Wednesday, January 29, 2014

getting ready for Valentines Day

It's funny, I've never really been a huge Valentines Day person. Steve and I have never done anything crazy, to be honest I don't even think we've gone out to a romantic dinner once in the nine years we've been together, except for the first year. We are so lame!

But this year I've gotten into the V-day spirit and have been making little decorations here and there, which I'll share later. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite Valentines Day things from around the web.

one | this amazing felt flower garland from my friend Lena over at Root and Blossom. I am seriously in love with this and will be making it as soon as I can get to the fabric store (tomorrow?!). I think it's an adorable non-heart way to decorate for Valentines Day (even thought I love hearts). But also, I think it will be an adorable little decoration for our baby girls space after V-day is over.

two | this hilarious card from etsy shop Emily McDowell Illustrations. It's a sad but true fact that a few nights a week Steve and I are exhausted and climb into bed early to zone out on our phones 'together'. I know he'd get a kick out of this card :)

three | this sweet paper heart garland. It would be easy to make if only I had a heart punch...maybe I'll be looking for that tomorrow too?

four | this heart cake. I saw this on pinterest a while ago and thought it would be fun to try making a heart cake. Valentines day is the perfect excuse!

Do you decorate for Valentines Day? Feel free to share any Valentines related blog posts in the the comment section so I can visit!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

spring in January

It's been above freezing for nearly two and a half weeks at our house. We had a ton of beautiful snow. Now it looks like early spring in Alaska...aka dead grass, dirty snow in the shady spots, and piles of gravel on all the sides of the roads. I've been enjoying the warmer temperature, especially now that all the snow-turned-to-ice has melted. But I think the chickens have been enjoying it the most.

They have been out in the yard from the first bit of light until it's completely dark each night, scratching around and even taking the first joyous dust bath of 'spring'. I feel a little bad for them because it's going to get cold again at some point, and probably snow (a lot). Poor girls are suffering under the same delusion that I am, that spring is just around the corner. Luckily it is nearly the end of January, February is the shortest month of the year, and then it will be March.

March in Alaska can mean warmer temps and 'break-up' (what we call early spring, when all the snow is melting and ice is 'breaking-up') or it can snow three feet in the last week just when we think it's spring and plunge us all into despair. Either way, it always seems to melt quick and be in the fifties by mid-April, and that's not too far away. But still, the poor chickens! I don't want to know what they'll think when they wake up to a foot of snow. 

Also, if you're really into my little flock you might notice that my two Buff Orpingtons are missing from these pictures (wiping away tears). Their lives ended about a month ago and it was very traumatic for pretty much just me. Riggs didn't really notice and Steve was happy to stop feeding the two piggiest chickens who were the weakest layers (one never even laid a single egg since we got her). I know it's for the best but I decided then and there that I am soooo not cut out to be a farmer. I cried nearly all day and the next whenever I looked out at the chickens. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


Another weekend is over and it was a good one. Saturday didn't start out the best, I had a very emotional morning melt-down about my house and decided to deep clean everything (I must be pregnant ha). But it quickly got better and I got a lot done so I consider it to be a successful weekend day.

I also loved that Riggs sat through the first chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh before his nap and seemed to really like listening to me read the story to him. He amazes me every day with how grown-up he's getting.

Sunday we went to church in the morning after an early 6 am wake up. I noticed after I picked Riggs up from the nursery that he seemed to sound a little congested and his nose was running. Once we got home, fed him and napped him, it became even more apparent that he has a little cold. I felt so bad for sending him to infect all the other kids. Sorry other kids in the nursery and their moms! I really didn't mean to!!

After we all napped (I read in bed), Riggs snacked in his high chair and kept me company while I sewed. It worked very well because he was completely contained except that he kept distracting me with his cuteness. Those smirks of his just kill me!

