Monday, February 1, 2016

Word of the Year: Persevere



I have noticed that several fellow bloggers are following a "word of the year" trend either instead of or in addition to New Year's resolutions or goals. I've already well thought out goals for this year and posted about them (here), and there wasn't one word that seemed to jump out at me that I could use as inspiration for an entire year, so I thought I'd forgo participating this time around.

Life, however, had different plans for me. As you may know, I have been madly studying to achieve an insurance designation, the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). If you're not familiar with the insurance industry, the CPCU is the most prestigious designation and the most difficult to obtain. It is said to be equivalent to having a Master's degree in insurance. For the education component there are eight two-to-three hour exams to pass. After passing four exams, I scheduled my fifth at the end of January, on the 21st. I wasn't very confident this time and went in with a poor attitude. For the very first time, I walked out of the testing center with a piece of paper that read "non-pass."

I have been terribly upset for allowing myself to receive a "non-pass." The high of my previous passing streak suddenly wore off and I felt like a complete failure. I felt like I had wasted the $270 I paid for my exam slot and was kicking myself in the butt for all of those nights I spent on social media or going to sleep early instead of studying.

After letting my "non-pass" marinate for the past week and a half, I've come to realize that one of my biggest drawbacks is my attitude. I went into my exam with a poor attitude and I came out with a poor attitude, and that got me nowhere. It's been a struggle to come to terms with this, but I decided that I need to pick myself back up and use this experience as a positive building block on my way to achieving my long term goal of attaining the CPCU designation. I need to change my attitude completely and actually believe that I can achieve what I set my mind to. I need to persevere.

Not only with my studying and exams, but with all of my goals. I had to reminds myself of my 2016 goals (posted here) and reflect on the importance of perseverance for each one. Persevering in 2016 means I will be healthy, I will be happy with my blog, I will give birth naturally to my second child, I will be financially stable, I will make time to put my family first, and I will be content with myself. 

And so, my word of the year has been confirmed: Persevere.


My Little Pea Sprout

Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy Holidays: A Series of Unfortunate Events



Hello again! I was pretty excited to create a post full of fun and festive photos from the holidays, but a series of unfortunate events left our "happy holidays" slightly less than cheery. I almost abandoned this post completely, but even unfortunate moments are memories and maybe we'll get to laugh at these ones in the future. The far future. This is how the events of our holiday season unraveled.


  1. We got a pretty unexpected negative reaction when we made the decision to spend Christmas as a family in our own home instead of travelling to see family like we've done in the past. (Mind you, we live in a separate state and it is always us traveling several hundred miles with a toddler and five year old rather than anyone coming to see us).

  2. A few days before Christmas I got a call from my midwife saying that my last test showed a little bacteria, but she couldn't tell if I had an infection so I had to take antibiotics for the next week just in case. Ugh, my pill count just went up from four to six per day.

  3. On Christmas Eve, Liana fell on the hardwood floor and her top front teeth went through her bottom lip, leaving her gums purple and bruised, an open wound on the inside of her mouth, a fat lip, and a WHOLE LOT of blood and tears.

  4. On Christmas Day, Abel had a crying fit because he didn't want to come visit us for the weekend. He was extremely over tired and super grumpy until he finally fell asleep in the car.


  5. On New Year's Eve while visiting friends, Liana tried cranberry juice for the first time. She loved it! Then she vomited several times.

  6. Also on New Year's Eve at our friend's house, Liana got her head stuck in between the stair railings. This unleashed a lot of screaming, stomping, and many tears. Within minutes of being freed (Ashton and Chris practically had to pull iron bars a part), a giant egg appeared on the right side of her head above her ear because she panicked and was pulling so hard.

  7. On New Year's Day, Liana and I were sick all day. I spent half of the day in bed sleeping. Liana wanted to fight it so she spent the day on and off napping while Ashton dealt with the whiny inconsolable toddler tantrums.

  8. On the second day of the new year, it was Ashton’s turn. He spent the entire day in bed after spending most of the previous night sleepless and vomiting. Apparently Liana had passed on her misfortune.

  9. To top it all off, Liana has been a bit crankier than normal anyway because, oh guess what, she's teething again! Can she fit any more teeth in her mouth? Well her back molars on the bottom are almost all the way through now. She just has the top two left and teething will finally be over!

