Trying New Things: July 2015

Ah -- August 2015. We meet at last.

Seriously, this is the month I've been fearing/anticipating/dreading/waiting for for a while now. I'm excited about everything this month is going to bring, but I'm also nervous about my ability to handle it all. Just keep swimming, right?

Or maybe, just keep blogging? My regular Stitch Fix post isn't happening this month, because (a) who knows when the baby is going to come? (b) who knows what my body is going to look like after the baby comes? (c) whether my box arrived pre-baby or post-baby, this month is not one for modeling, if you know what I'm sayin'. But never fear - I'm planning on starting those up again in September!

I can, however, proceed as usual with my "Trying New Things" post! This is just a chance for me to share some new things I've tried over the past month. I really enjoy these posts and I hope they help you find new things for you and your family, too!

(Also, this probably goes without saying, but you should know that nothing in this post is sponsored or officially promoted at all, and there are no affiliate links. I'm just chatting with friends about some chat-worthy things!)

Let's begin with: theSkimm .

theSkimm is a free, emailed newsletter sent out every weekday that gives a brief summary of current, major news stories. It's basically a way to "skim" the news (get it?).

Some things I love about theSkimm:
  • Brief summaries of news stories, but with links to full stories if you need more info
  • Fun to read. They use a very conversational tone (almost to a fault sometimes, in fact) and they keep things simple.
  • Makes it easy to keep up to date on current events. 
  • Lately they've been doing interviews with presidential candidates, which has been super interesting. They've interviewed candidates from both major parties, so you can kind of see what each person is like and where their political focus is.
  • Even if I'm not interested in any of a particular day's stories, reading through the entire email takes about 5 minutes, tops. 
That being said, theSkimm isn't perfect. If I'm being completely honest, I've gotta say that their tone of writing can be borderline irreverent at times, which kind of rubs me the wrong way. But that's really my only major complaint. I've really enjoyed reading their emails each morning and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to be "in the know" on current events without hopping from website to website.

Pixi Correction Concentrate

I tend to look tired lately. Can you blame me? Something about growing a human while taking care of other's exhausting. Add to that the fact that you have a hard time sleeping because you have a zillion things running through your brain, and well, your physical appearance starts to suffer a bit.

I've tried a few under-eye concealers/brighteners before, with mixed results. This is my favorite, by far.

Why so good? Well, for starters, a little goes a long way. Just dab your ring finger or pinky in there once, or maybe twice, and that's really all you need. I seriously think a tub of this stuff will last me a year. And it was only like $10! Which is seriously a steal compared to many alternatives. The coverage is good, with peachy undertones to cancel out those bluish circles. It doesn't cake and comes off on my makeup removing wipe at the end of the day (the ultimate test!). It also blends well and is rather idiot-proof when it comes to application, which is kind of a must for me in the makeup department. 

Here's my before and after, with no other changes:

(Okay, so now that I look at it, I might have made one other change and licked my lips in between photos. They look much more lively in the second photo, am I right?)

But honestly, I feel like my entire face is brighter in that second photo!

So if you're tired and you look it (which is very close to being sexy and knowing it), you should try this stuff out. Get it at Target, yo.

And last but not least -- Folex.

Folex has been on my radar for a while now. It's a carpet and upholstery cleaner that apparently tap dances and makes the heavens open and rain down Dove chocolate promises that land in your hand and not on your head (because, ouch). 

Seriously though, this stuff has a good rep

So when a mysterious black spot showed up in a very conspicuous place in our hallway at the top of the stairs, I knew it was time to try the infamous Folex. I picked some up at Home Depot for maybe like $7? It's a good sized bottle and will last a while. 

And did it work? Well, you tell me:

Oh yeah, it worked. Fast and well. You just spray it on, agitate with your fingers (yes, it specifically says to use your fingers...which I don't love, but whatever), dab with a cloth, and voila!

While it's sold as a "carpet stain remover," it is safe to use on any color-fast material -- including clothing and upholstery. I already used it on our nursery's La-Z-Boy and our kitchen table chairs. I'm planning on tackling the van floor next. It's also odorless, which I definitely appreciate. I'd say this is a product that lives up to the hype around it!

So there are my "new things" I tried out in July. What do you think -- will you be trying any of them? Or have you tried something lately I should know about?

Except don't recommend the Oreo Thins, because I got a free package of them and am now thoroughly convinced that they serve absolutely no purpose other than to sell Double Stuf Oreos. IF YOU CANNOT TASTE THE CREAM THEN WHAT IS LIFE?

But anyway, I digress. Oreos do that to me. Happy August! 


38 is reeeeally close to 40, in case you didn't know. So let's squeeze one last update in here before this little girl arrives.

Due date: Drumroll please.....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....August 11! Surprised? Although I gotta tell you, I am crossing my fingers, toes, and especially legs that this baby does not come on August 11. My dear firstborn starts Kindergarten (wipe a tear!) on the 12th, so there's all kinds of Meet-the-Teacher/Orientation/First Day nonsense on the 10th-12th. And don't even make me think about the crazy emotions that would be involved if these two very emotional events happened within a day or two of each other. Shudder. 

Weight gain: Blegh. Right around 37 pounds. I'm definitely on track to gain more with this baby than any other. The good (?) news is I've been swelling a lot more this time than with my others, so let's chalk it up to swelling and say that it'll go away soon after delivery, mmmmkay? 

Baby size: Come on, baby tracker app! Don't let me down! Baby is the size of a....spaghetti squash! Yay for a food I've actually eaten! Even if I don't like it! Huzzah!

Sleep: Sleep has been kinda bad lately. Remember our old friend SPD? Well he is back with a vengeance and this time he's attacking in the night. It's weird to think that something like laying down could actually make something worse, Rolling over in bed is pretty much equivalent to torture. It hurts something fierce. And it's just one of those super fun pregnancy things that you can't really do much about! So....awesome!

Aches/pains: See above. But also, my back has finally decided to join the party. And it hurts when I sit or stand for more than three minutes at a time. So, if you do the math, you'll notice that I can't stand, sit, or lie down without being in a good amount of pain. Seriously, though -- am I being punk'd?

Cravings: Not really much of anything. I'm trying to drown myself in water and it honestly takes away my appetite. I haven't really had any "Dallin jump out of bed and go get this NOW" sort of craving, but maybe I need to make that happen in the next few days because really, when else are you allowed to do that?

Baby prep: A new category for this last update, mostly because it's all I can think about nowadays. I've been able to get quite a bit done but it seems like there's always more to do. Mostly, though, I'd say we're ready to go. She certainly has enough clothes! And holycowguys, they're all so cute and little! 

Random: I'm still on that emotional roller coaster. I go from super excited and "I can do this!" to super freaked out and "WOW I CAN'T DO THIS" more often than I care to admit. 

Also, if I haven't mentioned this before, I've got the BEST teammate I could ask for in Dallin. He has been amazingly helpful with housework and kid stuff when he gets home. He lets me cry at him and he tells me I'm beautiful. He encourages me to eat ice cream on bad days and he reminds me to drink water and exercise because he knows how much I want to want to do those things. He's a superhero. For reals. I don't know what I'd do without him in my corner.

And I'd say that's a wrap! Stay tuned for a possibly sappy post about pregnancy, because I just have all the feelings lately. 

Thank you for being a friend!

Ever have one of those days...

...when you have the ambition but not the focus?

...when you have the to-do list that you just can't seem to get done?

...when all you can think about is getting your house ready for a new baby (#nesting) but you've been contracting every 5 minutes for a while now and it's just sucking the energy out of you?

...when your three-year-old tells you your bum is probably too big for the toilet?

...when you simultaneously feel ravenously hungry but also sick to your stomach (just enough that you can't think of anything that you actually want to eat)?

...when your feet and your hands are still swelling despite all the water you've been forcing yourself to drink (reminder: you hate drinking water)?

...when your kids yell for you until you waddle painfully come downstairs and all they wanted was for you to move the box of Cheerios? Like, just move it to the other side of the table?

...when you cry actual, streaming down your cheeks tears for all of the following reasons:

  • you ate the last piece of chocolate -- the LAST PIECE OF CHOCOLATE (other than the chocolate chips, but the chocolate chips just aren't cutting it lately)
  • you're too hot to wear a sweatshirt and a sweatshirt sounds incredibly comfortable
  • you finally settle on wearing a comfy Mickey Mouse shirt and it just makes you miss Disneyland so freaking much
  • you read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" to your kids at bedtime and the line "Will there be enough room?" makes you think about how there can't possibly be enough room in your home, heart, or washing machine for another baby, and yet here she comes!
  • you have to pee. Again.
  • no reason at all. Seriously.
(Side confession: I have no idea how to punctuate any of the above. It's all one big question...but where does the question mark go? Let's put it here: ?. There.)

...when you see an Instagram post by a complete stranger whom you totally admire, and even though she's talking about hard stuff she's going through, it makes you feel like you could never possibly be that cool/successful/impactful?

...when the above sends you into a "What am I doing with my life?" sort of downward spiral, and the answer you come up with is "I'm having kids. I'm being a mom." and you know that that should make you feel better, but right now it just kind of doesn't? And then that makes you feel guilty?

This all sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? These are reasons to laugh/plan/rest/think/grow, not dissolve into a hopeless puddle with a nose that's too stuffed up to even blow properly.

Add to all this the fact that my big goal right now is positivity, and the whole thing becomes particularly laughable, because #fail. Or, to be slightly more positive about it, #failfortoday. 

I guess the thing is, some days are just like this. Some days just send your common sense packing and your hormones to the Tower of Terror and your kids to bed as early as possible.

But that day is over. That day was yesterday. Today, I had a cupcake for breakfast (bless you, Jenna). Today, I'm going to wear a dress and get my hair colored. And I'm buying some chocolate. And I'm going to try my hardest to drink a blasted gallon of water (20 oz down as I'm writing this!). And I'm going to exercise. And I'm going to hug my babies when they wake up, and plan on saying "I love you" to each of them, maybe more than once. And hopefully I'm going to take a minute to just sit and rest my hand on this beautiful belly and think about my little girl in there and about how, if I just calm down and think about it, there really is enough room for her everywhere. 

Yes, today will be one of those days.

