Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Monday

I'll be back next week with some of our meals....
Hope you will share your link for the week and visit some of the blogs below!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

27 Weeks

How Far Along: 27 weeks...

Size of Baby:  A head of cauliflower!

Total Weight Gain: Still about 17 pounds. Didn't gain any this past week. But I'm sure I'll make up for it this week. No worries.

Gender: Baby girl.

Movement: I am thinking I may have experienced my first set of hiccups Thursday! It seemed like she was moving all day, but then I finally realized that a lot of the movement wasn't kicks or jabs, it was just movement. Either way, I love that she's moving so much.

Sleep: In comparison to past weeks, it's been okay.

Maternity Clothes: I've now moved onto the I want to just be in big cotton t's and comfy shorts when I'm home during the day phase. Regular clothes (even maternity) are just so clingy and make me so hot. I think the humidity is part of this problem.

Symptoms: Still think I'm experiencing round ligament pain. Plan to ask the doctor about it on Wednesday. Also....the nosebleeds decided to come back for another appearance this past week. 

Cravings: Well...I ate these this week...

What I miss: A glass of red wine at our anniversary dinner on Thursday would have been nice!

Best Moment this week: Lately, I've been able to feel her from the outside. I'm not sure if it's a head or bottom, but you can definitely feel her under the belly. Kind of weird, kind of cool!

What I AM Looking Forward To: The Olympics!! (totally not pregnancy related, I know!)

Other notes from this week: Saw my doctor on Wednesday. Well, I saw a nurse practitioner because my doctor was delivering at the hospital. I expressed more concern about my rib/back pain, so she sent me for an ultrasound of my gallbladder to make sure I don't have gallstones. As we both expected, I don't have them, but I feel so much better knowing it's just a growing uterus causing my pain and not gallstones. The pain is still there, but at least I know it's not from another medical problem. Oh! And I passed my gestational diabetes test!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Randoms...

Thank you for all your sweet comments on yesterday's anniversary post. I have the nicest readers and friends on this blog!

1. We bought a Keurig last weekend! I am not a big coffee drinker, mostly because coffee makes me feel pretty ill in the morning. I think it's the acid on an empty stomach? J is a coffee drinker and we both liked the idea of a Keurig because it was smaller than the big pot we had on our counter, and this way if i wanted an afternoon cup of coffee (when my stomach can usually handle it) it would be an easy way to make it. So...this past Saturday we purchased one with some Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards that we STILL had from our wedding. Yes, the wedding that took place four years ago.

Here's what I got to try out. I'm loving both!

2. Baby nursery plans are slowly coming along....fabric has been picked and now we're onto paint colors. They look like a funky mix in this picture (think more grey paint, not blue), but I think it'll be a great combo. I might share a few more of my ideas on here in the next week or so!

3. I haven't shared this on here yet, but we do plan to cloth diaper our little one. Thanks to a lot of advice and help from a few of my friends (along with some great bloggers like Kate and Brittany and even YHL who I love to blog stalk), I've decided that we would like to join the world of cloth diapering. There are a lot of reasons that I think it will be "right" for our family (keyword being our, I have nothing against disposables and plan to use them her first few months!), but mostly, I like that it will help us save money. I went to a cloth diapering class last week at The Milky Way in Charlotte (very neat baby store in Dilworth for any locals, btw), and after seeing all the different options out there, I was able to sort of figure out what kind of system might be best for our family. Kate helped connect me with a friend of hers in Texas who was selling some of her old diapers, and I was able to buy a bunch of used diapers from her friend. They came in the mail this week and I am so excited to have a baby to put in these cute things! And then my friend Molly is selling me some AIO's that she is no longer using. I love the blogging world. 

4. I cannot wait for my showers! I have some of the best gals planning them (both of my showers!) and I am so excited to see so many friends and family members who are planning to come celebrate with us. I feel pretty lucky.

