We get to love you

I had every intention of posting several months ago about my skin care routine {I’ve found some fantastic products lately that don’t break your budget..} but right about the time I was going to be writing our my content for that post, something else happened.

We found out we are expecting a Baby Alley!

Needless to say, there were too many thoughts + emotions going through my head to remember “Oh hey, about that blog post on skin care routines…”  My free time quickly became overcome with worry {is the baby ok in there?}, with excitement {let’s look at baby names! And baby items!}, and with the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed. It was a time I got to spend with my husband keeping this little secret about this sweet little miracle we have created.

Now, because I like talking so much about my experiences with life so much, I thought I would share some of my “first trimester tips” with you {because hallelujah i’ve made it to trimester 2!} So here we go:

First trimester experiences {from an extremely unexperienced pregnant lady}

  • You don’t always have to get morning sickness. And thank you sweet lord for that. That was actually one of the first fears I had upon finding out I was pregnant. People make it out to seem like every woman will be drastically ill throughout the first trimester {and don’t get me wrong, some of you will!} Luckily, I did not have this problem. I didn’t get sick a single time {I had a few small waves of nausea here and there albeit nothing unmanageable} A tip I learned from my sister was if you start to feel sick, even if you’re not hungry at all, eat a snack! It will help you stop feeling nauseous. Luckily, if you do have morning sickness, it should start to subside around good ole trimester 2.
  • You’ll be tired, OH SO VERY TIRED. I never realized how exhausted I would be. I work 6-3, so it’s rare you’ll find me up past 8:30 or 9pm anyway, but now it’s hard to find me awake past 7pm! I won’t be feeling overly exhausted and them WHAM, I’ve fallen asleep with my phone on my face and I don’t even realize it until an hour later. This is something I don’t think others fully understand if they haven’t experienced pregnancy before, because lately I’ve gotten the feeling some of our friends have thought I’m being lazy or something. .Let me tell you, mommas, I understand. This symptom has hit me and hit me with a vengeance. Our bodies are working in overdrive to provide support not only to us, but to our sweet littles. Now supposedly we’re in luck, this is supposed to start subsiding and we’re supposed to get a “burst of energy” in trimester two, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m only a week in to trimester two, and I’m still just as tired as I was before.
  • Stay OFF of the mommy forums and mommy boards on the internet. This is something I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do until I started and ended up getting TERRIFIED of everything. But once I had started googling all of my questions, I couldn’t stop, so my advice? Don’t even start. If you go looking for a board on advice if there’s a problem, you will inevitably find someone who had a problem. Usually people who do are hooked to those boards, so stay off of them or you will worry yourself sick. I know I did. I wouldn’t even allow myself to think of names or nursery ideas or anything until after my 12 week appointment with my doctor because those boards freaked me out so much. If there are no signs that there is a problem, I’m sure your baby is completely fine in there. Let your body do what it was created by God to do. If you can’t help it and do end up getting worried, I saw a recommendation from a doctor that said if you’re really worried in trimester 1 and you can’t get in to see the doctor until 12 weeks {which is normal}, then take one pregnancy test per week. If something were going wrong, likely your HcG levels would drop and it would be reflected on a pregnancy test. I did this a couple of times to calm my nerves, and by george, it helped.
  • Don’t let people “preggo shame” you. If I am asked one more time why I’m drinking a cup of coffee when I’m pregnant, I may actually throw hot coffee at someone {okay, an exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying.} I know how much coffee / caffeine I’m allotted in a day {and trust me I use it wisely}. You’re going to get asked about epidurals, about chromosomal disorder testing, about breastfeeding, about staying at home, about co-sleeping, about your exercise routine…everything. It’s like being pregnant is an open invitation for everyone to voice their opinions. At first, this severely bothered me, but now I realize that people are just trying to help. Their opinions are most likely what they were taught is the best for their babies, and they are wanting to share that advice with you, so let them, and then choose to use what you wish. It’s also a time where you and your spouse will start forming a new bond, and you’ll have to become a team. Charles and I have recently had a discussion about not discussing important decisions in front of family or friends, because these are decisions we need to make in private as a new parental unit. All you have to do when someone asks you something you haven’t discussed yet and may have different opinions about is say “we haven’t discussed that yet, and we will discuss it later in private.” There are big decisions that come with being a parent. My husband and I were raised similarly yet completely different, so it will take time for us to blend our backgrounds to parent the best way possible, but those discussions are personal, and you don’t need family or friends in the background trying to sway your decisions one way or the other.
  • Keep dating your spouse. One of the reasons Charles and I didn’t start talking about children immediately after we were married is because we wanted to get to know each other in our knew roles as husband and wife. One of my greatest fears is that we will start making everything about our child and stop putting our marriage first, which, I know may be an unpopular opinion, but your marriage should always come first. Charles and I have “mini date nights” where we fill out the baby book together, talk about baby names, do projects around the house, order in food and binge watch our favorite shows, etc. They say husbands can often feel left out of the pregnancy process if you don’t make them feel involved, so I’ve been trying to keep that in mind and letting Charles contribute whenever he can. He was the husband that was there to help make every decision with our wedding, and he wanted to be there, and he’s been there wanting to be a part of every decision with Baby A as well. I cannot wait to see him in his new role as “father.”

