thirty candles.

because we wake up with our heads a little higher on our birthday, don’t we?

It seems like just the other day my sister was teasing me, saying I was a whole decade old on my 10th birthday (I cried). Fast forward twenty years and here I am — three decades old. Thirty years old. I’m not going to lie about my age or be sad that I’m 30 — heck no, I’m pumped! There are so many adventures I have to look forward to for this decade the next three decades of my life. Tim McGraw said it best… “The next 30 years will be the best years of my life… Raise a little family and hang out with my wife husband.” (Thanks, Tim.)

My day started out pretty ordinary with a couple minor set backs… the ice machine got clogged and when I opened the door, ice crashed to the floor; and after getting a few blocks from home, I realized I forgot my work computer and had to go back. Looking on the bright side, driving back home meant that I got to get another good look at the biggest birthday card ever!

happy 30th baby momma 🙂 (thanks, baby daddy)

I took the detour to work in order to make a stop at Starbucks for a super healthy Peppermint Mocha (Seriously, like Christmas in a cup). My co-workers brought in breakfast for a little birthday celebration and gave me a pink, glittery card with a unicorn on it. 🙂 For my “birthday lunch”, Cory and I made the best of the gorgeous, mild-temp day by going for a walk instead of out to eat. While on the trail, we passed by an older couple who were also walking hand-in-hand. They smiled at us as we did the same, and said, “After so many years, we still got it too!” as the woman swung her husband’s arm up. So cute. It’s amazing how a little walk on your lunch break makes you feel…

30th birthday baby bump+birthday walk

30th birthday baby bump+birthday walk

When the clock struck 5p, I headed home and saw these pretty packages waiting for me on the counter:

If Cory and I started gift wrapping business, I think we’d be millionaires. My husband’s got mad wrapping skills. He wrapped the striped one out of a Coach bag and even makes bows out of ribbon (I can’t make this stuff up!). And since we didn’t have any tissue paper, he decided to go green and use plastic Target bags (they actually looked kinda nice!). The pretty package’s contents..?

birthday goodies.

I kinda lied. It was actually just the racerback tank and a lulu gift-card, which I promptly spent before going to dinner. Much to my sadness, they only had one pair of red Wunder Unders left, one size too big. Cory had looked to buy them for me too, with no luck, before settling on the gift-card. I think it was a blessing in disguise because the Studio Pants are to-die-for. (I maybe wore them for five days straight over Thanksgiving weekend.) I had been wanting to purchase these for awhile now but always opted for something else. So glad I finally own a pair! I also have a feeling the fluorescent yellow ear warmer is going to come in handy this winter too.. If only it were at Welch Ski Village like most winters! (Due to my tendency of falling at least once when I’m out skiing + my off-balance center of gravity, I figured I better steer clear of the ski hill this year.)

We were in and out of Lulu just in time to make it to our dinner reservations at La Grolla right on schedule (this is very rare for me). As the server was walking us to our table, she stepped aside, much to my confusion, as I thought she was giving me the pick of tables in that area. Soon enough, I saw the Peines and then my sister and Nick, my cousin Rachel, and my cousin[in-law] Jake waiting for me as they said “SURPRISE!”. I was completely and utterly shocked. I had NO idea this was about to happen, which was a surprise in itself because I typically have a pretty good inkling when something [like this] is up. Cory pulled it off and I was overjoyed! Funny I didn’t get teared up given all the pregnancy hormones… All smiles (and probably a blushing face—not a fan of being the center of attention in a group of people)!

surprise!

(On a side note: That’s what I look like when I’m not prepared for a photo? Yikes.) We enjoyed some amazing food over great conversation and when the plates were cleared, a server placed a little plate with a cupcake+candle in front of me, and then in front of everyone else. BUT, they weren’t just any cupcakes… No, Cory had ordered them from our favorite cupcake lady who also made our wedding and baby cupcakes—Miss Sara’s Cakery. Best husband of the year award!

It truly was a fabulous 30th birthday [despite being the only one to toast with a glass of ice water]! A gigantic thank you to the husband I’m so lucky+blessed to have in my life and to my great friends+family for joining in on the surprise dinner party on a Monday night.

sisters+cousin margaret

sisters+cousin margaret

More birthday goodies I was spoiled with…

they know me so well. :)

they know me so well. 🙂

Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf (I’m in love with this. It’s SO soft and cozy!)

