Baby Girl Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery
Baby Girl Nursery

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List
Summer Bucket List

Drugstore Beauty

Drugstore Beauty
Drugstore Beauty

She's Here!


She's finally here!

Hadley Elizabeth arrived on Saturday evening, June 25th, at 7:16pm (41 weeks and 2 days).  She is 7 pounds, 14.1 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  Everyone is happy and healthy and so in love!

Her birth went pretty perfectly with 17 hours of labor, as did our hospital stay, and we were able to come home on Monday afternoon.  I very narrowly avoided an induction - it was scheduled for 5am on Monday - and am just so, so thankful that she decided to come on her own!  She is seriously the sweetest baby and I am starting to feel better myself, recovery-wise.  I can't wait to share her birth story next week, but for now just wanted to pop in with the good news and wish you all a wonderful holiday weekend!

If you want to follow along for an overload of baby, my Instagram is @ka5ohare and my Snapchat @kavanderploeg :) Be safe and have a very happy 4th!

53

Friday's Five

Image via

Fri-YAY!  I am so very happy to see today - it has been a long week of basically waiting around by myself, and now I'm thankful that I'll have Nick home all weekend to wait around with me ;)  What do you guys have planned?  Since this is for sure our last weekend just the two of us - my doctors office won't let me go past 42 weeks - I really want to take advantage of it.  Date nights and having fun and playing with Brady and also sleeping as much as possible.  I'm giving up on all of the crazy 'tricks' to go into labor, and am just going to enjoy the down time.  Hope you have a fun weekend ahead, too!

+ Have you heard that Victoria's Secret is discontinuing their swimsuit line?!  Whyyyy?  This makes me so sad, it's been one of my two go to spots (other one being here, of course) for swimsuits for pretty much forever.  They do have a m-a-j-o-r sale going on right now though, as in $4.99 bottoms!!  Check it out here - sale ends Monday.

+ Monika Hibbs can do NO wrong, especially when it comes to home decorating.  Her baby daughter's nursery is seriously drool-worthy.

+ I ordered this dress for Nick's rapidly approaching 30th birthday BBQ (in the denim)!  Fingers crossed it fits the postpartum body... I have no idea what to expect with that.

+ Loved Kristina's post on sunscreen this week.  It is sooo important to wear SPF every day and I loved her opinions and advice as a derm PA.  I ordered this one that she recommended and can't wait to try it out.

+ And I couldn't leave it out... the Shopbop sale is still going strong!  A couple of my favorites: this white ruffled dress (want so bad), these lounge pants would be on major repeat, and a denim tank by BB Dakota that I've had my eye on for so long.  Happy shopping :)

16

41 Weeks

Picture stolen from my actual due date on the 16th on our way out the door to what we thought was our last doctors appointment, ha!

Definitely not a post I had planned on or hoped to write... but here we are!  41 weeks and counting.

I don't want to be a downer here, but I do want to document all of this for my sake soooo not going to lie or sugarcoat things, yesterday I was in a MOOD.  Feeling all sorts of sorry for myself for still being pregnant.  I think it's exacerbated by the fact that I know quite a few people due in June - both in real life and blog life - and yesterday fourrrr of them gave birth.  And every single one was due after me.  So social media was not my friend yesterday :)  Of course I'm so so so happy for them and it's so exciting and it's not pretty to admit, but seeing those posts was like a stab in the heart.  I cried and let myself feel badly, but I got over it (getting ice cream last night helped) and luckily today I'm feeling so much better.  I have a doctors appointment this afternoon and I'm hoping to come out of that with a plan for how to get this baby OUT!

How far along: 41 weeks, 0 days

Gender: Hopefully still girl ;) We had an ultrasound on Monday, but couldn't get a good shot of the anatomy... although the ultrasound tech said she was 99% sure last time.

Weight Gain: I've pretty much leveled out since 34 weeks at 30 pounds.  Some weeks I've gained a couple, and then the next week I've lost a couple which I think is strange, but my doctor has reassured me this is normal, especially at the end.

Maternity Clothes:  Yes and they barely fit anymore!  I can't wait to burn this stuff here soon.  (Just kidding, I'll keep it for next time, but I'll be the happiest person when I pack it all away!!).

Stretch Marks: I honestly can't tell.  My stomach looks wild right now - it's hard to tell the difference between veins and/or possible stretch marks!  We'll see soon :)  I've religiously used this stuff and it's been the best.

Movement: It's definitely slowed down in the last week and a half.  There's just no room left.  I have a non-stress test this afternoon to make sure she's still okay in there.

Sleep: As to be expected at 41 weeks.  I get up every two hours to pee - the pressure is insane, I have to pretty much run to the bathroom - and readjust because my hips hurt.  Luckily I'm able to fall back asleep pretty quickly.  And I'm SO HOT at night.  I crank the AC down and have the fan going, but I still sleep with no covers on.

Workouts: If you count walks, yes!  Lots and lots of walks.  Brady is lovin' it.  They are certainly not comfortable and are super slow, but I'm basically trying to walk this girl out.  

Cravings/Aversions: Give me all the fruit and all of the beverages.  Obsessed with slushies and juice and I pretty much consume an entire watermelon a week.  So good and so refreshing in this heat!  No aversions, thankfully.

Labor Signs: Ugh.  Not really.  A little crampy here and there, but nothing consistent.  I was 1cm and 70% effaced for about a month, and on Monday she stretched me out to 2cm (that felt good) and said that I wouldn't be making it to my next appointment (today).... but here I still am.  I've never even felt a contraction or Braxton Hicks.  And trust me, I've tried alllll the tricks!

Symptoms: #overit.  Haha no, but hip pain still and just a general uncomfortable feeling.  Anxious for how labor is going to go down.  Joint pain in my fingers.  They seem to be a little swollen (only at the joints) which is weird and I miss wearing my rings.  Also, I'm pretty sure my feet have gotten bigger?!  Is that a thing?  My feet aren't really swollen at all, but it's almost like they've gotten wider.  All of my shoes are SO uncomfortable.  I just ordered these to wear around the house/for casual wear this summer, because my sandals right now just aren't going to cut it.

Nursery: Done :)  Check it out here!

Mood: Still all of the feelings.  Excited/terrified/anxious/emotional... just want to get this show started.  It's been really hard to just 'wait' all week and have too much time to think about how things are going to go down.

Also, feeling nervous about the fact that an induction is probably in my future.  I'd love to hear your stories/advice/recommendations if you've had one.  Of course it's not how I had the whole going into labor thing pictured in my head, but it is what it is and at this point I just want her out.  Especially because at our growth scan on Monday, they estimated her at 8lbs, 13oz already!!  Praying that is off by a pound (or two), ha!

Make sure to follow along on Instagram - @ka5ohare - and Snapchat - @kavanderploeg - and hopefully I'll have some good news to report here soon :)

47

Last Month of Pregnancy To-Do's


The last month of pregnancy... the end is near, but the days are long.  So very long.  Luckily, there are a bunch of things you can do to stay busy and help the time pass!  I rounded up 14 must do's for the last month of your pregnancy - some of them are common sense, but blame it on pregnancy brain if you forgot, and some you'll just be plain glad you did once that baby arrives.  Be sure to let me know if I missed anything, since I'm still pregnant and all...

Get To Know Your Insurance Plan
Let's start with the most boring of them all!  It's good to learn the in's and out's of what's covered during your pregnancy and hospital stay, because it ain't cheap.  If you have a large deductible or co-pay, it's nice to start setting aside money so it's not such a shock when that bill comes.

Find a Pediatrician
Get recommendations from friends/family of healthcare providers in the area and it is probably a good idea to call or meet with them to make sure they're a good match for what you're looking for.

Nail Down Maternity Leave/Childcare
If you're working, this is a good idea to have all figured out before you leave to have that baby - any paperwork that may need to be filled out, etc. - so everyone is on the same page!  And of course, you'll want to take your time finding the perfect person/place to watch your baby after you go back to work.

Install Car Seat
Just make your husband do this one ;)  They won't let you leave the hospital without a car seat installed.

Assemble the Baby Gear
The pack n play, the bouncer, the stroller, the swing, the bassinet, the rock n play, the monitor... there is a lot of stuff that needs to be put together (and don't forget buying batteries!), and it will probably be a heck of a lot easier to do it before you have the baby at home with you.

Pack Hospital Bags
Have those bad boys ready to go for anytime after 37 weeks.  You can see what we have packed in ours here.

Have a Birth Plan
It can be as simple as 'get an epidural' (mine haha) or a detailed outline of how you'd like the big day to hopefully go.  If nothing else, research your options so you can make informed decisions while you're in labor.

Date Night(s)
Get in all the date nights you still can without having to pay a babysitter!

Stock Freezer/Household Supplies
Go all out at Costco.  Fill that freezer with staples that can be made into easy meals for after you're back home and just buy all the toilet paper/paper towel you could need so you don't have to worry about it later.  If nothing else though, there is....

Amazon Prime
Sign up for the best thing that's ever going to happen to you! ;) Free, two day delivery is a beautiful thing.  We JUST got it a month ago and you can check out my thoughts on it so far here.

Tour the Hospital or Birth Center
We did this since we just moved here a year and a half ago and aren't too familiar with the hospital and I think it was SO beneficial.  It takes one less stress off of the day now that we know right where to park, where to go in the hospital and are familiar with the rooms we'll be staying in.

Wash Babies Clothes
The cutest loads of laundry you'll ever do :) Wash a few pieces to get baby started when they get home (and of course, their going home outfit) and also any blankets/towels/sheets they'll be using. 

House Deep Clean
Do it yourself (nesting is real) or have someone do it for you, but either way, you'll be thankful you did after you're home with the baby because cleaning is probably about to take a serious backseat on the to-do list.

Pamper Yourself
Saving the best for last!  Get a mani/pedi, blow out, massage, a new outfit... whatever you want, just treat yourself, because you totally deserve it, lady!

19

Summer Is HERE!

My favorite time of the year has officially arrived.

Long days, warm nights, campfires, ice cream, grilling, swimming... I mean, these are some of the best things in life, right?  It has been super warm here for June so even though yesterday was the technical first day of summer, I feel like it's been here for a while now.  I've rounded up a few of my warm weather must haves, all essentials to get you through the best season of the year.  I just need this baby to get here already so we can really get our summer fun started!


1. & 2.  Sunscreen: This Coola brand comes highly recommended and a pina colada scent is always enough to sell me.  I also mentioned previously that I was on the hunt for a great face SPF and have decided to try this one by La Roche Posay.  I'm a huge fan of their face wash, so it seems only natural to try the sunscreen.  It has great reviews, too.

3. Sandals: Beach sandals need to be three things - slip on, waterproof and easy to clean.  These Tory Burch Miller ones fit the bill in every way.  Plus they come in tons of fun colors!

4. Beach Towel: This popular John Robshaw Alabat beach towel is back from last year, so grab it while you still can.  I'm also intrigued by these round beach towels that seem to be everywhere - how pretty is this one? 

5. Good Music: Just laying out at the beach or pool can be a bit boring after a while, so good music (and a good book!) are definitely necessary.  The SunnyLife BeachSounds is both an AM/FM radio and has an AUX cable to be able to play music from your car or phone.  Plus it opens up into a little storage compartment which is nice and it's under $50 so it would make for a great gift.

6. Beach Bag: Obviously!  I am obsessed with these Mar y Sol bags this year (as is everyone), but this pom pom bag from Target is SO similar and adorable at a fraction of the price.

7, Sunglasses: I prefer cheap sunglasses when I'm at the beach because there is a very good chance I'm going to break them, leave them there, or lose them in the water.  Nordstrom's BP makes an awesome selection of cheap sunglasses and they actually hold up really well.  These knock off Ray Bans are only $12 and come in a bunch of colors!

8. Pool Float: Because this floating swan would make for great Instagram pictures, of course ;)

9. Sun Hat: It is so so so important to keep your face out of the sun.  I learned that the hard way after getting two identical dark spots on my face after our Hawaiian honeymoon.  I'm still working to get rid of them, so it's better to just prevent this stuff with a good sun hat and sunscreen.  This Phase 3 hat is currently 40% off!

10. On The Go Makeup: This Wanderleur blush + illuminator stick is constantly selling out, so you know it's good.  It's easy to throw in your bag for touch ups on the go.

And don't forget your swimsuit!  I rounded up a bunch of my favorite one pieces (for under $100) here and speaking of one pieces... for my tall friends: did you know that J. Crew is now making 'long torso' options?  Check them out here!  Happy Summer :)

22

The Weekend of the Smoker

Alternatively titled 'still here, still pregnant' and I don't even dare claim this as our last baby free weekend as who knows when this lady is going to show up!

40 weeks and 4 days and still going strong.  I really, really thought she was going to be early, but apparently she runs on her own schedule already ;) Although I am thankful I got to be able to be home to nurse my first baby back to health - I'm happy to report that Brady boy is feeling MUCH better!  He's still on a modified diet, but the throwing up has stopped and he's back to his normal, playful (mischievous) self again.

One of my favorite OPI polishes, don't mind the fact I desperately need a manicure!

We did still manage to have a good weekend, despite all of the (im)patiently waiting we've been doing.  Although I will admit that Friday was a bit of a bummer for me.  My stepbrother got married and I just wish we could have been there to celebrate with my family.  But what can you do?  Other than go get ice cream to make yourself feel better and watch a bunch of Bloodline episodes - we're so close to being done with this second season!

On Saturday, we (Nick) finished wallpapering our bathroom - yay! - and then spent the rest of the day at a friends BBQ which was such a welcome distraction.  They smoked ribs, pork and some other meats and we majorly feasted.  So delicious.  It was hot hot hot out so the only thing missing was a nice cold beer :)  We didn't get home until almost 8pm and then pretty much passed out in bed when it was still light out.  Oh, how wild Saturday nights have changed.

We were up bright and early Sunday morning to get OUR smoker started!  Nick is turning 30 in a couple of weeks so this was his early birthday gift.  We're throwing a big BBQ on his birthday weekend (I may be crazy for doing that with a two week old) and figured we should do a meat test run beforehand.  Here he is getting the pork shoulder going at 10am...


And let's just say thank goodness we did a test run, because the meat didn't get done until 10pm that night, haha!  We ended up having to order a pizza at 9pm because we weren't sure how much longer it was going to take and we were starving.  But of course, then it sped up and went quickly, so we had to give it a taste before bed and it was ahhmazing.  Leftovers for days.  Although hopefully we won't be home to eat them ;)

Ps. if your guy has a smoker, I gave Nick this cookbook, meat claws and apple chips for Fathers Day and they definitely came in handy!  Makes for a nice little gift if you ever need one.

Hope you all had a great weekend and happy Bachelorette Monday!

27

Friday Notes


Hi friends!

Thank you for all of the well wishes yesterday!  It's been an interesting 36 hours.  No baby obviously, but it's actually okay because Brady has been sick and I'm thankful to be home to take care of him.  He started throwing up at 3am on Thursday morning and pretty much hasn't stopped and we don't know why.  We spent all day yesterday at the vet running tests because they thought he swallowed something again (he has quite the history), and finally picked him up last night at 8pm thinking he was better.  Until we spent last night and this morning cleaning up throw up so back to the vet we go today :( Hoping we can get him feeling 100% ASAP because I would hate to have to leave him right now.  

So not quite the birthday I had hoped for, but that's life, right?  Instead I spent the day waiting around, playing on my phone, reading all the online articles and doing some window/browser shopping.  (Ps. I hate that it's so hard to leave comments on blogs when on Bloglovin' mobile - I've been reading, but sorry for the lack of interaction!)  

Here are a few of my favorites to kick off your weekend!

to do/read
+ 8 things to do before 8am
+ How to properly mix different shades of white in your home
+ To eat this weekend: one pot shrimp pasta
+ Easy steps to packing the perfect carry on for your summer travels
+ Speaking of vacations... a weekend getaway guide to Nantucket, yes please.

to shop
+ Loveeee the gorgeous color of this drawstring bucket bag.  And it's under $50!
+ This navy/red striped dress looks super comfy, is on sale and would be perfect for 4th of July.
+ Cupcakes and Cashmere does it all... I want this pretty stacked ball floor lamp.
+ These eyeshadow sticks are my favorite and make getting ready super easy - currently on sale.
+Anyone use one of these belly wraps after giving birth?  I keep going back & forth on if I should order one.

I'll probably be back on Monday with our for real, I really hope last baby-free weekend ;)  Happy Friday!

21

A Due Date Birthday

Image via

Today is my birthday!  And my due date!

I'm writing this on Wednesday evening, the 15th, and unfortunately I don't think I'll be getting a baby for my birthday, haha.  She seems just a little too comfy in there.  I do have a doctors appointment this morning at 8am so fingers crossed for some progress at the very least.  I can't believe I'm already at 40 weeks, it honestly went so fast - once I got through that super fun first trimester.  It's truly been a wonderful experience and I couldn't be more thankful for how well everything has gone.  

Same with this past year of my life!  It's been a really, really good one.  We celebrated tons of our friends last summer with a bunch of wedding festivities, spent plenty of time at the beach while Brady swam (can't wait for that again this year), got pregnant, completed LOTS of house projects and really made it our home, developed a strong group of friends here in town, spent time with family, went to California and Colorado, and crammed in as many date nights as we possibly could.  28 will be a hard one to top. 

Today I'll be spending my birthday at a doctors appointment, taking Brady to a vet appointment, a friend is stopping over with her new dog, and doing laps around the neighborhood.  Trying to get this baby out!  And tonight Nick will be grilling up steaks for dinner and getting ice cream is a must.  Before I go, just a few things I want to remember from the last couple of weeks (and hopefully the end of this pregnancy!):

+ Nick always asking if I'm going into labor and if my water is breaking, haha.  It makes me laugh every time.  He's not going to believe it when it really finally happens!

+ I thought I was escaping pregnancy without any awkward stranger exchanges, but I finally had my first one this past week.  I was in line at the hardware store and a lady in front of me was relentless with the questions and the 'opinions' - wanting to know if I was going to breastfeed (and when I said no, asked why and then proceeded to lecture me on how I should be), telling me there was no way possible I was having a girl because I didn't gain enough weight, and she was about to touch my stomach when she was up next at the register.  Thank the Lord.

+ I finished my bottle of prenatal vitamins 5 days ago... and just didn't order more.  So I haven't been taking any vitamins for the past week because I figured she would be here any day, but nope and now I feel bad about it!

+ Pretty sure a few stretch marks have appeared.  I'm not 100%, they could be veins, but I'm thinking they're stretch marks.  Wahh.  Also, my rings have come off this week.  The heat has been KILLER.  It's been around 90 degrees and humid.  It is never, ever this hot at the beginning of June in Michigan - except this year of course.

+ One thing keeping me happy in this heat is watermelon slushies!  Fresh watermelon, pineapple, a splash of apple juice and some ice all mixed up in the Magic Bullet.  I cannot get enough of watermelon right now and my drinks can't be cold enough, the thirst is unreal.

+ I'm feigning for a club sandwich.  I've already requested it for my first meal post baby.  With a glass of champs of course.  Would it be weird to ask to put my champagne bottles on ice when we get to the hospital?  Just kidding ;)

40

On My Radar: Summer Neutrals

Knit Top // Braided Belt // Sunglasses // Essie Gel Polish // Nude Leather Crossbody Bag // Cotton Romper //
Calla Lace Up Gladiator Sandal // Earring Studs (so many pretty colors)

I love a good neutral piece - especially in the summer.  Whites and tans are just so crisp and clean, and really pop against tan skin.  I also like things that are on sale, which a few of these pieces are!  Like that knit top is only $7 and the white romper is only $25 (from $120)!!  Such a good deal.  And speaking of that, H&M is all around just a good deal.  I don't like to spend a lot on trendy accessories, so they're always my go to.  Cheap sunglasses and belts are the way to go because who knows if they'll still be 'cool' next season.  Balance your less expensive pieces out with an investment handbag, like this gorgeous one ;)  

And have you heard about Essie's new Gel Couture line that released yesterday?  I'm super excited about this because while I love the colors that Essie offers, I'm not the biggest fan of their nail polish.  It just chips super easily on me for some reason, no matter which topcoat I apply.  I usually have much better luck with OPI, but now I can't wait to give this new Essie line a try!  Check out all of the swatches and shades in this article here.

Happy hump day!
21

How To Layer Your Skin Care Products


Serums,  moisturizers, oils, sunscreen... just a few of the many things we put on our faces on a daily basis!  They do all have a purpose, but did you know that the order in which you apply them can make a HUGE difference in how well they work?  I had no idea until I started getting regular facials last summer and my esthetician would tell me how to properly use the products I was buying from her.  Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way and the routine that I follow each day.

NIGHT

1. Obviously the process starts with washing your face.  I have used La Roche Posay's Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream for something like 6, 7? years now and it's just the best.  A dermatologist recommended it to me when I was having skin problems and while I've cheated on it here and there, I always come back to it.  And I always use my Clarisonic (on sale right now!) because that thing is just the best.

