Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Always Winter but Never Christmas | The Third Trimester

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A few days ago I hit the 28 week mark and officially entered the last leg of my pregnancy. I feel simultaneously relieved and terrified. I mean, let's face it. If you haven't gathered it from my posts by now, I'll let you in on a little secret--I don't do pregnancy well. I mean, I'm healthy, and baby boy is healthy (something I am unbelievably grateful for)... but I'm kind of a miserable wreck throughout this whole gestational ordeal. Particularly so with this second experience. When women tell me they love pregnancy, that it was just so wonderful and they never experienced nausea, heart burn, indigestion (I sound like a Pepto Bismal commercial) or any of the other things that plague me like locusts, I kind of want to punch them. Blame it on the spike in testosterone. And, now that I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I get to deal with the ever permeating sense of claustrophobia brought on by compressed lungs and (literally) squished organs--the plight of a short girl with a short torso. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than thrilled by the prospect of a new baby. But, if I could fast forward through all of this pregnancy mayhem, I would. Oh, I would. Just give me the baby already and I would be one happy mama!

Thus, the fact that the end is nearing excites me, obviously. But I still have three months to go... and that means three more months of growth! Big time growth. How will that even be possible? I already feel stretched to the max! I'll be like the giant blueberry Veruca from Willy Wonka... at this rate they're going to have to roll me into the hospital to give birth.

Okay, deeeep breaths... I should probably focus on the positive. At least by the time I'm nearing 40 weeks all the typical fears associated with giving birth will have given way to the overwhelming desire to simply get this thing over with. I won't have the energy to be afraid. ...a blessing in disguise perhaps?

The other night I was letting myself get caught up in negativity and my thoughts were spiraling out of control, so I decided I needed a Pinterest intervention as a last ditch effort to prevent the very real possibility of hyperventilating. I flipped open my laptop and started looking at pictures of newborn baby boys. It was surprisingly calming. I love imagining what he will be like, and perhaps it attests to the fact that I am a highly visual person but looking at actual babies... knowing that I will have one of those actual babies soon... it helped. My Pinterest board has been flooded with pictures of newborns lately. It might become a nightly ritual before long.

On another note, Klair is doing better. If you follow me on Instagram you may have gathered that she had croup last week. A week ago Sunday she was completely fine. No signs of sickness whatsoever. She even went to sleep without a fuss. Then, around midnight, we heard her viciously coughing and rushed into her room half expecting her to be choking by the sound of it. The cough was very hoarse and barky, and her breathing was so labored it sounded like Darth Vader. We called the on-call doctor at the clinic we take her to, and we were informed that croup can come on suddenly without warning in the middle of the night like that. Who knew? I feel like this is information they should give new parents. A heads up would have been nice. We were also told that if she continued to struggle breathing that we should definitely take her into the ER. Luckily, once we were able to calm her down her breathing steadied and she was able to sleep again. Paranoid as can be we kept her in our room with us all night to monitor her breathing. I don't think I slept a wink.

Then, the next morning, she seemed pretty good again. She now had the symptoms of a little cold, but no sign of the terrifying struggle from the night before. I took her into the doctor and he informed me that the second night of croup is often the worst, and gave me a steroid to help open up her lungs. Without this we would have ended up in the ER because come midnight she displayed the same heightened symptoms, but this time it was manageable thanks to the meds. I am so grateful I took her in that day!

Afterwards for a few nights we kept her nearby just to be safe, but her symptoms quickly declined to something  resembling a normal cold. Over a week later she's still sick, but she's doing so much better and I'm hoping she'll be able to kick it completely in the next few days.

Has anyone else experienced a chid with croup? I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I didn't know what it was until we got a crash course in the middle of the night that almost resulted in an ER visit. When I heard of kids getting it before, I imagined it was just a type of cough and didn't think much on the subject. Now, if I hear of a kid coming down with it, I will make that poor mom a meal and offer a lot more emotional support. It. was. a. nightmare!

All in all, I am really ready for this winter to be over. I'm done with the seemingly endless sickness it has come to represent in this household. I'm more than ready for flowers, warm weather, and a new baby to cradle in my arms.

