16 Weeks

So I’ve become one of those people that speaks in weeks. It’s impossible to avoid. At 16 weeks, I actually feel and look pregnant (to me anyway). I liked reading other bloggers “bumpdates” so I thought I would do it too. Here goes…

How far along? 16 weeks – the babe is the size of an avocado

**My sister reminded me I needed a pic…duh**
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Total weight gain: 0!

Sleep: Um, not great, but that is nothing unusual. I have to get up most every night to pee = mega annoying.

Best moment this week: Finding out I had not gained any weight even though I feel like a tanker.

Worst moment of the week: Mike’s ruined birthday cake which was immediately followed by an emotional breakdown.

Have you told family and friends: Yep.

Miss Anything? BOOOOZE and my flat abs.

Food cravings: Super cliche but I am loving pickles/pickle juice. Also orange juice. Cold pasta salads.

Food aversions: Not really. Not into meat which is totes unlike this carnivore.

Have you started to show yet: Yes. I bought a belly band today!

Gender: We have to wait a whole month before we have the big ultrasound.

Symptoms: Sore stomach muscles, HUGE sore boobs, constantly congested, always thirsty, and STUPID TIRED. Like more tired than I thought possible. I really wasn’t overly tired during my first trimester, but when I hit the second trimester it is like something drained all the life out of me.

Workouts: Just dog walks…basically none. I want/need to start though.

Happy or Moody most of the time: It changes with the wind. Very happy to insanely irritated to ridiculously weepy. It is exhausting.

Looking forward to: Actually having a real bump and not just looking bloated.

 

Ok. That was pretty boring I guess.

Friday Randoms

Random posts are always my favorite.

– So, we half-assed moved. As in, there is still a lot of little crap left in the warehouse. Our carpet installers have just completely dropped the ball and are holding us up big time. But whatev. At this point, I don’t have much care left in me. I have just been relaxing and watching a lot of tv and doing a lot of online browsing. After not having tv or internet since Nov 1…we have earned some time on the couch.

– Speaking of couch…we got ours back from the upholsterer. I like it. I can’t say I wouldn’t have preferred velvet, but velvet + dog slobber just wasn’t in any way practical.

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– Madewell is offering 30% off sale items {code: BYEMARCH} and I scooped up two more of my absolute favorite tees. I ordered a size up so hopefully they will accommodate the growing belly throughout the summer.

– I have been cooking up a storm this week. If you follow on instagram then you have seen a couple of my go-to recipes, Baked Egg Rolls & Italian Frittata. Mike’s uncle lives in the midwest and he and his wife own and run a restaurant. He visited once and brought with him their egg rolls and served them with big leaves of lettuce and assorted herbs {any herbs you want, I usually use cilantro and/or basil}. You sprinkle some herbs on a leaf of lettuce and wrap around the egg roll. It was amazing and I try to always eat my own egg rolls this way. Since my egg rolls are baked and just shy of bland, I always like to have a tasty dipping sauce. I love Newman’s Own sesame ginger dressing, which I recently mixed with a sweet thai chili sauce and added a healthy squirt of sriracha. Basically I just make it to taste. Nothing fancy or measured. Egg rolls are one of those things that you can use what you have in the fridge. I have added chicken, shrimp, and fish and it is all good.

I don’t really have a recipe for the frittata…there are hundreds of variations so I suggest just looking it up online to find one you like. Once you make it once, you won’t need a recipe! You can also eat it hot, cold, or room temp for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus it is packed with protein and veggies (and in my case, cheeese too).  This is what I added to mine (I only used half the italian sausage + shredded sharp cheddar and sprinkled some feta on top):

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– We have zero window treatments. How am I supposed to decide on and afford window treatments for every window in our house like right now? I mean, people are staring at our every move at night because there is zero privacy. I also hate to waste money on temporary options because unless they are from Dollar General nothing in the drapery world is cheap. I want to try my hand at making my own. It can’t be too hard right? More than the cost savings, I don’t want to wait for someone to do it for me. The lady that did our sofa and chair took forever, and while she was good and very reasonable, I want something now. I cannot get this fabric out of my mind, and it is not too expensive, so I may give it a try. The colors are perfection and it is just fun and formal at the same time. Plus it has dogs and ginger jars…a win win.

That is all for this Friday. We will be busy moving the rest of our junk out the warehouse this weekend. Fun fun!

Lessons Learned, Part I

Call this a retrospective of sorts. As the renovations finally come to a close and we plan to finally move in this weekend, I have been processing the process. It has been a long one (7 months!) with many peaks and valleys, but I feel pretty confident that such is how renovating a house goes for everyone. I have never heard “oh we did that once, it was so cheap and a total breeze, stress free, fun, a joyous bonding of husband and wife…” Regardless, it was a learning experience. I thought I would share some of my lessons learned with my few wonderful readers. I started this as one big post, but it got looooong, so I split it into two parts.

1. Communicate with your sub-contractors. And then communicate some more, label everything you buy in detail, write down exactly what you want and then read it to them, demanding full comprehension. Never assume your outlet will be put in the obvious place, because obvious to you is not the same obvious to the electrician. Since we could not be there all the time to meet everyone, to walk everyone through every job, it was inevitable shit would get screwed up. And indeed it did. Nothing major, but things that could have been avoided if we had communicated better. I was especially horrible at this. I suppose this is why people hire contractors, but that just wasn’t for us. Lesson learned.

2. Shop smart. You can spend as much or as little as you want when re-doing any part of a house. Don’t get the “average cost” too stuck in your head, because it has never been true for us. So let’s talk about fixtures. Light fixtures, bathroom fixtures/faucets/whatever you want to call them…they are not cheap. You feel defeated because everything at Lowes and Home Depot is not even close to all those images you pinned from Veranda or House Beautiful or Domino. You unfortunately have one of those pesky things called a budget which don’t seem to exist for our friends on instagram. Those pins and that budget rarely work in harmony. First, identify what you want, be specific or just a general style. Do some research and more often than not, you will start to see that one or two brands typically carry styles more in line with yours. Then start searching those brands on ebay, Amazon, etc. I found almost every light I bought cheaper+free shipping by searching for it on those sites. Like I saved hundreds of dollars. Read all the return policies very carefully. I bought my faucets using this same search method. For those things that you are able to save on, you can afford to allow for a must have. Which leads me to my next point…

3. Know what you have to have. Be realistic of course, but put your foot down on those things that you just cannot budge on. If that means a major compromise somewhere else…such is life and marriage. For me, I really wanted the granite we went with. It was in the top tier of granite pricing, and Mike definitely wanted to buy what was on sale {which was gross}, but eventually we compromised on other things and my granite I got and it is the highlight of the kitchen fa sho. Mike is a lighting nazi. Everything on dimmers and recessed lights everywhere. Okay I say.

That’ll do it for now. I’m hoping to post Part II maybe mid-week. I would love to hear your experiences and advice as well! Do tell.

A guest room, revisited.

The guest room is always “my room”. As in, I can decorate it however I want without any major husband input. It is, therefore, the most fun room to decorate. I knew immediately how I wanted our guest room to look: all white, kelly green doors, white bedding, white headboard, some bright pillows, and our collection of New Orleans art we’ve collected from our trips.

A very quick little inspiration board:

guest room

There are two closets and imagine the closet doors and door casings painted kelly green. Imagine more art and framed photographs to bring in the color. Imagine black and white ticking stripe fabric cornices and bamboo shades on the two windows. Imagine an old wooden dresser…hopefully you are getting an idea of my idea.

Ok. All set. Nothing too expensive or hard to accomplish. Amazing finished product. Here is where life happens and now amazing said guest room is requiring some additional thought. There is just no way a bed AND a crib will fit in the same room. And what guest wants to sleep in the same room with a baby? Since my brain could only handle so much at one time, I decided to keep with the white walls (specifically Sherwin Williams Westhighland White) and green closets (SW Grasshopper). The rest is TBD. Stay tuned!

What day is it?

It is supposed to be the middle of the week, but it feels like it has just begun. February is a stupid busy work month for me and I am so exhausted. Pile on top of that other craziness and the stress of trying to finish this freakin house. Stick a fork in me.

I feel like Bodhi & Johnny Utah on the shore of the big wave, and I have all this stuff coming at me, the wave growing larger as it swells closer…soon it is going to come crashing down. I am overwhelmed and under-motivated. Basically, I hate my job. I have been at it for almost 8 years, and for the first 7 I was pretty content. I know I can’t last much longer going like I’m going. But what am I supposed to do? It is so scary to hate your job and have no plan B. Has anyone else been there? What did you do? Wait it out?I feel like a wimp. I need some advice. Some words of encouragement. Or a six-figure salary working 20 hours a week doing something I love job offer…Do tell.

 

Updates

As you learned in my previous post, it is hard to stay connected in this world without internet and good cell service. I am once again lounging at my empty in-laws house. They are away for the week and I would like to say we are house sitting as opposed to squatting. Either way we are making ourselves at home, and I am so thankful they do not mind. Our biggest challenge being keeping Rolo from destroying something. Last time, he ate their Direct TV remote. Whoops!

House update: The painters have come and gone except for a few remaining touch ups. I was so excited only to be disappointed by their quality of work. And supposedly one of them got bit by a brown recluse spider while at our house. Geez loueez. Our final electrical inspection is today, and hopefully that means we will have power back on tomorrow. Our countertops are being installed on Thursday. Things are happening! Every single light fixture is finally purchased, all the paint colors have been picked out, my sofa & chair are being dropped off at the upholsterer this week…it feels good. Next up: choosing new hardware for the kitchen cabinets, finally deciding on new floors, getting our gas lines hooked up, more painting.

Product update: I’m still using Cetaphil moisturizer from head to toe and my skin has never been better. Recently, I switched to a new oil facial cleanser and absolutely love it.

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil

I wasn’t really looking for a new face wash as I was happy with Cetaphil, but saw this and decided to give it a try. It takes off ALL eye makeup in an instant and leaves my face feeling hydrated and clean. And it smells good, and after using so much bland no scent Cetaphil, it is a nice change.

Add to Cart update: With all the house expenditures, I have reeled in my shopping like never before. However, I have made two rather large purchases recently.

Rachel Pally ‘Jazz’ Maxi

I bought this for a friend’s January wedding. I loathe being cold, so I started searching for long sleeve dresses and ended up finding this gem. It is so fantastic and I got a ton of compliments. Right now it is on major sale via Amazon. You can expect the same comfort level as with any Rachel Pally number and it is plenty long for you tall girls.

Rag & Bone ‘Harrow’ Camel booties

These booties are in no way new as I have been longing for them for a couple years now. Unfortunately they rarely go on sale and spending $500+ on them was just not in my budget. When visiting my bff in Atlanta, I decided to try them on and they were so comfortable and definitely the most flattering bootie this short, stout legged lady is ever going to find. But again, not on sale. So I have stalked them on eBay and the web in general, basically just giving it up because I really only wanted them in camel. Until one day last week I see some chick on Instagram had just bought them and decided to check out the company she bought them from {Emporium DNA}…long story made long is that they were 50% off and had my size. SOLD. They still have a few sizes left on the website {36, 37, 37.5 — FYI these run almost a full size small}.

I think that is enough for now…have you scored any good end of season deals? Do tell.

What!

WELL. We moved, but not into our house, into a temporary living space, or the “warehouse” as I will refer to it, which has no internet or cable. That’s right friends, no internet. My cell phone barely gets enough service to load instagram maybe once a day. So off the grid I am. I am not going to say how nice it is, because it isn’t nice at all. It blows. It also explains an extreme absence from blogging, commenting, etc. Right now I am lounging at my empty in-laws house doing laundry (oh yeah, no washer/dryer at the warehouse either…OH, or KITCHEN!…)

But what really has me sitting here writing this is meeting one of the bridesmaids at a friend’s gorgeous wedding last night. She was a big fan of my old blog, Life is Reed-iculous, and it made me reminisce about when I used to blog everyday and really enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll give it another go. Maybe I’ll just blog when the mood strikes. Like today. I figure I have a lot I could talk about for future posts…like how big Rolo has gotten and how amazing he is, how we still don’t even have power at our house, how renovating a house is so stressful, how my plans for each room have evolved and morphed into this crazy compromise that looks nothing like my original vision, how all white everything is not practical, basically ever, and how this makes me sad, how thinking you are getting closer to being done and realize there is so much more left to choose, do, pay for…………makes you want to drown in mexican food and margs right? Me too. The good news is we are getting closer. I seriously cannot wait to share some before and after photos. The befores are so fug.

Ok well here’s to blogging again in 2014!

Agree to Disagree

Husbands and decor decisions. How does that work for you? Because for me…it is the most frustrating of all things. My  husband is all about FUNCTION. I know function is important, and since we have basically gutted our home, we can tailor almost everything to our wants and needs. However, that comes with its own set of challenges. I’ve never lived in this house before, so it is hard to for me to feel the space to know what it needs. But decisions have to be made.

Our main challenge is limited square footage. We are talking 1300 sq ft of living space. This house was so closed up that we have busted out walls and taken down cabinets left and right. While it has opened it up enormously, we have eliminated a lot of the available storage. With small square footage, it is important for us to utilize vertical space. To my husband, this means NO SIDE TABLES, COFFEE TABLE, LAMPS. WTF dude? How am I supposed to make this house amazing without lots of tables, vignettes, and lamps? I told him to go live in minimalist Russia.

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Before: Chimney wall flanked by a closet and a bookshelf/cabinet.

Photo1(5)After: Different viewpoint, but you can see everything was dark and dreary and now…All gone.

Next challenge is we cannot agree on light fixtures. At all. I don’t know why but we have a polar opposite view of a great light fixture. He is against drum shades, chandeliers, and industrial influenced lights AKA everything that is cool looking. We have come to a few compromises with this, but I don’t think either of us are really happy with it.

It isn’t all bad though. We actually agree on a lot of the overall feel. He just doesn’t like a lot of stuff on the floor. And I get it…but…get over it. He has said nothing about my bathroom design, so that means he must like it. He hates dark bedrooms, but knows it is happening. He has even not totally shut down my extreme love of this leopard print carpet for the guest room. Win! I have agreed to not paint a small area of the heart pine walls. We are referring to this as our “sailboat room” because it reminds me of the inside of an old boat.

So preetttyy.

So how do y’all balance your finely tuned amazing taste with your other half? I don’t feel like I’m asking for pink walls with tons of tribal prints, so he should be thankful for that…

 

 

 

Random Round Up

My custom Lucchese boots are finally home. I am pretty obsessed with them. Never have I ever had such a great pair of boots and I plan to wear them for life.  Why do I always take selfies pre-makeup?!

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I have been traveling an enormous amount lately for work which has meant a lot of lonely nights in hotels. Somehow I started watching New Girl on Netflix…this is strange because Zooey Douchewhatever is not someone I would typically like, but I love the show. It is seriously funny and cute. So watch it if you are looking for a new tv binge. Yesterday I was cleaning, it was raining, and Mike was napping, so I reluctantly started Breaking Bad. It is good. Duh.

We were supposed to have a big yard sale yesterday, but it rained on our parade. Everything in our house has a price tag on it. We are selling everything except the tufted craigslist sofa and chair I recently purchased, my favorite RL blue & white lamps, a couple sets of awesome pillows…and that’s pretty much it. I want a big yellow sign on the front of our house that says “EVERYTHING MUST GO” like furniture stores keep out year round. I have given away, donated, consigned or ebay’d probably 10 garbage bags worth of clothes and at least 50% of my shoe collection this year. It is an amazing feeling to have space in my closet again.

And last but not least, a Pinterest recipe round up:

One Pot Chicken Risotto – so I was thinking this was going to be a quick, easy version of real risotto. But it is just like making actual risotto except you add some chicken. It actually took longer to get the right consistency IMO. Probably won’t make it again.

Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas – these were the heat. Delicious, easy, amazing the next day too. I will make these a million more times. I love enchiladas and this was a different type of sauce that is a great alternative to the red kind. Katie Perks…if you haven’t made these yet, you need to asap.

Easy White Chicken Chili – This was pretty good, especially if you aren’t afraid of a little cumin. I omitted the beans because they are gross to me, but next time I might add black beans instead of no beans at all.

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps – These were delicious. I totally hate all kinds of Mexican food, obvi. Cooking these in a skillet gives them a nice crispy outside. I will make these again and again.

Recipes on my radar:

Italian Drunken Noodles

Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips – Whoa. Pretzels and chocolate always make me think of my sister. I will definitely be making these for the holidays.

Kale and Chicken Egg Rolls – I love homemade egg rolls. I usually bake mine, and would probably do that with these to make them a teeny bit healthier.

Chicken Sausage Brown Rice Stuffing with Celery and Mushrooms – um, Yum.

So that was like 3 posts in one, but one post is better than none.

House plans

My lack of blogging has been extreme. Thank goodness for Instagram!

So. House renovating is hella stressful. The quirks and complications with taking an old house and trying to make it awesome come with a lot of dream crushing. Like I can’t have an awesome light fixture there because there is no attic access because the area did not formerly exist. Or, we cannot run electrical wire down this wall because it used to be an external wall, and there is all kinds of stuff in the way {or something like that}. Or ‘hey, why is the ceiling wet?’ Or ‘hey, I don’t think this is going to pass inspection.’ Or ‘HOW MUCH?’

Anyway, a few surprises here and there, but eventually I do think it will be awesome. I decided to share with y’all my vision for a couple of rooms.

House Reno Bath KitchenGuest Bath: Black & white hex tile floor with black hex border  | White subway tile shower surround | Wall mount sink | Chrome fixtures

Kitchen: Grayish cabinets | Granite countertops pictured | White herringbone backsplash | White island with wood top

Shattered Dreams: Pendant lights over island – not electrically possible for some reason | White marble countertops – not budget appropriate or practical…but oh so beautiful | Probably not farmhouse sink – Only the Ikea version is in our budget and is too deep for our existing cabinets | Console sink for bathroom – STUPID expensive

Thoughts: My dad is a tiling wizard and he is going to help me do all the bathroom tiling and backsplash, so we will be saving some loot in that department plus I will be learning a trade. My husband wants super fancy carpet in our bedrooms which makes me laugh…and happy. Half of the house has existing wood floors which we plan to refinish, the other half will need new wood floors. Have you shopped for wood floors lately? There are so many crazy options for prefinished wood, engineered wood, and laminate. Exciting but overwhelming. Why is choosing and agreeing on light fixtures so hard?