Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Recap!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  Ours was low-key, which was really great. Saturday morning, I took care of errands and the husband went into the office to get a little bit of work done.  When the husband came home, he surprised me with some flowers and watermelon. The color of the flowers make me think that fall is just around the corner!
Sunday I did a little more organizing around the apartment.  It's amazing to me how quickly clutter accumulates, but I was excited to get all of our office supplies and toiletries a lot more organized.  I also finally ordered our curtains for the apartment. Now I'm just hoping that they work out once they arrive. 

That afternoon, we decided to take a trip to the US Postal Museum.  We had never been there before, and to be honest, I thought it might be pretty boring.  However, the building is gorgeous, and the exhibits were very interactive and engaging. If you ever have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it.
 On display they had the first postage stamp, a letter mailed from the Titanic, and the world's most expensive stamp. 
Letter mailed from the Titanic
There were also interactive sections on the different modes of transportation that have been used to deliver the mail.
They also had a whole section on postcard secrets, where people have mailed in a secret they have on a postcard.  After that we headed over to Union Station to pick up some burgers at the Shake Shack, which I had never tried out before. It was delicious!

How was your weekend?  With Labor Day coming up, it's hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five for Friday!

Yay for Friday! For those of you who went to back to school this week, congratulations on making it through. It's been a long week, but here are my five!


Whatever you may think about politics, I really admire Jimmy Carter.

I'm easily swayed by trends, and with pom poms being popular right now, I want to figure out how to add that to our home/Baby J's nursery.  Maybe it will just be added to my wardrobe...
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One thing that I'm hoping we will get accomplished in these next few weeks are installing some black out curtains and blinds in our living room and maybe in our bedroom too (here's hoping it will hope Baby J sleep!).  Since our ceilings are tall, I'm really limited with options, but I'm thinking of trying out these curtains from Ikea. I'm not super crazy about them, but it seems nearly impossible to find curtains longer than 96 inches that are reasonably priced. I've thought about buying material, but I think that would be even more expensive!
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I've been working on a pregnancy scrapbook this week, and it's made me wish that I had taken a few more photos/was more photogenic.  However, that process has gotten me thinking about a baby book for Baby J.  This one looks cute.
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This fall weather!  Northern Virginia/DC has been experiencing some beautiful and cooler days this week.  I've been going on walks during my lunch, and it has been so nice to get a little break out in the sunshine.

How has your week been?  I hope you are looking forward to a nice weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Work Shower!

Last Friday my work hosted a shower for me!  It was really nice because our office has been pretty busy, and I appreciated the fact that my co-workers took the time to organize everything.  They really went all out!

Working with a limited budget, they completely transformed our conference room.
Two of my co-workers gifted me with a diaper cake from the Honest Company.  Such a generous gift and I know it will be put to good use.
Since I work with a caterer on a pretty big event every year, when they found out about the shower,  they decided to make some cookies to celebrate.  Even more exciting, they came too!
I mean seriously, can you believe these monogrammed cookies?
I was really touched by how generous everyone was.
One of our former co-workers even came to the shower, which was so sweet.  I truly couldn't believe how nice it was! I definitely feel fortunate to work with such kind people.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Recap/The hunt for a glider!

This weekend was relaxing, but the husband and I still got a few things accomplished to prepare for Baby J.  Saturday morning I took care of some car repairs and while waiting, I wrote thank you notes to my co-workers from my work shower on Friday.  Then that afternoon we had our hospital tour.  In terms of labor and delivery, I'm trying not to have too many preconceptions going into the whole thing, but I am very thankful that the hospital is close by and the rooms seem comfortable and private.

Sunday morning we got together with friends for brunch, and it was really exciting to see them and their little girl.  My friend has only a week or so before her baby is born, so that definitely got us thinking about our own little baby's arrival, and we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what type of glider/rocking chair to get.  To be honest, the husband and I were pretty overwhelmed going into this whole project.  I wanted something that would look nice and the husband was more focused on making sure that it would be comfortable (which I think we would both appreciate more at 2 am in the morning).  We also want to make sure we don't waste our money and get something that will actually last and comfort Baby J. 

Awhile ago, I saw this glider from West Elm and thought it would be a great fit. 
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The husband was skeptical, since it doesn't recline but willing to let me try it out, so we stopped by the store to see if we could sit in it.  They ended up not having it on the floor, so we couldn't try it, but I appreciate the husband's patience.  I was disappointed, but there is no way I'm going to buy a chair without sitting in it first, so in some ways that made the decision easy.

