Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Preggo Style: Stretching Your Wardrobe

A lovely lady commented on my last post and made me realize... this is what I should have said.

Moms, we all have HUGE, major, big deal jobs taking care of our kids. Raising them to the best of our abilities. Taking care of the little things like runny noses and scraped knees and taking care of the big things like surgeries and first days of school. 

Not only is our job as a mom a big deal. It can be tough.  It's hard to be sleep deprived, whether you stay home with the kids or not. It's hard being pleasant with whiny children, whether you stay home with them or come home to them after a day at work.  It's hard work, raising these children.

We're all doing our very best for our children, day in and day out.  And yes, it is incredibly rewarding to feel their little arms wrap around our necks. It's incredibly rewarding to hear them whisper, "I love you so much, momma." It's incredibly rewarding to feel so much love towards those little people that your heart feels like it could burst.

But it's tough. No matter what your job is, no matter what your title is.  It's a tough job being a mom. It's a busy job being a mom.  It's exhausting being a mom.  

And without a doubt, we all rock.

That's what I should have said.


 photo IMG_5910_zps7f3b7ff8.jpg
Dress: Merona - Target
Boots: Shoedazzle
Blazer: maurices

And now I'll tell you how you can stretch your wardrobe to fit your growing bump. Basically, it's a simple formula. 

Stretchy dresses + blazers or cardigans = regular clothes that work on the preggo body.


 photo IMG_5912_zps083b0e93.jpg


26 weeks and 3 days... not that I'm counting.
 photo IMG_5911_zps790fd8c5.jpg

I am loving my Jamberry nail wraps! They last on your fingers for at least two weeks, but I've been changing them out every 7 to 10 days because I want a new look. They're just so much fun! Have you heard of them?!?

 photo IMG_5913_zpsf583d97e.jpg
Necklace: Premier Designs Jewelry

I'm linking up today with The Pleated Poppy, I Feel Pretty, What I Wore to Work and Passion for Fashion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Working Moms, You Rock Too

I've seen so many of these posts circulating the internet and singing the praises of how busy and noble and busy and exhausted and busy stay at home moms are. And seeing those posts make me want to say a few things... Not ugly things. Just things that I'm thinking and feeling.

See, here's the thing. I have so very many stay-at-home mom friends. And I love them. I think they're awesome moms doing awesome things with their kids.  But I've never been envious of those moms, because I knew my place was teaching. Well, things have recently changed in our life and it feels like God is leading me to become a stay-at-home mom. So, I might very well be joining your ranks soon.

And maybe I'm being naive. But I just think it will be SO much easier than being a working mom. See, I got to be a stay-at-home mom of sorts all summer long and loved it. I'm not going to say that every second of it was pure bliss, but I will say that it was about 3,000 times easier than getting up at 4:45 to get in a quick run, before I grab a quick shower, make my kids lunches, get them dressed and fed, so that I can go up to the school at about 6:30 and spend the day teaching 16 children, only to come home exhausted, but at that time, my own kids need my attention. So, I suck it up and play with them, read to them, cook them dinner, get them bathed, read them bed time stories and get them into bed to finally crash into my own bed. And then did it start all over the next day? Well, not quite. It continued all night long because one or both of the kids had bad dreams and needed consoling multiple times through the night or maybe one of them wet the bed and I had to clean up the mess and get them back to sleep before I could get on with my own beauty sleep. So, yeah, staying home this summer?  It was much, much easier and more FUN than working!

I get it.  Stay-at-home moms have sleepless nights. But you know what?  Working moms do too. The difference is that working moms have to suck it up, get dressed, be amicable, put on a happy face and spend the day at work. For some women, that means sitting at a desk. For others, it means walking the halls of a hospital and taking care of sick people. For others, it means standing in front of a class of kids and making your brain function even though all it wants to do is drift off.

I get it.  Stay-at-home moms nobly nurse their sick kids through the night. But you know what? Working moms do too. The difference is that working moms have to pull a sick day if they want to spend the next day cuddling on the couch with their sick child. Or if that isn't an option and maybe dad has to stay at home, then Working Mom has to take her exhausted self to work and worry about her sick baby all day.

I get it. Stay-at-home moms have bad days.  But you know what?  Working moms do too. The difference is that working moms are made to feel bad if they let their bad day at work affect their parenting.