5. Last weekend we went to my favorite consignment/antique mall in Charlotte (The Sleepy Poet) to look for a small table or dresser to put in our foyer. We struck out there and found nothing we liked in our price range, but we did find a great basket for our guest bathroom. 

I had seen these on the Garnett Hill site for $88. 

Loved the idea of putting one in my bathroom filled with towels and lotions for our guests, but there was no way I could spend $88 on a basket. So when I saw this basket at The Sleepy Poet, that was labeled as an old gym locker basket, I knew it would do just the trick for a fraction of the cost. Ours was only $22.

Pretty cute, right? I love it!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

4 Years

July 26, 2008

Today we are celebrating 4 years of marriage.


Last year on our third anniversary, I shared a bunch of pictures from our big day. 

This year, I think I just want to write about the place we're in now.
Because I know that next year on our anniversary, we will be in a totally different place.
Next year at this time, we'll have a nine month old. 

My husband is totally my partner in life. We are a team. 
Team Jachel is what we (and a few friends) have been known to call us.
And I love my "teammate" more than I can put into words. 
I won't get all mushy here, but my husband makes me happier than I ever thought was possible. 
He's my perfect match. That's all there is to it.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little scared about what our 5th year of marriage is going to bring.

We are getting ready to bring a baby into this world, OUR baby, and that baby will be joining our little family. And that's terrifying! We are over the moon excited for this little girl to get here, but the unknowns that this baby girl will bring are pretty darn scary. When we stop and think about how much our lives are going to change over the next year, it's sort of a crazy feeling. We've become so good at being "us," J and Rachel, and I often wonder how we're going to adjust into this new role as parents. I know that we will be okay. But I know that there will be growing pains for all of us over the next 12 months. And it's all uncharted territory.

But you know what? I am positive that there's no one I would rather be doing this with. 
While we may not know what is in store for us, I do know that I'm doing it all with the greatest man I know. And he'll be there to be my better half when I need it the most, and hopefully I'll be able to do the same for him. I think this little lady is going to be just fine with us as her parents. Even if we have no idea what we're doing most the time.

And what's a blog post without some pictures? 
A little walk down year four of marriage...

So...4 years of marriage have brought us here.
 I can't wait for year number five!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vinegar Tricks from Pinterest

Lately I have found two wonderful uses for vinegar thanks to Pinterest. I think all Pinterest users can agree that some pins end up working out better than others. I've definitely had a few recipes or tried some cleaning things that were a total bust, but both of these were a total win!

Confession...We have smelly towels.

It's not because we're smelly people (I promise!), but for whatever reason all of our towels had developed this awful, sour, funky, mildewy smell. I have tried a variety of tricks to get rid of the smell, but I've had NO luck. I recently told J that I was ready to throw in the towel (pun totally intended) and buy us all new towels. The smell was gross and after a shower where you're smelling like a bed of roses, the last thing you want to do is wrap yourself in a stinky towel.

A day or two after I told J this, I saw a post on Pinterest describing this method to clean your towels. The author of the post swore it worked, and I figured I'd give it one last try. 

Basically, she said to do a hot wash with vinegar, followed by a hot wash with baking soda. 

And y' worked like a CHARM!
There is zero trace of that funky smell in our towels. They smell fresh and clean. No mildew smell and they don't smell like vinegar at all (I was slightly worried that they might).
I may have jumped up and down when I opened the dryer to discover that it worked.

As you may have noticed from my pregnancy updates, I'm pretty into fresh fruit this summer. 
I am buying berries at least once a week. And when my berries go bad after two or three days, this craving starts to get expensive. This Pinterest trick says to wash your berries with a water and vinegar mixture (instead of just water). The original post says that vinegar helps to kill mold spores in the berries allowing them to stay fresh longer. 

Like the towel trick, I was skeptical. I was especially worried about my fruit tasting like vinegar, but once again, the trick totally worked. My fruit still tastes great and it can easily go a week without going moldy.

