Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bumpdate || 28 Weeks

How far along: 28 weeks today!
Gender: Girl
Wedding rings on/off: Off - when I get warm, my hands have always swelled, which I think is typical for anyone, but I was scared of my rings getting stuck so I took them off this past Friday and have them in a safe place. It feels so weird being ringless after wearing them for over 4 years.
Belly Measurement: I see my midwife this upcoming Tuesday, but I'm going to assume on that day I'll be 29 cm
Maternity clothes: Living in my Old Navy maternity jeans and the WalMart brand leggings my friend gave me
Sleep: Better than the previous bumpdate! I've just found, while it's fun to go and hang around friends, being DD is the worst on my sleep. We'd get home around 12/1am but I'd still get up to pee and still wake up hungry/not able to go back to sleep at about 7am on the weekends. I'd end up having a headache and no energy for the rest of the day, and I really hated my weekends being gone because of that.
Best moment this week: We purged more than half the things from the room in the basement (and have yet to take it to the dump...) and I sorted through all the hand me downs that we've received. I also finished our registry. Feeling a little better about the idea of a baby being in our house in ~12 weeks.
Worst moment this week: I took the glucose test this morning - yuck! I felt a lot better than I thought I would though, and the lady who drew my blood said I could consider that a good sign.
Miss anything: Sleeping soundly, but I know I've hit the point of no return on that ;)
Movement: Lots! She's also getting stronger. Rob hasn't felt her yet. We tried! She'd move and I'd put his hand on my belly, then she'd stop until he took his hand off. Attitude already!
Cravings: Not that I can think of really. I had one day where I just really wanted orange juice so Rob picked some up for me on his way home from work.
Queasy or sick: Holy, apparently I still can't go without my nausea meds at 7 months pregnant. Last Saturday morning I woke up feeling a little funny but I just thought I was hungry. Nope. Turns out I had forgotten my meds the night before because I had to RUN to the bathroom from the couch. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold it back and I heaved mid run - twice. Caught it in my hands the first time, then the second heave went down the front of my pajama shirt. Luckily I missed the rug and that my dogs are gross because by the time I was done puking in the toilet, there was no mess for me to clean up in the living room, hahaha! Sorry for the gross story! I ended up taking a gravol, as the water and granola bar came up shortly after my first episode and I could already feel myself getting a headache and I didn't want to end up at the hospital again. When I puke, I just don't stop apparently.
Looking forward to: Christmas! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bumpdate || 26 Weeks!

How far along: 26 weeks
Gender: Girl
Belly Measurement: 26 cm, right on target! 
Maternity clothes: Oh yes. My friend was super generous and when she gave us a ton of baby stuff, she gave me some maternity clothes too.
Sleep: It's not very good the past week or so - up every 2 hours super thirsty and needing to pee, so I'm going pee then having some water, therefore needing to get up again in a couple hours to pee. Oi vey! Along with some pretty vivid dreams that are borderline nightmares.
Best moment this week: Feeling more and stronger movements
Worst moment this week: Not sleeping very well but I manage well throughout the day despite my lack of sleep. So far.
Miss anything: Having more options to pick through when choosing my outfit for the day, haha!
Movement: Lots, and she's definitely getting stronger! Even with the placenta up front, I feel a ton.
Cravings: Not really. I seem to be more into baking, even if I don't want to eat it, and making biscuits or bread from scratch. It feels homey!
Queasy or sick: Still occasionally. Still taking 2 pills at night as I'm way too nervous to stop. 
Looking forward to: Sorting through all the baby stuff that we've received! I wasn't feeling "ready" for a while there because while we were receiving a ton of stuff, I didn't have anything at the house. Now that our nursery/guest room is piling up with stuff, I've been feeling better and a little less anxious about how close I'm getting to my due date.

xo. Nicole

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bumpdate || 23 Weeks!

Happy Halloween! Last night I went to a Halloween party at a friend's house and dressed up as Winnie The Pooh :) It was comfy and easy to put together! I painted a mason jar to be my Hunny pot, which I drank virgin Shirley Temples (thanks Cali!) and water out of all night, and I used some felt fabric and sewed the ears on a cheap headband. The tops were found at Value Village! I could only find a cardigan in the right orange/yellow colour, so I wore it backwards and simply folded a small red shirt over top. Couldn't find a dress or the right colour bottoms, so I opted for my jeans.

