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The Second Trimester

The Second Trimester

We’re 30 weeks pregnant at this point and officially in our last trimester. It has gone by much quicker than I anticipated and I can’t believe we get to meet our sweet little babe in 10ish weeks.

You can read more about our journey up to this point here.

A little disclaimer: I am obviously not a doctor, I’m just a pregnant woman doing what I believe is best for me, my baby and my family. My preferences may not be your preferences and my beliefs may not align perfectly with yours or your experience and that is ok! It’s a bit vulnerable to speak about my birth preferences, decisions and medical care, but here we are. Please be kind. 😉 

The Second Trimester

Overall, the second trimester treated me well. I hate to say that knowing that some women have a tough time throughout pregnancy. I experienced hip/sacrum pain, heartburn, headaches and nasal congestion but none are constant and symptoms come and go. I was sleeping better, waking up less at night (that has changed since I entered the third trimester but I’ll save that for later haha!), my energy was high and I was able to stay active for the most part.… Read more

A Recap of Our Sedona Babymoon

A Recap of Our Sedona Babymoon

Last month my hubby Mike and I spent a lovely five days together in Sedona relaxing and soaking up the red rocks. He had a planned business trip to Scottsdale so after learning we’re expecting, we extended the trip and had ourselves a little Sedona babymoon. I love hiking so I was thrilled to get on some of the trails, particularly in the red-rock oasis that is Sedona. Hubby is more of a “let’s relax on vacation” kinda guy but we struck the perfect balance. It was a truly incredible trip.

Scottsdale

I gallivanted around Scottsdale for a few days while Mike attended his business conference before we headed to Sedona together. I’ll briefly touch on Scottsdale since it proved to have a lot to see.

Where We Stayed:

We stayed at the Hyatt at Gainey Ranch out of convenience because that was the location of the conference. No complaints about the hotel. The downstairs bistro was good, the gym was well-appointed (including a Peloton, yay!), the location was convenient. We had a rental car so during the day I got out to see what Scottsdale was all about.… Read more

We’re Expecting…

We’re Expecting…

I feel so blessed and excited to announce that my hubby Mike and I are expecting! I’m 19 weeks and we are due early June.

While I am overjoyed, I’d be lying if I said this pregnancy hasn’t been laden with anxiety, especially early on. It has been a bit of a journey for us since deciding to try to start a family two years ago. As you may know, we suffered a devastating miscarriage at 13 weeks early last year, shortly after announcing our news. That pregnancy followed an early-term loss (blighted ovum), which followed nearly a year of trying to conceive. It’s been a rollercoaster, to say the least, but we feel blessed to be pregnant again and have not lost hope that we will have a family of our own.

My first trimester was filled with all the pregnancy symptoms. I wasn’t sick and vomiting every day (thank goodness) but weeks 5-9 were pretty awful. Nauseous yet starving, food aversions, digestion issues, discomfort in my pelvis including two days of extreme tailbone pain (crazy!), a week of utter exhaustion, peeing ALL the time, and some other fun ones I’ll spare you from reading.… Read more

Summer Travel: A Peek Inside my Suitcase

Summer Travel: A Peek Inside my Suitcase

I am so excited to be heading down to the Florida Keys for a week-long vacation with family and friends. We rented a house on the water and the ocean is calling my name! I thought it would be fun to share a peek inside my suitcase and some of the things I packed for summer vacay!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I may earn a small commission for the referral at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Summer Travel: A Peek Inside My Suitcase

It’s going to be super hot so we’ll be spending a lot of time in the water and on the boat. The Keys are notorious for having a laid-back vibe so I packed casual pieces in addition to a few bathing suits and some other fun, summer accessories. Are y’all a fan of Amazon Fashion? I actually scored quite a few pieces from Amazon, including a few bathing suits and was actually impressed!

1. Albion Bathing Suit / 2. Away Luggage / 3. Flip Flops / 4.… Read more

Turning a Shed into a Chicken Coop

Turning a Shed into a Chicken Coop

Hi, friends! We started a new project and it’s for our cute little backyard flock! We’re turning a shed into a chicken coop. Here’s the backstory: A few months ago one of our hens was attacked by a fox. She survived because I was lucky enough to catch the attack in progress but she was in rough shape and lived in the bathtub for 8 days. It was very traumatizing…for her and me! Since then, my anxiety about another attack has been through the roof. I’ve even had dreams about it! It’s the worst!

