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Monday, September 30, 2013

White Bean Chicken Chili

This is one of the easiest, least expensive, quickest, yummiest meals I love to make in the fall/winter.  

If you love Mexican food, but you try to behave...make this soup!
So yummy.


2 cans of white Northern beans
2 large cans of white chicken (drained)
1 can chicken broth
16 oz. salsa
5 slices pepperjack cheese (or more if you like it real spicy)
sour cream
corn chips

To make it:
  1. Empty all the canned ingredients into a big pot over a warm burner.
  2. Add the 16 oz. of salsa and stir.
  3. Once everything is warm, add the slices of pepperjack cheese.  Stir until melted.
  4. Serve with corn chips and sour cream as a garnish.
I know it sounds super easy...because it is!
Seriously, make this for a potluck or a small group meeting.
Everyone will love it.

September's Favorite Things
still being [molly]

Friday, September 27, 2013

24 Weeks

How Far Along: Last Saturday marked 24 weeks

Size of Baby: 1.7 pounds  Holy cow!

Weight Gain: 18 lbs

Stretch Marks: Nope!

Maternity Clothes:  Twice last week I wore entire outfits that didn't consist of a single piece of maternity clothing (including the one in this picture) - I have to admit, I was proud of myself.  Other than that, I'm loving my maternity clothes.  Particularly this dress from PinkBlush Maternity; click here to win a $25 credit to their shop!

Gender:  Sweet baby boy!

Movement:  I feel him more and more.  Especially when I just get done eating or while I'm exercising.

Sleep: This week has been a good week for sleep.  I think the cooler weather helps. 

Missing:  Sweating.  I know it sounds funny to those who hate exercising, but I'm really missing lifting weights, doing squats, and holding planks.  I'm still doing quite a bit of cardio each day, but I am missing my strength training.  I know some people strength train throughout pregnancy, but I'm just not comfortable doing that.  I don't feel like I was as advanced before getting pregnant as I should have been to keep up with it.

Loving:    Fall.  My supportive husband; the other day he took care of dinner/dishes while I tended to some housework I had let slip due to my grad school work.  

Craving:   Apples.  Now that they are in season, I'm itching to go picking!

Feeling: Fantastic.  I'm starting to have some back pain once in a while, but I think that is just from doing too much.  I need to learn to listen to my body and when I'm sore I can't push myself to run 3 miles.  It's okay to take it easy; I can stop considering myself lazy if I work all day and walk the dogs 2 miles without going for a run.

Looking Forward: This weekend we are going to an ECU football game.  It's the first and probably only one we will attend this season so I'm really excited.  I think I might whip up a special scarf just for the occasion.    Also, hubby emailed me (after a minor freakout in the bed at 9:00 one night) that we should have a nursery work day in a few weeks!  I'm SO looking forward to that.

Best Moment(s):   I've been stressed about getting the nursery done with all the other things I have going on in my life and hubby emailed me the other day to say that October 12th was wholly reserved for nursery work.  That simple email lifted a heavy weight off my shoulders.

That face...it was mine after I walked into the bank and paid off my car.

Stopped to capture my bump's shadow while out on a run this week.
Total miles: 35

A happy customer sent me a picture of her using my first ever carseat canopy!
She had contacted me asking if I could make one; I just love it when people ask me to step outside my comfort zone and make something I've never made before.  I realize new potential!
I'm currently selling these with mink for $30 and without mink for $25. 
(Mink is fleece and very warm for those colder months)

I have completed every. single. homework and reading assignment for the month of September.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

A pop of Sunshine

The beautiful Manda nominated me for the Sunshine Award so I thought I'd spread some sunshine today.  These are the rules in case you get tagged:

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself. 
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. 
5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated

Now for Manda's questions...

Scarf: gift, Top: Liz Lange Maternity, Jeans: Liz Lange Maternity

1. What made you start blogging?
I was reading several other blogs.  Particularly ones about sewing and sharing different tutorials.  After really connecting with some of those bloggers I decided I wanted in on the community that blogging provides.  So, I started my own space and haven't looked back since!

2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
I think if I could live anywhere it would be somewhere all of my friends and family lived.  There are certain places I would love to live, but it would put me far away from my loved ones so as long as I could take them with me I'd be good.

