Friday, April 28, 2017

Boy or Girl: Old Wives Tales

Tomorrow is the big day - our Gender Reveal Party!  This has been one of the things that I've been most excited about.  Derek and I found out almost a month ago through genetic testing and have been enjoying the news ever since.  

I'd browsed and browsed the old wives tales before finding out and couldn't wait to see if they were true or not so I thought I'd share today... 
Morning Sickness
Little girls aren't always sweet; nausea means your having a little girl.
Boy - There were a couple weeks of slight nausea and continuing if I'm hungry but definitely not bad by any means.

Baby's Heartbeat
If the baby's heartbeat is more than 150 times per minute, it's a girl.  Less than 150, it's a boy.
Girl - it's always been over 150.

Chinese Calendar
... Says Girl

Sleep Position 
If you prefer sleeping on the right side at night, you'll have a girl.  Left side and it's a boy.
Girl - I'm more likely to sleep to the right most of the time.

Food Cravings
Craving Salt? It's a baby boy.  Craving sweets? It's a little girl.
Girl - I wouldn't say too much craving but I've definitely been enjoying some ice cream and such.  

Mood swings and you're having a girl.  Keeping calm and it's a boy. 
Boy - I've been surprisingly calm, relaxed and worry less than I should.

Even and Odd
If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it's a girl.  One even and one odd, it's a boy.
Boy - it's 2017 and I'm 28.

Headaches? It's a boy.  No head pulsing? It's a girl.
Boy - not terrible  but I had my fair share of headache days for a couple weeks recently.  Either that or it could have been spring allergies!

Stella's Vote
We put two cards out on the floor - one saying "boy" and one saying "girl" each with a treat in front.  We let Stella go and watched which one she went to first.
Girl - she went right to the girl card without hesitation.  I guess she prefers pink toys to steal rather than blue.

Girl - 5 
Boy - 4 

Pretty even split!  Since we found out so early it wasn't as easy to guess because some of the old wives tales couldn't even apply yet.  We are both thrilled with the outcome and couldn't picture it any other way.

Check out my Instagram tomorrow to see or check back here next week - I'll share the gender and all the party details.  Happy weekend! xx 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pregnancy: The Early Weeks

Well, now that our big news is out in the open I can finally share my pregnancy notes from the early days.  I won't do these weekly, probably just once a month but I've always loved following along with other girls and think these are fun to read... 

Four Weeks (February 8th):
The day we found out our little family of three would soon be a family of four!
  • I got around to calling the doctor at a little over four weeks and scheduled an appointment for next Monday - prior to six weeks and earlier than I thought - I was excited.  
  • Going up to bed around 8-8:30 became the regular routine and I'd enjoy about an hour on my iPad or watching TV before Derek would come up to find me asleep with the electronics thrown around the bed.
  • Was still able to get my workouts in - usually a little shorter than normal to balance a nap AND workout in the afternoon free time.

Five Weeks (February 15th):
After my first doctor's appointment
Telling my parents - cupcakes with baby toppers and little booties in the middle (I'd ordered Ugg booties but because of the holiday they came one day too late)
& telling my brother too - the wine bottle label is easy to make.
  • Symptoms: Tired, Insomnia, Bloating
  • Noteworthy News: I had my first doctor's appointment to confirm things!  Not that they aren't nice in general but because of last time they are a little extra "on" and let me come a few days before six weeks (when they usually see you at my office) so I was excited about that.  Spent a couple days this week doing a little precautionary blood work just to make sure my HCG levels were rising properly.  They scheduled my first ultrasound for next week!
  • Best Moment:  We told my parents and brother!  It was nice to enjoy the first almost three weeks just knowing ourselves but I'm terrible at keeping secrets and couldn't wait to tell them.  They thought they were just coming over for Mexican but we had a special baby dessert and wine out on the counter waiting for them - Derek and I kept giggling until they noticed. 
  • This week we finally hit the more excited over nerves point and I was full swing into googling baby products, clothes, blog posts on pregnancy - anything and everything.
  • We made an overnight trip to New York which was fun but tiring - glad we stayed at Derek's old hotel where each room has a fireplace and fantastic bathtub - great for relaxing!  The bartender at dinner put my Shirley Temple into a martini glass - this cocktail loving girl was in heaven.

