A Modern Day Fairy Tale: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

InstaLately (2/28)

Did you know Shaun was having a baby too? A baby cow that is...his name is Frederick, and he's the size of a grape...see?

And because our ultrasound tech is wonderful (and maybe also because Shaun laid on top of me and demanded to see his cow first), here is a little picture of Frederick the Cow! My kid is awesome. (He also insisted on being weighed, having his blood pressure taken and peeing in a cup. He was a very good patient!)

And of course, we got a picture of baby Finley too!
This was a surprise ultrasound. We weren't scheduled to have one at all, but baby was being stubborn and we couldn't find the heartbeat on the doppler, so we got an ultrasound instead. And guess what? We got a slight hint at baby's gender!!
It's still early to tell, so she warned us not to go out and start buying just yet, but she saw nothing on the ultrasound to indicate that baby is a boy, and said there's a very good chance that Shaun's insistence on a girl is correct! We go back in a month and should find out for sure!!

The beginning of Finley's closet! Okay, yes...there IS pink in the closet. We didn't go out and buy anything after the ultrasound, really! I'd actually found some uber cute, uber cheap baby girl clothes at a yard sale last week, and could not pass up the deals. We know a lot of friends having babies right now too, we figure if we can't use them, one of them surely will have a girl! But we're really hoping the ultrasound tech's early guess was right. I did warn Shaun that he'd be the one explaining the pink and purple outfits if baby WAS a boy, to which he insisted, "IT'S A GIRL!!!"

Remember how I've said Shaun has an obsession with 20th Century Fox? Well, apparently he thought we needed to go to LA for a visit!!

I posted a few days ago with a better picture of the decor so far, but here's one of the frame over the crib...which will eventually have 'Finley' or a monogram inside. This is a frame I'd redone myself that had been in our bedroom, but I thought it fit the nursery a bit better!

We didn't keep very much from Shaun's baby days...a moses basket, wrap carrier and a few clothes...these were among those clothes we kept, and I'm super glad we did!

Shauny and Mommy...I just love this boy!!!

And this is how we're ending the week...with a sick Shaun. (This is his feel better food...jello, applesauce and popsicles!) Poor kid has a sore throat, tummy ache and slight fever...he's miserable!! But the popsicles seem to be helping!! Ice cream always makes everything better!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baby on A Budget {Baby FREEBIES? Too Good To Be True?}

In today's edition of 'Baby on a Budget', I am sharing with you an awesome deal I found a few months back and have been sharing with all my expecting mommy friends since!! I'm sure many of you have seen the following offers floating around the web.

I know many of you have seen them and probably thought they couldn't be legit...$35-$50 products FREE? Sounds too good to be true. I'll admit, I was a bit iffy myself at first, but decided to give it a shot and ordered just one- the carseat canopy. And guess what? It arrived, and was more gorgeous (and soft) in person. So a few weeks later, I ordered the sling and nursing cover as well. All arrived and all were wonderful quality. The nursing pillow is a new offer, but through the same company. I haven't ordered this one myself (only because I already have a nursing pillow...I'll admit, with their super cute prints, I'm tempted to order another...you know, for travel or something!?), but have a friend who has and she received hers as well...so these are all 100% legit offers! Wow!!

See, they really came!!!!

So here's the deal, they're not 100% free, you DO have to pay shipping, which comes out to about $11.90 per item, still an awesome deal when you consider the alternatives. Nursing pillows cost around $40 or so. A good sling can cost anywhere from $30-$50+ (with my son, I paid around $30 for a similar sling that was not nearly as cute...just a simple solid black/green, and this one seems as though it will be more comfortable as well). I've seen nursing covers starting at about this price in stores as well, and with my son had one that cost around $10-15...but again, not nearly so cute as these options (and new ones just added!). I'm not sure about the comparable costs on the carseat canopies, I had nothing like this with Shaun and haven't seen any in stores, but I can only say on this that it's well worth the price. Of all the products mentioned, this is my absolute favorite! I want a few more! And these all make great shower gifts as well, without breaking the bank!!

