Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY Christmas Card Organizer

Thank you, Pinterest for the easy-peasy, no fail Christmas card organizer idea!  (Andddddd to all of our friends and family who have wished us Happy Holidays this year!)

Ribbon + Binder Clips or Clothes Pins = No mess and no hassle!

Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Two months, two loves and two pictures...

James' crazy hair 2 Month Photo

I cannot believe my baby is already 2 months old.  TWO MONTHS OLD!!!

Everyone tells you how quickly they grow, but never in my life did I envision it went this fast! 

I mean, James is already nearly double his size in weight than he was when he was born, he's drinking 5x the amount at each feeding, and he's so long (tall?) I think he may put holes through all of his footie pajamas!! 

Although I'm definitely from the school of thought that wishes they would stay this little (and precious) forever, it is truly incredible to literally watch this human being grow before my very eyes.  Every day his eyes open just a little bit wider, and as he begins to see more of the fascinating world going on around him, I myself have begun to see things from an entirely new perspective. 

Each smile, each coo leaves me wondering...even dreaming...about James' future.  And as much as I want to know what his voice will sound like, what his interests will be, what he'll be when he grows up...I've never been so happy to just enjoy the present! 

Motherhood has truly been the most defining and life changing experience of my has given me a whole new appreciation for my own mom and dad...and I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful partner to share it with.  Two months ago I fell in love with not one but two little boys - my son and husband, who overnight turned in to the most wonderful daddy.

When I fall in will be forever...

I am the luckiest <3

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I've been on Instagram for a while, but it wasn't until recently that I discovered you actually "follow" and "share" photos with friends.  I honestly just thought it was a app to make your pictures look prettier!  Oops! 

Anyways, since I've gone public it's been fun (and funny) to see what other people are taking pictures of - pets, food, hair, feet, houses, scenery, etc.  And I just learned you can follow celebrities! 

My favorite subject?  You guessed it - James!  I take so many pictures of him on my phone its embarrassing!  Even worse, I don't remember the last time I actually used our nice, expensive camera! 

So when my sister sent me this video yesterday, it sent me into hysterics!

Totally nailed it! 

Are you on Instagram?  What are you taking pictures of?  And has your phone taken the place of your point-and-shoot digital camera?

P.S. I'm the one right at the end of the song..."so many pictures of my kid you'll want to murder me" :)  Consider yourself warned!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Emergency Contact Info

Up until last week when my husband watched James alone overnight (!!!), I had only been apart from my sweet baby for less than three total hours since he was born since he was conceived. 

The first one hour period was when he was 10 days old and I had a 103 degree fever (mastitis) and needed to go to the doctors.  Needless to say I was so exhausted and delirious I hardly remembered the baby free outing.

The second time I left him was to do a quick run to the drug store for more diapers.  And I say quick because when you compare it to the extra time needed to get a baby into his car seat, into car, out of car, into stroller and finally into the store - it truly was a breeze.

And the third time was to go to the gym 2 blocks away for the first time post partum. 

All three outings were local and my husband LOVED the extra one-on-one time he got to spend with James!  I had zero concerns leaving our baby with him, it was me that I was concerned about!!!  I didn't want to be away from my baby for a minute!

But when my bi-annual Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale shopping trip with my sisters (a tradition that started with my Mom) / Nate's first overnight with James was approaching, I realized that I should start putting an emergency contact list together.  Not just for him, but I really should have these numbers readily available in case something were to happen when I am home alone with the baby...which is pretty much every day!  And once we're comfortable enough to have a babysitter, this is a must have for the house! 

Well, good old Pinhole Press just wouldn't let me type up a list and tape it to the fridge...they had to make this adorable photo magnet...and I just couldn't resist!

Emergency Contact Info Magnet Portrait - $4.99

I used another cute shot from James' newborn photo shoot and customized it to include his birth date so a caretaker and / or medical responder would know EXACTLY how old (or should I say young) he is.  This would also be a great place to indicate other important information like food or drug allergies!!

I think this would make a cute stocking stuffer for new parents, don't ya think?

Just another one of my recent Pinhole Press creations...and yes, there are more to come!