Adorbs Chevron mug. I’m all about the chevron craze!

Q+A 5-year Journal. A question each day that you answer 5 years in a row. (My birthday [November 19] question: When was the last time you checked social media?)

Pretty-looking & pretty-smelling candle. (I love candles but never want to splurge on the cost of the best ones so to get this was a real treat! Now to give in and actually burn it…)

Lululemon gift-card! It’s currently burning a hole in my pocket…

Beautiful Cyclamen flower/plant. I have successfully kept three plants alive for almost a year… Think I can add a 4th to the list!?

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fashion friday [maternity edition II]

I’m hoping, like a little kid on Christmas morning, that I get the red Lulu Wunder Unders for my birthday (hint hint, hubby). After this week, I’ve realized I pretty much wear three different pants leggings and they are all in the darkish color range (black, navy blue, jeans, dark grey). I need a little color in my life!! Bring on the red. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier wearing leggings every. single. day. BUT, I feel boring. Maybe that’s why I found this shirt at Target oddly cute and actually paid money for it.. Swans aren’t boring! Why am I drawn to this stuff? Cory hasn’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about it…

it’s a swan.

Just like eating anything sweet these days, wearing stretchy pants is addicting and I can’t stop. I just don’t find it necessary to annoy myself all day by wearing something uncomfortable. As long as I keep it creative up top, I think I can get by with this behavior for three more months. What do you think? And it’s not like new shoes ever hurt anybody either (shoes I want, but don’t have… yet).

yay, shoes!

Back to fashions of the upper body — the head. I’m not one to wear my glasses very often but I have this weird obsession with glasses in general. Love them. [I need to get over the fact that I feel like I’m wearing a shield the minute I step out into public with glasses on my face and then will be fine and would probably wear them more often.] In celebration of my 30th birthday and the three month countdown to meeting baby K (it’s very easy to find great+logical reasons to buy myself stuff), I got myself a little gifty-gift. Been wanting SALT frames for a long time now and finally snagged a pair. 🙂

pretty, right?

And, a little looksy at some maternity fashions from the last two weeks. I might as well crop out my legs next time (although I already look legless in a few of these photos!). We all know what’s going with that half of the body (in case you’re confused: you know, the legging obsession). A couple new hairstyles might be on the agenda as well…

WEEK 25.

It used to only happen at the mall, but online shopping has taken it to a whole new level — impulse buying. It takes seconds when your credit card and shipping/billing information is already on file and just a simple click of a button can empty your wallet place an order.

I was guilty a victim of impulse buying yesterday. You know, gilt.com? (seriously, sign up!) I got an email notification informing me that the new “shop” opening [in precisely 30 minutes] was BabyGap. I knew my fate the minute I saw that email and previewed the items. And I knew things would sell out quickly. I put a few things in my cart and watched as my allotted reserved time began it’s countdown. In the meantime, I had dialogue in my head with myself about whether or not I should place the order. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted a newborn size or 6-12 month size of one of the outfits (decisions, decisions!). I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a super cute “going home” outfit so ultimately decided to remove the 6-12 month size from my cart and keep the newborn one (as tempting as it was to just buy both!).

The reserved time was dwindling and I needed to make a decision. As I hovered the arrow over the “submit order” button, I knew it was totally impulsive and more money than I thought I should spend [impulsively]. But all the while, I didn’t care. I loved the little outfits. Loved. And she’s my first baby, my daughter, and she deserves every bit of cuteness, and what kind of mama am I if I don’t spoil her? In an instant “Thank you for your order” popped up on my screen…

BabyGap | gilt.com

I did make a couple other [not-as-impulsive] baby purchases this week. Any mamas out there play RockaBye Baby music to their little ones? Do they like it? I downloaded one CD, and if you know me at all, you’d know that if my favorite band had a lullaby music option, I’d be all over it. And, they do! So excited about this. Cory laughed at me (because he thinks I’m crazy cute, of course.) when I told him I was going to start listening to it in the car so that our little girl hears it, gets used to it, and likes it when she joins us in this world. I totally think my concept could probably will work.

