Friday, January 31, 2014

Fun Fact Friday 01.31.13

Last day of January! Wohoo. Keep the Spring countdown coming. And for me, keep the tax deadline countdown coming!

I'm really looking forward to getting my nights back and getting back to blogging more regularly. I miss it! But working 12 hours days, combined with an avg hour commute each way...ya I head straight to bed upon arriving home these days. And will continue to do so for the next couple weeks. Boo.

But here's what's going on over here:

1. I do my best not to wash my hair daily. Somehow, this curly hair of mine has really thinned out over the past few years....and I'm still waiting for those healthy hair benefits from prenatal vitamins to kick in... Anyways, every other day I rely on dry shampoo - a life saver these days as it allows me to sleep in a few extra minutes. But here's my tip: If you know you won't be washing your hair in the morning, spray in some dry shampoo, or baby powder, the night before. Let it work its oil absorbing magic all night. (A big thank you to A Cup of Joe for that tip!).

2. I enjoyed hearing from a few of you about my skin routine. Thinking a hair and makeup routine might be up next. Creature of habit over here, I need you to let me know what I'm missing out on.

3. Baby C:

  • J and I may have visited Buy Buy Baby last weekend... And I may have loved every minute of it. The associates we dealt with were incredibly helpful. Yes, I needed to know what stroller I wanted at 15 weeks! I can't help it. I was born for this gig and am so excited. Plus, now we can look for any deals. Am I right?
    • My stroller must haves:
      • Foam filled tires - the idea of having to worry about a flat tire on a stroller? No thanks.
      • Not too heavy - the stroller I originally wanted was 25 lbs. Well in the city that's totally fine, but in the suburbs where I'll be lifting it in and out of car? It's too much. So we've settled on a smaller, 15lb version. (We think, so no extra details yet)
      • Accessible, good sized storage
      • A plus: front and rear facing seat option
  • My mom and I may be starting the furniture shopping/browsing this weekend too....Combine an overly excited Nona-to-be with a list maker who loves to get things done (and is an overly excited mama-to-be) and well, I wouldn't be surprised if the nursery is done before I enter my third-trimester...fine by me!

4. Do yourself a favor and make this Chopped Italian Salad. And don't forget the dressing recipe too. It's so easy, and soo good. We added grilled shrimp and paired it with some fresh crusty bread, wine for J, Sanpellegrino for me. Delish! This is next on my list to make.

5. Who will be watching the Superbowl this weekend? Not going to lie, I only really watch to see how my square numbers do. But this video makes me want to root for the Seahawks just for the fan! But please Kevin Jonas, we don't need you to rent us your home, thanks. Especially where only part of that fee is going to charity. Seriously?

6. Well, we just finally saw the Parenthood season finale and I bawled my eyes out at the end. That hit a little close to home, and pregnancy hormones. Wow.

7. My dog is a freak and I wouldn't want him any other way.

Have a fantastic weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?
 I'll be working Saturday but am hoping to head to the gym first. Or maybe after work is better? Sunday will be workout #2, baby furniture shopping, and winning money on superbowl squares! ;)

Linking up with H54FThat Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beauty Routine: Skin

My daily skin routine had been the same for years. I found what worked and just stuck with it. It was easy. But thank you pregnancy hormones for causing my skin to start breaking out like a teenager. It was bad.

Ok, it really wasn't that bad but it freaked me out. And made me feel ridiculously uncomfortable. So things have changed over here and thank god it's working! 


Each day starts with exfoliating my face in the shower and then lathering on some  Olay moisturizer (with sunscreen!). Now that I'm also fearing stretch marks, I've added in using a skin oil. This one linked above smells like dessert and was recommended by another blogger who swears its the reason she didn't get stretch marks. Um, sold!

And thanks to this lovely, freakin cold winter I've even taken up using this oil on my face every so often too. A few months ago, my sister gave me a sample bottle of face oil from Beauty Counter and I loved it. After cleansing my skin I'd smooth on the oil, followed by moisturizer. And no, it didn't make my skin oily at all. It worked wonders! But the Beauty Counter oil is pricey. And since I'd already purchased the toning oil above, I figured why not use it on my face? It's all natural and coconut oil is great for your skin.


