What's Up Wednesday- April 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What we're eating this week... we're really on the go this week, so nothing super interesting! :)

What I'm reminiscing about...
Traveling to Italy last summer! I've been deep in trip planning for our 17 days across the pond at the end of summer taking our new baby to meet family in England.. we're also going to Switzerland and Italy. We're getting more and more excited as the trip grows closer. Last night we tried to pick what we're most excited for, and outside of Italian food ;), we agreed that changing the whole pace of how we see things to accommodate for traveling as a family is what we're feeling so pumped about! We always have so much fun traveling together and can't wait to add our babe into the mix. I love how when you're in a new place, even ordinary things become sweet memories. This morning Ben said "is it weird that I remember Italian continental breakfasts really fondly?" Haha!! (see our travels here)

What I'm loving... 

Rainy days excluded, I'm loving Spring weather! Usually Spring is just kind of meh to me.. but the grass turning extra green, the flowers blooming, the sunshine out... it's reminding me of how this time of year is always filled with fun and celebration, and soon Ben being home for the summer!

What we've been up to... 

Last Friday was our home group's now annual murder mystery party, SO MUCH FUN. I'll admit I was on the fence about doing one before the first time we did it.. but when you have a group of people who aren't afraid of being too cool to get into it, it's such a blast. Plus having an excuse to dress up in a theme is so fun. I was kinda limited with my costume this year, but wearing all black plus a few crazy accessories worked out. Oh, and I should probably mention that it was an 80s prom theme. :) Haha! 

What I'm dreading... Last month I answered this question saying that I was imagining that the last few weeks of pregnancy will be pretty miserable and uncomfortable. I'm sure things can still go downhill, but with the exception of a few random days, I'm still feeling pretty good! I'm so grateful. I almost can't remember how sick I was for the first 20 or so weeks of pregnancy, it's funny how you forget!

What I'm working on... 

Here's one last nursery sneak peek before the grand reveal that no one probably cares about but me, haha! I've added quite a few things since this photo, but the other morning the light was so nice in the nursery I just had to snap this pic. (see my decorating progress here)

What I'm excited about... I'm obviously going to listen to my body and do what's healthy post baby, but I am SO excited to get back into shape. It feels like a whole new challenge and I'm ready for it! It's so weird, but I genuinely can't remember what it feels like to not have a giant baby belly any more. I do think I'll miss feeling baby movement, but holding him in real life will be better. :)

What I'm watching/reading... I just started The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. The very beginning didn't hook me though. I'll pick it up again eventually, but I'm not there yet.

What I'm listening to... I never have an answer to this question, haha! This is so weird to people, but I rarely listen to music!

What I'm wearing...  This question always makes me think that I should take more mirror selfies, which is pretty silly, haha! This is a boring answer but these days I'm wearing the same pair of maternity jeans with whatever shirts still fit and don't look weird, haha! I also have a few dresses that are going strong. SO weird that in just a few weeks everything will be changing.

Same outfit.. same day. VERY different angle. :) 

Next month I'll be hopefully wearing the dress above! When I was in Lilly a few weeks ago I got a sneak peek at the new summer stuff and this dress is absolutely going to be ordered by me the second it releases!

What I'm doing this weekend... we have a family birthday party, and a Sunday lunch to celebrate Mother's Day early with extended family!

What I'm looking forward to next month... I mean, nothing too big!!!!! ;)  JUST KIDDING!! I'm of course looking forward to whatever day in May I get to meet the little boy who will make me a mama!

What else is new... we're pretty much in 100% baby waiting world over here. It's hard to not talk about anything else. I will note that I read a line in a baby care book I was refreshing myself on last night.. it basically said that the world doesn't stop when you become a parent, and that it's important for your child that you remain a committed spouse, friend, daughter, whatever after birth. LOVE that!!!

What I am giving (or want to receive) for Mother's Day... Will being 38 and a half weeks pregnant this Mother's Day make it count as my first? :) I think it should, haha! Or maybe #SweetBabyStrader will make an early appearance, THAT would be the best gift I could possibly ask for... currently my father in law keeps guessing that!

