Friday, July 21, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (2nd Batch)

The sale goes live for the general public today!  Happy shopping!  And just a heads up, many items that sold out during early access will be restocked today.  Nordies has been holding out on us!  So make sure to go back and check for new stock on items you weren't able to snag the first go around.  All my items have arrived from my first order, and I'm literally keeping everything except one hoodie.  So happy with my purchases so far.  I sifted through all the sale items again (and finally made it over the men's section), so today I'm sharing another round of favorites:

For Mama:
Smashbox Primer Duo
Colleen mentioned that this was her favorite primer, and for the price I'm totally willing to try it even though I already have a primer that I love.  Plus, I'm totally intrigued by the water spray finish!

For the littles:
TOMS Chukka Boot
I bought these exact shoes for Liam last year, and they lasted through all of Fall & Winter.  Perfect for dressing up or down.  I loved them so much, that Finn also has a pair this year.  Plus, Liam will be wearing a school uniform this year, and they are really strict about shoes.  Only neutral solid colors, and these pass all the restrictions; yay for already finding school shoes!

For baby:
Tucker + Tate Thomas Stripe T-shirt
This is the one & only item I bought for baby boy!  Which I suppose is a good thing, since lord knows he has plenty of hand me downs.  Loving the colors here.

For Him:
Hurley Phantom Recycled Swim Trunks
How awesome that there was swimwear on sale this year instead of Fall only items!  These trunks are sold out as of Thursday night but will hopefully be restocked by now.

BOSS Sidney Quarter Zip Pullover
I love a guy in a sweater.  Also scarves, but that is more of a rarity in our house.  Anyways, trying to convince Conor he needs this for Fall!

Any last minute favs or purchases I need to know about?!
*affiliate links used*

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Continuous Brew Kombucha

I've been brewing my own kombucha for about a year now, and I've had some requests to blog about it.  So here we are.  Our whole family drinks kombucha!  Conor has been a slow recruit, but the boys love it, especially Finn.  I love the slightly bubbly effervescence first thing in the morning.  The energy boost I get.  And how amazing it is for my gut.  Everyone should have fermented foods in their diet daily, and kombucha is about the best way to get those probiotics in my opinion!  I truly look forward to my morning booch!

First a little PSA about kombucha:  currently, there are no FDA guidelines as to what exactly kombucha has to be, or rather, has to contain.  Therefore, companies can slap the name "kombucha" on anything right now.  Kombucha is trendy and is grasping a huge chunk of the beverage market, so companies are capitalizing on this.  Coca-Cola has come out with their own version (Kevita) along with many others.  Much of the kombucha you can buy in the store is full of sugar!  So watch out!  If I'm buying kombucha at the store I pretty much stick with either G.T.'s Synergy or Humm.  Both are good quality brands.  But even still, some of the flavors can get a little high in sugar content.  I like to only buy flavors with under 4 grams of sugar per serving (most bottles are two servings).  

If you're already buying kombucha, then you know it can be a spendy little thing.  I like to try and buy in bulk from local brewers; many of our farmer's markets have vendors that will fill up growlers, as well as local coffee shops.  But if you're like me and drinking a bottle daily, then it really makes sense to just brew your own.  And I promise it's not nearly as intimidating as you may think!  I'm not going to go through a whole "how to" here.  Only because there are so many wonderful resources out there (here & here especially), and I'm certain they will be more concise and make far more sense than me.  So instead, I'm simply sharing what I use for my own continuous brew system:
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5

The book is a wonderful place to start if you have never brewed your own booch before, but if you are already familiar with brewing, than I would say skip that purchase.  It does have amazing flavor ideas, but that's about all I took away from it.  When I first started brewing, I brewed in small batches; which was a good start, but I'm so happy I switched to a continuous brew system!  After I saw a friend's setup, I realized how much easier it would be to bottle straight from the spigot!  I also like brewing 2 gallons at a time instead of just 1, especially with how much kombucha we drink in our house.   Plus I love the contamination risks are lower since you aren't constantly scooping into the batch to see if it's done fermenting.  You can simply pull a sample taste from the spigot.  I always do my second ferment after I bottle, which is when I add my flavors.  I love being creative here, with some flavors turning out waaaaaay better than others.  It's all an experiment!

