Maternity Leave! (Photo Post)

Things at our house have been very different these past two weeks since bringing our newest family member home. There have been a lot of naps and loads of laundry, but I’m lucky enough to have 12 weeks of Maternity Leave to get settled with our new tiny human. Entries may be a bit shorter these next few weeks while my brain gets used to sleep deprivation, but I have plenty of photos to make up for it (which is much more fun anyway 😉
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Naps on Naps on Naps

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Stay Gold,

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Grace

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Week 39 – 40: Meet Harper Amelia!

On Friday, August 21st at 12:10 pm, we welcomed our family’s newest (and cutest) member; Harper Amelia McCabe. After 13 hours of labor and only 10 pushes, she came into the world at 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 inches long. We’re very tired but extremely happy and very much in awe of this beautiful and healthy little girl. We’ve had an amazing few days of introducing this little lady to family and friends. My brain is a little too fried for words at the moment, but I’ll let these photos do the talking 🙂

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We love Kayma

We love Kayma

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Stay Gold,

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Grace (and Harper)

Week 36: I Said Yes!!!

Man oh man! What an amazing whirlwind life has been lately. This past Friday, Christopher and I got engaged!!!! Everything was perfect. He made the dinner he made for me on our first date, brought me a HUGE bouquet of flowers, and finished with a very special dessert that ended with his proposal.

First date dinner: Steak, bacon mashed potatoes, carrots

First date dinner: Steak, bacon mashed potatoes, carrots. And those FLOWERS!

I would have taken a photo of the cake, but I ate it too fast :)

I would have taken a photo of the cake, but I ate it too fast 🙂

It was a perfect proposal, in the home we made together, right before we meet our baby girl. Of course I cried a million happy tears before texting my family the good news.

Chris went on my (not so secret) wedding Pinterest board and found the exact ring I wanted, and even went through the same custom jeweler to have it made for me 🙂 Here’s a better look

my brilliant cut and super slim white gold band.

my brilliant cut and super slim white gold band.

I don’t even know if it’s possible to feel much luckier. Life has never been so sweet 🙂

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I’m so lucky to call this guy mine, you guys. He’s the funniest, smartest, most caring person I know, and he’s about to become the best doting dad in the world. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life laughing with you, Christopher.

Stay Gold,

image1Grace

Week 35: Treat yo’ Self

So with the final countdown underway, I’ve really been trying to focus on keeping myself calm, cool, and collected…well as best as a woman who is 8 months pregnant possibly can. Let’s just say I’ve been spending a LOT of time in the bathtub. I know I need to make this quiet alone time count before Harper’s arrival, so I’ve been making the most of it with some indulgences.

Here’s a quick list of my home-spa must haves! Click on any of the links to get your own 🙂

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Urban Outfitters candle in Moon Sparkle: I’m going nuts for this one right now, as it smells EXACTLY like the old Plumeria scent from Bath and Body Works that was my favorite as a kid. $28.

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Calgon Bath Salts in Mint Green Tea: I’m obsessed with this heavenly smelling and pain relieving salt. I’ve had a super sore back as of late, so this stuff is a definite must. $5.

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Darphin Hydrating Kiwi Mask: So this is liquid relaxation for faces. This ultra soothing mask goes on cold and leaves your skin feeling brand new. It’s on the pricey end, but luckily I scored it as a work perk 😉 $50

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Nook Glowlight: As some of you may know, I am a big reader. I knew I’d be spending a lot more time at home later in my pregnancy and I tend to feel like my brain is melting if I watch too much TV, so I started looking into e-readers. I knew I didn’t want all the bells and whistles of a tablet (Pinterest calls to me) so this Glowlight from Barnes and Noble (recommended by my Mom) is perfect for me. It has a backlight that isn’t too bright so it doesn’t bug Chris when he’s trying to sleep 🙂 I scored mine on ebay for only $55!

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Comfy Cotton Robe: I got this to put into my hospital bag, but it has been so practical when it comes to weekend mornings when I don’t feel like squeezing myself into clothes quite yet. $25

+ Lots of caffeine free Iced Green Tea with honey ❤

Lana Del Rey: May be sad to some, but definitely soothing to me.

Creating a peaceful and happy environment for Harper to grow and arrive in has been a top priority of mine, and I’ve honestly never felt so comfortable and at peace with so many huge life changes occurring. I highly recommend taking some time for yourself this week just to focus on feeling well and calm; it is so important (pregnant or not!)

Now get yourself in the tub and TREAT YO SELF.

Stay Gold,

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Grace

Week 33: Our New Home!