I was trying to finish some quilt squares for a blanket I'm making for our baby girl. I actually picked out the fabric last year and was going to make a lap quilt for our couch but never really got more than the cutting done. So I went through all the fabrics I had included and picked out my favorites for a baby girl quilt. It will look pretty much like this when it's done, with hot-pink binding and all:

Now that all the squares are done I just need to go find a neutral and yet non-white fabric for the sashing and some perfect pink for the binding. Visiting the fabric store can be dangerous, so wish me luck that I'll find what I need and not go crazy buying all the gorgeous girl fabrics they're sure to have. I'm so excited to start getting things ready for our sweet baby now that we know 'it's' a she! :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

18 weeks!

Size of Baby: Sweet Potato (5.6 inches, 6.7oz)

Gender: GIRL! We are still in shock and so excited about adding a sweet baby girl to our family. It's going to be so interesting to watch Riggs and his baby sister interact - both Steve and I both come from same-sex sibling groups (Steve has one brother and I have two sisters). 

Weight Gain: Still up five pounds but I have a feeling I'm going to be gaining fast from now on. My appetite has increased drastically this week and my belly has literally ballooned. I swear it grows noticeably every single day.

Maternity Clothes: I am still using many of my normal clothes, but I'm starting to add some maternity pieces and I'm definitely on the look out for a few maternity friendly wardrobe pieces. Maxi skirts, dresses long sleeve tees and some more leggings are at the top of my list right now, oh and some flowy (is that a word?) cardis. 

Nursery: Check out my idea board on Pinterest here. Things are really coming together in my head for how to incorporate a few girly touches into the room Riggs and his little sister will be sharing after she is a few months old. I can't wait to share more of my ideas as things start coming together!

Movement: Lots of little flutters, a few jabs in the last couple of days. But I found out I have an anterior placenta (it's in the front) at the ultrasound appointment so that means I'll probably feel baby girl less than I felt Riggs.

Symptoms: Feeling great! Still some nipple soreness but it actually seems to be getting better (or I'm getting used to it haha) and extra peeing. The usual.

Sleep: Sleeping great for now.

Cravings: Everything...I'm so hungry! I feel like all I do is think about food. But I am starting to notice that I can't eat as much as once and need to start eating a few small meals throughout the day.

Best Moment This Week: Seeing our beautiful (and most importantly healthy!) baby girl in our ultrasound appointment on Monday. I am just overwhelmed by the miracle that is new life. 

Looking Forward To: June! Haha I know it's a long way off but for some reason I've gotten so antsy lately! I need to slow down and focus on the moment, and all the things I need to get done before summer!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Paddington Bear for Gap!

top: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
middle: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
bottom: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Last year about this time I was swooning over the Peter Rabbit collection that came out at babyGAP. This week they introduced their Paddington Bear for babyGAP collection and I'm swooning all over again. I just love everything! I will be watching like a hawk for my favorite pieces to be marked down, then you can bet I'll be grabbing them up! 

BabyGAP was probably my favorite go-to shop for clothes when Riggs was a baby. Now that he's grown out of their baby sizes, I tend to prefer the simplicity and long/lean fit of J.Crew crewcuts for Riggs, but I still love babyGAP. It was the first place I stopped to shop after we found out baby #2 is a girl. What's your go-to shop for your baby/toddler? I find that it usually depends on what fit your baby needs, since every retailer seems to be pretty different in regards to size and fit...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

seventeen weeks! (last chance to guess gender!)

Size of Baby: Onion (5.1 inches, 5.9oz)

Gender: Get your guess in for whether or not it's a girl or boy, because we find out Monday morning! I am so so so excited just to know either way so we can figure out a name and stop calling our poor baby 'it'. Also because I can finalize plans for the shared nursery!

Weight Gain: Up to five pounds now. I gained two pounds in just one week! My belly has grown quite a bit too, I guess I'm just entering that rapid growth stage. I know it's completely normal and healthy to be gaining weight but watching that number creep up after working so hard to get back into shape after Riggs is a little scary!

Maternity Clothes: Nope. Although I do need to get a few more pairs of leggings that don't cut into my belly.

Nursery: Check out my idea board on Pinterest here. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do in there, just waiting to find out the gender to finalize our plans. I think I'm leaning towards (especially if it's a boy) Steve building a little bunk bed for Riggs so that when new baby is bigger they'll have more floor space to play. And in the mean time Riggs can use the extra bunk as a reading area.