3. What's your favorite vacation spot or dream vacation?
I love our honeymoon; we did things on that trip that we knew we might never be able to afford to do again.  However, we would both really like to go to the west coast and rent a car to drive up and down and I would love to visit Italy and France.

4. If you could meet a blogger you haven't had a chance to meet in person, who would it be?
There are a few!  I would love to meet Manda because we text back and forth so much, I feel like we have been friends since childhood.  I would also really love to meet Merrick and Leanne.  They are 2 I originally started reading and they are SO talented.

5. What's your dream job?
I would love to be a stay at home mom.  I know I've been in school for many years, still paying debt on my loans, and that I just completed my National Boards, but I really want to just stay home with my babes.

6. What's your perfect date consist of?
I think the perfect date would be a walk on the beach with the dogs and a quiet dinner with live music.

7. What's your favorite bible passage or saying and why?
Psalm 46:5 God is within her; she will not fall.

8. If you were stuck on a desert island what would you bring?
Sunscreen, a filtered water bottle, and bug spray.  Bare essentials. 

9. What's your favorite thing to do on a free day?
I love free days.  Waking up early, enjoying a cup of coffee or cocoa, lighting some candles, and just easing in to my day.  Then I love sewing, making a Target run, or just being home.  I'm a huge homebody.

10. What would be your favorite gift you've ever received or given?
I have to admit my husband is the best gift giver, but I must say the priceless gift of being a mommy is the BEST gift I've ever received.

My questions:
1. Who is your blogger inspiration?
2. What is your biggest dream?
3.  How do you gain inspiration for your writing?
4.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?
5.  If money were no object, what would your perfect weekend entail?
6.  What is your favorite fall activity?
7.  What is one passion you may or may not share on your blog?
8.  What is your exercise routine?
9.  What was the last book you read?  How would you rate it?
10.  Share one thing about yourself.

My nominations:
Fitness Blondie
Mal Smiles
Because Shanna Said So
Still Being Molly
Head to Toe Chic
Mia Maree
Camp Patton
For Lauren and Lauren
Bliss to Bean
This is Happiness

Linking up for the Trend of the Month

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Transitioning Time

Blazer: JC Penney (similar), Shirt: Liz Lange Maternity, Skirt: me (similar, similar), Sandals: GAP outlet

It's that time of year that I love.  The time where my wardrobe starts to transition from summer to fall.  From flip flops to boots and tank tops to jackets.  

There's nothing I love more than being able to top off an outfit with a great jacket like the one here.  It is like a finishing touch on a good outfit...bringing it to great.  

What is your favorite transition piece?

In case you missed it, click here to register for a $25 credit to PinkBlush Maternity.

pleated poppy
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

PinkBlush Maternity

When you are pregnant and you find an article of maternity clothing that makes you feel beautiful;  something special that makes your body feel like it still belongs to you and even though you are sharing it with a miracle, it is gorgeous.  When it is swollen, heavy, and tired... you get it.

I am not complaining about pregnancy - honestly, I've felt more beautiful with a bump than I did without one the months leading up to my pregnancy.  Something about a pregnant woman has always been gorgeous to me.  

When I found PinkBlush Maternity and realized that they provide trendy maternity clothes for great prices, I was so excited.  They have the cutest dresses, skirts, tops, and bottoms.  Knowing I had several weddings in the fall, I purchased this navy blue lace dress thinking I could style it differently so that I could wear it to each event and no one would know the difference!  

I will go ahead and say, most maternity clothes are very comfortable and this dress is no exception.  I felt beautiful all night long and I was even able to dance to Ice Ice Baby!  Can't wait to share that with Baby G when he gets here!
Domesticated Working Woman

Link up your own celebrations below then scroll down to sign up to win a gift from PinkBlush!

Lucky for you, PinkBlush is offering one of my readers a $25 shop credit!  Just enter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 23, 2013

life after december 13

Psssst!  Tomorrow is September's CelebrateEVERYTHING link-up!
Make sure you stop back by and link up your celebrations.
Top: Motherhood (given to me), Jeans: Liz Lange Maternity, Shoes: Sanuk
last monday I sat down at my desk at work and suddenly i felt very overwhelmed; like i couldn't stand to teach that day, wanted to sit there and cry it out.  it was like all my grad school work and all my school responsibilities and everything just got piled on me all at once.  i wanted to give up.

i emailed my husband telling him i didn't know if i could do it all - that i was feeling so overwhelmed.  he reminded me that i was very far ahead in my program (i'm NOT a procrastinator so i'm literally 2 weeks ahead on assignments/readings just in case anything happens) and that i could just make a list of what needed to get done each day and cross things off as i went.  he also assured me that things that weren't crossed off could be done the next day.  
boy, do i love him.

then i started thinking about what life will be like after december 13th.  i graduate that day.  that means no more reading 15+ articles/chapters from textbooks each week on top of grading, planning, and school paperwork.  no more conducting research within my classroom; instead, focusing on what i want to do with my students and what we decide to do together.

the best part: graduating on december 13 leaves me with one whole month to be a wife to my husband before i become a mom, too.  a month for us to have as many date nights as we want, to share our last christmas just "us," and to really prepare for the beginning of our next journey.

i'm not wishing away time, but i'm looking forward to life after december 13th.

Grab this button from my sidebar and put it in tomorrow's post to link up your celebrations tomorrow!
Domesticated Working Woman

still being [molly]

Friday, September 20, 2013

6 months!

How Far Along: Last Saturday marked 23 weeks; according to What to Expect When You're Expecting 6 months is weeks 23-27 so here we are!

Size of Baby: > 1 pound, 11 inches, large mango

Weight Gain: 16 lbs

Stretch Marks: Nope!

Maternity Clothes:  My favorites are cotton shirts and knit skirts/dresses.

Gender:  Sweet baby boy!

Movement:  Sunday night I couldn't fall asleep.  I couldn't figure it out because I was so tired, but now I know why...  Had I been sleeping I would have missed feeling my baby boy kick from the outside for the first time.  I was so excited I woke up my husband! 

Sleep: Sleep comes and goes in spurts.  Mostly going at this point. 

Missing:  I have to admit with the feeling of fall moving in, I'd really like a pumpkin ale or some of the new caramel apple ale from Blue Moon.  But, if I'm being honest, I'd rather have a healthy baby boy than another beer in my whole entire life.  Easy choice.

Loving:    Consignment sales!  Why don't they have these for adults?  Or maybe they do and I just didn't know about them until I got pregnant.  Seriously, I spent $37 (well, my MIL did) at the consignment sale we went to Tuesday and came home with 2 bags full of clothes/toys!  We're talking Baby Gap loafers for $3 and Osh Kosh overalls for $5.  Awesome!

Craving:   Crunchy stuff.  Is that weird?  I think it's weird.

Feeling: Great!  Fall is so refreshing to me.  I just love everything about it; the air, the leaves, the colors...

Looking Forward: This weekend we are spending with some of our very best friends in Virginia Beach and I'm really excited to walk on the beach Saturday and do some thrifting while the boys play golf.  Then we will grill out Saturday night and head home Sunday.  

Best Moment(s):   Feeling baby boy from the outside was by far the best moment of the week.  I also loved going to a consignment sale with my mother in-law to purchase some cute clothes for our lil guy.  We had a doctor appoint Tuesday and it's always so wonderful to hear his heartbeat, nice and steady.

I decorated the house for fall.  It's my favorite.

We took the dogs for a hike at a new (to us) park nearby.
The trails were awesome and the weather was perfect.

I made a girlfriend a carseat canopy similar to this one.
I love the fabric she picked out (and I sell them for less than the ones I've seen online).
Also working on another diaper clutch for an upcoming baby shower!

Last, but definitely not least: I racked up some more miles for Manda's 30 in 30 challenge
for a total of 23 right now.  My goal is to get 50 this month.

Hope you had a good week!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Pregnant Exercise Checklist

So many women have said to me, "I had no idea there was maternity workout wear!"

