How we changed our apartment to make room for Baby J!

The husband and I have lived in our apartment for four years now, which is the longest we've ever lived anywhere after college and it truly feels like home. Since we are so attached to our current place, we decided that we wanted to avoid moving for at least a little while.  With the re-purposing of space in honor of Baby J, I thought I'd take a quick look to see how we've changed some of our spaces. When we first moved in, we decided to skip a dining room table and we made an office space instead. 
To make room for Baby J, we decided we didn't really need the desk after all, so that got moved out and it is now home to her crib.
We went with the Winnie the Pooh theme because it's always been special to my husband and me.  During undergrad I made a little book for him using Winnie the Pooh.  When the husband proposed, he bought a Winnie the Pooh and Piglet because they are so meaningful to us, so of course, they needed to make their debut for Baby J.  At first I was worried it would be too gender neutral, but of course there ended up being plenty of pink.
These quotes are still some of my favorites.
I also put a little basket of stuffed animals and toys next to the crib.  I think I will probably get another larger basket eventually, but for some reason, this little basket just makes me happy.
 I've already mentioned the closet transformation, but my half of the closet went from this (pictured when we first moved in) to a space for her changing table, clothes and other items.
 It's definitely more cheerful, and I think is actually more functional than it's ever been.

I love seeing her books on display.
The bedroom is admittedly the least seamless space re-allocation.  We had a nice little corner with books and my jewelry, but the space was really underused.
This is now where we put the cradle and the glider.  The cradle was made by my dad and is where I slept when I was first born.  We will only use it until she can roll over, and then I think this space will be a little less crowded.  For now though, it's nice and functional, and it means a lot that we can include a piece that is a little more sentimental.
When we first set everything up, I was terrified about how it would all work out, but I'm happy that the space still feels roomy and I'm hoping that it will function well once Baby J joins us in our home.  We won't be staying here forever, but I think it's nice that we will be able to bring her home to the place we've loved so much.

Weekend Recap: Celebrating my Sister's Engagement and Getting Ready for Baby J!

I'd really been looking forward to this weekend because I got to see my sister, her fiance and my parents.  My parents came up to help us prepare Baby J's nursery space, but we took the opportunity to celebrate my sister's engagement and celebrated with some cupcakes and champagne/sparkling cider.  My sister's ring is even more gorgeous in person, and I'm so happy for her.  I had bought her this little Kate Spade ring dish as a gift, and I think that she really liked it. 
Later that afternoon, my dad, sister's fiance and the husband got to work on setting up the crib. 
I couldn't believe how fast it got set up! 
 The husband also got the changing pad attached to the dresser.
It was great to finally make so much progress for Baby J!  My parents headed back home that afternoon, and then we just visited with my sister and her fiance.  We decided to take a trip to Trader Joe's and we checked out all of their pumpkin products, which seem especially tempting this year.  We had an easy dinner of lasagna and then later that night they headed back to Baltimore, as they had an early morning flight.  Even though it was a short visit, it was really wonderful to see my family. 

On Sunday the husband and I had a quiet day, hanging up the pictures for the nursery space and just relaxing.  All in all, it was exactly the type of weekend we needed, and I can't wait to show you pictures of everything all set up! How was your weekend?

Five for Friday!

This has been a relatively easy week, as I was able to work from home on Wednesday because everyone was concerned about traffic regarding the Pope's visit.  I ended up getting so much done from home for work, which was really exciting.  I think I'm getting really close to getting everything wrapped up before I go on leave. And since I'm officially full term, that's probably a good thing!

First, our new camera arrived.  It's definitely more high tech than what we are used to so I need to start reading the manual and checking out tutorials online.

Second, to celebrate fall, I decided to make some pumpkin spice muffins.  I just used a mix, but they were such a nice little treat!
Third, my parents are coming up this weekend, and I'm hoping we will finally get some furniture moved out of our apartment to make way for the crib and cradle.  I can't wait to hang up this little monogram!
Fourth, when I checked the mail this week, I had a new issue of House Beautiful waiting for me.  I can't wait to read it.  Even though my apartment will never look like that, it's still fun to read the articles and look at the photos.
Fifth, my sister and her fiance are also coming up this weekend!  It will be so great to finally see her (and her ring) and celebrate with them in person!  I think it is going to be a great weekend, and I can't wait for it to start. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 35,36 and 37!