Here’s a few pictures from the talented N.M. Franklin Photography of our baby announcement!

“We get to love you” 

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Spring Cleaning + a DIY!

I don’t really know how I feel about Sundays. I really like that I get to be at home..sipping coffee, working around the house, & watching Netflix, but then there’s that impending moment where you realize “I don’t get to sleep in tomorrow!” and “It’s going to be 5 more days before I get this bliss again.” I’m currently caught between the two emotions, but I’m more on the happy side. The sun is shining, it’s beautiful outside, my sweet sweet nephew is coming over this afternoon, and the handsome husband is coming home in a few hours from the lake. And a happy Sunday to you!

I stayed home this weekend while Charles went to the lake for a few different reasons. First, I had a hair appointment on Friday afternoon that I was NOT going to miss. Second, our house needed a good cleaning + we needed groceries, etc. The plan for me was get my hair done on Friday afternoon, meet some girlfriends for dinner, and then Saturday morning, wake up and start re-organizing the kitchen, scrubbing everything, cleaning windows, cleaning the clutter in the guest bedrooms, wash the sheets and all the laundry, etc. I had lofty goals and I was in the right mindset to accomplish them. It’s so much easier to get things accomplished when your husband is out of town. I know you feel the same way.

This plan was on track until I woke up at 3 am on Saturday with what I believe to be food poisoning. It. Was. Miserable. I didn’t sleep, I had a headache, I was sick to my stomach..you name it, i had it. PLUS it was dreary and cold outside which didn’t help matters. Luckily I managed to get out of bed for short periods at a time in the morning, and was able to get all of the laundry done / sheets washed. I even managed to go later in the morning and stop by the local farmers market for some nice flowers before picking up some soup for myself. And look at these vintage taper candle sticks that I found for .99 cents at a thrift store? I was SO pleased. Luckily, we live in a day and age with Walmart to go groceries, so I even ordered my groceries from bed and all I had to go was pick them up. DIdn’t even have to get out of my car, & I went in my pjs. Luxury!

I did manage to finish all of the dishes, most of the dusting, washed the insides of all of the windows, cleaned the bathrooms, etc. I even felt well enough last night to go sing at church and go to dinner with my parents. I woke up this morning feeling SO refreshed and ready to go {I know..why couldn’t i have just felt this well and motivated yesterday?}

I want to share a quick DIY with you for something that helps me when I’m cleaning, and I hope it will help you, too! It’s DIY Toilet Bombs! There are literally the easiest things you’ll ever make, and they work SO well. I use these when I’m cleaning the toilets and it greatly extends the amount of time I need to go before I have to scrub the toilet again. It’s a busy time of year, one where you’re having BBQ’s, cookouts, bonfires, friends over, etc, so what better DIY is there to help with the increased bathroom traffic? I actually use these as garbage disposal cleaners as well. They are all natural, reduce odor, and clean + prevent dirt. Here’s how to make your own!

Here’s the cast of characters:

  • 1 + 1/3 cup baking soda {reduces odors, keeps clean}
  • 1/2 cup citric acid  {all natural! This is found in the fruits that we eat and causes the “fizzy” sensation of the bath bombs. It can be a pain to find..I found it by the mason jars in Wal-mart, but it took me three stores to find some!}
  • Essential oils of your choice  {I used a mixture of grapefruit, lemongrass, and lavender!}
  • Spray bottle of water  
  • Some sort of ice tray / silicone mold   

First you start making the bombs by mixing together the baking soda and the citric acid in a bowl. Mix well!

