Loving Lately

by Lauren on August 29, 2014

I could not be more excited for this weekend!  First of all, it’s an extended one (thank you Labor Day!) and second, we are making the drive to PA to see my family and to partake in our second baby shower.  Well, I’ll be showering; John will be spending some QT with the men in my family.  It’s been a long weekend coming and even though I’m not thrilled to sit in a car for six or more hours, I know it will be all worth it. I haven’t seen my little munchkin since Easter.  By the way, Weston is pumped to be a big cousin soon!



I can’t wait to share the recap and pictures with you guys when we get back, but in the meantime, here are a few things that I’ve loved this week.




I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast almost every day this week.  They are definitely satisfying my craving for liquids right now and surprisingly keeping my hunger at bay, at least until second breakfast.  Yep, when you’re pregnant, you start including “second” meals or breaking up your meals into two different timeframes.  I can’t eat a ton at one sitting so it helps to break them up.  It’s a wonderful thing but also makes me feel like I’m eating ALL THE TIME!




I’ve been so tired these past few weeks and have been having an awful time sleeping.  I can’t seem to find a comfortable position and don’t have very many options left.  I know I’m supposed to be sleeping on my left side, but almost every time I attempt, the baby goes on a kicking spree. It happens on my right side but not as much as the left. I think he’s actually been favoring my left side and was comfortably positioned there for the past few weeks.  Well, thank goodness he turned and is now head down and away from my left side so I’m able to sleep again.  The other night, I had ten solid hours of glorious sleep and woke up feeling great.


Pumpkin Mistos:


Remember that article I posted the other day about the PSL Debate? Well, I think just talking about it got me in the mood.  I HAD to stop yesterday morning and get one before work.  I ordered a tall soy misto with one pump of pumpkin and let me tell you, it was fantastic.  Even that one pump was a little too sweet so I’m thinking of going down to ½ a pump…. is that even possible?


The Baby’s Nursery:


We are 90% complete with the nursery!  The other day, the changing table arrived, which was our last big piece of furniture.  John was able to put it together and we arranged everything to how we wanted it.  I can’t wait to show you guys pictures once it’s all done.


Ameda Breast Pump:


I was so fortunate to have received this breast pump from Ameda in the mail a few weeks ago.  Obviously I have not used it yet (okay, so I may have tried it out to see what it was like) so I can’t give you my full opinion but the reviews are great and it appears to be a quality piece of equipment.  Another bonus for any pumping mom’s – Ameda recently partnered with United Health Care and Target and are making it super easy for moms to get an Ameda breast pump.  Check out more about it here.



That’s all I’ve got!  Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend everyone!


The Pumpkin Spice Latte Debate

by Lauren on August 27, 2014

Guess what time it is?

If you haven’t already heard, Starbucks has decided to release their infamous favorite drink of fall, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL) early this year.  I swear this addictive drink comes out earlier and earlier every year but many have reported seeing it as soon as August 25th.  To be honest, I haven’t been in a Starbucks in a few weeks (shocking I know) so I’m not sure if any of my local stores are carrying it yet, but if not now, I can be assured it will be arriving very soon.



(Image Source)

In Chicago, we used to joke that you knew it was fall when around every corner you spotted girls with dark nails, boots and a PSL in hand (probably me included).  How true is that really?

While I do love an occasional PSL like the rest of them, I’ve been very intrigued, especially this year, by the overwhelming amount of controversy that is stemming from what many just see as a hot beverage. A few days ago, USA today came out with an article that caused many heads to turn and some to think twice about whether or not they should order the seasonal delight.

What is causing all of the uproar?  {Spoiler Alert!} Well,  it’s the sheer fact that the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte lacks one key ingredient: pumpkin!

Now do you really think the behemoth, Starbucks, invests in a pumpkin patch every fall so that this crowd-pleasing drink only contains the most natural and purist ingredients?  I think not.  But despite their aims to make a “real” pumpkin drink, the company is now receiving backlash for the completely “unreal” and highly artificial ingredients it actually does use to create the masterpiece.


Here are just a few:

• Caramel coloring. The advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the Food & Drug Administration to ban caramel coloring due to safety concerns and a potential cancer risk. Starbucks uses this only for “cosmetic” reasons. Starbucks is “actively looking at phasing out caramel coloring,” says a company spokesperson, and it has been for some time. “In any instances where it is used in our beverages, the level is below the No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) and safe to consume.”

• High fructose corn syrup, at least in some cases. There is some contradiction here.  Starbucks says the standard pumpkin lattes sold in stores do not contain HFCS and are sweetened with sugar.  But they also say that for customers who want to make it at home, the Fontana Pumpkin Sauce, available on StarbucksStore.com, is sweetened with it.

• No pumpkin. Is this really a surprise?

Before you put a ban on this little pleasure of the season, just remember that like most delicious tasting things in life, moderation is key.  If you enjoy the occasional PSL like me, you are just practicing your God given right to enjoy an indulgence here and there.  But if a venti pumpkin latte is a part of your daily routine, you may want to think twice, or at least until the Bux comes out with a healthier alternative.


What do you think?  Feel free to chime in! 



Baby Update: 35 Weeks

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10 Quick, Easy and Healthy Dinner Recipes

August 21, 2014

We all know eating healthy can be a challenge.  It requires planning and preparation ahead of time, which most of us don’t have time for.  I find myself going through phases of meal planning where I’ll be on such a roll for a few weeks and then all of a sudden life happens and I [...]

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The Weekender {8.16 – 8.17}

August 17, 2014

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Friday Confessions

August 15, 2014

Three cheers for another weekend!  These summer weeks are FLYING by, as I imagined they would.  We have a quiet weekend in store and rightfully so because the next two weekends will be filled with back-to-back traveling to Connecticut and then to Pennsylvania for my baby showers.  We may be going back to Connecticut the [...]

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Embracing the Change (With a little help)

August 13, 2014

When I got pregnant, I realized my body would grow, particularly my stomach.  I remember the first few weeks of pregnancy, looking in the mirror and convincing myself I saw my tummy transforming before my very eyes.   Looking back, it’s almost stilly to compare my 3 month bump to my 8 month boulder, but at [...]

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Baby Update: 33 Weeks

August 12, 2014

Hello!   Sorry for my short leave of absence over the past few days.  We went back to Connecticut over the weekend for my mother-in-law’s wedding, which was fabulous!  I took the whole weekend and yesterday to unwind and rest and my body is truly thanking me for it.   But even though I may [...]

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Loving Lately

August 7, 2014

Whew, thank goodness for this weekend.  It’s been quite a week!  First of all, I found out that the social security office LOST all of my (original) identifying documents I sent in for my name change (i.e. passport, SSN card, birth certificate, marriage license, etc.)  and it’s turned into one big mess.  I frankly don’t [...]

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