Surviving My Commute

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me over the past year I’ve probably complained about my commute to you. Sorry, that is probably annoying. In all seriousness though, with winter approaching, my commute is only going to get longer. I’ve been trying different things to try to make it more enjoyable, and no, getting up before the rest of the world to get to work at an insanely early time is not an option.

I realized one of my biggest complaints was losing 1.5 – 2 hours a day when I could really use that time towards something more productive. Plus, I found myself getting more frustrated and distracted while driving. Flash back to car accident this fall. That is when I decided to start listening to audiobooks. I have reserved my commute time for nonfiction, professional development, or some type of book or program I can learn from. And let me tell ya, it has been a game changer.

With that said, I’d like to share a few titles I have enjoyed since starting this new commuting activity.

1. #GIRLBOSS – Written by Sohpia Amoruso, founder and CEO of NastyGal, had a refreshing perspective about being an entrepreneur and basically kicking ass in business. She often swears, tells it how it is, and overall inspires you to try harder and just go for it.

2. Lean In – This has been my favorite so far, and I will probably listen to it again in the new year. What I love about this book, written by COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, is her support for women in top leadership positions throughout all areas of business. I’ve read different articles and blog posts that go against the idea of “leaning in” but with everything you have to do what works for you. For me, I really identified with her message especially as I prepare to be a working mother. If you are interested, check out her TED Talk as well.

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3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Oh my gosh, soooo good! I was supposed to read this for book club but never got around to it. To be honest, I think reading the book could have put me to sleep, but the audio version was perfect and I actually looked forward to my commute. Written by Rebecca Skloot, she tells an often forgotten story that has greatly influenced the world of medicine.

4. The Chalene Show – This is a Podcast by fitness celebrity and motivational speaker, Chalene Johnson. I’ve always been a fan of hers and a friend kept telling me I needed to check it out. I downloaded it awhile ago, but hadn’t listened too much since I had so many good books lined up. This past week I really dove in and got to listen to quite a few episodes. She focuses on fitness and nutrition, business, motivation, and pretty much everything else you can think of that you’d want to hear about!

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5. Required Texts for School – I have also found that some of the required books for grad school can be downloaded in audio version. Talk about a time saver!!! My most recent Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I’ll be honest, when I first started to listen I was bored, but then all of a sudden it became applicable to everyday life as he explained his studies in behavioral economics. I look forward to seeing what else I can listen to for school.

If you have any suggestions for me please let me know. I have all the time in the world, literally, for about 1.5 – 2 hours per day.

Posted in Happiness, New Experiences, Professional Life | Leave a comment

Operation Don’t Ruin The Nursery

I’ve often heard that parents want their children to have the best, and many will do whatever it takes, within reason, to make sure that happens. There were many times this weekend I stopped and thought, “Hmm, that must come after the baby is born, because if I really wanted Baby B to have the best I would have hired someone to do this.” In all seriousness, this weekend was a major nursery weekend. Since Justin was out-of-town deer hunting I decided to enlist the help of my parents and gets some stuff done.

I had originally set a goal to have the spare bedroom, which was to become the nursery, all cleaned out by our 20 week ultrasound. I missed that goal by weeks, but had the motivation to finish it before we had our carpets cleaned last weekend. This is what it looked liked before.

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Catch-all Room

 

I seriously went through about 15 years worth of stuff and donated about 10 bags full of clothes from my late teens and early twenties. Whoa, I wore a ton of halter tops.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest to find ideas for our nursery and came across a project I wanted to attempt that required me painting something on a wall. I am not all that creative or artistic so I went in to this project with the wall paint re-shook just in case it turned out to be a disaster. My parents came over to assist with moving furniture, painting it and hanging up shelving. Selby also tried to help but wasn’t very effective.

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The Happy Helpers.

We decided to use my old bedroom set for the nursery furniture to not only save money, but I have had the set since I was a kid, and it was my Mom’s grandmothers so it has been around a long time and was still in fairly good condition. We sanded it, repainted it white and then I repainted the trim. When I was growing up the trim was pink. Since pink has always been a favorite color of mine, but I figure we will be gifted lots of it, I decided to accent Baby B’s room with purple.

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Before & After

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Before & After.

We painted a tall dresser, a desk and a nightstand. The trim was absolutely dreadful to do and will require some touching up. For now, don’t get too close or you will see I do not have a future in furniture painting. The desk will be turned into a changing table once we get all the needed accessories for it, but we should have plenty of storage for diapers, wipes, and all the other necessary baby changing items.

And now you are probably wondering how my Pinterest project turned out. Well, I have to be honest, I am super excited and happy with how it turned out. And if I am being really honest, I am pretty proud of myself!!! 🙂

Pinterest Photo...Not Mine.

Pinterest Photo…Not Mine.

My Finished Product!

My Finished Product!

The Pinterest one looks way more professional and more like a tree than mine does but that is ok. It is better Baby B learn now that her mother isn’t perfect. 😉 Overall, I’d still say I nailed it.

