Friday, November 17, 2017

Flashback Friday: Apartment Tour, Living/Family Room

I definitely had good intentions about showcasing our apartment in Baltimore before we actually moved from there.  However, they say man plans and G-d laughs...and I think G-d is definitely laughing.  Our current house, which we purchased, has quickly turned into a money pit and suffice to say it will be quite awhile before I have newly renovated and decorated spaces to show you!  Delayed gratification will be worth it right?  Here's to hoping...

It had been quite awhile since living in an apartment with one designated area for living and dining. 

This was by far one of my favorite spaces out of all of our apartments.  Even though the space felt tight many times, when it was put together, it was so bright, sophisticated but also kid friendly.  The rug is from Rugs USA-they have several options, and you can score a huge, modern rug-or any style for that matter, around $300, you just have to wait for sales and promo codes!

The end tables were relatively cheap end tables that previously were black and bought online.   

Before we moved to Baltimore, I painted them with Annie Sloan chalk paint and spray painted the pulls.

Our couch, which is still with us, was a hand-me-down from when my parents to us when we got married.  Slip covers have gotten much more sophisticated over the years and this stretchy fabric has held up really well and is easy to wash.  The throw is from Target. 

The pillow covers were purchased on Etsy 

My lamps were a steal from Hobby Lobby before we moved from Baltimore 

Wicker baskets are always a good idea!  They help collect the clutter while still giving an organized and put-together look. The wire baskets have held many different items over the years: games, toys, just depends on the current need.  


Hidden in the corner are the homework caddies I had made on Etsy and they get so much use and are just fabulous.  They have holders for common homework supplies, or a snack-whichever fancies your kiddo!  It makes doing homework much more manageable since you can sit on the couch and do their homework.  

I am a huge fan of the Expedit/Kallax Ikea unit.

These are two units-a unit of 4x2 and a unit of 2x2.  

The baskets are also from Ikea.  

Ikea is great for inexpensive, yet trendy decorations, and spray paint can transform anything!

That green plant was my favorite place to take pics documenting my ultrasounds!

The play, live, laugh, dream pictures are from Pottery Barn a few years ago, came as a set and were under $30!  I just had to frame them-again, Ikea has several cheap frame options. The storage cabinets are the Besta from Ikea.  They are a great, stylish and functional addition to any room! We had them for several years in our kitchen, and then moved them into this area for game/project storage.

The marquee letters were another favorite, especially for the kids.  Nordstrom sells marquee letters, but this is a much more reasonable option from JoAnne Fabrics. They are more of a cardboard and are easily painted, but also easy to hang because they are light.  

Again, in small spaces, you need to utilize all the free wall space and corners that you can!  This is a towel rod spray painted gold, with Ikea hanging containers which were perfect for housing the markers, colored pencils, and crayons. 

On the other side, is our beloved wall unit.  We happily passed it along to a newly married couple, so it did not make the move with us to Ohio.  That was literally our only new piece of furniture we bought when we got married 10 years ago...

Our art on a cart made the move to Baltimore, but it got some love.

Paper magazine files hold different learning materials: work books, stickers, paint books, and coloring books. 

It's a love hate relationship with play dough. 

These wooden stackable bins were a major score from the Target clearance section!  

This cart makes it really easy to have the kids pick out the items they want to play with, or need for homework.  

Stay tuned for our dining room!!!

You can find our entryway HERE

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

32 Week Bumpdate

 Total weight gain: 28 lbs!  I gained 1lb since my appointment two weeks ago! This is huge for me! But, I went back and looked at old pictures, and seeing the success I had after my last three is encouraging, but also a little scary. I'm facing a 60+ lb weight loss...which I know I can do, but man oh man, it will surely be a challenge!

Maternity clothes: Definitely!  I even retired the loose tops I had!  

Sleep:  As long as I have the right amount pillows, which is about five, and a fan blowing on me, I can usually sleep pretty well. 

Best moment this month:  I finally switched OB practices, but my first appointment was with the nurse practitioner.  The difference between my last "new" OB here and this new OB is night and day.  The nursing staff seemed more professional, the building was more "medical" if that makes sense and felt more appropriately set up, and I definitely think I'm receiving better care.  She was surprised when I explained some of the issues I had with my first OB-like his reluctance to run certain blood work, not committing to an induction by 41 weeks and I just felt unheard, invalidated, and essentially talked down to. Interestingly, one of the blood levels I insisted on with the old OB, this new OB ironically wants to run again to follow the levels.  

Movement:  Super active, almost all the time.  It will sometimes wake me up!