Movement: Lots of little flutters. In the evenings I've been feeling so full and a little uncomfortable, like I can feel my uterus growing. I don't remember that at all with Riggs. This pregnancy has already been pretty different from Riggs but I don't know if that because I've changed my habits a lot since then too (aka I have another kid to chase around haha). 

Symptoms: Feeling great! Just some nipple soreness when Riggs latches on and some extra peeing, especially at night since I can't help but drink a lot of water at dinner. 

Sleep: Sleeping great except for waking to pee and the occasional wake up with Riggs.

Cravings: Salad, red bell peppers, thin crust pizza, miso soup, stir fried veggies, ice cream, gummy candy. I can't give into that last one because if I do I won't be able to stop eating them! No self-control with some things haha.

Best Moment This Week: Hearing baby's sweet little heartbeat at my midwife appointment and making the ultrasound appointment.

Looking Forward To: Finding out the gender on Monday morning. I'm hoping baby will cooperate and be totally healthy. I'm so excited! I keep going back between thinking it's a boy and then thinking it's definitely a girl. I have pretty much no idea, I can't wait to finally just know.

Oh, a friend shared this crazy video with me about the changes that a woman's body goes through during pregnancy and I thought I'd share a link to it here, along with a photo of 17 weeks, which is where I'm at as of today. Pregnancy is such a miracle!

Friday, January 17, 2014

video: a glimpse of summer

I was really good about making little video compilations of Riggs' day to day life at the beginning of the year (here and here) but I fell behind during the warm and busy summer months. Here's your chance to get a little glimpse of summer, and of how cute Riggs from about 16-20 months :)

I recommend clicking over to Vimeo so that you can watch the video full screen and at the highest resolution. :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

365 photos of Riggs in 2013

2013 was the second year I attempted to do a 365 project for Riggs. I succeeded in taking a picture a day his first year, but the photo quality was not the greatest. So for 2013, my goal was to use my real camera (not my iPhone) 95% of the time.

I mostly succeeded in my goal, but I missed two days and I'm pretty bummed about the quality of some of the last couple months of photos. I just got so distracted during my early pregnancy woes and it makes me sad. But I'm still extremely proud of the entire project, and I grew so much in regards to my photography skills over the year. I love having this record to look back on of just the day to day of life with Riggs, and so I'm going to continue in a similar type project for 2014.

I'm going to do a picture a week for Riggs (so a 52 project) but I will do a 365 project for new baby when it arrives.

If you're interested in checking out the blog I keep for picture projects, feel free to click on over.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Riggs is two!

Sunday finally came and Riggs turned two. I woke up right around 5am to pee, and when I got back in bed and looked at the clock I realized that two years ago at that moment (5:10am) I was holding Riggs for the first time. Where has the time gone?

It was around 7am by the time Riggs woke up, and I quickly snatched him from his crib and brought him into bed with us to cuddle and watch videos on my phone of when he was just a teeny baby. He loved watching videos of himself, and Steve and I did too. How much he has changed and grown! But the funny thing is, even in those newborn days, we can still see so much of Riggs in that tiny baby. 

For breakfast Riggs had a birthday waffle while he watched Winnie the Pooh (his request). I think he ended up eating more whipped cream than waffle in the end, and after he was unable to blow out one of his candles, he started to get impatient with the whole candle-is-in-the-way-of-eating-his-food thing. So silly :)

We had a lazy morning around the house and skipped out on church since we had to head to Anchorage for Steve's massage and Riggs' party. Riggs slept the whole way into town and for a little bit in the Target parking lot after I dropped Steve off. When he woke up we ran our errands to Target and Costco for a few last minute party preparations.

After Steve's massage we were all hungry so we headed to Haru Sushi off Dimond for some food. All three of us are loving our Haru right now, especially Riggs, so it was the perfect place for his birthday lunch. He ate his entire miso soup with extra rice added in, and then a little bit of my fried rice. Little piggy!

It's so crazy to see him sitting there eating on his own like a big boy, I guess now that he's two years old I should expect to be shocked by his lack-of-babyness on a more regular basis.

