27 December 2018

My Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Ah, the second trimester. Or as most women call it, the honeymoon phase. I definitely had a lot of energy at the beginning of the second trimester. No pain, just a few sleepless nights - but that was easily remedied when I finally learned how to fall back asleep. Now that I'm a few days away from the dreaded third trimester, I'm hoping things don't get too awful! Here's what my second trimester of pregnancy has been like...

That pesky night-time nausea I had at the end of the first trimester went away and it's been glorious. What took its place? Well, towards the end of this trimester I started to experience pregnancy rhinitis. And oh my goodness, it has been incredibly annoying. Every evening when my head hit the pillow my nose would clog up, then I would spend the next day blowing my nose. Thankfully I invested in a humidifier and it's done wonders. Except when the weather gets rainy and the pressure makes my nose unresponsive to pretty much any solution.

Another annoying symptom was whenever I would sit on a couch or regular chair I would get a dull ache under my right shoulder blade. Thanks to Cooper getting bigger, he was throwing my posture all out of whack. I wanted to find a pair of maternity leggings that were supportive. I heard about Blanqi, ordered a pair of supportive maternity leggings and they're just lovely. I also got them for half price on Black Friday - which was awesome.

As far as keeping my back and shoulder blade from hurting, I've had to learn how to properly sit as a pregnant lady: with my butt on the edge of the seat and my legs wide with feet flat on the floor. A yoga ball helps too. As well as regularly doing prenatal yoga and going on walks.

Emotional Musings 
I'm not normally one to cry, but since the second trimester rolled around I noticed that whenever I read anything sad about pet rabbits I would break into tears. What made things even weirder was the fact that sometimes I'd be petting Olive and just start crying because I'd think about how one day she won't be with me. And that just broke my heart. This happened more than once too...

Other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing. Alex and I actually had a conversation about how I really thought being pregnant would turn me into a complete terror. And so far, fingers crossed, it hasn't. I've actually been better than my typical PMS days.

A Few Unexpected Things

  • I really didn't think I'd be able to wake up several times a night to pee and actually be able to fall back asleep. Thankfully I've become a pro at it.
  • My memory kind of sucks. Seriously. Half the time my brain feels like it's broken.
  • I really thought I'd have a lot more cravings, but so far nothing intense or out of the ordinary.
  • Most of the time I don't really feel as though I look as pregnant as I should. I always thought I'd be a lot bigger than what I currently am. Thankfully my weight gain has been right on track - not over or under.
  • I thought I'd talk to my belly more... but I don't. And sometimes I forget Cooper is even in there until he starts kicking. I also feel him roll around it there, which is a pretty weird/wonderful feeling.
  • I also didn't think I'd need a pregnancy pillow, but it turns out that I need some sort of extra support while sleeping. I've found that propping up my regular pillows and using a pregnancy body pillow does wonders. I originally used a body pillow but found it to be a pain in the ass when I had to switch sides in the middle of the night.
  • I really wanted to work out a lot more but naps win every single time.
21 December 2018

Christmas 2018

I'm starting my annual holiday hiatus today so I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
18 December 2018

Olive & the Christmas Tree

My sweet little baby girl. This is our fourth christmas together! <3
12 December 2018


Ever since 2015, I've made it a point to take a self-portrait every year on my birthday. Here's 2018's.
09 December 2018

Bump Update: Week 25

Well, this pregnancy is ramping up and it's starting to hit me that at some point this baby is going to have to come out of me. As of yesterday, I'm officially 5 1/2 months and baby Cooper is now the size of a head of cauliflower. At our last ultrasound, two weeks ago, he was weighing just as much as he should be at this point - which was about a pound. But as of now, the apps say he weighs around 1.5 pounds and I can attest to that... 

I'm just now starting to feel those pregnancy pains everyone talks about getting once the near the end of the second trimester. My back is just now starting to hurt whenever I sleep. It hasn't helped that I haven't been sleeping without a body pillow for support. So earlier today Alex took me to Target to get me a body pillow. I'm happy to report that it worked like a charm during my afternoon nap. Yup, naps are back again. In fact, the other day I fell asleep for almost two hours. But I am still doing prenatal yoga and using the treadmill at the gym.