How far along: 23 weeks 2 days.
Gender: Girl
Belly Measurement: Assuming 23cm, but I'll know on November 15, my next midwife appointment. 
Maternity clothes: Definitely. Found a black tank top in my closet that still fits nicely even though it isn't maternity :) 
Sleep: Okay. Up once or twice to pee, as usual. My nose is constantly stuffed and I think having the furnace on now is messing up my nose, which in turn isn't letting me sleep as soundly. I was up early yesterday because I was super hungry, and up early this morning because my nose was plugged and my ears hurt. Time to try out a humidifier!
Best moment this week: Feeling movement with my hand for the first time the other night! 
Worst moment this week: My nose/sinuses! It constantly feels like I have a cold. I swear I go through a box of kleenex every week, especially in the mornings. I've been asked at work if I've caught the cold going around, but I really don't think I have. Just pregnancy fun!
Miss anything: Nothing I can really think of.
Movement: Quite a bit! Especially at night when I lay down, or any time I'm on my back really. She's getting stronger and I can feel her more, even with the placenta being anterior.
Cravings: Nothing crazy.
Queasy or sick: Apparently I still can't go without nausea meds. I realized on Thursday, when I suddenly felt like barfing everywhere at work, that I had forgotten to take my meds the night before. I've weaned myself down to only 2 pills at night, rather than the 4-5/day and I apparently can't miss them.
Looking forward to: Getting all the hand-me-downs we're receiving and organizing it all (we have the best family and friends!). Also, only 2 months until we're in BC for Christmas!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bumpdate || 22 Weeks!

How far along: 22 weeks.
Gender: Girl!
Belly Measurement: K, so, I've changed this from Weight Gain to Belly Measurement because it's a huge (I hate using the word but...) trigger for me. It's hard seeing the number creep up after my almost 2 years of clean eating and exercising, even though it's a mixture of my uterus, placenta, water weight, breasts, etc.. I just don't think it's good for my mental health right now to focus on a number. My midwife agreed that it's best I don't weigh myself until around 37 weeks (for the hospital's knowledge just in case) and we will go by how I feel and my belly's measurement. I eat relatively healthy still and allow myself some treats. All that really matters is that my uterus and baby are growing according to my pregnancy. My body will also gain what it needs to gain for this babe. So, my belly is measuring 22cm as of 2 days ago, which is right on target!
Maternity clothes: Yep, definitely.
Sleep: Pretty good still. Getting 8-9 hours every night and down to 1 or 2 pee breaks.
Best moment this week: Hearing the heartbeat at the midwife appointment.
Worst moment this week: Stepping on the scale at the midwife clinic but I'm ready to move on from that. 
Miss anything: Nothing off the top of my head.
Movement: Minimal, but hearing her heartbeat on Tuesday reassured me. She was moving around a lot after my 20 week ultrasound, then the past 4 days she moved maybe once or twice that I felt. I have an anterior placenta, so that may have a big part in it.
Cravings: It's random and if I smell something good, I want it. I can usually work past it and just deal with what I have in my lunch or what's in the house for dinner. 
Queasy or sick: Occasionally nauseas still. I'm weaning off my meds and usually only take the 2 pills at night.
Looking forward to: Halloween! My first Halloween with a baby bump :)

xo. Nicole

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Baby Maxfield Gender Reveal!

Well, here we are in the 20th week of my pregnancy! I did a bumpdate for it the other day, but this week is especially special because we got to find out the sex! We had our family over for dinner last night before we opened the pumpkin to reveal either a small blue pumpkin, or a small pink one. Our friend Megan was given the sealed envelope, the big pumpkin, pink and blue paint, and the small pumpkin right after the ultrasound. She was sworn to secrecy, she wasn't even allowed to tell me!
Most of the Old Wives Tales pointed to a girl. I have gotten so many people telling me "oh you have this symptom so it's obviously a girl/boy!" Well, no. All of those Old Wives Tales are just for fun! When you think about it, they have a 50% chance of being right, so a lot of people end up believing them. The signs and symptoms, like carrying low, the heart rate, the amount of all-day puking, acne, heartburn, it's literally just how your body does pregnancy. Despite all that, it was still fun to use the OWT's to guess the sex before we knew!
I tried to keep decorations at a minimum because really, all of that work for a 2 second pull-the-pumpkin-out felt like a waste. I also kept a small pumpkin theme, as we were finding out what our little pumpkin would be :)
The ultrasound on Thursday morning was a long 45 minute one, but it was the anatomy scan. Baby was facing away from us and sleeping for most of it, so the ultrasound tech got plenty of the pictures she needed. She was determined to get the sex for us (and she needed baby to face us, or switch positions at least for the heart pictures) so she had me do some jumping jacks and try eating the candy that I had in my purse. Well, it worked because...
It's a girl

It definitely feels different, knowing the sex. It feels a lot more real knowing we have a baby girl arriving in ~4.5 months!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bumpdate || 20 Weeks!