To be honest, I just recently started using Cetaphil when my face began breaking out. I know it's a fan favorite but I didn't love the whole no lathering/lack of soapiness it has. How the heck is this cleaning my face?! But I decided to give it a whirl in the hopes that it's sensitive formula would be just what I needed. That paired with the best face tool ever, the Clarasonic Mia, and the newest addition to my skin routine, toner - and things are looking much better! Phew.

When my skin first started having issues this past fall, I immediately googled how to curb this while pregnant and using toner seemed to be the best solution. Heck, I'd definitely give that a try. So I jump in the car and head straight to the store. Being newly pregnant I thought maybe I shouldn't use anything too harsh. The Simple brand seemed to be my best bet. Either that, or I thought I was going to pee my pants so I grabbed the "greenest" looking toner and ran. Can't remember... But I am happy with my purchase! I told a good friend who is an esthetician that I started using toner and she agreed whole heartedly. According to her, toner balances out the pH in your skin. And like I said, it seems to be working wonders over here.

Night cream. I am a huge proponent of night cream for really no reason at all other than doing my best to hinder aging. J was kind enough to include the Olay regenerist line night cream in my stocking and I am in love. It's soo silky smooth to put on. I'm probably looking younger everyday now. Ha.

Do you have any skin products you can't live without?
I've been using Olay (so weird not calling it Oil of Olay...) moisturizers for years. I got this from my mom, and seeing as she has beautiful skin, Olay it is for me too!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fun Fact Friday - 01.24.14

It's hard to believe that an entire week has gone by. It was all one big blur over here...pretty pumped we're nearing the end of January though! The closer we get to Spring, the better. Right?

1. The snow. We woke up Wednesday morning to a foot and a half of fresh snow. And seeing as the city and anywhere north or west of the city only got a dusting, it was not a work from home type of day. So we got out there early, shoveled what we could, and then headed on out to work. If only the mountains got this snow, it was so powdery! Oh and J and I had a little debut on the local news cleaning my car off at the bus lot I left it at the night before (right around 1:25 mark, here).

 Google+ added a snow filter to this...nice touch Google, nice touch.

2. Our master bathroom was featured! Shortly after I posted about our bathroom renovation, Laurel reached out to me about a feature. While this particular granite company is not exactly close to Boston, I was honored that she wanted to showcase our use of granite. We're still so happy with it!

3. Do yourself a favor and make Ree's chili. The last snow storm we got, J and I anticipated losing power so I prepped a big batch of chili knowing we'd be able to heat up on the stovetop if needed. My only addition to her recipe, one jalepeno. Next time though, I think we'll be adding more - bring the heat! I'm drooling thinking about the serving I put in our freezer for a future quick meal.

4. Baby brain. I realize not everyone is interested in all things baby related but well, my mind can't help but be very preoccupied with it. Here's what I've been reading and thinking these days -

  • I'm 90% sure we will not be finding out the sex of our baby beforehand. While we heard reasons why we should, the reasons to wait just seemed to agree with us more. The anticipation of that moment is so exciting!
  • Plus, Michelle found out at 33 weeks preggo that the techs had the sex of her baby wrong! What the what?! 
  • I LOVE reading bloggers lists of baby must-haves and hearing from friends on this. But yesterday, it was sort of refreshing to read Bri's take on what she wishes she hadn't registered for. This one's toughs since it truly depends on your baby, but I've heard this about the Bumbo more than once...hmm...moms out there- thoughts??
  • Another item I've read more than once not to register....clothes. People are going to buy them anyways. Interesting theory really, and probably very true. But seeing as we won't know what we're having, I'm guessing there won't be too many clothing items on our registry.
  • Walking into what has been just the spare bedroom for the last 6 months, empty of any furniture, and imagining it as a nursery was surreal. I can't wait until we start crib shopping!

