Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Prices all Year Long

zulilly

zulilly by coachgaines on Polyvore

I love Black Friday - everything about it: the deals, the caffeine highs (and lows), the Christmas music, everylittlething.  Usually I have a plan all mapped out with the different stops and which one I'm hitting first and all that jazz.  I have a feeling this year is going to be a little different.

I'm not saying I won't go out shopping on Black Friday, but I definitely won't be marathon shopping like I have in years past.  I mean, 9 months pregnant?  No go.

So, I was really excited when I joined Zulilly and realized you can get great deals on fantastic products all year long - not just that one day.  

Above I shared some of the recent things I've found on Zulilly that would be great gifts for me, you, or anyone!  I think it's awesome that you can find things like Under Armour Cold Gear and Columbia fleece jackets for a fraction of the price.  In fact, I bought my last pair of running shoes from Zulilly!  They're fantastic and I'm still running in them now.

By the way...that scarf is just $9.99.  Those earrings: $34.99 and the diaper bag is $74.99 (usually $125).  Practically unbeatable prices!  

If you're interested in signing up for Zulilly, just click here, register your email and you'll start receiving daily emails almost immediately.  Happy shopping!

I was not compensated in any way for this post.  It just happens to be a company I love
and I wanted to share with you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gift Guide

Here are a few gift guides I've come up with for the holiday season.  I've categorized them for the ladies, gentlemen, and children in your life!


ladies christmas gift guide

guys gift guide

kids gift guide

kids gift guide by coachgaines on Polyvore

Who's on your list this season?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What do you do with an acorn squash?

My mom and dad came to visit recently and mom brought us 4 fresh squash from home.  I was so excited and then I opened the bag and thought...what is that and what do I do with it?!


Mom told me it's an acorn squash!

I decided to try something new with it and I ended up making it two nights in a row because we liked it so much.  I mean, you pretty much can't mess up when you have squash, brown sugar, and butter.

In case you're not sure what to make as a side dish for Thanksgiving, here is what I did:

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the pumpkin looking guts inside.  Try to scrape the endges as best you can - that stringy stuff doesn't have any flavor.


Turn the squash halves upside down in about 1 3/4 inch water in a microwave safe dish.  Poke with a fork and microwave for 15-20 minutes (until soft).


Be careful removing them from the microwave - they will be hot!  Turn on the broiler in your oven to high.  Flip those bad boys over, add salt and pepper to taste, and put 1-2 Tablespoons fo butter in each half (2 was way too much for us so we cut back to 1) and 1-2 Tablespoons of brown sugar (again we cut it back to 1).  Put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes (until butter is melted).

Mix up all that buttery, sugary goodness within the squash and put it in a bowl to serve.  Yum!

Don't worry about the butter; the benefits of squash cancel it out.  




Monday, November 25, 2013

Online Window Shopping

Call me cheap.  Call me thrifty.  Whatever, but when I want something, I shop around.  Sometimes I shop around too much and it ends up meaning the item is no longer available.  Sometimes I'm extremely disappointed and continue searching and sometimes I realize it wasn't that big of a deal in the first place.  Often, however, shopping around saves me a buck or 30.

In recent cases, it's saved me much more.

I'd had my eye out for cardigans and booties to wear for my maternity pictures for quite a while.  I had pretty much decided that I was willing to spend some money on them since I haven't purchased a whole lot for myself wardrobe wise the past few months, I wanted something special for maternity pictures, and they were staple pieces that I could wear during and after pregnancy.

Some online window shopping saved the day!

I adore the boots on the left.  Seriously, adore.  They're from ModCloth.  And if you're doing one of those No Spend November challenges don't click on the site.  Seriously.  I want all the things.  I honestly don't think $68 was a bad price either.  When I saw the pair with cut-outs for $32, I couldn't help but save the $34 and get the adorable new trend.  I mean, that just means I have $34 more dollars to spend on myself later right?! *wink to the hubby*


bootie steal

bootie steal by coachgaines featuring a black ankle bootie

And...I had decided on a cardigan - actually decided that I was willing to spend the $80 price tag for the one from PacSun.  I went online to look at it one more time and take the plunge only to find it was marked down to $24.99!  Talk about a total score.  It is the softest, best cardigan ever and it will be perfect for pictures or snuggling up with baby.  And unfortunately, it's no longer available - glad I jumped on it when it hit the discount.

Pretty much I got my entire outfit figured out for the price of the original booties I wanted.  Which I still love, but how about those cut-outs on the ones I got?!

still being [molly]

Friday, November 22, 2013

32 Weeks


How Far Along: Last Saturday marked 32 weeks

Size of Baby: Approx 4 pounds

Weight Gain: 32 lbs

Stretch Marks: Don't think so.

