Gameday Sunday

Well it is official! NFL has started and gameday Sundays are upon us. We cheer for the Steelers in this house. I was once a bit of a team jumper. Supported San Fran, jumped to Seahawks. When I met Henry I joined forces with him and supported the Steelers and have been a true fan since. It is more fun in my opinion to root for the same team. I am so excited for our Sundays this Fall. I am big into appies and cooking so plenty of snacks will be had. Once baby girl is hear, Sunday cocktails will once again be a part of my routine- because sloppy Sundays are the best! Baby girl already has outfits ready to go. I found the cutest Steelers onesie with a built in tutu. How can one resist?! Fall basically means football, pumpkins, fall scented candles, crockpot chili, cozy on the couch with our wooly cardigans and knee socks… It’s truly my favourite time of year. Even though we are having a late summer with 25 degree weather, you can still feel it approaching fast. Sorry for the short post but we have a busy day of kick offs, touchdowns, crabby snacks and homemades ahead of us. Go Pittsburgh!

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Semi-Retirement Has Arrived

It sure crept up fast but my last day of work finally arrived last Friday! My doctor advised me to go on six weeks of medical leave prior to my maternity leave – working in retail can be a little hard on those swollen pregnant feet. Especially 9 hours a day. I gladly agreed with her on taking early leave, figuring that it would be a great time to relax, nest and prepare for baby girl’s arrival next month.

So far it has been very busy! We started it with the Labor Day Long Weekend. This is my favourite out of all of the long weekends. I am not sure why, there is just a fresh feeling about it. Beginning of September, Segway into Fall (my favourite!) … I always feel like we should be renting a cottage on the lake but we have yet to do that – maybe next year! It is also my wedding anniversary! One year down, eternity to go. I have included a few brief snapshots that sum up our long weekend. I spent some quality time with the fury girl who seems beyond excited that I will be spending more time at home with her. Someone how dogs just know what is going on, I swear. She has also become quite protective and close to this growing baby bump! On Saturday we had a lovely lunch with friends and then went to the PNE. If you are from Vancouver, you will know what that is. If not, it is a fair that comes to Van every Summer. There are rides, food vendors, live concerts, a petting zoo, pig races, horse and dog shows… it can be a lot of fun. We put in about four hours and then gave up on the crowds. The petting zoo was my favourite as I do love to check out the piggies and horses and chickens. The beer gardens are usually the most fun however my non-alcoholic O’Douls just didn’t seem to make the grade this year. The deep fried apple pie however DID! You can see my excitement captured perfectly in the photograph below. On Sunday Henry and I spent the day celebrating our one year anniversary! We drove downtown, parked and walked the Sea Wall. We came back through Stanley Park and took photos of each other and wildlife. We took some fun baby bump maternity photos which I will be sure to get up on the blog soon! We then headed over to Yaletown area and had a nice dinner at the Hurricane Grill. Not the fanciest of places and the service was a bit strange, but the food was awesome so no complaints from this lady. All in all it was a fantastic day with the man I fall more in love with each and every day. Man I am lucky! Rather than relaxing on the actual holiday Monday, we worked on some house projects. Henry is building me a big farmhouse dining table – also to be discussed and displayed on the blog soon! So it was on the busy side but that did not bother me. This gal is on an extra long weekend, ending October 2015.  Yes, I know, having a baby is far from a holiday. However I can think of nothing better than staying home raising the babes. That is my dream job. Now if it only paid in cash haha……

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32 Weeks – Countdown Is On!

I failed in a huge way with my little chalkboard plan. I wanted to do one for every week of my pregnancy, keeping track of the growth, movements, fruit comparisons, etc. Even at least every few weeks would have been ideal. I completely underestimated how much time it takes. Or maybe I was just working and doing too much. I am not sure. Either way, I didn’t do too many! Perhaps now that I am a mere three days away from my medical/maternity leave, I will be able to devote more time to it. I will promise to try harder with baby No. 2 though! Lesson learned…

Anyways we are at 32 weeks here! I cannot believe how quickly time has passed over the last few months. It honestly seems like just yesterday I was looking at the ol’ positive pregnancy test and kissing away my party plans. But here we are in the final stretch! Like the chalkboard indicates, this baby moves a lot! She is constantly kicking and pushing and jabbing and poking. Only recently have the hiccups started, hence why I was wide awake at 4AM this morning! Does this happen to anyone else at this stage? I am a sleep lover. I usually cannot get enough. I sure hope this is not a pattern because though the early morning wak up call has allowed me to catch up on the blog (and the sunrise), I prefer snoozing till the last moment possible.  Hoping it’s very temporary! Though I have a gut feeling Baby Girl is preparing me for the next year or so. Good-bye sleep; I will miss you dearly!

