Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fashion Sensory - Nordstrom

Last summer I started Fashion Sensory, a series on the blog with fun outfits for both women and kids.  Jude started occupational therapy a year ago for sensory processing disorder and we quickly learned our insurance only covers a small number of visits each year.  We appealed and his therapy center/pediatrician fought his case but they stuck with their decision.  

I felt pretty terrible during the first trimester so the series got put on hold.  My hope is to bring it back as often as I can - I really enjoy it and hope you do too! 

Full disclosure - every outfit below contains an affiliated link(s), which means we are paid a small commission for each purchase made.  This is my personal "fundraiser" to help pay for Jude's therapy, while also sharing my favorite finds with my favorite people!  As if you needed another reason to shop, you now know you're shopping for a great cause.  :)


This week's post includes women's clothing from...
As fun as maternity clothes can be, I didn't include them this time.  I plan on doing a maternity post but am going to hold off a bit on that one!

One of my favorite trends this past year has been off the shoulder tops.  Long sleeve, short sleeve, I love them all.  If you haven't grabbed one yet, here are two options (both come in several colors)!


Add a choker and some distressed skinny jeans for a fun look!  



My other favorite trend of the season is over the knee boots.  I'm pretty particular about them (the look can go Pretty Woman really quickly if you're not careful) but find the right pair and they look amazing with dresses or skinny jeans.   The tunic below paired with your favorite jeans and these boots makes me so incredibly happy.  I also included one of my favorite totes - it's a great catch-all and perfect to carry year-round.

(Free People loves to advertise their tunics as dresses but unless you are 4'11, pants are pretty necessary)

Valentine's Day is around the corner!  Sloane keeps reminding me: "I can't wait for Balentine's Day - it's the day of LOOOOOVE."  Blush/peach is one of my favorite colors to wear and I thought both of these dresses were so pretty.  

If you're not going out but still want to celebrate the "Day of LOOOOOVE," here's two casual options that are still fun and festive (and ON SALE).  I have the tunic and wear it all the time (it's maternity friendly)! 


I found these last two pieces and was really curious what you'd think.  Are you into bright/bold or do you stick to navy/black?  I thought both looked striking but I definitely had a clear preference on each.  

The green dress will be packed in my bag when we head to the beach this summer.  I absolutely love it.  I think the navy is classic but I'm all for the bold color on this one.


However, when it comes to the wide leg jumpsuit I prefer the black (although the red is another amazing option for Valentine's Day).  What about you? 


 That's it for this week!  So happy to be back!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

27 Weeks!

I had my monthly appointment today and everything continues to look great.  I was assuming I'd do the glucose test this month but she didn't give me the drink at the last appointment so I kept my fingers crossed she'd just let it slide this pregnancy.  Nope! I left the appointment with drink in hand and am coming back in three weeks to take the dreaded test.  There is a high probability I will flunk (again) so I'm going to enjoy three more weeks of eating whatever I want before I move to the whole "your grilled chicken should be no larger than the palm of your hand" lifestyle.  Booooooring.

My blood pressure and weight gain are on track and Holland's heartbeat sounds perfect.  These appointments last 10 minutes so I spend the majority of my time in the car driving to/from the hospital.

This pregnancy - in almost every way - is so very different than the last.  We could wallpaper our entire home with ultrasound pictures of the twins.  I saw the four chambers of their hearts, tiny fingers & toes, and sweet profiles so many times I felt like I could sketch them in my sleep.  Every perinatologist appointment lasted 20-40 minutes - we would just stare at our babies as he politely walked us through each and every body part, over and over again.

This time?  We've seen her twice (I don't count the six week appointment when she was most definitely a white blob).  I need two hands to count the number of ultrasound pictures we've received.  We turned down all genetic testing because it wouldn't change our decision to have her and I'm anxious enough as it is without "possibilities" playing a role.  So while I still feel connected to her, there are so many unknowns.  Will she be healthy?  Will she have hair?  Is she even a SHE (it wouldn't be the first time an ultrasound was wrong)?

