Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February Favorites Link Up

I decided to jump on board with Kelli @ A Deeper Joy and share with you some of my favorites from the month of February. If I can be perfectly honest, some of these items I've been meaning to share with you for a whiiiiile now, I just haven't gotten around to posting about them until now.

FYI: None of these links are affiliate links, however, the Advocare link will take you to our personal distributor page.

Health & Beauty : SYS Skincare Line from Advocare. 
Advocare SYS Skincare Line
Sometime around the middle of last summer, Advocare released it's own line of skincare products. Jordan and I are big Advocare fans for their supplements (I drink a Spark every day!), so I was really intrigued by the SYS skincare line. I waited several months and got some feedback from friends who were using it before I finally took the plunge and ordered a few of the products.

Totally worth it! I use the cleanser and serum every time I wash my face and I can tell a big difference in the overall appearance of my skin. (I would probably have even better results if I was more diligent in my skincare routine) Most notably, my skin tone has completely evened out. Where I used to be red around my nose and cheeks, now those areas are significantly more even.

Baby: Little Green Pouch.
Little Green Pouch
A friend told me about these reusable food pouches and how much she loved using them for her little girl. Considering I made all of Isaac's baby food, I thought this would be perfect to have for Ian when it comes time for him to start with solids. Wait no... scratch that... they are perfect NOW for Isaac to eat from! We were spending $$$$ on applesauce and yogurt pouches, which he eats on a daily basis. Now, I can make applesauce (with whatever variety of apple happens to be on sale), or buy the large tubs of yogurt, fill these bad boys up, and hand them over for an easy breakfast or snack. They're dishwasher and freezer safe too. Easy Easy Easy... and a money saver.

Food: This Recipe
Baked Ravioli
I made this last night for the fam (ok, so that should technically make it a March favorite...) and it was well received by all members! Isaac even asked for seconds! I used leftover spaghetti sauce instead of jarred marinara and added lots of extra cheese between the layers of sauce and pasta. It's a lasagna rip off, but it was SUPER easy. I think it took me maybe 5 minutes to put it together and then it just hangs out in the oven for like 45 minutes. I also made it a little more portion-friendly in a 9x9" pan instead of the 9x13 the recipe calls for and it turned out just fine.

I imagine this could have TONS of different applications as well, with different sauces, different filled pastas, and even adding layers of vegetables or chicken. I have a feeling this will become a regular in the rotation, especially when I have homemade sauce that needs to be used.

A Deeper Joy

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Stitch Fix

At the end of last week, I received my first Stitch Fix since Ian has arrived.

Can I just say how much I capital-L-Love Stitch Fix??? If you are unfamiliar with this incredible service, the concept is simple. Pay a visit to the Stitch Fix website and fill out your Style Profile. You'll answer questions about your body size and shape, as well as your favorite and least desired body areas (for example, I want to keep the girls covered, so that is on my style profile). You'll also answer questions about your personal style. Are you a classic girl? Like a little boho thrown in? Prefer edgy looks? All that is included as well. Link a pinterest board to your profile for extra style inspiration. You can list out your favorite colors and the types of items you'd like to receive. Since I live in South Texas, I have opted out of jackets and outerwear.  Finally, you can set your price ranges for each item. 

Then the magic happens.

A stylist reviews your profile and selects five pieces that she (or he) thinks you'll absolutely love. They are shipped to your door along with styling cards for each item. Try them on and mix and match them with items in your own closet (can't do that in the store!). Keep what you love and send back what you don't -- they send materials to make the return process a breeze. Each Fix has a $20 styling fee attached to it, but if you keep an item, that $20 is deducted from the cost of the item. Keep all 5 items? Give yourself an extra 25% off the total. 

Beware... it's addicting!

So what did I get?????

1. Liverpool Mira Skinny Jean ($78) (top: Loft. jacket: Gap. Boots: Frye. earrings/bracelet: Stella & Dot.) So I told my stylist Sarah, whom I adore, that I had very recently delivered a little bundle of joy. This being the case, I would need pieces to accommodate my *ahem* squishier bits. I'm still 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and honesty was a little terrified to be trying on "real" clothes again. I even told her to not even send pants unless they were stretchy like leggings. Aint nobody got time for pants with buttons and zippers.

