Fourth of July Fashion

Ohhh Independence Day! It means fireworks, BBQ, beer, swimming, all the things that give us the warm fuzzing feeling of being thankful that we live in such an incredible country, the United State of America. It seems that the red, white, and blue, stars and stripes have been “in” since May! I saw this scarf at Charming Charlies and knew I had to have it! It was such a cute alternative to wearing a typical patriotic top. I received a lot of compliments so I decided I would show everyone how I learned to do it.

Please share the video so that your friends can learn how to do it to! Think of all of your scarves that you have buried away bc it seems too hot to wear during the summer. You get a one of a kind look this way. If I wasn’t a new momma I would have totally have just worn this top with a bandeau style bra top underneath to show my back off some BUT I am a momma and that comes with some rules about what we show and what we dont ;).

Check out Pinterest for a lot of other ways to wear your scarves!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQ9yaqOHfE]

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem-
Laci Jane

Our Wedding in Kauai

Aloha! So for a little over two years I had planned on writing reviews about the places we stayed and the services we used during our trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately it did take this long. But I feel I have the perfect outlet to share my experience with other travelers and those interested in taking the plunge in Hawaii, so here I go:

Planning a wedding is hard enough already, add in trying to do a destination wedding in a state that doesn’t do all inclusive anything, a specific idea of what you want, and trying to keep costs in check. The one thing that we knew we didn’t want was a bunch of people at our wedding. End up with pictures with or of people in ten years that we haven’t talked to SINCE our wedding? Ya you know who I’m talking about. I didn’t want a bunch of bridesmaids causing drama, hating their dresses, having to get up early for pictures, blah. My husband and I knew from the beginning we wanted to the four most important people in our lives, the ones who have always been there and will always be there for us, our parents. We wanted our siblings to come but it just wasn’t in the cards. I have placed titles above the different topics I will discuss so if you’re just interested in reading a review about a particular place to stay or a service you can scroll down to that topic.

 
 
The island of Kauai

I have to admit, when we first landed and got in our rental care I thought I’d landed in the middle of a twilight zone. Chickens on the roads, shabby looking homes, it was overcast to which didn’t help, and the traffic on the ONE road was terrible.

You definitely want to visit Kauai if you enjoying hiking, being outdoors, taking in breathtakingly beautiful views, and you sort of like the “country”. It’s a quiet island where the islanders are very friendly and the hustle and bustle that other islands possess doesn’t exist here. Once we got used to the island we didn’t want to leave and when we arrived in Oahu I cried because I wanted to go back. It grows on you that’s for sure.

Bed and Breakfast in Kekaha – Hale Puka Ana

I looked at several places to stay and there was something about the reviews that resonated with me about this little house. Not only was their view from the Lanai incredible, but there was a quaintness about it that was unparalleled, and they owned a boxer. That in itself is a story for another time.

When we arrived at the Hale Puka Ana and were greeted by Patrick, Jules, Koa (the dog), and Pico their baby girl. We were incredibly impressed with their friendless from the beginning. The breakfasts were OUTSTANDING, I am still addicted to pineapple from being in Hawaii. Like I said their view upstairs is great. There is one road that runs in front of the home and it isn’t really noisy, we didn’t notice it. There were 3 rooms so we occupied the entire downstairs area between the 3 of us, we each had our own bathroom.

 

We got in on a Tuesday and our wedding was on a Thursday. The evening of our wedding we came home to our room covered in Christmas lights, and fresh flowers all over the floors, and I believe like a sparkling juice or cider. We thought it was a nice touch considering you never know a guests preference on alcohol. I cried, it was so thoughtful.

 
 

Our parents left the morning after our wedding on Friday and we continued our stay through Sunday afternoon. Jules and Patrick surprised us by upgrading our room the following 2 nights so we got to stay in the little bit bigger room since no one else was going to stay there.

The only complaint we had was that the window unit for air conditioning caused the windows to be open slightly so in the mornings when they were up to water plants we woke up also. We were trying to recover from a serious case of jet lag while we were there, especially the first 3 days so that just made it a little more difficult for us to sleep. I would recommend earplugs just in case you feel this could be a problem for you. But you should know this going in, I mean it is a bed and breakfast and they do have a family.

You really can’t go wrong with your stay here, just know what to expect. We are so glad we decided to stay at the Hale Puka Ana and that we stayed on the west side of the island instead of the “busier” side. It’s only about a 45 minute drive to get to that side! 
 
 
Wedding Officiant – Julie D. Wirtz

My husband and I neither one wanted to be married by an individual of religious background. I did a lot of researching and found Julie D. Wirtz. I reviewed her website, spoke with her on the phone and knew instantly she was the one. I felt her cost was appropriate and she was going to take care of everything for us. When we met her our 2nd day on the island she graciously helped us decide on the location and sat with us for about 45 minutes outside a little wine shop to get to know us better. The day of our wedding she had NAILED our vows. I actually had them printed on canvas and they hang in our living room now.