Exercise:  I see a trainer twice a week for a 30 minute lifting session, and then I try to squeeze in 30 minute cardio sessions when I can.  It feels good to move!

Gender:  No idea! But I still think BOY!!!

Labor signs: With my first two pregnancies, I did not have braxton hicks.  With Hannah, I started having braxton hicks a couple months before, but they weren't painful. Just yesterday I noticed I was starting to have painful contractions that I had to kind of breathe through and lay down.  

Belly button in or out: Still in, but close to out.

What I miss:  Nothing-other than just moving easier. 

What I'm looking forward to:  I hope to do a quick maternity shoot with the kids, finishing my room, and finishing getting organized for baby!

For comparison, check out Hannah's bumpdate 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Munchies: Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Honey mustard chicken is a Rosh Hashana traditional dish in our house-made by my mom! My parents spend this holiday with us, so I've never made this recipe. However, my kids now make food requests, and ever since this past Rosh Hashana, Dovy has been requesting honey mustard chicken. Every.Friday.night. 

So, when I needed to come up with a Friday night meal in a pinch, I knew I'd be making honey mustard chicken.  I didn't have time to search through my e-mails to find my mom's recipe, but I knew a good google search would at least give me a staring point.  

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup hone
1/2 cup mustard 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper 

Combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika and parsley and mix until forms a sauce.  

Salt and pepper your chicken and place in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.  The original recipe calls for placing only half the sauce mixture over the chicken, and then while baking pour the remaining half on. I actually ended up using a whole chicken, bones included, so I just poured the entire sauce contents over the chicken and baked at 350.  It calls for needing about 45 minutes to bake, but mine needed more.  Unfortunately I didn't discover it needed more until after it was too late to go back and cook it because #sabbath so I'd plan to cook it for longer.  

Unfortunately due to the rushed nature of cooking on Friday afternoons, I don't have a pretty picture to share with you! But, if you follow the link above, you can see lots of other honey mustard chickens made by others! 



Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday Munchies: No Mayo Coleslaw

If you're struggling to put home cooked food on the table like me, you'll appreciate today's Monday Munchies.  If you've been following me on Instastories, you know that we've had some unexpected house problems arise, as well as OB drama, and I've just been feeling overwhelmed, to say the least!  I will talk about it more soon...

But, I think that coleslaw is the perfect side for times like this, times when self-torture sounds more appealing than dinner.  Coleslaw comes in a ready to serve bag-no prep required, the dressing is minimal, as well as typical on-hand ingredients, as well as so many different add ins that are usually easy to come by and again, minimal prep. Some of my favorites are the instant soup noodles toasted with some oil, sunflower seeds, craisins, almonds-the list goes on.  

In this case, I added just craisins.  

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar 
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I'd add a little more)
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1 bag of coleslaw mix 

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper as your dressing.  

In a bowl, combine the coleslaw, and whatever add-ins you like, again, I added in craisins. 

Let the coleslaw sit for at least 30 minutes to allow for the dressing to set into the salad.  


Friday, November 3, 2017

My Sephora picks

ohemgee guys!
The Sephora sale opened this morning and runs through November 6, and I just can't wait; I already have my cart loaded! First of all, I have a major obsession with Sephora; it all started when I was pregnant with Hannah and my OB moved into an office that was located in a mall.  Having never shopped at Sephora much, I loved the convenience and expertise all in one. As oppose to shopping at brand specific counters like in a department store, you have access to many of these brands with objective sales people. So, what turned into a monthly trip, then became a weekly trip, and then I became a status member, with free makeovers whenever I want...not to mention they have excellent customer service and a good return policy.  I should mention that their return policy recently changed and if you order online you have 60 days to return the purchase for a full refund-if you purchase from the store, you have 60 days to receive a refund in the form of your original payment, after you will receive store credit.  Another perk of being an insider member (which is obtained by spending enough money, shhh don't tell my husband!) is your orders are easily tracked and a receipt is never necessary!   

Some of what I'm purchasing are replacements for products I currently use daily.  

100% Pure Argan Oil Luxury Size

If you've been following me on Instagram you know that over the summer I tried out several highly recommended primers; I'm so happy I finally found a combination that works for me.  I will hopefully blog about that routine and all the primers I used soon!  

Gallery imagedr. brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer, 15 ml (Travel Size)

Supplementing what I already use...

Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter

And some products are ones I want to try!!!

Image result for dr jart ceramidin tiger grass  Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair SerumImage result for dr jart ceramidin tiger grass

Ren - Radiance Perfecting Serum - 30ml/1.02ozRen - Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - 50ml/1.7oz

Some products I'll be purchasing are part of my everyday makeup routine

Image result for hourglass vanish foundationImage result for cover fx powder

I was hoping to try this, but they're out of my color on-line...