How far along: 20 weeks.
Gender: Unknown, we find out tomorrow evening at our Gender reveal dinner!
Weight gain: Last known was 6lbs, not sure right now.
Maternity clothes: Yep! Everything I'm wearing, except my cardigans, are maternity.
Sleep: Pretty good! Getting 8-9 hours every night. For the past 4 nights I've been getting up at exactly 12:51am to go pee and then again around weird.
Best moment this week: Seeing baby at the ultrasound this morning, knowing things are developing normally.
Worst moment this week: For the past 2 weeks I've had gas and stretching pains that would kick in when I'd stand up. All for good reason because apparently it grew 4 inches this week. Baby's measuring 16 cm as of this morning :)
Miss anything: This week has actually been wine! Once or twice I've wanted it, but nothing major.
Movement: Definitely. The ultrasound this morning confirmed that the placenta is at the front so it explains why I don't feel much, but I do feel the flutters really low. I can tell it isn't gas now!
Cravings: Nothing that sticks out this week.
Queasy or sick: Occasionally nauseas. Too nervous to stop my meds completely but I can usually skip my afternoon pill now.
Looking forward to: Finding out the gender tomorrow night! I've prepped a little chalkboard (well, foam board) and a pumpkin for our reveal. My friend is currently painting the pumpkin the appropriate colour and will put it inside the big one! :)

xo. Nicole

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bumpdate || 18 Weeks!

Sneaky break time selfie because I forgot to take a picture in the morning before work...again. My friend Allison recommended a selfie stick because it comes with the tripod attachment. May be worth it!

How far along: 18 weeks 
Gender: Unknown
Weight gain: 6 lbs
Maternity clothes: Yep! I bought some from Old Navy, though I found the jeans are a little big right now. They keep falling down during the day, but it's nice to have the option. 
Sleep: Pretty good actually! My fitbit says I'm getting over 8 hours and I'm sleeping pretty heavily with only one pee break.
Best moment this week: Feeling movement that actually felt like movement on Wednesday or Thursday maybe? Haven't really felt it since, just the occasional jab at my bladder. When that happens, I don't feel the movement, just the sharp, not-so-painful feeling of it being hit. Also, Rob found a job and starts this coming Tuesday! Only 2 weeks of him being unemployed but it made us realize how badly we really need to start saving, especially if it happens again. With his new job, we'll also need a second vehicle before baby comes in February because I'll be without for 10 days in a row - not good for doc apps or emergencies.
Worst moment this week: I can't recall anything off the top of my head, which is nice :)
Miss anything: Same old, same old.
Movement: Some obvious movement for a day this past week, but not so much anymore.
Cravings: Poutine, perogies, taquitoes, hashbrowns, cheese, oranges, and whatever's not in my lunch.
Queasy or sick: A few bouts of nausea and some wicked heartburn kicked in. Diclectin is still working well for me!
Looking forward to: Gender reveal in 2 weeks!! Rob still thinks it's a boy and I'm undecided. Half the old wives tales say boy, the other half say girl. In all the ultrasounds, it's been lying on it's back at the bottom of my uterus and kicking away. So maybe it is a boy! I've been finding myself wondering more and more and what it'll be like having a boy or a girl.

xo. Nicole

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week's End || September 19

1|| I decorated for Fall a weekend or two ago and included some new artwork that I did with my friend. I also made a Christmas themed one, and a purple-y one that could totally go into the nursery if it's a girl.
2|| Coffee finally tastes good again! I repeat, it finally tastes good. During the first trimester, my body naturally weaned itself off by making it taste gross but I'm happy to report I can enjoy a cup in the morning again ;) I shared this photo on Instagram with a caption about getting sick and Rob being laid off. Stress!
3|| Spencer usually lets me know when it's bedtime ;)

1|| 17 week update! Maybe the 15 week update, too?

This weekend has been a pretty lazy one. Today I did end up baking some Pilsbury Halloween cookies and made some freezable breakfast sandwiches, so maybe not THAT lazy. I found some cheap maternity clothes at Old Navy yesterday and I'm looking forward to being more comfortable at work!

xo. Nicole

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bumpdate || 17 Weeks!