We wanted to get married in God’s temple, not the brick and mortar buildings others choose to get married in. God created Kauai with a special intent and we wanted to enjoy it’s majesty entirely. She captured that in our entire ceremony. I can’t begin to describe to you how absolutely appropriate it was, she was wonderful. You can watch and hear here in our video below.
 

Photographer – James Rubio

Ohhh I can’t even believe I have to write a bad review about our photographer, James Rubio. When we decided Hawaii would be the location for our wedding he was one of the first people I spotted, I HAD to have him take my photos. It was not even negotiable. Our parents were already helping so much so I decided I would put the money away to pay for him to capture our wedding day. He was easy to work with via the internet, he was also friendly on the phone, and when we met him in person he was just as sweet. Maybe a little timid but I won’t judge his personality. A few weeks after he photographed the wedding we received the images and I kept clicking through them hoping to see the magic I had seen on his website and Facebook page from other clients. I didn’t see it…… I had to click back through them again to get a good luck at some of the images and I bit my tongue a little because there were some great shots but I didn’t feel the magic that I did when looking through his portfolio. We did have a discussion about this and he did make some alterations to a few photos. We also look back at our pictures and find that we were looking at each other a lot or kissing during the photos. I wish he would have given us a bit more direction in terms of poses or to ask us to look at camera more. another reason I decided to have some additional photos taken later on. We wanted some where we were looking at camera.

My biggest complaint was that a few months later I tried to enlarge his photos (I had signed permission from him). I couldn’t enlarge anything over 8.5×11!!!!!! I was absolutely furious. He had not taken the images in HD or something. So there I was stuck with photos I had paid big money for and I couldn’t even enlarge them. We ended up having a smaller session back home with a friend, the images were just as good and we could blow them up for a large print in our bedroom. You can view some of those images here.

Overall very disappointed but we do have some very pretty images from our day.

 

Videographer – Techy 3 Studios

Now our videographers gave us an entirely different experience. We felt like we were in a reality television series and I’m not gonna lie it was awesome J. We met them the day before our wedding as we scoped out our ceremony location and they started filming me at the salon I got my hair done at the next day. Then, they followed us back to Hale Puka Ana, filmed my husband getting ready in one room and I in another. They captured the excitement of our families perfectly, especially as we were facetiming with our sisters back in Illinois. There were 4 videographers all who had very different but fun personalities. It was so much fun! We felt like they were old friends at the end of the night. I do in fact, still keep in touch with them. I guess you could say they were the groomsmen we didn’t have ;).

They also shortened our wait time to get our highlight video. They worked around the clock to ensure we would have it for our wedding reception back in Illinois just 3 weeks later. The day I received it I cried, everyone who has seen it since has cried. That magic I talked about earlier, this highlight reel oooooozed with it. It was even more special since our siblings, grandparents, and close friends weren’t there to witness our wedding ceremony. I was more than impressed with their professionalism and they made my disappointment from the photographer just about disappear. If there is one thing you need to drop money for it must be a video from Techy 3. You can watch our video HERE.

The one thing I was absolutely petrified about was my hair. How would I determine a salon to place my trust in on such an important day? I couldn’t have a practice updo done because, well I was in Illinois. I was going to have to bite the bullet and do my best to just research and trust my gut. Again, instinct kicked in and I knew I had found the right place just from one picture. Kristy’s salon had a sparkly chandelier, and like a bug to a bug zapper I knew this was the place. It also looked immaculate.

I met her briefly the day before my wedding. I showed her my idea, she assured me it was nor problem, played with my hair some and I was out the door. I was still incredibly scared it would be horrible but she did such a wonderful job. She was very pregnant and not overly happy by the amount of photographers and videographers in her salon but she dealt with it like a champ and kept me calm ensuring me my hair would turn out perfect, and it did. You can see my hair and some of the salon in the video above.

Oahu

I don’t want to discuss this island, I cried our first night there, I was miserable. There were SO many people, our hotel was like it’s own island it was huge. There were stores everywhere, buses, it was dirty, EW. Not the Hawaiian I had just come from over in Kauai and definitely not the Hawaii I’d seen in movies. I don’t think I could stay there again and if I did I would do a lot more research.

Oahu Hotel- Hilton Hawaiian Village

If you like huge hotels this is for you, the place is ginormous. The line to check in took forever and it was easy to get disoriented. There were a lot of children with their families which is fine if that’s the kind of environment you want but we were a couple on our honeymoon. Our travel agent said it came highly recommended and we went with it. If I could have a do over I would have tried to find a hotel myself that was more adult friendly.


If you’re trying to plan a wedding in Kauai please let me know I am always available to talk more in detail about some of the places I looked into before choosing the places and people above. Good luck and Mahalo!



