For the month of July and August, I really wanted to try to focus on a Summer reading theme. The total amount of books I plan on reading this month is 11 books, which I may or may not succeed at, but, I truly do want to start blogging more about my book goals.
The titles I plan on reading is as follows:
The Summer Cottage by: Viola Shipman ✅
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by: Ann Brashares ✅
Girls in Pants the Third Summer of the Sisterhood by: Ann Brashares
Summer Hours by: Amy Mason Doan
The Stepsisters by: Susan Mallery
The Book of Summer by: Michelle Gable
Summer at the Garden Café by: Felicity Hayes-McCoy
A Week at the Shore by: Barbara Delinsky
Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by: Sarah Mlynowski
Depending on how successful I am with my July & August reading goals, I may even be able to do a Summer reading wrap-up, where I discuss about which books I enjoyed more than others.
Comment below with what your favourite Summer must reads are and what your July reading list looks like. I love getting book recommendations.
Before I dive into the actual pregnancy, I wanted to say I actually had a feeling I was pregnant. A day that my colleagues and I had gone for Sushi was the day I was talking to my coworker and saying I had a feeling something was off about my body, like something was just different and I didn’t know what or why. She however told me not to worry, and its probably nothing, I even mentioned that I think it could be pregnancy, and she just kept saying I wouldn’t worry about it. Well.. that was the last day I had all-you-can-eat sushi.
My hunch was because I was off of Birth Control pills (I decided to go off of them because there were too many side effects that were happening, and I was scared of blood clots… even more that some COVID vaccines plus COVID itself can cause blood clots.. why take BC pills that are known for blood clots too…) I had a bit of a period, but not a full blown period.. it was less than what I had while on the pill, but I shrugged it off because maybe its the pill that needs to clear out of my system. During my “next” cycle.. it seemed a little off too and didn’t seem right in the slightest.. so one of these two periods must have been the “implantation”. Because my periods seemed off, I asked for second advice from a friend of mine.. at this point I spent close to $30 on pregnancy tests but didn’t want to use them till I was sure what was going on. My friend told me to wait a few more weeks and if I miss a period or my period isn’t normal to test myself. Well.. my body had other plans and gave me the most wicked heart burn ever days after the conversation happened (mind you.. I never had heart burn before.. so I had to google it).
I looked at the heart burn as a sign that I have to test ASAP. And as I was thinking.. I ended up being right..
Took a second test to be sure and it was positive again, but this time because it was the digital one it said…
When I told my Fiance, we were both nervous, but also excited.
My pregnancy was fairly interesting, I did not get the morning sickness or the crazy cravings that most Women got during their pregnancies.
At the very beginning my pregnancy was pretty minimal with the symptoms (honestly never know what to call them), I would only ever feel super nauseous when it came to me not eating enough, and only once during the pregnancy did I come close to vomiting, and that was due to being so nauseous from not eating for a long period of time, that if I did not get food inside me that second, I would puke. I am actually pretty grateful for not getting the morning sickness, as I had not puked since I was only a little girl.
I was turned off from the smell of garlic and onions cooking, I was able to smell things from far distances and the smell of smoke/weed bothered me more than it normally did. We were ordering Hello Fresh for a while, and I was not even able to eat that anymore because the smell of the seasonings cooking made me feel disgusted and nauseous, and just forget about the taste. Lettuce tasted like grass and I completely lost interest in eating salads. Tomato made my stomach feel bloated.
The only craving I could recall having in the earlier stages was fries and hot sauce. I needed to have hot sauce in everything. And fries just smelled and tasted way better than usual. Pasta also tasted better than usual as well. The craving did not last long, but, because a lot of seasoning seemed like a turn off for me, I did stick with having hot sauce during the whole pregnancy, as that was my safe option. There was some things I just really wanted at specific times, like one day it was a burger and then another day I needed to have Greek food, but to me I don’t really call those cravings because they are one offs.
Eventually anytime I ate fast food or anything overly greasy, I felt a tightness in my chest and stomach.
Since the pregnancy “symptoms” were so mild, I barely even felt pregnant, till my stomach started growing and clothes stopped fitting me, I was unable to make certain movements or I would be completely out of breath just going up a flight of staires (mind you.. I was never fit to begin with), would be twice as hard days I had to go to the office lugging my stuff up the steps while wearing a face mask.