My Go-To Recipes: Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

Monday, April 25, 2016

In the three and a half years that Ben and I have been married/I've been out of college, I have fallen into a rhythm with our recipes. Especially when it comes to entertaining, I've discovered how important it is to have recipes that you can count on to always turn out great, even when you're in a hurry. With some of these, I've memorized the steps and recipes. Many of them Ben has made for me when I haven't been feeling well. They're our tried and true, and I thought it would be helpful to start sharing those recipes with y'all. 

First up is the one that has overtime become my requested dish at family gatherings. I always feel so great about watching my brother in law scoop loads of the banana pudding onto his plate, and always accepting the leftovers to take home when I offer them. :) We served this at our gender reveal party, which is where the photo above is from. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as our family has! 

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding 
(originally found here)

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
Small box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy whipping cream
Box Nilla Wafers
4 sliced bananas (make sure they are ripe!)

In the bowl of a mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for about a minute.  Add the pudding mix and beat for about two more minutes.  Transfer to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. (I've also been known to pop this in the freezer for 30 minutes in a pinch!)

In a large bowl on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until fully combined and no streaks of pudding are visible.
In a large bowl (or trifle dish, or large disposable tupperware.. I've used them all!), layer wafers, bananas, and pudding until you have 3 or 4 layers.  End with pudding and decorate with crushed wafers on top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. I think it is better refrigerated overnight (the wafers become soft and everything starts to meld together).

What are y'alls go to recipes for entertaining? 

Friday No. 35

Friday, April 22, 2016

No. 1

This may be silly, but I ordered this dress  this week and I'm giddy for it to arrive. It's such a classic style, & I think looks more expensive than it is. I love dresses and can't wait to throw this on easily in the summer!

No. 2

On Saturday I visited the cutest little monogram shop in Dallas, The Loveliest. I ended up not getting anything, I was kind of trying to force it though because I have my eye on this pineapple monogram, big time!

No. 3

Tonight our home group has an 80s prom themed murder mystery party.. and we are so excited! I've been trying to master the Kelly from Saved by the Bell bangs swoop for the occasion. I can't wait to share photos from this!

No. 4

We got our maternity photos back this week and I can't skip this being a favorite thing from the week.. we are so happy with the amazing work of Dyan Kethley! I took this as an opportunity to order some prints and am already so excited for them to arrive!

No. 5
 If you've been reading my blog for any time at all, you may know of my dedication and love to the Emily Ley Simplified Planner, haha! I've tried other planners and truly.. nothing compares to the Simplified Planner for me! They released all the new planner covers and versions for next year, and I think I'm going to switch to the weekly version. I love my daily right now, but I think that for my first full year of mama life, the weekly might serve me better. Does anyone have any thoughts? It seems silly but maybe you gals are planner people like me and may be able to help me make this decision.  The weekly spread is pictured above, and it comes in white, navy, fuchsia, & turquoise. Which color do you think is most me? HELP! Haha! 

All of my Friday posts can be found here.

36 Weeks

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How Far Along: 36 weeks

Baby Size: the size of a head of lettuce and approximately 6 pounds! I got that info from our app, and it's crazy but I believe it! We actually have a sonogram today and will find out #SweetBabyStrader's actual weight.

Weight Gain: I actually caught a glimpse of the scale at the doctor last week, and I think I've hit a much smaller weekly increase than I was for a few months. Praise for a healthy baby and a healthy mama!

Just for fun.. I found this selfie I had taken pretty early on in my pregnancy when I was DESPERATE to be showing.. I remember being like "look at my baby bump!!" This is now pretty comical considering the actual size of my bump, haha!

Stretch Marks: I think I have one tiny little one on the side of my belly, but I'm not stressed about it at all!

Sleep: Still doing great! Every 10-14 days I'd say I have one night where I don't get very good sleep, and that night always ends up before a busy day, haha! But I'm so grateful this hasn't been an issue.

