Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Target find: Nursing tops

I've had quite a difficult time finding cute and affordable nursing tops. I bought a few at A Pea in the Pod, but their selection is a bit limited and I find them expensive, especially for their more basic styles. As for Motherhood, I didn't really find much there that I liked, and sometimes the quality isn't great. Anything else that I saw online was either not my style, or very cute, but also very expensive.

Enter, Target! I dropped in a few days ago just to see what they had. I didn't expect to find much, but I was happy to walk away with 2 great tops that are multi-purpose.

Here they are!

Liz Lange Maternity Twist-Front Nursing Tank




I never thought I'd buy a maternity top not being pregnant anymore, but I love that this works for nursing! Honestly, it doesn't look like maternity at all! I love that it's so long and works perfectly with leggings (my new wardrobe staple). The fabric is so soft and it feels much more expensive than a $17 top. I got this in gray and black, and it's also available in cobalt blue.  Not only can I use this now, but it will work during my next pregnancy too. 

You can see the ruching on the sides that will easily accommodate a baby bump.



Merona Gathered Crossover Tee



The next top I found is just a regular, faux-wrap top, but it works perfectly for nursing and it was only $10. I got it in the Peach Parfait shade, but there are lots of other pretty colors available!

A couple of other great finds:

Merona Ultrasoft Cocoon Sweater



I love how soft and lightweight this is! I bought it in oatmeal and gray. It's perfect for wearing over the nursing tanks and it's super comfy.

The leggings I'm wearing in these pictures are also from Target. They have a nice, thick waist band and are really comfortable (and not see-through!) for only $8. Leggings have become a go-to wardrobe item for me since I still haven't lost all my baby weight, but I don't want to invest in lots of clothes at my current size, since I expect to continue to drop some weight and inches. You can buy the leggings here. I highly recommend them!

I hope this helps you out if you're looking for cute and affordable nursing or maternity tops!  



Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick and healthy meal ideas

Lately, eating healthy is a real struggle for me! Usually I'm lucky to eat anything, let alone something nutritious! As we all know, the easiest snacks and meals to grab in a hurry are definitely not the healthiest choices.

Audrey keeps me pretty busy all day and night, but recently, I think I've come up with a few meals that are realistic for me to make quickly, even when I'm on my own with her. It is really important to me that I try my best to eat healthy meals and snacks since I'm breastfeeding her.

These can all be made in about 10 minutes or less, and they meet all of my crazy dietary requirements: no dairy, no spicy ingredients, no garlic/broccoli or anything else that would upset Audrey's system! Surprisingly, they are still pretty tasty too, despite all of that!

Amy's Organic Veggie Burger with organic baby romaine on a whole wheat bun

I'm kind of obsessed with these burgers right now! They cook in about 4 minutes, and are such a nice break from some of the boring lunches I've been eating lately.



Avocado and organic baby romaine on a whole wheat pita

Top with your favorite dressing, and you have a tasty and healthy snack or small meal!



Near East Couscous with chickpeas and organic spinach sautéed in olive oil


I used to eat this couscous by itself all the time because it cooks in about 5 minutes, but by adding the chickpeas and spinach, it becomes a lot healthier! You'll just have to cook the chickpeas ahead of time, or buy them pre-cooked.




Rising Moon Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli with organic spinach sautéed in olive oil


Ravioli is one thing I really miss eating being off dairy, but this is a really delicious alternative! I found it in the organic section at Wegman's.



I hope this inspires you to think up some of your own quick and healthy meals! Do you have any favorites that you already like to eat? Please share in the comments! I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vichy Birchbox!

Vichy sponsored this Birchbox, so I got all these amazing samples for free! It's not in replacement for the regular March box, so I'll still be receiving that one too.






I'm so excited to try all of these products. I think I'm more excited about this box than any of the others I've received so far! I can't wait to update you on how I like these once I've used them for a while!

Did you get the Vichy Birchbox too? What do you think of it so far?

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, please feel free to use my referral link if you'd like!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitchen barstool slipcovers

I finally got a chance to make slipcovers for our Napa barstools from Pottery Barn! I introduced them in this post, before I covered them.



I just love the way they turned out! 

Here they are before:



And a closer look at them now:






Just for fun, here's how they look at night:



I used the same method to make them as I did for my ottoman slipcover. I just adjusted the ruffled skirt length to be shorter. 

