And Like That, It’s Saturday

Well, this week kind of came and went. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Not only has this week felt like a blur, I can’t believe we’re in our last few days of September! I do feel bad that I have a tendency to neglect this blog a little bit, but with work, doctors appointments, pregnancy, and just being plain tired, it’s been hard to get on here regularly. So, the weekend is my little time to come hang out and check in with all of you!

First of all I should say HAPPY WEEKEND YOU GUYS! Yet another beautiful Saturday is upon us and it happens to be quite a glorious feeling to wake up, sit on the patio and enjoy my favorite iced coffee while checking in with all my blogging friends and readers. Here’s what’s been going on with me this past week…

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16 WEEK CHECK-UP

Everything went well! I am a firm believer that when your doctor doesn’t really have anything to go over with you it’s a good sign. You know, that whole “no news is good news” idea? Yep. I’m going with that. On the plus side: I heard his little heart beat and it’s as strong as ever!

STUPID HUSBAND WORK SCHEDULE

This past week had me a bit more emotional than I would care to admit to. Let’s just chock it up to all these pregnancy hormones. In a nutshell, he works with satellites for the Navy so every so often (especially when they launch a new satellite) he has a crazy backwards shift schedule and I don’t care for it one bit. This go-around he went into work at 2pm and sometimes didn’t get home until midnight. That left me with the whole week of NOT seeing him once. Add a bachelor party that’s taking him to San Diego this weekend and it leaves me missing him more than ever…

THE GRIND

Work has been consistently busy for me, especially this past week. We had our Back To School Night where my teacher and I got to mingle with parents more one-on-one. I always enjoy these evenings, especially as an assistant teacher, because it gives us a chance to talk and interact with the parents. But, the caveat is we didn’t get home and in bed until well after 10pm and I was subbing for my teacher the next day…so talk about a busy and long few days!

STARBUCKS PSL & SKIP THE LINE FEATURE

Okay, so every year (just like every other woman in the world) counts down the days until the beloved PSL returns for fall. I was curious to see how I would like the new recipe and I absolutely LOVE the pumpkin puree! A lot of people get confused by the whole pumpkin vs pumpkin spice…how I don’t know. But, all you need to know that this drink is better than ever. I just don’t recommend the iced version…just my opinion.

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

AND…just this morning I thought to try out this new order ahead feature on their Starbucks app since Saturday tends to be quite busy in the morning and who truly wants to wait in line for anything? I was a bit skeptical because…exhibit A: Starbucks thought that by adding a drive-thru it would somehow get customers their coffees faster and I swear you wait just as long, or even longer, than if you went inside. But, I thought to give it a shot…and IT’S AMAZING, PEOPLE! I highly recommend it because, like I expected, there was a huge line and when I went inside there was my beautiful iced caramel macchiato sitting and waiting for me. I was in, out and on my way. The only downside is that you can’t choose your Starbucks location as it picks the closest one for you. So, hopefully that will be an option they’ll add later. P.S. has anyone tried the new toasted graham latte yet? What are your thoughts?

MATERNITY FAVORITES

Now that our little nugget is poking out it’s time for me to take the plunge into the maternity clothes realm. I’m trying to limit the amount of actual maternity clothes I buy, for the exception of essentials, because they’re expensive and I know I’ll only get to wear them for a little while. I’m trying to stick to maxis and other dresses that have a high waist so I could use them again post-pregnancy.

Here are a few of my favorite (and some newly discovered!) brands:

  • Pink Blush: OMG how adorable are ALL of these clothes? If you’re looking for super cute maternity clothes at a relative good price I highly recommend this site. Thanks, Pinterest!
  • Jessica Simpson Maternity Jeans: Any brand by a celebrity has me a bit skeptical in terms of quality, but considering a pair of her white maternity jeans were on sale for $20 I thought I could risk it and I did. I love the fit of her maternity jeans and the belly band makes them even more comfortable.
  • Stitch Fix: I’m always a fan of this service and if you’re interested in checking out what maternity selections I got you can read about that here. I love that they’ve added maternity styles and it’s just fun to see what my stylist picks out for me each time.

PREPARING FOR HALLOWEEN

October is almost here and my husband and I absolutely love this holiday (but, not as much as I love Christmas!!). Every year I come up with fun activities and date night ideas and this year we are starting this Halloween season off right! We came up with a list of 31 horror/Halloween movies that we’ll watch each night and I’ve been busy scouring the interwebs for fun fall activities we can do in our part of town (trying to stay away from LA, which is hard to do)

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

What have you been up to?

