Friday, September 28, 2012

GNO Friday!


Happy Friday y'all! I'm excited for the weekend not because it's simply the weekend but because I have plans. Adult plans!! One of my friends is getting married and her bachelorette party is tomorrow. My first night out post-Lola wearing something other than yoga pants. Can I get an "amen"?!

I'm excited to catch up with the lady friends, giggle at hysterical lingerie and of course, imbibe a bit more than I should. And this is only because I have the greatest husband ever who will be babysitting the littles with his mother so that I can get out. *thankful* And...and...and...my dress kinda looks like the one pictured above. I am so excited to wear it. And even more excited to put on some sassy heels and lots of gold jewelry. I'm just excited. Period.

I'll shut up now. I hope you have a great weekend...and I hope you feel much better than I will on Sunday! xo


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

We can do this!


Photos courtesy The Glitter Guide
Since I have more time on my hands with mat leave; I'm feeling all DIY inspired. And when I saw these two images on Glitter Guide - I felt motivated to go rummaging in our backyard. This is more doable than the word "doable". Spray paint anyone?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Serious business.

This is my Fall must-have pump for 2012. 
Architecturally beautiful.
The perfect shade of taupe.
A peep of gold detail.

Won't you be mine?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So this is labor...a birth story.

You know I have to write about this because I did for O here and because I want to remember the details so we can re-read this one day. Five weeks in already and I am mad at myself for not jotting down notes as my memory is a bit weak these days. So here it goes...

When I had Olivia, the experience was surreal, spontaneous and scary. Luckily, I had a completely normal pregnancy and birth with Lola. The funny thing is, because I was induced with O, I really had no clue what to expect, what the signs were or how it would feel. Let's face it...pushing a 3.5 lb baby out is a lot different than a 7 lb baby. Like a whole lot. Like your body is opening up and exploding a lot. Anyhoo, on with the story.

For the last month I had been feeling all sorts of Braxton Hicks and uncomfortable shooting pains. Pain that took my breath away because truly, I had never made it full term so this was all new to me. But I had a feeling she was-a-coming because two days before I gave birth, I got my hair touched up. Ya know..I wanted to attempt to look somewhat pretty after labor. {if there is such a thing}

Friday, 8.24.12 | 8:30am
It was a normal, 3rd trimester kinda morning. I felt large and uncomfortable but had plans with Tab and Jen to meet at the mall with the kiddos partly because I really wanted to see them but also partly because I wanted to get O out of the house and not lay around like a beached whale. 

I remember waking up and feeling some strong{er} contractions as my husband left for work but nothing to require him to stay home and they started to subside so what the heck. I fed O, watched a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and put her down for her morning nap.

9:00am 
I picked up the house a bit, drank my usual coffee and got in the shower. Damn those pesky contractions. I distinctly remember conditioning my hair thinking...oww. Is this it? Nah, this can't be it. I shaved my arm pits just in case.

9:30am
Dressed and taking a seat in between blow drying my bangs and brushing my teeth. OK, these are not going away. Should I call him or should I wait? Oww.

10:00am
Sonofa...this hurts. And Olivia is up and starting to cry in her crib. Crap. Crap. Crap. I grab her, dress her, cuss and bring her into our master bedroom and shut the door so she doesn't crawl out. I ain't movin fast at this point. I call my husband repeatedly {you have 3 phones - answer one!!!!} and finally leave a message on his office phone breathless and unabashedly short - you...have...to...come...home.

10:30am
I toss my hospital bag over the railing and throw a makeup case downstairs while wincing in pain as I carry a 22 lb toddler down with me so that I can strategically place her right back in front of that TV except she really wanted to play so I then place her in the high chair with a snack because that's the only place she really won't move. I call my mom. She picks up the phone in her sunny disposition and starts telling me a story. I stop her rudely and tell her - NOT NOW...you have to come here. I am in labor.