Again, no one to take the picture at 7:30 in the morning, so this is my makeshift selfie off a sugar jar on the kitchen counter to get a somewhat flattering angle, haha!

How far along: 17 Weeks 1 Day
Gender: Unknown - 3 more weeks!
Weight gain: 4 lbs total
Maternity clothes: I found I don't like the maternity jeans that I bought and I'm desperate for some that actually fit well. Hopefully I can find a cheap pair that can be my go-to. I also am down to 3 tops that fit that I can wear to work. I'm in need of a shopping trip quick!
Sleep: Hilarious. I've been sleeping really well but I've been apparently waking up and mumbling nonsense to Rob and getting all mad when he doesn't understand what I'm trying to tell him. The texts I wake up to from him explaining the situation are so funny! I've only had to pee once in the night, but I think that's from my lack of water intake (oops!).
Best moment this week: Seeing baby on the ultrasound for a quick 30 seconds at the hospital.
Worst moment this week: Oh boy. Well, I got hit with a nasty cold that sent me to the hospital because my old nausea meds stopped working completely. Then on Tuesday I woke up at 3am with a wicked headache that induced puking until about noon when Gravol stayed in me (as per hospital orders). Rob got laid off, so my maternity shopping is at a standstill until we know when EI will kick in or if Rob finds another job right away (but no one's hiring electricians :( )
Miss anything: Not feeling like puking, haha!
Movement: I think so...I say that because I think I felt a flutter and then the usual "jabs" at my bladder. It's not even squishy in there yet! I definitely think he/she is laying low and getting my bladder because on the ultrasound, it was having a freaking party in there and I couldn't really feel it. 
Cravings: Whatever I smell, apparently. A kid at work today had a poutine and now it's all I want. 
Queasy or sick: Yes. New meds are helping a lot, though the mornings are still iffy until I eat something and if I wait too long for my lunch break, then I feel queasy after eating.
Looking forward to: Finding out the gender in 3 weeks!

xo. Nicole

Monday, September 5, 2016

Bumpdate || 15 Weeks

My new favourite picture of us. It was taking over the weekend by my sister-in-law and it's totally "us".

How far along: 15 weeks 4 days
Gender: Unknown
Weight gain: 2 lbs so far. Our scale stopped working after Koshka slept on it for a while and I don't see my midwife until the 20th
Maternity clothes: Bought some used maternity jeans off a lady online and they work really well. I was hoping for straight cut, but unfortunately they're boot cut so they make me look bigger than I am.
Sleep: Relatively okay. I'm back at work so I'm up earlier, but I'm finding I have more energy after work!
Best moment this week: Maternity jeans, haha. Telling my boss at work about my pregnancy, it still feels like I'm lying to people when I tell them. And realizing I only have less than 6 months of work left ;)
Worst moment this week: I've noticed my back hurting at the end of the work day, so my midwife has recommended an osteopath.
Miss anything: Clothing fitting nicely
Movement: None, though I think it likes to kick my bladder already because I get a weird feeling followed by a not-so-sharp pang feeling
Cravings: Fruit and sushi - mainly california rolls!
Queasy or sick: It's come back! I've puked the last couple mornings, despite my pill, but then I'm better for the rest of the day
Looking forward to: Gender ultrasound on October 6th! Hearing the heartbeat again on September 20th, and more maternity clothes. I need some more for work rather than rotating the same two tank tops, haha!

xo. Nicole

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bumpdate || 14 Weeks

I didn't take a chalkboard photo this week because we rushed out of the house Thursday morning for a random day trip to Jasper! I met Nicole from Gypsy in Jasper - it was so cool! We recognized each other basically right away. It's always so interesting and cool to meet bloggers in real life.

How far along: 14 weeks
Gender: Unknown
Weight gain: 2 lbs
Maternity clothes: Desperate, but leggings will do until I get paid.  
Sleep: Alright except apparently my body thinks waking up at 3am for an hour or two is the new 'thing'.
Best moment this week: Hearing the heartbeat at my midwife appointment, and a day trip to Jasper. Also, my bump is becoming more of a bump than a bloat :) 
Worst moment this week: Shitty people on social media.
Miss anything: Not feeling so blah
Movement: Not yet, but hopefully soon!
Cravings: Orange juice, lemon/blueberry greek yogurt, fruit
Queasy or sick: Yep. Meds are still helping and I still have days where I need more than one pill in the morning
Looking forward to: An even bumpier bump and finding out the gender in October.