Maternity Clothes:  The stretchier the better.

Gender:  Sweet baby boy!

Movement:  He moves alllll the time.  I love feeling him because it means he's growing big and strong.

Sleep: Never enough.  Even when I'm sleeping, I don't feel like I slept.

Missing:  A glass of wine, kahlua and milk, egg nog.  Those festive things.

Loving:  Decorating for Christmas.  We did it earlier than normal this year since we are heading home for Thanksgiving and I don't want to have to worry about it when I'm 34 weeks pregnant.

Craving:   Family time, pumpkin pie, and broccoli casserole.  Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Feeling: Excited to see my family and friends and have our last shower next week.  Can't wait to be home.

Looking Forward: Hoping I get to see some *pretty* snow while I'm home!

Best Moment(s):   Last Saturday my sweet friends threw us a shower and so many special people came.  It really means the world to me when people are so generous and loving and forthcoming.  This little boy is already so loved by so many.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Wish List

My husband has already started asking me what I want for Christmas and all I can think is I'm going to be a huge, pregnant, lump at that point and can't even fathom what I would possibly want.  However, we've decided that since this is our last Christmas just "us" we are going to make it special.

So, I'm trying really hard to come up with some items that I would love to have and that I will be able to use 9 months pregnant and after!  Here is what I've come up with so far...
Christmas wish list




What are you wishing for this holiday season?

Sign up for this giveaway and get an early Christmas present!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Center of Attention

I find it awkward when I'm the center of attention.  You know like when it's your shower and 30something people are watching you open gifts?  I never know what to do or say or wear.

I go through my closet and think...what would I want to look at the whole time someone else is opening gifts?  Or what do I want people to see when I am sitting there opening all of the generous gifts?  At least with babies, everyone is genuinely interested in what you are receiving and most of them have an opinion or story that goes along with it.  

I welcome those stories and opinions; obviously they have more experience than me at this point!

Obviously comfort is key when you're 8 months pregnant and when North Carolina unexpectedly turns a tad chilly and your shower is at 10 a.m. warmth is priority, too.

At this point, sitting for long periods of time isn't comfortable.  Neither is standing for that matter.  So wearing something that feels like pajamas and looks like fashion was right up my alley.  Luckily, maternity clothes have a way of doing that.

I must add the shower was beautiful.  It was thrown by my mother inlaw and many of my husbands friends and family attended.  I am always blown away by people's generosity and we were blessed with so many beautiful things for baby.  I can't wait to share them all when we reveal the nursery.

Blazer: Belk (love this one), Top: thrifted, Leggings: Old Navy, Boots: Jessica Simpson 



*Go sign up to win a handmade hat here!*


pleated poppy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When Your Hubby Surprises You

*If you missed it, I have a great giveaway going right now from LillyBean!  Check it out here.*


Last week my husband randomly asked me one afternoon if I would be interested in going to a Duke game Friday night.

Interested?

I practically jumped out of my chair and had to actually reconsider what he had just offered.  Duke tickets are sacred and unless you know someone who knows someone who knows someone whose had season tickets for decades, you just assume you'll never get to go to one.  Or okay...you could be a Cameron Crazy or something, but pretty much - not happening.

Sweater: Old Navy, Tee: Liz Lange for Target, Jeans: Liz Lange for Target, Shoes: Blowfish via Marshalls, Earrings: c/o Dress 2 Kill Closet, Necklace: eBay


Obviously none of my Duke t-shirts are going to fit this belly and it would be silly to go out and buy one to fit it since I won't be able to wear it later.  

So, what do you wear when you are 8 months pregnant and your hubby randomly surprises you with Duke tickets? 

All the Duke blue things you have in your closet.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

LillyBean Giveaway

I'm really excited to have let Rebecca of LillyBean take over my blog for the day for a few reasons.
1. We went to the same high school in the same small town and it's so exciting for me to see someone else doing what they love, being creative, and flourishing from where we came from.  2. She is a mom to 2 beautiful little girls and I love supporting moms who maintain that sense of self with creative outlets.  3. Her products are awesome.  I own them and love them and I think you will feel the same way.  Read more about her vision below and sign up to win a hat of choice!

*****

Hi there! I am Rebecca Jones of LillyBean and so excited to be a guest of Lindsay’s blog! Isn’t she just the cutest little prego you have ever seen?!?! Lindsay has asked me to tell you all a bit about my little business, and I promise, if you read it, there is a…wait for it…SPECTACULAR GIVEAWAY!

Here goes!