The heart burn and acid reflux got worse closer to the end of the pregnancy, maybe the last couple of months, and when the heart burn did come, it came really hard and usually always at night prior to bed time. Closer to the end of the pregnancy I also ended up having to deal with swelling feet and ankles, however, they did not get as bad as a lot of other people have claimed them to be, it probably helps that most of my pregnancy was during the Fall/Winter, so I did not have to worry about the heat aggravating it.
I must say it was pretty cool being pregnant at the same time as a few of my close friends and one of my cousins. I was able to keep in touch with them and we exchanged stories about our own pregnancies and helped each other out. Plus its easier to talk to someone that is dealing with the same thing as you, verses someone that isn’t. Also having people close to me that were also pregnant the same time as me, made me realize how different every pregnancy is.
A few annoying symptoms I did get was the one time I had a bloody nose.. literally I sneezed once, and that’s all it took for a Niagara Falls of blood leaking out of my nose, the horror on my Fiancé’s face when this was happening was priceless. It was such a weird feeling too, because I never seen so much blood during a bloody nose, nor have I ever seen blood pour out so quickly from a nose bleed. Luckily the nose bleed was just a one off. The other annoying symptoms were the sensitive gums, which caused my gums to bleed almost every time I brushed my teeth. AND MY SINUSES, my sinuses were going nuts during the entire pregnancy, most likely from a post nasal drip. So I did end up buying a humidifier and it was my best friend during the pregnancy.
I had a few ultrasounds done in the beginning, one ultrasound was done too early, and I had to go back two weeks later to make sure the pregnancy was progressing. And then I had one done for the anatomy scan, which I had to re-do because the baby was facing the wrong way. The tech did not want to tell me the gender of the baby, and my OB ended up writing on a piece of paper to say it was a girl, but, she told me that it does happen where the gender is sometimes wrong, and she did not recommend me telling too many people. So when I went for the repeat anatomy scan, I did ask the tech if it was still a girl, and she confirmed for me it was a girl (this was a surprise to my family, because I have three nephews, so woohoo for a girl). Unfortunately due to what my OB told me about not telling too many people, we decided not to waste money on a gender reveal. However the theme of my Baby Shower was girl… I’ll post about this later.
My favourite parts of the pregnancy was going to my OB appointments and hearing the babies heart beat, on top of that I loved feeling the babies kicks and to be quite honest, I do sort of miss feeling those kicks. Unfortunately due to COVID and the precautions the OBs office was taking, my Fiancé was unable to experience any of the baby appointments. I am hoping by time we decide to have a second baby, that it will be a little more normal and that he wont be able to miss future appointments.
Shopping for Maternity clothes was RIDICULOUS! Went to a few stores and a mall or two.. and tell me how finding a Maternity clothing store is nearly non-existent anymore and I pretty much just had to purchase larger sizes that ended up being too large for me to wear anyway. I did get lucky that one of my friends gave me her Winter jacket from when she was pregnant, because I was literally not having any luck at all…
The hormones and crying for the tiniest things ever was bad. But not nearly as bad as I was during my period as a teenager.
I am so very grateful that my pregnancy turned out to be an easy one, and that the hardest part was probably getting to point B from point A due to the waddling at the end. Or when the baby was still riding high, it was hard to move when I was in bed because of all the extra weight in my stomach.
America’s pregnancy bible answers all your baby questions.
When can I take home a pregnancy test?
How can I eat for two if I’m too queasy to eat for one?
Can I keep up my spinning classes?
Is fish safe to eat? And what’s this I hear about soft cheese?
Can I work until I deliver? What are my rights on the job?
I’m blotchy and broken out—where’s the glow?
Should we do a gender reveal? What about a 4-D ultrasound?
Will I know labor when I feel it?
Your pregnancy explained and your pregnant body demystified, head (what to do about those headaches) to feet (why they’re so swollen), back (how to stop it from aching) to front (why you can’t tell a baby by mom’s bump). Filled with must-have information, practical advice, realistic insight, easy-to-use tips, and lots of reassurance, you’ll also find the very latest on prenatal screenings, which medications are safe, and the most current birthing options—from water birth to gentle C-sections. Your pregnancy lifestyle gets equal attention, too: eating (including food trends) to coffee drinking, working out (and work) to sex, travel to beauty, skin care, and more. Have pregnancy symptoms? You will—and you’ll find solutions for them all. Expecting multiples? There’s a chapter for you. Expecting to become a dad? This book has you covered, too.