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So those are my two tricks. And did I mention that I also love them because not only do they solve problems in our home, but they are a CHEAP fix. A big jug of white vinegar is like $1.50. Can't beat that.

Anyone try a vinegar trick (or anything from Pinterest for that matter!) that worked really well and I need to know about it?  I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pampering Yourself While Pregnant...

Right now, as I continue to adjust to my new body that is changing everyday due to pregnancy, I am finding that's it's getting harder and harder to "spoil" myself. Buying myself new clothes isn't as fun as it once was, and even shoe shopping has become difficult since comfort and good support is my main concern these days.

So how am I "treating myself" these days? With beauty products and pampering of course! I have been enjoying pedicures, buying myself some new nail polish, and even trying out new hair tools. I think most girls understand how good it feels to do something for yourself. And when clothes just start to fit you funny, and your body is achey and your skin doesn't look great. a little bit of pampering is just good for the soul!

Last month when I was contacted and asked to test out a product from the new line of body washes from Dove,  I jumped at the opportunity! There was no way I was passing up on a beauty product that would help me enjoy my hot showers a little more. Dove sent me Dove VisibleCare
Renewing Crème Body Wash.

I've been using this revolutionary line of premium body wash for a little over a week now, and I've definitely noticed a big difference in my skin. First of all, this stuff is so creamy. Most body washes tend to be watery and soapy, but not this one. It's super creamy and rich and comes out more like a lotion than a soap. But once you start to rub it in with a loofah or washcloth, it foams up nicely. The smell of pomegranite and pink mimosa is so pleasant, and really does last all day!

I have noticed that pregnancy has really dried out my skin and made it more sensitive, but this stuff is helping reverse that problem. It's helping my skin feel soft, and it's helping to eliminate dry spots. I really feel like this body wash has given me visibly more beautiful skin. I would also love to try their new product that is part of the Dove VisibleCare line, the Toning Crème Body Wash

So my question for y'all....what beauty treatments did you use while pregnant? Did you take advantage of this time to pamper yourself?

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Monday

Time to share what we've been cooking this week...hope you'll join in and share your weekly menu below!

My meals:

Tequila Lime Chicken with Cuban Black Beans

I feel like chicken be so bland, but this recipe is anything but bland. It's an easy and delicious way to enjoy grilled chicken.

YUMMMM! I pinned this meal after seeing it on Skinnytaste a few months ago, and I'm so glad I did. Like the chicken above, this is a great summer meal for the grill. We topped ours with avocados, and ate the leftover salsa with corn chips. It was delicious!

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

J's Meals:

When is this meal ever a bad idea?

This one is pretty much a classic at our house. Such a good meal to make when we're out of other meals but don't feel like going out. 

I have to admit, I was doubting my husband's ability to make this. I know...bad wife. But, like always, it ended up being great!! His version of low country boil was a great treat on Sunday evening. It's a recipe for 6 people, and we put a hurting on it, but I am eating for 2, right? We also have lots of leftovers to enjoy for lunch today! it's your turn. Hope you link up and share your meals below!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

26 Weeks

So this morning after church, I spent another hour or two outside working on refinishing this dresser for this little girl. And boy was it hot! I thought about showering and doing my hair again for a blog picture for y'all, but....I decided I'd rather rest on the sofa! So here I am in all my sweaty, paint covered, glory! Just keeping it real here.

How Far Along: 26 weeks...We are officially below the 100 day mark until my due date!

Size of Baby:  A head of lettuce!

Total Weight Gain: Welp....I weighed myself at home this week...and I'm up about 16-17 pounds. I feel like that's a lot, but after reading (ie. stalking) others' blogs and their weekly updates, I feel like that's not that far off the charts. I go to see the doctor this week. Let's hope he feels the same way.

Gender: Girl!! We've been testing out some names this week when we talk about her. Still haven't settled on one.

Movement: Oh yes.

Sleep: The same. It's uncomfortable and I wake up achey. Nothing new to add.