Not much happened this week but every week is a new experience. It's still very surreal that I'm actually pregnant!

Also, make sure to follow along for more updates on my Facebook page!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bumpdate || 13 Weeks

Thanks to my grandma for taking the picture. We have some practicing to do, but we have ~7 more months of practice ;) Also, pretty sure the bump is mostly perogies but I can't suck it in sooo...

Also, the picture says 1st trimester, though many say after 12 weeks is the 2nd. Well, my midwife and some apps say 14 weeks is the second trimester so I'm just going by that.

How far along: 13 weeks
Gender: Unknown. I still feel it's a girl, while Rob keeps calling it 'he'. Heartrate says 156bpm...
Weight gain: Not sure - refusing to weigh myself
Maternity clothes: Not yet but I'm juuuust about ready to bite the bullet and buy some jeans/tank tops.
Sleep: Waking up around 3am super nauseas for a half hour, then back to sleep. Getting up more frequently to pee because I can actually drink water now without throwing it up. Otherwise, sleeping pretty soundly with some crazy dreams including one about Rob in a car fire and bleeding out every hole on his face!
Best moment this week: Getting some of my life back! I had to go on meds for my all-day-nausea and it's been really nice to not feel nauseas. I finally went for a pretty decent (1 hour) walk the other day. I'll slowly get back to jogging just in time for the ice and snow to show up. Also, 2 ultrasounds this past week!
Worst moment this week: Breaking down and going to the hospital on Saturday night because one sip of water would come up 5 minutes later. I was there for about 6 hours (2 was waiting, while barfing stomach acid into dog poop baggies because it was all I had) on an IV getting rehydrated and pumped with some safe meds.
Miss anything: How my body and mind felt when I did Whole30 and was at my lowest weight. I felt so good about myself, and could wear anything in my closet without being self conscious. Now that I'm not so nauseas, I can get back to my healthy eating and hopefully get back into the mind frame, while still being pregnant and knowing my stomach is going to balloon.
Movement: None yet. This morning I could feel some growing pain-like cramps, so hopefully this bump will really pop soon so I actually look pregnant!
Cravings: McDonald's breakfast. I've only had it once...twice..this past 2 weeks. Other than that, fruit and a beautiful concoction of sparkling water with orange juice and ice!
Queasy or sick: It's still there until I take my meds in the morning.
Looking forward to: Seeing my midwife next week and finding out the gender on October 6/7th!

I had two ultrasounds and skipped a 12 week bumpdate because one ultrasound was the dating scan, which told me I was 12 weeks that day and my previous bumpdate was actually 11 weeks 3 days then. Oi vey! That ultrasound tech told me I was 12 weeks that day and that baby was 4 cm long. For my second ultrasound, the NT screening, the lady told me I was still on track but baby was 6 cm and the previous tech was wrong about the length. So now I'm not 100% sure what my date is, because wouldn't I be further along than 12 weeks if it was longer? But I'm going by the first ultrasound for my due date. Cooonnnfusing! 

Anyways, here's the two pictures I've received, one from each scan!

xo. Nicole

Monday, August 8, 2016

My First Bump Post || 11 Weeks!

Seriously disregard the crappy photo and mess of a bathroom counter. I'm going to force Rob or my grandma into taking real photos of me (with my iPhone of course, because that's all I own) with a chalkboard for next week's!

