Fall Favorites 2018

Today I wanted to work on my submission for this prompt on my work intranet:

Did you know? Pumpkins are grown on six of the seven continents. Their name comes from the word pepon which in Greek means “large melon.”

Team members around the company are sharing their favorite things about fall through photos, videos and stories. Why? It not only puts you and others in the fall mood, but it enters you for a chance to win a guitar signed by more than 20 country music artists.

What are you waiting for? Submissions are being accepted through Wednesday, October 31

My favorite fall activities include pumpkin carving, visiting farms, and costume parties! As a new mom I have enjoyed experiencing all these activities through my daughter’s eyes this year – as if for the first time. We visited a Sunflower Farm where the beautiful flowers towered over us and we went pumpkin carving where she got to hold her own pumpkin! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings!

Ribbet collage

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Halloween Costume Breakdown – Minions!

This is probably the most budget friendly costume I’ve ever put together so I’m really excited to break it down for you all! If you missed my first post in this series, click here.

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This super low quality photo was taken on my 2013 smart phone…my apologies

Back for Halloween in 2013 my best friend and I dressed as Minions in this super budget friendly costume. Overalls weren’t back in style yet so finding a pair was next to impossible for us. Lucky for us, this actually made our costumes much more cost effective! All we purchased for these costumes were black winter gloves (which most people have around the house anyway), yellow knit hats, elastic, fabric paint, and pipe cleaners.

We recycled old worn out jeans and created faux-overalls. My friend wore hers over jeans and I wore shorts behind what I actually made into an apron (that I still use). We then painted the Gru symbol on the front. We both wore yellow shirts we already had under it and then poked the pipe cleaners through the hats for hair. We made the eyes out of things we had around the house. I think I used the spool from the elastic that was holding them on our heads and covered it in duct tape.

This was such a budget friendly costume and it looked adorable! Bonus is I still use the apron and have worn the hat and gloves on many occasions.

See ya real soon! °o° Juli °ö°

Halloween Costume Breakdown – Pumpkin

Probably the silliest but favorite of my DIY costumes by far is my Pumpkin costume. I have worn it over and over again every year, I can wear it to work as a normal sweatshirt during October, and it makes for the best costume.

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For this costume all that was needed was:

  • An orange sweatshirt
  • black felt
  • a knowledge of sewing

Of course, it wasn’t at all that easy. This was 2011 – before I learned of the magic of Amazon shopping – and I couldn’t find a plain orange sweatshirt anywhere. Additionally, I had wanted extra long length, which was near impossible to find. Eventually I found a white sweatshirt that fit my criteria and some orange dye. I dyed the sweatshirt orange and got this peachy color, which I actually really like.

Next I cut out a pumpkin face in black felt and sewed it onto the sweatshirt. I also added black buttons to the sweatshirt for detailing. I then used glow in the dark fabric paint to make my teeth and eyes stand out at night. Obviously that part is optional.

With it I wore a pumpkin headband we had in our Halloween box since we were kids and some Halloween socks and just cozy clothes under it. In the picture you can see me “becoming the pumpkin” which made my cousins laugh at their Halloween party. That’s my cousin as the dog sniffing the pumpkin.

See ya real soon! °o° Juli °ö°

Halloween Costume Breakdown – Vanellope Von Schweetz

Hi friends! I know I’ve been away for a few months now, but I am hoping back on with no promises, only a few ideas.

This month, Bounding on a Budget put together a challenge to post our budget friendly Halloween Costumes. Since I have a few, I wanted to put together a post to breakdown each as well.

For my first breakdown I chose my Vanellope Von Schweetz costume that I wore in 2015. You may recognize parts of it from my previous posts where I did Disneybounds of Disney Princesses, but this was the original costume and at that time I bought all of the pieces that I continue to use.

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So let’s break this down:

Mint Sweatshirt:

When I bought this sweatshirt there were hardly any mint sweatshirts out there so I probably spent more than I had to. Now I see them for about $14-15 online and there are so many different ones available that you might even be able to find one for less.

Mint Leggings:

These leggings ran about $9 in 2015 and the price hasn’t really changed much. I’ve seen them for about $8 now. They are super comfy though and I love just lounging around in them.

Brown Skirt:

Brown tulle skirts cost about $8. You could go for a pleated skirt but they tend to cost more unless you already have one in your closet or find one at a thrift store (which is always hit or miss). I will say this is the item I have gotten the least use out of because it’s the most costume-y piece and the least versatile. I recently purchased some flowy brown shorts for $5 which are super cute and would definitely be a decent substitute.