Before reading this book, a lot of people were telling me not to waste money on it, and that it is a waste of time to read. But in compete honesty, I am glad I purchased this book, it has all the updated information necessary as it is the 5th edition. It was also what helped me get through 9 months of my Pregnancy without freaking out over every possible symptom I get.
There were a lot of stuff I was able to skip, like the beginning talked about before pregnancy, and well.. I purchased the book after finding out I was pregnant. I was able to skip a lot of the information about health concerns, and having multiples and etc.. literally anything that didn’t apply to me, but when it came to all the pregnancy symptoms that could happen each month, I made sure to read all of that, so in case something did happen, I knew it was normal. It is also good knowing that if anything did change with my health, I could just easily go over the chapter that I skipped, because I had it all accessible in my hands.
I also really like that the original What to Expect When Expecting book gets updated as the years go by. More access to research = more information needing to be shared and known. And it avoids only getting outdated information from 13 + years ago.
Overall book review: *****
Announcing a brand-new edition of the pregnancy food bible. With over 1.4 million copies in print, What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting is the essential companion to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. This cover-to-cover update provides a fresh, fun, realistic, and body-positive approach to help moms-to-be navigate healthily and tastily through the nine months of pregnancy—at home, in the office, over the holidays, in restaurants. Thorough chapters are devoted to nutrition, including all the latest facts on superfoods, food trends, food safety, foods to chow down on, foods (and drinks) to limit, and those to cut out altogether. How to eat well when you’re too green to come face-to-fork with broccoli, or too bloated to eat at all. How to eat well on a budget. On the run. Whether you’re vegan or a red-meat eater, a carb craver or a gluten-free girl, a confirmed fast-food junkie or slow-food foodie. Readers hungry for nutritional facts (which vitamins and minerals the pregnant body needs and where to find them) will get their fill of those, too. Plus, how to put it all together with dozens of practical tips and 175 recipes that are as delicious as they are nutritious, as easy to love as they are easy to make.
At the heart of the book are hundreds of pressing questions that every reader has: Do I have to skip my morning latte—or my afternoon energy drinks? I’m too sick to look at a salad, never mind eat one—do I have to? Help! I’m entering my second trimester, and I’m losing weight, not gaining. How do I get enough calcium if I’m lactose intolerant?
Written with Heidi Murkoff’s trademark warmth, empathy, reassurance, and humor, it is the must-have guide for a new generation of moms-to-be.
I read some reviews where people took this book in as just another diet book, or they thought it was just a book entirely full of recipes. Honestly, if you’re looking for a book that isn’t going to tell you what you should eat, you really should not be buying this book (lol).
This book was exactly what I expected it to be and more. It broke down exactly what foods fall into which vitamin and mineral category and why it is important for the expected mom-to-be to eat those specific nutrients. It also goes more into depth health wise, like if you are experiencing a specific situation, that is when you should be eating more of this and etc..
Another good thing I liked about the book is that it went into depth of what you should not be eating, more so what foods are dangerous to the baby and it compares empty calories verses smart calories. It also taught me how to read the nutrition labels at the grocery stores more smart, because sugar and sodium are some times hidden with words we don’t even think about. It also goes into depth of how to be smart when eating out or when always on the go, so you don’t fall into the bad habits of eating the most worst foods possible.
A very good chunk of the book (maybe more than half) is all recipes. Gives you ideas of what to eat for breakfast, lunches, dinners and even snacks. I do wish I read this book earlier on in my pregnancy, I kind of read it so slow that I reached 9 months in, so I unfortunately did not get to try any of the recipes myself, but I did learn a lot about eating, shopping and cooking smarter. I do plan taking the information I have read to heart and will apply it to when I am attempting to Breast Feed my baby along with when I am trying to get back into a more healthier nutritious routine post-partum (cause lets face it… I was far from healthy prior to getting pregnant and only started making wiser choices when I had another human dependent on me for nutrition).
Overall book review: *****
P.S: I highly recommend both books to all expecting MAMA’s to be.
Synopsis: Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them.
But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them.
Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye.
And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.
Review: Another book I have had kicking around for quite some time now, I originally read this book last Summer and finally decided it was about time I gave my review before I completely forget about it. I have watched the movie a long time ago, and have full intentions of re-watching it, so I can do a comparison of both the book and the novel together.
