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Date archive for: October 2015

Heart to Heart: A Venting Session

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I have been truly blessed throughout my pregnancy.  I never had morning sickness in the first trimester, only bouts of nausea here and there and fatigue.  The second trimester was heaven.  I had energy enough to walk up to four miles at a time, do yoga and lift weights, as well as teach summer school and my middle school kids.  When people asked me how I felt, my first response was “I absolutely LOVE being pregnant!  It’s the best I’ve ever felt!”

Well, I’m sorry to say I’m not singing the same tune these days.  This third trimester…I could kiss it goodbye!  When reading about how I would feel by the 30th week, I felt very optimistic.  “Oh, that’s not going to happen to me, I’m not going to feel stretched out, weighed down, fatigued, and grumpy…I LOVE being pregnant!”  Oh what a naive girl I was.

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By week 30, I knew I was in for a rude awakening.  My stomach really started to weigh me down, and the waddling began.  Oh the waddling.  And the swelling in my feet and ankles caused me to only have access to a select pair of shoes (this makes me very upset).  My non maternity clothes I could get away with were beginning to creep up higher and higher on my torso, and even the maternity jeans I had bought in the first trimester were starting to dig into my stomach while sitting.  Walking around the classroom was a joke as well.  My hip joints would pop out of place, sharp pains in my pelvis would cause me to jump, and again, the swollen feet issue.  When I’d get home from work all I would have energy for was to maybe do a load of dishes, and then crash on the couch for the rest of the evening.

Now, at 35 weeks, I really have no control over my body.  Jack seems to have taken over my entire torso, hands and feet digging into my ribs and pelvis.  Poor kid, I think we’re both pretty uncomfy these days.  And I have no room for food.  NO ROOM!  I eat a couple bites of this, a nibble or two of that, and I’m full.  But hungry.  There just isn’t enough room for Jack and food these days.

I have lack of bladder control, too!  I thought my water broke last week after a long day of work and errands.  Geoff took me to labor and delivery, tests were ran, and everything came back negative.  Geoff asked what all the liquid was, and come to find out I just peed myself…no biggie.  Ah!  I was so afraid to work for fear that I would loose control and have an accident.  An adult woman wetting herself can be hysterical…and yes, I am still laughing at myself and I’m totally cool if you laugh at my expense because IT IS FUNNY!! But if it happens at work, or in public then it becomes a real issue.  Thankfully, my doctor took me off work this last Friday.  Not because of my accident, even though it probably helped in the decision making, but because I am just EXHAUSTED and done!

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This first week of maternity leave has been a blessing, however.  I’m still exhausted, but I somehow feel a little more alive.  Like I’m out of this funk of trying to hustle to get things done.  Yes, I’m working on completing Jack’s nursery, purchasing must have items that weren’t given to us as gifts just yet, and just getting some odds and ends completed and out of the way.  Geoff is painting our hallway and working on some last minute DIYs in the house before Jack gets here.  We’re both nesting.  I’ve addressed most of my thank you cards for the gifts we’ve received.  Washed the majority of Jack’s clothes (I actually really loved washing his clothes, folding them, planning outfits out of them…).

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And yet, I still LOVE being pregnant.  Even with this miserable last trimester.  I really wouldn’t change anything.  I want to remember all of Jack’s kicks and jabs, even if they make me squirm and jump in my seat.  I want to remember the funny stories that come from my lack of bodily control.  That my belly grew so large that I had to finally break down and wear some damn maternity tops.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Tonight Geoff and I are going to our friend’s house to carve pumpkins!  I’ll be making pumpkin spice donuts for the party!  And Saturday we plan on walking to Cajon St. to check out all of the Halloween trick or treating and decorations!  Preparing for next year 😉

My Favorite Outfits: Pregnancy Edition

 

Something I’ve really enjoyed about this pregnancy is the chance to get creative with fashion!  Wanting to make sure that I use the clothes that I already owned, while trying to minimally purchase and borrow maternity clothes and non-maternity clothes, became a creative outlet for me. I wanted to share some of my favorites from the last 8 months with hopes of inspiring you, whether you’re expecting or not, to get creative with your clothing, feel good about your body, and enjoy whatever season you’re in!
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{Top: J.Crew // Skirt: Target}