Pink Shoelaces:

You can find shoelaces for about $3-4 generally. I bought extra long ones to pull through as a hoodie tie and used the other one for my hair.

Candy Stickers:

Candy stickers can be found in any craft store starting around $2. An alternative to stickers is any wrapped hard candy you have around the house could be hot glued to a hair clip the same way I stuck these stickers to hair clips.

Hair Clips:

Most girls have a few hair clips or bobby pins lying around the house, but if you don’t, you can pick some up at the super market for only about $1-3 depending on the kind.

Tape:

I used white duct tape and purple painter’s tape to make the pattern on my leggings. We had the tape around the house, otherwise they can get kind of pricey. A cost-effective alternative could be to use paint, but I’m not sure how comfortable that would turn out to be. Also, the character is still recognizable without the striped legs so you could skip this altogether. I also used the purple tape on my sweatshirt but as you can probably tell, it peeled right off anyway so I might just use yarn or string next time and just stitch it through or hot glue it on.

You could probably put this together today for about $35 depending on the choices you make and what’s in your closet already. The higher end would be $50 if you’re buying everything.

I am glad I put this together because it’s one of my favorite hanging around ‘bounds now!

See ya real soon! °o° Juli °ö°

The Final Weeks

And just like that we are in the final countdown of my pregnancy. With Week 39 around the corner, it has become a whirlwind of planning for Baby and getting everything ready around the house. This is my last (official) week at work and it is becoming exhausting. I’ve been so busy outside of work that it is nice to be able to relax and just make sure that my temp is going to be able to do everything I normally do while I am away (she will be fine – she’s awesome. I’m neurotic and it’s been difficult to relinquish control but I’m getting there).

This past weekend we did ALL THE LAUNDRY to make sure Baby’s clothes are all clean and ready. We also got most of Baby’s room settled with the exception of hanging artwork, etc. I need to buy command hooks but that isn’t the end of the world.

This week sort of looks like this:

  • Monday – work and finish Baby’s laundry / tell husband where to hang things / finally start Thank You notes from the baby shower
  • Tuesday – work and then Wal-Mart / anything we need there
  • Wednesday – OB apt then work then Trenton Thunder game for Dad’s work picnic
  • Thursday – work and then baby things (Summer luncheon at work)
  • Friday – work and then baby things (unofficial last day of work)
  • Saturday – all the baby things!
  • Sunday – brunch with my co-workers

After Sunday it’s just going to be a waiting game to see when Baby will show up. I mean, I guess that’s already started but I can’t think about it this week because I still have like one responsibility at work that I need to fulfill before I leave on Maternity. I’m so tired though. I know being a Mom is going to mean I am tired all the time but why does it have to start already?

Anyway, I will hopefully get everything on my list done this week so that next week can be way more relaxed. Also, I’m looking forward to a lot this week so I don’t want to miss out on anything by being too tired or something. I guess that’s it for now. I should get to work on these Thank You notes.

Thanks for visiting! ❤ Juli

Packing my Hospital Bag

So my baby shower is over and it went wonderfully! I was so excited and now we have the excitement of putting everything away. I also promised myself that as soon as the baby shower was over we would start thinking about and putting together the hospital bag. I keep looking at all these lists on Pinterest and, I’m not going to lie, getting a little overwhelmed. I just don’t know if I’ll be prepared enough and I’m starting to get nervous about having everything I need and all the things that go into having a baby. I think maybe planning my shower and looking forward to it was keeping me calm because now all I can think about is being ready for the baby and the hospital.

After my husband helps me set up the book case in the baby’s room, I think I’m going to have him start to install the car seat bases in our cars. The car seat itself is also a carrier so that will definitely be thrown in the car with the hospital bag when the time comes. For now, we need to leave it out because we really won’t know what car we’ll have when the time comes.

Next, I plan to pack all the daily essentials that I would normally put in my overnight bag – travel toothbrush, travel toothpaste, deodorant, hair brush, hair ties, extra phone charger, extra fit bit charger, daily vitamins, travel shampoo, conditioner & body wash. These should be easy because I normally keep most of them in my travel bag anyway.