Also, this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning that my red beanie, which I love, came from Sage by Olivia Wares. If you missed my last post, I'm currently hosting a giveaway on Instagram for a pair of their super soft, amazing leggings. Click on over to easily enter this contest!

Red Beanie : Olivia Wares | Tan Leather Watch : Skagen | Gray Maternity Tee : Target | Black Maternity Leggings : Ross (similar) | Necklace : H&M (similar) | Black Booties : Thrifted (similar

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sage by Olivia Wares Giveaway

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Recently I wrote a post talking about this fabulous boutique (local and online) that I was able to collaborate with. Well I've teamed up with Sage/Olivea Wares again, and I am hosting a giveaway for a pair of their leggings (like the ones pictured above) on my Instagram. You will of course be able to choose your own print and size. Guys, these are seriously the softest most comfortable leggings ever! I could live in them. Klair basically does... since she got them they're all she wants to wear. Also, in case you're wondering, my tunic and Klair's pretty little bow also come from Sage too.

So, head on over to my Instagram and enter. It's really easy, all you have to do is like the photo, and follow my account and the boutique (and tag friends for extra entries).

Good luck and happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I'll likely stay home with the family this weekend. Hopefully Klair can officially kick this croup/cold thing so we can get her out and do something fun, but if not we will be staying in for the next few days. We have serious cabin fever around here. There are only so many puzzles we can do. Am I the only one who is ready for this winter with all of its sicknesses to be over? Springtime can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Healthified Chicken and Spinach Flautas Recipe


For some reason during both of my pregnancies I craved and continue to crave Mexican food. I've heard from several other moms that this is the case for them too, leading me to believe it's a fairly common craving. I wonder why this particular ethnic food appeals to those of us experiencing gestation? Regardless of the answer, there is nothing better than some delicious Mexican food, especially when I can make it myself and "healthify" things a bit. 


Take taquitos for instance. They're delicious little devils, but they're often fried and consist of mostly tortilla, with little filling. These homemade flautas on the other hand are similar to taquitos, except that they are larger (allowing you to increase the meat/veggie to tortilla ratio) and baked. So, while I'm not claiming that they are fat free or the healthiest possible dinner out there, they are certainly milestones ahead of the alternative. And, when you have a craving for less-than-healthy taquitos, these will more than satisfy. They taste a whole lot better. So, without further adieu, I give you the recipe: 


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 16 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 small can of diced green chiles (4.5 oz) 
  • 3 cups of baby spinach, chopped
  • 5 burrito-size four tortillas (9 or 10 inches) (you can opt for whole wheat, I used white flour tortillas)
  • 6 ounces of melting cheese (I used colby jack, but you can use Mexican blends or whatever you prefer)
  • Olive Oil cooking spray

**Optional: Salsa, sour cream (or greek yogurt), hot sauce, etc. for serving**

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  2. Put thawed chicken in a deep sided saute pan and cover with chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it (the easiest way to do this is to throw the chicken in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for on medium speed for about 45 seconds). Mix together the chicken and seasonings. 
  3. Pour out all but 1/4 a cup of the cooking liquid. Add the green chiles and spinach and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. 
  4. Cut the tortillas in half. Spray one side of the tortilla with cooking spray and lay this side face down on a greased baking sheet. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) on the non-sprayed side and along the long edge of the tortilla (where you made the cut). Repeat with the spinach/chile mix. Sprinkle some grated cheese (if desired). Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. 
  5. Sprinkle some extra cheese across the top of the flautas, and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until crispy. 
  6. Remove from oven and let the flautas cool. Serve with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, or whatever your heart desires (they're also extremely flavorful and don't need any side sauces). 

Chef's Notes
  • I originally found this recipe on Pinterest. It comes from the healthy-delicious blog and I modified things a bit to my own liking. For instance I chose to use green chiles instead of jalapenos (thanks to pregnancy heartburn) and reduced the amount of salt because I found the original just a little too salty. 
  • I paired this with a salad and some chips and salsa it was an awesome meal. You could also do something a little more traditional and go with beans and rice as a side dish. 
  • I like to double or even triple this recipe for lots of left overs. My husband eats them like crazy so we rarely have to freeze them, but they freeze well and would make for a great future meal. 
As always, if you try this recipe let me know what you think! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mansur Gavriel + 100 Gift Card Giveaway | Sandy A La Mode