Main Image - Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill Pencil

Of course I use many other products, but I don't run out of them so quickly, or I typically change them up so I don't want to purchase replacements. I plan to do a blog post on what my skin care routine and makeup products currently are.  You can also see what skincare products I used, all from Sephora, when I was on accutane HERE.

There are also some fabulous kits like the perfume sampler-which has a voucher redeemable for a featured full size perfume, or the lash sampler (which I cannot find online now!!!) or one of the many sets that are perfect for gifts!

I can't wait to see what you all come away with!!!
Happy Shopping!!!

If you're curious about safe skincare during pregnancy, check out this article I found on Fit Pregnancy; and stay tuned for the product I bought after reading that article!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Third trimester: 30 week bumpdate

Total weight gain: 27 lbs.  Still my lowest pregnancy weight gain.  Add in the 20 lbs I gained pre-pregnancy, and I'll most likely be just about where I was with Hannah. It helps to know that I ended around the same amount with her and was successfully able to lose the weight.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely in all maternity, sans a few loose dresses I have.  But, I find that more fitted maternity wear is more flattering.  I'm loving the cardigans over dresses and shirts to hide the back side. I am so hoping to get around to doing a maternity wardrobe shoot for you!

Sleep: Sleep is ok, for a few reasons.  I get really hot easily-I need it really cold, like literally freeze you out cold!  It was in the 30s and I slept with the window open-it was the best sleep I've had in recent months!  I also have noticed that I'll be in a not fully sleeping daze when I need to pee, but I don't just wake up and go, so I'm uncomfortably "sleeping" which leads to a restless night. 

Best Moment this Month: I did a 4D ultrasound when I was back in Baltimore, check you my Instagram to see!  I also had my 30 week growth scan and all is well in there.  The baby measured 3 lbs, growing nicely, and was super cute.  You can see more of those images on Instagram.  

Movement: Thankfully, an answer to my prayers and helping to ease my anxiety is that this is my most active baby.  It wakes up with me, it keeps me up at night, and is responsive to all of my poking and prodding.  

Exercise: I was away on the east coast, hence the blog silence-so there was no exercise.  But, I am back at the gym, with my trainer twice a week, but now since Safety Day is over, I'm committed to exercising in some form five days a week-weights twice with the trainer, and cardio the other three days.  I'm starting small and just walking for 20-30 minutes this week.  

Gender: I managed to keep my eyes closed while the tech peeked between the legs!  I still think boy!

Labor Signs: nope! Sometimes I think I have a braxton hick, and they probably are, but they're nothing consistent.  

Belly Button In or Out: on the way out, but not showing through clothes.

What I miss: my old OB, but that's a whole other post!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Meeting my new OB and the hospital tour next week!  

For comparison, you can check out Hannah's bumpdate HERE

Monday, October 2, 2017

October: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

Image result for october infant loss

I've been a statistic for awhile...I am that 1 in 6.  
But 16 months ago, I became the 1 in 4; miscarriage..
I should see something more...
Two of them, back to back.     

Being a fertility patient for so long, with no history of loss, a miscarriage was the furthest thing from my mind.  After all, I was young and healthy.  Embryos from a 21 year old don't result in a miscarriage, and certainly not twice!  But the truth is, miscarriages don't discriminate, and even at 21, it was still considered normal.  

That day, I wasn't caught completely off guard; I had a sneaking suspicion.  And when it was confirmed a week later...I'm so thankful for the friends that rallied next to me.    

If you're the 1 in 4, you're not alone.  
If you're the 1 in 4, and you feel robbed of not only what could have been, but all the beauty that then comes your're not alone.  
If you're the 1 in 4 and you question your body's're not alone.  

Even being more than halfway through a healthy pregnancy, I still attach an 'if' to it's presence, not a when.  
I still have moments when I panic. 
People are still afraid to openly talk about my pregnancy to me.  
1 in 4.  

If you're the 1 in 4, I want to tell you something: one day, you'll get to the other side.  You might feel unstable, and insecure, and nervous, and paranoid...but the other side awaits you, one day at a time.  One day, you'll feel the weight lifted...
One day, you'll think about it a minute less...
One day, you'll smile just a little more...
One day, you'll laugh a little louder...
One day, you'll feel peace...
One day, you'll see the beauty...the rose among the thorns...

Image result for you don't spell it you feel it

Check out my profile on The Layers Project where I talk about pregnancy after miscarriage.
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