Miss Boo is Eight Months Old!

It is crazy to think that Ellie turned eight months old on April 24th. We love her so much and she is pretty much the most adorable baby ever. Ellie Faye has figured out how to army crawl and even crawl properly for a few feet, which enables her to get to her favorite forbidden items. These mostly include cords, outlets (which are properly covered), computers, remotes, and the laser pointer when accidentally left on the floor.

So far she has been to three weddings, one funeral, one Illinois baseball game, and one Illinois football (scrimmage) game. She’s also been to church since in the womb :D.

tooth count: Zero, but you can see the beginnings of some.

cuteness factor: scientists are still unable to find a scale that measures high enough to chart her on

sounds: dadadada, mamama, bababa, along with all the other normal baby sounds

sleeping: naps. . . We hates them, preciousss. Nasssty, filthy napses. The anti napper naps twice on a good day. Boy, she can fight the good fight against those evil naps. At least she sleeps all night long.

likes: mom, dad, (plus grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins!) Calvin, bouncing, eating, bath time, dogs, chewing on her toys, finding cat fur and other floor goodies and tasting them.

dislikes: naps (see above), not being the center of attention, wearing anything on her feet

We have so much fun raising this little spitfire and can’t wait to see how she keeps on growing!

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How the Race Went

Last Saturday: What a gorgeous day! What an awesome long run! The weather is so nice and won’t it be great to run in this kind of weather.

Sunday: Hmm. . . Looks like it will be a bit chillier race day. And blast! Is that a chance of rain? Oh well, I’m sure it will change by Saturday.

Monday: Rain chance still there. Here’s hoping it will change. Need to have a short run tomorrow morning. At least the 5K looks like decent weather.

Tuesday: Whoops. No run. Babies sometimes throw wrenches into running plans.

Wednesday: Ugh. . . Thunderstorms Saturday? Really?

Thursday: Maybe the forecast will be wrong. You know how those meteorologists are. They do delight in foiling everyone’s outdoor plans. (Kidding! All the meteorologists I know are great!)

Friday: 5K with Mom! Walked it and had a blast. We even ran into some friends towards the end.

Saturday: Ok. It is a bit chilly, but doesn’t look to be raining. Oh wait. It’s raining now that the race is starting. Great.

Mile 1 and 2: Running in the misty rain isn’t too bad. It is a bit refreshing! Oh hey! There’s Sadie! I can say that I kept up with Sadie for about one minute!

Mile 3: Where is this water break?? With all this rain, I sure am thirsty! What’s this? Ooh! Jelly beans! Don’t mind if I do! Ah, there’s the water break. Hallelujah!

Mile 4: ohhh, jelly beans! Why did I eat you? Uggh. . . There is are some definite rumblies in my tumblies. Must. press. on. When did I stop being able to feel my fingers? Keli and I part ways, leaving me to traipse on.

Mile 5: I do hope my fingers are able to function again someday. Almost done. Almost done. My poor legs. My poor stomach. I’m almost done. I can see Brett and Ellie soon. And I can be warm again. What is it like to be warm again? I can’t remember the taste of strawberries, Sam. . . Wait. that is ROTK. Nevermind.

Mile 6: Some wonderful encourager from the sideline tells me I can finish. I can finish! There it is! There’s Memorial Stadium! So close. Yet so far.

Finish line: I finished in 1:12:29, which isn’t too bad considering that I thought that I was going to keel over for the last 1/3 of the race. I beat my pregnant time, so there is that. Will I do it again? Yup.

Thanks for supplying all the 10K pictures, Keli!

The 100 Day Project ^ Poems ^

Over on good ol’ Instagram, there is a hashtag going around called #the100dayproject. I first saw it when Briana posted about it and was very intrigued. (You can take a look see at her blog o’er yonder at brianakapper.com. She’s painting beads for necklaces and they are super adorable.) Pick something and do it over and over again for 100 days? I gave (and am giving) it a try. My project is writing a poem a day for Miss Boo. I haven’t been posting every day but I’ve been keeping up with it.