Aside from the crappy parts (excessively swollen feet and a very achy lower back, bum and legs – think Baby Girl is hitting all kinds of nerves) everything is going quite well. It’s incredible how her little movements automatically put a smile on my face and a giggle in my voice. It’s like we are sharing our own little secret moment, which I guess we kind of are. She always shy’s up when I grab Henry’s hand to feel something. It’s almost as if she is like ‘ Nope! Just for Mommma!’. Highlight of the week definitely was my surprise ultrasound yesterday. At my last appointment, my doctor could not get a solid idea of if Baby Girl had turned or even an idea of what position she might be in. Baby Girl tends to be a little all over the place! So my doctor ordered a late ultrasound, just to get a better picture. Fine by me! She was a little stubborn though, not really wanting any pictures taken. We managed to get a good profile shot with her perfect cute little nose. Baby girl also has hair which can be seen in one of the shots – super exciting! Oh and the good news, Baby Girl has turned and is doing a nice big face plant right at the bottom, hands up near her face. There is not too much rom in there at the moment; I feel a bit bad that she is so squished up. She is also predicted to be about 5 pounds right now – so what is the other 20 pounds for that I am carrying around?! Yikes, hope it falls off pretty quick. All in all, it was a great day and so wonderful to see how big she has gotten. Not long until we get to meet her in person – can’t believe it!!!! Next doctor’s appointment is early next week so just hoping more good news is coming our way and everything is looking normal. I love that word now – normal!

Another exciting thing to look forward to as well is planning Baby Girl’s baby shower! I am an event planner and an OCD organizer so it only made sense to plan my own party. I just got the invitations back from Etsy and absolutely love them! I would have done something up myself however this was too awesome to resist. We are going to have a theme of pinks and gold and white. Stay tuned for a post with some Pinterest Inspiration!

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Canning For Life

I never really thought about canning until a couple summer’s ago. I must have talked to someone or read something somewhere because we were driving back to Vancouver from the Interior and as usual stopped to pick up fresh produce in Keremeos. I had this sudden urge to stock up on Okanagan peaches and try canning! So this is what mum and I and it was amazing. We did it the old fashion way, in the oven. They turned out fantastic, perfectly sweet and a real treat on your morning toast. I think I gave a couple away to friends and then for the most part, they sat on a shelf for many months. Last summer was way too busy with the wedding to invest much time in canning so as the thought crept into my head this time, I jumped on it! I am proud to say too that out of on a few weeks of minimal effort, I have successfully canned three different items! I also have a Taste Of Home Magazine (Click for a link on canning 101!) that has many to die for recipes I cannot wait to try.

So on a yucky, rainy midsummer’s day, mum and I decided yes, we would in fact try peaches again. They turned out so good the first time so why not. This time round though she had invested in some actual canning tools. I believe she picked up the Canning Starter Kit at Crappy Tire (our beloved nickname for Canadian Tire, sorry) which you can find here. I do recommend it if you are looking for a kit, it did have everything you need, including an informative dvd which caused more girlie giggles than anything else! So away we went, canning our peaches, and I must say, using the kit was quite fun. Between that and the by-hand, cook in the oven method, I like both. It’s a win either way. Upon finishing up our peaches, we felt that we hadn’t quite filled our canning quota. This lead to an afternoon of making Jam. Mixed berry jam might I add. We had freshly picked blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, adding up to quite the tasty concoction. Those who have received a pot have decidedly stated it’s the best jam they have ever tasted. Blushing and flattered over here!!

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photo 4-2So that was our canning afternoon. About a week later, I came across some adorably small mason jars in my cupboard and decided I would need to try and can homemade salsa. It had fresh ingredients and quite a kick to it in the end! I think I over-liquified the mixture so it is not chunky salsa by any means. It sure does taste good on a taco though. I have many gift sized ones as well so these will be enjoyed by others, and not sitting on the shelf for the next few months. Do you have a favourite canning recipe? Please do share!

