Health, Love & Fire: June 2015

Showing Off The Bump - Maternity Photos

Monday, June 29, 2015

When we found out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to get maternity photos taken at some point during my pregnancy. One thing I have struggled a bit with throughout the last 7 months is being comfortable and proud of my growing belly. Some days I feel great and don't mind flaunting my tummy, and other's I'm still a little apprehensive and nervous to wear tight things that really show it off. So when it got closer to picture time, I was worried about how I would feel taking photos that were supposed to really emphasize everything I'd been worrying about.

We decided to use Myah from Glo Photography after a friend had worked her, and if you're in the Portland area I highly highly recommend you do the same! We hadn't met in person until the night of our shoot, but she welcomed me with open arms, literally a hug as soon as we met and immediately made me feel comfortable and relaxed. Between her outgoing personality and friendly smile along with her style of shooting where she just sort of lets you be you, I felt at ease the entire time.

I really wanted our pictures to be taken outdoors, so we ventured to a local park and played in the oak groves and wheat fields as the sun set. Dan and I hadn't had any professional photos taken since our wedding day, nearly 5 years ago so we were both excited to get some new pictures taken. We left the shoot at about 9:15 and by 12:45, I had an email from her with a link to her blog to take a look at some of the amazing images she captured! And I couldn't be more excited with how they turned out! But enough about the background of the story, lets get to the photos, or the only reason you're really here today!

Sorry for the photo overload . . . I couldn't choose just a few and I just love them all so much that I had to share them with all of you!

Friday Snapshots & Excitement

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Friday! Just like every week, I'm very glad the weekend is within reach! The heat has been crazy here in the pacific NW this week and I am looking forward to spending lots of time in our air conditioned house this weekend! But before I venture off to hibernate with a cold virgin pina colada, I decided I'd stop in here to link up with some of my favorite farm ladies & share some excitement and a summer giveaway with all of you! 

1. We got our maternity photos back yesterday and I am completely in love! I can't wait to share them all with you next week! So make sure to stop by on Monday to see those! But until then, here's one of my favorites! 
2. I have my first baby shower this weekend and I am so excited to celebrate our little girl with my close friends and family. It's still so hard to believe that I'm already 31 weeks! 

3. It's supposed to be over 100 here today and throughout the weekend, so I've decided that since our yard isn't really ideal for a normal sized pool, I may have to resort to buying a kiddie pool and filling it up in the backyard to cool myself off while still getting a little color on my pregnant self! 

4. I've been making lots of To Do lists to try to keep my pregnancy brain from taking over and to try to get a few things done around the house before our little girl arrives. Since we moved in the same day we found out we were pregnant, I feel like it's taking me a little longer to get everything decorated and organized the way I want it, so here's a couple snapshots of some of the decor elements we've added lately. 

5. I teamed up with some fabulous other ladies to offer a fun summer giveaway! 
Summer is a blast, but the heat can be harsh on our bodies. I along with a few other awesome bloggers have rounded up our favorite summer beauty products. Take a look around and enter the giveaway!  

#1 CoverGirl Smoothers SPF 21 Tinted Moisturizer I love that this gives me light coverage and sun protection for days spent by the river! (recommended by Life With Rosie)

#2 Gillette Venus Bikini Kit I love this razor combo when I'm not waxing. The blades are smooth and work great for sensitive skin. The after shave lotion that is included does wonders for erasing shaving bumps and preventing rashes. (recommended by Keeping Up With Ashley and Cody)

#3The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream   This is my favorite all the time but great after I've been out in the sun a lot! (recommended by Health, Love, and Fire)

#4 Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 (recommended by My So-Called Chaos)

#5 John Frieda Frizz-Ease Style Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray   (recommended by My So-Called Chaos)

#6 Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray This product gives my hair the perfect beach wave look without having to go to the beach! I just put it in my damp hair and rock beach waves all day! (recommended by Life With Rosie)

#7 NIVEA In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion This lotion does its magic in the shower. After you wash your body with any soap cleanser you use, just apply this on your body for hydrating smooth skin all day. I love this product and especially because it doesn't have the sticky feeling when you go to put on your clothes after applying lotion. Worth every cent. (recommended by Keeping Up With Ashley and Cody)

#8 Water and Lemon Haha, sounds silly, but I’m serious.  It’s the best, most-natural way to feel and look healthy! (Recommended by The So-Called Homemaker)

