Friday, December 30, 2011


Hello! I'll no longer be blogging at That's So City. Don't be sad, because what's in store will be 100 times better. My two sisters and I have all been blogging separately, and have decided to combine our efforts.  So, from now on I'll be blogging at Twenty Something Mama

We are a SUPER excited to start blogging together! If you like reading what I have to say, you're sure to love reading what my sisters write. We're redesigning/planning as I type, so hopefully we'll be in full blogging more come Sunday. We've decided to keep things loosely structured if that makes any sense. We'll each be posting individual posts every week and a specific day (mine is Wednesday). The other three days (we most likely won't post on Saturdays) will be posts we write together.

Please, please, please head on over to Twenty Something Mama, follow us, add us to your bookmarks, reader, blog roll or whatever, and follow along with three pretty fun, crafty, out spoken and crazy twenty something mamas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finished Collage Wall

Remember the collage wall in Love Bean's nursery? The two empty frames are now filled. I put our Christmas card in one of them and in the other a picture of Love Bean and the hubs. I love the completed collage!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

My mom made all of her grandbabies Christmas countdowns. It's a little box filled with cards with the number of days until Christmas and a little activity for that day. Stella's too little to know what's going on, but I'm having fun doing the activities with her anyway!
Our countdown box
 So far we've listened to Christmas music, watch a Christmas movie while eating popcorn, and decorated our tree. The first day we were suppose to make a bird feeder, but we skipped that for this year, and today we're suppose to write a letter to Santa. We'll probably skip that one too.

Because we've never really had room for a tree, for the past 2 years we've had a little 15 inch one that we'd set on the bookshelf. This year since we have a little more room, and we have our little Love Bean, we decided we needed to get something a little bigger. So after church yesterday, we made a Target run and bought a 4 foot tall pre-lit tree, ornaments, garland and ribbon for wrapping presents! 

Our floor lamp was taller than our tree, so we had to improvise. We covered a diaper box with some lace and set our tree on top of that. Then hubs and I hung the ornaments together. We bought bright, metallic, and glittery ornaments.
Every year I choose a theme for our gift wrapping. Last year it was golds and blues. This year, I knew that I wanted to use newspaper as the wrapping and then add big cool bows and lots of ribbon. I had so much fun wrapping, it's probably my favorite part of getting ready for Christmas. I still have some more to wrap, but I'm waiting for the mailman to deliver them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Closet Overhaul: Part 3

I decided it was time to overhaul my closet. I've purged, assessed, created my needs list, and now it's the fun part . . . creating my wants list.

This is my original wants list—I wrote it way before even deciding to overhaul my closet. It's kind of long and vague, that needed to change. Part of overhauling my closet is being deliberate and specific with what I add.
  • Skinny jeans
  • Trouser jeans
  • Grey jeans
  • Black casual pants
  • Hunter Boots
  • Black sweater
  • Long sleeve white t-shirt
  • Knee high black boots
  • Cardigans (white/gray/bright color)
  • Lace dress
  • New scarf (2)
  • Brown leather belt
  • Black belt
  • Flats
  • White t-shirt
  • Black pumps
Here is my new and improved list. I narrowed it way down, even though the other stuff would be nice to have, these are the 4 pieces I really want to add to my closet right now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let Me Hold You Longer

I cry every time I read Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. I told Tim, that I'm not going to be able to read it to our Love Bean once she understands that I'm crying. Seriously, it should be a illegal how sentimental this book is.

We often think about and get excited for all our babies firsts, their first smile, first bath, first laugh. But holding onto their lasts is what this book is about, the last time you hold them on your hip, the last time they tell you their going to marry you, or the last time they sleep in the bassinet next to your bed.

Yeah, that last one is happening soon in the Krenz household. She's been a little big for a bassinet for a little while, she's such a crazy sleeper she's always hitting the sides, but I'm just not ready accept she's that big already! I won't even experience most of the lasts in the book for a few years, but still it gets me bawling my eyes out every single time. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Closet Overhaul: Part 2

I decided it was time for a closet overhaul. So, I'm following Kendi Everyday's guide to creating a working closet. I've wrote about Step One: Purge. Next it was time to assess what I have, don't have, need and want.

Step Two: ASSESS
The first stage was to take inventory of what I already have. I did this mentally, because in reality, I do have a lot of clothes. But you could literally write everything down, if that's your style. Doing this actually reminded me that I actually have like 5 blazers (something that was originally on my needs list) I'm just not in love with how they fit. So, I'm planning on taking one or two of them to a tailor and having them altered.

Then Kendi suggests making closet needs list. It's important to keep in mind these are suppose to be pieces that are considered staples in every woman's closet. NOT what you want to add to your wardrobe, that part's next. To help guide me in creating my needs list, I used Tim Gunn's list of 10 Essentials. His list includes; a blazer, classic white shirt, trench coast, a sweater, skirt, day dress, jeans, dress pants, basic black dress, and a sweat suite alternative. I did a little online browsing and found the pieces I'd like to complete my 10, well 9, since I didn't pick out a sweat suite.
I actually made this graphic before I took inventory of what I already have, so technically I could remove the blazer (1), skirt (5) and day dress (6) because I have those.
  1. Blazer - From Forever 21. I like the length, color and cuffs. I already a couple blazers that I'm planning on having altered. Once that's done I can check it off my needs list.
  2. Classic White Shirt - From Gap. I can't believe I don't already own a white button down like this one! They pair perfectly with a cardi and tall boots, which it pretty much what I live in during the fall and winter.
  3. Trench Coat -  This one is from Sears. I love the dark khaki color and the length. Long enough to cover a long cardi, but not past the knee. I've been needing one of these for a long while. I don't have a good coat for semi warm weather. You know when you're sweating in your winter coat, but a light jacket isn't enough.
  4. Sweater - I read in another place that Tim Gunn says it should be a cashmere sweater, so I went with that. I picked this cute pink henley from J. Crew. 
  5. Skirt - I have a few skirts, but I love the abstract pattern and paperbag waist of this one from Forever 21.
  6. Day Dress - Seriously, I want like every dress from Urban Outfitters. But I have a couple day dresses, so this one will be added to my want list
  7. Jeans - I have two pairs of jeans, skinnies and flared. Neither really fit me perfectly. I need to add a pair that fit right. I used to have a pair of Real Straight Jeans from Gap, but they wore out. I LOVED them and need to get another pair. 
  8. Dress Pants - I haven't wore dress pants in 2 years, but if Tim Gunn says I need them in my closet, by golly I'll pick out a pair. I went with the Salt and Pepper Columnist Pant from Express. 
  9. Basic Black Dress - Note this says, basic black dress, not little black dress. I'm in love with this Ann Taylor sheath dress. And can definitely see myself wearing it to the office or even on date night. 
After your needs list, you're suppose to make a wants list, that is very specific. Much like the needs list I made. I'm working on that list, so stayed tuned for my wants in part 3 of my closet overhaul.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


"I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."
- Abraham Lincoln
In 1863 in hopes to unite the states, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be observed on the last Thursday of November. A day to give thanks and praise to God for all that he had provided.

The past few months, I have been trying to be more thankful day to day. I start my prayer time with prayers of thanksgiving and praise, before moving on to my concerns, needs and wants. It's cool how that can transform how you view everyday life. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share with you some of those things.
  • My Timmy! I'm thankful that I get to experience life's adventures with him by my side. I could go on and on, but I don't want to get all mushy. Just know he rocks!
  • Our Love Bean! I'm thankful for how she has changed my life. It's not really a secret that I didn't think I was ready to be a mom and that I was worried about accepting the lifestyle changes having a baby would bring. But these last 2 months have been bliss, and I already can't imagine life without her! I think Tim and I were on our way to be becoming very selfish people, I think she came at the perfect time in our lives. I'm thankful the Big Guy upstairs has better timing than we do.
  • I'm thankful for our families, who are so supportive. 
  • I'm thankful that we have the means to visit said families. With gas prices, not everyone could afford to make multiple 400 mile, 8 hour road trips in a month. (round trip)
  • I'm thankful the nurses and doctors God has put in my sister's and nephew Gatlyn's life. Without them he may not have even survived being born 12 weeks early. 
  • I'm thankful for the fighting spirit Gatlyn has
  • I thankful we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. 
  • I'm thankful that my biggest worry right now is, how are we going to rework our schedule, budget and daycare so that I can accept an awesome internship opportunity.
  • I'm thankful Tim and I found South Loop Church a year ago
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Closet Overhaul

I've decided it's time for a closet overhaul. I feel like it's a natural time for my style and wardrobe to evolve. I found a great series of posts over on Kendi Everyday, that's all about creating a working closet. I'm following her 4 simple steps: purge, assess, organize, shop to create a closet that works for me. By a closet that works for me I mean, a closet where I can go in and put an outfit together with ease, because I love every piece. I'm sick of standing in my closet (that's over flowing with clothes) thinking, "Ugh, I have nothing to wear."

Step One: PURGE
Here is a picture of my closet before The Great Purge of 2011. I usually keep more organized, but I thought letting it get messy, would make for a more dramatic before and after shot. This is almost all of the clothes and shoes that I own. Missing are what's in the laundry, but obviously if I've worn it in the last couple weeks, I'm going to keep it.

 These next two shots were taken after I has everything sorted into piles. I numbered the piles and outlined what they are below. Hopefully you can see the numbers...please excuse the horrible pictures, my camera is a piece of junk.
  1. Keepers. These are all the of clothes that I hung back up in my closet. There are a few shirts that I was on the fence about, but hubs said he liked them so I kept them. 
  2. Give Away. This is the pile is all of the clothes I got rid of. I ended up with one big bag of stuff that I'm going to try to sell at Platos Closet, and two big bags of stuff to either donate to Goodwill, or store to sell at my mom's next garage sale. 
  3. All of my belts and scarves.
  4. Keepers (2). This pile is all of my tank tops that don't hang up, so I kept the separate from the other keepers.
  5. Maybes. This pile was a tough! It was a pile of clothes that I had to try on before deciding what to do with them. I wanted them all to be keeps, but there were just some things that didn't fit me right post Love Bean. Among them a pair of practically new Gap cords and my favorite black plants that were perfect for date nights and going out.
  6. Comfy Clothes. T-shirts, sweats, and pj's. 
 Shoes! I got rid of 6 pair. There were a couple others that I wanted to get rid of, but I need to replace them first. Example: my black pumps, they are in horrible condition, but they're the only pair I have! I boxed up all of my sandals so that they didn't take up so much room.

Ta da! Here is the after shot. I did this all on Sunday night, and I have to say, it was easy getting dressed on Monday and Tuesday. So, I think I'm well on my way to have a working closet!
Next step, assess. I'll probably post about that after Thanksgiving, since we're going to visit Timmy's family for a couple days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stella 2 Months

Our little Love Bean will be 2 months old on Sunday! Each month (until she's a year old) I'll be taking a picture of her in our orange chair.

Watch her grow: 1 month

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Family Tradition

A couple of weeks ago, I told hubs that I wanted us to start some of our own family traditions now that we have the Love Bean. On Sunday, I came up with an idea that I love! Hubs says it's a good idea, but truthfully I think he's kind of indifferent about the whole idea. Anyway...the first family tradition the Krenz's will be starting will be...12 Days of Christmas, 12 Random Acts of Kindness.

Each day, for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we will be doing one random act of kindness. What I love about starting this tradition is imagining how much fun Love Bean will have once she's old enough to comprehend what we're doing! Kindness and generosity are two character traits that I want to instill in her from a young age. When the time comes, I'll post our RAOKs each day (or at least every couple days).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

This year our church is participating in Operation Christmas Child. It's put on by Samaritan's Purse. They collect shoeboxes filled with little gifts and toiletries and send them to kids in 3rd world countries, who wouldn't otherwise get Christmas gifts. Our pastor set a goal for our church to donating 50 boxes. Tim and I put together two boxes. Tim picked out stuff for a boy box and I picked stuff to fill a box for a girl. We had a lot of fun trolling the Dollar Tree for goodies. Side note: I hadn't been in a Dollar Tree in FOREVER! I was actually kind of impressed with the selection!

box for a 10-14 girl

box for a 10 to 14 year old boy
Some of the items we included were notebooks, pencils and sharpeners, soap, toothbrush/tooth paste, playdough, deodorant, candy, a toy truck, bracelets, combs and mirrors. There were probably a couple other little things too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Silly Stella

Silly photos of the hubs and Love Bean for your enjoyment. I'm working on a couple posts for later this week, including an introduction to our new family tradition!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love Languages

Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? I had heard of them, but that's about it. The other day, through a trail of links from blog to blog, I eventually stumbled upon the a simple quiz/questionnaire that you can take online to help you assess what your language is. The 5 different languages are Physcial Touch, Words of Affirmation, Qulaity Time, Receiving Gifts and Acts of Service. Hubs and I both took the quiz to see what our languages are.

The results?

JAMIE: Words of Affirmation and Quality Time were tied for my top language. Although, in the break down they said, I lean towards Words of Affirmation. And I have to say, I totally agree that this is how I communicate.
Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Quality of Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

TIM: Physical Touch was the clear winner for hubs. This actually didn't surprise me. He is always coming up and giving me hugs at random times, like when I'm doing the dishes, and he loves to cuddle, hold hands and all that jazz.
Physical Touch: This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
 I hope that knowing this about each other will help us express our love for one another in ways that are satisfying and special to both of us.

I encourage you to take the quiz. Even if it's only so you can be self aware. It really simple, and it doesn't take long at all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Memory Box(es)

I'm not really much of a scrap booker, so as an alternative, I stole the memory box idea from my sister. You can read about the box she's making for her little princess over at her blog, Peach Pits and Grass Clippings.
 Since I haven't decided how I want to decorate the box yet, for now it just has her name on it. Inside the box are tabbed dividers labeled with each month of the year. At the end of every month (so far just September and October) I'm going to write on a card special things that happened that month. So for instance, the September card has her birth date and lists people who came to meet her. On the other side of the card, I'm going to make mini scrap book pages. September's just has her hospital picture. If there are any little keepsake items from that month, they'll go in too. Like her hospital bracelet and identification card.

September and October's cards weren't very creative...I'm sure this will be the case with other months to come. Not every card from now until she graduates is going to be a masterpiece.

Working on Love Bean's memory box, got me thinking about the memory box Tim and I have. It's full random stuff from when we were dating. I put together a mini collage of some of the items in there; cards, pictures, ticket stubs.
Also, I found this gem in there....pretty sure it's one of the first pictures of us ever taken. We were real hotties weren't we? ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love Bean Mini Book

This is going to be a super quick post, will some super bad pictures, of a cute mini book I made for the Love Bean last night!
I wanted to do something really simple so, I bound together so blank cards I had laying around and taped on the Polaroids the hubs took of my growing belly. Under each picture I wrote about how big the Love Bean was at the time. Example; under the 30 week picture, is says "You weighed as much as a head of cabbage." That info came from the weekly emails I received through out my pregnancy from Baby Center.

The note on the last page reads:
A couple of days after that picture was taken you made your debut! We fell even more in love with you the moment we set our eyes on you. We're so glad that you're our precious love bean.
I wish we would have used the Polaroid camera to get a pic of her when right after she was born, so that I could have included it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Love List

I say it every month, but I can't believe it's already November and time for yet another Love List.

This month I'm loving
  • That Love Bean has started sleeping through the night. (watch now I've probably jinxed myself)
  • Thanksgiving - pretty certain we're spending it with my in-laws, which means Love Bean will finally meet her other Uncles!
  • Black beans, corn and salsa mixed together. This concoction can go on anything...we've ate on rice, taco shells, potatoes and this morning I had it with eggs in a breakfast burrito
  • Christmas shopping - I love buying gifts for people, and for some reason I'm in the Holiday spirit earlier than usual this year
  • Firefly Design (if you wanna know what that's all about there will be a whole post dedicated to it next week)
  • Hubs and I have decided when we want to move to The Mitten (not until next August, but this is pretty big for us - it means looking for new jobs, finding a place to live and all that jazz) 
  • My nephew Gatlyn continuing to kick life's butt
  • Love Bean's smile

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. de Lara

My littlest sister married her Prince back in August. I had the honor and pleasure of designing their invitations! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think they turned out pretty great.
As you can see, it's totally typographic, which I love. The bride gave me a little bit of direction. She showed me some pictures of stuff she liked, picked out the wording (it's definitely not your traditional wedding invite wording!), and knew she wanted a typeface that had variation in the thicks and thins. For all my designer friends...I used Bodoni and Helvetica Neue. Fun fact: it was the first (and only) time I used Helvetica on a project since swearing not to ever use it at the beginning of my Senior year of college.  

The RSVP cards, which you can see a peek of in the picture above were two separate cards, rather than one card with check boxes for yes and no. I also designed programs, table numbers and place cards.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yummy Burrito

I've been MIA because Love Bean and I were in The Mitten visiting my family. We were there Friday to Tuesday, it was a long trip, and we missed daddy but had lot's of fun!

Stella was a Love Bean Burrito for Halloween. We visited both sets of her great grandparents and went to a Halloween party at her Auntie Mal's. She slept through pretty much all of it. Check out our cute little burrito with her cousins, who dressed up as a cupcake, spaghetti and a lion. These girlies are gonna be trouble when they're all big enough to run around together.
That's all for tonight. Tomorrow I'm finally going to share the invitations I designed for my littlest sister's wedding!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wishes For Stella

At one of my baby showers my sister had everyone fill out a 'wishes for baby' card. The cards have sentence starters and the guests finished them. You can find printable versions of the cards here. They're so sweet, and something I plan on reading to Stella as she grows up. After the shower, we had her Poppy fill one out, and when I got home, Tim and I each did one. The other day I put them all together into a little book.

All of the things people wrote were so thoughtful that I wanted to share one of my favorites from each card.

I hope you respect that I will oppose you dating
I hope you get into a little bit of trouble (but not too much)
I hope you love Jesus and the beach
I hope that you cry when poppy leave
I hope you become best friends with your siblings
I hope you laugh at your mom and dad
I hope you never forget that everything comes from God
I hope you get your dad's awesome story telling skills
I hope you grow slowly! Don't rush it! Enjoy your youth!
I hope you love with your whole heart
I hope you aren't afraid to take chances and follow your dreams
I hope your ignore mean people
I hope you love who you are
I hope you get lots of smoochies

My next project for the Love Bean includes these pictures...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Birth Announcement

Get ready for it. I'm finally going to share some more of my work on this ol' blog! First up birth announcements that I designed for the Love Bean. Even though they've been done for awhile, I never actually got around to sending them out, and since it's approaching Christmas card season, I've decided to wait and send Christmas cards. That way I can include one of the photos from our recent shoot with Sarah Alair Photography. (We haven't got the photos back yet, I'll share my faves when we do!)

I love the way they turned out and I'm a little bummed I never got around to sending them out. Oh well, it was fun designing them. The left side includes her name, the origin and meaning of it, parent's names, who she is named after, nicknames, hair and eye color. The right side displays her demeanor, who she resembles in looks, where and when she was born, and her weight and length. 

I'm seriously looking into freelancing full time so that I can work from home and be with Love Bean all day. So, be watching for a Facebook page to pop up. Through that you'll be able to hire me or purchase pre-made designs to print on your own, including the one above! Of course Stella's info would be swapped for your little one's, colors could be changed as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tasty Morsels: Part 2

Time to review the dishes from my original Tasty Morsels post!

Day 1: Creamy Basil Pesto with Cheesy Bread
This was a great start to the series of Pinterest recipes. Typically, I favor pasta dishes with creamy sauces, but this homemade Basil Pesto was pretty darn good. It was really light and fresh, and it was even good the next day. The Cheesy Bread, was super super good! The recipe makes A LOT, so hubs took a bunch with him to work the next day and all the guys at his shopped loved it. Will I make it again? Yes to both

Day 2: Twice Baked Potato Casserole
I served this as our main dish, well actually it was the only thing I served. But it really is more of a side dish. I read casserole and assumed I wouldn't have to serve anything with it, but it's really just mashed potatoes with a few extras. Will I make it again? Yes, but as a side

Day 3: Crockpot Chicken Taco Bowls
YUM! These are delish and so so easy to make. It's really versatile too. You could also put it in a taco shell like my hubs, or use it as more of a dip. Will I make it again? Yes!!

Day 4: Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells
I ended up skipping this recipe. I didn't have any leftover pesto like I thought I would and we had a lot of the chicken taco bowl left, so we ate that again.

Day 5: Cauliflower Crust Pizza
I was very nervous about this dish, because I had never tried anything like it. It turned out really good though. Hubs couldn't believe the crust was made from cauliflower. I topped our pizza with sauteed red and green peppers, onion and bacon. I think the crust would even be good on it's own with some veggie dip or something. Will I make it again? Yep

Day 6: Black Bean Soup
I didn't end up making this either. But I still want to try it someday. 

Day 7: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole
The recipe called for Italian Dressing, I thought that was odd, but I added anyway. Turns out it was weird...neither hubs or I really liked this. I have a similar Taco Lasagna recipe that I'll continue to use instead. But I will add the black beans from this one. Will I make it again? Nope

Timmy's Special Request: Blueberry Bread
This was pretty good, although it was a little bit crumbly. It was really pretty when it came out of the oven. Will I make it again? Probably

You can find the recipes and links to the original sources via my Tasty Morsels Pinterest board.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stella 1 Month

Our little Love Bean is 1 month old already! Each month (until she's a year old) I'll be taking a picture of her in our orange chair.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tasty Morsels

As you all know by now, I'm in love Pinterest. But what you don't know, is that I've pinned all these tasty looking recipes that I've never actually made. Over the weekend, my mom and sisters made fun of me for not having tried any of them. They've tried lot's of stuff they've pinned.

So momma, Al, and Mal this post is for you! I've planned a menu for the next week using only recipes from my Tasty Morsels board. I'll report back what the hubs and I thought of each dish. Now, I just have to go on a MAJOR grocery shopping trip.

This is the menu we have to look forward to

Day 1: Creamy Basil Pesto with Cheesy Bread
Day 2: Twice Baked Potato Casserole
Day 3: Crockpot Chicken Taco Bowls
Day 4: Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells (a second Pesto dish bc there will be leftover homemade pesto from Day 1)
Day 5: Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Day 6: Black Bean Soup
Day 7: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Timmy's Special Request: Blueberry Bread

I'm excited to get in the kitchen and try these dishes out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stella's 1st Trip To The Mitten

The Love Bean and I made our first trip to Michigan. She did so good in the car on the way up. The way back to Chicago, was a little different. It wasn't horrible, but we did have to make a couple extra stops, which added about an hour to our travel time.

It was such a good trip. Stella got to meet her Auntie Mal, Uncle Jesse, Uncle Owen, her cousin Raelin, and some of her Great Grandparents, all for the first time! And I got to meet my new nephew Gatlyn!! He was born at 28 weeks, but is such a fighter.

Stella's Poppy (my dad) took her for her first combine ride. I think she liked it, even though she slept most of the time. And I'm pretty sure her Poppy loved it! I'm sure she'll be begging me to ride with him again when we're up there for Halloween ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Love List

Happy October! Here's a list of some of the stuff I'm loving this month...
  • Our Love Bean is here!! 
  • Dressing for the beautiful Fall weather
  • Visitors, of course they're all here to meet Love Bean, but it's still fun
  • Trip to the mitten to visit my sister
  • Maternity leave
  • Hoping to get my portfolio site back up
  • Wearing boots again
  • Halloween
  • All my favorite shows are back

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Bean's Birth Story

If you didn't gather, our love bean has made her debut! While I was pregnant I really enjoyed reading birth stories, so I thought I would share Stella's.

I went to work on Monday, the 19th, as always. I had a few contractions during the day, but didn't think much of it. That night, I woke up at a couple times with contractions, but could always fall back asleep, until 2:00 AM. At 2:00 I contractions were coming pretty regularly and I couldn't sleep through them. I laid awake in bed thinking about the dirty dishes in our sink until 2:30 AM. So I did the dishes and then woke Tim up and told him that I thought we needed to started timing the contractions. At this point they were 7 to 10 minutes apart, not quite close enough to start heading to the hospital. Tim went back to sleep and I took a super long hot shower and then just tried to distract myself until they started getting closer together.

My weekly check-up was scheduled for Tuesday morning at 8:20 AM and by the time it was time for us to head to my appointment, my contractions had started getting a little closer together, at this point they were like 5 to 7 minutes. We made it to the appointment, and when my Dr. came in I told her I'd been up with contractions since 2:00 AM and thought that this was the real deal. I was dilated to 3.5 when she checked me. She called the hospital to let them know she was sending me over.

Tim and I arrived at the hospital around 9:00 AM. Lucky for us another woman didn't show up for her scheduled induction and we got her room (the last open labor and delivery room at the time). I was checked in and in my room by 9:15 and the on duty Dr. checked me around 9:30, I had dilated to 4. Now it was just time to wait...she checked me every hour, but I wasn't progressing much. By 12:30 PM I was at a 4.5 and they wanted to start me on Pitocin. Since, Tim and I had decided that if possible we didn't really want to use any drugs to induce labor or manage pain, I asked if we could wait another hour or so before starting it. That next hour my contractions got a lot stronger and thought for sure I was progressing. She came back to check and I was still at 4.5 and hadn't thinned any further. I agreed to start Pitocin.

At this point, I was worried I wouldn't be able to handle the pain, but didn't want an epidural, so before they started the Pitocin, I had them give me a narcotic through my IV. Within a minute I felt so drunk, and was much more relaxed. They started the Pitocin and immediately my contractions got stronger and closer together. After awhile, it seriously felt like I was having one continuous contraction and it was incredibly painful. I was shaking and freaking out. I looked at Tim and said, "don't be mad, I want an epidural." He told my nurse I wanted one, but there ended up being 2 women ahead of me and only one anesthesiologist. The nurse turned off the Pitocin, and my contractions spaced back out a little bit, but were still super strong. Every time I had one I said to Tim, "I waited too long to ask for the epidural, I'm gonna be so mad because I'm not going to get it." Every new person who came into the room was asked, "are you gonna give me my epidural?" Of course, none of them could.

I don't know how much later it was, maybe an hour or two, my water broke. Shortly after that I felt the need to push. It was too late for the epidural. I freaked a little and told Tim, "I've gotta push. Get the nurse." The nurse and the Dr. came into the room, checked me and sure enough, I was fully dilated and thinned. The Dr. who was on duty left the room to call my Dr. to let her know I was pushing, so that she could come over to the hospital.

Pushing started. This might sound crazy, but it was kind of a relief. Contractions slowed and I got to use the contraction instead of just having to lay there and wait it out. I don't know how long I pushed, I don't think it was for very long actually even though, it felt like everyone was telling me, "almost there" for forever. Just when I wanted to give up, there she was. Our beautiful, perfect tiny little love bean.

Stella Marie made her debut at 4:03 PM after 14 hours of labor. She weighed 5 lbs. 15 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. She looks just like her daddy and has a full head of blonde hair, and has blue eyes. It safe to say, we're both already wrapped around her little finger.

I'm so happy that the anesthesiologist never got to me. Because I had no epidural, no tearing or hemorrhaging, recovery was/has been easy and uncomplicated. That pretty much sums it up. Timmy and I feel so fortunate and blessed to have had such a easy labor and delivery experience. Give me a few years and I might even do it all over again. There are no words to describe how one tiny little human can instantly fill you heart and change your life in the best way possible.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Love Bean Update: 39 Weeks

Eeek...39 weeks! One more week until her due date. I have a feeling the 24th will come and go with no Stella though. My dad doesn't think she'll make her debut until October. He'll probably be right. My daddy has a way of usually being right about everything...shh don't tell him I said that.

I've done a really good job the last 39 weeks of not complaining. Mostly because I've had a super easy pregnancy. And when I was just getting to the point where it would have been acceptable and easy to start complaining, my sister's water broke at 19 weeks (that's not good) and that really put into perspective how good/easy I have had it. (side note: sister and baby are doing well. He's still cookin' away, and she's being strong, brave and fighting just as hard as him. She's on bed rest in the hospital until he's born).

But, I'm tired of being pregnant. If I'm honest though, I was tired of being pregnant from the first day I found out. I know that sounds horrible, but I'm a straight shooter and that's how I feel. I'm just not one of those women who thinks growing a human is the most rewarding experience ever. (I think raising her to be a beautiful, intelligent, creative and loving woman, will be the most rewarding experience ever). And no it doesn't mean that I don't love my child or that I already resent her. I do love her and I'm so so so excited to meet her.

It's just that I'm ready to have my body back, I really want to drink a beer while watching the Bears game, I'm really sick of wearing the same 5 outfits over and over again. I want to know what she looks like. I don't want to be short of breath anymore just from climbing into bed or walking up the stairs. I want to wear skinny jeans again. Ok. I'm done now :)

Another doctor's appointment on Tuesday. She'll check me this week, so I'll actually know if I'm progressing at all. I really like my doctor, she's super honest and straight forward. She warned me when I hit 37 weeks, that even though I was considered full term, it'd probably still be awhile. Most first time pregnancies go all the to 40 weeks or longer. And while, I'm selfishly so over being pregnant, love bean can cook in there as long as she wants.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Animal Farm

I made some more progress on my 25 Before Twenty-Five List! I read another book off of Time Magazine's ALL TIME 100 Novels. 3 down, 7 to go. I've already read Catch-22 and Atonement. I just finished Animal Farm by George Orwell.

I pretty much read this book in record time. I checked it out from the library yesterday and finished it tonight. I estimate I finished it in about 4ish hours (it's pretty short). I really enjoyed reading it too.
"The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of a Utopia. While this novel portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution (and not the act of revolution itself), it also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people's government is not achieved."
 You can read a longer synopsis and history of Animal Farm here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Love Bean Update: 38 Weeks

Last week marked making it full term. Today we hit 38 weeks! Love bean could come at anytime, but I'm hoping she'll hold off at least through the weekend. My daddy, brother and brother in-law are all at "man camp" and I'm going to the Renegade Craft Fair with my friend Rachel. Feeling really good this morning, so I think I'm safe. Actually my gut tells me she isn't going to come until after her due date, and from what I've read, that's totally normal for first time pregnancies.

Hospital bag is packed, nursery is complete, bassinet has a fresh sheet, freezer and pantry are stocked with easy to prepare meals. I still have a few things on what the hubs is calling my "nesting to do list"
  1. Laundry (this really needs to get done, but I've been out of quarters and it's a pain to walk down 2 flights of stairs 9 months preggo with a laundry basket on your hip)
  2. Clean and rearrange our bedroom
  3. Organize the coat closet, or should I say junk closet. Hubs was suppose to take a bunch of stuff out there and down to storage like 3 weeks ago, but it hasn't happened...
  4. Organize bathroom closest, I'm coming to terms that this probably won't get done, but it'd be nice
So the wait is on, but I'm not complaining. Sometimes I just get so anxious and nervous about labor/delivery and life after baby that I want her to take as long as possible before making her debut. I have strict instructions from the hubs though, "don't fight it, it will only make it worse." What do men know about carrying a child anyway?

My new boots came! I was super excited, until I tried them on and realized either my feet and calves are really swollen, just fatter now or I just ordered too small of size. I plan on trying the on again after love bean arrives, then I'll determine if I need to exchange them for a bigger size. This is why I hardly ever shop always turns into a big hassle for me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pinterest Favorites

All images from my Pinterest

Just a small collection of some of my favorite recent finds on Pinterest.
  • I adore that photo at the top left. Hoping the photographer I booked can get one like that of the love bean and hubs. 
  • Dr. Pepper is my favorite and I love boneless wings, so I have to try this Dr. Pepper sauce. 
  • I love looking at all the wedding stationery on Pinterest. It's my dream job to design custom wedding invitations. 
  • The flowers are so pretty. I've also tossed around the idea of taking florist's not too expensive and it seems like it'd be a fun career and it compliments my dream job. 
  • It's no secret that I love anything Native American-ish, so of course I'm in love with these teeny moccasins.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Love Bean's Nursery

Last time I blogged about the love bean's nursery, all we had up was a sign on the outside of her door. After a trip to Joann Fabrics, Buy Buy Baby and Ikea, and an online purchase from Anthropologie, Stella's nursery is ready for her arrival! It's still missing a rocking chair,  and of course there are a few little things I would still like to do, but for now it's finished. I couldn't get a shot of the whole room, and you can't see the red rug in the middle of the room any of the pictures, but this will give you an idea of what her nursery looks like.
Skip Hop Mod Dot Crib Bedding

The red pillow is actually from the first set of bedding hubs and I had. It won't stay in the crib. It's for the rocking chair once we have it.  I'm pretty proud of the frame collage! The two empty frames will have photos of us as a family of three.

 This is will be the reading/rocking corner, once the stroller is replaced by the rocking chair

Closet door, toy tote and Gerry

Her dresser with the Anthropologie knobs I bought last week. Yes, we know the letters aren't level...

Diapers, monitor and her mute button pacifier

Love this lamp we bought at Ikea today. And how adorable are the pink sparkly shoes?! Welp folks, that concludes your little tour of our love bean's nursery. Sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. I'm still only have my point and shoot that's like 6 years old. I'm still trying to talk the hubs into getting me an SLR for as a push present...but that isn't likely to happen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

25 Before Twenty-Five Update

I have 4 months and 8 days to complete my 25 Before Twenty-Five List, so let's review where I stand with things.

Total Items to Complete: 25 
Items Completed: 7
Items Not Completed: 18

There are a few things on the list I know I won't be able to complete this time around. Like #18 Party In Vegas. Growing a human inside of you for 9 months, kind of puts a damper on the idea of living it up in Vegas. I think numbers 02, 05 and 06 will also be pretty pretty tough to cross off as well.

  • #02 go on a real road trip, it'll just be tough to find the time. Though my good friend Amy of Lemon Treehouse also has go on a real road trip on her 30 Before 30 List so maybe we can plan something together
  • #05 is pay off my student loan. We we're totally on track with this until we needed to save more to cover hospital bills and other baby stuff. But maybe once we get that all taken care of we'll have enough savings left over to put a nice dent in what's left. 
  • #06 is establish myself as a freelance graphic designer. Just not sure 4 months is enough time to do that. I do plan on using my maternity leave to get my portfolio site up and running again though so that will help.
Some I know will be super easy to get off the list.
  •  #14 try Indian food - just have to find a good restaurant to try
  • #09 Pay for someone behind me in line 
Others I'm a little nervous about, but know I can complete them if I set my mind to it
  • #19 Go vegetarian for one month, that will be tough for me. But I think if I do it mid October to mid November it shouldn't be too bad (no major food holidays :). Plus I think this will help shed some baby poundage
  • #24 Get back in shape. When I put this on the list I wasn't expecting that I'd be having pregnancy weight to shed, but if I get on a good work out plan, I should be almost there by the time I turn 25.
So since I've already completed 7 items and I'm going to not really worry about completing 4 of them, that leaves 14 items to complete in the next 4 months. I think I can do it, I just have to get working at it a little more often.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Love List

September is here, but outside it feels like it's still mid July. We're in the 90's here Chi Town today. I'm glad I'm indoors in AC all day, or else my toes would look like sausages and my ankles would disappear.

Before I get into this month's Love List. I have to share this collage I made as joke for the hubs.
Please note I made this in Photoshop in about 5 minutes.

Let me explain - Timmy and I have these on going Toby Keith jokes whenever we listen to country music. I equate them to Chuck Norris jokes. We say things like "Toby Keith loves America so much he sleeps wrapped in the American Flag." or "Toby Keith's doorbell is the National Anthem" or "Even Toby Keith's pet Bald Eagle has and American Flag tattoo" and we go on and on with one liners like that. I don't know, maybe you don't find that as funny as we do...anyway on to my September Love List.

This Month I'm Loving...

  • Love Bean's birth month (well as long as she isn't more than 6 days overdue).
  • Little Brother's birthday (one day after love bean's due date) He's going to be 19!
  • Fall - since moving to the city it's pretty much became my favorite season.
  • My new boots - ok so they haven't arrived yet, but when they do I know I'm going to love them
  • Maternity leave is approaching
  • Season 3 of 'Modern Family' starts the 21st. Seriously if you don't watch this show you need to.
  • Another hilarious TV show starts back up - 'Happy Endings' - it's sort of, kind of like 'Friends'