 

Just Another Sunny Sunday

I am taking full advantage of these hot summer days. I try to begin every day with a solid twenty minutes on the front porch in the perfect morning sun. Just that tiny bit of exposure manages to keep a good tan on my arms and legs (and a ton of freckles!). The furry girl, Miss K usually joins me in this as well. If the first thing I do when I come downstairs is NOT open the porch door, I will hear about it from her. She is a bit of a sun bather this one.

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So today being no different, we are starting the day off with a little sunshine. That is going to continue as we take off to watch hubby’s final playoffs for softball. It’s been a bit on a baseball weekend for sure. So this gave me one other idea this morning. I absolutely love packing a bag for the day. Sharing my favourite essentials is something I enjoy doing as well. So I thought I would snap a quick pic and let ya’ll know what’s in my bag for my sunny afternoon. Probably won’t get around to reading a book at the ball field but it’s in there just in case! Happy Summer everyone!

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Summer Essentials

We are about halfway through our Vancouver summer here and my oh my, has it been a toasty one! I admit, it is about 10 degrees warmer than normal around my midsection all the time now with baby girl hang in’ out there, but still, this Summer’s heat is one for the books. We are absolutely loving it too! For a natural strawberry blonde gal with freckles, I actually have a good tan this year and it has been sticking! With this hot weather, I have felt compelled to try out multitudes of beauty products and have made some fantastic discoveries! I have found gems for my face that needs extra nourishment after being in the harsh sun. I have fallen in love with fresh summery scents in the form of body spray and lotions. I have also spent a lot of time with this Summer’s hottest accessories as well, appreciating their carefree summer love-child aesthetic that they bring to any look. Overall, there is just a ton of cool shit out there that I love and felt it would make a great post to share with ya’ll!

So below I give you my narrowed down list of some summer essentials that have made it into my bag, and do not intend to leave! It was rather difficult to stick to only a few favourites but the chosen ones are goodies that you will not want to miss out on!

Summer Essentials

1.) My dearest mum is always showing up at my house with goodies for me. She is a bit of a shopper (wonder where I get it from?!). I must admit though, that lady always finds one heck of  a deal.She picked up this beauty of a tote bag at Chapters Indigo for like $7.00 during one of their summer sales! It is canvas so it is super durable and the colours are perfect for this season’s colour pallet. Super handy and fits everything you need. LOVE!

2.) These bad boys are a Kate Spade exclusive and I simply cannot live without them. Stylish and protective against the sun. However I DID have to live without them when I lost them on a camping trip. I picked up a very similar looking pair at Anthro and am equally in love.

3.) If I had to give up any of my senses, it would not be scent! I love things that smell. I love the sense of nostalgia they can bring, or how they can whisk you away to a memory just like that. These scents are a few of my favourites this summer. With the heat being quite constant, you want to make sure you are smelling sweet at all times! They are light and airy, without being too floral and overpowering. The coconut-lime is one from Bath & Body Works. The last time I popped in though the packaging looked slightly different so beware of that if you are on the hunt for it. It also comes in a body spray and a shower gel. I picked up Seen By Chloe when I was coming back from a holiday in the airport, duty free. Thgouh this scent tends to fade after a few hours, while it is on you the light sweet scent is perfect for any occasion. I have spritzed it on for work and thrown it on again for date night later that day. It is a keeper for sure! Lastly, the Fresh Sugar & Lemon perfume. I do not think this scent is for everyone! I personally love it but I know a few who do not. It is very natural and hippy like but I love how it really reminds me of freshly cut lemons sprinkled with sugar – it literally smells exactly like that! Available at Sephora.

4.) Get those hands ready for a treat… because this is it and it comes in the form of a whoopee pie! Well note really, but it smells like one! This Shea butter cream is worth every penny. It is not too heavy yet still coats your hands, leaving them feeling moisturized and like those of a princess. The smell is to die for as well, I could practically load it onto a spoon and eat it. I bought mine at a friends boutique in Kitsilano called Wishlist (possibly my slice of heaven, that little store!)