Four Best Friends that have never been a part during the Summer came across a pair of old worn out jeans and have decided that even though this Summer was going to be the Summer they spend away from each other, they will mail it out to each other (NEVER TO WASH THEM) and will wear them during the most important or scary parts of their Summer. The pants brought them good luck or even helped to keep them feel secure, kind of as if the friends were still together. What made these pants feel like magic was the fact that they fit all four of them, even though their body types were completely different.
Carmen ends up heading South to go visit her Father, which she eventually finds out that her dad is due to be Married to another Woman, and she also finds out that he has future step-daughters.
Lena and her sister go to Greece to visit and bond with their Grandparents. Lena also learns that not every guy is shallow and that just maybe someone is genuinely interested in her.
Bridget goes to Mexico for a Soccer camp and ends up falling for her coach, a forbidden love for a young girl like herself.
Tibby is the only one of the four girls that is stuck staying at home working her day job, when she meets a younger girl and becomes friends with her despite of the age difference.
I honestly did love this book, and I think it is a series I may want to introduce to my soon-to-be-daughter when she becomes of age to read young adult books.
The author for this book is Ann Brashares and she has written a total of 5 books for this series, which I own most, I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book or two. I will definitely also write reviews for the other books as I read them.
I know I already posted what my hopes are for 2022, but this post is a little more elaborated and I feel like it would keep myself more in check and accountable to get these accomplishments. The things I want to accomplish for this year is overall to better myself as a person and to prioritize me, while becoming a good Mother to my soon-to-be-baby.
Focus on Self Care: I have decided to make every Monday my designated make a homemade specialty coffee day (I’m not one for a lot of caffeine, so it’s a good way to help motivate me to get through an insane work day. When my nails start looking bad, I will do my nails and make them look pretty again that same week. Sing out loud. Curl up with a blanket and watch a movie or shows with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Unwind and relax with a cross word, puzzle or diamond art (I’ll be trying to do this once a week, mostly on a Friday).
Skin Care: My goal is to cleanse, tone and moisturize twice a day (morning and evening). Exfoliate every Monday. Face mask every Wednesday and Sunday.
Read More: My goal is to now read a chapter a day if possible. Last year and previous years I went weeks or months without reading, and reading has always been my great escape or unwind time, so I seriously want to focus on reading more regularly.
Regular Organizing: My goal is to daily find something in the house either to clean or organize, so then my weekends become easier. I have been pretty good with this so far this month, and I find that once something has become organized, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and overall happier.
Eating Healthier: Eat more veggies, fruits, grains, and protein. Consume more calcium, iron and vitamin C. Overall eat less sugar and calcium. Try cooking more homemade instead of ordering in, eating frozen boxed or canned foods. Also to do more health related research to gain more knowledge about health and nutrition.
Exercise More: Right now because I am pregnant I will accept baby steps. Make more movements around the house, stretch, squats, dance and light weights. Once Winter is over and the baby arrives, I plan on going for more walks, get into yoga and more steady intense workouts to become heathier again.
Be a good Mom: I really want to make sure I get into the habit that 90% of things should and will be homemade like the baby foods. Also want to make sure I read to my baby daily and educate as early as possible.
Take Lots of Photos: I really want to get into taking more photos and scrapbooking or creating photo albums. Create new memories. It may help me realize that it is the small things in life that can make us happy.
Become financially stable: I want to get my credit card paid off, start saving money for retirement and for short term goals like getting a better place to live. I know especially this wont come easy this year, but I am already making the right moves, and I just need to ensure I continue to make the right moves without slipping up.
Write more: Even if its just a blog post here and there or journaling, it is a form of writing. I really want to get back into doing writing prompts OR get back into writing stories, which I have not been able to do in years. Goal one day is to publish a novel, even if it wont be this year.
All these items that I really want to focus on this year is not necessarily in a proper order, but it is the things that would mean the most to me if I can follow as closely as possible to accomplish my goals. With COVID things have been a mess and I got into really bad habits the last two years like stress shopping and emotional eating, stopped working out and put on a lot of weight before getting pregnant. Put everyone else before me and slacked on self care and had trouble sticking to a good skin care routine. 2022 will be my year to officially take my life back.
On January 8th we had to say our goodbyes to the best cat I have ever known in my life. He has always been Rob’s cat/baby since he was a little boy himself, but, when I started dating Rob, that also meant me being attached to his cat which made me consider him my fur baby.