Maternity Clothes: Honestly I feel like I'm wearing my few maternity staple t-shirts less and less. Swing dresses and flowy tops from pre pregnancy have been doing just fine, and I think will keep me going this last month. Actually, I know they will... because I'm stubborn on not wanting to spend money on clothes that will be worn for such a small amount of time.

Gender: Boy! I won't lie there is a small bit of fear that when we go in for our sonogram today he won't be a boy any more, but I'm sure we'll be just fine. :) It's crazy how much knowing the gender has allowed us to feel like we're connecting with our baby.

Movement: Baby boy is constantly moving and grooving. I feel the rolling movement so often, and I love it. Can't wait to snuggle my baby!!

Best Moment This Week:  I'm REALLY excited about our appointment today. We're going every week now, and we haven't had a sonogram since 20 weeks when we found out our baby's gender. He will have grown so much, and I'm really looking forward to knowing how big he is, and just getting more prepared for his arrival from talking through things with our fantastic doctor. Ben's taking a half day too, and I can't get enough time with him lately!

Looking Forward To:  GIMME THAT BABY!!!

Food Cravings: Water and fruit.. I can't say it's a "can't fight this!!!" craving but it's what always sounds good. And lettuce. Clearly baby wants hydration.

Anything making you queasy or sick: not really, praise!

Labor Signs: I feel my hips separating which is so exciting but also really really weird. It's amazing what God has created our bodies to do!

Symptoms: Hip movement, and acne is back.. womp womp!


Our Maternity Photos

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A few weeks ago we met up with the amazingly talented Dyan Kethley for our maternity session. We are so lucky to have worked with so many wonderful photographers, but Dyan has made me officially want all of our photos shot on film- forevermore! I couldn't recommend the work of this talented lady enough. She made us feel like a million bucks. :)

The Amalfi Coast

Monday, April 18, 2016

I can't believe that our trip to Italy was almost a year ago! I also can't believe that there are still loads of things about the trip that I haven't shared. :)

One of our favorite days of the trip involved exploring the Amalfi Coast. Our day consisted of a jolly Italian driver picking us up from our hotel in Naples, and driving us down the coast. We stopped in Sorrento, Positano, & Amalfi. I had forgotten how beautiful these places were until I looked back on these photos for this post. While we were there, we pretty much just wandered, which can be the best way to travel! We also ate lots of fruity snacks. Fresh lemon granitas overlooking beautiful Positano? The answer is always yes. :)

From what I remember, Sorrento isn't actually part of the Amalfi Coast, but it's own Sorrento Coast. I knew very little about this spot but our driver was insistent upon us stopping there. It was beautiful and we loved exploring the streets of this charming city.

One thing that was really neat about having a driver is that we stopped at many scenic overlooks. And just driving around the curves of the coast was an experience in itself. We stopped first at a view of the Sorrento Coast.

These first images remind me of how much we saw on this trip. I remember that this stop was pretty, but I don't remember being particularly consumed by it. Now I look back and am so overwhelmed by how beautiful the view was! Our perspective was probably messed up after seeing the most beautiful places in the world day after day for 17 days (this being one of the last of the trip!) Sad, but true, we had gotten used to expecting beautiful views!

After exploring Sorrento, we drove to Positano, the city I was most looking forward to. The overlook leading down into Positano was breathtaking!

Remember what I said about granitas? YUM. 

We stopped for lunch in Positano, man I miss Italian food!

Positano was beautiful, and I think we would have loved to have been able to stay there for a night or two, enjoying the beach and the windy streets. 

Our last stop of the day was the charming Amalfi! I remember by this point of the day we were exhausted, so we just leisurely wandered, ate a snack, and enjoyed the water!

There is an 8x10 of this photo hanging above my desk and I love seeing it every day. If we're honest, it's about to be replaced with our sweet baby's face.. but I do still LOVE the image!

Cheers-ing to beautiful Amalfi! :) 

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