5.) It’s true. This serum IS a game changer! It’s one of those magical potions that cost an arm and a leg but seem to last a long time, as you only use a little bit here and there. Honestly though, my skin has never felt or looked better. I use this twice daily, AM & PM, and it leaves my skin feeling incredible. I managed to get a gift pack that came with a few other gems including a night cream, a pore reducer and an eye cream. I believe it is all magic and I highly recommend this skincare line. You will love it too, trust me!

6.) I was a firm believer that St. Tropez was the only real good self-tanner out there. I stumbled upon Sephora’s own brand of self-tanner products one day and decided to give the tiny travel size of the spray a whirl. I was very impressed! It has fantastic coverage, looks natural and is very effective. Like any self-tanner, you do want to take care when applying (For example, do not spray down the leg left twice, and neglect to do the right – hello baby brain!). But for a product that looks and feels great on your skin and your wallet, this one needs to get in your bag asap!

7.) I am a bit of a lip gloss collector. I lose them often, buy new ones, find them again, stash them all over the house… I simply just cannot keep track and will often have about five on me. A personal favourite are these awesome colours by Smashbox, also available at Sephora. They have a shade for any outfit, and occasion. They feel pretty darn good on the lips as well!

8.) Metallics are big this summer and will actually transition very well into Fall as they are all I seem to be seeing on upcoming trends as well. I tried out this almost-gold metallic polish by Sally Hansen and was very pleased. It coats evenly and you might even be able to get away with one coat; it goes on quite thick. I applied two in the end. It’s a lot of fun and looks like great quality so far. Super happy with it! I am also a loyal fan of the base and top coat polish by Deborah Lippman, as well as her Gel polish. Well worth the money my darlings!

9.) We have covered just about every area of the body except our hair which is one of the most important things to protect in the sweltering heat. I try to use a variety of hair products to keep things interesting, especially nourishing hair masks. However, one product I have been using this summer is the Blonde Collection by John Freida. Not only does it bring out my highlights, it feels wonderful on my hair. The ends are healthy, the roots are lively and the shine is there despite the heat and sun. Just be careful with your ponytails girls! The ouch less hair ties are the best way to go. No breakage for your delicate strands and they come in just about every colour you can think of! I have about 40 of them floating around…. You can find them at many stores however I picked up mine at Anthro (of course!). I can’t wait to get some Fall colours thrown into the mix.

10.) Lastly, a special one for the mommas-to-be. Summer or not, this lotion is a must-have right now and you know why! (Major preventative action here!)

If you have any summer essentials I missed and absolutely LOVE, please let me know! We still have time before the leaves change, temperatures drop, and we break out our boots and scarves…. oh can’t wait for Fall Fashion! (Sorry!!!)

Favourites From The Kitchen In My 29th Week

Before I got pregnant I always thought it would be the same for me as it is in the movies – craving odd combinations like pickles and peanut butter, weird flavoured ice cream in the middle of the night, and all the other baffling snack demands you hear about from preggo ladies. I am happy to report it has not been the case, mainly because I like pretty ordinary food and do not have an overpowering sweet tooth (I am more of a bag of chips kind of gal!). Luckily, my cravings fall more to the fruits and veggies area. I do not have an issue taking back a big bowl of blueberries and yogurt on the daily. I know that fruit can contain a rather high amount of sugar but it can’t be as bad as the chocolate cream pie I made my husband last night. With all the yummy treats that I have been enjoying, I decided to put together a post with some of my absolute favourites of the moment; everything I am craving on the daily at 29 weeks. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy consuming them! (Baby girl seems to like them all too)

29 weeks faves

1.) Okay I know this is not an item to eat, but I wanted to share it anyways! This is my favourite flatware set; who doesn’t love gold flatware! This particular set can be found at Macy’s but Anthropologie also carries a beautiful set. Nothing quite completes a table setting like this elegant and feminine choice of flatware and it can tie right into your decor.

