All posts by Lauren

Our Labor Episode Playlist

When we went on our hospital tour on Sunday, one of the best things that I found out about our delivery room is that the television has internet. You know what that means? Netflix! So on the way home, I told C that we should make a list of our favorite episodes of our favorite shows to have on in the background as I go through labor. It’ll be a great distraction, and hopefully bring about some laughs throughout the day.

Here are some of the episodes that will definitely make the list:

“Pawnee Rangers” from Parks and Rec

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Otherwise known as the first “Treat Yo Self” episode! I could watch this episode over and over again, just to see how uncomfortable Ben is with “relaxing” and how insane Tom and Donna are when they really treat themselves.

“The One With the Embryos” from Friends

While Phoebe trying to get pregnant with her brother’s baby (yep) is a big part of the episode, the larger part of the episode is the contest between Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey over who knows whom the best. Viewers learn a LOT about the weird quirks of these characters, including that the Lord of the Dance “scares the bejeezus” out of Chandler and that their TV Guide is delivered to Chanandler Bong.

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“The Delivery” from The Office

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Hey, if I’m in labor, I should probably commiserate with Pam Halpert as she gives birth to Cecelia. And the lead up to her going to the hospital is just hilarious–I love Jim Halpert as a nervous dad. And just Jim Halpert in general 😉

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Any recommendations for other episodes for this list?

 

 

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Treating the Pups for Their Birthdays

Sponsored post–powered by Brandbacker.

June is a busy month for C and I because both of our puppies celebrate their birthdays within 10 days of each other. And hey, they may be dogs, but they still love being celebrated! So we make sure to do special things for each pup, since every year that we have with them is precious.

Favorite Foods

Each of the pups has a favorite food. Linus loves pork, and Emmy loves…well, everything. So we make sure that they each get a special meal for their birthdays. And in true sibling fashion, the other gets to share.

New Toys

Linus plays HARD with his toys, so his favorite balls and rings often don’t have long lives in our house. So we try to get him at least one new toy for his birthday with fresh squeaks!

Treats that Keep Them Healthy

Every pup loves a good treat, and C and I really want our pups to enjoy their treats while making sure they’re really benefiting the health of the dogs. Zesty Paws offers two different treats and a salmon oil supplement that really help keep our pups in their best health.

The Zesty Paws Mobility Bites are great for the pups’ hips and joints. We were told recently that Emmy’s knees are not the best, so anything that we can give her to strengthen those joints makes both her parents and the puppy happy!

The Zesty Paws Omega Bites are just the right thing for Linus’ curly coat.

You know how people are always told to take fish oil? Apparently, it helps out dogs, too! Adding Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil to your dogs’ food is another way to support their skin and coats, leaving them both comfortable and looking fabulous!

The pups will be treated with all 3 of these for their birthdays…and everyday after!

Do you have any special birthday traditions for your pets?

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Weekending: Last One in June

Happy Monday, folks! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today I’m linking up with Biana to tell you all about mine!

Friday

I worked from home on Friday because I had brought my car into the shop on Thursday night. The screen hasn’t been working properly, which means the GPS is all jacked up. This ticks me off, since one of the reasons I got this car was for the GPS. Anyway, after borrowing my mom’s car and dropping my car off Thursday night, I find out early Friday morning that they can’t fix it. It can only be fixed by an actual Jeep dealership. SERIOUSLY?!?!!?!

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Sigh. So I had to wait until my mom was available to go and get my car back, and I made an appointment for July at an actual Jeep dealership to get things fixed. Oh, and I got stuck in traffic on my way home from the dealership. Grrrrr.

Friday night was definitely low-key. C and I ordered in some food and watched Parks and Rec.

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Saturday

Saturday morning, I was up early to meet one of my friends and her new baby boy for breakfast at Michael’s Cafe. I bought her an adorable lion onesie and a pair of matching shoes from Target for the little guy, and she bought me three books and a pacifier clip for Baby Girl.