Six Weeks (February 22nd):
 Sharing the news with my best friend!  We told a few other friends this week and it's been great to have people to talk to and check in on how I'm doing.
Afternoon nap - Stella doesn't hate it either!  Once or twice a week I'll sneak about a half hour power nap - the other days I'll just take a little rest time on the couch to watch TV or read - afterwards I try to take Stella for at least a quick walk to wake back up - this really helps to stay awake for the evening hours.
  • Nausea isn't too bad (hopefully this stays!) unless I don't eat something within an hour of waking up - usually acts up in the evening too.
  • Not really any food cravings/aversions yet but right at about six weeks any "fancy" tastes I had went out the window and I was only wanting simple meals - bread, pasta!
  • Eating four meals per day instead of a handful of cereal along with dinner and lunch helps out a lot - I've made it a point to sit down for a small breakfast, eat a small early lunch, healthy afternoon snack when I get home and then dinner.
  • The weather this week has been the best - substituted most of my workouts for walks outside with Stella, not as long or fast as I usually do but it's better than nothing.  Having the weather as a pick me up helps to deal with the tiredness too!
  • Excited for: I'm looking forward to zero plans this weekend - a little relaxing and doing some new house preparations. 

Seven Weeks (March 2nd):
Our first peek at our sweet baby - big sister, Stella posing with the ultrasound.  
  • Symptoms: Nausea, tired, food aversions to anything unless it's plain
  • We had our first ultrasound this week! Derek was able to come and everything went great - after holding my breath they found the heartbeat - 144 - and I'm measuring one day ahead!
  • Meals contine to be super plain - pb&j and pizza over the weekend and some miso soup for The Bachelor - poor Derek, good thing he's getting out of town this weekend for a golf trip.
  • Last week I made sure to increase my water drinking to hit the levels I should be each day - Tracking it on the "My Water" app this week helps even more - It's almost like a game that I want to beat each day watching the levels rise as I log in a 16oz. glass of water each time.
  • Derek has been the best this week and every week.  I usually do most of the household items but he's definitely been helping out when I'd rather just sit on the couch - prepping our simple/small dinners and cleaning up after, etc.

Eight Weeks (March 7th): 
A late season snow this week - maybe our last as a family of three?
  • Nothing out of the ordinary this week - similar symptoms, less nausea - only when hungry and a low key week. 
  • A snow day this week was the best - a lazy day of relaxing with some hot sandwiches + soup is just what my tastebuds are looking for right now.
  • Excited for: We're leaving for Arizona on Thursday - ready for some time laying by the pool and mocktails to sip.

Nine Weeks (March 14th):
Enjoying the desert! Baby's first of many travels... 
  • Not much to report this week - most of the week was spent in sunny Arizona - so nice to enjoy warm weather and relax.  When naps in the afternoon by the pool are acceptable, yes!!! 
  • Between a girls night for the Bachelor finale, a snow day a few days ago and travel - I'm definitely missing wine/cocktails for the first time this week but have enjoyed some good mocktails - my favorite so far a peach lemonade mix. 
  • Excited for: My next doctor's appointment is next week - we get to hear the heartbeat and get the blood work done for the gender (!!!) amongst other things - this was my longest stretch of time without an appointment so it'll be good to get back.

Ten Weeks (March 21st):

All smiles after a good appointment and enjoying some snacks post blood work.  We went to Wendy's as a treat after - I was starving - and craving a frosty :)
  • Noteworthy News: Hearing the heartbeat! A strong heartbeat at 170 and it didn't take the nurse too long to find it.  All in all a good doctors appointment and lots of blood taken for the regular tests plus the genetic testing - I can't believe we'll know pink or blue in a week or so.
  • Best Moment: Sharing the news! We've been pretty quiet with it so far but after hearing the heartbeat the doctor told us to go ahead and do some sharing - we told many of our closest friends and a couple family members - wanting to make sure they save the date for the gender reveal party!
  • I've slacked on workouts this week (it's been freezing!) and have had trouble getting my sleeping back on track since getting back from Arizona - long naps at 4:30pm don't help and one night I was up until 3am trying to get to sleep!
  • Later this week my mom, Derek and I are setting out to buy something baby - anything.  I've been holding off on shopping until we got closer to the second trimester and after the doctor visit this week, I can't wait any longer! 
  • Excited for: My best friend is getting engaged this weekend!!! We're just going up to visit quickly but I'm excited for the celebration. 

