heads up

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20 February 2017

Wellllll, I think we all miraculously managed to steer clear of Simon's flu but someone (and that usually means someone else followed by someone else etc etc) woke up with a bit of a stomach bug so all plans (all plans being a haircut) are on hold for the day while I dole out the Welch's (see what I did there? I hope you did, I HOPE you did) and pray the bug is blessed with a short shelf life.

totally and completely related: the baby is growing right along

crisp full length photo fail. couldn't leave you hanging though.

President Day sales weren't on my radar but then I kept seeing them so I thought I'd share in the event that you're homebound too or on the hunt for a deal/steal.

LOFT - always pulling through with a generous 60% of their sale items and 40% off everything else. I LOVE this blouse and this sweater.

Urban Outfitters - 40% off home and tech items. My favorite place to find Anthro-style bedding at very unAnthro-style prices.

Old Navy - loads of items are 50% off and then an additional 30% off with code HUGE. I've sung my loud and proud praises for their sculpting denim and lots of my friends echo my sentiments so don't just take my word for it. I also have and love the maternity version of this shirt and it's the perfect spring into summer top (I'm getting ahead of myself, always! always).

Amazon - not Presidents Day specific but I've been checking their Deals of the Day lately because you can find some really crazy steals. I'm in the market for some sort of dust bust buster/dirt devil because I've tricked myself into thinking it's going to make life easier (they do have this one on sale today but the reviews are meh).

Madewell - 30% off sale styles. If you're in the market for some rain boots or cute tennis shoes - they're all over it.

I'll stop there. Let me know if you find any sales worth sharing - I'd be much obliged!

oh! and did you see there's going to be a Downton prequel?!

Happy(ish) Monday!

gotta get down on ...

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17 February 2017


I know, I've used that post title before. I think we'll all survive.

1. I'm not sure we'll survive Simon's grimace on the left, on the left - though. He was excited about the father/daughter dance - I promise.

As excited as Julia? I don't think it's possible that anyone was as excited as Julia about the father/daughter dance this past weekend. She started asking at 8am if she could put her dress on and I thought her eyes would pop out of her head when Simon gave her that corsage. He said she didn't stop high speed dancing the entire evening - even breaking her plastic pearl necklace at one point. He tried to take it off so that she wouldn't keep bouncing faux pearls all over the floor but she was in the middle of a dance contest and told him, "Dad, I really need to keep dancing". Yeah DAD. The first thing she asked when they got in the car to come home was, "can we come to the dance next year?" -- she gets her planning and competitive dancing skills from her mother.

2. I keep reading and seeing how sick everyone has been this winter and I kept hoping and praying that we'd be spared and feeling terrible for all of my family and friends that were down for the count. Wellllll for the first time in med school/residency/fellowship history Simon called in sick because he's down for the count with the flu today. We are making sure he doesn't breathe on, touch, or look at anyone and I wouldn't put it past me to purchase a mask (hazmat suit?) for him to wear until he's better. I think we'd be less crazy + cautious if we weren't about to travel to my sister's wedding. I think.

3. Alright, so I finished Nine Women, One Dress last night and I really enjoyed it! I wish some of the stories had tied together more but overall it was light and pleasant and now I just really want that Max Hammer dress!! A kind reader recently recommended The Winter Sea (after she saw one of you recommend it in the comments) and the library had it (!!!!) so I snatched it up and so far - so great. I also have to admit that I reserved the most cliché beach read ever only because I thought it might be nice to have something breezy for our flights where Bosco will inevitably let me read in 3-4 minute snatches - if that. Always prepared, that Grace.

4. I loved these tips (and YAY for a new blog to love and read obsessively) for those of us that hate packing kids lunches (that I forwarded onto Simon because he packs them - I packed them on Valentine's Day and he said that it truly was the best gift I could ever give him - maybe I should just make his life and make them myself?) and now I'm wondering if these lunch boxes are worth the hype?

5. Who else is super excited about Rachel being the Bachelorette??? Of course - it's kind of a huge spoiler for the current season (surely Corinne doesn't make it to the final two?!) and I've listened to multiple podcasts speculating as to why they announced her so early but I'm so excited (as already stated) and always love that the Bachelorette starts so quickly after the Bachelor. Almost makes up for the fall drought ABC always puts us through. Always. Jones is back to her recapping ways (!!!), both of Sharleen's recaps are already live (blog + Flare recap) and Nick was on the Channel 33 podcast this week and Ashley I was on Afterbuzz (I never thought I'd love her so much after Chris' season but I can't help it - I DO).