P.S. Did I mention how much fun Nate and James had when Mommy was away?!  :)  I love my boys!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


In case you missed all the pictures I've posted on Facebook haven't heard...

I am a mom! 

My heart has never been so full <3

Photo by Brianne of Brianne Elizabeth Photography
Birth Announcement by Pinhole Press

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Disappearing Act

Why hello long lost friends!  I can't believe its been over a month since my last blog post! 

First, my apologies for the unexpected sabbatical!  I honestly thought that when I stopped working (did I mention that?!  My last day at URBN was August 30th!  I'm officially a stay-at-home mom-to-be!), I'd have all this extra time to update my site, create new / interesting posts for you guys, go to the beach, take naps...

But honestly, I have never been so busy before in my entire life!!!

Between helping Nate finish the new house, moving out / selling the old house, planning our open house shower / housewarming party AND getting ready for our baby boy...let's just say life is pure craziness right now!!! Pure, amazingly awesome, over-the-moon happy craziness!!  :)

On top of all that, I don't have my own computer / laptop anymore!  I actually loved and embraced the new found freedom from technology I felt after handing in my work laptop, but it definitely has made blogging every day rather challenging...!    

So today, I finally decided to hijack Nate's macbook and am attempting to write my first of what I hope to be regular posts again.  Just don't expect too many pretty pictures right now - I'm a tried and true PC girl and feel like an old lady trying to figure out all these new icons! Help!!

But anywaysssss, we are all moved into (but definitely not all unpacked) the new house!!!!! And it is, without a shadow of a doubt, better than I ever imagined!!  As I sit here typing on the butcher block counter-top island in our gorgeous new kitchen, looking out through our 16' sliding doors to the open bay, I can't help but feel overwhelmingly blessed.  I am so excited for all of our friends and family to see the amazing house Nate built for us (yes, just like in the Notebook - "I want a gray house, with white balconies") this weekend, and afterwards I promise to post pictures for those of you not able to be here in person.  Until then, we'll be working on knocking off a few more items on our  massive house to-do list!

Equally as important (to our wallet, anyways) - after 9 months of no activity / no offers on our old house on Pleasure Ave., we got 3 offers in one week (when it rains it pours, right?!) and finally SOLD our house!!  Moving out of Pleasure Ave. was as much work as moving into the new house (especially because we did both ourselves...with a few hours of help with furniture from one of Nate's kindest of friends), but now that its all over with, it was completely worth it.  We said goodbye with fond memories but no absolutely reservations.  It was a great first house!

And finally, according to my doctors and a surprise trip to the hospital on Sunday night, Baby Torok could be here any day now!!!  We are 36 weeks and officially on baby watch people!  (Trust me, I am just as surprised as anyone! I was convinced this was a November baby - never did I imagine I'd be on an ice chip diet and talking about our pain management plan at the hospital 4 weeks early!)  Anyways, I am home now relaxing / preparing for baby - I felt like such an awful mom for not having anything packed for the baby clothes washed...we didn't even have our camera ready (!!) - hoping to make it through the weekend! But if he's ready, we're ready!  We can't wait to meet him! (Slash I really hope this was not a complete fake out and he does decide he wants to come out late!) But, stay tuned!

Like I said, it's been a crazy month!  And while I thought I'd have the nursery finished and all of our new furniture picked out / delivered before our housewarming party...such is life!  Building our house has been the most incredible journeys and we can't wait for Baby T to join us for the rest of the adventure!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Celebrating One Amazing Year

How did we celebrate?

We worked at our new house!  Nate taught me how to spackle, tape and sand (his closet)!

31 weeks pregnant and hard at work!

My masterpiece!

We exchanged cards...and presents!  Nate spoiled me with another ring that came in a tiny blue box!  I surprised him with a highly anticipated new tool for our new house / lawn (that came in a very LARGE box)!  And we both enjoyed our first experience shopping in the "Anniversary Card" section of the drug store.

We went out to dinner at Dock's Oyster House (in Atlantic City), the place Nate took me on the night we got engaged! 

We had a our NEW house!

Our campsite all set excited!

