link up

BP3-0: 26 week scoop + WIWS

It's been a while since I gave an update on the bun in my oven (especially since I somehow managed to keep up with weekly and monthly pregnancy updates with the last two) so I figured I may as well share what he/she and I have been up to the last 8 weeks. 

That's right. We still haven't found out our little sweet potato's gender. I was quite proud of myself for making it through our 20 week ultrasound without peeking at the goods. The tech was super speedy when scoping out that general 'area' so it would have been a quick glance anyway. I did have to remind my mother that there was no peeking aloud, which she begrudgingly respected. The rest of the scan was great, however longer than I remember the others being, and baby looked practically perfect (in every way). BP3-0 was a little stubborn in giving us a profile shot but we got some good ones, including a few with his/her hand up by his/her ears (just like big bro) and some impressively long feet (just like big sis). I'm still lacking any kind of gut feeling as to boy or girl and K isn't helping by continuing to switch back and forth on what she thinks I'm having. 

I am happy and greatly relieved to say that I've finally gotten out of the horrible migraine, nausea and extreme food aversion stage. It stuck with me until about 20 weeks so I'm now reveling in the long-awaited feel-good part of pregnancy! I can eat pretty much anything without feeling errpy (except for when I tried to add spinach to my scrambled eggs a few days ago... gag city) and my recent growth, both in weight and bump size, are proof!  At my 24 week check up my midwife kept commenting on how much my belly had grown since last seeing me, and how active baby was as we both watched my belly bounce all around! I measured closer to 26 weeks than 24 which is definitely a shift for me considering my last two pregnancies I consistently measured small. So either this baby will be huge, this baby will come early, or this baby has soaked up all the food I've finally been able to eat and I just need to catch up with myself. We shall see! For now I'm trying to focus a lot more on my nutrition to make up for what I missed in those early months. I'm looking forward to warmer weather (for many reasons) so I can start tossing back some smoothies with hidden greens and protein! 

Another difference in this pregnancy has been the unexpected hip and pelvic pain. I dealt with a little round ligament pain before and some slight discomfort in my hips in the last weeks but nothing like this, so focused on my pelvic bone and hips. It comes and goes and I'm finding relief where I can but as baby grows it's feeling more and more like SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction). It's making me feel like I'm much further along than I am, and it's messing with my head a little, but I'm happy to endure a little discomfort here and there in place of feeling so sick and gross like before. However the times when it feels like my pelvis is going to break in half are definitely not fun. 

My Braxton Hicks contractions are in full swing and giving me some great opportunities to practice relaxation. They say teachers make the worst students and I've been a prime example of that this time around when it comes to following my own instruction for labor prep. I've been slacking on a lot of my exercises, due in part to the SPD, but am thankful for these little practice contractions to help me get back on track. 

That covers just about everything new with BP3-0! I haven't kept up with my bump photos like I did before (sorry baby #3) but I did realize that I took a 26 week bump pic from both pregnancies so I thought what better way to show my bump off this week than with a little comparison collage?

Oh how tan and youthful (and apparently more focused on framing the picture than on smiling) I was during that first pregnancy. This mama needs some SUNSHINE, stat! Any gender guesses out there? 

And for something a little different I thought I'd join a cute little What I Wore Sunday link up from A Blog For My Mom. I haven't done a link up in forever and probably won't have the discipline to do this every week (maybe!) but yesterday I was finally able to wear a particular sweater dress that has been taunting me from my closet for about 3 weeks now so I thought I'd share finally wearing it to mass. 

 

Me: Since the last few Sunday's have been oddly warm (I am not complaining about warm weather... BRING ON SPRING... ) I haven't been able to wear this beautiful sweater dress from Mossimo Supply Co. It was lent to me by my dear friend Layna (remember her daughter's beautiful birth story) and it's so soft and cozy and pretty. I'm obsessed. I paired it with some black leggings from Motherhood Maternity and suede Timberland boots. 

