Nordstrom Sale

It’s my FAVORITE sale of the year! Every year we all buy something new for winter so why not buy it on sale? New boots? Sweater? Bag? The Nordstrom sale has it all. The reason this sale beats the rest is because everything that is on sale now is brand new for the upcoming season. Now that the sale is open to the public I thought I would share my favorite pieces. Almost everything is under $100 with a few exceptions. Happy Shopping!

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Cashmere Turtleneck – It is hard to find cashmere that is under $100 and super super soft!

Fringe Scarf – This is not a must but I am loving fringe these days and for $13 I’m not sure I can pass it up.

Fur Vest – I have two on my list… But they are different colors. So, totally necessary…right?

White Ripped Jeans – I don’t follow the rule “no white after labor day”. Who even made that rule? $48 for these ripped jeans that are perfect for fall.

Striped NightShirt – Another “just because”.

Fur Vest #2 – This one is less expensive than the other one but I love them just the same.

Tan Booties – The booties I currently have are begging to be replaced and these are the perfect pair.

Fringe Sandals – Yes, more fringe.

Layered Sweater / Plaid Shirt – This gives the effect of layering without being bulky. This might be my Number 1 pick out of everything I have posted here

Tab Blouse – I am loving this in white and army green!

Crossbody Bag – Truthfully, I haven’t worn a purse besides my diaper bag since Addisyn was born. But if I do this fall, it will be something this size.

Calf D’orsay Pump – I am not huge on cheetah prints unless they come in small pops like this.

Riding Boots – This brand will last forever so these are investment boots. I highly recommend them!

Holiday Wreath

This past weekend I attended a “Wreath Making Party” in Ashburn, VA. I had never heard of these Wine & Design parties but it turned out to be so much fun!

 

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The owner of Country Shabby Chic came over to my friends house with all of the supplies we needed to make our wreath and led us through the steps.

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What you will need:

  • Box Wire Wreath
  • 1 roll of Deco Mesh
  • Thick Wired Ribbon
  • Wooden Initial
  • Twist Tie (in wire form)
  • Twine
  • Optional: Jingle Bells, JOY sign, Reindeers, Cinnamon sticks etc

What you will do:

  • Fold your Deco Mesh in half and tie the end on with one of  your wire twist ties
  • Bunch the Deco Mesh in your hand and stuff through the bottom wire of your wreath, then the middle, then the top. You will do this two times in each section until you get to the end

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  • With your remaining Deco Mesh (there shouldn’t be much) you will tie that onto the top rack with a wire twist tie as well
  • Fluff your mesh
  • Make your bow (or pre-buy a bow!) tutorial here
  • Attach your bow with wire twists that go directly into the Deco Mesh
  • Tie the twine onto your wooden monogram letter and attach it to the bottom wire of the wreath
  • Hot glue gun any extras to your wreath

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If you live in the DC/MD/VA area contact Country Shabby Chic for your Wine and Design party — They do much more than wreath making. If you live somewhere else I’m sure there are Wine and Design consultants in your area.

Currently Craving: Beauty (Sephora Sale)

I spent 6 hours WAITING for my webpage to refresh on Sephora yesterday so I could use my 20% VIB coupon. It’s rare that Sephora does a sale so when they do, you stock up! Clearly everyone else had the same idea since the website was down for hours. Below are my favorites ranging from fragrances to serums and lipgloss to dry shampoo. I have a coupon for a friend too so feel free to use my extra code: VPNFKF8XQ8J3.

Too Faced Everything Nice Set

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 Dior Creme Rose Smoothing Plumping Balm

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Bvlgari Coral Fragrance

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 Self Tan Express Mousse

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Nars Cheek Palette

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YSL Foundation

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Oil Treatment for Hair

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Night Cream

s1047695-main-hero-300 Glam Glow Mask Gift Set

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Bare Minerals Concelear

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Urban Decay Naked Palette

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Dry Shampoo

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Formula X Nail Polish

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Soy Face Cleanser

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YSL Lipstick

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NARS Lipgloss

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Dior Sun Powder

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Moisturizer, Sunscreen and Treatment Serum in One

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Throwback Thursday: San Diego

For Adam’s 31st birthday he requested a trip “somewhere warm”. If I had my way, we would’ve gone to Fiji. But since he likes “shorter” flights, I chose the furthest one possible… California. I researched the places with the best food, must-do’s and must-see’s and ended up planning a trip to San Diego and L.A. I have an entire itinerary (literally breakfast/lunch/dinner/activities planned) so if you ever need that, just e-mail me! For now, I’ve summed up our favorite places from San Diego below.

We tried to stay on the East Coast time as much as possible so waking up to the sunrise was easy.