So, how do you get the deals? Click on the banners above to go to each website, pick out your favorite prints, and use the code 46DFB1 at checkout. Super easy! You can also use these codes towards their gift sets as well, you just pay the difference in cost...still very reasonable costs! Same goes with embroidery or any type of upgrades!!
  • Carseat Canopy, The Whole Caboodle: carseat canopy, minky slipcover, minky head support pillow, baby lap blanket, replacement umbrella. Cost difference: $30. (This is the greatest cost difference, BUT includes a LOT!)
  • Seven Slings Gift Sets: Sling, Baby Leg Warmers, Adult Cuff Bracelet. Cost difference: $5.
  • Udder Covers Gift Set: Nursing Cover, 2 pairs of reuseable nursing pads, Milkbands nursing bracelet. Cost difference: $5. (They also offer 10 pairs of reusable nursing pads that you can buy as well, for $34.90. These can be rather costly, so this is a good deal too. I used disposable with my son, but am using washable this time around...the disposable can stick to your skin and can get quite costly as well!! Definitely recommend these!
  • Nursing Pillow Gift Set: Minky Nursing Pillow, 2 pair washable nursing pads, Milkband nursing bracelet. Cost difference: $5 from Minky Pillow, $10 from regular pillow.
These are all great deals as well! You'll pay a little more of course, but you'll get more too! My favorites are the Udder Covers for those nursing pads, and the Seven Slings for the Baby Leg Warmers...well worth the extra $5!!!

If you've been debating taking advantage of these awesome offers, but weren't sure...I highly recommend you go for it! I seriously tell all my expecting mommy friends about these!! And even for those not expecting, at this price, it's a great addition to a gift closet!! I'm sure there are many other online deals that truly ARE too good to be true, but these are not one of those! If you do decide to order, I'd love to know what you pick out!! Have fun shopping!!

Disclaimer: All products listed above were purchased by ME personally. All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own. However, the post DOES contain an affiliate code, so I do make a small commission off of any purchases using this code. 

Potty Trained, NOT! {The Autism Dance}

No, this is not a post about any sort of silly potty dance that Shaun does when he has to go. The title is actually a reference to a comment from a friend that I thought was rather fitting. The Autism dance is two steps forward, half a step back.

Last month, I posted this post about Shaun's success with potty training. It truly had seemed like our struggles with potty training were finally in the past. A month passed and no accidents...or at least, very minimal accidents anyway! And then, just as suddenly as it started, it all went downhill again. Now we're back to 4-5 accidents some days, as we were before. It's extremely frustrating! But like stated above, that's the Autism dance...you make progress, you lose progress.

I truly don't know if it was just a fluke to begin with, or if, more likely, it is due to the unexpected change in routine at home. (I won't go into detail, but a few who know us personally may understand what I'm referring to.) For kids (and adults) with Autism, routine is everything, and even the slightest change in their day to day can throw them off majorly and cause setbacks. Since pottying has always been an issue, it makes sense that this would be where we'd see the regression...in the past, we'd see periods where he'd be doing well for a bit, then something would change (daddy would come home from deployment, go to the field, we'd move, etc), and we'd have to start from the beginning. As a military child, unfortunately, those big changes are fairly frequent, and inevitable. But even small changes can cause troubles as well.

Though he is excited about the new baby coming now, we also know that once here, we will once again have to deal with that adjustment (as we would with any child, just more extreme perhaps). And we once again might see potty issues as a result (or behaviors, or aggression...we're prepared for whatever it brings!).

So for now, I'm sad to say that we can no longer say he's potty trained...but I remain confident that he WILL get there before long...it's only a matter of time!! In the meantime, we'll keep trying and pray for the best!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello Second Trimester! {14 Weeks & Nursery Progress}

Yes, that's right, we've entered the second trimester!! I wish I could say that this meant all those annoying pregnancy symptoms are subsiding- you know, the nausea!! Unfortunately, it's still hanging on for now! Hopefully, it won't last much longer, though I know it could still be awhile! The joys of pregnancy! Aside from that, still feeling okay...more tired than usual, and finding myself getting worn out more easily when shopping and out and about...or more specifically, I suppose it's my FEET getting tired and hurting. Perhaps it's about time to switch shoes? (I'm not wearing crazy high heels, but my boots do have a slight heel, and not a ton of support...but I can't bring myself not to wear them yet!!) I haven't had a ton of cravings...just two: Schwans Fudge Sticks (oh my goodness...delicious!!) and orange juice. At least one of them is healthy, right? We go back for our next appointment next Wednesday!!

At this point, I am very anxious to get things done! Part of this is because of my experience with Shaun! During my first pregnancy, I started experiencing contractions/preterm labor at around 24 weeks or so. We were incredibly lucky and he hung in there until 38 weeks, but it did mean I was on and off bed rest for those last few months. I truly hope we won't have that experience this time around, but want to have as much as possible done as early as we can, so if it comes to that, at least I'm not worried that things won't be done!! I've gotten a large portion of the nursery done (and in fact, as my hubby points out when I express how much I've yet to do...it's technically ready to use, just not decorated as I'd like!)

Excuse the horrible phone picture, I will take better pictures once everything is completely finished!!