Needless to say, Alex & I are getting even more excited about meeting our little boy this coming March. There are just a few more months left! It's been crazy to watch my stomach grow, little by little and to actually know where baby is in there. The other day Cooper was curled up on my left side and when I placed Alex's hands on where he was nestled, Alex looked at me and said, "He's so tiny!". And he's only partially right - because yes, he is tiny - but every day he is getting bigger and bigger. Hence the reality that sometime in the next three months I'm going to have to push this baby out! It's wild & crazy, but we can't wait.
06 December 2018

Choosing His Name

Our family and close friends already know what we're naming our baby boy. But recently, I've thought about sharing it with all of you now, instead of waiting until his big day arrives. After discussing it with Alex, we've decided to go ahead and share his name AND why we chose it...

Alex & I had a boy's name picked out months before we got pregnant. It was something that came naturally to us. I don't even think we had any runner-up names to consider! Which is pretty wild. Especially considering the fact that I spent a good month, prior to finding out the gender, trying to settle on a girl's name. As it turns out, it was time wasted. ;)

Even though Alex & I had our boy's name picked out a good deal ahead of time, once we found out that he was indeed a he, having his name made it even more real. And somehow, even though we haven't met him yet, I feel like his name completely suits him.

I'm sure by now you're dying to know what we've decided to name our sweet little boy... 


26 November 2018

I'm typing this as I lounge on the sofa in our living room with the Bob Newhart Show playing in the background. It's raining outside and Alex is still taking his nap - poor thing had to go into work at 6AM today, after a long night of not sleeping well. I'm feeling our little bébé kicking like crazy. Our christmas tree is up and the light from the tree is filling the room as the sun starts to go down outside.

If you already know me, you know that I absolutely love the holiday season. I love all of the festive to-do's, spending time with family and just the all around coziness that comes along with it. And lately, I've been thinking a lot about how come next Christmas, we'll have a little 8-month old to celebrate the holidays with. I cannot wait to see our little boy's eyes light up with all the new experiences that the holidays bring. It's wild and I seriously cannot wait.
06 November 2018

Our Baby's Gender Reveal Party

We did our own take on a gender reveal party for our little boy. Instead of Alex & I being surprised, we surprised our family and we loved every minute of it. I made the cakes (yes, there were two - one cake for the reveal and one for eating because blue dye, blech!).

There were two games. First I had everyone select a paint sample in the color of what they thought the baby was - blue for a boy and pink for a girl. The next game was partially me trying to throw my family off a bit. I had them pick first names and middle names from bowls and piece together 10 different names that they liked for a girl.

The suspense was definitely killing them... that name game took about 10 minutes for everyone to complete and it was totally worth it for me. Everyone was getting so impatient with excitement and demanding that we cut the cake already.

Since I thought it would be the most fun, I pitted my Mom and Alex's Mom against each other when it came to the cake cutting. I gave them each a knife and had them cut into the cake to see what gender our little baby was. There was A LOT of excitement at that moment. Well, here - go ahead and take a look for yourself...

05 November 2018

It's a...

BOY!!!! And we're SO excited!

I'm officially outnumbered and mentally preparing myself for double the amount of this kind of humor...

31 October 2018

He or She? What will baby be?

On Monday afternoon, at baby's anatomy scan, Alex & I found out the gender!! But here's the thing - we're keeping it a secret until after Sunday. Why? Because this Sunday we're throwing a twist on a gender reveal party... we're surprising our family with the news! I feel like this secret is even harder to keep then when we initially found out we were pregnant. I seriously cannot wait to surprise our parents - it's going to be so incredible.

I'm also over the moon with how our baby's first photo shoot turned out. That little nose and mouth kills me!

After the ultrasound we celebrated by voting early (you know, it's never too early to teach the baby the importance of voting) and went to Mellow Mushroom for some delicious pizza. We thought it was the perfect thing to do because we had pizza on our wedding day and it's the ultimate tradition for us. Especially when it comes to celebrating our little bunny bean. I told Alex that after I give birth I want pizza too. Haha.

So - if you think you know what baby is - let me know in the comments below and then be sure to stop back by on Monday to find out what baby is! It's going to be so hard to keep this secret for five more days.
26 October 2018

DIY Fall Stovetop Simmer Scent

I love Fall - even if the weather here in Florida doesn't change all that much and the look of Fall is relegated to dead leaves on the ground. Either way, once Fall rolls around I feel more like myself. It should go without saying that I love all things Fall too. The coziness, the seasonal food and, most of all, the scents... cinnamon, citrus, and all those other lovely warm spices. Since last year, I've tried to steer clear of scented candles (because ugh, they're so bad for you). Don't get me wrong, I still love my essential oils, but with being pregnant even those can come off a little too strong for me.