After breakfast, my preggo self just had to make my way to the grand opening of Duck Donuts in White Marsh, Maryland.

I was there right when it opened was 35th in line. But y’all, it was totally worth it. I had a cinnamon sugar donut, and I bought C a glazed donut topped with bacon and salt caramel drizzle.

Saturday night, I made this recipe for barbecue chicken pizza for dinner (except we swapped out the pickled jalapenos for serrano chiles) and DANG was it delicious! Super spicy, but super delicious!

Sunday

Yesterday, C, my mom and I went on a tour of the hospital where Baby Girl will make her entrance into the world! It was great to see the delivery rooms (which are HUGE) and the Mother/Baby rooms. And I feel very secure now that I know the whole check-in and triage process. It’s so hard to believe that the next time I’m there, C and I will become parents!

How was your weekend?

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Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I’m once again sharing some of my favorite recent posts for:

“10 Healthy Ice Cream Recipes” from Chocolate-Covered Katie

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It’s officially summer which means that I’m more than officially ready for some ice cream (yup, totally already had some on Wednesday). But I’ll feel a lot better about myself if I can make healthier ice cream recipes. And it’ll give me an excuse to use my ice cream maker!

“Terrified of Happiness” from Venus Trapped in Mars

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Sometimes things are going so right in our lives that we just can’t believe that the floor isn’t going to drop right out from under us. I completely understand everything Sarah is writing about in this post, and I bet there are more than several of you out there who feel the same way!

“Hosting Ladies Night” from Martinis and Bikinis

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Nothing beats a good ladies night every once in a while! Just letting you hair down, gabbing with the gals and indulging in all sorts of yummy foods! This post has all the info that you need to throw a fantastic ladies night…just make sure to invite me when you do host one!

“Why Hammock Beach is the Perfect Getaway” from The Girl Who Loved to Write

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Maybe it’s because it’s summertime or maybe it’s because Chelsea’s pics are AMAZING, but I am now itching to go to Hammock Beach Resort. Just take a look at Chelsea’s post and tell me that you don’t want to go and book your plane ticket RIGHT NOW!

“What To Do In New Orleans When You’ve Got Kids” from Alabama Graffiti

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There’s 3 months to go until our little girl arrives, but I’m already planning to take her on plenty of vacations, including to the Big Easy! Laura provides so many great ideas, and now I’m more excited than ever to go!

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Weekending: Father’s Day Edition

Happy Monday folks! Well, I had a JAM-PACKED weekend, but managed to only take one picture (whoops). So I’ll have to fill in with other pics, but here’s how we celebrated Father’s Day all weekend long!

Friday Night

After a busy week at work, Friday night was spent at Harford Community College for NXT Live!

Yep, your girl went to her first wrestling match! Sure, it wasn’t WWE, but soon some of these folks that I watched Friday night could be taking the mainstage. It was really fun, and our seats were very close to the ring. One of the highlights, however, was the little kid sitting near me who was adding commentary to every match lol!

Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, C and I met my father and stepmother for lunch at the Blue Moon Cafe. You may recognize this place from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, where Guy Fieri ate their famous Captain Crunch French Toast. None of us had the french toast, but my pancakes were just DELICIOUS!

After a much-needed nap, the Father’s Day celebrations continued with dinner at The Bayou in Havre de Grace. We were able to get the last of their strawberry pie, and Tom Haverford would have been proud of my dinner choice of chickey-chickey-parm-parm (chicken parmesan):

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Sunday

Even though our little girl doesn’t arrive until later this year, I still gave C a new multitool for Father’s Day. And of course, he needed a Father’s Day card from the pups, too 😉

Mid-afternoon, we headed to my parents’ house for crabs, shrimp and corn on the cob. There’s not much better on a summer day than a meal like that!

How was your weekend? Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

 

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Ladies Who Link: Summer Plans

Now that it’s almost the official start to summer, I’m linking up with some fabulous ladies to discuss my summer plans!

