What I’m Lovin’ in July

July’s saving grace (because #WayTooHot) is that it’s my sister’s birthday month – in fact, TODAY is my sister’s birthday!! Happy Birthday to my very best friend and favorite person in the whole world.

My sister during our trip to DC this month – enjoying the hotel jacuzzi to its fullest.

This year we took a trip to Washington, DC together! It wasn’t specifically for her birthday, but it was close enough that it was the perfect excuse 🙂

1. These 10 Asheville Airbnbs worthy of a getaway from Cola Today

Asheville is one of my favorite places to visit! It’s not too far of a drive and the weather is always a little cooler which is a nice escape from the relentlessness heat of Columbia. It’s also a vegetarian foodie’s dream destination 😉

The Hubs is going to Asheville this month for a lacrosse tournament, but unfortunately I didn’t see this list until after we’d already booked his Airbnb. Hopefully next year Andy & I can tag along (or else we’ll have to make an excuse to visit soon!).

How gorgeous is the inside of this BUS?! Click on the image to go to the Airbnb listing – this one’s really neat!

2. This Weekender bag pattern

I’ve been following Trish Stitched for a long time now and absolutely love her blog! I really like her style and rely a lot on her garment sewing posts to see what kind of alterations she made to the patterns she shares (she’s also petite!). She’s really talented and I was excited to see her Weekender Bag Tutorial on fabric.com! I wish I had found time to make one of these bags before my trip to DC this month – it would’ve been perfect!

I’m definitely adding it to my queue – I’m trying to work on traveling light & this bag would be the perfect motivation 😉

3. This Peach Pie Scone recipe

Earlier this month, a friend brought me a bag of beautiful, fresh peaches!

I wanted to do more than just cut-and-freeze (my usual go-to for fresh fruit so I can toss it into smoothies). I jumped on Pinterest and searched for peach recipes and ran across this recipe for Peach Pie Scones with Vanilla Glaze. It sounded easy enough so I gave it a shot!

They were delicious! I will definitely whip up a batch of these again.

4. Sewing Baby Bows

I’m on a baby-bow-sewing kick lately. They are super easy to whip up with scrap fabric and of course Andy always needs more bows. This quick fabric bow tutorial is our favorite lately. It’s the perfect scrap buster.

Andy is wearing the 4-inch bow from this tutorial. I made hers from a Lilly Pulitzer dress I found while thrifting!

She seems fascinated with the sewing machine lately so she helped me sew a few bows for one of her friends!

Andy helping me sew a bow for her friend.

5. Our Local Library

I renewed my library card earlier this month and Andy and I have been loving visiting our local library!

Andy dressed festively for our first library visit 😉 This was during our stop in the Parent Lounge.

They recently renovated and the interior is so great. There is a lovely play area for kids and a Parent Lounge with a big, comfy chair for feeding, a changing table and a sink. I love that addition – it makes it so easy for parents to come and explore with little ones without the worry of where to feed or change them. Being that Andy is not a huge fan of the heat & humidity (who is?!), we may be spending many summer days at the library.

6. Ideas sparked from #plasticfreejuly

I recently discovered #plasticfreejuly and enjoyed browsing the hashtag for inspiration. I really love the plastic storage alternatives @ecowithem_ shared in this graphic!

Other awesome #plasticfreejuly posts:

7. Plants

I went to a Plant Swap last month {read my friend Shanika’s recap of the event here}. Andy & I were way late so we missed some of the fun, but it worked out so Andy could get lots of cuddles from one of our favorite friends (you can see pictures here).

Before | After – the plants & seeds I adopted at the Plant Swap

I took some leaves from our office succulents and propagated them a few weeks before the event. I planted them in teacups from the thrift store and gave them names and backstories (yes, I’m THAT nerdy).

Before | After – my succulent trimmings propagating in the teacups I thrifted for the Plant Swap.

If you’re a plant lover, check out these neat DIY planters from upcycled items!

8. The idea of Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Ok, so this is not something that I am actually doing, but I am really intrigued by the idea! These Practical Tips and Ideas for Zero Waste Grocery Shopping from Green Indy are really great.