Meanwhile my husband calls and is cabbing it home from the city. He asks if I called the doctor? Had I? No! Novel idea. And...wow, I need to call my friends and cancel our play date. Hello! Luckily they are plenty understanding and even cheer leaded a bit. {read: super cute}

I call my doctor, forgive me because I really love my physician's group and hospital, but the nurse asks me if I am sure I am in labor? She told me to take two Tylenol and eat something just in case it's because I haven't eaten yet. Uh....yeah, last time I checked my stomach was as hard as a rock and my handy iPad indicated that my contractions were two minutes apart. Pretty sure this is not a dress rehearsal, lady. Still, I listened and did what she said. Eating = gross and I am in severe pain. Like doubled over and can't breath.

11:00am
My husband comes running through the back door looking like a super hero. It was cute. Why he came in the back door...I'll never know but grateful would be a word that came to mind. Meanwhile my mom rushed over, thank goodness she lives close by, and was handling Liv. I felt the urge to apply makeup. You just never know, people. That hurt but I looked semi-decent before I left the house. I kiss Liv, wincing, and limp to the car. We're leaving!

11:10am
We're on the road and traffic is looking good on the highway. Good thing because I am speechless. My husband is trying to be helpful, coach me and even make me laugh. Not happening buddy. Holy crap...what was I giving birth to...Frankenstein? And then...the tollway and traffic were dead stopped. Panic and the thought of not getting an epidural enter my mind and I consider crying. Traffic is touch and go the rest of the time. I quietly ask him to take the shoulder. We manage without and then get to Michigan Avenue at lunch time. Awesome  not awesome! I consider reaching over and laying on the horn but think better. We finally turn onto Superior and I see the hospital in sight. I am counting...breathing...swearing. 

12:25pm
We're here and I can't even walk. My husband grabs our bags and throws the car into valet. We check into Triage and all is quiet. Except me. Two women are in front of me...they look like they are out to tea and I am dying. I register and splay myself out on the couch. Probably about three minutes pass before I look at my husband and tell him I can't wait...they need to come get me. This is the funny part. He walks up to the receptionist ever so politely and remarks, "Hi. Yeah, you probably get this a lot but my wife is in some serious pain. Do you know when the nurse is going to get here?" 

12:30pm
Jesus H...the nurse is here! She requests us to follow her and walks BRISKLY to the room. I am in disbelief. 98 year old women could pass me and run circles around me at this point. After several death-gripping steps and a couple long pauses; we get to our temp room. The nurse checks my vitals and tells us it will only be a few...they're waiting for a room to open up. Remember that panic I mentioned earlier about the epidural? It's back! I start whimpering and she checks my cervix...wow, I'm dilated to an 8. Do you know when you deliver? 10! Friggin 10! The irony is that the day before I had my weekly check up and I was a 2 so something serious happened overnight.

1:15pm
...and this is where I enter the vortex of time, labor and delivery. More whimpering and finally the DRUGS come. Never been so happy in all my life. I stop whining, a rush of cool fluid spreads throughout my back and and I smile for the first time since 9:30am. Huzzah! Husband comes back in and remarks that it's nice to hear me talk again. Agreed! 

Lots of time passes, or so it feels like, and we talk and meet several shifts of docs as well as a total of three rounds of epidurals. Dang! They tell me to take a nap...sure. Whaaa? Not so much.

4:30pm
My doc comes in and asks me if I'm ready to push. Yes sir may I have another! Let's go! Ironically it's the very same doc who delivered O which is not common in a big practice of physicians. I rejoice and marvel that I won't have to expose my lady parts to 86 doctors this time around. Bonus. 

We push...and push...every two minutes while taking breaks to chat about everything from the latest movie releases to my daughter. Not gonna lie...I pushed O for 30 minutes so this is getting old. 

6:30pm
...still pushing. Wow is all I have to say. She was stuck under my pelvic bone for two hours with little to no movement. I was getting tired and my new doc asked if I wanted to push for another hour or consider using the vacuum. I asked him what he would do and he said the vacuum. Vacuum it is!! In a nutshell, with one more push, Lola would be out and labor would be over. A little prep work, a scary looking apparatus and we're in business. 

6:58pm
She's here! She came out crying but healthy at a whopping 7 lbs., 7 oz. This must be the reason I felt like my body was turning inside out. Regardless, I held my daughter for the first time, unlike my first delivery, and it was pretty spectacular. She was sweet and easy to nuzzle on. I still felt like a brand, new mom because I didn't know what came next or that it was normal for them to cry quite a bit as they try to clear their little lungs but it didn't matter much. We were a family of FOUR and this pregnancy was over and out.

