Tuesday, December 31, 2013

15 Week Update

I'm actually 16 weeks (as of Sunday) but I'll be running about a week behind with updates.  I'm doing this cute little survey that I've found on other blogs and including my weekly bump picture.

How far along: 15 weeks

Baby's size: Apple (About 4 in and 2.5 oz)

Total weight gain: Holding steady at 4lbs

Stretch marks? None, yet.

Sleep: About the same. I have to pee about twice a night, but other than that, I'm sleeping pretty well. 

Best moment this week: Week 15 ultrasound! My doctor does one at every visit. Baby P was moving his/her arms all around and had a steady heartbeat at 155. Unfortunately Baby P refused to cooperate and show the doctor what gender she/he is. The doctor gave us a percentage of what she thinks the gender is, but recommended we not start buying anything until the official anatomy and gender scan.

Miss anything? Not really. At times I miss wine, but it's not overwhelming. 

Movement: I've felt movement since I was about 13 weeks. It gets stronger each week. Some days I feel it more than others.

Food cravings: Not as many as in the beginning. This week it was Cran-Grape Ocean Spray. I haven't been a big juice drinker the past few years, but this pregnancy makes me crave all sorts of juice. 

Anything making you queasy or sick? The thought of certain muffins still makes me queasy. A few weeks ago I was craving pesto, now the thought seems kind of gross.

Gender: No idea yet. I've had dreams that it's been both a boy and a girl. Sean thinks it's a girl.

Labor signs: Nope. Too early for that.

Symptoms: Peeing all the time. This started almost as soon as my second trimester hit. Some round ligament pain.

Belly button in or out: In

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but I'll cry at the drop of a hat (especially when it's something sad when it comes to animals). Christmas Day I also had a meltdown when it was time to leave my parents' house.

Looking forward to: Finding out the gender so I can finally start shopping.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Flashback Friday- Wedding Edition

Since the 6th anniversary of Sean and I's wedding ceremony is coming up on December 29th, I decided to make it the theme of today's Flashback Friday.

If you don't know, Sean and I ran off and got married on July 5th, 2007, but we had our actual wedding ceremony December 29th, 2007.  We always celebrate our anniversary in July, but it's still fun to look back at our wedding photos. Although if I could change one thing about our wedding, it would be to hire a different photographer. *sigh*  You live and learn.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What I'm Loving: December Edition

It's been a long, long time since I've done of these lists, so I thought it was high time I did another.

1. Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer

Ever since I got to college I've been cursed with dark under eye circles. My mom tried to tell me it was that I wasn't getting enough sleep, but even with 10 hours of sleep those ghastly purple circles are still there. I've searched for something to conceal them for years without much luck. Inevitably the concealer wears off halfway through the day and the circles are back. Enter Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer.  I actually heard about these products a year or two ago, but never made it to a place that had them in store and I certainty wasn't going to try to guess which shade was going to work for me. I finally hit up Sephora a month or two ago and had them color match what shades were going to work for me and then had them show me how to apply it. I can honestly say I've never been happier with a product.  You really need to buy both the corrector and the concealer to get the best effect and I highly recommend them. You will not regret it! Especially if you have circles to hide like me!

2. The Santa Claus book by Alden Perkes

I really should have told you guys about this before Christmas, but better late than never. I've been reading this book since I was in the 4th grade. I won't tell you how long that's been, because that makes me seem old.

This book is amazing. It gives in-depth stories and history(fictionalized by the author, of course) about how Santa came to be, how he met Mrs. Claus, what the elves are like, interviews with reindeer, etc...  I actually bought this book for my best friend for Christmas this year, because she was just as obsessed as I was with it growing up and I knew her kids would love it.  It can be hard to find at times since it's out of print, but I found mine on Amazon during the off-season last year and it wasn't a bad price at all.

3. Jalapeno Popper Dip

I found this recipe on Pinterest a few years ago and it's been a match made in heaven ever since. If you love jalapenos, then you're going to love this recipe.  I've been bringing this recipe to family functions and it disappears every single time.

4. Tocca Liliana Perfume (Roller ball)

I'm new to the perfume roller ball game, but I'm kind of sad I didn't jump on the bandwagon sooner. It gives me the opportunity to try out new scents without spending a fortune and it's convenient for carrying in your purse or in your carry-on. It's win-win!  Plus, I love this scent from Tocca.

There you have it! My list of faves for the month of December. Do you guys have any favorites you'd like to share?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Oh, Baby!