Click the image for 7 Ways to Make Zero-Waste Shopping Second Nature

In addition to the obvious (bringing reusable bags to the grocery store which I already do because they hold so much!), I plan to start attempting to shop in bulk. There are a few stores nearby that have bulk sections. I’m planning to take my own jars too! Wish me luck.

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

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What I’m Lovin’ in June

June feels like the official start to summer (despite the temperature telling me otherwise for months now…). I’m so excited to share with you some of the things I’ve been lovin’ this month!

1. Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Baked BBQ Tofu

Image source: Oh My Veggies

This recipe is so yummy!! As someone who hasn’t tasted bacon in 6+ years, the smoked cheddar hit.the.spot.! To me, it had just the right bacon-ish taste to satisfy my cravings. I was able to find a block of smoked cheddar pretty easy at my local grocery store in the “fancy cheese” area – worth it!

If you make it, double the tofu (1 block isn’t quite enough to go with all the noodles).

The mix of the flavors in the recipe is the perfect vegetarian comfort dish!

2. These 4 ways to make your closet more earth friendly from tonlé.

I really loved this post! The tips are really great! While I love making my own clothes, sometimes that’s not always the most eco-friendly method (see hierarchy below 🙂 ). A few years ago I hosted a swap meet and it was tons of fun! I may have to host another soon…

Photo credit: tonlé

Check out the post for more tips!

3. This perspective on a “We love well-behaved children” sign

I don’t remember exactly how I discovered her, but I’ve been following Becky Vieira (@wittyotter) on Instagram for a few months now. As a new parent, my perspective on many things has really shifted. There are so many things I thought I understood before that I see now I really did not. Living the experience is a lot different – though being empathetic goes a LONG way.

Photo credit: BabyCenter blog

I’m sure I have seen a “We love well-behaved children” sign before and not given it much thought. BUT I really appreciated hearing how the sign so deeply impacted Becky’s experience at this restaurant.

4. Carving out a few minutes here & there for creativity & self-care

As you all are quite aware, I haven’t had as much time for sewing as I used to (babies have a way of stealing all of our free time, right?!). I recently saw Meg’s post on Instagram and appreciated her reminder – taking a little time here and a little time there to pinch out time for what you love (i.e. sewing!) is worth doing.

Lately I’ve been very slowly working on projects. I’ve been taking my time to enjoy the process rather than rushing through because I “need” whatever piece of clothing I’m working on. I’m trying to let the process feed what I need right now rather than fulfill a want.

Read more about how I’m balancing new motherhood, creativity & self care in this post.

5. This article about how home sewing has shifted from being a way to opt IN to the consumer fashion scene and more about opting OUT.

My favorite quote from the article:

…sewing is no longer a necessary point of access to consumer fashion but a means of changing the way they consume fashion through increased mindfulness, often with an eye toward greater authenticity and self-expression.

I also appreciated how Cayley defined the term “sewist” at the end of the post. Really a great read!

6. This quote

Someone posted this earlier in month and with all the news lately, it was so timely. When I started struggling with depression a few years ago, I realized that withdrawing socially was a pretty consistent symptom. Since then, I’ve tried to be mindful of this. Rather than feeling sorry for myself because so-and-so hasn’t reached out to me, I reach out to them. More often than not, I hear back that they have been dealing with their own issues (aren’t we all?). It’s so important to be there for those you love and sometimes it’s the ones who don’t tell you they’re struggling who are having the hardest time.

7. Plant Swap

Photo Credit: Shanika

One of my friends is hosting a Plant Swap this weekend and I am so excited! I even ordered Andy & I matching t-shirts (hers, mine), but I’m pretty sure I ordered them too late for the event 😦 so I guess we’ll have to rethink our outfits.

If you’re local, join us this weekend! Get all the event details here.

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in May

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted for my What I’m Lovin’ “monthly” series (my apologies.. babies are quite time consuming 😉 ). Nonetheless, I hope this one leaves you feeling inspired (or at least maybe fulfilled?). I’d love to hear what you’ve been lovin’ this month too – leave me a comment!

Without further adieu, here is a list of what I’ve been lovin’ in May!