Of course we were still able to get a few cute moments out of our time. Liana helped me bake the cookies in the top picture, which I brought into work to share with my coworkers. Ashton squeezed her into her Christmas pajamas from last year which is why they say 'my first Christmas'. They are size 9-12 months and last year they were way too big on her (she was eight months old) and this year they were too small (she was twenty months old), but they are super cute and have her name embroidered on them! One of Liana's favorite Christmas gifts is her toy kitchen. She has played with it every day since Christmas morning and, as you can see, she likes to stick her head in the microwave! Finally, in the bottom picture Liana is rinsing her toothbrush after brushing her teeth. She slides her potty over to the sink and brushes her teeth all by herself. She loves it! Also, how cute are her little slippers that I got her for Christmas?

How did you and your family fare this holiday season? I hope your family had better luck than mine! x


Monday, January 4, 2016

7 Months Pregnant - 32 Weeks


Hello again! I figured it's about time for another little bump update, or "bumpdate", if you will.

I feel like a completely different person from my last update. To get right down to it, I have a few complaints. Like, when does this baby sleep? I am getting pummeled and drop kicked 24/7 and it's completely exhausting! My little darling also had a major growth spurt fairly quickly, leaving me with a new stretch mark, an aching pelvis, and several extra pounds. Today I weigh the same as the day I gave birth to Liana.... and I still potentially have eight weeks left! Ugh! At my 30 week appointment I was measuring at 32 weeks, which is a big deal for me because I have always measured small. I'm also popping iron pills like candy; I am up to three pills per day this time around. I absolutely cannot wait to be rid of them.

I still don't think Liana knows what to make of it when I tell her there is a baby in my belly. She just stares at my belly or pulls up my shirt and "boops" my belly button. Abel recently found out he will have a new brother or sister next month. He desperately wants a brother; he said, "no more girls." He'll only be six in a few weeks, but I am surprised he didn't figure it out sooner. We've talked about "the baby" in front of him and he sees my belly getting bigger but had no idea. I told him that when mommies and daddies decide to have a baby the mommy gets to carry the baby in her belly for a long time until it is ready to come out and ours will be ready next month. Thankfully his only question was if only the mommies get to have the baby in their belly!

Also, I have 100% decided to keep my baby's sex a surprise until birth. I know I've already talked about it in previous posts, but I think I was more trying to convince myself than other people. I think I had assumed I would cave in at some point and peek in the envelope out of impatience and curiosity. But I have absolutely made up my mind. I no longer have the burning desire to know, as I have already spent seven months bonding with my little surprise. That being said, I still am so excited to find out in the delivery room and cannot wait to meet our tiny new edition at the end of next month! xx



Ps. If you're also expecting a new little bundle, please leave your latest update in the comments; I'd love to read them! x

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Snapshot Saturday - Week #1


Today Liana, Abel, and I ventured out to the mall to see if the open bounce play area was open (and were super relieved that it was!). We ran around climbing, bouncing, sliding, and falling for two hours and were completely wiped out after. I say "we" because there were a few things that Liana desperately wanted to follow her brother on but was too small to climb or make it through on her own so I went in after her to help. She was so happy bouncing around and LOVED the slides. Liana made a friend, a girl probably about six or seven years old, who eventually took over helping her around so I didn't have to flop my nearly 32 week pregnant belly down all the slides to make sure she was okay. Abel also made his own friends, a group of three other boys his age, and completely ditched us! On the way home we stopped at Target for diapers and when Abel saw the #targetdog he begged for a photo. Liana clearly was not nearly as excited, however she was very tired from the two hour bounce session and it was slightly past her usual nap time. I quite enjoyed the bouncing myself and probably would have done quite a bit more had it not been for my belly. I am definitely such a kid at heart!


Come back next week for another Snapshot Saturday!




Super Busy Mum

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Danielle Hernandez

Looking back at this past year, 2015 was filled to the brim with adventure: I became an Auntie, Liana had her first birthday, I began studying for my insurance designation, Ashton achieved his project management designation, Liana learned to walk and talk, I became pregnant with sprout #2, Liana has been mastering arts and crafts at daycare, Liana had her first sleepovers and twice spent a full week at Grammy's, we went apple picking for the first time as a family, Abel taught Liana the joys of leaf jumping, we picked out our Christmas tree for the first time as a family, and we got to watch Liana's face light up as she saw her play kitchen set on Christmas morning. After typing that list I was hesitant for a second that 2016 could get any more adventurous than that, and then I remembered we are going to have two littles to keep up with. The fun is just beginning!

