Home is Where The Heart Is

Before I had Olive I devoted a ton of time to decorating and styling our home. We bought and remodeled it while I was pregnant, so after I had her I always felt like it was never quite “done”. I’m constantly finding new little decor pieces and rearranging furniture to give it a different vibe.

Now that I had a one-year-old running around that time I once spent decorating is now spent just making sure the house isn’t in shambles in case we have company drop by. Baby proofing definitely isn’t the most STYLISH thing you can do to your house, but with our ball of fire it is completely necessary. I have tried to keep my house true to my style throughout the baby process and keep toys and things to a minimum in the big living spaces. Olive has a playroom upstairs and shares my downstairs office as a sort of “classroom” for her learning toys and art supplies.

As she is getting older I feel like I can get back to finishing off the decorating, and make our home feel complete. I was going for a very Pottery Barn/Ballard Design look in the beginning, and now am leaning towards bringing in some of the eclectic vibe from Anthropologie. If I could have an all white and gold house, believe me…I would. Until that day comes I’ll settle for creams, whites, and some pops of bright colors and gold mixed in.

Here are a few shots of our downstairs area. I have always wanted a Robins Egg Blue kitchen, and I still love it, but I’m leaning towards all white and cream walls. Decisions…decisions!

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I love the way the light comes in the window first thing in the morning.

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My coffee table tray that has been moved due to little hands.

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In a perfect world I would have a mix of Monika Hibbs, Cassidy June, and Stephanie Sterjovski…here are some gorgeous images of these ladies homes.

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Monika Hibbs of The Doctor’s Closet

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Cassidy June of O My Darlings Blog

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Stephanie Sterjovski owner of SSPrintShop

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Quick and Healthy

The number one thing I hear from people when trying to start eating healthier is TIME. People don’t have time to cook, prepare, prep, etc. I totally get it! We are in a season in our life right now where we stay busy and get very little downtime to just BE. So taking two hours to prepare a 5 course healthy dinner is just not in the cards on most nights. I think all moms can relate there. These are a few of our “go-to” meals that take no more than 5-10 minutes to make.

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Oatmeal Waffles
Serves 2
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
Stevia to taste
Splash of Almond milk

Mix all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Heat up your waffle maker and use coconut oil or non stick spray on the iron. Pour half the mixture in and remove when finished. Repeat with the other half. Top waffles with blueberries, banana, almond butter, and/or pure maple syrup.

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Veggies and Eggs
Serves 1
Any and as many veggies of your choice
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1/4 cup shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut oil or Earth Balance

Heat oil or Earth Balance in the pan and add veggies to cook. Today I used Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, carrots and onion. When finished, transfer to a plate and cook the eggs any way you like. Top with cheese, salt and pepper. No, seriously…it’s that easy.

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Yogurt Mess
Serves 1
1/2 cup Greek yogurt of choice (Fage 0% is my favorite)
Stevia
Cinnamon
1/2 Banana
1/3 cup granola or other cereal (I like to stick to gluten free kinds with very low sugar)
1 tbsp nut butter

Throw everything in a bowl…mix together…devour! This is my all time favorite snack!

I am not a big meat eater at all. I actually love to lean towards eating a vegan diet just because that’s how I feel my body is most nourished. However, I do love yogurt and recently eggs. I highly recommend if you are a meat eater to always, always buy organic animal products. Look for labels that say “certified organic”, “grass fed”, and “non-gmo” when buying these products. More on these topics to come!

And of course…always try to bring a cute shopping buddy along for entertainment.

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Vegan Smash Cake

Being super picky about what my daughter eats, I knew that her first birthday would be a challenge. I wanted her to experience the “smash cake” and have fun, but I wasn’t willing to compromise with refined sugar and garbage. I do get a lot of flack for being so careful about what she eats, so for my prides sake I knew this had to be delicious.

I wanted to make one myself, so I took to Pinterest and scoured endlessly for the perfect recipe. This one came out the winner. It is originally vegan, but I replaced the flour with gluten-free, cocoa with raw cacao, and white sugar with Truvia. I also made an “icing” by simply melting Enjoy Life chocolate and coconut oil together. It turned into more or a ganache than icing. It actually hardened in the refrigerator, so I would recommend waiting until the last minute to make and put on the topping. The new version is sugar free, gluten free, and vegan.

She still has never had gluten, sugar, or animal products. Will we stick to this forever? Who knows! But right now it works for us, and she is a super happy and healthy gal!

After she was done I let everyone else try it, and all around people thought it was delish! So if you are just curious about vegan or gluten free baking this would be a great one to test out!

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One

Where did the time go?

How in the world did an entire year go by with this little girl?