The flock is getting a new house! Our current coop is just big enough for our 4 hens and it doesn’t have a run so we let them free range all day. We need a larger coop with a secure, enclosed run attached so they can scratch and hang out when they’re not free-ranging. I do still plan to let them free-range, but only for a limited period of time when I am outside with them to deter predators. This will also help cut back on the chicken poop around the yard, patio and porch (they poop a lot, y’all), make it easier if we go out of town and keep them from wandering into the neighbor’s pasture.… Read more

Make the Most Out of Used Citrus with Candied Orange Peels

Make the Most Out of Used Citrus with Candied Orange Peels

One of my goals for the year was to make an effort to reduce household waste and get the most out of what we buy and eat. Like making homemade broth from the carcass of roasted chicken, for example. I make fresh squeezed orange juice just about every day (with the help of my cute juicer) so I often have an excess of orange peels. Orange peels are not great for compost so I use them to make homemade cleaning solution or feed them to the neighbor’s horse (she loves them!) but we go through a lot of oranges and I feel guilty throwing them in the trash. My friend gave me the idea to use the peels to make candied orange peels and I had to try it!

Candied Orange Peels

Because I use my oranges for juicing, I started with juiced halves of oranges. I saved up a batch of orange peels (and grapefruit) in the freezer until I had about a dozen. The first thing you want to do is remove any remnants of the fruit so that you’re left with the peel and pith.… Read more

Beginner Tips to Reduce Household Waste

Beginner Tips to Reduce Household Waste

We’ve been composting as part of our efforts to get our garden up and running and it has got me thinking about other ways to reduce waste. While I feel like a zero-waste lifestyle is quite a commitment, today I’m sharing a few beginner tips to reduce household waste. I’ve always been an avid recycler, so I’m excited to see if I can implement some of these habits in our household to do my small part to make an impact on waste.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of my links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. Thank you for your support! 

Beginner Tips to Reduce Household Waste

Recycle – Seems like an easy one but it’s important to make sure you’re recycling properly. In my area, recycling has to be clean and loose in the bin (not bagged) with boxes flattened. Plastic grocery store bags and wet paper are not allowed. Plastic bags, cords and other tanglers shut down our recycling equipment every day, reducing the amount of recycling that can be processed.… Read more

How to Use a Butter Bell and a Roundup of My Faves

How to Use a Butter Bell and a Roundup of My Faves

My butter bell Instagram post last week generated a lot of interest! Many of you had never heard of it or were using it incorrectly so I thought I’d share a little about how to use a butter bell and a roundup of my faves.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I may receive a small commission for the referral. Thank you for your support! 

A butter bell, also known as a butter crock, butter server or butter keeper, is a French butter dish used to maintain the freshness and spreadable consistency of butter without refrigeration. This late 19th-century French-designed pottery crock has two parts: a base that holds water, and a cup to hold the packed butter which also serves as a lid. The cup containing butter is placed into the base, where water creates an airtight seal that keeps the air (and thus oxygen) away from the butter so that refrigeration is not needed, and the butter can be used in its soft form. This method will keep butter for around a month provided it is kept at temperatures below 80 °F (27 °C) and the water is changed regularly.… Read more

Stylish Cleaning Tools for Spring Cleaning

Stylish Cleaning Tools for Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air and with Spring comes Spring cleaning. If we’re going to have to clean, we may as well use cute stuff to do it! Today I’m rounding up some of my favorite stylish cleaning tools for your Spring cleaning. I personally have many items on the list and want the rest of them!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I may receive a small commission for the referral. 

Stylish Cleaning Tools for Spring Cleaning

 

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Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Last weekend hubby and I worked outside and we got so sunburnt! This prompted me to make my own homemade aloe vera gel using the flesh from the aloe plants we have growing in the landscaping. If you don’t have your own aloe plant you can sometimes find aloe leaves in the grocery store. Making homemade aloe vera gel is a pretty easy process.

How to Make Homemade Aloe Vera Gel

Cut leaves from the outer bottom of the plant. These are the most mature leaves and will yield the most flesh. I cut 3 leaves and it yielded about a cup of gel. Let the leaves sit in water for 5-10 minutes to allow the resin to drain out.

Begin peeling the skin off the aloe leaves. Find a technique that works best for you but I like to use a paring knife to cut the aloe into manageable sizes, cut the pointy sides off first then cut the skin off one side revealing the flesh. 

Then use a spoon to scrape the flesh off of the other side of the skin and put flesh into a clean bowl. … Read more