 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane
 


Just Your Every Day Girl

So the other day I just got ready for work like any other day except my hair hadn’t been washed in a day or so and I was rushed so I just threw on some minimalist jewelry, a cute dress, my big clunky belt, and some wedges and ran out the door. Of course on the day I do almost nothing to myself I would get several compliments on my appearance! I guess it just proves that sometimes just keeping it simple is good enough! Dress- Body Central (which closed in our town which really sucks), Shoes- Not Rated, I THINK I ordered them off of like cutesyshoes.com like 3 or 4 years ago, Belt- also Body Central, and to me the best part about my outfit is the necklace. That was my Christmas gift from my husband, something to remind me about each member of my family, and the title of the song that was playing for our first dance.

That’s all I have for you today!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem ~
Laci-Jane

A Fashionable Diaper Bag that’s Helping a Community

I searched high and low for the PERFECT diaper bag and much to my dismay I wasn’t finding anything that I felt “fit” me. I wanted something that I could carry as a purse and as a diaper bag. Something that wasn’t bulky and that I could wear and feel comfortable carrying.

One evening as I was scouring Pinterest I ran across the Better Life Bags. The Emily bag was perfect! The concept is similar to Thirty One but who wants a bag that looks like everyone elses? NOT ME! They allowed me to customize my own bag and get it exactly the way I wanted it. 

But you see,  none of this is the reason that I decided to purchase my diaper bag from them. I was actually more impressed with their mission. “We hire women, who otherwise could not work, to work for us. We pay them a living wage and watch them gain dignity, honor, and respect. Watch our video here. We also give 10% of our monthly GROSS income to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva.org” (Rebecca, Better Life Bags).

When I received my bag there was even a little note from Rebecca and a signature of the individual charged with crafting my beloved little bag. Did this woman even know how excited I was about this bag? No, she has no idea how much I love it and appreciate her work, her art.

I have been using the bag for 3 months now and it has been wonderful. It holds everything I need, has 2 side pockets that I use to put my keys and cell phone in and a back pocket that I will throw my wallet in. No need to even lug a purse around, I’ve got everything I need and the best part is that no one knows it could quite possibly be holding a pair of poop stained pants, a stinky diaper, or half chewed on snacks!

So thank you Rebecca at Better Life Bags for all that you do for your community. I LOVE my bag.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane

An Open Apology to All Moms

Alright, it’s time I apologized. I need to take a moment and apologize to all the moms I thought were crazy for wanting children, for all of the times I didn’t hold someone’s baby, and for all of the times I either completely tuned out or shuttered as a poor mother was trying to console her screaming child. I’m truly sorry. Now I know, I will forever understand you all.

If you’ve kept up with my blog you have read by now that I have never been a baby person. I told people for years I wouldn’t have children and if I did I would only have one. Over the years I changed my tune some because I knew I wanted a child of my own but it was such a big step.

I won’t even try and write a fairytale story of how in love I was with Roman when they handed him to me. I mentioned in another post that I was really nauseous after delivery so I didn’t get to really bond with him bc I felt terrible and it was late so I went to bed directly afterward and he was kept in the nursery for the duration of his stay because he wasn’t breathing while he was eating…little stinker.

In the first month I was taking so much in, like I said I didn’t know a damn thing about babies. It was so hard on me mentally to just understand this beautiful little boy and figure out how to make him comfortable. Will I compare it to the first few days of a new job?? Absolutely!!! For me it was that awkward stage at a new job where you want nothing more than to figure out what you’re doing but you’re learning and eventually you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. HA. I will never know exactly but I have to say it’s gotten so much easier, as everyone said it would.

I honestly didn’t completely bond with roman until he was a little over a month old. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love him, I did a lot but what I’m talking about is the head over heels so in love with your son that you can feel it oozing and goozing all over your insides, the kind that makes your whole body feel warm and your heart feels like it wants to explode when he smiles at you. That is what hit me like a freight train one day and it was that moment when I realized what all of my mom friends had been talking about all of these years. Now I understand why women love the cuddly little innocent bundle that is a baby. There are some days when I literally don’t want to even put him down I just want to kiss him and snuggle with him ALL day.

When I hear a baby crying now I notice it in a way that makes me stop for a second and think, “aww I wonder what baby needs.” Of course I’m still talking about those innocent babies not the ones that are old enough to just be little shits because they’re not getting what they want lol!!

So let me end this by saying again, I’m sorry. If you’re reading this and you haven’t had a child yet, eventually you will understand what I’m saying. I never thought I would admit it because I truly had no idea. This overwhelming feeling of love that my son gives me is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I never thought I could love someone more than my husband and I don’t love Roman more than him. It’s like a completely different type of love and it is the best feeling ever.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane


A Nursery to Grow Up In

Ahhh the dreaded nursery debacle! I am always so sure of myself, I know exactly what I want and then I go out and get it. However, when I found out I was pregnant I knew the days of having a room closet right next to our bedroom were over. Soon it would be transformed into a sanctuary for my little human. Every woman wants a room completely devoted to clothes and shoes and I had it! Check it out.