I know she’s mine, so like most mothers I am probably biased….but this doll could not be more perfect in my eyes.  I can already see such a strong personality in her.

Independent, strong-willed, tender hearted, loving, and always ready to entertain for a crowd.

Her birthday party was “Breakfast at Olive’s” as a tribute to my hero – Audrey Hepburn.  I can’t imagine it turning out any better than it did.  We were so blessed to celebrate Olive’s life with our family and closest friends.

Happy Birthday, my little love.  You are truly a joy to everyone who knows you!

olive1olive2olive3olive4olive5olive6olive7olive8olive9olive10Stay tuned for details on the food, decoration DIYs, and a vegan smash cake recipe that you won’t believe is healthy!

2 months

Oh, how the time is flying…just as everyone said it would!  I blinked and my sweet girls is already 10 weeks old!  She has gone from a very calm, sleepy newborn to a giggly and squirmy baby!  I will do sort of “milestone” posts on the 5th of each month since she was born January 5th.  I think that will be fun to have for us and to be able to go back and read as she progresses.  It seems like she learns something new or changes in some way every single day – it’s a lot to keep up with and take in.  But I am loving every second of getting to know this angel!  She already has such a personality.  This shows just how much she has changed over one month.   
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2months

2 month milestones (happening between month 1 and 2)  :

Holding head up for long periods of time when on tummy & being held

Smiling, laughing, cooing

Rolling from back to stomach

Taking pumped breast milk from a bottle

Weight – 11 lbs 14 oz

Height – 22 in

Sleeping – She is going down for the night anywhere between 8-10PM.  The normal wakeup times if she DOES wake up are 1AM, 3AM, & 7AM.  She might wake up all three times and may wake up only once.  When she does wake, she is usually soothed by nursing for no more than ten minutes or so then is back to sleep.  She is starting the night off in her co-sleeper that is attached to our bed, but she usually ends up in our bed.  It is really just easier to nurse that way.  I have found when she IS in our bed she wakes up way less.  She will wake up for the day anywhere between 9AM-11AM and go down for a long nap about two hours later.  The rest of the day is up in the air.  She may nap three more times and may nap no more.  We are still working on a routine, but she is still so young I am not worried about that yet.

Food – Breast milk only

I have SO many more things I want to go in to within the next few weeks, so hopefully I will be able to carve out some time every day to do that!  Get ready for cloth diapering, vaccines, postpartum fashion (aside from yoga pants & t-shirts), and lots of recipes!

Baby Basics

At 6 weeks little miss is just getting to the age when she can wear actual cute clothes.  Don’t get me wrong, newborn clothes ARE cute…I just didn’t want to spend a ton of money on outfits she would only wear for a month.  Not to mention all the spit up and OTHER things that can destroy a baby’s getup very quickly.  She is still so young we don’t even have to worry about getting her out much besides the occasional visit to the grandparents or grocery store runs.  We have been all about simple and comfortable!  With the colder months we have been relying on footed outfits, long sleeves and warm knit hats.  The super cute gowns have also been a huge hit around here.  They are a little tough to put on our squirmy baby, but they make diaper changes a breeze!  Our favorite one pieces have zippers instead of snaps for the same reason.  Here are a few of our staples that will carry over for kids to come.

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1. Baby Gap knot hat 

2. Carter’s long-sleeve bodysuits

3. Carter’s cotton pjs

4. Baby Gap footed one pieces

5. Baby Gap lace trim leggings

6. Carter’s sleeper gowns

A Baby Story

*Disclaimer – parts of this may be TMI for anyone who hasn’t heard a birth story.  You have been warned*

I have told pieces of Olive’s birth story over and over, but it is always hard to go back and remember all the details.  It seems like I did nothing but prepare for her for 41 weeks, and exactly as everyone tells you – you are NEVER prepared.  

I should start by explaining the kind of birth I had been preparing for.  I am somewhat of a “crunchy” gal.  I love my makeup, cute clothes, and I am a fan of deodorant – don’t get me wrong.  But I do think of myself as a little of a free spirit.  I 100% believe that our bodies are created for childbirth.  I don’t think that our God made any mistakes when he designed us, and I have no doubt that ANY woman can birth a child naturally.  Of course it is painful, but if someone has the will to do it I think she can no matter the size of the baby.  I had been studying Hypnobirthing and listening to my affirmations every night.  I had no doubt I was going to be able to have an all natural birth and would not need any medication.  I had pretty much every detail of what I wanted laid out.