Morning after...our bed was quite deflated!
And we relaxed on the beach!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe: Grilled Caesar Salad

One night last summer I went out to dinner with two of my former college roommates at a yummy little BYOB in Philadelphia.  We ordered a grilled caesar salad to share as an appetizer expecting your typical caesar - lettuce, croutons, paramesan cheese, grilled chicken - ya know, nothing unusual.  But when it arrived we all realized that the word chicken hadn't actually listed on the menu and we were literally being served a grilled salad.

The lettuce was warm and soft yet still a little crunchy, with that summery hunt of chargrille.  And it was delicious!  Caesar salads haven't been the same for me since!

Since Nate and I frequently recreate the recipe at home (its a new household favorite!), I thought I'd pass it along in case you're looking for something new to throw on the barbeque!

  • 1 head of Romain Lettuce
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Caesar dressing - I highly recommend an oil based dressing like Ken's Steak House Lite Caesar

1. Cut the head of lettuce in half, as pictured above, being sure not to cut the core.

2. Liberally pour salad dressing on both halves of the lettuce and let marinate (the longer the better).

3. Cook on grill on medium-high heat flat-side down for 3-5 minutes.

4. Although I love the burnt taste, I usually pull off the really burnt pieces from the leafy end.  Then I add more dressing and sprinkle with parmeasean cheese!  One head of lettuce makes enough for 4 people but Nate and I usually finish one just ourselves!


Friday, August 17, 2012

On Pregnancy And...Books, etc.

I'll admit, the hardest part about getting through that scary first trimester was not having my mom around to call to ask questions. 

I use the word scary not because anything went wrong, but because you really go through every emotion in the book during those first three months.  From absolute ecstatic excitement (all my dreams coming true about being a mother!!! we're having a baby!!!), shock (holy cow, we're going to be parents!), worry (is everything ok in there? is he/she still in there?!)...  Your body is starting to go through an incredible transformation and, having never been pregnant before, you don't exactly know what's "normal" or what is "ok to still do"...  Not to mention the raging hormones!!!  All while you're keeping this huge secret from most of the world, counting down every last week and day until you hit that 13 week mark and finally feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief like "we made it!"

So yes, it is all quite nerve wrecking the first time around (and seriously so exhilarating and exciting at the same time, I promise!!) but all I really wanted to do during those months was call my mom and ask her things like "did this happen to you?!" or "were you prone to stretch marks?!" or just talk to about pregnancy / parenting in general!  So ladies (and gents), resource recommendation #1 - your mom.  It's never too early to talk about her experiences in pregnancy and parenting :)

Anywayssssss, any emotional support I needed during the first tri came from my darling husband - who was absolutely wonderful by the way - and my sisters / girlfriends who really have become my stand-in moms (and I to them). 

And most of my questions and concerns could be answered through reading a book (which is why I'm writing this post...recommendations below!), asking my doctor, or (worst case scenario) consulting the internet (last resort only...the internet can be a scary place when you're googling pregnancy related questions!). 

So, I thought I'd share some of the books that have really helped throughout our pregnancy... because regardless of if your mom is around to badger with your 20 questions (or squeal in excitement to!) you're going to want to have some good resources in your house.  If anything, it'll keep you from calling your doctor every day over every last symptom (something my husband wishes I would do, but I assure him is totally not necessary)!! 

Reading has truly made becoming a mom all the more real and and exciting for me, and I can't wait to meet our precious little guy in a little less than 10 weeks!!!  (Can you believe it?!)

Also, I have a whole new appreciation for the human body, particularly my own!  It really is an incredible thing! 

Before You're Expecting
What to Expect Before You're Expecting
Before we started trying, I picked up a copy of What to Expect Before You're Expecting and I thought it gave a pretty good refresher on the whole birds and the bees discussion.  I think it would be extremely helpful for anyone having difficulty conceiving, as it focuses on preparing for conception, timing sex and adjusting your lifestyle, although I think it is a good read for anyone about to "start trying".   

What to Expect When You're Expecting
A week-by-week playbook of what to expect - at your doctors appts., the growth of your baby, what you may be feeling / experiencing physically and emotionally...  It also has a great overview of labor and delivery - something we are most definitely preparing for right now!  This has literally become my pregnancy bible!!  