I am a stay at home Mama of 3 year old twin girlies. I start with this statement because they are the most important part of me and a huge inspiration for everything that comes out of LillyBean. In fact, if it were not for my girls, I am not sure that my business would even exist outside of my own head.

When I graduated from High School, it seemed natural to pursue Fine Art. I loved it, I mean seriously, who wouldn’t love painting and drawing instead of writing a paper?? However, there was always a bit of an inner struggle inside of me…what am I going to do with this piece??

I am a very practical person. I am also very thrifty. (Thrifty is so much more flattering than cheap, don’t you agree?) So when it came to making something, I always felt it had to serve a purpose. That’s a big NO-NO in art school. That would be considered a craft (gasp!)

But I like crafting, what is so wrong with that?? (this is said in my best whiney voice btw)

Anyway….I finished art school and married. I became an Academic Coordinator with a program for at-risk teens. Yes, I know, absolutely nothing to do with art. I liked it but never felt it was the end all be all of careers for me. Then we began the baby making process and we were blessed with twins. We decided (in the waiting room after the ultrasound) that I would become a stay at home Mom.


Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BEING A MOM, but I also love me too and seriously missed being creative and having something for myself. I needed an outlet outside of changing diapers and cleaning up vomit and rocking my babes to sleep. A friend of mine was expecting a baby and rather than hitting up her baby registry like every good friend does, I decided to make her gift. I made her daughter monthly banner for the nursery that she could use to hang monthly photos. I also made some hair bows, my first shot at them. Everyone at the shower gushed and some even cried because it was so beautiful (just kidding about the crying part, though that is how I like to sometimes remember it in my head.)

I was contacted by two people after the shower to make more goodies…OMG, OMG. This was SUPER exciting to me because I felt that I might just be on to something! It started to snowball…..

I needed a business name and it was time to make a real go at this. My daughters’ names are Lillian (Lilly) and Stella. From birth we started calling Ms. Stella “Stella Bean” (like a jelly bean, get it?) It just seemed natural to name by little business LillyBean.


I grew up going to craft fairs and as small time as it seems, I always dreamed of one day having all of my creations on display for others to buy (and cherish forever and ever and ever.)

My mother gave me the push I needed to sign up for my first craft fair. And by push, I of course mean endless moral support, oh and a little financial backing hehe. I seriously underestimated how much work it would be to create a good inventory. I crafted during naptime and after bedtime. My mom drove 4 hours to help me out with my first show and an addiction was created! I made a bunch of money and was HOOKED!

I started with hair bows and have just let it evolve.  My hottest items at the moment as the weather gets cool are my crochet hats.  I started them last fall and they have become more and more popular. 


And now we are to the point of my GIVEAWAY! 



I will make one lucky winner a hat of their choice.  You will just need to pick out your color combo.  These are for children and adults!

And I ship anywhere, so put your thinking caps on for holiday gift ideas!  Terrible pun, sadly intended.  I LOVE doing custom orders, so message me on FB or email me at  lillybeanjones@gmail.com; let's make something together!


Is her shop not adorable?!
I love everything about it: the special meaning behind the name, the products she carries,
and her heart for crafting.  I wish you luck!  What a great Christmas gift a nice crocheted hat would make for anyone...even yourself!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Dr. Scholl's Active Series | Product Review

Love a good walk/run in the crunchy leaves.

As a runner, I've tried many ways to extend the life of my running shoes.  They're a pricey investment (but worth it) and if you run often, they need to be purchased multiple times a year.  When people ask me what to look for in exercise shoes, I always start by saying: you must get fitted.

Not all feet are created equal.

You need to make sure that whatever shoe you are purchasing is made to fit your foot.  Everything from the size of your arch to the way your foot lands on the ground when you walk affects what type of shoes you need to wear.  However, the wear and tear on your feet and joints will not be totally eased by having the right shoe so its important to provide extra comfort when possible.


When Influenster contacted me and offered to let me try these Dr. Scholl's Active Series insoles, I was super excited!  I mean, I've worn running shoes for miles longer than I thought possible with insoles because they really do extend the life of your shoe (if the body of the shoe is in good shape).  

These particular insoles are the most comfortable I've ever tried and I'm not just saying that.  They have special padding for each section of your foot and they were very easy to fit in the running shoes I already owned.  Let's also talk about the fact that pregnant feet = flat feet and these literally feel like a massage when I put my foot down on them.  


Not much longer and I won't be able to see my feet while I walk, but at least they'll be comfortable!


31 Weeks



How Far Along: Last Saturday marked 31 weeks

Size of Baby: Approx 3.5 pounds

Weight Gain: 30 lbs - I've been dreading that number.  Ho hum!