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We stayed at the Catamaran Resort and Spa which was right on the “beach”. I wouldn’t exactly call it a beach even though it had sand and water but I noticed a lot of the beaches in the San Diego area were different from what we see on the East Coast. We grabbed an acai bowl from Juice Kaboose (SO GOOD) and headed to our first stop,  hiking at Torrey Pines. This trail for us was very easy but it had really amazing views!

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After hiking we quickly changed into our bathing suits and put our name down on the waiting list at the restaurant, Poseidon in Del Mar. The beaches in Del Mar were all wet sand which made it a bit awkward to lay out so we took a walk along the water before they called us to let us know our table was ready.

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We had one of the best seats in the house! We decided to eat light and ordered a Thai Salad and Fish Tacos to save room for our dinner later on. The food was excellent and the view was even better.

Dinner reservations took us into the gaslamp district which I assume is San Diego’s “downtown”. I had read great things about Searsucker (Brian Malarkey from Top Chef is the chef) and we couldn’t wait to try it all!

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and…we did. From top to bottom — Spicy shrimp and grits, chimichurri steak, cheddar croissants, pretzel crusted salmon, jalapeño chorizo corn off the cob (melt in your mouth) and the s’mores bar.  10003452_933084585889_707331379_n

Phenomenal.

The next morning brought us to The Mission, which we ended up eating at twice during our stay. They had a ton of options and San Diego does not cheap out on portions, that’s for sure.

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I had the green tea latte and that huge platter on the bottom which was papas con chorizo. Adam ordered the gluten-free french toast and you would’ve never guessed it was Gluten Free. We headed to La Jolla to walk around shops and see the stinky seals beach.

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The seals were stinkier than you can imagine but it was still a cool experience. Dinner was at C-Level, another amazing restaurant with ridiculous views. We sat outside and listened to the steel drum singer while the sun set over the skyline.

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As usual, we ordered a ton of food but all of the walking we did every day made up for those extra calories.

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From top to bottom – Seared Ahi Stack (crab, ahi tuna, avocado/mango salsa, caviar, plantain chips), Lobster and Fontina BLT sandwich, Peanut Butter brownie sundae with butterscotch fudge and bruleed bananas, oysters and butternut squash gratin.

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This is getting kind of long… so part 2 of San Diego next week. Happy Thursday!

 

 

23 Weeks

Baby A is just over 23 weeks today and is about the size of a large mango. (side note: isn’t a mango smaller than a spaghetti squash??)

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Here’s what Baby A has been up to this week:

  • More than 11 inches long and weighs over a pound.
  • Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing.
  • The sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as a dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
  • Her face is fully formed – she just needs some more fat to fill it out!

As for the rest of this week’s updates…

I actually found this survey another blog so I thought I’d switch it up.

About Me

Name? Alyssa

Age? 30

Height? 5’5”

Hair color? brown

Eye color? hazel

 

About the Father

Name? Adam

Age? 31 (He will be 32 when baby arrives)

Height? 5’10”

Hair color? brown

Eye color? hazel

 

About My Pregnancy

Is this your first pregnancy? Yes

When did you find out you were pregnant? June 25th at 6am!

Was it planned? Yup! Very VERY planned.

What was your first reaction? Happy, of course!! I think maybe almost in shock..

Who was with you when you found out? Adam was right outside the door so I came out with a smile and he said NO WAY.

Who was the first person you told? Adam! But then I called my mom…who cried.

How did your parents react? Both of our parents were “waiting” for the call so they  were all extremely happy.

How far along are you? 23 weeks

What was your first symptom? MASSIVE boobs (please tell me this stops soon??), a little crampy and bouts of nausea.

What is your due date? March 4, 2015

Do you know the sex of the baby? It’s a girl!

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Have you picked out names? We have decided on her name which we are telling people in person…just not on social media.

How much weight have you gained? I think about 13-14 pounds, but I haven’t touched a scale at home.

Do you have stretch marks? Nope (fingers crossed!)

Have you felt the baby move? Yes, every single day recently and so has Adam. It never ever gets old.

Have you heard the heartbeat? Yes, a couple different times! I may or may not have bought a sonoline-b fetal monitor to listen at home too. #crazy

About Baby A

Will you keep the baby? 100%!

Home or hospital birth? Hospital

Natural or medicated birth? I’ll be getting the epidural… I’ll save myself the pain.

Who will be in the delivery room with you? I haven’t quite decided on this one yet. Definitely Adam, but I may need my mom in there for a little while to keep me calm…since she lives kind of far and who knows when i will go into labor it will probably be just me and my baby daddy 😉

Will you breastfeed? I’m really, really undecided on this one. It will be a game time decision.

Do you think you’ll need a c-section? If I have a child that was the size I was…probably.

