Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays from my gang to yours!

Merry Christmas Willow the Australian Shepherd Grace Fleming


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Claire's Nursery Reveal: Flying Through the Sky

Inspired by the charm, magic and sincerity of Disney's Dumbo, Claire's "Flying Through the Sky" bedroom is full of a bit of whimsy and modern style. We had a ball putting this entire nursery together. From the "puppy dog" rug to the glitter tape highlighting her reading and activity corner, we're hoping Claire loves her textural and stimulating, yet subdued and refreshing space. 

We took a bit of time of Sunday to snap these photos not only for the blog but for our keepsakes and Claire's own memories. Bare with us, some photos are better than others, but I'm pregnant and my husband doesn't know exactly what to do with the photography lights. Also, stick around at the end for a new pregnancy update!

  Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy Grace Lynne Fleming, Her Umbrella, Nursery Decor, Baby Nursery, Baby Girl Nursery, Eclectic Nursery, Seafoam Nursery, Dumbo Nursery, Flying Nursery, Unique Nursery Decor, IUGR Pregnancy


Pregnancy Update

Grace Lynne Fleming Her Umbrella, Pregnancy, IUGR
We've made it to 34 weeks! It's such a huge milestone in any pregnancy but especially in an early, severe IUGR case. Our baby has a survival rate of a full-term little one and she's still growing and on the rise. 

In the meantime, along with a slight waddle to go along with my growing belly, I'm starting to have the more common symptoms of pregnancy, as well as the not-so-common. For example, I'm showing off my pregnancy face with a little pride and a little insecurity. My nose is slightly swollen, my friend, Brooke, swears my lips are fuller and my fingers and toes get a little puffier every once in a while. I go potty about 100 billion times a day and sometimes when I sit down to go it wasn't even worth the struggle to get to the restroom and try because it was just the feeling of going and not the actual need to go. I'm also starting to have what I call "crotch pain," but that isn't exactly what I'm feeling. From my hips down to my inner thighs, I'm having, at times, extreme pain and discomfort. Rolling over in bed, getting in the car and even sitting down to go potty those 100 billion times a day makes me feel like I may need my inhaler from 12 years ago. 

We've also set a date for Claire's arrival! On the night of January 6th we will be induced and hopefully Claire, although she is small, will take natural delivery well and be able to come out head first ready to cuddle, play and read with her mommy, daddy and furry sister, Willow Walnuts. Although, we do have to be prepared to go into a C-section delivery at any time based on how our little one takes to the pitocin and/or a long labor, which with smaller babies can be stressful. 

Also, and prepare yourselves for this one, I get to start taking evening primrose oil in capsule form at night. But not just by mouth - I have to have it in my downstairs, nether-regions as well. This is to help soften the cervix. Of course when she put the word "vaginally" down on paper, I looked at her and said, "So, it'll just melt?" The doctor giggled and just said, "Yeah," as a matter-of-factly as you could imagine while Justin's entire head went cherry-red and an immense amount of giggling ensued from all of us. 

In the next few weeks we plan to eat cookies, double-check our checklists, enjoy Christmas, relax a bit, have a few double-feature movie weekends and prepare ourselves for the best day, week and moment of our lives. Please pray the entire experience runs smoothly and we get to have Claire home and in her puppy dog swing in no time. 


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Skin Care Loves and Must-Haves

2014: Favorite Skin Care Products

I've never had a skin "problem," actually, in high school my skin was flawless. I think I remember one time that I actually had a pimple I was embarrassed of. Fast forward to college and I was the definition of "stress breakout." Thankfully, since I've graduated the breakouts have subsided and I've found some amazing products that keep my face feeling fresher and looking a lot clearer. 

1. Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil: I've talked about this one here before. I love it so much, I can literally put on a dab on at night and it lasts until the following evening. 
2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser: I've been using this facial cleanser for several years now. It's gentle, there are no "scrubbing" beads that are absolutely awful for sensitive skin and I always feel cleaner after a washing. Plus, it doesn't cause any extra irritation or breakouts. 
3. Temptu Airpod Foundation: We all know that I'm a giant fan of Temptu products. And, because of its gentle texture, I had to add it to my skin care list. I've never had a foundation that not only worked so perfectly but was also soft enough on my face. It's perfection. I can honestly say I will never buy another foundation as long as my airbrush machine is working. 
4. Feeling Beautiful Avocado Oatmeal Facial Mask: I stumbled upon this one day while perusing Walgreen's and I've been using it ever since (for around 2 years). I use it every other day and it keeps the skin on my face and neck feeling tight and cleansed. I swear it's been cleaning out and shrinking my pores too!
5. Sea Breeze Sensitive Astringent: I've tried more expensive products but they always cause me to have irritated spots and I always comes crawling back to this one. I use it after I wash my face and before I put on makeup just for a quick cleansing. And opposed to a lot of other astringents, it doesn't dry out my already dry skin!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Helpful, Everyday Have-to's for Around the House

Here's my goal. When people walk into our house, I don't want them to know that a dog lives inside. Between my anxiety and OCD rituals, for a long time I didn't even want the extra pressure of having a dog. When there's a mess on the floor, even if it's just a perceived mess and not a real one, I can't focus. If get a feeling that the food in the fridge needs to be rearranged a bit, then it must get rearranged before I can go about my daily works or take a chill pill and relax on the couch with Justin. So, in order to keep that anxiety and obsessive tendencies a bit more at bay, I have everyday have-to's that are a must-do. 

Here are just some of my easy ways I keep my home worries stifled and my scatterbrained impulses on neutral. Notice the emphasis I put on the "my," because I realize that most of my cleaning and tidying habits are based out of my illogical-ness.

1. Making the bed.

Grey Bedrooms, Newlywed Homes, Home Tours, Charcoal Bedrooms, Modern Bedrooms, 

It's hard to believe there was ever a time that I didn't get up and make the bed in the morning. Even though I can't stand starting my day off with a chore (sometimes I even linger in bed a few minutes longer because I don't want to tuck and fold), I'd feel far too messy leaving it unkempt all day long.

2. Check on the clothes.

Besides taking Willow out to potty, this is my first stop of the morning. I check to see what clothes need to be folded, swapped or put into the washer. In a blink of an eye, that corner of the house is checked off and completed in my mind.  After I empty the lint filter, I also take one of my microfiber towels to dust the top. Actually, I do this even if the filter isn't emptied. Squeee!

3. The Floors.

Sweep the floors

I remember walking into this house and thinking, "goodness, this one has pretty floors." (See photo above). I never wanted that to change. Before we had Willow I was sweeping the floors every two days or so, but since snatching her up, it's become a morning habit. She's a furry little thing and if I waited all week to do this, it would be a catastrophe. I start with the hardwood floors and do a quick sweep. Then I vacuum the carpet in the living room, which are the only two rooms she's allowed in. Little lady knows her boundaries. 

4. Dust the furniture.

In our bedroom, we have finished, modern black furniture and it shows dust everyday. And it bothers me. So, after my morning shower, I'll use a towel to quickly wipe down the surfaces on my way out. It refreshes the space rather fast. 

5. Wipe down the surfaces.

 Fun With Place Settings, At Home Place Setting Ideas, Eclectic Table Ideas

Whether I'm using the kitchen that morning or not, I wipe down the surfaces: the counter tops and the dining room table. I grab a Lysol wipe, and even if it was done the evening before and hasn't been touched since, it's just a thing that I have to do. Again, in my mind, it refreshes the space and makes my home feel "ready" for the day.

This whole process is repetitive and it's not fun, but it keeps my days more focused. The weekly list is a bit outrageous, just ask my husband.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Freelance Life: It's The Real Deal

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    Let me precurse this entire piece by saying, this is my rant, a chance for me to vent and a chance for me to let people in on some secrets that, I'm sure, they're just dying to know. This post has been sitting as a draft for several months now. But recently, I was inspired to change it a little and finish the damn thing. Because, recently, I was yet again insulted by what was supposed to be an educator, a retired teacher that was supposed to have spent her adult life encouraging and inspiring a plethora of young adults. Well, she never inspired me and by now, she's insulted me one too many times. 