So, who's going to start brewing their own booch?!
*affiliate links used*

Sunday, July 16, 2017

33 & 34 Weeks (Bump #3)

For the first time, I am truly feeling the nearly 8 months pregnant that I am!  The relentless heat hasn't helped.  But at least I'm managing not to swell up; yay for the little victories!  I'm spending my time in water as much as possible which is making the hottest summer ever somewhat bearable.  And possibly thanks to all the swimming, baby boy finally finally flipped to head down!  More below!

Total Weight Gain:  28 lbs.  The gain finally slowed down a bit!

Symptoms:  Just feeling huge in general.  And I swear I waddle; I don't think I ever waddled with the first two.  Back pain is starting to kick in, and I'm still just generally uncomfortable.  Which is strange because I was never uncomfortable with Liam, and with Finn, it wasn't until the very end.  Regardless, I still absolutely love being pregnant!

Movement:  Kane definitely seems to have obvious awake & asleep times now.  When he's active, he's all over the place & so so strong.  His kicks can hurt!  

Position:  Head down!!!  I had never realized how uncomfortable a transverse baby could be, until I experienced it myself.  I thought there would be this big moment when I would feel him flip, but he did it in my sleep just a few nights ago.  I was expecting to have a bit more relief, but surprisingly that hasn't been the case.  Kane is much higher than my first two, and I'm starting to guess bigger.  I think a 10 (11?!) lb baby is going to be my reality, so I'm wrapping my head around that now.  We peeked at Kane at my last midwife appointment and got the cutest picture of the bottom of his foot.  My midwife commented on the sheer size of it, calling it a bear claw (which has kinda become a nickname for baby in my head ever since).  I think some bear claw pastries will be in order the morning of his birthday.  Anyways, that big foot doesn't surprise me.  Immediately after Finn was born, the comments from the nurses were about how big he was in general (9 lb 10oz) & then especially how big his feet were!  So I make big babies, with big feet.  Oh Kane... my little Bear (claw).  

Nesting:  We bought Finn a new bed frame this week, so that we can convert his current one back to a crib.  I can't wait to get that setup in our room.  I really want to make a special space for baby while we are in this transition time before our new house is finished.  I also need to clear out about half my closet, so I have a spot for baby's things.  It's all just so exciting!

House Update:  Our permits were finally submitted!!!  As of now, we are expecting to move in sometime between Thanksgiving & Christmas which is really just terrible timing.  At this point, I'm actually hoping for more delays, so that we deal with the big move and selling our house after the holidays are over.

Liam's Thoughts:  He's been mentioning how I'll be busy taking care of Finn & Kane (not him, apparently he doesn't need taking care of anymore & does not put himself in the small child category), and how he's going to be extra helpful.  He also loves to talk about how we'll all fit in the bed together when Daddy travels; he's willing to give up a spot right next to me, and instead snuggle on the other side of Finn or Kane.  Love his heart!

Finn's Thoughts:  This boy is pure sweetness!  Whenever I climb on the table at midwife appointments to listen to baby's heart beat, he immediately kisses my belly and then my lips.  He lays the love on hard!  He is his most calm & gentle at these times, which makes me think he just may be the best thing to have around while I'm laboring.  I cannot wait to see this sweet side as soon as Kane is here & he gets to be a doting big brother!

My Thoughts:  I'm trying to really soak up this pregnancy, as it quite possibly could be my last.  But at the same time, I have a hard actually picturing this being the last time.  It's kinda a bizarre feeling.  Recently, Conor & I revisited some old conversations about whether or not there will be a 4th.  And while that decision won't actually be made for a couple years, it's on our mind.  So I'm trying to enjoy this pregnancy as my last, but not truly be able to wrap my head around the fact that it may actually be my truth!

Our next appointment with my midwife is for our home visit, eek!  Everything seems as though it's happening so quickly now.  She'll be bringing lots of supplies with her, so that we will be ready for whenever baby decides to come.  Although I am not expecting an early arrival, which means I'm being completely calm about Conor having one more business trip this week.  And I'm also feeling good about the fact that my mom won't be flying in until two days before my due date.  Liam & Finn were both three days late, so really, I'm banking on that timing again!  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (1st batch)

I'm sure everyone is aware that the Nordstrom site has been having major issues all day!  But apparently somewhere between midwife appointments, Costco runs, swim lessons, & just general keeping the kids alive, my order went through.  Since it was such a disaster on the website, I feel like I haven't even really skimmed the surface of the sale.  But I also tend to be boring and shop the same things.  The North Face, Hanky Panky, MAC, & then some staples from Halogen & Caslon always make their way into my cart.  Plus, I will just have had my baby come Fall, so it's mostly loose fitting & cozy items for me!  Plus, I need everything to be nursing friendly.  I haven't even looked over the Men's stuff yet (sorry Conor).  Really, I'm just pumped that I managed to get an order in.  So here's a brief look at what is making it's way home to my home:

For Me:

For the Boys:

And then of course, there are a few things on my wishlist; 
I'm just not quite ready to pull the trigger yet!

Well I'm tapped out on time for today.  I pretty much rely on friends & bloggers to give me the highlights from the sale.  I expect there will still be some more purchases in my future.

Happy Shopping!

*Affiliate links used.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Nine whole days at the lake house.  I won't say it was perfect, because of course, we had our mishaps.  A few trips to the urgent care (due to a nasty sliver my brother got in his foot), a stolen kayak (people... the worst!), & a night of vomit (too much lake water swallowed by Finny).  But the weather was gorgeous, the absolute best we have ever had (and even better considering all the 100 degree temps we left behind in Utah) & the family time priceless.  It was quite possibly my absolute favorite week at the lake house ever, my entire childhood included!

I love any & all opportunities to have the cousins together; there is nothing quite like raising your own little troop alongside your brother's.  Throw in Nana & Pops and the house was bustling & the boat rocking.  The laughter was contagious and the arguments minimal.  And I loved all the extra hands to help with child wrangling, cooking, & cocktail pouring (if only I could have imbibed myself!).

Each day was spent on the water.  Rope swings.  Pontoon boats.  Inner tubing.  Fishing.  Rock throwing.  And kneeboarding for one brave almost five year old!  I learned at age 4.5 on the exact same kneeboard that still sits in the boathouse.  The fluorescent colored Bullfrog!  It was such a special moment for me to help Liam strap into the board and take off.  Proud proud mama moment.  Same board, different rope & boat! ;-)

During our stay we celebrated the 4th of July with all sorts of illegal fireworks & a parade in downtown Spirit Lake, which is quintessential small town America.  No stop lights, 4 bars.  What else do you need?!  We made daily runs to a local ranch for fresh eggs.  The family has the cutest little hen house set up where you can snag a dozen (or two or three) eggs and simply leave your name along with some cash or a check.  I love simple things like this.  Where people actually still trust one another.  It reminds me of slower days & times.  That's the Idaho panhandle for ya, four wheelers parked outside restaurants included!

The boys spent their days helping Nana in the garden & buying maple bars with Pops (Finn threw a fit every single time since he couldn't devour his maple bar right there in the store).  There were tree house picnics and one epic water balloon fight.  Sunset dips in the lake & dinners on the deck, long after should-have-been bedtimes.  But at the lake, naps are long & luxurious, and everyone manages to sleep in.  So bedtimes really don't exist!  And apparently baths don't either.  I'm slightly embarrassed (slightly proud?) to say that the boys took a bath only twice during our stay (but the lake totally counts)!  I managed two showers...  And Conor one...  We really lived up that lake life!

A huge thank you to my parents who always make our time at the lake feel like a true vacation!  I have never done as much relaxing as I did this week.  We so treasure our time together, but my heart is still left longing for more.  Liam had a particularly hard time leaving, even days before our trip was over.  We had some good long talks about living in the moment, but really he just wants to live closer to family.  He never wants to leave, nor do I.  We still hold out hope, that a move back to the PNW may be in our future, but it's not in our immediate one.  So for now, we settle for 10 day trips to visit, cramming as much fun & love in as possible!

I love that my boys' childhoods will consist of many of my same memories from this special place.  And I still can't believe that the next time we're back, we'll have another little boy in tow.  Another little boy to share it all with.  Exciting things are ahead!

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