Can I do this announcement like Ron Burgundy? 

"I have urgent and important breaking news......I'm pregnant!"

Now I know those that are on my Instagram and Facebook have already seen this announcement, but I thought I'd be an awful blogger if I didn't share it on here too.

Just as a little backstory, now that Sean was retired (medically) from the Army, we both had jobs and we had a house, I thought (and Sean agreed) that it was time we started trying for a baby. Imagine our surprise when I got pregnant the very first month we tried. We were NOT expecting that at all. Why I don't know. I always had in my mind that getting pregnant was going to be very difficult for me, so I was shocked when I started having odd symptoms. In fact, I told Sean that "either something was really wrong with me or I was pregnant." Thankfully, I was just pregnant.  I figured it out pretty early on, I'm guessing about four weeks into it and had very few symptoms. I foolishly thought that I would get away with having no morning sickness. HA! In the fifth week the all day nausea started and didn't really let up until about the 9th week. Then it was afternoon and evening nausea, which was equally as sucky. Other than nausea/vomiting (thank God for Zofran) some dizzy spells and few other minor symptoms, I've been feeling great. The nausea is finally tapering off at about 12 weeks and I hope it stays that way. Apparently of all the people I know, my mother is the only other one who has experienced nausea like I have. Thanks Mom! I appreciate that being passed down to me.

In the beginning Sean and I only told our parents and a few close friends. Then I told my boss and coworkers, because it was quite obvious I was going to have to when I was running to the bathroom to vomit at work. We waited to tell our extended families, friends and the social media world until Thanksgiving and the few days after that. To say people are excited are putting it mildly. I've had so many awesome comments from friends and family and I love people are so excited that Sean and I are adding to our family.

(This is our photo for our official Facebook announcement. Sean is an OU fan and I graduated from OSU and this Saturday is Bedlam. Hence the theme.)

I've actually had two ultrasounds already, as my doctor does ultrasounds at every appointment, which I like, because I like being able to see the baby and it's progress every time I go in. I had an ultrasound at what I thought was my 8 week appointment, but the baby was measuring closer to 6 weeks, 5 days. I still heard a very strong heartbeat at that time (144) and the last time I went in for an ultrasound at 11 weeks, 1 day, I heard and saw the heartbeat and the got to see the baby move around. The baby was putting on a show, kicking it's feet and squirming all around. In fact, it was moving so much the doctor didn't get a super clear picture because it wouldn't hold still. Last time the heartbeat was 163.

Honestly, it kind of freaks me out when I go to the ultrasounds, because although I'm so excited to see the baby, it seems very odd that there is something growing inside me that I can't even feel moving. I know that will change in the coming weeks, but it's just a very surreal feeling for me.

The most exciting thing is that the doctor said at our next appointment, which is just two days before Christmas, that if the baby cooperates, we can find out the gender! I'm so so excited! I don't have a feeling either way or what I think it is. Sean thinks it's a girl, but if I'm guessing, I'd say boy.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Memphis- Have you been?

Since Sean and I have yet to take a vacay together since we moved back from Europe, we planned a road trip in October when we both have a few vacation days we can use.  We've decided on Memphis, as it's not a long drive from where we are and neither of us have ever been there.

We have a few ideas for restaurants or food places we want to try: Rizzo's, Muddy's Bake Shop, Deja Vu and Brother Juniper's and we're still trying to decide on where might have the best BBQ.

We also would like to see Graceland, Sun Studios, the Gibson Guitar Factory and the National Civil Rights museum.

So..my question is this: Have you been to Memphis? If so, what do you recommend both food wise, activity wise and attraction wise? We already have our hotel booked, so no suggestions needed there.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Up, Up and Away!

Last night I had the chance to do something I've never done, I got to see hot air balloons up close and personal. Somehow in all my adventures, I've never been to a hot air balloon festival. How that's possible, I don't know, but when I heard that a town nearby was having one, I decided I had to go and take pictures.

I ended up going by myself because Sean had to work and a friend had to cancel because of a migraine, but it was a fine time and that meant I didn't have to worry about someone getting bored while I was snapping away.

I only have a few pictures edited, but I wanted to share them with you.

Have any of you ever been to a festival with hot air balloons? What did you think? Ours had the option to take a ride (tethered) but the line was at least an hour long, so I skipped out on it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Bought a House!