These jeans. Y'all. They were a GIGANTIC WIN. I don't know how she does it, but Sarah nailed this.  There was no question that they were a keeper. I love that she went with black instead of a regular jean rinse because I already have a closet full of different jean shapes and rinses (with the exception of black). These jeans have a generous amount of stretch, but after wearing them most of the day yesterday, they aren't saggy anywhere.  Because of the way they fit, I can see these really carrying me through this weird body phase and into my "normal" body... whatever that may be. KEPT.

 2. 41Hawthorn Montgomery Cross Front Knit Top ($48) (cardi: Banana Republic. pants: JCrew Factory. earrings: Stella & Dot.) Once again, Sarah really put a lot of thought into this item. The fit, fabric, and construction are spot on. The material is stretchy and comfortable, but thin enough to be cool. The sides are ruched, which is really flattering and hide a lot of lumpy, squishy postpartum tummy bits. The wrap design makes it nursing-friendly... an essential feature for the next 11 months of my life. Unfortunately, I was really not a fan of the print. The look on Jordan's face when I tried this top was all I needed to know that this wasn't a keeper. I informed Sarah that I'd love to try this top in a solid color or different print, because it wasn't the fit but the print that was a turnoff. RETURNED.

3. THML Kahlo Knit Top ($58) (jeans: Kut from the Kloth. earrings: Kendra Scott.) One look and anyone can tell this top is terrible on me. Obviously I didn't keep it, but at the same time, I had this top pinned with a "I'd love to give this a try" note. I'd seen it floating around and thought it was really cute. Sarah was kind enough to fulfill my special request. I take total responsibility for the fail. The fabric is super duper soft and the detail around the neck is even more beautiful in person... basically I was really disappointed to see that this top wasn't flattering on me. I wanted it to work so bad. I think it would be perfect on someone with more of a straight/petite body frame who could use a little curve. As for me, I've got plenty of curvy spots. RETURNED.

 4. Gilli Lauree V-Neck Drape Dress ($68) (cami: Loft. necklace: Francesca's.) I'm such a huge sucker for jersey dresses. This one was no exception. Light fabric, beautiful color, nursing friendly, AND Jordan loved it... a win all around. Plus, it's one of those easy/throw on items that can make a frazzled mom look way more put together than she actually feels. Although it hangs nicely now, I think once I let go of some of this baby weight, it will fit even better. I'm looking forward to some slightly warmer weather so I can wear this cute dress. I should mention that on the style card, Sarah paired this item with a scarf I'd kept from a previous fix. I love that she considers present and past items when selecting things- it really makes the entire experience even more personalized. KEPT

5. Bay to Baubles Ashlyn Hammered Bar Drop Necklace ($28). The style and price of this necklace is good, but I just don't need any more jewelry. Also, the length is a little on the awkward side. I think it'd be really beautiful at more of a 30" length. It's really likely that if I were keeping the 4 other items, I'd probably keep this also and there's a good chance it would get worn here and there. Since it wasn't a "love" kinda item, I decided not to keep it. RETURNED.

I'd consider this a super successful post-baby Fix. I may have only kept 2 of the 5 items, but all 5 items were essentially good matches for me with some minor flaws. Sarah has been my stylist for 4 of 5 Fixes and she really seems to understand my style. I had a credit from previous referrals, so if I had kept all 5 items, the 25% discount plus the styling fee credit and referral credit would have taken the total cost to $165. That breaks down to about $33 per item, which I consider reasonable, especially for jeans and a dress. Thanks again, Sarah & Stitch Fix for an awesome assortment of items.

Fix 1 / Fix 2 / Fix 3 / Fix 4

If you're interested in giving Stitch Fix a try, I'd love it if you used my referral link here. It's where I can earn referral credits which will help to feed my Stitch Fix obsession!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ian's Birth in Pictures

Oh boy.

These pictures.

I cannot tell you the intense emotion these images bring. I have yet to look through them with dry eyes. We were so incredibly blessed by my work family who paid for Ashley from In Bloom Photography to come and be a "fly on the wall" during my labor and delivery process. She captured such dear, sweet moments that wouldn't have remained in my memory forever, but now I have these images that I can always look to and weep over. They are so incredibly special to me.

And yet, sharing them here feels very vulnerable. I'm letting you in on one of the most intimate moments of my life. There is just SO much emotion attached to them. It is with great trepidation that I hit "publish." Be warned, there are a few juicy baby pictures. 

The remainder of the post is captionless, but if you need a refresher, I've already written out Ian's birth story. You can find it here.  