Now you  have a chance to win some cash to purchase your favorite summer beauty product!
Ashley from Keeping Up With Ashley and Cody // Guenny from Guenbt // Libby from Health, Love, and Fire // Angie from My So-Called Chaos // Christine from The So-Called Homemaker // Rosemond from Big Hair and Books // Chelsie from Life With Rosie // Jessica fromWifesticated // Christine from Dimes and Donuts // Leanna from Leanna Ranieri Simply Adventurous

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week 30 Bumpdate

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week: 30 - She's the size of a Cantaloupe

Total Weight Gain: 17 pounds - stayed the same from last week :)

Symptoms: Feeling more and more pregnant by the week . . . which is to be expected I suppose. I'm noticing more round ligament pain on my daily walks, more hip pain at night and definitely more heartburn throughout the day. Overall besides feeling like I get tired much more easily and like things are getting more difficult to do (like roll over in bed or tie my shoes) I am feeling pretty good!

Cravings: Still really craving sweets, but trying to hold off as much as possible. But Sunday night Dan and I spent the afternoon and evening in the kitchen cooking dinner and baking together. He made cinnamon rolls for the station and I made a carrot cake to celebrate 2 years of blogging.

Sleep: Having more trouble sleeping this week mostly because I'm struggling to get comfortable and stay comfortable all night long. I wake up halfway through the nights and my hips and back will be really hurting. I am trying out the snoogle pillow again to see if creating more of a nest to sleep in helps!

Clothes: Definitely all maternity. We've been having hot weather and it's supposed to get even warmer this week, so anything that will help me stay cool is what I've been wearing!

Workout: I hit my Fitbit steps goal 5 out of 7 days this week, but gave myself the weekend off after being so active all week and I think I really needed that break. Trying to remind myself to be active but also give my body a break when it's asking for it. My competitive nature sets in when I see how many steps other friends have done, and I need to keep reminding myself of the fact that I'm 30 weeks pregnant and getting 4-5 miles in a day is more than enough!

Nursery: We started going through some of the clothes we've gotten so far and washing them this weekend. We also bought some dresser drawer organizers to help organize it all. I can't wait for her first shower this weekend to be able to get even more stuff crossed off our to do list!

Movement: Tons this week! I feel like as the weeks go on she's even busier in my tummy! I'm starting to be able to watch my whole stomach move when she's moving and even Dan's able to watch. I love feeling her moving, but it is definitely getting more uncomfortable . . . especially the kicks to the ribs!

Best Moment This Week: Spending an afternoon at The Allison spa for a couples massage with Dan. It was so nice to get their Mother-To-Be Massage and have some time to just relax and chat uninterrupted with Dan.

Missing: Being able to sleep through the night comfortably and not feeling overheated all the time!

Our Announcement ::  Weeks 4-12  ::   Weeks 13-14  ::  Weeks 15-16  ::  Week 18  ::  Week 19  ::
It's A Girl!    ::   Week 20  ::  Weeks 21-22  ::   Week 23  ::  Week 24  ::  Week 25  ::  Week 26  ::  Week 27  ::
Week 28  ::  Week 29  :: 

Second Trimester Must Haves

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

With the addition of blogs and sites like Pinterest, the suggestions are endless when it comes to what works and what does to get through your 40ish weeks of being pregnant. One of the things I have found most helpful through my first 30 weeks has been learned what other bloggers liked and used. With the endless lists or products to try, a lot of times it can be a trial and error sort of situation, but in an effort to remember what I used and liked (crazy pregnancy brain) and to help other pregnant mamas out, I thought I would share what products I liked best during my second trimester. Many of the things that helped get my through the first trimester were the same, but there were definitely some additions as my body continued to change and our baby continued to grow. Here's what helped get me through those next few weeks.

New Bras 
I never realized how much my chest would change throughout my pregnancy, but by my second trimester I definitely needed to invest in a couple larger bras. Don't be surprised if you have to go up a couple cup sizes, and just go with what fits best and try to ignore the tag. Trust me when I say you won't care as long as it's comfortable. I decided to go with a nursing bra that I found at Target since I will be needing nursing bras once our little girl is here and it will save me having to try on and buy new bras twice.

