The Sweetest Baby Shower

The Sweetest Baby Shower

Last Saturday morning was both rainy, windy and wet, which meant it was an ideal day for a little Baby Shower. My mom hosted a beautiful party at her home to celebrate Baby ‘A’s impending arrival with our closest family and friends. The original plan was for the shower to be outdoors on her deck, but after seeing the weather forecast and realizing that Tropical Storm Bill would be arriving just in time for the party we decided to set up for an indoor affair instead.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

My mom did an amazing job putting together such a gorgeous day! The details were just perfect – from the neutral color pallet and tablescape, from the succulent favors to the simple games, and from the floral arrangements to the food, drinks and cake – I couldn’t have asked for a prettier way to celebrate.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

My mom rented all of the chairs, tables, linens, drinkware and dishware from a local party supplier. She ordered white tablecloths, burlap runners, and taupe napkins in sticking with the neutral theme.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

She stuck with simple myrtle and baby’s breath for the foliage and it looked absolutely gorgeous! She was able to get so much bang-for-her-buck by using these high statement, less costly florals. She said all of the florals only cost around $30 and she used them as a table runner/centerpiece, in two large vases in the room, and also spread out around the house.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

She also found these absolutely adorable single potted succulents at Lowe’s for the party favors. We tied a little ‘succulent care’ card onto the pot with jute ribbon. I have mine sitting in the windowsill of my kitchen and every time I see it I think of that special day.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

As guests arrived, we encouraged everyone to relax and grab a drink. We had a Lemonade-Iced Tea combination, and a fruit-infused water that was filled with raspberries and fresh mint.

Mint and Raspberry infused water, Arnold Palmer, Fruit Salad, Basil, mozzarella and tomato skewers

A couple month prior, my mom asked what I wanted to eat and I quickly said a variety of salads, but especially my favorite Dorothy Lane Market chicken salad. (The best!)

Baby Shower Eats - Dorothy Lane Market Chicken Salad

She knows I absolutely love pretzel buns too, so she bought slider-size buns at Costco that were perfect vessels for chicken salad sandwiches. We also had a fruit salad, green salad with fresh chopped veggies a homemade vinaigrette, and a few varieties of salads picked up from Whole Foods.

Baby Shower Menu - Chicken Salad Sandwich, Fruit Salad, Whole Foods Salads

Baby Shower Menu - Chicken Salad Sandwich, Fruit Salad, Whole Foods Salads

Baby Shower Menu - Chicken Salad Sandwich, Fruit Salad, Whole Foods Salads

While everyone was eating, we played the ‘Hidden Onesie’ game. Before people arrived, three onesies were hidden under chair cushions and whoever had the onesie traded it in for a Starbucks gift card. It was a cute way for guests to win prizes and for me to get a few cute onesies for the baby! Game number two was the traditional “Guess the Baby’s delivery date, weight and length.” After Baby ‘A’ is born, we will look at the guesses and the closest winner will also be getting a gift card. We flipped through them after the party and I loved the ladies who gave an estimated earlier due date and a bit smaller weight for Baby ‘A’. Bless all of you!!

Neutral Baby Shower Cake - white and chocolate with buttercream icing

After dinner, the cake was cut and cupcakes and coffee were also served while I opened gifts. The cake and cupcakes came from Ele, which is my absolute favorite bakery every. It was funny how when I started to think about it, Ele has been a part of all of my huge life events – High school and college graduations, my bachelorette party, wedding, birthdays, and now my Baby Shower! My mom used the invitations for the cake’s design and Ele did an amazing job! It was seriously the prettiest cake I’ve seen, and the cupcakes were so life-like and gorgeous it was hard to bite into them. The cake was half white and half chocolate, and the cupcakes were lemon. It was all slathered in a delicious and rich buttercream frosting, which is always my favorite part of their cakes.

Neutral Baby Shower - Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frositing

Baby ‘A’ received some good stuff including books, clothes, diapers, swaddlers, bedding and even his swing! I registered for the ‘Snug-a-Puppy’ swing after doing some research. This swing was less pricey and received some great reviews, so I am hoping that Baby ‘A’ will love it as much as his momma!