...and now I type this as she is laying on my chest sleeping. xo

Monday, September 24, 2012

Organization is NOT her middle name.

Our house has been in a constant state of disarray. Diapers. Coffee mugs. Sippy cups. Bottles. And baby gifts.

Olivia is really helpful in reminding me just what each person gave us by laying them out on the kitchen floor. Thank you baby.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Seasonal Friday


Happy Fall - officially! If this image doesn't make you want to curl up and sip some cider {and apparently some Jagermeister?!} - I don't know what will. It's oozing Autumn out here...fallen leaves, an extra layer of warmth and comfort food recipes that have been dogeared.

Enjoy your weekend...and happy change of season! xo



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Balancing love...


One of the biggest challenges of being a parent of two is balancing your love so that each child feels needed, comforted and secure. By far this beats the daily grind of juggling diapers and feedings and I don't imagine it will go away anytime soon. 30 days in and I'm already constantly worrying about the well being of sister one & two!

No one said it would be easy and I certainly didn't have a romantic view on how this first year would go however this is the stuff that keeps me up at night {besides the proverbial diaper change and nursing session} Not exactly ideal when you're scraping by on sleep as it is!

Two girlfriends of mine asked if having two kids was different as a whole? My answer was a resounding "yes"! Looking back, handling one baby seems dreamy. It has its challenges but not being able to pick up your toddler when she's crying because you have a newborn in your arms presents a whole new set of challenges.

I asked my husband if he thought we'd get through this...this period of hilariously blissful, sometimes frustrating, sleep deprived chaos. His answer: when do you want to go for #3?

...radio silence...


On the Fall wish list...



I don't know what it is about this "coatigan" but I can't stop thinking about it. 
Doesn't it just scream Fall? And the versatility...skirts, jeans, trousers. Yum!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not just any handbag...



If I were allowed to expand my collection - these would be my top six contenders!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let's go to the zoo...

It's become painfully obvious that I have very little pictures with my children and I need to get over my self-loathing of every picture I am in.  So why not start with our trip to the zoo? Right-o I say!





Our nanny friend and I scooped up the girls and made a day of it. Let it be known that Olivia was over the moon about the carousel. That and bouncing up and down to "I gotta feelin'". The girl knows how to party!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Austin...here we come!


We have some lovely friends who migrated to Austin a couple years back. I've heard many-a-great-thing about this city. Well, turns out after a brisket bender this past Labor Day weekend, my husband grew a BBQ tooth and is now on a mission to get the entire family to Austin come this November. Truthfully, I've always wanted to visit and eat my way through every nook and cranny of the city while listening to amazing music and taking in the scene. We have built-in guides to the city which is always nice however there is one thing holding me back...

Are we nuts to bring a toddler and a three month old on a plane? On a family vaca this soon?

And if you've been to Austin...where do you recommend eating, sleeping, fun-ing? Is it family friendly?

Gimme the scoop....! xo


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Source: chetart.com via Julian on Pinterest









Source: google.com via Hillary on Pinterest






Mo + Lo: a photo shoot



Sometimes models are uncooperative. Such was the case with Mo + Lo. Our friends had their daughter, Mona, one week before Lo was born. And when they came over last weekend, it was clearly an opportune time to pull out the camera AND the pink chair.

Mo + Lo really can't be bothered with photogs and paparazzi. I heard they won't get out of their cribs for less than 10K a day. Total divas. And what's with the Karl Lagerfeld pursed lip Lo is sportin' in the second photo?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Fall Faves: featuring Zoe of Style Foodie

Hello 101 Loves,

It's me the lovely Z from Style Foodie. When I'm blogging I like to talk about my many cooking endeavors and my life living in the windy city. My blogging soul sista Johanna has offered me the lovely opportunity to share five of my favorite things about fall. Last year I shared these five, but of course as another year passes I've found some new obsessions for fall and my taste buds have changed again. Dang those taste buds!