I searched Pinterest for months trying to decide on a theme, colors, ANY ideas for my son’s nursery. I seriously couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I ended up pinning so many ideas I was stuck with having too many ideas and only one room to do them in. Eventually I ended up narrowing down my favorite ideas and then set my colors, I went with black, white, and green with the chevron as my pattern, no theme. I also kept my chandelier. It had taken me forever to find when I looked for one for the pink room so I couldn’t let go of everything and my husband gave me permission to leave it. He said he knew Roman needed some sparkle in his life just like his momma 😉 A man that knows his wife’s needs is a good man lol!

So here it is!

The first piece I knew I wanted was my curtains. I waited for those to be finished before I even thought about doing anything else. Because they would be a large part of the room. If they didn’t look right I was going to have to go a different direction.

I came across the following pin on how to DIY your curtains with large chevron stripes but it was impossible to buy them anywhere. I put a plea out on Facebook asking for someone to help me out and do this for me and a friend of mine took on the task. To say she did an awesome job is an understatement. Mine look JUST like this. I forwarded Stefanie the blog where Ashleigh detailed how she had DIYd these curtains. You can find her blog here. I know this was not an easy task for Stefanie and she about lost her mind doing it, so this project is not for the faint of heart. I used the exact same curtains from IKEA that she used and they turned out AWESOME.

I had an entirely different setup for the room but I had specific pieces I was working around. I had wanted the curtains to be down and open like these are but to fit the room right they ended up being pinned back. I couldn’t make a pretty bow, this was going to be a little boy’s room!! So I thought why not a bowtie? Still classy but in a boyish way.

I also wanted to keep the light out. But you know what is almost impossible to find? A black shade that blacks out the light and doesn’t cost an absolute fortune. I did some searching in Lowes and found this Levolor fabric blind in a light tan color,and bought two cans of black spray paint to get the look I wanted. My dad had to do the spray painting since I was about 7 months pregnant at the time and it absorbed fast but covered well and it looks like it was a black blind from the beginning.

The dresser was actually the most stressful part of the room. If you look at the very first picture of my pink room you can see that the dresser was a piece I already had. It was solid black and it was fine. However, I thought I needed my dresser to look like the one below. I recruited someone else to paint it and once I got it in the room it just didn’t work at all. So dad to the rescue again,  he stripped off the chevron stripes and I repainted it black but still wanted chevron stripes. I used the zigzag frog tape and I like it but still really wish I would have just left it alone and opted for white pulls instead! Oh well I’m not screwing with it again.

After the dresser came my sign, this is what caused the whole room structure to change. I wanted to hang it on the wall but not above his crib for obvious reasons. It was wooden, large and heavy and how could you live with yourself if for some reason it fell off the wall and smooshed my tiny baby!! Horrifying. I really wanted people to see it when they first came in and this was the only wall I could do that on! The crib moved to the side wall instead.

 I did write this entire saying myself but I took some ideas from a poem I had seen once before. My husband and I have varying views on life so I incoporated both of our personalities to deliver a message to our son that he could see every day in his room once he grew up and learned what it meant. I also didn’t want to put up the SAME quote that every other mom places in their little boy’s room. I like to be different. Eventually I will be forced to put the message on a different piece for his room but for now this is what he has to remind him about his dad and I’s hopes for him. If you decide to use what I wrote please be sure to let me know and give me credit. It took me a few weeks to put this on paper. 

This sign was a bear and took my mom and I an entire afternoon and evening to get the chevrons just right. UGH never again. We taped off the chevrons and once the sign was dry I took to task getting the writing on there. It would be a lie if I told you I had free handed this sucker so I will be come clean and tell you the truth. I learned an old trick back in junior high. I printed the words in a font I liked and then made my husband take a pencil and shade the back of each strip of words. This acts as a stencil. Once that is done I could then take a pencil and trace over the letters and it showed up on the sign which I could then paint over. I’m a genius I realize this 🙂 When we got it up I thought it seemed kind of bare around the outside so my friend Caiti sewed together some black stars cut from paper and made me some garland. I like it a lot better with the garland strung on as a border. 
I’ve had these shelves since I was little bitty. My dad made them and I used them for years in my own room at home. However they weren’t painted black so pulled that paint can back out and I got to work. There are 3 pieces on this shelf that I got really excited about. Check out the glass jar full of binkies (not my idea I saw it on Pinterest)! The little book? My husband and I have been asking each other that since we were in high school and we’ve always given each other the same responses (no I won’t tell you our responses). When I saw this book I thought it was so fitting. Finally, the fluffy white bear. This was a purchase I made around Christmas time from a local vendor who raises llamas. The bear is made of real llama hair and it’s just wonderful. I’m in love with this little bear and it’s up and out of the way so he can’t get to it and drool on it lol!!
You will notice I tried to boy this room up some more with the vintage Hulk and Spiderman signs. They were a last minute choice when another piece for the room fell through. I actually kind of like them and my husband had the final decision on which two we kept. He’s not a Spiderman fan but given the room colors and overall look of the signs these were the two we kept. That small rocking chair was actually a gift from my dad’s side of the family. He grew up with 3 sisters. They passed down this rocking chair that has been in my family for years. Needless to say I bawled my eyes out at my baby shower when they handed it off to me for my little Roman to have. The pillow on the rocking chair I got from Etsy, you can find a link to her shop here. I only ordered the pillow case as I had an old pillow we didn’t use anymore and thought that was more socially responsible. 