You can check my poems out on Instagram. It has been enjoyable coming up with new poems. I generally don’t write poems or anything like that and thought that it would stretch my brain. It was also a cheap project because all I needed was paper and a pen.

Does anyone have any experience writing poems? What is something that you’d like to learn?

Stitch Fix No.2 Review

A few months ago I decided to give Stitch Fix a try. There had been no new non-maternity clothes for me in quite a while and it has been difficult to get to the mall with a baby. I had seen some bloggers I follow get clothes from there and I loved the idea of it.

If you aren’t familiar with how Stitch Fix works, you sign up, create a style profile, pay a $20 styling fee for them to put your clothes together, and schedule your fix! The fee does go towards paying for your final purchase. The style profile is a series of questions you fill out regarding your measurements, preferred price range, and what kind of clothing styles you like.  It gets pretty detailed, which was nice. Once you receive your fix in the mail, you try on all five pieces of clothes, decide what you want to keep and send the rest back in the mail.  Then go online and checkout on their site, letting them know what you kept and your thoughts on each piece. Something else pretty cool that they introduced is maternity and petite sizes, but neither one of those apply to me.

My first fix I kept an awesome faux leather jacket and a pair of jeans.  Those jeans fit so well! I was amazed at how they could send me one pair of jeans in the mail and they actually fit so nicely.

If you want to give it a try (and I know you do!), use my referral link (I get a credit if you sign up and order a fix): https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4592995

Item No.1 ^ Alena Collared Button Down Top $88

Alena Collared Button Down Top - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

I was so excited when I saw this shirt. It was navy, sleevless, and adorable. Alas, it was not meant to be.  I had a sinking feeling even before I snapped it up that it was going to be too tight, and it was. Even if it doesn’t really look that way in the picture, there was way too much puckering. Plus it was $88 and little ol’ me was not going to pay that much for a sleeveless shirt. And sorry for no makeup and wet hair. Nevermind. Not sorry at all.

Return it

Item No.2 ^ Moana Collared Top $48

Moana Collared Top sleeveless shirt - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

This was another sleeveless shirt for me to try and I wasn’t thrilled about this one just by looking at it.  The light purple color was just not me and when I tried it on, I felt washed out.  It was also a bit too loose for my taste.  Brett liked it, but I didn’t like it enough to keep it.

Return it

Item No.3 ^ Carly Multi-Stone Layering Necklace $36

Carly Multi-Stone Layering Necklace - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

I got a necklace this time! Not only do you get clothes sent to you, you can also get jewelry and purses/bags in your fix if you want.  I really like this necklace. The color is nice and I like that I could wear it with lots of different outfits.  However, I was torn as to whether or not I wanted to keep it, and in the end decided not to keep it.  Brett does look lovely modeling it for me! 😉

Return it

Item No.4 ^ Leticia Lattice Detail Top $44

Leticia Lattice Detail Top - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

Leticia Lattice Detail Top - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

For my third sleeveless shirt, I received a lightweight, super soft black shirt with a cute eyelet detail on the front and back. I really wasn’t sure about this shirt. It was definitely cute, but I wasn’t sure if I’d wear it all that often and it was a bit short. I wasn’t loving where it fell when I wore it with my jeans.

Return it

Item No.5 ^ Ariana Printed Midi Skirt $88

Ariana Printed Midi Skirt - stitch fix review - brettandrachel+

I had put this skirt on my Pinterest board and was so excited to have received it this fix! Midi skirts have been in recently and I had really wanted to try one. This one has a relaxed feel to it, plus it has pockets! I tried it on with the black shirt, along with a couple other shirts I already have and it looks super cute in each. My particular favorite is pairing it with my chambray shirt. Here you will find me wearing my blue Target v-neck. Because the baby has been fussy and I really didn’t feel like changing my shirt.

Keep it!

This fix was fun to try on and while I did like all of the pieces, only one really stood out to me enough to keep.  Again, if you’re wanting to try Stitch Fix, you can sign up right here: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4592995

Thanks, Brett for taking the pictures!

P.S. This post is just my thoughts on Stitch Fix. I’m not receiving anything from them to write this.