6. I always get so excited when Anthropologie runs their 40% off clearance items sale because it's the only time I really let myself look at their gorgeous inventory. I rarely buy but it's fun to look, you know? I always start with shoes and move onto house and home because I'm wild and crazy like that. I have to admit this tank did catch my eye and I'll hope it's around after I have the baby.

7. I'm guessing you already follow Kate on her blog and various forms of social media because she's so great and that you already saw her genius rec for buying Gap's vintage wash t-shirts in tall (even if you aren't super tall). I heeded her advice and am so SO glad I did. Because while leggings aren't pants (will that notfunny debate ever die?) sometimes I wear leggings to the gym, grocery store, post office, etc and I love the longer length of the t-shirts with my "pants". I owe you, K. Bryan. I prefer the scoop neck but they have more colors in the v-neck and on top of already being 40% off they are an additional 25% off with code MORE right now.

Hope your weekend holds lots of promises of fun and relaxation.


Paleo friendly & Whole30 compliant Ramen with zucchini noodles

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16 February 2017

... no spiralizer needed. Nor do you need be an eater of the Paleo variety or doing a Whole30 to enjoy this - promise. Simon-dislikes-cooked-vegetables-Patton loves this. Or so he claims.

Disclaimer alert! I'm not a cook/check/foodie so proceed at your own risk but I wouldn't share a recipe unless it was worth making - mom's honor.

I had some real deal Ramen about a year or so ago and it was so good. I also like the stuff that comes in the packets but the real deal left an impact and while we aren't doing a whole30 nor do we eat Paleo I still thought it wouldn't be terrible to try with zucchini noodles (zoodles, if you must). And so! I did and the results were pretty tasty.

4 chicken thighs cooked/baked/fried to your liking (I HIGHLY recommend this method but if you want to bake them or whatever them - do it up)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock of your choosing (we like this stuff from Costco and its whole30 compliant anyway)
two heads of Bok Choy (washed and chopped - not super finely)
3/4 cup carrots chopped
3 zucchinis worth of "noodles" (I just use a veggie peeler because it's super fast and makes the perfect ribbon noodles for the recipe but spiralize your little heart out if it makes you happy!)
2 soft boiled eggs, sliced
3-5 cloves of garlic - minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger (fresh or not - I rarely have fresh on hand)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce if you don't care about the Paleo/whole30 factor
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I just use Frank's Red Hot)

Okay. It's tough to screw this up, promise. I know you were worried.

zoodles ready for action.

Heat the olive oil up on medium heat in a large skillet or tall pot (or I just use the pan and drippings from the chicken) and sauté the garlic until soft. Chop (or I just tear it apart) your chicken.

Slowly add the broth, tomato paste, anchovy paste, hot sauce, ginger, and chicken. Cover loosely with foil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the chopped carrots and stir in one head of the chopped Bok Choy. Let simmer a few more minutes (this is when I start the eggs).

right after the Bok Choy and right before the carrots went in.

Add the zucchini and coconut aminos and stir but don't let the zoodles get super soft before serving. I dish up the bowls and there's usually enough left over for a lunch (or admittedly - I love this for breakfast) for two. I just don't let it sit in the pan too long so that the noodles remain slightly crunchy. I reserve the other head of Bok Choy to put over the leftovers but if you're not a Boy Choy fanatic like I am - you don't have to do that!

Top with sliced egg and enjoy! I like eating with plantain chips but to each their own!

This makes enough to feed me and Simon and a little bit to a couple of non-picky kids (yes, I make a separate but simple meal for the kids - yes I'm the biggest enabler known to moms).

This is at the top of my freezer meal list to make before the baby comes. I might do a trial run to see how the Zucchini & Bok Choy freezes and if it's meh - I'll just add those along with the egg when I heat it back up.

The end. 

flat hair, do care

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12 February 2017

I know I KNOW! I've written almost more posts about my favorite hair products than I have birth stories but - I'm always trying new things and discovering different techniques and if I could corner you to talk it all out for many more minutes than you were comfortable with -- I WOULD. But, I'll write a, "reading optional, skimming required" post instead. I don't have great hair and I know that and I don't want you to think that I think that I do. My hair is very fine and flat and does not hold curl well at all. I can't go 98 days in between washes like the rest of the free world. On a decent day it looks like this and on every other day it's just up in a disaster of a haphazard bun. I use the majority of these products once or twice a week and rarely have to replenish or replace for that reason which is nice. My favorite hair guru is Kate because she has the best BEST hair as does Julie and her curling technique has been a big game changer in terms of time it takes to curl my hair and how long the waves/curls hold.

Alright, alright. Here we go.