    If you know nothing about my job, aka: "what I do for a living," then you may be a part of the giant mass of people that ask me what I "do" and have that squishy-faced look that just means you're confused. Allow me to give you some advice. 
  1. Stop asking people what they "do," when you want to know what their job is. Instead, just ask what their job is! I do a lot, everyday, and everyday is different, so when I'm asked what I "do," the list can get quite hefty. 
  2. When you don't necessarily understand or know what someone does, ask them to explain it, or simply tell them you're not sure, instead of saying, "Oh." It's insulting and dismissive.
  3. Don't assume that if a woman is not a teacher or a nurse that she doesn't have a "real job." Teachers and nurses (and the like) should be respected and praised, but just because we all didn't travel the more frequented route doesn't mean we don't have a work schedule or make money, or have a "real job."
   Now for the ex-teacher that has asked me twice what I'm doing now that I've graduated college and was disappointed that I wasn't teacher "or something like that," and didn't care to ask me what I freelanced as, this post is dedicated to you and all the others I run across on a weekly basis that give me the same rolled-eyes and sighing, Oh's. 

   Firstly, I graduated at the very top of my college with a B.A. in Communication. I graduated with honors (the very top, the very highest of honors), Summa Cum Laude, which I can prove because they printed it, nice and big, onto my diploma. I chose to take the road less traveled because I had parents and a fiance that encouraged me to do what I enjoyed. But the key here is that I had and made the opportunity. I got accepted to Johns Hopkins University, their Masters program for Communication. And I got in, not having to take the GRE because my GPA was high during undergrad. So, despite my blonde hair, hot pink lipstick and a deep affection for sparkly clothing, I'm a smarty-pants and a hard worker. 

   My day-to-day revolves around my freelance work. I have a constant schedule of articles that I have a deadline for, that I get paid for. Yes, I have the blessing (and sometimes a curse) of making my own schedule. But that doesn't mean I sit on my butt whenever I'm home, eating Oreos in front of the couch just "typing" away on my computer. In fact, when I'm home, I barely just take time to sit on the couch and do nothing. Not only do I keep up with my deadlines Sunday-Thursday, but I am constantly on the lookout and in connection with others forming new relationships and looking for new opportunities, everyday. If there was a job that you literally had to "hustle" for, it's for freelance opportunities. But then again, one of the jobs I've always wanted to have along with being a published author and freelance guru, was to be a mother, and this scheduling will be a huge blessing when that blessing comes to call. You can see how, I've done my homework and planning.

    I work mostly alone. Which means that I rarely have anyone to bounce ideas off of or to ask if I'm doing this or that correctly. I'm my own boss, which again is a blessing and curse because when I fail then it's a failure that's all my own. And yes I fail, I've gotten more rejections than opportunities but that's life and because I'm in a creative field, whether it's a design project or a black and white journalistic idea, the chances are not endless.

    My work is at home. That means when I do have time to just relax, I feel guilty. Instead of relaxing, I could be working and being more productive, which is why those Oreos are rarely eaten on the couch in a time of nothingness, instead they're eaten during an article or an outline. But, yes, they're eaten because the pantry is only a few feet away. I've had to negotiate my worth time and time again, for every job. And sometimes I lose jobs or don't take amazing opportunities because it doesn't pay enough. I'm also juggling more than one job at a time, which means I'm juggling more than one client and more than one type of direction.

    I shouldn't feel guilty about being able to do and work on my time, because I've created this opportunity for myself. This type of work rarely "just happens," but instead, it's worked hard for. So, the next time someone gives me a side glance or a smart comment like, "o, so you just type on the computer," I can point them to the direction of this post. Again, this is my rant, my venting and my small bit of frustration with those that keep within the confines of a very small box outlined too many years ago. 

   I also want to clarify that I love writing and creating content for different websites and blogs. I've made everywhere from $10 an hour to $1 a minute, to 60 GBP (which translates into roughly $93 depending on the day) an hour. It's eventful, it's fun, but my goal is to not stay at this pace my entire life. I will push to continue to grow and find new (and fun) opportunities, all the while I'll also be creating some behind-the-scenes surprises. So, when my first book is published and on the shelves, I'll also send it, free of charge to all those who gave me more than my fair share of disdain.

   To my fellow freelancers and blogger entrepreneurs, today's applause goes to you because I'm sure you've had to deal with very similar situations.

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