Earlier this year I wrote a post about how I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and started meeting other bloggers. One of the first friendships I made was with Sandy of Sandy a La Mode. She had just moved to Utah, and with kids the same age and both of us going through pregnancy it was easy to relate. I can honestly say that she is now one of my very best friends. This amazing mama does it all, and she has been blogging for 5 years! This past week she has been celebrating this amazing accomplishment with some awesome giveaways. For her final giveaway, she decided to collaborate with a group of bloggers (myself included) to bring you a Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag Giveaway (in Cammello - Dolly) for ONE grand prize winner AND a $100 gift card of choice to an additional winner! If I wasn't a part of this, you can bet I would fulfill every single entry to try and win this thing. And hey, in the process you will be introduced to some fabulous bloggers!

Your Host
sandy a la mode blogiversary


To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below.

The giveaway is open until January 25. 2015 at 12AM MST. The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win! This giveaway is open Internationally for all the fashion lovers around the world!

Good luck! And a happy 5 years to my lovely friend!

Friday, January 16, 2015

27 Weeks | Diana Putnam Photography

I recently met up with Diana of Diana Putnam Photography for a photo shoot in downtown Salt Lake City. The morning had not gone my way. I was running late, I had a hard time finding parking for our meet up, and to top it off it was absolutely frigid and I mean freezing that day... so much so that I think the cold was messing with my head. I felt disoriented and less than capable of standing, let alone trying to pose for pictures. It was difficult to say the least. I was a slightly worried that the photos wouldn't turn out. And, with most photographers... they probably wouldn't have. Yet with Diana, it was easy. She is such a warm and kind person. She's the type that you don't feel embarrassed posing in front of. Instead, it's easy and comfortable. She offers plenty of feedback and positive reinforcement to make you feel comfortable, even when you're frazzled like I was. 

Diana Putnam Photography

Diana is a professional in every sense of the word, and I think the quality of her photography speaks for itself. If you're looking to have any kind of photos done--family portraits, wedding, newborns, maternity--whatever type of photography, she has plenty of experience and an impressive portfolio! 

And speaking of wedding photography, she is giving away free wedding photography package to one lucky bride and groom! 

How incredible would this be for a couple of lovebirds who are about to tie the knot? If you are getting married soon or know of someone who is, make sure to check out this amazing opportunity!

Also, on a completely different note, I am now 27 weeks pregnant! This is the last week of my second trimester. I'm hardly every nauseous anymore, but definitely starting to feel huge and uncomfortable. I don't remember feeling this awkward until I was at least 32 weeks or so last time... a fact that terrifies me a little. I mean, I still have 13 weeks to go... and I don't feel like my stomach can take much more stretching. If my belly continues growing at this rate even walking might be hard to do by the time I'm full term. 

I was actually talking with my friend the other day who is just a couple of weeks behind me in pregnancy (she has a blog called Les Dedrickson which you should definitely check out). She texted me to tell me how uncomfortable she feels already. We're both on our second pregnancy and I have to admit that it was such a relief to hear that she's feeling the same as me. It wasn't so much that "misery loves company" as it was the fact that I was worried it was abnormal for me to feel so awkward. It was good to know I'm not the only one... so, I guess "misery loves company" after all haha. I have a sneaking suspicion that this boy of mine is going to follow in his older sister's footsteps and be a big newborn... and, if the size of my bump is any indicator, likely an even bigger newborn than she was. Heaven help me... I'm going to need it. 

Thank goodness I'm so excited to meet him! Whenever I get nervous or anxious about pregnancy and everything to come, I try to focus on the idea of holding him for the first time. It was such a beautiful and surreal experience with Klair, and I am completely ecstatic to do it again. I love going in his nursery, sitting in his chair, and simply imagining what he'll feel like in my arms. This will all be worth it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sage Boutique by Olivia Wares

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A few months back I was invited to an event at Sage Boutique by Olivia Wares. I went with some fellow blogger friends, and I instantly fell in love with the chic little store in Sugarhouse, Utah. I loved everything in the place! They had plenty of merchandise to keep me busy, while still maintaining that quaint, local charm that makes a boutique so lovable. The owner was extremely kind, and after talking I discovered we had a lot in common--enough that I now consider her a good friend. 