 

Linking up with:

The Farmer’s Wife
Little Bit of Everything
Hill Collection

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Our Need To Not Offend

This post is inspired by a conversation my husband and I had just this morning as we laid in bed and caught up on the most recent episode of South Park. Now, hear me out as I promise this is going somewhere. This particular episode, entitled Stunning & Brave, largely pokes fun at political correctness (PC) when a new principal comes to take over the elementary school in South Park. What I enjoyed about this particular episode is how the creators managed to highlight how our society tries so hard to not offend others, but in doing so it suppresses any kind of dialogue about a given topic. Whatever happened to having the right to have an opinion or believe something that may go against the societal-grain?

Our Need to Not Offend

Speaking of being PC, my husband and I began discussing the current hot topic of Joy Behar’s comments about Miss Colorado’s talent of being a nurse and wearing her scrubs during that portion of the pageant…and most specifically wearing a stethoscope around her neck. If you’re not familiar with this story, on an episode of The View the ladies were discussing the talent portion of the Miss America pageant when Michelle Collins, a fellow co-host, mentions the talent of one of the contestants, Miss Colorado, being that she wrote her own monologue. She poked fun by saying that she, “essentially read her emails out loud” and goes on to point out that in doing so it wasn’t a real talent. Then, Joy Behar makes the comment heard ‘round the living room of stay-at-home moms everywhere when she said, “why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?”

In order to fully understand the spark to this now pop culture firestorm against The View and Joy Behar, here are snippets of the comments in question.

Since the backlash from nurses everywhere and the invention of the hashtag #nursesunite, major companies are pulling their advertising from The View and making statements about how they fully support the hard work and dedication of our country’s nurses. Even Joy Behar has issued an apology because that’s what is expected of her as if it will make any bit of difference. It’s just fascinating that that one comment about a stethoscope has caused this uproar about the image and roles of nurses being degraded, which is not at all what I took away from that comment. But, I suppose to each their own.

My concern stems from the fact that we strive so hard for political correctness that it has only stifled potential conversation and us, as the American public, have become so quick to feel offended by every little thing people say or do. I’m not just talking about the comments from celebrities or people in the public eye, but everyday people. I remember learning a valuable lesson in my early adulthood about being comfortable with my values and beliefs, even if others disagree with them. Simply put: I can’t spend the hours in my day worrying about the opinions of others because when I do it takes away from my personal happiness. And that I am not willing to sacrifice.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11

 What are your thoughts about the topic of Joy Behar’s comment, the Miss America pageant, or our current state of political correctness? Let’s discuss in the comments (any hateful or rude comments will be deleted).

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Stitch Fix: Maternity Edition

With a show of hands how many of you knew that Stitch Fix now includes maternity styles?!

That’s right! A few months ago (before I got pregnant) I remember being silently excited about this newest addition to the Stitch Fix service because I knew, well I didn’t know but I sure did pray a lot, that sometime soon I would be in need of some cute and affordable maternity fashions. Yesterday I received my very first MATERNITY box and couldn’t wait to rip open the tissue paper and see what my stylist had for me.

This go-around I told my stylist that I was in my second trimester and already showing a pretty significant bump and would need classy but casual clothes that could easily be worn for work and at home. When it comes to investing in maternity clothes, aka clothes I’ll only be able to wear a few months out of this year, I want the pieces to be versatile and support my growing belly as I move along in my pregnancy. That way I’m not overpaying for clothes I can only wear a few times before it’s too small. Luckily my stylist heard my calling and although I’m not keeping everything, we’re on the right track. Let’s see what I got!
With a show of hands how many of you knew that Stitch Fix now includes maternity styles?! That’s right! A few months ago (before I got pregnant) I remember being silently excited about this newest addition to the Stitch Fix service because I knew, well I didn’t know but I sure did pray a lot, that sometime soon I would be in need of some cute and affordable maternity fashions. Yesterday I received my very first MATERNITY box and couldn’t wait to rip open the tissue paper and see what my stylist had for me. This go-around I told my stylist that I was in my second trimester and already showing a pretty significant bump and would need classy but casual clothes that could easily be worn for work and at home. When it comes to investing in maternity clothes, aka clothes I’ll only be able to wear a few months out of this year, I want the pieces to be versatile and support my growing belly as I move along in my pregnancy. That way I’m not overpaying for clothes I can only wear a few times before it’s too small. Luckily my stylist heard my calling and although I’m not keeping everything, we’re on the right track. Let’s see what I got!

