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It feels so appropriate that my last blog post was a 41-week pregnancy update, and I’m jumping back in after two weeks off from blogging to share the news of our little family addition! Jane Emerson Bowler was born on Friday, January 20th at 6:04pm after quite a few days of laboring, restless nights, doctor’s visits, and a surprise C-section for her grand finale! She is the absolute best 8 lb bundle of love that has ever existed (okay, I may be biased). We have been learning our new “normal” over the past two weeks, getting in lots of snuggles and sniffs of that delicious newborn baby smell in between a few sleepless nights. I’ve got lots of big plans to share a full birth story, posts about what I packed in my hospital bag, and how we’re surviving these first few weeks. But for now, I’ll leave with you a few candid pictures from the selection of hundreds I’ve already taken on my iPhone! Welcome to the world Miss Jane!  read more

Well, I didn’t think I’d be writing a post with “week 41” in the title, but Baby B is enjoying her stay and just doesn’t want to seem to make her arrival yet! I spoke to my mom on the phone this week and I joked that she couldn’t be my child, I absolutely hate being late. My mom assured me though that she would be exactly like me, because this baby is doing things her own way and demanding  complete control of the situation around her. Mom’s always tell it like it is, and I realized she couldn’t be more right.  So while we not-so-patiently await her to let us know when she’s ready to greet the world, I figured I would squeeze in one more bump update! read more

I have a tradition of waiting to start New Year’s Resolutions until after my birthday on the 10th, because I know I usually still have a week of partying left in me. Why commit to goals I know I’m going to break? This year is a little bit different, the partying is taking a hiatus while we wait for Baby B to arrive. I’m still completely and totally exhausted, but it has nothing to do with my champagne intake this year! The benefit of waiting a bit to write your resolutions is you get to be inspired by what others are sharing about their own goals and intentions. Reading resolution posts from other writers and friends is so energizing – I love to hear what people are working on and how they’re approaching their New Year outlook. read more

Happy New Year! I mentioned in my last post how much I love celebrating the New Year; it’s an amazing feeling to start with a clean slate and to be able to see all of the opportunities that lie ahead. This year though feels a bit different! The normal surge of energy I typically feel from the new year, full of possibilities and fresh calendar pages, is not quite as present at 39 weeks pregnant as it has been in the past. In fact, my biggest accomplishment in the first two days of the year has been successfully getting my socks and shoes on in the morning!  But I’m doing my best to use this quiet time before the baby’s arrival to capitalize on the start of the year by reflecting on 2016, gathering inspiration and clarity for 2017, and attempting (slowly!) to get things organized for a productive new year.  read more

I just had a minor panic attack looking at my pregnancy tracker app, three and a half weeks to go until my due-date, oh my! As I’m nearing the end of this crazy journey, I have been thinking about what I’ve enjoyed during the pregnancy experience, and a few things that I won’t miss at all (like skipping a post-work glass of wine). One thing that I surprisingly enjoyed was getting to build out a little capsule wardrobe of maternity clothes. It’s a strange thing having to buy a whole new wardrobe all at once! It had it’s perks though, like stretchy waistbands, getting to plan out pieces that would mix and match together in versatile ways, and getting to experiment with styles I’ve never tried before (body-con dresses were suddenly acceptable with a bump!). I thought I’d share my favorite pieces, shops, and maternity-wear tips here as a good starting point for anyone that may be in the same boat soon! read more

My holiday gift guide inspiration is continuing this week with tons of festive ideas for the hostess! A host or hostess takes on so many meanings at the holidays. It might be the family that’s invited you to stay with them for the weekend, a co-worker treating you to a holiday lunch, or the Christmas party hostess with the mostest! I hit Bed Bath & Beyond for their huge selection of my favorite brands and a one-stop-shop for these fun, festive and unique gift ideas and came up with a few themed present ideas for everyone on my list. read more

This post was created in partnership with Capital One.

Maybe it’s rooted in my deep affection for a fresh yearly day planner and ripping the first sheet off a crisp new calendar, but I love this time year when we get to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and start setting goals for the New Year. With my birthday the first week of the year, I always give myself a free pass on resolutions until the day after my celebrations end (which helps me from fumbling on those fitness and health goals!). This year, with baby B due in that same first week, I’m pretty aware that the impending storm of chaos and exhaustion may make that timing difficult in 2017. Instead of putting this important resetting period on the back burner, I had the opportunity thanks to Capital One to get started a little bit early this year on planning for a fresh start.
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Less than 3-weeks left until the presents need to be wrapped and under the tree! I cooked up another fun gift guide this week with the procrastinator in mind. Everything on this list is Prime-Eligible on Amazon, so even if you wait until the last minute you can still steal these gift ideas and have them delivered in time! I love the idea of gift theme, and built out eight fun ideas based on a book, with little add-on gifts to go with each one. From co-workers to couples to families, there’s a little something for everyone — check out the ideas below!amazon-book-based-gift-guide read more

It’s been 8 weeks since my last bump update, and which is a testament to how life seems to be flying by lately. Part of me feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. I look down at that app on my phone and see the days count down though (oh gosh, five weeks and a few days to go!) and I’m absolutely amazed at how time is passing by so quickly in this stage. And with that, a few updates! img_6105_edited-1 read more

Back in October, I had the opportunity to take an interesting class at Society of Grown-Ups about creating spending plans that aligned to our values and priorities. The class gave me some great tools to help with planning for our finances, but it also did something else: challenged me to actually think about my values and priorities. On our road-trip down to New York this past weekend for Thanksgiving I was tired and opted to close my laptop, ignore my inbox and to-do-list, and crack open a new book instead – Emily Ley’s Grace, Not Perfection. Digging into this fresh read brought me back to that Society of Grown-Ups class in the early-fall, discussing a lot of the same topics. Between the start of the holidays, a busy period at my day-job, the busiest time of year for my blog projects, and oh yea, an impending baby on the way in just 6-weeks, this topic felt so timely and important during a hectic period of life. It gave me a little spark of inspiration to take a moment to reflect on just that: gratitude for what matters most to me.img_6134_b read more