K: Grey sweater dress is from H&M kids, white tights and boots from Target, Frozen ribbon bow was a gift from our neighbor.

HG: Plaid button-up is from Children's Place but may have been a hand-me-down or consignment find. Red corduroy pants from H&M kids, shoes are Garanimals from WalMart. 

Sorry for no links - everything has shifted over to spring so nothing is listed on the websites anymore. At least I can give credit where it's due!  Feel free to join in next week with the WIWS link up - I'll try to do the same!

Until next time...

 

Link UP Week: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

link up week The 2nd of today's link up comes from a blog that I recently {and happily} stumbled upon called Delightful Order.

It's a pretty basic link up, with tons of 'delightfully inspiring' shared projects. The host, DaNita focuses on four key lifestyle tips: Simplify, Create, Organize, Decorate. Sounds great to me! Be sure you pay her a visit and join in the link party by sharing anything related to decorating, crafting, party planning, gift ideas, organizing, or recipes!

This is a quick little project I did a while back when we moved our office out of our bedroom and into the corner of our living room. I have very little space for all of my craft and Etsy materials so I needed to improvise and create storage where there wasn't any. I had just purchased a number of spools of ribbon and wanted an easy way to access them that wouldn't leave me with a big box of tangled tentacles. I decided to make a hanging 'spool spinner' on the inside of my cabinet door.

What you'll need:

  • ribbon {duh}
  • small dowel rods {or something sturdy that will fit through the center hole of your spool}
  • twine or rope {ribbon will also work but I didn't want to have a ribbon overload}
  • craft glue
  • adhesive-backed hooks

What I did:

I first decided how low I wanted the ribbon to hang by measuring out my twine - which will be the main support for the spinner. I then doubled it over and made a loop knot so that I could secure it onto the end of the dowel rod. Then tightened and secured with craft glue.

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Once the glue dried I slid the ribbon onto the dowel, allowing the twine knot to act as a stopper. * I found it easier to make sure the ribbon is all facing the same direction, and hanging down from the front of the spool so it's easy to pull down and measure out.

I did end up having to shorten the dowel which was pretty easy. Just be sure {if you need to do the same} you sand off the ends so it's smooth. With the free end of the twine I made a simple bow on the opposite end of the dowel, closing in the ribbon. Be sure it's tight but don't secure this side with glue so it can be removed to change out ribbon in the future.

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Your twine should make a triangle above the ribbon, from which you can easily hang wherever you need. I used adhesive-backed hooks on the interior of my cabinet doors.

Hang and you're done!

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TA-DA. Simple and sweet. Just the way I like it!

Join the Delightfully Inspiring Thursday link up and be sure to hop around the other party participants to see some great new blogs and projects!

Until next time...

Link UP Week: Penny Pinching Party

link up week Last link up of the day everyone, this one is about saving a little cash and it comes to you from The Thrifty Home. She has so many great ideas {as do her fellow party attendees} on great ways to save cash without limiting yourself. Do yourself a favor and check out her blog if you haven't already. More specifically, check out the links that have been shared in her weekly Penny Pinching Party.

 http://www.thethriftyhome.com

You may not know that I am currently reading the fantastic and terribly intimidating book, America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Monday. Basically this rock star family of 7 has found a way to live off of $350/month in groceries. Yes, I'm flabbergasted. And nowhere near their success I might add. BUT, the few chapters I have read have definitely sparked the desire to find ways to be thrifty, one of which I'm super excited about and thought was worth sharing.

Backstory: when Z first went on the 17-day diet I started looking for new ways to get creative in the kitchen without breaking his dietary restrictions. One of our fall-back dinner choices was turkey patties but I didn't want them to be the same boring patty each time so I started experimenting with ingredients. Adding this, substituting that, you know the drill. It was then that I fell in love with sun-dried tomatoes. I put these little bites of heaven on EVERYTHING now! Homemade pizza, in meatloaf, in my spaghetti sauce, you name it. The funny thing is, I've never really been a tomato fan but these are like culinary crack! They are delish and I would eat them with every meal if I could. I would also be eating out of our car because I would have spent all our life's savings on buying the darn things! Holy mother are they pricey. The good kind at least. So I decided I had to find a way to keep my tastebuds happy without going over the grocery budget. ENTER PINTEREST AND YOUR GLORIOUS GLORY!