5. When we moved, I subscribed to too many home decor magazines...I couldn't help myself. And at $5 subscriptions, you would too. But the unread magazines have been piling up lately between being just too busy and  a little burned out, overwhelmed by house projects before the holidays. Well, I finally took a peek at the recent issue of HGTV...and the home decor craving is back! I want to paint something. While at Target the other night I scoured the end caps in the home section for decor deals. If you've never noticed that before, here's your heads up. The clearance items are on the end caps. And usually, I find the really good stuff on the more "hidden" end caps, not the ones you walk by unintentionally. Besides Target deals, that guest bathroom makeover is on my mind daily...

6. Lastly, we're creating a monster over here...And I can't even bring myself to tell him no. His world is going to turn upside down in 6 months.

How can you say no to this face?!

Have a fantastic weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?
 I'll be working Saturday per usual these days but am hoping to head to the gym first. Sunday is all about finally spending some QT with J. There's no football on TV! My husbands back!

Linking up with H54FThat Friday Blog Hop

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fun Fact Friday - Baby C!

I think this Friday calls for the first Baby C Q&A!

First off, we couldn't be more excited! I've certainly cherished the time J and I have had together just us two, but we're counting down the days until our little one makes his/her arrival.

Due Date: Currently July 23rd

First symptoms: Sore chest, burping (yes, TMI? sorry but seriously weird yet common symptom)

How far along are you? We just finished the first trimester over here (thank god).

Food Aversions? Oh yes. My diet changed dramatically in the first trimester. Mostly due to nausea....but goodbye veggies and chicken.

Food cravings? Hello bagels with cream cheese (daily), box mac n cheese, red meat....milk and cereal, baked potatoes, yogurt, and ice cream have also been making more regular appearances than they did pre-pregnancy. But as the second trimester begins, I'm finding myself actually craving salad. Never thought I'd see the day, but thankful veggies are back in my life.

What do you miss eating? J and I talked about creating a list of things to do before I got pregnant, I was thinking trips, etc. J was more realistic listing out a sushi date, visiting a raw bar, etc. To which I responded, we have all the time in the world, think bigger! Sad to say, he was totally right. And by the grace of God, I got pregnant much quicker than we ever anticipated. So now I'm dying for sushi. And watching friends enjoy freshly shucked oysters in December was killer. I used to eat a sandwich everyday for lunch, totally missing good deli meat/subs! And lastly, probably the biggest would be red wine. Oh how I miss you.

  Don't be fooled by the little bump at 8 weeks, another first trimester symptom - serious bloating

Symptoms/ How I've been feeling: The first 7 weeks were great, no major symptoms at all. And then nausea struck. The minute I became hungry, I also because very nauseous so keeping snacks with me was important. As someone who can get car sick anyways, pregnancy totally magnified that! So commuting to/from work was a struggle at times. And waking up early during the week didn't help. I kept reminding myself though, it could have been much worse - I got through the day, fatigue wasn't terrible, and I didn't end up getting physically sick that often. By week 12 things died down. Knock on wood they stay that way.

I also experienced bleeding around week 7, which was scary to say the least! It happens and everything can be just fine, as it was in my case, but it lasted a week and I was put on a strict no exercise plan which was tough. Nothing like someone telling you not to move (while you're eating bagels and pasta daily) to make you really want to get in a workout!

My biggest symptom now is headaches. But again, it could be worse so no complaining here. We'll get through it.

How did family/friends react? This was so much fun! Our parents were the first to know of course. And they were totally shocked. Shocked! Then the siblings found out next and were all so excited. They were also completely shocked. I'm not sure I've mentioned this on the blog but my sister-in-law Meg is also pregnant and due in May. I'm really excited to go through this with someone so close - we will certainly help each other's sanity during the trying times!

Extended family found out next during the holidays. And without a doubt my mom's side of the family, a group of loud Italian women, takes the cake for best reaction. It was so fun to tell everyone at once.

Lastly, we did our best to tell as many good friends as possible before spilling the beans more publicly. We are SO fortunate to have the best family and friends who are just so excited with us. There were a few more tears, hugs, and many cheers (with water for me obv). J has certainly enjoyed having himself a driver these days.