Still on my nursery to do list:
  • Curtains: We certainly need new curtains! I'm thinking if baby is a girl, I'd love chocolate brown ruffle curtains...though I'm thinking that style may push the room too far to the feminine side if baby IS a boy. I'm definitely going for brown though...perhaps if not that, brown with polka dots to match the sheets?
  • Baskets/Storage/Organization: You can't see the changing table in the photo, but I have a bit of storage (the diaper organizer, a few Thirty-One products, etc), but I want to get some baskets, hamper, etc to give it a more put together look, and keep everything nice and organized. I'd also love to get something for the closet to better separate the clothes by size...they're already organized that way, but nothing actually separating them, which will come in handy as it fills up!!
  • Wooden Letters/Monogram: This will go in the frame...I've not yet decided 100% which I'd prefer. I'm leaning towards 'Finley' in wooden painted letters though...especially since we'd have to settle on a middle name to do a monogram!!
  • Drawer pulls: Again, you can't see it in this photo, but the nightstand happens to be missing one drawer pull, so I'd love to switch those out! It's still functional as is, of course, but it'll be a fairly inexpensive fix...I actually found some super cute ones at Michael's over the weekend- green gems...but they only had 4, and we need 6!! They were also a bit on the girl side as well though, so perhaps that's for the best!!
  • Wall decor: I'd love to do some little canvases of some type on the wall- above the changing table, maybe? But these are definitely something that are going to be dependent on baby's gender, so we will have to wait to see what we can do!!
  • I'm certain there is more I'm just not thinking of! But as you can see, mostly decorative!

Aside from finishing up the nursery, there is still a lot more on my to do list as well:
  • Research cloth diapers! I've been doing a LOT of this. I am about 80% certain we'd like to cloth diaper- after all, I'm ALL for saving money, and diapers costs add up over time! So right now, I'm researching all the different types. The pros, the cons. The cleaning. All that fun stuff! There is a TON of information out there, it's a little overwhelming!! Any cloth diapering mommies out there? Any tips? Favorite brands? Brands to avoid? (At this point, I think I'm leaning towards the Flip System!) Where do you get the best deals? I'd love all the input you can share! 
  • Finish up the registry & start buying! A lot of this depends again on baby's gender for clothes and color options, etc. I may also be a bit indecisive on some of the bigger purchases...like swings and pack & plays...so many more cute options than what they had when Shaun was born it seems!!! Oh, the choices!
  • Fill up the closet. I've already been searching the thrift stores for gender neutral options, but I'll be honest, I'm a little over buying the yellow and greens...I'm ready to buy some gender specific clothing! I've already passed up so many adorable finds, at awesome prices...I may go crazy if we don't find out before long...Okay, okay, I'll be entirely honest here...I actually HAVE picked up a few non-gender neutral things too. Shaun and I stumbled upon a garage sale (yes, in February, I was shocked too!) that had some adorable baby girl clothes for 25-50 cents each...we could not resist. I warned Shaun that if he was wrong, he'd be explaining to baby Finley why he was wearing pink and purple...but at those prices, we couldn't pass them up!!
  • Research strollers. I know we want an option that Shaun can ride on too (basically, a sit and stand). Yes, he will be 6 years old when Finley is born, and perhaps too old for a stroller according to most, but for us it's very much a safety issue. Right now, when we're out I have to hold his hand pretty much at all times (or be prepared to grab him quickly if he takes off running). He's a runner and has on multiple occasions attempted to walk in front of moving vehicles, or take off on his own. Holding his hand works fine for now, but won't be an option if I'm also pushing a stroller, so I'm thinking this will be our best option...we just have to find one that will work for his size...many go up to only 40 pounds (he's 38 now), but there are a few that go up to 50 too...so hopefully one of those will work for us!! Anyone have experience with this type of stroller?
  • Settle on a middle name!! This was not NEARLY so difficult with Shaun...his name came together perfectly and suits him well- Shaun Taylor! We need something just as perfect! Help!!

It seems like a lot to me, but I know we really are ahead of the game in many ways, and that it will all eventually come together! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Saw It. Pinned It. Did It. {Over The Top German Chocolate Brownies}

I love Pinterest...seriously! Especially when it comes to finding new recipes! Most weeks, I have at LEAST one Pinterest find on my menu...so many great recipes to try! Of course, not every recipe (or craft idea) online is actually as wonderful as it looks, so I personally love reading the opinions of those who have tried it themselves and finding out their thoughts...That's what is so great about this 'Saw it. Pinned it. Did it.' hop...you can see how successful (or not) others have been with all of those wonderful pins.
This week, I wanted to share with you a recipe I recently found- Over the Top German Chocolate Brownies!!