At the event that night I snagged this fun little dress and crystal necklace. Although it is not a maternity dress, I was elated to discover that it would work with a growing belly. I waited awhile to style it because I knew it would look cuter with a fuller bump--something I most certainly have now. Ha! :) I will be doing some future collaborations with this amazing boutique, including an awesome giveaway in the next few days--so stay tuned for that! 

If you live in Utah be sure to stop in and strike up a friendship with the owner, and a love affair with her collection of apparel. And no worries if you don't live in the area--they have a website! 

Olivia Wares Boutique 
1950 S 1100 E Salt Lake City, UT 

Also, this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning the lovely watch my husband gave me for Christmas. When he asked me what I wanted this year I really didn't know to tell him, so I gave him some vague answer about wanting a tan leather watch with a big face. I expected some cute but generic one from Target, but he went above and beyond and bought me this beautiful little piece by Skagen. I absolutely adore it, and I'm extremely impressed with him. He really does know me so well... I'm the luckiest :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fear Not | Religious Reflections 06


Yesterday I sat down in Sunday school. I arrived a little late due to dropping Klair off in nursery, so I had to improvise to figure out where the rest of the class was reading from in the Bible. I heard the teacher say "Fear not Mary" while reading aloud, so I quickly pulled up my scripture app and typed this phrase in to see if I could find where they were (isn't technology great?) There were several hits for these words in the New Testament, so I started reading through them. As I read, I realized how frequently this exact phrase (or a variation of it) was given to Mary. As I read on, suddenly, it seemed that these words---this counsel and comfort--were being spoken to me too.

I know that my situation is not the same as Mary's--not even close. Yet, she is someone that I feel like I can identify with, especially now while I'm pregnant. I might not be carrying the Savior of the world, but I am carrying one of God's sons and currently raising one of his daughters. I'm both beyond grateful and utterly terrified by these tasks. In the grand scheme of things the impact that I can have as a mother--whether good or bad--is monumental in the lives of my children, likely beyond my ability to comprehend. I already feel so overwhelmed at times, and baby boy isn't even born yet.  It's easy to fall into the trap of fear, anxiety, and feelings of self-doubt. My poor husband has had to listen to me sob on more than one occasion as I recount to him all of my inadequacies and failings. They plague my mind lately, but reading this today assured me that I don't have to let them.

“Fear not. …For with God nothing shall be impossible” 
(Luke 1:30, 37).

I find comfort knowing that Mary--arguably the most important and influential woman of all time-- also had her own fears, her own doubts. I find comfort in the words repeatedly given to this remarkable woman who had the weight of the world on her shoulders, because I know that they apply to me too--in my own little world, as heavy as it may seem.

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 
(Doctrine and Covenants 84:88)

(While I was looking up scripture references for this post I also came across this wonderful talk written by Elder Todd R. Callister of the Seventy called "Fear Not"--it touches on this exact topic perfectly.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lily Jade

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I'm nearing the end of my second trimester. And, while I still have 14 weeks to go until his due date, the reality of what will take place in a couple of months is starting to set in. Now is my time to prepare, to address all of those nesting urges, and to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I'm too big and too tired to want to do much of anything.

One thing I needed was a new diaper bag. My old one is literally falling apart at the seams. Last time I settled for a bag that was practical. This time around I wanted something that was both functional and stylish. That's were Lily Jade came in. I've loved their bags for awhile now, so I was pretty over the moon with excitement to have this opportunity to collaborate with them. They sent me this gorgeous Sarah Grace bag in Gold, and I couldn't be happier. First of all, it doesn't even look like a diaper bag. It simply looks like a pretty little gold tote with blue detail--and a high quality one at that. But, fortunately for us mamas, the style doesn't sacrifice convenience. Inside the bag is lined with wipeable fabric, it has a detachable cross body strap, and it even comes with removable inserts that have all of the compartments, pockets, and organizers a mom-on-the-go could possibly need (complete with a changing pad). I love that these are removable, because I can use the bag as a simple purse once we get through these baby years.

If you are looking for a beautiful and practical diaper bag, be sure to check out Lily Jade. With tons of styles and colors, you're bound to find something to fall in love with.

Lily Jade