Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All tied up

I LOVE this dress.

There's something so classy about a navy dress.
And that statement necklace brings the look to another level!
You can purchase it {HERE}.
On sale for only $29!!!

Thinking this might be appropriate to wear to a certain baby boy's Christening,
 or even Easter.
The price is definitely right!

Happy shopping!

~image via Tobi~

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Enchilada Bake

File this simple one under "Weeknight Meals".
Original recipe via Weight Watchers.

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 jar enchilada sauce (10-12 oz.)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1 can refrigerator biscuits (16 oz.)
~ 1-1/2 c shredded lite Mexican cheese

Black beans

Lite sour cream
Green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, saute onion and green pepper in a teaspoon of olive oil.
Add meat and cook through.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain meat.
Add rinsed beans and/or corn, if so desired.

Add sauces and stir to combine.
Open biscuit dough and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.
Add to mixture and stir to combine.

Place entire contents into an ~ 8"x11" casserole dish.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
(Test with toothpick to see if biscuits are done.  Bake additional ~5 minutes if needed!)
Add shredded cheese and cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand/set for 5 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and green onions!

Pretty easy...and tasty!  And even better leftovers.

~image via recipe diaries / photos by b~

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pregnancy truths

As I hit the 35 week mark today (only ~ 1 month to go!!),
I think it's time I scare the shit out of you early preggos and get real.
*WARNING: This post is NOT PG-13.*
(Although with MTV's "Sixteen and Pregnant", maybe it should be.)

First of all, why is it common knowledge that pregnancy is only 9 months?
It is 10 months, g'damnit. TEN MONTHS.
40 weeks.
Divided by 4 (# of weeks in a month).
That is 10.  TEN MONTHS.
If it were 9 months, I'd be preparing to give birth, like, right now.
Now that I have that off my chest...

This is what society thinks being pregnant is like:
(and honestly, how I felt through the the beginning of my third trimester)
Glowing.  Beautiful.  Perfect.
Your bump is adorable and you are generally carefree.

Here is what I actually fricking feel like (and probably look like) right now:

Current ailments...

Huzz had to make a late-night Tums run because since ~32 weeks, it feels like someone dumps Sriracha down my throat every time I eat or drink anything.  (I now truly empathize with all my patients with GERD.  It's no joke.)  Currently sleeping at 45 degrees and occasionally vomiting up acid.

Back Ache
The dull, constant kind where no position is acceptable.  I guess a 30-ish lb weight gain (all in your belly) will do that.  (Aside:  I shouldn't really complain about 30 lbs...I keep hearing horror stories from friends about 60-80 lb pregnancy weight gains.  YIKES.  I'm just hoping not to top my lanky husband on the scales!  I'm already well past any numbers I've personally ever seen.  Fingers crossed!)
Back to the back aches...I pretty much have to stand or sit on one of these for almost every waking hour.  (One of these balls better be in my birthing suite or there will be hell to pay.)

"Round Ligament Pain"
What is that, you ask?  This is the name they give to your stiff, achy hips and groin, as they stretch out for birth.  To me, it just feels like my legs are going to snap off whenever I change position.

Nose Bleeds
Oh yeah, here is what I look like most mornings:

Damn increased vascularity, low platelets, & dry winter air.
You should see my gums when I brush my teeth! Thought I had TB for a second. 

Frequency of potty time is increasing at an alarming rate.  I used to shun gas station bathrooms.  Now I will pee at Target upon entering and exiting with no qualms.  I am up at least 3 times per night to pee.  Contemplating wearing a diaper when I take my NP Boards.

Leaking, Sore Nipples
TMI? Too freaking bad.  Applying lanolin ointment and wearing nursing pads since Christmas.  At least I know my mammaries will be ready to go!
(P.S.  Should I be pumping and selling this liquid gold on ebay?!)

Leg Cramps & Swelling
Starting to pick-up in intensity.  Wearing my nursing compression socks daily to prevent actual cankles and/or spider veins from exploding out.  My wedding rings barely fit right now.
Note to self:  You need to drink more water STAT.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Woke up the other morning with a completely numb and tingling right hand and thought I was having a stroke.  (Combined with my preggo brain/word finding difficulty, a stroke (or at least a TIA) was a real concern.) Speaking of which, preggo brain should make NP Boards even easier - but that's a rant for another day.  Supposedly the carpal tunnel symptoms never completely go away until you give birth, so get used to it sister.

Braxton-Hicks Contractions
Read:  False labor.  The contractions started the night after my shower (probably over-did it)...and have re-occurred twice this past week.  I am paranoid that my little man is going to come early!  Thankfully, they have gone away on their own after rest, water, & baths.  But they still scare the shit out of me!  Currently practicing deep breathing and trying to take it easy.

And here is my sweet husband...

Yep, you guessed it.
Cutting.  My.  Toenails.
Because I can no longer reach them and they were starting to look gnarly.
I wonder how he'd feel about tackling my pubes next?
Because I can't see my own lady parts anymore either.
(True love is great, isn't it?)

In case that isn't enough to freak you out, here are the
Pregnancy Pearls of Wisdom,
shared by our adorable (and heavily-accented) Chinese birthing instructor, Quiyan:

"Don't buy too many newborn clothes.  They grow like little weeds."
(Uh-oh! I literally have enough 0-3 month clothes to be an Octomom.)

"Breastfeeding is like taking your nipples to the gym 10 times a day.  They going to be very sore."  True dat.

"When your water breaks, make sure you call the doctor and tell him about your 'taco'." 
(Note:  this refers to the time-amount-color-odor of your amniotic fluid... the sexual innuendo of taco-to-crotch was apparently lost in cultural translation.  It was not, however, lost on my husband who was laughing so hard he almost had to exit the classroom.)

"I'm not going to lie. You going to be sore for very long time after you gives birth."
(Insert lecture about episiotomy care, Tucks pads for vaginal itching and/or hemorrhoids, the need for pre-birth perineal massage, sitz baths, post-partum super absorbency menstrual pads, no sex or exercise for 4-6 weeks, etc. here.  They do NOT tell you these things before you decide to get knocked up, kids, that is for sure.)
(And for those who don't know, "Perineal Massage" = 
a fancy way of saying "stretch that shit out".)

Thanks, Quiyan.
Thanks a lot.

But in all honesty,
I know these aches, pains, & inconveniences are all part of the process.  Consider it initiation into the club. Part of the beauty and experience of being a mother.  An experience I know I am fortunate to have!
(Just wait until the teenage years and maybe then we can complain.)

Despite all these physical ailments, I have personally yet to consume even six Tylenol this whole pregnancy.  It's really not that  bad.  Albeit frustrating, it is certainly tolerable.  People are suffering from FAR worse ailments every single day.

If that isn't enough incentive, do yourself a favor and read this:

You will certainly not feel alone in your pregnancy woes.
In fact, you will probably feel better about yourself and your experience.
I mean, at least I haven't had to have an impacted turd evacuated out of my ass. (Yet.)

Perhaps Quiyan's greatest Pregnancy Pearl of Wisdom is that all of this "pain"
is "pain with a purpose"...
Knowing that the end result is our sweet little boy makes it all okay - and worth it!!

I cherish feeling everyone of his little kicks and jabs.
I love hearing his healthy heartbeat.
I am grateful that he is growing bigger and stronger everyday.
...even if it means more aches (and pounds) for me!

So long as he his healthy and happy, I am thankful for this experience and wouldn't change a single damn thing.  I would (and, God-willing, will) do pregnancy over and over again.

Your dad and I cannot wait  to meet you, Baby A!!
It is unfathomable how much we love you already.

And hang in there, fellow friends in delicate conditions.
There is light (and wine!...and sushi!...) at the end of the tunnel!

~photos by b / images via pinterest &

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Easy like Sunday morning

Trying to keep zen on this sunny, snowy Sunday morning
as I hit the books hard.

(NP Boards quickly approaching!!)

(It's NBA All-Star weekend, which means my husband will ditch me for the TV.
So there really is no legitimate excuse not to!)

Here we are at Rochambo on Brady St., studying/reading.

P.S.  Their "chai chocolatte" is AMAZING.
If you're in Milwaukee, you seriously must try it!

~image via truly / photo by b~

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another case for leather leggings

These looks inspire me.
(And prove that leather leggings can be chic!)

Combining the leather with pink & ivory almost makes it look sweet & romantic.
(And still utterly sexy.)

I love the combo of a hard leather + soft fur.
(Besides, Olivia can pretty much pull off any look effortlessly.)

Killer booties.

Black-on-black never looked so good.

Good grief, that cape is adorable.

Which leather leggings look(s) could you see yourself in?