Stitch Fix Maternity - July 2015

Whoa, another Stitch Fix already?!

I'm sure you know all about Stitch Fix by now. But here's a quick rundown of how it works:

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Basically, when you need a fix, you can get one. That sounds weird, but whatever.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, and if you haven't heard, I'm pregnant. So yay!

{my maternity stitch fix - july 2015}

This is my fifth maternity Stitch Fix! (read about my others hereherehere, and here if you want. Quite the trip down memory lane! P.S. I ended up keeping the blue dolman top from last month, even though popular opinion favored the green. Sorry guys; I trust you...I just had to go with my gut!).

I was apprehensive about this box for a couple reasons. The first is that the arrival of this box kind of snuck up on me, and by the time I went to the Stitch Fix site to put in a monthly note for my stylist, the box was already in the works! So I didn't get to make any special requests. The other reason I was nervous is that I'm so close to the end of this pregnancy (5 WEEKS, PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.) and I'm hesitant to buy any new clothes at this point, whether maternity or not. The exception is good nursing tops...but I didn't get to put that in my note to my stylist (see point 1). So I feel like this box may be doomed to failure before it's even opened!

But let's decide that together, shall we? Without further ado, my July box:

Loveappella Maternity Augusta Maternity Dress ($68)

first impressions: Well, I'm a sucker for a striped dress! The biggest question marks here are (1) length and (2) how maternity-ish it looks (since the end is so near!)

on me:

thoughts: Well...that didn't go so well. It's not's super soft and comfortable, and it's not terribly clingy. I don't think it looks too blatantly maternity, either.'s too short! If it was a couple inches longer, this would probably be a keeper. As it is, I can't walk around without showing too much leg (for my LDS garments, that is). RETURN. 

Mavi Freida Maternity Regular Length Jean ($98)

first impressions: Womp womp. Sorry, but the time to buy maternity jeans has passed. I needed these three boxes ago, but I don't need them now! 

thoughts: I tried on the pants anyway (no pics though, obviously), and I've gotta say: I might be in trouble with Stitch Fix when I actually need to buy jeans. Both of the pairs they've sent me -- even though I've returned both of them -- have fit well and have been high quality. Biggest complaint about these jeans in particular (in case any of you are looking for maternity jeans to request in a box), is that the panel was ridiculously big. I mean, my belly ain't no small thing nowadays, and I think this panel would have stretched over all three of my girls if I had wanted it to (if you know what I mean...). RETURN. 

Loveappella Maternity Shanna Lace Detail Maternity Knit Top ($48)

first impressions: Oh, hello shirt that is everything I love in life. Casual comfort with a touch of class? Navy blue? Sign me the heck up.

on me:

thoughts: Okay, this one might be a heartbreaker. I love love heart-eye emoji love the style of this shirt. But remember those garments I mentioned above? Well, this (unlined) lace would show off those things pretty darn obviously without an undershirt. (Side note: it would definitely show off anything other than a strapless bra, too, so keep that in mind). So I threw on an undershirt to see how that would look, and there's quite the gap there (see bottom pic), so it looks a little silly. And yeah, I tried an ivory undershirt also. It still looked silly. Also, this is technically a maternity shirt, complete with the tell-tale ruching at the bottom. But gosh dang it, I'd probably wear it anyway! It's the lace problem that is really holding me up here. UNDECIDED. 

Daniel Rainn Minal V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Solid Blouse ($68)

first impressions: 3/4 sleeve is good: even though it's warm outside (#understatement), I'd still feel okay about wearing this on date nights or to church, and obviously once it cools down a bit. Buttons on front could be good for nursing! Also, pricey. 

on me:

thoughts: I feel like this shirt looks good from afar, and then you get up close and all you can see are the wrinkles and the occasional peek-a-boo inside my shirt from the buttons being just slightly too loose. Oh, and those buttons are NOT nursing friendly. They are little metal cone-shaped buttons, and they are very hard to unfasten and fasten. No bueno. But pretty color, eh? RETURN. 

Daniel Rainn Bilson Pleated Blouse ($68)

first impressions: The print is one of those vintage-y prints that you can't decide if it belongs in your grandma's closet (to stay) or on a wannabe-stylin' momma. Other than that, it looks cute!

on me:

thoughts: Yes, my biggest question mark here is the print. This top would actually work very well for nursing, since it has normal buttons down the front. It's also NOT a maternity top, so yay for that. The fabric is lightweight, but not super breathable, so it's probably either strictly a "night out" shirt or a "wait until Fall" shirt, both of which I'm okay with. So what do you think about the print? UNDECIDED.


I'm struggling a bit with this box. I think it was very much "my style." I mean, a comfy dress, dat navy/lace top, a pretty colored top with a little edge, comfy jeans, and a little femininity to balance it all out. That sounds like my wardrobe in a nutshell. But obviously, each piece had something holding me back from really falling in love. I think of all the pieces, the floral top is most likely to get good wear, but can I pull off the print?

And thus ends my relationship with Stitch Fix maternity! I'm thinking I'll request all non-maternity pieces for my next fix, since you know, the baby will probably get here before the box does! Think they have anything that's spit-up repellant? Or maybe scented, to cover up the fact that I won't have showered in 3-5 days, but who's counting?

Scented clothing. Brilliant. You heard it here first, folks!

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that reward me if someone happens to sign up through them! Yay!

Trying new things: June 2015

Every time I write one of these, I want to start the post by saying "It's that time of the month again!"

And then I'm like..."Nope, can't say that. I'm pregnant!"

And then I'm like..."Dude, even if you weren't pregnant, you couldn't say that."

And then I'm like..."True."

And thus was born the most awkward blog post opening of all time.

But seriously, I do this every month. I have this weird love of trying new products, and I love talking about them! Especially if I end up loving them -- but also if I don't end up loving them, because then it'll save you a bad buy, right? Of course right.

So take a look at the things I tried in June. Hopefully my thoughts are helpful to someone out there!

(Oh, and just so you know, I'm not nearly cool enough to use affiliate links or receive free products to review. We're just friends here, talking about some cool shtuff!)

OxiClean White Revive Laundry Stain Remover 
We can get some pretty intense clothing stains around these parts. Parker alone has a tendency to get anything and everything on his clothes. 

I've tried a few different stain removing products, and most of them were pretty meh. They made some difference, but nothing huge, and the stains were usually still there. I also tried the dawn/baking soda/hydrogen peroxide concoction that so many people seem to swear by, and it faded the shirt terribly.

I originally tried this OxiClean product to use with my exclusively white loads to keep them from getting dingy (or, you know, dingy-er). And I'm happy with how it does that, honest. It also has a super clean, fresh smell that I kind of love (and most smells aren't my friends nowadays). But I decided to really put this to the test with this shirt of Parker's:

Guys, I don't even know what was on there. There's the obvious giant red splotches, but there's also brown smears at the bottom, and some weird bluish-black substance near the top. Oh, and did I mention that the shirt sat like this for literally weeks in my laundry room, waiting for me to tackle its stains? Yeah, this was a toughie. wasn't! Wanting to give the OxiClean its best chance, I soaked the shirt in it for about 4 hours. I used quite a bit of it (I threw some cleaning rags and towels in there so it wasn't a total waste of product and water), but I kept it in cold water since I didn't want the shirt to shrink. (Oh and I threw in one of these in case the red on the shirt decided to get rebellious). Well, after soaking and then washing normally...

Stains be gone! I honestly couldn't believe how well this worked. I got right up to the shirt and seriously cannot see a single trace of any of the various stains that plagued it previously. Not only that, but the red sleeves weren't faded at all. At all!

So obviously, I recommend this stuff. I got it at Walmart but have seen it at Target also. I'm sure it's pretty much everywhere. 

Next, let's talk about LUSH foot products -- Volcano foot mask, Stepping Stone foot scrub, and Fair Trade foot lotion.

My feet have been in baaaad shape lately. Tired, dry, rough, blegh. I don't get pedicures very often (ain't no-mama got time for that) and adding pregnancy into the mix certainly didn't help matters.

LUSH is kind of a love-hate thing for me. There are a couple products that I can't live without -- this shampoo and this face mask are regular buys -- but I've also tried a few things that I've found overpriced and not super effective. I also can't use their ever-popular bath bombs or bath melts because they tend to irritate my usually-not-sensitive skin.

The last time I went into a LUSH store to get a new face mask, I brought up my foot concerns to an employee and was immediately led to this line (their workers are super passionate about pretty much every product in the store. They will try like heck to upsell you and their passion actually makes them annoyingly good at it, darn them. Don't say I didn't warn you!). I ended up buying the smaller size of the Volcano foot mask ($13.50) and a Stepping Stone ($4.50), and I got a generous sample of the Fair Trade lotion (they are usually great about giving out samples, especially if you're buying something else!).

The verdicts:

The foot mask wasn't exactly easy or convenient to use (although my big belly might have had something to do with that). You're supposed to wrap your feet in plastic wrap immediately after applying to keep it from drying out super fast. Then you sit for several minutes while it works its magic. I'll also say that this is not a "a little goes a long way" type thing. It has a super thick, clay-like consistency that doesn't spread well. The small jar only last me for two uses. Despite the downsides, though, I'd definitely say it's an effective product. My feet felt tingly in the best way possible, and much smoother and more "refreshed." I also felt the effects for a while; much longer than even with a good pedicure.

I had high hopes for this little scrubber, especially since it was the cheapest of the bunch and potentially the best buy. But I'd say I was ultimately disappointed. It was difficult to use; it essentially dissolved the second you tried to use it. And it wasn't super "scrubby" once it dissolved, so it really didn't do much beyond leaving my bathtub looking like Elphaba had melted in there. Maybe if you used a brush or something to scrub this in, it would work better. I will say that I used some on my elbows and it left them actually feeling smoother. So maybe it will work on feet that aren't in as bad of shape as mine.

Go figure that my favorite of the three products would be the one that I didn't actually buy! I've got to go back for more of this stuff. It's cooling, softening, and has a nice consistency that is kind of whipped and light, although it sinks in well. You don't need very much; I'd imagine that the jar will last a while. It also smells yummy -- pepperminty with a tiny hint of chocolate. This is a good one, folks. My flip flop feet approve!