And my version:

Despite the crappy cell phone photo, it was AWESOME! The only change I made to the original recipe was that I left out the extra chocolate chunks...it was sweet enough without it, and for me personally, I thought it might be a bit too much! If you're a huge chocolate fan, leave them in, but it was really good without too. I also used the substitution suggestion since I could not find the German Chocolate bars.

I was a little concerned with how the frosting might turn out. Frankly, I just have not had the best luck with frosting in the past, but it was super easy...I don't think I could have messed it up if I wanted to!! Honestly, the hardest part of the whole thing was waiting for everything to cool!! I'll certainly be making this one again!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

InstaLately {2/20}

I've mentioned in the past that I'm a big old school Disney Channel fan. (Okay, a big Disney Channel fan in general, but I especially love the stuff that was on when I was younger!) My favorite of all of those old shows: So Weird. So, you can imagine how proud I was when my five year old randomly announced he wanted to watch it on YouTube...of course, I said yes!! I love this kid of mine!!

Valentine's Day! Red & Pink are my two favorite colors, so of course we have to dress up in those colors for Valentine's Day! What a cute little Valentine I have...and my little Valentine too!! (At 12 weeks, 5 days!)

Another great things about Valentine's Day? The after holiday sales!
On Friday, I made my way to Target to check out the deals. Unfortunately, my husband had my debit card, and I had just $6 cash...but it was at least enough to pick up a FEW Star Wars goodies for Shaun as I'd promised him. While there, I started chatting with a lady about how great the deals were. I made the comment that it was not as much fun when your hubby had said card, but said I was just getting a few things for the little man now, and coming back that night when I had the card to hopefully grab a few more for him, and maybe a few things for myself. We talked for a few minutes longer, and then parted ways. A bit later, she walked up, handed me $20, insisting I keep it and buy the Star Wars things Shaun wanted. She said she'd hate for me to drive back and everything be sold out! I was stunned! It truly amazes me how kind people can be...all too often we hear about the bad in the world, so it's refreshing to see there are still good people in the world too. Needless to say, Shaun was also thrilled with the goodies I was able to get him!

I shared this photo in my 13 week baby update as well, but wanted to add a bit to it. On Monday, one of our local thrift stores had an amazing President's Day sale...everything in the store was 50% off! They already have great prices (cheaper than Goodwill!), so the 50% off made for some even better bargains. They don't have a huge maternity section, but I'd seen a few really cute pieces there before, so when I heard about the sale, I figured it would be a great time to go ahead and try to get a few things. I walked out with 1 pair of pants, 2 pairs of shorts and 2 tops for myself, as well as an outfit for Finley and a nursery/diaper organizer...all for just $13!! We didn't get to look for anything for Shaun...the aisles were too full! I was also a little bummed that we don't yet know baby's gender, or we could have got even MORE great deals! But still, I think we did pretty great! Anyway, in the photo above, I'm actually wearing the pants and one of the tops...the pants still have a ton of room to grow, but oh my goodness, they are comfy!! A welcome change from my pre-pregnancy, barely fitting skinny jeans!!

Another President's Day weekend sale find. Have you ever seen PB Kids stroller blankets? Or rather, felt them!? They are ridiculously soft...seriously. But they're also $40!! A bit high for one blanket. But while we were in the store this weekend, they were having their President's Day Clearance event...lots of great deals throughout the store. As I was talking to one of the cashiers about our nursery colors, she mentioned that they'd had these blankets on clearance and went to check to see if they had the chocolate brown to match our decor...they literally had one clearance blanket (of any color) left and it just happened to be the right color. It was marked down to just $12, but with our military discount, it came out just around $10...not bad for a $40 blanket!! And did I mention it's SUPER soft!?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Due Date. Ultrasound. & Silly Big Brother {13 Weeks}

12 Weeks, 5 days
13 Weeks, 2 days

With the new updated due date, August 24 (the day after my birthday!), we are now 13 week, 3 days today!! Which means we're nearing the end of the first trimester!! Mommy is hoping that means the nausea will end soon...but for now it's still hanging on. I'm still extremely tired all the time as well, and having a bit of back/growing pain, but I suppose that's just part of the territory. I'm certainly showing more now, and have actually started picking up a few maternity clothes! More than anything, I am anxious to get more done on the nursery and shopping for baby needs!