As for clothes, I’m probably going to mostly pack black/dark leggings/yoga pants. I want to be as comfortable as possible when I’m actually wearing pants so I think this will be helpful. I’ll pack a few pairs of underwear in there that I know are comfortable also. I have three maternity/nursing bras and I will probably pack one and wear one. I also registered for some nursing tank tops which were purchased but not yet delivered so as soon as I receive them they will also go into the bag. I also think I will pack a comfy sweatshirt in case it’s cold in the hospital (I’m always cold). I’ll have to find a zip up that works. Perhaps the fleece I brought to Disney. As for pajamas, I did put a set of nursing pajamas on my Birthday Wish list but I didn’t receive them (I don’t think Dom shared my wish list like I asked him to) and so I put them on my registry. I’ll still need to purchase them before I have the baby if I want to pack them so we shall see what happens. Last in the clothes-for-me section is socks. Some people say warm socks, some say non-slip, I’m going to see what I have and make my decision from that. My dad may have some non-slip socks I could borrow from when he had his knee surgery. I honestly don’t care what they look like, it just seems practical.

As for other accessories, I’ll most likely be wearing my sneakers, but I definitely plan on bringing a pair of flip-flops for the shower and possibly a pair of slippers. I’ll also throw one (or all three) of my nursing scarves in the bag as well just in case I decide I want a little privacy when feeding the baby (if we have a lot of company, which we probably will). I may bring my robe or housecoat but both seem a little warm for this time of year so I’m still debating that.

The only other thing (for me) that I would not have thought of is chapstick. All the lists have this so I’ll be packing it as well but I never would have thought to have it on my own. I also sort of want to have my own water bottle/cup so that it can be refilled and I can have it with me. Also on my list are some maternity pads.

For Dom, he’ll probably want his own toiletries and a change of clothes as well as some cash and his own water bottle (I don’t share well and he always wants a sip of my drink. Something tells me that during labor this is not going to fly).

For Baby, well, this is where I have so many unknowns! What will my baby need right when s/he comes into the world? I plan on a few solid onesies in different sizes (you never know), one or two swaddle blankets, and the going home outfit we picked out. Will I need my diaper bag too? I’m absolutely unsure of how much to bring for Baby since I know the hospital provides some things. I’ve also seen the boppy on a few lists…not sure if we should pack ours or not.

I will also have our baby book packed in the bag (such a special gift from my God daughter) and the notebook I’ve been keeping for Baby. I know I’ll probably want to write a lot after Baby is born so I’ll have to keep it handy so I can write when I have time.

Okay, so that’s all I can think of but I’m sure I’ve left something off so let me know if you have any suggestions!

Thanks for visiting! ❤ Juli

 

 

Blogging and Such

So yeah, I stopped blogging again recently after promising I would keep up more…

Well, it just so happens that I now have no storage on Word Press for photos. This is extremely disappointing since I love posting photos and am not happy at all about having to stop posting pictures with my posts. I feel that the photos add to the story and when I take them away it’s much more difficult for me. I also just plain love photos so it stinks to not have that capability.

I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do, but for now you can follow along on my Instagram and I will have to settle for photo-less posts.

Thanks for visiting! ❤ Juli

April 2018

April really flew by and I can’t believe I’m 30!

 

On my birthday we went to dinner in Bordentown and had delicious food. My mom made me a tiara, which I wore all day, to celebrate my turning 30 (I still can’t believe it!). Dom and I also celebrated with an early morning pretzel in celebration of National Pretzel Day!

We have been tirelessly preparing for Baby around the house and have also started receiving shower gifts which has been so exciting!

Baby is doing well and after a gestational diabetes scare, so is Mommy. This month was a ton of testing for glucose levels but I finally received my results on Friday that I do not, in fact, have gestational diabetes.

Easter was April 1st and we found out that there will be another baby joining our extended family in October – my cousin’s wife is pregnant! This is such exciting news and I really can’t wait for all the baby things!! I got to see her in the beginning of April as we celebrated my other cousin’s Confirmation and we talked all things babies and it was so nice to have someone close to me going through the same things.

April also starts festival season/beautiful weather and we were lucky enough to celebrate Earth Day, as well as attend Rutgers Ag/Field Day and Shad Fest! All of these were wonderful and I’m looking forward to more in the coming months. Rutgers Day was Jenn, Dad, and I and we really took advantage of the food and everything they had to offer. We didn’t purchase any plants this year because we got there later than usual and had to park pretty far away so it would be a lot to carry. We visited Shad Fest the next day and this time Dom was home so it was us, Mom, Dad, and the Thunell’s. It was really nice getting to spend time with Renee and Mike and, of course, Gavin was adorable as always.

We also met up with Arielle and James in New Hope earlier in the month to go to dinner and hang out which was a blast. Laureen and Luke came to see our townhouse for the first time as well and we had a really nice, albeit rainy, day. Then Dom and I also got to see Reenie’s apartment for the first time and she made us lunch which was delicious! In all, we spent a lot of time with friends this month and for that I am grateful! The next few weekends will be focused on family so we’re glad we got to see most of our close friends in April.