Maternity Clothes: Since I don't have to go to work everyday, I do a lot of lounging around the house in sweats and yoga pants and old tshirts. That makes getting dressed much easier. When I do have to look presentable in public, it's pretty much all maternity.

Symptoms: Still think I'm experiencing round ligament pain. Plan to ask the doctor about it on Wednesday. Also....the nosebleeds decided to come back for another appearance this past week.

Cravings: I'm just starving all the time for pretty much all food. One thing that does come to mind for this week is a Krispy Kreme Donut. But I'm resisting the urge. If I pass that glucose test this week, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be hitting up my local KK when their hot light is on!

What I miss: Lack of aches and pains....but I know this bouncing little girl is worth it. 

Best Moment this week: My coworker and teammate from this past year had her baby boy this week! I went to visit her and her sweet boy in the hospital. This was exciting, not only because I got to hold that sweet little guy, but I also got to check out the hospital I'll be delivering in. This was my first time there, so I enjoyed checking it out. I also loved hearing her first hand experience of the hospital and her birth story. It was all very surreal.

What I'm NOT Looking Forward To: My gestational diabetes test on Wednesday. Crossing my fingers I pass. In the past month I've heard of 2 friends not passing and this has me slightly panicked. 

What I AM Looking Forward To: Doctor this week...I love getting to check in with the doc and ask him my questions. And of course hearing her heartbeat!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tami Taylor Forever

As y'all know, my love for Friday Night Lights runs deep. Like most of the other fans out there, I dream of being Tami Taylor when I grow up. After all, she is television's greatest mom of all time.

 Since the beautiful Mrs. Coach is no longer on my television (still crying about this), it's time for me to jump on a new ship. The beautiful Connie Britton has a new show coming out this fall, and I don't know about y'all, but I can't wait to watch.

I will admit, I've never liked Hayden Panettiere, but it sort of looks like you're not supposed to like her, so maybe I can can get past her.

Is there anyone else out there who is so excited to watch this show? I fell in love with Smash on NBC last spring, so I love that I'm adding a new "music" show to my tv lineup!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sympathy Pregnancy

Before I was pregnant, I had heard people say that their husband took on "sympathy pregnancy" symptoms. I even found a whole wikipedia article on it, they call it couvade syndrome. They phrase it as:

a condition in which a man experiences some of the same symptoms and behavior of an expectant mother. These most often include minor weight gain, altered hormone levels, morning nausea, and disturbed sleep patterns. In more extreme cases they can include labor painspostpartum depression, and nosebleeds.

Before I was a momma to be, this sounded just straight up ridiculous, but now that we have our own baby on the way, I find myself giving J a hard time about his own sympathy pregnancy each day. (sidenote: I don't really think my husband is suffering from a syndrome, it just gives me a good laugh)

Since he tore his ACL early on in my pregnancy, I have shared a great deal of my pregnancy with his injury. When we go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, we're both grunting as we roll over or try to get comfortable to fall asleep. My body is expanding and growing in weird ways, and his leg is locked at zero degrees all night, making it hard for him to find a comfortable position. Neither of us likes to bend over these days to fill the dogs' water bowl. We're both visiting the doctor more than we ever have in the past. And here's my favorite....the other night as I was getting ready for bed and rubbing Palmer's Cocoa Butter on my belly, this is what he says...

"Hey, that's the same stuff my PT told me to use on my knee to help the scar heal. Can I use it when you're done?" 

That's right, we're even sharing the cocoa butter to prevent stretch marks and scars.

He may not have couvade syndrome, but it certainly makes me laugh that we're "sharing" this pregnancy in ways I never expected!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Monday

Happy Monday Menuers! Hope you all have been eating well.
Here's what we ate this week:

I usually make this with london broil, but we had flank steak in the freezer, so flank steak it was! The orzo recipe was one I found thanks to a post from Iowa Girl Eats...and it was an excellent summery side! I highly recommend it!