Baby Finley

On Friday, we got to see Baby Finley again! We were really hoping we might get a sneak peak at baby's gender, but unfortunately, the one shot they got in that area, Finley had his/her hands between the legs blocking our view...so no early guesses! Darn! But aside from that, everything is looking great...nothing of worry on the ultrasound, growing well, heart rate of 156, moving like crazy!!
Our meeting with the genetic counselor went pretty well also. As we already knew, we are at an increased risk of having another child with Autism. But like I said, we knew this before we even made the decision to try again, so this comes as no shock. As far as the other genetic issues in our families though, the risk increase is only very slight if at all, which is great news...and all of the blood work has come back normal!! Overall, it was a pretty good appointment!!

Big Brother Shaun
Is it any shock to say he's still impatient? He was really hoping to bring his baby home on Friday...in fact, during the ultrasound, he kept telling me it was time to push! Oh, my silly little boy! He also kept telling the ultrasound tech that she needed to write 'girl' on the pictures...to say he's still convinced it's a girl would be an understatement...he is quick to correct anyone who suggests it might be a brother! Let's just hope he's right, we'd hate to disappoint him!! But regardless, he loved seeing his baby again!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why I Love My Husband

Happy Valentines Day!
I wish you all a great day with those you love- be it your significant other, best friends, children or whoever!
Anyone have any big plans for the day? Some years we go all out on this day- like the year my hubby surprised me with a little blue box...all the way from Afghanistan...and other years, we don't do much of anything. This year is one of those years, which is perfectly fine by me...my hubby knows I love him deeply, just as I know he does me, and we don't need a special day to remind us of that! (But I do love that the stores are filled with my two favorite colors during this time!)

Why I Love My Husband
As I was browsing through my blog list this morning, I discovered this wonderful linkup called 'Why I Love My Husband'. It's an ongoing linkup, not specific to Valentine's day, but what a perfect day to discover it, right? So, I decided to join in...I'm pretty blessed to have found the perfect person for me, and I thank God every day for sending him to me. On paper, we shouldn't work- we're complete and total opposites, but in reality, I've found that your perfect match on paper isn't always the person you are meant to fall in love with. These are just a few of the many reasons why I love my husband:

  1. He knows all my flaws and accepts me anyway...is that kind of a given? No one is perfect, and finding that person who loves you anyway is a pretty wonderful thing.
  2. He's a great story teller. If you know my husband personally, you know how hilarious his stories can be! Even when he's telling a story that I was there for, his version is always much more entertaining!
  3. He spoils me...when I let him anyway! Remember that little blue box I mentioned above? A perfect example! I had always said I one day wanted something from Tiffany's, and two years ago on Valentine's Day, he made it happen!! (And also sent roses beforehand with a note that read, 'And you thought it was going to come in a blue box'...silly husband!)
  4. He cannot seem to order flowers online correctly. He loves surprising me with flowers...sometimes on holidays like today, other times just because...but the last two times, he's encountered a few issues. I believe the first was last Valentine's day...he kept hinting on the phone, asking if I'd gotten any packages or anything...all day long. I never did. Turns out, he'd ordered roses again, but this time forgot to hit the submit! Oops! But I thought the story was even better than the flowers. Then a few months ago, after our miscarriage, he gave me a warning that he'd ordered some flowers and the note was going to mention the baby (he didn't want me to be upset when they arrived since he'd ordered them beforehand). On the day they were scheduled to arrive...nothing. He'd done it again!! I couldn't believe it, but it was just the laugh I needed at that time! It sounds silly, but I could not be more grateful for those moments.
  5. He's proud to call me his wife, and of our family. I cannot tell you how many times I meet new people and am told that Matt talks about me and Shaun...all the time! And from what everyone has said, it's all positive! 
Five seems like a good number to end on today, but this is an ongoing list that will be added to each and every day of our many years together to come!

Why I Love My Husband  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby on a Budget {The Nursery}

Before making the decision to try for baby #2, one of the big questions we asked ourselves was, "Can we afford it!?". As a single income family, we are naturally on a budget. Would we be able to add another child into that budget and still live comfortably? It's such a big question for many, babies are so expensive. But, we made the decision that our other reasons in favor of adding to our family were more important, and we would make the budget work. So, from the moment we found out we were expecting...I started looking for the deals! From consignments shops to online freebies to blog giveaways, etc...I've already managed to find a ton and have had many of my expecting mommy friends ask me how I've done it! So I wanted to take the chance to share some tips and deals to look out for. For today, I'm just going to focus on the nursery!!

The Furniture:
Let's face it- furniture is NOT cheap! Cribs, changing tables, rocking chairs...it adds up quickly. I've mentioned before that I'm a huge fan of things like Craigslist and online yard sale sites, as well as yard sales and consignment shops. Of course, when it comes to cribs and things for baby, you definitely want to keep an eye on past recalls, new safety issues, etc...but if you're careful, these can be great options. You can often find barely used furniture for a fraction of what you'd pay in store, and there's not a thing wrong with it!