Body Pillow
I tried out some of the different pregnancy pillows but found what worked best for me was just using a regular body pillow. I found one that I could take the cover off of and wash since I figured I'd be using it for the rest of my pregnancy. I use this every night, and had a tough time sleeping without it on our Babymoon. This is what worked best for me, but everyone is different and has different sleeping positions so just find what is most comfortable for you.

One of the things I've tried to be most conscious about throughout my pregnancy is my exercise. While I'm definitely not out running any marathons or even running at all, I try to get out and go for a walk at least once a day. There are definitely days where I would rather just sit on the couch or take a nap, but after getting a Fitbit, I was motivate to try to reach my goal steps every day, especially when I can compare myself to friends and family. Let's just say, even when I'm pregnant I'm still competitive. I got the Fitbit flex, and it tracks my steps, mileage, calories burned, active minutes and sleep. There are several other models that each track different things, but I love mine and would definitely recommend it for helping keep you on track and aware of your activity.

Clif Bars 
I never used to be a breakfast person, but ever since becoming pregnant, I have to eat in the morning! And while I'm not motivated to get up early and make myself a full breakfast, Clif Bars have become my go to for breakfast and as snacks throughout the day. Having something quick and easy to keep in my purse for when I need some protein or a snack has been a lifesaver.

Water Bottle
On top of getting more exercise, I really try to intake lots of water throughout the day. One thing that helps me stay on track is having a water bottle I can keep with me all the time. I find myself thirsty all the time and having this with me constantly keeps me from getting too thirsty/grumpy.

Once I hit my second trimester was when I really started to keep track of my growing tummy. Having a camera other than my iPhone to capture my weekly pictures was a huge must have for me. And thankfully, I also have my sweet husband who doesn't mind being my photographer on a weekly basis. But whether or not you have someone to take your photos, you can always use your phone or a tripod to still capture the changes over time. I was a little uneasy about doing this at first because I was nervous about how I looked with my growing stomach, but looking back on them now it's really neat to see the weekly changes.

Hopefully some of the things that worked for me will be helpful for some of you as well! What were your must haves in your second trimester, or what couldn't you not have gotten through your pregnancy without?

2 Years And 345 Posts Later

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's crazy to me to think that two years ago today I was sitting at my desk typing my very first post on this blog. When I wrote those first words and hit publish, I was talking to a quiet audience of no one with no expectations or need to please anyone but myself. I wasn't writing to grow my readership or with any end goal in mind, I was just writing for me. I'd started blogs before and posted a half a dozen posts but they died about as quickly as they started. With a new job on my plate and change in scenery in my life, this time starting this blog was helping me document something other than what we had for dinner the night before.

730 days later, my goals have changed and so has my writing. This whole blogging thing was completely new to me, and I can see that in my writing during those first few months. There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself now that I wished I'd known then, but that growth was something that not only helped my blog, it helped me. I've learned so much from not only my own writing, but from the friendships I've built through this blog. I don't know that anyone starts writing on the internet expecting to make friends from all over the country or world for that matter. Texting fellow bloggers experiencing some of the same things I am was definitely not an expectation I had two years ago, but something I am so thankful for in the same breath!

Health, Love and Fire in two years has already documented some of my biggest life events. From loosing my father in-law, to building our new home, and finding out we were pregnant my posts let me look back on what I was going through and how I was feeling during some of the most exciting and emotional times.

So what are my goals for the next two years of this space . . .

I hope to be able to grow even more as a blogger and as a person. And with that growth, I want to help others do that same. 

Continue to post on a frequent basis. While my posts have fluctuated, I've got lots of ideas roaming around in my head and I hope to get posts scheduled and up at least 3 days a week.

To watch my readership grow and increase my participating in other blogs by sponsoring and collaborating.

Make more friends in the blog world.

And lastly, continue to create and be inspired by this little space!

Thanks so those of you who have followed along on this journey, especially those of you who have been around since the beginning! I'm not always perfect and I am definitely always learning and growing and I am extremely thankful for all of you showing up here and joining me on this weird thing called blogging.

Week 29 Bumpdate

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A preview of one of our maternity photos! 

Week: 29 - She's the size of a hawaiian pineapple!

Total Weight Gain: 17 pounds

Symptoms: Feeling more tired and like getting around is getting much more difficult. I am definitely noticing that my pace isn't what it used to be, but still trying to keep active as much as possible. With the hot weather we've been having I get overheated very easily and have to remind myself to drink water so that I keep my swelling down.