Please Please PLEASE be respectful of photography as an art form; these photos are the result of a lot of hard work and should be given credit where credit is due. Ashley gave us such a special gift and I think it only fitting to be respectful of her as a photographer. Not only that, they are copyright protected by In Bloom Photography, not to be reproduced without permission. If you like what you see, you should go "like" her Facebook page. You can find it here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ian's 1 Month Update

Ian!!! You're 1 month old!!!!

For those of you sticklers for dates and things, ok, so technically he was a month old on Saturday. But we had a busy weekend and didn't get his 1 month stats until his appointment yesterday, so today's the day for blogging.

Regardless, you're a month old! I'll never get over how quickly the time flies, which is funny considering you go from spending 1/3 of your day sleeping (which sleeping 8 hours doesn't seem to take nearly as long as say, working 8 hours. amiright?) before baby to oh, maybe 1/8 of your day sleeping after baby arrives. It's a funny thing.

You've changed SO much in this short month!

You went from this little nugget:

Less than 24 hours old
...To this little stud:

1 Month Old
It has been so much fun to learn your little personality over the last month. So far, you are vastly different from your big brother. You almost demand being cuddled, which for the most part has made me all warm & fuzzy inside. You're just as squirmy as you were when I was pregnant, and thus, do not like being swaddled. You'll grunt and squirm and fuss until you finally give up and fall asleep. I'd consider not swaddling you at all, but it does help you sleep better. You are the LOUDEST sleeper I know. There are no cute and sweet noises coming from your body when it's time to rest... it's nothing but grunts and squeaks and all sorts of spits and sputters. It is loud enough to really throw me off when I'm trying to determine at 2am if you're actually hungry or just fussy while transitioning to a different sleep cycle. There have been more than a few instances where I've gotten up, changed your diaper, gone to nurse you and had a sleepy baby who wasn't actually hungry to start with.

But lets face it, you also have been eating around the clock. You get hungry a lot faster than I'm used to, so we still haven't established any normal semblance of a feeding schedule. I'd swear you went through a month long growth spurt...

...and judging by your stats at the doctor yesterday, I'd be dead right!!!!! You weighed in at a whopping TEN POUNDS and FIFTEEN OUNCES. Plus, you grew 2 whole inches (20" to 22"). That's ridiculous, kid. We're talking a 3lb 11oz weight gain in a month. To really put things into perspective, that is exactly what Isaac weighed at his 1 month check up, and let's not forget, he weighed 9lb 6oz at birth (over 2lbs heavier than your 7lb 4oz arrival weight). So good job in catching up with your brother.

Now it's time to give mommy a break. kthanks.

You've done a great job so far in keeping your meals down and rarely spit up. When you do, it's hardly a mouthful of curdled milk, which is a stark contrast to Isaac's large volume spit ups. No wonder you've gained so much so quickly. Your hair has already started to fall out in random places, which is sad and funny looking all at the same time. Your eyes are dark blue currently and I don't anticipate them changing to any other color considering everyone else in the family has blue eyes.

The rest of life has been filled with all the normal 1 month old baby activities: pooping & peeing everywhere, sleeping, eating, and some lengthening awake periods. Hopefully by your 2 month update, I'll be sharing with everyone your purposeful smiles and longer night sleeps. Fingers crossed for the sleep especially.

Ian, you are a sweet and cuddly ball of chub and you melt my heart over and over again. I am so ridiculously head over feet in love with you and am blessed beyond words to be your momma. I cannot wait to see you learn to love your older brother, as he is quickly learning to love you. I look forward to seeing more and more the way you were perfectly made to fit into this family. Furthermore, I look forward to seeing more and more the way you were perfectly made to accomplish great things for God's kingdom. You are such a treasure, Ian Michael.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Isaac's "School" Pictures

Last week at Discovery Days (aka MDO), was the week for spring pictures. Mandi, our preschool director, took the photos and did an amazing job. I couldn't be more happy with them!!!! He looks so grown up and handsome! My big sweet boy.

I told Mandi that it was a small miracle just to get Isaac sitting still long enough to take a picture of him. Then to get him to smile at the same time?! Impossible! During our family pictures last November, he wouldn't cooperate at all- it was a nightmare. And anytime I whip out a camera, he runs in the opposite direction.

Occasionally, I can bribe Isaac into taking A picture. (one) I am not above bribery.

Anyway, you'll have to overlook my proud mommy tendencies... I HAD to share these pictures. They are just TOO cute not to.

01 09 10