I get it. Stay-at-home moms cook, clean, take care of their kids, love their husband and dote on their children.  But you know what?  Working moms do that, too.  And they do it on about 40 hours less a week.

So, I love my stay-at-home mom friends, I really do.  But I've got to say... I think you've got it easy.  And I'm SO looking forward to having it easy.  Maybe someday I'll write another post about how tough it is being a stay-at-home mom, but I just can't imagine it.  For now, I'll dream of that future that's just around the corner. I'll dream of my clean floors and baseboards, of my daytime snuggles on the couch, of spontaneous trips to the beach just because it's pretty, of making surprise cookies for daddy just because we have time...

So, here's to all of you working moms! I know how busy you are. I know how exhausted you are. And I know that you're pushing on and getting things done. You rock too! =)

 photo family_zps19fb81ee.png


I feel like I should add... I might know a lot about the life of a working mom and a bit about the life of a stay-at-home mom (thanks to summer and maternity leave!), but I know absolutely nothing about the single mom life or the homeschooling mom life. I can't even begin to imagine how busy and exhausted all of you single moms are. I seriously applaud you! And homeshooling moms? I can imagine that you are definitely busy trying to juggle teaching different grades at the same time! You're pretty awesome, too.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pink Blush Maternity Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of the clothing company Pink Blush Maternity?  They are an online boutique that offers ladies like us trendy maternity clothes!  They recently sent me this maxi skirt to review.



I fell. I fell hard. I fell so in love.


25 Weeks, 3 Days (But who's counting?!?)
 photo IMG_5850_zpsbfc5b764.jpg
Tank: Target
Denim Jacket: Thrifted
Maxi Skirt: c/o Pink Blush Maternity
Wedges: Kohls

The fabric is incredibly soft and the fit is perfect. It has a nice stretchy waistband that can be worn below your growing belly (if you're tall enough) or above your belly, like I wore it (because I'm a shorty).



It's finally starting to warm up in Florida (don't hate me!) and I can see myself wearing this all spring and even throughout the summer, after Daisy arrives.

Today, I went nautical by pairing the bright coral stripes with a blue tank and denim jacket. Then I added these nautical nails with tiny orange anchors on them, which I'll tell you more about this week!


 photo IMG_5856_zps1002f293.jpg

I can see myself wearing this skirt with so many different ways... With turquoise, with the Pantone color of the season, radiant orchid, and most definitely with some cute sandals and wedges as soon as it's warm enough!

How would you like to do a little shopping for maternity clothes yourself?? Pink Blush Maternity is offering one of you a $25 gift card to their site!!  Use the rafflecopter entry form below to enter. =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Any entrants who have won a giveaway from Pink Blush Maternity in the past 6 months, or have hosted a giveaway in the past 6 months, are not eligible to win a gift card again.**

I'm linking up today with Watch What I'm Wearing, Plane Pretty, Monday Mingle, Still Being Molly, The Pleated Poppy and Get Your Pretty On.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Preggo Style: That One Sunny Day

Well, we had one beautiful day sandwiched between the gray, gloomy cold days last week. I decided to make the most of it and wore a bright tee and a maxi skirt. All I was missing was a pretty pair of sandals and I'd have been ready for summer. However, my toes weren't even a little bit ready, so closed-toe flats were the way to go.

Now, if my Jamberry Nail Wraps had already arrived, I can promise you my toes would be in tip-top shape.

 photo IMG_5781_zpsb7ef79ff.jpg

Tee-Shirt, Maxi Skirt & Necklace: Target (New)
Shoes: Target (Old)
The Rest of the Jewelry: Premier Designs Jewelry & Avon

24 Weeks
 photo IMG_5782_zpscffc8e61.jpg


 photo IMG_5783_zps9892df31.jpg


Have you heard of Jamberry Nails?  They are the cutest nail wraps ever. Seriously! There are over 300 different designs, so there's a wrap many wraps for every style! I'm currently giving away a free sheet of nail wraps over at Mix & Match Fashion. Make sure you head over there to enter to win!

I'm linking up today with Watch What I'm Wearing, Still Being Molly & Monday Mingle.

Have yourself a beautiful day!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Preggo Style: Belted Jersey Dress

Recently H&M was having their Extra 50% off Clearance sale. As soon as I heard about it, I hopped over there to try to score some stylin' maternity clothes. However, by the time I got there, I was only able to pick up one cute t-shirt and this dress (and the dress isn't even maternity).  When I'm pregnant, I like to buy things every once in a while that will stretch with me as I grow and even work after I've had the baby. 