Owned by The, the Bump is a great online resource for planning and budgeting throughout the entire 9 months.  They also send you a weekly email that updates you on your baby's development including, my favorite part, what fruit or veggie your baby is the size of which I always found very amusing.  Our baby has grown from the size of a poppyseed to the size of squash in the last 30 weeks!  I'd sign up again just for the fun emails :)

For Dad
Expectant Father
This book comes highly recommended from both my brother Justin, who actually lent us his copy after I had ordered the worlds worst "dad book" for Nate. (The book was called What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding, and it basically told the dads to only go to the first ultrasound and delivery, and then in-one-ear out-the-other for the months in between).  Although Nate hasn't taken to the reading as much as I have, I'd say this is the male version of the What to Expect books, leaving out some of the more personal details of what is going with the female body and focusing more on how to support the expectant mother and mentally prepare for fatherhood.

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
This book was recommended to me by a male coworker and soon-to-be first time dad who described the book as the "boy scout guide to being a Dad".  And I couldn't agree more!  In addition to the hilarious tips and tricks - like how to change a baby in a packed sports stadium or how to construct an emergency a diaper out of a towel, sock and duct tape - the book also provides age-appropriate activities for Dads to do with their babies, which is something I have found that Nate always asks me about.  "When will I be able to take him water skiing" or "when will he walk"?  Oh and I just love the cover - how manly, right?!

For Breastfeeding / First Year / Parenting
I'm hesitant to write reviews on these yet, considering I haven't put any of my new found knowledge to practice.  But here is what I'm reading / have read to help prepare for baby:

What to Expect the First Year
Obviously a huge fan of the What to Expect series...  And at some point during your pregnancy you shift from reading about taking care of yourself and growing baby and start focusing on what to do when he or she actually arrives!  In addition to the month-by-month guide to what youre baby should / will probably be able to / will maybe be able to do, it has great sections on breastfeeding basics, baby care and first aid, and stimulating your baby. 

The Sleepeasy Solution: An Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep - from birth to Age 5
A friend sent this book after buying it for herself on recommendation from A Cup of Jo's "What to Register For" post.  I was sold as soon as I read the title.  I love my sleep and hoping our little babe does too! 

The Nursing Mother's Companion
Another gift from a friend who read this instead of paying (out of pocket) to meet with a lactation consultant prior to delivery.  We are taking a birthing class that has its own dedicated lactation session, so I'm hoping both will help prepare us for nursing! 

Did you take to reading during your pregnancy and early days of parenting?  I'd love to hear if you have any great book recommendations! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite blogger's hosted a surprise giveaway on her blog in honor of her birthday! 

There was no liking, tweeting, following or reposting to enter - you simply had to leave a comment with your favorite color and email address and wait to find out what and if you had won.

Obviously, I entered.  Who doesn't love a free giveaway?!  And it was so much fun to see how many other people blindly entered the contest without even knowing what the prize was that they were vying for! 

But to say I was shocked when the winner was revealed is an absolute understatement. 

First, because it was me (I won! I won!), which is just plain exciting and shocking in itself.  I never win anything! 

And more importantly because I found out that I actually was a part of something SOOO much bigger that just a free giveaway.  So much so that I actually felt guilty for being the winner...or perhaps the word I'm looking for is unworthy?

MK's blog giveaway was part of her big "Surprise Birthday Project" where she set out to do 28 random acts of kindness for the 28 years of her life she has lived thus far.   She sent letters, gave flowers, left inspirational notes and quotes, made baked goods...among some other adorably heart warming ideas like this letter to her nephew explaining what an act of kindness is:

And this bag of 28 "free wishes" she left waiting at a fountain:

I was so touched, so moved reading each and every one of the gestures she performed to celebrate her birthday...including the fact that she wanted to do something nice for one of her loyal blog readers, just because!  I had literally just celebrated my own birthday by eating chocolate chip cookies (guilt free, I might add) and treating myself to a work from home day...and here was someone who made "her" day not about herself, but about others.  Really amazing if you ask me!

