Sunday with Kate

Saturday, March 31, 2018
"Sunday with Kate" might just have to become a weekly thing around. Because really.. who wouldn't want to post how adorable this little girl is.. every. single. week?! 

I love like every picture I take of this girl but these.. might just be my favorite pictures, ever. They capture her sweet little personality so well. And those bows on her shoulders... come on!! I almost died when I saw this Edgehill Collection sweater at Dillard's. I knew she had to have it. 

Love those pretty little eyes! This happy girl is starting to warm up to the camera. 

Picture perfect. 

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. I'm sure I will be back soon with plenty of Easter pictures. 

Kate wishes you a very happy week! 

Italian Braised Pork

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hey, it's me.. back with another recipe that I'm telling you to try and trust me and it's good... and stuff. 

We made this "Italian Braised Pork" on Wednesday of this week and it was really good! I'm not a huge pork lover but I'm good with it in this form AND fashion :) 

This is a recipe from my Martha Stewart Slow Cooker cookbook. I did all the prep on Tuesday night, stuck the crockpot in the fridge, pulled it out when I woke up at 6AM and then set it to start cooking when I left the house at 7:15. My piece of meat was a little larger than the recipe called for so I figured it would be OK cooking for more than 8 hours. I work 9 hour days so I knew it would cook, at minimum, for 9 hours.

When I went to take the butt out to shred.. it completely fell apart. WOO HOO! I succeeded. The bone slid out, it was so tender!! But it makes a lot.. so make this for a crowd or plan to have leftovers. 

We served ours over polenta like the recipe suggested. We'll probably eat the leftovers with rice. Make sure you add plenty of salt. Ours could have used a little more. And don't forget the freshly grated parm! Yum! 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2½ pounds boneless pork shoulder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cup dry red wine
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Cooked polenta
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Preheat a 5-to 6-quart slow cooker.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork to the slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion, garlic, celery, and fennel seeds to skillet; cook until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add wine. Cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker along with tomatoes. Cover and cook on high until pork is very tender, 4 hours (or on low for 8 hours).

Transfer pork to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Skim fat off sauce. Return shredded pork to slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve over polenta, sprinkled with cheese.

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Happy Wednesday from our happy little girl! Who will no longer sit still long enough for mama to take a picture! Halfway to the weekend.. woo hoo! 

Sunday with Kate

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
There really is nothing better than spending the whole weekend with Brian and Kate. I've come to enjoy weekends so much more since becoming a mom and working full time. 

We've started trying to take more family pictures and it seems like we always do these when we get home from church on Sunday afternoons. Probably because it's the only time we really get dressed on the weekends :) 

This Sunday, I saw this adorable dress in Kate's closet and put it on her thinking it wouldn't fit. It is a 3 month after all. I've been worried since it was gifted to me that 3 months fell right in the middle of winter and she would never be able to wear it. PTL she's got plenty of room and will be able to wear this a few more times! It's so stinkin cute!! And she wore some adorable white bloomers from her grandma underneath. They have her name on them in pink.. so perfect!! 

How adorable is this girl?! 
I think she's finally starting to look more like me. In this picture especially... hey sweet girl! 

Family picture.. working on a smile from Kate.... 

Hey serious baby!! 

Kate loves cell phones. She's always trying to grab them. Guess she's learning to take selfies very early in life :) 


Kate - Month 5

Monday, March 26, 2018
Everyone is right! This sweet baby just keeps getting more fun as the days pass on. And what is the other saying..."the days are long but the years (in this case months!) are short!" Amen! This precious little girl is growing up so fast! 

I haven't been the best about taking monthly pictures but I'm trying! We took them this month but didn't care enough to get out of our PJs. The top picture makes me smile.. she looks so much like her daddy in this picture! And that half smile makes me smile so big! 

This is what happens when your having a blast taking pictures but you can't quite sit up on your own yet... timber!!! 

Back up and happy! And smiling for mama. 

Kate takes the best naps with me. She's so sweet. Always holding or rubbing my face in some form or fashion. I snapped this one day right after she fell asleep. That little adorable cheek makes is one of my favorite things about her. It's really the only thing we got to see on the ultrasound, I love it! 

I swear she doesn't always wear this onesie. These pictures were all on the same day! My parents watched Kate one night while me and Brian went out to eat. I got these pictures from them while we were out. I think both are so funny. Looks at the look on her face in the one above and below. 

First time in her big kid seat. She was so messy when she started eating from a spoon! 

Showed up to see Kate one day at school and she was sleeping so wild! You can't tell that great but her legs are going out of the crib and one is suspended in the air rested on the mirror cloud. She's so crazy! 

Hi mama. I'm awake now! Thank you for coming to visit me. 

Kate and Lucy meet for the first time. 

I can only imagine what they are talking about! 

Kate meets Madalyn for the first time. Hi friend! 

I feel like she's saying.. Ok guys, let's take this picture so our moms will stop yelling our names. Smile! 

The first time I saw Kate really sit up for the first time. I've got a good grip on her, just in case. AND hello pretty lashes! I love this girls eyes!! 

Helping mom and dad with some yard work. 

First time in her big girl high chair but keeping a side on daddy! Thanks grandma! 

Awe, I love this one! Watching mom and dad unload the dishwasher-- daddy is so silly! 

Mama's trying to take a selfie and Kate only wants to watch TV. 

Speaking of TV-- Kate wouldn't take her eyes off of it at the doctors office. 

Kate and Sophie take a nap. Those cheeks!! love! 

Yes sweet girl... you are precious in his sight!!! And mine too :) 

This girl loves her toes! 