So if your feet need a little TLC, drop in to a LUSH store and try out a product or two. They will actually do in-store foot treatments, which might help you decide which products work best for you!

Lastly, for something a little different, is a podcast: Spawned.

I started listening to podcasts in earnest when I was pregnant with Parker, and I kind of love them now. Is it just an adult thing to love to listen to talk radio-esque things? I remember giving my dad a hard time about listening to talk radio, but podcasts are kind of the bomb. And they're totally different from lame talk radio, right? (crickets) I love that I can listen to them whenever (cleaning, working, driving, etc.) and that it feels like I'm doing something productive while I'm doing something else productive. #winwin

I have a few podcasts I listen to regularly, including this Disneyland podcast, this happiness podcast, and this motherhood podcast. This particular one, Spawned, is newer -- they're only about 4 episodes in -- but it's so fun and I already get excited when a new episode is released. 

The two hosts have a good energy and chemistry, and their attitude toward parenting is positive, but also just a little bit irreverent, which is totally my jam. They also talk about interesting topics that are a little more universally appealing than many of the other parenting podcasts I've listened to. 

I give this one two thumbs up. Give it a listen, eh?

So there are a few things that I discovered in June! Any of them spark your interest? Anything you've tried lately that you'd recommend? Thanks for reading!

Stitch Fix Maternity - June 2015

As always, I was so excited to see that my Stitch Fix box was on its way once again!

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? Probably. But in case you haven't, here's how it works:

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Basically, when you need a fix, you can get one. That sounds weird, but whatever.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, and if you haven't heard, I'm pregnant. So yay!

{my maternity stitch fix - june 2015}

This is my fourth maternity Stitch Fix (read about my others herehere, and here, if you want). In general, I've been keeping one or two things from my boxes, but I can't say I've had one that has really blown me away yet. Did that change this month? Well, read on, and you shall see...

Here's what my June box contained:

LA Made Maternity Brentford Maternity Knit Tank ($48)

first impressions: STITCH FIX: WHY DO YOU INSIST ON SENDING ME SLEEVELESS THINGS? I know it sounds weird, but I can ONLY wear sleeveless things when it's cooler outside because I have to layer them. And while it is only supposed to hit 109 tomorrow, I'm not sure that qualifies as cool enough for layering.

on me:

thoughts: If you couldn't tell from the photos, I'm not impressed. Not only is this preeetty much just a basic navy tank top that costs $50, but it also hangs funny below the bump. Oh and did I mention I have to layer it to wear it? RETURN. 

41Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top ($48)

first impressions:  This is probably a result of all the gushing I did over the 41Hawthorn dolman top I got (and kept!) last month. I still love that shirt and wear it all.the.time. Two days this week, in fact. And this one -- what a pretty blue!

on me:

thoughts: I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for blues and purples in clothes. I think they work well on me. And like the other top, this one will probably work well for nursing and will transition well into my post-baby wardrobe. I'm mostly sure that this is a keeper, but I'm slightly unsure because the dolman-ness of this top seems a bit extreme. Are the saggy underarms way too much? This one also lacks the exposed zipper in the back, which is my favorite feature on the other one. So, UNDECIDED.

Renee C Kira Printed Maxi Skirt ($58)

first impressions:  I have a hard time swallowing the price, since $25 printed maxis are in no short supply at Target. Also, doubleyou-tee-eff with the crazy prints? Stitch Fix loves a crazy-print maxi, that's for dang sure.

on me:

thoughts: Nothing special, and in fact oddly long. The print is just bad. This is one I just don't really like. RETURN.

Stitch Fix 3-Pack Maternity Cami ($44)

first impressions:  Dang it, I knew I'd get these eventually. It seems like every maternity subscription is bound to get them, at some point. I don't want these. 

on me:

Ummm...honestly, I didn't even try these on.

thoughts: I know not trying something on is like, breaking the cardinal rule of Stitch Fix-ing, but I really just didn't want these! I have no use for them. They feel like perfectly good camis and are actually buttery soft, but even if they were made from actual butter, I wouldn't want them. (Probably.) RETURN.

LA Made Maternity Welling V-Neck Maternity Knit Top ($48)

first impressions: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. 

on me:

thoughts: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. Ha. Apparently my first impression was right on the money with this one. There is a lot to like about it. The color really is pretty, and the fit is fine. I also like the fabric -- it's lightweight, but not see-through. It's also kind of a super light sweater material that would transition great into fall. But it's also rather plain and unexciting. I guess that leaves room to add accessories and stuff, though? I just don't know. UNDECIDED. 


I think of all the boxes I've received, this one has been the most disappointing. Mostly because it was so far off from what I put in my note to my stylist. I've heard that being frank and specific with your stylist is what really makes Stitch Fix successful, but that just didn't work here. My note mentioned a solid white tee, other tops that would transition to after baby, and maybe a sheer floral kimono. So...yeah, not quite. It honestly makes me wonder if their options for maternity clothes are still super limited, you know? I'm thinking I'll keep one of the tops I liked, since my styling fee will apply toward it. Probably not going to pay full price for the other one, though. 

And that's it for my June maternity Stitch Fix review. Any thoughts on which top I should keep?

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that get me a reward if you're so inclined to sign up through them. You guys are da best! 

31 weeks

Obviously, a post at 30 weeks would have made more sense, since 30 is like, an even number or something.

But I like to keep you guys guessing. We have to keep this relationship exciting, you know?

And so, while you'll never know how my pregnancy was going at 30 weeks, you do get to know all about how Little Miss and I are doing at 31 weeks. Special!

Due date: August 11! I've never had a due date change with any of my babies, so I guess I shouldn't start now.

Weight gain: When I went to the doctor a week ago, I'd gained 20 pounds. So...maybe a little more than that? I could walk the 20 steps to my bathroom and weigh myself... but, you know, walking.

Baby size: My handy dandy tracker app says that baby girl is now the size of not one, not two, but FOUR navel oranges. I'm honestly slightly confused by this one. Are these navel oranges lined up end to end? Set up two by two? Morphed together into one giant super navel orange? This kinda sorta tells me nothing.

Sleep: I occasionally have a hard time falling asleep (I've been getting the restless leg thing going on recently and yikes!) and I still wake up at least once to pee...but I barely even notice it nowadays because peeing is my life.

Aches/pains: Thankfully, mercifully, my SPD-like symptoms haven't been bothering my lately (throw the salt! Knock the wood! Do all the things!). But I do groan basically every time I stand up, as gravity attacks. I'm also getting the occasional jab of round ligament pain, which usually is bad enough to leave me a bit breathless. Ooh, and the Braxton Hicks have started in earnest. That's always fun.

Cravings: Same as before. Although, it's hard to call those things "cravings" now. It's more like they've made their way into my standard food rotation. I can't really think of anything new that I've seriously craved. 

Random: As if you couldn't tell from the above picture, I'm super crazy ultra tired. I look it and I feel it and it's just rough. Everything just exhausts me. I've been waaaay worse at exercise lately, which probably has something to do with it. 

I'm also an emotional mess. About everything. I cried when I watched this video of a hypothetical race between Secretariat and American Pharoah. I mean, I've never watched a horse race in my life. Horse racing isn't even on my radar. But you guys! So many dreams coming true! (I think...)

Finally, I've been feeling so much anxiety lately. Thinking about all the ways this baby is going to change my life just overwhelms me. I've felt this way, to some extent, before each of my other kids was born, but this time is much worse. I'm still wrapping my head around what I'm truly afraid of and what I'm not ready for, but hopefully I'm able to at least start to address those issues before Baby Girl arrives in 9 (!!!) weeks or so. 

Happy Wednesday, people. Hope it's a good one!

Seeing Maddy See Me

Late last Friday night, my girls were coming home from visiting Dallin's parents in Dallas. They'd been gone for eleven days (the original plan was eight, but the weather in Dallas had other plans).

Their flight was scheduled to land at 1:29 AM, and I had to go pick them up. I decided to just stay up rather than go to bed and wake up. (I mean, really, who likes waking up?) Dallin was away on a scout campout, so I had to get Parker out of bed and loaded into the car. I thought he'd sleep the whole way, but he was actually wide awake and jabbering the whole time. I didn't mind. I was excited.

The girls had been a little disappointed when their original flight home was cancelled. They'd done pretty well on the trip, and they were definitely well cared for, but they are three and five...they were a little homesick. And while I had definitely enjoyed a bit of a mommy break (we even left Parker with my mom for a few days and got a little babymoon to San Diego out of it), I was ready to see my girls.

I pulled up to the airport around 1:30 AM. Being, you know, the middle of the night, I ignored the "No parking at any time" signs and just parked by the curb to wait. After ten or fifteen minutes of knee-bouncing anticipation, I saw my mother-in-law walk out of the airport, carrying a sleeping Charly and pushing an awake Maddy in an umbrella stroller.

I wasn't going to cry. Honest. Even when I saw them, I didn't feel like crying. I was just happy they'd made it and excited to see them.

But then, Maddy saw me.

I know she was tired, and my sweet girl gets super emotional when she's tired...but the emotions on her face when she saw me....I just don't want to forget them.

Her eyes got wide and she looked like she was trying so hard to be excited. She held her arms out towards me. She got the beginnings of a big, open-mouthed smile on her face, but I could tell a sob was right on the edge of it. And then, right before I pulled her into a long awaited hug, she mouthed the word "Mama!" and broke down.

And so, of course, I did too.

She gave me a real, honest to goodness, I-could-hold-on-to-you-forever kind of hug that I'm not sure I've ever gotten from her before. My heart was beating out of my chest, and streaming down my face, and wrapped up in my arms, all at once.

The truth is, I think a lot about how much I love my kids. I worry about them, pray for them, dress and feed them, hurt with them, and try to teach them right from wrong. I want them to be happy and successful and fulfilled and good, because of how much I love them. And as long as I remember to stop and think in the midst of the chaos that is everyday life, or if I happen to have some precious, quiet moment with one of them at some point in the day, it's easy to remember why I put myself through the struggle that is motherhood. It's because I love these little people of mine. I love them like crazy.

But seeing Maddy see me at the airport reminded me of something: they love me like crazy, too. They love me and want me and need me. I'm their mama, and I'm special to them in a way that no one else is.