1. Me-Made-May

As y’all may remember, I participated last year (read my recap here) and loved it! I declined to commit to participating this year because I wasn’t sure what my status of new motherhood would be and certainly didn’t want to get overwhelmed (because I’d likely have to sew quite a bit for myself considering most of my handmade clothes don’t fit right now 😦 ).

Even though I’m not participating, I’ve been following the hashtag closely for new wardrobe ideas. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Jasika’s post about how she’s able to participate in Me-Made-May and why it’s okay for those of us who can’t.
  • I really love this vest by @sewliberated – I just keep thinking about how great those big pockets would be for holding little things when I’m carrying the baby around the house/trying not to lose the paci/see something I need and forgot I left it wherever I just found it.
  • This ruffle sleeve adds the perfect feminine flare.
  • I really like the simplicity of this linen Ruby Dress.
  • I think I might need the Trapeze Dress patternthis one is a favorite.. and this one!

2. These sandals

Image credit: Jane.com

I have been living in these sandals since I bought them from jane.com a few weeks ago. In fact, after I received the pink pair I ordered, I ordered 2 more pair (brown and black). I love these because they are SO comfortable and are a great alternative to heals for work (I learned very quickly that heals + carrying Andy in her car seat across the daycare parking lot was not a good idea!).

I’ve been asked where I got them several times – Jane is a “beautiful boutique marketplace” – kind of like Zulily – they run “deals” that change regularly.

The deal on these sandals has expired, BUT you can view other shoe deals from the same shop here to see what they’re currently offering OR you can request that they notify you when they’re back in stock (here!). I did the latter after ordering the pink pair and realizing I needed more colors!

*Don’t worry – I don’t get any credit if you decide to order from Jane (they should totally consider referral links though!).

3. These high-waisted leggings

I don’t have a photo of these because the image on Amazon doesn’t do them justice and I haven’t taken any of me wearing them. However, do know that I wear them at least once a week! They fit a lot like my Blanqi postpartum leggings but are a little more snug (in a good way – they feel like they’re holding you in and giving you a hug at the same time). They’re great for wearing under loose tunics (which seem to be my mom-uniform right now) or to work out.

They are probably the best investment for a postpartum wardrobe (and they’re super affordable!).

4. Fashion Revolution Week

{image source}

I always love seeing people’s posts about Fashion Revolution Week. Since I follow a lot of sewists on Instagram, most of the posts I see are about how the person makes their own clothes…which is always super cool! BUT this year I really enjoyed my friend Addie‘s posts (1, 2, 3) where she shared about some really neat companies leading the way in ethical fashion. Sometimes sewing your own clothes isn’t an option for you – whether you don’t have enough time (I can relate!), don’t have the skills, or just don’t have the desire. It’s nice to know about companies that are worth investing in.

5. ANDY!

She’s what I’m lovin’ each and everyday! Being her Mom is such a blessing. Here’s a recent picture for your enjoyment 🙂

And if you missed it, check out her birth story posted last month.

 

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Andy’s Birth Story

I hesitated to share this story until I told the Hubs and he said “It’s as much your story as it is hers” (he’s so great).

Plus:

  1. it’s Cesarean Awareness Month.
  2. I always love reading other people’s birth stories {so I guess sharing mine only seems fair 😉 }.
  3. Andy is now 3 months old {where has the time gone?!}.

So…without further adieu, here’s Andy’s birth story!

Andy Magnolia, 9 days old.

When I went in for my 39-week appointment my doctor said “I can’t believe you haven’t had this baby yet!” We couldn’t either! At my appointment the week prior I was dilating 2-almost-3 centimeters. We spent the weekend walking our usual long route around town in hopes it would help encourage Andy to make her way into the world. No such luck.

A few days earlier (Tuesday night) I sat straight up in bed not long after getting settled for the night. Suddenly I was so uncomfortable! I couldn’t decide if it was a contraction because it didn’t feel quite right and it lasted way longer than a contraction was supposed to. I couldn’t speak. My husband popped up and asked if I was okay and I mumbled something, trying to tell him to go back to sleep.

I’m not sure how much time passed but I woke up a few hours later realizing I had fallen asleep (so obviously…not a contraction!). I felt a ton better though! I went on with life-as-usual (the pregnant version 😉 ).

At my appointment that Thursday morning my doctor asked if we’d like to have my membranes stripped to help speed up labor. “Sure!”

I noticed that during this exam she didn’t seem quite as excited as last time (when she announced I was starting to dilate), but the anticipation of Andy’s birth nearing kept my mind from giving her reaction (or lack of) too much thought.

After the exam she asked if we were curious as to how much Andy weighed. “Yeah, I guess!” My husband was a big baby (10 pounds) and I was fairly big for being a month early (8 pounds) so we were curious, but we also knew how inaccurate the ultrasound weight predictions could be. Nonetheless, we went for an ultrasound.

Almost immediately the technician said “Yep, she’s breech.”

That was the last thing I had expected to hear. Andy had been head-down and ready for delivery for the duration of pregnancy.

I had already drafted my birth plan (and redrafted, edited, obsessed over…) and reviewed it with my doctor. I hadn’t given a C-section much thought (though I did read a few articles just in case, but surely that wouldn’t be me…right? Wrong).

I knew that with breech babies there were options for attempting to flip the baby. Yet, in that moment, I knew those choices weren’t going to be part of my path. I had attended the same yoga class I was part of for the 6 years prior (including that very morning!). My teacher revamped our class when I announced I was pregnant and began working in poses to make our class more prenatal-friendly. We had done all the cat-cow poses and squats you could imagine to try to prepare my body for delivery. If Andy were going to be head-down for birth, she would’ve stayed there. But she didn’t. And I just knew attempting a flip wasn’t going to be a good idea.

Once we left the ultrasound, my doctor met with us again. She said she recommended the ultrasound because she knew something had changed. She was able to feel Andy’s head the week before and this week she couldn’t. She said Andy likely flipped sometime that week (I’m pretty sure that’s what I felt that Tuesday). She explained that (from the ultrasound) Andy’s head was a little large which typically leads to an unsuccessful attempt to flip so she recommended that we not try. I didn’t hesitate to agree with her.

Because I was already dilating and she had stripped my membranes in hopes to bring on labor, she gave us the option to schedule a c-section for the next day (Friday) or wait over the weekend. If we waited, we ran the risk of going into labor naturally. I was already a ball of nerves since my “plan” had gone off-script at this point. We opted to schedule the c-section for the next morning.

The doctor on-call for the next morning who would perform the surgery met with us before we left the office. She gave a quick run-down of the process so we would know what to expect. I was so overwhelmed, but so grateful for the chance to know what’s going on.

We left the appointment and the Hubs and I met back downtown for breakfast at one of our favorite spots. Afterward we headed back to work (because literally all our preparation was done so going home meant we’d be sitting, waiting, and becoming more anxious). It was nice to be able to set up everything at my office now that I knew when I would be going out for maternity leave.

When I got home, I was able to go back through my hospital bag and get the car packed. I reminded myself that this was a luxury that not many get to have. I was able to take my time and I even got to call and text family and friends about what was going on.

I think I got a total of 2 hours of sleep that night! I was so nervous. I had never had major surgery before and didn’t know what to expect. I was particularly worried about recovery. I was eager to return to walking and yoga and was scared about how long I may be immobile. I tried to remind myself that I had taken care of my body in preparation for bringing this child into our world in whatever way that may be. I was not the first woman to go through this nor would I be the last. I would be fine.

We arrived at the hospital early the next morning. Our surgery was delayed because of an emergency c-section. While I was nervous and the time passing just made me more nervous, I was so grateful that I was not in an emergency situation. How incredibly lucky was I that my doctor’s intuition saved me from being rushed to the Operating Room after labor had begun?!

Finally it was “our turn” and I was wheeled into the OR. It was cold and sterile. I was shaking like a leaf from fear. They got me a warm blanket which helped a little.

I met the staff who would be helping bring Andy into the world. My doctor stood in front of me while I waited for the anesthesiologist to administer the spinal. She talked to me about the hospital construction that was underway – it was nice to have her guide a conversation so I didn’t have to think much (and it distracted me at least a little 🙂 ).

