25 November 2014

Baby #2 Is A....!!!!



We are thrilled to announce that our second child is a....
His name will be kept secret until he is born. Until then, we will affectionately refer to him as Baby Woody. :)

20 November 2014

Playin' It Safe

Nobody has ever accused me of having an adventurous sense of style. I've pretty much stuck to the same handful of "looks" since I graduated from my middle school tomboy days and this is one of them. With a little boot and flannel rotation, I can pretty much be caught in a similar get up weekly! I can say that I need more vests in my closet, especially this winter. We currently have no snow on the ground and the temps are nearly hitting 40, so vests are the perfect cool weather solution. I've been eyeballing this one from Old Navy.

women's fall fashion

madden girl booties


SHOP THE LOOK

fall fashion
one || Puff Vest
two || Boyfriend Plaid Oxford Shirt
three || Kensie Skinny Jeans
four || Madden Girl Domain Booties

Are fashion forward or do you like to play it safe and classic?



19 November 2014

The Scarf || So Much More Than A Fashion Accessory

My scarf obsession began in 2009 with a surgery that left a gnarly scar on my neck. In the throws of my cancer treatment I was very concerned with keeping the area out of sight; not only from other people, but from myself. I wore a scarf nearly every day for an entire year, even in the summer! Wearing a scarf enabled me to feel "normal" during a very untraditional sophomore year in college. As the years went on, I grew more comfortable in my skin and slowly wore fewer and fewer scarves. Now I really only wear scarves in the fall/winter, although being pregnant (aka. constantly hot) I've been wearing them even less than usual. Even still, I think a great patterned scarf can jazz up even the most plain outfits, like a statement necklace for those colder months. 
Here are some of my favorites...
popular fall and winter scarves

one || Multi Butterfly Check Scarf
two || Oversized Gingham Check Infiniti Scarf
three || Cuban Leopard Print Scarf
four || Leopard Print Scarf
five || Red Check Blanket Scarf
Are you a scarf gal?

18 November 2014

Things I Want Our Children To Know

Sometimes I think about the inevitable conversation with my children about cancer, more specifically, melanoma. I can't imagine growing up knowing that my mom had any type of cancer at all. It's terrifying to think about even as an adult! I know I can dodge the subject for a while and explain away my frequent check ups as simply that, checkups. At some point though, I will have to share with my kids that "mommy had cancer" and alllll that it means. Not a day that I look forward to and certainly not something I'm prepared for. Until that day arrives, I have a short list of things I hope our children (and yours!!) come to know about their skin.


Kids, 

First and foremost, your skin is beautiful! There isn't a shade of "tan" in the world that looks any better than the skin God gave you. Not even close.
 
SPF on each morning just like you brush your teeth. Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine! Unless, you plan on staying in a windowless room all day long (which I certainly hope you don't) the sunscreen goes on. There is plenty to be said about the wide variety of sunscreens on the market, but at the end of the day the best kind of sunscreen is the kind you'll use. 

Find a wonderful dermatologist. Just like having your teeth cleaned and seeing an eye doctor, a visit with your dermatologist should be regular and consistent. It's just part of life. Make sure you find someone you trust and communicate openly with. Mom will help you, but a good place to start is always a recommendation from another doctor. 

When in doubt, check it out. If there is ever anything new or suspicious on your skin, have your dermatologist look at it. There is never any harm in being told "oh that's nothing. It's completely fine!"

Your mom and dad are trying their very best to protect your skin when you are little, which hopefully gives you the best possible start!

We love you and your gorgeous porcelain skin. 

You can find more information on staying safe in the sun here!


Have you had to have the difficult conversation with your children about cancer? How'd it go?
 