Coldplay!

I’ll probably have to get a couple more juuuust in case I ever get sick of the 10 songs on this one. (U2 is next on my list!)

Every baby needs some cute socks to keep her feet warm, right!? I stole ordered these shoe-socks from Zulily for a whopping $10 for the set. (again, you should sign up for this site too!) Aren’t they so cute!? I went with the Classic colors, but really wanted the colorful ones too..

shoe socks.

And the one other thing I bought is the kick-ass orange zebra rug for her room. It’s Lucy-Approved! I have a feeling our 4-legged baby may spend her naps on this rug when her baby sis is sleeping in the crib. 🙂 I got an awesome deal on the rug too… it’s a thick wool, 5’x8′, 15% off, plus an additional 7% off, and free shipping = $140. And it came three days after placing the order! High five, overstock.com!

rug | overstock.com

This week, we also tackled the big project of painting the baby room! With a little tag-teaming, it went by in a flash. I typically am the “cutter-inner” while Cory takes on the rolling, but this time, not only did he roll, he helped cut in. (Who else hates taping!? I’d much rather cut in. Maybe it’s the artist in me.) We got a wild hair at 8pm on a Tuesday evening to start the project and finished by 11:30, clean up and all. Cory did end up doing one more coat of paint on the chalkboard wall, but I lucked out and didn’t have any part in it. 🙂 Here’s a before and after shot of the room, mess and all. You may not notice much difference yet, but I can’t wait to show photos (non-iPhone-photos) of it when it’s finished!

Although it looks brownish/taupe in this crappy photo, the finished product is actually grey with a slight purple undertone…

Coming up in week 26:

Little does Baby Koch know right now (FYI, if you are pronouncing this as Kock or Koch (with a -CH sound) in your head, that is wrong. It’s Coke, like the soda.) but she’s the reason I won’t be doing what I likely would be doing to celebrate my 30th birthday on Monday! You know, the usual thing a 30 year old would want to do — jump my brains out at SkyZone. 🙂 (Seriously, I want to go there so bad!) Or, perhaps have one too may glasses of my favorite wine (Apothic Red, please), a platter of mouth-watering sushi, and some chocolate chip cookie dough for dessert, followed by a nice big stretch out, on the floor, on my stomach. Nah, all that can wait until my 31st birthday. 🙂 I’d much rather celebrate turning 30, knowing I’m growing a healthy baby girl inside me. Best gift ever.

Also, I realize I haven’t taken this baby girl anywhere exciting for awhile. Well, lucky baby, she gets to make her “first trip” (if it can even be counted?) to my hometown of Hallock for the Thanksgiving holiday! I’m so excited for a long weekend away. There is just something about going home-home that gives me that warm-fuzzy feeling. Who’s with me? It’s also likely to be the last time I make that long drive home without a carseat (+baby) in the vehicle.. weeeeeirrrrrd!

Guess what… in just 20 days, I’ll be 200 days pregnant!

diy holiday banner [instant gratification]

Anyone else suffer from instant gratification-itis? I get an idea in my head and want to do it right now. But I don’t want it to take a long time. I need results quickly! (Maybe that’s why there is a stack of unfinished scrapbooks from years ago in a box in the basement, never to be finished?)

Onto quicker projects… awhile ago I saw something that inspired me to create a holiday banner to hang on our fireplace mantle. It would require only a few things and I knew I could get it done in a pretty short amount of time. Longest task: a trip to JoAnn Fabric for supplies (because it’s kind of like Target… you end up wandering around aimlessly looking at pretty home decor fabrics, envisioning a million things you could maybe do with them, and before you know it, you’ve been there for an hour).

Supply List:

Burlap fabric (I got a yard, however did not use it all)

1-2 Sheets White Felt (that has a sticky side)

Ribbon

Other [on hand] Supplies Needed:

Scissors

Ruler (if you want to be precise, unlike me.)

supplies.

Process:

I must make it known that I didn’t measure anything, I just started cutting. First, I cut out a triangle shape from the burlap and continued to do so by using the first one as sort of a template for the rest. (As you will notice, they are not perfect by any means.) After that, I cut out letters from the white felt. Again, I eyeballed and did this freehand so if you want to be more precise, you may need to print letter templates to do your letters. Since the felt had a sticky side, it was super easy to attach to the burlap (no glue necessary!).