This post contains clickable affiliate links. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Creative Commune Feora Maternity Dress: $88 – RETURN
Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan: $48 – KEEP

I absolutely fell in love with the floral pattern and colors of this dress! It is very spring/summery, but considering we still are experiencing daily temperatures of 90 degrees I was excited to try it on. Since I have a larger bust, and even more-so since becoming pregnant, it’s nice to find dresses that have a modest neckline like this one from Creative Commune.

So what’s the problem? Unfortunately it was very snug and left absolutely zero room for any more of me to fit inside it. As much as I loved the dress I couldn’t commit to it for the long run. Also, the keyholes detailing in the back makes it impossible for me to wear it to work without a cardigan or cover because of my tattoo.

I absolutely fell in love with the floral pattern and colors of this dress! It is very spring/summery, but considering we still are experiencing daily temperatures of 90 degrees I was excited to try it on. Since I have a larger bust, and even more-so since becoming pregnant, it’s nice to find dresses that have a modest neckline like this one from Creative Commune.

I absolutely fell in love with the floral pattern and colors of this dress! It is very spring/summery, but considering we still are experiencing daily temperatures of 90 degrees I was excited to try it on. Since I have a larger bust, and even more-so since becoming pregnant, it’s nice to find dresses that have a modest neckline like this one from Creative Commune.

I absolutely fell in love with the floral pattern and colors of this dress! It is very spring/summery, but considering we still are experiencing daily temperatures of 90 degrees I was excited to try it on. Since I have a larger bust, and even more-so since becoming pregnant, it’s nice to find dresses that have a modest neckline like this one from Creative Commune.

Creative Commune Bleu Maternity Dress: $88 – RETURN

My husband called this the ‘ink blot dress,’ but there was something about it I really liked. Considering the pattern was a little ink blot test-like and slightly busy, I liked that it was comfortable and gave me some room to grow. I also liked the sleeves even though my husband wasn’t a fan of them. Although there were things I did like about this dress, there wasn’t enough overall that I loved so I’ll be sending this one back.

My husband called this the ‘ink blot dress,’ but there was something about it I really liked. Considering the pattern was a little ink blot test-like and slightly busy, I liked that it was comfortable and gave me some room to grow. I also liked the sleeves even though my husband wasn’t a fan of them. Although there were things I did like about this dress, there wasn’t enough overall that I loved so I’ll be sending this one back.

Kut From The Kloth Maternity Skinny Jean: $78 – KEEP

I was very excited to see a maternity jean in my box because aside from leggings, jeans are a staple item that any pregnant woman should have in their closets. I love the stretchy full panel fabric that extends all the way up my belly! Although the jean material is a bit too stretchy for my personal taste (no real denim here), I am remembering that the stretchiness offers me room to grow as I move on to the third trimester down the road. Lastly, I was looking for a more true black jean versus this sort of faded black, but I don’t completely hate them.

What are you thinking? Are they worth keeping?

I was very excited to see a maternity jean in my box because aside from leggings, jeans are a staple item that any pregnant woman should have in their closets. I love the stretchy full panel fabric that extends all the way up my belly! Although the jean material is a bit too stretchy for my personal taste (no real denim here), I am remembering that the stretchiness offers me room to grow as I move on to the third trimester down the road. Lastly, I was looking for a more true black jean versus this sort of faded black, but I don’t completely hate them.

I was very excited to see a maternity jean in my box because aside from leggings, jeans are a staple item that any pregnant woman should have in their closets. I love the stretchy full panel fabric that extends all the way up my belly! Although the jean material is a bit too stretchy for my personal taste (no real denim here), I am remembering that the stretchiness offers me room to grow as I move on to the third trimester down the road. Lastly, I was looking for a more true black jean versus this sort of faded black, but I don’t completely hate them.

    Top: Motherhood Maternity | Cardigan: Previous Stitch Fix

LOVEAPELLA Davidi Button Detail Maternity Top: $48 – KEEP

Such a comfortable top and I love the little button detailing along the shoulders. And I feel like it should be mentioned that my husband really liked it as well. It wears a little too large on me at the moment, but again I’m looking for maternity pieces that I can wear throughout my pregnancy and possibly keep for later use. It’s lightweight, has a 3/4 sleeve, and the grey stripe pattern is classic and easily worn with practically any jean or legging.

