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Sunday, March 31, 2013

April 2013 Calendar Printable

Happy April, everyone! Here's your April calendar!

Download Here
Also, Happy Easter to all of you! I was loving scrolling through my Instagram and seeing all of the Easter baskets people had put together for their kids! So cute!

In fact, here's the basket I put together for Travis. :)


Just a bunch of toys because obviously my two month old is not eating candy. :) It's sad he won't really understand the whole concept yet, but I'm super excited for when he can!!

Also, if you're looking for a blog to sponsor this April, I'd love to have you! I have spots of all sizes available! And, you can get 25% off your ad spot using promo code APRIL25. I look forward to working with you and promoting your blog!

I hope all of you have a blessed and happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

March Birchbox (My First One!)

I was so excited when I checked the mail today to see my first Birchbox in it! It fit perfectly into our little apartment mailbox. :)


I had seen quite a few bloggers post their March Birchboxes, so I kinda knew what to expect. Like everyone had gotten a Birchbox emery board. Which I love, because I've been really into doing my nails recently. Although I have a million emery boards, you really never can have too many.


It came with a bottle of Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse, full-size: $23


Which Shaving Cream, full-size: $20



Make eyeshadow, full-size: $18 and Make face primer, full-size: $30


Here's everything, along with the emery board! It's all pretty and flowery on the other side. :) I'm really excited! I don't wear make-up very often and am excited to be introduced to more products. I love neutral eyeshadows, so the eyeshadow is definitely going to come in handy. And it's so teeny and cute! Which, let's be honest, even the smallest eyeshadows last ages. The face primer with SPF is also awesome. Plus the shaving cream. I shave with soap. 

I'm really excited to put all of these things to use! If you're interested in learning more about Birchbox, click here. It's only $10 a month! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Support

When I first started blogging, Jon and I had just moved into our apartment together. I was embarrassed about it and kept it hidden, mostly blogging whenever he was at work or minimizing the page whenever he would try to look at it. I didn't tell any friends or family that I have a blog and would try to evade Jon's interrogations about any projects I was doing or my incessant picture taking.


Now, however, I talk about it freely. Jon sees me refreshing my dashboard and checking my e-mail obsessively and I talk to him about my blog and other blog posts that I read constantly. He asks me questions about my blog and I excitedly tell him when a company actually wants to pay me to write a post for them.

I started this blog in August, and I didn't get up the courage to really embrace my blog until last month, February. For almost seven months, I hid what I was always doing on my laptop from my other half because I was embarrassed. And you know what? It was so silly.


Jon is so incredibly supportive. He doesn't think it's strange that I blog and he doesn't judge me for the millions of pictures that I take. (Mostly of our baby...and then I instantly post them on Facebook.) Okay, maybe he judges me a little bit when I take a picture of the store bought carrot cake roll I'm holding and then post it on Instagram because I think it looks cool. But he loves me anyways.

I don't know what I was afraid of whenever I was always hiding my blog life away from him. Would he think it was stupid? Weird? Would he make fun of me for it? Would he tell me to stop because there's no point? No. Of course he wouldn't do any of those things.

And I've found that by letting him in to that part of my life that I had previously kept a secret, I feel so much closer to him. I don't feel embarrassed for telling him about some forum of crazy pregnant ladies that I would constantly read and post on. I'm not ashamed for him to see me commenting on someone's blog post. I no longer try to hide my laptop screen so that he can't see what I'm doing. And it feels great. I love sharing this with him and it's a shame that I didn't do so sooner.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birth Story (Guest Post from Not Your Average Crazy!)

Hey y'all! I'm so excited to be guest posting for Chloe today. Since she just recently had handsome little Travis, I thought it would be fitting to share the birth story of my daughter Emily Grace. She was born this past November and is now a happy and healthy four month old. Thanks for reliving this wonderful moment with me. I'd love for you to come on over and visit after you read Emily's birth story.





November 19, 2012 was the second most amazing day of my life. Being able to carry and birth a child is a blessing in itself. But then I get to be a part of that child's life and help make them into the person they will be for the rest of their life.

