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August 2012

New Chapter…

Let’s talk about being thankful for a minute…

Today is a dang good day!!

1. I am so grateful for our growing, healthy family. I feel blessed everyday for Kev, Rowan and little new baby. My heart is full with them around.

2. That we just closed on our new house!!! We have a house with a great back yard and a wonderful neighborhood for Rowan and her upcoming little sister to play in. This is huge to us!! We have dreamed of this ever since Rowan was born. I can’t wait to make this house our home.

3. I am so thankful for Kev. For his hard work and passion and for his amazing partner in crime over at Iron to Iron, Jon! I continually give thanks to God for blessing Kev and Jon in their venture to start their own web design business. They have worked their butts off and it has been an amazing 2 years. What a blessing to have Jon and his beautiful wife Carrie be the other half of this business. Seriously, Kev and Jon are beyond talented. They are creating such amazing things and because of their hard work we are able to take this next life step. I am a very proud wife.

4. Our Friends who have been nothing short of amazing and supportive in this whole moving process. Bringing us food, helping us pack (and move tonight) and offering to help paint. True friends are hard to come by and we are lucky to have such a wonderful, amazing group.

5. Our parents, who love us and Rowan more than anything. It makes me all weepy seeing how much they love and care for Rowan. Such a huge blessing.

Ok, well I’ve said “blessing” like a hundred times in this post. Today is really just a wonderful day, full of excitement and I can’t help but reflect on it all. I am ready for this new chapter to begin, to fill it with love and memories and to create a warm loving home for my family.

p.s Yes. I cut my hair.

The Foxes are Here!!

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Things have been quiet this week, and will probably be quiet next week too, as we get packed and ready to move. We close on our new house Monday morning at 9am!! Oh yeah!!

Anyway, I have finished up a few new foxes. I’ve listed a handful of them now and will add more tonight. I especially have a few more Mr. Foxes to go up later on tonight. So, head on over to my etsy shop and make sure you snatch one up!

Thanks Guys!!

Maternity Style: Week 21

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I seriously can not believe that we are already half way through this pregnancy. Time seems to fly by with the second one. Like I just mentioned in my Friday Favorites post, I really love longer elastic waist skirts and tank tops this summer. They are comfy to wear and I still can feel a little bit like my old self (style wise). Unintentionally, it seems like Sunday turned into tutu day. Rowan wore her purple tutu and I wore my version of one. Who doesn’t love a tulle skirt?

As my bangs are getting longer I am forcing myself to try out some new styles. I am still not convinced on the middle part, but it is growing on me each time I wear it. I’m also sort of playing with the idea of cutting my hair into a bob? Will I regret that? I might.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Tulle Skirt: MODCLOTH
Tank Top: FOREVER 21
Wedges: BANANA REPUBLIC
Flower Pin: H&M

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Finding Adventure…

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This weekend was beautiful! You could feel that Fall was around the corner. We kind of dragged our feet Saturday morning on what were were going to do that day. Deciding whether ideas we had were worth the effort, time, narrowing down exactly what we wanted to do, etc… Finally, we realized we just needed to get out and go. One of my favorite bands has a line in a song (which I know is really a John Lennon line) that we always like to bring up in moments like that… “Life is what happens while we’re making plans”. Oh Piebald. I will love you forever. We ended up driving to the Berkshires to spend the day. We hiked Mt. Greylock and enjoyed the fresh air. As we were out there, I couldn’t help but be so thankful we went. I don’t think we will ever be satisfied with just sitting around doing nothing. There is just too much life to live and explore out there to waste a Saturday on. I am so grateful for a husband that likes to share my adventurous spirit with me. Getting out and sharing in new things as a family is my greatest joy.

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Friday Favorites…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/7820317278/

Yeah, it’s Sunday. I still wanted to get this post up though. I am pretty obsessed with this outfit. I really hate maternity clothes and I try really hard not to buy anything maternity while I am pregnant. It gets a little tricky at the end, but now there are lots of elastic waist skirts and cotton tanks. Look how cute this outfit is!!! You could wear this pregnant or not. For me, I would pull this beautiful skirt up and over my bump and tuck in the tank top. These heels are awesome because they aren’t sky high, they have a chunky heel and a platform toe making them really easy to wear. I am totally into backpacks lately. They make for a really great diaperbag/purse. I usually need both hands free and to be able to scoop down to pick Rowan up with out a shoulder bag slipping down every two seconds. How cute is this backpack? and hello Llama necklace!!!