My pink and turquoise (yes, I couldn't decide between two favorite colors) care package arrived over the weekend and just as she intended, it really made my day!  And while I still have not decided what big thing I should do to pay it forward, I have to say that MK's post inspired me to be, well, just a little bit more thoughtful with the little things. 

And perhaps start a new tradition for Torok family birthdays?  :)

Imagine what our world we be like if we all added a few more acts of kindess to our every day?

P.S. Pop on over to MK in Wonderland to read the full post!  It'll definitely warm your heart on this hot summer day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Reading

via tumblr

I am in dire need of some summer reading recommendations! 

Audible and I are going through a dry spell, and with my pregnancy insomnia in full force and the Olympics halfway over...I am getting concerned!

I've read the Hunger Games series (obsessed, obvi), Bossypants (Tina Fey you crack me up!), Secret Life of Bees (enjoyable), the Twilight series (need I say more), The Help (love love love), The American Wife (a surprisingly steamy read),  Unbroken (highly recommend if you have Olympic fever and enjoy WWI stories), Day of Infamy (a WWII history lesson - I was on a kick), Steve Jobs (simply wow), the Sex & the City books (meh) and Jack Kennedy all within the past year!  (Not to mention the countless baby / pregnancy related books that I've plowed through...)

What other best sellers am I missing?! 

And please do not say 50 Shades of Gray - no interest!

P.S. A Cup of Jo totally stole my blogpost today! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our New House: Update #7

7/24/12: 27 weeks pregnant and hard at work
building a house and making a baby!

Hard to believe it's already August!  And even harder to believe that we'll be moving into our new house NEXT month!!  (#fingerscrossed)  We are sooo excited!  (And very ready to move out of our current house...)

Since my last update, I'm happy to report that things have been moving along rather quickly! We finished sheet rocking in record time and Nate tells me the crew did an excellent job!  (I 100% agree, but to be honest it would be hard for me to tell if it was a good or bad job since I've never seen an entire house get sheet rocked in less than a week!) Its is really starting to look like a real house, not just a construction site!  And I'm having even more dreams about cooking and entertaining in our kitchen, lazy Saturdays on the couch, BBQs on the deck...

Anyways, I haven't shared many details on the floor plan of our house yet but today is your lucky day - I'm giving you a virtual "tour" of our ~3,200 sq. ft 5 BR, 2 BA home in Ocean City!  Consider yourself warned - lots of pictures ahead! Enjoy!

First Floor
To maximize our view of the bay from our second and third floors, we decided to build more of an "upside-down beach house" vs. the more traditional "main living area on the first floor" house that we both grew up in... 

So, when you enter the front door of our house (imagine I am standing in the front door in the picture below), we have stairs to the second floor (main living area) to the left...

 ...and down the long hallway on the right are 3 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom, a laundry room / mud room, coat closet and access to the garage!

Second Floor

In this picture, I am standing at the front of the house (in the living room) taking a photo of our soon-to-be kitchen.  The cabinets and island will be on the right, and our dining table on the left.

Now I am standing in that doorway above in the kitchen (which is a hallway that leads to our walk-in pantry, half bath and junior master suite) taking a picture of the living room.  God I love that huge sliding glass door!

The junior master (down the little hallway) is perhaps my favorite bedroom in the house (yes, even more than our master) - it is a 12' x 16' room complete with its own walk in closet and bathroom.  AKA, Baby Torok's nursery!  (Now do you know why it's my favorite?!)

(Stay tuned for an upcoming post "On Pregnancy And...Designing the Nursery"!!)

Third Floor

The third floor (which is 60% the size of the second floor - yes, that is some weird Ocean City zoning law) is our master suite which includes our bedroom, sitting room, private front and back decks, his / her walk-in closets and master bathroom!  Here is a view from the front of the house - we plan on putting our bed underneath the windows (see second picture) on the right, and the sitting area on the left.

Here, I am standing about 10 steps to the left in the corner (sitting area), trying to capture where our bed will be.

A sneak peak at our master bath - shower straight ahead, toilet on the left, and missing from the photo is our double sink vanity and my dressing / make up table.