Friends seemed to know it was coming much better than family. Apparently we did a very good job at fooling our families into thinking we were still waiting - my line for the past 6 months or so of being asked has always been, I'm too young. :) But when we realized we only have 1 wedding next summer, the opportunity to start our family became very real.

Will you find out what you're having? I've seriously gone back and forth on this one. I can't say that I have this need to know feeling. But I kinda/sorta want to know...if you have a convincing reason why I should or shouldn't, let me know! I've heard some great points on this, going both ways.

How's Tucker? Snoozing right besides me, no idea what's going on... I do think he's become a little more attached lately but maybe that's me. I'm so excited to add a little one to our family but I want to make sure Tucker knows just how important he is too so he's been getting lots of love. And I'm doing my best not to call him baby anymore. As the older sibling, he's the big boy now. We will certainly be instilling some of the great tips we've read on how to introduce dogs to babies.

Have a fantastic weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?
 I'll be working Saturday but have scheduled apps and diet cokes (for me) with girlfriends to make sure I get out of work at a decent time, then we're off to celebrate a friends birthday. So glad I won't be drinking ginger ale in Harpoon cider bottles anymore to hide being preggo! And Sunday..there's only one thing to say, Go Pats! 

Linking up with H54FThat Friday Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014's Biggest Project - Surprise!

Time to reveal a BIG secret I've been keeping from you guys...

That's right, we're adding a little love over here! 

If all goes according to plan, Baby C will be joining our family this July.

And we can't wait!

More details to come! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Loving Lately - What I'm Wearing

I hope you're all doing your best to keep warm during these frigid temps! We can't even complain here in Boston compared to those of you in #Chiberia (that's Chicago being referenced as Siberia for those of you who may have missed that).

I have to say, thank god for these recent closet additions! Here are a few items I received (or purchased for myself while shopping for others...) that I can't stop wearing lately.

Christmas favorites

1 - Oh this sweater. It has been worn countless times since the week of Christmas. Out with friends, Christmas dinner, a Holiday Party, etc. While visiting my sister in Charlotte she had something similar on from JCrew and my mom loved it. Well, JCrew Factory sells a cotton blend version, versus a wool blend sold at JCrew, for a great price. And personally, cotton is much more comfortable to my mom and I so I snagged one for myself when buying hers. And truth be told, there are 2 more arriving on my doorstep this afternoon, one for each of us. We love this sweater!

2 - Ask and you shall receive. Well, at least in my family. I asked my mother-in-law for a cable knit sweater this Christmas and am completely in love with this one. It is incredibly comfortable. And the heavy knit has been perfect on these colder days. You can see a peak of it in this IG photo. It was perfect for a snowy day in the office. That and my new Sorel boots (similar) from my in-laws, lifesavers!

3 - I may have mentioned to my mom that I was in the market for new black boots....these have been great. I love the back zipper and minimal details on these boots, very sleek. My staple outfit lately for a few trips to the city, Sweater #1, black skinny jeans, these boots. Solid, comfortable outfit, easy to pair with a fun necklace.

4 - Who doesn't love a good set of flannel PJs? I may or may not have lived in these flannel pajamas while sick last week. The comfiest pajamas I have ever owned. Period.

Any recent purchases or gifts you're loving? Do tell!

If you like this post please let me know by leaving a comment or liking my Facebook page. You can also follow along on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Let's stay in touch!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Recent Recaps

Oh, happy Monday! Here's to another long work week for me. I figure since I can't seem to get Friday weekly recaps together lately, we'd start the week off with one. Sound good?

Work is gearing up for me and it looks like I'll be working 6 days a week for the next 6 weeks or so (boo), so I'll do my best to keep up with the blog. But if something needs to give, it'll be blogging. :(

So let's recap the last few weeks, shall we?

1. Brie & Fig Crostinis. Oh these are so good. And so easy to make! 
  • Get yourself a baguette, fig jam/butter, brie, and olive oil. 
  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • Slice the baguette and spread across a cookie sheet. Lightly pour the olive oil across them all - enough to slightly cover them, keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet.
  • Spread the fig jam on each bread slice.
  • Cut a piece of brie for each bread slice - it should cover the center of the bread - it will spread out as it heats up.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes.
There are no exact measurements for this recipe - use as little or as much as you'd like!