Next, take your spray bottle of water and add in your essential oils. You don’t need to add three, I only did because I love the way these smell. You really only need one! Don’t be stingy with the drops! You need between 30-50 drops of oil total. Shake well in the spray bottle of water! {added bonus, you’ll end up with leftover water + essential oil mixture..I recommend using this as a pillow spray to help you relax at night! I use this mixture on my pillow and can instantly feel myself relax and fade away into a fast and peaceful sleep!}

Next, spritz the citric acid + baking soda mix with the water {I used a small bottle and spritzed about 10 times at once.} IMPORTANT: make sure you don’t spritz more than this at one time, or else the citric acid will all fizz up and won’t work with the toilet bomb. Mix up well, and then repeat the spritzing and mix again. You’ll end up doing this for about five minutes. You know you’re done when your mixture has the consistency of wet sand.

You should be able to take a handful of the mixture, squeeze it in your hand, and have it stick together like below. That’s how you’ll know you are ready to go.

Once it’s reached this consistency, you’ll begin placing the mixture in your ice cube trays or silicone baking molds. I searched HIGH AND LOW in Target for some cute silicone ice molds {pineapples, hearts, ANYTHING} but all I could find were these regular ice trays. But get creative!! This can be SO fun. Make sure to FIRMLY pat them down in the trays, and don’t fill the trays too full, because this mixture will rise. Let sit in the trays for about 6 hours or less if they are hardened, and then remove.

Toss a “cube” into your toilet and let the fizzing begin! I swear you will fall in love with this DIY, you’re cleaning routine will thank me!

We interrupt this blog to bring you PUPPIES

Don’t worry – we will be back shortly to resume our #LiveLocalFS segment, but you know when get something so new and exciting, you just can’t contain it {and have to share it with everyone?!} This is one of those times.

Let me introduce you Cholla, Milli, & Hobbs new best friend: {drumroll, please…}

Introducing KAI KRATES!

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the “box of the month” clubs, I mean they pretty much have them in every genre imaginable: wine of the month {mm…wifey likes}, cheese of the month club {yep, I can come to terms with this..}, razor of the month clubs..you name it, you can get random varieties of it each month. Well Kai Krates is an affordable dog toy & treat of the month club. Let me first start by saying that Charles & I have been anxious to try a dog box for months now {if you’re a dog owner, you know that dog toys and dog treats? They’re not cheap y’all!} but they have seemed so expensive that it wasn’t worth it. Luckily, I was introduced to Kai Krates, which is an affordable option. Not only do they completely crush the competitors in terms of price, but you can get your dog boxes in different sizes, dependent on your furry friends size – and the prices fluctuate depending {check out their website here to look at their 3 different pricing levels!}

Not only does Kai Krates provide affordable treats and toys for your best friends {yeah, I don’t have kids, my dogs are my life, leave me alone}, but they also provide treats that are tested and GOOD for your dogs – and you’ll always get 4-5 toys and treats each month.

Okay..now for the story time {the true testament to the box}

I received my box in the mail on Monday evening of last week, and I was in the middle of packing / showering / getting my life in order to be in Houston for almost a week, and I knew I wanted to blog the dogs with their Kai Krate, so I didn’t want to open the box at that time. I set it on the kitchen counter, slapped on a hair mask and a face mask, and got to packing. While packing, I kept hearing our big dog, Milli, whimpering and trying to knock something off of the counter. I rushed into the kitchen to find that she was wanting the contents of our Kai Krate box – she could smell the treats even inside the packaging! I felt so guilty, but I had to place the Kai Krate in a high location in order to hide it from the girls {and our sweet puppy visitor, my in laws dog Hobbs!}

Yesterday, I decided it was time to give them their Kai Krate and reward them for being good puppies while we were gone, so I got the Kai Krate down and placed it on the counter {again..bad idea}. I started fiddling with my camera, and the whimpering from the girls started again. When I finally busted open the contents of the Kai Krate, these dogs flipped, they were jumping, hiding the toys from each other, calling dibs, sneaking around, giving each other sad puppy “share with me” eyes, and just pretty overall excited. I had such a relaxing lonely afternoon since the pups were so interested in their toys, I hardly saw them.

Since my precious fur children loved their Kai Krate so much, I wanted to help you all get your very own subscription! As a special treat, Kai Krates & I have partnered to do just that!

Use the code “rightupouralley” on the Kai Krates site {once again, found here!} to get 10% off your Krates! 

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