So, stovetop simmer scents it is! And the one I'm sharing today is super-duper easy AND full of all the rich smells you'd expect to find during Fall. Smell ya, later scented candles. Hello, natural scents!

1/2 a lemon
4 bay leaves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 thick orange slice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons whole cloves

Add all of the ingredients to a small pot, bring to a boil. Then lower to simmer and leave on for as long as you'd like. Just be sure to check on it periodically. Once you're done (and it's cooled down) refrigerate the mixture until the next time. Once the fragrance is gone, be sure to discard it.
18 October 2018

Little Kicks

This past Tuesday, I felt baby kick for the first time. It was incredible and there was no mistaking it. I just knew that what I was feeling was our little bunny bean. At first, I felt three kicks in a row, then a few minutes later I felt two more. Since then I've felt those little kicks a few more times. Both last night and then again this morning and afternoon. Also, does anyone else think of Elaine from Seinfeld when you hear "little kicks"? No, maybe it's just me! ;)

Seriously though, it's such a surreal feeling to feel those little kicks. It makes me fall even more in love with this sweet little babe that I am growing inside me. I honestly can't wait until baby starts kicking more frequently and to the point where Alex can actually feel it himself.
07 October 2018

Fall Goals Twenty-Eighteen

It's finally Fall! I know I'm a little late with this list - but here it is either way! Unfortunately, I didn't complete all of my Fall goals from last year. So this year, I'm going to be a little bit more realistic with what I add to this list. Especially now that I'm pregnant. Even though the weather isn't fall-ish here in Florida, it's still getting cooler in the mornings and evenings.
  • buy an heirloom pumpkin
  • make apple cinnamon muffins
  • bake a homemade pumpkin pie
  • have another cemetery pizza party
  • listen to A LOT of Type O Negative
  • watch Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice
  • on the first cool day, go on a picnic with Alex
  • finish the second season of Stan Against Evil
  • go to Trader Joes and buy a few Fall-inspired food items
  • enjoy being pregnant during one of my favourite seasons
  • make sure to always have an autumn-colored flower bouquet in the house
  • create another Halloween playlist - we might not be able to top last years though

Do you have any goals for this Fall? Let me know in the comments below!
24 September 2018

My First Trimester of Pregnancy

Now that the news of our little bunny bean is officially out in the universe, I figured it would be fun to document my first trimester. because this pregnancy is something I truly want to remember. I mean, after all, Alex & I only want one child. Besides, I'm such a documenter by nature.

We were on vacation in Colorado the week before we officially found out, but the whole time I just knew I was pregnant. After all, we had tried the month before. Either way, I was anxious to find out but we both decided to wait until we got back to Florida. So the day after we got home, I took a test - even though I was only 4 weeks. It was early Saturday morning, I was the only one up, the house was quiet and the morning sun was starting to filter through the curtains. I crept into the bathroom and once the five minutes were up, my suspicions we were confirmed... we were definitely pregnant! Alex was still asleep, so I crawled into bed with him and quietly whispered into his ear that we were pregnant. He turned to me and smiled, "Really?". "Yes," I said and we hugged for a very long time.

Needless to say, keeping our little secret was hard - very hard. The only people that knew for the first four weeks were my mother and my best friend Megan. Our reasoning behind keeping it a secret was this: I experienced a blighted ovum back in March. Which is why Alex & I decided to wait to tell the rest of our family until we had an early ultrasound to confirm that there was actually a baby in there. We had our first ultrasound at 8-weeks. I was a nervous wreck until the technician found our little bunny bean and once she found the heartbeat and we saw the flicker of 165bpm I broke into tears and Alex & I exchanged the biggest smiles. Afterward, we shared the news with his parents, our siblings, and closest relatives. Then at 11 weeks, we were able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time when our midwife used the doppler. That was even more amazing!

Now for the fun stuff...

So much bloating (as you can see above) and nausea. I had to make sure that I ate every few hours because if I didn't nausea would overpower me. Most nights I had constant nausea, even though I never threw up. My energy was at an all-time low and as a result, I slept A LOT. Needless to say, my workout regimen flew right out the window. I was lucky to even get in a 20-minute prenatal yoga once a week. I was also riddled with crazy food aversions - I couldn't stand the idea of chicken or scrambled eggs. Most nights, while Alex cooked us dinner, I had to stay in the bedroom with the door closed because the smells would make me nauseous and I'd end up not eating as a result. Bland food became my best friend.