2. Uh, this was the scene outside my window yesterday morning...The snow heaves off our back gutters are insane!

3. My sister gifted me this sweater for Christmas. I'm obsessed. And I think I found a bold lip color I like!

4. I feel very fortunate to have such a great group of guys in my life since I started dating J back in high school.

5. Green smoothies for Christmas morning. Getting in a few vitamins and minerals before the all day binging began.

6. Google+ put together this fun recap of photos from 2013 for me. Memories.

7. I made french macarons from scratch! Yes, thats why they looks so funny. I need to get myself a pastry bag before I recreate them and share the recipe. A melon baller was my tool of choice this time. Either way, they tasted fantastic. I think their light, airiness was a pleasant surprise at the holiday party I brought them to.
Half filled with raspberry jam, the other half with homemade chocolate-almond frosting (yum!)

8. Christmas may be all packed up now, but I kept meaning to share a few of our holiday decorations. I loved having a mantel to decorate this year! Next year I will find the perfect wreath to hang from the mirror...

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?
We had a great weekend. Although I worked Saturday, we met friends in the city for dinner and Sunday I finally got myself back into the gym. It was awful, and pretty great.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Master Bathroom: Sources

Happy New Year friends!

Apologies for the unintentional blogging break. Wrapping things up at work, the holidays, and catching what appears to have been the flu sucked the life out of me. But I'm on the mend and found myself with a bit of free time to check in. So, hello!

First off, thank you so much for your kind words on our master bathroom reveal. Although it certainly was not without its headaches and frustration, it has definitely been our most rewarding project to date. I tried my best to find comps when we first started this project and we were trying to figure out a budget. But the only people who tend to fess up on costs seem to be bloggers and well, there are a lot more talented bloggers out there than J and I. So estimates like $2-$8k were what I found in my searches and unless you're planning on doing much of the work yourself, I warn you...this is not realistic!

If you're in the market for a bathroom overhaul and are looking to use a few higher end products, your budget should be around $20k. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground at this point. I thought for sure our first contractor bid was trying to take our money and run. Nope, it's the truth. Bathrooms are really, really expensive and we just had no idea.

So here we go, here's a rundown of the sources we used to design our new master bathroom:

Paint: Top - Baltic Gray by Benjamin Moore, Board and Batten - Pure White by Sherwin Williams

Toilet: Kohler Cimarron via Lowes. Best decision ever = soft close lid

Tile: via Bellew Tile - We used all porcelain tiles for both durability and cost. They were beyond helpful! Only complaint...restocking fee and won't always take excess tile back if more than 30 days passed the purchase date
Fixtures: via Republic Plumbing. (All polished chrome finish). Grohe Seabury line for the valve plates/trim, Grohe thermostatic valve, Grohe handheld shower. Per recommendation, we bought less known brands for the shower heads since the quality was just as good but by not paying for the Grohe name, we saved a few dollars. 

Glass: Oasis Shower Doors (polished chrome hardware finish)


Vanity: James Martin (via Wayfair) This is extremely well made and we couldn't be happier. We ended up calling Wayfair because at one point there was an option to purchase the vanity without a top included for a much better price. 

Granite: A remnant piece we lucked out finding from a local granite dealer. I wish I knew the pattern name to share.

Lighting: Maritime Caged Sconces (via Restoration Hardware Outlet). The outlet price is 50% off, and we purchased them during a Labor Day Weekend sales....probably our best deal!

Faucets: Symmons Carrington via Republic Plumbing (polished chrome finish)

Mirrors: via Home Depot. Ugh this was a last ditch effort. I wanted built-in oval mirrors with storage, apparently I told everyone this too late in the game. If I had to do this again, I'd also make it known earlier that I'd like to use bigger mirrors....every guy involved in the project assumed 10 inches off the edges of the vanity was good for the plumbing of the sinks (so they didn't ask)....thus meaning the very widest mirrors we could get would be 20 inches wide, but would then basically hit the walls. Ah well, what can you do.

Did I miss anything??

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips