30 Miles in 30 Days

So I'm going on vacation in a few months and let's just say I am no where close to feeling ready to be in a bathing suit on the beach. And that's putting it lightly. I have really struggled to get into any type of workout routine and it's definitely beginning to show. My friend Amy and I have been trying to motivate each other via text/snapchat/etc which I am so thankful for. It's always easier to get going when you know someone else is gonna' check in on you ;)

We thought some of you might want to join us for some additional motivation too, especially with the warmer weather and shorts/swim season coming quickly. It's nothing crazy or drastic but it's just a reminder to keep moving. We're doing a 30 Miles in 30 Days challenge. Personally I'm going to be trying to run those 30 miles- but it can be any form of exercise. Running, walking, biking, swimming- whatever your goal might be! As a sidenote- I'm not counting my normal FitBit steps/miles for this challenge. I'm talking actual dedicated mileage in a workout. Make sense?

Anyway, if any of you want to join in- it's no big commitment or anything. But you can post about it anytime you want and linkup with us. The linkup will be live April 1-30 so you can add a blog post whenever you write an update. I'll try to mention/update once a week about where I stand.

PS- I was going to use a hashtag but anything remotely similar to our linkup name is already being used by a bajillion people. So hey, just tag me on IG or Twitter if you're posting about it!

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone. This week has been a hot mess and it's only halfway through it- someone pray I survive the next few days. I haven't linked up with Shay in awhile and today felt like the perfect day to do so as I sit surround by boxes and packing tape. Here goes nothing!

What we're eating this week:  Lots of veggies, and lots of soup. We've been trying to have more meatless meals around here (which I'm loving!) and since I also caught another nasty cold, soup has been my BFF for the past few days.

What I'm reminiscing about:  Being able to sleep in ;)

What I'm loving:  This facial scrub. It's super inexpensive but I love the smell of it. Definitely wakes me up in the morning!

What we've been up to: Oh, cmon- everyone knows the answer to this one. PACKING and MOVING! That's truly all our life consists of at the moment, sorry.

What I'm dreading: See above answer.

What I'm working on: In the few moments a week I give myself some free time, I've been continually working on organizing digital photos and files on my computer and my external hard drive. It's something I do little by little so it's never a monstrous project.

What I'm excited about: A very small, private wedding reception we get to attend next weekend. I mentioned Jared's cousin is getting married in the courthouse with just immediate family, but we were invited to a dinner reception with everyone afterwards and I can't wait!

What I'm watching/reading: Watching some college basketball, but not nearly as much as I like to this time of year. And I recently read Girl on the Train. Even though I'm years behind the rest of the world- I LOVED it.

What I'm listening to: Too many kids songs on YouTube ;) But Frank Sinatra is still a regular on our record player in the evenings. I refuse to pack up our music until the last minute.

What I'm wearing:  HAHAHAHA. Oh, you really wanted to know? Mom uniform on repeat. When I have to jazz it up I am all about the LOFT ponte pants (similar, via Ann Taylor) I have- love, love love them.

What I'm doing this weekend: Packing and all that jazz, plus hopefully getting out the house for some family walks if we get any warm days without rain!

What I'm looking forward to next month: Closing on this house. My 30th Birthday. Easter. You name it... BRING ON APRIL!! :)

NEW HOME: Master Bath

I guess I sorta' started a mini-series about our new house. If you missed it, I talked about our kitchen selections and shared some inspiration pictures a few weeks ago in this post. Since I am constantly daydreaming about our new home I figured I might as well post about other parts of the house I'm pretty darn excited about!

When I think about the fact that Jared and I are going to have an actual master bedroom and master bathroom I seriously want to explode. Okay, I feel that way a lot about our new home in general but I am just so thrilled to be moving into a space that will be all our own. And to actually you know, HAVE space in general. Our current bedroom is tiny, no overhead lighting and the bathroom attached is anything but spacious. In fact, let me show you our photo from our real estate listing, since I happen to have it handy ;)

Yeah. Small. We actually put that sink/vanity in ourselves a few years ago because if you can imagine... the original one was even tinier than that. And that's just a square shower stall back there. Goodbye, old bathroom!

Hello, new bathroom! We'll have a shower and a tub plus a double vanity- yay, storage! Here are a few photos of similar layouts to what we'll have; not necessarily the colors/design, but how the room will look overall. 

We originally had been gravitating toward white/gray for our bathroom (just like our kitchen!) but ended up changing our mind after a veryyy long time at the design center. White and gray felt a bit too 'modern' for me for the bathroom once we saw a few examples of it in actual homes. We changed to more neutrals with a pop of blue-ish/green in the accent tile. My hope it that is will feel cozy and also just a little bit beach-y once we decorate! *Also, there is not a window IN the shower, that is a reflection in these photos!
Our actual selections!

And decorating is what I'm getting the most excited about for this room. We won't need a ton of stuff, but I look forward to plush new towels (we're overdue for them anyway) and hopefully some fun decor that reminds of our favorite place- the beach! I love this soap dish and this bath rug. Just simple touches that will make it feel like our little oasis.
Found here
So that about sums up our master bathroom, I think. I'm honestly glad we won't need to do too much in terms of decorating; I think the design and options we picked out will speak for themselves. I sure hope so, anyway ;)

Pressing On

Thanks to everyone for your sweet words on my last post. I know Jared really appreciated your comments as well. Last week was an emotional, long week but we are all pressing on and getting back into the swing of things. We sortof don't have a choice but to get back on track since our move out date is closing approaching.
A beautiful rose we saved from the funeral.
Our house right now looks like absolute chaos. There are boxes half-packed, packing supplies, trash bags of things to drop at the donation center and of course the baby toys that seem to multiple overnight. I don't think Jared and I have ever bought T a toy ourselves so it's crazy how many he has. Ack! This move is helping me realize there are plenty of things he has outgrown already and I've been all too happy to box those up knowing he won't miss them!
We have also been surviving on way too much junk food lately... oops. It's so easy to make the excuses for it, but we're hoping to change that this week. Although the next couple of weeks will still be stressful, eating crappy doesn't help anything! However... I was not mad about these donuts showing up at our house over the weekend.

T turned 10 months old yesterday. So of course I took a ridiculous amount of photos, videos and then scoured the internet trying to decide what I want to do for his first birthday. I feel like most first time mom's have the whole thing planned by now.... Um. I have decided nothing. Like, I don't even have a date in mind and I also don't know if we'll have a home by then. So that's going well ;)
I title this photo, "Moving, with a baby who likes to move"

As crazy at life seems right now, I actually have a lot of blog posts I'm excited about for this week so I hope you'll check back again. Happy Monday and as always, thank you for reading!

A Precious Lady

It's been a weird couple of weeks or so for me around here hence the lack of blog posts. We've of course been busy with our move (18 days until we have to be out of this house- HELP!) but life has thrown us all for a loop we weren't expecting. Jared's sweet grandma passed away last week and her funeral is today. It's been sad saying goodbye to such a precious lady, but Jared and his family have such treasured memories of her that will stay with us forever.

She was sweet but spunky and I always loved that she would speak her mind. Even at her age, she could still crack a great joke that would make us all laugh. She told fascinating stories about her time working at a factory during WWII. When I was pregnant, she told me story after story about raising her 5 kids and which one cried the most, which one was her "favorite" and who was the easiest baby.

I'm so thankful she had the chance to meet T and get to know him over the last 10 months. Seeing T with great-grandparents was a huge blessing to us all. She was a loved lady who will be missed by so many people. Please keep Jared, my mother-in-law and the rest of their (huge) wonderful family in your thoughts and prayers.

Spring: Goals & Plans

Happy SPRING, everyone! Ohio is kicking off the first day of Spring in perfect fashion- I woke up to a gentle rainstorm and rolling thunder this morning. I truly cannot believe it is March 20th already... time is going faster than it ever has and it's all I can do to hang on and enjoy the ride! In the past, I've blogged about monthly goals but I've fallen away from that habit. Steph hosts a seasonal goals link-up so I thought now was the perfect time to get back into some goal setting.

MOVE. Ha, this probably goes without saying but I figured it should still be on my list. Maybe since I put it at the top of my list it'll motivate me to realllly get packing and going on things. I have been slacking and closing date is coming quick.

CELEBRATE EASTER. I have mentioned a time or ten how much I love Easter so this is one I can't wait to check off. Jared and I are having fun collecting little things for T's basket and I have definitely gone overboard on Easter clothes, whoops! I'll be making some delicious items from my favorite holiday cookbook and hopefully spending time with lots of our family.