Shredded Chicken Tacos and Green Chile Frittata 

For the tacos, I baked my chicken with EVOO and s&p for about 40 minutes (covered), then Is shredded it. After that, I put that shredded chicken in a pan over medium heat with some water and this taco seasoning. After about 5 minutes, my chicken was perfectly seasoned! We topped our tacos with avocados, cilantro, lime, and salsa.

Goat Cheese Ravioli with Vodka Sauce and Mixed Green Salad

Since moving to Charlotte, a few people have told me about this great, local shop called Pasta and Provisions. I finally made a trip over there and bought some things last week, including this. There food is fresh, but makes for a quick meal on a night when I don't feel like cooking. I'll definitely be going back!
Cherry-Walnut-Gorgonzola Gnocchi and Mixed Greens Salad

So, there were two opinions regarding this meal...I really liked it, J didn't quite feel the same way. But, then again, he doesn't like cherries very much! I started with this recipe, and basically did the same thing, just threw in some gorgonzola and switched hazelnuts for walnuts since we already had a bag of them. For me, it was a great blend of sweet and savory, but it just wasn't J's thing. 

Now it's your turn! Link up below so we can see what you're eating!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

25 Weeks

How Far Along: 25 weeks

Size of Baby:  A cauliflower! I am having a hard time believing that this girl is 13.5 inches long and about a pound and a half. 

Total Weight Gain: Haven't weighed myself this was 11 pounds last guess is around 12 now?

Gender: Baby Girl!

Movement: All the time! 

Sleep: Still super uncomfortable. Every morning I get up and feel so achey. I need to start doing some yoga once I get out of bed to stretch things out.

Maternity Clothes: I need to go get a few more items. I have about 8 tops I wear regularly, but think I may need to get a few more. Pretty much all regular non maternity tops are out of the question now. Non maternity dresses still work great though.

Symptoms: Newest one is a weird pain kind of near my bikini line? Round ligament pain maybe? It's a sharp jabbing pain. So that's fun! 

Cravings: More of the same, fruit, chocolate, froyo....I have definitely been leaning towards sweets. I have my gestational diabetes test in about a week and half...kind of dreading that!

What I miss: Feeling comfortable as I wake up in the morning.

Best Moment this week: I got the invitation for my first shower in the mail this week! I love it, especially the puppy! I also went fabric shopping with Faith to pick up some samples for the nursery. I cannot wait to see this room come together.

What I'm looking forward to: I've been working on refinishing a dresser for her room. Cannot wait to have that done. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Laughs

My lovely husband sent me this the other day and it gave me a good laugh...

Anyone else wish they were there to witness this?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


In my family, I am often made fun of for being the one who will just sob and sob while watching a movie (or Oprah....she sure knows how to get the tears flowing). Obviously watching something like Marley and Me or Old Yeller will make anyone cry, but there are some really strange ones that will make cry like a baby.  My family will watch a tv show or go to a movie, and call me later and say things like, "We all agreed you wouldn't handle it very'd be a mess...don't go see it"

Here are some of the movies that make me cry the hardest...

Heidi is probably my "ugliest" cry movie. I haven't watched it in years (mostly because just thinking about it upsets me), but the scene in the beginning when Heidi is stolen from her grandfather and he has just made her a little pair of goat shoes....oh y'all. I can't even deal.

This movie is also in my top 10 list of all time favorite movies, despite the fact that it makes me cry uncontrollably. I think we can all agree that The Lion King has its sad parts, and even though I know what's coming every time, I just lose it when Simba loses his dad. And when I say lose it, I still cry as if I were losing one of my own family members. I will say, this movie ends in such an uplifting way, but I have to be wearing no mascara if this movie comes on TV. It still gets me (18 years after its release).

This is one that made me cry long before I was a teacher myself. I absolutely love it. And this one doesn't make me shed tears because it's sad, this is one that causes me to bawl my eyes out due to happiness and emotions that I obviously have no control over. At the end of the movie, when Mr. Holland has been laid off and he's leaving the school and he returns to the auditorium and all his former students are there to perform his "opus" for him? Oh my goodness. It such a sweet moment. And the only way to respond is to weep uncontrollably.