Why is there a door in out bathroom?  Well, Nate hasn't taken an indoor shower (okay, mayyyybe one) since we moved to Ocean we just had to build him his very own outdoor shower off the back deck!

Last week, the interior doors, trim and crown molding was installed.  I'll be honest, I left all three of those decisions completely up to Nate.  A. because I didn't even know there was more than one choice for doors or trim (me: "White. I wantwhite doors and white trim, please!"); B. beacuse I really am not that observant to know the difference between them; and C. if there is anything I learned from choosing our cabinets - I like more decorative wood working, and he is a minimalist...and we'd waste too much time making the decision together!

Anyways, best idea ever because he made up his mind in less than an hour, there was no debating / mind changing / compromising and it looks fabulous

Whats up next?  The painter started today and our tiles, kitchen cabinets and appliances will all be delivered next week!  Might we perhaps be in by Sept 15th?!  I think it's doable! 

Also something to look forward to?  Our garage door will be installed on Wednesday, as in two days from now, which should hopefully keep out both noisy neighbors and other trespassers...

Can you believe that on Sunday morning, while giving my dad (who hadn't seen the house since it was a vacant lot!!!) the grand tour, we walked upstairs to find that someone had apparently broken in and had a little fun with our leftover paint samples on Saturday night?!

My reaction: "what the f&#* happened?!"  (I told you I don't deal with surprises very well!)

Luckily, there was no major damage, nothing was stolen and no one was hurt.  :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July!

I am so excited for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight that I seriously feel like a kid on Christmas!  It's hereeeee!  It's finally HEREE!!!!

Now how the hell am I going to make it through work all day?!

(Side note: did you know hell was the first curse word I ever said?  I was probably around 10.  We were up at our Pocono house when I said out nowhere, "it's hot as hell in here!"  I obviously didn't know that was not something appriorate to say...  And I think I got my mouth washed out with soap??)

Anyways, what are your summer olympic favorites?  Mine are, without a doubt, swimming, gymnastics and of course, soccer! 

I can't wait for the Phelps / Lochte showdown, And I'm anxious to see Matt Grevers swim the 100m backstrock because I just recently learned that Nate swam against him in the NCAA championships when he swam for Penn State his freshman year of college...and was touched out by .01 of a second (!!).  (He also swam against Michael Phelps when he was 12 years old...and beat him!  Now that's a cool claim to fame, huh?!)  Oh and Natalie Coughlin, even I have a girl crush on you! :)

Mmm...swimmer bodies!

Was anyone else as glued to the U.S. women's gymnastic trials as I was?  Poor Nastia...  And although I'll definitely miss getting to watch another Shawn Johnson performance, hello Gabby Douglas!  She seriously won me over as her new biggest fan! 

I'm still a bit disappointed the U.S. men's soccer team is not making an appearance, but the U.S. women's team is already giving us plenty to cheer about!!  Looking forward to watching more from these ladies!

Other events I'm really looking forward to?  Diving, the triathlon, and track and field!

Do you have Olympic fever?!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Pregnancy And...Before We Were Expecting

The month after our wedding, I had my annual exam at the lady doctor.  After catching up with the doc on what I had been up to - oh you know, just got married and had the most amazing honeymoon in Fiji! - he immediately took out his prescription pad, wrote one out for prenatal vitamins and handed it to me saying "Oh, then you'll be needing this!"

I laughed out loud.

Although we were planning on starting our family soon, that length of time had not exactly been defined yet...and I surely hadn't mentioned that to him!! 

Heck, I still hadn't even unpacked my bags yet!

But he said I should start taking them anyway - never too soon to start.  And I headed out of the office thinking "Wow, before these appointments used to be all birth control and the moment I mention I got married they switch to the tune of babies, babies babies!"

But a couple days later, I had a flashback to a memory of my mom when she was pregnant with my youngest brother Patrick.  I was still the world's pickiest eater - like literally, I think I could have won an award - and my mom was telling me how important it would be for me to take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid, and that she prayed by the time I was having children there might be at least one or two vegetables in my diet.

(At that time, the only vegetables I liked were carrots and celery.  And I did not eat fruit.  Period.)