My inspiration for these slipcovers came from the Mallory Barstool from Ballard Designs:


I really wanted to purchase these stools because the slipcover was so cute, but I just couldn't justify the $323 price tag, when I could buy the nearly identical Pottery Barn stools for $149, and make my own slipcovers! Sure, it took me a little more time and effort, but I'm so happy with the savings and the result! I think I accomplished a very similar look for less! 

I used a little over 1.25 yards per slipcover. The fabric is just a nice weight muslin that I found at Joann's. It was on sale for $5.80 a yard and I ended up buying 5 yards (which was overkill, but I always overestimate in case I make a mistake). I actually have a third stool to make a slipcover for too...we just don't keep it in the kitchen unless we have lots of company, because it ends up looking too crowded.

In total, the slipcovered stools cost me about $157 each. That's $149 for the stool and about $7.80 for the fabric for the slipcover. 



I'm very happy with the result! I'm so happy that I didn't spend $323 for the pretty Ballard stools when I got my own version for just $157!

I hope you like the slipcovers! I'm so glad I finally got to share them with you!



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Easy recipe: Beef skillet

I rarely get a chance to cook these days, and even when I do, it has to be something super easy and as nutritious as possible. It also has to be dairy-free. We figured out that Audrey is sensitive to dairy in my milk, so I started eliminating that from my diet back in December.




Anyway...this is a recipe that meets all of my criteria and is pretty tasty, too! I found the original recipe here. I didn't have all of the ingredients it called for, so I just adjusted, using what I had on-hand and came up with my own take on it.

Here's what I used:

1lb. organic ground beef
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 beef bullion cubes
1c water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package of Wegman's fresh linguine

Start cooking the beef, carrots and celery in your pan. In the meantime, start boiling your pasta water in a separate pot. As you finish cooking the beef and veggies, dissolve 2 beef bullion cubes in 1 cup of water and add to pan; also add soy sauce to pan. Cover and simmer until most of the water is absorbed. By this point, your pot of water is ready for the pasta to be tossed in. Cook until done, combine with beef and veggies and enjoy!

Do you have any newly discovered easy recipes? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nursery update: Keepsake shadowboxes

I created a new gallery wall in the nursery and so I'm excited to share it with you!

It came about since I made these shadowboxes and I needed somewhere to hang them. I ended up adding them to this wall on the left:


Here's what it looks like now:



I also added Audrey's birth announcement to the wall...


and what will be her first pair of ballet slippers!







If you missed my original post about making the shadowboxes, check it out here

I love looking at this wall now. It's full of sweet memories, and I think it adds a lot to the nursery! I hope you like it too!






Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning, Audrey and I surprised Josh with some pretty pictures of her that we had taken at Picture People! She's wearing a Jacadi dress and cardigan that he bought her for Christmas. He was totally surprised, and of course, he loves the pictures!

Here are some of our favorites!
















I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Do you have any special plans? Josh is home today, so we're all just hanging out and having some family time!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Birchbox-February

Before I show you my February Birchbox, I wanted to talk this product from January's box.

VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything Eye Serum


I liked this product. It does what it claims: instantly and temporarily tightens the eye area, and reduces dark circles and puffiness. For me, the difference in my dark circles was only slight. I think the only thing that will help at this point is more sleep (which doesn't seem to be happening!). I primarily used this product at night. I found that when I used it in the morning, my concealer didn't go on smooth enough and the eye serum would sometimes ball up, and flake off as I was applying my concealer over it. Even though I liked this eye serum, I don't see myself paying $80 for the full size bottle any time soon.

Ok...now on to February's box!









and

Digital Download: Six free tunes from Green River Ordinance 

I've already used the mouthrinse, and I have to say that I didn't really enjoy the taste. It did make my mouth feel fresh, and I'm sure over time it would whiten my teeth as well. I can see how it would be useful in situations where you're not able to easily brush your teeth, like on airplanes or at work, but I don't think I'd be interested in it buying it for myself.

I also tried the Jouer tinted moisturizer. They sent me the lightest shade (Pearl) which was still a bit dark for my skin. So far, I don't think I like it as much as my Tarte tinted moisturizer.

I'm excited to try the other products in the box and I'll let you know if there are any stand-outs next month when I post my March Birchbox!

Did you get a Birchbox this month? What did you think of the products?

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, please feel free to use my referral link if you'd like!
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