I've been silent for awhile, but it's due to a several things. The biggest thing being we bought a house! When I haven't been at work, I've been trying to unpack and organize the house/yard and pool.

I wish I could say the home buying process was a breeze for us, but I'd be lying if I did.  Our realtor was great and I'd be happy to work with her again, but the mortgage company we went through to get our loan was awful. I would never recommend them to anyone and I'd never work with them again.

Anyway, those of you that are on my Instagram or Facebook have already seen photos of the house, but those of you that aren't, I'm uploading some photos for you. Later in the week or next week, I'll try to post the photos with ideas written in and some mood boards of what I'm trying to accomplish in the house, but for now...just pictures. Keep in mind I also took these pictures with my wide angle lens, so that some of the interior shots might look a little larger than they actually are.

This is the outside of the house. It's a little too much tan for me, but I love that we have a three car garage.

The kitchen, living room, dining area and sitting room are all an open floor plan.  I don't love the open floor plan, but it's growing on me. I love this kitchen, because I actually have enough room to store all my kitchen stuff which hasn't been possible the last few houses we've lived in.

More of the kitchen, looking towards the living room.

This is the living room, looking towards the door that leads to the backyard. Ignore our futon, we've ordered a couch, but it is on backorder and isn't in yet.

This is the view from our front door, the entryway is open, as our sitting area is right off the entryway. 

Another view of the living room looking towards the kitchen.

This is our sitting area. The chairs are hideous, but will be recovered. The decals on the wall were left from the previous owners, but I liked them, so I kept them up. Boomer also decided to photo bomb.

Hallway shot. I'm standing at the doorway of our guest bedroom. The second bathroom is off to the right, the door straight ahead leads to the third bedroom, which we're using as an office.

Our second bathroom. Sean mainly uses this one.

Our guest bedroom, which will be painted, a nightstand will be brought in and painted (I'm using it in our master bedroom right now and art will be put on the wall. You can't see the closet in either this shot or the shot of the office, but they are there. I assure you.

The office, which is currently the messiest room in the house. I keep putting off organizing it. I'm also not sure what's going to go on in here color or décor wise. It's giving me fits.

The laundry room, which opens into the garage.

Nice, big garage. Room for both cars and a whole bunch of crap.

Our master bedroom. It looks ghetto right now because our bed isn't on a frame, but we took care of that last weekend and have one being delivered this Saturday. Woo-hoo! The room also will be painted and something will have to happen with the furniture. Either it will be painted or we'll sell it and get something new.

Our closet, which needs organization, but there is plenty of room for my clothes and Sean's too...of course.

Another view of the bedroom.

Master bathroom, looking towards the bedroom.

Our back porch (which needs to be re-stained) looking towards the right side of the backyard and the pool.

Left side of the yard. The patio area has a sliding glass door into the kitchen.

Right side of the yard.

I know the pictures aren't the best and I don't feel like they show the house to it's full potential, but it gives you guys an idea of what our house looks like. Like I said, in the next week or so, I'll have to put up some mood boards and my ideas for the house.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

She Works Hard for the Money

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my news that I got a job. I've been meaning to blog about it, but I'm just not getting around to it.

I mentioned before that my job search was frustrating me, as I'd applied to many jobs and had yet to be even called for an interview.  One day I was doing my daily checks of different job websites and happened upon a job listing on the Oklahoma Museum Association for an opening for the new Woody Guthrie Center that was opening up in Tulsa.  The job was for an administrative coordinator and I decided I'd go ahead and submit my resume. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from the executive director asking me if I'd like to do a phone interview with her.

To make a long story short, I interviewed with her, had one more interview with another individual and then received an email saying I got the job. I was so happy and relieved that I had finally gotten a job, not to mention a job that sounded amazing, that I might have let a few happy tears escape.

It's been a little crazy though since Sean still hasn't received his ratings from the VA yet and so we still have our home with all our stuff inside at Ft. Sill. I'm currently living with my family and commuting to work, which is about an hour and ten minute drive each way. We're currently looking for a house to rent until we can buy one, which is a huge headache too. Who knew finding a rent home that wasn't a crazy price, allowed pets and would let us do a short-term lease would be so difficult to find?

I officially started Tuesday of this week.  It's been interesting. Of the six full-time staff, I'm the only one working right now. Construction is still going on, which adds another interesting element.  So far, I really love my job. It's varied enough to keep me interested and I've always wanted to work in a museum, so this is really the perfect job for me. Plus the area of Tulsa I'm working in is really being redone and there are tons of great restaurants, park for concerts across from my work and my favorite thing, a chocolate shop down the street!