We got to the hospital at two o'clock in the morning on November 19, 2012. By the time we got registered, admitted and settled into a room it was about four am. The nurse that got me set up on the monitors and with my IV was "new to the floor, but not new to nursing." Whatever that means. When she was setting up my IV, she decided the best place would be on my wrist bone. That was freaking painful, let me tell you. The vein immediately blew and my blood pressure dropped. She then decided to call in her boss to try another vein. It swelled up some, but they were able to leave the catheter in my arm. (I had a nice big bruise where the IV was, so that was cool.) I got a little dizzy and my ears started ringing, but it went away after they put ice packs on my neck and head.

Around 4:10, they started the Pitocin. (This is the drug that gives you contractions and gets labor going, for those that don't know.) They left me alone to try to rest, but contractions started within an hour. I was already 3 centimeters dilated when I arrived at the hospital so that made me hopeful that this labor would be a little faster than Alyssa's sixteen hour one. I labored until about 8:00, when the pain started to get pretty intense. I got some Fentanyl to help with the pain, which allowed me to doze off for about 45 minutes.


Baby Emily and proud big sister Alyssa.

My doctor came in around 9:00 and broke my water. With Alyssa, there wasn't really a lot of fluid that came out, but with Emily I was like a freaking fountain. Between the Pitocin and the doctor breaking my water, the contractions were really close together and really painful. Kind of like someone was beating my insides with a big metal meat tenderizer. I was done being brave at this point, so I asked for my epidural. They gave me another shot of Fentanyl while we waited for the anesthesiologist, but it didn't really help.

I got my epidural in a little after 10:00. It went in pretty smoothly; just a little pressure, but no pain. After that I was pretty relaxed. I was still feeling my contractions a little, but nowhere near as much as before. I slept off and on until about 12:00, when I started to feel a little bit of pressure. I let the nurse know, and she checked and I was 10 centimeters. She called my doctor and let him know I was ready to push and then she started getting the room ready for delivery.

The doctor got there after about 15 minutes of me trying to cross my legs and not push, but my legs were still numb, so that didn't really work too well. I pushed a few times and got her head out after about 10 minutes. Her shoulders got a little stuck, so I had a nurse on top of me pushing down on my stomach while I was pushing too. And then after two pushes like that, she was out! Emily Grace was born at 12:37 PM on November 19. She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 21" long. They placed her on my chest immediately and I got to hold her and feed her for an hour while they cleaned up and did what tests on her that they could in the  room.

That was by far a much easier delivery than my first with Alyssa and we were all able to go home the next day!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Two Favorite TV Shows

I was originally going to do more than two, but then I realized, there are only two TV shows that I like that aren't embarrassingly boring to most people. (Like History Channel and HGTV shows. I am not ashamed.) So here we go!

1. How I Met Your Mother: I'm not going to lie to you, I would be satisfied if this show never ended. I could totally watch all five (well six, eventually, when Robin & Barney finally get married so Ted can meet his wife!) of them grow old and all that jazz and still find the show incredibly hilarious. I just love it.


2. Psych: Right now, we're still on the sixth season. Or rather, we're already on the sixth season, given that we just started watching this show on Netflix last month. I'm obsessed. As soon as we finish season sixth, I've already had season seven recording on my DVR. Love it!!





What are your favorite TV shows? I obviously need some more to watch. :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

In Her Boots Group Giveaway!

Group giveaway
1 // Sarah  // $15 Starbucks Gift Card
2 // Brianne // $20 Etsy Gift Card
3 // Meghan // $25 Victoria Secrets Gift Card
4 // Maia // $10 Target Gift Card
5 // Gia // $10 Starbucks Gift Card + $5 Sponsor Spot
6 // Kristine // $10 Target Gift Card
7 // Rebecca //  $20 Amazon Gift Card + 1 month large Ad Space
8 // Angela // $15 itunes Gift Card
9 // Nikki // Forever 21 Gift Card
10 // Chloe // $10 Barnes & Nobles Gift Card
11 // Melissa // $10 Francesca's Gift Card

5 for Five

FantasticallyAverage

Here's how I did last week:

1. Meal plan, go grocery shopping, and cook what I plan. We had such a good week in the kitchen! :)

2. Put clothes away. Ran out of laundry detergent. Haven't bought any yet. I'm waiting until all of the clothes are washed to put them away. Also called procrastinating.