1. Foliage; Nothing screams fall and gets me all excited like the changing colors of the leaves. My dad lives in the New England area and I love visiting him and taking long drives on the interstate looking at all the trees.


FOLIAGE!    fall
2. Warm Wear; I love summer, but nothing makes me happier then putting together an outfit with tons of layers, boots, hats, and scarves. I love scarves so much I'm wearing one in my drivers licence photo!

sweater // plaid * cozy for fall
3. The FOOD; I mean this wouldn't be a Zoe post without me mentioning food. They say your taste buds change every 5-7 years and that is so true for me. I used to cringe at the thought of eating anything pumpkin, but now I live for Pumpkin spiced lattes,apple cider, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, apple cider spice donuts, tomato soup and a grilled cheese. Also I love a good trip to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, they always have yummy food at those places.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup    Pinned Image  Caramel Apple Spice  Perfect for Fall! BAKED apple cider doughnut holes (baked in a mini-muffin tin.) 
4. Dark Nails; This a repeat from last years five faves, but I'm such a sucker for OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark, I'm also loving Essie's Smokin' Hot. I normally wear darker colored nails majority of the time, but I've been making a serious effort to sport some bright nails, so when fall rolls around I can't wait to plop my bum in a nail salon and get my Lincoln Park After Dark on.

  Lincoln Park After Dark  Pinned Image 
5.Holidays; Halloween and Thanksgiving have to be my two favorite holidays. My mom used to be a make-up artist for films. So between my creativity and her special effects make-up skills my costumes always blew all the other kids in the neighborhood out the water. Thanksgiving is kind of a given, I mean who doesn't like having a few days off, eating tons of yummy food, and blowing some money the day after. I mean green bean casserole get at me!

Thanksgiving, a definition  . 
Pinned Image  Classic Roast Turkey    Green Bean Casserole  grown-up hot chocolate with homemade Bailey's marshmallows (gasp!) 
Images via 1234567891011121314151617

So those are my top five, I hope your drooling over that green bean casserole and craving some serious scarf wearing right now. I know I am! A BIG thank you to Johanna for letting share. Be sure to stop be Style Foodie and say hi or tweet me @stylefoodie!

Happy Friday my dears!
xx
Z

Thanks Zoe - I love you; you always make me laugh. Your post is a visual explosion. I'm super excited now!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Five Fall Faves: featuring Tabitha of Defining Tabitha

Hola! I'm Tabitha from Defining Tabitha and as a new mom to a 6 week old little boy I know how important this time is for Johanna and her family to get to know little Lola!  With that said, I couldn't be more excited to be covering some of my Fall faves while Johanna is spending time with the little ones.
To me Fall is all about layers and warmth.  It seems like my favorite Fall items never really change...they just evolve.  This year that includes:

1 - Blazers with elbow patches.  Every woman needs a blazer (or 5 in their closet), but this Fall I'm absolutely obsessed with wool blazers that have elbow patches.  It's the perfect thing to keep you warm in those 50 degree days.

2 - Motorcycle boots.  Every season I stock my closet with new boots.  This season I'm in search for the perfect pair of motorcycle boots.  They're the perfect footwear that adds a little bit of edginess to any outfit.

3 - Tights.  I'm one of those people that LOVES wearing tights and I have many pairs in tons of colors.  However, the must haves in my closet are gray, navy and black - those get the most use and are so versatile.

4 - Dark polishes.  I'm a sucker for dark polishes - especially the gray ones.  This season I'm in love with OPI's Nein Nein OK Fine from their Germany collection.  In fact I'm wearing it now as I type - can't go wrong with this neutral color.

5 - Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Fall weather isn't complete without a warm drink in hand.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes are my favorite Fall drink and I thank the wonderful staff at my local Starbucks for making mine perfect every morning!
Five Fall Faves
Thanks to Johanna for letting me share my faves with you and I sure do hope that you'll stop by my blog

Tabitha - I like your style! I am completely enamoured of that blazer with the patches. Let's hang with the littles soon over a pumpkin spice latte!

