8.04.2015

10 Things I Learned from College

 I actually can't believe that it's been five years since I graduated from the University of Iowa. My time at Iowa was honestly amazing.  I truly feel like I got the quintessential college experience and I wouldn't change anything (or much of) what I did.

I had fun thinking back to my glory days - and dang they were so good. 
 
 

1. Make Your Bed  
And make it first thing. It's a game changer, especially when you do a lot of living in your bedroom.

2. College girlfriends will know you like no other group of friends....invest in them.
These girls get to know you like no other group of friends ever will. It's the first time you are all without your parents, living together as adults, doing adult things...its a bond that really can't be found ever again.


3. Don't watch sad shows
Grey's Anatomy was the big show during college and everyone would get together on Thursdays to watch it. Well, I would get such anxiety about all of the medical emergencies I'd end up not sleeping for three nights afterwards - all to do it again the following Thursday. I got wise by sophomore year and joined the group after the show was over. 

4. The importance of volunteering
To Whom Much is Given; Much is Required finally made sense to me and I started understanding that I fell into that category.

5. Long Island Ice Tea's don't agree with you 
Especially six of them.

6. Exercise has to be a priority
Especially when you are eating Velveeta as a 4th dinner every weekend. 

7.  How to get out of a ticket
There are lots of morons on college campuses, including myself at times, but having manners goes a long way.

8. Not all vodka is created equal.
There is a BIG difference between Hawkeye Vodka and Kettle One. I promise you it's worth the extra $4 bucks. 
 
9. When to go home
And that would be before you have the spins.

10. That your college major means less than you think it does
I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education - and while I truly believe aspects of that degree have helped me in every job I've ever held, I've never struggled to find a job outside of that field. 


And Go Hawks! 

8.03.2015

Weekend Report

Friday night we decided to keep it chill, make enchiladas at home, and get the guest room ready for the handyman to come on Saturday morning. Our weekends lately have taken a serious adjustment...but we honestly need the time to get things done, so it is what it is.

This was also the first weekend that I felt like Roscoe was all about my bump. I'm not sure if it's all of the house changes that are being made or the noticeable size increase that's been happening the last few weeks but he is all about it and it's precious. 

 

We took down the guest bed, watched a bunch of hilarious episodes of Chrisley Know's Best and called it a night.

Saturday morning we were up, excited, and ready for the handyman to whip our room into shape!

He was supposed to be here at 9am, and let me just cut to the chase, he never friggen showed up.

I was livid. We had confirmed with him on Thursday after talking for weeks, and the guy just totally blew me off. Never called me back, never returned my texts...nothing.

I took a steaming walk to try and relax but, I'm going to be honest, it kind of ruined my day. I had such high hopes of seeing that room come together, but it's obviously not the end of the world. It'll get done in time.

Joel was nice enough to attempt to put up the decals, and even though it literally took us the entire day, we made some progress.

 

My math was off, so we only have half the wall done, but it's going to look great when its done.

We took an afternoon break to tour an apartment for my parents in Marina Del Rey where they are hoping to stay for six weeks over the winter. It's in a great location and the views were beautiful so I'm hoping it works out.


I just couldn't shake my annoyances from the morning, and Joel and I were pretty much at each other's throats from the aggravation of the day (hanging 100 decals straight in a perfect grid box should be in marriage bootcamp), but cupcakes, music and a grill session outside helped a lot.  



There is something about eating outside, or just sitting outside with a drink, that always help cool off hot situations for us. 

Sunday I was thankful for a fresh start. Joel got in a nice long run (like 20 miles long...) and I lounged in bed until he got home, so we both felt pretty blissed out.

We had to run some errands on Sunday, but didn't find what we were looking for. Afterwards, we met up with my cousins and their sweet baby Nolan at Golden Road Brewery. 

 

Nolan was such a joy - we had a blast hanging with them - and Golden Road is a really great place to hang out. Besides the fact that it's god awful hot in the valley, the brewery has great beers, it's super family friendly (and dog friendly *on cooler days), and lots of food options so I'm thinking it will be one of our most visited spots come the winter.

 
 We ended up having an enormous lunch....followed by more cupcakes... so when we got home we were stuffed and just relaxed for the rest of the evening. 

 

 Obviously, I'm on the hunt for a new handyman, but that will have to wait until after my trip home. I head back to Chicago for my baby shower so this week and next are due to be filled with lots of good stuff. 

A well traveled woman

7.31.2015

Five on Friday

::: 1 :::
There's been a lot of life happening around the blog world this week; lives gone too soon and lives being fought for before they've even begun. It's been a tough week for a lot of families, and while I don't know any of these women, or their families personally, my heart has been heavy for all them. Life is just so precious and so fragile and can be cut far too short, and we've been served a very harsh reminder of that.