Baby Shower

The most exciting event of the summer will for sure be my baby shower! I still have to wait until the beginning of August, but I’m seriously counting down the days!

Hospital Tour and Infant Care Class

In less than two weeks, C and I will take a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital where Baby Girl will make her entrance into the world. I feel like I’ve been to the hospital a million times for various appointments, but that particular section will be a whole new world!

We’re lucky that our hospital offers a variety of classes, and since this will be our first little one, we’re taking an infant care class. I’m a diapering pro, but these will be the first diapers changed for my dear husband. Although, considering the fact that he’s an origami whiz, I think he’ll catch on quickly.

Fourth of July Fun

We always have a great cookout at my in-laws’ house for the 4th of July, and C’s brother tends to go all out with food! I’m so excited to see what this year brings!

Finally… A Pool!

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law just bought a house with a pool! They’ve already told me that I should feel free to come over and take a dip anytime my hot and sweaty pregnant self desires this summer…and I will take them up on it!

What are some of your summer plans?

 

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What’s Hap-Pinning Wednesday: The Need to Organize

Happy Wednesday folks! Honestly, the nesting instinct for the mama-to-be is REAL. There have been so many things around our house that I’ve wanted to organize for so long, but I’ve kind of put them on the back burner. Now that Baby Girl is less than 100 days from making her appearance, I want these things organized, and it needs to be NOW!

Load Up the TV Cabinet

About a month ago, C and I brought my old TV cabinet from my parents’ house to our house. It’s beautiful, which is great aesthetically, but what’s even better is  that it has a ton of deep drawers. I seriously need to fill these up with some of the items in our home that just don’t seem to have their own place.

Figure Out the Laundry

Someone gave us an awesome 3 basket laundry cart for a wedding gift…but C and I had already bought one before the wedding. Now there are two large laundry carts taking up a lot of space in our narrow hallway. So either one of them has to go, or one needs to go into the basement where the actual washer and dryer are located. And most importantly, the laundry needs to stay off the floor, even though our little pup loves making the dirty clothes into a nest.

Soooooo Many Kitchen Things

Remember last week when I wanted to win the lottery so that I could have a bigger kitchen? Well, I didn’t win the lottery, so I need to figure out how to organize the many kitchen items that we have. C is putting up a pot rack, which should help a little, but other than that, we really need to find some nooks and crannies to fit 10,000 mugs.

Do you have any good organizing tips for me?

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Show Us Your Books: May to June

Another month, another pathetic showing of reading. But I’m determined to really buckle down to reading this summer, especially since I’m joining up for Erin’s Book Challenge! However, he’s the book I did get under my belt:

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (3 Stars)

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This book had its ups and downs. I was intrigued by the premise of a couple using a sperm donor in order to get pregnant and then finding out that their donor might be a serial killer. Pretty shocking, right?! But I felt as though there was a LOT of exposition to this book and then by the time we started building to the climax, there were a lot of weird twists thrown in, some of which just seemed a bit too much. But still, it kept me reading!

Did you read anything great this month?

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Book Challenge by Erin 7.0!

Readers of this blog know that I’m a HUGE fan of a challenge, so when I read in Ashley’s post about the Book Challenge by Erin, I knew I was in!

First off, here are the rules:

· First and foremost, have fun. Don’t stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it’s an accomplishment for you, then that’s awesome.

· The challenge will run from JULYY 1, 2017 to OCTOBER 31, 2017. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count. (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)

· Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audio books are fine too.

· A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the book you originally chose, no worries.

· You can read your books in any order you choose.

· Rereads can be used only once. If a book you love fits into a category, go ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety. But, only do this once for the challenge.

· There will be a photo album for each category with links to books chosen. Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them. A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation…other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice. (if you need help with this, let me know…or there is a file attached to our group explaining what to do.)