3. Do one of my DIY projects. We have pretty lazy days. It's nice, but I also don't get anything done.

4. Buy an anniversary gift. We went to the mall and did this together. I got him a new video game and he bought me some new shoes. :) We kinda just picked out what we wanted and the other one paid. Next year we'll do surprises. :)

5. Start taking my prenatals again. I think I may have once. Maybe. 

Now for next week. Because last week was just terrible.

1. Clean the bathtub. Jon keeps asking me to. Oops.

2. Finish laundry and put clothes away. Does anyone else hate folding?

3. Go through old clothes and throw out/donate ones I don't need/wear. Probably throw out. I don't think anyone else would want these, either.

4. Buy toys for Travis's Easter basket! We got his picture taken with the Easter Bunny last week, it was so freaking cute!!!

5. Start exercising. Now that I'm past 6 weeks postpartum, I'm finally good to exercise! I really want to get into a good routine and get rid of what pooch I've got left!

Happy Monday everyone! Have a great week!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I Look for When Following Blogs

I love reading and following blogs, and am always looking for more, but I'm probably one of the pickiest people ever when it comes to which blogs I will read. There are several things I look for every time I find a new blog.

via

1. Pretty/reader-friendly design. I hate when blogs have a generic template set up. It looks terrible. I will immediately hit exit. Nothing draws me in better than a cute design. It makes me happy to look at and makes me want to stay on the page and read on.

2. Original content. Some blogs I've seen seem to only post link-up posts. I hate to see a blog filled with "Music Monday, Topic Tuesday, What's up Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fashion Friday," etc. (PS- I just made those up. No offense if anyone really has a link-up called one of those.) I don't want to see posts filled with generic link-up content. I want to see what you write about. And your life. That's what's interesting.

3. Appropriate content. I just recently unfollowed a blog because the blogger used so many curse words. I'm not going to lie, I can sometimes have a pretty dirty mouth, but there's something about reading something overabundant with bad words that just turns me off. If that's your voice, there's no reason to change that. Write how you speak. But I'm just saying for me, I don't want to see the f-word every other sentence.

4. Posts regularly. Before I follow a blog, I always try to find their archive to see how often they post. I want to make sure it's worth it. If there's only been one post in the past two weeks, I'm not going to follow. Why bother if there's not going to be anything for me to read?

5. Correct grammar and punctuation. Please be professional. You would not turn in an essay without using any capital letters. Maybe it's just the English major in me, but when I see a post without a single capital letter, or someone writing "your" instead of "you're" or "their" instead of "there," I want to scream.

So I realize that I used one of those "Keep calm" pictures, but this post didn't seem very calm. In fact, I think it may have been more angry and hateful. I apologize. By the way, when I googled a picture for "follow me," a picture of a naked lady came up. Um, what?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's so bad about giveaways?

I've seen several people complaining about how the blog world has become nothing but sponsorships, product reviews, and giveaways.


I will agree that I hate the amount of product reviews that some blogs post. There are a few I have in mind specifically that I love reading, but get so bummed because every other post is a product review. Some products interest me, but not as much as what they themselves have to write about.

Why hate on giveaways and sponsorships, though? Sponsorships are the best way for blogs to get exposure, and they help bloggers (especially full time bloggers) actually generate income on their blogs. Of course, every blogger loves what they do, but none of them can deny the wonderful added perk of making money doing what they love.

And giveaways are just plain fun! They're a great way to get your blog's name out there, because honestly, who doesn't love free stuff? I love entering giveaways. (Although I've never won any of them...giveaway gods, please feel free to change my luck anytime.) But I, like a lot of others, don't follow every single blog just to get more entries, I follow blogs that I genuinely want to read. I look through the blog. If I like it, I follow. If I don't like it, I don't. So participating in giveaways is not just "buying followers," it's gaining readers and gaining exposure.

I'll repeat myself: giveaways are fun. I always peruse through my unread posts to see if there are any giveaways and see what they're giving away. Maybe that's just my ass being greedy, but I still haven't won anything! I have no luck. :( They're also a lot of hard work for the blogger that puts it together. I've never hosted a giveaway and have no plans to because of all the work and complications involved. I applaud the women that put together those huge giveaways. I love them. And I love you for them.

I won't lie, though, I'm also slightly saying this because I would hate to see giveaways go. At least not until I've won something. :)

What is your opinion on sponsorships, product reviews, and giveaways?

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Got My Own Domain!