 The crib was an absolute disaster, I ordered a BLACK crib from Babies-R-Us and it came to us like a dark cherry brown. Of course we wanted to get it up so I just painted the sucker black. I still have to post my review and hope they send me some kind of wonderful gift card for my troubles. Not to mention it was a Graco crib and the directions to put it together didn’t match the pieces they gave us. It was a nightmare.

I ordered both the crib sheet and the skirt from Etsy also I have linked their stores for you. My aunt made the amazing blanket. That was another one of my baby shower gifts that I was just in awe of. Such a beautiful quilt and it matched his room perfectly!

I went back and forth with the decision to buy or make the marquee and I’m really glad I decided to make it because it was actually pretty simple. I cut the backs out and went totally ghetto on taping the little lights in. I got the lights from lights.com and the paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby. I won’t turn them on much but each letter has its own battery operated lights (and yes I realized when the project was finished that somewhere in the DIY process a light in my O went out grrr). It’s the overall design that counts right? Not the actual functionality of it??

My husband cut 2 wooded pieces of board down to fit my pictures which I actually just printed from a computer in black and white on paper. I modpodged them on to the wood and then use a paintbrush to distress the edges with black paint. Super easy.

I had been looking everywhere for a cross to put above his crib and couldn’t find anything I liked so up until a couple weeks ago I was just going to leave it bare there until I found something. As I was leaving Hobby Lobby empty handed I spotted this burlap cross in the clearance section but it was not in the right color green for the room. I thought it would be easy enough to just take a black sharpie to so that’s what I did and voila!

One of my last finds for the room that just had me in a fit of excitement giggles was the star light I found at Target. Super cute, easy to use and it can be hung or set right on the dresser. It even comes with a little remote. It fit right in with the little sign I wanted to use in the room and the star garland over the chevron sign on the wall.

I just love Roman’s room and I’m glad I went with a more grown up look for his nursery. We won’t be here in this house for very much longer but my thought was to carry some of the look into our new home when we decide to move. 
Thank you for reading and taking a look at the work I put into his room, I love sitting in there with him and cuddling in that little chair. If you have any questions on something pictured let me know and I would be happy to answer them for you. 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

My New Kitchen!!

Seriously if one was going to drag their feet on a project, I’ve completely nailed it. I started on my kitchen the beginning of December 2013. I took off several days so that I could paint and the intention was to have it done by Christmas. HA! For the entire month of December the doors weren’t attached to the cabinets. I just put the finishing touches on the kitchen last week. I wanted it to be perfect. Below you will see a BEFORE picture of our kitchen it’s dark, I know, I’m sorry I am terrible at taking pictures when I am in a DIY project. They were builder grade cabinets and they were fine but I wanted a different look and I wanted my kitchen to be brighter!

Here is the AFTER picture, isn’t it so much prettier??!
I had some Pinterest Pictures of what I was trying to achieve with the kitchen. Here are my Pins that I was going from. Becky’s kitchen from Buckets of Burlap was perfect, I was in love. I still would rather have her kitchen but I do really like mine now that it’s finished.
Buckets of Burlap
My inspiration for the island came from this photo off of Cottage Charm Creations. I had wanted to use real barn siding but it was virtually impossible to find any so we ended up using 1x2s (hehe I think) and I weathered them. My brother in law put it together for us about 2 weeks before we had the baby, which was in February, so again I really took forever to get the kitchen the way I wanted it. The weathered color doesn’t look like it matches my countertop in this picture but I promise it looks better in person and it goes with the wall color. I also want to get old metal stools but not in a hurry to find those yet. 

I had seen this picture on Pinterest also but I had saved it as an image versus pinning it for some reason and I don’t know who it links to. I wanted to do something similar but have a spot to put our mail. I just couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I was venturing around Michaels looking for something else and I saw this little crate! It was the perfect length and height. I didn’t want to nail or screw anything into the side of the island because there are drawers there. I ended up putting it on with velcro command strips!! GENIUS! I also got the small little chalkboard at Michaels, hot glued it onto the crate and voila!