 Size of Baby: A little over six pounds!  Good wonder it's getting harder to bend over.

Nursery: Her little "corner" is still a work in progress, but all of her clothes and bedding are ready to go.  I'm also excited that we all of her things are organized and labeled in the dresser and baskets. I've had a lot of different emotions about all of this, and I'm thankful that the husband has been so patient with me and reminds me of how blessed we are.

Symptoms: I am starting to have a harder time sleeping (something that certainly never plagued me before).  I also have some nerve pain, but really things are going pretty well when you think about all of the changes happening!

Cravings: Nothing in particular, although I am ready to have a cup of coffee!

Best Moment: My 36 week doctor's appointment was reassuring.  I've been reading a lot about having a natural birth and quite frankly getting pretty worried about the whole thing.  My doctor said that about 99% of women who come in for delivery end up having an epidural, so that made me feel better. I'm just going to try to do the best that I can, but I'm not going to be ashamed of needing help with pain management. My 37 week doctor's appointment was also positive.  My doctor was impressed that I had the Lilly for Target pineapple shoes, and I told her the story of how the husband stalked them online for me.  Baby J seems pretty comfy, so it doesn't seem like she is going to be coming early.  I'm just hoping she isn't going to be too late!
I can't actually see my toes still, but I stuck out my feet for this photo
Looking Forward To: Setting up the nursery corner and for all of our final preparations to actually be completed!

What's Cooking Wednesday: Thai Curry Chicken Bowl

When putting my grocery store list together this weekend, I didn't really have very hopes for this recipe from Design Love, but in the weeks before Baby J arrives I'm really forcing myself to try some of the recipes I've pinned but never gotten around to making.   I'm so glad that I decided to give this a whirl, because not only is it incredibly easy, but it is delicious. 
Not the prettiest soup, but I promise it's good!
You just need the following:

1 can of lite coconut milk
1 package of chicken breasts
1 bottle of Trader Joe's red curry sauce
Trader Joe's 3-minute brown rice (in the frozen section)
Any veggies that you would like (I used broccoli)

Combine the coconut milk and curry sauce in a pot and add the chicken breasts.  Cook on low for 40 minutes, then add your veggies and cook for another 20 minutes.  Shred the chicken and serve over brown rice. 

I know it is ridiculously simple, but I promise it is tasty (and I think it is relatively healthy)! The best part is that the husband liked it too, which is a rare event.   I'm definitely going to be having these ingredients on hand in the coming months, so we can make this again. Have you tried any new recipes lately?  The hardest part about cooking for me is trying to figure out what to make.

Packing the Hospital Bag!

I know for most this is a pretty boring/TMI post, but when I was trying to figure out what to pack, I found posts like these really helpful to reference.  When we went on our hospital tour a few weekends ago, one good suggestion that the the nurse had was to pack one bag that you would need during labor and delivery and then another bag for when you switch rooms.   I also am packing a separate smaller bag for the husband that includes snacks and such for him, because let's face it, the labor process is not going to be brief.
 Here's my list, in case anyone is interested:

For the car:
Plastic bag (in case I get sick; lovely I know)

During labor:
Wallet with insurance information
Pediatrician information
Iphone and charger

After delivery bag:
Toiletries and makeup
Change of clothes
Nursing bra and pillow
Toilet paper

For Baby J:
Going home outfit (sleeper with legs and feet)
Car seat
Monogrammed outfit
Baby blanket

For the husband:
Change of clothes
Phone and charger

Any other suggestions?  I'd love to hear them!

Weekend Recap!

This weekend was low-key, but we were able to get some more preparations behind us for Baby J.  Perhaps the most exciting thing that happened is that we finally bought a camera! We ended up going with the Nikon D3300, and I can't wait until it arrives and I can start practicing with it. 

