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Thursday, August 29, 2013

23snaps (an app review)

I love taking photos of our baby girl...most parents do! Since we have family spread around the country, I was looking for a way to be able to share photos easily. 

Facebook was not what I had in mind since I use it a lot for my day job, so I started looking into photo sharing app options. That's when I found 23snaps

I've been using 23snaps for about two months and it's been a fun way to share photos with family and friends instantly.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY: polka dot onesie

Last week, I was putting away baby clothes and noticing the fun patterns in Maggie's drawer of clothes. Then I started thinking about what was missing: polka dots! She has a few clothing items that have polka dot trim, but that's not enough polka dots (in my opinion).

So, I set out to cover at least one article of clothing in my favorite pattern. I was also determined not to buy anything for this project, so I took inventory of my craft supplies and I decided fabric markers were the way to go.

Once I had gathered my supplies, I was surprised at how quickly the onesie was finished. It was so simple! And since even a sleep deprived new mom (me) could pull it off in just minutes, I just had to share with a little tutorial.

Monday, August 26, 2013

5 things I'd tell my pregnant self

It's been seven weeks since the afternoon I went into labor with Maggie. I'm officially "healed" by American standards (the six week postpartum period has past). Over the past weeks I've struggled to make sense of my emotions, felt frustrated by my body and read more about postpartum and nursing than I thought possible.

It all started when I read Why are America's Postpartum Practices so Rough on New Mothers. While I am the exception to the rule, being able to take just over three months of paid leave, I still felt pressure to be up and doing routine chores in the immediate weeks following Maggie's birth. I didn't have any major issues (thank God) healing or with postpartum depression, but I do wish I had known a few things.

As a new mom living in the US, it can be difficult to balance what others think you should be doing with how you are actually doing. I'm not talking so much about the comments well meaning relatives and friends offer about caring for the baby, but the unspoken pressure to return to your usual routine just days or weeks after the baby is born.

Twenty-first century American culture puts some unrealistic expectations on women after they give birth. Being surrounded by it, it's easy to believe what American culture expects is right, with it's all too short maternity leave and limited help for the new mom (this article provides better insight and this one was also spot on, though the language was vulgar).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

a Saturday date

Saturday's weather was simply beautiful: low humidity and a breezy, sunny 70's. It was the perfect day to spend some time outside. We actually had a date without the little one and enjoyed exploring a nearby state park.

The trees were beautiful and the trails well kept.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Loosening my grip on the calendar

For as long as I can remember, I've loved the calendar. I looked forward to getting a new planner with the start of each school year. There seemed to be so much promise in the blank pages that awaited my handwriting to mark down all the important dates. I'd get so much satisfaction out of writing down family member's birthdays on the calendar that hung in my bedroom. There was also a season of color coding my planner (I think that was in high school).

For years, I lived life by looking ahead at my calendar, always focused on the next date or series of days I looked forward to. And they were all very worthy dates to anticipate with excitement: graduations, new jobs, our wedding and then our due date.

The funny thing about due dates is that they don't guarantee the baby's arrival. Ours came and went without the little one's debut. When she came, just days after her due date it seemed as though the calendar and my schedule didn't matter so much anymore.

My schedule was now this baby's schedule. This new little person, weighing less than ten pounds was dictating my time. I could only sleep or get things done once she was taken care of (read fed, changed and happy).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Three Rules for Easy Postpartum Style

I've been a mom for six weeks. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this fact, but not really. I mean there's a life I am responsible for.

All this focus on the baby leaves little time for me to be concerned about what I'm wearing. I've realized my clothing needs to fit a few criteria:
  • it's comfortable
  • it isn't a pain to nurse in
  • it wears well (simple to wash)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2 DIY Nursery Projects

When I was dreaming up the nursery, I started a secret Pinterest board to bookmark ideas I thought would work in the nursery. It had pins like homemade mobiles, wall art, the crib bedding, nursery furniture and nurseries I admired.