Thankfully, even with all of the unknowns, I'm far more relaxed this time.  The insomnia is in full force now, but when I'm awake at 3am I'm not thinking of the terrible possibilities that flooded my mind when I was pregnant with Jude & Sloane.  I'm mostly at peace and just... excited.  I guess it's because I've been down this road before?  I know for a fact we can do this as parents (I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I stared at the ceiling the last time I was pregnant and truly questioned our capabilities).  I know Michael is more than enough when I am less than, and I know we make a pretty damn good team with a newborn.  I also know Jude & Sloane will love her so, so much and their independence continues to grow a little more each day.  Everything I DO know makes up for all the things I don't.  And it also makes me that much more excited to meet her.

Enough serious talk, I also feel the need to share something: I wore yoga pants backwards the other day.  I was sitting on a bench while Jude was getting a haircut when I saw the brand's tiny logo on my shin.  "That's definitely supposed to be on my calf..."

I also lied to TWO different strangers at the mall when they asked how far along I was.  It was the "How much longer (because you look like you're due any day)?" remark and I couldn't bare the thought of telling them I still had three months to go.  Two months it is.  I'm shocked at how similar I look to the last pregnancy.  I realize I'm four years older and my body only knows a twin pregnancy but yowza.  Walking by a mirror always makes me do a double take.  I've also noticed my legs have grown and it doesn't take much to wear me out anymore.  This isn't too discouraging until I remember I still have 12 weeks to go.

I read The Giving Tree to Jude & Sloane a few days ago and bawled my eyes out.  I've read that book at least 100 times.  I couldn't even finish it because my voice went to that scary soprano place that just isn't pretty.  I've read it a few times since then and held it together but this morning I heard Sloane "reading" the story aloud and I found myself teary again.  Good Lord!

The nursery is well on its way!  The office furniture has been removed and is now sitting (not so) pretty in our bedroom.  We purchased a crib and moved the armoire from our bedroom into the nursery.  The rug also arrived this week!  Several little things still need to be done but we're officially calling it Holland's room and that's pretty great.  I also took advantage of the room's natural light and captured some pictures of the kiddos.







And some bump pictures from the last month...
24 weeks
25 weeks
26 weeks
I've had a BIG growth spurt since the last bump picture - 26 weeks now looks like a joke.  We're scheduled to have maternity pictures taken this weekend but it's supposed to start raining tomorrow and not stop until next Wednesday, so we'll see if that happens!

Until next time!
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Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Christmas Recap

The most wonderful time of the year feels like months ago, but that's par for the course with this blog.  Regardless, I want to recount as much of it as I can because this is the first Christmas the kiddos truly GOT it.  Not to say they fully understand the real meaning of Christmas (Jude still prefers baby Jesus to sit on the roof of our nativity and Sloane has continued her love of presents before people) but the awe and wonder and magic were definitely there.  It was wonderful.

A small confession: I am not one of those who gets positively giddy about Christmas.  I enjoy putting up the Christmas decorations but about two weeks in I start feeling super claustrophobic.  I'm a minimalist at heart and it's hard for me to see past the STUFF.  I also get overwhelmed with all of the projects, crafts, pictures, cards, etc.  I wish I could say it's because I am so holy and really get the true meaning of Christmas but it's a personality flaw more than anything else.


Meanwhile, Michael is and always has been a Christmas fanatic and thankfully our kiddos have taken after him.  I did make the request that we spread out the cheer over the weeks leading up to Christmas so it wouldn't feel too overwhelming for any of us.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving the kiddos had their picture taken with Santa.  We've gone to this Santa every year and he's always so patient and sweet with them, including this year when Jude gave the beard one too many tugs.  Sloane asked for a purple slinky and for the next four weeks we heard way too much about this blessed gift.


Something else about this age - my kiddos don't quite understand time.  After a week of Sloane waking us up every morning with, "Is TODAY Christmas?" we found this adorable countdown calendar that saved the day.  Errrr... days.  Each morning they took turns moving the mossy wreath over to the correct number and it was probably our best purchase of the season.


We chose our beautiful tree from this quaint tree farm in McKinney called Home Depot and trimmed it sparingly.  It fell once and we're still not sure if it was solely Jude or if Sloane had a part in it.  We lost a good man/ornament in the fall but it scared both of them enough that the tree was left alone for the remainder of the season.