The husband also put together the swing that we are borrowing from a friend and got the car seat installed.  He is going to get it inspected next weekend, but I'm happy that it is at least in the car.
 I am finally all caught up on the baby laundry (well, at least until she arrives)!  I'm so in love with these elephant sheets.
Sunday the husband had to work, so I took care of the grocery shopping, did some more cleaning around the house and made meals for the week.  Not exactly the most thrilling weekend, but I was thankful for the time to run errands and catch up with things around the house. How was your weekend?

Five for Friday!

I had a big project for work that I got wrapped up on Thursday, and I'm so excited to have that behind me.  It did mean some longer hours than I would have liked at the beginning of the week though, and I'm pretty wiped out and thankful for the upcoming weekend.  Here are my five for Friday!
First, I decided that now would be a good time to order remaining items from the registry as well as finally getting my nursing supplies together.  While definitely not a necessity, I'm pretty excited about this little outfit.
Second, in honor of our fifth year wedding anniversary, I had ordered this magnet  for the husband.  It's just something little, but it makes me happy to see it on our fridge every morning.
Third, I know everyone else is super happy about football season, but I think I'm the target audience of this Domino article

Fourth, I have been reading baby books so slowly, but I did finish this one. I've concluded that natural childbirth isn't for me, but it was still interesting and I'm hoping that I can use some of the pain management ideas.
Finally, I haven't been cooking as much as I would like, but I tried making this 7-Can Soup Recipe, and it is super easy and great for fall.  It doesn't qualify as a health food, but it is filling!

I hope you have a great weekend! The husband will probably end up doing work for most of this weekend, but I'm hoping to clean the apartment as thoroughly as I can and get ready for my sister and parent's upcoming visit!

Weekend Recap: Strollers, Baby Clothes and a Death Cab for Cutie Concert

On Friday, I started to realize just how close Baby J's arrival is,so I spent a lot of the weekend trying to get a few things done to prepare for her arrival.

On Saturday I drove about an hour or so to visit a friend and see her one year old.  It was great to catch up and get some advice.  She also sent me home with some baby equipment for us to borrow, so I think we pretty much have everything that we need now!  On Saturday night I tackled the multiple loads of baby laundry.  Somehow I had five loads of baby laundry.  How she has that many clothes, blankets and bibs already is just beyond me.  While I was working on that, the husband put together the stroller.  The instructions looked like Greek to me, so I'm very excited that this is done. Yes, it was a hot Saturday night!
On Sunday I ran some errands and at Target I purchased a few things for the hospital bag.  I wanted a pair of pajamas to have afterwards, and I'm excited to have found these.  I think they will be modest, but also still useful for nursing. They are also extremely soft.  (I realize post-delivery things will be messy, but having my own clothes is really comforting to me.) I'm hoping to get my hospital bag all ready to go this week.
Even after all that baby laundry, I still picked up this hat for her on Sunday afternoon when I stopped by the mall to do some returns. 
I resisted the matching jacket, but isn't it just so cute? She technically doesn't have a jacket, so I'm still thinking about this.
Sunday evening we headed to a concert and saw Death Cab for Cutie.  I used to really like them in undergrad, and they put on a great show.  It was a beautiful night, and it was fun to have the time with the husband.
How was your weekend?  Sunday was so gorgeous and definitely has me excited for fall!

My Sister Is Engaged!

In my weekend recap, I didn't mention the most exciting event; my sister got engaged! I am overjoyed for both of them, and I know that they will be so happy. Since my sister and her fiance are relatively private people, I'll refrain from plastering pictures of them online, but I have to say that my sister's ring is beautiful. Her ring has two infinity signs on each side with a solitaire in the middle, which is perfect for her as she has her Ph.D. in Math. I can't wait to see it in real life in only a few short weeks!

Of course, being the older sister I'm trying to stay calm and not go into overdrive spouting my opinions about the wedding, but it's hard. I'm just so excited!

Weeekend Recap/Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary!

It was quite the long weekend, as the husband and I drove down to visit his dad on Friday night until Tuesday.  We were there for the Virginia Tech/Ohio State game, and it will be my last trip until Baby J arrives. 