How far along: 11 weeks
Gender: Unknown - I think it's a girl, Rob thinks it's a boy
Weight gain: 2 lbs
Maternity clothes: Not yet. I tried jeans on Saturday night and that was a no-go. Leggings ftw! 
Sleep: Most of the time it's okay. I'm getting up more often to pee in the middle of the night, and I heard it only gets worse. This past week, I've wanted to sleep all day but before that I would be wide awake at 4am, listening to Rob snore until his alarm went off at 5:45. 
Best moment this week: Finally getting to hear the heartbeat! Before that I had had no reassurance that this thing was alive, other than my symptoms.
Worst moment this week: Puking. A lot. I had to pull over on the highway to puke for 15 minutes. The other day I couldn't even keep water down until I had a 4 hour nap. My nausea went away for a solid 5 days only for it to come back full force. I'm on day 2 of minimal nausea and no puking again, so let's hope it stays away this time!
Miss anything: Not being nauseas all day, eating Whole30, and running. I know they say to not stop what you're doing and to continue everything as normal when you get pregnant but that's a lot easier said than done! I didn't plan to stop, my body forced me to by making me eat every hour, only specific things, and making me pay for it if I didn't. I've heard the second trimester is a lot better, so I'm aiming to start walking/jogging again and eating a hell of a lot better too.
Movement: None yet. The apps tell me it's doing somersaults and everything in there, though I have yet to feel anything but gas ;)
Cravings: Fruit like blueberries, raspberries, mandarin oranges, and strawberries. Pasta most of the time. Booster Juice is my new thing. I wake up craving the pomegranate passion, it's so tart and sweet! It helps me nausea stay away too.
Queasy or sick: Definitely. The nausea and puking kicked in at 5 weeks 4 days, and since then I've only had 7 days of minimal nausea and no puking. It's all worth it, and I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining because we've waited long enough for this! I'm on day 2 of a stretch with minimal nausea, so let's hope that stays.
Looking forward to: Seeing my bump grow into more than just bloat. The picture above is from yesterday and I realized I just couldn't suck it in anymore. I'm also looking forward to our first ultrasound on Thursday morning! 

Our Family is Growing By...

2 feet! After nearly 4 years of unexplained infertility, we are so excited to announce that Baby Maxfield will be joining us in February 2017! 

I'm currently 11 weeks, based off my last period, but I have my first ultrasound coming up on August 11th, which will give a more accurate date. I also was lucky enough to get into a midwife clinic and I am so, so happy. I've had one meeting with them so far and I really like it. I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time at that appointment (150 bpm!). It was nice to have some reassurance, other than my symptoms. 

I'll definitely be doing bump updates, so stay tuned!

Photo c/o of my sister-in-law from Treasured Forever Photography

xo. Nicole 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saturday Crafting

My friend and I get together about every 2 weeks for some brunch and some crafts! It's become something that I really look forward to during the week, and I'm excited for the Summer when we can have more brunch dates. We take turns hosting and picking/preparing for the crafts. It works out pretty well for us! We've had a few craft fails and successes, but it's always fun trying new things. This past weekend, it was my friend's turn and she picked these watercolour tile coasters!
After some trial and error, we figured out the best way to make the colours stay, rather than just disappearing. We used 91% alcohol, food colouring, and matches. We had to use a lot of alcohol, dip the food colouring on it, mix the colours however we wanted using a q-tip or blowing on it, then adding more alcohol and lighting it on fire. We let it burn until the flames went out. They took forever to dry and it was tricky transporting mine home, but after a quick varnish spray they were good to go! 
As my luck goes, after I sprayed the clear varnish on my tiles and went back inside, it started sprinkling outside. I was upset at first but noticed it made them look even better! 
 These were so fun, and so easy, that I don't want you to be surprised if you get a coaster set for Christmas ;) It's my turn to host brunch on the 6th of July, and I'm still not sure what we'll do, or what we'll eat. Any ideas?

xo. Nicole

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Father's Day Camping

For Father's Day, Rob and I went up north to Slave Lake for some camping with his dad, step mom, nephew, and uncle. It was a really great weekend of relaxing, fire watching, cherry eating, fish frying, tent napping, and visiting family. We're apparently going to make it an annual thing, to go up there for Father's Day. The weather was really nice when we got there and only rained for about an hour on Saturday evening. Rob's dad was well prepared for the rain, so it all worked out for us. 

xo. Nicole

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week's End || June 12

1|| I had a subpar experience at a nail salon here in town that is also in every city. I used to like them a lot, but since that experience, I decided to try and go locally owned and operated. I found a lady who does gel nails out of her home and I'm still so in love with them! I'm super happy that I found such a wonderful lady in town, as I know I'm supporting her family rather than some CEO's yacht fund. #supportlocal
2|| I snagged this pink tumbler from Starbucks when I met an old friend for coffee last week, and I'm so glad I did. Drinking my water out of a straw seems to help me get more water in throughout the day...just me? I've been getting in 3 of these every day during my work week, and it's 709ml/24oz! In this picture, I put mint leaves and some frozen blueberries - my favourite!
3|| Despite attempting my fifth round of Whole30 and only making it to day 13, I still try to eat as clean as possible. I've found a lot of recipes for their mayo but I like mine the best! It's almost a ranch, but it's more like a garlic mayo. I've been obsessed for 2 weeks now with dipping my home made french fries in it. So. Good. Would you like me to share the recipe?
4|| I went into Michael's to grab some craft like, 3 things. I ended up coming out with 10 things including this mug! I love the floral pattern and the message. It's my new go-to mug in the mornings.

