Friday, March 28, 2014

Fun Fact Friday 03.28.14

1. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to the firefighters here in Boston. I can't exactly wrap my head around what a 9-alarm fire looks like. J and I were watching the news last weekend and the destruction a 2-alarm fire created was shown. I turned to J and said, "2-alarm?! That home is completely gone!" And I'm not kidding, the roof was gone and you could see that both the first and second floors were destroyed. So what the BFD experienced Wednesday was unimaginable in my book and I commend them on their efforts. Two men made the ultimate sacrifice and as a community the city will surely miss them.

2. Today is what some may refer to as my Champagne birthday. Though, for obvious reasons there will be no champagne celebration, it's still fun. (Definition- the age I'm turning and the date are the same.) Yesterday was my father-in-laws birthday and Wednesday was a brother-in-laws birthday - lots to celebrate!

3. Last year I put together a little list of items I wanted for my birthday...all a bit over the top, and not exactly birthday gift material. But, that's what want lists are for right? I'm excited to say that a year of hardwork has paid off and all of last year's birthday "wants" have been purchased! I never thought I'd see the day. You're all well aware of our new home and may have seen my new car pop-up at one point here. I've yet to share it here on the blog but I treated myself to a Kate Spade diaper bag and crossbody bag last month after a few hellish weeks at work. Both are from the outlet and were more than half off when combining sales...I couldn't resist. And well this week, we invested in an iPad mini for me. I am so excited! It's something I've really wanted and once my kindle broke a few months ago I decided I'd just go for a tablet instead. It still needs a pretty case so it has not traveled with me to or from work just yet. Plus, I still need to finish the book I'm reading on J's kindle....

4. This weekend my momma leaves her her annual trip to Florida. Which just means that there are only 2 weeks (ok 15 days) until I'll be joining her on the beach! (Past recaps here, here, and here). I say this every year but I am so ready for this trip. Very much needed girls week in store. :)

5. I've started going to prenatal yoga on Wednesday nights. It's not a sweat inducing workout by any means (which I'm seriously missing these days) but the deep stretch is great, its so relaxing, and its really refreshing to be surrounded by other pregnant women from the area. They are so supportive!

What are you up to this weekend?
We have a few family birthday dinners lined up and I have a date with the treadmill for sure. There have been a few slices of cake and heavy dinners this week... But other than that, we'll be laying low which sounds fantastic to me.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Guest Bathroom Update

In all honesty, I think I could write pregnancy/baby related posts daily for the next month and still not get all of the thoughts and ideas I have out. Is that normal? Because it is really hard to turn off the baby brain these days!

But with other projects currently going on at our house, I'll do my best to split my blogging time. I don't think you should expect a fashion related post anytime soon though...I'm in a what still fits phase right now and doing my best to buy only what is practical/necessary for the next few months I have left. Ok that's partially a lie - who doesn't get excited at the fact that the weather WILL warm up soon and want a few new spring/summer items? Plus, I'm only getting bigger, pre-pregnancy clothes will only last so long. But I am doing my best to be good about what's getting purchased. And sadly it's still freakin cold here so many recent purchases are more for my upcoming trips to Florida and Charlotte. Can't wait!

But I digress. This past weekend we picked up all of the big guest bathroom purchases we had ordered. Just call this free advertising for Lowes...other than the tile, yep it was a one-stop shop over here. And I'm totally fine with that this time. First of all, the prices were pretty amazing and the stuff met our quality tests. Second, we've seen some of these items installed and they look great! And third, the guys we worked with were so helpful - that really does deserve a mention in my book. So as I discussed in this post, practical won in this bathroom renovation. And as you can see, white, white and more white. Easy to clean, right? Let's hope.

Guest Bathroom
*definitely not to scale

Besides the tile (our plan B splurge!), my next favorite piece is definitely the vanity. I knew I wanted a wood tone and loved the look of this one when I first saw it online. Well, lucky for me they carry the single vanity in stock at Lowes so I was able to inspect it. It's so warm, and a touch lighter in person. Just what I was looking for.