START PLANNING T's BIRTHDAY. My child turns 1 at the end of May (WHAT?) and I really haven't decided what I'd like to do to celebrate or when to have it. With the moving craziness we might be barely settled into our new home. Plus we want to accommodate for some out of town family and other busy schedules.

FINISH T's PHOTO BOOK. In relation to his first birthday (why do I have to keep reminding myself?!) I want to finish his first year photobook on/around his birthday. I've been working on it little by little but it's the toughest book I've ever tried to make. Since I take SO many pictures of him, it's hard to narrow it down because obviously they are ALL adorable ;)

GO TO A WORKOUT CLASS. I don't belong to any gym these days, but I'd like to try to get back into the swing of a weekly class somewhere- be it Zumba or Barre3. When I think about the times in my life I've been most fit/healthy it was always when I was a part of a structured workout with a group- I'm one of those people who needs it!

VISIT THE ZOO. Jared and I have been talking about taking T to the zoo all winter long and I'm hopeful we'll get a nice, free day sometime soon where we can. We'd like to buy a membership to the zoo for our family but we're still trying to determine if we'd go enough/get our money's worth. Either way, I need to see all the new zoo babies that are happening in Cincinnati. 

Also of note for Spring will be:
- Celebrating my 30th bday
-Celebrating my niece's 4th birthday when they are in town (yay!)
-Celebrating our 6th anniversary
-Going on a big family vacation

Sounds like we're going to have a busy, but fun Spring. What are you planning on doing this Spring? 
Life According to Steph

NEW HOME: Kitchen Dreaming

As we continue to watch our new home being built, I want to try to document as much of the process and details as I can. We've made all the main choices at this point but I still get nervous about seeing it all come together. It's one thing to see a small sample of a cabinet, a square of tile or flooring/carpet... but it's a whole other ballgame when you go, "Yeah! Put that all over my house!" So let's just pray the stuff we chose looks good once it's plastered throughout the home ;)

Today I wanted to talk about our kitchen selections in particular. Before we met with our design rep, I honestly didn't think we were going to go with white cabinets- but (spoiler alert) that's what we ended up picking. I know white cabinets seem to be what everyone is doing these days, but I was still a sucker for the darker colors! Once we looked at some combinations at the design center, I really saw the appeal to the white, though. 
Just some sample kitchens that have similar colors to ours.
The home we're moving out of always felt very dark and something we were excited about with a new home was better natural lighting and lighter colors in general. White cabinets just made sense. With semi-custom homes like ours, you pick and choose what things you want to upgrade and pay more money for....AKA, the price tag can go up quickly if you aren't careful. We decided on the nicer cabinets with crown molding and they are also soft-close, which I love. 
Our cabinets are in the middle! This is a crappy cell phone pic from the design center.
For countertops, we decided to stick with the basics and not pay for the granite upgrade right away. To do granite for our whole kitchen would have been a LOT of extra money and I figured we could always update those down the road if we decided to. We also opted not to add a backsplash because I didn't think the cost was worth it, when I know that's a project Jared and I can tackle together if we want to. I'm pretty happy with the countertops we picked out, though. Anything is better than our current navy blue ones, ha!
Samples of our gray laminate counter tops that I think look pretty darn good!
I think with our whites and grays we're going to do some green accents in our new kitchen, maybe some yellow too- we'll see. You know you're an adult when you're already picking out new potholders and tea towels, right?! I am just so excited to have a kitchen with an island, a pantry and lots of cabinet space. Three things we haven't had for the past 6 years in our marriage. Hosting and entertaining is about to go to a whole new level once we move in- I can't wait!

And while our house certainly won't be as decked out as the models they show, here's an idea of our layout in the new kitchen. Have I mentioned that I CANNOT WAIT!!?!

Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

Lately I've been getting uncomfortable. I've purposely done things I didn't necessarily feel up to doing. I've gone places where I didn't know anyone. I've chatted a little longer with a stranger in a store because I felt like they needed it. I've reached out to an old friend even when I was nervous to do so. I took charge of things I've been putting off for months. I've been brutally honest about things that needed said in order to move forward. Comfort zone, no more!
The big surprise with all of this is that nothing was ever as difficult or awful as I built it up to be in my head. As it turns out, most of these uncomfortable things had amazing results and led to personal growth or cool experiences. So while I don't have any earth-shattering advice or wisdom on how to get out of your own comfort zone, I do want to tell you one thing. Just GO FOR IT! 

Whatever is scaring you, whatever might be holding you back... shake those feelings and do something that makes you uncomfortable. That "worst case scenario" you're probably thinking of in your head? Probably isn't going to happen! And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the end results once you've pushed yourself outside of that circle.

I'd love to hear how you've been getting yourself out of the comfort zone.

Everything I Needed

Friday night was everything I needed and then some. If you've been around this blog for awhile, you've heard me talk about my girl Lacey. We met in 7th grade and have been besties ever since. I was in her wedding, she was in mine. We got to be pregnant at the same time and share that entire experience, which I will cherish forever. Our babies were born 9 days apart so needless to say, we haven't had a ton of free time to get together just us.

It took us forever to find an evening we could get together for dinner but once it was on the calendar I was counting down for weeks! Lacey is a rockstar nurse and went back to work full-time after her little girl was born. While our lives veered in different directions after our babes were born, we have still remained closer than close. I love having a fellow mom to bounce thoughts and questions off of and I love having someone to go through this phase of life with.

We ended up meeting up at Bagger Dave's- have y'all been to one of those? It's new to our area, but I think they have locations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. They're known for their burgers which were absolutely delicious. I went with their classic cheeseburger but it was so much more than your average burger. YUM. Lace got their Bacon BBQ Burger and raved about it as well. If you're in an area that has one- I highly recommend checking them out.





It was a hard first few months when T was born. Recovering from a csection and feeling like my life had been turned upside down. But Lacey was always just a text away. She (unfortunately) was another csection momma and we kept each other going in those chaotic newborn days. Now we can text about what food our baby is trying or what weird thing they did that day. I'm so grateful for a friend like her and that no matter the distance or the time, we still are closer than ever. What a true, true blessing. Love you, Laceface!

Stashed Away

Something I've noticed is that since having a baby, I rarely take pictures of anything (or anyone!) else. I guess that shouldn't surprise me because, after all, T is the cutest subject by far. But as I go back through and make my photobooks and organize all my digital files, I realize I need to do better about documenting other things like I used to. I figured I'd go back through my cell phone and see what non-baby pictures were stashed away on there recently.

The house progression pictures are pretty cool to look at side-by-side like this. They broke ground on Feb 14th so it's not even been a month yet and look at how things are coming along! Almost scary how quickly they can get a house put up, huh?!

This past fall a Home Goods opened near us (dangerous) and I love stopping by to dream about all the things I want for our new house. I know we'll have so much fun decorating it and making it our own. In the meantime though, I can't help but stock up on gift bags and wrap here because they always have the best stuff. 

I went to a bridal shower this past weekend for one of Jared's cousins. Prior to this one, I couldn't remember the last one I'd attended! It's been awhile, but I certainly haven't lost my touch on party games. It's kindof an on-going joke that I always win those silly games at showers... but it's true and I walked away with a super cute gift basket of goodies.

Even though the weather has been ALL over the place lately, I still am holding out hope that Spring will show up for good soon. I'm ignoring the snow in the forecast for this weekend and instead enjoying these yellow blooms out front!

Okay, and a photo dump of a post wouldn't be complete without at least one cute picture of my little man from this past weekend. Saturday morning snuggles and playing- nothing better. It's blurry but I just love it.

The Beard Boss in Action

I think it's a pretty common thing that guys tend to grow out their beards in the winter months. Wouldn't you all agree? Whether they've never had a beard and decide to grow one as the cold months hit, or they let their normal scruff turn into a full-grown mountain man look- it happens! Jared always rocks the scruffy beard look and I'm a big fan- I think it looks great on him! However, he recently let his facial hair seriously get out of control. 

I kept asking him if this was a new look he was going for or what, but all he'd tell me was that he was honestly just being lazy with it. I can't blame him, though. Shaving is kinda' annoying no matter what. Jared just said most days he didn't feel like hassling with it. Plus, the longer it got? The more daunting the task seemed. Well, enter wife of the year because I introduced Jared to The Perfecter: Beard Boss Stubble and Detail Kit by Remington.

This product is a huuuge upgrade from the dinky, dated grooming tools Jared was using previously. The first thing he noticed was that it has a "Turbo Mode" for thick beards and fast trimming- exactly the power boost he needed to get started! He was impressed with the precision metal comb and that it could be so finely adjusted to whatever setting he wanted with the included five snap-on combs. Personally, I thought it was pretty cool that it's 100% waterproof so you can use it on wet or dry hair.


Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see Jared's before and after with this product. He was able to shave and trim his beard in way less time than normal- no lie. After he was done I told him he looked 5 years younger... don't you think?? I also told him we were way past-due for a date night ;) I mean, if he's looking this spiffy (does anyone use that word anymore?!) we might as well be going out somewhere! Be right back- booking our babysitter now.


The Perfecter:Beard Boss Stubble and Detail Kit is available at Walmart and on Walmart.com

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & Remington  but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RemingtonBB  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

New Look, New Week

Thanks everyone for your concern last week. Our power was out for 48 hours after the tornado hit, but thankfully there was no damage to our home or property. It was a scary thing for us here in Ohio. I can't imagine living in an area that experiences tornadoes often. Do you all just have heavy-duty storm shelters?? I would be so scared to deal with that all the time! One night of it was enough for me for a couple decades, I think.
This was just around the corner from us- scary!
With all that going on, I almost forgot about a favorite NFL event of mine. I just love the NFL combine and have been catching up on the event all weekend long. Getting to be AT the combine last year was definitely a bucket list item checked off for us but this year I had to settle for watching it on my DVR. So exciting to watch all the up-and-coming stars competing for a spot on a professional team. Myles Garrett is an absolute BEAST, oh my goodness... whoever gets him is seriously a lucky team. Also, the all-time 40 record was broken this year by John Ross. I LOVE FOOTBALL!!!

Also last week, we got our inspection report back. It wasn't bad at all and we were relieved to see that the repairs we need to do will be minor. Just a short list of things, most that we can do ourselves and just one thing that we'll need to hire someone to repair for us. Once that was all in writing, the appraiser had to come out to do a walk-through and take some photos. I'm not sure if this is always a necessary step, but I do know the type of loan your buyer is using affects the appraisal process. Regardless, it's DONE! We hope to have a quiet month or so now before the actual closing in April.

And last but not least, in case you hadn't noticed, I gave the blog a little 'spring cleaning' last night. My previous design was starting to feel too chaotic and I've got enough of that in my life right now ;) I changed up the design with a more simple color palette and also got rid of unnecessary clutter on my sidebar. If anyone still wants to follow me via GFC let me know- but I feel pretty confident that bulky widget will not be missed.

Let's hope for a normal, stress-free week around here- shall we? :)

Currently {March Edition}

So I'm a little late on one of my favorite monthly link-ups but that's because we are currently without power. Ugh. We were hit hard with storms around 3am on Wednesday and a tornado even touched down just a few miles from us! It was a pretty intense night with not a lot of sleep. Our power has been out for over 24 hours and we're hoping it'll be back on today at some point, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

In an effort to ignore the mess that is my life, I figured I'd update what other things are going on CURRENTLY to start off this month of March. As always, thanks for hosting, Anne and Carrie.

Watching: Too much DIY network. Has anyone else watched First Time Flippers? It basically makes me want to go purchase a dumpy property right now and flip it for some serious dough. Jared and I talk about it all the time and I think we really want to do it one day. Not anytime soon, but I can't imagine how rewarding that is to finish!

Eating: Well, nothing that was in our fridge/freezer. Womp, womp womp. I hate that so many things went to waste with the power outage, so I'm grateful I was able to snag some chicken and dumplings from my in-laws house last night. Yum!

Saying: "I'm stressed." It just feels like between the home selling process, building our new house, losing power, dealing with a feisty 9 month old.... yeah, I'm hanging by a thread.

Wearing: What Jared likes to call my mom uniform ;) Aka- jeans and a zip-up most days. I've graduated from the sweatpants of newborn SAHM days though, that's a positive. Now I'm rocking my Bengals track jacket and a variety of Nike ones (favorite!) too. It feels semi-put-together, but still comfortable.

Posting: As much as I can! I'm terrible at juggling life right now, but I do have a lot of things I want to blog about and share. If our power ever comes back on maybe I'll actually set aside some time this weekend to get a few of them done.

Hope everyone else stayed safe despite the crazy weather ripping through the midwest. While I'm annoyed not to have power, I'm incredibly thankful for my family's safety and for the lack of damage to our home- I know not everyone has been so lucky. Hugs!