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{Hat: Target // Dress: American Eagle // Jacket: Target // Shoes: Aldo // Necklace: Nectar}

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{Hat: Target // Dress: Liz Lange Maternity for Target (similar here)// Necklace: Nectar}

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{Dress: Forever 21 (similar here) // Shoes: Thrifted}

 

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{T Shirt: Old Navy // Jacket: Target // Jeans: Gap Maternity (Borrowed) // Shoes: Mellow Yellow Paris}

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{Dress: Handed down from my mother 15 years ago // Hat: Target}

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{Hat: Target // Dress and Sweater: Kith (local Redlands boutique) // Moccasins: DSW}

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{Dress: Old Navy (online) // Belt: Anthropologie // Sandals: Target (online)}

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{Dress: Liz Lange Maternity for Target // Earrings: Passion Flower Made // Necklace: Nectar}

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{Top: Kith (local Redlands boutique) // Maternity Shorts: Target // Mocassins: DSW}

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{Dress: Same one my mother gave me 15 years ago // Belt: Anthropologie // Shoes: Target (online)}

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{Dress: Liz Lange Maternity for Target (similar here) // Sweater: DTLA discounted designer clothes shopping trip}

Being in my third trimester, and now on maternity leave, I feel like getting dressed is becoming a little more difficult, and a little uninspiring since I’m not going to work.  Casual and comfy is what I’m after these days, so simple dresses with sneakers or a flowy top and maternity leggings are the norm.  But I’m not complaining.  I’m sure in a couple weeks I’ll be living in my pajamas, and THAT’S OKAY.  Jack will be here before we know it!  Relaxing, catching up on the sleep I’ll surely be missing, and enjoying the last few weeks of this pregnancy are all that matter…but maybe I’ll wear red lipstick, just to add some flare to my PJs.

 

Note: I apologize for not linking all items to the sites to buy them from, but many of the items are from a year or more ago, or they were thrifted or given to me.  However, my maternity clothes have been purchased in the last 8 months to now, so you might have luck finding them!  Also, items from Old Navy are recent, as well as the gold Target Sandals and Leopard Print Flats.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Banana Pecan Waffles

I don’t mess around with breakfast.  It’s my favorite meal of the day.  And my favorite breakfast foods tend to be ones that involve being slathered in REAL maple syrup (a little rant about that below).  Hope you enjoy this post about one of my favorite breakfasts I love to make on the weekends…and now during maternity leave (more on that below, too!).

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I sure love Fall!  The dark, earthy colors, the crisp air in the mornings, warm beverages and beautiful clothing to layer and get cozy in.

AND PUMPKINS.

I am one of the millions who has a sick obsession with pumpkin flavored everything.  I won’t apologize for this.  I just won’t.

A couple weeks ago I made pumpkin spice donuts for an Oktoberfest gathering Geoff and I attended.  They were amazing (I’ll be making them again for a pumpkin carving party Friday…recipe to follow!)  I ended up having some left over pumpkin puree from making the donuts, so the following morning I decided it would be a good idea to add it to the recipe I use when I make waffles.  Now, I know the title of this post includes “Gluten Free.”  I will eat nearly anything you put in front of me so I’m not exactly on a paleo or gluten free diet, but I fell in love with a gluten free, protein waffle recipe a couple years ago when my friend shared it with me.

I decided to use only three eggs from our chickens instead of the five the recipe calls for and add the pumpkin puree, about 1/4-1/2 cup or so.  The waffles turned out fantastic!  I bet adding some dark chocolate chips would make them out of this world!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Banana Pecan Waffles

Adapted from Joyful Abode

  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 VERY RIPE bananas (mine were almost black on the peel)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

Additional ingredients: dark or milk chocolate chips…mmmmm.

Let’s make these bad boys!

  1. Turn on your waffle iron.  I find my iron works best between medium and high.  I don’t spray mine with any cooking spray but if you need to then go for it.  In the meantime, while your iron heats up…
  2. Break your three eggs into a mixing bowl, making sure to not leave any broken shells.
  3. Add your two VERY RIPE bananas into the mixture.  Using a fork, begin to smash the bananas and beat the eggs together until they are mixed well, leaving the mixture a little lumpy.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree to the eggs and bananas, mixing well.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chopped pecans.
    • Note: I add the chopped pecans with all the ingredients because I LOVE them.  Geoff isn’t the biggest fan but he does enjoy them in these waffles.  If you have picky eaters, just add the pecans on top of your batter when you add the batter to your waffle iron.
  6. Your iron should be hot by now.  Drop a little quarter sized amount of batter onto the iron and close the lid.  This will be your taste tester to see if you need to add any more spices to your batter.  Once it’s ready, taste your mini waffle, add anything you feel the batter needs, then start making your waffles.
  7. The batter makes up to 4-5 waffles in my waffle iron.  Pour about a cup into the middle of your waffle iron and spread the batter evenly out to the sides.  Press the lid of your iron down firmly, and let cook until ready, about 5 minutes.
  8. Once your waffles are finished cooking, serve immediately!  I love serving these waffles with butter (I love Kerrygold), more pecans, and REAL GRADE A MAPLE SYRUP.  Please don’t mess around with the syrup, people.  No syrup made by an aunt, or from a cabin…unless it’s real maple syrup in a cabin tin.  I’m okay with that.  And of course, bacon.  Tempeh, turkey, pork bacon, whatever floats your boat (but I’m hoping it’s pork).

Today is my first day on maternity leave.  So I celebrated by making Geoff and I these waffles on a Monday morning.  A little glimpse into the future, and it was really nice.  Now I just need to work on getting the nursery complete and packing my hospital bag!  Have a lovely evening everyone!

Baby Shower Recap in Photographs

 

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Last weekend my dearest friend Adriana hosted my baby shower at her home.  Having beautiful, mature succulents already in her yard, we decided the theme would be succulents.  I wanted the shower to be a mix of myself and Jack, feminine and little boy. My sister in-law Mindy and my friend Sandy (who took our maternity shoot photos) brought over more succulents, too! I bought mini ones as favors from Redland’s Market Night the Thursday before.  Mindy came over that night to help me paint the pots turquoise (we used leftover paint samples Geoff and I had to paint our front door with).  I also bought white pumpkins from the farm stand down the street from my house that she took home and planted succulents in.  Even my earrings were made out of live succulents!

Being that it is finally fall (who am I kidding, it’s still in the 80s and 90s in SoCal!), we served homemade beef stew and a pumpkin bisque, a cheese platter and Costco muffins.  Wine for those who could and would drink it, and Le Croix, which happens to be one of my favorite beverages throughout my pregnancy, were sipped, as well as coffee and pumpkin pie after the gifts were revealed!  Decorating blocks for Jack, playing a guessing game of “who did it” as a child between Geoff and I, and passing gifts that had the color blue in them were games that we played.  And since we’re going with a travel theme for Jack’s nursery, everyone signed a globe with special messages for Jack that he’ll get to read and enjoy.

 

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I  experienced an intense case of pregnancy brain that day, trying to soak in every woman who was there, listening to their conversations, watching their interactions, and just taking it all in.  So many handmade gifts for Jack, and the sweetest clothes and books I’ve ever seen.  The day turned out to be so beautiful, more than I had anticipated.  So thankful to Adriana for creating such a fabulous day for me and Jack.  I loved every minute of it.

{Outfit Details// Dress: Liz Lange Maternity for Target  // Shoes: Bass Shoes from two years ago // Live Succulent Earrings: Passion Flower Made on Etsy // Necklace: Nectar Clothing}

Have a beautiful Saturday, everyone!  Celebrating my friend Tawney and her baby girl tomorrow at her baby shower!

Rise Festival

 

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Last weekend during our Vegas “Baby”moon Geoff and I drove about 40 miles outside of Vegas to the Mojave Desert for the Rise Festival.  I had learned about the festival through one of my favorite fashion and lifestyle bloggers.  She and her husband had gone while she was pregnant last year.  Well, this year I’m pregnant during the time the Mojave Rise Festival was scheduled, making it the perfect event to celebrate this new journey we are embarking on!

Throughout my entire pregnancy I have loved the absence of anxiety!  If you’ve been around for a while, and/or know me personally, you know that I suffer from anxiety.  For some reason pregnancy really blocked any feelings of anxiety that I’ve suffered through in the past.  Unfortunately, in this third trimester, the anxiety is back and even worse than before.  I’m sure it’s due to a mix of biological and emotional factors.  I’m not afraid of going into labor and giving birth (don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to the pain!).  The anxiety is mostly about loss.  A handful of people that I’ve been close with or have known through others have passed away recently.  It’s as if I’m balancing between celebrating new life and mourning those who are gone.

Saturday morning during breakfast at our favorite restaurant in Vegas, I noticed my mother had called me and text me quite a bit.  At first I was going to wait to call her back after breakfast, because I knew in my gut what she was calling about and I didn’t want to have the conversation in public.  There ended up being a lengthy waiting period that allowed me to call her during breakfast.  She asked how my morning was and without answering her question I asked “Papa passed away, huh?”  My Papa Art (my mother’s father) had been shutting down since this July.  Loss.  I did feel a rush of relief when she told me “yes”.  Relief for my grandfather, for my mom and grandmother, and for our family as a whole.  I knew that night at Rise I wouldn’t only be focusing on releasing my fears and celebrating creating a family with my love, but I would be celebrating my papa as well.

 

We arrived to the festival a little later than planned.  It took over two hours to drive 40 miles (take note of this if you decide you want to go next year!).  Also, the lines for the food trucks were over an hour long and while Geoff was waiting to purchase our dinner, I was sitting in our little spot having the worst anxiety I’ve felt in a while.  I was so upset with myself because here we were, at this beautiful place that I had been looking forward to coming to for months, and I wasn’t spending it with my husband because the line for food was too long.  I kept having braxton hicks contractions which also added to my anxiety.  Would I go into labor in the middle of the desert?!  I decided while I was waiting for Geoff to return that I would start writing on my lantern.  I wrote down a list of things I wanted to release: anxiety, fear, self-doubt, expectations.  I also wrote down a list as replacements: faith, trust, confidence, acceptance.  Once Geoff returned he wrote on his lantern and then we both wrote on a lantern together about family, marriage, friendships, and even wrote notes to my papa and his late grandparents.

Releasing the lanterns was such a beautiful and freeing experience.  It was as if we were making our own stars in the sky with over 14,000 people out in the middle of the desert.  Once we’d release our lanterns, both of us looked up into the sky to watch them float away with the rest of them.  One thing to be aware of, however, are the run-away lanterns that knock into you!  We would be in the zone, admiring the view around us, and then we’d hear “watch out!” and a lantern would be coming right at us, or someone wouldn’t even warn us while a lantern was ready to fall on our belongings.  Looking back on the videos we took, I found them both breathtaking and humorous because of the balance between the lanterns that were in the sky and the ones that were coming right at us!

When we left the festival I felt a little disappointed, to be honest.  I wanted to feel like I had released what I wrote on my lantern.  The lantern Geoff and I released together felt really good because we were celebrating life and remembering our loved ones.  But my lantern, the one that was holding on to so much of the emotions and fears I’ve been battling with for years, just didn’t feel like anything was gone when it slipped through my fingers.  The anxiety I felt while waiting by myself, trying to watch the sky while also fearing that a lantern would fall on my head or burn Geoff, felt like the complete opposite of how I should have been feeling that night.

Although the drive back into Vegas wasn’t nearly as bad as the drive there, I realized that it’s all a process.  Releasing, letting go, can’t happen in one night.  It’s gradual.  Like weight loss.  The things we hold on to, that weigh us down…there aren’t quick fixes for them.  Sure, we can find an easy way out, like suppressing how we feel, or telling ourselves everything is okay.  But I was made more aware of the reality of time heals all wounds.  I know now that I was experiencing anxiety, fear, and disappointment after the festival because those were the very things I wrote on my lantern to release!!  I was meant to feel all of those yucky feelings because they are the very things that I am needing to let go of.  I had a vision in my mind of how the night would go and when it wasn’t living up to my expectations I freaked out!  Everything I wrote down I experienced all in one night.

And that night was perfect.  Looking back on the experience, I believe it was the best for me.  My truth did rise up.  Maybe not in the form of a lantern, but in my heart I know what my truth is, what I need to work on, and that I will be able to release and replace in time.
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What are some of the things you need to let go of?  Hoping you all have had a beautiful weekend and have an even better week ahead!