To be loved in this way is empowering. It really is. It makes me care a little less about what other people think of me. It makes me not only want to be a great mom, it makes me feel like I could really do it. I could be that. In my kids' eyes, I am that.

They don't see my failures and shortcomings  -- the stupid things I say, the talents I don't have, the patience I lose way too often. They see the tickle fights and the songs before bed and the times we play restaurant at lunch. They ask me questions because they think I'm smart. They play with my makeup and clothes because they think I'm pretty. They cry for me when they're hurt because I make them feel better. Me. Can you believe it? Can you believe how lucky I am?

 At some point during my hug with Maddy at the airport, I opened my eyes and actually made eye contact with a stranger walking by. He smiled a bit as he observed our special moment, and I tried as hard as I could to give him a look back that said, "I don't know you, but I hope you have this."

And to you, reading this. I hope you have it, too. Maybe not from a child, maybe not yet. But from somewhere, I hope you feel loved like this. And I hope you cherish it.

And I hope that, from now on, I'll remember to cherish it a little more.

Trying New Things: May 2015

June, already? Dang, 2015, you're just flying by, aren't you?

I've been enjoying doing monthly reviews of new products I try each month (here's March's post and here's April's). Mostly I just love trying new things and sharing them with you guys!

(No affiliate links, provided products, or sponsored reviews in this post, because c'mon, I'm not that big of a deal. Just stuff that I wanted to try out and talk about with my friends!)

First up, let's talk dry shampoo. This month I tried out a new one: Batiste.

You use dry shampoo, right? Good, because it's a lifesaver. I have thick hair that tends to be on the frizzy side, but my roots get oily fairly quickly so the top of my hair can look greasy and weighed down, which is no bueno.

Dry shampoo is the solution. It absorbs oil and adds lift and texture to your hair so that you can go longer between washings -- because really, I'm pretty sure part of the American dream involves only washing your hair once a week.

But anyway, if you've ever Googled "best dry shampoo," it's likely you've come across Batiste. This brand has quite the reputation, and I'm happy to report that after trying it out, I can see why!

I liked my last dry shampoo (it's this Not Your Mother's one and it's great if you want an even cheaper option), but the Batiste outperformed it. Noticeably. It packs a punch when you first put it on, meaning you don't have to use much to get good results. But the real wow factor is how long it lasts in my hair. I can feel the texture it gives even at the end of the day.

Batiste's website (which is worth a visit if only to laugh at the cheesy model shot with the unmoving face and the flowy hair) says it's available at Target and Walmart, but I couldn't find it at either of those places. I got mine at CVS for about $9. Try it out!

Next, NYX Cosmetics Eyebrow Shaper.

Everyone knows how important it is for your eyebrows to be on fleek nowadays. Everyone also knows that "on fleek" is a made up phrase that means absolutely nothing and makes you sound silly. 

My biggest problem with my brows is that they grow long. And they start to curl. Which is weird. Trimming with scissors is obviously an option... but a much less desirable one now that I've accidentally trimmed my LASHES at the same time. (That is a true story and it's still too soon to talk about it. Shudder.)

So after some quick research, I decided to give this little $8 wax pencil a shot. Where have you been all my life, little $8 wax pencil?!

I tried to get you a before and after shot of my brows, but wow, that's difficult. So you'll just have to trust me when I say that this tames my long, curly eyebrows. They stay put all day. And I love the pencil format: it's easy to control and I don't get wax on my fingers. Plus it helps my brow powder stay on as well, so I can get the more natural look of powder, but with added staying power. 

Two thumbs up for this one!

And finally, because you should have known that you weren't getting through this post without it, S'mores Oreos. Or S'moreos, depending on how creative/awesome you're feeling. 

I bought these because S'MORES. OREOS.

Now, Dallin thinks these are close-your-eyes-and-savor-it level of good. I'm slightly less enthusiastic. I mean, don't get me wrong -- they're fantastic. The cookie has a good graham cracker flavor to it, and the cream is as delicious as the classic cream, with a slightly different flavor. 

But if I'm being picky, the cream's flavor isn't really distinct enough to make it hugely different from a classic Oreo. I only get a hint of chocolate and not really any marshmallow, so that's kind of disappointing. Plus they have kind of a weird aftertaste...but that can always be avoided by just eating another one, right? Either way, it didn't stop me from buying a second package after the first was gone.

I'd say, if you're an Oreo fan, you'll like these, and they're definitely worth trying. If you're all about the s'more and not the Oreo as much, you'll probably be let down. 

Now I need to try the cotton candy ones...

And that'll do it for May! Anyone else tried anything new and share-worthy lately?

My first "bad" haircut (a confession)

It happened to me.

It took almost 28 years, but it happened.

I got a bad haircut.

It was bound to happen sometime, right? I mean, the horror stories are all over the place. And I thought I knew how to avoid becoming one:

1) Go to a stylist you trust.
2) Show them pictures of what you want.
3) Be specific.

Success is in the bag, right?

Not right. NOT RIGHT.

I followed all of those steps and I still ended up with something I wasn't happy with.

Now, to be fair, just because I was unhappy with it might not mean that it was an objectively "bad" cut. I won't pretend to know anything about technique or whatever when it comes to cutting hair.

But I do know that this is what I wanted:

and that's not what I got. (Ha, you don't get a picture of what I got. Mostly because I didn't couldn't get a good picture of it.)

(Side note: Can I just say that I ALWAYS end up with a pic of Emma Stone for my hair inspiration? That girl has got it goin' on. Plus she has more of a round face, like yours truly, so it all kind of works out. Side note over.)

I got something similarish...but about 2-3 inches shorter. So right at chin length. ^^That cut is NOT chin length. Am I right? I'm right. 

Chin length + blunt cut + round face = bad news. It added weight to my face in all the wrong places. It looked more 60s mod than modern and fresh. 

I tried for a few hours to accept it. When I got home, I teased it and played with it and texturized it, trying to style it into something I loved. I tried to accept the kind words from my husband, mom, and sister. 

And then I went to Costco. And I realized that I didn't want anyone to look at me.

And I broke down. Hard.

Gosh, guys. That's embarrassing. I mean, I'd like to think that I'm a believer in "real" beauty. You know...

"What you look like isn't who you are."
"Nobody looks perfect all the time."
"Who cares what anyone looks like, anyway?"
"It's totally unfair that 'society' pressures us into putting so much value on our appearance." 
"I'm so glad I'm beyond all that!"

Except apparently, I'm not. Like, really not.

I let Dallin cancel our plans for the evening. I had a long, hard cry into his shoulder. Every time I thought about it, I got upset all over again.  I was a grumpy, emotional mess. The following morning, as early as I could, I called a salon to see if they could get me in that day. When they couldn't, I called another one that could.

And I was ashamed about how much I cared. I was so goshdarn ashamed that I freaking cared so much. 

That's why I'm writing this post, really. Not to tell you a funny story about a haircut gone wrong. Not to tell you to never go to my stylist if you're in my area (because she's a lovely girl and has given me some great haircuts in the past, honest!). Not to tell you that yes, I did get a haircut to "fix" my haircut, and while what I have now isn't what I had originally envisioned, I'm pretty happy with it. 

No, this post is a confession. 

I confess, here and now, that I am not immune to the pressure to look a certain way. I am not above caring about my appearance. I do not have the confidence to feel good about myself even if I don't feel good about the way I look. There. I said it. 

To be fair to myself, I do feel like I've made some improvement in this area in recent years. It's also a topic that's been on my mind recently -- the idea of beauty and "realness" and how people present themselves and what makes us happy and what it all meeeeans, man (said in my most hippie-ish voice). Those thoughts are slowly organizing themselves into a post that will hopefully have a little more purpose behind it than to simply confess. 

But for now, before I get all preachy, I just want you to know that I'm in the trenches here. I'm really, honestly and truly, figuring this out. And I will figure it out, because I really do believe all those lovely "inner beauty" sentiments that are floating around out there. I just need to internalize them.

So I'd love to know...have you ever had a bad haircut? Or some other appearance related "disaster" that made you want to disappear? Ever?

...somebody please say yes. 

Stitch Fix Maternity - May 2015

What time is it?

It's Stitch Fix time!

(And also maybe time to stop watching Bubble Guppies.)

What is Stitch Fix? Well, I'm glad you asked.

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, which is great for me!.

{my maternity stitch fix - may 2015}

This is my third maternity Stitch Fix (read about my first here and my second here). Confession: I actually discovered a way to cheat and see what was going to be in my box ahead of time (go ahead, slap my wrist), so while I wasn't necessarily surprised when I tore into my box, I was still incredibly excited!

Here's what I found...

41Hawthorn Beatrice Exposed Zipper Dolman Top ($58)

first impressions: Nice, flowy material. Could be a winner, assuming the solid black isn't too boring and the "dolman" isn't too frumpy looking. Do I have a nice, solid black top? No, I don't.

on me:

thoughts: Holy cow, I love this shirt. The black isn't too boring thanks to the cut of the shirt and the exposed zipper (which is perfectly and completely visible, thanks to my new haircut). The fabric is just the right balance of clingy and flowy, which makes the dolman style really work. I like the longer sleeve length. AND this isn't a maternity top. AND the fabric is stretchy enough, and the neckline low enough, to be perfect for breastfeeding. Really, you guys. I just love it. Just try to take it away from me. KEEP

Bancroft Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace ($34)

first impressions:  A little more than I like to spend on jewelry. 

on me:

thoughts: Obviously, a really pretty necklace. It's a good mixture of bold and classic, which is the sweet spot I like to hit with "statement" jewelry. I'd certainly wear it a lot. But the price. I just can't get over the price! Could I find this necklace for half the cost at Target or Charming Charlie? Should I be applying the same principle of "buy fewer, nicer things" to my jewelry as well as to my clothes? Help me out, guys! I really don't know! UNDECIDED.

Gilli Gabbiey Sleeveless Maxi Dress ($74)

first impressions:  Really, Stitch Fix? Another sleeveless dress?

on me:
Ha. No. Sorry. 

thoughts: No. Really, no. Besides the fact that this is sleeveless, the neckline is also too low. The fabric is more clingy than flowy, which means my hips don't lie (and it's really, really better when my hips lie nowadays). Add that to the fact that I actually already have a solid navy maternity maxi dress, and back this one goes. RETURN.