With all of the craziness that is about to be unleashed, I've decided to keep myself grounded and narrow down a small list of goals that I hope to complete in 2016, and then revisit them at the end of the year to see how I did.

Danielle Hernandez

Here's what I've got:

1. Lose baby weight and get in shape. After having Liana I never lost the last seven pounds that I gained and after getting a desk job I gained another three pounds. I'd like to actually make an effort this time to lose the weight and get to a point where my body feels healthy again, especially since I'll be chasing two munchkins around! I'm hoping to start doing yoga again because I used to really love going every week, and after the baby comes I'd like to go on a walk at least once a week with the kids.

2. Achieve the CPCU designation. I passed my first (of eight) exams in June of 2015 and it is supposed to take 2-3 years on average to complete. I have been working my butt off to get this done asap so I can focus on other things, like my growing family. I am hoping to complete it by this June, making my journey just over a year, but I know that will be difficult with the timing of the baby's arrival. Even if it does get pushed back, I will still definitely finish it this year!

3. Be more consistent and thorough with my blog posts. I am still posting here and there, but I feel like I am missing so much. I'm hoping the blogging groups I've joined will keep me motivated and accountable. I've also decided to join in on a photo challenege for the year called Snapshot Saturdays, during which every Saturday I will post a photo that sums up my week. I'm hoping to come up with some creative ideas and collage them all together at the end of the year.

4. Natural unmedicated childbirth number two. I am aiming to have a similar birthing experience with my second baby as I had with Liana. As far as I am concerned, everything went perfectly: I stayed at home and labored on my own and in the bath for a while (also while entertaining my sister and her husband as guests), we made a very smooth forty minute drive to the hospital, I labored in their tub for two hours, I pushed for barely fifteen minutes without any medication or IV necessary, and was breastfeeding my healthy baby girl within a half an hour.

5. Get out and go on more fun adventures as a family. I hope to be able to plan "family fun" days at least monthly to mix things up a bit and not sit on our butts every weekend. They don't have to be anything extravagant; simple things like going to the bounce play area in the mall, Dave & Busters to play arcade games for a few hours, apple or berry picking, or beach days are just fine.

6. Plan monthly date nights. Obviously this isn't my responsibility alone, but I miss spending time with Ashton and having fun together. I'd love an excuse to get all dressed up and go on a "real date," but I'd also have just as much fun on a date night in beating him at video games all night!

7. Get my finances in order. In 2015 I had a goal to pay off one credit card by the end of the year, and I actually made my final payment on December 31st! It feels good to have that out of the way, but 2016 is bringing on a whole new level of financial distress with two babies. This year I'd like to pay off my other credit card and also work on consistently putting a bit in a savings account each week.

8. Excel in my career. Since I am still relatively new in my department, I hope to learn as much as I can and do as well as I can before the baby comes. Our reviews are scheduled for February so hopefully mine is done before I go on leave so I know where I stand thus far. I started studing for my designation to get ahead at work, but I am afraid it might not be too useful in my current department so I am actually looking into getting my Master's degree. But that is a goal to begin in 2017.

9. Make 'me' time. Besides blogging, I want to work on making sure I have a bit of time to myself. With a new baby I want to make sure I still "feel like myself" (I'm sure other mums of young children know exactly what I mean!); painting my nails or taking time to do my hair once in a while, even maintaining my eyebrows and trying out new make up every so often will keep me sane.


I think that is a pretty decent list! I feel like there are several other things that I would like to accomplish, but putting too much on my plate tends to make me feel a bit overwhelmed and I get bogged down in the thought of finding time to do everything rather than starting and achieving anything. I'm excited to begin the year and document our crazy adventures and mishaps all over again!

Do you have goals for the new year? Leave them in the comments, I'd love to hear what others are looking to achieve! x

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Meet my December Solidarity Sister!

I've been really neglecting my blog lately  and feel rather guilty about it. I find it mildly difficult working full time, parenting, maintaining a fun relationship, studying for a designation, and keeping up with a blog on top of it all! To get myself back into a groove and also spark motivation with the new year right around the corner, I signed up for the Solidarity Sisters month long challenge for the month of December. Susannah over at Simple Moments Stick is the mastermind behind this great idea. She pairs up bloggers who are in the same blogging niche and who have similar interests and gives you a set of challenges to complete together each week. It is a really great opportunity to connect with fellow bloggers and get advice on how to improve your blog. (More info on how to join at the bottom of this post).