On Saturday morning, we went to the farmer's market, which was pretty impressive, and the husband bought me these flowers. The rest of the day we just spent visiting and running a few errands around town.
Sunday was our anniversary, so I made the husband a little card with wooden hearts.
That afternoon, I was also able to go to prenatal yoga, which was relaxing.  We always keep things low-key, but that evening we decided to go out to dinner.  It's pretty crazy to think that the next time we have a celebration, we will have Baby J.
We then visited with his mom for awhile and then went back to celebrate with some cake!
Monday was low-key and then that evening the husband and my FIL went to the big game.  I took advantage of the quiet town to check out TJ Maxx and take a trip to Target. I found these earrings.
I also picked up Domino magazine to read.
Tuesday we headed back home, and it feels so good to be back in our own little routine.  Baby J is going to be here in about a month, so it's really time to start preparing! How was your Labor Day weekend?  I hope it was relaxing and the perfect end to summer.

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone!  I am looking forward to the long weekend as we bid farewell to summer.  Here are my five for Friday!

Since the husband and I have lived in a one bedroom as adults, I loved this post from Domino about how to host without a guest room.  My sister is always so patient when she stays with me, dealing with a half-deflated air mattress.

I am super excited about the gown my sister ordered for Baby J. Now I just need to wash all those baby clothes.
I probably shouldn't buy any clothes until Baby J arrives, but I'm a little interested in trying out this wrap dress from Old Navy. I think it could work well postpartum for nursing too.
This Sunday marks our fifth year wedding anniversary! We're actually going to visit my FIL for the weekend, but I'm happy we will be together to celebrate. This sixth year of marriage will definitely bring the most changes we've seen!
Because the husband and his dad will be spending the majority of the weekend watching football, I'm packing a few books to read.
What are your weekend plans? I hope you have a lovely one!

Pregnancy Update: Week 32-34!

Well, I haven't done a pregnancy update in a few weeks, but the baby has definitely been growing!   It is crazy to think that she will be here in a little more than over a month.
Size of Baby: 4.75 pounds.  I went to the doctor today and they said that she is measuring normally, so I think that the estimate is about right. Good wonder my stomach feels/is so large!
Nursery: It still pretty much looks like our apartment, minus the section we created for her in the closet.  The good news is we've at least purchased almost everything we need, even if we haven't gotten it assembled. I am also really excited because our blackout curtains arrived yesterday, and I think they will work well.

Symptoms: I know it's going to get more uncomfortable as the days go by, so I really can't complain.

Cravings: I have had a hard time wanting to eat my protein, and I just want fruit. 

Best Moment: So many good things have happened in regards to getting ready for the baby in these past few weeks! The husband and I took our class on how to to care for our newborn.  I think it was a teeny bit overwhelming, but mostly I just feel so excited.  I also took my breastfeeding class, which I think will be useful. Also, as I posted about, my work hosted a shower for me which was really sweet!

Looking Forward To: Setting up her little nursery corner! My brother is coming up on September 19th to help us move things out of the apartment, and I think when that happens we will finally be able to set up the crib and be a lot more ready for her. I really can't wait!

Lights, Camera, Action!

When the husband met me nearly 11 years ago, I was happily documenting college life with disposable cameras. I longed for  a real camera, so when the husband gifted me one, it was one of the sweetest and most thoughtful gifts. It has served us well, but one of the things we decided we would need for Baby J's debut is an updated camera. However, I've taken my time with this project because researching cameras is a bit overwhelming to me. I find photography interesting, but when I read reviews about how this person took a six week class in order to understand the camera, it just makes me feel tired. Baby J is going to be here in less than six weeks, so I need something a little more user-friendly. With that said, we still need to find a decent camera to have on hand to photography Baby J, so I have started to do a little browsing. 

From just some casual searching, it seems that there is a big debate between Canon and Nikon.  A few bloggers I read have the Canon EOS Rebel T5 and they seem to like it.
 The Nikon D3300 also got really good reviews too, and in some ways I think might be superior.  However, as I mentioned before, I'm not a serious photographer, so I think this camera would be wasted on me.
I obviously have a lot of research left to do, but I was wondering if any of you have either of these cameras or a camera that you love?