Eleven Weeks (March 28th):
An amazing pedicure treat - I'd read somewhere that someone didn't get a pedicure their entire pregnancy so I waited until almost the end of the first trimester but my doctor assured me I was good to go.
  • A few headaches kicked in this week but other than that I really can't complain! Still going to bed early but feeling a little more energetic during the days - Hoping not to jinx myself but maybe my energy is slowly coming back???
  • We got out for a dinner date this week - just for pizza but with a busy month plus I didn't have the energy to want to go out so it was nice to get back to normal! I don't think I'll be going out for anything fancy, meat or seafood quite yet but think we'll bounce back to getting out more - the weather helps too! 
  • Excited for: Finding out the gender!! My blood work results should be in sometime next week and I can't wait to know if a he or she is joining the family!  

Twelve Weeks (April 4th):
Finding out the gender!! In the playroom at the new house.
  • I finally made it to the end of the first trimester (wahoo!) and the end of this longest pregnancy post ever! 
  • We got the genetic testing results back this week and are so thankful for a healthy baby - it was the best phone call.  We found out the gender this week too and are so excited!! Derek, my mom and I went shopping for pink or blue right after and it's so much fun buying the little clothes! 
  • The weather has been fantastic this week and is definitely giving me an extra little boost of energy.  I've definitely noticed a big difference in this past week as far as getting my energy back - I feel like a regular person again at the perfect time - just in time for spring.
  • Excited for: We have another ultrasound this week - last time was just at six weeks so I'm excited to see a bigger babe!

Thanks for reading along... shorter next time! xx 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Recent Finds: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is next week - conveniently, it falls on a Friday.  It's hard to believe that means May is just around the corner.  We're no strangers to celebrating this holiday and will probably celebrate with more than one Mexican meal next week plus gathering with friends for the main event.

Whether to actually use or use as a decoration this piñata would make a darling decoration.  We cook Mexican at home frequently but it's never anything elaborate - it would be fun to try a few things out of this easy to learn cookbook.  The silicone baking mat is my favorite item below.  You could make nachos right on it, pull it out of the oven and use it as a serving piece too.  There's plenty of time for shopping before next week... 

Thanks for stopping by! xx 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Blue/White Weekend

Happy Monday! We spent the weekend up in State College for Penn State's spring game - it was fun to be back in the tailgate lot and the stadium - I'm sure it'll be fall and the regular season before we know it.

We kept the tailgate simple with chicken nuggets, pretzels and a couple cheese spreads.  Of course some Penn State cookies for dessert.  It was just my parents, Derek and I - they enjoyed some beers while I mixed myself up a peach flavored lemonade.

The weather was most definitely not spring like but it was warm enough Friday night to eat on the patio at one of our favorite spots downtown and pickup a few little nittany lion outfits so we're ready come fall.   We took advantage of things being slightly quieter than a regular football weekend to hit a few other favorite places - Mexican for another dinner, waffle shop for breakfast before leaving yesterday and a little bit of shopping.

Enjoy your week! xx

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Picks: Tory Burch Spring Event

Happy Friday!

It's Tory Burch's annual "Spring Event" - this is a great time to stock up on classic favorites (miller sandals, etc.) or pick out a few cute things for the summer season. If you have a friend, sister or mom ordering too, combine orders to get the best discount! 

20% off $300+, 25% off $500+ and 30% off $700+ with code spring event through Monday.

A few of my favorite picks below...  With all the navy blue I love to wear, the maritime mismatched slide sandals were instantly added to my cart and the beach logo tote is the perfect color scheme for me too.  Another versatile piece for the summer season is the rattan clutch - it would go with everything! As a huge fan of the classic miller sandals, I like the new miller slide sandals too.  I've been eyeing this logo cross body for a while and with it being on sale + the sale event it's too good to pass up.  A pom cosmetic case is the perfect item to throw in your summer travel bag.

logo cross body (on sale + sale event)

Have a good weekend! xx 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Our Baby Story

Thank you all so much for the kind comments the past two days - we've been waiting a while to share this news and are overwhelmed with the kind words.

Finding Out:
We found out so early - just before 3.5 weeks and on the morning of my mom's birthday.  We had a friend visiting and we were going out to lunch for Mexican - I would have loved a margarita so I grabbed a test that morning just in case - a very faint line!  I ditched the margarita to be safe, while everyone slept in I ran downstairs to grab a wine bottle out of the trash, cleaned it out and filled it with alcohol free wine - luckily my mom's birthday dinner was at a BYOB.

Two days later and a line darker than the always there line on the test - I was pregnant, again! I took a digital test next and "pregnant" it was.  I waited until that night to tell Derek - keeping it quiet those three days was hard but I didn't want to get him excited again for no reason.  We went out to dinner to celebrate our news.

It was official! I was stunned how dark the pregnant line was and how quick it appeared - no waiting necessary.

The First Time:
I was blessed to get pregnant quickly this past fall, unfortunately it didn't stick - a chemical pregnancy - we knew for just two days (most girls don't even notice - it's so common!).

Soon after, I saw those double lines again - MUCH darker than before - I knew it was for real and was so excited.  I told Derek that night with cute holiday items as it was in December and we just couldn't believe it - we told a handful of friends and my parents.  Sadly, we lost that baby just before six weeks - a week before my 28th birthday, a week and a half before Christmas.  

Two more months later we were blessed with our little babe and are so thankful now!  I thought maybe I'd worry or be nervous or it wouldn't be the same but I've had a calm over me since the day we found out.  We definitely grew through our experiences and I really feel like it shaped the way for having our first child - I'm calm, filled with little worry, knowing that God is taking care of us and its in His time.  

Questions & Answers:
Gender? Yes! In fact, we already know! We found out early in April, just the two of us, through genetic testing and are having a reveal party with our families and friends next weekend!  

Traveling with baby?  Yes! Once the summer hits between the house and the baby we'll be done traveling just the two of us through the end of the year other than one more getaway.  We'll probably make our first trip as a family of three just into the new year for a family event and continue to travel after that.  Fun fact - my first flight was at 3 months too.

Travel Tips? We had a little bit of travel early on and I found that the vacation excitement/energy still kicks in but also do what you need - I'd slip away early to go to bed each night usually.

Mocktails?  As an avid wine/cocktail lover, I don't miss it AS much as I thought although I'd love a good glass of sauv blanc right now.  I've definitely enjoyed some mocktails though - shirley temple martinis, peach lemonade spritzers in Arizona, cider for my best friends engagement (in a champagne class of course)... I'm really just after a refreshing drink in a pretty glass.

Moving? We'll have a little over four months in the house just the two of us which is a great timeframe!  We'll have some time to setup and settle in without being rushed and we already have the nursery and playroom rooms all picked out.

Stella?  It's no secret that we treat our sweet pup like a baby so I 100% want to make sure she's happy, included and feels as loved as ever.  We joke that she definitely knows what's going on because she's been even more so loving/cuddly lately.

Favorites?  Buying all things little!  Now that we know the gender I am obsessed with buying baby clothes - I figured I'll treat myself now and buy a little bit while it's fun and not rushed then calm down a bit.  Plus there have been some great sales recently - too good to miss out! 

Football Season?  A baby in the fall means a baby right in the middle of football season, ha! We're expecting to make it to a few games at the start of the season, there's only one home game in October anyway and then the baby's first getaway will be up to State College for the final game of the year... We're still debating who will hang back up there and babysit, ha!  We definitely plan to bring he/she along the following year to tailgates and some games too.

Weekly Updates? No weekly but monthly I think - with a few tidbits from each week in there.  I have a post of the first 12 weeks with just little this & that things to share soon.  This blog won't be all baby, all the time but I have a few things to catch up on here right away then I think just monthly is easier to keep up with.

We are loving this journey so far! Thanks for stopping by! xx 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Baby Sotherden

Derek, Stella and I are so excited to share that Baby Sotherden is coming this fall!  I've successfully made it through the first trimester plus a few weeks and we are as happy as could be.  I can't believe the time has already come to share our news! 

I'll share more details tomorrow but things are going well! Finding out the gender was the most exciting day to date (we'll share soon!) and the first trimester was easy on me - I was ready for the morning sickness but it was mild at most.  I was more tired than I could ever imagine but doing much better now - luckily this fell during a quiet season for us. 

More tomorrow! xx 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Celebrations

Happy Monday - Today should definitely be part of the holiday too. We had a great Easter weekend - very low key, relaxing and with some great weather.

We kicked off the holiday festivities on Saturday hosting a little Easter Eve Happy Hour complete with a couple appetizers, wine and desserts.

We love hard boiled eggs for breakfasts and in our salads so dying them seemed appropriate... and fun/festive.

Yesterday it was our hottest day yet (80+ degrees) and we went to church, opened Easter baskets, ate a delicious brunch and a visit at my parents house.  Derek, Stella & I finished off the day with a walk and some time on the deck.

Easter Eve: Elsa Top
Easter Day: Dress (old), Earrings

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Life Lately

Fresh blooms for spring - I love having flowers around the house this time of the year.

A few of our favorites from Wegman's - makes serving up appetizers for cocktail hour easy.

With the weather warming up we've been getting onto some new trails and a new neighborhood dog park with Stella most days.

A trip up to Derek's family's farm in upstate New York.

Brunch is the perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday.

Have a good day! xx 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Masters Sunday

Happy Monday! Yesterday was the perfect spring day - sunny, high 60's and windows open.  Derek has had the Masters on our tv all week and yesterday was no exception.  I'll sit with him and usually do something else while he watches but if some of the younger guys do well or it's an exciting end like last night I'll pay attention too.  However, I can get on board with themed food - so we had a Masters spread for dinner and family over to enjoy.

We went with the typical Augusta menu - pimento cheese spread (with another flavor) and bruschetta to start along with egg salad sandwiches (and tuna/chicken salad too) and potato/broccoli/tortellini salad for the mains with a few bakery treats to finish up.  The food was out for a bit so people could just enjoy during the final holes of the tournament.

The tulips are some my mom dropped off from Wegman's last week and still going strong.  Just like for our tailgates, I love a good decorative toothpick for any occasion...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

House Inspiration: Family Room

We still have some time to go but as we get closer to our moving date I can't help but browse for new things.  We'll be taking most of our current furniture and using it to start and we'll definitely have more rooms to fill so some will just be empty to begin.  I plan on taking my time setting things up just the way we want so it'll be a while before the house is completed.

I love neutrals especially browns/tans/creams so similar to our house now much of the new house will be neutral.  (I love a good navy blue/white accent so we'll work on throwing that in too). 

One of the rooms that I know we'll do from the start with new furniture is the family room - the center point of the house and where we spend most of our time.  I'm envisioning most of the pieces below along with our entertainment center and an accent table which we'll hang those three mirrors above.  My plan is to have the sectional in the center of the room, two of the French accent chairs
for a seating area near our fireplace (copying off my Mom's house!) and two of the striped chairs on the other side of the sectional closer to the foyer.  We'll see how it all plays out though...

Have a good day! xx

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Looks for Less

Things are slowly starting to warm up around here a little bit - 60's - and I feel like I can walk out of the house without a coat.  I never buy too many or too pricy transitional items because it can go from cold to hot so quickly - you never know depending on the year.  Many things I've been wearing lately have a good price point and are easy to throw on for this spring season...

navy striped top (on sale for $11!) / booties 

teal pullover (I sized up to make it a flow top, could be more fitted)shoes (buy one get one 50% off) / scarf

And last but not least these flats are a great dupe for tory burch/chanel and just $19.99 or 50% off if you buy another pair too.

Have a good day! xx 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Easy Engagement Gift

'Tis the season for engagements, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings.  My best friend got engaged last weekend so I just threw together something little to take her - no better time to be excited about becoming a future mrs. then right after getting engaged.

I'm a big fan of personalized items for a new bride (closer to weddings I'm an even bigger fan of celebrating the bride to be's new monogram).  I made the champagne label myself but you could easily get one from etsy too. 

Many of these items could work for just about any of the events listed above...

personalized yankee candlemiscellaneous planners
  future last name wine glasscandy box
 she said yes cupspersonalized champagne bottle
engaged? that rocks napkinsbridal guide 

Happy Monday! xx