1|| I blogged once this week...and here it is!
2|| Cara is back to blogging, and she's starting out with a giveaway - maybe I shouldn't share it so I'd have a better chance of winning ;)

It's been on my mind, like everyday. I want to jump back into blogging! I would love to make this Week's End a link up, but I'm not quite there yet. I only have 12 instructional days of work left, then it's Summer break and I'll definitely have more time, and hopefully more energy. My body basically shut down from a wicked sinus infection that traveled to my wisdom tooth, and I haven't run or exercised really in almost 4 weeks. My infections are gone (gosh, that sounds gross, haha!) and I really don't have an excuse anymore. I'm lacking motivation, I think.

Do you have your own blog? I'd love to read your latest post!
Would you be interested in doing a Week's End link up every Sunday/Monday?

xo. Nicole

Friday, June 10, 2016

A 50th Surprise

This past February, my dad turned 50. His work is always busy during the Winter months here in Alberta (so, like 10 months of the year) and he couldn't take any time off work for a party, so I planned it for the May long weekend. Many things didn't go as planned, including the shelter, some decorations, and some missing guests, but it all worked out in the end.
I feel that hosting and planning a "surprise" 50th party for my dad was a really good way to show him how much I appreciate everything he's done for me and helk, it's his 50th, it's basically asking for a giant party! It was supposed to be full surprise, where I'd even contact his employer and book his time off, except a few things went wary and the secret was out. It still worked out for the best, and my dad didn't know any details, but he had to book his own time off work ;)
My Grandma and I took a couple hours to prepare a '50' photo collage, the cupcake toppers, and a guest book of sorts. His party was a BBQ theme, as he does love his BBQ and it was supposed to be bright and sunny out. The weather had another idea, and decided to rain for the entire weekend...except for the hours of the party! The rain held off, but it was still cold and gloomy. The tarps didn't work out (one flat out broke and came crashing down an hour before people were supposed to show up!) so we rush cleaned out the garage and shoved everything in there. It has a little oven in there, so thankfully it kept the place pretty warm. 
I got a cake made for the occasion, too. It turned out so wonderful and was really good! Nothing but people complimenting how great it looked and how awesome it tasted. Of the 50+ people who said they were coming, 26 in total were there to celebrate! It was really great to finally meet family members that I've never met (or was too little to remember meeting). (Can you see my vibrant red hair? Love it!)
The help I received from everyone was beyond awesome and we really have an awesome family. My grandma let us use their acreage, everyone pitched in and brought some chips, salad, or dessert. My dad was so, so happy with it, and that's what really mattered! My younger sister drove all the way from BC for our dad's party, and my dad was so happy! We took advantage and got our first photo of the 3 of us in forever.
Everything was pretty budget friendly. The dollar store was my best friend for the decorations and it was all handmade. The cake and the poster were the only exceptions, as I went through Cake Affair for it (and will again!) and the Etsy shop, TalkInChalk.

Have you ever planned a 'surprise' party?

xo. Nicole

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lately || April, May, and uh...What else have I missed?