I was paired with Hil from Raising Fairies and Knights. She has two littles, who I learned are 21 months apart, which is a major coincidence, as Liana and her baby sibling will be 22 months apart if the baby is relatively on time. I also learned Hil had a home water birth with her son. How amazing is that? It's like my dream come true! Compromising with my boyfriend, we decided on a natural unmedicated birth with a midwife at the hospital of my choice. Last time I got to at least labor in the tub but not give birth in it. Enough about me, let's meet Hil!

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Blogger Name: Hil

Blogger Bio:  I am a mom of two (one and two and a half years old), working from home and raising my children to be vegetarians like my husband and I.  I love to camp and be outside, do crafts, yoga, bake, drink mocha's and follow the ways of the goddess. 


Blog Niche: Parenting, crafting, food, lifestyle.

Blog Description:  I write about a lot of things, being a mom, parenting a baby and toddler, relationships, crafts for toddlers, DIY's for adults, book and product reviews, vegetarian recipes and baking, and how to celebrate pagan holidays and traditional holidays with your family.

Length of Time Blogging: I have been blogging for seven months so far. 

Why I Started Blogging:   I was looking for a hobby to start feeling more like myself again after two kids.  Being a mom is amazing and my whole life, so why not blog about it and connect with other moms as well.

What Keeps Me Motivated:  Trying to be the best mom I can and share my experience with others in case it may help them too.  Blogging about seasonal crafts and activities and reviewing children's books has been a great way to bond more with my daughter and give us a great excuse to do tons of crafts together. 

Favorite Blog Post I've Written: I did it, I survived a year!

I wrote this only a few weeks ago but it was in celebration of my son's first birthday and how exhausting and amazing this past year with two little one's only 21 months apart was.

Goals For Your Blog in the Next Year:
1.  Engage readers more.
2.  Increase my following on social media. 
3.  Be more organized in my posts and having time to write them.

Greatest Achievement Outside of Blogging:  My at-home water birth of my son a year ago.  I wanted to have both my babies at home and unfortunately I was not able to with my daughter.  Giving birth in my own home in the water was such an amazing experience, I have never felt more like a goddess!

Favorite Blog(s) to Follow / Motivational Blog(s) and Why: What's Up Moms.  a YouTube channel.  If the name does not ring a bell, I am sure their parody music videos will!  "I'm so Pregnant", "Gangam Style", and "Blank Space" are just so amazing and I feel such a connection to the moms behind the channel.  These women are super mommy's who have it all and inspire me to work harder to do more with my children and try to help other mommy's too. 

Advice to New Bloggers:  Do your research and join other groups on Facebook.  Meeting other bloggers has been amazing and so helpful for me.  I have learned so much and made some great friends.  But you really have to do your research from the beginning or else you have to spend a lot of time going back over stuff to fix it.

Connect with me on social media!


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I hope you enjoyed meeting my December solidarity sister! Be sure to take a peek at her blog and leave her a comment on your favorite post! xx




Ps. If you'd like to join in the fun and sign up to be paired with your very own Solidarity Sister, click the button below!

SolidaritySister

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book review: Oasis, by Dima Zales

I have not read a book for pleasure in a long time, so when I was contacted for this review, I looked into it straight away. I was graciously provided the ebook for free in return for an honest review. As you'll read below, this book is captivating and refreshing. I loved that the author took a completely different direction when it comes to a post-apocalyptic storyline.



Oasis, The Last Humans Book 1

Written by New York Times bestselling author, Dima Zales.

Genre

Dystopian / Post-apocalyptic

Brief background

Oasis is meant to take place after the rest of the world's end. Oasis is the last livable place on Earth and is separated by a protective dome from the Goo that has destroyed the rest of the planet.

Storyline

The story begins with the main character, Theo, conversing with his imaginary friend, Phoe. We quickly learn of the advanced technological features of the society and their great benefits, such as immortality and the ability to enter a euphoric state called "oneness," on command. The residents of Oasis are protected from the ability to feel any anxiety, depression, or other emotion that could lead to a potentially catastrophic outcome, including love. Every resident maintains satisfaction with this way of living and has a stable neuro scan as proof.... or do they? It only takes one resident with a handful of questions to shake up this utopian civilization. The author brings the reader into Theo's world as he finds some shocking answers to the questions he once thought were innocent.