Next, we went to Laz Boy, because growing up my parents used them and they always talk about what a lifesaver they were. They may not look the nicest, but there is no beating them for comfort. We sat in this one, and it was comfortable, but it seemed too deep which would make getting in and out with a baby difficult. I also had a hard time dealing with the price and the fact that I really am not crazy about how it looks.  The size also seemed huge!
Fortuitously, there was a Babies R Us right next door, so we walked over there to check out the selection.  We got a little distracted in the clothes section (they have such cute fall stuff out now!), but we finally made it to the gliders.
We resisted buying this little turkey outfit, but there is no scenario that Baby J won't be wearing this come Thanksgiving.
Out of the few that they had on display, we agreed that this one was the most comfortable, and with a 15% off promotion going on, the price was a lot less than Laz Boy or West Elm.
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I still wanted to see more, so we checked out Buy Buy Baby's selection.  They had some good options, but the only one we really liked had an ordering time would take a lot longer (12 weeks!), so that didn't seem like a viable option. 

We decided to head home, and then I read reviews and called my mom to get her advice.  In the end, we decided to purchase the chair we liked from Babies R Us, even though it doesn't recline, because we both found it comfortable and like the way it looked.  The fact that it is very compact will be really useful in our apartment...especially considering the fact that we still don't know where we will put it.  I'm so relieved to have that finally picked out and purchased!
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How was your weekend?  Does anyone else get stressed trying to pick out furniture?  Whenever the husband and I have to buy some, it is always seems like a huge ordeal.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five for Friday!

Well, we made it to Friday!  I hope this week treated you well.  Here are my five for Friday!
Reading House Beautiful and also enjoying Spindrift (the fizzy grapefruit flavor is my favorite).
 Enjoying the fruit of summer with nectarines from Trader Joe's.
Happy that the husband and I finished our prenatal classes.  I'm not going to say that we are completely ready for everything, but I do think they were helpful.
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Excited about this gift we are giving to friends this weekend. 
They are expecting a baby boy in just two weeks, so I am especially glad we are getting together. They really care about organic products, so some Burt's Bees seemed like a good fit.
Watching The Sopranos.  We've never seen it, so it will be interesting to see if we get into this series or not.
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I hope you have a great weekend.  I have to deal with some car repairs on Saturday morning, but then we have our hospital tour and on Sunday a visit with friends!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thoughts on Maternity Clothes

Like everyone else going into pregnancy, I wanted to spend as little money on maternity clothes as possible.  At the very beginning, I bought a few things from the Loft that were an additional 70% off, which really I could have skipped, but I was excited and I didn't know any better. I also got a $5 pair of maternity jeans from the Gap, which I actually think I will end up wearing mostly postpartum because it will be colder and I know my old jeans won't be fitting right away. So while I don't regret these purchases, they probably weren't the most cost-effective.

I realized that if I wanted to actually have a cohesive wardrobe, I needed to come up with a plan, so I decided that dresses would be the cheapest way to go, and bought a few from Old Navy and Target.  The maternity dresses that I love the most is from Target. This dress is so comfy, but still work appropriate. I bought it in black and also navy blue.  I like that I can add jewelry or a scarf to change my look.
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For my other dresses, I found that Macy's was actually a good resource.  The selection isn't huge, but I was able to find a few dresses for $15 each, which pretty much completed my maternity wardrobe.  My plan is just to keep on wearing the same 5-6 dresses until October.  I figure that way I get my use out of them, and can save my money for after Baby J is born and I will probably be wanting a few new things.

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For casual clothes, I've actually been able to wear these dresses that I bought last summer from H&M.  I have three of them in different colors, and they were all about $12.  I wear them all the time on the weekends, so I think it's safe to say I got my money's worth. Ahh, the power of a little stretchy fabric. Considering I'm in week 32, I really can't believe that they've served me so well.
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So that's how I've dealt with maternity clothes. It's definitely not the most stylish, but it's been comfortable and relatively inexpensive. For those of you who have gone through this process, what was your strategy? 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 30 and 31!

Size of Baby: A little over three pounds, the size of a coconut!  (I've been thinking that she is still only two pounds, so this seems like a jump this week!)

Nursery: We ordered her crib and my parents gave us a Winnie the Pooh sheet set. A colleague at work also gave us an adorable Winnie the Pooh mobile. I can't wait to get it all set up! We've definitely gone all in with the theme, which I know isn't very sophisticated, but I think it will work.  I'm hoping to mix and match the artwork a little bit and I also plan to break up the set with pink crib sheets.
Symptoms: I was feeling pretty tired, but I think I'm getting some more energy.  I think it might be psychological as the doctor told me that I should be feeling good...it's not until a little later in the trimester that things get tough...so I'm trying to live it up. And by live it up, I mean make sure I get my naps whenever I can.

Cravings: I've been having my share of nectarines, but definitely trying to make sure that I watch my sweets.