I counted my breath the way I’d learned in a Yoga for Anxiety class a few years earlier in an attempt to keep my anxiety from getting worse.

When the anesthesiologist got ready, my doctor wrapped me in the warmest bear-hug and held me there until it was over. Placement was quick and easy and suddenly I couldn’t feel a thing from just below my bra line. My anxiety started to fade.

My husband appeared by my head and I felt so grateful to have him there.

As they were operating, the team was discussing another woman who was having contractions against her previous c-section scar. They needed to get her in the OR immediately after me. I would’ve gladly let her go first…Again I thought about how grateful I was that I was not in that situation. I was safe and so was my baby.

As Andy emerged, I heard the doctor say, “Oh look, her umbilical cord was around her neck” so nonchalant. I’m sure she’s used to seeing that, but I will never forget hearing her say that and AGAIN thinking how grateful I am for the path we took.

Andy Magnolia, 2 days old.

The Nurse Anesthetist who was standing by my head was amazing. She made sure my hair was comfortably tucked under the surgical cap and talked me through everything that was going on with the operation which was comforting. She was so attentive to my needs. When they handed Andy over to us, she asked if we wanted a picture. Neither Jeremy nor I are great at stopping to capture moments like this on camera so we hadn’t given it much thought. However, we both felt the weight of this moment and immediately said “yes!” She captured photos we will treasure forever. I am so incredibly grateful for her offer. It may have been a simple offer during another average day-on-the-job for her, but it was the moment that changed our lives forever. To have that captured is so special.

Honestly, the procedure itself was not as bad as I had feared. For weeks I described it as a “pleasant” experience when people would ask (I would still use that term!).

The same is true for recovery. It was no walk in the park, but it was not how I feared it would be. Sitting up from bed in the days after Andy was born was difficult. My doctor ordered a wrap for my stomach that really helped a lot. I was able to walk around the hospital halls the day after surgery. In the weeks following, I started taking Andy for daily walks in our neighborhood (which we still do – it has become part of her evening routine. We usually meet our neighbor whose daughter is a month younger than Andy. It’s so nice to share this experience with them – we both enjoy having a friend who can relate 🙂 ). Seven weeks later I returned to my favorite yoga class.

Andy Magnolia, 5 weeks old. On a blanket knit for her by a lady in my yoga class 🙂

So here we are 14 weeks later and I’m starting feel like my old self. It took some time (I’ll save that for another post), but I am enjoying motherhood more than I ever thought I would.

My tummy maintains the squishy remnants of having carried a baby and nothing in my wardrobe seems to fit the way I wish it would, but I’m coming to a place of content. I’m continuing to walk daily and am back to going to yoga a few times a week. It took nine months for my body to construct another human being. That in itself is amazing. I can forgive it for not bouncing back to the starting point yet.

I’m grateful for the chance to be in this body, in this moment, and to have the energy and ability to be mobile and active. And every time I see Andy smile I feel so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be her Mom. She is truly amazing.

Andy Magnolia, 13 weeks old.

My wardrobe needs changed overnight – my old clothes are too small and my maternity clothes accentuate areas I no longer want accentuated – so I’m trying to catch up. I can’t sew that fast so I’ve had to invest in some transitional pieces. I’m in desperate need of pants that fit so I’ve started working on a pair of Arenite pants (after falling in love with Meg’s version!). Slowly but surely I’m gaining my sewjo back (so stay tuned!).

For more inspiration, check out these gorgeous C-Section Scar Photos – pretty powerful!

And remember: motherhood is hard enough. Don’t judge another mother’s experience. Very [VERY] little went as planned throughout my pregnancy and now throughout motherhood. This experience has taught me so much. We’re all just trying to be the very best we can be for our children. Sometimes we fall short of our own standards, but we’re all working really hard. Nothing we’ve done (including birth) was easy, but it was totally worth it.

What I’m lovin’ in November

I hope you had an oh-so-fulfilling Thanksgiving!

The cool weather has finally reached us in the South and it is fabulous! I love wearing cozy clothes and staying warm by the hum of my sewing machine inside 😉

Read on to hear all about what I’ve been lovin’ this month!

1. Hot Cocoa + Sewing Quilt Blocks

This one is a double whammy! 😉

While I still love the smell of fresh coffee, this pregnancy has totally thwarted my taste for it. As you know from my Pregnancy Tips & Tricks post, I have been enjoying ginger turmeric tea, but sometimes you want something a little…creamier. I’ve been lovin’ this hot-cocoa-for-one recipe. I make it with almond milk and it is totally delightful – particularly when paired with sewing!

Speaking of sewing: I took a skills building class a few weekends ago with one of the quilt guilds I’m a part of locally and learned how to construct the Hanging Gardens quilt pattern. I think it’s the perfectionist in me, but I am so methodical with how I do things that I never even unpacked my machine during class – I spent the whole time cutting (despite having my strips meticulously cut weeks ahead in preparation for class…). One of my fellow class-goers pointed out that at least by the time I get home I have the least fun part out of the way and can actually start sewing.

Honestly, I learned so much in this class! Lots of tips and tricks that will save me time {which in my case is invaluable since everything takes me forever!}.

The blocks are coming together quickly now and I’m lovin’ constructing them! I’m using fabric from Rifle Paper Company‘s Les Fleurs collection with Cotton + Steel for my quilt and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together! I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I had more than enough fabric in my stash for a queen size quilt… “Hiiiii! My name is Jordan and I have a fabric hoarding problem.

2. All the handmade baby goodies

Baby M is so spoiled. She has received so many handmade gifts already! My boss has knit her several hats {see 2 of them here!} and TWO blankets. The mother-in-law of a friend I’ve worked out with for years at our local YMCA made the most beautiful pink blanket for her {see it under the taggie below!}. And my dear friend Kristy made her the perfect quilt and the most perfect taggie! Fingers crossed this is an accurate representation of Baby M in a few years #FutureSewist

3. Knitting Progress

As I admitted in last month’s post, I made myself a knit project bag in hopes it would inspire me to work on the shawl I’ve been trying to knit since last year…

Well, I’m happy to report I’ve been making progress!

Since the photo above was taken, I’ve added the FOURTH ball of yarn and am plugging along. It’s far from perfect, but maybe one day it’ll be done and I can proudly wear my flawed shawl everywhere!

4. Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen

I saw Laura Miller’s shout-out about this book and immediately jumped onto Amazon to order my copy.

It arrived just in time for my 29-week appointment where I had the pleasure (ha) of indulging in the most sugary of drinks for my glucose test and traffic court the day before. So, it was good company that week 😉

I’ve been really enjoying the message Erica shares. She takes a very non-judgmental approach to pregnancy, birth, and motherhood in a way that encourages you (as the reader) to practice more self-love and to open yourself up to the reality that nothing will likely go as planned {a hard pill to swallow for a Type A like myself!}. The book is so informative and [as a public health grad with a soft spot for nutrition] I really love how she has woven recipes into the book that incorporate foods your body will benefit from most during the differing months of your pregnancy.

If you have a preggo on your holiday list, get her a copy of the Nurture book!

PS: As is obvious in the photo – I’m lovin’ my new Birkenstock’s. Slip-on shoes that can loosen as needed when/if your feet swell during pregnancy = win!

5. I planned a Bake Off!

Staff in our building have been hosting monthly events for employee morale and this month was our turn! I was on the planning committee so I took the lead for my department. I kind of love planning events like this because I get to nerd out on organizing everything (and I got to see all the sweet treats being submitted – yum!).

One of the best parts about the Bake Off was that even our Superintendent participated! I had heard he’s a great baker so when he walked in with his cake, I was over the moon!

It says a lot when someone as busy as the man leading a district of 4,000+ employees & 24,000 students takes the time to bake a cake for the employee Bake Off…he’s great!

6. Chili

This weather is perfect for chili and I think there is nothing better than coming home to chili in the crockpot after a long, cold day! I was getting bored with the chili recipes I’ve relied on in past years so I found a new one to try – this vegetarian chili recipe is a winner! It’s smoky sweet and pairs perfectly with a spicy cornbread (try tossing 1/4 cup of jarred diced jalapenos into your usual cornbread recipe).

{Photo credit: Genius Kitchen}

7. The Nursery is coming together

If Baby M sticks to her due date, we’ve got 8 weeks left which I know will fly by! The Hubs and I are huge planners so he had the crib assembled months ago, but we only recently finished some of the final touches.

During our trip to Canada, I was 9-ish weeks pregnant. She was still our little secret since we hadn’t told family and friends yet. At the time we weren’t sure of the gender, but we both love animals so we were sure she would too. While in Ottawa, we stumbled upon Maker House Co.’s Craft Fest and picked up the bear and beaver prints for the nursery. They’re finally hung and I love all the memories they stir up from our way early #babymoon.

PS: If you ever visit Ottawa, you must stop by the Maker House Co. It is such a neat shop – filled with goods from local makers. You’re sure to find the perfect, unique souvenirs there.

8. my sister!

This month she threw a shower for Baby M and it was absolutely perfect. She spent a ton of time, money, and energy on this and I really appreciated it! We had a small group which was perfect – I had time to mingle with all of our guests.

After the party, my sister declared “Now Baby M’s closet has more than just blue in it!”

She has been my biggest supporter – constantly hand-me-down’ing clothes and baby equipment from Little Guy, sharing her maternity wardrobe, and calming all my fears. Without her, I don’t know what I’d do.

PS: My adorable sister greeted me at her door wearing a Canny tunic I made! She’s the cutest.

 

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in October

October is one of my favorite months! My birthday falls on the 11th and it [usually] brings more fall-like weather which I love.

Read on to hear all about what I’ve been lovin’ this month!

1. These tips on decluttering from Motherly

love to declutter. Maybe it’s the “nesting” everyone talks about with pregnancy but lately I’ve been feeling a little extra overwhelmed with the stuff in my house. I feel like I’m always decluttering and purging, but sometimes I go through bigger spells where I make a more conscious effort to organize and let go of some excess stuffI found the tips from this post really helpful and plan to put them to use very soon as I prepare for all the baby clutter coming our way.

The best part about the post is how it breaks your decluttering down by space and gives you sample items in each room/space that are an easy place to start with tossing/donating.

2. Chocolate Covered Katie’s Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondie recipe

I have always had a pretty intense sweet tooth and I think pregnancy has definitely amplified that. Since I have been baking almost weekly (it’s become a productive creative outlet for me 😉 ), I’ve been searching for “healthy” [or at least “healthier“] recipes to enjoy.

October makes me crave all-things-pumpkin-flavored so I’ve been lusting over every pumpkin-inspired treat I’ve come across. The most recent success was Chocolate Covered Katie’s Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondie recipe.

I’ve tried many of Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipes over the years and am never disappointed. This one is a gem! The Hubs declared it “probably the best thing you’ve made lately” so I’ll say it’s pretty tasty!

I’ve found that when baking with beans (something I love to do 😀 ), using canned white beans [like these] creates a much smoother consistency – I don’t think you can even tell they’re there!

PS: My sister has gone dairy free which is pretty common during breastfeeding if your little one is having a tummy issues. Most chocolate chips have milk products in them, but not Trader Joe’s chocolate chips! (But their chocolate chunks do so beware.) If you are making sweet treats for a dairy-free friend, try TJ’s chocolate chips out!

3. Breakfast at College Grounds

Try the seasonal pumpkin butter with your biscuits!

Our Sundays lately have included a big walk around downtown and breakfast at College Grounds. The Hubs and I have been frequenting the place for the past 2+ years after we discovered how delicious their breakfast is. We mourn every summer when they close for the weekends (since they’re right on campus following the student schedule makes sense but it’s still so tragic).

If you live in or are planning a visit to Columbia, stop by College Grounds for breakfast and a stroll around USC.

4. Apartment Therapy’s advice to Stop Trying to Change Your Habits: Change Your Habitat Instead

I know, I know! I’m still on this decluttering/nesting kick. But I really liked the perspective of this post. There are tons of great organization ideas out there, but my take-away was if the placement of where the thing goes makes it less useful to you, it’s not the right place.

We have a place in our living room where the Hubs keeps his shoes that has worked quite well for us. Reading the perspective in the post felt like a little bit of relief mixed with forgiveness for keeping our things (in this case shoes) where they make sense and not just where they “should” go according to someone with a much neater house than mine 😉

Photo from the post – a lovely & practical space for your “stuff”

5. DIY Drawstring Bags

I found this free tutorial from Very Shannon on how to make a reversible knit project bag and knew I wanted to give it a shot. It was so easy – I actually assembly-line’d and made 3 at a time. I think they’ll make great gifts even for someone who doesn’t knit – who can’t use another bag?!

TBH, I really made the bag to hold the shawl I’ve been attempting to knit since last year in hopes it would inspire me pick the needles back up. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with the shawl which makes my perfectionist heart very sad, but I’m trying to let that go/worry less and finish it!

I used some upholstery-weight fabric scraps for the bags which made them really sturdy. However, it does make the drawstring top a little harder to “glide.” Maybe next time I’ll try a quilting cotton on the interior to lighten it up, make the casing a little larger or use cording for the drawstring which would definitely glide easy.

6. Getting my sewjo back

During the first trimester of this pregnancy my sewing room basically collected dust. As the 2nd trimester approached I started feeling much more energetic. Finally my sewjo has returned!

I’ve been slowly working on a few projects here and there. One of those is the Almada kimono from Seamwork. I’m making it from a beautiful, super soft vintage sheet. I thought it would be nice to have after the baby arrives to throw over whatever I’m wearing to feel a little fancier [without a lot of effort] if visitors stop by.

BUT…I’m an over-pinner (#perfectionistprobz) and one of the pins slid under my finger nail while I was working on the sleeve cuff last weekend. I didn’t even notice until there was blood all over my machine! Somehow it didn’t get on the fabric {YAY}.

What have you been lovin’ this month? Let me know in the comments so I can jump on your bandwagon!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in September

Perhaps we should call these “when Jordan remembers to post” posts instead of “monthly” 😉 I’m behind again, but here are a few things I’ve been lovin’ this September!

1. A big announcement!

I announced last month on social media, but have been delayed in announcing here {I blame it on the fact that my energy was completely zapped for that first trimester 😉 } – we’re expecting a baby girl in January! It’s our first baby and though the journey has been nerve-wracking, we’re thrilled.

PS: I made those booties {using the same pattern I used for the booties in this post} with some coveted Liberty of London fabric.

2.  hey, girl podcast

I am loving this podcast so.so.so much! I saw Laura Miller post about her interview on the hey, girl podcast and immediately downloaded it to listen to at the gym the following morning {look for episode 15 to hear Laura’s story}. Obviously it did not disappoint because I have now binge listened to the entire first season. If you have ever (or do currently) struggle with anxiety, depression, balancing self-care and life demands, etc. hey, girl is for you! With every episode, I feel like they are speaking directly to me. I love hearing about other women’s journeys.

3. Taking time for myself

With a baby on the way, I’m trying hard to slow.down. This was a good reminder.

4. Mr. Bunny is done!

When I started Mr. Bunny at QuiltCon in the spring, I didn’t know exactly what adventures were ahead of him. After sharing him with my quilt guild, they suggested submitting him in the upcoming two-color challenge [since he’s only one color: green]. The challenge entries will be displayed in an exhibit at our local library in the coming weeks.

This was my first wall-hanging and once he’s completed his time at the library, he’ll be hanging in a very special little girl’s nursery 🙂

5. This quote…

I saw this on Facebook and it hit me. Sometimes my anxiety can take over and make everything feel like an emergency. Truth is…it’s not! I’m trying to take this to heart.

I’m hoping to have more makes to share with you soon – I’m finally feeling more energetic and have been getting back to my sewing machine. I even took a free motion quilting workshop with my local guild last weekend – the wishbone pattern was my favorite!

One thing I whipped up recently was a changing pad – I didn’t take a picture, but here’s one I made previously. These are so easy to whip up as gifts – I used the tutorial in this post from Sew In Love {a great post to check out if you have any baby sewing to do!}.

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}