I came across a post this morning about how to keep yourself motivated when you're in a blog slump, and I'm totally there. It mentioned a few things to do, which I always think about doing but never do, like keeping a running list of post ideas. I think I'll remember them, but half an hour later that post idea is gone. Perhaps I should really take the advice and start writing/typing them out, because I really miss the blogging community and all the opportunities/relationships that it brings. My plan and goals are to post more than just product reviews, because those aren't that fun to read for anyone. An easy post idea, but nothing more really!
On that note, here's a little update on the past month or so.
We hosted our first holiday dinner in our home, and it was Easter. It was pretty exciting to have people come to our house rather than us drive to different cities for different dinners. We bought some cheap folding chairs from Wal Mart and a folding table from Costco, which are also coming in handy for my dad's 50th birthday party that I'm planning for May 21st. A good investment ;) The Easter bunny visited our house too for our nephews and niece! Koshka wouldn't stop checking them out, but they were a hit! We don't have toys or anything here for them when they visit, so the Easter bunny put some magnet games and colouring books in there to keep the kiddos occupied during the dinner evening. 
Work has been going well. Only 35/36 instructional days until Summer break! I'm too excited! We went on two field trips this past week. Staff and students were equally exhausted by the end of the week, but we made it. We went to see the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, then on Thursday we went to the Devonian Botanical Gardens. The gardens smelled amazing and it was so beautiful. We actually got some rain for an hour or so and it was quite chilly until about 2pm. 
My in-laws came out in April for 10 days and it went really well. It's nice to see them every April, and we'll see them again in December when Rob and I go that way for Christmas. While they were out, we started the renovations on our side entrance! It had some hideous 70's vinyl that was warped, peeling off, and full of paint splatters. It took about 6 hours to get all the old adhesive and vinyl off before my father in law started sanding the wood to make it rough/free of debris to get the new adhesive to stick. I plan to post about the process, but I'm not posting anymore about it until I finish some painting there and Rob finishes the baseboards!
I may or may not have ordered my second Charmed Aroma candle. It's addicting! I at least wait until the candle is burnt out completely before buying another one. Rob thinks I should space it out through the year, buuuuuut I didn't listen.
I've organized all my snail mail a couple times because it was too overwhelming to find a card to send. I organized all my Happy Mail by event/occasion! It's helped a lot and I've stuck to my goal of getting all the birthday cards mailed out at the beginning of the month. I love getting snail mail and I love sending it out. We also let Koshka venture outside without a leash. The first time, she lasted about 10 minutes before I opened the door again and I've never seen a cat run so fast to the basement. She likes to go out for a little while at a time and it's really nice :) She's definitely happier!
You can totally see all the dog hair on the blanket, but it was still cozy. I put cinnamon in the coffee grounds this morning and it's something I am definitely going to do when Fall comes! 

My plans for the weekend are to tidy up some stuff around the house, maybe start some painting on the side entrance, and just relax. It was a physically and mentally exhausting week at work, so my self care is priority this weekend.

How do you stay motivated to blog? What does your self care look like? 

xo. Nicole

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rockin' Red

After the month of April, I'm officially unsubscribed from Ipsy. I loved the subscription and the quality of the products, but I have way too many unused products now. This last one, my March Glam Bag, was amazing. I've rocked the NYX cream lip stick a couple times and I always get compliments.
I've also used the hair volumizer (the purple bottle) a couple times, but I haven't noticed a big enough change it buy it or elaborate anymore on it. The nail file will come in handy as I've been noticing myself biting my nails too much :( Stress will do that to you.
The first picture was from St. Patrick's Day, and my glam bag arrived the evening before. Perfect timing! I had also recently dyed my hair red (looks pretty brown in the pictures), and the red lip stick compliments it pretty well. It looked great with the green scarf and cardigan too ;) The lip stick lasts all day, with only a few minor touch ups after eating. I've never been taught how to apply it properly so that it doesn't fade so much near the middle, but I'll learn eventually.
I'll have one last review of an Ipsy bag in the next week or so. My April glam bag is expected to arrive on Thursday or Friday of this week!

My younger sister took the plunge and subscribed. I can't wait to see what she gets in her first bag and how she uses everything! The price really isn't bad at all. Where I live in Canada, including shipping, only $20 is taken out of my account. I want to stress that I'm not stopping because of my experience. I'm stopping because I just have too many wonderful products to use up before I continue spending money every month on more. 

Have you received an Ipsy bag? What was your experience and/or favourite product from a bag?

xo. Nicole

*I am no way affiliated with Ipsy. I am simply sharing a product I love.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Charming Review

I finally broke down and purchased a Charmed Aroma candle. I know all about the reviews and iffy-ness of the ring quality, but I still gave in. My finger hasn't turned green yet, but I also don't wear the ring everyday.
It took a couple hours in the evening and a couple hours the next morning or burning to reveal the tip of the wax. Mine was right behind the label, against the edge. I should have waited longer to take it out, but I was excited! As a result, I ripped the tin foil and plastic wrap, getting wax all over the ring.
This scent is actually super nice! It's a vanilla-y, toned down, citrus and it's quite pleasant. I wasn't sure what to expect from it. The candle doesn't last very long (at least I think so), as I've burnt it for a couple hours at a time and it's already just about done. 
I hope the picture above isn't too grainy for you! My ring is valued at $40, but it's actually missing most of the mini (guessing fake) diamonds. It's mostly cut to make it look shiny and full of diamonds, haha! The price isn't too terrible, though it is a little high. I'm determined to get one of each scent over the next couple months!

Have you ever received a Charmed Aroma candle? What was our experience?

xo. Nicole

*I am no way affiliated with Charmed Aroma. This was just a review of my experience.