Friday, August 21, 2015

Lunchbox Ideas

Today I didn't manage to wake up in time to pack a lunch for Scott, so I am taking one to him.
I like to eat lunch with him at his squadron at least once a week, anyway.

One benefit of this is being able to take him a hot lunch, which is nice every once in a while.

Today I baked some cute little potatoes and loaded them up with all the goodies. 
Butter, salt and pepper, cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions.




Our garden harvest has been surprisingly bountiful, considering that we have NOT been excellent gardeners this year. But, nevertheless, we are enjoying lots of fresh produce, so I also made a little cucumber and tomato salad with a balsamic dressing. 


A sliced apple and a little cup of Primal Fudge completed his lunch.


And there you go. 

I don't usually make anything too fancy. 
But I like for him to have something tasty, filling, and healthy to eat.

I would love to hear any meals you pack for lunch, 
whether it's for yourself, your children, or your husband.
Do you have a favorite lunch idea?



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Outfit of the Day, August 19th



Today we ran errands, had lunch with Scott at his squadron,
 cleaned and organized, and went to Bible Study.
It was windy enough that I wanted to wear a sweater, I tend to get cold easily.

  Jeans: Express (Altered)
Blouse: Shopko
Nursing Tank: Target
Cardigan: Macy's
Sandals: Payless



Earrings: Shopko
Locket: Local jewelry shop


I NEVER wear lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, or anything on my lips, but today I felt like trying something new, so I wore this nude lipstick, which I ended up loving.
It might even become a daily thing! :)


Lipstick: Covergirl 235 Champagne


I want to make a disclaimer here:
 I do not by any means claim to be knowledgeable about fashion,
makeup, hairstyles or anything like that.
I am only sharing what works for me, and what I enjoy. :)


Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Outfit of the Day, August 18th


Today we stayed at home all day, I didn't even run errands;
but I still like to look nice when Scott comes home from work; 
so this simple outfit is easy and pretty. 

Both the skirt and the blouse are from JC Penney. 
I am also wearing a nursing camisole from target underneath.

When I'm wearing a loose fitting blouse with a long skirt, it's easy to end up looking shapeless, so I just tucked the front of the top into the skirt band to give my waist at least a little definition. 

I love wearing flowing blouses over a nursing tank because it's easy to pull my shirt up and still be covered and it's not as obvious as a shirt made specifically to have nursing access.

Most days I wear this simple silver locket, if I wear any jewelry at all.
I love simplicity in clothing, I always feel uncomfortable when I try to wear too many layers or accessories, so this look suits me very well.

I hope your day is lovely.




Stay At Home Mom Capsule/Minimalist Wardrobe, For Summer




I'm a little late to this party. 

Creating a capsule wardrobe is something I have really been wanting to do for quite a while.

Having a baby gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. Even though I have lost the weight I gained during pregnancy, my body has changed in so many ways.
 The most significant of these changes being my transition from a shy B cup to a full on D cup. 
Yikes!

Almost none of my pre-pregnancy tops could fit over this new and challenging shape. 
And now that my tummy is definitely squishier than it was before, 
many of my bottom pieces had to go as well.

Another wardrobe challenge I am suddenly facing is the absolute necessity of having easy access for nursing. Every top I own needs to be able to unbutton or pull up easily.

So, between those three new requirements for my wardrobe, I easily got rid of at least three quarters of the clothes in my closet.

.........

I didn't have a ton of clothes to begin with, but there were very few items in my closet that I absolutely loved and felt amazing in. 
The bottom half of the closet is mine. Not bad, right? 
But I really felt like I had tons of clothes that I never wore. 
Nothing went together, 
and there were many tearful mornings spent trying to find something I could feel good in.


I had, maybe 80 pieces of clothing before, compare that to my closet now. 
That's it. That is all of my clothes (excepting underthings, pj's, and workout clothes). 


I have been wearing only these items for almost a month now, and I love it!
I am a person who loves to dress simply. 
I feel like I have too much going on when I wear a necklace AND earrings. :)

So this idea of a capsule wardrobe is perfect for me. 

Getting dressed is so easy now. Everything in my closet goes together. 

I didn't really follow any rules in creating my minimalist collection of clothing. 
Here are the things I did do:

I thought about what style I wanted to go for, 
what looks I love, and what makes me happy in an outfit.
I know that I love things to be simple, clean, and classy. 
I am also a brand new stay at home mom, 
so I needed clothing that is durable, easy to care for, and effortless to put together.

Then I thought about a color pallet I wanted to stick with. 
This is what I decided:

If you looked at my closet before I cleaned it out, you would have noticed a lot of grays, creams, and blues. I love soft pinks, and I needed to add a non-neutral color, so that was an easy decision to make.

After I had paired down the items in my closet to the things that I loved and still worked for me, I thought very carefully about what I needed/wanted to add.
I made a secret board on Pinterest of clothes that were practical and lovely pieces.
I made lists and edited them, until I knew exactly what I was looking for. 
Then shopping was easy and fast.


So here it is. My stay-at-home, post-pregnancy-nursing friendly, capsule wardrobe:



I have 4 skirts. (I'm a HUGE fan of maxi's)


Large print navy blue maxi skirt.
From: Cato


Gray maxi skirt.
From: JC Penney


Lace maxi skirt.
From: Cato.


Gray pencil skirt.
From: H&M


1 Pair Straight leg dark wash jeans.


From: Express
(These jeans are their "Barely Bootcut" which I bought and altered after looking high and low for a pair of straight leg jeans and coming up empty handed.)




I have 8 tops:


Pale pink tunic.
From: Maurices
(I am not really satisfied with this top. I would like to replace it with this blouse.)



Navy blue tunic.
From: Maurices



Lace blouse.
From: Shopko, about five years ago.