It became an inspiration board for me to layout my ideas for how the nursery might come together and that proved important since we had a limited amount of time to decorate the nursery. The room was occupied by a college student until about six weeks before Maggie was born. We didn't have to paint or anything; we simply had to setup and decorate for our baby.

I didn't want a nursery theme like jungle animals or Winnie the Pooh, but I did decide to play up the dots from the pattern on the crib bedding. They seemed like a good gender neutral color pallet since we didn't know if we would have a boy or girl.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

around here + links

Happy end of the week! I dare say Maggie and I have a bit of a routine established in our weekdays. With this newfound rhythm, I'm learning when I can get household chores done, when to rest and even get together with friends.

So I've had the chance to read a few more blogs, spend some time on Pinterest and I even sat down to read a book one morning.

I can't help but agree with Elise about how comfy maxis are (and a perfectly pulled together look for new moms).

I wanna try this recipe for skinny pancakes.

I've had a little Jen Hatmaker obsession lately (her blog always makes me laugh). Earlier this week I watched nearly all her YouTube videos and highly recommend Love Your Neighbor.

As a new mom, I've been thinking about how to fit in exercise and Ruthy had some great tips!

Love to shop at Target? It can be dangerous for me with all their cute clothes, home goods, stationary and more. Targeting my heart was an honest and gracious blog post by Jen. Good words, friend.

And because I always appreciate a pretty makeover, don't miss the Decked Out Kitchen Reveal.

What have you loved from blogland or Pinterest lately? Feel free to leave the link in the comments and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

zucchini muffins (recipe)

One of my favorite baked goods in the summer is zucchini bread. I have great memories of buying it at a deli when I was in college.

In the summer, I don't bake much since I hate to turn on the oven and I hadn't baked it in years, but recently came across this recipe a friend had shared with me. Wanting a bit of portion control (since I've been home all day lately), I used the zucchini bread recipe to make zucchini muffins. I decided I'm less likely to eat four muffins than four slices of zucchini bread...ya know?!

3 eggs (at room temperature)
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini (shredded)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Maggie's first month

I can't believe the first month with Maggie has come and gone. We love this little girl so much and are relishing even the smallest changes. She's such a mellow baby (so far) and we feel so blessed to be her parents.

Friday, August 9, 2013

One day...

One day I will not have to reheat my coffee, but until then I will think of my own mother's cup of coffee that I'd find in the microwave.

One day I will not dream about cloth diapering.

One day I'll have a schedule again. For now, my schedule is Maggie's schedule and that's just fine.

One day I'll wash my hair more than twice a week and style it in something other than a ponytail.

One day I will catch up on thank you notes.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

my 3 rules of maternity style

If you've been around for long, you know I'm no fashion blogger, but I do love to get a good bargain on clothing and to look my best. While I was pregnant, I documented a good number of my maternity outfits with updates on the blog, but I thought it would be fun to put together a collage of several outfits.

Looking back on the things I wore during my pregnancy, I realized there were a few common elements, or rules of maternity style. I was on a limited budget and bought a few maternity staples, about half of which came from consignment or thrift stores. I also borrowed a good amount of maternity clothes from friends.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Maggie and Milton

A friend of mine asked me recently how Milton (our dog) likes Maggie. I told her how Milton has really taken to her and is quite protective around her. He loves to sniff her and often comes in the nursery while I'm feeding her and sits at my feet. I've taken a few cute Instagram photos when he's come in.

She then asked what Maggie thought of Milton and I had to be honest: I don't think she's noticed him yet. When he sniffs or gets in an occasional lick, she doesn't cry or even whimper. It's like she doesn't even know he's there.

I'm pretty sure this will all change in a matter of months and they'll become good friends. And when she's older, I think she'll appreciate these photos a friend took of the three of us with Milton the first week she was home. Oh, and don't mind my somewhat exposed belly in most of the shots. Maggie was only a week old the day these were taken and as Duchess Kate has recently reminded us it's okay to have a belly after you give birth ;-)

Friday, August 2, 2013

The List: August

The highlight from July: