Life


Christmas Recap! Family / Fitness / Life

I haven’t updated recently because we went on vacation to visit my family for Christmas! We drove up on Tuesday morning and stayed until yesterday morning.

The drive to Atlanta was long and boring. I made sure to pack some healthy snacks, though! I packed some Powercrunch bars, chocolate rice cakes, and peanut butter. It’s really easy to eat poorly while on the road so it’s important to plan ahead!

Once we got settled at my parents house, we went to Atlantic Station to go ice skating. I didn’t skate because I had M in her wrap, but it was still so fun watching my dad and sisters skate! After skating, we went to a restaurant called Yard House and it was amazing! I loved all the different food options. There were so many different combinations of flavors that I hadn’t seen before. I wanted to try one of everything! We all split a few appetizers and I got a pastrami benedict burger (yes, that is as good as it sounds!).

christmas in atlanta

Wednesday morning I went to the gym with my mom and we worked shoulders and back with her trainer. After the gym, we spent Wednesday lounging around and taking family photos. I also went to Target to pick up a last minute Christmas Eve dress for M. The one I brought was too small. She’s getting so big! On Thursday, Mike and I went to the YMCA and played racquetball and it was so much fun! We were there for an hour and had such a great time! Racquetball is a great workout.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing before going to Waffle House for dinner- a tradition- and going to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at my parents church.

christmas in atlanta

Christmas Day was a blast as well! We opened presents and had a delicious meal. I got a lot of great gifts! One of my favorite gifts was from my sister. She knows that I’ve really been enjoying cooking lately so she got me some cookbooks with a bunch of healthy, simple recipes. I can’t wait to start trying some of them this week! Side note: how cute is M!?!

christmas in atlanta

We spent Friday and Saturday lounging around the house (are you sensing a theme here?). Mike and I went to the YMCA again on Saturday to play racquetball again and had a ton of fun. I also worked legs that day. We also met up with my friend Becca for brunch and my friend Meghan for dinner! I hadn’t seen either of them in almost a year so it was awesome to catch up!

On Sunday, we relaxed, went to Trader Joe’s, went to a family friends house for an engagement party, then Monday we drove home!

We had such a good trip. I don’t see my family very often usually, so it was nice to spend some time with them. I’ve seen them more this year than the past few years combined, mostly due to M being born. Now that everything has settled down, I’m not sure when I’ll see them next. Life is kind of starting back up again with me going back to work next week (more on that at another time) so it will be interesting to see how and where things fall into place.

What did you do during the holiday vacation?

Carrie Signature


Feeling Good + Fish Tacos with Citrus Pico de Gallo and Spicy Cream Sauce Fitness / Life

This week has been a good week so far! I’ve had the chance to do my hair and makeup and spend some time out of the house which has made a world of difference in my confidence.

M had a scary episode last week where she spit up a little bit of blood. After a lot of crying (on my part) and a trip to the pediatrician, we found that she has bad reflux. I suspected reflux, but didn’t realize it was so bad that it was making her esophagus bleed! Poor baby. Monday we had a follow up appointment so I had an opportunity to get dressed and go out into the world! Moms of infants, you know how important and exciting this is! I’m still living in yoga pants, but I’ve come up with ways to dress them up to make them cuter.

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I got the vest from Kroger- yes, the grocery store. There is a Kroger near us that is so insane! It has a clothing sections, shoes, and even a jewelry store! The shirt is from JC Penny and the yoga pants are from, of course, Target.

Yesterday was my friends birthday and I was able to get dressed up again! I didn’t get a picture of my whole outfit, but I did my makeup and I felt great! Bonus points: I did my makeup while holding a fussy baby. Mom win!

Monday night I wanted to make a healthy dinner. We’ve started using MyFitnessPal to track our food again, so I wanted to make something low calorie and protein packed! My husband loves fish tacos so I decided to whip up my own pico for some yummy fish tacos!

fish tacos mango pineapple pico

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Mango Pico de Gallo and Spicy Cream Sauce

Servings: 4
Amount per serving: 297 calories- 37g carbs- 8g fat- 26g protein

Ingredients

For Pineapple Mango Pico de Gallo

  • 1 1/2 c chopped tomato
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 2 tbs diced jalapeno
  • 1 c. diced pinapple
  • juice of 1 mango
  • 1 tbs lime juice

For Spicy Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 c light sour cream (you could also use plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tbs jalapenos
  • dash cayenne pepper

For Tacos

  • 4 tilapia filets
  • salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray

mango pineapple pico de gallo

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine all pico ingredients. Cover and refrigerate ideally for 4 hours or longer before serving.
  2. In a blender, combine sour cream, jalapenos, and cayenne. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a skillet over medium high heat, spray your skillet and add tilapia filets. add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste and let cook 3-4 minutes per side or until fish flakes when cut into.
  4. Put fish into tortillas, spoon some spicy cream sauce on the fish, then top with pico de gallo.

These were such a hit! I love love LOVE how the pico turned out as well. It may be winter, but summer flavors are still winners in my book!

Carrie Signature


Things They Don’t Tell You || Labor and Delivery + Post-Partum Care Life

Part one of this series talked about Things They Don’t Tell You about Pregnancy. In part two of this series, I want to talk a little bit about labor, delivery, and post-partum care. These parts of pregnancy and birth aren’t discussed nearly enough. Even if you buy books on pregnancy, they either don’t cover this part or you’ve stopped reading by the time you get to it because you get caught up in pregnancy. Babies aren’t born without delivery, though, and every delivery has post-partum recovery, so here are some things I wish I knew.

  1. You cannot be shy during delivery (or afterwards)
    I only have experience with vaginal delivery, so I can’t speak for C-section mamas, but if you are delivering vaginally, everyone will see all of you. Between cervical checks, catheter insertion, and other things (you know, laying spread eagle pushing a baby into your doctor’s face), you will have people in your business your entire labor (and after). If your baby isn’t “sunny side up,” it gets even better as you may have to lay on all fours to get the baby to flip. There is no time to be shy.All that being said, the people who are seeing you are professionals. It’s nothing they haven’t seen before and everything they are doing is for the good of your baby to make sure you have a smooth delivery. If you’re uncomfortable, just try to relax and remember the reason behind everything.
  2. You will need to make immediate decisions
    Who will cut the umbilical cord? Will you do skin to skin? What will you do if your baby is taken to the NICU? Will your significant other stay with you or go with the baby? Do you want your baby to be given his or her Vitamin K shot (can prevent bleeding in the brain)? Goop in their eyes? Research these things so you can make informed decisions on the fly.
  3. Be ready for change
    While everyone may have some sort of plan going into labor and delivery, things tend to work a little differently once you’re there. Be prepared for things to change. Maybe you stop dilating and they need to dilate you using medication or other means. Be ok with that and research those options so you can make a decision or let your doctor know that you have a preference. Maybe you labor for too long and your baby goes into distress- be prepared for a C-Section. Maybe you wanted an epidural but you progressed too quickly so you can’t have one. There are so many variables when giving birth, you have to be open to change! A change in plans doesn’t mean failure. If you decide to get that epidural after swearing you’d go med free, it’s ok! Do what’s best for you and your baby.
  4. Pushing out the baby isn’t the end!
    After the baby comes, you will deliver your placenta. If your placenta doesn’t come out, the doctor may have to find a way to get it out. After that, you’ll get a fun massage on your belly to make sure everything that needs to be out of your uterus immediately is out. This is called a fundal check. It hurts. I won’t lie to you. But you may be so busy doing skin to skin with your baby that you won’t notice. Fundal checks will be done regularly while you’re in the hospital to make sure your uterus is shrinking back to the size it should be. If you tear, you will also get stitched up before they let you assume your regular laying position.
  5. You will bleed- a lot
    You may tear during delivery.  You may need an episiotomy to help the baby come out (I’ll let you Google that one). You won’t notice the bleeding during the actual delivery, but you will bleed after delivery for days- if you’re lucky. Your body is essentially going through a huge period. 10 months of uterine lining is being shed which can be terrifying when you’re the one who’s bleeding. Don’t worry! Bleeding and passing clots are normal. You may fill multiple thick pads per day at the beginning and that’s ok. Over time, bleeding will decrease and stop all together. It may take weeks, but it will subside. Always talk to your doctor if you feel you are bleeding far more than normal.
  6. You will be sore
    For a lot of women, myself included, post partum hurts more than delivery. If you tear, you will be sore for a few days. That’s normal! You may also swell- also normal. You may get a peri bottle in the hospital- USE IT! This bottle is filled with water and used to “wipe” after using the bathroom so you don’t have to put pressure on stitches. Your hospital may also provide you with an antiseptic spray, tuck pads (witch hazel pads), and some ice packs. I didn’t prefer the icepacks, but other women swear by them. Take as much as you can when you leave so you can continue your pain management routine at home. As always, talk to your doctor if you feel you’re in more pain than you should be.

Now, reading all that may make it seem terrifying but, honestly, you will look back and you won’t remember all the crappy parts of it because it brought you a beautiful baby. Funny how your mind can make you forget things like that! Also, keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. I didn’t have a terrible labor and delivery, but my post-partum experience was horrible. Some people may have a long labor and delivery but an easy post-partum. Every experience is different, but it may ease your mind to know what could happen.

If you’ve been through labor, delivery, and post-partum, what would you add?

Carrie Signature


Things They Don’t Tell You || Pregnancy Life

Pregnancy is an amazing time in life. It’s pretty amazing that the human body can grow another human in 10 months. Looking back, it’s insane to me that the 3mm dot we saw on an ultrasound screen back in March grew to be my Maddie.

You hear about all the joys of pregnancy often. An adorable belly, little kicks from the inside, longer hair (thanks, prenatals!), funny cravings… but there are so many things that I wish someone had warned me about! From pregnancy things I didn’t know about to parenting things I wasn’t told- there are so many things I wish I had been clued in on! I wanted to share some of those things in a series of posts.

Today: Things They Don’t Tell You || Pregnancy

  1. Morning sickness isn’t just for mornings
    Morning sickness, lunch time sickness, afternoon, evening, and night time sickness. It’s just sickness. For me, I felt sick every morning and every afternoon as soon as I’d get home from work. Like clockwork. What can you do to help? Ginger ale, ginger tea (Yogi makes a great ginger tea- very strong, though!), sour candies, saltines…all can help. If you want to go the medicine route, unisom and vitamin b6 works well for many women. You can also talk to your doctor about taking Zofran or another anti-nausea medication if you’re really sick.
  2. You won’t get many ultrasounds
    Going into pregnancy, you may think you’ll get ultrasounds often. Not the case! The majority of your appointments won’t last more than 15 minutes. Ultrasounds are most common on your first visit (to see the tiny little dot that is your baby), your anatomy scan (to make sure all organs are growing right- and to find out the sex!), and to measure growth at the end of your pregnancy. While this can be a bummer, it’s a good thing! Ultrasounds are only common practice if there’s some sort of issue that needs to be monitored. Most of the time, if you don’t have many ultrasounds, you’re considered low risk- a good thing!
  3. Aches and pains are common
    And it’s ok to call your OB about them! Cramping can be a common occurance which is a scary thing. Constipation causes incredible pain and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t call my OB due to that. It can be scary but, most of the time, minor cramping and pain here and there are totally normal. Keep in mind that your insides are being pushed and squeezed into new locations to make room for your baby!
  4. Panty liners are necessary
    You won’t get your period while pregnant, but you may lose some control of your bladder. Plan accordingly and you can laugh about it later.
  5. The last months are horrible.
    First trimester is notorious for being hard. Morning sickness is common and it’s the most common time for complications. It’s hard physically and emotionally. What no one tells you is that the last trimester can be equally as challenging. Sleep becomes impossible. Rolling out of bed is a workout. You will ache in places you never thought possible. If you make it to your due date, or even a week before, the waiting game can take a toll on you emotionally as well. Was that pain a labor pain? Was that leak my water breaking? There are so many things that mess with your head (so I’ve heard since I didn’t make it that far).What can you do? First, grab yourself some Unisom and get some sleep. Talk to your OB first, but I was told by my OB that Unisom tabs (not gels!) are safe when pregnant. If you don’t want to take a pharmaceutical, try natural solutions like sleepy time tea or melatonin- as long as you’ve cleared whatever you’re taking with your OB or midwife. If the waiting game is causing you stress and anxiety, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to offer resources to help you and they may be willing to talk to you about scheduling an induction date. While most doctors prefer the baby makes his or her appearance on its own, sometimes the stress of waiting can be bad enough that it’s just better to induce. Induction doesn’t always mean pitocin! There are different things that can be used to induce labor. In my experience, this generally doesn’t happen until after a woman’s due date, but it’s still something to keep in mind should you start to have serious anxiety about labor.