Cream linen tee shirt.
From: The Loft
(I would love to replace this tee shirt with THIS sweater)


Blush Pink tee.
From: The Loft


  
White tank with lace detail.
From: JC Penney



 Cobalt blue blouse.
From: JC Penney


Black tank top.
From: JC Penney


3 Cardigans:


Navy Blue Cardigan
From: Macy's


Cream cardigan.
From: Maurices


 Beige crocheted lace cardigan.
From: A gift from a friend.




Two Dresses:


 Navy blue and white maxi dress.
From: JC Penney
Bonus, cute baby. Best accessory ever!


Navy blue knee length dress.
From: JC Penney




And for accessories, I have 2 scarves:



Both from Walmart.  (Don't judge!)
These are very lightweight infinity scarves, which I LOVE for nursing. 
If I'm wearing one of these, I just unravel it and use it a a nursing cover. 

And 2 Pairs of shoes:


Canvas cork wedge heels.
From: The Shoe Dept.

Nude Sandals.
From: Payless

.........

That is a grand total of twenty-three items. 

Keeping them all within the same color scheme, and all solids means that putting an outfit together takes about ten seconds. And with so little time spent on clothing, that usually means that I have a few minutes to spare for hair and makeup.

I remember my mom saying something like 
"If you have great hair, you can basically wear anything and still look nice."

So for me, having time to style my hair every day is an absolute must. 
Then if I don't have extra time to do makeup, nails, jewelry, or accessories, 
I still feel like I look great.

I have really been loving this change in my life. 
It's not my ideal capsule yet, but it's close.

I would like to replace a few of the tops with more flattering items, 
and I would like to replace one of my maxi's with a navy blue jersey pencil skirt. 
 But until I find exactly what I want, this is working well enough.


Have you ever tried a minimalist wardrobe? 
Any tips or thoughts?
I would love to read your comments, 

Thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Birth Story: Welcome To The World, Mary Joy


On June 22nd at 2:30 am, I woke up to use the bathroom,
 a nightly ritual during the last months of pregnancy. 
While I was in the bathroom, I was hit with such a forceful contraction that I nearly fell off the toilet. 
At the same instant, my water broke.

For the past two months I had nearly constant prodromal labor, and because of this I was already partially dilated and completely thinned and effaced. 
 So I expected that when real labor started, it would advance quickly.
And I was right.
 After that first contraction, they came every three or four minutes for the next several hours.
  I was too uncomfortable to sleep,and Scott was too excited, so we decided to get up and keep ourselves busy until I progressed further.
I wanted to labor at home for a while, so we puttered around the house.  I made tacos, Scott worked on a few small projects; I did my hair (I know it's a little ridiculous, but hey, I had time!) and packed a few last-minute items in our hospital bag.

At about 5:00 am, I called my doula, Lisa, a close family friend, and told her I was in labor so that she could get a shower and some breakfast before we headed to the hospital.

Around 6:00 am, my doula arrived at our home. By that time, the contractions were uncomfortable enough that I didn't want to talk or walk anymore, so I laid on the couch with a hot water bottle on my lower back.

At 6:45, my contractions were still 2-4 minutes apart, and getting more intense all the time, so we decided to head to the hospital so we could get through triage before I was truly miserable. 

Once we were admitted to triage and I was laying in bed being monitored, my contractions slowed WAY down. But I was clearly in active labor and still progressing, so they admitted me after just a few minutes.

As soon as I got out of that triage bed, my contractions sped back up again. It was obvious to me that labor would move much faster if I kept moving; so for the next hour we walked up and down the hallway, but it wasn't long before standing through contractions became difficult, so we headed back to our room, and I spent the rest of my labor mostly on the birthing ball; only getting into bed to be monitored for fifteen minutes once every hour.

Lisa and Scott were both wonderful throughout the whole day. I highly recommend having a doula, especially if you are planning on having an unmedicated birth.
Lisa was so helpful with pain management and helping me to relax into the contraction rather than tense up against them.  There is something so encouraging about having another woman in the room who is there for only you, and who has herself experienced what you are experiencing.

After only twelve hours of labor and thirty minutes of pushing with no medication,
 Mary Joy was came into the world at 2:08 pm, weighing 8lbs 2oz, and 19 inches long.




What an amazing day.



The labor and delivery went very well for me, and was everything I wanted; thanks to Scott, my doula, and my midwife; and recovery has been fairly easy.

We are so thrilled with our baby girl, who turned seven weeks old yesterday.
It is hard to believe it has been that long already!

I can hear her waking up from her nap in the other room now, so I will say goodbye for now.

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions about any details I have left out, feel free to ask. :)

Blessings,



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Deliciously Moist Banana Bread



I LOVE banana bread. 
I can't think of many things more wonderful than a slice of piping hot banana bread, 
with butter melting into it's delicious center.

I can easily eat a whole loaf all on my own. 
It just seems to happen!
Before I know it, I turn around and it's all disappeared. 

I love my banana bread to be as moist and soft as possible. 
As long as I can remember, my mother has always added a cup of yogurt to her banana bread recipe to achieve that perfect soft and oh-so-tasty texture.

Here is my favorite recipe:

Banana Bread

Ingredients:
2 C. Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup softened Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
3 overly ripened Bananas
1 Cup Yogurt, plain, vanilla, lemon, or honey flavor

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or mixer.
Stir for a few minutes until everything is well mixed.
Grease two loaf sized pans. I usually use olive oil.
Pour half of the batter into each pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour; until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This bread is also scrumptious with a few blueberries, 
or a handful of chocolate chips added to the batter.

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe? 
Or a favorite extra ingredient you like to add?
Leave a comment! I would love to know.

Thank you for stopping by!

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