One of the highlights of this year was the Grapevine Polar Express.  Jude & Sloane wore their Christmas pajamas and got to ride their first train with mom, dad, Mimi, and Papa.  They absolutely loved it.  We sang Christmas carols, wrote letters to Santa, and got to visit the North Pole.  They each received their own silver bell after the ride was over and they're still hanging in their room - the only decoration I couldn't bare to put away.  They also took another picture with Santa and I must say, this has to be my favorite picture of them with jolly St. Nick.  It was such a fun evening and a great memory for all of us.




Other than that, we sent out some Christmas cards...


Visited downtown McKinney to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree...



Started soccer for Sloane and gymnastics for Jude...



Made some epic gingerbread houses (next year we're going to bake cookies - this was NOT the most wonderful time of the year)...


Purchased Holland's first Christmas ornament...


Went to a wonderful friend's Christmas party...



Grew a (giant) baby...


And had a fun Christmas concert at school... (they kept with last year's theme of Jude sitting in the teacher's lap the entire time and Sloane taking a lavish bow and blowing kisses to her adoring public after singing about sweet baby Jesus)


We celebrated Christmas a week early with Michael's family and then drove to Arkansas to spend Christmas with my family.  Since we were there on Christmas day we packed all of the toys, the stockings, and even the Christmas countdown calendar.  Our cars were filled to the brim.

On Christmas Eve they opened presents from mom, dad, Gaga, and Poppy.  They loved it for the most part but it was a bit sensory overload for Jude (The presents!  The wrapping paper!  The bags! The tissue paper!) so we spent the rest of the evening giving him big hugs and lots of love.



Christmas morning came and all of the presents were already unwrapped and waiting for eager hands.  The two of them spent the day playing and playing and playing with their new toys.





Michael had to be back at work on Tuesday but the kids and I stayed the rest of the week so we could see Aunt Chelle, Uncle B, and the cousins.  It was such a wonderful time - the fab five get along incredibly well and we even managed to fit 10.5 people under one roof for five days without any long-term effects.  I found myself thinking about next Christmas and how sweet it will be to have Holland there in the mix.





2016 was quite the year.  I was juuuuust fine waving goodbye to it and was happy to welcome 2017 with a warm embrace.  Cheers to a new year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

PinkBlush | Giveaway

Winner of the Giveaway: Britney Thorne from Instagram!  Thanks so much to all who entered!

Merry (day after) Christmas!  I'm still working on our Christmas post - the most wonderful time of the year takes a lot of time to write.  Christmas was absolutely wonderful, Jude & Sloane had a blast, and I definitely had my fair share of lump-in-throat moments that tend to happen far more regularly than they used to.

In the meantime, I wanted to announce a really fun GIVEAWAY!  I teamed up with PinkBlush, who makes incredible maternity (and non-maternity) clothes!  I love their endless options because they're stylish, unique, and fair-priced.  Since this will absolutely be my last pregnancy, I've been very careful with my spending.  However, I have some fun weekends coming up in the next few months so I've scoured their site and found so many great options.

For instance... this tunic (part of their maternity collection) was right up my alley.

24 weeks!


My favorite part?  I will absolutely wear it once Holland arrives.  I'm all about oversized bohemian tops (one of the reasons I haven't had to buy much this pregnancy) so this fit right in with my style.

Now we all know I'm not a fashion blogger and posing by myself gives me all sorts of awkward anxiety, but I had a world-renowned photographer (Michael Haynes, I'm sure you've heard of him) take my pictures so it was pretty easy.

(Also - Right now take 25% off their entire site!!)




Giveaway: $75 to PinkBlush (Maternity or Non-Maternity)

This giveaway couldn't be easier.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post!  You can also tag some friends on Instagram (@meredith_haynes) for extra entries.  No need to follow, like, or repost.

In the meantime, check out PinkBlush's website or follow them on Instagram (@shoppinkblush).  Giveaway ends tomorrow (Tuesday) at midnight CST and winner will be notified on Wednesday!

GOOD LUCK!


Thanks to PinkBlush for sponsoring this giveaway and providing the tunic pictured above!  

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