Cravings: Watermelon, ice cream and any fruit!

Sleep: We have been having hot weather lately so getting comfortable at night is getting more tricky! I've got the air conditioning on, plus a fan on in our room and some nights I still can't cool off! I'm looking in to some blackout curtains to see if that will help keep some of the heat out of our room.

Clothes: All maternity all the time, with a couple summer dresses or skirts mixed in here or there. I'm starting to wonder what's really going to fit in the next two months.

Workout: Lots of walks this week! My parents bought me a fit bit so it has been motivating me to get out and get my steps in. Walks after dinner every night and walks with friends on the weekend have really been helping keeping my swelling down and getting my steps and miles in!

Nursery: My dad finished up the hot air balloons this past week and Dan's working on finishing up some wall shelving. Once those things are both done I probably won't do much else till after my shower in a couple weeks.

Movement: Tons, especially as I'm trying to go to bed at night or working during the day!

Best Moment This Week: Getting to see her on the ultrasound this week again! It's amazing how much she's grown and developed in the last 8 weeks! I can't wait to see her in another couple weeks! Hopefully she'll cooperate this time so we can actually get a picture of her face or at least her profile!

Missing: Being able to exercise more easily and not feel so winded all the time!

Our Announcement ::  Weeks 4-12  ::   Weeks 13-14  ::  Weeks 15-16  ::  Week 18  ::  Week 19  ::
It's A Girl!    ::   Week 20  ::  Weeks 21-22  ::   Week 23  ::  Week 24  ::  Week 25  ::  Week 26  ::  Week 27  ::
Week 28  :: 

Bedroom Makeover - Headboard Love

Monday, June 15, 2015

I originally posted this when I first started the blog, but as I am adding some of the final touches to our bedroom and after 6 months, finally getting around to hanging our headboard, I decided it was time to share this post again. This is one of my favorite diy projects we have in our home and the one I definitely get the most use out of. So until I am ready to share our new master bedroom reveal with all of you, I figured I'd share one of the projects we completed to add to the room. 

Since we upgraded from a queen to a king sized bed, our bed frame no longer fit our new bed so of course it gave me a reason to come up with a new diy project. If I haven't mentioned it before, i'll mention it again. I have the most amazing supportive, willing, and thoughtful husband ever! Not only does he put up with all the different projects and honey-do lists I ask of him, but he does sweet things like stop by the farmers market and pick up gorgeous flowers for me just because!

Anyways, back to my other love, my headboard! Here are some of the ideas I had been yearning at for months! 

So instead of spending $200 or more on a headboard that I just sort of liked, Dan and I decided to tackle making our own! So of course I took photos and documented what we did, just in case you're looking to make your own! 

Here's what you will need: 
- A large piece of plywood - depending on the size of headboard you want 
- Whatever heavy duty fabric you want ( We used 4 yards of fabric for the size we wanted) 
- A 2inch piece of foam to fit the size of your headboard (the foam can be thinner if you want) 
- Batting - the size of the entire headboard 
- One 2x2 board to use to attach your headboard to the wall 
- A Nail Gun 
- A saw 

Sorry that most of my pictures are taken either in the garage or the front yard. It was nice out so it was easiest to do our project outside on this nice summer evening. 

Here is our before picture! Almost everything in our room was gray, so it was in need of some color! 

Step 1: To Start with, measure the size of the headboard you want. Then, cut your plywood to size. 

Step 2: Lay your batting over your plywood that is cut to size and staple the batting so that it covers the whole board and is stapled to the other size of the board to cover the edges. 

Step 3: Lay your foam on top of your plywood and cut it to the size of the headboard

Step 4: Lay the fabric for your headboard over the plywood, batting, and foam and then staple your fabric around all those materials to the back of the headboard so that is covers all the edges. 

Step 5: Cut your 2x2 in half at an angle the long ways so that you can attach one side to the wall and one side to your headboard and it acts like a shelf to hold your headboard in place. (Make sure you locate the studs in the wall before attaching the board) 

Finally, attach your new headboard and take your after pictures!!! 

I couldn't be happier with the outcome! Every time I walk into our room, it just makes me smile! And apparently Cooper approves too! I swear sometimes Cooper ruins his beds so that he has a reason to lay on ours.