Preparing Riggins For Baby
  • September 20, 2017
  • Baby · Life
  • As excited as I am for Baby G to get here, part of me is already missing the special time we have as just a family of three. When Riggins became a part of our family almost a year ago, I never realized just how much a part of our family he would become.How To Prepare Your Pet for a New Baby

    I’m not ashamed to admit that we’re probably those “crazy dog parents,” but we’re ok with that! I get emotional thinking about how much he’s grown and the closer we get to baby, the more I worry about how he’ll react when he is no longer the center of our world. I know eventually he’ll learn to love his little sister just as much as he loves us, but I have a feeling it’s going to take some time. I’m so excited to see how Riggins and the baby become friends over the years though! Lately I’ve been thinking about how to prepare Riggins for the new baby and what we can do to make the transition easier for all of us.

    • When we first brought the car seat home, Riggins was terrified of it. He just barked and barked and barked at it. The same thing happened when we put the stroller together. We put them out of sight for a while, but a few weeks ago we brought them out and put them in the living room to help him get used to them. We’ll push the stroller around every so often and he’ll sniff around both the stroller and car seat. Now that stroller and car seat are back in “his room” (the guest room) and he no longer barks so I think we’re making progress!
    • Once we have the nursery set up, we plan on spending time with him here just cuddling and playing. I know we’ll be spending a lot of time in this room once we have the baby and I want him to be comfortable in the space.
    • Riggins has always been a snuggler, but lately he’s been extra snuggly with me! At night when we’re on the couch together I let him lay on my stomach so he can feel the baby move and kick. I have no idea if this means anything to him, but I figure it can’t hurt!
    • Before we come home from the hospital, we’re going to send my parents home with a blanket with the babies sent to give to Riggins. When we do come home, we’re going to leave the baby with my parents or Brett’s parents for a few minutes and just spend time with Riggins before we introduce him to his new sibling.
    • I know the days and weeks after bringing the baby home will be a blur of emotions and exhaustion, but we’re hoping to give Riggins at least a little one on one time every day.

    Do you have any tips for helping a pet adjust to a new baby? I’d love to know what worked for you!

    Summer To Fall
  • September 13, 2017
  • Life · Style
  • As sad as I am to see summer go, I am excited for the summer to fall wardrobe transition. Maybe it’s because most of my summer clothes no longer fit? 🙂 I purchased this dress in August to wear to a wedding knowing that the color would make it easy to transition into fall with. I just swapped out the nude heels for booties and added a jacket.

    I’ve received so many compliments on this dress and I still can’t believe it’s under $25! The booties are another great buy at just under $35. I love the peep-toe ankle bootie trend this year, but I didn’t want to invest in a trendy pair of shoes. I found these at Old Navy one day though and couldn’t get over how comfortable they are. I can wear these all day at work without any problems.

    I’m hoping to wear this dress throughout the fall season by just continuing to change up accessories or adding a layer. A long boyfriend cardigan would be great too for cooler days. Do you have any tips for the summer to fall wardrobe transition? summer to fall summer to fall summer to fall summer to fall summer to fall summer to fall

    dress / jacket / booties

    Health and Fitness For Pregnancy
  • September 11, 2017
  • Baby · Lifestyle
  • With just a few months to go, staying active and eating healthy is more important than ever. I know that sometimes this just isn’t possible due to pregnancy side effects and complications, but I’ve been really lucky that I have felt great so far. My overall philosophy is to just eat and do what feels right. (And if eating what feels right means eating the cupcake then I go for it!)Health and Fitness for PregnancyHealth and Fitness for Pregnancy Health and Fitness for Pregnancy Health and Fitness for Pregnancy Health and Fitness for Pregnancy Health and Fitness for Pregnancy Pregnant or not, I always try to have a fairly balanced diet. This means I try to eat healthy most of the time, and I try not to feel guilty if I have a couple not-so-healthy meals in a week. I definitely don’t feel great after unhealthy meal or treat, even more so now than before, so this is another reason why I have these in moderation. I also have a terrible sweet tooth and that hasn’t changed during pregnancy. I always crave something sweet at the end of the day!

    Here are a few of my favorite meals and snacks that I’ve been eating throughout my pregnancy.

    Breakfast:

    • On Sundays I make a big batch of overnight oats to have each morning during the week. You can get my favorite recipe hereI put them in mason jars so all I have to do is grab and go in the mornings!
    • On weekends we usually go for at least one long walk in the morning. When we do this, I like to grab a smoothie from either Left Coast or Real Good Juice. I like the Kale Mary from Left Coast (I swap out the avocado for banana and dates) and the Kal E. Kapowski from Real Good Juice.