17 November 2014

Hopes & Plans :: Wanderlust Edition {Link Up}

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams, aspirations, monthly goals or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

I've been so excited for this week's link up! I love to travel but have wayyyyy too many places to hit and not enough dollas in the bank. Before we jump into this special wanderlust edition of the hopes & plans link up, lets see how last weekend went..

|| Hit our favorite pizza spot Check! Dad and I are both lovers of thin crust pizza and Fat Ptarmigan in Anchorage is the best!
|| Catch up on laundry. Haaaaaaa.
|| Enjoy having my dad in town. Dad left last night, which means I have to go back to being a real adult. :( [But only for a couple of days until more family arrives for Thanksgiving!]
travel bucket list
My Travel Bucket List :: 

one || Boston, MA || When I was a sophomore in college, my roommates and I were planning a trip to Boston for Spring Break when cancer happened. I still want to go darn it! Kyle and I also have a goal of visiting as many MLB stadiums as possible... two birds my friends. ;)
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two || The Blue Lagoon, Iceland || On our drive up to Alaska, we completely missed the Canadian hot springs. Ever since then I've kept an eye out for other hot springs locations. Iceland seems to be the creme de la creme and why go to a hot spring in our own backyard when I could tie it in to a much larger trip??

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three || The Hamptons, NY || Thanks to the show Revenge, this place is on my shopping list. After I win the lottery that is...

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four || Hawaii || I think that my most realistic wish is to visit all 50 of the United States. We have a pretty good start, but Hawaii is the only other state (apart from Alaska) that may pose a bit of a challenge. 

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five || Thailand || Kyle got to visit Thailand earlier this year for work and I'm insanely jealous! Can you imagine the food?! What a dream!

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six || Santorini, Greece || Ok, I'm pretty food motivated with this one too. Authentic Greek food? Where do I sign? Plus, Santorini just seems like it would be stunning!

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seven || Atlantis Resort || My sister and I went on a cruise a couple of years ago to the Bahamas and we explored the resort during a day trip. Oh. My. Goodness. I would love to take my family there one day!

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eight || Niagara Falls ||  I have seen so many photos of friends and family having visited Niagara and I have yet to see it! Large quantities of water like this are kind of amazing and intimidating, right?

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nine || Yellowstone National Park || Another one of North America's Natural Wonders that I haven't visited. Such a sad American... I could definitely picture Kyle and I spending a week or two wandering around Yellowstone.

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ten || Cruise the Pacific Coast Highway || I'm a lover of road trips. Cruising the pacific coast highway at a leisurely pace sounds like a dream! (That means I'd probably have to leave Kyle at home for this one. The man likes to get from A to B without messing around. Booorrrring!)

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Have you been to any of those places?
Ok, now I'm dying to see your travel bucket lists! Ready? Go!!


07 November 2014

Twelve Month Favorites

It's been a hot minute since we discussed baby gear. In fact, I think the last post I did about this was wayyyyy back in January and well, a lot has changed since then! I used to include some of our favorite items in Mallory's monthly update until I found that her "favorites" can change with her diaper. So, rather than doing a list of Mallory's favorites, I'm going to share the things that Kyle and I use constantly for Mallory. [She doesn't get much of a say here.] ;)
one || Egyptian Magic || I actually have to credit Kelsey for turning us on to this stuff. It works skin wonders! Mallory is prone to a little bit of eczema and this stuff literally gets ride of any scaly patches overnight! We aren't huge on slathering her up with lotion, so we just use this stuff to spot treat any dry areas. Plus, I really like it for my own skin. ;) These Alaskan winters can be a real bitch!
two || Stacking Cups || These babies have been a bath time staple for months! She loooves playing with containers of any kind, so naturally these are a hit. However, she is realizing that it is now fun to fill the cups with water and dump the water outside of the tub. Maybe time to temporarily retire the ol' cups...
three || Brown Bear, Brown Bear || Books. Holy. Books. If Mallory could have things her way, I would spend every minute of every day reading to her. This book is a big player in our current rotation. She digs animals. 
four || Britax Boulevard || Car rides have been ten times better since we upgraded Mal to this convertible seat! Granted she is still rear facing, but this seat gives her the ability to see out the window and look around more. We do still use her Britax B-Safe some simply because this one is easier to transfer from car to car. So, if we choose to take Kyle's car somewhere, we just use the B-Safe.
five || Plum Organics Yogurt || I love these pouches now more than ever. These are great to take on the go, but more importantly, great to feed Mallory when I can't stomach the smell of cooking something for her. #firsttrimesterproblems.
six || My Little Booster Seat || We don't own a traditional highchair. I snagged this seat for $6.25 at a local consignment store and we are obsessed! Mallory gets to sit safely with us at the table during meal time and it is mega easy to keep clean. Win!

seven || CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle || Our child couldn't figure out sippy cups, but could handle CamelBak water bottles??? We have a good handful of these scattered between the house and two cars.
eight || BOB Revolution SE || I know one of the primary complaints about this stroller is it's size, but we use it everyday, everywhere! Especially now that Mally is heavier and I'm less motivated to carry around a hot, wiggly toddler. Stroller it is!
nine & ten || Pampers Baby Dry & up&up Diapers || After months of trial and error experimenting with the 9,000 various brands of diapers, we have achieved a system and price point that works for us! (Hallelujah) The Target brand diapers are used during the day time. We have found that the are significantly cheaper than most other brands (more times than not are also on sale) and they work just as well as their pricier competitors. The Pampers Baby Dry diapers are used only at night since they seem to keep Mal's booty drier longer. 
Do you use any of these products with your little one(s)? What are some of your favorites?

06 November 2014

Recent Purchases

Since we (cough Kyle) are now in baby prep mode with our budget, I thought now would be a good time to lament over some of my favorite purchases of the past few months. Apparently I've been on a bit of a shoe kick... Have a look. 



one || J-Crew Crinkle Gauze Boy Shirt || I got this top on mega sale while I was in Wisconsin. Typically, it retails for $79.99 but I walked out paying just $20! (They were running a sale for an additional 40% off sale items.) If you are a student, don't forget to show your ID for an additional discount!

two || Clarisonic Mia || I shared a photo of my Clarisonic a couple of weeks ago on Instagram and I've now been using it long enough to be a believer. I don't know what it is about this brush, but my face just does not feel clean without it!

three || Franco Sarto Hawk Ballet Flats || This was another Wisconsin purchase. I've been eyeing flats like this for a while, so when I saw them on sale there was no hesitation. These particular flats are super comfortable! One wear to break them in and now they are perfect!

four || Capri Blue Volcano || My house smells like straight up Francesca's/Anthropologie! This is one of the few fragrances that isn't offensive to my pregnant nose. LOVE!

five || Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat || I've never been a huge base coat gal, but this stuff seems to make a difference in how healthy my nails look and feel! It's already time to repurchases this stuff. I seriously use it every time I paint my nails now. 

six || Old Navy Scrunch Ballet Flats || Maroon is the perfect fall color! When I saw these babies on sale for $3 one day I just had to. Had. To.

seven || Madden Girl Lace-Up Wedge Boots || My first ever pair of booties right here! I'm a huge fan of wedges. I think they are by far the most comfortable heel. These shoes are super versatile and go with just about anything!

eight || Michael Kors Reese Messanger Bag || This was the steal of all steals! I snagged this bag from our Post Exchange for just $188!! I had been eyeballing this bag for quite some time... I love that it has so many compartments. I can keep my stuff separate from Mallory's diapers and snacks. Perfection!

nine || Dainty Chucks || Every pair of chucks I purchase from here on out will probably be "dainty." I think these are so cute and feminine and they are arguably more comfortable than your standard chucks. 

Well there you have it! Please tell me what you have purchased lately. Looks like I will be living vicariously through you and your wallet over the next few months. ;)
  

05 November 2014

What's On My iPhone 6plus?

As I was perusing YouTube a few weeks ago, I stumbled on a couple "what's on my iPhone" videos. The nosey person in me LOVED seeing what apps other people keep on their phone. I even discovered a couple of new holy grail photo editing apps! So, in the name of paying it forward and perpetuating the nosiness cycle, here is what I keep on my iPhone...
I organize my phone into a million different folders. It drives Kyle insane, but hey, not his phone! I like for everything to have a place. :)I'm not going to go into detail about a lot of these, because they are pretty self explanatory OR they are the ones that Apple FORCES you to keep on your phone. (Anyone else really butt hurt about that?! You don't know me, Apple!)
SOCIAL
Facebook || For my personal Facebook account. 
Pages || This is the app that allows me to manage my blog's Facebook page. 
Messanger || Don't even get me started. Facebook made me do it! 
Bloglovin || This allows me to scroll through all my favorite blogs in one place. I only recently got into the habit of using this. I was saving all the blog URLs to my bookmarks, real old school like. 
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
WEATHER
The Weather Channel || This is my favorite weather app so far. If any source is semi reliable for predicting the weather, it's this one. 
Weather
IRRELEVANT
The title pretty much sums up my feelings for these apps...

PHOTOGRAPHY

Pic Stitch || I've been using this one less and less lately, but it is great for making photo collages. I liked using this app for "bump dates" when I was pregnant with Mallory; straight on shot next to a side shot. 
Aviary || My newest photo editing obsession! I discovered this app on YouTube actually, creeping' on somebody else's What's On My iPhone6 video. I used to edit photos using Afterlight, but so far, I'm liking Aviary more. 
Squaready || This app sizes your images appropriately for Instagram.  Squaready is a lot like Instasize just with a few more options. Love this!
Photos
Camera

STORE
Nordstrom || I recently hopped on the Nordstrom debit card bandwagon, so naturally I need to be able to shop at. all. times.
Cartwheel || Cartwheel is an easy way to save at checkout when you shop at Target. Check out this post from Notes from a Newlywed on how to save $$$ at Target! Cha-ching!
Amazon || Amazon Prime is essentially a requirement up here. 
RetailMeNot || Duh. All about saving a buck or two!
Shopbop || This site and their two day shipping! Ah-mazing! 
GiltJane & MyHabit || These are all daily deal sites that I frequent. When is Groopdealz going to come out with an app?! Get with the program!
Etsy || I recently used this to order the shirts Kyle and I wore in our pregnancy announcement :) Love Etsy!
iTunes Store 
App Store 
Game Center
* A lot of these stores you can read more about on my Online Shopping Alaska Edition post, which I'm now thinking needs a little facelift...
ENTERTAINMENT
Imdb || Kyle and I use the rating system on Imdb to settle any RedBox rental conflicts. Highest rating is the movie we go with. (Usually my pick has terrible reviews so we end up watching a ton of dude movies. Laaaame!)
Urbanspoon || I use Urbanspoon a ton when we travel, but even at home too. I like to read the reviews and try out new places to eat!
Fandango || Ha! As if we go to the movies. 
YouTube || Used primarily for watching Beauty Vloggers as loud as possible on the couch while Kyle tries to play Battlefield. 
Words With Friends || This game. Ugh! I'm terrible at it. Terrible terrible. But if you're looking for a confidence boost, hit me up  ;)
iBooks 
Music


UTILITIES
Flashlight || I probably don't need this one since the iPhone now has it's own flashlight...
SleepMachine || A sleep machine is mandatory in our house. Kyle and I use one and so does Mallory. We use this app when we are traveling. If we didn't have it, I'm convinced nobody would sleep a wink.
Fox News || Ok. I have to be honest here. This app is only on my phone for the alerts when i'm out. Gotta know when big shit is going down.  I usually have the news on throughout the day at home as background noise. 
Remote || This app serves as a remote for our Apple TV. Have you seen the one that comes with it?! TINY!
Calendar
Maps
Safari
Notes 
Reminders
Contacts
Calculator
Compass
Voice Memos
Settings
Clock

BABY
What To Expect || I'm sure anyone who has ever been pregnant has heard of this one.  This is my "must have" app for all things pregnancy. What To Expect gives you those fruit size comparisons (some of which I've never heard of) in addition to a little snip it as to what baby is up to during that particular week. What is extra cool about this app are the communities, granted they can certainly get a little catty, but I've definitely made a couple of "online friends" as Kyle calls them. We keep up with each other primarily via Instagram and it has been so fun to watch each others babies grow! 
LactMed || Breastfeeding mamas, you need this app! It comes from the National Library of Medicine at National Institutes of Health regarding all things mama/baby and breastmilk. This is the same site my own doctor uses to determine the safety of drugs for breastfeeding mamas and their infants. I love having the ability to read about the effects a specific drug could have on milk supply and my baby. Holy grail app for sure!
Mommy App || This app is new to my collection! It offers an easy, cute and organized way of keeping notes on your kids (ie. milestones, apppointmens, etc.) I have been using it to jot down little notes on my current pregnancy, things I want to share with you and remember to mention at upcoming doctor's appointment. I took a fun quiz within this app that determined I will be having a BOY! Can't wait to find out. The Mommy app also has a cute little games section that I may or may not have tossed at Mallory as a little "be quiet" incentive on our recent flights. $.99 for a little bit of peace, where do I sign?!
I feel like I should mention that I shattered the screen on my freaking phone yesterday! Errr I was getting out of the car and forgot it was on my lap... Looks like I will be joining the land of the ugly Lifeproof cases. AFTER I spend the $129 it costs to repair it. Not pleased!
Anyway.
What's on your iPhone? Any apps I MUST have?
Disclaimer :: I was given the Mommy App as well as paid advertising on my sidebar in exchange for my review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

04 November 2014

Baby #2 || First Trimester

In case you came here all "first trimester?! what the hell did I miss?!" check out this post first. ;)
Again, thank you thank you thank you for all of your well wishes! We are just beyond thrilled and couldn't wait to share the news with the world.
I'm currently in my 14th week (13 weeks and a day or so) of this pregnancy. One piece of advice, know when you get knocked up!! Holy cow. Our due date has changed three times at this point. The back and forth for this "type A" couple is not awesome! At this moment baby #2 is due on May 12... So, if this baby is anything like their big sister (so weird) they will make their debut sometime mid April. Ha!
I found out I was pregnant on September 5th and literally didn't know if I was 4-5 weeks or 8-9 weeks along, so my OB had me come in that week. Mega nerve wracking appointment because it took two physicians to find the baby. At that point baby was only the gestational sack (aka. not far enough along to appropriately "date") so they had us come back the following week guessing, I was about 5 weeks. 
At the next appointment we were able to get a much better look at baby who was measuring at 7 weeks. (Due date change number one.) We also learned that after Mally was born (TMI alert) my uterus settled really retroverted. This isn't an issue really, just an annoyance during the first trimester because ultrasounds and doppler readings can be really difficult.
Fast forward to our "twelve week" NT scan and baby was still kickin' it all awkward like way far back in my nearly upside down uterus. Coooool. So, after about 20 minutes the sonographer was able to get a clear image of baby who turns out was just ELEVEN weeks. (Due date changes again.) Because we were leaving for Wisconsin the following week they had me come back a few days later to try again. 
NT scan take 2: It took 45 minutes to get the one measurement they need for this scan! Thankfully baby looks perfect, but geez who knew your uterus could be so annoying! Of course it wouldn't be a doctors appointment without changing my due date by a couple of days.
As far as monitoring goes with my history of severe preeclampsia, things aren't too terribly different than a normal pregnancy. I am 1/3 more likely to experience preeclampsia again, but that number isn't staggering. We did a couple of additional blood tests at the beginning as well as a baseline 24 hour urine collection. Beyond that, nothing changes until my blood pressure spikes or I hit the 20 week mark. At 20 weeks I just go in for blood pressure checks a little more frequently. Pretty simple stuff. 
I can't really complain much about the first trimester. Although i've still been pretty nauseous and exhausted, this baby is a walk in the park compared to Mallory. With Mallory I was down 15 pounds and a hospitalization by just 10 weeks! Although, at this point in my pregnancy with Mal I was feeling much better. Buuuut I literally just finished a meeting with porcelain gods, so... Each pregnancy is different, right?
We are planning to find out the sex of this baby but that is still a few weeks away. (Ps. Why on Earth do we call it "gender" during pregnancy? Gender is socially constructed and sex is biological/physiological. Ugh. Pet peeve for sure!) We will share the baby's sex but won't be revealing the name until birth. First names have been picked out, but the middle names are a different story. Hate it when Kyle decides to have an opinion about things. ;)
Ten Weeks
Twelve Weeks

I plan on using Instagram to share weekly "bumpdates" and save the blog posts for more interesting/substantial baby updates.
Are you expecting?! I love following along with other women's pregnancies!

You can read all about my first pregnancy here
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