I stumbled upon a pin from Better Hens and Gardens for HOMEMADE sun-dried {oven-dried} tomatoes. Hallelujah.

Just grab some cherry tomatoes - cheap-o at any grocery store. Slice them in half and lay them face up on a baking sheet.

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Put them in a 200 degree oven for 6-12 hours. YES, 6-12 hours. This is how easy this all is... slice em' and forget em'. The time it takes will depend on how large your tomatoes are. Mine were on the small side so it only took them around 6-7 hours. Leave them alone as long as you can and check on them at around 6 hours to see how they are doing.

Once they are done you can easily pop them in a zip lock back and straight into the freezer... Me on the other hand, I wanted to add some extra good ju ju so I separated the tomatoes into smaller freezer cups. {I used to use these for Keelin's homemade baby food, great buys at the dollar store}

Then I added a mixture of olive oil and my favorite spices - garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano. THEN I popped them in the freezer.

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You can do these in big batches and store them away in individual portions to use whenever you need them. For most recipes you don't even need to defrost them, just toss dump them into the saute' pan with the rest of the veggies and prepare for a party on your tastebuds. Plus, it's far cheaper than spending $4.00 on a single jar of the good stuff at the grocery store!

Join Jen and share your own Penny Pinching tips!

Until next time...

Link UP Week: Wow Me Wednesday

link up weekAnother Wednesday link up!Am I going overboard? Do I care? NO... I'm having too much fun!

This next link up is called Wow Me Wednesday and is coming to you from Ginger Snap Crafts. Here are the rules:

The “rules” are simple.
Please consider sharing this party on facebook, twitter, google+ or pinterest.
Link up to your post, not your main blog. Must be something made by YOU!
Visit other links, make new friends & most of all have fun! Check back every Thursday for features from the previous week’s party.
I shared a sneak peek of this project on instagram a while ago and am excited to share it with you now! I'd been wanting to make Keelin a set of alphabet magnets to play with on the frig while I'm cooking. With the help of my weekly JoAnn fabric coupons, I snagged a bag of wooden letters for super cheap! At first I considered painting them but then thought about her habits at this age {i.e. putting everything in her mouth} and decided I wanted to add color while still being safe IN CASE one of the letters happened to find itself between toddler teeth. My answer... food coloring!
After searching high and low for a reasonably priced set of primary colored food coloring {Seriously what's with all the pastels and neons. What happened to plain old red, yellow, and blue?} I finally grabbed a jumbo pack of Wilton gel colors and got down to business.
Here's what you'll need:
  • wooden alphabet letters {or shapes, whatever you are dying}
  • food coloring {I used gel but from what I've researched liquid should yield the same results}
  • white wine vinegar
  • boiling water
  • dying bowls/cups {I used solo cups so I wouldn't risk dying my dishes}
  • disposable gloves {your hands WILL turn all sorts of fun colors if you don't}
  • toothpick/fork/wooden skewer for mixing
  • adhesive magnets
  • paper towels
  • wax paper/parchment paper
Here's what to do:
I kept it simple with a repeating rainbow pattern by laying out the alphabet in front of their designated color like so:
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To prep the wood you'll want to sand all sides - this will allow the color to adhere better.
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As far as mixing the color, I disolved the gel color in boiling water and about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar - which also helps the color bond to the wood.
*Note - be sure you test each color and whether or not the vinegar has an effect on it BEFORE you drop your letters. I learned that the vinegar turned my red a little too orange and my purple a little too blue. If you notice this happen, simply drop your sanded letters into a water/vinegar bath for a few seconds before dropping in the color. If you want to avoid the possibility of altering your colors all together you can keep the vinegar mix separate for all of your letters. Up to you!
Once your water is the desired color {I also recommend testing some small pieces of wood in each color to see if it's the shade you want. My pack of letters had a few extras of the vowels so I broke them up and tested them all before dropping the whole letter.} drop your letter and use a fork, skewer, toothpick, etc. to make sure it's fully coated. Don't let the letter sit for too long or it may get waterlogged. About 30 seconds for each should be fine.
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Remove the letter and place on a paper towel, on top of wax paper {to keep the color from bleeding onto your table or countertop}
Do this with all of your letters and let dry.
If you find that some of the color isn't as bold as you'd like it, drop the letters again until you get the color you want!
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I probably could have dropped some of them a few more times but I like the way they all turned out.
Once the letters are completely dry, attach adhesive magnets to the backs of each. I'd try one magnet toward the center of the letter, test it out on the frig to see where it could use more support and add as needed.
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Please ignore my orange fingernail in the photo above. Proof that some kind of hand protection is wise.
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Last but not least, tack them on the frig and watch your toddler swat them immediately on the floor. Hard work pays off, eh?
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Don't mind my filthy, dented frig.
SO, there you have it. A fun, inexpensive, and easy way to make toddler-safe alphabet magnets. {Obviously don't let your kid play with them unsupervised because they are still made of wood and magnets which don't BELONG in slobbery soggy mouths. Just know that if you happen to catch a quick chomp, you don't need to worry about the hazards of ingesting paint.
Thanks to Ginger for hosting such a fun link up. Please join the party by adding one of your recent projects to the list!
Until next time...