PATTERNED SKIRT | BACKPACK | TANK TOP | BLUE HEELS | LLAMA NECKLACE

Here are my other favorites from around the web these past few weeks…
1. I don’t think I could have said this better myself (well I know I couldn’t have- That is why I love Mandy!)

2. Cutest Birthday Party invites ever.

3. Pretty much think this is the cutest/prettiest dress ever.

4. I love this family so much! (not in a creepy way of course).

5. Summer Fudgesicles and the cutest dang face ever.

6. A tutorial for making your own peplum top!

7. Coconut Quinoa and Kale with Tropical Pesto! Yes please!!

8. I wish so badly I would be able to wear this dress this fall. So dang cute!

9. Love this outfit!

10. These shoes have to be on my feet this fall!

23 months…

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Let’s talk about 23 months shall we? Rowan is all toddler now a days and a very curious one at that. Every other word is “what’s that?” She soaks up information like crazy. Kev and I are constantly amazed by how smart she is. She has started getting her 2 year old molars already and is weighing in at 29lbs and measuring at 36″ tall.
Here are a few things I’d like to remember about this age…

1. We are fully aware we’ve become the parents in denial that our kid has a wild baby mullet. I can’t bring myself to cut it. It will grow out eventually, right?
2. The hundred times a day that she says “I did it!”
3. Her sweet little lips and how they pout when she is sad.
4. How much she loves little babies and pretty much calls any little kid (even her own age) baby.
5. That she is very particular every morning that Daddy sits across from her at her little table while she eats her cereal and that I have to sit on the floor next to her.
6. How she has named her two cheetah stuffed animals “mommy cheeah” and “baby cheeah”
7. She has quite a vocabulary but the way she says these words are my favorite; “beach” “boat” “fox” “Rowan” “ice” and “trash truck”
8. Now when she gets hurt a kiss on her boo-boo makes everything better.
9. Her obsession with strawberries
10. That she still calls her Apple&Eve juice boxes “cookie juice” because that one time there was a cookie monster on the box.
11. That Mickey has gone from being called Hot Dog to now being called “Hot Dog Dance”. Poor Mickey one day she will know your real name
12. That she says “ta da!” when she thinks she is showing you something great.
13. How much she loves climbing into the hiking backpack all day long. Hoping someone will take her for a ride.
14. How she squeals and does this little stomp dance with her one arm raised when she gets to play with her friend Ceanna
15. That she likes to march. She looks like a solider with straight legs but it is pretty funny as she yells “march, march”
16. Her actions to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
17. How she sings her ABC’s. “A – B -C- B- E- B- E…” She is really good at LMNOP and WXYZ. It is really cute. She always claps and says “yay” afterwards.
18. How she knows every way we go to get to the different parks in the area. As soon as she realizes we’ve turn the wrong way (like if we aren’t going to the park) she gets so upset. Yelling “Kids!” She really loves the park and especially playing with other kids.
19. The face she makes when you tell her to say “cheese”
20. How just like at every other stage I can say that this one just makes my heart full. It is hard and makes me cry a lot out of frustration but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Seeing her grow in independence and into a little girl has got to be one of the greatest things to witness as a parent.

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Oh how we love her!

Outfit Details:
Sandals: A gift from her Meme
Dress: H&M (a gift from Germany from her Meme)
Jean Vest: Joe Fresh (gift from her Auntie Carrie)

Last Nights Dinner | 08.14.12

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I am pretty much in love with anything that has mexican flavors in it. I love chili. I have been trying to make sure I get enough protein (and iron and fiber) in my diet now a days and decided to try adding some quinoa to my favorite chili recipe to give it a little extra nutritional punch.

If you are someone who hasn’t tried quinoa, this is a great way to introduce it. It blends in so well with the other flavors, beans and veggies. You hardly know it’s there. Give it a try!