I was fixing up my resume last night in order to send it to someone as a job prospect, and wanted to add my blog onto it. Since ".blogspot.com" doesn't look too professional, I decided to go ahead and make the plunge in getting my own domain! It was incredibly easy, and through Blogger, it's only $10 a year!


Now I have to figure out how to merge this one and my .blogspot.com one on Bloglovin. If any of you have a tutorial, let me know! I know I've seen one before, but I can't remember where!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I really miss having a job (but I don't want to go back to the restaurant I was working at previously), but I love being home with Travis! Jon and I are both looking into getting jobs, but also trying to go to school, so we'll see which one ends up doing what! I'll probably just end up staying home with Travis until the fall when I can go back to school to finish up my Bachelor's.

I've been going to school on the English/Journalism path the entire time I've been in college, but I'm such an impatient person! Jon and I both are. We both want jobs and careers, but going through school to get them takes such a long time. So I was looking into real estate last night because it's just one 60 hour class, then just a couple of exams in order to get licensed. Seems like real estate would probably bring in more money than an English degree would.

Are any of you like that? Just so dang impatient to finish up school and actually get started on work and on life? I sure can't wait! :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3 Years With the Love of My Life

Today is Jon's and my anniversary! We started dating back in 2009, but broke up for a year, so I'm just going to call this our third anniversary. :)


We're having my dad babysit Travis tonight so that we can go out to dinner and have some alone time all to ourselves. :) I'm so excited for tonight, but I'm definitely going to miss my baby!


Jon, I just want to thank you for always putting up with me! I know sometimes I can say/do some of the not so brightest things, and I love that you don't get impatient with me or make fun of me too much. Thank you for being patient while I try to learn how to cook and thank you for not getting angry when I'm feeling a bit too lazy to clean up the house.

You're the best dad, and I'm so blessed to have you and our son in my life. I'm so glad that with everything we've been through together, we've made it back to each other. I've loved all of my time with you and I can't wait to marry you one day.

Love you. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chili Cornbread Bake

I'm not much of a cook. In fact, whenever I cook, I always make a huge mess, usually have some of the wrong ingredients, or mess it up because I read the directions wrong. It never fails. But I still try, and this recipe is actually incredibly easy and one that Jon really loves!




Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 package cornbread mix
Directions
  • Brown ground beef and drain.
  • Mix in taco seasoning, can of corn (drained), and can of tomatoes (undrained).
  • Pour into 9x13 casserole dish and spread along bottom.
  • Use instructions on cornbread package to mix the batter. Pour the cornbread batter over top of the beef mixture.
  • Use cooking directions from cornbread package.
It's really yummy. Jon and I almost ate the entire thing ourselves. (Oh, and just so you know, cream style corn also works. We tested this last night because I someone doesn't know how to read labels and bought the wrong kind of corn. And didn't realize this until after it was opened. Oops.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekend Trip to DC

This past weekend Jon and I took a mini trip up to Washington DC with my mom and sister to visit a friend of my mom's. She actually used to babysit me when I was younger, so of course she was excited to meet Travis! What better way to feel old than to meet the son of someone you babysat? :)

So we drove the 8 hours (which of course ended up being 10, with having to stop to feed the baby and everything) up to DC on Thursday and did some tourist-y things on Friday and Saturday before driving back home on Sunday.

Our view of the Washington and Jefferson monuments from the metro.



Here are some pictures from the Smithsonian. I was a bit disappointed. I thought there were cool things like the Declaration of Independence, etc., but we didn't see any of that.

Limited time exhibit of Dorothy's ruby slippers at the Smithsonian.











I was a little obsessed with how many fish they had from Finding Nemo. :)

Marlin, Nemo, and Bubbles

Dory!

I thought it was so funny that Jon was feeding Travis while we were walking along the Mall. :)


Standard White House picture all DC visitors take.

I adore this picture. Travis is just the cutest, he melts my heart!

Jon was being silly at the Crime Museum. He wants a motorcycle but I won't let him get one.

We had a really good time, and I also whooped ass at Scrabble the two times we played. :) My mom's friend is a wonderful woman and she and her husband were such great hosts! 

I wish I had taken more pictures, but I'm more the person that later looks back and thinks "Man, I wish I had gotten a picture of that!" instead of actually taking the picture. I'm working on it. :)