After lunch we headed over to the Alaska Club South where we were having his party. We kept it small and only invited family (plus Sarah, David and Lyla because they're basically family) and everyone arrived between 4 and 4:30. We all suited up and headed to the pool to splash around, ride the waterslide and relax in the hot tub for a good hour and a half.

My camera fogged up so bad in the pool area so my pictures are pretty bad. But my dad managed to get some cute video for me with his GoPro. Thank you daddy! I think you should be able to see the video here, if you're interested :)

After pool time we dried off and went to the lounge area where we had some delicious croissant-lunchmeat sandwiches from Costco...they tasted amazing after working up an appetite swimming! We also had applesauce squeezes and juice boxes for the kids and we ditched cake or cupcakes and served Haagen Dazs ice cream bars instead (Riggs picked them out, switching from cream puffs at the last minute haha).

Looking back, I'm so glad that we decided to have his party at the gym. It really turned out perfect, everybody had a blast and set up/clean up was so so easy. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly as well, and I felt like it was a reasonable price for everything that was included.

Now that his party's over, I'm starting to wrap my head around the idea that my baby is two (and that we have another baby on the way!). I'm so looking forward to everything that this new year holds for our family: watching Riggs grow, adding another tiny member to our ranks, and thousands of memories just waiting to be made.

Monday, January 13, 2014

weekends go way too fast

Why is it that just when the weekend seems to start, it's already over? That's I always feel when Monday morning rolls around. 

Saturday I went skiing up at Government Peak Recreation Area with Sarah while her sweet mama watched our babies. It was so fun and refreshing to get out without worrying about keeping little fingers and toes warm.

It was also the grand opening of the new chalet so the ski area was packed with people. I love to see it thriving and doing so well - cross country skiing is such a great activity for the entire family. 

Other than that the weekend was spent lounging around together: playing, laughing, doing art projects and just some good old relaxing. Sunday we celebrated our sweet boy turning two, but I'll be writing a separate post about that soon.

Oh, also, I ventured into Target Sunday to pick up a few things for Riggs' party and I just happened to see these gorgeous sheets on a clearance end-cap. I love the simply shabby chic line at Target but I hate to pay full price for it. So whenever I find it marked down I'm thrilled. Especially when it's marked down over 60%.

They were a repackage but I checked to make sure everything was there and I figure I'll wash them anyway (obviously) so it didn't bother me too much. Yay clearance! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

five friday favorites

Oh my goodness I can't believe I have my stuff together enough to actually be sharing my five friday favorites for the week! It's been way too long and I have lots to share, so I'll get right to it!

Lately I've been trying to find meals that are nutritious, easy enough (don't require gourmet chef skills haha), and that don't break the bank when it comes to multiple trips to the grocery store for specialized ingredients. I've had a few misses (cauliflower crust was soooo an eww for me) but there have been some delicious results as well, all from recipes that I've pinned on Pinterest.


These were sooooo good, easy and pretty dang healthy! I actually used ground bison because Steve hates ground turkey, and this recipe is easy to modify based on ingredients you have around the house. These satisfied my comfort food craving but are mostly all vegetable, so it's a win-win. We were out of sour-cream and I think that would have made these just perfect.


This website has been such an encouragement and great tool for me so far this pregnancy. I'm really focused on staying fit and as healthy as possible during this pregnancy and so finding the stories of others who have done so and what worked for them has really been important to me.


These are gorgeous neutral choices and also would match the current colors in my house very well. I'm trying to find inspiration for what color/s to paint Riggs room, so daunting!


This cabin kitchen (and entire cabin if you click through the pinterest link) is just gorgeous and makes me crave the day when Steve and I can finally build our 'dream' cabin and have a quiet place to go relax and connect together in the woods. Growing up we spent so much time visiting my grandparents' off-the-grid cabin near Talkeetna (that looked a lot like the above picture, btw) and so many of my best memories are from those visits. I want that for my kids too, and for myself.


I love this quote because it's just so true. Sometimes I lose sight of how beautiful and magical the earth really is in the winter because it's so cold and dark. Yet there is so much music to be heard even on the coldest, darkest day of winter. I need to remember that.