Birthday Kitty ^ the punk cat is four years old ^

As many of you know, we have a cat.  Not just any cat, but an extremely furry, gigantic (but not as gigantic as he once was, thanks to his diet), food loving, daintily meowing punk cat named Calvin.  It is pretty crazy to think that we’ve had him almost four years now. I got him from a high school friend the early summer before Brett and I got married.  Since we aren’t exactly sure when Calvin was born, I designated April 15th as his unofficial birthday.  Who would have thought that such a tiny kitten would have turned into our big Calvin?

So happy birthday, Calvin! We hope you enjoyed your extra scoop of stinky food!

Baby Calvin ^back when he was young and innocent^

“Training” for the Mini-I Challenge

Last year's 10K

Last year’s 10K

The past three years I’ve run some flavor of the Illinois Marathon.  The first year I decided to start out slow and run the 5K.  (Michael! 5K means five kilometers, not 5,000 miles!) Sorry, we love The Office around here.  The next two years I ran the Mini I Challenge with last year running with Miss Boo in the womb.  I decided for this year to stick with success and run the Mini I Challenge again.  For those of you who don’t know, it is the 5K on Friday night and the 10K Saturday morning.  I figured that if I was able to run the 10K five months pregnant, I could run it eight months postpartum.

Well, let me tell you. Getting back into this exercising business has been awful.  I was really liking the eat-all-the-things and “what exercise?” routine, but alas, it had to come to an end.  I started off with attempting to complete the 30 Day Shred again (failed).  Then I moved onto running and tracking my progress with Runkeeper.  Mind you, I hadn’t run any since the last 10K and it was quite unpleasant getting back into the routine.  What ended up working for me was to set a goal of running at least twice a week with increasing my long runs here and there.  It really helps you stay motivated when you can see your runs and the progress you’re making.  Well, I’m up to running 5 ish miles again on my long run and the race is April 25th.

Here’s my advice to get back into running:

  • Sign up for a race.
  • Get some running shoes that don’t hurt your feet.  I got some Brooks.
  • Track your progress!
  • Run with friends!
  • Neon makes you run faster. Fact. So get some neon.

My goal after the race is to keep running!  Every year I stop running after the race and really want to make sure that I keep running this year.  Maybe I’ll try for some more races in the fall!

Anyone else running any sort of race out there? Any marathoners?  Even if you are just the Netflix kind! (P.S. what are you watching??)

Coconut Mocha-Nut Pops

Hey-oh!  SO…we were going to have this blog start up a little earlier.  As in before baby earlier, and then chronicle all of her first few months here.  It would have been the most adorable blog ever and everyone would have loved it.  But, alas, that was not meant to be.  You see, babies take up a lot of time and energy, so this is where we are now.  Below is an exclusive, never-before-seen, pre-baby blog post.  Enjoy!

Ok. So I have basically been in an “eat all the frozen fruity or cononutty things” mood for several weeks now. I guess that is what the third trimester in August will do to you. Since then, my frozen obsession has manifested itself in several different forms including eating lots of frozen tropical fruit, freezy pops, and more recently, homemade pops.

Coconut Mocha-Nut Pops [sans nuts]

I had made some coconut milk pops that I found on Pinterest, and those turned out so refreshing. After those ran out, I was thinking that it would be delicious to try my hand at a chocolate version. Because chocolate and coconut. Then I started thinking about how disappointed I was that Starbucks didn’t have the Mocha Coconut Frappucino this summer which led me to create these freezy pops.

Coconut Mocha-Nut Pop Ingredient Pic

For all of my coffee snob friends, please pardon the Maxwell House instant coffee. It is used exclusively for cooking.

Coconut Mocha-Nut Pops

10 mins prep plus freezing time
Makes 4 pops

1 c coconut milk (the canned kind)
1T cocoa powder
1T instant coffee plus 1t or so water to dissolve it. You could use a shot of espresso, but I didn’t feel like making any
About 1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut
About 1/4c powdered sugar or to taste

Combine the coconut milk and cocoa powder. Then add the coffee and powdered sugar, and finally the shredded coconut to the milk. Stir it up and pour into Popsicle molds or a nice cube tray. Freeze until solid. Try not to eat all at once.