Anybody else watch this at a sleepover in middle school and feel like they were sucker punched in the stomach afterward? I certainly did. And even though it was a tearjerker, I have proceeded to watch it (and rent it from blockbuster for future sleepovers) at least a dozen more times.

This is another movie that is in my my list of all time favorites. Clint Eastwood's character goes through such a transformation in this movie. You can't help but cry as you watch.

Anyone else love this movie as a child? I remember renting this one all the time with my little sister. Eventually we stopped, probably because she got tired of my tears. 

I know that Up one that makes every one teary eyed, and it's one that I remember my parents warned me against seeing. J and I rented this after it came out on DVD, and well....I felt pretty bad for my poor husband. I was INCONSOLABLE after watching this movie.  A complete and utter basket case. I don't think I even need to say which part does it to me, because anyone who has seen this movie knows. Old people have always made me want to cry, and this movie was just over the top on the old people cuteness/sadness scale.

A few others that get me every time: Steel Magnolias, Bambi, One True Thing, Forrest Gump, The Land Before Time, Losing Isaiah, Man on Fire, Million Dollar Baby

I'm sure my list could go and on and if I took more time to think about this.

Are you a movie crier?
What movies are at the top of your tearjerker list?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hydrangea Alphabet Wreath

I was inspired by Sherry from Young House Love to participate in the summer Pinterest Challenge!

I have about a million different ideas just sitting around on my Pinterest of things I'd like to, crafting, home projects, school ideas....the list goes on and on! So when I saw that Sherry was hosting another Pinterest Challenge, I figured this would be a great time to stop just pinning and actually try something new.  

Our new home has been lacking in "front porch charm." I have yet to put any plants or pots out there and we haven't had a wreath on our door since moving in. This challenge was the perfect push I needed to add something to my front porch (sidenote: I  say front "porch"'s more of a small, covered landing area). So....after a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and about an hour of work, this is what now sits on our front door.

It adds a great, fresh pop of color, and it just makes the whole front porch look so friendly. 
I love the final product!

My inspiration came from this Etsy's the photo I started with, courtesy of a pin I saw on pinterest.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Here's the quick breakdown of what I did to make my wreath, and the cost of the supplies. 
It was really a simple project! 

Here's what I got for supplies:

Wooden stick wreath: $5.99 (ended up paying 3.59 after using 40% off coupon)
2 large, silk, purple hydrangeas: $3.49 each
7 small, silk, white hydrangeas: $1.49 each
Wooden W: $1.99
Acrylic Paint: $0.64
Foam Brush (pack of 3): $1.99
Glue Gun & Glue: Free, already had these

Grand Total: $25.62
Not bad! Especially considering the Etsy shop I found my inspiration on was charging $50.

So now onto the steps...I kept this really simple. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments!

1. Paint your letter. Pretty self explanatory.

2. Cut your flowers. I left about 2-3 inches of "stem" on each flower to tuck into the wreath.

3. Insert flowers into wreath. I just sort of pushed them, and they honestly held quite well on their own. But once I liked their arrangement, I still went ahead and added some hot glue to secure them in the wreath. (no picture of hot gluing...I was home alone while working on this project so I didn't have J around to help me take photos)

4. After I had added the flowers, I decided to cut off a few of the leaves that were on the silk stem and see what they would look like on the wreath. I actually really liked what they added to the wreath, so I went ahead and hot glued them down.

5. Hot glue your letter down. This was semi tricky, only because the wreath doesn't lay flat, so you have to hold the letter in place for a few minutes before the glue dries. Again, no pictures of this step!

And step #6, hang it on your door once it's all dry!

So there ya have it! A very easy project, and a nice way to spruce up your front door for spring or summer. This would also make a great housewarming gift for a friend!