My Virgo men

Today is not only my husband's birthday but it's also my brother's - it's kind of special. I've learned a lot about Virgos these past few years. They have some really amazing qualities: strong work ethic, extremely organized, a tad introverted and incredibly loyal. And now I have a baby Virgo!

Well, today's post is dedicated to my two Virgo men. What I love most about the two of you is your loyalty to your family. It is unmatched and quite possibly the sweetest thing to observe.

Happy birthday husband and Joshua! I love you both...and so do the girls!
xoxo

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Five Fall Faves: featuring Cara of City Girl Chicago



For me, the season of fall not only conjures up images of fashion week and new fall wardrobes, but also a shift in the activities I start to crave and do more of.  When summer days start to slow, I make it my intention to settle into the new season by taking time for myself and slowing down my pace a bit.

1 – I love traveling in the early fall, when you can really sink into your surroundings after the main tourist season has come and gone.  This year we are heading to Paris and Italy for a whirlwind trip sure to be remembered.  My first time to both places - I am just squealing with delight over here.

2 –With cooler weather comes cozy ensembles. There is just something so satisfying about the first day of true autumn weather, when you can slip on a jacket or a cozy scarf and still enjoy the sunshine.

3 – When the weather turns, I find myself craving some quiet time in the kitchen.  I enjoy making soups in the fall ~ letting the flavors develop on the stove while the aroma fills the home is always a treat.

4 –The pace of summer is always go-go-go, so I like to carve out time in the fall for some good reading.  And what’s better company to a good book than a quiet reading nook?  I like to settle into my space, whether it is my balcony, bedroom, or coffee shop.

5 –Is it just me, or are others looking forward to this fall’s more subdued nail colors as much as I am?  I’m especially looking forward to exploring the world of ballet pinks after a summer of neon.

 Thank you Johanna for having me here!  Give little Olivia and Lola's cheeks a pinch for me. :)

Thank you Cara - I am so envious of your Fall trips. How amazing! 
You can also follow Cara on Twitter, too!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sister...meet Sister!

...and here's your weekly dose of what's happening on our family front. This picture was taken in the hospital when Olivia met Lola. Confusion and intrigue seem to be the theme. Since then, I do think Olivia's routine has been pretty seamless so she doesn't seem to bothered by the addition of a sister - which is a good thing!

On a different note, Lola is a whopping 8+ lbs this week which means she had a huge growth spurt since last week. Now if only we could get her to sleep longer in the evenings vs. daytime!

Thanks for hanging with me these past two weeks. And a BIG thank you to all my Five Fall Fave contributors!! xo

Five Fall Faves: featuring Jennifer of Red Soles & Red Wine

Hi readers!  I am so excited to be guest posting today for Johanna and sharing my Five Fall Faves. My name is Jen and I blog at Red Soles and Red Wine; I share daily doses of fashion from styling to look books and in all my looks I accessorize with my jewelry line t+j Designs.  This month I'm a bit obsessed about reading my September issues;  I get a lot of my style inspiration from pinterest and reading magazines.  These three looks are some of my favorites and show some of the trends I'm loving; burgundy, luxe textures and leather looks.

sources 1, 2, 3

Since I am a bit of a shopaholic I thought I would share my top Five Fall Favorite items I'm coveting:

1.  Loving the leather trends especially motorcycle jackets and the pleated skirt.  This skirt is perfect with a cozy sweater, some tights, and booties.


2.  Burgundy is everywhere this fall!  This bag is the perfect fall/winter bag and looks great with any outfit.


3.  I love beautiful prints and brocade fabrics for fall.  This skirt has the perfect amount of color and texture.

Collection No. 2 pencil skirt in floral brocade





4.  Hats are such a beautiful accessory to finish an outfit.  I love the red mixed with the camel.


5.  Feminine camouflage items are big for fall and I've already taken the first step and purchased this jacket!

From my blog post here

And I cheated and wanted to show a 6th item from my jewelry line!

6.  Luxe jewels - from spikes to pave crystals.  Statement jewelry is the perfect accessory to any outfit.


Happy end of summer and welcome fall!  Thank you Johanna for having me, so honored to be part of your blog. xoxo, Jen


Jen - loving all your choices, specifically the brocade skirt and your t+j necklace. Simply fab! xo

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