This next week is going to be really crazy because it's our opening weekend and we're going to be busy the entire week preparing for it.  After that, it should go back to normal and I'll be working a more normal schedule.

I'm really excited because I think this job is going to be a job I love going to everyday, gives me lots of good networking opportunities and is in a great section of Tulsa that I'm going to enjoy exploring.  Once we open and I'm able to take pictures of the center, I'll have to share them with you guys.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Giveaway Time!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was looking for fellow bloggers to help me get my Etsy shop some more traffic. Well, this week, Molly(a fellow milspouse) over at Carry Your Heart With Me, is giving away one of my 8x10 prints.  If you're interested in possibly winning it, head on over to her blog.

Don't forget to show her some love while you're there!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Things You Should Know

Just wanted to get out some "fun info" to you guys.

1. You may have read my review of my eshakti.com dress a few months ago, if not, here's the link. I'm actually doing another review of a second dress I just received from them in a few days, but I wanted to pass along this code they gave me just for my readers. The code is: NEWGRLNPST
and it's valid for 20% off your order from now until March 20th. I really recommend using eshakti, as they have been a delight to work with and I love the quality of the dresses they make. The best part is that you can customize your dress, which is a huge plus for me, as my measurements sometimes make dress shopping a royal pain.

2. In an effort to promote my Etsy shop, I've decided to try-out a monthly giveaway with fellow bloggers. I'm looking for about three bloggers per month to partner with, who will host a giveaway for an 8x10 (a $25 value) from my shop for the winner, as well as the blogger who hosts the giveaway. If you're interested, either comment or shoot me an email (link is at the top of the blog).

3. I haven't promoted Ebates in awhile, but I thought it was high time I did, especially since the spring clothes buying season is about to be in full force. If you haven't heard of Ebates, it's a program where you go to Ebates.com, look for the website that you plan on shopping at and then using Ebates to nagvigate to that site. It opens up a tracking ticket that records how much you spend and you get cash back just for shopping. Sounds easy, right? It is!  The best part is that Amazon and Ebay both participate in Ebates, although with Amazon there are certain catergories that offer cash back at different times.  Another added bonus is the fact that if you enjoy Ebates and invite friends who join and start using it as well, then you get cash back.  Click here to try out Ebates!

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Update on Life

Hey ya'll (did I just sound like Paula Deen there? If so, good) I swore I was going to stop neglecting my blog and actually get around to posting regularly, but it appears I've lost that battle again.

I wanted to pop in and give my readers an update on what has been going on these last few months.

1. Army- Sean still doesn't have ratings, which is fine because it gives us more time to job search and try to find a place to live once we're out. More on that later. His packet was turned in for a rating in November, so we think it'll be any day now that we get those ratings, but I'm in no hurry to find out. I'm really just hoping for at least 30% for him, as I think that will be best for him (and us) in the long run.  We're still enjoying Ft. Sill. I love it here and I still don't understand why people complain all the time about it. I recently found out that there is a supposed amazing Filipino place in town and I'm eager to try it. For Valentine's Day, Sean and I went to the new Greek place in town, which was delish. I was very impressed with it.

2. Jobs- I hate applying for jobs. HATE IT. I hate tweaking my resume and cover letter for every single job that I apply for. However, what I hate even more is not getting a single interview for any job that I've applied for. I really don't get it. Sean and I visited a career counselor for resume help, so I don't think it's my actual resume, but I'm wondering if it's my sketchy job history since I've been a military spouse. Sean is even more discouraged than I am, because he feels every business that claims they go out of their way to hire veterans is not upholding that promise. He had one interview, which we were really hoping he would get and he didn't, so it was back to square one.  I actually applied for what I consider my dream job about a month ago. It was a digital content writer for the Tourism and Recreation Board here in Oklahoma. I'd be editing guidebooks and other info about the State and I submitted my best example of my resume, cover letter and even a writing sample that went exactly with what I'd be doing in the actual job. Did I hear from them? Not even a peep! One thing that concerned me was the fact that the closing date for this job is not even until July, so I'm not sure what is up with that. The only downfall to the job is that I'd be based out of OKC instead of Tulsa, where Sean and I prefer to live, but it was something I didn't mind doing. If I don't find something soon, I'm going to be temping, which isn't the end of the world, but it wasn't what I thought I'd be doing at age 30.