Best Moment: The baby shower!  It was great to celebrate with family and friends, and I also enjoyed the extra few days with my sister and parents. 

Looking Forward To: This Wednesday we have our baby infant class and on Saturday we have our hospital tour.  I had the labor and delivery class last week, so it's definitely getting real around here!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Recap: A Little Summer Roadtrip!

As I mentioned, this weekend the husband and I went down to Charlottesville (the husband had a work event on Friday night).  On Saturday, we stopped by Baggby's for lunch, and then we decided to drive a few more hours to go visit his parents. It was a short visit, but I'm glad we were able to do it.

On the drive back home the husband and I couldn't help but talk about the fact that Baby J will be here in less than two months (even if she is a week late!).  We are still a little uncertain about how we are going to make it work with our apartment. I actually felt really confident this past week, especially with the baby shower items fitting easily, but I think that the husband and I are both nervous about where to put the crib and rocking chair.  To be honest, it would be really nice if we had a traditional nursery, but I think it will be okay.  After we got home on Sunday night,  I decided to weed out about 15 more books.  For some reason, I'm convinced that I will re-read some of these books that I literally haven't touched in years.  I think it just makes me feel smart to have them around...
Here are the stacks before I eliminated some of the books.
We're going to eventually take this entire shelf out before Baby J arrives to make space for the cradle, so it's good to get rid of whatever we can before it goes into storage at my parents.

We also bought these drawers from Ikea a few weeks ago, and so far they are proving pretty useful. Right now, I'm only using one, but it's reassuring to have extra storage space on hand.
So that's what's been going on with life lately.  How was your weekend?  I hope you're enjoying the last few days of summer!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Five for Friday!

After the shower last weekend, I've been pretty focused on all things baby this week..shocking, I know.

First, our friends and family were so generous at the shower so I've spent my evenings organizing all of our baby things.  I'm actually impressed that we've been able to put everything away and our little apartment hasn't been overtaken by baby things.  It seems that our purging and putting things in storage has paid off...there are still the big baby items to come, but I have to admit that I'm encouraged!

Related to everyone's generosity are the thank you notes.  I'm happy to report that I sent out over thirty this past week!

Third, I bought some new shoes! The ones I purchased last week didn't work (I think my feet might be growing slightly with this pregnancy), so I picked these up from DSW. To be honest, they aren't the most comfy, but I think they look cute.
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Fourth, we finally pulled the trigger and bought Baby J's stroller and crib!  We still have a few other big purchases left, but we are making progress. I can't wait until we get the crib set up.
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Fifth, we are headed to Charlottesville this weekend to visit friends.  I'm excited about our little weekend trip! Related to our trip, in the latest Southern Living, they did an idea house in the area.  We won't be checking it out (I truly can't imagine the husband doing that), but I enjoyed reading the feature.
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I hope you have a happy weekend!  It seems like August is flying by.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Baby Shower Recap!

As I mentioned, this past weekend was my baby shower!  My sister flew in on Thursday night and stayed until Tuesday, so I took off some time to be able to spend it with her.  It was definitely great to have the extra time with my family. My sister hosted, but it was at my parents house so it would be convenient for everyone.  I think my mom enjoyed decorating and getting everything ready.  
I was surprised by how many people were able to attend...it at least seemed like a lot for an introvert like me!  It was really great to see everyone and feel so supported. My sister-in-law took a ton of pictures, but I thought I'd just share the highlights for my memories.The shower was at 2:00pm, so there really wasn't a need for a lot of food, but of course we had quite a spread.
My one cousin who lives out west couldn't make it, but she sent flowers.  It was definitely a sweet surprise!
My brother came over before the shower to help out and he gave Baby J. some flashcards to help her with the flags of the different countries.  It's an inside joke from when my brother was in high school and got confused about a country...it doesn't seem funny to anyone else, but I found it hilarious. 
My dad went and hung out with my brother during the shower, but we decided to take a few family shots before.  
Fortunately, my sister decided not to do too many games, but she did create a blessing board where everyone wrote a message for Baby J.  All of the notes are really sweet, and I plan on reading them to her when she is born and also keeping them for later.
The husband's aunt was able to come and she made Baby J a beautiful quilt. She's also in the process of making her a flannel one, but this one is an "Apache Birth Blessing". She made an inscription on the back that says "May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life."
My sister-in-law also made Baby J a blanket and one of my mom's friends from church crocheted a blanket too.  It's amazing how much love everyone has for Baby J already. 
I think we all enjoyed visiting and catching up.  As everyone was leaving, we sent them home with some chocolates.
It was definitely a fun time, and I'm starting to feel like it is all a little bit more real!  We are down to less than two months!