We got incredibly lucky when it came to nursery furniture. When we first found out we were pregnant, my wonderful sister in law actually had offered up their crib to borrow for as long as we needed it. It was a gorgeous crib, and wasn't going to cost us a thing to use. If you have a friend or family member whose not planning on having more children who still has their crib, borrowing could be a great option! The only problem here was figuring out transportation from up around Chicago, to here! But before we had a chance to worry about that too much, we got another offer. A Navy recruiter that works in the office by my hubby's had a full set of barely used nursery furniture sitting in storage that he needed to get rid of, and wanted to let it go cheap to get it gone quickly...how cheap? $200 for EVERYTHING! That included a stunning crib (and crib mattress, though we opted not to take it since we already had another), changing table and pad (plus pad cover which actually matches our bedding too!), night stand and glider and ottoman. What a deal! Though we already had a free crib worked out, this would include everything else we needed as well (all of which likely would have cost over $200 even without a crib anyway). Plus, it was local...so it was a no brainer! I am absolutely in love with our nursery furniture, and even more in love knowing we didn't have to break the bank to get it.

You can't see the full glider and ottoman here, but it's gorgeous and oh so comfortable.

Have you ever looked at crib bedding!? It is crazy how expensive it can be, especially when you consider that most of it is for decorative purposes only (quilts and bumpers). So, how do you save on bedding? Of course the previous mentioned options are still decent options, but I know many aren't comfortable with used bedding...especially from strangers! But there are still some options for saving on new bedding too. First of all, obviously, watch for sales. Another thing to consider, ask if places offer any type of discounts. I recently discovered that Pottery Barn Kids offers a 10 or 15% military discount...of course their prices are still higher than most, but if you're set on something and can get it cheaper, every little bit helps! Another idea shared with me by a friend- if you find a quilt you love that's a bit pricier, rather than buying the set with more expensive sheets, etc, instead just buy the quilt and find cheaper coordinating options!

A few weeks back, I posted a shot of our crib bedding and mentioned that I got an AMAZING deal on this bedding set...so today, I'm going to share that secret with you. This three piece bedding set by My Baby Sam retails for $130!! I paid just $13 out of pocket! How!? Amazon Warehouse Deals. Did you know that Amazon offers some 'open box' items for DEEPLY discounted prices? I didn't either! I was randomly browsing bedding a few weeks back and spotted this stunning bedding and noticed under buying options it listed there was an 'open box' for just $33. It was brand new, but the package had been opened (this is usually because of returns...or in stores, it may be a floor model, etc). At just $33, it was already a great deal- almost $100 off retail, but to make this an even better deal, I happened to have a $20 Amazon code from a sponsored blog post I'd been holding onto, so it dropped the out of pocket cost down to just that $13 and some change (and it shipped free!). While some of their warehouse deals are used items, I've found that if you look at the baby items, most of those are just open box. And I have to tell you, I would never have guessed that this bedding had been opened anyway- it was still in the original bag and looked fantastic! (And had Amazon's regular return policy anyway!) I've looked a few times since and while I haven't noticed any SUPER deals like this one, there are definitely a ton of great discounted items, and definitely worth checking out! How did I not know about this before!?

I will take better photos when the nursery is actually complete, but how absolutely stunning is this!?
And for $13, how could we pass it up!? I'm a believer!
We still have a long way to go on the rest of the nursery (and are waiting until we find out if baby is a boy or girl to decide what direction it needs to go in), but another way we intend to save some more money is with some DIY decor projects. All those little decorative accessories that really complete a room can really add up! I'm still decided exactly what I'd like to do, but so far I'm thinking painted letters for the wall, some cute frames...well, the possibilities are endless. These personal homemade touches will also make the room 100% unique too! I can't wait to do more with it!!

A simple frame I'd made for the room. Nothing fancy, but adds a nice little personal touch!

Our total cost for the nursery so far? Just $213!!! Wow! These are just a few ways we've found to save money on the nursery, I know there are many, many more! Have you found other great money saving options? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

{12 Weeks}

Mommy is slowly getting to feeling better after being under the weather for the last week or so.
Still feeling nauseous at times, particularly after eating.
Having a bit of back pain these days too...isn't pregnancy wonderful!?
Bought my first pair of maternity jeans today...they're still a bit big at this point, but I'm definitely at that point where regular clothes are getting too small, but I'm still too small for maternity clothes...thankfully I have many dresses in my closet that will work for a bit!