3. Home- our grand plan was to find a house in the Tulsa area and close on it before Sean got out of the Army. We planned on getting a home loan through a VA agency and we actually were somewhat approved, but we can't truly be approved, because neither of us have a job outside the Army. The most ridiculous thing about all of this, is that the loan guy that Sean spoke with, told him that if he was ETSing, they would have pre-approved us, but because he is being medically discharged he can't. Umm....what sense does that make? Either way you are getting out of the Army! So now it appears we'll be finding a rental house or an apartment until we have jobs and can look for and close on a house. I'm hoping the time in a rental will be short, like six months.

4. Health- I've been having issues with fatigue off and on since I had mono in college, but it's been particularly bad since we moved back to Oklahoma. No matter my activity level, I often feel tired a couple of hours after I wake up and in the afternoon too. I've also gained 15 lbs since June, which is NOT normal for me and with various other symptoms I've been concerned I might have an issue with my thyroid. My grandmother actually had hers removed, so it wouldn't be out of left field to think something might be wrong with mine. I actually had a doctor's appointment about it today and will be going in Monday for blood work. I would just like to get to the bottom of it, because what I'm feeling isn't normal for me.

I think that's all for my update. I'm going to do my very best to post soon, as I have some fun info to share with you guys.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things I Miss About Europe

Six months ago, when we moved back to the United States, after being in Europe for three and a half years, I thought, "Well, I don't miss it yet, so we'll see how I feel about missing Europe in six months."  Well, the six month mark is almost here (in three days) and I can say I feel a bit differently now then I did when we first got back.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to be back in the States. I love being so close to my friends and family and there are lots of things that I really do prefer about living in the US. However, there are a few things I also miss about living in Europe.

1. The travel opportunities. Honestly, this is what I miss the most. I miss planning our next adventure, researching the heck out of where we were going to go, getting food and hotel recommendations and just enjoying a new place.  There's nothing like saying, "Hey let's go to Slovenia for the weekend. Or hey, let's go to Spain over the next four day." I can't do that here. And yes, there are TONS of places I still want to see in the United States, but I really miss the ease of traveling to another country, whenever I want.  I'm a bit of a green-eyed monster when I see status updates/Instagram pics of friends' adventures.

2. The food.  Fillet of horse covered in a balsamic reduction, packets of pasta with pear inside covered with a cream sauce, warm, perfectly cooked risotto with fresh mushrooms, creamy pesto, deliciously cured meats with a bread basket and glass of white wine at my favorite vineyard. Ugh! The thought tortures me. I am grateful that I'm finally back in the land of delicious Tex-Mex though. Big plus for the US on that front.

3. The milk. Ok, that might sound weird, but Italy has the best, most convenient raw milk stands that cost next to nothing. The milk is so creamy, fattening and good. It makes my mouth water just thinking of it. Raw milk here is so expensive that I haven't even considered buying any.

4. The experiences. Carnevale in Venice, watching British Parliament in session, seeing a play at the Globe theater, watching opera in a Roman coliseum, eating Laduree macarons while strolling the Champs Elysees, watching flamenco in Seville. I could go on and on. There was a lot that I did get to experience, but there are so many other places and experiences that are on my list, that I'm a bit sad I haven't got to mark them off yet.

5. My friends. Granted two of them are in the States and one of them is temporarily in the States while her husband is deployed. So..all of my good friends from Italy are in the States. Minus my Italian friends, of course.  I was lucky to meet some of the girls that I did and hopefully we'll be friends from now on.

6. The purses. Oh how I miss Nicoli! That's where I got my purses while we were there and they were beautiful. Real leather in beautiful colors and well-made for a good price.  I stocked up before we left, I think I have about six purses, but I sure do miss going to the factory and picking out my next purchase.

Let me also say there's a lot I don't miss about living in Italy. I don't miss our apartment, I have a nice, big house with a yard here in Oklahoma and I love that. I don't miss outrageous gas prices, our post (although I do miss the library) and I don't miss our neighbors, who for the most part weren't very friendly to us.

Sean and I have actually discussed in the future, if we have the money that is, that we'd like to have a second home somewhere in Europe and then would split our time between a home in the US and a home in Europe. My ideal locations would be somewhere in Slovenia, somewhere near Salzburg, Austria or somewhere in France, maybe even somewhere in Spain near Seville.