    Lunch:

    • Just like with breakfast, I typically eat the same thing every day for lunch. If I can prep something on Sundays, I don’t have to worry about running out of time to make lunch during the week. They typically look something like this:
      • Spinach wrap with egg whites, avocado, spinach and garlic and herb cheese spread, with a side of fruit salad 
      • Spinach wrap with tuna, avocado and spinach, with a side of fruit salad and maybe some crackers if I’m still hungry. (I love these pretzels!) 
      • Peanut butter and jelly on organic bread and veggies (snap peas are my favorite!)
        • I love peanut butter and jelly, but to make it healthier I use PB2 in place of real peanut butter.

    Snacks:

    • I normally don’t start getting hungry until late afternoon. I’ll have either an apple with a side of PB2 or a few pieces of cheese, a couple slices of apple and a handful or dried cranberries and cashews. I’ve learned to just always plan ahead and have a healthy snack with me to keep hunger headaches away!
    • Thanks to my mom, I recently discovered Complete Cookies and I like to have these for a guilt-free treat in the afternoon’s occasionally. They have 16 grams of protein and no added sugar. The snickerdoodle is my favorite!

    Dinner:

    • I try to make dinner five times a week, usually Sunday – Thursday and then we go out Friday and Saturday’s. Favorites right now are:
      • A small bowl of spinach tortellini with roasted veggies, chicken and pesto sauce and side salad
      • Grilled flatbread pizzas with roasted veggies
      • Chipotle burrito bowls with shrimp. I typically swap out the rice for cauliflower rice and load up on lots of veggies.

    When it comes to working out, my goal throughout this pregnancy has been to work out at least four – five times a week. My biggest challenge lately has been finding clothes that fit and I’m comfortable in. I wear these pants all the time and recently picked up a few tops from Old Navy (like this one and this one).

    I like to mix things up so this includes a combination or running outside and Bar Method. I know that running will likely get a lot more difficult, or even not possible as I get closer to my due date, so I’m just listening to my body and taking a break or slowing down when I need to. Starting at the 20 week mark, I had to start doing some modifications at Bar Method, but it’s reassuring to know that because of these modifications I can continue classes as long as possible. We also take a lot of long walks with Riggins in the evenings and weekends. I’m really going to miss these once the weather turns cooler! 

    Last but not least, I drink a lot of water. I’m aiming for at least 100 ounces a day, but lots of days ends up being closer to 80 ounces.  I use this water bottle and keep track of how many times I fill it up each day.

    I would love to know any tips you have for staying active and eating healthy during pregnancy!

    pants / top / sneakers / water bottle

    Baby Essentials
  • September 7, 2017
  • Baby
  • Now that we’re in our third trimester, we’re slowly starting to get all the gear we’ll need for when baby arrives in a few months. It’s astonishing the amount of things such a tiny human will need! We are trying to keep our list of items to just the baby essentials because we don’t have a ton of space in our condo, but even so our list is long.baby essentialsA few weeks ago the Chicago Baby Show was held at Navy Pier and it was a great opportunity to see in person some of the items we have on our wish list. Today I’m sharing a few of the baby essentials that are at the top of our list. I’d love to know what you love for baby and anything I may have missed!

    UppaBaby Vista Stroller: I knew I wanted this stroller even before we got pregnant. It is pricier, but after so many of our new parent friends raved about it, it made the decision easy. The suspension wheels make it great for city walks, and the large storage space underneath will be great for trips to the store with baby.

    BABYBJORN Bouncer: This is another higher-priced tag item, but again it’s another one that parents seem to love. Babies grow out of most bouncers pretty quickly, but the BABYBJORN bouncer can grow with your child, up to two years old. It also folds flat so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

    Cozy Cheekz Heated Changing Pad: Before the Chicago Baby Show I had never heard of Cozy Cheekz, but now I think it’s genius! With having a winter baby, I’ve been concerned about keeping the baby warm enough both in and out of the home. This heated changing table provides 12 hours of continuous heat and is leak proof and stain resistant.

    Tinybeans: This isn’t a product, but something I consider a baby essential, especially if you have family and friends that live far away. Tinybeans works like a private photo album that you can share with family and friends via daily email’s or through the Tinybeans app. It’s a great way to share photos without sharing your child’s every move on social media. My cousin’s use Tinybeans to share pictures of their adorable daughter, and I love getting daily emails with pictures of their baby.

    Monica and Andy: Monica and Andy is a local Chicago brand and I can never resist popping into their store on Halsted whenever I’m walking by. There baby clothes, blankets and accessories are made with high quality, organic fabrics that are so soft.