Overall, my rainy Baby Shower was one of the most beautiful days of my life. I remember feeling the same way about my Bridal Shower, and how having so many family members and life-long friends all coming together to celebrate a huge moment of my life is so special. It literally brings tears to my eyes thinking about it all over again!

Jana's Baby Shower

Conversation Time.

  • Do you have a favorite bakery where you always tend to order your cakes for special occasions? What is your favorite cake flavor and icing combination to get?
  • Mommas and mommas-to-be: Tell me about your Baby Shower. What was the favorite part for you?
  • Coming up with Baby Shower games to get guests involved is never an easy feat. What are some of your favorite Baby Shower games to play?
Pregnancy Posts: Week 29

Pregnancy Posts: Week 29

Week 28 of pregnancy was such a good one, but week 29 was great as well! I was able to visit the gym three times, go on some walks, had my baby shower and baby boy has been moving like crazy lately.

Nothing too crazy happened during Week 29, which was definitely a blessing. I would much rather take ‘boring’ than ‘eventful’ during pregnancy.  Since I had my beautiful baby shower the week before, (I will be sharing more about the shower Thursday on the blog!), it was nice to have a week that was a bit more laid back.

I have still been wearing my pregnancy belt for workouts and it is making a huge difference. I forgot it one morning and was shocked with what a difference it makes in my workouts. Without the belt I feel heavy and have a lot of lower abdomen pressure, but with the belt I feel much more like my pre-pregnancy self. I still highly recommend a belt purchase for all of you mommas-to-be out there!

At this point in pregnancy, I really haven’t found myself having as many cravings like I did in the earlier weeks. Most of my cravings from the first trimester had to do with simply surviving and being able to eat what sounded good. This amounted in a lot of bagels, dry cheerios, little-to-no fruits and veggies, and anything salty.

I did however crave Mexican food on Friday so my mom and I went to a restaurant by my office for lunch. I had a taco salad and a side of guacamole that absolutely hit the spot and was delicious. I am telling you friends, I could easily eat this every. single. day.

Taco Salad

I don’t know what it is about Mexican food this pregnancy, but if I could think of one thing I have really craved the entire time it’s been Mexican. Oh, and salt-and-vinegar kettle cooked potato chips – those things are my kryptonite!

Now that I’ve had my baby shower, we are really starting to think about getting the nursery together and finishing up our baby-necessity shopping. Our goal is to get the nursery painted (a subtle off-white color) and the new carpet in before our vacation later next month. We are hoping to have everything nice and organized by then just in case Baby ‘A’ makes an arrival earlier than expected.

My mom and I are going shopping this Friday to get a few things still on the list – which will hopefully include a dresser for the nursery. I would love to find a dresser that has a couple baskets for storing toys, but if not, then I may get a separate little bookcase if I think there is room.

I am also in the market for a set of curtains, a crib mattress and waterproof mattress pad, his changing pad and cover, a baby carrier, and some other items that we will need. I also need to get him some more sleepers and onesies since that is what he will be wearing for most of his first few months. I also realized that I still need to get a few hooded baby towels, his bathtub, and silly little things like baby nail clippers and bottle brushes. It is nice now that I’ve had my shower because I can distinguish what I really need with what I want!

Pregnancy Posts: 28 Weeks

Pregnancy Posts: 28 Weeks

Just a reminder that if you’ve missed any of my weekly pregnancy updates and pregnancy posts, you can find them at the top of this web page under the tab –> Pregnancy

Pregnancy Posts: Week 28

I survived my first week of the third trimester – and honestly it was a really good one! I had a good doctor’s appointment and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat Wednesday, and then I had a beautiful baby shower on Saturday hosted by my mom with plenty of family and friends. I will be sharing a Baby Shower post on its own sometime this week or early next week so stay tuned. It was such a beautiful and special day!

Jana's Baby Shower

Jana's Baby Shower

My 28 week check-up Wednesday went very well too. We were literally in-and-out in 20 minutes, so it was also one of my quickest appointments yet. My blood pressure was great at 100/62, my weight was up 16 pounds since pre-pregnancy, and I was given the passing results of my 3-hour blood glucose test, which re-confirmed the results I saw online last week. Also, I had my first measurement from the top of my belly to underneath my bump and I was measuring just about five days behind. I was told anything within three weeks is great and it’s really just to check and make sure that he is still growing and making progress week-to-week.

This week the baby’s kicks and movements have become much more noticeable. I don’t eat a lot of sugar, but after I had a slice of my favorite cake from my shower, he stayed busy all night long. Talk about a sugar rush! My mom was able to feel him multiple times and even my brother got to feel him kick as well.

Another update from Week 28 was that I finally got a pregnancy belt for walks and exercise! After discussing on the blog how I’ve been struggling with lower abdomen pressure and hip flexor pain, one of my best friends’ moms (who’s a Physical Therapist) recommended that I get a Saunders Stork S’port Maternity Belt. Per the website, “Stork S’port Maternity Support relieves the muscular pain and fatigue of pregnancy by correcting spinal alignment and gently supporting the abdomen. By supporting under—not over— the abdomen, this unique pregnancy support provides maximum relief with optimal safety and comfort. The Stork S’port Maternity Support does not require a stabilization strap above the abdomen.”

I wore it to the gym Friday as well as on some walks this week and am obsessed! I also wear it around the house when I’m doing household chores like vacuuming, or just after a long day at work when pelvic pressure is at a high. I highly recommend investing in this belt if you are pregnant and have any lower abdomen pressure, leg pressure, hip flexor pain, etc. I wear it up on my lower back and then it wraps under my abdomen. It has adjustable side panels that stretch and Velcro for extra support. It almost feels like wearing a corset (but in a good way) on my back, but then it adds just enough support without adding pressure to the front. When I wear it I literally don’t even feel like I’m pregnant because it takes all of the abdomen weight off  of my body. I didn’t even realize quite how much I needed it until I wore it for the first time. It is such a blessing, especially since I still have 11 weeks to go and plan to stay active up until the birth.

Who is Your Hero?

Who is Your Hero?

Who is your hero?

I figure the majority of you reading here have been asked this question before. For some, naming your hero can be easy as pie. One name and face immediately pops into your mind and you know exactly who the hero in your life is. Others, however, may find it harder to name one specific individual.

For me, I feel as if I have an entire list of heroes in their own unique way – my parents, my brother, my husband, and my late grandma are all heroes in my eyes. It would be so easy to name any one of them as my hero!

Since I’ve been experiencing pregnancy though, I truly see my mom on an entirely new level. She is the strongest and smartest woman, and most loving and caring mother that I know. Her incredible selflessness, especially when it comes to her family and children, is mind blowing. There is nothing my mom wouldn’t do to help me in any way that she can. She has worked hard every day that I can remember, and even though she would easily rack up 50-60 hour work weeks, she never missed a thing when I was growing up.

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

My mom would be up before the sun making sure my brother and I had eaten breakfast and had our homework all done, then would drop us off at school before she headed to her job filled with plenty of responsibilities. She would have dinner on the table every night and would typically pick us up from our late night activities, gymnastics for me, since she hadn’t seen us all day and didn’t want to miss a moment. My mom would then be the last one to go to bed, always making sure that we were taken care of and were sound asleep in our rooms before she laid down to sleep herself.

Even during those trying teenage years, my mom never once wavered for her love, trust and support of me. When I think back on any arguments we had, 99% of the time my mom was always right and just trying to help me make the best decision possible. In my 20’s, you would think that I would need my mom less than I did as a kid, but honestly it sometimes feels like I need her now even more! Being an adult and trying to find your own place in the world is really, really hard – at times I swear even harder than it was as a teenager. All those years of wanting to grow up and be on my own as an adult, now seems like another lifetime. There are moments I would give just about anything to be back under my parents roof with no real responsibilities, and with someone always an arm’s reach away to help or to hug. On those tough days though, I am so thankful for the independence and trust that my mom gave me while growing up. She always knew at the end of the day that I would make the right decision, and as much as she doesn’t like to admit it, those right decisions had so much to do with her and her own parenting style.