I'm pretty pumped about this toilet too. Why? Well see those flat sides? Yup, easier to clean my friends. 

Disregard the faucets in the picture above, those were just included in the online picture of the counter. Fixtures are next on the list. What we need to choose:
  • 2 vanity light fixtures, maybe something like this? (going with recessed lighting overhead)
  • 2 faucet fixtures - if we had ordered a custom vanity top like our master bath, I would go with an 8" widespread faucet fixtures. But the vanity top we went with is pre-drilled for a 4" centerset. These are my favorites so far. But I know good faucet fixtures are worth it so I'm a bit torn. Maybe give them a try and if we hate them in a year or two we'll switch them out? That's kind of the plan with the vanity top anyways...
  • Shower head/bathtub/handle combo
  • Vanity mirror - currently thinking a simple, big, builder-grade mirror to fill out the space above the vanity. Finding the perfect mirrors in our master bathroom was one of the most frustrating aspects of the project surprisingly. Time to keep it simple.

Then lastly it will be on to the small details that complete the look - possibly shelves, shower curtain (to go with this curved curtain rod), art, towels, etc. In the master bathroom we went with polished chrome fixtures to compliment the tiles we selected. But I think this time around a satin finish will work better with the pieces above.

Hopefully J can finish up the demo this weekend so we can get the plumber and electrician in here asap to get the rough work done before we put the walls back up. I can't wait to see this bathroom take shape!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pregnancy Must Haves

First and foremost....Happy first day of Spring!!! Finally!

We're more than halfway through this pregnancy which just seems crazy to me. But I figure at this point, I can at least share what has made its way to my favorites list as of late. Many of these items get daily use, others are way up there in the rotation.

And as someone who appreciates reading others' must have lists, I figured why not share mine.

Pregnancy Must Haves

1 - These slippers. They are the best, whether you're preggo or not. Lately though, I've noticed the inner soles are getting worn thin from their daily use. Seeing as they are a couple years old at this point, I'd say I've gotten my money's worth.

2 - Thank you Mint Arrow for the greatest pregnancy list I've yet to stumble across. I found this list back before Christmas and immediately forwarded the BeBand recommendation to J as a stocking idea. Well he ended up getting me the BellaBand instead as its also sold at Target and I have to say, it is fantastic. I have yet to purchase a maternity pair of work pants. My bigger belly lately isn't so comfortable in pre-pregnancy jeans with the band but the lightweight fabric of work pants still works out great.

3 - Leggings have been an absolute must lately. Before I really started showing, I was a huge fan of these JCrew Factory ones. But lately, it's all about the full-belly maternity ones. Ridiculously comfortable after a long work day, for my weekly walks with Tucker (we're working on not pulling as much so he's ready for stroller walks), and weekend errands around town.

4 - A sweet friend gifted me this Palmers Lotion and it's been a great addition to my daily routine. I've been using it daily on my hips, backside, and even thighs. Hey, you just never know with stretch marks! And my skin scars very easily so I cannot be too careful.

5 - And in addition to the lotion, I'm still loving this body oil. This is used daily on my growing belly.

6 - Water Bottles are an absolute must. They recommend at least 8 cups of water a day so I've been using this 32 oz nalgene at work every day. I make it a habit to finish one before lunch and then another before I leave each day. And because I continued to miss my mouth with this bottle, I "splurged" on a easy sipper - totally worth it.

When it comes to working out, I highly recommend this Camelback water bottle. This was my go-to even before being preggo. But when I was running in the beginning of this pregnancy it was extremely important to watch my water intake. The best thing about this water bottle is not worrying about a cap while working out. I have definitely spilled water all over the treadmill before when I've had to buy a bottle of water instead of using my Camelback. 

7 - When I first started taking prenatal vitamins I did the only thing I could think to do - read reviews. And these vitamins seemed top notch so I bought myself a bottle and have been taking them ever since. Oddly enough, when I first found these using my Amazon app they were very reasonably priced and easy to find for the larger bottle. I've paid about $25 for 150 vitamins each time.