Link UP Week: Sew Cute Tuesday

link up week What the what? Three posts in one day? Yes, believe it folks... linking up has ignited an uncontrollable fire.  But this is that last link party of the day, I promise. I hadn't originally intended on doing another but when I found this blog and party I decided it had to be done. Especially since I'd been meaning to share a project that will fit in perfectly with the theme!

Better Off Thread

Welcome to Sew Cute Tuesday hosted by Better Off Thread {hello adorable blog name}. It's all about sewing or craft projects and it's about time I shared one that I did back before Christmas. The hubs and I were trying to budget our spending for the holiday and I wanted to make something special for my new nephew, Spencer. I already had the fabric, snagged a few extra rolls of ribbon, and was on my way to making a sweet lovie {tag blanket} for my sweet love!

His nursery has a nautical-lighthouse theme so I wanted to do something along those lines and I decided to use the fishy fabric from Keelin's 42 week onesie shoot. I had just bought some grey pop-dot fabric for the quilt I have still yet to finish, and decided it was the perfect soft back the blanket needed. I measured and cut the fabric to match and pinned them with the 'right' sides facing one another. You should know that I'm a terrible seamstress so my technique is terrible and probably WRONG in the grand scheme of things... but it gets the job done. In the photo below you can also see that I measured out 1/2" on each edge to help guide me on the sewing machine... yeah, rookie.

tag blanket

I then placed the ribbon tags where I wanted them. I didn't make any particular symmetry, just wanted enough on each side for him to really grab onto. Remove the pins in the area where you plan on placing a ribbon tag and slide between your pieces of fabric, making sure the end of the ribbon is lined up with the edge of the blanket.

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Replace the pins {through the ribbon} and head to the sewing machine.

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I assume since you found me on a sewing blog you can basically decipher the rest. I assume since you found me on a sewing blog you can basically decipher the rest. If not, sew each edge completely, making crisp, 90 degree corners. Leave a hole about 1" to 1 1/2" so you can flip the blanket right-side-out. I used the tip of my scissors to lightly press in each corner to make sure they were fully inverted. Close the hole and admire the cuteness.

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It was a lot of fun to make and even more fun to see in a picture with my nephew!

tag blanket

Hopefully in the next week or so I can link up again to share progress on Keelin's onesie fabric quilt. It does exist, and there has been progress... but it's definitely not done. If you have a fun sewing project worth sharing, make sure you join the link party with Better Off Thread!

Until next time...