Renee C Alondra Printed Ruched Pencil Skirt ($58)

first impressions:  Excited to try this, since I specifically requested a pencil skirt! Not totally sure about the print, but it is black and white, so maybe that will help.

on me:

thoughts: It fits tighter than it looks, but it's super stretchy, so it's plenty comfortable. It's kind of awkward right now, since it's not really long enough to wear over my bump, but seems wrong somehow sitting low on my hips. The print grows on you; I think the neutral coloring really helps. Considering what I have in my closet already though, plus the price, I think this one is going back. RETURN.

Mavi Millie Maternity Straight Leg Jean ($98)

first impressions:  Oh, I hope these work. I need maternity jeans in a bad way, and I'm totally willing to splurge a bit on a good pair! DANG IT, THEY'RE MEDIUM WASH.

on me:

thoughts: I have no qualms with these jeans. I love that there's no panel (am I the only pregnant woman who hates full panels?). The straight leg leaves my legs with room to breathe. The length is way too long to wear as is, but perfect for rolling up. I could go on with things I like. BUT. I have a pair of maternity jeans that are pretty much this exact wash! DOH. The ones I have have a bit of distressing, which means they can't really be dressed up like these ones can, but still. They're pretty much the same color. And while I'd be willing to spend $100 on a great pair of jeans...I just can't spend it on some jeans that I already have. Goodbye, great jeans. RETURN. 


Another fun box! I certainly can't say too many bad things about it, since it includes what is probably my favorite Stitch Fix piece to date. I blame myself for the wash of the jeans. I should have specified that I wanted dark wash. And apparently I need to be bold and just flat out say "I DON'T WANT ANY MORE SLEEVELESS MAXIS PLEASEANDTHANKYOU."

And there you have it. My May maternity Stitch Fix. What do you think?

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that get me a reward if you're so inclined to sign up through them. Thanks a BAJILLION to the friend that did (you know who you are!). 

3 Surprising Lessons I've learned in 7 years of marriage

When I got married, at the ripe old age of 20, I knew three things:

1) I loved Dallin.
2) He loved me.
3) We could have sex now.

Sorry to be, you know, blunt about it.

...Hi, Grandma...

But seriously. That was about it.

I mean, people told me that we would fight. We never fought while we were dating, but I believed that we would fight. I believed that we would be starving newlyweds for a while. I believed that he must have some habit, buried somewhere in there, that I would just totally hate. And I even sort of half believed that there was probably something about me that he would hate, too.

So you see, I wasn't completely naive...right? Right, guys?


Okay, let's be honest. I was pretty naive. To think that marriage is all about love and sex is...well, it's extremely naive.

And I won't be naive now and pretend to know all there is to know about successful marriages, even though I'm only seven years into one. (P.S. Seven years! Happy anniversary to us!)

But I am confident in saying this: my marriage of seven years has been, and continues to be, successful. Perfect? No. Heck no. But meaningful, powerful, and full of fun, love, and learning? Yes, very much yes. And to me, that makes it a success.

So, for whatever reason, I feel motivated to share three of the most surprising lessons I've learned over these seven years. I have no idea if this will actually help anyone, or if it'll just give you a deeper glimpse into my soul...but either way, it's worth documenting, right?

So here we go:  the three most surprising lessons I've learned over seven years of marriage.

1) Commit to marriage.

Yes, marriage is about commitment. But I think people often think of it as a commitment to the other person...and I've learned it's more than that.

A few weeks ago, Dallin and I had the chance to attend a presentation by a really impressive guy -- not impressive only as an extremely successful businessman, but also as an obviously committed and devoted husband and father. He told the story of when he proposed to his wife. He asked her two questions. The first was the obvious: "Will you marry me?" She said yes. The second was a bit more unique. He said this: "I'm only going to get married once. How about you?"

Committing to a person is important, but people change. We, ourselves, change. To think that you'll be the same person forever that you are when you get married makes you just as naive as I was as a 20-year-old bride.

But if both of you are committed to marriage, right from the start, you'll be committed to working out (and learning from) your problems, instead of giving up on them. You'll want to be proactive, to set goals (together and individually), rather than to "let life happen to you." You'll fight tooth and nail to make it work, because you believe that marriage is worth fighting for.

(As an aside, I would also like to add that I understand that there are times when being "committed to marriage" might actually mean leaving the one you are in. I know that so many people are often blindsided by another person's poor choices. Obviously, commitment to marriage has to be a shared ideal in order to really work.)

I'd be lying if I told you that I never had a single thought along the lines of "Did I marry the right person?" or "Did I get married at the right time?" In the early months of my marriage, those thoughts haunted me more than once. I wouldn't say "often," but more than once. They surprised me, and they scared me a bit, but I think those doubts are normal. And for me, they helped me to learn this lesson. I had to learn that yes, I did marry exactly the right person, at exactly the right time, because that was the choice I made. This is the marriage I have. This is the marriage I'm in. The one to this amazing guy that started when I was 20 years old. And because I've learned that I need to commit to marriage, I've learned that I need to commit to this marriage, and I have to do it and show it every single day.

2) Trust is a choice.

I've had trust issues for the better part of my life. When I was very young, and into my teenage years, I was overly trusting. I kind of lived in a bubble. I got attached to people quickly and deeply. Loyalty was a given in my mind, but obviously that's not reality. When betrayal came (from various sources and at different times), it was devastating.

It wasn't until I got married, though, that I realized just how deeply I'd been affected by losing trust in others, and how it manifest itself.

I jumped to conclusions. Dallin getting off work late meant that he didn't value our time together. If he didn't answer his phone during the day, he didn't want to talk to me. If he didn't help out around the house, it meant that he didn't appreciate the work that I put into our home, and didn't care to share responsibilities with me. And all of these bad feelings would surely build up and get worse over time, and ten years down the road he'd be sick of me and our marriage, and we'd end up as a "together for the kids" kind of couple.

I would shut down regularly. If I was upset about something, I would refuse to talk to him about it, because I didn't trust him to respect my feelings and thoughts.

This all came to a head a few years ago. We had some fights about some really silly things, but they always came back to him feeling like I didn't fully trust him. And he was right. I didn't. That's hard to say and embarrassing to admit, because my husband has never done anything that would warrant losing my trust.

Long story short (too late?) I finally realized and admitted the problem I had. I got to work on fixing it, and I let Dallin help me. To say that I've grown in this area is an understatement. I'm proud of the progress I've made and the lesson I've learned.

So what is that lesson? That trust is a choice. I can choose to read into things, to jump to conclusions, and to shut down; or I can choose to give the benefit of the doubt, push away negative thoughts, and focus on the many ways that my husband shows he loves me and is worthy of my trust.

Just to clarify, major and obvious betrayal -- dishonesty, fidelity issues, financial secrets, etc. -- should lower trust in a marriage. I'm not saying someone should turn a blind eye to their spouse's indiscretions, or to clear signs of possible betrayal. But I am saying that if you have no reason to not trust your spouse, you should trust them. Fully and completely. Anything else can and will create problems that simply don't have to be there. It might seem obvious, but it's a lesson I had to learn.

3) Talk, talk, talk.

And "listen, listen, listen." But mostly, for me, "talk, talk, talk."

I'm not a very talkative person. I'll listen to you talk all day, but I won't say something unless I'm sure that what I have to say really adds to the conversation.

And if I'm not in the mood to talk at all, heaven help you if you try to force me to.

But here's the thing: my husband can't read my mind. And I can't tell you how many times my quietness has led to him feeling like I'm mad at him, or that I'm in a bad mood, or that I just don't care about what he's saying or about what's going on.

So, I've learned to talk. I've learned to give an opinion about where we go out to eat. I've learned to say "I'm sorry I'm being quiet, but I just don't think I know enough about this topic to contribute anything. But it's interesting, so keep talking." I've learned to push away any embarrassment about how I might be feeling, and to just express it -- I'm overwhelmed, I'm frustrated, I'm tired, I'm worried. I've learned that my husband would much, much rather deal with those feelings head on than be facing some unknown emotion lurking beneath the surface.

I've also learned that waiting to say something in the right way is almost always worth the wait. And it's okay to say "I'm trying to figure out the right way to say this."

Mostly, I've learned that talking about something is the best way to get it fixed. Again, seemingly obvious, right? And yet, so hard for me. But my husband is on my team. He wants to hear. He wants to know. And if he can, he wants to help. Learning to talk, even (and especially) when I don't feel like talking, has made a positive difference in our marriage.

(Side note: This article gives some great insight into communication, particularly in marriages. I love it and definitely think it's worth the read!)

I'm grateful for these lessons I've learned. They haven't come easy, that's for sure. They've caught me off guard and humbled me and changed many of my preconceived notions about romance and marriage. But they've also made me better -- more selfless, more self-aware, and more able to face and handle life's many inevitable challenges...

...with my husband at my side.

Trying New Things: April 2015

Time for a little review of some of the products I tried for the first time this month. I love trying new things and I love sharing my thoughts about the things I've tried! Here's last month's post, if you're interested.

Also, it's probably worth pointing out that I get absolutely nothing from this post. There are no affiliate links or anything in here. I'm just sharing my thoughts with my friends (that's you)!

First, a new app! Namely, Balanced.

I've been feeling "out of control" pretty often lately. Mostly with keeping up with housework, but also keeping up with my mental and physical health -- which, let's face it, isn't an easy task when you're a pregnant mommy of three, am I right? (Tell me I'm right.)

I felt like I knew the things that needed to be done, and done regularly, but I just didn't have the discipline to remember to do them or to stick to a schedule. Set reminders wouldn't work, because they would need to be set for a specific time, and that time would inevitably come when I was away from home, or changing a diaper, or eating a taco, or doing something else equally important. So I'd make a mental note to do it when I could, and...I'd forget. Plain and simple.

The thing that I've loved about Balanced is that it doesn't require you to set a specific time to do something, but it still helps you to do the things you need to do as often as you need to do them.

As an example, let's looks at where Balanced has been the biggest help for me: drinking water.

Drinking water has always been a huge stumbling block for me. I know how important it is, especially while I'm pregnant. But I just could never find a system that would help me remember to do it.