In all honesty, I didn't either until I became pregnant.  It's one of those things you don't go looking for unless you need it, I suppose.  However, I've said it before and I'll say it again: maternity is expensive!  Seriously, puts a hurting on the wallet.  So, I thought I would come up with some items maternity and otherwise that would help a pregnant woman throughout pregnancy.  After all, why spend all that money if it really isn't necessary?

pregnancy exercise checklist

  1. Water Bottle: This is essential throughout pregnancy whether you are exercising or not.  You must drink tons of water.  I love this one because it keeps cold longer and has a convenient hook on top for carrying in and out of the gym.  
  2. Dry-fit, loose fitting tops: Now, more than ever, is a great time to throw away the old tee-shirts and invest in some loose, dry-fit material.  You sweat so much more carrying around an extra 15-30 pounds and you need fabric that is going to allow you to breath.  Not to mention if they are loose-fitting, they might last your whole pregnancy.  I'm still wearing my favorite (non-maternity) Under Armour shirts at 6 months.
  3. High Impact sports bra: If I'm being honest, you're going to want high impact even if you're just walking.  Also, don't be afraid to invest in a size bigger - after baby, you'll thank me.
  4. Maternity running capris: I didn't believe these were necessary until I got this pair from For Two Fitness.  Trust me when I say, they are worth every single penny!  The band helps to support your belly so that it isn't a big ball of weight bouncing up and down as you run.  And I think I could wear them after by folding down the band like yoga pants.
  5. Cushioned running socks: The extra support these socks provide my feet is heavenly after a day's work.  
  6. Good shoes: Whether you are walking, running, or doing aerobics, make sure you have the right shoe.  Get fitted.  Try them on and wear them around the store.  Do not settle.  You should never be wearing worn out shoes to work out in, but especially not now that you are pregnant.  If need be, invest in a nice pair of insoles.  I love Dr. Scholl's new active series insoles.  

The most important thing to remember is to equip yourself with the necessary gear to keep yourself and baby safe.  Pregnancy is not a time to throw your routine out the window, but definitely adapt it, talk to your doctor, and protect your joints.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Necklace: eBay, Dress: Target, Sandals: Belk (old, love these), Bracelets: Forever 21 & Stella&Dot

I'm one of those people that has always picked up something off the rack and tried to envision 3-4 ways I could wear it with what I already have in my closet.  Now that I'm pregnant, I do that even more.  For me, it is just unthinkable to purchase items that I will only get to wear a few months of my life.  I mean, I love shopping and I love fashion, but spending money on something I won't be able to wear in 5 months is definitely not something I want to do a lot of.  

I've purchased most of my maternity clothes from consignment sales, online yard sales, and clearance racks.  In fact, I think it's safe to say that I, personally, haven't spend more than $60-$70 on maternity clothes because I was so blessed with friends lending me their things and giving me their things that it hasn't been necessary.

This black dress is something I bought when I was in that in-between stage where you just look frumpy, not pregnant.  It is actually from the juniors section in Target and I bought it in a size bigger than I normally would so that it would grow with my bump.  I only paid $10 for it and I'm so glad I got it because it has easily become the most versatile dress in my current rotation.  Here, I just paired it with a statement necklace and sandals for work, but I've worn this with a glittery belt to a baby shower, Jack Rogers and a sash to a wedding, and I fully intend to pair it with leggings and boots come cooler weather.

What is the most versatile piece in your wardrobe?

pleated poppy

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Women are STRONGER

Necklace: Groopdealz, Shirt: Liz Lange Maternity, Skirt: Banana Republic (non-maternity), Bracelets: random shop & Stella&Dot

Can I just take a minute to be a little feministic today?  I hate the way the word feminist sounds because it almost sounds like a derogatory thing rolling off the tongue and that's not what I associate with it.  I mean, I'm not trying to gather a group to go burning bras or anything.  I just really think women deserve some credit for ALL the things we do.  Amen?

A feminist is someone who supports the rights and equality of women.

I think I fall into that category.  When it comes down to it, I want everyone to have the same rights and equality as long as they haven't done anything to lose that privilege.  I just don't want people to think I'm going around being a man basher

But, women....
Women are special.
Women are powerful.
Women do things that no man can do.

Women are STRONGER because...
  • They bring life into this world.  They endure hours (months really) of pain to breath new life into the world.  That's amazing.
  • They multitask.  A woman can make dinner, feed the baby, answer the phone, and look good doing it.  Let's see a man do that without breaking a sweat. ;o)
  • Nobody expects them to be.  Constantly, someone is expecting a woman to fail or become emotional or stress out.  I love it when that doesn't happen.
  • They work all day and come home to take care of their husband, the house, and the kids.  
  • They look good doing it!
I'm not discrediting all the work men do, but I am going out on a limb and saying that women don't just rock, they are rocks.