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

I never quite realized how amazing she really is until I’ve started thinking of myself as a soon-to-be mom. Selflessness, the ability to forgive, and learning how to love unconditionally are some of the things she’s taught me during my life through her actions that she may not have even realized. Being a mom is one of the most selfless acts you can ever do in your whole life. You open yourself up to pain, heartache, and hurt when you love your kids so much, but you are also taking that chance for the joy, love and pride that comes along with being a parent.

My mom is my hero and I hope to mimic her same selfless love to my son that she has given to me and my brother over the years. I am so grateful to be able to make her a grandma for the first time and I know that she will be as wonderful and loving to her grandbaby as she has been to me all of these years.

Mrs. Fields® is searching for America’s hometown heroes to appear on future boxes of Mrs. Fields cookies. 

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

You can enter your own Mrs. Fields® #ShareYourHero story in the contest online for a chance to win a year’s supply of cookies for yourself and your hero, along with your hero’s photo on a future box of Mrs. Field cookies!

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

As a proud supporter of the USO, Mrs. Fields® is donating 25,000 cookies to our heroes in uniform, including new flavors of cookies like Dark Chocolate Oatmeal and Butter Pecan Praline.

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

For participating in #ShareYourHero, I was compensated for my time and was also rewarded with a box of Mrs. Fields cookies to share with my hero – my mom!

Mrs. Fields #ShareYourHero

Conversation Time.

  • Who is the hero in your life? (Go ahead and share in the comments sections below as well as in the #ShareYourHero contest!)
  • What is one of the biggest life lessons that your hero has taught you?
Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Popsicles

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Popsicles

During the beginning of my pregnancy, I learned to deal with quite a few food aversions. It seemed as if every food I loved before pregnancy – fruit, coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, and yes, even peanut butter – now seemed to suddenly make my stomach turn.

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Breakfast was my favorite meal of the day until all these food aversions began. Peanut butter almost always found its way into my morning meal whether scooped on top of yogurt and overnight oats, added to a green smoothie, or topping my oatmeal or oat bran.

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Thankfully, all of my favorites slowly made their way back into my diet by the mid-way point of my 2nd trimester, and now I enjoy these foods pretty much every day again. I always seem to be in a hurry in the mornings, and since this summer has been pretty darn hot so far, finding a breakfast that is fast, quick and cold is a necessity.

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

I am a big fan of smoothie for breakfast, but sometimes I don’t even have enough time in the morning to throw all the ingredients into a blender before I’m heading out the door. I came up with a recipe using Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator that easily turns dessert into a healthy breakfast! These morning popsicles combine all the best breakfast ingredients – peanut butter, strawberries, maple syrup, oats and almond milk – along with cottage cheese for protein and creaminess to create a truly on-the-go breakfast treat.

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Blend the ingredients and pour into popsicle molds the night before and your breakfast will be ready to go by the next morning. This recipe is also perfect for kids and makes for an amazing afternoon snack on those hot summer days as well! Moms will love that all of the ingredients are recognizable and considered ‘whole foods’, and kids will enjoy having popsicle and peanut butter any time of the day.

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Popsicles

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator

1/2 cup sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/3 cup oats

1/4 cup of almond milk or cow’s milk (I used 2% milk since that is what I had in my fridge and it made the popsicles extra creamy!)

Directions

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until ingredients are pureed and combined, creating a ‘smoothie-like’ texture. Gently pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. Your Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Popsicles should be ready to grab and go by the next morning!

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

** I created this recipe as a part of the Peanut Butter & Co. ‘Pin-A-Pop’ Summer Sweepstakes. I was provided with peanut butter and popsicle molds by the company for this post.

Conversation Time.

  • Tell me – What is your favorite summer breakfast? Do you tend to shift toward cold cereals, smoothies and yogurt bowls in the summer, while preferring hot oatmeal in the cold months?
  • What is your favorite PB & Co. flavor: Dark Chocolate Dreams, White Chocolate Wonderful, Mighty Maple, Smooth Operator, or something else?