Enter this jersey dress.

 photo IMG_5775_zpsbae753e0.jpg
Dress: H&M
Belt & Socks: Target
Scarf: Aldo
Booties: 6pm

This jersey dress is so incredibly comfortable! It's light. It's stretchy. It's kind of like every pregnant woman's dream.

We are 23 weeks pregnant, folks! That means we've only got 17-ish weeks to go. I have friends having babies left and right and it's making me so eager to meet this little lady!

 photo IMG_5777_zps2927d3e3.jpg

 I'd also like you to keep your eyes peeled, ladies. I have two very special giveaways coming in the next few weeks. If you have any pregnant friends, send them over! In the very near future, I'll have a giveaway to a shop full of super cute maternity and nursing clothes!

And shortly after that, I'll have a giveaway for your very own sheet of Jamberry Nails. If you've never heard of or tried Jamberry Nails, you are in for a treat!

I'm linking up today with Still Being Molly, Monday Mingle, I Feel Pretty and The Pleated Poppy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Preggo Style: Dress & A Jean Jacket

We are wrapping up Day 2 of a Snow Day. And guess what? We've got another one tomorrow. Now, I'm not ecstatic about snow days, but not for the reasons you might think. We're actually having a good time. Baking cookies, playing games and reading books while my kids enjoy the dusting of snow on the ground. I'm also happy that our school district is thinking about the safety of our kids. I mean, the roads have been incredibly slick and icy and us Floridians don't know what to do with that! What I dislike about snow days is that I had my week all planned out at school and now I have to rearrange those plans. I'm supposed to test third graders on fractions when they get back to school, but after having three days off right in the middle of the week, how can I do that? If they're anything like me when I was in third grade, all thoughts of numerators and denominators and fractions greater than one have flown right out of their sweet little heads.  So, although I've had a good time with my kids this week, I'd love it if we didn't have any more unplanned days off.

And now that I've rattled on and on about our snow days, let's get down to business. You know, the business of how I'm dressing this bump that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Just a mere two days before the temperature dipped into the 20's and Florida got attacked with ice and snow, we had a beautiful day with highs in the 60's. That is my kind of winter. The kind of winter that allows for bare knees and light denim jackets.

 photo IMG_5671_zps0b57b934.jpg

Dress: Target (clearance! You might still be able to get your own for only $13.98)
Denim Jacket: Thrifted
Boots: Shoedazzle
Socks & Belt: Target
Jewelry: Premier Designs & Target

Funny story about this dress. I actually bought it for my mom. Then it hung in my closet for a day or two and I couldn't stop looking at it and thinking how pretty the colors were and how my mint polish would match the stripes so perfectly… So, then I tried it on and well, it kind of fit. So, um, I'm keeping it...  And I bought my mom something else. 

Here's my 22-week belly.

 photo IMG_5672_zps09f94350.jpg


And here are a few of me with my crazy kids.

 photo family_zps19fb81ee.png


I hope you're all staying warm wherever you are! I'm linking up today with Three-fer Thursday, Passion for Fashion and Watch What I'm Wearing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Date Night at Home: Shrimp & Grits

About once a week or so, we put the kids to bed early and eat a nice dinner together. This past week, eMeals had a lovely looking date night meal on their low calorie plan.  I saw it and knew immediately that this was our kind of meal.

I changed up the recipe just a bit to use low sodium bacon, baby bella mushrooms (instead of regular ones) and to use a mixture of water and chicken broth in the grits.  Below is my recipe.

Low Country-Style Shrimp

 photo photo_zpsc4bbade1.jpg


4 slices low sodium bacon
16 oz baby bella mushroom
2 cups cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup fat free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cook bacon until crisp. Reserve about 1/2 tbsp of the bacon grease and put it in a large skillet. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Add mushrooms and garlic to the skillet. sauté for about 6 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned and tender. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes or until they turn pink.

Whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch; add the broth mixture and the lemon juice to the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in bacon and serve this deliciousness over Creamy Parmesan Grits.

Creamy Parmesan Grits

1 1/4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup instant grits
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Bring the broth, milk and water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Whisk in the grits and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the cheese and you're done!

I served this with sliced French bread and sweet tea, because those are the best accompaniments to a southern meal.

If you're looking to simplify your meal planning, you should head over to eMeals and check it out!