Oh, Moses smell the roses, my cravings were bad because I mostly wanted junk food - which is something I normally avoid. Some weeks all I wanted was a hamburger and french fries. I was obsessed with cinnamon gum too. But thankfully I craved healthy things to like fresh strawberries, grapefruit, cheese, fruit smoothies, peanut butter, and no sugar added cranberry juice (I drank two large bottles in less than a week!!). Oh, and a childhood favourite of mine: cheese and tomato sandwiches with mustard. Mmm. Thankfully most of the cravings for junk food started to dwindle at the end of the first trimester and I was back to my normal healthy-ish eating habits.

Well, that about covers it for my first trimester. Keep your eyes peeled for a post on the second one in a few months.
21 September 2018

A List of Love

Wow... I haven't done one of these in awhile. And since I feel like diving back into the blogging pool, I figured it would be fun to start these up again. Besides t's always good to concentrate on positive things. So, here we go...

This month I am thankful for: This month I'm thankful for finally entering the second trimester. Being nauseous every night takes a toll and the fear of miscarriage isn't a pleasant one either. I'm so thankful for Alex and our families. They have been so loving and supporting during this pregnancy and it feels so good to have them in our lives. Also, major props to Alex to putting the nursery furniture together. Since he'll be in the thick of busy season at work it made sense to him to get it all set up ahead of time. Now I just need to decorate!

Things that I have been loving:
  • endless cups of mint tea
  • any and all things grapefruit
  • homemade oven-baked buffalo wings
  • spending every Monday with my parents
  • being pregnant (especially now that I'm in the second trimester)

Now I encourage you to create your own list of love. You can write it in the comments below or make your own post. If you do make a post, be sure to leave the link to it in the comments section. I can't wait to see your lists! Also, you are more than welcome to use the image above on your blog post - just make sure to credit me. 
18 September 2018

We're pregnant!

For the last three months, Alex & I have been keeping the biggest secret of our lives... We're pregnant! It feels so good to finally share the news too. We're beyond excited about having a little bebe join our family next year. Seriously, spring can't come soon enough.

We found out while we were still on vacation in Colorado Springs. Which is wild in itself - that little one made it all the way to the top of Pikes Peak. ;) Thankfully, I had an easy trimester, even if I was slightly nauseated most nights. And the rest of my first trimester was filled with exhaustion and feeling out of breath 80% of the time. Now that I'm in the second trimester, I finally feel more like myself again. My energy has returned and I all I seem to think about is how far away March is.

We've already had our first ultrasound (at 8 weeks) and it was wild to see that flickering little heartbeat. At 11 weeks, during our first midwife appointment, we were able to hear the baby's heartbeat and that was downright mind-blowing. It was so cool having the ultrasound, but nowhere near as cool as hearing our baby's heartbeat. I'm still in awe.

I'm honestly at a loss for words with how crazy all of this is. I mean Alex & I have talked about adding a little one to our family for a while now but it's so surreal to know that I have our little bunny bean quickly growing inside me. Seriously, for two people who grew up not wanting kids, to changing their minds and actually PLANNING for one is crazy. And just think, in seven months we'll have a teeny, tiny baby that's half me and half Alex to love and enjoy.

Thanks for following along on our journey!

22 June 2018

Happy Three Years! It's Olive's 'Gotcha Day'.

Three years ago today, I visited Gainesville Rabbit Rescue looking to adopt. I had seen one bunny on their adoption site and when I got there he wasn't available. So I spent almost an hour doing a meet and greet with a couple bunnies. The first one I met glared at me from a corner and thumped the entire time. The other ones weren't a good fit either. Then Kathy, the loving owner of GRR, told me about "Roxanne". She was a rescue from a hoarder house situation in Georgia. The white spotted bunny was almost a year old and actually had babies already. I was shown the sweet, pretty little girl and decided to get into the bunny pen with her to see if we connected at all.

I remember sitting on the floor of that bunny pen hoping that this bunny would choose me. She hopped around the pen, hopped up to me and I petted her for a while. Kathy then suggested that I pick "Roxanne" up and see how it went. Sure enough, this little bun trusted me enough to let me hold her in my arms. Megan captured the moment too, and I still cherish it to this day. It was our first time together after all. You can see it below...
Then Megan placed the pet carrier in the pen and the next thing I see is the bunny hopping into the pet carrier. She decided that we were meant to be. It was then that "Roxanne" became Olive. And our lives would change forever. It's funny how us humans think that we're the ones that rescue these sweet creatures, and yes - in a way we do, but this bunny has truly changed my life. I love you Olive, we're so lucky to have you in our family.