We tried everything…and I mean EVERYTHING to make her come out between 38 weeks and the time she was born.  And absolutely nothing worked for us.  I got so many suggestions on what to do.  Everything from spicy food (every day) to castor oil (twice), to lots of doing exactly WHAT got me pregnant in the first place (midwives suggestion hehe!)  So I had finally come to terms with the fact that she was on her own schedule and just wasn’t ready.  

The morning I went into labor started off with a visit to my midwife.  Since I was overdue I was going every two days for non stress tests and monitoring.  Every time I went it was the same story.  She was moving great, strong heartbeat, and had nothing abnormal going on.  I absolutely did NOT want to be induced and, like I said, wanted to have a drug free, all natural birth.  The midwives were very understanding of that and said they would let me go two weeks (they normally allow only one) since I was in such good health and was so adamant about what I wanted.  After the 9AM check up Jordan went to work and I did the normal work around the house.  I did laundry, dishes, straightened up…then decided to go get my nails done since it had been 2 weeks and I wouldn’t get another chance.  I was hoping the whole time the pedicure might trigger something.  As soon as I got done I drove to the store to pick up a few random things and to just walk around.  I remember as soon as I got out of the car feeling some tightening that was a little painful.  Then a few minutes later some more…and a little bit later even more.  When Jordan finally got home around dinner time I told him I was finally having some contractions (I still wasn’t completely sure that’s what they were) that were regular so I wanted to go take a shower and do my hair.  I always heard people say to wash and dry your hair so it seemed like the thing to do!  I finished that then came down for dinner.  We ate and sat down on the couch to watch a movie.  As soon as I sat down I felt a literal POP in my stomach.  I don’t know many women at all whose water actually broke at home, but from what the ones who did had told me I knew exactly what it was.  I felt a little trickle and ran to the bathroom where it all came out.  Jordan ran to gather up all his things and my contractions immediately got STRONG!  As we jumped in the car I started making calls and remember passing the phone to Jordan to talk – it hurt that bad.  I just listened to my hypnobirthing and tried to breathe and relax.

When we got to the hospital it was about 10PM.  We checked into the ER section and Jordan took the car to the birthing center while they wheeled me down to the room.  I felt dizzy, tired, and nervous.  I could barely focus on the questions the nurse asked me going down the hall.  Not long after I changed and got into bed our family came in to wish me good luck.  We had decided to only have Jordan and I in the delivery room.  Especially with it being our first child I wanted to keep it a close and intimate thing between just the two of us.  It ended up being the right decision for us.  I was able to lean on him when I needed it and gained an even deeper love for my husband as he took care of me through it all.  He was very aware of the natural birth I wanted, but was also supportive of every decision I made.  He saw me in pain with contractions coming every minute.  After a few hours of hard and painful labor it was getting to the point of tears.  I must have asked a million times if he would think I was a wimp if I got the epidural.  Of course he said no and just wanted me to be comfortable.  After crying and praying I finally decided to go ahead and get it.  At first I was so upset and disappointed in myself, but the second I could feel no pain it was like a whole another world.  I was actually enjoying myself and was able to feel excitement to meet my baby girl instead of just the pain.

At about 5:30AM my midwife arrived as I was finally at 10cm and ready to push.  I do know that by that time I was feeling my legs again.  The contractions were more like intense pressure (nothing like before) so the epidural was still working, but some of it had worn off.  With every push I grew more and more tired, and there were points I wanted to just go to sleep and try again later.  I knew that wasn’t an option, so I just told myself over and over I was about to meet my little girl.  That was how I got through it all.  I’m sure I asked a thousand times how long it had been since I had started pushing.  When she told me an hour and a half I knew I had to get serious and get her out.  I went from pushing a few times with each contraction to constant pushing with no breaks.  I was so determined to get her out.  Finally, with one last push at 7:23AM my sweet angel was brought into the world.  We opened my gown to put her right on me for skin to skin.  I was in such shock – I don’t remember crying or even talking.  I have no idea what I said to Jordan or what he said to me.  All I could do was stare at her.  Even through the stitching (I had a 2nd degree tear) and nurses coming in and out I didn’t take my eyes off of her.  It was love at first sight.  After he cut the cord they weighed and measured (6lbs 11oz 11 & 18 1/2 inches) her then gave her back to me where she latched on to nurse right away.  She never had (and still has never had) a problem nursing.  Our family came in soon after to meet her, and each one fell in love right away.  

Looking back…am I still disappointed I got the epidural?  Sure.  I would have loved to say I made it through a natural childbirth.  But at the same time I’m glad I had the epidural to take the pain away and make it a more enjoyable experience.  I’m sure I will try with every child for all natural, and hopefully at least once I can do it.

Moral of the story is – I now have a beautiful, healthy child.  And in the end I think that’s all any mother really wants.

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