Balanced allows me to create a task that I want to do and then set how often I want to do it. Then it puts my list in priority order for me; it tells me what things I need to do now, what things I need to do soon, and when I last completed the task. 

While you can easily create whatever tasks you want, the app also has a bunch of preset tasks to help you remember to do things that you might not consider "normal" to do list items, like "self improvement," "take a deep breath," "go outside," and "call an old friend," among many, many others. 

Balanced has been the perfect solution for helping me to start forming good habits. It doesn't really work well for one-time tasks, or for things with a specific deadline, but it's wonderful for things that need to be done sometime, but regularly...if that makes sense.

Balanced is free for the first 5 tasks you track, and $3.99 to get unlimited tasks. $3.99 well spent, in my opinion!

Next, let's take a look at these: Lindt Lindor Caramel with Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Truffles

It feels borderline unfair to include these in this post, because really, is it possible that I wouldn't like dark chocolate and sea salt caramel in truffle form? It's highly unlikely, I'll tell you that.

I'll also tell you that I currently have two bags of these in my fridge. #noshame

But really, these are delicious. Even if you're not a fan of dark chocolate, I'd say these are worth a try. The chocolate isn't super dark, so it still has a good sweetness to it. 

These are great at room temperature, when the truffle filling is nice and soft and truffle-y, but I actually prefer them right out of the fridge. The filling hardens up and then melts in your mouth when you bite into it, so you basically get the best of both worlds. Or all the worlds, really.

If this flavor still doesn't seem like your cup of Dr. Pepper, I'll just go ahead and recommend Lindt Lindor truffles in general. They're amazing.

Finally, something for the kiddos: Melissa & Doug Water Wow books

These are kind of like coloring board books, except that the only thing you need to color with is water! You fill the little brush with water and then when you brush it over the pages, the colors magically appear. When the water dries, the colors disappear and they're ready to use again. 

The kiddos got these in their Easter baskets, and they've honestly been a hit, with all of them! Maddy likes carefully making sure that every inch of every page gets colored, Charly just thinks they're magic, and Parker loves being able to "color" something like his sisters. I love that they're basically as safe as you can get; the worst the kids can do with them is paint something else with water. 

They are perfect church toys for us (I am SO not above giving my kids things to keep them entertained during church!), but my kids sometimes specifically ask for them at home. They'd be great on road trips or in waiting rooms, too!

So, there you have it -- three new things I tried in April. All big winners this month! Have you tried any of these things, or tried anything new of your own lately? I'd love to hear about it! 

25 weeks

First of all, you're welcome for sparing you the tedium of a weekly pregnancy update post.

I mean, props to you if you're into that sort of thing...but at the rate that this pregnancy is flying by (aka the speed of light), the weeks kind of blur together. So even this update -- a whole 5 weeks (!!!) after my last one -- feels a little superfluous.

But inquiring minds must know, and so I will tell you how my pregnancy is going at 25 weeks.

Due date: Still August 11. We're consistent like that.

Weight gain: Approximately 17 pounds. Apparently gaining 7 pounds in one month is frowned upon, even in pregnancy. I got a little "just so you're aware" lecture from my nurse practitioner at my last appointment, and then I went home and ate my feelings. My feelings strongly resemble Oreos.

Baby size: According to my tracker app, "Baby is now about the size of a rutabaga." Maybe someday they'll reference a food I've actually eaten. Like a Costco hotdog.

Sleep: I'm exhausted. Now, 3 hours ago, 8 hours from now, all day tomorrow -- exhausted. Always. But I still am sleeping pretty well. I fall asleep much faster than usual, which is great.

Sickness: I think I'm past this for good. Maybe we'll even take this category away for the next update! The only time I really feel sick is after a heavy meal. Lighter foods agree with me way more. Or just less food in general. I've actually skipped dinner several times because I'm just not hungry, and I know that if I eat when I'm not hungry, it'll make me sick.

Aches/pains: My back has given me a couple nasty twinges in the past couple weeks, but nothing major yet. My (ahem) pelvic area and inner thighs hurt pretty frequently though, leading me to strongly suspect something like SPD. I got a super sexy support band to help out with that. I don't have to wear it all the time, but on bad days, it's really a lifesaver. And it's super sexy. I know I already said that, but it's really worth mentioning twice.

Cravings: Ha, still all the sour things! Sourdough bread and sour candy -- particularly these heavenly sour punch straw rainbow things, which are all kinds of delicious:

I would tell you all about how I can eat a whole pack of these in one sitting, but I'd hate to embarrass you.

I'll also never say no to some good french fries or a chocolate chip cookie...but that's pretty much par for my entire life, so I'm not sure those count as "cravings." It still helps to have that card to play though ("Oh man, a chocolate chip cookie from Paradise sounds SOOOO GOOD...No, we don't have to go...Are you sure?...Oh, okay then!")

And just so you don't think I'm sitting around spoon feeding myself artificially colored high-fructose corn syrup and nothing else, I'll have you know that I've also craved Asian salads, of all things. Pei Wei, I salute you.

Random: I hate to say it, but you guys...peeing. About a week ago, the frequency of this activity went from a little bit funny to really not funny. The plus side of this is that it might have something to do with the fact that I'm really focusing on drinking a ton of water (at least a ton for me). But seriously though -- I have now Googled "is there such a thing as peeing too much when pregnant?" which knocked my dignity down a few notches.

I'm also really focusing on exercise. I'm in generally terrible shape, especially when it comes to cardio, so I've just been trying to do pretty simple toning workouts. They've been awesome, though! Even that little bit of a workout seems to give me an energy and morale boost, and I'm starting to be able to do less modified versions of the exercises as I've been getting stronger. Go me!

One more thing in the "random" category: emotions. Holy guacamole. My hormones have just given up any and all efforts to help me act and think like a normal person. I cry, I get angry, I'm happy, I shut down, I get depressed, I'm loving life, I'm proud of myself, I get pissed at Dallin, I love Dallin more than anything in the world...and then it's time to get out of bed. But seriously. It all happens very quickly and very intensely. My poor, poor husband -- who, by the way, handles it more gracefully than you would think possible. Man, I love him.

So, there you have it -- 25 weeks down! It boggles my mind to think that a whole new person is going to be joining our family in just 3 short months. But I'm excited to meet you, baby girl!

5 Easy Mommy Wins We Should Be Celebrating Every Day

Like most moms, I am incredibly hard on myself. Mommy guilt is a constant battle. And mommy guilt creates mommy shaming/judging, which creates MORE mommy guilt, and it doesn’t take long before you’ve got a world (or at least a Facebook) full of moms who are mean to themselves and to each other.

Moms - I’m ready to stop. For real. Are you?

But honestly? It’s hard. I know I, for one, want to be the mom that does it all, all the time. I want to raise well-nourished, well-behaved, well-groomed kids who love Harry Potter as much as I do and wear shoes when they’re in public places. Is that really too much to ask?

But if you think about it...well, they’re kids. They’re people. They’re individuals. Some of them do not like broccoli (except this broccoli. Oh-em-gee my kids loooove this broccoli! It’s incredible). Some of them want to wear a pink skirt with a green shirt...every day. Some of them have a really hard time drinking from a cup without spilling (or purposely pouring it all over their high chair tray and then spreading it around with their hands --coughPARKERcough--).

But really, you can’t create perfect kids. Period. And frankly, perfect moms don’t exist, either.

So how to get over it? How do we accept that we have the kids we have, and that we are the moms that we are, and that that doesn’t have to mean that we inevitably end up crying in a corner at 4:00 every day (I’m working on it)?

The answer I’ve come up with, for now anyway, is simultaneously simple and complicated: positivity.

It’s so easy to focus on everything I’ve done wrong on any given day. The hours my kids have been on the iPad; the fact that I gave my 20-month-old a regular cup of milk, thinking that this time would surely be different; the clean family room that (BLINK) isn’t clean anymore; the half hour of my life that I spent falling down Facebook rabbit holes that I’ll never get back; the fact that I would honestly rather be catching up on a stupid TV show than helping my 5-year-old practice her reading. Ugh, even writing these things is bringing me down!

Why oh why is it so hard to celebrate the things that we do right? The “mommy wins,” if you will, that we have every single day? I mean, I don’t completely screw up every single day, do I? My kids end the day alive, clean...ish, safe, and (I think and hope and pray) relatively happy. So I’ve got to be doing something right...right?

So I’ve been trying to focus on the little stuff. On those tiny mommy wins that honestly and truly don’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but that actually do mean that, if nothing else, I put some thought into mothering that day. I took the liberty of making a list of common mommy wins that go uncelebrated far too often in our house; maybe they need a little recognition in yours, too.

  1. I fed my kids a fruit and/or a vegetable. I know - your vegan friend feeds her kids nothing BUT fruits and vegetables. They eat eggplant and avocado and cherry tomatoes and they don’t even flinch. But my kids? Ha. They don’t. Heck, I don’t! So when I actually feed fresh fruits or veggies to my kids (or myself), that’s a win for me!
  2. I limited my kid’s screen time. I’ll tell you what, this is not easy to do. If your kid has ever been under the spell of the Octonauts, or the Backyardigans, or (heaven forbid) Dora the Explorer, you know how difficult it is to snap them back to reality. Throw in the iPad, and it’s game over. An hour of screen time becomes four hours faster than you can say “Disney Collector.” So on those days when I’m super conscious about it and actually get my kids to step away from the screen, I WIN.
  3. I cleaned something. Anything. Want to know what “cleaning” in my house looks like? Get a pile of confetti and dump it on a table in a nice little pile. Point a table fan right at it and turn it on high. Do your best to keep the confetti in a nice little pile. Oh, I almost forgot - make sure you’re using plant-based confetti so your toddler can eat it without a trip to the emergency room. That’s key.

    Basically, cleaning with kids is hard. If something in my house is cleaner than it was when the day started, that’s a big fat win.
  4. I took my kids somewhere with me. When you have kids, or even one kid, with you, a trip to Target is an ordeal. A trip to the post office is suicide. And even just thinking the word “Costco” may be enough to land you in therapy for a few years. Even “fun” outings, like the park or a lunch playdate, become challenging when little ones are in tow. Throw in some of my social anxieties, and well, venturing out with your kids becomes a pretty big deal. I’ve been getting better at this as I get used to somehow keeping my two eyes on my three kids at all times, but I still need to count it as a win!
  5. I took some time for myself. I know you hear it all the time: “You need to recharge.” “You need to do something for yourself.” “Put on your own oxygen mask before you put on your kid’s.” Riiiight. But let’s be real - it’s not easy to do. When every potential quiet moment is interrupted with a tattle, a whine, a scream, or the sound of breaking glass, “mom time” becomes the impossible dream. So any time I make mom time happen -- whether it takes paying for a babysitter or collapsing on my bed the second my husband gets home and letting him take care of dinner -- I should really recognize that for what it is. It’s taking care of myself, and it’s a win.  

Gosh, those things seem small, right? They seem small to me. I look at that list and I think, “Well, “good” mothers do ALL these things with ALL their kids ALL the time!” And well, maybe some of them do.

But as for me, and my life, right now, I may only squeeze one or two of these wins in each day. That makes them a big deal to me. That makes them something to celebrate.

I hope I’m making sense here, guys. I hope you look at this list and maybe think about the “little” things that you do right every day. Because honestly, your wins probably look totally different than what I have listed above. But whatever they are, and how many you can say you did at the end of each day -- celebrate them. Recognize and appreciate the effort that went into every single one of them. They matter. You matter. Your effort matters. Don’t give it anything less than the standing ovation it deserves. Banish whatever mom guilt you’re feeling, and focus on what you’re doing right, even with all the odds (and, if you’re like me, the dirty dishes) stacked against you.

So tell me: what little “win” are you going to try to celebrate more often?

Stitch Fix Maternity - April 2015

Yay! It's Stitch Fix time!

{about stitch fix}

In case you haven't heard...

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, which works out just perfectly for my preggo self.

{my maternity stitch fix - april 2015}

This is my second maternity Stitch Fix (read about my first here! By the way (spoiler alert), I kept the leggings and the gray striped shirt!). I was so excited to rip into this box! Let's take a look at my treasures from this month...

Loveappella Carlita Multi Chevron Print Maxi Dress ($78)

first impressions: CRAY-CRAY print. Something I would never take a second looks at in a store. Super soft, though. Sleeveless (can be a problem since I wear my LDS garments all the time).

on me:

thoughts: Okay, I don't love the print. It's busy, very colorful (even more so in person), and gives off a hippie vibe that is not a normal part of my style. BUT. But. It is incredibly comfortable. The material is super soft and perfectly flowy and cool. It stretches well over my bump, but it's technically not a maternity dress, so I can wear post baby, too. In fact, the criss-cross opening would make this an ideal nursing dress. The coloring does work with my skin, and I thankfully have a couple cardigans that will work really well to add coverage (though I could see myself using it as a swimsuit cover, too). So basically, UNDECIDED.

RD Style Jennika Open Cardigan ($38)

first impressions: Why was I sent this? In fact, why does this cardigan exist?

on me:

thoughts: Okay, so I get why it exists. It creates a layered look. But it does nothing else. The weave is incredibly open, so it adds no warmth and no coverage. I'm still a little surprised that I even received this, since I specifically requested no layering/outerwear pieces. Once I added it to an outfit, I liked how it looked, but I just can't add it to my wardrobe. RETURN. 

Dahlya Steval Swing Knit Top ($58)

first impressions: Ooh, stripes! (Stripes are my love language, I think). And a nice casual shirt. Awesome!

on me:

thoughts: No. No no no. The bottom of this shirt just doesn't work. The front is so high that if I lift up my arms at all, my belly pops right out. And the difference between the front and the sides is just a little too drastic for my liking. Plus, the whole cut just did zero things for my figure. Super boxy. Sorry, stripes -- you cannot save this shirt. RETURN. 

Laila Jayde Darcie Knot Front Maternity Top ($28)

first impressions: Kind of plain. Looks kind of short. The color is nice.

on me:

thoughts: I could almost pass off as not pregnant from a front view in this shirt, which is incredible. It is short, like I feared, but the knot in front kind of keeps it in place. It's cute, lightweight, and different from anything else I own. I think it'll also work post-baby, which is always a plus. The downsides are that there's not much that is super WOW about it, and it's just barely see-through, so I might be self conscious about it since it looks funny with an undershirt. The price is right, but I'm still UNDECIDED. 

Tart Maternity Delanee Maternity Dress ($118)

first impressions: Holy expensive. Super pretty color and pattern, but unsure how it'll fit. Not sure if I really want it to work, or really don't want it to work. 

on me:

thoughts: Dang, guys. This color looks goooood on me. (Does that sound cocky? Whatev.) And the pattern is so cute! And the top actually works, but is still unique! But alas, I don't think this was meant to be. If it was two inches longer, we'd probably be in business. But remember my aforementioned garments? They are seriously right.there. at the hem. Any sort of lifting, sitting, bending, etc., will show them off. Oh, and the arm holes are actually kind of big, so any lifting of my arms will show off, too. Basically, any scenario other than this photo isn't going to work for this dress. However, dear dress, if you and that maxi above ever want to hook up and create a dress baby in that cut with your print, I'll be all over that. RETURN.


Well, this box was a tiny bit of a letdown, since there wasn't anything that is a super-clear keep. I'll probably end up keeping the knot-front top, since it's so cheap and I'd hate to lose my styling fee. But I'd also hate to keep something just to keep it, you know?

Was this box bad enough to turn me off from Stitch Fix? Absolutely not! I'd definitely still recommend them to anyone who needs help shopping for one reason or another. (Speaking of my recommendation, the links to Stitch Fix in this post are referral links, so signing up through them gets me a little sumpin-sumpin from Stitch Fix. Just in the interest of full disclosure, you know.)

All right, so what do you think about those undecideds? Help a sista out!

Trying New Things: March 2015

I have something of a weakness for new things. I'm a sucker for a new product to try out (within reason, of course) and if I buy something over and over again, it means that I really, really love it.

I thought I'd try putting this weakness of mine to good use by sharing with you a few of the new things I try every month. They could include food, beauty products, cleaning supplies, kitchen gadgets, get the idea. They might not all be winners, but hopefully we'll at least enjoy ourselves exploring some new things together!

So let's try this out, shall we?

First up for this month is Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara.

Mascara is my absolute favorite makeup product, and I've been trying out new mascaras for years. I have tried so, so many. In fact, I've tried enough that I've actually settled on two favorites that I'll buy repeatedly (this drugstore mascara and this high end mascara, if you're curious). So I mostly keep it to those two and don't buy many new ones. But a full size of this Rimmel one came in my Walmart Spring Beauty Box, so I tried it out.

I was actually pleasantly surprised!

The mascara gave me good separation and length, though not a ton of volume. It also didn't weigh down the curl, so that's always good. Separation is my number one requirement for a good mascara, so I'd say I'm a fan!

My biggest gripe with this is that it goes on pretty wet, which can make application a little tricky. You can see in my after picture that I even got a little bit on my lash line, even though I was being super careful. It wipes off easily though, even with a dry, cotton swab.

This mascara also claims to help your lashes grow faster. I haven't been using it long enough to say anything one way or the other on that!

Overall, if you're looking for a good, affordable mascara, I'd definitely recommend this one, especially if my beloved LashBlast doesn't work for you (some people hate it!). I'll use this tube, for sure... but I'll probably stick to my LashBlast.

Next, let's take a look at GoPicnic On-the-Go Meals and Snacks 

This was about as "impulse buy" as you can get. I literally just saw these on the shelf at Target, thought they looked interesting, and went home with three different varieties. I'm all about convenience when it comes to lunch nowadays, and all too often, that means either a drive thru or an incredibly lame meal at home. So these convenient little boxes, with everything planned and portioned out, seemed like a great fit for me.

GoPicnic's meals and snacks require no refrigeration, and they boast no trans fats, no artificial flavors/colors, no high fructose corn syrup, and no added MSG. They offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, which don't apply to my family, but cool. The calorie count is low, too -- they advertise that everything they make is under 500 calories.

Taste wise, I approve. This salami and cheese variety was my favorite. A cracker with some of the cheese spread and a slice of salami on top? Yum! It also came with a small bag of a fruit/nuts/yogurt mix, and some "chocolate pillows" which were pretty yummy. All pretty small portions, but surprisingly filling. Certainly enough for a small lunch for me, though certainly NOT enough for a small lunch for my husband.

Unfortunately, looking at the nutrition facts, and based on my limited knowledge of nutrition, I'd hardly call these healthy. The variety I liked best was pretty packed of saturated fats and sodium. I guess since it was replacing a whole meal, that could be acceptable, especially if you're not watching what you eat at all (--raises hand--) but anyone wanting an exceptionally healthy lunch might be disappointed. Some of the other options might be better.

I also tried the "turkey slices and cheddar" variety (just okay), and I had my three-year-old try the "peanut butter and crackers" variety. Charly loved the "special lunch in a box" thing, and she liked and ate most of the food, but surprisingly, she absolutely hated the fruit snacks they included. She actually used the word "disgusting." So there's that.

Overall, if you're looking for something super convenient that is probably a better, cheaper choice than most fast food, I'd say these fit the bill. I can totally see us buying these for our kids (or even for myself) for long car trips or future airplane rides. And I might keep some on hand for lunches on busy/tired days, too.

Aaand finally, let's talk about John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray.

Oh, my hair. In its natural, air dried state, it's weirdly flat at the roots, frizzy/poofy in the middle, and just blah at the ends. It has serious curl in some places, gentle wave in others, and is pretty straight in a few random spots. Seriously, guys, it's a gigantic mystery.

So I end up blow drying and either straightening or curling it into sort of submission, which I'm sure causes all kinds of damage. It also takes waaaay too much time to do. So I've been trying to embrace my hair for what it is, to help minimize the damage to my hair and my schedule. I've been on the hunt for products that will allow me to air dry it and then just touch up with the hot stuff, hopefully ending up with some nice waves.

Well, I've tried an awful lot of products, and I'm pretty comfortable saying that this is the best one so far!

It helps a ton with the general frizz that seems to pop up as my hair dries, but it doesn't ruin any of the natural curl. It doesn't dry crispy (a huge plus for a curly hair product!) and doesn't add any weight to my roots. I also love that it's a spray, which makes it easy to distribute evenly through my hair.

I've used this a few times. In fact, I used it this morning, and it pretty much gave me exactly what I wanted. I let my hair air dry and ultimately spent literally three minutes touching it up with my flat iron and curling wand. I am so impressed!

(got to love the weirdly backlit, at-the-office selfie, taken seconds before your husband walks in for a work meeting. #winning)

So there you have it -- three new things I tried in March! Did you try anything new? Anything I should check out?

20 weeks

20 weeks down, 20 to go!

Just thought I'd give you a little glimpse into what this pregnancy is like for me right now, since I haven't really documented it at all and someone, somewhere might actually want to know (even if it's just future me).

Due date: August 11 (all my measurements have been right on for this, so it hasn't changed!)

Weight gain: Approximately 10 pounds. Possibly 11 since I just ate some In-n-Out for lunch. My belly has definitely perma-popped and my belly button is fighting to stay an innie.

Baby size: According to my tracker app, "Baby is now about the size of a Belgian endive." (And I'm like....riiiiight.)

Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty good. Not proportionately to how tired I am, but whatever. I already get up at least once to pee. On a positive note, I'm finally enough of a grownup that I can pee in the middle of the night without turning on the light! No applause necessary.

Sickness: The continual sickness has ceased --thank goodness-- but every once in a while I get a weird wave of nausea that hits hard and fast, and hangs around for a while. The best way to keep it at bay is to eat pretty consistently throughout the day, but I have to eat just the right amount. And if I start to feel sick, it's over. It's a pretty delicate balance. My body is pretty picky this time around.

Aches/pains: Speaking of my picky body, it's just not really capable of handling much this time around. Everything is apparently much looser and weaker when you're on your fourth pregnancy, which equals everything being much achier, much faster. I can't be on my feet long without feeling pain from the waist down. #everythingisawesome No back pain yet, though, which has been the bane of my existence during my other pregnancies.

Cravings: My two consistent cravings have been: (1) sourdough bread (lightly toasted with butter. YUM) and (2) sour candy (the sour-er the better. Most things aren't sour enough). But it's not like those things taste good all the time, and there are plenty of other things that I want pretty badly, pretty often (helllllo, dark chocolate). My big anti-craving has been pizza. Ugh. No matter where it's from, it's always too greasy and while I can stomach eating it, it makes me feel so gross afterwards. Not cool, since pizza is obviously delicious and convenient.

Random: We just found out last week that we're having a baby GIRL, which the girls are both thrilled about, since, according to them, "We already have a baby boy." Baby girls are so fun in so many ways, so we're excited! She mostly cooperated during her ultrasound, but apparently the tech was unable to get very good angles on her head, so we're having to schedule another ultrasound in 6 weeks to hopefully get a better look. Also, she's a total wiggle worm! I feel her move way more often than I was feeling Parker at this point. That's easily my favorite part of pregnancy, so I'm loving it.

My first Stitch Fix Maternity box!

{about stitch fix}

You've probably heard of Stitch Fix by now, but in case you haven't...

Stitch Fix is basically an online personal styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces chosen just for you, based off of your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can then choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and return what you don't love in your return bag (prepaid postage provided). AND your $20 styling fee gets applied to anything you buy! So that's cool. And if you happen to get a slam dunk of a box, you get 25% off for buying everything in it.

Pretty cool, right?

{stitch fix and me}

I signed up with Stitch Fix several months ago, but didn't actually commit to having a box shipped to me. I was turned off a bit by the higher prices of the items. Plus, I usually actually enjoy shopping -- so why would I want someone else to do it for me?

So what changed?

Well, a few things.

(1) I got sick of my Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions. That may seem entirely unrelated, but let me explain. While I decided that the whole sample-sized-beauty-product-with-the-occasional-full-sized-eyeliner-which-I-never-wear thing wasn't for me, I loveloveloved getting my boxes every month. It was so fun to have something special show up just for me -- something that I didn't have to put any effort into finding or choosing. It was such a special treat. So basically, canceling these subscriptions left a $20-for-a-subscription-box sized hole in my heart.

(2) I got pregnant. With my FOURTH baby. FOURTH babies make their presence known. Quickly. They make you too big for your regular clothes. They make you too tired to shop. And the very fact that it's your FOURTH means that you basically have to make any and all buying decisions on the fly in the store, since your existing three children have the patience of your bladder (i.e. zero. Zero patience).

(3) I discovered how many of my old maternity clothes are worn out or have changed shape or whatever since being washed. I've also been trying to adjust my style just a bit -- making it a little more age appropriate and sophisticated, while still keeping it comfortable and casual. Those things, plus the fact that I was desperate to just feel cute instead of bloated, made me much more amenable to the idea of spending a little bit more on my clothes.

(4) Stitch Fix announced that they were now offering maternity-specific styling.

Well, all those things combined made Stitch Fix look pretty darn attractive. So I updated my style profile and scheduled my first fix!

{my maternity stitch fix}

So, box came yesterday! I probably don't have to tell you that I basically starting ripping the box open before the front door was even shut after I picked it up. And then I started trying things on! Here's what was in my box:

LA Made Maternity Laina Maternity Knit Top ($68)

first impressions: pretty color, super soft fabric

styling suggestions: 

on me: 

thoughts: I love the neutral color of this top, and the fabric is super soft. has a weird tank top layer underneath it (I'm guessing to make it a nursing top also, which is cool) that made the fit weird and created some weird lines on the fabric. That, especially for the higher price, equals RETURN. 

Mur Mur Carlie Hooded Vest ($58)

first impressions: This is something I would never, ever buy for myself, but love the look of when it's styled into a full outfit. Nice that it's something I could wear after the baby, too. A little bit edgy, which is fun and different. 

styling suggestions:

on me:

thoughts: Honestly, I didn't give this vest much of a chance, so I just threw it on over the casual dress I was wearing yesterday. I'm sure it would look better all styled up like on the card. But the truth is...I'd never wear this. My style is a lot simpler than that. Plus, it's already over 90 degrees here, so adding even half of another layer is just out of the question until October. Sorry, vest. You're cool. It's not's me. RETURN. 

Loveappella Maternity Davidi Button Detail Maternity Top ($48)

first impressions: Oh, yeah. This is definitely something I would have picked out for myself. Perfect blend of casual and put together. Oh, and stripes!

styling suggestions:

on me:

(and a close up so you can see the cute buttons on the shoulders):

thoughts: Very comfortable. 3/4 sleeve could get hot, but it doesn't need an undershirt and the fabric is super lightweight, so it should be fine even in the summer. Could be dressed up or down. Room for the bump to grow. Winner winner chicken dinner. KEEP.

Rune Porter Maternity Legging ($58)

first impressions: Ooh, these are going to be hard to let go of. I've heard so many people sing the praises of maternity leggings, and a single quality pair would get me through this whole pregnancy, I'm sure, since I don't wear them too often. 

styling suggestions:

on me: (ha, this is the worst picture ever. Don't worry, they're just black leggings.)

thoughts: Wow, so comfortable! They are even full panel (something which I usually hate) and I didn't mind at all. They feel like they're supportive but they don't make my legs look like sausages stuffed into casing. They're just...lovely. BUT, they're also expensive! Could I find similar quality leggings for significantly cheaper? Help me on this one, peeps! UNDECIDED. 

Octavia Chanelle Floral & Lace Infinity Scarf ($34)

first impressions: So pretty! And who doesn't love a great scarf?

styling suggestions:

(um, thanks?)

on me:

thoughts: Ugh, I love this scarf. Easily the prettiest scarf I've ever worn. It has the floral pattern on one side and the cream lace on the other. The colors are lovely and work well with my skin. Two problems: the price (this is way more than I would usually even consider paying for a scarf), and the fact that I wouldn't be able to wear until fall. But honestly, it's cute enough to have me still considering it. UNDECIDED. 


It was so fun getting my first Stitch Fix; fun enough to make up for the fact that there was only one thing that was a no-brainer keeper. I do take some responsibility for that: I failed to tell my stylist about the impending, debilitating heat that is already descending on my city. I think that would have made a difference. 

Also...the prices. I knew that was going to be an issue from the beginning. I think that's really going to be a matter of changing my mindset about clothes. I need to learn to buy nicer things less often, and to use key pieces in various outfits. I mean, if that gray striped shirt I'm keeping, for example, replaces two cheap $14 shirts I might buy elsewhere, then it evens out (with my $20 taken off). And if those leggings keep me from buying an extra pair of jeans that I may or may not ever wear because they only look so-so, then they're worth it, too! I just need to get into that mindset: quality and versatility versus more cheap stuff. 

So, help me out on my undecideds, por favor! And if you want to try this fun service out for yourself, check out Stitch Fix here!

I'm working on it

Wow, you guys. Just wow.

As you may or may not have noticed, the last thing I wrote on this little bloggy blog of mine got passed around, well, quite a bit. It was... new. And freaky. And wonderful. And validating.

And, ultimately... stifling.

Because, quite frankly, I felt pressure. Pressure to write something else that that many people would care to read.

And then you throw in the goings on of everyday life and it's like, "Not only do I have to come up with something great to write about, but I have to find the time to write it?"

And then you struggle coming up with a new routine when your daughter starts a new preschool year.
And then you get slammed with birthday season.
And then you travel a bit.
And then the holidays come.
And then you get pregnant.
And then you throw up (repeat this step often).
And then you start to feel the serious need to do something for yourself, because sanity may not be overrated after all.

And then your mind drifts over to that little blog you love but so often neglect, and you think "Gah, it's been so ridiculously long since I wrote anything. Anything I say is just going to sound lame."

Which quickly becomes "I'm never writing again."

And that makes you sad.

And maybe, if you're lucky, some random Thursday will come when you pick up one of your favorite books and you start rereading it. And you realize that those sadness-inducing voices inside your head just don't have to be there. They're just nasty little gremlins trying to convince you that you're not good enough.

And you'll say, "Gosh dang it, I miss writing on my blog."

And you'll want to write on your blog.

So you do.

And maybe no one will ever visit my blog again, or maybe someday I'll look back at that number of visitors I got on that one day in June and I'll laugh at how big I thought it was.

But it won't really matter either way, because this is for me.