Want more photos & posts about this sassy little fluffer buns, head over here.
21 June 2018

Cemetery Pizza Club

You read the title right... Alex and I finally had our inaugural cemetery pizza club at Roselawn Cemetery a few weeks ago. If you know me at all this is a very "Danielle thing to do". I mean, it only makes sense. It was pretty fun too. Cemeteries are always peaceful and it was great to walk around and look at all the tombstones after we finished eating our pizza. We're already planning another one for fall, you know, for when it isn't a million degrees outside.

30 April 2018

DIY Essential Oils Face Serum

A few months ago I decided I was done with using store-bought face serums. I had no idea how many unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients were in my old one. Surprisingly, most of the ones you can buy at the store are incredibly toxic. Ever since I received my Young Living premium starter kit last year, I've been replacing things one by one. I've made my own all-purpose spray, added a few drops of lavender to my mascara (I'm still on the hunt for a clean version) and have been diffusing oils like crazy. So making my own face serum seemed like a fun and healthy venture. Best of all, all three oils can be found in the premium starter kit. Just keep in mind you'll need a glass dropper bottle.

DIY Essential Oils Face Serum

2 tablespoons Sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon Rosehip seed oil
5 drops Frankincense essential oil
10 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Copaiba essential oil
1 drop Lemon essential oil (optional)

I’ve been putting this on every night and my skin feels lovely because of it. Also, if you choose to add lemon essential oil, keep in mind that it can increase photosensitivity - so apply the serum at night or when you won't be going in the sun for awhile.
21 March 2018

After all this time...

I seriously can't imagine going through life without this man by my side. He is my favourite person, my best friend.
22 February 2018

As February comes to an end...

Wow! It's been awhile since I've shared anything on here. A part of it has been really nice. You know, living life and focusing on the people I care about most. But a part of me also misses sharing the details that I want to remember. As February comes to an end, I wanted to share a few things with you.

Yes it's been awhile, but either way, I'm here now. Writing about I don't know what. So here goes... Life has been life. The natural ebb and flow, filled with happiness. Alex & I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary earlier this month and I still can't believe that a year has already flown by. I've noticed that time has a funny way of doing that as you get older. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before you know it, you've been married to your best friend for 365 days and looking forward to a million more.

Our anniversary was pretty amazing. We had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants Nineteen61, had breakfast the next day at Egg Haven in Winter Haven and explored some antique stores and local parks. Alex also got me the loveliest anniversary gift (which you can see above). It's the sound wave of the song from our first dance - Lake Street Dive "Just Ask". My favourite thing about our anniversary weekend was getting to spend two straight days with him - which has been a little hard to come by these days with his job. The catering business picks up like crazy this time of year and most weeks Alex works 6 days.

Winter is officially over here in Florida. Though I'm pretty sure it was never really here to begin with. I think we got maybe three weeks total of cool weather and I'm already cursing this heat under my breath every time I walk out to my car after I leave work. Have I mentioned how much I hate the weather here? And have I shared my day dream of moving to somewhere gloomy? ;)

To whoever is still reading along, I hope this post finds you well. Has anything interesting been happening in your life lately? Let me know in the comments below.
11 January 2018

A Light In the Dark

This photo might be blurry but that smile is a genuine representation of how I feel on a regular basis. But that wasn’t always the case. If you would have told me three years ago that I would experience true happiness come the summer of 2015, I would have laughed in your face. Back then I never knew that life could be this good, that I could feel a love so strong or experience mutual respect. Sometimes when I think of my past I don’t even consider it a life lived - it was nothing more than an existence. Yes, there were bits and pieces of happiness, but it was never consistent and something always sent me searching down even darker paths.

But in the summer of 2015, everything changed the night that Alex & I re-met. That was when an overwhelming feeling of clarity began to settle into the very fiber of my being. Alex was so different, so sweet and so pure - like white magic. And all those years filled with depression, anxiety, pain, and hurt were no longer a badge of courage. My current situation had morphed into something that I knew I could no longer put up with. I had finally learned that I deserved so much more. That night something within me changed and I made the decision, right then and there, to leave my previous marriage. It was sudden (and shocking to some, I’m sure) but it had taken me so, so long to finally gain that courage and move on.

I still can’t fully explain how my fearlessness went from zero to sixty in less than twenty-four hours, but it did. It was raw and real and urgent. But what I do know is that it was because of Alex, my light in the dark. And my god, how much brighter the light is after the storm...