Baby is the size of a plum!
Ultrasound still scheduled for Friday, and we can't wait!

Big Brother Shaun:
Getting impatient...will he make it until August!?

That Fresh Baby Smell {A Sponsored Post for Purex Crystals for Baby!}

I have a confession to make...

I am addicted to things that smell good.

Okay, perhaps that's not really a confession. I've shared my love of Scentsy and Bath & Body Works here on my blog...and most who have been to my house have seen my extensive collection of various types of room sprays and air fresheners...I've really made it no secret. One of the other wonderful smell good products I adore are Purex Crystals. Has anyone ever used these? They are just wonderful! I don't buy them ALL the time, or use them with all of my laundry (it'd get too pricey, especially since they aren't a necessity), but when I find a great deal, I love having some on hand for things like bedding and my couch cushions. More than any scented laundry detergents I've tried, or fabric softeners even, I've found the scent with these things truly last forever! Who doesn't love laying down in a great, fresh smelling bed or cuddling up in a fresh blanket. Seriously, amazing stuff! Oh, and in case you were wondering...you can use this in ALL washing machines! I know I hate finding an awesome laundry product only to discover I can't use it in my high efficiency washer!!

As a Purex Insider, I recently received a bottle of their newest selection from their Purex Crystals...Purex Crystals for BABY!! To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect...would it smell super baby-ish (like baby powder), would it have much scent at all (because most 'baby' specific products were fragrance free, I thought!)...but I was thrilled when I received the package and smelled it for the first time. To me, it wasn't super baby-ish at all, but more of a clean, fresh scent. Even if we were not expecting a baby, I could certainly see myself using this still. It really is the perfect scent to add a great fresh scent to any load. So what makes this ideal for babies? It's hypoallergenic, dye free and has a natural formula. Basically, it was designed with a baby's sensitive skin in mind. If you have sensitive skin yourself and can't usually use these types of laundry enhancing products, this might be the perfect solution too. Needless to say, I'm in love already and can't wait to start seeing it in stores!! (It's supposed to be at Wal-Mart early February, I've not yet seen it at my local store yet though!)

To celebrate the launch of this awesome new product, Purex is also having a 'Welcome to the World' sweepstakes!! One grand prize winner will win $1000 and there will be an additional 250 winners who will receive a free bottle of Purex Crystals for Baby!! How wonderful is that!? Follow the link above to enter for your chance to win! Good luck to all!

Disclaimer: As a Purex Insider, I received the product above in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Miscellany Monday

Is it really Monday already!? Where did the weekend go? Seriously...I suppose that's what happens when you spend a full day of it in bed though, right? But I'll get to that later...now time for the good news of the weekend:

Hubby bought me a new computer! As I've mentioned in my last couple posts, my poor laptop was having some issues. And by issues, I mean it wouldn't turn on...at all. Originally we believed it was the power cord, so we bought a replacement...actually, we bought THREE replacements! Not one of them worked. Obviously, the issue was more than the power cord! I'd already replaced the battery recently, and from what I was reading online afterwards, these are not uncommon problems with this particular computer. Ugh. I hate spending money! I honestly tried to talk myself into just keeping the iPad for awhile, but in the end it just wasn't an option! As much as can be done on there, even if it's more difficult (like blogging), some things were still not possible...like photography and Photoshop...so a new computer it was. It's nothing super fancy, but it works and is able to do what I need it to do. It is however a desktop, so that will take some getting used to, but we're hoping it'll last us longer than our laptops have in the past! At this point, I'm just happy to have SOMETHING! Now hopefully I'll be back to more regular posting!

Now, onto that day in bed...I wish I could say I was taking a much needed day of rest...or even just being lazy, but unfortunately that was not the case. Since high school, I have dealt with frequent migraines and this Saturday I had one of the worst I'd experienced in a long time! I literally could not move my head without feeling as though it were going to explode. It was horrible! The husband had to work that morning so I bribed the boy to hang out in bed with me with the iPad and oreos (bad mommy!)...and he was sweet enough to take him out for a boys day after he got home so I could rest in quiet. Thankfully, the worst of it has passed by now, but I hope to not have one that bad anytime soon...or ever!

On another good note, remember my post on the fan appreciation mystery hostess event my sponsor Linda was having for her Lilla Rose business? I was the very lucky winner of the $50 in Lilla Rose Credit!! How exciting is that!? I cannot wait to share my new goodies when they come in!!

How's this for a random bit of news on Monday...I have become addicted to Dr. Phil. Seriously. And it seems to be on ALL the time. Don't judge.