1. hair dryer - nothing special. It has the different temperature settings and while my hair is really fine - there is a lot of it and if I don't dry it at least partially - it can stay wet for 24+ hours which is fun so I always blow dry it when it's damp. I use a round brush if Bosco hasn't run off with it (often) but right out of the shower I use a tangle teezer (people like wet brushes too - both are great for tangled kids hair too).

2. uplifting foam - I use a tiny bit on my damp roots before I blow dry and the bottle I bought a year ago is still going strong. I highly recommend it!!!

3. hairspray - this really is the best hairspray. It doesn't make your hair stiff or sticky but a light misting pre curl helps my hair to stay curled(ish) for much longer than if I hadn't used it. I also use it after I curl my hair and before I've kind of broken up the curls with my fingers.

4. curling iron - I was a wand lady for a few years but Julie brought me back to the iron fold. It works on my hair so much better and don't need anything crazy expensive to get the job done. I use a one inch curling iron because I've found anything bigger just gives me big waves that stay put for about 12 minutes - not worth it.

5. hair powder - I won't say I'll request to be buried clutching a bottle of this stuff but I do really, really love and swear by it. It's really important to only use a tiny, tiny bit and I only use it every few days or after I've curled it (which I do about once a week - if that).

6. hair oil - Again, a tiny bit goes a long way and helps tame frizz and fly aways. I personally wouldn't douse my roots in this ever but my hair will forever be an oil faucet so -- you might want to.

7. dry volume blast - I put some of this on my roots at night and then up in a super high bun in a scrunchy (a rubberband leaves a mark - usually). I like it more than any other dry shampoo that I ever ever tried.

8. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo - For the past few kids I haven't dealt with postpartum hair loss but instead excessively oily hair (it even got bad after my miscarriage so I'm fairly certain it was hormones on fire and not an issue with hair products). I tried the no shampoo method, baking soda, vinegar, a zillion shampoos and finally this anti-residue shampoo. I use it before I wash my hair with whatever we have in the shower (I really love the Foxbrim Shampoo and this shampoo for blondes) and it's the only thing that truly helps and gets my hair really clean. I can wear my hair down a couple days longer than if I didn't use it. I can go a week between hair washings but I hate doing that and actually like clean hair. I'd say on average I wash my hair every 3-4 days?

I can't believe I didn't get up to double digits here but that's pretty much it! So, SO simple - I know. I know. If you have any conditioners/masks or other products you love and swear by - I'd be much obliged! Please and thank you!!

items of importance

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10 February 2017

1. "can you text it to Nana? And Dad?"

Someone get this girl some confidence asaP.

2. Galentine's - This should be numero uno but second is the best, or so thought second grade Grace. Thank you all for all of your entries on the Galentine's Day giveaway! It's still going strong so hop over and enter pronto. I'm so glad Rafflecopter does the picking because I could never ever pick a winner - so many sweet comments!

3. B-b-b-bachelor - I have to admit that I really thought Nick was going to deliver a stellar (ahem - as stellar as the show can be) season and while there's still time to redeem himself so far? eh. I believe in you though, Viall - don't let us down. I always love Sharleen's perceptive take on the episodes (I didn't pick up on Danielle L being unpopular in the house?) and was so happy that Jonesy gave us a recap of last week's episode - hopefully she does one for this week too :)

4. Books! Nine Women, One Dress DID indeed come off the hold list (although they randomly emailed Simon about it and he almost forgot to tell me - tsk tsk tsk) and I'm enjoying it! It's a nice breather after a couple of intense (for me ha) books in a row. Also! Kate's book came in the mail and I'm loving her seasoned thoughts on motherhood AND I saw that Bunmi's has a new one coming out that I just might have to pre-order - although May seems SO FAR AWAY right now.

5. Duped - I'd been seeing a super cute, super pricey, and super sold out peplum from one of my favorite brands all over the fashion blogging place and I love that Old Navy jumped right on the dupe train and came out with a more affordable option (they seem to keep restocking sizes so if yours is sold out - there's hope!) and actually - Old Navy is kind of killing it in the "ruffled hem" (euphemism for peplum? methinks so) department at the moment.

6. you'll never guess - but Loft is offering 40% off a significant chunk of their inventory. I love the simplicity and versatility of this utility blouse and this timeless camel colored belt.

7. Weekenders - Alright, I've got some shoeboxes to cover in festive wrapping paper and some homemade Valentines to attempt before we inevitably tuck our tails between our legs and head off to the picked over Valentine aisle-o-doom. Hope your weekend holds some similarly exciting plans!


(linking up with Kelly!)


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