We had our first picture day at school :) 

I snapped this one of Kate as I was leaving from my lunch visit one day. So busy she doesn't even notice me leave. 

Sophie, Kate, mom and dad go for a walk... 

Yummm... sweet potatoes. Don't let that sweet face fool you. She really didn't care for them much. 

This girl was SO GOOD on this day. We took her car shopping for Brian a new car. We did not think it would take as long as it did. She didn't fuss at all. And she was so proud of daddy's new ride on the way home. That sweet smile melts every ounce of my heart! 

Kate did so many new, fun things this month. She started sitting up on her own, eating more solid foods and she's really responding to people and noises. It's so fun to watch her little personality start to take shape. She's constantly happy and smiling. She bounces all time and she has more energy than her mama does :). She's sleeping OK at night but is still waking to eat more times a night than I would like. But I can't blame the growing girl!! She hasn't quite filled out her 6 month clothes but the 3 month size is getting snug! She's taught us so much about love and only made our love for each other stronger. I could not imagine life without this precious baby and her supportive daddy. 


Maternity Clothes.

Sunday, March 25, 2018
I had no idea how hard finding something decent to wear while pregnant would be. I have this theory-- everyone who makes maternity clothes goes to this fabric factory, the buyer asks "where is your 'we-can't-sell-this-fabric-it's-deeply-discounted-and-equally-disgusting'' section?" Fabric factory worker takes buyer to section, buyer says, "Yes! This is perfect, we'll buy it all!!" Thus-- HIDEOUS fabrics disguised as maternity clothing. 

I started this post when I was about 7 months pregnant but then I got tired... because, well.. I was 7 months pregnant and a little miserable. So I'm laughing as I read it over but still think the information rings true.. so I'm proceeding with posting! 

Some notes/things I don't understand about maternity clothing:
  • Everything has ruffles
  • There is always a bow or tie directly under your boobs. Sometimes the area allotted for said boobs (excuse me, breasts) isn't even large enough! 
  • Sleeves are fluffy 
  • Most fluffy sleeve fabrics are sheer
  • I love a good floral but maternity wear only uses disgusting grandmother florals
  • Stripes! So many stripes. No, my body is expanding at a rapid pace and I would prefer to not draw your eye even wider. 
  • Strapless? Again, your chest grows and grows and then when you think it's done, it grows some more. HOW and WHY? The last thing I want/need in my life is a strapless bra!! 
  • Sleeves are half sleeves and tight. AGAIN, my arms are growing. I do not need to draw more attention to how plump they are at this stage. 
  • Off the shoulder AND strapless, I don't think I even need to explain this. 
  • Maternity clothing trends are at least 2 years behind current trends, possibly more
  • "Sexy" maternity dresses-- for where? to leave the house? 
  • There are whole categories on sites called "photo shoot dresses......" Like I can't even finish this thought. 
I work in an office. I go to work 5 days, 40 hours a week. I have events and meetings and I must be professional. There is no time to just casually walk out of the door in something "comfortable." I'm sure people will disagree with me but the working, pregnant, professional mom-to-be has got it the worst. I can't take myself seriously in most of the clothing I've found online. 

I'm a particular person, I won't pretend like I'm not super picky. But enough is enough!! I've decided that being pregnant in the summer is far worse than the fall and winter months. Because now, not only do you have to spend money on ugly clothing to get you through but throw in horrible swim suits and cover ups! 

And be prepared to order everything online. There is no.. "I need to run to the store and pick up something to wear this weekend" going on here. Sure Target and Motherhood Maternity have stores close by but Target NEVER had anything worth buying in store and a large at motherhood will barely cover your butt. Trust. Plus the quality will make you cry if you spend anything over $5 on it. 

I found the most success at LOFT. I bought as many basics as possible and just mixed tops with cardigans for most of the year. The only dresses that really worked for me were swing dresses. Which brings me to my other problem with maternity wear. You are constantly gaining weight and your body is changing.. some days, all you want to do is look/feel pretty. It's so hard!!! Swing dress made me feel like a meatball. And by the end, I couldn't wear heels so I felt extra meatballish. A lot of people will tell you to just size up in regular clothes, but that didn't work out well for me.  

I had luck finding pants at Old Navy and Target. Some luck for dresses at ASOS but again, LOFT was really the real winner. I looked around at my old shopping sites and pulled some of the things that did work in this years versions. 

Sheer Cardigan  |   Dress Pants  |   Dress  |   Strappy Cami   
Knit Dress  |   Jeans   |   Dress Shirt

The strappy cami actually didn't have the buttons last year but they came out with it this year in regular and maternity with covered buttons. RUN to buy this. And if you are planning to nurse, buy the regular one in every single size. This actually might be something you can size up in and get away with. Because I do like mine flowy and comfy. I bought the black and white covered button top last month. 

Which leads me to the next topic-- nursing clothes. It's like basically impossible to dress now that it's warming up. If you can find maternity clothes that also double as nursing, buy them! And I know I mentioned in THIS POST that no one shared with me just how important a nursing wardrobe is... so let me reiterate it... IT'S IMPORTANT. Build it before baby comes or you will be fast and furiously ordering everything you can track down. 

And to summarize this WHOLE entire post... someone, anyone.. please create acceptable maternity wear for the working woman. PLEASE. 

About Alex

Hello and welcome to my blog! Here you will find many pictures, recipes, crafts, do it yourself projects, my attempt to decorate the 2nd Johnston house, travels, misplaced commas and more exclamation points than any person should ever use. Update!! We had a baby! Be prepared to see/read plenty about our sweet girl, Kate. Look around and enjoy!

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