What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been! Moving while in your third trimester of pregnancy is NOT wise (just ask poor Chris, who has had to do 99% of the work.) Slowly but surely, we’ve been making this lovely Bucktown bungalow our own. It’s a first floor unit on a tree-lined street in a neighborhood full of young parents with puppies and babies (I’d say it’s a pretty solid fit.) It has two bedrooms, a home office, and a backyard for Scout. It’s down the street from our beloved watering hole, The Corner Bar, and blocks away from the Blue Line and Harper’s future daycare center. Chris saw the For Rent sign about an hour after it was taped to the door, and the next day it was ours ❤

It needed a little updating and style which is usually my forte, but with my dwindling energy levels, searing back pain, and ever-growing belly, my drive to design has been minimal, to say the least. Luckily, Chris loves working around the house and making a space feel like home.

Here are some before and after photos of our progress!

Before: Living Room/Dining Room

Before: Living Room/Dining Room

Before: Living Room/Dining Room

Before: Living Room/Dining Room

AFTER!

After: Living Room

After: Living Room

So this place was definitely in need of a clean slate. Chris painted the whole place a light blue/white which helped brighten things up (I mean, that red wall had to go ASAP.) Being the handyman he is, Chris also installed new drop lighting where the dirty old track and hanging fixture used to be. If there’s one thing Chris and I agree upon the most, it’s the presence of BRIGHT lighting (definitely crucial in surviving Chicago winter weather).

After: Dining Room

After: Dining Room

The kitchen was a similar story. But after a coat of paint and some brighter lighting (Chris also installed track lighting under the cabinets) our kitchen is as sunny as can be 🙂

Before: Kitchen

Before: Kitchen

AFTER

After: Kitchen

After: Kitchen

We also bought this nifty island to create more storage and seating. Target!

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Bathroom – Not much happening here. Just spiffed it up a bit!

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AFTER

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The bedrooms are super tiny, so I don’t have much in terms of before photos, but here’s what we’re working with so far! Both our bedroom and the nursery are still works in progress!

Here’s our bedroom, we’re waiting on our bed, so I got pinterest-y with a makeshift headboard 🙂

Bedroom mock headboard

Bedroom mock headboard

Here’s Miss Harper’s Room (also work in progress)

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Leetle Roooom

Leetle Roooom

I can’t wait for our little human to enjoy all her clothes and toys I keep taking out just to stare at. Her wardrobe is definitely the most extensive in the house already.

And finally the office! It’s always been important to me to have a space where I can focus and create. My creation station, if you will 😉 I will be working from home a lot in the coming weeks as we wait for Harper to arrive, so a home office was an awesome plus when we viewed this apartment. Chris built me a desk with a file cabinet and tons of space. We still have to paint the desk top, get a monitor, and add a blotter, but you get the idea.

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I’m a big fan of color (clearly) and knick knacks. An office is the ideal place to showcase do-dads that didn’t quite fit anywhere else in the apartment.

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So there you have it! Our new home. It’s so crazy to think that this is the home we’ll bring Harper home to. Where she’ll crawl/walk/talk for the first time. Now, I’ve got to sign off before I start crying. Again.

Stay Gold 🙂

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Week 30: Long time no blog!

Sorry about the lack of love here! With moving, my baby shower, and The Stanley Cup Final (Go Blackhawks!) we’ve been busier than ever. Forgive this brief post, but take it with the promise of a new, photo-filled entry all about our new apartment and my family baby shower coming up in the next couple days ❤ In the meantime, here’s baby Harper Ford McCabe chillin in my belly.

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little face

Stay Gold (Go Hawks)

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Grace

Week 26: Spring Mornings

I thought it might be nice to have a non-pregnancy related post this week, so I’m dedicating this post to the stupid amount of money I just spent at Sephora and Nordstrom and what my mornings typically look like. Although it may not feel like it in Chicago yet, spring and summer are upon us. When the seasons change I like to change up my make up; winter calls for heavy moisturizer and darker eye makeup. So for spring, I opt for more lightweight options. Here’s my morning mess.

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Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

This one is new to me, but I love it. It can be used as both a primer and a setting spray, or you can spritz it to refresh your makeup through out the day.

Concealer: Cover Girl True Blend W1

Highlighter: Benefit High Beam

This is another favorite. If you’re ever feeling ‘bleh’ about your skin, a couple drops of this guy on the apples of your cheeks will brighten you right up.

Bronzer: Benefit Hoola

Powder: Benefit Get Even

Blush: Milani in Rose Petal

Brow Gel: Benefit Gimme Brow

Eyeshadow: Smashbox Headshot Trio

Mascara: Urban Decay Big Fatty

Lips: Benefit Benetint (sometimes I use this on my cheeks as well)

So that’s the lineup. Mind you, this only makes it on my face when I have time in the morning, which has been less frequently lately as I’d much rather sleep until the last possible moment before leaving for work. If I only have a few minutes, I opt for Benetint on my cheeks and lips, mascara, and brow gel. Luckily on this particular day, Chris was able to give me a ride to the office, so I didn’t have to hustle to the train.

Now out the door with another pretty thing I gifted myself back on my birthday….

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I had a rare hour to spare this past weekend for a summery no-chip…

IMG_6162and I always have a watch on…this one is a Daniel Wellington that my wonderful boyfriend gave me for Christmas. Bracelet is actually a perfumed piece by Lisa Hoffman that I received as a work perk 😉 
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(Not late for work…yet)

Stay Gold,

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Grace

Week 25: 25 Weird Things About Pregnancy

Everyone always talks about the miracle of creating life; how beautiful it is to feel this tiny person growing inside you. And while it is absolutely nothing short of amazing, pregnancy can also be pretty weird and sometimes (a lot of the times) pretty gross.

In honor of 25 weeks, here’s my list of 25 weird things I’ve learned about pregnancy that no one warned me about. 

  1. You will accidentally pee if you cough, laugh, or even breathe too hard. Your boyfriend will laugh at you every time this happens.
  2. Sometimes morning sickness can last all day, and way after the first trimester (I’m at week 25 and it’s only now starting to subside…knock on wood)
  3. You will experience nearly every emotion within minutes of each other on any given day.
  4. You will be able to smell everyone you come into contact with (especially bad on public transportation.)
  5. You will become extremely aggressive and protective when people accidentally bump into you on the street or don’t give up their seat for you on the train.
  6. Stairs are scary.
  7. Cars are scary.
  8. Pretty much everything is scary and sometimes it’ll be hard to leave the house…
  9. …until you take a shower. Which can also be very scary.
  10. If it’s delicious, chances are you probably can’t eat it.
  11. You will start talking and singing to yourself (and baby) without noticing you’re doing it.
  12. Stupid commercials and TV shows will make you cry…actually pretty much anything can make you cry.
  13. You will stare at random children you encounter, and most likely smile like a creep as their parents hurry them away from you.
  14. You treat your OB like a therapist (you usually cry when you see her too.)
  15. You read the labels on absolutely EVERYTHING before purchasing.
  16. You always have to pee. Even if you JUST did.
  17. People will look down at your belly before making eye contact with you. (They don’t realize they’re doing it.)
  18. You will Google every weird pain, twitch, or headache you get to make sure it’s not “something serious.”
  19. People will tell you not to read the pregnancy horror stories on the Internet, but will most likely follow that by telling you a pregnancy horror story.
  20. People will tell you, “you look especially pregnant today.” Or “You don’t look very pregnant today,” depending on how tight your shirt is/how much you’ve had to eat.
  21. You will have terrifying outbursts of rage if you let yourself get too hungry. These will scare everyone around you, including yourself.
  22. Sometimes you’ll throw up while brushing your teeth.
  23. Pregnancy “glow” is really just a thin layer of sweat from being hot ALL THE TIME.
  24. You will freak out when you feel a big kick for the first time, then you will freak out if you don’t feel a kick for any length of time. These kicks will start looking like an alien is trying to burst through your stomach.
  25. It is the happiest, scariest, strangest, most intense thing that you will have ever experienced up to this point, and it will fly by.

Hope you enjoyed that burst of TMI. I’m off to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the rest of my pregnancy, and with luck, I won’t throw up in the car today ❤

Stay Gold,

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Grace

Week 23-24: Changes!

Things are moving right along these past few weeks! We’ve found our new home (Bucktown! Woohoo!) I’ve created my birth plan; finished my registry (babyli.st/grace-and-christopher), and I can officially no longer fit into regular pants. The next few weeks are sure to be pleasantly chaotic as we start packing and making more concrete plans for our baby girl’s arrival 🙂

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Unfortunately the pukes are still pretty constant, but I’ve managed to put on a healthy amount of weight despite my 6-month stomach flu. Thank goodness for protein shakes and smoothies! Luckily, she’s been kicking like a ninja all day long in my belly, reminding me that she’s doing just fine.

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Every day I get more and more excited to meet our little girl. The time has been flying by!

Stay Gold,

Grace

Week 21: Year 25!

Sorry for the late post! I’ve been a slug lately, to say the least 😛

Two Saturdays ago I officially became a quarter-century old.

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I love a good balloon

I love a good balloon

To celebrate, my parents joined Christopher and I at The Kitchen in River North on my birthday eve. I’m told the food was delicious (solid food is still a bit of a hurdle for me, unfortunately) and the ambiance and service was really great. I’d love to go back with an appetite! I was showered with tiny presents for Baby Girl and myself, then headed home where I got straight into bed.

Papa and I :)

Papa and I 🙂

When I woke up, Chris had prepared breakfast in bed with a side of presents. We went and saw It Follows at the Music Box; if you’re a fan of low-fi indie horror films, then this one is right up your alley. I loved it (even if Chris thought it was weird.) We ended the night with slices of my favorite pizza and a split cupcake before heading to bed (if you can’t tell, sleeping is my favorite thing to do currently.)

A day of my favorite things!

A day of my favorite things!

25 will surely be my most memorable year yet. Next year we’ll be able to celebrate with the best present of all; our little girl 🙂

Stay Gold,

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Grace