Those are a few things I wish I’d known about pregnancy. If you’ve been pregnant, what are some things you’d add to this list?

Carrie Signature


Weekends and Walks Life

This weekend was a good one for me. Since having M home, I’ve had one trip out of the house without her. Other than that one trip, I’ve spent every day either at home with her or out running errands with her and Mike. It’s not a bad thing and it has become a [very welcome] new normal, but have a baby doesn’t mean I don’t need some time to myself. This weekend, Mike watched M while I went to a baby shower for a friend. It was the first time I’d picked out a cute outfit, put on makeup, and did my hair since my baby shower the week before M was born!

fall outfit

I bought this shirt at Burlington in the maternity section (no shame! It was cute!), the pants are yoga pants from Target, and the shoes are from Burlington as well. The scarf I’ve had for years and probably got at Target. The purse is Michael Kors and the sunglasses are Moscot. Mike bought the glasses for me when he was out of town and I am in LOVE with them. They’re extra special because they’re a limited edition line made by Myles Kennedy- the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Alter Bridge.

On Monday, I finally made it out of the house to the park! I had been itching to take M on walks but never was able to get out of the house due to rain. I was so happy that Monday was such a gorgeous day! I went to a local park and walked around the lake. It’s a 1.4 mile loop. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little sore. It’s kind of pathetic, but I walked pretty quickly and haven’t moved that much in a long time!

park walk

When I got home, I threw together a chicken Caesar salad for lunch and called it a day.

caesar salad

I’m hoping to be able to get another walk in this week! I have my 6 week post-partum check up on Monday and I’m hoping I’ll be cleared to exercise after that. Thanksgiving is next week and I’d love to get started back running!


Half Marathons and Memories Life

It’s been almost 2 weeks since Maddie came home from the NICU. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re definitely getting into a groove! I’m not getting too comfortable, though, because I’m going to have to get into a new routine when I get closer to going back to work. I have no idea what that schedule is going to look like, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out!

This past weekend was the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and Marathon and I didn’t run it. It’s bittersweet. The bitter part: I miss running. I was signed up for the marathon and I was really looking forward to becoming a “marathoner.” The sweet part: I didn’t end up running it because I have a baby! I’m technically still supposed to be pregnant and I would have been 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant the day of the race. I wouldn’t have been running it in that scenario either.

Last year, I ran the RnR with my friend Gen. We trained for months together! It was great to run with someone who not only ran the same pace as I did but who had the same sense of humor as I did. Runs were never dull
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It was FREEZING that morning. I was so cold, but I was so pumped up! After the first half mile, you could tell people were warming up because there were jackets, gloves, and hats scattered in the street. People will buy outerwear from Goodwill or wear an older jacket and throw it to the side. Those clothes are then gathered, washed, and donated. I thought that was pretty cool.