Thanks for visiting! ❤ Juli

Pixar Fest Friday – A Bugs Life

Happy Friday!!

The second Pixar film to be released was A Bugs Life on November 25, 1998. It came out only a month after DreamWorks’ Antz and many people were confused as to why two different movies were being made about insects – talk about competition!

A Bugs Life brought us into – you guessed it – the world of bugs. I don’t remember too much of this movie and I don’t think I watched it too many times, but I do remember the circus bugs and they were pretty funny. In the end, it was about overcoming obsticles and being brave in the face of controversy.

What I remember more than the movie, is It’s Tough To Be A Bug, the 4-D movie at Walt Disney World. I hated this as a child because of the 4-D of it and feeling bugs – it was just so creepy! I think they’ve changed it up since then though because when my sister and I went in 2016 there weren’t as many 4-D effects as we’d remembered.

Dom and I also walked through “A Bug’s Land” at Disney California Adventure Park. It was super cute, but we weren’t inclined to ride the rides since they were geared toward more of a younger audience. I took a photo or two though, because the theming was really cute.

Anyway, since this movie wasn’t as popular as some of the other Pixar movies (at least in my book), today was my first Disneybound of it. I chose Heimlich because what’s not to love about a chunky caterpillar? Also, I’m pregnant so I’m eating ALL the food, lol.

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Outfit details:

  • Shirt – Motherhood Maternity (birthday present from my parents)
  • Leggings – Lula Roe (birthday present from my parents)
  • Necklace & earrings – bought years ago from a jewelry party and I don’t remember what the brand was

A Bug’s Life merch was much more difficult to find, but here are the few things I did find from some shops I love:

Adventureland Ears Co (Etsy/Instagram)

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Wishes and Wizards (Etsy/Instagram)

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Castle Bound 1955 (Etsy/Instagram)

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Enjoy! A Bug’s Life was a difficult one to find products for but luckily Heimlich is a favorite because he is so hilarious and loves to eat. Keep following along on Instagram at #PixarFestFridayChallenge!

Thanks for visiting! ºoº Juli ºöº

Thirty Before Thirty: Rock Hall

From my last post about “The Rock” to the “Rock Hall”!

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Dom and I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH during our “babymoon” and had such a blast! It wasn’t my first time there, I had taken a trip as a senior in high school with my mom, sister, aunt, and cousin, but the first time I was there I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time exploring. Going back and really spending the entire day there was just fantastic!

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The whole bottom floor went through the different decades of music and other exhibits as well as some personal items from some of the Hall of Fame-ers. It was so much fun to look at all the exhibits and watch a few shows as well. Some of the exhibits change so I definitely suggest going back if you’ve been there before. You can see how different everything is and experience different things!

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We then started making our way up the floors before getting hungry. So as not to lose time, we decided to eat in the food court. The food was actually really good and quickly we were able to go back to exploring. We decided to take the top floor down – which turned out to be a mistake. The Hall actually has a certain flow to it so in order to get all the context, you pretty much need to start at the bottom and make your way up. Either way, we still got to see everything, but there is one show that starts on one floor and then ends on another so we had to go down a floor to go back up a floor. It was a really cool experience though that put us right in the middle of an Induction concert (or a bunch of different ones pieced together, really) along with lighting to make you feel like you are actually at the concert! We recommend it, but if you have any sort of aversion to flashing lights and stuff, this might not be up your alley (I sort of do and it was difficult for me).

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Regardless, we had an amazing time and easily spent the whole day there from a half hour past open to close. Then we spent time in the gift shop and bought all the things!

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Anyway, like most of the experiences I documented as a part of this series, I highly recommend a visit!

Long.Live.Rock!

Well, I can’t believe I made it (for a minute I was afraid I wouldn’t)! Thirty posts about thirty things I’ve done before turning thirty! You can catch up on all of them by clicking the category at the top of my site if you’d like.

I truly cannot believe I will be thirty tomorrow. It hasn’t really hit me yet, although I wish we had time to have a party. I have big plans for this weekend though, so at least I’ll have fun! Don’t forget – tomorrow is also National Pretzel Day so look for some free pretzels near you!! Philly Pretzel Factory, for one, will give out a free pretzel to every customer on April 26 so be sure to stop in! My husband and I have started a birthday tradition of going first thing in the morning and I can’t wait.

Thanks for visiting! ❤ Juli

Pics from previous pretzel birthdays: