Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Favorites


So it's Black Friday which means deals deals deals!  These are few things that I've been digging that are finally on sale.  Some are still way out of my price range (but a girl can dream can't she?).  If you couldn't already tell, I'm really into patterns right now and I've kind of been coveting Kate Spade's Margot Satchel for a while but I'm not really a purse kind of gal.  I always joke around with my husband that he should be happy I don't have a shoe or purse obsession.  Don't get me wrong, I love shopping, but I don't really have expensive taste and go for the more practical items...so above would be my "if I had a ton of money and threw practicality out the window" Friday Favorites.

If you aren't already using EBATES you are missing out on SO MUCH FREE MONEY!! I have been using ebates for the past 2 years and have earned over $300 just from shopping online.  All you have to do is sign up, get the button, and shop shop shop.  Once a quarter you get sent a check for the money that you earned.  It's free money and it is AWESOME!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crockpot Favorites: Pulled Pork and Skinny Cole Slaw

So it's the day before Thanksgiving and school was cancelled thanks to this wonderful Nor'Easter that's blowing through the Mid-Atlantic.  At 5:30 this morning, when I got the phone call I was annoyed.  It wasn't even raining yet and they're already calling the day...and a half day nonetheless!  Well I figured now would be a good time to post some of my favorite crockpot recipes.  These are staples in my house and definitely make life as a working mama easier.

Crockpot Pulled Pork
Ingredients:
  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
Mix water and BBQ sauce in crockpot.  Layer onions and pork chops.  Add a little extra BBQ sauce on top.  Set crockpot on low for 7 hours.  And here's the secret: remove pork chops and put in stand mixer.  Turn mixer on low for 1 minute to pull the pork.  Add more bbq sauce as needed.  Easy peesy and soooo delicious!

And my favorite Cole Slaw Recipe
Skinny Cole Slaw
Ingredients:
  • One 16-oz. package cole slaw mix, dry
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar 
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 packets Splenda
Mix mayo, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, and splenda in a small bowl.  Pour over dry cole slaw mix and stir.  Enjoy with yummy crockpot pulled pork.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites


Tripp has just been living in these adorable chinos from H&M's baby collection.  We have them in 4 different colors (Red, Green, Navy, and Khaki).  Bob has this thing where he doesn't want to dress our son in the typical cotton drawstring pants.  He has to look like a little man so these pants fit that bill perfectly and at $9.95 a pop, you can't go wrong!  I'm also in love with this vest and picture him wearing it with his buffalo plaid onesie and dark jeans for our holiday card (which I have all planned out in my mind but I'm sure will never actually happen).

Speaking of buffalo check plaid....how cute is this shirt from Joe Fresh?  And the houndstooth vest?  I have two puffer vests (one orange and one red) and need to start wearing them more often.  There's that adorable vest from JCrew that's all of instagram but has been sold out for quite a while (not to mention the fact that it's crazy expensive).  I know stitch fix has a similar vest and I'm hoping it winds up in my next box though I requested things I could wear for the holidays...like this sequined dress from H&M that sold out pretty much immediately.  H&M now offers online shopping which is super dangerous for someone like me who loves that place.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Picture Day Friday Favorites

This week was Tripp's picture day and man did he look adorable.

He wore the bow tie shirt under the cardigan with dark jeans and the adorable houndstooth sneakers.  Tripp gets a bath every night, but when he wakes up in the morning his hair is just out of control so instead of taking a nighttime bath he got one the morning of pictures.  He looked so handsome and sure enough on their way to school he decided to take a big ol poop in the car.  Bob heard it (and could smell it) so pulled over immediately to salvage the outfit.  Success!  Lately I've really been digging Old Navy's baby clothes so that's where all of these are from.  They're super affordable in addition to being adorable.  Though he didn't wear the buffalo plaid shirt on picture day, Bob paired it with khakis and took his daily photo outside by the pile of wood.  Our little lumberjack!  It was such a festive fall photo.  If you're on our email list, look out for that picture in his 10 month update :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dealing with loss and the dangers of a POAS addiction

It seems like there has been a lot going on in the baby world near to me.  Three of our friends are now pregnant (at varying stages).  One friend recently began writing about their journey trying to conceive.  And a sorority sister of mine recently lost her son during birth.  It was only after reading both of their blogs about the topic that I had to think to myself, "did I ever talk about our situation?"  Sure enough, going back through old posts, I never did.

December 21st, 2012 - The first time I ever peed on a stick with the possibility of it coming back positive.  It was a First Response Early Response digital pregnancy test and it came back POSITIVE!  I was over the moon.  In November of 2012 I started charting my basal body temperature every morning at 6am.  It was annoying and inconvenient and I didn't think that something like that would ever work and here we were with our first positive pregnancy test!   At this point I was 11 days past ovulation so it was certainly possible that this was indeed my first pregnancy.  Bob and I were so excited and couldn't wait to tell our families.  Because I was nervous and had heard horror stories I decided to test every day until my period would officially be missed and then schedule a blood test.

December 22nd, 2012 - positive again!  We decided to tell our families.

December 23rd, 2012 - negative :( I started freaking out.  The digital came back negative this time.  How could that be possible?!  I decided to go to the store and get the other type of pee sticks.  The kind that the line gets darker.  I didn't see a line :( With Christmas just around the corner, I was even more upset.  At midnight mass on the 24th I said a little prayer and hoped that it was a fluke and everything would be back to normal the next day.

December 25th, 2012 - After Christmas festivities with my in-laws and breaking the news that I wasn't actually pregnant, Bob and I headed back to our house for Christmas with my family.  On a whim I decided to POAS again....POSITIVE!!! What kind of shenanigans are these?!

December 26th - 28th - POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE!!! Maybe it was just a fluke that I tested negative on the 23rd.  We were back in business and by now I had officially missed my period.  I called the dr to schedule a blood test to confirm.

December 28th - I'm at the doctor so incredibly nervous.  They won't have the results back until Monday (New Year's Eve).

December 31st - The doctors office calls and sure enough my blood test was positive! I decide not to toast the night away and hide it from our friends who are now at our house celebrating...Bob's cousin suspects something is up and after the ball drops I spilled the beans that we would be having an early September baby.  Maybe it would be born on my birthday?! How exciting would that be?!  Everyone was so happy for us.

January 8th - By now we had told both of our families including aunts/uncles/grandmas.  I was starting to feel a little queasy in the mornings but couldn't tell if that was legit or just in my head, what I thought I should feel.  I had a long day at school with a yearbook meeting afterward.  For whatever reason I felt compelled to tell our company rep that I was pregnant.  Granted I was only 7weeks at that point, but I was so excited at the thought of being a mommy.  I get home from school around 5 and head to the bathroom to change into comfy clothes...there's blood :(  In a panic I google what's going on.  I call my coworker and my sister and they both tell me to calm down.  It could just be spotting.  It doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong.  They suggest I lay down and rest for a little and call the dr if it gets worse....it gets worse.  I give the doctor's office a call and they schedule me for an ultrasound at 8:45am the next morning.  Bob takes off work so that he could come with me.

Deep down I knew it was over.  I knew when I got that first negative on Dec 23rd that it wasn't real but I continued to have high hopes that I was wrong and my tests were coming back positive to keep me delusional.  At the obgyn they took more blood to check my betas but I wouldn't get the results for another 2 days.  When I went in for my ultrasound, there was nothing there....not even an empty embryonic sac.  It's as if the whole thing was a hoax from the start, something I created in my mind.  I came out of the exam room crying and Bob knew exactly what that meant.  I didn't want to go home. I didn't want to talk to anyone.  I just wanted to cry so Bob and I went to the movies...a nice dark theater where I could let it all out if I needed to.  I took the next day off from work as well and spent the day in bed, alone and upset.  When you have a miscarriage, they have to continue to monitor your hormone levels to make sure that your body expels everything.  This can be such a painful reminder of what just happened.  My levels were going down but it took 2 more blood tests until they were at an acceptable level to consider everything over with.

It's a shame that things like this aren't talked about in our culture, especially considering how 1 in 5 women suffer from miscarriages.  I decided not to tell any of my friends what had happened.  None of them knew about my pregnancy to begin with and I didn't want to be Debbie Downer and tell them about the miscarriage.  It wasn't until I became pregnant with Tripp and we passed the 8 week mark and I had an official picture of my little embryo and saw his heartbeat flicker on the monitor that I felt comfortable enough to tell my friends about the first pregnancy.  I want them to know that I'm there for them if something like this happens to them and that it's not something to be ashamed of.  It sucks...my goodness does it suck, but it helped my relationship with my husband grow stronger and almost a year to the day of my miscarriage, my son was born.