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INGREDIENTS:
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 (10-12oz) cans of diced tomatoes with green chillies
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
4 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp of oregano
1.5 tsp of cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 can black beans
1 can kidney or pinto beans
1 cup of frozen corn
2 red peppers chopped

1 cup of Quinoa

DIRECTIONS:
1. In large pot add oil, saute garlic
2. Add 2 cans of tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, oregano, beans, cut red pepper and corn.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
4. In the meantime cook quinoa in 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.
5. When quinoa is done, add to chili. Stir and serve.
6. Add some cheese or avocado slices if you wanted to.

Running + Pregnancy…

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I love running. It has always been an escape that is very meditative for me. It challenges me mentally and helps clear my mind. When I found out I was pregnant this time around I had just started training for a half marathon. I was super happy we were pregnant, but a little bummed at the thought of having to stop training. Then I thought, why do I have to stop anyways? I talked to my midwife about it and she said it was perfectly healthy for me to continue. I just needed to keep in mind these things…

1. You are eating enough to cover the calories burned from running. You want to make sure you aren’t taking away nutrition from your little one.

2. Your water intake. Even on short runs I would wear my running belt. I felt nerdy for wearing it on runs that were like 3 miles but I knew it was important. DRINK YOUR WATER!!!

3. Take breaks when you need them. I had to remind myself that if I walked for a minute that was ok.

4. Listen to your body. My midwife said that I couldn’t get in a competitive mind set. I had to remember I was running for exercise and because I loved it, not because I wanted to win or prove something to myself. If I wasn’t feeling good I shouldn’t push through just because.

I had a rough few months with this pregnancy. Starting around week 8 and continuing on till about week 18. I felt pretty terrible. The only thing (other than stuffing my face with food) that made me feel good was running. The days I went running were always the days I felt my best. Running really made those few months tolerable. I was able to keep training and ran my half marathon back in June. 13 miles, 13 weeks pregnant. I was pretty proud of that.

I ran for a few more weeks after that but because of the heat have moved into the gym. The elliptical has become my friend now. Exercise is always something that is important to me, but especially during pregnancy. Labor is harder than any marathon I have run, why would I not want to prepare my body for that? If you aren’t a runner exercise can take lots of forms during pregnancy. Even an evening walk around the block is good. I think all that matters is that you find something that works good for you and that you enjoy.

Summer for the Win!

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I think I am just going to throw up my arms at blogging this week. Just isn’t happening. I’ve sat down every morning and started writing about something, but then the rest of life happens and we are on the go until bedtime. It has been a busy but great week! Lots of friends, playdates, pools, new babies and evening walks. Sometimes life is just too good to stay indoors.

This morning I couldn’t sleep and was looking back through some iphone photos. I couldn’t help but smile. I feel like this is the first summer in long time that we can honestly say we have made the most out of every minute. Here are some of my favorites from the past 2 weeks…

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How has your summer been going?

Happy Monday!

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! On Friday night, Kev and I were suppose to go on a date to eat at the same place we celebrated when we found out Rowan was a girl. However, when we had to cancel, I decided we would just have a little celebratory family dinner together with Rowan. I quickly found a bunch of stuff around the house that was pink and blew up some balloons. We made homemade pizza, drank strawberry milk, and had pretty pink cupcakes. I think I just like to decorate for a party more than anything else…

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p.s. this is the notebook I drew “it’s a girl” for the little video last week. It has become our keepsake notebook for the new baby. I have ben writing letters and doodling in there with Rowan. At the end of the pregnancy, I hope to have the whole book filled up with little love notes for her.

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs…

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Ups:
1. Let me just jump up and down and yell “We did it!!” Ahh we did it. We made it through the trouble of making the switch to a big girl bed. I will honestly say it got a little scary there for a while. I was sure we would never sleep through the night again. We may have some bumps in the road ahead of us, especially with a move and a new baby, but I think the worst is behind us. Last night she fell asleep on her own without much of a fight and slept through the night until 7am when she came in to our room. We were all able to then cuddle/sleep a little more till 8am. hallelujah!

2. Rowan does this thing when she hears a noise where she stops what she is doing, cuffs her ear and say in a very perplexed way “what’s that?” It’s not as clear as that which makes it that much more endearing, but it’s probably my favorite thing ever.

3. For as busy a little girl that Rowan is, she sure loves her books. She LOVES to read. It is really the only time we can get her to sit still. She carefully studies each page, looking at every picture and pointing out things she knows how to say. We read a lot of books during the day. I love going to thrift stores (Savers are the best for this I think) and going straight for their book sections. We’ve got so many books for like .49cents. It is awesome. I know I kick myself everyday when I am picking up the 100 books off the floor but I don’t think a kid could ever have too many books.

4. I am pretty sure we have conquered the naked potty training at home. As long as she is naked from the waist down Rowan will always go number 1 and 2 on the potty. We’ve even moved on from the bjorn potty seat to a stool and real toilet (plus seat insert of course). She is really great about it. Now we just need to get her to understand that those same feelings apply when you are out wearing underwear/diaper. We aren’t there yet but it’s a good start.

Downs:
1. THE WHINING! Omgosh. The whining is driving me crazy. This week has been the worst. One minute she is so good but in a split second will go to being so whining and clingy. I really hate the whining. I would take crying over whinging any day.

2. We really have to watch our tone with her. She is starting to mimic and pick up on everything we say. She does this thing now where she gets all heated and puts her hand out and yells “STOP, no Mommmy!” when I am coming to take something away from her. There is also lots of “MINE” which drives me crazy. Let’s just say there have been lots of timeouts in our house lately with her new found attitude.

PREGNANCY UPS & DOWNS (We’ll add these in here now too each week!)
UPS:
1. We got to see our sweet baby girl on Monday! It was the first and probably last time we see her until she is born. I am not really in to getting lots of ultrasounds if they aren’t needed, but boy oh boy was she a cutie. Her little hands were up by her face moving around. So cute!
2. Feeling the baby move around finally. My placenta is anterior this pregnancy so I guess I may not feel her as much?
3. Smooth Move Peppermint tea. Hello! pregnant girls bff! (Just a note: I discussed and got the ok from my midwife before I even started drinking- thank you for the concern)

DOWNS:
1. Having super low energy and patience for Rowan is really hard. Especially, when she is so, so active and in quite a toddler “terrible 2” phase. It makes me feel really guilty.
2. It is so hot and I am so sweaty. Gross
3. I am almost at the no sleeping on my belly anymore point. Eeek. I hate this part. I already can’t sleep fully on my belly, but I can do like a half and half thing still.

Maternity Wears: Week 18

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The bump has come! It is still small and still questionable, but it is there none the less. I am starting to feel more comfortable in tighter tops so it seems more noticeable that I am pregnant and not just gaining lots of weight. Seriously? Does anyone like this stage? Like I said last week, I kind of hate these “are you pregnant or not” looking few months. Almost everything in my closet has stopped fitting. I have switched to a pair of maternity jean shorts that I pretty much wear everyday. All my high waisted skirts are too tight and the waistline on all my dresses just don’t work. This dress on the other hand is great! No waist line at all. Topped with a belt and a cat necklace made from a bullet and I was ready for a special date night with Kev.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Dress: Forever 21
Belt: Target
Sandals: Old Navy
Necklace: Gift

p.s. I am heading over to asos to go stock up on some awesome maternity basics. Did you know you can take 15% off of everything right now. Oh yeah! Use code “GOUSA”

p.p.s. you know what always makes you feel like a million bucks? A new pedicure. Ahhh my favorite!!

it’s a…

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So off to the ultrasound we went on Monday morning. I was sure that was when my appointment was suppose to be. Nope! I was wrong. It was for “Tuesday” the tech told us. Ahhh crushed. Waiting another day seemed cruel. Fortunately, they were able to squeeze us in before we left. Kev guessed the gender right away (he did the same thing with Rowan’s ultrasound). I sit there like Rachel from Friends wondering what the heck I am looking at. We are over the moon with the news!!! We think Rowan is too, although after being told “we were going to see the baby” and then realizing we meant a flat tv screen not a real baby was sort of a let down for her. Soon enough Rowan, soon enough!

and now to share with all of you…

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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