Such a comfortable top and I love the little button detailing along the shoulders. And I feel like it should be mentioned that my husband really liked it as well. It wears a little too large on me at the moment, but again I’m looking for maternity pieces that I can wear throughout my pregnancy and possibly keep for later use. It’s lightweight, has a 3/4 sleeve, and the grey stripe pattern is classic and easily worn with practically any jean or legging.

Such a comfortable top and I love the little button detailing along the shoulders. And I feel like it should be mentioned that my husband really liked it as well. It wears a little too large on me at the moment, but again I’m looking for maternity pieces that I can wear throughout my pregnancy and possibly keep for later use. It’s lightweight, has a 3/4 sleeve, and the grey stripe pattern is classic and easily worn with practically any jean or legging.

Overall I was happy with my fix considering I got exactly what I asked for in terms of the types of of pieces I needed, my ability to layer them, how comfortable and lightweight the material was. I actually loved a lot of what I received, however they just weren’t in my size or gave me adequate room to grow as I approach almost halfway through my pregnancy! This was a great first step and I look forward to working with my stylist and refining my notes so they are more detailed and clear abou what I need in my next fix.

Have you been on the fence about trying Stitch Fix? Are you pregnant and looking for a convenient and affordable way to try new styles in the comfort of your own home? I would love for you to consider using my affiliate link for your first fix. No pressure, but this is a great service for women on the go and who may not have all the time in the world to go shopping for themselves. Not to mention once you sign up you too can start earning referral credits towards your fixes simply by sharing Stitch Fix with your friends.

So you’re interested in Stitch Fix, but what do you get?

For $20 styling fee, which goes towards any purchases from your fixes, you receive 5 handpicked items from a qualified stylist. Once you receive your fix in the mail you have 3 days to try on your pieces, keep what you like and send back what you don’t in a prepaid shipping envelope. It’s that easy! How do your stylists know what to pick out for you? You fill out a quick style survey, link to your fashion Pinterest board (very important!), and you even have an opportunity to write a little note to your stylist explaining what you’d like to receive before your fix is styled and shipped. I’ve been with Stitch Fix for almost a year and have loved this service. For more details on how to get your best fix, read about my tips here.

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5 Most Influential Books

5books.001Reading was never something I enjoyed growing up even though my mom continues to be an avid reader even to this day. In school we were forced to read titles I was never interested in and never really grew to enjoy it…that is until I was in college. Here are my top 5 influential books that have played a huge part in my life up until now (considering most of the books I’m reading lately are pregnancy related).

The Kite Runner // I first fell in love with this book, love in the way I couldn’t put it down and was completely captivated by the story, when I was in my sophomore year of college. It was a text for my Images & Experiences of Childhood course where we learned about how children, no matter what circumstance they grow up in, bring differing experiences of their childhood into the classroom and for teachers to be prepared to care for those students. The Kite Runner was the perfect example, albeit a pretty intense one, of the relationship amongst children and the frequent adult things they are exposed to, especially war. I’ve read this over and over and it continues to be one of my favorites (not so much the movie).

To Kill a Mockingbird // This is another text, but from middle school. I remember discussing it over with my mom because I couldn’t quite follow the plot at the time and I was fascinated with the implications of race in the south. Now as an adult I’ve grown to love this story and how a young child can often bring clarity to adults. I’m curious about it’s ‘sequel’ so if anyone has read it, please share your thoughts!

Little Bear // I couldn’t have a list of influential books and not include this one. This book/series has a special place in my heart considering my mom would read it to me all the time growing up. It’s just a classic and a book I look forward to sharing with my son once he arrives 🙂

The Da Vinci Code // I’m a bit of a history nerd and I completely dove into this story head first only to emerge a fan of Dan Brown. I love how he weaves history into fiction in a way that is captivating for the reader and develops his characters. I’ve read most of his Robert Langdon series for the exception of The Lost Symbol (have yet to finish it) and LOVED Inferno (his most recent novel). Can’t wait for the film!

The Purpose Driven Life // Probably the most important book I’ve ever had the privilege of reading (second to the Bible) because even as a young college student it helped me put my life, even then, in perspective. I first heard of it when my women’s small group at church was studying it and it was such a privilege to go through this study amongst women in various places in their walk with Christ. Having them as mentors was the cherry on top. I’ve since misplaced it, but it’s one that will always have a profound impact for me in my approach to life and figuring out my place in it.

What books have been influential in your life? If you could pick 5 which titles would you include?

 Brave Love Blog

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