We bought all of the hardware for the cabinets at Menards, I wish I would have known how expensive it was going to be! Geez, that was a huge chunk of my budget. The cabinet color is Annie Sloan Pure White . I had done A LOT of research on paint and how to refinish cabinets on Pinterest. One thing I knew I wasn’t going to do was sand my cabinets, wasn’t going to happen. The Annie Sloan dealer recommended that I use the paint and the topcoat only. However, after testing the paint out on the back of one of my cabinets I quickly realized I would be using a lot of my Annie Sloan paint if I was going to do more than 2 coats. So I opted to do 2 coats of white primer, then followed with 2 coats of Annie Sloan, and finally 2 coats of the topcoat from Annie Sloan also. I didn’t do 2 coats of Annie Sloan on the back of the cabinets or the topcoat only because I wasn’t concerned with what the inside looked like!
The other touches you will see in the picture below are deer antlers lining my cabinets. I really wasn’t sure about it but my husband loves to hunt sheds in the timber and they were just hanging out in our garage. I brought them in one day and tossed em up there. I really didn’t like them at first but after about a week I really found them kind of appealing. My mother in law came over and also approved, so I knew they were going to stay! 
The growth chart!?! Oh I couldn’t wait to add the growth chart. If you look back up at Becky’s kitchen she has an ice cream sign next to her fridge which I felt was the perfect spot for our growth chart and it hid the small gap between the wall and the fridge. Much to my dismay, my dad said we had to screw it in which will leave me filling in those holes when we leave because the growth chart will go with us, but oh well. The things we do for the perfect space! I got a piece of cedar wood, weathered it again and use the white primer to do the lines and numbers. The entire chart took me probably 30 minutes to make, not including drying time for the weathered look. 
I want to give a shoutout to the Etsy business I purchased my burlap curtain from, Crafty Amour (you can link to her shop from my picture). If there is one thing I can’t do, it’s sew 🙁 I contacted her and gave her the measurements and she quickly created one and had it mailed back to me! I am going to order another one for our front door here soon. The lights were switched out also, I found those at Target. They actually had a finish that matched my hardware better but when I had brought them home just to ask my husband if they would work I came up from doing laundry and they were installed……. I didn’t really want them put up YET I just wanted to know if they would work?!! I never told him that haha, so they stayed, one because they were expensive and two because he thought he was doing what I asked. OH WELL! They look just fine. 
 Crafty Amour
Here are just two more pictures with different views of the kitchen, if you have any questions at all about how you can redo your kitchen or where I got a piece from the kitchen please contact me. I promise you I am the last person that would have tackled this whole process unless I thought I could do it without much stress. It was really easy to do it just took time to dry and it was winter so I had to lay the cabinets out all over the house and we didn’t have a ton of room for that, especially with two nosy dogs.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

Surviving Pregnancy & The Road Ahead

Reflecting back on my pregnancy which ended over 6 weeks ago I think WOW, my determination was so apparent! I didn’t always eat great but I never used pregnancy as an excuse to eat bad all the time. I continued to drink my Shakeology and tried to make good choices most of the time. The only problem I have always had is that I HATE cooking, I’m not good at putting meals together so I eat extremely simply. I love looking at my before and after pictures from pregnancy because I made a promise to myself that I didn’t fall back on! Because of my persistence I had a very fast delivery, recovered extremely quickly and my son is really strong (the Dr. said he had incredible muscle tone). Now whether that had to do with me working out or not, haha well we will never know but I like to think it had something to do with it. 

I assure you that it wasn’t difficult to stay the course. It was mind over matter, you have to make a decision to get up off of the couch and not let pregnancy overtake you! I realize some of you are probably like, “well I had a condition” or “my Dr. wouldn’t let me workout”. I understand all of that. My intent is not to encourage women to workout when they are not already on a workout regime. I am not trying to guilt those women who suffered from extreme cases of nausea, etc. I’m just trying to encourage pregnant women to do the best they can!! I know you can do it. 
As far as life after pregnancy I never dreamt that I would be able to get back to my former self so quickly. The human body is absolutely INCREDIBLE!! However, I had heard all the stories women told me. You will never have to for yourself, you won’t sleep, you won’t shower, you sure as HELL won’t workout. Well pshh, they don’t know me. If someone tells me I can’t you can bet your ass I will prove them wrong. 
First things first, my Dr. told me not to rush my workouts and she told me to refrain from working out until I had this mommy thing under control. The first couple of days home I wasn’t in control haha I was far from it! However, in time I started getting him figured out and he me! By week 3 I started feeling a little more like my old self. I knew I had to be careful with any “workouts” I decided to do. So Week 3 postpartum I took about a 2 mile walk with my dogs several times that week. Week 4 I started to just add in a little more intense cardio, nothing lower body just moving around more, using my arms to punch, etc. Week 5, I started seeing what I could handle, I slowly started back into my Beachbody workouts but refrained from doing anything I wasn’t sure I was comfortable doing. By the 6th week I was doing everything as hard as I could!!! You could say that my results below were from my workouts, however I know that it was again due to my commitment to the foods I was eating. I owe SO much of the last 6 weeks to Shakeology. It not only helped me get back to my former weight faster, but it was a satisfying treat for me in the evenings, gave me the energy I needed for the workouts and the disruptive sleep patterns. It also helped my digestive system. As women we all know that things we excrete during pregnancy well, Shakeology was a lifesaver!
If you would like information on Shakeoloy, the workouts I did, or the food plan I stuck to, feel free to get a hold of me, I would love to help you. I currently have 2 fitness accountability groups running on Facebook that you could be a part of! Commit to your life, Commit to your health, if not now, when??
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

My 1st Week of Motherhood

I MADE IT! It’s been one week since I found myself face to face with labor and delivery! I was admitted on a Tuesday night to start one process and by Wednesday morning I hadn’t dilated so they had to break my water and my contractions started on my own. By 9pm I was ready to go, I pushed for 15 minutes and little man was welcomed into this world at 9:58pm. Like any mother I was overwhelmed by the emotions I felt for my little Roman. However I was so nauseous afterwards I really was kind of out of it. I didn’t want to hold him a lot because I felt so sick. They ushered him off to the nursery and had us relocated into a recovery room and we were off to bed by 1:30am.

The next day is when it really set in for me. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my husband and I had created this beautiful little boy! HOW did I get so lucky to have two great looking guys in my life? When I look at the pictures a friend of mine took the day after he was born I just couldn’t help but cry because of the happiness you can see all over our faces.

The healing process had started, all the fun excretions from my body, the soreness, the strange look of your stomach after you no longer have someone living in there, and well constipation. LET’S just say I went a full 24 hrs in the most excruciating pain I’ve been in. Breaking my water…eh, this was SO MUCH worse lol!! I don’t know if any other ladies out there experienced the hell that is constipation after pregnancy but lets just say this was not a minor case, this was like debilitating. I know you all wanted to know this. But hey it was part of my experience. The middle of the night blood pressure and temp checks were always fun to, I mean it was hardly a bother to be awoken from such a wonderful slumber in a luxurious pillow top hospital bed 😐

 

 

Once home all three of us had so much to learn. I had my mental breakdown the day after we got home on a Sunday. I am the personality type that always has about a hundred things going on at once, I always have control over my situation. I tend to stand back and make decisions quickly because I’m sure of myself, well babies don’t allow for any of that. So I knew it was time for me to relax, let go, accept help, and allow myself to fail over and over if necessary. I would figure all of this out eventually. I think one of the hardest things for me upon getting home was the realizing that my husband and I would be giving up some of our alone time for awhile which I knew would happen but I honestly felt like I hadn’t seen him much over the time I was in the hospital. It’s not because he wasn’t there for me, he was in every single way he could be. But, remember that personality style I talked about above. Well that also comes with being extremely independent. I didn’t want him in the room when they started the epidural, I didn’t want him staying all night with me every night when I knew he could get a way better and more refreshed sleep at home, I didn’t want him anywhere near me when I was dealing with my poop issues lol. Therefore, when we did get home I wanted all of him all at once and special attention that I’d sort of pushed away all week. Grandma to the rescue. She came and stayed with us Sunday night so we could just cuddle and he could love on me. Once all that was over I felt 100 times better. It’s now been one week and it’s hard to believe everything that has happened since then.
I will sign off by suggesting that I am officially in the mom club now, in the last few days at home I’ve been peed on (Roman also peed all over himself haha it was terrible), he projectile pooped all over me and my favorite pair of sweats, and been spit up on. Sleep hasn’t really been an issue because my husband and I are taking shifts and Roman really has been such a good boy for us. I’ve even  managed to get makeup on and showers in.
I know I will make it through these first few weeks, I got this in the bag 😉
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

 

My Take on Pregnancy- You Don’t Have to Agree

Let me be completely honest here. Some of you aren’t going to like what I am about to write. Some of you are going to take offense to the statements I make in the following post. So if you’re sensitive and don’t have an open mind then I suggest you stop reading now.