Hogging the bed/seats on the couch, biting my toes anytime I moved the slightest in my sleep, the constant meowing, following me into the bathroom and nearly making me trip a few times was only a few of the memories.. but the memories I would never trade for anything else.
My favourite memories are the snuggles/cuddles when we watched shows, or waking up in the morning seeing him still in bed with me and any time I tried to work on the laptop, or use my phone.. I loved how he was either by my feet, or sitting beside me as I worked.. and then casually got in the way to scratch his head off my laptop/phone. Or how he would sometimes just come crawl into my lap when I was trying to read a book.
I also loved how Josie would always meow when both Rob and I were not in the room. His favourite place to be, especially in the colder months was in our bed room, and he’d just chill there meowing to get our attention. And if one of us was ready for bed and under the covers, it wasn’t enough, he’d stare at the door and meow till the other came into the room too.
It’s only just been over 6 years since I’ve known Josie, but, it feels like a life time. I love you so much buddy, and I know you’ll always be watching us.. just like how you’d always come comfort us if you knew one of us were sad or not doing well.
All these years I have been so fixated on physical copy books, I just loved everything about them. The smell of a new book, feeling the pages, being able to use my favourite themed book marks for it, seeing the books on the shelves and just physically browsing the libraries or book stores for a new story to read.
I was also completely against the idea of e-books, with my day job I am constantly looking at a computer screen, and even with my obsession over social media and trying to run my Direct Sale businesses, not to mention watching TV or playing video games and texting people… I honestly have far too much screen time for my liking, and if I had to depend on an electronic device to read a novel, I just felt like it was a bad idea for my already sore, dry eyes and just doesn’t look as appealing as a physical book. However, I also do understand the concept of them, e-books are cheaper and is probably a minimalists best friend.
Audio books, I have honestly never considered before. I have tried getting into podcasts, and I either find the person talking incredibly boring, or I just couldn’t get into it. If I had to listen to something, I’d rather it be music. I also would’ve hated if they made me feel anything like a podcast did.
Look at me now though, now have one physical book I’ve been reading whenever I have time to step away from electronics and can enjoy it with a cup of tea, an audio book I’ve been listening to occasionally while I am working and an e-book I read when I’m out and about OR when I am laying in bed. I overall still do preference physical books out of the other two options, I do want to increase my bookshelf with more books (as much as I also do need to declutter what I already have as well). Being able to allow myself to enjoy the beauty of all three reading styles has increased the amount of reading I can get done in a single week, and I guess that is one thing I am happy about for sure.
Which one is your preference in reading? Physical books? E-books? OR Audio Books? I would also love to hear the reason why you love that specific reading preference.
One of my all time favourite things about the Holiday season is the amount of different things that we can bake to help get ourselves in the Holiday spirit. Not to mention I just love baking and also a complete foodie.
One of my Best Friends ended up coming over to do some Holiday Baking with me, she made 4 different recipes and I made three, the photos below you will see the three items I chose to bake. All thanks to Pinterest (I absolutely love that site!)
Cannot wait to share other baking plans I have for next year!
I know I have not been posting anything since the Summer, things have started getting a bit hectic, plus been dealing with something we have been keeping a secret for a while. We only recently (a couple of months ago) been open about it more publicly.
WE. ARE. EXPECTING.
For the first while, the pregnancy symptoms were very mild, did not get any morning sickness and mainly just experienced nausea if I was waiting a bit too long to eat. Honestly, if it was not for the pregnancy test, I wouldn’t have even known I was pregnant.
Just this past month, I have been experiencing more pregnancy symptoms, my sinuses are very bad, especially when I’m at home (we live in a basement, so I hear the air tends to be more dry), I ended up getting a humidifier to help it. Headaches come from time to time. And the ultimate worst of it is the heart burn I’ve been getting, and that only started about two weeks ago, especially any time I eat something deep fried (which sucks, because for a while I was craving French Fries), today it happened more so when I was hungry and didn’t eat, and after eating. Oh yay… heart burn.
I am currently at my 22.5 weeks mark. So just more than halfway there.
The more time that goes on, the more real it all feels. The more excited I am getting, we are getting.
As much as we have a lot of time to prepare, it also feels like time is already flying by and that time just feels so tight.
I also frequently feel the flutters, and it feels funny, but, so magical at the same time. I cannot wait to actually start seeing the little baby kicks.
I honestly cannot wait to meet this little bean and be their Mama.