My reaction

I would describe this book as gripping and suspenseful... but only after making it through the first five or so chapters. The beginning chapters are filled with dialogue at an attempt to explain the setting of the story. The chapters are relatively short, so it makes for a quick read, but five chapters is still twenty percent of the book. It also seemed the author had a change of heart in who the audience is after the beginning chapters. I began reading thinking it was a book geared toward high school students because of the extremely simple language and the practice of "telling" rather than "showing" the progression of the story. Suddenly, a few larger or unique words are thrown in, almost mimicking SAT style vocabulary that a high school student might pick up on. After accepting this shift in writing style (about a third of the way through the book), I coincidentally became much more enthralled by how the plot was unraveling and was held in suspense at the end of almost every chapter. So much so, that I just couldn't put my phone down once I started reading and often fell asleep with it in my hand.

Rating

Overall, I'd rate this book a 7 out of 10. As previously stated, this book has a great storyline, the characters are believable, and I was on my toes wondering where the story would go next. However, when searching for a good book, the author's writing style, the language of the story, and how much I can relate to the characters or storyline play a large role in whether it's good enough to read again. This book was a genuinely interesting read from beginning to end, but I wouldn't pick it up to read a second time.


If you'd like to read it for yourself, the ebook is currently available for pre-sale on Amazon.com with a publication date of January 19, 2016.




*** I received this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I would never endorse a product if I did not love it. All comments on this product are entirely my own. ***

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mommy meltdown.


Pregnant women are known to be overly hormonal--crying uncontrollably as we watch Simba mourn the death of his father in The Lion King, becoming easily argumentative (especially with our partner), or developing sudden and intense cravings which must be satisfied immediately to avoid an aggressive outburst--but are, for the most part, forgiven for our general lack of emotional stability.

To be honest, I never thought of myself as one of these women. That is one group that I was perfectly okay with being excluded from. Throughout my first pregnancy and in this one so far, I've felt relatively 'normal' and considered Ashton pretty lucky to not have to deal with a sobbing queen or a raging bitch for nine months (excuse my crude, yet accurate, language). However, in light of the events that unfolded on Sunday evening, I am now forced to reevaluate my perceived normalcy.

It started off as an ordinary trip to the grocery store, just Liana and I. It was quite chilly out, so I told Liana to pick a hat to keep warm, and she chose her crocheted tiger hat that her Grammy made her. It's a bit small on her now and she has many others to choose from, but she insists on the tiger hat and I just can't say no to those big blue eyes. Off we went, picking up some fruit for Liana and a chocolate bar for me. As we strolled back out into the parking lot, I decided to stop into another store that is in the same plaza. We dropped our bag in the car before walking over to the other store. That's when I noticed... her tiger hat was missing! We retraced our steps and scoured the parking lot to no avail. I was devastated. We arrived home and I told Ashton that we lost the tiger hat. I had been doing quite well holding myself together, but Ashton reminded me of how much Liana loved that hat and I completely lost it. The more I thought about it, the more dismal my mood became. Liana often chose her tiger hat over the others and now she'll never wear it again. It was all my fault; I should have been paying better attention as I am entirely aware that she regularly throws things overboard. I felt the hot tears swell in my eyes and stream down my face and there was nothing I could do to stop them. Feeling entirely helpless I curled into a ball in our bed. It seemed as though Liana and Ashton also felt helpless, not knowing how to handle me. Liana was attempting to wipe away my tears and Ashton offered to go out and look for the hat again. I desperately wanted to take him up on the offer, but I grasped onto the little rationality that my altered state had maintained and so declined. I sobbed into my pillow for a good half an hour.

I kept asking myself, "what is wrong with me?" I couldn't come up with a reasonable answer until I replayed the shameful event the next day: I am pregnant. Crazy things are happening with my hormones, I am emotionally unstable at times, and I can't help it. Now that I have experienced my initiation into the group I was previously excluded from and can accept it for what it is, I will take a deep breath and move on.


If any other ladies want to share an embarrassing story about your pregnancy hormones acting up, leave a comment below, I'd love to read about them!



Monday, November 16, 2015

25 week pregnancy update

 
This was supposed to be a five month update, but I am a bit late as I will be six months along by next week. I've really been struggling with keeping up with my blog because of everything else that is going on (training for my new job, studying like mad for my designation, taking care of a toddler, and the list goes on). I am trying my best though, as I know I will want to read these posts later on. I've recently been revisiting posts I wrote while pregnant with Liana and have gotten quite emotional over a few of them! I feel very close to those posts because they represent who I was and everything I was feeling while carrying my first child, which is something I can only experience once. I feel compelled to keep up with updates this time around and feel similarly emotional about them since this will most likely be the last time I carry a child.