Will you cry when you hold the baby for the first time? Oh gosh, no doubt. I’m not naturally emotional but I think this one will be an exception. I cry when I see pictures of others holding their baby for the first time so I might give you a good ugly cry when I hold her for the first time.

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What’s the first thing you might say to her? I have no clue?! Probably sobbing and saying “hi baby” every two seconds.

Would you let someone videotape the birth? Definitely NOT. I would never watch it..

Are you excited or scared about the birth? EXCITED! I wish it was March already =) We haven’t seen any birthing videos…maybe that would change my mind

*****

So that’s it for this week…I know I’ll say it many more times from here on out, but I still can’t get over just how FAST time is flying by. It’s crazy!!

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

What do you do when you have a whole lot of this on November 1st?

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If you have children, you can tell them you ate all of their candy. (These NEVER get old)

Or, you can throw them in sugar and make a dessert… I say, do both.

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Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Leftover candy of choice (I used Reeses, Kit Kat’s, chocolate chips and some sprinkles –> because everyone loves sprinkles 😉 )

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grab an 8×8 baking pan. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and grease with vegetable oil spray.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & kosher salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, & vanilla extract.  Once these ingredients are well blended, add the egg & mix until everything is combined.
  • Add the flour mixture very slowly and mix until barely combined.  Using a spatula or large spoon, continue mixing ingredients until completely mixed.  Here is where I folded in the chocolate chips.
  • Line the bottom of your pan with the Kit-Kat’s. (I used 12 of the packages that have 2 in them)
  • Spread the batter into baking pan.  Don’t worry if it seems like there’s not much batter…it all works out!
  • Chop your Reese’s (about a cup) and place them on top of the batter. Shake some sprinkles on for pretty color!
  • Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then pull the parchment paper out of the pan.
  • Cut Blondies into squares & enjoy!

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Now you have an excuse to do more than just tear open those wrappers and indulge this Halloween season.

‘Give Thanks’ Rustic Banner

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I usually buy my banners off of Etsy but decided this year I wanted to tackle one on my own. I went to Michaels and purchased all of my supplies for less than $15 (and I have plenty leftover). I went with the rustic style since this was going on a mirror that hangs over my fall tablescape. This was SO simple, I might never buy a pre-made banner again…

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Pre-cut burlap squares (they look like this)
  • Acrylic Paint in your color of choice
  • Variety pack of sponge spouncers (they look like this)
  • 4.5″  Letter stencils
  • Jute Twine (which looks like this)
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks

Here is what you’ll do:

  • Lay burlap square to be stenciled on top of a piece of cardboard to ensure table or counter does not get ruined. My carpet learned this the hard way.
  • Center desired letter in the middle of burlap flag. Use a spouncer and paint to stencil the letter onto the burlap. Lay the paint down very thick.
  • Let finished squares dry for an hour or so
  • Flip the squares over (spelling from right to left) and measure the amount of twine you will need (leave extra on the ends so you can hang it up). I left 3/4 of an inch in between each letter.
  • Measure 1/2 inch from top of banner and make a straight line across the back of the burlap squares with your hot glue gun.
  • Lay jute twine on top and let dry for 10 minutes
  • Hang your banner wherever you please

 

Currently Craving – Kate Spade for Gap Kids

Happy Halloween! Kate Spade + Jack Spade have just released a line of clothes for Gap Kids. Unfortunately (fortunately?), there is no baby stuff. The smallest they run is a size 2. These items were up for grabs yesterday and will only be available for 2 weeks, so get them while you can!

Toddler Boy:

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High-Top Sneakers

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Oxford Shirt

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Statement Tee

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Contrast Cardigan

Toddler Girl:

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Bow Ballet Flats

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Dot Tights

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Pom Pom Hat

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Bow Print Skinny Jeans

Boys:

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Camo Jacket

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Backpack

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Hot Dog Phone Case

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Straight Jeans

Girls:

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Colorblock Skirt

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Glitter Satchel

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Skinny Bow Belt

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Graphic Sweatshirt

Throwback Thursday – High Tea Bridal Shower

Back in August, I traveled to Maryland to celebrate one of my best friends Bridal Showers!

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We went with the High Tea theme because Jacey is a very prim and proper type of lady. The Bridal Shower was held at the Harbor Court Hotel in the Brighton room, which overlooked the Inner Harbor.

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I bought the invitation to the High Tea off of Etsy and had them printed locally. If you are looking for an affordable way to send out invitations, this is the way to go!

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I also had the same Etsy company make me a game called “spill the tea” in the same print that was used on the invitations. The game had questions for the guests to answer about Jacey and Brad’s relationship,  but mostly about Jacey since it was her shower.