The Savannah route is AMAZING for a couple of reasons. First, downtown Savannah is just as residential as it is commercial which meant there were tons of people lined up on the route to cheer on runners. We saw some pretty hilarious signs! It was great to hear cheering during those harder miles. Second, because downtown Savannah is a bunch of squares, the route really didn’t span a ton of space which meant friends and family could see you at multiple points on the route without walking a ton. My husband saw me 3 times on the route: at the beginning, at mile 3, and at mile 7. He only walked about 3 miles that day and that included his walk from the car to the start (about 3/4 of a mile).

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For me, miles 8-10 were the toughest. You get to mile 8 and you’re tired because you’ve run 8 miles already, but you still have 5 more to go. Just thinking about that many more miles is exhausting at that point. Once we got to mile 10, we just told ourselves we had a 5k left and it made the last few miles go by quickly. Some genius decided to have the route go over a hill at mile 12, though. That was just cruel.

After 2 and a half hours of running, we finished! It was such a great accomplishment.

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Once I’m cleared to exercise again, I’m going to get back into running. It’s very therapeutic. I’m going to look for a 5k to sign up for and start from there. I want to run maybe 2 half marathons next year- definitely the Rock N Roll- but I’m going to take it one distance at a time. It’s going to be hard not to be hard on myself at first. I’ve run a couple halves and about a zillion 5ks, but I need to remember that I’m starting over. Muscle memory is a great thing, but I haven’t run in over 9 months and I need to be careful. After the Rock N Roll, I had an injury to my IT band and I definitely don’t want to agitate it!

The fun part about getting back into a workout routine: new workout clothes :)


Life Update // Baby is Here! Family / Life

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. Last time I posted, I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was nervous about my glucose test, I had gained 20 lbs in 24 weeks, and my blood pressure was great.

So much changed very shortly after that post.

If you don’t want to read the full story, here’s the cliff notes of my life update: I have a baby! Madalena Anne (Maddie) was born on October 11, 2015 at 35 weeks, 2 days gestation after an induction due to severe PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension)/ pre-eclampsia.

If you want to read the full story, keep reading!

My blood pressure stayed steady until 28 weeks almost to the day. I went in for an appointment one morning and my blood pressure was 150s/90s after multiple readings. My OB sent me to Labor and Delivery (L&D) triage to be monitored. My BP lowered a bit after a couple of hours so I was sent home with a medication to keep it low. I was also told to take it easy- no exercise.

A week later, I was back in L&D for contractions. I was released soon after since they were non-labor inducing contractions.

Around 30 weeks, I woke up incredibly nauseous. I could barely walk, I was vomiting, and even sitting made my BP spike. I called my OB and she decided to admit me to the hospital for overnight observation. Overnight observation turned into 3 nights of observation because no medication they tried would help lower it without making me incredibly ill. Instead, she increased the dosage of my original medication and discharged me with instructions to be on bed rest.

Staying in good spirits while admitted for observation.

Staying in good spirits while admitted for observation.

Around 33 weeks, I was back in L&D with yet another BP spike. My OB increased my medication one more time with the hopes that it would help at least prolong an induction. At this point, I was visiting the perinatologist 2x a week to make sure my blood pressure wasn’t inhibiting blood flow to the baby and I was also visiting my doctor 2x a week to make sure I was ok. My doctor was keeping a very close eye on me because I had all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia without proteinuria (when you spill protein into your urine indicating kidney issues). It was important to catch proteinuria if/when it happened because it could have turned a bad situation into something much worse.

At 34 weeks, 6 days I went to my perinatologist appointment and he was very unhappy with my blood pressure. When I went to my OB appointment immediately after, my blood pressure was 160s/90s and I was admitted into the hospital until I delivered. At that point, I didn’t know how long my admission would be. At the very most, it would have been 2 weeks since my OB would have delivered me at 37 weeks.

I taught myself how to crochet!

I taught myself how to crochet!

I was admitted on a Thursday. My BP stayed relatively under control for a day but I had a very high reading (174/90-something) on Friday night. My OB said that if I got another high reading, she would induce me. Sure enough, early Sunday morning (around 4am), my BP read as 180/90-something. 10 minutes later, it was 188/100. My nurse called my doctor and I was moved to a delivery room. My husband arrived shortly after and pitocin was started. After 30 minutes on pitocin, my IV fell out. I was bleeding everywhere (who knew so much blood could come out of your hand?) and the nurse had to- obviously- re-start my IV. She let me take a shower before starting the induction over, which was nice.

The last bump picture I took! Right before I was re-started on the pitocin.

The last bump picture I took! Right before I was re-started on the pitocin.

After re-starting the pitocin at 7:00am, I waited around for contractions to start. I had a lot of back labor, which sucked. I got an epidural around 10:30 when I was about 3cm dilated. The epi only took on one side so I had to be re-dosed around 12:30. Those two hours were incredibly uncomfortable. At 12:30, I was checked again and had progressed to 4cm dilated. I was preparing myself for a long labor so I tried to close my eyes for a little bit. At 1:45 I was checked again. The nurse said, “Oh, woah,” which prompted me to get nervous. She said, “You’re 8-9cm.” I couldn’t believe how fast I had progressed! My OB came in at 2:00 and said it was time to push. At 2:41pm, Maddie was born!

I wish the story stopped there, but it doesn’t. Maddie was quickly taken from me for breathing issues. I was assured that it was normal for a preemie and was told she would probably only be in the NICU for a couple of days. A couple of days turned into a week which turned into two weeks. To top it off, I wasn’t able to see her for over a day because I was put on a magnesium drip to make sure I didn’t have any seizures as a result of my blood pressure post-delivery. Not only was I physically ill, I was literally bedridden to the point of having these things put on my legs to keep blood flowing. I was released after a few days, but I had to leave Maddie in the hospital. Let me just say, leaving your baby in the NICU day after day is such a taxing and emotional experience.   For a week, I sat and cried (sobbed) uncontrollably. I wanted my baby home so badly. I felt so lonely. I was so used to her being with me and kicking me at night. I felt like I lost everything. I was so empty without her. After a week and a half, I was asked to room in with her in the NICU to help with her feedings and 3 days later she came home!

On top of ALL that, we had a pipe burst in our home right after I was admitted for the first time. We had to vacate our home for nearly a month while it underwent renovations. The only reason Maddie came home to our house is because she was in the NICU. They finished renovations 1 week before she was discharged. To say this past month has been a roller coaster is the understatement of the year!

We’ve been home for a few days now and we’re finding our rhythm. I am so happy to have her home with us! She is almost back up to her birth weight- very exciting since she lost almost half a pound after being born.

As for me, I am still restricted from physical activity. I am being weaned off BP medications since my pressure looked good at my last appointment. My next appointment is my 6 week post-partum appointment and I should be cleared to exercise then. I can’t wait to start running again!

Some other pretty cool news: I ended up only gaining about 30 lbs during pregnancy and I’ve already lost 15 of it! I’ll be back in shape in no time!

Now, if you made it through all of that, here’s a picture!

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Obviously, I’m biased, but I think she’s the prettiest baby in the whole world!

Carrie Signature

 


For the Home // Nursery Progress Life

I recently posted on my Facebook page that I wanted to start adding more than just fitness and food posts to the blog. I asked you guys what you wanted to see and got some great feedback! Some of the things you can look forward to are more posts about DIY things (home projects, crafts, and organization), fashion (things I love, deals I’ve found, etc.), and more overall lifestyle posts.

I do a lot more than work and go to the gym and I thought it would be great to blog about those things! What better way to kick off this new addition to the blog than writing about our nursery!

We’ve been working on Baby MAC’s nursery for a few weeks now. I’ve had a vision in my head for awhile, but we waited to really start on anything for a couple of reasons.

  1. I needed a crib.
  2. We needed to know whether the baby was a boy or a girl.

My mom brought us the crib I used as a baby so we were able to use the color of the crib to dictate how the rest of the room would flow. We decided to keep the crib in the oak color and use white as a color for other furniture/main accessories. We built the shelves you see a few years ago. When we built them, we painted them black, so we just used the white we bought for the walls and painted the shelves as well. My goal is to get a dresser that matches the crib and find a mirror that we can paint white like the shelves to tie everything together.

 

We initially wanted to do a light gray but, since our carpet is brown and our crib is oak, we decided on white. Yes, I know the walls will get dirty. Before we knew Baby MAC was a girl, we had a couple of color palates picked out. More blues and greens for a boy and pinks, greens, and yellows for a girl. When we found out Baby MAC was a girl, we bought the pink paint and painted the accent wall!

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The next step was starting the artwork. My main inspiration was Dr. Seuss. You can’t tell, right? Good! This is just my opinion, but I find that over-themed rooms are more of a hassle then they’re worth. They take a ton of work and kids grow out of them quickly. Dr. Seuss is an easy theme to overdo, so I scratched any sort of patterned or muraled wall all together and decided I just wanted to add some Dr. Seuss inspired artwork.

I found this canvas at Hobby Lobby and fell in love!
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The pink in it matches the accent wall we have and it was 40% off so we bought it. I’ve been using the colors in it to help me paint other canvases. If there’s one thing you should know about the decorations in my house it’s that I have created 90% of them. I have a really hard time buying artwork when I can do it myself! It has to be a really special piece for me to spend money on a mass produced piece of art from an art supply store. I’d rather spend $10 on a canvas, paint, and brushes and create my own.

The first piece I did was this:

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The dandelion is a nod to Horton Hears a Who (as is the elephant canvas we bought) and the quote is from that book as well. I’m not sure which wall it’s going on yet, though.

I’m also working on another double canvas piece with another quote on it. I’ll include a photo of that in the next update!

I also used the elephant to find curtains! We went to Home Depot and matched the colors in the canvas to paint swatches. I kept those swatches in my purse and found some cute curtains from Target! I loved the color! There were two patterns in this color, but I ended up choosing this one because the pattern matches the vibe of the elephant more than the other one did (it was a Moroccan pattern- very geometric and, while adorable, didn’t fit my vision). I chose white curtain rods to match the wall and picked the rods with the clear crystal ends. I thought it added a girly touch (and they were cheap! Win-win!).

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Here’s what the room looks like now! Pardon the dog kennels- they still occupy this room 😉

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Once I have all the artwork finished, we’ll map it out and hang it where it looks best!

Here’s an idea of what I’m hoping to add in the future!

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I can’t wait to make more progress!

Carrie Signature

 


4th of July Weekend // Orlando! Life

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I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!

We went out of town to visit some friends in Orlando and we had so much fun! Both of us had Friday off of work, so we left on Friday morning.

On the way out of town, we stopped at a new-ish gas station near our house. Enmark has rebranded their gas station as EnMarket.  In addition to the normal gas station food you find anywhere, they had a ton of local and organic snack choices. They also had a restaurant with made to order sandwiches and pizzas. I was glad to see some better options! I had a bite of Mike’s chicken biscuit (which was SO good) but I stuck to my choices: a fruit cup and a Cookies and Cream Quest Bar. To be honest, I was shocked they had Quest Bars! I also got a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar for a snack.

quest bar

 

The drive to Orlando wasn’t horrible. It’s about 4 1/2 hours. We got to our friends house and went to Downtown Disney for dinner. We went to Bongos and the food was amazing! I should have taken a picture (I ate it too fast). It’s a Cuban restaurant and they did Cuban food right, for the most part. Their chimichurri was different (red instead of green) but it was still really good!

Fun fact about Carrie: sweet plantains are one of my FAVORITE foods. Mike likes tostones (flattened and fried- savory) more  and I think he’s insane. Give me all the sweet plantains!

The next day, we spent the day by the pool. My friend Casey made a casserole for breakfast. I’m going to use the recipe she gave me and make some substitutions to make it a little healthier. She’s a pretty healthy eater in the first place, but we didn’t make any substitutions for the cheese. I may try Laughing Cow and see how it works! For lunch, her husband made some chicken (I think it was in a lime marinade?) and hot dogs. I had chicken and it was really good.

4th of July Pregnant

My Patriotic Baby Belly!

That night, we drove to another friend’s house in downtown Orlando for dinner and fireworks. We watched fireworks from the rooftop of her apartment and we were able to see the fireworks from all of the theme parks at the same time!

Sunday, we went to a restaurant called Yellow Dog Eats for lunch. Mike and I ate there a couple years ago on a drive down to Miami. We remembered it being amazing, so we decided to go back. It was AWESOME.

yellow dog eats orlando food

We both got the sandwich called “The Rufus.” It was pulled pork, a Carolina style barbecue sauce, raspberry sauce, brie cheese, some peppers that were savory and a little spicy, and I added bacon to mine. Mike added bacon and shoestring potatoes to his. Let me tell you something: this place is amazing. The food is incredible. Is it healthy? Hell no. But it is so worth it! The vibe of the place is great and we will make this a place we go whenever we are in Orlando.

After eating, we went back to the house, packed the car, and headed back home. Traffic was miserable, we got stuck in a hurricane (not literally, but it was raining so hard we couldn’t see out the window- 35mph with hazards on for almost 20 minutes), and we were told the power may have been out at our house. Luckily, the power was NOT out, and we made it home at 6:59- just in time to watch the U.S. Women’s National Team win the World Cup! Not a bad way to end the weekend!

Overall, we had a great weekend!

What did you do for 4th of July?

 

Carrie Signature


Date Night // Weekly Recap Life

It’s been one of the weirdest/best/worst weeks. Seriously!

The good: 

First and foremost, we got to see our baby and we found out we are having a little girl!  Baby has a name, but we’re keeping it under wraps for now so I’ll just call her Baby MAC (her initials- NO, her name is not Mackenzie). It was so great to see her pretty face and to hear that she’s growing just as she should be.

Secondly, it was a short week at work! I had half of Monday off and I took Tuesday off (the reasoning is on the bad side, but more on that later). The week went by relatively fast, which was great because this coming week is also a short week due to the holiday weekend! Hooray for a sort-of Summer vacation.

Third, we finished painting Baby MAC’s nursery! It took a few days, but I LOVE how it turned out! I’ll post photos of her nursery once I get some uploaded. It’ll be fun to see how the process progresses!

Lastly, I had a great date night with my husband on Friday night. More on that later!

The bad:

Well, I stayed home from work because our home was damaged after a bad storm Monday night. It thunderstorms nearly every day where we live, but I have never seen a storm this bad. Luckily the damage wasn’t significant, but it was bad enough that I had to stay home to ensure it was repaired. Not fun at all.

Also, I have had increasingly bad back pain. Baby MAC thinks my sciatic nerve is super comfy because she loves to lean against it ALL DAY LONG. I worked out 3x this week (yay!) but the last two times were cut a little short due to back pain (boo). I think I’m going to see a chiropractor soon.

Now, about date night!

Mike and I went to a local restaurant called Fire Street Foods and it was delicious! I loved the vibe of the restaurant. It had a really clean design and felt really open and modern.

fire street food

I had been craving potstickers for weeks, so we got some as an appetizer.

fire street food

 

For an entree, I got pad thai. I ate about 1/4 of it. It was a huge portion! Mike got green curry which was delicious! I’m going to get yellow curry next time.

I’m hoping to be able to keep up with working out 3 times a week. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, it’s still getting my heart rate up and keeping me active!

Carrie Signature

 



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