On a lighter note, this baby is wriggling around all day long, which apparently isn't surprising, as Liana's updates note that she was also regularly beating me up by 25 weeks. Speaking of Liana's updates... her 25 week update includes a photo of my breakfast for that day and when I saw it, my mouth started watering! Now I want waffles with cream cheese and berries... Mmm. I've also been craving anything chocolate lately and I have been really upset that most hot cocoa mixes have milk in them. -- I actually just had to pause after writing that sentence to google how to make hot cocoa with pure cocoa rather than a mix because I remembered we have cocoa in the cupboard. I know what I will be curling up with later!


Liana's 25 week update also included plans for Liana's nursery, which kind of makes me sad that we won't have a nursery set up for little sprout #2. We currently have three bedrooms in our home, one is mine and Ashton's, one is Liana's and the third is a spare room and a place for Abel when he stays over every other weekend. I have definitely thought about turning the spare room into the baby's room and having Abel sleep in Liana's room when he is over since they both sleep completely through the night. However, we have a lot of odd furniture in the spare room including a futon, two desks, two book shelves, a wide bureau, an end table, and an entertainment system with a large TV on it, as well as all of Abel's toys and bits. I get so overwhelmed every time I think about it, but I know I will be even more stressed out if I wait until the baby arrives. I'll have to browse pinterest later for some space saving ideas!


Besides the nursery situation, I have been feeling really well. I do tend to get exhausted a bit easier than during my last pregnancy, and am guessing that it is due to the fact that I have a desk job now. During my last pregnancy I was on my feet at work and was used to walking around for eight hours a day, five to six days per week, so I got plenty of exercise. This time around, my exercise consists of walking up and down two flights of stairs at work three times per day and chasing Liana around on the weekends. I'm actually disappointed in how little exercise I am getting, and know that I need to start being more active before I get too big and uncomfortable.


My overall current feeling is that I simply can not wait until the baby is born. Not because I am not enjoying being pregnant, but because I am excited to have a newborn again, and to see my two littles grow together in a new chapter of our lives. ♡


Monday, November 9, 2015

The best of autumn.


Hello November!

We all know that October sparks the beginning of autumn's festive nature with color changing foliage, the pumpkin spice craze, and the first appearance of boots in our wardrobe. But the autumnal coziness is undeniably evident in November, with the addition of sweaters and scarves, crunchy leaves, more crisp air, and, of course, we can't forget the delectable comfort feast that is Thanksgiving.


I'll admit that I am not the biggest fan of cold weather. I get cold fairly easily, so I tend to stay inside as autumn approaches. But everything outside is so nice to look at during this time of year. This may be a New England thing, or maybe just a New Hampshire thing, but I grew up around the tradition of "leaf peeping." That is, hopping in the car and going for a long ride just to witness the sheer beauty of the changing foliage. Am I the only one who enjoys this? Yes? Alright then.... moving on.


As for staying in, who doesn't love warming their hands on a cup of cocoa while bundled under a cozy fleece blanket and enjoying a romantic comedy with your partner? I would, except that romantic comedies aren't Ashton's thing, so we usually end up watching Law and Order SVU, Top Gear, or a stand-up comedy. But hey, a girl can dream, right? And pass me a cookie that I can dunk in my cocoa!

Two other hobbies come to mind during this time of year: baking and reading. I absolutely melt over baked goods and love when the scent fills the whole house. Muffins, scones, donuts, pies.... I'll have to do some research and whip up a good recipe to share. A great way to appreciate your warm baked goods is over that book you got earlier this year but haven't found time to read yet. I'm currently looking forward to picking up my copy of Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. I actually received it as a Christmas gift last year and have yet to open it up, but I've heard a million and one great things about it, so that is definitely on my to do list this season.


This year I am five months pregnant as we welcome the autumn season. What a great time to dress my expanding bump in some cozy new sweaters to keep warm. I've been craving a shopping trip and I feel this is the perfect excuse! I'm on the hunt for some black maternity pants that I can wear to work and some sweaters that aren't knitted and see-through (I have a habit of picking out cute knitted sweaters that require a perfectly matching undershirt to show through the holes). I'd also love some new leggings (who wouldn't?) and yoga pants to wear at home. If I'm feeling glamorous I'd like to splash a little autumn color on my nails since they've been lacking attention. Maybe I'll get a little festive with them around Christmas as well!


What are your favorite things about autumn?
Do you have traditions or activities that you look forward to during this time of year?