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The tables were decorated with teacups and teapots I bought at an antique store in New Jersey. I bought flowers from Whole Foods and added some flower “confetti” to give the white table cloths a pop of color. I also made a few glitter votive candles that you can see in the last picture.

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Favors were completed by the grooms sisters and they stuck to the high tea theme by buying a bundle of tea samplers. I tried the blueberry lemon tea and it was delicious! I made the glitter letters behind the favors by purchasing plain white wooden letters from Michaels, painting them gold and then sprinkling a fine gold glitter on top.

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Instead of a guest book I thought it would be fun to make a date idea jar for Jacey to use when her and Brad have a free weekend. The jar was super easy to make – I bought fabric tape and popsicle sticks for the date ideas and stuck them inside of a mason jar that had ribbon/twine on the outside.

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I purchased a small banner to go above the presents on Etsy (of course) that said High Tea Bride to Be. I could have made this myself to save money but I was so sick during the planning days that I used Etsy for a lot of things!

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The frames with the sayings in them around the room were made by my friend Melissa who also has her own Etsy shop.

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I ordered the large teapot shaped cake from Kirsten’s Cakery and I loved the special touch they added by having a tea bag on the side with Jacey’s name.

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The candy jars were added around the cake for people who weren’t interested in eating cake. I found the chalkboard clothespins at Michaels and we made Southern dessert names to go with each candy on the table. To make the to go bags I just bought regular brown paper bags, lace doilies and used a glitter pen for Brad and Jacey’s initials.

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For the last decorative touch, I made a small photobooth for others to take pictures in front of. The room had great lighting and the pictures turned out really well. I bought some props off of Etsy and printed/cut them out myself. We then glued them to wooden rods I found at Michaels and placed them in milk jars I hand painted.

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Harbor Court Baltimore served a light lunch that consisted of scones and fresh jam, mini tea sandwiches, a trio of desserts, strawberries and whipped cream (some with liquor), tea and champagne (or sparkling cider).

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Jacey opened lots of amazing gifts with the help of her sweet little flower girl.

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We loved seeing everyone get into the High Tea spirit and it was such a beautiful day for the beautiful bride-to-be.

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22 weeks

Baby A is 22 weeks today and is about the length of a spaghetti squash or papaya, depending on where you read.

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Classy bathroom picture for you…and the bump that grew overnight!

Here’s what Baby A has been up to this week:

  • Baby A is about 11 inches long and almost 1 pound. (She was just about a pound on Thursday at our appointment)
  • She’s starting to look like a miniature newborn! Her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and she’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath her gums.
  • Her eyes have formed, but her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.
  • Inside her belly, her pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.
  • She’s sleeping in cycles — about 12 to 14 hours per day. Those hours seem to be during the day because she is WIDE awake while I’m trying to sleep!

And here’s what’s been happening with me this past week:

Weight gained: Judging by what the scale said at my last appointment, I think I’m right around 13-14 pounds.

Workouts: A few here and there. I’m still looking up a place to take prenatal yoga in the neighborhood. Everything seems to be unavailable for the working woman. I can’t make it to an 11am class on a Monday! I’m also doing my best to get as much walking in as possible during the day.

Symptoms:

  • Still have round ligament pains and low back pain. I am hoping a massage will fix the back pain!
  • Migraine. My doctor did say I could take Excedrin if I needed to but I doubt I will unless it goes on for days. (knock on wood)

Movement: Yup! Lots at night while I’m trying to sleep.

Food Aversions: I’m still not really a fan of chicken. I also tried to buy a salad last week to be healthy and was gagging every time i put a piece of spinach in my mouth. Drama.

Food Cravings: Dark Chocolate Almond Milk — my body must want the calcium!

Sleep: Ehh, so-so. I’m waking up pretty frequently for bathroom breaks and/or because I can’t get comfortable. I pretty much wake up around 2am and fall asleep around 5am. Convenient when you need to get up for work at 6:30.

Stretch marks? Nada!

Miss Anything?  Sleeping on my back and having a tan. Since I was so sick in my first trimester I barely got to enjoy the sunshine this summer which means I’m EXTRA pale this winter.

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week: We had our anatomy scan and everything looked great. It’s so crazy to know that my body grew bones on a baby! Adam finally got to feel the baby kick on Friday night too!

Belly Button in or out? In…and I will be absolutely SHOCKED if it ever goes out. I have quite the inny belly button, so baby A will have to work hard to make that happen.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I still get my migraine once a week and that day my ring is tight… So maybe it’s just dehydration?

Happy or moody most of the time: Definitely happy, I have had moody moments but none this last week. You’re welcome, Adam.

New Baby Items: We finally received a Washington Redskins tutu we ordered 2 months ago when Etsy said they were pulling anything with the name Redskins on it.

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Looking Forward To: Our “babymoon” next week!