Bumpdate: 22 Weeks

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How far along? 22 weeks... whoops. So much for my plan to do monthly "bumpdates". 

Total weight gain: -24 pounds. I managed to gain back 3 of the 27 pounds I lost in the first trimester. But I'm still sticking right around the same weight these days. My OB even had me keep a two week food log so I could prove that I'm not starving my kid lol. But I assure you, I'm eating healthier than I have in years!

Maternity clothes? Not really! I'm carrying fairly high so I still fit into my old jeans and most of my shirts still fit. I do wear maternity clothes on occasion just for fun, but I really only have one pair of maternity jeans and about 3 tops. Everything else I wear is from before pregnancy.

Stretch marks? Still holding on strong but I'm sure it's only a matter of weeks before my first "tiger stripe" makes its appearance.

Sleep: It's starting to get rough, guys. I'm a back sleeper and I'm officially at the point where that's not okay anymore. I get extremely nauseous if I lie on my back for more than a few seconds. So I have been relying on my snoogle pillow to make side sleeping more comfortable. I toss and turn though. Thank goodness for naps.

Gender: GIRL!!! I was right all along! My record still remains intact. We got to see our little nugget at 16 weeks for an early gender scan and then again at 20 weeks for our anatomy scan. She's looking great, measuring on track, and it looks like she got her mom's long legs--they measured a whole week ahead of everything else!

Best moment this month: The first time I felt a kick! It really does feel like a butterfly flutter--so surreal. 

Food cravings/aversions? Still no cravings. I continue to hate meat unless it's hidden in a dish. Fun times, my friends. At this point, I feel like my OB wishes I would start craving burgers.

Missing anything? It's official. I miss beer. Especially today on St. Paddy's Day. I'm about ready to tint some O'Douls green and call it a day.

Movement? Yep! I feel little movements throughout the day. I'm still not sure if they're kicks, rolls, or hiccups, but it's so much fun feeling our little one move around in there.

Belly button in or out? Still no turkey "done button" going on.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I have a feeling I will be able to keep my wedding band on the whole pregnancy since it's a Qalo silicone ring.

Workouts? I have officially stopped working out. With my lack of weight gain, my OB and I figured it would be best. I go on walks still, but no more weight training for this girl until after baby.

Looking forward to: July! I know, I know, I know: "enjoy ________ while you can"... "________ while you still can"... blah blah blah. Trust me, I've heard it all. And I do realize everything changes--but isn't that the point? I really just can't wait to meet our little girl and start having fun being a little family. 

Our Latest "Creation"

Pregnancy announcement on instagram

You guys! I couldn't be more excited to announce that our family will be growing this year! This July, I will be graduating from fur-mom, to fur AND human mom! Yep! We are due July 16th and couldn't be happier!

I'm currently 14 weeks along and to be honest, it's been a ROCKY first trimester. I was diagnosed with "Hyperemesis Gravadarum", which is just fancy doctor lingo for "really sucky morning sickness that lasts all day, every day and makes you want to curl in the fetal position". Personally, I think my name for it is much better but whatever. We'll shorten it to HG. Soooo yeah... it was all good until 6 weeks, and then it hit me like a rock. Nausea, aversions to any food or liquids, puking... let's just say I'm now BFFs with the Porcelain God. I actually ended up in the hospital overnight at one point for extreme dehydration. Yikes. Can't wait to get that bill.

The doctors try to reassure you that morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, but at the time, it doesn't really help. My life from week 6 till just a few days ago was pretty much lying in bed, or lying on the bathroom floor. Thank goodness I have a job where I work remotely. And during those several weeks, by "remotely" I mean from bed. I cannot imagine having to get up each morning and go sit at a desk all day. To all you mommas out there who had HG (or morning sickness in general) and went to work every day, you're a damn rock star. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

After my hospital visit they sent me home with nausea meds that kind of helped, but I still felt like poop most of the time. It wasn't until about a week ago when I switched meds that things started looking up. I'm not sure if it was because I was nearing the end of the first trimester, or if this drug is literally magic, but I felt human again. Hallelujah! I still have off days but I'm hoping if I stick with my meds I can have a happy pregnancy.

So here I am. 14 weeks and finally starting to see a baby bump (I think... for all I know it's still 95% bloat). Eek! So I thought it would be fun to start a little blog tradition to document. This won't be a weekly thing because ain't nobody got time for that. But I think a monthly "bumpdate" would be fun to look back on. So here we go!

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How far along? 14 weeks. Hello second trimester!