8 - I was doing my best to hold off on maternity clothing purchases until recently when they've started becoming more of a need. Much of my regular workout gear is feeling rather snug and a bit uncomfortable these days but I could seriously live in Lululemon tops. I loved this top before I was preggo but love it even more now. I swear it grows with me. It is so comfortable. Another one of these may have just become a maternity need.... ;)

9 - Maternity jeans. I can't say enough about my splurge on good jeans. I work in an office with casual Fridays so nice jeans are worn weekly. But last Friday, when I tried wearing my regular JCrew jeans and the BellaBand all day, I realized it was time to add another pair to the mix. One issue I'm finding with maternity clothes shopping is that no one carries it in store. Very frustrating. So I decided to check out Target first. Why not? It's so nice to try things on these days. And I have to say, these Liz Lange jeans seemed to be made for me. The fit was perfect, they're soft, and best of all, they are a steal of a deal. I'll keep you posted on whether the Target brand holds up as well as the Sevens. The Sevens have been washed and worn many, many times already and are still perfect. I have yet to wash the Target ones...

10 - Body Pillow. My sister is the absolute best and surprised me with the Bump Nest body pillow (the pretty gray one). It is a must! I am not a side sleeper at all so this pillow has been so helpful for me. It's the only one I've used so it's the only one I can recommend but it's pretty amazing and worth it in my book.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tile Options - Plan B

This past weekend we decided to get all major items for the kids bathroom renovation ordered. This is a bit of a different approach than we took with our master bathroom renovation (when we had no idea what we were doing really).

After a few headaches during the ordering process for our master bathroom renovation - everything takes longer than estimated it seems - we decided this time around, we'd make sure we had everything we needed ready to go.

Much to my delight, we found ourselves with a plan free Sunday this past weekend! Obviously that never lasts long so before I knew it we were out the door, off to make our purchases. Our first stop was really The Tile Shop but since they didn't open until 11 we killed sometime in a nearby Home Depot first. We strolled the aisles of tub options, vanities, toilets, etc. I already had my mind set on a few options at Lowes and Home Depot really did nothing to impress me in this department. Decor is definitely where Lowes takes the cake. Do you agree?

So on we went to TTS to order up our penny round tiles. I was so excited to get these ordered. My bathroom vision was taking shape! Welp, the store is completely sold out! Gah. Like, out in all locations and no ETA on when the backorder is until. WHAAAT?! Womp, womp. As much as I appreciated the fact that they didn't want to order anything since the backorder realistically could be 3 months, I was super bummed about this. I'm actually proud of myself for keeping it together - pregnancy hormones somedays can be killer.

Soo now it's time to figure out Plan B. We took a few minutes to browse the store before discussing the Penny Round tiles with the sales person and fell in love with this marble hex. Which of course is more than double the price per square foot. And that just does not fit into the budget we've set....But, how about the fact that they're running a sale and we could get as much as 20% off. Or that our vanity, tub, and shower purchases ended up coming more than $1,000 under the budget we set.... do we go for it?!

We spent Sunday afternoon scouring the internet for options. First off, damn is penny round in a moss coloring popular these days - it was sold out on every site we checked. And second, damn is everything else we like expensive! Champagne taste on a beer budget. As much as I keep reminding myself this is a kids bathroom, this is kids bathroom, I don't want to totally cheap out on it. It does have to last!

So what do we do? Here are a few options we've found between our internet searches and the best husband in the world making a few tile store stops Monday afternoon to check out samples:

Tile Options

1 - Our original plan that has fallen through the cracks.

2 - Do we switch it up for white penny tiles instead? Maybe go with a darker grout?

3 - A HomeDepot find I would have never expected! But at the same price as the other marble tiles and lack of color variation, it's not our first pick. To be honest, it won a serious second glance simply because I totally misread the pricing labels in our original trip down the tile aisle.

4 - A polished 1x1 Ming Green hex marble, pretty amazing right? 

5 - Or how about a 2x2 marble hex? Definitely a little easier to install and having seen it in person, it had us both drooling.

6 - Or how about a tumbled 1x1 Ming Green hex marble? We totally loved the more rustic, less polished look of this one!