It has been a labor of love this weekend trying to get the nursery started and I am definitely feeling it today. Getting out of bed required a lot of limping as my lower back feels like it fused together. Oy! Where did my core strength go? So on that note, I am relaxing for the rest of the night with some laundry and plan to do some stretching before bed. This Mama is exhausted!

 

 

 

Posted in Baby, Crafts, DIY, Family, Happiness, Home Improvement, Pinterest Creations, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

Favorite Things – Pregnancy Edition

Things have been busy since our 20 week ultrasound! I immediately felt like it was go time since we are over halfway until baby time! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you already know that we are having a GIRL!

 

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From my previous post, you know Justin thought it was girl, while I was leaning towards boy. I had a name picked out and a nursery theme ready to go for a baby boy so that figures! Although we don’t have a name for our little girl yet or a definite nursery theme, there are some things I am for sure loving during my pregnancy so I thought I’d share. Drum roll please…

1. Green Tea Pomegranate – This baby is not 100% caffeine free. With that said, I’ve always been sensitive to caffeine so I typically have just one cup of this green tea in the morning (unless I am cashing in my once a week treat for a decaf latte). It helps get me going and clear the fog of baby brain, a little. I also think it tastes amazing and sometimes green teas taste like earth.

2. Coconut Oil – Did you know you could use this stuff for just about everything? There are many items on the market for belly balm, body lotion, stretch mark reducers and erasers, etc. This stuff works just as well, is natural and is not nearly as oily as it sounds. I am loving it! I won’t claim it reduces stretch marks either. I am pretty sure that all depends on your genetic makeup, not the type of expensive cream you might be lathering on, but it helps with the itchiness of dry and stretched skin.

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3. Leggings – I actually never wore leggings prior to pregnancy, but I am now obsessed. Maternity pants just don’t always fit right or want to stay up if your belly isn’t quite big enough yet. Leggings, however, seem to do the trick and are cute with a long tunic style shirt or sweater. Not to mention they are totally comfy. IMG_1897

4. Taking Walks – This is obviously an activity versus an item, but it is something that I have really tried to keep up with. Working out was not super appealing the first trimester due to exhaustion, and I think I am overly cautious about my movements now so I don’t accidentally overdo it. Walking has been a great way to get me exercise, get Selby out of the house, and an opportunity to catch up and connect with Justin. Hopefully the weather continues to be somewhat pleasant so we can stay outdoors as long as possible.

5. Cheese – Last, but certainly not least, I am loving cheese. Mini Babybels have been a preferred snack choice of mine, and I don’t see that ending any time soon. I try to limit the total quantity of cheese consumed within a day for various reasons, but I typically have my cheese snack by 9am. I even paired it with a decaf latte the other morning. Kind of strange, but how can two great things together be something bad? Hopefully my current love for cheese is helping Baby Bradshaw build some strong bones.

Do you have any favorites that you want to share that you have experienced or seen others love during pregnancy?

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Any guesses?

This is the week Justin and I have our 20 week ultrasound. First, are we for real halfway there? And second, I really hope the kid cooperates and shows us their goods, but of course what I am really hoping for is a child who checks out as healthy as can be! I definitely have some anxiety going in to this appointment instead of all excitement. What else is new though?

With that said, are you leaning one way? Here are some things to help make your guess a little more educated.

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1. Justin thinks it is a girl. I think boy.
2. I have no idea if I am carrying high or low because the belly isn’t that big yet and frankly I don’t entirely know what that means, but I feel like I am carrying a little more out than expanding horizontally (or is that just wishful thinking?). I think that means boy.
3. My skin has not gotten worse, except right now it ain’t so good, so that could mean boy.
4. The baby’s heartbeat has always been 160+ so that means girl.
5. Per the Chinese birth calendar, it is a girl!

 

 

 

Posted in Events, Family, Happiness, Marriage, New Experiences, Pinterest Creations, Pregnancy | 1 Comment

Maternity Clothes

In my last post I confessed a slight fear of maternity clothes. More specifically, maternity pants. After posting a link to my blog I had several moms and moms-to-be attempting to reassure me that maternity pants are indeed a wonderful, wonderful thing. I’ve heard this from most everyone who currently is or has been pregnant before. I mean, why prolong the inevitable when you are SUPER uncomfortable?

Luckily for me the maternity pants that I ordered from the GAP arrived earlier than expected which made me feel even happier about paying the lowest shipping rate possible. When I got home last night I immediately ripped open the package and held them up to show my husband. I think I exclaimed, “Look at these weird things, honey!”

This morning I chose to venture out of the house in my first ever pair of maternity pants. And let the record show I still believe maternity pants are freaking weird! When I went to slip them on I immediately looked for a button, a zipper, a snap…a anything! But there was nothing to be found. You literally slip them right on just like the pants you put on your baby, toddler or perhaps your grandparent. I hosted them up, way over my belly and thought, “Are you supposed to wear belts with maternity pants?” Nope, no belt loops either!