Total weight gain: -27 pounds. Yeah, you read that right. I've actually LOST almost 30 pounds from being so sick. Granted, I had some "fluff" to lose, but woah now. My doctor isn't too worried. Though she would certainly like to see me gain back some of it. We shall see :-P

Maternity clothes? Nope. I did buy a pair of maternity jeans because they were on sale over the holidays. But because I work remotely and from home a lot, my normal wardrobe could be considered "athleisure". Yoga pants and a cute top are my go-to and so far I fit just fine into everything. Thank you, spandex.

Stretch marks? Not yet, but I know they'll be here soon. I scar very easily and even keloid. Fun times. I'll be using lotion and oils to try and lessen any marks, but either way, I'll proudly wear my tiger stripes.

Sleep: You guys. I recently bought a Snoogle pillow and Oh. My. Gawd. It's legit like spooning a cloud. I don't know how I ever lived without this magical pillow. I don't care if you're preggo, ya need one of these. Mike is slightly perturbed and feels replaced by said pillow, but momma's gotta sleep.

Gender: Too early to tell. We decided against the genetic testing which would tell us as early as 10 weeks. Though every old wives tale is pointing to us having a girl. Pregnancy acne (ugh), morning sickness, a 171 heart rate at our 9 week ultrasound, and there is actually a crazy tradition (tradition? probably not the right word) in my family... Every first born of a first born is a girl. I'm the first born of my mom, who was the first born of her mom, who was the first born of her mom. And so on and so on for at least 6 generations that we know of. Even before I knew about that I had a gut feeling that it was going to be a girl. I've always wanted to have a boy first because growing up I always wished I had had an older brother. And of course Mike would be more comfortable with a boy. But the signs all point to pink! Either way, she's playing hockey :-P

Best moment this month: Ummmm, probably the first day I DIDN'T puke. Though hearing the little nugget's heartbeat at our 12 week checkup was pretty rad. It's crazy to think there's a tiny human growing inside me. Grow, baby, grow!

Food cravings/aversions? Absolutely no cravings. In fact food in general still kind of grosses me out. I eat mostly raw fruits and veggies and on occasion can stomach a few bites of whatever Mike puts in front of me. I have a huge aversion to any kind of meat, but mostly chicken and turkey. Baby is apparently a vegetarian. 

Missing anything? You know, I really thought I would miss wine and beer. Not going to lie, I was quite the wino before. But in all honesty, I really don't. When we go to bars I just have our bartender make me a mocktail and all is well!

Movement? Nope, still too early for that. Most first timers don't feel anything until well after 14 weeks. But I can't wait!

Belly button in or out? That's tricky... I have an outie to begin with. But it's no more "popped" than normal so I guess the answer is "in"?

Wedding rings on or off? On. I wear a Qalo ring so I'll probably keep it on for a really long time since it's made of silicone. I feel neked without my ring and even wear it when rock climbing or working out.

Workouts? I haven't worked out since about week 5 because the morning sickness hit. But I'm starting back up now with my aerial yoga and personal trainer at the gym for weight training. I also plan to start prenatal yoga just for fun and to meet some more preggers in the community :)

Looking forward to: that second trimester energy everyone talks about. Woof. I take a nap every day and still don't have the energy to do anything around the house. And then I'm in bed by 9. Will it ever end?

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And to wrap this month up, I shall leave you with the picture we posted to Facebook over the holidays announcing the pregnancy :) We joked that the "Affourtit Zoo" will be adding a new exhibit come July. We can't wait to see how our fur-kids react to the new playmate being added to the pack. 

Pet pregnancy announcement

Hand-Lettered Paintings!

If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, you've probably noticed that I've been painting a LOT lately. Painting is like my meditation. Let's be honest, there's no way I could actually sit still long enough to meditate, so painting is where it's at right now. I get in the zone and look up only to realize 3 hours has passed and I feel 100% better about life.

Painting by Allison Affourtit of Crafted Love
Painting by Allison Affourtit
Paintng by Allison Affourtit

I'm certainly no professional artist, by any means. I didn't go to Fine Art school and I don't ever plan on seeing my paintings in galleries. But I do love my time at the easel. It's calming, inspiring, and I get to pretend I'm somewhere beautiful. Sandy beach, anyone?

For the most part, I just paint for fun. But lately, I've been combining my love of painting with my other love for hand-lettering. And someone (cough, cough, Michael) has convinced me to add a few to my Etsy shop. At first I was hesitant because painting is my stress-free time. But I agreed to put up a couple in the shop just to see how it goes. If there's any interest, I'll start adding some more here and there. 