This Friday is our appointment and ultrasound with maternal fetal medicine. As it draws closer, I find myself getting more nervous, though I have no idea why! Truly, I don't believe they'll find any issues- perhaps its just the idea of having to go to a 'high risk doctor'? Still, I know if something does come up, we will accept it and deal with it as we have in the past! (And we're still keeping our fingers crossed for a peek at baby's gender!)

Well, I think that's enough randomness for today! My poor house has been neglected since I've not been feeling well, so I should really get to that...or play around on this new computer a bit...one or the other anyway! ;)

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

InstaLately {2/6}

Another week of instalately via the iPhone! Unfortunately my new power cord came... but my computer still isn't working! Not good! So now we are on the search for a cheap, basic replacement! Oh how I hate spending money! In the meantime, iPhone blogging it is- so again, please bare with me!!

1. Why not start out with some Shaun cuteness!? After dumping most of his stuffed animals out of their tub, I let him know that he needed to put the toys back in. His response- he climbed in himself and announced that he was a toy too! What a silly boy I have! (And in case you're wondering- no, he never wears pants at home! Ha!)

2. A visit to daddy's office! And what did he do there? He drew his logos of course! This is honestly how he spends his days! All day, every day- making his production company logos! If its not drawing them, it's Legos or creating them out of whatever he can find! Quirky? Yes, but I love him!

3. I believe mentioned before that I'm working on getting the house organized a but better. One area that really needed it was my kitchen. I have a ton of kitchen stuff, and not enough storage for it all. The biggest downfall to our house here! I still have a lot of work left to do in here, but its a huge improvement at least!

4. The best picture of the week! We went to a Chinese buffet over the weekend and they had a sushi bar. My hubby loves sushi. And wasabi. But he put a little too much on and this was the result! (Let me just be clear, he knew before taking the first bite that he'd put too much on. In fact, he told me so which was why I had the camera ready! Silly husband... Must be where the little man gets his silliness from!!)

5. Daddy made chili this weekend as well and Shaun couldn't help but sneak a few peppers away! He loves them! He told me it was a fresh vegetable and tasted delicious! He also told me he loves spicy foods! I love this kid! (And that love of spicy food comes from his mommy!)

6. A Shaun Lego creation! Potato head lips!!! He's so clever!!

7. I shared this photo in yesterday's baby update post, so check that post out for more info!! 11 weeks!

8. German Chocolate Brownies!!! Oh my gracious these were delicious! This was a Pinterest find and just awesome! I will share this recipe when I can get on an actual computer, or if you follow me on Pinterest, its the Over the Top German Chocolate Brownies in my sweets board!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

{Weeks 10-11}

I got a little behind on my pregnancy update posts and didn't get around to posting last weeks. Actually I never even took a picture last week. This crazy weather has had me feeling horrible and I just didn't feel like having a picture taken at the time. There wasn't much change anyway! The picture below is from today, 11 weeks!

Mommy: Mommy seems to finally be getting over this cold which is wonderful! Still having nausea here and there but it seems like scents at affecting it a bit less anyway! Hopefully I will be back to warming my Scentsy and using my BBW soon!! Still extremely exhausted as well! (Though I'm sure this isn't helped by The return of Shaun's night owl tendencies!) The only real craving I've had is orange juice- which is a bit inconvenient with the cold I've had! aside from all that, everything seems to be going well. According to the doctor last week, I've actually lost weight which blows my mind with my growing stomach and too tight jeans! But she said it was normal to lose in the beginning anyway so no worries about that for now!

Baby: Baby is the size of a lime! At last weeks appointment we got to hear Finley's heartbeat- so very exciting! Heart rate was 160! Our next ultrasound is next Friday, February 15th!! This appointment is with a specialist to check for any genetic issues so its a little nerve wracking but we are hopeful and very excited to get another look at baby! (And hopefully find out the gender!? It would be extremely early of course- 12.5 weeks- but we found out Shaun was a boy at just 11 weeks, 2 days so who knows!)

Big Brother Shaun: Shaun is still excited as ever! He keeps telling me that Finley is the size of a baby, not a fruit. I think our fruit comparisons are confusing him a bit! He loves talking to his baby (mostly about 20th Century Fox, of course!) and can't wait to get another look next week. Though at every doctors appointment he asks the doctor to get baby out of mommies tummy! He's ready!

The nursery/shopping: we honestly haven't gotten to do anymore shopping for baby done recently! I think at this point we have quite a bit already and are kind of waiting to find out the sex before buying some of the other things we will need! The nursery is coming along nicely though. I'm just in love with the bedding and gathering lots of ideas from Pinterest for the finishing touches, but again waiting a bit at this point to see which direction it needs to go in!