Stretch Marks: It's hard to tell, but there may be the makings of some around my belly button...keepin on with the lotion.

Maternity Clothes:  Oh yes!  P.S. It's so hard to figure out what to wear to showers!

Gender:  Sweet baby boy!

Movement:  He is a restless little thing!  Since he is getting bigger I'm feeling him move the entire day.  I love it.  Every once in a while he moves really quickly or hits something just right and it gives you that dip in the tummy like when you're on a roller coaster.  I'm not gonna lie...I kinda like it.

Sleep: Eh.  Thankful for a loving husband that quietly escapes the bed, keeps the dogs out of the room, and lets me continue resting when I can.

Missing:  Wine.  Still.  I have a feeling this will last the next 8 weeks.

Loving:  The cold air.  I love having a need to drink cocoa, wear slippers, and turn on the gas logs.

Craving:   Just some quiet time.  Time to reflect on the last few months, prepare my heart and mind for what comes next.  I really just want to soak this all in before its over.

Feeling: Blessed.  A healthy baby boy.  It's literally the best feeling in the entire world.

Looking Forward: We have another shower this weekend with friends.  I'm especially excited that some of my friends I've made from blogging are coming!  Seriously, the friendships I've formed are awesome.

Best Moment(s):   Last Saturday was our family shower down here (we will have another one at home after Thanksgiving) and Wednesday my coworkers showered me with gifts.  We are beyond blessed and grateful for the amazing people in our lives that have gifted us so many great things.
One of the best friends I've made since moving here at my shower.

Cocoa and a firepit on a Friday night.  Yes, please and thank you, hubby.

Breakfast of champions.

Baby bedding is checked off the to-do list!


FollowtheRuels

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Confessions of a Pregnant Woman

Button-up: AE (option), Tee: Liz Lange, Jeans: Liz Lange (thrifted), Booties: UrbanOg (love these)
+ I sweat.  A lot.  It comes out of my hands and feet (pee-youuu) and by the end of the day, my hair needs to be washed again.+

+When people tell me they don't think I'll make it (in reference to my due date).  I want to pat them on the head and say, "Don't worry.  Lots of women have had babies and survived."+

+I get most of my calcium from ice cream.+

+No matter how far along I am, I will never be okay with someone commenting on the size of my belly.+

+I've gotten so used to feeling my babe move around inside me I forget to tell my husband to come feel it.  Oops!+

+I have cankles.  Honestly, I don't care as long as they aren't swollen cankles.+

+Your skin is like a balloon.  Seriously, I can't believe how much it has stretched.+

+The body is weird.  Even more weird than you think it is.+

+Boogers multiply when you're pregnant.+


+If you can't laugh at yourself, don't get pregnant.+


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2 months from now...

It hit me the other day as we my husband was putting together the crib that in two months (give or take) we will have our little one here.  His presence in our lives will be more than hiccups, jabs, and alien-like movement.  He will be here.

Wow.

We will wake up in the middle of the night to feed or rock him instead of waddling to the bathroom.
We will have more bags and more laundry and more stops when travelling.
We will not know what hit us.

I. can't. wait.

I have been overcome with excitement since getting the crib and mattress put in the nursery.  The fact that he actually has a place to sleep makes all this so much more real now.  The only necessity I feel we are still lacking is the carseat/stroller combo we registered for.  Other than that, if he decided to come early, we would be okay.  We'd make it.

Shirt: Aero, Dress: Old Navy Maternity, Booties: UrbanOg (love these)

I guess that means....we're ready?  Or, we're as ready as we're going to be?  Because if we're being honest, we have no idea what we're about to do.  I mean, we can prep and attend classes and read lots of books, but every baby is different.  Even if you've had one or five, you don't know what this one will be like.  I kinda like that about babies.  Like how Forrest Gump feels about chocolates.

You never know what you're gonna get.
  pleated poppy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NC Blogger Buzz

It's interesting to look back on the first few blog posts I wrote (yikes!) and then to watch how they evolved as I learned more about Blogger and started putting more time and effort into them.  Then, how they changed even more once I started taking better photos and got a nicer camera - all of course still evolving all the time.

Then it's even more interesting to see how my blog has evolved since networking with so many amazing women with a passion similar to mine.  Joining link-ups, commenting on other blogs, and attending blog events has had tremendous impact on me, my writing, and my content.

In a good way.

To do something and to do it well is important to me.  I don't want my space to be a place people graze over as they make their way through their blog feed.  I would love for it to be a place they come to each day looking forward to what I have to say, invested in who I am.

It's cliche to say, but I'll do it anyway: blogging has brought out so many friends I never would have made had I not started.  The reasons I started blogging are the same reasons I continue to do it and enjoy it so much.  The opportunities it has provided me are endless.