Here in Ohio, we have a LOT of river front. The Great Miami, Scioto, the Ohio River. So I get a lot of requests from my "River Rats" to do signs for them since you can never find river signs. On Etsy, though, I offer to change "river" to lake, beach, island, etc. Win-win.

This adventure painting is probably my favorite, though. Mike and I love the outdoors and going on adventures. So this quote was perfect for us and I figured there might be others who think so as well. Plus, can't you see this hanging in an outdoor-themed nursery??? That would be so darn cute, I think.

You can check out the details of each painting and order you own by clicking here. You'll brighten up your walls, and help me buy more paints for my sanity :-P

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DIY Inexpensive Hanging Baskets - Dollar Store Hack

DIY Inexpensive Hanging Baskets - Dollar Store Hack

Hanging baskets are really expensive if you ask me. And for someone with a small garden, hanging baskets are great for growing a lot of produce (and flowers) in a small space. But I've never really branched into hanging basket gardening because of the cost. But on my last monthly stroll through the Dollar Tree, I almost fainted. They were selling pretty awesome hanging baskets for, you guessed it, a dollar each. Seriously. If you're reading this and have a Dollar Tree near you, stop what you're doing. Go to the Dollar Tree and buy all the hanging baskets. ALL. THE. BASKETS. You can thank me later.

DIY Canvas Jewelry Organizer Art & GIVEAWAY!

DIY Canvas Jewelry Organizer Art & GIVEAWAY!

For the longest time I've hung my necklaces on one of those over-the-door coat hanger type things. Not exactly the cutest thing in the world and talk about annoying--every time I closed and opened the doors the necklaces would jingle-jangle and swing back and forth. So I knew it was time for an upgrade.

Mike had just recently set up my stand-up vanity in the corner of our bedroom and I thought it could use some sprucing up so I decided to nail two birds with one stone... organizational art!

Spoiler: make sure to stick around till the end because I'm giving away one of these organizers at the bottom of this post!

Reuse Old Candle Jars for Home Organization

Reuse Old Candle Jars for Home Organization

Guys, this DIY couldn't be simpler. I'm not even sure why it needs to be a "tutorial" but I love sharing the crafts and projects I do so why not? I don't know about you, but I go through candles like crazy. I love having a house full of yummy smells. And, not going to lie, it helps with having six animals. Two dogs, two cats, and two birds, no matter how often we vacuum and clean, I always worry that our house smells like our pets. So you can imagine how many candle jars I have lying around. I've finally gotten around to using them and this was my first "upcycle".

Until this project, I had been holding my makeup brushes in a mason jar which just wasn't big enough for all the brushes I have. So when we were updating my vanity (more on that later) I walked passed my graveyard of dead candle jars and saw the perfect specimen. 

4 Ways to Repurpose Old Blog Posts

4 Ways to Repurpose Old Blog Posts

I’ve gotten so focused on upgrading content in my new blog posts - adding freebies and downloads and making sure that the text is incredibly useful and indispensable to my readers - that I’ve been sometimes forgetting the field of hopes and dreams that my old posts used to be. Occasionally I tread back through the years passed and find a post that is absolute gold; have you ever done that? You think, “Man, I wish I could re-use this in some way, but I’ve already published it, so I can’t just republish it, right?” Well, depending on how many years or months ago it was, you CAN republish it if you’d like, but I can show you four different ways to repurpose old blog posts without actually having to schedule your old post for tomorrow or repin something that you’ve pinned fifty times already.

It’s much easier than you would think, if you’re not afraid to put a little elbow grease into repurposing. Grab a cup of coffee and let me show you my ways, grasshopper! (Just kidding; I’m not a sensei. Yet.)

Andrea & Brian | Ombre Wedding Invitation Design

Andrea & Brian | Ombre Wedding Invitation Design

I love weddings. Everything about them. From marrying the person of your dreams, to the decorations, the dancing, and of course the booze. But my favorite part about weddings? Invitations. They're the very first thing your guest sees when it comes to your big day and they can really set the tone for what a guest should expect. A well designed invitation suite can get people really excited about coming to your wedding.

So when my friends Andrea and Brian asked me if I would design their wedding invitations I may have squealed a bit. Not only do I love designing wedding invitations, but I knew this would be a fun design because Andrea has killer taste.

She wanted to design the invitations around the cake they planned to buy--and who doesn't love ombre?