I then cut two vertical slits in the burlap a little below the top edge of each triangle so I had a way to string them together with the ribbon. In order to keep them in place [so they wouldn’t slide down the ribbon] I put a small piece (1″) of double sided tape on the back side of the ribbon to hold it to each triangle.

Done! One hour = instant gratification!

It drapes a little longer than I’d prefer for our fireplace so I need to figure out what to do about that (perhaps measuring would have been beneficial after all). And pay no attention to the spindles of CDs used as weights to hold it in place (trashy classy, right?). We purchased hooks to tie the ends of the ribbon to, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. Over all, I love how it turned out! On a side note: I googled how flammable burlap is and found out it is extremely flammable (probably didn’t need google to confirm that one) so perhaps hanging it above the fireplace isn’t the best idea…? (To be on the safe side, we did a trial run with the fireplace on and I’m happy to report that nothing engulfed in flames, so we probably won’t worry about it, as long as we are home.) I can’t wait to add more decorations to the mantle for the holiday season!

Notice the painted pinecones in a photo? Blog post on that project coming soon. 🙂

Who else is super pumped to decorate for Christmas!?

OH HAPPY DAY.

no explanation needed.

During the two years that I worked for myself, every day sort of morphed into a Friday. The ever-awaited Friday lost it’s significance in my world. I didn’t mind staying up late any night during the week because the next day all I had to do was stumble downstairs, make coffee and start my work day in sweats. Now that I am back in the office, Friday has once again become an utter sweetness and has rediscovered it’s place in my heart. Oh how I love Friday. TGIF. Finally Friday. Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy every minute of your weekend. 🙂

WEEK 24 [baby room+rockthevote!]

Deciding what direction to go for the baby room has been a long time coming. I’ve been daydreaming brainstorming ideas, making mood boards, and looking at countless inspirations on Pinterest for months. There are so many fabulous ideas out there [and floating around in my head], picking just one has been no easy task for me. Now that it’s November and the holidays are just around the corner, January+February will be here before I know it, so I figured I best be gettin’ my butt in gear, making some real progress!

Here are some of my favorite baby rooms I’ve been eyeing up on Pinterest, finding inspiration in each one.

You may notice I’m drawn to rooms that don’t scream “GIRL”. I love girly things but I also don’t want her room to be overly frilly and princess-y [with rainbows and unicorns and hearts]. Fairly neutral, but with enough girliness to know it’s definitely a girl’s room and not a boy’s when you see it.

Here is what I came up with and the direction I’ve decided to go for our little lady’s future room…

1. Chalkboard wall. I am already scheming photo ops for years to come using this…

2. Basket. (Crate+Barrel) I haven’t picked which one I’ll buy yet but I want a basket or two for toys/blankets etc.

3. Wall Color. (Martha Stewart Cavern) The room is all cleaned out and ready for a fresh coat of paint!

4. NAME. (Pottery Barn Kids) Lowercase letters that spell out her name. 🙂

5. Vizlsa Mobile. My plan is to DIY this.. just need to figure out with what and how exactly, but it should be fairly simple. Vizsla love!

6. Turquoise Map. More less just to show color. I do love the map itself but I am not for sure planning on purchasing it.

7. Colorful+Fun Fabrics. If I can get my hands on all these fabrics, I likely will use them for something. One will probably be the back side to the chevron quilt my mom is making for us.

8. Crib. (Target) Modern+Simple.

9. Chevron Quilt. Light purple+white chevron with orange trim and a turquoise+purple+white+grey+orange pattern fabric on the back.

10. Orange+Cream Zebra Rug. (overstock.com) I took the plunge and ordered this! I wasn’t 100% decided on this color direction, but I love it and decided to go for it!

11. Lulu+Max stuffed animal. (HomeGoods) A random impulse purchase because I thought it was cute. Lucy wants it SO bad!!

12. Side Table. (Target) The bongo-looking side table (as Cory thinks)!

13. Knit Foot Pouf. (Target)

14. Rocker. (overstock.com) I also purchased an authentic Bentwood Rocker off Craigslist and have big plans for it so it may end up in the baby room instead of this one!