Well, let's just say that something has been ordered!! And fingers crossed we're in love once it's in our possession (soon!). But I'm going to keep it a secret until then. :)

So stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Bathroom Reno

Well folks, the time has come. We've officially started the guest/kid bathroom renovation!

It's something we've been planning for since moving last year but it's still crazy to actually get it started.

We sat down Saturday morning to finalize our budget on it and well, the itch was scratched. We've taken a fair amount of time off from house projects but lately my mind has seriously been swirling with house plans. Possibly it's some early nesting but I have a laundry list of things I'd like to get done before July. J's so excited! :)

But in all seriousness, he couldn't wait to get the old bathroom cleaned out. It's high time we got another big project going.

Goodbye original blue tiles (everywhere)!

So, what's the plan? First and foremost, the plan and budget for this bathroom is dramatically different than our master bathroom renovation. Let's be serious, this bathroom will be used by kids most often. So we'll be going with easy to clean/maintain products (read no marble, possibly no granite). And we don't need to change the layout of the bathroom at all, just upgrade everything. So we'll be taking a hands-on approach this time and diy-ing everything we possibly can.

I wrote about our original ideas for the guest bathroom back before we moved in (here). Some of these ideas we're still planning to incorporate but I've decided to change it up a little too.

1. Neutral Walls. The bathroom we inherited had crazy stucco-looking walls. Now we know why. During the demo we realized that the previous owners slapped some plaster up over the original wallpapered walls and called it a day. Seriously. Why wouldn't you remove the wallpaper and keep smooth walls? I still love the idea of shiplap walls but clean, smooth walls will be so nice too.

2. Double Sinks. Oh yes, this is still in the plans. I'm currently on the hunt for the perfect, reasonably priced, vanity. And that purchase will determine what we end up using as a top. So many vanities online today come with marble as the stone of choice. In a kids bathroom? No thank you. That is just way too much maintenance for this space. Even granite shows water marks. So this is still something being researched but the easier to maintain, the better. White corian is sounding better and better. 

3. Penny Tile Floors. Our original plan included slate floors. I am so happy with the floors in our master bathroom, which have a slate-like look to them. But I've decided to go in the complete opposite direction for our second renovation. I've fallen for the look and feel of penny tiles. Plus, I'm fairly sure these will be easier for us first-time tilers to install.

4. White Shower Surround. We've decided to opt out of tiling in the shower. Instead, we'll be installing a tub that comes with a shower surround. Something like this. After putting some serious thought into this renovation, we've decided this is just the smartest decision for us. Not only will it save us a few dollars that can be used in other home projects (or maybe a vacation?) but it will be so much easier to maintain. No grout lines to scrub? Sounds pretty wonderful to me! But getting a nice, new tub was an absolute necessity! We kinda know that another upgrade will happen in this bathroom well down the line once our kids have grown up. And then, we'll splurge on something nicer.

So here, we go. Round 2 in bathroom renovations over here. I'll share updates as we go for sure. Like, how J is getting the original cast iron tub out - think sledgehammer. Oh yes, he's pumped.

And don't worry, with a baby on board, I really won't be doing too much of the heavy lifting. Especially during the demo, the dust was insane so I steered clear. But count me in for the design (obv), painting, and tiling. The slow and steady tasks are more my speed.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Baby C - 20 Weeks

I cannot believe I'm halfway through this pregnancy! Nuts. And this body is definitely starting to adjust to the growing baby in there!

To date my weight is up 10-12 lbs. To be honest, I don't feel like I've gained that much weight. So when one of the phone apps I use weekly made mention of my weight gain as excessive (a morning after consuming a box of mac n cheese...) I think my jaw hit the floor. First of all, way to make a pregnant girl feel real good about herself. Excessive?! But also, seeing as my current weight halfway through a pregnancy is still lower than it was at certain points of college, I think I'm doing ok. (It is sad that I did feel better this week when my weight gain was back in the "normal" range).