I ordered one size up despite the advice received from a fellow pregnant person so they are a bit big. However, I figured I am not done growing, and one of us will more than likely end up shrinking them in the laundry anyway. They are also quite long so I think I see some hemming in my near future.

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GAP Maternity Full Panel Modern Boot, 18 Weeks

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Puppy Photo Bomb.

I also ordered the GAP Maternity, 1969 Full Panel Sexy Boot Jeans. I don’t have a picture of them on yet, but I will add one this weekend when I am out and about feeling sexy and pregnant in them. In all honesty though, they fit well, and I think I will be very happy to have them.

I think I will be ordering one more pair of pants from GAP Maternity for work, and I have a few dresses to wear as well so hopefully I will be set on work clothes. I will also probably order a few more tops but luckily I have a wonderful sister-in-law who gave me a huge box of her maternity clothes. I still need to sort through them to see which ones will work and which ones won’t, but the tops don’t make me nearly as nervous as the full panel craziness.

If you have any must have suggestions for my maternity wardrobe feel free to share! My next quest will be for a better bra since mine are quite small and I currently have an underwire poking me. :/

Posted in Baby, Fashion, New Experiences, Pregnancy | 1 Comment

18 Weeks and Counting!

It is hard to believe we are almost halfway there! In fact, it is kind of scary as well! I feel like there is a lot left to be done, and I just hope we are doing enough now so we aren’t incredibly overwhelmed the last few months of pregnancy. But, instead of dwelling over my lack of productivity, I will fill you in on some things I have found interesting about being pregnant.

Everyone cares way more about your wellbeing than they ever did before.
How are you feeling? This is definitely the most frequent question received to date. Sometimes it throws me off when it is asked and I have for a brief moment forgotten I am pregnant. Sometimes I respond with, “Gooood?” Like it is almost a question back. Why wouldn’t I be feeling good? Then I am reminded that they are inquiring about the pregnancy. People typically seem really genuine when asking which is nice.

Napping is the best thing in the world.
I’ve always been a pro-napper, but seriously, the exhaustion felt during pregnancy, especially the first trimester, is incredible. There were quite a few weeks that I would get home and have to lay down for at least 20-30 minutes if I expected to get anything done that evening.

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I desperately need this shirt.

Simply rolling over could leave you breathless. 
Walking and talking? I am trying to focus on walking and breathing! Justin and I have tried to remain active by taking our dog on a 1.5-2 mile walk each night. Sounds simple right? Well, I have found that I become winded a lot quicker than usual. Today for instance I was hiking up a flight of stairs, carrying food (of course), talking to a coworker and chewing on a mint. No joke, I almost choked. The poor girl, who probably doesn’t know I am pregnant, was probably thinking, “You should probably consider less Thai takeout and more stairs.”

Eat, and eat often! 
I do find myself getting fuller quicker, but when hunger strikes I better be prepared otherwise I might get real hangry. The hunger is intense!

Drink, and drink often!
Unfortunately, I am referring to water here. There is a good chance I will be giving birth to a water baby because I drink water ALL day and still feel thirsty a lot of the time. That reminds me, I am outta water and I have to pee.

Maternity clothes are kind of scary.
When you realize that your pants are so uncomfortable that the only way you will survive your commute home is by unbuttoning them, then you know it is time for maternity clothes. When this happened to me I thought I’d first check out the selection at Target. Looking at the weird waistbands and the full panel of extra fabric had me realizing what was to come and I sort of panicked. So, leggings and tight pants it is for a little longer! I did order some online from the GAP (because online is less scary) and they are expected to arrive this week. I will let you know when they arrive.

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Sexy? I will be the judge of that!

I could continue to go on, but it is after 9pm which means it is past my bedtime. Good night!

Posted in Baby, Family, Fitness, Happiness, New Experiences, Pregnancy | Leave a comment

The Blue Door Pub

While we should be prepping for our first child to join us in about 22 weeks (is that for real?) we have also been focusing on making sure I complete my 30 Before 30 bucket list.

Last weekend Justin and I decided to check off a restaurant on my list that we have both been wanting to go to. For lunch we headed to St. Paul to eat at The Blue Door Pub.  They are known for their Blucys, their version of the ever so popular (in MN) Jucy Lucy. We have often heard how quickly the small pub fills up and there is almost always a wait. We went shortly after it opened for the day and there was a wait by the time we got our food, but luckily we were seated right away. When you go, go early or have enough time to wait a bit before being seated.

Justin had the Breakfast Blucy with tots and I had the Luau Blucy with fries. We were both super happy with our decisions but later heard the Jiffy Blucy is definitely the way to go.

If you're curious, I removed the bun. #GF

If you’re curious, I removed the bun. #GF

If my counting is accurate, I have complete 5 out of 3o. I better get moving!

Posted in 30 Before 30, Happiness, New Experiences, Restaurants | Leave a comment