I started thinking about my diet... Luckily I outgrew my pickiness as I got older.  And after losing all the college / post college weight I had gained (from late night food, beer and lack of exercise) by changing my lifestyle, diet and joining a boxing gym (it really does work!), I was able to maintain a weight I was pretty satisfied with for the past 4 years. 

But I realized that during the times my exercise had become more sporadic, my eating also turned more erratic - I was a habitual snacker, meal skipper, crash dieter.  But it did the trick to keep the scale tipping right around where I wanted it to when I wasn't on the work out train.  

Anddddd then I lost about 3-4 lbs the month before my wedding - the really unhealthy way - you know, because you're supposed to be your skinniest on the most important day of your life!!!  (I wanted to do more (!!) but I was fighting some serious funeral weight... #eatingyouremotions)

I knew that if we were serious about starting a family anytime in the near future, I needed to start eating right again.  And this time not just for me, but for the health of our unborn baby.  That meant no more meal skipping, and especially none of those extreme pre-wedding measures... 

I also did some homework (I promised not to get preachy on ya, but I thought this was too important not to share: stocking your body with nutrients, reduced risk of neural tube defects, fewer episodes of morning sickness, increased fertility...  Food for thought!) and immediately took that prescription to the pharmacy! 

"Soon" turned out to be mid-December.  And while my eating wasn't perfect (and my exercise was still rather nonexistant.  but hey, it was winter!), I was on my way to a healthier me.  Something that couldn't have been done overnight...or from the moment we decided to press go on starting a family right then and there.

Because sure enough, just one month later, well, you know what happened!  :)

Like the doc said, never too soon to start.  Especially for someone like me.

(Stay tuned for an upcoming post On Pregnancy...And Weight Gain for more on this topic!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Pregnancy And...

This week, we officially entered the third and final trimester of our pregnancy!  I cannot believe it!  When I think back to that life changing day in February, it seems so long ago...  Yet I feel like our pregnancy is flying by!  We'll be meeting our little boy for the first time in just a few short months!  EEEEEE!!!!

When I finally shared our big news with the blog-o-sphere, I really wasn't sure how much I'd write about our 9 months waiting for baby.  Since then, I shared the story about how we found out, our decision to find out the gender of our baby (here and here), the party we threw the celebrate, and the big announcement that we are (to apparently no ones surprise) expecting a baby BOY

I have, however, neglected to share the more personal details of our experience, equally because I am naturally a private person at heart (despite having a very public blog) and I have been, well, extremely busy this summer with work, building the new house and getting ready for baby!!  Not to mention, I am no expert here - this is baby #1 on board!

But this has truly been one of the most amazing and life altering experiences of my life.  I honestly LOVE being pregnant and I realized I should be writing about it!  Not only for myself, but for for any readers out there going through / will go through some of the ups, downs and everything in between in their own pregnancy! 

So, I'd like kick off a little series I'd like to call "On Pregnancy And..." where we'll talk about some pregnancy related topics like: gaining weight (something I really struggled with mentally), finding maternity clothes (harder than you think!), great reads / resources, designing a nursery (, pregnancy journals (some cute ideas ahead!), baby bumps (when exactly do you get one?!), feeling those first kicks (indescribable), and more!

I'll hope you'll tune in and share some of your stories, as well!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our New House: Update #6

Welp, it's official.  We're sheet rocking!

We finally passed our final framing and insulation inspections yesterday...


And today they hung the first piece of drywall!

sneak peak at the future nursery

We could not be more excited!!

While our house undergoes its next big transformation - this time on the interior - here are some pictures I promised in my last update of the (95%) completed exterior! 

from the right

from the left

close up of the arch on the 3rd floor deck
(you can see a glimpse of it in the shots above)

Ain't she a beaut?  (The house.  Not the port-o-potty...or Nate's truck!  Something always seems to be in my way of a perfect shot!)

Garage door, interior doors, trim / molding and appliances have all been ordered.  Next up on our to-do list: order kitchen cabinets (I swear we're doing this on Monday), finalizing tile and vanity selections for the bathrooms and ordering the hardwood floors!  Then maybe I can finally start thinking about furniture and decorating!  :)

Until next time!