· There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points. That’s 10 books in four months. For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy. It’s all for fun, remember!

· Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation.

· After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible). If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other. (Late entries will still be accepted.)

· The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. The following will get a small prize from me (1st to complete 1st round; 1st to complete both rounds; most points accumulated; and WILD CARD random draw – all who finish the 10 book challenge will qualify as an entry!) Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!

· Lastly, have fun. Don’t stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it’s an accomplishment for you, then that’s awesome. Wait, I’ve read that somewhere before…Good luck!

And now comes the fun part…picking out the books!

5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson–It’s a psychological thriller that I’ll probably want to read over my lunch hour instead of right before bed, but I can’t wait to delve into it!

10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue–This book came blogger-recommended, so I can’t wait to see how I like it!

10 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) yellow cover

Approval Junkie by Faith Salie–While the cover on Goodreads isn’t yellow, the paperback that I received from Blogging for Books definitely is.

15 points: Read a book that has a picture of an animal on the cover (submitted by Mattie)

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase–There’s a bird on the cover, so it totally counts!

20 points: Read a book that was published in 2017 (submitted by Olya)

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen–Apparently, thrillers are heavy on my TBR right now.

20 points: Read a book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title (submitted by Mary)

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid–I’m VERY excited about this one!

25 points: The ALA’s “Banned Books Week” occurs while our challenge is happening. Read a book from this list of the most commonly banned books in America: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_most_commonly_challenged… (submitted by Christina)

Fun Home: An American Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel–I’m obsessed with the Broadway musical, so I’d love to finally read the book!

30 points: Read a fictional book about mental illness (submitted by Jamie); several helpful links: http://bookriot.com/…/…/100-best-books-about-mental-illness/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_illness_in_fiction; https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/mental-illness-fiction

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini–I used  to shelve this book all the time when I worked at a bookstore, and I never stopped to see what it was about. Now I’m intrigued!

30 points: Read a book with a non-human main character; i.e. animals, elves, gods, robots, merpeople, etc. (submitted by Bev); helpful links: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/non-human-characters; https://www.goodreads.com/…/99906.Books_with_Nonhuman_Chara…; http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/…/the-33-best-books-wit…/3704

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley–This reminds me a bit of the historical fiction version of the movie Powder…but we’ll see!

35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie (submitted by Kirsten); Don’t forget to check that the book is at least 200 pages: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php…; https://www.goodreads.com/…/11716.Books_Turned_Into_Disney_…

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot–Love the movie, so why shouldn’t I finally read the book?

Who wants to read along with me??

 

 

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What’s Hap-Pinning Wednesday: If I Win the Lottery

Tonight I find out whether my coworkers and I have won the lottery 😉 The likelihood is not that great, but hey, a girl can dream!

One of the things I would do if I won the lottery would be to either buy or build a house. So obviously I look through Pinterest in order to find ideas for a dream house. There are 3 must-haves and 1 dream-have that would be in my perfect home.

Big Kitchen

I dream about a luxuriously spacious kitchen! So I would love an island in the middle of the kitchen, and I would ADORE a huge sink like the one in this pin:

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When it comes to storage, I love the idea of extra cabinets and drawers, like these:

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Master Bathroom

Currently, our house has 1 bathroom for the both of us. And consider the fact that I used to have two additional roommates, and soon we’ll have a daughter. So in my dream home, we will have a bangin’ master bathroom with both a shower and an incredible tub like this:

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Finished Basement

Obviously, my husband deserves a man cave, so I want him to have a rockin’ finished basement. It would be especially great to have a bar and kitchen area in the basement, and of course, room for a huge couch and big TV.

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Library

Ever since seeing Beauty and the Beast when I was 10, I’ve wanted a library of my own, complete with tons of books and a sliding ladder. Of course, this is the “dream-have” but if that lotto ticket has the right numbers, I’ll be looking for one of these:

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What would be in your dream home?

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