My life, has been this. All the terrible stuff people have said about me has led to me realizing the truth about some people. First it pissed me off, then it made me step into a new, and better version of me. It made me stronger, faster, smarter. So as soon as your done being pissed, make your self different and better.

::: 2 ::: 
My cousin Amanda came into LA for a business trip on Tuesday so we got to sneak in another visit with each other. We've seen each other so much over the last year, it's been amazing. When she got in, we met our other cousin Erin and her fiance Danny for dinner at Water Grill in Santa Monica (wasn't very impressed with it).

::: 3 ::: 
Wednesday morning we started early and drove into Santa Monica to get in a long walk along the ocean. The marine layer was really heavy so we didn't get a great view, but it was nice to feel the salty air. Even though we live only a few miles from the water, we just do not enjoy it as much as we should!

::: 4 ::: 
On our walk back to the car we decided to browse the SM farmers market. I have to laugh because I sent this picture to Joel while he was at his office. About ten minutes later security was yelling at us to get out of the market because dogs weren't allowed.  

Clearly I didn't look close enough at the picture I sent Joel because that white sign just a few feet in front of Roscoe says "No Animals Allowed". Whoops!

::: 5 :::
This weekend is nursery overhaul weekend!! We have someone coming on Saturday to help us, and I'm just giddy to see a lot of the work get done. We still will have a ways to go before it's ready but this is a huge step forward! Bring on the changes!! Bye Bye Guest Room
 
 
Hello Nursery...




7.29.2015

Bumpdate: 28 weeks - Hello 3rd Trimester!


          ::: week 18 ::: week 19 ::: week 20 ::: week 21 ::: week 22 ::: week 23 ::: week 24
 ::: week 25 ::: week 26 ::: week 27 :::

How Far Along? 28w, 4d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: BOY!

Weight Gain: 19lbs 

Maternity Clothes: No changes this week....still trying to shop old stuff that still fits

Nursery: I bought a few accessories this week, a mirror and basket, but so far that's it. I'm hoping the only major purchases I still have left to make are a side table for next to the glider (and I think I'd like to see the scale of the chair in the room before I buy one), a lamp, and pillows for the daybed (and I need that built to determine how many).

We also switched up the knobs on the Honest dresser to get closer to the look I'm going for.



Movement: Tons and they've really changed over the last few weeks. Now the movement feels like heavy rolls compared to just sweet little kicks. There are still lots of kicks in there, some directly to my bladder, but I can tell that the baby is starting to really get bigger in there.

Symptoms: Belly tightness is new, and uncomfortable. I would say I have very light heartburn, and spicy foods - like salsa or anything seasoned with lots of cayenne pepper - bring it on almost instantly. Oh, and I can't see my feet. I catch myself looking down and still getting thrown off by a bump protruding out.
I was also really weepy this week. When I found out that I didn't pass the 1-hour glucose tolerance test by 7 points, I did shed a few tears. My mom helped me a lot to just keep perspective on the issue but it felt like a blow at the time.

And, I honestly think this is pregnancy related, but I HATE making decisions. Picking my freaking nail polish color takes me 6x as long as it should, dinner plans, what to wear, when to leave....it's obnoxious.
Sleep: Getting a lot less comfortable. My belly sort of hurts at night, and I toss and turn all the time. I have a body pillow that helps, and I try and wedge random pillows all over the place, but I think it might be downhill from here. Plus, getting up to go to the bathroom like 5x makes sleep complicated as well.
Joel: He's been talking to his little buddy a lot over the last few weeks, and it's so sweet....I don't think my heart is prepared to take on the kind of love that I know I'm going to feel in a few months.

Workouts: Six- 1 spin, 1 pool, 2 gym, 1 neighborhood walk, and 1 hike. 

Mood: emotional and anxious and easily exhausted (mentally and physically!)

Cravings: Before I had my results back from the 3-hour test, I was eating every crab like it could have been my last. But the only thing that I really crave that is abnormal are blueberry muffins and blueberry donuts!

What I Miss: I'm glad I'm not going to have to miss carbs.

Random Things: Just in case I need to remember this for myself in the future - I thought I'd try and keep a good recap of how the 3-hour test went down.

I found out last Wednesday that I failed the 1-hour gluclose test by 7 points. My doctor wasn't concerned, but still had to order the 3-hour test to confirm there wasn't an issue. I was anxious the whole week in anticipation of the dreaded test and I just wanted it over with. The day before the test I stayed away from high-carb food, and after dinner of turkey burgers (no buns) and a big spinach salad, I had to fast. 

The lab at our hospital opened early, so I was able to get my first blood draw over with by 7:30am - if you have to do this - get to the lab as soon as it opens. After the initial draw, I had to drink the even sweeter orange drink again in 5 minutes. This drink was worse than the first one, sweeter and more syrupy, but it went down.

The best part of my experience was that I was able to leave the lab. I was so worried they were going to make me sit there for 3 hours, but I got lucky. I was able to walk outside, and since there is a city target just a block away, I pretty much browsed the aisles, talked on the phone, and returned every hour for three hours to get my blood taken. *I'm becoming a freaking pro and blood draws. I was also allowed water which some places don't let you have, and that helped me feel a lot better during the test.

The only time I felt really bad during the process was end of the last hour and then immediately after the final draw. My blood sugar at that point was really low and I honestly don't think I could have done a 4th hour. I just felt shaky, light headed, and out of it,  but knowing it was almost over got me through. I had brought trailmix with me in my purse, so I shoveled that in my mouth and on my way home stopped for breakfast that I barely tasted, just consumed quickly.

I felt awful the rest of the day, and was thankful I didn't have to go back to an office. I had a horrible headache and felt like hell for the rest of the afternoon. A shower and pizza seemed to help the most ;)

I got my results about 48 hours after and passed each marker with a ton of wiggle room - so that was amazing - even though waiting to hear back for those two days drove me slightly batty. 

Best Moment This Week: Passing the test was a big one! Joel and I also hit up a baby store to pick out a stroller and since it was my second time test driving, I got to sit back and watch and see Joel with all of the strollers. We got home and he set up the stroller right away and spent a good twenty minutes practicing how to fold it, turn it, and roll it around. He's going to be a great dad.

Looking Forward To: Spending time with my cousin Amanda this week, having the handyman come this weekend, and touring an apartment that my parents will hopefully rent out for four or five weeks in December and January!!

7.28.2015

Tuesday's Topic: Storage in our Condo

Our 2b/2b has been so good to us these last three and a half years. I'm actually impressed with my 2012 self for choosing this place before I had any idea of what would be in store for us almost four years later.

We don't have a garage, or any place to store anything, so I've had to get really creative on how and where to store so much freaking stuff. 

This shot shows you our baby kitchen. It's probably the size of your bathroom and has one drawer that is big enough to hold 2 oven mits. 

 
The best thing I did was purchase that open storage piece from World Market about six months ago. It's opens up the kitchen and holds a lot of what we need with really easy access. 

 We had an awful system before (looking back), and this piece has literally saved us.

 

I'm going to get another big egg-crate basket like the one on the top shelf to hold baby bottles and all of that good stuff, but I'm waiting just a few more weeks to enjoy it as is.


There is a giant right off the great room that we've organized to house even more kitchen stuff. It's a Crate & Barrel "build your own" piece and it fit in our closest like a freaking glove. I bought this right after we got married and it's basically turned our closet into an additional room/garage.

The other side of that closet had to get organized this weekend and is now home to our water cooler and stroller.

For all of my china and stemware, you have to leave the kitchen area a little, but we created a perfect wine corner that has really extended the living (and storage) space. 

These pictures don't give great perspective, but at the end of the living room we have our little bar area. 


I found this beauty at an antique store in Laguna Beach and she is by far my favorite piece of furtniture.

The owner of the antique shop said the piece was orginally kept in someone's garden, but I love it in the living room and think it would even look great as a bookshelf in a nursery.

 
The drawers below are super deep and contain all of my china, extra stemware, candlesticks....basically all of the fancy stuff I registered for when we got married. 

Joel and I are both really good about staying organized...but check back in with me in a years time and feel free to laugh in our faces.

Oh, and the last closet/storage area that I have to overhaul is in the soon-to-be baby's room. This side of the closet has to remain an area for storage, but I need to it to be much better organized, so that's project 93 for the month. 


Hopefully this little thing I found at The Container Store will make a dent, but everything else that doesn't really need to stay with us is getting the boot. 


7.27.2015

Weekend Report

This weekend turned out to be a lot more fun and lot more productive than I could have imagined on Friday.

Joel got home from a work trip Friday just before 8 so we had a late dinner, caught up on the couch, and went to bed pretty early.

We all got out of bed early on Saturday morning so we could get a hike in. We tried to get out there before it got too hot, so I think we started just about 8am. 


This trail has two routes, an easy one and a hard one, so Roscoe and I took on the easy way and walked the four-ish miles at a pretty slow pace while Joel ran the harder route. It's kind of the perfect balance, and even though we're not all together at the same time, it's nice to be out there together (if that makes any sense).

Plus, it wears this one out for the rest of the weekend so that's an added bonus. 

After showers and a coffee stop, we headed out to run errands. First up was Home Depot to find some new hardware for my dresser and daybed. I didn't find the exact pulls I was looking for, but the ones I found make a really big difference and really upgraded the whole look of the dresser.
After Home Depot we stopped at the baby store Giggle for a stroller. I cannot tell you how much aggravation stroller conversations have caused me. We were already gifted the Bob stroller, which is amazing, and it was literally the only thing Joel wanted. He has big plans for him and his little buddy to be doing lots of trail runs as he gets bigger.

The only problem I saw with only having the Bob is that it's a really big stroller for everyday use, and if they're on the trails every week, it's going to get dirty. So, after lots of research, talking to other mom's, watching too many YouTube videos, and so on....I decided to get another stroller too. 

 

Then deciding on that second stroller was a whole new ball game. We tried out the Bugaboo, Uppababy Vista, and Uppababy Cruz and finally we decided to go home with the Cruz. It's the perfect size for us, especially since we will have the Bob too and just seemed to be the most practical for what we (think) we need it for.

 
Saturday night we decided to go to happy hour at one of our favorite places, A.O.C. wine bar, in West Hollywood. Their happy hour menu is great, and you can order from their regular menu too, so we sat up at the bar, enjoyed a few small plates and just hung out in the beautiful restaurant for a few hours. It was blissful actually.

  
And fun fact, we sat next to Kristin Cavallari and her girlfriends who apparently were there celebrating a bride-to-be. 


She's tiny (even pregnant), and strikingly gorgeous, and literally walked into the bathroom about .12 seconds after I took this selfie which really would have been embarrassing.  


I don't have any proof to show for our uber-productive Sunday, but we spent the day cleaning off the patio, reorganizing closets, and making some headway in the nursery. 

I have a feeling we have plenty more weekends like this in the books.

Everyday of your life is a special occassion

7.24.2015

Friday Fun


I honestly don't think I can string together 5 different topics to recap this week. It's been slow and boring around these parts and I've got nothing much to show for it. 

I did have to take the dreaded 3-hour gluclose retest on Tuesday and besides work, that honestly consumed my week. The test is not fun, details next week, but I got the major sigh of relief yesterday when I got my results back this week and passed with flying colors! Bring me a cupcake.

Oh Snap!

This weekends big plans include a trip to Home Depot, some reorganizing, maybe a hike and brunch if we feel crazy. Buckle your seat belts for Monday's weekend recap, should be quite the story!



7.22.2015

Bumpdate: 27 weeks

 
 
          ::: week 18 ::: week 19 ::: week 20 ::: week 21 ::: week 22 ::: week 23 ::: week 24
 ::: week 25 ::: week 26 :::

How Far Along? 27w, 5d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: BOY!

Weight Gain: 17.5lbs 

Maternity Clothes: No changes this week but I need to stock up on some workout clothes shortly.
 
Nursery: No changes this week here either. The room is in a major state of transition, but a lot can't happen until August for one reason or another. The only thing I need to cross off the list this week is ordering new hardware for the daybed and dresser.

Movement: Oh so, so, so much. I honestly asked Joel if a baby could move too much! Some of his movement at night is becoming more like body rolls which totally transforms my belly.  He also was hanging out on the right side for a few days this week which made for a very lopsided view. We got a few more rounds of hiccups this week too.

Symptoms: I felt a little slower this week and overall heavier. I'm noticing that weird things are getting harder....getting in low cars, picking things up from the ground, walking too long...but no major complaints and overall I would say that the 2nd trimester was very good to me!
Sleep: I get up a lot at night to use the bathroom, but overall sleep is pretty good and I haven't needed to take a Unisom in almost a month.
Joel: Heads to Ohio this week for a work but thankfully it's a short trip.

Workouts: Four - 1 hike, 1 spin, 2 gym sessions

Mood: Grouchy and short tempered this week

Cravings: Blueberry muffins have never tasted so good.

What I Miss: Nothing much this week actually....although I wouldn't turn down a French martini!

Random Things: I stalk my baby registry like it's my second job. I did this with my wedding too and every time I see a new item "completed" I get giddy! 

Best Moment This Week: It was nice to just be home and feel like we are back on routine (for now!). Having dinners at home, taking a bath in my tub, and going to bed early felt indulgent and lovely this week.

Looking Forward To: Another relaxing weekend and then next week my cousin Amanda will be in LA for a quick visit!