2.) So mommas-to-be will know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to missing coffee! Or so I thought…. I knew all along that you were only allowed a certain amount of caffeine. I should have looked into it earlier as the amount of caffeine you are allowed is pretty much what I drank regularly before I got pregnant. A cup of coffee a day won’t hurt anyone, especially baby girl. You just need to be careful that while you are allowing yourself this daily intake of allocated caffeine, you are not getting it from other sources like chocolate or soda. It needs a close eye like many other things when you are preggo. With the extremely hot weather, I had been craving a good ol’iced coffee like nobody’s business! My first step was brewing a full pot of Tim Hortons Decaf coffee and letting it cool, then adding ice and having it available in the fridge whenever the cravings hit. I was out getting groceries and decided to give this bad boy a whirl, available at Walmart. Holy moly is it ever tasty! Available in Mocha and Caramel Macchiato, I opted for the latter as caramel is my weakness. To cut the sweetness, I do half of my trusty decaf Timmy Ho’s and half of this dreamy goodness. Voila! You have the perfectly, sweetened just enough, with a perfect and safe amount of caffeine, iced coffee. Hits the spot on these hot summer days!

3.) My mum read that for some reason, pregnant women LOVE Granny Smith Apples. I have no argument here. I take down one a day! After our sunny trip to the Okanagan, I hit up all the fresh produce stands in Keremeos and came home with bags of them!

4.) I am fortunate to work in a place filled with adorably lowly ladies. They are always being sweet and doing sweet things; including bringing sweet treats to work! One of our darling associates brought in these Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies. I am not going to lie, the name threw me a little and I was tempted to avoid them all together. However, I eventually succumbed to the beckoning of these little darlings. They were DELICIOUS! I tried a couple different recipes at home and out the two I attempted, I recommend my dear friend (I wish) Martha Stewart. Just a gem, I promise!

5.) Couple weeks ago I made a quick trip across the line to visit Trader Joes and Walmart, etc. They just have much more unique items then we do in Canada! Not to mention saving a few dollars here and there. Anyways Walmart carried these refreshers and I feel for them immediately. At a buck a piece they are low on sugar and simply a tasty dream come true. I would make the trip back JUST for a case of these! Keeping my eyes peeled at our Walmart too.

6.) Well big surprise, a candle from Anthropologie in my kitchen. There is an entire like of these Boulangerie Jar Candles however this one takes the cake! The scent is to die for and will compliment the aesthetic of any kitchen. This one is a personal favourite!

7.) Like I mentioned above, berries seem to be the meal of choice, ever since I got pregnant. Seasonally, blueberries are everywhere these days! I add them to yogurt, salad, eat them straight on their own, or mix them into recipes (see point #10). They are an extremely versatile fruit and look so adorably cute in my Anthropologie Berry Basket!

8.) For the record, I was drinking Chai Tea Lattes from Starbucks long before my idol Oprah (another dear friend!) started endorsing them. The fact that when I order one now and have to ask for an ‘Oprah Chai’ just makes the pie that much sweeter! i have no problem with that. I do have a problem though with craving these tasty beverages at home and not being able to head out to Starbucks and fulfil my need of chai. So I picked up my own supply from Starbucks. I saw them available at Walmart as well if you are looking for competitive pricing. Now I just need to head to my fridge when I feel like my fix of an Oprah Chai. Thanks girl!

9.) I am a very eclectic collector of tea cups, mugs and glassware. Working at Anthro, this is very easy to accomplish. My husband says ‘you think I don’t knot ice when I pull a new cup out of the cupboard but I do’. He is wiser than I thought! My subtle shopping techniques are being figured out! This one is a definite favourite, good for HIM and HER. We have an H one that I bought for Henry as a Christmas gift last year. He tends to drink a much larger cup of coffee so I end up using it the most – which is fine, H for Hayward. These mugs are fantastic gifts as well. In case you are wanting one of your own, ask for a Mr Mug when you pop into Anthro. They should have every letter you need!

10.) I left this one for last because you always leave the best for last! With the abundance of Granny Smith Apples in my home, I decided to call mum over and we made a couple cinnamon apple cobblers. With so many blueberries in the fridge as well, we thought why not add them?! I took my recipe from one of mum’s old school cookbooks however there are endless options on the Internet. Rachel Ray’s looked great as well as one off the Food Network. I am sure you can’t go wrong with a straight forward cobbler recipe. Just don’t forget to get creative with other fruits like blueberries! Baking in the kitchen means time to get crazy!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more favourites and a chalkboard update on this growing belly (which is feeling huge might I add) real soon! XOXO