2. After washing, I use Mario Badescu's Aloe Vera Toner.  Love the price, love the mild scent and love that it's alcohol free (won't dry out your skin).  I consider a toner a must to get off the rest of the product gunk on your skin that just washing it can leave behind - the proof is on the cotton ball!

3. Serums are next because they are the thinnest product so they need to go on clean, dry skin to be able to penetrate effectively.  I have been using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery (on sale right now, too) since the winter and am a huge fan.  I really feel that it makes my skin brighter, clearer and moisturized without being greasy.

4. Next up is a Vitamin C antioxidant serum.  Vitamin C is important for brightening your skin, protecting against sun damage and being a collagen booster.  It's not pictured because I'm currently out, but I have long used this one by Ole Henricksen.  I like it, but don't love it so I'm going to try this Mad Hippie one recommended in Kristin Cavallari's book (see my review here!).  This Obagi brand is also another super popular vitamin C serum that I want to try one day.

5. Once those products dry (I'll usually brush my teeth to give them a few minute to sink in), I apply my moisturizer.  Belif Moisture Bomb is my go to right now.  It's awesome.  It's super lightweight, but still provides deep moisturization.  This is the only moisturizer I've used that when I wake up, my face still feels good, not that tight and dry feeling.  I also use this eye cream (on sale as well) at night.

6. And last step, retinol.  Applying after serums and night cream is best because the moisture helps to penetrate the skin better with less irritation. I haven't used my Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 since being pregnant, but I can't wait to start again because it is AMAZING.  Retinol helps with fine lines and makes your skin appear smoother and clearer.  I only used it for a few couple months last summer and was already seeing a difference.  Make sure to only use it at night as the sun can cause irritation to your skin.

MORNING

My morning routine is much simpler.  Since I have pretty dry skin, I don't wash my face in the AM - I just splash cold water on it to help me wake up and have a clean slate.  I then use my toner to get rid of all of the products from the previous night and apply my moisturizer + this Origins eye cream.  What's missing?  A sunscreen.  The only thing I truly hate about the Belif cream is that it doesn't contain SPF... so now I really need to find a great sunscreen to use each day.  I tried this one, but really wasn't impressed.  Any recommendations?  Sunscreen should always be your last application step as anything you layer over top of it can make it less effective.

 What's your FAVORITE skincare product?  I'm kind of a junkie and love trying new things, so let me know!

22

Our Last Baby Free Weekend?!

The title of this post may be a bit of wishful thinking... at 39 weeks and 4 days (with zero signs of labor approaching), I'm starting to have a feeling that this baby is going to be late.  Thursday is quickly approaching!  But either way, we pretended this was our last weekend and made it a good one.

Friday kicked off with a date night to an Italian restaurant we've been wanting to try.  It was a super cute, authentic looking place right on a little lake outside of town so it had everything going for it... but the food was only just okay.  I had pizza and Nick had an olive oil based sausage pasta and the portions were HUGE.  I ordered a small pizza and that picture below is like 1/8th of it, I couldn't believe it.  Yay for leftovers!


We were up bright and early on Saturday morning for our neighborhood garage sale.  I literally decided like two days before that I was going to participate and have my own (just trying to stay busy...) and so me and my little buddy got all set up at 8am.  We sold a few things, but didn't make any big bucks.  It was just nice to get rid of so much of the stuff that I've purged from my house during this nesting phase.  I'm telling you, 'nesting' has been awesome.  I really feel like my house is free of junk and clutter and I LOVE it.


Saturday was so freakin' hot.  90 degrees and humid hot and while I'm normally all about that, I can't handle it while pregnant.  I give serious props to you ladies that are pregnant through the entire summer - especially if you live in the South - because I really don't know if I could do it haha!  I lasted outside at my sale until lunch time and then it was back in the AC for naps and a Real Housewives of New York binge watch.

Later that night, we met up with friends for a little pre-birthday, pre-baby (I keep forgetting it's also my birthday coming up on Thursday!) dinner.  Good food, good company and live music made for a fun night.  Afterwards we took Brady for a long walk since it finally cooled off  (he's a baby in the heat, too) and then visited with our next door neighbors for a little bit.

The best maternity dress in the world (buy it in every color).

And on Sunday, this happened!  We wallpapered our half-bathroom!  And when I say we, I mean Nick, but I was a really good supervisor ;) It looks so awesome, I'm in love with it.  Unfortunately we completely measured wrong how much paper we need, so the bathroom is 3/4 of the way done and we had to order more, but it looks SO GOOD.  We used this wallpaper from Sherwin Williams and it was a decently easy project!


We wrapped up the weekend with chicken on the grill and a couple episodes of Bloodline (stolen from my snapchat @kavanderploeg).  I wasn't so sure how season 2 was going to be, but so far so good.  We're hooked again.  And of course walks around the neighborhood and maybe even freshly cut pineapple - we're hooked on that, too.  Anything to try and get this process started!  


And I just wanted to say, I was thinking and praying for of all of my Orlando friends yesterday.  The news is so sad and unbelievable.  It's just a cruel world that we live in.  Sending you guys lots of love.

Hope you all had wonderful + safe weekends.
35

Friday + Links

Image via

Happy Friday!

Thank you everyone so much for the kind words yesterday.  Reading your comments brought me a lot of comfort and also made me feel not so alone in some of my fears I have.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

What do you all have planned for the weekend?  We're hopefully having a baby, ha!  For some reason, I was always picturing June 10th as her birthday, but it's not quite looking like that's going to happen.  I also could of sworn she was a boy soooo I'm 0 for 2 now.  We'll just be trying to stay busy - dinner with friends, our neighborhood garage sale and possibly even attempting to wallpaper our half bathroom (wish us luck).  

to do/read
+ This pasta salad will also be happening this weekend.  YUM.
+ For my Chicago gals: Glitter Guides favorite coffee shops in the city.
+ ICYMI: I shared baby girls nursery this week!  Check it out here.
+ New emoji's!  About time we got a fingers crossed.
+ 5 steps to the perfect bedroom (give me these fabulous lamps).

to shop
+ I picked up this embroidered dress from Old Navy a couple of days ago for our newborn pictures (it's so much cuter in person).  Tell me I'm not too insane for wearing white?!?
+ A must have hair product for summer.
+ Pretty Lilly Pulitzer sunglasses for under $100!
+ I'm loving the fun, bold print of this Topshop dress.
+ Also thinking about picking up this necklace for our pictures... now to decide on a color.

Off to eat some fresh pineapple and go for a long walk! ;) Have a wonderful weekend!
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Motherhood {Thoughts & Fears}

Today marks one week until my due date... and also 12 years since my mom passed away.  Today is always a hard day and I think being so close to having my own daughter has made it even more of an emotional one.  
I was terrified of getting pregnant for one big reason.  I don't want my children to have to go through what I did as a child.  I know it's a completely unreasonable fear to be worried about myself being sick/dying/leaving them and if that is God's plan, then that's his plan, but I would just never want them to go through what my brother and I did.  Losing a parent at a young age is so hard.  Especially a parent that has dealt with a long illness and it's all you've ever experienced in life.  Spending weekends at the hospital, waking up in the middle of the night to hear her crying in pain, watching the clock at school knowing that she's just about to go into surgery, spending holidays wondering if they would be the last one together as a family.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone and it's always been my biggest fear when it comes to having my own kids.  Because there is just no way I can protect them from possibly having to experience that.  But I know that isn't how we should life our lives - in worry and in fear - and I'm so thankful that God knew what I needed more than I did and sent this little surprise baby our way.
My biggest hope is that we can raise her to have a strong relationship with God and know how much she is loved by him, because that way, she can get through anything that life throws at her.  It's just so much pressure when you think about it!  To raise a good, kind, loving, generous, humble human being - especially when you feel that you could use a little improvement in every one of those areas yourself, haha.  I pray every day that although we don't know what we're doing half the time, that she can see how much we love her, love each other and love God.
And I wish, more than anything else, that my mom could be here for this.  It makes my heart ache to think of everything that she hasn't been here for, but this might be the hardest.  Although it brings me comfort to think that her and this baby girl have spent the last 12 years together in Heaven and now my mom is sending her down here to be with us.  Jeremiah 29:11 has long been my favorite Bible verse/quote - it's honestly one of the only things that got me through those days after her death - and I feel is so applicable to a new life coming into this world, too.  
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future."  
I truly believe this and I know that no matter what happens in our life with this baby, that God has a plan for her and that she will be so loved.  And at the end of the day, that's what really matters.
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Netflix, Here I Come


It's no secret how much I love my Netflix.  Binge watching TV shows is one of the best ways to wind down after a long day and relax a little bit before bed.  We finished Lost a couple of months ago and haven't really had anything to watch since then... which has been okay because we've been getting ready for the baby, but now that I'm about to be spending a lot of time at home on the couch with said baby, I've got to find a good show to get into! 