15. Dresser. This is how I want to refinish a dresser for the room. Another DIY project!

16. Owl Piggy Bank. (Urban Outfitters) Haven’t purchased yet but I think it may happen.

17. Wire Baskets. (Crate+Barrel) For organizing baby goods, like diapers, lotions, etc.

18. Lamp. (HomeGoods)

19. Artwork/Print. Not for sure getting this but love the colors and the print in general.

20. Colors Swatches. Orange+light purple+turquoise+grey.

So, what do you think? Anybody have any other fun ideas for her room!?

I’m hoping I don’t change my mind or stress myself out wondering if this is for sure what I want to do. Just thinking about that happening brings back memories of wedding planning… ! It’s just a room though, right? The most important “thing” in there will be the baby who occupies it. 🙂

A blog post today wouldn’t be right without making note of the election! I waited until after work to hit my polling place which may have been a mistake on my part. The line seemed never-ending, but after exactly one hour and being the #2486 voter of the day in my territory, I walked out with the classic red “I Voted” sticker on my shirt! #rockthevote

i voted | 24 weeks!

FASHION FRIDAY.

Every morning I wake up pregnant and a little bit bigger, deciding what to wear is a challenge. I will start thinking about it the minute my alarm goes off. The best is when I pick out my outfit the night before so don’t have to put any thought into it in the morning or end up with one of those I-didn’t-know-what-to-wear-so-tried-everything-on-and-now-my-room-is-a-disaster-moments! I’ve discovered that wearing jeans to work is just not possible preferred more than 1-2 times per week. I haven’t found comfort in the pair of maternity jeans I have, as every time I wear them, I feel like I constantly have to hike them up. Plus, having that stretchy material covering my belly under my shirt might be one of the most annoying things ever. I do have one pair of skinny jeans that are low enough that I can still wear and button them (that doesn’t mean they aren’t unbuttoned when I sit at my desk!). Stretchy leggings are definitely my go-to pants and I could honestly wear them every. single. day. if I didn’t find it necessary to change it up once in awhile. I’ve been digging through my closet and getting creative where I can, but have had to purchase a few longer and/or maternity shirts as well to expand the pregnancy wardrobe a bit. Other favorites and go-to items:

• Boots! I LOVE BOOTS!

• Scarves. Again, love love love. Who’s with me?

• Fun jewelry — earrings or a necklace (because sometimes I should need to take a break from the same old, favorite [leopard print] scarf every day!)

• Flats. If I’m not wearing boots, I’m wearing flats. Heels are out of the question, but I learned that long before I was pregnant. (Too many years of torturing myself in uncomfortable heels! What was I thinking?) Fun fact: Other than on Halloween for my costume, I have not worn heels to work ONCE since I started my job on August 6. I don’t foresee that number changing anytime soon. (Another random fact: I also have not worn a pair of dress pants in probably three years.)

Lulu Cool Racerback. I have this is purple, blue, black and hot pink and wear them under almost everything! I really want the grey/white striped one asap.

Lulu Wunder Unders. The leggings of choice. These things are ah-mazing. My next color purchase: red!

Here’s a glimpse into my maternity fashion wardrobe this week... (please pay no attention to the disaster of clothes behind me in my closet!)

 

Are my top stores to shop obvious at all?? 🙂 And maybe my go-to colors are also a dead giveaway. I think it’s time to invest in those red Wunder Unders and some other fun items to spice things up in the next few months! Some items on my I-could-really-benefit-from-these-practical-items I-really-want-these-things-now list…

On another fashion note: hair. Not that mine is anything to write home about, but check out this chick in the latest Anthropologie catalog. I love Anthropologie and I’m all for a messy hair style [done in a classy way], but really? What are the stylists thinking with this??

that’s just ugly & weird.

I think hairstyle is a huge part of a person’s style and overall appearance. So Cory’s occasional frustration with how long it takes me to get ready will never stop me from caring about making sure my hair looks acceptable, even if it’s messy but in a cute way. When I’m at home, not planning to leave or see anybody, my hair is another story. High, messy ponytail love!

What are your go-to, favorite items in your closet? Favorite colors to wear?

Happy Friday, everyone!