I have so many goals for this space and so many aspirations of what it will be.  Coming together at events like the NC Blogger Buzz I can't wait to see what the future has in store.  Meeting amazing ladies with similar aspirations and goals as mine is so refreshing.

For all that, I have to say thank you.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for your comments.  Really, each time I open my email and see the comments in there, I am flooded with excitement and gratitude for you.  I truly appreciate you and look forward to hearing from each of you.

I love that we all have each other.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

5 Minute Makeup

Look at me over here;  claiming I'm not a beauty blog and then posting about makeup more than once in such a short span. You'd think I was trying to prove myself wrong.

Again, this isn't a professional or expert opinion.  These products may or may not work for you.  But, they do work for me and they keep my everyday makeup routine to about 5 minutes which is all I feel I need (and want).  If I'm going out at night or we are having a date I add some glam to my look, but if you see me walking down the school hallway or into Target on a Saturday, this is my go-to look.


5 minute makeup

5 minute makeup by coachgaines featuring a loose face powder

I always, always moisturize before putting any makeup on.  In fact, I do that as soon as I get out of the shower so that it can really sink in before I do my hair and makeup.  Moisturizer (even if you have oily skin - find one that works for you) helps to fill in the lines around our faces, smiles, and forehead so that makeup doesn't settle in there.  When makeup settles there it ages us making us look older than we really are.

I have relatively thin skin under my eyes that can look dark so I use Neutrogena concealer to cover that up and I love it because it also has moisturizer in it so it saves time.  I have that same skin on my eyelids making it necessary to wear eyeshadow each day. (If not, it looks like I've been crying because you can see the little veins).

I shared the other day my love of mineral foundation so no explanation needed for that part.

Then I play up my eyes because I still can't find a lipstick that works for me.  (My lips get super dried out from lipstick.)  I am a basics girl; the cheap classics work for me.  I just recently switched to Ulta eye shadow and shame on me for not trying it sooner!  I had been a devotee to Stila for years until it came up one day as a special at Ulta.  I still love Stila, but Ulta eyeshadow works just as well for a fraction of the price.  

How much time do you spend each morning accenting your natural beauty?
still being [molly]

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Weeks


How Far Along: Last Saturday marked 30 weeks

Size of Baby: Approx 3.5 pounds

Weight Gain: 28 lbs 

Stretch Marks: Nope!

Maternity Clothes:  Practically everything at this point is maternity.  Funny story: I attended the NC Blogger Buzz in Raleigh Friday night at Vestique.  Of course I fell in love with a top and thought I would treat myself to it for after baby.  I decided to go in the fitting room and try it on the top half of my body to make sure it would fit after (warning: blatant honesty to follow) considering at least 2 pounds if not more of my weight gain is currently sitting on that part of my body.  Ha!  What a laugh.  Who knows what size I will wear after baby considering the size of those suckers.  Unfortunately, I left without the top, but I will definitely order it once I can figure out the proper size!  Almost had to ask for assistance to remove it while in the dressing room!

Gender:  Sweet baby boy!

Movement:  He rests for long periods of time, but then I feel him a lot in between his rest.

Sleep: Sleeping better than I have been, but always feeling slightly tired.

Missing:  Wine.  Particularly Chianti and the seasonal wines from Duplin.  And probably because I couldn't sample any of the new ones while at the Holiday Market Saturday.

Loving:    The cooler weather that the the north has brought in.  It's right up my alley and puts me in the holiday spirit instantly.  

Craving:   Not too much now. Still loving a cup of cocoa with marshmallows and I finally got my caramel apple.

Feeling: Happy and starting to relax now that we are making headway on the nursery.  It's starting to come together.  Excited for the holiday season.

Looking Forward: Getting the fabric in I ordered for the crib bedding so I can start working on that.  Also excited for our family shower this Saturday!  

Best Moment(s):   Sunday we put together the rocking chair and foot stool for the nursery.  I organized the baby clothes we have into what he can wear the first 6 months and the last 6 months of his first year.  I got my fabric in a bin and organized my maternity clothes (didn't realize how many I had acquired) into bins as well.  We just realized if he decides to make his appearance early, we are ready minus a few essentials that we hope to get at showers, but if nothing else - daddy will go  get a carseat and stroller while I'm at the hospital.  Yay!

I won this incredible scarf at the NC Blog Buzz Friday night. 

I finally got Lulu's Mimi up and running on Facebook.
Please, go like my page!


Just another item you can purchase at Lulu's Mimi

These darling little insoles are saving my feet when I walk/jog!