I set off to Google - which never lets me down - when I came across the perfect list:  The 20 Best Shows for New Moms to Binge Watch.  Yes!  Just what I need.  According to the article, here are their recommendations (bold are the ones that I've already watched):

1. Gilmore Girls
2. Parenthood
3. The Mindy Project
4. Nashville
5. New Girl
6. Orange Is The New Black
7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
8. Weeds
9. The Office
10. The White Queen
11. Game of Thrones
12. Doctor Who
13. Once Upon A Time
14. Friends
15. Portlandia
16. Futurama
17. 3rd Rock From The Sun
18. 30 Rock
19. Modern Family
20. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

A few honorable mentions that I l-o-v-e that were left off of this list: Scandal, Bloodline, The Good Wife, Army Wives, Desperate Housewives, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights (so so good).  I might watch too much TV...

I wish I hadn't already seen Parenthood because that show is THE BEST.  Every episode made me cry (in a good way!) and I can only imagine how much of a mess it would be make with hormones added in there, but I'm really considering re-watching it.  Cuddled up in my favorite robe, a candle burning and these cinnamon sugar chips that I'm obsessed with right now... perfection.

So, which show - and it doesn't have to be from this list!- would you guys recommend?  
34

Baby Girl Nursery Reveal!

Nursery: done!

We had the best time designing and working on this room.  It's been a labor of love since January and saying how happy I am with the finished product would be a major understatement.  It's everything I envisioned and then some.  Pretty, calming, elegant, sweet, pink ;)

If you remember from this post, the nursery has come a LONG way from the black walls and layers of glow in the dark hand prints (I wish I was joking!).  Shout out to Nick for pretty much transforming the room and for being patient with me, especially when I made him hang 4 different mirrors in the room before I settled on the perfect one, ha! 

So here it is!  I just hope my pictures do it justice, I'm still working on those photography skills.  I've tried to source everything I possibly could at the bottom, but if I missed something, let me know!


This is the IKEA Hemnes 8 drawer dresser and I loveeee it.  I was unsure of how the quality was going to be because I mean the price is crazy low, but it's really impressive.  We swapped out the hardware with these pulls and I think it makes it look even nicer.  Just don't forget to anchor it to the wall!


We picked up that Jellycat on our California babymoon :)  Ps. what are your favorite baby books to read?!  Looking to add some more to our collection.


Speaking of books, every time I try and read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I want to fall asleep.  Cannot get into it at all!   As for our chair, we went with the Kersey Glider from Babies R Us in Linen and I couldn't be happier.  It is SO comfortable, reclines with a footrest and is the perfect neutral color.  Don't worry, we did Scotch Guard it :)


Pottery Barn Kids makes the cutest stuff.  This little bear rocker may be my favorite part of the nursery.  It's a total splurge, but my aunt and uncle were kind enough to get us it as a shower gift.  And the Quinn Diaper Caddy is going to be so nice to have to bring around the house with us.  It's stocked with diapers, wipes and a changing pad towel and I plan on keeping it on our lower level by the pack-n-play so we don't have to run upstairs for every diaper change.


The future inhabitant of this room and one that currently think it's all his ;) 9 more days!!

Similar Posts:  Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration // The Big Baby Registry Round Up

SOURCE LIST
Darling I Love You Prints
White Mirror
Lamp
Mason Jar Floral Candle
Faux Plant
Dresser
Dresser Pulls
Wipes Dispenser
Changing Pad Cover
Garbage Can
Rug
Light Fixture
Floating Bookshelves
Glider
Pillow (old from Target)
Nightstand
Curtains
Curtain Rods (in black)
Painting (old from TJ Maxx)
Crib
Crib Mobile
Crib Sheet
Crib Skirt
Crib Blanket (old from TJ Maxx)
Quinn Diaper Caddy
White Pouf
Bear Rocker

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