an intense ab workout every day. My midwife says it's normal!

    Belly Button in or out?:   Definitely in.

    Food Cravings/Aversions:  Still trying to hide veggies in things, I am eating my mom's soup for lunch, and we made turkey chili with loads of veggies in the slowcooker this week. I am hoping I can stomach it! It's so hard trying to stay healthy. I have been craving a lot of salty food, like chips, and gummy candy.
    What I miss:  Feeling like a normal human being.

    Milestones: We started telling some extended family this past weekend, it was fun! Everyone is so excited. We're working on telling everyone else (friends, coworkers, etc) and hopefully very soon I'll be able to "come out" on my blog :)

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    11 weeks!

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of the love and support yesterday!! I just love the blog community :)

    Since the big news is out, I thought I would start recapping each week of my pregnancy like I see on some other blogs. I am hoping to keep pregnancy related stuff to 1 or 2 posts a week, since I know I have a lot of readers who are probably not so interested :).

    Anyway, it won't take long to get caught up because I didn't start recording my pregnancy in any way until week 11!!

    This post was written on September 19th, 2012

    How far along?:  11 weeks, 1 day

    Total weight gain/loss:  -3 pounds, must be from the all day sickness because I am not in any way shape or form eating healthy.

    The Bump:   No one but those closest to me can really tell, but there's definitely the beginnings of something there!!

    What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Mostly I am just looking forward to the 2nd trimester so I can hopefully stop feeling so terrible.

    Symptoms:  All day sickness, fatigue, mild headaches, and this annoying stretchy feeling. It feels like I've done an intense ab workout every day. My midwife says it's normal!

    Belly Button in or out?:   Definitely in.

    Food Cravings/Aversions:  Can't stand even the thought of an uncooked vegetable. I'm trying to increase my veggie intake by hiding them in my food. My mom made an amazing chicken soup full of veggies, and that seems good. She also made me lasagne with spinach and tomatoes. I don't really have any cravings though, not yet!

    What I miss:  Feeling like a normal human being.

    Milestones: We heard the heartbeat at our appointment today!! We had seen it via ultrasound at 8 weeks, but we finally got to hear the sound and it was so sweet :). My husband says he could listen to it all day long!

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Happy Thanksgiving! (and some news)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian readers! My husband and I have been in my hometown and it's been an awesome long weekend. Halifax is a wonderful place to visit, and the weather has just been amazing.

    I know it's been a long time since I have been active on this here blog, but guys, I swear I have a good excuse. You see, this happened:

    We're pregnant!!! Come April 2013 we're going to be first time parents :). We're over the moon with excitement, but my all day horrible sickness has prevented me from doing much blogging or even blog reading. I hope you can understand, and I am hoping to be back in full swing now!

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Oh my god, it's a new post! Fall Shows I am psyched for!

    I am once again coming out of hiding! Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things starting now. I have missed all of you guys :) I just haven't done much worthy of blog posting. That needs to change, stat! This photo basically sums up life since I last posted:
    I meant to post about this sooner, but ya know, I didn't. Anyway, a lot of Fall shows haven't started yet, so I think I am still in time! I love when the new TV season starts. My summer was full of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, but now I am ready for all of my regular TV fixes. I like to say that we don't watch a ton of TV, but then when I list things out, it kind of feels like we do. Oh well. We could have worse hobbies, right?

    Here is the rundown of shows I am most excited about.

    1. Parenthood - I didn't start watching this show until the 3rd season, and I can't believe it took me so long. I absolutely adore Lauren Graham, and she's so great on this show. I cry during almost every episode, either tears of sadness, or happy ones. It's dramatic and funny all at the same time and I can't get enough!

    2. The Voice - This is the ONE reality show I watch, and my husband will watch it too. It just seems different from the other singing shows. Mostly, I like that they don't bring terrible people on and make fun of them. I always hated that about American Idol because I feel like it's just cruel. I was really sad when I heard Christina and Cee Lo won't be around next season though... that might spell the end of watching it for me!

    3. How I Met Your Mother - I've been watching this from beginning and it's starting to get a bit old. I mostly watch this now because I feel so invested in finding out who the damned mother is. It's like I can't look away!!! Anyway, here's hoping this season is the one!

    4. Dexter - Love. Love. Love. What more can I say? While everyone else seems to think last season sucked, I actually really loved it. I could do without the weird feelings Deb now has, but I am willing to look past it. Can't wait to see the premiere!

    5. Law & Order: SVU - Both my husband and I just enjoy watching this show, it's consistently good and entertaining. Nothing earth shattering here, but I like it :)

    6. Modern Family - Hilarious show. I cannot wait to see how everything unfolds with Gloria's pregnancy!!!!

    Notice there are no new shows on that list. I just can't get into anything, seems like the networks are having a lot of trouble coming up with original content!!!!!

    What about you guys? What are your favorites?

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Giveaway over on Lattes and Love!

    Hello, world! I am coming out of that hole I've been hiding in to let you know that Lattes and Love is hosting a giveaway featuring a product from my Etsy shop, Tails & Toes! You should all head over and check it out :)

    This weekend was a whirlwind. My sister, her husband, and my adorable 2 and a half year old niece were visiting and we had such a blast! We went to the zoo, the waterpark, and ate way way WAY too much. I was so busy having an awesome time that I forgot to take a single photo. Not a one. How disappointing is that??? I so rarely get to see my niece, so I am super bummed. Luckily, my husband and I are headed their way for Thanksgiving this year, so we'll take some then.

    I'm really trying to get some posts ready to go, and I hope to be back fully very soon. I hope you all stay tuned :)

    I hope you all had a great weekend! Did you do anything exciting?

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    I'm alive!!

    I'm so sorry I've seemingly fallen off the face of the earth! I've been feeling really under the weather and haven't felt much like getting on a computer. I promise that as soon as I feel better I'm going to have some great posts for you, including my makeover of the box my Papa built :)

    I hope you don't miss me too much while I take a little time out. Have a great week!!

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Mom's Banana Bread!

    I am here today with a pretty amazing recipe: my mom's banana bread! I've been eating this awesome loaf my whole life, it's an old, old recipe. I recently started making it myself, but I make it into muffins instead of loaf, since I just think it's more practical and it's easier to grab one and take it to work.
    I promised to share this with you when I mentioned them in my camping recap post, so here it is:

    1/2 cup butter/margarine
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs (well-beaten)
    3 large bananas (mashed) *Bananas should be over-ripe, almost entirely brown works really well, but just a little brown is ok too. Just don't use ripe bananas :)
    1 tsp of vanilla
    1 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Cream margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
    3. Stir in bananas.
    4. Add flour, soda, salt.
    5. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out dry. I would say it's about 15-20 minutes, but I didn't time it so make sure you keep an eye on them!

    Don't they just look delicious? A banana muffin is the perfect morning snack :). I have been taking one to work for my daily 10am snack every day this week! I need to get some more brown/black bananas soon because I am running out! Hope you enjoy this recipe if you try it!
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