Symptoms: I'm exhausted. This is mostly due to my crazy work schedule but yesterday was one of those days where I just hit a wall. And it was so so hard to make it through the rest of the day. Otherwise, things are going fairly well. We've got an active baby over here! I started feeling kicks/movement late last week and it is just an amazing feeling. In the past week we had an ice cream social one afternoon and cupcakes another. Woah, little love was doing a few cartwheels in there. So crazy.

Other random symptoms: my hair and nails have started growing like weeds, super dry eyes - which I feel like is an oxymoron because it makes my eyes water so easily all the time, red palms (apparently due to increased estrogen), foot cramps.

Workouts: So much has changed since my last update 4 weeks ago. And I'm pretty bummed about it. I had found running to be so soothing during such a stressful work schedule. It was my time to just zone out and take a mental break. I mentioned in my previous update that I was experience some hip pain after running. Well, it has gotten dramatically worse over the course of a month.

I wasn't doing a great job of listening to my body. Even after foam rolling, I typically had pain in my lower back, hips, pelvic area for about 24 hours after running. About two weeks ago, the pain was excruciating. I had gone to the gym after work and could hardly sleep that night, it hurt just to turn over in bed. It killed to walk! And don't even get me started on trying to get dressed, lifting one leg at a time was the worst. So ya, I knew something was wrong. I'm so thankful to have a physical therapist in the family (don't worry, I talked to my doctor too - who recommends PT for this kind of pain). She has me on the mend but running, walking at an incline, and the elliptical are all off limits for cardio (womp, womp). Not going to lie, I'm having a really hard time digesting this. While I'm healing physically, my emotions are kind of all over the place. BUT, it's all for a good cause. So I will be fine.

New Purchases: This is getting it's own section because there have been a few of these lately...

  • Liz Lange for Target. I had the chance to browse Target last week by myself (sidenote - isn't that the best?!). Before I knew it, there was a Liz Lange cotton tank (worn in the pics above) and cotton long sleeve T (in gray space - pics below) in my cart. Both are so incredibly soft and comfortable! I've been living in them...

  • I also decided it was time to invest in a few new sports bras. I'm a huge fan of the C9 ones at Target. I probably do not update my sports bras often enough, so wow a little extra support sure is nice!
  • And speaking of a little support...I also invested in a few new bras recently. Remember when I mentioned above that at certain times during college my weight was comparable to what it is now? Ya, I've been wearing those bras lately from my heavier days....years ago. These new bras are rocking my world lately. And the girls aren't looking so bad either with a little extra support. If you're in the market at all, I'm obsessed with this one. Probably the softest I've owned. I want another...
  • Lastly, I took a trip to the outlets this past weekend and found myself in Destination Maternity. Per my sister-in-laws recommendation, I picked up a pair of maternity leggings (worn in the pics above). Oh man, so comfortable! I'm glad there was a deal and I ended up buying 2 pairs because they are fantastic. I'm a huge fan of the full panel belly, let it all hang out baby. I snagged this maxi dress too. Let's face it, I will be living in maxi dresses this summer!
  • And one sidenote - I feel like maternity specific clothing definitely makes my baby bump seem bigger since they tend to accent the growing belly. Or maybe that's the real size, I just tend to cover it up more during the week while working. 

Updates: Baby C is right on track in its measurements. We had our ultrasound earlier this week and loved seeing him/her moving about. Of course, our baby is already rather stubborn and did not want to cooperate with the ultrasound tech! I guess it's a good thing we didn't want to find out the gender because the little love was curled up in a ball the whole time. They had me lay on my side at various times in order to get measurements they needed. And even reclined the bed so that my feet were above my head hoping it would make the baby stretch out. Nope. Baby C did it's own thing. So unfortunately J & I walked away with hardly any pictures. They did print us one 3-D image of the baby's face but he/she has one hand up next to it's face and the other covering half of it's face. Not going to lie, it's a bit creepy.

I have so much to share in regards to nursery updates and my pregnancy must-haves so far, sadly work just keeps getting in the dang way! But I will get to them, promise. The nursery set has been purchased! Eek. And I *think* we've found the perfect glider. Stay with me, pretty please. :) Because at some point work will normalize again and I'll be back more often!

PS - sorry for the world's longest post! So much to say and so little time to get it all written down these days.

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