Okay, for those of you whose interested I have piqued let me also assure you that this post isn’t going to speak about what most consider a “normal” or “typical” pregnancy (can we really say that any pregnancy is normal when we all have such different experiences??). If you’ve been reading my blog then by this point you probably understand I’m not even normal. 
I have a lot of friends and family who will see this post and they may think that I am ungrateful for all of the advice given to me about pregnancy over the last nine months and that is NOT the case either. I’m NOT upset with anyone but I am trying to be honest and show a side of what parents to be may encounter as my husband and I have.
Now that I have prefaced this blog post, I will begin. This is a message to mothers and fathers out there. I am certain this blog post will not reach the masses but even if I can offer a point of view that changes just one person’s mind then I will feel as if I have succeeded.
From a Mom & Dad to be to anyone who comes across this:
It is no secret that from the time you learn you are pregnant you are given advice and told stories about the good, bad, and the ugly of pregnancy, childbirth, the baby’s first weeks, the baby’s middle weeks, then it continues as the children gets older. All of a sudden your child is 5 and you’re already being told how terrible it will be when they get into junior high. Let me ask you this..WHY?! Why as parents do people find it necessary to shed such a negative light on having children? Okay, I get that parents want to be honest, that they think they are preparing you for what is in store. Do they just not remember what it was like for them when so many people gave them advice on their first child?
I am a well educated individual who understands that bringing a child into this world will not be a picnic. It seems every person we encounter has the SAME advice or tells us a horror story about raising a child. For those parents who remind us how much of a blessing children are, THANK YOU, you’re a dime a dozen.
My husband and I are just beginning this experience as our first child is due well, he was supposed to be here last night but he didn’t make it… must have had plans….. I cannot tell you how many times during my pregnancy I heard the following begin a conversation I was having, when telling someone I was pregnant, “oh just wait,” “you have no idea,” “you’ll find out”.
I realize that I haven’t had what some would consider a “normal” pregnancy. I can’t say enough about being pregnant, here I am at almost 40 weeks and the only  pregnancy pitfalls I’ve encountered are heartburn, a very very occasional push on my bladder, and a couple weeks of soreness in the joints around my hoohah (this is my technical term) as things expanded to prepare my body for birth. None of this kept me from enjoying my daily activities and working out. I’ve had a beautiful, amazing and wonderful pregnancy. Hate me? Sorry…… I owe good eating habits, an active lifestyle, and a little bit of luck to the success of my pregnancy.
I was able to keep up with my workouts, I’m still in my pre-pregnancy jeans and I’m still wearing high heels. Am I bragging? No, absolutely not. I’m not the only woman who has had this kind of pregnancy. It just further proves that the pregnancy everyone told me I could “just wait” for still hasn’t reared its ugly head. I know, I know some of you are reading this right now saying, “ugh she’s just bragging, she’s not normal,” or “I hope she’s in labor for hours!” I believe I asked those of you who are judging my words right now to not even start reading this post, remember?
For someone to tell me what pregnancy will be like is completely absurd. Ask yourself this? Are we all made exactly the same? Do we all experience the same issues in our life? If I have a sore throat like you do, will you assume I have strep like you or just a cold with a sore throat? The answer is NO, so what makes you assume that your pregnancy will be like mine or mine like yours? Am I naïve enough to believe that my next pregnancy will be as good as the first? Absolutely not. But, I will deal with that when and if that time comes.
Now that my husband and I are so close to welcoming our little man into the world, the conversations now are about how bad it will be when he does get here. REALLY people?? I mean is this really what we’ve come to? A community of individuals who find it easier to share horror stories than those of happiness. Why is it necessary to “scare” a new parent?  Like I stated before I DO understand you think you are helping but so does almost EVERY single other parent who shares advice with us. It…gets….old.
So here is what I am suggesting, STOP it with all of the negativity!! If new parents want your advice, trust me they will ask for it. I have several friends and family members that I have reached out and asked questions to. The next time you encounter a new mom to be don’t tell her to “just wait until she’s so swollen she can’t move” try telling her this, “pregnancy sure can be challenging but do your best to enjoy it”. I assure you, the last thing she wants to hear at 12 weeks when she’s uber excited about becoming pregnant is that she will be so swollen she can’t walk. Talk about suck the air right out of her bubble. The next time you hear a new mom and dad talking about how close they are to delivering their first child don’t tell them to “sleep as much as you can now, you won’t get any when he gets here,” try this, “there’s nothing quite like holding your new baby for the first time.”  Like I said earlier we’re not dumb we know that having a new baby isn’t easy. I didn’t plan my pregnancy assuming he would come with a start, pause, and stop button.
All I am asking is that you consider what you’re saying and how you’re saying it to new parents. I realize you all have your own stories and you want to share them but don’t take the fun out of it for someone else. Let them create their own story and I assure you that if they want to hear about yours they will ask you. Let’s try and create a movement of parents who build one another up versus tear one another down with negativity. Being real and honest is great, it’s something I strongly believe in, but as with everything else, there is a time and a place and chances are they’re hearing the same thing from  just about everyone else they are talking to. Be different, be the one willing to share a positive experience.
               As I tie this little rant up I want to thank those of you who took the time to share your negative stories and advice with us. I understand you were just having a conversation and not really thinking about what you were saying. But maybe I’ve given you a perspective you can think about the next time you are chatting it up with a new mom or dad to be, put yourself in their shoes.
For those of you who’ve shared with us the positive sides of being a new parent and raising a child, thank you. You have absolutely no idea how refreshing it has been to have conversations with you. Yours, just as much as the negative ones, hold just as much honesty.
Maybe upon further reflection parents will realize what I am trying to say. While challenging, parenthood is an absolute blessing from God that not everyone can or will experience and for some it will end all too abruptly.  Let’s remember to share the joy and happiness children can bring and leave the truth and honesty for their close friends and family to share with them. Let them enjoy their experience as it will be unlike anyone else’s and be thankful that you yourself have been blessed with your own.
Thanks for reading!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem–
Laci Jane