~images via elements of style, pinterest, because i'm addicted x 2, 9 to 5 chic~

Friday, February 24, 2012

Styling the nightstand

I think doing so not only really brings a bedroom together,
but also showcases your personality and style.

Some of my favorites...

All of these bedrooms looks so "put together".
Unfortunately, if I took a picture of my nightstands right now
they would look nowhere near as fabulous.
I sense an upcoming project!

~images via belle maison~

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five favorite things

Here are some of the things I'm loving at this very moment...

Green Smoothies.
So many fruits & veggies!  Truly "health" in a glass. :)
My favorites? My version of Gwyneth's Kale Juice {HERE} or any concoction from The Green Kitchen in Milwaukee's Public Market.
Looking forward to trying this recipe next:

All things BABY.
Even this:  

Feather earrings.
So fun!

Stair decals.
Namely, I want to do this to my staircase right now!


Laughs & naps.
I currently find myself in a sleep-deprived & often physically uncomfortable state.
But with an amazing man by my side (and knowing that an amazing little one will soon be joining our duo!),
I am able to sail by on laughs & naps.

~images via coco+kelley, google plus, because i'm addicted, & pinterest x 2~

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diane von Furstenberg

...for Bed Bath & Beyond?
Yes, it's true!
Some cute and colorful finds, for sure.

I'd have to say my favorite is the pom pom rug for the bathroom:

Fun, right?
$29.99 each {HERE}

I think they'd even work well in a kitchen.

I especially love the bright combo of navy + aquamarine...

May have to scoop a couple of these rugs to get me started!

Have you checked out the DVF Studio line at BB&B?
If so, what were your favorites?

~image via Bed Bath & Beyond, coco+kelley x 2~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Antiquing in Milwaukee, Part 2

The other weekend, we hit up 4 more places in downtown Mil.
{Our first excursion - HERE}
So much amazing stuff!!
I lost wind and couldn't make the 3rd floor of one emporium, so we will definitely be back!

A montage of my favorites....
(Seriously, Bob and Cortney Novogratz.  You NEED to come to Milwaukee!)

With a little re-upholstering, this chair could be AMAZING.

Adore the simple glass chandeliers.

Mood lighting!

Cute office chair. 

Perfect for a kitchenette!

70's done right.

Very mod.  I picture a Mad Men themed poker party happening here.

Such a shindig would not be complete without a pair of unique rocks glasses.

Hard to tell, but this duo is pink and charcoal!
Perfect for a ladies' walk-in closet or powder room.

More luggage...

How cute would this little travel bag be for an Ivy League alum?!

Bangles = arm party possibilities.

Fur trim...

...and lace.
(Side note:  My husband and I often question why we weren't in our prime in the 50's.  Minus the whole lack of womens' rights and social standing, of course.)

Don't even get me started on the amazing-ness of this signage...

I was frantically searching for, say, a "Highway A" to match up with this:

No such luck, but there were still some awesome things!

That "children at play" sign would kick ass in a playroom or nursery!

As would one's own very own carousel horse!

Or fire engine!

Transparent AND black globes.  I die!

Sweet wine racks.

And old Fiesta-ware.
I think this aubergine pitcher would make a stunning vase.

A nice set of outdoor furniture...
which could be so fun with a bright coat of spray paint!

An at-home bar...straight from an ice-cream shoppe.

I think this pair of paintings would be so beautiful in a black & white space...

Speaking of art (which was really the whole purpose of our scouring),
Riverview Antique Market had quite the selection, 
from paintings to sculptures to signage to local pieces...albeit pricey.

Which brings us to what we actually purchased...

Yep, don't think that vintage I-94 Wisconsin sign didn't catch our eyes!!
Now just to figure out what to pair it with...

And if you can't find your first initials,
maybe you'll luck out and find your last name initials!
Which so happen to be the same as the last major U.S. railroad to switch from steam to diesel in the year you were born.  SCORE!

The huzz snagged a few more vintage ties,
and I got myself some fun colored bangles and a 50's black patent leather clutch.

Antiquing tip:  ALWAYS negotiate.
You can typically expect to get your item for 20-25% off the listed price.
So don't be shy!  And go for 30%.
What have you got to lose? (Besides your own money!)

I'm exhausted again just looking at this post.
And still salty about an adorable abacus for the nursery that I "lost" to an old lady.

Until next time!

~photos by b~